Stories | Recipes | Events | People | Places | Things | Local News NOVEMBER 2016
Pioneer Electric Cooperative
Picture postcards tell our story Biscuit bounty
Executive VP/ General Manager Terry Moseley Co-op Editor Casey B. Rogers 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 029920) is published monthly by the Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives. Periodicals postage paid at Montgomery, Alabama, and at additional mailing office.
The Bates family in Fort Deposit continues to raise free-range turkeys by the same methods they’ve used for more than 90 years, producing about 100,000 birds annually.
VOL. 69 NO. 11 n November 2016
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 Allison Griffin Creative Director Mark Stephenson Art Director Michael Cornelison Advertising Director Jacob Johnson Graphic Designer/Advertising Coordinator Brooke Echols Communications Coordinator Laura Stewart Graphic Designer Tori McClanahan
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Printed in America from American materials Alabama Living
Reasons to be thankful from Pioneer’s Executive Vice President and General Manager Terry Moseley.
Catfish, bbq and more
Biscuits and beyond
The Greenbrier Restaurant has been serving catfish, hushpuppies and barbecue to satisfied customers since 1952.
Biscuits are a beloved staple for southern meals; check out the twists on traditional biscuits in this month’s reader recipes.
D E PA R T M E N T S
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9 Spotlight 29 Around Alabama 20 Gardens 32 Outdoors 33 Fish & Game Forecast 34 Cook of the Month 46 Snapshots ONLINE: alabamaliving.coop
ON THE COVER: Lineman Perry Castleberry with Camille Bozeman and Mrs. McClaney’s K-5 class at W.O. Parmer Elementary School’s career day. Camille is the daughter of Patrick and Christy Bozeman of Greenville. Photo by Casey Rogers
NOVEMBER 2016 3
Happy Thanksgiving Reasons to be Thankful Contact Information: Business: 1-800-239-3092 (Monday-Friday 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.) Toll Free Outage “Hotline” 1-800-533-0323 (24 hours a day) Board of Trustees Tommy Thompson • President John Henry • Vice President Melvia Carter • Secretary Carey Thompson • Glenn Branum Tom Duncan • Dave Lyon Melvin Dale • Linda Arnold Web site: www.pioneerelectric.com Payment Options: By Mail: Pioneer Electric Cooperative P.O. Box 370 Greenville, AL 36037 Bank Draft: Contact a customer service representative for details
By Terry Moseley November has arrived and we are in the midst of the fall season in South Alabama. One sign of fall is the constant flurry of falling leaves onto my yard and thus the name “fall” is derived. A positive sign of fall is the chill in the air signaling the end of the hot humid days of summer. November means that college football is in full stride, and that I’m late again with my deer plot preparation. The final sign of fall is my son’s daily rendition of a Muppet medley of “Come Ye Thankful People Come” and “We Gather Together” from a Sesame Street Thanksgiving Special 20 years ago. The songs remind us of our agricultural beginnings in the United States and the fact that farmers are the basis for a strong America. Most farmers work long hard days cultivating, planting and fertilizing crops so you and I can buy the foods we enjoy at a local supermarket. We have long forgotten, or simply take for granted, the phrases used in these songs describing the planting and harvesting of corn and wheat. Additionally, both songs remind us that God is the author of all blessings. As the Thanksgiving holidays approach and we carve the turkey, certainly we can take a
few moments to express gratitude for those blessings. Reflecting on this year, I am thankful for my family, my health, my job at Pioneer Electric Cooperative, and my relationship with Pioneer’s Board and my coworkers. I am especially thankful to you for your support and assistance as we strive to make our cooperative a better place for all. Pioneer is in the best shape it has been in a number of years. The Board’s goal and mine is to make it even better going forward. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this team. Happy Thanksgiving! n Terry Moseley serves as the Executive Vice President and General Manager of Pioneer Electric Cooperative.
Credit Card: By phone or in person Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express Night Depository: Available at each office location Online: www.pioneerelectric.com In Person: 7 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Greenville: 300 Herbert Street Selma: 4075 Ala. Highway 41 Authorized Payment Center: First Citizens Bank 40 Lafayette St. Hayneville 4 NOVEMBER 2016
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Inside Pioneer: Annual Meeting 2016 Recap By Casey B. Rogers
This year’s Annual Member meeting proved to be a great success! Over 500 people gathered together on Saturday, October 15, 2016 to learn more about the cooperative and fellowship together. There was fun for all ages, beginning with live music by Magnum III and the presence of the Touchstone Energy Hot Air Balloon. Attendees could ride the hot air balloon, register for prizes and learn more about what the cooperative has to offer to its members. Booths were located
inside the Butler County Fairgrounds to highlight programs available to members, including: Safety City, Outage Texting, Youth Programs, the PEC Connect mobile application, Capital Credits, Customer Service Questions, Jackson Thornton, Co-ops Vote and Voter Registration, the Volunteer Fire Department program and Health Screens were made available by L.V. Stabler Memorial Hospital. All members were eligible to win a variety of prizes from Kindle fires to garden supplies and anywhere in between. Members were
also given the chance to win ten $75 bill credits and the grand prize of " a year of free electricity" (based on the yearly residential average). Pictured below are the lucky winners of each along with a few other snapshots from our fun filled day at the fairgrounds on page 8. n Casey B. Rogers serves as the Communications Specialist at Pioneer Electric Cooperative.
Grand Prize Winners Julian and Janie Lee of Georgiana with PEC’s Executive VP and GM Terry Moseley.
Bill Credit Winners: Front Row (L to R): Tina Brown, Dorothy Maye, Abbie Jackson, James A. Wicks, Deborah Salter and Brenda Bryan. Back Row (L to R): Norman Oglesby, Henry O. Stinson, Christopher Fly and Reverend Arthur L. Brown.
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Vocational Education By Cleve Poole
• Not everyone goes to college (68% of high school students end up in college). • Of those that start college, not all finish (60% of those starting college end up finishing with a degree). • Of those that do finish college, many end up with a job that does not require a college degree (37% of college graduates have jobs only requiring a high school diploma). (Figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics). In a recent article in Forbes Magazine entitled “Why We Desperately Need To Bring Back Vocational Training In Schools,” the author states, “The U.S. economy has changed. The manufacturing sector is growing and modernizing, creating a wealth of challenging, well-paying, highly skilled jobs for those with the skills to do them. The demise of vocational education at the high school level has bred a skills shortage in manufacturing today, and with it a wealth of career opportunities for both underemployed college grads and high school students looking for direct pathways to interesting, lucrative careers. Many of the jobs in manufacturing are attainable through apprenticeships, onthe-job training, and vocational programs offered at community colleges. They don’t require expensive, four-year degrees for which many students are not suited.” In the mid-1980’s, Alabama’s schools began phasing out Vocational Education and moving the entire enrollment to “college ready” curricula. However, as shown in the statistics listed above, college isn’t for everybody.
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Moreover, it became readily apparent after 20-30 years that the needs of manufacturers were not being met. At the turn of the century, and just after, the Alabama Department of Education began looking at bringing back Vocational Education to Alabama Schools in a big way. First, they developed incentives and new metrics for schools to revamp vocational education in the classrooms, and second, the State issued bonds to buy new equipment to bring 21st Century technology to the classrooms. It’s working.
Coach Otis Grayson, the entire program is an ongoing success, “The Career Tech courses offer in depth, hands-on training for our students, preparing them for life after high school.” In addition to hands-on training in various technical fields, additional coursework in time and conflict management and work ethic are included in the CTE courses.
The Forbes Magazine article lists high wage/high demand jobs that don’t require a 4-year college degree. Among them are Registered Nurses, Dental Electricians, Vocational Education in Hygienists, Medical Techs, Alabama is now typically called Plumbers, Career and Technical Education Construction Supervisors and (CTE), a name more descriptive Brick and Block Masons. of the advanced skills being taught According to the Alabama in public high schools. The classes are typically taught in conjunction Department of Labor’s Hot with local community colleges 40 Demand Occupations, a and offer college credits along top-paying job that requires with high school credits, with a minimum of a high school the state picking up the tab for diploma is Industrial Maintenance tuition costs. Other classes Mechanic. The median income offer nationally recognized for that job, according to a 2012 certifications (an example would survey is $48,790. At Greenville be NCCER – the National Center High School’s Career Academy, for Construction Education and coursework in the Industrial Research). In many instances, Maintenance program can result high school seniors can graduate in a student getting up to a level-2 from high school and receive NCCER certification and starting a 2-year community college wages of $39,000 in Greenville degree in a career technical field area factories. at the same time or a national Vocational Education, or, in certification, and be ready for the workplace straight out of today’s terminology, Career high school, fully trained and Technical Education is critical to having no college student loans today’s world. It helps meets the needs of industry by supplying outstanding. a skilled labor pool, and it helps At the Butler County Career students prepare for life after high Academy located on the Greenville school. n High School campus, close to Cleve Poole serves as the Vice President of 650 students from all over Butler Economic Development and Legal Affairs County take the available courses at Pioneer Electric Cooperative. covering 10 different career areas or “clusters.” According to Career
| Pioneer Electric Co-op |
Source: www.acteonline.org Alabama Living
NOVEMBER 2016 7
Snapshots from Annual Meeting Photos By Angie Long of The Greenville Advocate
8â€ƒ NOVEMBER 2016
November | Spotlight
Crenshaw County celebrates sesquicentennial Help Crenshaw County celebrate its 150th birthday on Nov. 19. Vendors will be set up in downtown Luverne selling items during the day, and concerts and a street dance will begin at 5 p.m. Special entertainment will be provided by Mary Sarah, who was a semi-finalist on the NBC show “The Voice.” She will perform at the old train station depot on LeGrande Avenue. Come and share some birthday cake at the event, which has the slogan “Rejoicing in our past – moving forward into the future.” T-shirts will also be available for purchase. For more information, contact County Commissioner Merrill Sport at 334-429-1228.
Women invited to outdoors workshop this spring Registration is under way for the next Alabama Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) workshop. This Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) event will take place at the 4-H Center near Columbiana on March 3-5. BOW is a three-day workshop designed for women ages 18 and older who want to learn new outdoor skills. The workshop offers hands-on instruction in a fun and non-threatening learning environment. Participants choose from such courses as rifle, pistol, archery, fishing, camping, hiking, canoeing, mountain biking and more.
Identify and place this Alabama landmark and you could win $25. Winner is chosen at random from all correct entries. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified. Send your answer by Nov. 5 with your name, address and the name of your rural electric cooperative. The winner and answer will be announced in the December issue. Contribute your own photo for an upcoming issue. Send a photo of an interesting or unusual landmark in Alabama, which must be accessible to the public. A reader whose photo is used will also win $25. Submit by email: email@example.com, or by mail: Whereville, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124.
Shari Mariano submitted this photo of one of the elegant cantilevered spiral staircases in the rotunda of the state Capitol in Montgomery. The staircases were built by Horace King, a freed slave and engineer, in the 1850s. Mariano is a graphic designer who was intrigued by the architecture of the staircases and the unique angles of the massive chandelier as viewed from the first floor. The twin staircases are considered to be among the Capitol’s finest original architectural features. Congratulations to Megan Amacker, a member of Baldwin EMC, the correct guess winner.
The registration fee of $225 covers meals, dormitory-style lodging, program materials and instruction. Enrollment is limited, and classes fill up fast. For more information, visit www.outdooralabama.com/ becoming-outdoors-woman-bow, or call 334-2423620.
Red Bay theater announces new season lineup The Bay Tree Council for the Performing Arts in Red Bay will offer three productions for the upcoming season. First is “Christmas Belles,” by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten, Nov. 10-13. The second is “Curious Savage” by John Patrick, Feb. 16-19, 2017, with dinner theater. The final production will be “The Miss Firecracker Contest,” by Beth Henley, April 27-30, 2017. For more information, visit www.baytreecouncil.com, or call Beth Hammock at 256-356-9286.
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| Power Pack |
Social Security covers you when you’re abroad
ocial Security has you covered, even outside our nation’s borders. We’re with you through life’s journey, even if you’re traveling outside the United States. Many people who travel or live outside the country receive some kind of Social Security benefit, including retired and disabled workers, as well as spouses, widows, widowers, and children. If you’re a U.S. citizen, you may receive your Social Security payments outside the United States as long as you are eligible. When we say you are “outside the United States,” we mean you’re not in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, or American Samoa. Once you’ve been outside the United States for at least 30 days in a row, we consider you to be outside the country. Whether you’re off to Europe, or considering a stay in our newly reopened neighbor, Cuba, you may be able to receive your Social Security benefits even while you’re
outside the United States. If you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you cannot receive benefits if you’re outside of the United States for a month or more. If you’re traveling outside the U.S. for an extended amount of time, it’s important that you tell Social Security the date you plan to leave and the date you plan to come back, no matter how long you expect your travel to last. You can use this online tool to find out if you can continue to receive your Social Security benefits if you are outside the United States or are planning to go outside the United States at www.socialsecurity. gov/international/payments_outsideUS. html. This tool will help you find out if your retirement, disability, or survivor’s payments will continue as long as you are eligible, stop after six consecutive calendar months, or if certain country-specific restrictions apply. When you live outside the United
Readers remember 'pickin' time'
Have you met a president? Tell us your story! If you have met a U.S. president (either before he was president, during his term or after he left office), and you have a picture to illustrate the story, we’d like to hear from you. We may feature you in an upcoming issue of the magazine! Email your story and photo to Allison Griffin at agriffin@areapower. com. The postal address is 340 TechnaCenter Drive, Montgomery, AL 36117. (Be sure to include your return address. We’ll be glad to return photos, but you may want to take a digital photo of your original, or have your original photo scanned just in case. Many retailers offer scanning services.) 10 NOVEMBER 2016
Just read your article in Alabama Living (“Hardy Jackson’s Alabama,” October 2016) and wanted to add a comment to your story. I was raised by a sharecropper in Jackson County, Arkansas (northeast part of the state) and spent many hours chopping and picking cotton. One of the many things my daddy did to add money to the family coffers was measuring allotment acreage as you described. I was part of that effort when it could be done without me missing school. In fact, among other items I found after my daddy’s passing was the “chain” we dragged across the land when measuring. It has brass tags at regular intervals noting the linear measurements hanging in my workshop today. I left the farm, earned a chemical engineering degree at the University of Arkansas and spent the last 44 years working in industry focused on industrial water treatment. Throughout those years, I never forgot the good and sometimes tough times on the farm. I’m retired now and have a little farm (really it’s a flower and vegetable garden). I still like playing in the dirt! Thanks for reminding me of pickin’ time. Best regards, Norris N. Johnston Lacey’s Spring
States, we send you a questionnaire periodically. Your answers will help us figure out if you still are eligible for benefits. Return the questionnaire to the office that sent it as soon as possible. If you don’t, your payments will stop. In addition to responding to the questionnaire, notify us promptly about changes that could affect your payments. You can also read the publication titled Your Payments While You Are Outside the United States at www.socialsecurity.gov/ pubs. Securing today and tomorrow is our priority, no matter where you might be living.
Kylle’ McKinney, SSA Public Affairs Specialist, can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Letters to the editor
E-mail us at: email@example.com or write us at: Letters to the editor P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124 My father worked for the ASCA when I was young and I am very familiar with “measuring cotton.” I, like you, went with him sometimes to the cotton fields and that is a great memory for me. I was happy to read about someone else who knew about this old government program. Thanks for remembering. Emily Johnson Decatur As a gulf coast condo owner and reader of Alabama Living I am always looking for new and interesting places to visit while in the great state of Alabama. Articles such as John Felsher’s on the Natureplex (October 2016) fit the bill perfectly. Please pass along my accolades to John and your staff for a job well done. Joe Nenninger Orange Beach www.alabamaliving.coop
| Power Pack | HEALTHY LIVING
‘Vaping’ increases in Alabama, especially among high school students
Jim McVay, Dr.P.A., is director of the Bureau of Health Promotion and Chronic Disease of the Alabama Department of Public Health.
ccording to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Alabama high school students are following a growing trend of using e-cigarettes, also known as electronic nicotine delivery systems, or ENDS. Their use among highschool students more than tripled from 2013 to 2014. The 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that nearly a quarter of high school students are regular users. ENDS are devices that deliver nicotine to the user through “vapor” rather than smoke. They do not require a flame and may be used one puff at a time. Actually, the “vapor” isn’t vapor at all. It is a concentrated aerosol that is created when a liquid containing mostly vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, flavoring, and nicotine is heated by a battery-powered atomizer. This aerosol mixture is then inhaled by the user. Today, the more popular ENDS products are refillable and reusable and can be customized with different flavored liquids, commonly known as e-juice or vape juice, different levels of nicotine, and other features that make these products appealing to youth and young adults. Much debate centers on whether these products are “safe.” Currently, Alabama does not regulate ENDS in any way. We may not know the harmful ramifications
of this product for decades, and there is every chance that their use may be a gateway for users to develop an addiction to nicotine that could last a lifetime. ENDS are not necessarily an alternative to cigarettes; some people use both products. In Alabama, ENDS purchasers must be at least 19 years of age. However, unlike tobacco products, retailers currently are not required to obtain a permit to sell them. Therefore, these products are not subject to the same compliance checks as traditional cigarettes. In 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finalized a rule extending its regulatory authority to cover all tobacco products, including vaporizers, vape pens, hookah pens, e-cigarettes, e-pipes, and all other ENDS. FDA now regulates the manufacture, import, packaging, labeling, advertising, promotion, sale, and distribution of ENDS. This includes components and parts of ENDS, but excludes accessories. More research needs to be conducted on the long-term health effects from the use of these products. While it is true that ENDS do not contain the same cancer-causing chemicals as traditional cigarettes, some health risks are still involved with their use.
Statewide constitutional amendments on ballot
n addition to the much-publicized presidential race, voters in Alabama will also vote on these offices in the Nov. 8 general election: • U.S. Senate • U.S. House of Representative (seven seats) • Supreme Court, associate justice (three seats) • Public Service Commission president • State Board of Education (four seats) • Circuit court judges (various seats) • District court judges • District attorneys • Various county offices But there will also be 14 statewide constitutional amendments on the ballots this fall. In a primary election, if a voter does not want to participate in one of the party primaries, he or she may vote on the amendments only. But voters are not required to vote on constitutional amendments. For more information on voting in the general election, visit www.alabamavotes.gov, the state’s official election center, or call 800-274-8683. Alabama Living
Below are summaries of the constitutional amendments. Alabama Living does not take a position on any of the amendments; summaries are for informational purposes only. Amendment 1, higher education: This sets up a process to make sure that no more than three members of the Auburn University board of trustees will have terms that end in the same year. It also adds two more at-large members, increasing the board from 14 to 16 members, with five at-large members. Amendment 2, state parks: Under current law, some revenues generated at state parks may be spent by the Legislature for purposes other than maintaining the state parks. Additionally, with some exceptions, current law requires the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to operate and maintain all state park lands and facilities. This amendment would prevent the Legislature from spending revenues generated at state parks for purposes other than maintaining the state parks, unless these revenues exceed $50 million
Continued on Page 40 NOVEMBER 2016 11
New book chronicles Alabama’s past through vintage postcards By Emmett Burnett
Greeftrionm gs Alabama 12 NOVEMBER 2016
It’s probably been awhile since you’ve received a handwritten postcard, because openfaced letters can be paraphrased with a Vivian Lee-Clark Gable movie line: “Look for it only in storybooks, for it is gone with the pen.” Or maybe not. A newly released book, Greetings from Alabama: A Pictorial History in Vintage Postcards, captures memories, slices of life, and nostalgic times when text messaging required pencils. But the book’s 1800s to mid-20th century postcards convey more than “having a good time; wish you were here” sentiments. Wade Hall’s www.alabamaliving.coop
collection is a glimpse into our thinking, attitudes, and the way we were, in Alabama, before Facebook. Over 400 postcards are represented in the work, published this fall by NewSouth Books (224 pages; $24.95). Topics include big city attractions, small community events, World Wars and peacetime. It chronicles vacation destinations, industrial giants, military installations, and postcard categories far exceeding “See Rock City.” Notes of historical significance, like Montgomery’s State Capitol, Enterprise’s Boll Weevil, Selma’s Edmund Pettis Bridge, and Mobile’s Mardi Gras are featured. There are old churches, stately courthouses, majestic hotels, and forever on guard Confederate statues. Postcard photos depict topics still with us today and those that have been gone for decades. But it’s not just a list of quant pictures. “Physical attractiveness was not the top of our selection criteria,” notes the book’s co-editor, Dr. Nancy B. Dupree, about the labor of love she and co-editor Dr. Christopher Sawula researched. Both are curators with the University of Alabama Libraries and wrote the cards’ captions for the book. “We were more interested in what the cards depicted and what was interesting,” Dupree says, about the selection process. “We were not necessarily interested in just what was pretty.” Greetings from Alabama draws from the collection of the late Wade Hall, the book’s posthumous author. A Bullock County native, Hall was a philanthropist, writer, poet, interviewer, and postcard collector of thousands. “He traveled the state, visiting estate shows, garage sales, secondhand stores to buy entire lots - crates of postcards,” Dupree says. But at one point he had a setback. “Hall was traveling with a car full of postcards when he stopped at a gas station, went inside, but left his vehicle unlocked and motor running,” says the editor. When he returned the postcards were gone and so was the car, neither ever seen again. But even with the loss, Hall accumulated an estimated 10,000 cards, which he later donated to his college alma maters: Troy University (Troy State Teachers College) and the University of Alabama. Of the thousands, about 400 were selected for the book. “It’s like a treasure hunt,” Sawula says. “It shows what Alabama looked like in the early 20th centuAlabama Living
NOVEMBER 2016 13
ry, before and after modern industrialization, during World War II, and other times throughout our history.” Hall’s postcards include Dothan’s original post office, Birmingham’s coke mines, Mobile Bay workers unloading cargo barges, and an early forerunner of Bryant-Denny Stadium, proudly seating 20,000 people (today it holds 100,000). “They wanted us to know, this is how we cheered football back then,” Sawula says. “This is how we played, worked, lived.” And these are the themes featured in the book. There are architectural marvels: great dams, bridges, and old churches. “Modern” previous century roads are depicted, like those in Mobile and Montgomery, paved with state-of-art oyster shells. Fairhope and Daphne were promoted as beach destinations. Lake Guntersville touted itself as a boat racing capital. As seen in the cards, the Vulcan statue was a World’s Fair attraction before someone in Birmingham said, “let’s put him on a mountain.” “Part of the fascination of these cards is seeing what people were proud of back then,” Sawula says. The growth of Tuskegee, rise of Gadsden, and birth of Huntsville’s Rocket City was big news, back in the day. The selected postcards’ written messages are not included in the book, due to privacy issues. But researchers could not resist reading some. Many are insightful, some are funny. One older woman, visiting an Alabama city, wrote, “I have not seen anything that I would enjoy yet but hope I will soon.” Sawula laughs, “It may have been an interesting scene but that doesn’t mean the person enjoyed the experience.” As for the purveyor of postcards, Wade Hall, after spending most of his life in Kentucky, died in 2015. He is buried near Union Springs. “I met him once,” Dupree recalls. “He was a pleasant man. He probably wanted his collection published as a book.” And it is. Greetings from Alabama reminds us of the state we live in and a state of mind. Both changed in many ways over the years, yet in many ways, remains the same. The Vulcan, once the toast of the World’s Fair, is still an icon of Birmingham. Mardi Gras floats, once pulled by horses, currently parade by gas engines. The Edmund Pettus Bridge is a National civil rights landmark, and civil rights issues are still with us. World War II ended but new battles continue. And the more things change, the more they remain the same. It’s all in the cards. cards. Greetings from Alabama is available at bookstores or from NewSouth Books, 334-834-3556, www. newsouthbooks.com/greetingsfromalabama 14 NOVEMBER 2016
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Turkeys Bates turkeys remain a tradition at Thanksgiving and year-round By Carolyn Tomlin
fter flying countless bombing missions in Europe during World War II, Bill Bates returned home and declared, “I never plan to stand in another line or ask anyone for a job.” Instead, he had one purpose in mind: To produce the finest turkeys ever to grace a table. Many Alabamians are familiar with how the turkey farm business was started by Bill’s parents. In 1923, W.C. and Helen Hudson Bates, Bill’s mom and dad, received nine turkey eggs from his Aunt Mamie Bates as a wedding present. In 1935, with the Great Depression taking its toll on small farmers, this small gift became the source that saved the farm as the bank allowed the turkeys to be used as collateral. When Bill returned from the war, his parents needed help with the growing industry. He stayed, and the turkey business has grown significantly from those original eggs. Known as “Mr. Bill,” the legendary Alabamian from Fort Deposit died Aug. 23, 2013, at the age of 89. “Throughout his life, this Southern gentleman was known as one of the best poultry ambassadors for Alabama,” says Huck Carroll, communications director of the Alabama Poultry and Egg Association. Part of this legend started in 1949 when he presented Gov. James “Big Jim” Folsom a turkey named Clyde to pardon for the tradition16 NOVEMBER 2016
al Thanksgiving table. Each year this custom continues, and Clyde 67 will receive his pardon later this month. Today a member of the Bates family carries on this special presentation of the “biggest” and “best” bird.
Raising turkeys the old-fashioned way
The Bates family continues to raise flocks by the same methods they’ve used for years, producing about 100,000 turkeys each year. “Sometimes the more things change, the more they remain the same,” says Becky Bates Sloan, who now manages the business with brothers John and Pete. Although technology has changed the way they handle the growing industry, they rely on methods that have been successful for years. The Bates family believes in raising free-range birds. When the poults reach about 8 weeks, they’re moved to a shady pecan grove on the shores of a small lake. “We feed our turkeys only vegetable feed,” Sloan says. “We pay a little more for our feed, but we never use any feed with animal fats.” The family believes that the most succulent meat comes from raising the birds in a stress-free environment and feeding them a diet rich in nutrients and free of drugs. www.alabamaliving.coop
PHOTO BY MICHAEL CORNELISON
PHOTO BY MICHAEL CORNELISON
NOVEMBER 2016 17
Sloan knows that the turkey is an intelligent fowl. “For example, I tell our employees who care for the birds to never let them see you eat a pecan. Or else they would feast on the tasty morsels. Also, don’t talk when you are working among them. Otherwise, they will strut over, stand around, and hinder your work.”
Giving back to the community
Bates Turkey Farms is a vital partner in the community. Dedicated to cancer research, the Bates family is an active participant in the Butler County Relay for Life event. The company hires many young people, and several years ago the Bates family endowed a scholarship at a local community college for an employee of the Bates family enterprises. Safe Harbor for Children in Greenville also receives support and food. An annual event for the community involves a small cedar tree planted by Mr. Bill about 35 years ago. On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, people from the area gather for the “Lighting of the Tree,” which is now 50 feet tall, followed by steaming cups of hot chocolate. “We couldn’t run our farm without the support of Pioneer Electric Co-op and Quality Co-op in Greenville, where we purchase fertilizer, seed and other products,” Sloan says. “An electric fence protects our turkeys from predators. Our processing plant depends on electricity. And our freezers must have power. If we have a problem, they respond quickly.” Bates Turkey Farm and the Bates family are longtime members and close friends of Pioneer Electric. “We value them as a business on our system and enjoy our relationship with the Co-op Connections Card program, where they give a discount (every Tuesday) at the restaurant,” says Casey Rogers, communications specialist at Pioneer Electric. “Their restaurant is a prominent stop on the interstate that most travelers acknowledge as a favorite stop along their way.”
home-cooked meal, with no fried foods. Bates House of Turkey opened in 1970, with his wife Teresa in charge. The restaurant serves everything turkey — old-fashioned roast turkey dinners with all the trimmings, Southern-style hickory smoked turkey sandwiches, open-faced turkey sandwiches, turkey cold plates, turkey salad, turkey gumbo and more. “Bates Turkey restaurant is always a scheduled stop for my family when we travel south from our home in Birmingham,” says author and writer Denise George. “We look forward to a delicious, healthy dinner, kind and courteous service, and a friendly, comfortable dining room. Bates also serves up lots of smiles that make us feel like part of the Bates family. Knowing their incredible story makes the dining experience that much more enjoyable.” In addition to the restaurant, Mr. Bill envisioned a delivery service where customers could call in or order online. He designed a unique Low-Boy Ice Chest that could ship a roasted turkey via UPS. Five years ago, the company changed the chest to one with thicker walls and which meets stricter specifications for shipping their products. “One of the goals of our father, Bill, was to raise the healthiest turkeys possible for the consumer,” Becky says. “With five generations of Bates in the business, we plan to continue to produce the best turkeys on the market, while developing new recipes for turkey products.” Bill Bates shows some of the containers used to ship the farms’ products. He designed a unique Low-Boy Ice Chest that could ship a roasted turkey via UPS.
Turkey and more
Always an entrepreneur, Mr. Bill decided to expand the turkey business. Local people in Greenville needed a family-style restaurant. Tourists driving to the Gulf Coast on Highway 31 and Interstate 65 were searching for a unique food experience. And those traveling between Mobile and Birmingham were looking for a Turkeys at the Bates farms are raised as free-range birds, which the family believes produces a higher-quality product. PHOTO BY MICHAEL CORNELISON
Do you know these turkey facts? A four-ounce serving of roasted breast, skin removed, contains: 153 calories 34 grams of protein (higher than many other cooked meats) Riboflavin and niacin, important B vitamins 94 mg of cholesterol (lowest in cholesterol of popular meats) Nutrition needed for those watching their weight, diabetics and heart patients. Source: The Journal of the American Dietetic Association
For more information on Bates Turkey Farm, Inc. call (334) 227-4505. For the Bates House of Turkey Restaurant, located on Interstate 65 at Exit 130, call (334) 382-6123. Visit the farm online at batesturkey.com. 18 NOVEMBER 2016
NOVEMBER 2016 19
| Gardens |
Saving the season Keep holiday plants alive and thriving for years to come
he gorgeous blooms of fall mums and holiday plants such as amaryllis, Christmas cactus and poinsettias are a delight to see this time of year. The fate of those plants once they’ve bloomed their hearts out, however, can be troublesome. Though all these plants bring festive color, texture and sometimes fragrance to our homes and offices, all too often they are tossed in the trash or compost once their splendor is spent or the season is over. It seems such a waste, but that waste can be reduced, if not avoided, with a little nurturing. Since each plant species has different, specific needs, knowing how to nurture their individual needs is important. However, many times these plants don’t come with care instructions, so you may have to do some research on your own. If that’s the case, consult your local garden center or Alabama Cooperative Extension System expert or research the plants at your local library or online (though make sure to use credible garden resources; not everything we read on the internet is true!). What’s important is to care for them properly from the minute they come in the door, which ensures they are healthy and happy throughout the season and prepares them for a long and happy future. Using your research findings, provide them with the proper amount of light and water and make sure they are not exposed to extreme cold or heat. When they stop blooming or you’re through using them
Katie Jackson is a freelance writer and editor based in Opelika, Alabama. Contact her at katielamarjackson@ gmail.com.
20 NOVEMBER 2016
for seasonal decorations, it’s time to settle them in for those long winter nights. If you’re planning to keep them in their original containers for a while, remove any foil, paper or plastic holiday wrapping from around their pots and make sure the pots have holes in the base to allow water to drain away. If the plants seem rootbound or crowded in their current containers, transfer them into larger pots for overwintering. A number of plants, such as mums and the small rosemary shrubs often sold during the holidays as decorative potted plants, can become permanent additions to your outdoor landscape. Other plants that you want to repot for the coming year can be put into a sheltered spot in the landscape or placed in a cold frame for the winter, then repotted in the spring. Still others, such as poinsettias and Christmas cactus, can be kept in their existing pots, but need to be tucked away in a dark, temperate spot for a while to give them a rest period before they will re-bloom. Again, each plant species likely has specific needs, so make sure you do that research to ensure you are giving them the appropriate kind of nurturing. To get you started, here are some basic hints for two of the easiest plants to save this fall and winter.
November Tips Cover outside faucets to protect them from freezing. Drain hoses and store them in a frostfree location. Plant beets, carrots, radishes, garlic, asparagus and strawberries. Plant cold-hardy annual flowers such as pansies. Plant woody shrubs, vines, trees and roses. Seal containers of unused pesticides and store them freeze-protected locations. Turn the compost pile. Mulch newly planted trees and shrubs and tender perennials. Clean mowers and other gardening tools before storing them for the winter. Start collecting seed and plant catalogs.
While they are blooming, keep the soil around your mums moist but not soggy, and give them lots of sunlight. You can also pinch off spent flowers to prolong bloom. Once it finishes blooming, store a potted mum in a protected area, such as a garage, basement or storage shed, or plant it in a sunny spot in the landscape and give it a blanket of loose mulch. Keep the mum lightly watered and leave dead foliage on the plants until it begins to put out new green growth, then trim off dead plant material and watch it come back to life.
Keep flowering amaryllis in a cool area of the house and water just enough to keep the soil moist, but not soggy. Cut off flower stalks as each bloom fades but leave the foliage. New flowers may emerge throughout the winter so don’t give up on them right away. When they stop blooming entirely, you can leave them in their pots as houseplants throughout the year or plant them directly into the landscape. At this point they need lots of sunlight to encourage foliage growth. If you want an amaryllis to re-bloom for the holidays, stop watering the bulb in mid-August and place it in a closet or other cool, dry place. Eight to 10 weeks before you want it to bloom, bring the amaryllis out of storage, place it in a sunny spot and begin to water it regularly. New flower stalks should begin to emerge just in time for a holiday show. www.alabamaliving.coop
NOVEMBER 2016 21
| Worth the drive |
catfish and bbq at the crossroads of three counties
Fried catfish is one of the menu’s bestsellers.
Story and photos by Jennifer Crossley Howard \ You don’t even have to squint your eyes to see that Greenbrier Restaurant would look as at home in the 1950s as it does in 2016. Across the street, a cotton gin once operated, and the restaurant is still housed in its original squat cinder-block building. A spray painted mural wraps around its outside walls depicting the flat, green farmland that surrounds it. At first glance, it looks like high-class camouflage. Greenbrier Restaurant sits at the ru22 NOVEMBER 2016
ral crossroads of Morgan, Limestone and Madison counties, resistant to the pressures of chains and change since 1952. This place is all about the food. Greenbrier has thrived by serving simple dishes, and most ingredients are from Alabama, says owner Jerry Evans. “If it works and it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” he says. Regular customers drive from as far as southern Tennessee to dine on catfish and barbecue plates and hushpuppies.
Greenbrier’s location on the edge of Madison County attracts local farmers, as well as players in Huntsville’s digital and aerospace industries. Silos and industrial parks pave the way to Greenbrier, which stands 30 feet from Rocket City limits. “We have blue collar, white collar, you name it,” Evans says. “We have a lot of people who eat with us basically every day.” The nearest competition is a postage-stamp sized Subway just off the I-565 Greenbrier exit. www.alabamaliving.coop
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The Greenbrier has expanded over the years to now include four dining rooms.
Greenbrier is known for its unique hushpuppies, served here with a plate of barbecue and coleslaw.
Evans’ restaurant was once the grandparent of seven other area restaurants, which have all since closed. The average Greenbrier Restaurant employee is loyal. Evans figures that they spend an average of 22 years working there. Artist Chandler Hayes of Decatur spray-painted Greenbrier’s distinct mural. “I got accused of not doing anything different, and the guy who did that approached me, and he liked the way the light shined down the side of the building,” Evans says. Hayes’ work also covers the businesses of Julia’s Pools and Wheeler Lake Storage in Decatur.
Greenbrier Restaurant 27028 Old Highway 20, Madison, AL 35756 256-351-1800 Hours: 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m., seven days a week www.oldgreenbrier.com
24 NOVEMBER 2016
Perhaps the lone way Greenbrier has kept with the times is expanding to four dining rooms, altogether capable of seating 320. Each has a distinct feel and none betray the humble decor of corrugated tin, deer heads, wood booths and flatscreen TVs that adorn the main dining room. “Most people like to be comfortable when they go and eat,” Evans says. “You don’t have to have a coat and tie to eat in here, but lots of people do.” That Greenbrier Restaurant sits in the middle of an extension of Alabama history perhaps explains its solid endurance. The descendants of Judge James Horton, who presided over a retrial of the Scottsboro Boys case in Decatur in the 1930s, own most of the land surrounding the restaurant, according to Evans. Horton set aside
The ribs plate, along with barbecue, catfish and shrimp, are among the most requested dishes at Greenbrier Restaurant.
the jury’s guilty verdict and demanded a retrial. That made him none too popular in his town of Athens, so he moved his antebellum house to Greenbrier. It sits on the other side of a field next to the restaurant. Jack Webb started Greenbrier as a oneroom takeout joint that once attracted customers with singers atop the roof. Evans’ family acquired it in 1987 after running Catfish Inn, just outside of Athens. For all its history, change is coming to the community of Greenbrier. Old Highway 20, which runs in front of the restaurant, will soon be expanded to five lanes that lead to a planned Tennessee Valley Authority Megasite. “It’s just a matter of time before all this land is bought up,” Evans says. “This land is so fertile you could grow babies in it.”
A spray-painted mural depicts the farmland surrounding the restaurant.
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Highly advanced physics and engineering were needed to build the first nuclear plants in the 1950s. In this photograph, Senator John F. Kennedy listens to Dr. Alvin Weinberg, director of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in Tennessee, February 1959. SOURCE: DOE
the overlooked energy source Will the controversial source of electricity grow, shrink or stay about the same? By Paul Wesslund
s energy headlines scream about a war on coal, fracking that’s pumping up a lot of low-priced natural gas and the rise of wind and solar power, one form of electric generation quietly continues to keep the lights on. About one in every five electrons running through the wires in your home comes from a nuclear power plant. Even if you already knew that, you probably haven’t given it much thought lately. There are good reasons for that lack of attention: Nuclear power has been reliable and affordable. Nuclear became one of our main fuels for electricity by overcoming huge obstacles to a pretty simple idea—heating water into steam that turns a turbine that generates electricity, similar to the way a coal-burning power plant works. The difference is that in a nuclear power plant, the fuel is uranium, and it doesn’t burn. Instead, the heat is generated by splitting the uranium atoms, releasing large amounts of energy from very small amounts of fuel.
emergency responders and academic researchers. The regulation and cooperative agreements are called for because of the highstakes concerns with nuclear power. In addition to the health and safety concerns, cybersecurity and safeguards against possible terrorism are regularly reviewed. Do all these protective efforts work? The fact that nuclear power provides one-fifth of the electricity in the U.S. offers evidence of its acceptance. Electric co-ops as a national group see nuclear power as a valuable part of the mix of fuels that make our electricity. An official membership resolution of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) calls for “legislative and regulatory initiatives to support the continuation and expansion of nuclear power.” Dale Bradshaw describes why electric co-ops see nuclear power as a good way to generate electricity. Bradshaw is CEO of Electrivation LLC, a firm that consults on power generation and delivery with groups that include NRECA. “Nuclear power is safe and emits no carbon dioxide,” he says, noting the industry’s safety and security systems and the lack of greenhouse gas. Bradshaw also sees advantages of nuclear power over the increasingly popular renewable energies of wind and solar, since solar doesn’t produce energy at night and wind doesn’t work in calm weather. “We need nuclear for reliability; it runs around the clock,” he says, adding, “existing nuclear reactors are basically cost competitive—it’s a low-cost resource.”
A bright future for nuclear power
So if nuclear power is so great, why isn’t it used for more than 20 percent of our electricity? The need for fuel diversity is one reason, but Bradshaw says growth in nuclear power use is being restricted by a unique combination of forces. The drilling boom of the past several years has dramatically lowered natural gas prices, and various government subsidies have reduced the costs of wind and solar. Electricity markets base energy prices on the lowest cost producers and because of the recent low cost of natural gas and continued subsidies for renewables, prices are too low to support the building of new nuclear units. When utilities make their buying decisions, nuclear power often is not the preferred choice these days. But Bradshaw sees a potentially bright future for nuclear power, referring to today’s market forces as “a short-term problem.” He notes that natural gas prices have started rising, and that the tax breaks keeping wind and solar costs low will expire in a few years. He adds that researchers are Electric co-ops support nuclear power developing nuclear plant designs that will But the details are hugely complicated. be even safer, lower in cost and will extend Highly advanced physics and engineering the life of existing nuclear fuel. were needed to build the first nuclear plants “There are advanced reactor technoloin the 1950s. And the dangers of radioacgies in the early stages of development that tivity called for extreme safety measures. might allow us in the next 20 years to build Regulating the technically complex industhese technologies for 25 percent of the try falls to the Nuclear Regulatory Comcost of existing nuclear plants,” says Bradmission (NRC), an independent agency shaw. “Advanced nuclear will more effiof the federal government, and its nearly ciently use the fuel and become essentially 4,000 employees and $1 billion budget. sustainable with thousands of years of fuel In the U.S., 60 nuclear power plants supply, and be more price competitive in operate 100 nuclear reactors (some plant the market.” sites have more than one reactor) in Paul Wesslund writes on cooperative The most recent nuclear power plant is the Tennessee 30 states. In addition to regulation by Valley Authority’s Watts Bar Unit 2 near Spring City in eastern issues for the National Rural Electric the NRC, those plants operate under Tennessee. It was connected to the power grid in June 2016. In Cooperative Association, the Arlington, a variety of agreements with groups as the U.S., 100 nuclear reactors at 60 sites in 30 states produce Va.-based service arm of the nation’s varied as the Department of Homeland about 20 percent of the nation’s electricity. SOURCE: TVA 900-plus consumer-owned, not-forSecurity, state and local governments, profit electric cooperatives.
26 NOVEMBER 2016
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Miscellaneous FINANCIAL HELP LINES FOR AL FAMILIES BANKRUPTCY ADVICE FOR FREE (877)933-1139; MORTGAGE RELIEF HELP LINE (888) 216-4173 STUDENT LOAN RELIEF LINE (888)694-8235 DEBT RELIEF NON-PROFIT LINE (888) 779-4272 Numbers provided by www.careconnectusa.org A Public Benefit Organization METAL ROOFING $1.59/LINFT – FACTORY DIRECT! 1st quality, 40yr Warranty, Energy Star rated. (price subject to change) - (706) 226-2739 WALL BEDS OF ALABAMA / SOLID WOOD & LOG FURNITURE / HANDCRAFTED AMISH CASKETS $1,599 / ALABAMA MATTRESS OUTLET – SHOWROOM Collinsville, AL – Custom Built / Factory Direct - (256)490-4025, www. wallbedsofalabama.com, www. alabamamattressoutlet.com 2002 ACURA 3.5RL – WILL NEGOTIATE – Beige with sunroof, Good Condition – (334)207-6181 KEPLINGER ALUMINUM BURIAL VAULT CO. in Gardendale, Alabama sells water tested burial vaults to the public saving up to $3000 or more per vault verses funeral home prices. Our vaults protect the contents against water and last indefinitely. Cardboard wrapped, standing up requires 6 1/2 sq. ft. to store and take to cemetery when needed. Alabama made with American materials. $1400 cash, includes local sales tax. Call 205-285-9732 or 205-540-0781 or visit www. keplingeraluminumburialvaults.com Got that one-of-a-kind collectible that you know someone would love to own? Try posting it in Alabama’s largest lifestyle magazine!
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November | Around Alabama
Fort Rucker, Community Spouses’ Club Annual Hollyday Bazaar, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Yano Hall, $5. Features more than 90 vendors selling holiday gifts and decorations, jewelry, crafts, homemade goods and food vendors. Proceeds benefit the FRCSC’s scholarship and community grant programs. Fortruckercsc.com
12 Photo courtesy of Bellingrath Gardens.
McCord’s Crossroads, Many years of hard work and dedication will culminate as the Hopewell Community in Cherokee County dedicates the new Hopewell Community Center at McCord’s Crossroads. The McCord’s Crossroads Homemakers Club spearheaded a drive to rescue the community landmark. The celebration will include a community-wide homecoming service, building dedication and “dinner on the ground,” beginning at 10 a.m. 7290 County Road 16, 256-927-2296
Bellingrath’s 53rd Annual Outdoor Cascading Chrysanthemums will be Nov. 5-19 in Theodore.
Nauvoo, Come to the Alabama Folk School to make handmade holiday gifts for your family and friends. Gift options include butcher block cutting boards, chair caning, glass mosaics, natural soaps and more. Students will register for one class that includes six sessions in that subject matter. Two mini-class sessions will be held, so students can have an opportunity to sample one or more disciplines. email@example.com
Mobile, Alabama Pecan Festival, Tillman’s Corner Community Center. Family-oriented festival features carnival rides, food, face painting, and arts and crafts. Free events include classic country and western show, gospel show and more. Friday 5 - 9 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. 251-401-5555
Pike Road, 50th annual Pike Road Arts & Crafts Fair, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. More than 200 vendors display their wares on the grounds of the historic Marks house. Food vendors and a Sweet Shop. $5. 890 Old Carter Hill Road.
Clanton, 6th Annual Chilton County Arts Festival is a two-day indoor event and live entertainment with artists selling fine hand crafted art. Free. Contact Mack Gothard, 205-245-9441. Clanton Performing Arts Center, 1850 Lay Dam Road. firstname.lastname@example.org
Theodore, Bellingrath Garden’s 53rd
Annual Outdoor Cascading Chrysanthemums. Hundreds of colorful, four-foot long cascades of chrysanthemums are displayed through the Gardens. Guests can enjoy the columns of mums in the flower beds. For peak bloom times, visit Mum Watch at bellingrath.org in early November.
Gardendale, Annual Christmas Craft Show featuring more than 60 booths of arts and crafts. Free. Gardendale Civic Center. Friday 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-4 p.m. northartscouncil.webs.com
Veterans Day Events Around Alabama Nov. 11 holds a special significance for many people, especially our veterans. Join them in these celebrations honoring them for their patriotism, willingness to serve and the sacrifices they have made.
Bay Minette, Breakfast and Parade. Breakfast will begin at 8 a.m. at the Bay Minette Civic Center. Parade begins at 10:15 a.m. at Bay Minette Intermediate School. For full schedule, visit northbaldwinchamber.com Birmingham, Parade, Downtown Birmingham, 1:30 p.m. nationalveteransday.org Mobile, 6 a.m.-8 p.m., various locations, ussalabama.com Montgomery, River Region Veterans Day Parade down Dexter Avenue, followed by a concert by the Capitol Sounds Band inside City Hall. Parade begins at 11 a.m., Concert at 12 p.m. legional.org
Orrville, West Dallas Tractor, Car and Gas Engine Show. Features vintage tractors, antique and classic cars, pottery, quilts, a blacksmith and more. Orrvilletractorshow.com
Elba, Atlanta Pops Orchestra “There’s Christmas in the Air,” Elba High School. 7 p.m. The Atlanta Pops Orchestra is the premier orchestra for the state of Georgia. The Enterprise State Community College Concert Choir and Entertainers and the Elba High School Show Choir will join the Pops Orchestra for several holiday selections. For ticket prices and information, contact the Coffee County Arts Alliance, 334-406-2787, coffeecountyartsalliance.com
Cu l l m a n , Vinemont Band Boosters Arts & Crafts Show. Handmade, specialty, and boutique items. 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Cullman Civic Center, 510 5th St. SW. email@example.com
Prattville, Wreath Laying Ceremony, Autauga County Courthouse, 11 a.m. prattvilleal.gov
To place an event, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. or visit www.alabamaliving.coop. You can also mail to Events Calendar, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124; 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.
The dedication of the Hopewell Community Center is Nov. 12 in McCord’s Crossroads.
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NOVEMBER 2016 29
| Consumer Wise |
Do you have an energy hog in your home? By Patrick Keegan and Amy Wheeless
An energy auditor or your electric co-op can help you understand your energy bill and identify large sources of electricity use. PHOTO CREDIT: PIEDMONT ELECTRIC MEMBERSHIP COOPERATIVE (NC)
I’m trying to make my home as energy efficient as possible. I recently installed a new heat pump and efficient water heater, and increased the amount of insulation in my home. I also enlisted the help of a home energy auditor, and he didn’t find much in the way of air leakage. However, my energy bills still seems higher than they should be. Can you point out other areas of the home that I might be overlooking?
heater could be a more cost-effective option. Remember to put a cover on the pool when it is not in use to keep your heater from working as hard. • If you have a hot tub or spa that you occasionally use, consider turning it off when it is not in use. If you use your spa frequently, use a cover with a high insulation value to keep the water warm and your electric bill low.
It sounds like you have made some solid investments with your focus on space and water heating, which are usually the major uses of energy in the home. Your energy auditor may be able to provide information about how your home’s energy use compares to similar homes in the area—and if it is substantially higher, what could be causing the problem. Your electric co-op could also be a valuable source of information. Many co-ops have installed smart meters at their members’ homes, which can show detailed hourly energy use. This information can sometimes help pinpoint a large energy user. For example, you may be using more electricity on weekends, which would be an important clue to discovering what is driving up your energy costs. Armed with whatever clues you can glean from your energy auditor or your co-op, you are better able to search for an energy hog in your home. Are there uses of energy outside your typical living space that are “out of sight, out of mind?” Below are some possible unconventional energy uses that could be adding to your energy bill:
Swimming pools and spas
A swimming pool and spa are nice amenities to have in your home, but they can significantly contribute to your energy bill. • Your pool pump keeps the water circulating through its filtering system and could be the most energy intensive part of your pool. Older pool pumps run continuously on a single, high speed setting, but this circulation is more than the typical residential pool needs. An ENERGY STAR-certified pool pump can be programmed to run at different speeds depending on your pool’s needs—and can pay for itself in as little as two years. • If you heat your pool, try using an efficient heater. Pool heaters that run on natural gas or propane are the most common, but an electric heat pump water heater or a solar water
Patrick Keegan writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Arlington, Va.-based service arm of the nation’s 900-plus consumer-owned, not-forprofit electric cooperatives. Write to energytips@ collaborativeefficiency.com for more information.
30 NOVEMBER 2016
Water pumps often run on electricity and can be found in many areas of your property. Irrigation: If you have a larger property, you may have an irrigation system. Leaks in your irrigation system can greatly increase your pump’s electricity use. Wells: If your home uses well water, you have a well pump that helps bring the water from the well to your home. A malfunctioning well pump may run continuously to try and maintain proper water pressure—this can cause a significant increase in your electricity bill. Garden fountains: Fountains make a charming addition to your garden, but the pumps that run them use about as much energy as a small lamp. If you have multiple fountains in your garden, look into installing a timer so that the fountains only run part of the day.
You may have some energy hogs in your garage, outbuilding or basement. For example: Do you have a second working, but inefficient, refrigerator or freezer plugged in? Is it in use, or can you consolidate its contents into your kitchen? Do you have a recreational space in an uninsulated part of your home, like the garage or basement? Using space heaters or portable air conditioners in uninsulated spaces can definitely lead to higher bills. Do you have a block heater to help warm your vehicle on cold mornings? Plugging in your heater overnight will use far more electricity than needed—use a timer to start the block heater just a few hours before you need your vehicle.
If you run a business out of your home, there could be a large energy user contributing to your electric bill. For example, regularly using welding equipment, ceramic kilns or power carpentry tools can contribute significantly to your electric bill, as can equipment that supports home farming operations. Look for energy hogs around your home, and try to limit their use if possible. Find more ways to be energy efficient by contacting your local electric co-op. www.alabamaliving.coop
Alabama’s rural electric cooperatives send help to Fla., S.C. When Hurricane Matthew was bearing down on the Atlantic coast, Alabama’s rural electric cooperatives mobilized what is likely the largest number of crews in recent history to stage in areas of Florida that were bracing for the worst. The Alabama Rural Electric Association (AREA), a member-owned federation of the state’s 22 electric distribution cooperatives, estimates that 170 people total – service and construction crews – were sent at one time. Thirty-one crews from 17 co-ops were en route on Oct. 6 to two co-ops in Florida that anticipated serious damage from the hurricane, which was expected to make landfall as a category 4 storm. Co-ops in eastern and central Florida suffered much of their damage from high winds and storm surge Oct. 6-7. Although it was downgraded to category 2 strength by the time it made landfall along South Carolina’s coast early on Oct. 8, that state was hit hard. Matthew knocked out electricity to more than 600,000 electric cooperative meters in four states. Alabama’s crews went to Florida in advance of the storm, so they could be ready to go directly into the affected areas once the storm passed. After finishing helping the Florida co-ops restore power to their members, some crews traveled on to South Carolina co-op areas to help there, while other Alabama co-ops sent fresh crews to South Carolina. AREA coordinates with other states to send linemen and other operational personnel to restore power. In true cooperative spirit, most of Alabama’s co-ops are ready and willing to send help to sister co-ops when asked. Coordinating that response so that the right types and numbers of crews are assigned is one of AREA’s most important services. AREA also sends safety personnel to hard-hit areas.
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NOVEMBER 2016 31
| Outdoors |
Attention deer hunters: State laws have changed
everal new laws affect deer hunters taking to the fields and forests of Alabama this fall and winter. For the past three years, sportsmen in southern Alabama could hunt deer through Feb. 10 each year after a 10-day season closure in December. For the 201617 season, however, the state extended deer season into February statewide and reopened the December days. The state also changed archery season from Oct. 25 to Oct. 15. Archery season remains open through Feb. 10, 2017. A muzzleloader season runs from Nov. 14 to Nov. 18. In most of the state, the modern firearms season begins on Nov. 19 and continues through Feb. 10, 2017, but season dates may vary by hunting zone. In addition, young Alabama sportsmen can get a jump on the adults. The state holds a special youth deer season on Nov. 12-13 before the regular season starts. Anyone 15 years old or younger can participate in the youth hunts as long as they are accompanied by licensed hunters at least 21 years old. Adults may not fire at deer during youth hunts. In addition, the state established new standards for permitting the use of dogs to hunt deer and placed Baldwin and Marengo counties on the permit system. Since the 1980s, clubs that run dogs for deer in certain counties must apply for special permits. Dog clubs need at least 500 contiguous acres and must provide maps of the hunting area to the state. Dog owners must also mark all their dogs so people will know who owns them. Owners of dogs that cross property lines could face fines. “We are not trying to eliminate dog hunting in Alabama,” explained Chuck Sykes, director of the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division. “I grew up hunting with dogs. The problem John N. Felsher is a freelance writer and photographer who writes from Semmes, Ala. Contact him through his website at www. JohnNFelsher.com
32 NOVEMBER 2016
is not dog hunting, but dogs encroaching on neighboring private properties. We are working very closely with the leadership of the Alabama Dog Hunters Association to find amicable solutions to issues. We’re trying to protect the rights of dog hunters to do what they enjoy doing and we’re trying to protect the rights of property owners.”
Game Check now mandatory
In probably the biggest change, the state made Game Check mandatory. For the past three seasons, hunters could voluntarily report their deer and turkey kills. Few did. However, all hunters must now report their deer and turkey harvest data. “The mandatory Game Check program should prove to be one the most progressive management tools implemented by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources in decades,” Sykes says. “For the first time in history, all hunters in Alabama will be a part of the data collection process. Near real-time harvest data will be gathered on deer and turkey throughout the state. This data will be ac-
cessible to all hunters as well as our biologists. We are confident that over the next few years, trends observed in the harvest data will allow us to better set seasons and bag limits for Alabama hunters.” Under the old system, each hunter could kill three bucks and five turkeys per season. The state required anyone who bagged a deer or turkey to record that kill on a harvest record form that comes with any hunting license, but that’s all. The paper harvest record did not provide state biologists with any information that they could use to manage the resources. “A voluntary Game Check reporting system has been in use for the past three seasons with dismal participation,” Sykes says. “Game Check is not a novel idea created by the department. Many states throughout the country have similar systems. In fact, some states still require hunters to physically carry harvested game to a centralized check station where a biologist gathers valuable biological information.” Now, hunters must report all their deer or turkey kills to the state within 48 hours. Sportsmen can do this with three methods: They can download the free Game Check app to a smartphone and report kills; or they can call 800-888-7690; or they can report online at www.outdooralabama.com/gamecheck. “The primary reason for implementing the Game Check system is to collect harvest information on deer and turkeys in order to better manage those resources of our state for the sustainable benefit of all Alabamians,” Sykes says. “The data derived from Game Check will be available to anyone through the Outdoor Alabama website. Hunters will be able to access this information in almost real time to see the deer or turkey harvest in each county throughout the state.” Some public areas may set different season dates or other regulations so check before hunting anywhere. For specific hunting zone boundaries, special regulations and other information on deer hunting in the Cotton State, see www.outdooralabama.com. www.alabamaliving.coop
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
NOV. 15 07:16 16 08:16 17 09:16 18 10:16 19 11:31 20 - 21 - 22 01:01 23 02:46 24 03:46 25 09:31 26 10:16 27 10:46 28 11:31 29 - 30 07:31 DEC. 108:16 2 08:46 3 09:31 4 10:16 5 11:16 6 -7 -8 01:31 9 08:16 10 09:16 11 10:16 12 11:01 13 11:46 14 07:16 15 08:01 16 09:01 17 09:46 18 10:31 19 11:16 20 - 21 12:16 22 02:31 23 08:01 24 09:01 25 10:01 26 10:31 27 11:16 28 11:46 29 07:16 30 07:46 31 08:16 Alabama Living
12:16 01:01 01:46 02:31 03:31 04:31 05:46 07:01 08:01 08:46 04:31 05:16 05:46 06:31 07:01 12:16 12:46 01:16 01:46 02:31 03:16 04:16 05:31 07:01 03:01 04:01 05:01 05:46 06:31 12:16 12:46 01:31 02:16 03:01 03:46 04:31 05:31 06:46 04:01 04:46 05:16 05:46 06:16 06:46 12:01 12:31 01:01
12:46 01:16 02:16 03:16 05:01 10:31 08:31 09:01 02:31 03:01 03:16 03:46 04:16 04:31 12:01 12:31 01:16 02:01 02:46 04:01 05:31 06:46 07:46 01:31 02:16 03:01 03:46 04:16 -12:31 01:16 02:01 03:01 04:16 10:01 07:31 12:46 01:16 02:01 02:31 03:01 03:31 04:16 -12:31 01:01 01:46
06:01 06:31 07:01 07:46 08:46 12:31 01:31 02:01 09:31 10:01 10:31 10:46 11:16 11:46 05:01 05:31 05:46 06:31 07:01 07:46 09:16 12:01 12:46 08:31 09:16 10:01 10:46 11:31 05:01 05:46 06:16 07:01 07:46 08:31 06:01 12:01 08:16 09:01 09:31 10:01 10:31 11:01 11:31 04:46 05:16 05:46 06:31 NOVEMBER 2016 33
| Alabama Recipes |
Biscuits Beyond the basics
nlike your average roll, biscuits are far more than just some side bread; it may be humble, but the biscuit is an undeniable staple of Southern cuisine. Sure, they’re functional, useful for sopping up grits, gravies or for pushing that unruly little pile of purple-hull peas up on your fork. But biscuits can also stand on their own. Some Southern restaurants can credit their biscuits almost entirely for their success. Think back on some of the truly delicious meals you’ve had, and if biscuits were there, they may have stolen the show and surely played a strong supporting role at the very least. All of this evidence pointing to the prominence of biscuits in our culinary culture helps answer the question, “Why make biscuits?”. The reply for “How should I make biscuits?” is a bit more subjective. Some will swear that the quintessential biscuit of our region must be made with shortening and buttermilk. Plenty of authentic Southerners opt for
34 NOVEMBER 2016
By Jennifer Kornegay
butter and whole milk instead, proving there is more than one way to bake a “real” biscuit. They come in many sizes, ranging from “catheads” the size of a baseball, to diminutive half-dollars you can eat in one bite. They even come in shapes other than round. True biscuit lovers usually aren’t picky on these points; I’ll happily take a warm biscuit of any size or shape, any day. Once you’ve found your favorite version of the “basic” biscuit, consider your options for add-ons. Biscuits certainly don’t require any embellishment (more than a pat or two of butter), but that hasn’t stopped folks from developing new recipes that call for fruit, cheese or even fresh herbs. I’m not suggesting you stop making the biscuits you and your family already know and love. But it never hurts to try something new too, so check out the twists on tradition that came in with this month’s reader-submitted recipes.
NOVEMBER 2016 35
Cinnamon Biscuits 2 1 3 2 ½
cups Bisquick cup sour cream tablespoons brown sugar teaspoons cinnamon cup chopped golden raisins
Glaze: 2⁄3 cup powdered sugar 1 tablespoon water ¼ teaspoon vanilla Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Stir dry ingredients and raisins together. Add sour cream and mix well. Dump dough out onto a floured surface, and using wellfloured hands, pat dough down until it is about ¾ to 1 inch thick. Cut into shapes with a biscuit cutter. Place biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet. Cook for 10-15 minutes until tops turn light brown. Spoon glaze over hot biscuits. Makes around 14 medium sized biscuits.
Cook of the Month Aileen Russell, Joe Wheeler EMC
boys liked them that much, maybe others would too. And they do. “The Scouts always ask for them, and others love them as well. It has become a go-to recipe for me,” she said.
Glaze: Mix all ingredients together. If too thick to spoon easily, add a couple drop of water.
Aileen Russell took a biscuit recipe from her grandmother and spiced it up a bit, adding aromatic cinnamon as the star ingredient to create her Cinnamon Biscuits. She first made them for some hungry Boy Scouts. "My husband is a Scout leader, and we always have Scouts at our house. I made these to feed them one day, and they gobbled them up in a matter of seconds,” she said. She figured if teenage
Sour Cream Biscuits
2 sticks real butter, softened 1 cup sour cream 2 cups self-rising flour Dash (less than 1⁄8 teaspoon) garlic powder OR a sprinkling (approxi mately 1 teaspoon) of fresh herbs such as thyme or rosemary
5 cups all purpose flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 6 tablespoons sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 cup Crisco shortening 1½ packages yeast 1⁄3 cup warm water 2 cups buttermilk (can use 2 cups regular milk plus 2 tablespoons of vinegar) Cooking oil
1½ cups self-rising flour ½ pint whipping cream (not whipped) ¼ teaspoon baking powder
In a bowl, combine softened butter with sour cream. Add the flour and mix all ingredients. Drop a rounded tablespoonful into greased miniature muffin pans. Bake at 400 degrees until golden brown. Yields 24. Note: If you do not wish to serve immediately, cook until almost brown. Remove from pan and store at room temperature. Just before serving, place on a cookie sheet and warm in oven. To freeze, cook until almost brown. Cool then freeze. Fran Turner Baldwin EMC
36 NOVEMBER 2016
She sent it in for our food pages so she could share the simple way to satisfy any kind and any size crowd. “I thought others may like to add this to their recipe repertoire because they are so good, and it is so easy to adapt. You can make more or less depending on how many people you are serving,” she said.
Mix all ingredients quickly. Knead slightly. Cut and bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. LaCretia W. Bevel North Alabama EC
Sift together dry ingredients. Cut in the shortening. Dissolve yeast in the warm water. Add this and buttermilk to dry ingredients. Grease the batter with 2 tablespoons oil. Cover and store in refrigerator until ready to use. May be kept indefinitely. When ready to bake, spoon out as many as you need on a greased pan, and let rise 1 hour. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
Mix all ingredients together. Melt ¼ cup butter and pour onto baking sheet. Lay biscuits on pan. Cook at 350 degrees until golden brown. Makes 10-12 biscuits
Myrtle Waters Southern Pine EC
Christa Atchley North Alabama EC
4 cups Bisquick 1 cup 7-Up soda 1 cup sour cream Butter
Cream Cheese and Chive Biscuits 3 2 1½ 1 ½ 1
cups unbleached all purpose flour teaspoons cream of tartar teaspoons baking soda teaspoon salt cup chopped green chives 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened 1¼ cups buttermilk Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, and chives until well combined. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the cream cheese into the dry ingredients until it forms peasize pieces. Add the buttermilk and stir just until combined. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead lightly 4 or 5 times. Roll or pat to ½-inch thickness. Cut into 12 rounds with a 3-inch cutter or make 30 small biscuits with a 1½-inch cutter. Press straight down without twisting or they will not rise properly. Put the biscuits, barely touching each other, in an ungreased 12-inch round pan. Bake either size for 13 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve at once. Pamela Pack Coosa Valley EC
Quick Cheese Biscuits
Quick Cheese Biscuits
1 cup self-rising flour ½ cup buttermilk ¼ cup mayonnaise
5 1 3 2 2 ½ 1 1 ½
Mix ingredients together and drop into well greased muffin tin. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until lightly brown. Makes 6-8 rolls. Serve warm with preserves or honey. (Can be made as drop biscuits using a greased cookie sheet.) Jenifer Zamora Central Alabama EC
Wheel Biscuits 2 cups self-rising flour, sifted 1⁄3 cup Crisco oil 1 cup buttermilk
Spray pan with nonstick spray. Mix ingredients to soft dough. Beat 30 seconds. If too sticky, add more Bisquick (up to ¼ cup). Drop onto baking pan. Bake 10-12 minutes at 450 degrees.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a small cast iron skillet with cooking spray. Add buttermilk and oil to flour. Mix until well blended with a fork until you get it to the desired thickness. Pour into prepared skillet. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until desired brownness, and until done. Place cooked wheel on a serving dish. Cut into serving sizes. Enjoy! Serve with syrup, jelly, preserves or just by itself.
Lisa Mask Tallapoosa River EC
Rebecca McCarter Pioneer EC
1½ cups Bisquick 2⁄3 cup buttermilk ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese
Please send us your original recipes, developed by you or family members, and not ones copied from a book or magazine. You may adapt a recipe from another source by changing as little as the amount of one ingredient. Cook of the Month winners will receive $50, and may win “Cook of the Month” only once per calendar year.
Online: alabamaliving.coop Email: email@example.com Mail: Recipes, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124 Please include a phone number with submissions!
cups plain flour teaspoon salt teaspoons baking powder packages yeast cups buttermilk cup sugar teaspoon baking soda cup shortening cup warm water
Sift dry ingredients and cut in shortening. Dissolve yeast in warm water and add to milk. Add milk and dry ingredients and mix well. Turn onto floured surface and knead several times. Roll and cut to desired thickness. Freeze. Defrost 30 minutes before baking. Bake at 400 degrees until brown. Yields about 35 biscuits. Julia Barnard Union Grove, Ala.
Recipe Themes and Deadlines: Jan. Comfort Food Feb. Cooking for Two Mar. Lemons
Nov. Dec. Jan.
8 8 8
Alabama Living reserves the right to reprint recipes in our other publications.
NOVEMBER 2016 37
Just in time for the holidays! A new Alabama Living cookbook Alabama Living will publish its first cookbook in eight years this month. The Best of Alabama Living features more than 250 recipes, including the “Cook of the Month” winners from past issues of the magazine from 2009 through 2015. Also included are the winners of the “Best Alabama Cake” contest and the “Crockin’ It with Alabama Living” contests from the Alabama National Fair, both sponsored by Alabama Living. The cookbook was organized and designed by the staff of the magazine’s statewide edition. Staff members prepared many of the recipes, including shopping for the ingredients, cooking the dishes, and then styling the food to be photographed. Not all photos were used, however, as photographer Michael Cornelison explains. “Sometimes a recipe can be great tasting, but won’t look very appetizing in a photo.” Several recipes were made and photographed at the kitchen of Bon
Appetite Catering in Millbrook, graciously provided by owner Brenda Fryer. Two of the winning cooks prepared recipes for the book: Gretchen Loftin of Prattville baked not one, but two, of her delicious Olivia Belle’s Southern Pecan Cheesecakes, and Sandra K. Paul of Millbrook made her delectable Caramel Carrot Cake. A new addition this year is a special forward by Alabama’s own Patricia Barnes, better known as Sister Schubert, founder of the well-known line of homemade rolls and biscuits. The book also features short articles on several regular contributors to our recipe pages from around the state. Copies are $19.95 and are available at alabamaliving.coop, or you can send a check for $19.95 for each book ordered to: Alabama Living Cookbook, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124. Order no later than Dec. 12 to ensure delivery by Christmas.
Alabama Living staffer Brooke Echols prepares pecan cheesecake for the cover shot.
Just in time for holiday gifting! Our first cookbook in 8 years! More than 200 recipes from Alabama cooks, with color photos and features on some of our top contributors! Order your copy today for $19.95 at alabamaliving.coop, or send a check for $19.95 for each book ordered to: Alabama Living Cookbook P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124 Order by Dec. 12 to ensure delivery by Christmas! Alabama Living Cookbook
Please provide the information below and mail along with your payment Name: _____________________________________________________________ Address: _____________________________________________________________ State: ______________ Zip: ____________________ Phone: _________________________________ Copies Requested: ________
NOVEMBER 2016 39
Continued from Page 11 annually. The amendment would also allow, but not require, certain state park lands and facilities to be operated and maintained by an entity other than DCNR. Amendment 3, local government: Currently, local constitutional amendments are voted on by the entire state, unless a three-fifths vote of the Legislature and a unanimous vote of the Local Constitutional Amendment Commission determines that the amendment strictly affects or applies to only one county or jurisdiction. Only when this occurs do constitutional amendments appear before the voters in that particular jurisdiction. Thus, statewide electors often vote on issues that primarily, but not entirely, affect other counties or jurisdictions. This amendment would change the process for determining whether an amendment affects only one county or jurisdiction. If a majority of voters vote “yes,” the commission will be abolished, and the final decision on whether a proposed constitutional amendment should be voted on locally or statewide will instead be made by the Legislature. After the Legislature votes to pass a proposed amendment, each house of the Legislature would then be required to pass a resolution deciding whether the proposed amendment will be voted on locally or statewide. If any single legislator votes against that resolution, the proposed amendment will be placed on the ballot statewide. If a majority of voters vote “no,” the existing method will continue. Amendment 4, local government (home rule): Currently, county commissions have limited powers to create new programs to oversee the affairs of their respective jurisdictions. Any administrative powers given to county commissions must be directly declared by local law. This amendment was designed to grant more authority to county commissions to carry out administrative duties, such as community, transportation and emergency assistance programs. Amendment 5, constitution: Currently, Article III of the constitution establishes the legislative, executive and judicial branches of Alabama state government, as well as the separation of powers among them. Amendment 582 requires that the Legislature approve with a simple majority any disbursement of state funds as a result of a court order. Amendment 5 was designed to remove both Article III and Amendment 582 from the Constitution and rewrite a new Article III restating these powers. It also removes words and phrases no longer commonly used. Other changes are merely technical, so the amendment does nothing more than combine and restate current law. Amendment 6, legislature: This amendment changes how the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, state auditor, secretary of state, state treasurer, state Board of Education, superintendent of education, commissioner of Agriculture and members of the Alabama Supreme Court can be impeached and removed from office. Currently, the constitution does not set the number of votes required to remove these officials from office. Amendment 6 would require a two-thirds majority vote of the Alabama Senate. Also under current law, the superintendent of education, who 40 NOVEMBER 2016
is appointed, is subject to impeachment, but the state Board of Education, which is elected, is not. Amendment 6 adds the entire state Board of Education, and removes the superintendent of education, from the impeachment process. Amendment 6 will not change the reasons someone can be impeached. Amendment 7, law enforcement: Local amendment that applies only to Etowah County. Amendment 8, labor and unions: Under current law, the Code of Alabama, but not the state constitution, declares that a person’s membership or non-membership in a labor union or organization may not eliminate or reduce that person’s right to work, nor be used as a condition for employment or continuation of employment. Amendment 8 would place these identical rightto-work provisions from the Code of Alabama in the state constitution. Amendment 9, judges: Local amendment that applies only to Pickens County. Amendment 10, local government: Local amendment that applies only to Calhoun County. Amendment 11, taxes and local government: Under current law, a city or county may pledge a projected increase in future property taxes to acquire and redevelop private property in areas specially designated as suitable for certain major manufacturing facilities. After acquisition, the city or county may sell the property to a private entity, but the sale price must, at a minimum, equal the property’s fair market value. Amendment 11 would give the city or county sole discretion to determine the sale price of property meeting these conditions, regardless of the property’s fair market value. Amendment 12, transportation and bonds: Local amendment that applies only to Baldwin County. Amendment 13, civil service: Currently, there are maximum age restrictions placed on positions of elected or appointed office in Alabama. This amendment would remove maximum age limits for state government officials (judicial positions excepted). It also prevents the Legislature from passing a future law that includes a maximum age restriction on the election or appointment of a public official. Amendment 14, budget: Currently, bills passed in the Legislature before approval of the budgets require a “budget isolation resolution,” or BIR. These BIRs must have approval from at least 60 percent of the legislators present. More recently, the Alabama House had been passing BIRs with only 60 percent of those members who were both present and voting – which required the support of fewer legislators. This amendment guarantees the legitimacy of the “present and voting” interpretation of the BIR voting procedure, and ensures that more than 600 local laws passed using this procedure would be protected. Sources: Ballotpedia, AlabamaVotes.gov, Fair Ballot Commission www.alabamaliving.coop
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| Our Sources Say |
Nuclear: Critical element of PowerSouth’s future energy mix
s the rest of the country relies more on natural gas for electricity generation, PowerSouth is expanding the cooperative’s alreadydiverse power supply mix with a nuclear power purchase, adding flexibility and good economic value. PowerSouth’s generation plan has succeeded, in large part, due to its diverse fuel mix. Using a variety of fuels and technologies to generate electricity balances the benefits and risks associated with each source, including reliability, economics and environmental factors. Today, PowerSouth uses natural gas, coal and hydro to meet member energy needs. To further diversify the generation blend, PowerSouth will purchase 125 megawatts of nuclear capacity from the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia for 20 years beginning in 2019. Vogtle Units 3 and 4, currently under construction near Augusta, Ga., will be among the first nuclear units built in the U.S. in the last three decades. “This is the best nuclear technology to date,” said Dixie EC President and CEO Gary Harrison, who serves as Corporate Planning & Power Supply Committee Chairman on PowerSouth’s Board of Trustees. “It is not only safe, but it also has no carbon footprint.” Adding nuclear power to the energy mix serves PowerSouth’s members’ interests well over the long term — balancing fuel costs and managing risk by using a variety of generation technologies. A proven technology that produces zero greenhouse gas emissions, nuclear energy
can relieve uncertainty associated with coal and natural gas prices. Like coal-fired power plants, nuclear plants are traditional “always-on” generators, providing large amounts of electricity around the clock. In fact, nuclear power plants have the highest average capacity factor of any electricity source. Coal-fired generation faces continued regulatory challenges, such as the EPA’s recent Clean Power Plan. Natural gas is a valuable resource, but history has shown that leaning too heavily on gas could cause utilities to deal with unpredictability in pricing and availability. Utilities’ use of renewables is increasing nationwide, but as intermittent sources they cannot displace the need for traditional baseload generation sources. “People like renewables because they emit no carbon dioxide,” Harrison said, “but they are such small pieces of the puzzle. Nuclear is the perfect addition to our mix because it can provide the magnitude of energy we need but with the same zerocarbon output.” PowerSouth’s move toward nuclear began in 2008 when PowerSouth’s Board of Trustees adopted a strategic plan to promote a diversified power supply strategy, including the flexibility to adapt quickly to changes in global energy and financial markets, as well as future legislation governing emissions. This article was written by PowerSouth’s Communications department, as President and CEO Gary Smith enjoys a respite from writing to focus on issues important to PowerSouth, its members and those they serve.
Nuclear plants are:
Nuclear power plants are the most efficient source of electricity, operating 24/7 at a 92 percent average capacity factor.
Available A nuclear plant refuels once every 18 months, replacing one-third of the fuel each time.
Reliable During the 2014 Polar Vortex, the U.S. nuclear fleet operated at 95 percent capacity, higher than any other source of electricity.
Clean One uranium fuel pellet creates as much energy as one ton of coal or 17,000 cubic feet of natural gas.
Powerful A typical nuclear plant generates electricity to power 720,000 homes (or a city the size of Boston) without emitting greenhouse gases.
Article contributed by PowerSouth’s Communications Department Staff.
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| Market Place |
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| Alabama Snapshots |
1. Jonathan Lamons with his cats Shadow and Sandy. SUBMITTED BY Andrea Lamons, Hollytree. 2. Michael Montgomery and Smokey. SUBMITTED BY Patty Montgomery, Somerville. 3. Kaleb loves his cat, Kit Kat. SUBMITTED BY Kayla Smith, Jones 4. Jax Riley and Snowball. SUBMITTED BY Tammy Riley, Brewton. 5. Heidi and Patches. SUBMITTED BY Margaret Jean Philpott. 6. Best friends, Bear and Taco. SUBMITTED BY Cindy Clark, Prattville. 7. KayliGayle Hope White. SUBMITTED BY Kelli White, Deatsville.
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RULES: Alabama Living will pay $10 for photos that best match our theme of the month. Photos may also be published on our website at www.alabamaliving.coop and on our Facebook page. Alabama Living is not responsible for lost or damaged photos.
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