Category Archives: Take a moment

Full day of events, recognition planned in Birmingham for Veterans Day

VeteransDay2013After gathering Monday night to honor former United States senator Bob Dole at the National Veterans Award dinner at the Sheraton Birmingham, a full day of events await the city as it stops to honor our military veterans. The calendar of events posted to the National Veterans Day’s website include:

The parade itself begins at 1:30 p.m. at 18th Street and Rev. Abraham Woods, Jr. Blvd. (a.k.a., 8th Avenue N.); the site also has a map of the parade route available for review. As it begins, UAB will be holding its third annual wreath-laying ceremony on the university’s Campus Green (1:30 p.m.) on the city’s Southside.

A live stream of the parade will be available on their site (click on the link to access the stream and to view previous parades).

The BJCTA (MAX) will be offering veterans free bus rides all-day on Tuesday; they must present an active military ID, VA Health card, or retired military identification card to the bus operator. See their flyer for more information. Veterans will also be offered free admission to all state parks and federal parks and sites, with the Birmingham Zoo extending the offer to current active military personnel as well.

Birmingham City Councilors take the Ice Bucket Challenge

08262014 Austin Roberson Parker ice bucket challengeSeveral of Birmingham’s bravest stood atop a fire engine in front of City Hall with buckets of water at 5 p.m. Tuesday evening. The reason? Several City Councilors had decided to accept the Ice Bucket Challenge made by members of their central staff earlier in the day and they needed some help to pull it off.

Council president Johnathan Austin was joined by councilors William Parker and Sheila Tyson — shortly before her well-attended telephonic town hall meeting (488 people took part BTW) — in addition to president pro-tempore Jay Roberson. We shot some video, but the city’s provided one that captures the highlights from a much better angle:


Bobbi Grady, director of development and outreach for the Alabama chapter of the ALS Association, spoke to the small crowd gathered to witness the eventually-YouTubed spectacle to thank them for helping to draw attention to the organization. Among those challenged on Tuesday evening were Mayor Bell and his staff, all of the city’s corporate chief executives, and all elected officials in the metropolitan area.

Incidentally, this year’s Birmingham Walk to Defeat ALS is scheduled to take place on Saturday, October 11 at the Hoover Met — in case you want another way to raise awareness and funds to help fight this disease. The event has traditionally served as the organization’s largest single fundraiser. Several reports, however, suggest the ice bucket challenge may eclipse it this year. A press release sent out by the ALS Association yesterday states they’ve raised $88.5 million between July 29 to August 26; the same period last year saw donations totaling $2.6 million.

Where are you going to watch TEDxBirmingham?

tedxbham2prepToday, the speakers for Birmingham’s third ever TEDx event are practicing at the Alys Stephens Center, preparing for when things start tomorrow morning. TEDx Birmingham starts at 10 a.m. and will be available online via Livestream.

Of course, you could always see if some of the folks on this partial list of attendees might be live tweeting the whole thing too (but it wouldn’t nearly be as much fun as watching). You’ll also be interested in checking out the speaker profiles posted on the event’s official website or those by earlier this week. If you do feel like following along via social media platforms, it looks like the hashtag will be #tedxbham).

There are also viewing parties that have been organized for tomorrow’s event. One is scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. at the Desert Island Supply Company in the city’s Woodlawn neighborhood. Another will take place at downtown branch of the YWCA (and as of this posting only has 39 seats left; you’ll want to reserve your space via Eventbrite). If you know of any others, please feel free to let folks know via the comments section under this post.

Photo: Courtesy of the event’s fan page on Facebook.

Help Sojourns continue its journey

Sojourns GoFund screenshotMelissa Kendrick and her store, Sojourns, need Birmingham’s help. Long before cups of coffee were being poured at Urban Standard or folks were sitting down to a cold one at all of the trendy bars gracing downtown Birmingham, she took a chance in 2005 and opened what is arguably one of the first businesses to be truly part of the city center’s revival.

According to the GoFundMe campaign set up by Max Blalock on Tuesday afternoon, a sewer line at her house collapse that is not covered by her homeowners insurance policy is placing Kendrick in a financial bind. While a status update on Facebook let us know she’s secured a part-time job, perhaps sharing the link to the page and seeing just how close she might be able to get to the goal would help too.

Incidentally, she’s also going to need some volunteers for an upcoming fashion show benefiting the Rape Response program at the Crisis Center…

Ann Durr Lyon: 1927-2013

ann_lyon-thumb-300x170-662-thumb-280xauto-710We learned this morning via a Facebook status update by Julian Bond of the passing of Ann Durr Lyon last week in Harrisburg, PA. She was 85.

The Birmingham, AL native was one of four daughters of noted civil rights activists Clifford and Virginia (Foster) Durr. She made her own mark in this life by establishing the Harrisburg Civil Rights Oral History Project, and helping create several other initiatives in Pennsylvania. These include helping the Head Start program in Perry County, the Human Service Program at HACC and Temple University Harrisburg’s Graduate Program in Social Work.

She was interviewed by WITF Public Media for a video series called Beyond the Bio in February 2011. Lyon shared a familiar story about her mother’s experiences at Wellesley College and how they shaped her future involvement in the Civil Rights movement.


She also spoke of her time as a member of the East Pennsboro Township Commission. WITF interviewed her again just last year as part of their Facing Cancer Together series as she’d then lived 25 years cancer-free. They published a memorial post to her via the series site earlier today.

Lyon was the focus of a one-hour interview done as part of the city of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s 150th anniversary, Living Legacy, in April 2009. During this conversation, she talks about everything from why she moved to Harrisburg in 1957 to the various organizations and efforts she’s undertaken since her arrival.

Lyon was also involved in the Durr Lecture series on civil liberties, held each year on the campus of Auburn University at Montgomery. This year’s edition is currently scheduled for April 4.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to:

The Ann Durr Lyon Human Service Student Scholarship Fund
? The HACC Foundation
1 HACC Drive
Harrisburg, PA 17110

Plans afoot for a makerspace?

MakerSpace Urbana, Feb-2012There’s an online survey being conducted by some folks attempting to gauge interest in opening a makerspace here in metro Birmingham. Also known as hackerspaces, they’ve gained increased popularity in recent years here in the United States.

They are normally facilities that can resemble workshops where members have access to the equipment and space necessary to pursue whatever creative interests they might have. Classes may also be offered as opportunities to learn about and develop new skills. The landing page for the survey suggests while the organizers are envisioning a facility, they may start out offering a web-based resource that allows for organizing classes in the area.

It would actually be the second known attempt at establishing such a space in Birmingham in recent years. Local coworking space Sparkbox used to host makerspace sessions in their original home on the city’s Southside.

A link to the eight-question survey has been shared on Facebook by Jared Fulton – a status update where he included the space or concept “will be about developing and cultivating Birmingham’s growing community of makers and creatives.”

Interested in learning more about the concept? There was a phone number included in the post – Bruce Lanier’s (222-8226). You can also check out what’s been described as the international directory for the hackerspace movement. There’s also this site making the connection between making and education.

Photo: MakerSpace Urbana, Feb-2012maltman23/Flickr.