-- — THUMBS UP: To Wild Adventures for its continuing efforts to present fun and entertaining attractions while revving South Georgia’s economic engines by bringing more people to Valdosta and Lowndes County. This week, Wild Adventures announced two new rides which should be up and running by the opening of the 2013 season. Also, the park kicks off its haunted Halloween events this weekend.
THUMBS UP: To the interest shown this week during a property to auction 112 parcels of land. One person owned these properties and houses and placed them up for auction. The one-day auction attracted buyers from the region, as well as ones from out of state. Given the condition of several of these properties, we hope the new owners invest more than just their winning bids into these houses ... otherwise, this thumbs up could become a thumbs down.
THUMBS UP: To Valdosta State University student Jebidiah Light for developing Jebbles.com, a website to help college students buy and sell textbooks to one another at reasonable prices. The website has found acceptance in other campus communities outside of VSU. Light does not expect or try to profit from his innovation. He views it as a public service to his fellow students.
THUMBS UP: To the Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts for kicking off a new Presenter Series with the riveting “King Michael.” The Michael Jackson tribute show featured multiple performers playing the King of Pop in various stages of his mulit-talented career. The Presenter Series brings professional, touring shows to Valdosta. The arts center even reduced the ticket prices so more people could enjoy “King Michael.”
THUMBS DOWN: To the Georgia Department of Natural Resources for allowing a private contractor to take over management of two of the state’s most popular parks. State parks are built by taxpayers, owned by taxpayers, and are there for the enjoyment of taxpayers. They should be maintained as not-for-profit facilities, not upscale elite resorts. Shame on our elected officials for allowing this to happen. If the department is losing money, then call for a full audit, review of their programs and their management, and take action accordingly. Don’t cheapen our state’s natural resources by abdicating your fiscal irresponsibility. If Coral Hospitality can turn a profit from these parks, why can’t the state?