Opelika City Elections

Opelika City Election AheadIf you thought that the years was moving fast, your right, because Opelika Alabama City Elections are two short months from today. Tuesday, August 27th, Opelika voters will go to their ward Polls, and vote in any contested seats.  Even in the very lowest circles, I’ve visited the past few weeks; there is no word of anyone to challenge the mayor. Why would they, things are pretty good here. 

But then, there’s that Ward Two, where Larry Gray has held the seat on council for several years.  But word on the street is he’ll have some competition this year.  Okay, let me get this out of the way, it’s not me.  Besides, I think I proved to be no competition for him the first time around.  At least one other black candidate will probably start the race although he probably won’t finish it. Then that little white boy, who thinks he can win in a ward with a black population of 85%. 

Names will reveal when candidates qualify to begin July 5th through the 19th – If you are thinking of moving into the city to try your luck at public office, it’s too late. The deadline for residency has passed. Let’s save the city some money and just keep the current slate of city officials. PS -If the kid did win by some act of God, I’ll be moving to West Point!     Photo Credit: Samantha Craddock

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Opelika’s “On The Town”

On-The-Town-ODNOut with “First Friday’s” and In With “On The Town.” Opelika Main Street reinvented the nighttime shopping & dining event into several focused events; that can happen on other nights, like tonight, it’s Thursday after all.

Shops will be open until 9 PM; there’s a scavenger hunt, live music, and games scattered around town. You can learn more at the event Facebook page here.  The fun starts at 6 PM. See you there!  (Photo Credit: Opelika Main Street)

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Museum of East Alabama Taste of The Town is Tuesday

The folks over at the Opelika Auburn News had a pretty good overview of the Museum’s Taste of the Town that I thought I would share:  The Museum of East Alabama’s fourth annual Taste of the Town will be from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 26. The event, which will feature food from 15 restaurants, wine and a silent auction, will be at the museum on Ninth Street in downtown Opelika.  This year’s sponsors are AuburnBank, East Alabama Medical Center, the Opelika Observer, Round House and Smith T Building Supply. Proceeds from the fundraiser provide for repairs and upkeep of the museum.

Restaurants participating in the tasting include Acre, Zazu, Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe, Martha Hick’s Southern Hospitality Catering, Irish Bred Pub, Niffer’s, Jefferson’s, Amsterdam Café, Ursula’s Catering, Outback Steak House, City Cafe, Sweet Malisa’s, Zoe’s Kitchen, The Cup and Saucer and O Town Ice Cream. The Warm Springs Winery, Hodges Vineyards and Whippoorwill Vineyards will provide samples of their wines. Sodas, coffee and bottled water will be provided by the museum.  Kathy Penton is chairman of the silent auction, which will offer a variety of items. The tasting allows event goers to sample dishes from 15 area’s restaurants, offering a variety of food from appetizers to desserts. Proceeds from the fundraiser provide for repairs and upkeep of the museum. Every year, visitors from around the globe visit the museum to view the history of East Alabama. Read the entire story from the OA News Here!  (Source: OA News)


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Another Week in Las Vegas is History

Considering the date of my last post, I should have a lot of important stuff to talk about here.  Just before the Bi-Annual “On The Tracks” event, I spoke with Pam Powers-Smith and probably jinxed the event by using the “R” word. It did rain, but the people showed up and walked the Wine trail.  Right after that, I was off to Las Vegas to spend four days at the Convention Center for the National Association of Broadcasters Convention, the NAB Show 2016.
Now, if I said I didn’t have some fun in Las Vegas, I would not be telling the truth.  However, 10 hours per day on the convention show floor, does take away from the Party Time in the town that doesn’t sleep. I have to (sleep) now, in order to be alert at the show.  For several years, we’ve stayed at the Elara, a Hilton Vacation Hotel. It’s non-gambling, but connected by a mall to Planet Hollywood, so those that partake, can. I actually did not put anything into the gambling adventure. Not even a Quarter in a slot machine at the airport. Nope, nothing! I did however, spend some time at my favorite local bar, the Sin City Brewing Company, located in the Mall, right outside of the hotel. On Monday, while walking by, the bartender on duty, a friend names Mo, saw me, hollered “I didn’t know you were in town” and began several days of talk and entertainment at the bar.
Now for the work side of things, we had a great week at the Convention Center. Lots of quality leads stopping by to see how BroadView Software is able to handle the dilemma of scheduling for OnDemand Television. It’s nice to be with a company that is totally on the leading edge of this area. I’ll share some Great News later in the summer.  For now, let me wrap this up.  Lots of events the next two months in Opelika, and without a convention looming, I may be able to squeak out some personal time to get back to updates here.
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On The Tracks Returns Friday – A Conversation With Pam Powers-Smith

On The Tracks, a Food and Wine Event, returns this Friday. Last night at The Overall Company opening, I ran into Pam Powers-Smith, Director of Main Street and organizer of the event.  We chatted about the event. Here’s that interview:

Jerry: We’re talking to Pam at Opelika Main Street and it’s back. It’s this Friday. Are you excited about On the Tracks?

Pam: Excited but more anxious, but excited just because we’ve got a lot of work to do.
Jerry: I kind of looked at the weather forecast and this is not a typical, Pam, weather. Is it? There’s no rain in the forecast.
Pam: Well, no. It keeps changing, so I might say let’s not talk about it so we don’t jinx ourselves right now. I have high hopes that even if it does rain, it’ll be over by the time the event starts.
Jerry: Let’s talk about On the Tracks. Gosh, the first one was … Seems like decades ago for me.
Pam: One decade ago.
Jerry: Okay.
Pam: Eleven years ago is when we started, so … This is our twenty-first one, so we’re turning twenty-one and we’re really excited about being of age.
Jerry: So it was originally an annual event and now we’re doing it twice a year.
Pam: Correct. Demand kind of dictated that. We were doing it once a year, everybody loved it and we realized we wanted to have two different seasons for it. It works out really well because the folks that are really busy in the fall with football et cetera can come in the spring, so we have two different crowds. We have the same people, but we do have two different crowds. Both of them are fun and awesome.
Jerry: We have the wine trail. How many participants this year? Do you know right off hand?
Pam: Yes. We have a lot this year. We have twenty-seven stops.
Jerry: Wow.
Pam: I don’t want to challenge anyone to go to all twenty-seven stops. You can pick and choose. That’s the most we’ve ever had and we’re excited. The reason we have so many is because we have so many new businesses downtown, so that’s awesome.
Jerry: Anything different this year than in years past?
Pam: Well, for the second time we’ll have the Artisan Market Place. We had the Courthouse Square last time, this was an opportunity to buy cheese or pepper jelly or Wickles Pickles, things like that. It will move down to Railroad Avenue this year. We’ve added Hornsby Farms and a couple others. Then, another thing that we’ve never done before and probably should have is we’re going to have a huge water station, so people can go down to Railroad Avenue any time they need some water.
Jerry: Oh. Okay. Let me ask. From the line well isn’t … Well, there’s water and beer right?
Pam: Well, so the trail has … The trail has –
Jerry: This is … This is for me now.
Pam: The trail has wine and beer. Then of course, you get a tasting at the distillery. We have just failed at providing water to these folks, so we just … We’re going to have a fun water station down there.
Jerry: Okay. Time for the event on Friday?
Pam: 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM.
Jerry: Okay. We’ll see you there.
Pam: See you there.
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The Overall Company Opens to Hundreds

I attended the opening party last night at The Overall Company, which has reopened in the John Emerald Distillery,  and got a chance to talk to Jay and Laura. Thought I’d share that interview with you this morning:

Jerry : So Laura …
Laura: Okay
Jerry : This was the official grand opening party tonight. The crowds have been incredible, how do you feel?
Laura: I’m so grateful everyone’s here, and I’m excited that we’re re-launching and we get to see all our wonderful customers every day.
Jerry : What’s for breakfast, because I’m coming in the morning?
Laura: We’re going to have an amazing hand-crafted lard butter milk biscuit.
Jerry : That’s very much on my diet.
Laura: It will be full of cheese and bacon and available at 7 AM.
Jerry : Okay. Tell me the hours.
Laura: We’re here from 7 to 5, Monday through Wednesday. From 7 to 7 on Thursday through Saturday. We’re closed on Sunday. We will be open for live music and events.
Jerry : The partnership between you and the building and John Emerald seems like the greatest brainstorm idea I’ve ever seen.
Laura: It’s amazing, we love working with John and Jimmy. The space is perfect because we can be open during the day, and they’re open at night, and then we can be co-opened together. I feel like we share the same customer base and it’s an amazing partnership.
Jerry : What was that little spark that started all this, when you decided you needed a new location?
Laura: Jimmy was one of our regulars every day, and we really had a wonderful space, but the overhead was a little too much for us. In talking with Jimmy as he came in, they had this unused tasting room every day, and he suggested that it might be a good idea for us to use it.
Jerry : Actually when you look around the room, there’s probably as much room here as you had before, right?
Laura: I really think so, we can fit twice as many in here, and also overflow onto the street and into the back, and into the rail yard. We’re going to be just fine.
Jerry : Very cool. All in all tonight, a big success?
Laura: A big success, and we’re super-excited to be back, and super-excited to be serving our community every day.
Jerry : So Jay …
Jay: Yes sir.
Jerry : What about tonight’s crowd?
Jay: Fantastic. We had 800 people show up for our grand opening. Blown away, I’m blown away by the community, by the support. Super-grateful to be in business again. I just thank everybody for coming out.
Jerry : The area that you have, what I would say the itty-bitty area’s like … there’s so much in here. This is great.
Jay: Yes sir. We’ve packed a lot of things behind this small little bar. We’ve got our little station, and it seems to really work well with John and Jimmy. Our businesses cross-pollinating with each other. It’s successful so far.
Jerry : I talked to Laura about that earlier in the interview, that this actually … it’s a marriage made in heaven, maybe. I guess, I don’t know.
Jay: I agree, I totally agree.
Jerry : Let’s talk … what can I expect, because I’m coming for breakfast tomorrow. I’m out of town in a week, there’s no food in the refrigerator. What are you cooking for me?
Jay: For breakfast in the mornings, we’re having our Standard Deluxe, with our fermented cheese and bacon biscuit. Probably our most famous item that we serve on the menu. For lunch, we’ve got our Waverley, which is our fermented cheese and ham, Kettle chips on … the bread is from Acre. Then we’ve got the Kettle chips and the pickle. It’s in a nice little box. You just come in, it’s going to be ready right for you, so you just grab and go.
Jerry : The hours are going to be what, again?
Jay: Monday through Wednesday from 7 to 5, Thursday and Friday 7 to 7, and Saturday 8 to 7. Closed on Sunday.
Jerry : Me personally …
Jay: Yes sir.
Jerry : It’s good to have you back.
Jay: Thank you, I appreciate it Jerry, thank you for your support.
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Al Gore Invents “National Beer Day”

No wait, he did the internet.  I guess this means a trip to celebrate it tonight at Red Clay Brewing Company among other stops in Downtown Opelika!  Thanks Franklin Roosevelt for inspiring this holiday!  For the story behind the Holiday, I turn to Wikipedia!

Recognized nationwide among beer enthusiasts, National Beer Day is an unofficial holiday in the United States celebrated every year on April 7, and marking the day in 1933, the first day in 13 years, that people could legally buy, sell, and drink beer.
National Beer Day is a celebration of the Cullen–Harrison Act being signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on March 22, 1933. Upon signing the legislation, Roosevelt made his famous remark, “I think this would be a good time for a beer.” The law went into effect on April 7 of that year, allowing people to buy, sell and drink beer containing up to 3.2% alcohol by weight (or 4.05% by volume) in states that had enacted their own law allowing such sales. People across the country responded by gathering outside breweries, some beginning the night before. On that first day, 1.5 million barrels of beer were consumed, inspiring the future holiday. Today, April 7 is recognized as National Beer Day and April 6 is known as New Beer’s Eve.
National Beer Day was first created in 2009 by Justin Smith of Richmond, VA. After much prodding from his friend, Mike Connolly, Justin started a Facebook page that was noticed by Colorado Beer Examiner, Eli Shayotovich. Justin’s promoting of the new holiday via various social media outlets was rewarded when the beer drinking app, Untappd, created a badge for National Beer Day that rewarded participants that checked a beer into the app on April 7th. National Beer Day has since been trending every year on April 7th using the hashtag #NationalBeerDay. (Source: Wikipedia)
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Norfolk Southern Has Another Opelika Accident

The Norfolk Southern Line involved in the train derailment on 04/01/16 is back open. One of the first trains through this morning, at 9:44 A.M., was then involved in a crash with a cement truck in the 600 block of Old Columbus Road. The cement truck, which was from Oconee Concrete out of Milledgeville, GA, was crossing a private crossing when it crossed in front of the train. The driver of the cement truck received no injuries, nor did the crew on the train. Emergency crews are on scene while clean-up efforts are ongoing. The tracks are expected to be open as soon as possible. (Source: Opelika Police Department, 4/4/16, 11:00 AM)

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