Thumbs Up! April 28, 2014

ALBANY HERALD EDITORIAL BOARD: Good news to start the week

Regardless of how the Darton State College softball team fares in the post season, it has been a great year for this group of Lady Cavs. Under the superb coaching of Eric Neel, in his first year at Darton, the team ended the regular season on a 16-game winning streak. Ranked 15th in the nation, the Lady Cavs had much to celebrate on the last day of play with a sweep of a double-header against Andrew College. In the first game, pitcher Savannah Carlisle threw the first no-hitter of the season while she and her teammates racked up 12 runs. In the second game it was the same song, second verse with an 8-0 shutout, which made five shutouts in the last 10 games. As if that were not enough, the sweep gave the Lady Cavs a perfect 18-0 season at home. How sweet it is.

It may be voluntary but that by no means means it is easy to gain accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The process is a rigorous one that Darton State College’s RN to BSN program has successfully completed. Students with an associate degree in nursing are equipped with additional skills in management, leadership, health promotion, community health and research. The need for nurses is a big one and graduates from such an esteemed program as the one at Darton are the cream of the crop.

The idea of establishing miniature libraries throughout the community was not an original one for Melissa Strother, but she can certainly be credited with making it happen in Albany. Her first “Littlest Library on the Block” held its grand unveiling a week or so ago in the Rawson Circle neighborhood, the first of what Strother hopes will be great in number. It truly is a simple concept. Anyone can fix up a small box that can hold a few books and place it within easy access of readers. There is no paperwork to complete or identity check and no late fees. Users are asked to “take one now and leave one later.” Currently there are about 6,000 little libraries across the country and Strother hopes to add substantially to that number. Plans are already in the making for one of the libraries to be placed at the Albany Civil Rights Institute, the new Senior Life Enrichment Center and at Albany City Commissioner B.J. Fletcher’s restaurant. Get on board this project, the more the merrier.

Speaking of reading, four young girls at Sylvester Elementary School read a book about a stray dog that had to go to the pound. The story made such an impression on the quartet that they decided to collect money to help the animals at Worth County’s Best Friends Humane Society. Over the course of two months, the fourth grade girls collected $189.67. A special thank you goes out to Raelee Crosby, Kylie Barnes, Gracie Willis and Leah Sumner.

Days can be long and quite stressful for the patients (and staff) at Phoebe’s Behavior Health Center. Due to the generosity of many donors, the Phoebe Foundation has given the center funds that will allow for re-painting of both the adult and geriatric inpatient floors with soothing colors. Also from the $40,000 donation will come an artwork stipend for local art renderings to be placed throughout the geriatric floor. Studies have shown that dementia and Alzheimer patients benefit from localized artwork as it helps with memory recall and works to reduce stress. In addition, quiet rooms will be provided on both floors with new furniture and activities aimed at coping with stress and anger management. This will be money well spent.