Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Few Newsy Tidbits

Buck Creek Festival:

The Buck Creek Festival art contest was concluded a week ago and here is the winning design that will be used on the t-shirts for this year's event to be held May 7 and 8.  Be sure to mark your calendar for this wonderful local free event and check the web page at for the latest updates on bands and schedules.


Another quick drive through Woodvale and Augusta Point on Wednesday revealed a few more big blue recycling bins.  Augusta Point had 4 and Woodvale had 9, up 2 from two weeks ago.

And I got my first report on the February 13th recycling pickup - 82 pounds of material recycled.  That really means a lot since all of that did not go into a landfill.  A neighbor reported their total at 42 pounds.

Cam Ward:

Cam Ward was in Helena Monday evening for a fundraising event at Magnolia Manor.  He is running for state senator for this area.  The crowd was not heavy, so I had a wonderful opportunity to chat with Mr. Ward.  He strikes me as a down-to-earth person and one deserving of our vote.  He seems to be thinking about how things ought to be and not accepting of the way it has always been done.  Check out his web site at

Severe Weather Season Just Ahead:

I know everyone is still shivering with this cold winter, but we're only a week away from March which begins our three-month severe weather season.  The spring severe weather season in Alabama can be quite dangerous, so it is important for every person to know about severe weather safety.  Knowing what to do when severe weather threatens can save your life.  Do your children know what to do?  You can find the latest information at


Monday, February 22, 2010

Road Closures That Might Impact Helena

The railroad crossing on Hwy 52 in Pelham has a notice that it will be closed on February 23rd, Tuesday.

And the crossing on Hwy 66 or Industrial Drive in Alabaster showed a similar sign for February 24th.

Both of these closings could impact your driving over the next couple of days, so please be advised of these and be sure to take a different route if necessary.


Recycling Rewards

This coming Wednesday will be the recycling pickup again.  My 95-gallon bin is nearly full already, and I just found out that the last pickup netted me 83 points in the reward program.  According to RecycleBank, I saved nearly a quarter of a tree and about 11 gallons of gasoline.

What intrigued me when I was checking out my rewards was to see the number of places in Helena where I can eventually get a reward when I come to redeem my points.  Please don't consider this list all inclusive and I'm sure it will be changing as new businesses are added, but here is a list of those businesses that I know are in the City of Helena (in bold) or that are nearby:

Barnes & Noble
Bed Bath & Beyond
Best Buy
Darden Restaurants (Olive Garden, Longhorn Steaks, Red Lobster)
Dick's Sporting Goods
Frankie's Market and Deli
Gus's Hot Dogs
Helena Fitness
Panera Bread
Rite Aid
Ruby Tuesday
Sam's Club
The Hair Station
The Home Depot

In addition to these businesses where the rewards can be used, there were many more national products like Coca Cola and Purex.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Some Road News

Today, Thursday, February 18, 2010, the City of Helena will open a 2.5 mile portion of Hillsboro Parkway from County Road 52 to County Road 91.  A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 10:30 am.  The rest of the road, which is being finished now and includes improvements to CR 17 , should open soon.  The ribbon cutting will take place at the end of the Hillsboro Parkway and Hwy 52.  If you need further information, you call Joy Childers at Helena City Hall at 663-9301.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Recycling UP ! ! !

I took a quick drive through Woodvale and Augusta Pointe this morning, and I was thrilled to see that the number of recycling bins had nearly doubled since the last collection.

Augusta Pointe had 4 bins (2 last time) on the street while Woodvale was up to 7 bins (4 last time).  This is great to see the amount of participation increase.  Let's keep it up.  Recycling is good for everyone and it really does not require a lot of extra effort.


Events of Interest

There is a lot happening in Helena, so this is just a quick roundup of some interesting events that I am currently aware of.

Belly Fillers is a new sandwich shop in the Jet Pep station on Highway 17 next to the Regions Bank.  You can check out their offerings at their new web site

And a new Italian restaurant, Lucia's Italian, will be opening soon in Riverwoods.  There is a banner on the building, but I don't have any details on exactly when they will be opening.

I've lived in Helena for nearly 21 years and Movie Gallery has always been here, first in The Shoppes at Dearing Downs and then in the Winn Dixie shopping center.  Well, Movie Gallery is closing and they are selling everything in the store including DVD racks.

Consignment Sale:
The Church at Cahaba Bend is having a "New 2 You" Spring Children's Consignment Sale!  Registration begins for consignors on February 1 (open to the public!) and the sale will be on Friday and Saturday, March 5 & 6.  The hours are Friday, 9:00am-7:00pm, and Saturday, 9:00am-1:00pm.

Everyone is welcome, prices are low, and they are one of the only consignment sales left in Shelby County!  The church is located on Highway 52 across the street from Helena Intermediate School.
Saturday is also 50% off day! Most items will be 50% off (as marked by seller on the tags).  You can check their web for details -

Reading Event:
The Big Read, brought to us by The National Endowment for the Arts, is designed to encourage everyone to read for pleasure and enlightenment. The selection for this year is Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain.  The Helena Public Library has some great events scheduled in partnership with The Big Read, beginning with their Big Kick-off on Febuary 15 at 6:00 PM.  None other than Mark Twain himself will be here in Helena!  He will talk to us about his life, and there will be a cake as well.  Everyone is welcome, so please come join us!  Reading is so essential and this type of activity will help to instill the importance of reading in our children.

Buck Creek Civitan:
The Buck Creek Civitan meets the 1st and 3rd Mondays of every month at Helena United Methodist Church in the Youth Room on the second floor.  Social time starts at 6:00 pm and the meeting begins around 6:30 pm.  There are a lot of activities planned for the spring and they need YOUR help to make things happen in our community.  Consider making the Civitan a part of your life.

For Older Adults:
The Helena Fire Department is offering "Remembering When: a fire and fall prevention for older adults", on Saturday, February 27 from 10 am to noon.  The event will be held at the senior citizens building and it is free.  If you have questions, please contact Lt. Heath Bartlett at 212-8186 or

So a lot of things happening in our community!


Friday, February 5, 2010

National Weatherman's Day

Okay, so this post is somewhat personal since I AM a weatherman!  National Weatherman's Day honors weathermen and women who work hard to accurately predict the often fickle weather.  Despite major technological advances and supercomputers, forecasting the weather is still a trickyand ever changing business.

Knowing the weather is important in so many ways.  It affect how we dress, where we go, and even if we go.  Space launches are made or delayed depending upon the weather.  And, knowing the weather can save lives.  The most obvious example is knowing when and where hurricanes or tornados may hit.

According to the Air Force News, Weatherman's Day "commemorates the birth of John Jeffries, one of America's first weathermen".  Jeffries was born on Feb 5, 1744.  He kept weather records from 1774 to1816.

If you see a weatherman today, give them your appreciation for a job well done.

While we know why this day was created, we do not know who initiated it or when.  I could find no documentation in congressional records to confirm that this is truely a national day.


PS  I am aware of at least two weather people who live in Helena, myself and Ashley Brand who lives in Hillsboro.