COOPERATIVES OF ALABAMA
Sen. Del Marsh
Senate President Pro Tem
Rep. Mike Hubbard Speaker of the House
Sen. Vivian Figures Senate Minority Leader
Rep. Craig Ford
House Minority Leader
VOL. 66 NO. 2 FEBRUARY 2013
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10 Beware of scams Protect yourself and those you care about from Social Security scams.
12 2013 Legislative Session
ON THE COVER: Leaders of the Alabama House and Senate face challenges when they come back to the Statehouse in Montgomery this month.
Alabama Living talks to leaders in the House and Senate about what challenges and opportunities await them when they convene Feb. 5.
16 Be My Valentine
An estimated 160 million Valentine’s cards will be purchased this month. A look at the origins of this romantic day.
Spotlight 10 Power Pack 18 Worth the Drive 20 Alabama Gardens 24 Alabama Outdoors 26 Cook of the Month 31 Fish&Game Forecast 32 ConsumerWise 38 Alabama Snapshots 9
Printed in America from American materials
FEBRUARY 2013 3
Love on the Line
Cooperative lineworkers don’t work alone on our power lines. Whether they are climbing 40-foot poles, restoring power, or clearing tree limbs to prevent future outages, they are never far from the hearts of the women who love them. At this time of year, stores seem flooded with hearts, candy, and cards professing true love. But those sentiments pale in
comparison to the bonds of love I see every time a storm sweeps through our area. If the lights go out, lineworkers’ wives send their loved ones out into the elements. When other electric cooperatives are in trouble after devastating hurricanes, tornadoes, fires and floods, lineworkers travel all over the country to bring the lights back on for complete strangers. Each time these brave men leave home to help those in need, their families are left behind, praying for a safe return. Marrying into this profession isn’t easy. Lineworkers are often on call, and must be ready to respond at a moment’s notice if the community needs them. This makes children’s sporting events and family get-
togethers hard to pull off sometimes. But the bold men who keep your power flowing do so because they know without their commitment, many of the things we’ve come to expect—cold food, lights, entertainment—wouldn’t be possible. By devoting their lives to working on utility lines, they connect all of us to a better way of life. This Valentine’s Day take a moment to thank the women who support and love the men who brave the elements and work long hours to keep power flowing to your homes each and every day. Thank you for putting your love on the line.
Winter Storms Leave Behind Hazards
Safety after the Storm Has Passed Unlike a tornado dropping from power outages, downed lines, fallen a spring thunderstorm, there is usually more time to prepare for a winter storm. Paying attention to the National Weather Service and local media can help keep those in the path of a winter storm aware of impending severe weather. Hopefully steps have been taken to winterize homes, get emergency kits together, and make emergency plans as these measures will help during storm recovery. After a winter storm has delivered snow, ice, wind, snow drifts, and subzero temperatures and power outages, do you know what to do? What steps should be taken to keep everyone safe and warm as recovery begins? Molly Hall, executive director of the Energy Education Council’s Safe Electricity program says, “The Federal Emergency Management Association tells us that winter storms are deceptive killers because most deaths are indirectly related to storms. Many hazards can remain after the storm is gone.” Dangers that might have to be dealt with after a winter storm can include 4 FEBRUARY 2013
limbs, and obscured hazards from snowfall, which can keep downed lines from being seen. Here are some steps that Safe Electricity recommends you take after the storm is passed: II If you have lost power, contact your provider as soon as you are able so that they are aware of your outage. Take the time to find out now what to do during a power outage at SafeElectricity.org. II Check on neighbors and loved ones to make sure they are safe and warm. II If you are using a secondary heat source such as a propane or kerosene heater, or a fireplace, make sure you follow manufacturer’s safety instructions and take precautions against unintentional fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. Similar advice pertains to portable stand-by generators if using one for temporary power. Get more information on generator safety at SafeElectricity.org. II Be on guard against hypothermia and frostbite. To avoid these, dress in lay-
ers, stay dry, stay hydrated and fed, and limit time spent outdoors. II Stay indoors if possible, and use caution when venturing outside. Remember, downed power lines could be hidden under limbs or snow, and there is no way to tell if a line is energized. If you see downed power lines—stay away, and keep others away. Notify authorities as soon as possible. II If you need a shelter, text SHELTER plus your zip code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area.
A winter storm brings a multitude of ways to sustain an injury as snow, ice and cold temperatures might linger for days. Hall adds, “Other ways that injuries occur after the storm is gone are car accidents on slippery roads, back injuries and heart attacks from shoveling snow, and bruises and broken bones from falls on icy sidewalks. Opportunities to get hurt are abundant after winter storms.” If you need more information on weathering a winter storm, visit SafeElectricity.org.
Give the Gift of Life-Saving Knowledge This Valentine’s Day We show each other how much we care in many different ways. Around Valentine’s Day some of the more popular forms include cards, flowers, and candy. This Valentine’s Day, also consider giving a gift that could save your
loved ones’ lives—knowledge. Make sure your loved ones know how to stay safe around electricity. Electricity is essential in our everyday lives. It makes so many of our modern processes and conveniences possible. That is why it is important that we know how to stay safe around it, and SafeElectricity.org is an online source for such vital safety information. On SafeElectricity.org you can find valuable information on accident prevention and safety education to keep your loved ones safe. There are a variety of videos, articles, and interactive games and activities to help teach everyone about electrical safety. Each year, a different story is featured in the TLC series of videos. TLC stands for Teach what you know, Learn what you need to, and Care enough to share it. Knowledge is essential in preventing death and injury from electrical sources. Individuals and their families share their stories of personal encounters with electricity to help others avoid tragedy. Ashley Taylor and Lee Whittaker, two Indiana teens featured in the 2010 TLC
video, received invaluable information at a school presentation just four days before they crashed into a utility pole. Thanks to the presentation, they understood the threat and real danger of downed power lines and stayed in the vehicle until the power was turned off and help arrived. Discover the importance of having ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) installed inside and outside your home from Caitlyn MacKenzie’s family. Learn about staying safe while working outside near power lines from Gary Norland and Shawn Miller. Be sure that you are taking the proper steps to ensure safe digging by watching Tom Dickey’s story. Find out what you need to know to stay safe when operating large equipment near overhead power lines from Jim Flach’s family. Check out SafeElectricity.org to view these stories and learn more about electrical safety. Show your loved ones you care by sharing this vital safety information with them—along with their cards, flowers, or candy this Valentine’s Day.
Tip of the Month Appliances account for about 13 percent of your home’s energy use. If they have energy-saving settings, use them! If they’re nearing voting age, consider replacing them with a new, energyefficient model. And remember to try smart power strips for smaller appliances and electronics that continue to draw power even when turned off. For more tips, visit EnergySavers.gov. Source: U.S. Department of Energy
FEBRUARY 2013 5
Clearing the Air Replace air filters regularly for efficient heating and cooling By Megan McKoy-Noe
Clogged air filters could add $82 to your electric bill every year. Checking, changing or cleaning your filter once a month saves money and extends the life of your home’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system.
filter in place cuts a home’s air quality and reduces HVAC system airflow. While removing a clogged filter relieves pressure on the system, the system can’t perform well without one. Unfiltered dust and grime accumulate on critical parts like the evaporator coil, causing unnecessary wear and tear.
More than half of your monthly energy bill goes toward keeping your home comfortable. While air filters prevent pesky dust and annoying allergens from clogging your HVAC system, dirt, like aging arteries, builds up over time. If left unchecked, a dirty filter strains a home’s heart and forces the HVAC system to work harder to push conditioned air through tight spaces. This results in higher energy bills and—potentially—system failure.
Air filters protect HVAC systems and perform double-duty by collecting some loose dirt from the air. These handy sieves live in duct system slots or in return grilles of central air conditioners, furnaces, and heat pumps. Successful filters have a short lifespan—the better a filter catches dirt, the faster it gets clogged and must be cleaned or replaced. Leaving a dirty air 6 FEBRUARY 2013
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) advises checking an air filter once a month and replacing it at least every three months. It’s critical to inspect and replace filters before seasons of heavy use like summer and winter. If you have pets or smokers in the home, filters clog quickly. Remodeling projects or furniture sanding add more dirt than normal; a filter may need to be changed before the average three-month lifespan expires. Turn your heating and cooling system off before checking your filter. Slide the filter out of your duct work, and look for layers of hair and dirt. Run a finger across the filter. If the finger comes away dirty or there’s a line left on the filter, it’s time for a change. When replacing the filter, make sure the arrow on the filter indicating the direction of the airflow points toward the blower motor. To help schedule monthly check-ups, write the date on the side of the filter so you know when it needs to be checked again. Once you’ve made the change, turn your system back on.
Shopping for a new filter? Before you leave home, write down the size
printed on the side of your current filter (see sidebar, Size Matters). If you get a filter that’s too small, dirt will get around the barrier and invade your system. There are several different types of filters and levels of efficiency. Filters are either flat or pleated; pleated filters offer extra surface area to hold dirt, making them more efficient. The most common filters use layered fiberglass fibers reinforced with metal grating. Some filters boost efficiency by using polyester fibers. Electrostatic filters are made from positively- and negatively-charged fibers and capture smaller debris—the charge actively pulls particles from the air like iron filings onto a magnet. No power connection is required, and the charge does not fade over time. The filters best able to capture small debris are high efficiency particulate arrestance (HEPA) filters, but these deluxe filters are mainly used in hospitals and office buildings, not in homes. Air filters are rated by a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV). Ranging from one to 20, this scale gauges a filter’s effectiveness at blocking debris. Low MERV-rated filters offer high airflow into a cooling or heating system, but only catch large air particles. A higher rating isn’t always better—those filters block more dirt but also reduce system airflow. Most experts recommend filters with a MERV 6 or higher. Manufacturers are not required to post MERV on filter packaging. Brands like 3M’s Filtrete instead list levels of microparticle performance rating—higher numbers mean the www.alabamaliving.coop
filter catches more particles. Home Depot’s Air Filter Performance Rating system ranks filters by good, better, best, and premium. No matter what system a store or manufacturer uses, better (and more expensive) filters mean higher MERV scores. If a family member suffers from allergies, a high MERV filter keeps out excess dander, smoke, and other allergens. Ask a heating and cooling professional what type of filter works best for your home and family needs. Once you find a filter that works well in your home, it’s a good idea to keep spare filters on hand. Basic filters cost anywhere from $2 to $10; electrostatic filters may range from $18 to $25.
More Efficiency Boosters
Before summer hits, clean cooling system coils inside and outside the home. Leaves, dirt, and other debris gather around a home’s air conditioner through-
out fall and winter months. These intruders keep the coils from operating at top efficiency, both shortening the lifespan of the unit and ratcheting up summer cooling bills.
Just as clogged air filters force your system to work harder, blocked vents strain your system. Clean air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators. Make sure air ducts
are not blocked by furniture, rugs, or window treatments. Want more ways to save? Take the home energy savings tour and see how little changes add up to big savings at www.TogetherWeSave.com. Sources: ENERGY STAR, U.S. Department of Energy, American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and AirConditioning Engineers, Environmental Protection Agency, Home Depot, 3M, Permatron M e g a n M c Ko y -No e writes on energy efficiency issues for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Arlington, Va.-based service arm of the nation’s 900-plus consumer-owned, not-forprofit electric cooperatives.
FEBRUARY 2013 7
Remember to LOOK UP if you operate one of these
Failure to notice overhead power lines could be a deadly oversight. Each year, people are killed or injured when their equipment contacts overhead power lines. Make sure to stay 10 feet away from lines - above, below and to the side. Use a spotter who has a broader view when necessary. Equally important, know what to do if your equipment makes contact with a power line. Unless thereâ€™s a fire, stay in the cab and alert others to stay far away. Call for help and stay put until utility crews arrive and make sure the lines are de-energized. Learn more about staying safe around power lines at
Beth Egan and Anna Perry, two of the three actors from “Fair and Tender Ladies,” perform in a play at the Red Door Theatre in Union Springs.
Red Door Theatre presents ‘Fair and Tender Ladies’ Union Springs’ Red Door Theatre begins its tenth year with a Feb. 14-17 Valentine’s weekend production of “Fair and Tender Ladies.” Director Fiona Macleod reflects, “I have seldom been so in love with a play, and this is it. It has everything to tug at your hearts, make you laugh and get
misty-eyed; but far from letting us judge our fellow humans, this play explores the human condition and lets us love, forgive and respect each other with the dignity each human should deserve.” In this production, audiences meet Ivy Rowe, a strong-willed and passionate Appalachian woman in love with words, life and her home on Blue Star Mountain. The story and music of “Fair and Tender Ladies” celebrate the traditions of the Virginia mountains and Ivy’s vibrant spirit and explore the loves, losses, dreams and sacrifices that marked her life. Admission for the play is $15 and dinner is also $15. Call 334-738-8687 for more information, or visit www.reddoortheatre.org.
Critter Crawl set for Feb. 16 in Millbrook The Alabama Nature Center’s (ANC) Third Annual Critter Crawl will be Saturday, Feb. 16 at Lanark in Millbrook. The Critter Crawl is a 5K trail run benefiting the ANC education programs that takes runners through a portion of the ANC’s 5-mile trail system. It will begin at 9 a.m. There will also be a 1-mile race beginning at 10 a.m. Pre-registration cost is $25 (5K) or $20 (1 Mile). Prizes will be awarded for male and female overall, Masters (40+) and Grand Masters (50+). There will also be a costume contest with prizes awarded. Music and food will be provided, plus door prizes and lots of room for kids to play. Participants may pick up race packets at the ANC Pavilion Friday, Feb. 15 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Visit www.alabamawildlife.org or call Elizabeth Johnson at 334-285-4550 for more information. Alabama Living
february 2013 9
Beware: Social security scams are no laughing matter By Kylle’ McKinney
Being the butt of a joke is fine sometimes when it’s good-natured fun. But no one wants to fall victim to a scam artist or identity thief. You may think you’re safe simply by not carrying your Social Security card with you and not providing your personal information over the Internet, by email, or by telephone. But scam artists have become shrewd. Never reply to an email claiming to be from Social Security and asking for your Social Security number or personal information. In addition, never give out your bank information or Social Security information over the phone until you verify the call is from the Social Security Administration. Identity theft is one of the fastestgrowing crimes in America. If you think you’ve been the victim of an identity thief, you should contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at www.
ftc.gov/bcp/edu/ microsites/idtheft. Or, you can call 1-877-IDTHEFT (1877-438-4338). Some people who receive Social Security and Supplemental McKinney Security Income (SSI) benefits are often victimized by misleading advertisers. Often, these companies offer Social Security services for a fee, even though the same services are available directly from Social Security free of charge. These services include getting a: • corrected Social Security card showing a bride’s married name; • Social Security card to replace a lost card; • Social Security Statement; and • Social Security number for a child. Some direct scammers suggest that Social Security is in dire financial shape and that people risk losing their Social Security or Medicare benefits unless
Parnell elected president of Alabama Farmers Federation Jimmy Parnell of Stanton, a fifthgeneration Chilton County farmer who raises timber and beef cattle, was recently elected president of the Alabama Farmers Federation at the organization’s 91st annual meeting in Montgomery. Parnell, 48, was elected to a two-year term of the state’s largest farm organization. He has a long history with the Federation, including service on its state board of directors from 19992008; chairman of the Federation’s State Young Farmers Committee in 1997; and president of the Chilton County Farmers Federation since 2006. Parnell said it’s an honor to represent Alabama farm families as the Federation works to strengthen agriculture’s 10 february 2013
position as the state’s largest industry. “I’m humbled by the support I received from farmers across Alabama,” Parnell said followParnell ing his election. “I look forward to representing them as we work with elected officials, government agencies and other farm organizations to protect the families who grow our food and fiber. For 91 years, the Alabama Farmers Federation has worked to improve the way of life for all Alabamians. I’m excited about the opportunity to build on the foundation established by farmers who started this organization.”
they send a contribution or membership fee to the advertiser. If you receive or see what you believe is misleading advertising for Social Security services, send the complete mailing, including the envelope, to: Office of the Inspector General, Fraud Hotline, Social Security Administration, P.O. Box 17768, Baltimore, MD 21235. Also you can contact the Alabama State Attorney General’s Office of Victim Assistance at 1-800-626-7676, the Consumer Affairs Office at 1-800-392-5658, and the Better Business Bureau in your local area. Learn more about identity theft at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10064. html. Read about misleading advertising at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10005. html. Please don’t let a scam artist or identity thief get one over on you. Kylle’ McKinney, SSA Public Affairs specialist, can be reached in Montgomery at 866-593-0914, ext. 26265, or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Don’t forget! Severe weather sales tax holiday begins Feb. 22 Alabama’s severe weather sales tax holiday will begin Friday, Feb. 22 at 12:01 a.m., and will end Sunday, Feb. 24 at midnight. The state will waive its four percent sales tax on certain items needed to prepare for severe weather emergencies. Emergency kit recommended items: flashlight battery-powered or handcrank radio extra batteries a first-aid kit cell phone charger two-way radios a manual can opener plastic sheeting duct tape tools and supplies for securing your home, such as tie-down kits, bungee cords or rope Where to find out more: An easy resource for consumers to find out more about the severe weather sales tax holiday is: www.alabamaretail.org/ alabamasalestaxholiday/.
Letters to the Editor Dear Editor, I just saw the January edition of Alabama Living, and the Alabama Water Watch article looks great! Thanks so much for featuring us in your magazine in such an attractive way. We have already received a few communications from folks who have read the article and I expect that we will get a few more. Mona Dominguez, Monitor Coordinator Alabama Water Watch Auburn, Ala. Dear Alabama Living staff, I am literally getting a call a day or someone sees me on the street and lets me know they enjoyed the article. It is obvious Alabama Living is “THE MAGAZINE” for Alabama! Thank you! Kylle’ McKinney Public Affairs Specialist Social Security Administration Montgomery, Ala.
Alabama Living reader finds family on cover
January’s Alabama Living arrived at Penny Berititch Crocker’s home as usual, but something on the cover caught her eye. The girl on the beach looked very familiar. In fact, that girl was wearing a bathing suit top that looked amazingly like one Penny wore when she was a teenager. “I realized that photo was me!” says Mrs. Crocker. “And that was my family on Dauphin Island.” She said her father and mother would load up their family of five children, who lived in the area, in their motor home and drive to the island on weekends where they would enjoy fishing, swimming and playing on the beach. “There was no power and no hookups, but my Daddy would fry bacon in the morning and at night, fish he’d caught in a cast net. We’d have a great time,” she says. The photo, which Mrs. Crocker believes was taken in 1967 when she was 17, is part of a collection originally from the Alabama Bureau of Tourism and Travel that now belongs to the Alabama Department of Archives and History. It was used to illustrate a story
Penny Crocker, left, and husband David. Mrs. Crocker was delighted to find a photo of her family from 1967 on the January cover.
on the past and present growth of the Alabama coastline. Mrs. Crocker had never seen the photo before she got her copy of Alabama Living and has no idea who may have taken it. The photo shows her, her father, brother and two sisters on the beach; her mother and a younger brother are inside the trailer. The car in the photo was actually hers, a “1963 and a half Ford Falcon Futura,” she says. Mrs. Crocker lives in Theodore, Ala., and her husband, David, works at the Splenda plant in McIntosh. “This was like winning the lottery,” she says. “I looked at that photo and I said, ‘Oh, my gosh, this was my life!’” Send correspondence to: Editor Alabama Living P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124-4014
Alligators plentiful in Alabama waters By Justin Monk Wildlife Biologist, Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) can be found in ponds, lakes, canals, rivers, swamps, and bayous, but it mostly lives in coastal marshes. Alligators prefer water that is 80 to 92 F, but adults have been found in areas where temperatures reach well below that range. They can live 70 to 100 years. Alabama Living
Alligators in Alabama begin courtship in April and breed in late May and early June. Females usually lay 30 to 50 eggs at a time from early June to mid-July. They will cover the eggs with whatever vegetation is available in the habitat in which they live to form a mound. The most common problem in Alabama pertaining to alligators is the mindset of humans who think they need to feed them. Alligators have survived for many years without help from humans. If fed by people, alligators quickly associate humans with food, which can be dangerous. The American alligator population in Alabama has changed dramatically over the years. They were once near extinction from the 1920s to the 1940s due to
over harvesting. Alabama took the lead in 1938 by passing laws to protect them. In 1967, the American alligator was placed on the Endangered Species List by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. After 20 years of protection, their population bounced back. Even though they were removed from the Endangered Species List in 1987, the American alligator remains federally protected due to similarity in appearance to other species. Alabama has initiated a regulated hunting season to assist with the management and population control of alligators. The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources. february 2013 11
Budgets, state government efficiency, school safety, Medicaid top legislators’ agendas for 2013 session Alabama Living recently sat down with key leaders in the Alabama Legislature to talk about their perspectives and predictions about the 2013 legislative session which begins Feb. 5. House Speaker Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn; Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston; House Minority Leader Rep. Craig Ford, D-Gadsden; and Senate Minority Leader Sen. Vivian Figures, D-Mobile, were interviewed. Following is an edited summary of their remarks.
Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard
AL: What do you see as the biggest challenges and opportunities in the next legislative session? Speaker Hubbard: Well, anytime you’re challenging the status quo, trying to change things in state government, it’s a challenge because you have to overcome the special interest groups that like things the way they are. You have state government employees who like things the way they are because it’s what they know. But I don’t believe that’s what the people of Alabama sent us here to do. I certainly don’t believe that’s my role. We’re here to always try to make things better, to look at situations to try to improve them, to make state government more efficient. That’s what we’ll be doing during the next session. We’re always dealing with job creation.
12 february 2013
AL: Those were some of the things that came out of your (Jobs Creation) commission last year, the things you heard, and you started this last year and you’re continuing it this year. Hubbard: It’s amazing, if you ask people for their input, you ask them what you can do to be better, they will tell you. That’s why you have two ears and one mouth; you should be listening more, and that’s what we’ve been doing as a leadership, both in the House and in the Senate, is listening. We’re going to people, going to businesses, going to families, and asking them what can we do to make things better. And as much as we can, we’re trying to do that. Same thing with education: Talk to the education leaders, the teachers, the superintendents, talk to the school boards (and ask) …What can we do to make education better? What can we do to solve our dropout rate problems? And we’re doing those and I think next session you’re going to see an initiative to expand Pre-K. That’s something I’m excited about. I know the governor has that on his initiative. Proven, indisputable data shows that if you can get people in school earlier, then they will be better achievers. It’s a voluntary program. I’m excited that we’re going to go down that path next session. Sen. Marsh: Our biggest challenges will continue to be the budgets. We’re going through a lot of tough economic times right now and the coming year is going to be the year of efficiency and reform. That’s
Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh talks with Alabama Living Editor Lenore Vickrey.
going to allow us as a state to get our government in fiscal order. I look at it as a lot of opportunities. For example, you’ve got the public safety initiative, realigning all of public safety. You’ve got the IT initiative in the state, to look at IT services, and these different agencies that are basically working in their own silo and looking at how we can get those agencies to communicate with each other. Everything we do is toward getting the services to citizens in a better matter, making these services more efficient and cost-saving, without jeopardizing any services to our citizens. As you know, the governor has been talking about a billion dollars in savings. Already the things we’ve done thus far have saved us, we believe, in the neighborhood of $600-plus million dollars. The goal with these other initiatives is to get to that billion-dollar mark sometime next year. www.alabamaliving.coop
Rep. Ford: With the recent shootings in Connecticut, I think we need to make our schools safer. We’ve had a fiscal note come out that would provide some type of security at every school, and House Minority that is something in Leader Representative today’s time that is Craig Ford needed. That’s going to be really high on the priority list of both parties. We have a piece of legislation coming (dealing) with that. (Editor’s note: Rep. Ford was interviewed the week after the Dec. 14 school shootings in Connecticut.) Other priorities will be: Paying back the constitutional amendment [authorizing expenditures from the State Oil and Gas Trust Fund] within a 5-year period; a pay raise for educators, state employees and retirees; a lottery; and $1 tobacco tax increase to help fund Medicaid. All are of equal importance in different areas and with different budgets. We need an increase in revenue without raising taxes. That’s where we will look at a lottery and a tobacco tax. Those are what are called “volunteer” taxes. We need to be innovative and creative in how we come up with revenue for tax increases without raising taxes on everyone. Figures: The biggest challenges I see coming before the legislature in 2013 are: • Funding the General Fund Budget which includes MedicSenate Minority aid, the Depart- Leader Senator ment of Mental Vivian Figures Health and Corrections; • The question of expanding Medicaid; • Consolidation of the Education Trust Fund Budget and the General Fund Budget. I feel that this would be a big mistake because education dollars will be taken to fund the General Fund Budget. As it stands now, public education in Alabama is not adequately funded. To take any of the funds away from the ETF would be detrimental to public education in Alabama. The biggest opportunities I see are: Alabama Living
• Expanding Medicaid so that the state of Alabama can receive billions of dollars, which will in itself be a great economic boost for us; • Dealing with tax reform for fair taxation and sustainable revenue. AL: Do you see any policies coming up affecting energy policy? Hubbard: We’re always very conscious of energy because it’s so important to our state in terms of business, in terms of national security, and in terms of economic development. And unfortunately we’re having to fight our federal government in some cases. We’re really the last line of defense against an over-reaching federal government in many instances. We have to deal with EPA regulations but we have a legislative committee, a joint committee that has been working since 2007, meeting regularly to make sure that we’re on the leading edge of what we need to be doing from an energy perspective. That is the key component. We’re in the economic development business, the job creation business. Making energy affordable and plentiful is very important to us. Marsh: A lot of problems for the energy industry are at the federal level. I think the EPA has put in a lot of regulations that have been harmful to the coal industry which affects the power industry in many cases. With those things, we can only do so much. On a state level, if there is anything about these regulations we can address we will continue to address that. We do all we can with ADEM to make sure regulations are reasonable for industry. Your industry obviously has to be concerned with employment and job growth. Your industry is a supplier of the commodity of energy. Obviously anything we can do to improve the job situation and economic growth will benefit your organizations across the state. I can assure you the efficiencies and reform measures will result in a leaner government, and if government is running efficiently, it’s less of a burden on taxpayers. The other issue that is equally important to us is job growth and economic development. If we can focus in this next session on these issues, all organizations including the electric co-ops, will benefit from this next session. Ford: We need to continue to help support incentives for coal companies, for alternative energy producers, and for natu-
ral gas to expand and hire new employees. We need to continue to support the Clean Coal Act and also hydraulic and nuclear power plants. Figures: I would like to see Alabama establish policy for energy conservation and a formal recycling program for all of Alabama. I am currently working on legislation dealing with both of these issues. State government alone could save a lot of money with an energy conservation plan that is enforced. AL: There has been discussion about the RSA needing another large appropriation in order to keep the state retirement financially stable. With the current program, economic outlook and pressures on the budgets, do you see problems meeting this request? Hubbard: We’re always going to make sure that our retirement system is fiscally sound and solvent because we have a responsibility to the people already in the system and people who are yet to be hired to make sure that the retirement system is there. Now, during the last legislative session we made some pretty significant changes for new hires, where employees will have to pay more toward their health insurance. Now that’s not something we boast about, but it was the right thing to do because otherwise the can had been kicked down the road for years and years and we just had to make some changes. It’s going to save about $5 billion over 20-25 years. We’re working very closely with the RSA and we always have to make sure that the investment that the RSA are making is sound. I believe that they are. They’ve suffered just like everybody else with the downturn of the economy, but my hope is that when the economy does turn around, and we can kind of see it turning that way, that the requirement of the appropriations from the ETF and the General Fund will be less. That’s my hope. Marsh: I haven’t heard exactly but somewhere around $100 million is predicted to be a shortfall (in the retirement system). At the same time you’ve got the head of the AEA union saying they want a 10 percent increase in pay. There’s only so much money there to do something with. One of our primary responsibilities is to make sure those retirement systems are sound and the insurance is sound. That’s where I’m going first before I look at a pay raise. I hate that we’ve not been february 2013 13
able to give raises. We’re not the only state in this situation. Until my colleagues tell me they feel differently, we’re looking at keeping those things sound before we’re looking at a pay raise at this time. Ford: I have not seen the fiscal projections on this so I don’t know how much additional funding will be needed. I do know the Republican supermajority has have already cut the educators and state employees and teacher pay by 2.5 percent. That has gone to help state retirement benefits. We have to keep in perspective that teachers and state employees are employees of the state. I own an insurance company and I own a newspaper. I have 30 employees that work for me. I have to contribute if we have a retirement plan, which we do, to their retirement. So the employees are employees of the state so the state is obligated to pay into their retirement and health benefits. As far as what’s needed, I don’t know. I have not been privy to those conversations. But I do know teacher pay is declining in Alabama and benefits are declining and that’s one of the few tools we have left to recruit the best and the brightest into our schools. Figures: I feel that any entity or line item in the budget needing more money will definitely be a problem if the state’s revenue has not increased at the same rate. It is well past the time that we realistically and fairly deal with tax reform in the state of Alabama. As this administration has sought to cut expenses and waste, we must realize that that can only go so far. As lawmakers, we have a responsibility to protect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Alabama, and that takes money as well as sound policies. AL: What do you feel are the biggest successes achieved under your leadership? Hubbard: Well, I’m very proud of a number of them, and it’s only been two years and we’ve accomplished a lot. I’m very proud of the ethics reform that we passed right off the bat, taking us from having some of the weakest ethics laws in the country to some of the strongest. Very proud of that. I’m proud of what we’ve done from an economic development standpoint and a job creation standpoint. Again, we are very pro-business and private sector-oriented. The first bill that we passed, the first bill signed into law by our new governor, Gov. Bentley, was the Rolling Reserve Act. I’m very proud of 14 february 2013
that because in my opinion it’s going to do away with proration in the Education Trust Fund. I mean, in essence it provides some restraint and forces the legislature to have discipline and not appropriate every dime of money they think is going to be available. I’m proud that we have put that into law. We have followed it, we haven’t had a prorated budget since we took over and I don’t believe we ever will. I’m also proud of the tenure reform. I’m proud that we finally have a tenure law that protects the best teachers and rewards the best teachers instead of protecting the worst. It’s very simple. In the business world, if you do a good job then you are rewarded for that and you keep your job. If you do a bad job then you get fired. Marsh: Ethics reform was huge, and in my opinion it has truly changed the way Montgomery works. Tenure reform is another. By and large our teachers do an excellent job. It’s a reasonable process and from all indications it’s working fine. Tort reform….we’ve always believed the stronger your business climate can be, it benefits everybody and it benefits your professional sector. The changes in insurance and retirement with new hires have helped us moving forward. We’ve had many successes, especially when you look at the pressure this legislature has been under on the financial side. Just look at the Rolling Reserve Act that put us in a position where we may never have proration again. All of these things are very positive. I’m as excited about the next session as much as I’ve been excited about anything. The reform measure will have the ability to save the state hundreds of million of dollars, as we get those costs under control and make those dollars available to make sure our retirement and insurance systems are sound. Ford: Funding the PACT program back in 2010. We generated $547 million through a piece of legislation to help fully fund it at that point in time, and that’s kept it afloat these additional years. Also, stopping charter schools, and sponsoring a pay raise for educators state employees, firefighters and law enforcement.
Check out our new Legislative Directory App on Page 28. Hubbard: Well, there are a number of ways to reach a legislator. In the House of Representatives especially, you know we’re the closest to the populace. That’s our motto, vox populi, voice of the people. And so you can contact by email on the legislature’s website. Many of our members, in fact most of our members, have Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. But you know there’s nothing better than good old face-to-face time. If you see a legislator at the grocery store or at the coffee shop or whatever, there’s nothing better than sitting down and having a conversation. And picking up the phone, doing it the old fashioned way. If you have something that you’re interested in I can tell you from me as a legislator that nothing means more, and I mean lobbyists are great and we need lobbyists, but nothing means more when a constituent who has personal knowledge of an issue and brings that to your attention and gives you their opinion, it means a lot. And I can tell you that we listen. Marsh: The best way to contact your legislator is through our website, www. legislature.state.al.us/ To contact my office, our website is www.alprotem.com/. Ford: During the session, you can call the main number, 334-244-7600, to get a direct message to me, or you can call the office of the House Minority Leader, 334-353-3091. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Figures: Constituents can contact us via our Montgomery and local legislative delegation offices by telephone and making a personal visit, or write us via email or USPS. A
Scan the code with your smartphone to watch portions of our interview with Alabama’s legislative leaders, or visit alabamaliving.coop.
(Editor’s note: Sen. Figures is going into her first year as minority leader.) AL: What are the best ways for constituents to contact their legislator during a session in order to be involved with the legislative process? www.alabamaliving.coop
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Centuries-old tradition makes
a cherished holiday
The eternal symbol of love – and Valentine’s Day – is the heart. Photo by Marilyn Jones
By Marilyn Jones
ike many holidays, Valentine’s Day seems to get boiled down and marched along as store displays and television commercials advertise flowers, candy and jewelry — all wrapped up with a big red bow and a sentimental greeting card. But, in reality, we love this mid-winter celebration and all its pomp and circumstance. Second only to Christmas, Valentine’s Day is the most popular holiday for remembering our loved ones. In fact, according to the Greeting Card Association (GCA), based in White Plains, N.Y., an estimated 160 million greeting cards will be bought for Valentine’s Day this year. That number doesn’t even include children’s packaged valentines which add many millions more to the number of valentines purchased.
Everyone seems to know there was a saint involved and that February is all about love, gift giving and card sending, but where did Valentine’s Day originate and how did it become this celebration of the heart?
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There are scholars who believe this day of love has its roots in a pagan ritual carried forward by the ancient Romans. Celebrated in February, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus. To begin the festival, Roman priests would gather at a sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf. The priests would sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification. They would then cut the goat’s hide into strips, dip them into the sacrificial blood and take to the streets, gently slapping both women and crop fields with the goat hide. Although it would seem strange by today’s standards, Roman women welcomed this. They believed it would make them more fertile in the coming year. Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. The city’s bachelors would each choose a name and become paired for the year with their chosen maiden. These matches often ended in marriage. www.alabamaliving.coop
Avanti Press has numerous photographic cards for Valentine’s Day, including this adorable frog design. www.avantipress.com
Fresh Frances carries numerous cards for Valentine’s Day, such as this retro-inspired design. www.freshfrances.com
Lupercalia survived the rise of Christianity, but was outlawed at the end of the 5th century when Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine’s Day in honor of the religion’s saint. During the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds’ mating season, which added to the idea that the day should be a day for romance.
The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine, all of whom were martyred. Some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death or burial, but in all likelihood, the celebration was held in February as a way to Christianize Lupercalia. The legend often sited claims Valentine was a priest who served during the 3rd century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied the emperor and continued to perform marriages. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Another account suggests Valentine helped persecuted Christians escape Roman prisons. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine sent the first valentine after he fell in love with a young woman who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is romanticized that he wrote her a letter signed, “From your Valentine.”
Up With Paper has added new valentines to its “Panoramics” pop-up card line, which include a pull-tab-activated sound chip. www.upwithpaper.com
Great Arrow Graphics is offering various designs of colorful new valentines, all silkscreen printed by hand. www.greatarrow.com
NobleWorks, Inc. has an extensive selection of new Valentine’s Day cards ranging from nice to naughty. www.nobleworksinc.com
A tradition is born
Lovers have been sending handwritten valentines to one another since the Middle Ages, but the idea of exchanging valentines really caught on in England. By the early 19th century, paper valentines with adornments such as lace and ribbons were being assembled in factories there. It wasn’t long before the notion of sending valentines made its way across the Atlantic. In the mid-1800s, a Massachusettsbased printer and artist named Esther Howland was among the first to produce Valentine’s Day cards in America. Her elaborate designs included multiple layers, lift-up flaps and embossed flowers. Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one’s feelings was discouraged. According to GCA, Valentine’s Day cards are expected to be particularly popular this year, since a greater number tend to be exchanged when the holiday is celebrated during the week. This year February 14 falls on a Thursday. There are valentines to please everyone — from contemporary designs for your BFF to traditional ones for Grandma. They’re affordable too, ranging from less than a dollar for a simply printed card to $9.99 or more for one with special treatments such as embossing, die-cutting, foil-printing and hand-detailing. So, whether you are remembering your significant other, a friend or a relative, just remember it’s about the remembering as much as it once was about the romance. Send a little love through the mail. A Alabama Living
Leanin’ Tree Valentine’s Day cards include color card interiors and printed envelopes. www.tradeleanintree.com
Calypso Cards offers various lines of Valentine’s Day cards, including this “Robot Love” card by J&M Martinez. www.calypsocards.com
Old Tom Foolery has debuted several new cards for Valentine’s Day, including this humorous one from the “Marquees” collection. www.oldtomfoolery.com february 2013 17
Worth the Drive
Eating fresh, local and healthy at
Garfrerick’s Café Go & Eat Garfrerick’s Café 655 Creekside Drive, Oxford, Ala. 256-831-0044
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arfrerick’s Cafe in Oxford is proof that the old adage, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” is a wise one. Sitting in a nondescript strip mall on one of the less attractive (and interesting) stretches of Hwy. 431, its equally nondescript exterior hides one of our state’s most scrumptious surprises. Tucked inside a beige and brown brick box, the cafe is fresh and modern in both its look and its approach to Southern food. Sleek and simple best describe the décor inside Garfrerick’s: a mammoth brushedmetal ceiling fan overhead keeps things cool (while looking even cooler). A large curved bar borders a gleaming open kitchen, which provides an appetite-whetting view of all the action. Tables are dressed sparsely but nicely. Wood floors and wood accents warm up the space, and the overall effect is contemporary, effortless elegance. The sophisticated menu matches the atmosphere, but while it reads like one you’d find in a “fancy restaurant,” the prices are pretty reasonable, and you’ll find no stuffy pretense here. The servers are warm and friendly and know the menu inside and out. That’s good, because you’ll need their help deciding among the myriad options for eating fresh, local and healthy. Showing people how delicious eating this way can be seems to be the mission of owner and chef David Garfrerick. His creations reflect a wide range of influences and cooking styles, but many are inventive twists that transform traditional regional fare. The menu changes daily, staying in sync with what’s in season and locally available. David knows the value of farmfresh ingredients; he was a farmer who supplied produce to some of Birmingham’s hottest chefs before he opened Garfrerick’s and still runs his 200-acre farm today, cul-
tivating all kinds of organic veggies, fruits and herbs for use at his eatery. If he can’t get what he wants from his place, he’ll get it from another area farmer. Crafting dishes that highlight this bounty is a version of what some call New South cuisine, but it’s really not that new at all. Taking advantage of the harvest that springs from Alabama’s farmlands and taking classics back to their basic elements harkens back to the way folks cooked and ate decades ago. And Garfrerick’s commitment to putting the best ingredients onto every plate is elevated even further by the artful way in which everything is presented. A tasty example of Grafrerick’s philosophy can be found in the brunch vegetable plate. Squash casserole that’s neither heavy nor greasy, heirloom tomato salad, grits with fresh herbs, lady peas and truffled mac ‘n cheese are all lined up on a long, slim pottery plate that you’ll want to take home. A wedge of dense cornbread finishes the group. Just enough of each item is served, leaving plenty of room for dessert, which brings us to this month’s imperative: Do not leave the city of Oxford without indulging in Garfrerick’s rich, decadent white chocolate bread pudding. Dinner features steaks and seafood with Chef Garfrerick’s fresh touch, and the lunch menu has lots of salad and sandwich options, most under $10. While a few favorites like a pecan-encrusted grouper and the tomato salad are almost always offered, the ever-changing menu means dining at Garfrerick’s is always an adventure, and a tasty one at that. To uncover some of our state’s most valuable culinary gems, sometimes, you have to be willing to dig a little deeper to get beyond a dull surface. Garfrerick’s Cafe is well worth the drive and the dig. A www.alabamaliving.coop
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Romancing the Plants By Katie Jackson
hile February is the month to romance our sweeties—and I’ll get to them shortly—it is also an ideal time to shower attention on the beloved, dedicated houseplants in our lives. Houseplants not only add beauty to homes and offices, but they also help purify indoor air as they undergo photosynthesis, so showing them some love ultimately benefits us. And the surest
February Gardening Tips d Order seeds for the spring garden. d Plant hardy perennials. d Divide and move perennials unless they are beginning to show new growth. d Clean up fallen limbs and other winter yard debris. d Prune summer-flowering shrubs. Don’t prune spring-blooming shrubs until after they flower. d Plant cabbage, onions, lettuce, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. d Start seeds for warm-season vegetables. d Transplant deciduous shrubs and trees unless the buds have begun to swell. d Examine seeds saved from last year to make sure their seed coats are in good condition and not rotted. d Keep bird feeders and baths clean and full. d Plant dormant fruit and landscape trees and shrubs.
Katie Jackson, who recently retired as chief editor for the Auburn University College of Agriculture and Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, is now a fulltime freelance writer and editor. Contact her at email@example.com.
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way to show them love is to provide them with all they need to be healthy. While most houseplants are happy with daytime temperatures of 65 to 70 degrees F and nighttime temperatures of 55 to 65 degrees F, one of the best things you can do for your houseplants is find just the right spot for them to spend the rest of the winter. For example, plants that need only moderate amounts of light may prefer a location at or near east- or west-facing windows. Plants that need more light or warmer temperatures are happiest in winter at south-facing windows or under fluorescent plant lights. Few, if any, houseplants do well in the winter at north-facing windows and all should be kept away from vents, fireplaces or other direct heat sources or cold drafts of air. Providing houseplants the right amount of moisture is also vital to their winter well-being. Too much water rots their roots; too little stunts their growth. An easy way to ensure they are getting just enough is to apply water only when the top inch of their soil mixture is dry to the touch. Some plants also prefer moist air, which can be difficult to provide in the often-arid winter indoor environment. Those plants may do best if they are placed in a bath or laundry area where humidity is typically higher or in a room with a humidifier. Other options are to mist them regularly or set their pots on a pebble tray filled with water, which helps moisten the air as it evaporates. Though most houseplants should not be fertilized in the winter, they may benefit from a fresh layer of potting mixture added to the top of the soil in their pots. Once they begin to come out of winter
dormancy (probably toward the end of February or early March), a half to onethird dose of recommended fertilizer can be applied and gradually increased as they begin to actively grow again. Finally, help your plants feel and look better by snipping off dead leaves, stems or flowers and dusting their leaves. They will feel so pampered and loved! Now back to those human sweeties in your life: There are many botanically related ways to express your love. Of course a bouquet of roses (or many other flowers) speaks of love; a rose bush (or any landscape shrub) says “longterm commitment.” A basket or bucket filled with assorted seeds, gardening tools and supplies can be as sweet as a box of chocolates. And, yes, a houseplant (complete with instructions on how to pamper it properly) is a lovely and longlasting way to show how much you care for your Valentine. A
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Spanish moss: A Deep South symbol By John N. Felsher
robably no other plant more closely epitomizes the Deep South than Spanish moss. Movies, books, paintings and television programs depicting the Southern way of life go to great lengths to show stereotypical oak trees festooned with the wispy gray plant. Long a symbol of the South and the Southern way of life, paintings of old plantation houses always portray Spanish moss dripping from stately trees. Along coastal wetlands, forlorn cypress trees draped in the mysterious gray threads warn intruders not to enter unprepared. The swamps might not let them go home. Today, the plant blankets hardwoods across the Deep South from east Texas to Virginia. Although modern urbanization and pollution have taken a toll on the delicate plant, travelers find it clinging to trees in nearly every public park or forest across its range. Despite its common familiarity, Spanish moss suffers from an “identity crisis.” Largely misunderstood, it is neither “Spanish” nor a “moss.” It is an epiphyte, or air plant with the scientific
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name of tillandsia usneoides. Of the family of Bromeliaceae, or a bromeliad, it is closely related to orchids and, oddly enough, pineapples. The only species of the pineapple family indigenous to the continental United States, it attaches itself to tree trunks and branches, especially live oaks, and hangs in long, gray strands. Slender, threadlike stems can reach lengths up to six feet. Not usually thought of as a leafy, flowering plant, it does not root in the soil, preferring to cling to supporting trees. It does grow small leaves and inconspicuous minuscule yellow flowers. It even bears a small capsule-like fruit. Contrary to popular belief, Spanish moss does not harm trees. Not parasitic, it absorbs necessary moisture directly from the air through scales in its “stem.” Its presence on the tree does not harm its host, nor does it compete for food with its host. It gets nothing from the tree, except a sturdy place to hang around. To survive, it needs a strong host, sunlight, moisture and clean air. Like octopus tentacles, it wraps itself around
suitable branches and hangs in the sunlight, absorbing all the goodness of the air. Because it gets nourishment directly from the air, it cannot tolerate airborne contaminants or cold temperatures. Therefore, increasing pollution and urbanization reduced the abundance of this rather delicate plant across much of the South. One would think that such a hairy plant would host its own swarming insect populations. Quite the contrary, something about Spanish moss repels insects, although other small creatures, such as tree frogs, seek refuge within its protective cocoon. Instead of draining its host of food, it actually provides a degree of protection from creepy crawly pests that might damage trees. Long ago, fishermen, hunters and trappers wrapped themselves in Spanish moss when mosquitoes became too annoying. Even today, sporting men and women sometimes drape themselves with Spanish moss when sitting on a deer stand or in a duck blind. Not only does the moss protect them from insects, but also provides excellent native camouflage.
Its propensity to repel bugs made Spanish moss fibers an excellent stuffing material for mattresses and upholstered furniture. Two centuries ago, insect-borne diseases killed thousands of people in the warm, wet, semi-tropical wilderness of the Deep South. Settlers used anything to keep bugs away. Until the early decades of the 20th century, Spanish moss not only protected people from the ravages of insects, but also from the ravages of poverty. Commercial moss harvesters operated lucrative enterprises throughout the once vast swamps and forests in parts of the South. They used long poles to pull moss clumps from tall trees. They baled their “catch” into great heaps and transported them by boat or wagon to processing gins. Processing gins turned the gray-scaled strands into black fibers similar to horsehair. These fibers constituted the backbone of a thriving upholstering industry. Some of the best furniture in stately old homes still contains this symbol of the South. Today, with cheap, synthetic fibers on the market, few people still make their livelihoods from the hard, backbreaking labor of gathering or ginning Spanish moss. The great wilderness areas where the moss thrives largely disappeared. Those wild areas that remain sit mostly on private land or in highly regulated refuges, wildlife management areas or other sanctuaries. Some people still make small, stuffed objects and handicrafts from the moss. One can still purchase small quantities for large sums in hobby or craft stores. These remnants of a once-great industry usually go into making decorative ornaments. While few people still stuff Spanish moss fibers into furniture or mattresses, the plant remains the stuff of legends. The Attakapas Indians, who ruled the swamps of southern Louisiana, had many ideas of how the odd-looking plant arrived in the South. Two of their more romantic legends attribute the moss to either the short-lived love affair of two young Indians or to the death of a lusty Spaniard.
The Stuff of Legends
According to the first legend, long before the first white men penetrated the swamplands of future Cajun Country, an Attakapas princess fell deeply in love with a brave from another village. Her choice of a mate outside the clan greatly angered her father, a powerful war chief. The chief proAlabama Living
hibited her from seeing her lover. Simply unthinkable, marriage to an outsider would disgrace the chief, the village and the tribe. As often happens, especially with teenaged girls, love proved more powerful an influence than parental authority. The princess obeyed her father, at least publicly, but secretly rendezvoused with her forbidden lover deep in the swamp. Also, as often happens throughout history, the lovers could not keep such an illicit affair secret for long. Soon, the chief learned about the clandestine assignations. Enraged, he swore to end such disobedience immediately. He hid near an oak tree that marked the secret meeting place.
The wispy, gray plant is actually neither Spanish nor a moss.
When the lovers arrived, the chief hurled himself at the surprised young warrior. They grappled in a deathly embrace. The brave warrior fought like a lion, but his strength was no match for the chief ’s blistering paternal hatred. The old man cut the young warrior to pieces with his knife. Heartbroken, the princess then grabbed the knife and thrust it into her own stomach, killing herself as the legend goes. This tragedy so saddened the Great Spirit that he placed the lovers’ long, ebony hair high in the oak tree where all could see it blowing in the wind. Forever, it would remind all who passed beneath of the power of love and hate. After many years, the hair turned gray and spread from branch to branch, then tree to tree as a lasting memorial of the affection between the princess and the young warrior. A second legend evokes the bitter rivalry between natives and explorers. In the early history of Louisiana, Spanish explorers roamed the swamps in search of gold. Months at sea without female companionship burdened these men with overflowing hormones. When they landed and discov-
ered beautiful young Indian maidens, their boiling hormones erupted. One Spanish explorer fancied a certain Attakapan Indian maiden. She did not return his affection. Spying her fetching water one day, he fell hopelessly in love – or at least in lust – with her! He approached the young maiden, who fled through the swamp in terror. Not being able to outrun the larger, stronger man, the girl tried to escape by climbing into a giant oak tree, but the Spaniard saw her and climbed after her. She climbed higher; so did he. Soon, she had no place else to go. As the Spaniard reached for the beautiful woman, she jumped to the ground. Injured, she limped away, disappearing into the vast unknown that marked the primordial swamp. She never returned to her village. The Spaniard suffered a worse fate, according to the legend. He lunged after the maiden, but entangled his long gray beard in twigs and tree branches. Hopelessly enmeshed in the high branches, the Spaniard became the prisoner of the tree. Trapped deep in the swamp, he never returned to his shipmates either. Nature took its course. Eventually, nothing remained of the lusty Spaniard except his beard. By supernatural force, it propagated from tree to tree as a reminder of the explorer’s sin. Soon, nearly every oak tree in the South sported some “Spanish Beard.” Doubtful though this origin may seem, the name “Spanish Beard” caused considerable real friction between competing French and Spanish settlers along the Gulf Coast. The plant reminded French explorers of the long, flowing gray beards worn by Spaniards. They called it Barbe Espagnol, or “Spanish Beard.” Highly insulted, the Spanish retaliated against their European rivals by naming the plant Cabello Frances or “French Hair.” Although both Spain and France each controlled Louisiana at various periods in history, the French culture prevailed more prominently than that of the Spanish. Therefore, a variant of the French version stuck – more or less. Today, the popular name of tillandsia usneoides, “Spanish moss,” survives as a reminder of the time of legends, when rival tribes and nations fought for honor, riches and glory in the new land, eventually called “America.” Hopefully, this wonderful plant that so epitomizes the Deep South will survive for as long and continue to represent the Deep South. A february 2013 23
Yes, there really are snipe – honest! It’s nothing like the old joke you played on your friends By John N. Felsher
ix armed men in line abreast formation headed across a soggy marsh to search for an elusive quarry. Without warning, a tiny screeching object exploded from beneath a clump of weeds almost at the feet of one man and hurtled itself at another man. In erratic flight, it zipped along like a screaming banshee on fire before the camo-clad man could react. However, he turned and instinctively fired three times. The creature kept coming, showing no signs of injury. It flashed past the man and landed about 100 yards away. They had just encountered their first snipe! Many people refuse to believe such a bird even exists. Most people associate “snipe hunting” with playing tricks on typically gullible or dim-witted, often inebriated, companions. Perpetrators of the old joke convince neophyte outdoorsmen to go snipe hunting, which usually takes place at night in some remote area. The jokesters tell the intended victims to hold sacks and stand in the woods making ridiculous sounds to call snipe. While the victims call, those in on the joke say they will beat the bushes to chase snipe to them so the “hunters” can catch the creatures and stuff them into the sacks. Instead, the pranksters drive off, leaving the poor individuals stranded in the woods and literally holding the bag. Real snipe hunting, for an actual live game bird, looks nothing like the snipe hunting of legend. Shorebirds related to sandpipers, snipe offer some of the most challenging shooting anywhere. Swift and erratic in flight, snipe can humiliate even the best wingshots. The military term “snipJohn N. Felsher is a professional freelance writer and photographer who lives in Semmes, Ala. He’s written more than 1,700 articles for more than 117 magazines. He co-hosts a weekly outdoors radio show. Contact him through his website at www. JohnNFelsher.com.
24 february 2013
er” for an expert marksman comes from the word created to describe hunters skilled enough to hit these birds in flight. In the winter, these diminutive mottled brown and grayish birds with flecks of white migrate to the Gulf Coast in good numbers. They swarm to marshes and wet crop fields where they use their extremely long and flexible bills to probe for worms or aquatic invertebrates in soft muck. In Alabama, sportsmen can hunt snipe through the end of February with a limit of eight per day. Despite a long season and liberal bag limits, few hunters intentionally target snipe. Waterfowlers may kill a few birds they see flying over their blinds or while walking the marsh to retrieve downed ducks. Sometimes, flocks of zooming snipe briefly fool waterfowlers into thinking teal buzzed them, until they see their long bills. Rabbit hunters might kick up a few snipe when looking for cottontails in soggy crop fields and wet pastures. To hunt snipe, sportsmen don’t need to arrive before dawn or set out hundreds of decoys. In fact, snipe hunters only need a good shotgun with an open choke, plenty of ammunition and a soggy place to walk. To flush snipe, sportsmen can spread out through a field or marsh just out of shotgun range. Between them, they may jump the buff-colored birds hiding in grass clumps. Snipe often freeze in thick cover, flushing only at the last minute. Many a hunter has suffered a startling surprise after nearly stepping on a feathered firecracker as the bird erupted from cover underfoot while screeching a distinctive, yet indescribable harsh, raspy call. Once hunters hear that banshee screech, they never forget it, especially if the bird vaulted from a clump of weeds nearly into their faces before flying swiftly to escape. When finally flushed, snipe generally fly swiftly and erratically, but not for long. Snipe routinely fly just long enough to escape danger and land again a few hundred yards from where they flushed. Sometimes they land behind the hunter, perhaps where they flushed previously. Hunters can often
Steven Felsher admires some snipe he killed while hunting in a marsh. Photo by John N. Felsher
mark the landing sites of snipe and keep jumping them for hours. To keep snipe moving, some hunters break up into two groups at opposite ends of a field or section of marsh. One group walks through the grass flushing birds while the other party waits for birds to fly in their direction. Sometimes hunters in a wide plowed field or large marshy island can keep snipe moving for hours. Dogs can help flush snipe if they stay fairly close to the sportsmen. Wide-ranging dogs may jump snipe well out of range. A good retriever may find more birds in thick grass. Buff-colored little birds can fall into thick grass and disappear easily almost at the feet of a hunter. Unlike waterfowl, snipe typically don’t go to standing water, but they roam the mucky shoreline edges to probe for food with their long bills. The marshes and islands of the lower Mobile-Tensaw Delta and those surrounding Mobile Bay offer some of the best snipe habitat in the state. Grand Bay Wildlife Management Area near Bayou La Batre can also hold snipe. Inland, look for snipe in moist meadows, rice paddy edges, marshy lake shorelines, damp agricultural fields or any other soggy spots. A www.alabamaliving.coop
february 2013â€ƒ 25
Cook of the Month: Robin O’Sullivan, Wiregrass EC Roasted Curry Cauliflower
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon curry powder 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place cauliflower florets in a large bowl and drizzle with the melted coconut oil. Toss well to coat. Sprinkle on curry powder and sea salt. Toss the cauliflower again to coat. Spread out the florets evenly on the baking sheet, with pieces separated. Roast for 10 minutes. Gently shake the sheet in the oven to flip the pieces. Roast for another 5 minutes. Serve warm or cold.
You could win $50! Upcoming recipe themes and deadlines are: April Canning Deadline: February 15 May Diabetic Favorites Deadline: March 15 June Seafood Deadline: April 15 Please send all submissions to: Recipe Editor, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124. Or e-mail to: recipes@areapower. coop. Be sure to include your address, phone number and the name of your electric cooperative.
Hula’s Tasty Fruit Salad
Healthy snacks are on the agenda in this issue. Don’t we all want to eat better at the beginning of a new year? Sometimes during hectic schedules it is very tempting to just open a bag of chips or candy bar. Maybe some of these recipes will help you get back on track to eating healthier and keeping fit in 2013. I am expecting my second child sometime in June, so I am always looking for more nutritional things to snack on during the day. I hope everyone takes note of the upcoming recipe themes above. We are going to put in as many recipes as we can in the next few months. A number of readers asked me last year for canning recipes so let’s see how many we can publish. Follow Alabama Living on Facebook. We link to recipes, all kinds of events around Alabama, featured products made in Alabama and many other fun things. Come over and “like” us. Let us know what you are cooking!
1 medium to large cantaloupe, cut in half, seeds and rind removed 1 medium to large honeydew melon, cut in half, seeds and rind removed 1 medium to large pineapple, top removed, sliced into quarters, rind and core removed
1 quart strawberries, washed and hulled (tops removed) 3/4 cup ginger ale 1/2 cup orange juice 2 tablespoons honey 1/2 cup granola
Cut cantaloupe, honeydew and pineapple into bite-sized pieces; place in a large bowl. Cut strawberries in half (or in quarters, if they’re large); add to other fruit. In a small bowl, combine ginger ale, orange juice and honey; mix well. Add to fruit; mix well. Allow fruit to marinate for 15 to 30 minutes before serving. Serve chilled. Just before serving, sprinkle each serving with a bit of granola. Serves: 10 Hula Ballard, Dixie EC
26 february 2013
Editor’s Note: Alabama Living’s recipes are submitted by our readers. They are not kitchen-tested by a professional cook or registered dietician. If you have special dietary needs, please check with your doctor or nutritionist before preparing any recipe.
Frozen Banana Almond Nibblers
5 medium ripe bananas 1 tablespoon allnatural creamy almond butter
Brown Bag Popcorn Take a small brown lunch bag (the kind that come in packs of 75 for $1 at the dollar store), put in 2 tablespoons unpopped popcorn kernels, 1/2 teaspoon oil, and your choice of seasoning (if seasoning is desired). Fold over top of bag and shake well to coat kernels. Place bag in microwave, with the folded top tucked under. Microwave until the pops almost stop just like you would for prepackaged microwave popcorn. Not only is this much cheaper than buying the prepackaged, but it is healthier because you can regulate the things you add to it. It’s fun experimenting with different seasonings.
2 ounces nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt
Peel one banana and mash it with the almond butter and yogurt. Set aside. Peel the other four bananas. Slice into half-inch thick slices. Smear the banana/almond butter/ yogurt mixture on half the banana slices and top with the other halves, making banana sandwiches. Place on a wooden cutting board or a plate and freeze for at least two hours. Robin O’Sullivan,Wiregrass EC
Martha Joy Troyer, Southern Pine EC
Oatmeal Apricot Cookies
No Bake Energy Bites
1 cup dry oldfashioned oatmeal 2⁄3 cup toasted coconut flakes 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup peanut butter 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips 1⁄3 cup honey 1 teaspoon vanilla
⁄3 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped 1 ⁄3 cup boiling water 1 cup packed light brown sugar 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature 1 egg 2
11/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 21/2 cups of quick-cooking rolled oats
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray. Combine apricots and water in food processor and process until well blended; transfer to a large bowl. Add brown sugar and butter, mix well. Add egg, flour, vanilla, cinnamon, baking soda and salt; mix well. Stir in oats. Drop by tablespoons onto prepared sheets. Bake at 350 degrees until cookies are golden, about 10-12 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool. Store in cookie jar. Melba Bryan, Cullman EC
Mix oatmeal, toasted coconut flakes, and flaxseed in a medium bowl. Set dry ingredients aside. Place peanut butter, dark chocolate chips and honey in a microwavesafe dish. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Add vanilla to the peanut butter mixture and stir well. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the dry mixture and stir until thoroughly moistened. Shape into 1-inch balls and chill until firm. Yield: approximately 24 energy bites. Melissa Cothran, Arab EC
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february 2013 27
AREA joins Partnership for Affordable Clean Energy The Alabama Rural Electric Association (AREA) has become the newest official partner of the Partnership for Affordable Clean Energy (PACE) in the ongoing fight for affordable and fair national energy policies. Both PACE and AREA have significant concerns over the way that national energy policies could affect the price and reliability of electricity for customers in rural communities. Currently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering a number of rules that could affect the supply and price of electricity. “Power customers in rural communities across Alabama and beyond have much at stake when it comes to the future of American energy,” says Fred Braswell, president and CEO of AREA. “That’s why we are proud to support PACE’s efforts to fight for energy policies that are fair and affordable.” “AREA has a long history of advocating for sensible energy policy and standing up for power customers in rural Alabama,” says PACE Executive Director Lance Brown. “They are recognized and respected for their strong leadership and we are glad to count them as an ally.”
Electric Cooperatives Launch Legislative App
In an ever-changing world, the ways we connect with one another has also changed. To help you better communicate with the Alabama Legislature, the Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives has produced a helpful application customized for your smartphone and tablet, just in time for the beginning of the 2013 Regular Session that convenes Tuesday, Feb. 5. This application will have an interactive directory of members of the Alabama House of Representatives and Senate, a legislative committee list, and links to the most current legislative action. As a service to all Alabamians, AREA is offering this app for the low price of only $4.99, downloadable on both the Apple App Store and Google Play. “Politics controls every aspect of our lives,” said Sean Strickler, AREA’s vice president for public affairs, “and it is imperative that every citizen stay current on what is going on in the Legislature and contact their Legislators when needed. This application will allow everyone a very simple way to make that happen.” To download the app, search for Alabama Legislative Directory in the Apple App Store or on Google Play.
28 february 2013
Around Alabama TAP - The Show - Feb 28
Elba High School
Most people tap their feet when they hear music, but some people make music by tapping their feet. The Coffee County Arts Alliance will present “TAP – The Show,” a powerhouse production that celebrates the artistry of tap dance from around the globe, at 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 28, at Elba High School.
“TAP – The Show” is fueled by a non-stop explosion of rhythmic energy. Wrapped in dazzling costumes and backed by a soaring orchestral score, a cast of awardwinning dancers and singers travels seamlessly over decades of styles from Broadway and big band to world music and pop/ rock. Each section brings to life iconic tap moments of the past and creates brand new moments that amaze audiences. Included are recreations of well-known numbers by Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, Broadway showstoppers, smooth and sultry soft shoe, flamenco, tribal, Irish step and more. The Gold Corporate Sponsor for this performance is an anonymous donor. Additional support is provided by the
9 • Weogufka, Valentine Dinner and Dance.
1 & 2 • Foley, Short Course Successful Queen
Weogufka Center for Arts, 5 p.m. Starring the legendary Back Street Band Tickets: dance only, at the door: $8; dinner and dance, at the door $15; advanced tickets include dinner and dance: $12. Children under 12 are free when accompanied by an adult Information: 334-578-1364 www.weogufkacenter.com 23 • Fairhope, Chili for Charity Cook-off, benefiting Ecumenical Ministries, Inc. Oak Hollow Farm, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Live music, motorcycle ride, mechanical bull, bake sale, inflatables, hay ride and chili sampling. Admission: $10-aults; $5- children 3-12 Contact: 251-928-3430 22 • Chatom, “Dig into Reading” Chatom Community Center, 5:30 p.m. Dinner, silent and live auction (books, jewelry, food, woodworking, sewing and paintings), raffle and door prizes. Tickets: $30, purchased from the library or any Friend of the Library member. Information: 251-847-2097
Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. For information, call 334-406-2787 or visit www.CoffeeCountyArtsAlliance.com Tickets are available at these locations: II David’s Westgate Beauty Salon, Enterprise, 334-406-1617 II The Framery, Enterprise, 334-347-7800 II New Brockton Florist, New Brockton, 334-894-6737 II Bradley Florist and Gift Shop, Elba, 334-897-3422 II Wildflowers Florist & Gifts, Elba, 334-897-3010 II The Printing Press, Inc., Troy, 334-566-4060 II MaFoosky’s Deli, Daleville, 334-598-3030
2 • Grady, 16th Annual
Wild Game Supper and Auction South Montgomery County Academy Silent auction open at noon; outside activities begin at 2p.m.; meal served at 6 p.m. All you can eat with more than 40 items on the serving line (non-game food also available). Silent auction, children’s activities, quilt raffle, gun raffle and vendor displays. Contact SMCA: 334-562-3235 8 • Gulf Shores, 42nd Annual National Shrimp Festival Poster Contest Alabama Gulf Coast Area Chamber of Commerce is now accepting poster designs for the 42nd Annual Shrimp Festival. Winning poster will be the official artwork and used on merchandise for the festival. Cash award of $1,000. Submission deadline, Friday, March 8. Submitted artwork must contain certain criteria; visit the website for rules. Contact: Lauren Turner, 251-968-4237 or lauren@ alagulfcoastchamber.com www.nationalshrimpfestival.com 9 • Fairhope, March Fantasy Doll and Toy Sale sponsored by the Eastern Shore Doll Study Club of Alabama. 9:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. Addmisson: Adult $3, children (6-12) $1 Contact: Ruth Ann Brett 251-980-5958
Rearing 2013 Class and Workshop, Foley Alabama Library, 9 a.m. How to raise queen bees, make splits, mark and clip. Bring your hat, veil, gloves and coveralls. Refreshments and door prizes. Admission: $50 at the door.Information: 251-2130168 or firstname.lastname@example.org 2 • Jacksonville, Storytime at the Canyon Center JSU Little River Canyon Center Gift Shop 11 a.m.-noon, first Saturday of every month. Canyon Center staff and volunteers will read aloud from children’s literature. Admission: Free Contact: Little River Canyon Center, 256-782-8010 2 • Dothan, 2013 Camellia Show First United Methodist Church-Family Life Center, 1-4p.m. Growers from several states will be represented as well as displays from protected and unprotected blooms. Admission: Free Information: Bill Moon, email@example.com or Linda Nichols, firstname.lastname@example.org
To place an event, mail to Events Calendar, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124; e-mail to calendar@ areapower.coop. (Subject Line: Around Alabama) or visit www.alabamaliving.coop. Each submission must include a contact name and phone number. Deadline is two months prior to issue date. We regret that we cannot publish every event due to space limitations.
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February 2013 29
1/17/13 2:38 PM
Market Place Miscellaneous DIVORCE MADE EASY – Uncontested, Lost, in prison or aliens. $179.00 - 26 years experience – (417)443-6511 FINANCIAL HELP LINES FOR AL FAMILIES BANKRUPTCY ADVICE FOR FREE (877)933-14139 MORTGAGE RELIEF HELP LINE (888) 216-4173 STUDENT LOAN RELIEF LINE (877) 633-4457 DEBT RELIEF NON-PROFIT LINE (888) 779-4272 COLLECTION AGENCY COMPLAINTS (800)896-7860 Numbers provided by www.careconnectusa.org A Public Benefit Organization METAL ROOFING $1.79/LINFT – FACTORY DIRECT! 1st quality, 40yr Warranty, Energy Star rated. (price subject to change) 706-383-8554 WALL BEDS OF ALABAMA / ALABAMA MATTRESS OUTLET – SHOWROOM Collinsville, AL – Custom Built / Factory Direct - (256)490-4025, www. andyswallbeds.com, www. alabamamattressoutlet.com AERMOTOR WATER PUMPING WINDMILLS – windmill parts – decorative windmills – custom built windmill towers - call Windpower (256)638-4399 or (256)638-2352 CUSTOM MACHINE QUILTING BY JOYCE – Bring me your quilt top or t-shirts. Several designs available – (256)735-1543 KEEP POND WATER CLEAN AND FISH HEALTHY with our aeration systems and pond supplies. Windmill Electric and Fountain Aerators. Windpower (256)638-4399, (256)899-3850 BOAT FLOOR & TRANSOM REPLACEMENT, fiberglass repair, gelcoat renewal, houseboat repair – Cole BoatWorks (334)318-1986 FREE BOOKS / DVDs – Soon government will enforce the “Mark” of the beast as church and state unite! Let Bible reveal. The Bible Says, POB 99, Lenoir City, TN 37771 – email@example.com, (888)211-1715 CHURCH FURNITURE – Does your church need pews, pulpit set, baptistery, steeple or windows? Big sale on new cushioned pews and upholstery for hard pews – (800)2318360 or www.pews1.com NEW AND USED STAIR LIFT ELEVATORS – Car lifts, Scooters, Power Wheelchairs – Walk-In Tubs - Covers State of Alabama – 23 years (800)682-0658
30 february 2013
18X21 CARPORT $695 INSTALLED – Other sizes available - (706)383-8554
Business Opportunities PIANO TUNING PAYS – Learn with American Tuning School home-study course – (800)497-9793 AGRICULTURAL COLLATERAL INSPECTION and APPRAISALS – Ag background required – Training courses available. Call (800)488-7570, or visit www.amagappraisers.com START YOUR OWN BUSINESS! Mia Bella’s Gourmet Scented Products. Try the Best! Candles / Gifts / Beauty. Wonderful income potential! Enter Free Candle Drawing - www. naturesbest.scent-team.com
Vacation Rentals TWO GULF SHORES PLANTATION CONDOS – Excellent beach views – Owner rented (251)223-9248 APPALACHIAN TRAIL – Cabins by the trail in the Georgia Mountains – 3000’ above sea level, snowy winters, cool summers, inexpensive rates – (800)2846866, www.bloodmountain.com FT. WALTON BEACH HOUSE – 3BR / 2BA – Best buy at the Beach – (205)5660892, firstname.lastname@example.org MENTONE, AL – LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN – billiard table, Jacuzzi, spacious home, sleeps 14 – www. duskdowningheights.com, (850)7665042, (850)661-0678. HOUSE IN PIGEON FORGE, TN – Fully furnished, sleeps 6-12, 3 baths, creek, no pets – (256)997-6771, www. riverrungetaway.org GULF SHORES / GATLINBURG RENTAL – Great Rates! (256)490-4025 or www. gulfshoresrentals.us, gatlinburgrental.us CONDOS: Taking reservations now in GULF SHORES, GATLINBURG and DAYTONA BEACH. Call Jennifer in Scottsboro at 1-800-314-9777. www. funcondos.com. Non smoking. GULF SHORES CONDO – 2BR / 1.5BA, sleeps 6, pool, beach access – (334)790-9545 CABINS / PIGEON FORGE, TN – Sleeps 2-6, Great Location - (251)649-3344, (251)649-4049, www.hideawayprop. com ORANGE BEACH CONDO, 3BR/3BA; 2,000 SQ.FT.; beautifully decorated; gorgeous waterfront view; boat slips available; great rates - Owner rented (251)604-5226 GORGEOUS PIGEON FORGE CABINS by OWNER with year round specials – (865)712-7633
GATLINBURG – DOWNTOWN LUXURY CREEKSIDE CONDO – 2BR / 2BA, sleeps 6 – email@example.com, (256)599-5552
PENSACOLA BEACH CONDO - Gulf front - 7th floor balcony – 3BR/2BA, sleeps 6, pool – (850)572-6295 or (850)968-2170
GREAT LAKE LIVING, LEWIS SMITH LAKE - 3BR/2BA, 2 satelite TV’s, gaslog fireplace, deep water, covered dock Pictures, http://www.vacationsmithlake. com/ $75 night - (256) 352 5721, firstname.lastname@example.org
GULF SHORES / FT. MORGAN / NOT A CONDO! The original “Beach House” on Ft. Morgan peninsula – 2BR / 1BA, Pet Friendly, Non-Smoking – $695/wk, (256)418-2131, www.original beachhouseal.com
COTTON ROW in DETROIT, AL – Quiet country get-away! 45 minutes from Tupelo, MS – (662)8253244 LM
1 BEDROOM CABIN NEAR PIGEON FORGE - $85.00 per night – Call (865)428-1497 ask for Kathy
PIGEON FORGE, TN: $89 - $125, 2BR/2BA, hot tub, pool table, fireplace, swimming pool, creek – (251)363-1973, www.mylittlebitofheaven.com GATLINBURG TOWNHOUSE on BASKINS CREEK! GREAT RATES! 4BR/3BA, short walk downtown attractions! (205)333-9585, email@example.com GATLINBURG / PIGEON FORGE – 2 and 3 BEDROOM LUXURY CABINS – Home theatre room, hot tub, gameroom – www. wardvacationproperties.com, (251)363-8576 PANAMA CITY BEACH CONDO – Owner rental – 2BR / 2BA, wireless internet, just remodeled inside and outside – (334)790-0000, firstname.lastname@example.org, www. theroneycondo.com – Open dates in March and April GATLINBURG, TN – Fond memories start here in our chalet – Great vacation area for all seasons – Two queen beds, full kitchen, 1 bath, Jacuzzi, deck with grill – 3 Night Special - Call (866)3163255, Look for us on Facebook / billshideaway GULF SHORES, GULF FRONT – 1BR / 1BA, free Wi-Fi, king bed, hall bunks – Seacrest Condo, Owner rates (256)3525721, email@example.com HELEN GA CABIN FOR RENT – sleeps 2-6, 2.5 baths, fireplace, Jacuzzi, washer/ dryer – www.cyberrentals.com/101769 - (251)948-2918, email jmccracken@ gulftel.com CONDOS FOR RENT – GULF SHORES and ORANGE BEACH – previewgulfshores.com or call (877)504-9716 GULF SHORES COTTAGE – Waterfront, 2 / 1, pet friendly – Rates and Calendar online http://www.vrbo.com/152418, (251)223-6114 PIGEON FORGE, TN – 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath house for rent $75.00 a night – Call Bonnie at (256)338-1957
DISNEY – 15 MIN: 5BR / 3BA, private pool – www.orlandovacationoasis.com – (251)504-5756
Real Estate Sales/Rentals GULF SHORES CONDOS – 4.7 miles from beach, starting prices $54,900 – www.PeteOnTheBeach.com, click Colony Club – (251)948-8008
Travel CARIBBEAN CRUISES AT THE LOWEST PRICE – (256)974-0500 or (800)726-0954 CRUISE the BAHAMAS and FLORIDA KEYS on a private 47’ Leopard Catamaran – www. playinghookycharters.com – Captain James (251)401-3367 for more information
Musical Notes PIANOS TUNED, repaired, refinished. Box 171, Coy, AL 36435. 334-337-4503 PLAY GOSPEL SONGS BY EAR - 10 lessons $12.95. “LEARN GOSPEL MUSIC”. Chording, runs, fills - $12.95 Both $24. Davidsons, 6727AR Metcalf, Shawnee Missions, Kansas 66204 – (913)262-4982
Education - 3 WWW.2HOMESCHOOL.ORG – Year round enrollment. Everybody homeschools. It is just a matter of what degree – (256)653-2593 or website BECOME AN ORDAINED MINISTER correspondence study. Founded in 1988. Free info. Ministers for Christ Outreach, 6630 West Cactus #B107-767, Glendale, Arizona 85304. http://www. ordination.org FREE BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE – write to 23600 Alabama Highway 24, Trinity, AL, 35673
Critters CHIHUAHUA PUPPIES. Tiny, registered, guaranteed healthy, raised indoors in loving home, vet records and references. (256)796-2893
ADORABLE AKC YORKY PUPPIES – excellent blood lines – (334)301-1120, (334)537-4242, firstname.lastname@example.org
Fruits / Nuts / Berries OLD TIMEY WHITE AND YELLOW self pollinating SEED corn – (334)886-2925
A big THANK YOU! to all who have graciously donated to the Alabama Military Support Foundation via the check off on your Alabama State Tax forms. Your donation assists in educating and recognizing employers who stand behind members of the Guard and Reserve as they serve our nation. Your support is key to fostering and promoting a positive relationship between Guard and Reserve members and their employers. Your donations help inform both employers and military members of their legal rights and responsibilities. Outstanding employers are recognized through awards presented to them at events across Alabama. We hope that you will keep the foundation in mind as you complete your 2013 tax returns. Your contributions to the Alabama Military Support Foundation help preserve the Guard and Reserve’s efficient and cost effective capabilities for the defense of our nation.
How To Place a Line Ad in Marketplace Closing Deadlines (in our office): April 2013 – February 25 May 2013 – March 25 June 2013 – April 25 -Ads are $1.75 per word with a 10 word minimum and are on a prepaid basis -Telephone numbers, email addresses and websites are considered 1 word each -Ads will not be taken over the phone. You may email your ad to hdutton@areapower. com or call (800)410-2737 ask for Heather for pricing. -We accept checks, money orders and all major credit cards Mail ad submission along with a check or money order made payable to ALABAMA LIVING, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124 – Attn: Classifieds.
Tables indicate peak fish and game feeding and migration times. Major periods can bracket the peak by an hour before and an hour after. Minor peaks, half-hour before and after. Adjusted for daylight savings time. a.m. p.m. Minor Major Minor Major
FEB. 15 10:31 05:31 03:31 10:46 16 11:16 05:46 04:31 11:31 17 11:46 06:16 - - 05:31 18 06:46 12:01 12:31 06:16 19 07:01 12:46 07:16 01:16 20 07:31 01:16 08:01 01:46 21 01:46 07:46 09:01 02:31 22 02:16 08:16 10:16 03:16 23 02:31 08:31 - - 04:16 24 12:46 08:46 - - 05:46 25 - - 09:16 - - 07:16 26 10:01 05:01 - - 08:31 27 09:46 05:01 01:16 09:31 28 10:16 05:01 02:46 10:01 MAR. 1 11:01 05:31 04:16 11:01 2 11:31 05:46 05:01 11:31 3 11:46 06:01 - - 05:31 4 06:16 12:01 12:16 06:16 5 06:31 12:31 06:46 12:46 6 12:46 06:46 07:31 01:16 7 01:16 07:16 08:16 01:46 8 01:31 07:31 09:16 02:31 9 02:01 07:46 10:46 03:31 10 02:16 08:16 - - 04:31 11 - - 08:46 - - 06:01 12 10:16 03:46 - - 07:31 13 09:01 04:01 01:01 08:46 14 09:46 04:16 02:46 09:46 15 10:16 04:46 03:46 10:31 16 11:01 05:01 04:46 11:01 17 05:31 11:31 05:46 11:46 18 - - 05:46 06:31 12:01 19 12:16 06:16 07:16 12:46 20 12:46 06:31 08:01 01:16 21 01:16 07:01 09:01 02:01 22 01:46 07:16 10:01 02:46 23 02:16 07:31 11:46 03:31 24 02:16 07:46 - - 04:31 25 - - 08:01 - - 06:01 26 - - 03:46 - - 07:46 27 09:31 03:46 01:01 08:46 28 09:46 04:01 02:31 09:31 29 10:01 04:16 03:31 10:01 30 10:31 04:31 04:16 10:31 31 04:46 11:01 05:01 11:01
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Upgrade Garage Door for Comfort, Efficiency, Safety Options abound for homeowners looking to improve the energy efficiency of their garage doors.
: I do projects in my garage, which also has a bedroom above it. The garage door is an old metal one with no insulation, so I think I should replace it. What type of garage door is best?
: It sounds like you definitely need to make some efficiency improvements to the garage door, for both your comfort while working and for the energy losses from the bedroom floor above it. If the builder installed an inexpensive, inefficient garage door, as many do, or it’s an older building, it’s likely the bedroom floor above the garage isn’t wellinsulated either. When evaluating energy efficiency projects, keep in mind: Hot air goes up, but heat energy moves in all directions, including down. If your garage doesn’t have a furnace duct going to it, but it stays reasonably warm, it’s getting heat from somewhere. It’s probably from an adjacent house wall and down from the bedroom floor above it. Before you invest in a new, efficient garage door, inspect your existing door. If it’s in relatively good condition and there are no significant drafts coming from the joints between the panels, consider installing a garage door insulation kit. Some kits provide an insulation value as high as R-8, but they won’t seal air leaks through the joints between the door panels. Owens-Corning makes an easy-to-install garage door insulation kit. It includes vinyl-backed fiberglass insulation batts, retaining clips, and tape. Cut the batts to
James Dulley is a nationally syndicated engineering consultant based in Cincinnati.
32 february 2013
This insulated steel skin garage door provides R-19.2 panel insulation level and a thick polymer coating to simulate real wood. Source: Clopay
fit the door panels. Apply strips of doublesided tape on two spots on each panel. Stick the retaining clips on the tape and push the insulation over them. A top clip snaps over each clip to hold the insulation securely in place. Several other advantages of installing an insulation kit are reduced outdoor noise and lower lighting costs. The exposed white vinyl backing reflects light so you need fewer lights on in the garage. If you decide you need a completely new door, there are several options. The most common garage door materials are wood, insulated steel, insulated fiberglass, and aluminum/glass. Of these, the insulated steel or fiberglass offer the best efficiency because of the insulation value and the rigidity of the door to remain airtight over its life. Many insulated steel doors are “wind rated” for severe weather. Even if your area doesn’t have frequent high-wind storms, install the horizontal galvanized steel supports across the inner surface of the door if they were included with it. As the door rolls up to open, the edges are not interlocked to support each other. Without the supports, the panels may flex and begin to form cracks over time. If you prefer the appearance of wood but want higher efficiency, select a cladinsulated steel garage door. Clopay developed a method to apply a one-half inchthick polymer coating on the exterior steel skin. It has authentic wood grain molded into the surface so it looks identical to real stained wood. Another option is an embossed simulated wood finish that’s painted on. A very popular garage door style today is a simulated swing-open carriage type. It still rolls up like a typical panel garage door, but from the street it appears that two doors would swing open. These attractive doors often have some type of
decorative glass across the top panel for aesthetics and for natural light in the garage. An insulated steel door is probably the least expensive design to meet your efficiency and comfort needs. Some foam insulated steel doors, such as the Clopay Gallery Collection double-wide door that I installed at my home, have insulation values as high as R-19. The foam inside the door can be either glued-in rigid polystyrene or blown-in urethane foam. Urethane foam has a higher insulation level, but either should be satisfactory. When choosing a steel door, look for one with a thermal break separating the outdoor and indoor metal skins to reduce heat loss. This is not a factor on a fiberglass door. If you have children, look for pinch-resistance panels. These are designed to push a finger out of the panel joints as the door closes. If you want glass in the door, make sure it’s at least doublepane, insulated glass or low-E for better efficiency. The following companies offer efficient garage doors: Amarr Garage Doors, 800- 503-3667, www.amarr.com; Clopay, 800-225-6729, www.clopaydoor. com; Overhead Door, 800-929-1277, www.overheaddoor.com; Raynor Garage Doors, 800-472-9667, www.raynor.com; and Wayne-Dalton, 800-827-3667, www. wayne-dalton.com. A garage door insulation kit is available from Owens-Corning, 800-438-7465, www.owenscorning.com. A
Send your questions to: James Dulley Alabama Living 6906 Royalgreen Dr. Cincinnati, OH 45244
You can also reach Dulley online at
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Our Sources Say
My Friend Duke
is given name was Durrell, but everybody called him Duke. I called him “Doorell” because he liked to be called Duke. He found my name for him humorous, and it usually drew his deep laugh. I first met Duke when I moved to Andalusia 23 years ago. He was starting a new job with the City of Andalusia Recreation Department as the Adult Activities Director, which included men’s softball and basketball. We shared common interests in sports, people and a strange sense of humor. We quickly became friends. We watched many Andalusia High School basketball games together and discussed high school football, celebrating wins and criticizing losses. At times we just hung out, talking about sports. Duke was a huge Auburn football fan,
Gary Smith is President and CEO of PowerSouth Energy Cooperative 36 february 2013
always wearing his nephew’s Auburn football ring. We had many discussions about Auburn and Alabama football. I once gave him two tickets to an Auburn game next to my daughter’s seats. Ashley later complained that Duke brought two other people with him -- one of whom was passed out and laid across the seats for the entire game. Duke confirmed the next week that her report was accurate. Duke may or may not have shared my sense of humor. If he didn’t, at least he tolerated mine. We had frequently critiqued Duke’s constant companion Billy Joe Stallworth’s barbecue sauce recipe. Although Billy Joe assumes it was me on him about his sauce, Duke was usually the instigator behind the comments. Duke knew people. He knew those you could trust and those you couldn’t. His insight was accurate. He got along well with everyone and tolerated those that he may not have liked. He did as much as anyone I know to bring the black and white communities in Andalusia together. He introduced me to people in the community that I otherwise would have never known. For that, I will always be grateful. My lasting impression of Duke is of him sitting in my office with a leg thrown across the arm of the chair discussing what he wanted to do and what I could do to help. It was obvious he was comfortable there, and I was comfortable with him being there. A couple of years ago, I wrote about my father’s death, my daughters’ lives and the circle of life. We are young but grow
Durrell “Duke” Smith
older. The circle of life is about family, how babies grow up and take the place of their parents and ultimately their grandparents. But the greater circle of life is so much wider than just family. When we are young, we have childhood friends that we spend hour upon hour with exploring, playing, talking, scheming and dreaming. Sadly, at least in my case, most of our childhood friends take different paths and now there is little contact, even with the amazing electronic networks like Classmates and Facebook. Those childhood friends are replaced with college friends that likewise have taken different paths and contact is infrequent. Finally, as you age, you get comfortable with who you are and who your friends are. Your circle becomes complete. Many people may have thought our friendship strange, but I was comfortable with Duke. I know I will miss him. And, as Billy Joe said last week, we haven’t woke up yet and realized he is gone. How about you? Do you spend enough time with your family and friends? After all, when life is over, relationships are all that really matter. I regret it takes the death of a dear friend to remind me of what should be important. I know Doorell is watching us from heaven, laughing that slow deep laugh and saying War Damn Eagle. A
Our Sources Say
The Cooperative Way
t’s usually the extraordinary things we see and experience that amaze us; witnessing the birth of your child, for instance, or walking where Caesars did in the ruins of ancient Rome. But three decades in the electric-utility business, mostly in Alabama, has taught me that you can be amazed by things that seem to happen the same … way … every … time. I’m talking specifically about the response of Alabama’s electric cooperatives in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, which ravaged the Northeast U.S. in the last few days of October.
Phillip Burgess is Communications, Government Relations and Conferences Director for the Tennessee Valley Public Power Association Alabama Living
More than 140 men representing 16 Alabama cooperatives volunteered to travel hundreds of miles and do what they could amidst the carnage Sandy left behind – 30 people dead in eight states, not to mention 65 more deaths in the Caribbean. Sandy also displaced more than 1 million homeowners in the storm’s path and knocked out power to well in excess of 8 million homes and businesses on the nation’s East Coast. By way of comparison, imagine the entire TVA footprint going dark – it’s about the same number. So what happened? Line workers from electric cooperatives in Alabama and elsewhere packed up, saddled up and rode to where the trouble was – as usual. That’s the amazing part – not that it happened in this case, but that it happens all the time. It’s really the living, flesh-blood-andbone example of The Cooperative Way. Strictly speaking of course, that’s a business method – but when it comes to pitching in when a brother needs help, it’s in the lineman DNA. It’s not just what they do – it’s how they live. It’s who they are. “Some people may say they get into line work for the money, but you’re really out there to help people,” says Jeremy Henderson, a journeyman lineman at Joe Wheeler EMC. Jeremy and seven of his co-workers traveled from Trinity, Ala., and spent a week in Maryland helping get the lights back on. “Ninety percent of us have kids. Nothing breaks your heart like seeing families without power who are just out in their yard, with three or four little ones. “You know they’d help you if you need-
ed help. That’s America – the way it used to be,” Jeremy says. Joe Wheeler EMC lead lineman Kenneth Hanvy can’t begin to count the number of “go-help” trips he’s made in his 40 years, but he absolutely knows why he’s made them. “I get to do a lot of mission trips,” he says. “You leave your family for a while to go somewhere else and be a blessing to those people – and you receive far more than you give. “I want to go and do my best to get power back on, get heat to people who are cold and just meet their needs if possible,” Kenneth says. Men like Jeremy Henderson and Kenneth Hanvy give line workers a good name the old-fashioned way – they earn it through their example. I spent the holidays with my wife’s family in Gulfport, Miss. I thought about Jeremy, Kenneth and those other 140 or so cooperative linemen as we drove south through my home state, past Fort Payne and Gadsden, around Birmingham and through Tuscaloosa (Roll Tide!). As I thought about them, I was reminded of the words we at TVPPA used at our 2012 Annual Conference to honor our member managers/CEOs who’d spent the previous year not only running their own utilities but also serving, at some inconvenience, as committee chairmen and officers: We honor today Those who serve at home and then Drive thousands of extra miles and Spend too many nights away In service to us all because They raise their hands and say, “I will.” Thank goodness they do. A february 2013 35
36â€ƒ february 2013
february 2013 37
Me and my sweetheart
Submit Your Images! April Theme:
“In my garden”
Send color photos with a large self-addressed stamped envelope to:
Photos, Alabama Living, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL, 36124. Rules: Alabama Living will pay $10 for photos that best match our theme of the month. Photos may also be published on our website at www.alabamaliving.coop. Alabama Living is not responsible for lost or damaged photos. Deadline for april: February 28
38 february 2013
1. Peyton West and Heidi Jackson submit ted by Audrey Singleton, Chatom 2. Tami and Geo Williams submitted by George Williams Jr., Enterprise 3. Lawton and Bertha Mae Waldrep, married 66 years submitted by Teresa Mauldin, Crane Hill
4. Sammy and Regina Pettis on their wedding day submitted by Regina Pettis, Castleberry 5. Byron and Lorene Hand, sweethearts for 63 years submitted by Neal Hand, Daviston 6. “The Lovebyrds,” LeCurtis Byrd and Kimberley McClure submitted by Kimberley McClure Byrd, Troy
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