Birmingham: Bear Bryant may be turning over in his grave

Paul Bear Bryant

Paul Bear Bryant

I graduated from the University of Alabama in 1965.

If you are a college football fan you may remember that between 1961 and 1965 UA won three NCAA College National Championships.

Joe Namath was our quarterback, but more importantly, our coach was the legendary Paul Bear Bryant.

No need to give a history lesson on Coach Bryant, but unless you’re of a certain age, you may not know one important fact about the Bear. Continue reading

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How we slashed crime by 70% in downtown Birmingham

Douglas Stewart,

Douglas Stewart

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

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

The story you are about to hear is truly remarkable.

If an author had written it as a plot in a book, you wouldn’t have thought it possible.

For many years downtown Birmingham had the reputation of being unsafe.

Many people had given up on our downtown.  There were vacant buildings everywhere and businesses were rushing to the suburbs never to return. Continue reading

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Birmingham embarrassed by another key national ranking

Crestline Village in Mountain Brook. One of many Jefferson County municipalities not in Birmingham

Crestline Village in Mountain Brook, one of many Jefferson County municipalities.

We in Birmingham should be growing weary.

Another national publication has punished Birmingham with a low ranking.

Our self-esteem drops and our reputation is damaged.

But this is ironic, because the ranking, like many others, is neither accurate nor fair.

Continue reading

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How Birmingham can become a major player on the world stage

Brad Toland

Brad Toland

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

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

It’s no secret that Birmingham has radically undergone a change of identity over the last several years.  New developments are happening so quickly that it can be hard to keep up with them all.

However, just like the fifteen year old that decides to attempt personal reinvention over the summer, sometimes the changes aren’t necessarily for the best in the long run, and need to be carefully considered with a focus on long term impacts. Continue reading

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Something strange at Jefferson County Courthouse

Jefferson County Courthouse

Jefferson County Courthouse

Oh no!

I had to go to the Jefferson County Courthouse to transact some business.

Based on my previous experiences, I would rather have a ‘root canal.’

The last time I went to the courthouse there were people lined up around the block. The hallways were filled with angry folks with tempers flaring.

Some citizens were compelled to hire surrogates to stand in line so they wouldn’t have to miss a day of work to transfer a license tag. Continue reading

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The pain of losing a family treasure to an awakening Birmingham

John W. Scott

John W. Scott

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

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

It was a little slice of Birmingham cultural and architectural history.  If you’re of a certain age (that is, old) you may remember going to Waite’s after church on Sunday and having the egg salad sandwich or eclairs.

You may also remember the strange foods over in the small and dusty grocery section, my most clear memory being the tins of chocolate covered ants from South America.  Continue reading

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How Birmingham pulled off a billion dollar triumph!

Tom Cosby

Tom Cosby

Barry Copeland

Barry Copeland

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

Today’s guest bloggers are Tom Cosby and Barry Copeland.  If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

Editor’s note:  We in Birmingham are often guilty of not celebrating our successes. It’s only appropriate that two of Birmingham’s greatest community leaders tell the story about how The Chamber of Commerce (BBA) along with ordinary citizens and political leaders pulled off one of Birmingham’s greatest successes. Continue reading

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Would you buy a pickle from Vulcan?

Darlene Negrotto, President & CEO of Vulcan Park Foundation

Darlene Negrotto, President & CEO of Vulcan Park Foundation

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

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

Take a moment to recall a fond memory of Vulcan.

Perhaps it was a childhood outing with family, or a romantic evening admiring the city lights.

Now think of the hundreds of thousands of others over the decades who have held similar heartfelt memories – and know that similar memories will continue to be made far into the future.

Vulcan is a common thread in our community.  He serves as an important link to our past, and to the generations yet to come. Continue reading

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National publication embarrasses Birmingham

Railroad Park--One of many recent Birmingham successes

Railroad Park–One of many recent Birmingham successes

I love to read positive national stories about Birmingham…and there have been a lot of them lately.

So I couldn’t wait to read the article in City Lab titled, “How Birmingham thrived despite a county bankruptcy in Alabama’s largest city–a story of economic confidence in an unlikely place.

“A story of economic confidence in an unlikely place.”

Yes, the piece bragged about Birmingham.  It described how we’ve thrived since the Jefferson County’s bankruptcy.

But then the author hit us in the face with a pie… Continue reading

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What I found while walking in downtown Birmingham

Charles Kinnaird

Charles Kinnaird

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

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

We are bombarded with news of political discord at the local, state, and national level. One can get disheartened watching news broadcasts these days, wondering if we can safely navigate the political shoals ahead. Recently I found a place where everything seemed to be working, in spite of what the news media may report.

Continue reading

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