Roses and thorns: 2/24/13

February 23, 2013 9:35:20 PM



A rose to the Link'd Young Professionals for their plans to help bring the Magnolia Bowl back into prominence as a community gathering place. The group hopes to convert the empty stadium, once the focal point of the community, into an amphitheater. The Magnolia Bowl, built as a WPA project in 1933, still occupies a strategically important piece of ground, serving as the "gateway" to downtown. Long-time residents are quick to wax nostalgic of those days when Friday night high school football games were a rallying point for residents young and old. The group's ambitious five-stage plan to restore the Magnolia Bowl to its former glory is a movement we heartily support. 




A rose to the Starkville Academy Lady Volunteers basketball team, which claimed the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AAA state championship Saturday by defeating Madison-Ridgeland Academy, 64-29. Coach Glenn Schmidt's team is now 40-0 and has won 49 consecutive games, a streak it started last season. Starkville Academy and its star player Maggie Proffitt, a Columbus resident, will try to make back-to-back overall state titles next week in Clinton. 




A rose to the Starkville Board of Aldermen for their choice of William "Bill" Snowden as the city's first director of community development. One look at Snowden's background confirms that he is a wonderful choice. Snowden comes to Starkville after serving 10 years in Tuscaloosa, where he served in a variety of development and planning capacities. He has also worked in Auburn, Ala., Birmingham, Ala., Albany, Ga., and Rock Hill, S.C. Snowden's experience working in college towns should be of great benefit to Starkville, whose connections with Mississippi State University are vital. Who better to understand the unique possibilities and challenges that a college town presents? 




A rose to the organizers of MUW's Gordy Honors College Forum Speakers Series, which brought noted civil rights attorney Fred Gray to town Thursday. Gray, now 82, represented such civil rights icons as Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. Gray's speech not only commemorated the epic struggle for equality of the 1960s, but it also emphasized that today's youth can play their own role in the continuing fight for equality.  




A rose to Col. Jim Sears, wing commander at Columbus Air Force Base, for his proactive efforts in explaining what impact the national budget crisis, known as sequestration, could have locally. Sears held a press conference Thursday where he said that without a budget agreement, the almost 500 civilian employees who work at CAFB would be cut to a four-day work week. He said such cutbacks would have a negative impact on virtually all CAFB operations. While the news wasn't good, it is of some benefit to hear from the wing commander on this matter, rather than be left to speculate. Information, even bad information, is preferable to being "in the dark."