It’s really been a remarkable week. Allow me a few moments to reflect upon the events leading up to this big Memorial Day weekend.
I spent much of last Saturday in beautiful Cave Spring. I covered the Georgia and Alabama Pinhoti Trail Association meetings sandwiched around the naming of Cave Spring as Georgia’s first Pinhoti Trail Town.
I suspect there are a lot of people who are still not aware of the Pinhoti. It certainly doesn’t have the name recognition of its older, longer and more famous cousin, the Appalachian Trail.
However, the Pinhoti, at more than 160 miles, is the longest trail in Georgia. It has more mileage in Georgia than the AT or the Benton MacKaye Trail (which I’ll bet many of you haven’t heard of either).
I was excited to hear Cave Spring Mayor Rob Ware explain how he has finally been able to grasp the significance of the Pinhoti as an economic driver for his quaint community. Ware said he was eating lunch one day with a through-hiker who was just bragging on how wonderful a town Cave Spring was, how great its restaurants were, how he loved the little antique shops.
Mayor Ware gets it.
Saturday night I went to Cartersville to pick up Mia, my grandkids’ dog. They went to Orange Beach for the week.
I had been Mia’s dog sitter before, but usually just for the weekend, never a full week when I had to leave the dog at the house by herself. Inside !!! You can imagine my concerns.
But that dog is just amazing. She never messed up the house once. Dog must have an amazing capacity to hold it. You know what I’m talking about.
When I would take her out in the morning or evening I would get a little annoyed because she wants to sniff every other dog in the neighborhood even though she never saw one of them. Four of my five neighbors have dogs.
It was entertaining to watch her little nose work overtime, sniffing this and that around the yard where other dogs have been. I don’t have a fence, which is why I had to keep her inside. I’m sure she was smelling deer and coyote as well.
Sunday was relatively uneventful but Monday was a doozy. The City Commission met in a session where Charles Love and some of his friends in North Rome turned out a chamber full of people opposed to a rezoning plan that would pave the way for 36 apartments at the corner of Gibbons Street and MLK Boulevard.
The vote ended up in a 4-4 tie, which means the motion to rezone failed. One of the votes against the rezoning came from Commissioner Wendy Davis, who heads a committee that has been focused on increasing the housing stock in Rome.
Davis has caught a lot of heat for her vote and several members of her housing committee have said they won’t be back for any meetings in the future.
Time will tell.
I will also tell you that I was equally befuddled by the zeal of the community in its opposition to the project. North Rome has been begging for attention from the city for years. Charles Love has even suggested the creation of a Tax Allocation District to spur development.
These were going to be very nice apartments. Patrick Cash does not build anything that is not nice. He’s a quality builder with a strong reputation.
His project checked off a lot of the pluses in the discussion regarding new housing and I suspect could have spurred future development in North Rome.
It sounds a little like the community wants to be able to dictate its own growth. That’s cool if they have someone with the deep pockets and sense of love for the community. Thus far, we haven’t met that person.
Truth is, in my opinion the Cash project just wasn’t the right project, in the right location with the wrong price points.
Tuesday and Wednesday were marked by a Metro Task Force crackdown on illicit drug activity along the Martha Berry Boulevard corridor. At least 24 people were arrested in proximity to the numerous dens of iniquity that dot the landscape along the northern entrance to Rome.
It was about this time last year that there was considerable talk about a local group of investors coming to together in an effort to clean up that corridor.
That hasn’t happened yet, either. Maybe someday.
I’ve never so much as put a cigarette to my mouth in my 67 years on the planet. It is beyond my comprehension why someone would want to cook down a combination of decongestants that are mixed with other chemicals, largely pharmaceutical level ingredients now being made in Mexico, and smoke it or inject it into their body.
Friday, the annual Fairview-Brown barbecue was held at the Civic Center. That was a nice change from the controversies and pooch poop fears of the week. Nothing like a good Boston butt to get the Memorial Day weekend off to a rousing start.
Hope you have a great, safe weekend and I would love to see at one of the many Memorial Day events — perhaps the Exchange event at the fairgrounds or the Doughboy celebration in Summerville or the annual gathering at the flagpole in Shannon Monday at noon.
The men and women who died to protect our rights to be ornery and confused deserve to be remembered, revered and honored.