Thursday, February 16, 2017

Apartments on Old Coffee Property?

Florence developer Eugene Sak currently owns 19 incorporated businesses in Florence. Several are connected to property/construction endeavors. At the most recent Florence School Board meeting, assisted by board member Britton Watson, Sak offered 6.5 million for the property. Was he just whistling Dixie?

As far as we know, the multi-acreage property isn't zoned for apartments...and most likely wouldn't be...ever. So why does Britton Watson now favor Sak's suit? That we don't know. Watson, presumably a New York native, owns, along with her husband, Blue Olive Advertising. We're not aware of a connection between the agency and any of Sak's companies, but that's not to say there isn't one. We appreciate all comments (just keep them clean).


For those who are concerned or have simply inquired:

1. The Waterloo Road property long rejected by UNA is immediately adjacent to the campus.

2. There are no homes or businesses located there.

3. The property between the campus and Wildwood Park measures one to two miles in length and is of similar width, all undeveloped.

4. Many members of the West Florence community have been begging UNA for years to purchase and develop this tract of land.

5. Florence says it wants to move west; why doesn't UNA?


Earlier today, Pen-N-Sword announced they had installed a new firewall. If any of our readers (and you know who you are, JB) continue to have problems accessing the site, please let PNS know.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Midnight Rider/Shoals Tatler

Keller Hospital: Layoffs
By: The Midnight Rider
Helen Keller Hospital

If you read Shoalanda Speaks regularly, you know that we have written several articles which show Keller Hospital in a not so good light. Below is from WHNT 19 News that recently came out:
SHEFFIELD, Ala. – Two hospitals in the Shoals are cutting employees due to operational costs. Helen Keller Hospital and Red Bay Hospital say they have had to either reduce scheduled hours or eliminate positions at the two facilities, affecting a total of 22 staff members.
“Although we hear and read about the issues of healthcare in Washington and Montgomery, unfortunately, the greatest impact of these issues is always local,” the hospitals said in a statement. “The economic challenge of rising costs and uncertain reimbursement cannot be ignored, so we are taking steps necessary to ensure that patient care remains our priority. We are working with our staff to help them in this transition and we do not expect any further staffing action to be taken. None of these changes will diminish our ability to provide quality care.”
Ok, with that being said, you should know that this article was forthcoming. As I have stated before, with the new Hospital being built, now is not the time for Keller Hospital to be burning bridges. I don’t see how Keller can continue to have quality service when they are cutting personnel.
So what about these people that lost their job? They must now scramble to find employment without suffering from the layoff. A Source from Keller Hospital told us that the positions that were cut were full time positions. They will now be turned into Part Time Positions with cut or no benefits. That is really sad.
Be careful Keller. When that new Hospital is built, they may put you out of business.
I am and always will be, the Midnight Rider.

Last night's Florence School Board meeting is over and little has changed. We will correct one point from our special blog: While UNA says 70 parking spaces will be lost due to new construction, the board says parking spaces will actually be gained.
Britton Watson? She gave local builder Eugene Sak the floor to make an offer on the property. So much for her wanting merely to be fair with the university. We'll have more on this later.
Marty Abrom's fear of the space between the stadium and school having the appearance of an alley? While we have no idea how it will look, if it does resemble an alley when built, why not capitalize on it? How about "Victory Alley?" It certainly sounds better than Back Alley Bar or Greasy Hands Barbershop.
We recently mentioned Tommy Wallis who's serving a life term as a habitual offender from Lauderdale County. A reader asked us about an article on Tommy's wife that recently appeared in the Shoals Tatler. Apologies that we were behind in our reading; sad that Tommy's children are a part of this situation.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day 2017!

Valentine's is a day of love, and love comes in all shapes and sizes. If you're short a significant other this year, don't spend the next 10 months alone. The Shoals has plenty of little ones out there just waiting for a furever home. Some adoption agencies will even let you take the new love of your life home for a trial period. Perhaps we could call it pawfasting? No matter what you call it, we suggest you give it a try and report back to us on how your new significant other is doing!

All of us at Shoalanda Speaks

Special: The UNA Crooked Land Grab Charade

Tonight, four representatives from the University of North Alabama will speak before the Florence School Board. Ostensibly, they want to convince the board to cease plans to build a new middle school on the old Coffee High School campus and to sell the property to them. Let’s look at some facts.

1. In 2010, the Florence School Board approached UNA and asked if the university had any interest in purchasing the property. The university said NO! The school board took the university at its word and initiated its own plans for the property.

2. The school board then began plans to rehabilitate the property in some manner. Over six years later, the university has come forward to say it’s changed its mind.

3. In 2014, community meetings were held in order to make further decisions about the property (renovate the old Coffee building or to tear it down and build a new facility). UNA said nothing.

4. The property is located in a residential neighborhood—not a good location for a large parking lot.

5. The property is home to a three million dollar gym belonging to Florence City Schools.

6. UNA president Ken Kitts has stated the property would be suitable for not only a parking lot, but for tailgating parties. Yes, he really did. So much for academics, let’s just make sure we have a place to tailgate.

7. UNA currently plays an average of five games a year at Braley Stadium. Assuming game and preparations take 12 hours (this is a high estimate), we’re talking 2.5 to 3 days out of the year that UNA would be using the property it’s seeking to buy, at least for any official events.

8. When the new middle school is constructed, approximately 70 parking spaces near the stadium will be lost. More than 70 could be gained if the university or the city school system purchased the vacant lot/mini mart directly across from the stadium.

9. UNA is not landlocked. It has, for years, consistently refused to look at adjacent property to the west of campus.

10. Kitts has stated he has spoken with school board officials one on one in order to avoid “public scrutiny.” Yes, he really admitted that. Is that not pathetic?

11. There are currently two grades in the middle school now housed in portable classrooms awaiting a new building. The building is scheduled to be completed by fall 2018. How long would these two grades be forced to attend classes in trailers if the board had to start over with a property search, traffic study, and basically new architectural plans.

12. Contractors have already sent in bids on the new middle school construction. These are set to be opened on February 23rd.

13. UNA board member Libby Jordan has stated she’s disappointed in the lack of transparency shown by the university. Good for Ms. Jordan! She’s been a stand up person throughout this whole crooked charade.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Vulgar Memes/Be More?

Some years ago we were eating at a steakhouse when we overheard the following:

Server 1: That table left me $7.00!

Server 2: Flossie, that was your husband and your uncle.

Server 1: Yeah, so?

That’s usually what happens when we garner a number of new likes in a few hours' time—they all are friends with each other and they all are upset over something written here. Yesterday, we congratulated the owner of a new bakery and attempted to be polite while offering a small constructive criticism. We can be more direct.

No, unless you’re doing a glamour or porn shoot, you don’t need to worry how your hair looks. Besides docking your health score, stringy hair hovering over food doesn’t entice anyone to eat. Period.



Memes. Apparently the FB profanity filter doesn’t reject memes, so we still have to delete them manually. We will do so and will ban anyone attempting to circumvent the filter in this manner.

We also had some of our new readers naming a friend of ours from Tuscumbia. No, she had nothing to do with our short remark about the bakery and, while we didn’t delete or ban, we did hide these remarks from the general public. First and only warning.


Moving on to the sociopathic criminal element… Not everyone can have a gifted IQ. Nor can everyone have even an average IQ. Yet for anyone who has the ability to read to think that any or all of those who write here want to be a person who has spent 40% of his life in the legal system, a person now sitting in jail, a person who has more illegitimate children than DHR can enumerate, a person who is almost certainly headed south (perhaps for the rest of his life ala Tommy Wallis), is mind boggling.

Apparently we waste our breath when we urge others to strive to be more. They think the “more” is J.J. Common. And that is why we should thank our law enforcement officers daily.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Advice to a Baker & a Girl Friend

Congratulations to Baker’s Layne Bakery, newly opened in Muscle Shoals. We will offer a little advice: health department rules require the hair of those preparing food be restrained at all times. We hope you had a great grand opening today!



We’ve received a comment from a young woman, 20 years-old, who states she is the girlfriend of J.J. Common, the 33 year-old Russellville man accused of attempted murder and drug trafficking in Russellville. This young woman has a child with Common and is pregnant with a second child. She made several vulgar remarks in her comment, making it unpublishable.

We will offer two of her points. First she says J.J. has never raped anyone. After some additional research, we do want to make a correction. Common’s mentally challenged alleged victim was 15 at the time of the incident. Charges were dropped according to the Lauderdale County district attorney’s office due to the girl’s mother not wanting her to testify.Or if you prefer the defense attorney’s version, the girl wasn’t sure if penetration had taken place.

As for your assertions that J.J. has never beaten up a girlfriend, let’s look back to December 2011 when he broke into the home of his erstwhile girlfriend’s uncle, attacking the uncle and aunt in the process of kidnapping the young woman whom he dragged out by her hair. He was charged with burglary, theft, assault, kidnapping, and domestic violence. Since he ran when police arrived, we’re surprised he wasn’t charged with attempting to elude as well.

No, J.J.’s crimes are much more than drug related. You suggest he won’t be convicted of any of his current charges. Young lady, they have him on video. Police, in certain instances may lie; video doesn’t.

We wish you and your children well. Please take some advice. Get your GED; go to college; strive to do better. You just might be surprised how far in life you may go without J.J. holding you back.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Capital Murder?/Attempted Murder?

If we can’t do the right thing, or if there is no right thing to do, let’s at least do something. It won’t help the matter, but it will make us feel better, and in the case of the state legislature, make them look good…or so they think.

Rep. Phillip Pettus is again seeking to add one more capital crime to Alabama’s long list. It didn’t work last year, but he thinks it might this year. Or perhaps he thinks it will keep on making him look good so that he can say he at least did something.

No, adding the capital element to domestic killings won’t stop anyone from committing the crime. Any honest person in law enforcement can tell you that. No one has ever raised a shotgun to fire at his/her partner and stopped, thinking about the consequences. It just doesn’t work that way.



Speaking of consequences, we’ve been asked why J.J. Common was charged with attempted murder. After all, if he couldn’t hit his intended victim in 15 shots, was he actually trying to kill the woman who allegedly owned him money?

We’re guessing he was only trying to scare the woman, but judging from a Lauderdale case from a few years ago, the attempted murder charge will stick. A man in Florence stood ten feet away from his victim, fired six times into the sidewalk, and was later charged with and convicted of attempted murder.

After 15 years of dealing with J.J., we’re pretty sure that Franklin County is tired of him. If it takes a jury trial to put him away, the county just may be up for it—no plea bargains offered this time.


News flash: J.J. has a “good heart.” Haven’t we heard that before about other sociopaths?