Feb 8, 2016

Dissing Dixie, especially Alabama..

     Those lists of the "Best Places to_____" ---fill in the blank, live, drink, have kids...are everywhere online. 
     I saw one Sunday on www.Livability.com that claimed to have found the 100 Best Places to Live in America. 
     Not a single one is in Alabama. 
     In fact, except for a smattering in South Carolina, Florida and Texas, Dixie is apparently living hell.

     The website seems to love the cold. Almost all of their 100 are in cold, Northern states.
     Last year the same site published a list of the best small towns...and they found three in the Deep South, though not a single one in Alabama:

Patrons hang out around Decatur, Georgia's Celebration statue on the MARTA plaza.

Decatur Georgia

Population: 19,687
Retaining a small-town feel despite its proximity to Atlanta, Decatur features four historic districts along with a vibrant entertainment and nightlife scene thanks to popular venues like Eddie's Attic, Wahoo Grill, Brick Store Pub, Carpe Diem and The Square Pub. This progressive community includes Agnes Scott College, Columbia Theological Seminary and Georgia Perimeter College, while Decatur City School District has earned several academic accolades.

One in Arkansas:

A view of historic Downtown Harrison, Arkansas.

Harrison Arkansas

Population: 13,066
Home to North Arkansas College as well as a highly regarded Harrison School District, Harrison is known for outdoor recreation thanks to its access to five major lakes as well as Crooked Creek, a nationally ranked smallmouth bass fishery that flows through the city. Dozens of independent restaurants give residents many dining options. Numerous parks and trails along with the excellent care provided by North Arkansas Regional Medical Center help keep residents healthy.

 and even one in Mississippi:


The Grove in Oxford, MS

Oxford Mississippi

Population: 19,602
Mostly known as a college town, thanks to the presence of the University of Mississippi, Oxford offers families a great place to live. It's been hailed as one of the Best College TownsOxford City Schools earned nationally designated “Star” rating – the highest ranking available. The community has a thriving and diverse music scene that includes the headquarters of renowned blues label Fat Possum Records, and Oxford has 50 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places along with an award-winning Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi. A collection of restaurants in Oxford keep residents full. See where Oxford ranked on our Best Small Towns 2013 list. 

Just call us Alabama. The Invisible.

     I like the news magazine The Week, and I look in each issue at their featured homes-for-sale pages. 
     Sometimes they group them by category, like Homes with indoor pools. Sometimes it is geographic, like Homes on the Coast.  The week of 2-6-16 features "Stone Homes".
     But most of the time it's just "best homes" for sale. As long as they are not in Alabama. I have yet to see a single home in my adopted state. And that's after many years of looking. 
     I've written to the editors asking about it. Watch this space. 

MMMM #527 --- The newspaper tubes.

  In the mid 1970's I worked for a radio station owned by a newspaper. That used to be a common business practice. 
     In this case it was WJLK and it was owned by The Asbury Park Press
     We did fifteen minute long newscasts and read the obituaries every day. Talk about dead air!
    The radio newsroom was a part of the newspaper's
newsroom. The paper used a now quaint system to move stories and other paper from one place to another in the old newspaper building. A pneumatic tube system....think of a much larger version of the systems that let you give the teller in the drive-though your deposit. The system in New Jersey was built into the entire building. 
     I though it was about the largest version in existence, but a much, much larger one operated up the coast, in New York City.   
    It was a  27 mile tube system that delivered mail to and from 23 New York City post offices starting in the late 1800's.
     Really. I grew up there and never heard about it.
     You can read about it at this website
     I'm sure newspapers in Alabama also used the pneumatic tubes, but I'm confident no city in the state grew large enough early enough for a mail tube system. 


     Two journalism students at a College in Canada have been fired by the student newspaper for doing exactly the right thing. They were told not to report a story about a peeping tom in a campus restroom because it was a "non-story". They showed the email instruction to their professor and posted it online. Bam. Fired. My advice: make it the top item on your resumes.
     The story was a story to local TV, which of course reported the arrest of the student voyeur. 

[The Monday Morning Media Memo is a longstanding regular feature of www.timlennox.com,

Feb 7, 2016

Sunday Focus: Low Gas Prices are Sinking The Economy

The is the quintessential Good News/Bad News posting.

Look at the gas price in Montgomery on Saturday!

That's the lowest price since at least 2009:

     Last Fall there were predictions that gas would drop below $1.00 a gallon. Now that prediction is back, though they also predict a climb back up too.  
Jerry's Hand.
     The Bad News part of the equation is all of the layoffs in the oil business.
    TIME magazine has one of many stories on the topic.
   Oversupply is one of the issues. The U.S. is now producing so much oil there is a shortage of places to store it all.

[Sunday Focus is a regular feature of www.timlennox.com]


Feb 6, 2016

NY Daily News Review: with the new Elantra, you get what you need, and much more

     The New York Daily News gives a great review to the Montgomery Assembled 2016 Hyundai Elantra. 

"Palpable improvements, an impressive level of refinement, and thoughtful detailing give the redesigned 2017 Hyundai Elantra a true “class above” quality. It might not be everything you want in a compact sedan, but with the new Elantra, you get what you need, and much more."

 HERE is the review.

One of 12 Men Who Walked on The Moon Has Died.

     Edgar Mitchell became known for his interest in outside science phenomena like ESP. He was in the news last year after he tried to sell a NASA camera he had taken back to earth after his trip to the moon.
   The Washington Post is among those with the story.,

Saturday Data: Urban Farm in a Box

     Agriculture is a huge business in Alabama, including the "urban farm" at the Alabama Riverfront in Downtown Montgomery.

     But now a company has developed a way to have farm fresh produce even in the most densely-populated city neighborhoods. 
     Shipping containers converted into self-contained mini-farms. The crops inside grow 365 days a year, in drought, in a freeze, in a flood.

Read the story HERE

Chickens are king in Alabama, more than a billion raised each year:

Cattle, Cows, Beef - Inventory ( First of Jan. 2015 )652,000
Cattle, Cows, Milk - Inventory ( First of Jan. 2015 )8,000
Cattle, Incl Calves - Inventory ( First of Jan. 2015 )1,200,000
Goats, Meat & Other - Inventory ( First of Jan. 2015 )47,000
Goats, Milk - Inventory ( First of Jan. 2015 )3,800
Hogs - Inventory ( First of Dec. 2014 )110,000
Chickens, Broilers - Production, Measured in Head1,061,500,000

 [Saturday Data is a regular feature of www.timlennox.com]