Friday, June 30, 2006

"Showfest" Departs Delta

Dear fellow MiniTruckers,

It is with great regret that I inform you that ASSORTED has decided to cancel SHOWFEST for an indefinite period––possibly forever.

We want to thank everyone who helped us build a club run show from the ground up. We were honored over the years and awed by your enthusiasm and support. Thank you so much for the friendships, the sponsorships, and the volunteers who worked so hard to pull off what seemed like impossible odds at times. We hope we’ve given you some great memories and good times.

Among some of our reasons for this decision are (but not limited to) escalating costs, loss of the Burn Center, safety concerns, lack of dialog with some city officials, negative media, lack of sponsorships, decreasing attendance, and the logistics of trying to move the show to a new location. All of which would have to be overcome by just eight members. And quite honestly...we need a break. It was not an easy decision and we hope that you will understand.

Again, THANK YOU for 11 great years!

Peace out,

“Chunks” Burnley

Whether you are a Showfest fan or not, here is another economic loss for Greenville. Some will say good riddance; others will truly miss a unique festival that brought many tourists and dollars to our city. Surely, somewhere between literary festivals and hot-rods, Greenville will find an event that it will support. Good luck, Chunks.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

"Scales" Weighs the Options

I have to assume the plan to build a new federal building would be at the taxpayers expense. Agreeing with Forthright WHY!!!.

It has always been apparent to myself that the Feds have always maintained a high level of maintenance for any of their facilities. I wonder now if this becomes a reality where will the new convention center be built? What economy affect will this produce along Walnut St.? What effect it will have on any plans to build a Blues Quarters? What effect it would have on the lingering question of the city to claim Eminent Domain in this area? Could it be that plans to build a convention center or Blues Quarters could possibly be that all these future plans, which we the citizens have no knowledge of, will be moved to the land site of the old Chicago mill area?

Understanding that the possibility that this new building may be in completion with the city of Cleveland in Bolivar County. Just thinking along here, would the new building better serve the people since the new interstate would be coming through Bolivar County with a new bridge at Rosedale. Have we compared the growth rate of Greenville to Cleveland? Do the feds view Greenville as a dying town? Does the Federal Government want Federal business mixed in with week end street parties along Walnut St.? All that property would then become federal property which would include a large parking area possibility consuming the entire block?

If I were a betting man, my money would be on Cleveland where a lot of the federal dollars are being spent for the bridge and interstate. As far as the revitalization contribution stated by the Chamber, I applaud their thoughts and comments, but that's what dreams are made of. Where it stands now has had no impact on the revitalization effort so how would one block down contribute? The new imprinted streets made no significant contributions, Walnut St. has made no outstanding contributions, I would hesitate to even suggest that four lanes of Washington Ave. will be [no] benefit. In my opinion relocating to Cleveland would be more beneficial to Greenville. We then would have lease space in the vacant offices for a variety of local business, Attorney's etc.

Like I said I was just thinking.


Scales poses some excellent questions regarding the impact that a new federal building might have on other proposed downtown revitalization projects. If the Blues Quarter proposal does become a reality, it would seem that a large federal building in the middle of an entertainment district might seem a bit out of place. A modern convention center would certainly attract more people to the downtown area than a new federal building.

As for Cleveland being the Feds' new home, it is certainly a possibility. Cleveland is a thriving community that is extremely involved in recruiting new industry and commerce. If the I-69 route stays as proposed, Cleveland will certainly gain the lion's share of economic benefits.

I have to agree with Scales that linking downtown revitalization with a new federal building seems a bit of a stretch. I will admit that a trip to Lowe's will kill the better part of a boring afternoon, but I just can't see myself calling a friend and saying, "Let's go down to that new federal building and get us a couple of new social security cards".... well, not for a few more years anyway.


Sunday, June 25, 2006

Boon or Boon-doggle?

I read with great interest, the article in today's DDT regarding the building of a new federal building. One proposed site is the old Stein Mart location, literally one block away from the federal building's current location. The only thing I did not understand from the article is why we need a new federal building. If I am not mistaken, the current structure was build in the 1960's and designed for the then perceived "growth" of Greenville.

The last time I was in the federal building, it did not seem dilapidated or in severe disrepair. Sure, it is a bit dated, but does that warrant the expenditure of countless tax dollars for a new building?

Since the main post office will remain in its current location, what is the plan for the rest of the current federal building? If there is no plan, my guess would be that the net result of this project will yield two things: first, increased tax liability for all residents and second, more empty space in downtown Greenville.

Sure, it would be great to see a new facility being built in downtown Greenville, but it would also be great to drive down Main extended and not have to dodge pot holes or "hazard markers", (the city's latest low cost solution).

I am not opposed to any project which will help Greenville regain its once vital downtown; however, I do not understand how moving an existing service building one block away is going to enhance the downtown. Will it provide new or better services and create jobs? Will its new location be more convenient... one block away? Maybe I am behind the 8 ball on this one, but I would love for someone to reveal the logic and inherent value behind this building proposal.


L.R. says, "Get real!"

It's regrettable to see so many excellent homes lose value due to civic/social circumstances. But, regarding appraised values in the area, I always questioned the methods by which the appraisers could value Greenville homes so much. In many cases, it seems highly unrealistic.

Likewise, I find the tax valuations always dubious because there's no way land values can be rising. For instance, there's a house on Deer Creek listed for $500,000. Get real! Maybe someone told the owners they could get that amount - and maybe they will - but Geez it seems high given a strict buyers' market that exists in parts of Greenville and other areas around Washington. I think there are great values in property in the area if you're into owning rental properties. They're bought cheap and can be profitable. That's one stock in which I buy - the area's rental scene. I'd also buy options in the local steakhouses, which are excellent.

Local Reflector

I agree with L.R. that local property values seem a bit inflated; however, there is a great difference between the listing price and the selling price. Apparently, someone places a high value on our property. I received my home-owner's escrow account statement last week and both my property taxes and home-owner's insurance had increased almost 2.5%. It appears that the "price" of Greenville is falling, while its "costs" just keep going up.


Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Price of Greenville

"red white&blue" poses the following question:

If the city of Greenville was listed on the stock market how much would the purchase price be and how many shares would you be willing to buy?

I was born and raised here. I have lived here most of my life. You really get a different picture of Greenville if you move away and come back. I have done that on several occasions with my job. I remember the Greenville of old and to see her as it is today makes me want to cry. To see KDH closed, to see General hospital (DRMC as you know it today) and to see Washington Ave. with its closed business it is so sad, To see crime like it is. I don't personally believe we have had 54% drop in violent crime. There is a lot of crime that the general public is not aware of.

This is a very interesting question. If you judge the worth of a city by its collective property values, Greenville is certainly a buyer's market. Many long time home owners in Greenville are bailing out as property values decline. Several homeowners who have invested thousands of dollars in improving their homes are being forced to take below appraised value in order to sell.

A home is generally considered one of the largest investments we make, and like all investments, we would like to see at least a nominal return on our investment. Here lies the problem. Supply far exceeds demand. Very few people are moving into Greenville. Most of the local home sales are citizens who are either leaving Greenville or moving south of town.

Real estate is much like the stock market. You invest on the assumption that you will turn a profit over time. In reality, Greenville is not a very promising investment, residentially or commercially. We all remain hopeful that projects like I-69 or the Blues Quarter will come to fruition and turn Greenville around; however, it is difficult to project what Greenville will look like ten years from now. I welcome all thoughts on this matter.


Monday, June 19, 2006

"Bill" Booms Out!

1. What is good or getting better about Greenville?

  • Public Education is actually improving at least in the lower grades. I don't know why. Maybe the salaries are drawing in greater qualifications and teaching ability?
  • The city leaders are actually improving in actually doing something rather than talking about what could be done?

2. On the other hand (here it goes) why is it that we pat ourselves on the back so much about our success with "race relations" when in reality there is just as much animosity from the black community, or vice versa depending on one's, ah, perspective. Why don't we just admit there are some differences we can't stand about each other and state those differences? OK now, let's start telling what we don't like about each others' culture or whatever you want to call it.

  • Boom Boom car radios. Why do I still hear it and why are there no tickets issued or fines paid?
  • Why is there a driver's insurance liability law and I haven't heard of one person ticketed or fined or paid a fine?
  • Why doesn't the DDT publish municipal court arrests, convictions and fines levied and/or paid; and why not publish bankruptcies; why not publish more DRMC letters (I know; it's the advertising budget!)

Add yours here later!

"Bill" raises two very important issues here. First, there are aspects of our community which are improving, like elementary education and a reportedly lower crime rate. And for all the heat that Mayor Hudson has endured, we have seen more action of late from our public officials. Perhaps the tide is turning and we are uniting to attack the actual issues that plague Greenville, rather than blaming the "other" group for their existence.

As to Bill's Boom Box issue, it begs the question "why have laws on the books that we don't enforce?" Well, first of all, I would bet that fines have been levied for all of these offences (on occasion). Secondly, laws have a two-fold purpose. One is to punish those who violate them and the other is to serve as a deterrent to those who may consider such actions. Laws reflect a society's values; their enforcement reflects its culture.

While a headline in the DDT proclaiming, "Ten Boom Boxers Busted" might bring joy to the hearts of many, it would spark just as much criticism from those who feel that the police could better utilize their time tracking guns and drugs. Bill's points are well taken.

By the way, since 1912, it has been illegal for a motor vehicle operator to back a moving vehicle from a private driveway onto a public thoroughfare. (But let's just keep that one to ourselves...)


Saturday, June 17, 2006

Speak Up Delta!

Okay, it has been over a week since I took the reins as blog-master of the Delta Scoop and no one has submitted any commentaries. I have had several congratulatory messages expressing gratitude for saving the "Scoop", but no real issues on which to expound. Surely, we can not have exhausted all topics of local interest.

Here is one of my concerns. In discussing with friends some of the previous issues addressed on the Scoop, it has been said to me, "I started to write something, but I don't write very well."; or "I wanted to respond, but I thought I would sound stupid."

Okay, let's address three basic points:

  1. This is not a writing contest. It is a blog dealing with local opinions, views and beliefs.
  2. The reason contributors are anonymous is to allow everyone to voice his/her thoughts without fear of being "labeled" or personally ridiculed.
  3. This should be fun! If you want national news or sports, check CNN, but for lively debate and discussion of local topics, the "Scoop" is your place!
As a long time reader, I truly enjoy the spirited "verbal volleys" that often arise on the Scoop. Most of all, I enjoy knowing that there are still people in our community who care about local issues and want to see the Delta grow and prosper. The value of this forum is that it stimulates thought and discussion among us, which is always the first step toward change.

Now, I am off of my soapbox, so hopefully, you will get on yours! Let's hear from you. I am always open to suggestions and new ideas. Let's hear the good, the bad and even the bizarre... so just speak up Delta!


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

"MuchIsUnjust" writes:

Welcome Forthright. I look forward to reading the Scoop under new leadership. Perhaps you should have chosen "Forthwright", meaning that you will be a workman straightforward and direct in your leadership of Delta Scoop.

Thanks, "Much"! There are many meanings to the moniker that I have chosen, yours being one that I certainly hope to live up to. The Delta Scoop already has some excellent contributors, all of whom I hope will stay with me. I also want to reach out to those who remain silent on topics of local interest. Everyone has ideas, beliefs and opinions... so bring 'em on Delta. I will always be Forthright!

Monday, June 12, 2006


"Cautious Optimist" writes:

Glad that someone's agreed to carry the blog forward. Although the discussions get a bit heated (or, more often, simply sarcastic) at times, I believe that outlets such as this do serve a healthy function.

A Bold New Adventure

Never let a good thing go... and the Delta Scoop is a good thing! As an avid reader of the "Scoop", I could not sit idly by and see the Local Reflector's diligent efforts to solicit our ideas, views and beliefs, simply become a historical footnote.

Therefore, with great trepidation, I have agreed to take the reins as the Delta Scoop's new "Blog-master". Having no experience on this side of a blog, I ask that you all be patient with my technical skills. Local Reflector has agreed to remain active throughout this transition for which I am truly grateful.

No, I do not know the identity of the "Local Reflector". I accepted his invitation to continue the Delta Scoop as blindly as he offered it. I only hope that I can live up to the tradition of lively conversation that sparks new ideas. I am very appreciative of LR's trust in me to continue his "brain-child" in the true spirit of debate. I also want to thank all of those who have shared their ideas on the Delta Scoop and hope you will continue. This is a forum about ideas, opinions, and beliefs. It's goal is to stimulate thought and conversation. It has certainly done that for me.

Since LR wishes to retain his well deserved moniker, I shall assume the name "Forthright".

Much Appreciation to All

LR writes:

Thanks for those of you still dropping by to see if anything's written on Delta Scoop. To think of how many blogs are on the Internet, this one grabs a small slice of interested and often like-minded people. I'm one of those people and I bet we've shared many a common thoughts despite the "heat" generated by the various topics that arise.

I spent the weekend setting up Delta Scoop so I may turn the reigns over to the new blogmaster as seamlessly as possible. I think I've nearly achieved it and will maintain co-publishing duties until we're both confident that the new blogmaster can man the controls. It isn't hard but it does take time.

You'll notice that you may leave guest comments by using the comments link underneath each posted commentary. If you click it, a box pops up and you may write anonymously or offer a moniker such as "Property Owner," "Big Head" or "Scales" (already taken). If you think you'll contribute more than once, conjure a nickname and stick with it. It helps you develop your online character and makes for stimulating other readers' imaginations with thoughts of "I wonder who that person really is?"

To those who've corresponded with me via email, I written quick notes to tell them of the change of writers and to request they continue active readership. In some cases, I offended one-time supporters more than I ever dreamed possible. I wrote them as well to say "come back." That's because a new line of thinking, maybe different, maybe not, will emerge soon.

The responsibility of serving even dozen of readers on a daily basis is not one taken lightly. This new blogmaster, in my opinion, must set aside twenty minutes a day towards maintaining the Scoop at its present level of discussion. It takes twenty minutes for me to sit and type a commentary of thoughts on most days. It's much easier, quicker and interesting when some of you offer your opinions on a regular basis. The writers behind the names "Solemnis," "Oneheckuvajob," "Delta Watchdog," "Scales," "Property Owner" and the brief tenure "Eleanorigby" contributed handsomely while keeping the variety of opinion fresh.

One nice article a week from seven people means the Delta Scoop gets a quality thought of someone who cares about the community. This is in addition to new blogmaster's contributions/answers/challenges to what others are saying. The blogmaster should be one who challenges you whether you like the opinion or not. He/She should also exercise taste and decorum to control the nasty side effects that WILL arise from offering anonymous thoughts on most any topic under the sun. It's a learning process that will pay off with a sense of inner pride and volunteer public service, no matter how unique that public service.

I know that several readers are people who've moved far away, yet still feel a connection with an area where they've invested many years. Don't think you can't contribute because you're not within the Delta or Greenville. You lived there and have thoughts, concerns and praises about your former home. By all means, share it! I think it prevented a few out-of-towners from offering thoughts because they thought it didn't matter. Well, I moderated Delta Scoop from out-of-town for several months and held my own while allow former neighbors and friends a place to type/write what topics they deemed necessary. The Internet places us in every geographical area we choose.

I must confess that I did edit people's guest commentaries, since so many guests (mostly angry at my philosophical stance) accused me of wielding the knife. On about half the commentaries, I went in and corrected the spelling and grammatical errors that popped up when proofreading! That's it! I did that as much as possible to clarify a person's statement and the cover their tracks because they may've been tired or something when offering a guest comment. I never said a word about people's spelling because their opinion and their sharing of that opinion is of most importance.

Now, it's my understanding that the new blogmaster is busy conjuring a great new "blogmaster" name. I was gonna relinquish my "Local Reflector" title, but realized that meant I lost my entire account permanently and couldn't post on Red Dog's blog or on Delta Scoop without creating a new identity. was the one kink we couldn't work out.

If you have a nifty name for the new blogmaster/publisher, email it to this person's new "official" Delta Scoop email address:


Have a great Monday and let's keep local thought rolling! Heck, go ahead and venture a new commentary to get the new blogmaster up and publishing!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

LR writes:

I'm a statistics person and if the Feds say violent crimes are down over 50%, then I'll take it and congratulate the area for the crackdown! For the longest time, it seemed nothing worked in the effort to slice into the violent trends, but federal intervention seems to be working. It worked in Clarksdale as well during its gang heyday of earlier this decade. Even if they're fudging the stats somewhat, which is equally believable, I'll take the crime data as proof of a better city security situation.

I would like to know which crimes are being listed in compiling a 50% decrease in violent crime. It appears obvious but selective choices can make statistics go up and down. Murders - one in the past year - is wonderful news; it's so wonderful it's nearly unbelievable. My theory is that the violence of recent years was mostly the work of the underworld - victims were targeted over random violence where simple robberies turn deadly, for example. Once a purge is completed, violence would drop, maybe not completely, but it would be reduced.

Sunday's DDT is correct in its editorial. The numbers don't lie and if these statistics continue as they're going (though going 11 months without murder cannot be improved), then perceptions will change.

Maybe the city will release data on the less-than-high-profile crimes like burglary, vandalism and robbery. Maybe I should say that I hope the city will release honest data in those fields. Even if it isn't as good as the murder rate dropping, it could outline challenge for the next local frontier in making Greenville feel safe and be safe for the 90% of its citizens who play by the rules.


Progress is being made on a transfer of the Scoop to someone who, I think, will act in a noble fashion and continue a fine little tradition here. I know I'll be contributing through guest comments, but you'll have someone on the ground to be relevant.

Have a nice Sunday!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Is Bennie the Best Choice?

LR writes: Okay, since someone's stepped forward with great interest, and the intellect, to continue Delta Scoop, I'll offer another commentary to keep things flowing. I was around long enough to live under the representation of Bennie Thompson and to see the challengers come and go. Earlier this week, "Red Dog" on said he's the best the Delta will receive in the U.S. House and cited Congressman Thompson's growing seniority, which means closer steps to chairmanships and other preferred positions.

I commend the Thompson campaign for handily eliminating State Rep. Chuck Espy. The Espy name is recognized nationally and many thought this would be his toughest primary challenge to date. Maybe, by statistics, it was tougher than other primaries, but it was still a landslide choice by Second District Democrats and revealed that Mr. Thompson has a "base of support" within the larger "base" called Democratic voters.

Next is Tchula's Republican mayor Yvonne Brown. We know there aren't enough Republicans to win Thompson's seat without high numbers of crossover votes. Clinton Leseuer tapped a disgruntled Democrat core and came within seven percentage points of toppling Thompson four years ago.

Clinton B. lost by twelve points overall, so stealing seven of those would've put in Washington, D.C. Can Brown do it?

It might be a little more likely because she actually won an election as a Republican and as a Deltan. But, she's East Delta and I don't think the name recognition is there. Congressman Thompson has name recognition and political machines in all the larger Delta towns and has "get out the vote" machines in the small towns and rural areas where bestowing federal grants and calming fears of investigations make him Godfather-like. On first glance, I say expect a Thompson re-election.

Is Thompson the best leader for the area?

Well, he's what you'll get as long as keeps doing what he's doing and controlling the local politicians. That's the way politics works behind the scenes and he's good at it. The Seniority issues don't bother me as much in terms of his possible chairmanship of House committees. Red Dog touts the seniority issue and the chance Democrats have of possibly claiming a U.S. House majority. It's a plausible hypothesis, but Congressman Thompson WAS in the Agricultural Committee, then was moved to Homeland Security. Both are important, but WHICH is more directly important to the Delta? Hint: Think agriculture. But, with a House majority, he'd chair Homeland Security - no small job. You make up your mind; I've made up mine and prefer the Agriculture Committee. Sorry Red Dog.

The simple fact to assume is the notion of what's "good living" or a high quality of life in Mississippi's Delta. If you think you enjoy such an experience and that the elements of the world which are semi-controlled with federal dollars (schools, some roads, etc) are bettering your daily life better than it could be obtained outside the 2nd District, then I recommend supporting Thompson. Popular media has told us for years that things are great and that trends are reversing; you've read it and I've read it. If not, and you want other leadership, then begin developing strategies for the crowd that can't tell you anything about politics yet vote in enough numbers to influence local elections. The concentration of those voting based on name recognition alone, in my opinion, is quite high - negating these stacked "debates" at Valley or whereever else where issues are discussed but really the Bennie's opponent is mocked in an unprofessional manner while the crowd hoots, howls and laughs. I saw the Lesueur/Thompson debate a couple of years ago in person.

I left it thinking that casting any ballot was a waste of time.


I, LR, believe it is coming very soon and it's great to be able to have a locally-based person assume leadership. There are a few transitional things to work out, but I think it can happen smoothly. I'll still carry an interest and will post, but the leader will be someone with eyes and ears in around the area.
I'll ask you to remember two websites on which the Delta Scoop may be found. These two websites both work 24/7, so if one goes down or changes, the other will be there. - That's obvious. I paid for one year's access to this address and will try to transfer it to the new blogmaster if I can and if the Scoop continues as it has. - this is actually the backbone web address offered by the folks at (hosts of the Delta Scoop blog site). It's permanent as long as the blog is updated and survives. No worldwide Internet authority controls its name.
Either of these addresses take you to the same place. Jot them both down if you visit often. I use them both just to check things out.