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The Homewood Star Volume 5 | Issue 2 | May 2015

Celebrate Handmade

neighborly news & entertainment for Homewood


sisters, for mothers

Homewood’s art festival returns to Patriot Park this month. Find all the details on this and other events in this issue.

See page A14

To market, to market

Ovarian cancer walk/run moves to Homewood this year By MADOLINE MARKHAM

Homewood farmers markets are taking on slightly new shapes and forms starting this month. Read more inside.

See page A18

INSIDE Sponsors ...................A2 City .............................A3 Community ...............A13 School House ...........B13 Sports .......................B16 Calendar ................... B21 Opinion .................... B23

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Early in 2006, Brittany Waldrep started having stomach problems. She was screened for ovarian cancer with the only tool available, a CA 125 blood test, and her results were normal. That May she and her sisters participated in Motherwalk to raise money for ovarian cancer,

Stacy and Todd Miner and their children hold a photo of Stacy’s sister, Brittany, who passed away from ovarian cancer at age 24. The Miners, Edgewood residents, will participate in Motherwalk in Homewood in her memory this month. Photo by Madoline Markham.

since two years before she’d had an ovarian cyst and was being monitored every three months for cancer. Two weeks later she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer herself. Two months later it took her life. She was 24. “That’s what a lot of people don’t know about ovarian cancer — how sneaky it is,” said Stacy Miner, Waldrep’s sister. Waldrep was diagnosed in exploratory

West side story

surgery, at which time doctors discovered the cancer had spread throughout her abdomen. Each year since 2006, Stacy, her husband, Todd, and their children have participated in Motherwalk in Waldrep’s memory. Pictures of those who have had ovarian cancer line the walk route, and each year the Miners pass

See WALK/RUN | page A23

Next steps for West Homewood Plan to begin with new market

By SYDNEY CROMWELL Morgan and Molly Duncan moved to West Homewood in November 2013 because they liked the city’s redevelopment plan for the area: walkable sidewalks, local businesses and a cohesive neighborhood design style. After a year in their new home, they saw no sign of any of these changes. “We’ve been waiting for someone to do something,” Morgan said. “After waiting for a year, we got tired and said, ‘Let’s do something.’” The couple, along with Morgan’s brother Tyler, made a plan for a corner store of their own, with a deli, bar and small market. They signed a lease on 703 and 705 Oak Grove Road in mid-April and are just beginning the

See WEST SIDE | page A22

Tyler Duncan, left, and Morgan Duncan are working together to renovate part of the building at the intersection of Oak Grove Road and Raleigh Avenue. They plan to open a deli, bar and market called Oak and Raleigh in mid-June. Photo by Sydney Cromwell.


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A2 • May 2015

About Us Photo of the Month

Please Support our Community Partners

Participants in the annual Way of the Cross service processed from Homewood Central Park along Oxmoor Road on Good Friday. A group of Homewood ministers led the group in readings and prayers centered around Jesus’ death on the cross. Photo by Madoline Markham.

Editor’s Note By Madoline Markham We Love Homewood Day feels like every day, not just May 2. If you were at the Homewood Grown event last month, you know what I mean. There couldn’t have been a dry eye in the room after the video they showed about the Teacher Impact Awards ended. Still vivid in my mind are kids talking about the love of music Teresa McKibben instilled in them at Edgewood Elementary, the way Jerome Isley’s spoke of his sister who had special needs inspiring him to become a teacher and how Steve Sills leads by example to teach Homewood

Middle School students about character. I feel like everywhere I turn I am hearing stories of how individuals are united as Homewoodians. The Miner family is recruiting their Edgewood neighbors to participate in an event close to their hearts, Motherwalk, as it moves to Homewood this month (see our cover story), and the Duncan family is bringing a new business to West Homewood that is also acting as a catalyst for longterm development in the area (see our other cover story). Andrea and David Snyder, Homewood residents

themselves, want to make the farmer’s market in SoHo more of a place of fellowship for the community this year, as we detail on page A18. Once again, this issue was easy for me to put together because Homewood is so ripe with stories, events and community spirit. Be sure to come out to Homewood Central Park on the 2nd for a special celebration of the city we celebrate every day. I hope to see you there!

The Homewood Star Dan Starnes Keith McCoy Madoline Markham David Knox Katie Turpen Sydney Cromwell Roy L. Williams Madison Miller Karim Shamsi-Basha Emily VanderMey Matthew Allen Rhonda Smith Warren Caldwell Don Harris Michelle Salem Haynes Copy Editor: Louisa Jeffries Contributing Writer: Lauren Denton Published by: Homewood Star LLC

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

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

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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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May 2015 • A3

City Servis1st considers moving headquarters to Homewood

Servis1st Bank proposes to put its corporate headquarters on Woodcrest Place.

By SYDNEY CROMWELL Representatives from Servis1st Bank shared their plans to relocate the bank’s corporate headquarters within the city of Homewood at an April 20 finance committee meeting. Servis1st has made an offer on a property on Woodcrest Place, near the U.S. 280 and Highway 31 interchange. The 4.5-acre lot would become home to a five-story building, parking and landscaping that the representatives said would have a “corporate campus” feel. Currently, the company has around 150 employees at its Mountain Brook headquarters, but the representatives projected an additional 100 employees being hired at the headquarters in the next several years. City council chairman Bruce Limbaugh said the project would be an economic bonus for the city, with estimated construction costs of $25

to 30 million and an annual economic impact of around $4 million. The Woodcrest Place property currently does not have a business located there and is not bringing in income. Servis1st is asking the city for an incentive package with ad valorem tax abatement to encourage their selection of the site. Limbaugh and both Ward 1 representatives, Michael Hallman and Britt Thames, expressed their support of the project at the meeting. “It really is going to be about as good as it gets for years from now when my grandchildren are still in the city,” Limbaugh said. The plans for the headquarters were to be brought before the full council at its April 27 meeting for approval. Council members will study the details of the incentive package in preparation for that vote.

Plans for ‘Broadway’s triangle’ houses move forward

This sketch shows how the homes on the Broadway Triangle property are likely to look.

By SYDNEY CROMWELL Edgewood residents meeting were overwhelmingly in favor of a proposal to build five houses on the triangular property at 902 Broadway Street at the April 7 planning commission meeting. Real estate investor and Homewood resident Chris Tucker brought the plans before the commission to gain approval to divide the lot into six parcels. He brought with him 18 supportive letters and 33 signatures from area residents, as well as multiple residents who recommended the plan in person. City council liaison Fred Hawkins said he had never seen such strong support for a development in his time on the commission. Tucker said the reason for his success was the time he spent going from door to door in Edgewood, talking to every homeowner who could see the property from their houses. He showed them his plans, answered questions and used some of their concerns to improve his proposal. “I think that really helped get them on board. They felt like they were part of the project,” Tucker said. The Broadway property, located across from GianMarco’s, has been the subject of

community ire over previous proposals to build an office or a condo development. Many residents lobbied for the property to be purchased by the city and become a “pocket park,” but the measure ultimately failed. The planning commission approved Tucker’s division of the property, and it will be professionally resurveyed to be divided into six lots. He said it will take him about a month to close on the property, but will soon begin working on floor plans. The five houses will be one-and-a-half stories and between 1,100 and 1,700 square feet. The exterior will be designed in a craftsman style that Tucker said will fit in with the surrounding homes, and each will have its own parking. Off-street parking on Saulter Road will not be disturbed. There are no definite buyers yet, but Tucker said he has received some interest. “They’re very much in line with the average houses in Homewood,” Tucker said. After closing on the property, the next step will be demolishing the existing home and removing trees on the property. His ideal timeline is to start construction is in about two months, but he’s not sure yet if that will be possible.

The Homewood Star

A4 • May 2015

State honors local Holocaust survivors State Rep. David Faulkner presented a joint state House and Senate resolution remembering the Holocaust and honoring local survivors April 14 at the Capitol in Montgomery. Of the five honored, one, Max Herzel, is a Homewood resident. Others honored were Max Steinmetz, Ruth Siegler, Riva Hersch and Leonid Shilkrot. “What an honor it was to meet them and hear their stories,” Faulkner said. “In the middle of my presentation, following the governor’s talk, I mentioned I had been to the Dachau Concentration Camp many years ago, and one of the survivors immediately looked at me and grabbed my arm and told me he was in Dachau.  I wanted to

hug him right then as my heart sunk, and I was stunned to say the least. I put my arm on him as I tried to continue with my presentation. We must always remember and never forget this great tragedy of humanity and the people who were lost because of it, as well as those that survived.” Faulkner is also a member of the Alabama Holocaust Commission and said its President Dan Puckett and former Commission President Phyllis Weinstein made the event possible. Rep. David Faulkner, far right, with a group of Holocaust survivors who reside in Alabama.

Council updates By SYDNEY CROMWELL At recent meetings, the business below was before the Homewood City Council. }} Approval of 21 acorn lamps being installed along Oak Grove Road near Patriot Park. ALDOT will install and maintain the lamps for around $1,200 per month. }} Approval of a $8,972.15 grant for the fire department from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. }} Reconsideration of a previous resolution to vacate a portion of 18th Street South for the use of the Islamic Academy of Alabama. This was due to a discrepancy in the original valuation of the property. City attorney Mike Kendrick said he had received a check from the academy for $17,700 to make up the difference, and the item

was dropped. }} Setting a May 11 public hearing to consider rezoning the Southern Progress property at 2100 Lakeshore Drive from central business to institutional district for the use of Samford University. }} A public hearing was also set for May 11 to consider rezoning 2814 Linden Avenue from central business to institutional district for the use of Cathedral Church of the Advent. }} Dropping consideration of a turn lane addition on Valley Avenue, a form-based zoning code for Reese Street and stagnant water alleviation measures on Edgewood Boulevard. The turn lane and stagnant water measures were dropped due to high estimates of the projects’ cost, and the zoning code was dropped because the council is considering a

more comprehensive one. }} The planning and development committee was asked to consider conducting a central business revitalization and zoning study. }} Sending consideration of a lease on the property at 315 Oxmoor Road back to the finance committee without objection. }} Asking the finance committee to consider a franchise agreement for dark fiber Internet connections with Access Fiber Group and Crown Castle, LLC. }} Sending consideration of a business development incentive package for the Woodcrest Place area to the finance committee. }} The finance committee was also asked to consider a bid opening date for Taser electronic devices for the police department. }} Sending retail liquor and beer license requests

from several restaurants to the public safety committee. These restaurants include: Machetes Mexican Restaurant at 406 West Valley Ave. Suite 104, Oxmoor Texaco at 208 Oxmoor Road, Alabama Goods at 2933 18th Street South, Neighborhood Hops and Vine at 1712 28th Ave. South and Aloft Birmingham SoHo Square at 1903 29th Ave. South. }} The public works committee was asked to consider allowing work in the right-of-way at 225 State Farm Parkway. }} The planning and development committee was asked to consider creating a medical enterprise. }} Approving amendments to the fiscal year 2014 and 2015 budgets’ general, capital and special revenue funds. }} Changing its May meeting dates to May 11 and 18 to avoid the Memorial Day holiday.

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May 2015 • A5

Oxmoor Econo Lodge proposes major redesign


SALE The owners of the Oxmoor Road Econo Lodge have proposed a major construction project including demolition, new buildings and a new two-lane road. Photo courtesy of Fred Hawkins.

By SYDNEY CROMWELL The Econo Lodge on Oxmoor Road has submitted a plan to the city to tear down some of its buildings and replace them with new developments. The hotel owners also want to build a new stretch of roadway. Ward 2 Place 1 Representative Fred Hawkins said he has been part of a group brainstorming ways to improve the Econo Lodge and the former America’s Best Value Inn property across the street, which was closed in March 2014 after the city council denied a business license renewal. Hawkins said they had considered multiple options such as an upscale hotel, restaurants, other retail space or single-family housing. He noted many residents want to bring a Cracker Barrel to the area. One hindrance to these efforts is the current sale price of the Best Value property. At upwards of $3 million, it’s currently too expensive for the city to purchase.

The owners of the Econo Lodge have proposed to tear down its current buildings except the one facing Cobb Street, which will be refurbished and have one wing demolished but otherwise remain in operation. On the side facing Oxmoor Road, the owners want to build a 124-room Value Place Hotel, which Hawkins described as a high-end, extended stay facility. The building would be four stories tall, so it would require a variance to city codes for approval. The western corner of the property would be devoted to an office building. The design includes a new two-lane street next to the office building, which would extend Scott Street and connect it to Cobb Street. New parking would be added as well. Hawkins said the proposal must go before the West Homewood development review committee and the city council for approval before any renovations can be made.

City considers BikeShare proposal

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Lindsey West of the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham shares a proposal for a city BikeShare program with the Homewood planning and development committee during their April 20 meeting. Photo by Sydney Cromwell.

By SYDNEY CROMWELL The city of Birmingham has announced a new BikeShare program with REV Birmingham, and Homewood is considering a similar proposal. At its April 20 meeting, the planning and development committee heard from the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham (RPCGB), which has been preparing an analysis and proposal of a Homewood BikeShare. Lindsey West and Scott Tillman of the RPCGB described the potential BikeShare program as a “dense network” of specialized stations around the city offering self-service bike rentals. Residents could pay $6 for a onetime rental or $75 for a year membership. West said the first 45 minutes of the ride are free, but riders will get charged after that point to discourage them from keeping the bikes. The specialized bikes would be locally made and include eight gears and a front basket for rider belongings. Some bicycles would include an electronic pedal assist feature. West said Homewood could sell sponsorships or advertising space on the bikes to help pay for the cost. Birmingham is launching a program with 40 stations and 400 bicycles, as well as workshops

and presentations to help residents understand the system. West said a similar structure could work very well for Homewood and fit with the current trend toward “walkability.” If more neighboring cities adopt BikeShare programs, Homewood would be interconnected with these programs. West said several Birmingham-area cities are currently considering this option. Ward 1 Place 2 Representative Britt Thames said he and Ward 4 Place 2 Representative Heather Reid have been pursuing this idea for a long time. He said a BikeShare program could improve quality of life as well as parking problems across Homewood. “This fits us so well,” Thames said. “Just imagine if this keeps 10 cars off of 18th Street [South] on a Saturday.” The next step is a feasibility study, which will provide a recommendation for the program based on the city’s economy, travel and other factors. The RPCGB can provide this study at no cost to the city. The planning and development committee unanimously voted in favor of this study. It was scheduled to be brought before the city council on April 27 for final approval. For updates, visit


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The Homewood Star

A6 • May 2015

City adopts overhauled sign code

By SYDNEY CROMWELL While discussion continues over a new location for the New Point Digital billboard, the city of Homewood has approved extensive changes to its signage regulations. Despite the timing, council president Bruce Limbaugh said the two issues are not connected. “This was in the works before the issue of the billboard came up,” Limbaugh said. The new codes have been in the works at least since October, when the council placed a moratorium on pole signs while they worked on amendments to the current sign regulations. That moratorium was set to expire in April, and the council approved the new codes at its March 23 meeting. Although the controversial billboard didn’t inspire the new regulations, there will be effects for anyone planning to put a similar sign in Homewood city limits. According to a copy of the regulations provided by the city clerk’s office, the city’s codes for advertising on I-65 have been amended and include several restrictions on size and placement of billboards. Signs cannot be closer than 600 feet to a residential property or another billboard, and they are restricted to 40 feet in height and 672 square feet in sign area. Billboards with cutout extensions can have up to 1,000 square feet in area. Billboards placed on Community Shopping District property cannot be farther than 75 feet from the I-65 rightof-way, and billboards in Light Manufacturing Districts must be placed on property adjacent to the interstate

The controversy over the New Point Digital billboard did not inspire the city’s new sign codes, but the codes will regulate where future billboards are placed. The New Point billboard was taken down from its original location at Lakeshore Drive and Green Springs Highway on March 30. Photo by Madoline Markham.

right-of-way and no more than 3,000 feet from the I-65 centerline. Another major change is what Limbaugh described as the “absolute elimination” of pole signs in favor of monument signs, such as the sign at the driveway entrance of the Homewood City Schools building. He said monument signs fit better with the aesthetic goals of the city. As a whole, the new regulations are intended to provide more uniformity

in the look of advertisements throughout the city. Limbaugh said at one point there were eight sets of rules governing different parts of the city. “The overall goal is to get some consistency, as much as possible, between various areas in the city,” he said. Other changes include amendments to the rules on banners, freestanding signs, residential project signs and signs within Brookwood Village and

Wildwood Centre. A number of sign types are now prohibited, including signs emitting noise or smoke, animated signs, obscene or illegal words and images, sandwich board signs, hot air or gas balloon signs and illuminated tubing or lighting on property, and roof or building lines. Signs also cannot be placed in locations where they obscure traffic signals or sight lines, obstruct doors and other walkways, enter public

properties or rights-of-way, or on residential properties advertising home jobs or delivery services. This is not a complete list of the regulations. The notice of the new sign codes will be posted at City Hall, the library, the senior center and the Lee Community Center in Rosedale. It will also be available on

May 2015 • A7

Council questions look of proposed Ollie’s sign

Developer Chris Hoyt holds up a rendering of the proposed Ollie’s building and signage. Photo by Sydney Cromwell.

By SYDNEY CROMWELL The developer of the former Mazer’s building met resistance from the city council at its April 13 meeting over a proposed sign. Dunn Real Estate President Chris Hoyt came before the council requesting sign variances for Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, which is planning to fill 30,000 square feet of the Mazer’s building, located at 808 Green Springs Highway. The sign would be over 200 square feet in area and be composed of five separate, internally illuminated signs. Hoyt said the sign needed to be that size because the building is set back 381 feet from the road and requires a larger sign to be visible. He noted that a monument sign advertising Ollie’s and the rest of the building tenants is being planned, but has not been finalized yet. The council’s opposition to the sign came mainly from its aesthetics, as it includes a caricatured drawing of the founder’s face and

purposefully uneven lettering. Ward 4 Place 1 Representative Barry Smith pointed out that other Ollie’s stores around the country have had more professional-looking signs. “We are sensitive with this area,” Ward 5 Place 2 Representative Peter Wright agreed. “We’re trying to move it forward in as professional a manner as we can.” Council members also expressed concerns over approving five separate signs for one tenant. Hoyt said he received the approval to remove the head from the signs, if needed. However, the council voted to carry over the agenda item until its next meeting and discuss alternative signs in the meantime. Ollie’s is supposed to move into its space on May 15 and is scheduled for a June 15 grand opening. Renovations are being made on the entire building and warehouse area, which includes 180,000 square feet, and Hoyt said tenants are currently in negotiation for the remaining space.

Pedestrian barriers coming to Edgewood

Greg Cobb of the department of engineering, planning and zoning holds up a sample of the proposed downtown Edgewood pedestrian barriers. Photo by Sydney Cromwell.

By SYDNEY CROMWELL Pedestrian barriers will soon be constructed in the downtown Edgewood shopping area. The city council approved the barriers at its April 13 meeting. The proposed pedestrian barriers will be approximately three feet high and created from custom-made steel bars. They will be placed along three sides of the sidewalk in front of the shopping center, which includes stores such as Dreamcakes, La Bamba and Edgewood Creamery. Greg Cobb, the director of the department of engineering, planning and zoning, brought a sample of the barriers to a public safety committee meeting. He said certain sections would be removable for maintenance vehicles to access the streetlights, and the barriers would be drilled or bolted into the concrete. They will be placed on the interior of the

sidewalk’s brick pavers to keep the barriers out of the way of vehicles. There will also be gaps for crosswalks and wheelchair ramps. “The idea is to keep kids out of the streets,” Cobb said, also noting he received positive response from residents when he brought the sample barrier to the Edgewood shopping area. Ward 4 Place 2 Representative Heather Reid brought up high traffic events like We Love Homewood Day, when pedestrian barriers could become a hindrance to residents. Cobb said it would be possible to make all the barrier sections removable so the city has the choice of leaving them in place or removing them. “I just think it’s good to have the option,” Reid said. The cost of installing the barriers will be around $3,500.

The Homewood Star

A8 • May 2015

No new active cases of tuberculosis found at Homewood High School By ROY L. WILLIAMS No new active cases of tuberculosis have been found so far at Homewood High School, Jefferson County Department of Health officials say, for the first time revealing results of tests conducted in March of students and employees of the school after a ninth-grader was diagnosed with the deadly, contagious respiratory disease. In all, 36 Homewood High School students and three employees out of the more than 1,200 examined had positive tuberculosis skin tests, but Dr. Ed Khan stressed that there is no cause for alarm because they had what is called “latent tuberculosis,” a dormant form that is not contagious. “We have found a total of 36 students and three employees who have positive TB skin tests, which may indicate that they’ve been exposed at some time in their life to TB,” Khan said during an April 22 press conference. “Their chest X-rays are normal and they have no symptoms.” Khan, medical director of disease control, said none of the 36 students and three employees who had positive skin tests had close contact with the student. “None of them are in the student’s class, so we actually feel that they’re probably unrelated to the case,” Khan said. He said the Jefferson County Department of Health plans to retest individuals at Homewood High School the week of May 18 before school breaks for the summer, adding that tuberculosis is a slow-developing disease that typically takes eight to 12 weeks for symptoms to show up. On March 25 during a meeting at the school system office, Homewood Schools Superintendent Bill Cleveland told about 50 concerned parents that 960 of the 1,060 students at Homewood High School and 169 employees were tested for tuberculosis.

A case of tuberculosis was discovered at Homewood High School the week before Spring Break, but no new active diagnoses have been made since then.

Khan said the county health department appreciates the cooperation and assistance of the Homewood school system in the investigation “and their working diligently to provide accurate information to parents in a timely manner.” Answering questions on how the freshman caught the potentially deadly, contagious disease, Khan assured the parents it is safe to keep their kids in Homewood High while his department treats the patient and tests students and employees to assure they aren’t infected. The Jefferson County Department of Health website,, has a link to with information under the tab “Tuberculosis (TB) Facts You Need to Know.” According to the Centers for Disease Control, tuberculosis is one of the world’s most deadly diseases. In 2010, 8.8 million people fell ill with tuberculosis. Of the 1.4 million deaths, 95 percent occurred in developing countries. Khan said officials still don’t know how the

Homewood High student, whose name isn’t being released, caught tuberculosis. He said the patient is being treated, and that county public health officials are researching people he might have been in contact with. Thanks to advancements in treatment, tuberculosis cases are rare, but they do sometimes appear, Khan said. “The only way TB is transmitted is if someone has active TB in their lungs and then when they cough, talk, sneeze, whatever, it gets in the air and then others within the vicinity of that person breathes in that air and then it gets in their lungs,” Khan said. “This was recognized very early on.” Khan said the student is on a preventive medication. County health officials don’t know yet where or how the student caught tuberculosis. “Both the infected person and the person who gave them TB probably didn’t know it was

there,” he said. “The majority of people do not know they have it. Sometimes you can learn risk factors based on where that person had been.” Since tuberculosis is a federal priority, the department of health covers treatment costs, Khan said. As part of their investigation, health officials will test the victim’s family, and will alert people who might have been in contact with him, including church or any organizations or sporting teams the patient might have participated in. Cleveland said school officials felt a sense of urgency to get the message out to parents. “I’ve heard lots of things as far as siblings of the student, should we be concerned. To our knowledge, there are no siblings of the student in our school system,” the superintendent said. Khan said if parents have students at Homewood High, they should be alert for active coughing, abnormal chest X-ray or dramatic weight loss and other symptoms. He said onethird of world population has the tuberculosis germ in their body but don’t get sick from it. “That state cannot transfer the disease,” he said. “There is no active transmitting of the disease. There is no active replication of the disease in the body. It’s just dormant and contained by the immune system in the body. That can’t infect anybody else. It’s only the one coughing, sick, losing weight. At the end of this, we are going to know who is latent, no symptoms, who is active.” One parent said her daughter is asking her what tuberculosis is. Cleveland said he is going “to make this a teachable” moment. “Our main focus has been on communicating to parents,” he said, adding that he plans to invite the Jefferson County Department of Health to educate students and parents about the disease.

May 2015 • A9

Controversial digital billboard to go up in West Homewood By MADOLINE MARKHAM Plans are moving forward to move New Point Outdoor’s electronic billboard to a new location in West Homewood. Some residents find the new location controversial for similar reasons to its original spot at Lakeshore Drive and Green Springs Highway. The billboard was removed from the Lakeshore location on March 30 following resident protests that prompted discussions between New Point and the City of Homewood, although the location technically was in Jefferson County and not in Homewood. The company and city looked at six to eight potential locations along I-65, mostly north of Green Springs Highway before selecting one that met Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) regulations. “It’s about the only spot that ALDOT would allow,” Ward 2 Place 1 Representative Fred Hawkins said at a West Homewood community meeting at Seeds Coffee on April 22. New Point has applied for a permit with the city to relocate the billboard behind the Kmart on Green Springs Highway, according to Hawkins. The new location is at least 600 feet from the nearest homes and billboards and within 75 feet of the ALDOT right of way. Hawkins said that he had safety concerns relating to the previous location but feels that the safety and engineering conditions are better behind Kmart, where there is only one stopping condition that will face the sign and that is for traffic coming off I-65. Raleigh Avenue resident Andy Conaway started an online petition against the new location, “Stop Digital Billboard from Going Up In West Homewood” on April 7. Conaway and other residents are concerned about the large board being obtrusive and hurting property values. Several people who signed

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This map shows the new location of the digital billboard in relation to the nearest residential areas. Illustration by Emily VanderMey.

the petition said they do not want the billboard located anywhere in Homewood. “If it’ll lower real estate prices for neighborhoods off Lakeshore, why is it not a concern about the real estate prices for neighborhoods off Oxmoor?” Conaway said. Conaway suggested that instead the billboard

remain at the current Lakeshore BP location. At the April 22 community meeting, residents asked questions about the board’s location to Hawkins and fellow council member Vance Moody. Hawkins and Moody both said they might have done things differently regarding the billboard relocation process, but they

couldn’t say whether the outcome would have been different. In response to questions about the effects of the sign, Hawkins also said that overall property values are increasing in West Homewood and that he would never do anything on purpose to lower property values.

The Homewood Star

A10 • May 2015

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Now Open Magic City Sweet Ice is now open at 715 Oak Grove Road in West Homewood. The Italian ice business, located across from Patriot Park, held its grand opening on April 25. 907-2125,


Halsey has opened her 2 Casey State Farm Insurance agency in Homewood at 507 Brookwood Blvd. 445-0445,

Coming Soon Lovell Pediatric Dentistry is planning to open in mid-May at 1900 28th Ave. S., Suite 109. Dr. W. Adrian Lovell III received a dentistry degree from the University of Florida and completed a pediatric dental residency at UAB and Children’s of Alabama. 957-6611,


Ollie’s Bargain Outlet plans to open in the former building of Mazer Discount Superstore, located at 816 Green Springs Highway. Ollie’s is a national franchise that sells overstock, closeout and salvage items including housewares and sporting goods.


Upscale steak and seafood restaurant Grille 29 is opening in the former McCormick & Schmick’s building at Brookwood Village this fall. Orlando-based Restaurant Partners, Inc. opened the original location eight years ago, and it has been voted the Best Restaurant in the annual Taste of Huntsville rankings.


warehouse store 6 Discount Dirt Cheap will be coming to Homewood Commons at 146 Wildwood Parkway. The Wildwood store will be its

May 2015 • A11 first in Birmingham, but the chain has 10 other locations in Alabama.

Entrepreneurs of the Year. 874-6300, Results Physiotherapy, a physical therapy clinic headquartered in Franklin, Tennessee, has named Tony Ueber president and CEO of the company. The company has a clinic in Homewood at 1831 28th Ave. S., Suite 155N. 876-1000,


Relocations and Renovations Marriott TownePlace Suites, 500 Wildwood Circle North, held a grand reopening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and reception in April. 943-0114,


Ed’s Pet World has announced new store hours: Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sundays 1-5 p.m. 879-1331,


News and Accomplishments In tandem with National Chocolate Chip Day, Full Moon Bar-B-Que, 337 Valley Ave., will celebrate Cookie Craze Day on Friday, May 15, by offering customers one free Half Moon Cookie with any purchase at all locations. Half of each chocolate chip-pecan cookie is dipped in chocolate. 945-9997,


Forrest Walden, CEO and founder of Iron Tribe, 2740 Central Ave., has been named as one of Auburn University’s three


Homewood Toy & Hobby, 2830 18th Street South, has new business hours, Monday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. 879-3986,


Hirings and Promotions LAH Real Estate, 1760 Oxmoor Road, has hired Jamie Bolton as a residential Realtor. She has more than 25 years of experience in the real estate industry. 879-8580,


Business Business news news

to share? Now Open Coming Soon Coming Soon

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


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Relocation Expansion Homewood Star Expansion The The Homewood Star

“When it rains, we drain!”

244-1114 » French Drains » Surface Drains » Downspout Systems » Dry Creek Bed Designs

The Homewood Star

A12 • May 2015


Homewood High School Principal Zach Barnes, Homewood Middle School Principal Jimmie Pearson and HCS Assistant Superintendent Kevin Maddox

Students John Okumu Anyiko, Bella Nichols, Ryan Shepler, Kailyn Gibbs and Windham Hewitt received awards from the Homewood Chamber of Commerce on May 9. Photos by Madoline Markham.

Chamber recognizes exemplary students, work of schools foundation By MADOLINE MARKHAM The Homewood Chamber of Commerce celebrated Homewood City Schools at its April 21 luncheon. Chamber President Merrick Wilson and HCS Superintendent Bill Cleveland awarded one exemplary student from each school an achievement award during the event. These students were: }} John Okumu Anyiko, Edgewood Elementary }} Windham Hewitt, Hall-Kent Elementary }} Bella Nichols, Shades Cahaba Elementary

}} Ryan Shepler, Homewood Middle }} Kailyn Gibbs, Homewood High Gibbs will also receive a scholarship from the chamber; she plans to attend Auburn University in the fall. Also at the luncheon, Homewood City Schools Foundation’s president and executive director spoke about its role supporting Homewood schools. President Julie Keith said that the role of the foundation has grown as state funding for the school system has decreased. Over the past couple of years, the foundation has ramped up its

branding, including a new website; started two annual fundraisers, a Homewood Grown dinner and a Grateful Dads music event at a brewery; and reached out to parents and community members more to ask for donations. “It takes all of us working together,” Keith said. After showing a video about teachers recognized at the recent Homewood Grown event, foundation Director Amy McRae said the foundation has more than 450 new donors in the past three years. She also described grants that are awarded to teachers each spring for innovative

ideas they have submitted to the foundation. Last year the foundation awarded $85,000 in grants. The foundation has recently funded a Book Flicks programs in all three elementary schools, National Board Certification fees for teachers and Chromebooks for Homewood Middle School, among other projects. The next Homewood Chamber of Commerce luncheon will be May 19 at 11:30 a.m. at The Club. For more information, visit

May 2015 • A13

Community Scouts to hold pancake breakfast, garage sale and auction In past years, Boy Scout Troop 97 has raised more than $20,000 during its annual festivities at Trinity United Methodist. This year the Scouts are aiming to exceed that amount. The troop will host its annual Pancake Breakfast, Silent Auction and Garage Sale on Saturday, May 9 from 7 a.m.-noon in the Trinity Fellowship Hall and church gym. Steve Lloyd, Troop 97’s scoutmaster, said the fundraiser allows the troop to underwrite scout programs such as monthly campouts and annual high-adventure trips.  “This event not only raises much-needed funds, but it brings our adult volunteers and scouts together, modeling many of the principles of scouting,” he said. The garage sale will be offering clothing, household items, crafts, toys, books, electronics, and sporting and camping equipment. Major items such as furniture and appliances will also be available at affordable prices. Scouts from the troop and adult volunteers will help by taking purchased items to shopper’s car. Items not sold at the end of the sale will be distributed to local charities. The Pancake Breakfast includes pancakes, sausages, coffee, juice and tableside service

Library summer reading kicks off this month

Children participate in a Lego program as a part of last year’s summer reading events at Homewood Public Library. Photo courtesy of Homewood Public Library.

Steve and Jonathan Parris cook for the pancake breakfast.

from the Scouts. Tickets for the allyou-can-eat breakfast are $6 per person in advance or $7 at the door. The silent auction will be taking bids on items from throughout the morning and ending the bids at 11 a.m. The troop is asking local businesses to donate an item or service to the silent auction. It is also in search of people who want to donate sewn or homemade items or paintings, and owners of lake houses in Alabama

or condominiums at the beach that would be willing to offer for a one week stay or weekend getaway. The troop is in need of auction items and garage sale donations. Please contact Bert Allen at 540-5343 or for more information or to arrange a donation pickup. All donations are tax deductible. Troop leadership said they wish to thank the community for faithfully supporting the boys over the years.

The Homewood Public Library is encouraging kids to get their capes ready for summer reading. Registration for Every Hero Has a Story, the summer reading program for children ages birth to fifth-grade, begins online May 18. Once registered, you can come by the library to pick up a bag of fun and check out books. Prizes will be given each week starting June 1 when you turn in your reading log. You can check out books each week to enter your name for a chance to win a bicycle, but you must be present at the finale on July 27 to win. Summer programming for kids kicks off on Thursday, May 28, at 6 p.m. with the Super Reader’s Training Academy. The superhero-filled evening will feature games, crafts, snacks and summer reading registration. Other super summer events include Animal Superheroes on June 2, Super Spy Night on June 4 and Superhero Science on June 11.

The library is also holding summer reading programs for sixth through 12th graders. For every three books, audiobooks, or graphic novels they check out, they get one entry into a Super Summer Contest where they can win a $250 gift card. The teen department is also giving away prizes each week. Visit the library or check out the to find out how you can win. Teen programming kicks off on June 2 at 3:30 p.m. with a Post-It Note Party. At the event, you learn games and creations that can be made with post-it notes. The fun continues with Hunger Games: Heroes of the Arena (June 9 – registration required), Summer Movies (various dates), a Puppet Making Workshop (July 7) and more. To view our full listing of programs for all ages or to register for children’s and teen programs, visit or call 332-6600.

The Homewood Star

A14 • May 2015

Handmade Art Show returns to Patriot Park By MADOLINE MARKHAM

A variety of artists will participate in Handmade on May 9 including Jayne Harrison (clay sculptures), Joye Hehn (hand-dyed fashions), Karen Marcum (acrylic paintings), Wendy Watts (upcycled wine jewelry), Jill Lindsey (pottery), Liz Lane (watercolor and paintings), Valerie Holley (pottery) and Mary Segreto (gourds). Photo by Madoline Markham.

Homewood now has an outdoor art show to call its own, and it is returning Saturday, May 9 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. For 20 years, Handmade has brought a unique selection of local artists’ works to home settings, but this is only its second event at Patriot Park. “The park setting allows more of the public to come and makes it easier for the artists to set up,” organizer Jill Lindsey said. Around 30 fiber artists, potters, glass artists, painters, woodworkers and jewelry artists will set up their wares in tents that form a circle inside the park. Organizers Lindsey and Valerie Holley, both potters, recruit local artisans who create high quality works that are, of course, made by hand for the event. They said they are always looking for new artists but also don’t take just anyone. Instead, they would rather

have a smaller number of sellers with a strong balance and variety of wares. The event will also feature live music by Woochega as well as Ferocious Dogs hot dogs and homemade ice cream from Big Spoon Creamery For the first 15 years, the show was held in the yard of its founder Carol Richard’s home. From there it moved to Cindy Parker’s Homewood home. Last fall Holley and Lindsey worked with Caroline Hubbard of the Homewood Arts Council and the Parks and Recreation Board to move it to a more public space and make it an official Homewood event. Lindsey said she has collected Handmade art for 20 years now. “It makes my home happy,” she said. “It puts a smile on my face to collect art from fellow local artists.” For more information, visit HomewoodArtsCouncil.

David Phelps to perform at scholarship luncheon The Legacy League, an auxiliary of Samford University, is holding an evening with Grammy and Dove Award winner David Phelps at its annual Scholarship Celebration on Thursday, May 7. This year’s culminating event will be held at the Wright Center at Samford University. The musical evening combines an culinary feast with a one-hour concert by the member of the renowned Gaither Vocal Band. The public is invited to meet and hear Phelps at the celebration. Reservations are required, and a limited number are available. Guests may attend the 5:30 p.m. private

reception followed by the buffet dinner at 6:30 p.m. These Deluxe reservations include a photo made with Phelps, dinner with reserved table seating, preferred concert seats, valet parking and a David Phelps CD. These tickets are $135 per person, of which $72.50 is tax-deductible. An $80 per person Standard reservation, of which $40 is tax deductible, includes the dinner buffet with reserved table seating and the concert. Phelps has multiple platinum-selling projects, and has received four Dove Awards and two Grammy Awards. He Phelps lives in Nashville,

Tennessee, with his wife, Lori, and their four children: Callie, Maggie Beth, Grant and Coby. Proceeds from this event will help endow a new scholarship for Samford students with significant financial need. In celebration of 100 years of teacher education at Samford, this scholarship will provide needed assistance for students pursuing a career in education. For more information and to make reservations, visit . For questions, call 726-2247. David Phelps


205-332-3935 429 Green Springs Hwy, Suite 171 | Homewood, AL 35209

May 2015 • A15

CDF celebrates 40 years with May 2 event

CDF dancers pose in the shape of the number 40 in honor of that many of years of its programs. Photo courtesy of Children’s Dance Foundation.

Children’s Dance Foundation is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a special performance on May 2. The free event begins at 7:30 p.m. at The Alabama Theatre. Forty years ago, three women implemented a new approach to teaching dance to very young children and those with special needs. Dancer Jennie Webb Robertson, along with Virginia Samford Donovan and Mary Conyers Cooper, founded Children’s Dance Foundation (CDF) with the mission to provide age- and developmentally appropriate movement classes that nurtured the whole child – physically, mentally and emotionally. Today, under the leadership of new artistic director Heidi Stoeckley, CDF’s professional teaching artists continue to ignite the creative spirit and talent of all children, including the child who is homeless, very young, disadvantaged or at-risk and the child who has special needs. In 1975, Robertson had the makings of a dance program: attic space, $50 and a few interested students including her granddaughter. She enlisted the help of friends Donovan and Cooper to begin reaching out to the places were children were already gathered, such as the day care centers of the Birmingham Housing Authority, Children’s Hospital waiting rooms

and the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind in Talladega. The trio of ladies took dance directly to those children, giving them opportunities to listen and respond to the music, be creative and move. In 1985, a studio location was started in Southside to help fund the outreach classes. Today, CDF is based in Homewood and has nearly 30 dance artists and musicians that fulfill the founding mission daily, dancing with Birmingham children through various community partnerships and the studio program. CDF holds weekly dance classes with live music for nearly 1,000 students varying in age at partner sites such as UCP Hand in Hand, The Bell Center and YWCA. Directors and teachers at partner sites say that CDF’s classes enrich the children’s learning and provide a physical and creative outlet for their students. Currently expanding is CDF’s work with students learning English as a second language. With special funding from the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, CDF’s teaching artists are helping the students at three elementary schools acquire stronger language skills through dance. To learn more, visit

Boys Choir concert is free to the public The 70 concert choristers of the Birmingham Boys Choir will perform its 37th Annual Spring Concert on Sunday, May 17. The free event will begin at 4 p.m. at Dawson Family of Faith, 1114 Oxmoor Road. The choir performs both sacred and secular

music. Its goals are to provide talented boys in the Birmingham area an opportunity to more fully develop their gifts in an area of concentrated study and to teach and encourage good vocal habits within the group experience. For more visit

Cheers! event to benefit library and Rotary foundations An event this month will remind you that there’s a place where everyone knows your name. Cheers! will benefit the Homewood Library Foundation and the Homewood Rotary Foundation. The event will be held Thursday, May 29, from 5-9 p.m. at Good People Brewing Company. Food from Nabeel’s will be served from 5-7 p.m.

The evening will also feature music by the J.D. Baker Band and a raffle in addition to Good People’s brews. Tickets are $30 and available at or the Homewood Public Library. Tickets cover the price of food and drink but not raffle tickets.

The Homewood Star

A16 • May 2015

Learning program expands into Homewood By MADISON MILLER AND MADOLINE MARKHAM Lifelong learners will soon have an opportunity to take classes on a variety of subjects at the Homewood Public Library and the Homewood Senior Center. The local affiliate of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), originally based in Vestavia Hills, has expanded to several new locations throughout the area. OLLI is designed for people who want to be lifelong learners. The national program’s affiliates offer a variety of courses based on what interests its membership, from local history to travel. Vestavia’s affiliate began in 2013 through the University of Alabama system and quickly grew to more than 200 members who were interested

in programs with increasing depth. “It took off like wildfire,” Co-chair of Curriculum and Recruitment Committee Diane Wheeler said. “It’s something you can experience and enjoy to expand your worldview.” Classes at the senior center and library will begin this summer with topics such as world religions and handwriting analysis. The group will also take a field trip to Rickwood Caverns in Warrior. Participants can attend as many classes as they would like for an annual fee of $25. OLLI also offers bonus classes, which are free and open to the public, to allow participants to try classes before paying a fee. Each OLLI group is managed by its all-volunteer membership, which seeks out what others

Members of OLLI attend a course on British classic film at their affiliate’s original location in Vestavia Hills.

want to learn and creates courses around that. “You don’t have to become an expert and take it up for life,” Wheeler said. “It’s just fun to know.”

Call the Homewood Senior Center at 3326500 or the Homewood Public Library at 3326600 for more information.

Photo contest deadline upcoming

This is one of the submissions for the arts council photo contest.

The Homewood Arts Council’s Faces, Places and Traces of Homewood photo contest ends May 8. The contest is looking for unique images of Homewood that fit in one of three categories: 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. Selected photographs 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. 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. Arts council member Caroline Hubbard said she encourages all residents of all ages to turn in submissions. You don’t have to be a professional photographer to enter, she said. “It’s fun to have community involvement in the first exhibit,” Hubbard said. “It’s a celebration of Homewood.” The Homewood Arts Council is a volunteer commission of the city that is dedicated to promoting and celebrating the arts. For more information, visit homewoodartscouncil or email

May 2015 • A17

We Love Homewood Day festivities and 5K return May 2

Area residents participate in the We Love Homewood Day 5K, previously known as the Spirit Scamper.

By MADOLINE MARKHAM This year’s We Love Homewood Day will look slightly different. The Homewood Lions Club will not be holding its annual barbecue sale, but other food vendors will ensure there is plenty to eat. After a year hiatus, the Rotary Club’s Sidewalk Chalk Art Festival will return. The day kicks off with the We Love Homewood Day 5K, previously known as the Spirit Scamper, which will begin at Homewood Central Park this year. At the park afterward, a $15 wristband will provide unlimited access to rides, and

individual tickets will also be for sale for 50 cents each. The parade from the Homewood Library to Edgewood begins at 6 p.m. A Street Dance will follow in Edgewood with music provided by Bonus Round. For more on We Love Homewood Day, visit we-love-homewood-day or contact Rusty Holley at 332-6705 or rusty.holley@homewoodal. org. Updates on the event will be announced on Twitter @ homewoodparks, on Facebook and on the website. For more on the We Love Homewood Day 5K, visit spiritscamper. com.

We Love Homewood Day Schedule

Run, walk to support women’s health awareness An event this month is seeking to raise awareness about women’s health. The Women’s Health 5K Run and One-Mile Family Fun Walk will be held on Saturday, May 16 on the Lakeshore Greenway. The event is sponsored by the Office of Women’s Health Advisory Committee in partnership with the City of Homewood, the St. Vincent’s Health System, Mommy and Me Time Fitness and the Single Mothers Empowerment Conference. The run and walk are designed to empower women to make their health a top priority, increase the awareness of women’s health issues and highlight resources that are available for health and wellness for women in the state. A portion of the proceeds from this event will be used to sponsor selected girls participation in the Girls on the Run program in the fall.  Packet pickup will be May 15 at the Trak Shack, and the race begins at 8 a.m. Registration for the run is $25 for an individual or $20 for a team, and the walk is $10. For more information visit

*All events will take place at Homewood Central Park unless otherwise noted. 7:30 a.m. We Love Homewood Day 5K 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Spring in the Park Festival 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Rotary Club Bake Sale 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Arts and Crafts/Vendor Business Expo 10 a.m. Silent Auction 1 p.m. Homewood High School Band Pep Rally/Concert 6 p.m. We Love Homewood Day Parade, route from the library to Edgewood 7-9:30 p.m. We Love Homewood Day Street Dance and Quality of Life Award Presentation, Edgewood Business District

Kite flying event set for this month A kite flying event is coming to Homewood Community Garden. The event will run Sunday, May 17 from 3-5 p.m. A drum circle with John Scalici will begin at 4 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring kites, blankets and a picnic, and organizer Julie Gentry plans to invite an ice cream truck. Gentry said she will have some kite kits for kids to decorate and fly on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The Homewood Star

A18 • May 2015

SoHo farmers market to add breakfast options and entertainment By MADOLINE MARKHAM Local growers will return to SoHo on Saturday mornings this summer, but there will be a new addition to the farmers market. Picnic tables, ready-to-eat breakfast food, live entertainment and kids activities will be added to the festivities with the hopes that those who come to the market will stay and enjoy its atmosphere. “Every year we like to improve the market in some way, and we want this to be a first stop for an enjoyable Saturday in Homewood,” Urban Cookhouse Owner Andrea Snyder said. “Homewood has so much to offer through its parks, the community pool, restaurants and shops. We want to add the Homewood Farmers Market to that list of things to do in Homewood by making it a family event. “ At the market, Urban Cookhouse will be offering a farm egg breakfast burrito, fruit and strawberry lemonade for breakfast. Like previous years, the market will feature 15-20 vendors each week. All produce and crafts are made in Alabama, and most come from an 85-mile radius of Homewood. In addition to fresh tomatoes, peaches, corn and other produce, those who come will find jewelry, canned items, honeys, soaps, wooden cooking spoons, local meats, dog biscuits and more. “I think it’s a great opportunity to connect the community to local farmers and artisans so you can support them,” Market Manager Lyndsi Hughes said. “I enjoy relationships I have developed with vendors and learning their stories and backgrounds. Urban Cookhouse wants to support the local farmers, so it’s a good to connect them with the community.”

Homewood Farmers Market

SoHo Parking Lot 2850 19th Street South Saturdays, 8 a.m.-noon May 30-Aug. 15, except July 4

A variety of local growers will return to this year’s Homewood Farmers Market. Photos by Madoline Markham.

West Homewood market moves to Tuesday evenings The West Homewood Farmer’s Market will start back on a new day and time this summer. The market will be open every Tuesday from 5-8 p.m. throughout June and July and. During August, September and October, it will be open only the third Tuesday of the month.

Previously the market ran on Saturday mornings in the summer and on Thursday evenings in the summer. Each week the event features live entertainment, fresh produce, activities for kids, arts and crafts, specialty foods and food trucks. This season market organizers also plan to expand

the number of booths at the to widen its selection. The West Homewood Farmer’s Market is located in the parking lot of Shades Valley Community Church at 160 Oxmoor Road. For more information visit


May 2015 • A19

Walk in memory of loved ones to support grief services

In 2015, more than 2,000 grieving people will receive help in their struggle with their loss through Community Grief Support Service. To support those services, the organization is holding a Memory Lights Walk on June 6 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Homewood Central Park. The walk is not timed or measured. It is simply a meditative walk providing time to remember a loved one — spouse, child, sibling, parent, friend or even a pet — who has passed away. Dogs are welcome to join the walk was well. At the end of the evening, hundreds of extra-large white LEDlit balloons with specially prepared prayers or sentiments attached will be released. “This walk will be a peaceful, serene walk in the park, planned especially to memorialize the loved ones who have gone on before us,” said Lisa Harrison, administrative director of Community Grief Support Service. “I would encourage anyone who wants to remember someone special to them to join us June 6 for Memory Lights.” The event will also feature food trucks, inflatables and live music. CGSS aims to raise $20,000 through registration fees and the purchase of the Memory Lights balloons over the course of the night. CGSS began as a voluntary service of Ridout’s Funeral Home in Homewood in the early 1990s to help bereaved families struggling with their loss. In 1996, volunteers

Attendees release white balloons in memory of lost loved ones at last year’s Memory Lights Walk. Photo courtesy of Community Grief Support Service.

and community leaders incorporated CGSS as an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit providing free services to help bereaved adults in the Greater Birmingham area heal from the significant and long-term impact of the death of a loved one. At the first of this year, CGSS assimilated sister agency Alabama

Grief Support Service under the CGSS umbrella. From the organization’s offices on Oxmoor Road across from Dawson Family of Faith it provides free individual, couples and family grief counseling as well as community education programs. While the organization is not faith-based, many Birmingham churches of all

denominations support its services to all bereaved adults. It also facilitates 30 free support groups across the Greater Birmingham area. Walk fees are $25 per person, and each memory light costs $20. For more information or to register visit php.

Memory Lights Walk Benefiting Community Grief Support Service June 6, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Homewood Central Park

The Homewood Star

A20 • May 2015

Tour Hollywood’s historic homes Event set for May 3

A selection of historic Hollywood homes will be open for tours on Sunday, May 3. The Tour of Homes event will run from 1-4 p.m. Clyde Nelson developed Hollywood starting in 1926, working with architect George Turner to design homes in the Spanish mission style

popular in Hollywood, California, as well as the English Tudor design. The town was incorporated in January 1927 and incorporated into Homewood in October 1929. Its original country club was located on Lakeshore Drive and its town hall is now the American Legion Post

No. 1340 building on Hollywood Boulevard. Tickets for the home tour, $20 in advance or $25 at the door, are available at Hunter’s Cleaners, Four Seasons Art & Antiques, Sweet Peas Garden Shop, Table Matters, Chickadee, King’s House and

The Thompson House

The Cooper House

The Lary House

The Doyal House

105 Hollywood Blvd.

308 La Playa Place

214 Devon Drive

216 Devon Drive

This Spanish colonial revival bungalow has been a fixture on Hollywood Boulevard for nearly 90 years and was recently purchased by Scott Thompson. Builder Matthew Gregory purchased the house from the estate of Betty Morrison and renovated it in less than 10 weeks. With the exception of an open side porch being enclosed, this house still occupies its original footprint. Gregory opened up the breakfast room to the adjoining kitchen and built a custom banquette and added French doors to access the front terrace, which is now covered with a wood arbor. In the hall, a halfbath was created from the closets of two bedrooms, and parts of bedrooms that now are used as an office were used to create a master closet.

Mary and Mims Cooper purchased this three-bedroom Spanish colonial revival gem in 2012. The earliest owners on record, Eugenia and George Shook, are among 176 original residents listed on a 1926 census that was required when Hollywood petitioned to become a town. The one-story stucco house’s architectural details include a front projecting bay and parapet, double-hung windows, a stoop porch at the entrance and an exterior stucco chimney. Its newly recreated kitchen boasts herringbone back splash subway tiles, marble countertops, French doors and a media viewing area. At the rear of the home, a private entertainment and herb planting area was created, doubling the living space. A brick-capped, stucco courtyard wall was constructed along the back of the lot.

The Lary Home, built in 1927 by the Matthews family, is a classic example of the Tudor revival cottage style, an adaptation of the much larger English-type manor homes. Current owners Rachel and Barton Lary purchased the house in 2010 from Dan and Kristi Logan. The home’s square footage is unchanged, but it has all been refurbished or renovated. An early project was to reopen the original covered front porch, sandblasting layers of white paint to reveal the original brick. The kitchen, originally three small rooms, was redone with an open plan and eating area. All doors were stripped to the original wood, showing off the unusual original brass doorknobs. Both full baths were gutted and redone, reusing the original clawfoot tub.

The Doyal House is a 1928 Tudor revival one-story bungalow expanded from seven rooms to 13 — all on the original footprint. Holly and Jay Doyal have remodeled extensively since buying the home in 1998. They’ve taken a European approach to designing their home, keeping the outside structure true to the period in which it was built while choosing chic, minimalist, European furnishings and fixtures for the interior. The Doyals reconfigured the kitchen, relocated a staircase and installed concrete counters. In 2005, the Doyals enlisted Twin Construction to take the house from one story to two and remove the false ceiling in the living room was removed to reveal the original 14-foot barrel ceiling.

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The Homewood Star

A22 • May 2015

West Homewood Neighborhood Plan


Oak Grove Road Retail Development

New or Resurfaced Asphalt Concrete Sidewalk or Driveway Required Brick Pavers Required Pedestrian Light Fixture

The first phase of the redevelopment plan will repave the blue portion of Oak Grove Road and install sidewalks, crosswalks, extra parking and streetlamps. Image courtesy of Homewood Department of Engineering, Planning and Zoning.


CONTINUED from page A1 renovation process. At the same time, the city has approved its first steps in the redevelopment plan the Duncans have been waiting for.

Oak and Raleigh

The Duncans are hoping to open their new

business, Oak and Raleigh, by the second week of June. It sits right across from Patriot Park, and Morgan said he’s betting on foot traffic from neighbors and families enjoying the park. “We’re going to be counting on the neighborhood, really,” Morgan said. Oak and Raleigh will have a deli serving toasted and steamed sandwiches and salads. There will be 10 beers on tap, all from Birmingham breweries, and the Duncans are planning

a full selection of 40 beers and several types of wine. The market will sell fresh cuts of meat and other essentials such as cheeses and breads. “It’s not going to be huge,” Morgan said. “If you want to come in and get a couple steaks for your family, we’ll have what you need.” The renovation process will be extensive, as they will be knocking down several walls, redoing ductwork and making larger bathrooms. The end result will be a 1,900-square-foot store with

an open kitchen, a bar, large windows facing the park, dining tables and a lounge area for customers. The Duncan trio is well suited to the task. Morgan is a lawyer who has worked with many new small businesses, Tyler works in construction, and Molly is an interior designer. They plan to complete the construction in four weeks. Once it opens for business, Oak and Raleigh will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and as late “as people will let us” on weekends.

The city’s West Homewood redevelopment plan includes redesigning retail spaces along Oak Grove Road, widening sidewalks, adding crosswalks and installing amenities such as landscaping and outdoor seating. Image courtesy of Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham.

They will be hiring other people to handle most of the day-to-day operations, but both Morgan and Tyler plan to be there serving food on weekends. “It’s always fun to serve people beer and have good conversations,” Morgan said. In addition to indoor seating, the Duncans are hoping the city will follow through on some of its redevelopment proposals, which include outdoor seating and landscaping at the corner of the current parking lot. Their business will be dependent on weather and residents’ willingness to walk, but they believe Oak and Raleigh will fill a neighborhood need. “We are really going to be hoping that the 800 houses around here like

us,” Tyler said.

Road renewal

Just before Oak and Raleigh gets ready to open its doors, the city of Homewood will begin phase one of the redevelopment plan it outlined in 2012. In April, the Homewood City Council approved a project to redesign the section of Oak Grove Road between Oxmoor Road and Hall Avenue. The project will include a repaved street, brick sidewalk pavers, crosswalks and 21 new acornshaped streetlights. The city made a deal with Alabama Power to maintain the lights for around $1,200 per month. Ward 2 Place 1 Representative Fred Hawkins has been heavily involved in the project’s design and said construction is planned to begin sometime after school lets out on May 21. It will be a tight

May 2015 • A23 deadline, but he’s hoping the project will be finished before the new school year begins in August so there won’t be disruption of school traffic. “This is supposed to be a catalyst,” Hawkins said, noting that this first step would encourage more retail interest in the area and lead to the remaining three phases of the redevelopment plan. The plan was originally presented to the public in 2012 after studies were performed by the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham. Mikhail Alert, a senior planner at the RPCGB, said the plan is intended to make West Homewood more walkable, slow traffic, attract local retail and give the area a distinctive look much like downtown Edgewood. As proposed by the RPCGB, the rest of phase one includes redesigning the front facade of Oak and Raleigh’s building and adding pedestrian amenities such as landscaping and outdoor seating. Phase two of the plan would create a plaza on the southwest side of the Oak Grove Road-Oxmoor Road intersection, including a two-story building to house businesses, a cafe and possibly residential lofts. The third phase would improve the southeast side of the same intersection, with a new parcel being made into retail space and a paved sidewalk or fire access road connecting Gillon Drive to the intersection. The final phase proposes moving Homewood Fire Department Station 3 to the Scott Street area. None of these projects has been approved or funded by the council yet, but Hawkins said the paving project itself has already drawn attention. He wants to see it become a “destination spot” in the city. “We’ve already got three different people that heard about this that are interested in restaurants, retail and maybe housing,” Hawkins said. “I’m really hoping it will spark some growth that will clean up this area and make it a more attractive place to walk to for the neighborhood.”


CONTINUED from page A1 Brittany’s. This year the event is moving even closer to their Edgewood home. The run will begin at Homewood Central Park instead of Crestline Village, where it had previously been held. “After a great deal of discussion, we decided to move Motherwalk 2015 to Homewood so that we could bring awareness about ovarian cancer to another part of Birmingham,” said Susan Greene, executive director of the Norma Livingston Ovarian Cancer Foundation. “Also, we had started outgrowing the space in Crestline and we felt Homewood Park would be a great place — same great race, all new place. Homewood has a warm community atmosphere much like Crestline, the route is relatively flat and the neighborhood is welcoming and safe.” Greene said her favorite part of the event is celebrating the lives of women and families that have been touched by ovarian cancer. “It pays tribute to the courageous women who have passed their battle on to us,” she said. Stacy said it’s the survivors who stand out most to her during Motherwalk. “There are not a lot of survivors out there, but it warms my heart to see survivors at the walk,” Stacy said. The Miners said the event is very family friendly with a kids’ fun run, inflatables, music, food and drinks. Oftentimes you see moms pushing strollers and kids on scooters in the walk, while faster runners stay at the front of the pack. Todd said he is going to encourage his neighbors to participate this year. They already run around Edgewood streets, after all. The Miners also initiated creating a car tag for ovarian cancer. Last year the tags, which cost $50 each, raised $80,000. Of the price, $41.35 goes to gynecological oncology research at UAB. “It has a twofold purpose,” Todd said. “It’s the best advertisement we have.” On May 9, the Motherwalk 5K begins at 8 a.m., and the 1-Mile Fun Run begins at 9 a.m. An awards ceremony will be held at 9:30 a.m. Pre-race packet pickup will be Wednesday, May 6, from 4-7 p.m. at the Trak Shack and Friday, May 8, from 3:30-6:30 p.m. at Homewood Central Park. Registration is $35 for the 5K or for the Fun Run, and both are free for ovarian cancer survivors. To register an individual or team, visit

The Homewood Star

SECTION B School House B13 Sports B16 Calendar B21 Opinion B23

Into the woods Digital tree markers now line Forest Preserve trail

By MADOLINE MARKHAM There’s a new reason to visit one of Homewood’s hidden natural gems. The 65-acre Homewood Forest Preserve, located adjacent to Homewood High School, boasts 27 native tree species, some of which are more than 100 feet tall. Some biologists believe the forest could be 10,000 years old. Thanks to a new Eagle Scout project, tree markers now line the preserve’s half-mile trail, and more information is just a click away. QR codes on each marker allow hikers to scan the sign to access more information. The idea originally came from Homewood High School senior Cade Fowler’s scoutmaster from Troop 95, Dean Snow. He suggested Cade renovate the trail, and Cade came up with the idea of tree markers featuring QR codes. Environmental and earth science classes at the high school use the trails, but Cade said he doesn’t think most students know it’s there. The QR code addition incorporated technology into a more traditional scouting endeavor.

See TREE MARKERS | page B3

(left) Homewood High School senior Cade Fowler created digital tree markers in Homewood Forest Preserve for his Eagle Scout project. (above) QR code markers designate tree varieties along a trail in the Homewood Forest Preserve adjacent to Homewood High School. Photos by Madoline Markham.

B2 • May 2015

The Homewood Star



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May 2015 • B3


CONTINUED from page B1 “Scouting is trying to push into the next generation, but we still are going out camping where you don’t need cell phones,” he said. Using skills he had learned in a computer applications class at school, Cade posted pictures and information on the troop’s website. If you scan the QR code from any sign, it takes you to an information sheet on the tree from the Alabama Forestry Commission’s website. To get there, Cade had worked with a librarian at the high school to find the most credible information source. When he pitched the idea to Freshwater Land Trust, which controls the land owned by the city, the organization liked the project and gave him their full support. They asked only for their name to be on the signage to create awareness of their work Three people helped Cade identify the trees: Zac Napier, land steward with Freshwater; Henry Hughes, director of education at Birmingham Botanical Gardens; and Chuck Kelly, a local landscape architect and father of one of Cade’s friends. After getting the markers in place, they ran the trail once again with a GPS to mark the points of the trees. The full map of the markers is now available by scanning the QR code at the start of the trail. Cade said he learned a lot along the way about trees and project management. “The idea of the Eagle project is for the candidate to show leadership,” said Cade’s mom, Karen. “It was less about Cade doing the work than creating a plan, getting resources and following up to make sure everything came together.”

Homewood Forest Preserve Trees American Beech Sweet Black Cheery Blackgum Chestnut Oak Eastern Hophornbeam Ironwood Loblolly Pine Longleaf Pine Mockernut Hickory Northern Red Oak Pignut Hickory Red Maple Red Mulberry Serviceberry Shagbark Hickory Southern Magnolia Southern Red Oak Sugar Maple Sweetgum Tulip Poplar Virginia Pine White Ash White Oak Winged Elm Younger scouts assisted Cade Fowler with his Eagle Scout project at the preserve. Photo courtesy of Karen Fowler.

“I learned that six months is not nearly enough time for a project like this and that things will change and fall through,” Cade said. “There is always something you don’t expect.” Working with a group of younger scouts in his troop, Cade showed them how to put metal fence posts in the ground, just as Cade had done


on older scouts’ Eagle projects when he was young. In fact, one of his first memories of the Forest Preserve — after looking at the salamanders as a cub scout — was helping fellow scout Drew Templeton build an amphitheatre on the hill of the preserve when Cade was in sixth grade. Likewise, another younger scout is building on



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Cade’s idea by looking at an Eagle project that would place QR codes in different wilderness areas around Birmingham with birding information. Cade was working fast on a deadline. Eagle projects must be completed by a scout’s 18th birthday, and Cade’s was Oct. 1. He finished the project Sept. 30. To get to the Forest Preserve, turn

off Lakeshore Drive south onto Old Montgomery Highway and after 1/10 of a mile turn right at the armory onto South Lakeshore Drive. After 4/10 mile, park in the Homewood High School lot (near the gym) and then walk on South Lakeshore Drive back toward the armory. The entrance to the preserve is marked on your right.

The Homewood Star

B4 • May 2015

Fashion week to feature Homewood students’ designs By MADOLINE MARKHAM Ashley Lewis will be one step closer to designing her own clothing line when her designs walk the runway at Birmingham Fashion Week this month. She is one of 16 college or post-graduate students competing in the 2015 Emerging Designer Competition May 7-9. The 2005 Homewood High School graduate is now working on her MFA in fashion design at Savannah College of Art and Design. She calls her aesthetic “glamorous sophistication” and said it is characterized by a mix of hard and soft textures. The collection at fashion week is in the style of Medieval Romanticism, mixing Romantic painting styles with flowing gowns from the Medieval period. Taking inspiration from Victor and Roff, her collection of dresses all have similar silhouette styles with different details to individualize them. On them, some floral prints will be three-dimensional. “I am looking forward to seeing the garments finished and on the runway,” she said. “It’s something that not every designer gets to experience, getting to see them come to life.” Lewis, the daughter of Connie Lewis and Sylvia Denise Lewis, lived in Homewood while working as an interior designer after college until beginning her master’s degree. In order to be considered for the Emerging Designer competition,

Birmingham Fashion Week Emerging Designer finalist Ashley Lewis is from Homewood. Photo courtesy of Juan Rodriguez Photography.

each applicant submitted at least eight clothing sketches, create a digital mood board that describes what inspired each design and underwent in-person interview sessions with a team of judges. The winner will announced during Saturday’s runway finale and receive a grand prize package including a guaranteed spot at BFW 2016’s runway show, a television appearance, editorial piece, photo shoot with a BFW

professional photographer including hair and makeup, as well as a $1,000 scholarship. Also on the runway during fashion week will be several Rising Design Star semifinalists from Homewood. Each contestant crafted a garment representing one of Alabama’s major industries (agriculture, livestock, transportation, technology, fishing, forestry and mining) with recycled or alternative materials such as glue,

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staples, tape, safety pins and paper clips. These garments were on display at the Birmingham Museum of Art through April 26. A select number of contestants will advance to the final round of the competition to showcase their design on the Birmingham Fashion Week runway Thursday, May 7 and Friday, May 8. In addition to their initial runway look, the design students selected to progress to the next round

will also be required to create a second look from recycled Buffalo Rock Co. materials to walk the runway and compete for the sought-after title of Birmingham Fashion Week’s Rising Design Star. Semifinalists will move on to the final round of judging during the finale runway show on Saturday, May 9, with the winner will be announced that evening and awarded a $500 scholarship.

May 2015 • B5

Rising Design Star Semifinalists Birmingham Fashion Week May 7-9 Pepper Place Downtown Birmingham

Matt Pierce Age 14, Homewood Middle School

Laylah Burrello

Madeline Kline

Age 12, Homewood Middle School

Age 12, Homewood Middle School

Inspired by her mom’s work with therapeutic horses at the Red Barn, Laylah modge podged pictures from horses magazines to create a skirt beneath a halter-top made of 50 feet of nylon rope. To complete the look, she made a belt using pieces of horse tact and a horseshoe for an accent.

Madeline took apart old PCs to create her technology-themed design. On top of a base made of plastic bags and duct tape, she cut circuit boards into scale shapes and pasted them on tiers to create the skirt. For the top, she dissembled old keyboards and arranged the keys. Beneath, she used copper wire and computer wire to create details at the waist of the ensemble.

Rigdon Hendrix

Camille Colter

Age 14, Homeschooled

Age 15, Homewood High School

Rigdon went searching in car junkyards and body shops for materials for his transportation-themed design. He cut a car tire for straps and used car shades, chicken wire, duct tape, rubber and staples to create the look. When the dress hits the runway, it will also feature white and red LED lights on the wings and the chest.

Alabama most populous fish, the large mouth bass, provided design inspiration for Camille. She made scales out of sequins on top of a painting sheeting to form a skirt. The shape is meant to look like a mermaid, complete with a seashell top and fish net around the neck, using duct tape to hold it all together. Camille enjoys art and designing fashion sketches and hopes to major in fashion design.

The Homewood Star

B6 • May 2015

Life Story

From pulpits and note pads Bill Gunn’s legacy remains in word and deed By MADOLINE MARKHAM During his last three days of life in late March, Bill Gunn couldn’t speak, but his writing could. His wife, Betty, three children and eight grandchildren poured through countless words in stacks of his yellow legal pads. Often the grandchildren would come across stories they had never heard before. “It was such a beautiful experience,” Bill’s daughter Amelia Spencer said. For his grandchildren, he had bound a set of stories about them and himself about five years ago. Together they held a private book signing for The Grandfather Book, as it became known. Writing had become his primary ministry after retirement, Betty said. Bill, a United Methodist minister, served at Oakmont United Methodist from 1983-90, during which time their youngest child, Catherine, graduated from Homewood High School. Catherine and their other children, Amelia Spencer and William Gunn Jr., ended up living in Homewood with their families, so he

and Betty moved back when he retired in 2000. From that point on he and Betty taught Sunday school and Bible studies at Canterbury United Methodist Church until six weeks before his passing at age 78. Most of his career, Bill had moved from church to church in the North Alabama Conference about every four years. At each stop along the way, he would preach the same sermon his first Sunday and last Sunday. “If I only had one sermon to preach, I believe I’d preach on grace, God’s grace, marvelous grace, amazing grace,” he would say, amending the message slightly each time. “I am absolutely convinced that the only hope for the salvation of this world is grace.” Also in retirement Bill studied the faith of U.S. presidents and gave presentations on the topic. Since finishing his history degree at Birmingham-Southern College, he had been collecting books on the presidents, at least one on each leader. Together with Betty, a high school English teacher, they would always beat

Bill Gunn, right, with his wife, Betty, lived in Homewood after retiring from serving as a minister.

everyone else in their family at Trivial Pursuit. Outside of his ministry, Bill loved University of Alabama basketball, the Homewood Patriot Band and spending time with his grandchildren. Because they all live in Homewood, he saw his grandchildren — Graham, Liza Mary Virginia, Isaias and James Spencer; and Wesley, Griffin and Caleb Walker — once or twice a week, and even the two oldest, who are now students at

Birmingham-Southern (where Bill and Betty met as did their daughters and their husbands), dropped in for dinner with their grandparents. From childhood, Bill suffered from juvenile arthritis and later spinal osteoarthritis that affected his breathing, but he never talked about it. Spencer said she never heard him complain until about two weeks before his death, even as he and Betty spent a week at Camp Sumatanga every summer for 32

years working with campers with intellectual challenges. Bill never cared to use email and only turned on his cell phone for emergencies. “I like my pen and my yellow ledger tablet,” he would say. He left two filing cabinets filled with sermons he had written, on yellow ledger paper of course. “There are not many people now who have that much that a [loved one] has written,” Betty said.

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FUN Photo Contest

in a jpeg format s to o h p r u yo l ai To enter, em m o h e th s@ to o h to p s and include e ag im y it al u q h Please send hig oto credit. a caption and ph ed per person. w lo al e ar s to o h p Only four


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Deadline is August 9, 2015

The Homewood Star

B8 • May 2015

Homewood Grown event celebrates schools

Photos by Scott Butler.

Rain moved the Homewood Grown event inside this year, but the celebration on April 16 was just as lively. More than 500 people attended the Homewood City Schools Foundation event. The program began with a welcome by Amy McRae, director of the Homewood City Schools Foundation, followed by a message from the Homewood City Schools Superintendent Dr. Bill Cleveland. After a family-style meal by Cafe’ DuPont and a dessert from the Pastry Art

Bake Shoppe, foundation president Julie Keith described what the foundation has accomplished over the last year. She then introduced the two Homewood Grown guest speakers, Jeanne Jackson and her son, Jay Lester. Emmie Smith, chair of the Foundation’s grant review committee, then presented a video highlighting the mission of the Homewood City Schools Foundation. Trent Ponder, foundation president-elect, closed the evening by thanking

everyone for coming and offering an opportunity to make a donation to the Homewood City Schools Foundation. Also at the event, the foundation recognized five outstanding teachers with the second-annual Teacher Impact Awards. Theresa McKibben received the award for Edgewood Elementary, Jerome Isley for Hall-Kent Elementary, Stefanie Fort for Shades Cahaba Elementary, Steve Sills for Homewood Middle School and Mindy

McBride for Homewood High School. The event also featured drinks by Royal Cup Coffee and Magic City Juice Bar, a club run by Brianna Morton’s Homewood Middle School students. Trust Building Services was the title sponsor, and Alabama Power was the “branches” sponsor. To learn more about the Foundation, visit

May 2015 • B9

Laura Bush talks about education, life in the White House after 9/11 By ROY L. WILLIAMS Former First Lady Laura Bush, who spent many years in Texas as a teacher and librarian before going into the White House, paid homage to important role of teachers on March 26 at Samford University. In a powerful speech that started out with jokes, Bush then got serious and applauded teachers for the role they play in shaping society and stressed the importance of reading. She was speaking in Samford’s Wright Center as keynote speaker in its fifth-annual Tom and Marla Corts Distinguished Author Series. “I believe that every child in America should learn to read,” Bush told a packed audience. “I believe that books have the power to shape our journey.” Author of the book Spoken from the Heart, the former first lady’s appearance was hosted by Samford’s Orlean Bullard Beeson School of Education. As first lady from 2001 to 2009, she became a champion for key issues in the fields of education, healthcare and human rights.   She founded the Texas Book Festival and the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. Today, as chair of the Women’s Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas, Texas, she continues her work on global healthcare innovations, empowering women in emerging democracies, education reform and supporting America’s military veterans. Her visit will begin a series of events to celebrate the centennial year of teacher education programs at Samford. The Distinguished Author Series was established in 2011 to honor the late Thomas Corts, who served as Samford’s president for 23 years, and his wife, Marla Corts, a former high school English teacher. Corts had ties to the administration of Bush’s

Laura Bush speaks at Samford University. Photo courtesy of Samantha Nelson.

husband, former President George W. Bush. After his retirement from Samford in 2006, Corts served as coordinator of the President’s Initiative to Expand Education and as coordinator of Basic Education in the Office of the Director of Foreign Assistance in the U.S. State Department. Several members of Corts family were in attendance. Westmoreland had all Samford education majors stand and applaud teachers for their contributions to society. Bush was already familiar with the White

House from the presidency of her father-in-law, former President George H.W. Bush nearly a decade earlier. But nothing prepared her and her husband for the challenges they faced during his first year in office, she said. “When George was elected president, we believed the challenges facing the country from within were going to be more urgent than the challenges we faced from outside,” she said. “The Cold War was over, the Berlin Wall had fallen and Germany was reunited. Russia was

no longer our enemy. Global terrorism had yet to emerge as a threat to our nation or society.” Bush said she was already preparing to make education and fighting illiteracy a top priority during the first year of her husband’s presidency. But that was put on hold on Sept. 11, 2001. On a day known as 9/11, Muslim extremists hijacked several planes, using them as weapons to attack America on its own soil, killing nearly 3,000 people. Two jets crashed into the Twin Towers in New York City, another into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and a fourth crashed in a Pennsylvania field. Bush gave a behind-the-scenes account of what it was like in the White House after 9/11, explaining the agony she and her husband went through as President Bush realized the tough decisions he had to make in response to terrorists attacking the U.S. “I saw first-hand the tears of my husband, as he described what it was like to meet family members who lost loved ones on that horrible day. I was no longer speaking out about illiteracy. I also began to speak out about the terrible conditions of women under the Taliban in Afghanistan.” In her memoir, Spoken from the Heart, Bush writes about joining one of America’s most prominent political families, life with her husband and twin daughters, and the post-9/11 period that transformed her role as first lady.  After her speech, Bush did a one-on-one interview with Samford President Andrew Westmoreland, answering questions about life in the White House and the importance of education.      Proceeds from the lecture benefit the Samford education school, which will continue its 100-year anniversary celebration with various events this year.

The Homewood Star

B10 • May 2015

Mother’s Day Gift Guide Pfaff Creative Machine Give Mom the gift of creative fun so she can explore her possibilities. Sewing Machine Mart 1722-C 28th Ave. South 870-1931

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May 2015 • B11

Lasting Phrase Blocks $9-15

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The Homewood Star

B12 • May 2015

Graduation Gift Guide Tag Watch


This Tag Heuer Formula 1 stainless steel watched features black and blue bezel. Bromberg’s 2800 Cahaba Road 871-3276

Never Far From “Home” $25

These Sweet Home T-shirts and hats come in comfort colors. Homewood Antiques and Marketplace 930 Oxmoor Road 414-9945

Pfaff Ambition Essential Machine

Ray Ban Aviators

Grads can relax now and have creative fun making their own one-of-a-kind creations.

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Sewing Machine Mart 1722-C 28th Ave. South 870-1931

These glasses, also available in a prescription, come in a variety of colors of mirror coating. JJ Eyes 2814 18th St. S. 703-8596

Yeti Rambler & Colster

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The stainless steel, double-wall vacuum insulated Rambler series will keep your chilled beverages as cold as science allows. Alabama Outdoors 3054 Independence Drive 870-1919

Novelty Pillow

Woodley Cuff Bracelet


Navy with White Embroidery.18x18 - down fill.


This Ex Voto Vintage exclusive, made in the USA, can be engraved with an initial for a personalized gift.

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From left: Brian Kulbersh, MD; Audie L. Woolley, MD, FACS; Brian J. Wiatrak, MD, FACS, FAAP; J. Scott Hill, MD, FACS, FAAP; and Nicholas Smith, MD

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May 2015 • B13

School House A classroom gift to others Since September, Edgewood Elementary School fifthgrade students in Lindsey Martin’s class have worked on The Expert Project every Friday in class. This project gave the students the opportunity to research, teach, create and collaborate on a topic of their choice. When choosing topics, the students were asked questions such as: What are you passionate about? How can you make a difference? What can you do/create to make the world awesome? What have you always wanted to know more about? A group of six girls agreed on the question: how can we help orphans in Uganda? For the past seven months the girls have created Google presentations, flyers,

banners and even recipes they could use to host a yard/ bake sale to raise money for the orphans. Overall the girls raised $741. The girls are looking forward to presenting their check to a representative from an orphanage in Uganda, and Martin said she couldn’t be prouder of her students for going above and beyond on their project to help make the world a better place for those in need. Edgewood fifth-graders in Lindsey Martin’s class: Ellen Reidinger, Caroline Johnston, Meredith Maxwell, Hanna Jennings, Ella Speaker and Adele Benson.

Students give during blood drive

A new place to play at Hall-Kent

Hall-Kent Principal Abbie Freeman, PTO President Shana Sanders and former Alabama Rep. Paul DeMarco watch the Hall-Kent fourth-grade students use the school’s new playground equipment. Homewood High School’s gym was packed full of students and staff members who wanted to help others in need during the HHS Student Government Association annual Blood Drive in March.

Former Alabama Rep. Paul DeMarco helped Hall-Kent Elementary School receive funds to purchase new playground

equipment. The equipment not only has a high play value, but it is also inclusive for students with special needs.

The Homewood Star

B14 • May 2015

Students learn about World War II from a veteran Homewood Middle School sixth-graders in Darby Wesson’s social studies class recently made birthday cards for a World War II veteran, L.E. Franklin, who was turning 90 years old. The students were discussing WWII in their class, so they sent some questions about the war along with birthday cards. After receiving them, Franklin offered to come and speak to the class and answer their questions about the war in person.

Tolbert selected as a Presidential Scholar

HMS teachers Amanda Bates and Darby Wesson with World War II veteran L.E. Franklin and his wife, Betty.

Homewood High School student Jessica Tolbert was selected as a candidate for the United States Presidential Scholars Program. The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 by executive order of the president to recognize and honor some of our nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts. Each

Jessica Tolbert

year, up to 141 students are named as Presidential Scholars, one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students.

Students win school geography bees

Shades Cahaba Elementary School’s Geography Bee winner was Caleb Okanlawon, pictured on the right next to Principal John Lowery. The runner-up was Bailey Levering, not pictured.

The 2015 Edgewood Elementary Geography Bee was Jack Craddock, right. Nathan Jones, left, was the runner-up.

Hall-Kent Elementary’s Geography Bee winner was Windham Hewitt, left. The runner-up was Daniel Galloway, right. Windham will submit a written test to National Geography to see if he qualifies as a statewide winner.

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This Mother’s Day give her a future heirloom. Hand engraving available. Visit our showroom in Mountain Brook Village. 205.538.7301

May 2015 • B15

Festival raises money for Shades Cahaba

Students participate in this year’s Winter Festival at Shades Cahaba Elementary.

Shades Cahaba Elementary School’s Winter Festival raised more than $75,000 for the school. The event included games, activities, an auction and food. The festival is Shades Cahaba’s only fundraiser of the year, and it is a testament to the

support Shades Cahaba receives from parents, staff, teachers, students and the Homewood community. The money raised provides grant money to fulfill academic enhancement requests from the teachers.

Students answer ‘why’ in expo

Eno Amponsaa, retired HCS employee Gary Grogran, Ella Ray.

Shades Cahaba Elementary School recently held its annual Academic Expo. The Expo displayed student projects in all subjects that answered the question “I wonder why?” Through this activity teachers encouraged students to become more proficient in

researching and communicating. During the Expo, a judge asked the students questions about the project and its research and received awards according to a pre-set rubric. In all, 292 students participated, and 78 Gold Scholar ribbons were awarded.

HMS teacher interacts with Civil Rights history

Liz Pipkin stands with Dexter Baptist Church Deacon John Feagin in front of a mural Feagin created in 1980 to depict scenes of Dr. Martin Luther King’s journey from Montgomery to Memphis during the Civil Rights Movement.

Homewood Middle School teacher Liz Pipkin participated in “A Tale of Two Cities” workshop in March. She and other Alabama educators were part of an interactive field study of the 50th Commemoration of the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March for the Right to Vote and the 60th Commemoration of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

The SUPER Workshop was sponsored by Alabama Humanities with the project director being Matha Bouyer, the executive director of Historic Bethel Baptist Church Foundation and NEH Landmarks of American History and culture Workshops Director. The lead scholar was Dr. Glenn Eskew, professor of Southern history at Georgia State University.

The Homewood Star

B16 • May 2015


Samford gives basketball coach Padgett contract extension By DAVID KNOX Samford University and head basketball coach Scott Padgett have agreed to a four-year contract extension, Samford Athletics Director Martin Newton announced. Padgett’s deal will now last throughout the 2018-19 campaign. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Scott Padgett as he leads our basketball program into the future,” said Newton in a release. “I’ve known and watched Scott throughout his highly successful college and professional playing careers, and also as he has made the transition to becoming a coach. He possesses all of the traits to be a huge success. “Scott has a tireless work ethic, passion and knowledge of the game, and a shared vision of a players-first program. His motto, ‘Family over everything,’ is not just a saying, it’s his way of life. Scott, his wife, Cynthia, and their three children are a great addition to the Bulldog family and the Homewood community. They are Samford Strong.” Padgett, completing his first season as head coach at Samford, compiled a 13-19 record. “This feels great, because it shows that Dr. (Andrew) Westmoreland and Martin have confidence in me moving forward,” said Padgett. “Now, we can go out in recruiting and everybody

Scott Padget is the head basketball coach at Samford University.

knows that I’m going to be at Samford. I’m extremely happy here. I love the job and think there are some great things on the horizon for this program.” With a roster comprised of just three seniors and a trio of juniors, Padgett has guided his young Bulldogs to

early success in his inaugural season heading the program. Samford’s junior guard Darius Jones-Gibson was named a ThirdTeam All-SoCon performer, while newcomers Christen Cunningham and Evan Taylor both earned SoCon All-Freshman Team honors. With a

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roster featuring five sophomores and four true freshmen this season, the future is bright for the Bulldogs’ basketball team. “We have a great group of guys here, and they’re just touching the surface of how good they can be,” Padgett said. “We’re going to keep

adding players and we’re looking forward for great things to come.” Padgett, the former collegiate standout at the University of Kentucky, NCAA national champion and firstround NBA draft pick, was officially named the 28th head basketball coach at Samford University on June 6, 2014. He joined the Bulldogs’ staff in April of 2012 after spending the previous two seasons at Manhattan College. During his valuable stint at Manhattan, he played a key role in the Jaspers’ 15-game win improvement as they finished 21-13 and played in the Tournament, the program’s first postseason appearance since 2006. “When I left Manhattan to come here as an assistant, it was because of Martin Newton’s vision,” said Padgett. “We’re all on board to take Samford to the same level as a Butler and Gonzaga, and we have everything that we need to be successful and to get to that point. “The Samford administration and Martin Newton make sure that we have everything that we need to be successful,” said Padgett. “Now, it’s just on us to put in the work to lift this program higher and higher. We’ve made some great strides this year, and I fully expect this team to improve every year and every time they step out onto the court.”

May 2015 • B17

AHSAA approves plan for adaptive, wheelchair athletes

By DAVID KNOX The Alabama High School Athletic Association Central Board has approved a plan to incorporate and calculate scoring for adaptive and wheelchair student-athletes participating in the AHSAA outdoor track and field championships, effective this spring. The action was taken Wednesday, Feb. 4, at its annual winter meeting in Montgomery. AHSAA, in conjunction with the Lakeshore Foundation, is devising a plan to count the points scored in adaptive or wheelchair track events with the scoring of the school they represent. In past years, a separate championship was awarded to schools with students in the wheelchair division. “We think this plan will generate increased participation by adaptive and wheelchair students,” Executive Director Steve Savarese said. “It will be a way to provide a more memorable experience for all our students.” Mandy Goff, associate director of recreation and athletics at Lakeshore Foundation, said the AHSAA reached out to Lakeshore to help determine standards and scoring. Inclusiveness is a great step toward acceptance of wheelchair and para-ambulatory athletes, but without legitimate standards it becomes simply an act of participation, and actually unfair to the highly competitive athletes with disabilities and to those without a disability. “We’re so happy that athletes can go and compete on their high school team,” Goff said, “but there needs to be standards they have to meet, just like any athlete has to meet the standards to be on their team. We want their peers to recognize that they’re having to meet standards as well. “Any athlete that competes on our Lakeshore

Wheelchair sprints and other adaptive and para-ambulatory events will be a part of the AHSAA track championships, and points will now go to the athletes’ high school teams as well as individuals under a new plan. Photo courtesy of Lakeshore Foundation.

track team, we are governed by Wheelchair and Ambulatory Sports, USA, and they have regulations that are put in place. Those standards are based on age and classification (specific to disability) … so standards are already in place, and we suggested here are these standards you should put in place as they compete on their high school track team. That was our recommendation, it was their decision — and they did choose to accept those.” While the numbers of athletes with disabilities have slowly been growing in high school competition, one of the big changes — and possibly a boost to the number of participants — is that

their points will now count toward their high school’s team total. “It’s great in allowing them to participate,” Goff said, “but let’s be truly inclusive and allow their points to count. This is going to make them feel included and really a part of their high school team, and their (able-bodied) peers will see they are truly part of their team and contributing toward the team.” Goff said Lakeshore encourages its athletes to participate in high school athletics whenever possible. And she notes that there are many athletes with disabilities across the state who don’t even know that Lakeshore exists. So the new

emphasis and recognition of wheelchair and para-ambulatory sports at the high school level is a boost to both Lakeshore and high school sports. Some new athletes may find out about Lakeshore, and those who compete on club teams at Lakeshore now may be more enticed into competing for their schools. “The whole point of Lakeshore is to (encourage) activity and independence through athletics. We know that athletics as a whole creates confidence and helps as they grow with social skills. “It’s a huge thing, and we are very excited and proud to be a part of it and want to continue to be a resource (to the AHSAA) as they need us.”

The Homewood Star

B18 • May 2015

Cook signs with UAH, track stars headed to Alabama, elsewhere By DAVID KNOX Homewood High basketball standout Malik Cook signed with the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and four other top athletes also announced their college destinations on April 15, the beginning of the spring signing period. Cook, who led the Patriots to the Class 6A state semifinals, was named to the Class 6A second-team all-state team by the Alabama Sports Writers Association. The 6-foot guard will take his playmaking and scoring skills to UAH of the Gulf South Conference. The Division II Chargers won the Gulf South Conference tournament and made their fifth NCAA appearance in the past six years. “This is a great fit and a win-win for both Malik and UAH,” Homewood coach Tim Shepler said. “Coach Acuff is a longtime friend, and he does a tremendous job coaching and really cares for the players there. And Malik

brings some special talents to UAH that will be a huge asset in taking UAH to even greater success.” The Homewood track and field program had four athletes sign their National Letters of Intent. According to coach Tom Esslinger, there will be others to sign later. Esslinger sized up the four signees. Sarah Blake (Kentucky) – “Sarah is one of the best throwers in Alabama’s history and ranks 13th on the all-time list for the state; she is Homewood’s school record holder. She earned All-State honors last year in both javelin and discus and helped lead the girls team to an outdoor championship. This year, Sarah has the best javelin throw in any classification.” Sarah Crocker (Montevallo) – “Sarah is second on Homewood’s all-time list for javelin and is one of the best throwers in the state this year. She was fourth in the event last year

and helped lead the girls to the outdoor state championship.” Alazae Hester-Taylor (Coffeyville, Kansas, Community College) – “Alazae won an individual state championship in triple jump last indoor season and has earned individual All-State honors six times over the course of his career. Alazae has led the Patriots to three straight indoor championships and an outdoor championship last year.” Kiara Williams (Alabama) – “Kiara is one of the top track and field athletes in the U.S. and has won eight individual state championships in hurdles, long jump, triple jump and sprints. Kiara has earned individual All-State honors 12 times and been on two state championship relay teams. She was the leader on the team that won the outdoor championship last year and also led the team to three indoor state runner-up trophies.”

Basketball player Malik Cook signed with UAH on April 15. Photo by Scott Butler.

Patriots boys win Homewood Invitational track meet, Homewood girls finish second By DAVID KNOX The Homewood High boys took first place and the Lady Patriots grabbed second in the prestigious Homewood Invitational track meet March 20-21. The Homewood Invitational has become one of the premier track events in the state and is the largest meet in Alabama so far this year. There were 42 schools from three states and over 1,400 high school athletes in attendance. There were numerous marks set that are ranked nationally. The Homewood boys barely edged Opelika and Hoover. Hoover topped the runner-up Homewood girls.

“We feel really good about where both teams are at this point in the season, but we know we will have a lot of competition in both the boys and girls to win state,” said Homewood coach Tom Esslinger. “Opelika in the boys and Pelham in the girls are both amazing teams, so we will have to be at our best to win. Our staff was really excited about our performances this weekend, and we had a lot of season bests and personal records.” On the boys side, the Patriots totaled 96.50 points to Opelika’s 94 and Hoover’s 93. Alazae Hester-Taylor led the boys team by winning both the triple jump (45-8) and the 110-meter hurdles (15.19). He was also second in the high jump (6-4) and second in the 300-meter hurdles

(39.70). Andy Smith had an outstanding race, winning the 1600-meters with a personal record of 4:23, and he was second in the 3200 as well (9:53). Logan Sadler ran his personal best in the 800 and placed second with a 1:56.52. Lawton Dorough won the long jump with a jump of 21-8. The Homewood girls team ended up second behind Hoover. The Lady Bucs amassed 152 points while the Lady Patriots came in at 82.75. Kiara Williams had an outstanding meet. She led the Lady Pats with a first in long jump (18-8), first in triple jump (38-4), first in the 300-meter hurdles (school record of 45.22) and third in the 100 hurdles (PR of 14.56). Elysa Griffin also had a great meet and was

second in the 200 (25.60) and second in long jump (17-11). Sarah Blake finished second in the javelin (118-3). “It is always good to have a big meet with a lot of quality teams, and we feel like it a great thing for the community of Homewood,” Esslinger said. “It is fun to see big performances and good team competitions at our own place. One performance that stood out was Shelby McEwen from Oxford, Mississippi, who high jumped 6-8.”  Homewood has its eyes on the Class 6A state championship. The boys and girls swept the 5A titles last year. The sectionals were scheduled for April 24-25 with the State Championships to be held April 30-May 2 in Gulf Shores.

May 2015 • B19

HHS finishes fifth in Bradley tourney By DAVID KNOX The ninth annual Bradley Johnson Memorial Tournament was competed over the Legacy Course at Greystone Golf & Country Club April 8-9. Mountain Brook came away with the team title by eight strokes over host Spain Park. Northridge-Tuscaloosa’s William Walker, a UAB signee, was the individual medalist at 145. Among the other local teams in the 15-team invitation-only event, Homewood posted a fifth-place finish, Briarwood Christian was seventh and Hoover was 15th. The all-tournament team was Patrick Marin, Spain Park; Jonathan Eyster, Mountain Brook; Ben Fuller, Mountain Brook, Alex Green, Fairhope; William Buhl, Bayside; and William Walker, Northridge, medalist. The tournament is played every year and in honor and memory of Spain Park golfer Bradley Johnson, a rising star as a junior golfer. Johnson was an American Junior Golf Association All-American and the U.S. Junior Amateur runner-up in 2005, losing 5&3 in the final to Kevin Tway – who has gone on to play on the PGA Tour – the best finish ever by an Alabamian in the event. Tragically, Johnson was killed March 25, 2006, when his green Chevy Blazer was hit by a tractor-trailer near Birmingham. After spending the night with his two best friends at a lake house about an hour from his home, Johnson reached a stop sign on a rural county road. He pulled too far into the intersection. An 18-wheeler crashed into his SUV. His friends were knocked out, but survived. His life was cut short on the verge of a burgeoning golf career. Johnson was planning to play a practice round for a state tournament that day. Later that weekend, he was going to reveal to his family which

Tournament Scores Homewood (+50) 308-316—626 Crawford Flach 78-82—160 Sam Goldasich 78-8---158 Connor Doyal 78-88—166 Jack Poole 74-79—153 Jack Goldasich 82-77—159

one of three SEC scholarship offers – Auburn, Georgia or Alabama – he would accept. His death sent shock waves not only through the Hoover community but through the world of junior golf as well. The Bradley Johnson Memorial Foundation, Inc., was established as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization committed to providing financial resources for junior golfers, from helping to fund tournaments and to provide scholarship money. The BJMF –– has given out more than $100,000 to golfers. Also, a program called “Birdies for Bradley” was established through the AJGA thanks to a grant from the Achieving Competitive Excellence program. It’s another way the BMJF helps talented young golfers get a chance to continue to play, even if they do not have a lot of financial resources.

Homewood High School golfer Connor Doyal. Photos by Karim Shamsi-Basha.

The Homewood Star

B20 • May 2015

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: 5:30pm6:30pm Saturday: 9:00am-10:00am For more info: Camille 256-452-2500 (or)

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 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

Tabata Bootcamp with Tamika Harris

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: $50 (4 weeks) For more info: 205-249-7982

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 Mon & Wed 3:30pm to 4:05pm Beginner Classes Mon & Wed 4:15pm to 5:15pm Tues & Thurs 3:30pm-4:15pm Adults Only Class Wed 5:45pm-6:45pm Advanced Class Tues & Thurs 4:15pm to 5:15pm Phone: 205-966-4244

Belly Dancing with Aziza

Class Fee: $60 cash only Contact Aziza: 205-879-0701 (or) 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.


Shake Your Soul Yoga Dance!

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

“Shake Your Soul” is a unique and invigorating path to body-spirit fitness incorporating elements yoga and dance. Mondays 5:30 p.m.- 6:30 p.m. Class Fee: $10.00 drop-in Instructor: Lorri Hanna • 612-867-2232

Royce Head Personal Training

Mommy and Me Stroller Bootcamp

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 (205) 945-1665

Tuesday & Friday @ 10:30am Class location: Meet at pavilion (6&7) at back of park *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:

Blue Line Combatives

Italian for Children

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. Instructor Jon P. Newland 205-296-1250

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 call Dr. Brooks (205) 746-4952

360 Personal Trainer Fitness Bootcamp

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

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:

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). 205-440-2699


Give your child the bilingual edge! The “Italian for Children” course is perfectly designed for children to have a great time while learning Italian. Organized around theme-based units, songs, interactive exercises and games, this language course emphasizes communicative abilities and vocabulary building as well as listening, reading, writing, pronunciation and basic grammar skills. Classes meet at the Homewood Community Center on Saturdays 10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. Contact Giuliana for more information at 205-721-0077 or

35209 Dance

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

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. HWCC Fitness Studio 2. 1st & 3rd Wednesday each Month – 7:00pm-8:30pm

Steel City Cheer Cheerleading & Tumbling Classes

Classes will cover all cheerleading & tumbling necessities: motions, jumps, cheers, stretching, conditioning, and tumbling. All ages & skill levels welcome. For more information contact DeeDee at or 901-734-0277. Tues. 5:30pm-6:30pm / Wed. 5:30pm6:30pm / Thurs. 7:30pm-8:30pm

Homewood Senior Center

Fitness & Exercise Opportunities

Seated Exercise Class- Mon (11:15am) / Wed & Fri (10:30am) 45-60 min. Gentle joint movement as warm-up; stretching & strength portions are led with an emphasis on proper breathing; includes 10 min of standing exercises designed to practice balance/weight shifting. Line Dancing “Smart Moves” Tue & Fri (9:30am) Beginner to Intermediate movement sequences are taught for each song, a sequence is repeated multiple times but facing a different direction with each repetition. Styles of music vary. Not only exercises the body but also the mind, as participants must recall the sequence and repeat it. Zumba Gold & Tai Chi Review – Tue (2:15 & 3:00pm) Zumba Gold is designed at a slightly slower pace with easier directional transitions. Fun, lively music is used and several movements are repeated throughout a song to allow participants ample practice of each move. Review and practice of the Thursday Tai Chi class is completed the last 15mins of class. Adaptive Yoga & Gentle Yoga – Wed (1:15 - Adaptive & 1:45pm - Gentle) Half hour of gentle guided stretching and breathing, using a chair. Appropriate for persons who wish to avoid exercise on the floor. Participants have the option to continue for the 2nd half hour with gentle guided stretching and breathing on floor mats.

Tai Chi – Thur (2:00pm) Very slow movement sequences repeated multiple times. Gentle on the joints and safer than dance for persons with equilibrium challenges. Not only exercises the body but also the mind, as participants must recall the sequence and repeat it. Personal Training at HWD Sr. Center – For Senior Center members only. Certified by the ACE, Kathy focuses on orthopedic issues and restorative training. Sessions are $35/hour, paid directly to Kathy. Contact Kathy at 422-4025 (or)

Senior Center May Activities

Friday, May 1, 12:30pm – “Nurturing a Happy Heart” educational program presented by Jinnie Lacey, RN from Lakeshore. Thursday, May 14 & 21, 9:3010:30am – FREE Alzheimer’s Education session, Open to the Public (call to reserve your seat: 332-6500). Tuesday, May 26, 12:30pm – Penny Auction w/prizes sponsored by Rehab Select (call to reserve your seat: 332-6500). Thur, May 28, 12:30pm – “Fine Feathered Friends” a short play presented by The Seasoned Performers. $5 for non-members (call to reserve your seat: 332-6500).


Homewood Youth Cheerleading

HYC are a dynamic group of girls who are excited to cheer for the Homewood Youth Football League. HYC is a community cheerleading program for girls in grades 1st through 6th who live in Homewood and/or attend Homewood Schools. For more information visit:

Homewood Patriot Youth Football League

HPYFL is responsible for organizing youth football in Homewood and oversees its operation. Please visit their website for more information. Please visit our website for more information:

Summer Pool Programs Summer Pool Information

Swim Lessons Program combines a strong emphasis on drowning prevention and water safety. Two week class sessions meet each week Monday through Thursday each week. For additional information about dates of sessions, descriptions of skill levels and registration procedure please visit:

Homewood Swim Team Homewood Swim Team is not a learn to swim program but

no experience is necessary. Swimmers compete against other swimmers with the same age and times during meets. Children who are ready to compete, ages 5 – 18, will be divided into groups- older (more experienced) and younger (less experienced). We compete through the Jefferson County Swim Council (JCSC) against other teams from our area. Registration is open until mid-May. Please check www. for the most up to date information and to register for swim team.

May 2015 • B21

Calendar Homewood Area Events April 30-May 3: Jane Eyre. April 30-May 2 7:30 p.m., May 3 2:30 p.m. Samford University Harrison Theatre. $12 adults, $6 students. Visit

May 9: Motherwalk 5K and Fun Run. 6 a.m.-noon. Homewood Central Park. Benefiting the Norma Livingston Ovarian Cancer Foundation. Visit

May 2: Food Truck Round Up. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Upper level Macy’s parking lot, Brookwood Village. Ticket includes four tokens redeemable for food at any trucks or beverage stations. $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Benefiting PreSchool Partners. Visit

May 9: Handmade Art Show. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Patriot Park. Around 30 fiber artists, potters, glass artists, painters, woodworkers and jewelry artists will show and sell their work. The event is held by the Homewood Arts Council. Visit HomewoodArtsCouncil.

May 2: We Love Homewood Day 5K. 7:30 a.m. Homewood Central Park. Formerly known as the Spirit Scamper. Visit

May 9: Michelle Carter Book Signing. 5 p.m. Brookwood Village Books-A-Million. Carter will sign copies of I Just Want to Be a Mother. Call 8700213.

May 2: We Love Homewood Day. Begins at 10 a.m. Homewood Central Park. Includes inflatables, vendors, games and a parade that starts at 6 p.m. Visit May 3: Historic Hollywood Homes Tour. 1-4 p.m. 105 Hollywood Blvd., 308 La Playa Place, 214 Devon Drive, 216 Devon Drive. $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Visit May 9: Pancake Breakfast, Silent Auction and Garage Sale. 7 a.m.-noon. Trinity United Methodist Church fellowship hall and gym. Boy Scout Troop 97 holds the event to raise money to underwrite its programs. Pancake breakfast $6 in advance, $7 at door. Silent auction ends at 11 a.m. Contact Bert Allen at 540-5343 or bertjudy@

May 12: Edgewood Night Out. 3 p.m.-close of business. Downtown Edgewood. May 14: Homewood Gives Back Night. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Downtown Homewood. An evening of fun benefiting local charities. Refreshments, silent auction and more. May 16: Women’s Health 5K and 1-Mile Family Fun Walk. 8 a.m. Lakeshore Greenway across from Samford University. Visit May 17: Kite Flying on Kite Hill Day. 3-5 p.m. Homewood Community Garden. Bring a kite, picnic and blanket. Email

Handmade Art Show will return to Patriot Park on Saturday, May 9. Photo by Madoline Markham.

May 17: Birmingham Boys Choir 37th Annual Spring Concert. 4 p.m. Dawson Family of Faith, 1114 Oxmoor Road. Visit May 19: Chamber of Commerce

Membership Luncheon. 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. The Club. Visit May 30: Homewood Farmers Market. 8 a.m.-noon. Downtown Homewood SoHo parking lot. Visit

The Homewood Star

B22 • May 2015

Calendar Area Events April 30-May 3: Alabama International Auto Show. April 30 Noon-9 p.m., May 1-2 10 a.m.-9 p.m., May 3 10 a.m.-6 p.m. BJCC. $12 adults, $6 children 6-11, children 5 and under free.

May 3: Shen Yun. 4 p.m. BJCC Concert Hall. Tickets available through Ticketmaster and the BJCC Central Ticket Office, open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Visit

May 9: Crawfish and Cornhole. 2-7 p.m. Avondale Brewing Company. $20 admission includes a beer, all-you-can-eat crawfish and live music benefiting Make-A-Wish Alabama. Call 440-1933.

May 1-3: Celebrating Spring with Dance. May 1-2 7:30-9:30 p.m. and May 3 2:304:30 p.m. Alabama School of Fine Arts. $10 for adults, $5 students. Visit

May 4: 23rd Annual Ireland Legacy Tournament. 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Old Overton Club. $2,750 for a team of four, $700 individual. Many sponsorship opportunities are available. Call 7953251.

May 9: Motherwalk 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run. 8 a.m.-noon. Homewood Central Park. Benefiting ovarian cancer research through the Norma Livingston Ovarian Cancer Foundation. Call 276-1696.

May 6: Hozier. 8-11 p.m. Alabama Theatre. Purchase tickets at Ticketmaster, $27.50-$47.50. Call 1-800-745-3000.

May 9: ASO Youth Orchestra Spring Concert. 3 p.m. Alys Stephens Center. Call 9752787.

May 7: Birmingham Art Crawl. 5-9 p.m. Birmingham Historic Loft District. Free admission. Visit

May 9: Girls on the Run 5K. 8 a.m. Veterans Park. Registration is $28 until race week. Visit

May 20: Birmingham Franchise Expo. 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 1:30-4:30 p.m. Cahaba Grand Conference Center. Over 20 successful and proven franchise companies will speak. Free. Reservations encouraged. Visit

May 7: Eat UP: A Taste of Uptown. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Uptown Entertainment District. Food samples will be provided by Uptown’s seven restaurants. $25. Visit

May 11: Collat Jewish Family Services Hands Up Together Event. 7 p.m. Alabama School of Fine Arts Dorothy Jemison Day Theatre. Visit or call 879-3438.

May 20-24: Disney on Ice: Frozen. Various times. Legacy Arena, BJCC. Tickets available through Ticketmaster and the BJCC Central Ticket Office, open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Visit

May 7: An Evening with David Phelps. 5:30 p.m. Wright Center, Samford University. Phelps is a member of the Gaither Vocal Band. $135 per person. Visit

May 15: Black Jacket Symphony Presents “Nevermind” and “Ten.” 7 p.m. Iron City. $25. Call 202-5483.

May 30: Sixth Annual Bob Sykes Barbecue and Blues Festival. Noon-7 p.m. DeBardeleben Park, Bessemer. Call 426-1400 or visit

May 1-3: Wings Over Oak Mountain. Oak Mountain State Park. Special programming, exciting birding excursions, interaction with live raptors and the beauty of Oak Mountain State Park. $75 each, $125 per couple. Visit May 2: Here’s to Forty: A Celebration of Children’s Dance Foundation. 7:30 p.m. The Alabama Theatre. Visit childrensdancefoundation. org. May 2: Tumor Trooper 5K Run/Walk. 7:45 a.m.-10:45 a.m. Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park. Registration through April 24 is $20, April 25race day is $25. Call (404) 252-4107. May 2: SLIPKNOT. 8 p.m. Oak Mountain Amphitheatre. Tickets $34-$87.50, available through Ticketmaster/Live Nation. May 3: Mother’s Day Brunch. 1 p.m. Clubhouse on Highland. Catered brunch by Ashley Mac’s, a silent auction and more will benefit Sav A Life Vestavia. Open to the public. $50. Visit savalife.

May 7-9: Birmingham Fashion Week. 6 p.m. Pepper Place. Visit May 7: ArtPlay Parlor Series: Julia Bullock. 7 p.m. Alys Stephens Center. $37.50. Visit

May 16: Birmingham Crawl for Cancer. 1-6 p.m. Lakeview District. 10-12 people per team. After-party at Side Bar. $40 per person. Register at, go to “cities” and click on “Birmingham.”

May 16: Do Dah Day. 11 a.m. Caldwell Park. Free admission for spectators and festival attendees. $5 per walker for fun walker. $10 animal prize per animal per category. $10 teams per person. $10 teams with car per person plus $15 per car. $15 cars. $10 motorcycles. $20 floats. Political team/car/ float $50 per candidate. Visit May 16-17: Great Southern Gun and Knife Show. Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. BJCC Exhibition Halls. Adults $9 and children 6-11 $2. Call (865) 458-0051.

May 30: Florida Georgia Line Anything Goes Tour. 7:30 p.m. Oak Mountain Amphitheatre. Tickets start at $40.50. Call 1-800745-3000.

May 2015 • B23



Homewood Public Library Events 1721 Oxmoor Road May 5: Technology Tuesdays. 2-4 p.m. Get the most out of your iPad and iPhone.

May 19: The ABCs of Medicare. Noon. Karen Haiflich answers questions about Medicare.

May 7: Above and Beyond the Call of Duty: The Medal of Honor with Niki Sepsas. 6:30 p.m. Learn more about the Medal of Honor with Niki Sepsas.

May 20: Small Business Seminar & Brown Bag Lunch. Noon. Getting the Most From Your Employees with Jane O’Brien, a Zig Ziglar Legacy Certified Trainer.

May 8-9: Dolores Hydock and PanHarmonium Spring Show. 6:30 p.m. Storyteller Dolores Hydock pairs with music trio PanHarmonium to tell two medieval tales.

May 21: Neuroscience Café. 6:30 p.m. Neurobiology of Suicide: Relevance to Diagnosis and Treatment with Yogesh Dhivehi, Ph.D., director of translational research at the UAB Mood Disorder Program.

May 12: Oxmoor Page Turners Book Club. 6:30 p.m. Discuss All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

May 27: The Better Than Therapy Book Club. 2 p.m. Discuss We Are Water by Wally Lamb.

May 13: Next Step Wednesdays. 2 p.m. iPads and iPhones intermediate classes. May 14: Introduction to Genealogy with Laura Gentry. 6:30 p.m. Learn more about genealogy with Laura Gentry. May 18: Children’s Summer Reading registration begins online. Program for ages birth to fifth grade.

May 28: Super Reader’s Training Academy. 6 p.m. The first summer reading program will feature games, crafts, snacks and summer reading registration. May 31: Friends Bookstore Bag Sale. 2-4:30 p.m. Lower Level. Fill a grocery sack with books and pay only $5 per bag at this book sale. Paper grocery bags will be provided, cash and checks accepted.


Ordinary Days By Lauren Denton

Reasons why I love Homewood This September will mark 14 years since — case in point, the recent digital sign debaI moved into a little house in Homewood cle. I love that neighbors in Homewood (and a few months after college graduation. I neighboring cities) stood their ground and made their case heard. didn’t know a thing about this town when I arrived, but after living here for 14 out of 7. All Saints Preschool. Love resides behind the last almost 14 years, it truly has become those red doors. I’m confident that everyone a home to me. So, in the spirit of We Love in that school loves my kids and wants the Homewood Day, I thought I’d give my best for them. I’m sad it’s Kate’s last year own reasons for why I love Homewood. there, but I’m thankful we have a couple 1. The Homewood Public Library. Rarely more years there with Sela before we have a week goes by when we don’t go to the to say good-bye. Denton library at least once, if not two or three times. The big tables in the adult section allow me to 8. The “Buy Local” idea. It’s is so easy in Homewood spread out with my computer and notebooks, and the — you can purchase almost anything you need within a children’s department is like a second home to my few square miles. daughters, Kate and Sela. 9. The Homewood City Council. They are receptive to 2. The hill behind Sam’s Deli. Yes, the Dentons are crea- hearing neighbors’ concerns, and I’m certain they love tures of habit, and we eat at Sam’s most Friday nights Homewood and want what’s best for it. when the weather is nice. Friendships are furthered and 10.Mayor McBrayer. He is so visible and well-known, new ones are built over countless cheeseburgers, chicken even to my 5 year old. This morning, I asked Kate who salads, skinned knees and tree-climbing contests. the boss is and she replied without hesitation, “Mayor 3. The friendly, familiar faces at both “The Pig” and McBrayer.” Publix. I love that I can go to either of my usual grocery 11. A health-conscious town. Everywhere you look, you stores, and someone will ask how my girls are or offer see cyclists, runners, walkers, kids on scooters, or famthem a lollipop. ilies on the Lakeshore Trail. 4. The firemen who wave to kids on the playground. I 12. La Concoccion at Little Donkey. O’Henry’s bluehope they know what a treat it is when a firetruck roars berry muffins. Chocolate Peanut Butter popsicles at Steel by and a fireman pauses to wave to the wide-eyed kids. City Pops. Nabeel’s chicken salad. I think I’m getting 5. The We Love Homewood Day Parade and the Christ- hungry… mas Parade. Caught in the chaos of flying candy, hear- 13. The cycle of life. It makes me smile to think Kate ing the beat of the marching bands, watching my oldest and Sela could grow up in this town and turn into people daughter’s eyes light up when she sees the sparkle of the who, like so many adults I know, can look back and say, Star Spangled girls — a mama can get a little choked up “I used to climb on that red caterpillar when I was a kid!” with small town pride! Lauren can be reached at LaurenKDenton@gmail. 6. People here really get behind causes they care about com. You can also find her on Twitter @LaurenKDenton.


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The Homewood Star May 2015  

news, sports and community news source for Homewood Alabama

The Homewood Star May 2015  

news, sports and community news source for Homewood Alabama

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