Tag Archives: 2009

Popularity or purpose?

Today people will visit the polls throughout Birmingham, AL to determine whether or not nine individuals that currently serve us as city councilors should be re-elected for another term or if new leaders are required. As reported yesterday on WBHM, it can be a little confusing when you see so many different signs lining the streets… but should that be the only measure of a candidate?

There has been extensive coverage of all of the candidates from numerous mainstream and alternative outlets. We’ve even had folks tell us we should or should not vote for. The idea of letting someone else decide for me seems a little insane, especially if all you’re going to do later on is complain about how it wasn’t your choice. Being the type of city that we are, while we may not know about a candidate’s position, we’re ready to have an excuse to party so we can start preparing for four years from now.

While bhamterminal.com probably did not help you decide who you need to vote for (as it’s never been our policy, despite some thinking and hoping otherwise), wouldn’t it make more sense to stop for a moment and decide whether or not you’re going to vote for a candidate because of what they believe and what you think they can do instead of whether or not you know them or just because you know their name? Can they speak on an issue that you believe in passionately or do they get confused between green building and green grocers? Do they try to ride one project to a re-election or do they give you new ideas about how their city can change for the better and what they’re willing to advocate for to help it get there?

Every election is described as the most important one ever, regardless of where you live and what’s at stake. I’d challenge you to watch or listen to today’s City Council meeting (or check it out later after it’s been archived). I’d challenge you do check out what you don’t like about any issues and think about just how it could be changed. When the polls close this evening at 7 p.m., I’d hope that a quick look at who currently represents you and their opponents just may move you to head to the polls.

Is it really about how many signs you have up along the streets, the number of folks who know your name or the capability of representing a city that desperately needs to lose its apathetic attitude when it comes to matters of importance or its future? Today will be yet another chapter in Birmingham’s search to find out which one they are more comfortable with.

André Natta is the stationmaster for bhamterminal.com.

#bhamchat: July 7, 2009

NOTE: We’ll be posting the recap for #bhamchat Episode 2 later today, though the post will be saved in chronological order (meaning that it will appear as being the post before this one).

This week’s edition started with a rather quiet discussion about the decision earlier in the day by the Jefferson County Commission to not take part in the statewide sales tax holiday taking place in August.

Q1: #bhamchat looks like the sales tax holiday is the 1st topic tonight – what are your thoughts about JeffCo deciding to not take part this yr?

  • bhamwiki: Perhaps they consider it a trade-off with the court-ordered occupational tax holiday. #bhamchat
  • kb0989: #bhamchat…I’ve only lived in JeffCo for two years…but i keep seeing bad decisions and quick fixes rather than substantive changes
The conversation got a little more engaged when the discussion switched over to the recent radio station changes on Birmingham’s FM dial.
Q2: Radio carousel – anyone have anything else to say about the station change over at 105.5?http://bit.ly/l9mlJ (expand)#bhamchat
@bhamwiki had a pretty interesting view of the situation as well:
  • bhamwiki: Broadcasting the same programming on multiple frequencies deprives the public of more choices, no matter what you like to hear. #bhamchat
  • bhamwiki: Multi-market multi-station owners like clearchannel seem to be milking cows they don’t plan to have to feed. #bhamchat
One question led to a link that probably tells us more about the current situation than anything else…
Our last Q was more to get a taste of what folks are reading out there right now:
let’s try this, Q3 what’s your favorite Birmingham, AL blog, and why? #bhamchat?
Well, we did have one more question…
One last quick poll – what do you think is the one story going on in Birmingham that no one’s talking about yet? #bhamchat
  • deongordon: #bhamchat *arrives fashionably late* …I’m inclined to say few in the media are discussing LL’s increasingly erratic behavior.
  • pascal_caputo: Will the lack of progress on the dome & transit lead to a call to repeal Langford’s x2 biz license fees and 1 cent sales tax? #bhamchat
Of course there’s more that went on, so we invite you to click on one of the #bhamchat links above to see all of the conversations and suggestions – and feel free to join in next week Tuesday starting at 6:30 p.m. on Twitter. For more information, check out the information here and here.
Thanks to everyone that took part or watched… we really appreciate it!

Take Me Out to the Rickwood Classic

Rickwood“Popcorn! Peanuts…”

A gruff voice yelled from somewhere off to my left. I squirmed in my chair as I spilled some of the overflowing melted ice cream out of my mini plastic helmet on to my shorts and the aluminum bleacher seat that we had commandeered.

“Can we get some peanuts dad?” I asked sheepishly as I wiped the mess off with my fingers and licked them. My dad looked at my shorts and fingers and frowned for a few seconds, but a smile cracked as he waved his hand in the air, “Why not… it’s a ball game!”

The old man came over and my dad bought two bags and I changed my mind to Cracker Jacks. Pretty soon peanut husks were littering that old green floor and the announcer asked everyone to stand for the national anthem. I was as proud to be an American (as proud as any 10 year-old could be).

This is one of my earliest memories of Rickwood Field back in the 80s when my dad took me to my first Rickwood Rickwood lightsClassic. After 20 years of missionary work in South America, my dad is currently the chaplin for the Latino and Spanish speaking members of the Birmingham Barons and he still loves baseball. Lets just say we NEVER miss a Rickwood Classic.

MILB.com is reporting that this year’s Rickwood Classic is still the most desirable minor league game to attend in the country. This year’s Classic is being held this Wednesday, May 27. This family friendly event usually features a silent auction, food, vintage uniforms and costumes. 

Just as a heads up, 2010 will be the 100th anniversary of the opening of Rickwood Field. According to The Birmingham News, the City Council has approved and has already started planning a $7.5 million renovation to the park and an addition of a museum to the site. A private collector from Dallas has also already agreed to move his collection of Negro League memorabilia worth more than $4 million as well as his historical research center to the site when the project is completed. This might be the last time you get to see the park before the renovation next year.

Take someone out to the ballgame this year for a once in a lifetime baseball experience found only in Birmingham.

Photos: Josh Self/Flickr