Category Archives: Alabama

It could have been worse

Taking a look now at the track of the tornado… As bad as things are, it could have been far worse. The tornado, as far as I can tell, bore several degrees to the east as it approached the Alabama campus. If it had been even a couple of degrees less, it might have gone up Paul Bryant Drive rather than 15th Street. The latter is, or was, a main road but mostly businesses. Bryant Drive goes through the eastern part of the Alabama campus. Although the center of gravity of the campus has shifted somewhat since my day, more toward the river on the west, there are two major dorms (Tutwiler Hall and Burke Hall) and the athletic dorm (Bryant Hall, naturally) that would have been in its path.

Moreover, if it had gone just a little bit to the west, it very well could have hit Druid City Hospital, which is located where Bryant Drive merges into University Boulevard; as it was, the tornado must have almost clipped the hospital, as many of the destroyed homes and apartment complexes are all but in the hospital’s shadow. DCH is the major hospital in the area, and the only real trauma center in the county. If it had been knocked out, in addition to whatever loss of life there was in the hospital itself the city’s rescue efforts would have been crippled, with only the smaller satellite hospital in Northport available this side of Birmingham.

It doesn’t really help, I guess, but it really could have been much worse.

The city right now is kind of odd. Most of the power is back on, and most of the city is now relatively normal. But there’s a big hole in the middle of town right now. You can circle around it… but the main shopping district for the city is closed, and much of it is gone. City workers are doing a great job at something that’s really not what they were trained for. It’s going to be a while before we find a new normal.

High weirdness in the GOP — so, normal

Robert Bentley campaign former staff members raise questions | al.com.

Okay, so after (apparently, the recount is underway, but his situation looks good) making the runoff in the gubernatorial primary, in a huge surprise, and being in good shape to win it… after that, Robert Bentley fired a bunch of his campaign staff. He brought in non-Alabamians, led by Mike Huckabee’s son-in-law, to fill their roles. I am increasingly of the opinion that he will blow this, and Bradley Byrne will get the nomination.

Alas, poor “Troy”

Yes, “Troy King” has gone down… uh, I mean lost to Luther Strange in the GOP AG nomination race. Pretty badly, it appears. He’ll only have a few more months to execute people for the state before he has to go freelance.

WBRC says…

The Associated Press: Sparks leads Dems for Al. governor; GOP bunched up.

AP has called the race for Sparks. Wow. Can’t find it online yet.

UPDATE:

Rep. Artur Davis loses bid to become first black Ala. governor .

Of course that’s how USA Today has to put it.

Early Returns!

June 1 Primary Election Results – WSFA 12 News Montgomery, AL |.

Early returns! Five percent in, and St. Roy is in fourth place. Right now, the GOP runoff would be Byrne vs. Bentley, but I still expect Tim James to catch Bentley. Sparks has a big early lead on Davis; in a low-turnout election, the machine help that Sparks had could be determinitive. Luther Strange up early on “Troy King”. And Twinkle! is leading in her PSC race, and could avoid a runoff. Only really bad news is that Dale Peterson is out of the runoff for the GOP Ag Commissioner spot, but it’s early. I know he’s got one more great ad in him.

Predictions

Alabama & National Elections News, Results & Politics – al.com.

The weather’s nice today, so I’m guessing high turnout, which probably is good for Artur Davis on the Democratic side. Hope I’m wrong about that. For the Republicans, Bradley Byrne will get the most votes, but probably less than 40 percent; I’m guessing he’ll meet Tim James in the runoff.

Debit where it’s due

Birmingham to close some libraries, rec centers | Second Front.

This is obviously close to my heart as a librarian and (before that) a library rat in the Jefferson County libraries. But for goodness sake, William Bell is trying to be the grownup here. This is the fault of Crazy Larry with his insane spending spree and the City Council which enabled it. The council president is still doing it — he wants to “raise more revenue”. In other words, raise taxes. During a very mild recovery from a very deep recession in a city that’s been economically declining for my entire life. I am not at all happy about the (putatively temporary) library closings, but there’s little choice in the matter here.