20 JUN 11: Sun-Dried
Today is clean-up day in parts of Columbus, after Friday's fierce storms. A couple of small trees were ripped down near Golden Park. The "Betsy Ross flag" was blown to the ground near the Space Science Center. There even was damage to the Government Center Annex roof - as if the budget debate didn't blow the roof off it already.
Some potentially controversial issues are waiting for Columbus Council, after the budget is finalized next week. But the mayor is indicating one of them will NOT come up this year - the question of Sunday alcohol sales in stores. Who knows how many Father's Day celebrations were ruined, because children couldn't use fake ID cards to buy beer?
Mayor Teresa Pike Tomlinson told the Ledger-Enquirer there hasn't been a stampede of Columbus residents demanding a vote on Sunday alcohol sales in stores. She's counted one reporter and one private citizen. Maybe the mayor needs to move Tuesday's "Let's Talk" session from the Midland Masonic Lodge to the Sports Page.
The mayor also noted a special election on Sunday alcohol sales would have a cost. Since this is an "off year" in the election cycle, a special vote would cost the city about $100,000. You'll notice there's been no rush by Anheuser-Busch or Coors to put up the money for this....
Even the biggest backer of Sunday alcohol sales in stores agrees with the mayor on this. Former State Senator Seth Harp agrees city money is tight, and "there are higher priorities" for Columbus right now. Wow - is he saying garbage comes before beer?!
(Critics ought to point Harp to the dictionary. It clearly shows Budweiser, Coors and even Tecate come before trash.)
Jerry Luquire of the Georgia Christian Coalition guesses the Sunday alcohol question will be on the Columbus ballot early in 2012, tied to the presidential primary. I can see the campaign signs now: "Tea Party yes, Keg Party no."
(The date for that primary isn't set yet, because a new state law allows the Georgia Secretary of State to make that decision - and he doesn't have to make that decision until 1 December. Hopefully by then, Newt Gingrich's wife will have settled on a date for the couple's next overseas cruise.)
Jerry Luquire will have plenty to do in the months ahead - trying to stop Sunday alcohol sales in cities where it's already on the ballot. One of those cities is Albany, where Luquire will take on every worker at the Miller brewery who wants overtime pay.
But for now, Phenix City businesses still remain winners. They know liquor-starved Columbus residents are improving their profits on Sundays. One potential loser is Davis Broadcasting -- because it's not very appealing to hold a second "Family Day in the Park."
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E-MAIL UPDATE: This apparently has been a problem with a while, but a new reader pointed it out....
Hey , can you please send me a link to your blog? I am only getting one page and I cant figure out how to get to the rest of the blog. I am sure enjoying reading this!
Jennifer means only one week of blog entries shows up at a time -- with no link to older entries. The "archives" word on the right side used to let you check a week or a month of your choice. But after eight-and-a-half years and more than 2,600 posts, my blog server may have decided I'm addicted to hoarding.
This question led me to check the HTML code on my blog Sunday night, for the first time in years. I've never touched it, because I don't claim to be a coding expert. I had trouble talking to co-workers at TV stations, who insisted on using police "ten" codes around me.
The HTML code for "archives" didn't give me an easy solution to allow checking of older posts. Instead, it mentions something called a "w3c validator" - which sounds like something Fort Benning police use at the Main Gate.
For now, my best advice to Jennifer is to use the search box at the top left corner of the blog. You can review a month of entries at a time by typing something like "Apr 11" - and making sure that month is in quotes. Be careful with those searches, though. Type in "Hurtsboro" and an old browser might crash.
We'll keep working on that issue - and in the meantime, let's check other topics from Father's Day weekend:
+ The Ledger-Enquirer reported Muscogee County Judge Julia Lumpkin and Frank Lumpkin III are fighting in court over their father's estate. Attorneys say one sticking point is who should have season tickets to University of Georgia football games. Why don't they both follow Frank Lumpkin, Junior's generous example - and give them to Isaiah Crowell's relatives?
+ Fort Benning Staff Sergeant John Heslin was named "Drill Sergeant of the Year" at a competition in South Carolina. While the new Miss Georgia wins the free use of a car for a year, I think Heslin will win 100 push-ups from every private in basic training.
+ Miss Georgia 2011 signed a contract for the coming year. Michaela Lackey told WTVM her Dad called her win the "best Father's Day gift ever" - because she now has a $15,000 college scholarship. So she'll be busy traveling around the state, while he has extra money for a vacation in the Rockies.
+ Alabama's Madeline Mitchell was named second runner-up at the Miss USA Pageant. This pageant is very different from Miss America. For one thing, the only "platforms" Miss USA contestants need are the shoes on their feet.
+ A Dallas County, Alabama woman gave birth to sextuplets. It took 51 people at a Birmingham medical center to deliver Heather Carroll's five girls and one boy. It probably will take 51 more people to follow this family around with cameras, for a TLC reality series.
+ The Columbus Lions tripped Trenton 62-60, to advance to the Southern Indoor Football League semifinals. The Lions will host Albany next Saturday night in another "520 Feud." Now if Fort Benning police will kindly stop the Albany team bus, and demand everyone prove they're not illegal immigrants....
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