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Showing posts from July, 2013

PARCA Report: Alabama needs a realistic conversation about roads and what we are willing to pay for

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Just over twenty years ago, PARCA issued its first report on the condition of Alabama’s system of roads and bridges.



      Periodically, since then, we have updated that report to chart the progress of the system.



This new edition of that report comes at a pivotal time for Alabama’s transportation network and for that of the United States as a whole, a time to evaluate transportation needs, to set priorities, and to determine the best way to pay for those priorities.


           In short, the number of miles traveled on Alabama roads continues to increase but the revenue from the state's per gallon gas tax is not keeping pace. It's actually down from its 2006 peak. Meanwhile construction costs continue climb.




John Cassidy: Don’t Give Up on Detroit : The New Yorker

Detroit and Birmingham have a lot in common.

We tend blame current politicians and citizenry for problems that were created by decades of global economic evolution.

Link: John Cassidy: Don’t Give Up on Detroit : The New Yorker:

Contrary to what some commentators have been arguing, however, Detroit’s troubles can’t be traced simply to bloated payrolls and intransigent public-sector unions: decades of deindustrialization are the main culprit. The population peaked in 1950, at 1.85 million. Since then, as the auto industry declined, and almost all the city’s white residents moved to the suburbs, the population has dropped by about sixty per cent

In Climbing Income Ladder, Location Matters - NYTimes.com

Study finds low economic mobility in South, compared to other regions

Link: In Climbing Income Ladder, Location Matters - NYTimes.com:

The study — based on millions of anonymous earnings records and being released this week by a team of top academic economists — is the first with enough data to compare upward mobility across metropolitan areas. These comparisons provide some of the most powerful evidence so far about the factors that seem to drive people’s chances of rising beyond the station of their birth, including education, family structure and the economic layout of metropolitan areas.

Civil rights activist Ruby Sales will help honor seminary student killed saving her life in 1965 | al.com

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Nice piece by Greg Garrison on a sacrifice made and the life that was saved.

Link: Civil rights activist Ruby Sales will help honor seminary student killed saving her life in 1965 | al.com:

Excerpt: "HAYNEVILLE, Alabama - Civil rights activist Jonathan Myrick Daniels died in 1965 saving the life of a teenage girl, Ruby Sales, who will participate in this year’s Aug. 10 pilgrimage honoring Daniels and others killed during the civil rights movement.

Daniels, who was a student at Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass., was shot in Hayneville on Aug. 20, 1965.

Daniels, of Keene, N.H., was one of 30 people arrested Aug. 14, 1965 for joining a picket line in Fort Deposit on charges of "parading without a permit" and "picketing to cause blood" - later changed to disturbing the peace. Bail was set at $100 apiece and the activists decided none would leave until all could be bailed out."

Fresh Air Interview with Bruce Katz, Author Of 'The Metropolitan Revolution' : NPR

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Comeback town?

Link: Interview: Bruce Katz, Author Of 'The Metropolitan Revolution' : NPR:

"Bruce Katz, vice president of the Brookings Institution, says that many American cities show promising signs of renewal. He's written a book with Brookings Fellow Jennifer Bradley called The Metropolitan Revolution: How Cities and Metros Are Fixing Our Broken Politics and Fragile Economy"

Louis Menand: The Rise and Fall of the Voting Rights Act : The New Yorker

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In the most recent New Yorker, a reminder of what brought about the Voting Rights Act as we mark its demise in the recent decision by the Supreme Court in the case brought by Shelby County

Link: Louis Menand: The Rise and Fall of the Voting Rights Act : The New Yorker:

Well worth the read.

Wildlife tourism spending tops $2 billion in Alabama, $19.4 billion in Gulf states, study finds | al.com

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Link: Wildlife tourism spending tops $2 billion in Alabama, $19.4 billion in Gulf states, study finds | al.com:

Excerpt: "GULF SHORES, Alabama -- From fishing to hunting to sightseeing, wildlife tourism generates more than $19.4 billion in spending across the five Gulf Coast states with Alabama having a $2 billion piece of the pie, according to a new study released Tuesday."

Living fossil, the Red Hill salamander provides link to Alabama's ancient past | al.com

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Link: Living fossil, the Red Hill salamander provides link to Alabama's ancient past | al.com:

Excerpt:

"These steep bluffs and the hollows below them in central Alabama are the oldest part of the Appalachian mountains, the first bones of a range that runs north to the Canadian border.

The hills are now the subject of great scientific interest, partly due to the discovery of the Red Hills Salamander in the 1960s. The species is much older than most salamander species, and likely diverged from the main lineage of salamanders 40 or 50 million years ago. Most common salamander species, by contrast, evolved from a common ancestor within the last 10 million years."

Internet station Birmingham Mountain Radio begins broadcasting over-the-air today on 107.3 FM | al.com

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Good news for fans of local radio:


Link: Internet station Birmingham Mountain Radio begins broadcasting over-the-air today on 107.3 FM | al.com:

Excerpt: "Starting at noon today, internet sensation Birmingham Mountain Radio also can be heard over-the-air here on the 107.3 FM signal, AL.com has learned. It will replace syndicated sports station 107.3 The Ticket."

"An adult album alternative (AAA) station whose playlist includes such artists as Toad the Wet Sprocket, Mumford and Sons, Jason Isbell and the Civil Wars, Birmingham Mountain Radio launched as an internet-only station in December 2010, and for three years in a row, it has been voted the city’s best radio station by readers of The Birmingham News."