The Year of Moving Forward

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

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Bessemer Updates, and Birmingham's Wi-Fi Plan

First and foremost, this website, and this website as well attribute excerpts to Joe Openshaw that are not mine and that lead to columns that were not written by me. I should be glad that somebody thinks I am popular enough that they need to hijack my name to get people to view their sites, but I am not (either happy...or that popular).

Today I was going to just post pictures of my favorite camellia which is blooming and others:

But there is too much Birmingham and Bessemer news to report on.

For instance, there is the story in The Western Tribune reporting that the Greater Birmingham Humane Society and The Foundry will be teaming up to take care of needy dogs. This is something that the Bessemer Neighborhood Association supported months ago and we spoke with pastor Bill Heintz about his vision in doing this. We are certainly glad to see this happening, and although it does not solve the dog abuse problem associated with the city dog pound, it is a start. Right now, or at least beginning January 29, the GBHS will be placing hard to place dogs in the care of the Foundry in a doggie daycare program. This will be good for the dogs as it helps them adjust to new people and places but also for the residents of the Foundry as they benefit both from the responsibility of caring for the dogs and from the unconditional love that pets give.

Also out of Bessemer and reported in The Western Tribune is an article about the budget which the City Council will begin to pour over in earnest this week. The 50% increase in pay for the city attorneys ($800,000 a year for Charlie Waldrep and firm) is not what caught my attention, as ridiculous as that is. No, this is:

"Meanwhile, the business community, still incensed that it lost more than $100,000 a year when (Mayor Ed) May sequestered the lodgings tax three years ago to help run the government - a fund that was established for the chamber three decades ago - will be seething when it finds out that the mayor has pulled the remaining $52,500 that the organization got last year."

Last year when I ran for council I campaigned on returning funding to the chamber (among other things) and still believe the chamber performs an important function in giving a face to the business community, recruiting business to the areas, and promoting tourism. The mayor's assistant told us at a Bessemer Neighborhood Association meeting recently that it would be nice if the Chamber actually did those things. I asked if he was telling us that the mayor's opinion was that the Chamber does not promote tourism or business and he agreed.

As a former business owner and former member of a Chamber of Commerce I believe the organizations play an important role in helping current members improve their businesses in various ways as well as promoting the business community. The mayor needs to get over his animosity toward the Chamber and learn to play friendly with others.

The Western Tribune also listed their Top 10 Stories in Bessemer, quite different from my Top 12, but of course I did not restrict myself to Bessemer and its suburbs.

People say they don't watch or listen to the news because it is all bad. Of these 10 top stories, only 2 could be thought of as bad. The murder story and the arrest story. The rest is all good news.

1. U. S. Pipe picks Bessemer over Birmingham and China.

2. Alabaster water pipeline finally gets approval.

3. Walmart tabs Hueytown.

4. Colonial Tannehill Promenade shopping center in Bessmer. Target, Publix, Movies.

5. Housing development in McCalla booming.

6. Bessemer Academy wins second state championship in a row.

7. McAdory Dixie youth baseball team wins world series.

8. Three people killed in arobbery of the Wachovia Bank on Ninth Avenue in Bessemer.

9. Former Bessemer official arrested - twice. Ryan Rancher.

10. Premiere Chevrolet opens its new dealership.

The favorite Camellia pictured above looks nice when being carried by a winged cherub:

And this poor outdoor Cherub has frozen his wings and looks like something else off. The fountain is in our backyard, and I know I posted a frozen fountain picture last year, but here's another anyway.

Last year the goldfish survived the freezing and I hope they do again this year.

And just a brief comment on Birmingham mayor Larry Langford's plan to use churches for the routers needed to make Birmingham wi-fi citywide. This is just my opinion, but city wide wi-fi is best accomplished placing antennas on utility poles or other public places that are easily accessed by trained repair people, because there are going to be glitches and problems that require attention, sometimes in the middle of the night or during church services and repair persons may not be able to gain access during those times.

Read this article Larry, and even though it is a couple of years old and technology has changed a bit since then, the principles still apply. There is more to it than just sticking a few routers in buildings and flipping a switch. Philadelphia planned to spend $10 to 15 million to build its system, at $20 to $25 per household. Their project is still on going, I don't what they have spent or how much coverage they have but they do have a web site Wireless Philadelphia that gives information on what areas are covered and when new ones will be added, etc.

Again, this is another issue that I campaigned on for Bessemer. No one else here seems to be interested in moving Bessemer forward on this issue, but my feeling is that it would be easier to do in a small city like Bessemer than in Birmingham.

Birmingham has a mayor who speaks and sometimes acts without thinking (I believe he admitted to this) and Bessemer has a mayor who thinks without acting. Which is more dangerous?

Oh and one more picture. these signs have begun to appear around Bessemer. Our primary is just one month away.


Anonymous said...

That is such great news about the Foundry taking care of the needy dogs. Will they get stray dogs too? I've seen packs of them roaming around downtown Bessemer and I never knew who to call or what to do!

Anonymous said...

Lots of news in the Tribune. Most of it good, except for the gleeps in city hall.

Joe said...

Our orignal plan was for The Foundry to house strays and such, and this plan does not address that. But I am hoping this is a start and can lead to more involvement of the Foundry. Notice this is not an agreement with the city, rather an agreement with the GBHS. It would take cooperation of the city to do more.

Anonymous said...

I've also noticed that the spamblogs have been attributing my name to other posts and my posts with others names. Not sure what the deal is there.