Showing posts from April, 2013

From the Anniston Star via the San Francisco Chronicle: Anniston aims to be Alabama's biking haven - SFGate

Nice Piece by Tim Lockette of Anniston Star on Anniston' goal of being a Model City for bicyclists.

The piece ran in The Star, went out over the AP Wire and was picked up in San Fran --

Anniston aims to be Alabama's biking haven - SFGate: ANNISTON, Ala. (AP) — Tom Sauret thinks Anniston has what it takes.

An avid cyclist and director of the Southeastern Off-Road Bicycle Association, Sauret is a big fan of Coldwater Mountain, the nature preserve where bikers can speed along more than a dozen miles of trail dedicated to cycles.

"In two years, I think, they'll be able to host a major race," Sauret said. "That site can accommodate a multi-faceted mountain biking event."

Read more:

Anniston is the trailhead for The Chief Ladiga Trail, a paved rail trail that runs about 100 miles through rural Alabama and Georgia to ending in suburban Atlanta.
It is also home to the Coldwater Mountain  Forever Wild Mountain Biking Trail System which is an amazing and expanding …

"Is Birmingham Next Moab?" asks All Over The Map (A national blog for mountain bikers)

Is Birmingham Next Moab? 
From All Over The Map (national blog for mountain bikers): "Three times in the last four years, I’ve traveled to Alabama in the spring. Over the course of those trips, I’ve been surprised by the quality of trails here, and how fast the singletrack continues to expand. It’s a riding destination that has few rivals—I’m sure that someday soon it will be as well known among mountain bikers as Whistler or Moab......" Read more at the All over the Map Blog

Hats off to B.U.M.P. for making leading this mountain biking trails movement locally. And there is a lot more to come with future developments in the Red Rock Ridge and Valley Trail System and at Red Mountain Park and Tannehill, the list goes on.

Governing: A Powerful Measure of Urban Health: the Stroller Index

A Powerful Measure of Urban Health: the Stroller Index: From 2000 to 2010, the population of Hoboken, N.J., grew by nearly 30 percent, making it the fastest-growing city in the Northeast. The city had hit its population peak of more than 70,000 in 1910 and then had experienced a nearly unbroken record of decline until bottoming out at about 33,000 in 1990. Today Hoboken has slightly more than 50,000 folks. Median household income is $101,782, almost double that of the nation as a whole. In short, the town is doing very well these days, and I think I know why.
When Governing's Jonathan Walters and David Kidd were in Hoboken to research and shoot photos for an article in the April issue about the mayor's plans to better manage the next superstorm, they noticed baby strollers all over town. David coined the term "stroller index" and said Hoboken seemed to be way up there on that measure.

Bessemer's Westhills Elementary expects success

Bessemer's Westhills Elementary is majority black and majority poor, but it is outperforming state averages at every grade level.
Get a glimpse of what is going on.

April PARCA Perspective on Taxes

Alabama taxes are the inverse of the federal tax system. They fall more heavily on the poor than the rich.
Read about it in this month's PARCA Perspective.

Whan that Aprill ... The annual eternal universal

From Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac, April 17:

According to legend, it was on this day in 1397 that Geoffrey Chaucer recited The Canterbury Tales (books by this author) to the court of Richard II. Although there is no evidence that this actually happened, it is easy to imagine the scene, in part because of a famous painting of Chaucer reciting his poetry to the court, painted in the early 15th century. The prologue of Canterbury Tales opens with the famous lines: Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote
And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
Whan Zephirus eek with his sweete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his halfe cours yronne,
And smale foweles maken melodye,
That slepen al the nyght with open eye-
(So priketh hem Nature in hir corages);
Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages
And palmeres for to seken str…

Bike friendly grants available for a limited time

Take Note:
The Bikes Belong Coalition is offering Community Partnership Grants, which are designed to support partnerships between city or county governments, nonprofit organizations, and local businesses that aim to improve the environment for bicycling in the community.

The goal of the Bikes Belong Coalition, sponsored by the American bicycle industry, is to put more people on bicycles more often.  
Grants, ranging from $2,000 to $10,000, are primarily provided for the construction or expansion of bicycle facilities such as bike lanes, trails, and paths as well as advocacy projects that promote bicycling as a safe and accessible mode of transportation.
The application deadline is May 24, 2013. Visit the Coalition’s website to review the application guidelines and download the application form.

Coldwater Mountain Trail Needs Your Vote Today |

Coldwater Mountain Trail Needs Your Vote Today |  - Bell Bike Helmets is holding a national vote to fund three separate trails at the tune of $100,000. Alabama's own Coldwater Mountain, near Anniston, Alabama is in the running under the "Flow Trail" category. Today is the last day you can cast a vote.

Here is how you can make a difference.

* Visit the Bell Bike Helmet Facebook page.

Birmingham, Ala., embraces its complex history -

Birmingham, Ala., embraces its complex history -
Travel Piece starts with the usual disclaimers but soon we have another convert:

"After a few short days, I found myself becoming a banner carrier for Birmingham: Anyone who cares about U.S. history should plan a trip here."

Read the whole thing.

When the spirit moves you

Hello all, I writing to let you know of a few events coming up next week In this year, as we are commemorating the 50th anniversary of the momentous event of 1963 in Birmingham, much has been written and much has been said. But I’m not sure we’ve sung enough.
It’s the one sure way to cut through the complexities and come to the commonalities. In my career as a reporter, I had the privilege of experiencing mass meetings at small rural churches in Randolph County. I heard Fred Shuttlesworth preach, and years later heard him eulogized in word and song.  I crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge several times during the annual reenactment of the Selma to Montgomery March.
I wished at the time that I could do more to share with my readers the visceral experience of being there. Moving with people who shared a common purpose. The mood of joy, not anger, in the face of difficulty. The infectiousness of the music and the beat. Wanting to sing even though as a neutral observer I wasn’t supposed…