Wednesday, March 31, 2010

March 31, 2010

Today, being a continuation of Holy Week, I returned to Chickasaw First Baptist Church to hear Dr. Henry Creel give a stirring talk about what motivates people to sin. He used examples ranging from Judas Ascariot "selling out" Jesus for silver to Bernard Mahoff's ponzi scheme. No matter how evil the sin, and we all do it, the importance is owning up to our mistake in prayer to Jesus and asking for his forgiveness. We enjoyed a great chicken gumbo lunch and I had the opportunity to speak with a City Councilman and a member of our Chamber Board.
This afternoon I will pick up the tickets for Citizen of The Year and get them to our event chairman for distribution.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

March 30, 2010

I had the opportunity to be invited to Chickasaw First Baptist Church to eat a tasty lunch of spaghetti and toasted garlic bread today. The main speaker was Dr. Paul McClendon from Clarke County who informed us about what matters in life. . . . not to get so busy accumulating wealth that we can't reach out a hand to Christ when he calls us. "Just like the wheat grains that die and fall to the ground and are covered with moist earth. . . . they spring up again and grow into healthy living plants that continue God's creation." Some of the city's pastors and council were in attendance at the church.

Monday, March 29, 2010

March 29, 2010

At 10:00 AM we assembled next to the Chickasaw Theatre where the Safe House (or Hurricane Shelter) will take shape over the next year. Mayor Pittman spoke to the crowd of about 50 interested citizens attending and introduced Congressman Jo Bonner who was "happy to be in Chickasaw rather than Washington, D.C." He congratulated the city for its persistance during the recessive economy and wished the best for our community. The mayor and five councilpersons then placed their shovels into the earth and symbolically started the building process. From there it was on to the Kiwanis Lunch where we had the opportunity to hear Lawrence Battiste (former Prichard Police Chief) and currently administering Judge Naman's program for juvenile youth. Battiste confirmed that an overwhelming majority of the troubled young people come from "single parent homes". The program has joined with USA's Psychiatric Dept. and Mike Gottfried's "Team Focus". The biggest concern is 11 to 15 year olds, trying to keep them from joining the ranks of older, "hardened" juvenile teens.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

March 28, 2010

This beautiful Sunday I had the opportunity to visit First Baptist Church of Chickasaw and listen to the "Voices Of Mobile" led by Roger Breland, a former resident, student and church member of this fine church. The Voices of Mobile had performed for us at the January meeting of the Chamber Of Commerce and to say they are good is a vast understatement. If you get the chance, do not miss them. After the service, we all had a fantastic lunch in the Fellowship Center prepared by the talented ladies of First Baptist. Voices of Mobile will be performing this evening at Dauphinway Baptist in Mobile at 6:00 PM.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

March 27, 2010

This morning was an early rise to work over at one of our church members houses. The hurricane damaged wall had left tons of concrete blocks, now molded and no longer good for
construction. After building a new wooden wall we had to haul off the old block. The three of us loaded them on a trailor until we were quite exhausted, but we finished the job. We will turn this voluntary work into the Knights of Columbus for hourly credits for the organization.

Friday, March 26, 2010

March 26, 2010

For the next two days, the Chickasaw Garden Club are having their Annual Spring Plant Sale. The first day did very well with about $700. in sales. There are still some great "Knockout" roses and many bedding plants and hanging baskets. The best of all deals is the 75 pound bag of potting soil for only $15. bucks. I bought one last year and had enough left over from spring and summer to plant winter pansies. If you are coming Saturday, show up around opening time
9 AM to make sure you get a good selection. I'm headed for a 2010 Founders Day meeting tonight. The public is welcome, so see ya at the Civic Center. Pictured are Marge Mullin and Ervin Dailey.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

March 25, 2010

When the City Of Chickasaw closed down the JC Davis Auditorium we lost the ability to cook large meals for events and Holiday dinners. So the obvious fix was to move to the Civic Center.
But to our dismay, it was not an approved site for a commercial kitchen, having no triple-bay stainless steel sink or approved freezer. With a little scraping of the cookie jar for needed funds,
we've been able to refinish the late obsolete kitchen and it will be completed next week. Here's a sneak preview of some of the changes taking place.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

March 24, 2010

This was a phone call day for me, all day long. I had conversations with one of my Commercial Board members, the City Consultant, three potential clients and three vendors. Throw in making a trip to City Hall to pick up a check and delivering it to Ervin Dailey then ending up with a run to Walgreens and it would have been hard to squeeze in much more. I noticed that contractors are finishing the Dollar General front-of-store sign, so we are coming down to the wire on that addition.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

March 23, 2010

I was thankful to have the Regional Wastewater Coalition formally signed by its two current partners: Mobile and Chickasaw. Eventually, as the EPA forces the cities to move effluent and sewer water away from 3 mile, then 8 mile creek, the other towns such as Prichard and Saraland will have no other choice than to join the Regional Coalition. Their only remaining action would be a far more expensive disposal method at four to five times the cost projected
by the Regional Wastewater answer. A large diameter pipeline is proposed from Chickasaw and Mobile meeting around the vicinity of the Cochrane Bridge into the Mobile River. As cities tied on to the pipe further north of the Highway 43 corridor, their pipe would be somewhat smaller in diameter thereby less expensive. One of the nicer benefits of this wastewater control would be the freedom for our children and grandchildren to once again swim in the ChickasawBogue.

Monday, March 22, 2010

March 22, 2010

Lunch at Kiwanis and we were delighted to have Trey Oliver from Mobile Co, Metro Jail speak to our group. Metro Co. basically detains the arrested until the outcome of their trial and they are always "full to the brink". Twenty-seven thousand people are arrested each year with 18% of them being drug related charges. Last year 1,149 of them were men and 170 women. Just a decade or two ago, there was just a handful of women, but that is changing fast. The current population of Metro is 1,319 prisoners and the cost to maintain the facility is 22 million dollars.
Trey is the Warden and is located at 450 Emanuel Street in Mobile.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

March 21, 2010

After church Deb and I traveled to Fairhope for the Arts and Crafts Festival. It was a chillier day than yesterday, in fact somewhat darn cool when the wind gusted at about 30-40 knots.
But with a full sun, it was tolerable and fun. After hitting Deb's favorite store: "The Cat's Meow" and buying her a hat, we went to see the Train Show, down at the school on Church Street. My train club (SWARM) Southwest Alabama Area Railroad Modelers had a large "O" gauge set-up to offer the kiddies and adults as well. We circulated through most of the art booths and decided
to stop on the Causeway to dine on scallops and tuna at Original Oyster House. Of couse the day had to be topped off with coffee at Serda's. (note the GM&O model in the top picture)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

March 20, 2010

When I was having my cup of Serda coffee today, I drove over to the square to see the new transit station. It is really cool, looking like an art-deco, copper roofed, trolley station from the 20's or 30's. I remember seeing them up north a long time ago and while it doesn't have the cast iron, hand turned spindles of yesteryear, it is a darn close facsimile and another interesting addition to downtown Mobile.

Friday, March 19, 2010

March 19, 2010

Last night's Municipal Meeting was not as well attended as we had hoped. Some people went to the auditorium by mistake, so we got a late start. The food and commraderie were excellent though, so we had a fine time. Rogers provided the barbequed pork and chicken along with grilled vegetables and peach cobbler and banana pudding. Dr Henry Creel and Gerald Easley spoke about the waste water regional project to eliminate dumping into fresh water creeks.
Today we caught up on invoices, work on the Spring Community Yard Sale and trips to the bank.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

March 18, 2010

A delightful Chamber Meeting sponsored by Chickasaw United Methodist Church and catered by one of my favorites, Catfish Junction. Our guest speaker today was Bill Johnson, a republican candidate for governor of Alabama who addressed the issues of faith-based help to our communities instead of relying on an already over burdened federal government. He also talked about letting the state take the issue of electronic bingo to the people for a vote, since his experience indicated that nearly 70% were in favor of the gaming recreation. Bill was accompanied by his beautiful wife, Kathy, and his local campaign chairperson Zoa. We also awarded the Business Of The Month to Mobile Gas, A Sempra Company. They are very active in our community and it was a pleasure to see them receive the award.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

March 17, 2010 St. Patricks Day

Today I called Mike Sweet at the Chickasaw Housing Authority to see if we could use Miller Park for the Community Yard Sale in April this year. Our last October sale there was very successful. Mike will get back to us before the end of the week. Tonight the Commercial Board met with two prospective Chickasaw businesses 1.) a used car and service center at 100 Telegraph Rd. and 2.) a hair supply store at 326 S. Craft Highway. Both were approved after some questions about their plans of operation. Top of the evening to ye. . . .

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

March 16, 2010

I had the opportunity to speak with the code inspector, city consultant and the entire Commercial Development Board. We will meet tomorrow evening (Wednesday) at 6:30 PM right after Municipal Court to vote on two applications for businesses in Chickasaw. One is a body shop which desires to take over Carlson Muffler at 100 Telegraph Rd. The other is a Beauty Supply Store wishing to occupy 328 S. Craft Highway. The public is of course welcome to attend that meeting.

Monday, March 15, 2010

March 15, 2010

We have been fortunate to have some excellent speakers at Kiwanis lately and this was one of those times. Mark Erwin who is running for Mobile County District Attorney has served as Judge Of Probate as well as Municipal Court Judge for Saraland. He is annoyed by the current administrations "Catch and Release" concept of apprehending criminals and is not buying into the jails are already full rhetoric. "I want to proscecute criminals and let someone else worry about where to put them" said Erwin. He will be speaking again in our community in May at the Chamber Of Commerce meeting right before the preliminary elections

Sunday, March 14, 2010

March 14, 2010

It almost makes me wince to say it, but we were up at 4:00 AM this morning to meet the bus at Belaire Mall at 6:00 AM. It was the Order of Athena's annual pilgrimage to New Orleans for the St. Patricks Day parade in Metarie. There were gallons of Bloody Marys being passed around on the bus and lots of excited talking and joking. The busses parked on Metarie Ave. and everyone began eating the breakfast sandwiches and treats they had packed. After getting good positioning for the beads and green corsages that are thrown (some floats even throw cabbages)
the parade got underway. And a long parade it is! Over 2 1/2 hours of catching swag, then it was back on the bus for the trip home. A long, but fun-filled day.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

March 13, 2010

Last night's fish fry was a great success with over 190 diners eating at Parish Hall or taking out some tasty fish and fries, hush-puppies and slaw. Today's activity centered around the unveiling
of the new city plan for Chickasaw. Some of the ideas are remarkable including a named industrial park on Telegraph Rd. and an extension of West Lee into Miller Park housing the fire station, a new City Hall and Library with a turnaround in the street. Highway 43 would become Kraft Boulevard with narrowing of lanes, bicycle paths and safe crossings into the retail centers.
Ambitious undertaking, but worth the promotion to developers. I can't wait to reveal this remarkable design to some of my friends looking for a growth and investment project.

Friday, March 12, 2010

March 12, 2010

This afternoon I had the honor to judge the Chickasaw School Of Math and Science 3rd grade "INVENTION CONVENTION". This is a showcase of projects that are started at the first of the year and includes: 1.) learning about inventors 2.) Finding an idea 3.) Research and planning 4.)Developing the idea and testing. The student then turns in a display board with a working example or prototype of their invention. You can not believe some of the ideas these third graders present. One was a game (like Monopoly) that taught the multiplication tables. Another was a bird feeder with a solar panel roof, powering a sound chip with recorded bird cheeps to entice birds to feed. I am flabbergasted to witness such inventive potential in children this young. On another interesting subject, the St. Thomas Knights of columbus will be having a sumptious fish fry tonight at 5:30PM.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

March 11, 2010

We had a Port Of Chickasaw Consortium meeting this evening at 5:30 PM where Glenn Brannon from EMA spoke to us about emergency preparedness and the advantage of having an evacuation plan for our port business. When that was through, we met at City Hall to welcome Cheryl Morgan and her team of nine other architects, landscape designers and city planners. They are from Auburn University and are here all weekend at the Civic Center to listen to input from citizens and help us discover a new city within our borders. We outlined assets, dreams and aspirations and the history of Chickasaw to give her a "jumping off" point. Tomorrow I will show up to watch them work. pictures: Glenn Brannon at Consortium, Some of the audience at City Hall.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

March 10, 2010

Today I had to get scores of copies done for the Chamber and had an appointment downtown.
As I sat drinking a cup of coffee, I watched a father trying to restrain his child from getting drenched in the fountain at Cathedral Square. Everytime he would let go of the boy's hand the
child would head right into the water only to be snatched from the
jaws of "wet baby" by his dad. I continue to prepare for tomorrows Port Consortium meeting and the Commercial Board's welcome of the Auburn Urban Planning League.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

March 9, 2010

We have several people in Chickasaw who will be upset about Judge Shulmans ruling in court this morning eliminating Prichard pensioners from claims against the city's Chapter 9 pending bankruptcy. This is Prichards second bankruptcy over the past decade. Chickasaw, however, stands at the threshold of becoming a fast growing North Mobile community with the beginning
of Phase II of the Commercial Development Boards: Urban Planning Grant featuring the special assistance of Auburn University. Thursday evening at City Hall we will introduce Cheryl Morgan and her crew, ready to begin the task of helping us develop the future of Chickasaw. Try to be there at 7PM so you can have input on the decisions we will undertake. And tonight,
we will have a regularly scheduled Council meeting.

Monday, March 8, 2010

March 8, 2010

Well, today was business meeting day at Kiwanis where we decided to have Little Ceasars Pizza for lunch once every month to support our new restaurant and we voted to donate a gift of $350. to the Chickasaw Girls Softball team. Work has already begun on the May Freedom 5K race with a sponsor pledging several thousand dollars.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

March 7, 2010

Those wonderful folks from the SCA (Society of Creative Anachronism) are at it again. Their barony of the Meridies practices almost every Sunday at Langham Dr. and Springhill Ave. This afternoon as I sat and spoke with their members, I had a chance to watch Friar Tuck take on Gathor, the Purveyor of Death. They are getting ready for a war in Lumberton, Mississippi in a little over a week from now. It was an after lunch activity, having dined at Chickasaw's newest restaurant: Hadee's on W. Lee Street. The Knights of Columbus, which met after the 8:30 AM mass is preparing for the big Fish Fry March 12, 2010 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM. We voted to place a half page ad in the KOC National Event Program coming to the Mobile Convention Center this month. I will be attending as a delegate.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

March 6, 2010

After a morning of picking up limbs and branches that blew down a few days ago, I went shopping and then stopped for coffee. While I was drinking my coffee a slew (or would you call them a covey) a girls came in wearing short-shorts. That has got to be the clear indication that spring is finally here. My friend took a picture of the girls and then of my reaction to them.
Presented here for your dining and dancing pleasure. . .

Friday, March 5, 2010

March 5, 2010

As part of my responsibilities with being on the Chickasaw Theatre Board, I worked the box office tonight and when we shut down the ticket booth, Deborah and I stayed and watched:
Busman's Honeymoon, a play by Dorothy Sayers. It is a murder mystery with a great deal of dry, british humor and was well executed by the cast. It will also appear next weekend and is well worth the $15. per ticket, $10. for seniors. Some tasty intermission snacks were served by exofficio Mayor Jim Trout and his wife Barbara.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

March 4, 2010

Ahhh yes! There's nothing better than that first warm day of shirtsleeve weather to watch some young ladies play tennis. I asked if I could be on their team and they said: "Go away old man before we tase you!" No, actually they were very sweet and polite. I had to go downtown to pick up some papers and stopped to enjoy a diet coke and the view. Tried to help one of my Chickasaw friends today who was having a dispute with the city and my church who are trying to get a large hole filled where the city's maintenance dept. was working on the storm water sewer.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

March 3, 2010

If you are a big fan of the Dollar General Store, it won't be long now. With the structural steel in place and the walls taking shape, it's just a matter of time until they start stocking that rascal.
It is an obvious race to make up the time lost in court last year trying to get a clear title to the property due to past liens on former owners. I have spoken to the construction chief several times and he's an amiable person just trying to "git-er-done"
This afternoon I was getting some papers notarized by our obliging city clerks when Officer Beauville from District Attorney John Tyson's office showed up with a subpoena for information relating to electronic bingo gaming in Chickasaw. Now comes the "scare tactics"
to humble the city personnel. . . . . . . . . Bad form, JT!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

March 2, 2010

This afternoon was the first Chickasaw Garden Club meeting of the year 2010 season. We assigned programming dates for members and voted on providing a tree planting for arbor day, a plant sale on March 26th and 27th and the sale of plants at this years Founders Day. We will also supply sandwiches and cookies for Polling Day at the Civic Center. Bad news on the gaming machines taken from the Auditorium last Thursday as John Tyson, DA plans to crush them. Some people just can't get any respect!

Monday, March 1, 2010

March 1, 2010

The Chickasaw Kiwanis Club was honored today to have Congressman Jo Bonner at our meeting to talk about everything from the HealthCare Bill to the KC-45 Air Force Tanker Refueling Project currently being put out to bid for the third time. He reminded us that executives from the Air Force AND Boeing were still serving time in prison for the fist round of corrupt pay-offs and bids back in 2005 and it looks as though the Government has made it unfair for Northrup Grumman/ EADS to bid this third time. He also related to us how "scary" the congress and senate have become when they totally ignore the 70% disfavor shown by the American public toward some of the pending bills. Congressman Bonner gave us all an opportunity to ask questions and state any of our own opinions. Great meeting!