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Street Talk

Downtown Recycling To Kick Off Soon

By Mickey Howley

Malcolm White is Mississippi Development Authority’s Tourism Director. He is the head guy for all tourism in the state. And he is coming to the Valley. Soon. And you will want to hear what he has to say and meet him in person. Not only is he the tourism boss, but also he was director of the Mississippi Arts Commission for seven years and is co-owner of a Jackson landmark eating and entertainment establishment – Hal and Mal’s.
He started the biggest parade in the state, the Jackson St. Patrick’s Day Parade. And of the many things I like about Malcolm, the top reason is he is leading the charge for bringing the creative economy front and center as a driving force in Mississippi’s economic future. In that Creative Economy message he has used Water Valley as a positive example of how creativity is a catalyst for small town revival. We’re one of his good stories.  
I have heard Malcolm speak many times, he is a great speaker. Last year I even had the honor of being on a panel with him, along with Kagan Coughlin and Julia Ray, at the National Main Street conference. He will be here the evening of April 24 for the Chamber of Commerce Banquet and if you are a Chamber or Main Street member or just a Vallian, be there and make it a point to hear what Malcolm has to say.
Coming up this week there is some creative economy in action on Main Street, Friday night from 6 to 9 p.m.
The two art shows opening up this weekend have tag names that are a bit like downtown itself now. “In Progress” and “Things to Come” are the show titles at Yalo Studio and Bozarts Gallery respectively. At Yalo musician-turned-artist Tim Kerr has a series of music inspired art; and at Bozarts Thomas Grosskopf and Bill Warren lead a science fiction fantasy show – along with artists Michael Fedor and Pati D’Amico. The after opening party is at Crawdad Hole Jr. Hot mudbugs and some hotter music. Be out on the street Friday night.
Also out on the street in the coming weeks will be Charlotte White and myself. We will be walking and talking about the new downtown recycling program. Borg Warner and Main Street are starting a recycling program for downtown business. I don’t think the idea of recycling will be a hard sell. Folks have been asking for this for years. And when I talk to people about it, it is almost a generational issue.         Everyone 40 years old and under totally gets why things should be recycled.  Currently there is daily business “trash” pick up for Main Street businesses. That is an important service the city provides and one that keeps the town nice and clean. But, because of that throw-it-all-in-one-big-can method, much recyclable material goes in the truck and to the landfill never to be used again. Period.
That seems like such a pointless waste – no pun intended.

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