Birmingham: Can we all get along?

Willie Chriesman

Willie Chriesman

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

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

“Can We All Get Along?”

It was a desperate cry from the late Rodney King who spoke those words in the wake of the Los Angeles riots of 1992.

But too often when that question is asked of local government leaders around here, the answer seems usually to be “no.” Continue reading

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Did Birmingham blow its one big chance?

Alabama's four largest cities

Alabama’s four largest cities–Birmingham’s population has been in free fall

I got into a heated conversation with a good friend.

She told me she read that Huntsville may soon pass Birmingham as the largest city in Alabama–and was sure Birmingham would soon be relegated to second place.

This made no sense to me.

Who really cares if the City of  Huntsville is bigger than the City of Birmingham because Metropolitan Birmingham is nearly three times as large as Metropolitan Huntsville.

Huntsville’s not even in the same league as Birmingham.  Continue reading

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A new generation of dreamers ready to build a dynamic Birmingham

Matt Hottle

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

Today’s guest blogger is Matt Hottle.

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

Recently, Comeback Town published an article from an anonymous author that was very critical of Birmingham and its prospects for the future.

I’m not quick to publicly criticize anyone’s opinion but this article bothered me because it was only offered anonymously and appeared to be written from a poorly informed viewpoint. Continue reading

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Nick Saban proves we in Birmingham are a bunch of suckers

Coach Nick Saban

UA Football Coach Nick Saban

I must be nuts.

I’m actually writing an article that might be perceived as negative about the most popular and respected man in Alabama—maybe in Alabama history.

This story broke January 9th; about the same time Nick Saban and the UA football team won the National Championship—but wanting to show sensitivity to Saban worshipers (which include me), I waited until this week to publish. Continue reading

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Let’s step out of our ‘Little Kingdom’ and unite for a better Birmingham

Little KingdomComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham

Today’s guest blogger was written by a commenter who calls him/herself ‘bhamthoughts’.  

(ComebackTown generally does not publish anonymous blogs–but it’s difficult to find people willing to include their name when the content may be perceived as negative.)

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

I am not from here.

I wasn’t born or raised here, I didn’t go to a school that starts with an “A,” and you wouldn’t know my parents if they were standing right in front of you.

I am one of those rare people who have moved TO this city from somewhere else.  Now that I have been here a while, it’s no wonder our city isn’t growing and competing with the Nashvilles and Charlottes of the world.

Everything I mention below comes from a good place, these are just the realities of our community that we need to overcome if we ever want to grow like the rest of the country. Continue reading

Posted in Government structure, Guest blogger | Tagged | 10 Comments

The fairy tale story of Ray Watts and UAB football

Drawing Aly Martin-6 years old--who loves fairy tales

Drawing by Aly Martin-6 years old–who loves fairy tales & UAB

Don’t you love stories with  happy endings?

Once upon a time in the sleepy village of Birmingham, Alabama, an evil UAB President Ray Watts (or his Trustee Roundtable) made the decision to terminate UAB football.

The UAB students took up arms, the faculty revolted, and the townspeople arose.

Chicken Little ran through the streets yelling, “The sky is falling—the sky is falling.” Continue reading

Posted in David Sher posts, UAB, What's great about Birmingham | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

What if we could dramatically cut the number of homicides in Birmingham?

Christopher Nanni President & CEO Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham

Christopher Nanni, Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham.

Chief A.C. Roper Birmingham Police Department

Chief A.C. Roper
Birmingham Police Department

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

Today’s guest bloggers are Christopher Nanni and Chief A.C. Roper.

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

If you could prevent people from killing others, would you do something about it?

This is the question that the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham asked itself in 2014. The Foundation encountered a strategy being implemented around the country with dramatic results:  reducing homicides by up to 40% while at the same time decreasing incarceration, building police legitimacy, and offering those deemed the most likely to kill or be killed a way out.

Sound too good to be to be true? Continue reading

Posted in Guest blogger, What's great about Birmingham | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

No need for Birmingham to be a media laughingstock

Even Vulcan is embarrassed--drawing by Adam Stermer

Even Vulcan is embarrassed–drawing by Adam Stermer

I’ve agonized whether to publish this piece about our region’s propensity for humiliation.

One of my best friends warned me, “Why bring it up?…move on and forget it.”

I think we can be fairly certain, however, we are just around the corner from another embarrassment, and another, and another.

You probably think I’m going to write about fights at City Hall, pricey cell phone bills, or unexpected City Council pay increases, but Birmingham politics is only the tip of the iceberg. Continue reading

Posted in David Sher posts, Government structure | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Birmingham a hotbed for startups and young professionals

Maggie Belshe

Maggie Belshe

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

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

I’ve lived in Birmingham about four months now, and people still ask me where I’m from. I grew up in San Francisco, and went to school in New York.

The next question is inevitably some variation of “what brought you to Birmingham?” The short answer is Venture for America– a two-year fellowship in which recent graduates gain hands-on experience building a company under the guidance of an entrepreneur.

Continue reading

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Birmingham Crossplex–$100 million impact—gets a bad rap

Faye Oates, Birmingham Crossplex, Director

Faye Oates, Birmingham Crossplex, Director

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

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

The news media consistently reports the west side of Birmingham as a haven of crime and mayhem.

The news media very rarely reports on the west side residents who go to work every day, maintain their homes impeccably, and are committed to having a great neighborhood. Continue reading

Posted in Guest blogger, What's great about Birmingham | Tagged , | 1 Comment