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DECEMBER 29, 2016 – JANUARY 4, 2017 | ASHLEY TRICE Co-publisher/Editor ROB HOLBERT Co-publisher/Managing Editor STEVE HALL Marketing/Sales Director GABRIEL TYNES Assistant Managing Editor DALE LIESCH Reporter JASON JOHNSON Reporter JANE NICHOLES Reporter

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In response to our recent story about assisted living facilities on state probation, one owner wanted to show another side of the business.


Ron inhales the ether to have another eye-opening discussion with the prophet Nostrildumas.


Continental Motors’ Southern Avionics unit is ditching Brookley Aeroplex for Fairhope’s H.L. “Sonny” Callahan Airport.


The bar and kitchen window at The Haberdasher are autonomous, but you get the best of both worlds.

KEVIN LEE Associate Editor/Arts Editor ANDY MACDONALD Cuisine Editor




2016 was a year of political upheaval locally and nationally, while Mobile and Baldwin counties faced growing pains and other obstacles.


BROOKE O’DONNELL Advertising Sales Executive BETH WILLIAMS Advertising Sales Executive ASHLEY KILLIAN Advertising Sales Executive MELISSA EDGE Editorial Assistant ROSS PRITCHARD Distribution Manager



The year in arts paid heavy cultural dues.


JACKIE CRUTHIRDS Office Manager CONTRIBUTORS: Asia Frey, Lee Hedgepeth, Brian Holbert, Jeff Poor, Ken Robinson, Ron Sivak, Michael Thomason ON THE COVER : 2016 YEAR IN REVIEW BY LAURA RASMUSSEN LAGNIAPPE HD Periodicals Permit #17660 (Volume 2, Issue 14) Copyright 2015 is published weekly, 52 issues a year, by Something Extra Publishing, Inc., 1100B Dauphin St. Mobile, AL 36604 (P.O. Box 3003 Mobile, AL 36652). Business and Editorial Offices: 1100B Dauphin St. Mobile, AL 36604 Accounting and Circulation Offices: 1100B Dauphin St. Mobile, AL 36604. Call 251-450-4466 to subscribe. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to P.O. Box 3003 Mobile, AL 36652 Editorial, advertising and production offices are located at 1100B Dauphin St. Mobile, AL 36604. Mailing address is P.O. Box 3003 Mobile, AL 36652. Phone: 251-450-4466 Fax: 251-450-4498 Email: LAGNIAPPE HD is printed at Walton Press. All rights reserved. Something Extra Publishing, Inc. Nothing may be reprinted. photocopied or in any way reproduced without the expressed permission of the publishers.

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.38 Special founder Don Barnes talks about the band’s legacy prior to its headlining gig at MoonPie Over Mobile New Year’s Eve.


“The Night Before” stars Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie as three ride-ordie homies who have the ultimate last Christmas night out.


WKRG announces Chris Best is its news director.


A complete guide to South Alabama’s showdown with Air Force Academy in the 2016 Arizona Bowl.


A giant talking bass, a councilman’s MoonPie faux pas and Boozie’s year in review are in this week’s Mobile Magnified!

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GOING POSTAL On second thought Editor: Maybe Hillary Clinton’s choice of the word “deplorable” was a poor decision at the time to describe Trump supporters. But damn it, did they have to prove it by cutting down an old-growth cedar tree for a very lame one-hour speech that was only to satisfy his nonexistent rock star mentality? Thomas l. McCary Mobile

Shed a little light Rob: Thanks for an eye-opener column in Lagniappe titled “The state’s wild graduation improvements were never believable.” We need more commentary like this to keep us informed about the true state of affairs in Alabama. It helps readers to appreciate why a free press is necessary in a country where many fake news stories obfuscate the facts. Keep up the good work. J. Nolan White President, Baldwin Writers Group

LAST WEEK ONLINE Gunman dead, officer critically wounded in Saraland shooting According to Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich, Saraland police officer Jackie Tucker (pictured) sustained a single gunshot wound to the head after 27-year-old Matthew Blake Richardson opened a door and immediately began firing on the responding officers. Rich said Tucker and her partner were responding to a

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“911 hangup call” that had come from a home on Martha Alleyn Drive to which police have reportedly been “called ... on a number of occasions” for domestic-related incidents. According to Rich, Tucker’s partner — whose name has not been released — returned fire on Richardson, who was struck and killed. Tucker was transported by helicopter to the University of South Alabama Medical Center in Mobile, where Rich said she was listed in “critical but stable” condition.

Mobile opens midtown dog park

The city of Mobile officially opened a new dog park at Public Safety Memorial Park to give citizens an off-leash area for their canine counterparts to play. The new dog park features fencing, benches, trash receptacles and dog drinking fountains. It will complement the popular skate park that opened just last year and now attracts hundreds of visitors from across the area. The city also opened a dog park at

Crawford Park earlier this year.

City attempting to acquire blighted building near Williamson High Councilman Levon Manzie announced this afternoon that the city is working to acquire the old Yarborough Machine & Iron property located at the intersection of Midway Avenue and Dublin Street, across from Williamson High School. Late last month at a council meeting at the Harmon Recreation Center in District 2, several citizens complained the property had been abandoned and fallen into severe disrepair, and that there appeared to be individuals living in the structures on the property. In response, the City Council began an inquiry into the property and surrounding issues. The city is working to acquire the property through the Neighborhood Renewal Program, which the council created to streamline the city’s efforts to address blight.





ince the first homes were constructed at the Brookside Community Retirement and Assisted Living campus in west Mobile, former owner O.A. “Pepper” Pesnell Jr. has maintained a personal connection to the business — one he built to help care for his own parents. What started as an independent retirement community expanded to include an assisted living facility (ALF) as his parents grew older — all built by the longtime contractor himself. Then, as his parents’ cognitive abilities continued to decline, Pesnell added a Speciality Care Assisted Living Facility (SCALF) to Brookside’s offerings so he could provide the care they needed. “My mom and dad lived on campus independently for a number of years, then moved into [the ALF] for several years and then into the SCALF. They both died from Alzheimer’s,” Pesnell recalled last week. “So they experienced all three levels of care that we provide and, absolutely, they probably caused me to do it all. I loved my mom and daddy. They were great people.” Add to those personal connections the entrance to the Brookside campus on Cottage Hill Road that bears Pesnell’s name and the chapel he built for his mother there and it’s easy to see why selling Brookside wasn’t a fly-by-night decision for the Mobile native. According to Pesnell, the landscape of the assisted living business has changed greatly since the late 1990s, as more and more corporations jump at a business opportunity created by increased life expectancy and an aging population of baby boomers — many of whom will ultimately need some degree of caretaking. Today, Pesnell said he’d estimate “more than 90 percent” of ALFs are corporately owned, which is why Jacksonville, Florida, resident Art Marquez stood out to him when he began inquiring about purchasing Brookside earlier this year. “Art may not want me to tell this, but when I decided to sell I had three offers on the table and his was the lowest, but he’s the one I wanted to sell to,” Pesnell said. “You need to be financially stable and make money in order to operate, but sometimes the corporate focus is more about the bottom line rather than the care of the residents. [Marquez’s] heart and his family’s heart were in the transaction, and that was more important than I can describe.” Pesnell said keeping Brookside “family run” was one of his goals, but that non-corporate status isn’t all he shares with Marquez, who himself was deliberately seeking out retirement communities with SCALF offerings to purchase. Like Pesnell, Marquez is also familiar with seeing a loved one’s cognitive abilities deteriorate with age, having lost his own father to Alzheimer’s. After 13 years of taking care of him, Marquez said his family placed his father in a memory care facility, calling it one of the “toughest decisions” they ever made. “You’re basically telling yourself that you

can no longer care for your loved one. That’s what it boils down to,” he said. “For 15 years, I bathed my dad. I shaved my dad. I fed my dad. I washed his sheets … every day. My mom did it. My brother did it … Just the three of us.” However, Marquez said the facilities that treated his father on the West Coast did a wonderful job, not only with his father’s care, but also with helping his family through the transition. For Marquez, that experience created an interest in owning a SCALF, which he accomplished when he finalized the purchase of Brookside from Pesnell earlier this month. Marquez told Lagniappe he looked into ALFs in several states throughout the Southeast, but it was mostly Pesnell’s personal connection with the property and experience that drew him to Brookside — factors that also led him to keep Pesnell on in an advisory capacity. Aside from Brookside’s history and its privately owned status, Pesnell and Marquez believe the facility is “unique” because of the multiple levels of care offered and the mindset of its staff. Pesnell said some employees have been in the same position since some of the Brookside facilities opened, adding, “If they don’t love working with seniors, we don’t want to employ them.” “We try to do as much as we can to make them feel like they’re still at home,” Marquez said. “That’s the whole goal here is to maintain their dignity and their freedom and to allow them to still be an individual.” Maintaining that goal starts with the range of options available for independent living, but for those requiring more specialized care, Brookside also offers an assisted living facility and its speciality care facility for those with conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s. Marquez said he’ll also be continuing Pesnell’s practice of holding consultations with the families of prospective residents to determine what level of care might best suit their situation — something both men said is helpful when dealing with a loved one’s’ cognitive impairment. “I can only tell you my personal experience, but I was in denial for a while. It was hard for me to realize that my dad was slipping away,” Marquez said. “Our neurologist, he’s the one who said, ‘you know, maybe it’s time for him to move into a memory care facility.’ We needed him to help us make that decision. It’s one of the toughest choices someone can make.” For both Marquez and Pesnell, their approach to providing speciality care begins and ends with an idea of family — from their own families to the families of those dealing with a loved one’s illness, to the residents and caregivers at the Brookside facilities. “We take that very seriously here, and if and when someone’s loved ones need more care than they’re able to provide, we gladly take on that responsibility,” he added. “I know it sounds cliché, but we are kind of like a big family here.” More information is avaiable at and Marquez can be reached at

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fficials are moving full speed ahead on plans to bring passenger rail service back to Mobile, after the Southern Rail Commission awarded the city $125,000 from Federal Railroad Administration funds for the design of a new station. The grant was part of more than $2 million the SRC awarded several cities in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana for various passenger rail station projects, Chairman Greg White said. “We approached the Railroad Administration and our congressional delegation about allowing the funds to be used for stations,” White said. “After several months of review and negotiations back and forth they agreed.” The SRC then requested proposals from cities and awarded the money based on them. In total, $2.4 million was awarded and a portion of that was split between Birmingham, Anniston, Tuscaloosa and Mobile, White said. The money will be spent over the next two years, he said. In its application, Mobile asked for $125,000 from the SRC with a $125,000 “cash” match and a $25,000 “in-kind” match. The total budget for the master plan and design would be $275,000. In the application, project manager Brad Christensen wrote the project would help enhance the city’s downtown area. “The city will partner with a professional consulting firm to develop a station area master plan and associated architectural designs for a station platform, building, parking area and pedestrian access bridge,” Christensen

wrote. “Mobile is geographically and economically positioned to add critical passenger rail infrastructure capacity to the federally designated Gulf Coast HSR corridor. This project would allow the city to take the first steps toward station reconstruction to ready the city for the reintroduction of intercity passenger rail along the Gulf Coast.” This grant award brings more momentum to discussions of bringing passenger rail service back to the area since the Sunset Limited was halted due to a low number of riders and track damage from Hurricane Katrina. Amtrak studies have shown that a simple extension of the City of New Orleans line to Orlando would bring the greatest number of riders. In the grant application, Christensen detailed some of the Port City’s history with passenger rail. He wrote that passenger rail ran through the city in the 1950s and 1960s before being shut down in the 1970s. There was sporadic service in the 1980s, with more regular service following in the 1990s and early 2000s. “Efforts by the city of Mobile in the last several years have led to significant investment in the proposed station area and a renewed interest in passenger rail service,” he wrote. “The planning and design activities proposed herein will build upon these efforts and ensure that Mobile is ready to move forward with construction of a new passenger rail station.” Mayor Sandy Stimpson also wrote a letter of support. “This project lays the foundation for renewed pas-

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senger rail service in Mobile by designing a new passenger rail station that links several waterfront attractions, including the Alabama Cruise Terminal, GulfQuest National Maritime Museum, and the Mobile Convention Center.” Coastal Alabama Partnership CEO Wiley Blankenship said the money was a very significant step in the process toward bringing back passenger rail service. “I think it’s something that if we didn’t have it, I don’t think it’d be moving,” Blankenship said. “It puts us in a position to get something built and completed in anticipation of bringing Gulf Coast rail back.” The location of a proposed new station has not yet been determined. It could be an addition to existing infrastructure, or its own stand-alone structure, city spokesman George Talbot said. Various station locations could prove more challenging than others, Blankenship said. For instance, a station platform or structure near Cooper Riverside Park downtown could interfere with Alabama Port Authority activi-

THIS GRANT AWARD BRINGS MORE MOMENTUM TO DISCUSSIONS OF BRINGING PASSENGER RAIL SERVICE BACK TO THE AREA SINCE THE SUNSET LIMITED WAS HALTED DUE TO A LOW NUMBER OF RIDERS AND TRACK DAMAGE FROM HURRICANE KATRINA.” ties for intermodal rail service and cause problems, he said. “It seems like a logical location, but we have to remember what kind of impact it’s going to have,” he said. “There is only so much property. We have to consider if that is the best use of the property.” Putting a station at the GM&O building could also be a possibility, Blankenship said, although there would still be an impact on the port. He added there could be a compromise on both locations, if need be. “We put a man on the moon, we can probably figure it out,” he said.




possible 5 percent rate hike was not voted on during the Mobile Area Water and Sewer System Board of Commissioners meeting on Dec. 19. Instead, commissioners will await the results of a cost-of-service study to determine future rates, MAWSS spokeswoman Barbara Shaw said. The cost-of-service study by Hawksley Consulting will help the board properly identify costs associated with providing water and sewer services to four categories of customer — residential, industrial, commercial and wholesale. It will also look at any associated fees for providing those services, Shaw said, like an “infrastructure replacement” fee. “The study will review the rate structure and alternative methods of raising rates,” she said. “It will also review affordability issues in developing rate options.” The study will also look at the rate structure and help determine the best fit for MAWSS. It is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2017. It will be the first rate study in eight years for the organization completely funded by customers. “It’s good to look at rate structure every so often,” Shaw said. MAWSS initially considered the rate hike, which would have been its sixth consecutive increase, due to its significant amount of aging infrastructure, Shaw said. Over the past five years,

MAWSS raised rates 5 percent annually. “Like the rest of the nation, MAWSS has a significant amount of aging water and sewer infrastructure that is reaching the end of its useful life,” she said. “Buried underground, it is not readily seen by users. Consequently, the need for infrastructure renewal is not as apparent as roads or other infrastructure, but just as critical.”

Leak at Old Shell Road and Florida Street

Tenants at a strip center near the intersection of Old Shell Road and Florida Street in Midtown recently complained about a leak MAWSS crews hadn’t fixed in what they said was weeks. At the time, Shaw said crews were working to replace a valve to shut off the water and then repair the line. She added that a new line would eventually have to be put in. Shaw wrote in an email message that the valve had been replaced and the line has been fixed. She wrote crews worked at midnight Dec. 8 so as not to disrupt the businesses further. “Water is essential to both the dry cleaner and yoga studio,” Shaw wrote. “The cleaners opens at 4 a.m. and the yoga studio at 6 a.m.” The line will be completely replaced by the end of January, she wrote. “The retail stores asked that we not do it during their busy holiday season,” Shaw wrote. “The work will be done in conjunction with the new service line for Publix.”

Hard rain’s a-gonna fall



uring a conference meeting last week, Mobile County commissioners discussed a $50,000 proposal to address fresh leaks at Government Plaza in downtown Mobile — a problem that has persisted for decades and has already cost the county millions of dollars. The latest request was presented on the agenda as a fix for “water intrusion.” When Assistant County Engineer Brian Kegley was asked to clarify the problem, he said, “Mother Nature is getting into this building.” According to Kegley, the “leakage” is affecting the 10th, 5th and 3rd floors in the building, including areas upgraded in a $1 million suite of renovations the county completed earlier this year. Since construction was completed on the $73 million, 581,000-square-foot building in 1994, rainwater leaking through the roof has remained an issue. In 2012, the county awarded a $3.1 million contract to Team-Craft Roofing Inc. to address persistent leaks in the building’s atrium, though after delays in the project, another $235,000 was added via change orders. Those repairs came with a 20-year guarantee from the contractor, and according to county spokesperson Katherine Eddy the agreement is holding up because the current “water intrusion” isn’t originating from the atrium or roof area. “This is coming from the window curtain wall, which just means the wall of windows going down the side of the building,” Eddy said. “This is a professional services contract to develop the project and figure out what needs to be done to solve the problem.”

The county is considering awarding the $50,000 contract to The Architects Group Inc., who would then submit plans to address the current leaks coming through some of the building’s windows.

County considers upgrades to city park

Also on Thursday, commissioners briefly discussed using $50,000 of the county’s capital improvement funds to construct a basketball court at Herndon Park — often referred to as Sage Park — at the corner of Sage Avenue and Dauphin Street. If approved, the court would be constructed through a joint contract with the city of Mobile, which owns the park. However, in the past the county purchased a roughly 5 percent interest in Herndon Park, allowing municipal bond revenue to be used for improvements that government entities are normally limited to using on improvements to their own assets. This is far from a new practice in Mobile County. It’s fairly routine for commissioners to enter into agreements with smaller municipalities in the county as well as the boards of public school systems. As a result of the county securing a small interest in those properties, the commission has been able to provide financial assistance to a significant number of public projects in the past. Anticipating future contributions toward improvements at the Mount Vernon Senior Center, commissioners will vote on taking a similar 5 percent interest in that property at their next meeting. D e c e m b e r 2 9 , 2 0 1 6 - J a n u a r y 4 , 2 0 1 7 | L AG N I A P P E | 7



Photo/Courtesy Fairhope Airport Authority



airhope Mayor Karin Wilson has failed in her attempt to gain control of much of H.L. “Sonny” Callahan Airport land for the city. Following a discussion marked by sharp personal criticism of Wilson from Council President Jack Burrell, the council voted Dec. 22 to allow the Fairhope Airport Authority to maintain control of the land and to continue to pay debt service on a refinancing deal the authority is undertaking. Some 258 acres, making up a horseshoe around the airport, were purchased originally in 2007 for $8.75 million.

Because of the planned refinancing, the city’s contribution will drop from $428,000 this year to $320,000 annually for the next seven years. Wilson brought the proposed takeover before the council at the end of last month, saying that the original financing plan now made up 21 percent of Fairhope’s debt service and that a clause in the agreement allowed the city to pay $10 and take back the land if the airport authority had not paid off the principal by 2012. She has repeatedly said that Fairhope’s citizens didn’t know about the deal and that her administration, with a

new economic and community development director, has different plans for the airport than does the airport authority. Wilson has also asked for an outside audit of the authority. Burrell, who represents the council on the Fairhope Airport Authority, made a presentation on the authority’s finances, goals and case for retaining the land during the work session before the Dec. 22 meeting. That set off another debate, during which Burrell clearly became irritated with Wilson. When he questioned Wilson’s choice of phrases such as “get to the bottom of it,” Wilson responded, “I’ve definitely made this a priority, to get to the bottom of it.” Replied Burrell: “You say, ‘get to the bottom of it,’ like there’s a conspiracy. ‘Get to the bottom of it, audits,’ the threatening language that you use, that ‘we need to audit the finances, I need my own outside team to come in and make sure what they’re doing is right.’ I hear it over and over and over. It’s your theme of everything. It’s ‘everything’s wrong.’” Burrell also accused Wilson of sending private citizens to City Hall to question employees. “We don’t even know who they are,” he said. Before Wilson took office in November, the Fairhope Airport Authority had decided to refinance the loan. Authority Chairman Joe McEnerney said Dec. 23 the authority was waiting for the best time in terms of interest rates and bank approvals to proceed. When Wilson’s proposal came up, the authority stopped work on the refinancing for 45 days or until the ownership was resolved, he said. Interest rates may end up being higher because of the delay, but McEnerney said he thinks the authority can still get a good deal. Both Burrell and McEnerney acknowledged the authority needs to “wean itself” off city support. They think that can be done with a combination of Federal Aviation Administration grants for projects, secondary suppliers to the Airbus assembly plant that locate at the airport, the demand for hangar space all over Baldwin County and other development factors. Wilson has said her administration will better represent the interests of Fairhope’s citizens who are paying the debt service and essentially paying for land the city doesn’t own. The authority contends it has better connections and a track record in the aviation industry at time when Airbus suppliers are looking for sites. “The 62 acres of undeveloped property on the east side is the most valuable piece of real estate on the Eastern Shore in respect to aviation-related business,” according to the authority’s presentation to the council. It also argued authorities can’t be sued for negligence, and the airport is an asset for the entire Eastern Shore, not just Fairhope. Nor is the Fairhope Airport Authority a political body. “The authority has a consistent mission not subject to political intrigue,” it said. The authority also presented its master plan. Future capital improvements on the east side of the runway include a general aviation terminal, fuel farm, taxiways and aprons. When those are complete by 2018, the airport will seek private investors to build corporate hangars and recruit aviation businesses. The west side is an Alabama Advantage site for major commercial development. Wetlands have been turned into a wetlands mitigation bank to sell credits to developers that disturb other wetlands with their projects. The authority also stays aligned with Eastern Shore Metropolitan Planning Organization in infrastructure support.





he Fairhope City Council has hit the brakes on one of the fastest-growing cities in Alabama with a six-month moratorium on new subdivisions and multi-family developments. But with so many applications being processed, it might be hard to tell. Construction on existing lots is not affected, nor are completed subdivision applications or multi-family applications submitted prior to the Dec. 22 council meeting. Mayor Karin Wilson signed the ordinance enacting the moratorium the morning of Dec. 23. The moratorium covers Fairhope and its five-mile planning jurisdiction outside the city limits. Fairhope’s planning staff has been overwhelmed with applications involving hundreds of new lots since talk of a moratorium began before Wilson took office in November.

Jonathan Smith, director of planning and zoning, said he had stopped accepting incomplete applications altogether and had returned more applications than at any other time during his 11 years on the job. According to Smith and the ordinance, the moratorium gives the city time to: clear the backlog of applications and associated paperwork; study utility capacity and availability (the council has been told parts of the city are at capacity for sewer service); address traffic issues and access management; review drainage regulations; review requirements to protect environmentally sensitive areas; review subdivision regulations and the zoning ordinance (Smith said some regulations conflict with each other and all need an overhaul). Smith suggested completing those tasks within six

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months would be ambitious but possible. The council reserved the right to terminate the moratorium before the end date or to extend it longer than six months. “It’s not going to stop development and it’s not going to stop building,” Councilman Robert Brown said. Judging from Fairhope’s Planning Commission agenda for Jan. 3, Brown is right. The commission is scheduled to consider eight large new subdivisions or phases of existing subdivisions, ranging from 23 lots to 114 lots. One multifamily project is also on the agenda. Fairhope’s development boom made growth the central issue of this year’s city elections, which brought in a new mayor and three council members. Fairhope residents have expressed concern about increased traffic, environmental impacts and potential negative effects on the quality of life in the small, waterfront city. The moratorium had been put off because of the election and because council members want to discuss it thoroughly. But at the Dec. 12 work session, Wilson asked for an immediate moratorium because of the number of applications swamping the Planning and Zoning Department and growing concern about sewer and stormwater drainage capacity. With only minutes remaining before that evening’s regular meeting, council members said they didn’t want to put the moratorium on the agenda without notice. On Dec. 22, the vote was unanimous.


Clean slate



he Mobile Housing Board of Commissioners questioned some aspects of the renderings of redevelopment plans during presentations at the board’s annual meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 14. While completely new streetscapes, revitalized communities and new retail space are what the the board was promised, some of the commissioners had reservations. The presentations showed sketches of what redevelopment could mean for the now-vacant Roger Williams Homes on the city’s north side and the surrounding Three Mile Trace neighborhood, as well as Thomas James Place, Boykin Tower and R.V. Taylor communities on the city’s south side. The presentations for both were the result of two years of community meetings and discussions, made possible by two Choice Neighborhood Planning Grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to MHB. A plan has been proposed for the redevelopment of the three MHB properties on the city’s southside. Like the Three Mile Trace plan, Marie Mhoon, a local project manager, said the plan envisions a neighborhood with parks, mixed-income housing with retail businesses and job opportunities. The southside plan includes space for retail near Interstate 10, Mhoon said, with plans to bring shops in first before the bulk of the housing. Cummings had doubts the plan would be successful. “Retail will be tough,” he said. “It follows the development of housing. It will be the last to come.” MHB Executive Director Dwayne Vaughn reminded Cummings that the plan had no zoning attached to it at this time and was just a “vision of what it can be.” Vaughn said the development partners on the southside have hired retail experts to help. He said if retail development comes in first, it would give the developer partners a better shot at receiving the maximum tax credits from the Alabama Housing Finance Authority. “Right now the area is not close enough to a grocery store to get those points,” Vaughn said. Cummings again told Vaughn that expecting retail to come in before development was “the opposite of the way things work.” “I don’t know how much of our area that is,” Cummings said, referring to the plan’s proposed retail space. “I’d want a lot of detail from the developer … It seems a little backward from the typical idea.” Tyronda Bethune, the local project manager for the Three Mile Trace plan, said façades in the area would be improved, as well as sidewalks and streetscapes, as part of the plan. The master plan, which will be executed by the Hunt Companies, will require infill housing, not managed by the board, in the neighborhood surrounding where Roger Williams Homes currently sits. Bethune said as part of the plan, they surveyed “many” of the more than 100 businesses in the area around the area. “All are very excited about the changes and

what could be,” Bethune said. MHB Chairwoman Kimberly Pettway asked about the percentage of businesses that were actually surveyed. Bethune said all the area businesses were invited to several different meetings, but she did not have the percentages that attended. MHB Vice-Chairman Reid Cummings asked Bethune if the plans fit into the city’s larger Map for Mobile framework. He also asked about the price attached to some of the features shown in the sketches, like proposed signalization improvements on Martin Luther King Drive. “That kind of thing is very, very expensive,” Cummings said. “It’s really pretty. I like it.” Mobile Development Enterprises President Adline Clarke told Cummings that several city officials have been involved in the planning stages of this and given input. Bethune said the group would have to identify more resources along the way. She said they were developing strategies to help small businesses in the area get grant funds to help with façade improvements. Clarke said the city has a revolving fund that can help small businesses make some of these proposed improvements. Pettway and Commissioner Norman Hill had concerns with possible pushback from residents and business owners in both communities on the changes. Pettway and Hill both told the project managers to make sure all the stakeholders are involved. “At some point in time we’re going to hear from them and they’re going to complain we didn’t reach out,” Hill said. “From the businesses, they’ll first claim no one contacted them and that we’re trying to take their property. Some are concerned about what’s going to happen to their property.” Pettway said she’s already hearing from people concerned they’ll have their property taken through gentrification. “I tell them … gentrification will happen if you allow it to happen,” Pettway said. “There’s a responsibility of those who live there.” Despite the questions, the commissioners unanimously approved both plans to be sent to HUD for approval. In other business, the commissioners passed the entity’s budgets at the meeting. The Low Income Public Housing budget was approved. It’s projected to have a net income of $1.4 million, CFO Lori Shackelford said. The same budget suffered a $687,901 loss last year. The Central Office Cost Center Budget was approved with a projected loss of $544,429. In 2016, the same budget had a $590,318 income. The entity’s 2017 voucher budget was also approved with a projected loss of $65,862. The 2016 budget came in at income of $42,000. Pettway was also re-elected board chairwoman and Cummings was elected vice-chairman. In a breakdown of the votes, Pettway nominated Hill for vice-chairman, but Clarke nominated Cummings. Cummings edged out Hill by a 3-2 vote from the five-member board. Pettway and Cummings are the two newest members of the board and were both appointed by Mayor Sandy Stimpson.

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“Don’t make me unplug you!” I threatened. “What’s the deal, Nostril?” He shook off his hallucination and said, “I think you’re going to see some challengers run against a few members of City Council, but most won’t have a prayer. Of course Fred Richardson’s race is going to be the big show, with lots of name calling, bizarre accusations and Facebook insanity. The moonpie man is vulnerable to a good candidate. As for Colby, that jimsonweed is telling me he’s interested in heading back to D.C. to work for Trump.” “Pretty bold predictions there, Nostril,” Googly said. “If you know so much, tell us what Trump’s first year is going to mean for Mobile. And by the way, there’s a 43 percent chance you’ll die within the week if you keep eating jimsonweed.” Nostril pulled a toad out of his pocket, licked it and shivered. “Trump’s going to get Airbus to build the next Air Force One at Brookley, and he’ll also have them build three mini-Air Force Ones for the kids of his that he likes. Sessions will get through confirmation, but there’s going to be a surprise witness who claims the senator called him ‘boy’ at an Arby’s drive-thru, and ….” He stopped, shook a bit and licked the toad’s back again. “Oh yeah, your governor is going to appoint himself U.S. Senator.” “He can’t do that!” Googly yelled just before I yanked her plug. “You really need to reset that thing,” Nostril said, wiping his forehead as the fog began to rise. “I’m headed over to Tom’s house for some auditing. Want to come?” Before I could answer, he had disappeared. The cosmic mists had swept Nostrildumas away once again.


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Nostril’s eyes roll back in his head as he began to deliver his mystical, prophetic verses. “The trees have fallen and the ship has sunk, but the one from the Hill shall stand tall when the day is done. In the valley the Silent One shall creep like a serpent but will not strike out of his own fear,” Nostril said. “I’m kind of new around here. What the heck is that gibberish supposed to mean?” Googly asked. “It means even though his administration has had some issues with trees being cut down, squirrel removal and GulfQuest is kaput, Sandy Stimpson is still going to win re-election,” Nostril explained. “Sam Jones keeps making announcements that he’s going to make an announcement about running, but that’s just noise. There’s no money for him and he’s going to be up to his butt in alligators with HUD’s investigation of the Mobile Housing Board.” “Oh, I see how this works. He gets high and you just write down whatever goofy stuff he says,” Googly said. “If I had eyes I’d be rolling them right now.” “Nevermind her, Nostril. What about City Council? And will the tree chopping cause trouble for Stimpson’s chief of staff, Colby Cooper?” I asked. Nostril pulled out a handful of jimsonweed and started chewing it, washing it down with a Diet Dr. Pepper he pulled from his robes. Soon he was foaming at the mouth and spouting predictions. “The seven shall face challenges, but few will be up to the task. The one from Nymph will be fiercely tested. They shall all soon find a new adversary as the chopper moves to be with the one who is orange,” he said. “That’s total nonsense!” Googly said.

Cartoon/Laura Rasmussen


t was the morning two days after Christmas and my new Google Home* (Trademarked!) robot assistant thing gently woke me at 6:30 by reading the latest news about the people who had stampeded through malls the day before, knocking over others who were just trying to eat a Cinnabon in peace. “Enough about such human crapulence!” I barked, all superior-like. “Googly,” — I call her Googly — “tell me about today’s weather, and put together a stylish outfit for me from my vast wardrobe.” “Do I look like Alan Sealls or something? Look out the window, it’s foggy and humid looking. Surprise, it’s Mobile in December. As for your clothes, why don’t you wear whatever still fits after the way you’ve stuffed your face the past week?” Googly replied. I made a mental note to take her out of “irritable wife” mode later that day. Upon getting out of bed I immediately noticed a strange fog rolling across the bedroom floor. Then an eerie light came over the room. “Googly, what’s going on here?” I asked. “Well, it looks like you either set off a bug bomb or we’re about to be visited by a psychic being from another dimension,” Googly said. She’s annoying but smart. In a sudden puff of smoke, a robed figure appeared in my room and I realized, with the New Year just days away, my old friend Nostrildumas had traveled through space and time to offer his sometimes-correct predictions for the coming year. “Greetings, Robert! The New Year is almost upon us and I am here to offer you insight for 2017 that you may publish for your unenlightened masses to read and believe!” he said triumphantly. “Great to see you too, Nostril,” I said. “You seem awfully full of yourself this year.” “Well, I went to see Tom Cruise to help him decide whether he should make another ‘Jack Reacher’ movie — he shouldn’t, by the way — and he started talking up Scientology and dang if it didn’t make some sense. After a little auditing with the Cruisester, my case gains went through the roof. I pulled out of my dwindling spiral, gained control and became totally clear. I’m hoping to be an Operating Thetan by May,” he said. “Well … that’s an interesting choice for a multidimensional, 16th century, Roman Catholic seer, but whatevs … just glad you’re happy,” I said. Suddenly Googly started making throat-clearing noises. “Ahem, ahem. Robert, aren’t you going to introduce me to your friend?” she said. “Oh yeah. Googly, this is Nostrildumas. Nostril, Googly. She’s kind of an electronic assistant who helps keep me organized,” I said. “Well apparently she’s forgotten to tell you to put on a robe or something. I didn’t come all the way through space and time to see THAT,” Nostril said. He and Googly started laughing. “Put something on your schedule to go buy some underwear without holes later today,” she said, chortling. I quickly put on a robe while the two of them continued laughing and making stupid jokes. “Nostril, I thought you were here to make some predictions,” I said, “Why don’t we get down to it. We’re going into a big election year locally, what are you seeing?” Nostril — as usual — started out sniffing a tube of modeling glue to get into his psychic trance. “According to the American Medical Association, there is a 100 percent chance of brain damage from repeated sniffing of modeling glue, and a 90 percent chance of permanent stupidity from reading any column you write about this,” Googly chimed in. “Nobody asked for your opinion!” I said, watching





he most wonderful time of the year is almost over (thank goodness). The tree looks sad and lonely with most of the presents gone from underneath. Scraps of wrapping paper are still lurking around in the strangest of places. (How oh how did that get in between the screen and the window pane?) Pants around Mobile are too tight from too much of … well, everything. And families have miraculously survived another holiday of splitting up time among all the relatives (“But y’all stayed with them last year!”) and talking politics (“I just can’t even do this with you again, Uncle Fred!”). But don’t worry, hurt feelings will subside by the time the decorations are all put up in their Rubbermaid tubs in the attic. And by Easter, everyone can drive each other crazy again over ham and potato salad. Oh, how the magic and messiness in our lives is always magnified during the holidays! They are wonderful but stressful. Full of immense joy as we see the light in the eyes of our children, but also deep sorrow as we ache for those who can no longer see it with us. I am always happy to see it come, but happier it to see it go. Maybe because the New Year offers us that chance for a new start on whatever it is we need or want to accomplish. Maybe we have said we were going to quit this, that or the other for years now, or we were going to finish this or lose that weight this year for real, or finally climb that mountain we’ve been trying to climb — figuratively or literally. Even if we have failed at those things in the past, each New Year still gives us a new hope. And while we have our own personal goals for 2017, there are some hopes I have for our country, state and city. I am sure you have some as well. Let’s share. I’ll start!

going to continue, AS THEY SHOULD! But can we at least resolve to have kinder, more thoughtful discourse with one another no matter if the person is sitting in our living room or behind a computer screen 2,000 miles away? We spent a lot of time in the gutter in 2016. I hope 2017 can be the year we crawl back out of it.

A more engaged state

Scandal plagued the state of Alabama in 2016. Former speaker of the House Mike Hubbard was convicted in June of felony ethics violations. Not long after, the whole “Luv Guv” scandal unfolded with Gov. Robert Bentley, who allegedly had an affair with his top adviser, Rebekah Mason. Tapes of him expressing his love to her and her “breasts” had the nation laughing at us … again. We often obsess about things happening in our nation’s capital but forget about the things going on in our state capital. And policy made at that level can often affect us more than the folks on Capitol Hill and Pennsylvania Avenue. I hope 2017 is the year we can get more passionate and fired up about what’s going on in Montgomery. If they know we are watching, maybe just maybe we won’t have to deal with another national embarrassment coming from the top of Goat Hill.

A more self-centered city/county

One of the biggest stories coming out of Mobile this year was certainly the closing of the GulfQuest Maritime Museum. For the last two decades, we have had an “if we build it, they will come” mentality. Unfortunately, there have been numerous ventures the city has had to subsidize or bail out over the years, using our tax dollars to pay for building or roof repairs, power bills or just to keep the doors open — A kinder (cyber) nation money they could have used to repair the roads, We have just come off of one of the most sidewalks and parks we travel on and venture to divisive presidential elections I can remember. every day. It was a long, almost two-year slogfest through I hope our city and county leaders all learned some really nasty mud, and we were all dragged a big lesson from our latest boondoggle and will along for the depressing ride. Some of us even start focusing on more public/private partnergot our own fingers muddy, as we engaged in ships if they feel they must bring in such grand keyboard warfare as we “battled” with “friends” developments. Sure, the city has an obligation on Facebook or Twitter. to provide its citizens with some quality-of-life Social media has forever changed the way we facilities, but if a private company looks at a communicate. I often long for the days where project and doesn’t want to manage it or take people just shared their opinions about imporany risk on it themselves, that should be a huge tant topics with their ACTUAL friends, not red flag. random strangers or people they knew for two We have seen some capital improvements seconds 15 years ago. But there is really no need around the city this past year and it has really to long for those days, for they are gone. Even made a difference. I hope the council and the for those of us who are just voyeurs of all this commission will continue to focus on those nastiness can’t help but be affected by it. Can improvements rather than risky mega sports you imagine if these “battles” were translated complexes and maritime museums. I am a not a to the real world? We would be constantly surbaseball person but I think a bunch of base hits rounded by people arguing every place we went, are way more meaningful overall than swinging 24 hours a day. What a nightmare! for the fences and missing. And sure, it’s easy to say we could easily 2016, you have been horrible. You brought tune it out, but when you have to go to this out the worst in us and you took some of our “world” for other purposes — work or school best and brightest. 2017, we are counting on or viewing photos of cute kids — it’s hard to you to get us out of this funk. And I know you ignore two people “screaming” at each other in will. Because in the immortal words of one all caps. of those 2016 just took, we “gotta have faith, A new president is about to take office — faith, faith.” one half of the country loves and the other half Happy New Year, everyone! Let’s keep the hates. Debates over his policy decisions are faith!

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Looking beyond the silly season of politics BY JEFF POOR/COLUMNIST/JEFFREYPOOR@GMAIL.COM


ight now, we are embroiled in sort of a silly season of politics as media outlets look to milk the last few drops of news from this past presidential election. For now, during the holiday season, much of it is meaningless noise. That will soon change. President-elect Donald Trump’s opponents and critics have spent the past month and a half trying to rationalize the unexpected outcome of the election. First it was this dark movement called the “alt-right” — which few had heard of before — that swayed the election. Then it was the phenomenon of “fake news,” which is when someone is gullible enough to not only fall for hoax, but take to the next level and base their presidential choice on that fake news story. Next, we were told the Russians “hacked” our election. No, they didn’t hack actual voting machines, but instead hacked Democratic Party

Yes, we’ve reached peak silly season in politics. Now that the election cycle has come and gone, cable news channels are having a decline in ratings. Traffic is falling off on political news websites. It happens every four years. Still, all of these outlets are trying to figure out ways to keep an audience engaged and a lot of what they’re experimenting with is hyperbole — particularly when some members of the media envision nuclear holocaust as a possibility. It will be especially prevalent the next few weeks as the media and Trump’s opponents continue to speculate on what the Trump presidency will be like before he is actually sworn in. After inauguration, it will be less about these speculations as cabinet and Supreme Court appointments take center stage and the Trump administration’s actual policy is implemented. After George W. Bush was elected, he faced similar hurdles. The NOW THAT THE ELECTION CYCLE media and the political left questioned the legitimacy of his presiHAS COME AND GONE, CABLE dency for years after he won the NEWS CHANNELS ARE HAVING A DECLINE Electoral College but lost the popular vote to Al Gore in 2000. Bush IN RATINGS. TRAFFIC IS FALLING OFF ON was constantly scrutinized between his 2001 inauguration and the Sept. POLITICAL NEWS WEBSITES. IT HAPPENS 11, 2001, terror attacks. EVERY FOUR YEARS. His signature achievement during that period were the so-called operatives who working to get Hillary Clinton Bush tax cuts. If you were the average news elected. The hacks, released by WikiLeaks, consumer, you were probably told getting a revealed the dark underbelly of the Democratic rebate check from the government was a bad machine. Emails exposed that members of the thing. Outside of conservative talk radio and media were colluding with Clinton allies and Fox News, there were few allies for the Bush that the Democratic National Committee was administration. working to ensure Clinton had an easy road to Contrast that to President Barack Obama’s the nomination. first major effort, which was a $787 billion The American people were not supposed Keynesian-style stimulus. The usual critics in to know about this brand of cesspool Democonservative talk radio and elsewhere opposed cratic Party politics. The logic Trump’s critics it, but “elections had consequences.” The employ requires a bit of mental gymnastics, but American people had spoken and as Newsweek here is a stab at it: Since the Russians allegedly editor Jon Meacham told us at the time, “We’re hacked the DNC and WikiLeaks released the all socialists now.” results of those hacks, they won the election Whatever Trump chooses to do, the media for Donald Trump. and so-called elites will question it — even if While some Trump opponents tried to it is an executive proclamation honoring a Boy thwart the election outcome with a last-minute Scout troop for rescuing a bald eagle. campaign to encourage Electoral College elecU.S. voters may have spoken and elections tors to defy the will of the of the voters and might have consequences, but Trump didn’t “vote their conscience,” the reality of Trump win the popular vote — so he better not dare as president of the United States next month think he has a mandate with silly things like a seems to be settling in. border wall, an infrastructure bill, relocating Now the same people who did not see a the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, etc. Trump presidency coming are trying to use There’s reason for optimism if you are a their forecasting skills to imagine what the Trump supporter. This time, his supporters Trump presidency will be like. know what is coming. They saw Bush hamUsing clues on Donald Trump’s Twitter mered for everything and the war in Iraq demafeed and the foreign policy expertise that gogued. They have seen this movie before. cheered on eight years of Barack Obama, we Now there are dozens of pro-Trump online are now told to anticipate nuclear war with media outlets and you have Trump issuing his Russia because of Trump. This seems odd own proclamations on social media. The public since a few weeks ago critics accused those is now wise to the media and Democrats’ tradisame Russians of supporting Trump enough to tional playbook ,and Trump and his allies know win him the U.S. presidency.   what to expect.

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humorous and insightful story I once heard goes like this: A top lawyer had successfully handled a difficult case for a very wealthy friend. Following this happy outcome, the wealthy friend and client went to see the lawyer. He told him how much he appreciated the work and effort put into handling his case, and then handed him a beautifully made Moroccan leather wallet. Indignant and astonished, the lawyer quickly handed the wallet back to his friend, with a sharp reminder that a mere wallet could not possibly compensate him for his highly sought-after legal services. “My fee for all that work,” the attorney stated sharply, “is $5,000.” His friend stared at him a moment, opened the wallet and removed five of the 10 $1,000 bills inside, handed them to the lawyer with a smile, then walked away. The lawyer’s lack of gratitude was costly. Stores across the country will be filled with individuals looking to return or exchange

grateful emotions are more likely to traffic. Likewise, those with a more grateful personality are more likely to experience grateful moods and emotions.” Lastly, one expert simply says gratitude is a mindset, an attitude that “shifts your focus from what your life lacks to the abundance that is already present.” An attitude of gratitude is important. In my own life I’ve seen and felt how important it is to step back from time to time and acknowledge the many blessings and gifts in my life, regardless of the size, and how having such an attitude positively impacts me emotionally and mentally. An attitude of gratitude this holiday season allowed me to see one of the greatest gifts I didn’t have to unwrap was the gift of life itself. It doesn’t mean my life is perfect — whose is? — but I realize there are so many beautiful and meaningful things in my life: my son, my parents and sister, my extended family, my job, my home, etc. Within these there have been and will be challenges, but gratitude allows me to see the joy, enrichment and blessings that people and things large and small add to my life. When I lack such an attitude I can quickly tell the difference. I lose focus and perspective, am more prone to throw a pity party for myself and allow sadness and negativity to dominate. However, when it’s present I find more joy in the moment and energy to face and deal with the challenges of the moment. This coincides with a growing body of psychological and scientific evidence showing the positive correlations between having an attitude or disposition of gratitude and its effect on the mind and body. Research has shown that those who practice gratitude consistently, among numerous other benefits: have stronger immune systems and lower blood pressure; sleep longer and feel more refreshed upon waking; are more alert, alive and awake; experience more joy and pleasure; are more helpful, generous and compassionate; more outgoing; and feel less lonely and isolated. Does that mean you don’t experience, feel or acknowledge pain, loss or hurt? Absolutely not. But as that old saying goes, “Find a way to be thankful for your troubles and they can become your blessings.” As we get ready to step across the threshold of a new year, let’s do so with an attitude of gratitude — grateful for the lessons and blessings of 2016, and the possibilities and opportunities of 2017. Complaining and negativity seem to come easy, while displaying and exercising gratitude takes effort and sometimes requires us to pierce through pain and hurt to see the seeds of good and growth that lie within them. An attitude of gratitude is always a worthy and beneficial companion.

AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE IS IMPORTANT. IN MY OWN LIFE I’VE SEEN AND FELT HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO STEP BACK FROM TIME TO TIME AND ACKNOWLEDGE THE MANY BLESSINGS AND GIFTS IN MY LIFE, REGARDLESS OF THE SIZE, AND HOW HAVING SUCH AN ATTITUDE POSITIVELY IMPACTS ME EMOTIONALLY AND MENTALLY. Christmas gifts. There is nothing necessarily wrong with that. Clothes don’t always fit. Two or more of the same gift is received. A gift may literally serve no use or purpose. It’s not unappreciated, it’s just that the recipient would like to maximize its usefulness. Unlike the lawyer in the illustration above, gratitude for the thought and effort put into acquiring and giving the gift is present. In other words, value has been attached and seen in the very act of giving itself. Gratitude sees and appreciates the act of giving; the gift is secondary. What is gratitude? One writer defines it as “An affirmation of goodness. We affirm that there are good things in the world, gifts and benefits we’ve received … and we recognize that the sources of this goodness are outside of ourselves … We acknowledge that other people — or even higher powers, if you’re of a spiritual mindset — gave us many gifts, big and small, to help us achieve the goodness in our lives.” Another notes gratitude is a “personality trait, a mood and an emotion. As an emotion, gratitude is a feeling of happiness that comes from appreciation. While in a grateful mood,

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A New Year’s resolution for Montgomery BY LEE HEDGEPETH/CONTRIBUTING WRITER


ere’s a New Year’s resolution for the politicians in Montgomery. In 2017, let’s let common sense prevail, because with the new year comes Alabama’s annual circus. And no, I’m not talking about Barnum & Bailey. It’s the other annual showcase of our state’s misfits and malcontents: the regular legislative session in Montgomery, and the potential for another year of political mistakes and malfeasance. This year, though, Montgomery should drop the circus act, and instead focus on issues that really matter: problems that can be solved by common-sense solutions. One problem that everyone in Montgomery — even those political misfits — recognize is that if Montgomery is a circus, the state’s general fund budget is an insatiable, money-hungry lion that the ringmasters have nearly starved to death. Every year, that beast of a budget demands more, and it’s always a one-time meal, not a longterm feast, that lawmakers are able to scramble together last minute to prevent its untimely demise. One common sense part of the solution? The lottery, a permanent revenue source that lobbyists and lawmakers have prevented us from voting on for years. Already, several lawmakers have prefiled legislation for 2017’s regular legislative session that would bring the lottery to a vote statewide, but that’s far from the last word. The opposition to the lottery by lobbyists and some legislators in the State House make letting the people vote no easy task. In a special session earlier this year, both the Alabama House and Senate passed different versions of a lottery bill but couldn’t agree on the details, killing the idea for 2016. In any case, a lottery certainly wouldn’t fully address the fundamental, structural funding disparities between the state’s education and general fund budgets, but it’d be one

step closer than Goat Hill’s politicos have gotten us so far. Aside from Alabama’s financial woes, there’s another area where the state’s political leadership should resolve to use a bit of common sense this new year: criminal justice and judicial reform. So far, when it comes to legislation already filed in preparation of the 2017 session, it’s a mixed bag when it comes to judicial reform. In some specific areas, hope springs eternal. Three different legislators — two Democrats and a Republican — independently filed bills that would end the state’s policy of allowing judges to singlehandedly overturn the decision of a jury when it comes to cases involving the death penalty — a practice known as “judicial override.” Alabama is the only state allowing judicial overrides, in spite of a U.S. Supreme Court decision declaring Florida’s nearly identical scheme unconstitutional. As recently as early December, the state of Alabama executed Ronald B. Smith after a judge overturned a jury’s vote to sentence Smith to life in prison without parole. These news bills, though, would bring common sense back to these death penalty cases, placing firmly in a jury’s hands — not a single judge’s — the decision of whether or not to inflict the ultimate, irreversible punishment of death. Another glimmer of hope this upcoming session is a bill that epitomizes common sense. The piece of legislation, sponsored by a veteran House Democrat, would clarify in Alabama law that a person can only be charged with resisting arrest when they are charged with another crime. It seems so obvious, you almost miss the apparent Catch-22: If you aren’t being arrested for a crime, how could you resist arrest? It’s a conundrum both legal and mental that the bill’s sponsor says some constituents she’s heard from have had to deal with over the years. One law enforcement official asked about the bill

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said he doesn’t believe the crime is often charged alone anyway, so he’s not particularly opposed. Sounds like an easy problem to fix — and one with little opposition — so let’s resolve to get it done this ear, Montgomery. Along with those glimpses of pragmatism, though, there are, of course, the rotten apples. The first bill prefiled in the Alabama Senate is analogous to North Carolina’s now-infamous “bathroom bill,” which addresses the perceived issue of use of the bill’s titular facilities by transgender people. That North Carolina legislation has already lost the state tens of millions of dollars in revenue because of corporate and individual blowback from the bill — including decisions by the NCAA and the NBA to move major events from the state, which is known for its powerhouse basketball teams. Alabama, with a GDP half that of North Carolina, shouldn’t try to follow after the Tar Heel State, but instead learn from its mistakes. Another couple of rotten apples that may pop during the upcoming year’s legislative session involve the Judicial Inquiry Commission and the Court of the Judiciary, the bodies that underwent proceedings against now-suspended Chief Justice Roy Moore over his refusal to follow an order of the U.S. Supreme Court involving same-sex marriage. Two bills prefiled for next session in the State House would gut these institutions, protecting from scrutiny judges like Moore. One bill would completely abolish the JIC and the other, sponsored by local Senator Bill Hightower, would require the Legislature to approve of all appeals such as Moore’s, who is currently appealing his suspension. Aside from the obvious muddying of the separation of powers that would cause in our state’s government, Hightower and his colleague are making political what shouldn’t be: straightforward, nonpartisan agreement on the importance of the ethics of our state’s judges. Moore shouldn’t be protected by Montgomery if he’s unethical; that’s just common sense. Our lawmakers should decide in this new year to ignore those rotten apples and do what’s best for the Yellowhammer State. So there’s my New Year’s resolution for Montgomery: Use common sense. When you see rotten apples, throw them out. When you know something makes sense, say so with your vote, and not just your Twitter account. Political leadership is hard, but it pays off. And that’s the real key to a New Year’s resolution. At a birthday party over the holidays, we discussed New Year’s resolutions when I said I’d be choosing one for Montgomery to follow this year. Local amateur historian David Sprinkle pointed out the ultimate truth about them, one I’ll repeat here: New Year’s resolutions are usually what’s good for you, and so they’re usually the things you end up never doing. This year, I hope it’s different. I hope you’re able to keep your New Year’s resolution, and we can hope together that Montgomery will, too.


Continental Motors ditching Mobile for Fairhope BY RON SIVAK/COLUMNIST/BUSINESS@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM


ontinental Motors Group Ltd., an AVIC International Holding Corp. company, recently announced its operating division, Southern Avionics and Interiors, will relocate to the H.L. “Sonny” Callahan Airport in Fairhope from its current location at Brookley Aeroplex. The goal of the move is to integrate maintenance, repair and overhaul services (MRO) across divisions, according to a news release. “Our vision, when we acquired the assets of Southern Avionics two years ago, was to establish a one-stop shop covering all of the needs of the general aviation pilot/owner — engine repair, aircraft maintenance, avionics installations and interior upgrades,” Bill Stromberg, Continental Motors Group vice president, MRO, said. “Continental Motors Services and Southern Avionics were already working closely together. The ability to work multiple maintenance activities in parallel by having all work done at a single location will reduce both customer cost and downtime,” he said.   Southern Avionics and Interiors will move a few minutes away from its original location, where Continental Motors Services has its main base of operations for piston engine and general aviation aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul operations. The Continental Motors Services facility in Fairhope currently includes three maintenance hangars and its recently refurbished 25,000-square-foot MRO facility. All of the 500-plus personnel employed at the Mobile facility are expected to also relocate to the Fairhope site for work that is situated near an active 6,600-square-foot runway with instrument approaches, allowing access to the airport for aircraft of various sizes. “We will continue to offer services such as legacy avionics bench repairs, pilot/static certifications and also specialized services, such as RVSM certification, database and software upgrades, service bulletin compliance and proprietary STC installations,” Stromberg said. Southern Avionics also offers design services for new or refurbished instrument panels, CNC cutting, powder coating and silk screening of main or subpanels for all aircraft, from the smallest planes to large business jets, according to Stromberg AVIC International Holding Corp. was established in 1979, with majority shares owned by Aviation Industries of China. Headquartered in Beijing, the company has more than 100,000 employees across 400 subsidiaries and is located in more than 60 countries. More information can be found on the company’s website.  Continental Motors Group Ltd. of Hong Kong, China, is a subsidiary of AVIC. Its mission is to provide advanced gasoline and jet fuel piston engine products, spare parts, avionics equipment and repairs as well as pilot training for the general aviation marketplace. Continental employs some 570 people in Mobile and Baldwin counties.

WCST creates website for Spielberg organization

We Can’t Stop Thinking (WCST), a design and development company with offices in Chicago, Illinois, and Mobile, has created a new website for the Righteous Persons Foundation (RPF), a Los Angeles-based organization focused on funding innovative approaches that strengthen Jewish identity and community through arts, culture and media. RPF was founded in 1994 by Steven Spielberg with his portion of the profits from the film

“Schindler’s List.” Since its inception, RPF has granted more than $100 million to efforts that ensure new generations draw upon the moral lessons of the Holocaust. The new site allows visitors to follow the progress of these projects through news and updates as well as explore grantee archives. “Showcasing the Righteous Persons Foundation’s rich history and significant community impact was our main goal with the new site,” Rich Sullivan, CEO of WCST, said. “We accomplished just that by creating an interactive and photographic timeline where users can scroll through the organization’s milestones and easily search through projects.” The design of the site focuses on Jewish media and arts. Its new functionality provides prospective grantee applicants with the resources and tools needed to apply for funding. RPF supports grantees in an effort to build and support a meaningful and relevant Jewish community. WCST has a client roster that includes Patagonia, Warner Brothers, DDB, Swell and Discovery Communications. The group’s work has been awarded and recognized by FWA, CSS Design Awards, Communications Arts and Awwwards. RPF’s goal is the dissemination of Jewish values of justice and responsibility to inspire social activism; the power of storytelling as used to connect people of different backgrounds and nationalities; and ensuring that the next generation of Jews are empowered and engaged. For more information, visit

Meeks named Mobile Commercial Investment Real Estate Club president

Stirling Properties’ senior sales and leasing executive, Jill Meeks, has been appointed president of the Mobile Commercial Investment Real Estate Club. She assumed duties in December and will serve in the position for one year. The club is a networking group for industry professionals to exchange ideas, insight and data on marketing regarding commercial and investment property. Club goals include promoting professionalism, cooperation and education in commercial, investment and exchange transactions. As club president, Meeks’ responsibilities will include running the meetings and arranging for speakers to attend and present educational opportunities for the members. Meetings occur every Thursday at 7 a.m. at the Mobile Area Association of Realtors. “The Mobile Commercial Investment Real Estate Club provides tremendous resources for both beginning and experienced real estate professionals, and it’s a great tool to network and meet others in the industry,” Meeks said. “As president of the club, I hope to be able to generate more interest and participation by arranging for various speakers from the community to attend our meetings that will be beneficial to members.” Meeks has been active in the commercial real estate industry for more than 27 years. Her areas of focus include office and retail leasing, commercial sales, and landlord and tenant representation. She oversees the property management of more than 400,000 square feet of retail and office space in Mobile and Baldwin counties. Meeks is based in Stirling Properties’ Mobile office, located at One St. Louis Centre, 1 St. Louis St., Suite 4100. For club membership and information, Meeks can be reached at jmeeks@

D e c e m b e r 2 9 , 2 0 1 6 - J a n u a r y 4 , 2 0 1 7 | L AG N I A P P E | 15

5319 Hwy 90 • 661-0071 1225 Satchel Page Dr.• 378-8768


$10/PERSON $$ 10-25/PERSON $$$ OVER 25/PERSON


ALL SPORTS BAR & GRILL ($) CLASSIC HOTDOGS, GYROS & MILKSHAKES. 3408 Pleasant Valley Rd • 345-9338

FAMOUS CHICKEN FINGERS. 310 S. University Blvd. • 343-0047 2250 Airport Blvd. • 479-2922 7641 Airport Blvd. • 607-7667 2558 Schillinger Rd. • 219-7761 3249 Dauphin St. • 479-2000





211 Dauphin St. • 690-7482


BAKERY, SANDWICHES AND MORE 750 S. Broad St • 438-1511, 4464 Old Shell Road • 342-8546, 107 St. Francis St. Suite 102 • 438-2261

REGINA’S KITCHEN ($-$$) SANDWICHES, SUBS AND SOUPS. 2056 Gov’t St. • 476-2777


WRAPS & SALADS. 3220 Dauphin St. • 479-2480

HOMEMADE SOUPS & SANDWICHES 65 Government St • 208-6815


SEAFOOD AND SANDWICHES 212 ½ Fairhope Ave • 928-4100


SEAFOOD, SANDWICHES, SALADS & SOUPS. 4513 Old Shell Rd. • 408-9622


MIND-BLOWING ISLAND FOOD. 3700 Gov’t Blvd. Ste A • 602-1973

SANDWICHES, SOUTHWEST FARE, 7 DAYS. 1203 Hwy 98 Ste. 3D, Daphne • 626-2440

SAUCY Q BARBQUE ($) AWARD-WINNING BARBQUE. 1111 Gov’t Blvd. • 433-7427


3758 Dauphin Island Pkwy. • 473-1401


FAST BBQ W/ DRIVE-THRU 3249 Dauphin St. • 652-3508





216 St Francis St. • 421-2022

323A De La Mare Ave, Fairhope • 990-0003 1104 Dauphin St.. • 478-9494


LIVE MUSIC, MARTINIS & DINNER MENU. 26 N. Royal St. • 338-2000




A PREMIER CATERER & COOKING CLASSES. 1880-A Airport Blvd. • 450-9051



3964 Gov’t Blvd. • 378-8083

273 S. McGregor Ave • 287-0555, 6345 Airport Blvd. • 287-0555, 940 Industrial Pkwy • 308-2158


9091 US-90 Irvington • 957-1414



JAPANESE CUISINE. 3654 Airport Blvd. S. C • 725-6078

7 SPICE ($-$$)


CORNER 251 ($-$$)




DAUPHIN’S ($$-$$$)


AUTHENTIC SUB SANDWICHES 7449 Airport Blvd • 375-1820




FIVE ($$)

CAFE 219 ($)

SANDWICHES, CATERING & DELIVERY TOO. 6920 Airport Blvd. • 414-5444 9 Du Rhu Dr. • 340-8694 62 B Royal Street • 432-0360




PIZZAS, SANDWICHES, COCKTAILS. 26 N. Royal St. • 338-2000


HOME COOKING. 4054 Government St. • 665-4557


PUB FOOD AND DRAFT BEERS 251 Dauphin St • 287-6871


SLAP YOUR MAMA GOOD HOME COOKING. 220 Dauphin St. • 432-6262


GREAT SANDWICHES, COFFEE & MORE. 1087 Downtowner Blvd. • 643-1611


CLASSIC HOTDOGS, GYROS & MILKSHAKES. 4701 Airport Blvd. • 342-3243

ATLANTA BREAD COMPANY ($-$$) SANDWICHES, SALADS & MORE. 3680 Dauphin St. • 380-0444




DAILY SPECIALS MADE FROM SCRATCH. 57 N. Claiborne St. • 694-6853.


GOOD OLD AMERICAN COOKING 263 St. Francis St • 405-1497 SALADS, SANDWICHES & POTATO SALAD. 219 Conti St. • 438-5234 CONTEMPORARY SOUTHERN FARE. 61 Section St., Fairhope • 928-4321 MOBILE’S CLASSIC ICE CREAM SPOT. 2511 Old Shell Rd. • 471-1710

DELI FOODS, PASTRIES & SPECIALTY DRINKS. 4072 Old Shell Rd. • 304-0448 SANDWICHES, SOUTHERN CUISINE & CATERING 5817 Old Shell Rd. • 343-0200 QUICHES & SANDWICHES. 4366 Old Shell Rd. • 343-9889

CHICKEN SALAD CHICK ($) CHICKEN SALAD, SALAD & SOUP. 2370 S. Hillcrest Rd. Unit R • 660-0501 5753 Old Shell Road • 408-3236, 1802 US Hwy 98 Suite F• 625-1092

CHI-TOWN DAWGZ ($) CHICAGO STYLE EATERY 1222 Hillcrest Rd. • 461-6599


COFFEE, BREAKFAST, LUNCH, DESSERT 351 George St #B • 405-0003


HOT LUNCH, DAILY MENU (INSIDE VIA) 1717 Dauphin St. • 470-5231


PHILLY CHEESE STEAKS, GYROS & MORE. 7101-A Theodore Dawes Rd. • 653-2979



CLASSIC BURGERS, HOTDOGS & SETTING. 1808 Old Shell Rd. • 473-7872


DONUTS, COFFEE AND SANDWICHES 1976 Michigan Ave • 442-4846 3876 Airport Blvd • 219-7369 505 Schillinger Rd. S. • 442-4845 29160 US Hwy 98 • 621-2228








MARY’S SOUTHERN COOKING ($) 3011 Springhill Ave. • 476-2232

LUNCH & DINNER. 3004 Gov’t Blvd • 287-1220

GRILLED STEAKS, CHICKEN & SEAFOOD. 720A Schillinger Rd. S. S2. • 607-7200 901 Montlimar Dr • 408-3133

HOMEMADE LUNCH & BREAKFAST. 104 N. Royal St. • 434-0011

HIGH QUALITY FOOD AND DRINKS 251 Government St • 460-3157

COFFEE, SMOOTHIES, LUNCH & BEERS. 5460 Old Shell Rd. • 344-4575

COFFEE, LUNCHES, LIVE MUSIC & GELATO. 3 Royal St. S. • 415-3000 SANDWICHES, SOUPS, SALADS & MORE. 41 West I-65 Service Rd. N Suite 150. INSIDE VIRGINIA’S HEALTH FOOD 3055 A Dauphin St • 479-3200

TIN ROOF ($-$$)

SOUTHERN CASUAL FAMILY DINING 10800 US hwy 31 • 621-4995

TP CROCKMIERS ($) AMERICAN RESTAURANT & BAR 250 Dauphin St. • 476-1890


MOMMA GOLDBERG’S DELI ($) SANDWICHES & MOMMA’S LOVE. 3696 Airport Blvd. • 344-9500 5602 Old Shell Rd. • 287-6556

MONTEGO’S ($-$$)

FRESH CARIBBEAN-STYLE FOOD & CRAFT BEER. 6601 Airport Blvd. • 634-3445 225 Dauphin Street • 375-1576

MOSTLY MUFFINS ($) MUFFINS, COFFEE & WRAPS. 105 Dauphin St. • 433-9855


OVEN-BAKED SANDWICHES & MORE. 252 Azalea Rd. • 341-3533, 1335 Satchel Page Dr. Suite C. • 287-7356 7440 Airport Blvd. • 633-0096 30500 State Hwy 181 #132 • 625-6544




WILD WING STATION ($) 1500 Gov’t St. • 287-1526


AUTHENTIC FOODS FROM HIMALAYAN REGION. 3210 Dauphin St. • 287-0115 400 Eastern Shore Center • 459-2862


BACKYARD CAFE & BBQ ($) HOME COOKIN’ LIKE MOMMA MADE. 2804 Springhill Ave. • 473-4739


DOWNTOWN LUNCH 101 N. Conception St. • 545-4682


BBQ AND MORE. Jubilee Sq.Ctr. Hwy 90, Daphne • 210-2151 McGowin Park Ctr. Satchel Paige Dr. • 471-1050 7721 Airport Blvd • 380-8957


CHICKEN FINGERS, SALAD & SANDWICHES. 1165 University Blvd. • 202-0959

RIBS, SANDWICHES & GREAT SIDES. 3314 Old Shell Rd. • 479-9898


16 | L AG N I A P P E | D e c e m b e r 2 9 , 2 0 1 6 - J a n u a r y 4 , 2 0 1 7

BEEF, LAMB & SEAFOOD. 4356 Old Shell Rd. • 340-6464


FRIED, GRILLED, STEAMED & ALWAYS FRESH. 3300 River Rd. • 973-9070







MEDITERRANEAN SANDWICH COMPANY ($) GREAT & QUICK. 274 Dauphin St. • 545-3161 2502 Schillinger Rd. Ste. 2 • 725-0126 6890 US-90 (DAPHNE) • 621-2271



SUPREME EUROPEAN CUISINE. 2579 Halls Mill Rd. • 479-0006


GUMBO, ANGUS BEEF & BAR. 72. S. Royal St. • 432-SCAM (7226)

AUTHENTIC VIETNAMESE CUISINE. 763 Holcombe Ave. • 478-5814

AUTHENTIC TURKISH & MEDITERRANEAN 3702 Airport Blvd. • 461-6901


BAMBOO BISTRO ($$) 3662 Airport Blvd. • 378-5466


A HISTORIC SEAFOOD DIVE W/ LIVE MUSIC. 3775 Hwy. 98 • 625-1998 ECLECTIC DINING & SPACE. 6955 Airport Blvd. • 633-7196

QUALITY CAJUN & NEW ORLEANS CUISINE. 29249 US Highway 98 Daphne. • 621-1991

CRAVIN CAJUN/DIP SEAFOOD($) PO-BOYS, SALADS & SEAFOOD. 1870 Dauphin Island Pkwy • 287-1168



FELIX’S FISH CAMP ($$) UPSCALE DINING WITH A VIEW. 1420 Hwy. 98 • 626-6710

FISHERMAN’S LEGACY ($) DELI, MARKET AND CATERING. 4380 Halls Mill Rd. • 665-2266

THE GRAND MARINER ($-$$) LOCAL SEAFOOD & PRODUCE. 6036 Rock Point Rd. • 443-5700

THE HARBOR ROOM ($-$$) UNIQUE SEAFOOD. 64 S. Water St. • 438-4000


2400 Airport Blvd. • 307-5535


Sushi Bar. 650 Cody Rd. S • 300-8383


DELICIOUS, TRADITIONAL THAI CUISINE. 3821 Airport Blvd. • 344-9995

LULU’S ($$)

EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE & TASTE. 271 Glenwood St. • 476-0516


INSIDE THE MOBILE MARRIOTT. 3101 Airport Blvd. • 476-6400


SAISHO ($-$$)




TAMARA’S DOWNTOWN ($$) CASUAL FINE DINING. 104 N. Section St., Fairhope • 929-2219

ZEA’S ($$)



INVENTIVE & VERY FRESH CUISINE. 6 N. Jackson St. • 433-0377

A FAVORITE BARBECUE SPOT. 5456 Old Shell Rd. • 343-0001


BARBEQUE & MUSIC. Bayfront Park Dr., Daphne • 625-RIBS 701 Springhill Ave. • 410-7427 4672 Airport Blvd. • 300-8516

PDQ ($)

LOCAL INGREDIENTS 203 Dauphin St. • 690-6824


BAR FOOD 271 Dauphin St • 438-9585

BURGERS, MILKSHAKES & FRIES 4401 Old Shell Rd. • 447-2394 4663 Airport Blvd. • 300-8425


BBQ, BURGERS, WINGS & SEAFOOD 19170 Hwy 43 Mt. Vernon. • 839-9927



GREAT LUNCH & DINNER. 3607 Old Shell Rd. • 445-8700



HOT SUBS, COLD SALADS & CATERING. 6300 Grelot Rd. • 631-3730



ORIGINAL SANDWICH AND BAKE SHOP. 42 ½ Section St., Fairhope • 929-0122 102 Dauphin St. • 405-0031

195 S University Suite H • 662-1829

CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN FOOD. 351A George & Savannah St. • 436-8890



HOTDOGS SANDWICHES & COOL TREATS 3371 Dauphin Island Pkwy • 300–4015

GREAT FOOD AND COCKTAILS 609 Dauphin St. • 308-3105

GREAT SMOOTHIES, WRAPS & SANDWICHES. Du Rhu Dr. • 378-5648 570 Schillinger Road • 634-3454


COFFEE AND DONUTS 759 Nichols Avenue, Fairhope • 928-7223


SERVING LOCAL SEAFOOD & PRODUCE 167 Dauphin St. • 458-9573

NOJA ($$-$$$)

MICHELI’S CAFE ($) AUTHENTIC IRISH PUB 101 N. Bancroft St • 990-5100

HIGH QUALITY FOOD WITH A VIEW 107 St. Francis St • 444-0200

LIGHT LUNCH WITH SOUTHERN FLAIR. 226 Dauphin St. • 433-6725

2550 Dauphin Island Pkwy S. • 307-5328

6358 Cottage Hill Rd. • 725-6917


CONTEMPORARY SOUTHERN CUISINE Battle House Hotel, Royal St. • 338-5493 GOURMET ROTISSERIE. PRIME RIB & SEAFOOD. 4671 Airport Blvd. • 344-7414


WINE, BEER, GOURMET FOODS, & MORE. 720 Schillinger Rd. S. Unit 8 • 287-1851


A TAPAS RESTAURANT & COCKTAILS 64 S. Water St. • 438-4000


FOOD, WINE AND MORE. 5150 Old Shell Rd. • 341-1497


WINE BAR, CRAFT BEERS & BISTRO 6808 Airport Blvd. • 343-3555


TRADITIONAL SUSHI & LUNCH. 312 Schillinger Rd. • 633-9077

HALF SHELL OYSTER HOUSE ($) 3654 Airport Blvd. • 338-9350

GULF COAST CUISINE, REINVENTED. 200 E. 25th Ave., Gulf Shores • 967-5858 LIVE MUSIC & GREAT SEAFOOD. 200 E. 25th Ave., Gulf Shores • 967-5858

MUDBUGS AT THE LOOP ($) CAJUN KITCHEN & SEAFOOD MARKET. 2005 Government St. • 478-9897


RALPH & KACOO’S ($-$$)

CHARM ($-$$)

R&R SEAFOOD ($-$$)





THAI & SUSHI 5369 D Hwy 90 W • 661-5100 THAI KITCHEN AND SUSHI BAR 960 Schillinger Rd. S • 660-4470 LUNCH BUFFET 3674 Airport Blvd. • 341-6171

THAI FARE AND SUSHI 2000 Airport Blvd. • 478-9888


HIBACHI GRILL & ASIAN CUISINE. 309 Bel Air Blvd • 470-8033

HIBACHI 1 ($-$$)

2370 Hillcrest Rd. Unit B • 380-6062


THE SEAFOOD RESTAURANT! 1595 Battleship Pkwy • 626-0045

LAID-BACK EATERY AND FISH MARKET 1477 Battleship Pkwy. • 621-8366 SEAFOOD, BURGERS & STEAKS. 6120 Marina Dr., Dog River • 443-7318.

SEAFOOD, STEAKS, & EXTENSIVE WINE LIST. 6232 Bon Secour Hwy County Rd. 10. • 949-5086

WINTZELL’S OYSTER HOUSE ($-$$) FRESH SEAFOOD FOR OVER 75 YEARS 605 Dauphin St. • 432-4605 6700 Airport Blvd. • 341-1111 1208 Shelton Beach Rd., Saraland • 442-3335 805 S. Mobile St. • 929-2322

QUALITY FOOD, EXCELLENT SERVICE 5045 Cottage Hill Rd. • 607-6454


AMAZING SUSHI & ASSORTMENT OF ROLLS. 661 Dauphin St. • 432-0109

PIZZAS, PASTAS, & CALZONES. 245-A Old Shell Rd. • 479-3278




WINGS, BURGERS, PUB GRUB 6880 US-90 #14, Daphne • 625-4695


A SOUTHERN GRILL & BAR. 3673 Airport Blvd. • 344-2131

BUFFALO WILD WINGS ($) BEST WINGS & SPORTING EVENTS. 6341 Airport Blvd. • 378-5955


FAMOUS BURGERS, SANDWICHES & WINGS. 60 N. Florida St. • 450-0690

CALLAGHAN’S IRISH SOCIAL CLUB ($) BURGERS & BEER. 916 Charleston St. • 433-9374

HEROES SPORTS BAR & GRILLE ($) SANDWICHES & COLD BEER. 273 Dauphin St. • 433-4376 Hillcrest & Old Shell Rd. • 341-9464

HURRICANE GRILL & WINGS ($-$$) WINGS, SEAFOOD, BURGERS AND BEER 7721 Airport Blvd. Suite E-180 • 639-6832


1715 Main St. • 375-0543

MCSHARRY’S IRISH PUB ($) BRILLIANT REUBENS & FISH-N-CHIPS. 101 N. Brancroft St. Fairhope • 990-5100


BAR & GRILL. 6255 Airport Blvd. • 447-2514

OLD 27 GRILL ($)

WINGS, TENDERS, HOTDOGS & SANDWICHES. 312 Schillinger Rd. • 633-5877


AZTECAS ($-$$)

WINGS, BEERS AND DRINKS 1850 Airport Blvd • 471-5520



ZANDER’Z ($-$$)


BUCK’S PIZZA ($$) DELIVERY. 350 Dauphin St. • 431-9444

CORTLAND’S PIZZA PUB ($-$$) GREAT PIZZA. LUNCH & DINNER. 4356 Old Shell Road • 342-0024


GAMBINO’S ITALIAN GRILL ($) ITALIAN, STEAKS & SEAFOOD. 18 Laurel Ave. Fairhope • 990-0995

GUIDO’S ($$)

FRESH CUISINE NIGHTLY ON MENU. 1709 Main St., Daphne • 626-6082


COMFORT FOOD. 1716 Main St. Ste. C, Daphne • 281-2982


SMALL PLATES, PIZZAS, PASTAS AND WINE 3250 Airport Blvd. • 450-4556



PIES & AWESOME BEER SELECTION. 2032 Airport Blvd. • 471-4700 5660 Old Shell Rd. • 380-1500 29698 Frederick Blvd, Daphne • 621-3911


PIZZA, SUBS & PASTA. 1368 ½ Navco Rd.• 479-0066

BURGERS, DOGS & 27 BEERS & WINES. 19992 Hwy.181 Old County Rd. Fairhope • 281-2663 IRISH PUB FARE & MORE. 3692 Airport Blvd • 414-3000


PIZZA, SANDWICHES & SALADS. 5955 Old Shell Rd.• 344-9899 A TASTE OF ITALY . BYOB. 28691 U.S. Highway 98 • 626-1999

PINZONE’S ITALIAN DOWNTOWN ($$) ITALIAN, CATERING, TO-GO. 312 Fairhope Ave, Fairhope • 990-5535

TASTE OF MEXICO 5452 Hwy 90 W • 661-5509

BR PRIME ($$-$$$)




JIA ($-$$)




MOUTH WATERING MEXICAN FOOD 1175 Battleship Pkwy • 625-2722


CINCO DE MAYO ($) MEXICAN CUISINE 260 Azalea Rd. • 375-1095






FUEGO ($-$$)


AUTHENTIC ITALIAN DISHES 312 Fairhope Ave, Fairhope • 990-5535 PIZZA, PASTA, SALAD & MORE 102 N. Section St. • 929-2525

PIZZERIA DELFINA ($) PIZZA & PASTA 107 Dauphin St. • 375-1644

ROMA CAFE ($-$$)

PASTA, SALAD AND SANDWICHES. 7143 Airport Blvd. • 341-7217


Springdale Mall 3250 Airport Blvd. • 450-4556


WINGS, PO-BOYS, BURGERS. 210 Eastern Shore Center, Hwy. 98 • 929-0002

TRATTORIA PIZZA & ITALIAN ($$) ITALIAN FOOD & PIZZAS. 11311 US HIghway 31 Spanish Fort• 375-0076



HOMEMADE PASTAS & PIZZAS MADE DAILY. 5901 Old Shell Rd. • 342-3677


ENCHILADAS, TACOS, & AUTHENTIC FARE. 661 Dauphin St. • 432-2453


OUTSTANDING MEXICAN CUISINE. 2066 Old Shell Rd. • 378-8621

777 Beach Blvd.Biloxi • 877-877-6256

HACIENDA SAN MIGUEL ($-$$) TASTE OF MEXICO 880 Schillinger Rd. S. • 633-6122 5805 US 90 • 653-9163


QUAINT MEXICAN RESTAURANT. 5556 Old Shell Rd. • 345-7484










TAQUERIA MEXICO ($-$$) AUTHENTIC MEXICAN FLAVOR. 3733 Airport Blvd. • 414-4496


875 Beach Blvd. Biloxi • 888-952-2582




158 Howard Ave. Biloxi • 800-725-2239


AUTHENTIC MEXICAN CUISINE. 4633 Airport Blvd. • 342-5553

MEXICAN CUISINE. 3977 Gov’t Blvd. • 660-4970

3300 W. Beach Blvd. Biloxi • 877-774-8439

280 Beach Blvd. Biloxi • 288-436-2946 FINE DINING, SEAFOOD AND STEAKS



850 BAYVIEW AVE. BILOXI-- • 888-946-2847


TIEN ($-$$)








1980 Beach Blvd. Biloxi • 800-747-2839

THE DEN ($-$$)


CQ ($$-$$$)


BLU ($)



303 Poarch Rd. Atmore • 866-946-3360

FIRE ($$-$$$)





D e c e m b e r 2 9 , 2 0 1 6 - J a n u a r y 4 , 2 0 1 7 | L AG N I A P P E | 17


The Haberdasher’s creativity extends to food and cocktails



THE HABERDASHER IS DEFINITELY A PLACE I WOULD BRING AN OUT-OF-TOWN FRIEND TO ENJOY DRINKS AND HAVE SOME GREAT DRUNK FOOD, BUT THAT DESCRIPTION SELLS THEM SHORT.” a bar that is executing some really high-end cocktails next to the same things your average Joe would order. It’s the best of both worlds, really. You may find something that tickles your fancy with Barq’s Root Beer reduction as an ingredient, or just a straight-up beer. Of course there is everything in between, with a huge selection of craft beers in cans and on draft. It’s where Miller Lites mingle with beer snob-approved hops celebrations as muddled libations containing 10 or more ingredients rub elbows with a simple gin and tonic. This is a place where you’d think you could get anything, but they wouldn’t make me a super-girly strawberry daiquiri. I’m a little bitter about it, so I’m just going to focus on the food. Like I said, I believe in this style of kitchen. What that amounts to is that you have these bartenders cranking out some intense drinks. They don’t need to be interrupted by someone who just wants food. So in the same building, under the same roof, mere feet from the bar, is a food window. Gasp! You order your drinks from the bar and your food from the window. Sound crazy? Some have a hard time understanding this so let me explain. You are at a bar and a food truck comes crashing through the easternmost wall and parks right in front of the men’s room. You want food. You order from the food truck. That’s it. The restaurant within a bar is a great concept that keeps the

Photo | Daniel Anderson / Lagniappe


t was one of those things. I got clearance to review The Haberdasher, and word got out before I made it there. It’s no worry, though. I do prefer to do my reviews under cover of darkness so that there is no preferential treatment, but I’ve been visiting The Haberdasher ever since it was on the other end of Dauphin Street, so I know what to expect. Truth is I’ve been dying to review this place based on the sole fact that I believe in this style of kitchen. Here you have

Although the menu frequently changes, burgers at The Haberdasher are some of the best in town. Also pictured, the Scotch egg. was braised in Modelo Negro with jalapeños and onions and bartenders free to focus on what they do best while the kitchen topped with sautéed carrots and jalapeño slaw. It was just spicy does the same. Did I mention this food is clever and amazing? enough, and the slaw was perfect. Relish the Veg ($4) put out What started out as a mere taco stand in the old location has blosthe flames with refried sweet peas, spinach and yellow corn, somed into quite the restaurant with a heck of a menu. black bean and cilantro relish. Topped with the kefir cheese So on this particular night, with my cover blown, I sat down labneh sauce, both were very good. The pork edged out the with The Haberdasher’s own Roy Clark. He’s kind of my inside win, though. guy for this place and downtown, keeping me in the know for If it’s flats you want, it’s flats you’ll get. There are two events and occasionally shooting me a drink recipe. Tonight different flats: Veg out! and Pig Out! ($6) come on the same he was kind enough to keep Catherine and me company while naan. We chose the latter. I guess you could equate it to sort of we ordered enough food to pre-emptively ruin our New Year’s an Indian pizza with slow-cooked pork, leeks and gouda cheese resolutions. with fresh oregano and that spicy slaw The first thing I looked at was the making another appearance. If you have no chalkboard specials. When you see Camel room for the entire flat you could order the burger ($11), you get it. I’m told customers slaw (or the black bean relish) as a side don’t always believe it’s really camel meat, for $3 each. but it is. And it’s from New Zealand, apparJust when we thought we were off the ently. This burger came with Merlot BelOF COURSE THERE IS hook and couldn’t eat another bite, they laVitano cheese with shaved cucumbers and changed the chalkboard menu, adding house-made curry ketchup. This is a trendy EVERYTHING IN hand-cut french fries! What kind of monburger with a unique flavor that regularly BETWEEN, WITH A ster would I be if I didn’t try these out for sells out, but to me doesn’t hold a candle to you, dear reader? Served with some kind of their PFG Burger ($6). HUGE SELECTION OF mayonnaise, Catherine and I both agreed Mississippi grass-fed beef with garlic we weren’t crazy about the mayo at first. herb kefir cheese spread on a rather thin CRAFT BEERS IN CANS But after a couple of dips we were ravenous patty sports tomato, charred red onion for it! and spinach for what could be my favorite AND ON DRAFT. Of course all this as we were getting burger in the city. drinks from the bar, including normal gin The other special was the Scotch egg and tonics and Shiner’s new seasonal that is ($8). This one was so good it would have a bit fruity (hints of cherry, maybe?) but not made my friend David Holloway proud. overpowering. The entire evening was delicious. I paid my two Soft-boiled egg wrapped in their ground pork sausage and tabs and waddled out the door. fried, it was served with very good spicy mustard. This was so The Haberdasher is definitely a place I would bring an delicious I almost abandoned the rest of the menu and ordered out-of-town friend to enjoy drinks and have some great drunk another. Thankfully I did not. food, but that description sells them short. The kitchen is doing Katy Peri Peri Chicken ($6) is an amazing house-made an amazing job keeping it funky but delicious. Mobile has to naan bread sandwich with braised chicken, shallots, bell pepbe proud to have something like this anchoring that end of per, purple and green cabbage, chili sauce and house made Dauphin Street. It opens at 4 p.m., and I can envision a spinoff chimichurri. That is one fantastic fold! someday that serves lunch. We couldn’t ignore the tacos. The Pork En Sambal ($4)

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Noble South rings in the New Year BY ANDY MACDONALD/CUISINE EDITOR


e are waiting for the MoonPie to drop, the Champagne to pop and the New Year’s kisses to be nonstop. But some of us are just as excited for the Noble South’s New Year’s Eve dinner. Not only will the LoDa favorite be serving an a la carte menu of popular Noble South plates, they will also have a special Chef’s Tasting Menu inspired by Mobile dishes from 100 years ago. This 1916-inspired menu begins with Gulf shrimp consommé complete with poached shrimp, butternut squash and chives. Redfish Chambard fills the second course with oyster stuffing and mushrooms. Beef Marine brings the heavy protein with a braised short rib, cauliflower gratin and roasted heirloom carrots. Cap that off with coffee cake served with hazelnut ice cream, Champagne sabayon and shaved chocolate. Price per person is $60, with additional wine and cocktail pairings available. Reservations are strongly recommended, so call 251-690-6824 or book online at today before the small number of seats are filled.

A healthy start

The past 11 months and 51 weeks have taken a serious toll on some of my favorite people, including celebrities, musicians, friends and, of course, family. I thought it might be a good idea to focus locally on some of Mobile’s healthier options. Balance and FOY (Fountain of Youth) — If you’ve not made it to Balance then you’ve spent the last couple of years under a health rock. This place at 2351 Airport Blvd. serves up paleo at its finest. In addition to in-house dining they also

offer pre-packaged meals, takeout and home delivery. Choose your bowl, choose your protein and weigh in the advantages of cauliflower rice. There are meal plans for breakfast, lunch and dinner, customizable for restrictions and allergies. Balance has been pleasing midtown for a while now, but downtown is recently celebrating the addition of FOY at 119 Dauphin St. in the bustling Bienville Square area. FOY is Mobile’s first true juice bar with fresh-pressed juices, no water or sugar added. They also offer fast breakfast items and lunch bowls as well as being a pickup spot for Balance meals. Visit www. for more details. The Health Hut — Specializing in vitamins, minerals, gluten-free products, organic and whole foods, The Health Hut has three locations to help you get on track for the New Year. The first two locations are at 680 Schillinger Road in Mobile across from Home Depot, and on Highway 90 in Daphne across from Fresh Market. The newest store is at the loop on Airport Boulevard in the same shopping center as Mellow Mushroom. Visit to see all they offer. Virginia’s Sunflower Café — I’m very familiar with Virginia’s latest location at the corner of Dauphin and Sage in Mobile. It’s one of the most complete health food grocers in our area and, of course, the Sunflower Café doesn’t compromise taste with its healthy eating. Now you can visit the café across the bay at Fairhope Health Foods! It’s the same folks. Check out Happy healthy New Year, everyone! Resolve to recycle!

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The year that was Growth, change and politics drove most of the news in 2016 BY GABRIEL TYNES

to house refugee children on a Navy field in Baldwin County, and a racially-charged police shooting that left a 19-year-old Mobile man dead. Also, with multiple arrests and indictments, there was a law enforcement crackdown on prescription opiate proliferation, while the city of Mobile’s murder rate increased to its highest level in years. The TenSixtyFive music festival was embraced for a second year by an enthusiastic crowd, similar to the one that welcomed President-elect Donald Trump back to Mobile on his “thank you” tour earlier this month. Mobile’s own Sen. Jeff Sessions has been nominated as Trump’s attorney general, his confirmation hearing begins Jan. 10. We’ve compiled a more comprehensive list of the top stories of 2016 on, but below, our reporters share some that were particularly memorable to cover or impactful in the community.

From political scandals to growth and change, there was no shortage of local news to report in 2016. Some of the new developments included negotiations to bring back passenger rail service to Mobile, the return of Carnival Cruise Lines, the intent to contruct a 264-unit apartment complex on Water Street known as the Meridian at The Port, the redevelopment of the Old Shell Road School and a new retail center anchored by Publix in midtown. Along the beach, construction began on an at least $80 million conference center and lodge at Gulf State Park. In Foley, ground was broken on OWA, a $500 million amusment park and retail center being constructed by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. In Fairhope, officials placed a moratorium on new development while The scandal of Gov. Robert Bentley the city studies its capacity and infrastructure. BY JASON JOHNSON Meanwhile, the first A320 built in America by Airbus took flight from Brookley Aeroplex, duck boat tours beThough there were whispers of a political affair in gan quacking through city streets, and the ribbon was cut Montgomery before, the extramarital scandal that continon a new public park in the heart of downtown Mobile. ues to engulf Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley grew into a In June, it was announced Wal-Mart would be building full roar in 2016. In March, the state watched as former a 2.9 million square foot distribution center in Mobile Alabama Law Enforcement SecreCounty, providing at least 550 fulltary Spencer Collier made the first time jobs. public claims that Bentley’s divorce New mayors took office in from his wife of 50 years, Dianne, Fairhope, Prichard and Creola, had been caused by an ongoing afwhile the state’s most powerful fair with his former communications legislator, Speaker of the House officer, Rebekah Caldwell Mason. FROM POLITICAL Mike Hubbard, was convicted of When Collier went public with felony ethics charges and sentenced the accusations of Bentley’s affair, SCANDALS TO GROWTH to prison. Gov. Robert Bentley was he’d done so the day after being embroiled in a sex scandal, and Roy AND CHANGE, THERE terminated for what the governor Moore, the chief justice of the Aladescribed as “a number of issues, bama Supreme Court, was removed WAS NO SHORTAGE OF including possible misuse of state from the bench for a second time for funds” that had discovered within interferring with federal orders. LOCAL NEWS TO ALEA. However, a subsequent Downtown restraunts faced new investigation by Attorney General enforcement of crawfish boil and REPORT IN 2016. Luther Strange’s office ultimately alcohol regulations, Mobile City determined there was “no credible Councilman CJ Small was shot in basis” for any of the governor’s the face during a robbery attempt claims. in South Africa, Baldwin County Then, audio recordings — purportedly captured by Commissioner Chris Elliot was arrested for DUI, and Dianne herself — made their way into the press, allowa blogger named John Caylor became a “First Amending Alabama voters and the world to hear Bentley makment fugitive” after being arrested for posting expunged ing “inappropriate comments” to Mason that seemed to records related to a clerk in U.S. District Judge Ginny describe a previous physical encounter. Grenade’s courtroom. What followed was a deluge reports the examining There was uproar over the presidential campaign Bentley’s use of state funds and whether he’d used any and election, the federal government’s short-lived plan

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to facilitate or cover-up his relationship with Mason. Stories of Bentley dispatching a state helicopter to retrieve a forgotten wallet or purchasing tickets to Las Vegas concerts for his staff members seemed to pop-up weekly in the spring. Then in November, Bentley’s longtime security chief Wendell Ray Lewis filed an unlawful termination lawsuit against him — becoming the second member of the governor’s former inner circle to corroborate the rumored affair with Mason, adding even more sordid details to a long list of things Bentley has continued to deny. Though there’s no way to understate the impact Bentley’s scandal had on Alabama politics, it had perhaps been further elevated because of its timing. As the inquires and attempts to impeach the governor lurched forward over the past nine months, Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard was convicted of felony ethics violations, removed from office and sentenced to prison. Chief Justice Roy Moore was also suspended — and effectively removed — from his seat on the Alabama Supreme Court for the second time in his controversial career. As the New Year begins, Bentley seems to be only one of the state’s embattled political leaders who made it through 2016 in one piece, though hanging over his head are ongoing ethics investigations, two civil lawsuits and possibly a loss of confidence among the voters who twice put him in office.

White officer’s shooting of black teen raises tension BY JASON JOHNSON

From the initial incident in July through the month of November, the death of 19-year-old Michael Moore was one of the most controversial stories of 2016. Moore was shot by Mobile police officer Harold Hurst on June 13, after a traffic stop that escalated into violence. The incident divided the city almost immediately and in some cases along racial lines because Moore was black and Hurst is white. The MPD maintained that Moore had a gun, was driving a vehicle that had been reported stolen and was in possession of items connected to a number of vehicle burglaries when he was stopped by Hurst for a minor traffic violation. Ultimately, on Nov. 1, a Mobile County grand jury determined Hurst would not face criminal charges for Moore’s death, though a federal investigation by the Department of Justice is still “active,” according to a spokesperson for U.S. Attorney General Kenyen Brown’s office. While Moore’s death prompted some small protests, vigils and marches, it did not lead to the type of civil unrest that’s been seen after recent officer-involved shootings in other cities like Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Ferguson, Missouri. Nationwide scrutiny commonly given police violence today was perhaps overshadowed the day before when a terrorist killed 49 people in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, the most deadly mass shooting in American history. But what the case accomplished was examination and change to some MPD policies and operations, including the department’s body camera policy and the creation of a Police Citizens Community Relations Advisory Council in August. Immediately after the local grand jury cleared hurst of wrongdoing, Moore’s family said they were “extremely disappointed” by the decision and would be bringing “a civil lawsuit against the city of Mobile and its police department.” However, as of the publication of this report, no such civil action has been brought by Moore’s family in state or federal court.

COVER STORY The quick fall of GulfQuest BY DALE LIESCH Among the biggest local stories of 2016 was the city of Mobile’s perhaps inevitable takeover in November of the $60 million GulfQuest National Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico, temporarily closing it to the public. The year began just four months after the museum opened, culminating years of project delays and cost overruns. After an initial surge in paying guests, visitation gradually declined. In September, officials disclosed that only 76,343 visitors had passed through, less than half of the estimated 200,000 required each year for the museum to operate in the black. Officials placed responsibility on a lack of a marketing budget, the fact that the Carnival cruise ship did not return until November, and a strained relationship with the public and potential investors. By the time the city stepped in — laying off staff, curbing operating hours — it was also discovered the museum owed debtors, including the city, nearly $2 million. But former Executive Director Tony Zodrow later claimed the city actually owed the facility’s nonprofit board more than $1 million, a claim members of both former Mayor Sam Jones’ and current Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s administrations deny. GulfQuest is currently only open on days the Carnival Fantasy is in port, for special events and for previously scheduled school field trips. The city is still on the hook for the more than $2 million per year the museum eats up in debt service and while Stimpson has said parts of the facility can be repurposed, most of the exhibits must remain because they are tied to tax credits through 2021. Several third-party operators have toured the facility before and since Stimpson’s announcement. Stimpson has said the museum will reopen to the public after a transition period. Plans weren’t completely clear by year’s end, but the city tasked the museum’s nonprofit board with raising $1 million over the next two years to help fund the facility.

Shakeups at the Mobile Housing Board BY DALE LIESCH

Revelations about the Mobile Housing Board’s relationship with its nonprofit partner and accusations of financial mismanagement on each’s behalf was also among the most consequential local dramas of the past year. Following a year with a strained budget, MHB entered 2016 enthusiastically after the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development approved it for a portfolio-wide conversion to the federal Rental Assistance Demonstration program. The program, which allows MHB to operate more like a traditional developer, gives the board a better opportunity to renovate and reconstruct many of its aging properties. However, it also gives private developers more control over some of the housing, including privatizing some of the maintenance. Citing concerns over the RAD transformation, 30-year MHB commissioner and Chairman Donald Langham resigned from the board. He was replaced by Reid Cummings, Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s third appointment to the board.

But after the RAD program’s inclusion of MHB, the board was hit with a scathing audit report from the HUD Office of Inspector General in August, tearing into its relationship with its nonprofit, Mobile Development Enterprises. OIG accused MHB of mislabeling MDE as a third-party entity when it should have been considered part of the organization. If ultimately found to be true, this could cost MHB some of the non-federalized funds it had received over the years, OIG stated. The report found MDE used MHB phones and office space. MHB administration members also told commissioners near the end of the year that some of MHB budget pays for MDE. Commissioners also questioned why it appeared some MDE staff were listed among MHB employees in organizational charts. In our own investigation into to the story, Lagniappe found that MDE is used differently by MHB than other nonprofits are used by similarly sized housing authorities. We also found other questionable connections involving State Rep. Adline Clarke, MDE president, and other contractors as well as between for-

THE YEAR BEGAN JUST FOUR MONTHS AFTER THE MUSEUM OPENED, CULMINATING YEARS OF PROJECT DELAYS AND COST OVERRUNS. AFTER AN INITIAL SURGE IN PAYING GUESTS, VISITATION GRADUALLY DECLINED. ” mer MHB chairman Clarence Ball and developers of tax-credit housing in the city. Clarke defended her relationships, but Ball never commented publicly. It was also announced this year that some of the employees laid off from MHB in 2014 received a settlement in a lawsuit for back pay. Each of the six employees received between $18,500 and $25,600 in damages and the board was also forced to pay $40,000 in legal fees. The settlement was expected to cost the board a total of $165,000, including attorneys’ fees. In another story, the paper examined the board’s vacancy reduction program. While Executive Director Dwayne Vaughn praised the program, other sources close to it said it was a mismanaged waste of money. At least one said the program would’ve worked if the staffing numbers had been sufficient. Vaughn did admit in an email the program suffered do to frequent move outs. The OIG report confirmed, stating that the board hadn’t done enough to make apartments move-in ready.

New mayor, development boom keep Fairhope hopping BY JANE NICHOLES

Like it or not, change overtook Fairhope in 2016. Alabama’s fastest-growing city got a new mayor in Karin

Wilson and enough applications for new subdivisions and apartments to overwhelm the Planning and Zoning Department. A proposed luxury apartment complex became the focal point of debate about how to manage growth while maintaining the eclectic character that draws people to the bayside city. Tim Kant was seeking his fifth term as mayor and had no opposition until the last day of qualifying, when Wilson jumped into the race. The owner of Page & Palette bookstore and an accompanying coffee shop and bar was well-known as a businesswoman but new to politics. Wilson spoke of transparency in government and the need to control growth but not stop it. She questioned some longstanding issues in city government such as whether Fairhope spends too much money on legal fees and how it uses revenue from the city-owned utilities system that Kant also supervised. Still, Kant remained the favorite right up until the results came in. Playing a role in the results of the mayor’s and some council races was the project commonly known as the “Fly Creek apartments.” Properly known as the The Retreat at Fairhope Village, the complex, to be located behind Publix, would consist of 240 luxury units with rents ranging from $1,000 to $1,600. Public hearings went on for hours, and residents packed Planning Commission and City Council meetings. Objections ranged from the potential for environmental damage to the Fly Creek watershed to the impact on neighboring upscale subdivisions. Of the three council members who voted to approve the project in April, two, Diana Brewer and Rich Mueller, were not re-elected. Four residents filed a lawsuit against the project that remains pending in Baldwin County Circuit Court. Shortly before year’s end, Wilson told the council her administration is studying the legalities of repealing the decision. Since taking office in early November, Wilson has wasted no time implementing change and generating controversy. Council work sessions in addition to regular meetings are now streamed over the internet, and Wilson uses her Facebook page to lay out her stands on issues and urge supporters to come to public meetings. Saying the mayor’s job is full-time, Wilson declined Kant’s other role as utilities superintendent, which brought his salary to $90,000 a year. Instead, Wilson is making $32,400 and has convinced the council to let her hire both a utilities superintendent and an economic and community development director at salary ranges in six figures. Wilson has also convinced the council to authorize an analysis of pending litigation and legal fees, and is seeking a study of the utilities system needs and capacity. At the council’s last meeting on Dec. 22, it turned down Wilson’s proposal to take back much of the land owned by the municipal airport using a clause in a bond issue agreement in which the city was paying debt service. The council lowered the amount being paid from more than $400,000 a year to $320,000, but agreed that the Airport Authority should retain control of the land. Also at year’s end, the council placed a six-month moratorium on new subdivisions or and multi-family developments, as applications continued to flood the Planning and Zoning Department. The moratorium does not affect existing lots. The moratorium allows the city time to study overall growth issues such as sewer capacity and various regulations.

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emember the New Year characterized as a diapered baby and his wizened predecessor with the hourglass? Too bad it’s not real, because I have a size 11 desert boot for 2016’s craggy keister. It’s become a popular meme to hate on this outgoing year but the Artifice distaste is well earned. While every year has its share of ups and downs, the sour notes this goround felt relentless. Shortly after the world was shocked by the early January demise of multidisciplinarian David Bowie, the shocks grew closer to home. Alabama artist Thornton Dial passed away. Likened to Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, his works reside in the nation’s most prestigious collections and he was a featured part of an Alabama Contemporary Art Center exhibit at the time he died. A month later, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Harper Lee passed away in Monroeville. She’d recently moved back into the spotlight with the publication of a rediscovered manuscript in 2015. A stalwart patron and energizer for Mobile arts for a half century, Yvonne Kalen died the day after Dial. She had her hands in everything from literary publications, to Joe Jefferson Players, to personally backing several noted Mobile artists, and won a Greater Mobile Arts Award in 2008. Artist/singer/actor/musician/writer/composer Fred Baldwin passed away in February. Baldwin was omnipresent for decades, serving as a radio host and voiceover expert as well as being Lagniappe’s first arts editor. Multidisciplinarian Fred Marchman died in April. A writer, illustrator and multimedia visual artist, March-

Multi-part harmony at MAC

man had a truly unique vision, perspective and voice that brought him acclaim beyond the Mobile area. Nearly simultaneously, Ron Smith passed. Along with his partner, Timothy Guy, Smith was an active and integral component of community theater throughout the area. Danielle Juzan also died unexpectedly that week. The writer, singer, actor and patron was relatively young, well liked and respected throughout the area’s cultural ranks. In May, longtime theatrical stalwart Melanie Petithory was killed when an auto barreled through the front of a west Mobile dance studio. Washington, D.C., sculptor and Mobile native Joanna

MOBILE BALLET ARTISTIC DIRECTOR WINTHROP COREY SUDDENLY TENDERED HIS RESIGNATION IN DECEMBER. NO SUCCESSOR HAS BEEN NAMED.” Campbell Blake died in a motor vehicle accident in Italy at only 39 years old. Koch Gallery owner Lars Britt passed away in August after a battle with ALS. He was active in several arenas of Mobile life as a reporter and an advocate for chess competition.

For more information, call 251-432-9796 or go to

Sacred music tradition in Baldwin and Mobile

The Twelfth Day of Christmas, or Three Kings Day, is fast approaching and, as has been the case for nearly three full decades now, Musica Sacra Chamber Choir performs its annual Epiphany Procession with Lessons and Carols. One event on each side of Mobile Bay assures the faithful can find a performance to suit their location or schedules. On Saturday, Jan. 7, at 7 p.m. they will perform at Saint Margaret of Scotland Catholic Church (601 W. Laurel Ave. in Foley). They follow up with a Jan. 8, 4:30 p.m. performance at the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception (2 S. Claiborne St.) in downtown Mobile. Each performance features the chorus led by cross and candles traveling to various stations through the sanctuary. While the divided chorus sings antiphonally across the room,

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scriptural readings take place. Music director Christopher Uhl leads the ensemble. C. Clinton Doolittle is the organist. The performance is free. Donations are welcome at the door. For more information, call Sally McKenna at 251-610-1931 or email at

Seven Days of Opera opens

Mobile Opera begins its Seven Days of Opera celebration with something to break up the workaday humdrum. Tagged “A Little Mid-Day Music,” the lunchtime event unfolds Monday, Jan. 9, noon to 1 p.m. at the Larkins Music Center (257 Dauphin St.) when soloists Kathryn Hedlund and Patrick Jacobs perform. Attendees are asked to bring their own lunch and enjoy the serenade in the Willson Recital Hall. The event is free. Further events follow through the week. Stay trained on this space for more information.


The Mobile Arts Council shows scheduled for January feature six artists in three exhibits, all women whose disparate perspectives blend together for a greater whole. That’s most evident with the trio — Jo Patton (2-D), Pinky Bass (single-folio book pages and small sculptural pieces) and Ameri’ca Jones (sculptures) — in the Small Room. The Danielle Juzan Gallery will contain a show of botanical drawings of “The Flora of Splinter Hill Bog” from the Nature Conservancy of Alabama and the Coastal Alabama Botanical Artists’ Circle. “Weathering,” a series of encaustic and rust paintings by Ashley Friend, will be featured in the Skinny Gallery. An opening reception will be held 6-9 p.m. during the Jan. 13 LoDa Artwalk. Normal gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Mobile Arts Council is located at 318 Dauphin St.

Other endings were less corporeal. Regretfully, the GulfQuest Maritime Museum closed under budget strain. Mobile Ballet Artistic Director Winthrop Corey suddenly tendered his resignation in December. No successor has been named. Not all was gloom. The Mobile Museum of Art hosted artist Janet Cardiff’s sound installation “The Forty Part Motet” for roughly six months. The illustrious exhibit spurred an ancillary series entitled “Reverberations,” which explored the interaction of Cardiff’s piece with other mediums and genres. The Alabama Museum Association held a March conference in town and left an outstanding impression on the visiting professionals. Visiting performance artist Kimi Maeda enthralled onlookers with her emotionally robust work “BEND” at ACAC in late May. Local filmmaker Gideon Kennedy’s feature-length film “Limo Ride” made a grassroots tour of breweries and screening venues. Utilizing momentum from positive reviews plus its new availability on iTunes, Amazon and Vimeo, the comedy seems to be building a cult following. Mobile’s new Mardi Gras Trail was unveiled in the autumn. It leads participants on a tour of sites vital to the history of the pre-Lenten festival in the Azalea City. Joe Jefferson Playhouse staged two of the best community theater works of the year with its versions of “Sweeney Todd” and “The Producers.” Meanwhile, Mobile Theatre Guild produced a pair of plays tuned in to the AfricanAmerican experience with “The Colored Museum” and “Ain’t Misbehavin’.” The new Mobile Literary Festival premiered in October. Brought to life by the Mobile Writers Guild and the Mobile Public Library, it holds promise. Speaking of which, the written words of some locals gained exposure far beyond the immediate area. Only one of the following has been mentioned in these pages. A Lagniappe column received international distribution. When 370 delegates from 43 countries met for the International Planetarium Society’s June conference in Warsaw, Poland, the May 5 Artifice lobbying for a permanent planetarium in Mobile’s museum constellation was included in the distributed periodical, The Planetarian. More importantly than my self-indulgence, Mobile author Angela Quarles’ 2015 work “Must Love Chainmail” won an American RITA Award in the Paranormal Romance category during a star-studded July 15 ceremony in San Diego, California. It’s one of the most highly sought awards in the genre. Sure, it wasn’t all bad but there’s got to be an upswing in 2017. We paid dues the last dozen months to earn it.

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Photo |


Jacksonville classic rock

.38 Special promises to ‘bring the party to the people’


band .38 Special will be headlining Moonpie Over Mobile New Year’s Eve in downtown Mobile.


oonPie Over Mobile has become the Azalea City’s traditional way of ending each year. Masses of people gather under the electric light of the city’s most beloved pastry and watch it drop as the clock strikes midnight. As in prior years, the city of Mobile will provide an appropriate soundtrack to entertain those filling the streets, and this year’s music will be provided by .38 Special. From “Hold on Loosely” to “Rockin’ into the Night,” founding vocalist/guitarist Don Barnes says the crowd won’t be disappointed with their show. In the midst of his holiday break, Barnes spent time chatting with Lagniappe about his legendary band and its plans for the Azalea City. Stephen Centanni: What are the holidays like for you? Don Barnes: Well, I’m home. We do about 100 cities a year, but we always make sure we take some time off at the end. It’s the old thing about being careful about getting what you wish for. We were kids with a dream, wanting to do this thing. Here we are decades later, and we’re still doing 100 cities a year.

Centanni: With that said, .38 Special still doesn’t have a problem bringing in a crowd. How does it feel to still be able to play for the old fans and bring in new ones? Barnes: Aw, man, it’s the greatest job in the world! I can’t complain. I do complain about the traveling, because it sometimes takes a lot out of you and beats you up. When we’re on stage, we’re cranking the guitar up to 10 and 19 years old again. It’s a great job bringing that kind of joy and happiness to people. We see it as being very fortunate. Once again, you have to be careful what you wish for, but we did wish for it. It was our calling years ago. We did the stage up and got the cops called on us for being too loud in somebody’s garage. We were neighborhood guys. We had a focus and a dream and a brotherhood to build a history for ourselves and carry on into the future. In the entertainment business, the light shines on you for a while, then it shines on somebody else. The key is to create a catalog of a lot of hit songs and take people through a journey of that history. It’s a celebration of that brotherhood and camaraderie that we still have years later. We actually like each other, which is rare. Centanni: As far as that catalog you mentioned, .38 Special still has a quite a radio presence. What is it about your songs that has allowed them to stick with people? Barnes: We came from Jacksonville, Florida, and Lynyrd Skynyrd was from the neighborhood. [Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Ronnie Van Zandt was a big mentor for the band. He was about five years older than us. We were rehashing what was already there with the country/Southern rock like Skynyrd and Allman Brothers and Charlie Daniels Band. Our first album was quite different from what we ended up doing, but it’s like anything. You head down the road to take that journey, and you might have to veer off on a different path just for the fact that you could keep winning somehow. Ronnie told us back then, “Don’t try to be a clone of anybody else. Try to use your own influences and truth.” We thought that it had already been done by

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the best, as far as the Southern genre. We introspectively looked into our influences. We were big British Invasion fans and Beatles fans. We really liked a lot more melody than a lot of the Southern bands had. They were more blues based. We just started writing songs that we called “muscle melodies.” You’ve got that strong, in-your-face guitar attitude and a good melody and a good story, and an attitude that says, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” So, I think it’s the positive element. There are a lot of songs that we do that are in major keys. A lot of people do songs in minor keys. “Caught Up in You” is a big major chord progression. It’s happy and more positive. It makes people want to put the top down and sing along to it. The element of truth in those songs came from personal experiences. Songwriting is an insecure thing, anyway. You’re coming up with things from bits of nothing. Anybody can write, “Oh, baby, I miss you and love you.” We wrote about true things from our lives. “Hold on Loosely” was based on a bad marriage I was going through in the 1980s. I wrote that with Jim Peterik from Survivor. He wrote “Eye of the Tiger” and a lot of Survivor hits. He’s been a friend for 30 years. We’d get at a kitchen table and talk about things. He asked if everything was going all right. I was going through a rough time and said, “What is it about people that can’t celebrate their differences? They want to change each other and keep each other under a thumb. They don’t give each other room to breathe.” I had my little notebook with me. I said, “What do you think about this title” I’d scratched down, “Hold on loosely.” He said, “Oh yeah! But don’t let go.” It was the first thing that he said. It was the perfect bookend, and we were off to the races. We were talking about true experiences and what good piece advice it is for people. Out of something negative came a positive element, and it’s rang true all these years. Centanni: When founding members Donnie Van Zandt and Larry Junstrom left the band, a lot of your fans wondered what would happen to .38 Special, but it doesn’t seem to have slowed you down any. What was it like making that transition and

restructuring the band? Were you already prepared? Barnes: First, we’re very fortunate to have about 15 or 16 Top 40/Top 20/Top 10 songs. We took everything and stripped it down. It’s more muscular. It’s a ride, and we have a medley of great hits and secondary songs from movies and all these different things. We put a new show together, and it’s more bombastic than before. I wanted to make sure that nobody missed anything. Of course, our dear brother Donnie had inner ear nerve damage. … doctors told him that he couldn’t expose himself to anything like that again or he would go stone deaf. He had been doing it for decades. It was heartbreaking, and we’re still looking to see if he’ll do some healing and come back. I knew that we had the artillery. I had the radio songs, and he had more of a blues-oriented voice. However, I had the voice on the radio. I knew that I could line these songs up and shoot them down. We take our crowds for a ride. It’s like a movie. We have a big, explosive opening and keep climbing all the way through one after another after another. We give them a break with “Second Chance,” and then we climb higher and higher and leave them screaming with a big explosive finish. We’re exhausted, and they’re exhausted with us. Centanni: What do you have lined up for the New Year’s Eve set? Barnes: It’s New Year’s Eve, so we have a bombastic show in store for everybody … everything that you want to hear from the history of the band. We have some new songs to put in there with all the hits. It’s the celebration that we always seem to bring. We just throw it down. It’s New Year’s Eve, so it’ll be wild. I understand that the mayor and the city dignitaries want to come out and sing “Auld Lang Syne.” We’ll do that too, with the countdown and everything. .38 Special has always been known to bring the party to the people. Holidays will be coming to a close, and it’ll be a good way to head into 2017. We want to thank everybody for making us a part of their lives for so many years. It’s been a long time. We’re bringing our A game.

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Such unsweet sorrow



rom shocking deaths to social and political unrest, many have declared 2016 an emotionally intense year. The Merry Widow concurs, and knows it will take more than one night of New Year’s Eve festivities to sweep away memories of all of the year’s negative events. Good Riddance 2016! will be a three-day affair dedicated to welcoming what will hopefully be a better new year.

Photo | Lagniappe | The Merry Widow


The first night will feature support from Nappie Awardwinning punk outfit The Handsome Scoundrels. The Azalea City will also be represented by the two-man power rock of Glass War. Wolf-Face will complete the first night’s lineup. The crowd can expect catchy punk tunes performed by a group of guys dressed as Michael J. Fox’s character from the film “Teen Wolf.” Night two will feature a headlining set from local punk legends C.C. USA. Black Titan’s blackened sludge

Kid-friendly New Year


metal will enhance this sonic cocktail. Mobile’s Scraepers Papers’ crusty underground rock and the sounds of Cyster Sister will complete the lineup. Good Riddance! will reach its climax on the final night. This New Year’s Eve party will welcome Underhill Family Orchestra, a group currently working on its first release on Skate Mountain Records. Finally, with a lineup boasting members of El Cantador, Bunch will inject its new-school alternative rock to the mix.

No losers tonight



Photo | | Pelican212

obile is a town full of seasoned partiers, and many will be looking for the perfect warm-up to their New Year’s Eve shenanigans. The Listening Room is solving that problem by bringing a taste of Big Easy roots rock to the Azalea City. Whether in a small venue or at a large festival, Dave Jordan & the NIA deliver a solid live performance that showcases the talents of all members, veterans of the New Orleans scene. Their brand of thick Southern-fried rock tossed with swamp water has steadily built this band’s listening audience along the Gulf Coast and beyond. Dave Jordan & the NIA have been touring relentlessly in support of their latest album, “No Losers Tonight.” This album has helped the group earn a nomination for “Best Roots Rock Artist” in Offbeat Magazine’s “Best of the Beat Music Awards.” “No Losers Tonight” is a great collection of modern roots rock. Dave Jordan & the NIA’s jam-filled mix of hard-driving rock numbers and refreshing ballads will get The Listening Room’s crowd in the mood to celebrate the New Year.


hile the streets of downtown Mobile will be filled with revelers welcoming 2017, many will be seeking something a little less raucous and a little more kid friendly. For 12 years, Lucy Buffett’s LuLu’s has been providing just such a New Year’s Eve alternative, called Noon Year’s Eve. Beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 31, LuLu’s in Gulf Shores will open its doors to wondrous celebration. Patrons will be entertained with a sandcastle contest, face painting, a petting zoo, and arts and crafts. There will also be a beach-ball drop at noon with “kidfriendly” fireworks. Noon Year’s Eve 2016 will feature a great soundtrack. Kathleen Rees and Pelican212 will be providing the day’s musical entertainment. Those who have never witnessed the talent of these young performers will be truly amazed. Pelican 212 will bring an electrifying jam session led by identical twin trumpeters Max and Kolbe Rees. While the band members may look young, Pelican212 is guaranteed to deliver a grown-up sound.

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Photo | | Dave Jordan & the NIA



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AREAMUSIC LISTINGS | December 29 - January 4


Scraepers Papers, Cyster Sister, 9p Beau Rivage— Moe’s BBQ (Daphne) Christmas Wonderland, — 5:50 Express 3p/7p Moe’s BBQ (Foley) — Bluegill— Cary Laine Broken Down Car Duo Moe’s BBQ (Mobile) — Blues Tavern— Donnie Phil and Foster, 6:30p Skidmore & Friends, 8:30p O’Daly’s— Gene Murrell, Boudreaux’s Cajun Tony Edwards and David Grill— David Chastang, 6p White, 10p Cockeyed Charlie’s— JJ Soul Kitchen— Beamin, Felix’s— Tropic Flyer Mr. 88, 3rd Eye, 10p Flora Bama— Gove Veets— The Family Jewels, Scrivenor, 1p// Mark Sherrill, 9p John Joiner, Chris Newbury, Wind Creek Casino— 5p/// Al and Cathy, 9:15p No Idea, 9p Listening Room— Brent Loper, 8p SAT. DEC 31 Lulu’s— Adam Holt, 5p NEW YEAR’S EVE McSharry’s— Rock Alchemy— 2005 Scene Bottom, 7:30p New Years Party, 9p The Merry Widow— Blind Mule— Elysian Wolf Face, The Handsome Feel/ S.A.T.S.B./ Jaguarundi/ Scoundrels, Glass War, 9p Veets— Dale Drinkard, 8p A Sunday Fire Bluegill— Roger Wind Creek Casino— Fleshman, 12p// Cary Laine, Flight Time, 8p 6p Blues Tavern— Soul FRI. DEC 30 River Levy, 9p Alchemy— Boudreaux’s Cajun All Sports Bar & Grill— David Chastang & Billiards— DJ Markie The Long Road Home, 6p Mark, 10p Bluegill— Brandon Bailey, Callaghan’s— Phil and Foster 12p// Jeri, 6p Cockeyed Charlie’s— Blues Tavern— The Jordan Bramblett Tangerine Station, 9p Felix’s— Grits N Pieces Boudreaux’s Cajun Fin’s— Fat Lincoln Grill— Rock Bottom, 6p Flora Bama— Tim Felix’s— David Chastang Kinsey, 11a// Big Muddy, Duo 2p/// Jay Hawkins Trio, Fin’s— George Eberline 2p//// Lea Anne Creswell, Trio John Joiner and Darrel Flora Bama— Gary Roberts, 2p//// Davis Nix Story, 1p// Lea Anne Duo, 6p//// Hung Jury, 7p//// Creswell Duo, 1p/// Jay Jack Robertson Show, 7p//// Hawkins Duo, 2p//// Jack Robertson, 5:30p//// Johnny Davis Nix Duo, 10p//// Brian Hill Trio, 10:15p//// B Trio, 6p//// Jay Williams Adam Doleac Band, 11p//// Band, 9:30p//// Lee Yankie Foxy Iguanas, 11p and the Hellz Yeah, 10p//// Golden Nugget— Mario Mena Trio, 10:15p Groovy 7, DJ Hurricane, Hard Rock (Center 10p Bar) — Contraflow, 9p Hard Rock (Center IP Casino— The Pink Bar) — Perkins Road, 9p Floyd Laser Show Listening Room— Dave Hard Rock (Live) — Hip City and DJ G, 9p Jordan and the NIA, 8p IP Casino— The Pink Lulu’s— Grits N’ Pieces, Floyd Laser Show 5p Lulu’s— Noon Year’s Eve, Main Street Cigar 10a Lounge— Marty Manci’s— Flounder Flop, McIntosh, 8p Manci’s— Electric Sox, 7p 7p McSharry’s— Mega The Merry Widow— Party, 9p Black Titan, CCUSA,

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The Merry Widow— Underhill Family Orchestra, Bunch, 9p Mobile New Year’s — 38 Special Pirates Cove— Grayson Capps and the Lost Cause Minstrels, 8p Soul Kitchen— Kristy Lee & Friends, 10p Top of the Bay— 12 Sharp Veets— The Family Jewels, 9p Wind Creek Casino— No Idea, 9p


Blues Tavern— Dr. Bob, 6p Flora Bama— Jezebel’s Chilln’, 1p// Rebecca Barry Trio, 1p/// Lee Yankie and Hellz Yeah, 2p//// Jason Justice, 2p//// Adam Doleac Band, 5:30p//// Perdido Brothers, 6p//// Rhythm Intervention, 6p//// Lucky Doggs, 10p//// Mario Mena Band, 10p//// Logan Spicer and Tony Ray Thompson, 10:15p Lulu’s— Brent Burns, 5p


Boudreaux’s Cajun Grill— Tim Kinsey, 6p Felix’s— Bryant Gilley Lulu’s— Brent Burns, 5p


Bluegill— Quintin Berry Blues Tavern— Dr. Bob, 6p Boudreaux’s Cajun Grill— Jon Maddox, 6p Butch Cassidy’s— Andy MacDonald Felix’s— Lee Yankie Hot Spot Music and Grub — Brent Burns, 5p Lulu’s— Ronnie Presley, 5p Moe’s BBQ (Mobile) — Denver Hawsey, 6p


Bluegill— Ross Newell Blues Tavern— Johnny B & Britt, 8p Boudreaux’s Cajun Grill— Ryan Balthrop, 6p Felix’s— Matt Bush Duo Lulu’s— Jon Cowart, 5p Shipp’s Harbour Grill— Brent Burns, 5p

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Have a bracing holiday chaser, ‘The Night Before’




AREA THEATERS CARMIKE CINEMA’S Wynnsong 16 785 Schillinger Rd. S. (251) 639-7373 CRESCENT THEATER 208 Dauphin Street (251) 438-2005 HOLLYWOOD STADIUM 18 1250 Satchel Paige Dr. (251) 473-9655

fter the eggnog sweetness of holiday movies, the hilarious and heartfelt “The Night Before” is a bracing holiday chaser that will still warm you up. Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie play three best friends out to celebrate their traditional “Night Before Christmas” party one last time. Two are facing mounting responsibilities of adulthood while the third flounders in arrested development. Ethan (Gordon-Levitt) lost his parents in a car accident at this time years ago, and when his two friends come over on Christmas Eve to cheer him up, their holiday ritual of partying, Chinese food, karaoke, drugs and alcohol was born. No matter how excessive their fun becomes, no one can forget the tragic motivation behind it. On this year, which they have decided will be their last, Isaac (Rogen) is about to become a father, while Chris (Mackie) is a professional athlete enjoying a performance-enhanced boost to his career that has afforded him a new level of fame. Almost every supporting role is filled by a great comedian, especially the females, which include Mindy Kaling, Lizzy Kaplan as Ethan’s ex-girlfriend, and Ilana Glazer as a gleefully demented Grinch. Most refreshing is Jillian Bell as Isaac’s pregnant wife, a woman so nonjudgmental she actually gifts her dutiful but secretly petrified husband

begins to receive texts of illicit photos after an accidental a little box of assorted drugs so he can really let loose with his friends. Have you ever seen a non-harpy pregnant phone switch with Kaling. Into this evening of silliness rides the magnificent wife onscreen? I can’t think of one, at least not in a comMichael Shannon as mysterious weed dealer Mr. Green, edy like this. who is wonderfully strange. Chris has to bring some weed to the Nutcracker Ball to impress the star quarterback, and fortunately we get several opportunities to climb into Mr. CELEBRITY CAMEOS BY MILEY Green’s famous car and experience his character. When CYRUS AND JAMES FRANCO Shannon turns that sinister mug of his toward comedy, it’s even more disarming. DON’T HURT A BIT, ESPECIALLY WHEN FRANCelebrity cameos by Miley Cyrus and James Franco don’t hurt a bit, especially when Franco and Rogen dance CO AND ROGEN DANCE AND CELEBRATE and celebrate the bromance we have seen between the two THE BROMANCE WE HAVE SEEN BETWEEN so many times before. Rogen has made men feel better about being scared to grow up in many roles already, but THE TWO SO MANY TIMES BEFORE. the relationship between the friends is still worth watching. For all their bad behavior, they genuinely care about each other. Despite all the gross, ridiculous things that happen in The boys launch their revelries with an extra boost: at his miserable catering job, Ethan stole three tickets to the this movie, this is not an anti-holiday movie like “Bad Holy Grail of holiday parties in New York, a fabled secret Santa.” “The Night Before” has genuine relationships portrayed by good actors, and it is, at times, truly romantic. gathering called the Nutcracker Ball, a long-held dream It might not supplant “It’s a Wonderful Life” in the panfor the trio. While Chris uses the evening to promote himself on social media, Isaac avails himself of his wife’s theon of required December viewing, but I recommend giving it a spot in your holiday rotation. gift of drugs, with hilarious results. Rogen’s escalating “The Night Before” is currently available to rent. drug trip is nightmarish and hysterical, especially when he

RAVE MOTION PICTURE JUBILEE SQUARE 12 6898 U.S. 90 Daphne, (251) 626- 6266 CARMIKE CINEMAS 23151 Wharf Ln. Orange Beach (251) 981-4444 COBB THEATRES PINNACLE 14 3780 Gulf Shores Pkwy Gulf Shores (251) 968-7444 EASTERN SHORE PREMIERE CINEMA 14 30500 Alabama 181 #500 Spanish Fort, Al (251) 626-0352 Information accurate at press time; please call theaters for showtimes.

Photos | Columbia Pictures / Paramount Pictures / Universal

NOW PLAYING SING All listed multiplex theaters. MANCHESTER BY THE SEA Crescent Theater, Carmike Wharf PASSENGERS All listed multiplex theaters. ASSASSIN’S CREED All listed multiplex theaters. WHY HIM Regal Mobile Stadium 18 ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY All listed multiplex theaters. COLLATERAL BEAUTY All listed multiplex theaters. MISS SLOANE Carmike Wynnsong 16, Carmike Wharf, Carmike Jubilee Square 12 NOCTURNAL ANIMALS Carmike Wharf OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY all listed multiplex theaters. INCARNATE

All listed multiplex theaters. ALLIED All listed multiplex theaters. BAD SANTA 2 All listed multiplex theaters. MOANA All listed multiplex theaters. FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM All listed multiplex theaters. ARRIVAL All listed multiplex theaters. ALMOST CHRISTMAS Regal Mobile Stadium 18, Eastern Shore Premiere Cinema, Carmike Wynnsong 16 DR. STRANGE All listed multiplex theaters. TROLLS All listed multiplex theaters. HACKSAW RIDGE All listed multiplex theaters. JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK Eastern Shore Premiere Cinema OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL Regal Mobile Stadium 18

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From left: Hilarious but heartfelt “The Night Before” stars Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie as three rideor-die homies who have the ultimate last Christmas night out. In “Fences,” Denzel Washington is a father struggling with race relations while trying to raise his family in the 1950s and coming to terms with the events of his life. The animated film “Sing” is now playing in theaters everywhere. NEW IN THEATERS FENCES

Troy Maxson (Denzel Washington) makes his living as a sanitation worker in 1950s Pittsburgh. Maxson once dreamed of becoming a professional baseball player, but

was deemed too old when the major leagues began admitting black athletes. Bitter over his missed opportunity, Troy creates further tension in his family when he squashes his son’s (Jovan Adepo) chance to meet a college football recruiter. All listed multiplex theaters.

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Polar Bear Dip The Kiwanis Club of Gulf Shores in partnership with The Hangout, the city of Gulf Shores, and the Alabama Law Enforcement Torch Run present the 6th annual Polar Bear Dip at noon on Sunday, Jan. 1, at the Gulf Shores Public Beach in front of The Hangout.

MoonPie General Store grand opening The grand opening and “unwrapping” of the new MoonPie General Store takes place at noon on Friday, Dec. 30, in the RSA Trustmark Building in downtown Mobile. Noon Year’s Eve Party Join the Mobile Public Library’s Spring Hill branch for a kid-friendly New Year’s Eve party Friday, Dec. 30. Arts, crafts and refreshments, complete with a final countdown and balloon drop at noon! Call 251-470-7770 or email eenglish@ Movie night The city of Mobile will be screening a holiday movie free of charge to the public in the amphitheater at Cooper Riverside Park on Friday, Dec. 30, at 7:30 p.m. Balloon drop Celebrate the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017 with puzzles, Legos, crafts and stories at the Ben May Main Library, Saturday, Dec. 31, at 10 a.m. Balloon drop at noon. Call 251-208-7086 or email Happy Noon Year at the Exploreum Join the Exploreum Saturday, Dec. 31, to ring in the New Year with familyfriendly science, technology, engineering and math. When the clock strikes noon our Moonpie will drop, heralding even more fun. Call 251-208-6893 or visit

Photo |

MoonPie Over Mobile Ring in the New Year with .38 Special as the giant electronic MoonPie descends from the RSA Trustmark Building at midnight, fireworks fill the sky and a laser light show illuminates downtown buildings. Entertainment begins at 8:45 p.m.

Flora-Bama Polar Bear Plunge Help us ring in the New Year by taking a dip into the Gulf of Mexico at high noon Jan. 1! The Flora-Bama provides the traditional feast with black-eyed peas, cornbread, ham and more for those who take the plunge. “Magic Christmas in Lights” Bellingrath Gardens and Home’s 21st annual “Magic Christmas in Lights” will run 5-9 p.m. nightly through Dec. 31. For details or to order tickets, visit www.

Fairhope New Year’s Eve celebration The city of Fairhope will host its annual New Year’s Eve celebration at 8:30 p.m. at the corner of Fairhope Avenue and Church Street. Music, face painting, fireworks and a ball drop at midnight. Call 251-9291466.

Riverside Ice Riverside Ice will be open at Cooper Riverside Park in Mobile until Jan. 14. Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for children 12 and under. Every Tuesday, each child accompanied by at least one adult will be admitted for free. For more information, visit

Reelin’ in the New Year The Wharf’s annual New Years Eve Extravaganza with live music, kids activities, football simulcasts and fireworks and a marlin drop at midnight. Call 251-224-1000 or visit

Dauphin Island Boardwalk Talks Boardwalk Talks are held the first and third Wednesday of each month at 11:15 a.m. at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, 101 Bienville Blvd. For more information, call 251-861-2141.

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Midtown Optimist Club Join Midtown Optimist Club every Wednesday at noon for lunch at Azalea City Golf Course. For reservations and more information, please call 251-3483542. Toastmasters Do you want to learn how to deliver a speech like a pro or gain leadership skills to advance your career? Toastmasters International meets regularly at six locations in Mobile and Baldwin counties. Visit for more information.

FUNDRAISERS Tree of Lights This holiday season, a special tree will once again be displayed in the Thomas Hospital lobby to recognize and remember the special people in our lives during the holiday season. For an order form or more information, please call 251-279-1686.

ARTS Christmas Wonderland At the Beau Rivage Theatre (Biloxi), Dec. 21-29. Christmas Wonderland is a musical extravaganza featuring singers and dancers, festive holiday sets and stunning costumes. Tickets start at $10.95 per person. For tickets and more information, visit Last Friday Art Night Join Dauphin Island Art Gallery the last Friday of each month for Last Friday Art

Night, featuring local art and history, food, beverages, music and socializing. 918 Bienville Blvd. For more information call 251-861-3300. Tea for Two Tuesday afternoons at 2 p.m. the Fairhope Museum of History hosts a tea with a lecture on Fairhope history. The Jan. 3 speaker will be Donnie Barrett. For more information, call 251-929-1471. Little Discoveries Outside the Box: This “Little Discovery” in the Exploreum’s Wharf of Wonder, aimed at children 6 and under, explores how innovation and creativity can lead to a world of possibilities starting with a simple cardboard box. Every Wednesday at 10 a.m. Call 251-208-6893 or email jholland@ for more information.

Photo | Facebook

Mobile Mystery Dinners A performance of “Who Killed the Boss at the Christmas Party?” will take place Friday, Dec. 30, at 7 p.m. at the Riverview Plaza Hotel. Tickets include dinner and unlimited wine. Advance reservations are required; call 251-415-3092.

MUSEUMS “Filming the Camps” The History Museum of Mobile will exhibit “Filming the Camps: From Hollywood to Nuremberg” through Jan. 16. The exhibit features the stories of three film directors as they documented Nazi atrocities during World War II. For more information, visit

ballroom dance, boxing and more. For more information, call 251-463-7980. Bridge lessons The Mobile Bridge Center offers free bridge lessons each Tuesday beginning at 6 p.m. at 1510 University Blvd. Arrive a few minutes early to register. If you have questions, call the Bridge Center at 251666-2147, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Holy yoga Tamara William leads a lunchtime holy yoga at The Steeple on St. Francis every Wednesday. The cost is $15. Participants will connect with Christ in mind, body and spirit. For more information, call 251-6563269.

“Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked the World” Through Jan. 1, the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center features a hands-on gallery and more than 60 guitars on display. There is also a rock photography exhibit by Janet Macoska. For information, call 251-2086893 or visit

Ballroom dance Azalea Ballroom Dance Club hosts dances with live music the second and fourth Tuesday of every month; 7-9:30 p.m. at Via! Health, Fitness & Enrichment Center, 1717 Dauphin St. Email cyoungblood9278@, call 251-623-9183 or visit www.

Thursdays at MMoA Every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., the Mobile Museum of Art offers free admission to all visitors. No reservations are necessary. MMoA is at 4850 Museum Drive. For more information, call 251-208-5200.

Ballroom dance The Moonlight Chasse Ballroom Dance Society hosts dances the first and third Monday of every month, 7-9:30 p.m., at Fitzpen Place, 11247 State Highway 31 in Spanish Fort. Email



Exercise classes Palmer Pillans Middle School hosts a wide variety of exercise classes, including

Baldwin County Commission: First and third Tuesday at 8:30 a.m., 322 Courthouse

Square, Bay Minette. Work sessions are the second and fourth Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. rotating between Bay Minette, the Foley Satellite Courthouse, the Fairhope Satellite Courthouse and the Baldwin County Central Annex Building in Robertsdale. www. Baldwin County Planning Commission: First Thursday at 6 p.m., 22251 Palmer St., Robertsdale, Bayou La Batre City Council: Second and fourth Thursday at 5:30 p.m., 13785 S. Wintzell Ave., Chickasaw City Council: Second and fourth Tuesday at 7 p.m., 224 N. Craft Highway, 251-452-6450. Citronelle City Council: Second and fourth Thursday at 6:30 p.m., 19135 Main St., 251866-7973. Creola City Council: Second and fourth Thursday at 6 p.m., 190 Dead Lake Road, #A, 251-675-8142. Daphne City Council: First and third Monday at 6:30 p.m., 1705 Main St. Work sessions are the second Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m., Dauphin Island Town Council: First and third Tuesdays at 7 p.m., 1011 Bienville Blvd., Fairhope City Council: Second and fourth Monday at 6 p.m., 161 N. Section St. Work sessions are held before each council meeting at 4:30 p.m., Fairhope Planning Commission: First Monday at 5 p.m., 161 N. Section St. For more information visit Foley City Council: First and third Monday at 5:30 p.m., 407 E. Laurel Ave. Work sessions begin at 4 p.m., Gulf Shores City Council: Second and fourth Mondays at 4 p.m., 1905 W. First St.,

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THE NEW YORK TIMES CROSSWORD PUZZLE MIRROR REFLECTION BY DERRICK NIEDERMAN / EDITED BY WILL SHORTZ ACROSS 1 One of the blanks in the cereal slogan “____ are for ____” 5 Tinker, for one, in olden days 14 Certain blade 19 Spread dirt, in a way 21 Legendary Egyptian queen 22 Run off 23 Stick together 24 Liberal-arts college in the Keystone State 25 Like many a lot 26 Hood lead-in 28 Caterpillar product 29 Dud 31 Historical period 32 One of Frank’s wives 33 Member of the cat family 35 Father, familiarly 36 Japanese auto make 38 Court concern 39 Big Australian export 40 One of five on a starfish 42 Set of clubs in a bag 44 These could amount to fortunes 48 Dead follower 50 Where to find grooms 53 Vingt-____ (multiple de trois) 54 This does not fly 56 Anagram of the letters O-N-D 58 State with part of I-81: Abbr. 60 What you might call a dog 62 Instrument for an angel 63 Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar, e.g. 65 Something you can do with flies 66 First name of an Oscarnominated actress of 1957 67 Time in ads 68 Square ____ 69 Animal in an Aesop fable 70 White House sight 72 White House sight 75 Animal in an Aesop fable 76 Square ____ 77 Time in ads 78 First name of an Oscarnominated actress of 1957 79 Something you can do with flies 81 Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar, e.g. 82 Instrument for an angel 83 What you might call a dog 84 State with part of I-81: Abbr. 85 Anagram of the letters O-N-D 86 This does not fly 87 Vingt-____ (multiple de trois) 89 Where to find grooms 92 Dead follower 94 These could amount to fortunes 98 Set of clubs in a bag

100 One of five on a starfish 102 Big Australian export 103 Court concern 105 Japanese auto make 108 Father, familiarly 110 Member of the cat family 113 One of Frank’s wives 114 Historical period 115 Dud 117 Caterpillar product 118 Hood lead-in 120 Like many a lot 122 Liberal-arts college in the Keystone State 125 Stick together 126 Run off 127 Legendary Egyptian queen 128 Spread dirt, in a way 129 Certain blade 130 Tinker, for one, in olden days 131 One of the blanks in the cereal slogan “____ are for ____”

10 Bus. card abbr. 11 Boxer’s reward 12 Old German ruler nicknamed “the Short” 13 Facefuls in slapstick 14 Publish anew 15 Suffix with schnozz 16 Slithy ones 17 The Marx Brothers spent a night at one 18 V-shaped fortification 20 Skin diving locale 27 Fix, as a pool cue 30 Carbon compound 34 Something to brush off a jacket 35 Ingredient in an old fashioned 37 Exams required for some prep schools 41 “Stat!” 43 Part of a plant embryo that develops into a root 45 Together 46 Remove a label from 47 One runs through the DOWN middle of Kansas City 1 Harry or Bess in the White 49 Like Norton software House 51 Raise again, as a flag 2 What many Oscar speeches do 52 Vehicle used for grooming 3 Ape ski trails 4 Home star of Cthulhu, in 55 Small songbird fantasy tales 57 Very busy 5 1975 TV debut, briefly 59 Florida State athlete, for short 6 Like a more-than-full spoonful 60 Walks in rain boots, say 7 Barrels ____ 61 En ____ (chess maneuver) 8 Grim sort? 62 Tried 9 “____ Little Tenderness” 64 “What’s this?!”

67 Feared 70 Blacksmith’s tool 71 Nav. rank 72 Ending with syn- or ant73 Longest bone in the human body 74 Thrown with force 80 Eats (at) 82 Lewd look 87 Month after Av 88 Chemo target 90 City that, despite its name, is smaller than Little Rock 91 Sole 93 Prattle 95 Like hand-me- downs 96 19,101-foot volcano next to Peru’s second-largest city 97 Like Joan of Arc 99 Gone bad, in Britain 101 “Liliom” playwright Ferenc ____ 104 Bets 105 Something that stuns 106 Marketplace of old 107 Common strip- steak weight: Abbr. 109 “____ saw a little bird …” (Mother Goose rhyme) 111 ____ Rica 112 Plains dwelling: Var. 116 The year 1601 117 Sherlock Holmes accessory 119 Like dungeons 121 Tokyo, once 123 ____-Tiki 124 D.C. player


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fter a couple of months searching for a news director, WKRG-TV has officially settled on Chris Best, who has worked with WMC Action News 5 in Memphis, Tennessee, for the past two years. General Manager Mark Bunting announced the hire last week with a press release. “Chris brings with him large-market news experience, metered market and digital experience as well as having a track record for improving news content while helping newsroom staffs become better at what they do,” he wrote. Best takes the spot vacated by Mike Rausch, who left the station in October to take a news director’s position at KRDO-TV in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Rausch led the WKRG newsroom for seven years. Best held the assistant news director’s position at KPRC-TV in Houston, Texas, prior to his latest gig reporting at WMC. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, has twice won the Edward R. Murrow award for breaking news and overall excellence, and has also won an Emmy. One of Best’s challenges at WKRG will be help-


CHRIS BEST ing lead the newsroom as it transitions from ownership by Media General to new owners Nexstar. His previous experience also includes stints at KFVS-TV in Cape Girardeau, Missouri; KCTV in Kansas City, Missouri; WKMG-TV in Orlando and KTVT-TV in Dallas. “His experience ranges from small-market Missouri to two top 10 markets in Texas,” Bunting said. He is set to begin at WKRG Jan. 16.


‘Go South to Freedom’ relates slave tale for middle schoolers BY MICHAEL THOMASON/CONTRIBUTING WRITER


rye Gaillard’s latest book “Go South to Freedom,” written for middle schoolers, is based on an oral history kept alive by members of the Croshon family since antebellum days. Members of the African-American family have passed the story down from generation to generation. Robert Croshon, an old friend of the Gaillard family, shared the story with the author, who in turn added information from relevant written histories. He tells the tale as a story right out of our past. It begins when the African father of a slave family on a South Georgia plantation decides to lead them to freedom by going north using the Underground Railroad. The leader of the family, Gilbert Fields, is from Gambia on Africa’s west coast. He remembers freedom and determines to find it for his family in a hostile new world. However, their first night on the run, the family loses its bearings in a torrential rain and in the morning find they are heading south toward Florida. They are helped by another escaped slave, who tells them they can go south to find refuge with the Seminoles, or along the coast west to Mobile, where there are free people of color and slaves living apart from their owners. The family heads south to the Seminoles, but eventually gets to Mobile to escape the Trail of Tears and probable re-enslavement. Their journey and the peoples they encounter — black, American Indian and white — are vividly

described, as one would expect in an oral history. The African oral history tradition was clearly honored. While no one is ever called a griot, family members, both male and female, have served in that role and kept this story alive, with little changing from the 1830s until Gaillard hears it late in the 20th century. That is what oral historians, or griots, have done for centuries in West Africa. Gaillard helps put the story into words young people can follow and understand. It is an incredible adventure story, with all the surprises, action and difficulties such a tale provides. Today there are not enough histories written for middle school-age children, and the textbooks are too often dull and teachers uninspired. This book is a clear challenge to that sort of history, one that reads so well it is hard to put down. Gaillard’s wonderful writing skills are complemented by illustrations drawn by Anne Kent Rush. They are quite good and in keeping with the book’s style. I can imagine young readers being drawn into the story by Rush’s artwork. Of course, the question is how to handle the brutality slaves endured, the racist attitudes of most Southern whites and the ruthlessness of Andrew Jackson and the Indian Wars. Then there is the Trail of Tears, and the terrors of the forests and swamps through which the escaped slaves traveled. So often all that has been sanitized in the past. There is no purpose to be served by terrifying

a young reader, but a real sense of truth is necessary. Gaillard’s command of the language is such that one certainly feels he is telling the truth. The overriding character of the story shows the intelligence, humanity and determination of Gilbert Fields and his family. The reader, lost in the adventure of the story, realizes these are real people, not symbols. You root for them, share their fears and rejoice in their good fortune. This book does have a believable happy ending, which I won’t spoil. Its picture of Mobile in the 1830s is right on target, as well as its description of the Negro Fort in the Florida Panhandle near the Chattahoochee River, where runaway slaves and Seminole Indians lived and worked together. Again, Gaillard’s knowledge of both subjects allows him to see that we understand such places and people.

TODAY THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH HISTORIES WRITTEN FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL-AGE CHILDREN, AND THE TEXTBOOKS ARE TOO OFTEN DULL AND TEACHERS UNINSPIRED. THIS BOOK IS A CLEAR CHALLENGE TO THAT SORT OF HISTORY, ONE THAT READS SO WELL IT IS HARD TO PUT DOWN. ” We also appreciate the world in which they lived, though it is very different from our own. All of this is very hard to achieve, especially writing for young people, but it is an excellent introduction to history. The volume is short enough that a family can take turns reading it and then discuss what they have read. Perhaps a middle school class could read the book and talk about what it has to say. There are many ways kids can get involved with the story, which ends in Mobile where the family eventually makes their home. It is a short hardcover book, but beautifully printed and one the young reader may well want to keep for years to come. Frye Gaillard, “Go South to Freedom” (NewSouth Books, Montgomery), 70 pp., $17.95.

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Photo | Courtesy U.S. Air Force Academy

hen the University of South Alabama first forget. The Jaguars became the only league program to reached a postseason game in 2014, no other beat a Southeastern Conference school, winning at Misnew football program had made it to a bowl sissippi State. South followed that with a victory over San as quickly as the Jaguars. As momentous an Diego State, which was ranked 19th in the Associated accomplishment as that was, the Raycom Media Camellia Press poll at the time and went on to capture the Mountain Bowl was just 170 miles up Interstate 65 in Montgomery. West championship. The logistics will certainly be different this week. Helping to accomplish these milestones were 10 players USA must travel more than 1,500 miles to take part in the who were selected to the All-Sun Belt Conference team. NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl in Tucson. The Jaguars Seniors Gerald Everett and Randy Allen, along with junior face the Air Force Academy at 4:30 p.m. Central time on Jeremy Reaves, were named first-team. Friday, Dec. 30. Wide receiver Josh Magee and punter Brandon McKee The Falcons won their last five games to complete the both earned second-team honors, while linebacker Roman regular season 9-3 overall and 5-3 in the Mountain West Buchanan, safety Kalen Jackson, running back Xavier Conference. South Alabama is 6-6 Johnson and wide receiver Kevin overall and finished with a 2-6 mark Kutchera received honorable-menin the Sun Belt. tion notice. Junior linebacker Darrell “We’ve enjoyed following the Songy was the Jaguars’ representaprogress of these talented football tive on the All-Newcomer Team. teams all season long and have been Everett becomes the only twoTHE LOGISTICS WILL CERso impressed with their performance time first-team all-Sun Belt selection and their growth on the gridiron,” at South. As a tight end, he led the TAINLY BE DIFFERENT THIS said Ali Farhang, chairman of the Jags for the second straight year with WEEK. USA MUST TRAVEL bowl committee. “Coaches Troy 49 receptions and 717 yards to go Calhoun and Joey Jones and these with four touchdowns. He will play MORE THAN 1,500 MILES young men have a lot to be proud of, one more game in Mobile, as he was and we’re really looking forward to TO TAKE PART IN THE NOVA selected to play in the Reese’s Senior the energy and spirit that both teams Bowl. HOME LOANS ARIZONA will bring to our bowl.” The all-star honor was a first for Jones said his players are ready for Allen. He emerged as one of the top BOWL IN TUCSON. another long trip. The team already defensive linemen this year, with 64 played at Idaho in the regular season. total tackles including 11 sacks and “I think the intensity level has 18 tackles for loss. Allen also forced ratcheted up some this week because they know it is getthree fumbles. ting closer to the game,” Jones said prior to leaving MoReaves earned a berth on the second-team roster last bile. “They know we have to have a great week of practice season as a defensive back. He followed up this year with because next week is going to be a lot of polish getting 77 total tackles and three interceptions. ready for the game, so these will be the last three physical practices that we have starting tomorrow.” Falcons flying high Jones and his staff said they are not making too many Air Force is the third Mountain West opponent South changes going into the bowl game. will face in the program’s eight seasons of competition. In “We’ve pretty much got it all in and are trying to go the 2012 finale, the Jags lost at Hawaii. In 2015, they won over it all again,” said Jones, who is 48-41 in his eight at San Diego State before completing the sweep this fall at years in Mobile. “The coaches did a great job of segmentLadd-Peebles Stadium. ing it during the first few practices. Defensively we are “This is a great location,” Air Force Academy head not going to do a lot because we have to be able to run coach Troy Calhoun said of Tucson. “How many people and tackle; we are going over the different things they are would love to be in the state of Arizona in late December going to see from each look. Offensively we have it all in in a bowl game? This is a great, great place; again with with a simplified game plan, we just have to execute.” how great they are with the military and to play an excellent opponent. We’re playing a squad that beat an SEC Season to remember team and beat our conference champion earlier this year.” The 2016 season will be one USA fans will not soon Calhoun is an Air Force alumnus. In his 10 seasons in

FALCONS SENIOR SAFETY WESTON STEELHAMMER, WHO LEADS THE TEAM IN TACKLES, IS ALSO THE NCAA’S ACTIVE CAREER LEADER WITH 17 INTERCEPTIONS. Colorado Springs, his teams have a 76-53 record and have appeared in nine bowl games. The Falcons are 11-13-1 in postseason action. The star of this team has been senior safety Weston Steelhammer. He has been named an All-American by the Associated Press (third-team) and The Sporting News (second-team). A three-time all-conference pick, Steelhammer leads the Falcons in tackles with 74 and has 4.5 tackles for a loss. The NCAA’s active career leader with 17 interceptions, he was also a finalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, which recognizes Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity. Steelhammer had nine teammates join him on the all-Mountain West squad. Senior defensive lineman Ryan Watson was on the first-team roster, while seniors Jalen Robinette (wide receiver) and Brodie Hicks (defensive back) and junior Luke Strebel (kicker) made the second-team. On the honorable mention list were seniors Haji Dunn Jr. (linebacker), Colin Sandor (offensive lineman) and Dylan Vail (offensive lineman) plus junior Tim McVey (kick returner).

Bowl notes

Jaguar fans making the trip have two events set for Thursday. A downtown block party on Toole Avenue is scheduled for 3-8 p.m. local time, while the JagNation Central Party follows at HiFi Kitchen & Cocktails from 8 p.m. to midnight. On game day, the JagNation Tailgate will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time at the UofA Mall. Pregame ceremonies will get underway at 2:45 p.m. For those unable to make the trip to Arizona, the game will be broadcast on the American Sports Network. Carrying the game locally will be WJTC-TV 44. The contest can also be heard on 99.5-FM The Jag. For the most up-to-date bowl information, visit

STYLE HOROSCOPES GEMINI NEARLY KILLS A CELEBRITY CAPRICORN (12/23-1/19) — You’ll feel the rush of plunging into the Gulf of Mexico during the New Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunge at the Flora-Bama. Your New Year’s resolution is finding a cure for frostbite on your nether regions. AQUARIUS (1/20-2/18) — 2016 will end on a disappointing note as the state’s top-ranked college football team loses to Washington in the Peach Bowl. Your New Year’s resolution is to re-evaluate your priorities. PISCES (2/19-3/20) — You’ll feel suave in new Christmas clothes, but due to size issues, the look will be compromised by portions of you jettisoning outward for the better part of January. Your New Year’s resolution is better communicating your pants size to loved ones. ARIES (3/21-4/19) — Discovering Fred Richardson threw knock-off marshmallow pies at the Dollar General Bowl parade, you’ll boycott the 2017 MoonPie Drop. However, your love for 38 Special will ultimately drag you downtown. Your New Year’s resolution is to find better music. TAURUS (4/20-5/20) — After an entire week, your S.O. will not be bothered by the fact your entire family consistently referred to them by your ex’s name name during Christmas. The present was probably the final straw. Your New Year’s resolution is to talk to your family more. GEMINI (5/21-6/21) — Hearing about the death of George Michael, you’ll travel to Hollywood to see your favorite celebrities through the rest of 2016. Ironically, your tailgating will cause Nick Cage to run off the road, though he survives. Your New Year’s resolution is to like better movies. CANCER (6/22-7/22) — You’ll discover that the giant MoonPie atop the Trustmark building downtown is actually edible. After years of speculation, you’ll finally get to taste the confection. It’ll be stale and disappointing. Your New Year’s resolution will be to buy new underwear. LEO (7/23-8/23) — You’ll celebrate New Year’s Eve with 38 Special at MoonPie Over Mobile. You’ll break out your sleeveless shirt and houndstooth hat, but you’ll have a good time. Your New Year’s resolution is to eat less salad and drink more whiskey. VIRGO (8/24-9/22) — You’ll be fired from your job at a high-powered Mobile law firm next week because of your activism. In retaliation for the Trump tree, you’ll cover the grounds of Mardi Gras Park with saplings. Your New Year’s resolution is to find a new job. LIBRA (9/23-10/22) — You will decide to run for mayor in an attempt to get Mobile Regional Airport to divert flight paths away from your west Mobile home. You’ll win the election, but your proposal will fail. Your New Year’s resolution is to move. SCORPIO (10/23-11/21) — You’ll write a long letter to the president telling him exactly how you feel about the previous eight years. “Tea Baggers: A Manifesto” will eventually be banned in several countries. Your New Year’s resolution is to live in a remote cabin off the grid. SAGITTARIUS (11/22-12/22) — Rather than taking on the monumental task of cleaning up after the holidays, you’ll simply burn your house to the ground. Your New Year’s resolution is to find new uses for a pile of pine ash.

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STYLE BOOZIE Throw me something, mister!

Objects may be closer than they appear

Mr. MoonPie, aka Mobile City Councilman Fred Richardson, was spotted riding in the Dollar General Bowl Parade last Thursday night. If you will, take a guess at what the good councilman was throwing! If you guessed a marshmallow treat, then ding, ding, ding, you win! In case you forgot, Councilman Richardson is is all about THE MoonPie life. Remember how hard he fought to get the MoonPie Over Mobile, and how he loves to cut into the biggest MoonPie every New Year’s Eve and, shoot, Mobile is even opening a store downtown that sells Chattanooga Bakery MoonPies. With all that being said, my spies said they can’t be totally sure but they think they caught “marshmallow sandwiches” from him instead of official Chattanooga Bakery MoonPies. Gasp! Though my spies said the “sandwiches” were still tasty, this has scandal written all over it! Or maybe it’s just scandalicious!


If I could turn back time

Photo | Sandy Stimpson/Facebook

Another year has come and gone, which means some great things are to come again! For January last year, Mardi Gras and Senior Bowl kicked off the year strong. The good times rolled into February with Mardi Gras and every nerd’s favorite, Pensacon. Boozie can’t wait to see what clever things the fellas of Comic Cowboys come up with this year. They have some pretty good content, from the Luv Guv to the con-tree-versies. March was a busy month, with two Lagniappers’ weddings as well as Azalea Trail Run, St. Patrick’s Day Cajun Cook-Off and we can’t forget about Festival of Flowers and their fancy toilet paper that two ladies loved. April didn’t lack for fun either, with SouthSounds, crawfish boils and rounding out the month with Mullet Toss. May started out strong with Cinco de Mayo and Hangout Music Festival then came crashing down ... well, crashing down for David J. Maloney, as he got booked for DUI though, the charges were later dropped. June was the month of the crawfish crackdowns. I still don’t understand that, but whatever. Jimmy Buffett at least provided us with Cheeseburgers in Paradise that same month at The Wharf. July can be summed up in two words: The Nappies! And just in case anyone forgot about Lagniappers’ amazing dance skills, let me remind you that in July the city of Mobile’s video of people dancing to “Can’t Stop the Feeling” came out. August was the beginning of all things beer: Top of the Hops at The A LARGE SINGING BASS HAS BEEN MAKING ITS WAY AROUND TOWN AND EVEN Wharf, Old Shell Growlers opened and we closed out the month with Girls of STOPPED BY MAYOR SANDY STIMPSON’S HOUSE. Fall, which served beer. August wasn’t the only beer month. In September we had the Dauphin Street Beer Festival and, of course, the return of college football. September was also the month of the cannon controversy, where police pepper sprayed sually, I’m against this whole “New Year, new Something fishy in on the Hill high schoolers and the hashtag #catholiceyesmatter was born. me” B.S., but after the wild ride of 2016, I think It seems a large singing bass named “Billy” has been September ended and October began with TenSixtyFive Music Festival, a everyone is more than ready to restart fresh. I mean, mysteriously showing up on lawns all over Spring Hill. One good way to start the month out strong. We also had two more Lagniappers I’m not making any promises to lose weight or eat would think at this time of year it was some sort of Christ- tie the knot! It was a year for weddings around here. better or, the worst, not drink as much because, let’s be hon- mas miracle, or perhaps Santa was somehow involved. Rounding out the year was the Fair at The Grounds and Lagniappe fallest, no one likes a skinny, sober b*tch. I read that on some However, Boozie’s spies have determined it arrived here in ing from the top ranks in the Media Olympics. Still not convinced the other meme so it must be true. Mobile due to “wine and eBay.” teams weren’t cheating, but whatever. After Christmas break I decided I need a redo. Not sure We’re told the bass has made stops at the homes of the November was also the month for Hangout Oyster Cook-Off and the if I had that coming-to-Jesus-moment when I was whacked Coopers, Vickers, Kumars, Barbers, Van Antwerps, Israels, Mystery Concert at The Steeple. Boozie is still hoping for another surprise upside the head by a metal door (which I am assuming is Hales, Ringolds, Martins and even Mayor Sandy Stimpson. concert, that was fun! the equivalent of taking a punch from a pro boxer) or when We hear “Billy” attended at least one holiday party, where As far as December goes, you should still remember what happened unI won a nice cash prize from the scratch-off lotto ticket my of course he was a huge hit. One delivery mission had to less you had too much eggnog! Happy New Year! uncle gave me, only to wake up the next day to find that be aborted, however, as his handlers felt they were close to my car won’t start. Either way, I’m ready to try it again being shot. Luckily, that did not happen. No word yet on if Well, kids, that’s all I’ve got this week. Just remember, whether rain or this year. But first, let’s look back on all the good times and Billy will make year-round appearances or be shelved along shine, dramatic or scandalous or just some plain ol’ New Year lovin’, I will what’s happened in the last couple of weeks too! with the Elf until next Christmas. Only time will tell. be there. Ciao!


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LAGNIAPPE LEGALS | 251.450-4466 |

INVITATION FOR BIDS Sealed Bids for Architectural Services will be received by Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation, 451 Government St., Mobile AL 36602, until 2:00 PM January 20, 2017. The project consists of architectural services for rehabilitation and construction of the Innovation PortAL building at 358 St. Louis St., Mobile AL. To request a PDF of the detailed RFP, email, or the RFP may be obtained at Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, 451 Government St., Mobile AL.
 Lagniappe HD Dec. 15, 22, 29, Jan. 12, 2016

STATE OF ALABAMA COUNTY OF MOBILE Notice is hereby given that a bill as described in the synopsis below will be introduced in the 2017 Regular Session of the Legislature of Alabama and application for its passage and enactment will be made: A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT SYNOPSIS: Relating to Mobile County; to amend Act 99-651, 1999 Second Special Session, (Acts 1999 Second Special Session, p. 105), as amended by Act 2010-268 (Acts 2010, p. 488) authorizing government officials to accept credit card payments for amounts due; to clarify that the costs of the office related to the acceptance of credit cards shall include information technology, equipment, and employees, and processing or transactional fees imposed on the transaction by the credit card company or banking institution; and to provide for retroactive effect. LAGNIAPPE HD Dec.15, 22, 29, 2016. Jan. 5, 2017.

STATE OF ALABAMA COUNTY OF MOBILE Notice is hereby given that a bill as described in the synopsis below will be introduced in the 2017 Regular Session of the Legislature of Alabama and application for its passage and enactment will be made: A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT SYNOPSIS: Relating to Class 2 municipalities; to amend Section 28-3A17.1, Code of Alabama 1975, relating to entertainment districts; to further define the licensed premises of a holder of a retail liquor license. LAGNIAPPE HD Dec.15, 22, 29, 2016. Jan. 5, 2017.

PROBATE Notice of Court Proceedings December 9, 2016 Case No. 2014-0994-1 In the Probate Court of Mobile County, Alabama Estate of John Thomas Wagner, Deceased On to-wit the 30th day of January, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. in Courtroom 1, Third Floor, Mobile County Government Center Annex, 151 Government Street the court will proceed to consider the Petition for Final Settlement filed by Lauren E. Pederson.  Notice is hereby given to all parties in interest who may appear and contest same or file a proper responsive pleading thereto if they then think proper.     Don Davis, Judge of Probate LAGNIAPPE HD Dec. 22, 29, 2016. Jan. 5, 12, 2017.

PROBATE NOTICE OF COURT PROCEEDING CASE NO. 2016-2094 IN THE PROBATE COURT OF MOBILE COUNTY, ALABAMA Notice of the filing of petition for Summary Distribution in the estate of Joann B. Shaw, Deceased. Notice is hereby given that a Petition for Summary Distribution has been filed by Thomas Shaw on November 5, 2016 and further filed an amended petition on November 18, 2016, and that 30 days after the notice of publication hereof and pursuant to law the Court shall be requested to enter an order directing summary distribution of the estate of said decedent. Don Davis, Judge of Probate Attorney: Hendrik S. Snow, Esq. 50 Saint Emanuel Street Mobile, AL 36602 LAGNIAPPE HD Dec. 29, 2016

Deadline for legal advertising in Lagniappe HD is every Monday at 3 p.m. Lagniappe HD is distributed each Thursday. Lagniappe HD offices are located at 1100B Dauphin St. Mobile, AL 36604. For more information or to place your ad call Jackie at 251-450-4466. Or email at D e c e m b e r 2 9 , 2 0 1 6 - J a n u a r y 4 , 2 0 1 7 | L AG N I A P P E | 39

Lagniappe: December 29, 2016 - January 4, 2017  
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