Roses and Thorns 8-14-2011

August 13, 2011 7:24:00 PM



Roses to all the volunteers who make the Good Samaritan Medical Clinic possible. The free clinic celebrates its 10th anniversary on Tuesday. A dedicated staff of nurses, doctors, pharmacists and others work tirelessly to ensure the uninsured and under-insured still have access to primary medical care. It''s a labor of love and is an asset, not only to those who use it, but also to the community as a whole.  




A rose to the Starkville School District board of trustees for seeking community input on hiring its next superintendent. Thursday, the board held a public-input session, to find out what qualities community members would like to see in the next schools head. The Mississippi School Boards Association, which is in charge of the search, will use input gained Thursday night to develop an application for the job. Thus far, the board has been very open with the community and transparent in its efforts to fill the position. 




A thorn to the Columbus-Lowndes Convention and Visitors Bureau board for not doing due diligence in naming a full-time director. Nancy Carpenter has done a commendable job in the interim, since February. Still, the CVB is a public body and should have conducted a search, seeking outside applicants and public input, before hiring a director. 




A rose to Sturgis Mayor Walter Turner in the wake of the looming cancellation of the Sturgis South Motorcycle Rally, Turner has spearheaded the movement to raise enough funds to keep the rally alive. Turner, though not a rally board member, has been its talisman at Oktibbeha County Economic Development Authority and Starkville Convention and Visitors Bureau meetings.  


He''s seeking the help of local businesses and hotels that benefit from the annual rally, which draws more than 15,000 people each year. Turner says Sturgis citizens make a significant amount of money from renting their own land as RV space. The rally has a $40,000 budget shortfall and doesn''t have a contract with the city for this year''s event.  




Roses to Starkville educators Courtney Honnoll and Wade Williams, who recently were recognized by the district for their hard work. Ward Stewart Elementary School special education teacher Honnoll was named Outstanding Teacher. Williams, now at Starkville High, was named Outstanding First-Year Teacher for his work teaching sixth-grade math at Armstrong Middle School. Both seem to have a soft heart for the teaching profession and the children they educate. They are proof that teachers, though sometimes under-appreciated, can make a positive impact on the lives of children. 




A rose to Jackson native and Mississippi University for Women class of 1955 alumnae Jane Robbins Kerr, who brought a splash of color to Rosenzweig Arts Center this week with her latest photography exhibit, "Seeing Red." Kerr, 78, has traveled the world, but she is at her finest when she turns her lens upon the South, breaking down cultural barriers, challenging the status quo and exposing the richness of the Southern tableau. "Photography has saved me from old age," she said. "On the way to getting older, find your passion. You''ve got to have something."