February 16, 2019 11:10:27 PM
A rose to our public libraries and to their dedicated and resourceful staffs during National Library Month. In recent years, as library funding has declined, libraries have struggled to maintain services that are all the more critical in this era of technology. Once, libraries served primarily as sources for books and print information, but those roles have evolved. Today, the library is not just a place to pick up a book, but as a critical resource for a part of the population that does not have internet access in their homes. With so much of what we do in every-day life dependent on internet access, the importance of libraries has grown even as operating funds diminish. Far from being disillusioned, our library staffs seem to have risen to the challenge, managing their limited resources in a way that preserves the essential services. We salute the determination and resourcefulness of our library staffs.
A rose to Mississippi State baseball fans who enjoyed the fruits of their labor this weekend with the opening of the university's renovated baseball facility. It is no biased opinion, the "new" Dudy Noble Field/Polk-Dement Stadium is the finest college baseball stadium in the nation. It's amenities, both for players and spectators alike, are unrivaled as a result of the $68-million renovation/expansion. As MSU President Mark Keenum took pains to point out during Friday's opening ceremonies, not a penny of tax-payer money was used on the project: All the money came from the fans themselves. The stadium stands are a testament to the passion of MSU baseball fans, setting a new standard for the college baseball experience wherever the game is played.
A rose to Starkville Alderman Sandra Sistrunk who is leading the effort to re-examine the city's recycling program. With Sistrunk's support, an ad hoc committee of volunteers from both the board of aldermen and citizens will soon begin meeting to take a comprehensive look at the recycling program with an eye toward improvements. The city's recycling program is presently funded by those who recycle -- they are charged $2 per month, but Sistrunk and others believe there are some changes that would improve the program, among them making sure residents know about the program. It's a forward-thinking approach to a service that has often goes unnoticed, but whose goals are worthwhile. We appreciate Alderman Sistrunk's leadership on this issue.
A rose to organizers of the 35th annual Columbus Arts Council Gala, which is set for Feb. 23 at the Trotter Center. This year's event, which will also feature a tribute to Mississippi University for Women Professor Emeritus of Art Larry Feeney, will feature raffles and auction items including a baseball vacation to Wrigley Field in Chicago, to beach and lake getaways. Mardi Gras masks are in order for the black tie optional gala featuring a New Orleans style buffet, open bar, silent and live auctions, raffles and dancing. The night's music will be by The Bouncing Betty, Suzuki Strings Advanced Ensemble and The W's Jazz Ensemble. The gala is the CAC's primary fund-raiser, so for those who love the arts, it's an excellent way to support our local arts community. For ticket information, visit columbus-arts.org or at the arts center, or call 662-328-2787.