News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists
SUNDAY, MAY 28, 2006

Steve Stewart

In good old days, prices, amenities low

The increased cost of gasoline has people in historical circles talking about what things used to cost, Deangelo McDaniel observes.

Lawrence County Historical Commission Chairwoman Anne Lee noted the cost of an apartment in 1950.

Reading from a newspaper ad, she pointed out that someone could rent the apartment with running water in the kitchen for $25 a month. The other rooms didn't have plumbing.

Not-so-rare bird feat

THE DAILY reported recently on a clutch of lovebirds that hatched in a Decatur woman's cage. It turns out this is not quite as rare as suspected.

Evelyn Jones, who lives in the Flint area, informed Paul Huggins that her yellow Latino and peach-face lovebirds hatched four chicks in mid-April.

"It was a surprise," she said. The mother she had bought at a flea market in Hartselle didn't need the special box considered a must for nesting.

"She just made it out of newspaper in the bottom of the cage."

Singing on 'Today'

Two Decatur students were among the Auburn University Singers who performed on NBC's "Today Show" on May 17.

Cara Hollenbeck, a senior majoring in apparel merchandising, and Mat Hayes, a senior communications major, made the trip to New York.

Cara's parents are Joe and Tessa Hollenbeck, and Mat is the son of Randy and Nancy Hayes. As noted in here Wednesday, Decatur native Thomas Smith directs the singers, but will retire this month.

Watching from Decatur, Tessa saw Cara on the front row, "right over (host) Al Roker's shoulder." Katie Couric, a "Today" host who will soon anchor the "CBS Evening News," looked a lot like a student when she posed with the singers.

Pesky privet

Huntsville is trying to get rid of something that many people in Decatur like.

The Hays Nature Preserve east of Huntsville held a "Get that Bloomin' Privet Roundup" on Saturday. Volunteers were asked to bring lopping shears, chain saws and children willing to pull sprouts.

By comparison, Martin Burkey notes, several Point Mallard Park patrons protested Decatur Parks and Recreation's work this year to clear privet, vines and selected trees from the riverside walking trail.

Hays officials say privet is "the greatest threat to habitat diversity." There's more information at huntsvillepreserves .com.

Lawmaking while intoxicated

The Public Commission on the Oregon Legislature works to strengthen the Legislature's "authority, credibility and effectiveness," according to its Web site.

In pursuit of that goal, the commission recommended that legislators and staff members not be drunk on the job, The Associated Press reports.

While lobbying for tougher drunken-driving penalties, a couple of members of Crime Victims United had smelled alcohol on the breath of at least one legislator.

Send stories for You Don't Say to, or call Weekend Editor Steve Stewart at 340-2444. Or write P.O. Box 2213, Decatur, AL 35609. DAILY staff members contribute many of the items you see here. This column appears Sundays and Wednesdays.

Steve Stewart Steve Stewart
DAILY Weekend Editor

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