Our View: Roses and thorns




A rose of appreciation for Sonic Johnson, who will be retiring this month after almost 15 years as public affairs director for the 14th Flying Training Wing at Columbus Air Force Base. Himself a trainer pilot during his active duty career with the Air Force, Johnson's understanding of the base, its airmen and its mission -- along with his enthusiasm and easy-going nature, made him a natural for the position. Over the years, Johnson became the "face of the base" for many in the community and his work as liaison between the base and the community helped nurture a relationship built on mutual respect and appreciation. Thanks for your service, Sonic. 




A rose to the Starkville Area Arts Council for again providing scholarship money for summer arts programs for kids ages 11-18. The scholarships are paid directly to the organization running the program, covering fees charged to those who participate. This year, the SAAC has $9,000 of funds available for summer arts program where the fees can run anywhere from $85 to $450. For some kids, these scholarships are the only way they can participate in summer programs that range from painting to writing to performing arts. 




A rose to all of the organizers, volunteers and participants who will attend Monday's events honoring the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. Service projects, speeches, a march and other events are scheduled in Columbus, Starkville and West Point. These observations are important, especially for the emerging generations of young people, as they learn and model the spirit of charity, unity and service inspired by America's great Civil Rights leaders. 




A rose to the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library System, which was recognized as one of 12 library systems in the state recently named as Mississippi Library Stars for Fiscal Year 2017. The concept of Library Stars comes from the national professional magazine, Library Journal. The publication separates library systems into categories by expenditures they report on the annual Public Library Statistics report submitted to the Institute for Museum and Library Services. The star ratings are then calculated by comparing libraries' in several criteria. The Mississippi Library Commission has awarded Mississippi Library Stars to the best-scoring libraries in this state, recognizing the three highest-scoring library systems in each of four expenditure categories (with Level IV being the highest expenditure level). We applaud the staff and patron of our library on this well-deserved recognition.



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