Roses and Thorns 10-17-10

October 16, 2010 10:13:00 PM



A rose, however pre-emptive, to the Columbus Lowndes Development Link and the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau, who may be burying the hatchet after a dustup precipitated by Link CEO Joe Higgins earlier this week over the contribution given to the Link by the CVB. 


The CVB may cut its traditional 15 percent annual contribution to the Link, which amounted to about $193,000 last year. The CVB has warned the contribution may drop to $160,000, as it deals with projects including the renovation of the Tennessee Williams Home. 


We hear that representatives from the two sides are meeting in advance of a CVB board meeting Monday to find an agreeable number. We hope they are successful, and the ugliness of earlier in the week, when Higgins threatened to raise the "nuclear plunger" on the CVB, isn''t repeated. 




A rose to Denise and Ricky Sandifer of Columbus, who are making beautiful music together and letting us all listen in. 


The Sandifers first became acquainted with the Kyiv Symphony Orchestra and Chorus on a trip to the Ukraine to adopt their son James, now 9. They have worked tirelessly to bring the 100-member group to Columbus for a concert Oct. 21. 


The Sandifers have arranged funding and host homes for previous visits of orchestra members to Columbus for performances. 


See today''s Lifestyles section for more of the Sandifers'' story, and information on the concert. 




A rose to the Columbus Cultural Heritage Foundation, the Convention and Visitors Bureau and organizers of this weekend''s Sam Hairston Celebration. The late Hairston, a Negro League baseball great who in 1951 became the first black player on the Chicago White Sox, was honored with a historic marker in the Plum Grove community.  


Also, a big thank-you to historian Larry Lester, a Negro League historian and who visited Columbus and Lowndes County area schools to teach children about Hairston and his legacy. 


Event organizers capped off the celebration with a world-class concert featuring Percy Sledge and Bobby "Blue" Bland.  


We saw all of Columbus, black and white, come together to pay tribute to a local legend. 




A rose to the Columbus Planning and Zoning Commission. Commission members played political ping-pong this week with a rezoning request on Warpath Road, which they had already turned down before it was sent back to them by the city council. 


To their credit, this week they stuck to their guns, turning down the request again. The business owner, Janet Morris, will appeal again to the council. 


If the council wants to override its zoning board, that''s its prerogative. But it needs to make the decision itself, not send the matter back to the planning commission for a do-over. And if it does choose to override the board it should do it for reasons practical rather than political.