What’s killing America is killing Birmingham

On August 5, 2011, Standard & Poor lowered the U.S. debt rating saying, “The downgrade reflects our view that the effectiveness, stability, and predictability of American policymaking and political institutions have weakened at a time of ongoing fiscal and economic challenges.”

On November 9, just three months later, our Jefferson County filed the biggest U.S. municipal bankruptcy in history after an agreement among elected officials and investors to refinance $3.1 billion in sewer bonds fell apart. Continue reading What’s killing America is killing Birmingham

Look how far we’ve fallen

Regions Park in Hoover soon to lose the Birmingham Barons

I’m absolutely thrilled we are building a new baseball stadium downtown. When I was a child my dad took me to see the Barons play at Rickwood Field. Watching baseball with my dad created memories I will never forget.

I saw the Barons play teams like the Nashville Vols, the New Orleans Pelicans, the Memphis Chicks, and the Atlanta Crackers. Continue reading Look how far we’ve fallen

Let’s blame Jim Carns for our occupational tax disaster

Is Jim Carns responsible for our Jefferson County disaster?

Let’s blame Jim Carns for our occupational tax disaster.

Or how about other local House members who voted to pull the tax bill– Reps. Mary Sue McClurkin, Mary Moore, Arthur Payne, or Elwyn Thomas. Continue reading Let’s blame Jim Carns for our occupational tax disaster

This should make the Birmingham haters salivate

When I first started writing these blogs, I was immediately introduced to the Birmingham haters.

You know the Birmingham haters. They are the stars of talk radio and the first to comment on al.com. They hope Birmingham’s annihilated by the Bubonic Plague, that Vulcan suffers from herpes, and that the Mayor gets dandruff. Continue reading This should make the Birmingham haters salivate

Is political corruption rampant here?

Between 2003-2006 five CFO’s of HealthSouth were convicted of fraud.

Would it be appropriate to assume all CFO’s in the Birmingham area are crooked?

I think we can agree there was something in the corporate culture or structure at HealthSouth that created such blatant fraud. Continue reading Is political corruption rampant here?

Is racism the problem with Birmingham?

Birmingham during the early '60's

I hear it regularly, “The problem with Birmingham is racism.”

One of my first blogs, Let’s move to the suburbs and attack the city, quickly attracted two comments.  One was from (I assume) an African American blaming Birmingham’s problems on whites, “The racism is so obvious and so thick you can cut it with a knife.” Continue reading Is racism the problem with Birmingham?

Let’s spend $125 million stealing from one another

Birmingham Steel Mills 1910-1919--Birmingham was known as the Pittsburgh of the South

Birmingham has always been known as a “steel” town.  Now we should be known as the “steal” town.

While our peer cities are recruiting companies from other regions, we steal businesses from each another. Continue reading Let’s spend $125 million stealing from one another

Your local 911 call could kill you

Our government structure puts your life at risk

Will your 911 cell phone call save you in an emergency?

Maybe not if you’re calling from within our region.

I have a friend who witnessed a wreck near Blue Lake Road off of Hwy 280. He immediately dialed 911 but ran into a geographic overlap. Continue reading Your local 911 call could kill you

Birmingham is in the center of my heart

The Hess Camellia Garden at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens

The year 1999 was painful for me and my family.  My wife, Ina-Mae, was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Fortunately the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center is located here in Birmingham.  And I’m absolutely convinced Ina-Mae would not have survived without UAB.

Patients come from all over the world to visit UAB.  When Ina-Mae registered with doctors at Kirklin Clinic, nurses seemed genuinely surprised we lived almost in walking distance. Continue reading Birmingham is in the center of my heart

To begin a conversation about a better Birmingham