Friday, August 04, 2006


We receive e-mail about all sorts of things here at The Blog. And after we delete the items from long-lost children of Zimbabwe Parliament members, we have messages such as this:

If you live in Columbus and a waste management company is picking up a dumpster at 3AM and sounding like a train wreck there is a city ordinance that states what times this can happen...Get the exact location of the dumpster and the name of the company off the dumpster ,call them and tell them you are aware of the ordinance and you will report them if they continue to pick up after 10PM and before 6AM...If it continues call the Environmental Enforcement task force and report them...worked for me!!

Either this writer is psychic, or he's been hanging around my neighborhood for hours at a time after dark - and both those choices leave me shuddering a bit.

You see, I happen to live near the sort of dumpster this e-mailer is describing. A trash hauler stops by Lil' Kim's Cove on Fourth Street once a week to empty the dumpster -- and more than once, it's arrived around 3:30 a.m. Considering that bar has a posted closing time of 2:00 a.m., I assumed the trash driver had to wait for all the traffic to clear the parking lot.

I know the trash collector stops at Lil' Kim's Cove around 3:30 a.m. because it's awakened me several times over the years. I sleep with a window cracked open most of the time -- and while motorcycles racing on the Oglethorpe Bridge fade into the background after awhile, jarring crashes of metal really don't.

It wasn't really clear to me who was responsible for this early-morning racket - the bar or the trash company. This e-mail indicates the trash company is at fault. Its hauler needs to show up a 6:05 a.m. - when it still is likely to wake up a number of people in my neighborhood.

This e-mail advisory came several days ago, so I was ready to act on it this week. If the trash truck woke me up at 3:30 a.m., I was prepared to spring out of bed, go outside and talk with the driver. But I suspected the driver would move away faster than I could walk to the dumpster - and a bit worried he'd try to run me over.

But a strange thing happened this week - as there was NO noise in the middle of the night from the Lil' Kim's Cove dumpster. Did this mean the trash truck never showed up? Or was I so worn out from blogging that I slept right through it?

Wondering which company might be behind this, I took a short walk to the dumpster behind Lil' Kim's Cove Thursday evening. No, it's NOT a city trash bin -- as it has the logo of Waste Management Inc. on it. So if they make too much noise for you in the middle of the night, WMI can become short for "whammy."

It was tempting to walk inside Lil' Kim's Cove and ask some questions about the dumpster. But if the bar is not to blame for the late-night trash pickups, I didn't see the need to go in. Besides, the place undoubtedly was already tense - since Thursday is "Texas Hold 'Em Poker Night."

I usually don't walk behind Lil' Kim's Cove, so another discovery there surprised me. There's a couch in the shade at the edge of the property, and a man was sitting there. I didn't dare take a picture of it, because he might have demanded a modeling fee.


Power Frisbee heads to metro Atlanta and Macon for a "Free Frisbee Sunday" this weekend -- then come stops in Columbus and LaGrange August 13. Learn all about this new game (and hear our NEW test commercial) at the official Power Frisbee of Georgia web site; then offer your comments at the P.F.G. blog.

E-MAIL UPDATE: Another item in the InBox forces us to make a correction:

How would you like it if someone mistakenly identified you as a reporter for WRBL? The "police captain" you referred to as having been represented in Columbus council by Frank Martin, was actually a sheriff's deputy and not a police officer.

Thanks for setting me straight on this. I was bouncing back and forth between the Tuesday night 11:00 p.m. newscasts, trying to learn what this was about -- and I've heard so many complaints from Columbus Police, I'd come to assume everyone in the Sheriff's Department was happy and satisfied.

It turns out there are four Muscogee County majors who claim they're being denied five-percent raises despite a change in title. Several of them appeared on the Thursday night news, claiming city officials misled them. But City Manager Isaiah Hugley claimed NO promise was made of a raise - and he can relate to this from personal experience....

Apparently the author of the Columbus city pay plan believes a change in rank from Sheriff's Department Captain to Major is NOT really a promotion. Sheriff Ralph Johnson strongly disagreed with this, and indicated the change means extra duties -- but he didn't mention higher-ranked officers don't have to run as many errands for the superiors.

City officials note there's an appeals process within Columbus government, so the new majors still could obtain those five-percent raises. But from what I saw Thursday night, only one of the majors has hired an attorney to represent him so far. If this was a New York celebrity wife-cheating scandal, everyone would have a lawyer by now.

By the way, I really wouldn't mind that much if someone considered me a WRBL reporter. Maybe that person would hire me to be on the air every day in a big city - so I can finally return to where my career was 25 years ago.

Yet another e-mail turns us into the "Sound Off" overflow room:

Richard..did you see Sound Off in paper today [Wednesday]?..The board voted with the last budget to give an extended day contact to a coach who would help Coach FLowers..according to Sound Off the board did not have to vote on the position ..what?....If an extended day contract created a new job why did it not have to be voted on or advertised??

Now wait a minute here. If the Muscogee County School Board voted on the budget, isn't that the same as voting on the position INSIDE the budget? Board members should have plenty of time to go over the fine print. It's not like they're members of Congress, hurrying off for a five-week vacation.

But you'll recall Muscogee County's Chief Human Relations Officer told the blog the person assisting Athletic Director Charles Flowers does NOT have a new job [25 Jul]. The person's current job has extra hours, and apparently also has extra duties. Perhaps I should have asked if that person was eligible for a five-percent raise....

Put the last two e-mails together, and you have Thursday night's special meeting of the Muscogee County School Board. Sheriff Ralph Johnson was there, to discuss Georgia's new sex offender rules. As far as I could tell, no one was arrested for failing to advertise something - though I imagine some radio stations would like to have such a law.

The Muscogee County school board decided NOT to designate their school bus stops at this time. The new state law bars convicted sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a school bus stop - which makes you wonder who REALLY might live in those new Marion County subdivisions.

Superintendent John Phillips told WRBL the new 1,000-foot rule for sex offenders is "unenforceable." I'm not sure how he can say that. If we require the sex offenders to wear orange jumpsuits 24 hours a day....

Now let's put away our magnifying glasses used for micro-management, and consider other big things from Thursday:

+ Columbus Police announced four arrests after the discovery of a methamphetamine lab in the Wellborn Drive area. The evidence includes gallons of oil used to make meth. When WILL our government crack down on Venezuela for things like this?

+ A drive down Manchester Expressway found the first big reelection billboard for Mayor Bob Poydasheff is up. His smiling face is directed east, toward Peachtree Mall and Columbus State University -- and not south toward Baker Village.

+ WRBL reported the new uptown campus of Columbus State University won't be completely ready for the fall semester. A new theater won't be finished until mid-October -- so if you see people in costumes walking on the Dillingham Street Bridge toward the Phenix City Amphitheater, they might not be drunk.

+ A federal court in Rome. Georgia considered evidence that a man threatened to attack Indian immigrant motel owners because "they don't speak English well." [True/WGPB-FM] If use of language is that big an issue, hardly any barbecue restaurant in this part of the state would be safe.

+ Instant Message to Rivertown Ford: Are you kidding - some people criticize you for "acting crazy" in your infomercials? It's not like that bad Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonator is selling Rolls-Royces....

People across metro Columbus and around the world read this blog every day. To advertise to them, offer a story tip or comment on this blog, write me - but be warned, I may post your e-mail comment and offer a reply.

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