Archive for December, 2012

A New Year’s Eve Like no Other

December 31, 2012

It’s Monday, which means I should do a post because I said I would try to do one each Monday. I didn’t make it last Monday because frankly I didn’t feel like it. Bronchitis. I’m a little better now so I’ll see what I can do. .

This is truly an interesting New Year’s Eve.  I don’t recall one in which so much is at stake because of the deadline on ending of the Bush tax cuts and the beginning of across-the- board spending cuts. No doubt, just about everyone knows all this because it has been on all of the news channels endlessly.

Those who will be hurt the most by the looming tax hikes and spending cuts, are already those who are hurting the most, the vast majority of the American middle class which has seen its income stagnate for years. Those who are doing quite well will feel the tax bite and, some may even see their investments erode as government spending cuts wipe out some government contracts for goods and services, but the negative effect on them will probably be minor.. The military-industrial complex also will feel the pinch as the defense budget is cut. That is  certainly of concern to our area which depends heavily on defense department spending.

Still, if  you watch the Times Square News Year’s Eve celebration as the ball drops signifying the end of the 2012 and the beginning of 2013, you will see dancing in the streets, cheering, bands playing, singers singing, people kissing, and there will be a general feeling of well-being and happiness in the air. That American spirit, which continues in spite of all that is going on in Washington. is what offers hope, is what eventually gets us through tough times. It has before and it will again. Perhaps at election time it will even provide us with a new Congress, one that will regain the confidence of the American people..


December 24, 2012

Most of the Stores May be Gone, but the Christmas Parade Still Draws Big Crowds in Downtown Columbus

December 10, 2012

It’s Monday, the day I  promised to  try to post something new, and I  haven’t posted anything yet. So, here goes.


I suppose I could say something about Christmas parades since Columbus,  Georgia had one Saturday.  I’ve been in a lot of them over the years, and I’ve watched a few.  I started being in them when I was in the Bob Barr Jordan High  School band back in the forties. Then, as a news anchor at different times for WRBL and WTVM, I rode in convertibles with female co-anchors, and we tossed candy into the crowds, and waved a lot, not necessarily because we wanted to, but because the stations wanted us to. Sometimes some wise guys would pick up the candy and throw it back at us. Guess I can’t blame them. They didn’t ask for  candy to be tossed to them. Eventually, we stopped tossing the candy and just waved.

It is really interesting the way thousands of folks converge on downtown Columbus and Phenix City for the parades just like they did when people did their Christmas shopping downtown.  Most of the retail stores closed or  moved to shopping centers.  One of the prominent ones that didn’t is Chancellors. Perhaps it benefited from the parade. I hope so. I like Chancellors  and still shop there. They may be considered a little pricey, but you  get good stuff, and they make sure it fits. My late mother use to buy all of my father’s suits, shoes, and top coats there, saying you pay a little more, but it looks good and it lasts and lasts.   Wonder if wives still buy most of their husband’s wearing apparel. They must, because I still see a lot of women in men’s clothing departments.


As for the parade itself, it was really long and had huge gaps between sections and lacked a main ingredient for parades, a lot of  big high school bands. If it had not been for Central  High of Phenix City, there would not have been a big high school band in  the parade.  I ran into Ledger-Enquirer editor and reporter Chuck Williams at the end of the parade, and he told me that the Muscogee County high school bands were absent because the parade fell on the day the bands audition for the state honors band.  He said he knew that because his daughter is in the Columbus High School Blue Devil Band.  And later the paper explained one of those gaps by reporting that a young girl walking by a float fell under the float and an ambulance had to be called to take her to the emergency room.

All in all, though, I would say the parade was a big success. Folks appeared to  be having a good time and were in good spirits.  People obviously still do love a parade.

As the old saying goes, sorry this is so long, but I didn’t  have time to write a short post today.

Kyle Spencer, Another Environmentalist, Gets Dan Reed Award

December 5, 2012
Kyle Spencer is being congratulated after being named recipient of the Dan Reed Award. That's  club secretary Mary Reed on the left. She is, widow of former secretary Dan Reed, for whom the  award is named.

Kyle Spencer is being congratulated after being named recipient of the Dan Reed Award. That’s club secretary Mary Reed on the left. She is the widow of former secretary Dan Reed, for whom the award is named.

For the second year in a row, a prominent Columbus,  Georgia environmentalist has received the Dan Reed Service Above Self Award, the highest award given each year to a non-Rotarian by the Rotary Club of Columbus.

This year’s winner is Kyle Spencer, a retired stock broker who is the founder of Trees Columbus, an organization that works to  protect and grow an urban tree canopy for Columbus. 

Last year’s winner was environmentalist and attorney Ken Henson, also a member of  Trees Columbus, as well as the Columbus Coalition for Sound Growth.

Both men not only support  local environmentalist organizations, they also go to  bat on the  state level, fighting Atlanta sewage pollution which affects the  Chattahoochee River, which flows through Columbus, and fighting state laws that allow billboard companies to cut down trees along highways so  their billboards can be read. Those fights are not over. Atlanta still has a big sewer problem and billboard company lobbyists have a lot  of clout at the state capitol.    

Both men received the award for other contributions to the welfare of the Columbus area community as well.  For instance, Kyle Spencer, who was in the navy during world War II, and who graduated from Princeton, is a significant supporter of Columbus State University, providing funds for the Spencer House in Oxford, England.  The house is used by CSU faculty and students studying at Oxford  University each summer.

It is encouraging to me that environmentalists are receiving such recognition by the Rotary Club of Columbus, because it is a 330-member service club populated by many influential business, professional, religious, educational, and civic leaders in Columbus. I believe that if ever the environment needs important support, it’s now.