Birmingham Urban Planning

Urban Planning is a technical and political process concerned with the development and use of land, planning permission, protection, and use of the environment, public welfare, and the design of the urban environment. People also define it as the process of deciding how land will be used, both in the present and over the long term. It needs to take into account not only structures, but also the people and the community impacted by the space. The Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham (RPC) provides planning series, economic development services and multiple initiatives for 6 counties and 84 communities throughout central Alabama.

Live. Play. Work. Community. The RPC is an example of impacting urban planning in Birmingham for the past 50 years. Blount, Chilton, Jefferson, St. Clair, Shelby and Walker are the 6 counties apart of RPC. The goal is, “improve the lives of people in our region.” They do this by focusing their projects on transportation,  medicaid waiver, community planning, they try to remove traffic congestion, and economic development for small businesses. This is the team that helps local municipalities secure state and federal resources to be successful.

The Birmingham-Hoover area has seen population increases with its growth in urban development. North of town is the most prime for development which is the main reason there is so much room to grow in the Birmingham neighborhoods. The revitalization of the downtown areas will continue to see significant growth in the immediate future for Birmingham. According to AL.com, “Birmingham is no longer the sleepy little Southern city it once was.” There are very large institutions hiring extremely technical folks, companies like BBVA Compass Bank, Protective Life, Regions, and with the addition of plenty of company start-ups that have chosen Birmingham as their homes.

According to AL.com, “Companies are tasked with keeping young professionals here while also marketing our fine city to could-be young professionals in competing cities such as Atlanta, Chattanooga, Nashville, Jacksonville, and Huntsville.”

A young professional might like the idea of working in urban planning if they want to be involved in their community and develop an area in that community into a better, livable space. An urban planning job varies based on the area. Rural vs. urban area will have different needs, however, the role is focused on planning how space will be used, and what pages will be allowed. Birmingham is the perfect revitalization city that has been attracting young talent in areas such as urban planning.

Lunar Eclipse

There was a total lunar eclipse that started yesterday and ended today. In honor of this eclipse, here are a few fun facts about lunar eclipses.

  1. Some lunar eclipse can last up to 3 hour and 45 minutes.
  2. Lunar eclipses can never happen more than three times a year.
  3. There are typically more solar eclipses than lunar eclipses per year.
  4. There are three types of lunar eclipse: partial, full, and prenumbral.
  5. A full lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth passes directly in front of a full moon.
  6. In ancient times, a total lunar eclipse or disappearance of the Moon meant that the gods were angry with the people.
  7. The word eclipse comes from the Greek word meaning downfall.
  8. It is not dangerous to look directly at the Moon during a lunar eclipse because the Moon is not giving off its own light – this is not the case for a solar eclipse.
  9. A lunar eclipse may be viewed from anywhere on the night side of the Earth.
  10. Full moons are the only time lunar eclipses occur.
  11. Lunar eclipses are visible over an entire hemisphere.

The next eclipse that will be visible in Birmingham will be on March 23, 2016. This will be a Penumbral Lunar Eclipse, which is more subtle, and more difficult to observe. This eclipse occurs when the moon moves through the outer part of the Earth’s shadow.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Five Points South – It’s rounding the corner once again! St. Patrick will be rolling out his green carpet into Birmingham on Saturday, March 12 with the city’s 32nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, presented by REV Birmingham and Five Points South.

Part-two of the much anticipated, weeklong The Five Points South St. Patrick’s Celebration, the parade will grace the streets of Five Points South from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., ending at Cobb Lane.

2016 Parade Marshall UAB Coach Bill Clark and the Ian Sturrock Memorial Pipe Band will lead the procession.

The 32nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, REV Birmingham District Manager James Little said, is a celebration that is speedily becoming “Birmingham’s own”.

Major cities across the United States are renowned for their parades, Little explained, and REV Birmingham and Five Points South are in a likewise manner striving to create their annual St. Patrick’s Day parade into a uniquely Birmingham experience.

And it has been a success.

“We’ve really added an element where the St. Patrick’s Celebration in Birmingham is very much becoming what you would see in other cities,” he said.

According to Little, much of the parade’s attraction has accumulated in recent years.

“It has grown and grown over the past five years,” he said, crediting much of this to the businesses of Five Points South.

“Five Points is Birmingham’s culinary district,” he said. Little explained that when St. Patrick’s Day arrives in Birmingham, these businesses provide St. Patrick’s Day themed menus and live music—several additional features that set Birmingham’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration apart from others.

Other festive features include new attractions such as Chick-fil-A’s Lucky Zone for Kids, as well as exhibits by the Birmingham Police and Fire Department. Non- parade festivities will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

REV Birmingham and Five Points South encourage the Birmingham community to come clad in green on Saturday to participate in this fun-filled, family friendly parade celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.

 

Women’s Tennis defeated by nationally ranked Wildcats

The women’s tennis team was defeated 4-0 by No. 15 University of Kentucky.

Kentucky began the match with a 6-1 win at the No. 1 doubles positon against senior marketing major Jessica Northcutt and senior accounting major Carita Moolman. Kentucky followed with a 6-3 win at the No. 2 doubles position against senior interior design major Iva Parapunova and sophomore health sciences major Ellie Gerlach to secure the doubles point.

Kentucky was able to secure the victory with singles wins at the No. 1 position against Northcutt, No.3 position against Parapunova and No.4 position against sophomore nursing major Savannah Wood.

Northcutt was disappointed by the loss but was happy with the way the team played.

“Unfortunately we stopped at 4 against UK, so some people didn’t get to play. But, overall I think everyone played very well. UK is a very good team and I think that we competed well with them,” Northcutt said.

“It was good experience to play a highly ranked team, because that’ll be the best team we play all year. If everyone plays the way we did last weekend, we could be in good shape,” she said.

The Bulldogs are getting ready for their next match against UT Martin which takes place on March 6 at 3 p.m. at the Samford Tennis Complex.

Northcutt said it will be business-as-usual for the Bulldogs at practice this week.

“We play UT Martin on Sunday, so we had a couple easy days the beginning of this week but now we will continue to practice normally to get ready for this weekend,” Northcutt said.

“I think if we have a good week of practice to have confidence going into this weekend, it will make a big difference in our upcoming matches,” Northcutt said.

Photos courtesy of Joey Mullins.

Republican candidates are headed to Birmingham

Republican presidential candidates have been invited to participate in a forum at Samford University on Saturday Feb. 27 hosted by Yellowhammer News

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) are the only two candidates that have been confirmed so far. Other candidates are expected to announce if they will be participating in the next few days.

Each candidate will take the stage individually.  Cliff Sims, Chief Executive Officer of Yellowhammer will interview each participant during the forum.

The event will be held in Samford’s Wright Center. Tickets for the event sold out soon after it was announced. Doors will open at 1:30 p.m. and people must be at their seats by 2:30 p.m. The forum will begin at 3 p.m.

Superstation WYDE will broadcast the Forum live on radio station 101.1 FM.

Christenberry Planetarium to Host Star of Bethlehem Shows

The Samford University Christenberry Planetarium will host its annual Star of Bethlehem show at select dates and times throughout December, beginning on Thursday, Dec. 3 at 8 p.m.

The show, which examines the iconic star from an astronomical, historical and biblical perspective, is meant to direct the viewer’s attention to the real reason for the season.

“The show is very much a prayerful meditation in preparation for Christmas,” Planetarium Director David Weigel said, “and it’ll be a good opportunity to sort of reorient your perspective so that you’re focused on the true meaning of Christmas.”

Scheduled to run through Dec. 20, each show is about an hour long.

For more information on dates and times, visit the planetarium’s Facebook page, Christenberry Planetarium at Samford University.

Samford Holiday Traditions Scheduled for Thursday

A pair of Samford holiday traditions, the Hanging of the Green and Lighting of the Way, will take place on Thursday evening.

The Hanging of the Green, a Christmas worship service led by honorees from the senior class, will begin at 6 p.m. in Reid Chapel. The Lighting of the Way, which culminates in the illumination of the campus Christmas tree, will begin at 7 p.m. and take place along Centennial Walk and the University Quad.

Started in 1980, 2015 marks the 35th edition of these cherished holiday events.

Samford Volleyball Hosts Wofford on Friday

volleyball vs UNCG
Photos from Herb Brooks.

In 11 out of their last 13 matches, the Bulldogs have either swept opposing teams or have been swept.

On Saturday, Samford dropped a 3-0 decision to the UNCG Spartans. Throughout the match, there were a combined total of 18 ties and eight lead changes. The first set alone featured 14 ties and seven lead changes, with the Bulldogs and Spartans fighting into extra points before a result of 27-25 deferred.

Samford’s overall record is now 8-11, with a 3-6 mark in SoCon play.

Regardless of what happens this season, the Bulldogs remember to keep their wins and losses in perspective.

For one game each year, the volleyball team suits up in orange jerseys to raise awareness for leukemia. Caroline Neisler, sister of current player Kate Neisler, passed away just weeks after learning of her diagnosis. Neisler fought to ensure that people remembered her for not giving up. Fundraising efforts are included to keep Caroline’s memory alive. This year’s “Dig Orange” match will be played on Nov. 4 against Chattanooga. Fans are encouraged to wear orange themselves for the match.

Before the Chattanooga match, the Bulldogs will focus on beating Wofford.

They hope to get back on the winning track this Friday at 7 p.m.

Friday is Moe’s Southwest Grill Night in the Pete Hanna Center, where free nachos will be given to the first 100 fans. Also, prizes will be awarded for fans with the best Halloween costumes.

Cross Country Ready to Roll at Conference

Cool, crisp air. Color-changing leaves. Pumpkin everything.

All signs point to the delayed arrival of fall in central Alabama, and for the Samford men’s and women’s cross country teams that means one thing: championship season is here.

After logging hundreds of miles, enduring tedious workouts and persevering through the wear-and-tear of a long season, the time has finally come to reap the benefits of a training cycle that began nearly five months ago.

Scheduled for the morning of Oct. 31 on the Furman University Golf Course in Greenville, S.C., the 2015 Southern Conference Cross Country Championships represent the season’s pinnacle.

“It’s always our No. 1 focus,” first-year head coach Kevin Ondrasek said. “We’ll have a couple individuals who will progress past that, and we’ll train for that, but as a unit we’re trying to put it together at conference first.”

Both teams will face a talented field when they toe the starting line for the season-defining race, as the hometown Paladins enter the meet as two-time defending champions for both the men and women.

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In fact, the Furman men enter the meet with a national ranking, earning recognition in the latest poll as the No. 10 team in the country.

But that doesn’t mean the Bulldogs will be running with decreased expectations, especially on the men’s side. After tying their highest finish position in program history by placing fourth at the 2014 conference meet, the Samford men are focused on reaching new heights.

“I think if we’re not on the podium we’ve failed, or I failed, either way,” Ondrasek said. “How far up on to the podium is up to them. I don’t think Furman is necessarily in reach, just being realistic, but I’ve seen some crazy things happen. Cross country’s a crazy sport, you never know.”

Individually, the men will be led by star sophomore Arsène Guillorel, the 2015 SoCon outdoor track and field 5,000-meter champion who recently notched a 19-second cross country personal best, cruising to a fourth-place finish at Friday’s hypercompetitive Crimson Classic.

Severely affected by graduation and hampered by a mix of injury and illness, the Samford women will enter the conference meet with a slightly different approach. Though they’ll arrive in Greenville with an expectation of reaching the podium as a team, Ondrasek is placing an elevated importance on each runner’s individual performance.

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“They’re working on just finding some consistency, and just kind of celebrating improving as individuals,” Ondrasek said. “If we come out feeling good about what we’ve done as individuals, I’ll be happy with the team performance.”

The sophomore duo of Karisa Nelson and Emma Garner will set the pace for the Bulldog women, as each will look to improve upon their performances from a year ago. Both Nelson and Garner earned spots on the 2014 All-SoCon Freshman Team after placing 12th and 24th, respectively.

As the Samford men and women continue to make their final preparations for the championship meet, ensuring full health across the board, Ondrasek said he’s been pleased by each group’s collective improvement over the course of the season, fulfilling the vision established on day one.

“I mean we’ve had little hiccups here and there, but they’ve progressed along beautifully,” Ondrasek said. “They’re right where I hoped they would be.”

Trader Joes Unveils Grand Opening of New Store in The Magic City

Now there is no need to visit Atlanta to encounter a Trader Joe’s. The tropical-themed grocery chain opened their doors to a new store in Birmingham, Ala. on Oct. 13.

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The Summit location is in the heart of all the action and ties in local Birmingham icons to their island décor.

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They also have a lot of pumpkin items to choose from to help get you into the fall spirit including pumpkin bagels and pumpkin cream cheese muffins.

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Trader Joes prides themselves on keeping their costs low and having healthier options to choose from. “I’m so excited Trader Joe’s is finally being brought to Birmingham because of their cheaper options to fit college students budgets,” said Elizabeth Goydich, Samford University Junior.