I recently enjoyed a smooth mocha at a locally owned coffee shop where the brew is better than anyone’s in town and they pour it in real ceramic coffee mugs! The couches are more plush, the atmosphere more relaxing, and the wireless works much better than the competing world-wide chain one turn and 5 minutes down the road.
However, despite everything going for it, a drive by the “other” brand usually reveals cars lined up in the drive-through and people packed inside the doors. It made me wonder if Tupeloeans have forgotten the importance of supporting locally-owned businesses, where the owner is often the person making your beverage just right because he has a huge stake in the establishment.
Last weekend we said goodbye to locally owned Boondocks, a cajun-themed restaurant downtown oozing with atmosphere. Talking to anyone who has eaten there, one can’t identify what went wrong except that it is not on “restaurant row” and does not have the “name power” of a national chain. Will we continue to mindlessly turn our cars up north Gloster every weekend to eat at restaurants owned by corporations in Orlando and Dallas rather than those owned by our neighbors here in Tupelo?
Instead, I encourage anyone reading this letter to think twice before ordering a beverage or sitting down for a meal at a nationally-owned chain with little real interest in our community other that a P & L statement. Find a local establishment and see for yourself what the good entrepreneurs in Tupelo have to offer! (And no, I don’t own any of these places, I just don’t want to see any of them go the way of Boondocks.)
Ticket for high beam lights raises concern
On Friday, Oct. 9, my wife and I were returning home from a downtown restaurant after having dinner with out-of-town friends.
I was about three blocks from our house when I turned into Country Wood Coves. To my right, parked at the curb, were two police cars. As I passed around them, I turned my headlights to high beam. My headlights had not been on until I turned into the subdivision where the police cars were parked. The next thing I know, the blue lights were flashing behind me. I pulled over. When Officer Eiland came up to my door, I asked him what was the problem. I certainly had not been speeding and had my left turn signal on. He said I failed to dim my lights!
I have been driving for over 60 years and I have never heard of anyone getting a ticket for passing around a parked car with their lights on high beam. Truckers have been using their lights on high beam for years to indicate their intention of passing and I have never known of a case where a ticket was given. Actually, those two cars could do more good sitting at intersections like Thomas Street and Main or Coley and Jackson Extended or any other busy intersection where people are constantly running red lights. I witness this every time that I am out on the Tupelo streets and I have never seen a policeman around or giving tickets for this violation.
While I respect the good works of the police department, I sometimes wonder where do their priorities lie. I paid my $144 fine of the 12th of October (which was due on the 22nd of October), for not having my lights on dim as I went around two parked police cars on the side of the street in this quiet neighborhood where we did not see one other car. And this is our tax dollars at work?!
Train city tree cutters on proper methods
In response to the article “Removal of trees prompts queries” in the Daily Journal on Oct. 8, I want to agree with Brad Prewitt.
Oak and magnolia trees are a Southern tradition. Yes, trees do become diseased; however, the City of Tupelo should require employees who trim, prune and remove trees in our city be taught the proper way to trim, prune and treat these problems.
Trees on my street as well as those I have observed throughout the city look more butchered than professionally trimmed. Bringing in an arborist to teach these people should be a prerequisite to employment for jobs having to do with tree trimming, pruning and removal.
It should be city policy that when the city, no matter which department removes a tree, the same type tree be planted in the same spot, whether that be on public or private property. Tree removal without replacement does negatively affect property value, both public and private, as well as air quality.
Reimburse church for Spain House expense
Since the Council voted to declare the Spain house as a historic landmark, what happens now? It is obvious that the members of Calvary Church are not going to repair or renovate it. In the economy of today, the City of Tupelo is not going to renovate it. It has already become evident that no individual or group is willing to invest the necessary funds for moving and renovating the building.
A year from now, Calvary Church will still not be able to utilize the land for their expansion program. The house will have deteriorated more with a corresponding increase in the cost of renovation. Eventually the Spain house will face the fate of smaller, but nonetheless historic houses in Mill Village, which were demolished by the city.
I wonder if any member of the Council or of the Historic Preservation Committee lives in a historic renovated house, versus living in a modern, more energy efficient, and maintenance free home. If they do not, then their action reeks of hypocrisy. They want someone else to do what they are not willing to do.
There was no designation on the property at the time Calvary Baptist purchased it, with the stated intention of utilizing the space for an expansion. Those members of the Council who voted for this historic designation should reimburse Calvary Church for the cost of the property with appropriate interest. If they are not willing to invest their resources in the purchase of the property, they should not try to exercise rights over the property.
Helpful employees in city Public Works
On Oct. 6 as I was leaving work to go to lunch, I heard a strange noise coming from my car motor. I quickly realized it was a kitten crying that had stowed away in the engine to keep warm. I turned the car off and opened the hood. Immediately, three of the nicest men from the Tupelo Public Works stopped to help me. Of course, they thought I was having car trouble, but they were kind enough to work diligently, in the rain, to rescue the poor kitten from underneath the hood.
I would like for the people of Tupelo to know that we have very kind and helpful gentlemen working for our city. James, Drew and Dewayne (Tupelo Public Works employees) went above and beyond to help me and this little gray kitten. Thank you again.
Tupelo Prentiss school plan should be reconsidered
Many concerned parents of students in the Prentiss County school system are in objection to the current school reorganization plans being spearheaded by the superintendent and select board members.
Their (school board) plans are to consolidate the Prentiss County school system and make two high schools with one in Thrasher and the other at New Site. It would appear that the board’s recommended distribution of pupils to these two high schools would (1) create excessive “bus time” for many students and (2) would, in effect, be de facto racial segregation due to the proposed geographical districts for each school.
Hopefully, the board will reconsider at a future board meeting when the public and all board members are made aware of the meeting agenda in advance rather than after the fact.
Criticism of Obama is not about race
This letter is in regard to Janice Floyd’s letter in the Daily Journal on Oct. 4. From 2000 to 2008 the mainstream media (ABC, NBC, CBS, Washington Post, New York Times, etc.) and most of the Democrats in Washington bashed George W. Bush. They called him a liar, distorted facts, made wild accusations, and blamed everything from the economy to global warming on him. I wonder if this can be considered disrespecting the president of the United States of America?
Whatever happened to free speech in this country? Because we now have a black president in office, does this automatically do away with free speech and difference of opinion?
While George W. Bush made mistakes, I think he was doing what he thought was best for the country. The fact that Barack Hussein Obama is black does not make everyone who disagrees with him a racist. Many people do not agree with the direction is he trying to take the country in and they are making their opinions known. This has nothing to do with his skin color.
The country cannot afford many of his ideas and people are standing up for what they believe. I am quite certain if he was white, these same objections would be heard. If we are going to point fingers at each other, let’s use the same standards for both liberals and conservatives.
Seniors would benefit from public transit
Recently, I received a letter from my high school classmate (Carver High School), a senior citizen, who lives in north Tupelo. This letter was in reference to my appointment to the Tupelo Transit Committee. I was so taken and impressed with her response that I want to share her views relative to public transportation with the public.
“ Jim,” she stated, “ I'm so glad you are on the committee for public transportation.”
She states, “I do have a car, but there are some days that I do not want to drive. As a result, I just stay at home, because of too much traffic, finding a parking space, and then finding my car after I have parked. I do not want to give up driving, just want some choices.
“As a senior citizen, we still have to function, so having choices relieves the mind. It also give us the opportunity to go places that we should in spite of traffic and parking concerns.
“Again, this does not mean that I will give up driving my car or driving period. It means having I don’t want to or have to drive days and something other than cab companies. Sometimes I take a cab just to relieve the pressure of driving or just so I can observe the changes/landscapes without having to pay attention to driving.
“I hope public transportation will become a realit .”
Jim W. Casey, vice chairman
Tupelo Public Transit Commission