Wednesday, July 06, 2011

6 JUL 11: North By Newest

If you came here expecting jokes about Tuesday's big national story -- sorry, wrong blog. Even though that story led plenty of local newscasts, I really don't consider Columbus a suburb of Orlando.

(Well, OK -- I'll only say this. The last time a "Casey" received this much attention in July, George Brett still was playing baseball for the Royals.)

Instead, we have some pleasant news from Armour Road. The North Columbus Branch Library reopened Tuesday, after two months of renovation. It's still in the same building - even though a "Taj Mahal" library probably would make more sense closer to Green Island Hills.

The arrangement of the North Columbus Library has been awkward for years. Magazines and newspapers have been in a rather cramped area on the top level, while public access computers and most books were downstairs on a ground floor. In short, it seemed like a library was stuffed into a church building after the congregation went bankrupt.

Chris Warren says the North Columbus Library was renovated so materials are easier to find. Warren's title with the Chattahoochee Valley Libraries is "Director of Library Design," a title I never knew existed. Is he also the man who designed the schedule for closing branches one extra day a week?

But Chris Warren says the main purpose of the North Columbus renovation was to improve the data wiring system. This will allow the branch to have twice as many computers as before - so even more young people can play Farmville after school.

Let's face it: in 2011, people probably visit public libraries for computer time as much as books. For families which can't afford home computers, this is a valuable service. But for shoppers who want to start "extreme couponing," the ten-cent-per-page printing charge can be an addiction on the order of electronic bingo.

The Chattahoochee Valley Library system even has a "digital bookmobile" now, with wireless Internet connections for rural counties. Today's schedule includes a stop outside an IGA store in Buena Vista. You may remember IGA - the grocery store in towns so small Piggly Wiggly turns up its nose at them.

The digital bookmobile is funded by a foundation's grant - but I couldn't find any details Tuesday night on how the library system could afford to renovate the North Columbus Branch. After all, the system plans to close branches one extra day a week starting in August. They're changing the lights, simply to keep them turned off.

WLTZ noted one other change at the North Columbus Branch Library - the bookshelves are shorter now. That's apparently a matter of aesthetics. But don't we want children to get more exercise, by stepping on and off those stools?

-> There was an inspiring moment last week at poker's biggest event. Read what happened at our other blog, "On the Flop!" <-

E-MAIL UPDATE: While another website posts lovely pictures from Thunder on the Hooch, other people are offering a different perspective....

Dear Richard,

I just wanted to inform you that our message was well received at this year's event. National Alliance members and supporters distributed 1,000 of our Love Your Race and Stop Affirmative Action: White People need jobs too fliers. We received a lot of thumbs up from White Americans going to and from the event. Also,Columbus Police officers were very professional this year as well.While many Americans wave their cheap Chinese made American flags thinking about Freedom, we in the National Alliance live it.It's past time for a second American revolution and it shall come!

For the victory, Michael Weaver

Hmmmm -- what do you think he means by "very professional" officers? Did they all agree with his group's message?

I suspect this literature was distributed NEAR Thunder on the Hooch, not inside the event. WTVM has been picky over the years about limiting promotional materials to advertisers who purchase space. I've seen political candidates be told to stop campaigning on the grounds - which probably made things easier for the clean-up crew.

As for the evening's big event, I heard grumbling Tuesday that the fireworks show lasted only 15 minutes - and wasn't really "ON the Hooch." Some people apparently wanted fireworks to be shot from a boat in the middle of the Chattahoochee River, not the top of a downtown parking garage. We certainly could open the whitewater rafting course faster that way.

If your group handed out literature or had other thoughts about the day, we're open to them. In the meantime, let's check other Tuesday tidbits....

+ The Georgia Historic Preservation Division awarded a grant to the Springer Opera House. More than $1,700 is being provided to produce a promotional brochure. Apparently no one from the division office has driven to Columbus lately to see the Springer's "3-D" billboards.

+ Georgia Governor Nathan Deal announced 44 of 56 Atlanta public schools had faculty members who cheated with student competency tests. It's a good thing no reporter asked the Governor to express that as a percentage - or he might have cheated by pulling out a calculator.

+ Auburn University football coach Gene Chizik began a tour promoting his book "All-In." One of Chizik's first stops was "Fox and Friends" on Fox News Channel - which makes me wonder if he wanted assistant coach Trooper Taylor to give President Obama a bit more than a chest bump.

+ Pioneer pounded Peach 9-6 at the Little League District 8 baseball tournament. Peach eliminated Northern over the weekend, so the team which went to Williamsport last year couldn't even win its district this year. It also means Columbus High School coach Randy Howard may not have to drive as far to recruit new talent.

+ Instant Message to all Columbus bicycle riders: I'll accept the new state law and give you three feet of space, if you agree to ride responsibly. Please don't meander around in streets and parking lots, as if you're practicing a figure skating routine for the next Olympics.

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