Dre\’s Ramblings

The Ticker: One last look back at ’06, a challenge from an official and decision time for park supporters

Happy New Year to those that have taken the last few days to relax and enjoy yourselves. Here are a few links to some of the posts made in the last week, including a look back at the year that was and a look towards this one:

The Music of the Magic City Takes Center Stage as 2007 begins
The Year in Review: Let’s be realistic for 2007 (and dream a bit)
The Year in Review monthly review series (starting with December)

You may also notice as you pass over the links contained within posts throughout the blog that a small screen is beginning to pop up. Dre’s Ramblings is one of the beta testing sites for a new feature being offered by WordPress.com called Snap Preview Anywhere, or SPA. It’s a service of one of the newer search engine services, Snap.com. If any of you have any opinions or comments about what you think about it, please let me know so I can pass it on to the support team.

Thanks; now a short list today:

Robinson’s comments may lead to action

State legislator Oliver Robinson’s comments are bound to rub some of Birmingham’s Black community the wrong way when they are read this morning.

Blacks must act to emancipate selves, legislator says, The Birmingham News, 1.2.2007

Either that or there will be an voice that raises up in agreement with them, though many will not be sure just how to solve the issue of supporting local businesses. The issue exists with small businesses in general, when individuals are not quite sure what is available in their own back yard. Perhaps the words spoken by Robinson and others will lead to a longer discussion and solutions.

What to do now about the parks projects?

A recent decision by our national legislators threaten the future of several parkland projects throughout the state.

Earmark plan harms parks, The Birmingham News, 1.2.2007

There were many that were counting on the money for acquisition costs, most notably Red Mountain Park (talked about here). This recent wrinkle in plans and hopes for planners may finally weigh the true public sentiment for the park. It could provide a chance for the community to demonstrate its desire to have this facility constructed for them as its primary purpose instead of focusing on rankings among other cities per capita. The development of all three major park projects should be first and foremost for the betterment of its citizens. Hopefully, that will drive the future of the projects instead of prestige, especially when you consider the size of parks that serve similar purposes in larger cities.

The Ticker: See what happened “When the Levee Broke” at the Bottletree

I hope that everyone enjoyed the holidays. I sort of figured that people wouldn’t necessarily get into the Year in Review series (here’s the May post with links to the others completed so far) until I posted new links to the Taylor Hicks parade images. Well, there’s still a few more months to go. It also appears that I’m one of the few folks around town that decided to take an extra day off this week. Now I’m thinking that I should have taken off the entire week.


It seems that the Bottletree is hosting a two-night “D & D” (dinner and a doc) night beginning tomorrow evening. They’ll be showing Spike Lee’s “When the Levee Broke,” a moving chronicle of the issues still facing the people of New Orleans now more than a year after the damage inflicted by Hurricane Katrina. Acts 1 & 2 will be screened tomorrow; acts 3 & 4 will be screened on Thursday. The film will begin both evenings at 8 p.m. We’ve talked about the devastation and the progress her, most notably this post with a link to images throughout the city. I have a strange feeling that more people may get it after seeing the film.

And even though it is a D & D night in Avondale, you still don’t have an excuse to not visit an area Jim N’ Nick’s tomorrow for lunch. We described the fund raising effort for Making Children Aware of Predators (MCAP) in this post. All in all, a great way to make the end of the year productive, at least in terms of helping others.

Til tomorrow,


The Ticker: Help our youth, “Yea, Reg!” and Honor “The Toy Man”

The pending last days of the Christmas holiday craze leaves people running around town chasing down gifts, sending out cards at the last minute and hoping that you’ll be able to survive the trip to the parents or in-laws if it is in your future. There are a few things that have landed in the inbox for the site that need to be spread out to the masses.

Eat out December 27th and help protect children from predators

small-mcap-logo.jpgOne item that has come across the info desk here is the chance to eat out shortly after Christmas and not being guilty about the leftovers that you have in your fridge. Head out to your local Jim N’ Nick’s restaurant on December 27th and know that a portion of the proceeds from the purchase of your meal, whether it be at lunch or dinner, will be going towards supporting a new non-profit called Making Children Aware of Predators (MCAP). The group is a new non-profit that goes into schools and works within an age-appropriate curriculum to teach children about predators, when to get an adult involved, how to spot a predator online, and other helpful information beginning during the 2007-2008 academic year. Current plans are for all students in Jefferson County schools participating in a MCAP class every week. So go on, eat a Pig in a Blanket next Wednesday; it’s for a great cause.

Reg’s Coffeehouse returns to local terrestrial airwaves Sunday

One of the casualties of the radio carousel currently taking place in Birmingham, Alabama was the loss of a local carrier of Reg’s Coffeehouse. As I’ve discovered while writing posts about all of the changes recently the loss of Scott Register on local radio is one of the main reasons that many were upset with the demise of The X at 100.5. Well, Reg will be returning to local radio complete with an additional hour of programming. The show will now be broadcast from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. every Sunday beginning this week on Citadel Broadcasting station Y94.5, WYSF-FM, the flagship station for the Rick and Bubba Show. The show has continued to be broadcast in syndication since the format change at 100.5 last month. For those that miss hearing him, check out his site since archives of the syndicated show are available.

UPDATE: Click on the following link to read the story as it appears in today’s Birmingham News:

Reg’s Coffee House to return, The Birmingham News, December 21, 2006

Visit Spivey’s Hobby Store this weekend and remember “The Toy Man”

Herman Spivey was a well respected member of this community for many years. He was one of the first merchants I ever had the pleasure of speaking to one-on-one at his store’s former location on Tuscaloosa Avenue. He sat me down and talked to me for more than 2 hours that first time. I felt quite helpless in Chicago last summer as I found out that the building, a historic theater, had gone up in flames, knowing the amount of work that he and his wife, Carolyn has put into it. I knew how badly he wanted to reopen for his customers, and because he truly loved what he did.

Because of the cloud that I’ve been in recently due to the recent death of my grandmother (among other things) I was not aware that Mr. Spivey had passed away on November 29 at the age of 79. I had recently gone to visit the store at its new location and spoke with his wife in October. She relayed to me how upset he had been about not being able to come out and visit weith his long time customers. I’d always said that I would come over and get a model car once he got settled in at the new location at 1509 Lomb Avenue. This Friday and Saturday, December 22 and 23, many of his long time customers and I will get the chance to do just that as the store will be open one more time. Here’s the note that was on the door to the business as I drove by today:


I’d ask those that stumble across this to spread the word.

We’ll have more later including a look back at February.

Enjoy the day.