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Tuscaloosa, is closing and has the following for sale: 2 sets of consultation tables with chairs, 2 cash and wrap stations, and 9-ft custom wall shelving units that are adjustable with lighting at the top. Contact Barbara Dyer at 205-349-0072.

Join the Chamber on Jan. 16 at the Bryant Conference Center as we celebrate all we accomplished in 2013 and the volunteers that made it possible! Reception will begin at 5:30p.m. with dinner at 6p.m. Tickets are $50 each or $400 for a reserved table of 8. Please RSVP no later than Jan. 10 by calling 391.0559 or emailing Custom Display Cabinetry for Sale Merle Norman, in Downtown



City of Tuscaloosa to Hold Town HallStyle District Meetings The meetings, designed to give residents an opportunity to discuss plans and concerns with the mayor, will be held on the following dates and locations: * District 1: Thursday, Jan. 9 at Oakdale Elementary School * District 2: Thursday, Feb. 6 at Central Elementary School * District 3: Thursday, Feb. 27 at Verner Elementary School * District 4: Thursday, March 13 at Calvary Baptist Church Annex * District 5: Thursday, April 3 at Arcadia Elementary School * District 6: Thursday, April 17 at Woodland Forest Elementary School * District 7: Thursday, May 1 at Skyland Elementary School Each meeting will begin with a meet

and greet opportunity from 5:30 to 6 p.m. for citizens to address city and district matters. At 6 p.m., Mayor Maddox will give an overview of the latest happenings throughout the city, focusing on each specific district. A Q&A session will then be held from 6:20 to 7 p.m For more info, call 205.248.5311. Stillman to Host Alabama HBCU Summit Stillman College will host the Alabama HBCU (Historically Black College and University) Summit, Jan. 31-Feb. 2. This inaugural event will bring student leaders from HBCUs throughout the state to Stillman's campus. Rep. Christopher England and Rep. Pebblin Warren will serve as opening session speakers, and comedian Sheryl Underwood of The Talk on CBS will host the Ultimate Battle of the DJs and a Step/Stroll Off during the Greek Row Carnival. Participants will network, share best practices about campus governance, and participate in a service project to benefit Temporary Emergency Services. Highlights also include an Awards Gala. For conference registration and sponsor-

ship info, contact Nancy Boyd at nboyd@ Character Council's Trait for January: Punctuality Punctuality is showing esteem for others by doing the right thing at the right time. Five keys to building punctuality are to begin early, keep track of time, prioritize your day, respect others' time, and finish on time. A strong start sets the stage for a strong finish. Schedules are only as good as those who make and keep them. Your punctuality affects everyone around you. It expresses honor for others, and its absence expresses disrespect and carelessness. Value your time. Once it is spent, you can never replace it. The past is gone. The future is not guaranteed. The only time you have is now. Visit to learn more. I never could have done what I have done without the habits of punctuality, order, and diligence, without the determination to concentrate myself on one subject at a time. ~ Charles Dickens ~

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21 HIGH TIDE // GARY HARRIS What's ahead in 2014


// ALYX CHANDLER Woman2Woman has positive impact

12 restauranT REVIEW


Five Bar is awesome




2 05. 79 2 . 7 2 3 9 Planet Weekly P. O . B o x 2 3 1 5 T u s c a l o o s a , AL 3 5 4 0 3 Phone: 205.792.7239 | 205.765.8007 Email: publisher@theplanetweek

13 MAPPING THE "FOOD DESERTS" // L. TAYLOR MANNING Food insecurity in Tuscaloosa


One-time hotspot now a shell

22 AMAZON WARRIORS // NICK VANOCUR Fighting the drones

25 SIMONE SAYS // ADVICE Troubled teen needs help 27 CRAFT BEER MOMENTUM // Trey Brooks

Adds to city life in T-Town


Please direct correspondence to: The Planet Weekly is a proud member of The West Alabama Chamber of Commerce.


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Events Calendar

Planet Weekly is published every other Thursday. No part of this publication including editorials may be reproduced, in whole or part, by any means, including electronic retrieval systems, without the Publisher’s prior expressed written consent. One copy of each issue of THE PLANET WEEKLY is free to each of our readers. Any reader who takes more than two copies without expressed permission of the publisher shall be deemed to have committed theft. The views and opinions of the authors of articles appearing in this publication may not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Publisher.



Road Trip


Tuscaloosa music



26 Not like it used to be

23 Horoscopes // Sudoku 24 CROSSWORD PUZZLe







There is very little hope in staring at a jail cell wall for months on end. Tiffany Richardson, a teacher and Board member of Woman2Woman Empowerment, compares jail experience to hitting a brick wall. People are stuck, staring at the same blank walls, but that act does not bring change. She says it does not give them the hope they need to change their lives. “The girls keep going back and going back, and I’ve been there and I know,” Deb Abrams, previous participant and now a Board Member of Woman2Woman Empowerment, said. Woman2Woman Empowerment is a non-profit program dedicated to the administering weekly real world readiness tactics and an available bible study group for women incarcerated in the Tuscaloosa county jail. “Everyone deserves a second chance,” Roxanne Harris, the founder and Executive Director of Woman2Woman Empowerment, said. “Some people didn’t have that example of a model in society so we try to give them one.” Harris first began ministering a Bible study for women where it was founded in Cumberland, Maryland, in 1998, when a friend suggested a solution to the need she saw for a bible study in the county jail. She soon found herself opening it up to the community with more components. When Harris’ husband retired in March 2012, they decided to move to Tuscaloosa to continue the jail ministry. Harris’ husband previously worked for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, but he was more comfortable with the idea of county jails better, she said. “I was kind of terrified about going into jail at first,” Harris said. Woman2Woman is made up of 20 women, some court mandated and



some voluntary participants. Jail ministry is something Harris considers more important than her uneasiness of jail itself. Abrams says the program is living proof that guided her to change her life, her relationship with God and her drug habits. She took part in the class while incarcerated from November 2012 to June 2013. In addition, Harris gave her food, clothing and hygiene products. She did this for all the other women, and after some of them graduated and left jail, they have shown interest in volunteering for the program to help other women in jail. “We want to be personal about the individual,” Harris said. That is where the name Woman2Woman comes in, which Harris says is why they did not choose to call it Women2Women. The goal of the program is to impact the way each individual woman sees herself and how she can give back to society. ”We want them to think that even though they went to jail, that’s not their final state, and they can be more than what a paper says about them,” Harris said. Woman2Woman includes two phases. The first is an in-jail Bible study offered in the Tuscaloosa County jail on Monday from 9-10 a.m. These women voluntarily join Harris in learning a Christian life perspective by studying the women in the Bible they learn life skills and how to apply these lessons to their personal life. “They taught me never to give up,” Abrams said. “The first forty-five days after release is the hardest.” The second phase is the Alternative To Incarceration, which is a 14-week program. Some of the women are court mandated to attend. While the Bible study guides women spiritually, this

phase is intended to aid women in the aftercare when they are released from jail. The ultimate goal is to ensure their eventual success and to decrease the amount of women that end up back in jail. “We try to give them some direction and information that they might not have received through incarnation,” Harris said. Different partners with Woman2Woman collaborate to teach the participants different life skills during sessions. A Wells Fargo employee came and discussed financial literacy and how to clean up a credit account and score. Other parts of the program include self esteem and anger management. A woman who published a book about anger came in to teach one of the sessions. Woman2Woman also focuses some of the sessions on enabling job success. They discuss on employment interviews and how to properly address jail time to potential employers. A small business owner even came to show the pros and cons of opening a self owned business. “If you come in with an open mind it will help you do things different from the past,” Harris said. Participants pay a $50 fee for the full 14 weeks and receive progress reports along the way. At the end of the program, a graduation is celebrated. Harris said Woman2Woman aims to make the participants productive citizens ready to take on the world. “I would have probably volunteered to go on my own, anyways,” Megan Hicks, a recent court mandated participant this December in the Alternative to Incarceration Program, said. Woman2woman Empowerment encourages both monetary and hygiene product donations. An individual hygiene pack is made for the graduated women that include enough products that last them for a whole month after they get out of jail. Woman2Woman shows women how to survive after jail and not make the same mistakes again. This spring an empowerment program for men in incarceration will be offered. Harris says several men requested to know why Tuscaloosa did not have a program for them, so their interest sparked her husband in helping create a similar program.


“The program and the Board has been my backbone through the whole thing,” Abrams said. Some of the people that went through the program is now on board or involved in volunteering for Woman2Woman. Harris says the people who have been in jail have the best understanding of the women participating and can give personal testimonies and advice. Abrams admits finding a job after jail time was one of the most difficult lessons. She says that after applying what she learned in Woman2Woman, she now has a job she loves dearly and anxiously awaits being able to volunteer for the program when the court allows, which is a year from the end of her court sentence. Meanwhile, Harris appointed Abrams on the Board of the program. “I want to try to help as many women as I can that have been in my situation,” Abrams said. Richardson says the program is all about setting seeds, seeds to help women help themselves. That is why Richardson embraces Woman2Woman and the opportunity to aid these women, many of them mothers looking for help, with tools and essentials to help cope with their problems. “We hope to get more students from the court because there are many more people that will benefit from the program,” Harris said. Harris plans for the Woman2Woman Empowerment classes to continue to grow and for the alternative to incarceration to be offered in more jails in the surrounding Tuscaloosa area. She is beyond pleased with the effect it has had on the recent women of the program “I’m not proud of the things I did before, but I’m proud of where I’m at now,” Abrams said.

Roxanne Harris



When one walks in to the renovated barbershop on the 2200 block of University Boulevard, the senses are immediately set ablaze with the aroma of freshly finished hardwood and the birth of something beautiful: craft beer. In the midst of a growing brew culture in the state of Alabama, Black Warrior Brewing Company has set up shop in a relatively untapped Tuscaloosa beer market, opening its doors on Nov. 8. While a key goal of the five co-owners is to promote the art of brew making, the brewery was ultimately born out of friendship and a love of the craft according to Joe Fuller, co-owner and operations manager. “My partner Jason Spikes and I had been home brewing for several years and it seemed like every time we would do it, which was just about every weekend, we would talk about ‘man how cool would it be to have a brewery’ and always wanted to do it,” he said. “Then we took a mountain bike trip to Chattanooga and that was when we kind of decided to

go pro.” As their brew making confidence grew, so did their aspirations for growth. According to Fuller, they chose their first batch wisely, which ultimately paid off. “We started very small, “ he said. “We had a one and a half, two barrel, system. Then we quickly realized that wouldn’t pay the bills. The first batch we brewed was Apricot Wheat. We did that because it would have been the cheapest mistake had something gone wrong. We brewed it at the ten-gallon level, taking our recipes and putting them in the program we had and then we upgraded the recipe from 10 gallons to 310. We did not know what would happen with that so it was a roll of the dice.” Fuller then said that the specific beer had its qualities that made it attractive, but also fit into the brew master’s beliefs on the craft. “A wheat beer is a very forgiving beer and it isn’t expensive to make,” he said. “Our mantra is ‘we will never sell bad beer’, and we would rather pour bad beer

paint color. There have been a whole lot more highs than there have been lows in the process of getting open and running. Smashing the old glass in the storefront during remodeling was pretty memorable too.” Given the past beer climate in Tuscaloosa, the area has come a long way and Black Warrior Brewing has reaped the benefits of the recent legislation said Fuller. He then pointed to their establishment that can brew and sell beer on site, as a reflection of the changing times. “With some of the Alabama laws that are coming around things have changed in the past couple of years regarding what we could do, this taproom is a good example. The rules they use to have at Brown’s Corner with the brew pub were like: you had to serve food, had to have space for 80 people in a historic district that served beer during prohibition, I mean your arms were tied but they relaxed that a bit. We saw the opportunity in Tuscaloosa, because there were only a few breweries around the state like in Birmingham and Huntsville. Tuscaloosa was an untapped market.” The word is spreading quickly about Tuscaloosa’s newest brewery and to accommodate and entertain a wide number of guests, another upstairs area is in the make that will provide more than your usual bar games. “We are currently working on a multipurpose room, Fuller said. “We can put benches and tables in there like for someone who wanted to rent the space for a board meeting or dinner party. If nothing is going on, we can pull those benches and tables out and have shuffleboard, foosball, darts and corn hole. You can play darts just about anywhere but no one has indoor shuffleboard and corn hole. It will be fun and something different to do. We have the space and want to put it to good use.” In the future, Fuller hopes to expand their distribution to reach craft beer enthusiasts around the area. “Currently, we are just in Tuscaloosa but we have plans in our business model to distribute anywhere in Alabama that will have us, but first we want to get our recipes down here for our customers in Tuscaloosa then maybe branch out,” he said.

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down the drain than serve it to the public. Fortunately, that did not happen” The personalities and backgrounds of the owners also play a crucial role in maintaining such an establishment according to Fuller, who is retired from the Air Force and also works full time at BF Goodrich. In the beginning stages, they also found a little help from their friends. “We all still work full time,” he said. “I am from upstate New York and retired military. Wayne, our fifth party is a dentist in Montgomery. Jason, Eric and myself all work at BF Goodrich where they are engineers and I am in quality control. It’s really been a strength for us— not just that we still like each other, it is just the backgrounds of each other. I have a vast mechanical background; Mike and Wayne have the business part of it. We take those skills and put them together and it is probably something a lot of businesses don’t have when getting started. We started it partly because we all lived here. But when Jason and I hit the green light, it was around the same time, Bo and Elliot over at Druid City Brewing were opening up and we brewed with them all of the time and are good friends with them.” The ties shared by the two brewing camps are strong according to Fuller, who alluded to the burgeoning beer industry in Tuscaloosa as a being a collaborative effort. “We rely on each other quite a bit and very recently we brewed a batch of brown ale and realized we did not have our grain grinder,” he said. “We had to call them late at night, then Elliot got out of bed and went to their brewery and they let us borrow it then came and hung out with us. It’s been about like that with just about every brewery we have been to—with an open arms, welcome to the business attitude.” Directly past the long wooden bar in the back of the brewery, sit massive stainless steel vats, complete with pressure gauges and dials, that churn and deposit a foamy excess into five gallon buckets. This is where the magic happens, according to Fuller. “We want people to come in the place and experience the craft beer process,” he said. ”When we were researching taprooms and breweries we realized you had to be in the brewery— To see and experience everything. Jason was a big part of the design.” When the owners purchased the building space, it was in need of repurposing, which presented both trials and triumphs in the opening stages. According to Fuller, some controlled destruction also made for fond memories. “There are always challenges with renovating a building, like hidden costs and codes you aren’t aware of,” he said. “With five of us as partners, it was more little things to work through like deciding

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>>> I N T O W N | RYA N P H I L L I P S


Miss Emily’s Tomatoes

In terms of sales, Bailey pointed to her personal favorite to prepare as a staple of production for Homemade Inc. According to Bailey, the goods are unlike produce sold at farmers markets, the majority of which must be grown before they can be sold—Bailey’s just require baking. “The Caramel cake and perfect cookies are the big sellers,” she said. “We also do food products like chicken pot pies, Lasagna, Brunswick stew and Chicken Vegetable soup.” “My favorite thing to make is all of it,” Bailey said with a contagious laugh. “My caramel cake has gone over so well though that I just love to make them.“ Across the way, underneath the pseudo-warmth of the tin market building, one vendor displayed a variety of colorful cheeses in woven baskets and also provided samples, naturally refrigerated by the winter air, for customers to enjoy. As he fastidiously swaddled different cheeses in plastic wrap, Aric Adams went through the selection offered by A.A Farm Creamery in Millbrook, Ala. He also delved into the challenges associated with selling goat cheese during the coldest time of year. “We have most of our winter variety because the goats do not milk right now so we have a lot of our hard cheeses and aged cheeses from earlier in the season,” he said. “We’ve got cheddar, cow’s milk cheddar, goat’s milk cheddar, and habanero goat’s milk cheddar, smoked mozzarella, fresh mozzarella. Some of the cheeses we have year round like the mozzarella. Typically the hard goats cheeses are what we store up for the dry time during winter and during the spring when we can milk again, we have soft fresh goat cheeses.” Their particular style of cheese making, said Bobbie Bailey, Homemade, Inc. Adams, sets A.A Farm

The Saturday morning frost of early January glazed the banks of the Black Warrior River in a white shroud as the doors were opened to the Tuscaloosa River Market for a weekend sale. Despite the chill of the new year, several vendors prepared their stands while customers in multiple layers of clothes browsed the available produce and goods. Bobbie Bailey, who sported a rather warm looking leopard print fur hat and a welcoming smile, went into detail about the enticing baked goods spread out on her table. Bailey, who co-owns Homemade Inc. with her husband in Greene County, said that she has one treat for sale that customers have a hard time resisting. “We do old fashioned bakery goods like homemade fried pies, apple and peach, sweet potato and cherry”, she said. “We also do red velvet cakes, caramel cakes, old fashioned tea cakes, and a thing called The Perfect Cookie—Because everyone seems to like The Perfect Cookie.” What makes this cookie so perfect you might ask? Given the bold name of such an aptly named dessert, the ingredients are relatively basic according to Bailey. To achieve the flavorful crunch of this treat, the recipe calls for a delectable mixture of Pecans, Butter, Brown Sugar, Coconut and Cranberries.



the luscious red and green tomatoes that they sell at the River Market and at home. “I think it is more exciting because of the tomatoes in the store—you might as well be eating cardboard,” she said. “Just knowing there is a tomato out there you can get in the winter that taste like, and is, a true garden grown tomato. Their reputation speaks for themselves.” To better understand what makes their tomatoes so special, Wallace explained the difference in green and red varieties that may come as a surprise to some. “Basically, we pride ourselves on red, vine ripened tomatoes,” she said. “The green, however, occur when we lean the plants and they fall off and can not be vine ripened so we sell them to people to make fried green tomatoes. We will sell the green if they fall off the vine and red if they stay on.” Anna Gilbert, who also represented Miss Emily’s Tomatoes at the River Market, was pleased to highlight the other products made possible by local farmers. “We have Challah bread, Raisin bread and white bread—basically we just baked through the week,” she said. ”We also make blueberry muffins, granola, we have sunflower seeds that we grew, dried and salted, fudge, cheesecake, eggs from [Wallace’s] chickens, so we bake with the eggs and bring them to market but they are a little cold today. It slows down in the winter but we have regulars and people on the jogging trail who will discover it, but then again they kind of slow down in the A.A Farm Creamery winter too. operation that goes far beyond what the Wallace and Gilbert both encouraged name may suggest. locals to visit their farm in Bel Aire Estates “We have over 1000 tomato plants in in Coker to get the full experience of what the green house and people can actually Emily’s Tomatoes has to offer. come out to the farm to get them”, said “Anyone can come out to the farm”, WalKaren Wallace, who co-owns the farm. lace said. “We will have asparagus in the “People still come to the market, but we spring and blackberries in the summer. You have tables and an honor system set up can also find us on Facebook. We are workand there is a following for the tomatoes— ing on a website right now too and don’t people stop every day. My husband also have it running, but we are getting there.” @jrphillips82689 keeps bees and we don’t have honey at the present time because we are trying to increase our colony, but with the beeswax from our bees I make a moisturizing skin lotion and lip balm.” According to Wallace, their bee bi-products are hot ticket items and have given them incentive to pursue the craft further. “It is getting to be pretty popular and people keep coming back for it,” she said. “It is a lot of work because you have to melt and strain the beeswax to get all of the impurities out. Then of course mixing it and scenting it, only with pure essential oils—everything that goes in is all natural. Although the people at Miss Emily’s Tomatoes strive for excellence in other areas of produce, the focus has always been on Creamery apart from local competitors. “The goats are getting ready to have babies in the spring and we just do not have that milk to work with right now,” he said. “ We do more European style cheeses which is not typical for our area. We do a little bit more of the aged cheeses and such. We sell lots of mozzarella, cheddar and the smelly aged goat cheeses. We are an all-natural micro dairy. All of our products come from our animals. This is our third legal year and my second year at the river market. According to Adams, winter can be a difficult time in their industry, but precautions are in place to keep their heads above water. “Summer is usually the busiest no matter where the market,” he said. “Then around the winter holidays we do really well because people want to get gifts from us so right around Christmas is great but the rest of the winter—you just kind of scrape to get by.” On the other side of the market from the Millbrook cheese makers, one stand offered a variety of fresh produce and items not typical to your normal farmers market. Miss Emily’s Tomatoes, which was represented by two pleasant ladies who were bundled to the hilt, is a Coker-based


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2 ou t of 4

Ethnocentrism is judging another culture solely by the values and standards of one's own culture, and then attempting to enhance it. The latest version of the legendary Genroku Akō incident, the tragic 18th century Japanese account of samurai warriors avenging their fallen leader, displays all the vestiges of ethnocentrism. Mind you, the Japanese produced six previous cinematic adaptations about their historic milestone before Hollywood tampered with it. For the record, those movies were “The 47 Ronin” (1941), “Chûshingura” (1958), “Chushingura” (1962), “The Fall of Ako Castle” (1978), “47 Ronin” (1994) and “The Last Chushingura (2010). Presumably, Hollywood must have felt that this constituted an ideal opportunity to produce its own spin on this venerable story. Not surprisingly, Universal Studios has taken considerable liberties with the material. Not only has the studio embroidered this renowned tale of honor with outlandish supernatural elements, specifically demons and witchcraft, but it also has added a half-breed European supporting character to the yarn. Presumably, Universal must have felt that attracting an American audience to a $200-million plus film primarily about the Japanese would only recoup its costs if a major American actor got mixed up in it. Keanu Reeves of “The Matrix” trilogy appears as the improbable white guy who sets the catastrophic events of the Akō vendetta into motion as well as dictates how the Japanese can resolve their dreadful predicament. Freshman director Carl Rinsch and “Wanted” scenarist Chris Morgan with “Snow White and the Huntsman” scribe Hossein Amini have fashioned a conventional chronicle of samurai versus samurai, with a grim finale that precludes any thought of a sequel. If you know nothing about the outrageous revisions that the filmmakers have imposed on the most celebrated instance of the samurai code of honor, you will probably enjoy this scenic saga about sword and sorcery a lot more. Imagine what any

important event in American history would emerge as if a Japanese individual interfered with it and you’ll have a good idea about “47 Ronin.” “47 Ronin” takes place in feudal Japan in the 1700s. Lord Asano (Min Tanaka of “Black Dawn”) of the Ako province adopts a wandering teenager, Kai (Keanu Reeves), who is the son of a British sailor and a Japanese peasant. The boy’s mother abandoned him, and demons raised him. Eventually Kai ran away from them and Lord Asano took him in as one of his own. Kai grew up with Asano’s daughter, Mika (Kô Shibasaki of “One Missed Call”), and the two become romantically attracted to each other. Meanwhile, since Kai is a half-breed, he cannot serve Lord Asano as a samurai. Instead, he functions as the equivalent of a scout. The first major scene shows him slaying a massive beast that resembles an enormous buffalo with tree branches for antlers. Naturally, another samurai warrior, Yasuno (Masayoshi Haneda of “Emperor”), claims credit for the kill, but Asano’s number one samurai, Ôishi (Hiroyuki Sanada of “The Wolverine”), knows the truth. Later, Lord Asano welcomes his supreme leader, Shogun Tsunayoshi (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa of “Mortal Combat”), to his palatial estate along with his chief rival, Lord Kira (Tadanobu Asano of “Thor: The Dark World”), from the nearby Nagato province. The villainous Kira conspires with the aid of a demonic, shapeshifting witch, (Rinko Kikuchi of “Pacific Rim”), to drug Asano into attacking him. The witch uses a bulbous spider to deliver a drug across Asano’s lips while he is asleep so that he awakens and imagines that Kira is raping his daughter. Appalled by his own behavior, Asano follows the dictates of the Shogun in committing ritual suicide. Ôishi blames himself for letting these events transpire, especially after Kai warned him about the witch. Everybody but Asano and his daughter treats Kai with utter contempt. After Asano slashes his belly open with a knife, Ôishi

completes the ordeal by decapitating his master. The heartless Shogun banishes all Asano’s samurai who are now designated as ronin. At the same time, Kira sells Kai into slavery where Kai becomes a highly prized combatant in arena showdowns. The Shogun commands Mika to marry Kira after mourning the death of her father for a year. Kira has Ôishi thrown into a dungeon where he spends the next year. Eventually, after he is released, the vengeance driven Ôishi assembles the remaining samurai and persuades Kai to join them as they set out to deal with the murderous Kira. Compared with other samurai sages, “47 Ronin” is fairly routine stuff. The battle sequences lack grandeur, and the sword play is pretty dull. The massive ritual suicide at the end isn’t exactly what American audiences will enjoy. Imagine “Star Wars” ending with everybody eviscerating themselves at fade-out and you have a good idea what to expect. This big-budgeted spectacle also suffers from second-rate special effects. Most of the sprawling mountain backdrops are clearly computer-generated, while the swirling witch’s dragon looks like something out of a Chinatown carnival. Presumably, Rinsch and his writers decided to rely on sorcery because nobody knows for

certain why Asano attacked his guest in real-life. The way that Asano is poisoned is reminiscent of how the Japanese girl died at the hands of Ninjas in the James Bond movie “You Only Live Twice.” In “You Only Live Twice,” a ninja hid in the rafters, dangled a thread above the heroine’s mouth, and dribbled poison down it. The witch in “47 Ronin” behaves Cloud Atlas than the witch in “Snow less spectacularly White and the Huntsman” that co-scripter Hossein Amini penned. The art direction, production design, and cinematography make “47 Ronin” look more impressive than its ersatz plot. Interestingly enough, this film didn’t impress Japanese audiences, and Universal has already written it off as a financial disaster. Ultimately, “47 Ronin” qualifies as a tolerable movie with guts but little gusto.




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O.J. Howard

Amari Cooper Norwood graduate, it’s the LSU Tigers. For the second year in a row, Norwood managed to torch them in a critical game. He totaled five receptions for 62 yards against the Tigers secondary. Of the five receptions, three of them came on the critical final drive for Alabama.

M any bonds form in the world of sports. From pitchers and catchers (baseball) to coaches and players, in every aspect of the game you see people form special relationships. In college football, there are numerous relationships, but one of the more dominant ones happens to be between a quarterback and his receiver. This relationship is important because when a quarterback has that one receiver who is reliable, dependable and capable of making plays, it makes his job that much easier to get him the football. For the Alabama Crimson Tide, it’s had a lot of talented receivers in its history. From Keith Brown, DJ Hall and Tyrone Prothro to Marquis Maze and Julio Jones, Alabama quarterbacks have never had a problem with finding their go to receiver. In the three seasons that AJ McCarron was the starting quarterback; his main target was Kevin Norwood. Though Norwood caught three passes for 56 yards (18.7 yards per catch) and a touchdown in 2010 as a redshirt freshman, his breakout season came in 2011. As a sophomore, Norwood became a regular in the wide receiver rotation for Alabama. He finished the 2011 season with 11 receptions for 190 yards. Despite having little production



in the regular season, Norwood’s star shined brightest on the biggest stage in college football. He made himself known to the world as a dependable target in the 2012 BCS National Championship Game against LSU. In the matchup with the Tigers secondary, Norwood aggravated them. He hauled four receptions for 78 yards. All four receptions were huge third down conversions. Norwood’s performance helped the Tide achieve its 14th national title. In his junior season, Norwood’s role on the team increased. He was looked at as a go to target more. With this being said, Norwood had a monster season. He finished his 2012 campaign posting 29 receptions for 461 yards (15.9 yards per catch) and four touchdowns. To prove that Norwood’s dependability on third down is accurate, 24 of his 29 receptions (82.8 percent) were third down conversions to move the chains and keep drives alive for the Tide. Norwood put together some amazing receiving performances in 2012, including against Western Kentucky (three receptions for 92 yards and two touchdowns), Auburn (five receptions for 65 yards and two touchdowns) and Notre Dame (three receptions for 66 yards). If there is one team that is thrilled to see

Christion Jones Norwood was targeted three or four times on the drive. Three out of four times, he came through for the Tide with a catch. It was Norwood that helped set up the game-winning 28-yard screen pass from McCarron to Yeldon to secure Alabama’s national title hopes. While Amari Cooper and Kenny Bell struggled early in the season this year, Norwood remained consistent. Currently, he has 36 receptions for 538 yards (14.9 yards per catch) and seven touchdowns. Despite having just one 100-yard receiving performance (Ten-

nessee: 6 receptions for 112 yards and a touchdown), Norwood had seven games in which he caught at least one touchdown (Texas A&M, Kentucky, Tennessee, LSU, Mississippi State, Chattanooga and Auburn). Norwood helped McCarron and the Chris Black

Tide achieve back-to-back national titles and a Southeastern Conference title. For his career, Norwood amassed 79 receptions for 1,245 yards and 12 touchdowns. The thing that will impress NFL scouts about Norwood is his ability to create separation and move the chains on third down. For his size at 6-foot-2, 195 pounds, Norwood is a physical receiver who can make the catch in traffic and can also beat you deep downfield.

DeAndrew White

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T.J. Yeldon

>>> S P O R T S | ST E P H E N SMIT H Kenyan Drake

With Norwood graduating and potentially trying the NFL, Alabama will have to depend on a new receiver to step up and fill his shoes. The Crimson Tide will have a seven man quarterback battle going into summer camp and spring ball. Though the Tide has a ton of talent at the receiver position, whoever wins the quarterback battle is going to need a receiver that he can depend on each game to come up with clutch receptions. Last season, Cooper was the explosive, big play receiver. He came out of nowhere as a freshman in 2012. While everyone was high on Chris Black, Cooper became the guy that wowed everyone. He finished his freshman campaign with 59 receptions for 1,000 yards (16.9 yards per catch) and a touchdown. Cooper’s numbers dropped a bit this season because of a toe injury, but he came on strong in the latter part of the season. He totaled 36 receptions for 615 yards (17.1 yards per catch) and four touchdowns. At 6-foot-1, 202 pounds, Cooper is a deep ball threat. He has tremendous speed and can run great routes. With him returning healthy next season, Alabama’s offense can still be successful. If you didn’t know Christion Jones as a versatile weapon last season, you received a full dose of it this season. Jones can be used anywhere in the Tide’s offense from running back and wide receiver to return specialist. Last season, Jones totaled 27 receptions for 368 yards (13.6 yards per catch) and four touchdowns. On special teams, Jones amassed 29 returns for 426 yards and a touchdown. This season, Jones had 36 receptions for 349 yards (9.7 yards per carry) and two touchdowns as a receiver. On special teams, Jones had 39 returns for 830 yards and three touchdowns. The special thing about Jones is his speed

and ability to get to the perimeter. He may be asked to play more in the slot next season. Like Cooper, DeAndrew White is a deep ball receiver. Last season could have been his breakout season, but a torn ACL against Mississippi prevented that from happening. Before the injury, White had eight receptions for 105 yards (13.1 yards per catch) and two touchdowns. He returned this season healthy and caught 29 passes for 395 yards (13.6 yards per catch) and three touchdowns. White is a very smooth route runner and though he’s not a speed demon, he is deceptively fast. OJ Howard and Chris Black showed the Crimson Tide coaching staff that they were nothing to sneeze at this season. In replacing Michael Williams, Howard had 14 receptions for 269 yards (19.2 yards per catch) and two touchdowns. Despite his height at 6-foot-6, 247 pounds, Howard can run and he demonstrated his speed against LSU this season. Black totaled eight receptions for 79 yards and two touchdowns. Like Jones, Black is versatile. He can play slot receiver or you can flank him beside the quarterback and let him run the ball. Then you have the running backs TJ Yeldon, Kenyan Drake and Jalston Fowler. All three of these guys have great hands and can catch the ball out of the backfield. They also have tremendous speed and can burn a defense on screen plays. Last season, Yeldon had 11 receptions for 131 yards (11.9 yards per catch) and a touchdown. This season, he amassed 18 receptions for 160 yards. Drake had 12 receptions for 135 yards (11.3 yards per carry) and a touchdown this season. Fowler was money in the redzone this season. All five of his touchdowns came inside the redzone. Along with these guys, the Tide also has Raheem Falkins, Cameron Sims, Robert Foster and more. With a lot of talent on this team to go around, the question will be who will step up and help the future Alabama quarterback?

Raheem Falkins

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>>> wine REVIEW | R y a n p h i l l i p s




W here to E at in T uscaloosa

15th Street Diner 1036 15th St // 750.8750 Open for most lunch and dinners, with limited hours on weekends. City Cafe 408 Main Ave | Downtown Northport // 758.9171 Established in 1936. Big on food, low on price. Open for breakfast and lunch. Historic downtown Northport. Closed weekends. CountryPride Restaurant 3501 Buttermilk Rd // 554.0215 Breakfast 24 hours. Lunch and Dinner buffet. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 4800 Doris Pate Dr | Exit 76 // 562.8282 International House of Pancakes 724 Skyland Blvd // 366.1130 Jack's 1200 Hackberry Lane | Tuscaloosa // 345.1199 Maggie's Diner 1307 Ty Rogers Jr. Ave | Tuscaloosa // 366.0302 Mr. Bill's Family Restaurant 2715 McFarland Blvd | Tuscaloosa // 333.9312 Northport Diner 450 McFarland Blvd | Northport // 333.7190 Panera Bread 1800 McFarland Blvd *402 | Tuscaloosa // 366.8780

Are you tired of spending handfuls of cash on expensive wine, only to be disappointed by over-experimentation masked behind a lofty price? Maybe you just do not want to have to load up the car and travel to a remote vineyard for a single bottle of your run-of-the-mill vino. Either way, Liberty Creek may prove an affordable treat for wine drinkers of any taste and budget. Located in Modesto, CA., Liberty Creek Vineyards focuses on crafting tasteful wine with an emphasis on convenience and price. In a wine country full of pricey competitors, their affordability is a kind of saving grace. “We believe everyone should have access to great-tasting wine. Each bottle honors this belief and our proud heritage rooted in the rich soils of California,” The Liberty Creek website reads. “We believe everyone should have access to greattasting wine. Each bottle honors this belief and our proud heritage rooted in the rich soils of California.” Wine snobs might scoff at the notion of a wine selection that can be purchased adjacent from the deli in your local supermarket, but let’s be realistic; the $160,000 bottle of Chateau Lafite is not for everybody—that is unless you are pals with Thomas Jefferson. For those lovers of a hearty, smokey red that look for a blue-collar price, Liberty Creek can more than accommodate. “People love our Cabernet Sauvignon for the simple reason that there is so much to love,” the Liberty Creek website reads. “The color all by itself is impressive--deep, rich, red-purple hues. You can expect subtle, delicious cherry flavors and notes of red fruit, with a hint of plum and spice, when you taste this wine. You’ll appreciate the length and mellowness of its finish, as well.” The Cabernet Sauvignon is a dark reddish purple treat that is as tasteful as it is practical. A hint of smoke and a dash of fruit form a pungent nose that transitions into a clean, crisp burst of traditional Cabernet varietals. These varietals morph into a surprisingly light finish that can compliment nearly any poultry or beef dish. A personal suggestion for pairing the Cabernet can be found in sautéed mushrooms and teriyaki chicken. Poultry or



vegetables with a slight char and covered in spicy sauce will work to bring out the refreshing fruit taste found in the Cabernet. “Cabernet is often paired with thick, juicy cuts of steak—rib eye, porterhouse and New York strip,” the Liberty Creek website suggests. “The full body and bold flavors of Liberty Creek Cabernet Sauvignon are a good match for the richness of red meat. For the more adventurous, try our Cabernet with smoked pork chops or a savory leg of lamb.” Another luscious red that is offered at the same price range as the Cabernet, is the Liberty Creek Merlot. With a lighter weight and subtle fruit blend found in the flavor, this Merlot is a sweeter alternative to the somewhat bitter Cabernet. “Merlot is one of America's fastest growing red wines,” the Liberty Creek website states. “Not as full-bodied as Cabernet, not quite as fruity as Chianti, our Merlot delivers rich flavors of ripe raspberry and cherry, with a smooth finish that is especially pleasing.” The light body of this Merlot makes it the perfect wine to pair with heavier foods. Along with the weight, the subtle sweet under-taste is ideal for washing down salty and saucy treats. “Our Merlot's bold flavors and smooth style make it a great match for meat, pasta, or a hearty vegetarian dish,” the Liberty Creek website reads. “This wine is a great alternative to Burgundy! With its characteristic softness, Liberty Creek Merlot can be admirably used to contrast dishes with big, bold flavors like pasta arrabiata, or to complement more subtly flavored recipes like eggplant Parmesan.” If you are anything like this humble reviewer, you do not mind paying a higher price for quality, but sometimes it does not hurt to sample the cheaper fare. Taking a chance on a brand such a Liberty Creek is not something you will regret. Given the money you pay for Liberty Creek, you get a sizeable bottle, nearly twice the size of competitors standard bottles, for often between $8-$10. For those larger social gatherings full of thirsty guests eager to unwind, quantity truly can trump quality. This wine selection truly is a diamond in the rough.

Quick Grill 1208 University Blvd | The Strip | Tuscaloosa // 342.0022 Rama Jama’s 1000 Bryant Dr // 750.0901 Closest restaurant to Bryant-Denny Stadium. The Brown Bag 9425 Jones Road | Northport // 333.0970 Its speciality, fried green tomatoes, joins barbecue plates and fish filets on an extended list of meats and vegetables. Tues 10:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. | Wed-Sat 10:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. The Waysider 1512 Greensboro Ave // 345.8239 Open for breakfast and lunch. Smoke free.

MEXICAN Chipotle Mexican Grill 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 391.0140 Don Rafa's 2313 4th Street | Temerson Square // 345.9191 El Rincon (2 locations) 1225 University Blvd | Tuscaloosa, AL // 366.0855 1726 McFarland Blvd | Northport // 330.1274 Fernando's Mexican Grill 824 McFarland Blvd E | Northport // 205.331.4587 Iguana Grill 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 752.5895 Jalapeno’s Mexican Grill 2001 New Watermelon Rd | Northport // 342.3378 LaGran Fiesta 9770 Hwy 69 S // 345.8871 Los Calientes Mexican Grill 3429 McFarland Blvd E // 553.1558 Los Tarascos (2 locations) 1759 Skyland Blvd // 553.8896 3380 McFarland Blvd | Northport // 330.0919 Margarita's Grill 1241 McFarland Blvd E // 343.0300 Moe’s Southwest Grill (2 locations) 2330 McFarland Blvd E // 342.1487 1130 University Blvd // 752.0234 Pepito’s (2 locations) 1203 University Blvd | The Strip // 391.9028 1301 McFarland Blvd NE // 391.4861


Chuck’s Fish 508 Greensboro Ave | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 248.9370 Steak, seafood, & sushi specialities. Open for dinner and Sunday brunch. Great atmosphere and excellent service. Ladies Night on Tuesdays. Ladies receive ½ off on drinks. Uptown Wednesday - $6 Uptown Shrimp, $8 Uptown Tacos. Cypress Inn 501 Rice Mine Rd // 345.6963 Fax: 345.6997 | 2003 Restaurant of Distinction. Beautiful riverfront location. Steaks, seafood and more with Southern flavor. Wine list, full bar. Specialities of the house include Shrimp Cypress Inn and Smoked Chicken with white barbecue sauce. Kid friendly. Closed Saturday lunch. Mike Spiller is featured the first Thursday of every month. Happy Hour- Mon-Fri from 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. featuring 1/2 price appetizers. $2 Domestic Draft Beers and $3 Well cocktails.


Epiphany Cafe 19 Greensboro Ave | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 344.5583 “New American cuisine” with a strong emphasis on local produce, organic meats, and sustainable seafood. The menu is always changing and features include an extensive wine list, a large vibrant bar and martini lounge area, as well as patio seating. Reservations are available online at or through open table. Hours: Mon–Sat 5 p.m. - until Evangeline’s 1653 McFarland Blvd. North // 752.0830 Located in the Tuscaloosa Galleria. 2004 West Alabama Tourism Award Winning Restaurant. American Eclectic Cuisine. Lunch: Mon–Fri 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. | Dinner: Tues–Sat 5 p.m. - until... Fall: Saturday Brunch. The Globe 405 23rd Avenue Owned by legendary thespian and chef, Jeff Wilson. The decor takes one back to merry old England. The food is internationally acclaimed, priced reasonably, and the service is cheerful and professional. Cocktails are excellent as are the wines. Open 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and from 5-9 pm. Tuesday through Saturday, Sunday 11 a.m.-2 p.m. FIVE Bar 2324 6th Street. // 205.345.6089 A restaurant/bar based on simplicity. We offer 5 entrees, 5 red wines, 5 white wines, 5 import beers, 5 domestic, and 5 signature cocktails, to go along with our full liquor bar. Dinner: Sunday - Thursday 5-10; Friday and Saturday 5-12 Lunch: Friday and Saturday 11-3; Sunday Jazz Brunch: 10-3; 205.345.6089 Kozy’s 3510 Loop Road E | near VA Medical Center // 556.0665 Eclectic menu, extensive wine list. Dinner at Kozy’s is a romantic experience complete with candlelight and a roaring fireplace. |

JAPANESE Benkei Japanese Steak House 1223 McFarland Blvd // 759-5300 Hours: Mon–Thurs 5 p.m. - 9 p.m. | Fri–Sat 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. Bento Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar 1306 University Blvd // 758.7426 Hokkaido Japanese Restaurant 607 15th Street Open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Ichiban Japanese Grill & Sushi 502 15th Street // 752.8844 Tokyo Japanese Steak & Sushi Bar 6521 Hwy 69 S | Hillcrest Center // 366.1177 Offers steak, seafood, tempura, teriyaki and sushi. Including cooking at your table, if you choose. Sun–Thurs 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. Fri & Sat 5 p.m. - 11 p.m. Kobe Steak House 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 759-1400 Lunch: 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. | Dinner: 4:30 p.m. - 10 p.m. Sat & Sun 11:30 a.m. - 11 p.m.

ITALIAN Broadway Pizzeria 2880 Rice Mine Road Northeast Tuscaloosa, // 391.6969 DePalma’s Italian Cafe 2300 University Blvd, Downtown // 759.1879 Menu ranges from sanwiches to finer pasta dishes and pizza. Varied beer and wine selection. Hours: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. | Fri & Sat 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Little Italy 1130 University Blvd. | Tuscaloosa // 205.345.4343 Mellow Mushroom 2230 University Blvd // 758.0112 Pizzas, calzones, hoagies and more. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Mr. G’s 908 McFarland Blvd N | Northport // 339-8505 Olive Garden 2100 McFarland Blvd E // 750-0321 Open daily from 11 a.m.

CASUAL DINING Big Daddy’s Cafe 514 Greensboro Ave | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 759.9925 Buddy’s Ribs & Steaks 2701 Bridge Ave | Northport // 339.4885 Buffalo Wild Wings 2710 McFarland Blvd // 523.0273 Mon–Wed 11 a.m. - midnight | Thurs–Sat 11 a.m. - 2 a.m. Cafe J 2523 University Blvd // 343.0040 Chili’s 1030 Skyland Blvd | Near McFarland Mall // 750.8881 Fax: 758.7715 // Dave’s Dogs 1701 McFarland Blvd E | University Mall // 722.2800 Desperados Steak House


W here to E at in T uscaloosa ( cont . )

FIG (Food Is Good) 1351 McFarland Blvd NE // 345.8888 Mon–Fri 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. Five Guys Burgers & Fries 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 391.0575 Glory Bound Gyro Company 2325 University Blvd // 349-0505 Glory Bound Gyro Company is a unique restaurant that focuses on great food and service in a funky, fun-filled atmosphere. Open Mon-Thu: 11am - 10pm | Fri - Sat: 11am-10pm | Sun: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Hooligan’s 1915 University Blvd // 759.2424 From hamburgers to hummus. Open daily 10 a.m. - 11 p.m. Horny's 508 Red Drew Ave | Tuscaloosa // 345.6869 Mon 4 p.m. - 2 a.m. | Tues-Thurs 11 a.m. - 2 a.m. Fri 11 a.m. - 3 a.m. | Sat 4 p.m. - 2 a.m. New Orleans style atmosphere in the heart of Tuscaloosa on the strip. Horny's offerings include a full liquor bar, beer, and a variety of classic American food. Horny's Bar and Grill offers a limited late night menu from 1:30 a.m. - 2:30 a.m. So, if you're hungry after "last-call for drinks," Horny's is the place to be. KK’s Steakhouse 13242 Hwy 69 South // 633.1032 Tacogi 500 Greensboro Ave | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 342.3647 Logan's Roadhouse 1511 Skyland Blvd E // 349.3554 Madear’s 1735 Culver Road // 343.7773 Mon–Fri 6 a.m. - 5 p.m. | 2nd & 3rd Sunday 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Mugshots Grill & Bar 511 Greensboro Ave | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 391.0572 Great burgers & sandwiches. Unique setting, full service bar, veggie entrees, kid friendly, and open late Newk’s Express Cafe 205 University Blvd. East // 758.2455 Fax: 758.2470 // An express casual dining experience in a refreshing and stylish atmosphere. Serving fresh tossed salads, oven baked sandwiches, California style pizzas and homemade cakes from Newk’s open kitchen. Sun–Wed 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. | Thurs–Sat 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. O’Charley’s 3799 McFarland Blvd // 556.5143 Open daily for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch Panera Bread 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 366.8780 Piccadilly Cafeteria 1701 McFarland Blvd E | University Mall // 556.4960 Quick Grill 1208 University Blvd | The Strip // 342.0022 The Local Catch // 331.4496 2321 University Blvd. | Tuscaloosa Full Menu including breakfast served all day. Live Music Mon-Sat 11 a.m. - close | Sun 11 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. For a complete schedule Ruby Tuesday (2 locations) 6421 Interstate Drive | Cottondale // 633.3939 Just off I-20/59 at exit 77. Near Hampton Inn and Microtel Inn 311 Merchants Walk | Northport // 345.4540 Ryan’s 4373 Courtney Dr // 366.1114 Near Marriott Courtyard and Fairfield Inn Sitar Indian Cuisine 500 15th St // 345-1419 Southland Restaurant 5388 Skyland Blvd E // 556.3070 Steaks, chops and home-cooked vegtables Mon–Fri 10:45 a.m. - 9 p.m. Zoe’s Kitchen 312 Merchants Walk // 344.4450 A wonderful selection of Greek foods

SPORTS GRILL Baumhower's Wings of Tuscaloosa 500 Harper Lee Drive | catering-Pick-up Tuscaloosa // 556.5858 | Always fresh and always fun. Owned by former UA/ Miami Dolphins great Bob Baumhower. Kid Friendly Buffalo Phil’s 1149 University Blvd | The Strip // 758.3318 Sports grille with TVs galore. Diverse beer and wine selection, full bar Buffalo Wild Wings 2710 McFarland Blvd. East | Tuscaloosa // 523.0273 Sports grille with TVs galore. Diverse beer and wine selection, full bar Champs Sports Grille 320 Paul Bryant Drive | inside Four Points Sheraton Hotel // 752.3200 Breakfast and lunch buffets. Sunday brunch 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Hooter’s 5025 Oscar Baxter Dr | Next to Jameson Inn // 758.3035 Wings, clams, shrimp and of course the Hooters Girls Innisfree Irish Pub


1925 University Blvd | Tuscaloosa // 345.1199 Moe's BBQ 101 15th Street | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 752.3616 Mon-Sat 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Bar open until 2 a.m., 3 a.m. on Fridays Mugshots Grill & Bar 511 Greensboro Ave // 391.0572 Great burgers. Full service bar. Open late.

Continued from page 5

Wilhagan’s 2209 4th St | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 366.0913 Wings U 1800 McFarland Blvd East Suite 218 | Pick-up Tuscaloosa // 561.3984 Features the first coal-fired pizza oven in Alabama. Owned by former UA/Miami Dolphins great Bob Baumhower. Completely open concept! WingZone 1241 McFarland Blvd E | Tuscaloosa // 342.2473

BARBEQUE Archibald & Woodrow's BBQ 4215 Greensboro Ave | Tuscaloosa // 331.4858 Mon-Sat 10:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. | Sun lunch Bama BBQ & Grill 3380 McFarland Blvd | Northport // 333.9816 Billy's BBQ Downtown Northport 364.1400 We specialize in BBQ, fresh ground beef, poultry, and pork made fresh, served fresh. Ask about our specialty potatoes. Mon & Tues 10-7// Wed. 10 – 5:30// Thurs, Fri, & Sat. 10 - 9 Costa's Famous BBQ and Steaks 760 Skyland Blvd // 331.4526 Dreamland (2 locations) 5535 15th Ave | Tuscaloosa // 758.8135 101 Bridge Ave | Northport // 343.6677 The legend. On game day, get there early if you want to make kickoff. Seating is limited. Hours: Mon–Sat 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. | Sun 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Hick’s BBQ 4400 Fayette Hwy // 339.3678 // Tues–Sat 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Moe's Original BBQ 2101 University Blvd.. // 752.3616 Serving up an award-winning, all things Southern BBQ and Live music experience. Come dine-in or sit on the patio and enjoy some great Que, beers, whiskey, and live music on Thursday-Saturday. Roll Tide! Mon–Sat 11am - 10pm | Bar service Mon-Sat 2am and Fri -3am | Kitchen closes at 10pm Pottery Grill Highway 11 // 554.1815 Awesome barbecue. The Pottery Grill serves up everything from pork, chicken, ribs and sausage to burgers, hot dogs and salads. Take-out and catering available. Tee’s Ribs and Thangs 1702 10th Avenue // 366.9974 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. daily

STEAKS Logan’s Roadhouse 1511 Skyland Blvd | next to Sams // 349.3554 Steaks, ribs and spirits Longhorn Steakhouse 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 345-8244 #412 Nick's In the Sticks 4018 Culver Rd | Tuscaloosa // 758.9316 A long-time Tuscaloosa tradition. Good steaks at a reasonable price Try a Nicodemus if you have a designated driver. Outback Steakhouse 5001 Oscar Baxter Dr // 759.9000 Desperados 1530 McFarland Blvd. N. | Tuscaloosa // 343-1700 Sun–Wed 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. | Thurs–Sat 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.

SEAFOOD Chuck’s Fish 508 Greensboro Ave // 248.9370 Local Catch Bar & Grill 2321 University Blvd // 205-331-4496 American, Seafood, Cajun/Creole. Coastal Cuisine with a Southern Twist!. Monday & Wednesdays half off house wine and appetizers at happy hour Thursday ladies night 20% off ladies tabs 4pm-close Sunday half off mimosas and bloody Marys all day Lunch 11am-2pm; Dinner 11am-until Happy Hour 3pm-6pm with $5 house wine, $5 top shelf, $3 well. $1 off bottle beer Red Lobster 2620 McFarland Blvd // 553.8810 McFarland Plaza Shopping Center Tin Top Restaurant & Oyster Bar 4851 Rice Mine Rd NE #460 // 462.3399 McFarland Plaza Shopping Center & Temerson Square Wintzell’s Oyster House 1 Bridge Ave | Northport // 247.7772 Casual riverfront dining Sun–Thurs 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. | Fri–Sat 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.

>>> beer review | R y a n p h i l l i p s

Black Warrior Brewing Company offers a wide range of mouth-watering beverages, all of which possess their own personality and delectable taste. From light to dark, even the most casual drinker can find a palatable ware behind the bar of this new local favorite. Co-Owner Joe Fuller said that his favorite beer brewed on site is a classic that he has brewed for years. This Brown Ale, in this reviewer’s opinion, is clearly the result of a time-tested process that is on the cusp of perfection. “When Jason and I started this, that brown ale was the one we tried to perfect and we brewed it a lot,” he said. “We tried to get that on a home brew level and gave it all away. It was essential because we wanted to get feedback because we may like it but everyone else may not. It’s a lot hoppier than your normal brown ale and you can taste more chocolate in the finish. Brooklyn Brewing Company has the only one that comes close to it in taste. That is what we looked for to be our signature out of the gate.” The richness of the Brown Ale is only exceeded by its savory finish, which when enjoyed in the taproom, is as fresh as fresh can get. The brown hue of this brew leads to an even head and a bold first sip. While other beers on the menu will appeal to novice beer drinkers, this one is not for the faint of heart, but for the hearty drinker who enjoys chocolaty bitterness and weight. This reviewer certainly does. Try pairing this dark treat with light foods to enjoy the weight of this beer properly. However, the chocolate hint found in this beer is also a perfect addition to a wide range of desserts. As of now, a selection of five different brews is available on tap at Black Warrior Brewing, all of which could change given the nature of the process according to Fuller. With this in mind, Fuller said it could ultimately lead to creativity and fun for brew masters and beer lovers alike. What we are trying to do with our five recipes is getting our system down to make sure we can repeat a brew and it will taste the same,” he said. “Once we get that going, we will tap into the other brews we have. We will add an IPA into the mix, but we are also adding on to our small-batch system, which will be 20-gallon batches. If someone has a weird dream and wants to put peppers and onions in a beer, we can make that happen. We are putting stuff into place to

allow us to do that.” One nuance employed by the brewers at BWBC gives the beer a fresh new taste by putting the beer through a filtration system called a “Randall”. According to Fuller, one of their most popular beers is a product of this experimental taste enhancer. “We can take any beer, run it through a filter and give it a totally different taste,” he said. “Our Mom’s Apple Pie Blond is on tap now, and basically what gives it that specific flavor is tea bags and cinnamon sticks, which makes it taste just like apple pie.” Low and behold, with one sip of the Mom’s Apple Pie Blond, one is instantly overwhelmed with flavors to compliment the chill of winter or the heat of summer. The cinnamon stands out and makes this beer drinkable to those of all tastes. Just heavy enough and just light enough for anyone. Holiday foods work best with this particular brew, which can function as a dessert by itself with such a sweet taste. Fuller highlighted three of the other beers on tap, and each one delivered on every quality that makes a craft beer memorable. “The Crimson Ale is an Irish red, it has the same coffee, choclately aftertaste but we may change the recipe to make it a little more red and maybe take some of that malt out of it,” he said. “The Blonde Ale is our starter beer. If you came in and were a fan of Bud Light, then that is what I would recommend. It’s really drinkable and light. I put a little lemon peel in it to give it a subtle citrus aftertaste. If someone came and ask ‘What is your session beer?’ this would be it. The Apricot Wheat, we can do just about anything with, we started out with Apricot from a homebrew perspective, so we have brewed it a lot." These beers and BWBC merchandise are available in the Tap Room from 4–10 p.m. Monday through Thursday. On Friday from 3 p.m. – close, Saturday from noon-close (10-11-ish) and Sunday from noon–9:00 p.m.







W here t o E a t i n T u s c a l o o s a ( c o n t . )

CHINESE Buffet City 1747 Skyland Blvd E // 553.3308 All you can eat buffet. Open 7 days a week. Chang’s Chinese Restaurant 1825 McFarland Blvd N // 391.9131 China Fun 2600 University Blvd | Alberta City // 553.2435 China Garden Hwy 69 S | Hillcrest Center // 758.0148 Lee Palace 6521 Highway 69 S // 391.9990 Open daily 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Mr. Chen's Authentic Chinese Cooking & Oriental Market 514 14th St. | In the Oz Music shopping center // 343.6889 // Open Sun - Thu 11am - 9pm, Fri & Sat 11am - 9:30pm Pearl Garden 2719 Lurleen Wallace Blvd | Northport // 339.0880 Peking Chinese Restaurant 1816 McFarland | Northport // 333.0361 Open 7 days a week. Super lunch and dinner buffet. Hours: Sun–Thurs 11 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. | Fri & Sat 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Swen Chinese Restaurant 1130 University Blvd | The Strip // 391.9887 Trey Yuen 4200 McFarland Blvd E // 752.0088

ASIAN CUISINE Ruan Thai 1407 University Blvd // 391.9973 Exotic Thai cuisine. Offers vegetarian options, outdoor dining, and a full bar. Sushi on Thursdays. Lunch: Mon–Sat 11 a.m. -2 p.m. | Dinner: Mon–Thurs 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. Fri & Sat 5 p.m. -10pm | Sun 11 a.m. -3 p.m. Surin of Thailand 1402 University Blvd // 752.7970 Authentic Thai restaurant and sushi bar. Open daily. Lunch: 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. | Dinner: 5 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

PIZZA AND SUBS Five Bar, located in the heart of downtown, has been serving Tuscaloosa since 2011. Whether you are just popping in for a quick wheatgrass shot or staying for a round of cocktails with a fine meal, Five Bar can deliver. This restaurant has options for every taste bud, five to be exact, five entrées, five white wines, five red wines, and five appetizers, hence the name Five. If that is not enough to satisfy, Five Bar offers one additional entrée option each night of the week along with weekly food and drink specials. Happy hour runs every day from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. with half price well drinks, house wine, and beer, $5 signature cocktails and $5 featured snacks. On Wednesdays they offer half price on all bottles of wine and my particular favorite is ladies night every Thursday night featuring half price select drinks, $5 signature cocktails, and free house-made chips and salsa. My experience at Five Bar exceeded my expectations. Between the ambiance, food, and delicious drinks it made for a perfect night out in downtown Tuscaloosa. As soon as I entered the restaurant my eyes immediately hit the gorgeous décor starting at the antique chandeliers trailing down to the brick exposed walls lined with funky art. The ambiance made for a calm, romantic, yet surprisingly energized mood. My family and I were greeted by two hospitable hostesses who immediately helped us to our seats. The menu was simple, well organized and the servers were well versed in it. Each appetizer sounded so appealing that we opted to order all five of them along with some tasty cocktails. My sweet strawberry lemonade cocktail,



made with vodka, muddled strawberries, house lemonade, Sprite, and simple syrup, offered a refreshing buzz for a hot summer day. The lime margarita was a traditional recipe with a perfect balance of sour and sweet with a dash of salty making a superior cocktail. The appetizers appeared so delicately handcrafter by the chef that they almost looked too good to eat, almost! The baked avocado with bacon shrimp sauce was the star rendering a rich, creamy bite. My next favorite was the olive cheese bites made with mozzarella cream cheese, sun-dried tomatoes with spicy ranch. This appetizer fills your mouth with a tender, salty bite. Each dish tasted fresh and seasoned to please. Five prides themselves on sourcing their products locally making sure everything is made from scratch. If the fabulous atmosphere or fine dining does not get you in the door perhaps their generosity will. Five is a proud sponsor of the American Lunch-a food-based charity delivering meals to needy communities. Too many people go to sleep hungry every night in our community and I commend Five Bar for supplying our community members with nutrient-rich meals. Five is located at 2324 6th Street, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35401 and is open for dinner Sunday- Thursday 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. and Friday-Saturday 5 p.m. – 12 a.m. Lunch is served Friday-Saturday from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. and a Jazz Brunch is featured on Sunday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Cindy Huggins, RD, LD is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and local Tuscaloosa foodie

A Taste Of Chicago 1700 Greensboro Avenue 205-342-DOGS Mon. - Thurs. 10:00am - 9:00pm; Fri. - Sat. 10:00am - 10:00pm 17th Street and Greensboro Avenue. Authentic Chicago style foods with a taste of Chi-Town in every bite. Italian Beef Sandwiches, Chicago Rib Tips, and Chicago Style Pizza.View our menu online and order at CRIMSON2GO.COM. Follow us @TasteofChicagoTtown on Instagram. Firehouse Subs 1130 University Blvd | Tuscaloosa // 248.0680 Hungry Howie’s (2 locations) 1105 Southview Ln | South Tuscaloosa // 345.6000 1844 McFarland Blvd | Northport // 333.2633 1211 University Blvd | Tuscaloosa | The Strip // 366.1500 4851 Rice Mine Rd | Northriver/Holt // 345.3737 Lenny’s Sub Shop 220 15th St // 752.7450 Fax: 752.7481 // Little Caesars Pizza 1414 10th Ave // 366.2220 Little Italy 1130 University Blvd. // 345.4354 Mellow Mushroom 2230 University Blvd | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 758.0112 Subs n' You 2427 University Blvd. | Tuscaloosa // 205.758.0088 Roly Poly Sandwiches 2300 4th Street | Tuscaloosa // 366.1222 The Pita Pit 1207 University Blvd | The Strip // 345.9606 Hours: Mon–Sat 10:30 a.m. - 3:00 a.m. | Sun 11:30 a.m. - midnight Tut’s Place 1306 University Blvd | The Strip // 759.1004

McAlister’s Deli (2 locations) 101 15th St | Tuscaloosa // 758.0039 3021 Tyler Dr | Northport // 330.7940 Sandwiches, salads and spuds Momma Goldberg’s Deli 409 23rd Ave // 345.5501 Newk's 205 University Blvd E | Tuscaloosa // 758.2455 Schlotsky’s Deli 405 15th St. E // 759.1975 Which Wich University Blvd.// Downtown Tuscaloosa // Mon – Sat 10:30 – 9 // Sunday 11 – 7 // Fun atmosphere,fresh ingredients, great sandwiches. 764.1673

COFFEE SHOP Chloe's Cup 2117 University Blvd.| Tuscaloosa // 764.0218 Crimson Cafe International Coffee House & Gourmet Deli 1301 University Blvd | The Strip // 750.0203 Mon–Fri 7 a.m. - 11 p.m. | Sat & Sun 8 a.m. - 11 p.m. Five Java Coffee, fresh juices, smoothies and treats from Mary's Cakes. Open Monday - Saturday at 7am; 9am on Sundays Heritage House 18 McFarland Blvd | Northport // 758.0042 Krispy Kreme Doughnut 1400 McFarland Blvd // 758.6913 Starbucks (2 locations) 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 343.2468 1901 13th Ave East | inside Super Target // 462.1064

DESSERTS Celebrations Bakery, Inc. 1832 McFarland Blvd N | Northport // 339.3221 Fax: 349.1945 Cold Stone Creamery 1130 University Blvd. | Tuscaloosa //343.1670 Specializes in customized ice cream Hours: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. | Fri & Sat 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. Sun 12 p.m. - 10 p.m. Mary's Cakes & Pastries 412 22nd Avenue | behind Opus | Northport // 345.8610 Mon–Fri 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. | Sat 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. Smoothie King (2 locations) 415 15th Street | Tuscaloosa // 349.1721 Fax: 349.1945 1403 University Blvd | Tuscaloosa // 462.3664 Sweet CeCe's Frozen yogurt Treats 2217 University Blvd. | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 561.6458 A fun and friendly make your own creation, yogurt experience! TCBY (3 Locations) 2304 Mcfarland Blbd | Meadowbrook Shopping Center // 349.4661 // 2 Mcfarland Blvd | Northport | Essex Shopping Center // 758.6855 // 1130 Univ. Blvd. | The Strip // 345.0804 Yogurt In Love Patriot Center 7402 Highway 69 South Phone Number: 764.9173 Fax Number: 764.9228 Monday-Thursday 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Friday & Saturday 11 a.m.-10 pm. . Yogurt Lab 920 Paul W. Bryant Dr Ste 200 | Tuscaloosa // 347.9522 Yogurt Mountain 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 342.1484 Self-serve frozen yogurt experience Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. | Fri & Sat 11 a.m. - midnight


DELICATESSEN Honeybaked Ham Company 421 15th St. E // 345.5508 Jason’s Deli 2300 McFarland Blvd // 752.6192 Fax: 752.6193 // Located in the Meadowbrook Shopping Center. Jimmy John’s (3 locations) 1400 University Blvd | The Strip // 366.3699 1875 McFarland Blvd N | Northport // 752.7714 815 Lurleen B. Wallace S | Tuscaloosa // 722.2268 Delivery 7 days a week. Manna Grocery & Deli 2300 McFarland Blvd E | Tuscaloosa // 752.9955

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MAPPING OUT THE "FOOD DESERTS" // MALNUTRITION IN TUSCALOOSA COUNTY cases,” Lipsey said. “You have a mother who is on the tail-end of her paycheck for the week, and she sees that fresh produce will cost almost twice what a trip to McDonald’s will—doubtless she is going to feed her children McDonald’s.” Lipsey calls it the hunter-gatherer effect. “An adult who has to constantly look for food sources becomes a hunter-gatherer, and because of it, other priorities fall to the wayside,” Lipsey said. Priorities like healthcare, jobs, and looking for healthier options are what get lost in the mix. The food bank serves as a middleman for helping stop such an effect, but is not the end game. Federal measures such as the Good Samaritan Act, which protects grocers and retail stores who donate overstock to food banks, along with the T-FAB program, help the issue, but have yet to solve it. Food deserts in Tuscaloosa span across different areas for varying reasons, and the tornado of 2007 only made inflamed the situation.

The Center for Disease Control cites the lack of access to healthy food options as the main cause of the childhood obesity epidemic that currently has an entire nation in its clutches. Food insecurity and food deserts are two commonly misunderstood terms, although Tuscaloosa and the larger area of west Alabama are prime areas of study on the subject. A "food desert," defined by the Fresh Moves website, is an urban neighborhood or rural area in which there is no healthy food option (grocery store or produce stand) within two miles of a resident. Many of these residents are in low-income areas, and as such have little or no access to transportation to drive to a store with healthy, fresh food options. The most common types of individuals living in food deserts are disabled children and adults, elderly, and single parents with children under the age of 18. While extensive studies have been done on many locations across the country that have a high number of food deserts, Tuscaloosa has yet to be studied as a singular unit to this reporter’s knowledge. A study done on Birmingham, Ala., the closest city to Tuscaloosa, found that 88,000 people in the city live on blocks where grocers were distant but fast food restaurants and gas stations were readily available. Of the 88,000 in these areas, 23,000 are children under the age of 18. The study did note that not every individual living in food deserts is poor. A number of middle-income

neighborhoods can be considered food Public Response deserts as well. While statistics show that food insecuTo compound the problem, many of rity is a far-reaching and common issue these residents in low-income areas are in the United States, there is a certain food insecure. Food insecurity is defined amount of stigmatization that exists suras a lack of knowledge about where the rounding the subject. next meal will come from for an individual. “It is a hard-sell to convince the This insecurity, combined with low access person on the street that hunger exists in to any healthy food options at all, creates America, when there is a well-established an issue that is not easily solvable. inverse association between social class Tuscaloosa News and body size, that reported that in is, the poorer one is, Across Tuscaloosa County, the heavier they tend 2010, one in every five residents in to be,” Oths said. 79 percent of residents Alabama was on According to Oths reported eating few to no some type of food and studies done stamp or federal aid on the topic, obehealthy food options, like program. A United sity is driven by the fruits and vegetables, daily. consumption of highStates health database categorized by calorie low-nutrient county reported that foods. These foods 25 percent of Tuscaloosa county residents are commonly found in food deserts, and are considered obese. Across the entire at low-income-applicable prices. The macounty, 79 percent of residents reported jority of individuals living in food deserts eating few to no healthy food options, like are living paycheck to paycheck, and by fruits and vegetables, daily. the end of the month, most of the funds Kathryn Oths, a professor of anthroallocated for healthy foods are gone. This pology at the University of Alabama, has increases stress and anxiety over access worked extensively with food insecurity in to food. the Tuscaloosa area. Like Oths, Henry Lipsey thinks the “Most research on the topic deals general public largely misunderstands with either metropolitan or rural areas,” food insecurity. Lipsey is the executive Oths said. “Perhaps there is a perception, director for the West Alabama Food Bank. certainly misguided, that mid-sized cities “The anxiety over where the next meal such as Tuscaloosa do not experience is coming from disrupts an individual’s life such problems.” more than the actual hunger does in many

Who’s Working on It? While most work done in Tuscaloosa is through food banks, faith-based organizations, and federal and state aid, groups across the country are looking into innovative action that helps decrease food deserts and food insecurity. In Chicago, Ill., an organization called Fresh Moves has converted an old city bus to a fresh produce grocer on wheels. The group is, according to the organization’s website, intent on showing the public that there is a need for fresh produce, even in neighborhoods that are considered “food deserts.” Fresh Moves has partnered with 64 different companies for route stops on their journey through seven desert neighborhoods. The two buses have made over $61,000 in 2012 alone, proving that there is a market for healthy food options, even in food desert neighborhoods. Other groups are springing up across the country just like Fresh Moves, but Tuscaloosa is behind on progress. So, what does Tuscaloosa have so far? The Goods For the Tuscaloosa area, food aid is mostly held at the West Alabama Food Bank in Northport. The food bank serves the nine counties of west Alabama: Marion, Lamar, Fayette, Pickens, Sumter, Green, Hale, Bibb, and finally, Tuscaloosa. According to the food bank’s website, Alabama is one of the worst states as far as statistics. One in every five children and one in every four seniors in Alabama lives at or below the poverty line. The website states that the unemployment rate of the service area is more than 16 percent in some cases. Henry Lipsey has been in his position

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continued on page 19 JANUARY 9 + JANUARY 23




The first time I ever rode an escalator was in the Gayfer’s department store in the McFarland Mall. Looking up the ascending metal staircase, I remember the apprehension over my first step as a new, grated stair appeared in rhythm from beneath the floor in an uneasy rumble of moving parts. At the time, which would have been in the early 1990’s, the entire complex bustled with life and commerce, all shrouded by the recognizable aroma of the vintage mall food court that American’s know so well. Holidays at the McFarland Mall were complete with tinsel, trees and a long, temperamental line of parents with squalling children and maxed out credit cards waiting to see Santa Claus in the center court of the building. I myself pitched a few childhood fits in the same line, if my memory serves me right. For what seemed like years at a time, I would accompany my mother on trips through Gayfer’s. As she would sift through clothes, I would hide in the



floor displays until my mother or another unaware female customer pulled back the discount slacks to find my oversized blue eyes staring back over a snaggle-toothed grin. I never thought Gayfer’s was ideal for a five year old, but that was not their fault. In the end, they got the upper hand because my mother purchased all of the clothes I adorn in my embarrassing baby photos at Gayfer’s. This was the place that my elementary school’s chorus would perform during the holidays for passersby and parents. I should know. I joined chorus because it was the only elective that did not require anything other than a muffled, often muted, singing voice. This was the place that I begged my parents to buy me an aged hamster from Spiller Pets for a school project. His name was Sherman and died shortly thereafter doing what he loved, rolling around in his plastic hamster ball, which coincidently, was also purchased at Spiller Pets in the McFarland Mall.

There are also locals who remember when the McFarland Mall had a movie theater. The Fox 12, which would always feature 12 movies at a time, was a place where suburban parents could drop off their teenagers on prearranged makeout dates while they shopped or had a night out. I never forgot how the rubber soles of my sneakers always stuck to and peeled off the floor as you walked downhill in each theater space, trying not to disturb moviegoers. To a 13-year-old, it was a magical place. This was before the Cobb Theatre, reclined seats and IMAX. Currently, the area is mostly closed with artifacts from the theater years still intact. The Box Office stands intact past the entranceway, abandoned, like a specter in a so many of the films that once played there. On the theater side of the McFarland Mall, I recall a crowded parking lot, with a line of cars leading up to what we called, the back entrance, of the mall. Children would be dropped off without iPhones or the parents would be screaming from the cars for their teenagers to get in. If you wanted a hot spot then, the McFarland Mall was it. Time marches on and I will also never forget reading the paper to learn that Dillard’s had taken over the department space that Gayfer’s once occupied. I remember one by one as outlets changed and eventually closed all together. At one time, there was a Hibbett’s Sport, Bath and Body Works, Spiller Pets and Wagner’s Shoe Store. Now the inside of the mall is a ghost town of empty outlets, with only a few storefront businesses operating adjacent from the mall space in the same building. Dillard’s always felt artificial, like the death rattle of a desperate attempt to keep the same clientele in a space that simply could not compete with the likes of the University Mall and eventually Midtown Village. Even though it was just a building, it was sad. One can still easily see from Skyland Blvd, where the old Dillard’s still sits. The kaki-colored bricks are weathered and worn and a new family restaurant, Cheddar’s Casual Café, occupies space adjacent to the mall. The expansive parking lot, which at one time would have been packed to capacity, is filled with potholes and in desperate need of repair. The Goody’s entrance, which faces Skyland Blvd, is the saddest example of how far this mall has come. In its day, the orange neon Goody’s sign could be seen from a good distance and was lit up in a way that just seemed to reflect commerce and vitality. Before it closed, this would have been the entrance to the food court and to a child, the most appealing attraction that the mall could offer: an arcade. If I had behaved or been dropped off


with a friend, the arcade was the part of the mall I most enjoyed. The bells, whistles and sound effects from the games made for a vibrant atmosphere that any child could lavish in for cheap during the pre-console era. We had Sega’s and Nintendo’s, but you could not win anything from them. Not like in an arcade. Currently, the entrance way and giant Goody’s signs are no longer illuminated and as a result, have become largely forgotten; relics of an age when indoor malls appealed to the very core of the American dream. Perhaps it was the location. Maybe it was the businesses inside. An argument could be made that the openings of the University Mall and Midtown Village, in the spirit of competition had something to do with it. All I know is that in it’s over 40-year existence, this structure housed more than just sales on loafers or discount pets. It held memories. Now it sits, aged and empty, as if it is waiting to die.

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The Mando Blues Show

For more than 30 years, singer and guitarist Debbie Bond has made a name for herself, along with promoting a noteworthy Alabama blues scene that has recently seen a revival of sorts. Bond and accompanying band, the TruDats, plan to release a new livealbum on January 21, entitled That Thing Called Love-Live At Mando Blues. The album was recorded for Whit Hubner's Mando Blues Radio Show on Radio Free Nashville, and features a deep fried southern blend of Bond’s soulful vocals, telecaster mastery and a backing band that is second to none. The title track, “That Thing Called Love,” begins with deep bass line and accompanying guitar and saxophone harmony that would bring a smile to the face of any Pink Floyd fan or connoisseur of the Chicago blues scene. By the time the beat drops and seems to start rolling, Debbie Bond stops you in your tracks with passionately driven vocals telling of the power of love. This track also highlights the jamming ability of Bond with her backing band. The mix of guitar licks, sax riffs and keyboard make for a finger-snapping track that is a journey on a musical seesaw of deep cuts and high notes. If the previously mentioned track is reminiscent of Chicago, then “Steady Rollin Man” will put the listener on a sonic steamboat headed down the Mississippi to New Orleans. An opening ragtime piano riff sets the tone for lyrics talking about travel, love and a particular type of man. This transitions into a saxophone solo that could compete with the likes of any Bourbon Street favorite. Bond exhibits masterful vocalization, with her guitar aside as the talented band keeps a fun pace on this track. Ms. Bond said the recording process was a memorable experience in one of

the world’s premiere music destinations. “The band gathered at The Loveless Café in Nashville and were led through the woods to the secret location of OmegaLab Studio, high on an undisclosed mountaintop just west of Nashville,” the release read. The studio, brainchild of mastermind Rob McClain, is a massive army tent facility that runs on nothing more than six car batteries, car stereo amplifiers and LED lighting at a deceptively low 1600 watts.” The Mando Blues show proved successful for the band and brought their time-tested blend of styles to a wider audience. This also translated into a new album for the group. “As part of the Mando Blues Show, Debbie Bond and the TruDats showcased three new songs originally planned for the next studio recording,” said Debbie. “But after hearing the playback and feeling the magical vibe of the TruDats playing at their peak and being captured on a recording to rival Austin City Limits or a BBC Live In Studio showcase, Debbie decided to make a CD of the performance, which is officially the first live A’Shawn recordingRobinson album release to come from WFRN’s Mando Blues Show and from the OmegaLab Studio. Debbie Bond and the TruDats with guest saxophonist Tom Pallardy burned through a blues-format- bending set that went from the New Orleans French Quarter retro 'Steady Rolling Man' to the Holmes Brothers 'Feed my Soul' as well as the title track 'That Thing Called Love.'” According to the release, this new album was the culmination of being at the right place, at the right time, with the right group of people. “If there ever was a moment that Debbie Bond was meant for, it was this weekend in Nashville that set in motion a live recording that was unplanned, unrehearsed and became a sublime jewel

with all the facets that make up her sound, whether it be blues, soul, funk, ragtime or swamp pop. Now it is a gift to all her fans.” Those in Tuscaloosa may also know Debbie Bond as the founder of the Alabama Blues Project, which has successfully revitalized a love for a timeless piece of southern culture in the next generation of blues musicians. With such an extensive pedigree, Bond and the TruDats will surely leave a permanent impression of the music culture of the state of Alabama. “Guitar player, singer and songwriter Debbie Bond made the blues her calling when she was drawn to Alabama over three decades ago,” her bio reads. “[Bond] worked with, most notably, Johnny Shines, Jerry “Boogie” McCain, James Peterson, Eddie Kirkland, Sam Lay, Little Jimmy Reed and Willie King. Debbie

continues to be an elder statesman of the Alabama blues scene after co-founding the Alabama Blues Project and releasing two studio albums.” For more information on That Thing Called Love-Live At Mando Blues or to learn more about Debbie Bond and the TruDats, visit






NOTE: All events listed here have phone numbers in the 205 area code unless otherwise indicated.



LYNN & ALEXANDER SCHMIDT EXHIBIT // OPENING RECEPTION WHEN: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Cultural Arts Center LINK: CONTACT: DESCRIPTION: The Arts Council of Tuscaloosa presents "Impressions: The Anagama in Fire and Film." Exhibit runs through Jan. 30, featuring ceramic sculpture and photographs from the Anagama Kiln firing in Montevallo.


MEET THE DOGS WHEN: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Pet Supplies Plus PHONE: 205.554.0011 DESCRIPTION: One Saturday each month, the Humane Society of West Alabama features some of the dogs that are available for adoption. Speak with their volunteers and find out more about adopting and caring for a pet. NOA BAUM: STORY TELLER—"A LAND TWICE PROMISED" WHEN: 6:30 – 11 p.m. COST: $50 WHERE: Tuscaloosa River Market CONTACT: 616.8320 EMAIL: DESCRIPTION: Noa Baum, an Israeli who began a heartfelt dialogue with a Palestinian woman while living in the U.S., weaves together their memories and their mothers' stories. She creates a moving testimony illuminating the complex and contradictory history and emotions that surround Jerusalem for Israelis and Palistinians alike. Admission includes dinner, Baum's performance and music by the Jazz Seekers. Cocktails and music at 6:30 and dinner at 7, followed by Noa's performance at 8 p.m. RED SHOE RUN WHEN: 7 – 10:30am WHERE: SoHo Square in Homewood, AL EVENT TYPE: General Community SPONSORED BY: Ronald McDonald House COST: Entry fees vary AGE RANGE: All Ages DESCRIPTION: Lace up your big old floppy clown....oh, running shoes, and meet us at Soho Square in Homewood, AL for the 10th Annual Red Shoe Run (formerly the Red Nose Run), which benefits the Ronald McDonald House. Kids will enjoy the One Mile Fun Run with Ronald McDonald on hand, while others can run or walk the 5K and 10 mile courses. All proceeds of the event (after expenses) benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama.


STUDENT FRENCH HORN RECITAL FEATURING ALEXANDER MORRIS WHEN: 2 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Moody Music Building Recital Hall CONTACT: Tiffany Schwarz, 348.7111



UA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL WHEN: 2 p.m. COST: $5 WHERE: Foster Auditorium DESCRIPTION: UA vs. Ole Miss


READER'S THEATER WHEN: 4 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Tuscaloosa Public Library Main Branch PHONE: 345.5820 DESCRIPTION: A fun, interactive story time where children will listen to a story, think and ask questions about the story, and then become part of the story by acting it out with their friends. Lots of fun characters.


PRE-SCHOOL STORY TIME WHEN: 10 – 10:30 a.m. WHERE: Tuscaloosa Public Library, Story Castle COST: Free (age 3 - 5) CONTACT: 205.391.9989 EMAIL: DESCRIPTION: Simple stories, songs, activities and crafts. HOMEWORK HELP WHEN: 3 - 5 p.m. WHERE: Tuscaloosa Public Library, Weaver Branch COST: Free CONTACT: 205.345.5820 DESCRIPTION: Provides one-on-one homework assistance to students K-8th grade. It is a drop-in service; students may come and go at any time during session and must have homework with them in order to attend. This is a Monday through Thursday activity.


UA MEN'S BASKETBALL WHEN: 7 p.m. WHERE: Coleman Coliseum LINK: DESCRIPTION: UA vs. Mississippi State PRE-SCHOOL STORY TIME WHEN: 10 – 11 a.m. WHERE: Tuscaloosa Public Library, Weaver Bolton Branch and Brown Branch COST: Free (age 3 - 5) CONTACT: 205.391.9989 EMAIL: DESCRIPTION: Simple stories, songs, activities and crafts. "ALIVE AND WELL" (FILM) WHEN: 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. COST: $10 WHERE: Bama Theatre PHONE: 758.5195 LINK:

>>> PET PLANET | T H I S M O N T H ' S P E T S

MEET JACK AND ACKER // MAKE 2014 EXTRA SPECIAL Meet Jack, a four-year-old male Rat Terrier mix with a smooth white coat and tan markings. Jack is a small to medium dog weighing 18.5 pounds. He is well-mannered, calm and easy going, and settles down nicely. He will make an excellent companion pet and would do fine in an apartment. He needs to be in inside dog because he thrives on human companionship & attention. He should be fine with children but he is highly food motivated so he may be better with older children who know not to bother him while eating. He gets along with other dogs, though he has never met a cat. Jack is up to date on his vet care, neutered, heartworm negative, on heartworm and flea/tick prevention, micro chipped and has started his crate training. If you are interested in giving Jack the forever home he so dearly wants and deserves, contact the Humane Society of West Alabama at or call us at 205.554.0011. This handsome guy is Acker, a plump male orange tabby with a cute rounded applehead and dark orange stripes. He's a young adult at two years old. Acker is a very fun, happy guy! He loves rolling over to show off his round belly! He loves being the center of attention and doesn’t mind meowing when he feels he’s being neglected! Acker would do well as a companion for another cat or two, but would also be fine as an only pet. He has never met a dog. Acker is negative for FIV and FeLK, current on vaccinations and neutered. If you are interested in giving Acker the forever home he wants and deserves, contact the Humane Society of West Alabama at or call us at 205.554.0011.

The benefits of volunteering:

1. Make a difference in the lives of homeless pets and work towards a community that is more humane for animals. 2. Develop new skills while exploring the field of animal welfare. 3. Keep good company. You'll make lots of new friends—and not just the four-legged kind. Working side by side with people who share similar interests can forge lifelong friendships. 4. Meet the new you. You'll discover skills you never knew you had, and you may be surprised at what you're capable of achieving. 5. Gain a new career. You'll learn things that may lead you to the career—or career change—of your dreams. Employers and college admissions officers look favorably on time spent in volunteer service. 6. Enjoy a wagging tail, a purr, and a smile. Didn't someone once say that the best things in life are free?


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>>> T H E A T R E | W I L L A M B A R S H O P


A classic country idol is bringing a lesson in friendship to Tuscaloosa with the musical Always Patsy Cline opening at Bean-Brown Theater in Tuscaloosa on Jan. 24. Written and originally directed by Ted Swindley, the story of Patsy Cline features the two-woman team of Sara Catherine Wheatley and Lauren Wilson along with a country band that promises to resurrect the era of music where Patsy Cline left her mark. Theater Tuscaloosa’s managing director Adam Miller shared his comments about the show as it is brought to life for the fourth time in Tuscaloosa. “Patsy’s music tends to transcend generations,” Miller said. “People grow up listening to it because their parents listen to it. And it’s a family friendly show so everyone can get into it.” The show has been praised for its pair of talented vocalists and the deep, complicated relationship between the two starring women. Based on a true story, Louise Seger becomes hooked on Patsy’s music after hearing her perform on the Arthur Godfrey show. After an unlikely turn of events, Louise becomes Patsy’s manager, pen pal and most trusted friend. In Patsy’s many letters to Louise, she often signs “Always. . . Patsy Cline,” giving the show its name. A divorced single mother working at an electronics plant, Louise matches Patsy’s strength of character and brings levity to the darker periods of Patsy’s life. “This is a wonderful example of a friendship between two women,” Miller said. “And both were doing things that women didn’t necessarily feel empowered to do in that time.” Alabama native Sara Catherine Wheatley stars as Patsy Cline and takes the lead belting out her country classics as well as pop standards from the time like Neil Sedaka’s “Stupid Cupid.” After graduating from the University of Alabama theater department, Wheatley moved to Portland and earned leads in Alice in Wonderland and the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, as well as appearing in

Ragtime and Hairspray. No stranger to the starring role, Wheatley has been hailed by critics as a close sound-alike to Cline herself and will be completing her third run in the role as she returns to Tuscaloosa. “She’s kind of made a career out of Patsy,” Miller said. “This might be the last year we can afford her actually, because her career’s taking off.” Alongside her will be Lauren Wilson as Louise, also reprising her role for the fourth time, first appearing in the show in 1999. “Louise is just super funny,” Miller said. “A real salt of the Earth gal. People love her either because they identify with her or they grew up with someone just like her.” Also returning to Always. . . Patsy Cline for the fourth time is director Paul Looney, who Miller called the “grandfather of theater in Tuscaloosa.” He has received the Governor’s Arts Award, the Druid City Arts Award and directed in the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. “He worked in conjunction with Shelton State for Theater Tuscaloosa to be housed here,” Miller said. “We joke that we have to glue him to his seat on set. He’s very energetic as a director.” Patsy Cline, born Virginia Patterson Hensley, became an icon of country music in the 1950s with hits like “Walkin’ After Midnight,” “I Fall to Pieces” and “Crazy” that have become classics and all appear in Always. . . Patsy Cline. In her few years of fame she became the first female country singer to be billed ahead of male artists and headlined her own show. She was also the first female country star to play at Carnegie Hall and has been posthumously honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. She died in a plane crash at only 30 years old on March 5, 1963 after playing a benefit show in Kansas City. Only three studio albums came out of her career during her lifetime, but her influence in country music has since been solidified in artists like Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette and Reba McEntire. Always Patsy Cline will show at Bean Brown-Theater Jan. 24 – 26 and Jan. 29 – Feb. 1. Tickets are available now through Theatre Tuscaloosa. Miller recommended buying tickets in advance, as the show was brought back because of its tendency to sell out. Call 205.391.2277 or go online to reserve a seat.

>>> EVENTS CALENDAR | WHEN: 3:30– 4:30 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Tuscaloosa Public Library, Weaver Bolton Branch PHONE: 758.8291 for information



25th ANNUAL DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. "REALIZING THE DREAM" CONCERT WHEN: 7:30 p.m. COST: To be Annouced WHERE: Moody Music Bldg. Concert Hall CONTACT: Tiffany Butler, 348.7111


DOUBLE EXPOSURE PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBIT WHEN: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. WHERE: Bama Theatre PHONE: 758.5195 LINK: DESCRIPTION: In its 11th year, the Double Exposure juried photography com-


petition exhibits the results from winners of Adult and Junior divisions. SSCC WOMEN'S BASKETBALL WHEN: 5:30 p.m. WHERE: Martin Campus Gymnasium, Shelton State Community College DESCRIPTION: Shelton State vs. Gadsden State SSCC MEN'S BASKETBALL WHEN: 7:30 p.m. WHERE: Martin Campus Gymnasium, Shelton State Community College DESCRIPTION: Shelton State vs. Gadsden State HOMEWORK HELP WHEN: 3 - 5 p.m. WHERE: Tuscaloosa Public Library, Weaver Bolton Branch COST: Free CONTACT: 205.345.5820 DESCRIPTION: Provides one-on-one homework assistance to students K-8th grade. It is a drop-in service; students may come and go at any time during session and must have homework with them in order to attend. This is a Monday through Thursday activity.


Local galleries, businesses and restaurants are open as an event for the community to see what Downtown Tuscaloosa has to offer. At the Cultural Arts Center on Greensboro, please come to the 5 - 8 p.m. opening reception of Lynn and Alexander Schmidt's Exhibit presented by the Arts Council of Tuscaloosa. The exhibit, entitled "Impressions: The Anagama in Fire & Film," features ceramic sculpture and photos from the anagama kiln firing in Montevallo.

THOUGHT ABOUT A CAREER CHANGE? Help Local Businesses Get More Customers! Sell Advertising Space in the Planet Weekly Experience is necessary. Please Call or Email Linda Johnson 205.792.7239 •

>>> PLANETWEEKLY • tuscaloosa's SOURCE for entertainment, music, sports & THE ARTS








fun. // OCTOBER 22 // ATLANTA






Birmingham Jeff Dunham, BJCC Same As It Ever Was (Talking Heads Tribute), Zydeco Cat Le Bon, Bottletree Café Carlos Mencia, Comedy Club Stardome

NEW ORLEANS People’s Blues of Richmond, Howlin’ Wolf

Montgomery Black Jacket Symphony, Montgomery Performing Arts Center

MONTGOMERY Super Bob, Café Firenze II

BIRMINGHAM Gregg Allman, Iron City The Wailers w/ CBDB, WorkPlay Theater

NASHVILLE Of Montreal with Surface To Air Missive, Mercy Lounge/Cannery Ballroom Wooten Brothers, 3rd and Lindsley Bar and Grill Amos Lee, Loveless Café

NASHVILLE Harlem Globetrotters, Nashville Municipal Auditorium


saturday, JANUARY 11

BIRMINGHAM Sunday Best, Zydeco Skeptic?, The Nick The Great American Breakdown, Bottletree Cafe MONTGOMERY McPherson Struts, Head on the Door Crazy Chester, Big Star Tavern Suave, Playoffs Pub Velcro Pygmies, War Eagle Supper Club


NASHVILLE Elise Davis, High Watt Colour of London, 3rd and Lindsley Bar and Grill BIRMINGHAM B.B. King, Iron City

NASHVILLE Emancipator, Mercy Lounge/Cannery Ballroom NEW ORLEANS Blackberry Smoke, House of Blues




NEW ORLEANS Savoy, House of Blues

MONTGOMERY GypsyRiot, Blue Iguana

TUESDAY, JANUARY 21 ATLANTA The Sword, Masquerade




ATLANTA Shooter Jennings, The Local at Sidelines Saving Abel, Wild Bill’s DL Hughley, Uptown Comedy Club NEW ORLEANS The Radiators, Tipitina’s AFI, House of Blues Rain (Beatles Tribute), Saenger Theater NASHVILLE Jessie Baylin, Mercy Lounge/Cannery Ballroom

NASHVILLE The Ringers, 3rd and Lindsley Bar and Grill


NASHVILLE Luthi w/ Tesla Rossa, 3rd and Lindsley Bar and Grill Lucius w/ You Won’t, High Watt NEW ORLEANS Badfish, House of Blues Kermit Ruffins, Tipitina’s

Acoustic Café 2758 County Hwy 9 205.647.3237

Fox Theatre 660 Peachtree St NE 404.881.2100

Moe’s Original BBQ 6423 Park Dr 251.625.7427

Amphitheater at the Wharf 23101 Canal Rd 251.224.1020

The Hangout 251.948.3030

Bridgestone Arena 501 Broadway 615.770.2000

Marathon Music Works 1402 Clinton St 615.891.1781

Montgomery Performing Arts Center 201 Tallapoosa St 334.481.5100

Centennial Olympic Park 265 Park Ave W NW 404.223.4412

Minglewood Hall 1555 Madison Ave 901.312.6058



BIRMINGHAM The Machine, WorkPlay Theater

>>> R OA D T R I P D I R E C T O RY Travel the South's best venues. Visit their website for ticket info and more.



BIRMINGHAM 12th Planet and Protohype, WorkPlay Theater

Birmingham Against Me!, WorkPlay Theater Passafire and Ballyhoo!, Zydeco

NASHVILLE Ron White, TPAC-Andrew Jackson Hall Eric Church, Grand Ole Opry House Dylan Leblanc and Grayson Capps, High Watt Scat Springs Band, 3rd and Lindsley Bar and Grill

ATLANTA Billy Gardell, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center AFI, Center Stage The Grapes, Variety Playhouse Chuck Leavell and Friends, Symphony Hall James Durbin w/ Kelley James, Masquerade


ATLANTA The Wailers, Maquerade

NEW ORLEANS Gungor, House of Blues George Porter Jr, Tipitina’s Bantam Foxes, Gasa Gasa


NEW ORLEANS Tim Reynolds and Dave Matthews, Saenger Theater B.B. King, Civic Theater Corey Smith, House of Blues Cam’ron, Howlin’ Wolf Margie Perez, Gasa Gasa MONTGOMERY Derek Sellers, The Mellow Mushroom Alan Rhody, Capitol Oyster Bar

ATLANTA Monster Jam, Georgia Dome Skeletonwitch, Jungle Club


Birmingham Bill Cosby, BJCC Rodney Atkins, Iron City Beitthemeans and Crippling Horse Accident, Zydeco MONTGOMERY Rick Springfield, Montgomery Performing Arts Center Guns To Fire, Head on the Door

ATLANTA Hot Tuna, Variety Playhouse

ATLANTA Travis Tritt, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center Queensryche, Center Stage Dorydrive, Masquerade Silver Palms, Vinyl


205.324.1911 Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre 2200 Encore Pkwy 404.733.5010 Von Braun Center 700 Monroe St SW 256.551.2345

The Nick 2514 10th Ave S 205.252.3831

WorkPlay 500 23rd St S 205.380.4082

Sloss Furnaces 20 32nd St N

Zydeco 2001 15th Ave S 205.933.1032




bank. One they eat and what nutrients they need to In general, according to Oths, the such program be getting,” Turner said. farmers provide fresh produce to any is Secret Meals The organization broke ground in 2010 citizen in need at a bargain price, but the for Hungry at University Place Elementary School, different locations of the markets cause Children, and has since grown to two other schools issue with food access for many residents. sponsored by and the local juvenile detention facility. Many of the residents of Tuscaloosa the Alabama “Our program at the juvenile detenhave found transportation to get to the Credit Union. tion center is a little different,” Turner Northport Farmer’s Market, however, The food bank said. “The garden is absolutely beautiand despite the issues with locations; the puts over a ful—we tend to try and use the garden as split has worked out relatively well for the 1000 meals a reward.” produce market. in students’ Students at the center who have beHomegrown Alabama is yet another backpacks haved well and worked hard are rewarded example of innovative ideas aimed at each week, in with leadership positions, such as being in catering to the lower-income bracket. The Henry Lipsey collaboration charge of all watering for the week, Turner farmer’s market, located on the UA camwith the credit union. Teachers worksince 2007. said. Produce grown at the correction pus, offers an EBT Food Stamps incentive ing closely with the students usually do “I had just retired, and one of my good facility is placed directly into the kitchen, program. most of the on-site work (deciding which friends asked me if I would come sit in as cooked, and eaten by kids at the location. According to the website, to improve children need meals and putting the meals the executive director until they could find While great work is done at the sites, the incentive to purchase healthily and in the backpacks without other students a new one,” Lipsey said. “I’ve been sitting DCGP realizes that alleviating food inlocally, Homegrown will give EBT patrons noticing), but the food bank distributes and security and breaking the cyclical nature in for about seven years now.” $5 for every $10 they spend at the market. packages all of the meals themselves. The food bank distributes to 84 agenof food deserts requires a multi-pronged Homegrown Alabama has also made it a The food bank also supplies several cies within the nine counties it serves. approach. mission since opening in 2005 to incorTHURSDAY THURSDAY, mobile food pantries in the area, trucks These agencies are made up of myriad “We have a dual focus of access and porate Alabama-grown food into student thatJANUARY are equipped to different groups, from 26 churches to soup education about healthy foods,” Turner meals at the university. DECEMBER 2cook and distribute food to those on the street. The bank kitchens halfway said. “If we educate the children, and de While farmer’s markets, food banks, Green to Bar: XXXXX houses. According to Green Bar: XXXXXXX uses one food pantry to distribute to Lipsey, the food bank sends out 12,000 facto, the parents of the children, we can agencies, and studies all help to deRhythm & Brews: Nothin' special Rhythm & Brews: XXXXX theJupiter: residents of the housing authority in pounds of food each day to all of west work to help the future of Tuscaloosa.” crease unequal access to food, as well XXXXX Tuscaloosa. Alabama. The Tuscaloosa area makes up A big part of DCGP’s mission, accordas the number of individuals who are food FRIDAY, “We get donated freezers—I call them for about a third of the need. ing to Turner, is to teach families that a insecure, the larger Tuscaloosa public DECEMBER 27 around 64,000 wellFRIDAY, used and much loved—to store cold “There are somewhere lot of food can be grown even in a small, must take action for visible progress to Rhythm & Brews: To bethe announced food on the trucks and individuals living below poverty be made. Even small actions help, like JANUARY 3 in the warehouse,” urban area. At the farm stand, produce Green Bar: XXXXXXX Lipsey said. level in West Alabama, and 30,000 in the costs are subsidized in order fresh foods conscientiously shopping for locally grown Green Bar: XXXXXX The donated freezers are just one Tuscaloosa area alone,” Lipsey said. affordable for the parents that are shopfood. Larger voices, such as speaking up Jupiter: XXXXXXX item among many that exemplify the idea There are four basic sources of food ping the stand. to councilmen about what is needed in SATURDAY, behind the food bank: coming in to the food bank, which then “We want to concertain areas of Tuscaloosa, are needed DECEMBER 28 the food for theSATURDAY, generosity of repackages and redistributes nect folks with their to progress. “There are somewhere Rhythm &inBrews: oneJANUARY person can help individuals need.XXXXXX Some food comes roots, and for Ala4 “Our task is tricky because these indiJupiter: XXXXXX around 64,000 individuals bama, our roots, no outGreen manyBar: individuals from donations, from families to churches, XXXXXX viduals living in low-income areas, parents Rounders: XXXXX withRhythm hard work and to food drives. Truckers often bring pun intended, grow & Brews: and children alike, are dealing with a lot,” living below the poverty Green Bar: patience. surplus goodsXXXX to the bank if they need to deep in the very soil XXXXXX said. “Parents work 2-3 jobs, and level in West Alabama, and we stand on,” Turner Turner clear out their trailer to haul other goods Jupiter: XXXXXXX children don’t have the resources to do a 30,000 in the Tuscaloosa Alternative Projects back to their previous location. The two said. lot.” SUNDAY, Other groups and biggest food drives each year are Beat DCGP spawned This makes it all the more crucial that area alone.” MONDAY, DECEMBER 29 takes place individuals are workAuburn Beat Hunger, which from a film project those with the resources to make change, Jupiter: 6 insecurity by looking recently finished by the Graces, co-found- do it, according to Turner. The late Nelson at alleviating food before the XXXXXXX Iron Bowl in November, and the ing JANUARY Jupiter: XXXXXXX at the issue in a different light. United States Postal Workers drive. ers of the organization. Andy and Rashmi Mandela said, “Education is the most Druid City Garden Project (DCGP) The second source is through retail ate only locally-produced, Alabama food powerful weapon you can use to change MONDAY, is one such organization. The main idea stores like Wal-Mart or Winn-Dixie. When for a year, and the resulting documentary the world.” THURSDAY, DECEMBER behind DCGP is to break the cycle by a store stops selling a30 specific product or discusses the gap between generations of By educating the community about XXXXXXX JANUARY 9 in food deserts. The knowledge of the land, nutrient-rich food food insecurity, the community can in turn educating youth living typeJupiter: of food, the shelf space the prodJupiter: project works using seed and plant donauct is taking up is more valuable than options, and why food insecurity is found improve the food situation around them. tions to teach students valuable math and the TUESDAY, product itself, so stores donate their at such a high degree in west Alabama. science lessons with hands-on activities. overstock to the bank. A program through FRIDAY, DECEMBER 31 Rashmi Grace, the co-founder of the projthe USDA called TFAB is another source Farmer’s Market Mayhem Jupiter: XXXXXXX 10Andy, works closely ect JANUARY with her husband, of food income. In recent years, the Tuscaloosa farmXXXXXXX withJupiter: teachers and the school board to Finally, the food bank buys a good bit er’s market scene has undergone several WEDNESDAY, match the curriculum set by the state. of food on a regular basis to supplement changes. The Tuscaloosa River Market JANUARY 1 and to make sure Students have the opportunity to be what’s already available, was opened, the Tuscaloosa County SEANmoved RIVERS TRIO and Rhythm Brews: XXXXX a part of a complete process: they plant, there isn’t a& shortage. Lipsey oversees all Farmer’s Market to Northport, OCTOBER 25 & 26 // availGreen Bar: XXXXXX grow, harvest, and manage all of the proof the operations at the food bank, from Homegrown Alabama was made ROUNDERS TO HAVE YOUR BAR MUSIC EVENT Jupiter: XXXXX duce that comes from AND the garden. After donations to distribution. The bank wareable in collaboration with the University of harvesting the produce, the students house is 10,000 square feet with on-site Alabama. LISTED HERE PLEASE EMAIL sell it themselves at a food stand on school cold storage. The farmers provide healthy food opPLANETEDITOR@YAHOO.COM grounds. Some of the produce is also “There is someone running some sort tions for the citizens in Tuscaloosa, but used for tastings in class so the students of food drive for us almost every day,” the split causes some issues with clientele get to taste what they grow. According Lipsey said. “Churches are a steady flow access to the markets. >>> LO C A L B A R S to Lindsay Turner, executive director of at the food bank, and most agencies are “The farmers already help enormously DCGP, the hands-on experience has faith-based in some way.” by participating in Federal Food Nutrition 4th & 23rd Buffalo Wild Wings // 523-0273 Gallettes // 758-2010 Jackie's Lounge // 758-9179 The Red Shed // 344-4372 a stronger impact on the students than On any given day, six to ten volunteers programs, which provides vouchers to 1831but // 331-4632 Capones // 248-0255 Gnemis Top Shelf Tavern // 343-0020 The Jupiter Rhythm & Brews // 750-2992 learning in a classroom. work at the food bank, there is always seniors and low-income residents,” Oths // 248-6611 “Students everything themselves—Greysaid. a need for more hands work. Several the established farmer’s mar-// 345-4848 Alcoveto // 469-9110 Carpe Vinodo // 366-8444 Lady //“When 469-9521 The Legacy Rooster's Blues House // 334-4507 from growing the produce to all of the Harry's individuals show up day in and day out, ket moved to River Market, theyMushroom gained // 758-0112 Bear Trap // 345-2766 Catch 22 // 344-9347 Bar // 331-4151 Mellow Rounders // 345-4848 accounting and marketing it takes to run according to Lipsey, just to help out. many new clients, but lost many of the Big Al's // 759-9180 Copper Top // 343-6867 Houndstooth // 752-8444 Mikes Place // 764-0185 the food stand—it teaches them how to Programs sponsored by other orgalow-income citizens that frequented the The Booth // 764-0557 Downtown Pub // 750-0008 // 345-1199 Mugshots // 391-0572 be self-sufficient, but also about the food Innisfree nizations also source their food from the old market location.”




NEW: TEEN ZONE OPEN LAB! The Tuscaloosa Public Library is creating space for the Tuscaloosa community to build, create, and explore with technology and crafts. The Teen Zone Lab will be open every Wednesday from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. with special programming on the 3rd Tuesday of each month from 4 – 5 p.m. TPL is asking for your help to make this happen. We are in need of many supplies to make our Lego-Land a reality, to explore new possibilities with our Makey Makeys™, and to develop an environment to be creative learners. The TPL Teen Zone seeks sewing machines and accessories, tools cuch as hammers, screwdrivers, soldering irons, and wire; Legos™ of all shapes and sizes; batteries (9 volt and hearing aid/watch batteries); functioning turntables/record players with vinyl records (no collectibles, please); and both functioning and nonfunctioning computer components. Please drop off items at our Main and Weaver-Bolden branches and mark the materials, TEEN ZONE SUPPLIES. Help us make this a reality for you, the Tuscaloosa community. For more information, contact Pamela Williamson, Assistant Director of Public Services, at 205.345.5820, or



>>> PLANETWEEKLY • tuscaloosa's SOURCE for entertainment, music, sports & THE ARTS



The A labama football team was ranked number one the entire regular season, only losing that ranking following the final game against Auburn. The stunning 34-28 loss to the Tigers was followed by a disappointing 45-31 loss to Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl. Alabama was so close to making history, but in the end Alabama didn't win a conference or national championship in 2013. A season that went so right for so long, finished on a sour note. Every season in college football is about transition and that will certainly be the case for Alabama in 2014. For the first time since 2010, the Crimson Tide will start someone else at quarterback other than A.J. McCarron. The quarterback race is wide open and it's anyone's guess who will take that first snap against West Virginia on August 31. Alabama will also JASON MILLER BAND say good bye to All-American linebacker rHYTHM & BREWS // AUGUST 3 C.J. Mosley. Mosley will go down as one of the best linebackers in Alabama football history and his loss will be felt on the field and off. Nick Saban has brought Alabama football back to a level where anything less than a championship is considered a disappointment. It's not logical to think that way, but winning three of four BCS Championships can do that to people. Next year though should be exciting. New names and numbers will be in the lineup as Alabama tries to forge a championship identity yet again. Sometimes coming up short one season can

Tony Brown

fuel a program to greater heights the next season. We shall see. RECRUITING UPDATE Brown ready to enroll with the Tide Speculation for months was that Tony Brown of Beaumont-Ozen, Texas was a lock for LSU. But recently a rumor was whispered that Nick Saban had sold the standout cornerback on Tuscaloosa. Rumor became reality when during the Under Armour All-American Game, Brown announced his commitment to Alabama. "I called Coach Saban and told him that I'd made the decision to come to Alabama. He was very excited about it. I'm very happy with it. My family is happy with it." "The main factors were my comfort level with the school," Brown says. "I felt good about it. I liked everything I saw when I visited there. I just enjoyed it and felt like it was the place for me. So that was pretty much my decision." The 6-0, 198-pound Brown is considered by some as the number one prospect in the state of Texas. "Tony is a great player," says Ozen head coach Keeath Magee. "I know this sounds like high praise, but he's a Deion Sanders kind of athlete. He has some of those same kind of Deion skills, but he's more physical. Tony is a very physical player. He can cover and he hits." Following his commitment to Alabama, Brown watched his new team fall to Oklahoma. "I don't have any negative observations or feelings about the game at all," Brown says. "It was a tough loss, but it happens. It will just serve to motivate us to get there and work hard and get ready to go for next season." Brown will enroll at Alabama in January and immediately join the Tide's track team as a hurdler.

Hootie Jones mitted to Alabama. The 6-1, 220-pound safety from Monroe-Neville, LA originally committed to UA on December 2. Two weeks later he de-committed, saying that he needed some time to reconsider other schools, including LSU and Ole Miss, among others. "Hootie found that some other schools were interested in him and he wanted to talk to those schools and make sure that he'd made the right decision, " says Jones' mother, Jessica Carr. "That's really all there was to it. He just took a step back and thought about it some more and came to his final decision. "It's definitely final now. He is ready to get started." For months, speculation was that Jones would likely stay in Louisiana at LSU. But when longtime friends Cameron

Robinson and Cameron Sims committed to Alabama early last fall, the Tide picked up some steam with Jones. "There was just a lot of pressure," Carr says. "I didn't really know that it would be like that. A lot of people wanted him to go to one school or another, and people would always let him know what they thought. So it was just a lot of pressure to be loyal to his home state. Hootie loves Louisiana. It bothered me a little bit more than it bothered him, I think, but I'm just glad that it's finally over. "Our whole family is satisfied with the decision. He's happy with it. He's going over there to work and to learn. He's not worried about whether or not he plays next season. He told me he just wants to learn everything he can and then when his opportunity to play comes, he'll be ready." Carr says that one thing that most people don't know is that Hootie is as accomplished in the classroom as he is on the football field. "I'm very proud of him for his accomplishments in school," Carr says. "Most people don't know that he took some courses in high school to earn college credit, and that he'll actually enter school at Alabama next week as a second semester freshman. I'm really proud of that."

HOOTIE SET TO ARRIVE AT UA Jones Back With Bama The twists and turns of Hootie Jones' rollercoaster recruitment ended on January 2 when for the second time he com-

>>> PLANETWEEKLY • tuscaloosa's SOURCE for entertainment, music, sports & THE ARTS






While Amazon corporate headquarters has labeled its new, drone delivery service a smashing success, back in Amazon’s drone maintenance department, people tell another tale. “You wouldn’t believe what these nuts – I mean our valued customers – are doing to our drones, said one hourly worker. “We sent one out with a book on reptiles and when the drone came back, there was a small alligator attached. “We had a hell of a time getting it loose and Junior’s finger ain’t never going to be the same!” Junior agreed, adding in “You should have seen the one that them gay folks ordered with all that stuff from the crafts department. “Took a while to get back here, but that drone sure is pretty… if you like pink! And with them sequins and sparkles, you can see the durn thing ‘rite near to the horizon on a sunny day.” Other reports include people hacking into the drone’s address software and landing hundreds of copies of the Kama Sutra in the front lawn of the Westboro Baptist Church. In North Carolina, fishing weights were hung on a single rotor of the four-rotor drone, causing the flying delivery device to circle for three hours until the battery lost charge and it crashed through the window of the state Republican Party headquarters. Immediately, the device was hit by a hail of gunfire as was the local chairman who suffered a wound that doctors said will not allow him to sit for weeks. Afterward, the Republicans sent a bill to Amazon for clean-up, reconstruction and replacement ammo. Along the Chesapeake Bay, several drones were reported dodging through heavy cannon fire coming from a 13-gunned ship. In other states, local authorities confirmed that three drones had been brought down by spud guns, two by newly installed wind turbines and four that followed a no-longerused route over a skeet range. Three Cabella’s stores in the Midwest held seminars on the best fishing rods to use for drone casting and were reported to have sold out of three-pronged hooks. In Colorado, a recent start-up that trains falcons to bring down drones and their packages – Wing and a Payer – reported severe growing pains. “We just can’t keep falcons in stock long enough, I mean, training takes time and our customers are impatient. “I mean, it’s not like we can call down to KFC and say ‘We need another bird.’ ” In response to Amazon switching to night delivery in many places to foil the falcons, a second line of trained owls has been added, the company president said. Others were quick to condemn the business. “We think this is horrible,” a PETA spokeswoman said, just before a sea eagle swooped down and took away the microphone. Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder, remained his usual up-beat self. “Our drones will get bigger and faster,” the CEO proclaimed. “Soon you should be able to have same-day deliver for live cows.” Several large nets were ordered just after Bezos’ proclamation. At National Transportation Administration and Federal Aviation Agency headquarters, however, officials were anything but upbeat. “Them damn drones have made my life miserable,” said one air-traffic controller at a mid-sized Georgia airport. “Why, one of our crop dusters, my second cousin matter o’ fact, durn near had to drop a load of Roundup on an elementary school playground, just dodging them durn things. “I’d a been knee high in paperwork for months if them kids had got sick. Not to mention having Monsanto crawling up my butt!”





week l y o verv i ew



An intense dream or vision could result in a spiritual breakthrough of some kind, Taurus, and you might spend much of the day in a bit of a daze, trying to make sense of it. You might see if you can find a few books on the subject, because all signs suggest that reading could bring a lot of useful information your way today. You might also want to write down an account of your experience.

You're apt to be in a very joyous mood this week, Gemini, and it's going to show on your face. This isn't going to go unnoticed by the people you meet. You could make some new friends, and, if you aren't currently romantically involved, you might actually meet an interesting potential love partner. This person is apt to be very polite and polished, not to mention smart! Be cordial, be nice, and enjoy your days. You might host a gathering of people interested in psychic or metaphysical matters, Cancer. A very special guest could give a talk or lead a discussion group. This could be fascinating for everyone present. You'll gain a reputation as a wonderful host, even though all you really do is pass out cookies and pour the coffee. You, above all, should have a great time and enjoy talking with your friends. Have fun!

Writing may be one of your main focuses for the week, Leo. You have a lot of information to impart to anyone who might be interested in what you have to say. You could try your hand at a magazine article or perhaps fiction or poetry. However, even if all you write at this time is a letter to your cousin, what you say will undoubtedly be bright, gripping, and certainly very interesting. Go to it!

Professional interests continue to expand, Virgo, and you're managing to keep very busy. Your income is rising, and you could be achieving a certain prominence in your field. Nonetheless, you could be looking for new opportunities. The field you're in now may not be one that you want to continue for the next 20 years. This is therefore a good day to put out a few feelers and test the waters. You might be surprised at the opportunities out there. Travel in the company of a close companion might be looming over the horizon, Libra. In fact, you might be leaving pretty soon, and you're probably growing excited. Some surprising developments could come up during the course of this journey, and thus it's likely to shape up to be more than a simple vacation. Make sure you look your best, don't hold back on what you want to do, and have fun.

It's easy to play Sudoku! Simply fill every column, row and 3x3 box so they contain every number between 1 and 9. The game is easy to play but difficult to master! Solution Page 27

An unexpected lucky break could come your way this week, Scorpio — something you would never have expected in a hundred years. It could seem like a dream come true, yet it could disrupt your life in some way. You might find yourself facing a choice: go for it and change your entire way of life or let it go and take the risk that another great opportunity might never appear. Who said life was easy? Think about it!

If you aren't currently romantically involved, Sagittarius, this week you could meet someone who shows a lot of promise. Work might be involved in some way, and it's also possible that this person has been living in your neighborhood for a long time. A friend could introduce you to each other. You'll probably spend at least an hour talking, and will probably make arrangements to meet again.

Some kind of unexpected shakeup could take place this week, Capricorn, and you could find yourself suddenly being offered more money or responsibilities. This might be just the break you've been waiting for, but it could take you so much by surprise that you might ask for time to think about it. Don't think for too long, however, because they might give the break to someone else!

This week you might attend at least one festive social occasion, Aquarius, and therefore you may meet some very interesting people in unusual professions, such as film or TV. Expect to hear some bizarre stories, some of them true, others that are clearly exaggerated. Out of all this friendly banter and tale telling, however, you could acquire some useful information. Make a note of it so you'll be able to remember it later.

Your level of health and physical well-being is likely to be very high, Pisces, and thus you're probably glowing. As a result, you might find that those around you pay more attention to what you're saying than they usually do. You'll also find that your mind is especially sharp, and you're apt to be exceptionally quick on the uptake. Therefore, you might absorb a lot more from what you hear than you normally do. Make a note of it!

You might be feeling especially adventurous this week, Aries. The same old streets and buildings in the same old town might suddenly seem to be closing in on you. Therefore, you might just grab a close friend or significant other, hop in the car, and take off for the mountains or the ocean. You probably need a break. You've been working very hard and probably could benefit from some time in open country. Go for it!





Across 1. Lillian of acting fame 5. 1984 Redford role 10. Druggist's abbreviation 14. Chick ender 15. First seat of English government in India 16. Greeting in Granada 17. Complimentary close 19. "Author unkonwn": Abbr. 20. Novelist Glasgow 21. Grows weary 23. River past Buckingham 26. Take too far 27. Sights around road repairs 32. Ad ____ committee 33. Flusters 34. Wait eagerly at, as the phone 38. Mediterranean spouter 40. Dancer Cunningham 42. Cleopatra's river 43. Astringent 45. Three squares, e.g. 47. Demand persistently 48. Certain mounted police 51. Upper arm bones 54. Hook's accomplice 55. Russian news agency 58. It can be terrestrial or satellite 62. Cuyler of Cooperstown 63. Track for a car race 66. Peace Nobelist Wiesel 67. Blow one's top 68. Fingernails: Sp. 69. Upper house members: Abbr. 70. Some babysitters 71. Johnnycake Down 1. 1960's-70's singer Marvin 2. Not just a star 3. Pas ____ (solo dance) 4. Concerning this 5. President after F.D.R.



6. "Give us this day ___ daily bread" 7. Very dry, as Champagne 8. '___ Ha'i' 9. Novelist William 10. Adds gradually 11. Courtroom addressee, with "your" 12. Like an oral exam 13. Totaled, as a tab 18. Extinguish, with "out" 22. Nights before holidays 24. Anna's land 25. Itchy skin inflammation 27. "Take___Train" 28. Campus military grp. 29. Skin woe 30. Roman harvest goddess 31. Katharine Hepburn has four 35. Seashore washer 36. Fuzzy photo, e.g. 37. Wants 39. Parkways and turnpikes 41. Biblical land 44. Ernie's buddy 46. Bergen's Mortimer 49. Amoy's other name 50. Prepare 51. Long walks 52. Of value 53. "___ Whoopee!" (1920s hit) 56. One of the rails 57. ___ gun (electroshock weapon) 59. "___ harm" (medical maxim) 60. "-__ Old Cowhand" 61. Platinum wire loop 64. ___ -Locka, FL 65. ACLU concerns (abbr.) SOLUTION FOR PUZZLEMANIA CROSSWORD ON PAGE 27 The nice thing about doing a crossword puzzle is, you know there is a solution. ~ Stephen Sondheim ~

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>>> ADVICE | J UST AS K Robert Randolph & The Family Band

SIMONE says... THIS TEEN IS IN A BIND // PLAYING PARENT TO HER BROTHER & SISTER Q: Simone, I’ve seen your advice column in this newspaper before and decided to write to you because I need to talk to someone, even if it isn’t in person. I’m just so stressed out and confused. I’m a fifteen-year-old girl with two younger siblings and a messed-up mom. That may sound disrespectful to you, but it’s the truth. She drinks too much, goes out to bars all the time and leaves me to take care of my ten-year-old sister and nine-year old brother. Our father also drank too much, but when he was alive, things were different in our home. My mom didn’t go out all the time, and she basically took care of Train us. Our father died from lung cancer three years ago and everything has gone downhill since. We live on the social security my mom gets from our dad’s death. So she does buy basic food and pays the rent on our crappy one-bedroom apartment. My brother, sister and I share the bedroom. They have bunk beds and I sleep in a single bed. Our mother sleeps on the sofa in the living room, but sometimes she doesn’t come home until the next day. If she does come home, she sleeps really late and I get the kids and myself ready for school, cook for us, supervise homework and whatever else needs to be done. Basically, I’m the parent. I even drag our clothes to the laundromat. The neighborhood we live in isn’t that great, so I try to keep my siblings in most of the time. As you can imagine, I have very little social life even though I’m a teenager. I do have a best friend who comes over, but I can’t leave my siblings alone, or even with our alcoholic mother most of the time. School is my sanctuary and my hope. I get good grades (although sometimes I feel so stressed that it’s hard to concentrate) and want to go to college. My brother and sister also do well in school and like it. My dad’s relatives live in another state and my mom’s live a couple of hours away, but they’re not really much of a resource for us. If I asked, we could probably move in with them, but not all three of us together, and I don’t want to live apart from my brother and sister. So, as you can see, I’m stuck. I love them and they listen to me pretty well. But I don’t know where this is headed since it seems my mom’s

drinking is getting worse. I worry all the time. I don’t know what to do. Signed, “Trapped teen”

Flo Rida

A: Dear “Trapped...”, You are, indeed, faced with a difficult situation. You are bravely carrying adult responsibilities when you need to be a teen, taken care of by adults. Yet I see the dilemma you face: if you don’t, you fear being separated from your siblings. It is fortunate that school is such a positive resource for you; hang on to that. There is a program called http:// Check this out and ask your school counselor, or some other trusted adult, to help you locate a meeting you can attend. Try to build as much support around yourself and your brother and sister as possible. Is there a church in your community that you might be able to attend? Perhaps there will be safe, responsible adults that can assist you in finding mentors and caregivers for you and your siblings; and possibly help to set up an intervention for your mother to get her into treatment and sober. Definitely stay focused on school; it will be your salvation, now and in your future. Take yourself and your siblings to parks and the library during safe, daylight hours — all positive, healthy activities to get you guys out of the house. I’m giving a lot of advice and direction here because, as a child yourself, you need this additional support. It is urgent. There will be readers who think I should suggest that you turn to authorities for help, and perhaps you should, but I know you fear separation from your brother and sister. I don’t think that is what you want (or need). You have food, shelter and a positive outlet at school. Please try at least some (or all) of the suggestions I have listed. You’re a brave, wonderful girl, daughter, sister. There is hope and help. Reach out, safely, and you will find answers and assistance. Please write again and let me know how things are working out. Bless you and your family. Signed, Simone ©2014 Simone Says-Advice. If you have a question for Simone, email simonesays.advice@ to queries are held in confidence. We reserve the right to edit the text.

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Orange and white stripes make today’s fashion statement. Or rather, orange and white-striped soiled cloth cut and stitched into loose-fitting outfits make today’s fashion statement. It’s Christmas Eve morning and I’m driving north on Richard Arrington Boulevard toward the civic center, in the process passing between the Museum of Art on the left and the County Jail on the right. In front of the jail (the “Criminal Justice Center” to you), under the watchful gaze of Branko Medenica’s statue of a fallen warrior, “Centurion,” several inmates are sweeping and cleaning the front plaza. It is cold, and the workers are focused on their task, as if sheer concentration might stave off the icy bite breezing up the sleeves of their uniforms. To you and me and the rest of the city, it is merely a quiet, sunny, freezing day. All you and I can feel is how WE feel, so that if we’re in a good mood, the world seems to be filled with goodwill. If we are ill-tempered, the world is grouchy. Should we briefly spy a handful of prisoners outfitted in orange and white getting some cold sunshine and exercise we can empathize for a moment, sympathize a second, even project ourselves into this outdoor scene. But we can’t BE these folks. We can’t lift their personal burdens. We can’t shorten the icy sunshine sentences they are serving right before our eyes. All we can do is ruminate, speculate, even appreciate…then move on to our own specific worlds, whatever they contain. Well, maybe we can do one thing more. Maybe we can freeze in time this momentary picture—this snapshot of real lives on hold, framed by an open plaza, overlorded by a humbled statue and spied upon by a passing motorist. Maybe this selfie of one moment in time can be studied and analyzed and pored over and re-imagined by people more proactive and creative than you or me. Maybe down the road some kind of social upheaval will cure the world of having to imprison or punish or enslave or subjugate. Maybe one day there will be no need for memorials, living or inanimate…memorials that rue the day someone was unjustly taken from us. Maybe one day the only prisons in existence will be those within our own private thoughts and imaginations. Meanwhile, the least we passersby can do is note the moment, bookmark the scene before us, return to it again and again until we come up with something better than voyeurism Note: Jim Reed's Red Clay Diary column does not end with a period (.). He has his reasons. "To call Reed Books an 'old bookstore' is a bit like saying the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel has a good paint job." ~ Allen Johnson Jr., author ~

©2014 by Jim Reed




>>> COMMENTARY | trey broo k s


Snoop Lion




Since 2011, several of the Blue Laws in the state of Alabama were repealed or softened. What seemed like minor changes in state policy have had major impacts on the nightlife culture of the Yellowhammer state, especially in the urban areas and suburban areas. This is most noticeable in the explosion of craft breweries opening up across the state. Before 2011, just two breweries were in operation in the state of Alabama. Now there are over twenty active breweries in the state. The New York Times even listed Alabama as the fastest growing state for craft beer production in the nation. Along with the changing laws on production, bans on tap rooms and brewpubs were removed, allowing these breweries to become active participants in the nightlife of their respective towns instead of just selling to bars and restaurants. Several of these places are well on their way to becoming key establishments in the entertainment scene of Alabama. When talking about becoming a destination for patrons instead of just a producer/ distributor, Avondale Brewing Company has been the gold standard. Operating near Trussville, Avondale has become a major destination for patrons in the Birmingham area. The company operates in an almost village-like area, with one of the busiest tap rooms in the city. It has grown to include a venue, even hosting major touring artists such as George Clinton and the Parliament –Funkadelic. Avondale has become a major competitor to the old stalwart of Birmingham craft beer: Good People Brewing Company. That’s not to say that Good People has not embraced the brewpub idea. Quite the opposite, in fact. Good People was one of the few breweries to operate prior to the Free the Hops Movement and the subsequent law changes, but they embraced the movement and opened one of the first legal tap rooms in the state. While Birmingham has been an important center for the craft brew market in the state, the epicenter of the movement’s impact has been in North Alabama, particularly Huntsville. The Rocket City has several craft beer breweries in operation, including Yellowhammer Brewing, Below the Radar Brewhouse, Old Black Bear Brewing, Sally Nut Brewery, Straight To Ale and The Brew Stooges Brewing. Other major North Alabama breweries include Patriot Joe’s and Cheeha Brewing in Anniston, Blue Pants and Rocket Republic in Madison, and Back Forty Brewing in Gadsden. As the population becomes more disperse in South Alabama, so too do the breweries, although Fairhope Brewing Company provides for the Mobile area just across the bay from its home. Montgomery also has become a willing participant in the movement, with Railyard Brewing Company in operation in the city. The tap room market has hit Tuscaloosa hard since the law changes. In 2013, tap rooms opened for Druid City Brewing Company and Black Warrior Brewing Company. While both tap rooms appeal to the craft beer market, they have distinctive features that set them apart. Druid City is set up off of 15th Street, behind the Sunbeam Bakery and near Oz Music. It has a hole in the wall atmosphere and is very cooperative with the businesses in the shopping center with whom they share a parking lot. Black Warrior Brewing is set up on University Blvd. downtown, across from City Hall and a block down from bar-heavy Temmerson Square. Their tap room is very upscale, and fits the historic décor of the downtown area. Both tap rooms are not open very late as they do not wish to compete with the bars, many of whom sell their beer and merchandise. Along with the increasing presence of tap rooms in Alabama cities, the craft beer movement has also brought an increasing amount of beer festivals to the state. In Tuscaloosa alone, Suds of the South and Brewfest give independent brewers from the state and region a chance to introduce their products to new markets. These brewers are also increasing their presence at large music festivals, such as the Hangout in Gulf Shores. It remains to be seen if the craft beer movement can retain this kind of momentum in the state, or if many of the companies can remain independent. But for now, the tap room adds a new dimension to Alabama nightlife that for the longest time has relied almost solely on bars. In cities with younger populations like Tuscaloosa, this is a welcome change.






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