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February 14, 1978 Around Adair with Ed Waggener

The article below first appeared in the February 14, 1978 edition of the Adair County News. Topics included downtown traffic, sidewalks, and the dogwood project. --Pen

By Ed Waggener

Is etiquette all that's needed?
Helen Flatt thinks there may be a really simple solution to the traffic problems in downtown Columbia. "Why don't we just try a little courtesy for a while?" she asks. "That might do more to unsnarl it than all the traffic pattern changes and added policemen could ever do." It is a novel idea: Courtesy. Simply good manners.

But it might work.

We're short one police car
Columbia has recently added two more police cars. At first it was said that the two old cars would be sold for surplus, but now that talk is dying.

There is another way of looking at it. With nine people in the police department, and only four cars, that means that if they all are riding at one time, then three of them would have to ride in one car!

How can we ever hold our heads up in the world if our police personnel, at times, have to ride three in a car?

Now they can get to bottom of problem
Last week, Chief Charles Cropper announced a crackdown on double parking, parking in the sidestreets, and meter violations.

Well and good.

Even though the newspaper office has had some of the worst offenders so far as parking in the side streets.

We really have too many people working there with too little parking space available.

For the inconveniences we have caused others, I personally apologize. Further, our whole plant owes the long patient Crawford Loy an apology for using his private parking lot for newspaper employees.

I'm publicly asking our employees not to park on Reed Street and not to use Mr. Loy's parking lot. (He has never complained, but he should have, long ago.)

The real nitty-gritty
Now for the real solution to the parking problem. Immediately, the police department ought to add traffic direction at peak times of the day.

I wouldn't complain about the size of the police department-too large for the job we get done now-if the police would tend to their biggest problem, traffic flow.

They know it, the Council knows it, and the Mayor knows it: Two or three well- trained former MP's working four hours per day each could solve the traffic problem.

We needed Chief Cropper's crackdown on the parking violators. But we need traffic direction even more.

Benefits of the dogwood trip
The Dogwood Expedition returned from McMinnville, Tennessee, Friday night after a two day stay in the nursery capitol of the United States. Aboard Captain J.U. "Shot" Rogers land yacht were Rogers, the pilot, Ralph Waggener, County Agent Wayne Livesay, CETA Supervisor Ralph Sneed, Mayor Coy Downey, and UK Horticulture Specialist Mr. Robert McNeil.

The group visited several nurseries in McMinnville, and we now have prices on dogwood plants. They report that seedlings can be purchased for as little as 20c each, but they aren't recommending that size. They say it would take five years for them to give any show.

What they are recommending is $4 per plant dogwoods which are already 48" tall. These are hardy plant which have the roots wrapped in a burlap covered sod ball. They stand the best chance of living.

Probably, many who have pledged to set out dogwoods will want to hear the alternatives, and we'll be contacting each person before actually buying them. The price range is 20c to $4 and more. But you get what you pay for.

The larger dogwoods will give a blossom show the first or second year, and that is why the committee is recommending them.

Nurseries are good businesses
The trip was impressive to County Agent Wayne Livesay, who is always looking for additional sources of income for Adair County farmers. The Adair Countians were told, authoritatively, that 20 of the 200 nurseries gross over $1 million each! Just those 20 nurseries sell more than three times the value of Adair County's tobacco crop, and almost two and one-half times the value of Adair County's milk production!

Put in another light, the 20 top nurseries' production is one and one-third the value of the entire Adair County Agricultural production.

We are not suggesting that Adair County go into competition with McMinnville. In many ways it is impossible. But several McMinnville nurserymen did suggest that there would be a market for several plants they can sell but cannot grow. The difference in the climate in the 165 miles from here to there is enough to give us a growing advantage, they say.

Livesay is checking the possibilities. The plants might be grown on contracts.

An important factor: Vast acreage is not so necessary for nurseries. They are labor-intensive enterprises, not so much capital-intensive ones.

If you think you've heard the suggestion that Adair Countians get into the nursery business before, you likely have. Former Mayor Rives Kerbow, who is also Adair County's top authority on landscaping, has advocated it for years.

BOR Funds for pedestrians?
I'm told by county officials that funds are available from the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation for almost any kind of outdoor recreational activity. I wonder if they've thought of walking and bike riding as an outdoor recreation. It's true that these activities are considered too practical by many to be deemed a sport, but there are those who walk or ride bikes for the sheer exercise. The trouble is that there are very few safe places in Adair County to either walk or ride a bike.

These activities ought to have priority over vehicular traffic. If they were considered more important, many of our traffic congestion, energy problems, and, more importantly, expensive health problems, would just go away.

But look at the situation in recent snow, when we spent thousands of dollars for snow removal from the streets and a pittance for sidewalk cleaning.

A lot of people could have been saved from going stir crazy if the sidewalks had been kept clean.

Fortunately, Columbia has a few people, such as Ocil Bryant of 302 Jamestown Street. He retired a few years back from his job with a printing firm in Cincinnati and he and his wife, Oma, chose Columbia as a place to live.

It was good for Columbia, because Ocil Bryant is an exceptional citizen. Every time it snowed, he cleaned the sidewalk which runs in front of his house.

Pedestrians appreciated it. I still hear the regular walkers say how fine a deed Mr. Bryant's snow removal from the sidewalk was.

If we would get the City and the County to match Mr. Bryant's enthusiasm for pedestrian comfort (and for bicycle routes), we'd have a better, healthier community.

This story was posted on 2019-08-18 15:13:12
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Epicurean Kentuckian: early days of editor's food comments

2019-08-18 - Columbia - Photo very likely made by Trilby Harvey Vance of her sister Elaine Harvey Bennett.
In all the years of news coverage, food was among those things central to the writings of Ed Waggener. Here, he wrote on the photo, "I like the food at Angels' ... - s/Ed Waggener." Angels Cafe was located on Campbellsville Street in the 70s.

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