Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Fairhope Vacates Land for Personal Gain

"Almost never.", longtime Baldwin County attorney Allan Chason when asked how often a municipality vacates land to a private citizen. However, this is precisely what happened in December 2015 between the City of Fairhope and Dean Mosher. 

Mosher had long been a thorn in the City's side with issues pertaining to development and infrastructure. So when he came to a City Council meeting requesting the end of Oak Avenue be vacated and added to his Fairhope Single Tax leasehold, it raised eyebrows in the audience. What followed was a well rehearsed speech and a quick, unanimous vote with no discussion. 

Planning for that City Council meeting began months before with private discussions between City administration, Mosher and members of the Single Tax Colony. In the November meeting of Single Tax members, Dean stated he had worked a deal with the City to have Oak Ave. given to him and requested it be added to his leasehold instead of becoming an additional parcel and reverting to Colony ownership as precedent stated. 

Ultimately, the land was split between his leasehold and his sister in law's leasehold next door. County records now indicate the end of Oak Ave. has been vacated and the remaining portion is listed as "unused". The week after the City Council meeting when the land was given, Mosher walked around the property showing where he planned to build three rental houses while turning his current house into a museum.

As of publication, only current City Council member Robert Brown responded with a comment. He stated he would need more information as this happened before his time on the Council.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

August Single Tax Colony Meeting 2019

Vice President Charles Lake presided over the August meeting due to President Lee Turner's absence. VP Lake brought the meeting to order promptly at 6:30 and began with the Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance.

A moment of silence was held for the memory of Mary Ann Ingersoll who passed on July 10, 2019 and Jenette Clark Pike who passed on July 30, 2019.

Ken Niemeyer presented a thorough report on the progress and planning of the sewage lift station located on Fels Ave. The City is planning to relocate the station in the parklands at the end of Fels and fence off a large area of the park. Mr. Niemeyer has concerns the City is not considering the impact the project will have to the park or residents in the area.

Director Jim Reid immediately followed Mr. Niemeyer with his own exhaustive report on the situation. He noted a few corrections to misconceptions and stated the City may need additional Right of Way clearance on the project. To gain this clearance, the City would need to come ask the Colony for it due to the structuring of the park's deed to the City in 1931.

One of the representatives from the City who came to do a presentation on the planned upgrades to the parking garage, who didn't introduce himself, seemed to take offense at the idea the City would need to ask the Colony for the Right of Way. "Why do we need to ask for permission for something we own?", he asked. Mr. Reid noted that was one of the things he learned while working on his report was that the Fairhope Single Tax Colony is the steward for all of the park land donated by it to the City over the years and therefore, the City is only allowed to use the land as a park. Any other use must be approved by the Colony.

The City representative went on to describe the coming changes to the parking garage located behind the Hampton Inn. The City has received a $1.1m grant to make the alley and parking garage more attractive, better lit and easier to use. It will be called "Arts Alley".

Ecumenical Ministries presented their capital campaign and requested $750,000 in funding. They noted they are celebrating 50 years of service to the Fairhope area.

The Baldwin Pops was on hand to thank the Colony for their previous 20 years of support and to request $2,000 to fund their annual Founder's Day Concert held at Henry George Park on the bluff.

Treasurer Upchurch noted the Colony is in good standing and has started collected revenue for the coming tax bill.

Previous Minutes were approved and monthly transfers accepted.

The Archives Committee reminded everyone of the upcoming Barney Gaston Day on August 24th. It is held the last Sunday of August.

The upcoming class for new member applicants still has a few open positions for those interested in becoming a Colony member.

The Education Committee is producing a newsletter titled, "The Fairhoper" to illustrate the colony to newcomers and update citizens on coming events.

Manager Jennifer Sanford stated the office has received this year's Baldwin County Tax data.

There was no President, Trustee or Secretary reports.

Director Cliff Pitman stated by his calculations, the Colony stood to profit $1m from the development of two unleased parcels of land totaling about 5 acres. He stated it is about time to decide to either develop the properties, or auction them to the highest bidder as the Colony has been known to do in the last 20+ years under his leadership. If the Colony decides not to develop the land, Director Pitman would like to buy the 110 acres Mr. Burmeister owns near the intersection of CR 13 and CR 32.

*The Fairhope Courier would like to note the stark contrast of these actions with the stated purpose of The Fairhope Single Tax Colony. One of the main tenants of philosophy behind the Colony, is to remove the benefit of withholding land from its best use with the intent to profit from the speculation of ever increasing value built by the surrounding community.

The Colony, for the first 90 years of its existence, leased land at no charge to anyone. Over the past 30 years of the current administration, the Colony has profited from the auction of its leaseholds to the highest bidder, in direct violation of its founding principles.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Matilda on the Bluff at Henry George Park

Henry George Park shines while hosting the play Matilda performed by the 
Eastern Shore Repertory Theatre.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Live at Five Concert Series 4-26-19

Catch the Modern Eldorados tomorrow at 5:00pm at Halstead Amphitheater on Coastal Alabama Community College's Fairhope Campus.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Coming Events

“Let’s go!” Fairhope 

Monday, March 4 

5 pm:Live Music - Jon Cook @ Page and Palette 
5:52 pm: Sunset @ Fairhope Pier 
6:45 pm: Order of Mystic Magnolias Parade @ Downtown Fairhope 
7 pm: Live Music - RONDALE 0VERSTREET @ The Bone and Barrel  

Tuesday, March 5 - “Happy Mardi Gras!” 

5:53: Sunset @ Fairhope Pier
6 - 8 pm: Author Ariel Lawhon - “I used to be Anastasia” @ Page and Palette  
6 - 9 pm: Community Board Games - “We’ll teach you to play” @ Mini War Game 
8 pm: Live Trivia - Prizes for 1st, 2nd & 3rd place @ Ravenite Pizzeria 
8 - 11 pm: Karaoke @ American Legion Post 199 

Wednesday, March 6 

5:54 pm: Sunset @ Fairhope Pier 
6:30 - 9:30 pm: D & D Adventures - Role Playing Game @ Mini War Game 
8 pm: Scott Morlock, Piano Man @ Gambino’s  

Thursday, March 7 

5:30 am: Run or Walk, Choose your own pace, distance - All abilities @ Running Wild FH 
2 pm: “Tea for $2” Jo Ann Broadus on the Dogwood Trail Program @ FH History Museum  
5:54 pm: Sunset @ Fairhope Pier 
6 pm: Author Jack Morton - “Salon Dish” - @ Page and Palette 
6 - 7:30 pm: Rock N Roll Bingo w/ Green & Grain food truck @ The Mill
6:30 - 9:30 pm: Live Music - Randy Boyett @ Bill E’s  
7 pm: Live Music - The Funky Lampshades @ The Bone and Barrel 
7:30: Live Music on the PaddyO @ McSharry’s Irish Pub 
8 pm: Rock & Roll Bingo @ Ravenite Pizzeria
8 pm: Scott Morlock, Piano Man @ Gambino’s 

Friday, March 8

9:30 am: Women’s-only run or walk, All abilities welcome - Running Wild Fairhope 
9:30 am: Gentle Yoga with Pat Hiti @ Soul Shine Yoga 

March 4 - 10, 2019

5 pm: Live at Five Community Concert Series w/ Grayson Capps @ Halstead Amphitheater 
5:55 pm: Sunset @ Fairhope Pier 
6 - 8 pm: “First Friday” Art Walk (On 2nd Friday due to Mardi Gras) @ Downtown Fairhope 
6:30 - 8:30 pm: Live Music - Xaris Waltman @ Page and Palette 
6:30 - 9:30 pm: Live Music - Hollis Sellew @ Bill E’s8 pm: Scott Morlock, Piano Man @ Gambino’s 
8 pm: Live Music - A Brave New World @ The Bone and Barrel 
8 pm - 12 am: Open Guitar Jams @ American Legion Post 199  
10 pm - 2 am: Live DJ Party @ McSharry’s Irish Pub 
10 pm - 2 am: Live Music @ Ravenite Pizzeria

Saturday, March 9

6 am: Long-Run 8-10 miles mapped course. Show up early! All abilities - Running Wild FH 
12 - 7 pm: 4th Annual Free Clinic Fundraiser - Doctors bartending @ The Bone & Barrel - Honey Island Swamp Band 
5:30 pm: Live Music - Jamie Adamson @ Bayside Grill  
5:30 - 8:30 Live Music - Mitch Johnson @ The Mill 
5:56 pm: Sunset @ Fairhope Pier
6 pm: Live Music - Fat Man Squeeze @ Fairhope Brewing Company  
6:30 - 9:30 pm: Live Music - Randy Boyett @ Bill E’s  
8 pm: Scott Morlock, Piano Man @ Gambino’s 
8 pm: Live Music - Gypsy Spark @ The Bone and Barrel  
8 pm - 12 am: Open Guitar Jams @ American Legion Post 199 
10 pm - 2 am: Karaoke @ Ravenite Pizzeria 
10 pm - 2 am: Live DJ Party @ McSharry’s Irish Pub

Sunday, March 10 - “Daylight Savings Times Begins” 2 am: “Spring Forward!”  

11:30 am - Live Music- Lisa Zanghi @ Bill E’s 
2 - 7 pm: Cider Day! 10 ciders on tap, Steel City Jugslammers music @ FH Brewing Co. 
3 pm: “Singing for Spencer” Spencer Bohren Benefit @ The Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm 
4 pm: St. James Concert Series: Echoing Air @ St. James Episcopal Church 
6:30 pm: Traditional Irish Music @ McSharry’s Irish Pub
6:56 pm: Sunset @ Fairhope Pier

 * Please check with each venue to confirm times and availability for all events listed. * Know something left off this list? Want your event listed here? Want this list delivered to your inbox? Contact: LetsGoFairhope@Gmail.com

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Hurricane Gordon Expected Conditions

As Hurricane Gordon approaches the Gulf Coast today, be sure to complete preparations for storm conditions. Power and water delivery may be affected for several days following landfall.

Below is the anticipated rainfall from Hurricane Gordon.

 Wind speed probabilities for the areas affected by Hurricane Gordon.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Alabama Coastal Cleanup 2018

Show your support and concern for Alabama’s waterways by participating in the 31st Annual Alabama Coastal Cleanup scheduled for Saturday, September 15, 2018 from 8:00 a.m. until noon. You or your organization can make a difference by volunteering to clean up our cherished coastal area. The Alabama Coastal Cleanup engages local citizens to remove trash and debris and to change the behaviors that cause pollution. In a continuing effort to clean up the coast, over 90,000 volunteers have removed 800 tons of trash from Alabama’s valued coastline and waterways over the past thirty years. Join us this year as we continue to make Alabama the Beautiful! On the day of the event, come prepared with sunscreen, a hat, gloves, shoes and lots of water. It gets HOT!

Check in at the Fairhope Pier at 8:00 am.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Alabama Delta

Photo by Jessie Patterson

The Mobile–Tensaw River Delta is the largest river delta and wetland in Alabama.

It encompasses approximately 260,000 acres in a 40-by-10-mile area and is the second largest delta in the Contiguous United States. It is home to some of the most diverse wildlife in Alabama including 126 species of fish, 46 mammals, 69 reptiles, 30 amphibians and at least 300 species of bird, including more than 110 which nest in the region.

Humans inhabited the delta region at least as far back as 5,000 years ago.The last important battle of the American Civil War took place at the fortified town of Blakeley, located on the edge of the delta.
A railroad line to connect Montgomery and Mobile, now part of the CSX system, opened across the delta in 1872. In the mid-1920s, the Causeway was built across the lowest part of the delta, connecting the western and eastern shores of Mobile Bay. Later, I-65 and I-10 were constructed to span different parts of the area.

The delta was designated a National Natural Landmark in May 1974.

The Bartram Canoe Trail provides a system of waterways by which boaters may explore the delta.

Most of the delta is very shallow water. To access these areas airboats, canoes, kayaks, or other small craft are typically used.

Source: Wikipedia