Monday, August 07, 2006


The Monday morning rush hour was at a standstill in part of North Columbus -- but it could have been even worse. Imagine if the Northern Little League team wasn't still playing in the regionals....

The traffic jam occurred on the first day of class at the new North Columbus Elementary School. One mother complained there were "ten parking spots for 500 cars." Hopefully this mom will stay away from The Landings shopping center in December.

So many parents came with their children to the first day of North Columbus School that dozens of cars were parked along the side of the road, near Veterans Parkway. As much as North Columbus tries to present itself as modern, this looked like a scene outside a school in rural Russell County.

The Columbus traffic department had warned for weeks this problem was coming. Widening work was done on Veterans Parkway, around nearby Northside High School. Parents actually were asked to carpool students -- and use the space at the back of the SUV for something besides golf clubs and groceries.

The morning traffic jam at North Columbus Elementary lasted around 45 minutes, as parents escorted their children to their new classrooms. But look on the bright side -- many drivers in Atlanta might consider 45 minutes a breeze, and consider moving here.

It's actually nice to see so many parents taking their children to school on opening day. But then again, this is North Columbus Elementary. It's in a part of town where many mothers still can afford to stay at home -- and not wait for welfare checks.

Because North Columbus Elementary School currently has no sidewalks, every child is eligible to ride a school bus. Police hope more youngsters will ride the buses as the school year progresses - and based on the news from the Alaskan oil pipeline Monday, parents may start demanding it as soon as Friday.

By the way, did you see North Columbus Principal Dawn Upshaw on WRBL? From the interview they showed, she appeared to have on something close to a "spaghetti-strap" dress for the opening day of school. You'd think they would have had the air conditioning ready on time....

Elsewhere in Muscogee County, the opening day of school seemed to go quietly. The other big traffic concern was Cherokee Avenue, leading to Columbus High School. As long as no one drove into the canal, we're off to a good start.

Have you checked the lunch menus for Muscogee County schools? They show "manager's choice" every day this week. Someone I know saw that, and asked if they still had leftovers from May.

Harris, Russell and Lee County schools also opened for a new term Monday. As they did, Alabama's Education Department reported Smiths Station Elementary and Primary Schools didn't have enough students taking tests to qualify for "adequate yearly progress." Maybe it's time to do what some Alabama polling places do - and have drawings for TV sets if you show up.


Watch WTVM "News Leader 9 Morning" this Thursday for details about Power Frisbee, and this weekend's "Free Frisbee Sunday" at Grainger Park in LaGrange and Rigdon Park in Columbus! Learn all about this new game right now at the official Power Frisbee of Georgia web site; then offer your comments at the P.F.G. blog.

E-MAIL UPDATE: We won't talk about the Georgia primary runoff, since Tuesday is voting day. But an e-mailer wants to look ahead 13 weeks -- at what the writer calls "Frank Martin and his puppet":

Given how we have heard Wetherington talk in the past, if he gets elected, I wonder how that man can represent a city like Columbus. "Ole shucks, yall can come to Columbus!" I don't want someone who obviously has never done any public speaking to look like an idiot on not only council meetings, moreover other cities, businesses, or other top elected officials. Bob represents our city well...and we should keep it that way.

Oh and PS...I also don't want Frank Martin's son to be the city attorney either. If the speaking doesn't get you, the fact that Frank Martin supporting Wetherington should. They both are a nasty group of good ole boys. Or as Frank Martin would say, "Neanderthals"

Now, now - if speaking skills are the standard for electing public officials, how does Sanford Bishop keep winning elections for Congress? And how did President Bush win two terms?

This writer seems to be hinting there's some sort of deal already made, for Jim Wetherington to make Frank Martin's son the city attorney if he wins the mayor's race. Well, maybe "hinting" isn't the right word -- it's in-SIN-uating.

I haven't heard about any grand conspiracy between Jim Wetherington and Frank Martin. But if Wetherington becomes mayor, wouldn't the more likely next step be for Martin to run for District Attorney in 2008? Combine that with Sheriff Gene Hodge coming out of retirement, and it would be 1992 in Columbus all over again.

Isn't it interesting that this sort of e-mail about the mayor's race is reaching us in August, instead of closer to Election Day? It looks like the heat wave is affecting people in a variety of ways....

By the way, your blog was invited Monday to the opening of Bob Poydasheff's campaign headquarters on 13th Street. We received NO such invitation from the Jim Wetherington campaign - but then again, Ed Harbison never returned our phone calls, and look what it earned him.

(Trouble was, the e-mailed invitation to the Bob Poydasheff opening did NOT give a day or time. Perhaps that will be posted on the Poydasheff web site sometime in the next four years....)

The invitation notes Mayor Bob Poydasheff's campaign headquarters is "next door to Loco's." Is this really how you want to present yourself in an election year? Isn't this walking dangerously close to that Bobby Peters sign outside the Boom Boom Room?

Post time P.S.: Hmmmm -- was our Monday post read by someone in the Bob Poydasheff campaign? Amazingly, the 2002 home page was gone Monday night. It now says simply, "Web site coming soon!" Not soon enough, maybe....

(BLOGGER'S NOTE: Because of our early post times this week, we'll probably have minimal coverage Wednesday of the primary runoff. But we'll get to it when we can....)

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.

BURKARD BULK MAIL INDEX: 6548 (+ 224, 3.5%)

If you mention this blog in public, please be polite enough to let me know.

© 2003-06 Richard Burkard, all rights reserved.

site stats