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Thumbs Up - Sept. 19, 2011

It was quite a long time ago when Charlie Poole joined the Albany Police Department as a young man. After 28 years, 11 months and 15 days, Capt. Poole said it was time to retire. A celebration luncheon was held for this longtime lawman and, while the honoree is a man of few words, others had plenty to say about him. It is obvious that his demand for excellence for himself and others in the department made a strong impression on those that were fortunate to work along side him. Congratulations, Capt. Charlie Poole, for a stellar career and enjoy many, many years of retirement doing whatever makes you happy.

Some folks have a way of thinking of just the right way to help others. Such was the case when Providence Church purchased new water bottles to be distributed to the homeless in August. With the A Place 4 Hope (AP4H), Salvation Army and Providence Live Love logo bottles, the recipients were able to stay hydrated as they moved about during the day. This was such a simply yet important mission, Thank you first for thinking of this and, secondly, for following through to help those that need it most.

Listening to Susan Hardee play the piano as a regular at the Windsor Hotel in Americus or anywhere else will prove just how much she loves the music and just how good she is! Sure, lots of folks in this part of the state can tickle those ivories and make the listener feel the power of the instrument. Hardee, however, has the opportunity to do what most musicians merely dream about. In May, this talented pianist will take a break from the Windsor to play at Carnegie Hall. That is correct. Hardee has been invited and will be playing Beethoven’s 5th Symphony from memory — all 43 pages of the music. Practice, practice, practice! Way to go.

All across America, services both large and small were held to remember the victims of Sept. 11, 2001, as well as all first responders. Right here in Albany the members of the Dougherty County EMS, firefighters and law enforcement officers were treated to an appreciation lunch by Palmyra Medical Center. Recognizing that while New York City; Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania are a long way from Dougherty County, Georgia, the first responders here do the same work as those who died. In a similar situation, there would be no hesitation to respond, just as their brothers and sisters did 10 years ago. The lunch meant a lot more than just a full belly to those that received it.

Keep Albany-Dougherty Beautiful is one of those local government department that is easy to ignore for a lot of folks. But just imagine what our community would look like without KADB and the picture is bad, very bad. Reviewing just a few of the past “Stash the Trash” events reveals that in 2007, 48 tons of debris was collected; in 2008, 52 tons of debris was collected, and in 2011, 40 tons of debris was collected. That equals 140 tons in just those three years. Thinking of it in elephant equivalents, that would be about the same weight as 30 adult male African elephants, and that’s a lot to think about.

Radium Springs Middle Magnet School of Arts has once again been caught thinking outside of the box. Students can earn access to the newly opened Backstage Cafe reading room at lunchtime. Brooks Furniture donated high-top tables and chairs for the room, which has iPads loaded with books for pleasure reading. The idea is to promote reading at school and what a great way to do just that. Thumbs up!