Monday, June 30, 2014

Children Need a Mother...and a Father




Just some random thoughts about parents, crime, and drug addiction...

1. If a person has been arrested five times for drugs, they may have already been sent to rehab. They don't want help; they want more drugs. See Hottie Scottie.

2. Yes...so many drug users are cute. What about the ones that have reached the age of 40 and are ugly in their dissipation? Do they deserve less help?

3. The user really loves her/his son/daughter? Really? How can you tell? They just love drugs more... Oh, and does Miss Irons' former boyfriend have her son now? Is that what she wanted? We somehow doubt it.

4. Why single out two (John Wesley Akin & Brady Ann Irons) for mention? Answer: Akin is labeled THE KINGPIN of heroin in Northwest Alabama and he lives with Irons. At least Akin had a good upbringing. That makes it more of a shock to some who value education as the way to a better life...not drugs.

5. Criticism from HE? Let's see, H...how many times did this blog make excuses for you when you participated in a home invasion and went to prison? I don't imagine anyone here will make that mistake again no matter how much they care for your family and late grandfather.

6. BTW, H, if you really love that child you're about to become a father to, you just might want to marry his/her mother. If not, in 20 or so years, we'll be writing about him/her just like you and your father have been written about so often in the TD.

7. Use profanity in your comments on Facebook? You will be banned. Then no one will read what you have to say, at least on our page.



Shoalanda

Sunday, June 29, 2014

25K a Month for Muscle Shoals Turtle Habitat


The smallest monthly loss we've seen quoted is 25K a month. That would be 300K a year in losses for the city of Muscle Shoals. For quality of life? Just how many in Muscle Shoals play golf...at Cypress Lakes?





Shoalanda

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Heroin Addiction from One Who's Been There


Some interesting words about heroin from one who knows:
If you want to genuinely help people now would be the time...Heroin is in Florence full swing. I use to know everyone in the quad cities who had a heroin connection...Now there are wayyyy more people than I know. Just in one day last week I discovered 7 people who are hardcore addicted to H, and I am completely out of the drug scene now. Please if you do not mind let people know about STC (Shoals Treatment Center), it is a Methadone clinic in Sheffield. It can totally change someones life, and the people there are good people. I know it is hard to reach people, but if you ever come into contact with someone who legitimately is seeking help from heroin, I do not mind helping them. It ruined my life. Never did I think I would have a normal life again, and many people think this way. Sorry if this seems demanding or jumbled. I am just pretty upset at what is happening. Thanks a lot.

What is your opinion on this? Florence PD did there new "big time" heroin bust recently...Well if a person who has recently gotten in trouble with Lauderdale County seeks a Dr's treatment for opiate addiction and get prescribed Buprenorphine or Dolophine (methadone) then they will go to jail if they fail a drug test. Even if a Dr is precribing the medication. Shouldn't the Doctor, who earned a medical degree, be the one who decided what medication the person needs? I personally witnessed someone get screwed by this system. Someone who REALLY wanted help. The only help the DA gave them was forcing them to pay in more money to the city. The people who are truly are rock bottom usually have nothing left. Our city truly needs a revamping. There is a real problem in Florence, but when there is no help out there and only punishment it makes it so much harder. I really want to help people...And if you have someone with a heroin problem or such and they want a better life - please send them my way...Im sure I dont need to give you my opinion on this subject THANKS!

*****

We wish we had answers. All the best to our friend who wrote the above commentary. (For everyone who fails like John Wesley Akin, there is one who succeeds as our friend has!)



Shoalanda

Friday, June 27, 2014

Return to Heroin Central


Changing Face of Brady Irons' Mug Shots

If anyone doubted heroin was making a comeback in this area, the recent arrests in Florence should confirm how prevalent it is. What was missing from these arrest reports?

Anyone charged with trafficking automatically forfeits his/her vehicle...right? That would now make two lost cars for John Wesley Akin.

And just how many of those arrested will be charged in the four local deaths? All of them?

We understand that Akin's squeeze Brady Ann Irons was a server at Rosie's. Apparently, this was her fourth drug arrest. We have to wonder if she thinks it was worth it.

And John Wesley Akin? He certainly needs help, but if he's convicted on all the charges currently facing him, he won't have to worry about succumbing to temptation for decades.

One of his high school teachers has stated Akin was a straight "A" student and God's gift, so to speak. Well, so much for that...



Shoalanda

Thursday, June 26, 2014

In Support of Muscle Shoals Government


A guest commentary:

There is one good councilman up there who always returns phone calls and works diligently to help any citizen. Mr. Joe Pampinto has been the voice of reason and financial expertise that the others are lacking. He is successful, organized, and a good community and family man. We need more people like him.

I think that councilman, Mr. Lockhard is staying quiet about the hospital in Florence since it is told he works for Helen Keller Hospital. That is wise and may be the reason most people say he won't return phone calls or speak when he is out in the stores. You can't fault him for taking care of his main bread and butter job.

Now, as far as these other men, I would think they are too busy to return phone calls. Mr. Pampinto is a successful businessman and has plenty of people that work for him, so he has the time to call people and go to their homes to see what they need.  I think they might try hard to do what they think is right when they get together. Whether it is or is not the will of the people, you can't fault them when they really don't know what the people want. They are doing the best they can.

I like the fact that we have a lot of things most other cities don't. Look at Tuscumbia and Sheffield. They are the other 2 large cities in Colbert County, and we out pace them by leaps and bounds. That is something to boast and brag about. They don't have the kind of money Muscle Shoals has. Most all these councilmen have been in there over 20 years and deserve our respect.

Lighten up folks. These men are all good honorable men who would give you the shirt off their backs. I say re-elect them all. You can always move to another town you can always move if you don't like it.

*****

We appreciate all guest commentaries, realizing the truth sometimes lies in the middle. We are especially happy to learn that Mr. Pampinto does return phone calls. We know of several in Florence who do not.

More to come?



Shoalanda

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Sad Day for the Colbert County School System


A Sad Day for the Colbert County School System

A Guest Commentary


So you have a good man as principal at Colbert Heights Elementary School (CHES). He’s done a great job and demonstrated leadership skills both in academics and school improvements. But for your own personal or political reasons, you don’t like him and you want to get rid of him. What do you need?

1.  An inept, petty superintendent (Anthony Olivis) who holds a grudge and is willing to initiate the deed.
2.  An arrogant, bungling assistant superintendent (Jeff Cornelius) who believes he can manage the deed.
3.  A few lazy, incompetent, bossy teachers (we know who you are) who will lie and exaggerate events in favor of the deed.
4.  Some mean-spirited “my child could never do anything wrong” parents who weren't given their way to gossip and spread trouble throughout the community.
5.  And last, but not least, a school board turning a blind eye up until the last minute when they finally decide to “investigate” by talking to the superintendent (see item 1 above) and getting his side of the story.

And it’s done. Bob Montgomery is transferred to a position heading up the Colbert County alternative school. CHES will have a new principal who will have all the same problem people working for him or her and the same problem parents. The big difference will be that this person will be an appointee of the inept superintendent (see item 1 above) and will not be on his hit list.

Who loses? Well, obviously, Montgomery has lost much in this brouhaha—his job, his reputation, and more than likely, his trust and belief in the basic goodness of his fellow man. But the real losers are the children at CHES and the Colbert County School System.

How could this happen? We already know how items 1-4 above happened. It’s been written about in blogs willing to comment including this one, Shoalanda Speaks. But item 5? This is the latest disappointment.

The Colbert County School Board, elected by the citizens of Colbert County to serve the children of Colbert County, were unwilling to make a proper investigation of the matter and talk to or take advice from the many respected men and women who supported Montgomery. Instead they seem to have investigated by talking to Olivis (see item 1 above) and getting his side of things clarified, even though the man has been caught in many outright, shall we say "distortions of the truth," by those who work with him. 

A last-minute "Pontius Pilate" move was attempted before the board meeting on Thursday night when the board tried to distance themselves and find a procedural loophole in which the superintendent could make the transfer on his own without requiring a board vote. This ploy, however, failed and though some may have been unhappy with the situation, the board inexplicably decided to stand behind Olivis (one last time, see item 1 above).

If all of this teaches us anything, it should teach us that OUR VOTE MATTERS! We elected this superintendent. We elected this school board. As citizens who care about our children, we need to be aware. We need to elect people with integrity, leadership, courage, and honor (assuming these qualities even exist anymore). And we need to be sure that the people we elect will have the backbone to seek out and stand up for what is right—even if it might not be easy or convenient.
And one last word—in a July runoff election, we’ll have an opportunity to improve the school board by voting to replace Brad Counce with Ricky Saint. I can guarantee you that I will be at the polls on that day. 

*****

Everyone's vote matters. Remember to visit the polls next month!



Shoalanda

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Leighton School Library Needs Help/What is "Hottie Scottie" Award?


We recently linked an article on an alleged assault at Leighton Elementary School. There has been very little information made available, but we do understand that no children were present or hurt in the altercation. One person connected with Colbert County Schools has contacted us and pooh-poohed the idea of this event.

We do know that the system has remained mum. Neither the Quad-Cities Daily nor Pen-N-Sword wants to publish any rumors. They, and we, want to publish what needs to be published...and once this incident is confirmed, it does need to be published.

Until that time, we are taking our reader's second comment very seriously. The Leighton Elementary School library is in dire need...of apparently everything. We know that the less tax collected in a district, the less money the school receives. This also filters down to the parents who contribute. In other words, schools in Mountain Brook receive more parental financial help than schools in Butler County. Sad, but a fact.

We're going to guess that plain cash is best to send to this library. If you're hesitant to give money to a librarian you don't know, we suggest this list:

Cellophane Tape
Colorful Pushpins
Library Paste/Water Based Glue
Notepaper
Paper Cutter
Dry Erase Materials
Easel
Pencils/Gel Pens
Bookmarks
Facial Tissue

Here's the physical address for the school:

Leighton Elementary School
8100 Old Highway 20
Leighton, AL 35646
Attn: Mary Underwood

*****

Yesterday, we also linked an article on a new arrest for John Wesley Akin and prefaced the link by giving him our "Hottie Scottie" award. One reader on FB asked what the award was. For any others who are not familiar with Lauderdale's would be lowdown kidnapper:


*****

We also received a comment from a Major Akins on our link to a John Wesley Akin story:  You expect ethical journalism from Shoalanda speaks? It's a glorified gossip column that allow a certain few to express a few opinions.

First, we make no claim to be journalists since the point of our blog is to offer opinions. Second, we didn't write the story we linked, but we're sure the original publication would appreciate any corrections. Third, we censor no comments unless they contain profanity, libelous statements, or advocate violence. Apology?



Shoalanda

Monday, June 23, 2014

Muscle Shoals and Statistics


Many of us took statistics in college--probably because we had to in order to get a certain degree. Alas, we've lost most of our ability to use the formulae we learned, but it might be good if someone out there with more mathematical acumen than us did some testing on the ratio of complaints in various cities to their population or number of projects in the works.

We by and far get more complaints about Muscle Shoals than any other Shoals area town. Someone asked if we "hated" Muscle Shoals. No, we don't live there and we don't hate it. We are looking for a citizen of Muscle Shoals to join our blogging team. Currently, only one of our four bloggers lives in Colbert County. We have two or three in mind, so if you want to join us, please let us know.

Now, for your daily humor:


*****

The above cartoon was unsigned; we assume the artist did NOT want credit for it. Just to remind some folks out there, if you copy and paste the work of someone else without giving credit, it's stealing. We see a lot of that in certain circles. It's also stealing if one posts an entire article even with the source listed. Why? Readers then don't visit the site of the article's author, and he or she thereby loses money. We realize there are a few out there so dishonest they don't care...



Shoalanda

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Franklin Killer Still Free


While the family of Shay Ledlow is hoping August will bring them some closure, another Franklin County family is still waiting for theirs. Hershel Graham still walks the streets of Red Bay a free man while waiting for the results of his second appeal in a manslaughter conviction from 2013. A neighbor has even seen the poor disabled wrestler operating a fork lift. Wow, miracles do happen; unfortunately nothing will bring back Graham's victim David Andrasik.

*****

Question, gentle readers: If you're running for office, would you want your ex-wife to count the county's absentee ballots? Interesting question on so many levels.

*****

Can you identify this man or tell us what religious group he belongs to?

 
There's no prize, but the answer is fascinating.




Shoalanda

Saturday, June 21, 2014

An Update on John Clark Burns Jr.'s Criminal Status


Unfortunately, we can't offer as much detailed information on John Clark Burns Jr. as we did yesterday on Jason Dewayne Green. We do have a brief update.

Burns had been scheduled to graduate from UNA this past May, but his name was not on the final list of grads. We assume this is because of his medical condition.

The Wayne County District Attorney's office has stated that Burns has not yet had any legal hearings due to his physical condition. We know that Burns was admitted to Vanderbilt Hospital after the fatal wreck that killed his girlfriend Brittany Underwood.

The DA's office has assured a member of Brittany's family that the charges are still valid and that Burns will be held legally responsible once his personal physician releases him. The dates of legal hearings will be published in the Wayne County newspaper which is not available online.

*****

On the "What's Public & What's Not" front, at the time of Burns' original hospitalization, one of his supporters declared it was unethical for his hospitalization to be made public and for us to publish that information here. Obviously details of anyone's physical condition should be off limits, but sorry, not their mere presence in the hospital. Why? This ensures no legal entities hold anyone in illegal conditions. In other words, Burns may belong in the Black Hole of Calcutta, but we may rest assured no one can send him there and the public not know it.

Similarly we are still receiving comments about the status of legal documents. All documents sent to us concerning a local sheriff candidate were final judgments. Not only are these public, initial lawsuits to recover a debt are public and have in the past been published in the TimesDaily and the Shoals Insider. Neither publishes them at this time. They are also regularly published in local credit reporting data.



Shoalanda

Friday, June 20, 2014

Trial Date for Jason Dewayne Green


Shay in Happier Times

It's been almost forty-two months since Jason Dewayne Green allegedly shot Shay Ledlow in the home they shared. His Franklin County murder trial has been postponed several times. Now a new trial date has been set for the scrap metal dealer, also accused of auto and metal theft.

Pretrial is set for July, with a trial date of August 18th. There's still no guarantee that the trial will go on as scheduled. Shay's family has had many false hopes during all these months, while Green has been offered house arrest and presumably enjoyed stealthy trips to Tunica.

Green has also enjoyed the company of his family. This blog was criticized by Green's relatives for posting a photo of him with his grandmother at a family gathering. Again, we're crushed that this poor family has been so maltreated. Obviously they anticipated Shay's family slinking away. Expect again. None of her family has forgotten, and no one here has forgotten.

Don't You Know His Gram is Proud of Him?
We look forward to justice for Shay Ledlow. We certainly can't look forward to a long and happy life for her...



Shoalanda

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Legal Documents Are Public Info


Often we're not sure whether to reply individually to comments on this blog and Facebook or to reply in a separate blog. Today we're going to reply to at least one comment using this platform.

Are "legal papers" private? We have one reader who thinks so. Sorry, anything that's adjudicated via the municipal, circuit, state, or federal courts is public unless sealed by a judge. The Shoals Insider used to publish some of these local documents when it was an actual news source. The TimesDaily and various semi-local television stations often publish these documents as well.

Of course, if you want copies, you will probably have to pay. Sorry about that, but take it up with the issuing body.

So no illegal copies of any court cases involving a local candidate were sent to us. We advise those who are aware of these problems with the candidate to contact the Alabama State Ethics Commission.

*****

Speaking of legal documents...when Lauderdale County is lucky enough to acquire a new sheriff, we understand he'll find a drawer full of court summonses that have been labeled "undeliverable" by our current High Sheriff. One was even intended for the husband of a short-term office manager in the sheriff's department. Yes, poor thing...apparently just being able to "do spreadsheets" didn't cut it.

As a certain person of Shoals cyberspace fame has often said..."Things that make you go hummmm."

*****

Muscle Shoals flood control? Don't really care about Pizza Hut, do ya? What if it was your business or home that regularly flooded. While we didn't see the flooding mentioned in a recent blog, we have seen it just last year. Not only was the Pizza Hut parking lot flooded, so was the entire right lane of Woodward and most of the left. Yes, citizens of Muscle Shoals should be very upset with these continuing problems and their costs to taxpayers.



Shoalanda

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Is Personal Morality Needed for Public Office?


We've seen some interesting comments over the years. Some concerned Bill Clinton whom many thought was a great prexy even though he regularly received blow jobs in the Oval Office. We wonder how they would feel if it had been the president of a large local corporation in which their retirement funds were invested? Oh, well, that's different. Really? How?

Read carefully: Our objections to some candidates don't come mainly from the lives they live, but from their endless profession of Christian faith. If they can ignore Matthew 19, how can we be sure they won't be putting some taxpayer dollars in their pockets? How is it any different? Please, someone, anyone, tell us.

One current candidate for sheriff in Lauderdale County has mentioned his "faith." Looking back, we haven't seen an explicit mention of just what this faith is in. Cthulhu maybe? It certainly can't be in Christ since this is what Christ Himself says in Matthew 19:9:

New International Version
I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery."
New Living Translation
And I tell you this, whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery--unless his wife has been unfaithful."
English Standard Version
And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”
New American Standard Bible
"And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery."
King James Bible
And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
Holman Christian Standard Bible
And I tell you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery."
International Standard Version
I tell you that whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery."
NET Bible
Now I say to you that whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another commits adultery."
Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But I say to you, “Whoever divorces his wife apart from adultery and will take another, commits adultery, and whoever will take her who is divorced commits adultery.”
GOD'S WORD® Translation
I can guarantee that whoever divorces his wife for any reason other than her unfaithfulness is committing adultery if he marries another woman."
Jubilee Bible 2000
And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication and shall marry another, commits adultery, and whosoever marries her that is put away commits adultery.
King James 2000 Bible
And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, commits adultery: and whoever marries her who is put away does commit adultery.
American King James Version
And I say to you, Whoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, commits adultery: and whoever marries her which is put away does commit adultery.
American Standard Version
And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and he that marrieth her when she is put away committeth adultery.
Douay-Rheims Bible
And I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and he that shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery.
Darby Bible Translation
But I say unto you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, not for fornication, and shall marry another, commits adultery; and he who marries one put away commits adultery.
English Revised Version
And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and he that marrieth her when she is put away committeth adultery.
Webster's Bible Translation
And I say to you, Whoever shall put away his wife, except for lewdness, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoever marrieth her who is put away, committeth adultery.
Weymouth New Testament
And I tell you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except her unfaithfulness, and marries another woman, commits adultery."
World English Bible
I tell you that whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and he who marries her when she is divorced commits adultery."
Young's Literal Translation
'And I say to you, that, whoever may put away his wife, if not for whoredom, and may marry another, doth commit adultery; and he who did marry her that hath been put away, doth commit adultery.'

Hmmmm, didn't see anything about being "responsible" for a child's death, a drug addict, or an embezzler (no arrest). We're still missing one ex-wife for this particular candidate. At best, he certainly doesn't make good choices, does he? You want him in charge of hiring deputies? We think not.



Shoalanda

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Election Errors, Recalls, and Just Plain Dumbth


For the purposes of this blog, we’re going to divide the Shoals area into three groups.

Group One--these individuals, from all walks of life, try to live moral, law-abiding lives. They may fail from time to time, but they mean well.

Group Two - These individuals don’t march to the ubiquitous drummer; they don’t give a tinker’s dam what anyone thinks of them and don’t expect any adulation or need to play by the rules…much less election to local office.

Three - These individuals also fail to live by common more’s, but would like for you to believe that they do. If questioned about what most would consider a lapse in either moral or ethical norms, they always have a good reason for their behavior. There is never any admission of wrong doing as one would find in Group One.

We’ll confess what could be a weakness: We usually expect people to fall into Group Number One. In short, if someone says they make 100K a year, we don’t immediately ask if their income is derived from only legal endeavors. If they mention their wife, we assume it’s probably number one, or at most number two. Four or five? That just usually doesn’t occur to us. If they mention having had two husbands, we assume they mean their own, not other women’s.

Yes, we’re helplessly middle class, religious, and just plain na├»ve at times. So now we have to address a mistake that we have made by being so.

In the recent Colbert County Sheriff’s race, we endorsed a candidate simply because he was the lesser of two evils (involving competency)…or so we thought. Now it seems that while the Democratic victor Frank Williamson doesn’t match Augie Hendershot’s record, he is now married to his fourth wife.

The election is over. Remember that once elected, any public official is just that--public. If you think the morals of an office holder are lacking and thereby affecting his/her performance, you can still make a difference. Just ask those who are now calling for Colbert County School Superintendent Tony Olivis to resign.

*****


Who marries a man with three ex-wives? Apparently Amanda pictured above with dear ol' Frank. Yes, we have a pic of the Lauderdale Candidate's wife number five waiting in the wings in case he wins the runoff.



Shoalanda

Monday, June 16, 2014

A Must Read for Colbert County Parents


The following is a guest editorial from a concerned Colbert County citizen. If you live in Colbert County, please don't fail to read this!

Colbert County School System Employees Concerned About Superintendent’s Leadership

Colbert County School System employees are concerned about Mr. Olivis' leadership as demonstrated by his latest transfer. A Leighton Elementary School employee (let's call this person "Doe") was recently transferred to the Maintenance Department, even though there is already a permanent employee assigned to do the Maintenance Department job. In a misuse of taxpayer money, Olivis then hired a substitute to replace Doe at LES.

On the surface this looks minor, but what took place to prompt this move? Sources say Olivis failed to deal with a serious incident that took place at LES involving Doe. Instead of dealing appropriately with Doe as was necessary, a transfer was made. An investigation should be initiated into the event that resulted in this reassignment.

Where Olivis is concerned, transfers seem to be the method of choice for dealing with both real and personal issues.In the case of the Doe transfer, there was allegedly a serious act committed for which a serious consequence was required. Instead, a reassignment took place.

But in the case of Mr. Montgomery, the harassed principal at Colbert Heights Elementary, no fault was found as evidenced by the Board having renewed his contract. However, Montgomery's name and reputation have been irrevocably damaged, he's been publically humiliated, and Olivis is still attempting to punish him with a transfer. 

Employee moral in the Colbert County School System is at an all-time low. The system was a good place to work – now fear of and intimidation from its leadership are felt countywide. There is no sense of direction, communication is absent, and system finances (not including lawsuits sure to be filed) are in danger of State takeover.

The resignation of the system's two leaders, Mr. Olivis and Mr. Cornelius, is necessary if the school system is to survive. Where are you, Billy Hudson, Andy Bolding, and Sandy James?  We need you!

*****

This is compelling. Mr. Olivis doesn't have to answer to us; he does have to answer to you, the parents!



Shoalanda

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day 2014




We recently read that fathers spent just five minutes a day with their children in 1974. Today they spend around 35 minutes. This is progress. Yet, we also read that up to 40% of children in some environs never know their father. 

Remember your influence!



The Staff at Shoalanda Speaks

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Truth About Cypress Lakes Country Club


This is a guest blog. We here agree wholeheartedly. Enjoy!


It's time the Mayor and City Council tell the whole truth to the public about the golf course and it's problems. The drain on the taxpayers is an average of $25,000,00 - $30,000.00 per month - NOT year - MONTH. The mayor and council will argue it is offering a quality of life - but for what percentage of the citizens of M.S. does this represent when there is a first class golf course in the Shoals known as the Robert Trent Jones Trail? The on-going saga associated with the golf course seems to be the management. It appears the city councilmen want to individually dish out orders to the recreation director even though department heads work under the direction of the mayor. The council work session and meetings have become the great inquisition, rivaled by nothing short of the Chinese Torture. As department heads are brought before the "council" to answer to each of their inquisitions, it appears there are 6 bosses and everyone has a different order to dish out to those poor managers. Everyone knows a department head has no authority to spend money without the mayor and city council approval - or in this case - by their ORDERS. While each councilman is pointing a finger at the department head for the money woes, there are 4 fingers pointing back at each of them. Get it, Mr. Councilman? 
 
Where is the money coming from to cover those losses? It could be assumed that funds are diverted from flood control, since M.S. continues to have flooding on a regular basis, it's obvious they aren't spending the money on that. Maybe those giant turtle ponds on the golf course are classified as storm drainage retention ponds. Mayor Bradford might be providing a habitat for all the turtles to ease his conscious for killing some of their own many years ago (or maybe not, since he, as a young policeman missed on one shot and the police car took the hit). Does Greg Scoggins know about that one?
 
So, Monday night, the dog and pony show will re-convene with more brilliant ideas on management of the golf course. I hear that the current department head will not be over-seeing the golf course any longer, and yet another one to be assigned the duty to "save" the day. Do they really think that will solve anything? The problem isn't the manager, perhaps it is the 6 men sitting in judgement.
 
*****
 
This guest editorial was accompanied by a short note mentioning that Mayor Bradford and the council have stated they don't ever read any of our efforts. Well...we're crushed. 

If there should be any of the above reading today, we ask: Just why do you think someone like Neil Whitesell would have given you that green elephant if it had been a money-maker?



Shoalanda

Friday, June 13, 2014

Seafood Pizza? A Guest Blog...


Seafood Pizza at Pizza Hut, Muscle Shoals anyone?




They might as well, since it is common to see this scene, just one of the flooding problems encountered in the fair City of Muscle Shoals this week. As I recall, there is a ½ cent tax imposed on all sales in the city that is “earmarked” solely for flood control. The question could be asked of the Mayor and Council what is being done with this “earmarked tax money”. Apparently, it’s not being used for its intended purpose.

City employees say the funds are diverted and spent for everything but flood control. Question, “Is that legal”? Not saying that it is or is not, just posing a question that should be answered by the Mayor and Council. Is this “earmarked” tax money possibly being used on their folly on Sixth Street known as Cypress Lakes Golf Course? We all know it loses tens of thousands of our money every month.

Or, Is this “earmarked” tax money possibly being sent to MSCS to fund the 7-8 million dollar football dynasty? This tax was imposed for the resolution of flood control and for that purpose only. One would think that use of an “earmarked” tax for projects other that the intended use could be considered illegal, but if not illegal, certainly unethical. Of course everyone knows this Mayor and Council could not care any less about what is right and ethical, they base all their decisions solely on what is popular among certain groups. Would the Mayor and Council please respond publicly to this question.

*****

If any in Muscle Shoals government wish to respond to our guest blogger, they may do so here or request the answer be sent to him privately.



Shoalanda

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Andrew Daniel Scott Finally in Prison




Some weeks ago we were contacted by a victim of Andrew Daniel Scott who had no idea where the young man was and when, if ever, he should expect to receive any restitution. We advised the victim to contact the state probation office who could inform him of any new developments in Scott’s case.

The reader took our advice and was informed that Hottie Scottie was now in prison. The victim would begin to receive restitution when Scott made work release status. We checked, and Scott is indeed in the Alabama Prison System...finally.

Scott is now housed at the co-educational rehabilitation system in Columbiana that we blogged on yesterday. It would appear that these programs last around six months or so. At the end of whatever program(s) young Mr. Scott is involved in, he will be sent to a work release program, probably in Decatur, unless some of his victims want to protest the location as just a little too close to home.

Is this a definite outcome? No. First, as previously mentioned, the program is co-educational. We have no doubt that if you asked the admins of this facility, they would promptly tell you that fraternization is strictly limited to some classes and that all rules are strictly enforced. Be that as it may, the old saw about a “will and a way” comes to mind.

If Hottie Scottie misbehaves, he will not go to work release, but leave the educational facility for a more hard-core prison. His release date is December 10, 2014. Unless he commits a crime while incarcerated, he will be back in the Shoals in time for Christmas.

Lock up your homes, your cars, and your daughters.


If any do wish to protest Andrew Daniel Scott’s possible transfer to work release or its location, you will need this info:

The Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles
CENTRAL OFFICE
301 South Ripley Street
PO Box 302405
Montgomery, Al 36130-2405
Telephone: (334) 353-7771, 353-8067
FAX: (334) 242-1809

Re: Andrew Daniel Scott
AIS #292959



Shoalanda

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

ATEF: A New Kind of Alabama Prison




We regularly receive e-mails stating the Alabama Prison System is too hard on offenders; we receive many more stating the system is too soft--as with Jeff Eddie, aka Bro. Jeff, being housed in the St. Clair Correctional Facility. We doubt that there's much "soft" at any prison.

Here's some interesting info on one of the state's newest prisons located in Columbiana:

The Alabama Therapeutic Education Facility (ATEF) opened in March 2008 and is a residential reentry center that uses tested cognitive behavioral reentry treatment and vocational training to help offenders change their criminal thinking and behaviors.

ATEF is the first and largest residential reentry facility of its kind in the region. The facility was designed by Community Education Centers, Inc. (CEC) in conjunction the Alabama Department of Corrections and Department of Post- secondary Education.

The goal of the facility is to provide an intensive treatment program that emphasizes relapse prevention and preparation for transfer into a work-release program.

Vocational training is provided by the Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education. The assessment process at ATEF uses standardized and actuarially based instruments to gather information to determine an offender's current risk factors for public safety concerns and recidivism.

The assessment evaluation also gathers data to determine an offender's current treatment needs. After the data collection is complete, trained CEC staff develop an assessment report used to create an individualized reentry treatment plan for each offender during his/her stay at the ATEF.

The treatment component consists of carefully selected therapeutic services including individual and group counseling; cognitive-behavioral training; substance abuse treatment; educational services; life skills; cultural diversity programs; family program; workforce development activities; work-release services; faith-based services.

The components are delivered in a variety of contexts, including lecture format, classroom instruction, small group sessions, and individual counseling.

ATEF is accredited by the American Correctional Association (ACA) and scored a perfect 100% on all mandatory and non-mandatory standards during its last accreditation.

*****

Yes, it's co-educational. That must have its benefits.

Why do we find it interesting? Tune in tomorrow...



Shoalanda

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Doug Arnold on the Way Out?


A very interesting guest editorial:
In response to your blog from Thursday, June 5th, titled "How Far Will Keller Go", I think there is a better question to be asked. You wondered if Keller spent all that money (obviously MILLIONS) on superior services, would they have to worry about going under. The patient experience at HKH is exceptional overall (and the surveys conducted bear that out), which is a testament to their employees.

The real question should be, in light of the quality of work done at HKH, why hasn't the administration invested some of those millions back into their people??? Staff at HKH haven't had raises in over SIX YEARS! If they have millions to pay for attorneys to fight legal battles they continue to lose, how can they, with a straight face, look at employees and say there is no money for them???

One would hope that with CEO Doug Arnold on his way out the door, that their would be an opportunity for things to get better. Guess we will see.....

*****

We especially welcome comments from Helen Keller employees.



Shoalanda

Monday, June 9, 2014

Mr. Morris Says "High Tech"


"No Child Left Behind," "Common Core," ad nauseum. First, make no mistake that we here at Shoalanda want every child in Alabama to receive the best possible education; however, we have only to look back sixty or so years and count the so call magic bullets that were supposed to make this possible to know there is no one size fits all solution.

Not all children are created equal. We can’t expect every child in the public school system to emerge a brain surgeon. We can make sure they don’t drop out before they’re old enough to realize the consequences.

Surprisingly, many who drop out say they will go back some day—either to public school or to obtain a GED. We’ll inject here that a GED isn’t really worth that much in some circles unless it’s followed by some college classes. Yes, it’s easy to say they’ll go back, but few actually do.

Not everyone agrees, but we believe if scientific research shows 16 year-olds aren’t old enough to drive a vehicle responsibly or to make sane and safe choices in relation to certain laws, then they just may not have the ability to understand what dropping out really means. Not everyone who graduates from high school will go on to college. In fact, we’re told now that too many waste years and thousands of dollars on college classes which don’t help them one iota in the real world.

It would seem our state school system is very much like Helen Keller Hospital. If they will spend as much time and money on just getting the job done as they have on implementing a fancy new program every eight to ten years, then our children will reap tremendous benefits.


In the which came first department, the TimesDaily’s Scott Morris recently lamented the lack of high tech companies outside Huntsville. He seemed to feel if more Alabamians had more fancy degrees, then more high tech business would locate in this state.

Obviously the high tech businesses that Morris referred to all came about because of the U.S. Space program which located in Madison County. It came first; the workers followed. We don’t doubt that Alabama schools produce many graduates with little gray cells to spare. Neither do we doubt most of these young people leave Alabama when they graduate.

Much job recruitment is at the state level. Perhaps it’s just easier for the governor on down to the mayors to recruit the manufacturing jobs that Alabama is blessed with? While we think government often gets into micro-management, we would definitely support a special recruiting program for these high tech jobs that apparently elude our wonderful state.



Shoalanda

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Guest Blogs & Comments


For those who are new or who have recently asked, we are happy to publish guest blogs. We do publish them anonymously assuming there is no libelous material in them. If you plan to submit several, we recommend that you use a pen name. We are also happy to give credit for any submissions, but please let us know if you do want your real name used.

As for comments, we cannot edit them; therefore, if any libelous material is present, we cannot publish them. Readers can send the comments to our e-mail (shoalanda.speaks@gmail.com) and we can discuss the material with you. Anything for which you have documentation will be published, assuming it concerns a public person.

An individual is considered a public person if he/she is an elected official, running for office, in the legal system (arrested/indicted/etc.) or has held a news conference on an issue. That covers most of it--if you have questions about an individual as to their status, we'll be happy to answer any questions privately.

On a side note, we once saw where the father of a well-known criminal asked how he could stop this blog from publishing his son's arrests--it hurt the poor sensitive little fella so. No, there's nothing illegal or immoral about reporting on crime. It's all public information. Do the crime, you may just see your name here or in the Quad-Cities Daily or Pen-N-Sword.



Shoalanda

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Who Has the Tape & When Can We Hear It?


Our guest blog on Muscle Shoals government has indicated someone has a very interesting audio tape in which a city official spills the beans about preferential treatment. We have to ask:

1. When will he release it?

2. Could it possibly bring legal charges against someone in the mayor's office or even spark a recall?

3. Does this mysterious Mr. X have an attorney? If he doesn't, may we suggest Billy Underwood.

We'll publish any updates as soon as we have them.

*****

Congratulations to Bobby Inman on a much deserved "retirement." We placed that word in quotes since we believe Bobby's retirement will be short lived.



Shoalanda

Friday, June 6, 2014

A Few More Words About Muscle Shoals


Shoalanda Speaks hit it on the nail when speaking about the lack of reporting of Times Daily. The following article appeared in Times Daily:

MUSCLE SHOALS — Since the beginning of April, city code enforcement officers have written more than 50 citations for violations of the city’s strengthened ordinance policing grass growth and junk, according to Tandy Crosswhite, city building official.

It’s the first real “grass season” since August when the City Council added teeth to the city’s ordinance.

Crosswhite said the Building Department has been more successful at getting offenders to respond to citations because they know the city means business when it comes to overgrown lots and junk.

“I wouldn’t want it beside me,” Crosswhite said. “If my next-door neighbor has grass over a foot tall, I’m going to be upset about it, so I understand.”

The city has two code enforcement officers who respond to complaints from residents and issue citations if someone is in violation.

If a citation is issued, the offender has seven days to bring the property into compliance before getting a summons to court.

Previously, the offender got two notices before the city would get court permission to cut the lot. Now the offender gets just one notice.

Violators are subject to a $100 fine for the first offense, a $300 fine if a second violation occurs within 12 months and $500 and/or up to six months in jail for a third violation during any time period.

The new ordinance also gives a more comprehensive definition of junk, which according to the ordinance includes metal, machinery, plumbing fixtures, vehicle parts, building materials, tires and other items that are “rusted, wrecked, disabled, discarded, dismantled” or inoperable.

Muscle Shoals Mayor David Bradford said grass and junk calls do put a lot of work on the code enforcement officers, but the payoff is a cleaner city.

“We aren’t able to get out and drive around a lot looking for violations,” he said. “We have to work mostly off complaints from neighbors or if the code officer happens to see something when they are out working. We probably won’t ever be able to get everybody.”

NOW - the real story:

Well isn’t this article very politically correct…………however, political correctness isn’t always equated with honesty. As you will notice in the words of the article, a violator of this ordinance is “subject” to various penalties. Why would a violator be “subject” to being penalized for a wrong doing? Well, that’s an easy one to answer. If a violator was strictly penalized for an offense then Mayor Bradford and his 5 disciples (councilmen) couldn’t pick and choose who would and would not be penalized. 

Would Mayor Bradford please explain to the Muscle Shoals taxpayers why he ordered a dilapidated building on Woodward Avenue to be torn down at taxpayer expense when the owner had a contractor lined up to tear the building down, not to mention this property is probably worth close to $1,000,000 dollars (that’s one million dollars for you Muscle Shoals math scholars). Did Mayor Bradford and his Disciples place a lien on the property so the taxpayers could be reimbursed when the property sells? Of course they didn’t. Mayor Bradford says it was a training exercise for his Public Works Department. Really????? 

Since when does a Public Works Department need training on tearing a building down? If anyone believes that I have a great deal on a piece of oceanfront property located on Wilson Dam Road that I’ll sell you. Next, why does Mayor Bradford and his Disciples order various City Departments to perform work on the“Private Property” of certain individuals at taxpayer expense? There is documented evidence for proof but the dear Mayor always has a reason why the ordinance violation had to be performed. If you believe him, then I still have the oceanfront property on Wilson Dam Road for sale at a really good price. Since Mr. Crosswhite was quoted in the article, maybe you should ask him if all citizens in Muscle Shoals are treated fair and equal. He can’t lie because someone (can’t tell you who at this time) recorded a conversation they had with Mr. Crosswhite where he admitted the Mayor and the Disciples definitely play favorites in the fair city. 

This all takes us back to the debacle involving Officer Greg Scoggins and the deer killing incident. Mr. Scoggins was fired while the Mayor and the Disciples had complete disclosure about another officer (won’t mention his name now but he has now transferred to another City Department) committing the same offense. Obviously this individual received no disciplinary action because I saw him working at one of the ball fields just the other day. The list is basically endless noting the many sins of the MSPD that the good Mayor has covered for years (isn’t that right Donatello). One would assume Officer Scoggins would still be employed if he had just shot a hole in his patrol car and covered it up until he got it fixed (bring back memories Mr. Mayor). 

Let’s just be biblical for a moment Mr. Mayor and Disciples,“YOUR SINS WILL ONE DAY FIND YOU OUT”, maybe not today but there’s always tomorrow. Think about all your deeds and what you’ll tell the voters who placed their trust in you. They may not be concerned now but just wait until something happens that does affect them. Of course everyone knows the Muscle Shoals citizen’s motto, “BLESS ME AND MINE AND THE HECK WITH YOU AND YOURS”. Mmmm, that’s kind of how the Mayor and Disciples operate, isn’t it. Guess all the Muscle Shoals residents have good role models in City Hall. Glad to say I wised up several years ago and moved to a sister city where the residents don’t spend every waking minute of the day telling each other how great they are.

*****

The above is a guest editorial. It certainly has some very interesting and extremely valid points. Comments?



Shoalanda

Thursday, June 5, 2014

How Far Will Keller Go?/Randal Haddock


RegionalCare has won the current appeals battle with Helen Keller Hospital and is now presumably free to begin preparations for the new hospital in earnest. Not so quick, says Keller CEO Doug Arnold, rumored a distant cousin to a certain American army general widely celebrated…in Canada.

Yes, it seems Keller has at least one more appeal left. Will the Huntsville Hospital backed entity avail itself of that chance? We hope not, but we’re sure RegionalCare is prepared for that eventuality.

This whole brouhaha has gone on longer than a fight over an abortion clinic. Perhaps if Keller had put up as much money to offer superior services to patients as it has to block a new hospital on the north side of the river, it wouldn’t have to worry about going under?

*****

Blind Man on the Corner
We’re proud to announce our support of Randal Haddock in the July Lauderdale County runoff election. Haddock, a sheriff’s deputy, will be facing the current police chief of Lexington, Augie Hendershot.

Due to most 2014 elections being decided without the need for a runoff, a light voter turnout is predicted. We hope each registered Democrat in Lauderdale County will see this for what it is…a chance to change our ill run and justly maligned sheriff’s department into something we can be proud of.

As our regular readers know, we have several contacts in the sheriff’s office and the detention center. No matter who wins the Democratic runoff, no matter who wins the fall election, we’ll continue to update citizens of Lauderdale County on its sheriff’s department.



Shoalanda

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Was Jodey Wayne Waldrop Guilty of Capital Murder?


There’s probably no one out there reading this that would have wanted to meet Jodey Wayne Waldrop in a dark alley. There’s probably only a miniscule number out there who mourn his death. In short, he could be called the dregs of society who isn’t worth a second thought now that he’s dead.

Yet Waldrop was still a victim of our capital punishment laws in Alabama. There may be some who believe the Red Bay man meant to kill his son; we believe he honestly just wanted to “shut him up.” In doing so, the child died. Surely, while Waldrop didn’t look nearly as smart as a border collie, if he had wanted to murder his son, he would suffocated him, poisoned him, anything but made him a victim of shaken baby syndrome.

Waldrop was tried for the capital crime because his victim was under the age of 14. That stipulation is one of several that makes some murders capital offenses in our great state. District attorneys have the right to decide which crime qualifies and which one doesn’t. Joey Rushing of Franklin County thought Waldrop qualified and prosecuted him at the capital level. If we had seen the photos of the young infant and then looked at the person Waldrop presented to the world, we would probably have done the same. A jury agreed.

One of our fellow bloggers disagrees with us, but we still feel the Colbert County district attorney should have had Ronald Weems indicted for Capital Murder. No one would have questioned the charge of rape, or at least attempted rape, considering the testimony that witnesses gave concerning the state of his victim when they first saw her lying on Weems’ basement floor. The public would have then been assured Weems would not leave prison alive.

There’s no way to know if Jodey Waldrop would be alive today if he had been charged with and convicted of Felony Murder. We doubt anyone cares. We’ll be honest enough to say that the only reason we “care” is because it demonstrates the tremendous problems with Alabama’s capital punishment laws.

If Waldrop had been the son of a millionaire industrialist, if he had been the client of a slick Atlanta law firm, just what would have been the charges and the verdict in this case? A more important question is what will it take to change our maze of capital punishment laws? We’re guessing a full time P.R. Firm and millions of dollars. In other words, don’t expect to see a positive change in this century.

The Joel Moyers trial awaits on the horizon...



Shoalanda

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Jodey Wayne Waldrop Dies in Prison


Remember our blog on convicted Baptist minister pedophile Jeff Eddie being incarcerated at St. Clair correctional facility. Some readers felt this medium security prison wasn’t quite tough enough. Apparently, it’s tough enough that Franklin County baby killer Jodey Waldrop has lost his life in a knife attack.

We’re sure only a few tears will be shed over Waldrop’s death, but not everyone incarcerated at St. Clair is on the same level as Waldrop. The Alabama Department of Corrections has been mum on many of the details surrounding Waldrop’s death, but a spokesman has indicated he was killed by another prisoner in a knife attack in his own cell.


Knife attack? Would that be what’s commonly called a shiv? Something whittled down to make a sharp weapon? Or could it have been a real knife, slipped into the prison as contraband?

No matter what we think of Waldrop, it’s disconcerting to know that it was so easy for someone to take his life in his own cell. For those who wanted to see “Bro. Jeff” in a less homelike environment, we stand behind our belief that St. Clair is no ice cream parlor.


We’ve received some criticism for referring to Jeff Eddie as “Bro. Jeff.” In our use of this appellation, it in no way confers Christian fellowship. “Bro. Jeff” is simply the name he used online and easily identifies him.

Did Eddie use the name to make it easier to insert himself into the lives of his victims and their families. It’s certainly a possibility.



Shoalanda

Monday, June 2, 2014

What Will Montgomery & Burbank Do Now?


It’s official that Colbert County Supt. Anthony Olivis wants to transfer Bob Montgomery to the alternative school. The salary may be the same, but obviously the working conditions bear no similarities. Montgomery has refused the position.

Will it go to the courts? If so, it’s the citizens (read: taxpayers) who will bear the burden of this fight. If Olivis and the school system lose, they will in all probability bear Montgomery’s legal expenses as well, assuming they’re not covered by AEA.

Money will not be the only concern, should it go to court. Both Colbert Heights Elementary School and the alternative school will be in limbo until these positions are decided. That’s not even considering the possibility that Jeff Burbank may decide to engage in a legal fight against his demotion.

We’ve seen some comments that the three administrators Olivis has challenged were not doing their job. What if that should be correct? While we don’t believe it is, in that case the former superintendent had been tolerating three principals who were not doing their job.

We welcome comments on this, as well as any of our blogs.


We’ve heard it said a promotion isn’t really a promotion unless a raise is involved. Nevertheless, titles are nice, they bring respect and they look good on resume’s so that the employee who didn’t get an actual raise can look for a better job.

How about a demotion? Is is really a demotion for Jeff Burbank if he makes the same salary? We say it is. If you’re at a social gathering and are introduced to a classroom teacher and a principal, which one do you think has more “on the ball?”

Comments, anyone?



Shoalanda

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Voting Tuesday?


Here's a few things to think about:

1. Colbert County Sheriff? We endorse Frank Williamson in the Democratic primary. He's the better man. 'Nuff said.

2. Lauderdale County Commission Place 1 - D.C. Thornton--he, unlike his opponent, hasn't been arrested lately.

3. Franklin County Sheriff - Ray Hayse

4. Franklin County Revenue Commissioner Rep. - Veronica Stancill--She will make a great one.

5. Franklin County Corroner - Elzie Malone--He's done a good job so far.

6. Alabama District One Rep. - Josh Statom

7. Alabama Senate District One Dem - Earl Gardner--Any one is better than Mike Curtis.

8. Alabama Senate District One Rep. - Tim Melson

Learn all you can about the candidates. Once they're elected, you're pretty much stuck with them for a few days.



Shoalanda