The Year of Moving Forward

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

Thursday, November 8, 2007

News from Bessemer, the U. S., the World, the Universe

Boom Boom, a little before noon yesterday. I looked out at the intersection to see who had run the red light and gotten hit. But before I got to the window, I realized it was the space shuttle Discovery cruising overhead toward a landing.

Space is fascinating. Yesterday on The News Hour with Jim Lehrer was a report about a new planet discovered in a distant (but near, by cosmic standards) system (I don't like to call it a solar system because I thought "solar" referred to "sol," our star, and the planets that revolve around it). Anyway, Geoff Marcy (smart guy from U. C. Berkley) explained how they learned about the planet and why they suspect it might harbor life. One thing...they have been looking at about 50 stars, and out of them several stars have a few out of the 200 billion stars in our galaxy, there must be billions of planets, and some of those (like the one in question) are in habitable zones that could support life. He said NASA has three missions planned to try to find planets and life...including one called the Terrestrial Planet Finder that will try to take pictures of planets, hopefully a blue one like earth. Listen to the report...fascinating.

Then back here on earth...Aqua Dots just sounds like something to be eaten. I am glad my kids are old enough that the things they get that are made in China (like electronics) are not likely to be eaten. I mean, eat a toy and end up in a coma from a date rape drug? Could you make this stuff up?

So what is going to affect Christmas shopping more...refusal to buy toys and products from China or rising gas prices that affect the amount of money consumers are willing to spend on Chirstmas?

And in Bessemer, the smoking ban takes effect immediately. According to the Birmingham News Sandy Bright, the owner of the Stadium Grill, where "nearly all of her customers smoke," is worried. I think she will see business increase, though, because their burgers really are the best in the area. Really they are...and now, more people will try them.

Bessemer also passed the noise ordinance this week, but I am not sure if it goes in to effect immediately or not. But every time you hear a car stereo that makes your windows rattle call the police. But don't use 425-4211. Even though they probably will not get there to address the problem, at least they can know that the public is aware of the law and expect it to be enforced. Program 425-4211 in to your cell phone as "Bessemer Police" so you can call whenever you hear "boom boom" and it is not a space shuttle.

Now to the water bond issue. Word is it did not pass because attorney Harris (the city council attorney...not the city attorney) has a fee associated with it that went from $20,000 to $72,000. There is the whole issue of why the hell does the Bessemer City Council need their own attorney anyway, and why he thinks he can have anything to do with running the city's business when it is the "city attorney" who has to be involved in these things, and whether he is billing us for the 4 hour trip up and the 4 hour trip back to Mobile each time he makes an appearance, and why even if they did need their own attorney they had to go to Mobile to find one...but I digress.

I think the council is right to refuse to pass that bond deal, and with Bill Blount's shady dealings being revealed and Gardnyr Micheal's problems mentioned in this blog a few weeks ago, the city shouldn't do business with either one of the firms. There are plenty of bond dealers out there, some of whom might even be reputable.

The mayor should just borrow the $5 million to complete the Alabaster project, then come back later and try to restructure the 5 million and the other 20 million using a different firm. Don't give any more business to either of those firms. And check out new firms before giving them our business.

And last, I must state my dissapointment in Artur Davis. I didn't lose faith when he wrote me a letter explaining his support for the federal marriage amendment, and I tried to hold on during that habeas corpus deal that he couldn't explain his way out of, but now that he voted against (along with every other Alabama congressman) the Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA) which extends protection against employment discrimination to lesbians and gays, he is off my list (and on another one). He claimed to be friend of the gay community but he sure doesn't show it. He is acting more like a republican every day. And it is precisely because of people like him that laws like ENDA need to be passed, and why LGBT people need to be involved in politics.

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