Monday, June 05, 2006


Oh no - rumors are swirling again of another possible sickout by Columbus city employees. If it happens, shouldn't everyone on the second floor be exempted? They had an early trip home Friday, without any picket signs.

It's still not clear what was the white powdery substance which caused part of the Government Center to be evacuated Friday morning. Was is a dangerous chemical sent by a terrorist? Or do second-floor employees eat out so much that they don't recognize baking powder?

The white powdery substance was in a letter which was opened at the Superior Court Clerk's office. Employees there say they receive hate mail all the time - so just imagine what's been landing at the Mayor's office in the last 60 days.

Authorities took no chances with the white powdery substance, and sealed off the second floor of the Government Center. When the elevator door opened, a big wooden chair blocked the way. That would never stop Jack Bauer on "24"....

The timing of the discovery was amazing, as the director of Georgia's Homeland Security Department was in the Government Center holding a news conference with the mayor. He was able to witness Bob Poydasheff's leadership - and the mayor may have picked up a reference, should he have to leave office.

Mayor Bob Poydasheff told one journalist the discovery on the second floor was "really nothing." Yet that floor was sealed off, with employees told to leave for the day and take a shower. Where else would that be nothing? Well, maybe a Talbot County recreation center....

While the mayor called it nothing, Blaine Stewart began the WRBL 5:00 p.m. news Friday by calling it "chaos" at the Government Center. Chaos?!?! I didn't see anyone even trip on the outside steps, much less race out of the building.

(To say there was chaos at the Government Center was a bit like a 6:00 p.m. sportscaster claiming Golden Park was "jam-packed" for the Georgia AAA baseball finals, while the camera showed two almost-empty sets of bleachers.)

Mayor Poydasheff seized on the second-floor events for a little election-year self-justification, saying the handling of the substance shows why he set up a local "Homeland Security Board." But he was careful not to reveal the secure undisclosed location where it meets. Which Phenix City restaurant do you think it is?

At least everyone is safe, while the white powdery substance is in Atlanta being reviewed. If it's something dangerous, hopefully police can track down who sent it. If it's merely baseball rosin, the Atlanta relief pitchers could use some.

E-MAIL UPDATE: Speaking of public safety, here's a note about last week's Columbus Council session:

I was watching tape of council meeting..Jim Weatherington was pushing for raise in pay for public safety..He quoted a number of lost lives in the line of duty.."Miss Evelyn" asked for a more specific number..A fireman stepped up and gave a number of 100+ fire fighters..She asked him if that was locally !...I almost fell over..He said that was a national number...When is election time?

We thank Evelyn Turner Pugh for asking such probing questions. I can't name you a reporter who even mentioned mayoral candidate Jim Wetherington being at the meeting.

Would firefighters dare to exaggerate their situation, in hopes of winning sympathy from Columbus Council? At least they didn't bring a sad-looking fire dog to the meeting, to whimper on cue....

As for your question: November is "election time" for Columbus city offices. But in Alabama it's one day away -- and that brings us to this:

musical voting stops

As some have found out, that some voting spots in the Smiths Station area have been MOVED.

There is now a voting spot at Glennwood school for the ones that live north of the 4 lane.

Homer Thomas' store is no more to vote there. Beat 12 has been moved to the Senior Citizen center on Lamb Rd (aka Lee Road 242) along with some of Beat 14 and 15.

This is in response to the Major Problem that happened at the 2004 Election at the High School - some of you remember, maybe some not,, It was a disaster.

Hal Smith's store is also a "No More" voting spot, they have been moved to the Old Salem High School on Lee Road 145 in Salem.

It was said that the info was posted in the Opelika news some weeks back and that is all that is required by law to do..some have recieved post cards saying that they have been moved..that's all the notice...

Seems that this is one way to help out the low number turnout for the Primary in Lee County!!

There's plenty of hopefully-helpful information here - but it's sad to see the misspelling of "Glennwood" keep spreading beyond the phone book....

You can tell Smiths Station has a small-town feel to it when stores are identified by their owners. But hold on here -- didn't Hal Smith play Otis the town drunk on "The Andy Griffith Show?" How did he finagle a polling place in the first place?

The "major problem" on Election Day 2004 was a long line of voters at Smiths Station High School - so long that it made a ring around the parking lot. The only other time our area had that sort of line was when the Olive Garden restaurant opened....

As is our custom on election eve, it's time for a pop quiz - to see how informed you are about tomorrow's Alabama Primary. Ready! OK....

1. Which candidate for Attorney General probably can name the location of every synagogue in the state - but wouldn't dare be caught inside one?

2. If a lawyer paid you $5,000 for a shoeshine, would you run to a state lawmaker and complain about it?

3. If the prosecution rests its case in Don Siegelman's corruption trial at 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, will that prove his conspiracy theory was right?

4. Name all the candidates for Russell County Coroner. Explain which one is most likely to sell his stories to a "C.S.I." producer to make extra money.

5. Which candidate for Governor boasts he "dared to tell the Supreme Court it was wrong" - only his primary isn't for another six weeks?

6. Which State Senate candidate has a radio ad referring to Hank Sanders as a "black Senator" - but somehow forgets to mention the skin color of everybody else it names?

7. Why is Katherine Mack of Pittsview running for Governor - and why has she been invisible in the local media? Have those rumored gangs of thugs which roam Pittsview taken her hostage?

8. If any local candidate is voted out of office in East Alabama, will he or she move to Columbus and take a government job there?

9. Which candidate for Governor likes to use the title of an old TV comedy to promote herself? Is she daring the incumbent to borrow a Beatles song, about being "in the sky with diamonds?"

10. Name two of the key values in "our part of Alabama." Explain why people in Birmingham and Montgomery do not have these values - and if they lost them, what caused it.

We were a bit out of the news loop over the weekend, but we'll catch up on events as best we can....

+ Which City Cab driver was spotted in the parking lot of a central Columbus drug store, asking people how to find a street? Are taxi companies so burdened by high gas prices that they can't provide road maps?

+ Columbus gas stations pulled a Sunday morning surprise, raising prices about seven cents a gallon. Some still had not made the change Sunday evening - so it's early to bed, early to rise, get to the pump and beat those guys.

+ Members of the rap group Youngbloodz were stopped along Interstate 85 on their way to a show in Columbus - and police say drugs were found in their vehicle. Hopefully someone told this group in advance NOT to go to The Fire House club.

+ Northside Animal Hospital on Veterans Parkway held a Customer Appreciation Day - and customers had to park next door, at the Cat Walk Lounge. I never considered the synergy of these two businesses being side-by-side. Now I wonder if they've ever had a pet fashion show at the nightclub....

+ WRBL's "live telecast" from First Presbyterian Church turned out to be a replay of a service from two weeks ago. When even the local churches are showing reruns, you know it's summer.

+ The "Ms. Senior Columbus" pageant was held at the Riverplace retirement community. All the contestants were age 60 or older -- and no, I don't know if there was a swimsuit competition.

+ Blessed Trinity swept Columbus High School, to win the Georgia AAA baseball title. The victorious Catholic school opened in Roswell only six years ago -- and now the team can spell "penance" two different ways.

(The way Columbus Coach Bobby Howard complained to the umpires, he may be the one needing some penance - but does his Pastor Bill Purvis at Cascade Hills do that sort of thing?)

+ The Chattahoochee Valley Vipers ended their home schedule by holding a "70's Disco Night" at the Columbus Civic Center. The Atlanta Falcons probably can't do this at the Georgia Dome - because the National Football League is cracking down on end-zone celebrations.

+ East Alabama Motor Speedway held its annual "Dale Earnhardt Memorial" race. Isn't it only a matter of time before Earnhardt imitators start showing up at racetracks - the way Elvis Presley imitators show up in Memphis?

+ Instant Message to Cedric Love: Yes, I realize you're innocent until proven guilty. But assuming Lee County authorities are right - if you killed members of your own family, did you think at all about your last name?

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