Tuesday, October 31, 2017

It's All Hallow's Eve!



Everyone stay safe tonight. It's going to be particularly scary; we've already seen three Roy Moore costumes. 

We have a very serious subject lined up for tomorrow, so stay tuned...

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We've presented videos and movies for several Octobers, with some additional ones in November and December. A reader has asked us to post intriguing movies when we can, adding a little back story when possible. We're no movie maven, but we're happy to oblige. So look for more videos in blogs to come.

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Toward the end of his career, Peter O'Toole didn't require makeup for horror movies. Apparently he'd spent too much time in entertainment districts:






Monday, October 30, 2017

How ALDOT Controls City Streets


If you're expecting any kind of erudite treatise on how the Alabama Department of Transportation works...well, you aren't going to get it here. After glancing at the ALDOT site and speaking with some who have dealt with that organization, we'll just call it the octopus.

The bottom line is money. If any city or county wants road or street work done, they must get money from ALDOT to do it. Except...well, there seem to be some county roads that are exceptions, but after our short study of how ALDOT works, we're still not prepared to explain why that is so.

What we are going to talk about is ALDOT and the proposed East Florence roundabout. Why does the City of Florence have to get approval from ALDOT? Again, the bottom line is money. That's why ALDOT could put the kibosh on much of the proposed College Street work. Will it do the same to the roundabout?

The roundabout is number seven on a current list of ALDOT projects in Lauderdale County. We're guessing this a chronological ranking, as in there are six projects older than the roundabout that are still in the works. That wouldn't necessarily mean the other six would come first due to some kind of perverse logic.

The anticipated total cost of the project is $1,567,000.00. Of that amount, the federal government is listed as providing 1,254,000.00; we assume the ALDOT doles out the funds as needed. The state and "other" are on the hook for 313,000.00. Is "other" the City of Florence? We assume it is, but have no concrete knowledge of how that works. 

So, the roundabout is no little weekend project, and ALDOT will control just how it's built...or if it's built at all. Could ALDOT decide, like some of the College Street project, that the roundabout really isn't needed, or isn't needed just yet. We assume it could. 

Do we all hear Alvin Holmes chanting, "What's wrong with the intersection we got?"

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Considered second to only Christopher Lee in the Hammer pantheon of villains, Ralph Bates was the great-nephew of Dr. Louis Pasteur. Sadly, he died at age 51 of pancreatic cancer:






Sunday, October 29, 2017

Nothing Will Be Done in East Florence Until Roundabout Completed?


Approximately 30 years ago, the City of Florence redid the intersection of Royal Avenue and Huntsville Road. It was done in connection with new sidewalks and other improvements designed to enhance the eastern area of Florence. We all know how this area boomed afterwards. Yes, that was sarcasm.

Now that roundabouts have been greatly improved (more sarcasm), the city has decided to implement that particular type of traffic snafu at the previously reconfigured intersection. Send your children to engineering school, and perhaps they too may have input on the next big traffic-control idea to be implemented at the intersection in 30 more years.

So why isn't the roundabout being constructed? The Alabama Department of Transportation has not yet approved it. Ah, yes, ALDOT rears its horned head. Well, it is the Halloween season.

The past few weeks, we've had multiple questions and comments about ALDOT. Some understand how much control this organization has at the local level, while others apparently think we make this stuff up. Tomorrow we'll look at just what ALDOT can do (control) and which projects they currently are working on locally.

Until ALDOT approves the current roundabout plans, and it may be some time, nothing will be done at the controversial intersection. The city has purchased a vacant lot for more parking, especially needed at lunch time. Yes, East Florence is booming in the eatery department, and should continue to grow in this direction with the construction of the new hospital.

Can we logically expect other retail growth? We would say not until something is done at the maligned intersection. Even then, retail has always been iffy. Shoalanda herself is expecting three packages this week. Yes, isn't it horrible to have to walk to the front door to retrieve one's shopping? No, it's pretty convenient. In other words, East Florence will never be a shopping mecca. Whether it becomes anything at all may depend on the new roundabout. Sounds like a horror movie, doesn't it?

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Saturday, October 28, 2017

A Roundabout Way to Say "Drinking District?"


One of our regular readers suggested the city of Florence was dragging its feet on the Sweetwater Arts & Entertainment District. Does Florence give precedence to the downtown area over North Florence or East Florence? At least North Florence has a business association; as far as we know, East Florence does not. North Florence recently produced its annual art crawl with pop up food shops, bands, and somewhat controversial tee-shirts. It was a booming success. What has East Florence recently done?

The city itself has purchased land for more parking spaces and is in the (attempted) process of installing a new roundabout. Many don't think the latter is progress, but more on that later.

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Another reader asked: Why don't they just say drinking district? Is anything else changed other than the suspension of open container laws?

As far as we know, the answer is no. The downtown is referred to as the "Downtown Entertainment District," while East Florence is referred to as the "Sweetwater Arts & Entertainment District." What the "Arts" in the title refers to, we have no concrete idea. Perhaps our regular zoning guru will contact us?

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The roundabout? It's temporarily on hold, and we will discuss it tomorrow along with ALDOT's role in the delay. Yes, the same ALDOT the city flauted when it installed the purple street signs.

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Friday, October 27, 2017

Downtown Entertainment District?


If you're new to Florence or if action on these districts has been so long coming that you've forgotten whatever you previously read, you can catch up here:



As of now, Florence is officially scheduled to have a part-time entertainment district. It seems to be somewhat gerrymandered, in part due to Wilson Park. Speaking of Wilson Park, how many will recycle their specially marked cups to fill with beer or whatever for the next event designated party time? You know how that works...buy your cheap beer at Chazz's and pour it into your special cup to bring along. How would anyone know the difference?

When the Sam Phillips celebration was still being held, critics made a strong point that children were not allowed. This interfered with families who wished to finish their Friday or Saturday downtown with a meal at one of the local restaurants. How will this be handled; especially at the Renaissance Faire?

We obviously have more questions than answers, but our final question is one everyone should be asking. Sweetwater is obviously more appropriate for the entertainment designation. How did Florence become approved and leave East Florence waiting in the wings?

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You don't have that many cats and not be a murderer:






Thursday, October 26, 2017

New Child Abuse Allegations Against Justin Matthew Green


Justin Matthew Green...if you're known by the company you keep, at least three of Green's closest FB friends are abusers of women. Justin is special; he adds children to the mix.

Now he's been accused of being unable to explain bruising on his daughter, you know, the one who's still living. His older daughter being still dead and all. 

There was a time we fervently hoped men like this would grow up and become productive citizens. Now that we've lived over a century or so, we know that's not possible. Now we merely hope they'll move away from the Shoals until they're too infirm to cause any more physical damage.


(You can enter his name in the search bar at top left and find many other blogs with more information...assuming you have a strong stomach) 

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A friend currently living in Murphreesboro has sent us this: 
As you know we are basically neighbors. There are several people who live here who grew up there. I'd just like to ask for prayers for Murfreesboro;  there have been crisis actor ads posted on craigslist and Facebook for this Saturday. 500$  for jobs to protest the league of the south I believe. The city held a meeting with businesses on the squares and told us to board windows and shut down and prepare like a hurricane was coming. 400 officers are expected with snipers placed. They start in Shelbyville and then Murfreesboro at 1pm.  The mayor publicly condemned the group's actions and residents are nervous this will turn out like North Carolina. 
PRAYERS FOR MURFREESBORO♡

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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Alabamans? Shut Yo Mouf!


Obviously the upcoming special senate election in this state has thrust it into more limelight than it's seen since, um, possibly George Wallace. More and more we're seeing its citizens referred to as "Alabamans." Sure, laugh now; just wait until your child comes home and says his English teacher told the class it was the correct designation.

What brought on this diatribe? We just read this great article, even if it did call us by the wrong name:


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Did you have problems with the Colbert County Tax Assessor's Office before 2014? E-mail us your thoughts. 

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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Is Amazon in the Shoals' Future?


Could the Shoals possibly be the new home of an Amazon distribution center? No.

How about northern Alabama - say Huntsville? No.

Let's put it this way: We will see both a DreamVision and an Inspiration Landing before we see an Amazon facility. Just consider what Amazon wants in a host city:

* At least 1 million residents
* Proximity to an international airport
* Mass transit
* Quality higher education
* An educated workforce
* A business-friendly environment
* High quality of life

But it's okay...we have football.

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Let's talk mass transit. Okay, we don't really mean mass transit as in a lotta people on buses. We mean some people on buses...or at least some buses. Buses that run a regular schedule at least five days a week and are handicapped accessible.  

Public transportation doesn't get even lip service in the Shoals. Look at the minutes of any county commission meeting; what's on the agenda? Hint: It's not helping the handicapped accomplish anything much less the wild extravagance of grocery shopping.

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Another Mr. Bean:






Monday, October 23, 2017

Imported Non-Shoals Labor? Good or Bad?


Not long ago, we ran a blog on a sub-contractor for Craig Construction allegedly hiring non-certified welders, as well as encouraging illegals to apply. We received the following comment:

While Craig might warrant some attention for its outside hiring, their practices are not even close to the guys building that hospital. Layton is an outside company, using 100% outside labor. And that "community" project is about 10x larger than the middle school. 

The thrust of our blog was on "non-certified" and "illegal," rather than simply outside labor. The new hospital is privately owned and does not have to answer to citizens for its hiring standards as long as they are legal. Is this a good or bad thing?

Not being connected to the group building the new facility, we have no idea if any locals actually bid on the project. We will assume they did. The second salient question concerns the ability of local construction companies to manage a job that size. No matter, the word "private" says it all.

So, is there an upside to hiring outside companies? Most workers travel in teams and will spend at least four nights in the area each week. They spend money on lodging and food, as well as purchase odds and ends for themselves. From what we've heard, many of these workers are housed in hotels outside Florence, but still in the Shoals area of Rogersville or Sheffield. 

While imported workers from Kentucky or Florida labor in the Shoals, we have to wonder how many home-grown workers are laboring in North Carolina through the week in order to make ends meet? We would love to hear from someone in a trade union who could offer some insight into this phenomenon. 

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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Serving with Distinction? How?


We read a lot these days about stolen valor. Those two words, or especially the latter one, can convey more than one image to most of us. Is it purchasing military medals online and wearing them? Is it claiming an unearned commendation on one's resume'? How about simply saying that you had a "distinguished military career?"

Has Shoalanda ever told you about being part of Girls' State in high school and serving with distinction? How was she distinguished? She wore a name tag...it distinguished her from all the other girls. See how that works; no one lied, but if you thought she had done something really great...well, that's up to you.

We've just read for the umpteenth time that Senate candidate Roy Moore served in the military in Vietnam with distinction. Yet no battles are mentioned; no medals are enumerated as being won. Just how was he distinguished other than by his military name tag and the same medal every other soldier who served in Vietnam received?

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Roy Moore's campaign has gone on record as saying he's never been embarrassed by this state. Apparently not even by Richard Shelby's dye job. We can believe that; however the question isn't whether Roy Moore is capable of being embarrassed, but is he capable of embarrassing us sane and rational citizens of the state?

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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Mistrials & Recusals?


Unfortunately, not everything in the criminal justice system goes according to plan or script. What about the Alfonso Jarman trial? We thoroughly believe Jarmon is guilty of cold-blooded murder and should spend the rest of his life behind bars. Yet, did he receive a fair trial?

That we can't answer. We can't answer yes or no to the question of the jury simply tossing aside the closing remarks of the prosecution merely because the defense was not able to complete its remarks. 

Yes, the trial cost money and the citizens of Lauderdale County lost money and time with the semi-aborted trial. Nevertheless, it doesn't take a swami to predict Jarmon will at some point receive a new trial. We predict that he will then be found guilty again, with the taxpayers and the victim's family being the losers in the case.

That is assuming Jarmon's next court-appointed attorney cares as much about clients as Jean Darby did...

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Now, a quick look at recusals: Here's a survey floating about FB. We've checked and submitted our response, but such surveys and similar petitions rarely count for much.


In a perfect world, we wouldn't have to worry about murder. In a semi-perfect world, we wouldn't have to worry about avoiding the appearance of evil. Does anyone out there think this world is even 10% perfect when it comes to the justice system?

Yes, we firmly believe Chris Martin deserves a new trial. Will he get one because of this perceived issue with Hatcher? No.

Think how many Facebook friends you have; do you know them all or are some friends of friends that you simply accepted? Look at the FB pages of elected officials; how many of their "friends" do you think they know personally? Think they accepted some as an easy route to a vote? As cheap advertising?

For all we know, Jackie Hatcher could be bosom beaux with the Grant Campbell family or she could be a waiving acquaintance or she could be someone who simply accepted a friend request from Grant Campbell's aunt years ago without thinking twice about it.

Colbert is a small county. Try playing "Seven Degrees of Insert Your Name Here" and see if you can find someone you're not connected to in some manner. That being said, we have seen some interesting recusals and would love to know the basis behind some of them...

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For those who aren't fans of Hammer films, please feel free to skip this:






Friday, October 20, 2017

Our Ninth Anniversary!



From our first blog on the Tuscumbia dog ordinance until yesterday's on a fatal Killen police chase, we've been here (most days) to offer up fodder for criticism, thought, and political change. We're sincerely hoping to see you here for at least another nine years.

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Truth Behind Fatal Killen Chase?/Voting ID


Here is a link to an interesting article concerning voters whose ballots didn't count in the last presidential election in Wisconsin. 


What the author of the article didn't address is that you also need a current driver license to return merchandise at Walmart or Hobby Lobby and probably many more such retail outlets. We feel for the lady whose provisional ballot was not counted, but she lost her license, not because of theft, but because of what we may at least partially assume was carelessness. 

After reading the article in full, we're wondering how race was involved. Was the district highlighted overwhelmingly black or perhaps just disproportionately careless?

That being said, in a city the size of Milwaukee, there should have been satellite offices nearby where a non-driver state ID could be purchased cheaply and with little documentation. The disenfranchised voter may have had a difficult time replacing her license, but she should not have had a problem obtaining a valid ID.
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There are several rumors floating around concerning the fatal Killen police chase from earlier this week. For right now, we're going to address three of them.

The driver was at the wheel of a stolen 2017 Lincoln? This is false. According to Larissa Bowlin's FB page, she's had the luxury SUV for quite some time, and it is a 2007, not the most current model as originally reported.

Killen police gave chase when the driver refused to stop? This could be considered partially true. Bowlin stopped, but then refused to exit her vehicle and "bumped" the officer who was speaking to her as she sped off. Miss Bowlin may be severely injured, but she may also be lucky she wasn't shot six times like our girl Poodles.

The driver had just been released from jail on drug charges? True. Bowlin had been arrested in late September and, according to her FB page, had lost her job over her stay in the detention center.

Obviously, there will be more on this later. For right now, we're simply glad no police or innocent civilians were hurt in this escapade.


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You can cut the preliminaries by going directly to the 15:30 mark. Stephen Fry! Enjoy! 






Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Roy Moore & Some Common Sense


Are you embarrassed that Roy Moore has been elected to state office not once, but twice? We are. His latest faux pas is telling Time magazine that it's a federal law to stand for the national anthem.

While we admit that our nation, state, and even county governments have some flaky laws from time to time, how could Moore even suggest such a thing? If, under the First Amendment, it's legal to burn, tread on, or expectorate on the U.S. flag, why would it be against a federal law to remain sitting during the national anthem?

Also, all law is codified with punishments for the breaking thereof. Where is the punishment for such an act written? 

Remember, Roy Moore has a juris doctorate. He constantly refers to the Second Amendment, while espousing abuse of the First. Moore also continues to assume the title "judge" even though he's no longer entitled to it. 

Send Moore to the Senate? Why don't we send him to "Illinois, Indiana -- up there" where he can defend the country from Sharia law.

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Great turn by Louis Armstrong:






Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Body Is Not That of Shawn Childers


A body found earlier this week is not that of missing Florence man Robert DeShawn Childers. Authorities are not publicly releasing the name of the man they believe was found in a field in Tuscumbia, but sources have indicated privately that they are awaiting confirmation of DNA, and the case has nothing to do with Mr. Childers.

Therefore, Shawn is still missing and his family is still hurting. We believe at least one person knows where he is, a person who has lied repeatedly to law enforcement. Why lie if you don't have something to hide?

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Besides publishing links to our own blogs, we also use our Facebook page to publish other interesting articles of local or state import. Looking back over the last two days, we've published links from at least four other sources: one local, two state, and one national. 

We encourage readers to comment on these articles, but if anyone wants to discuss a topic with the author or to make a correction, please contact the original site directly. That not only saves you time, it ensures you get your point across to the right people.

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A former Shoals resident has promised us an article on UNA-community relations which we hope to publish soon. If you want to submit an article, the ideal format is .doc (so that it can be opened in Google editing), and our e-mail address is: Shoalanda.Speaks@gmail.com.

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If you loved yesterday's mummy movie, here's its sequel:






Monday, October 16, 2017

Count Down to Shelter/Hackers?


We want to give three rousing cheers to Mayor Steve Holt along with new Florence council members Kaytrina Simmons, David Bradley, and Michelle Eubanks for their efforts to kick start the work on the new Florence animal shelter. They've done more work in one year than the previous administration did in four. We'll also add that this group had to undo some of the things the previous administration had done, presenting even further delays in getting things on track.

A sincere thanks to you all!

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It's no secret that several months ago a hacker from eastern Europe gained access to our Facebook and Twitter accounts. We believe that these platforms are now secure. 

Now  Blogger tells us that someone has been attempting to enter our blogging accounts; they have been unsuccessful. The interesting thing is that according to Google, we are still connected to two blogs owned by individuals who used to blog here, but moved on. We have no need for access to anyone else's blogs and will be attempting to remedy this. 

The sad thing is that we're also, for whatever reason, connected to a blog belonging to a woman who used to provide us with material quite frequently. We have not given her access to this blog, nor have we sought access to hers, which hasn't been active since 2011. 

We doubt that this woman is at fault; we surmise someone thought we were the same person and somehow attempted to use her blog to get to this one. So to you in eastern Lauderdale County, you may wish to check with Google to see if anyone but you can access your old blog. 

And to hackers? They're hard to catch, but if we do identify you, we will take you to court. You may not have any money, but we'll be happy to use the judgment to confiscate your lawn mower, work tools, etc., plus post your name for all to see. 

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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Did Roy Moore Buy Those Twits...er, Tweeters?


Look to our left sidebar and you'll see how to follow us on Twitter...or not; we're not going to pay you. Yet perhaps someone will.

The Alabama political world is buzzing over Roy Moore's Russian followers on the social medium platform Twitter. Are they real, or did he purchase them? In order to put things in perspective, let's look at his two known social platforms.

Moore's FB campaign has 65,000 followers; his Twitter account currently has 47,500 followers. On the surface, this sounds on the high end of normal since more individuals use FB than Twitter. How many Russian followers does our blog have? Sorry, we're totally bereft of Russians at the moment, although we did have a Balkan hacker. 

Two days ago the Moore campaign had 27,000 followers. Now a mere 48 hours later it has 47,000. So how does purchasing followers work? Just checking one company's ad, we see we can purchase 500 for 6.00. For 50.00, we can buy 10,000. In other words, these 20,000 new followers would have set Roy back only 100.00 or even less.

Twitter is great for documenting a ballgame or public meeting as it happens. We, and a great many others, say things a little more directly on Twitter than we do on FB. Face it, it would be pretty hard for Moore to get much more direct than he has in his public statements to the press.

Both Moore and his minions deny purchasing the new followers, which are almost assuredly robot accounts. We're tending to believe Moore on this one. If Moore didn't purchase the followers, who did purchase them or at least sic them on Moore's Twitter feed? 

It's been said that both Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner abhor the former Alabama judge. That in itself is no proof of dirty tricks on their part, but it is interesting.

No, you can be sure Roy Moore is doing enough on his own to alienate any honest, intelligent voters in Alabama.

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Don't forget that we accept guest reviews for Quad-Cities Cuisine. Here's our latest:

Taziki's

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Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Foundation for Moral Law Does What?


It's easy to say that all laws are based on morals, but of course they aren't. Many of our laws, and in our drug ridden culture perhaps most of them, are based on public safety. Think Trump's travel ban on some nations; its basic premise is to keep American citizens safe. The fact that most of the countries in this ban are predominately Muslim is related to the terrorist actions of some Muslims, not in any attempt to keep the Muslim religion from spreading in the United States. Yet, the Foundation for Moral Law considers it one of its causes.

The past few weeks, many have been looking at Roy Moore's Foundation for Moral Law. If you go the FB page of that group, you'll see it's listed as a "Just for Fun" page - we assume to make sure the IRS knows the group doesn't endorse political candidates. It also has a store where you can shop. Yes, really; however, if you click on the link, you're simply directed to a page where you can donate. Apparently you won't even get a complimentary bookmark for you cold, hard cash. 

The group, which has about 3,200 followers, calls founder Roy Moore "the Chief Justice." He hasn't been that in some time, but why should that stop them? A recent press statement from Moore's wife Kayla calls him "the Judge." That must make for great dinner table conversation: "Caleb, pass the Judge the mashed potatoes." 

Moore's most recent legal effort concerns preventing a large cross being removed from a Florida city. The cross has historic value, and we have no doubt is inspirational. Yet how long until a Muslim group wants a symbol of their religion erected next to the cross? Florida already has atheist monuments in place in several cities, so don't say you didn't see it coming.

Ah, yes, Roy Moore. Here to serve the people...unless they're atheists, Muslims, Jews, or Druids. We can hardly wait until he starts in on the Baptists.

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More funny than scary:

 





 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Opioid Town Hall Was a Bust?



From a reader who attended the Opioid Town Hall meeting at UNA:


Johnny Mack in one sentence confused methadone with methamphetamine. When a professor from UNA was touting the benefits and need for treatments like methadone & suboxone -- he cut her off and moved the conversation forward avoiding any conversation of the only approved treatment for this epidemic according to SAMHSA. Our illustrious Mental Health commissioner who has no clue what she is doing then acted like she didn't know what options were out there even though Shoals Treatment Center and HealthConnect both received grant money to address this epidemic locally. 

This was a true political event for the people on the stage including the Attorney General who truly believes the only way to treat them is to incarcerate them and basically wants the cops to be the first receivers of funding to deal with this issue. I was floored and disappointed in the lack of ideas to help the situation and only a defensive attitude of those on the stage who think they know how to deal with it.

If you don't know the difference between methadone and methamphetamine you are part of the problem in this epidemic. You can't arrest our way out of it either...we've been doing that since the 70s...


Mental health is the fix because it's a disease and a nurse who worked in a psych ward for a short stint is not qualified to lead this fight.


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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Answering Hugo Dante/ALDOT


We received a Facebook comment from UNA SGA president Hugo Dante. In the interest of fairness, as well as in the interest of replying to two specifics in his comment, we're reposting it here in its entirety. We're highlighting the two most egregious comments to address specifically:

For the sake of avoiding misinformation. The signs each cost the city $11 a piece. In addition, they were put up by salaried workers so the price tag is definitely exaggerated. Even the anonymous author of this article admitted that they were aesthetically pleasing, but more so than that they make perfect economic sense. The university and its students are a $316 million impact in our local economy. While small, building a community feeling between our students and the community at large is a strong investment that will only help grow and develop the downtown which is thriving for no small part due to the students, family, and friends of UNA. If the $220 cost for signs is such an issue, I along with many others would happily foot the cost.

As far as legality, please also express your concerns to the countless universities whose downtowns have a variety of colored street signs (including UA whose street signs on University Blvd are black -talk about hard to distinguish!-). From my understanding, those laws are only applicable on state roads anyways.
Finally, there was no mention of sexual assault being present in our Greek community anywhere. That is an absolutely slanderous suggestion which I am not surprised to see stem from this source. Anyone who looks closely at our Greek community will discover that it is one that is academically, civically, and community minded. Various organizations such as SafePlace, Big Brothers Big Sisters, United Way, Ronald Mcdonald House, Military Heroes Foundation, and more benefit greatly from them. Please research your facts more closely and with journalistic integrity before you contribute to the spread of false and degrading information.

First, the cost of the new signs - We estimated the cost using "20 locations" per the TD article. At some of these locations, signs are placed on each side of the street; we estimated at least 25 separate sites (with more stated to come). Then we computed estimated labor and costs in time; in other words, time to make the signs and to install them.

So, let's see...does Dante's comment on salaried employees being the only ones involved mean that these men/women would have been sitting around a cushy office if not fabricating/installing these signs? We sincerely hope that isn't the case. We also hope Dante takes some refresher courses in economics and logic. 

Second, and more importantly, the sexual assault comment - Those who have read our blog from its inception know that sexual assault and abuse is as important a topic to us as waste/theft by government employees. Again, we're not sure if Dante's problem with this point was a lack of logic or he simply wanted to suggest we implied something we didn't.

The term "physical assault" was used by UNA's David Shields in his letter to the Greek community. A better term would have been fisticuffs or fistfights; however, he didn't choose those words. If you have a problem with this term, see him - not us.

Our point is the term "physical assault" includes violent rape. No one anywhere said there had been a rape or other forms of sexual abuse at these frat houses. It's easy to say rape is merely slipping a little Georgia Home Boy into a girl's drink or perhaps even simply pinning a woman to a bed. No, it's been estimated that one-third of all rapes are violent physical assaults, some even leading to the victim's death. If Mr. Shields 
thinks the term "physical assault" excludes rape, he's sadly mistaken.

As a bonus lesson in logic and debate, listing the good organizations do while defending them for certain evil or illegal actions is not anything that's admissible in a court of law. Apples and oranges...and is totally irrelevant to the victims in these five cases. We'll add that also applies to listing the positive impact UNA has on the Shoals economy; no one has disputed that impact, but it does not and should not offset any illegal actions.


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Did the five assaults really happen? We're always amused when someone, usually not a regular reader of our blog, asks us if certain events we've mentioned "really happened." We understand that this is not the only publication to receive such questions.

Due to vulgar language, we deleted a FB comment on yesterday's blog. In this young woman's comment, she stated these five alcohol-fueled incidents really didn't happen. So, do we believe her or David Shields? If these five fistfights leading to hospitalization and legal charges really didn't happen, we suggest she take it up with Mr. Shields. He would be the person defaming the university, not us.

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A parting comment on the street signs, at least for now. One very erudite commenter questioned the relevancy of ALDOT's opinion on the signs being used, since the streets in question are not state highways. We would have once thought this was true; however, by reason of funding or other influence, ALDOT recently scuppered the plans for widening part of College Street in Florence which is in no way a state or federal highway. We requested a comment from ALDOT in Tuscumbia and was referred to Montgomery. We await.

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Caution: PG language (Love the name Julian!)





Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Five Assaults This Term at UNA Frat Houses


There are currently 13 fraternities at the University of North Alabama. Of these 13, we don't know how many are involved in the five reported assaults that have occurred since the beginning of the fall term. It could be five separate organizations or only one. Judging from the harsh response David Shields of UNA issued earlier this week, we may infer that more than one have been homes to such violence.

Perhaps the best thing we can say about these incidents is that the university is stressing the assaults were "physical" and not sexual. We'll throw in here that sexual assaults are pretty physical in themselves.

Shields has stated that alcohol was an influencing factor in these incidents, some of which resulted in trips to a hospital, criminal charges, and Code of Conduct charges. 

Now every Greek member at the school must attend meetings on proper and socially acceptable behavior. One more incident? Shields, the vice president of student affairs, has said all Greek life will suffer. 

Ouch!

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We had a question from a regular reader, a very good question, about how many citizens in Florence actually care about the color of street signs on or near the UNA campus. While we personally like the signs and find them attractive, this is why we should care:

1. The City of Florence used tax dollars (around one thousand) to take down legal street signs and replace them with illegal ones.
2. ALDOT and at least three city employees went on record to declare the signs in non-compliance with code and illegal.
3. If anyone is injured at night (or worse) in the vicinity of these signs, the city (read: taxpayers) will face a lawsuit. Oh, and not just the city; you can add UNA to the list of defendants in that lawsuit.

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The Queen would love it:






Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Christina Marie Carroll - All the Glamour is External


In August 2009, Christina Marie Carroll was living with her mother on Lingerlost Lane in Killen when state troopers charged her with unlawful possession of a controlled substance and driving under the influence of a controlled substance. Two of Carroll's former classmates at Brooks High School have contacted us to say the admitted killer of Kevin Allan Doherty was no stranger to drugs when they knew her. Yes, one may count such stories as apocryphal, but they do seem to fit in with Carroll's track record.

Self-Professed Glamour Model

Since the Friday night hit-and-run, Florence detectives had narrowed down the sought after light colored SUV to a Ford Freestyle. It was just matter of time until all such vehicles in the area were checked for front end damage; Christina Carroll, 27, then turned herself in. Her attorney Tim Case was quoted as saying: “It is a horrible car accident and once (Carroll) tells her side it will be clear that, although it will still be tragic, it was an accident.”

We doubt that most people think the collision was anything more than accidental. If that's the best Case could come up with, we suggest Carroll seeks out Billy Underwood as soon as he comes back from his vacation. 

While the collision may have been accidental, Christina Marie Carroll's fleeing the scene wasn't. We've heard of drivers being so shocked by such incidents that they drive around the block before coming back to check on victims, but four days? We're inferring that neither sound judgment nor moral behavior is known to Carroll.

Carroll's bail was set at $2,500.00 - we assume because a judge didn't think the mother of two now living in the Happy Hollow area would be a flight risk. We may safely assume Christina Carroll is tonight safely at home with her two children. Kevin Allan Doherty is still dead.


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