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The Homewood Star Volume 4 | Issue 10 | January 2015

neighborly news & entertainment for Homewood

A look ahead

On a warm winter night, spotted salamanders will travel out of Homewood Forest Preserve to mate in vernal pools along South Lakeshore Drive.

Find updates on a new phase of the Shades Creek Greenway and other city projects in our 2015 Year in Preview.

See page A8

Running for Bell Center kids

Great migration Festival celebrates annual salamander migration near Homewood High School By MADOLINE MARKHAM The dance begins sometime after Christmas each year. Jet-black creatures with bright orange and yellow spots emerge from the Homewood Forest Preserve behind the high school and scurry to a vernal pool nearby. Once they arrive, they jump into the water and perform their mating dance, flipping over and surfacing for air. Viewed from the side, they always appear to smile. “It’s like magic,” Jim Brown tells people.

He would know. The Samford University history professor has been watching them for 30 years. The spotted salamanders mate in water but live most of the year underground in the preserve’s hillside. Their skin must stay moist, so they choose a warm, rainy night after it’s been cold to migrate. “We think about birds migrating north or south, but there are also a lot of migrations on a smaller scale,” said Kristin Bakkegard, a biology professor at Samford. “It is about the only time you will see the salamander.

Once you get to know them, they are very charismatic animals.” A decade ago, Brown told members of the Friends of Shades Creek about the migration, and in the years since, the event has developed a following. Brown and Friends president Michelle Blackwood go out on nights when the conditions are right and watch for salamanders to emerge. When they see them, they start calling a list of 25 people. Sometimes it’s midnight, sometimes it’s 3 a.m. But

See SALAMANDERS | page A18

Students are teaming up on Patriot Partners relay teams to raise funds. Read more about their efforts inside.

See page B1

INSIDE Sponsors ...................A2 City .............................A4 Business ....................A6 Community ...............A12 School House ...........B2 Sports .......................B7 Calendar ................. B14 Opinion .................... B15

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Midday bus service could be cut By SYDNEY CROMWELL When his lease is up, Ward Dudley will leave his Asten Circle home and relocate to Hoover. He said he has loved living in Homewood, but with the end of full Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority (BJCTA) bus services approaching, Dudley and his guide dog will soon be unable to travel at will. Dudley said he rides the BJCTA paratransit buses at least two or three times a week to run errands and go to the doctor’s office. On Jan. 31, however, the transit authority will reduce operations for Homewood’s Routes 39 and 42 to peak hours only. For those two routes, the MAX buses will soon stop running between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. While Route 14 will remain unaffected, the estimated 282 daily riders of 39 and 42 will only be able to catch the bus between approximately 6:15 to 10 a.m. and 3 to 7:20 p.m. BJCTA

See BUSES | page A19

A BJCTA bus on Homewood Route 39 travels Lakeshore Parkway in the middle of the day. If proposed cuts to the service are approved, this route will no longer run between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Photo by Sydney Cromwell.


A2 • January 2015

The Homewood Star

About Us Please Support our Community Partners Adventure Travel (A4) Alabama Allergy & Asthma Center (A4) Alabama Power (B16) ARC Realty (B1) Batts’ Chimney Services (B13) Bedzzz Express (A20) Birmingham Duplicate Bridge Club (A18) Bloom (A19) Brandino Brass (B10) Brighter Image Dentistry (A14) Brighter Image Dentistry (A1) Brookdale Place University Park (B11) The star that hangs above 18th Street each holiday season was lit at a special ceremony that featured the Edgewood Elementary School choir. Photo by Madoline Markham.

Send your submissions for Photo of the Month to editor@thehomewoodstar.com

Children’s of Alabama (A13) Construx (A11) Early Arts Preschool (B11) ENT for Kids Alabama (B10) Fred Smith Group (A10) Gina G Falletta, State Farm (B11) Granite Transformations (A6)

Editor’s Note By Madoline Markham To close out 2014, I perused our stories from the year to do a little reflecting. Perhaps most memorably, many of us were stranded and met some new neighbors along the way during the crazy snowstorm in February. Perhaps second most memorably, we all flocked to the new pool and community center in May. A few months later, I heard reports that some entered a mourning period at the end of pool season. PT’s returned to life in SoHo, and Chicken Salad Chick opened a few doors down. Earlier in the year, lights strung over the courtyard area in SoHo

helped create a farm-totable dinner like you see in picture-perfect blogs to raise money for the Homewood City Schools Foundation. A short drive down the road, DSW opened in Brookwood as well as Sprout & Pour in Edgewood and the new Mi Pueblo on Green Springs. We also got to announce a new brewery coming to Central Avenue and a potential new New Orleans-style restaurant in West Homewood. The Homewood Arts Council brought color and music to our parks with its Pickin’ in the Park, Painting the Park and Handmade Art Show. The Board of

HeritageBank of the South (B13) Homewood Family and Cosmetic Dentistry (A5)

Education moved into a new building on Dale Avenue next to the Community Garden, and the Homewood Chamber took its place in the brick house next to Shades Cahaba Elementary. After weeks of controversy, America’s Best hotel in West Homewood closed its doors for good. Our Year in Preview section of this issue will give you updates on 2014 news stories that still have mileage for 2015, including Valley Avenue losing a lane and Samford taking over Southern Progress’ campus. Cheers to memories of 2014 and what’s to come in 2015!

Homewood Parks and Rec (B12) Homewood Soccer Club (A8) Homewood Toy & Hobby (A13) Hoover Title Mart (A6) Indian Springs School (B15) Issis & Sons (B15) Johnny Montgomery Realtor (A18) Julie Ivy White (A16) Kelli Gunnells Realtor (B8) Korduroy Krocodile (A7) Lori Zucco Insurance Company (A18) Marguerite’s Conceits (B8) Mary House Kessler, Ph.D (B9) Morningside at Riverchase (A17)

The Homewood Star

Publisher: Creative Director: Managing Editor: Sports Editor: Staff Writers:

Editorial Assistant: Photographer: Graphic Designer: Advertising Manager: Sales and Distribution:

Copy Editor: Contributing Writer: Published by:

Dan Starnes Keith McCoy Madoline Markham David Knox Katie Turpen Jessa Pease Sydney Cromwell Madison Miller Karim Shamsi-Basha Emily VanderMey Matthew Allen Rhonda Smith Warren Caldwell Michelle Salem Haynes Nathan Pearman Morgan Robinson Louisa Jeffries Lauren Denton Homewood Star LLC

Contact Information: The Homewood Star #3 Office Park Circle, Suite 316 Birmingham, AL 35223 313-1780 Dan@TheHomewoodStar.com

Please submit all articles, information and photos to: Editor@TheHomewoodStar.com P.O. Box 530341 Birmingham, AL 35253

For advertising contact: Dan@TheHomewoodStar.com Legals: The Homewood Star is published monthly. Reproduction or use of ed-

itorial or graphic content without prior permission is prohibited. The Homewood Star is designed to inform the Homewood community of area school, family and community events. Information in The Homewood Star is gathered from sources considered reliable but the accuracy cannot be guaranteed. All articles/photos submitted become the property of The Homewood Star. 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.

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On Time Service (A16) Over the Mountain Glass (B2) Oxmoor Valley Orthodontics (B7) Planet Fitness (B3) Project Share (B7) RealtySouth Marketing (A9) Riviera Fitness (A7) Salem’s Diner (B9) Sweat and Gears (B5) The Maids (A10) The Whole Dog Market (B9) Urban Home Market (A3) Vitalogy Wellness Center (A15, B4) Water Drainage Solutions (A7) Weigh To Wellness (A12) Which Wich? (B2) YMCA of Greater Birmingham (B6)


TheHomewoodStar.com

January 2015 • A3


A4 • January 2015

The Homewood Star

City Mayor’s Minute Dear friends and neighbors, It’s so hard to believe another year has come and gone, but it has. Happy New Year! We have many exciting opportunities coming for this year, and I look forward to sharing them with you as those opportunities come closer. I received some interesting facts regarding our police department recently and thought I would pass them along to you. In 2013 our officers stopped 1,186 vehicles compared to 1,470 this year. That is an increase of 24 percent. As a result, 932 citations were written. I have been impressed with how much attention they have been giving in our neighborhoods, and the results are certainly showing. In 2013 there were 28 burglaries. This past year we had 11, which is a 61 percent decrease. In 2013 there were 10 vehicle thefts, and this past year we had three. That constitutes a 70 percent decrease. In 2013 our city had 42 UBEVs (Unlawful Breaking and Entering Vehicle). This past year there was a 69 percent decrease, resulting in 13. The men and women of the Homewood Police Department are always working day and night to make our city a safer place in which to live. The officers also

Please take a moment and thank them whenever possible. We are so fortunate to live in a place where so many believe in being charitable. You won’t always read about it in the paper or see it on television, but I hear of so many of our businesses donating and helping others whenever it’s needed. I truly believe it is one of the reasons we continue to be blessed in Homewood. Giving really is better than receiving, and what wonderful role models we have in our city. I also know of residents who would never allow credit be given to them but always bless others by their generosity. The Bible says, “A glad heart makes a cheerful countenance, and a cheerful heart has a continual feast.” Thanks to all who live this each day and by doing so make Homewood a pretty special place in which to be. Sincerely,  

take the time to provide community outreach. An example of this is “Beards for Bucks.” I was approached some time ago about our officers being allowed to grow beards if they paid a fee to participate. The money raised would go to charities. I liked the concept and agreed to the program, and they raised over $2,200 the past few months. Money raised was given to breast cancer awareness, The Exceptional Foundation and Toys for Tots. In a similar act, one of our well-known stores, Homewood Toy and Hobby on 18th Street, discounted their toys and paid the taxes so the money raised could purchase even more toys. It’s businesses and people like this who make it a pleasure to live and work in Homewood.

  Scott McBrayer Mayor City of Homewood

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South Forest Drive parking lot plan rejected

A bridge connects GianMarco’s property to South Forest Drive. Residents on the street have complained that restaurant customers are parking on their street. Photo by Madoline Markham.

By SYDNEY CROMWELL After several weeks on the agenda, the City Council held a public hearing over parking issues on South Forest Drive on Nov. 17. Residents had previously brought complaints to the city that employees and customers of GianMarco’s were parking along their neighborhood street, blocking other cars and causing high traffic volumes. Ward 3 Place 2 Representative Walter Jones presented a possible solution to the problem by creating five parking spaces on the “pocket park” directly behind GianMarco’s. The proposed parking space design would not use the entirety of the park’s area but would require removal of shrubbery on the city-owned lot. South Forest Drive resident Roland Lewis spoke against this proposal, saying that children on the street play

in that park frequently and adding parking spaces would only increase traffic on the road. He also noted that since GianMarco’s began using employee and valet customer parking at the Jefferson County satellite courthouse, the problem had been reduced. Ward 4 Place 1 Representative Barry Smith and Ward 2 Place 2 Representative Vance Moody agreed with Lewis about the potential for increased traffic and were unconvinced that five spaces would make a significant impact on the problem. Mayor Scott McBrayer updated the council on the progress of the nearby Short Saulter Road project, which includes 16 new parking spaces. When McBrayer said the project was scheduled for completion by the end of the year, the council voted to table the issue until they could see if the Short Saulter project had an effect on parking and traffic for the residential street.


TheHomewoodStar.com

January 2015 • A5

Islamic Academy rezoning tabled

The Islamic Academy of Alabama is looking to rezone property on 18th Street to build additional parking and a playground. Photo by Madoline Markham.

By SYDNEY CROMWELL The City Council held a public hearing on Dec. 1 about rezoning the property at 2501, 2513 and 2517 18th St. S. to Institutional District, but ultimately decided to delay making a decision. The Islamic Academy of Alabama owns the property and wants to build additional parking and a playground, with a buffer area between the property and the road. Joseph Miller III represented the school during the hearing and said the rezoning is needed because the school plans to resurvey its property and make it one large lot. Ward 5 Place 2 Representative Peter Wright asked about remediation plans for the school’s previous attempt to build a parking lot, which was done without permits and resulted in damage to the cliff edge of 18th Street South. Miller replied that there had not yet been remediation, but the rezoning issue under discussion was an attempt to “basically start over and build the

parking lots correctly.” Some confusion also arose over the property’s right-of-way, as Miller believed that the city of Homewood owned it and the council believed it belonged to ALDOT. Director of Engineering, Planning and Zoning Greg Cobb spoke up, saying that ALDOT had claimed to give the right-of-way to the city, but Homewood had no record of this. “Unfortunately, we’ve got two problems that are not resolved, and I don’t see how we can move forward until those are resolved,” Wright said. Council chairman Bruce Limbaugh closed the public hearing and decided to continue the issue until the problems of right-of-way ownership and the school’s cliff edge remediation could be resolved. The item was also sent back to the planning and development committee, but the committee did not discuss the issue at its Dec. 8 meeting.

Council updates By SYDNEY CROMWELL City Council business in December included: } Approving the installation of speed humps in the alley between Oxmoor Road and Reese Street. } Approval of $870 for removing yellow hash lines and restriping turn lanes at the Oxmoor Road/Edgeview Avenue intersection. } Approval of $950 to create center and edge lines for Parkridge Drive. } Approval of an on or off premises beer and table wine license for Lin Hua Supermarket, located at 22 Green Springs Highway. } Approval of a restaurant liquor license for Jim ‘N Nick’s, located at 220 Oxmoor Road. } Approving a variation to the front yard fence ordinance to place an eight-foot-high wooden fence within the right-of-way at 403

Oxmoor Road. } Authorizing the mayor to renew the city’s three-year contract with Republic Services for recycling and disposal services. } Amendment of the 2013-2014 budget to transfer $64,000 for the Park Community Center project. } Authorizing the mayor to enter a franchise agreement with Alabama Power. This is a renewal of a contract that was first created in 1985. } Approval of an estoppel certificate to prevent the sale of the property located at 1903 29th Avenue South. } Authorization for the mayor to sign an Alabama Department of Community and Economic Affairs (ADECA) grant application. If received, the grant will provide $10,000 for the police department to purchase in-car video systems.

Tree recycling to benefit community garden Homewood residents can recycle their Christmas trees now through Jan. 10. Mulch created from the trees will be used in the Community Garden and its outdoor classroom. The Homewood High School and Middle School Environmental Clubs, Homewood City Schools, Community Garden and Recycle Alabama are working with the city to coordinate the recycling program.

This year trees can be dropped off at the Community Garden on the old Homewood Middle School site, which is adjacent to the new Board of Education building at 450 Dale Ave. All collected trees will be run through a chipper, and the mulch they create will be used for landscaping around the city.

Before

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The Homewood Star

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TheHomewoodStar.com

Now Open Sprout & Pour, a juicery located at 927 Oxmoor Road, is now open. The juice bar offers fresh, cold-pressed juices from a variety of produce. 266-6772. sproutandpour.com.

1

Birmingham Medical, Inc., 130 Southcrest Drive, is now open. The clinic offers a full range of advanced treatments for acute and chronic pain. 502-7751.

2

Relocations and Renovations ENT & Allergy Associates has relocated to 516 Brookwood Boulevard. 776-3131.

3

The Trak Shak, 2839 18th St. South, is undergoing a renovation of its store. 870-5644. trakshak.com.

January 2015 • A7 Drive, now offers rehabilitation and skilled nursing in addition to assisted living and memory care services already offered. 870-0786. brookdale.com. Vitalogy Wellness Center, 2704 20th St. South, is now offering a new anti-aging treatment, Dermapen facial rejuvenation. The procedure tightens, lifts and rejuvenates the skin. 413-8599. vitalogywellness.com.

7

Hirings and Promotions Cardiovascular Associates, a Brookwood Medical Partner, has welcomed three new physicians to its practice: Alfred W.H. Stanley Jr., MD; Saji C. Jacob, MD; and Benjamin R. Plaisance, MD, MPH. One of its four campuses is located at 2010 Brookwood Medical Center Drive, Suite 415. 510-5000. cvapc.com.

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Business news

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to share?

News and Accomplishments Medica Stand-Up MRI has changed its name to Open Upright MRI. The imaging clinic is located at 3105 Independence Drive, Suite 101. 871-3335.

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Brookdale Place University Park, 400 University Park

Anniversaries

Christopher Architecture & Interiors, 3040 Independence Drive, is celebrating its 10th anniversary in January. 413-8531. christopherai.com.

9

10 Dreamcakes, 960 Oxmoor

Road, is celebrating its sixth anniversary in January. 871-9377. dreamcakes-bakery.com.

Coming Soon

Business news Expansion

to share? If you are in a brick and mortar business in Homewood and want to share your event with the community, let us know.

Coming Soon The Homewood Star Email dan@thehomewoodstar.com

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2015

A8 • January 2015

The Homewood Star

Year in preview

What to watch for around Homewood in the upcoming year Traffic alleviation moving forward on Oxmoor

The Exceptional Foundation is currently building an expansion for its Oxmoor Road facility. Photo by Madoline Markham.

Exceptional Foundation expanding Construction is underway at The Exceptional Foundation. A new youth center and additional parking will be completed adjacent to its current building this year. They will occupy 1610 and 1612 Oxmoor Road,

which previously were the site of two residential buildings. Architects for the Foundation said the building is designed to be one story.

Plans are moving forward to improve Oxmoor Road traffic from the Oxmoor Boulevard/Green Springs Highway intersection to Barber Court. Construction could begin as early as March, but a definite timeline has not yet been set. The city received public feedback to finalize its plans after Mayor Scott McBrayer executed right-of-way acquisition and construction and utility agreements with the State of Alabama for the project. In this year’s city budget, $450,000 was designated for the plans. The project will add new east and westbound lanes on Oxmoor Boulevard, remove the Alabama Power transmission tower on that street and make changes to the I-65 ramps. It will also add left turn lanes at Scott Street, two places on Vulcan Road,

both sides of the Columbiana Road/ Palisades Boulevard intersection and on Oxmoor Boulevard at the Green Springs/Oxmoor Road/Palisades intersection. City Senior Planner Vanessa McGrath said the improvements will simplify driving on Oxmoor Boulevard by reducing the number of lane shifts required to travel the street. Additionally, the city will remove two traffic signals on the east end of Oxmoor Road and at Cobb Street while also eliminating left turns from Cobb Street to Oxmoor Boulevard. The project will also add sidewalks to West Oxmoor Road.  City Council Member Fred Hawkins said the project is estimated to cost around $6 million, of which Homewood will pay 20 percent and ALDOT will pay 80 percent.


2015 Year in preview

TheHomewoodStar.com

January 2015 • A9

It takes far more than a mathematical equation to determine your home’s worth.

IT TAKES A LOCAL EXPERT.

The Exceptional Foundation is currently building an expansion for its Oxmoor Road facility. Photo by Madoline Markham.

The start of a new greenway phase Plans for construction of Phase II of the Shades Creek Greenway are behind its original schedule but expected to begin this year. Keith Strickland of Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood estimates construction will start in the summer or fall. The city is currently in the process of acquiring the property needed to construct the greenway, and ALDOT is reviewing the construction drawings. The project was allocated $1.1 million in the city’s 2014-2015 budget. The completed greenway will allow pedestrians to travel between Brookwood Village

and West Homewood Park. Phase II of the greenway will stretch across Shades Creek under I-65 and end on the back side of the Jefferson County Environmental Services Facility. From there it will travel north to connect with parking lots in Wildwood. Strickland estimates that Phase III will begin a year after the completion of Phase II. Phase III will extend across Lakeshore Parkway into West Homewood Park. Federal funding will sponsor 80 percent of the project while local funds will cover 20 percent.

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City history book to be published A new Homewood pictorial history book will be released around Christmas 2015. Jake Collins, an eighth-grade history teacher at Homewood Middle School, and Martha Wurtele will be co-authoring the project. Collins leads his students in a Homewood History Hunt, where they find historical places using Collins’ clues and post pictures of them to social media. The book will be part of Arcadia Publishing’s

Images of America series, which has recently released books about neighboring Vestavia Hills, Mountain Brook and Hoover. Collins asks that anyone with photos of Homewood prior to the 1980s contact him at mrjakecollins@gmail.com if they are willing to share the images. For more information on Homewood History Hunt, visit homewoodhistoryhunt.blogspot.com.

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Samford moving onto Southern Progress campus As of year’s end, Samford University was in negotiations to become the new owner of the 28-acre Southern Progress Corporation campus on Lakeshore Drive. Betsy Holloway, chief marketing officer at Samford, said the acquisition was anticipated to be complete by the end of 2015.The corporation campus currently houses three large buildings and 1,073 parking spaces adjacent to Samford’s eastern side of campus. The plan is for Southern Progress’ current Southern Living, Cooking Light, Coastal Living, book publisher Oxmoor House operations to remain in one of the three buildings after Time Inc. signs a multi-year lease with Samford for the space. Holloway said that they hope that Southern Progress operations

will move to the building furthest to the east so that they can occupy the two buildings closest to the existing campus. The initial plan is to relocate the Samford’s College of Health Sciences to one building of the other buildings. The university has not yet determined a purpose for the second building. It could become additional classroom space or be leased to businesses until Samford expands to need it. Holloway estimates it would take about a year to prepare a building for the college to move, and that the university would also add a pedestrian and road connection between the existing campus and newly acquired property. The price for the property is in excess of $50 million.

See more YEAR IN PREVIEW | page A10

Use the tool. Hire the expert.


2015 Year in preview

A10 • January 2015

The Homewood Star

Potential new businesses in West Homewood West Homewood could look a little different later this year. The vacant lot next to Patriot Park could be replaced with a two-story collection of family-friendly businesses as early as this fall. The planning process for the building at the intersection of Oxmoor Road and Oak Grove Road is still in its early stages. The cornerstone of the building would be The Grove, a New Orleans-style restaurant with a soda fountain and a menu that ranges from coffee and beignets to jambalaya and gumbo. There would also be outdoor patio seating. Details about other occupants of the space are still being worked out, but new local shops or vendors from Homewood’s summer and night markets are two possibilities. The upper story of the building is currently planned to become an event space

and feature balconies for patrons to enjoy views of the park. This property is part of the 24 parcels of land that were rezoned into the West Homewood District last may, bringing these properties along Oxmoor Road, Oak Grove Road and Scott Street into the new district in accordance with a form-based code approved in 2013. The code ensures consistent character of buildings in the area, much like those seen in Edgewood or downtown Homewood. It applies to all future renovations or new construction along Oxmoor Road and Oak Grove Road. To learn more about the plan, visit westhomewoodplan.com. More details about The Grove will become available in the spring as plans are finalized.

Planning for 65-Lakeshore traffic improvements Valley Avenue’s four lanes will be narrowed to three to reduce speed on the corridor.

Valley losing a lane Valley Avenue will soon be a three-lane road. Last summer, the council approved a plan to change the road in response to resident complaints about speeding. Speeding had posed a safety hazard for residents who have to park close to the street, as well as children walking to and from Homewood Middle School. In a traffic study, Skipper Consulting had

recommended one lane going in each direction and a turn lane in the middle. To complete the project, the city allocated $400,000 from last year’s budget for the resurfacing project. The police department is also conducting targeted speed enforcement on Valley Avenue until the improvements have been made.

Changes to the I-65-Lakeshore intersection will be coming in the city’s long-term plans. Engineering for the improvement project was budgeted for $100,000 this year. A year ago the city began an engineering contract began with Volkert, Inc. to address congestion issues on Lakeshore Drive between Green Springs Highway and the Homewood Commons retail district with a Diverging Diamond Interchange. A Diverging Diamond crosses traffic to the opposite side of the road at the bridge, which creates an opportunity for drivers to

veer left onto the interstate without stopping. It also allows vehicles approaching Lakeshore from I-65 off ramps to merge into traffic instead of waiting for a light. Volkert’s proposal to Homewood indicated that installing a Diverging Diamond at Lakeshore would cost approximately $3.5 million, assuming no bridge modifications were required. It could require as little as two years to complete. The study phase timeline of 6 to 9 months will be followed by another 12 to 15 months of design, followed by construction.

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TheHomewoodStar.com

January 2015 • A11

Chamber National Guard commander addresses chamber By MADOLINE MARKHAM Col. Clifford James addressed the Homewood Chamber of Commerce about the 117th Air Refueling Wing of the Alabama Air National Guard at a Dec. 16 luncheon. When it started in 1922, the wing was the first aviation unit in the state and the seventh in the nation. Today it is the longest continuing unit to use the same emblem, which came from the Birmingham family heraldry in England. The wing occupies 145 acres near the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport for its primary mission to refuel and support the Air Force, Navy and Marines using a drogue refueling technique. It employs about 1,100 National Guard members in its wing and has about a $110 million annual impact on the community. In 1961, the unit lost four pilots in the Bay of Pigs Invasion in Cuba. After Sept. 11, 2001, one of their planes was airborne every minute for 30 days straight to refuel plans. “In a moment’s notice, they can run to the airplane like you see in the movies and be in the air in 15 minutes,” James said. In addition to its federal role, the National Guard also serves the governor at the state level in peacetime. When the April 27, 2011, tornadoes hit, the wing sent 75 Air National Guard members to Pratt City to protect people’s property and to help pass out food and water and clean up. They were also involved with Hurricane Katrina and Gulf Oil Spill relief efforts. Also at the meeting, outgoing Chamber

Preview of

January Luncheon

State of the City With Mayor Scott McBrayer Tuesday, Jan. 13 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. The Club Register at homewoodchamber.org

2014 Chamber Awards Ambassador of the Year Julia Benson, Advanced Eye Care

Col. Clifford James speaks to the Homewood Chamber of Commerce about the 117th Air Refueling Wing of the Alabama Air National Guard. Photo by Madoline Markham.

President Trey Schaefer recognized Executive Director Tricia Ford for her years of service; she retired at the end of 2014. Incoming Chamber President Merrick Wilson recognized the 2015 Chamber Board members: President Elect Mike Brandt, Immediate Past President Trey Schaefer, Secretary Patrick Barker, Treasurer Mandy Schwarting, Vice

President of Business Development Walter Brown, Vice President of Community Affairs Jimmy Moore, Vice President for Government Affairs Stephen Preston, John Christopher Batts, Gary Kamenicky, Tricia Kirk, Brian McCool, Michael Morgan, Alan Patel, Steve Thomas and Bill Todd.

Chamber Member of the Year Morgan Walls, Alabama Allergy & Asthma Center Businesses of the Year LAH Realty Aabco Rents Community Service Award Tricia Kirk, The Exceptional Foundation


A12 • January 2015

The Homewood Star

Community Ballroom Dance Marathon benefits Exceptional Foundation For more than a decade, ballroom dancers from all over the Southeast have gathered in Homewood for a weekend full of dancing and dance classes. Many weary hours later, with happy faces, sore feet and brains full of new dance moves, these folks are already looking forward to the following year’s event. The event originally started during National Ballroom Dance Week to earn money for a new dance floor for Homewood Senior Center, but money raised through this year’s event will benefit the summer program for The Exceptional Foundation, a non-profit organization for individuals with special needs. This year’s event will start on Friday evening, Jan. 9 with a dance featuring live music by Birmingham dance band The Classics at The Exceptional Foundation, 1616 Oxmoor Road. There will be exhibitions by local dancers, including a special exhibition by the foundation’s Exceptional Dancing Stars. Saturday, Jan. 10 will feature six hours of dance workshops taught on three dance floors by nine different teachers. Our Lady of Sorrows’ school and Family Life Center will provide extra dance space for dancers of all levels.

New York Times’ David Brooks to speak at Samford By MADOLINE MARKHAM

The weekend-long event ends with a dance competition.

Dances offered include the fox trot, waltz, swing, rumba, mambo, cha cha, tano and bolero. Saturday evening brings semi-formal dance at the Exceptional Foundation with music by the Tradewinds, exhibitions and food. Finally, a competition will be held Sunday afternoon, Jan. 11 for

dancers of all levels. Entry for competitors is $15, and spectators can attend for free. The weekend pass for the event costs $125. To request a registration form, email curtnwendy@hotmail. com or visit dancemarathon-birmingham.com. -Submitted by Barbara Pilato

est From Birmingham's b

David Brooks is scheduled to speak on Tuesday, Jan. 13, at 6:30 p.m. at Samford’s Wright Center as a part of Saint Luke’s Claypool Lecture Series. In the past, the series has brought speakers such as Brené Brown and the authors of Same Kind of Different As Me to honor the service of the Rev. John Claypool, a preacher and Christian author who previously served at Saint Luke’s. Brooks has been an op-ed columnist at The New York Times since 2003. His columns are currently published in the paper on Tuesdays and Fridays. He is also a frequent commentator on NPR and appears on the PBS Newshour. He is the author of Bobos In Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There, On Paradise Drive: How We Live Now (And Always Have) in the Future Tense and, most recently, The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement. St. Luke’s Rector Rich Webster specifically wanted Brooks to know the context of Birmingham in addressing the topic, “How do people with influence use their faith as a moral center to change the world?” “The mountain that separates Birmingham is wonderful and terrible,” Webster said of what he explained to

New York Times columnist David Brooks

Brooks. “It can easily divide haves and have nots.” Webster believes Brooks is the ideal person to speak to the topic. He has long admired Brooks’ thoughts and passions and, most recently, seeing him emerge as a consistent moral voice for people in leadership roles. “I think people will find in David someone who is universally admired for his capacity to listen to different points of view,” Webster said. “He is that rare public figure who doesn’t retreat into the camp of the likeminded. That’s the kind of diversity we need to have in this city.” Tickets are $25 and available at tickets.samford.edu or by contacting Nancy Cain at 802-6200.

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TheHomewoodStar.com

January 2015 • A13

Show stoppers Lakeshore Foundation hosts wheelchair basketball and rugby tournaments By MADISON MILLER When Lisa Hilborn is asked what a wheelchair basketball game is like, she points out the high action nature of the game and the athletic ability of its players. As a coach of the Lakeshore Lightning team, she believes wheelchair basketball athletes are often more talented than able-bodied athletes. “Wheelchair basketball is far more cerebral than able-bodied basketball,” Hilborn said. “The ability to function exclusively by virtue of superior chair skills and an inability to move up the court makes one think five, six steps ahead.” While wheelchair basketball is one of the most recognized wheelchair sports, another gaining in popularity is wheelchair rugby. Often depicted as a physical and at times violent sport, rugby’s wheelchair counterpart is no exception. In order to qualify for Lakeshore’s team, athletes must have impairment in all four limbs. Support staffer Meagan Rowe said that she has often seen athletes use skills that she would have never thought possible. “To see how they can play the game with a lack of function in their hands is kind of amazing to see,” Rowe said. Lakeshore’s teams will soon be put to the test

in the training facility’s upcoming wheelchair basketball and rugby tournaments. Each tournament will invite teams across the country to compete. This year, the Pioneer Classic Wheelchair Basketball Tournament will run for its 27th year. The tournament began in 1987 as an idea from Jo Fowler, a member of BellSouth’s community service organization, The Pioneers. Throughout the years, the tournament has invited championship division III college and junior level teams from across the country to compete. Some of the highest ranking teams in the country, including New York and Orlando, will attend. Both Lakeshore’s professional and youth teams will also enter the classic this year. Placing upper level teams and youth side by side, Hilborn said, is an important part of the tournament’s design. “They get to compete right alongside a paralympian on another court,” she said. “[They have] the opportunity to say, ‘Oh my goodness, this is what I could do.’” Winners of the Pioneer Classic Wheelchair Basketball Tournament will have their win count toward their standing to compete in the national tournament in Louisville in April. Also upcoming is the Lakeshore’s Demolition Derby. It began 18 years ago and, like

Teams compete in the 2014 Pioneer Classic. Photo courtesy of Lakeshore Foundation.

the Pioneer Classic, continues to invite teams throughout the nation. This year, eight teams, including the Lakeshore Demolition team, will compete. Several Lakeshore team members have already competed in the Paralympic games and have earned gold and bronze medals. Each year, the events tend to draw a crowd, but Hilborn and Rowe believe that more community involvement is never a bad thing. “One of the most important aspects for us at Lakeshore is for people to see these individuals as athletes in every sense of the word,” Hilborn said. The Pioneer Classic will be hosted at Lakeshore from Jan. 16 to Jan. 18. The Demolition Derby will be hosted at Lakeshore from Jan. 30 to Feb. 1. Both events are free and open to the public to attend. For more information, visit lakeshore.org.

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A14 • January 2015

The Homewood Star

Deployed captain surprises wife at Samford graduation

Arts Council sponsoring photo contest The Homewood Arts Council is inviting the community to participate in its first-ever “Faces, Places and Traces of Homewood” photo contest. The photographs selected will be included in the inaugural exhibit of the Homewood Community Gallery to be installed at City Hall. This new program is being offered with the support of the City of Homewood, Perry Computer and Wolf Camera. Contest categories include people, places and things (i.e. traces). Entries for the contest will be adjudicated to select first, second and third-place winners of each category as well as a Best of Show winner. The Homewood Arts Council is a volunteer commission of the city that is dedicated to

promoting and celebrating the arts. Its past programs have included Pickin’ in the Park, a coffeehouse music series, Painting in the Park art classes and an Alabama Symphony Orchestra concert in Homewood Central Park. The contest is open to individuals, organizations, schools and companies and will be adjudicated anonymously. There is no fee to enter. Images must be submitted at a high resolution. More details about contest entry procedures and winner benefits will be available this month on the Homewood Arts Council Facebook page. For more information, visit facebook.com/ homewoodartscouncil or email HomewoodALArtsCouncil@ gmail.com.

Kim Scott was overcome with emotion when her husband surprised her at her graduation. Photo by Jessa Pease.

By JESSA PEASE One of the nursing graduates at Samford University’s nursing school commencement was in for a surprise Dec. 12. When her name was called over the microphone, Kim Scott walked to the front of the auditorium to meet her family. Scripted words about her husband, Captain Scott Stephen, told the audience that he was deployed in Afghanistan and Kuwait. But what was said next wasn’t in the information she had submitted. “And he is here with us today,” echoed through Shades Mountain Baptist Church as her husband crossed the stage to embrace her. “I didn’t really know what to do,” Kim said later. “All

I was thinking in my head before that was, ‘Get your pin, get your lamp and get on stage.’” Stephen had managed to fly in that morning at 9 a.m. just in time for the ceremony. His mother, who was the first to know about his plans, said that he was nervous because he wanted the entire spotlight to be on Kim. “I was planning to surprise her, but some family kind of surprised us both by making this a little bigger of a thing than I intended,” Stephen said. “I was just planning on, unknowingly to her, being her in the audience for the ceremony.” Media outlets from all over Birmingham were there to catch Kim’s expression as Stephen walked out. Stephen attended Kim’s commissioning and spent time with her for a few days before returning to Kuwait.

Save the date for Taste of Homewood This year’s Taste of Homewood event is scheduled for the evening of Thursday, Feb. 19. Each year about 30 restaurants and caterers gather at Rosewood Hall in SoHo to offer tastes to guests. The Mardi Gras-style event is held by the Homewood Chamber of

Commerce and also features live music. Tickets will be available at homewoodchamber.com or at the door. More details will be released soon and will be announced in the next issue of The Homewood Star.


TheHomewoodStar.com

January 2015 • A15

Joy Gallery showcases local art BY MADOLINE MARKHAM The Sunday experience at Homewood Cumberland Presbyterian Church includes more than a worship service and Sunday school classes. Everyone also gets to look around the art gallery housed inside the church and the exhibits that rotate through it each month. The church’s pastor, Derek Jacks, often comes into the gallery during the week to clear his head, and the public is welcome to tour it on weekdays. Local curators Tom Dameron and Maud Coirier-Belser had talked about opening a gallery for years. With a downturn in the economy that started in 2008, they saw galleries close and knew local artists were looking for places to show their work without creating unnecessary stress. “There is good art, and we want it out there,” Dameron said. And so the Joy Gallery was born inside Homewood Cumberland Presbyterian, where Dameron has been a longtime member. The curators wanted an intimate space, and they found it in what had been Dameron’s parents’ Sunday school room for years. Dameron said he feels a “spiritual connection” to the room. The gallery is about the same size as Lyda Rose Gallery, which Dameron owned and ran on Crescent Avenue while he was working as a pharmacist. The gallery closed in 2001.

2015 Joy Gallery Artist Schedule Jan. 4-Feb. 1 Beth Rhodes Feb. 8-March 8 Miriam McClung March 15-April 12 John Heine April 19-May 17 Maud Coirier-Belser and Kay Williams May 24-June 21 Cary Williams and Emily Bolvig June 28-July 26 Liz Reed Aug. 2-30 Pam Truitt Sept. 6-Oct. 4 Elizabeth Farr Oct. 11-Nov. 8 Randy Newland

Curators Maud Coirier-Belser and Tom Dameron stand with artist Robin Metz at her show at The Joy Gallery. Photo courtesy of Tom Dameron.

Since opening in April 2012, the Joy Gallery has featured fabric, realistic, abstract, sculpture and plaster relief art. Marking its past exhibitors, a permanent art collection in the hallway outside the gallery displays one piece from each artist who has shown work. “They are forever connected to us,” Dameron said. Each exhibit lasts about a month and kicks off with an opening on a Sunday afternoon from 1-3 p.m. The exhibits originally lasted six weeks,

but the period was shortened as demand increased. The artists get 90 percent of proceeds from their shows, and the other 10 percent goes toward overhead expenses for the space. Curators Dameron and Coirier-Belser have known each other for close to 40 years and consider one another like family. Dameron said Coirier-Belser draws animals better than anyone he knows, and you never know what she’ll do next.

“I have a short attention span. I get bored,” she said. While Coirier-Belser often favors the abstract, Dameron is more into creating watercolors, etchings and drawings of concrete things. He has a series of flowers and is currently working on a series of etchings of faces in different mediums. Dameron and Coirier-Belser have shown their own work in the gallery once each since its opening, but at any time you can also find prints and

Nov. 15-Dec. 27 To be announced

cards with their art along the back of the gallery. Still, for them the gallery is about connecting art and artists to the community. “Art is therapeutic, it’s good for people,” Coirier-Belser said. Homewood Cumberland Presbyterian Church is located at 513 Columbiana Road. Gallery hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. For more information, visit thejoygallery. org or call 942-3051.


A16 • January 2015

The Homewood Star

Run to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities

Red Shoe Run 10-Mile, 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run Jan. 10 SoHo Square redshoerun-bham.com

Tips for running in cold weather }} Dress in layers. Start with a thin layer of synthetic material such as polypropylene, which wicks sweat from your body. Stay away from cotton because it holds the moisture and will keep you wet. An outer, breathable layer of nylon or Gore-Tex will help protect you against wind and precipitation. }} Protect your hands and feet. As much as 30 percent of your body heat escapes through your hands and feet. On mild days, wear running gloves that wick moisture away. Mittens are a better choice on colder days so fingers share their body heat.

Ronald McDonald will make an appearance during this year’s race festivities.

By MADOLINE MARKHAM Thousands of sets of shoes will hit the streets of Homewood on Saturday, Jan. 10. Many of them will be red. Previously known as the Red Nose Run, this is the run’s second year known as the Red Shoe Run 10-Mile, 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run, a name chosen to better fit its sponsor, McDonald’s. The red-shoed Ronald McDonald himself will make an appearance, and festivities at SoHo Square and inside Rosewood Hall will include games, face painting and other fun for all ages. Runners are encouraged to wear red shoes to get in the spirit of the event. “A race in January is a great way to start the

new year and get back in shape after the holidays,” said Stephanie Langford, special events and marketing manager for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama (RMHCA). “The 10-mile run is a wonderful opportunity for runners who plan to participate in the Mercedes Half Marathon in February.” The race benefits Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama. The nonprofit organization provides a safe, affordable, supportive “home-away-from-home” for sick or injured children and their families when they travel to Birmingham for medical treatment. It also hosts a place to rest and re-group near DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa.

In Alabama, 75 percent of children do not live in a county that offers comprehensive pediatric specialty care, so they must travel to receive needed services. Many come to Children’s of Alabama, the third-largest pediatric hospital in the U.S. Families only donate $10-$15 a night for their stay, and it costs RMHCA $65 a night to run each of its 41 rooms. On average, each year, more than 90 percent of the money needed to operate the house is raised through local fundraising efforts and donations, including the Red Shoe Run. For more information on Ronald McDonald House, visit rmhca.org.

}} Don’t forget your head. About 40 percent of your body heat is lost through your head. Wearing a hat will help prevent heat loss, so your circulatory system will have more heat to distribute to the rest of the body. }} Stay hydrated. Despite the cold weather, you’ll still heat up and lose fluids through sweat. Make sure you drink water or a sports drink before, during and after your run. }} Take it easy. You’re at greater risk for a pulled muscle when running in the cold, so warm up slowly and run easy on very cold days. -Tips adapted from race website


TheHomewoodStar.com

January 2015 • A17

Homewood Real Estate Listings

692 Oakmoor Drive

MLS #

Zip

Address

Status

Price

613907

35209

692 Oakmoor Drive

New

$174,900

616963

35216

1204 Woodland Village, #1204

New

$84,900

616306

35209

1068 Venetian Circle

New

$104,500

616758

35209

1409 Oxmoor Road, #4

New

$174,900

616412

35209

1831 S 28th Avenue, #270

New

$214,900

615896

35209

140 Rockaway Road

New

$269,000

616067

35209

609 Windsor Drive

New

$349,900

616260

35209

301 Ridge Road

New

$489,900

616065

35209

721 S Wellington Road

New

$609,900

616020

35209

100 University Park Drive

New

$412,000

615233

35209

239 La Prado Place

New

$899,900

301 Ridge Road

Real estate listings sent to The Homewood Star by Julie White of Lucas & Associates between Nov. 14 and Dec. 17. Agents and agency vary by property.

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A18 • January 2015

The Homewood Star

SALAMANDERS

CONTINUED from page A1 for this group, it is worth getting out of bed at any time of night. A few weeks later the salamanders return to the forest, leaving in the pool masses of jelly with eggs inside. Soon the next generation will come into being and find its way into the forest. Like salmon, they tend to go back to the same pool where they were born late in life to mate. There are nine types of salamanders in the forest preserve, but it is the spotted salamander that has become the icon of the Friends’ annual festival, scheduled this year for Jan. 31. The spotted salamander represents the environment well because it depends on undisturbed forest to live all year long and on pools of water near them for reproduction, Blackwood said. “We want people to think about how a lot of wildlife needs two different environments,” Blackwood said. “There are so many creatures you can’t see. We wouldn’t know the spotted salamanders were there unless we saw their migration.” Salamanders, which live 20 to 30 years, are also a good indicator of a healthy environment, Blackwood said. “They are the first things to go when something is wrong,” she said. The Salamander Festival began 11 years ago to draw attention to the Homewood Forest Preserve. At the time, the city had recently purchased the property from Samford University. The Friends of Shades Creek, which started in 1998, wanted to preserve the forest to prevent future development of the natural area, which has little sign of ever having been cut. Working with the city, they secured a conservation easement for its 65 acres in 2008. Today the spotted salamander’s environment is mostly safe from harm. Its only threat in recent years has come from traffic around Homewood High School. In 2012, the salamander migration began as traffic was letting out from basketball games at the school. Forty-seven of the creatures were killed that night. Since then, the Friends have worked with the city to put up barricades in the parking lot near

Michelle Blackwood and Henry Hughes point out the area in a pool off of South Lakeshore Drive where they have seen spotted salamanders migrate to mate in Januarys past. Blackwood and Hughes are leaders of the Friends of Shades Creek, which is planning its annual Salamander Festival this month. Photo by Madoline Markham.

the armory if the migration happens during hours when people are at the school. City Chief of Staff J.J. Bischoff and Mayor Scott McBrayer have been supportive of the salamander conservation efforts, Blackwood said. “We want Homewood to be livable not only for people but also for critters,” she said. Bakkegard was able to use DNA from the salamanders killed in 2012 to study the biodiversity of the population; she found that there is great gene diversity in the population. At the festival on Jan. 31, kids and adults alike can hold salamanders and ask local biologists and naturalists questions about them. UAB biologist Ken Marion will bring his “stable of salamanders,” and other animals from Shades Creek will also be on display. The creek is home to the goldline darter, a threatened species, and the Alabama shiner, which is endangered and has brought more interest in water quality to the area.

“The festival is about the environment, but we want people to learn about other things too,” Blackwood said. “It’s fun with an educational element to it.” Other displays will feature birds, fossils, native plants and the Homewood High School Environmental Club’s projects. The Herb Trotman Band will play bluegrass music, and tickets can be purchased for a chocolate fountain. All other activities are free. This year’s event will also feature an art contest for works representing Shades Creek; cash prizes will be given to winners. At 4 p.m., Brown will tell the story of the salamander. A hundred years ago you could still see migrations of buffalo out West, he will say, and now that’s gone. But we can see a natural migration of a creature in our backyard that has been doing so for thousands of years.

11th Annual Salamander Festival Presented by the Friends of Shades Creek

Saturday, Jan. 31 Homewood Senior Center 2 p.m. Nature Hike, Patriot Park 3-5:30 p.m. Festival 4 p.m. Presentation by Friends of Shades Creek and city officials


TheHomewoodStar.com

January 2015 • A19

John Wright Jr., a former Homewood City Council member, attended a finance committee meeting on Dec. 15 to advocate for the city to maintain its transit services. At the meeting, he also passed out “Be Kind” bumper stickers. Photo by Madoline Markham.

BUSES

CONTINUED from page A1 Executive Director Ann August said the cuts also affect midday service for Dudley and about 69 elderly and disabled Homewood residents who use the VIP paratransit minibuses along these routes. The routes cover downtown Homewood, Green Springs Highway, Lakeshore Parkway, Broadway Avenue and Brookwood Hospital, among other stops. The Homewood City Council voted in September to reduce its BJCTA contribution to around $131,000 as part of the 2014-2015 budget. Prior to this reduction, Homewood received around 4,900 service hours from the BJCTA for an estimated 450 daily riders. The council decided to reduce the city’s contribution in part because Homewood has not had representation on the BJCTA board since 2012 and the service seemed underutilized by residents. “It’s driving through our city, costing us money, frankly, and it’s not being used,” Ward 1 Place 2 Representative Britt Thames said during a Dec. 1 finance committee meeting on the subject. August and other BJCTA employees have attended multiple finance committee meetings to make the case that Homewood should return to its original funding level and provide alternatives within the new budget. Communication issues between the city and BJCTA were a repeat topic throughout the meetings. Both Thames and Ward 2 Place 1 Representative Fred Hawkins said in a Dec. 8 meeting that they had almost never heard from BJCTA officials throughout their service on the council. The committee also brought up that the BJCTA increased Homewood’s rates by $47,000 in the 2013-2014 fiscal year without notice. After the council approved its reduced contribution in September, there was also confusion on both sides about billing and service changes. “There’s not good communication going on for a non-represented municipality,” Ward 5 Place 2 Representative Peter Wright said. “That needs to change.” After several of these meetings, August decided that the BJCTA would begin peak hours operation on Dec. 22 to “cut our losses.” The finance committee decided in a Dec. 15 specially called meeting to approve $8,000 of funding to keep full bus services running until Jan. 31. This buys the City Council additional time to consider the issue, especially as it affects paratransit services. Paratransit services can only operate on fixed bus lines, so these services will also lapse in the middle of the day for Routes 39 and 42 beginning Jan. 31. However, many paratransit riders go shopping or to medical appointments in the middle of the day. These errands cannot always be completed during the peak hours windows, meaning paratransit riders will be forced to call a cab, rely on friends or wait until the buses resume afternoon service to get home. For riders who need specialized equipment, such as a wheelchair ramp, even those options may not be possible. “Most of what I want to do is during the middle of the day,” said Gerald Yeager, a retiree living on Morris Boulevard. Yeager uses the

paratransit service associated with Route 39 and feels like he will be imposing on friends to ask for rides. The lack of midday paratransit also affects community programs for residents with disabilities, such as the Lakeshore Foundation and the Exceptional Foundation. Amy Rauworth, the director of policy and public affairs at the Lakeshore Foundation, said at least 50 of their members use paratransit every week to get to the foundation. This includes four members of the power soccer team, who need the buses to travel to their 2 p.m. practices. “It’s significant, and honestly, people with disabilities and older adults don’t have a lot of other options,” Rauworth said. In response to this problem, the finance committee is considering contracting with ClasTran to replace the missing services for elderly and disabled riders. ClasTran would be cheaper for the city, but its standard one-way fare is $4, twice as much as the MAX buses. ClasTran may also need to add a new bus to accommodate these new midday riders. ClasTran funding is also under the BJCTA’s purview, so the board would have to approve this new service before it could take effect. Relationships between the City Council and the BJCTA are currently strained over this issue, and it is unknown whether the BJCTA board would approve the decision. Even if it is approved, ClasTran may not be the ideal solution the council is hoping for. Both Yeager and Dudley said that ClasTran is less dependable than the BJCTA service. Cindy Jones, the president of the Birmingham chapter of the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind, said she has seen many clients unable to keep jobs or make it to appointments on time because of ClasTran. “MAX is much more reliable than ClasTran,” Jones said. “Why would you duplicate the service? Let’s improve VIP and let ClasTran handle outlying areas.” Dudley recalled once being left at a bus stop with his guide dog when a ClasTran bus did not stop to pick him up. “They are awful about picking people up. I’ve dealt with them before,” Dudley said. “Everyone I know that rides ClasTran hates them.” Some riders of the regular routes are also unhappy with the prospect of reduced hours. Melanie Lewis, who lives near Route 39’s Broadway Avenue stops, said she uses the bus for field trips to Railroad Park and to go to Barons games with her husband and son. “I’d be sad to lose Route 39,” Lewis said. “I think it’s a great opportunity to learn about mass transit and reducing pollution.” Instead of cutting hours, Lewis said the city should try publicizing the service to increase ridership. She noted that Regions Field and McWane Science Center are both accessible through the buses, and reduced entry fees for bus riders could encourage their popularity. “Downtown Birmingham is really taking off. I just hate to see Homewood distancing itself from that,” Lewis said. The next finance committee meeting is Monday, Jan. 5. ClasTran is expected to present a proposal at this meeting, and the mayor is already authorized to enter a contract with ClasTran if the proposal is approved.


The Homewood Star

SECTION B School House B2 Sports B7 Calendar B14 Opinion B15

HCS relay teams raising funds for Bell Center participants through Patriot Partners By MADOLINE MARKHAM A team of Homewood students crossed the Mercedes Marathon Relay finish line with a special friend in tow last year. The team had been running to raise money for a Bell Center participant, and she completed the last 100 yards with them. “It really connected them with how powerful this is,” said Jennifer Andress, who is helping organize the Patriot Partners program the runners participated in. The second set of seven Patriot Partners relay teams will complete the relay during the Mercedes Marathon weekend this year, which is scheduled for Feb. 21-22. Elementary, middle and high school runners, along with coaches and even Superintendent Bill Cleveland, team up to train and raise money for the Bell Center for Early Intervention programs. Together, teams of five complete a full 26.2-mile marathon by splitting the distance: two 5Ks, two 10Ks and a 12K. Each team is running for an individual child at the center, which provides special education, speech and physical therapy and other services to children up to age 3 who are at risk for developmental delay — all without receiving any outside funding. “The love of is running is lifelong,

moving,” Porter said. “One of my seniors who was a state champion told me he sometimes gets consumed by the competition in running and that it was refreshing to realize something he has taken for granted, that there are kids out there who can never experience the joy of running.” Patriot Partners is accepting donation for its Yard Sale, which will be held Saturday, Jan. 24 from 7-10 a.m. in front of Shades Cahaba Elementary School on Hollywood Boulevard. All funds raised will be split evenly among the Patriot Partners relay teams’ fundraising goals for The Bell Center. Royal Cup Coffee will be serving coffee to benefit the teams. For more information, visit facebook.com/PatriotPartners or thebellcenter.org.

One of last year’s Patriot Partners teams approaches the finish line of the Mercedes Marathon Relay. This year seven teams will raise funds for The Bell Center through the program.

and runners are typically activists,” Porter said. “The teams who came away with the most [last year] were those that made a connection with their child.” Likewise, this year Porter and Andress are working to help better

connect the teams and the children at the Bell Center. Each team is charged with raising $2,620, or $100 for each mile they run, and Andress is helping them to do so. “Fundraising can be daunting,”

Andress said. “We want to make it easier [for the participants].” The teams are also meeting to learn more about the Bell Center and share the mission of the center with the community. “Their reactions [last year] were

Patriot Partners Yard Sale Saturday, Jan. 24 7-10 a.m. Shades Cahaba Elementary School facebook.com/PatriotPartners


B2 • January 2015

The Homewood Star

School House Schools Foundation has new board members

Kirk Mills

Kris Griffin

Homewood City Schools Foundation recently welcomed five new board members. Courtney French is an attorney and founding partner of Fuston, Petway & French. He graduated from the Cumberland School of Law in 1998, and then served as a law clerk for Justice Ralph D. Cook of the Supreme Court of Alabama. He is married to Judge Liz French, and they have three children, two of whom are students at Shades Cahaba Elementary. Kris Griffin is a graduate of Homewood High School and Samford University. She has five children in the school system, one at Homewood Middle School and four at Shades Cahaba Elementary. She has served as a room parent, the Winter Festival volunteer coordinator and most recently, as the PTO president. She is the owner of Art4Tots, which offers

Tom Jeffries

Courtney French

art classes for preschool children. She and her husband, Mark, are active members at Dawson Family of Faith. Tom Jeffries is a 1993 Homewood High School graduate and is currently employed by The Medicines Company in pharmaceutical sales. He is active in a number of leadership capacities at Trinity Methodist Church, including as a member of the Administrative Board and the Finance Committee. He is married to Louisa, and has three children, Reed, a sixth-grader at HMS, and Anne and Eva, twins who will start kindergarten next year at Edgewood. Kristie McCullough is a graduate of Homewood City Schools and is employed as a senior consultant at Clarus Consulting Group. She has extensive nonprofit experience and is a member of the Leadership Birmingham Class of 1994. She has served in

Zeng wins statewide art show

Kristie McCullough

various leadership positions at Trinity United Methodist and has also been active in The Women’s Network and the Leading Edge Advisory Board. Kristie has a daughter, Sarah Trammell, who is a tenth-grader at HHS. Kirk Mills is a 1994 Homewood High School graduate and is a vice president at Volkert, Inc., an engineering and planning firm. He has held a number of leadership positions at Trinity United Methodist, is active in professional engineering organizations and has been actively involved in Homewood recreational sports. He has also been a participant in the Leadership Birmingham program. Kirk is married to Suzanne, and they have twin sons, Luke and Paul, who are first-graders at Hall-Kent, and two year old, Sam, who is at Trinity in Pre K.

Angela Zeng’s winning art show entry was a self portrait.

Homewood High School student Angela Zeng recently won the Statewide High School Juried Art Show. Her self-portrait drawing was chosen from a field of 130 pieces submitted. Juror Terry Strickland described the winning piece as “very honest and well composed.”  Fellow HHS student Christine Le won the Best of Mixed Media award in the show. As a part of the show, students had the opportunity to speak with representatives from the University of Montevallo and UAB art departments about the art programs offered by their schools. 


TheHomewoodStar.com

January 2015 • B3

OLS celebrates veterans mass

Boy Scout Troop 237, the American Heritage Girls and the Girl Scouts were all a part of a Veterans Day Mass at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School. Pictured are Scouts proceeding into the church before the liturgy.

Students at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School honored veterans during a special Veterans Day Mass. The eighth grade led the congregation in prayer and song, as guest priest and pastor of Saint Elias Maronite Church Chorbishop Richard Saad celebrated the Mass. Before Mass began, a Remembrance Table with a variety of items was presented on the altar, as the students used symbolism to honor American soldiers and their families. A small round table showed their never-ending concern for one service member alone. They covered the table with a white cloth to represent the purity of responding to the call of duty. A lemon wedge was placed on the plate to show a captive soldier’s bitter fate. Salt was also sprinkled on the plate to represent the tears of a soldier’s family waiting for their loved one to return. The children then placed an empty chair at the table for the missing soldiers who are nowhere to be found. At that time, a glass was turned over for the meal that would not be

eaten because of their absence. The presentation continued with a black napkin that represented the emptiness left in the hearts of family members whose loved ones do not return. A white candle was lit as an everlasting hope for a joyous reunion. Then three roses were placed in a vase: a white rose for those soldiers who have returned alive, a yellow rose for those who are missing, and a red rose for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. The children placed a Bible on the table to show that they are one nation under God. The presentation concluded with a folded American flag to remind everyone of the sacrifices that the soldiers have made to ensure the freedom of the United States. Student family members who served in the United States military were honored as special guests at the celebration. -Submitted by Our Lady of Sorrows

Community Garden to gain seating Thanks to Rep. Paul DeMarco, the Community Garden at Homewood Middle School will have more seating for the students to work on their gardening projects. DeMarco gave $1,000 to the garden, which will help purchase two more tables for the garden.

HMS PTO President Julie Pitts, Rep. Paul DeMarco and Community Garden Coordinator Julie Gentry.

Saying thanks to city employees

Homewood city employees eat a Thanksgiving lunch at Edgewood Elementary School.

Homewood City Schools held its annual “We are thankful for our city employees” luncheon in November. Each year, HCS invites city employees to

enjoy Thanksgiving lunch with the students at one of the elementary schools. Edgewood Elementary School’s Parent Teacher Organization hosted the event this year.


B4 • January 2015

Running for fun at Hall-Kent

The Homewood Star

2014 HHS homecoming court announced

Rachel Dantzler is this year’s HHS homecoming queen.

Hall-Kent Elementary School hosted its annual Fun Run the weekend before its 80th annual Fall Festival in October.

New smart TV for Shades Cahaba Representative Paul DeMarco partnered with Shades Cahaba Elementary School’s PTO to purchase a smart television and video camera for the school’s lobby. With this equipment, the school will be able to record and showcase student work for the teachers and parents to see when visiting the school. Shades Cahaba Principal Dr. John Lowry, PTO President Dana Levering and Rep. Paul DeMarco.

Senior Rachel Dantzler was named this year’s Homewood High School homecoming queen. Attendents named were seniors Hunter

Midgette, Abby Bals and Tacallya Bush; junior Emi Ferderber; sophomore Jameria Huntley; and freshman Samantha Nichols.


TheHomewoodStar.com

January 2015 • B5

Fest supports HMS with showdown

Superintendent Dr. Bill Cleveland takes a selfie with the sixth-grade teachers who performed in the HMS Fest Showcase Showdown.

Homewood Middle School was packed with fun and laughter at the second annual HMS Fest in November. The Fest raised approximately $14,000 to support the teachers with the latest technology and enhanced resources for their classrooms. The event began with a pasta dinner, and then the evening was filled with a showcase showdown of 13 extraordinary acts by HMS student and teacher groups.

As part of the Fest, students sold smoked turkeys and hams from Southern Heritage Farms. This year, they also sold Chunky Chocolate Chip and White Chocolate Macadamia cookie dough. The grade level winners were: sixth grader Liza Jane Ponder, seventh grader Dalton Adelbert and eighth grader Hannah Crosswy. Liza Ashe was the wildcard winner.

Environmental clubs repopulate native trees

HMS and HHS Environmental Club members.

Homewood Middle School and Homewood High School Environmental Club members helped plant native tree seeds around the Homewood Board of Education building

through the Homewood City Environmental Commission. The students also assisted with another planting day at the Homewood Senior Center.

Iron Bowl fundraiser fun at Hall-Kent Hall-Kent Elementary School decided to have some Iron Bowl fun with their Principal Abbie Freeman and Assistant Principal Kiana Coleman. The students brought in coins to raise additional funds for academic enhancement grants, and they put their coins in either an Alabama bucket or Auburn bucket. If Alabama raised the most money, then Coleman, who is a huge War Eagle fan, would have to sport crimson and white. If Auburn raised the most money, then Freeman, who only yells “Roll Tide,” would have to strap on blue and orange. The students raised more than $700, and Coleman dressed as a Bama fan for the day.

Hall-Kent Assistant Principal Kiana Coleman dressed as a reluctant Alabama fan.


B6 • January 2015

The Homewood Star

Let the wish granting begin As part of Shades Cahaba Elementary School’s character education program, the students and staff are partnering with MakeA-Wish Foundation to grant a wish for a 10-year-old girl named Emilie who has a kidney disorder. Emilie lives in Huntsville, and her wish is to go to Walt Disney World. During the November character assembly, the school kicked off their campaign by introducing

Make-A-Wish to the students and sharing their fundraising plan. They began by holding a coin drive, and they will continue to hold fundraisers throughout the year. Shades Cahaba students learned about how they can help a 10-year-old girl named Emilie during a character education program.

HMS recognizes veterans

A tour for grandpals

Maple receives counselor award

Ellen Maple An HMS student introduces speaker Col. Jeffery Thrower.

Teacher Karen Cooper and her student show the school to his grandpal.

Homewood Middle School held its annual Veterans Day Program to honor local veterans who have served for our country. Col. Jeffery E. Thrower was the keynote speaker, and the HMS show choir and band performed. Students’ family members who have served were recognized during the program.

More than 500 grandparents, family members and friends visited Shades Cahaba Elementary School in November for Grandpal’s Day. The students gave their grandpals a tour of the school and showed them an art show produced by the students.

Ellen Maple received Alabama Counseling Association’s Alabama Sparks New School Counselor of the Year award at the 2014 ALCA Annual Conference in Novmeber. A panel of professional evaluators reviewed each of the ALSCA nominee packets, and her entry was ranked the highest of those submitted in this specific category.


TheHomewoodStar.com

January 2015 • B7

Sports Homewood’s Kiara Williams sets records, commits to UA By DAVID KNOX Homewood High School’s Kiara Williams has a lot to celebrate. As the top Patriots jumpers opened up the indoor season at the Magic City Invitational at Birmingham CrossPlex on Dec. 6, Williams broke two records – and committed to the University of Alabama. “Kiara has been such an integral part of our program’s success and has won six individual state championships, including being the top point scorer on the state championship team last spring,” coach Tom Esslinger said. “However, our staff is most proud of the fact that she has made such huge improvements in her academics and leadership.” The senior won the long jump with a jump of 18 feet, 10.25 inches, and broke both the meet and CrossPlex records. She also won both the triple jump and the 60-meter hurdles. Williams has more individual state championships

at Homewood. She was voted Birmingham Metro Athlete of the Year, including all sports, last year by al.com. “We are all so excited she is going to get to participate at the highest level in college by committing to the University of Alabama, and we know she will be successful at the next level because she is such a hard worker,” Esslinger said. “We fully expect her to have her best season yet this year, and hopefully that will be enough to help us win more championships.” At the December meet, Elysa Griffin placed third in the long jump, and the varsity girls placed third overall out of 65 teams even though only three Homewood athletes competed. The varsity boys were led by Alazae Hester-Taylor, who had a strong opening by winning the high jump, placing second in the triple jump and fourth in the 60 meter hurdles. The boys placed seventh overall even though only five athletes competed.

Homewood High School senior Kiara Williams, center, has won six individual state championships.

Joy League to hold registration in February Joy League Baseball will begin registering boys and girls for its 58th season of daytime baseball on Saturday, Feb. 7. Registration continues each Saturday in February from 9 a.m.-noon at Edgewood Elementary School, 901 College Ave. League games are played on Saturday mornings from March 28 to June 27, followed by a watermelon picnic. Boys and girls ages 4-12 are eligible to play. Each team practices one hour a

week. The cost per player is $30. Now serving its third generation of players, the Joy League began when several boys ages 10-12, including a son of Joy League Founder John J. Smith Sr., tried out for area youth baseball teams. Many of them did not get on a team but still wanted to learn how to play baseball. So, in the spring of 1958, Smith rounded up 67 of these boys, and the league was established.

He visited fire stations and police precincts in the area to recruit volunteer coaches, one of whom was then-Homewood Fire Chief Howard Fields. “Mr. Smith said many times that there are no bench warmers in the Joy League. That’s still true today. From the beginning, Joy League assured, and still assures, that every player plays in every game, and there are no tryouts,” said league Commissioner Perry Akins.

There are 16 teams in Joy League, and last year 200 youth played. They are coached by parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and other relatives in games at Edgewood Elementary School. Founder John J. Smith Sr., an attorney, died in 2008 at the age of 96. Two former Joy League coaches, Perry Akins (823-4929) and Ted Hagler (985-9608) currently serve as commissioners of the league.

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B8 • January 2015

The Homewood Star

Pat Sullivan steps down as Samford football coach By DAVID KNOX Pat Sullivan fought it as long as he could. But in the end, the Samford University head football coach decided enough was enough. Sullivan, a Birmingham native and Vestavia Hills resident, has battled health issues over the years — throat cancer, a neck injury that required multiple surgeries that forced him to coach, when he could coach, from the press box instead of on the field on game days. Sullivan, the 1971 Heisman Trophy winner as an Auburn quarterback and a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, will move into a role as Samford President Andrew Westmoreland’s special advisor for campus and community development. Murray State head coach Chris Hatcher was named as his replacement. “This is not a decision I’ve taken lightly,” Sullivan said in a release. “A head coach never likes to think about stepping down, particularly me. I’ve always been a competitor and that spirit never fades. I love my job and I love this university. I have loved working with Samford’s young men, helping them grow as football players, as

student-athletes and spiritually. I am so thankful to each and every one of my players and their families for allowing me to be a part of their lives. “The past couple of years have been difficult. I’ve been dealing with health issues more than I would have liked. Our young men have never blinked. This coaching staff never blinked. I am so proud of each and every member of the Samford football program. “Coaching is a grind. Right now I need more balance in my life. I need to pay more attention to my health, and I want to spend more time with [my wife] Jean, my children and grandchildren. I owe that to them. But I’m not done working, and I’m not leaving Samford.” Sullivan recently completed his eighth season as coach. He is the program’s all-time leader in career wins. He has led the team to four straight winning seasons for the first time since 1999, and the Bulldogs have won at least seven games for three straight seasons for the first time since 1962. In 2013, Sullivan led the Bulldogs to their first Southern Conference championship since joining the league in 2008. The team also earned the program’s first bid to the NCAA Division

I-FCS Playoffs since 1992. “In an age in which public figures so often disappoint us, it is refreshing and inspirational to reflect on the long and successful career of Pat Sullivan,” Samford President Andy Westmoreland said. “As I have grown close to Pat in the years since he became Samford’s head football coach in 2006 and as I have seen him in some of the highest and lowest moments of life, proximity has only enhanced my profound respect for him. “In every sense, he is exactly as he appears to be: a person of intelligence, persistence, wisdom, good humor, with an impenetrable core of ethics that is rooted in a vibrant faith. He cares deeply about his family and his student-athletes. He is respectful of every person he encounters. I am grateful beyond words for his service to Samford over the past eight years, and I look forward to continued association with him and with Jean as we seek to provide greater experiences for our students now and in the years ahead.” Samford Athletics Director Martin Newton added, “Words cannot express the gratitude the Samford family has for Pat Sullivan. He is the epitome of character and integrity. He is a true teacher that leads by example and has

Pat Sullivan has served as Samford’s head football coach for eight seasons. Photo courtesy of Samford Athletics.

taught us all to love God, our family and each other on a daily basis. “I have yet to find anyone who has a negative word to say about Coach Sullivan. He transcends the football field and shows us that relationships really do matter.” Sullivan led a search committee that took about a week before settling on Hatcher, who had been at the Ohio Valley Conference school for five seasons, posting a 3-9 record last season and a 27-30 record all told at Murray. Hatcher was a Harlon Hill Trophy winner as the top Division II player while playing quarterback at Valdosta State. He then head coached at his alma mater and Georgia Southern before moving to Murray. His career record is 121-57 in 15 seasons, and he is known

for high-powered offenses. “It is a true honor to follow Coach Sullivan and have the opportunity to lead the Samford football program into its next chapter,” Hatcher said. “Put simply, Coach Sullivan is a legend. They say you never want to be ‘the man that follows the man.’ Well, I do. With Dr. Westmoreland’s unwavering support, Pat has built an incredible program from top to bottom. A rising program based upon faith, honor, commitment, discipline and character. I will work every day to build upon that foundation and carry forward Coach Sullivan and Dr. Westmoreland’s vision. This state and this university have great passion for football; I promise you that I have it too and can’t wait to get started.”

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TheHomewoodStar.com

January 2015 • B9

Wrestling season takes hold

Homewood boys and girls basketball teams off to good starts By DAVID KNOX

Homewood High senior Chase Kelly, right, wrestles for the Patriots. Homewood will host the Patriot Duals on Jan. 16-17. Photo by Scott Butler.

Homewood basketball is off to a solid start. The Homewood girls were ranked No. 1 in the first Class 6A poll of the season, and the boys were receiving votes for the top 10 as the season got underway. The Homewood girls opened Class 6A, Area 9 play with a 77-38 win over John Carroll Catholic on Dec. 12. The Lady Patriots improved to 8-2 with the win. Ajah Wayne scored 21 points – 18 in the second period alone – and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the way. Tori Webb scored 18 points and blocked five shots. Point guard Hannah Barber added 12 points and 11 assists. Shelby Hardy added 10 rebounds. The Lady Pats’ only two losses came in the Tennessee Turkey Jamm in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Several players attracted the attention of college scouts, none more so than Barber, the freshman point guard, who received high praise for her ballhandling and passing skills. The Homewood boys opened 6A, Area 9 play by blasting John Carroll Catholic 79-49 on Dec. 12. Austin Patterson scored 24 points, and Malik Cook added 15 for the Patriots, who improved to 9-2 with the win. Derrick Underwood scored 13 and Chris Miller added 10. Cook was coming off a 30-point performance against Hewitt-Trussville.

Abdullah named second-team All-American on multiple teams By DAVID KNOX Former Homewood High star running back Ameer Abdullah didn’t win the Heisman Trophy – Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota did – but he did pick up a few honors after his outstanding season. Abdullah, a senior running back for the

University of Nebraska, earned second-team All-America honors from the Associated Press on Dec. 16. Abdullah had already been named a second-team All-American by three other entities — the Walter Camp Football Foundation, CBSSports.com and Scout.com. The senior I-back rushed for 1,523 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2014, becoming the school’s all-time

all-purpose yardage leader and moving into second place on NU’s career rushing chart. “The one cool thing about this place is there are so many great ones, but he certainly stacks right up there with all of them,” interim head coach Barney Cotton told the Omaha World-Herald. “He’s certainly unique unto himself.” Abdullah was in Orlando, Fla., for the college

football awards ceremony. He was also a Doak Walker Award finalist as the top running back in the nation, but that award went to Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon. Abdullah was set to play the final game in his Nebraska career on Dec. 27 in the Holiday Bowl against the University of Southern California.

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B10 • January 2015

The Homewood Star

Lakeshore goalball team repeats as

national champion By DAVID KNOX When the Lakeshore Foundation youth goalball team captured its first national championship, coach Cliff Cook hoped the team’s three returning members would still be hungry enough to shoot for a repeat. They were. Lakeshore won its second straight high school national championship by defeating the Georgia Academy of the Blind in St. Augustine, Fla., in the sport that is for visually impaired athletes. “We set out this season with that as our goal. We did feel that we were the favorites coming in,” said Cook. “For one thing, we had three of our four athletes returning, so we had a veteran team and my fourth year as coach, so we built on that. “Every guy on the team wanted it. They worked hard for it.” Goalball is a sport that is played 3-on-3. A team can have as many as six players on the squad, but Lakeshore’s team had just the three: Parker Stewart, a 15-year-old who attends Mountain Brook Junior High; Josh Welborn, a 16-year-old who lives in Pelham and is home-schooled; and Nick Rollins, a 16-year-old who lives in Irondale and is a junior at Shades Valley High. Stewart and Welborn were named to the High School All-American Goalball team and

Josh Welborn, Nick Rollins and Parker Stewart show off their gold medals and celebrate their Youth Goalball National Championship. Photos courtesy of the Lakeshore Foundation.

Welborn was named the most valuable player. Goalball is not a sport that was adapted from a sport already played by able-bodied players; it was invented in Austria after World War II to help in

the rehabilitation of visually impaired veterans. Players throw a ball, which has bells inside it, past the other team’s players into a net. Defenders listen for the bells and try to judge when and

where to dive for it. Players also pass the ball to each other to set up plays. The sport is played on a volleyball-sized court with a goal on each end that covers the length of the court and is 1.3 meters (about 4 feet,

3 inches) high. A contest has two 12-minute halves. Since the players can have varying degrees of vision, all players wear shades to block out all sight. The floor has tactile markings on it

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TheHomewoodStar.com for the players to feel their positions. Crowds must root silently during play, since vocal communication between the players and being able to hear the ball are vital. Goalball was introduced to the world at the 1976 Paralympics in Toronto and has been played at every Paralympics since. World Championships are played every four years. Goalball is now played competitively in more than 100 countries. Welborn said that he’s been playing the sport since he was 7 and has been on the youth team since he was 9. “It’s all about communication,” Welborn said. “And if you get along with your teammates, that’s a serious help. I’m good friends with both of these guys and it really helps in the overall strength of the team.” When it comes to hearing and reacting, you do think about it a lot at first … but it’s become more about instinct. My body just does the rest of the work. It’s become a natural thing. I’ve been playing almost 10 years.” Stewart hasn’t been playing quite as long. “I got started playing goalball about three years ago when I first came here to Lakeshore … they offered some sports for people with disabilities … I got involved in a lot of sports and Josh’s mom came up to me and said they’d love to have a new player on the team. “It takes a lot of commitment. We practice twice a week for an hour and a half, but the three of us are so invested in the sport … I know I’m always thinking about things about the sport, constantly thinking of how I can improve, how can I get faster.” Welborn is the team’s best offensive player. “I think it’s because I have the most time on the court and in the sport, as well as just speed and strength, I probably have the fastest and most accurate shot.”

January 2015 • B11 Stewart is the defensive star. “My coach says I’m the best defensive player in the nation,” Stewart said. “I don’t necessarily agree with that, but I do think defense is my strongest point. It’s the timing at which you dive. You have a split-second to decide where you think it’s going to go. You have to judge the distance by just hearing how far it is away from you and where it’s going. The ball can be thrown really fast. You have to make some very quick decisions.” Rollins is the oldest team member, but he’s the newest to the sport. He has been on the squad for two years, but this was his first time to be part of the starting three. He essentially took the spot of Alex Richmond, who played on last year’s team as an Oak Mountain High senior. “He had a very solid tournament,” Cook said. “He was a great addition to the team.” Rollins said his strength is his offense. “I throw it pretty hard.” Rollins said winning the championship meant all the hard work paid off. He said besides the twice a week practices, he works on his own twice a week. And he echoes what they all say about their coach. “He’s great. He makes it fun. When we’re practicing he’s hard on us but he kids around with us too.” Said Welborn, “Coach Cook has taught me a lot about perseverance and sticking with things even when they’re not what you usually do or enjoy. Sometimes you have to do things for the greater outcome.” So what about a threepeat? “All three (players) return next year,” Cook said. “We’re excited about that. I asked them when we got back if they wanted to go for the threepeat. And they do.” Stewart concurred. “I’m so proud of my team. I definitely think we can threepeat.”

Josh Welborn prepares to roll the ball in a game in the national tournament in St. Augustine, Fla. The team is based out of Homewood’s Lakeshore Foundation.


B12 • January 2015

The Homewood Star

HOMEWOOD PARKS & RECREATION Homewood Community Center

Zumba with Camille

ZUMBA is Latin inspired aerobic dance and every class feels like a party. ZUMBA is for all ages, and both sexes! Tuesday & Thursday: 5:30pm-6:30pm Saturday: 9:00am-10:00am For more info: Camille 256-452-2500 (or) camillescruggs@gmail.com

Young Rembrandts

Draw amazing things with Young Rembrandts! Young Rembrandts drawing classes, uses step-by-step curriculum to teach fundamental art skills in a nurturing environment that gives children an academic advantage. Classes for boys and girls 5 to 12 years of age. Please contact Chris Roberson at (205) 943-1923 for more information and to register or visit www.youngrembrandts.com to enroll anytime. As the world’s recognized leader in early childhood music and movement, Kindermusik offers a musical learning adventure that will impact your child now and for years to come! There’s simply no better way to foster your child’s love of music and love of learning. Classes are available for ages 0 to 5 years. For more information call or email Kelly at: 205-552-6129 • Kelly.alligood@charter.net www.kellyalligood.com

Homewood Chess Team

Homewood Chess Team wants you! Beginners are welcome and the first two weeks are always free promo weeks! Learn more and sign up for our classes at www.theknightschool.com or call Dr. Brooks at (205) 746-4952

North Star Martial Arts

North Star Martial Arts primary focus is to make a life lasting impact on our students, and their families. Tiny Tigers (Ages 4-6) – Mondays & Wednesdays 3:30pm - 4:05pm Juniors (Ages 7 and up) – Mondays & Wednesdays 4:15pm to 5:15pm Adults Only Class – Wednesdays 5:30-6:45pm Advanced Class – Tuesdays & Thursday 4:00pm to 5:00pm Phone: 966-4244 Email: masterjoe@northstarkarate.com www.northstarkarate.com

Belly Dancing with Aziza

Class Fee: $60 cash only Contact Aziza: 205-879-0701; azizaofbirmingham@att.net (or) www.azizaofbirmingham.com Learn the ancient art of Middle Eastern belly dance with Aziza, over 40 years of experience in performance and instruction. Each session is 5-weeks long on: Monday night for beginners, Tuesday night for intermediates and Thursday night for advanced.

YoLIMBER

Vinyasa yoga classes in an energetic environment using upbeat music. Participants of all levels welcome. Monday 8:30am-9:30am Friday 9:30am-10:30am Saturday 9:00am-10:00am Contact Marla: 205-223-8564 (or) mac@yolimber.com

Dance 4U – Line Dance Class

Line dance for a healthier you! Tuesday 7:00pm-9:00pm • Saturday 11:00am-1:00pm $7/Drop-in - $5/Seniors 65+ - First class is free Rosa Fisher (205) 910-8896 • rosafisher@yahoo.com Affordable small group training sessions are available to members in the community center weight room. Each 30 min workout is fast, fun, safe, and effective and each person is started with a program to fit their fitness level. $25 Per Session (or) 12 Sessions for $250 Call Royce for more information: (205) 945-1665

@homewoodparks

Beginning ballet moves taught as a foundation for many types of dance. Students will work on coordination, balance, rhythm and flexibility while developing listening skills and strengthening muscles. Monday’s 4:00pm-4:45pm For additional Information call Claire: (205) 879-8780

Tango Argentino Fundamentals and Practice

Introductory lessons and guided practice. New students are taught basic Tango technique and experienced “milongueros” are encouraged to practice and exchange tips to improve their dancing. Couples and individuals of all ages are welcome. 1st & 3rd Wednesday of each Month – 7:00pm-8:30pm

Tabata Bootcamp with Tamika Harris

Kindermusik

Royce Head Personal Training

Children’s Ballet with Claire Goodhew

Tabata Bootcamp is a group training program based on High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Thursday 6:00pm-7:00pm • Saturday 8:00am-9:00am Class fee: $40 (4weeks) For more info: 205-249-7982 getfitwithtamika@yahoo.com

360 Personal Trainer Fitness Bootcamp

Bootcamp style fitness classes at Homewood Community Center. Classes Meet: Mon/Wed/ Fri 5:30am-6:30am Michael Brooks – michaelbrooks360@gmail.com

Homewood Senior Center Creative Expression

Mondays, 1:00pm – Sunshiners Senior Chorus, with professional direction and live, professional accompaniment. The chorus occasionally performs at a facility or venue off-site or for peers at the Senior Center. For fun and visual variety, props and minimal costuming are sometimes used. Free to members. Mondays, 2:15pm – Clay Class, taught by JoAnn Brown. Participants may choose the project introduced by the instructor or ‘do their own thing.’ Clay, glazes, and kiln firing are provided. Free to members.

Fitness Classes

Tai Chi – Taught by Galina Waites. Chairs and adapted movements are provided for participants with balance/stamina challenges. Thursdays, 2:00pm. Free to members. Zumba Gold (designed for seniors) w/Tai Chi ‘cool down’ – Tuesdays, 2:15. 45 minutes of Zumba followed by 15 minutes of Tai Chi to ‘cool down’. The last 15 minutes can also serve as an introduction/review for those interested in the Thursday full-hour Tai Chi class. Free to Senior Center Members. $5 for non-members.

Homewood FIT – Women’s Bootcamp Join this all women’s bootcamp happening right here in Homewood. Monday & Wednesday – 5:45am-6:45am For more info: www.homewoodfit.com

Acting Out Academy

Acting Out Academy is a kid’s performing arts classes at the Homewood Community Center Thursday 3:30pm-4:30pm (Encore: After School Program) Thursday 4:30pm-5:30pm (Advanced on-camera). For more info and to register visit: www.actingoutacademy.com call 205-440-2699 or email meg@actingoutacademy.com

Shake Your Soul Yoga Dance!

“Shake Your Soul” is a unique and invigorating path to body-spirit fitness incorporating elements yoga and dance. Classes will resume in February 2015. Monday’s 5:30 p.m.- 6:30 p.m. Class Fee: $10.00 drop-in Contact: Lorri Hanna, 612-867-2232 (or) lhanna@barefootsoulswellness.com Website: www.barefootsoulswellness.com

Mommy and Me Stroller Bootcamp

Tuesday & Thursday at 10:30am Location: Meet at pavilion (6&7) at back of park, closest to Central Ave *Classes meet in Homewood Community Center Gymnasium in the event of inclement weather* A class for moms of all fitness levels! This 45 minute class focuses on interval training with the use of bands, body weight, and your child’s stroller! For more info: www.mommyandmetime.com

Blue Line Combatives

Wednesday’s 7:00pm – 8:30pm Blue Line Combatives teaches self-defense and urban survival instruction. Classes and private training are available for all ages. Call or email for additional information: Instructor Jon P. Newland jon.newland442@gmail.com Cell # 205-296-1250

Athletics Homewood Soccer Club

Homewood Soccer Club is dedicated to creating a balanced youth soccer program. Levels of Play: Patriot for ages U-4 through U-8; Red Teams for recreational players U-9 and up; White Teams for recreation plus ages U-9 thru U-11; and Blue Team competitive teams for ages U-11 thru U-18. Additional information about all levels of play, including deadlines, fees and Club philosophy is available at www.HomewoodSoccer.com , or call The Soccer Office at 205-874-9182.

Homewood Softball

Games are played during the months of March thru May with All-star play in the month of June. Registration Begins in January Additional information available at: www.homewoodparks.com Alissa Thurmond – 332-6715 (or) alissa.thurmond@homewoodal.org

Homewood Patriot Youth Baseball League

HPYBL is a youth recreational baseball league for the citizens of Homewood, as well as, surrounding communities. Please visit our website for more information about the upcoming Spring Season: www.homewoodyouthbaseball.com

Alabama Recreation & Parks Association

State Basketball Tournament March 13-15, 2015 Hosted by Homewood Parks & Recreation For sponsorship opportunities: 205-332-6709 Jakob.stephens@homewoodal.org

www.Homewoodparks.com


TheHomewoodStar.com

January 2015 • B13

Patriots to be showcased in Kings of the Court tournament Kings of the Court Schedule Monday, Jan. 19 Birmingham CrossPlex and Birmingham-Southern College 11:30 a.m.

4 p.m.

Huffman JV vs. Homewood JV (BSC)

Lee-Huntsville vs. Parker (BSC)

Foley vs. Woodlawn (CrossPlex)

Sunshine vs. Cornerstone (CrossPlex)

1 p.m.

5:30 p.m.

Bob Jones vs. Homewood (BSC)

Helena vs. Minor (BSC)

Baker vs. Bessemer City (CrossPlex)

Center Point vs. Leeds (CrossPlex)

2:30 p.m.

7 p.m.

Benjamin Russell vs. McAdory (BSC)

Jackson-Olin vs. Carver (BSC)

Sparkman vs. Wenonah (CrossPlex)

Shades Valley vs. Pelham (CrossPlex)

By DAVID KNOX Homewood High’s boys basketball team will be playing in the Kings of the Court basketball tournament on Martin Luther King Day, Monday, Jan. 19. The Patriots (6-2 as of Dec. 8) will play Bob Jones of Madison at 1 p.m. at Birmingham-Southern College. The Homewood junior varsity will also participate, facing Huffman’s JV team at 11:30 a.m. at BSC. The tournament features 24 Alabama high school basketball teams, with matchups between the Birmingham metropolitan area schools and

teams around the state. Each of the 24 teams will play one game for a total of 12 games, making the event one of the largest one-day high school basketball events in the state of Alabama. The games will span across two venues, the Bill Harris Arena at the Birmingham CrossPlex and the Bill Battle Coliseum at Birmingham-Southern College. The event will begin at 11:30 a.m. “We are excited to be partnering with Knight Eady Sports Group to bring a new basketball event to Birmingham,” said Buck Johnson, athletics director of Birmingham City Schools. “Kings

of the Court is a great opportunity to match up teams from the metro-area with programs across the state and showcase the basketball talent in the state of Alabama.” The participating athletes will be hosted at a leadership breakfast the morning of the event in honor of the Martin Luther King holiday. Homewood’s boys, coached by Tim Shepler, have been led by senior point guard Malik Cook. Cook had already topped the 1,000-point mark entering his senior season.

Homewood’s Malik Cook shoots against Hewitt-Trussville. Photo by Scott Butler.


B14 • January 2015

The Homewood Star

Calendar Homewood Library Events 1721 Oxmoor Road 332-660, homewoodpubliclibrary.org

Adults Jan. 3: Hidden: A Holocaust Survivor’s Testimony. 2 p.m. Large Auditorium. Holocaust survivor, Ben Benninga, will tell his story of survival as a child in the Netherlands during the Holocaust. Jan. 6: Technology Tuesdays: Get the Most Out of Your iPad and iPhone. 2 p.m. Round Auditorium. Jan. 6: Knit One, Read, Too. 6:30-7:30

p.m. Work on your WIPs as you talk about books in this brand new book club. Discussing Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting. Jan. 8: Feng Shui for Life Improvement with Katie Rogers: Resolving Clutter. 6:30 p.m. Join us for the beginning of a year-long series on healing effect of Feng Shui. Jan. 13: Oxmoor Page Turners Book Club: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. 6:30 p.m. Lucretia M. Somers Boardroom.

Jan. 17: Book Club Movie. 3 p.m. Large Auditorium. The club will view The Fault in Our Stars. Jan. 28: Better Than Therapy Book Club: The Fault Our Stars by John Green. 6:30 p.m. Lucretia M. Somers Boardroom.

Children Tuesdays and Wednesdays: Story Times. 10:30 a.m. All ages.

Thursdays: Mommy & Me. 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. Join Ms. NeNe for this special story time just for our younger patrons and their friends. Jan. 10: Say Hola to Spanish. 10:30 a.m. Learn Spanish while enjoying stories and a craft. All ages. Jan. 27: PJ Storytime. 6:15 p.m. Wear your PJs and bring your stuffed animals to this fun night time event.

Homewood Events Jan. 4: Bridal Market. 1-4 p.m. Rosewood Hall at SoHo. Visit thebridalmarket.com. Jan. 4-Feb. 1: Beth Rhodes Art Exhibit. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. The Joy Gallery, Homewood Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Visit thejoygallery.org or call 942-3051. Jan. 6: Homewood High School Varsity Basketball vs. Northridge High School. Girls 6 p.m., Boys 7:30 p.m. Homewood High School. Visit homewoodathletics.com. Jan. 9-11: Ballroom Dance Marathon. The Exceptional Foundation, 1616 Oxmoor Road. Email curtnwendy@hotmail.com or visit dancemarathon-birmingha.com.

Jan. 10: Red Shoe Run. 7 a.m. Rosewood Hall. The 10 mile, 5K and family fun run benefit the Ronald McDonald House. Call 638-7264 or visit redshoerun-bham.org. Jan. 10: Homewood High School Boys Varsity Basketball vs. Leeds High School. 7:30 p.m. Homewood High School. Visit homewoodathletics.com. Jan. 13: Edgewood Night Out. 3 p.m.-close of business. Downtown Edgewood. Jan. 16-18: Pioneer Classic Wheelchair Basketball Tournament. The Lakeshore Foundation. Visit lakeshore.org.

Jan. 17: Abraham-in-Motion. 8 p.m. Samford University Wright Center. Visit samford.edu/ wrightcenter. Jan. 20: Homewood High School Boys Varsity Basketball vs. Briarwood Christian School. 7:30 p.m. Homewood High School. Visit homewoodathletics.com. Jan. 24: Patriot Partners Yard Sale. 7-10 a.m. Shades Cahaba Elementary School Lawn. Funds raised will benefit The Bell Center for Early Intervention Programs. Visit facebook.com/ PatriotPartners. Jan. 30: Homewood High School Varsity Basketball vs. Vestavia Hills High

School. Girls 6 p.m., Boys 7:30 p.m. Homewood High School. Visit homewoodathletics.com. Jan. 30-Feb. 1: Lakeshore Demolition Derby Wheelchair Rugby Tournament. The Lakeshore Foundation. Visit lakeshore.org. Jan. 31: Salamander Festival. Nature Hike 2 p.m., Festival 3-5:30 p.m. Homewood Senior Center. Free. Visit shadescreek.org/event/salamanderfestival-2014/. Feb. 7, 14, 21, 28: Joy League Baseball Registration. 9 a.m.-noon. Edgewood Elementary School, 901 College Ave. Call Perry Atkins at 8234929 or Ted Hagler at 985-9608.

January

sales Find great deals at these retailers

20% - 50% OFF (in stock only)

Marguerite's Conceits January 5th - 10th 2406 Canterbury Road, Mountain Brook 205-879-2730

January inventory sale 20% OFF most toys Homewood Toy & Hobby 2830 18th Street, Homewood 205-879-3986

Voted

BEST OF MOUNTAIN BROOK Village Living 2013 Best Mexican Food

20% OFF

(some exclusions apply see store for details)

The Cook Store

January 9th - 17th 2841 Cahaba Road, Mountain Brook 205-879-5277

50% OFF all winter merchandise The Clothes Tree

Starting Jan. 10 2880 Rocky Ridge Road 205-822-1902

Contact stores for exclusions and other details.


TheHomewoodStar.com

January 2015 • B15

Calendar Area Events Jan. 1: New Year’s Day Hike. 10:30 a.m.-1p.m. Ruffner Mountain Nature Center. Join the Birmingham Pledge Foundation and Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve for the third annual hike to Hawk’s Ridge Overlook for a communal reading of The Birmingham Pledge. Call 245-4146. Jan. 3: Stories Under the Stars. 7-8:30 p.m. Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve. Listen to stories around a fire told by storyteller Zechariah Hook. $4. Call 833-8264, ext. 13. Jan. 4: Birmingham City Pokemon Championship. 1-7 p.m. Mad Doctor Game Shop, 1318 20th St. S., Suite 100. Call 334-434-0241. Jan. 6: Beer, Burgers and Bingo. 8-11 p.m. Black Market Bar and Grill. Visit evilbartenders. wix.com. Jan. 8: Sketching in Oils with David Baird. 10 a.m.4 p.m. Forstall Art Center. This one-day class will consist of a demonstration by the instructor and individual one-on-one critiques as students work from a live model. Visit forstallartcenter.com. Jan. 10: Birmingham Spotlight Gala. 7-11

p.m. McWane Science Center. Fundraiser with the mission of empowering the city’s non-profit organizations. $65. VIP $80. Visit http://spotlightgala.eventzilla.net/. Jan. 11: Southern Bridal Show. 4 p.m. Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex. $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Visit eliteevents.com. Jan. 11: Birmingham Boys Choir Concert. 4 p.m. Brock Hall, Samford University. Visit birminghamboyschoir.com. Jan. 13: New York Times Columnist David Brooks Lecture. 6:30 p.m. Wright Center at Samford University. Part of Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church Claypool Lecture Series. $25. Visit tickets.samford.edu. Jan. 16: New Works Concert. 8-10 p.m. Leslie S. Wright Fine Arts Center, Samford University. Enjoy an evening of exciting new works by regional choreographers from across the Southeast and beyond. $15, $8 for students. Visit samford.edu/ wrightcenter. Jan. 17, 18: BrickFair 2015. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex. LEGO models, display

and winding trains sprawled out over 58,000 square feet. $10 at the door. Visit brickfair.com. Jan. 17, 18: Swan Lake. Saturday 7:30 p.m., Sunday, 2 p.m. The Alabama Theatre. $25$55 each. Visit alabamatheatre.org. Jan. 21-25: Ringling Bros’ Circus Xtreme. BirminghamJefferson Convention Complex. Visit ringling.com. Jan. 22-25: Birmingham Boat Show. Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center. With more than 250,000 square feet, the show highlights the latest in boats, motors, fishing gear, guides, outfitters and related outdoor gear. $10. Free for children. Visit birminghamboatshow.com. Jan. 23, 25: Hamlet. Friday 7:30 p.m. Sunday 2:30 p.m. Leslie S. Wright Fine Arts Center, Samford University. Presented by Opera Birmingham. $20, $35, $65, $90. Visit operabirmingham.org. Jan. 25: A Slippery Slope: The Consequences of Hate. 3-5 p.m. Carver Theatre. Presented by Birmingham Holocaust Education Center and Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Visit facebook.com/events/157909 7498971209/?ref=22.

Opinion Ordinary Days By Lauren Denton

Walking out with the light January is here, Christmas around us. This is perhaps trees are piled up along neighespecially true in this part of borhood streets, and folks are the year when everyone can spending weekends taking feel a little let down that the down the Christmas decoraexciting rush of the holidays tions. (Or if you’re like my has passed. family one year, the dried-out Jessica also taught us tree may sit in your driveway about Advent spirals, a trauntil March, but I don’t recomdition used by some schools mend that.) for young children. Advent The typical anticipation takes place before ChristDenton and excitement of the holiday mas, but the principle is season might have passed, but what many applicable even after Christmas. In it, a people don’t realize is that immediately spiral is constructed on the floor with a after Christmas day, the traditional time path laid out to the center. At the center of celebration begins. The Twelve Days is a lit candle. The children walk to the of Christmas, also known as Christmas- center of the spiral holding an unlit tide, begin on Dec. 25 and celebrate the candle, light their candle from the one arrival of Jesus. The celebration ends on in the center and then walk back out of Jan. 6, the day of Epiphany, which marks the spiral with their own flame. The idea the day the wise men arrived with gifts is that Jesus is the light of the world, we for the Christ child. light our flame from Him and we carry Our children’s minister at Red our flame out into the world. Mountain Church, Jessica Gemeinhart, As we walk out into this new year, talked about this recently, and it really maybe we can shed that light on those we impressed on me the idea that this cele- come in contact with every day — startbratory posture that we all have around ing at home and moving out from there Christmas doesn’t have to end when the to neighbors, co-workers, school friends tree goes down. Usually, everyone sort and grocery store cashiers. The light is of puts their heads down and powers now in the world, and if it’s in me, I want through the next couple of cold months, to get myself out of the way and allow waiting eagerly for spring and warmer that light to illuminate those around me weather. While I’m definitely one of with the hope, peace and grace of Jesus. those longing for warmer temperatures, Lauren can be reached at LaurenKI’m trying to keep in mind that the light Denton@gmail.com. You can also find that came into world is still here, and her on Twitter @LaurenKDenton. our job is to pass that light on to those


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A PUBLIC NOTICE FROM ALABAMA POWER Homewood Scheduled Trimming - Winter 2014 Spring 2015

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Tree crews working in city through early 2015 Alabama Power contract crews are working in several Homewood neighborhoods, removing trees and other vegetation that threaten the safety and reliability of our electrical system. As part of this process, Alabama Power goes to great lengths to talk with individual property owners. Company representatives are going door-to-door, leaving notices at locations where work is needed. If you have any questions before crews come by your home, please call Alabama Power at 205-257-2155 and ask for someone in the Vegetation Management Group to contact you. Or you can email us at apcvm@southernco.com. Work in Homewood and nearby areas is expected to continue through early 2015. Also, you can go online to http://alpwr.co/vm where Alabama Power has further information about these safety and reliability measures, as well as resources for property owners who would like recommendations about planting the right tree in the right place. Thank you for your understanding. We appreciate your business.

Vegetation Management Group 205-257-2155 apcvm@southernco.com © 2015 Alabama Power Company

POWI-3795 TreeTrimmr15-MB Homewood.indd 2

11/14/14 4:08 PM

Homewood Star January 2015  

news, sports and community news source for Homewood Alabama

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