The Year of Moving Forward

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

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Bessemer Happenin's and Western Tribune column

The Bessemer Neighborhood Association met Monday evening, and we chatted with a Bessemer police officer and discussed directions we want to head as far as priorities.

We recieved tips on what to do when it seems the police response time is too slow (call and talk to the sergeant, if you are not satisfied, call and talk to the lieutenant, and so on up the chain of command). Also we will get a list of the officers that patrol our neighborhoods so we will be familiar with them when we talk with them. He provided us updates on new equipment they are getting to enable enforcement of noise ordinances and more.

With animal abuse still a priority, we also will be looking in to better lighting in residential areas, and also into finding out about a house on near 15th street and Arlington that is half burned with an elderly person still living in it. And we want to find out why the old Jones Carpet building in Jonesboro has not been torn down. It's a danger to children passing by going to and from school.

We are not giving up on Arlington School (needs restoring) or Red Rock convenience store across the street (needs bulldozing...its a place where drugs are sold in the parking lot quite frequently).

We decided our meetings will be the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month.

Here is my column from today's Western Tribune, more or less:

Seven thousand dollars is not a lot of money. Not when the entire budget of Bessemer is looked at. But here is what $7000 could do for our city.

In January the Foundry asked for about $7000 to pay for plastic garbage bags and gasoline so they could continue their practice of picking up trash along the city’s roadways. They had done this in 2006 when twice a week they sent about 100 men and women out armed with safety vests, cotton gloves and garbage bags to comb the streets. I went with them a few times, and if the crews I walked with were representative of the entire group, an average of two to three bags of trash per person was removed from our streets. They did this twice weekly, so that would be about 500 bags of trash a week removed from our streets.

Not only was this a benefit for our city, but it helped the men and women of the Foundry in their efforts to improve their lives as they were doing something positive for the community and learning what it is like to have their efforts appreciated.

But the city ignored this request. The men and women of the Foundry are no longer helping to keep our city clean in this manner, and the streets and highways are once again littered with hamburger wrappers, beer bottles and things I won’t mention here.

A couple of months before that the Greater Birmingham Humane Society addressed the city council and mayor with a letter outlining deficiencies in our Animal Control facility, with a plan to correct things that would begin with an assessment and recommendations from a noted consultant who is an expert in the field. The assessment would cost about $7000. And this $7000 was readily available, because the Humane Society had discounted services it had performed in the amount of $7395. The Humane Society even suggested in the letter that the money be used to fund the needed assessment.

But this letter and those recommendations were ignored as well.

But as I said, $7000 must be easy to come by for the officials in Bessemer, because this week they are funding National Night Out activities in almost every district, and each council person was allowed more than that amount to provide for the festivities.

I am all for neighbors getting to know one another, and having neighborhood street parties and such. But if the city had lowered their contribution to just $5000 for each of the seven districts, that would leave $7000 for the Foundry’s trash bags and $7000 for the Animal Control assessment.

But the priorities are not about having a clean city, or about treating animals humanely. Or about following the law, as it regards animal treatment. But things will change. They must.


Anonymous said...

To the Western Tribune Aug 28 1007

One of you drivers is one of the most unsafe and uncourteous drivers i have seen in a very long time. Today one of your drivers pulled out of Don's on to Warior river rd. in Concord,Al. and just about run over me, And cut a lady off by pulling out and just about hitting her. Then she hit the brakes to avoid a wreck about to happen and he cut her off. After the driver pulled over, I ask him did he not see me or what ? And then he got a very bad attitude and told me (Yes I seen you) I ask did you not see or you just didn't give a damn ? I told him he nearly run over me and cut her off to. The driver did not seam to care and just kept his mouth running, And I told him to get in his van and to shut his smart mouth, Which he did not till I told him I would shut it for him..... At that time the lady that was cut off and the people at the store calles 911....

Van tag number 87690AN

David Carr

Anonymous said...

I too ride a motorcycle, and I know exactly where David is coming from. Peope need to realize that we have a right to the road just as someone in a car does. Drivers think they can just cut us off and get away with it. There is very little consideration shown to motorcyclist. We are all grouped into the "Bad Boys" catagory. Well guess what people, we are not all bad, nor we all "boys. I am a 31 year old female, I am a teacher and so what I ride a Harley. Have you people who think we have no right to the road stopped and considered that we pay taxes as well as you? Have any of you ever bothered to ask where alot of the charity money that is raised around here comes from? You know all the bikes that you see riding in groups, the poker runsthat go on, you got it the money usually all goes to one Charity or the other.. So the next time one of you unconsiderate drivers wants to cut a motorcyclist off, stop and think. Maybe yourself or someone close to you has benefited from some of the money a biker has raised. As for the newspaper, well I guess your view is if we don't respond to Mr. Carr's calls, he will go away. Well if your driver hits and injures or kills someone in a car will their family go away. Your driver should be reprimanded.


Anonymous said...

I agree with David and eyesonalabamablue,,we have just as much right as the other people do in cars. I think this driver might have actually been trying to cause harm to David?? I he didnt why didnt he appologize and claim fault instead of mouthing off?? Or maybe he was drunk which is a good possibility.
David is more humble than myself,,,I think I woudl have had to express my anger with a little more physical responce.
Take care Brothers and Sisters.
Cary aka Mongo Hognut

Anonymous said...

I will be sure the editor of the paper sees these comments. I don't know the drivers.

Add bicycles to the list of users of the road who are in danger. I saw a cyclist on Lakeshore two days ago, near where another was killed a few years ago, but this guy was riding down the wrong side of the rode, facing traffic. Putting himself in danger.

I agree most drivers in Bessemer are horrible and do not respect other drivers or the law. I see people running red lights, sometimes without even slowing down...every day. When the traffic light near my house is out due to power failure, do drivers treat it as a four way stop. No. Do drivers ignore the railroad crossing gates and go between them with trains approaching...everyday.

Eyesalabamablue...I know about motorcycle riders and charity and the good things they do. My ex wife used to ride a Harley and collect teddy bears for childrens hospital. My brother has taken part in Rolling Thunder Run to the Wall bringing attention to POW's and MIA's.

Anyway, like I aid..I will be sure the editor sees this.


Anonymous said...

Thank God you are ok, we sure dont need another rider down. I will watch for this van, thanks for the info on it.
I watched red lights yeaterday and I was scared when I took notice of the people running them. You know the ones I am talking about, a light turns yellow and the cars just speed up. Dont know really why I am telling you this. Bikes need to really take an extrs second for the runners to clear the lanes.
Another hazard is recap truck tires, I wonder if anyone has ever did a study of property damage and injury and deaths caused by large peices of rubber in the road.
Sorry about going on and on, thanks for your post David my friend.


Anonymous said...

As a motorcycle rider, I very much agree that people in general NEED to be more aware of their surroundings while driving. EXSPECIALLY THOUGHS WHO ATTEMPT TO MAKE A LIVING OF IT.....

you just do not pull out in front of someone,& for him{in a HUGH TRUCK} to have done it, to a motorcycle{ that at the most weighs 850lbs....}
It is unthinkable.....
Now, having said all of this...
I do think that the matter could have been handled with more tack... on both parts...
The driver WAS WRONG!!!!
but, maybe the reason us BIKERS get the lable we do is because of the actions people are always witness to involving Bikers....
They don't see the toy runs, the church attendances, the involvements in our childrens lifes, or all of the other wonderful thing most of us do...
It's the times like this that all eyes are on us....
Next time we find ourselves in this situation,
We should try a little harder to represent THE TRUE BIKER LIFESTYLE...
The good that comes from living this life instead of promoting the same old reputation people have of us....


Anonymous said...

I agree with you David. You were in the right, and most people in cars don't pay any attention to us on motorcycles, and/or don't care to. I myself, ride a motorcycle. I'm a female, not a bad person, and have a professional job, and don't "deserve" to be treated the way we're treated. You were wronged in that situation!! All the driver had to do was apoligize, and I'm sure it would have all been over at that time.

People in cars, trucks, vans, etc.. need to be more aware of the danger they are putting us in, and pay more attention. If they aren't pulling out in front of us, they're pulling up on our tail end when we're stopped at a light or stop sign. It's very dangerous, and ALL of the people in cars, trucks, vans, etc.. NEED TO BE AWARE, MOTORCYCLES ARE EVERYWHERE!!!

Anonymous said...

This is sad!!! If this guy and this company has no more respect than that for human life what does that say about them. I am glad I do not live in Bessemer and have to subscribe to this paper. I am so glad David is ok but people STOP and think this is someone's family put your self in his shoes.
I do also agree with the comment regarding the bicycles. I knew the guy hit on Lakeshore and that was so sad!!
Take care of each other!!
David I am so glad you are ok. And as for the Sheriff that is awfull !!What if it was one of the motor scouts? That would have been a different story.
Biker Babe!

Anonymous said...

I totally agree that something had to be done in the area with bad drivers, just this week I was almost hit head on by a girl driving in the wrong lane at a very fast speed. I actually was able to avoid her just to see her smash into an oncoming tanker truck. This is not the 1st time I have had a run in with someone who is abviously intoxicated or just doesn't care enough to pay attention. Bikers be warned if you come to Bessemer people are likely to run over you just because they don't pay attention and think they own the road. Be safe out there. I have bikers in my family and freinds and I know the good things they do.