Monday, November 12, 2018

Semi Pro Football Coming To Fairhope?

Fairhope, Alabama


The city council will consider a proposal by the new America South Football Alliance (click) to allow an amateur, semi-pro football team to use Majors Stadium at Volanta Park for five games/year from April to July beginning in 2020.

The non profit ASFA was organized July of this year by President Gary Johnson, a Mobile minister and businessman.

The resolution to be considered by the city council Tuesday sets terms/fees for stadium and Barnwell practice field use for a five year period ending in 2023.


Other teams participating in the league are to include the Mobile Pirates, Birmingham Bears, Hattiesburg Beavers, Opelika Rams, et. al.

Fred Riley, a former high school coach and college assistant, is to be the Vikings' head coach.


According to the literature provided, the goal and mission of the new league will be "to develop the skills of young athletes ...  their character, integrity, and professionalism on and off the fields."

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Bluff Ceremony Concludes 2018 Veterans Day Activities

Fairhope, Alabama

Ben's Jr. Bar-B-Q Closes For Good

Fairhope, Alabama


Original Ben's Jr. restaurant at 552 N. Section Street has closed due to retirement of its owners of 35 years Kenneth Lee and wife Rise'.

A letter from the Lees posted on the door says it is time to "move on to other adventures and spend time enjoying life."

The store will be closed through the end of the year for remodeling by new owners, details to come  according to Facebook posts.

Winter Weather Arrives

Fairhope, Alabama

A strong north wind brought colder temperatures and drove the water from the bay exposing the shallow shoreline.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Veterans Day 2018 Parade

Fairhope, Alabama

Connell and Mayor Wilson

Fairhope Veteran of the Year Frank Connell and the mayor led today's Veterans Day parade.

Vietnam veterans


Cub Scout Troop 47

Friday, November 9, 2018

Camping Out For Rare Liquor In Fairhope

Fairhope, Alabama


A few hardcore connoisseurs were already camped out today at the state liquor store for Monday's release of the 2018 edition of 'Pappy Van Winkle' bourbon and other Kentucky whiskeys.

The stock will be available when the store opens at 9 AM Monday, according to a press release.

A bottle of vintage 1996 costs $269, according to the company website.

Monday morning line

Nut Farmer Speaks To History Group

Fairhope, Alabama


Clarence Bishop founder of the B + B Pecans on Hwy 98 south of Fairhope talked about his life in southwest Baldwin county at the weekly, Thursday 'Tea for Two' gathering at the History Museum recently.

Pt. Clear school
He started by talking about the old Point Clear school (now demolished) where he studied industrial farming, how to raise chickens and cattle: It was only the third school built in the county at the time.

He met his future wife Sandra (of 63 years now) on the softball field at Fairhope High School (now the old K-1) where he graduated in 1951.

After graduation he went into the army and served for 16 months in the Korean conflict -- and started his pecan business after returning in 1955 with $5K borrowed from his father.

Hurricanes and tropical storms are hard on pecan crops he said,  Frederic in 1979 nearly wiped him out and even recent Michael which hit the Florida panhandle had an impact here too, damaging this year's crop.

Scab disease and aphids are particularly hard on pecan trees these days, he said.

black scab disease
Bishop served as county commissioner in the 1970's  and met President Jimmy Carter after Frederic; he talked about how road paving was a priority in the cash-scrapped county back then and how Governor George Wallace helped pave many miles here.

He cited paving Highway 59 south of Bay Minette as an example of one.

Bishop's family operated the West End Grocery on Fairhope Avenue while he was growing up in the 1940's.

The company's name "B + B"  stands for Bishop and Brown, his wife's maiden name; their son Doug now runs the family's business.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Updated: Comprehensive Growth Plan Renewal Getting Underway

Fairhope, Alabama

Update. Here is the link for the online survey:

Greeno Road and Hwy 181?

Central business district?


The first step of what is expected to be a process lasting over the next year or two began this evening in the city council chamber with a new survey about how Fairhope-area residents want their town to look fifteen or twenty years from now.

Anyone having a Fairhope mailing address is encouraged to participate.

Consultant transportation engineer Rick Hall and architect Christian Preus conducted the meeting where residents were asked to record their opinions about 45 pictures of various scenarios possible for development along the Greeno Road corridor as well as Highway 181 ... and other parts of town (central business district).

Pedestrian friendliness (walkability) and parking are other major considerations in the survey.

Hall is well known for his work on projects in Florida such as the village of Seaside:

"Rick Hall is a practicing, registered transportation engineer and for 21 years, President of Hall Planning & Engineering, Inc.  He is registered in 22 states and is committed to understanding the established neighborhood vision and context before transportation design is undertaken. "


Anyone interested in influencing how the city grows and develops should try to attend tomorrow's 12:00 noon meeting in council chambers; or fill out the survey afterwards when it becomes available online.

It should only take about 20 minutes.

Preus at left, Hall right

BP Recovery Council Meets For Final Public Comments

Fairhope, Alabama

The Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council met to hear public comments about its draft state implementation plan.

Fairhope's three proposals are described in the video below:


Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Canada Geese Return With High Bacteria Warning

Fairhope, Alabama


After their numbers dwindled to only a few in late Summer, about 60 Canada geese were found at the municipal beach this week, grazing on new winter rye grass seeds and shoots.

A yellow high bacteria warning was posted at the entrance Wednesday afternoon, indicating a high reading from yesterday's test.

An Auburn University study in 2011 found that geese were a factor, along with human and cow; Councilman Brown said the Baykeeper organization turned down his recent request to do DNA testing to find its exact sources.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Judge Reverses Fly Creek Apartment Stop Work Order

Fairhope, Alabama

'Retreat at Fairhope Village' construction site today.


According to court documents, after receiving a Joint Motion For Relief from the plaintiffs and a defendant, Circuit Judge Clark Stankoski granted "relief from the court's prior order (to stop work- click) ... (it has) no further force or effect ... and that the approval by the Fairhope Planning Commission of the RETREAT's site plan was not arbitrary and capricious .... that the said approval is valid and all permits issued are valid and of full force and effect."

The Oct. 17th ruling followed after another joint motion to the Alabama Supreme Court to dismiss the appeal of Stankoski's original order to stop work (by The Retreat at Fairhope Village, LLC.) was granted by that court.

Judge's new order
The plaintiffs were the Fly Creek Watershed Preservation Association; original defendants the City of Fairhope and Fairhope Planning Commission.

The Retreat at Fairhope Village LLC. was added as another defendant later (the "Intervenor").

(Sources say there was a private financial settlement of $225K between some parties as well. The city was not involved in the settlement.)

An amendment to the development was advertised for the November Planning Commission meeting but was pulled from the agenda due to the settlement, according to planning director Dyess.

Parker Road entrance.


The planning commission approved the site plan in September of 2017, shortly after another lawsuit by a different group was decided in favor of the city and developer as well (click).

September 2017 Times report of site plan approval:

Updated: Lodging Tax Hiked In Fairhope

Fairhope, Alabama

Updated: Correction. Lodging tax is collected for stays up to 180 days, not 30 as previously posted.

Hampton Inn

It will cost visitors a little more to stay in area hotels and other accommodations (less than 180 days); the city council voted unanimously to increase the city's lodging tax from 4 to 6 percent inside city limits and from 2 to 4 percent outside in the police jurisdiction (Grand Hotel).

Mayor Wilson had wanted it raised to 8 percent.

Over $703K was collected last year from the lodging tax, which goes into the city's general fund.

Grand Hotel