Roses and thorns: 10/14/12

October 13, 2012 10:58:18 PM





A rose to the senior class at Heritage Academy for adopting the Columbus-Lowndes Humane Society as its service project for the year. Last month alone, the CLHS took in 250 dogs and cats, of which roughly 70 percent had to be euthanized. That's the tragic reality, and these students' efforts will do much to help reduce the number of innocent animals that are destroyed. As part of their project, the students will begin a three-week letter-writing campaign seeking donations for the CLHS. That's an effort worthy of a rose. So if you get a letter from these students, please consider making a donation to this worthy cause. 




A thorn to the attorneys who are representing Archie Quinn on capital murder charges for asking for an eighth continuance in his trial. Quinn, who is charged with the 2008 murder of his girlfriend, Stacy Gray, was supposed to have faced trial during next week's circuit court session in Starkville. Instead, he was granted another continuance, because of the death of the mother of one of Quinn's two attorneys. No disrespect, but one attorney could handle the proceedings while the other attorney attended his mother's funeral. Justice delayed is justice denied. It works not only for defendants, but for the state as well. 




A rose to Col. Jim Sears, who made one of his first public appearances this week since his arrival as the wing commander of the 14th Flying Training Wing at Columbus Air Force Base. Sears spoke to the Columbus Rotary Club on Tuesday and confirmed for the Rotarians what word-of-mouth had noted all along: Sears is a thoughtful, thorough leader whose talents will serve CAFB well. 




A rose to the 75 citizens who turned out at Columbus City Hall for a town-hall type event sponsored by Mississippi Speaker of the House Philip Gunn on Tuesday. It was a standing-room only event, as residents and local elected officials presented their suggestions, questions and criticisms to Gunn and state legislators from the area. While the ideas expressed ranged from ridiculous to sublime, these sorts of interactions between citizens and those elected to represent their interests are vital to making our government work. Roses for all who participated. 




A thorn to the state of Mississippi and its schools for their timid approach to the near-epidemic proportions of teen sex -- and in many cases even pre-teen sex -- in the state. The state's response? In addition to its "Abstinence Only" program, Mississippi schools now have the option of "Abstinence Plus." But the "plus" is far from enough. Even that program insists that abstinence is the only means of preventing teen pregnancy and sexually-transmitted diseases. While no one advocates that teens should be sexually active, we are not so naive as to suggest that teens will always choose abstinence. In fact, the stark statistics strongly suggest many will not. The problems associated with teen sex are too serious, too destructive and too costly to justify not using every means available to combat the problem. Teens need to know about "safe sex." They need access to birth control and condoms. It's time to quit moralizing and posturing and use every available resource to reverse this tragic trend.