Wade on Birmingham

Archive for November, 2010

bumper people

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

The rain is just an
excuse for lousy drivers
to come out and slay.

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EXCLUSIVE: Sidewalk Film Festival moves to August for 2011

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival, Alabama Theatre

Festival plus fund-raisers help organization break even for 2010

Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival has announced dates for 2011 for the annual downtown film event, but it’s not late in September. The event is scheduled for Aug. 26-28, the first time the festival has been held outside of September since the inaugural outing in 1999.

Wade on Birmingham - Sidewalk Moving Picture FestivalDates for the Birmingham Shout gay/lesbian film festival have not been announced. Shout and Sidewalk were combined in September for one festival for the first time.

Executive director Chloe Collins said she and board members held discussions and focus groups with attendees, peers, colleagues and supporters about Sidewalk. Those talks determined that late September had a large number of competitors to Sidewalk, including the Jewish High Holidays and college football.

Even competing film festivals such as Austin’s Fantastic Fest were considered competitors for a limited number of jurors in the awards selection process.

Late August became the new event date, especially after determining that fewer film festivals are scheduled at that time and more potential attendees would be available.

Dates have already been reserved at key venues such as the Alabama Theatre, Carver Theatre and Alabama Power headquarters.

With the new timeline, the festival will start its call for entries on Wednesday and extend the submission period by 2 weeks.

Collins said that the board was in discussion over Shout, but did not indicate when an announcement would be made.

Balanced budget

The 2010 festival in September pulled in $65,000 in ticket sales, about even with 2009, according to Collins. That sales figure represents the combined revenue of both Sidewalk and Shout.

Attendance for 2010 also remained even with 2009, determined by ticket sales, free passes, venue attendance counts and ballots.

Two fund-raisers have helped the Alabama Moving Image Association, the nonprofit group that puts on both events, break even for 2010. Earlier this month, a raffle netted $12,000; the winner’s name has not been released. And in August, a 2-week campaign earned $6,000, with an original goal of $10,000.

Collins said that if the 2011 budget is approved and remains on track, the organization’s outstanding debt would be paid off by the end of that year. She added that if 2010 could end with a profit, albeit a small one. At this time in 2009, the group was $20,000 in the black.

Sidewalk 2011 could see some other changes. Collins said some options could be to drop a venue to save money, or create a gated festival with a smaller footprint to streamline entry and ticket sales. However, no plans have been finalized to date.

Meanwhile, Sidewalk will close the year with another monthly Salon Dec. 7 at Rojo on Southside. The 7 p.m. event will feature a screening of Media That Matters docs from Arts Engine, along with a video chat with one of the filmmakers.

Photo: Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival

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Action! Complete Sidewalk Festival coverage.

winding down the year

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Do we look back at
what was done, to now for what’s
left, to next year’s goals?

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turkey watch, day 4

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

Up to our giblets
in leftovers, with nary
a taste for sevenths.

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fit to be yuletide

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

Christmas shopping done?
Commendable achievement.
And yet we hate you.

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Wade’s 3,000th on Birmingham

Friday, November 26th, 2010

5 yearsWe recently celebrated the 5th year anniversary milestone, but let this post mark our 3,000th post for Wade on Birmingham.

A little statistical perspective:

  • It took 561 days to reach 1,000 posts.
  • Another 722 days to reach 2,000 posts.
  • And then another 594 days to reach this 3,000th post.

I’m proud of the quantity and quality of posts on this site, the first of my blogs. I have lots of ideas for posts, but never enough time to get them all out there. That’s right: I could crank out another 3,000, if only I were a bit faster.

In any case, a quick rundown of the state of the blogs.

Wade Kwon

Wade on Birmingham — A successful 2010 so far, with great political coverage (even if the candidates weren’t always so great), an outstanding series of guest posts on the local food scene, three(!) reality shows and more. Plus, daily haiku, lively guest essays and an unflinching look at life in Birmingham. And the same dull look since 2006. (That last one is unintentional.)

Wade Kwon.com — A terrific repository for my thousands of tweets. And not much else. Easily the most neglected of my blogs.

Media of Birmingham — Not mine, per se, but one that I created for the organization. Also dangerously neglected, though I have some good stories that need writing and posting. I’ll have my byline on those stories from now on as others join in the site maintenance.

Birmingham Blogging Academy — Ever since I returned from BlogWorld in October, nothing. Nada. I have a great one just two steps away from publishing, and a never-ending supply of ideas. Notice a recurring theme?

But wait, this should help explain my neglect …

Magic City Post — More than an hundred posts in little more than a month. All about Birmingham. All focused on the positive. Meet my newest baby. We launched it on Oct. 18, and if I haven’t mentioned it here before, we’re still getting it just so. But do check it out: I’m proud of my work there and invest much of my time and energy in getting this new project moving quickly.

Thank you, my friends, for continuing to read my posts on this and many other sites. It’s truly an honor to write for you every day.

Wade Kwon is a Birmingham native and publisher of Wade on Birmingham.

funereal advice

Friday, November 26th, 2010

The preacher told the
staid mourners to love more, love
now and love freely.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

What did you expect, a turkey card?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Also:

all about pacing

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

Small bites and lots of
chewing can get you through the
feasting holiday.

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the tsa handshake

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

Weary traveler,
worry not for bombs in your
genitalia.

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the hunt for skinny jeans

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Pair after pair trot
into the cold fitting room,
dismissed in a huff.

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EXCLUSIVE – Crime Watch: Birmingham drops, but still in Top 10 for crime ranking

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

The crime rate continues to drop in Birmingham, and with it, the city’s spot on the CQ Press’ annual city crime rankings released today. It fell three spots from No. 7 in 2009 to No. 10 this year.

Wade on Birmingham - Crime WatchThe city has bounced around in the rankings in recent years: No. 8 in 2008 and No. 6 in 2007 and 2006.

Violent crimes have continued to fall in Birmingham and across the nation. Birmingham police chief A.C. Roper has been credited with much of the success in his 3-year tenure.

To date, Birmingham has had 51 homicides in 2010, putting it on pace for 57 by year’s end, compared to 72 homicides in 2009.

For comparison: In the FBI Uniform Crime Report for 2009, Birmingham ranked No. 4 among cities with populations of 100,000 or more. It had been No. 3 in 2008.

CQ Press, based in Washington, uses FBI crime data for murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and auto theft to compile its crime rate rankings.

Other Alabama cities ranked:

  • 99. Montgomery (previously No. 152)
  • 106. Mobile (previously No. 136, making it the only Alabama city to climb in the rankings)
  • 109. Huntsville (previously No. 95)
  • 183. Tuscaloosa (previously No. 140)

St. Louis topped the list at No. 1.

Metro rankings

In looking at the 2010 Metropolitan Crime Rate Rankings:

  • 19. Mobile (previously No. 20)
  • 28. Anniston-Oxford (not previously ranked)
  • 35. Birmingham-Hoover (previously No. 21)
  • 67. Montgomery (previously No. 101)
  • 80. Tuscaloosa (previously No. 64)
  • 122. Huntsville (previously No. 123)
  • 150. Gadsden (previously No. 141)
  • 219. Florence-Muscle Shoals (not previously ranked)

(Not available: Auburn, Decatur, Dothan.)

Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, Mich., is No. 1 on the list.

See, print or download the City and Metropolitan Crime Rate Rankings for 2010 below.

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Visit our Crime Watch page.

invasion of the giant balloons

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

The mammoth cartoon
figures float with sharp eyes peeled
for sharp points en route.

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put a ring on it

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

Engagement season
ends with tears, starts with wallet
turned to ice pebble.

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in the walmart parking lot on a freezing night

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

Two girls wander with
empty pitchers begging for
change, not dirty looks.

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