Saturday, October 31, 2009

October 31, 2009

"It was a dark, chilly night when there was a sinister rap on my door" (sounds like the first line to an old Mickey Spillane novel doesn't it?)
No, it's just Halloween and the Trick Or Treaters are out pounding the streets. All of them are polite, but in a hurry to see just how much sugar laced goodies they could possibly accumulate in one evening. It's almost as if they will never see any more candy after tonight.
Deborah is working tonight, so it is just the "fat-boy" passing out the goodies and trying not to eat them all before the evening is through.

Friday, October 30, 2009

October 30, 2009

Tomorrow is Halloween and it was time for the children to meet at the Civic Center and carve the pumpkins. Kathy Couey had the tables set up to cut the tops, remove all the seeds and goo
and proceed with the faces. There were six or seven kids in
attendance and every one of them seemed eager to get to the task at hand. I didn't stay until the end, but my guess is that everybody left with a scary souvenir of the occasion. They were all very well behaved including Kathy,

Thursday, October 29, 2009

October 29, 2009

At 1:30 PM I met fellow Garden Club and council member at Chickasaw School Of Math & Science to participate in a National Neighborwoods Tree Planting for the month of October,
We brought our GOLD "ground breaking" shovel to dig an appropriate excavation for the tree.
After clearing a four foot circle, we started down with our main hole and hit a water pipe. Not letting that deter us. we moved about a foot away and this time hit a sewer line. Now we were getting annoyed and very tired,, but moved another two feet to a "no-pipe" area. Finally we let the kids put potting soil in the bottom and placed our Gardenia . The children helped fill in the root surround and we watered it in. There were two blooms on the plant so we broke off the flower so all could smell it. Several photos of the children for the National magazine press and we were finished with that project.
Later in the afternoon I met with our code inspector to go over plans for the expansion of an
existing business who wants to add a washateria and retail store. This rennovation will occur after the first of the year.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

October 28, 2009

Last evening the planning commission met right before the council meeting to hold a public forum on the new sign, square footage and driveway ordinance proposed for a council vote.
All signs in Chickasaw must be of a "monument" type (that is to say: near the ground and no more than 50 sq. ft. like the new signs in Mobile). LED electronic signs are fine if they meet certain brightness criteria. There wil be NO "flashing" on and off signs. All new homes must have concrete, brick or paver driveways with sidewalks of the
same to your door. No more asphalt or crushed stone driveways. Most areas of Chickasaw will require building a 1600 sq.
ft. home on your lot with a minimum of 1200 sq. ft. in Norwood and the historic disctrict. Pirates Cove homes will be a minumum of 2,000 sq. ft. The ordinance will be presented by the council
at the next session. This afternoon I will be taking pictures for the city of children carving pumpkins at the civic center. (pictured is planning commission less the mayor who appeared just in time for the vote)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

October 27, 2009

Last evening Commissioner Merceria Ludgood held a meeting at the J.C. Davis Auditorium to seek input from the North Mobile area population regarding our desire for new parks and recreational facilities. This study is a ten to fifteen year, long term plan to convert Mobile County land into "people oriented" football, baseball and playground areas. Many questions came from our city council and mayor (who is shown here describing county property that would be perfect for the program) Creola, Mount Vernon and Satsuma residents also participated in the questioning. Commissioner Ludgood thanked us all for having the interest in "kick-starting" this
investigation of what the county has in store for its future.
Tonight at 6:30 PM is a meeting of the planning board to continue its work on the new city sign ordinances before the council votes on their acceptance.

Monday, October 26, 2009

October 26, 2009

Today at Kiwanis we hosted 5 or 6 members of the Azalea City Chapter at our meeting. It was good to meet them and we had fun sharing stories about our fundraisers and elections. Since our planned speaker, Jenny Borne, did not show up to discuss robotics, Horace Allen told us about his recent bus trip with Bonnie to Maine, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Vermont. We are still trying to plan our Christmas dinner around an open date using the entertainer we had last year.
Everyone enjoyed the music and dancing so much, we are hoping a date can be worked out.

(Horace Allen speaking. . . . guys at the back table are Azalea City Club)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

October 25, 2009

Last night Deb and I attended the 58th annual Mobile Piano Ensemble at Davison High Performing Arts Auditorium. If you've never been, it is where up to twelve persons play grand pianos at the same time. . . . sort of like Ferrante and Teicher and Teicher and Teicher and Teicher and so on. . . We went in particular to see Jackie Benson our city and chambers webmaster (pictured receiving roses after her performance of Danses Andalouses: Ritmo.)
Lots of great classical and semi-classical pieces such as Chopin's Waltz in C# Minor, Debussy's Clair De Lune and Sibelius Finlandia were part of the expansive program.
Then Sunday afternoon was occasion for the St. Thomas Annual Church Picnic which is always attended by several hundred hungry people. It is a good oportunity to meet with old friends and talk and gossip and talk some more and have fun. Through the courtesy of our church's grounds keeper, "Shorty" Lumpkin, we always meet the last Sunday in October at Amelia Park in Saraland. Since all the church members bring a dish, it is like going to a Morrisons Cafeteria on steroids. Just for instance, their were 58 different desserts to choose from. (pictured are Charles and Margaret Czajkowski, and Deborah) (Me guarding the grill)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

October 24, 2009

This morning I attended the Saraland Harvest Festival for my first time. Lots of air-filled jump-up-and-downies for the kids, hot dogs and hamburgers, just about any other kind of food and many crafts stands. They even had Forest Lawn giving away burial plots. I saw
leather lanyards, hand-crafted wallets and sculpture made from old, painted light bulbs. My Chamber Of Commerce buddy, Mandy Trout made a cute carnival "barker" with her wireless microphone, thanking all the participants for coming to the event. While of course, I am partial to our Founders Day, here in Chickasaw; I've got to say it was a fun experience.

Friday, October 23, 2009

October 23, 2009

I was invited to go with Mayor Pittman to attend a Envision meeting at the Mobile Chamber of Commerce this morning. The purpose was to stimulate an interest in Mobile County's smaller cities to encourage walking and bike riding within the communities. Not only for the purpose of saving fuel (65% of people take their cars to go less than a mile) but to promote bicycles for muscle toning and to curb obesity in children. Sharon Roerty shared a "power point" video for the mayors, while Wendy Allen and Charlene from Smart Coast Development handled questions.
I was able to point out to Senator Vivian Figures that Chickasaw has approved a sidewalk ordinance and that we have a community garden primarily plowed and cared for by John Harrell. We were reminded by Sharon that Blue Cross/Blue Shield has shown interest in helping develop bike paths for the results gained in "preventive medicine". There will be a small town meeting to discuss the Hwy 43 corridor 5:00 PM November 5 in Creola.

(pictured is Senator Figures being presented with a book from Sharon Roerty and a shot of the right side of the table)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

October 22, 2009

Before it got too warm and before the rain was scheduled, I schlepped down to Springhill Golf course to hit some balls. Our Kiwanis golf tournament is coming up at the first of the month and it's a mortal sin how bad you can get in a year without practice. Our foursome seldom does any playing until the month of November rolls around each year.
The afternoon was spent invoicing clients and trying to get an easement corrected for AnaMarie Palla on property that abuts Viaduct Road around the GAO plant. Apparently the easement was adopted in 1994 before that section was turned over to the City Of Chickasaw. It was designated as an area for transporting chemicals by underground pipe, but the maps of their route seem to be incorrect. I have turned Ms. Palla over to our City Code Inspector, who should be able to find the correct documentation. Tomorrow is crammed with meetings.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

October 21, 2009

I picked up and delivered the paper work that will assist the city in issuing Brooks Park fishing and launch permits to seniors and disabled. This afternoon Deborah and I went for our flu-shots and got that out of the way. Yesterday I had delivered a framed document naming Chickasaw Spa And Tub as our current "Business Of The Month" which we feature on the Chamber website: . Normally, the business thanks us and goes on about their business. . . . . Not so with Spa and Tub, who I must say, know how to respond to an award. Today the Mayor and the press were there to take pictures . . . and they have used it as an advertisement on their sign. Way to go! We are glad you liked the award. What a great attitude!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

October 20, 2009

Representative Randy Davis called me last night to check on the progress of the Dollar General store going in on Highway 43. They had been waiting on ALDOT to approve their driveways and parking coming off and onto the Highway. Today I designed some permits for the city and worked on the "National Plant A Tree" month posters and pass-outs. Tomorrow I will deliver the finished product and travel to Daphne for a training meeting.

Monday, October 19, 2009

October 19, 2009

I attended Kiwanis lunch today and was delighted to hear a husband and wife team speak on the Banking and Credit Union businesses. Phil Domke is Vice President of Bancorp South and his wife Deb Domke is with New Horizon Credit Union. They addressed the competition between the different organizations and the higher interest a credit union will pay to overcome the perceived prestige of a large bank. Both of their organizations were not affected by the foreclosure disaster that hit some of the larger facilities and refused to take any TARP money distributed last fall. Phil and Deb answered questions and discussed the decisions that must be made before a bank "short-sells a piece of delinquent property. There was a drawing on door prizes which were won by Carnes Craig, City Inspector and Dennis Brown, Pastor of St. Michaels Episcopal Church.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

October 18, 2009

After church Deborah headed to work after we swapped cars so I could pick up some lumber and paint from Lowes. On the way back I stopped off at Wright Park in Satsuma where their 50th Anniversary celebration was in full swing. Listened to some good Gospel singing and priced some of their satsuma orange bushes. $34. seemed a bit high, so I bought a soft drink and watched the kids play on several "blow-up" playground toys. By the time I left, the park had filled up well.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

October 17, 2009

One a month the South West Alabama Railroad Modelers (SWARM) meets at one of our hobbyists homes for the meeting and to look at and operate Lionel (or other manufacturers) trains. Always lots of fun because we have approximately 70 members and by the time we have rotated through everyones home layout, most of us are so old that starting over is like seeing brand new displays. Today we met at Fred Karkowski's home in Spanish Fort with the gracious hosting of his lovely wife. Fred has "O" gauge trains and he has done a good job forming a background of businesses, farms and residences. What makes electric trains interesting since the turn of the century, is DCC digital control which permits one to operate two trains on the same track without collisions with one another. Just another way for a bunch of guys to get together and talk some train trash.

Friday, October 16, 2009

October 16, 2009

Last night Deborah and I attended the Municipal Dinner at the Mobile Greyhound Race Track. New officers to the association were sworn in by Judge Don Davis and there was a lot of relief that the Poarch Indians have saved the track by purchasing 65% of their holdings. It will be interesting to see how long it will take before electronic bingo moves into the facility.
Today, in keeping with the "National Plant a Tree in October" month, I went to the Mobile Botanical Gardens Plant Sale on Langham Dr. down by the Mobile Museum Of Art and purchased a Gardenia Bush (tree?) for the Chickasaw Garden Club to participate in the event.
We will be planting it, either at Brooks Park or the Chickasaw School of Math & Science.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

October 15, 2009

This morning the Chamber Of Commerce approved the printing of new city maps for Chickasaw with included ads for merchants allowing us to offset the costs. They will be distributed to individuals, churches, businesses and welcome stations around the state at no cost. This will give us an opportunity to promote places of interest to tourists as well as touting our port facility, and canoe and kayaking launch at Brooks Park. A committee was appointed to determine the marketing and procurement of the advertising. Today's meeting was sponsored by the Chickasaw Historic Society and our speaker was Mary Shell from Alabama's Historic Commission. A very nice lady, who reminded us that we should be applying for their yearly grants. One of the highlights of the meeting was the chambers opportunity to award a $50. savings bond to Mike Lin, an exemplary student at Chickasaw Math and Science School. Mikes teacher, Cassia and principal, Michelle were also presented with over $50. in school supplies, donated by National Audio and Bay Coast Consulting. Our next meeting is November 19th and tonight the Municipal Dinner is at the Greyhound Race Track in Theodore. (pictured is Tom Hayward, Teresa Goolsby introducing our speaker and Mary Shell. bottom photo is the Lin family along with Mikes teacher and principal)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

October 14, 2009

I drove up to Satsuma to visit with a few of my friends and was impressed with the excitement and determination involved with the citizens regarding the city's 5oth Anniversary celebration.
They had some beautiful paintings submitted for the posters and the 5K run at 3:30PM on the 17th will be amazing. It is being held at that time so students can participate and witness the event.
I had some old church clients from North Carolina call as well as a University in Florida both looking for wireless microphones. This time of the year, churches are stocking up for Christmas plays and cantatas and the colleges are right in the middle of their performing arts semester.
Of course I also had to pick up supplies for Deborah to make her (maybe not world famous, but Tom Hayward famous) banana pudding for the Chamber Of Commerce meeting tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

October 13, 2009

Last night Deborah and I provided drinks for the Historic Society meeting. Teresa Goolsby showed us how she had traced her linage back though historic documents and on-line ancestory
search engines to the civil war era. This morning I was invited to the Saraland Chamber Of Commerce meeting where we heard Dr. Howard Rubenstein talk about Saralands five year business plan for the city. Some of the interesting points of his discussion were Saralands new Community Center, grants for a sidewalk all the way up Highway 43, Automatic lisence tag "scanners" for their police cars which would go off when it scanned a stolen or wanted vehicle and a new road sign ordinance which would give merchants five years to
update their signs to a required height and size. He also spoke about the new Saraland High School which would "kick-off" their January opening with the play "Oklahoma" in their Performing Arts Center.
The new school system has already increased testing scores by double digits. Maybe Chickasaw won't be far behind. Tonight is council meeting at City Hall in Chickasaw. (pictured is Dr. Rubenstein)

Monday, October 12, 2009

October 12, 2009

Today at Kiwanis, we had installation of local officers by the Regional Lt. Governor: Carnes Craig-President, Ervin Daily-Vice President, Adam Bourne-Secretary and Jim Trout-Treasurer. After that brief ceremony, todays guest speaker was Dr. Henry Creel, pastor of Chickasaws First Baptist Church. He gave a truly inspirational talk about "How can you believe there is a God with all the evil in the world". The answer of course was "Why would you people be meeting here to help children in your community; why would anyone do good for one another if evil was all there is to look forward to? My paraphrasing does little justice to his powerful lesson in proof of a benevolent creator, but we all left feeling much better about life.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

October 11, 2009

After church today Deborah and I headed to New Orleans by way of Biloxi. After shopping on Royal Street, we went over to Bourbon Street to get a bite to eat at Arnaud's. We stopped and listened to several groups of street musicians, then split for the Garden District. One of our favorite places to cruise is Magazine Steet, being similar to a place in Atlanta known as "Little Five Points". We had coffee in a couple of "coffee-houses" and stopped to shop at Whole Foods".
After hitting another place to pick up some pralines for Deb's friends, we said good evening to the "Big Easy".


Saturday, October 10, 2009

October 10, 2009

Frank Coate and I met this morning at Ruby Pierce's home to finish walling the laundry center room. The only thing left is to caulk, prime and paint what we have built. Hopefully we can get the rest of the Knights over to remove all the concrete block that fell during the hurricane. I reurrned to the house just in time to haul off some big limbs that fell into the yard during last nights rain. Deborah has to work late so I may head over to Ocean Springs later this afternoon.

Friday, October 9, 2009

October 9, 2009

Tonight I went to LoDa Art and Poetry show on Dauphin Street at Cathedral Square. I met up with Charlie Smoke who some of you remember from the March 09 Chamber Of Commerce meeting. Charlie and I discussed some of the upcoming film shoots in Mobile which is what he presented to us at that meeting. While having a glass of Cabernet at Spot Of Tea, a lovely lady snapped a photo of me with two art festival maids. Across the street in the square a crowd gathered to listen to poetry written by some excellent and creative talent. It was a pleasant
couple of hours and relaxed my soul.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

October 8, 2009

Last night we had a video presentation of our priest's visit to St. Peters Basilica in Vatican City. The sheer beauty of the structure and its architectural wonder makes you feel humble that this
work was done over 1,000 years ago. We followed that with a church
council meeting where we wrapped up the preparations for the church picnic on October 25 at the Saraland City Park.
Today the Chamber Of Commerce fed the nearly 100 Chickasaw city employees with a lunch of hotdogs, chili, potato chips and many delicious desserts baked by the Chamber Board members.
They got to eat their lunch in the cafeteria, due to the courtesy of First Baptist Church on 5th St.
While the employee lunch is usually served behind the Caboose next to City Hall, it was feared that the rain may make it a soggy event. Everyone enjoyed themselves and participated in conversations about politics and Alabama football. What's new?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

October 7, 2009

Last night the Commercial Development Board voted to allow Mr. Nall to open a fleet maintenance service center at 550 Thompson Blvd. in Chickasaw, with the provision that the premises are kept free of clutter. We had our (normally held on Monday) Kiwanis Club lunch meeting at the Mobile Country Club this afternoon. The dining room holds about 200 persons and was almost full to hear Kiwanis Governor George Aiken speak to the Mobile County area Kiwanis members. He spoke of maintaining the zeal and commitment needed by each club to grow each year in membership so we can devote our activities time in looking after the children.
Our motto is: "Children First, Priority One".

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

October 6, 2009

The Planning Commission met this morning at City Hall to vote on turning over ordinances to the Council for an open-forum meeting. The Chickasaw Garden Club met at 1:00 PM at Pintolis in Satsuma for our final meeting of the year and lunch. Todays speaker was Debbie Harbin who suggested that the Garden Club help with the upcoming American Cancer Society drive by forming a team. Nell Barnes presented the History of 2009 book to Marilyn Jones, our vice president who was sitting in for Ervin Dailey, president, absent from the meeting. Marilyn read the monthly reports and the years projects acheived this year by the Club.
Tonight we have a meeting of the Commercial Development Board where we will vote on "The Shop", an automotive repair business wishing to locate at 550 Thompson Blvd. Tonights speaker is Green Suttles from Gulf States Engineering, an expert in Industrial and Commercial planning.
He is responsible for picking site locations for EADS, Carnival Cruise Lines and Bass Pro Shop.

Monday, October 5, 2009

October 5, 2009

This morning I met my pastor, Rev. Father Saucier to have lunch and work out a schedule of nominations for the St. Thomas Church Council. We had a great time and I am looking forward to implementing some of our ideas in the coming months. Yesterday afternoon I had the opportunity to go by Miller Park (where I contracted the terrible sunburn on Saturday) What is that about "criminals always returning to the scenc of the crime"? They were flying wireless model airplanes (electric) which reminded me of my childhood days flying gas powered models. I took a few pictures including one of our fine police officers having some fun which I have published here. Tonight we met at the Chickasaw Civic Theatre for a board meeting to discuss the recent play, The Odd Couple and to vote on budgets for the rest of the season. A quote has been received to patch the roof and fix the HVAC water drainage problem. This Thursday is our City Employees Lunch sponsored by the Chamber Of Commerce.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

October 4, 2009

There was a really bad accident on I-65, just south of our southbound entrance lane this morning around 11:00 AM. Police had the lane closed off for hours as they tried to extracate people and vehicles from the tragedy. Deborah had to travel down through Whistler to Hwy 45 in order to get to work. We had been to church and had a relaxing, peaceful breakfast at Whataburger. . . . but there's always something going on in this town. Then, as if that was not bad enough, another car wreck occured at 1:30 PM a little north of W. Lee Street on southbound I-65. With both accidents within 1000 ft. of each other, they were forced to call in ALDOT to help with traffic.As a reminder, don't forget the last day of the Chickasaw Theatre fundraiser: "Bonnie Bones" this afternoon at 2:00 PM
Everyone who has seen this spoof of Lower Alabama life has loved it.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

October 3, 2009

What better day could you ask for? Although the temperature got a little high around noon, The Community Yard Sale was a rousing success. There were vendors from Daphne, Creola, Theodore and many, many from Chickasaw. Quite a few were charitable organizations such as Tri-Coastal Community Outreach and our own Womans Club raising Scholarship money for Chickasaw students. The police and fire department did an outstanding job selling shrimp, corn and potato dinners plus dessert in the form of red iced cupcakes with the fire dept. logo. The start at 5:30 AM was a little disorganized, with many people not getting the message that you had to bring your own table and chairs, but what the heck. . . . . it turned out perfect.

Friday, October 2, 2009

October 2, 2009

I spent a large part of my day helping Susan Hall at Tri-City Review. Her reporter who covered Chickasaw has dissappeared and she had nothing except Emmits column on the city council. So I went back into my daily blogs and found the information on the Chamber Of Commerce, Tomato Walk and Coastal Clean-Up to give her enough for a Chickasaw page. Then I spent time at the library with posters and last minute details for the Community Yard Sale, 7 AM tomorrow at Millers Park. To finish my evening I made 48 spiral wrap ham and turkey finger sandwiches for tonights fundraiser at the Chickasaw Civic Theatre: "Captain Bonnie Bones" and the search for the lost treasure of Fort Conde. The play will also be performed Sunday afternoon at 2 PM.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October 1, 2009

Well, the press and television finally caught up with Chickasaw. For an ordinance which has been proposed and voted on in open forum for over a month, it took the news of Prichards Bingo interest to finally get the story. Mayor Pittman spoke "matter of factly" about our interest in the charitable possibilities of a well run casino, which while Gov. Riley doesn't like them; they appear to be legalized in precedent through the Alabama Supreme Court. While this blogger has no personal opinion about gambling, our state IS surrounded by Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee, all having some form of lottery or casino legal in their area. I have heard that Mayor Pittman will be appearing on the 10:00 PM news tonight.