Thursday, July 23, 2009

23 JUL 09: Let It Rest

There was only one big errand for me to run Wednesday -- and I didn't run to do it. Instead, I walked several blocks. Well, check that -- I trotted a little to cross Eighth Street, because Minnie's restaurant has SO much traffic around noon.

I find myself walking a lot more these days - and it's not because my humble Honda is 15 years old and refusing to work. That's happened a couple of times in recent months, because a button in my brake system broke. My taillights kept glowing after I turned off the ignition -- proving sometimes "letting your light shine" can leave your battery drained.

The walking has increased because many places I need to visit are within a 15-minute stroll of my home. They include the Columbus Career Center, the Government Center, my main place for playing poker -- and one of these evenings I might just walk inside Golden Park to watch the Woodbats, instead of walking around it for exercise.

The Georgia Clean Air Campaign ought to be pleased with my decision to park the car. It held a program for Columbus businesses Wednesday about ways to "go green." But there's no word about whether Spencer High School's principal was persuaded to drop the word "Wave" from the nickname.

Wanda Jenkins with the Clean Air Campaign told WTVM more businesses need to think environmentally because "Columbus is faced with air quality issues...." For instance, everyone should recycle their phone books properly - because this could reduce the amount of yellow "pollen dust" in the spring.

The Clean Air Campaign cites Aflac as an example of an environmentally conscious business. Did you realize Aflac's employees travel an average 18.5 miles per day to work -- one-way? More executives must live in Harris County and Smiths Station than we realized....

The Clean Air Campaign reports dozens of Aflac employees now are part of carpools. They've reduced the amount of Columbus air pollution by more than five tons per month. But isn't there a "down side" to this for Aflac? Less air pollution could mean fewer people developing cancer, and needing that special insurance.

(The Aflac case study also claims carpooling has "significantly reduced" the amount of traffic congestion around Aflac's headquarters. I'm not sure the businesses belonging to Midtown Inc. really are pleased about that....)

Perhaps because of Aflac's effort, Columbus has yet to exceed federal air quality pollution standards this year. This is even more amazing, when you consider how much rain we've had this year. Aren't people mowing their lawns more often? Or do prison inmates practice a form of "carpooling," too?

Wanda Jenkins says there are other things businesses can try to be more environmentally conscious:

+ Tele-working. Oh no - I get enough computerized sales calls on my home phone already.

+ Alternative scheduling. Troy Public Radio started doing this a few weeks ago, by airing music from "The World Café" five nights a week.

+ Compressed work weeks. Everyone finished with their daily job duties should leave the office, and play Spider Solitaire on their home computers.

+ Sending customers "e-statements," instead of printing and mailing them. Of course, you know who will have to do the printing if there's a discrepancy.

E-MAIL UPDATE: Sometimes walks can happen when you least expect them....

Hospitals! First Do Not Harm?

Last week when I was at a Columbus Hospital standing in an exam room about to put on a gown- nurse threw open the door, revealing my all-together to the men in the hallway- screeching- "We have to evacuate- come on- get out now!"

Thinking this was somewhat of an inappropriate joke, I took my time, only to incur the wrath of the nurse who returned to tell me in her heavy Euro-accent "GET OUT NOW"!

We, meaning Me, and all of the other Old People there, went down flights of stairs and were hurried to the middle of a parking area. It was about 99 degrees. We all stood around looking at each other, as nurses tried to attend those who might need help in the heat.

I wonder if the rest of the hospital was evacuated as only our area seemed to be evacuated to that part of the parking lot.

Since we were not allowed to use the elevators we have to wonder what in the world they did to get those patients with knee and hip replacements out of there. I was expecting that big nurse, who was double my size, to break out a window and toss those old guys downward toward a trampoline. Stay Well Columbus, before you get tossed out a window by Brunhilde.

Hmmm .... fire drill?

Which local hospital had this strange situation? Amy Adams with St. Francis Hospital told me Wednesday her center has had NO evacuations in the last two weeks. Columbus Regional didn't return our message. And would this reader really want to admit all this, after spending time at West Central Regional?

Let's assume for a moment this evacuation occurred at The Medical Center. Columbus fire crews are called there often on false alarms. All it takes is one child being rolled past an alarm box, and not wanting to undergo surgery....

Now to last Thursday's blog entry, titled "Where Is the Outrage?" A reader responds....

A lot of People in this town are outraged with what is happening to Mark Shelnutt..

Gina Colbert

Apparently that issue will be left for a federal jury to decide in the months ahead. But we would note one thing -- no one has reported seeing Shelnutt in District Attorney Julia Slater's office lately.

Let's see what else had our attention in the middle of the week:

+ The Eufaula Tribune reported the end of the U.S. 431 widening project through Russell County has been postponed again. It won't be finished until next May, because some kind of mudslide occurred south of Glenville. That settles it - someone in Fort Mitchell needs to open a 24-hour ATV park.

+ The Russell County Commission approved the purchase of four "dashboard cameras" for Sheriff's Department cars. Top officers say the cameras will keep officers safe. And on top of that, Sheriff Tommy Boswell can donate unneeded recordings to his buddy George Jones for use in country music videos.

+ Southeastern Conference football media days began in suburban Birmingham. Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino told reporters he knows the Razorbacks will be better than last year. Of course, Petrino knows this because he actually has stayed in Arkansas to coach for a second season....

+ Instant Message to Harris County Commissioner Charles Wyatt: Let's go back to something you said on TV Tuesday night - that you're "a person that nobody really liked" for most of your life. Then how in the world did you get elected? Did your wife do all the campaigning for you?

BURKARD'S BEST BETS: Gas for $2.23 a gallon at Dolly Madison on Victory Drive.... FREE Chick-Fil-A sandwiches in Phenix City from 5:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. ET (one per customer).... and half-price sales on swimwear, with school starting in two weeks....

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