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THE ORIGINAL

Alabaster NEWSLETTER

VOLUME X / NUMBER 2 // FEBRUARY 2021

AMERICAN VILLAGE FESTIVAL OF TULIPS BEGINS IN MID FEBRUARY

PHOTO BY BOB PHILLIPS


Alabaster

A Word from the Editor & Publisher, Ted Vodde in the woods. On the last day we wanted to take a short hike before we took the long drive back. Looking at the map, we saw that the Chimney Tops hike was a relatively short hike of 2 miles, but we didn’t notice it was very steep. There are two peaks at the top. The first, where most everybody stops has a narrow path that is quite steep to the second peak. Of course, we went to the secWhen I was in graduate school at the University ond peak. Once we arrived there, of Florida, three of my we were pleased to find a friends and I decided to take a backpacking trip to group of four girls who were students at nearby University the Great Smoky of Tennessee at Knoxville. Mountains. We had a nice time chatting For several days we with them while we took a had a good time camping

break from the long hike. I had started talking with a girl who was a graduate student from Georgia named Nan. She had a pretty smile and was very nice. The girl in charge of the hike had decided to take the girls on the old trail down the other side of the mountain rather than go back on the established trail. She got them up and headed down. We bid the group goodbye and remained for a while. About 20 minutes later when it was time to go, we thought we’d go down the old trail, too. After all, the girls did it. It was obvious from the start why the trail was closed. It was very steep and slippery. Not long after we began we heard, “Help!” Sure enough. the young ladies had found the trail quite taxing and dangerous. The four of us paired up with the four ot them, and we started down the steep trail. We had to plan each footfall and hold on to

exposed tree roots. At one point my friend wanted me to throw him my metal canteen so he could get a drink. He missed it and we could hear it clang as it went down the steep slope. We continued carefully. I helped Nan and we slowly but surely worked our way down the mountain. We finally got to the bottom and in the joy of that moment, I gave her a kiss. The girls asked us to stop by their dorm on the way out of town for a quick lunch, which we did. Nan and I exchanged contact information, and I planned to return for a visit when Florida played UT in two weeks. After I left, Nan told me that one of her roommates told her, “wouldn’t it be something if it was love at first sight and you got married?” And that’s exactly what happened 43 years ago. I found my true love on a mountaintop. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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The Alabaster Newsletter Published Monthly Editor & Publisher: Ted Vodde Contributors: John Brackin, Clarissa Ojeda-Winchester, Dawn South, David Frings We welcome your comments, suggestions & story ideas. Call 205 620-5505 and e-mail tedvodde@gmail.com Copyright© 2021 Mindstream Media, LLC

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February 2021


SCHOOL BOARD HONORS THE TEACHERS OF THE YEAR The Alabaster City School system is filled with plenty of great teachers, and the school board recently recognized a few of those special instructors in its annual honoring of the “Teachers of the Year.” At the Alabaster City Schools (ACS) Board of Education meeting on Monday, Dec. 14, the school board recognized a Teacher of the Year honoree from each of the district’s five schools. The individual Teachers of the Year for this school year included the following winners: Sarah Kendrick of Creek View Elementary School, Connie Kakoliris of Meadow View Elementary School, Alexis Bulger of Thompson Intermediate School, Karen Evans of Thompson Middle School

and Andy Garret of Thompson High School. Two ACS teachers were also selected to move forward in the state Teacher of the Year competition. They were Kendrick, who was chosen as the Elementary Teacher of the Year, and Evans, who was selected as the Secondary Teacher of the Year. This school year, the school’s teachers have had a particularly challenging year, with the difficulties created by the COVID-19 pandemic. So these honorees should be especially commended for their hard work and dedication. The board meeting was held at the Alabaster municipal complex. Because of the ongoing health restrictions, the board was unable to host

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its usual awards reception. The Alabama Teacher of the Year Program is a program of the Alabama State Department of Education. A total of 16 district winners, including eight elementary winners and eight secondary winners, will be selected from among the various school system winners from around the state. From there, four finalists will be selected, followed by the announcement of the Alabama Teacher of the Year and the Alternate Alabama Teacher of the Year. One of the two state winners will be an elementary teacher and the other will be a secondary teacher. Last year’s winner was Dr. Andrew Jackson of Eden Elementary School

in the Pell City School System. Following the announcement of the Alabama Teacher of the Year, that teacher will then participate in the National Teacher of the Year competition. The teacher will also serve as a full-time ambassador for the teaching profession, speaking to civic organizations and conducting workshops.

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February 2021

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THS FOOTBALL COACH NAMED COACH OF THE YEAR After one of Thompson High School’s most exciting football seasons in memory, the head coach is being honored for his role in leading the team to its second consecutive state title. Head Coach Mark Freeman was recently named by the “Shelby County Reporter” as its 2020 Shelby County Coach of the Year. Freeman coached the squad through not only a challenging, pandemic-plagued season but also a competitive slate of games in Class 7A to get the Warriors back to the top of the mountain. In a title game that Thompson fans will remember forever, the Warriors improbably came from behind in the final seconds to defeat Auburn High School 29-28 for the state championship. In winning the title for the second year in a row, it put

Coach Freeman in elite company among other high school coaches. Freeman now has a total of eight state titles as a head coach. According to the “Shelby County Reporter,” Freeman is now tied for second all-time for state championships, behind only Robby James who won nine. Freeman’s coaching history in Alabama dates back to Bessemer Academy, where he first coached in 1998 and led the team to four AISA state championships. Since those early days, he’s become well known as one of the best in the state. Before coming to Thompson to lead the Warriors, he also coached at Gulf Shores High School and then at Spanish Fort High School, where he compiled a 50-7 record. While at Spanish Fort, his teams won two Class 5A

championships. Of course, the players are getting plenty of recognition this time of year as well, now that the season has ended. AL.com recently released its 2020 Fab 40 High School Football Team, and there were five Thompson Warriors named to the squad. The Fab 40 selections included quarterback Conner Harrell, a junior, who was also named the Birmingham Offensive MVP. Harrell passed for over 3,500 yards on the year, to go along with 42 touchdowns. He also rushed for nearly 300 yards. Other offensive honorees included wide receiver J.B. Mitchell, a senior,

who had over 1,100 yards receiving; and offensive lineman Connor Howard, a senior, who was critical in helping the Warriors compile over 430 yards a game. On the defensive side of the ball, Thompson defenders Jeremiah Alexander and Tony Mitchell were both included. On the year, Alexander had 29 tacklesfor-loss, while Mitchell had three interceptions. Congratulations to Coach Freeman and all of the Thompson Warriors for their well-earned accolades!

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February 2021

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Beautification Board Award

The Beautification Board Home of the month winners are: Ralph & Carol Jones, 218 Sweet Bay Drive, Alabaster, AL 35007 This property is located in the Lake Forest subdivision of ward five. The landscape is neat with good curb appeal. The shrubs are well trimmed and the lawn is healthy and well maintained. Gardening Tips for February row covers when temperaAccording to The Spruce, tures take a dip. the weather is now conducive •Sow seeds for cool-season to some plant growth in the vegetables such as lettuce. Southeast. But that does not •Unlike in colder regions, mean gardeners in the February is your deadline to Southeast can totally let their prune shrubs that bloom on guards down. There can still new growth: Soon, they will be some cold weather and no longer be dormant. some snow in the northern •Spray dormant oil on roses parts of the region. Much of and apple trees as a precauyour attention should be tion against pests and fungal directed at pruning and at cardiseases before the weather ing for fruit trees and roses. truly heats up and they put on •Shelter tender plants with significant growth.

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Congrats to Morgan & Riley Andrews! They were provided with sponsor funds for their dance classes from Tim Mitchell and his Community Support Program. Tim provides scholarships, grants and sponsorships toward the school, teacher, team, church, ministries or other events of his clients' choice. Don’t miss out! These grants are available to all of Tim's clients. Please call Tim at (205) 3058756, or e-mail TimMitchellHomes@gmail.com, for more information. Congrats to Morgan & Riley!

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February 2021


TRAVELING SMART: THE SKINNY ON TRAVEL INSURANCE

Clarissa Ojeda-Winchester Traveling Smart: The Skinny on Travel Insurance- by Clarissa Ojeda Winchester While I have always been a strong proponent of travel insurance because of my planner personality, some are just now reaching out to travel advisors to ask the 5 “W’s” of travel insurance. Due to the barrage of uncertainties surrounding last year and the future of travel, guests want to know why it is needed, what is covered, what is included, who should purchase, where to purchase, and when to purchase. The first rule of thumb when traveling is that travel insurance should be budgeted as part of your travel, the same way tipping a server is budgeted when going out to

dinner. Doing one without the other does not make good sense, but inevitably many clients ask why it is needed. Insurance in general is to protect against unknowns and with this mindset, things start to become clearer. From my client files, some have experienced job loss, injury, or divorce. A personal heartbreaking moment occurred when my nephew unexpectedly passed during his military service shortly before his parents’ cruise. Knowing that no one can predict the future, it is beneficial to know what travel insurance will cover. Depending on the policy purchased, coverage can include cancel reasons such as supplier default, inability to travel due to a legal proceeding, quarantine, military duty, terrorism, a traffic accident in route to the vacation, pregnancy, or a legal separation, etc. How much will the policy pay out for a non-covered reason? Does the policy include a “cancel for any reason” clause or maybe a “cancel anytime” clause? Generally speaking, pandemics and epidemics are not blanket covered reasons, but issues related to them can be. A spinoff question travel-

ers should also ask their advisor is who in their circle could trigger a policy to activate. For example, do covered reasons extend to same-sex partners, roommates, employed or livein caregivers, business partners, traveling companions, extended family or service animals? What happens to hardearned reward points from airlines and hotels used to book a trip if the trip falls through? Vendors charge fees to redeposit these points. Inclusions is another important inquiry for the advisor. Will the policy include 24-hour assistance, any concierge benefits, medical coverage, emergency dental, or medical evacuation back to the US? Medical evacuations can cost as much as $250K dollars and many Americans would be surprised to know their prized health care coverage covers little outside of the U.S. if anything at all. The U.S. State Department advises all travelers to check their health insurance and purchase travel insurance for medical reasons. Being caught between American medical insurance verbiage of what constitutes “Urgent care” vs. “Emergency care” when in a foreign country is not an ideal

situation. An emergency to the traveler is an emergency to the traveler. As we head into the future, everyone should be purchasing travel protection regardless of age or destination. Everything was interrupted in 2020 and everyone was affected. Travel protection brings stability when things feel uncertain. When deciding where to purchase protection, clients have many options. One can purchase insurance through their supplier, a third party, or use their credit card travel insurance. It is advisable to utilize a third-party travel insurance company. Credit card companies were not designed to be medical insurance providers. Supplier insurance does not cover preand post-stays, or other aspects such as transfers or car rentals. They sometimes issue refunds in the form of future credits which must be redeemed in a specified amount of time. Even if a trip was booked direct, an advisor can still provide a guest with an insurance quote and policy purchase.

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(Con’t on page 14)

February 2021

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Alabaster

Parks & Rec Dept., 200 DEPOT STREET. www.alabasterparks.org 205 664­6840

ARBOR DAY TREE GIVEAWAY 140 trees and seedlings will be given away at no charge on Saturday, Feb. 27, at Veterans Park in the Maintenance Shop. Registration will begin at 8 AM. Tree distribution will begin at 9 AM.

PARK & REC INFORMATION

START SMART BASEBALL

Alabaster Parks and Recreation offers a variety of youth sports and a couple of adult programs, along with several community events throughout the year. Additionally, they oversee pavilion rentals for all City parks. IMPORTANT: The Parks and Recreation Office moved to 200 Depot Street, Alabaster, in June 2020. We are no longer at Veterans Park. Hours of operation are Monday thru Friday from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm. If you would like more information concerning Parks and Recreation programs, please contact the Office at 205-664-6840 or parksandrec@cityofalabaster.com. STAY INFORMED THRU EMAILS If you would like to receive emails from Parks and Recreation regarding registrations and events, you can sign up by going to www.alabasterparks.org and scrolling down the page to the SIGN-UP link. The only required information is your name and email address. NOTE: Please be prepared to pay for any fees with Cash, Debit, Visa, Master Card, or Discover. We cannot accept Checks as a method of payment.

February 8 (Mon.) – 8:00 am: Registration will begin for Start Smart Baseball On-Line at www.alabasterparks.org or at the Alabaster Parks & Recreation office located at 200 Depot Street. •Registration will close out once 20 children have registered, or at 5:00 pm on February 19 (Fri.), whichever occurs first. The fee is $90 (plus 10% for non-residents). •The program is designed for children ages 3 and 4 as of April 30, 2021.•It is a six-week program with emphasis on fundamentals. The six-week sessions will be held on Tuesdays at 6:00 pm beginning April 6 and ending May 11. There will be a game and pizza/cupcake party on May 15 (Sat.) at 10:00 am. •Birth Certificate copies are required for new participants.

SENIOR CENTER ACTIVITIES Arthritis Seated and Standing: January 6th, 8th, 13th, 15th, 20th, 22nd, 27th and 29th@ 10:30 Seated and 12:30 Standing on Zoom Book Club January 25th @ 9:30 am on Zoom

DOG PARK MAINTENANCE The Dog Park at Veterans Park will be closed on Wednesday, Feb. 3, for maintenance.•If needed, the Rain-Out date will be the following Wednesday, Feb. 10.

BASEBALL/SOFTBALL February 8 (Mon.) – Fields open for Baseball and Girls Softball practices.

SOCCER February 15 (Mon.) – Fields open for Soccer practices.

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February 2021


THS Football Players Honored for Outstanding Season The Thompson High School football team captured its second consecutive state title this season, and two of the team’s leaders were recently named as finalists for a pair of the state’s top awards, which are given annually by the Alabama Sports Writers Association. Thompson High School quarterback Conner Harrell was named a finalist for the Class 7A Back of the Year award, and Thompson High School linebacker Jeremiah Alexander was named a finalist for the Class 7A Lineman of the Year award. The two Warriors were both very deserving of the honor as they led the squad to an undefeated season and a state championship. On the year, Harrell, a junior, passed for more than 3,500 yards and only

threw three interceptions along the way. He was also named First-Team All-State Offense by the ASWA. Alexander, who is also a junior, put up impressive numbers this year as well, registering 106 total tackles and eight sacks. Alexander was named First-Team AllState Defense. The other finalists for the 7A Back of the Year award include running back Armoni Goodwin of Hewitt-Trussville and running back Joseph McKay of Central-Phenix City. The other finalists for the 7A Lineman of the Year include linebacker Terry Kirksey of Baker and linebacker Ian Jackson of Prattville. Thompson has been well-represented recently in the Back of the Year competition. Last year, quarterback Sawyer Pate won the award, and prior to that, quarterback Taulia

Tagovailoa won the award twice. This year’s finalists in Class 6A include Backs Reginald Davis, Trey Higgins and Ga’Quincy McKinstry; the Linemen include Anquin Barnes, Lee Hunter and JonDarius Morgan. The finalists in Class 5A include Backs Javonte Graves-Billips, Chris Lewis and Zyquez Perryman; the Linemen include Jay Ford, Lucas Taylor and Jeremiah Williams. The finalists for Class 4A include Backs Trent Davis, Kamari Lassiter and Tae Meadows; the Linemen include Dylan Brooks, Deontae Lawson and Robert Woodyard. The finalists for Class 3A include Backs Myles Butler, Jackson Hayes and Ike Rowell; the Linemen include Caleb Lyles, Jett Smith and Sean Smith. The finalists for Class

2A include Backs Kelston Fikes, Martavious Glanton and Peyton Higgins; the Linemen include Rico Dozier, Caden Story and Luke Welsh. The finalists for Class 1A include Backs Devontae Causey, Rashaad Coleman and Brayden Kyle; the Linemen include Carson Jones, Zacchaeus Reese and Jamarcus Williams. The finalists in AISA include Backs Payton Allen, Landon Sims and Mayes White; the Linemen include Reid Compton, Eli Richey and B.J. Snellgrove.

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February 2021

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THS FOOTBALL RANKED NATIONALLY High school football fans around the state know very well the success of the Thompson High School football team in recent years, and it appears now the squad is garnering respect nationally as well. Following the team’s second-consecutive state championship, they have finished the year highlyranked in a number of national polls, including the “USA Today” Sports Super 25 high school rankings. For the 2020 season, the “USA Today” poll ranks the Warriors No. 7 in the nation. The Alabama Class 7A champs finished the season 14-0, and capped it off with a thrilling, last-second victory over Auburn High School that ended up being featured on ESPN. The six schools ranked

in front of Thompson included No. 1 IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.), Duncanville (Texas), North Shore (Galena Park, Texas), Grayson (Loganville, Ga.), St. Joseph’s Prep (Philadelphia) and Chandler (Ariz.) Rounding out the top ten were St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Austin Westlake (Texas) and Corner Canyon (Draper, Utah). The No. 1 team in the poll, IMG Academy, finished the year 8-0, with an impressive victory over Duncanville. In another national list released by High School Football America, the Warriors fared even better, landing at No. 3 in the national rankings. The team currently sitting at No. 1 in the High School

Football America 100 is North Shore (Texas), followed by IMG Academy and Thompson. HSFA determines its rankings based on a “proprietary algorithm.” According to HSFA, North Shore is still in the midst of a playoff run in Texas. The Warriors also finished the year ranked No. 1 in the State of Alabama in the HSFA Alabama Top 10. They were followed by Hoover, Hewitt-Trussville, St. Paul’s, Auburn, Pinson Valley, Central-Phenix City, Spanish Fort, Mountain Brook and Oxford. The Warriors’ appearance in the national polls validates the work and dedication that the team has put in under Head Coach Mark Freeman. When Freeman took over the squad, they were com-

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ing off a winless season, and he soon made them competitive at the highest level of the sport. In addition to the team’s state championships, several of the players have garnered individual awards, and many have advanced on to play football in college. Congratulations to Coach Freeman and to all of the Warriors on their hard-earned success!

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February 2021


CAM WARD APPOINTED TO LEAD PAROLE BUREAU State Sen. Cam Ward (RAlabaster) has been appointed to serve as the director of the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles. Gov. Kay Ivey made the announcement in November, and the appointment became effective on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. A swearing-in ceremony was held for Ward in the governor’s Capitol Office in Montgomery that Monday morning. Ward served for three terms in the Alabama State Senate, where he led the Senate Judiciary Committee and spearheaded numerous bills concerning criminal justice and prison reform. In a news release, Ivey said, “Cam Ward has spent his career as an attorney and public servant dedicated to Alabama’s criminal justice system. As he tran-

sitions to director of Pardons and Paroles, I’m confident that his background and experience will position him to closely follow the letter of the law while providing individuals every opportunity possible to rebuild their lives post incarceration.” Ward also previously served in the Alabama House of Representatives for two terms. “I’m honored that Governor Ivey had the confidence to appoint me to this position,” Ward stated in the announcement. “I have committed my career in the Senate to improving our criminal justice system in Alabama, and I look forward to working with Governor Ivey going forward in this effort.” Ward graduated from Troy State University and received his law degree from the Cumberland School of Law.

In a statement to WSFA 12 News (Montgomery), Ward said one of the goals of the job would be to improve communication with the Alabama Department of Corrections and the Legislature. “Opening communication with DOC and the Legislature can only help us in our mission going forward,” he told the station. On Monday, Jan. 4, Ward oversaw the swearing-in ceremony of 31 probation and parole officers, which the bureau said was the largest group in many years. The event was his first swearing-in ceremony as the new director. “It is an honor to participate in this ceremony and witness the beginning of these officers’ careers,” Ward said. Gov. Ivey has also set the dates for the special election to fill the Senate

Cam Ward seat formerly held by Ward, Alabama Senate District 14. The date for the special primary election will be Tuesday, March 30, 2021. If needed, a special primary runoff will be Tuesday, April 27, and the special general election will be held on Tuesday, July 13. The district includes parts of Bibb, Chilton, Hale, Jefferson and Shelby counties.

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February 2021

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Alabaster

ALBERT L. SCOTT LIBRARY

LIBRARY ADULT ACTIVITIES Ya Ya Yarners – February 1, 8, 15 & 22. Monday evenings from 5:30 – 6:30 pm. Do you knit or crochet? Then this is the group for you…the Ya Ya Yarners! We meet at the Albert L. Scott Library now! Due to COVID-19 we are having to limit the number we can have at the Library, so if you are interested email us at yayayarners@gmail.com and we can send you more information and send you a link. Program takes place in the meeting room. Adult Computer Classes - Call or come by to sign up. 205-6646822. February 2. 10 am. Introduction to Microsoft Word - Understand the basic functions and commands that are available in Word as well as formatting and editing documents. Must have basic computer skills. February 9. 10 am. Google Apps - This class is designed to teach you how to use all the Google apps available to you with a Google account and hopefully keep you better organized. This class will cover Google Drive (file storage), Google Docs (free word processor), Google Forms (create online forms), Google Maps, and Google Calendar as well as a few other helpful apps. Need to have a Gmail/Google account. February 16. 10 am. Introduction to Ancestry.com Library Edition - Learn how to discover your family tree using Ancestry.com library edition. We will go over the basics of Ancestry and show you some other great Genealogy sources. ABC & Ds of Medicare – February 8. 1 pm. Karen Haiflich of the Medicare Information Source will help you navigate through the process of Medicare. Learn about filing, benefits, and any other questions you might have. Program takes place in the meeting room. Library Book Group – February 18. 7 pm. Join us to discuss Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson. A twisting novel of domestic suspense in which a group of women play a harmless drinking game that escalates into a war of dark pasts In this game, even winning can be deadly. Program takes place in the meeting room. Medicare 101 - February 25. 6 pm. A fun and informative class to learn what to expect with Medicare and how to ask the right questions. Perfect for anyone wanting to learn about their Medicare options. Presented by Paige Phillips of Medicare Advisors of Alabama. Program takes place in the meeting room. AARP Tax Aide for Seniors – Please call the library for more information 205-664-6822.

LIBRARY KIDS ACTIVITIES During the Covid-19 Pandemic, Story Times conducted at the library will be livestreamed or posted on our Facebook Page Wednesdays & Second Tuesdays Outreach Story Time at day care centers (School year) Friday mornings Toddler Tales at the library 10:30am (Year-Round) 2nd & 4th Wednesdays Sensory Story Time 3:30pm (Year-Round) February 11 at 4:00 p.m. Lunar New Year Celebration: The Year of the Ox! Get ready for the Lunar New Year, which is February 12, by hearing a story, learning the origin, and watching Chef Bert Lindbergh make easy Chinese taste treats! If you want to be in the small audience in the meeting room, sign up. Space is limited, masks should be worn, and social distancing will be implemented. Or join the fun livestreamed on the library’s Facebook page: facebook.com/AlbertLScottLibrary/live. February 15 at 4:00 p.m. Family Mardi Gras Fun! Just in time for Mardi Gras we’ll make some easy crafts, no-bake King Cake, learn some history, and more. Join the fun livestreamed on the library’s Facebook page: facebook.com/AlbertLScottLibrary/live. February 18 at 4:00 p.m. Civic Life Read to Lead Book Club We use books as tools for civic skill building. It’s a partnership between the library and the David Mathews Center for Civic Life. This month’s theme is inspired by February as Black History Month. The national theme for 2021 is The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity, set by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). We’ll share books, a craft or activity, and a resource that can make exploring your family tree easier. The book club will be livestreamed on the library’s Facebook page for children in grades 4 to 8 to watch: facebook.com/AlbertLScottLibrary/live. The David Mathews Center for Civic Life is a non-profit and nonpartisan organization in Montevallo which strives to build skills, habits, and capacities for more effective civic engagement and innovative decision making.

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February 2021


THE ALBERT L. SCOTT LIBRARY NEEDS MORE FRIENDS I saw a cartoon today—perhaps you saw it too. One person says to another: “I fear that the year 2020 has 2021 tied up in the basement.” My hope is that the New Year will quickly untie the ropes and escape. We have had enough of the Year of the Pandemic! I hope that by the time you read this, things are getting better and the pandemic threat waning. The Friends of the Albert L. Scott Library are anxious to resume our regular visits to the library— maskless! We believe in the mission of the library and, as with the schools, the pandemic has reduced its effectiveness while demonstrating its value. The Friends want to get back to our active support of the mission of the library through fundraising to enhance facilities and services. Meanwhile, we need your help.

Due to the virus, the Friends were unable to host either of our Semi-Annual Used Book and Bake Sales in 2020. Since the library reopened with reduced capacity, we have resumed sale of books (including audio books) and movies in the “Book Nook” at front of the fiction room. Additional bookcases for displays and an upright turnstile display for DVDs have been added. As before, materials in the Book Nook can be purchased any time the library is open. It is self-service, and any member of the library staff will be happy to accept your payment. Prices are the same as the in-person sales: Hardback Books – one dollar; Paperbacks – fifty cents, all Children’s books – fifty cents; DVDs and Audio Books – two dollars. We invite you to stop by and pick up some new reading (or viewing) material. With all money devoted to

enhancing the library’s mission, sales are win-win. When you shop at Amazon, login via this link: https://smile.amazon.com/ ch/46-1799139 Once you confirm that you wish to support the Friends of the Albert L. Scott Library with your purchases, Amazon will take you to the regular shopping page. Later, the Amazon Smiles Foundation will donate a small percentage of your purchase amount to the Friends. (The money comes from Amazon’s foundation as part of its plan to “give back.” There is no cost to you.) This is an easy, painless way to support the Friends organization and, thereby, the library. If you are a member of the Friends, it is time to renew your membership. If you are not yet a member, there is no better time than now to join. The

Membership Form is available at the library and online at the city’s web site, under the Library page. Mail with your check to the library (address provided). Regular membership is ten dollars per year. Supporting membership, a more robust form of regular membership, is twenty-five dollars per year. For one hundred dollars, you can become a Life Member. There are some people who are too busy for another membership, even for a good cause. If you prefer, we gratefully accept cash donations. The Friends is a nonprofit corporation organized so that donations are tax deductible under IRS Code 501(c)(3). Make checks to Friends of the Albert L. Scott Library and mail to: Albert L. Scott Library 100 Ninth Street NW Alabaster, AL 35007

TULIP FESTIVAL MID FEB.

Photo by Bob Phillips

The American Village in Montevallo to hold its 5th Annual Festival of Tulips, beginning in mid-February The Festival of Tulips will be open MondaySaturday 10-4, Sunday 12-4 during blooming time, depending on weather.* *check our website or Facebook page for opening date and field conditions before your trip

Stroll through a field of tens of thousands of tulips, in every color of the rainbow. Pick the ones you want to take home. Tulips and bulbs are $1.50 each. The American Village 3727 Hwy. 119, Montevallo, Alabama, 30 minutes south of Birmingham at I65 Exit 234 www.americanvillage.org • (205) 665-3535

UNTIL FEBRUARY 15, 2021

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February 2021

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FORESTRY ASSOCIATION ENDORSES WEAVER Forestry Association Endorses April Weaver for State Senate The Alabama Forestry Association has announced it endorses former Representative April Weaver in the upcoming special election to replace Senator Cam Ward in District 14. Governor Ivey set the special primary election for Tuesday, March 30, 2021. "April Weaver is exactly what we need in that State Senate," said AFA Executive Vice- President Chris Isaacson. "She is a fiscal champion, a proven conservative and a valued friend to the Forestry Association.” The Alabama Forestry Association was formed in 1949 to represent the interest of the state’s sawmill companies and soon expanded to include forestry members from the stump to the mill. Today, AFA is a membership organization comprised of forest products companies, landowners, loggers wood suppliers, foresters, and others with a stake in Alabama’s forest economy. “As a future constituent of April’s and a long time friend, I am proud to stand by someone with her strength and courage to stand up for what is right,” stated Keefe Burt, member of the AFA Board of Directors. “April has a long track record of service to this region, and I can think of no one better suited to represent us in the Senate.” In May of this year, Republican April Weaver was appointed to serve as 14

the Region IV Regional Director for the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Weaver’s leadership experience in both public service and the private sector was the paramount reason she was asked to serve in the administration during the height of the COVID pandemic. A registered nurse who holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration, Weaver worked for over 23 years as a hospital leader in various management roles in urban, suburban and rural hospitals. “I am humbled and honored to receive this endorsement,” April Weaver stated. “Having the endorsement of a conservative group like the Forestry Association means so much to me. I am proud to stand with them and the principles they support.” Prior to her appointment, Weaver served ten years as an accomplished state legislator in the Alabama House of Representatives, including five years as the chair of the House Health Committee. She served as the Chairman of the Shelby County House Delegation from October 2016 through May 2020. In her former House position, she was a member of the Shelby, Bibb and Chilton county legislative delegations, the same legislative delegations the Senate District 14 seat represents.

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February 2021


Pelicans Performing Synchronized Swimming? by David Frings headed back to see the birds. White pelicans are a common sight this time of year at the Wheeler Refuge, but they are often swimming a long distance from shore. This group was close in and focused on feeding. The entire group was swimming “shoulder to shoulder” corralling fish together. This behavior gives them a much higher level of success than Synchronized solitary fishing. The flock Swimming is not an outwould slowly swim in one door winter sport in direction, all dipping their Alabama unless you haphuge bills beneath the water pen to be an American in unison, then slowly circle white pelican. I encounback around for another tered a large group of pass. Except for one that about a hundred of these is…….you know there is birds on a trip to the always one in every crowd Wheeler National Wildlife as shown in the attached Refuge after Christmas. I was driving to the vis- photograph. He just couldn’t get into the rhythm. itor center at the refuge to They reminded me a lot see the cranes and caught a glimpse of a large group of of the synchronized swimming in the summer white birds to my left as I Olympics or an attraction in passed a boat ramp called Osprey Landing. I quickly south Florida. I stood for turned the car around and almost an hour watching these beautiful creatures

swim as cars blew past on the adjacent highway, oblivious to the spectacle happening beside them on the banks of the Tennessee River. White pelicans mostly feed from a swimming position rather than diving from above like their brown pelican cousins located along the Alabama Gulf Coast. I have watched small groups of white pelicans flying a few feet above the water and diving on fish but never from great heights as performed by the brown pelican. White pelicans are one of North America’s largest birds, sporting an impressive wingspan of eight feet. In recent years, they have become more common dur-

ing the winter months in Alabama and other regions of the southeast. I routinely observe them along the Tennessee River near Decatur, the Coosa River near Ohatchee and Riverside, and even on Ballard Lake in Montevallo during the early spring of 2020. These giants of the avian world head north upon the arrival of spring to nest in the freshwater lakes and wetlands of western Canada and the Dakotas. I hope you will get out and see this wonder of nature before they head north in the spring.

David Frings is an Adjunct Professor of Environmental Management and Associate Director MSEM, Samford University, Howard College of Arts & Sciences

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The Original Alabaster Newsletter - February 2021  

The Original Alabaster Newsletter Alabaster, AL 35007

The Original Alabaster Newsletter - February 2021  

The Original Alabaster Newsletter Alabaster, AL 35007

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