Friday, January 30, 2015

Big news coming from Mullins

Mayor Kelly is keeping us all in the dark about some exciting news coming to Mullins this summer but this reporter has secretly found out that the entire Columbus Football team have all been hired by an unknown entity.

Furthermore, Caldwell lumber has been selling an odd amount of lumber lately and I believe I have found the reason. 

Columbus Cardinals Football Team hard at work

BOOM - NAILED IT!  Viking River Cruise up and down the Crawfish River.

Take your family on this historic cruise with Mullins fine cuisine.  Imagine a summer night at sunset as you drift past the ball diamonds of Meister Park, gaze in wonder at the Columbus Chemical Industry and throw leftover french fries to packs of dogs at the Columbus Countryside Vet Clinics dog park. Then have the whole family jump into the water and join the football team when you enter the Columbus Wetland and Hunting Grounds and splashing with glee and singing songs turn the boat around.  And that is only the less expensive Northern Tour.

For the full experience of The Historic Mullins River Tour you can help portage over the damn Dam and gently glide south passing the Columbus Waste Water facility where "it all happens" and as you sip your 3rd rootbeer float (the 4th one is always free) gaze at the breathtaking wonder of the Sennview Farms.      

And finally 4 hours later you end at the Danville Mill where you will be herded off the boat and loaded into cattle cars especially cleaned for the return ride.  An adventure that will be talked about for a long long time. 


 Andrew Jackson was a 13 year old in the Revolutionary War and captured by the British for helping the wrong cause.  He and his brother were starved and when one officer told him to clean his shoes Jackson told the Officer where he could stuff his shoes. The British Officer took out his sword and took a swing at Jackson slicing his hand and clipping his scull.

OH - The Oneida Tribe was the first in the Indian Nation to help colonists in the American Revolution and walked over 70 miles with sacks of food to feed the solders in Valley Forge. The Indians decided the Colonists were their best hope for a peaceful nation where Indians and Colonists could coexist in peace.  Looking back, seems they picked the wrong team.

For us old guys that remember Nam.  The Tet Offensive began on this day in 1968.  America was totally blindsided on that one.  It ended as a huge win for America military but a huge psychological victory for the communists.


What is up with gas prices - I can't pay $1.99 a gallon - that is ridiculous!


The Columbus Police department gave out 153 warning tickets in the month ending January 12th, not sure what for but is this a kinder Police Department?

Have a great weekend - snow coming Sunday 1 to 3 inches . . .or a blizzard! 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Columbus news - Storm of the Century. . NOT & Sybil Ludington

Well the big news I guess is that Superintendent of schools Bryan Davis is one of the two finalists out of 141 for becoming superintendent of Ferguson-Florissant Missouri.  Yea - THAT Ferguson.  That's about all I know at the moment. They will share their visions of a new Ferguson-Florissant in a public meeting  . . .soon.


In other Columbus news we made the Television news  and local paper with Columbus approves transgender policy

Basically the school board was proactive and if I may quote Megan Sheridan
"The policy covers students transitioning from male to female (MTF) and female to male (FTM). Students that identify as MTF are not allowed to participate in girls’ sports unless they have had a minimum of a year of hormone suppression therapy. Students that identify as FTM cannot participate in girls’ sports once they start testosterone therapy."
Hmmmmmm - didn't have that when I was in grade school. But we didn't have computers either so.  


Sybil Ludington - ever heard of her?  You really should know the name of a 16 year old who is yet another unsung hero of the American Revolution. I actually had chills when I heard her story.  She rode twice as far as Paul Revere and rode completely alone while Paul had companions.

She rode on horse back for more then 9 hours, alone from 9 at night to day break on a rugged and dangerous road in pitch dark at times defending herself from highway men. She was able to muster 400 militia to defend Danbury, Connecticut, where revolutionaries stored most of their weapons and gunpowder for the upcoming war.

The story is a rider had raced to the Ludington farm warning him of the coming attack.  Ludington needed to rouse up the surrounding farms and the rider could not continue do to exhaustion so Sybil said "I'll do it" even though she had just turned 16 days before (although 16 was not a child in those days).

Pretty exciting stuff.


Weather - for one thing it WAS a bad blizzard with many places getting MORE snow then predicted but closing New York is getting so bad press.  Here is what happened.

As you know there are many models that predict the big storms, 21 I believe. The best model is called the Euro (European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasting) and it has been kicking anything the American models can do.  It has been the super star in the last 15 years and it was predicting heavy snow in New York.  Even up to Monday morning it was saying 18 inches of snow for NYC and it was not wavering and by it being so consistent forecasters could not ignore it even though other models such as SREF which is the American model said - no, everything is going north.

So who do you believe, the model that predicted with uncanny accuracy the blizzard of 1996, which paralyzed the  Eastern Seaboard for the better part of a week and SREF missed it? Which predicted Hurricane Sandy? (SREF, swing and a miss) and a plethora of other storms.  The Euro had a great track record.

BUT NOOOOO!!   not this time. While SREF is saying  no no there is not enough moisture in the air - ain't going to happen, the super star is saying "I got this".  Even when the Canadian’s global model agrees, even when the United Kingdom’s model fall in line with America and even when the North American Mesocale changes it tune, we believe in SREF.

We all fell in line with the super star.   Lessons were learned.  

On a different note the next generation of weather satellites (GOES-R) will go in orbit next year which will really improve weather forecasting.  One new instrument that we do not have at the moment will be a Geostationary Lightning Tracker.  Also anticipated will be a MUCH more improved tornado warning lead time and reduce false alarms.

For more on GOES-R


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Badger Motor Car Company

Watched a very good movie last weekend called "A Good Lie"  The movie centers on four young Sudanese refugees (known as Lost Boys of Sudan) which are helped by Reese Witherspoon a brash American woman after they win a lottery for relocation to the United States.

Not a movie that was made for awards but more for enlightenment about the Second Sudanese Civil War where 2.5 million men, woman and children were killed in Sudan from 1986 to 2005.

Of these 20,000 children from the Nuer and Dinka ethnic groups walked over one thousand miles barefoot to seek refuge in a refugee camp.  3,600 of these children were able to make it to America and this is their story.

The stars of the movie were actual refugees and I would say half of the film was their journey. It really puts our troubles in America into perspective. Its sad, moving, haunting and funny at times and a true story.

The trailer focus's on the last half of the movie but the first half was what got me!


I'm working on an article for a magazine on The Badger Motor Car Company  of Columbus - a rather daunting task but Fred Stare the driest writer I have ever read is helping me.

 NOT that I'm complaining. It's just that I have to caffeine up on this project. 

So much history in Columbus that very few know about. 

Council is considering bonds and how much Columbus can afford to borrow and what the ramifications are looking ahead.

My personal opinion is IF bonds are needed, if we want to use the city credit card it is not something to take lightly. We all saw the problems with our last budget and borrowing money just to fix things we can't afford is only fixing a symptom, not fixing a problem.  We need to fix the problem. 

You don't use a credit card because you are short of money. You use it because you HAVE to use it.  Just because we CAN borrow a certain amount does not mean we SHOULD borrow.  HOWEVER - roads need to be fixed and while I'm a little more conservative on what roads need to be fixed I agree they need to be looked at.  

I guess the reason I'm not fully on the road bandwagon is every time someone complains about roads I ask  "Which road exactly are you talking about that needs to be fixed" and the answer, almost 100% of the time is the "151/73 exit and James Street" sigh . . not our road and it's getting fixed.  So then I say what other roads and the answer is normally some vague "there are other streets . .  all of them".  

I agree - there are streets that are in pretty poor shape and I agree with the others that they have been neglected and a good amount money needs to go into high profile streets. My personal recommendation was $1.6 million at 1% interest. So of course that raises some eyebrows, almost free money should we borrow while it's cheap?  We will get more solid facts and figures later this week.    
But my objective is that I want to make sure that down the road we have enough borrowing power for a new fire station and library.  Fire Station for public safety and that is a no brainer, our fire station is ridiculously small and libraries are portals to knowledge and allow people of any income the ability to access high-quality information.  Our library has some pretty fantastic street cred in literary circles and is embarrassingly small for a town our size.  

Hey - The Columbus Library was sighted as one of the top 10 in the Nation and we just got a pretty sizable grant because of it.

We need money for roads and we need to make sure we are good for down the road.  There are lots and lots of things other departments want. Get in line!  We have a fire squad truck that is almost 25 years old, we have dump trucks that are 20+ years old.  The Columbus debt level is . . . good enough, which to ME is too much. Less debt means more money down the road.

That is my debt spiel.


I believe I said Napoli's is back open.  Also the Firemans Tap has not closed YET but will shortly and I'll have news on that in coming days . . no jinxing.  Lots of stuff going on under the lime light with developers from Madison asking questions.  I'm very optimistic about Columbus. Lot's of good vibes are happening.