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280 Living

January 2014 | Volume2014 7 | Issue 5 • A1 January

Making homes cleaner and healthier since 1987.

neighborly news & entertainment

Women of 280

A rare find

One man’s museum in Greystone offers visitors a chance to make a memory By JEFF THOMPSON

Each January, 280 Living recognizes women who show their dedication to the community through businesses they own or services they provide through nonprofit organizations. Find a host of local heroines inside this issue.

Special page B1

Doors opening

This month, some Chelsea students will return to school in a brand-new facility. Take a tour of the new Forest Oaks Elementary with principal Dr. Resia Brooks inside this issue.

School House page B14

INSIDE 280 News ..... A4 Business ....... A5 Food .............. A11 Community.. A14

Sports .............. A18 Opinion ............ A23 School House ... B16 Calendar ........... B21

Greystone resident Steve Dichiara with a dehydrated piece of cinnamon bread that flew on NASA’s Apollo 13 mission. Dichiara said it’s one of his favorite pieces in his collection of more than 160 historical artifacts. Photo by Jeff Thompson.

Anna Marie Dichiara was making her way to the exit when her husband caught up. The couple was in a flea market out of state, and the particular piece of Old South paraphernalia draped across his arm made her pick up her pace. “We’re in Tennessee, and you bought a rebel flag? Really, Steve?” she asked him. “Do you know what this is?” Steve replied. “Yeah. It’s junk,” she said. Steve Dichiara is a firefighter by trade, but at home he is a self-defined collector. However, it’s what he collects that alters the definition. His hobby of finding rare pieces from the past has also made him a historian. Inside the couple’s home in Greystone, Steve has built a stunning scene. The glass cases around his basement room are teeming with items of significance — from Viking bracelets to pieces of the space shuttle — but it’s unlike any museum you’ve ever toured. No velvet ropes. No “Don’t smudge the glass” signs. No ticket prices. In fact, it’s completely the opposite. “All right, the first rule of coming down here is that nothing’s off limits,” he said. “Touch anything you want.” Down there, people who are privileged to see the collection don’t just simply marvel at the past. They become a part of it. Steve’s affection for the items in his cases pours out onto those who see them, and his only hope is that they move you as they have him. And sometimes that means moving them. He flips open one of his gun cases to reveal four pristine revolvers dated during the Civil War, three made by Colt and one by Remington. He goes on to say that the Union Army only ordered two of the models in the case,

See HISTORY | page A20

2014 Year in preview What 280 residents can anticipate along the corridor in 2014 See page A6

Pre-Sort Standard U.S. Postage PAID Birmingham, AL Permit #656

High-profile offices like U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus’ seat and current Sheriff Chris Curry’s office will be contested in 2014.

With the Dunnavant Valley Small Area Plan, residents hope to protect green spaces like the Dunnavant Valley Greenway.

Brookwood Medical Center’s freestanding ER at the intersection of U.S. 280 and Ala. 119 could be completed in 2014.

A2 • January 2014

280 Living







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A4 • January 2014

280 Living

About Us Photo of the month

Please Support our Community Partners Spain Park High School junior A.J. Smiley, a 6-foot-2 shooting guard on the Jaguars 2013-2014 varsity basketball team, takes a jump shot from the corner during a game in December. Photo courtesy of Ted Melton / actionsportspix.

Correction In the November issue of 280 Living, an article titled “The Constitution comes alive at LPMS” reported that The Lily of the Cahaba Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution sponsored Constitution Week activities at Liberty Park Middle School. Actually responsible for sponsoring those activities was the Cahawba Chapter of DAR.

Editor’s Note By Madoline Markham Trinity Hospital’s 2013 will forever go down as the year that lights at long last came on to announce that it changed all our lives — or at least how we make turns was cleared to move its 280 campus, to be called at 280 intersections. I’m Grandview Medical sure by now we have all perfected our U-turn skills Center, and other medical buildings will be and how to go travel as few side streets as possible as added next door. Plus, a Brookwood’s freestandwe traverse up and down ing ER will also be comthe corridor. Can I just say that reing to property at 280 Madoline Markham porting beginning — and and 119. So I guess that means we don’t have to end! — of a big road project in the same calendar year is quite the travel all the way down 280 for medical exciting feat for us. Thanks for making care, but more development does mean that happen, ALDOT. more cars on the road? While I am reminiscing the past In our pages this year, we tasted our year’s changes, we keep reporting steps way down 280 as new life came to forward to alleviate congestion on 119 once-vacant buildings. Dixie Fish Co. — anyone ready for its intersection with has re-opened the island flair of the old Bahama Breeze space, and Pappadeux 280 to speed up?

Publisher: Creative Director: Executive Editor: Managing Editor: Staff Writer: Advertising Manager: Sales and Distribution:

Dan Starnes Keith McCoy Jeff Thompson Madoline Markham Katie Turpen Matthew Allen Rhonda Smith Warren Caldwell Michelle Salem Haynes Contributing Writers : Chandler Jones Rick Watson Kari Kampakis Jason Gaston Interns: Sydney Cromwell Lauren Moriarty

Seafood Kitchen will be on the former Ralph and Kacoo’s spot one day soon (no reports on an opening date yet). Perhaps most notably, Inverness Corners once again has an anchor store, and one with upscale groceries at that. On a more serious note, Kenneth Lucas helped us open a discussion about the grip that drugs have on our community, and we examined stories of school safety and domestic abuse, along with covering 5K after 5K after 5K, all for a good cause close to home. 2013 has shaped who we are as a community and how we will live our present and our future. Still, there’s plenty of room left for news in the New Year, so go out and make it so we can report it!

280 Living neighborly news & entertainment

Contact Information: 280 Living PO Box 530341 Birmingham, AL 35253 (205)313-1780

Please submit all articles, information and photos to: P.O. Box 530341 Birmingham, AL 35253 Published by : Starnes Publishing LLC

Legals: 280 Living is published monthly. Reproduction or use of editorial or graphic

For advertising contact:

content without prior permission is prohibited. 280 Living is designed to inform the 280 community of area school, family and community events. Information in 280 Living is gathered from sources considered reliable but the accuracy cannot be guaranteed. All articles/photos submitted become the property of 280 Living. We reserve the right to edit articles/photos as deemed necessary and are under no obligation to publish or return photos submitted. Inaccuracies or errors should be brought to the attention of the publisher at (205) 313-1780 or by email.

Please recycle this paper.

280 Medical Supply (A21, B9) Action Coach Business Coaching (B16) Alabama Allergy & Asthma Center (A17, B1) ARC Realty (B2) Asbury United Methodist Church (A7) AUX Mechanical (A20) Azia Medical Spa (B16) Beaumont Pharmacy (B8) Bedzzz Express (A3) Bellini’s (B8, B21) Birmingham Duplicate Bridge Club (A18) Birmingham Speech and Hearing Associates (A8) Cahaba Dermatology and Skin Care Center (A14, B22) Cahaba Marriage and Family Counseling (A21) Chelsea Family Dentistry (B9) Children’s of Alabama (A23) Chiropractic Today (A10, B6) D.R. Horton, Inc. - Birmingham (B19) Daniel Corporation (B10, B14) Decorating Dens Interiors (A6) Dreamscape Landscape Development, LLC (B19) Encore Rehabilitation (A10) Exclusively Ballet (A22) Eye Do (A17) Faux Studio Designs (B11) Fi-Plan Partners (A19) Foxy Nails & Spa (A18) Gallery No. 9 (B21) GeGe’s Salon (B18) GradePower Learning of Birmingham (A15) Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce (B5) Greystone Antiques & Marketplace (B2) Hendrick Hoover Auto Mall (A16, B14) Indian Springs School (B23) Isbell Jewelers (B17) Johnny Ray’s - Chelsea (B12) Kiki’s Kickin’ Cakes (B5) Lady Fingers Salon (A22) Learning by Design (B11) LearningRx (B4) M&M Jewelers (B6) Mathnasium (B3) McKay Building Company (A15) MedSouth Family Care (A11) Mitchell’s Place (A22) More Than a Maid, LLC (B7) Narrows Family Eyecare (B6) Pastry Art (B22) Pharmacy One Nineteen (A16) Picasso Painting, LLC (A18) Price Homes (A2) Pure Barre 280 (B7) Re/MAX Advantage - Terry Crutchfield (B2) RealtySouth Marketing (A13) Red Mountain Theatre Company (A18) Richard Joseph Salon and Spa (A1) Royal Automotive (B24) Salter Ferguson, LLC (B5) Somerby at St. Vincent’s One Nineteen (A9) St. Vincent’s One Nineteen (A24, B13) Tai Chi Acupressure (B13) Tea Party Castle (B6) The Altamont School (B18) The Cuckoo’s Nest (A14, B7) The Ditsy Daisy (B5) The Gingerbread Lady (B11, B20) The Goddard School (B15) The Maids (A1) The Sewing Room (B11, B20) Thimbles (B13) Total Care 280 (A5) TownHouse Tea Shoppe (B7) True Colors Salon (B20) Tutoring Club Inverness (B9) Varsity Sports (A8) Vestavia Hills Soccer Club (A17) Village Dermatology (A2) Vision Gymnastics (B17) Vulcan Park and Museum (B23) YMCA of Greater Birmingham (B23)

January 2014 • A5

280 News U.S. 280, Ala. 119 intersection improvements awarded The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) is moving ahead with its next big project on U.S. 280. Within two years, residents who use the intersection at Cahaba Valley Road should find it easier to navigate. According to ALDOT Division 3 Engineer Brian Davis, proposed upgrades to the U.S. 280 and Alabama Highway 119 intersection were let to contract in December. Davis said the project entails increasing the width of Alabama 119 on the north side of U.S. 280 to Brook Highland Parkway from a two-lane road to a four-lane — a distance of .89 miles. A fifth drop lane will also be added running south toward the 280 intersection. This would increase the intersection to two left turn lanes from Cahaba Valley Road onto 280, and allow for two left turn lanes from 280 eastbound. “These are pretty substantial improvements,” Davis said. Davis said ALDOT is projecting the

improvements will cost $4.8 million-$5.9 million, but added that a precise cost would not be known until bids had been reviewed. When the project was first announced in February 2013, ALDOT Preconstruction Engineer Lance Taylor said that acquiring right-of-way property on the project was expected to cost $8 million. Construction and utility relocation costs were projected to push the total price as high as $18.5 million. Davis said the department successfully acquired all property needed to complete the project. ALDOT anticipates the improvements to require 310 working days to complete. Davis described a “working day” as a six-hour window where a contractor can work without being impeded by weather or temperature restrictions. “Worst-case scenario, we generally expect the project to be complete by Dec. 1, 2015,” he said.

Chamber to kick off New Year with Legislative Preview and Annual Luncheon 2014 State Legislative Session Preview with Shelby County Delegation This month, the Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce is giving the community an opportunity to meet members of the local legislative delegation. The Chamber’s Governmental Affairs Work Group will host a meeting featuring members of the Shelby County state legislative delegation as they prepare for the upcoming

33rd Annual Meeting to celebrate Chamber’s accomplishments The Chamber’s Annual Meeting Luncheon scheduled for Jan. 29 will celebrate the past year’s accomplishments under Chamber Chair David Nolen’s leadership and kick-off the new year of programs and activities under 2014 Chamber Chair Bill Keller’s leadership. Tickets for the Annual Meeting are available for $20 per person for Chamber members or $30 for future members. There are also a limited number of reserved Chairman’s, Platinum, Gold,

legislative session, which is scheduled to begin on January 14. This Montgomery Preview meeting will be from 5:30-7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 8 and feature a brief presentation from the delegation followed by a question and answer period for attendees. The meeting will be held in the Large Community Services Room at the County Services Building, 1301 County Services Drive, Pelham. There is no cost to attend this program, but seating is limited. RSVP by Monday, Jan. 5 via email at, by calling 663-4542 or online at

Silver and Corporate tables for eight remaining for our 2014 Continual Sponsorship Program participants. The Chamber’s 2013 Annual Report listing the Chamber’s accomplishments for the past year will be provided to all attendees, and the 2014 Business Plan will be presented. The event will be held at the Pelham Civic Complex and Ice Arena, 500 Amphitheater Road, Pelham, with doors opening at 11 a.m. and the program beginning at 11:30 a.m. For more information or to make a reservation, contact the Chamber at or by telephone at 663-4542 or register online at

Patchwork Farms redevelopment plans underway By KATIE TURPEN As a New Year begins in the Hills, the City is examining Patchwork Farms, a site of more than 80 acres near Cahaba River and Caldwell Mill off U.S. 280 as a prime development target. After Lifetime Fitness’ successful opening on the site in 2013, the City is now looking for the best use of the surrounding area. Twenty-two acres are being positioned for sale to the city by the Vestavia Hills Board of Education. Northport Holdings will soon construct a 120-bed rehabilitation facility on the site and a nine-acre nature/pedestrian park is also planned. In December, the City held a three-day planning charrette for Patchwork Farms at the Perimeter Park Hilton. A kick-off presentation gave community members a chance to reveal what kind of developments they would like to see. Design and consulting firms Dover,

Kohl & Partners, and Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood, Skipper Consultants and Gary Justiss gave attendees illustrative views of the site’s potential. City Manager Jeff Downes said planning charrettes like the one held in December were a common practice during his time as chief of staff in Montgomery. “Some had five people show up, some had 300 show up, so you just never know,” Downes said. “This was a pretty good turnout for us. What’s important is we are not just getting one person’s idea for the development but it’s a community of people getting together to share their ideas.” Downes says the City will continue to keep the community updated on the site’s progress. For more information about Patchwork Farms contact city planner Conrad Garrison at

Year in preview

A6 • January 2014

What 280 residents can anticipate along the corridor in 2014

280 Living


In 2013, residents of the U.S. 280 corridor endured tremendous change to their lifeline as the Alabama Department of Transportation’s (ALDOT’s) Intersection Improvement Plan was put in place. In January 2013, the corridor knew it was coming and had months to prepare, but what about 2014? What are 280 residents watching for this year?

Key positions contested The political landscape in Shelby County is preparing for change in 2014, as familiar faces will no longer fill several key positions. Sheriff Chris Curry was first to announce his retirement, followed by Congressman Spencer Bachus and Ala. Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin. Expect political tension surrounding these positions heading into the summer primaries. This year, candidate qualifying opens March 3 and closes April 4. Primary elections will follow on June 4 and the general election will be held Nov. 4. Offices on the ballot will include:

Coroner Diana New

Sheriff Chris Curry

Local representatives: Property Tax Commissioner (Don Armstrong) District Court Place 2 Judge (Ronald E. Jackson) Superintendent (Randy Fuller) Coroner (Diana New) Sheriff (Chris Curry) Statewide: Governor Lieutenant Governor U.S. Senate U.S. House of Representatives 6th District Attorney General State Senate (all 35 Districts) State Representative State Supreme Court Secretary of State State Treasurer State Auditor Commissioner of Agriculture & Industries State Board of Education (four seats)

A rendering of the proposed Brookwood Medical Center free-standing ER. The facility could be completed during 2014. Superintendent Randy Fuller

Property Tax Commissioner Don Armstrong

U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus

New emergency care could open

District Court Place 2 Judge Ronald E. Jackson

Last year, Brookwood Medical Center was cleared to proceed with its plans to construct a free-standing emergency medical department at the intersection of Alabama Highway 119 and U.S. 280 East. The facility will be 19,600 square feet and house 12 exam rooms. Officials at Brookwood Medical estimate its cost at approximately $19 million. It will offer 24‐hour care and

laboratory services, along with pharmacy and diagnostic services. According to a release, the freestanding ER is proposed to have triage protocols in place for stabilization and immediate transfer of patients requiring care from existing acute care hospitals in the Birmingham area. A helipad would also be available for emergency air transfer. The facility is expected to be operational by the end of 2014.

January 2014

Construction to begin on Chelsea community center In October 2013, the Chelsea City Council got its first look at the plans for the proposed $3 million community and senior center, designed by architect and former city clerk Bob Wanninger. Mayor Earl Niven said construction is expected to begin in spring 2014. The new community center will be located on County Road 47 across

• A7

A rendering of the proposed community center for Chelsea. Construction could begin in spring 2014.

from Liberty Baptist Church. Niven said the facility will be approximately 29,000 square feet and house multiple new features for Chelsea residents. “We’re bringing a facility to Chelsea that gives senior adults more activities, provides youth with more basketball courts, a walking track for young and old and places for light exercise,” he said.

Added safety in Dunnavant Valley

With the Dunnavant Valley Small Area Plan, residents hope to protect green spaces like the Dunnavant Valley Trail.

One of the primary objectives for Dunnavant Valley in 2014 is the repaving of Hugh Daniel Drive on Double Oak Mountain. According to the Dunnavant Valley Small Area Plan, which was most recently updated last July, the City of Hoover is in line to receive funding to address the repaving and other safety concerns on the road. A guardrail is expected to be installed this year among other safety features. Shelby County Development Services also anticipates the installation of a dedicated left turn lane on northbound Dunnavant Valley Road, and a dedicated right turn lane on southbound Dunnavant Valley Road at Hugh Daniel Drive. In the meantime, the county plans to install guide

signs and over-intersection lighting at the site. Other factors with an “Immediate” timeline in the plan include: `` Increasing police presence to reduce speeding on Dunnavant Valley Road `` Adding textured pavement, speed tables or raised crosswalks as traffic-calming devices `` Creating neighborhood watch and domestic violence education and prevention programs `` Reducing road blockages by stopped trains `` Preserving ridges, farmlands, wetlands and green spaces `` Creating a local land trust `` Reestablishing the Adopt-A-Mile and AdoptA-Stream programs

Return of school buses to ease Valleydale traffic concerns Hoover City Schools will again offer bus service in 2014, but it’s expected to come at a cost to riders. In December, the Board of Education rescinded its decision to eliminate bus service and announced it was working with the U.S. Department of Justice to institute a fee-based system. In the meantime, car riders shouldn’t expect the City of Hoover to provide relief on

Vallydale or Caldwell Mill Roads this year, but a plan is in the works. The City initiated a project to widen Valleydale Road in 2011, and it’s given the company it hired to provide right-of-way (ROW) acquisition services a September 2015 deadline to secure the land needed. ROW acquisition can be a timeconsuming process, and it’s unlikely that the additional lane will be installed until 2016.

Buses are again slated to run during the 2014-2015 school year, possibly under a new system that charges riders a fee.

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A8 • January 2014

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Now Open Primeaux Cheese & Vino, 300 Summit Blvd., is now open. The restaurant carries a variety of cheeses including hard-to-find varieties. 623-5593.


Willpower Fitness Gym, 16233 U.S. 280, Suite A/B, is now open in Chelsea. Owned by Will Lantrip, the gym offers memberships, one-on-one personal training, massage therapy, and a full line of supplements and vitamins. 903-8591. WillpowerFitnessGym.


Shell, 5408 U.S. 280, is 3 Greystone now open. The full-service gas station and convenience store is open 24 hours and is located near the intersection of U.S. 280 and Highway 119. 888-802-7500. M&M Jewelers, 440 Inverness Corners, is now open. The store specializes in engagement rings, custom jewelry, appraisals, repairs and more. 991-0593.


Coming Soon Little Caesars Pizza, 5408 U.S. 280, will be opening soon next to the newly opened Greystone Shell.


Greystone Dialysis, 5406 U.S. 280, Suite D107, will be opening soon. 981-2405.


Regions Bank is building a drivethrough location on the site of the former Bogue’s Restaurant, 4713 U.S. 280.


Relocations and Renovations Crossfit 280, 5511 Highway 280, Suite 315, is moving to a new location within the same shopping center around the first of January. The move gives them a space that is more than double the previous space. 202-1348.


Foxy Nails & Spa, 270 Doug Baker Boulevard, Suite 900, has relocated to a new space in the same shopping center, the Village at Lee Branch. The larger storefront features new amenities throughout the salon. 437-0808.


Allstate Insurance - The Jay Barker 10 Agency has moved to 3000 Eagle Point Corporate Drive, Suite 500. It was previously located at 5479 U.S. 280, Suite 120. 995-4014.

New Ownership SolAmor Hospice, 13521 Old Highway 280, Suite 249, is now Life Choice Hospice. The two companies have merged and now operate under the Life Choice name. 866-292-9538.


January 2014 • A9 The Multi-Store 2013 Apollo Award from the International Casual Furnishings Association. The award recognizes the company for retail excellence in the sales, marketing of outdoor furnishings and demonstrating outstanding accomplishments with a commitment to customer service. 995-1477. Hoover-based Asher Riley belt company is now selling needlepoint dog collars at Hollywood Feed, 230 Doug Baker Blvd. off of U.S. 280. Asher Riley also makes needlepoint belts and other products. 356-5578.


Healthy Smiles of Birmingham, 100 Heatherbrooke Park Drive, has joined the dental network Smile Source. Owners and practitioners Drs. Paige R. Lester and Marta Poczatek have practiced dentistry in Birmingham for more than eight years. The dentists are members of the Rotary Club of North Shelby-Inverness and Hannah Home Shelby Auxiliary, and they practice charitable dentistry for Lovelady Center. 991-9535.


Reli Settlement Solutions LLC, 3595 Grandview Parkway, Suite 600, recently spearheaded a coat drive for the homeless and collected 170 coats to give to Jimmie Hale Mission. Reli, the largest provider of real estate title and settlement services in Alabama, has also started a foundation to provide a better education for the children of Kilimanjaro but wanted to do something closer to home in the spirit of the season. 970-2200.


Hirings and Promotions Sain Engineering Associates, 100 Corporate Parkway, Suite 100, has hired Patrick Spencer as an energy engineer. He will focus on energy conservation projects. 979-9966.


Ronald Winesette has been tapped as branch manager of the Inverness Corners branch of Renasant Bank, 107 Inverness Corners. Winesette was formerly the branch manager of the now-closed Greystone Branch. 991-2825.


Anniversaries Chiropractic Today, 420 Inverness Corners, celebrated Dr. Irma Palmer’s 20th year in business in November. 991-3511.


Business news Closings

to share? Edwin Watts Golf, 5235 U.S. 280, is closing as part of the company’s bankruptcy dealings. The store is projected to be open for six to nine weeks as inventory is sold.



News and Accomplishments McKay Building Company, 7059 12 Meadowlark Drive, was named Remodeler of the Year for 2013 by the Greater Birmingham Association of Home Builders. Jewel McKay accepted the award, which was given based on her passion for work on Aging in Place/Universal Design work. 980-1718.


ABSCO Fireplace & Patio, 4643 U.S. 280, has been named the winner of

Premier Mega Tan, 230 Doug Baker Boulevard, Suite 100, has closed.

Sweet Spot Confections, 2545 Valleydale Road, has closed after more than two years in business. It was located in the lower level of Southeastern Bible College.


Coming Soon


Pet Supplies Plus, 4606 U.S. 280, has closed. It was located in the River Ridge Shopping Center.


Inverness Pharmacy, 5299 Valleydale Road, Suite 212, closed If you in a brickPharmacist and mortar business after three yearsare of business. alongdecided the 280tocorridor and Paul Deichmann move back to want to share your event with the Harpersville. community, let us know.


Business news

to share?

280 Living neighborly news & entertainment


A10 • January 2014

280 Living

Your Health Today Lowering Cholesterol By Dr. Irma Palmer


ave you noticed lately that you cannot watch TV or listen to the radio without witnessing an avalanche of new ads for hormone replacement therapy, Testosterone drugs, Vitamin D prescriptions, Vitamin B shots and CoQ10 supplementation to name a few. Beyond the common health crisis’ many Americans have been experiencing for years, why now are these new issues developing at a rapid rate? I just recently found out, stunningly, it’s all due to the lowering of cholesterol. At first, I was initially skeptical, considering almost 25% of Americans are on statins (the medication that reduces high cholesterol to an acceptable blood test level). I, as with millions of others, bought into the theory that high cholesterol needed to be managed to an acceptable level. After reading “The Great Cholesterol Myth” by Dr.’s Jonny Bowden & Stephen Sinatra, I came to the conclusion I was wrong! These two Dr.’s definitely helped me put the pieces of the puzzle together. As I read the book, it became clear that cholesterol is our friend and statin drugs are the enemy. I was disgusted by the selective research and data manipulation. I was angry for buying

into the cholesterol theory once I understood how critical cholesterol is for our well-being. Lastly, when you follow the money, you begin to understand the financial motivation behind the push. Excerpt from the book: “When the National Cholesterol Education Program lowered the “optimal” cholesterol levels in 2004, 8 out of 9 people on the panel had financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry. Most of them were connected to the manufacturer of cholesterol lowering drugs who subsequently reap immediate benefits from these same recommendations.” Here are some key take-a-ways from the book: `` The benefits of statin drugs have been widely exaggerated, and any benefit of these drugs has nothing to do with their ability to lower cholesterol. `` Statin drugs deplete coenzyme Q10, one of the most important nutrients for the heart. Depletion of CoQ10 can cause muscle pain, weakness and fatigue. `` The brain depends on cholesterol to function optimally. Cholesterol helps stimulate thinking and memory. `` Statin drugs lead to reduction of sex hormones, as shown in several studies. Sexual dysfunction is a

is Bad

common underreported side effect. `` There are troubling indicators that statin drugs may be associated with higher risk of diabetes and cancer. `` Statins should not be prescribed for the elderly or the vast majority of women, and they should never be prescribed for children. `` Research shows that (with rare exceptions) any benefit from statin drugs is seen only in middle-aged men with documented coronary artery disease. The Vitamin D and the cholesterol connection is super important as well. We make vitamin D from cholesterol. If you lower cholesterol, you lower Vitamin D. This matters because lessthan optimal levels of vitamin D has been linked to heart disease, poor physical performance, osteoporosis, cancer, difficulty loosing weight, and depression just to mention a few. We end up coming back full circle with the information provided within the book. It supports precisely what I have been writing and lecturing about for years. The individual’s lifestyle either adds or subtracts days from their lives. With only one life to live, realize there is never a better time to evaluate one’s

health than NOW. Start with a hard reality check of your current health position and decide if you are on the right path. Consider a natural approach to get you moving in the right direction. We can help. Some of the things we offer are: a health recovery system (which includes a 21 day structured eating program to get you started), individualized nutritional supplementation, exercise recommendations, intentional thinking strategies (for stress management) and structural spinal correction through chiropractic care. Decide this New Year to make longterm lifestyle changes. Chiropractic Today has been present in this community for 20 years, engaged and committed to making a difference. Contact us to help via Facebook, webpage, email, or simply call us. Book our “21 day Get Cleansed” workshop at your office or attend ours on January 7th The “21 day Get Cleansed” workshop is 45 minutes. It’s an opportunity to become educated and equip to start fresh on your track to optimal health. We will provide all the information and support you need to begin and maintain a wellness-oriented lifestyle. RSVP is required.

January 2014 • A11

Read all the past Restaurant Showcases at

Restaurant Showcase 0

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Johnny Ray’s BBQ Chelsea


10569 Old Highway 280, Suite 3 678-8418 Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday, 7 a.m.-3 p.m.

By JEFF THOMPSON Miranda Carter’s mother was a single parent of three, and Carter grew up working. When she was 12 years old, the family moved to Pelham from Ft. Walton Beach, Fla. Not two years after the move, Carter found a job. At 14, she started work at Johnny Ray’s BBQ in Pelham, where she would stay for five years. Then, she took a bold leap. “I opened this restaurant with my brothers when I was 19,” Carter said of her Johnny Ray’s BBQ in Chelsea. A life of hard work had given Carter the confidence to approach Johnny Ray himself and make the case that she was worthy of running one of his franchises. He watched as she came in after her classes at UAB to work her shifts and agreed, lending Carter and her 17- and 15-year-old brothers Jeremy and Alex the money to start off. “I told him I could do it,” Carter said. “I have so much experience. I told him I was learning more at his restaurant than I was in school.” Johnny Ray’s in Chelsea opened 10 years ago this month, and in the last decade she’s done nothing but prove she was worthy of the opportunity. Under her direction, Johnny

Miranda Carter, left, owner of Johnny Ray’s BBQ in Chelsea, offers specials like Peanut Butter Pie and Tuscan Ceasar Salad with Beef at the restaurant.

Ray’s evolved from a 12-table nook to a sprawling staple of the Chelsea restaurant scene. Fashionable decorations line the walls, offering a rustic complement to the slow-cooked flavors from the kitchen. She’s added to the menu and expanded her reach. Two of her topselling items, the Country Fried Steak and Catfish, are outside the franchise’s traditional barbecue fare. The Peanut

Butter Pie is also of her own design, and the restaurant offers fresh specials each day like the Tuscan Caesar Salad with Sliced Beef. Five years ago she added a mobile catering portion of the business, and three years ago she brought in a new attraction — Yogurt Your Way. The frozen yogurt business’ brightly colored walls and candy selection glow in the back corner of her restaurant.

Most recently, the restaurant began offering breakfast to drivers on the U.S. 280 corridor. The menu includes traditional fare like bacon and eggs, ham and French toast made-to-order in the Johnny Ray’s kitchen. One of the less traditional items is the BBQ Bowl, her brother Jeremy’s creation. “I don’t think there’s anything on the menu that’s not in that bowl,” Carter said.

But outside its walls, Carter has carved her own niche in Chelsea. She’s a member of numerous organizations in the area including local chambers of commerce, Civitan and Kiwanis Clubs and the Arc of Shelby County. She is also a founding member of the Chelsea Business Alliance, a new organization working hand in hand with the City of Chelsea to bolster current businesses and attract new ones. “While I can, I want to get as much accomplished as possible,” Carter said. And she has her reasons. Four years ago, Carter’s youngest brother, Alex, passed away. His untimely death serves as a reminder to her and her brother that the time is now. “A lot of what I do to push myself forward and stay motivated is because of Alex,” Carter said. But the loss of a brother isn’t the only thing driving her. Carter has a perceptive 7-year-old daughter, and one of the most important things Carter feels she can do is set a good example. “My mom was a single parent with three kids,” she said. “We worried all the time. I don’t want my daughter to learn to worry from an early age. I hope, for her, it will never be like that. I want to give her and her friends the motivation to do anything.”

A12 • January 2014

280 Living

Business Spotlight The Funky Muffin Bakery

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4647-B U.S. 280 408-9825 Tuesday-Friday, 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday-Monday, closed

By CHANDLER JONES When Carol Key was diagnosed with celiac disease 13 years ago, a doctor handed her a list of the only 15 items she was allowed to eat. With that, 15 bags of food from her pantry were thrown in the trash. The disorder affects digestion, potentially causing damage to the lining of the small intestine, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation. Gluten is the guilty protein, which is found in wheat — the main ingredient in most breads. So out went the pies, muffins, cakes, cupcakes and sandwiches. Most of the food she had grown to know and love was now out of reach. But for Carol, it wasn’t the end of an era. It was the just the opposite. “I wanted to create something where those with celiac disease or those who chose to live the gluten-free lifestyle could eat anything in the store,” Carol said of her recently opened glutenfree bakery, The Funky Muffin. At The Funky Muffin, located in the Riverhills Shopping Center on U.S. 280, shelves of bread and muffins greet customers as they walk through the door. Lemon squares, brownies, cookies and doughnuts are tantalizingly arranged behind a glass display case. Sweet vanilla and chocolate breads line the left side of the entrance, and beyond the checkout counter you can see the baking staff hard at work. Aromas greet passersby and pull them inside the busy shop where equipment is always stirring, industrial ovens always cooking and proofers always heating to supply the stream of gluten-free customers.

The Funky Muffin Bakery owner Carol Key.

“The response has been superb,” Carol said. The Funky Muffin isn’t limited to its basic display. Carol is willing to create custom cakes for others afflicted with celiac disease or wheat intolerance. Following her diagnosis, Carol, an avid baker, launched herself into a trial-and-error experience in the kitchen. Her goal at first was to uncover ways she could eat what she loved without aggravating the disease. But as her niece Kelly Key explained, it was an uphill climb. “Ten years ago, it was not like it is now,”

said Kelly, marketing manager for The Funky Muffin. “Now, you can go into a restaurant and ask for the gluten-free menu, but she couldn’t go to the store and shop the gluten-free shelves.” Kelly is also wheat-intolerant, and she grew up eating Carol’s concoctions. Like her aunt, she’s a proponent for the health benefits of changing to a gluten-free diet. “I have friends now that are switching for whatever reason, including making diet changes to help their kids,” Kelly said. “There are just so many reasons that people are going gluten free.” Carol’s mix of flours allows her products to

be moist as opposed to dry and crumbly like many other gluten-free items. Gluten is a binding agent in bread, and without it the texture can become coarse and brittle. Currently, prices at The Funky Muffin range from cookies at $.50 each to custom-made cakes at $35. Carol said she’s always testing new recipes and intends to have new items available on the spring menu. “Right now, our plan is to just keep growing it as it is,” Carol said. “I don’t really have any plans set in stone except that. We’ve got to walk before we run.”

January 2014 • A13

280: For better or for worse? With the Alabama Department of Transportation’s Intersection Improvement Plan for U.S. 280 wrapping up, we want to know what you think about the changes. Have intersections been improved, or is the corridor still

a long way from reaching its full potential? Below are a few residents who recently weighed in on the changes. Take our online survey at, and share your thoughts with fellow drivers.

Visit to cast your vote and comment I now avoid 280 at all costs. I once lived off 280 and had planned to move back but have changed my mind. — Allison Lee Jay

I like the flow, but I have to use the U-turn to get to Valleydale and it just doesn’t seem synchronized. We sit there while there is no traffic coming and get the green when there is. Something’s not right. — Denise Laing O’Rourke

Can I just say that I abhor 280? I think they need to use the money they want to spend for the northern beltline and use it for 280 instead. Just sayin’. — Ruth Laesch Johnson

Great for people that are going all the way downtown or those who do not need to get on and off 280. Bad for locals that live in the Inverness area and for businesses. — Jennifer Henry Cooke

Love it! But I am used to the “Michigan U-turns” implemented. So much more efficient! Great job! — Kate Hogan Blair Does ALDOT believe they are finished or just finished for now? At a minimum, ALDOT needs to reassess the areas that need adjustments for safety purposes. On average, I see a car every two weeks trying to make a left turn at an intersection that no longer allows left turns. The lights still look the same, and the no turn signage is too small and difficult to see at night. Furthermore, it is still unusual for drivers going west to slow down when approaching the U-turn intersection at Party City. They need strobe lights or better signage. Their job is not finished. Hopefully, adjustments will be made on an ongoing basis. — David Neaves

We may sit a little longer on the side roads, but once on 280 there is definitely a better flow. — Darleen Hyatt

I was almost involved in a very serious crash last week when someone tried to dart across 280 at one of the U-turn lanes near Valleydale. I’m still not sure how I did not hit them, since I was going 50 and they tried to drive straight across all three lanes on eastbound 280 from a U-turn lane. It’s going to kill people. — Christy Salter I travel 280 every day for work, and I think the changes are very good. However, ALDOT needs to rethink Valleydale as it is a major street and should be a U-turn street. — Sara Marquart

Don’t get me started. I live in Meadowbrook and work on Valleydale. How many wrecks and severe injuries will there have to be before people realize that the only reasonable way to be able to effectively handle the ever-increasing volume of traffic is to have additional travel lanes? However with the amount of development already fronting Highway. 280, there is nowhere to put additional ground level lanes, so the only place left to go is up. Unpopular as that is, three additional limited-access through lanes in each direction (albeit elevated) would solve a myriad of problems for many years to come. — Rachel Garrett

I think the improvements are great — except for the Valleydale boondoggle! — Susan Reniff Gannett

Just new and different problems! — Debbi Patton Wood I live in Inverness. Why Band-Aid and create an eyesore at that? The elevated highway is/was the only true solution. ALDOT = idiots! — Sheri Speer Parker

I think the Valleydale intersection was a mistake. People now cut across at Pier One to avoid the U-turn light. There have been a lot of bad wrecks there before the intersection was changed. — Glenda Jordan Shewmake

The Valleydale U-turn is a real pain and seems senseless. The rest is good. — Ansley Snow Beadle

A14 • January 2014

280 Living

Community Successful launch for Taste of Lee Branch

Employees of businesses in the Lee Branch and surrounding areas enjoy the Taste of Lee Branch event held in November.

In November, Hampton Inn & Suites Eagle Point hosted A Taste of Lee Branch. The event was designed to showcase businesses in the area, and organizers said it could become an annual affair. Employees of businesses around Lee Branch, Alabama 119 and some in the Chelsea area were invited to the event, and more than 60 attended.

Participating restaurants included Taziki’s, Panera Bread, Bella, Marco’s Pizza, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Zaxby’s, Dale’s Southern Grill, Bellini’s Restaurant, Melting Pot, Baumhower’s and Donut Chef of Chelsea. – Submitted by Barbara Zieba, director of sales, Hampton Inn & Suites Eagle Point

January 2014 • A15

Greystone Ladies Club collects for charity

Karen Nelson and Michelle D’Ambra pose during the Greystone Ladies Club’s annual Christmas brunch.

2014 Greystone Ladies Club officers.

The Greystone Ladies Club (GLC) held its annual Christmas brunch in December at the home of Suzette Davie. Members of the GLC were invited to bring a donation for the organization’s Angel Tree, and members collected money and goods for three charitable causes this year: • The Adullam House, a home in Wetumpka for children whose mothers are incarcerated. For more, visit • The Hands and Feet Project, an orphanage in Haiti. For more, visit • Grace to Ukraine, an organization dedicated to providing goods and services to orphanages in Ukraine founded by the brunch hostess Suzette Davie. For more, visit

A16 • January 2014

280 Living

Miss Merry Christmas 2013 The Chelsea High School journalism department held its 20th Annual Miss Merry Christmas Pageant in December. The event brought in more than $1,400 for the department, which will use proceeds to purchase a new monitor for one of its computers, printing supplies and cover publication expenses for the monthly newspaper. Journalism students acted as the pageant production team, and student editor Christian Colburn served as the emcee.

Other class members were ticket sellers, backstage hands and cleanup crew. They included Catelyn Benefield, Lily Berg, Brittney Giddens, Naomi Shea, Haley Bridges and Meagen Wessen. Priscilla Collums served as pageant coordinator and director. Winners were selected in five categories: birth to 4 years old; 5K to second grade; third to fifth grade; sixth to eighth grade; and ninth to 12th grade.

Ninth to 12th grade From left are first alternate Marina Wall, Miss Merry Christmas Emma Franklin, second alternate Madison Smith and third alternate Lindsey Gallups. Not pictured is fourth alternate Keimay Harvey. Photos courtesy of Time Capsule Images.

Birth to 4 years old From left are first alternate Charleigh Valentine, Miss Merry Christmas Joscelyn Butler, third alternate Emma Turner and fourth alternate Cameron Hyche. Not pictured is second alternate Vivienne Taylor.

5K to second grade From left are third alternate Madelyn Gathier, Miss Merry Christmas Gracie Chamblee, first alternate Lillie Truman and second alternate Delana Wood.

Third to fifth grade From left are second alternate Gracie Walker, Miss Merry Christmas Drew Fetterolf, first alternate Maggie Bradford and third alternate Holly Scalia.

Sixth to eighth grade From left are first alternate Gracie Bradford, Miss Merry Christmas Ally Thrasher, second alternate Anna Bailey and third alternate Isabella Prince.

January 2014 • A17

Buses return, but budget cuts still necessary By JEFF THOMPSON Hoover school buses are scheduled to run during the 2014-2015 school year, but much work remains before the details of how it could function will be released to the public. During its regular December meeting, the Hoover City Schools Board of Education voted unanimously to rescind its July 15, 2013, decision to terminate bus service in 2014. HCS Media Relations representative Jason Gaston said the Board will retain its buses and drivers and is working through a process to determine its options. A release sent following the Board’s decision stated that the board is currently in discussions with the United States Department of Justice and other organizations to develop a new system that charges a fee to students who ride the bus. “These discussions have focused primarily on potential service delivery models that would utilize district-owned buses and district employed drivers while incorporating mechanisms to reduce the negative financial effects of the underfunded nature of transportation program operations,” the statement reads. Basically, that means the Board will attempt to offset the difference between what the State of Alabama allots the Board for transportation and what the service actually costs by charging riders a fee. Transportation is a complex expense within the Hoover City Schools budget. The Alabama State Department of Education makes an annual allocation to the Board based on what the system spent on transportation the previous year. Next year, it’s scheduled to be an 80 percent reimbursement, meaning the state will pay 80 percent of what the service actually cost the school, not 80 percent of what was projected. Gaston said that difference is projected to be approximately $1.8 million at the close of the 2013-2014 school year, with a projected increase of $2.5 million in district transportation costs by the end of the 2014-2015 school year and reaching $3.2 million the year after. The annual difference is expected to continue this trend.

What residents can expect in the coming months, Gaston said, is for HCS Superintendent Andy Craig to continue these discussions in order to determine how to incorporate mechanisms, such as ridership fees. Gaston said if a fee plan were approved, the Board would then begin its exploration of what rates would be for riders. He added that detailed projections of these expenses were not expected before 2014. Potential fee structure Nationwide, the idea of charging bus riders is not a new concept. Some school districts have been extracting a fee for decades. Others began recently as aging bus fleets couldn’t be repaired as readily when state and federal funding declined. Assuming Hoover’s fee were to go into effect today, the Board would attempt to make up the projected difference of $1.8 million deficit by charging a fee to 6,585 riders, the daily average for the 2013-2014 school year according to Gaston. This year’s expense borne by parents in that cut-and-dry case would be approximately $273 per student. However, things aren’t that easy. Some riders would not be charged due to income restrictions, and other factors must be considered. In its reimbursement, the state excludes the cost of providing aides on special-needs buses and required nurses on others. There is no way to accurately project the potential cost at this time. Nationally, annual fees can be charged to riders who live beyond a specified distance from their schools, and bus service is terminated for those who live the closest. HCS might consider a similar policy. Rider rates across the nation also vary drastically. Jeffco Public Schools in Golden, Colo., and Keller Independent Schools in Tarrant, Texas, charge $150 annually to riders — less than $1 per day. However, the urban Illinois District 225 outside Chicago charges $800 per child per year. In Hawaii, it can be even higher. A private company called Roberts Hawaii charges students in the Nanakuli and Wahiawa areas $880 a year to ride, a daily cost of nearly $5.

More cuts coming Trisha Crain, a Hoover resident who founded the informational website, said Board members calmed residents’ nerves during the December meeting by assuring them that fees would be set at a manageable level. Charging a fee would allow the Board to continue providing the service presumably without going further into debt, which is another primary concern for both Hoover parents and HCS. However, the victory for residents of bringing buses back does little to correct the Board’s larger financial woes. A $12 million operating deficit for the coming fiscal year that includes a state-mandated 2 percent pay raise for teachers is looming, and cuts to expenditures would be necessary to prevent any state involvement in the local process. Ridership fees may help offset some of costs associated with the district’s transportation department, but the district will still take a multifaceted approach to deficit reduction, Gaston said. HCS has been making attempts to manage expenditures since the recession hit in 2008 in anticipation of property value declines in the community and prorated state funding. In 2009, the Board eliminated 80 positions, doubled some bus routes and re-worked campus climate systems to reduce overall utility costs. This year, HCS outsourced some of its custodial staff, Gaston said. “During that time when revenue streams slowed to a trickle, the system was still getting an increase in student enrollment,” Gaston said. This trend of rising enrollment is expected to continue, meaning with buses back on the table, the next step for both the Board and community would be to explore amicable solutions. “I’m going to be more comfortable when I see a real plan to reduce the deficit because that’s really what we have to do,” Crain said. “This was an outcropping of not living within our means.” Editor’s note: Attempts to contact the U.S. Department of Justice and the State Department of Education were not returned by deadline.

A18 • January 2014

280 Living

157 Resource Center Parkway Suite 102


Behind Logan’s Roadhouse on 280 Your source for teams sports


Oak Mountain’s Jones signs four-year lacrosse scholarship In November, Oak Mountain High School student Brittni Jones participated in early signing day. Beginning next fall, she will play lacrosse for Converse College in Spartanburg, S.C. Jones, a senior at OMHS and four-year member of the Oak Mountain women’s lacrosse team, received a four-year scholarship. She is the first OMHS woman to receive a Division II scholarship in lacrosse. Prior to high school, Jones had never played lacrosse. In response to a school announcement, she attended tryouts and has been playing high school and club lacrosse continuously. “I wanted to do something other than study,” Jones said. “I wanted to play a sport that everyone was new at — a fast-paced, physical thinking game with the opportunity to play at a higher level in college. Lacrosse is overlooked in the South. There is tremendous opportunity for young women to play in college.” She attended the Georgia Tech University

Lacrosse Camp following her freshman year, and she was hooked. She played junior varsity and varsity as a sophomore. During the following summer, she attended the Duke University Lacrosse Camp and played with the Bamalax Traveling Team of the Birmingham LAX United Association. Jones was selected as the OMHS varsity offensive team captain as a junior and played for the Bamalax team again last summer. While lacrosse is not an officially sanctioned high school sport in Alabama, it is the fastest growing sport in the United States, according to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association. Oak Mountain has made it to the Alabama State Championship for the last two years while Jones has been a member of the varsity squad. She credits the team’s success to head coach David Klementz for his commitment and dedication to lacrosse. “His passion and love for the game is

contagious,” she said. Jones also acknowledged the other coaches for their commitment to the program. Jones’ goal for her final year of high school is to help her team win the Alabama State Championship. While playing lacrosse, Jones has maintained a 3.9 GPA (without credit for her AP courses). She loves science and plans to major in chemistry and biology. Her vocational objectives are not finalized, but she is leaning toward research. Jones is appreciative of the support and guidance provided by her parents, Ken and Kim, and her brother, Kenneth. - Submitted by Kim Jones

Brittni Jones signed a four-year scholarship to play lacrosse at Converse in Spartanburg, S.C. Photo courtesy of Kim Jones.

OMHS team provides holiday smiles During the Christmas season, the Oak Mountain High Baseball Team supported a local mission to provide bicycles to children in Kentucky. Through Johnny Gossett of Oak Mountain and Pam Bradford of Hueytown, players were provided a means to impact the lives of children in need. Each team members gave a donation of $5 to $20, and the team amassed enough funding to purchase 25 bicycles. Members of the 2013-2014 Oak Mountain High School Baseball Team with bicycles purchased to donate to children in Kentucky.


January 2014 • A19

Spain Park High School student Tyler Wise has been named to the 2014 Power Showcase All-World & All-American Baseball Team and has chosen eight-year old Gabe Griffin of Shelby County as his partner. Photo courtesy of Martha Wise.

Spain Park athlete named to all-American team Spain Park High School student Tyler Wise has been named to the 2014 Power Showcase All-World & All-American Baseball Team. Wise will represent Alabama in both the Home Run Derby and the Babe Ruth Classic that features 2014 graduates and underclassmen. Players were selected for their level of character, physical skill-set, academic status, work ethic and desire to overachieve both on the field and in the classroom. Wise is a member of coach Will Smith’s Spain Park Jaguars and a junior at Spain Park High School where he maintains a 4.06 GPA. He also played with coach Josh Beshears’ Excel Blue Sox showcase team in 2013.

As part of the Home Run Derby event, the players partner with a child from their area who has a life-threatening condition. Tyler chose 8-year-old Gabe Griffin, who lives in Shelby County. When Gabe was 3, he was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a progressive muscle disease that is terminal. For every home run that Tyler hits during the event, sponsors have pledged to make a donation to the Hope for Gabe 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation, which raises funds to support research to find a cure for Duchenne. To learn more about Duchenne muscular dystrophy go to


A20 • January 2014

280 Living

Greystone collector Steve Dichiara’s tile from an orbiter’s exterior survived reentry into earth’s atmosphere. Photos by Jeff Thompson.

HISTORY | CONTINUED from page 1 the .44 and .36 caliber. Then, he hands one over nonchalantly. “Feel how heavy that is?” he said. “Imagine carrying that around on your hip for months.” Imagine. It’s the key word for the collection, and it’s practically impossible to avoid in Steve’s basement. Hold the Spanish rapier from 1540 and try not to picture yourself as a conquistador. Pull the hammer back on the M-1 carbine from 1943 and try not to put yourself in your grandfather’s shoes. Slip your fingers into the glove worn by a cosmonaut, a Russian astronaut, and the emptiness of space settles in around you. “It’s all about how it makes you feel,” Steve

(Top) During World War II, the U.S. marked its money with ink stamps to protect against counterfeiting. (Above) Pistols created during the U.S. Civil War.

said. “Everything down here has a story, but it’s about making your own story when you see it. It’s about creating a memory for someone else.” Steve’s personal fascination with the past began in a moment. At 9 years old, he vividly remembers watching news coverage of Apollo 13, and celebrated with the country as catastrophe evolved into triumph. He decided he would write one of those brave astronauts and ask for a moon rock. He didn’t get one. Well he did, but he bought it much later. That astronaut did send an autographed photo though, and much like a writer starts a story in the top left corner of the page, that photo sits in a similar place in his collection. Move left from there, and you’ll find one of

A glove used in space by a Russian cosmonaut. Dichiara said the mark on the palm is a steel wire that protects against pressure changes.

his favorite pieces — another item that tells Steve’s personal story. He owns eight items that have flown beyond earth’s atmosphere, but only one that went up on Apollo 13. It’s a piece of dried food, framed and labeled, and it came from an astronaut’s personal collection. The rest of his NASA case includes checklists from both rocket missions and shuttle flights, and even a flown protective tile from an orbiter’s exterior. Surprisingly, it has almost no weight but somehow seems as dense as concrete. Next are Steve’s ancient artifacts. He said he’s never been to Egypt, but he’s amassed a great love for the culture. Those pieces adorn the top shelf. Medieval artifacts, including an iron dagger and ax head, follow them.

Across the room are Steve’s Civil War and World War II cabinets. The latter is filled with items from multiple fronts. There are Japanese Rising Suns next to a U.S. one-dollar bill stamped with the word “Hawaii.” Steve said the Japanese counterfeited American money during the war, and America’s solution was ink branding. The highlight of his Civil War case is a portion of a wooden post from the Gettysburg battlefield. In the post are two bullets. “Somebody was hiding behind this and ‘thump, thump,’” he said emphatically. “It saves his life.” On the wall between the cabinets are two more items Steve searched for — swords. He has a rack on the other side of the room where he keeps his 1860s swords from the Union army, but his

January 2014 • A21

(Top) The first item in Dichiara’s collection is the photo in back, signed by an astronaut. In front is a moon rock. (Above) Swords forged for Confederate soldiers during the Civil War.

Confederate, Mobile-made officer’s sword is framed. Collectors, Steve said, prize items from the Confederacy far more than those from the Union. During the Civil War, the government issued items to its soldiers, while much of the Confederate armory was scrounged together. Pieces like his hand-forged Confederate belt buckles and the officer’s sword, created by an Alabama silversmith, are extremely rare. He gave another example. At a Civil War show in Tennessee, Steve and Anna Marie were discussing Confederate uniforms. While full suits from the Union army run about $2,000, Confederate suits can cost considerably more. “You should get one,” Anna Marie said,

This portion of a fence post from the Gettysburg Battlefield in Pennsylvania was scarred by two bullets during the Civil War.

knowing Steve’s desire but not what it would take to fulfill it. “All I want is a hat,” he replied. “One of those and I’d be happy.” So, Steve eyed a Confederate cap at a trader’s table and instructed his wife to scope it out. “Make sure you ask him before you pick it up,” he told her. So, while he stayed out of sight, Anna Marie looked at the price tag. “She comes back, and her eyes are this big,” Steve said, shaping his hands into claws that could fit grapefruits. “I said, ‘$20,000, right?’” “Yeah. We don’t need that hat,” Anna Marie said. But for Steve, part of the fun of collecting is the hunt, and what he ultimately sees for his collection

Part of Dichiara’s collection includes artifacts from thousands of years ago, including this Egyptian statue.

is a museum where not only does every item have historical significance but also a specific story. Getting those rare pieces, like his flown Apollo 13 food, requires constant searching and refining the lot through trading up with other collectors. The end result, however, could be a collection that stuns as effectively as it speaks. “It’s not the monetary value, it’s the stories,” Steve said. “It’s the history behind the things you see in here that make them so valuable to me. “When you talk about WWII or the Civil War, these things represent what people fought for and stood for, what they sacrificed. When you talk about the space program, everything in this cabinet shows the courage someone had to strap into this thing say, ‘Well, I hope it gets me there

and gets me home.’” His favorite story in his collection is much like what he wants for those who see it. It’s not about the item’s history; it’s about his history with the item. It’s the Confederate flag. Steve bought it at a flea market in Tennessee for $20 after he saw it draped across a vendor’s fence. Anna Marie called it junk, but he knew better. After all, he has more than 100 books in his library that tell him what to look out for. In this case, it was the stitching. “This is a reunion flag,” he told her. “It was made in about 1920.” Within a year, someone had offered him $500 for it. But its story, as it is with most of his collection, is worth far more than that.

A22 • January 2014

280 Living

Opinion My South By Rick Watson

Bare trees

Monica Barnett Smith Exclusively Ballet & Dance celebrates 22 years!


onica Barnett Smith, former principal dancer with the Alabama Ballet and a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, founded Exclusively Ballet & Dance in 1992. Her success in North Shelby County has been a result of offering quality dance instruction in a warm yet professional atmosphere. Classes are structured for students to achieve the progress to bring out their full potential. Each instructor is certified and passionate about sharing dance with children in the community, striving to build good self-esteem in each student. The studio is grateful to North Shelby County parents for putting their trust in Exclusively Ballet to instruct so many of their children. Whether your child is looking for recreational dance classes, preparing for dance team tryouts or dreams of becoming the principal dancer of a ballet company, Exclusively has the program that will meet your needs!

7154 Cahaba Valley Rd • 995.9220

I love the time between dusk I was getting ready to go out on and nightfall. The other day a date. Even if I’d busted it all I’d finished my writing and day long at work, I’d be excited walked down to the barn to about seeing my girlfriend and check on things. going out. I looked off to the west and The first date I ever had with caught the last glimmer of my wife, Jilda, was in 1968. I sunlight as it dipped below picked her up at dusk, and when the horizon. The limbs of the we walked out, she was wearing bare oak and hickory looked a really short peach-colored like intricate webs against skirt. I can remember thinking, the dissolving light of the “I can’t believe your mama and Watson evening sky. daddy let you out of the house I sat down on a bale of hay wearing that skirt.” It seemed and tried to take a mental snapshot so that I to me that her hands hung down below her could pull it up later. It was like looking at hemline. Talk about a magical time. one of the great old masters’ paintings — so A few years ago, our good friend Wes stunning and yet so easy to dismiss without invited us to celebrate his 40th birthday with a second glance. him in Las Vegas. You only turn 40 once and As I sat there, I could see a flurry of we wanted to share the moment with our activity in the underbrush. Small birds and friend, so we booked the flight and headed chipmunks scurried around to find their west. place for the night. At the ground level of Bally’s, where we I didn’t hear it, but when I looked up in stayed, there was a concourse that connected the sky, I could see a jet that was so high it with the Paris Hotel. The concourse it looked as tiny as a mosquito. The sun was painted to look like that magical hour highlighted the contrail making it look like between daylight and nightfall. As it turns a trail of rose-colored cotton yarn stretching out, that time of day seems to have an across the sky. energizing effect on a lot of people. That time of day seems almost magical. I’m sure the décor of that concourse was Carlos Castaneda talked about this in one of no accident. They make money in Las Vegas, his books. I don’t recall the quote and I don’t and one reason is that they put a great deal of want to butcher his words, but I always feel thought into ambience. strangely energized during the time between I know it was a circuitous path that led daylight and nightfall. this entry from a small farm in Empire, Ala., For some reason, it reminds me of a to Las Vegas, but as I said — that time of day feeling I got when I was much younger when is magical.

January 2014 • A23

Life Actually By Kari Kampakis

Who am I to judge?


“I try not to judge other people’s kids because I never know what mine might do.” My late grandmother used to say this, and I think it’s as relevant today as it was in her time. None of us have room to judge, none of us are supposed to judge, yet we do it anyway. Within parenting circles, the tendency is to judge both other parents and their kids. In many cases, it starts innocently enough. Wired to protect our kids, we seek out positive influences and watch their peers to discern which friendships we do or don’t endorse. Using our wisdom and powers of observation, we scope out the fast crowd. We learn to find families that reinforce values similar to ours. We recognize warnings signs of trouble — and tell our kids to steer clear. Our instinct to shield our children is a good thing. Because they can’t always see the risks, they might need guidance in choosing trustworthy friends. They might need help understanding why bad company ruins good morals (1 Corinthians 15:33). But as we seek to keep them from being corrupted — because our kids would never be the corrupters, right? — it’s easy to get self-righteous. It’s easy to watch other kids misbehave and think, “My child would never do that!” Through my parenting experience, I’ve come to realize there’s a fine line between observation and judgment. Even if we don’t vocalize our judgment, we might engage it as inner commentary. Our thoughts can sound something like this: “That kid’s a nightmare. I hate to see him at 16.” “No wonder she’s mean. She’s just like her mom.” “Maybe if her parents weren’t always working or taking fancy vacations, she wouldn’t be so starved for attention.” “Do they ever watch their kids? Every time I see them they’re running around unsupervised.” And so on. I’m as guilty as anyone in making snap judgments and jumping to conclusions based on a few facts. I forget everyone’s life is hard. That we all have some cross to bear. That you never know what someone’s going through or what the full story may be. Who am I to judge another parent or child? What do I know about their circumstances? Parenting’s been called the great equalizer, and I believe it’s true. Whenever we feel superior to other parents, we’re bound to get

humbled and knocked off our high horse. Like my grandmother said, we never know what our kids might do. They aren’t puppets and robots but rather flawed individuals who will make mistakes. The moment we start thinking they’re perfect is the moment we’re in trouble. Mother Teresa said, “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” The operative word here is love. The more we love people, the more we want to understand them. The more we understand them, the less we judge. Have you ever had a change of heart about someone once you knew them? Ever felt the shame of having pegged them wrong? It’s happened to me, and I’m sure it’s happened to you. Quite honestly, I love to be mistaken this way. Sometimes, we peg a person negatively and learn our assumptions are correct. How do we keep from judging them? How do we quiet our inner commentary? One way is through prayer. We can pray for that person to be softened and pray that we may see them through God’s eyes. When we switch to His point of view, we notice their potential. We see past who they are and into who they can become. This makes us root for them. This makes us genuinely hope for the best. Another way to halt judgment is to judge ourselves instead. Rather than dwell on their wrongdoings, we can face our own. Admitting our sinfulness is a wake-up call; it reminds us of how desperately dependent we all are on God’s grace. No one sinner is better than another. None of us deserve His abundant love and forgiveness, yet He gives them freely anyway. As we start the new year, let’s make healthy changes in how we think. Let’s seek compassion, not competition. Let’s build bridges, not walls. Most of all, let’s support other families and their children. By loving them as we love our own, seeking to understand first and foremost, we can improve the quality of our connections and the peace inside our heart. Kari Kubiszyn Kampakis is a Birmingham mom of four with a background in PR, writing and photography. For more inspiration, join her Facebook community at “Kari Kampakis, Writer” or find her on Twitter. Visit her at or contact her at kari@

A24 • January 2014

280 Living

280 Living

neighborly news & entertainment



January 2014 • A25 Women of 280 B1 School House B16 Calendar B21

Women of 280 Savvy • Energetic • Creative • Smart • Strong • Brave

Each January, 280 Living recognizes businesswomen dedicated to our community. We applaud them for their entrepreneurial spirits and appreciate their efforts to make the place we call home the best it can be. Business articles featured in this section are paid advertisements

Deanna Adams ..........B7B7 Michelle Butts ............B5 B5 B11 Stacey Christensen .. B11 B12B12 Miranda Carter .......... B10B10 Dana Caudell ............. B2 B1 Marilee Cade ............2 Terry Crutchfield ...... B6 B2 Gayle Davison ...........B3B3 B5 Carmen Ferguson .... B5 B2 B6 Cindy Weems ............... Michelle Givan ..........B4B4 Melanie Goodwin .....B5 B2 Keyla Handley ...........B5B2 Nicole Hovanec .........B8 B8 Michelle Jones ..........B9 B9 B5 B5 Kim King ..................... B9 B9 Georgia Lay ................ Aubri McClendon ......B5 B2

Rebekah Mills ............. B7 B7 Ellen Morris ................ B11 B11 Irma Palmer ................ B2 B2 B6 Jessica Palmer ........... B2 Cindy Parnell ..............B5 Valerie Pippin ..............B11 B11 Laura Robinson ........... B6 Tammy Rogers ............ B8 Karen Salter .................B5 B5 Darlene Self .................B6 B6 Lisa Shapiro .................B5 B5 Patsy Smith ..................B11 B11 Brooke Story ................B5 B2 Denise Taylor ...............B9 B9 Angela Tenbarge .........B7 B7 B7 Haley Tenbarge ............B7 Mechelle Wilder ...........B2 B2 B7B7 Kim Williams .................

Dr. Maxcie Sikora Dr. Meghan Lemke Dr. Sunena Argo D

rs. Maxcie Sikora, Meghan Lemke, and Sunena Argo joined Alabama Allergy & Asthma Center to be part of one of the most respected and innovative allergy practices in the Southeast. Boardcertified in both allergy/asthma and pediatrics, they are able to provide the highest quality of care to pediatric and adult patients alike, treating allergies, asthma, sinus and skin conditions, and a wide range of associated immunological disorders. Drs. Sikora, Lemke, and Argo also specialize in treating patients with food and drug allergies. Their goal is to provide the very best medical care in a patient-friendly, dignified manner. Alabama Allergy & Asthma’s state-of-the-art facilities and highly trained staff enable them to give patients comprehensive care that is unmatched.

205-871-9661 13521 Old Highway 280 at The Narrows Locations in Hoover, Alabaster, Homewood, and Cullman

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Dr. Irma Leon


WOW! It’s hard to believe we are celebrating our 20th year in practice at Chiropractic Today. Since 1993, it has always been our passionate goal to lead those wanting a wellness lifestyle from treating symptoms/disease to a proactive approach to health. We have helped thousands in our community, yet we feel we have just begun in this journey. We know that if others can make this transition, YOU CAN TOO! Come see us and let us show you the way to a more healthy and vibrant life by adding “life” to your years and not just years to your life. In January, we are kicking off our popular Detox/Purification Program again. This 21-day program is designed to cleanse your body of toxins which is a great first step in your wellness journey. We also offer hair analysis testing which determines nutritional deficiencies helping in nutritional planning.

205-991-3511 420 Inverness Corners




Weems Cindy Weems grew up watching her parents turn old houses into showplaces. She helped paint, wallpaper and make something beautiful out of the ordinary as her family “flipped” houses. These days she’s putting her decorating taste to work as manager and buyer of Greystone Antiques & Marketplace, a furniture, accessories and gift marketplace on U.S. 280. The store features 70 different vendors and consignors who sell a variety of home décor and gifts. Vendors include jewelry, soap, candles, floral designs, painted and repurpose furniture, and new furniture and accessories. Overall, Weems’ goal is to offer something of interest for everybody of all ages and price points. She likes that her job allows her to work with customers to design living spaces and also to select new merchandise at market. “This is my dream job, and I love everyday I am at Greystone Antiques & Marketplace,” she said.

205-995-4773 5475 U.S. 280




s two of the startup members of Birmingham’s fastest growing real estate company, Mechelle Wilder, who is also one of the four partners, and Marilee Cade have both played integral roles in the success of ARC Realty’s first full year in business. With a growing roster of 85 Realtors® and over $115 million in closed volume, ARC Realty ranks in the Top Ten of real estate companies in the Birmingham metro area with Mechelle and Marilee being among the top producing agents in the entire company. As a team, Mechelle and Marilee have over 44 years of real estate experience with more than $120 million in closed real estate sales. If you need to buy or sell in the Jefferson and Shelby County areas, trust the Relocation Experts!

205-969-8910 4274 Cahaba Heights Court Suite 200 • Vestavia Hills

B3 January 2014 • A27

Gayle Davison

Edwina Taylor Founder, Executive Director Cahaba Valley Health Care 991-8771 4515 Southlake Parkway, Suite 150

By JEFF THOMPSON For the uninsured in America, getting medical care can prove to be a significant hurdle. Through her years in the medical profession, Edwina Taylor said she saw it firsthand. Since her career as a nurse and nurse practitioner ended, Taylor has gone out of her way to get even closer. Taylor founded Cahaba Valley Health Care (CVHC), a service organization that assists Shelby and Jefferson County residents with medical needs. The nonprofit provides basic vision, dental and nutrition care to underserved populations, simply because Taylor — and the many volunteers who have adopted the cause — want to care for those who can’t find help anywhere else. “I come from a family that always helped people,” said Taylor, CVHC executive director. “We had people between jobs living with us when I was growing up. That’s just how I was raised. So I’ve always had a heart for helping people any way I could.” Taylor, 65, is bright and enthusiastic when talking about her work and shows constant compassion for the people she serves. She founded the organization in 2000, but the story behind CVHC goes back to the 1970s. After earning her nursing degree, Taylor worked at UAB Medical Center and later Cooper Green Mercy Hospital. At both these facilities, she said seeing the need for more access to medical care was unavoidable. Around the same time, she and her husband helped found Cahaba Valley Church on Caldwell Mill. Taylor said the church was built on a mission of helping others, and it attracted many professionals from service fields including social work and health care. That was more than two decades before she founded CVHC, but it was an important step in the process. Though the church no longer exists, some of its members served on CVHC’s founding Board of Directors. Later that decade, something else changed in Taylor’s life that would steer her toward the creation of Cahaba Valley Health Care — a daughter. Taylor adopted her first child, Chris, from Children’s Aid in Birmingham. But when she

wanted to adopt a second child from the organization, she was turned away. In 1979, Taylor adopted her daughter, Emilie, from an agency in Guatemala. After Emilie came home to Birmingham, Taylor found herself looking more closely at the area’s Hispanic population. She did so for years, until population increases pushed her to action in 1999. “I started asking around where people were getting their care, and I found out they were getting it from the Jefferson County Health Department and the emergency room,” Taylor said. Taylor began building a network to reach out to the Hispanic community, starting with Catholic churches in the area. In 2000, she launched CVHC and the organization held its first vision screenings. As word of her efforts spread, numbers increased at the screenings. Thankfully, so did those willing to help, enough that the organization was able to expand its services. “People are desperate for dental care,” Taylor said. “Most people don’t have dental insurance, and so many people have lost their jobs.” CVHC now operates a clinic every Sunday that doesn’t fall on a holiday weekend. These include 18 vision clinics and 34 dental clinics. Churches that open their doors to the organization include Le Iglesias en Brook Hills in Chelsea and Briarwood Hispanic Church on Alabama 119. More than 40 volunteers assist at each clinic, including local dentists, optometrists and ophthalmologists. “We want people involved who want to be involved,” Taylor said. “I tell my students, ‘You’re never going to work with a grumpy person because no one’s getting paid to be here. They’re here because they want to be.’” CVHC also provides pediatric dental services at its office off Valleydale Road. Taylor said while Jefferson County children have the Health Department to turn to, Shelby County residents have no one. CVHC’s pediatric clinic gives free care on the first visit to all children, with or without insurance. The organization is also holding an open house this month to invite those interested to see the operation and discuss the coming year.

For more than 30 years, Gayle Davison has been teaching students what she knows best: high school math. In October she brought her skill set to the 280 area with the opening of Mathnasium, a learning center that specializes in and teaches only math. Through its program, students receive an individualized learning plan that is supplemental to their school’s curriculum. “Our curriculum is individually customized to address each child’s weaknesses and built on each child’s strengths,” Davison said. The center also offers SAT, ACT and ISEE test preparation, homework help and summer programs, including one for pre-K to first grade. At present the center is enrolling students with free assessments (a $149 value) and waiving enrollment fees. In the latter part of her 31 years teaching in public schools, Davison came to better understand the frustrations that a student and their family could face through afterschool tutoring.

Cahaba Valley Health Care Executive Director Edwina Taylor demonstrates proper brushing techniques at the organization’s office on Valleydale Road. Photos by Jeff Thompson.

“It was always a good thing to be able to help turn things around for them with their math needs,” she said. When she retired, she said she lived the “good life” for 10 months before she heard a radio ad for Mathnasium. Everything it said she knew to be true. Six months later, she had opened her own franchise. “I really believe that at this time of my life, something had to emerge that was even above awesome to draw me away from doing whatever I wanted each day,” she said. It’s caring and helping students to understand that they can do math that drives her each day. “It was important that I could help them gain the confidence to know that they could work their math and understand,” she said. “I believe if they can get the math and succeed, they can do most anything.” Outside of math, Davison enjoys working in her home and yard, going to football games and enjoying friends, husband Ian, five children and five grandchildren.

205-437-3322 410 US Hwy 280, Inverness Corners

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Katie Stubblefield Alabama Wildlife Center 100 Terrace Drive, Oak Mountain State Park, Pelham 663-7930 By SYDNEY CROMWELL For Katie Stubblefield, working at the Alabama Wildlife Center happened by chance. She studied mechanical engineering at The University of Alabama, but an interest in biology led her to start volunteering at the center and eventually become an avian intern. Now, more than a decade later, Stubblefield is the center’s fulltime wildlife rehabilitator. “I was really in tune with it, and I enjoyed it. It’s hard to find a job that you enjoy,” Stubblefield said. “I never knew [the center] was here until I was in college. I think I missed out.” The Wildlife Center was started in 1977 and moved to its current location in Oak Mountain State Park in 1982. The center was originally open to any type of injured wildlife, but as it grew, it chose to focus on rehabilitation of wild birds due to high demand. It is now the largest rehabilitation center in the state and cares for more than 1,800 birds per year and 150 to 200 birds at a time during the peak summer months. Local residents or the center’s volunteers find and bring in orphaned

or injured birds, and Stubblefield is in charge of coordinating the bird’s rehabilitation. She is involved in every step of the birds’ care, from diagnosing problems and creating care regimens to the eventual release. She treats birds of every age and size, from red-tailed hawks and herons to tiny hummingbirds. “I do everything from the most intensive care to general cleaning and rehabbing and everything in between,” Stubblefield said. The Wildlife Center has facilities for every stage of the birds’ recovery. There are incubators for hatchlings and specialized cages to keep birds from flying while still recovering, as well as larger “flight cages” and enclosures with pools for birds to regain strength prior to release. The center funds its efforts through donations from local businesses and dues from annual members, as well as fundraising events like the December Craft and Bake Sale and the February “Wild for Chocolate” formal event. It also relies heavily on the work of volunteers, who fill a variety of roles depending on their abilities. Stubblefield said one man continued to volunteer until he was 85, coming in every

Michelle M

ichelle Givan became fascinated with brain training after seeing its transformative results on her son. After a ten-year journey through struggles, he was diagnosed with high-functioning autism and ADHD. While pursuing a Masters degree in Special Education, Givan also worked tirelessly to help her son overcome the academic and social challenges associated with autism. Givan’s research led her to LearningRx and its founder, Dr. Ken Gibson. She traveled to its headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo., where she received intense training to equip her to deliver its research-based cognitive procedures to her son. Shortly after receiving this exclusive training, she acquired two students in the Birmingham metropolitan area and was sought out by the Mountain Brook School System to deliver the PACE cognitive training program in its entirety to a student in their system. “I was able to improve that student’s cognitive skills by an average of four years during 36 hours of PACE instruction,” Givan said. “My sons are actually twins, and autism kept them from developing a typical twin sibling relationship. LearningRx brain training gave my sons a real relationship. These successes led my husband and me to bring LearningRx to Birmingham.”

Katie Stubblefield, left, examines a great horned owl with a fractured bone at the Alabama Wildlife Center. Photo by Sydney Cromwell.

week to chop fruit and fold laundry. “Everybody has their niche,” Stubblefield said. “We always need people who are excited to give the birds a chance.” Education is also a large part of the Wildlife Center’s mission. Many rehabilitation centers don’t have the space for educational programs, but the center is able to host summer programs, “Owl-O-Ween” in October and monthly lectures from

October to May. The center also has “ambassador birds” that participate in programs at the center, the Treetop Nature Trail and other locations. “We’re the only place like this in the Birmingham area,” Stubblefield said. “We can provide an education for people who never even realize this exists.” Because her own volunteer experience was so rewarding, Stubblefield hopes the education programs

Givan LearningRx has specially trained staff who have been authorized to administer and interpret the results of the Woodcock-Johnson III Cognitive and Achievement Assessments, the gold standard of cognitive assessments. Givan said brain training helps individuals of all ages and performance levels, including those with ADD, ADHD, dyslexia, dyscalculia, Asperger’s and autism, and traumatic brain injury. Unlike tutoring or computer-based programs that focus on behavior management or specific academic skills, LearningRx brain training addresses the root cause of learning struggles — weak cognitive skills such as attention, visual and auditory processing, memory, logic and reasoning, etc. LearningRx provides cognitive skills training that improve the brain’s ability to process information. It does for mental abilities and the brain what exercise does for the body! Brain training improves reading and grades and can raise IQ by 15 points or more. Givan is a member of Mensa and is educational advocate for local parents and students. She also speaks to local groups about issues related to education, special needs and community resources.

205-970-2070 4851 Cahaba River Road, Suite 125

will encourage more people, especially children, to volunteer their time at the center. Although her job entails long hours, Stubblefield said it’s worth it to see each successful release. “It takes up most of my time. I can honestly tell you I haven’t turned my TV on in two weeks,” Stubblefield said. “I spend probably a good bit of my time, effort and energy here, and I love it.”

B5 January 2014 • A29

Melanie Goodwin Lisa Shapiro Aubri McClendon Keyla Handley Brooke Story

Greater Shelby County Chamber staffers work with hundreds of volunteers every day to help make Shelby County an even better place to live and do business. If your business could benefit from greater exposure across Shelby County, contact them to learn more about their programs, and join more than 1,000 other businesses in the Shelby County area who are part of the Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce.



Chef Kim King is the owner of Kiki’s Kickin’ Cakes, located in the Arbor Place shopping center on Highway 280. Kim has 30 years baking experience and has earned her degree in Pastry, Baking, and Confectionary Arts from Culinard Institute of Virginia College. She also has a background in retail management. Kiki’s Kickin’ Cakes offers residents of communities around Highway 280 cupcakes that tickle the palate with exciting and inventive selections, as well as specialty cakes that are custom designed pieces of art. Kiki’s is entirely family-owned and operated, and they will meet the needs of their customers in any way possible. They are thankful for the opportunity to serve their community! “Kiki’s Kickin’ Cakes is our ‘Promised Land.’ God prepared this site for us before we came, and He has made it possible for our family to own our own business and work together every day.”

205-663-4542 1301 County Services Drive Pelham

205-991-5006 5479 Highway 280, Suite 122

Michelle Butts Cindy Parnell When this mother and daughter team opened their women’s clothing boutique in Chelsea back in December 2011, they thought that they were filling a niche in the area that wasn’t being served. More than two years later, their hunch proved to be right!

Karen Salter Carmen Ferguson Karen Salter and Carmen Ferguson share a bond as mother and daughter. They are also a legal team behind the law firm of Salter Ferguson, LLC. As a former insurance adjuster and registered nurse, the attorneys understand the importance of sensitivity and timeliness in dealing with personal injury and family law cases.

The Ditsy Daisy carries a wide variety of clothing from several different lines, ensuring that most any woman can find something that she likes. In addition to clothing, the store also carries jewelry, shoes, and small gift items.

“Our firm provides attentive support to our clients as they face challenging life events,” they said. “We pride ourselves in providing professional legal assistance in a manner that is comfortable for our clients and their families.” The duo frequently arranges to meet clients at their homes, offices or sometimes hospitals if their injuries prevent them from traveling to their office.

Michelle Butts and her mother, Cindy Parnell, run the store on a day-to-day basis and love working together. And every now and then, Michelle’s younger sister, Lindsey, pitches in to help.

Both Karen, a Mt Laurel resident and grandmother of five, and Carmen, a Chelsea resident and mother of three, are members of Double Oak Community Church in Mt Laurel.

Stop in to meet Michelle and Cindy, and find something new for your wardrobe while making some new friends!

205-678-6166 16618 HWY 280, Ste 100, Chelsea

205-408-HELP (4357) 4000 Eagle Point Corporate Drive

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Palmer Dr. Jessica Palmer is a leader in the field of clinical eye care and vision disorders. And, after one visit to her business, you’ll see it – and everything else – much more clearly. Dr. Palmer and her staff at Narrows Family Eye Care have built a reputation for providing excellence in patient care, clinical education and optical services. Because they believe each patient deserves the best possible treatment, they go above and beyond to provide it. The clinic offers a wide range of services to fit every eye care need, including retinal disease management, glaucoma treatment, as well as dry eye and ocular allergy therapy. She also offers basic vision and eye health exams, and can make your glasses the same day you pick them out. Narrows Family Eye Care accepts most insurance, so schedule an appointment today!

Terry Crutchfield As a prior business owner for many years, Terry knows that the needs and goals of the client are always the number one priority in any business relationship. Her enthusiastic approach, energy and passion enable her to provide exceptional service to every client. She provides true commitment before, during and after the sale and has the ability to truly listen to the buyer/purchaser, helping them to make wise investment decisions. As a native resident of Alabama, she thinks Birmingham is a hidden gem which offers countless amenities, from a thriving economy to five-star restaurants, world-class sporting events and entertainment. Terry feels so blessed to reside here and enjoys introducing visitors and clients to the beauty of our area. Terry is a wife and mother of two sons. When not serving her clients’ needs, she loves to travel, read and snow ski, and devotes her free time to raising funds for specialized medicine in cancer research and helping feed local homeless children.

Advantage South 205-980-4530 13521 Old Hwy 280, Suite 233 • The Narrows


Robinson M&M Jewelers opened in the Shops of the Colonnade in September 1991 and recently moved to Inverness Corners on Highway 280. Laura worked out of her home prior to opening her business in 1991, doing insurance appraisals and insurance claims for insurance companies such as State Farm. Robinson has three sons, attends North Park Baptist Church and is a member of BNI Premier Chapter, the Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce, GIA alumni, Alabama Jewelers Association and the BBB. She attended the Gemological Institute of American in Santa Monica, Ca. M&M Jewelers specializes in jewelry design, appraisals, jewelry/watch repairs and engagement rings, exotic colored stones, new watches and pearl jewelry. Customer service is important and their team strives to help with everything from a simple watch battery repair to an extravagant engagement ring purchase.

M & M Jewelers 205-991-0593 440 Inverness Corners

205-873-3205 2635 Valleydale Road, Suite 200 • Birmingham



“When I discovered Tea Party Castle in Michigan, I immediately wanted to bring this unique party experience to Mt Laurel,” said Tea Party Castle’s Darlene Self. “Every girl loves to be treated like a princess, and that is our specialty!” Tea Party Castle uses creativity and femininity to create the ultimate party celebration. A singing princess acts as hostess helping guests age four and up transform for their celebration with an updo and lovely dress which they will show off on stage in a fashion show. Little princesses also enjoy a tea party on fine china and dancing! You won’t find another place that makes your special event more memorable than Tea Party Castle. Call to reserve your celebration time.

205-529-0081 www.teapartycastle/ 23 Olmsted Street The Town of Mt Laurel

January 2014 • A31 B7

Kim Hendon


More Than A Maid is passionate about providing quality solutions that will help its clients focus on life — both theirs and their family’s. The business provides one-time, weekly, biweekly or monthly cleaning service schedules. Clients are not limited to receiving service one way; they can customize cleaning preferences based on their needs and lifestyles. Kim Hendon Williams launched the business in the fall of 2012. “After experiencing an unexpected resource action in the spring of 2012, I put my faith in the Lord trusting that He will help me achieve financial independence,” she said. “Becoming a business owner also allows me to fulfill my desire to touch lives in a positive way — by delivering excellent service, providing jobs and assisting those who are unable to clean for themselves.” Previously Williams worked for more than 20 years in the information technology industry for Fortune 500 companies, including IBM Corporation and CA Technologies.



Affectionately referred to around here as “the Paula Deen of Mt Laurel,” Rebekah Mills is quick to point out that she has daughters, not sons, has never even been to Savannah, does not have her own magazine, and wouldn’t take a Food Network show if they offered it to her. While she might not be Paula Deen, Rebekah admits to being a pretty good cook. “I come from a long line of pretty good cooks. My mother is 94, and she’s still a great cook! I shamelessly use her recipes all the time.” Rebekah’s mission is to expose people to the Tea Shoppe ethos. Simple, homemade food, served on the finest of china, in beautiful surroundings. Her shoppe is firmly placed at the intersection of elegance and affordability. From the elegant three-tier tea service, to meat ‘n three-style lunches, they are all about it.

Today she is very involved in the community. She serves as administrator for her church and as a Hoover Chamber of Commerce Ambassador.

205-426-5987 P.O. Box 360394 • Hoover



Longtime Birmingham resident and lover of fitness Deanna Adams is excited to share the Pure Barre technique with other women in the 280 area. She had always been active as a competitive tennis player, runner, and exercise class participant, but she was drawn to how Pure Barre allowed her to achieve instant results within a high energy and camaraderie studio atmosphere. Each 55-minute class teaches isometric movements at the ballet barre to motivating music—all to lift your seat, tones your thighs, abs and arms and burns fat in record-breaking time. Deanna now co-owns the Highway 280 location of Pure Barre, where she manages operations, teaches classes and empowers change in many women’s lives. Deanna desires to help others reach their lifestyle goals through physical activity and believes that Pure Barre offers the best program for achieving optimal results both physically and mentally.

205-991-5224 5426 Highway 280 East, Suite 6

205-529-0081 23 Olmsted Street • Mt Laurel

Haley & Angela


Angela Tenbarge, owner of The Cuckoo’s Nest on Old Highway 280, began her career in the medical field, where she worked in the University of Alabama at Birmingham Neurosurgery Department as well as Children’s Hospital. It was not until she took time off to have a child that she discovered her passion for art and design. In 2004, she and her husband bought a house in Westover and when the town turned the area into a commercial zone, Tenbarge jumped at the opportunity to start her own business. The Cuckoo’s Nest opened in November 2012. A small specialty shop, the store combines home décor with unusual and unique gifts, carrying furniture, rugs, lamps, pictures, pillows, candles, jewelry and more. In addition, baby gifts, wedding items and seasonal holiday items are available. Tenbarge enjoys working with her daughter Haley, who manages the marketing and advertising side of the business.

205-678-7220 4222 Old Highway 280 • Westover

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Susan DuBose Distinguished Young Women

980-9639 By SYDNEY CROMWELL Susan DuBose grew up hearing about the Junior Miss program, a nationwide scholarship competition for girls entering their senior year of high school. After her daughter competed in the program, now called Distinguished Young Women, and won $75,000 in scholarships, DuBose decided to invest her time with the organization that had paid for her child’s education, internship and study abroad opportunities. Now the chairman for the Shelby County chapter of Distinguished Young Women, DuBose organizes the annual preliminary competition at Oak Mountain High School as well as service activities throughout the year. The competition, held each July, teaches girls about interview skills and gives them a chance to show off their talents and achievements for a chance at a scholarship or a spot in the state competition. “These are usually very high-achieving, goaloriented girls,” DuBose said. The local competition is open to any rising senior girl in Shelby County, and participants are judged on academics, fitness, talent, selfexpression and a personal interview. The winner earns a spot in the state competition. Scholarships are offered to the overall top-scorer and runners-up, as well as the top-scorers in each category. The winners of an essay contest

Susan DuBose, left, assists 2013 Shelby County winner Susanna Bagwell, right, in crowning the 2014 Distinguished Young Woman of Shelby County, Madeline Powell. Photo courtesy of Susan DuBose.

and the Spirit Award, which is voted on by other participants, receive scholarship offers as well. Colleges like Jefferson State Community College and Troy State University often grant scholarships covering tuition or the full cost of attendance; the 2014 competition gave away more than $150,000 in college-granted scholarships. “We have huge support from the community, so all the money we collect goes straight to scholarships,” DuBose said. “Our county typically gives out between $20,000 to $25,000 in scholarships each summer.”



Tammy Rogers was managing more than 500 Rite-Aid Pharmacies in seven states when she realized during that time she was eager to go back to getting to know her customers. After all, it was wrapping Christmas presents in a pharmacy as a teenager that made her want to be a pharmacist. In 2011, the Inverness resident opened Beaumont Pharmacy & Gift Boutique across the street from Inverness Village on Valleydale Road. There, she knows all of her customers by name. Beaumont allows customers the opportunity to partake in a traditional soda shop experience while picking up prescriptions or building personalized gift baskets. The full service pharmacy specializes in compounded medications. Tammy also works with area veterinarians to compound for animals, as is fitting for the mother of two English bulldogs, who are descendants of UGA IV at her pharmacy school alma mater.

Participants in the competition also work with the “Be Your Best Self” program, visiting the Boys and Girls Club and summer camps to teach younger children about healthy habits and academic success. DuBose said she enjoys watching girls gain confidence and poise each summer, and then use those skills to inspire children in elementary and middle school. DuBose keeps in contact with past participants through Facebook, cheering them on in other Distinguished Young Women competitions and their college achievements. “It was fun to watch them grow up and


Hovanec Nicole Hovanec and her husband, Doug, were regularly driving more than 30 minutes for a fine dining experience when they decided 280 residents deserved better. So, in 2008, they brought the experience to our area by opening Bellini’s Ristorante on Cahaba Valley Road. Bellini’s offers seasonal menus for lunch and dinner MondaySaturday, an extensive wine selection and dessert specials, as well as catering. “I love meeting new people and getting to know them,” Hovanec said. “I feel blessed to have gotten to know so many of our ‘regulars’ and truly think of them as friends. And best of all, any given day we get to be a part of our customers celebrations — birthdays, anniversaries, bridal luncheons, job promotions, you name it.” A mother of two boys, she is involved with organizations that benefit local inner-city youth and has hosted numerous fundraising events at Bellini’s.


205-991-7171 264 Inverness Center Drive

become so successful, and I believe we played a small part in that,” DuBose said. The 2014 winner for Shelby County was Madeline Powell, a senior at Spain Park High School and captain of the dance team, the Dazzlers. Powell won $5,000 in cash scholarships and a full scholarship to Troy State University. On Jan. 17 and 18, she will be competing at the state competition in Montgomery. To learn more about Distinguished Young Women of Shelby County, visit the chapter’s Facebook page or

205-981-5380 6801 Cahaba Valley Road

January 2014 • A33 B9



Sometimes, Denise Taylor said, a learning gap can be like a pothole. It may start off small, but it’s sure to grow if nothing is done to repair it.

Georgia Lay has been running 280 Medical Supply for 10 years. And hers is one of the few female-owned businesses in her industry in the entire country. She’s known for her strong commitment to community and family. Prior to owning her business, she worked in the healthcare industry for 15 years. Her wealth of experience combined with a personal attention to her clients creates that personal touch that makes her business stand out from non-locally owned competitors.



As director of Tutoring Club of Birmingham, Denise is in the business of closing those gaps. She and her staff have led hundreds of students on journeys to improve their academic grade levels across all subjects — from elementary reading to senior calculus. At Tutoring Club, it all begins with a test that determines a student’s grade level in relation to the subject. From there, each student works with trained instructors to raise that level by mastering the skills required.

Georgia stocks an extensive line of orthotic bracing in addition to aids to daily living such as wheelchairs, knee walkers, liftchairs, hospital beds and more. She carries plenty of diabetic needs: testing supplies, insulin pumps, shoes and supplements as well as Nebulizers, CPAP, Woundcare, Ostomy and Incontinence supplies. Georgia has a strong reimbursement background and works closely with physicians to get the required paperwork to bill your insurance. 280 Medical Supply accepts almost all insurance companies and Medicare and Medicaid.

Bringing subject mastery to class relieves stress on students, and since her business opened 10 years ago happy parents have continued to bring happy students back to Tutoring Club throughout their school careers.

Inverness 205-981-7155 5291 Valleydale Road

Cahaba Heights 205-968-5151 3106 Cahaba Hts Plaza

205-678-8755 11600 Old Hwy 280 • Chelsea In the former Mt. View Lumber building


Jones, DMD


t Chelsea Family Dentistry, patients become like family.

teaches at UAB School of Dentistry on a half-time basis in addition to practicing in Chelsea.

Each May Dr. Michelle Jones and her staff are congratulating graduating seniors, and come November, they invite trick-or-treaters to come by the office in costume.

Jones is a member of the American Dental Association, Alabama Dental Association, Birmingham District Dental Society, Academy of General Dentistry and many other professional organizations.

Jones, a mom of three and wife to Chris, said she loves being in Chelsea and loves meeting new people.

She and her family are members of Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church.

The family practice opened in November 1999 in the Chelsea Medical Center on U.S. 280. As Chelsea grew over the coming years, so did the practice. In 2008 it moved to its current location in Jade Park on Chesser Crane Road. Along with the growth, Dr. Brittney Gilbert came on as an associate dentist.

With their strong professional training and genuine concern for everyone who walks through their doors, Jones and Gilbert are creating, and maintaining, beautiful smiles all over Chelsea through their personal care, and they are always looking to welcome more future family members to their practice.

Together their team is committed to providing the community around them the best dental care in their family-like environment. They offer an array of dental services and treatments to meet any need that might arise in your mouth — and to prevent it before it starts. Jones earned her DMD from UAB in 1997 and continued her training through the two-year General Dental Practice Residency at UAB hospital. Her interests include comprehensive dental treatment for adults and children and emphasizing better oral health and overall general health and well-being. She currently

205-678-2096 302 Jade Park, Suite 302

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280 Living

Susan Ellis

People First of Shelby County

By SYDNEY CROMWELL Susan Ellis was set on the path to activism when her son, Matthew, was born with Down syndrome. She saw that Matthew and others with developmental disabilities faced lives with limited opportunities for employment, community involvement or social justice. A former teacher and coal miner, Ellis began volunteering as a disability advocate with the Arc of Shelby County and eventually helped create People First of Shelby County in 2004. As an advisor for People First, Ellis supports Shelby County residents who are developmentally disabled as they learn to advocate for their own interests. This includes learning about civil rights and following relevant state and national legislation. People First also provides assistance with social services, including finding employment and understanding healthcare and Social Security benefits. The goal of the organization is to put more control into the hands of the disabled population. “You want to have a life where you can make choices,” Ellis said. “It’s the issue that people with disabilities work against the most.” People First of Shelby County has been active in changing legislation. The organization supported the 2009 Respectful Language Law, which banned the use of the “R-word” in administration of mental health services, and lobbied to change federal regulations on care options for the developmentally disabled. This change would promote employment opportunities instead of day habilitation services, which Ellis described as “babysitting” programs that don’t provide outlets for growth.

Susan Ellis, bottom center, receives the Community Service Award at the 2013 Arc of Shelby County award ceremony. Photo courtesy of Susan Ellis.

However, Ellis’ favorite part of her work is watching people with developmental disabilities learn to self-advocate and find opportunities to be successful. Many of these people now work with People First either as employees or volunteers. “We have a lot more people with disabilities that are involved with the chapter now. Many of them are state leaders now,” Ellis said. “Seeing their success fulfills me, too.” People First of Shelby County recently launched begun a new program, the

YouthEmerging Leaders project. Funded by a grant from the Alabama Council on Developmental Disabilities, the YEL project will bring together able and disabled leaders, ages 14 to 26, to learn about self-advocacy and ways to improve their communities. Those selected for the YEL program will participate in retreats and a visit to the state House of Representatives to learn about human rights, disability policy and problems facing the developmentally disabled. Ellis, however, will be taking on a new

422-5006 203 Amphitheater Road, Pelham project of her own. She is transitioning to a role as state coordinator for People First of Alabama, which hasn’t had a state office in several years. Ellis will be responsible for bringing together the efforts and resources of local chapters across Alabama. “Having our new state office is a big deal,” Ellis said. “Now that I’ll be able to help organize more chapters and help chapters that exist to be more organized, we’ll be doing more education and training.” Ellis will still have ties to the Shelby County chapter since Matthew is the current president, but she looks forward to using her new job to give other people the same opportunities that her son has received. Matthew is now 31 years old and lives in a garage apartment attached to his parents’ house. With the help of a life coach and his supportive parents and siblings, Matthew is able to live semi-independently. He has a girlfriend and best friend, whom he sees several times every week, and has worked the same part-time job since he was 17. As the president of People First of Shelby County, he has attended national conferences to learn about Medicaid, Social Security and other aspects of national disability policy. “He really gets opportunities because he’s got a family and because he’s got services to have a pretty enviable life,” Ellis said. “And that’s why I feel like everybody, no matter what level of ability, has a role to play. People with disabilities are a gift to the community because of their condition, not in spite of it.” To learn more about volunteering with People First of Shelby County, contact Ellis at 422-5006.

Dana Caudell A

t age 17, Dana Caudell helped New York City Relief find shelter and jobs for homeless persons as a part of a mission trip. “It struck a chord with me that I truly enjoyed finding homes for those in need,” she said. Caudell found a way to channel that passion into a career in what she calls “an incredible full circle adventure” when she took a job as a leasing agent a decade later. Today she serves as the Director of Multi-family Operations for Daniel Corporation. “Not only do I continue to help people find homes, albeit different circumstances, we still make a difference in people’s lives by providing excellent customer service and ensuring our residents are provided with exceptional living experiences,” she said. Daniel was formed in 1964 to provide a real estate development and investment vehicle for Daniel Construction Company, which had been founded in 1935 by Charles Daniel. In 1977, Daniel Construction merged with Fluor Corporation to become one of the largest

engineering and construction companies in the world. The senior management team spun off the real estate subsidiary from Flour in 1986, forming the current privately held Daniel Corporation. At present, Daniel provides a complete suite of asset management services, including property management and brokerage both on behalf of institutional ownership groups and for its own portfolio. Its operations are headquartered off U.S. 280 in Birmingham. Caudell oversees all aspects of management and operations for Daniel’s owned and third party assets. In addition, she works closely with Daniel’s development teams in Atlanta and Birmingham on current and future development sites. When Caudell is not working, she enjoys boating with her husband, Trey, and children Osten, 4, and Tori, 6. Her husband is a certified diver, and each year the family vacations in the Florida Keys. If there is a spare moment to grab, she enjoys reading articles or books about history and law.

205-443-4500 3660 Grandview Parkway, Suite 100

B11 January 2014 • A35



Valerie Pippin loves watching how proud children are when they learn something new. It’s then, she says, that she sees twinkles in their eyes. Pippin spends her days as director of Learning by Design, a childcare center located off of Highway 119 that is open form 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. The center provides a loving, caring and educational environment for ages 6 weeks to 6 years old. Each classroom offers a multi-cultural and developmentally appropriate environment. Knowing that selecting a preschool is a very important decision for parents, Pippin said the center strives to meet each family’s personal needs. A wife and a mother of three children, she has worked in childcare for 15 years and is a member of the Childcare Directors Board through Childcare Resources. Beyond watching kids learn, she said the hugs and smiles are what she loves best about her job.

205-991-5437 5560 Cahaba Valley Road



Patsy Smith has taught French handsewing and smocking and has led young adult Sunday School classes for much of her married life; she actually once taught smocking in tandem with a young women’s Bible study. As she approached a birthday a few years ago, she decided to act on a dream she had held onto for quite some time – to own an heirloom shop that nurtures women through the art of sewing. With the support of her husband, Bill, Patsy opened the Sewing Room in 2011. The shop is dedicated to custom heirloom and classic clothing for children. It boasts the largest selection of Swiss and designer fabrics and French laces in the greater Birmingham area, and classes are offered in French handsewing, smocking, machine embroidery, applique, quilting and general construction of children’s clothing. It is also home to the Birmingham Chapter of the Smocking Arts Guild of America and is an exclusive Elite Baby Lock dealer.

205-980-1112 1040 Inverness Corners



In case there’s any doubt, it’s usually not a good idea for a husband to tell his wife that she can’t do something, especially if his wife is Ellen Morris. In the early 1990s, Ellen was creating gingerbread houses for her husband as a fundraiser for his work. When she began making additional houses for friends and family, her husband jokingly told her she would never make any money that way. More than 20 years later, Ellen is still proving him wrong. Her business, The Gingerbread Lady, is a successful one. After several years in the Colonnade, she recently moved her shop to the rejuvenated Grants Mill Station in Irondale. She still creates the custom gingerbread houses around the Christmas season, but her shop offers gifts, home décor, and holiday items year round. Stop in and meet Ellen – and her husband, John, who now helps her out on a regular basis.

205-960-7040 5415 Beacon Dr, Suite 165 The Station at Grants Mill • Irondale


Christensen There are always new things to learn in the paint studios of Stacey Christensen. A longtime contract painter, Christensen learned wall and cabinetry finishes at the Southern Institute of Faux Finishing in Mississippi before opening Faux Studio Designs in 2011 and The Paint Station last August. The working studios primarily serve those interested in do-it-yourself projects. They not only carry decorative Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan and furniture products such as Wood Icing and Artisan Enhancements, but they also teach their customers how to update the look of tables, wooden angel wings and anything that can be painted. Christensen, the mom of two high school-aged boys, credits her family for inspiration for her business. Her grandmothers, she said, taught her to make something from nothing, her mom fostered her creative spirit and her father walked her through many home 205-982-4464 projects. 2116 B Old Montgomery Hwy • Pelham

A36 B12 • January 2014

280 Living


Nancy Beard Music Director


Asbury United Methodist Church 6690 Cahaba Valley Road 995-1700

As a 14-year-old girl, Miranda Carter had a big dream of owning her own business. By the time she turned 19, her dream was reality. She incorporated Johnny Ray’s, a restaurant in Chelsea, when she was 18 and opened the business the next year. Along with her brother, Jeremy, she puts in countless hours at the restaurant, and her hard work shows — Johnny Ray’s is packed every day for lunch and dinner, and her customers love their food. In 2010, Miranda expanded into an adjacent space that had become available, and she and her brother opened a second business, Yogurt Your Way, inside the restaurant. But it isn’t just about business for Miranda. She is very active, from local schools and churches to big events in the area, to the South Shelby Chamber or Commerce, and much more. She uses her business to provide for herself and her daughter, but she helps many others along the way as well.

205-678-8418 10659 Old Highway 280, Chelsea


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Asbury United Methodist Music Director Nancy Beard. Photo by Jeff Thompson.

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By JEFF THOMPSON For nearly 17 years, Nancy Beard has brought music into the lives of hundreds in the 280 community. Beard started her work at Asbury United Methodist Church in 1997 as an assistant, and in 2003 was named music director at the church. There, she directs the Chancel Choir on Sunday mornings, but her responsibilities extend far beyond that. Throughout the week, Beard leads the children’s hand bell choir and the Asbury Ringers, works with the youth choir and directs small ensembles of performers who are seen during the church’s 8:30 a.m. worship services. She also holds multiple practices, as well as plans the music for weekly services. “It’s different every day, and that’s what I love about it,” she said. “I’m constantly meeting new people, working with new groups and preparing for exciting events.” Beard was raised in Reform, a small community in West Alabama. She started playing piano at 5 years old, taking lessons from her next-door neighbor. Under the guidance of her mother, who served as choir director at their church in Reform, Beard sang with the choir, but she also learned to play the organ. While growing up, she honed her skills in accompaniment, skills she finds invaluable to this day.

“It no doubt prepared me for what I do now,” Beard said. “I’ve been doing something musical all my life, and now I’m just blessed to do this full time because it’s such pleasing work.” Beard spent 14 years living in the 280 area while her daughter attended school in the Inverness and Oak Mountain systems. Outside her work in the church, she could often be seen accompanying school productions or shaping young voices. Currently she said she feels like her mission is to find a place in the music ministry for everyone who wants to serve that way. “My underlying motive is to provide a place where everyone can be involved, and it’s all for God’s glory,” she said. “Music is a very important part of our worship services. For all ages, it’s seen as very significant at all times of the year.” The different opportunities provided by the church to worship through music are vital, Beard said. People find a spiritual connection in numerous ways. “Music speaks to the heart when the spoken word might not speak as tenderly,” she said. “And we have a responsibility to always speak to the heart.” Asbury’s Chancel Choir leads the 11 a.m. worship service, accompanied by the Worship Orchestra. “Traditions” soloists and ensembles perform during the 8:30 a.m. service. For more, visit

B13 January 2014 • A37

Happy New Year What will you accomplish in 2014?


Third-grade students at Oak Mountain Elementary School recently shared their 2014 New Year’s Resolutions. Share yours with 280 Living by sending them to or at

I like New Year’s Day because I get time to spend with my family and friends. I like the decorations and the lights all around me. My New Year’s resolution is to make an interception in football. To accomplish this, I will practice more on football along with my class work. - Sai Korrapati

My New Year’s resolution is to improve on my drawing, so I can draw like professional animators. - Ashley Ames Macrory

My first New Year’s resolution is to be a better tennis player. I will achieve this by practicing more, focusing and paying attention while I am playing, as well as work hard but have fun at the same time. This resolution is important to me because I am working to be in a tennis competition by age 10. My most important resolution is to spend less time on my electronics and more time with family and on my school work. I will achieve this resolution by setting limits for myself on the amount of time I spend on my electronics each day. Once this time is up, I will focus on helping a family member with a chore and make sure all of my homework is completed. This resolution is important, because spending time with family is a much higher priority than time spent on a machine. - Merrin Tommie

My New Year’s resolutions are to be nicer to my sister and to learn more about science. I am going to achieve this by playing with my sister more and studying about science. They’re important to me because I want to be a scientist when I grow up and I also want to get along with my sister. - Will Wittmann


A38 B14 • January 2014

280 Living

A look inside the new


Media center


ake a stroll through the new Forest Oaks Elementary, and something will soon catch your eye. A considerable amount of forethought went into preparing the facility for what might lie ahead in Chelsea. If the population continues to grow or if severe weather strikes, Forest Oaks is ready, just as it is if technology continues to change the direction of education and science uncovers healthier ways to live. This month, Chelsea has a new resource that’s surprisingly resourceful. “When parents drop their students off in January, they’re going to be amazed at the level of commitment and thought that has gone into building this facility,” Principal Dr. Resia Brooks said. “Not only is it attractive, but it’s also very conducive to learning.”

For Brooks, the media center situated at the front of the school helps shape the identity of Forest Oaks. She said it’s her favorite part of the new building. Large light fixtures hang from the vaulted ceilings, and a tall window looks out onto Hornet Parkway. “It’s very symbolic,” Brooks said. “Books are the window to the world, and the atmosphere in here is very modern and kid-friendly and generally promotes reading.” Another feature in the media center is a portion of the carpet divided into colored squares. Brooks said it’s a perfect location to have story time for younger classes, as their seats will already be marked off.

Gymnasium Brooks said Forest Oaks’ gymnasium, built in collaboration with the City of Chelsea, was another highlight of the new facility. The space is open and bright and provides ample seating for attending sporting events, which is important to the school’s collaboration with the city. “Our gym will also be used for the Chelsea Youth League, and we’re excited about that because it means the community and schools are working together to support the needs of our youth,” Brooks said. The gym features regulation-size basketball and volleyball courts, a telescopic bleacher system with a seating capacity of 388 and wallmounted loudspeakers and microphones with the sound system.

Cafeteria The school’s cafeteria, affectionately deemed “The Lunch Box,” doubles as a lecture hall and performance venue. A modern kitchen at the back of the room will introduce young students to habits that will continue to keep them healthy throughout life. “It’s important for kids at an early age to learn how to prevent issues that can occur later in life,” Brooks said of the school’s E2 program that encourages healthy behaviors. “Plus, eating right and exercising makes you a better person emotionally and physically. And it all starts here. We’re teaching them to begin with the end in mind.” The stage also features a state-of-the-art sound system and built-in projector screen for showing movies.

B15 January 2014 • A39

Forest Oaks Elementary Quick facts about Forest Oaks Elementary School site size: 18 acres Building size: 91,000 square feet Classrooms: 50, designed for approximately 1,000 students Cafeteria: 5,200 square feet, seating for 348


Platform stage: 800 square feet Storm shelter: 12,000 square feet, space for 1,350 Gymnasium: 7,600 square feet, seating for 388

The current Forest Oaks facility has 34 classrooms and space is constrained. But in the new building, 50 classrooms will be available, and Brooks said there should be a teacher in each one beginning this month. Classrooms are each equipped to handle

Safety Just past the front office and media center, parents enter a corridor that stretches the length of the school. Brooks said it’s called “The Runway,” and it’s designed to direct children to the exits as quickly as possible in case of an emergency. “Logistically, Forest Oaks is very streamlined,” Brooks said. “Our two wings are connected by this hall, making the school easier to navigate, easier to access and better for evacuations.” On the wing closest to the gym, designed for Kindergarten through second-grade students, Forest Oaks boasts another impressive safety feature. A section of the building has been reinforced to sustain winds up to

250 miles per hour. Classrooms in this section of the school also include metal window coverings and vents to release pressure. The storm shelter can protect 1,350 people in case of emergency. The storm shelter power supply is also equipped with backup power and has a separate domestic water and sewer system from the remaining portions of the school. A closet in the shelter hides another secret. Fourteen first-aid kits stored within the shelter can provide aid to 1,400 students. “The inclusion of these in the storm shelter shows incredible forethought,” Brooks said.

approximately 20 students. Each includes ample storage, connections for media and computer technology, and a sink and water fountain within the room. All rooms have CCTV hookup and occupancy sensor light switches, and the computer room has a 32-computer capability.

Brooks said she finds the building warm and friendly, and believes students who attend Forest Oaks will be happy with the new facility. “It really is a symbol of learning and growth for the students in this community,” she said. “We always want children to enjoy coming to school and enjoy learning, and we think that this building is going to help foster that.” Of course, she said, real learning can take place in any building, and a good school is not measured by the structure but by the teaching inside. However, Chelsea’s constant growth over recent years showed a need to prepare, and Brooks believes that’s exactly what’s been done with Forest Oaks. “Chelsea is no longer a secret,” Brooks said. “Everyone knows that Chelsea is a very sweet place and a very connected community, and because of that charm and because of the history here, it attracts a lot of people who bring us wonderful children. Because of that growth, we always want to be sure we have the facilities that are needed.”

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School House OMES honors Lancaster and Davis Two members of the Oak Mountain Elementary (OMES) faculty and staff were recently recognized for their dedication, commitment and service to the school. Third grade teacher Lori Lancaster was named Teacher of the Year. An educator for 21 years, eight of those at Oak Mountain Elementary, Lancaster is known for building a warm community within her classroom, maintaining classroom management and displaying leadership among her colleagues. Her students have described her as “smart, sweet and loving.” Not only does Lancaster instill the love of learning within her students, but she also encourages the love of teaching among her colleagues. She spends a great amount of time mentoring first- and secondyear teachers on best practices in education. “It is my desire to be one person, one influence in my students’ lives who demonstrates how much I truly care for them, their education and their future,” Lancaster said when asked about what prompted her to become a teacher. “In doing this, my students will hopefully become more confident, motivated to learn and better equipped to navigate what their futures hold.” Willie Davis, a dedicated staff member and part of the custodial team at the school, was named Support Staff Member of the Year. Davis, on staff for several years, is dedicated to providing a pristine school and is respected by his colleagues and the students he interacts with each day. He is known for being a team player and always creating a positive atmosphere around the school. Davis was born and raised in Shelby County and said he would not want to live anywhere else. “I just love to work, and I love the people I work with,” Davis said.

An abundance of culture at Hilltop Montessori

Hilltop Montessori students Julia Gale, Lauren Dunn and Skye Otter showcase dancing from Holland.

In December, Hilltop Montessori School hosted a school wide MultiCultural Festival. In keeping with the Montessori method, students worked cooperatively to transform each of their learning environments into specific countries, immersing themselves in the customs, food and culture of each region. Students visited the other classrooms to learn from their peers, sampling art, food, dance, clothing and games of Russia, Thailand, Germany, Sweden, Holland, India and Japan. The United States was also represented by the upper elementary class, which showcased Hawaii, complete with a gingerbread-themed beach scene made to scale. The research behind the projects was extensive; one of the lower elementary classes worked with a local engineer to create a scale windmill from Holland. Others dressed in traditional dress from India to greet their young guests properly. The event was funded by the school’s Annual Fund program, supported by the parents and the community of Birmingham. – Submitted by Hilltop Montessori School

OMES staff member Willie Davis and teacher Lori Lancaster and were recently honored by Oak Mountain Elmentary.

Davis further discussed the “family” he has gained with the OMES staff. His colleagues share a love of him as well and describe him as “encouraging, hardworking, wise, always happy, a gentleman and loyal.” The school strongly believes both Lancaster and Davis are deserving of the honors they have been given and are thankful to work with such devoted, supportive, and encouraging colleagues. – Submitted by OMES

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B17 January 2014 • A41

Deep Roots dinner raises $40,000 for Hilltop Montessori

Cindi Stehr, Brandon Smith and Kim Smith.

Hilltop Montessori School in Mt. Laurel hosted a Deep Roots Gardening Dinner in November at the Stone’s Throw Bar and Grill restaurant. Chef Chris Harrigan catered the event , which was attended by 130. It included a live auction by Jack Granger of Granger, Thagard & Associates. Sponsors of the event included Pilates on the Highland, EBSCO Industries, Newsome Law LLC, Chez Fon Fon, Hot and Hot Fish Club and Dr. Heidi Umphrey. Guests dined on an exclusive menu supplemented by the school’s gardens that included a baby green mixed salad, slow braised boneless beef short ribs, shrimp and grits, and roast

chicken breast with sweet potato gratin. Dessert was a dark chocolate cream pie and pumpkincranberry bread pudding. More than $40,000 was raised in less than 45 minutes through an entertaining and spirited live auction by Granger. Sarah and Eddy Yang won the Chris Hastings’ Personal Chef for the Evening Dinner for Eight. Bruce and Carla Irwin won an Extreme Makeover package and the popular Stone’s Throw Private Dinner Party for eight. Other popular live auction items included a week in Taos, N.M., a “Wine and Dine” package and a downtown party for foodies hosted by Dr. and Mrs. Michael Wilensky.

Hadder joins SPHS staff Last year, Melissa Hadder She said the school’s team joined the administrative team of professionals has created a at Spain Park High School positive learning environment (SPHS). In this role, she for everyone. assists the school in the area “During my first week at of curriculum and instruction. SPHS, one of the teachers This position covers a multiremarked, ‘A bad day at Spain tude of roles including school Park is better than a good day improvement plans, teacher somewhere else.’ I feel incredevaluations and most anyibly blessed to be a part of the thing related to the school’s administrative team at SPHS; it academic programs. is the highlight of my career.” Prior to SPHS, Hadder was Hadder has her bachelor’s an assistant principal at Calera degree from Troy State UniverMelissa Hadder High School in the Shelby sity, a master’s in school counCounty School System. Now in her 21st year seling from the University of West Alabama in education, Hadder has also held roles as a and a master’s certificate and educational speband teacher and school counselor. cialist degree in educational leadership from the “The people at SPHS make it unique. Every- University of Montevallo. one I have met is focused on helping students She is married to John Hadder. The couple achieve their full potential. Conversations are has one daughter, Hope. encouraging and focused on learning. Each – Submitted by Jason Gaston / Hoover person is proud to be associated with this City Schools school,” Hadder said.

Help stacked high at OMES Families everywhere come together on Thanksgiving to celebrate their blessings over a delicious feast, but there are times when providing any meal becomes difficult. Since 1998, students at Oak Mountain Elementary School have worked together to build a “Mountain of Cans” in order to help people in need put nutritious meals on the table for their families. In the week leading up to Thanksgiving, Oak Mountain students in kindergarten through third grade brought non-perishable canned goods to

the school gym and stacked, so the children were able to see the results of their efforts. Students were asked to bring two cans each, but many brought more and the mountain of cans grew by leaps and bounds. This year students collected 1,062 cans of food, which were donated to Operation Helping Hand, a volunteer group that serves the elderly, disabled, recently unemployed and lower income working families.

A42 B18 • January 2014

280 Living

Youth Leadership group speaks out about bullying

Greystone Elementary students visit Gaston Steam Plant

Greystone Elementary students John and Jay at the Gaston Steam Plant.

Fifth-grade students at Greystone Elementary School recently had the opportunity to see an example of where electricity comes from. Society is dependent on electrical devices, but it’s rarely considered until the power goes out. Students and teachers visited the Gaston Steam Plant operated by Alabama Power to find out about electric power. Students saw first-hand the process of using coal to run generators to create electricity. This field trip also opened the door for students to learn about natural resources, transportation and career opportunities in Alabama.

Knightingales light up the stage

Students selected for the VHHS Youth Leadership Group.

Students from the Vestavia Hills High School Youth Leadership program were invited to Liberty Park Middle School by counselor, Stephanie Holcomb. The group spoke to the sixth grade students and shared personal stories where they had experienced bullying, stood up for others being bullied or they bullied someone else. They also discussed the importance of being careful with what is said on social media accounts. The 6th grade students participated in role plays to demonstrate how to be an ally when they see someone being bullied. They learned how to

step in when they witness a bullying situation by sticking up for the student or changing the subject so that the bully is being redirected to something else. The students selected to the VHHS Youth Leadership Group applied at the end of their freshman year and received two teacher recommendations. Those selected attended a summer workshop where they participated in team building and antibullying activities. The VHHS Youth Leadership Group’s goal is to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

Haley Spates directs the Mt Laurel Knightingales at the Samford University Wright Center.

In December, Mt Laurel students took the stage at the Samford University Wright Center. Under the direction of Mt Laurel music teacher Haley Spates, students in kindergarten through fifth grade performed holiday songs from the movies. The Mt Laurel Knightingales Show Choir performed a series of songs from the “Polar

Express.” Several students in each grade had the opportunity to sing solos during their grade level performances. The stage was lit with backdrops and lighting and snow even fell from the sky during a few of the songs. The event concluded with Spates singing “O Holy Night.”

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B19 January 2014 • A43

Stonecreek robotics team headed to state championship The Stonecreek Montessori Academy LEGO Robotics team, EGGO My LEGO, took second place in last month’s regional qualifier and will compete in the state tournament this month. On Jan. 25, the team will compete in the statewide FIRST Lego League State Championship in Huntsville. After that stage, teams from various countries will compete in the St. Louis FIRST World Championship in April. For more, contact Ream Shoreibah at (609) 412-9682 or email For more on the school, visit Visit for more information about the Alabama FIRST Lego League.

Last month’s LEGO regional qualifier at Stonecreek Montessori Academy featured four teams. Stonecreek’s team EGGO My LEGO, pictured, placed second overall, and will be moving on to compete in the state tournament in Huntsville on Jan. 25. Photo courtesy of Stonecreek Montessori Academy.

Berry Middle School Web chats with Google executive during ‘Hour of Code’ By JASON GASTON Almost all Hoover City Schools participated in the national “Hour of Code” in December, including Berry Middle School students, who engaged in a live Web chat with a Google executive who’s been called one of the “World’s Most Powerful Women.” Susan Wojcicki, senior vice president of product management and engineering at Google, has been lauded for her ideas, expertise and foresight by Forbes magazine and other media. She spent nearly an hour in the Web chat with Berry Middle School and nine other classes nationally in December. During the chat, Berry students had the opportunity to pose questions to Wojcicki about her role at Google and her thoughts on technology’s

future. The chat was part of the Hour of Code promotion during the national Computer Science Education Week. The coast-to-coast promotion was designed to motivate students to learn more about computer science and its increasing influence on everything from politics to commerce. Many students were directed to explore the art of code-writing throughout the week in various classes. They were then asked to report their experiences in a schoolwide Google Doc. “I completed the Angry Bird Maze code game where I used code to move the angry bird through the maze. Then, I used Khan Academy to learn how to put rectangles and other shapes on different points on the screen,” one student said. “Then, in Code Combat, I used code to move characters

In December, students at Berry Middle talked to Susan Wojcicki, senior vice president of product management and engineering at Google, through Web chat. Photo courtesy of Hoover City Schools.

around the area and to make the characters do different actions with Java Script.” Due to its resounding success this year, educators at Berry Middle School and other Hoover City Schools plan to integrate Hour of Code events into instruction each December.

A44 B20 • January 2014

280 Living

Students surpass Toys for Tots goal

Amelia Patrick, Amy Grimes, sponsor of the OMMS National Junior Honor Society, Sgt. Julio Mezamedina and Olivia Shivers are pictured with just a few of the toys purchased for Toys for Tots. Photo courtesy of Shelby County Schools.

The Christmas spirit of giving is alive and well among students at Oak Mountain Middle School, as evidenced by their recent campaign to benefit Toys for Tots. On Dec. 9, more than 100 eighthgrade National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) members met at the Hoover Toys R Us location to purchase a variety of toys, board games, stuffed animals, bicycles and books to help families in central Alabama provide presents for their children. The NJHS-sponsored event netted $28,605, which significantly surpassed this year’s goal of $25,000. Students shopped in groups using a calculator to keep track of expenses as not to exceed the $230 allotment each could spend. Approximately 2,510 items were purchased through donations. Local moving company Changing

Spaces provided assistance in transporting the items back to the school. Students were encouraged to earn donations rather than just ask parents to make a contribution. Many generously donated their birthday gift money, hosted neighborhood bake sales and even cleaned driveways to earn their personal contributions. The U.S. Marine Corps, a local sponsor, thanked students for their contributions at an assembly before packing the items in several military vehicles. Oak Mountain Middle School has raised nearly $300,000 since it first began supporting Toys for Tots in 1999 and has earned national recognition for its generosity. For additional information, please contact OMMS Principal Larry Haynes at 682-5210. – From Shelby County Schools

SPHS theatre program shines at Trumbauer By JASON GASTON For the eighth time in the school’s history, Spain Park High School’s theatre program has been selected to represent the state of Alabama at the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC). Its one-act play, Amelia the Brave, competed against 15 other one-acts from across Alabama at the Trumbauer festival and will join Bob Jones High School (Madison) as Alabama’s entries in the regional festival. SETC, which will be held in Mobile in early March, features works from 10 states. “What sets this play apart from other entries and other shows we’ve done in the past is that it was entirely written, scored, designed and built by the students,” Spain Park High School theatre director Eric St. John said. “Amelia the Brave is a mix of

pantomime, puppetry, live music and animation — and the students made it themselves. The judges at Trumbauer had such praise for the show,” Seven of Spain Park’s individual events placed in their respective categories, St. John said. Amelia the Brave will be staged locally once again in January. For more information, call 439-1465. According to its website, the Walter Trumbauer Festival “has provided quality training and performance opportunities for Alabama theatre students at the secondary level since 1940. The festival consists of 28 individual events, a one-act play festival, a studio theatre festival-all for ninth through 12th grades, as well as scholarship auditions and college screening for high school seniors and junior college students. Students qualify for the state competition by earning a rating of ‘superior’ at one of six district festivals.”

Members of Spain Park High School’s theatre program display their trophy earned during the recent Trumbauer festival.

B21 January 2014 • A45

Community Calendar 280 Events Jan. 4: Lupus Support Group. 10 a.m.noon. St. Vincent’s One Nineteen. This group supports lupus patients and their families and will meet the first Saturday of every month at St. Vincent’s One Nineteen. This month, dietitian Grace Perry will speak to the group about nutrition for lupus patients. Free. Jan. 7: Chelsea City Council Meeting. 6 p.m. City Hall. Call 678-8455 or visit cityofchelsea. com. Jan. 7: Chapter One Nineteen. 7 p.m. St. Vincent’s One Nineteen. This is a monthly book club meeting. This month, the group will discuss The Cove by Ron Rash. The book to read for February is The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman. Free. Registration is suggested by calling 408-6550. Jan. 8: 2014 State Legislative Session Preview with Shelby County Delegation. 5:30-7 p.m. Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce, Large Community Services Room. This meeting will provide area businesses and residents an opportunity to meet with Shelby County’s state legislative delegation prior to the Alabama Legislature’s convening in Montgomery on Jan. 14. No cost, but seating is limited. RSVP by Jan. 6 via e-mail at, by calling 663-4542 or at Jan. 12: An Introduction to Birds of Prey. 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Alabama Wildlife Center. Guest speaker Becky Collier will lead a program featuring live birds of prey “on the glove.” Pre-register by emailing Jay Eubanks at Jan. 13: Medicare Educational Meeting. 10 a.m.-noon. St. Vincent’s One Nineteen. Blue Cross/Blue Shield will conduct a meeting to

inform customers of upcoming changes in Medicare benefits. The meeting is open to the public and free, but registration is requested by calling 1-888-2226165. Jan. 14: Blood Pressure/Body Mass Index Screening. 8-11:30 a.m. St. Vincent’s One Nineteen. Every second Tuesday of the month, a representative from St. Vincent’s Wellness Services will be screening for blood pressure and BMI in the front entrance. Free. Jan. 16: All-County Band Tryouts. Registration from 4-5 p.m. Oak Mountain Middle School. $5 registration fee. Site contact is Heather Holmes. Jan. 18-24: Scale Back Alabama. Weighin from one hour after opening to one hour before closing. St. Vincent’s One Nineteen. Teams that lose 10 pounds in the 10 weeks are eligible to win $1,000 while team members who lose 10 pounds are eligible for a $250 prize. Weigh out is April 5-11. For more, visit Jan. 20: Weight Watchers at One Nineteen. Noon-12:30 p.m. St. Vincent’s One Nineteen. Informational meeting on available Weight Watchers programs. Debbie Martin, Weight Watchers instructor for more than four years and lifetime member since 1989, will lead this group starting Jan. 27 at noon. Jan. 21: Chelsea City Council Meeting. 6 p.m. City Hall. Call 678-8455 or visit Jan. 21: LifeSouth Blood Drive. 7 a.m.-1 p.m. St. Vincent’s One Nineteen. LifeSouth will set up in the parking lot of St. Vincent’s One Nineteen. No

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Jan. 21: Comfort Food Made Healthy. 10:30 a.m.-noon and 5:30-7 p.m. St. Vincent’s One Nineteen. This hands-on class will offer a chance to be comforted with healthier foods that will remind you of your old favorites. Receive cooking tips and recipes prepared during the class. Cost is $25 per class and includes lunch. Call 408-6550 to make reservations. Limit 10, minimum 5.

Jan. 25: Breastfeeding. 9-11 a.m. St. Vincent’s One Nineteen. This class will cover the basics of breastfeeding for expectant mothers. Cost is $10 per couple. Call Dial-A-Nurse to register at 939-7878.

Jan. 23: Breakfast with the Experts – Healthy Skin 101. 8-9 a.m. St. Vincent’s One Nineteen. Learn the basics to achieving healthy skin with Connie Johnson, master esthetician and laser technician at Spa One Nineteen. Also, Dietitian Lauren Sineath, RDN, will share how healthy eating can help you achieve beautiful skin. Free. Please register at 408-6550 by noon on Jan. 22. Jan. 23: Living Healthy – Should I purchase Organic, Non-GMO Foods? 11 a.m.-noon and 6-7 p.m. St. Vincent’s One Nineteen. Donna Sibley, R.D., will answer questions about pesticides, antibiotics and more in food in this thoughtprovoking session. Free. Call 408-6550 to register. Jan. 24: Blood Cholesterol and Glucose Monitoring. 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. St. Vincent’s One Nineteen. Cholesterol and blood glucose screenings will be held by appointment. The first screening is free for members; $20 for non-members and repeat visits. Results in five minutes with a simple finger stick. Call 408-6550 to register. Jan. 24: Comprehensive Diabetes Education. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. St. Vincent’s One Nineteen. Physician’s referral required, and pre-assessments will be given preceding the class date. To register,

Jan. 25: Coping Skills. 12:30-2:30 p.m. This class will cover pain management techniques for expectant mothers during delivery. Cost is $10 per couple. Call Dial-A-Nurse to register at 939-7878. Jan. 29: Greater Shelby Chamber of Commerce 33rd Annual Meeting. 11 a.m.1 p.m. Pelham Civic Complex. Annual Luncheon will celebrate the past year’s accomplishments under Chair David Nolen’s leadership and kick-off the new year of programs and activities under 2014 Chamber Chair Bill Keller. Tickets are available for $20 for Chamber members and $30 for future members. For more or to make a reservation, email, call 663-4542 or visit Jan. 29: Medicare Educational Meeting. 10 a.m.-noon. St. Vincent’s One Nineteen. Blue Cross/Blue Shield will conduct a meeting to inform customers of upcoming changes in Medicare benefits. The meeting is open to the public and free of charge, but please register at 1-888-222-6165. Jan. 30: Cuisine at One Nineteen – Sushi Made Simple. 6:30-8:00 p.m. St. Vincent’s One Nineteen. Join Kelly Viall for this hands-on class that will cover topics from proper rice making to preparing won sauce. Cost is $25 per person. Call 408-6550 to register.

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280 Living

Community Calendar Library Events • North Shelby and Mt Laurel Libraries will be closed on Jan. 1 and Jan. 20. • The libraries are also collecting bottle tops for a recycled bottle top mural to be located in the children’s department. Drop off clean bottle caps at the library. They are requesting all colors, especially brown.

North Shelby Library Special Programming Jan. 4: LEGO Club. 10-11:30 a.m. The library provides the blocks, the kids provide the imagination and creativity. Creations will then go on display in the Children’s Department. All ages welcome. No registration is required. Jan 10: Craft – Penguin Door Hanger. 4 p.m. Stop by the library to make this craft that is sure to warm your heart. All ages welcome. Registration is required.

Story Time Programming For more or to register, call or email the Children’s Department at 439-5504, email or visit

Jan. 6: Toddler Tals. 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. Stories, songs, fingerplays and crafts make up a lively 30-minute program designed especially for short attention spans. Registration will begin one week prior to each story time. Ages 19-36 months. Registration required. Jan. 7: Baby Tales. 9:30 a.m. A story time designed especially for babies and their caregivers. Ages: Birth to 18 months. Registration required. Registration begins one week prior to program date. Jan. 8: Mr. Mac (Storyteller Extraordinaire!). 10:45 a.m. Stories, puppets and lots of music for every member of the family. All ages. No registration.

and lots of music for every member of the family. All ages. No registration. Jan. 16: PJ Story Time. Come in your PJs, have milk and cookies and hear some wonderful bedtime tales. All ages. No registration required. Jan. 21: Baby Tales. 9:30 a.m. A story time designed especially for babies and their caregivers. Ages: Birth to 18 months. Registration required. Registration begins one week prior to program date. Jan. 22: Mr. Mac (Storyteller Extraordinaire!). 10:45 a.m. Stories, puppets, and lots of music for every member of the family. All ages. No registration. Jan. 23: PJ Story Time. Come in your PJs, have milk and cookies and hear some wonderful bedtime tales. All ages. No registration required.

Jan 11: Family Movie Day. 10:30 a.m. Showing Happy Feet, a story of a penguin who has a terrible singing voice but has a talent for tap dancing. All ages welcome with a caregiver. No registration is required. Snacks served.

Jan. 27: Bilingual Toddler Tales. 10:30 Jan. 9: PJ Story Time. Come in your PJs, a.m. A special toddler tales presented in English have milk and cookies and hear some wonderand Spanish. Registration will begin one week prior ful bedtime tales. All ages. No registration to each story time. Ages 19-36 months. Registrarequired. tion required.

Jan. 15: Homeschool Hangout – Kid Safe Workshop. 1 p.m. Join library staff for Impact Martial Arts’ Interactive Self-Defense, Safety and Awareness Workshop to learn about mental and physical self-defense. Registration is required. Ages 7-13 welcome.

Jan. 13: Toddler Tales. 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. Stories, songs, fingerplays and crafts make up a lively 30-minute program designed especially for short attention spans. Registration will begin one week prior to each story time. Ages 19-36 months. Registration required. Jan. 15: Mr. Mac (Storyteller Extraordinaire!). 10:45 a.m. Stories, puppets

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Teen Happenings Contact Kate at 439-5512 or nsyouth@ for more information. Jan. 9: Anime Night. 6 p.m. The audience will pick what we watch. Treats will be served and costumes are welcome! Jan. 10: Gaming. 3:30-5:45 p.m. Open gaming on the Nintendo Wii and with board and card games. Jan. 12: Local Author Book Signing. 2 p.m. Local teen author B.H. Parker will make a presentation and sign books. Paperback copies of her young adult science fiction/ fantasy novel Mark of the Corripian will be on sale for $15. Refreshments served. Jan. 16: Young Adult Writing Group. 4:30 p.m. Open to teen authors who want to build their writing skills and respectfully discuss and provide feedback on each other’s work. Snacks served. Jan. 17: Gaming. 3:30-5:45 p.m. Open gaming on the Nintendo Wii and with board and card games.

Jan. 24: Gaming. 3:30-5:45 p.m. Open Jan. 29: Mr. Mac (Storyteller Extraordinaire!). 10:45 a.m. Stories, puppets gaming on the Nintendo Wii and with board and card games. and lots of music for every member of the family. All ages. No registration. Jan. 31: Gaming. 3:30-5:45 p.m. Open Jan. 30: PJ Story Time. Milk and cookies gaming on the Nintendo Wii and with board and and wonderful bedtime tales. All ages. No regis- card games. tration required.

January 2014 • A47 B23

Community Calendar Area Events Mt Laurel Public Library Call 991-1660 or email mtlaurellibrary@gmail. com for more or to register. Register online using the Calendar on Jan. 8: Toddler Tales. 10 a.m. Stories, songs, fingerplays and crafts make up a lively 30-minute program designed especially for short attention spans. Registration will begin one week prior to each story time. Ages 36 months and younger. Registration required. Jan. 8: Story time with Ms Kristy. 11 a.m. Stories, music and more for every member of the family. All ages. No registration required. Jan. 18: Crafty Saturday. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Drop in to make a craft at the library. All ages with parent help. Registration is not required but supplies are limited. Jan. 22: Toddler Tales. 10 a.m. Stories, songs, fingerplays and crafts make up a lively 30-minute program designed especially for short attention spans. Registration will begin one week prior to each story time. Ages 36 months and younger. Registration Required. Jan. 22: Story time with Ms Kristy. 11 a.m. Stories, music and more for every member of the family. All ages. No registration required. Jan. 25: Local Author Book Signing. 3-4:30 p.m. Local resident and author Steven Gregory will sign his new book, Cold Winter Rain. Books will be available to purchase from the author. Refreshments will be served.

Jan. 5: The Bridal Market. 1-4 p.m. University. This concert will feature operatic Rosewood Hall. $10 in advance, $15 at the soprano Susan Patterson as guest artist. door. Visit $10. Visit or call 767-9219. Jan. 10-12: Pioneer Classic. Lakeshore Foundation. This annual wheelchair Jan. 12: Southern Bridal Show. basketball tournament welcomes men’s, Noon-5 p.m. BJCC. $10 in advance, $15 women’s and youth divisions from the at the door. Call 1-800-523-8917 or visit National Wheelchair Basketball tion. Twenty teams or more from across the country will compete. Free and open to the Jan. 15-16: Welcome to Mitford. public. Visit Saturday 7 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m. Shelby County High School Auditorium. Play based Jan. 10-12: Memphis the Musion Jan Karon’s Mitford novels. $10. Visit cal. BJCC. $20-65. Visit or call 6690044. Jan. 11: Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Walk. 10 a.m. registration, noon Jan. 16-19: Birmingham Boat walk. Railroad Park. Visit birminghammeShow. BJCC. $10 adults, free for children. Visit Jan. 11: Red Shoe Run. SoHo Square. 10-Mile, 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run. Benefits Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama. Visit Jan. 11: C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce. 4 p.m., 8 p.m. Alabama Theatre. In this Dantesque celestial journey from Hell to Paradise, Lewis draws some of the most fiercely funny characters he ever created. Visit or Jan. 12: Collaborative Concert Series featuring Birmingham Boys Choir and Patty McDonald. 4 p.m. Brock Recital Hall, Samford

Jan. 18: An Evening with Bill Cosby. 8 p.m. BJCC. $33-65. Visit bjcc. org. Jan. 19: Friends of Red Mountain Park History Hike Series. 2 p.m. Red Mountain Park. A 3.9-mile, easymoderate hike that will take you back to the 1880s as you explore the mountain’s Redding Mine and Morris Mines. Visit Jan. 19: Reflect & Rejoice: A Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 3 p.m. UAB’s Alys Stephens Center. ASO Assistant Conductor Roderick Cox leads the orchestra and The Aeolians in this

annual tribute to the work and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Visit Jan. 22-23: Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Various times. BJCC. $16-76. Visit Jan. 23- Feb. 9: Buddy: The Buddy Holly Show. ThursdaySaturday 7:30 p.m., Sunday 2:30 p.m. Virginia Samford Theatre. $30-35. Visit Jan. 24, 26: Rigoletto presented by Opera Birmingham. Friday 7:30 p.m., Sunday 2:30 p.m. Samford University Wright Center. Visit Jan. 25: Village 2 Village Run. 8 a.m. Mountain Brook Village. 10K run presented by Mountain High Outfitters. Visit Jan. 25: Krispy Kreme Donut Dash. 8:30 a.m. Railroad Park. Participants run 4 miles and eat a dozen doughnuts in an hour or less. There will also be a 1-mile fun run for kids. Benefits Children’s Hospital of Alabama. Visit Jan. 31-Feb. 2: Demolition Derby. Lakeshore Foundation. Wheelchair rugby teams from across the country, including the Lakeshore Demolition team, will compete in this annual event. Free and open to the public. Visit

A48 • January 2014

280 Living

280 vol 7 iss 5 Janauary 2014  

Community news, entertainment and sports for 280 corridor

280 vol 7 iss 5 Janauary 2014  

Community news, entertainment and sports for 280 corridor