Category Archives: Citywide

Nice crowd for Saturday city comp plan forum

Mayor Bell signs in Aug comp plan. acnatta/Flickr.The competition was stiff Saturday morning, including this year’s Sidewalk Film Festival & a couple of large meetings across town. In spite of those other options, a crowd of at least 250 people gathered at the Birmingham Museum of Art for the final scheduled public forum for Birmingham’s comprehensive plan process.

Birmingham mayor William Bell even stopped by and signed in. He also opened the three-hour session with remarks. Fox 6’s Steve Crocker served as the event’s moderator.

Those in attendance learned about some of the recommendations being considered for the final document, which will soon be made available both online via the project’s official website and at your local Birmingham Public Library branch for a period of public comment. The plan will then need to be adopted by both the city’s planning commission and City Council.

There’s a more detailed description written by forum attendee (& Birmingham News business reporter) Roy Williams and posted yesterday. There’s also this piece of commentary over on Dear Birmingham from earlier today wondering about what else needs to happen to make this a reality.

Witherspoon to share state of city schools, tax increase proposal

Craig Witherspoon speaking at TechFridayBirmingham City Schools superintendent Craig Witherspoon‘s been answering a lot of questions about the current state of the school system in recent weeks.

This photo was taken on Friday morning, May 11, during his remarks at the monthly TechFriday event at Innovation Depot downtown. Earlier in the week he’d appeared with Mayor William Bell at the first of three community meetings where he’s updating parents and concerned citizens about the state of the school system and plans for its future. It’s also been an opportunity for him to explain his proposal for raising property taxes in the city by 3 mills (generating approximately $9 million/year).

Witherspoon will be holding two more of those informational meetings this week. Monday evening, May 14, will take place at the Davis Center, 417 29th St. S. (between Pepper Place and the Lakeview commercial district). Tuesday evening, May 15, will take place at the Don Hawkins Recreation Center, 8920 Roebuck Blvd. with Mayor Bell once again participating and talking about his bond proposal. Both meetings start at 6 p.m.

Time to SeeClickFix Birmingham

SeeClickFix logoA search of the site in recent weeks may have led you to a page labeled SeeClickFix (though there wasn’t anything on it). That changed last night.

That’s when we became the latest site to add a SeeClickFix widget. The service launched in late 2008 and we’ve been talking with them about its potential in Birmingham, AL since early 2010.

Think of it as a digital 311 system. Non-emergencies reported via the widget embedded on our site or via any of the mobile apps available are shared directly with City Hall’s 311 Call Center.

As you can see, folks are already using the service to report issues. The more folks using the service, the more effective it can be. Video and photo submissions are also accepted. Selfishly, it also provides an opportunity for local media outlets to get an idea of what’s going on out there (though nothing really replaces face-to-face – or just getting out there – but it helps).

Hop on over, check it out and spread the word!

Raise your voices on ROX

Laney DeGeorge (Rojo) and Sue Moody are scheduled to be on this morning’s ROX Report radio show on 1070-AM until 8:30 a.m. They’re asking that folks call in to the studio with comments about the Knights of Columbus property in Glen Iris that been a recurring topic of conversation in recent months. They also want anyone in any other neighborhood that have been affected by the same developers to call in and voice their opinions in hopes of raising the level of awareness about the issue.

The station’s phone numbers are 205.944.1070 and 866.927.1010

It was time to pray

Larry Langford with sackcloth

Mojo Denbow/

This is one of the images taken by Mojo Denbow earlier this evening at the “It’s Time to Pray” summit at Boutwell Auditorium in downtown Birmingham, AL. Click on the image to view a small slideshow, with links to the photos in his Flickr stream.

Boutwell’s the tipping point tonight

This morning’s Birmingham News points out the frequency that days of prayer are held in the city (as Mayor Langford prepares for one this evening officially announced earlier this week) well as the rumblings about legal action that may be taken if it’s found to be an official government event. The event has definitely drawn some criticism, even locally. We even have our own veiled opinion, though from a slightly different angle.

We’ve gotten a few responses to our current Magic City Question; as we get ready to change it later on today, we’d welcome anyone else that wants to lend their voices to the conversation.

Comparisons of biblical proportion today in City Hall

There are days when you just want to curl up and hide; unfortunately that was one of those days for me, so I was not in attendance at the weekly city council meeting when Mayor Larry Langford drew comparisons between The Magic City and the City of Nineveh in the language used for his proclamation announcing “a day of prayer in sackcloth and ashes”. Like we said earlier, today was a busy day for the city’s chief executive.

Check out the Birmingham Weekly for a PDF of the proclamation and some video to go along with it.

You may want to let us know what you think about it… preferably over on Magic City Question.