Roses and thorns 1-24-10

January 23, 2010 10:49:00 PM



Roses to Oasis of Freedom and Justice Award recipients: Philadelphia, Miss. Mayor James Young, the first black mayor of a town haunted by civil rights-era murders; Taylor Smith, who operates Loaves and Fishes, Lowndes County''s Community Soup Kitchen; Bishop Bobby McCarter of Charity Mission Baptist Church; Brandy Jackson of Urban Radio Communications, the parent company of WACR-FM and WAJV-FM; and Rick McGill and Hilbert Williams of Crye-Leike Properties Unlimited. 


Roses also go to Unsung Hero awards honorees Annie Barry, Vanessa Carter, Rose Mary Cockrell, John Dickerson, Lisa Elmore, Dennis Erby, Harry Ford, Majorie Fuller, Helen Karriem, Rebecca Partain and Becky Thomas and students who won creative arts and essay writing contests. 


The awards were given as part of the Dream 365 Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Weekend celebration. Learnard Dickerson, the Rev. Tony Montgomery, pastor of Missionary Union Baptist Church, Lavonne Harris, president of the Columbus-Lowndes Chapter of the NAACP. The Joshua Project and other Dream 365 organizers put on a spectacular weekend of events each year, with performers, inspirational speakers and talent contests, all in remembrance of King. 




A thorn to Columbus Ward 2 Councilman Joseph Mickens for skipping a City Council and department head retreat in favor of other work related obligations; Mickens has a flooring business. Many good things came out of Wednesday''s meeting, including talks of comprehensive planning for the city, proposing a rental ordinance which would demand higher standards from rental property owners and managers and more aggressively pursuing retail businesses. 


Not only would Mickens, a rookie councilman, benefit from such discussion and listening to the goals and plans of the various department heads, his constituents would would benefit, as well. Citizens should, at the very least, have an informed and active representative. And while we''re at it, Mickens deserves a thorn for not responding to concerns in an East Columbus community about a muddy mess of a retention pond placed in what used to be an open grassy area with a walking track around it. 


Residents on Lawrence Drive said they called Mickens to inquire about the pond and never heard back from him. When contacted by The Dispatch, Mickens said he inherited the project and it was just a "temporary fix" for flooding along Maple, Poplar and Juanita streets. But what about the people who live on and around Lawrence Drive? And those who used to walk on the track or children who used to play on the playground equipment or practice softball on what used to be a field? Don''t they matter just as much? Aside from that, the pond -- which the Public Works Department, as of now, has no plans to put a fence around -- is a safety hazard and an eyesore.  




A rose of condolence to the family and friends of four Mississippi University for Women students who lost their lives in a fire in Hoover, Ala., Saturday a week ago, and to the MUW family. 


The fire killed 18-year-old cousins Alondan "Angel" Turner and Catherine Ann Muse of Cordova, Ala.; Jamelia Brown, 18, of Grenada; and Jaslynn McGee, 19, of Corinth. 


Hundreds filled Pope Dining Hall on the campus of MUW Wednesday, then took the somber ceremony outside for a candlelight vigil, a tribute to lives that ended much too soon. 


Services for all the girls were held over the weekend.