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Street Talk

By Mickey Howley

Last Saturday the weather was almost perfect for the opening day of the Farmers Market. Other than a stiff breeze out of the north, the temperature was mild with not a cloud in the sky. That’s a big change from the non-average average this spring, with record flooding across the state from heavy down pours all late winter and early spring.

The report from market manager Kevin Guyer is good, growers and vendors seemed happy with sales and turnout. Planning ahead growers have some tender greens and cool weather edibles.

Since it is early for a few summer crops, some of the green stuff at this market will be plant starts. There’s still plenty of tomatoes ready to plant. I’m looking forward to my first tomato sandwich on toasted sourdough with Tabasco-laced mayonnaise. 

Plus, growers will have basil plants, walking onions, sorrel, mint, oregano, thyme, aloe and lemon balm. There is nothing like a small home garden to supplement stuff you buy at the Farmers Market.  If you don’t have a small herb section ready to cut and immediately use by your house, let me suggest it is a great thing to have by adding fresh flavor to all your cooking. The market will be going again, this Saturday from 9 to noon under the big magnolia in Railroad Park. 

While the growing season is starting, the legislative season is over for this year. A bill to continue supporting the state historic tax credit passed in the house 113-2. That overwhelming vote is no wonder as the tax credit actually makes money for the state treasury. Not only does the state treasure get money via increased revenue the credit creates, the state historic tax credit is one of the few state incentives for small town business people and historic downtown developers. 

This bill never got a vote in the Senate, never made it out of the finance committee. You’d think a popular bill in the house with 98 percent support would at least get a chance for a senate vote. Nope, it is an election year and the lieutenant governor controls the Senate and he is, for whatever reason, against this. 

Too bad as the governor would have certainly signed the bill and small town Main Street economic development across the state would have benefited, as well as the state treasury. Not to be this year.

One of the bright spots this year was the Future Caucus. It is a national wide movement of under 40 (in age) legislators, regardless of party affiliation, to address millennial and future generations issues and issues in general from a younger perspective. To be in you just have to be under 40 and elected to a senate or house position. Mississippi has such a group, with several representatives in their 20s and 30s.  They’re well aware that Mississippi is number one in losing people in their age group.

“We have yet to give young people a reason to stay and invest in Mississippi,” says Jeramey Anderson, a 27-year-old state representative from Moss Point. He co-chairs the Mississippi Future Caucus. “I remember being in high school and 80 percent of my senior class was like, ‘I can’t wait to get out of Mississippi,’” said Anderson. “It’s hurtful as a citizen.”  

 The House tried this year, the Senate might have, too, given the chance.

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