FLOYD INGRAM: A quick look around townBy FLOYD INGRAM / THE PRESS REGISTER,
Spring is just around the corner and while we had a blast of cold, rainy weather this week, let me assure you, warm sunny days are on their way.
One of the joys of living in this part of the world is March brings Spring to Mississippi. While the rest of the nation suffers another month of snow, we get the first taste of Spring!
Yes, the first growth of Spring is weeds. But as in life, nipping problems in the bud allows for much fruit in the future.
Let’s take a look around town.
Clarksdale is slowly ridding the community of abandoned homes.
I’ve got two near my humble abode. You probably have houses like this in your neighborhood. You certainly drive by many on your way to work.
If Clarksdale does not do something to improve property values in this town, taxes will continue to go up, people will continue to leave -- and guess what -- taxes will go up even more.
Spring is the time to get busy cleaning up Clarksdale.
The tic of politics
Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith was in town this week.
Mississippi’s junior Senator is running against Mike Espy – cousin of the local Espy clan – and this was obviously the opening shot of a new front for the GOP. She made other visits to Mississippi Delta towns on Wednesday.
Republicans have not fared well in past elections in this part of the state, but there are a lot of wealthy GOP donors in the Delta, and there are a lot of needs, too.
I firmly believe Washington would rather ignore the Delta and focus on big cities. I also feel we have some elected officials that do a good job of politicking and getting out the vote but do little when they sit in their grand offices in Washington.
It was good to see our Senator in town.
It was good to show her the Delta merits her help.
Construction crews hate rain just as much as farmer’s hate drought. But Spring will soon bring fair weather and the construction season will be in full bloom.
We see them hammering wood at the new football field south of Clarksdale. We also went on a tour of the soon to be opened jail last week.
Government buildings always cost more than private projects. Government projects take longer to complete. Government projects always have more change orders. And government seems to think, since it’s not really their money, they don’t need to stay on top of what they are buying.
I hope both county and school leaders keep a sharp eye on what has been purchased and planted because problems will bloom in years to come if someone is not minding the farm.
Black History Month
February is Black History Month and we have a story on Page One about local elected officials who broke the color barrier.
Mississippi gets a bad rap about racial issues. I believe Mississippi understands race better than most states in the Union. Yes, there is a history of abuse, but things have changed – things are changing.
I’ve not been here long but I’ve heard the stories of racial incidents against Blacks in years gone by. I’ve also heard the stories of racial incidents against Whites in more recent years.
Bigotry, racism and hate have no place in the times I live in.
Let’s celebrate the change we have embraced. Let’s embrace the people and cultures in our community who look and live differently from us.
Floyd Ingram is the Editor of your Clarksdale Press Register. Come by his office at 128 East Second Street to talk about the seasons, government and good people in Clarksdale.