The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The Bright Star Turns 100 as Bessemer Grows

Today The Bright Star is 100 years old, and the oldest restaurant in Alabama is celebrating today from 3-7 pm. They are even blocking off 19th street in front of the restaurant.

Cooking demonstrations at 4:00
Magic show at 5:00 for kids
John Ed Willoughby at 5:30 (giving away $100 gift cards to those who can prove they are over 100 years old.

Here’s the odd thing. They are serving Bob Sykes Barbeque.

There are gifts and appetizers and entertainment.

Jeff Key is returning to Hollywood today, after seeing his movie (or rather, the movie that documents his life) take the Best Documentary Award and the Audience Choice Award at the Shout Film Festival. And almost as exciting for Jeff, he enjoyed dinner last night at The Bright Star before leaving town. For those who did not get to see Semper Fi you can see it on Showtime beginning June 25. Continue the good work, Jeff.

Dirt is still being moved around Highway 150 and Lakeshore, but U. S. Steel is being tight lipped about what is coming in, according to the Birmingham News. They say just infrastructure work is being done now, but that the first phase of the development will be a retail center, possibly anchored by a grocery store, taking about 30 acres. Light industrial will occupy the other 100 acres. U. S. Steel owns 800 acres along Lakeshore in Bessemer.

Whatever businesses locate there, Bessemer has entered into a revenue sharing deal for the next 15 years where the city gets 30 % of any sales, property or occupational tax revenue and U. S. Steel gets the other 70% until they are paid back for their initial investment for installing the infrastructure. Those property taxes designated for schools are not included.

Bessemer also entered into a deal with U. S. Pipe (we must like companies with “U. S.” in their names) promising $1.25 million in incentives to lure the new plant to Bessemer. Here’s Mayor Ed May, “The only thing that could hold this up now is an act of God or contamination being found on the site. Notwithstanding those two things, it’s a done deal.” I am interested in hearing more about the environmental considerations for the new plant, and am glad to learn that the current plant will also receive a $7 million emissions control upgrade. This comes a good news, as bad news about Birmingham’s air quality is released, naming Birmingham among the worst in the nation for particle pollution. Birmingham ranks 4th worst for year round particle pollution and 6th worst for short term particle pollution. The American Lung Association says that particle pollution can shorten life spans by 1 to 3 years, and cause premature births, worsen asthma, trigger heart attacks and strokes.

Larry Langford seems disappointed that the plant will not be located in North Birmingham, part of the county that is included in his district. However he at least realizes one thing: “Bessemer didn’t leave the county. Bessemer is in the county.” One by one our county commissioners are coming to this realization. First, Bettye Fine Collins, now Larry Langford.

Two new things, you can see the cost of the war in Iraq growing over to the left, and can click below the numbers for information about how it costs our community. Also, a new link, to Blue Sparks in Alabama, an unofficial site promoting Ron Sparks for senator.


Anonymous said...

I can't say how proud I am of the Bright Star. They have managed to overcome a lot during their history and have been dedicated to Bessemer even through the difficult times. I wish them another 100 prosperous years.

Christine McIntosh said...

I'd like to see a photo of today's celebrations - I won't forget the visit we paid to the Bright Star that cold Saturday in January!