Opelika Weekend Begins with Block Party

Busy weekend for Opelika is coming up! Like outside parties with music, like to taste the best beer from around the state and country, like to hang with friends? It's all a part of the Opelika Friday/Saturday Night scene.

Friday Night's Block Party on North Railroad Avenue in front of the Distillery and Brewery will feature Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors with special guess Penny & Sparrow. Advance Tickets for the event are $15 (plus tax).

Joining the block party for the evening: Red Clay Brewing Company, John Emerald Distilling Company, Great Bear Wax Co., Loyal Stricklin, O Town Ice Cream, Mama Mocha's Coffee Emporium, Wilton's Catering, Factory South, Overall Company Pop Factory, Inner Sunshine Yoga & Wellness, Wake Up - Auburn, Opelika Radio, Spicer's Music, LLC, Feast and Forest, Ginger's Consignment Shop and The Love List.

Friday Football! It should be noted that the cross town rivalry between Opelika High and Auburn High will play out on the field at Opelika High School as well. Hopefully, there will be something for some to celebrate on the street in downtown. 

Saturday (August 29th) at The Bottling Company Event Center (aka Event Center Downtown) it's the return of Brewfest, the sixth in the series. Taste 30+ Craft Beers for the one admission price. $15 (plus tax) in advance. There's live music and food from Niffer's will be available as well. That kicks off at 1PM

Battle for Best Beer in Alabama

I’m not sure if you’ve been watching the battle between state breweries to find a winner of the Alabama Beer Brawl, but local brewery Red Clay Brewing has made it to the final two as voting continues thru September 1st.  Along the way they have won pairings against Folklore Brewing, Back Forty Beer Company and Salty Nut Brewery. Now the battle rages between Red Clay and Rocket Republic. With just over two weeks remaining, The Rocket has blasted ahead with 75% of the votes.  If you are a fan of the local brew, then get a voting. Vote Here!

Opelika Alabama Weekend Update - Living the Dream In A Gig City

Lots going on in Opelika for me this past week or so, so I thought I’d try a do a Top Five List of events, some interesting and others not I suspect.

Studio 3:19 (aka as Three-Nineteen Clothing Company) is moved to a new location just a half block down South Eighth toward the Baptist Church. The Old location is selling everything left in that store at huge discounts. You should probably schedule a Monday or Tuesday visit before it’s all gone. Molly, my sweet friend from Monroeville has done a great thing for Opelika by opening here and committing to a new long-term lease downtown. Official Grand Opening for the new location is Thursday (8/13) at 5 PM. 

I haven’t played board games in years, okay decades. But, Thursday Night it was Apples to Apples and some sort of Dice game.  The guys at the Red Clay Brewing Company have a stack of games and you can come by, get some local brew and just have fun.  My night’s activities got me two new nicknames; “A Hipster” and “A Baller”. They also have started serving Gourmet Hotdogs, well worth checking out on your next visit! 

I had a beer with a female friend who had been cruising the area on her Harley most of the day Saturday. Later she sent a text saying that one of her friends, also a lady biker, had seen me walking downtown and offered to give me a ride, since she has a “Sissy Bar” on her hog. I guess she didn’t want me to fall off!

Project Zazu continues downtown on 8th.  Balcony up in the past two weeks and the shroud covering it the past week is to keep dust down, as they cut two doors in the second floor for access to the new area. Aron Kovak has proven to be as much an artist as a contractor in this project. When finished, the building will be the best restored and most historic showplace in downtown Opelika. 

Other restaurant news: You just can’t get any better food that Café 123. I dropped in Saturday Night, probably (no really) a little underdressed, but totally enjoyed some Shrimp & Grits. Of course I had some Sushi during the week at Eighth and Rail, tried out the new “Niffer’s App” to win a free lunch (which I didn’t) and plan a trip over to Hamilton’s to end the weekend this (Sunday) afternoon.  Now if we could just get George to open another Hamilton’s over here; how cool would that be? Also, the folks over at Jefferson's have moved Kids Eat  Free day to Sunday's! 

Okay, about a Haircut. I working on the George Washington look right now! It also adds to the "Old Man Living under the Bridge" image I am working on. Have a Great Week Y'all!

Buddy Mondlock, accompanied by Mike Lindauer, at Sundilla on Friday July 31

Singer-songwriter extraordinaire Buddy Mondlock returns to Sundilla for the first time in a decade on Friday, July 31; he'll be bringing Mike Lindauer to play bass. Showtime at the AUUF is 7:30; admission at the door will be $12, but advance tickets are just $10 and are available at Spicer's Music, Mama Mocha's Coffee, Blooming Colors, and online at www.sundillamusic.com. At every Sundilla concert you'll find free coffee, tea, water and food, and attendees are invited to bring whatever food or beverage they prefer.
 
Buddy Mondlock is well-known as a songwriter, a singer and a performer, and though his career has been highly successful, parts of it can be summed up quite simply. As a songwriter, he's "the guy who has had his songs recorded by Guy Clark, Joan Baez, Nanci Griffith, Garth Brooks, Peter, Paul & Mary, Janis Ian, David Wilcox and Maura O'Connell, just to name a few." As a performer, he's "the guy who Guy Clark heard before immediately walking into a Nashville publishing house with the demand 'Listen to this kid and sign him now; he's good!'" As a singer, he's "the guy who performed in a group with Art Garfunkel." (No, "Buddy Mondlock" isn't an alias for Paul Simon... but he and Garfunkel did indeed team up with Maia Sharp and the trio recorded a CD and toured North America and Europe.)
 
Often there is much heartbreak and trauma on the road to a career this successful, but not so much in this case. Buddy grew up in a happy home near Chicago, and attended college before hitting the road with his guitar. He mostly played in and around Chicago, and one New Year's Eve he opened at the famed Earl of Old Town for the legendary Steve Goodman. He was just 21 and says "I could have walked out of there, been hit by a bus, and wouldn't have felt cheated at all."
 
He took his first trip to Texas for the Kerrville Folk Festival, and it was there that Guy Clark first heard him; Clark's plea of "sign him now!" was heard and soon Mondlock was working in Nashville. Not long after, people started taking notice. In 1987 he was a Kerrville New Folk winner and released his first album, and not long after that he was seeing his songs appear on releases by other performers. David Wilcox recorded "The Kid." Janis Ian asked if he'd like to write a song with her; they wrote "Amsterdam" and Joan Baez recorded it. Nanci Griffith invited Buddy to perform with her for a TV special she was doing, and soon after included Buddy's "Coming Down As the Rain" on her "Other Voices, Other Rooms" CD. A guy he'd done some writing with when he got to Nashville started doing really well and recorded "Every Now and Then" for his CD called "The Chase." (That was 1992 and that guy's name was Garth Brooks, and in 1992 there was NOBODY bigger than Garth Brooks.)
 
It was an exciting and eventful five years for a guy who was really just starting out! And things have continued to be good. There have been regular tours of America and Europe, several CD releases, a song recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary (followed by a television appearance with them), a few awards (including "Song of the Year".) And in 2003 he teamed with Art Garfunkel and Maia Sharp; they recorded a CD and toured this continent, and overseas.
 
Despite his success as a recording artist, as a solo performer and as a member of a group, Buddy Mondlock will forever be known as a songwriter. He does it so well that some great songwriters have recorded his songs on their own albums. Guy Clark, Nanci Griffith and Janis Ian are just a few of them; names familiar to Sundilla fans, like Tom Kimmel and Pierce Pettis, are also on that list. But there's nothing like hearing the guy who wrote them sing them. He's not going to pin your ears back with those songs. He's going to draw you into his world. Where a single snowflake follows the trajectory of a relationship, where you get your pocket picked by a Roman cat, where you might swim over the edge of the world if you're not careful and where dreams that don't come true still count. He does it in little folk clubs and on a stage by a grassy hill, in someone's living room or in the Royal Albert Hall. When Buddy Mondlock grabs his guitar and does his thing, it's always a magical evening for the audience. And on July 31, that audience is us.
 
Buddy Mondlock- accompanied by Mike Lindauer on bass- will return to Sundilla for the first time in a decade on Friday, July 31. Showtime at the AUUF is 7:30; admission at the door will be $12, but advance tickets are just $10 and are available at Spicer's Music, Mama Mocha's Coffee, Blooming Colors, and online at www.sundillamusic.com. At every Sundilla concert you'll find free coffee, tea, water and food, and attendees are invited to bring whatever food or beverage they prefer. For more information, just go to www.sundillamusic.com.
 
Must-read quotes, followed by must-hear music...     
 
"Buddy Mondlock writes beautiful songs and plays the kind of guitar they deserve. He's a fine person and a fine artist." -- Townes Van Zandt 
  
"Mondlock's songs are like movies you want to see again. He starts with the same world we all see and hear, but he transforms the sights and sounds into revelations that delight and melodies that linger." -- Ed Morris, Billboard Magazine
  
"Buddy Mondlock represents the best of the new generation of singer/songwriters in folk music. His writing style is grounded in the traditions of the past, but has its heart in the present. He is one of my favorite writers." -- Nanci Griffith
 
"Buddy Mondlock is the most startling new songwriting talent I've heard this year. This guy is an American Original, a folk poet whose vision veers effortlessly from wild witticism to soul-piercing insights. Living proof that the troubadour tradition sings on." -- Robert K. Oermann, Syndicated Music Writer
  
 
"Buddy Mondlock is one of our country's best songwriters. His approach is gentle and Zen-like, the songs unfurl like little movies and the listener is transported to some distant better place -- and isn't that what music should be about?" -- Ellis Paul 
   
"As acclaimed as he is as a songwriter, he is a fine performer who can create his share of magic with his high clear voice and inventive acoustic guitar." -- David Johnson, Boston Globe

 
"Buddy Mondlock is consistently eclectic, consistently innovative and consistently one of the few artists that doesn't irritate me. I love working with him and he better keep working with me." -- Janis Ian
 
"Buddy Mondlock, a south suburban Chicago native, has written for singers from Garth Brooks to Joan Baez. Now he is finding his own spotlight." -- Dave Hoekstra, Chicago Sun Times
  
 
"While residing in the world capital of perfunctory 9 - 5 songwriters, Buddy Mondlock chooses to write songs that convey honest emotional depth through a prism of sophisticated harmony and melody. His song "The Kid" is a timeless anthem of innocence discovering reality. I cried like a little girl." -- Richard Julian
 
"One of my favorites, Mondlock is brilliant in his word choice, poignant in his observations and powerful in his presentation." -- Kathleen Hudson, Kerrville Daily Times
    
"I first saw Buddy Mondlock while hosting the Ballad Tree, a tradition at the Kerrville Folk Festival. This kid in a bathing suit walked up and played "No Choice" to an audience of 30 - 40 people. By the time he got to the second verse, he had 200 people singing along with him. He blew me away! Pay attention to Buddy; he's a great writer!" -- Guy Clark
 
"Since the first time I heard Buddy play in my office, I've loved his music. It's always a pleasure to hear him and to have him play in the club." -- Amy Kurland, The Bluebird Café
 
"His songs are an express lane to the heart!" -- Luce Myers, The Blue Heron

Red Clay Brewing Company Beer Run - Yea, I'll Try Again!

I can’t say I won’t try this again, but I will be better prepared and have and understanding of how a Beer Run works.  If you were not there, here’s how! Four beers are poured and set on the bar in your position or lane. There are twenty lanes in each group. You drink the first beer, hold the empty cup over your head and then run out the back door, around the block and back in for the second. Then repeat until you drink the last and run that last lap.  Plus there is a time limit of 20 or 25 minutes I believe. Oh, one other thing! If you finish all the beer and made four laps, but threw up, you had to run an additional lap. Several did! 

I arrived early and signed in after some Auburnites dressed as Captain America, Superman and Wonder Woman.  And as we lined up for the first heat, they were beside me. Obviously, as you can see by my picture with Wonder Woman, they knew they could easily run the mile.   

IMG_8638.JPG

Sounds easy right. But then we noticed that it wasn’t the same beer each lap, but a different one. Two Lighter beers and a Stout and another dark beer.  The Superhero’s along with me got stuck at the third beer and time ran out for our disqualification.  I finished those while watching others work thru the routine. Zack from Niffer’s brought food down for the finishers and the run officially conducted by Big Dog Running in Auburn ran a well thought out race.   Proceeds from the vent went to Opelika Main Street.  Compliments to the crew at Red Clay for keeping the beer coming.  

Scammers After Your Money Again in Opelika

This note from OPS and the City regarding Scammers!  Opelika Power Services wants its customers (both residential and business) to be ON THE ALERT against SCAM ARTISTS who have been calling Opelika Power Services Customers stating that they owe money (usually several hundreds of dollars) to OPS and that their power will be cut off if they don't "pay up".

The numbers are coming through from an area code number of 801. 

ALSO:  ANOTHER ERRONEOUS NUMBER: 888-610-5575. When you call it, a recording answers "Opelika Power Services" -- THIS IS NOT OPELIKA POWER SERVICES!!! Law enforcement has been called!!!

OPELIKA POWER SERVICES DOES NOT DO BUSINESS THIS WAY!
• OPS DOES NOT CALL and INSTRUCT PEOPLE TO GET A PRE-PAID CARD!

• OPS DOES NOT have an 800 number! WE ARE AN OPELIKA BUSINESS / UTILITY!!! We only SERVE Opelika area.  We do NOT NEED an 800 number!!!

• Our billing comes out to our customers the same way it always has.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU RECEIVE A CALL:
1. Take down the “instructions” they give you
2. Take down the 800 given to you
3. Try to get a name of “who” has called you
4. CALL OPS at (334) 705-5170 and talk to a customer service representative.

What's Up (with) Periscope

If you are even mildly interested in Social Media you probably have heard of the latest “Hot Thing”, Periscope.  Basically it “Live Streams” video from your phone to others on the internet.  I downloaded the app and created an account a few weeks ago, and to be honest, my three or four Video adventures wouldn’t rate very well from any knowledgeable Social Media Expert. Live stream a firework show at the show, yeah that’s cool, but stream it from miles away (like I did), not so cool.  If you are new to the venue, I’d recommend you just over to YouTube and find something called “Periscope 101” by Ray Garcia.  It points out some good dos and don’ts and his latest review regarding your security is worth the watch. I’ll watch a bit more before I become a regular on the small screen.

But where is all this going? Catching up on industry news this morning I read an article in Broadcasting & Cable magazine on “Scoping Out the Next Newsgathering Trend”. Unfortunately, it’s part of the print or subscriber web version, so I can’t provide a link.  I hadn’t really thought about it, but now a reporter with a mobile phone can live stream video without the large mobile truck you see at event. Is that (the truck) going to be a thing of the past, no, I don’t think so. But for those first shots of something big, Periscope is the “Go To” tool in coming months.  Pictured in the article the morning anchors of WCAU with an IPad mounted at the end of the desk with a different view of the newscast for Periscope viewers and of course a chance tin interface with them via questions.  It should be interesting to see if local media embraces the Periscope and how they perform. We’ll be watching!

65,000,000 Years In The Making & At Depot Thursday Night

Seen the new Jurassic World movie and can't get enough? Don't forget that Opelika Film nights are back and the first movie is JURASSIC PARK on June 18! Bring blankets and chairs to sit on and CyberZone will have fun inflatables for the kids to play on while Irish Bred Pub Opelika, AL will be selling delicious food! All the excitement will be going on at the Depot lawn and the movie will begin after sunset!

Did You Hear? Auburn Is Open? It Is. You Should Go Now!

I understand there is a billboard somewhere in Auburn along the Interstate proclaiming “Auburn’s Open”.  Construction work downtown on and around Toomer’s corner is having some effect on downtown businesses, because I think folks believe it’s too much of a hassle to get around due to construction.  Phase One of Opelika’s Streetscape had the same effect here. Well, let me set the record straight.

This may just be the best time ever to visit your favorite downtown Auburn spots to shop and eat. Don’t be intimidated by the fences hiding construction, instead revel in the free parking all over town. I’ll finally be able to build a good collection of quarters in the center console before fall.  Now, I have a few favorite spots I travel to in the Loveliest Village on the Plains. Lyndsay cuts my hair at Dimensions, when I get around to a haircut several times a year.  I’ve always been a fan of Mellow Mushroom and Hamilton’s. Then that very cool Avondale, where the plush couches upstairs were upholstered in downtown Opelika by Koelsted’s.  I’m sure you can probably think of some of your Auburn favorites downtown, so feel free to add them to the list. 

Several weeks ago at Mellow, Buddy Redman and I ran into Elks Lodge Regulars Mike and Karen. Sunday afternoon a Northside Opelika couple I know wandered into Hamilton’s for drinks and an afternoon snack. Had I planned the day better I would have arrived at Hamilton’s a bit later to enjoy some Blues to end the weekend.  I’ll do better next week!   For some reason, some of my favorite servers/bartenders that worked in Opelika end up working for George at Hamilton’s. That’s them in the picture.  

Anyway, I thought it was worth a mention of the past several weekends. And, as one that stays pretty close to Downtown Opelika, don’t hate me. Auburn has been very open and welcoming the past few weekends, as it probably always is. Can I get a War Eagle?

Updates on Opelika Recycling

Denson Recycling Relocated: The Denson Recycling Center has moved one block behind the current location to 600 Eighth Avenue (Old fire station). The convenience center has been converted from the current 10-bin trailers to 300-gallon containers for single-stream recycling.  All recycling materials on the acceptance list will be comingled and deposited in the 300-gallon containers with the exception of cardboard, which will continue to be deposited in a separate trailer. All single-stream recycled material will be transported to the new state of the art Columbus Recycling Facility and Sustainability Center which is owned by the City of Columbus and operated by Pratt Recycling.  

The following materials will be accepted: Cardboard, Newspapers, Magazines, Paper, Aluminum Cans, Steel Cans. All cans must be washed. All plastic bottles and jugs should be crushed.

The following materials will not be accepted:  No plastic bags.  All recycling should be placed in the black containers loose. To process recycling at the Columbus MRF all material must be loose.  To get a better understanding of single-stream recycling and why material must be loose, please check out the Columbus Recycling Facility and Sustainability Center  in the video below!

No Glass. Glass will contaminate our loads and they will be rejected.  The Columbus MRF is not designed to process glass.  When our full service convenience center on Jeter Street opens in the Fall glass will be accepted there and shipped directly to a glass recycling facility in Atlanta.

No trash or wood.  These items will contaminate our loads and they will be rejected.  

The Convenience Center near Piggly Wiggly has closed.  Please bring your recycling material to the Floral Park Convenience Center or any of our other sites. To start the curbside recycling in the Fall, we need 1,000 customers to sign up. If you have not signed up for curbside recycling visit www.opelika.org and click on Curbside Recycling Startup. If you have any additional questions, please call us at 334.705.5480.

Productivity – Set a Specific Time to Check Your Email! Yea Right!

More than a few have written about increasing your productive time by setting specific times to check email. Maybe once or twice a day. It says to advise those that send you mail of this practice.

Sorry, but this isn’t going to work for me. It’s probably why I have an iPhone connected to all my mail accounts. Yep, I said all.  It’s why I have an iPad backup in case the phone fails. I am totally okay being connected full time.

Working remote, I find that my important mail doesn’t just come during working hours.  Generally, but not always, request from the home office in Toronto need a quick turnaround in some cases.  Normal work hours in Dubai or Moscow don’t match mine, so even though I don’t read mail from Midnight to 7 AM, I’ll get on it quickly after I get started for the day.   

I also think it’s important for the sender to know I’m paying attention to them, no matter how small the request.  If you have sent a valid request or information, I want you to know I care.  Not everyone else may agree with that, unfortunately.  Now for the unrequested Spammers offering services I don’t want or need, I move to our spam filter in hopes of slowing or eliminating their activity in my mailbox. I guess I’ll have to find another way to be more productive!  Got to run, I think I just got an email!  (Photo Credit: Sarawut Padungkwan)  

Steffi & The Startups Friday

The folks at The Round House have an event as part of Downtown Opelika First Friday.  If you wondered what "The House" is all about, it's a great time to see. Add the music of Steffi and it should be a real treat. I grabbed the information below from the groups Facebook page. 

Local folks in Opelika and Auburn are often "Wowed" when they come to The Round House and find out what's going on here, there are real startups here, and some amazing people. The Round House is powering and empowering entrepreneurs from the ages of 13-65 with great ideas right here in Opelika.

Folks across the country have been wowed by the sultry jazz infused amazing voice of local girl Steffi Ledbetter When you first see her, or hear that she made it all the way to Hollywood on American Idol, you instantly think a pretty young lady like that would be a "pop princess" the first time you see her perform you'll be taken back to the days when beautiful songstresses filled the high end clubs and poker rooms across the country in the roaring 20's. Kyle says she's that good.

On Friday June 5th 2015 as part of Opelika Main Street First Friday's Round House invites you to Steffi and Startups. Hear her perform live in our lobby afront Michael Mcpheeters amazing mural, mingle, meet and listen to some of the amazing startup ideas brewing here at Round House. Heck pitch your idea to one of our entrepreneur's in residence.

You'll also get to meet some of the entrepreneurs and startups from across the country that are joining Round House this summer for our accelerator program. They're coming from Emerson, Rochester Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Indiana and Boston, we've got some real Rock Stars coming to Opelika! 

The event is FREE but we ask for a small donation to The Big House which can be a gently used toy, game or clothing for kids in our foster care system. 

Food, and drinks will be provided and we'll feature a tasting from our becoming world famous distillery John Emerald Distilling Company come on down Friday June 5th from 5:00pm-7:00pm and please spread the word

Last Weekend In Opelika Rocked It

I’ve had a few days to digest the weekend activities in Opelika on Saturday. It was a beautiful day and downtown was packed with families for several events.  Touch a Truck and the newest downtown event, Burger Wars were big hits. According to Pam Powers-Smith “Touch-A-Truck had the most attendees it has ever had.  Burger Wars sold out of tasting tickets within the first hour.  Both events were a huge success.  Many attendees of Touch-A-Truck headed over to Burger Wars after the event. 

Touch a Truck had several new players this year. CTU (Custom Trucks Unlimited) trucks, the APR cars and the Knuckle Boom truck added to the fun for the kids.  I personally was glad to see that Big Rig from APR downtown. Having known some of the APR folks over the past few years, it was good to see the fruits of their works out in public.  Many still wonder what is in that hilltop building on Highway 280 when you’re leaving Opelika. In fact, last year APR increased the building size to bring more of the manufacturing process in-house.  In case you missed what they do here’s a note from their website: At APR the mission is to engineer only the highest quality tuning solutions for Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche vehicles ensuring the enthusiast the ultimate driving experience while consistently providing the enthusiast the ultimate in customer care and support.

Powers added that “The helicopter (Omni Flight) entry and exit to the event is also always a crowd favorite.”  Zaccaro Racing had a Jet Engine Powered Dragster that caught everyone’s attention at the close of the event, when they fired it up. The blast from the engine shook nearby windows and blew over a few barricade.

You can look for Burger Wars to be bigger and better next year. Organizers have already discussed some changes to improve the experience for both those cooking and attending.  Not sure how it could get any better, as everyone I saw was having a great time.  

Downtown has lots of plans for the summer, with First Friday this week and downtown shops doing a sidewalk sale and movies at the depot. You've got to love this town!  

Swing for Diabetes Tourney Monday

Have you ever wondered what a person with diabetes goes through within one day?  Multiple blood-sugar checks, insulin injections, meal planning, dietary maintenance, consistent exercise/physical activity, and the balance of all of these factors to ensure successful control of glucose levels are all a part of the daily routine of people and families living with diabetes.  The process can be extremely overwhelming, and the goal is sometimes difficult to accomplish, especially for those facing a new diagnosis.

As we celebrate our fourth annual golf tournament, we seek your support for Swing 4 Diabetes.  Hosted by Diana Ramage and Kendall and Celesta Simmons, this event is an annual fund raiser which will address the special needs of people living with diabetes.  The money raised this year will benefit the Diabetes and Nutrition Center at East Alabama Medical Center.  This specialized department provides supplies, counseling and education for those who otherwise would not be able to afford those services.  Please come join us in our efforts to inspire and educate our community. Tourney is Monday at Moores Mill Club. 

In support of the tournament, Jefferson's Opelika is having a raffle to raise additional money. Up for grabs is a wine basket, Budweiser cooler and a golf bag. Ask the server at Jefferson's for more information. 

Opelika Fire Hydrant Flushing Coming - Lesson #1

The Opelika Fire Department would like to let the City of Opelika residents and businesses know that they will be flushing city fire hydrants during the month of June.  That means you will see fire fighters working at fire hydrants throughout the city and/or see water running down the street from time to time.  There are approximately 1,700 fire hydrants located throughout the city of Opelika.  Fire crews will begin testing hydrants along Marvyn Parkway the first week of June.  The City will try to keep residents / businesses updated on the sections Fire Fighters will cover each week on the city’s website and Facebook pages, respectively.

The hydrant-flushing program is very important to the maintenance of the City’s domestic water distribution system.  Each year, not only do the Opelika Utilities Board’s water technicians systematically open hydrants throughout the City to allow water to flow at a high velocity through the distribution mainlines to test (and help maintain) the integrity of the city’s water system; the fire department does this as well. This operation serves the following purposes:

  • Enhances water quality by removing sediments from inside the mainline and flushing    them out through the hydrant.
  • Identifies malfunctions of the hydrant and related valves.
  • Helps determine weaknesses in the water distribution system.
  • Identifies inadequate water volumes and pressures in the main lines.
  • Helps determine fire flows at the hydrant.

 
You may encounter the following conditions during hydrant flushing operations:

A temporary drop in the water pressure to your home or business.
Rusty brown, or cloudy water. (Discolored water is not harmful. These conditions will subside in a few hours after the flushing is completed.)

FAQ’s
 
What should I do when City crews are flushing hydrants in my area?

Mainly, avoid using the dishwasher, washing machine. While flushing operations are going on in your area you may notice a drop in water pressure.  Because of that, it might be handy to keep a gallon or two of water in your home during the month of June, so you’ll have drinking water (or water for cooking) during the hours the hydrants are tested in your neighborhood. 
If you are driving in the work zone, please drive carefully.

Why does my water look rusty or cloudy after hydrant flushing?

When a hydrant is opened, the water in the mainline will flow out at a high velocity. This creates a scouring action in the pipe and dislodges fine sediment particles that have accumulated in the pipe. The fine sediment mixes with the water, turning the water a cloudy or rusty brown color. This mixture is discharged out of the hydrant.  There is no health hazard associated with the discolored water.  Remember, after the hydrant flushing operation, let your water clear a few hours before you use it to any great extent. (Source: City of Opelika)

Opelika Expands Recycling Efforts - May Include Home Pickup

Just when I thought the city had given up on recycling efforts, this new plan has been announced along with home recycling pickup (if enough sign up for it).

After studying various options over the past several months, the City of Opelika will expand its recycling program beginning in June, 2015 and convert to single-stream recycling.  Single-stream recycling, makes it much easier for residents to recycle because they will no longer be required to keep materials separate and deposit them in different bins at the convenience centers. Single-stream is also much more efficient to operate. 300-gallon containers at multiple sites will be used for single-stream recycling. 
  
One of our main goals is to increase our recycling tonnage which also helps us qualify for more ADEM grants. In FY 13 the City processed 296 tons of material with revenue of approximately $16,000 and in FY 14 the City processed approximately 373 tons with revenue of approximately $26,000.  This increase of 26% in material and 66% in revenue is due primarily to the development of a commercial cardboard route in May.  By continuing to grow our commercial cardboard route, offering curbside recycling and having five convenience centers open, our tonnage should continue to increase.  We are projecting our FY 16 tonnage on corrugated to exceed 300 tons which will push our total tonnage to 450-500.
This expansion will include the following.

Convenience Centers:

Beginning in June, convenience centers will be converted from the current 10-bin trailers to 300-gallon containers for single-stream recycling.  All recycling materials on the acceptance list will be comingled and deposited in the 300-gallon containers with the exception of cardboard, which will continue to be deposited in a separate trailer. All single-stream recycled material will be transported to the new state of the art Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) owned by the City of Columbus and operated by Pratt Industries. 

In Fall, 2015, a new convenience center will be located at our Recycling Center on Jeter Street and will be upgraded to provide the following services. 

Single-stream recycling with 300-gallon containers. Cardboard recycling. Assistance with unloading recycled materials.  This assistance will be offered from 8:00-2:00, Monday-Saturday. Electronics recycling. Used tire recycling for individual residents only. Recycling of white goods, refrigerators, freezers, stoves, etc., at no charge. Clear, green and brown glass will be accepted at the Jeter Street site only.

The Convenience Centers located at Covington Rec Center, Floral Park and on Grand National Parkway will provide single-stream recycling with 300-gallon containers and cardboard recycling.

The Convenience Center located at the Denson Rec Center will be relocated to Fire-EMS/Hazmat Office located at 600 Eighth Avenue one block behind the current site. This site will provide single-stream recycling with 300-gallon containers and cardboard recycling.

In June the Convenience Center at Piggly Wiggly will be closed and signage will re-direct that material to the Floral Park Convenience Center.

The program will be audited and reviewed annually to assure this is the best system to meet Opelika’s recycling needs.  

Curbside Recycling: The City, in partnership with Keep Opelika Beautiful, will provide curbside collection of single-stream recycling with 95-gallon carts, beginning in the FALL of 2015. The marketing and the initial 500 carts will be provided by Keep Opelika Beautiful.  For this program to be successful, a minimum of 1,000 customers must sign up for this every other week service at a rate of $10.00/month (One half the current garbage rate). This service will also be offered to local businesses.  To encourage and to teach the value of recycling, each school in Opelika will be provided carts for recycling.  You can SIGN UP for this service NOW by visiting the city’s website at www.opelika.org and click on “Curbside Recycling Signup” (found on the front page, in the left column area) to fill out the online form, or call us at 334.705.5480.  

Commercial Recycling: Through grants from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management the City has been able to offer cardboard recycling to businesses that produce adequate amounts of cardboard each week.  The route currently has approximately 30 customers.  We will continue to grow this route.

Acceptable Materials: Cardboard, Newspaper, Magazines, white paper, Aluminum Cans, Steel Cans. All cans must be washed.
Plastic:  All plastic bottles and jugs should be crushed. DO NOT PUT RECYCLABLE MATERIALS IN PLASTIC BAGS!  All material should be loose. 

The Jeter Convenience Center will accept these additional items when it opens in the Fall.  

Brown, green and clear glass.

Electronics: Recycled materials will be stored and recycled semi-annually at the Electronics Recycling Day sponsored by the East Alabama Recycling Partnership.

Tires: From residents only. No commercial customers.

White Goods:  Refrigerators, freezers, stoves, hot water heaters, dishwashers, etc. may be brought to the Jeter site at no charge.

For more information, or to sign up for curbside recycling, please visit our website at www.opelika.org and click on “Curbside Recycling Signup” to fill out the online form, or call us at 334.705.5480. (Source: city of Opelika) 

Dan Navarro Plays Sundilla Tonight (May 28th)

There are performers out there who, if they're playing at Sundilla, I'm happy. And there are those who, if they are NOT playing at Sundilla, I will travel to see when they're in the area. And then there are those who, even if they are playing Sundilla, I will travel to see at other venues that same tour. I'm going to see Dan at Sundilla tonight; as this is being written, I don't know if I saw him perform in Georgia last night, or if I'll see him in Florida tomorrow and Birmingham on Saturday... but there is a chance. Because I don't get to see Dan Navarro perform live often enough. (Thanks goodness I get to hear him several times during Folk Alliance every February, or I'd have to get a more fuel-efficient car in order to be able to afford my Dan Navarro habit.) 

Dan Navarro brings his 30 years of writing and singing, his Grammy nominations, his Oscar nomination, and his nationwide reputation as one of the best performers EVER (not to mention his well-deserved reputation as one of the nicest people in the world) to Sundilla TONIGHT at 7:30. Admission at the door is $15, but you can still get 12 tickets at Spicer's Music, Mama Mocha's Coffee, and online at www.sundillamusic.com.

(Can't wait until 7:30? Then tune in to WildmanSteveRadio at 3:00 PM CDT, and hear Dan perform LIVE in the studio! And if you have not listened to last week's episode of the Sundilla Radio Hour featuring an in-depth discussion with Dan, and a couple of live performances, then by all means do that ASAP by clicking here.)
 
Dan started his career as a songwriter, most often with Eric Lowen, for artists as diverse as Pat Benatar (the Grammy-nominated "We Belong") , The Bangles, Jackson Browne, Keb' Mo', Dave Edmunds, The Temptations, Dionne Warwick, Dutch superstar Marco Borsato,  The Triplets,  Austin outlaw legend Rusty Weir and many more...   
 
In the 1990s, he recorded and toured with Lowen in the acclaimed acoustic duo Lowen & Navarro until Eric's retirement in 2009. Dan has since transitioned smoothly into a growing solo career, increasingly in demand on the national concert circuit...   
 
He's moonlighted as a session singer and voice actor for 27 years, in major motion pictures like The Book Of Life (as the villain "Chakal"), The Lorax, Happy Feet (1 & 2), Rio (on the Oscar-nominated "Real In Rio"), Ice Age (2 & 3), and a dozen more; TV series Turbo Fast, Prison Break, Family Guy and American Dad; recordings with Neil Young, Andrea Bocelli, Luis Miguel, Jose Feliciano, Susanna Hoffs and Jon Anderson of Yes; and hundreds of commercials for Subaru, Shakey's Pizza, McDonald's, Toyota, Coca-Cola, Honda, El Pollo Loco, Nationwide and more...   
 
He has contributed countless hours in Washington on issues of intellectual property, copyright and performer's rights, including testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Copyright Royalty Board on behalf of the Nashville Songwriters Assn Int'l, AFTRA, NARAS, BMI , SoundExchange and the musicFIRST Coalition...

Dan also serves on the boards of SAG-AFTRA, Folk Alliance, The Levitt Pavilions LA and the Golden West Chapter of the ALS Association, fighting the neuromuscular disease better known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, which tragically took Eric Lowen's life in 2012...   
 
In 2009, after 22 years and 12 albums with Lowen & Navarro, Dan released the spirited "Live at McCabe's", backed by his pals, Austin's now-disbanded Stonehoney. He is currently finishing his next album , "Shed My Skin" - his first studio album of new material as a solo artist - is slated for release in 2015.

It has been 27 days since the last Sundilla concert, and if you're itching for some great live music, there's no better person to bring it to you than Dan Navarro. So come see Dan at Sundilla TONIGHT at 7:30. Admission at the door is $15, but you can still get 12 tickets at Spicer's Music, Mama Mocha's Coffee, and online at www.sundillamusic.com.

Here are a few more tunes from Dan Navarro; all of them are great, and that's without the added magic of being there to see the music performed live...

We Belong 
Seven Bridges
All is Quiet
Arrows
Shed My Skin
Hard For Me Now (Shot with my iPad at 1:30 AM in a hotel room in Toronto. Dan was still bringing it, even though this was his fifth or sixth straight 20-hour day...)