Tag Archives: changes

The changing of the guard continues in Birmingham

pijeauxretirementparty625This week we’ve learned about the retirements of several prominent figures in our city and our city’s government. One we’ve known was coming for some time though was that of outgoing president of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Lawrence Pijeauxit was first announced last October. A party was held in his honor on Wednesday evening at the Institute’s home on 6th Avenue and 16th Street, South, drawing people from throughout the city to say “thank you” to the organization’s leader since 1995. As AL.com previously reported at the end of this piece from earlier this month, Priscilla Hancock Cooper has been named as its interim president while a nationwide search is conducted.

Tuesday morning saw the announcement of the retirements of Renee Blalock (executive director of the Birmingham Public Library); Phil Turkett (the city’s zoning administrator); and Bobby Dorr (the city’s director of information management services) during the weekly city council meeting. These announcements mean as much as nearly 40 years of institutional knowledge will be taking its final bow in municipal offices, and providing an opening for new voices and directions for the city.

You didn’t dump the pump today? Help catalog bus stops instead

dtp-count-2013-bg-largeToday is National Dump the Pump Day, an effort undertaken by the American Public Transportation Association since 2006 (when the national average price for gas reached $3) to encourage the use of public transportation instead of driving. A report conducted by the Texas Transportation Institute and cited locally on the CommuteSmart website points out the average Birmingham commuter wastes 35 hours a year in traffic and consumes an additional 18 gallons of fuel.

Locally, the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority (BJCTA) is participating by making all rides on MAX buses in the system free. The agency has participated every year.

2013bjctabillIt’s not the only changes currently taking place at metro Birmingham’s regional transit agency. A new website greets visitors looking for information digitally as well as a more active fan page on Facebook. They also recently shared news of the passage and subsequent signing of House Bill 627, a transportation bill that passed on the last day of the legislative session that provided for the first major changes to the law governing the agency in more than 40 years. The law consolidates six laws governing the agency’s existence into one in addition making several changes to fiscal policies. The BJCTA has also been invited back to Montgomery (in addition to Mayor Bell) by Governor Bentley to discuss further ways to support the system.

One effort currently underway in the private sector by VIPAAR co-founder Mark Dillavou (and one of the focuses of this month’s Digital City column in B-Metro Magazineis the BJCTA Stop Cataloguer. It’s an attempt to map all of the transit system’s bus stops in order help facilitate the system’s addition to Google Maps’s transit planning service. According to the site, several routes have been completed and added to a smartphone app and website, but there is still more to be done.

Meetings to discuss BJCTA service changes continue

BJCTA February 2012 meetingApproximately a dozen regular users of the BJCTA gathered in the transit authority’s board room at Central Station on Friday evening to learn more about proposed service changes.

It was the second of four meetings scheduled through the middle of this week to go over the changes and to receive additional public input. The last two meetings will take place February 21 at the Hawkins Park Recreation Center (8920 Roebuck Blvd., Birmingham – map) from 5:30-7 p.m. and February 22 at the Bessemer Public Library (400 19th St., N., Bessemer – map) from 10-11:30 a.m. The changes will then be voted upon by the transit authority’s board on the afternoon of the 22nd.

Proposed changes (PDF) include: the renumbering and combining of Route 1 (as Routes 10 and 11); the simplification of Route 20 (essentially creating an airport shuttle that runs hourly along Messer Airport Highway, including Saturdays); modifications to Routes 17, 25, 26, 28 44, and 45 that will enable them to stop directly in front of Walmarts located on their routes; and a change in DART service that will provide service up to Vulcan Park.

That abbreviated list of the proposed changes is probably making you want to read about the rest of them as described on the detailed attachment handed out at the meeting, isn’t it? We’ve also got photos of the maps showing the proposed changes in the downtown, western, and eastern sections of the county.

Taking a look at Sloss Metals Arts’ future

Sloss-in-the-distanceSaturday morning (December 17)  will find local metal artists, enthusiasts and some just plain curious at historic Sloss Furnaces to take part in a conversation about the future of the historic site’s metal arts program.

The meeting, starting at 10:30 a.m., is the result of a recently made announcement about the retooling and re-evaluation via a press release dated December 9. We’ve learned that the meeting is scheduled to be available for viewing online live tomorrow via the program’s new Livestream channel.

The changes would not affect the public outreach component of the program, scheduled to resume in March 2012, including workshops, internships and iron pours, though we have learned that some of the full time positions will be replaced with fellowships that will be offered to artists from around the world. We look forward to updating with additional information if necessary tomorrow.

WBHM goes for another One and Done on Thursday

WBHM logoFans of Birmingham’s public radio station, WBHM, have a couple of reasons to be paying close attention to the station in the coming weeks. First of all, their successful One and Done! fundraising campaign returns this Thursday, October 22. They’re asking supporters to consider making their donations in advance (maybe even online if they’re so inclined).

They’ve also announced changes to their weekday evening and weekend lineup (available for viewing in PDF format) beginning on November 14. Yes, if you’re noticing something too, you may want to check out the frequently asked questions about the changes.

We’re interested in hearing what you think about the changes.

Follow-up: Johnny Ray’s president joins the conversation

We’ve seen a great deal of traffic over the last few days with regard to our post about the future of Johnny Ray’s. We’re hoping that some of you have had a chance to read the comments. If not, you’ve missed out on something…

One person who we were happy to see respond to the comments was Alton Shields, the President and Managing Director of the Johnny Ray Cos, who was able to quiet rumors that the chain was closing.

We just wanted to take a moment and suggest that folks check out his comments and all of the other comments to all of the other posts on the site whenever and wherever they’re made.

Thanks those that do add their voices to this conversation.

Farewell, Johnny Ray’s

johnnyrayslogoThe word out in the Twitterverse that yesterday was your last chance to enjoy food from Johnny Ray’s – at least as we knew it. The current owners of the 55 year old local barbecue chain have decided to retire with different plans being made for all of the existing locations.

The chatter online has been sparse, though it was apparent that the changes were expected, though some early moves left folks unsure.

Thanks to @bmcgraw for the heads up on the news about the local franchise.

Logo: courtesy of the restaurant’s website.