Thursday, June 24, 2010

24 JUN 10: Heal Thyself

So I was reading a religious article Wednesday which suggested God is unhappy when sick people go to doctors, instead of looking to heaven for healing. Uh-oh, I asked myself -- does this work in the other direction? If I go to a supermarket for my food, is God also unhappy? Does He want me to grow a garden and pick up leftover gleanings from farms?

Several local news stories Wednesday seemed to have a common theme - taking charge of your own health. There's really nothing wrong with that. Take charge on your own, and you might not run up a charge account at the hospital....

The first news item came from a meeting of the Columbus Board of Health. Because the Georgia state budget remains tight, the board voted to close the Health Department office one weekday a month for ten months. I can think of a couple of big corporate health fairs which can fill the gap -- if they don't mind moving from Saturday to Friday.

The Columbus Board of Health needed to cut its budget about $200,000 - and members told WTVM it was easier to close the office on Comer Avenue completely ten times. The board could have spread out the furlough days across the calendar year. But news of a "spreading health problem" would have invited panic.

For some Health Department workers not on the Georgia state payroll, this will be their first experience with furlough days. They might discover the time off actually has health benefits - as long as you think about extra exercise helping your lungs, instead of leaving a less padded wallet.

Before the furlough days begin, the Columbus Health Department will offer free confidential tests for the AIDS virus Friday. Did you notice the company which used to make condoms in Eufaula never offered such a service?

Meanwhile, East Alabama Medical Center posted signs Wednesday declaring the entire campus will become "smoke-free" in October. You won't even be able to smoke outside on the grounds - so please keep the tailgate cookouts this fall closer to the Auburn University campus.

Some employees of East Alabama Medical Center admit they're smokers, so the new restrictions will be a challenge. One woman explained she smokes for "stress relief." So which state lawmaker will offer the logical Alabama alternative - installing electronic bingo machines inside hospitals?

Columbus Regional already has a "smoke-free campus" policy. That includes the John B. Amos Cancer Center - where I suppose the no-smoking signs have to be worded carefully, so some patients don't have added guilt trips to go with their treatment.

Then there's the new supermarket which opened Wednesday near the mall in Auburn. Earth Fare specializes in organic foods. Most people in Auburn understand "organic" refers to gardening and food. In most of Columbus, people think "organic" refers to how the music is played at church.

While Whole Foods Markets is a national chain concentrating on big cities such as Atlanta and Birmingham, Earth Fare is a smaller Southeast chain. It has two stores in its headquarters city of Asheville, North Carolina - which I suppose will lead some to conclude to include it's one of the most liberal cities in the state.

Earth Fare follows a "food philosophy" for the items it sells. The rules include NO artificial colors and NO bleached flour. It sounds like they follow the advice, "If it's white, don't eat it" - which I thought was quite revealing when I read it in a Nation of Islam publication.

Columbus shoppers will get something similar to Earth Fare, when The Fresh Market opens on Bradley Park Drive in a few weeks. Its website has an organic section, but doesn't seem to have the strict rules on ingredients. If this chain really cared that much about your quality of health, why is it selling beer?

-> Our other blog starts with poker, then goes.... well, today it goes to Kurt Cobain. See what we mean at "On the Flop!" <-

E-MAIL UPDATE: Someone has been watching Broadway intently for us recently....

What's on Tap this Weekend in Uptown?

Midget Wrestling (Oxygen Club) and Sexy Lady Lap Dance Contest (The Big City Club).

Uptown Inc must be proud of the improvements in both the quality and sophistication of the entertainments offered in Uptown

Now hold on here -- what do you have against small people? You're sounding almost like a British Petroleum executive.

These unusual events didn't seem to make the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau's online calendar. But it does note the Chamber of Commerce is having an "Eye-Opener Breakfast" at the Trade Center today. Put those two activities on the program, and business owners' eyes REALLY would be open.

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