Roses and thorns 8-8-10

August 7, 2010 9:21:00 PM



Roses to local participants in the national Night Out against crime. Thousands of people met Tuesday at block parties around town-- at Mississippi University for Women, East Columbus Gym, the Sandfield Community Center, Sim Scott Park, Avenue A and B and the Charles Brown Gym. Along with taking a stance against crime, Columbus police officers gave out donated school supplies and other items. 


For those who lost family members to violence, the event had a special meaning. And for Mayor Robert Smith, it was a tribute to the unity and diversity of the city of Columbus. 




A rose to educators and school officials who''ve been hard at work to receive area students back for the year. From moving grades into various schools in Columbus, Starkville and Aberdeen schools to construction projects at Columbus and Starkville schools, area districts have had a very busy summer. Still, local schools already in session report a stellar start to the 2010-2011 school year.  




A thorn to Caledonia Mayor George Gerhart for comments he made about a Caledonia alderman.  


Alderman Bill Darnell stood at Tuesday''s Board of Aldermen meeting to address Gerhart about statements the mayor made in the Columbus Packet about him. 


"He called me a frickin'' eunuch," Darnell said, noting it was "not well in your character as the mayor of our town to print that stuff." We agree, and while Gerhart''s rantings to a local paper can''t be excused, there certainly are better venues for the two men to hash out their differences. 


In the same meeting, Gerhart accused longtime Town Clerk Judy Whitcomb of fraud, for adding a work trip to an alderman''s expense sheet. 




A rose to Edward Valibus of Cordova, Tenn., who submitted the winning film in the Adam Kazery Short Film Benefit, held Friday night at Old Venice Pizza Co. Valibus'' film, "Bohater Pies," earned a spot in the Magnolia Film Festival. Adam Kazery Short Film Benefit event coordinator Stephen Ward said the event raised nearly $500 to be donated to the Ochsner Clinic Foundation in New Orleans, where Kazery received treatment for Crohn''s disease before dying in February. 


"Bohater Pies" can be viewed at 




A rose to Columbus Air Force Base for its continuing role as a cornerstone of the local community, as well as its mission as a premier pilot- and leadership-training base. A report released by the base Friday shows an impact of $28 million more on the local economy in 2009 than in 2008, for a grand total of $287 million. Additionally, the base draws military retirees to the area and keeps them here, also powering the local economy. And Air Force base personnel are active in many facets of the community, including tourism events, local education and volunteerism. 


CAFB, a community all its own, makes a major impact on the area and is a welcome neighbor and significant part of Lowndes County.