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WHAT:  Life Time Fitness Vestavia Hills, outside Birmingham, is set to open its doors to the public Dec. 30 to Jan. 2 to encourage residents to kick-off 2017 with a New Year's commitment to their health. During each of the four days, Life Time will feature a variety of health and fitness experiences and activities for all ages.

This week, Alabama students will join over 8,000 other Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) members at California’s San Diego Convention Center to participate in the 2016 FCCLA National Leadership Conference (NLC).
The FCCLA NLC provides wonderful opportunities for students to compete in national competitions, gain valuable leadership skills, explore interesting career pathways, have fun making new friends, and be inspired by some of our nation’s leading professionals and top motivational speakers. The theme of this year’s conference is “Empowered.”

Here is a list of public boat launches closest to Birmingham.  Most are within an hour’s drive time.  We included Lake Martin because so many Birminghamians use Lake Martin regularly.  For a complete list of boat launches in Alabama, click here.

Most of these boat launches have one or two lanes. Almost none have public bathrooms, so make arrangements accordingly.

Don’t forget that you need a valid Alabama boater’s license. You can take an online course to get your license or go to the license office for a test.

If you just want to go fishing and aren’t launching a boat, don’t forget Lake Purdy down 280.  Note: The Lake Purdy phone line is broken and they can't run the credit card machine, so take cash this weekend.




Claiborne (Hwy. 84 Lndg.)

Alabama River

Sprott Landing

Cahaba River

B.B. Comer Bridge


Beech Creek


Brown's Creek (Warrenton)




Crow Creek


Honeycomb Creek




Long Island


Mink Creek


Minky Creek


Mud Creek (G'ville)


North Sauty Creek


Scottsboro City Park


South Sauty Creek


Stevenson (Snodgrass Bridge)


Tom Jackson Park


Town Creek (G'ville)


Val Monte Rd. (Bucky Howe)




Beeswax Creek


Childersburg Access (Hollywood)


Flatlands (Pineview)


Glover's Ferry


Hidden Valley (Paint Creek)


Kelly Creek


The Narrows (Co. Rd. 400)




Madwin Creek (Windy Point)


Pace's Point (Pleasure Point)


Smith Mountain Landing


Young's Landing (D.A.R.E. Park)


Higgins Ferry


Riverview Access

Oliver (Black Warrior)

Lion's Park (Lick Creek)


Smith Lake Dam


Smith Lake Park


Binion Creek


Foster's Ferry


Moundville Access


Free jazz in the parks of Birmingham.  Laying out on blankets on the green, letting the music wash over you. There is probably nothing better.  Thanks to Magic City Smooth Jazz there are free jazz concerts in Birmingham and around the state. 

Magic City Smooth Jazz is a non-profit  dedicated to enhancing cultural activities through various styles of jazz in the State of Alabama.  Since its inception in 2008, Magic City Smooth Jazz has hosted over 75 FREE concerts to the public while presenting over 275 emerging and established artists while impacting the lives of over 20,000 adults and children.  

Next in Birmingham, Kim Scott at Huffman High School and  Soul Collaboration (pictured above) at Avondale Park on June 5th plus more concerts throughout the summer.


A recent article in the Washington Post talked about the millennials tendency to eschew their parent’s furniture and belongings.  It is the time of the great de-cluttering that everyone knew would come as the Baby Boom generation ages. 

However, the Boomer's  children are even less interested in their second hand furniture than expected. This has created a large second hand furniture market all across the United States.   This may due to a simply differences in taste which are magnified by the sheer size of the two demographics. But there is a thought that the Millennial generation is simply….into simple.  Thus less stuff.  And it's driving the cost of furniture down in the second hand market.

Regardless of the reasons, Birmingham, like most cities, is a bargain hunter’s dream.  Especially if you like dark wood furniture. Or if you want good quality wood furniture to update with paint ala Joanna Gaines (from HGTV’s  Fixer Upper) or for those who love the shabby chic look.

Craigslist’s Birmingham section is the most ubiquitous site for second hand furniture.  But a number of local trading sites have become go to spots for bargain hunters.

Facebook sites like Mountain Brook Trading, Vestavia Trading, Gardendale Online Yardsale and Hoover Trading fill member’s Facebook feeds with pictures of antique chairs, armoires and dining room suites at a fraction of the original prices.   These groups have  big membership.  Mountain Brook Trading has over 31,000 members, Vestavia Trading has almost 47,000.   Even a Hoover Trading dedicated to kid's clothes only has almost 5,000 members.

Consignment stores are also filled with furniture, ranging from the antique to the almost new.  Stores like Encore Resales and Classic Home Décor Consignment (both in Pelham)  offer used furniture in a showroom setting and perks like delivery.

Some furniture can be had for...free.  There are "free to whoever will pick up"  sites like Freecycle that have active groups in Birmingham.

It’s just interesting how the Baby Boomer generation continues to sway the overall fortunes of so many industries in the US as a function of their size. The furniture industry is no different.

A veteran Jefferson County School System educator who draws inspiration from teaching high school students and who values working with teachers in training because of the power to affect change is the 2016-2017 Alabama Teacher of the Year.

Dana Jacobson, who has taught English at Clay-Chalkville High School since 1999, will serve as the state’s ambassador for public education and the teaching profession throughout the upcoming school year. A graduate of Smith College and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Jacobson automatically becomes Alabama’s nominee for National Teacher of the Year.

“Teachers are visionaries who see that light at the end of the tunnel and find ways to help students get to that light,” said Jacobson, who, as the Alabama Teacher of the Year, hopes to motivate more people to enter the education field. “There’s nothing better than to see a student growing, and there’s no job to me more important than teaching because we pave the way for all sorts of possibilities for students.”

Interim State Superintendent of Education Dr. Philip Cleveland announced Jacobson was chosen to serve as the official spokesperson and representative for teachers in Alabama for the next year near the end of a celebration honoring the 12 semi-finalists and 4 finalists who were nominated for the coveted title. The awards ceremony is held annually in recognition of these teachers’ dedication to education in Alabama public schools.


Cleveland expressed his gratitude to all of the district finalists for their hard work, innovation and compassion, which he said are reflected daily in the accomplishments of their students. He said the honorees are not only role models for the students of Alabama, but for their peers as well.

Of Jacobson, Cleveland said, “Dana Jacobson exemplifies the ability of an educator to shape and change lives. She strives to connect with and engage each individual student who enters her classroom and, as such, has been able to provide meaningful, quality learning to tomorrow’s leaders.  We are proud to have Ms. Jacobson represent our state as the 2016-2017 Alabama Teacher of the Year.”

In addition to English, Jacobson teachers ACT Prep, Debate, Speech, Creative Writing, and History of Film, among other subjects. She designs classroom activities so that students can make connections and strives to model those characteristics she believes the world requires: an interest in learning and people; a validation of others, not just tolerance; a desire to solve problems; and a strong work ethic.

Clay-Chalkville High School Principal Michael Lee said Jacobson embodies those qualities and more: “On most days, Ms. Jacobson is the first teacher at school and the last to leave. She does not stop. She is a true giver to students, student teachers, and colleagues.”

Dawn Davis, a fourth-grade teacher at Montana Street Academic Magnet School in the Dothan City School System, is the 2016-2017 Alternate State Teacher of the Year.

The first among her siblings to go to a four-year college, Davis, who earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Elementary Education from Troy University, has spent most of her 20-plus years as an educator teaching in the Dothan City School System. She believes that while she cannot change the many circumstances from which her students come, she can change where they are going in life.

Davis aims to do so by creating a classroom environment where all children realize their worth and potential, which she accomplishes through planning, building a support team, encouraging risk-taking, and utilizing her student’s natural curiosity.

“My greatest rewards from teaching come in the form of a smile,” Davis said. “When you see a smile cross the face of a child, you know he/she is gaining in knowledge. I am not interested in perfecting students, but I am greatly determined to perfect my abilities to encourage goal-based mindsets so that all children can realize their worth and potential.”

The selection process for Alabama’s Teacher of the Year begins at the school system level. Each school system can nominate an elementary and secondary teacher at the district level. One elementary teacher and one secondary teacher are selected from each of the eight state Board of Education districts. A state selection committee selects 4 teachers from the 16 district finalists to be interviewed for the titles Alabama Teacher of the Year and Alternate State Teacher of the Year.


Pulled pork is the star of many festive events in the South.  Deep smoked, rich and delicious, we slather it in BBQ sauce and put it on sandwiches, potatoes and even salads.

Pulled pork is can work in Mexican cuisine as well. It is great in tamales and enchiladas. A classic Mexican dish is posole which is pork and hominy stew rich.

Pulled pork is outstanding in tacos and burritos as well.  Layer with sliced avocado, jalepeno lime slaw and drizzle with Cholula hot sauce for a dish that combines the best of southern pulled pork and Mexican flavors.

This is a great way to use pulled pork from a crockpot. Simply season with salt, pepper and lime juice before you put it in the crockpot.  Let it cook on low while you are at work.  Or buy some plain pulled pork from any of our local barbeque places and you can have pulled pork tacos in the time it takes to assemble them.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Pulled Pork Tacos

  • Pulled pork without sauce (purchase or make your own)
  • Corn Taco Shells (soft or hard)
  • Sliced avocado
  • Jalepeno Lime Slaw (use our recipe or add jalepeno and lime to a purchased mix)
  • Mexican Hot Sauce (we prefer Cholula) or Salsa

Layer the pork, slaw, avocado and sauce on the tortilla shell. Eat!


Jalepeno Lime Slaw

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ tea salt
  • ¼  tea pepper
  • 1 tb sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 fresh jalepenos slivered, seeds and pulp removed
  • Juice of 2 limes and their zest
  • 1 Bag Shredded Slaw Mix

Mix the mayo, salt, pepper, sugar, lime juice and milk until well combined. Mix dressing, jalepenos and slaw mix well. Chill until ready to serve.

In a GEICO 500 that was one for the books, Brad Keselowski held off the field in dramatic fashion in the final laps Sunday to claim his fourth career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory at Talladega Superspeedway as a part of Aspen Dental Weekend.


NASCAR’s biggest and baddest track gave the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford driver his first NSCS career triumph (2009), and after Sunday’s dominating performance, he gained his 19th. Keselowski, who is locked into the season-ending Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has two wins thus far in 2016.


“What can you say? Talladega has been good to me,” said Keselowski, who fended off a late, nailbiting challenge by Kyle Busch. “It’s great to be back on this podium as a race winner. You never know when you’re going to get here. Talladega has always been that way. It’s always been very good to me. I’m thankful for that.”


The event was wild, to say the least. In a race that featured a little bit of everything – continuous three- and four-wide racing, a wide range of team strategies and a few “Big One” incidents, Keselowski led more laps than anyone, 46.


Austin Dillon, who was trying to give Richard Childress Racing its first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at Talladega since Dale Earnhardt in 2000, was up just short in third, followed by two-time Talladega winner Jamie McMurray and the polesitter, rookie Chase Elliott. Sixth through 10th were Ty Dillon, who was a relief driver for Tony Stewart, Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, rookie Ryan Blaney and Trevor Bayne.


Dillon battled back to the top three spot after being caught up in two early crashes and managed to post his first top-10 finish in six races at Talladega.


“We started 17th with three laps to go and finished third,” Dillon said. “So from 17th to third, that was pretty cool.  (This morning) One guy came up to me during a suite (visit with sponsors) and said (he thought) Dale's (Earnhardt, Sr.) last win here (in 2000 for RCR), he came from 15th to first. Maybe if we started 15th, we could have got there.”


But, the day belonged to Keselowski.


“I like the races here,” Keselowski said with a victorious grin. “Talladega has always been a track for us that’s been a great catalyst for success. I don’t know why that is. It’s a track where if you’re capable of winning here, I think you show a certain level of attitude and swagger that carries your way through the rest of the year.”

Uber, the ride sharing service, announced today, starting at 1pm, it will now pick up and drop off customers at the Birmingham Shuttlesworth Airport. 

Airport pick ups have historically been a big source of push back in many cities where the taxi cab services have a monopoly on customers.  Uber was allowed to operate in Birmingham starting this December, but was barred from airport service.  Uber has been banned from airport service in some other cities, such as Austin and Newark.

Birmingham Barons starter Tyler Danish dazzled a sellout crowd of 8,500 at Regions Field Thursday night, throwing a complete game shutout including six strikeouts to lead the Barons to a 4-0 victory over the Pensacola Blue Wahoos.


Danish, 21, accomplished the complete game feat on his late father’s birthday. He threw 105 pitches, including 71 strikes, and allowed just three hits and two walks on the night.


The White Sox no. 11 prospect according to MLB Pipeline has now allowed just two earned runs in his last 20.1 innings pitched, striking out 14 in his last three starts.


Josh Richmond added a pair of RBIs for the Barons at the plate, posting a 2-for-3 night that featured a solo home run in the bottom of the second inning that gave Birmingham an early 1-0 lead.


Nicky Delmonico continued his early season hot streak with his fourth home run in as many games to give the Barons a 2-0 in the fourth inning, with Richmond and catcher Jeremy Dowdy contributing RBIs in the seventh inning to reach the 4-0 final score.


RHP Carson Fulmer makes his second start of the season at Regions Field tomorrow, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. The Barons will don custom jerseys as part of a “Superheroes Night” theme, which will be auctioned during the game to benefit Children’s of Alabama.


They Said It…


Barons RHP Tyler Danish


… On Pitching a Complete Game Shutout on his Late Father’s Birthday


Going into it I knew it was going to be an emotional day, so I tried to keep my mind off it as much as I possibly could and just have a great outing. I don’t think I could have scripted it any better. It’s a special day, so glad I could do it on this day and just enjoy the day as well.


… On His Comfort Level and Ability to Pitch for Contact


I feel like I can throw all my pitches right now in the zone, even if it’s early contact. When you can keep guys off early in counts and first pitches, it makes the night so much easier. You can’t take away pitches, you can’t eliminate pitches, and just being in the zone early benefits everything and makes your stuff “play” better as well.


… On His Newly Developed Cut-Fastball


It’s crazy how fast I learned it and how great of a pitch it’s become. I throw it to righties and lefties, it’s just a huge contact pitch; but tonight I used it as a put-away pitch as well. I can’t believe how fast it’s come along.


… On His Pace, Being on the Winning End of a 2:01 Time of Game


This has always been me. I’ve always try to keep fielders (focused), not a lot of time between pitches.


Barons Manager Ryan Newman


... On Danish “Building” Toward this Start, Improving Each Outing


He did everything we wanted to see tonight. He commanded the zone, he made them put the ball in play, and that’s how you throw a complete game. You use your pitches wisely and you know, it’s been building up. You could see with each start it was coming. This is what this kid is capable of doing every time he goes out there to pitch. It was awesome to see tonight.


… Regarding Development, if Danish is “Ahead of the Curve” After another Strong Start Tonight


With his age he’s ahead of the curve. He was here last year and he’s got some experience. As this game goes on for him he’s going to continue to develop, and this is what we want to see him do. Each start gets better and better, and if he keeps pitching like this hopefully we’re going to see him in Chicago sometime soon. I expect a lot more starts like this out of Tyler as he goes on.


… On Keeping that Confidence Going and Making it Contagious to Everyone Else in the Clubhouse


They all know what we’re striving for. We’re all going in the same direction. These guys come to the ballpark every day and work hard. We’re not worried about being 8-13 right now; it’s about “have these guys gotten better come August?” That’s what we’re looking for come August.

Birmingham Post-Herald (BPH) is Birmingham, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.

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