Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Sheffield: Beale Street or Fallujah

The City of Sheffield: Beale Street or Fallujah
By: The Midnight Rider

We were sitting here thinking what we were going to write about this week for Shoalanda Speaks when the idea found us. Looking through Facebook, there was our next story. First let’s start with the rebuilding of downtown Sheffield. We have heard the Sheffield Mayor and/or City Council members wanted to make downtown an “entertainment district” or a “little Beale Street.” 

That means restaurants, Sports Bars or Bars in general. As most people know, to make money in this type of environment, the sale of alcohol has to be present. While the profit from the sales of alcohol is ludicrous, the sale of alcohol also brings problems, mainly crime. Sheffield has always had problems with clubs and/or bars in its City Limits. Let’s take a trip down memory lane.

Back in the 90s, there was several clubs located in a one block radius on South Atlanta. We believe two of them were the 7 of Diamonds and Chocolate City. There were always problems there. We remember hearing about the police being called there every weekend. There were fights, damage to property including police cars, and many arrests.

In the early 2000s, there was the Quad Cities Knock located in Towne Plaza. The same things were happening, fights, drug activity, noise complaints, shootings, damage to property. It was eventually closed down. Then there was Scores, Sports Rock and various others on that side of town. Flash forward to around 2010ish and Sheffield had the Sand Bar, Club Faces and the Establishment where the old Gold’s Gym was. There were fights, shootings, drug activity, assaults, and noise complaints. Every weekend the Police were being called there.

Then there was J.D.'s in downtown Sheffield. This one even made the newspaper. The City of Sheffield finally took action and had this place shut down. But, not before there were shootings, damage to property as well as Officers getting hurt while responding to calls there. When you have Police Officers getting hurt in bar fights every Friday and Saturday night, there is a problem. Which could have led to the Officer turnover rate that we recently wrote about.

So back to our original story, we think the rebuilding of downtown is a good idea but should be very regulated on the alcohol aspect. If not careful, someone is going to going to get hurt or killed and then what will the City of Sheffield do? Tuscumbia has their downtown area rebuilt and they don’t have any problems. Of course they don’t have any bars.

To back my above story, the Sheffield Police were called to N. Montgomery Avenue this weekend for a fight that had gotten out of hand. Security Guards at the establishment had to use Pepper Spray to try to break it up. When Police arrived, they also used Pepper Spray. Below are pics taken during the event. They are not very good pics but you can get the idea from them.



While we are talking about Tuscumbia above, everyone knows about the Muskrat problem at Spring Park. We have even made fun of the little guys. But, we thought, we should research more about them to really find out their side of the story. The following is from Wikipedia:

“The muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus), the only species in genus Ondatra and tribe Ondatrini, is a medium-sized semiaquatic rodent native to North America, and is an introduced species in parts of Europe, Asia, and South America. The muskrat is found in wetlands over a wide range of climates and habitats. It has important effects on the ecology of wetlands and is a resource of food and fur for humans.”

So the Muskrat has been used for food as well as their furs used for clothing. In Europe Muskrat jackets were sold. Maybe they are just afraid. Maybe they should be put on the endangered species list. We are going to try to find a Muskrat in Tuscumbia for an interview.

Until next time…

I am and always will be, the Midnight Rider.


Household garbage deputy in Colbert County? A reader asked us our opinion on the new deputy sheriff position in Colbert. Many entities use a reserve officer to oversee trusties who work outside a jail to pick up roadside litter. We assume a reserve officer would not be paid the same salary as a deputy, but we also assume a deputy has more leeway in case of problems (read: attempted escape).

The bottom line is we don't see this as a wasted expense, especially considering the amount of litter found along side Colbert County roads. If anyone is truly concerned about the new position, the preferred recourse is to contact your commissioner, both by phone and mail.

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