Monday, June 22, 2009

22 JUN 09: Ladies' Nights

Instant Message to all single men in Columbus: Be on your best behavior for the next several days. About three dozen of the most attractive and eligible women in Georgia are in town. And I don't think you'll find them hanging around smoky bars -- because they could be busy in front of mirrors.

I'd almost forgotten it was time for Miss Georgia week. But the weekend news showed this year's contestants at the RiverCenter for an "orientation" meeting. This seemed strange to me, because I don't think orienteering qualifies as a "talent."

Preliminary pageant rounds begin Wednesday, leading up to the crowning of our new Miss Georgia next Saturday night. That's how they like to say it, you know - "OUR new Miss Georgia." But of course, you have about as much say about that as most Iranians do about their President.

The Miss Georgia pageant is connected with Miss America. But there's no sign from the web site that Miss Georgia is borrowing some of the recent Miss America gimmicks -- such as a TV "reality show" with viewers voting on golden sashes. Why, the contestants might not even stop for breakfast at Golden Donuts.

Even though the Miss Georgia pageant is tied to Miss America, this year's event comes in the wake of the controversy involving Miss U.S.A. contestants. Miss California stood up for traditional marriage, finished second and now has lost her state title. The pageant winner was.... uh, well.... does anyone remember who she is?

One big difference between Miss America and Miss U.S.A. is that Miss America contestants openly have "platforms" they support. For Miss U.S.A. contestants, "platforms" are more likely to refer to the shoes they wear with evening gowns.

We checked the platforms of the Miss Georgia contestants Sunday night, to see if any is daring to go where Miss California-USA had to tread. The answer - no, not really. Let's face it: they're not supposed to think about becoming MRS. Georgia until after their one-year reign is over.

The closest platform to the marriage question appears to be that of Miss Presidential Pathways. Courtney Piedrahita's issue is: "Building Families; Building Futures; Giving Children Opportunity Through Adoption." That could raise questions about who should be allowed to adopt - whereupon Piedrahita will turn to her talent and play "The Devil Went Down to Georgia."

The woman who becomes Miss Georgia 2009 will have a tough act to follow. Columbus resident Chasity Hardman was first runner-up at the Miss America pageant last January. After five months, she's still waiting for someone to find a hidden Facebook page showing winner Katie Stam smoking marijuana.

(Which reminds me: have you seen Miss Georgia's mother lately? As in Bishop Ann Hardman's Sunday morning "Impact" program on WLTZ? I've never seen a church pastor with long hair stretching almost to her waist -- and she isn't even preaching sermons on resisting temptation.)

BIG PREDICTION: We've come close here a couple of times, but never picked the Miss Georgia winner. Yet we remain undaunted -- and after looking over the contestants, the woman who jumps out at me is "Miss Georgia State University" Kristen Little. In fact, I wouldn't mind if she jumped out toward me anytime this week.

BLOG CORRECTION: A blog reader set us straight Sunday, about why our online searching for "Jerry Laquire" didn't turn up much. It's because we've misspelled his last name for years, and it's really Luquire. Oh dear, our apologies -- because that means we've probably mispronounced it wrong all this time as well.

A Google search for the Georgia House candidate under the name "Jerry Laquire" brought a suggested alternate last name "Lequire." But Google didn't suggest "Luquire" - nor did it indicate he might be loquacious.

Our search with a proper spelling brought better results Sunday. Jerry Luquire apparently still has a Columbus book publishing business, and actually tried his hand at blogging back in March. His latest post guessing Seth Harp would NOT run for statewide office turned out to be wrong. But then, Luquire is running for Georgia House, not End-Time Prophet.

A campaign opponent emerged for Jerry Luquire Sunday. Colin Martin announced he'll run for the soon-to-open House District 129 seat. Martin once won a "Burkard Award" for being our best blog competition [1Jan 07] -- but he's been on the losing side of so many local sales tax votes that he might avoid that issue completely.

The Ledger-Enquirer checked its records, and found both Jerry Luquire and Colin Martin have run for Columbus Council and lost. Does this mean Glenn Davis gains the title of "kingmaker" in this race? Or will he settle this over lunch with Harris County Sheriff Mike Jolley?

E-MAIL UPDATE: Sunday's rant against the Columbus Police Chief provoked a response in our InBox....

Is your recent letter writer just trying to undermine Columbus?

In response to your letter writer who wrote:

"Chief Boren is a sorry Police Chief. He says that he will not tolerate Police Officers breaking the law, but yet I have a list of officers who have broken the law and have been allowed to resign WITHOUT prosecution. Some even still working on the force. You are so full of cr*p Ricky!"

It is amazing that anyone can criticize the Chief of Police with supposed unnamed lists of police officers, who have allegedly committed crimes. The writer says some CPD officers who had alledgedly committed crimes resigned without prosecution, and further states that other officers who committed crimes are still allowed to work at CPD.

Should we believe a person with such a wild claim and yet no names & crimes listed to support the claim? Shouldn't the person state some means of his knowledge or state something to validate his claims? Usually, evidence is accepted as proof of crimes. May we please ask your letter writer:

What crimes were committed, who, dates, and how do you know this?

Several people have said that they think if he cannot answer these basic questions he should not publish such accusations. If, however he has legitimate reasons to make the accusations, then he should state them, and provide proof, otherwise it makes him look like a person who wants to smear the Chief of Police without cause or reason.

You're welcome to ask -- and we'll see if this accuser wants to name names publicly. Otherwise, this may be one of those undercover police operations. Against the chief, but still undercover....

We've been given the name of one accused police officer in recent weeks -- someone who to our knowledge has NOT been arrested. But top police officials would NOT comment, when we asked about that case. Either we all should wait for the trap to be sprung - or the accusers should form a car pool for District Attorney Julia Slater's next trip to Macon.

Now let's see what other items are left over from Father's Day weekend....

+ The Muscogee County School Board discussed imposing harsher penalties for students who take cell phones to school. Huh?! Didn't this board hear about the Iowa teenager who won $50,000 as our National Texting Champion? Do we really want to restrict "blackberry" access to Callaway Gardens field trips?

+ The National Infantry Museum reported about 7,000 people attended Friday's grand opening ceremony. That means "Family Day in the Park" Saturday won the attendance race by about 3,000. Maybe if retired General Colin Powell had brought along someone to rap the national anthem....

+ The Aflac Outdoor Games concluded at South Commons. My morning run/walk took me through that area - and when I saw a couple of emptied sports drink bottles and a big can of energy drink in the parking lot, I couldn't help wondering if they were for the dogs.

(Contestants from New Zealand finished first and second in the "Timbersports" competition. For this outcome to occur in Columbus is a little embarrassing. Next year's Aflac Outdoor Games should feature "controlled burning," so Fort Benning personnel can win.)

+ The morning workout also took me past Golden Park - where a man was sleeping on the sidewalk next to the ticket window. I know the Woodbats are playing well, but I didn't know they were playing before sellout crowds.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author -- not necessarily those of anyone else in Columbus living or dead, and perhaps not even you.

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