Great news for Bessemer. As expected, U. S. Pipe is announcing today to build their new plant here. Robert Gordon reports that the plant will bring $23.7 million to the economy of the city. Myla Choy, a U. S. Pipe attorney said, “This is very much in line with everything going on in Bessemer. This is one piece of the Bessemer rebirth story.”
Building permits and fees alone will generate $450,000 for the city on the $45 million project. Ray Torok, company president, says, “This is a statement of commitment by U. S. Pipe to the Bessemer Community. No one is going to wake up one morning and worry that U. S. Pipe is leaving Bessemer, and in this day and age, that is no small gift.” Neither is the $116 million total annual economic impact that U. S. Pipe, with its current plant and the new one will generate for the city once it opens.
For Bessemer, named in 2002 on the Woodrow Wilson International Scholar’s dead cities list, the resurrection continues.
Stop House Bill 482
Today the Alabama House Education Policy Committee will take up HB482, the Christian heritage bill. This piece of legislation would designate the first scholastic week in November each year as Christian Heritage Week in public K-12 schools and would require daily instruction during that week on the influence of Christianity on the history and heritage of the United States. House Bill 482 singles out the influence that the Christian religion has had on our history and heritage. This is a promotion and endorsement of a particular religious belief in violation the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and numerous Supreme Court decisions, including Lemon v. Kurtzman.
The bill’s authors have made a number of findings in support of a HB 482 that are extremely misleading. For example, the Christian heritage bill states that the U.S. Supreme Court in Holy Trinity Church v. Unites States determined that the U.S. was a Christian nation. Their interpretation of this ruling is wrong. Although the court expressed its support of religious freedom when writing the opinion, the ruling is not about the First Amendment at all. Holy Trinity is a case about the importation of foreign laborers.
There are other misleading statements in their support for this bill. Email me for more information. The House Education Policy Committee should reject House Bill 482. It’s unconstitutional, and will likely lead the state into costly litigation if adopted. Public schools should seek to create an environment conducive to learning by all students and not advocate religious or anti-religious beliefs.
I am all for religious instruction and training of children in religious tradition and heritage. At home. At church. Not in our public schools.