Monday, July 16, 2018

The 67%/Advertising


From a reader in Muscle Shoals:


It may be a little confusing to some.

Think of it like this...

There is a tax.

MSC decided to add a "city appropriation" that the citizens voted on back in the 70s that made it a new tax of 7.5 (mills).

It was renewed in April 2015 at the rate of 7.5. That is the portion of the total 16.5 that you are referring to.

Lindsey was very crafty in that he told the city council MSC has the lowest advalorem tax of all the schools in Colbert County at 7.5. The city council was arguing with some people that it was correct at 7.5 because Lindsey said so. It took Waylon Huguley taking the breakdown of the tax records from Oswalt to convince them that once again Lindsey had misled an elected body.

So, while Lindsey is correct in the 7.5 tax is a stand alone tax dependent on the citizens renewing it every 20 or so years, he lied by omission.

Clear as mud yet?

ha ha. We kinda liked him saying it was for the 7.5 special tax with the 5 mil increase cause that clearly is a 67% increase in that tax.

Nothing like giving the opposition plenty to work with huh?


*****


We've been asked if we are now endorsing Colbert County Sheriff Frank Williamson for re-election. We have not endorsed either candidate at this time. Rest assured that our ad for Sheriff Williamson is a PAID ad. We will be happy to sell sidebar ads and the bottom banner to any candidates, including Phil Andrews. 

Drop us an inquiry. Our sidebar ads are a great bargain, and we reach at least 3,000 individuals each day.





Sunday, July 15, 2018

Two Appeals: Who Wins? Who Loses?


Anyone convicted of a crime is allowed to appeal. That's our legal system, and it's a good one. It prevents defendants from being railroaded in a county where these things happen with great regularity. It can also be used to overturn perfectly legitimate convictions on a minute technicality. Sometimes the criminal wins...but more often the innocent lose. Let's look at two recent winning appeals.




First, Jason DeWayne Green in Franklin County. Here's a Facebook post from a member of his victim's family:

I think I'll kill someone. I'll do it in Russellville, AL so I'll do minimal prison time even if I'm sentenced to 19 years. That's apparently how things work. My cousin Shay Ledlow was shot and killed by her boyfriend. He shot her, then put a lit cigarette in her right hand, put the gun in her left hand and called 911 to report a suicide. First of all Shay was right handed, second of all the gun barrel was too long for her to have turned it on herself. He was free for a very long time then he was sentenced to 19 years. (Which is not nearly enough for a murder to begin with). 

Now he's out of prison to get a new trial! Who does that? So if you disagree, you just get new lawyers and get out of jail? What is this Monopoly, get out of jail free card? He got out in October for a new trial to be held in March, that was put off until August and now again until December. So let me make sure I get this...You can kill someone in cold blood, be prosecuted, sentenced even though that isn't a long enough sentence, then get OUT of prison indefinitely while you await another trial that keeps being put off to whenever! 

Jason Dewayne Green is a monster who should NOT be walking the streets! He should rot in prison for what he did. He should at MINIMUM be in prison for as long as Shay Nicole Ledlow is dead! Russellville has some crooked politics if you ask me and Green is paying someone to keep him out of prison or postpone that trial. This calls for public outcry. Something stinks...maybe rotten government and murderers walking free! Feel free to share. I'm not ashamed to tell the truth!

We were totally surprised by the verdict being overturned on what we consider a specious argument. Yet it happened. Yes, Green is free, but we hope it's only temporary. Franklin County juries are notoriously hard to predict, so no one should count on any particular verdict until the jury foreman reads it in court.

Next, we have Lauderdale County and the attempted murder conviction of Timothy Vincent Murphy. Murphy had no criminal record, but obviously had mental problems or he wouldn't have been the object of a commitment in the first place. We believe he belongs in a place where he'll receive mental health treatment...and the state prison system certainly isn't that place.



A state appeals court says Lauderdale County Circuit Judge Ben Graves committed a serious error in not allowing a private mental evaluation of Murphy. Why Graves would have ruled this way is a mystery, but as we pointed out during the campaign for this office, his only experience in a courtroom seems to have been in Florence Municipal Court. 

On that note, how much is an appeal of this appeal and a retrial (if it comes) costing the citizens of Lauderdale County? How many more errors will be made and ultimately appealed? 

Oh, well, it's only (our) money...








Saturday, July 14, 2018

TAX INCREASE: The Two Year Shuffle








CITY RESOLUTION:



SECTION 2::



NOW - think about this.

APRIL 2015 -  The citizens renewed the 7.5 mil Advalorem Muscle Shoals tax that the citizens do get to vote on.

By December of 2017, Brian Lindsey is back to the City Council asking for the citizens to give even more money.

Did Lindsey just discover between April 2015 and December 2017 that he had screwed up giving out $90,000.00+ for the athletic director coach, $70,000.00 salaries for assistants, and a 10 million dollar sports complex? Not to mention the other high salaries for administrators, travel, coaches that never step foot in a classroom except to recruit players, and the list goes on and on.

Brian Lindsey's LACK OF PLANNING and ABILITY does not constitute MORE TAXES PAID BY CITIZENS as our problem. The problem isn't money -it is ADMINISTRATORS and the SCHOOL BOARD.

Will Lindsey be back in our pockets in 2020?

Is this the pattern of this group of struggling administrators that obviously can't manage a school system?


YES - 2020 needs an upgrade -  NEW MAYOR, 4 NEW COUNCILMEMBERS, NEW SCHOOL BOARD, NEW SUPERINTENDENT, NEW ADMINISTRATORS, AND MOST OF ALL, A NEW DIRECTION!







Friday, July 13, 2018

New Tourism Board?


So, the TD (Totally Decatur) reports that our incredible Florence Tourism Board is pleased with a marketing campaign that Rob “I’d rather be in Nashville” Carnegie has now bought (too bad they didn’t report how much this campaign is costing $$ Cha-ching) to promote Florence.  With a tiny 1% increase in tourism over last year, I would be ashamed to admit I was pleased with anything Canada Rob is doing. Well, unless you are interested in his music career in Nashville which from his Facebook page is booming, as it should be.  He spends more time in the Music City than he does in Florence. Alabama.  



One of Carnegie's Most Innovative Promotions



But back to our top-notch tourism board.  I am so glad that we have marketing gurus like Larry McCoy inserting his valuable tourism and marketing experience into the decisions made about how to advertise Florence Tourism.  It appears he doesn’t approve of billboards because he doesn't know who is seeing them. I am guessing he can’t see billboards with those big bushy eyebrows covering his eyes. 

From my understanding, the 5 members of the Florence Lauderdale tourism board is made up of 2 members appointed by the Lauderdale County Commission and 2 members appointed by Dick Jordan, oh excuse me, the Florence City Council. Then the final spot is a joint appointment meaning that the city and county have to come to a mutual agreement of who to appoint.  I bet that's an interesting conversation.  Call your commissioner or your council person and demand that we have NEW board members with tourism related experience.  Maybe EVEN a HOTEL representative.  Just the fact that they actually declare they are pleased should be an immediate dismissal of their board appointment.




Thursday, July 12, 2018

Now on Netflix: Roy Moore Takes on Sacha Baron Cohen


As Roy Moore often says, "I'm broke again. Whom can I sue to get the suckers to donate their hard earned money?" Apparently it may now be British comic Sacha Baron Cohen, supposedly a favorite of the late Queen Mum. We're not too sure about that last statement. If true, she would be the first female to enjoy his humor.

But make no mistake, Baron Cohen has pulled pranks on Alabamians before and has been sued before. We're at a loss as to whether Moore doesn't know the comic is Jewish or not. Baron Cohen's trademark is making fun of his own religion, but he does, like Roy Moore, take it seriously. He even stipulated his fiancee' Isla Fisher had to convert before their marriage. 

That probably makes scant difference to Moore. If he says he is defending God's chosen people, his core followers will flock to him with pieces of green paper. Then Moore can dine high on a non-Kosher hog until his next quest comes into view.

He was almost our senator, folks. Narrow escape wasn't it? 


*****




About that 67%:

A group has been formed to lobby against the 5 mill added property tax for Muscle Shoals. The opponents of this tax say that it is an increase of 67%. Others say this is malarkey. Who's right?

According to tax records, Muscle Shoals residents pay 16 cents on every 1K of property owned. This referendum would raise that to 21 cents. By our calculations that's a little over 31%. That's quite a raise, but still not 67%. 

Are we missing anything here? No matter, this is an unneeded tax and should be defeated. 





Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Doc Larry Is Doing What?


Did you get your mailer from Dr. Larry Stutts? Interesting isn't it? Let's take a closer look.




Stutts says he's:

1. Defending Our Guns - Have you seen any guns under attack in this state? In case you're inclined to mention the federal level, remember that our legislature has nothing to do with federal legislation.

2. Saving the Unborn - Translate this to read passing laws that we have to pay to defend...knowing we're going to lose anyway. Why don't we try to save chastity, or barring that, teach birth control? Doesn't that make much more sense?

3. Stopping Illegal Immigration - Now ol' Doc Larry may help pass laws to prosecute illegal immigrants in this state (not that we can think of any since he's been in office), but unless he's helping build the wall, he's not stopping any illegals from entering Alabama.

4. Draining the Swamp - And which swamp is this? Is it Washington? We had no idea. Doesn't he have enough to do here and in Montgomery? Or are there still Democratic alligators in our fair state capital? Look out Johnny Mack!

Doc Larry goes on to tell us to stop the liberal agenda on July 17th. That implies that Steve Lolley is liberal? Well, there are dirtier campaigns being conducted during this runoff season, so we'll forge on.

We have already endorsed Steve Lolley. Do we think he can win the runoff? It may be doable, but it's a long shot. There's certainly a good chance that Morrow will be facing Stutts in the November general election. Now that should be a contest!





Tuesday, July 10, 2018

A Letter to Mayor Steve Holt


Dear Mayor Holt:

First, let us say that we believe you've done more in your 18 months in office than Mickey Haddock did in four years. Kudos!

Second, we know you drew some fire Tuesday night over conditions/incidents at the animal shelter. We understand that you cannot stand before a group and say that you want to kill/paddle/curse/fire a city manager. Not good form. We believe that you will do the right thing.

Have you or the city wasted money on the animal shelter plans? We'd say it was more of a flim-flam man holding the city for ransom over plans you didn't want or ask for. Sad that there are those like that out there, but that happens in all sectors.

Third, all that being said, some things in life are hard. We don't know who at the shelter has abused animals, but whoever it may be, he/she has to go. That's all the way to the top. We believe that you're dedicated and kind hearted and this is difficult for you. We've prayed before even putting this out here, but the animals have to come first.


Fourth, a suggestion. We know there are budget restraints, etc., but ideally the shelter should have two managers - one for administration and one for operations. Neither should interfere with the other except in the case of the admin telling the other manager how much money is there to be used in operations. Let the administrator run the office and apply for grants and speak at the Rotary. Let the ops manager allocate space, choose cleaning supplies, schedule workers, and whatever else is needed to keep the animal end on an even keel. 

Above all, let's put the animals first!





Monday, July 9, 2018

City of Florence Needs Volunteers to...


* Read meters for the Electricity Department. Due to the heat, the readers have fallen behind and need help in catching up.

* Mow Martin Park. Due to the heat and terrain of the park, mowers have gotten behind. Let's all volunteer and help these park employees out.

* Clean the city hall facilities. Due to an excess of visitors, the restrooms at city hall have not been properly cleaned in weeks. It's up to us to chip in and help.

Now, gentle readers, what do you think about the above statements? Aren't you thinking that there are PAID employees out there to do those jobs? Indeed there are, just as there are paid employees at the Florence Animal Shelter.

We ENCOURAGE volunteers, but to say that those who can't or won't volunteer are responsible for any problems at the shelter is ridiculous. 


*****



"Let me out of my filthy cage and I'll shop everyone from the director on down."

Are there those at the shelter who intentionally abuse the animals? If there are... Let's just say that we hope they are prosecuted...after being fired and tortured slowly.

Yes, the dogs and cats have no voice. We are their voice. We are the hands used to defend them. Let's not sweep anything under the rug. Let's mean business this time. 








Sunday, July 8, 2018

Who Went to Colorado?


Make no mistake that we believe there is much waste in local, state, and federal government. We can't do much about the federal level. We can only try to assist in doing something at the state level. The local level? That we can look into and report to the taxpayers.

There's currently a story going round about someone, perhaps Colbert County sheriff Frank Williamson, traveling to Colorado to investigate new jail concepts. Did he? No.

We understand that Colbert County commissioner Tommy Barnes did travel all the way to Cullman (yes, that was sarcasm) to look at its new county jail. Sheriff Williamson did inform the commission of a seminar in Colorado designed for those who run local governments. This seminar taught elected officials how to find funding/grant money for new jails and prisons. This seminar was never designed for local law enforcement officials, and in the end, no one took advantage of this educational event. 

Why David Black told anyone (if he did) that he was sending Sheriff Williamson, we have no idea. It is election season, and we would advise anyone to double check all salacious rumors about money/sex/power.

*****



Slightly over one week and counting for the runoff. Are you ready to vote responsibly? 

The most important local race is between Larry Stutts and Steve Lolley. Will Stutts win this round and continue on to the November election? Or will Lolley have a chance at becoming the District 6 senator? 

Lolley is a retired banker who promises to work full time for District 6. He's not perfect, but he is preferable to Doc Larry. It should be an interesting contest to see who gets the privilege to run against our Johnny Mack.






Saturday, July 7, 2018

Listen Up, Ladies; He's a Jerk...or Even Worse


At this moment, there's a young woman from this area whose body is lying in a morgue or funeral home. She had family who loved her. We're pretty sure she didn't want to die. So why did she?



Some women think they can change a man. News flash: Only the man can change himself and he has to want to.

Some women think they're nothing without a man. News flash: You have worth, young ladies. You have a brain. You have a tender heart. You have common sense. Don't let ANYONE tell you that you don't have self worth. You're growing every year that you live, and only God knows how far you can go or what you can accomplish. 

Some women need a man for drugs. There's no news flash here. Just please get some help if you're an addict. Look at yourself. What are you doing with this drug dealer? Why are you helping him? Do you want to go to jail? Do you want to wind up on an autopsy table? 

As to the young woman who was found in a trash dump, it's true that she may not have been murdered, but you can bet the compost heap that she didn't go there to die from natural causes. There's a man sitting in a local jail who is rumored to have been involved with this woman's death. If he is, then let's prosecute him.

Finally a word to mothers and fathers. Your daughter may seem mature, but a little advice from time to time never hurt. Make sure she knows if you have concerns about her latest boyfriend. Make sure she knows that she can always come home to you if she needs to. 

After all, taking in an adult daughter or sister is just a little better than visiting her in the funeral home, now isn't it?








Friday, July 6, 2018

"The Whole Month of May Was Just a Blur"


One might want to file this under "Things a Politician Shouldn't Say." Yet, this is exactly what Colbert County Commissioner David Black did say at last Tuesday's meeting. We'll assume he was referring to the mad whirl of a failed state political campaign, but as one of his staunchest critics pointed out, no matter what he's currently running for, he's still an elected official in Colbert County. Black, like many pols, needs a coach to polish his rough edges...and that's at a minimum.


*****

You've probably seen a link here to a Facebook page called Colbert County Corruption. We have two comments about the page - one pro and one con. First, on the down side, we've seen criticism of the page for being too combative in its approach. We can see merit in that argument. When readers contact us about taking down a photo or changing wording in an article, we certainly are more amenable to their requests if they don't start out with "You, m***********g b***h." Certainly the writers of CCC have not used such language, but we have seen a combative edge to the site. We do not believe that has been their intention, but the written word does not always come across as originally intended.

On the other side of the coin, we've seen criticism of the name, specifically the word "corruption." We have no doubt that there has been abuse of the power of elected officials in all 67 Alabama counties. Some counties have more abuse than others, and perhaps Colbert is one of these. The abuse of power for gain does not have to be strictly for monetary gain, but can involve nepotism or a quest for social position. We certainly believe that has occurred in the City of Muscle Shoals government and probably in all local governments at one time or the other. 


*****


Finally, our blog regularly receives reports of, calling a Swiss bank account a Swiss bank account, bribes involving one Colbert County official who is involved in legislation. We cannot publish these claims without proof. Ideally, if you have proof of these statements, send your information to the Alabama Ethics Commission and more importantly to the attorney general's office. 

There should be no room for any servant of the people lining his/her pockets with bribes.





Thursday, July 5, 2018

Shoals Fairy Tales...Updated


Many years ago in a galaxy far, far away lived a wealthy prince. Now, this prince had a beautiful young daughter who attended high school with lesser beings and who fell shallowly in love with one obviously destined for lesser things. Graduation came, and the princess waltzed away to Agnes Scott College while her sweetheart was forced to attend something called the University of Common Alabama. 

The sweetheart dreaded the separation, but he knew his chosen one would remain true to him. She came home every chance she had, didn't she? Even though these visits were few and became fewer as the years progressed, the young commoner saw a future for them. Then college graduation came.

He popped the question. She said, "Oh." No, it seems that the princess knew that she was destined for the jet set life...and she proceeded to live it. Meanwhile the jilted boyfriend moved to the Kingdom of Ham to pursue a master's degree. He could go somewhere too.

Things moved along at a meteoric pace for the princess, that is until the prince died. These things sometimes happen in the best of well regulated families, and the prince left the princess...absolutely nothing. That's right. The prince made an obscene amount of money, but had spent it all on his family. There was nothing left, not even insurance. Our princess was broke. Her travels ended, and at home her friends weren't as friendly. She couldn't even afford her membership at the Amphibian Overhang Country Club.


What to do, what to do? She had it! That young commoner who had once asked for her hand - that was it. She seemed to remember that he had married a beautiful young woman who was obviously less picky than she, but that could all be taken care of. A quickie divorce couldn't cost that much. Taking pen in hand, the princess wrote the young commoner a letter in which she now accepted his proposal of marriage.

When the letter arrived at the home of the young commoner, who wasn't quite so common anymore, there was much shock and disbelief. He offered the letter to his beautiful wife to read. Do you need George Lucas to tell you how this faithful wife felt about the former princess attempting to lure her husband away.

The story had a happy ending for two of the people involved. We'll let you surmise which two. Will there be an update? Has Quentin Tarantino produced a shock ending for the 2018 version? A few of our readers tell us it's a possibility...

*****


Did anyone ever figure out how the mall cop, er, college cop wound up behind Poodles' car to be backed over? 

On another note, Shoalanda now has at least a dozen investors in her hover board company. 

On still another note, we need to update P.T. Barnum's famous saying. Surely it's every second now.




Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Independence Day 2018


Let Freedom Ring!




For those interested in vital historical research, was George M. Cohan actually born on the Fourth of July or was it the fifth as early records indicated? Is it of great import; it would seem to have been still July 4th in some time zones!


Everyone at Shoalanda Speaks

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Thoughts on Rob Carnegie's Latest Debacle


We recently read that tourism growth in Lauderdale County was at only a tiny 1% increase this past year. Really...Only 1%??? 1% is terrible yet we have not heard a word from the illustrious Florence Lauderdale Tourism board or their Director about this tiny increase. 


Robbie Baby Sings Pat Boone
(Yes, folks, that really is our tourism director.)

Now if you will recall, our very own Florence Lauderdale Tourism board spent a ton of money on a SEARCH committee to find us a true Tourism Leader to bring more tourism to our city and county. They had to go all the way to Canada to find such a worthy “leader.” Then they upped the salary of the new leader to over $100,000 a year, paid moving expenses, gave him a company car to drive around all day/every day AND gave him a BIG bonus each year on top of all that. 

And for ALL that compensation and praise, we have a 1% increase??? And not a word uttered about this from any of the Davids or Dicks on the board and council. Had this organization been run like a true business, there would be stipulations over why the growth was not of a substantial amount. I mean, hey, we expect these lousy numbers from Colbert County but never Lauderdale County. Which again brings up the million dollar question...why do we still have 2 tourism bureaus in the Shoals area when we are duplicating SO many of the same attractions and hotels?????




Monday, July 2, 2018

Bill Pryor Demonstrates Just How Polarized Our Country Is


For years we considered ourselves to be conservative. Then things began to change. As we began to do more than a casual perusal of the political news, we became aware of just how many in this country are beyond even uber-conservative. Many apply the term wing-nuts to both the ultra-conservatives and ultra-liberals. Whatever you call them, we now call ourselves moderates; it's a much better fit in most cases for our bloggers (we can think of one exception...).

That brings us to Bill Pryor. Remember him? He was a two-term Alabama attorney general who looked halfway sane, at least if one compared him to TK the AG. Now he toils in the law vineyard as a federal appeals judge, but things may soon change. Yes, he's reportedly on Trump's short list to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the nation's Supreme Court. 

Looking back, Pryor had a difficult time with his appointment to a federal judgeship due to his views on abortion and homosexuality. But now? 

Now we see that some are calling Pryor a liberal. Have his views changed that much? Apparently Bill's views haven't changed dramatically; the mindset of the American people has. Pryor is seen as liberal to some simply because their views on various political issues are so conservative that even Adolph Hitler would be construed as liberal.

What does that say about our country? We're not sure and we're also not sure that we want to find out.


*****


Casie Marie Winborn. She was found murdered this week:



Not much has been said about her officially, but many on social media are naming names. It's an interesting story, but above all a young woman who was both daughter and mother has lost her life. So far it seems that very few care. There's little outrage and even less news coverage.

Another day, another murder, and another ho-hum?





Sunday, July 1, 2018

Food Deserts in the Shoals?


If you're of a certain age, you remember when grocery shopping meant tagging along as your mother trudged the aisles of Hill's (later Winn-Dixie), the A&P, or Kroger looking for bargains. Small supermarkets were for emergencies only. Then Florence hit the big time with Food World. The Shoals had arrived.



But the much maligned Walmart chain changed all that when it targeted certain states for a barrage of highly touted stores with their own grocery built in. One by one, the older stores folded...even Alabama's beloved Food World. 

Sure, there's Publix if you want to mount an expedition to the nether side of Florence. And Walmart? It too has become part of the area one could call "Gateway to Killen." What about those who live downtown or on the Westside?

Recently there have been suggestions a rather dubious small mini-mart (is that redundant?) will close to make way for a new assisted living complex. That will leave only Fred's to serve the downtown area. Fresh produce? Forgettaboutit!

2018 has seen two Florence markets closing, both in the immediate area of a Walmart. Apparently these grocery wars are still going on. Yes, that's what competition is about. Stores will open and close with regularity, but longtime customers are the victims. How many Cherokees are out there? Or West Florences? 

In the mean time, we're sure many thank God for canned vegetables.