People who should know better throw the term "blogging" around as a catch-all to describe every kind of internet writing. The media does it, and even supposedly educated professionals such as lawyers (see the WBIR link above) who presumably research their cases yet still use the terms incorrectly in their arguments ....
[T]he terms "blog," "blogger," and "blogging" have been hijacked, co-opted and corrupted by idiots and some people who should know better. Blogging has taken on a negative connotation that is undeserved. Any semblance of responsibility and respectability has been lost and will never be regained.
And that's why bloggers should stop using the term. I strongly urge writers formerly known as bloggers to start using the term "new media" or "independent media" (or something -- suggestions?) instead of "blog," the term "citizen journalist" or "new/independent media reporter/writer" for "blogger," and "new/independent media publishing" or just "internet publishing" instead of "blogging."
Blogs are dead. Long live independent media writing. Or something. And thanks a lot to the creeps who killed blogging.
Saturday, February 28, 2009
The Final Days of Blogging
If at first you don't degrade, try, try again
The Awesome Power of the Word "Clean"
UPDATE: CNN, which relies on the coal industry for advertising dollars, has refused to run the Coen ad.
May they have a percentage of your Saturday till, too?
Another Feel Good GOP Hypocrisy Saturday: Schwarzenegger and Jindal
- In Caleefornia, a Schwarzenegger administration official received free tickets and meals from an energy company for her daughter to attend a Justin Timberlake concert. Not only did she charge taxpayers for a flight from Sacramento to Los Angeles, but she also stiffed them for the tickets and the meals she did not pay for even after the Governor "banned" nonessential travel.
- Louisiana's Bobby Jindal's star is quickly shrinking on the horizon as significant elements in his response to Obama's SOTU are shown to be deceptive. Jindal's own transportation department intends to apply for some of the Obama stimulus--which Jindal called pork on Tuesday night--for a passenger rail service from New Orleans to Baton Rouge.
Friday, February 27, 2009
Cooper Supports Obama's First Budget for Now
With a number of expensive bills moving through Congress this year, some Democrats, such as the fiscally conservative Blue Dog coalition, could become jittery. But Rep. Jim Cooper (D., Tenn.), a prominent Blue Dog, had high praise for the president's budget blueprint Thursday, saying it dispensed with the gimmicks of previous years.We'll see how the Blue Dogs triangulate with Republican angst as the budget process goes along.
Under George W. Bush, for example, the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan weren't included in the budget but were paid for in so-called supplemental spending bills.
"This is more honest than any budget in many, many years," Mr. Cooper said. "That also means it's also ugly. I welcome the honesty. I think it's time for Americans to grapple with fundamental problems and not pretend that wars are free and things like that."
Democratic leaders said they would like to pass a budget resolution by April 3, an unusually rapid schedule. After they return from their spring recess, the appropriations committees will start writing the specific spending bills for next year.
Mr. Cooper, of Tennessee, also praised the administration for projecting the budget out for 10 years, providing a more complete picture. "You need an accurate diagnosis before you can have the cure," Mr. Cooper said. "It takes courage to give that diagnosis. A lot of people don't want to hear it."
Another Strike against a New South Rising Hypothesis
unemployed workers said they were incensed to learn they were living in one of a handful of states — many of them among the poorest in the nation — that might not provide the expanded benefits.The fact that Mr. Bredesen has joined the Republicans on this issue is further evidence that having Democrats in power in a southern state does not signal a progressive sea change in the south.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Edgefield Neighborhood Moves to Remind Metro's New Administration That Riverfront Plan Has Already Been Assessed
At a recent downtown presentation, Metro officials indicated a desire to "reassess" the plan to which we all already committed. Although thousands of Nashvillians spent over 16 months and a half a million dollars to develop this specific implementation plan and despite the commitment of the Metro Council to fund it, MDHA has yet to break ground on Phase 1.I was one of those thousands of Nashvillians participating in the feedback process, and I would hate to think that my own personal time and tax dollars were wasted with a reassessment by a new Metro administration.
Please be sure to come out on March 7th to encourage MDHA to COMMIT TO THE RIVERFRONT PLAN. We have waited long enough. The funding is there. The public sentiment is clear. Come make your voice heard.
Neighborhoods as Hard Targets
May Town Doubles Down for a Second Downtown
UPDATE: According to the Tennessean, the Bells Bend land donated to TSU is not contingent on approval, while the endowment for the establishment of an academic program is.
- preservation of natural resources
- controlling urban sprawl
- maximizing already developed spaces around the downtown we have
- defending the democratic process in zoning and development issues
- respecting a neighborhood association's deliberated and long-term expectations for their community
- saving taxpayers from expensive infrastructure and maintenance costs
- protection of endangered species
Liberal Bloggers Join Others to Form Liberal PAC
Gary Odom may not like this
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
No "fairness" firebreak could stop this disaster
In its early stages, the foreclosure crisis caught up people who got mortgages for which they wouldn’t qualify under traditional lending criteria. They took out mortgages with low introductory rates and little or no money down, then found they couldn’t sell or refinance when rates adjusted upward or a balloon payment came due. Today, the crisis is affecting millions of people who did play by the rules, who didn’t buy “too much house” or get a “too good to be true” mortgage. They bought a reasonable house and qualified for a reasonable mortgage based on their income and savings. Then they lost their job or took a big pay cut, and now the value of their home is lower than the balance on their mortgage. It’s not “fair” that hard-working people get laid off. It’s not “fair” that the value of their well-tended house shriveled. But it’s reality, and there but for the grace of God go I.
Think you really know our Governor?
Was Cooper Spoiling Dems' Attempts to Mitigate the Bush Budget Blows?
- Public housing
- Development Block Grants for neighborhoods
- Health care
- Education grants
Global Unrest as Interfaced Local Strife
In a statement to The Hill, Bredesen downplayed the possibility of refusing some money, while talking up the rest of the stimulus.I do not care how small the unemployment portion is. Denying funds that would help jobless Tennesseans is heartless and despicable.
"I am very supportive of the stimulus package, as it will create jobs and lessen the impacts that proposed budget cuts would have created," Bredesen said. "We are looking at a very minor provision in the stimulus package that could obligate Tennessee to fund a permanent increase in unemployment benefits after the stimulus money runs out in two years.
The party of Beavis and Butthead vs. the party of the living dead
Traditionally, the division between conservatives and liberals has been over the role and size of the welfare state: liberals think that the government should play a large role in sanding off the market economy’s rough edges, conservatives believe that time and chance happen to us all, and that’s that.
But both sides, I thought, agreed that the government should provide public goods — goods that are nonrival (they benefit everyone) and nonexcludable (there’s no way to restrict the benefits to people who pay.) The classic examples are things like lighthouses and national defense, but there are many others. For example, knowing when a volcano is likely to erupt can save many lives; but there’s no private incentive to spend money on monitoring, since even people who didn’t contribute to maintaining the monitoring system can still benefit from the warning. So that’s the sort of activity that should be undertaken by government.
So what did Bobby Jindal choose to ridicule in this response to Obama last night? Volcano monitoring, of course.
On the heels of that attack he also takes aim at the Obama Administration's half-ass crutch for banks:
Ben Bernanke’s testimony over the past two days gives us our best clue yet about where the administration and the Fed are going with bank rescue. And the answer seems to be … nowhere ....
As long as capital injections are seen as a way to bail out the people who got us into this mess (which they are as long as the banks haven’t been put into receivership), the political system won’t, repeat, won’t be willing to come up with enough money to make the system healthy again. At most we’ll get a slow intravenous drip that’s enough to keep the banks shambling along.
Krugman is beholden to ideas, not parties.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
What Uncle might have said
How might reeling beer sales make the single-serve issue an Achilles heel?
And by implication, Phil Bredesen can take all of it or leave all of it
Governors ... should be worrying about how to end this recession while helping constituents feed and house their families — not about finding ways to revive tired election-year arguments about big spending versus small government.Governor Bredesen has never struck me as exactly sensitive to families in dire circumstances.
Oh, what friends developers have in Metro
Memphis Investment Firm Charged with Fraud, Ingratiated Itself with Charities
Monday, February 23, 2009
Sen. Thelma Harper Working on Tougher Sentencing Laws
Salemtown Burglaries Drop; Police Say Crime Watch Helping
How a Beggar Becomes a Chooser
Parsimony on GITMO
"We're going to focus on the 10 percent of Gitmo detainees who decided they can't forget what the US government did to them, instead of the 90 percent who quietly went home after spending years in confinement without trial or access to their families."
Dean the Decider?
Mayors Met with Obama on Friday
The stimulus package is not only a political crucible for Obama and the congressional Democrats who pushed it through; it is also the ultimate test of government's ability to deliver, from a vast array of federal agencies and departments down to state and local offices across the country.No pressure there. Doesn't sound like WaPo is leaving the bureaucracy any room for error. Why don't they put the private corporations in this kind of bind?
It will be up to thousands of Cabinet undersecretaries, regional agency directors and local contracting officers to get the stimulus money out fast enough to boost the economy and to meet Obama's broader policy goals. Obama has cast his election as a repudiation of an anti-government philosophy that has been in vogue for the past three decades. The stimulus spending offers the prospect of renewing confidence in the public sector just as many are losing faith in corporate America. If done poorly, though, it could undermine Obama's longer-term vision of reaffirming the positive role of government in the lives of Americans.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Blame the government, sure; but blame the press, too
Contrast [the Security & Exchange Commission's reporter-tipping investigations of Enron, WorldCom, Adelphia, and Tyco scandals] with the most recent disasters: Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, AIG, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac had all collapsed before the SEC had even launched an investigation. The spectacle of Lehman employees carrying out boxes of records—on television!—was too much for Jonathan Weil, a Bloomberg columnist who is known for breaking an early Enron story in 2000 while at the Journal. In a column last September, he wrote "Is there anybody left in the government with a pulse? Where's the yellow police tape? How about a cease-and-desist order to prevent document destruction? Can anyone give me a good reason why Lehman offices shouldn't be treated as a crime scene now?"Is it arrogance or laziness that keeps the press from asking the same critical questions that others outside of journalism are?
But the regulatory absence only goes so far as an excuse for the press, says Michael Hudson, who began reporting on subprimes in the 1990s at the Roanoke Times and joined the Journal in 2006. He's now with the Center for Responsible Lending. "It's true the federal regulators disappeared," Hudson says. "But there were lots of state regulators who were going after this in a big way, lots of people on the ground, lawyers, consumer advocates, scholars, who saw what was happening, and the press didn't give them much attention."
Bluegrass Republican Volunteers for Justice's Death Watch
U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning predicted over the weekend that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg would likely be dead from pancreatic cancer within nine months.Bunning also started a charitable foundation that has paid him $180,000 of the total $504,000 it has raised since 1996. Reportedly, he worked for something like an hour a week. Less than 25% has actually gone to charity.
During a wide-ranging 30-minute speech on Saturday at the Hardin County Republican Party's Lincoln Day Dinner, Bunning said he supports conservative judges "and that's going to be in place very shortly because Ruth Bader Ginsburg … has cancer."
"Bad cancer. The kind that you don't get better from," he told a crowd of about 100 at the old State Theater.
The appearance of hat-in-hand publishing
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Ford's Usefulness to Steele's Cred
Steele's view seems oddly contrary to those people of color who are in fact ascending (or have ascended) in politics. Barack Obama's resonance with the populace was hardly based on any hip-hop cred. The same could be said for Deval Patrick, the governor of Massachusetts, and Harold Ford Jr., the former congressman who sought a Senate seat in Tennessee. They campaigned on issues, rather than disguising a dearth of ideas with faux "urban-suburban" hippness.Maybe Harold Ford did not try to be tragically hip like Steele is, but during the 2006 campaign, Ford made what appeared to me to be a cynical pander to churches by overreaching at events like "Faith Night at the Polls."
Yet Steele's entire interview with the Times is laced with an odd argot. His new PR campaign is going to be "off the hook." Steele "don't do 'cutting-edge.' " He does "beyond cutting-edge." His critics can "stuff it" ... ya dig? Rather than a politician with fresh ideas, he sounds more like somebody's uncle trying to be hip while playing some blacktop hoops with 16-year-olds.
After 8 years of failed voluntary self-regulation, why do they deserve 1 more day?
Parenting an Interracial Family
The problem, as I see it, is that people still segregate their minds, even as the neighborhoods and social circles grow more integrated. Whereas I truthfully say that I don't experience overt racism when I go to get my daily nonfat latte here in the San Francisco Bay area, I do experience another level of curiosity and wonderment when I do so with Donovan. Something elemental in people seems to assume that despite the baby's father being one race and the mother another, the baby will always come out looking like the parent standing right in front of them ....
A friend of mine, who is Korean American and engaged to a half-Moroccan, half-Irish British national said, "It's hard to believe he came out of you!" Not so hard to believe if you tried to push all 7 pounds 7 ounces out for hours nonstop, until he arrived a bloody mess, hoisted to your breast before you had time to ask for more ice chips.
Perhaps most interesting is the reaction of black folks. A simple trip to the supermarket with my son in his Baby Björn became an invitation for black men to stare. So, you gave up on the brothers did you? Or black women to touch his straight hair and declare, "It's good hair now, but it'll nap up before you know it" ....
I always thought it strange how many old-line black folks in the South praised kids with light skin and straight hair as "beautiful," only as long as the kid was "black," meaning that neither parent was fully white. No one wants to think about a white parent being in the mix.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Rogue Salemtown Association Online Member List Goes Global
Never mind that the association by-laws stipulate that members must pay dues and either own property or live in Salemtown. It's bad enough there are still active members on this list who haven't paid dues in two years. Apparently, the Netherlands and Egypt are representin' without any requirement whatsoever.
That must put me somewhere near "neither ... nor"
UPDATE: Sean is also holding court over at Kleinheider's place. He's doing an admirable job holding his own against the comments of Jeff Woods, Thing 1, Thing 2, Thing 3, etc.
I write a story, you guys ask me to confirm with the Congressional office, I confirm with the Congressional office, you guys say, “of course they are going to confirm”.The trolls are always outguessing all of you tools. They're so much smarter. That's why they're anonymous. We couldn't behold their true identities and live to tell of it.
Mainstream media gets it both ways through the Google News looking glass
Thursday, February 19, 2009
More jive than notorious
Salemtown, Hope Gardens, & Historic Buena Vista Might Beg to Differ
Maybe he meant, "Germantown is the only urban neighborhood not cut off that really matters." Or maybe the other North End neighborhoods are marketed as nothing more than G-town's I-65 sound buffer.
A Dispatch from Foreclosure Ground Zero on the Bail Out
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
District 18 Candidates Embrace Progressive Initiatives
Kristine LaLonde claims one of the leaders of Nashville for All of Us on her campaign committee:
Community activist, professor, and school volunteer Kristine LaLonde officially entered the race as a candidate for District 18 of the Metro Council today. The election commission has validated the signatures of her neighbors and supporters, and her name will appear on the March 26 ballot.
"While this is only the first step," LaLonde said, "it would not have been possible without the support of friends and neighbors throughout District 18, and I thank each and every one of them for helping move this city toward a better education system, a more transparent government, and the progressive leadership our city deserves."
Today, LaLonde also announced her Campaign Steering Committee. Its members include longtime neighborhood activists and key leaders from the larger community ....
The Committee includes neighborhood activists Tom Grooms, Gary Shockley, and Maria Smith; PTO leader Lloyd Hannon; Nashville for All of Us leader Gregg Ramos; and Obama for America Tennessee coordinator Jennifer Buck Wallace ....
Committee members support LaLonde's message of progressive leadership and were drawn to the campaign because of LaLonde's previous work improving our public schools, fighting the English Only initiative, and electing President Barack Obama.
John Ray Clemmons mentions his opposition to English Only to segue into a promise to restore slashed funds to the Adult Literacy Program:
In January, the citizens of Nashville went to the polls and rejected the notorious English Only amendment to the Metro Charter. It was a huge step forward for this community. But now, through bureaucratic bungling and foggy decision-making, Nashville’s only adult literacy program has effectively been eradicated. I actively opposed the English Only Amendment, and I actively oppose this absurd budget cut which strikes a severe blow to the Nashville Adult Literacy Council.
I will take whatever actions are necessary to restore this program to full funding.
The Volunteer Literacy Program appears to be a victim of the decision to eliminate Community Education. I understand that half the adults served by this program are native-born Americans who, because they dropped out of school or encountered other challenges in life, need remedial help with literacy. The other half of the people served by the program are immigrants who are making the effort to learn English as a second language.
Judging by the last election, it is safe to say that more than half of Nashville’s electorate does not want to discriminate against Nashvillians who do not speak English as their native language, and less than half of the electorate apparently wants everyone to speak English. Therefore, it logically follows that EVERYONE supports adult literacy in English.
This is a bad decision that must be reversed. It is not clear who decided to cut the pitiable amount of money from Metro’s coffers, approximately $44,000, necessary to keep the program alive. Whoever made this decision failed to recognize the huge returns for our community from such a small investment.
I can tell you this. As the next Metro Councilman from the 18th District, I will lead the effort to restore this contribution to adult literacy in Nashville, and I will fight to restore this program.
Lawyers & Planners Seminar on Signage & Citizen Rights
The Tennessee Municipal Attorneys Association and the Tennessee Chapter of the American Planning Association will present a signage-law seminar on Thursday, February 26, 2009, from 8 a.m. to noon (central time) at the Franklin Marriott at Cool Springs (just off I-65, south of Nashville). See attached files for details about the seminar and related activities. Registration ($75) is through the TMAA website, www.tmaa.us. The primary panelist is Bill Brinton, a nationally known attorney from Jacksonville, Fla., and one of the country's foremost authorities on signage issues, especially with regard to public rights and citizen involvement.Readers of Scenic Tennessee's Viewpointsmay recall hearing about Mr. Brinton's efforts in 2006 to stop a Florida outdoor advertiser from removing dozens of crape myrtles, palm trees and other plantings along Highway 192 in Osceola County. The company charged that the vegetation, much of it planted with taxpayer dollars, violated Florida's 500-foot "viewing zone" around their billboards. The public outcry was deafening, and most of the trees were spared. You can read about it at http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/2436/t/3413/This is a rare opportunity for sign-control advocates to hear stories like this while also gaining solid information on ordinances, trends in the billboard industry, defense of constitutional challenges and so on.If you have questions, please contact Dennis Huffer, TMAA executive director, at HufferD@tennessee.edu.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
That recurring Crafton pattern comes back around again
First Southern Neighborhood to Receive LEED Certification is in Nashville
If a 15-foot sign, then why not a bright, flashing, animated 15-foot sign that stays on all night?
With the current depression, political scientists have their revenge
Republicans Voted against Rebuilding Military Infrastructure, Too
Now the defense cut of the pie is only about 1.5%, but it's all "shovel-ready" projects. It's all well-spent, if it goes to building new facilities or repairing current facilities on military bases. Base operating funds have been raped over the last five years or so in order to push money into Middle East combat operations. Nothing for the major defense acquisition programs, how sad. But why would the Republicans vote against funding these important defense projects? Why? I just don't understand. It's as if the Repubs would rather be blatent obstructionists against rebuilding the crumbling defense infrastructure instead of being bipartisan members of Congress, interested in helping America get back on its feet.Look, if it ain't as sexy as the blood and guts posture that sends our fighting men and women into some Middle East buzzsaw, then the Republicans will not assume it. Renovating a base day care for military families ain't sexy, but it is solid.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Michael Craddock Appears to Be Spot Zoning for an LED Billboard at Goodpasture Christian School
Here is one commenter's dispatch from last Thursday night's Planning Commission Meeting discussion of the religious school's billboard request beginning with the person of Jim Gotto, who is the Council representative on the Planning Commission:
Someone from Hermitage needs to ask their Councilman Jim Gotto what in the world he thinking Thursday night at the Metro Planning Commission meeting.
Goodpasture Christian School came before the MPC asking to rezone a small sliver of their property CS in order to get an electronic LED sign on their property. Councilman Michael Craddock [Goodpasture's council rep.] came and spoke in favor.
Councilman Gotto, who serves on the MPC, made a motion to deny the CS zoning but instead give them SP zoning on this tiny part of their property for an LED sign.
Commissioner Andree LeQuire had strong concerns stating that the MPC needed to let the LED sign task force make their recommendation before ruling on such a sign. Commissioner Stewart Clifton, who also serves on the task force, stated that the task force had one more meeting and a recommendation would be made. He reminded the commissioners that there were signs all over town that were illegal now that no one was policing.
Gotto tried to tell the group that the task force might take a year to 18 months. Gotto's motion was amended by Commissioner Phil Ponder to allow the sign to be 110% of what it is now and be LED. Goodpasture is one step closer to getting an LED sign that is 15 foot tall with no restrictions. Even if there is a change in LED law, will they be grandfathered in?
The vote was 6-2 in favor. I am sorry commissioners, isn't this spot zoning? Where was Mr. Bernhardt? He always speaks up reminding the commissioners that SP is not for spot zoning. Has he been gagged by his budget cuts? Has he chosen to be quiet in order to try and get the council to put more money back in his budget? He did mention that at the end of the meeting.
If the whole LED sign bill was to get the Bellevue Church a sign, why didn't they just use spot zoning? That too was a scam to get Bobby Joslin the law changed to pad his pockets with cash.
The whole thing tonight looked like a setup. Why do citizens waste their time on a task force when people like Gotto, Craddock and their buddy Charlie Tygard do whatever they damn well please?
The good ole boys have worked their magic on this one. Now everybody and their brother will be at the Planning Commission asking for spot zoning to get them an LED sign, even if they are illegal.
The best part, Gotto suggested that Craddock sponsor the SP so that Goodpasture doesn't have to pay the $6000 SP fee. I thought the city was broke? Why are we giving away $6000 that would go to the city while we break the law Mr. Gotto?
It seems ludicrous enough that Craddock was seeking commercial zoning on a 2,000 ft sq. plot just large enough for a billboard. Churches don't have to pay taxes, and Gotto is trying to loophole a charitable, church-based school so they have no financial obligation to the community on whom they are imposing whatsoever. If they're going to get government handouts, then they should have to pay taxes on their assets.
But I digress. As another Enclave commenter pointed out, the Metro Planning Department strongly recommended against any spot zoning change for Goodpasture's billboard in no uncertain terms:
"The applicant has stated that the purpose of of the zoning request is to allow an electronic sign, which is not allowed in the OR20 district. It is inappropriate to rezone property to a zoning district that is not consistent with policy, or the surrounding zoning to allow a use that is prohibited in the existing zoning district. It sets a bad precedent, and is not consistent with the community planning process, which has identified this area as non-commercial. It would be more appropriate to look at the sign ordinance and make any necessary changes."
It is increasingly clear to me that LED proponents are going to use any argument that benefits their business patrons and parochial organizations regardless of the interests of neighborhoods. They'll reject spot zoning when it doesn't serve them. When they want to leverage imbalanced and inconsistent growth, they'll spot zone. And you know what? Charlie Tygard's LED ordinance will not do a thing to stop spot zoning whenever a council member wants to force an LED billboard on a community. The whole argument for a law that creates exceptions for LEDs in certain conditions is a sham. I believe it is a bait and switch designed not to restrict LEDs but to provide one more mechanism in league with spot zoning to erect more LEDs with less resistance in residential areas.
The Texts: the LED Task Force Bill vs. the Original Deferred LED Bill
WHEREAS, Ordinance No. BL2008-152 (as amended), which was deferred indefinitely by the Council in March 2008, would allow LED message boards in residential zoning districts for schools, churches, recreation centers and cultural centers on collector and arterial streets; and
WHEREAS, as a result of the discussion surrounding Ordinance No. BL2008-152, the Council adopted Resolution No. RS2008-319 requesting the Vice Mayor to appoint a task force to study Metro’s existing sign ordinance; and
WHEREAS, in response to the Council’s request, the Vice Mayor appointed the Sign Ordinance Task Force, which has met for several months to discuss revisions to the sign ordinance; and
WHEREAS, the Sign Ordinance Task Force has submitted its recommendations to the Metropolitan Council; and
WHEREAS, the Council now desires to implement certain recommendations of the Sign Ordinance Task Force as it relates to electronic display signs in residential areas.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY:
Section 1. That the codification of Title 17 of the Code of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Zoning Regulations, be and the same is hereby amended by amending Section 17.04.060 by adding the following definition as a subcategory under the definition of “Sign”:
“Electronic display sign” means an on-premises sign, or portion thereof, that displays electronic, static images, static graphics or static pictures, with or without textual information. Such a sign has the capability of being changed or altered by electronic means on a fixed display screen composed of a series of lights including light emitting diodes (LED’s), fiber optics, lights bulbs, or other illumination devices within the display area where the message is displayed. Each message displayed shall remain static for a minimum of eight seconds, and the change sequence shall be accomplished instantaneously. Electronic display signs include computer programmable, microprocessor controlled electronic or digital displays. Electronic display signs shall not include animated images or graphics, audio components, scrolling messages, or video moving images similar to television images, provided that signs with video moving images shall be permitted within the commercial attraction (CA) zoning district.
Section 2. That the codification of Title 17 of the Code of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Zoning Regulations, be and the same is hereby amended by amending Section 17.08.030, District Land Use Tables, by adding the use “electronic display sign” as a special exception (SE) use in the AG, AR2a, R, RS, RM, MUN, MUL, MUG, MUI, ON, OL, OG, ORI, OR20, OR40, CN, CL, SCC and SCN districts, and as a permitted (P) use in the CA, CS, CF, CC, SCR, IWD, IR and IG districts.
Section 3. That the codification of Title 17 of the Code of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Zoning Regulations, be and the same is hereby amended by amending Section 17.16.230 by adding the following as subsection A.:
“A. Electronic display signs.
The board of zoning appeals shall only grant a special exception use permit for an electronic display sign that is either replacing an existing sign on the property or is the first sign to be installed for a newly constructed building. No more than one electronic sign shall be permitted on a given lot for each street frontage.
Eligibility for electronic display sign. For property located within the AG, AR2a, R, RM and RS districts, community education facilities, cultural centers, recreation centers, and religious institutions are eligible to be considered by the board of zoning appeals for the installation of an electronic display sign, provided the following requirements of this subsection are satisfied. For property located within the MUN, MUL, MUG, MUI, ON, OL, OG, ORI, OR20, OR40, CN, CL, SCC and SCN districts, all nonresidential uses permitted in such districts are eligible to be considered by the board of zoning appeals for the installation of an electronic display sign, provided the following requirements of this subsection are satisfied.
Spacing. Electronic display signs shall be spaced a minimum of 500 feet from any other electronic display sign and shall be setback at least 250 feet from an existing residence.
Duration. All portions of the message must have a minimum duration of eight seconds and must be a static display. There shall be no appearance of a visual dissolve or fading, in which any part of one message, image or display appears simultaneously with any part of a second message, image or display. Further, there shall be no appearance of flashing or sudden bursts of light, and no appearance of video motion, animation, movement, or flow of the message, image or display.
Color. All portions of the message must use an amber color.
Intensity and contrast. The intensity and contrast of light levels shall remain constant throughout the sign face. Each electronic display sign shall shut off between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. and shall use automatic day/night dimming software to reduce the illumination intensity of the sign to 500 nits from dusk until 10:00 p.m. The sign shall not exceed 5,000 nits during daytime hours.
Sign size, design and setback.
Electronic display signs shall have a maximum electronic display surface area of thirty-two square feet and shall be integrated into a brick, stone or wood monument-style sign.
The minimum street setback shall be fifteen feet and the electronic display sign shall not encroach upon the required side setbacks of the base zoning district.
The maximum height of the sign shall be eight feet. The overall size of the sign structure in residential districts shall conform to the size limitations applicable to the ON district pursuant to chapter 17.32 of the metropolitan code. The overall sign structure for all other districts shall be based upon the sign standards for the base zoning district as provided in chapter 17.32 of the metropolitan code.”
Section 4. That the codification of Title 17 of the Code of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Zoning Regulations, be and the same is hereby amended by amending Section 17.32.050 by adding the phrase “unless a special exception use permit has been granted by the metropolitan board of zoning appeals for such sign as an electronic display sign” at the end of subsection H.2.
Section 5. That this Ordinance shall take effect five (5) days from and after its passage and such change be published in a newspaper of general circulation, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.
The bill that Charlie Tygard and others submitted a year ago in the face of public outcry as amended last March (with links to commentary on related events):
WHEREAS, the sign provisions of the Zoning Code, Chapter 17.32 of the Metropolitan Code, have remained basically unchanged since adoption in 1992; and
WHEREAS, technology in the sign industry has evolved in the last 15 years as to electronics; and
WHEREAS, the Tennessee General Assembly adopted legislation permitting changeable message signs with digital displays on April 19, 2007; and
WHEREAS, the Tennessee Department of Transportation, with guidance from the Federal Highway Administration, has adopted regulations for the use of digital displays on billboards in Tennessee; and
WHEREAS, businesses in Metro are asking to use LED message boards in certain areas where they are now prohibited; and
WHEREAS, certain community facilities such as schools, churches, YMCA facilities, etc., are also seeking permission for LED message boards; and
WHEREAS, it is appropriate that the Metropolitan Code provision pertaining to digital and LED signs be updated to reflect the technological advancements in the sign industry.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY:
Section 1. That the codification of Title 17 of the Code of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Zoning Regulations, be and the same is hereby amended by amending Section 17.32.050 by deleting subsection G. in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following new subsection G.:
“G. Signs with any copy, graphics, or digital displays that change messages by electronic or mechanical means, where the copy, graphics, or digital display does not remain fixed, static, motionless, and nonflashing for a period of eight (8) seconds with a change time of less than two (2) seconds. Digital display billboards less than two thousand (2,000) feet apart are also prohibited.”
Section 2. That the codification of Title 17 of the Code of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Zoning Regulations, be and the same is hereby amended by amending Section 17.32.050 by deleting subsection H. in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following new subsections H.1. and H.2.:
“H.1. Video, continuous scrolling messages, and animation signs, except in the commercial attraction (CA) district.
2. LED message boards in residential zone districts except on collector or arterial streets.”
Section 3. That this Ordinance shall take effect five (5) days from and after its passage and such change be published in a newspaper of general circulation, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.
Sponsored by: Charlie Tygard, Buddy Baker, Parker Toler, Jim Hodge
Amendment No. 1
Ordinance No. BL2008-152
I move to amend Ordinance No. BL2008-152 as follows:
1. By amending Section 1 by deleting the last sentence of the new subsection G., and substituting in lieu thereof the following:
“Digital display billboards less than two thousand (2,000) feet apart, and digital billboards that are not in compliance with the provisions of section 17.32.150, are also prohibited.”
2. By amending Section 2 by deleting subsection H.2., and substituting in lieu thereof the following new subsection H.2.:
“2. LED message boards in residential zoning districts. Notwithstanding the foregoing, LED message boards shall be allowed for community education facilities, cultural centers, recreation centers, and religious institutions located on collector or arterial streets in residential zoning districts."
Sponsored by: Charlie Tygard
12South Leader Encourages Citizens to Demand Dissolution of the Council's LED Task Force
In response to the Council’s request, the Vice Mayor appointed the Sign Ordinance Task Force, which has met for several months to discuss revisions to the Sign Ordinance.Winter also argues that a new more representative task force should take the place of this one.
The membership of the committee did not reflect a balanced and potentially fruitful collaboration between, on the one hand, legitimate business and public users of signs and, on the other, authentic representatives of beautification and safety interests.
The Vice Mayor’s appointees included instead, as co-chair and members respectively, an attorney in the employ of a national sign purveyor and other known spokespersons of the sign industry.
The sign industries and representatives had a clear and substantial financial interest in the outcome of the committee’s deliberations.
The committee, influenced primarily by sign company representatives, restricted its deliberations to the single issue of static LED signs.
The Committee did not substantively discuss or investigate the successes many communities across the nation have had in controlling obtrusive and other deleterious signage while promoting an innovative, productive and contextual advertising.
The most disappointing aspect of this task force is that no progress past Charlie Tygard's industry-friendly solutions has been made. My own hopes that the presence of progressive Council Member Megan Barry might afford some balance have been dashed, because from what I have seen so far, the formulations have excluded the voices of LED opponents. I agree with Ken that this LED Task Force has too many vested financial interests and it is an abject failure in coming to a broad consensus that reflects the interests of the whole Nashville community. I am not sure that we can afford to wait for help from many council members. If Megan Barry (at-Large) could not make a difference, then what member will?
Are U.S. bankers wusses?
A British politician is now calling for bonuses at bailed-out banks to be limited to £2,000, the amount typically received by low-level bank tellers.It seems like every time someone suggests exacting a fraction of the pain common Americans experience on the bankers who got us into this mess, industry defenders scream foul and attack reformers as left-wing extremists. I'd like to test just how Anglophile some Americans are by taking the same kind of scalpel to our banks that Britain is taking to theirs. Let's see just how tough otherwise protected and pampered bankers can be.
At current exchange rates this is equal to $2,854.30 -- less than 1% of the cap that Claire McCaskill has advocated over here, and for which she's been either praised or reviled as a populist lefty.
Typing can be risky business. Ask Max.
Weaker Prospect of Endowed Watchdog Newspapers Results from a Lack of Will
A local news site can flourish on charitable donations. It helps to have one big benefactor to get things started. It makes more sense to cover a few topics well, rather than a lot poorly.It seems to me that the idea of an endowed, independent media is an underestimated niche, given the growth of possible foundation money that could occur in the future.
Appearances Can Be Deceiving
Bush Broke It, We Just Keep Buying It
Under the new GI Bill, which goes into effect in August, eligible veterans can get their tuition covered up to the cost at the most expensive public college in the state, based on undergraduate resident tuition and fees, in addition to receiving housing and book stipends. The estimated price-tag for the legislation is high: $28.1 billion over the first five years and $78.1 billion through 2018. But some worry whether the cost will rise even higher if the preliminary rates published online by the VA stand ....While the maximum charge per credit hour in Tennessee is no where close to the highest (Texas), Tennessee blows away the rest of the states in maximum total fees per term at a whopping $15,130 (an undergrad flight training program at MTSU is the culprit for that number).
“Essentially, what it looks like they’ve done is they’ve taken the highest charge per credit hour of a particular institution and then they found the highest fee amount at an institution, but they could be two completely different institutions. And then you put those together to come up with the amount that a student would be eligible for under the new GI Bill in that particular state,”
I wonder if the Bushies support our troops strongly enough to demand that the next couple of generations of Americans pay these bills.