Roses and thorns 11/21/10




A rose to all who are helping make Thanksgiving brighter for the most needy this week. 


Churches, charities and other groups are planning to make and distribute meals. Thousands of us in the Golden Triangle are donating a turkey, a can of food, money, or a little effort. 


The Columbus Police Department is leading a turkey and food drive. The Salvation Army is serving free lunches, as are churches including Annunciation Catholic Church in Columbus and Peter''s Rock Temple Church Of God In Christ in Starkville. 


Thanks to everyone who is sharing of their own bounty this year. 




A thorn to the perpetual nay-sayers in Starkville. Even something as simple as switching from garbage bags to carts, a money-saving measure proposed this week, drew heated response from people who don''t want to see change. 


The city considered giving people free 96-gallon carts, which essentially are the trash cans you see out in the county, and people would have to buy their own garbage bags. The city currently gives free bags to residents and businesses. 


The main argument voiced at Tuesday''s Board of Aldermen meeting? "If it''s not broke, don''t fix it." Others said elderly residents could carry their garbage to the curb in bags easier than they could push a cart. Really? 


Ward 3 Alderman Eric Parker said the switch would save the city an estimated $600,000 over the next 10 years and cause a reduction in workers'' compensation claims, which totaled approximately $180,000 for Sanitation Department employees over the past three years. He said he is trying to find ways to save the city money. Other aldermen (Ward 1 Alderman Ben Carver, Ward 6 Alderman Roy A. Perkins and Ward 7 Alderman Henry Vaughn Sr.) still refused to buy into the proposal, so Parker let the issue drop Tuesday night and said he no longer wishes to pursue the cart garbage collection method. This is a missed opportunity, Starkville. 




A rose to April Heiselt of Starkville, one of two Mississippi winners of a $50,000 Foundation for the Mid South "Do-Gooder" grant. 


Heiselt, a volunteer coordinator, helps organize students and Starkville citizens alike. The grant will benefit the Starkville Habitat for Humanity. 


The Foundation for the Mid South received over 600 nominations throughout August, when the campaign was announced. The nomination pool was then narrowed to 18 finalists from the three states, including Heiselt. Through the Foundation''s website, the public voted over 2 million times to determine the six organizations throughout the Mid South to receive grant awards. 


Our hat is off to Heiselt, and all she does to improve Starkville and foster volunteerism in the community. 




A rose to the Education Committee of the Columbus-Lowndes Development Link, for organizing Wednesday''s salute to Lowndes County teachers on Wednesday at Mississippi University for Women. 


The event brought together nearly a thousand teachers from Columbus, Lowndes and private schools for a much-needed and well-deserved pat on the back. 


Mississippi''s teachers aren''t recognized enough. We appreciate their efforts, and the Link''s gargantuan effort to recognize all of them at once, in person.



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