Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Further Evidence That the Mainstream Print Media Doesn't Care About Neighborhoods

They keep blowing smoke up our skirts, trying to convince us that they really care about neighborhoods. They send us "free" community-focused editions (which are now coming stuffed to the gills, clogging my snail mail box with annoying glossy ads for fried chicken and tire rotations), under the pretense that they are sensitive to our interests.

However, the day after a six-hour Council Meeting focused mainly on hyper-local issues, not one iota was written as of this morning on any of the dozens of bills up for Public Hearing last night. And I've been looking at the online editions, where updating is a snap. The Tennessean's Metro Dispatch Blog and "Neighborhood Blogs" are devoid of any reference. Most of the "Neighborhood Blogs" haven't been updated in days.

And its not like they lacked anything to write about:
  • The debate and vote for zoning balance at Salem Gardens
  • The height-restriction bill passage
  • The overwhelming stream of proponents of the proposed Belmont-Hillsboro historical overlay who showed up and spoke at last night's meeting (only 3 opponents spoke); and the pretension of Council Members Carolyn Baldwin Tucker and Ronnie Greer to turn it into a "property rights of the minority" debate, even though the measure would only restrict what owners of declared historic homes could do to the front face of those homes. (Mr. Greer, who went into a speech about living in a Democratic Republic that defends minority rights, ironically had to face "minority" public opposition to a Gale Lane zoning bill that he was sponsoring, and he seemed flustered by that opposition). The Council passed the Belmont-Hillsboro overlay on second reading, and though the sheer numbers of people who spoke in favor of the overlay was frustrating to those of us waiting for our Public Hearing, I reminded myself that neighborhoods have to inundate the Council on overlay issues, because there is a cadre of members who are dogmatically opposed to all overlays and they would use a smaller show of force as pretext to defeat overlays.
  • The popular outcry from Nashboro Village and Nashboro Woods residents to defeat Nashville's oldest "Planned Unit Development," which would construct two 6-story apartment towers in a neighborhood of lower-level homes. It really came down to a David versus Goliath struggle with neighbors hammering away on the loss of a picturesque and valuable piece of property to towers designed more to line the pockets of developers and a single property owner than to fit in with the character of the community. Council voted with the neighborhood and against the Planning Commission on second reading.
That's just a round-up of highlights from the meeting that could have garnered the ink-jerkers' interests. But this morning they are silent. There's one simple explanation: they do not care about neighborhoods.

UPDATE: Add to the list of mainstreamers failing the neighborhoods at Council last night, the Nashville Scene blog's daily round-up "Hot Type," which I disaffectionately call "Not Type."


  1. Good summary, Mike. I'd love to see more "meaty" neighborhood coverage, too. It's not all soccer games and home tours.

    The Tennessean has a small post up about the height-limit bill now.

  2. Well, frankly, I think you do a much better job anyway. :) Thank you!!