Friday, December 19, 2014

Welcome to...

Florence where men outnumber women three to least on public boards. (Funny for the day: David Muhlendorf's LinkedIn page states that one of his specialties is "team building.")

Tuscumbia where they give new meaning to fruit basket turnover. If you think the school system losing two coaches and and a superintendent in a year's time is a bit much, just wait until 2015.

Rogersville where what you do stays in Rogersville. After all, the TimesDaily won't publish it.

Muscle Shoals where they make you feel like family....and give you a job if you really are.

Sheffield where the crime rate is much lower than the national average...of course they only answer 50% of the complaints.


Some thoughts from readers:

* Sheffield needs a citizens' committee to explore WHY Sheffield's officers don't do proper patrols, don't monitor school zones during 'high traffic' times, don't conduct proper traffic control and don't investigate all crimes reported.

* I just finished watching the video of the 12-11-14 tourism meeting. I can only think of the late Fred Gywnn’s statement in “My Cousin Vinny” when watching Alex Nelson’s “performance” … Are you on drugs? Alex Nelson is a bully and I am embarrassed he has behaved so badly.  I’ve had some dealings with Ms. Wilson and Ms. Stanfield in the past and they have always been courteous and professional. To say they are an asset to our community is an understatement. Maybe Alex Nelson will find a lump of coal in his stocking; he is definitely being naughty.

* You most likely will hear that Sheffield LEOs are 'too busy' to focus on 'traffic control/traffic offenses'.  If so, that would raise these very important questions:  1) What's 'so important?  And, 2) If they are pursuing 'other crimes', why aren't these 'other crimes' being reported to the local news outlets? Hmmm.... Is 'crime' in Sheffield 'really THAT bad?'

* It's Walmart company policy to NOT sell firearms after 10PM.  However, they also will not sell pocket knives from the display case after 10PM, either, citing company policy. You can buy all of the pocket knives you want from displays on the main aisles, though.   BUT....get this:  Walmart WILL sell AMMUNITION from a locked display case after 10PM.  If you can figure out the logic in THIS one, please let me know.


We had several who asked why the Muhlendorf family is selling Paper & Chemical Company. We have no inside information on this sale, but will hazard a guess that David Muhlendorf may wish to segue into retirement and that none of the Muhlendorf/Israel family wishes to take over the responsibility. That happens frequently in family companies of a certain age. Paper & Chemical was founded in 1949 by Mr. Samuel Israel, pictured at right.

Also, this will give David more time to devote to the Florence-Lauderdale Tourism Board. In fact, in future meetings, he might actually even find the impetus to mention the word "tourism."


We'll have more on Sheffield and Muscle Shoals next week. Feel free to send any comments for publication. No profanity, vulgarity, or libelous statements, please.



Thursday, December 18, 2014

Catching Up!/Readers Write

We're delaying Number 99's debut blog due to some other reports on local news which overlap. Rest assured, he will be here soon. Instead, we'll catch readers up on other fascinating events around the Shoals:

* David Muhlendorf has announced he's selling Paper & the company Christmas party no less. That must have been a fun event. Perhaps he will take the proceeds and use them to start a school on sensitivity training. (Do you know why Mr. Muhlendorf's aunt is famous? No bonus points for this--we just think it's neat. Sad that's she's no longer with us since she would make such a more competent board member than her nephew.)

* Angie Roberson, indicted for the theft of approximately 100K in Lauderdale County, reportedly turned herself into authorities last night after failing to show at both a preliminary hearing and her trial.

* Do you know what hacking is? We thought we did, but it seems that crime can also include authorized access to legal records for illegal or unauthorized purposes. Remember Harold Knighten in Lawrence County? He was a highly placed police officer who used legal computer systems to spy on those he didn't like. He was convicted of the crime, but is currently appealing with the help of his attorney Billy Underwood. Now we wonder just how many local authorities, both elected and appointed, are guilty of this illegal act?

* According to sources at the ABI, Angel Gieske is scheduled to be indicted in both Lauderdale and Colbert Counties during the next grand jury session. There's been no word from Limestone and Franklin Counties.


Now some interesting comments from readers:

* The (Muscle Shoals) School System--these issues arise from the lack of transparency that has plagued the system for many years. MSCS spends millions on facilities but can't buy new text books for the students. MSCS spend millions on new athletic facilities but have teachers that cannot teach the courses for which they are hired. MSCS hires coaches and then hires their wives to teach causing a more qualified teacher to be terminated to make room. For the most part the administrators and teachers DO NOT have the best interest of the students in mind. It's how can they make the system appear to be better than the other systems in the area so to attract new residents into the city. If someone was to dig deep into the contracts and the books of the school system they would find just how bad the citizens of Muscle Shoals has taken. The recent hire of the new superintendent is a perfect example; he was not the most qualified yet he was still hired because of the pull his family has with the city and school. He may do a good job, but he definitely was not the most qualified person for the job.

* When my wife and her ex were in a custody battle over her 2 daughters, we had the extreme displeasure of having a court-appointed GAL. This GAL in question absolutely REFUSED to meet with the children being 'represented'. This particular GAL also NEVER consulted, interviewed, or otherwise made any contact with the parents or relatives of the 2 children being 'represented'. No wonder GALs have a bad reputation.

* Ever tried to get INTO or OUT OF Brooks High School before or immediately after school? It's miracle someone isn't killed on a daily basis. WHY aren't there traffic lights at the two entrances/exits of the school? They could be 'timed' to coincide with the school's beginning and closing each day.

* My **** was a majorette for three years at UNA. The band director not only knew about the weight limits and BMI's, he encouraged and enforced them. He also discourages band members and auxiliary line members from any extracurricular activities. He does this by threatening to withhold band scholarships. Many band kids that pass through my work place have shared these stories with me.


We looked for a video of Irving Berlin singing the complete version of White Christmas, but found this instead. Enjoy:


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Angel Arrested, But DHR Marches On

Angel Morris Gieske was arrested in Walker County last July. As of today, possible charges are still pending in four other northwest Alabama counties. We have not yet been able to contact the Walker County District Attorney's office; however, when we do, we will publish her court dates.

Oddly enough, both DHR offices in Colbert and Lauderdale Counties, where Angel still faces possible charges, say that her false credentials identifying her as a PhD in counseling have no bearing on the outcome of cases in which she was consulted. You might want to read that last sentence again to be sure you understood correctly. That's right--no bearing. So what were they paying her for if her wonderful reports on various dysfunctional families had no impact on their final recommendations concerning child custody?


A word about Guardians Ad Litem. We understand that losers in custody cases are often bitter. We once saw the family of Andrew Daniel Scott call the GAL in Hottie Scottie's case a washed up alcoholic. Just a little demented, weren't they?

Now a mother has written us chastising the GAL in her case as homosexual. We understand her pain in losing her children over what could be trumped up charges, but we have it on pretty good authority that one's sexual orientation doesn't affect one's ability to earn a JD, pass the bar, or practice in a fair and rational manner.

We will say that we have seen some attorneys, all heterosexual as far as we recall, whom we considered idiot savants. In other words, they barely had walking around sense. These attorneys are few and far between, and we greatly admire our legal eagle friends and associates.


Kudos to Dr. Barry Morris! He's called out the Testy Tourism Three, and we salute him as our latest Local Hero. We do think he fibbed just a little. We're sure he knows who wants Debbie Wilson out of her job and why. The Slime-Bowl-O-Rama will undoubtedly continue.

We'll have more on this tomorrow with commentary from two others. One of these two is our newest blogging team member who has chosen to be called "Number 99." Shades of Patrick McGoohan...


We once saw an Italian movie in which one of the major sub-plots was the continual threat of terrorism. Bombs exploded around the central characters with regularity. That could never happen in the U.S., could it? Certainly not in the Shoals.

Yet, it seems terrorism of some ilk has arrived. Carmike Cinemas won't be showing The Interview, at least not on its opening date as the movie megacorp had previously announced. We'll guess only a few of our readers would have chosen the screening of this film--at an outrageous ticket price---as their primary Christmas entertainment. The point is if you should want to do so, you can't.

Terrorism is here. Think about it. The decisions our leaders make may not be influenced by any of us in northwest Alabama, but on the other hand, we all have input. God help us all, we're thinking Harry S Truman made a very wise decision.



Tuesday, December 16, 2014

"What's Your BFP, Baby?"

Note: While Body Mass Index and Body Fat Percentage are very similar, UNA is using the BFP measurement rather than the more widely accepted BMI. Neither is a one size fits all. be an "auxillary" at UNA, you have to have a Body Fat Percentage (BFP) no greater than 21.9. If you're wondering what an auxiliary is, this general term seems to cover Lionettes, Color Guard, and Majorettes. We're not sure about Una.

There's no lawsuit yet, but an investigation was begun in August of this year. BFP isn't a be-all-end-all measurement of size; however, UNA Pride of Dixie Band Director Lloyd Jones has ordained that 21.9% body fat is the upper limit for these young ladies. He's stated that this is in no way unhealthy.

Most charts show healthy body fat for females as 21% to 24%. Our first comment is in the form of a question: How did Mr. Jones determine the 21.9% BFI? We could see a nice round number like 22%, but out of what hat did he pull the figure 21.9%? A quick Google doesn't show this as the ideal for young women, but again gives a range of several percent.

Now, our second question...and it's the one we want answered, although we don't expect it to be. Jones has stated he wants healthy and fit looking young women on the field. Okay, Mr. Jones, that sounds good, but wait a minute...

Just why didn't your policy include a minimum BFP for these young women? How about this young lady, Mr. Jones?

She won't take up much space on the bus for away games, but is she healthy? If you're really concerned about health, at least modify your policy to include a minimum BFP.


Think the UNA BFP policy is a tempest in a trumpet? Here's what one young woman had to say about her experience as a UNA auxiliary:

“I knew of girls not showering and not drinking anything — water, juice — nothing on weigh-in days. Most of the people involved with auxiliary had rabbit food diets. I knew a girl who ate baby food because she could get the nutrients without as much bloat or extra weight.”

So what happens to girls who fail their weigh-in/measurement? No, they aren't thrown off the line, but they are benched until they return to the UNA ideal.

Should we be shocked? Probably not. Just think of that old advertising adage: Healthy Sells. Wait...the word wasn't healthy? Whoda thunk it?



Monday, December 15, 2014

Florence Tourism Board: Where Do Allegiances Lie?

It seems the Florence-Lauderdale Tourism Board has become a three against two proposition. Why and how? What do Alex Nelson, David Abramson, and David Muhlendorf have in common? Could it be a certain friend? It's possible.

Perhaps these three gentlemen have been misled by this friend or owe him in some way. There have been accusations of private meetings among these three members. We can be quite sure that the TimesDaily, for all its tunnel vision, takes that kind of behavior very seriously.


If you've attempted to reach us on Facebook, only to be blocked for some reason, here's a personal page that you may use.


Hershel Dale Graham is reportedly now living in Florence--perhaps his father ran out of money for appeals and was no longer of use to him? He's pictured here at left as he exited his murder trial using a walker. At right he's pictured shopping in Walmart--wearing thong sandals, no less? Isn't he afraid of a fall since his balance is so precarious?

So far there's been no update on whether Graham will attempt any extraordinary appeal. Since we're told there is no more money available to him, we doubt that he will; however, it's looking like January before he will be forced to begin serving his sentence.


Alternative Christmas music?


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Who Would Profit If Debbie Wilson Is Terminated?

Debbie Wilson is the current director of the Florence-Lauderdale Tourism Board. Her annual salary is around 75K. Her current assistant Alison Stanfield brings in 62K annually. Both nice incomes, but we're sure there are a lot of headaches that come with the job. Some may be named Alex, David, and David?

It seems Alex Nelson, David Abramson, and David Muhlendorf usually vote as a block, while Kelly Kelley and Kelly Gaputis vote the opposite. Since Alex Nelson has thrown down the gauntlet, if a vote concerning Miss Wilson's job did come to fruition, it might well be that she would be gone, gone, gone faster than Lefty's Frizzell's girlfriend of song fame.

So who would profit if Debbie did leave? Hmmmmm... Send us your ideas. We'll publish them. Rest assured, we believe we already know the answer to this question, but since we've recently heard Alex Nelson called a "walking lawsuit," we have no wish to be one.


Reporting on local arrests:

TimesDaily - Doesn't usually report on misdemeanor arrests unless it involves UNA football players. In other words local business leaders aren't named in misdemeanor charges related to liquor, but the football players always are.

Quad-Cities Daily - Reports all obtainable arrests complete with mug shots.

Pen-N-Sword - Reports detailed info on heinous offenses, arrests involving repeat offenders, and occasionally charges against citizens of note be they football players or local business persons.

Shoalanda Speaks - Offers commentary on the worst of the worst or the rare(?) instances of unfair treatment--see UNA football player arrests.

Perhaps that clears up some false assumptions.



Saturday, December 13, 2014

Supporting Debbie Wilson/Comparing Thugs

Yesterday we looked at a video of Thursday's Florence-Lauderdale Tourism Board. Think the Three Stooges without the humor. Think harassment. Plenty of harassment. Alex Nelson not only threatened Debbie Wilson's job twice, he called her the name of a certain shady lady. Wow!

We've looked at it. Now you take a peek--keep the barf bag handy:


Some have asked about D.K. He no longer blogs with us, but we continue to support the wonderful work he does. We are about to present a real treat for you very soon. An accomplished political blogger will be joining us. His emphasis will be on Florence politics, but he will also blog on business/political interests in the entire Shoals area. He hasn't chosen a screen name yet, but we can promise you he will be worth waiting for.


Some time ago two friends asked if we could rate Shoals criminals. We thought about it and decided the only way it could be done was to eliminate the murderers. Isn't one murder a million times worse than 50 home burglaries? How do you rate a man who shoots dead two women...and a dog? How do you compare a man who beats his step-son, rapes his two step-daughters, then kills one of them? It can't be done.

So if we eliminate the murderers? Everything is still subjective. We have a friend who knows the families of both Andrew Daniel Scott and John Wesley Akin. It's hard for her to read about them, especially in a "non-news" source. In other words we comment on the wake of crimes--something journalistic endeavors don't do. No, the TD won't tell you about the man who lost thousands of dollars when his car was stolen and he's so far received zero compensation. You won't read in newspapers about the families of those who died from supposedly tainted heroin...or the parents of a child they feel is threatened by a local druggie whose family just feels is misunderstood.

A local publication recently compared Quittney Nichols to Scott, Akin, and Jerry Don Crowden. We're sure it was done in jest, but there is a comparison. We usually refer to Nichols as Lil Quittney since that's how our friend Bubba wrote about her. In truth she's now 29 and has spent the majority of the last ten years in lock up. Aside from one attempted murder charge, most of her arrests have been of a less than dramatic nature. She needs help, but how do you get it for her?

The three guys? We're hoping that now Akin has been off drugs while in Limestone Prison he will never return to them. We're sure his family does also. He still faces a very serious heroin trafficking charge in Lauderdale County, but after that is adjudicated, he can enter DOC drug rehab.

Jerry Don Crowden? He's serving 20 years at the maximum security Holman Prison for six crimes, among them escape. He won't even be eligible for parole until 2020 (barring someone's intervention). Crowden is quite different from Akin and Scott. He may do drugs, but it was just sheer thug life that sent him south. He's not of the intelligentsia and he seemingly likes a life of crime--it's so easy, right? hope for him, but we're sure at least some of his family still hopes. He's a sociopath, if you believe those exist, and we do.

That brings us to Andrew Daniel Scott, now 25. He's not as intelligent as Akin, but is much more so than Crowden. He may be addicted to drugs, but he's also a sociopath. The State of Alabama has paid thousands of dollars to send Scott through a six-month drug program, but on December 3rd, he was arrested on four new charges while serving in community corrections and will be returned to prison. If Judge Self should choose to add to Scott's sentence, he may do so. Not a rosy future there.

Thanks to the Quad-Cities Daily, from whom we shamelessly stole Scott's latest mug shot. Visit them every day for new local mug shots!


For discerning women: