Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Council, Jazz, and Baby Names

Vote Helena
Don't forget you can still vote you favorite Helena events, locations and Businesses in the Best of the Best of Shelby County until July 31st. Don't forget to vote Helena Market Days for Farmer's Market. Here is the link shelbyliving.com/bestofthebest/voting

Victor Stone book Series
Molly Davidson wrote an article about Helena writer James A. Jack. new book series featuring a character named Victor Stone. James has released his 2nd book called Flight Between Worlds which is set in Cold war era. "he travels across the world from America to Russia and even to alternate universes, eluding the KGB, getting tangled in the Bermuda Triangle and finding hidden government documents".

Republic/Allied Waste App
The City of Helena website shared that there is now an app for trash service. I haven't played around with it yet but here are the details: "Starting July 17, all of the great features of My Resource, our customers' online account management tool, are now available in a mobile app, helping customers who are "on the go" effortlessly manage their Republic Services accounts.

With a touch of a button, users can:
- Pay their bill
- View their service schedule
- Schedule a pickup
- Find new products
- Report a missed pickup
- Repair a container
- Access their account 24/7
- Receive weather-related service alerts
- Sign up for holiday schedule reminders

The My Resource mobile app is a free download and will be available from the Apple(r) and Android(tm) App Stores. Republic customers already enrolled in My Resource simply need to install the app on their mobile device and log in. Customers who have not yet registered can do so directly from the app; all they need is their account and invoice numbers. The app is available to any customer who is directly billed by Republic Services.

... "The My Resource app allows customers to view past invoices, receive schedule service alerts, receive alerts for weather delays and view their pickup schedule.

Jazz in the Park
The Jazz in the Park event at the Helena Amphitheater was a success.  Laura Brookhart wrote an article describing the event which included jazz artist Roland Gresham and Oli Silk. It was Oli's "'first visit to Alabama and he was very impressed with the support he found in Helena". In fact promoters of the event were so impressed by the turnout and the beautiful location that we should see them again. Here is a video of the event below from 3340

ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Helena City Council
Helena's City Council met Monday night in a work meeting and formal Council session. You can get a copy of the official minutes from the City Clerk but here are some short observations from me.

Amendments to Noise Ordinance
Some residents have requested the Helena City Council create a stricter noise ordinance. This issue is coming mainly from residents who live on the other side of Buck Creek from Papa Saia's outdoor deck. The currently amendment would add decibels levels. The City Council members discussed the amendment. Devin spoke for the residents. He felt the decibel level should be lower at night on the amendment. Tammy, Earl, and Jason spoke for Papa Saia's and said they were okay with decibels levels but were concern that Council members were wanting to add an additional hard cut-off time. Martin J Reed from the Birmingham News joined us and wrote an article detailing what he heard: Full Article. I like to keep an open mind until I heard the final argument and see the final draft. We will vote on this next Council meeting. I welcome anyone, who would like to sit down and discuss it.
Amend Yard sale Ordinance
We had request to make it easier for neighborhood wide yard sales. So I drafted a amendment to our current ordinance and the Council passed it last night. Basically starting now, a  Helena homeowners association may apply for a neighborhood yard sale permit by paying a fee of twenty five dollars ($25.00) no later than the close of business at the City Hall the day prior to the beginning of the sale. Only one person representing the HOA may obtain the permit, and the representative will provide a list of addresses of homeowners who will be participating when applying.  A maximum of two neighborhood sales per calendar year shall be permitted to the HOA, with no single sale to last more than three  consecutive days. The HOA will be held to the same responsibility as a person in all other yard sale requirements. Also Martin was there and wrote this article about it Full Article

Helena 150th Celebration
The Helena Historic Preservation Committee would like to have a celebration the naming of Helena. Helena received its name when Peter Boyle named the depot "Helena" to show his love to local beauty Helen Lee. There is no exact date when the depot was completed but we have the range and it is coming up. Also a display case was needed to showcase Helen Lee's wedding dress during the event. The Helena Historic Preservation has been selling hot chocolate and water bottles to raise money but asked if the Council could help as well. The Council said they could and the Mayor said he also thought they could also find sponsors. They wanted the HHPC to come up with a set date and activities will be involved so they could plan for next year budget.

Mayor Report
Mayor Mark Hall reported that the new police vehicles are now on the road. The Quail Ridge road repair was 30 days from completion but was going over budget due to utilities. He reported the Youth field should be open in August. I also asked the Mayor about gate on the dam. He said that must of the mechanism was under the silt. He said he would check and see if the State had someone who could go and check out the state of the dam.

2014 Top Baby Names
I thought this was interesting to see how tradition vs popular media is influencing the names of the next generation. Here are the most popular names of 2014. Not sure who has a bigger influence Hollywood stars or the characters they play.

1. Imogen 26. Lucy 51. Ruby ** 76. Piper
2. Charlotte 27. Aurora 52. Mila 77. Avery
3. Isla 28. Rose 53. Josephine 78. Jane
4. Cora 29. Scarlett ** 54. Harlow 79. Sadie
5. Penelope 30. Elizabeth 55. Aria 80. Lydia
6. Violet 31. Ava 56. Audrey 81. Esme
7. Amelia 32. Elodie 57. Isabella 82. Everly
8. Eleanor 33. Lila ** 58. Wren 83. Gemma
9. Harper 34. Nora 59. Quinn 84. Willow
10. Claire 35. Grace 60. Cordelia ** 85. Maya
11. Alice 36. Emma 61. Chloe 86. Frances
12. Adelaide 37. Willa 62. Mae 87. Louisa
13. Hazel 38. Clementine 63. Emily 88. Elsa *
14. Katniss 39. Matilda 64. Luna 89. Ada
15. Olivia 40. Eloise 65. Rowan 90. Lola
16. Evangeline 41. Caroline 66. Mia 91. Phoebe
17. Ivy 42. Clara 67. Stella 92. Kinsley
18. Khaleesi * 43. Finn 68. Emmeline 93. Zara
19. Maeve 44. Aurelia 69. Ellie ** 94. Madeline
20. Evelyn 45. Arabella 70. Juliet 95. Hannah
21. Maisie 46. Eliza 71. Merida 96. James
22. Adeline ** 47. Poppy 72. Anna 97. Delilah
23. Genevieve 48. Ella 73. Lily 98. Mabel
24. Seraphina 49. Sophia 74. Olive 99. Emmett
25. Beatrice 50. Iris 75. Margaret 100. Hadley
1. Asher 26. Beckett ** 51. Zachary 76. Ryker
2. Declan 27. Wyatt ** 52. Christian 77. Roman
3. Atticus 28. Hudson 53. Kieran 78. Nathaniel
4. Finn 29. Evelyn 54. Luca 79. Jackson
5. Oliver 30. Kai 55. Luke 80. Greyson
6. Henry 31. Ethan 56. Elliot 81. George
7. Silas 32. William 57. Charlie 82. Knox **
8. Jasper 33. Benjamin 58. Elijah 83. Rory
9. Milo 34. Soren ** 59. Hugo 84. Ronan
10. Jude 35. Eli 60. Thomas 85. Xavier
11. Ezra 36. Caleb 61. Ryder 86. Daniel
12. Emmett 37. Flynn 62. Isaac 87. John
13. Harper 38. Noah 63. Theo 88. Finley
14. Leo 39. Quinn 64. Jacob 89. Emerson
15. Owen 40. Julian 65. Rhys 90. Aiden
16. Levi 41. Bodhi ** 66. Lucas 91. Harrison
17. James 42. Archer ** 67. Callum 92. Simon
18. Rowan 43. Oscar 68. Arthur 93. Nolan
19. Felix 44. Everett 69. Gabriel 94. Charles
20. Miles 45. Alexander 70. Samuel 95. Axel *
21. Sebastian 46. Django 71. Zane 96. Tristan
22. Liam 47. August 72. Nico 97. Arlo
23. Sawyer 48. Andrew 73. Micah 98. Beau
24. Jack 49. Josiah 74. Avery 99. Jonah
25. Theodore 50. Dashielle 75. Dylan 100. Max

BTW I checked the most common names from my generation and they were Jessica, Jennifer, Amanda, Ashley, and Stephanie for women and  Michael, Chris, Matthew, David and Joshua for men.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday in Helena

Miss Shelby County
Congratulation to Helena's Amanda Ford! She won Miss Shelby County this past weekend. She will go on to represent Shelby County in the Miss Alabama pageant next year. Amanda is also an alumni of our Helena Belles.  Way to Go!
Animal Rescue Finalist
Kathy Hawkins has shared that Helena's Two by Two Animal Rescue made the national finalist for PetPlus $10k giveaway. Thank you for everyone who has been supporting them and remember you can help them win the final round starting July 24th.

Oh Dam
If you passed by the Waterfalls this weekend,  you may have noticed a something odd. It look like one of the gates in the dam is partially open. The City is checking on it. I am not sure if someone did it on purpose or accidentally. The Davidson Dam served as a source of power in Helena's History. It powered the grist mill to provide meals for the pioneer community. You can see still the old grinding stones in front of the Helena Museum. I think we should get someone to survey it to get a greater understand of it. If you know more about dam info then let me know. I enjoy this dam waterfall so much.

Helena Historic Preservation
Congratulations to the new officers of the Helena Historic Preservation Committee. They meet every 3rd Sunday at the Helena Museum. You are welcome to join us. facebook.com/HelenaHistory

President: Shannon O'Guin
Kara Barr: Vice President
Treasurer: Linda Wurstner
Secretary: Jason Redd
Fundraiser/Events :Charity Miller
Media Coordinator: Jay Riley
Helena on Radio
I agreed to do a short weekly spot on APH Radio promoting Helena events. They are currently online but will be hitting the airwaves on channel 99.9 FM. They will also be broadcasting football games from Alabaster, Pelham and Helena. Check them out and get ready for them to hit the airwaves.

Helena High Registration
Today Monday, July 21st from 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m if the last day to register for Helena High.  Otherwise, you will have to register on the 1st day of school.

Decoding Dyslexia
Pam Moran shared that "Decoding Dyslexia Alabama and The Dyslexia Support Center invites Helena parents to hear Special Education Attorney Shane T. Sears speak about How to avoid IEP traps and pitfalls. Thursday July 24 at 6:30 - Alabaster First Baptist Church".

Furever Home
Mary Puccio wanted to share a story, "Hello to our Folks in Helena, . Let me tell you something that happen the other day while I was in the new True value store here in Helena. The owner told me that when he open his store last week a dog followed him in and he had no collar on. He kept the dog there and gave him food. The good part of this story is there is a beautiful and warmhearted young lady that works there and she said she was going to bring him or her home with her and keep him or her. So I want to give A big ole shout out to Tessa Ford for caring enough to give this sweet homeless dog a loving home. Thank you to the store owner for caring enough to let the dog stay all day till Tessa Ford got off from work....Stop buy and tell her thanks for caring. Bring her a bag of dog food , help her out. Thank you Remember to support your Local true value and all business in Helena.
Thank You Firemen
The staff from Maplewood Assisted Living stopped by the Helena Fire Department last week and brought this cake to thank them for everything. Thank is a really cool thank you gift!

Helena Youth Sports

Youth Soccer Registration is underway. Registration will end on Aug. 10th
Ages: 5-14 Cost: $120 for U7 and; $160 for U9 and above
Register online: www.helenaparkandrec.org

Free Youth Tennis Clinic - Ages 7-10 yrs. old
Sat, July 26th - 9am -10:30am
Joe Tucker Park Tennis Courts
Racquets and Balls will be provided; just show up to participate.

For more information contact Jason Powers, Helena Director of Parks and Recreation
www.cityofhelena.org www.helenaparkandrec.org 205-620-2877

Friday, July 18, 2014

Weekend in Helena

Weekend Calendar
Another great weekend but some threat of rain so watch that forecast

Friday 18th

8pm Movie in the Park "Lego Movie" concession starts at 6:30pm and movie starts at 8pm. Outdoor on inflatable screen in the Helena Amphitheater
8pm Bongo performs at Papa Saia's Sports grill
9pm The Wranglers perform at Rio's Bar and Grill

Saturday 19th
8am Helena Market Days Local Farmers and artisan sell at the Helena Amphitheater til Noon
9am Chef Demonstration by Chef Robert Browning at the Helena Amphitheater
10am-2pm Helena Museum Open for free tours
9pm Karaoke at Rio's Bar and Grill

Sunday 20th
2pm Helena History Preservation meets at Helena Museum

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Helena High, Bea, and Horse

Helena High School
The first Senior class of the new Helena High School registered yesterday and were able to get a peek into the Helena School. Above you can see large mosaics of Helena history displayed in the dining room. We were not able to walk around and see the whole school but what I saw was impressive. I would dare say that this is the finest structure in Helena.
Linda Wurstner shared HHS auditorium
Besides its structural beauty, the engineering used for the tornadoes safe area of the building have received national attention. I regret I was not able to see the schools' medical lab while registering my daughter. I still would like to see them find a location in the stadium for the Eureka mine stone marker that is currently at the museum. I think that and a time capsule would be great additions.

Helena Intermediate Registration
Helena Intermediate begins their registration on Tuesday, July 22 (A-L) and Wednesday, July 23 (M-Z) from 7:00-11:00 a.m.If you are new to Helena Schools, please call or come by the school BEFORE Tuesday to enroll.  If you are a current student and know you are not attending this school year, please call or come by the school to withdraw.  Please call Lynn Faulkner with any questions or to set up an appointment to enroll – 682-5522.  Thank you.

Thank You Helena
Susan  Benson shared this photo to thank everyone who helped with the fundraiser for Baby Bea last weekend. It was a huge success! You can follow Bea as she undergoes her treatments: facebook.com/prayersforbabybea
Helena Soccer Meeting
Helena High is holding an interest meeting for the men's and women's soccer teams on July 28 at 7 pm in the Helena Middle School Cafeteria.  All parents, players, and business leaders interested supporting the Helena High Soccer are invited to attend.  Coach Parker will speak about HLHS athletic plan and philosophy prior to break outs for boys with Coach Zach Morgan and girls with Coach Clif Naron.

Traffic Patterns
The Helena Police and School released a traffic chart to explain how school traffic will flow. Since two large schools are side by side, they had to come up with a plan to prevent congestion. Helena High will also start at a different time. You can see a sample of the map above or read the full document here:

On thing I am disappointed about, the City did a traffic study well before the school was completed and received approval to add another turn lane on 261 and a traffic light to the parkway. We wanted both of those projects completed before the school opened. Delays are killing that timeline, but maybe we will gt lucky.

Fox Intern
Congrats to Helena Amanda Ford who will be interning at FOX6 WBRC MyFoxAL.com this fall.

Facebook Sell Sites
Brian J. Devereaux  shared that we has set up a Northwest Shelby County sell and trade site on facebook. These Buy, Sell, Trade pages on facebook are interesting. I have seen some neighborhood create their own and some cities..
Saddlebred Rescue
Suzanne Schnetzler‎ shared that the Rocking S Farm is having a yard Sale this Saturday July 19 starting at 7am. "It is a fund raiser to raise money for Saddlebred Rescue. They are a 501c charity. They go to an auction every Monday and buy as many saddlebred horses as they can to rehabilitate to adopt out or give forever homes. This auction is the last stop before bring shipped to Canada for slaughter. Most of these saddlebreds have been loved and shown and somehow feel through the cracks for various reasons.
If you have items you would like to donate, price them and bring them out. And please come shop!
We have tires, tvs, clothing, home goods, some furniture etc. or just come visit the farm!
Rain or shine! Park by the barn and come shop at the house' 205-441-9490"

Missing Cat
Kim's cat is missing her name is Nick. "She has a green collar. She lives on highway 17 close by the Jet Pep.  A reward is offered for her return.  Please call us if you have seen her we love her so much.  565-1753 thanks, Kim Roy"

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Reptiles, Husky, and future Scientist

Helena Reptiles
The Helena Summer Reading is rolling along at the library. This program is FREE and good for you. Read for PRIZES! Read for FUN!Make sure to stop by today! The library is proud to announce a fun FREE program:

2:00 PM, Wednesday, July 16th.
At Helena City Hall
Do not miss this great event featuring Live Reptiles! This program is informative and educational.Learn how to recognize and identify the difference between venomous and non-venomous snakes of this area.Great FREE Opportunity to learn about reptiles!Please join us for this neat program.

Helena High
Dont forget that the Summer Registration for Helena High Seniors is today from 9am-11am. I will be there getting my youngest daughter enrolled. Also, "If you are planning to obtain a parking space, please stop by our office prior to registration day to receive paperwork to be completed.  If you are unable to come prior to registration, paperwork will be available at registration but the following information is required in order to receive your parking space:  Car tag number, make of vehicle, owner of vehicle, student’s driver’s license number, vehicle VIN number, year of vehicle, color of vehicle, owner’s phone number, insurance company for vehicle, student’s signature, and parent’s signature". Link

Helena Complex Elections
Helena broke the projected voter turnout predictions. They predicted 3-5% and Helena ended with 12%-14%.  Here are the unofficial results from the Helena Sports Complex elections yesterday:
Demarco 350
Palmer 852

Mooney 11
Shaver 20

McKinney 522
Merrill 548

Peterson 439
Zeigler 634

Beeker 725
Dunn 301

Browning 608
Saggus 208

Yes 586
No 390
Inspire a Scientist 
Brianna shared that Helena's Jared Fuchs  has entered a nation-wide contest titled “Inspire a Future Scientist.” Each contestant entered a 15 second video summarizing their love of science. The winner receives $1,000 and a trip to the  National 4-H Youth Science Day in Washington D. C. Jared has been chosen as one of the top ten finalists and needs votes from the public in order to win this competition.  It would be amazing if he could win for our city and state.

 Here is how people can help: To vote, click on this link. His video will pop up on your screen and there will be a "vote" button on the upper left-hand corner, click that button to give him a vote. You may vote once everyday starting now until August 1st.
Also, please “Like” and “Share” it on Facebook. Likes will also help him win this competition.

Here is the link: Here is the link on facebook:  Jared Video

First Friday Info
Helena First Friday's theme for August will be Helena Husky Pride! We are inviting all School Booster Clubs to register for a booth to sell merchandise to raise money for their booster club. Any booster organization interested should register by Friday July 18th at www.helenafirstfriday.com The event will be held August 1st from 5:30 - 8:30 in Old Town Helena.For more information, contact Alan Farmer at info@helenafirstfriday.com

Becky shared that Somerby at St. Vincent's at 119, are hiring for all positions, FT and PT, in their dining services department. Applicants can apply in person at the front desk.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tuesday: Voting, Rail Mail, and the FloraBama

So people are dodging bullets for a chance to vote in some countries and then I  read that our voter turnout for today's election will be as low as 3-5%.  Everyone make sure to show up and vote. It is a right and a responsibility. If you are wondering, here are the ballots for this Tuesday:
Constitutional Amendment for Cotton Producers ballot
Shelby County Republican Ballot 
Since Helena is divide in multiple parts, you may not see all names on your ballot
Democratic Jefferson County Ballot
Republican Jefferson County Ballot
You can see the complete list of ballots here: sos.state.al.us/elections/2014/2014SampleBallots.aspx
HAA Media Guide
Chadd shared Helena High School Athletics has a Helena High Athletic Media Guide coming with a deadline August 25, 2014. You can be a sponsor or get your photo in it. If you are providing your own photo, enclose a rough draft, logo, business card, ad of your choice or camera-ready copy of your advertisement. Please do not staple or fold any items. Mail all items with this
form to: HAA PO Box 381 Helena, AL 35080
The Prices are
 Color Ads Black/White Ads
 Quarter Page $75 Quarter Page $50
 Half Page $150 Half Page $100
 Full Page $300 Full Page $200
If you prefer to email the files you can do so by sending them to: chris.cummings.rwd@att.net
Helena High School
Helena High School’s student registration will be held on July 16th and 17th.  Seniors and Juniors will attend on the 16th: Seniors from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m and Juniors from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. 
Sophomores and Freshmen will attend on the 17th:  Sophomores from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. and Freshmen from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.Make-up registration for all grades will be on July 21st from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. 
Students will enter at the gym entrance on the Stadium side of the building.  You must have two proofs of residence in order to register.  Please bring copies of both proofs of residence for the school to keep on file.  Fees may be paid with cash or check ONLY.
Rail Mail
At 6am on a Saturday morning, I am setting with the Helena Farmer's Market with the humorous and historians, Billy Harris and Ken Penhale. They were having a discussion about how Pelham said they started as a water station for the railroads. The duo were discussing that the actual water station was in Helena, just a mere 200 yards from the current location of the Helena Depot. They were citing references and photographic evident  (these gentlemen take their Helena history very serious). In fact, the two of them were talking so much Helena history that I had to run and get a scrap of paper since I didnt want this Helena oral history.

They were recounting how the Helena mail was picked up by the railroads. When the old trains did not stop, all the Helena mail was gathered up by Dusty Denton and placed in a mailbag. He then ran it from Post office (which used to be next to the Old Town Hall in Old Town) in a red wheelbarrow. He would carry it up a pole by the railroad and stretched the bag between two poles. When the railroad mail car passed, a man would reach out with a hook and snatch it. It would be then sorted it in the car during the trip. Before Dusty ran the rail mail, Mark England was responsible. Mark's daughter was the first Post Master (or Post Mistress) Lois McGlaun. I can't think of another woman who earned that honor at that time in the area. Prior to the train, the Stage Coach and Wagon would transport mail,and  their route came through town and followed up the creek behind the current sport complex. So it was a big deal with the first bus line, McClellan, came to town after the trains stopped taking passengers. If  you curious and want to know more, stop by the Helena museum  this weekend, and ask Ken to see the red wheel barrow that used to carry the mail.

Lost Kitten
Vanessa McClure shared via email, "We were out of town last week and had someone coming to check on our kitten. He was missing on Thursday. We live on Old Cahaba Trail and have posted signs in the neighborhood. We all miss him, but he is especially missed by our 2 little boys! Any help would be greatly appreciated" Grey Male Kitten - Smokey, 5 months old, Not fixed (yet), Black nylon collar with white paw prints, no tag". Please help this family find their lost kitten
FloraBama Church
It is a small world. John Mason-Smith, who used to live in Helena, is working with the "Worship on the Water service" at the FloraBama (You havent heard of the famous florabama?). He emailed me to say he had the pleasure of meeting another rather famous Helenite this past week. Jordan Narkates performed this past weekend at Worship on the Water in front of over 650 people. He shared the video below:

Monday, July 14, 2014

Piano, Dogs, and Robbery

Piano Needed
As you know Cissy Johnson is the new choral teacher at Helena High School. They have a wonderful choral room but there is one MAJOR item missing that they will not have....a Piano!

There has to be someone out there who has a piano that is not being played who would be willing to donate to the brand new program.  They would love a baby grand or grand piano but they would be happy to get an upright as well. Please check around and see if you know of one.

18 Years
Kelsey Stein wrote an article that the man who was part a series of armed pharmacy robberies, which included Helena, was sentenced for 18 years in prison. His last robbery was in Helena on March 13, 2012. the other men involved have already been sentenced. Thanks to Helena Police , FBI, Birmingham, and Adamsville for working together to make sure that they were captured.

Two by Two
 Ethan Tinney from Old Cahaba Neighborhood is collecting items for Two by Two Animal Rescue for two more weeks. Please help him collect items for our local shelter. He is collecting dog food, treats, leashes, toys, newspapers. You can read more on the Two by Two Animal rescue Facebook page.

Pick Two by Two
Speaking of Helena Two by Two animal shelters, you can vote to help win them $10,000 in this Pet Plus Facebook contest: https://www.facebook.com/PetPlusPlan/app_112053162216760

Lost Dog
Roger Keene is trying to find the owner for this beautiful dog. Is this you missing dog?

Helena High School Softball Team is have a fundraiser tonight at Beef O' Brady's in Hoover.  I have attached the flyer for tonight's fundraiser, which is a great way to feed the family and at the same time support the Helena High Softball Team.  The fundraiser starts tonight at 5PM and will end at 8PM.