Mobile City Council President
P. O. Box 1827
Mobile, AL 36633-1827
Office: (251) 208-7441
Cell: (251) 404-4644
I hope you're staying dry. We've had our share of rain last week, but weather reports say the week ahead should be dryer. That's good news for the resurfacing work underway on Old Shell Road. The rain has caused delays in laying the final layer of asphalt. Rain has also caused potholes to form on the outside turn lane at the intersection of Old Shell Rd. and McGregor Ave. near the library, as well as on some side streets. Engineers say as soon as it's dry enough, workers will put temporary patches over the potholes that will get permanent fixes when the new asphalt is laid.
Many people have asked about the concrete "bump outs" located near Five Guys Burgers. Those islands and the painted islands that will be across the street in front of Servis First Bank are for public safety - to help protect pedestrians on our sidewalks. Engineers have re-thought the concrete "bump outs," and will pull them out in favor of painted islands.
The City is in the process of attacking drainage projects. Tomorrow, the Council will vote on a group that includes some in District 7 that we are using advanced 2017 Capital Improvement Funds to pay for. Those include Cody Rd. at Milkhouse; 4317 Marquette Dr.; and 4558 Brookmore Dr. This is not the complete list of all District 7 projects, just those on tomorrow's agenda. There are many more either under construction now, in the design phase or in the planning stages.
Residents who live behind St. Ignatius report seeing coyotes in the wooded area near their homes. I have contacted the State's Wildlife & Conservation Department that handles issues with wild animals in the city to help resolve the problem. Please be on the lookout for coyotes if you live in that area and take care to protect your pets.
You may be aware that the City Council is considering two proposed ordinances to create a Police Citizens Community Relations Advisory Council proposed by Councilmen Richardson, Small and Manzie. In an effort meet our colleagues half way, Councilman Joel Daves and I have offered a second proposal. Councilman Daves and I recognize that in certain areas of our city, citizens mistrust police. Justified or not, if that perception exists, it creates problems, and it is incumbent upon us to resolve the problem.
This Citizens Advisory Council would be comprised of citizens city-wide appointed with a mandate to work together along with the Police Department and City's leadership to build better, positive working relationships between police and the communities they serve. I am willing to support the idea as long as I believe the committee would make the situation better - not worse, that it wouldn't interfere with officers doing their jobs, and the Police Chief and Mayor Stimpson can support its creation. Both of these proposals have been laid over for two weeks and will be the subject of a Public Safety Committee meeting scheduled for tomorrow at 2 p.m. in the Council's 9th Floor Conference Room. The meeting is open to the public and I welcome your input.
See below for upcoming events and important updates. I hope you have a wonderful week ahead.
HELPFUL CITY LINKS & NUMBERS
City Council Meetings
Dial 311 or 208-5311
Keep Mobile Beautiful
Mobile Police Department
Downtown Mobile Alliance
BID Hotline- 327-7233 (SAFE)
Mobile Area Water & Sewer Service
694-3165 for emergency calls 24/7
MOBILE 311 HAS NEW HOURS
The new hours of operation for Mobile 311 are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Citizens should call 911 in the event of an emergency or 208-7211 to reach the Mobile Police Department's non-emergency operator. Call 311 during regular business hours, or to submit requests 24/7 via the City's website.
The change was made in response to the relatively small number of calls received overnight, on Sundays and holidays- an average of 20 calls per week after-hours (7 p.m. to 7 a.m.) vs. an average more than 2,500 calls total per week.
In addition, a couple of vacancies that increased the workload and overtime on the current staff. As a result of the change, the City should realize a cost savings of $75,000 per year. That translates to more than $700 per call on nights & weekends. Every dollar saved is another dollar that can be spent fixing problems and eliminating the backlog of 311 requests.
Mayor Stimpson consulted with Chief Barber regarding the change and he assured us that it will have no effect on public safety. Gary Tanner at the County 911 Center said it should have no impact on his operations. They both agreed to contact the City Council immediately should any issues arise. Of course, the Action Center can be activated at any time in the event of an emergency or natural disaster.
CITY OF MOBILE ANIMAL SHELTER
855 Owens Street
Mobile, AL 36604
Open for adoptions:
Monday through Friday: 9 - 11 a.m. and noon until 4:30 p.m.
Saturday: 9 - 11 a.m. and noon until 3:30 p.m.
(Closed for lunch between 11:00 am and noon)
Find us on Facebook and Petfinder.com
All dogs residing in the City of Mobile are required to be licensed!
Call 208-2800 for details.
HISTORY MUSEUM HAPPENINGS
Come by the History Museum and view the new Freidman Miniature House Gallery, which now includes selections from the museum's toy collection.
Tuesday- Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday- 1 to 5 p.m.
Every second Sunday join us for FREE!
For more information visit or call:
www.historymuseumofmobile.com / (251) 208-7652
HAVE YOU FACED A CLOSED DOOR?
Housing and lending discrimination occurs when people try to rent or buy a home, or when they attempt to get homeowner's insurance or a mortgage. Thirty-five years after Congress enacted the Fair Housing Act, millions of complaints are still filed each year - through nonprofit fair-housing agencies, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Department of Justice.
Housing discrimination doesn't always mean having a door slammed in your face or a bigoted remark directed your way. It is often done with a handshake and a smile. Unsuspecting renters or home buyers may be politely turned away from the housing of their choice, even though they are qualified.
The Center for Fair Housing, Inc. is full service fair housing center, whose mission is To advocate, enforce, and educate the communities we serve in order to promote more healthy and inclusive communities. Through education on relevant fair housing laws, pre and post homeownership counseling, financial literacy, and public accessibility accommodations, The Center continues their efforts to assure fair housing opportunities for all persons.
Center for Fair Housing
P.O. Box 161202
Mobile, AL 36616
Phone: (251) 479-1532
Fax: (251) 479-1488
Contact: Jasmine Spratt, Outreach Coordinator
The Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce has received information from Airbus to help answer two of the most common questions: "How does my company become a supplier for the Airbus Alabama 320 final assembly line project?" and "How does my company become a supplier in Airbus' production supply chain? As the company moves closer to announcing its construction timeline, they are committed to working with local vendors whenever possible.
All companies with interest in doing business with Airbus should reply to the "Airbus For Suppliers" tab on the website: http://www.airbus.com/company/americas/us/alabama/. On this site, suppliers will find two registration options:
1. For suppliers interested in working specifically on the new Airbus Alabama A320 Family final assembly line project, please visit the EADS eProc tool.
In addition, Airbus has created a truly global supply chain that contributes to the success of its growing aircraft product line. More than 1,500 primary contractors in over 30 countries deliver the quality components, parts, systems and hardware that Airbus requires - at the best quality and within the established time frame.
2. If you are a supplier interested in becoming part of the Airbus aircraft production supply chain, register your company's information through the Airbus/EADS sourcing tool.
The Airbus/EADS Sourcing Tool allows you to describe your capabilities to Airbus buyers who will then contact you directly, if applicable. Airbus/EADS Sourcing also allows buyers and suppliers to exchange requirements and proposals online during the bid process. For small and medium-sized companies, your best points of contact may be our first and second tier suppliers. Please use any existing contacts you may already have with these suppliers.
Airbus and its recruiting partner, Alabama Industrial Development Training (AIDT), will post specific vacancies for Project Management and associated support roles as the positions are defined. The postings will provide the required qualifications and application methods.
HELP FOR BUSINESSES
Mobile Works announced a program for area businesses to take advantage of an On-The-Job Training program designed to help them grow their business. The OJT program provides financial assistance to area business owners and companies to help offset the costs of training new hires. Mobile Works can pay up to 50% of the costs associated with training new hires for jobs that pay at least $9 per hour.
Mobile Works is the local workforce investment agency operating under Alabama's Workforce Investment Act. Businesses interested in learning more about the OJT Program should contact Mobile Works at (251) 432-0909 or visit www.mobile-works.org.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: CHANGING LIVES INSIDE METRO JAIL
Statistics say that out of every 100 people in jail, more than 70 of them have reading and learning problems. If an inmate receives educational training while incarcerated, the chances of returning to jail are around 25%, compared to a 40-77% recidivism rate without training.
Goodwill Easter Seals and the Mobile Area Interfaith Coalition partnered with the Mobile County Metro Jail Chaplain's Office to meet this need, by starting a GED program in 2010, and have since expanded the program within the jail system. Goodwill Easter Seals began GED testing at the jail in June 2011. Last year, 51 inmates took the GED test inside the jail, and 36 (72%) passed, at a rate higher than the state average of all test takers.
This program is run almost entirely on volunteer instruction from local people who want to make a difference in someone's life. More tutors are urgently needed, and you can help. To sign up to help someone get a GED or improve literacy, contact Cyndi Thompson at 344-9142 or Cyndi@gesgc.org.
New tutor training will be held on Thursday, February 28 at the Goodwill Easter Seals Community Center at 2423 Schillinger Road South (corner of Cottage Hill Road). Volunteers can choose between a morning (9 a.m. to noon) or an evening (5 to 8 p.m.) training.
FOSTER GRANDPARENT PROGRAM
Foster Grandparent Program of Mobile County (FGP) is a volunteer organization with more than 30 years of history. Its mission is to offer volunteer opportunities to use the experience of individuals 55 and older to serve special needs children. More than 80 volunteers bring an amazing commitment to serve approximately 700 children in 50 agencies and schools every day.
FGP is affiliated with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) which funds approximately 80% of the total program budget. Utilizing Foster Grandparents allows non-profit agencies to offset operating costs while having an impact on critical community needs involving children. The program recruits, trains, and matches volunteers with opportunities based on their skills and interests. Those who meet certain income guidelines receive a small stipend. All FGP volunteers receive accident and liability insurance, meals while on duty, reimbursement for transportation, and monthly training.
Many of the Foster Grandparents read to children ages 4 to 6 to help strengthen their vocabulary skills, increase their comprehension and ability to re-tell a story, and develop a lifelong love of reading and appreciation of books. They also provide guidance and leadership to youth to model and reinforce appropriate social behavior, provide nurturing support and encouragement, engage in education-related activities to enrich the child's appreciation for academic skills, and foster positive self-esteem.
During the 2010-2011 program year, 80 foster grandparent volunteers provided 96,795 in service hours, the economic equivalent of more than $1 million. Community partners and agencies include faith-based groups, Head Start Centers, schools, Boys and Girls Clubs, day-care centers, libraries, hospitals and other youth facilities.
Benefits of this program include, demonstrated gains in school readiness in terms of literacy skills, and math skills, and improved academic engagement and performance. FGP's effort to help children achieve and succeed is their priority. While volunteers offer a huge benefit to children and youth served, members enjoy the connections that bring fulfillment to them as well.
For more information on FGP services, contact Toni Robinson at (251) 574-6488 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
FAMILY CENTER OF MOBILE
The Exchange Club Family Center of Mobile (ECFC) is a private not-for-profit 501(c)3 corporation chartered in 1991 with the support of the Mobile Exchange Club and Parents Anonymous. The Parent Aide Home Visitation Program began in 1994 and continues to serve at-risk parents of young children today. In 2002 the ECFC began two new programs. The Healthy Start-Never Shake a Baby program is offered to new parents in area hospitals in the days following the birth of their children. Healthy Start is still active at USA Children's and Women's Hospital today. The Family Time program, a supervised visitation for non-custodial parents was also launched that year and continues to grow each year. Monitored exchanges for separated or divorced parents switching children for weekend or holiday visitation was added in 2006 and is now available free to the public. The focus of the programs has always been working with parents to educate and train them while their children are very young in order to prevent abuse and neglect before it happens. A second focus is to stress the importance of having both parents active and involved in their children's lives.
All programs provided by The Family Center of Mobile are offered free of charge to the public when certain conditions are met. Parents may opt to pay for some services if they prefer not to meet these conditions. Thousands are served every year through the programs offered.
Referrals are accepted from other agencies, the court system, and clients themselves. Staff members are mandatory reporters of child abuse and work closely with the Department of Human Resources. The Family Center relies heavily on volunteers, donations, and grants. For more information on the Family Center and its operations in our Community contact the Mobile office at (251) 479-5700.
MOBILE MUSEUM OF ART: NEW HOURS
The Mobile Museum of Art in beautiful Langan Park is the largest art museum along the Gulf Coast from New Orleans to Tampa. The 95,000 square foot facility is the setting for a permanent collection of over 9,000 works of art spanning two centuries of culture, as well as world renowned traveling and regional art exhibits. The Mobile Museum of Art is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation.
The Museum is now closed on Mondays, with the exception of school tours. The Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. It is open until 9 p.m. on Thursday. Admission currently is FREE from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday evenings. The Museum is now asking the public to vote for a new free admission day. Go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VJH9JNJ to cast your vote.
Go to http://www.mobilemuseumofart.com/ to view the Mobile Museum of Art webpage which offers event information, admission costs, contact information, and more!
REAL TIME CRIME MAPPING
The Sheriff's Office has an improved feature on its website at www.mobileso.com. There is a crime mapping section under "My Neighborhood" on the homepage. The page shows users how to do their own crime mapping for all Sheriff's Office cases, in the unincorporated areas of Mobile County and in the City of Mobile.
Crime mapping is used by analysts in law enforcement agencies to map, visualize, and analyze crime incident patterns. Mapping crime, using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), allows crime analysts to identify crime hot spots, along with other trends and patterns. Crime analysts use crime mapping and analysis to help law enforcement make better decisions, target resources, and formulate strategies, as well as for tactical analysis.
The crime mapping feature provides crime data in real time, updated every ten minutes around the clock. The public can quickly see where a crime is committed by using a web browser or a mobile device. Users select a location where the crime occurred and then they have the ability to choose a street view, satellite view, normal map view, or even a hybrid view. A hyperlink is also provided to anonymously share tips on a particular crime.
A user may also choose to filter crimes by the crime type, a certain date or by a landmark such as a church or a school. Streetscan, a notification system, has also been developed which will allow users to be notified by email if crimes are committed within an area that they specify. There is a fee associated with this subscription. Citizens can pay $19.95 annually to receive this service. Go to Streetscan.org to subscribe to this service.
MOBILE AREA CRIMESTOPPERS ASSISTING LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES
The Mobile Area Crime Stoppers organization assists local law enforcement agencies by providing a method to persons who have knowledge of a crime or the location of a fugitive to report that information, but remain anonymous and also potentially receive a cash reward.
Mobile Area Crime Stoppers is affiliated with the national Crime Stoppers USA organization. It is a nonprofit charitable organization that was first incorporated in Mobile County in 1989. Its focus to date has been in assisting Mobile County law enforcement agencies. Future plans involve expansion of Crime Stoppers to service seven counties in southwest Alabama. The local Crime Stoppers outfit is managed by an all-volunteer Board of Directors.
A person who has knowledge of a criminal offense can provide the identity of the perpetrator, or information that will assist in identifying the offender, or can provide the location of a fugitive by calling 208-7000. This phone number is manned twenty-four hours a day by the Mobile Police Department. Callers are not asked to identify themselves in any way. No effort is made to trace the call or attempt to identify the caller. The first tip on a particular crime or fugitive is eligible for a reward.
The tip information is transmitted to the appropriate city, county, state, or federal law enforcement agency for handling and that agency is requested to provide feedback to the Crime Stoppers organization as to the value of the tip, whether it results in arrests or the solutions of crimes, etc.
The system has resulted in the apprehension of hundreds of offenders. The crimes solved have run the spectrum of criminal activity from theft of property to murder. There is little doubt that numbers of offenders would not have been apprehended but for the Crime Stoppers tip system and reward payments. It provides a proven method for persons who do not wish to be identified to provide information and potentially receive a cash reward for the information.
Any individual or company wishing to support the non-profit Crime Stoppers effort may send donations (checks only) to:
2407 Airport Blvd.
Mobile, AL 36606
For more information, contact:
David Evans, Sr.
President, Board of Directors
RESIDENTIAL RECYCLING DROP-OFF CENTER
On November 6, 2012, Mobile County received a letter of approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service confirming a $2,500,000 Coastal Impact Assistance (CIAP) Grant for the establishment and construction of a residential recycling drop-off facility on the old Brewer Center property off Hitt Road. With funding approved, the recycling center is now in the final design stage and the construction contract should be put out for bid in early spring 2013. The facility is expected to be completed and operational by the first quarter of 2014. Prior to the construction of the recycling facility, road improvements to Hitt Road will be completed, to improve visibility and traffic flow near the park entrance and the location of the recycling center.
For more information on City of Mobile events go to www.cityofmobile.org and join up for email notifications for city happenings.