Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Police Divulge Worst Little Whorehouse in S-town; Is Property Owned by a Bredesen Appointee?

A police officer reportedly confirmed neighbors' suspicions recently that prostitutes were living and hooking on 6th Avenue North, and that "it's been like that for 15 years." The officer made those comments after police responded to a fight between men visiting the apartments of the alleged hookers on 6th during the last weekend in April. Neighbors tell me that various older men come and go from the back of the women's apartment at all times of the day and night.

Yesterday evening, I observed a woman (white, fair-skinned, brunette, larger-than-average build, short pony tail and plastic-rimmed glasses) hanging out near the Morgan Park Community Center construction site (corner of 5th and Hume) for about an hour like she was waiting, drinking a quart of malt liquor, talking on her cell phone, chatting with a couple of pick-up truck drivers who stopped by, and then leaving on foot with an older man towards 6th. Those who have witnessed the suspicious activities at the 6th Avenue apartment tell me that the woman I saw fits the description of one believed to be hooking.

The apartments are a neighborhood blight and they look to me like they could be owned by a slum lord. According to Metro maps, they are actually owned by a "Lester C. McClain" of Brentwood, TN. What I'm wondering at this point is whether that is the same Lester C. McClain of Brentwood, TN who was just appointed by Governor Phil Bredesen to a state safety board. If such is the case, then it would be pathetic that a safety official owns a property that threatens the safety of Tennesseans living in Salemtown. (The front of this property was also the location of a recent major drug bust, in which a large quantity of cocaine coming into the neighborhood was seized).

In the meantime, some of us are beginning to worry about the police and the possibility that they might not be as concerned about our safety as the should be. What other explanation would they have for expressing casual indifference toward 15 years of hooking in Salemtown?

UPDATE: The ever-resourceful Sageish comments below that after searching he has found only one Lester C. McClain in Brentwood, TN. He also posts Mr. McClain's phone number. Leave it to the on-line neighborhood to do the work that ought to be tailor-made for "professional journalists," none of whom (not even the mainstream media bloggers) seem interested in this story.

Lester C. MClain is also listed in a 2003 list of Notary Publics approved by the Metro Council. And he is listed on the Board of Directors of the Williamson County UT Alumni Association. His e-mail on the latter list is: lestermcclain@aol.com.

UPDATE: Brittney at Nashville is Talking (WKRN's blog) has picked up the story.


  1. A quick search online revealed only one Lester C. McClain in Brentwood. The phone number is listed as (615) 370-9514. I've already called to inquire about the issue. I received an answering machine. I'll try again later this evening.

  2. re: mainstream media bloggers

    There are a lot of blogs out there. I literally cannot read them all in one day.

  3. So is it him or are you dragging someone's name through the mud before you actually have any facts?

  4. Jay: I've stated the fact that Lester C. McClain in Brentwood owns the property. I've also queried whether the Lester C. McClain in Brentwood is the same Lester C. McClain in Brentwood that the Guv is appointing to a safety committee, given that I am not finding evidence of two different Lester C. McClains in Brentwood. I cannot even find two different Lester C. McClains outside of Brentwood on Google. I've written the opinion that I find it troublesome if they are one in the same person. If I find out that they are not, then I'll post that fact immediately and without fail, update this post accordingly, and express awe at the sheer odds against not finding any other Lester C. McClain outside of Brentwood on Google even as there are two or more Lester C. McClains in Brentwood.

    This blog is my own personal take on neighborhood issues. The fact that Lester C. McClain in Brentwood owns a blighted house that at best harbors suspicious activity at all times of the day or night involving strangers and resulting in fights causes me concern for my neighborhood and for my children. The fact that police told a neighbor that prostitution is happening at Lester C. McClain's property is beyond troubling to me.

    Regardless of my expressed opinion, Lester C. McClain in Brentwood is still going to collect his rent checks and make money off of run-down property that is increasing in value because middle-class, law-abiding people like me live in this neighborhood. However, I still believe that I have the obligation to express my disapproval of recent events on Lester C. McClain of Brentwood's property.

  5. Yeah it's really easy to spout off an allegations and apologize later. So your opinion right or wrong could be really endangering.

  6. That should've been..

    Yeah it's really easy to spout off an allegation and apologize later.


  7. I think it's too easy for pseudonymous commenters to spout off regarding conditions they know nothing about.

    There's little danger from a neighborhood resident wondering out loud and in public whether a slum lord with a unique name might be the same person nominated for a high level government position. In fact, it is probably more dangerous for me to take a stand against crime where I live and against the wealthy absentee property owners who fail to deal with crime in their buildings.

    Living in a democracy means taking the risk of asking critical questions and reserving the right to admit error later. And I take no more ease in admitting my errors--assuming that they are indeed errors--than the next person.

    Lester C. McClain has a lot more money and (especially if he's the Guv's appointee) a lot more political influence than I do. I'm sure that he is a lot more at ease than I am about what goes on at his properties in North Nashville, because he doesn't have to live with them in Brentwood.

    If Sageish is eventually able to talk by phone with Lester C. McClain, questions will be answered and others posed. If he's the Guv's nominee, then he's got some explaining to do. If he's not, then the appointee remains free and clear with very little damage done, and our search narrows to the other Lester C. McClain in Brentwood. I would imagine that Mr. Bredesen's opponents are hunting infinitely more damaging stuff than a neighbor asking whether a property owner in his neighborhood with an identical name is the same man as a high profile appointee. It's a fair question, and one that can be put to bed with a simple "yes" or "no."

  8. Lydia Lenker, the gov's press spokesperson, confirmed to me via email this afternoon that the Lester C. McClain whom the governor appointed to the Elevator Safety Board lives at 305 Long Valley Road, Brentwood, TN 37027

    Is that the address of the Lester C. McClain who owns the hooker hut?

  9. Same zip code, but the only mailing address listed on Metro Property Maps is P.O. Box 63.

  10. I am very disturbed at the blogs from s-town mike because who just goes online and talks about a person without the facts. I know someone that lives in that property on 6th Avenue North and they like where they live and their house is clean and the yard inside the property stays freshly mowed. I understand that there maybe things going on in one of the apts but Mr. Mcclain cannot control that if he does not know. If you were real you would inform him and if he does not handle this then maybe do this but it seems like you are just wanting to get rid of the property to build more of those expensive apts or houses. Those apts have been there for along time and this is the first time since the newer house and properties has came you blog. If you were really concerned when you stated that this has gone on for 15 years you would have addressed the issue when the lower income people lived there. the only reason it is a issue is because you either want to buy the property or you are just want the folks over there gone because they do not fit the "mold" of what you think should be in that community now.

  11. Anyone who actually knows me knows that I have advocated affordable housing and economic diversity in Salemtown. In almost 2000 blog posts I rarely target properties with criticism unless criminal activity was going on there or absentee property owners were not taking their responsibilities to the neighborhood seriously.

    There are 4 apartments at Lester McClain's 6th Avenue property and I only mentioned one that was alleged by witnesses and acknowledged by police to contain hookers. I have not focused on any one else in that building. The only people I want out of the neighborhood are the criminals and those absentee property owners who refuse to be responsible neighbors to those of us who actually live here. Those elements make Salemtown a bad and unsafe place to live. Otherwise, I live and let live.

  12. I can deal with that but I just wondered have you talked to the the people in the complex on 6th Avenue North to see how they feel. Maybe they have the same concerns and just do not know who to talk to. I guess all I am saying is that you can make the neighborhood safe all you want but when you start hiding behind bushes and taking pictures of people and things that are going on and people are not aware I guess this just can make a persons privacy feel invaded. I am only concerned because I grew up in Salemtown and I do not recall blogs and people ever being this concerned because I know that my family had it raw but all we had was each other and that made everyday a little more easy. I just know that the person I know that lives on 6th Avenue North is never met "S-Town Mike" and if you were such an "advocate" you would make yourself avaliable to all not just the people that have access to upscale housing that is all that I am saying. YOu have a blessed and prosperous year and please know that in spite of all the things that are going on in Salem town thew people that have been there before the upscale housisng and the "S-Town Mike's" are true people that love and want that community safe too.

  13. I never hid behind any bushes to take the pictures. I walked straight town the street, my big camera in plain sight, and I took pictures standing out in the open across the street from the house. Anyone could have seen me.

    The only times I have hid behind bushes to take pictures were during two major drug busts where guns were involved. No one would blame me for hiding in those situations.

  14. I am going to call you Mike because in no way do you represent Salem Town but anyway. I think you are missing the point. I could careless where you were with the camera the point is talk to the people that live in the other properties. That is all I am saying be an advocate for all not some. You are trying to make it personal by saying I am not hiding. It is not that serious and since it was a drug bust why hide maybe you could have had some vital information that would have helped the police. TO help your blog a little better that bust that day. The guy did not live on that street at all and drugs were not found in that car. SO you need to tell your sources to get things together. I will end this conversation with you because you are a person that does not understand what it means represent a community. When you represent a community you present the WHOLE COMMUNITY not just half. You need to knock on some doors let people know what your trying to do and I promise the response will suprise you. The people in Salemtown as a whole have the same common goal and that is to live in a nice, quiet, and SAFE neighborhood. I know there are some that are not wanting that goal but this is when you get the ones that do want it involved and you get it done.

  15. Thanks for ending it, because I assume it is pretty much over when a commenter hiding behind "anonymous" accuses me of hiding in my own neighborhood.

  16. The reason I am anonymous is the same reason you hide. I I am a resident of SAlem Town as well and I do not know you. So until you show your face I will not show my name. SO be a real advocate and let ALL the people Black and White of Salem Town see your face and you will know my name. Please know that I know you anyway I just wanted to get my point across and let speak for the people in Salem Town that you do not represent. Because unfortunately you do not represent everybody just people like you. Thanks for your time be Blessed New Name "Hiding-Mike" and my name can be "Anonymous- One looking for Mike in the Salem Town" and please note I have lived in Salem town for over 20 years so I know Salem Town much better than you so please know that I have seen you. I just wish you would do more than blogging and bashing for the whole community.

  17. As I said, I don't hide. I am out in my community every day and people here know me. You go back through the archives and find information about me, including pictures of me. I don't hide.

    I am not an elected official representing everyone in S-town. I've not claimed to know everyone here. I am one resident with observations and opinions on my community. I've not attempted to speak for you or for anyone who disagrees with me.

    You, on the other hand, having the convenient cloak of anonymity, can claim that you live anywhere, including Salemtown and tell us that no one knows S-town like you do. We are not in the same position.

  18. I guess you are right the people that know you are people that can look at the ENCLAVE because soon this will be the only people that live in SALEM TOWN and you can then be happy. I am not in no way stating that I know Salem Town better then anyone but I am sorry I just wish that you would consider the other people that live in Salem Town and if you think that this is wrong to say oh well.