A lab for pies and life skills Amazing angler www.dixie.coop
Let Your Voice Be Heard Ballots scheduled to mail end of July Covers_TOC_JULY13.indd 17
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Vol. 66 No.7 JULY 2013
Gary Harrison Co-Op Editor
Terri Faulkner Alabama Living is delivered to some 420,000 Alabama families and businesses, which are members of 22 not-for-profit, consumer-owned, locally directed and taxpaying electric cooperatives. AREA cooperative member subscriptions are $3 a year; non-member subscriptions, $6. Alabama Living (USPS 029-920) is published monthly by the Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives. Periodicals postage paid at Montgomery, Alabama, and at additional mailing office. POSTMASTER send forms 3579 to: Alabama Living, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, Alabama 36124-4014.
Alabama Rural Electric Association
AREA President Fred Braswell Editor Lenore Vickrey Managing Editor Melissa Henninger Creative Director Mark Stephenson Art Director Michael Cornelison Advertising Director Adam Freeman Advertising Coordinator Brooke Davis Recipe Editor Mary Tyler Spivey
6 Let Your Voice Be Heard
Ballots are scheduled to hit the mail the end of July. View samples of the ballot packet enclosures and learn why it is so important for you to vote.
16 Amazing angler
Clay Dyer was born with no legs, no left arm and only half of a right arm, yet he’s a professional bass fisherman who doesn’t know the meaning of “can’t.”
20 It’s a zoo
Seaborn Whatley holds a Snickers pie, one of the many delicious varieties served at the nationally recognized PieLab in Greensboro. Photo: Mark Stephenson
What better way to celebrate National Zookeeper Week July 14-20 than visiting one of our state’s outstanding zoos?
ADVERTISING & EDITORIAL OFFICES:
340 TechnaCenter Drive Montgomery, Alabama 36117-6031 1-800-410-2737 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.areapower.coop NATIONAL ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVE:
National Country Market 611 South Congress Ave., Suite 504 Austin, Texas 78704 1-800-626-1181 www.nationalcountrymarket.com www.alabamaliving.coop USPS 029-920 • ISSN 1047-0311
Spotlight 10 Power Pack 24 Worth the Drive 26 Alabama Gardens 30 Alabama Outdoors 31 Fish&Game Forecast 34 Cook of the Month 46 Alabama Snapshots 9
Printed in America from American materials
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BOARD OF TRUSTEES Irvin Wells President • District 4
John Livings Vice President • District 6
Tom James Secretary/Treasurer • District 2 R.E. Adams District 5 Andrew Callaway District 7 Aaron Ellis District 9 Parker Gray Mount District 1 Albert Perry District 8 James Sikes District 3
TELEPHONE Montgomery 334.288.1163 Union Springs 334.738.2500 Toll-Free 1.888.349.4332 24- Hour Outage Reporting 24-Hour Automated Account Information 1.866.285.2359 PAYMENT OPTIONS By Mail: Post Office Box 30 Union Springs, AL 36089 In Person: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday 9100 Atlanta Highway Montgomery, AL 36117 402 East Blackmon Union Springs, AL 36089 Night Deposit: Available at both offices Credit Card: Visa and MasterCard accepted in office, online and through automated phone system Online: www.dixie.coop
R. Gary Harrison
Last year, for the July issue of Alabama Living, I wrote about my reintroduction to the Declaration of Independence, and the birth and growth of this great nation. Well, once again, my patriotic spirit was rekindled over a Memorial Day lunch. As we were eating outside at 12 noon, I watched my neighbor move his United States flag from half staff to full staff. My kids asked me why, and I am embarrassed to admit to all of our military families in the area that I did not know. My neighbor enlightened us that on Memorial Day, the flag is at half staff until noon in mourning for the individuals who have given their life for our freedom, and then at noon it is hoisted to full staff to honor living veterans. I realized at that moment that I did not know very much flag etiquette and decided to do a little research. It was quite interesting, so I thought I would pass along some of what I learned. • The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing. It is flown upside down only as a distress signal. • When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object. To store the flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously. • When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner. If you are unsure how to do this, most American Legion Posts, and many Scout Troops conduct these ceremonies. They should be contacted to inquire about availability of this service. • The flag should be raised briskly and lowered slowly. It should be displayed only between sunrise and sunset. It should be illuminated if displayed at night.
• The flag is saluted as it is hoisted and lowered. The salute is held until the flag is unsnapped from the halyard or through the last note of music, whichever is the longest. • To salute, all persons come to attention. Those in uniform give the appropriate formal salute. Citizens not in uniform salute by placing their right hand over the heart and men with hats should remove them and place them to their left shoulder, hand over heart. • To place the flag at half staff, hoist it to the peak for an instant and lower it to a position half way between the top and bottom of the staff. The flag is to be raised again to the peak for a moment before it is lowered. • When on display indoors, the flag is accorded the place of honor. Place it to the right of the speaker or staging area. Other flags should be to the left. • When displaying the flag against a wall, vertically or horizontally, the flag’s union (stars) should be at the top, to the observer’s left. This was just a partial list, but a good start for the way we should respect, handle, and salute this flag that stands as a symbol of our unity as members of the greatest country in the world. Therefore, as we celebrate Independence Day on July 4, I hope you will have a renewed respect for the flag that has flown, and will continue to fly, over these United States of America. Remember that this flag is not only flying here, but around the world by members of our armed services who are protecting our freedom. I pray that God will bless your families and the United States of America. A
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Our offices will be closed July 4 for Independence Day.
MOBILE APPS NOW AVAILABLE!
If you experience a power outage, please call 1.888.349.4332.
Go to the Apple or Android store to download your FREE mobile app today. This convenient app lets you make payments, view your billing history, or monitor your usage. You can even set up alerts to remind you when your bill is due. Go to www.dixie.coop for more details.
For account access 24/7, visit us online at www.dixie.coop and select the customer service portal button.
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Let Your Voice Be Heard
BALLOTS SCHEDULED TO MAIL END OF JULY
For several months, we have been sharing information with you regarding a plan of action to allow you the opportunity to vote on cooperative issues by mail. As we have mentioned, the current bylaws require member-owners to attend our annual meeting to participate in the voting process. In today’s world with everyone’s busy schedules, we realize it can be challenging to find time to attend our annual meeting, which is why your board is excited about the proposed bylaw change. “A lot of time and thought went into evaluating possible methods for increasing member-owner participation in our democratic process,” says Irvin Wells, president of Dixie Electric Cooperative’s board of trustees. “This isn’t something we take lightly. We want to be diligent in our efforts to find the most effective and efficient way to allow member-owners to vote, and we feel that mail balloting is the best solution.” While the solution may seem simple, the process does require your input. In order for mail balloting to take place, our existing bylaws must be amended, and this takes your vote. At the end of July 2013, we will be mailing packets to our member-owners that include information regarding the proposed bylaw amendment, a ballot, and a business reply envelope. Samples of the packet contents are shown on the facing page, and details regarding the enclosed components can be found below. “We encourage everyone to take the time to review the packet when it is received,” says Tom James, secretary/treasurer of the cooperative’s board of trustees. “And, most importantly, take the time to complete your ballot and return it in the postage-paid envelope provided. In order for your vote to count, a minimum of approximately 900-1,000 votes must be received to constitute a quorum. This number can only be achieved if you, our member-owners, are willing to take action.” Ballots must be received at the office of the independent auditor by close of business on Aug. 30, 2013 in order to be counted. As an incentive to encourage your participation, and a token of our appreciation for your time and effort, each member-owner who votes will receive a $5 credit on his or her October electric bill. CEO/General Manager Gary Harrison says, “This is one of the most significant changes I have seen during my 25 years at the cooperative,” adding, “I hope that our membership will take advantage of this opportunity to get involved.” Currently, approximately 39 percent of electric cooperatives across the country offer mail balloting, while 36 percent of the 22 electric cooperatives in Alabama currently utilize this voting process. Participation in the democratic process — one more way your cooperative is looking out for you.
The carrier envelope will be delivered to your mailbox. It contains all of the components shown on Page 7.
This brochure contains an excerpt from our existing bylaws regarding mail balloting, as well as the proposed amendment to the bylaws. Please be sure to read this in its entirety to have a clear understanding of the proposed bylaw change.
The ballot is printed on both the front and back. The front contains your name and account number, as well as the name and mailing address for the independent auditor conducting the voting process on behalf of the cooperative. The back contains an area for you to check YES if you are in favor of the bylaw amendment to allow for mail balloting, or NO if you are not in favor of mail balloting. After marking your vote on the ballot, please separate it at the perforations and place your completed ballot in the enclosed business reply envelope. No postage is necessary. Please note that the ballot CANNOT be accepted in the cooperative’s office, and ballots should NOT be mailed in with your monthly bill. Ballots MUST be returned to the independent auditor listed on the envelope and ballot.
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4 Alabama Living
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EE 4 Y Energy Efficiency For Your Home
Co-op Energy Efficiency Program Loans and Rebates Help Fund Energy Efficiency Improvements Dixie Electric Cooperative is pleased to introduce the Co-op Energy Efficiency Program. The program consists of both a loan and rebate program to help our memberowners manage the cost of installing energyefficient improvements in their homes. While there is value in practicing no-cost and low-cost measures, the more extensive energy efficiency improvements obviously make a bigger impact on your power bill. The process begins with a FREE energy audit by our member services representative, Amy Calhoun, to target efficiency opportunities and decide what upgrades you need to make. Along with the recommendations, she will outline the program options that best fit your needs. Itâ€™s that simple. The Co-op Energy Efficiency REBATE Program offers rebates for the installation of high-efficiency air-source, dual-fuel or geothermal heat pumps. The Co-op Energy Efficiency LOAN Program is designed to help our members improve the energy efficiency and comfort of their homes. We have two low-interest loan options to finance energy-efficient home improvements. One loan option is financed directly through the cooperative, with payments being added to your monthly power bill. The second loan option is financed through an agreement with Regions Bank, and you will make payments directly to Regions Bank. In both instances, financing is dependent upon credit approval. Contact us today to make the first step toward whole-house energy efficiency.
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In July july 19-28
W.C. Handy Music Festival starts July 19
Visitors to the American Village Independence Day celebration will see costumed historical interpreters. Below, dancers prepare to take part in the Independence Ball.
Independence Day fun set at American Village The American Village in Montevallo plans for a day of fun, food and fireworks on July 4. Gates open at 11 a.m. and events continue through evening fireworks. The Independence Day celebration is free to veterans and active military, and children age 4 and under. Admission for all others is $5. The event will feature patriotic music, costumed historical interpreters, Revolutionary Army drills, 18th century games, fireworks and an Independence Ball. For more information, call 205-665-3535, or visit www. americanvillage.org.
The W.C. Handy Music Festival will be July 19-28 in The Shoals region of Northwest Alabama. Events include Handy Nights in restaurants, art exhibits, a parade, performance of “Determined,” a play about the life of Florence native W.C. Handy, widely known as the “Father of the Blues,” mini-concerts, headliner Photo by T. Don Curry Visitors participate in the Street Strut in concerts, Listening downtown Florence. Rooms, educational programs, athletic events and music in the parks and on the Tennessee River. Most events are free; some events require tickets. For information on events, please visit www. wchandymusicfestival.org or call 256-766-7642.
Photo by Doug Richardson The Pickwick Belle sails by the Riverside Jazz event on the Tennessee River.
Alabama co-ops rally to help Oklahoma Alabama’s rural electric cooperatives have rallied to support those affected by the May 20 tornado that wrought extensive damage in Moore, Okla. More than 20 cooperatives in the state have pledged financial assistance to the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperative’s “Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Oklahoma Relief Fund” to assist those affected in electric cooperative service areas. “We received overwhelming sup-
port following the 2011 tornadoes that caused so much devastation in our state,” said Fred Braswell, president and CEO of the Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives. “Alabama’s co-ops are paying it forward to assist our friends in Oklahoma.” Donations can be made by a check payable to “TEC Oklahoma Relief Fund” mailed to PO Box 54309, Oklahoma City, OK 73154.
Oklahoma has experienced mass devastation following the May 20 tornado. Photo by Minerva Studio
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Social Security answers your questions By Kylle’ McKinney
In this month’s edition I decided to provide answers to various questions asked to Social Security. Question: I need proof of my Social Security income. Can I get verification online? Answer: Yes! And the best way to get a benefit verification letter is by using a my Social Security account. Your personal my Social Security account is a convenient and secure way for you to check your benefit and payment information, change your address, phone number, and direct deposit information, and to get your benefit verification letter. You can use your benefit verification letter to verify your income, retirement or disability status, Medicare eligibility, and age. When you use my Social Security to get it, you can request which information you would like included in the letter. Learn more, use my Social Security, and get your benefit verification letter now at www.socialsecurity. gov/myaccount. Question: I heard there is a Social Security video available in American Sign Language. Where can I find it? Answer: Yes, it’s true, and you can find the video on our website. The video is called “Social Security, SSI and Medicare: What You Need to Know About These Vital Programs.” The video is available in American Sign Language and it presents important information about our programs. You can watch the video now at www.socialsecurity.gov/ multimedia/video/asl. The video is a part of our larger collection of on-demand videos and webinars available at www.socialsecurity.gov/webinars. Question: Can I apply for retirement benefits online? Answer: Yes, you can and it is quick,
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convenient, and easy. You’ll find the application information at www.socialsecurity. gov/applyonline. You also can calculate your estimated benefits by using our McKinney Retirement Estimator at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator. Apply online and save a trip to the office and a wait in line. Question: I worked the first half of the year, but plan to retire this month. Will Social Security count the amount I earn for this year when I retire? Answer: Yes. If you retire mid-year, we count your earnings for the entire year. We have a special “earnings test” rule we apply to annual earnings, usually in the first year of retirement. Under this rule, you get a full payment for any whole month we consider you retired regardless of your yearly earnings. We consider you retired during any month your earnings are $1,260 or less, or if you have not performed substantial services in self-employment. We do not consider income earned, beginning with the month you reach full retirement age. Learn more about the earnings test rule at www.socialsecurity.gov/retire2/ rule.htm. Question: Will my Social Security disability benefit increase if my condition gets worse or I develop additional health problems? Answer: No. We do not base your Social Security benefit amount on the severity of your disability. The amount you are paid is based on your average lifetime earnings before your disability began. If you go back to work after getting disability benefits, you may be able to get a higher benefit based on those earnings. In addition, we have incentives that allow you to work temporarily
without losing your disability benefits. For more information about disability benefits, read our publications Disability Benefits and Working While Disabled— How We Can Help. Both are available online at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs. Question: I miss working. If I go back to work, will I automatically lose my Social Security disability benefits? Answer: No. Social Security has several work incentives to help you ease back into the workforce. You may be able to continue receiving benefits during a “trial work period,” and in most cases your medical coverage will continue after you begin working. We may be able to help you return to work without losing your benefits. These work incentives are like a safety net for people who want to go to work but aren’t sure they can. For information about Social Security’s work incentives, visit our website, the Work Site, at www.socialsecurity.gov/work or read the online Red Book on Work Incentives at www. socialsecurity.gov/redbook. Question: If I receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability, what is the effect on my benefits when I take seasonal work? Answer: Even a small amount of earned wages can cause a deduction in your SSI payment. However, it takes substantial work to make your benefits stop. In 2013, a person who receives SSI can earn up to $1,505 a month and still continue receiving some SSI payments. In many cases, we will deduct approved work expenses to determine your SSI payment amount. In most cases, you can continue to receive your medical coverage for up to two years after you begin working. Kylle’ McKinney, SSA Public Affairs specialist, can be reached in Montgomery at 866-593-0914, ext. 26265, or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Remove ticks as soon as possible to prevent illness Lyme disease is an infection spread by the bite of ticks infected with the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. Symptoms include fatigue, headache, stiff neck, fever, muscle or joint pain, swelling, and sometimes an expanding red rash. If a rash As the weather warms and you are spending more time out- develops, it may look like a target or bull’s-eye. Lyme disease doors, don’t forget to allow time for a tick check. Ticks are the can be difficult to diagnose because its symptoms are similar leading carriers of diseases to humans in the United States, to many other conditions and tests do not always detect the second only to mosquitoes worldwide. bacteria. It is usually effectively treated with a short course of Ticks are small spider-like animals that bite to fasten them- antibiotics. If not treated properly, it can lead to complications selves onto the skin and feed on blood. Ticks hide in low involving the heart, nervous system, joints and skin within brush to allow them to come in contact with a host. Once they weeks, months or even years later. catch a ride on a host they will live in the fur and feathers of Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a bacterial infection many different species of animals. Most tick bites occur dur- passed to humans by wood ticks and dog ticks. It can lead to ing early spring to late summer in areas with many wild ani- life-threatening complications such as shock and kidney failmals and birds. The toxins, secretions and organisms trans- ure if not treated promptly. Initial symptoms usually start an mitted through a tick’s saliva are the sources of the tick-borne average of seven days after the tick bite and include a sudden diseases. Most ticks do not fever, headache, muscle and carry diseases and most tick joint aches, distinct rash, naubites do not cause serious sea and vomiting. The rash typihealth problems. cally is made up of many tiny, It is very important to reflat, purple or red spots. move a tick as soon as it is Tularemia, also called deerfound. This helps decrease fly fever or rabbit fever, is a the likelihood of contracting disease that usually occurs in diseases from the tick. Care animals, but the disease can be should be used to remove transmitted to humans through the tick’s head to prevent an an infected tick. Symptoms infection in the skin where usually start within 21 days, but the bite occurred. average one to 10 days, after the diseases often cause flu-like symptoms, and may begin one to three The sooner ticks are re- Tick-borne tick bite. Symptoms of tulareweeks after the tick bite. Photo credit: Jim Gathany, Centers for Disease Control moved, the less likely they mia include chills, sudden high are to transmit disease. Use fever, headache, an open crater-like sore at the site of the bite, fine-tipped tweezers to properly remove an attached tick. swollen glands near the site of the bite, nausea and vomiting. Grab the tick as close to its mouth as possible. The body of Prescription medicine is used to treat tularemia. the tick will often be above the skin’s surface, but its head and Ehrlichiosis is an infectious disease that can be passed to mouth will likely be buried. Grabbing the tick by its belly can humans by ticks. It causes fever, chills, headache, general ill force infected fluids out of its mouth and into the skin. Pull feeling, nausea, vomiting and a purple or red rash. Symptoms the tick straight out until its mouth lets go of the skin. Put usually start from one to 21 days (average of seven days) after the removed tick in a dry jar or Ziploc bag and save it in the the tick bite. Prescription medicine is used to treat ehrlichiofreezer for later identification if symptoms start and medical sis. attention is needed. Wash the area where the tick was attached Babesiosis is a rare parasitic disease that can be passed to with warm, soapy water once the tick is removed. Apply an humans by deer ticks. Symptoms usually start one to four antibiotic ointment to the bite area to help prevent infection. weeks after the tick bite. Symptoms of babesiosis include a Many tick-borne diseases cause flu-like symptoms, such as general feeling of illness, decreased appetite, tiredness, fever, fever, headache, nausea, vomiting and muscle aches. Symp- chills, recurring sweats and muscle aches. Babesiosis is treated toms may begin from one to three weeks after the tick bite. with antibiotic medicines. Sometimes a rash or sore appears along with the flu-like The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural symptoms. Common tick-borne diseases include Lyme dis- Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, ehrlichiosis joyment of Alabama’s natural resources. To learn more about and babesiosis. ADCNR visit www.outdooralabama.com. By Jeff L. Makemson Certified Wildlife Biologist, Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
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Thereâ€™s power in the pie
Restaurant is incubator for positive social change, and the pies are delicious, too!
By Jennifer Kornegay Photos by Jennifer Kornegay and Mark Stephenson
ome of the best conversations are shared around tables, usually tables topped with food and drink. Proof of this can be found at PieLab in Greensboro, Ala., where bright ideas come out of mouths as readily as bites of pie and sips of coffee go in.
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The PieLab is never short on patrons.
Opened in 2009, the restaurant/coffee shop sports sleek, contemporary furnishings in an old, wood-floored building on the main street of downtown and is not what you would expect to find in the “small-town” South. It is as much an incubator for positive social change as it is a place to eat. The “lab” portion of its name hints at this broader purpose, and the pie? Well, there’s some real power in the pie, as Pam Dorr, director of HERO Housing and a founder of PieLab, explains.
A re-energizing recipe
“I work with a group in Greensboro called HERO (Hale Empowerment and Revitalization Organization), a non-profit that works as a catalyst for community development,” she says. “As a housing resource center, HERO provides community resources, housing education and youth programming.” A few years ago, HERO was working with a group of creative folks in Maine called Project M that creates platforms for collaboration and projects that contribute to communities in need. “One day we were sitting around discussing some projects and feeling a bit down. The economy was getting bad, and things just seemed bleak,” Dorr says. To lift the mood, the group shifted topics and began talking about things that made them happy. “One girl started sharing her love of pie,” Dorr said, “and it just clicked. Everyone loves pie.” Project M decided to head down to Greensboro with Dorr and do a pie “pop-up” shop in a downtown building that HERO Alabama Living
had recently renovated. “ We h a d $600 to do it and figured it would just PieLab gift items available in the dining area. be this temporary thing, a neat way to spread some joy and bring the community together.” But the pop-up shop proved so popular, it never actually “popped” back down. Today, three years later, PieLab is still baking and serving its pies to folks from both near and far.
Success in every slice
If you get down to its basic ingredients, PieLab is a welcoming spot for anyone and everyone to come eat and chat over what’s been heralded by the likes of Southern Living and other national media as some of the best pie anywhere on earth. It’s a community gathering place designed around the idea that the more folks talk to each other, the more likely they are to find common ground and do some common good. “In just the last two weeks, we’ve had 47 volunteers come through to do projects for others in the community, people like designers and architects, and they all use PieLab as a home base,” Dorr says. “They get to enjoy good pie and good coffee, which we believe fosters conversation and ideas.” july 2013 13
Visit www.pielab.org to learn more and get directions and operating hours. You can also order a PieLab T-shirt or even design your own pie and have it shipped right to your door.
But what’s happening behind the counter at PieLab is as important as any pie-fueled epiphanies sparking in front of it. In keeping with the mission of HERO, PieLab is staffed by a diverse mix of area residents who have one common denominator: They could use some job training, and PieLab is providing it. “We employ young teen moms, prisoners on work release, seniors through the area aging council and others, and there’s a real emphasis put on job training so they are ready to get and keep a job somewhere else at some point,” Dorr says.
Don’t forget the pie
While it’s obvious that PieLab is about much more than the first half of its name, the sheer deliciousness of the pie should not go without note. Flavor offerings change regularly and range from pecan and blueberry to pina colada icebox and mandarin orange chess. Some of the recipes came from a bakeoff and cookbook produced when the restaurant first opened. Others are submitted, often with heartfelt pleas attached. “We get things like, ‘please try my mom’s pecan pie recipe,’” Dorr says. “And we often do. If it’s good, we keep it in the rotation.” Dorr’s personal favorite pie, at least right now, is, “homemade blueberry topped with homemade vanilla ice cream.” PieLab also serves some tasty lunch items, but whatever you do, don’t fill up on a burger or barbecue sandwich. Save some stomach space for a piece (or two) of pie. A Left, top to bottom: Nakita Pettway checks on pies in the oven. John Wilkerson slices a piece of pie. That’s one big slice of pie! Right, top to bottom: Seaborn Whatley carries students through the process of making a Snickers® pie. Chef Seaborn Whatley joined PieLab in early May, and working as head chef and manager, he has already proven to be an integral slice of the team. He grew up just a few miles from Greensboro and after studying at the famed Culinary Institute of America in New York City and serving as executive chef of La Jolla restaurant in Montgomery, he decided he wanted to be closer to home. “The position opened up at PieLab, so it worked out perfectly,” he says. Seaborn shared a dark secret with Alabama Living though. “I actually am not a big sweet eater,” he said (with a mystifying lack of shame). He defended himself and promised that he does indulge in PieLab’s creations, if only in moderation. “If I really liked desserts and worked here, I’d weigh 800 pounds! I do enjoy our pie though. My favorite is the buttermilk.” Chef Seaborn is also whipping up the savory treats you can get from PieLab at lunchtime. “We’re doing two different sandwiches each week, a hot lunch that changes daily, and we’ve got a new ‘pick three’ salad plate with the choice of tuna, egg, chicken, pasta and fruit salads, as well as pimento cheese.” 14 july 2013
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“I fish the same as everyone else. It just looks a little different.”
Born without limbs, Alabama man excels in professional fishing Story and photos by John N. Felsher 16 july 2013
A veteran of more than 200 tournaments, the professional bass angler stopped his boat, shut down the powerful outboard and flipped his trolling motor into the water. Eyeing the wooded shoreline, he selected a preferred lure, tied it to his line and tossed it next to some cover on the bank. As the angler worked the lure back toward the boat, a bass slammed the temptation. Reacting to the bite, the pro set the hook, fought the fish, landed it and then released it to fight again.
othing about that scenario stands out as particularly note- Dyer did carry the ball a few times and even scored some touchworthy. Millions of bass anglers across the nation do the downs. Low to the ground, he could scoot under other players same thing each week. Friends of bass pro Clay Dyer and pick up a couple yards before anyone even knew he held the wouldn’t even notice these actions because he does them so often. football. However, to anyone who does not know Clay, just getting into “When carrying the ball, I pinned it between my jaw, neck and the boat would seem nothing less than remarkable for a man born arm,” Clay says. “I have a lot of strength in my arm. My longest with no legs, no left arm and only run was about five yards. I was a piece of an arm on his right side. not the guy who was going to run “I was born with no legs past it 99 yards down the field. I was the hips, half an arm on my right the guy who took the ball when side and no arm past my shoulit was fourth down and two. For der joint on my left side,” Clay exmy size, I was really quick and it plains. “I didn’t lose my limbs to was hard to tackle me. I just loved an accident or a disease. I never being able to play and doing what had limbs so I don’t know what I could to help my team win.” I’d do if I had them. God blessed Although he enjoyed playing me with the strength to fight organized sports, he knew he through every adversity and obcould never make it as a professtacle that I face each day. I count sional athlete in football, baseball it as a blessing to live this way.” or basketball. Instead, he started Born in 1978, Clay grew up concentrating on a competitive in Hamilton, Ala. As a child, he sport in which he could excel – frequently visited his grandfather’s professional fishing! He started farm pond to catch catfish. An fishing for fun at about age five avid sportsman and fierce comon his grandfather’s farm and bepetitor, he played baseball, basketgan competing in tournaments ball and even played football as a when he turned 15. linebacker and fullback at the ju“When I started to get into my nior varsity level and some varsity teens, I realized that if I hurt my in high school. one good half an arm, that might “I was always really active in affect me for the rest of my life,” sports,” Clay recalled. “The coachClay says. “Obviously, I’m not goDyer places the butt of his rod between his jawbone es knew my family as I was growing to dunk a basketball without and collarbone to cast. ing up. They knew better than to a trampoline, so I knew I wasn’t tell me that I couldn’t do something because whatever I set my going to play in the NBA or NFL. I had always loved the outdoors, mind to do, I accomplished. When I went out for football, some even as a small child. I watched professional fishing tournaments people thought it was a joke. After proving them wrong two or on television. Fishing gave me an avenue where I knew that I could three times, they never told me ‘no’ ever again. I was low to the get to the top level as a professional in a sport without risking hurtground, so when I went to block someone, nobody could get by ing myself. I always dreamed of becoming a professional angler and believed that I could take it to the top level.” me without crawling.” As a teen, Clay started fishing local bass club tournaments. As Although a fullback typically blocks for faster running backs, Alabama Living
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Clay Dyer uses the bottom of his hip joint to run his trolling motor. He unhooks fish by putting pliers in his mouth and lying on his boat deck.
a freshman in high school, he wanted to enter the Alabama Bass Angler Sportsman Society Federation, one of 51 state and international federations that make up the amateur arm of the Bass Federation, Inc. His parents signed the waiver so he could compete as a minor. He started competing in state and regional tournaments to increase his skill, winning more than 20 events in his career. His two biggest bass to date weighed nearly 10 pounds. Gaining success at the local and regional level, the 20-year-old angler in 1998 began competing in the Forrest L. Wood EverStart Series, a tournament trail for emerging professionals. “My parents, grandparents and brother have always been very supportive of what I do,” Clay says. “I was able to qualify for a couple state championships. It escalated from there. When FLW came out with the EverStart series, I started fishing on the regional level and kept fishing higher and higher levels each year.” In 2006, Dyer began fishing the FLW Tour, the highest professional level of the FLW family of events. In 2011, Dyer began fishing the B.A.S.S. Opens. He hopes to soon jump to the B.A.S.S. Elite Series, the highest professional level in B.A.S.S., and eventually compete in a Bassmaster Classic. “In the first year of the Professional Anglers Association tournament series, I fished the Texas Shootout on Lake Fork,” Clay says. “They invited 60 FLW pros and 60 B.A.S.S. pros to compete. I had the honor to be invited as one of the 60 from FLW. After the second day, only the top five anglers fished the final day. I was in fifth place until the very last guy to weigh in knocked me down by two ounces. I didn’t make the final cut, but I got my first national check. After that, I knew that I could compete at that level.” On the tournament trail or just fishing for fun, Dyer doesn’t use anything unavailable to other competitors. He drives his own truck, modified for his physical requirements, and drives his own boat. He operates all the equipment on his boat and uses standard fishing tackle just like anyone else. “I fish the same as everyone else,” Clay explains. “It just looks a little different. I’ve always prided myself on doing whatever anyone else does. I don’t want anyone to say I had to modify my equipment to fish. The only thing different about my boat is I have a platform that’s at the same height as the front deck. I can step out of the driver’s seat onto the platform and get to the front deck without climbing up and down or crawl around in the bottom of the boat.” He ties his own knots with his tongue and unhooks fish by putting pliers in his mouth and lying on his boat deck. When casting, he places the butt of his rod between his jawbone and collarbone, then swings it sideways. He reels fish in by compressing the end of his arm against the reel handle. “Most anglers work the trolling motor with their feet, but I can’t 18 july 2013
do that,” Clay says. “The bottom of my hip is round. When I run the trolling motor, I use the bottom of my hip joint. I have essentially one big toe down there. I use that to mash the switch to operate the trolling motor. I added a larger switch so I can find it more easily without looking down.” Staying on a national tournament trail requires considerable travel for any competitor. After finishing one tournament, anglers may immediately drive hundreds of miles to the next venue. Many top pros spend 250 to 300 days a year traveling to events, practicing for tournaments, competing, meeting sponsor obligations or working with the media to promote their sponsors. Tyler Cole of Double Springs, Ala. often accompanies Clay on trips to share the driving. He also assists Clay by helping him get into and out of the boat or provide whatever other help he needs. Where allowed, Cole sometimes fishes with Dyer, either as a coangler or team partner. “I met Clay in my senior year of high school,” Cole remembers. “I was dating a girl whose mother used to babysit Clay and his brother. She knew I liked to fish and introduced me to Clay. When I’m fishing with Clay as a co-angler, I can’t do much to help him. I can net the fish, but that’s about all. Clay is a very big inspiration for a lot of people. He’s an awesome guy.” Staying on a tournament trail also requires significant financial resources. Spending a year on a tournament trail may cost between $60,000 to $100,000 for fuel on boats and tow vehicles, lodging, food, entry fees, maintenance and other expenses. Most anglers rely heavily on sponsors. Dyer lists Strike King Lures, Ranger Boats, Mercury Outboards and the Outdoor Recreation Company of America among his major backers. “I’ve been extremely blessed to have some great companies behind me,” Clay says. “Strike King has been with me from the start. Ranger Boats and Mercury Outboards have been with me a long time. I signed with O.R.C.A in late 2012. Without these companies helping me, I would not be able to do what I do. I really appreciate what they do for me that allows me to live my dream.” When not fishing, Clay inspires others with frequent public appearances, making about 60 motivational speeches for corporations, churches, charitable organizations and other groups each year. “Many people come up to me and say, ‘I don’t have this,’ or ‘I can’t do this.’ If I can, you can,” Clay says. “I don’t focus on the resources I’m missing. I focus on what I do have – that’s a heart, mind and soul. I don’t let not having arms and legs define me as a person. Everything I’ve ever wanted to do, I’ve been able to do. Some things are obviously easier for other people to do and take me longer, but I haven’t found anything yet that I couldn’t do.” To invite Clay to speak, contact him through his website at http://claydyer.net. A www.alabamaliving.coop
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Protecting animals for future generations
Zookeeper Mike Miller and an umbrella cockatoo. photo courtesy Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo
By Marilyn Jones
National Zookeeper Week: July 14-20 20 july 2013
y definition, a zoo is a garden or park where wild animals are kept for exhibition; a collection of living animals usually for public display. And a zookeeper: one who maintains or cares for the animals in a zoo. Without a zoo there would be no zookeeper and without a zookeeper there would be no zoo. Every year, the third week of July is designated National Zookeeper Week; the perfect time to ask the question: What does a zookeeper do? “We have nine zookeepers and one dietician,” says Cyndi Johnson, head zookeeper at Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo in Gulf Shores. “Their primary concern is the health of the animals.” Each zookeeper is species-specific. Johnson says her keepers are usually trained to care for two types of animals — avian, cats, primates, hoof, rodents or reptiles — so they can take over when the fulltime keeper is off for the day. Although some of her keepers have degrees in biology, zoology and wildlife science, a degree isn’t necessary. “It has to be in your heart,” she says. “There’s nothing really glamorous about gathering supplies, cleaning, measuring feces to make sure the animal is healthy and
watching the animal to make sure it’s OK. Rain, snow, sleet, we have to be here to care for the animals. You have to love the animals to be this dedicated. “Once the animals have been monitored, cleaned, fed and reports filed, we have to get our supplies ready for the next day to do it all over again,” she explains. “A big part is keeping records — electronically and hard copy. At any given time I have to be able to view an animal’s file.”
Into the Future
Johnson says she spends a lot of time traveling to schools and teaching children about the plight of animals. “I also explain to them that before getting a pet they should do a lot of research,” she says. “In our zoo, 98 percent of the birds, 98 percent of the reptiles and 50 percent of the small rodents have been donated by people who bought them as pets. We live in such a throwaway world. I get five to 10 calls a week and right now we can’t always take them. “I don’t recommend exotics for anyone,” she says. “Primates live to be 50 years old and some birds live to be 80 years old. Right now we have 13 squirrel monkeys and five capuchin monkeys that were donated to us.” www.alabamaliving.coop
As for the future of animals in the wild, Johnson says zoos are the real future. “In 10 years all the tigers will be gone from the wild; elephants too. In the wild 90 percent of the world’s [species] will be extinct. They are being harvested every day.” A zookeeper wears many hats — caregiver, educator and conservationist. “Simply put, we need to have respect for wildlife,” Johnson says. “My job is to try and make that happen.”
The Birmingham Zoo is one of the top attractions in the state of Alabama and features more than 800 birds, reptiles and mammals including this hippopotamus. photo courtesy Birmingham Zoo
Other Alabama Zoos
Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, situated on 11.5 acres, with 7.5 acres in use, is tucked away just blocks from the beach and features more than 500 animals, birds and reptiles. Lions, tigers, bears and monkeys as well as a petting zoo, reptile house and aviary all await visitors. Alabama has two other major zoos in Birmingham and Montgomery. Drawing more than 500,000 visitors annually, the Birmingham Zoo is one of Alabama’s most popular attractions. More than 800 animals, representing six continents, make their home at the 122-acre zoo, including birds, reptiles and mammals. As with its zoological counterparts, the animals here are cared for by a staff of curators, managers and keepers. These professionals provide well-maintained environments that reflect the animal’s natural habitats. The zoo is known for its elephant conservation program. In 2011, “Trails of Africa” opened, designating the Birmingham Zoo as a national leader in the care and conservation of threatened elephants. The trail is designed to be a mixed-species exhibit featuring a bachelor elephant herd, red river hogs, rhinos, hippos and giraffes. The final member of this zoo trio is the Montgomery Zoo and Mann Wildlife Learning Museum where more than 500 animals from five different continents reside — all housed in natural, barrier-free habitats. Spanning 40 landscaped acres, guests can view exotic wildlife and endangered species by meandering through the zoo at a leisurely pace, riding on the miniature train or by taking advantage of the recently installed Zoofari Skylift ride. Animal encounter stations are very popular at the zoo and help visitors get as close as possible to the zoo’s residents by feeding river otters, horseback riding and visiting an aviary. Alabama Living
As the need to protect and preserve our wildlife and vanishing habitats has increased, our role as educators and wildlife ambassadors has become essential. During the third week of July each year, celebrate National Zookeeper Week; both you and your animals deserve the recognition.
Zookeeper Melissa Passman visits with white-throated capuchins. Zookeepers Terry Clossen, Mike Miller and Melissa Passman start their day.
photo courtesy Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo
Photo courtesy Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo
For more information:
Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo - 1204 Gulf Shores Parkway, Gulf Shores; 251-968-5731; www.alabamagulfcoastzoo.com. Birmingham Zoo - 2630 Cahaba Road, Birmingham; 205-879-0409; www.birminghamzoo.com. Montgomery Zoo - 2301 Coliseum Pkwy, Montgomery; 334-240-4900; www. montgomeryzoo.com.
From left: Zookeepers Sam Pierce and Kim Dahlgren and Zoo Director Patti Hall. photo courtesy Birmingham Zoo
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Worth the Drive
Dine at The Docks
cottsboro is probably best known for two things: some dark deeds in our state’s past and a big store full of other people’s stuff for sale. With a deck facing shimmering Lake Guntersville, perfectly cooked pork loin and bread pudding that’s easily in the running for best I’ve ever had, The Docks at Goose Pond Colony is a third thing the city should be famous for. When nine young African-American men were tried for rape and found guilty by an all-white jury, it put Scottsboro in the national spotlight. The story of the Scottsboro Boys is a tragic one, a stark symbol of turbulent times. On the flipside, shopping at Unclaimed Baggage can be triumphant, with some serious deals on designer duds, electronics, cameras and computers, but that’s only if you happen to be there on the right day. Dinner at The Docks is just plain good, with no timing required, although snagging a seat outside at sunset is not a bad idea (and reservations are recommended on the weekends). You might even want to arrive early in the day to check out everything else the surrounding Goose Pond Colony resort has to offer before you sit down to eat. Set amid the scenic beauty of the Cumberland Mountains and nestled beside the Tennessee River’s Lake Guntersville, Goose Pond Colony has two 18-hole championship golf courses, access to the lake for swimming and fishing, a large, full-service marina and a pool, plus waterside cottages and a lodge if you decide to spend the night. With a “come-as-you-are” philosophy, The Docks is certainly casual, but the menu reads like one in a white-tablecloth establishment, with dishes like Greek-style chicken with rice pilaf and seasonal veggies, pan-seared crab cakes, smoked gouda quesadillas with caramelized onions and nightly specials like slow-roasted prime rib created by chef and owner Mark Hall. The level of service matches the menu, with a wait staff that can provide details on every item and confident recommendations. Every meal begins with crusty bread accompanied by soft honey butter. The restaurant’s warm artichoke and green chile dip is a spicy new twist on the classic Jennifer Kornegay is spinach-artichoke the author of a new children’s book, “The version and makes a Alabama Adventures great starter. While of Walter and Wimbly:
Thai BBQ Pork Medallions: Sweet and heat.
you wait for your appetizer to arrive, you can take a stroll down the long, lighted pier leading out over the lake. You’ll probably meet a few folks who’ve just tied up their boats to come have dinner too. The diverse options for entrees range from steak to seafood, but the Thai BBQ Pork Medallions grabbed my attention. Juicy and tender, each piece of pork was topped with a dollop of a vibrant red sauce that has definite Asian influences. The combination of sweet and heat complemented the meat and was equally tasty mixed in with the white cheese grits and sautéed spinach also on the plate. The portions at The Docks are ample, but if you pace yourself, you can still indulge in at least a few bites of dessert. The offerings change nightly, but almost always include the homemade bread pudding. It’s fluffy and moist, and the drizzle of rum sauce adds a little kick to cut the sugar. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, the view and the food at The Docks are enhanced with live entertainment. It’s a fun, but actually unnecessary, addition. The sight of cotton-candy clouds reflected in the lake’s surface and the satisfaction of finishing a nice meal need no such improvement. A Scottsboro
The Docks The kitchen is open for dinner only, on weeknights from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and until 10 p.m. on weekends. Visit www. goosepond.org to check out the menu and get directions, and call 256-574-3071 for reservations.
Two Marmalade Cats on a Mission.” She travels to an out-of-the way restaurant destination in Alabama every month. She may be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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july 2013â€ƒ 25
Power Plants July Gardening Tips
Savor Summer Longer By Katie Jackson
July, the month when we can practically wallow in summer fruits and vegetables. Yet even as the supply becomes almost overwhelming, are you already lamenting the time when there will no longer be a summer tomato to slice or zucchini squash to roast? There’s a perfect way to alleviate that premature sorrow: Plant a late summer/ early fall garden. One of the perks of living and gardening in Alabama is that we have a long growing season which allows us to continue growing many summer crops well into the fall. Admittedly it may be hard to set aside time from harvesting, weeding, watering and maintaining your current garden. However, if you love the taste of summer, it’s worth taking time to install transplants of tomatoes, peppers, summer squash, eggplant, beans and cucumbers. Just make sure to choose varieties that
mature before your area’s first typical fall frost date. Another way to extend the taste of summer is to keep a fresh supply of annual summer herbs going by sowing basil and cilantro seeds every few weeks directly into the garden or into pots so a new crop is coming on regularly. I keep indoor pots of basil going year-round, reseeding the pots each month so I never have to do without a sprig of basil even in January and February. Once you’ve got that late summer garden in, don’t forget that July is the month to start seeds for more traditional fall crops such as rutabagas, pumpkins, winter squash and the many “c” crops of fall— collards, cauliflower, cabbage and carrots. Come August you can keep planting seeds for many of these fall crops and begin seeds for kale, lettuces, turnips and other leafy greens as well as for the “b” crops— beets, Brussels sprouts and broccoli.
d Water lawns, landscapes, container plants and vegetable gardens deeply and avoid watering during the hottest parts of the day. d Mulch shrubs and trees and add mulch and compost to garden beds to help retain moisture in the soil, keep roots cooler and suppress weeds. d Plant heat-tolerant annual and perennial flowers. d Remove (deadhead) fading flowers from annuals, perennials and summerblooming lilies. d Keep an eye out for insect and disease problems in the lawn, landscape, garden beds and on potted plants. d Keep birdbaths and hummingbird feeders filled with clean, fresh water or sugar solution, respectively. d Turn your compost. d Harvest fruits and vegetables early in the day for best flavor and quality.
Don’t know what to plant when? Check out the Alabama Cooperative Extension System’s “Planting Guide for Home Gardening in Alabama” (www.aces.edu/ pubs/docs/A/ANR-0063/ANR-0063.pdf) publication, which has a great year-round planting chart to guide you. If you want to escape the heat this month, chill out with a cool drink and some seed and plant catalogues. It’s never too early to start planning next year’s garden and you can literally spend hours exploring the options. Advice on variety selection or myriad other gardening issues is available through your local Extension office, Master Gardener groups and area garden shops, but don’t forget one of the best sources of help in the world—fellow gardeners, especially those who have gardened for years, who have hands-on knowledge of what works, or doesn’t work, in your area. They have likely already made all the mistakes, mistakes you can avoid simply by relying on their experience. A Katie Jackson, who recently retired as chief editor for the Auburn University College of Agriculture and Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, is now a fulltime freelance writer and editor. Contact her at email@example.com.
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Send your questions to: James Dulley
Alabama Living 6906 Royalgreen Dr. Cincinnati, OH 45244
You can also reach Dulley online at: www.dulley.com
What do you need from extra AC? Ask yourself what you want from a supplemental air-conditioning unit before purchasing one—window units and mini-split heat pumps both have good qualities.
We added a room, but our central air conditioner doesn’t cool it well. Our second-floor master bedroom also does not stay cool. Does it make more sense to install a window air conditioner or a mini-split system?
This is a common problem, especially for second-floor rooms. Cool air is more dense than warm air, so it tends to drop to the first floor through cracks, gaps, and the stairs. Also, second-floor ceilings are exposed to the hot underside of the roof, and tend to stay warm well into the evening. Whether you install a mini-split heat pump or a window air conditioner depends on what you need and want from the unit. Most people install a window air conditioner to provide extra cooling in a room at a low initial cost. Energy efficiency is not the primary concern. Mini-split heat pumps offer many bonus features (heating and cooling, quiet operation, flexible installation, and control) and increased efficiency, but at a higher cost. The main drawback for mini-split heat pumps is cost. A window unit generally sells for less than $300; mini-splits can run to more than $1,000, plus the cost of installation. Also, unlike a window unit, minisplits can’t be moved once installed. I have a two-story house with a central heat pump. I recently installed an LG Art Cool mini-split system for the master bedroom. I selected the smaller output 9,000 Btu per hour model, which has a seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) of 28 and inverter compressor technology—twice as efficient as the central heat pump. I chose the heat pump version so it can also heat efficiently during winter.
is a nationally syndicated engineering consultant based in Cincinnati
28 july 2013
A window air conditioner has all its components—compressor, air circulation fan, condenser fan, etc.—in the cabinet mounted in the window. Though it is insulated against heat flow and sound, it still is not ideal for energy efficiency. The newest ones are fairly quiet but still may be annoying in a bedroom at night. When it’s not running, more outdoor road noise can be heard.
A mini-split system is similar to a central air conditioner or heat pump, with the condenser fan, coils, and compressor in an outdoor unit, which is flat and small. I had mine mounted high on the garage wall so I could walk under it on an existing walkway. Some models allow the outdoor unit to be placed up to 100 feet from the room or group of rooms to be cooled or heated. This virtually eliminates indoor noise pollution from these components. Instead of having the indoor cooling coil in an air-duct system as with your existing central air conditioner, the coil is mounted in a fan unit on the wall or ceiling of the room. It’s connected to the outdoor unit by refrigerant and electric lines. Only a 3-in.diameter hole needs to be cut through the wall, and the condensate drain from the evaporator coils can go out through the same hole. Mini-split systems can also be used to cool an entire house by installing indoor wall units in several rooms. The conditioned air will naturally circulate throughout the house. This is commonly done in houses using baseboard electric or hydronic
heat, which lack a duct system. Installing a duct system for central air-conditioning in an existing two-story house can be an expensive project. In addition to the high SEER rating, installing a mini-split unit allows for zone cooling of your house, which can also lower your electric bill. In my case, there’s no need to keep the downstairs cool all night when I’m sleeping in the upstairs bedroom. My mini-split system allows me to set the central heat pump thermostat higher at night so it runs very little. This provides substantial electricity savings. Inverter compressor technology is the newest and most efficient trend in air conditioning. The compressor runs at variable speeds to provide for variable cooling output. Once the room cools down to the thermostat setting, the inverter compressor speed slows to keep the room at that temperature. The remote control has several modes of operation, including a dehumidification setting for the summer, which slows down the fan speed so the indoor air is dehumidified more than it is cooled. This is ideal for allergy sufferers who are sensitive to high humidity but don’t want a cold room. There also is a “jet” setting that switches either the heating or cooling mode output and fan speed to high for quickly changing the temperature. This feature conserves energy because you can turn it on only when you use a particular room instead of keeping the room hot or cold continuously. A For more information, visit energy.gov/energysaver/articles/ductless-mini-split-heatpumps and www.energystar.gov > Products > Find ENERGY STAR Products > Ductless Heating and Cooling. The following companies offer mini-split air conditioners/heat pumps: Carrier, 800-2277437, www.carrier.com; Fujitsu General, (888) 888-3424, www.fujitsugeneral.com; LG, (888) 865-3026, www.lg-dfs.com; Mitsubishi Electric, (800) 433-4822, www.mehvac.com; and Samsung, (888) 699-4351, www.quietside.com. www.alabamaliving.coop
Around Alabama UNION SPRINGS
AUGUST 1 - 4
“See Rock City”
Ffooter / Shutterstock.com
JULY 3 • Chatom, Town of Chatom 4th of July Celebration Chatom Community Center, 5 p.m. Live music by Destiny. All activities are free. Food and arts and crafts booths. Balloon art by Sunshine the clown, Super Splash water slides, 4-way bungee trampoline, mechanical bull, trackless train and face painting. Fireworks start at 9 p.m. Parking is $1 per vehicle; bring your lawn chairs. For more information, contact Fran Thornton, 251-680-3075 or firstname.lastname@example.org 12 & 13 • Cullman, Heartland Quilt Guild “Patriotic Pride Quilt Show” East Elementary School. Friday, noon-5p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Admission: $5. Contact: Hazel Rhuel, 256-7393594 or Porsia Anderson, 205-265-9139 12 & 13 • Eva, Eva High School Alumni and Friends Reunion & Concert. Eva School. The Friday night concert, featuring the Flashbacks, is sponsored by the Alumni Association and tickets are available to the public. Alumni and Friends Reunion will take place on the 13th. Contact: Jo Anne Lindley, 205-563-3290 or email@example.com 17 • Theodore, Kids’ Kruise & Dauphin Island Sea Lab. Bellingrath Gardens and Fowl River, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Annual lunch cruise on the Fowl River just for kids. Dauphin Island Sea Lab will
The Red Door Theatre in Union Springs will present “See Rock City,” a play about newlyweds May and Raleigh as they begin married life in the hills of Tennessee. This tender portrayal of married life, set against the backdrop of World War II, shows the best of the human spirit and its ability to overcome obstacles.
27 • Hanceville, Swamp John’s. Dodge City Volunteer Fire Department. Swamp John’s famous fish, chicken and shrimp with all the trimmings. Proceeds will pay for equipment needed to help the community. Contact: Phyllis Lowe, 256-287-0186 or firstname.lastname@example.org
be there with its Touch Table, too. Bring the kids, order your bag lunch and enjoy a fun-filled cruise on Fowl River. Reservations required. Members admission: $28 for adults, $17.50 for children 5-12 & $6 for children 4 and under. Contact: 251-973-2217, ext. 110 for reservations 20 • Geraldine, Alabama Picnic in the Park, Geraldine Town Park, beginning at noon. Live entertainment and traditional pot pinto beans and cornbread, hotdogs and other eats. The Smoke Trailer, sponsored by the Geraldine Fire Department, will be on site. Arts and crafts booths welcome. Contact: Geraldine Town Hall, 256-659-2122
AUGUST 1-3 • Foley, Jennifer Claire Moore 16th Annual Professional Rodeo. City of Foley Horse Arena. Pre-rodeo activities begin each night at 7, followed by the rodeo at 8. From bareback bronco riding and barrel racing to children’s activities, the rodeo is fun for the whole family. Contact: Millie Shamburger, 251-971-3633 or email@example.com 4 • Talladega, Afternoon of Praise Talladega’s Historic Ritz Theatre, 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. Dove Award nominee Richard Kingsmore will direct the orchestra as Talladega First United Methodist Church Choir Director Susannah Herring leads a choir of more than 100 local voices in a community-wide praise experience. Tickets: $10.Ticket purchases: The Ritz, 256-315-0000 6 • Mobile, Crime Prevention 5K Run Bienville Square, 6:30 p.m. Race benefits Mobile Police Department. Contact: Peggy Olive, 251-401-8039
littleny / Shutterstock.com
20 • Pine Ridge, 2nd Annual ‘Cruise-in for Special People’ Car Show. Pine Ridge Day Camp, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Family friendly kids activities, food available and lots of prizes, including a 350 Chevy Engine grand prize. Proceeds to help support the day camp used by the Center for the Developmentally Disabled, North Central Alabama. Contact: Carl Flemons, 256-778-0449
To place an event, mail to Events Calendar, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124; e-mail to calendar@ areapower.coop. (Subject Line: Around Alabama) or visit www.alabamaliving.coop. Each submission must include a contact name and phone number. Deadline is two months prior to issue date. We regret that we cannot publish every event due to space limitations.
Evening performances on Aug. 1, 2, and 3 are preceded by a seated dinner (reservations required). The Sunday, Aug. 4, performance is a 2:30 p.m. matinee. Contact 334-738-8687 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, or visit www. reddoortheatre.org.
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JULY 2013 29
High schoolers win scholarship money for fishing By John N. Felsher
For possibly the first time in history, some middle and high school students earned scholarship money toward their college educations just by catching bass during the inaugural Tim Horton High School Bass Fishing Challenge. “It’s the only scholarship bass tournament for high school anglers,” says Susann Hamlin, executive director for the Colbert County Tourism and Convention Bureau in Tuscumbia, Ala., which hosted the event. “It was a wonderful opportunity for kids and it made us feel good, too.”
Adam Neill, an 18-year-old senior at Florence High School, winner of the Senior Division during the 2013 Tim Horton High School Bass Fishing Challenge, held May 18 on Pickwick Lake near Cherokee, tells event host Tim Horton, a professional bass angler from Muscle Shoals, how he caught his fish. Photo by John N. Felsher
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Tables indicate peak fish and game feeding and migration times. Major periods can bracket the peak by an hour before and an hour after. Minor peaks, half-hour before and after. Adjusted for daylight savings time. a.m. p.m. Minor Major Minor Major
JUL 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 AUG 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
02:22 03:07 08:52 09:52 11:22 - - - - - - 01:37 02:52 03:52 - - - - 01:22 02:07 02:52 09:37 10:52 - - - - - - - - 02:07 03:22 04:07 - - - - 12:52 01:22 01:52 08:07 08:52 09:52 11:07 - - - - - - 01:07 02:52 04:07 05:07 - - 12:52 07:37 08:37 09:37
07:37 08:07 03:37 04:22 05:22 06:37 07:52 08:52 09:52 10:37 11:22 04:52 05:52 06:37 07:37 08:37 03:37 04:37 05:37 07:07 08:22 09:37 10:22 11:07 11:37 04:52 05:37 06:22 06:52 07:37 02:22 02:52 03:37 04:22 05:37 06:52 08:22 09:37 10:22 11:07 11:52 05:52 06:52 01:37 02:22 03:07
09:22 02:22 09:37 02:37 09:52 03:07 03:37 10:22 03:52 10:52 01:52 11:22 - - 12:22 08:37 05:37 10:07 05:52 11:07 06:22 11:52 06:52 07:22 12:07 07:52 12:52 08:22 01:37 08:52 02:07 09:22 02:52 03:22 09:37 03:52 10:07 12:52 10:37 - - 11:22 05:37 12:22 10:07 05:52 10:52 06:07 11:22 06:37 11:52 06:52 07:07 12:07 07:22 12:37 07:37 01:07 08:07 01:22 08:22 01:52 08:37 02:07 02:37 08:52 02:52 09:07 03:07 09:37 02:22 10:07 - - 11:07 09:07 05:07 10:22 05:22 11:07 05:52 11:37 06:22 12:22 06:37 07:07 12:37 07:22 01:07 07:52 01:52 02:22 08:22 02:52 08:37 july 2013â€ƒ 31
Junior Leaders – The top finishers in the Junior Division during the 2013 Tim Horton High School Bass Fishing Challenge include (from left to right) 1st place: Austin Brown, a 14-yearold seventh grader from Plainview High School in Rainsville; 2nd place: Garrett Jones, a 16-year-old freshman at Hartselle High; and 3rd place: Jacob Jefferys, a 15-year-old freshman from Muscle Shoals High.
uring the event, 175 youths representing 30 schools from across Alabama competed for a share of $20,000 in scholarships. The young anglers competed in two divisions. The Senior Division consisted of students in 10th through 12th grade while seventh to ninth graders competed in the Junior Division. The young anglers fished two to a boat with an adult boat captain operating the craft. The boat captain could not fish. The anglers competed against each other in their respective divisions, but their school teams also competed for a share of $3,000 in scholarship money, based upon total weights caught by all team members. Hartselle High won $1,000 in scholarship money as the team winner, followed by the Muscle Shoals, Florence, Belgreen and Russellville schools. “For the most part, the kids in the same boats were from the same schools, so they competed against each other, but they also helped each other at the same time,” says Tim Horton, a professional bass angler from Muscle Shoals, Ala. The Tim Horton High School Bass Fishing Challenge ran out of Rose Trail Park near Cherokee on May 18 to fish the 47,500-acre Pickwick Lake. Named the 20th best bass lake in the United States by Bassmaster magazine, Pickwick Lake runs 53 miles along the Tennessee River. The system can produce largemouth bass topping 10 pounds and smallmouth approaching seven pounds.
Pickwick Lake a big attraction
“We had a phenomenal tournament,” Horton says. “Students from all over Alabama came here to fish. Some traveled more than 200 miles. That says a lot about their passion for fishing in this state. Pickwick has really become one of the best bass lakes, not only in Alabama, but in the entire South.” After a day spent fishing, Adam Neill, an 18-year-old senior at Florence High School, took top honors in the Senior Division with a five-bass tournament limit weighing 16.86 pounds. He collected $3,000 in scholarship money for the victory and plans to attend the University of Alabama on a fishing scholarship in the fall. He hopes to become a professional angler someday. “I fish this lake all the time,” Neill says. “I fished from the Natchez Trace Bridge to Waterloo. I caught most of my fish on a crankbait in about five feet of water. We also fished bridge pilings and current breaks with a swimbait. The bass were stacked up right behind the pilings getting out of the current.” Taking second for the seniors, Zeke Gossett, a 15-year-old 32 july 2013
Senior Leaders – The top finishers in the Senior Division include (from left to right) 1st place: Adam Neill, an 18-year-old senior at Florence High School; 2nd place: Zeke Gossett, a 15-yearold sophomore at Pell City High School; and 3rd place: Ethan Rickard, an 18-year-old senior at Florence High. Rickard also took tournament big bass honors. PhotoS by John N. Felsher
sophomore at Pell City High School, brought in five bass for 15.72 pounds. He won a $2,500 scholarship. “I caught my biggest fish on a topwater lure in less than three feet of water,” Gossett says. “The big one hit at about 8 a.m. I caught about 25 fish.” Ethan Rickard, an 18-year-old senior at Florence High, finished third with five bass going 15.35 pounds. He landed a 6.66-pound largemouth that took tournament big bass honors. He earned a $1,500 scholarship for third place and a $500 scholarship for catching the biggest bass. In the Junior Division, Austin Brown won with five bass and 14.57 pounds. The 14-year-old seventh grader from Plainview High School in Rainsville, Ala., earned $3,000 in scholarship money. “I caught most of my fish on an unweighted white fluke in shallow water near grass,” Brown says. “I also caught some of my bigger fish on swimbaits. We probably caught about 40 fish.” Garrett Jones, a 16-year-old freshman at Hartselle High, finished second in the Junior Division with five bass going 13.67 pounds. He received a $2,500 scholarship. In third for the junior anglers, Jacob Jefferys, a 15-year-old freshman from Muscle Shoals High, brought in five keepers for 10.48 pounds. He won a $1,500 scholarship. In the spring of 2011, the Alabama Legislature passed House and Senate Joint Resolution HJR27 – Act 2011-156. This act proclaimed the Alabama Student Angler Bass Fishing Association as the official state organization governing student fishing events within the state. John N. Felsher It also recogis a professional nized competifreelance writer and photographer who tive bass fishing lives in Semmes, Ala. tournaments as He’s written more official school than 1,700 articles for more than activities on par 117 magazines. He with such other co-hosts a weekly school sports outdoors radio show. Contact him through such as football, his website at www. baseball, basketJohnNFelsher.com. ball and golf. A For more information, see www.FishPickwickLake.com or call the Colbert County Tourism and Convention Bureau at 256383-0783. www.alabamaliving.coop
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Seafood Cook of the Month: Kassie Luster, Central Alabama EC
Fish Tacos With Lime Sauce
1 pound of catfish filets 3 limes 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1 tablespoon chili powder 2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 cup shredded cabbage ⁄3 cup all-purpose flour 8 (6-7-inch) flour tortillas ½ cup shredded carrots 1 Serrano pepper, thinly sliced 1
Rinse fish and pat dry. Cut into 1-inch pieces. For lime sauce, juice 2 limes into bowl (cut remaining into wedges). Stir mayonnaise and chili powder into juice. Transfer 1⁄3 cup of the sauce to another bowl; toss fish in sauce. Set aside remaining sauce. In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. In shallow dish combine flour and salt. Working with about a third of the fish at a time, toss fish into flour mixture and place into hot oil. Cook 2-4 minutes or until fish flakes, turning to brown evenly and adding additional oil as needed. Drain fish on paper towels. Wrap tortillas in paper towels; heat in microwave for 30 seconds. Top tortillas with fish, cabbage, carrots and Serrano pepper. Drizzle with lime sauce and serve with lime wedges.
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Upcoming recipe themes and deadlines are: Party Dips Deadline: July 15 Smoothies/Milkshakes Deadline: August 15 Barbecue Deadline September 15
Please send all submissions to: Recipe Editor, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124. Or e-mail to: recipes@areapower. coop. Be sure to include your address, phone number and the name of your electric cooperative.
I sure do love to eat seafood during the summer, especially at the beach. If you are on your way home from vacationing down at the Gulf, remember to take some Gulf seafood and these tasty recipes with you to try at home. Fresh Gulf seafood is available almost anywhere. If you will not be using the fish within a day or so, it’s best to freeze it immediately. Wrap the fish tightly in plastic wrap, squeezing all the air out, and then wrap tightly in aluminum foil and freeze. Remember to cook fresh seafood within two days of purchase. That locks in all the great flavor. Hope everyone is having a great summer! 34 july 2013
Editor’s Note: Alabama Living’s recipes are submitted by our readers. They are not kitchen-tested by a professional cook or registered dietician. If you have special dietary needs, please check with your doctor or nutritionist before preparing any recipe.
Crab and Cheese Spread
2 jars Old English Cheese 1/4 cup mayonnaise Sprinkle of garlic powder
1 cup of crab meat (fresh, if available) *English muffins
Mix the first 4 ingredients together. After mixing, take the English muffins and split them into two pieces. Spread the mixture on the English muffins and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees until the spread begins to brown a little (maybe only 5 minutes). Serve warm. *If desired, you can try with your favorite crackers as well. Heather Glass, Black Warrior EMC
Quick and Easy Shrimp Casserole
1 onion, chopped 1 small can mushrooms, 1 bell pepper, chopped drained (pieces are 1 can cream of mushthe cheapest) room soup 2-3 cups shrimp 1 can cream of chicken 1 pound smoked soup sausage (I prefer 1½ cups cooked rice Bryan’s Cajun Sau 1 can Rotel tomatoes sage) While rice is cooking, cut the sausage into little round circles and put in skillet and let brown. (Do not burn). Add onion and bell pepper and cook till tender. After rice is cooked, pour Rotel tomatoes, mushrooms and soups into the sausage mixture. Then add the rice and stir gently till well mixed. Then add the shrimp and simmer until shrimp is done. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray and transfer casserole to dish. Ready to serve. My added touch is to sprinkle grated cheddar cheese over top, just cover lightly and melt in oven or microwave. Cook’s tip: Do not drain the sausage when you cook it down; it adds to the flavor! Carrie D. Schoen, Baldwin EMC
Easy Baked Shrimp ½ cup butter 1 lemon, sliced 1 pound fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 packet dried Italian seasoning
2 pounds of salmon 1 cup butter, melted 1 tablespoon red vinegar 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice 1 teaspoon of dry mustard salt and pepper (cook uses garlic salt)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Put salmon in small open shallow pan (pie pan type) size based on amount of salmon. Stir together all ingredients and pour all but 1/4 cup over salmon. Bake at 450 for approximately 15 minutes. Pour remaining marinade over salmon and bake another 5 to 10 minutes until salmon flakes apart easily. Connie Hestily, Baldwin EMC
Melt a stick of butter in the pan. Slice one lemon and layer it on top of the butter. Put down fresh shrimp, then sprinkle one pack of dried Italian seasoning. Put in the oven and bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Stephanie Snyder, South Alabama EC
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july 2013 35
Spicy Shrimp and Grits 4 cups chicken broth 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup quick-cooking grits 2 tablespoons butter 1 bunch green onions, chopped 1 green bell pepper diced 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 pound peeled and deveined small shrimp
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded 3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded 1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes and green chilies 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x12-inch baking dish. Bring chicken broth and salt to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Stir in the grits, return to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low, and continue cooking for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the green onions, green pepper, and garlic; cook until the peppers have softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the shrimp, and cook until they begin to firm. Stir in Monterey Jack cheese, 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shrimp and vegetable mixture, canned tomatoes, and black pepper into the grits; pour into prepared baking dish and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheddar cheese. Bake in preheated oven until the cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown, 30 to 45 minutes. Jamie Petterson,Tallapoosa River EC
Tasty Tuna Steaks
2 6-ounce tuna steaks (sushi grade is best) 1 tablespoon lemon pepper 1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon ground ginger dash cayenne pepper Wasabi sauce
Shrimp and Eggplant Soup
1 pound salted butter 1 small onion, diced 1 medium eggplant, peeled and diced (5 cups) 1 large tomato, diced and drained (11/2 cups)
11/2 cups all-purpose flour 11/2 pounds of small shrimp, peeled salt and pepper, to taste Old Bay seasoning, to taste
Pat tuna steaks dry. Mix spices and press on all sides of tuna. Let stand for 30 minutes. Grill or sauté on medium heat for 3 minutes per side for rare. Serve with Wasabi sauce. Can be served whole as an entree, or cut into bite-sized pieces and served as an appetizer with toothpicks.
Melt butter in a stock pot over medium-high heat and add onion, eggplant and tomato. Sauté the vegetables for 5 minutes until onions caramelize. Whisk flour into mixture to make a roux. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Slowly add one gallon of water, whisking constantly. Bring the soup to a low-rolling boil and cook for 20 minutes. Add shrimp and simmer for 10 more minutes. Season with salt, pepper and Old Bay to taste.
Janet Young, Baldwin EMC
Barbara Lawson, Baldwin EMC
36 july 2013
Editor’s Note: Alabama Living’s recipes are submitted by our readers. They are not kitchen-tested by a professional cook or registered dietician. If you have special dietary needs, please check with your doctor or nutritionist before preparing any recipe.
july 2013â€ƒ 37
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Voices from the past Double doors at the end of a second floor hallway at the State Archives soon will open wide into ‘Alabama Voices,’ a past life you might have forgotten By John Brightman Brock
oing inside the Museum of Alabama’s second floor gallery, “Alabama Voices,” you’ll enter a realm where history’s passages are freed from the confines of old history books, where cherished memories are unleashed from artifacts long discarded. Catch your breath, and imagine a huge room divided into 10 captivating sections.
A gallery of huge proportions
Construction of the new wing at the Alabama Department of Archives and History is under way. The wing is scheduled to open to the public next year.
When this new gallery - all 10,500 square feet of it - opens next year, it will be 2014, but you’ll swear the magic of “Alabama Voices” is carrying you back through 300 years of state history. Alabama Voices is designed to be the centerpiece of the Museum of Alabama expansion taking shape inside the second floor of the new wing of the Alabama Department of Archives and History in Montgomery, says director Steve Murray. “There’s nothing else quite like it in terms of the story it’s going to tell. It’s a fantastic story.” Opening day ceremonies, planned for sometime next year, will pay tribute to an aggressive capital campaign funding the expansion through the efforts of leaders across the state - including
the Alabama Department of Archives and History Foundation, the Alabama Legislature, archivists, archeologists, leaders in education and philanthropy “who helped us articulate the vision we had,” Murray says. He’s expecting about 1,000 people from across Alabama to attend, which would be much like the number who attended the opening of the first phase of the Museum, on Aug. 27, 2011, where the galleries “First Alabamians” and “The Land” were showcased. Those galleries are just a step away from the big double doors of “Alabama Voices.”
As you enter in to the newest gallery, be prepared for a “wall of faces.” “It will have an intro area beautifully lit where you are facing this giant wall of faces of people who lived in Alabama back to the early 1700s, and up to the present,” Murray says. “They will represent Alabamians in every walk of life.” Among those static images are three large videos featuring revolving faces. “These are the faces that bring those ‘Alabama Voices’ that you will
hear,” Murray says. There will be 22 audio-video exhibits, along with ambient audio throughout. “You are about to be introduced to an incredible cast of history - white, black, Hispanic - from the greatest wealth you have ever known to people who worked hard to survive as enslaved people on plantations. This runs the gamut from the Creek Indians who dominated the Alabama landscape in the early 1700s to the German engineers who came to Huntsville that sent Americans into space,” Murray says. Making it a reality are some very talented contractors, according to Murray. “Then there’s the team members of the staff, and the third group are the donors who have allowed us raise $7 million to make this possible.” The first phase cost $1.7 million, Murray says.
A time to measure
From now through summer, that large space at the end of the second floor hallway will be the busy scene of drywall construction, electrical configurations and space prep. “About July or August, our exhibit fabricators will show up with materials... cases, cabinetry, rail systems, beautiful free standing glass panels... all showing up on tractor trailers through late summer through the fall,” Murray says. Eventually, the area will be home to 800 artifacts. “Everything is to be measured and photographed,” Murray says. “Everything to the tiniest bottom off of clothing, a political button up to a textile loom weighing 2,200 pounds.” “This final process is born of a concept and vision of Ed Bridges, the former director of the Archives for 30 years,” he says. “It is very heavily shaped by his vision. All of us are committed to doing this for the people of the state ... And it’s important for us to do it for Ed. He spent 30 years working here in the Archives, gathering research, writing, developing the best possibilities of an incredibly rich history.” For Bridges, it has been, and still is, all about Alabama. “I believe this new exhibit will be a remarkable addition to the cultural life of Alabama. It is the first museum effort ever to tell the history of the state as a coherent overall story - from the geological forces that shaped the land to the start of the 21st century,” Bridges said in an e-mail. “It will be a place where Alabamians and our guests can see and interact with this story, a place of education and personal enrichment. A team of distinguished Alabama historians, the staff of the Archives, and some of the leading museum designers and builders in the U.S. have worked for several years to make this new exhibit possible,” says Bridges. Alabama Living
The new gallery will cover 10,500 square feet on the second floor of the archives.
Murray says he appreciates the encouragement ADAH has received. “We are very grateful to Gov. Robert Bentley and the legislative leadership for providing resources to support the operation of the department and our new museum exhibits. The state’s support for operations is especially important and appreciated in light of the $7 million that we raised in private sources to cover the cost of construction.” Meanwhile, the project is on schedule, Murray says, “and we are working very hard to keep it that way. ...” A
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Our Sources Say
Guns, games and movies
nless you have been hibernating for the past six months, you have at least heard of the gun control debate in the wake of the tragic mass murder of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The progressive front led by Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif. wants to ban assault weapons, if not all private firearms. President Obama has called Congress to action and has promised to use all the power of his office to protect against similar attacks. The president appointed a Gun Violence Task Force chaired by Vice President Joe Biden that has proposed the ban of assault weapons, expanded firearm background checks and limitations on magazine capacity. The National Rifle Association
Gary Smith is President and CEO of PowerSouth Energy Cooperative 42 july 2013
(NRA) has criticized the president for demonizing firearms and advocates no change from current laws and regulation of firearm ownership. Congress has yet to act, and the debate continues to wallow in the political accusations and attacks that have framed almost every issue for the past decade. I took up bird hunting a few years ago. I have acquired five shotguns to hunt birds, which may be a couple too many. I have also accumulated three pistols over the years – for personal protection, I guess. I don’t own or have a particular use for a semi-automatic weapon or large capacity magazines. However, I have friends that own assault weapons and ammunition for self-defense. As a gun owner, I wonder how the outcome of the gun control debate (assuming there is one) will affect my shotguns and bird hunting. I also wonder whether additional background checks and/or bans of assault weapons would prevent tragedies like the Sandy Hook massacre. I wonder why only gun control is under debate. After all, the guns wouldn’t have killed at Sandy Hook without Adam Lanza pulling the triggers. I also wonder why Adam Lanza would kill children and teachers he had never met. I wonder if it was easy access to guns, ammunition and large capacity magazines that was the root cause of the tragedy or something else very wrong with Adam Lanza. I suspect it was the latter – maybe the influence of violence in movies, television and video games that caused him to kill. After all, what do we see in Bruce Willis or Vin Diesel action movies other than raw violence? The hero usually takes matters in his own hands to protect himself or family or avenge some wrong of evil-doers that legal authorities cannot or
will not control. After much suffering, the hero kills or severely injures his enemies. In the end, the good guy stands tall and goes home happy. Violence and killing are justified so long as you are avenging a wrong as they are in the movies. Video games are very similar. The objective of most warfare games is to kill the enemy before they kill you. The games’ graphics are so realistic you can imagine you are living the game. Killing and maiming is fine so long as it is to avenge actions of evil-doers. Also, once the game is over, you just hit the reset button and everyone is alive again – especially your character. But what about those people – maybe like Adam Lanza – who have difficulty distinguishing fantasy from reality? The American Academy of Pediatrics finds convincing evidence that media violence is one of the causal factors of real-life violence and aggression. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry concludes through hundreds of studies that children may become immune or numb to the horror of violence they see in movies and gradually accept violence as a way to solve problems. They imitate the violence they see in movies and games. So why are only guns being attacked? Why isn’t there a call to reduce violence in movies and video games? Our children need protection from a number of things in society today, including mass murder in our schools. But our children also need protection from things we take for granted or don’t even think twice about, like the violence and death depicted so frequently in movies, video games and television. Or is our society so far gone that all we can do to protect our children is try to take the weapons out of circulation? Thank you for reading. I hope you have a good month. A www.alabamaliving.coop
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Mustaches 5 6 4
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1. The ladies (and baby Stetsen) of Wiregrass Electric Cooperative show off their mustaches submitted by WEC employees 2. “Zzzzzz”: Kole Odom napping submitted by Brent and Samantha Odom, Greenville 3. “The Three Amigos”: Robert, Wayne and David Byrd submitted by D. Byrd, Monroeville
4. Rebecca Arrington, Hannah Hoover and Tori Arrington having fun submitted by Rebecca Arrington, Fort Payne 5. Dakota Price submitted by Traci Price, Verbena 6. Drew Lacey, distinguished gentleman submitted by Billie Lacey, Ashland 7. Fred and Hudson Oliver submitted by Altha Oliver, Cullman
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