Roses and thorns 1-10-10

January 9, 2010 11:21:00 PM



Roses to the Columbus City Council for passing a long-overdue smoking ordinance. Bar and restaurant owners and smokers have disparaged it, calling an unwelcome government intrusion.  


Aside from the oft-cited health benefits, a smoking ban is a sign of progress. We predict a year from now the roar of complaints about the smoking ordinance will be little more than a whisper.  


In Aberdeen, no smoking is allowed in any public building within city limits or within 25 feet of an entrance to a public building. 


Business owners and residents alike have embraced the outright ban as a protection of rights rather than a violation of them. 


They, along with Starkville residents, are reaping the benefits of kicking the habit.  


A 2009 new medical study shows that smoking bans reduced the rate of heart attacks by an average of 17 percent in communities with smoking bans. 




A rose to The Friends of The W, as they travel to Jackson Monday to visit with lawmakers and remind them of the importance of our fair lady -- Mississippi University for Women. 


While Mississippi''s First Alumnae Association -- formerly the MUW Alumnae Association -- and the MUW Alumni Association have failed to merge into a unified group after MUW President Claudia Limbert cut ties with the old MUWAA, the groups have joined forces to fight a proposal to merge the school with Mississippi State University. 


Gov. Haley Barbour proposed the merger as a cost-saving measure.  


MUW has a rich history as a free-standing institution. It should continue to build on that. And while it may be better served with a new name, we think the new name shouldn''t be MSU-Columbus.  




A rose to the Junior Auxiliary of Columbus for giving area students a reality check. The JA hosted a Reality Fair for 253 students, offering them a glimpse into the economic realities of life after high school. 


There were booths for housing and insurance, utilities, car insurance and tag, groceries and gas, cell phone and technology, Chance (as in Monopoly) and the bank. Students'' budgets were based on their GPA. Low marks in school meant minimum-wage jobs. 


And the Chance booth offered good fortune or bad luck -- perhaps a bank error in the student''s favor or maybe an unexpected doctor''s bill. 


Its important for students to understand the realities they''ll face post-high school. Many adults could use such a reality check as well.