The Evening Post: First Anniston City Council Meeting


One City, One Vision.  The first city council meeting with the new mayor and city council went off great.  It’s nice to see a meeting go smoothly than what you would have seen during the past administration.  Mayor Vaughn Stewart and city council members Jay Jenkins, Millie Harris, David Reddick, and Seyram Selase in my opinion are going to do a great job serving the people of Anniston.  Enjoy the photos and video from the meeting!

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The Evening Post: 7-12


The story from HLN-TV.

The City Council in Belfast, Northern Ireland has killed Lennox the dog.  The City Council declared Lennox had a severe personality disorder, but his owners, the Barnes family, said he was a well-handled American bulldog-Labrador cross. After measuring his legs and snout, dog wardens declared Lennox a “possible pitbull type” and in 2010 seized him under the UK’s dangerous dog act.  And after going through a number of legal battles including the Northern Ireland‘s senior appeals court; the dog was put down.  The biggest disgrace was the family’s daughter Brooke had been denied the chance to say a final farewell.

I think this was a huge disgrace to dog owners around the world.  This happened in Northern Ireland but these dog breed banning laws exist here in America and Alabama as well.  And I think it’s wrong for certain dog breeds to be banned because they are deemed to be too dangerous.  If governments bans certain dog breeds like pit bulls what’s stopping them from banning other things.  Next we might hear a government banning all dogs because they bark too loud.  Or they might ban kids because they talk too loud.  My point is these bans shows that government is way too big.  And that needs to stop!

I really enjoyed this video honoring Lennox.  You will enjoy it too!

The Problems in Birmingham Alabama


I can not believe all the problems that are going on in the City of Birmingham Alabama right now.  Every day it seems like we keep hearing of more bad news coming out of the Magic City.  And I am going to highlight them one by one.

Food Truck Crackdown

http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2012/07/birmingham_restaurateurs_say_f.html#incart_hbx

The Birmingham City Council is considering putting in heavy restrictions on food trucks.  The brick and mortar businesses complained that their investments are being threatened by unfair and unregulated competition.  And councilman Johnathan Austin is proposing an ordinance that would set up an 200-foot buffer zone from already established businesses. It would also set up established zones for the trucks and create a new business license category for the food trucks.  The more I see this right now I believe this is a sorry attempt by the government of Birmingham to ban food trucks.  There are many restaurants in the downtown Birmingham area and the 200 foot buffer would pretty much ban food trucks.

Of course if a food truck was parked in an illegal area or on a sidewalk they should have to move.  But I see this attempt as food truck murder in Birmingham.  There are several great food trucks that serve customers in Birmingham.  Trucks such as Dreamcakes, Spoonfed Grill, Shindigs Catering, and Cantina on Wheels brings new options for people in the lunch hour.  Plus food trucks has been a huge hit in cities across the country.  Food trucks also brings new life to downtown areas and you often see a good line in front of a food truck.  So I think this proposed ordinance is stupid and not needed.  I guess Birmingham loves seeing more businesses leaving the city for good.  By the way I am glad that Food Blog South is being moved to Homewood next year.

Go to http://www.change.org/petitions/birmingham-city-council-member-support-street-food-vendors-in-birmingham to sign a petition to stop this crazy ordinance.

Cooper Green Problems

http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2012/07/crowd_at_jefferson_county_meet.html

This should also come as no surprise.  The Cooper Green Mercy Hospital that is run by Jefferson County has had over $500 million from the indigent care fund that has been unaccounted for over the years.  Plus Cooper Green owes $71 million from past court rulings.  The county held a meeting with many people on ways to save the hospital and there was a quote that made me laugh.  A Birmingham lawyer named Emory Anthony and a resident of Birmingham said Cooper Green Mercy Hospital has been a “whipping boy” for the county.

My question is this; with Obamacare being ruled constitutional and now going to be put into effect unless after the next elections politicians stop it.  Why does this hospital even needs to exist?  Everyone is going to have insurance or they will have to pay a huge fine.  There are many other hospitals in the area that would be able to serve the poor and in my opinion this hospital needs to be closed down.  This would save the county lots of money and help them recover from bankruptcy much sooner.

Birmingham BOE Problems

http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2012/08/judge_sides_with_superintenden.html

This comes as no surprise that the Birmingham Board of Education is having trouble.  The Alabama Department of Education and Superintendent Tommy Bice has come in and taken over the school system.  Sure some of the board members tried to sue to remove the state takeover and school Superintendent Craig Witherspoon.  But the judge did the right thing and allowed the takeover to continue.  Birmingham City Schools once was a great school system in the state of Alabama but it is now a piece of c*ap.

The city wanted to even bailout the school system but thankfully that was stopped.  It’s sad to see how far Jefferson County and Birmingham Alabama has fallen.  Once one of the top city and county in the country has now fallen to a laughing-stock.  The school system needs a lot of work including better teachers and staff, money cutbacks, and the closing of older schools.  But I am afraid nothing is going to be done even after the state takeover ends.  Because many members of the board wants to keep blowing money and be corrupt.  I hope the voters of Birmingham will be smart enough to vote out the corrupt board members in the next election.

BJCTA Trouble

http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2012/07/birmingham_mass-transit_job_ac.html

This report from the Brookings Institution should also come as no surprise.  The Birmingham Jefferson County Transit Authority has been ranked 90 out of 100 cities on the mass transit‘s ability to connect workers with jobs.  Most people who ride the Birmingham bus system has to ride the bus for hours to get to their jobs.  And sometimes the bus the people rides breaks down or catches on fire.  This video from the UAB Digital Media student class should tell you everything.

Every major metro area needs a good mass transit system to function.  And it seems like the Birmingham Metro is in a backward state when it comes to mass transit.  The BJCTA gets no state funding and has to rely on city and federal funds.  Birmingham could look to similar metro areas its size such as Oklahoma City or Charlotte which has a great mass transit system.  Some people also wants to see light rail and better buses put into service in the metro area.  But it is going to mean the state of Alabama needs to provide funding.  How much of a chance is that going to happen?

Ann Welch for Anniston Mayor


I was invited to attend a press conference for another candidate that is throwing her hat into the ring for the Anniston Alabama mayor seat.  Ann Welch announced that she is running for mayor.  She had some very good points during her short speech to help fix Anniston.

She said that Anniston is in a crossroads right now.  And Anniston has a small window to help turn the city around.  She is wanting everyone in the city to work together to help turn Anniston around.

She talked about two things that can help turn Anniston around.  One; Anniston needs a new perspective.  Anniston also needs to change the way it’s doing things.  The second point is to have team work in the city of Anniston.  Anniston needs to find a page and get on it.  Overall this is shaping up to be a huge race for the Anniston mayor seat.

I am wanting to personally interview each mayor candidate for the city of Anniston.  I love living in Anniston and with my unemployment I am hoping I do not have to move away.  Over the next few months you will see mayor candidate interviews here on Geek Alabama.  If you represent an Anniston mayor candidate please e-mail me at: barcncpt44@aol.com.  The Anniston city elections are in August 2012.  Let’s make sure the citizens of Anniston pick the right candidate!

Anniston City Council Meeting


Last night I went to attend the circus known as the Anniston City Council Meeting.  And boy was it a laugh fest.  The first big topic was the Anniston Land Company building that has had part of its wall collapsed. 

The estimated costs to save the building is around $10-15 million dollars.  The building is in such bad shape the joists inside holding the walls have broke.  So it is only a matter of time before this building comes down.  It would cost over $100,000 to take down the building.  And the city council decided to table the issue so it can meet with the historic commission.  We will probably have the decision to take down the building in two weeks.

The next big issue was the hiring of people in the police and fire departments from outside the city.  The issue is hiring people from outside of Anniston is dangerous.  Because the new people would have to learn the streets of Anniston.  Some people on the council mentioned the city is lucky it has not been sued over discrimination.  And one council member wants to hire people inside the department because the police and fire needs to know people.  But the motion to open the city up to outside people for hiring was passed.

But the main action was the fighting between Ben Little and mayor Gene Robinson.  The mayor has accused Mr. Little of “littlemandering” a version of gerrymandering because of his own plans for the new city ward lines; which failed.  The mayor accused Mr. Little of being off plum.  And he said for someone that is educated he is surprised that Ben Little is jealous.  And the mayor accused Mr. Little in wanting politics in everything.  Can these two just shut up for a while?

The battles between the mayor and Mr. Little were priceless!  Mr Little then responded by saying “is there any shame” a couple of times.  And he also repeatedly said “the big fish eating the little fish.”  During the discussion phase he talked every time which made the crowd not happy.  Ben Little does not want a C.D.A. for the city of Anniston.   And when he help defeat one of the mayor’s appointments he was laughing and smiling and declared himself “the winner.”  During the public commenting some people trashed the city council and then Ben Little opened his mouth and said; ” I am not worried about the threat of the next election; and God help him.”

And as we got close to the end of the meeting something happened; the mayor walked out of the meeting.  And then it got crazy as it turned into the Ben Little show.  So at the end everyone in the room was frustrated over the city council meeting.  And Calhoun County needs some help fast.  The mayor of Weaver is on trial; and the people of Jacksonville are not happy in how tax money is spent.  We need a CLEAN SWEEP of every mayor and city council member in Calhoun County.  And that includes the county commissioners as well.  And that means I am going to be attacked from some people which will mean no jobs for me in this county.  So could it be time to move on?  I hope not.

Want to see the video of the mayor leaving.  Click http://www.justin.tv/annistonstar/b/308654957

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