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LOCAL COUPLE INVENT “CAROLINE’S CART” in 2008,” said Drew Ann, “when I realized the need. Caroline was eight years old and I could not shop with her anymore. I thought, gosh, I’m not the only mom out there that has a child with a disability, so right then and there, that’s when we committed to starting it.” Flush with inspiration, Drew Ann sketched out some ideas for the cart herself, but she realized she’d need to enlist the help of experts in order to make Drew Ann Long and her daughter Caroline’s Cart Caroline with the cart. become a reality. the couple realized the chalThe next step in the process lenges that families with special-needs children face while was to hire a prototype attempting to perform a task company, which they found in Indiana. that many other families “I drew out what I might take for granted, grocery shopping. thought would be a good When Caroline outgrew design for a cart that would the seats of traditional retail not only benefit her but carts, Drew Ann realized she would benefit multiple dishad to enlist the help of a sit- abilities. We then searched ter or get someone else to for a prototype company accompany her to the store to and found one in push Caroline’s wheelchair Indianapolis,” said Drew while she pushed the tradiAnn. “They sketched out tional cart. Eventually, as some CAD drawings of Drew Ann says on her webwhat it would look like. site, her “frustration turned From there, after we put all to innovation,” and she was the final details on it, we got inspired to create “Caroline’s a prototype.” Cart.” Caroline’s Cart is essen“I started working on this tially a modified grocery Drew Ann and David Long of Alabaster have created a unique solution to what is unfortunately a common problem. As the parents of a special-needs child, Caroline,

cart that’s designed to accommodate a large child or adult with disabilities. The cart features a comfortable seat that faces the caregiver. It includes a sturdy safety harness and a platform at the bottom that can be used as a footrest. Also, the cart handles, which are used to maneuver the cart, can be turned to provide convenient access to the seat. Now that the prototype has been created, Drew Ann said that she hopes to make people aware that another option does exist. “My goal is for every retailer in the United States to have a queue of Caroline’s Carts available at the front of their store for the special-needs children and adults in their communities. There are retailers all over the globe. There are special-needs children all over the globe,” said Drew Ann. In order to help bring the product to market, the couple has created a company called Parent Solution Group and hired a patent attorney to help with the legal aspects of a new product. They also met with a leading cart manufacturer who encouraged them to continue their work. “We hired a patent attorney. We filed for a design patent and a utility patent. We incorporated a company,” said Drew Ann. “We got our patents lined up and continued moving forward, doing our own research. Four years later, it’s really started to take off.” For more information about Caroline’s Cart, visit carolinescart.com.

2011 Thompson High School Football Aug. 26 @ Stanhope Elmore Sept. 30 @ Oak Mountain Sept. 2 @ Homewood Oct. 7 Pelham Sept. 9 Vestavia Hills Oct. 14 Mountain Brook Sept. 16 @ Hoover Oct. 21 @ Spain Park Sept. 23 @ Carver-Birmingham Oct. 28 John Carroll All games scheduled for 7 p.m. 2

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September, 2011

Official Publication of the City of Alabaster 201 First Street N. Alabaster, AL 35007 Published Monthly Editorial Board The Public Relations Committee of the Alabaster City Council Committee Chair Councilwoman Sophie Martin Councilman Rick Walters Councilman Bob Hicks Editor Ted Vodde Contributors John Brackin Glenda Jones Eric Starling Danny Doyle Dawn South We welcome your comments & suggestions. Call 664-6831 Fax 664-6841 or e-mail at newsletter@ cityofalabaster.com Copyright 2011 City of Alabaster


NEW PLASWALL PLANT OFFERS BUILDING INNOVATION A German entrepreneur named Steve Schurmann has opened a factory in Alabaster that will manufacture a strong new building system called Plaswall. According to Schurmann, the Plaswall System is able to withstand a variety of extreme conditions, including intense heat and high wind. "It's a permanent concrete formwork, which is fire, water, hurricane, bullet, blast-resistant, and it's about 30 percent cheaper than conventional construction," said Schurmann. According to the company website, the Plaswall System combines high-density plastic spacers with a ready-to-paint HardieFlex shell. The prefabricated panels can then be filled onsite with wet concrete.

The hardiness of the system makes it an attractive option for builders looking to build more permanent structures, particularly when considering the damage that can occur from tornadoes or hurricanes. "With our system, you can prevent future damages and save the insurance companies billions of dollars in claim payouts because our stuff is indestructible," said Schurmann. According to Schurmann, the Plaswall System is brand new to the American market, though it's been used successfully overseas for years. He said he's already gotten a positive response from several groups in the state. "So far we've received feedback from various

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developers and also government groups and fire marshals. Everybody is overwhelmed at the quality of the product," he said. According to the company website, Plaswall offers a variety of benefits including both the strength of the system and the cost of construction. It's been used in homes in Australia and is suitable for commercial, industrial, and residential construction. According to the literature, it's five times stronger than traditional hollow blocks and is capable of withstanding winds up to 250 miles per hour. "Originally I was raised many years ago in Germany, so I know the construction trade from the German towns very well," Schurmann said. "We build

rock-solid concrete structures, so our buildings don't blow away in hard winds, not at all." Schurmann said he located the plant in Alabaster because of the attractive cost. "The price for me was very reasonable compared to other locations, so that's why we chose to locate there, and we're very happy with it," he said. (CON’T ON PAGE 31)

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2010


C I T Y L E A D E R S. . . David Frings

Jim McClain

Mayor

Council President Ward 5

frings@cityofalabaster.com Another busy summer is behind us, and we are now in the final stages of the annual budget preparation. The city budget is divided into three primary funds: General, Solid Waste (trash and garbage), and Environmental Collections (sewer). We submitted a preliminary balanced budget to the city council in August for each of these funds for their review. We also submitted a separate capital budget to the council that contained two major projects with recommended funding sources for the remediation and paving of various abandoned subdivisions and a modest city hall to be located next to the new Alabaster Senior Center. The overall budget is again very conservative, and we have continued to find cuts that allow us to reduce expenditures and maintain services to citizens. Two ways that we have been able to cut costs are not replacing retiring employees unless absolutely necessary and restructuring existing debt to take advantage of lower interest rates as the maturity dates allow. If you are interested in the budget or budget process, please attend some of our council meetings and work sessions. All of these are open to the public and posted on the city website. Our sales tax revenues have been up slightly over the past few months, and we hope that this is the beginning of a recovery period. Other indications of a better 2012 is the number of inquires that we have received from potential commercial developers. These inquires include both commercial retail and light industrial. Interest in both of these areas means jobs for those that are in need and new revenue for the city without raising taxes. Further proof of a possible positive shift in our local economy is the number of small businesses that have opened in Alabaster over the past several months. Some of these include Mamma Goldberg’s Deli, The Royal Market, Glitz and Gowns by Missy (a Formalwear store for the ladies), Miami Café Caribbean Restaurant, City Café Bar and Grill, Hokkaido Restaurant, and Formaggio’s Italian Grill. This is a huge number of small businesses, the backbone of America, for our city. We are currently implementing a marketing plan that will continue to feed this growth in the future. Please always consider one of our local businesses first for your needs. Shopping Alabaster first supports our families and has a direct influence on our revenues. While hopeful of a recovery, we are still keeping both eyes open on the volatile nature of the national and international economy that drives so many items today. In closing, I want to reflect on a day ten years in our past that I can remember like it was yesterday. That day is September 11, 2001. It began like any other day but ended like no other. I was traveling to Washington D. C. with now Senator Cam Ward, Council President Jim McClain, and Councilman Rick Walters. We had meetings set up with all of our representatives in Washington but saw none of them. Instead, we were some of the lucky ones that were able to see our loved ones that evening after a long drive home from Parkersburg, West Virginia. I remember getting that one cell phone call home to Chief Oliver to be sure that the terrorism had not been nationwide and spread back home. I asked him to be vigilant and make all of our public safety employees very visible within the community to help calm and look for trouble. I remember asking him to tell our wives that we were headed back in case we could not get more calls through. I remember many things from that day, things that I will never forget. I remember the Thompson Marching Southern Sounds playing “Amazing Grace” in a city assembly days later as we expressed our deepest sorrow for those that were not as lucky on September 11, 2001. I hope that you remember as well so that together we can work to ensure that it never happens again. May God Bless America!

mcclain@cityofalabaster.com Well, we’ve already gotten through the summer and now we move into Fall and cooler weather and oh yes, FOOTBALL! Best of luck in the coming season to the new THS Coach Caleb Ross and the Thompson Warriors. Red alert! September brings Labor Day and a chance for everyone to take that last break before work resumes in the Fall. Work for many means coming up with breakthrough ideas and so we are spotlighting them in this issue. You’ll read about the Longs and the creation of Caroline’s Cart as well as the new Plaswall Construction process that promises to help new construction withstand the rigors of the high winds and rough weather the state has seen lately. Also, there’s David Steward, inventor of the Bass Minder to help folks catch fish, and we’ve topped it off with a short course in the technique of Mind Mapping, to help you work on your million dollar idea. In September we will again have the Fall Fling where special students get to spend a day and have some fun at Veterans Park. Speaking of catching fish, when you see one of the children catch a fish, especially for the first time, you won’t forget it. It’s a great day. The Target National Night Out was well attended, and it’s always a great opportunity for the hard working members of our city’s law enforcement and fire department to meet with folks and talk about their efforts to provide for the safety of the city. Congratulations to Target for this fine effort; you are a valued part of the community. We had an education committee meeting to discuss aspects of the possibility of having the city manage the school system within its borders. We heard many points of view, and that’s important as we look forward to the October/November time frame when we will look at the feasibility study and consider our course of action on this issue. We were so happy to see Kyle Hicks return home. I know his dad, Councilman Bob Hicks, is thankful that his son has returned home and is getting better every day with therapy after his car accident. Let’s don’t forget there’s Fall soccer, Thompson Youth Football and the annual Friends of the Library Book and Bake sale. Sounds like fun! Come on out and enjoy the city!

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September, 2011

5


C I T Y L E A D E R S. . . Sophie Martin Ward 1

martin@cityofalabaster.com

Accuracy, thorough research, and effective communication continue to be priorities as we explore the possibility of an Alabaster city school system. The feasibility study results are expected to be complete at the end of August or September. Several Education Committee meetings have been held and we sincerely appreciate the residents and educators who attended wanting to get their questions answered and voices heard‌we are listening. After the study is finalized and to get community input on this important issue, additional town hall meetings will be scheduled. These public meetings will be posted in the Alabaster Reporter, the City of Alabaster website, www.cityofalabaster.com, the website www.alabastercityschools.com and Facebook. These sources will also provide the latest accurate facts and information about the possible development of an Alabaster City School System. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or comments. Since the Abatement Board recently voted and recommended the demolition of abandoned structures in Alabaster, many residents are seeing these structures being taken down. Several of these structures are in Ward 1. The completion of these demolition projects will improve the safety of our community and our City. Blessings, Sophie

Bob Hicks Ward 2

hicks@cityofalabaster.com

School is back in full swing, so please be careful as we have buses and students in great abundance on our streets once again. I would like to take this chance to thank our administrators, teachers and staff members who work for the Shelby County Board of Education for the outstanding work they do day in and day out to cultivate our most valuable resource, our youth. We entrust our country's future to these dedicated men and women every day, and never, ever do we thank them enough for the heroic work they do. God bless each and every one of you. Each year, the city of Alabaster gives over half a million dollars in classroom donations, resource officers, event control personnel and trash removal fees. All of us on the council wish the economy would open back up so we could afford more. If we all shop Alabaster first, we can move in that direction faster. Special thanks to Deputy Fire Chief Greg Ferrell, who will be retiring in September. This dedicated servant has served Alabaster for a long, long time, and deserves our appreciation for all he has done. Thanks, not so much for what you did, Greg, but for who you are. Enjoy retirement, you deserve to have a well-earned rest. It is budget time now, and once again we need to be very conservative with our expected outlays since revenues are still fairly low due to the expected slow recovery from the recession. Mayor Frings, George Henry and Marsha Massey have been wrestling with data provided by the department heads to make the pieces fit. Thanks to all city departments for making sacrifices to help our city maintain services to our residents without missing a beat during these horrible economic times. Let's hope and pray the worst is over and things will soon be stabilizing. Grace and peace, Bob

Adam Moseley Ward 3 moseley@cityofalabaster.com It has been a very busy few months in the city and we have a lot going on. Soon we will be looking to finally re-pave some areas of the library parking lot. For those who use this often, like my family does, you know the roller coaster the roots from the large pine trees have caused. Hopefully a plan will soon be in place to smooth out the parking area. The city’s abatement board has recommended a number of structures in the city to be looked at for remediation. Many of these are abandoned, burned out and dilapidated properties that have been eye sores and safety issues for some time. Thanks to all who serve on this new board that are addressing these items. We are also making headway on some of the roads that developers have abandoned in the city without finishing. We are starting to get some of the bond money in to help pay for the repairs and seal coat on these roads and we will begin taking action to fix some of these road ways. Finally, if you have an issue that needs to be addressed, please let us know. You can contact me directly or you can access the city web site and fill out a form detailing your issue that needs to be address and it will be routed to the correct department. Have a great month!

6

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September, 2011


C I T Y L E A D E R S. . . Rick Walters Ward 4 walters@cityofalabaster.com Work continues on re-districting our City voting Wards. Councilmembers Brakefield and Moseley serve on the committee with me to recommend the redistribution of approximately 6,000 new residents to the City Council. The first step is to verify that everyone had been counted and accounted for within our city limits. That task is complete and we are now working to achieve the “Ideal Number” as defined by the U.S. Justice Department. That number is the total number of residents (not voters) divided by the number of Wards (7). The 2010 Census count was 30,351 so the Ideal Number per ward is 4,336. Plans with a total population deviation (the sum of the largest plus and minus deviations) under 10% are regarded as complying with One Person, One Vote. The Census Bureau has divided the state into Census Blocks which we are required to use to redistrict. We have several Census Blocks that contain 1 resident, while some have as many as 685 residents. We will do the best we can to maintain the integrity of neighborhoods and communities. In the last 10 years most of our growth has been to the West & South and it is apparent that is how the Wards will shift. The Council will hold Public Hearings before voting on any proposal to be sent to the Justice Department for pre-clearance. We would like to have the process completed for a vote at the November 7th Council Meeting. We will keep the entire process transparent and look forward to your comments and input. Thank you for the opportunity to serve – Keep in Touch!

Scott Brakefield Ward 6

brakefield@cityofalabaster.com

Very shortly, September 23rd to be exact , we will welcome in Fall. As I type this message on August 9th it is approaching the upper 90's. Fall cannot come quick enough. With that said the month of September will be extremely busy. The feasibility study for the potential City School System will be completed. Please make sure to check the City web site for Public Hearings regarding this very important topic. We hope to conduct 3-5 Public Hearings around the City to ensure that we have the opportunity to discuss the findings as well as address questions and concerns. The actual study will be linked on the City web site for those that are unable to attend the meetings. We look forward to seeing the results of the study, having discussion with the citizens of Alabaster and making the right decision for our children and our City moving forward. Lastly, football season is kicking off. Make sure to get out and support the Warriors and Coach Caleb Ross this season!

Tommy Ryals Ward 7

ryals@cityofalabaster.com

“War does not determine who is right, just who is left”. Of all the issues we deal with, probably the one that most consistently gets the emotions flowing is Zoning. Zoning is good if you get what you want; not so good if you are on the other side. We had one neighbor who had 40 goats and about as many chickens in his back yard. This was important to him. Unfortunately, he was in a subdivision zoned for estate lots, not agriculture. His neighbors were obviously not happy with the baaad smell (sorry). The City Code Enforcer let him know the livestock had to go. He was not happy claiming he owned the land and had room for this activity. He was correct but, again, was not zoned for it. Zoning protected the neighbors, hacked off the goat guy. City or County Zoning laws define areas and what uses are allowed as well as sizes of homes and lots. Neighborhood Covenants sometimes add additional restrictions. Un-zoned areas in the county allow about anything (there are no un-zoned areas in the City). The moral of the story is: Check the zoning (and covenants) of an area before you buy to make sure what the rules are and that you can live with them. If you want to have livestock, etc., you should live in an area zoned for it. If you are willing to follow certain rules, and want to be protected from crazy neighbors by those rules, pick an area zoned to your liking. If you want no restrictions on you or your neighbors, pick an un-zoned part of the county. Once you buy, you have to live with it. Make it your choice up front. ENJOY THE LABOR DAY HOLIDAY!!

September, 2011

7


I N T H E S P O T L I G H T. . . MICHELLE EDWARDS

Senior Accounts Clerk Michelle Edwards has a desk that’s front and center at Alabaster’s City Hall, but that wasn’t always the case. Edwards, who works in the City’s revenue department, just recently moved from the city services building on Highway 119. “We just relocated up here a few weeks ago,” said Edwards. “We’re getting all settled in.” Edwards has been in the revenue department processing taxes and business licenses for city businesses since 2006. Prior to that, she worked in administration for two years. “I started with the city in 2004,” said Edwards. “When the Promenade opened, they had more of a need for me in the revenue department because we were busier there.” Edwards said that working in revenue can be challenging but that it also has its rewards. “There are lots of rules and regulations before we can issue business licenses, so we have to make sure that everyone’s complying with all those. Every day brings a new challenge as far as that’s concerned, and I

like that since I like to be able to learn new things,” she said. Edwards and her husband, Andrew, moved to Alabama from Arkansas, though they’re actually both from Louisiana. “I’m from Natchitoches originally, where they filmed ‘Steel Magnolias.’ Usually if you tell people that, they recognize it. He’s from West Monroe, and we met in college there at the college in Monroe. It’s the University of LouisianaMonroe now, but it used to be Northeast Louisiana University,” said Edwards. The couple worked in Arkansas for about four years before moving to Alabama. While in Arkansas, Edwards worked for Wal-Mart at the corporate headquarters. “My original job was at the home office in Arkansas, and then my husband got a job here with Blue Cross, so we moved,” she said. Now the couple resides in Alabaster, which is good since they recently had their first child, Samantha. “I like being close to work,” said Edwards, “and we just had a beautiful

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daughter, so I’m excited about that. My work hours are good so I get to spend more time with her because she’s going to be 17 months this month.” With the birth of her daughter, Michelle’s own parents have moved to Alabaster as well. “My parents relocated right before the birth of my daughter,” said Edwards. “It’s nice to have them close by because before they were about an eight and a half hour drive.” In her free time, Edwards said she likes to do theatre. She was in the South City Theatre production of “One Flew Over the

Michelle Edwards is a Senior Accounts Clerk in the Revenue Dept. Cuckoo’s Nest” as well as a production of “MASH.” These days, however, her daughter Samantha is keeping her plenty busy. “Once she gets a little older, maybe she’ll be able to come with me,” said Edwards.

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she said. “So we have a lot of homebuilders and general contractors and things like As far as its accounting that because of my background.” services go, Essential Solutions also Essential includes accountant Carla Solutions can Grodsky. Nelson said that the provide a firm can also provide assiswide variety tance with QuickBooks of tasks. accounting software. “We are “I’ve been certified in an accountQuickBooks since 2005, and ing firm, so that’s been a good way for me we can do as to help clients and bring much or as clients in because they know little as a Cris Nelson helps local businesses with that I’m able to assist with client needs accounting & bookkeeping services. any problem that they have,” done. We do Nelson said. Solutions is located in a income tax, both individual charming old house on a and business. We do monthquiet Alabaster street near ly accounting work for Essential Solutions, Inc. the hospital. Nelson, who clients,” said Nelson. “For 138 Fifth Avenue N.E. also owns commercial real some clients, we pay all their estate, said she bought the bills for them. We can do property at auction about their sales tax. We can do six years ago. their payroll tax reporting, “This house is about their billing. A lot of small sixty-some-odd years old,” businesses that can’t afford she said. “So it’s pretty an in-house bookkeeper, we neat. We’re trying to keep become that in-house bookeverything original. The keeper.” floor is the original. The Because of her backwalls are original. They’re ground in construction, not going anywhere.” Nelson said she’s very comThe location has also fortable working with any For more information, visit provided a good place to construction-related busiEssential Solutions online at do business. nesses. essential-solutions.biz or call “I love it. It has been “Through the years, I was their office at 663-8686. perfect for us,” said able to develop a strong Nelson. “I have been very clientele in construction pleased with being here.” because I do understand it,”

For local businesses in need of accounting and bookkeeping services, Essential Solutions of Alabaster may be just the answer. Originally opened in 1992, Essential Solutions has been providing accounting and bookkeeping services for area businesses for nearly 20 years. Cris Nelson, an Enrolled Agent and the president of Essential Solutions, first opened the business as a side project when she was working with her family’s construction business in Pelham. Since then, the practice has grown into a thriving business in its own right. “We had a construction company, so my accounting kind of started as a side business when I was doing the construction also. Then from that point, I moved to an office in Pelham once I got the business grown,” she said. “I moved my office home back in ’99, so I was a home-office business in Helena until 2006, when we moved here.” Today, Essential

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THS RECEIVES GRANTS FROM SENATOR CAM WARD State Sen. Cam Ward of Alabaster recently presented two state education grants to Thompson High School that totaled $9,000. The larger of the two grants ($6,000) was for the school’s journalism department, while the second was for the girls’ athletic program. The grants were requested in early 2011 by faculty and staff members at Thompson High School. “The funds came from a Community Service Grant,” said Ward. “I got them one grant to help them get new athletic equipment, and one of the grants was to help upgrade the camera equipment for their TV journalism class.” Ward said the journalism grant would also be used to help the program create an online newspaper. “Thompson High School

is one of the fastest growing schools in the county, and I believe these students deserve the best possible facilities to continue their education. With journalism evolving from a paper format into a largely onlinebased profession, these equipment upgrades are crucial,” said Ward. Danny Steele, the new principal at Thompson High School, expressed his appreciation for the funds. “We are always grateful for the support of the community, and certainly Sen. Cam Ward has been so supportive of the schools,” said Steele. “We’re very grateful for this contribution. It plays a significant role in the development of the broadcast journalism program in allowing them to do their job more effectively

and contributes to the school as a whole, so we’re very grateful.” Coach Cara Crosslin requested the grant to help improve the school’s exercise equipment and potentially Cam Ward with the journalism departreduce risk of ment at Thompson High School. injury for the make a well-rounded eduschool’s female athletes. cation, we need the support Steele expressed his gratiof the community. Sen. tude for the new athletic Ward’s support here is funding as well. exactly what we need, and “I know that Coach we’re so grateful because it Crosslin, who wrote the allows us to provide better grant, was very appreciaservices for the students,” tive of the funds. To prosaid Steele. vide the type of services and experiences to our kids that we know is going to

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A B E A U T I F U L S I G H T. . . September Beautification Award to Jim & Mary Roberts 900 5th Court Alabaster, AL 35007

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BOOK REPORT... SEPTEMBER ACTIVITIES

Every Wednesday

10:15 World of Stories 3:30 pm Tunes & Tales 1st Thursday 1:00 pm Friends of Library Bookmenders Every Friday 10:30 am Toddler Tales (2s, 3s)

LIBRARY CLOSED Monday Sept. 3 for Labor Day Library Board Meeting – Tuesday, September 27, 6 pm

SEPTEMBER ADULT PROGRAMS Library Book Group Thursday, September 15, 2011. 7 pm Join us in our discussion of “The Three Miss Margarets” by Louise Shaffer. Three women named Margaret--Miss Peggy, Dr. Maggie, and Miss Li'l Bit--all icons in Charles Valley, Georgia, are bound together by a thirty-year-old secret and their clandestine, illegal efforts to right a terrible wrong. Meeting takes place in the mobile unit.

SEPTEMBER KIDS ACTIVITIES Celebrate National Library Card Sign Up Month! September is National Library Card Month and kids 5 years old and older who get their first library card from the Albert L. Scott Public Library in September will get a gift! Parents or legal guardians need to bring proof of identification and residency and fill out a simple form. The library card will be ready in about 5 minutes and youngsters can check out 3 books right away! Children must be with their legal guardian(s) to apply. This does not include replacement cards. Tuesday, September 6 Lego League 4:00 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. Kids 10 years old and younger are invited to create and build in this freeform program. We have the Legos – kids have the imagination! Children 6 years old and younger must be with an adult. Meets in the mobile unit.

ADULT COMPUTER CLASSES COMPUTER CLASS AT THE LIBRARY WILL RESUME ON AUGUST 17th on the 1st and 3rd WEDNESDAYS. Please come by or call to sign-up for space as it is sometimes limited. Dates may change due to unforeseen problems. The library will always notify sign-ups as soon as possible if there is a cancellation. Basic Internet and Email (general)10:00 AM Wed., September 7th Basic Microsoft Word 2007 I 10:00 AM Wed., September 21st Basic Microsoft Word 2007 II 10:00 AM Wed., October 5th Basic Microsoft Excel (general) I 10:00 AM Wed., October 19th Basic Microsoft Excel (2007) II 10:00 AM Wed., November 2nd

LIBRARY FRIENDS BOOK SALE The Albert L. Scott Friends of the Library will host their annual Fall Book & Bake Sale in the library's mobile unit from Friday, September 23 through Sunday, September 25. Friday, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., is a preview night for members only. We encourage our friends and neighbors to shop Friday for the best selection. Persons who do not have a current Friends membership but who wish to shop at the preview may purchase their membership at the door. The sale continues with hours for the general public on Saturday, April 30, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Sunday, May 1, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Book Sale prices are: Hardbacks, $1.00, Paperbacks and Children's books, $.50, VHS tapes, $.50 and DVDs, $1.00. On Sunday, all guests at the sale may take as many books and movies as a brown paper bag will hold for only $5.00. Volunteer workers are needed for this event! There will be sign-up sheets at the library as the date nears.

Wednesday, September 7 Surprise Story Time! 10:15 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Kids of all ages are invited to join Miss Jennie for surprising tales, songs, and activities. Meets in the mobile unit. Tuesday, September 13 Milk & Cookies Story Time 4:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m. Celebrate National Library Card Month with MOOlissa the Barber’s Dairy Cow Mascot in the mobile unit. Kids of all ages can sign up. Tuesday, September 20 Alabaster Book Blasters Book Club 4:30 p.m. Children in grades first through sixth can sign up to explore books, reader’s theater, and more during our book club session. Meets in the mobile unit. Children six years old and younger must be with an adult. Thursday, September 22 Jugglewell Show and Workshop 4:00 p.m. Expert juggler Brian Bruggeman reveals the history and secrets of juggling at this hands-on program. Meets in the mobile unit.

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September, 2011

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EDUCATION COMMITTEE MEETING DRAWS CROWD At the July 28 meeting of the City Council’s education committee, a number of local educators and residents showed up to ask questions about the city’s exploration of a possible city school system. The meeting was held at the Alabaster Senior Center and was attended by an estimated 120 to 150 people. “We had a very good turnout,” said City Councilman Scott Brakefield. “I was very pleased with the turnout. I’m glad a lot of people are showing interest in it. We had the ability to answer some questions and concerns.” The meeting was geared primarily toward educators, who were given the opportunity to ask questions about the process and what a new

school system might mean for them. The meeting drew a large number of teachers as well as several area principals. “We opened the floor for questions and sat there for about two hours,” said Brakefield. “For two hours, we took questions and made sure to address all the questions that we could.” Among the issues raised was accreditation of the schools, selection of a school board, and how the new school system might be funded. Other questions pertained to the physical equipment of the schools as well as the buildings themselves. According to Brakefield, the new school system would not be

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required to actually purchase the school buildings but rather assume any debt associated with them. “We would assume any debt assigned to those buildings and those buses, but we would not have to go out and purchase them,” he said. “We’d just assume any debt that’s tied to those fixtures. Funding for a city school system would come from a separate fund. It would not come from the city’s general fund.” Naturally, the committee received many questions from teachers regarding important issues like teacher retirement, health insurance, benefits, and salaries. The committee was able to

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address many of the concerns expressed by the teachers. “From a teacher’s standpoint, little to nothing would change,” said Brakefield. Earlier in the year, the City of Alabaster commissioned a feasibility study to investigate the possible creation of a city school system. That study is expected to be completed sometime around the beginning of September. The study is being conducted by education consultant Ira Harvey. Once the study is returned, residents can expect more meetings to be held to discuss the findings. For information on future meeting dates and locations, visit the City of Alabaster calendar online. Meeting announcements should also be posted on the “Alabaster City Schools” Facebook page. A determination on the issue is expected by November.

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Sherry Johnson has been Dr. Stricklin’s appointment coordinator for over 15 years. She, her husband Steve and son Cameron have called Alabaster home since 1995. Cameron is a sophomore at Thompson High School. “ I moved to Alabaster when my son was two weeks old, not knowing anyone. I realized very soon I needed to meet people and be a part of a team. I had been in Dentistry for 14 years and I missed it. When I found Dr. Stricklin and met his staff I knew I belonged. I love my job and enjoy caring for the patients. We are like a family and try hard to make everyone feel at home. We know going to the dentist is not everyone’s favorite place to be, but you will experience the best of care from Dr. Stricklin and his staff. Our patients are like family and friends. If you need a dental family, please call me.” Sincerely, Sherry

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FROM

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The local Punt Pass & Kick competition sponsored by the NFL will be held Saturday, September 24 beginning at 9am at Buck Creek Park. The program is a national skills competition for boys and girls between the ages of 6 and 15 to compete separately against their peers. Girls and boys in five separate age divisions (6-7,8-9,10-11,12-13, and 14-15) compete against each other in punting, passing and place kicking. The event is free, and registration begins at 8am on the day of the event. Individuals winning this competition will advance on to the Sectionals which will also be at Buck Creek Park on Saturday October 29.

BARK IN THE PARK OCT. 1 The Alabaster Parks and Recreation Department has teamed up once again with the Shelby Humane Society for the 5th annual Bark in the Park Dog Festival. Come out to Veterans Park on October 1 for a day of fun for the whole family. Bark in the Park is a free event for animal lovers and their pets. This fun filled event will run from 9am-2pm and will include contests, music, vendors, crafts, inflatables, Mutt Strutt, and much more. Please make plans to attend. For more info, call 664-6840 or visit www.shelbyhumane.org

BASKETBALL REGISTRATION Basketball registration will be held September 19 thru October 7 at the Parks and Recreation office. You can register between the hours of 8AM-5PM Monday thru Friday. Registration fee will be $80 for residents and $88 for non-residents. There will be a 10% discount for multiple children. Leagues included are Kindergarten/1st grade (co-ed), 2nd and 3rd grades, 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade. A 7th-9th grade league will be formed after the middle school teams have been picked. Girl’s leagues will be registered by grades just like the boys. For more info, call 664-6840 or visit www.cityofalabaster.com

YOUTH SOCCER WINS! The Parks and Recreation Department’s Youth Soccer program experienced another healthy signup this year, with approximately 400 kids registering to participate in the fall sport. According to Parks and Recreation Department Athletic Manager Morgan Lawley, the participants are evenly split between the girls and boys, and the ages will range from young kids to early teens. “We’ve been running around 400, maybe a little over, for the last two seasons,” said Lawley. “We go from U6 to U15, so that would be ages 4 and 5 up to probably 14, because it’s ‘under’ 15.” The first games of the season will take place Saturday, Sept. 10.

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“They’ll start practicing on Aug. 8 and have about a month before the first game,” said Lawley. “They’ll have two practices a week and a game on Saturday.” For the younger participants, games will take place at Municipal Park. Some of the older teams will travel to other cities to compete as well. According to Lawley, the new soccer coaches aren’t required to take an introductory soccer course, but they are encouraged to do so. “There are three classes we offer for the different age groups,” said Lawley. “It’s done by AYSA, which is the Alabama Youth Soccer Association.” The soccer season will run through the end of October, with a tournament to be held at the end.

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START SMART SOCCER: This program is for 3 and 4 year olds and is a developmentally appropriate introductory soccer program. The program prepares children and their parents for organized soccer without the threat of competition or fear of getting hurt. The children work one-on-one with their parents while spending quality time with them and having fun. Age appropriate soccer equipment is used to teach kicking, dribbling, trapping, throw ins, and agility. The program will begin on September 6 and conclude on October 15 with a scrimmage and party. This year we have 20 players enrolled in Start Smart.

FALL SOCCER Soccer participation is growing with 385 children registered. Teams have been practicing in preparation for September 10 when league play begins at Municipal Park. Individual and team pictures will also be made on September 17.

FOOTBALL & CHEERLEADING Football/Cheer registration numbers have increased this year with 428 participants up from 365 last year. We have 253 football players and 175 cheerleaders participating. The season begins the last week in August.

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GOVERNOR BENTLEY VISITS ALABASTER Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley was in Alabaster recently to promote the state’s annual tax-free holiday, which is held each year on the first full weekend in August. The governor held a press conference on Tuesday, Aug. 2, at the Books-A-Million in the Colonial Promenade shopping center, where he discussed the positive effects that the holiday has had on the economy. “In 2006, the Legislature, and I was a member of the Legislature at the time, passed a bill that would allow the state and also local entities to not tax individuals on certain items, and I think this has stimulated our economy as we’ve done that,” he said. “As people would come and shop more during that weekend, they’ve spent more money on other items that did not have the tax taken off of it, so that in the long run, businesses did better.” According to Bentley, the holiday has also provided a boost for employees, who are needed to help work during the busy retail weekend. “Companies oftentimes would hire people to help during that weekend so it puts people back to work. So that’s the important part of it,” Bentley said.

Under the state’s legislation, certain back-to-school items are exempt from state sales and use tax during the sales-tax holiday, and counties and cities are authorized to waive local sales tax under the same terms and conditions. According to Bentley, this year some 273 counties and cities participated in the holiday. “Not everything is covered but there are enough things that are covered that I think it will stimulate people to come out and purAlabaster Mayor David Frings, Governor Bentley, City chase items,” said Bentley. Councilpersons Sophie Martin, Adam Moseley, and Rick Walters “Every weekend we’ve “We’re anticipating done this over the past six State Sen. Cam Ward, State great traffic this coming years, it’s done well. We Rep. April Weaver, City of weekend,” said Riether, think this year will be no Alabaster Mayor David who noted that all books exception.” Frings, and City under $30 would be includAccording to Bentley, Councilpersons Sophie the retail sector is an impor- ed among the tax-free Martin, Adam Moseley, tant part of the state’s econ- items. and Rick Walters. omy, and that’s especially Local officials in attentrue for communities like dance at the event included Alabaster. “The more people shop, the more money is put into YOUR COMPLETE HEALTH FOOD STORE the system, and this will help stimulate our economy. We want our retail businesses to do well. When retail does well, everybody does well,” Bentley said. Joining Bentley in the presentation were Roger Riether, a district manager with Books-A-Million, and Rick Brown, the president of the Alabama Retail Association.

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FALL FLING SEPTEMBER 30 AT VETS PARK On Friday, Sept. 30, the Parks and Recreation Department will host the fifth annual Fall Fling at Veterans Park. Held in partnership with the Shelby County Schools Special Services, the Fall Fling brings together students with disabilities for a day of fun at the park. As in years past, this year will feature plenty of fun activities for the kids to participate in. “We have seven stations that rotate every twenty minutes, so the kids will get the chance to do everything,” said Alicia Walters, the therapeutic recreation manager with the Parks and Recreation Department. “In the past, we’ve had a craft table, we’ve done inflatables. We have the drummer com-

ing back, which is exciting.” This year, the event will also feature a Zumba station. Zumba is a popular new workout craze that combines exercise with Latin music. “I am very excited to bring in Zumba for our kids at Fall Fling to experience. We’ll just blast the music, have lots of fun and exercise and just have a really good time,” said Walters. The first activities will start at 9:30 a.m. The event will finish around noon. Some of the other activities will include face-painting, bubbles, and fishing. Kona Ice will also be on hand with some tasty refreshments for the children. again,” said Walters. “We’re just very excited Walters said she anticiand looking forward to pates around 150 children, working with the schools plus teachers and staff.

State Farm Insurance and Blue Cross and Blue Shield will also be providing volunteers for the event.

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September, 2011

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TARGET HOSTS NATIONAL NIGHT OUT On Tuesday, Aug. 2, the Alabaster Target hosted its annual “National Night Out” event in the store parking lot at the Colonial Promenade shopping center. Each year, the event brings together a collection of local, state and federal law-enforcement agencies so that residents can interact with the groups and learn about what they do. Some of the groups attending this year included the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the National Guard, the Shelby County Jail, ATF, DEA, FEMA, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, the Alabaster Police Department, and Alabaster Fire & Rescue Service. “The event is larger than what we’ve had in the past,” said Target Store Team Leader Erin Seago. “We have not only Alabaster law enforcement but also county and state organizations that are here.” According to Seago, the attendance for the event exceeded the previous year’s total. “We try to track it as best we can,” she said. “We’re looking to do more than last year. Before the event is over, we’ll probably see anywhere from 1,300 to 2,000 people.” In addition to the lawenforcement groups, there were other community-ori-

ented organizations attending as well, including Shred-it, Roof Doctors, 4-H, Family Connection, Shelby County Drug Free Coalition, Kids’ Directory, YMCA, and SafeHouse, which helps victims of domestic abuse. “This is our second year doing this,” said Valencia Albright, public relations representative with SafeHouse. “We really enjoy it every year.” According to Albright, the event gave the group an opportunity to interact with members of the public who might not be familiar with their services. “We’ve had a good turnout. We’ve already talked to about 30 people, and we had one person who was in need of our services. We feel like if we can help one person a day, then we’re doing our work in Shelby County,” said Albright. Staff Sgt. S.G. Roberts, a recruiter with the U.S. Marine Corps, said that he’d had a good bit of interest at his booth as well. “I’ve had a lot of interest and a lot of questions,” said Roberts. “Most of the time, I answer a lot of questions and explain a lot of the unknowns about the Marine Corps.” Helping add to the fun were inflatables for the kids, a dunking booth, the Shelby Stompers Dance Club, Texas Roadhouse

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catering, and Kona Ice. Free fingerprinting was also available for children provided by McGruff, and plenty of families lined up to take advantage of the opportunity. There were also prizes given away throughout the night, like movie passes provided by AmStar Cinemas and tickets to Alabama Adventure. “We also gave away some bicycle helmets for tornado safety,” said Target Spokeswoman Renee Crook. “We were promoting tornado safety, for kids

to wear helmets during tornadoes to help prevent head injuries. The helmets were provided by Roof Doctors.” Many Target employees and their family members contributed to making the event a success. Several businesses donated to the cause as well, including Flowers Bakery, Frito-Lay, Coca-Cola, Reddy Ice, and Chick-fil-A. The PA system was provided by the Alabaster Parks & Recreation Department.

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September, 2011

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CHAIN STORE BITES ON LOCAL FISHERMAN’S IDEA and for the avid fisherman, it can help when he has what we call a ‘brain lock.’ When he’s thrown everything in his tackle box and doesn’t know what else to do, he goes back to the basics,” he said. Stewart, who is vice president of sales (trackmobile Local fisherman Dave division) at Andress Stewart has created a set of Engineering in Alabaster, simple fishing guides to help actually created the prodanglers catch fish, and his ucts in the 1990s but only first big bite was Bass Pro recently attempted to place Shops. The fishing megasthem in stores. tore started carrying the “It lay dormant for products last year, and almost 20 years,” said Dave Stewart (right) creator of Bass Minder they’ve been picking up Stewart. “In 2009, a friend of steam ever since. mine who’s a regional vice “Ever since September, president with Wal-Mart we’ve been going great guns was over at the house, and with Bass Pro Shops,” said he said you really need to Stewart. “We’re getting an do something with this.” order a week.” At that point, Stewart Specifically, the products partnered with Style are stickers that serve as a Advertising of Birmingham, simple reference for fisherand they were able to sucmen when they’re out on the cessfully place the products water. They’re sold under with Bass Pro Shops. the brand name Bass “We sent some product Minder. off to Bass Pro Shops and “The three primary lines within one day, we got a call are a lure selection guide, a saying they wanted the Bass line selection guide and line Minder to go in their prodreminder stickers,” said uct mix. We were thrilled to Stewart. “Each one is one-of- death,” he said. “We started a-kind in the industry. I off in eight stores. Two don’t know of any other weeks later, we got an order products like them on the for all 58 stores.” Since then, they’ve been market.” able to place the product The lure selection guide with Wal-Mart as well. matches the most popular Stewart’s hoping it does as bass-fishing lures with the well there as it has with Bass time of year, water condiPro Shops. tions, and water tempera“We just got our first ture, Stewart said. small order with Wal-Mart,” “It’s a sticker you peel off he said. “We’ll see how it and you can put it on your goes.” tackle box or your boat and To get a look at Stewart’s it’ll give you a quick referfishing guides, visit ence guide. For the novice it www.bassminder.com. can give him a beginning, 24 ENJOY THE LABOR DAY HOLIDAY!! September, 2011


MIND MAP YOUR NEXT BIG IDEA important parts of the central whole. Each Mind Map starts with the central idea, and then other ideas branch off from that, each using a different color. Topics You’re trying to figure relating to each out your next big idea - the branch flow out one that will make you millions of dollars, or you’re try- from each part with the addition ing to plan a project at work or school, or you’re trying to of pictures to plan a paper or take effective emphasize various subjects and notes at school. help make the You could take notes the process fun. old fashioned A-B-C 1-2-3 Mind Maps method, or you could try allow you to litersomething completely differally create an architect’s ent and more fun like Mind blueprint of an idea. Mapping. They’ve also been helpful Mind Mapping was developed in Great Britain by with children with ADHD to allow them to jump Tony Buzan when he was around an idea yet stay on looking for more effective task as the whole idea is ways to study and retain presented as a colorful diainformation from textbooks gram that makes work fun and lectures. and makes information easHe developed Mind Mapping as a way to graphi- ier to retain. Although the first Mind cally organize information Maps were done with paper and actually make the and colored pencils, there process colorful and fun. are new software programs Taking notes from such as Mindjet and Nature, he looked at trees with sturdy trunks and many IThoughts that allow you to create maps on personal branches and roots, all computers, Ipads and

Iphones. If you want to read more about it, a good place to start is “The Mind Map Book” by Tony Buzan.

Who knows? Maybe you’ll start mapping your million dollar idea today.

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September, 2011

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TAX-FREE WEEKEND A HIT WITH RETAILERS Local retailers experienced a big shopping weekend this past month as the City of Alabaster participated in the state’s annual Sales Tax Holiday. This was the sixth year that the state has held the three-day tax holiday, and as usual, it was a big event for both retailers and shoppers alike. According to Rick Brown, the president of the Alabama Retail Association, the salestax holiday is one of the most important shopping periods of the year. “This has turned out to be the second-biggest shopping weekend, other than Christmas, for retailers,” said Brown. “And it does boost the economy. It boosts sales of other items.” Under state legislation passed in 2006, certain backto-school items like books and school supplies are exempt from state sales and use tax during the three-day holiday. The law also authorizes counties and cities to waive their own local sales taxes, and this year, Alabama saw a record number of local governments choosing to do so. “School items like pens and pencils, they’re tax-free, but on the school list, hand sanitizer wouldn’t be,” said Brown. Other items, like clothes (valued at $100 or less)

and computer equipment (priced at less than $750) are also included among the exempted items. According to Erin Seago, the store team leader at the Alabaster Target, Target makes preparations in advance each year to accommodate the annual increase in traffic. “When it comes to our schedule, we know we’ll have increased traffic Friday through Sunday, especially with the surrounding counties not participating to the fullest extent,” she said. “So we will have plenty of cashiers, plenty of team members here. We’ve got the school lists printed available for our guests. So we are ready for the weekend.” The most popular items at Target usually include standard school supplies like notebooks and paper. “People come in and get the necessities,” said Seago. With books being a big need for back-to-school shoppers, Books-A-Million has always had success during the holiday as well. According to Roger Riether, a district manager with Books-A-Million, all books under $30 are included as tax-free items. Riether also

said the store was using the event to promote Books-A-Million’s new NOOK e-reader. “We’ve done very well with the tax-free holidays,” said Riether. According to Nancy Dennis, the director of public relations for the Alabama Retail Association, this year’s salestax holiday was one of the best yet. “The majority of the retailers I’ve spoken to had more sales this past sales-tax holiday weekend than they did last year,” said Dennis. “Some of them reported increases as little as one percent to as high as 30 percent.” Among the most popular items this year were clothing, shoes, and electronics.

“Clothing is usually the top seller,” Dennis said. “One retailer told me that dresses were very popular this year. Shoes are always a big seller. And the electronic retailers had big sales in e-readers, tablets, and laptops. You know, the higher the purchase, the more you save, so it’s just a really good time to make those high-dollar purchases and save some money.”

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September, 2011


GOING GREEN Is dilution the solution? Or should we rather say “out of sight, out of mind”? Both of these could be reasons why someone would choose to dump pollutants and other debris in our waterways. While most people have enough education to know that you do not just pour your waste oil, solvents, paints, and other liquids on the ground or directly into a drainage channel or stream, many will not think twice about dumping leaves, limbs, grass clippings, etc. directly into a stream that is close at hand. Why does this hurt? Leaves and limbs are natural. It’s not like dumping a can of oil in the creek? Right? You are correct that the limbs, leaves, and grass are not a hazardous waste, but it is not a good idea to dump them into a drainage feature or stream. The best solution is to set up a composting area in your yard to work these organic materials back into the environment in the proper manner. If this is overwhelming for you, the city has offered curbside pickup for this type of solid

waste for many years. While this material does go to a landfill, this is a much better choice than dumping anything into a stream or creek. Why is dumping my “natural” yard waste bad for our aquatic ecosystems? The first reason is that dumping large quantities of material into the creek is anything but natural. Leaves do naturally fall into the creek but not a wheelbarrow at a time. Large quantities of limbs and leaves will wash downstream, but eventually they will catch and could form a blockage that causes flooding. Second, large amounts of organic material can settle in deeper pools and cause low dissolved oxygen for aquatic life as they decompose. This results in fish kills and destroys the habitat. For those of you that are lucky enough to live along one of our local streams, please do not think that dilution is the solution. Dispose of all waste properly so that our surface water stays clean and debris free.

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COUNCILMAN’S SON BACK HOME Kyle Hicks, the son of City Councilman Bob Hicks and his wife Lynn, returned home this summer after undergoing months of physical rehabilitation at a number of medical centers around the South. Kyle, who joined the Army following his graduation from Jacksonville State University in 2008, sustained serious head injuries last November after his truck hydroplaned off Morgan Road over Thanksgiving. Following the accident, he spent a month in the trauma center at UAB before being transferred to the Shepherd Center, a rehabilitation program in Atlanta, on Jan. 7, 2011. After the Shepherd Center, he spent time at Fort Bragg, N.C., and Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville before returning to Alabaster this summer to continue his reha-

bilitation from home. “He still is active duty,” said Bob. “He was attached to Fort Bragg. We were there for three weeks and then he got relocated to what’s called CBWTU, which is a CommunityBased Warrior Transition Unit at Redstone Arsenal. Once he got done there, he came home so he could do his therapy in Birmingham and live at home. The Army was kind enough to facilitate that for us.” According to Bob, Kyle is still working hard with his therapy, which he attends several days a week in Birmingham. “He is going to rehab in Birmingham three days a week for occupational, speech, and physical therapy. On Wednesdays and Fridays, he is a member of the Lakeshore Rehab, and

we go to the pool there for aquatic therapy,” said Bob. “It’s working out well so far. He still has a long, long way to go.” This August, Kyle and his parents participated in a recreational event called Operation ALPHA. The event, which is organized by the Lakeshore Foundation, gives injured soldiers an opportunity to participate in a number of recreational activities alongside their families. It was held Aug. 4-7 and brought several soldiers and their families together for an outstanding experience. “It was awesome,” said Bob. “We had the greatest time.” Part of the event was held at Lay Lake, where Kyle and ten other soldiers were able to participate in a variety of water sports, like

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kayaking, fishing, and water tubing around the lake. “The best thing was being able to stand there and watch my son do things that I didn’t think he was ever going to be able to do again,” said Bob. The event gave the soldiers an opportunity to push themselves, which is one of the philosophies that the therapists at Lakeshore use. “The folks at Lakeshore basically say the only way you can find out what he can do is to push him to do things. They’re extending his activity range and keeping him moving. The therapies they do are getting more and more intense as time goes on,” said Bob.

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September, 2011


DRAMA IN OCTOBER South City Theatre presents “Dial M for Murder” directed by George Scott. Tony married for money. Now he’ll kill for it. And you’ll be on the edge of your seat every thrilling moment of this quintessential murder mystery. It’s a dark, dangerous, delightful whodunit of forbidden love, delightful suspense, blackmailers, and backstabbers— figuratively and literally. Performances are October 6th, 7th, 13th and 14th at the Camp Branch Civic Center in Alabaster (8pm) October 21st and 22nd at the Homewood Library (8pm Dinner Theatre!) Possible additional performances at Vestavia

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DIAL M FOR MURDER Hills United Methodist Church (7pm) TBAP Tickets are $15. Student, senior and groups of 10 or more are $12. Camp Branch Civic Center is located at the corner of Hwy 31and Hwy 26 across from the Snow Down Shopping Center. Call 621-2128. www.southcitytheatre.com

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SENIOR ACTIVITIES Tour of Sloss Furnace and lunch Tuesday, Sept. 27. We will take a tour and then enjoy lunch. Note: this is a walking tour with a few steps. Bring $2.00 for the tour and $10-$12 for lunch at Klingler's in Vestavia. Space is limited. Cost is $1.00 to reserve your spot. New Walking Program Be on the lookout for our new walking program. Starting in October- every Tuesday and Thursday at 9am. Wear your tennis shoes and meet at the new outdoor exercise equipment behind the senior center. Drawing Fundamentals for the BEGINNER- Mondays from 1-2:30pm. This class will be offered the month of September and October. If you have a desire to draw but think you can’t, this class is for you. Students will explore drawing techniques based on the elements of art and principles of design. Drawing projects are designed to encourage student confidence. Class will begin with the art element line, then move to value studies and other art elements. Basic techniques, lots of information will be offered to help beginners to advance their skills. Cost is $20/month. Students purchase supplies.

Approximate cost $15.00. Class is taught by Comfort Care volunteers. Ballroom Dance Class Coming- Mondays from 12pm. Singles and couples are welcome. Come have fun and learn a variety of dances. Cost is $5/person/class. Bring cash and pay the day of the class. This 6 week session will begin on October 3.

Come enjoy the new Senior Center!

Line dancing on Thursdays: Intermediate class begins at 9:30am and beginner class at 10:30am. Encouraged donation of $2/class.

Zumba Gold This explosive exercise program is designed so that everyone can do it. You will see a variety of styles: If you would like more Alabaster Senior Center at Meringue, Salsa, Cha Cha, information concerning sen- 663-1307 or Cumbia, Belly Dance, ior programs, please contact awalters@cityofalabaster.com Flamenco, Tango and Rock and Roll rhythms. Zumba Gold guarantees you will The Shelby County Board of Education's Community Education have fun while you are Department is continually adding to their Adult Education programs. The getting a great workout. Join us every Wednesday goal is to give the people of Shelby County opportunities for increased personal and professional development. Upcoming classes include at 1 pm. Encouraged Photography Class•Chicago Style Stepping Class•Organic donation of $2/class. Gardening•Grant Writing•Resume Writing and Interview You won’t want to miss Skills•Jazz Improvisation Class-Instrument needed•Ballroom all the activities at the Dance•Buying your First Home•Being Smart About Your Smart senior center: Phone•Spanish•Computer Classes•Once a Month Cooking Men’s Social Group- 1st To view these classes or other new classes visit their website at Monday of each month www.shelbyed.k12.al.us/communityed.htm If you are interested in teach9 am ing a class or you would like more information, please contact Janet Wii Bowling –Tuesdays Gulledge @ 682-5941 or Kay Dummier @ 682-5843. If you'd like to teach 12pm a class and earn extra money, email us your idea at jgulledge@shelbyed.k12.al.us. Crochet Lessons sponsored Zumba Gold (exercise)by Comfort Care HospiceWednesdays 1pm Thursdays in September Beginner/Inter Line dancing – Thursdays 9:30am from 10am-11am. Each of When you venture out you will learn the basic cro- Beginner Line Dancing – Thursday 10:30am chet stitches in order to this RV season, don't Tempo exercise – Fridays make a Prayer Shawl. You forget we have a dump will then donate your Prayer 10am Bridge- Thursday 12-3pm station at the wastewater Shawl to a Comfort Care Rook- Wednesdays 9:00am treatment plant Hospice client. Items in the Rummikub- Wednesdays located at 104 8th Ave. NW. first class will be provided 9:00am free. Purchase of yarn and Timeless Treasures For info call Kenneth Hill @ 664-6825 between crochet needles is needed to (singing) – Monday 10am 7:30 AM and 3:30 PM Mon- Fri. complete the course. 30 ENJOY THE LABOR DAY HOLIDAY!! September, 2011

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FOR THE RECORD

Minutes of the Alabaster City Council Meeting Alabaster, Alabama July 7, 2011 A regular meeting of the Alabaster City Council was held in the Municipal Annex on Thursday, July 7, 2011, at 7:00 P.M., and there were present at said meeting Councilpersons: Present: Sophie Martin, Bob Hicks, Adam Moseley, Rick Walters, Tommy Ryals and Jim McClain. Absent: Scott Brakefield. MEETING OPENING Council Member Hicks made a motion to approve the minutes of the June 16, 2011 meeting as read. Council Member Martin seconded the motion. Voting – Ayes: Sophie Martin, Bob Hicks, Adam Moseley, Tommy Ryals and Jim McClain. Nays: None. Rick Walters abstained due to his absence from the meeting. Motion carried. Council Member Ryals made a motion to approve the agenda for tonight’s meeting as amended with the addition of one item: #3. Appointment to the Zoning Board of Adjustments. Council Member Walters seconded the motion. Voting – Ayes: All Ayes. Nays: None. Motion carried. 1. SET A PUBLIC HEARING ON A REZONING REQUEST FROM GEORGE CARTER OF 1.24 +/- ACRES FROM R-3 (RESIDENTIAL DISTRICT) TO B-4 (GENERAL BUSINESS DISTRICT) LOCATED AT 210 HILLWOOD PARK SOUTH. Council Member Ryals made a motion to set said public hearing on Monday, September 19, 2011 at 7:00 P.M. with Council Member Martin seconding. Voting – Ayes: All Ayes. Nays: None. Motion carried. RESOLUTION NO. 070711 2. RESOLUTION REGARDING FY 2012 M4A AGREEMENT WITH MIDDLE ALABAMA AREA AGENCY ON AGING FOR THE SENIORS NUTRITION PROGRAM. Council Member Hicks introduced Resolution No. 070711 allowing Mayor Frings to enter into an agreement with the Middle Alabama Area Agency on Aging to enhance the provision of nutrition and other services to eligible seniors in the City. Council Member Hicks made a motion to approve Resolution No. 070711 as introduced with Council Member Walters seconding. Voting – Ayes: Sophie Martin, Bob Hicks, Adam Moseley, Rick Walters, Tommy Ryals and Jim McClain. Nays: None. Motion carried. 3. APPOINTMENT TO THE ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENTS. Council President McClain opened the floor for nominations for an opening on the Zoning Board of Adjustments due to the resignation of Larry Burdette from the Board. Council Member Ryals nominated Denny Rother to fill this opening. There being no other nominations, Council President McClain closed the nominations. Council Member Ryals made a motion to approve the appointment of Denny Rother to the Zoning Board of Adjustments. Council Member Moseley seconded. Voting - Ayes: Sophie Martin, Bob Hicks, Adam Moseley, Rick Walters, Tommy Ryals and Jim McClain. Nays: None. Motion carried. 4. COUNCIL WORK SESSION. Council President McClain announced that no council work session will be held before their next regularly scheduled council meeting on Monday, July 18, 2011 in the Municipal Annex, 127 1st Street SW. Council President McClain also reminded everyone of the date change for the Finance Committee Meeting from Wednesday, July 13 to Tuesday, July 19 at the Senior Activity Center. After brief council and audience comments, Council Member Hicks made a motion to adjourn with Council Member Walters seconding. All were in favor and said meeting was adjourned at 7:13 P.M. Minutes of the Alabaster City Council Meeting Alabaster, Alabama July 18, 2011 A regular meeting of the Alabaster City Council was held in the Municipal Annex on Monday, July 18, 2011, at 7:00 P.M., and there were present at said meeting Councilpersons: Present: Sophie Martin, Adam Moseley, Rick Walters, Scott Brakefield, Tommy Ryals and Jim McClain. Absent: Bob Hicks. MEETING OPENING Council Member Moseley made a motion to approve the minutes of the July 7, 2011 meeting as read. Council Member Martin seconded the motion. Voting – Ayes: Sophie Martin, Adam Moseley, Rick Walters, Tommy Ryals and Jim McClain. Nays: None. Scott Brakefield abstained due to his absence from the meeting. Motion carried. Council Member Walters made a motion to approve the agenda for tonight’s meeting as presented. Council Member Brakefield seconded the motion. Voting – Ayes: All Ayes. Nays: None. Motion carried. MAYORS COMMENTS Mayor Frings appointed Jason Howanitz, of Grande View Estates, to the Alabaster Housing Abatement Board. Mr. Howanitz will fill the unexpired term of the engineering field opening on the board which expires October 31, 2012. Mayor Frings advised the insurance companies have finally started answering on some of these forfeited subdivision bonds. The city has received a check for approximately $29,153 on Fox Valley Subdivision to assist with the street repairs. RESOLUTION NO. 071811 1. RESOLUTION DECLARING THE EXISTENCE OF EXIGENT CIRCUMSTANCES IN RELATION TO CERTAIN ROADS IN THE FOX VALLEY SUBDIVISION AND AUTHORIZING REPAIR AND COMPLETION. Council Member Ryals introduced Resolution No. 071811 declaring the existence of exigent circumstances affect the health and welfare of the general public in relation to a certain road (Fox Valley Drive) located in the Fox Valley Subdivision and authorizing repair and completion of said road. The roads must be

repaired and a proper seal coat be placed on the roadways to preserve the repairs and mitigate further damage and harm to the general public. Council Member Ryals made a motion to approve Resolution No. 071811 with Council Member Walters seconding. Voting – Ayes: Sophie Martin, Adam Moseley, Rick Walters, Scott Brakefield, Tommy Ryals and Jim McClain. Nays: None. Motion carried. RESOLUTION NO. 071811-A 2. A RESOLUTION DECLARING A CERTAIN STREET WITHIN GRANDE VIEW ESTATES CLOSED TO PREVENT ROAD FAILURE. Council Member Ryals introduced Resolution No. 071811-A temporarily closing a portion of Grande View Pass located within Grande View Estates Subdivision. Pursuant to Ala. Code § 23-5-2(5), the cul-desac located at the end of Grande View Pass is hereby temporarily closed until such time as the cul-de-sac is brought to proper grade, the road way surfaces seal coated, and the numerous deficiencies and dangers to the general public are remediated. Council Member Ryals made a motion to approve Resolution No. 071811-A as introduced with Council Member Moseley seconding. Voting – Ayes: Sophie Martin, Adam Moseley, Rick Walters, Scott Brakefield, Tommy Ryals and Jim McClain. Nays: None. Motion carried. 3. COUNCIL WORK SESSION. Council President McClain announced that no council work session will be held before their next regularly scheduled council meeting on Monday, August 1, 2011 in the Municipal Annex, 127 1st Street SW. After brief council and audience comments, Council Member Walters made a motion to adjourn with Council Member Brakefield seconding. All were in favor and said meeting was adjourned at 7:25 P.M. Minutes of the Alabaster City Council Meeting Alabaster, Alabama June 16, 2011 A regular meeting of the Alabaster City Council was held in the Municipal Annex on Thursday, June 16, 2011, at 7:00 P.M., and there were present at said meeting Councilpersons: Present: Sophie Martin, Bob Hicks, Adam Moseley, Scott Brakefield, Tommy Ryals and Jim McClain. Absent: Rick Walters. MEETING OPENING Council Member Moseley made a motion to approve the minutes of the June 2, 2011 meeting as read. Council Member Brakefield seconded the motion. Voting – Ayes: Sophie Martin, Adam Moseley, Scott Brakefield, Tommy Ryals and Jim McClain. Nays: None. Bob Hicks abstained due to his absence from the meeting. Motion carried. Council Member Hicks made a motion to approve the agenda for tonight’s meeting as amended with the addition of two items: #6 A resolution on a memorandum of agreement with ALDOT for clean-up on state rights of way from storm damage, and #7 A resolution on a mutual aid agreement with Bibb County for storm clean up. Council Member Moseley seconded the motion. Voting – Ayes: All Ayes. Nays: None. Motion carried. 1. A PUBLIC HEARING ON AN ORDINANCE REGARDING THE ADOPTION OF A PROPOSED ZONING ORDINANCE AS RECOMMENDED BY THE PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSSION. Council Member Ryals made a motion to continue said public hearing until Monday, September 19, 2011 at 7:00 P.M. with Council Member Brakefield seconding. Voting – Ayes: All Ayes. Nays: None. Motion carried.

Circle of Champions Toastmasters Circle of Champions TM Club provides a mutually supportive and positive learning environment in which every individual member has the opportunity to develop oral communication and leadership skills. The ultimate benefit is self-confidence and personal growth. Sounds like something you may be interested in? We invite you to be our guest. Membership is relatively inexpensive and opens to anyone at least 18 years of age. Join us for a meeting; 1st and 3rd Monday (excluding holidays) 6:30 PM at Abundant Life Church, 1625 Kent Dairy Rd., Alabaster, AL.

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NEW PLASWALL PLANT (CON’T FROM PAGE 3) As demand for Plaswall grows, Schurmann said he hopes to expand to other states. "We're planning to establish at least one plant per state, so you're talking about 50 plants," he said.

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"And then as we go along, you can have various plants in an area because the radius is about 300 miles per plant in order to be able to deliver easily from each site." For more information, visit Plaswall Manufacturing & Development at http://www.plaswall.us. September, 2011

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Calendar of Events

Sept. 5 City offices closed for holiday.

David M. Frings, Mayor Sept. 6 City Council Meeting 7 pm Annex frings@cityofalabaster.com 663-7059 Sept. 12 Water Board 7 pm Annex Sophie Martin, Ward 1 Beautification Board 6 pm Senior Ctr. Sept. 13 Housing & Abatement Board 5:15 pm martin@cityofalabaster.com 358-8742 Sept. 14 Municipal Court 9am Annex* Bob Hicks, Ward 2 Finance Committee 5:30 pm City Svcs. Bldg. hicks@cityofalabaster.com 663-1801 Sept. 15 Public Works Committee 5 pm Annex Adam Moseley, Ward 3 Economic Development Committee 5:30 pm moseley@cityofalabaster.com Sept. 19 City Council Meeting 7 pm Annex 663-1564 Rick Walters, Ward 4 Sept. 20 Driving School 7 pm Annex walters@cityofalabaster.com 281-7394 Sept. 26 Board of Adjustments 6 pm Annex Jim McClain, Ward 5 Sept. 27 Library Board Meeting 6 pm at mcclain@cityofalabaster.com Albert L. Scott Library 663-1886 Planning & Zoning 7 pm Annex Scott Brakefield, Ward 6 Sept. 28 Municipal Court 9 am Annex* brakefield@cityofalabaster.com Sewer Committee 6 pm City Hall 685-0302. Tommy Ryals, Ward 7 Sept. 30 Trial Date 9 am Annex ryals@cityofalabaster.com 664-1301 Municipal Annex located behind City Hall at 127 1st Street SW just across the RR track. Marsha Massey, City Clerk The City Services Building is located across mmassey@cityofalabaster.com from Thompson Intermediate School on 119. 664-6800

Non-emergency Police matters 663-7401 Animal Control 664-6761 Personnel Dept 664-6838 Code Enforcement 664-5907

CITY DEPARTMENT PHONE NUMBERS

Oct. 3 City Council Meeting 7 pm Annex Beautification Board 6 pm Former Senior Ctr.(Gardner House) Water Board 7 pm Annex

Oct. 5 Municipal Court Trial Date 9 am Annex Oct. 11 Housing & Abatement Board 5:15 pm Oct. 12 Municipal Court 9 am Annex Finance Committee 5:30 pm City Svcs. Bldg. Oct. 17 City Council Meeting 7 pm Annex Oct. 18 Driving School 7 pm Annex Oct. 20 Public Works Committee 5 pm Annex Economic Development Committee 5:30 pm Oct. 24 Board of Adjustments 6 pm Annex Oct. 25 Planning & Zoning 7 pm Annex Housing & Abatement Board 5:15 pm Annex Oct. 26 Municipal Court 9 am Annex* Sewer Committee 6 pm City Hall Questions about a meeting? Call 664-6800 A full 2011 Calendar is available for reference at www.cityofalabaster.com

Revenue/Business License Dept 664-6844 Garbage/recycling bins 664-6800 Alabaster Parks & Recreation 664-6840 Alabaster Water Board 663-6155

Elizabeth A. Roland Attorney at Law CAN WE HELP YOU WITH LEGAL MATTERS? •Accidents •Wills •Divorce •Civil & Criminal Trials www.elizabethroland.com 267 Village Parkway (Highway 95), Helena

Ed (left) with owner Doug Melton

Elizabeth Roland

620-1278

No representation is made that the quality of services to be performed is greater than the quality of services performed by other lawyers.

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ENJOY THE LABOR DAY HOLIDAY!! September, 2011

We welcome Ed Earley as our transmission specialist. Let us put our experience to work solving your vehicle’s problems. Come see us! Master Technicians Prompt, Courteous, Honest

www.meltonautomotive.com Mon.- Fri.7:30 A.M. ‘TIL 5 P.M.

Full Service Auto Repair Domestic or Import All Makes & Models Specializing in TOYOTA & LEXUS

Call for an appointment today!

663-6088

718 Fulton Springs Rd. (Hwy 26)

Take Hwy 119 turn left at the light past the new Publix at White Stone Center.


September 2011 Newsletter