Archive for the ‘ACLU’ Category

>ACLU Preserving the Constitution

May 15, 2009

>On Tuesday night I was fortunate to be in the audience as Michael Macleod-Ball, the ACLU’s Chief Legislative and Policy Counsel in Washington, D.C, spoke here in Birmingham.

Here, Glynn Wilson at Locust Fork News Journal gives a good recap of the evening.

I wonder what Macleod-Ball thinks about Obama’s reversal on releasing the torture photos. Or about the CIA lying to Nancy Pelosi about the use of waterboarding.

As a former Board member of the ACLU of Alabama I am always interested in what the group is doing to preserve our Constitution.

Here’s a story out of Louisville, KY.

LOUISVILLE, KY – Nine months after an employee at a McDonald’s restaurant in downtown Louisville called a group of gay customers a series of anti-gay slurs, the American Civil Liberties Union announced today that McDonald’s has agreed to a cash settlement and diversity training for management at 30 of its Louisville-area restaurants.

Ryan Marlatt, Teddy Eggers, and three other friends had stopped for lunch at a McDonald’s restaurant on East Market Street on July 26, 2008 while visiting Louisville for the weekend. While they waited for their food to be prepared, an employee behind the counter referred to them as “faggots” to another employee. When Marlatt and Eggers objected to the slur and asked to speak with a manager, the employee who had called them “faggots” started arguing with them, repeatedly calling them “faggots” in front of other customers and calling one of them a “cocksucker” and “bitch.”

“The reason we made such a big deal out of this to begin with was because we didn’t want it happening to anyone else, so I’m very glad McDonald’s management is going to be having these trainings,” said Eggers of Indianapolis, Indiana. “We were hurt and upset, but at least we’re adults and can handle being called names. We hated thinking that this kind of harassment might also happen to someone young and vulnerable who would really take it to heart.”

The supervisor on duty refused to refund the group’s purchase, so Marlatt attempted several times in the following weeks to contact both the general manager of the McDonald’s and the corporate offices, with no results. Louisville law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, so the ACLU filed a complaint in September on behalf of Marlatt and Eggers with the Louisville Human Relations Commission. In October, representatives of a variety of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender groups as well as other civil rights organizations protested at the downtown Louisville McDonald’s where the incident took place.

Read the entire story here .

The important thing is that Louisville law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. So the ACLU was able to file a complaint.

Maybe Birmingham, or even Bessemer, will one day understand that all of its citizens deserve respect and dignity and will enact such a law.

Watch this short video that explains why the Kentucky ACLU’s LGBT program is so successful and why it can be a model for other states. If you are even remotely supportive of LGBT equality (or opposed) you should watch this video.

And to paraphrase someone who made a comment recently, equal rights, including the right to marry, are inevitable. Just as equality for people of color marched on, so will equality for LGBT people.

Bessemer…it really is OK (if you ignore the negatives)

November 14, 2007

Maybe I should say “If you address the negatives.”

I get a lot of email from readers of my columns in The Western Tribune and readers of this blog (from people who do not want to post comments). Most of it is supportive, but some is not. One question I hear from time to time is why do I focus so much on negative stuff about Bessemer.

So I went back through the archives a few weeks, and while I admit some things may be negative to me and positive to others, and vice versa, it comes out about even. I mean, a column about a shooting could also have information about efforts to reduce crime…so is that a positive or negative article about Bessemer?

Anyway, “negative” stories usually reveal some type of inappropriate activity, be it crime or hypocrisy or plagiarism or inaccurate reporting by newspapers, and those types of activities need to be made public. Not reporting on these types of things is equal to participating in it. That is why The Western Tribune out performs the Western Star in every instance. If you report “news” in Bessemer, which is what “newspapers” should do, there are going to be “negative” stories. At least there are stories…

So I am going to comment on this report aired last night on Fox 6. It is about Donald Moulton, who already has a breach of contract suit against him filed by a former business owner in Homewood, and federal charges of identity theft and mail fraud as reported on Bessemer Opinions and now theft of services charges filed by former employees at the Broken Vessel Church.

I still have hopes that this church can become a postive thing for the community, but not under his “leadership.” A prominant area pastor is considering taking over the ministry. I have not said this about the church before, but let’s just hope that whoever takes it over will be open and accepting of all the communities of Bessemer, including the gay community. Maybe that is why the Baptist church there dwindled, because “they” pick and choose who God should love (although in their case it had more to do with racism than homophobia).

Another community that is picked on is the latino community. My column in The Western Tribune today is about immigration, and here it is, minus possible editing. Stop now if you want to wait and read it in the paper. I refered to testimony of Sam Brooke in the column. If anyone wants to read the entire testimony I will email it to you.

This could easily have been an 800 word column, and been more informative, but space restrictions limited it.

*******************************************************************
Immigration is a hot topic but wouldn’t it be nice if everyone knew the facts before forming opinions and voicing them on talk radio and such?

The state’s Joint Interim Patriotic Immigration Commission held a public hearing recently and some little known facts were revealed during the testimony. Sam Brooke, Law Fellow with the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, took the opportunity to dispel several myths, as the following examples from his testimony point out.

One myth is that immigrants without legal status cause a rise in criminal activity. The fact is that an increase in immigrants – with or without legal status- generally causes a reduction in crime. This was proven in court in Hazelton, PA, when anti-immigrant ordinances were being challenged, and testimony brought the true facts out.

In addition it has been shown in our own state that immigrants are more likely to be the victims rather than the perpetrators of criminal activity. We only need to look as far as Lipscomb where Hispanics were recently being targeted to realize this, but an article from the Montgomery Advertiser (October 16, 2007) also backs this up.

Another myth is that immigrants drain public health dollars and put a strain on medical services. A recent study in Georgia estimated that undocumented immigrants contribute between $215 and $252 million to the state’s coffers, and in Texas it is estimated they contribute $380 million more than they use in relation to state-provided services. While similar numbers are not available for our state, it can be concluded that immigrants who lack legal status do not cost our state money.

Immigrants without legal status have been made scapegoats over these issues. To combat this, the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice and the ACLU of Alabama are encouraging the Immigration Commission and our Legislature to treat immigrants with respect and dignity as they find solutions that are inclusive of this growing community.

And they should remember that only the federal government can regulate employment and presence of immigrants. Laws in other states that have attempted to challenge this authority have not been upheld. It would not make sense to have a hodge-podge of laws that differ from state to state regarding who can come into our country.

The federal government has failed to address the immigration issue, but that does not mean we should attempt to solve the problems on a state by state basis. Rather, we should be encouraging the Congress and President to find workable solutions without stereotyping or making scapegoats of people. Solutions that allow well intentioned immigrants to live and contribute to our society as they move toward full citizenship are solutions we can all live with.

>Bessemer…it really is OK (if you ignore the negatives)

November 14, 2007

>Maybe I should say “If you address the negatives.”

I get a lot of email from readers of my columns in The Western Tribune and readers of this blog (from people who do not want to post comments). Most of it is supportive, but some is not. One question I hear from time to time is why do I focus so much on negative stuff about Bessemer.

So I went back through the archives a few weeks, and while I admit some things may be negative to me and positive to others, and vice versa, it comes out about even. I mean, a column about a shooting could also have information about efforts to reduce crime…so is that a positive or negative article about Bessemer?

Anyway, “negative” stories usually reveal some type of inappropriate activity, be it crime or hypocrisy or plagiarism or inaccurate reporting by newspapers, and those types of activities need to be made public. Not reporting on these types of things is equal to participating in it. That is why The Western Tribune out performs the Western Star in every instance. If you report “news” in Bessemer, which is what “newspapers” should do, there are going to be “negative” stories. At least there are stories…

So I am going to comment on this report aired last night on Fox 6. It is about Donald Moulton, who already has a breach of contract suit against him filed by a former business owner in Homewood, and federal charges of identity theft and mail fraud as reported on Bessemer Opinions and now theft of services charges filed by former employees at the Broken Vessel Church.

I still have hopes that this church can become a postive thing for the community, but not under his “leadership.” A prominant area pastor is considering taking over the ministry. I have not said this about the church before, but let’s just hope that whoever takes it over will be open and accepting of all the communities of Bessemer, including the gay community. Maybe that is why the Baptist church there dwindled, because “they” pick and choose who God should love (although in their case it had more to do with racism than homophobia).

Another community that is picked on is the latino community. My column in The Western Tribune today is about immigration, and here it is, minus possible editing. Stop now if you want to wait and read it in the paper. I refered to testimony of Sam Brooke in the column. If anyone wants to read the entire testimony I will email it to you.

This could easily have been an 800 word column, and been more informative, but space restrictions limited it.

*******************************************************************
Immigration is a hot topic but wouldn’t it be nice if everyone knew the facts before forming opinions and voicing them on talk radio and such?

The state’s Joint Interim Patriotic Immigration Commission held a public hearing recently and some little known facts were revealed during the testimony. Sam Brooke, Law Fellow with the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, took the opportunity to dispel several myths, as the following examples from his testimony point out.

One myth is that immigrants without legal status cause a rise in criminal activity. The fact is that an increase in immigrants – with or without legal status- generally causes a reduction in crime. This was proven in court in Hazelton, PA, when anti-immigrant ordinances were being challenged, and testimony brought the true facts out.

In addition it has been shown in our own state that immigrants are more likely to be the victims rather than the perpetrators of criminal activity. We only need to look as far as Lipscomb where Hispanics were recently being targeted to realize this, but an article from the Montgomery Advertiser (October 16, 2007) also backs this up.

Another myth is that immigrants drain public health dollars and put a strain on medical services. A recent study in Georgia estimated that undocumented immigrants contribute between $215 and $252 million to the state’s coffers, and in Texas it is estimated they contribute $380 million more than they use in relation to state-provided services. While similar numbers are not available for our state, it can be concluded that immigrants who lack legal status do not cost our state money.

Immigrants without legal status have been made scapegoats over these issues. To combat this, the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice and the ACLU of Alabama are encouraging the Immigration Commission and our Legislature to treat immigrants with respect and dignity as they find solutions that are inclusive of this growing community.

And they should remember that only the federal government can regulate employment and presence of immigrants. Laws in other states that have attempted to challenge this authority have not been upheld. It would not make sense to have a hodge-podge of laws that differ from state to state regarding who can come into our country.

The federal government has failed to address the immigration issue, but that does not mean we should attempt to solve the problems on a state by state basis. Rather, we should be encouraging the Congress and President to find workable solutions without stereotyping or making scapegoats of people. Solutions that allow well intentioned immigrants to live and contribute to our society as they move toward full citizenship are solutions we can all live with.

Death Penalty Revisited

July 25, 2007

Is it not just a little odd that the dean of Cumberland School of Law at Samford Univerity is named John Carroll, and that John Carroll High School is just a couple of miles away n the same road!

Anyway, John Carroll, the dean, says that Alabama’s death penalty law needs to be studied, and that it has flaws in it that should be addressed. The Story
He was a member of the American Bar Association’s death penalty assessment team for Alabama that in 2006 suggested several reforms. Among them:
Revamping indigent defense services
Providing defense counsel in state post-conviction proceedings (Alabama being the only state that does not do this)
Providing standards for judges in overriding jury recommendations.
Enacting a post-conviction DNA law

Sounds like the time for study is over. The ACLU released a report titled Broken Justice: The Death Penalty in Alabama in 2005. This 27 page report outlines clearly the problems Alabama has with its death penalty laws.

But as Carroll says, attempts to talk with state officials have not been successful.

This is a related story about post conviction DNA testing for Darrell Grayson, scheduled for execution on Thursday. that story

Did you know that in 2005 Alabama sentenced more people to death than Georgia…Mississippi…Louisiana…and Tennessee…combined! Do you think the criminals of our state are really that more heinous than our surrounding states? That doesn’t make sense, when you realize that we are arguably the most “Christian” of all the states. One would think that those values would filter down to would be criminals enough to produce lower crime rates and more civility. I mean, if we have more “Christians” spreading the word of God, with any success one would expect to see lower crime rates and such.

Oh yeah, they believe same sex marriage is the greatest threat. So they ignore their failure to address social issues that really matter. Issues like poverty and hunger, health disparities, after school programs for inner city kids…things that might make a difference in so many lives. Instead they focus on demonizing gays and lesbians and rallying people around hatred rather than love. How refreshing to see an African American pastor from the south questioning the use of scripture to target GLBT people during the Democratic Youtube debate the other night View the question on Youtube . And to hear candidates talking frankly about equal rights. read the transcript on CNN Sorry, but you will have to scroll down to find this question and the candidate’s answers.

One can only dream….

>Death Penalty Revisited

July 25, 2007

>Is it not just a little odd that the dean of Cumberland School of Law at Samford Univerity is named John Carroll, and that John Carroll High School is just a couple of miles away n the same road!

Anyway, John Carroll, the dean, says that Alabama’s death penalty law needs to be studied, and that it has flaws in it that should be addressed. The Story
He was a member of the American Bar Association’s death penalty assessment team for Alabama that in 2006 suggested several reforms. Among them:
Revamping indigent defense services
Providing defense counsel in state post-conviction proceedings (Alabama being the only state that does not do this)
Providing standards for judges in overriding jury recommendations.
Enacting a post-conviction DNA law

Sounds like the time for study is over. The ACLU released a report titled Broken Justice: The Death Penalty in Alabama in 2005. This 27 page report outlines clearly the problems Alabama has with its death penalty laws.

But as Carroll says, attempts to talk with state officials have not been successful.

This is a related story about post conviction DNA testing for Darrell Grayson, scheduled for execution on Thursday. that story

Did you know that in 2005 Alabama sentenced more people to death than Georgia…Mississippi…Louisiana…and Tennessee…combined! Do you think the criminals of our state are really that more heinous than our surrounding states? That doesn’t make sense, when you realize that we are arguably the most “Christian” of all the states. One would think that those values would filter down to would be criminals enough to produce lower crime rates and more civility. I mean, if we have more “Christians” spreading the word of God, with any success one would expect to see lower crime rates and such.

Oh yeah, they believe same sex marriage is the greatest threat. So they ignore their failure to address social issues that really matter. Issues like poverty and hunger, health disparities, after school programs for inner city kids…things that might make a difference in so many lives. Instead they focus on demonizing gays and lesbians and rallying people around hatred rather than love. How refreshing to see an African American pastor from the south questioning the use of scripture to target GLBT people during the Democratic Youtube debate the other night View the question on Youtube . And to hear candidates talking frankly about equal rights. read the transcript on CNN Sorry, but you will have to scroll down to find this question and the candidate’s answers.

One can only dream….

>BNA Web Site, and ACLU Stands Up for Toddler

July 17, 2007

>The Bessemer Neighborhood Association has a new web site: Bessemerneighbors.com.

There we will post news regarding meetings, goals, accomplishments, etc.

The ACLU of Alabama has issued a press release regarding the banning of the HIV positive toddler from a pool in south Alabama. This is an example of how people need to educate themselves if they are going to be serving the public. Here is part of that release:

MONTGOMERY, AL – The American Civil Liberties Union sent a letter to the owner of the Wales West RV park in Silverhill, Alabama today demanding that it stop discriminating against people with HIV by barring people with the disease from using the swimming pool, showers and other common areas of the park without a letter from a doctor.

“This kind of ignorance and prejudice is unacceptable at this point in the HIV epidemic,” said Olivia Turner, Executive Director of the ACLU of Alabama. “After more than two decades of studying the disease, we know that you can’t catch HIV by swimming next to someone with the disease or using a public shower.”

According to media reports, Dick and Silvia Glover’s two-year-old foster son Caleb was banned from the pool and other common areas of the RV park by its owner Ken Zadnichek after Silvia mentioned to a desk clerk that the boy had HIV. Although Caleb had been looking forward to taking a ride on the park’s two train rides, the couple had no choice but to leave the park.

“Mr. Zadnichek should be ashamed of himself for picking on a defenseless two-year old,” said Christine Sun, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s AIDS Project. “Mr. Zadnichek claims that he was merely trying to protect other campers, but he had nothing to protect other campers against. Ignorance about the disease is no excuse for prejudice.”

The letter sent by the ACLU explains that discrimination against people with HIV is illegal under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and demands that the park owner send written assurances to the ACLU that the park will no longer discriminate against people with HIV. The letter also notes that the ADA prohibits businesses from imposing eligibility requirements, such as requiring a doctor’s note, that screen out people with disabilities. The letter quotes information from the Alabama Department of Public Health making it clear that, “[y]ou do not get HIV from an HIV-infected person by working together, playing sports, shaking hands, hugging, closed-mouth kissing, sharing drinking glasses, eating utensils or towels, using the same wash water or toilet, swimming in the same pool, or coming in contact with their sneezes, coughs, tears or sweat.”

“Basic Facts About HIV and AIDS,” available at www.adph.org/aids/assets/HIVAIDSfactSheet.pdf.

BNA Web Site, and ACLU Stands Up for Toddler

July 17, 2007

The Bessemer Neighborhood Association has a new web site: Bessemerneighbors.com.

There we will post news regarding meetings, goals, accomplishments, etc.

The ACLU of Alabama has issued a press release regarding the banning of the HIV positive toddler from a pool in south Alabama. This is an example of how people need to educate themselves if they are going to be serving the public. Here is part of that release:

MONTGOMERY, AL – The American Civil Liberties Union sent a letter to the owner of the Wales West RV park in Silverhill, Alabama today demanding that it stop discriminating against people with HIV by barring people with the disease from using the swimming pool, showers and other common areas of the park without a letter from a doctor.

“This kind of ignorance and prejudice is unacceptable at this point in the HIV epidemic,” said Olivia Turner, Executive Director of the ACLU of Alabama. “After more than two decades of studying the disease, we know that you can’t catch HIV by swimming next to someone with the disease or using a public shower.”

According to media reports, Dick and Silvia Glover’s two-year-old foster son Caleb was banned from the pool and other common areas of the RV park by its owner Ken Zadnichek after Silvia mentioned to a desk clerk that the boy had HIV. Although Caleb had been looking forward to taking a ride on the park’s two train rides, the couple had no choice but to leave the park.

“Mr. Zadnichek should be ashamed of himself for picking on a defenseless two-year old,” said Christine Sun, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s AIDS Project. “Mr. Zadnichek claims that he was merely trying to protect other campers, but he had nothing to protect other campers against. Ignorance about the disease is no excuse for prejudice.”

The letter sent by the ACLU explains that discrimination against people with HIV is illegal under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and demands that the park owner send written assurances to the ACLU that the park will no longer discriminate against people with HIV. The letter also notes that the ADA prohibits businesses from imposing eligibility requirements, such as requiring a doctor’s note, that screen out people with disabilities. The letter quotes information from the Alabama Department of Public Health making it clear that, “[y]ou do not get HIV from an HIV-infected person by working together, playing sports, shaking hands, hugging, closed-mouth kissing, sharing drinking glasses, eating utensils or towels, using the same wash water or toilet, swimming in the same pool, or coming in contact with their sneezes, coughs, tears or sweat.”

“Basic Facts About HIV and AIDS,” available at www.adph.org/aids/assets/HIVAIDSfactSheet.pdf.

>Bessemer Happenings and Roses, Roses, Roses

April 20, 2007

>Tomorrow (Saturday, April 21, 2007), is the second workday at Jonesboro Community Garden. We have a few more trees to plant, and mulch to spread and more. Please bring gardening gloves, sunscreen, snacks, water, and tools. 8 to 12.

This rose is Mutabilis, first recognized in 1894. Our small shrubs will grow to about 6 feet and be covered with blooms that change colors from a peachy yellow to a cameo pink and finally a crimson on the third day. This change is caused by sunlight acting on pigments in the petals. The fragrance changes also, and the rebloom is continuous.

In the next few weeks look for some major announcements and a few meetings here in Bessemer that you might be interested in. I will make one announcement now. Most of you already know this, but we will have a new newspaper called The Western Tribune, or “Trib.” Publication will begin in May, and yes, my voice will be heard. To subscribe, or to place an ad, or just to get information, call 425-7171. Subscribe to be sure to receive the premier issue May 16, 2007.

I was told this is The Black Prince Rose but I have my doubts. Anybody know?

On June 4 there will be a meeting at 7th Street Baptist Church with the police department and our city council person Earl Cochran. This meeting will focus on safety and security, and some new ideas will be introduced. Old ideas like noise will be discussed also. I will confirm the date and time closer to the event.

Soon after that will be a Town Hall meeting, more for the whole city, at Broken Vessel Full Gospel Church, at which several new ideas for the city will be introduced. When the date is confirmed I will let you know, and you really should attend, plus you will get to see the inside of the restored church.

These two roses are rugosas, an ancient class of rose known for their tolerance of poor conditions and many, many thorns. I am impressed with their fragrance.

Look for the building on 19th Street to come down real soon. This, according to Earl. I was pleased that Earl agreed with me on some things. One is that to be progressive in today’s world concern’s for the environment is a must. The U. S. Pipe expansion has not been announced, but whether it is located in Bessemer or Birmingham, the new plant will be environmentally friendly and upgrades to the old plant will bring it up to standards (of some level) also, according to U. S. Pipe officials.

The blooms of Cl. Clotilde Soupert are so full and so heavy that the stems of this young plant can not hold them up. It was introduced in 1902, and is another old rose with outstanding fragrance. I’m hoping as the climber matures the blooms will be better supported.

Here is something of note. Northport, AL resident, and Alabama School of Fine Arts Student (in Birmingham) Elizabeth Esser-Stuart received a $4000 scholarship from the American Civil Liberties Union for her role in protecting civil liberties for young people.

Elizabeth took action when the principal of her school forbade students from wearing t-shirts with the slogan, “Gay? Fine by me.” Elizabeth, only a sophomore at the time, did copious legal research on students’ constitutional right to free expression and worked to educate her fellow students on the importance of free speech. On several occasions, she presented research to the principal that made it clear that the ban was unconstitutional, urging him to reverse his policy. He refused.

Subsequently, Elizabeth contacted the ACLU of Alabama. Working together, they challenged the principal’s action. Elizabeth’s extraordinary efforts to protect her fellow students’ constitutional rights paid off when the principal agreed to let the students resume wearing the shirts.

“In a time when our rights are being threatened and core values undermined, it is inspiring to see young people stand up and defend our freedoms,” said ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero. “This scholarship is one way the ACLU can recognize the bravery and determination of these young men and women who could be tomorrow’s leaders.”

Want a T shirt? http://www.finebyme.org/


This might be Jeanne D’Arc, a noisette from 1848. There are three of these vigorous climbers in our yard and they also produce a good fragrance. In a few days they will be covered with blooms.

Bessemer Happenings and Roses, Roses, Roses

April 20, 2007

Tomorrow (Saturday, April 21, 2007), is the second workday at Jonesboro Community Garden. We have a few more trees to plant, and mulch to spread and more. Please bring gardening gloves, sunscreen, snacks, water, and tools. 8 to 12.

This rose is Mutabilis, first recognized in 1894. Our small shrubs will grow to about 6 feet and be covered with blooms that change colors from a peachy yellow to a cameo pink and finally a crimson on the third day. This change is caused by sunlight acting on pigments in the petals. The fragrance changes also, and the rebloom is continuous.

In the next few weeks look for some major announcements and a few meetings here in Bessemer that you might be interested in. I will make one announcement now. Most of you already know this, but we will have a new newspaper called The Western Tribune, or “Trib.” Publication will begin in May, and yes, my voice will be heard. To subscribe, or to place an ad, or just to get information, call 425-7171. Subscribe to be sure to receive the premier issue May 16, 2007.

I was told this is The Black Prince Rose but I have my doubts. Anybody know?

On June 4 there will be a meeting at 7th Street Baptist Church with the police department and our city council person Earl Cochran. This meeting will focus on safety and security, and some new ideas will be introduced. Old ideas like noise will be discussed also. I will confirm the date and time closer to the event.

Soon after that will be a Town Hall meeting, more for the whole city, at Broken Vessel Full Gospel Church, at which several new ideas for the city will be introduced. When the date is confirmed I will let you know, and you really should attend, plus you will get to see the inside of the restored church.

These two roses are rugosas, an ancient class of rose known for their tolerance of poor conditions and many, many thorns. I am impressed with their fragrance.

Look for the building on 19th Street to come down real soon. This, according to Earl. I was pleased that Earl agreed with me on some things. One is that to be progressive in today’s world concern’s for the environment is a must. The U. S. Pipe expansion has not been announced, but whether it is located in Bessemer or Birmingham, the new plant will be environmentally friendly and upgrades to the old plant will bring it up to standards (of some level) also, according to U. S. Pipe officials.

The blooms of Cl. Clotilde Soupert are so full and so heavy that the stems of this young plant can not hold them up. It was introduced in 1902, and is another old rose with outstanding fragrance. I’m hoping as the climber matures the blooms will be better supported.

Here is something of note. Northport, AL resident, and Alabama School of Fine Arts Student (in Birmingham) Elizabeth Esser-Stuart received a $4000 scholarship from the American Civil Liberties Union for her role in protecting civil liberties for young people.

Elizabeth took action when the principal of her school forbade students from wearing t-shirts with the slogan, “Gay? Fine by me.” Elizabeth, only a sophomore at the time, did copious legal research on students’ constitutional right to free expression and worked to educate her fellow students on the importance of free speech. On several occasions, she presented research to the principal that made it clear that the ban was unconstitutional, urging him to reverse his policy. He refused.

Subsequently, Elizabeth contacted the ACLU of Alabama. Working together, they challenged the principal’s action. Elizabeth’s extraordinary efforts to protect her fellow students’ constitutional rights paid off when the principal agreed to let the students resume wearing the shirts.

“In a time when our rights are being threatened and core values undermined, it is inspiring to see young people stand up and defend our freedoms,” said ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero. “This scholarship is one way the ACLU can recognize the bravery and determination of these young men and women who could be tomorrow’s leaders.”

Want a T shirt? http://www.finebyme.org/


This might be Jeanne D’Arc, a noisette from 1848. There are three of these vigorous climbers in our yard and they also produce a good fragrance. In a few days they will be covered with blooms.