IndyCar – Danica Patrick

My favorite IndyCar driver Danica Patrick placed 3rd in the Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville Superspeedway Saturday (behind Winner Scott Dixon and 2nd place Dario Franchitti).  Patrick is my favorite driver not only because she’s a good driver, or because she looks good in a swimsuit, but also because she seems like a genuinely nice person. 

My niece attended the race, and was excited that she got to meet Danica. Danica  was very good to an eight year old: talking with her, signing her race shirt, and letting her sit in Patrick’s IndyCar.  She went out of her way to spend time with a young girl and fellow race enthusiast, and for this, I am grateful.


Alabama State Board of Education – Stephanie Bell

Stephanie Bell of Montgomery is running for a fifth term (first elected 1994) on the State Board of Education, District 3. She defeated Skip Smithwick (AEA-funded) in the Primary.

She graduated from Auburn with a degree in English / Journalism, taught English in Taiwan, reported for the Montgomery Advertiser, and then worked for Education reform prior to her election to the Board of Education.

The State Board of Education members: Governor Bob Riley (R – President),  Joe Morton (Superintendent), Randy McKinney (R – District 1), Betty Peters (R – District 2), Stephanie Bell (R – District 3), Ethel Hall (D – District 4, VP), Ella Bell ( – District 5), David Byers (R – District 6, VP), Sandra Ray (D – District 7), and Mary Jane Caylor (D – District 8).

Note that the Board seems to vote along Party lines on most issues.


Runoff Results

WHNT just called Beth Kellum the winner in the Court of Criminal Appeals runoff (50,968 vs McLemore’s 42,098, with 94% reporting, 55% to 45%). She faces Democrat Jefferson County Circuit Judge Clyde Jones in the General Election.

Wayne Parker looks to have won the AL-05 House of Representatives candidacy (16,028 vs Guthrie’s 4,330, with 97% reporting, 79% to 21%). He faces Democrat State Senator Parker Griffith in November. Almost 14,000 of the more than 20,000 votes cast were from Madison County.

Twinkle Cavanaugh looks to have won the PSC President candidacy (60,493 vs Chancey’s 40,101, with 94% reporting, 60% to 40%). She faces Democrat former Lieutenant Governor Lucy Baxley in November.

Cory Brown looks to have won the Madison County Tax Collector candidacy (6,370 vs Stafford’s 5,269, with 98% reporting, 55% to 45%). He faces Democrat incumbent Lynda Hall in November.  If he wins, he will work to abolish the office (actually combine with the Tax Assessor’s office to form a ‘Revenue Commissioner’ office).

The Madison County unoffical results are here.

The polls were slow today. I put out signs for Cory Brown last night at my polling place, then schmoozed a little at lunch and after work.  It was interesting to see which of the neighbors were GOP supporters (the only ballots today at my polling place were GOP); saw most of my Neighborhood Watch, plus a few guys named ‘Coach’.

Fort Morgan Beach Report

If I said I was sorry for not posting lately I’d be lying…

Just got back from the Fort Morgan area of Gulf Shores. Now, I consider myself to be a connoisseur of beaches and coasts – I’ve driven almost the entire Atlantic coast between Maine to Key West and the Gulf Coast from Key West to Cancun – and been to almost every beach on the way.  In my subject matter expert judgment, Alabama has the finest beaches.

Let’s start with signs and bumper stickers – Peggy Givhan has the most signs up, also saw a huge McCain sign by the Ruby’s in Greenville (plus some McCain yard signs in Gulf Shores), Twinkle and McLemore signs, then lots of local signs in Baldwin County. I saw one ‘Kerry Edwards’ sticker on a car from Arkansas; saw a ‘Mitch’ sticker on a SUV with a KY State Senate plate; saw several ‘W’ stickers.

I watched parts of a couple of Baldwin County Commission meetings and a Baldwin County Planning Commission meeting on TV (yes, I am that much of a party!).  The Planning Commission was pretty informative to me, those guys were grilling the proposed developers of a fishing destination called ‘Cypress Point’ at the Bon Secour River.  I was pleased to see that the developer was working with the site (biological surveys, planning around trees and habitat) to minimize the human impact on the site.  I was pleased to see the Planners focus on not dredging, permeable drives (conserve rain and limit run-off), and road safety.

Attended the Fort Morgan Candlelight Tour. IIRC the Baldwin Chamber of Commerce said ‘Ghost Stories’, but it was really a tour with historical skits performed by period re-enactors.  A good crowd of about 300 people attended.  The tour ended at sunset, on the western tip of the peninsula, with a firearms and artillery demonstration. The ‘Commanding General’ asked for serving military and veterans to come forward, and they fired a salute just as the sun set.

I had noticed on previous trips some foreigners were working as maids, but this time I saw lots of Eastern Europeans: the Ukrainian beach chair attendant, the Moldavian girls working at Souvenir City (they forgave me for thinking they were Romanian), and the Armenian guest services guy. They all preferred the Gulf to the Black Sea – much cleaner plus nicer people…

Note that Tacky Jack’s (one of my favorites) has opened a new restaurant by the Fort. Also, the Gulf Shores WalMart is the biggest Wally I’ve ever seen.

And finally, the beach. Fantastic! Sugar white sands; gentle surf; shells, sanddollars, and starfish. Saw dolphins from the balcony every morning, saw beach mice every night. Also saw pelicans, seagulls, alligators, lizards, turtles, fish, crabs, and raccoon.