Roses and thorns 9-6-09

September 5, 2009 8:20:00 PM



A rose to the city of Starkville for its efforts to bring curbside recycling to its citizens, another green notch on the city''s belt. 


Crews with the Starkville Sanitation Department next month will be collecting recyclables --excluding glass -- from single-family residences across the city. 


Columbus and West Point are offered curbside pickup, for a small fee, by Triangle Maintenance Service. 


But Starkville''s program is city-funded and picked up by the city''s Sanitation Department. 


It''s something for the rest of the Golden Triangle to consider, whether through a partnership with Triangle Maintenance or their own waste services. 


Offering an easy and free way to recycle should get a lot of people on the green band wagon. 




A thorn to District 3 Oktibbeha County Supervisor Marvell Howard for showing us all what not to do when a family member has a run-in with the law. 


The supervisor''s daughter was pulled over during a routine traffic stop, and the officer discovered she had an outstanding warrant. 


After agreeing to head to the police station, Howard''s daughter, Markista, 24, made a wrong turn. Starkville Police Officer Stephen Hale followed and stopped her again, proceeding to place her under arrest. 


She had made a phone call and refused several times to get off the phone, according to the police report. 


When they finally made it to the police station, the officer reported, Howard showed up, yelling for police to get their hands off his daughter. 


To make matters worse, his sister, Lora Elaine Hogan, 59, also made her way to the station, attempting to get Markista''s purse out of the officer''s car. 


At the end of the incident, all three family members were booked - Howard and his sister were charged with disorderly conduct. 


Howard should have encouraged his daughter to comply with police and get booked. 


Officer Hale already had said she could bond out after being arrested. He even gave her the opportunity to dive her own vehicle to the police station rather than just cuffing her and having her car towed and impounded in the first place. 


The behavior that followed from Markista and company was uncalled for, to say the least, especially for Marvell Howard. 


As a government official, we expect more from you. 




A rose to Main Street, East Mississippi Community College and others who made the recent charrette in Columbus possible. Roses also go out to community members who participated in the three days of intensive meetings to create a vision for the town. 


The charrette team, comprised of planning and marketing experts, presented a plan Thursday that called for the location of a long-debated soccer complex in Burns Bottom. Rather than just a soccer fields, the plan suggests a sprawling city park that preserves the natural beauty of that area. Bike trails, playgrounds and open green areas could complement the sports fields, planners offered.  


The team took heed of community members'' requests for a more pedestrian-friendly downtown, proposing curb extenders, outdoor dining and shade trees. 


More than just offering a vision for the city, the charrette brought people together to dream about their community, and that is a valuable thing, regardless what happens. 


The charrette team brought to the surface valuable insights. Now it is up to the communty to make dreams into reality. As charrette leader Randy Wilson said more than once, "To dream is human; to implement is divine. 




A thorn to Starkville Ward 6 Alderman Roy A. Perkins for his backdoor approach to legislation. 


After Starkville Aldermen passed an amendment approving Sunday alcohol sales, Perkins wrote a letter to the State Tax Commission arguing against Sunday sales. 


Perkins, Ward 1 Alderman Ben Carver and Ward 7 Alderman Henry Vaughn Sr. voted against Sunday sales during the board''s Aug. 18 meeting. 


Ward 2 Alderman Sandra Sistrunk, Ward 3 Alderman Eric Parker and Ward 4 Alderman Richard Corey voted with Ward 5 Alderman Jeremiah Dumas in favor of Sunday sales, for a vote of 4-3 in favor of the change. 


Perkins spoke through his vote; everyone is aware of his position. 


But to write a letter to the Tax Commission once the board has made its decision was uncalled for. 


Once the board passes or denies a motion, it becomes a board decision. Voicing your opinion is one thing, but it speaks poorly of the board as a whole when one member seeks to undermine the board''s decisions. 


The State Tax Commission has to approve the sale of liquor and regular wine on Sundays. But residents will be able to buy beer and light wine on Sundays beginning Sept. 27. 




A rose to Mike Law and other organizers and participants of Roast-n-Boast, a pig fest to be remembered. 


The barbecue contest, once known as the Possum Town Pig Fest, each year turns the Columbus Fairgrounds into a true treat for the palate. And even those who don''t eat pork usually have some options as teams fire up the grill and cook for fun, money and bragging rights. 


Participants poured into the gates last weekend to enjoy the festivities and get a taste of the wares. 


By the end of the day, several local teams got to roast - and boast - having taken home various awards. 




A rose to NBA player Travis Outlaw for hosting another year of the Travis Outlaw Day festival at McKee Park. 


With jumpers, food, music and fun - plus an NBA player in our backyard, which happens to be his backyard too - the event was a crowd pleaser. 


The Portland Trailblazer hosts the annual event to give back his community, and this year Outlaw gave $20,000 to the Starkville Boys and Girls Club. 


The club is a non-profit organization working to build character in children, as well as offering a wholesome place to play after school and when school is out during the summer. 




Roses to all those who participated in Starkville''s Clean Sweep last week. 


Starkville residents swept through the town, picking up trash and sprucing up before the Saturday State-Jackson State game. 


And even those who didn''t take the cleaning efforts to the streets were asked to clean up in and around their own yards. 


But you don''t need a special day to clean up around town. You''d be amazed how much better our communities can look year-round when each of us pitches in and picks up.