Saturday, March 31, 2007

Compare and Contrast

Fenway Park (Boston, MA), a century ago

Ballpark at Arlington (Arlington, TX), two weeks ago

Friday, March 30, 2007

Urban School Vouchers Turned Back

It is hard to find a redder (more conservative) state than Texas. The Republicans have been the ruling class for a while. Even so, vouchers went down to a mighty defeat this week in the Texas Lege (Texas has a strong Legislature/weak Governor system). Is this a bellwether of a national turn toward more moderate restrictions on governments subsidizing private schools at the expense of public education? We shall see.

Salem's Lots Takes on $alemtown

Hutchmo gives the Duplex Kings a dressing down and sides with the Planning Commission. And he coins a new label for greedy development possessing little regard for our community: "$alemtown"

Cut Them Loose and Let Them Come Up with Their Own Services

When satellite cities act like Metro owes them services, why does Metro continue to help them out? It is certainly their right not to incorporate into Metro, but it is not their right so sponge off Metro taxpayers because they choose not to raise the major revenues necessary for their own urban services. Metro can avoid the costs of these frivolous lawsuits by just denying satellite cities services that they should be providing themselves.

In Letter to Council Salemtown Neighbors President Conveys Association's Support of Planning Commission's 6th and Garfield Rezoning Recommendations

Hard copies and e-mails of the letter below from Salemtown Neighbors Neighborhood Association President Alan Maloney were sent to all Metro Council Members this morning. Mr. Maloney's letter conveys the association's unanimous support for the March 22 Planning Commission recommendation to deny the Salem Gardens partnership a rezone that would allow them to put 6 duplexes on 5 properties and to favor a rezone of 3 of the properties for single-family homes.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


Further Sustaining Objections against Deregulation and Privatization of Public Services

TXU, one of the private "competing" energy companies in Texas's utility market (deregulated since 2002), knowingly withheld power during the summer of 2005 in order to drive up electricity prices, costing consumers $70 million in direct impacts. TXU made $19.6 million in "extra profit" taken from Texans' pockets and perhaps more from the influence on "bilateral contracts" negotiated at the time based on the inflated prices.

6th and Garfield Rezoning Request Now in Metro Council Form

When Metro Council considers rezoning at the corner of 6th and Garfield next Tuesday, it will not be voting up or down on the Planning Commission's recommendation to allow duplexes balanced by single-family homes. Instead, it will consider the original request of the Salem Gardens partnership in the form of resolution BL2007-1422, which is sponsored by Council Member Ludye Wallace. The Planning Commission's disapproval of the group's request is clearly noted in the resolution, but their recommendation is not on the Council Agenda for Tuesday.

The resolution will be up for first reading, and a council spokesperson told me this afternoon that very rarely do zoning requests fail to pass first reading or get pulled off what is called the "consent agenda" (which is the overwhelming majority of first reading bills that get approved together as a group without any debate). He said that the Council usually waits until the second reading of zoning bills for the Public Hearing before they debate such requests. BL2007-1422 is set for Public Hearing on Tuesday, May 1.

Portland Brews to 86 Bagel Sandwiches; Goldies is a Good Alternative

The java titans at Portland Brews are dissatisfied with the fact that they are losing money on egg sandwiches like my personal favorite, "the Salem" (which includes hot sauce, tomatoes, and cheese; there is no better breakfast sandwich in Nashville when the concoction is put on a toasted sesame bagel). I talked to a Po-Brews staffer the other day and tried to convince him to try other options like not offering substitutions on the sandwiches (some customers order egg-whites only; now that looks like a real hassle) and only serving them for a couple of hours in the morning rather than getting drastic and dropping them altogether. But they seem resolute. They seem to be heading towards another niche of offering different kinds of espresso beans selected by coffee connoisseurs with discriminating palettes along with catered pre-made lunch-time sandwiches. That's not very attractive for my low-country tastes. So, get those good breakfast sandwiches while you can.

Or, head over to Goldies Deli in Sylvan Park (strangely enough located in the former Portland Brews building) and try out their egg sandwich. I had the one that included "breakfast beef," and it was good eating and decent consolation to losing "the Salem." I suggest that you get your coffee at Po-Brews and then head over to Goldies. Like me, you may find yourself thinking that you won't miss "the Salem" or "the Arago" that much after they're gone.

Toll Roads: A Tiny Patch for a Massive Blowout

We see this morning that Governor Bredesen is flirting with the idea of toll roads in Tennessee, in spite of the fact that toll road revenues will fall far short of paying for the growing problem of our deteriorating transportation infrastructure. Tolling would only feasibly increase to 9% of highway funds over the next decade. That hardly makes the Guv's idea as "sound" and "sensible" as he claims.

The highway systems are deteriorating due to use and the inability of public funding to keep up with increased driver demand (or more accurately, load). If drivers want their well-maintained highways the real answer lies in generating higher levels of revenue:
the federal gas tax of 18.4 cents per gallon, last raised 14 years ago, would have to go up at least 3 cents by 2009 and 7 cents more by 2015 just to maintain the current [national] highway system and keep pace with the fast-rising cost of roads.
We can assume that paying for Tennessee's dependence on highways would mirror the national trend.

And, quite frankly, the boon of trying to stretch the small patch of toll roads across a gaping shortage of infrastructure funding is just another means of goverment subsidizing businesses. The tolling industry has high growth potential in this time of higher transportation demands and increasing interest-group pressure to stop any and all public financing to meet those demands. This industry has its own on-line newsletter. I also wonder what kind of lobby this industry has here in Nashville on the hill.

If the Guv is seriously contemplating toll roads, he's merely showing co-dependence on the national denial of the true problem of our highways and roads: a shortage of revenues to fix our retrograde infrastructure and to match driver demands. If we want something nice, we have to pay for it. If we don't want to pay for it, then there are lots of enterprising vultures ready to swoop in and collect the proceeds from our demands without fixing the problem.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Federal Tax Money Used For GOP "Team-Building"?

Why is it when asked about ethical lapses under oath, the stock bureaucrat's response is, "I don't recall"? In this video of Rep. Bruce Braley questioning General Services Administration Head Lurita Doan, we find out that Ms. Doan attended what she characterized as a "team-building" meeting in which a White House staffer presented a 2008 Senate campaign strategy for targeting Democrats and defending Republicans. According to one of Doan's own staffers, after the meeting she asked how the GSA could help "our candidates." If true that would be a violation of the Hatch Act.

The video is 10 minutes long, but her fumbling and evasiveness make it worth the time you take to watch it. It is a primer for administrators who choose to deny responsibility for meetings that occur in their own buildings, using their own resources, under their own watch. For the rest of us, it is an eye-opener.

Petitions for the Planning Commission Recommendations Ready

The Salemtown Neighbors President, Alan Mahoney, notified volunteers this afternoon that the petitions asking Metro Council to authorize the Planning Commission's recommendations for 6th and Garfield re-zoning are hot off the press and ready for signatures.

It's a Rainy Day, Which Means It's Time for Another Schöne Ansicht Silt Dump at 5th and Hume

Stormwater run-off problems? What stormwater run-off problems?

Yes, crews at the Schoene Ansicht development put up silt fence, but they didn't put one up on the lowest part of the property at the alley. In the picture above the end of the silt fence can be seen just beyond the green street sign (upper left hand corner). There are big piles of mud lining the alley; those piles were larger piles of dirt before the rain. Doesn't putting up silt fence only along Hume street act like a shunt, funneling run-off faster down hill to the alley and ultimately to 5th? I'm no engineer, but common sense leads me to ask: what good is silt fence if you don't block debris from flowing downhill?

Lots of rocks and gravel were pulled down this latest Schoene Ansicht mud hole. I wonder what one of those "100 Year Rains" would have brought down.

With so much rain today, a lot of the silt washed down 5th Av. past Morgan Park before flowing into a storm sewer and northward up 5th Av. I'm seeing a lot of silty deposits along the curbs and curb cuts each way. That means when it dries we won't have to stroll down to the intersection to have it blow up in our eyes.

UPDATE: I forgot to recall that silt run-off from their property cost UP, LLC a Metro fine recently. It still failed to encourage these guys to be good neighbors.

Compare and Contrast

While the group formerly associated with Salem Gardens has 5 properties at the corner of 6th and Garfield on which they do not intend to build even 1 single family home, Trust Development owns 2 properties a block away on which they plan to build 2 single family homes and several townhouses. Trust has already built 3 single-family homes on duplex-saturated 6th Avenue (near Coffee Street) and their plans, which were communicated to Salemtown's neighborhood association in December 2006, for 5th and Garfield look both balanced and attractive. Trust also sought feedback on their designs from the neighborhood association, and they say that they have incorporated a number of requests (adding some porches, for example) into their concept.

All that neighborhood proponents of the Planning Commission's recommendation for the Salem Gardens properties are asking is for the owners at 6th and Garfield to diversify and balance their offerings for the sake of Salemtown's long-term growth. Instead, the SG owners boxed themselves in with a flawed plan to build 6 duplexes, and the Commission did not approve. There's still plenty of money to be made, but collaboration with the people who actually live in Salemtown and invest their lives in this community also matters. Telling us what you are going to do for us and then threatening us or trying to intimidate us if we disagree is not collaboration.

Sounds Were All "Yes" at Ballpark Concept, But All "No" at Follow Through

The Sounds stopped employing architects months ago. Their GM is in Arizona soaking up Spring Training instead of being in Nashville to close an important deal even with a significant ballpark deadline approaching. They wouldn't agree to pull their own butts out of the fire by splitting overrun costs with developer Struever Bros and paying them back later.

And I'm looking up their ticket office phone number to see whether it is too late to get my money back for my 2007 season tickets. I'm fed up with this fly-by-night operation that calls itself the "Nashville Sounds." "Sounds Good" was the correct motto for their drive for Council approval; all we ever got was sounds of goodness without any substance thereof.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Beyond the Surge

Salemtown Association Mobilizes for House-to-House Defense of Planning's Recommendation

Last night's Salemtown Neighbors meeting was attended by over 20 people. They aired their concerns about the requested re-zoning of 6th and Garfield and they shared information in order to support the Planning Commission's recommendation to the Metro Council regarding zoning of three properties at the intersection. SNNA launched a letter-writing campaign and a petition drive. The ball is rolling and the clock is ticking until Metro's first reading a week from today. Please e-mail me if you would like to sign the petition or if you have a question about contacting the Council.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Metro Council Dates Set for Votes/Public Hearing on 6th and Garfield Re-zoning

Metro Council's first reading (of three) of the Planning Commission's recommendation to re-zone 3 of 5 properties at 6th and Garfield for single-family homes is set for Tuesday, April 3. The Public Hearing on the recommendation is set for Tuesday, May 1, in tandem with the second reading.

It behooves all of us who support this recommendation to contact our Council Members before next week and communicate that support. Please mark your calendars now and save the evening of May 1 to attend the Public Hearing and to speak in support of the Planning Commission.

We should get an early indication during the first reading of how that recommendation will fly. Most bills that come up for first reading are placed on a "consent agenda" and passed as a group. The real debating is saved for second reading. Council Members may pull first-reading bills from the "consent agenda" if they desire to debate them on first reading, which has happened.

If the Planning recommendation gets pulled rather than passed on consent, then that is a red flag that it may lack support, especially if the one pulling it is our own Council Member, who may be championing the Duplex Kings. It then has to be debated and passed, defeated or deferred on its own. If it passes, it moves to the May 1 Public Hearing/second reading.

Salemtown Neighbors Meeting Tonight to Develop Strategy on 6th and Garfield Re-zoning

Salemtown Neighbors Neighborhood Association will meet tonight at 6:30 at 1614 5th Avenue North. Central on tonight's agenda is taking the fight to support the Planning Commission's recommendation for the former Salem Gardens development at 6th and Garfield to the Metro Council. It's all-hands-on-deck time!

Lest Salemtown Duplex Owners Wonder Why They Should Fight the Duplex Kings

Let's say you already own a duplex in Salemtown and you don't buy my whole argument that we need to develop a more balanced housing stock for the sake of long-term growth in our neighborhood. Let's say that you are perfectly happy with your duplex and you do not understand what this scrape over the Salem Gardens properties is all about. I have not encountered any local duplex owners who feel that way, yet. But let's say there are some out there among the silent readers.

Allow me to take an economic angle and suggest to you that saturating the Salemtown market with more duplexes actually decreases demand for duplexes here, which decreases the value of your duplex at resale time. I own a single family home, which might lose a little value if more single family homes are built, but all strata of potential buyers in a market have an interest in single family homes if they can afford them. That is a shot in the arm to my home's resale value. A much more limited strata of the market demands duplexes, especially when single family homes are available.

So, it is a mistake to glut the market with duplexes, which will generally take longer to sell than single family homes. It hurts the long-term development of the neighborhood. But more importantly it hurts those of you who already have duplexes that will eventually be resold. It is in no Salemtown resident's interest to put 6 duplexes at the corner of 6th and Garfield; it only suits the narrow interests of the absentee landlords.

Wheel in the Sky

Don't Forget That He's a Sexy Gumshoe, Too

Spin, spin spin: "the populist appeal of former Metro Fire Chief and Councilman At-Large Buck Dozier." Only ACK fertilizes prettier morning glory at the clubhouse turn.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Planning Commission Action on Salem Gardens Re-Zoning is Now Available

You can jump to the Planning Commission site to see their actions, including the last Thursday's decision on the Salem Gardens re-zoning request. This is the official wording of the Planning Commission decision; hence, it should be the exact wording in the neighborhood petition and in all correspondence with Metro Council Members who will eventually vote on the decision:
[Planning Commission] Action [on Item 2007Z-049U-08]: Disapprove (8-0) request to rezone to R6, but approve a rezone to RS7.5 on Parcels 491, 492 and 493 of Map 081-08.
Remember: R6 allows duplexes and RS7.5 requires single-family homes. Hence, if Metro Council approves of the Commission's Action, then 2 rather than 6 duplexes will be allowed to be built at 6th and Garfield. If the Duplex Kings intend to build anything else under these conditions, they must be single-family homes.

So Said a Planning Commissioner

I have to confess that I was awestruck when I heard it, but I am more than a little certain that one of the Planning Commissioners commented after Thursday's Public Hearing that he did not buy into the owners' reasoning that burying their storm water run-off was too expensive or--as the Planning Department put it in their report--"beyond financial feasibility." I intend to watch the re-play of that meeting on Metro 3 to confirm or deny. You watch, too. I have to say that I've already talked to a couple of folks involved in building who tell me that the $400,000 required to connect to sewers is standard. So, the disbelief is not limited to Commissioners.

Salem Gardens Chat

The now defunct Salem Gardens development has been introduced as a topic for discussion by a Charrette administrator. Go there after the jump.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Planning Confirms: Commission's Recommendation Would Require 3 Single Family Homes at 6th and Garfield

Metro Planning Department confirmed to me this afternoon that, if the Planning Commission's recommendation holds, the owners of the five properties at 6th and Garfield would be able to build two duplexes on the properties zoned MUN if they chose, but they would be required to build three single family homes on the remaining properties. The recommended MUN would allow them a wide variety of residential and/or retail options.

Planning also laid out the path ahead:
The Planning Commission's action to disapprove the request for a rezoning to R6 but approve a rezone to parcels 491, 492, and 493 to RS7.5 is a recommendation to the Metro Council. As this is a recommendation not a final decision, it cannot be appealed. The Metro Council will be the final decision maker in this case. As the Planning Commission recommended disapproval of the original request, that request would need to have 27 votes in favor at the Council to pass. An appeal of a Council decision would go through the courts.
The Planning Commission's recommendation would require a simple majority of Council Members voting to pass. If we can get either 21 Council Members to support the Planning Commission or 14 Council Members to commit to voting against the Duplex Kings' original request, Salemtown will get a more balanced residential development at the important intersection of 6th and Garfield.

Duplex Wars: The Zoning Differences in Pictures

In the wake of yesterday's stunning decision by the Planning Commission to re-zone the Salem Gardens properties so that 3 of the 5 lots have single-family homes, consider the following pictorial depiction of the differences, as I understand them, in zoning requests/recommendations at 6th and Garfield.

Here is the sketch of Salem Gardens retail and residential development as originally proposed (and as supported by Salemtown Neighbors Neighborhood Association) based on the zoning as it is right now:

Here is what the "Duplex Kings" (a.k.a, the former Salem Gardens partnership) are requesting:

Here is what the Planning Commission is recommending based on yesterday's Public Hearing:

This morning I contacted the Planning Department and I await their response on just exactly what the implications of the Commission's recommendation are for this development. But that recommendation in the third picture seems to be the one that Salemtown should be supporting without qualification. It seems to be the best compromise between developers' wish for money and the neighborhood's long-term welfare.

If we cannot have the first picture, then the third picture is a lot prettier than the second one.

Planning Commission Recommends "Gateway Boulevard" Stay

In other action last night, the Planning Commission voted to support a Planning Department's recommendation to oppose Council Member's Rip Ryman's plan to rename Gateway Boulevard "Korean Veterans Boulevard." Planning Department officials told the Commission that the 12 land-owners on the boulevard affected by the name change unanimously opposed that change after being contacted by Planning. In his comments at Tuesday night's council meeting, Mr. Ryman said that he did not see any businesses affected by the name change except a new hotel on Gateway Boulevard.

Council Member and Planning Commissioner J.B. Loring cast the only vote against Planning's recommendation. Several other Commissioners conceded in their comments before the vote that Korean War Veterans should be honored by more public memorials, but they questioned whether renaming this particular street was the best way to do so.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Planning Commission Unanimously Bucks Planning Department and Salem Gardens Partners in Favor of Single-Family Homes

With its members referring to Salemtown as a "special place" and calling for the need for balance in types of residences offered, the Planning Commission turned aside the Salem Gardens Partnership's request to go back to a zoning that would allow them to put six duplexes on what are currently five properties at the corner of 6th Avenue and Garfield Street. Instead the Commission recommended that three of the five properties be zoned for single-family homes.

Currently the Salem Gardens properties are zoned for mixed-use (MUN) and high-density residential (RM15). When the partnership judged the stormwater run-off requirements too expensive they filed the current request to return to the previous zoning (R6), which would allow them to build duplexes instead of retail and residential. The Planning Department even recommended the return to R6 to the Commission, saying it was consistent with the neighborhood plan.

Instead, the Commission went in another direction based on their feeling that more single-family home options should be offered for the sake of balance. Hearing that one property should be reserved for a single-family household would have satisfied me. Hearing that two should be so reserved would have been icing. But, lo and behold, the Commission agreed that three of the properties should be re-zoned RS7.5, which is intended for single family-homes! The two remaining properties would retain their mixed-use status (I don't know whether that means that duplexes can be built there or whether the Commission intended for retail/residential absent the stormwater requirements to go in on those properties. I'll contact Planning in the morning for an answer).

This was just a tremendous turnaround for Salemtown's neighborhood leadership who have been fighting for balancing housing types in our growth. To tell you the truth, if the Salem Gardens Partnership had thrown us a bone, perhaps by promising to build one single-family home and four or five duplexes at 6th and Garfield, I probably would not have protested loud and long to Planning about their request. But now I'm glad that they didn't try to appease those of us who care as much about the long-term development of Salemtown as they do about their short-term profits.

But the battle at the Planning Commission is just the first round in this "war of the duplexes." Now focus shifts to the Metro Council. I have no doubt that what was the Salem Gardens Partnership (and what I call the "Duplex Kings") has been in contact with Ludye Wallace and our five at-Large Members. Taurus McCain and Steve Yokley have probably starting looking for Salemtown residents to sign a petition to back their request instead of the Planning Commission's recommendation when it comes to Metro Council.

Those of us who want to insure that the housing stock in Salemtown remains diversified rather than hyper-duplexified should contact our Council Members and tell them to support the Planning Commission's (NOT the Planning Department's) 2007Z-049U-08 recommendation to rezone properties at 6th and Garfield for 3 single-family homes. Council Members to contact are:

Post's Lawson Sees Some Alternative Downtown Ballpark Scenerios

With the Riverfront ballpark prospects flagging and fading and with the Sounds Management looking more and more like they were all hat and no spurs, Nashville Post writer Richard Lawson looks ahead to what could be if the deal falls through, including the possibility of still building a ballpark and bringing in a team other than the Sounds.

Last week I had the chance to visit the attractive Downtown/Riverfront ballpark in Fort Worth, Texas where the Fort Worth Cats (an instructional league team lower than Single A) plays. It's a picturesque setting for baseball:

As I said, that is merely instructional league. If the Sounds don't want to play on the most valuable piece of property available in Tennessee (or the southeast?), then make that pitch to Cal Ripken, Jr. and see if he and his minor league franchise take a swing at it.

Deep Ellum

Urban streetcar village in East Dallas; established by former slaves as a Freedmen's community; a center of blues and jazz in the early 20th century; nearly killed by suburbanization; a center for musicians and artists that is rapidly being re-populated.

I May No Longer Be Leaning Edwards at Noon

The political blogosphere is beginning to brace itself for a noon announcement regarding Elizabeth Edwards's health and possibly John Edwards's departure from the campaign.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

"The Wrong Complexion for Protection": WaPo Story on Tennessee's Alleged Environmental Racism Does Not Register on Local Blogosphere Radar

Yesterday the Washington Post ran the horrible story of the government's neglect and failure to warn a black Dickson family about their polluted well water while they allegedly relieved every white Dickson family with a polluted well. WaPo also provides a video. Nobody in Nashville is talking about it.

Judge Rules Against Metro Police and Orders Homeless Advocates' Release

The judge righted a wrong by overzealous Metro Police. If the Public Square truly is the heart of Nashville, like Mayor Purcell claimed at its opening, then it is unique and ought to be a gathering place for all Nashvillians to organize and to protest any time to draw government's attention to their purpose. It's not like this group congregated out on a remote trail in Shelby Bottoms in order to foment civil unrest. The Public Square is small and easy to monitor. The most that the police would expect from a Catholic Priest and a bunch of community activists was non-violent disobedience, which was not even on the agenda, until the police put it there. They were sitting in chairs, for Pete's sake. This was a weeknight in the Central Police Precinct, and I doubt that the rest of Downtown was so unmanageable that whatever police force was at the Square was needed elsewhere. The cops bungled this one.

Has the Audio of One of My Videos Become the Official Score of Celebrate Nashville?

Check out the audio after the jump and compare it to my YouTube video of jazz man Kirk Whalum recorded last October. Listen for the same audible responses from audience members in the two recordings. I'd say that if it's not the one I recorded (with the very beginning and very end cropped off), then whoever else taped it was standing very near me. They already had my video linked.

Today's Crafty Update

Lightning-rod Council Member Eric Crafton saw no major battlefield action in last night's Council Meeting. However, he was involved in two of the more laughable events of a very long and tedious meeting.

Two of Charlie Tygard's "infrastructure" resolutions were actually signed on behalf of Eric Crafton. That's not the laughable part. One of those resolutions was to earmark $6,000 for repairs at the Belle Meade Mansion, which appears in Metro Online Property Maps to be in the City of Belle Meade (it's mailing address is listed as Nashville). Council Member Jamie Isabel, who is African-American (which is probably an important point considering that public money would be going to a former plantation where African slaves were kept, forced to labor, and tortured), rose to ask Mr. Crafton how giving money to Belle Meade Plantation helped all of Nashville. Mr. Crafton rattled out something about his wife being a tour guide there and that Belle Meade Mansion commemorates the Civil War, something which we should never forget. I know that the mansion commemorates antebellum history, but does it really commemorate the Civil War per se? And do we need to send $6,000 in taxpayer money to repair a Carriage House (which is presently used for stuff like upscale wedding receptions) at best marginally located in Nashville because Mr. Crafton's wife works there translating for Japanese tourists?

The second humorous little moment for Mr. Crafton came after Member Carolyn Baldwin Tucker pointed out to Co-sponsor Rip Ryman that changing the proposed name of the "Korean War Veterans Memorial Boulevard" to "Korean Veterans Boulevard" might lead some to believe that the honor might be misunderstood as going to war veterans of Korean nationality (and God knows, that's unAmerican and unacceptable!). Mr. Crafton stood to suggest that the problem might be solved by putting an apostrophe after "Veterans" on street signs to show possession of the street. The Metro Council adviser responded that possession of the street is exactly the reason for not putting the apostrophe, since it would suggest that 54,000 war veterans own that street. Mr. Crafton in what appeared to be an overly-patriotic episode of zeal replied that it would be fine with him if Metro gave the veterans the street after "all they have done for out country." But why stop at a bridge and a street? Why not just rename the entire Central Business District "Korean Veteranstown" instead of "Downtown?" And I'm still trying to figure out how an apostrophe would solve the problem of Metro naming a street in honor of war veterans of Korean nationality. That's a head-scratcher.

More Than Just Scales Found in Salemtown Bust Yesterday

Updated details after the jump.

A Couple of Last Night's Deferrals

The Ethics Ordinance that would return private-organization-provided free meals to council members was deferred.

In separate action, the ordinance that would allow a Hermitage PUD and increase automobile traffic in that neighborhood was passed on 2nd reading and deferred indefinitely. Planning Officials said that they had issues with the placement of the proposed medical building. Co-sponsor Harold White, who seems to be the Will Rogers of the local business community (never having met a private enterprise he did not like), appeared defensive, claimed that community meetings were held, and said that he has not heard any opposition from neighbors in the community. No opposition? All Mr. White has to do is re-rack the Public Hearing on his bill two weeks ago and he'll get an earful of neighborhood opposition.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Historic Overlay for Lower Broad Passes on Voice Vote Without Debate

I was a little concerned when, in his remarks, Mike Jameson warned his fellow Council Members who might be considering defeating the overlay after the Westin approval that the Westin approval was contingent on the overlay, but the overlay ordinance met no audible resistance. Historic Lower Broad gets its protection and its new hotel.

Westin Wins Council Approval

Just passed on third reading a few minutes ago.

UPDATE: The Post has the possible explanation on the failure of Council Member Lynn Williams to bring up an expected amendment to lower the height of the Westin. A cutesy parliamentary move to try and kill the bill by John Summers (he protested that the historic overlay bill on which the hotel depended had not yet passed) allowed another member to call for previous question and cut off the debate that would have granted Ms. Williams her and the hard-core preservationists amending opportunity. As Mike Jameson pointed out in his comments: the front of the hotel is only three stories to match the height of the buildings on Lower Broad. The tallest part sits 65 feet back from Broadway; that's a separation wider than the average size of most of the buildings fronting that street. Nonetheless, opponent Summers appeared to give advocate Jameson the gift of not having to fight the amendment battle with opponent Williams.

BREAKING: Major Car Chase and Arrest on 6th Avenue

About an hour ago I saw a green Camaro hauling down Hume from 8th and turning north on 6th, pursued by three or four police cars, which had sirens and lights going full tilt. The green Camaro jumped the sidewalk three houses down from Hume and slammed into a wall (which I heard, but did not see). The suspect in the car fled down an alley between 5th and 6th and 7th, where he was apprehended by police (see update below for clarification). There were at least a dozen police officers and half a dozen cruisers at the scene of the accident. I hung as close as I could to the accident behind a neighbor's fence, and I found out that the fleeing suspect (male, African-American) lives on 6th with his family in a duplex near the struck wall. I also heard police tell him that he was under arrest for some unidentified thing that they found in the car. The police put crime tape up and warned on-lookers who tried to enter that they were violating a crime scene. As far as I could tell, no one was injured. There were no local news media crews anywhere to be seen while I was there. I'll pass along more details as they become available.

UPDATE: Correction to alley location above. A neighbor tells me drug scales were confiscated from the Camaro and that the suspect was tackled by the police at the corner of 6th and Garfield.

UPDATE II: From Metro Police Wednesday morning:
Our undercover detectives received a tip regarding a shipment of drugs into your neighborhood. Our undercover guys and several marked units were in the area when the dope dealer arrived. Needless to say, he didn't want to stop and chit chat with us, so the chase was on. He wrecked his car and tried to run on foot, but our healthy officers caught him and arrested him with a large quantity of cocaine along with drug scales and drug paraphernalia; his money and his vehicle were seized.

The "Non-Profits on the Government Dole" Parade Continues Tonight

There is so much going on at tonight's Metro Council meeting that I almost did not leave myself enough time for the regular update on the latest round of discretionary infrastructure funds slated to go to non-profit patrons. Here they are:
  • $1,000 to the Nashville Zoo's "Critter Encounters" (Adam Dread)
  • $2,000 to the Nashville Academy Theatre and Nashville Children's Theatre for affordable tickets for public school students (Anna Page)
  • $2,500 to the W.O. Smith/Nashville Community Music School for instrument repairs and student transportation (Dread)
  • $3,000 to the Actors Bridge Ensemble Theatre of Nashville, Inc. for professional artists' fees for a production (Ronnie Greer)
  • $6,250 to the Belle Meade Plantation to repair and to paint the Carriage House and Stables (Charlie Tygard)
  • $7,000 to Hands on Nashville, Inc. to pay a portion of the salary of a Special Projects Manager (Rip Ryman, Parker Toler)
  • $9,000 to the Nashville Child Advocacy Center to pay for three months of therapy for fourteen children (Ryman, Toler, Tygard, Robert Duvall, Jim Hodge, Walter Hunt, Harold White)
  • $10,000 to Belcourt YES! Inc. for purchase of a building (Dread)
  • $14,268 to the United Way of Metro Nashville for marketing and community-outreach designed for free tax preparation services (Ryman, Page, Erik Cole, Sam Coleman, Buck Dozier, and J.B. Loring)
  • $18,000 to the YMCA of Middle Tennessee for additional parking spots at the Bellevue YMCA (Tygard, Eric Crafton)
  • $27,000 to AGAPE for foster care of 11 or more children for April through June, 2007 (Hodge, Dozier, Page, Loring, Carolyn Baldwin Tucker, Edward Whitmore)
  • $27,000 to the Interdenominational Ministers' Fellowship Peniel Initiative for salaries, benefits, supplies, etc. (Tucker, Whitmore, David Briley, Brenda Gilmore, Walter Hunt, Ludye Wallace)
  • $60,000 to the Neighborhoods Resource Center for classes and programming (Page, Hodge, Coleman, Billy Walls)
Looks like a long list of a lot of money that might have been spent on public infrastructure.

Schöne Ansicht Owners Reverse Themselves: Will Comply with Site Plan's Brick Veneer

They will avoid having to notify neighbors and to face another Public Hearing. Germantown's Centurion to do the honors, or so neighborhood grapevine says.

8th & Hume Zone Change Poised to Pass Third Reading Tonight

After breezing through the Public Hearing two weeks ago, Core Development's proposed development looks to get Metro Council's seal of approval tonight, opening the door for construction to start. The prospect of this development also generated some buzz recently at Urban Planet. It looks good for Salemtown, especially since Core made serious efforts to communicate with neighborhood leaders.

Controversial and Previously Deferred Hermitage Neighborhood Bill Up for Consideration Again Tonight

Council Members J.B. Loring and Harold White will once again attempt to get a controversial Hermitage PUD to pass second reading at this evening's council meeting. That PUD allows expansion of a medical building that reportedly would increase automobile traffic in what residents at the last meeting called a walkable neighborhood.

Council deferred the second reading over the protests of Mr. Loring, who was grilled on whether meetings were sponsored to allow community feedback after several residents opposed the changes. No word on whether the co-sponsors held any community meetings before this reading.

As I mentioned before
, the only council members running for office in August who voted for deferral of this bill in order to get more neighborhood feedback were David Briley (Mayoral Candidate) and Carolyn Baldwin Tucker (Vice Mayoral Candidate). Neither Diane Neighbors (Vice Mayoral Candidate who was absent) nor Howard Gentry (current Vice Mayor and Mayoral Candidate, who only casts tie-breaking votes) voted on the deferral motion. Among those voting against deferring the controversial motion and thus voting against giving the Hermitage neighborhood a chance to give feedback was Buck Dozier (Mayoral candidate).

Overpass Art at a Broken Angle

Who Will Be the Nosh Police to Monitor Meals?

Council Members Erik Cole and Rip Ryman are carrying through with plans to allow groups to patronize Council Members by providing them meals by bringing their measure up for first reading tonight. Here's the food provision in the very long ethics bill:
Employees ... shall not accept meals, beverages, food, free or discounted admissions, tickets, access to events or travel expenses from any single source of an aggregate Value in any calendar year in excess of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00), provided that an employee may accept from the sponsoring organization, on behalf of himself and a guest, free or discounted admissions, tickets or access of a face value in excess of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) if the event is generally recognized as an annual fund raising benefit sponsored by a non-profit organization.
To put it in clear terms: Council Members will have a meal allowance of up to $100 each year from patron organizations that might step up to feed them on meeting nights. Currently, Council Members are responsible for providing their own meals during meetings, which sounds both appropriate and easier to police. If the bulk of Metro employees have to provide their own meals during their work days, why should Metro Council Members be any different? If you believe that being a council member and feeding yourself is too difficult, then do not run for Metro Council.

Tonight's Westin Vote in Metro Council: Progress is Preferable to Sitting Still

We are faced with limited options on the controversial Westin vote tonight. Accepting the Westin would give Lower Broad something it does not and may not be able to get otherwise: historical overlay.

Council Member Mike Jameson also maintains that preservation of buildings for vacancy and underutilization is "a hollow achievement." I agree. I believe that the three Westin bills up for third and final reading tonight are not a perfect solution, but they seem to be the best one that we can get.

Lower Broad does not get the historical overlay in the foreseeable future without the Westin, and the Westin seems to have made compromises to its plans to get permission to build. Above all, Mike Jameson is one of the most trustworthy Council Members we have; with the logic of the deal ironclad, his judgment gives the deal palatability.

The prospect if these bills are defeated or carelessly amended is not at all ideal: Lower Broad properties remain significantly vacant and open to buy out and tear down (or worse, ugly renovation à la Planet Hollywood) with little or no protection. Preservations would be left to battle house-to-house, floor-by-floor; I do not like the odds of winning that war. The progress before us, though not perfect, is preferable to Lower Broad continuing to sit still.

How Many Metro Resources Would Be Wasted to Get Back to Square One at 6th and Garfield?

It is rather wasteful and distasteful that, over a year after the properties designated for Salem Gardens were zoned up from R6, they would revert back to the same R6 zoning if the partnership's request is approved the day after tomorrow. Metro has traveled a mile on zoning these properties to move a foot.

It is hard to judge who was responsible for this duplex-friendly regression. Planning tells me that they were not made aware of the existing stormwater challenges, while the Stormwater Department approved of the Salem Gardens zoning request to MUN, and the developers did not originally grasp what the underground requirements were. Why--in the name of saving Metro resources--did questions not get asked and details not get covered before the request came before the Planning Commission over a year ago?

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Duplex Kings of Salemtown: Planning Tells More on What Might Happen If Salem Gardens Property is Rezoned on Thursday

I'm getting the message that the Salem Gardens partnership is angling for returning their 5 properties at the corner of Garfield and 6th to R6 zoning in order to build duplexes on each. Planning officials have also seen one of their plans, which would convert 2 of the 5 properties into 3 and put a duplex on each (6 duplexes total). In order to subdivide 2 into 3, the partnership would have to submit another request and face future Planning Commission and Metro Council Public Hearings.

Two of these partners, Taurus McCain and Steve Yokley are duplex kings; they either own, have built, or plan to build duplexes almost exclusively. According to one of my neighbors, Taurus McCain has expressed total disinterest in building even one single family home in Salemtown. If you walk up 6th Avenue, you'll find a street already super-saturated with duplexes, and so the Salem Gardens partnership obviously sees no reason to diversify that location.

It appears to me that the only way to apply brakes to the continued hyper-duplexification of 6th Avenue North is to oppose the current proposal before the Planning Commission on Thursday, March 22 (at 4:00 p.m. at the Howard Office Building on 2nd Avenue) to return the 5 properties to R6 zoning. The Salem Gardens Partnership has not shown their new plans at a Salemtown Neighbors meeting, so we have to assume that they could put anything, including something sub-par on the properties; that could threaten our real estate values and the overall quality of life here. I am considering attending the meeting on Thursday. I hope other neighbors feel motivated to exert some influence on these developments before we lose the opportunity to do so.

Sickening News Media Syrup

The times I've tuned into the television news today (mostly MSNBC), I've been subjected to an almost fond nostalgia for the beginning of the Iraq War four years ago and the salad days of reporters being embedded with (and in bed with) the military, while not asking a single critical question about the reasons for abandoning Afghanistan and invading Iraq. Maybe I'm just killjoy, but it seems to me that on today of all days the mainstream media ought to be doing a lot of soul-searching about its own abdication of independence and objectivity in 2003 for the sake of a "shock and awe" thrill ride through the desert.

Planning: Proposed Salem Gardens Development Cancellation Based on Owners' Unwillingness to Pay for Stormwater Hook-up

The Planning Department responded quickly to my query about Salem Gardens' proposed re-zoning this morning. They tell me that the re-zoning is a switch back to the original zoning and a cancellation of the Salem Gardens Urban Design Overlay. You can read the Planning Department's memo after the jump (p. 55, items 12 & 13).

The owners did not choose to pay for 450' underground hook-up to the storm sewer for their surface run-off and they were not allowed to hook-up to the sanitary sewer because that might result in sewerage overflowing into a waterway, something over which Metro has lately been in federal trouble.

But this news casts a puzzling light on co-owner Steve Yokley's comments to my original post on the run-off issues just down the street at Schoene Ansicht. Back on January 25, in an attempt to address mixed messages on Schoene Ansicht's stormwater run-off (surface vs. sewer) Mr. Yokley wrote:
I would like to make a comment on the mixed messages sent. That was not my intention; it was actually a misunderstanding on my part. The Salem Garden project at the corner of 6th and Garfield, was slated to discharge underground. I assumed that this project [Schoene Ansicht] would be done the same way.
Late last year, another Schoene Ansicht owner, Taurus McCain had met with Salemtown Neighbors and said that the Water Department was opposing plans to have water run-off at the surface of Salem Gardens. He also mentioned that the Salem Gardens partnership would try and enlist the association's support allow their partnership to discharge water on the surface rather than underground.

My questions: was the Salem Garden project ever truly "slated" to be discharged underground if running it to the sanitary sewers was out of the question and if running a 450' line to the storm sewers was cost-prohibitive? If it was "slated," then why did Mr. McCain speak with us last year about possibly supporting a request for an exemption to allow surface water run-off?

I'm confused about all of these details, and I don't know whether I would support this request to go back to the original R6 overlay.

Dream Ray

Some Things Change; Others, Not So Much

One of the interesting parts about being on vacation for about ten days is coming back and seeing the changes around the neighborhood: greener grass, emerging flowers, budding trees. But some things don't change. Take, for instance, a certain 6th Avenue development, previously cited for soil erosion, which put up silt fence before we left. We've returned to find that part of the fence is down, a fresh new bank of dirt is waiting, unobstructed, for the next rainstorm, and a new layer of silt occupies the curb run-off at 5th and Hume from last week's rain. Some things don't change.

But some do. We also got back to find a notice of Public Hearing in the mail sent to us from the Planning Department. That notice says that the owners of Salem Gardens (corner of Garfield Street and 6th and co-owned by Schoene Ansicht owners) are requesting a zone change from the last year's zone change for which they got our neighborhood association's support. I remember watching the Metro Council Public Hearing on last year's zone change request during which a Salem Gardens co-owner told the Council that they had received the support of Salemtown Neighbors.

Yet, the owners have not come back to us and asked for our support on this zone change, and I have to wonder why. What is it about this zone change that makes Salem Gardens partners think that we won't support it? I've taken that question and several others to the Planning Department and I'll keep you posted, because the Planning Commission's Public Hearing is this Thursday, March 22 at 4:00 p.m. at the Howard Office Building on 2nd Avenue.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Back from Vacation

We're back in Nashville now after spending last week in North Texas with family. Here's a slide show of places where we chilled:

A Suggestion for Some of the Brighter Bulbs in the Metro Council Box

How about adding an amendment to the "Korea Veterans Plaque" resolution (which Council Member Rip Ryman is exploring) that requires that if the Korean War Veterans (a.k.a., "Gateway") Bridge gets a tax-funded ornamental plaque, then all of the commemorative bridges in Nashville must have their own tax-funded ornamental plaques, too.

Gang Graffiti Hits Shelby Park

Spray paint vandalism has come to East Nashville's most pastoral setting and we now have a Vandalism Task Force to deal with graffiti. It's about time that Metro started more aggressively addressing this problem rather than merely waiting to react to complaints from the neighborhoods.

Veteran Council Members Believe Themselves to Be Entitled to Certain Memorials to Themselves

We have failed to impress upon certain Metro Council Members that prior service to their country does not entitle them to rename whole streets after themselves. Whatever happened to the modest and humble sense that service is honor in and of itself, regardless of whether awards are ever bestowed? Why aren't these council members using their leadership positions to raise private funds for war memorials rather than playing on public gratitude to leverage tax dollars? Second reading is scheduled for Tuesday. Usually resolutions that pass second reading also pass third reading easily.

Major Media Gives Blog Credit Where It Is Due

If NewsChannel5 and the Tennessean want an example of how to source their material rather than improperly lifting information from blogs without giving credit to the authors of those blogs, they need look no farther than yesterday's LA Times, which recognized the amazing coverage of the expanding "U.S. Attorney Purge" (the most recent Bush Administration scandal) by Talking Points Memo from the very beginning. Writes the Times:
The bloggers used the usual tools of good journalists everywhere — determination, insight, ingenuity — plus a powerful new force that was not available to reporters until blogging came along: the ability to communicate almost instantaneously with readers via the Internet and to deputize those readers as editorial researchers, in effect multiplying the reporting power by an order of magnitude.
The Times writer provides a fairly breath-taking account of TPM's handle on the developing scandal including unearthing a largely ignored national pattern of firings after an initial story hit the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in December.

Some of us should be shown the same love locally.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Metro Council at-Large Candidate Takes Aim at Council's Discretionary Funds

Metro Council at-Large Candidate Megan Barry speaks her opposition to the "infrastructure" funds that the Council gave itself to spend on pet patrons out of previously uncollected property taxes:
Megan Barry [advocates] eliminating the use of a system, whereby council members are allocated $50,000 each to spread around their district as they please. Megan notes that the original purpose of those funds was to make infrastructural improvements, like filling potholes, and [it] wasn't designed to be a piggy bank for not-for-profits, as it is now. She also thinks that some of the allocations to not-for-profits haven't passed "the test" when it comes to public funds going to organizations with ties to organized religion. According to Megan, a better use of those funds (roughly 2 million dollars) might be to fully fund the Homeless Power project, which needs an additional 2.3 million.
Ms. Barry sets a refreshing change of pace in this race.

NewsChannel5 Picked Up Blogger's Ben West Video without Giving Credit

Sean Braisted's You Tube video of Ben West Jr.'s comments at a February 2007 Davidson County Democratic Party breakfast was the subject of a NewsChannel5 story broadcast last night. The story involved Mr. West's allegedly racist joke about Hispanic Republicans. NewsChannel5 reporter Amy Rau failed to credit Sean with the video footage of the story, instead referring to it simply as video from This is another instance of the mainstream media's laziness and their failure to properly source their stories.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Metro Council Gets Another Chance to Screw Up a School Board Appointment

Ready to revive the old days of Davidson County Republican boss Jon Crisp assisting "The Insider" and other Council conservatives in selecting and staging an ideological candidate with little or no connections to public schools for an open School Board seat? Here is their second chance. Maybe they can find one this time who does not compare public education to slavery.

UPDATE: The Post reports that council members are being more cautious this time around and that they are planning to nominate Mark North, who has thrown his hat into the ring:
[Council Member Jim] Forkum, North and others probably want to avert a replay of the situation that seized school board District 5 in 2006, when the sudden departure of Board Member Rev. Lisa Hunt led to the interim appointment of home-school parent Kay Brooks, who was unseated in the subsequent election by now-incumbent Gracie Porter.

Metro Council Finance Committee Chairman Rip Ryman (Dist. 10), who also resides in the district North wants to represent, said this morning, "I think he'll be a good one. I would think that the vast majority of all the council members [who represent portions of] that district would probably support him."
For the sake of the Metro Council's reputation and the good of representative democracy, let's hope so.

Cowpie Detector Goes Off

My soft-pedaling meter scaled up this morning when I read the City Paper's language on a Republican defection this morning:
Already-independent senator leaves GOP
Longtime maverick state Sen. Mike Williams dropped his Republican Party allegiance Wednesday, choosing to become an independent and breaking his tenuous ties to the GOP leadership.
The rest of the article also reads like an effort to soften the symbolic blow.

Hermitage Commenter Underscores Walkability

Enclave commenter Cindy, who lives in the Hermitage neighborhood affected by the controversial proposal to allow expansion of an automobile-friendly medical building, argues thusly:
I live in the condos right across from this proposed building. I can walk to the grocery store, the library, the community center and the police station (hope I don't need to). We are lacking sidewalks, but it is very close-knit, walkable and friendly NOW.
She also tells me that the neighborhood is doing everything possible to stop the expansion that Council Members J.B. Loring and Harold White seem to be promoting without community feedback.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Resurrected Ma Bell Rebuffs Purcell

The reconstituted bride of Frankenstein that is the mega-conglomerate AT&T has declined Mayor Bill Purcell's offer to obtain a franchise to offer our County video services. Why? Because AT&T wants to own the whole state and not just Nashville. AT&T smells blood in the water:
Today, diminished federal regulation, AT&T's acquisition of BellSouth and its business and technology strategies are winning both more favorable reviews from investment analysts and rising pressure for earnings — further emboldening AT&T to attempt to shed as much state and local regulation as possible.
They are already busting out their britches and they have been lobbying the GenAss en masse for less public oversight of their private operations in Tennessee. Given the real possibility that a deregulated, emboldened AT&T means less competition in local markets, I'd like to know where the heck the conservative free marketeers are to fight Ma Bell II when we need them?

Springtime and Germantown Forms

Monday, March 12, 2007

Maybe If You Gave the BlackBerry Next to the Black Coffee a Tiny Little Fedora to Wear and A Diminutive Cigarette to Smoke

The Buckpage as film noir? Perhaps with the tabbed folders and pencils we could call it "Office Max noir," but there's nothing morally ambiguous or darkly erotic (à la film noir) about Buck Dozier's website. Volunteer Voters' constant shilling of the Buckpage is much more disturbing and stylistic than Dozier's campaign website itself.

Square Grid

Switched and Sorry

I hate to admit it, but I finally had to make the switch to New Blogger because I had nothing left in my bag of tricks to get around all of Blogger's attempts to force me to re-enlist. I was able to keep fooling them into letting me use old blogger for a longer time than other folks seemed able, but finally they have forced me to switch. Sorry to all of you who have to change your newsfeeds accordingly. Changing URLs at this time did not make sense, so jumping the Blogger ship was not an option, and I wanted to continue to write and to publish. So, let the havoc begin.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Marathon's Reba Porn

I'd rather look at the graffiti on the water tower than the huge billboard ad for a television show plastered on the side of Marathon's tank. It takes away from the ambiance of the place.

Another Case of Nashville Hemorrhaging People to Suburbia

Williamson County residents stake out claims at SigTow.

Coming Out Party for Dozier and Partisan Coffee

Compared to his rather suspicious previous report on Mayoral candidate David Briley "posturing" on the environmental issues, City Paper reporter Bill Harless practically bragged this morning on relatively conservative Buck Dozier's publicized public safety platform. According to Harless a "ready and willing" and "thorough" Dozier "unveiled" and "laid out a comprehensive" platform. Harless made Dozier look good even at the prospect of criticism of a 2000 audit of Dozier's performance as Fire Marshall.

Could it be because Buck Dozier seems to be an undefiled black coffee man vs. the latte-liberal overtones "Rex" made recently ("Battle of Bongo Java") in questioning Briley for hiring strategists who previously worked for so-called "Republican-lite" campaigns?

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Does English Only Cancel Any "Touristic Usability" that Nashville Might Have?

This blogger has me wondering: would the restriction of all Metro services to English leave some international tourists visiting Nashville "misdirected, overheated, and frustrated"? And should there be services used by tourists (trolleys and buses come immediately to mind) that should be easy for them to comprehend without assistance?

Tennessean Posts Names of Some Possible Metro Council District 19 Candidates

According to Tennessean reporter Michael Cass, the District 19 seat (currently held by term-limited Ludye Wallace) has two more names of possible candidates to be added with Janice Davis and others that Cass leaves unnamed. Erica Gilmore, daughter of Council Member Brenda Gilmore, and Michael McDonald, who was fired from his election administrator post in 2004, both have picked up qualifying petitions for the open seat, which is to be filled in August.

UPDATE: Sean Braisted sent me a list of all of the candidates for Council who have filed so far. Janice Davis is not among the 6 who have filed. Besides Gilmore and McDonald, here are the other candidates: Cathie Dodd, Freda Player (whom Sean mentions in the comments below), James Turner II, and Maurice Walker.

Wilson County to Push Ahead with Public School Bible Course?

Details at Free Tennessee after the jump.

Neither Privatizing Nor Tolling Will Pay for the Increasing Costs of Maintaining Highways

So, private leases are just another means of transferring government money to businesses with little or no return for the public and tolls won't stem skyrocketing construction costs.

Nearly Planting Time in Nashville

Stick a Fork in It

The Sounds let us down.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

EPA Calls Metro Water Services to the Carpet for Dumping Wastewater into the Cumberland River

NewsChannel5 is reporting tonight that the EPA and U.S. Justice Department are demanding that Nashville clean up wastewater overflow that spilled into the Cumberland River. The spill allegedly violated the Clean Water Act. Nashville stands to pay a fine, which would likely start in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and could go up into the millions, along with litigation fees if the matter is not settled out of court. If these allegations are true this is a black mark against our city and one more grudge to hold against Metro Water Services.