Publix wacky for building a store downtown?

PublixHas Publix gone mad?

The executives at Publix must be on drugs—bought at its own pharmacy.

Why would any sane company build a grocery store in downtown Birmingham?—not just a kids sized model—but a full size grocery store—pharmacy and all.

Publix must not have gotten the memo about white/black flight from the city center and the vast dangerous wasteland left behind.

Has Publix lost all sense of reality?
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Fire Ray Watts chant makes me crazy

My granddaughter, Aly, proudly pictured with UAB Cheerleaders

My 5 year old granddaughter, Aly, proudly pictured with UAB Cheerleaders at CUSA Tournament

The UAB basketball team won nine straight home games, triumphed in the Conference USA Tournament, and captured a cherished birth in the NCAA Play Offs.  But as the clock counted down in the final moments of the Conference USA championship game, some UAB fans broke into the all too familiar chant, “Fire Ray Watts!”

I completely understand why many UAB fans are upset.  Last fall the plug was pulled on UAB football and the decision and announcement was totally mishandled.  We must blame someone. Continue reading

Posted in David Sher posts, Government structure, UAB | Tagged , | 7 Comments

The hole in Jefferson County no one seems to know about

HoleWhere are they?

At first I thought they had moved to surrounding counties—and some did, but that’s not the hole story.

It’s common knowledge that Jefferson County’s population is stagnant—but I got curious about the details.

According to the 2010 Census, Jefferson County lost .5% of its population from 2000-2010– 662,047 to 658,466.

Not a big deal –we only lost 3,581 people.

But then I found the hole. Continue reading

Posted in David Sher posts, Government structure, Population | Tagged | 3 Comments

There’s no stopping Birmingham

Maury Shevin

Maury Shevin

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Maury Shevin.  If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

I recently attended a meeting of real estate professionals from the Birmingham area.

Dick Schmalz, President RGS Properties, spoke about his 20 Midtown development.  20 Midtown is the new Publix, Starbucks, retail and apartment buildings that are being developed between 3rd and 4th Avenues South on both sides of 20th Street.  These are not pie-in-the-sky projects.  They are real with building permits and bank financing. Dick said these three projects will cost more than $100 million.

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Posted in Alabama Constitution, Birmingham School System, Corporate community, Government structure, Guest blogger, UAB, What's great about Birmingham | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

The one solution that will propel Birmingham

Birmilngham skyline nightI’ve given scores of speeches about a better Birmingham.

At the beginning of my talk I always ask the same question: “Who thinks Birmingham has reached its potential?”

No one has ever raised a hand.  Not one hand out of thousands of people.

How’s that possible?

Birmingham’s beautiful; our people are smart and generous—and we’re located in the heart of the South—the fastest growing region in the United States.

Some blame our lack of progress on race—some on poor leadership…but The Washington Post has laid it out for us.

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I hate the Magic City

The Magic CityI like Birmingham, but I don’t like our nickname, ‘The Magic City.’

I like “The Magic City” for historical purposes, and I know that is what we call ourselves, but that name is not going to get us anywhere outside of Birmingham.

Those of us who live here know we’re ‘The Magic City.’  Outside of Alabama—not so much.

In fact, if you GoogleMagic City,’ your first option will be an Atlanta adult entertainment night club. Continue reading

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Birmingham at mercy of outside interests

Sharecroppers

Sharecroppers

A sharecropper is someone who raises crops for the owner of a piece of land and is paid a portion of the money from the sale of the crops.

We in Birmingham have always been controlled by outside landlords.

Birmingham is the city of iron and steel and historically U.S. Steel controlled every aspect of our lives-politics, business, and people.  U.S. Steel is headquartered in Pittsburgh and was for much of Birmingham’s history our largest employer.  Birmingham’s labor was first to be laid off and last to be rehired.  All decisions favored Pittsburgh over Birmingham, and of course, all profits were sent up north.

Fortunately, U.S. Steel is no longer our largest employer, but unfortunately we are still being impacted. February 5th, U.S. Steel announced it could lay off up to 1,840 workers here.

But even though we are not now totally dependent on U.S. Steel, we are still controlled by outsiders. Continue reading

Posted in Alabama Constitution, Corporate community, David Sher posts, Government structure, UAB | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

White man responds to black woman’s Birmingham childhood memories

Jerry Carter

Jerry Carter

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Jerry Carter, wrote a piece in December titled, “Birmingham: The city of my youth makes a comeback.”  RavenBarnes responded with “Birmingham of my youth–from a black perspective.” Now Mr. Carter answers Ms. Barnes.

 If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

Most likely, each of us can reach back into our pasts and re-live certain things that formed our opinions and lifestyles.  Continue reading

Posted in David Sher posts, Race relations | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Rich folks & black politicians holding Birmingham down?

Tanner Colby authored book, "Some of my best friends are black

Tanner Colby authored book, “Some of my best friends are black

Unfortunately I didn’t attend the Martin Luther King Unity Breakfast January 19th, but immediately after Tanner Colby, the speaker, began his remarks, the texts and e-mails started coming—telling me I should have been there.

Since I did not hear the speech and have been unable to obtain a written transcript, I am basing my remarks on e-mails, texts, and comments from friends and from the article about the speech on al.com titled, Tiny suburban kingdoms, desire for black power keep Birmingham from achieving MLK dream, author says.”

Tanner Colby, author of the book, “Some of my best friends are black,” spent five years living in Vestavia Hills before going off to college in 1993. Continue reading

Posted in David Sher posts, Government structure, Race relations | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Birmingham of my youth–from a black perspective

3rd Avenue North facing East with Alabama & Lyric Theatres

Third Avenue North facing east from 18th Street with Lyric & Alabama Theatres–remembered differently by black & white

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is RavenBarnes. As far as I know, I don’t know Mr./Ms. Barnes since his/her comments below were published in his/her user name on al.com. This is his/her response to a guest blog recently written by a white male–Jerry Carter– Birmingham:  The city of my youth makes a comeback. 

 If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

It seems that we spent our childhoods in Birmingham around the same time period, but although I remember a few things differently than Mr. Carter, I also remember being able to laugh and enjoy the Birmingham that I was given. Continue reading

Posted in Guest blogger, Race relations | Tagged , , | 5 Comments