Thursday, June 11, 2009

11 JUN 09: The Wet Look

The Country Club of Columbus marked its 100th anniversary Wednesday. WRBL attended a celebration, where one staff member said the rough on the golf course is high -- and people actually are happy about it. These must be the golfers who want the winning score at the U.S. Open to be about four-over-par.

The rough is rising because the rain has been falling. In fact, so much rain has fallen that Georgia state officials announced Wednesday the state drought is effectively over. So why didn't the Columbus Fire Department open some hydrants in the late-afternoon heat to celebrate?

A statement from Governor Sonny Perdue said the Georgia Environmental Protection Division will allow outdoor watering on a "non-drought schedule" for the first time since 2006. But there still WILL be a schedule - showing the Republican governor is still too moderate for some people.

The outdoor watering rules in Georgia have been strict for three years. You could only do it three days a week, between 12:00 midnight and 10:00 a.m. - so countless numbers of people were putting out their sprinklers with their cats at bedtime.

The new schedule ends the ten-hour watering window. But odd-even daily rules will continue across Georgia, with NO outdoor watering at all on Fridays. If families in rural counties haven't changed their "Saturday night bath" schedule, this may be a great time to do it....

Governor Perdue calls the change a victory for Georgians who have tried to conserve water. People in North Georgia reduced their monthly water usage by about 15 percent since late 2007. Now the silk flowers outside shopping centers might be replaced with real ones.

The Columbus Water Works web site had not yet been updated Wednesday night, to reflect the change in watering rules. But it appears the chances of "Callaway Blue" becoming an advertiser on that web site are over for awhile....

WLTZ reported the other night that Columbus is more than 12 inches above normal, in rainfall for the year. That's quite a change from the last couple of years. Next thing you know, we'll be hearing warnings that shrimp along the Florida gulf coast have too much water and could drown.

Only three months ago, the federal government considered almost 72 percent of Georgia and 13 percent of Alabama under some kind of drought conditions. Then spring rains came -- and now only a few northeast Georgia counties are even considered "abnormally dry." They must be the ones who challenged Seth Harp on Sunday liquor sales in convenience stores.

Yes, I know spring rains came to help end the Georgia drought. But I'm left wondering what else happened to cause this. I heard a local pastor claim a couple of years ago that the Southeast drought was due to the city of Atlanta celebrating the homosexual lifestyle. What did the city do this year - arrange for buses to move homosexual people to Iowa, for same-sex marriages?

In another apparent sign the drought is over, a fisherman had to be rescued Wednesday from rocks in the middle of the Chattahoochee River. The river level rose suddenly, as Georgia Power made a regular adjustment in its dams. If the water covers your shoes, it does NOT always mean it's raining in LaGrange.

E-MAIL UPDATE: As for a Columbus tradition which was delayed by rain....

Sunday's Arts in the Park at Lake Bottom was wonderful..A good afternoon of family fun..Perhaps a name change is in order. How about Critters and Crafts in the Park..Some people were strolling kids, some were walking pets..The food was good and the vendors were friendly.

Somehow I don't think that name change is going to happen. Midtown Inc. has put a big emphasis in recent weeks on arts, as opposed to crafts. It's almost like someone wants Lee Bayard to set paintings out along 13th Street, instead of ceramic statues of Georgia Bulldogs.

We'll save some celebrity e-mail for Friday, and move on to other Wednesday discoveries:

+ A trip down Veterans Parkway found the old Mildred Terry Library bulldozed and gone, barely one week after the new building opened. If a building with this much history can disappear so quickly, it leaves me wondering how the old Baker Middle School is still standing after all these years.

+ A blog reader alerted us to a U.S. House resolution celebrating the life of the late Habitat for Humanity founder Millard Fuller. It was approved Tuesday by voice vote - but while Rep. Sanford Bishop introduced it, for some odd reason Rep. Lynn Westmoreland didn't co-sponsor it. Don't tell me Westmoreland blames Fuller for the collapse of the housing market....

(Almost all the co-sponsors of Sanford Bishop's resolution were Democrats. It's not like Bishop didn't try to reach out to Republicans. The resolution supports a "kinder, gentler world" - stealing a phrase from the first former President Bush.)

+ WLTZ reported on the end of the Columbus city recycling contract with Goodwill Industries. It revealed Goodwill handles 148,000 pounds of recycled materials each week. I didn't realize so many Columbus residents still drink milk at every meal.

+ The Russell County Commission voted in favor of liquor sales at stores on Sundays. Phenix City has allowed this for several years, but not the entire county - so all the preachers who moved to Ladonia are going to lobby the Alabama Legislature hard before next year's session. They might even pray against the lawmakers, too.

+ The evening news reported the Columbus Parks Department may give up daily management of the Cooper Creek Park tennis complex. Yes, we can say it - after all these years, the city has developed feet of clay.

+ Instant Message to the Gallops Senior Center: I don't get it. You have bridge every week. You have pinochle. You have canasta. You've now added bid whist. But c'mon - no poker?! Why are you letting local nightclubs have all the crowds and big fun?

SCHEDULED FRIDAY: Police show up at a business with lights and sirens, and a woman wonders why.... plus a message to us from Doug Kellett....

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