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Darts and daisies, daisies and darts

Staff column

POSTED: March 11, 2017 8:00 a.m.
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Jeff Whitten is managing editor of the Coastal Courier and Bryan County News.

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At my first paper some 20 years ago there was a middle-aged, bespectacled and be-permed teacher named Ginger something-or-the other who regularly wrote a column called "Darts and Daisies."

In her weekly column, ol’ Ginger tossed written darts at the things and people who hacked her off and gave a symbolic bunch of daisies to those and that of which she approved. It was obviously the kind of stuff that made the Garden Club sit up and take notice.

Despite that, I have decided to resurrect Ginger’s formula for a trial run. Imitation being the sincerest form of flattery.

I’m even going to call it Darts and Daisies, at least until I can think of something original. It has to be alliterative. I keep coming up with stuff you can’t print in a family paper, so I’m open for suggestions. Rhubarbs and Roses? Purplenurples or Picassos? Nags and Nods? Shut up and go home?

I know. Help.

In the meantime.

Dart: The Liberty County Board of Education. Look folks, I don’t want to tell you how to run your business and I understand it is probably frustrating dealing with a herd of educational bureaucrats who think the rest of us are a bunch of know-nothing sea slugs who shouldn’t be let anywhere near a classroom. Especially when they start getting all lawyered-up and threaten to sue each other.

But why, pray tell, does someone who voluntarily leaves a job at the end of an academic year get a full year’s severance pay?

Does that same principle apply to principals? How about teachers? And what about parapros and lunch room ladies, who probably need the money far more than someone who’s been pulling in six figures for years.

If they tell you they’re going to finish out this school year and go somewhere else, do they get a year’s salary as a going away present?

And folks in government wonder why folks outside government distrust them so.

Daisy: To the Hinesville Downtown De

velopment Authority for the Small World Festival. We live in a diverse world and some folks don’t like that, no they don’t. Some folks hate when they ought to appreciate. That’s why festivals like Small World are increasingly important, if only to remind us that people are people. So here go some daisies, HDDA. Thanks.

Dart: Pooler’s fascination with big shiny things. Yep. I can hear the sales pitch now:

"Wait, here’s an idea. Let’s stick a giant brightly lit electronic billboard on the side of I-95 in this heavily congested area and, to make sure everybody driving from back to New York from Miami will see it when they go through Pooler, let’s put it a couple hundred feet up in the air and make it 100 feet wide. Never mind at least some of those folks are driving 90 mph. They don’t need to pay attention to their smart phones, they need to know they’re in Pooler, Georgia, one of the fastest growing hotspots this side of the sun. So let’s show them a 10-foot-wide mugshot of our Chamber Ambassador of the Month in high-def, with her name underneath so they’ll have to take their eyes of their mobile Facebook app to read it."

To which somebody obviously answered, "Great idea. Make it so."

Daisy: The Liberty County High School and First Presbyterian boys basketball teams, for their sustained on-court excellence.

Daisy: The folks at Keep Liberty Beautiful who, well, keep Liberty beautiful.

Daisy: Longtime Courier freelancer Lewis Levine for his art exhibit. Lewis, a retired Army NCO, has been covering breaking news for this newspaper and area TV stations for almost two decades. He’s also one of my favorite people, which is good since he routinely tends to call and wake me up with the worst news imaginable.

His "Patriotic Portraits" exhibit at the Hinesville Area Arts Council Gallery at 102 Commerce St. in downtown Hinesville runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Thursday through the rest of March. Go see it. Tell Lewis I sent you. Just don’t give him your cell number.

Dart: Congress. Just because this is America and if I want to throw one of Ginger’s darts at Congress I can, and there’s not a confounded thing they can do about it. Except keep on doing what they’re doing, I guess, which is bad enough.

Daisy: President Donald Trump, who by virtue of being elected president is proof positive of what a great public education system we have that Trump appointed Betsy DeVos wants to dismantle. Or something.

Disclaimer: Personally I want the man to do well for all of us. My folks voted for him. And they’re the coolest people I know.

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