Nov 24, 2015

Countdown to Rosa

From Parks' Trial, showing where she sat.
    Monday will be the 60th Anniversary of the arrest of Rosa Parks in Montgomery. The bus boycott that followed started a few days later and lasted a year, ending with the end of segregation on the buses.

     We celebrate and commemorate certain year anniversaries for historical events, usually, at the start in five or ten year increments. But as the years pass, other opportunities are used too. That's because the people who were there for the original event are passing on. By the time the really big anniversaries occur---the 100th, for example, almost everyone alive at the time is gone.
     So Monday will be used to remember those who supported the boycott, and generally to forget those who did not, who were on "the wrong side of history".  Like the bus driver who called the police to arrest her:

"I wasn't trying to do anything to that Parks woman except do my job.....she was in violation of the city codes. What was I supposed to do? That damn bus was full and she wouldn't move back. I had my orders. I had police powers--any driver for the city did. So the bus filled up and a white man got on, and she had his seat and I told her to move back, and she wouldn't do it."
                                                                         (From The L.A. Times)

     The name of Montgomery bus driver James Blake could be the answer to a trivia question now, while a worldwide population can name Rosa. Blake died at 89 in 2002. Rosa passed in 2005. 
     The 75th Anniversary will come in 2030. Who will remain who was there and remembers the actual events? A handful of centenarians perhaps. By the 100th in 2055, you'll be left with books and video tape.
  And so we celebrate those who stood with Rosa, like Rev. and Mrs. Robert Graetz, two of the few white Montgomery residents who supported Rosa before it was popular to do so. 

     And Fred Gray, Rosa's lawyer.
     They are among the survivors, the flesh and blood reminders of a day in Montgomery that is remembered here and everywhere. 
     You can see images of the arrest documents online HERE.
     But to see and hear those who were part of it all, attend some of the events in Montgomery this week leading up to the Monday anniversary. You can download an events calendar HERE.

Nov 23, 2015

8th Anniversary

Happy Anniversary to me. is 8 years old today. That, plus it being Thanksgiving week, give me the excuse I need to make this a holiday and give the Monday Morning Media Memo a day off.

      Here was the first posting on the website, just a Downtown Birmingham photo post. I was attending a retreat with my fellow Alabama Public TV employees and woke up early enough to get some nice downtown shots on a very cold November 23, 2007.

      There have been hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world. 
     Some weeks have more posts than others, and some posts are better than others too. 
     The all time click bait posting was about a program that allows people to insert their facial photo into a program and be judges on how beautiful they are. It accounts for tens of thousands of hits alone. In fact if you Google "Facial beauty test" you'll find my posting second in the results.

The visitors come from everywhere. For example, in the past few years:

United States
United Kingdom

On APT about the time this website was born.

Nov 22, 2015

Trump: There were Celebrations in New Jersey on 9-11 as the Buildings Came Down.

(Photo: Tim Lennox)

The Washington Post:
VIDEO CLIP OF DONALD TRUMP, IN WHICH HE SAYS: “Hey, I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down. And I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering.”
*STEPHANOPOULOS: “You know, the police say that didn’t happen and all those rumors have been on the Internet for some time. So did you misspeak yesterday?”
TRUMP: “It did happen. I saw it.”
STEPHANOPOULOS: “You saw that…”
TRUMP: It was on television. I saw it.

The rest of the story is HERE
*Seen on ABC Montgomery on Sunday Morning.

Sunday Focus: Birmingham and Protest

     You have to know what some people are going to say when they read about a Black Lives Matter protester being pushed to the ground and beaten by people attending Saturday's Donald Trump rally in the city. 
     Birmingham! Black protesters beaten by whites! Of course!
     The Montgomery Advertiser reported:

A member of Trump’s staff who declined to be named said the three were members of the civil rights group Black Lives Matter.
Two of them were asked to stop and complied, said the staff member. The third, an unknown adult African American man, did not.
“The guy was being disruptive,” the staff member said. “He was doing the Black Lives Matter thing and saying other phrases that were really firing up the crowd around him. He was throwing his hands around almost punching.”
(emphasis mine)

CNN has what appears to be cell-phone video of the incident.

AL.COM reports the whites called the protester "monkey":
The Black Lives Matter protester attacked during Donald's Trump's Birmingham rally said he was punched, kicked and called "n****r" while a group of eight or nine people were on top of him.

   Montgomery---and all of Alabama--- has its own racial history to deal with. It was at the Montgomery bus station that police turned their back to let the KKK beat Freedom Riders.  City residents opened segregation academies rather than have their children go to integrated schools.


     But the water hoses and police dogs being used against protesters belong to Birmingham. So people reading about those attending the Donald Trump rally?

 For them "it figures".  

[Sunday Focus is a regular feature of]

Nov 21, 2015

Saturday Data: ANOTHER Recall for Montogmery Made Autos

     The Hyundai Sonata is getting a rep for being recalled. 
     The most recent one came on Friday...304.000 cars registered in the US, according to the website www.thecarconnection,

     The number of recalls from the Montgomery plant is growing. Will that impact the company's decision about where to locate another  plant?
     There have been five recalls for this year's Sonata. 

[Saturday Data is a regular feature of]

Nov 20, 2015

Deer May Die....

........of embarrassment!

Says this deer: "OK, just shoot...I mean "harvest" me! You may as well, since I'm forced to hang around the woods with these stupid number earrings and this hideous orange choker on! Don't you humans have any fashion sense?"

Collared Deer Part of Research Project
Hunters asked not to harvest deer with orange collars.
Research conducted on two wildlife management areas and two private land sites in Pickens and Marengo counties is attempting to answer questions that will help biologists better manage Alabama’s deer herd. Hunters are asked not to harvest any deer they see with orange collars so those deer are kept in the research project.
In fall 2013, two graduate students from Auburn University, assisted by personnel from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR), began capturing deer and outfitting them with transmitter collars. The goal was to place 15 VHF radio collars and seven to eight GPS collars on deer at four sites. To accomplish this, deer were darted with a tranquilizer gun at a range of less than 20 yards. Once immobilized, researchers recorded appropriate biological data on each deer and attached either a VHF or GPS collar.
VHF Collars
The VHF radio collars in use are brown leather collars placed around the deer’s neck along with a small metal tag in its ear. Hunters are allowed to harvest deer wearing this type of collar. Researchers hope to learn more about survival and mortality rates from these collars. Deer hunters are advised to take these deer if they would normally harvest them and pass them up if they would normally do so. This guidance is provided in an attempt to negate any influence that might exist simply because of the presence of collars.
GPS Collars
The GPS collars are bright orange and the deer wearing these collars have yellow ear tags in each ear. Hunters are asked not to harvest these deer. Researchers are hoping to get two full years of movement data from the GPS collars. These collars send a location fix every hour. At the end of the two-year period, the collars are programmed to fall off the deer and researchers will be able to locate and retrieve them. At that time, the information can be downloaded and analyzed. This data should provide valuable information about deer movement, how deer react to hunting pressure and how their movement patterns change in response to the weather, breeding season and other factors.
A total of 90 deer are currently collared in the state. Here is a breakdown of their locations.
Barbour WMA – At the onset of the 2014-2015 deer season, there were 16 VHF radio collars and eight GPS collars on deer at Barbour WMA. Two VHF- and one GPS-collared deer at Barbour were harvested during last year’s hunting season, so three additional deer have been outfitted with collars. Currently there are 17 VHF collared deer and seven GPS collared deer at Barbour WMA.
Oakmulgee WMA – At Oakmulgee WMA, there were eight GPS and 15 VHF collars on deer for the 2014- 2015 hunting season. Of these, one GPS and five VHF deer were harvested. During the summer, an addi- tional two GPS and two VHF collars were put on deer for a current total of nine GPS-collared and 12 VHF-collared deer for the current deer hunting season.
Marengo County Deer – Prior to last deer season, there were seven GPS- and 16 VHF-collared deer at the Marengo County site. Of those, five VHF-collared deer were harvested and three with GPS collars died of natural causes. No additional collars were distributed at this site, so there is a total of four GPS- and 11 VHF-collared deer in Marengo County.
Pickens County Deer – Prior to last deer season, there were six GPS- and nine VHF-collared deer at the Pickens County site. Of these, three VHF deer were harvested. In addition, one VHF- and one GPS-collared deer have since died of natural causes. This past summer, an additional five GPS and 15 VHF collars were put on deer in Pickens County, so the current total is 10 GPS- and 20 VHF-collared deer.
Report Collared Harvests
The recommendations are the same this year as last year. Hunters are permitted to shoot a deer with a brown collar if they would normally do so, but are asked not to shoot any deer with an orange collar and yellow ear tags. Hunters who harvest a deer with either type of collar should report it so data collected by the receiver can be retrieved for analysis.
Any hunter who harvests a deer wearing a collar on or near Barbour WMA should contact area biologist Adam Pritchett at 334-529-3222. Hunters who harvest an Oakmulgee-collared deer should call Jeff Makemson at 205-371-6375. Collars also contain an alternate reporting number to provide information about the harvest of collared deer: 334-844-9240. This number will reach Dr. Steve Ditchkoff at Auburn University.
For more information on the collared deer project in Alabama, contact the Wildlife Section at 334-242-3469.