Friday, November 30, 2012

Christmas Parade

It's that time of year again, and Helena's Christmas Parade is this Saturday, December 1, beginning at 1 pm.  Please make note that the time of the parade has been changed, so you can see other parades and the big game, too.  The graphic below is stolen from No Sleep in Helena.

Helena High School Mascot & Colors

The voting for the new Helena High mascot and team colors was announced on the Rick & Bubba show on Friday morning.  The new mascot is the Huskies and the school colors will be black, silver, and bright blue!

The voting was 52% for Huskies and 48% for Hawks.

Go Helena Huskies!!

Friday, November 2, 2012

A Few Notes as November Starts

Halloween in Woodvale
It was a relatively quiet Halloween in Woodvale.  I went through a bag of candy and gave out a few computer games thanks to the American Dental Association and Electronic Arts - trying to save teeth.

Long-time Mayor Reflects
Helena's mayor of 44 years, Sonny Penhale, will be departing City Hall with the swearing in of the new mayor, Mark Hall, on November 5.  The Shelby County Reported did a very nice article on Sonny which you can find here.

Storm Shelter Grant Approved
Helena also got word that a grant for storm shelters in our city was approved by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency).  There will be three shelters built in the city at Sonny Penhale Park, Cahaba Lilly Park, and near the Helena Community Center on Ruffin Road. Construction on the shelters is scheduled to begin within 90 days with completion by October, 2015.  The grant provided by FEMA is for $295,500 with the whole project costing $478,000 according to the mayor's assistant, Joy Childers.

Don't forget to get out to the Helena Civic Complex on Tuesday, November 6th, and vote in the presidential election.  Along with the national office, there are several state and local offices to vote on plus a boatload of amendments to the state constitution.

Street Parking
Just a reminder to everyone that parking on the street is not permitted according to city ordinance.  This is true in most municipalities.  This is primarily a safety issue, and we do have a number of children in our subdivision.

Daylight Savings Time Ends
Remember, this coming Sunday morning, November 4, at 2 am, it will be time to set your clocks back as Daylight Savings Time comes to an end.  DST will begin again on March 10, 2013.


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Local Runoff Vote, October 9, 2012

Don't forget to take time on Tuesday, October 9th, to vote in the runoff election for mayor of Helena.  This is an important vote for Helena, so be sure to research the candidates and then vote at the Helena Civic Center any time between 7 am and 7 pm.

Sonny Penhale's Web Site

Mark Hall's Web Site

Another important voting opportunity will come in November when we exercise our responsibility as citizens of the US in voting for the office of President.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Market Days and Bypass

Helena Market Wins

Helena Market Days, our local summer Farmer's Market, won the Best of the Best award by voters in Shelby County.  I can only sing the praises of those volunteers that make this event possible.

Ron Holly manages the market and arranges for all the farmers and artisans. Cris Nelson acts as the liaison with the various governmental bodies. Mary Perko brings top local chefs to the market who perform demonstration shows and provide free samples visitors.  Bob Van Loan brings upcoming musicians to perform and coordinates charity events at the market. 

 Laura Brookhart does the photography.  Henry Neff does graphics and media. All of these folks set up and breakdown all the tents, tables, and chairs with additional help from Peggy Holly, Jack Gray, Ken and Alex Penhale, Billy Dean Harris, and Dana and John Perko. All of this hard work is done free for the community.

Way to go to the Helena Market Team!

[pictured above from left to right, Bob Van Loan, Cris Nelson and Ron Holly, and Mary Perko]

Bypass Update

Marienne Thomas-Ogle has written an article that said that final design and survey for the Helena bypass is due to start in a couple of months.  Lance Taylor from the ALDOT says that a conservative start date for construction would be 3 years.  Mayor Penhale is quoted in the article, "The city has been working for 10 years to get the bypass, first getting federal funds and then a commitment from the state.  It's taken a long time, but the result will be very important to those who live and travel in Helena."

Let's hope everything moves along smoothly and perhaps picks up some steam to get ahead of schedule.


Sorry for the lack of posts over the last several months.  I hope to get back to posting information more frequently, so be sure to promote the Blog among Woodvale residents.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Landfill Free Days for 2012

The Shelby County Landfill will hold two free days in 2012 as set by the County Commission.  The two days will be April 14th and October 6th, both days are Saturdays.

Residents of Shelby County are allowed to bring household debris that will fit on one-ton trucks.

The landfill is located on Highway 70 between Calera and Columbiana.  Great days for some spring cleaning or fall fix ups!

Shelby County Landfill Entrance on Highway 70

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Ground Hog Day

Ground Hog Day

Well, it looks unlikely that any ground hog in the area will see a shadow this morning, so Spring may come early.  Actually, the ground hog predictions are really not that accurate.  The month of January as recorded at the Birmingham Shuttlesworth International Airport was the 8th warmest on record for highs with an average monthly high of 60.9 degrees.  The monthly average low was 39.2 degrees which was the 22nd warmest January for lows.  Something tells me that with such a warm January that we should expect to see some cold weather before winter is over.

Restaurant Plans

I'm sure that more information will be forth coming, but The Shelby County Reporter recently ran a story about plans at the empty Incahoots.  The owners of Papa Saia’s, a restaurant and sports bar currently in Alabaster’s Colonial Promenade shopping center, are planning to move their business to the former Incahoots building.  Incahoots has been vacant for nearly two years.  You can see the full story here.

Parking on the Street

Just a reminder that parking on the street is a violation of Helena’s Municipal Ordinances and is a typical ordinance violation in most municipalities.  A call to the Helena Police Department at 663-6499 will get the offender a citation and a date with Municipal Court. Please note do not call 911 for this type of problem.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Helena History

If you are a history buff or just want to know more about our community, be sure to stop by the new Helena Museum in Old Town Helena.  Ken Penhale has done a fantastic job of collecting and displaying many items from our community's past!

Recently, the entrance to Eureka Mine #4 was uncovered in the land preparation for the new high school.  Surf over to No Sleep in Helena web site at for a great video on how the entrance has been preserved by removing it prior to the entrance being covered by the new construction.

Congratulations, Ken, on such a great job in preserving the history of Helena for future generations.


Below is a picture of the mine entrance courtesy of No Sleep in Helena.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Helena City News

I just got off the telephone with Dave Smith, editor of the Helena City News.  He had some great news that the Helena City News has gone digital in addition to the paper copy delivered to your mailbox each month.  So if you don't have time to read the paper version, maybe having an electronic one available will help you keep up on the latest happenings in our town.

You can find the Helena City News at

Great job, Dave.

And while I'm writing about this, I noted that there is a link to the Helena City News Blog.  When I clicked to go there I found out my friend, Brian Davidson, has been honored for heroism!  You can read all about it by clicking on the link to the Blog above.  Congratulations, Brian!


Friday, September 16, 2011

Local Honors for Helena Spots

In the recent Best of the Best of Shelby Living Poll, Helena corralled some honors. Here are the results for Helena:

Best Burger: Helena Depot & Grill  (run by my friend, Matt)
Best Patio Dining: Helena Depot & Grill
Best Fried Green Tomatoes: Frankie’s Market CafĂ©  (run by Angie and Frankie, great people)
Best Place to Enjoy the Arts: Old Town HelenaBest Annual Festival: Buck Creek Festival  
Best Manicure: Foxy Nails (Helena)
Best Place for Child’s First Haircut: Hair Station (Helena)
Best Blog: No Sleep In Helena (my good friend Hal runs this)

Also nominated into the finals were San Antonio Grill, Fox Valley, La Reunion, Joe Tucker Park, and Dr. Michael Remillard.

Congratulations to all the winners and a big THANK YOU to everyone who nominated and voted for our local spots. Come visit Helena this weekend and take a victory lap around the area and see why these places earned the prize!


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Helena Trade Days

While not your typical garb for Helena today, this picture takes us back to a wilder time.  So mark your calendars for a new event that breaks onto the Helena scene on the first Saturday in April and continues on the first Saturday of every month to November - Old Town Helena's Wild West Trade Days.

Link to Old Town Helena's Wild West Trade Days

Ron Holly, aka Major Dundee, has organized the continuing event which will be focused on 2nd Street in Old Town.  Activities will include arts and crafts, booths for vendors, cowboy gun fights, and life music from 11 am to 1 pm.

Hope to see you there!