Page 1

August 2013


Volume 1 | Issue 4 | August 2013



Officials encourage awareness, organization in response to increase in reported thefts


Friday night


Will Coach Buddy Anderson reach 300 career wins? Can a new crop of team leaders take down area rivals?

Vestavia Voice takes a look at these questions and more with our Season Preview inside.

Sports page 16

Say hello

Get to know new VHHS principal Wes Gordon in this issue.

School page 14

Anne Lovette thought little of it when she found her driver’s side door slightly ajar one morning in June. In the midst of her routine, Lovette said she immediately attributed it to her 8-year-old son, Connor. Then she noticed that her glove box, center console and change drawers all were open – the last of which, despite it only containing pennies, was empty. Shortly after, she found the blood in her backseat. “The strongest feeling I have about the whole thing is that I’m mad at myself for not locking my car,” Anne said, adding that 99 percent of the time she does. “It was an atypical evening when I had returned from traveling. I got something out of the trunk and just forgot.” Anne reported that stolen items included headsets and a game controller for the vehicle’s entertainment system. Police told Lovette’s husband, Clint, they believed the blood discovered was evidence that one of the perpetrators had been wounded at some point prior that evening – possibly shot. “Clint and I both grew up in Vestavia,” Anne said. “We’ve lived on Granbury Road for the last nine years, and there have been no

It was a first for the area, but Rary said such activity is, unfortunately, a reflection of an uptick in the community. “Residential burglary in Vestavia Hills is not isolated to one street, neighborhood or area,” he said. “Most recently, residential areas adjacent to Columbiana Road and Rocky

See HIGH ALERT | page 19


Community ....... 14 Sports ............... 16 Calendar ........... 18

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

incidents like this before.” The evening of June 6 through the morning of June 7, residents in the areas surrounding the Lovette residence reported valuables were removed from 20 unlocked cars and one vehicle was stolen. Vestavia Hills Police Chief Dan Rary said police apprehended suspects in the case, who allegedly drove to Vestavia Hills from Fultondale in a stolen car.

A better, faster Rocky Ridge, U.S. 280 intersection

INSIDE City ..................... 5 Business ............ 8 Food ................... 12

Auto theft victim Anne Lovette found blood in her car following a string of vehicle break-ins in the Granbury Road neighborhood of Vestavia Hills in June 2013. Photo by Rebecca Walden.

Traffic patterns at the Rocky Ridge Road-U.S. 280 intersection will flow as illustrated above beginning this month, according to the Alabama Department of Transportation. Image courtesy of ALDOT.

As a late addition to the Alabama Department of Transportation’s U.S. 280 Intersection Improvement Project, Rocky Ridge Road could be more manageable for drivers around the beginning of August. According to Division 3 Engineer Brian Davis, ALDOT is stepping outside its jurisdiction to improve not only the intersection of Rocky Ridge and U.S. 280 but also the intersection of Rocky Ridge and Shades Crest Roads in an attempt to move traffic more quickly through the junction. “Where Shades Crest comes into Rocky Ridge is not one of our intersections, but it’s so close to 280 it has an effect on the highway,” Davis said. “We elected to include the signal in our work because of its proximity, so we’re treating it as one large intersection.”

See ROCKY RIDGE | page 19

2 • August 2013

Vestavia Voice

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August 2013 • 3

4 • August 2013

Vestavia Voice

About Us Photo of the Month

The second annual Flash Mob for the Foundation, organized by Stephanie Tunnell, raised $4,000 last year in support of the Vestavia Hills City Schools Foundation. This year, students can sign up for the mob at each school’s registration event. Dance practice will be held Aug. 15 and 16. Cost will include dance instruction, a T-shirt and a snack. Pictured are Logan Romp, Andrew Tunnell, and Nathan Johnson during last year’s Flash Mob event.

Please Support our Community Partners Alabama Allergy & Asthma Center (10) Bariatrics of Alabama (8) Bedzzz Express (20) Birmingham Internal Medicine (12) Birmingham School of Music (9) Birmingham Speech and Hearing Associates (6) California Closets (6) Children’s of Alabama (5) Hendrick Hoover Auto Mall (11, 15) Iron Tribe (2) LAH Real Estate (18) Lazenby’s Decorative Arts Studio (11) Lili Pad/Gi Gi’s (13) Merle Norman - Vestavia (9) Mr. Chen’s Authentic Chinese (17) RealtySouth - Becky Hicks (16) Royal Automotive (3) Sew Sheri Designs (13) Skin Wellness Center of Alabama (10) SouthStar Properties (12) UAB Medicine (7) Vestavia Hills Soccer Club (17) Vestavia Hills UMC Conservatory of Fine Arts (15) Water Drainage Solutions (1) Whale of a Sale (17) Wood & Spooner (9)

Editor’s Note By Rebecca Walden Though the technology and cheaply made surrounding its title has writing instruments. long been outpaced, You’ve The start of this Got Mail remains one of my new school year is all-time favorite movies. A indeed a clean slate, particular line from Joe Fox, but it’s up to us to aptly played by Tom Hanks, keep it that way. comes to my mind each When helping autumn: the school-age “Don’t you love New child/children in York in the fall? It makes me your life navigate wanna buy school supplies. this new year, Walden I would send you a bouquet think about the of newly sharpened pencils if I knew excitement you once felt in that your name and address.” stage of your life. Brace yourself Oh the genius of Nora Ephron. and your student for the ups and Growing up, I didn’t think anyone downs these next nine months are could possibly enjoy the excitement likely to bring by remembering The of new school supplies as much as Four Agreements, from the book by I did. There was just something so the same name and written by Don thrilling about the promise of a clean Miguel Ruiz. I received a copy of notebook never jotted in, a pen not it in high school from my lifelong yet leaking ink, and so on. friend, Meg Lawrence Karchner. A Of course I know why I felt that summary of The Four Agreements is way. In every sense, brand new as follows: school supplies represented a clean Be impeccable with your word. slate, a new year and the promise Speak with integrity. Say only what that all things were possible. you mean. Avoid using the word But the slate never stayed clean to speak against yourself or gossip for long. After awhile, capless about others. Use the power of pens, dog-eared notebooks and your word in the direction of truth misplaced homework assignments and love. would line the bottom of my red Don’t take anything personally. monogrammed JanSport. And the Nothing others do is because of you. high regard I’d once held for those What others say and do is a projection items in their new-from-WalMart of their own dreams. When you are condition quickly diminished. immune to the opinions and actions As parents, grandparents, coaches of others, you won’t be the victim of and caregivers to the children in needless suffering. our lives, we certainly have more Don’t make assumptions. Find fortitude than spiral bound notebooks the courage to ask questions and

to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. Always do your best. Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid selfjudgment, self-abuse and regret. In the almost 20 years since I graduated high school, The Four Agreements have become only more significant to me. In this juxtaposed world, where the climate is both collegial and competitive, these words (when I remember to follow them) remind me to live in purpose and peace. I hope they can do the same for you as we enter this new school year. August is significant to so many of us who call Vestavia Hills home. The long-standing reputation of our schools is what has drawn, and kept, many of us here. Just as we expect excellence from our school administration, our faculty and our students, let’s also expect and model that for each other. Now I’m off to buy my bouquet of newly sharpened pencils. See you in the supply aisle!


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Published by : Contact Information: Vestavia Voice #3 Office Park Circle, Suite 316 Birmingham, AL 35223 313-1780

Dan Starnes Jeff Thompson Keith McCoy Rebecca Walden Madoline Markham Matthew Allen Rhonda Smith Warren Caldwell Michelle Salem Haynes Keith Richardson Caroline Drew Will Hightower Chandler Jones Intisar Seraaj-Sabree Starnes Publishing LLC Please submit all articles, information and photos to: P.O. Box 530341 Birmingham, AL 35253

For advertising contact: Legals: Vestavia Voice is published monthly. Reproduction or use of

editorial or graphic content without prior permission is prohibited. The Vestavia Voice is designed to inform the Vestavia community of area school, family and community events. Information in the Vestavia Voice is gathered from sources considered reliable but the accuracy cannot be guaranteed. All articles/photos submitted become the property of the Vestavia Voice. 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) 3131780 or by email.

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August 2013 • 5

City Meet Your City Council Jim Sharp

With almost 13 years of service to your credit, you are the What lies ahead? You longest serving member of the have three years left in Vestavia Hills City Council. your current term. Lay out What does this mean to you? the priorities for us. In 2000, we started off with In terms of what the City 24 days of operating reserves, wants to accomplish in the accounting for $50,000 per day next five to 10 years, that list to run the city and totaling $17 is ambitious, as it should be. million in the fund. Today, we Areas of focus include market have a $12 million fund balance street improvements along U.S. (141 days at $80,000 a day). I am Highway 31 and upgrades, very proud of that. building up our tax base, pushing Jim Sharp I’m also pleased to see how hard on retail and of course the City has expanded its public green space. retaining the retail that is there. We took this on as a priority, and as a result, Vestavia Hills has gone from having 150 acres What do you want your legacy to be? to where we are today with more than 250 My family moved here from Chattanooga acres of parks and recreation property. We’ve in 1951 when I was three years old; I’ve also added 15 miles of sidewalks. seen everything happen that has happened in Sicard Hollow alone represents about 60 Vestavia Hills. I keep considering myself as acres, and we’ll have another 10 or so from a tribesman rather than a chief; I just want to Patchwork Farms. McCallum Park is 33 acres. work hard to embellish what we have. Scotty McCallum was in his 80s and It’s crazy to think I will have served for a working 10 to 14 hours a day as mayor of the consecutive 16 years once this term is up. I City of Vestavia Hills. The man did not miss never intended to sit on the City Council so a beat. I suggested the Council to change the long, but with what we had started back in 2000, name of that park from Little Shades Creek to I felt there needed to be some cohesiveness McCallum Park in his honor. with what we’d begun at that time. In terms of my legacy, I want the citizens You’ve seen the City managed under of this community to feel that I’ve left this numerous administrations. What are City in a stronger position – fiscally, culturally, a few of the standout memories from economically – than it was when I first joined your tenure under different leaders? the Council. I would like to give special thanks to the We cannot ask for better city leadership than we mayor 12 years ago, Scotty McCallum, who have now. From the police and fire departments had tremendous skills sets in managing and to parks and rec to city hall, you couldn’t ask for a working with department heads and budgets. better group of seasoned and talented department I’m also especially thankful to have served heads and employees. beside three excellent counselors – David Belcher, Bill Visintaine and Greg Canfield, all What do you love most about living here? of whom have wonderful financial skills and My roots are here. My friends, my church, my who helped start the process of regaining our neighborhood, this is where I grew up. fiscal footing. I attended Vestavia schools through the Tom Greene also deserves acknowledge- sixth grade (at that time, this was the last grade ment. A former U.S. Marshal, Greene’s efforts available in Vestavia City Schools). Then, I were tremendous in working to strengthen our attended seventh grade at Shades Cahaba and police and fire departments. eighth grade at Homewood Junior High, and then As things progressed and these individuals I finished my grade school education at what was left office, others, such as Mary Lee Rice, then the brand new Berry High School. David Carrington and Linda Allison, came on It was some time after I finished school at Auburn board. Each of these folks took the ball and ran that I met and married Jane Watkins of Vestavia with it. They applied their unique skill sets and Hills. She took me to the cleaners – literally, but she did an amazing job. has blessed my life. And I would be remiss not to mention my In 1990, I purchased the Montgomery dear friends and fellow City Council members Highway location of Sharp Cleaners from my Steve Ammons, John Henley and George Pierce. father-in-law, Tommy Watkins. They bring sound management skills to the table, I am indeed a blessed man, and I will always and they have helped the whole idea of what we be thankful to the City of Vestavia Hills. It is launched back in 2000 – the Vestavia Voters with where I have chosen to make my livelihood Vision. Known as V3, it has helped propel our and raise my family, and I wouldn’t have it any City forward in a planned manner. other way.

Legislation protecting seniors from fraud Open forum Aug. 9 in Hoover By JEFF THOMPSON According to Rep. Paul DeMarco, the state’s senior citizens are now at a greater risk to be victims of abuse and fraud than in years past. In a recent release, DeMarco said Alabama is a hot spot for fraud aimed at consumers, and it’s particularly true for identity theft. The Federal Trade Commission recently released a report stating it recorded 3,339 identity theft complaints from Alabamians in 2010. That equals nearly 70 complaints per 100,000 residents, a rate that ranked Alabama No. 15 among the states in the FTC report. Experts say many more ID theft complaints are never reported. In light of these statistics, DeMarco cosponsored a bill in the 2013 State Legislative session that that strengthens penalties against elder abuse.

“Governor [Robert] Bentley just signed this legislation into law,” DeMarco said. “And we want to educate seniors about it.” Furthering the campaign to protect the state’s seniors, DeMarco and the Hoover Senior Center will host an Elder Abuse and Fraud Prevention Seminar on Aug. 9. The open forum discussion will include Neal Morrison, commissioner for the Alabama Department of Senior Services, and Joe Borg, the director of the Alabama Securities Commission, and is open to all area residents. The event, moderated by DeMarco, will focus on helping area seniors learn simple steps to protect themselves. DeMarco said his belief is that the statistics of elder abuse in the state are not acceptable. Doors open at noon, and the program will begin at 12:15 p.m. Robert’s Discount Pharmacy of Hoover will provide lunch. Reservation deadline is Wednesday, Aug. 7 unless capacity has been reached. Contact the Hoover Senior Center at 739-6700.

6 • August 2013

Vestavia Voice

City Mayor’s Minute By Alberto “Butch” Zaragoza City Hall is busy with a number of activities at this time. First and foremost, I want to share that at this point, nine months into the fiscal year, revenue is above what we anticipated to be at this point in time in our budgeting. Second, as we approach the back to school season, I want to commend the cooperation between Vestavia Hills City Schools and the City in their work to enhance safety in our schools. Various members from both systems recently attended a comprehensive training course on the FEMA Campus in Emmitsburg, Md. Certainly we hope we never need to activate the plans for dealing with these multihazard situations, but it’s best to be prepared for such. Our students, parents, teachers and administrators deserve nothing less than a safe and secure learning and working environment. In terms of City Hall’s relocation, we are continuing to work toward an agreement for the Food World building and Joe’s Ranch House properties. I hope that within the next several weeks we are able to finalize that deal. On that note, there is some interest from a national retailer to purchase the existing City Hall property. Of course, this is based on our ability to close the aforementioned properties.

Cities could be renewing vehicle tags by year’s end By JEFF THOMPSON

All told, I expect this to be a about a 24-month project as far as completing the move into our new City Hall. We are also working on a deal to sell off the old library property and to have that space redeveloped. In other news, Northport Holding is on target to begin construction on its 120-bed skilled nursing facility on approximately seven acres at Patchwork Farms. Another developer could potentially purchase an additional seven acres in the same area. As always, please don’t hesitate to contact my office if we can be of service to you. Thank you for all you do to support Vestavia Hills. Sincerely,

Butch Zaragoza Mayor

While it could still be months away, there might be reason to celebrate – specifically for everyone in Jefferson County who owns a vehicle. Local cities are discussing means to make it easier to renew your registration. In July, representatives from eight area cities met with state officials to discuss legislation passed in the 2012 session that paves the way for Jefferson County municipalities to issue license plates. “What I’m trying to do is make this as painless for citizens as possible,” said Rep. Paul DeMarco, who sponsored the legislation. “There’s no reason to force citizens to wait in four-hour lines. That’s not good government. We need to get

it resolved, and cities want to help. That’s why I passed the bill.” House Bill 498 allows the mayor of any Jefferson County municipality to designate an official to renew vehicle tags for that city’s residents. This would effectively create a fourth location for residents of a municipality to renew, as they could travel not only to existing county locations but also to their city’s designated official. “What came out of the meeting is everybody agreed that was a good idea,” DeMarco said. “Right now, Jefferson County has 600,000 people renewing each year and only three locations. Add seven or eight cities, and all of a sudden that becomes 10 locations.” DeMarco said the meeting, which included members from the

State Revenue Commission, Public Examiner’s Office and Comptroller’s Office, introduced participating municipalities to software Jefferson County will begin using in October. Once the County installs its new programs, it can begin training cities to use it. DeMarco said training would take approximately three days, and after that a city would be able to handle the process on its own. Great news for everyone whose last name begins with U-Z, there’s a chance – albeit slim – you could be renewing at your municipal complex in 2013. “I would like to see it in place before the end of the year,” DeMarco said. “Citizens want to see this resolved, and we don’t need to keep putting it off.”

Conversion saving Vestavia Hills on fuel costs The City of Vestavia Hills recently converted 14 of its Ford Crown Victoria gasoline-powered police cars to propane Autogas bi-fuel vehicles. As a result, the City has saved, on average, about $1.20 per gallon on fuel. Propane Autogas historically costs 30 to 40 percent less than gasoline, according to Mark Bentley,

executive director of the Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition. For Vestavia Hills, the difference means an estimated annual fuel savings of $20,000 to $25,000. Through fuel savings and the reduced maintenance costs inherent with propane use, the City’s investment should pay for itself and yield thousands of dollars worth of

savings over the life of the vehicles, according to Bentley. Since Vestavia Hills converted some commercial gasoline lawnmowers to propane, the savings will be realized on this equipment as well. For more visit gov or -Submitted by the Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition

August 2013 • 7

The cure for complacency is preparedness Vestavia Hills CERT program aims to empower residents By REBECCA WALDEN In the aftermath of the April 2011 storms, Chris Callies neighbor was killed while attempting to assist local rescue efforts. Callies, a Cahaba Heights resident, knew something needed to change – and fast. “So much of the CERT focus is on emergency preparedness, but there is another important side of that issue,” Callies said. “And that’s letting folks know how to safely respond to community needs after a storm strikes.” Vestavia Hills CERT – or Community Emergency Response Team – is a 60-member strong organization that serves as a volunteer training extension of the Vestavia Hills Fire Department. It is backed by support from both the Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Although Callies lives only a half mile from Station 5 of the Vestavia Hills Fire Department, the April 27 storms left his neighborhood with zero police and fire rescue support because of the overwhelming burden facing these resources from storm devastation. That left it up to a lot of well meaning residents to check on their neighbors. “Our main goal with the Vestavia

Vestavia Hills CERT Steering Committee members: in front, John Furman, Battalion Chief Tommy Hale, James Bailey, Nicole Zabriskie, Aubyn Brown; in driver’s seat Chris Callies; and on steps, Kelli Buryn and BJ Colvin.

Hills CERT is to let everyone how to be prepared and how to react when emergency services are not available,” he said. To accomplish that priority, Vestavia Hills CERT periodically offers an eight-week training course for residents interested in learning about emergency preparedness and response. Course topics range from fire and other disasters to terrorism and search and rescue. According to Nicole Zabriskie, a Vestavia Hills and Vestavia Hills CERT coordinator, the course is vital for learning how to take care of yourself when no one can come to your rescue. For her, it is a point of pride to take an active role in emergency preparedness both with her family and beyond. “In the days after the 2011 tornadoes, we weren’t sitting around

acting like victims,” she said. “Because we knew how to handle the situation, we were actually able to aid the efforts of our local fire and police departments in an organized capacity, especially once formal emergency services had been dispatched and roads were cleared.” Zabriskie is quick to point out that the Vestavia Hills CERT Program is open to anyone, regardless of residency. “Yes, it is community-based at its core, but to be a part of this program, all that is required is that you live, work or worship here,” she said. “Some of our members live elsewhere, but they do have ties to and a vested interest in this community.” As a longtime resident of Pompano Beach, Fla., Zabriskie is well acquainted with hurricanes.

Tornadoes, on the other hand, were new territory to her. Zabriskie’s first brush with CERT came during her residency in Pompano Beach following Hurricane Wilma. As soon as she found out her husband would be transferred to Birmingham, her research quickly led her to Vestavia Hills Battalion Chief Tommy Hale. It took this new Alabamian, and the most devastating tornadoes this state has ever seen, to galvanize the formerly casual Vestavia Hills CERT group into serious action. “Unfortunately, what you run into is that people don’t have the desire to do anything until something really bad happens,” she said. “And when something really bad happens, it’s too late. You have to be prepared in advance, and that’s why the mission of CERT speaks so strongly to me.”

The efforts of Hale and Zabriskie resulted in the development of a five-member steering committee, a structured monthly meeting schedule, and a growing interest from residents and others with ties to the Vestavia Hills community to sign up and engage in the CERT effort. Courses are a mixed format of speakers, emergency drills, and other simulations to test knowledge and emergency response capability. “For this to be useful, it has to go beyond theory,” Zabriskie said. “We try to make it as realistic as we reasonably can, and to do that, we use dummies to simulate live victims and we run through the paces of all manner of different scenarios. It spans from fire safety to search and rescue to terrorism to understanding the psychology of a disaster. Everyone handles these things in a different way, and the more prepared you are, the better.” Course graduates receive a backpack loaded with emergency response equipment including a vest, helmet, flashlight, gloves, tools to maneuver gas and water lines, goggles, a first aid kit, one pair of latex gloves as well as one pair of heavy duty work gloves. Individuals interested in CERT training can sign up for the next eightweek course, which begins Sept. 17 and runs weekly from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Courses are free, but a manual is required that can be purchased for $25 or downloaded at no cost. To learn more about the Vestavia Hills CERT Team or to sign up, contact the Vestavia Hills Fire Department at 978-0225 or email

8 • August 2013

Vestavia Voice

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Jordan Yates has brought a new business concept to Alabama: Salon Suites. The establishment, located in Colonnade, will open in August. The concept takes a building and creates hotel-like sectionals for cosmetologists to operate. “They basically run a mini-salon,” Yates said. “They get to start their own business basically and work for themselves.” Each space spans 100-140-square-feet and is equipped with custom cabinets, a shampoo bowl, a styling chair, dryer chairs and lockable doors. The location in the Colonnade will be large enough for 29 spaces, and Yates is planning to include 20 rooms in a location planned elsewhere on U.S. 280. Salon Suites location will be at 3411 Colonnade Parkway. For more call 334-714-7451.

August 2013 • 9


Workouts tailored to the individual

Pure Performance, a new fitness facility in Liberty Park, opened in May in the former Fitness Together location. According to CEO and Human Performance Specialist Thomas Twitty, the facility offers its clients tactical fitness programs tailored to the individual. Working under the slogan of “One Client, One Trainer, One Goal,” the staff can adjust its programs anywhere from helping professional athletes with basic fitness to teaching clients with back pain how to properly lift heavy boxes. “When you come in for the first time, we immediately get you evaluated,” Twitty said. “It’s like when you go to the doctor, and the first thing they do is test to see what’s wrong. Then, we identify a point A and point B and where on the track you need to be to get there the fastest.” Twitty said the facility is currently working with members of the Carolina Panthers preparing for the upcoming season as well as elderly clients suffering from high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. Sessions at Pure Performance range from $20 for group sessions to $52 for individual sessions. The facility is open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m.-7 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m.-noon. Pure Performance is located at 8000 Liberty Parkway, Suite 108. For more, call 967-2226 or search Facebook for Pure Performance Vestavia Hills.


Sandwiches speed up at the Colonnade

Jimmy John’s sandwich shop opened in the Colonnade in June. The restaurant, known for its slogan of “Subs so fast you’ll freak,” features a variety of sandwiches. The new location boasts a staff of more than 30 and a drivethru. Brandon Stewart owns both this and a Hoover location of the franchise. The address is 3411 Colonnade Parkway, Suite A2. Hours are 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Call 262-4788 for more.


ARC Realty opens in Cahaba Heights

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was recently held for ARC Realty Company, which opened its main office in Cahaba Heights this summer. According to a release, the company is owned and operated by “families vested in Birmingham, with deep

roots in Alabama.” Its chairman Tommy Brigham, a former CEO of RealtySouth, founded the company in November 2012. Since its launch, ARC has added 55 brokers to its team. ARC Realty is located at 4274 Cahaba Heights Court, Suite 200. For more, call 969-8910 or visit arcrealtyco. com.


Charity via Cross Fit training

Columbiana Road is home to a new Cross Fit training facility that’s built philanthropy into its operating costs. According to owner Chris Wade, Forge Fitness is partnering with Christ City Church, a mission center in Ensley that will serve the greater-Birmingham area when it opens in September. Wade said the facility plans on providing 10 percent of profits to the center to support its operation. A former Clemson University football player and Georgia native, Wade partnered with Vestavia Hills resident Rich Penino to bring Cross Fit training to Columbiana. He said the training involves “constantly varied functional movement at high intensity” that focuses on the proper methods to complete daily tasks like climbing stairs or picking up children. Forge Fitness currently offers classes at 5:30 a.m., 6:30 a.m., 4:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Wade said the facility would soon offer a women’s class at 9:30 a.m. and another open class at 12:30 p.m. He added that the facility is offering discounted rates to its first 30 members. Forge Fitness is located at 2112 Columbiana Road. For more, call 834-2304 or visit


Dining deals return for annual Restaurant Week Satterfield’s in Cahaba Heights is among more than 30 local eateries participating in this year’s Birmingham’s Restaurant Week, scheduled for Aug. 16-25. Featured restaurants will offer special two and/or three-course prix-fixe lunch and/or dinner menus ranging from $5-$30 per person. Several menus will also include a children’s menu, brunch offerings and drink specials. Other participating restaurants include La Paz, VINO, The Garden Café, Davenport’s Pizza, Michael’s Steakhouse, Jojo’s on Broadway, Black Market Bar & Grill, Highlands Bar & Grill, Bottega Dining Room, Bottega Café, Chez Fonfon, Silverton Café, Veranda on Highland, The Wine Loft, Little Savannah, 26, Ocean, Ted’s, Dreamland BBQ, Rusty’s BBQ, Slice, ROJO, Century Restaurant & Bar, John’s City Diner, The J Clyde, Eagle’s Restaurant, Urban Standard and Oscar’s at the Museum. New this year, the BRW Mobile Site Dining Guide will deliver dining details right to your fingertips on your smart phone. BRW is held in conjunction with Alabama Tourism Department’s Year of Alabama Food 2012 and is presented by Regions Bank. For more on participating restaurants, menus and other details, visit

Baking a fundraiser from scratch

Storkland to close Vestavia storefront

After 15 years of operation, Storkland Baby and Juvenile Furniture will be closing its storefront in Vestavia Hills and consolidating its operation at its location on 2nd Avenue North. According to an employee, Storkland owners Nikki and Stan Blair own the building downtown and elected to move all operations to that location. The Vestavia Hills storefront is located at 1074 Montgomery Highway, but the permanent site can be found at 2205 2nd Ave. N. For more, call 824-1754 or visit

* We offer private lessons in Guitar, Piano, Drums, Bass, Voice, Violin & Clarinet and also offer Rock Band and Musical Theater classes. * Take lessons with a patient, fun, university trained, professional music teacher who cares about your personal music goals. * We offer a wide range of scheduling options 7 days a week.

Now Taking Fall Registration 969-8763

800 Olde Towne Road in Vestavia near Chuck E Cheese's behind Bruster's Ice Cream

Madison Waldrop and her friends sold baked goods at Wing Ding.

This summer, Madison Waldrop organized a bake sale at Wing Ding to help raise money for Cystic Fibrosis (CF) in honor of her friend Maddie Hagler who has CF. During the sale, she received one donation of $200, and more than $500 overall.

10 • August 2013

Vestavia Voice

Business Spotlight id g eR

ke R La Bl ue

Tutoring Club in Cahaba Heights might be a for-profit company, but for its owners, it’s more than just a way to make money. Both owners have business backgrounds yet have now found their niche in tutoring. “It’s a business for us but also an avenue to be a help for kids,” David Allen said. “You can’t be in this business and not have a passion for it.” Allen’s wife, Denise, first got into the tutoring business in 2003 because it worked well with her daughters’ schedules. The two met in 2007, and Allen started helping her at her Valleydale Road Tutoring Club. After a couple of years, they decided to launch another location close to their home in Vestavia Hills, and in 2010 the location in Cahaba Heights opened. No matter the program, Allen said parents are complimentary of the atmosphere and see value in the time their children spend at the facility. “People used to see tutoring as something to be looked down on, but now it is a prestigious thing,” Allen said. “We have a seen a lot of students who need help, and as soon as they get it, it gives them more value. And you can see it in their countenance and on their faces.” The club’s space is set up with u-shaped tables. Tutoring groups are designed for no more than 15 people at a time and no more than three students per tutor. Children in kindergarten to 12th grade come in for tutoring in math, reading comprehension, vocabulary and language. Most come twice a week for an hour at a time Allen said what distinguishes their programs is how they can diagnose skill gaps with specially designed software that administers




lly R


Cahaba Heights Rd


Tutoring Club


Pump House Rd

Denise and David Allen own and manage the Tutoring Club in Cahaba Heights. Photo by Madoline Markham.

the California Achievement Test. After the assessment, the tutor prints out an individualized lesson plan for each student based on his or her needs. “For instance, if a seventh grader is having trouble with pre-algebra, we can identify what basic math skills like decimals or fractions he or she is having trouble with, and then that will help him with his seventh grade pre-algebra,” Allen explained.

In addition, the Tutor Up program helps high school students with homework in a particular class in which they are struggling. All tutors have college degrees, and their backgrounds vary from graduate students to former teachers. All of them have excelled in their studies, Allen said, and they receive training from Tutoring Club before starting. For high schoolers looking toward college applications, Tutoring Club offers an ACT or

3106 Heights Village 968-5151 School Year: Monday-Friday, 3:30-7:30 p.m. Summer: Tuesday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. SAT prep class starting eight weeks before a test date. “Compared to other prep classes, they get the material in over a longer period of time at a slower rate,” Allen said. “We believe it sinks in and gets in deeper that way.” Sessions include two hours a week of tutoring sessions, one hour a week of homework and three practice tests by the end of the course. For younger students, a beginning reading program teaches phonics. Allen said it’s appropriate for any kindergarten or first grader students struggling in reading. The program is 72 sessions, but once again is individualized based on how a particular student tests. The club recently moved into a new space two suites over from its previous location, which is a better size for its operation. In the summer, the Allens offer the same math, reading and writing skills tutoring, as well as a study skills program recommended for ages 12-15 that lasts two hours a week for 12 weeks. No matter the program or time of year, the center’s focus on mastery carries into what they do. “In school, (students) may learn just enough to pass and then get behind,” he said. “But here we teach them mastery so they will know the subject. For instance, in math they must get two 100s in a row to move on to the next lesson.” Prices for basic tutoring run $39-$43.75 per hour or about $350 month if a student comes twice a week, and there is a discount when a larger block of hours is purchased. The eightweek ACT prep course is $950, and the 12week study skills class is $1,050.


Medical • Pediatric • Surgical • Cosmetic 2908 Central Avenue, Suite 150 • Homewood, AL 35209 398 Chesser Drive, Suite 3 • Chelsea, AL 35043 205.871.7332 • WWW.SKINWELLNESSAL.COM

August 2013 • 11

Back-to-school style guide By JEFF THOMPSON

For elementary school

For preschool

Styles from GiGi’s and LilyPad

Styles from LilyPad

For high school and college students Styles from Serendipity

Fairy tale whimsy An Alice in Wonderland-inspired fairy tale design embellishes this bright green gingham dress by Mulberry Street ($74) worn by CeCe Fisher. Finish off the outfit with a solid colored hair bow to coordinate with colors in the dress; white pulls out color from the collar and sleeves.

Stripes with flair Cream-colored embroidery adds pizzazz to this blue striped skirt by Trish Scully Child ($44) worn by Reese Fisher. Pair it with a solid top with a more subtle flair like this Daisy Flowered Tee by Trish Scully Child ($33).

Belted skirt Pink and polka dots finish the statement of this cheery belted GiGi’s Green Thumb Bittersweet skirt ($32) from Gigi’s. Claire Kidd matches it with a White Frosted Cardigan Sweater by Down East Girl ($29) for an updated take on a traditional schoolgirl look. Ruffle-sleeved dress Ruffled sleeves make this colorful paisley dress a standout. Maggie Manly wears the GiGi’s Shim Print Dress by Maggie Breen Too ($51) with a brown boot. Sports meets classic Navy stripes add a more classic look to this sports tee by Luigi Kids (from Lilypad, $38). Luke Humber pairs it with versatile Khaki Boat Shorts by Little English ($38).

Tunic-jegging pairing Katie Morgan, a Vestavia Hills High School grad who will begin attending The University of Alabama this fall, pairs a White Linen Tunic Top with lace detail by Sweet Sinnamon ($69) with Rouched Capri Jegging by Lysse ($75). For a pop of color add a Coral & Cream Polka Dot Scarf by Pretty Persuasions ($25). Metallic tones in a Stone & Charm Necklace by Just Charmed ($39) and Bronze Adonis Wedges by Madeline ($49) complete the look.

12 • August 2013

Vestavia Voice

Food Beef Sliders with Blue Cheese-Basil Aioli By REBECCA GORDON Makes use of your end-ofthe-summer basil with this twist on burgers. Try it for a backyard barbecue or save it for a tailgate once SEC season kicks off. The aioli tastes fancy but is simple to prepare.

Rebecca Gordon recently stepped away from the Test Kitchen Director post at Southern Living magazine and has launched her own brand and digital lifestyle title, Buttermilk Lipstick. The name comes from a favorite ingredient for baking and cooking merged with an element of beauty. On ButtermilkLipstick. com she merges home-cooked recipes, style finds that tie back to her food background and her love of Southern college football. A Cahaba Heights native, she is now married to Pizitz Middle School teacher and coach Marrow Gordon.





Makes 8 Total time: about 25 minutes

• •

1 1/4 lb. 80-percent lean ground beef

• • • •

1 small garlic clove, pressed

Blue Cheese-Basil Aioli (recipe to the right)


1/3 cup loosely packed basil leaves, finely chopped 1/2 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. pepper Toasted dinner rolls (I like the ones from Publix.)

Makes about 1 1/2 cups Total time: 5 minutes

Crumble beef over next four ingredients in a large bowl. Shape into eight very thin 3 1/2-inch patties. Grill over medium-high heat two minutes per side. Serve burgers in rolls with lettuce and Blue Cheese-Basil Aioli. Burgers will hang slightly over roll edges.

Blue Cheese-Basil Aioli raises the standard on backyard burger fare.

• • • • • •

1 cup mayonnaise 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil 1 small green onion, minced 1 small garlic clove, pressed Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Stir together all ingredients.

August 2013 • 13

Restaurant Showcase

Read previous Restaurant Showcases at


Pappas’ Grill

Post Oak Rd Vesthaven Way

1066 Montgomery Highway 823-4458 Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

By CHANDLER JONES Beads of sweat had begun to form on Greg Pappas’ brow. He lifted his head from the sizzling grill in front of him to glance at the door to his hole-in-the-wall eatery, Pappas’ Grill. His glance revealed a line of chatting customers, some holding money while others patiently waited with empty cups. His blink in focus revealed the echoing prattle of a crowded room behind him. His wife, Pat, bustled around behind him, slamming the cash drawer, filling cups and talking with regulars. “I’d say we know 75 percent of our customers by name,” Greg said. “Vestavia is a very loyal community.” Taking in the mingling of customers and friends left a sloppy grin plastered on his now 65-year-old face. As he turned back to the grill, he reminisced about his 21 years of owning it. These days, at most hours every seat is taken, and he doesn’t bother turning the grill off anymore. It works because the Pappases feed thousands. Running the restaurant is a husband and wife affair, and Greg said the work is split pretty fairly: Pat makes the Pastitsio and Moussaka, and he makes just about everything else. On Thursdays and Fridays he adds

Pastitsio, a Greek-style lasagna served here with Greek-style green beans, was one of the original items on the Pappas’ menu. Photos by Chandler Jones.

prime rib and baked leg of lamb, respectively, to the menu. The grape leaves and chicken are also popular. Greg and Pat usually hurriedly bump into each other in the alleyway kitchen lining the back of the restaurant when they cook. It’s not uncommon for the Pappases to be caught bickering at each other in their tight space, her in Greek and him with the occasional swear word. But shockingly enough, the sparring is a token example of their love’s endurance. “She’s so much smarter than I am,”

Greg said. Pat and Greg have known each other since childhood. They both grew up in a tight-knit Greek community in Birmingham and attended Greek school at their church together, but Greg said it wasn’t until he was much older and wiser that she would date him. During their respective childhoods, the Pappases were accustomed to a range of Greek cuisine. These dishes, cooked by their mothers so many years ago, inspired most of the dishes on the menu.


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Greg and Pat Pappas have owned and operated Pappas Greek Grill since 1992.

Over the years cooking has become a source of pride for the couple. What began as a few Greek items catapulted into the Pappas’ menu of more than 50 items and a full catering spread. “The dish I’m most proud of is my [original] Greek-style Snapper,” Greg said. “It’s topped with onions, tomatoes, feta cheese and olive oil.” If you want a gyro and baklava for dessert, they’ll have that out just as quickly as the chicken fingers and fries. Pappas’ best-loved specialty is a

sauce customers slather on most of the menu items. The recipe for his renowned tzatziki sauce, used to make up to 40 gallons of at a time, hails straight from Athens, Greece. It was originally the creation of Pat’s cousin, Elena Giannopoulou. One might wonder of the twinge of envy Giannopoulou might have when Greg serves her recipe all the way over in America, but Greg assures, “family just wants to help.” And they’re no strangers to loyalty like that. “I love the community. It’s just so competitive,” Greg said. Pappas’ is located on Montgomery Highway near Red Lobster. “Everybody says there are a thousand Greek restaurants,” Greg said. “We have authentic Greek recipes and menu on a daily basis. I don’t think you can go anywhere and get the variety we have.” Encouragement and feedback from his customers keeps him going, he said. “You have to love this business or you don’t need to be in it,” Greg said. “You need to be married to it.” The 21st anniversary of the restaurant’s opening is in October, and Greg said with his classic belly laugh that the end isn’t anywhere in sight. “I’ll be back there (in the kitchen) with a walker,” Greg said.

14 • August 2013

Vestavia Voice

Meet new VHHS Principal Wes Gordon By NATHAN KELLY On July 1, Wes Gordon assumed his role as principal of Vestavia Hills High School. Gordon was named for the position after serving in the Central Office of Vestavia Hills and in all eight schools across all grade levels. In his career, he has mentored AP Calculus teachers from across the state, conducted book studies with kindergarten teachers, facilitated literacy workshops for teachers of all content areas, and presented at local, state, and national conferences. Most recently, Gordon served as director of curriculum and instruction in Vestavia Hills High School while forging strong relationships with the other seven schools and administrators in the district. Having worked with and in all the schools, he knows what it takes to get students fully prepared for high school. What kind of support have you received since word got out that you would be taking over as principal? I think my favorite response

was that of a teacher who told me he knew exactly why I was going to be good as a principal at the high school. His reason? There is a school full of teachers who are going to make sure I succeed. I am both humbled and challenged by the support I have been shown. Did you know Principal Cas McWaters well? What was your relationship with him like? Cas McWaters hired me as a teacher at the high school and was the best principal I ever served under as a teacher. Since I moved to the Central Office, the context of our relationship changed, but I continue to have great respect for him as both a person and an educator. I have watched the very best of Cas McWaters, and no one can compare to him when he is at his best. You cannot help but like, even love, Cas McWaters when you watch him in his element. Will you be a principal that the students will know and recognize, or will you lead your school in the background? I don’t want to be a “Bigfoot” principal, with rumors of my

existence coupled with sightings evidenced with fuzzy photographs. I have the feeling my shaved head and dark glasses will be easily recognized around the school. As principal at the high school, how do you plan to balance the importance of each field of curriculum while still ensuring the students have an enjoyable high school experience? Those two ideas are not mutually exclusive. Vestavia’s big secret for a great student life is the involvement of its teachers in the lives of students at the school. Your coach just might be your science teacher, or your club sponsor could be your English teacher. Our teachers understand the importance of curriculum for the educational goals of students to be met, but also understand the importance of the social development of high school students, particularly in the areas of service and character. Will there be any immediate changes to Vestavia Hills worth mentioning in the first year of your tenure? Probably the greatest change to

New VHHS Principal Wes Gordon reads to a fourth grade class at Vestavia Hills Elementary Central.

happen my first year as principal is the completion of the parking lot. If you do not think that is a big deal, then you have not driven to Vestavia Hills High School in the last few years. In your high school days, did you ever think you would one day become a principal of a high school? Absolutely not! In high school, I didn’t even want to be a teacher. I was a smart guy. And like so many other guys

good at math, I became an engineering major as a freshman in college. Too many long hours in the computer lab helped me make the decision to switch majors to mathematics. I took English classes for fun and finished with a minor in English. I just could not see myself doing what I saw friends doing with their math degrees, so I enrolled in a master’s education program. I found my passion and have not regretted it since.

Community Shop sales tax-free the first weekend in August Alabama shoppers can expect to find back to school deals the first weekend of August. The eighth annual sales tax holiday will take place from Aug. 2-4. The City of Vestavia Hills and surrounding communities will once again participate in this weekend of discounts on a variety of school supplies, computers and clothing. Hoover, Homewood, Birmingham, Mountain Brook, Chelsea, Shelby County and Jefferson County are also taking part in the state-wide holiday. There are a few general price rules for the holiday. Tax-free clothing items must cost less than $100 each, general school supplies

Summer reading finale party to feature performers

must cost less than $50 each, and computers/ educational computer software purchases can add up to no more than $750. Educational books under $30 will be tax-free, as will school required textbooks between the $30-$50 range. A few guidelines to keep in mind about what is not tax-free: For non-clothing items, the purchase must have some educational value; recreational video games and/or computer software will not be on sale. Clothing that will not be tax-free includes various accessories, such as belt buckles sold separately, costume masks, patches/emblems and more. For more visit SalesTaxHol.cfm.

Troop 96 earns awards at camp Boy Scout Troop 96, sponsored by Ascension Episcopal Church in Vestavia Hills, attended summer camp at Camp Sequoyah during June. Scoutmaster Allen Powell, Scoutmaster Emertius Loring Jones III and Assistant Scoutmaster Roger Etherington were in camp all week, and were assisted many days by Assistant Scout Masters Chris Tyra, Danny Smith, Tyler Powell, Hartwell Smith and Stephen Harry. The Troop team won the camp-wide Water Carnival, capping the effort by winning the last event, the grueling Canoe Tug of War. It also garnered a Commissioner’s Spirit Award (17 categories were part of earning this award) and came in second by one point in the Campsite Inspection contest. Individual Scouts distinguishing themselves were Andrew Dunlap, who placed first in the Ironman competition, an individual triathlon,

A final chance to dig into reading

and earned a Chaplain’s Aid Award; Elijah Leonard won the Golden Band-Aid award for excellence in first aid and was the top rifle shooter for the week; and Wade Herren, Scott Landers and Elijah all qualified for the afterCamp Top Gun shooting competition. The team placed second in the camp-wide shooting competition (rifle, shotgun and archery). Turlington Corbett completed the Mile Swim, and Samuel Leonard, Connor Pelham and Andrew Dunlap all earned BSA Lifeguard badges. Ten members of the Troop were nominated for membership in the Order of the Arrow, the BSA Honor Society: Connor Boyd, Daniel Darwin, Andrew Dunlap, Jackson Durkee, Reid Hodges, Braden Hunt, Elijah Leonard, Jared Rocha, J.D. Vaughn and Alan Davis. Scouts earned in excess of 45 Merit Badges, and have few remaining requirements that couldn’t be met during camp to earn nearly 20 more.

By APRIL MOON Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest As summer nears its end, we are thrilled to have had nearly 3,000 children participate in our Summer Reading Program. To celebrate this success, we will host a huge party on Aug. 8 at 11 a.m. with performances by drummer Mark Seymour and children’s recording artist Farmer Jason. In between these two performances, everyone will be treated to a picnic lunch of hot dogs fresh off the grill, chips and drinks. Drawings also will be held for our Online Summer Reading Program. So far, our Vestavia kids logged in over 15,000 hours of reading this summer. We are so proud of them! By the time our Finale is over, we will have recognized these readers with more than 5,200 prizes, none of which

could have been accomplished without the support of our P.A.L.S. group and the many generous merchants of Vestavia Hills. Thank you to all our sponsors and we look forward to an equally exciting school year. Vestavia West won our contest to see which Vestavia City elementary school signed up the most summer readers, but Vestavia East really gave them a run for their money. Vestavia West does get bragging rights for the next year, but we can’t wait to see who wins next year.

August 2013 • 15

Sports Local team advances to quarterfinals in Soccer Regionals The Vestavia Hills Soccer Club Attack 99 Black girl’s soccer team traveled to Edmond, Okla. in June to participate in the Region III Championship. The team qualified for Regionals by winning the Region III Premier League Central this past fall and by winning the Alabama State championship in May. The team opened up the tournament by tying Baton Rouge Soccer Club, the Louisiana state champions, 2-2. Next up was FC Dallas, the Texas state finalists, which the team also tied by a score of 1-1. The third and final game in pool play matched the reigning Alabama U-14 State Champions with the North Carolina State Champions, and Attack 99 Black won by a score of 2-1. With a win and two ties, Attack 99 Black won their group and advanced in the tournament. The quarterfinal match up had Attack 99 Black playing Sunrise Sting from South Florida. The Sting was a tough opponent and went on to defeat the girls and ended their run in the championship. Additionally, the girls raised money for tornado victims in Oklahoma and donated it in person while at the tournament. The team was one of seven Vestavia Hills Soccer Club teams to qualify for regionals this year. VHSC Attack 99 Black head coach is Luke Whittle and assistant coach is Amy Disko.

Storm wins state title The Birmingham Storm Red, part of the Boys 14U-8th Grade Division II of Youth Basketball of America, went undefeated in pool play then won the Alabama State Champions title in their division in the final championship game.

Team members Warren Fitzpatrick of Mountain Brook, Will Wetzler of Mountain Brook, Shy Cunningham of Birmingham, Zach Dutton of Sumiton, Bruce Bright of Birmingham, Keithan Parker of Clay-Chalkville, Conner Rohling of Vestavia Hills, Brandon Houston of Vestavia Hills and Coach Jeff Baker.

Wrestlers compete abroad Three Vestavia Hills High School wrestlers went on wrestling mission trips this summer. Josh Rogers and Hayden Hill travelled to Mongolia with Athletes In Action, a team led by Olympic Gold Medalist John Peterson. They wrestled teams from Russia and China, as well as Mongolia. Max Hopkins travelled to Ukraine on the same type of trip with Fellowship of Christian Athletes/Athletes in Action and competed against wrestling teams from Moldova, Russia and Ukraine. These international teams offer an opportunity to not only compete for the U.S. but also provide an opportunity for participants to share their faith with individuals from around the world.

Cheerleaders take home top awards The Vestavia Hills High School Varsity Football Cheerleading squad took home honors in the UCA Cheerleading Camp this summer. It placed in the top three in all five categories and won the UCA Camp Leadership Award. Other awards were: first in sideline, second in cheer, second in overall game day, third in extreme routine and third in home pom. VHHS Varsity Cheerleaders at Cheerleading Camp.



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16 • August 2013

Vestavia Voice

Vestavia Hills Rebels 2013 season preview

Tristan Tahmaseb (78) runs to intercept a handoff as teammate Josh Wall (29) looks on. Photos courtesy of Mary Alayne Long.

2013SCHEDULE Date 8/30 9/6 9/13 9/20 9/27 10/4 10/10 10/18 10/25 11/1

Opponent Homewood Hewitt-Trussville* Huffman* Gardendale* Hoover Woodlawn* Carver* Shades Valley* Mountain Brook* Florence

Location Away Home Away Home Home Home Away Home Home Home

Time 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m.

Open late on the third Thursday of every month 10-8

5475 Highway 280 Birmingham, AL • 205-995-4773

2012 Results: A successful 8-2 regular season had the Rebels entering the playoffs with high expectations. In the quarterfinals, eventual state champion Hoover beat Vestavia 21-7. Head Coach: Buddy Anderson (296-123 in 35 seasons at Vestavia). Key Losses: RB/S/KR Stuart Jacobs, DE Jahaad Jackson, DE Kalvin Robinson, DT Gabe Adkins, CB Jamaris Buford, DT Hunter Haynes, LB Brody Williamson, DB Marcus Ward, DB Garrett Murphy, QB Spencer Towns, C Anderson Barnett, OL Bailey Cadden, OL Jake Long, OL Walker Hays, OL Max Norris. Key Players: C Ryan Childers, DL Tristan Tahmaseb, DE Dalton Campbell, LB Sam Baker, LB Bobby Morgan, LB Tim Davis, TE Kyle Sitzler, FB Joe James, RB Jordan Johnson, QB Landon Crowder.

August 2013 • 17

Anderson closing in on 300 wins

Joe James (33) prepares to take a handoff as Bailey Cadden (61) blocks.


n the world of Alabama high school football, change is constant. Players graduate every year, coaches move from school to school, sometimes even to colleges, and offenses and defenses change formations and plays and schemes to keep up with the times. Vestavia Hills High, though, is a throwback. Although that word might be misleading – there isn’t much throwing involved when it comes to Rebel football – the team has done things the same way for a long time, evident in its coaching, style of play and schedule. Coach Buddy Anderson is entering his 36th year at the school and closing in on 300 wins. The style of play has not changed much in those 36 years, mostly centering around the classic “three yards and a cloud of dust” philosophy. The Rebels run the football. And then they run it some more. The schedule has stayed similar through the years. VHHS has played Hoover (formerly Berry), Mountain Brook, Homewood and Shades Valley High Schools every year since the early 1970s. Even though changes pushed Hoover and Homewood out of Region 6, Anderson made it a point to retain those rivalries. If there is one thing these mainstays have provided the Vestavia Hills program, it is success. Anderson has won two state titles in his time at VHHS, compiling a record of 296-123. “I know without a shadow of a doubt that God called me to be a coach,” Anderson said. “I know where I was Jan. 12, 1968 when I felt that calling. It’s a grind and a lot of late hours and hard work, but I still enjoy it. One of the best parts of it is seeing kids mature and grow into young men.” This season, the Rebels will try to replace a big senior class that led the team to an 8-2 regular season, which ended at the hands of Hoover in the state playoff quarterfinals. Landon Crowder will step into his first season as starting quarterback. Calling out directions to the offense will be made easier with the help of a familiar face at center. Ryan Childers will be returning, and Anderson named him first when discussing the leaders of the 2013 team. However, the rest of the offensive line has graduated, leaving some big holes to fill.

On the other side of the ball, a deep linebacker corps looks to be the anchor of a typically tough VHHS defense. Look for Sam Baker, Bobby Morgan and Tim Davis to have big impacts. “Our strong points are quickness and speed,” Anderson said. “As long as we get everybody on the same page working together, letting our attitude and our work ethic determine our altitude, we’ll have a shot at winning some games.” The schedule, as usual, has tough opponents on it, but it sets up well for a good season. Seven of the 10 games are at home, including the Hoover game. “Hoover is a big rivalry,” Anderson said. “We basically broke off from Hoover, then called Berry High, back in 1970. It’s just one of those great high school traditions. I’d like to think we can beat them, but we have a lot to do before then.” Beating the Bucs has become a Herculean task for any team in the state – Hoover is 69-6 in the last five years. However, the last time that the Bucs failed to reach the state title game was because of Vestavia Hills’ win in the 2007 playoffs. If anyone can stop Hoover, VHHS figures to be near the top of the list. Although the Rebels will be favored in their first four games, one slip up could mean that Anderson would be fighting for his 300th win when Hoover comes to town. Either way, it seems likely the beloved coach will achieve that milestone in 2013. “I never dreamed I would get to 300 wins,” Anderson said. “I’m humbled to think about it, and I think about all the coaches and players that have been a part of that. Some years when we only won three games – they were hard earned victories that were just as much a part of that as the years we won 15.” As the 2013 season arrives, teams know what to expect from Vestavia Hills. They anticipate the old-school style of play and a certain standard of success. If the Rebels can replace some key graduated seniors and stick to Anderson’s principles, that standard will stay in place.

Ryan Childers is the lone returning starter on VHHS’ 2013 offensive line.


18 • August 2013

Vestavia Voice

Community Calendar Vestavia Hills Events Aug. 1: Whale of a Sale Consignment Registration Begins. Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church. Sale will take place Sept. 1920. Visit Aug. 1: Thursday at the Movies. Children’s event. Vestavia Hills Baptist Church. Call 979-5920. Aug. 2: Fun Night Out. Event for older preschoolers and children. 6-8:30 p.m., Vestavia Hills Baptist Church. Call 979-5920. Aug. 2: Summer of Love: Boomers 60s Night. Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall. 6-9 p.m. Musical performance by The Beatlads. Visit Aug. 2: First Friday Opening Reception. Featured artists are Deborah Ballog, Mary Anne Kohn, Druscilla Defalque, Chuck Jones, Betsy Miree and Jack Moore. Wine, food and live music. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Artists Incorporated, 3365 Morgan Drive. Call 979-8990. Aug. 5-8: Upward Flag Football Camp. Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church. 6-7:30 p.m. Visit Aug. 6: Ribbon Cutting for Focus MD. Sponsored by the Vestavia Chamber. Visit Aug. 8: PALS End of Summer Reading Program. Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest. Visit Aug. 10: Magic City Nutcracker Audition. Vestavia Dance, Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church. 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. for ages 5-9, 10:3011:30 for ages 10-13, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. for ages 14 and up. $10. Visit Aug. 12-13: Robert Hoffman Jazz/Hip Hop Intensive. Vestavia Dance. Open to ages 10 and up. Fee is $150. Visit Aug. 13: Vestavia Hills Lions Club Monthly Meeting. 6:30 p.m. Vestavia Hills Civic Center. Aug. 13: Vestavia Chamber Monthly Luncheon. Vestavia Hills Country Club. Visit

Aug. 13: A Leadership Workshop on Dissolving Conflict. Sponsored by Vestavia Toastmasters as a membership drive. Free. 6-7:30 p.m. VEstavia Hills Library in the Forest. Visit vestavia. to sign up. Aug. 14: Liberty Park Baptist Church Back-toSchool Bash and AWANA sign-up. For third-12th grade. 5 p.m. supper, 6 p.m. activities. Visit or call 969-1236. Aug 16: Meet the Teacher for Grades 1-3. 9:30-11 a.m. Vestavia Hills Elementary East. . Call 402-5200. Aug. 16: I Love America Day Summer Celebration Series. Wald Park. Free swimming 6-7: 30 p.m. Children’s activities 6-8 p.m.; Business Expo 6-8 p.m.; Music by Chevy 6 6-8:30 p.m.; 2nd Annual Vestavia Hills City Schools Foundation Flash Mob 7 p.m.; “The Croods” film showing 8:30 p.m. Visit Aug. 16-18: Youth Discovery Weekend. Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church. Aug. 21: Music & Missions for Children. Vestavia Hills Baptist Church. Aug. 23: VHHS Football Jamboree. 6 p.m. Shades Valley vs. John Carroll Catholic; 7:30 p.m. VHHS vs. Briarwood Christian. Vestavia Hills High School Stadium. Aug. 23: Erin Mitchell Concert. Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest. 7:30 p.m. Visit Aug. 25: Spirit Sunday. Guest speaker Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett. Saint Mark United Methodist Church Sanctuary. 10:45 a.m. Call 822-5980. Aug. 29: Open House/PTO General Meeting. Vestavia Hills Elementary Central. Call 402-5300. Fridays: Weekly Friday Wine Tasting. The Vestavia Wine Cellar. 5-6:30 p.m. Call 979-2151.

Area Events Aug. 1: 3rd Annual Taste of Birmingham. The Club, 1 Robert S. Smith Drive, 6-9 p.m. Tickets $75 in advance and $85 the day of. Benefits Birmingham Boys Choir. For tickets call 767-9219 or email Visit Aug. 1-3: Cinderella. Birmingham Children’s Theatre, 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Tickets $8 for children and $10 for adults. Call 458-8181 or visit Aug. 1-4: 42nd Street. Dorothy Jemison Day Theater, Thursday-Friday 7:30 p.m., Saturday 2 & 7:30 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m. Tickets are $30-35. Call 324-2424 or visit Aug. 1-10: The Lion in the Water. Alabama School of Fine Arts, 8 p.m. $20 adult tickets and $12 students tickets. Aug. 1 is Soup Kitchen Thursday (pay what you can afford). Bring a ticket stub or program from any local theatre production within the past year and receive $2 discount. Call 538-1217. Aug. 1-25: Alabama Civil Rights Landmarks – 50 Years Later. Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Regular admission prices. DJ Boyd’s photography exhibition “Civil Rights Landmarks - 50 Years Later” will be on display in the Milestones Gallery. Call 328-9696 or visit Aug. 1-30: Titans of the Ice Age – IMAX. McWane Science Center. 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Adult tickets are $8.50 and $7.50 for children and seniors. This epoch marks a dynamic time in the development of the human spirit that would compel our ancestors to seek understanding and meaning in nature. Call 714-8300 or visit Aug. 1-30: Birmingham Ghost Walk. Linn Park. Fridays and Saturdays 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Tickets $15 for adults and $7 for children. Spooky tales of the paranormal, the sordid and the debaucherous history of downtown Birmingham are revealed on these walking tours. Call Wolfgang Poe at 440-2720, email or visit wolfgangpoe. com.

Aug. 2: Bards & Brews Poetry Performance Series. Avondale Regional Library, 6:30 p.m. Free. This monthly open mic, except during December, will feature live music and poetry. First place winner gets $200 and second place wins $100. Call 226-3670. Aug. 2-4: Sales Tax Holiday. State, county and city governments will participate. Visit revenue.alabama. gov/salestax/SalesTaxHol.cfm. Aug. 2-6: Birmingham Barons Baseball vs. Pensacola Blue Wahoos. Regions Field, Friday & MondayTuesday 7:05 p.m., Saturday 6:30 p.m., Sunday 3 p.m. $7 general admission, $12 Magic City View & Field Reserved, $9 Baseline Box, $14 Dugout Premium. $1 discount for children 12 and under, senior citizens and military. For more, call 988-3200 or visit Aug. 11: CDF Community Fest. Children’s Dance Foundation, 2 p.m. Free admission. This family event includes an interactive drum circle, kids’ craft zone, outdoor moonwalk, dance performances, food and drinks, and a silent auction. Call 870-0073 or visit Aug. 12: Glow for a Cure. Highland Park Golf Course, 4-10 p.m. Tickets are $200 per golfer and $25 for spectators, and include a BBQ dinner. A night golf tournament to benefit Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama’s research grant program. Call 871-7970 or email Aug. 15: Mentor/Mentee Bridge Series. Birmingham Duplicate Bridge Club. Games $6 for members, $7 for visitors. Membership joining fee is $6. For more, call 560-0706. Aug. 16-25: Birmingham Restaurant Week. Featured restaurants will offer special two and/or threecourse prix-fixe lunch and/or dinner menus. Visit Aug. 17: Boiling N’ Bragging. Otey’s Tavern, 6-9 p.m. Tickets $20 in advance, $25 at the door, free for kids. Benefitting Critical Care Transport at Children’s of Alabama. Register online at Call 332-7571 or visit

August 2013 • 19

HIGH ALERT from page 1 Aug. 21-25: UniverSoul Circus. Legion Field Stadium, Wednesday-Thursday 7:30 p.m.; Friday 10:30 a.m. & 7:30 p.m.; Saturday noon, 4 & 7:30 p.m.; Sunday 1, 4 & 7 p.m. UniverSoul Circus is rated as one of the top three circuses in America. Call 800-745-3000, or visit or Aug. 23: Black Jacket Symphony presents The Beatles’ “The White Album.” Alys Robinson Stephens Performing Arts Center, 8 p.m. Admission $42.50. Call 975-2787 or visit Aug. 23: 5th Annual Sips for CF Wine Tasting Competition. Kress Building, 301 19th Street North, 7 p.m. Tickets $25 the day of, or $20 in advance by visiting or calling 871-9140. This event features food and drinks, live music, a silent auction and free parking at the Park Rite parking deck, benefitting The Laps for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. For more, email Aug. 23-25: 15th Annual Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival. Alabama Theatre. Friday 8-10 p.m., Saturday & Sunday 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Most events are free, but admission to certain events ranges from $15-$92. Call 324-0888 or visit Aug. 24: 33rd Annual Hope Gala. This is the American Cancer Society’s largest fundraiser in Birmingham, including live and silent auctions, cocktails and dinner. Call 930-8883 or visit Aug. 24-25: Taste of 4th Avenue Jazz Festival & Sidewalk Film Festival. Fourth Avenue Historic District. Noon. Free admission. This is a dynamic event featuring local and nationally renowned jazz artists, food and business vendors, a children’s village and art exhibit. Visit Aug. 25: Fantasia. BJCC Concert Hall, 7 p.m. Ticket prices vary. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster and the BJCC Central Ticket Office, open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Call 800-745-3000, or visit or

Ridge Road have experienced an upward trend. However, earlier in the year it was areas just off the north end of Highway 31 that were experiencing problems.” According to data from the Vestavia Hills Police Department, residential burglaries in April, May and June increased by 10 incidents compared to the same period in 2012. During the past 90 days, four arrests have been made in connection to those incidents, which resulted in 11 cases being closed. In 2012, VHPD responded to 105 residential burglaries, and 66 of these were reported solved. Within the first four months of 2013, the community was on track to exceed that number. At April’s end, VHPD had responded to 37 residential burglaries, arrested 10 in connection with the incidents and considered 23 of the cases closed. In addition, from January through June 2013, the department had already responded to 88 reports of theft from vehicles. As of July 19, 10 arrests had been made in those cases, and 50 were considered closed. Rary said the most common items stolen are jewelry, laptops, iPads, desktop PCs, TVs, firearms and silver. He added that

only about 10 percent of stolen property is typically recovered. While City Hall officials said they are pleased with VHPD’s work, both the Mayor and members of the City Council expressed frustration with the rise in theft activity. “So much of this could be prevented if we would all remember to lock our doors and not make ourselves as vulnerable,” Mayor Alberto “Butch” Zaragoza said. Councilman George Pierce said though Vestavia Hills is one of the safest cities in which to live, episodes of burglary are unavoidable and residents should be on alert. Personally, he said June was the first time in his 27 years in Vestavia Hills he’s seen police covering his street as he tried to start his day. “Look, it’s alarming to walk out your front door in the morning and find police cars on your street,” he said. “When you walk out and they have a bloodhound in your neighborhood, it’s alarming. And as a grandfather of five under 5 years old, almost any given night my wife and I have at least two grandchildren at our house. We all need to be smart.” VHPD is encouraging neighborhood vigilance and supporting that with departmental resources. Rary said he routinely assigns officers to work overtime in

areas with defined trends, suspects or modus operandi, but he advised residents to start neighborhood watch groups should one not already exist. “We encourage citizens to be crime conscious but not afraid,” Rary said. “Criminals do not deserve that.” As an additional measure of protection, VHPD invited residents to inform the department of when they are leaving so police can increase patrols around empty homes. “I recently had a Vestavia Hills police officer instruct me to contact the dispatch office if my family and I are going out of town,” Pierce said. “By calling them, giving them your address and letting them know what kinds of cars, if any, should be in your driveway, the police can become an extra set of eyes while you are away.” Rary noted that residents should always be on guard. “Crime can occur anywhere at any time,” said Rary. “Because Vestavia Hills is such a safe place, people sometimes forget that. Vestavia Hills is now the third largest city in Jefferson County with over 35,000 residents, not counting the people that travel through the city daily. People need to be aware of their surroundings and observant of people around them.”

yards from the 280 intersection. “It’s still very complex where Shades Crest comes into Rocky Ridge. That intersection should never have been that close to 280,” Davis said. “We were forced to include it for functionality.” Davis said motorists should be preparing for the changes at this and the 26 other intersections undergoing construction along 280. APAC Mid-South and Dunn Construction have been offered incentives to complete work on intersections between Hollywood

Boulevard in Homewood and Pump House Road in Vestavia Hills before Aug. 5. “Some maneuvers will be very different on completion than the ones drivers have gotten used to making in the last seven years,” Davis said. “Drive slowly and cautiously, and make plans to ride through on the weekend to get used to the changes.” Davis said ALDOT began distributing educational material and airing television commercials the week of July 22 to get motorists acclimated to the changes.

ROCKY RIDGE from page 1

Davis said when complete, the single lane on Shades Crest that currently connects to Rocky Ridge will have clearly-defined rightand left-turn lanes. In addition, Rocky Ridge Road will have two receiving lanes from U.S. 280 and three left-turn lanes from Rocky Ridge back to the highway. Other work at the intersection includes coordinating the signals and eliminating access to Rocky Ridge Road from Florida Short Route, currently located only a few

Summer Fun Photo Contest

Capture the fun of summer with your camera, and send us your favorite shots of the backyard, lake, beach, mountain, neighborhood, and wherever you and your family are. Our staff will choose the images that most colorfully capture a summer experience. Prizes will be awarded to contest winners. Category One: Any summer fun photo Category Two: A summer fun photo displaying a copy of Vestavia Voice wherever you are To enter, email your photos in a jpeg format to Please send high quality images and include a caption and photo credit. Only four entry photos are allowed per person.

Deadline for entries is August 11, 2013. We will publish the winners in the September issue as well as post them on our Facebook page and

20 • August 2013

Vestavia Voice

Vestavia vol 1 iss 4 august 2013 all  

news, sports and community news source for Vestavia Hills Alabama