Archive for the ‘Riverchase Galleria’ Category

Bessemer: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

March 8, 2007

Today I am just going to write about some issues here in Bessemer. I might start doing this on Thursdays each week, because both The Western Star and The Birmingham News West News arrive on Wednesdays. Before I forget, be sure and read the comment left on yesterday’s post (No News) by Jennifer, who is voicing her concern about go-carts on the streets. I live in the area she is referring to, and I have seen them too. One guy a couple of days ago was (actually) stopping at a stop sign and was using his foot on the asphalt to stop his vehicle. Didn’t the Flintstones do this? For their own safety, even if they are going to continue to break the law, they should put those flags on the go-carts so people in vehicles might see it out of the corner of their eye.

Here is the good. Being a student of science (again…literally) I was excited to read in both papers about the return of the science fair to Jess Lanier High School. My hat is off to anatomy and physiology teacher Harriet Westbrook who reintroduced the program. I remember two science projects in particular that I did in public school. One was a volcano made of different colors of modeling clay, representing the different layers of the earths crust. Part of it was cut away to show the layers. Also, we had a substance (I can’t remember what it was) that I could put down in the crater of the volcano and light, and it would smoke and spew and make a little lava flow. This was a long time ago, and probably you couldn’t get away with that now (using open flame and explosives), and probably I released toxins into the atmosphere of the lunchroom/auditorium that might still be affecting me now, but it was fun. I won’t bore you with the other project. 1000 Science Projects from A to Z was the book that I got a lot of ideas from when I was a kid. I wish I still had that book.

Congratulations to third place winner Trenton Hearns (9th Grade) whose project compared modern digital music players to older record players, second place finisher Shemarkus Johnson (10th Grade) who analyzed the microbes that live on our hands, and first place winner Rickey Brown (10th Grade) whose project explored water purification.

Included in science is biology and a part of the study of life is ornithology. A recent article in the Birmingham News brought to my attention conservation efforts that have made a city park in Roebuck a birdwatcher’s haven. The Great Backyard Bird Count was recently completed, and there are bird watchers here in Bessemer too. Twelve counters reported 30 species of birds and 1228 total birds. Of course this is just a small sample of the actual number of birds around, but it gives an idea of what we might see. View Bessemer’s bird counts here: http://gbbc.birdsource.org/gbbcApps/report?cmd=showReport&reportName=CitySummary&city=Bessemer&state=US-AL&year=2007

Another thing we have in Bessemer is a National Wildlife Refuge. Did you know? The Watercress Darter National Wildlife Refuge is just off Eastern Valley Road, and was created in 1980 and contains a pond known as Thomas Spring which is vital to the survival of the endangered Watercress Darter. The 23 acre refuge is managed by the Mountain Longleaf National Wildlife Refuge in Anniston. The web site is http://www.fws.gov/southeast/watercressdarter/index.html and here is the Watercress Darter.

The refuge is next to the McAdory house. There are no informational signs up yet, but there are improved paths for hiking and bird watching. Email me for directions.

By the way, the web site has not been updated and says the Refuge is managed by Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge.

Now for bad. This building is one block from my house. It has been abandoned for years, and why the thunderstorms and strong winds don’t finish it off I don’t know. The building was pictured on the front of The Western Star months ago, to try to draw attention, but I guess the right people have not seen it. Maybe they will see this picture.

Can we not just all get on one side and blow real hard?

One more thing. In case you don’t know, the Galleria Mall now has online shopping for its stores. The site is http://www.riverchasegalleria.com/html/index12.asp, and from there you can type in a product, for instance “Clark shoes”, and find where they are sold, and in some cases what styles are available and can reserve them. Type in “Weather Radio” (which we all should have) and several options come up. Also is a listing of “Hot Stores” and information for “mall walkers” and various other things. Explore, shop, spend!

And this is the Ugly. I will close with a quote from The Western Star of March 7, 2007. In an editorial, owner Bob Tribble says, “And we as newspaper folks must protect the rights of those with whom we disagree as well as those whom we agree” (Jefferson Was Definitely A “Visionary”). If only the editor, Dale Jones, agreed.

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>Bessemer: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

March 8, 2007

>Today I am just going to write about some issues here in Bessemer. I might start doing this on Thursdays each week, because both The Western Star and The Birmingham News West News arrive on Wednesdays. Before I forget, be sure and read the comment left on yesterday’s post (No News) by Jennifer, who is voicing her concern about go-carts on the streets. I live in the area she is referring to, and I have seen them too. One guy a couple of days ago was (actually) stopping at a stop sign and was using his foot on the asphalt to stop his vehicle. Didn’t the Flintstones do this? For their own safety, even if they are going to continue to break the law, they should put those flags on the go-carts so people in vehicles might see it out of the corner of their eye.

Here is the good. Being a student of science (again…literally) I was excited to read in both papers about the return of the science fair to Jess Lanier High School. My hat is off to anatomy and physiology teacher Harriet Westbrook who reintroduced the program. I remember two science projects in particular that I did in public school. One was a volcano made of different colors of modeling clay, representing the different layers of the earths crust. Part of it was cut away to show the layers. Also, we had a substance (I can’t remember what it was) that I could put down in the crater of the volcano and light, and it would smoke and spew and make a little lava flow. This was a long time ago, and probably you couldn’t get away with that now (using open flame and explosives), and probably I released toxins into the atmosphere of the lunchroom/auditorium that might still be affecting me now, but it was fun. I won’t bore you with the other project. 1000 Science Projects from A to Z was the book that I got a lot of ideas from when I was a kid. I wish I still had that book.

Congratulations to third place winner Trenton Hearns (9th Grade) whose project compared modern digital music players to older record players, second place finisher Shemarkus Johnson (10th Grade) who analyzed the microbes that live on our hands, and first place winner Rickey Brown (10th Grade) whose project explored water purification.

Included in science is biology and a part of the study of life is ornithology. A recent article in the Birmingham News brought to my attention conservation efforts that have made a city park in Roebuck a birdwatcher’s haven. The Great Backyard Bird Count was recently completed, and there are bird watchers here in Bessemer too. Twelve counters reported 30 species of birds and 1228 total birds. Of course this is just a small sample of the actual number of birds around, but it gives an idea of what we might see. View Bessemer’s bird counts here: http://gbbc.birdsource.org/gbbcApps/report?cmd=showReport&reportName=CitySummary&city=Bessemer&state=US-AL&year=2007

Another thing we have in Bessemer is a National Wildlife Refuge. Did you know? The Watercress Darter National Wildlife Refuge is just off Eastern Valley Road, and was created in 1980 and contains a pond known as Thomas Spring which is vital to the survival of the endangered Watercress Darter. The 23 acre refuge is managed by the Mountain Longleaf National Wildlife Refuge in Anniston. The web site is http://www.fws.gov/southeast/watercressdarter/index.html and here is the Watercress Darter.

The refuge is next to the McAdory house. There are no informational signs up yet, but there are improved paths for hiking and bird watching. Email me for directions.

By the way, the web site has not been updated and says the Refuge is managed by Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge.

Now for bad. This building is one block from my house. It has been abandoned for years, and why the thunderstorms and strong winds don’t finish it off I don’t know. The building was pictured on the front of The Western Star months ago, to try to draw attention, but I guess the right people have not seen it. Maybe they will see this picture.

Can we not just all get on one side and blow real hard?

One more thing. In case you don’t know, the Galleria Mall now has online shopping for its stores. The site is http://www.riverchasegalleria.com/html/index12.asp, and from there you can type in a product, for instance “Clark shoes”, and find where they are sold, and in some cases what styles are available and can reserve them. Type in “Weather Radio” (which we all should have) and several options come up. Also is a listing of “Hot Stores” and information for “mall walkers” and various other things. Explore, shop, spend!

And this is the Ugly. I will close with a quote from The Western Star of March 7, 2007. In an editorial, owner Bob Tribble says, “And we as newspaper folks must protect the rights of those with whom we disagree as well as those whom we agree” (Jefferson Was Definitely A “Visionary”). If only the editor, Dale Jones, agreed.