Saturday, March 17, 2012

Tn House of Representatives denounces Agenda 21

The state House of Representatives voted 72-23 in favor of House Joint Resolution 587, which denounces the non-binding Agenda 21 plan adopted by a United Nations environmental conference two decades ago. read more

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Update: What to look for on the March 20th Metro Council agenda

You can get your own copy of the Metro council meeting agenda at this link: Agenda. The agenda also links to the analysis. Council meetings can be really, really boring if you don't know what the Council is voting on. With an agenda and analysis, they are just really boring.

These are the bills to watch:

Ordinance No. BL2012-118 on first reading would provide property tax abatement for the Gaylord-Dollywood snow-water park. Usually bills on first reading pass unanimously without debate. This bill however is already proving controversial and I would not be surprised if one or two council members do not wish to be recorded as voting "no."     

ORDINANCE NO. BL2011-83 by Councilman Stanley on second reading allows Metro water services to extend water lines to residential properties currently served by private wells.  This bill was deferred by the council at the Feb. 7th Council meeting from that meeting to this meeting.  The current policy is that expansion of water lines is the responsibility of a developer when developing new properties and that if an individual property owner wishes to access metro water and there is no water line in front of his property, then the property owner must pay the cost of the water line extension.   While I feel sorry for those homeowners living with contaminated wells, I would hope the Council would thoughtfully consider this bill before voting for it. The cost of extending water to all 31 homes in Davidson County that are on private wells would be approximately $2 million. The director of finance has not certified that funds are available to implement this ordinance.  See the analysis for the explanation of the bill.  To see Councilman Stanley explain the bill, follow this link and see the video starting at 25:06. 

ORDINANCE NO. BL2012-110  on second reading would permit the electronic filing of annual disclosure statements and benefits reporting statements. I don't see any argument against it and it is a good bill and should pass.

ORDINANCE NO. BL2012-115 on second reading would prohibit smoking on hospital grounds and within the public right-of-way in the vicinity of hospital entrances.  Hospitals already ban smoking on their grounds and the city can and does ban smoking within 50 feet of the entrance to a hospital. This bill would expand that ban to 200 feet. I know smoking is an unhealthy habit, but simply walking past someone who is 50 feet down the sidewalk from the hospital entrance is not going to hurt anyone. We need to have a little tolerance and compassion for the smokers of society.  I hope this bill does not pass. Surely there are some Council Members who feel this is government overreach. It will be interesting to see if anyone will stand up for smokers.

ORDINANCE NO. BL2012-116 on second reading is another of those bills that would provide property tax relief as a pay off for developing in Nashville.

Ordinance BL2012-88 by Councilman Claiborne on third reading amends the Metropolitan zoning code to add "non-self-imposed hardship" as a factor for the historic zoning commission to consider when determining whether to allow the demolition of a historic building. This will probably pass without dissent, however watch it. There is a new scrutiny of any bills that would expand or curtail private property rights or government planning and zoning authority.

Ordinance BL2012-92 sponsored by Council Members Dominy, Duvall, and others on third reading would expand private property protection for non conforming properties. It brings the code into conformity with state law that allows one to let a property cease operation for up to 30 continuous months before being required to comply with new zoning laws. The other thing this bill would do is to "toll" the 30 month period if the delay is due to litigation or natural disaster such as a flood. "Toll" is a legal term meaning to delay, suspend or hold off the effect of a statute. This is a good bill and needs to pass. Last council meeting this was adopted by a voice vote of the Council so it will probably pass without discussion or opposition. However, like the bill above this is one of those type of bills that is getting new scrutiny.

Ordinance BL2012-103 by Council Member Dominy on third reading  is the controversial bill that would permit an asphalt plant to be built in Antioch but comes with lots of restrictions and protections. There has been considerable opposition to the the bill and an on-line petition drive. To view the public hearing on this bill from the March 6th meeting, follow this link and start viewing the video at 21:24.

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Southeast Davidson County Conservative Breakfast Meeting March 17th

Saturday, March 17th
8:30 am:  breakfast & social time
9:00 am:  Meeting
Bell Road @ Cane Ridge Rd (I-24E)
Breakfast Buffet or order from menu - $5.00 minimum purchase required.
     Guest Speakers:
 Adam Nickas
Executive Director
Tennessee Republican Party
Kathleen Starnes
Davidson County Republican Party
  “Working to ensure 2012 GOP Election Victories”
Please RSVP to , (731-1793), or Councilman Duvall at

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ken Jakes to Metro Council on the 40% tax break to Gaylord-Dollywood

I am taking the liberty of reposting the following letter from Ken Jakes to all members of the Metro Council and I am reposting the emails which were attached to Ken Jakes letter to the Council members. Since Ken Jakes has already widely distributed this information I am not considering it a private communications. I am however deleting the email address and phone numbers of "John and Vicky" since they may not have wanted that information made public.

Ken Jakes is a frequent critic of Metro Government and a citizen activist discovering and exposing government corruption and waste. He is a former and probably future candidate for public office.

Members of our Council,

I was asked to respond to the forwarded email so let me share my thoughts and please consider. To say that the 40% property tax on the Gaylord and Dollywood winter park is more then the vacant land is bringing into Metro at it's present tax rate is the wrong outlook. Any development in Nashville and Davidson County that would take vacant land and build structures, buildings, parking, etc. will bring in more revenue then in it's present state. If this is the approach the Council will take on development, are you going to approve on all development of vacant land to only charge 40% of the established Tax Rate ? I'm sure every hardware store, grocery store, and all other small business owners would love that approach, however I don't see that happening.

It is to the benefit of Gaylord to move this project forward because the land is already zoned for this project and to let the property set vacant is costing Gaylord revenues. When you talk about economic development and sales tax revenues that this project will provide, it is nothing in comparison to all the small business combined collectively together in Nashville and Davidson County who are struggling and paying more taxes. Every dollar of tax break provided to Gaylord and Dollywood has to be picked up by the remaining tax payers.

It is right that we can not predict the future, however I believe if we are going to assume, then we can assume if this practice continues that it will be nobody left but the BIG CORPORATIONS. Small business will fall and deteriorate, by being crushed by picking up the tax burden provided to the LARGE CORPORATIONS, because it was better then what we had.

Just for the record, my property at 2223 Whites Creek Pike, was vacant land that had been sitting for years until it was bought and Jakes Produce was built. The property has gone through the Council's process in Zoning, and I can assure you that the Davidson County Tax Office noticed the improvements and charge according to the established tax rate. Sure would have been nice if our Council had said, what the heck, cut the taxes 60% because it is better then what we had.

In closing let me just state the Administration in my opinion and I believe in your opinion, will be seeking a tax increase from the people. How would you explain to your constituents, Oh yea we need you to pay an increase but Gaylord and Dollywood got a decrease in taxes ? Something tells me that this will not go over very well.

I am just writing my opinion, however I believe it is the overwhelming opinion of the tax payers and constituents across Davidson County.

Members of our council, I hope you consider me to be genuine in my thoughts and at least you can state that Ken Jakes leaves no doubt where he stands. I would not care who would see where I stand on the issue. If you support the tax break for Gaylord and Dollywood can you do the same ?

Ken Jakes.
From: "John Murphy" To: "Ken Jakes" Sent: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 7:54:44 PM
Subject: Fw: No Tax Break for Gaylord and Dollywood.

Ken, Don't have time to respond to this. Your thoughts, maybe you can contact the council and ask them that you plan to expand and would like a tax break for the next 12 years, who knows they may grant it.

John & Vicki Murphy

Original Message ----- From: "McGuire, Sean (Council Member)"
To: "John Murphy" Sent: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 2:04 PM Subject: RE: No Tax Break for Gaylord and Dollywood.

John, Thank you for writing to the Council to let us know your thoughts on this proposal. I really do want to understand your point of view, so please do not misinterpret my questioning it. My main question to you is aren't the property and sales tax revenues from this proposal (although they will be 60% less for 12 years) better than no tax revenues at all? By that I mean, are they not better than the revenue stream currently in place for the property? These property taxes that we are talking about abating would not be there but for this investment/project. I understand your argument that they are profitable companies and would do fine. You may be right. However, would they be able to make such a massive investment if they did not receive the breaks? Could they make it work economically? We of course do not know that answer, but I think it is a safe assumption that the tax breaks truly make the project economically viable. Some may also argue that we shouldn't give these breaks to Gaylord/Dollywood because we may be able to get another project there that would pay all of their taxes as opposed to 40% for 12 years. I would argue that, while that is good in theory, we a.) cannot know if that future project would have more or less economic impact than this project (in terms of overall investment, job creation, tax revenues, etc.), but more importantly b.) we cannot predict the future, and I, for one, am not willing to bet on that happening in the future when we can consider the proposal currently before the Council. We need to weight this project on the merits of what it is, not what could be done in its place. I do look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Best, Sean
From: John Murphy, Sent: Sunday, March 11, 2012 9:08 AM
To: Council Members
Subject: No Tax Break for Gaylord and Dollywood.

Dear Council Member, It seems that every time a large business has a plan to expand in Nashville the first thing that is done is provide huge tax breaks for extended periods of time. Both Gaylord and Dollywood are profitable companies. To provide tax breaks is saying we want to make them more profitable at the expense of every other business and person in Metro Nashville. This is not right! Please do not approve any property tax breaks or personal tax breaks for these companies, they will still be profitable and prosper without any tax breaks. John &Vicki Murphy.

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Tn House to take up resolution branding U.N.'s Agenda 21 as a plot

The Tennessean, Mar. 13, 2012

A resolution branding a United Nations program encouraging sustainable development as a dark scheme to crush people’s property rights through “extreme environmentalism” goes to the Tennessee House for a vote on Thursday.

The legislation, HJR 0587, which refers to “Agenda 21,” is one of several pieces of legislation that has brought support from those who say development is too heavily regulated. Read more

Comment: I am still reading and learning, but not yet convinced that Agenda 21 is a plot for world domination. Everything from traffic roundabouts, to opposition to road expansions, to planning and zoning, to a preference for locally grown food, to conservation easements is being attributed to the influence of Agenda 21. Some of the opposition sounds pretty nutty.

On the other hand, some reasonable people make a compelling argument that Agenda 21 is a blueprint for restricting private property rights and expanding the authority of government and is a plan that will destroy our way of life. I am not ready to take a position but find the debate fascinating.

At the time of this posting, the article generated 41 comments on the Tennessean web page, almost all of them against Agenda 21.  Read the comments to get a flavor for what the opposition is saying.

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Million Dollar lottery winner still on food stamps

Unbelievable! Watch this and be disgusted. No shame. After winning a million dollar she says she still feels entitled to food stamps and is still struggling.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

2-for-1 BEER! - Liberty On The Rocks Social - Nashville

Thursday, March 15, 2012
5:30 PM
2400 12th Ave S Nashville, TN 37204

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Tonya Miller turned in her petition today for State House District 53!

Tonya Miller turned in her petition today for State House District 53! This seat is being vacated by Janis Sontany who chose not to seek reelection. Tonya unsuccessfully ran against Janis in 2010. She has lots of contacts within the immigrant community and is bilingual and should poll well in the Hispanic community. Most of District 53 is in the Woodbine community.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ken Jakes makes freedom of info request re: Gaylord-Dollywood snow-splash park

Ken Jakes, frequent Metro critic and citizen activist knownfor exposing government waste and corruption, has made a freedom of information request of Mayor Karl Dean asking for, "all emails, letters, notes, or any other documents regarding the Winter Park by Gaylord and Dollywood from you, your office, Finance Department, Council Office, or any other department of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County."

Ken has argued against the city's proposed incentive package saying, "our elected officials are set on giving our city away.  If this project is going to produce revenues of 60 million a year as claimed", says Ken, "you can bet they will come anyway. Every dollar our city gives in tax break cuts, you and I the remaining tax payer gets to carry the burden."

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State Senate Candidate Dickerson First to File Petition

First to enter the race, and now first to file

NASHVILLE, TN. - Dr. Steve Dickerson, the Republican candidate for the State Senate in District 20, has been the first to file his petition to appear on the ballot for the Republican Primary to be held on August 2, 2012.

“I am proud to be a conservative candidate for the State Senate. As a physician and small business owner I will bring a commonsense approach that keeps government small and creates jobs,” said Dickerson. “Meeting with citizens across the district I have encountered overwhelming support for my candidacy and my commonsense conservative approach.”

Dr. Dickerson is the first candidate that has filed all the appropriate documents to the Davidson County Election Commission in order to appear on the ballot for the Republican Primary in August. Dickerson was able to collect enough signatures that all sixty-seven spaces of the petition were filled out by constituents of the new 20th State Senate District. State law only requires that twenty-five signatures be received in order to appear on the ballot.

“I believe that this shows great momentum for our campaign, to go above and beyond the required number of signatures in order to appear on the ballot for the Republican Primary.” Dickerson continued, “I am truly humbled by the amount of support that our campaign has already received this early into the election, and believe that it will be the difference that will carry us through August and to victory in November.”

Dr. Dickerson was also the first candidate to announce his intentions to run for the 20th State Senate District in January of this year.

Steve Dickerson is a practicing physician and founding partner of Anesthesia Services Associates. Dickerson attended the University of the South in Sewanee graduating with a B.A. in History. He then received his medical degree at the Bowman Gray School of Medicine of Wake Forest University. Steve Dickerson has been married to his wife Katrina for 19 years and they have three sons, Reid, Evan, and Bennett.

For more information about the Steve Dickerson campaign or to schedule an interview with Dr. Dickerson contact: 615-519-1896 or visit

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Public Event: Threats to Religious Liberty: On Campus and Across the Nation

Threats to Religious Liberty: On Campus and Across the Nation

Thursday, March 15, 2012 
7:00pm until 8:30pm 
Carol Swain

Moderator: Carol Swain is a Professor of Law and Political Science at Vanderbilt.

Michael Paulsen is a professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law and is among the nation’s leading scholars of constitutional interpretation.

Jim Blumstein is a professor at the Vanderbilt Medical School and director of Vanderbilt’s Health Policy Center.

Robert P. George is McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University.
Event is free and open to the public. 

Reserved parking is across the street from the law school.

Sponsors: Vanderbilt Law School, Lee and Kelly Beaman, Campus Republicans, Young Americans for Liberty, Law and Government Program at Vanderbilt Law School, the Christian Legal Society and the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.

131 21st Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37203
View Map · Get Directions

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Gaylord-Dollywood snow-splash park should pay their taxes

by Ken Jakes

Ken Jakes
Legislation heading to the Metro Council this month would let Gaylord Entertainment Co. and Dollywood Co., working together as a company called Park Holdings LLC, pay an amount equaling 40 percent of their real and personal property taxes for up to 12 years, starting no later than Jan. 1, 2014. Mayor Karl Dean's plan would net a saving on property taxes for Gaylord and Dollywood of about 5.4 million dollars.

It seems to me that our elected officials are set on giving our city away. If this project is going to produce revenues of 60 million a year as claimed, you can bet they will come anyway. Nothing in life comes for free. Every dollar our city gives in tax break cuts, you and I the remaining tax payer gets to carry the burden. I ask that you contact members of the Council and express your opinion. You can contact all Council Members at once by using this email, My opinion is that they should pay their taxes as Metro requires all other small business to pay.

When I ran for Council at Large in 2011, the Tennessean News Paper kept referring to me as the Frequent Metro Critic. Well in response to that name they have given me, let me just state as long as what I believe back room deals are being cut and placing a heavier tax burden on the people you can bet I will continue to fight for the people. They are already planning in my opinion a tax increase for the people and a tax decrease for Gaylord and Dollywood. Surely , I am not the only individual who would feel this way. Please let your voice be heard as well.
We all want tax relief, but how are we ever going to get relief when we are constantly picking up an extra load. The pack on my back is full and I do not want another symbolic tax brick piled in for me to carry. Enough is enough.

Ken Jakes is a frequent critic of Metro Government and a citizen activist discovering and exposing government corruption and waste. He is a former and probably future candidate for public office.  

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More news from the Global warming front: Most polar ice ever recorded.

March 11, 2012 by Don Surber, Daily Mail
So much for an ice-free Arctic.  Most polar ice ever recorded

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Pastor Fuzz urges boycott of TSU event at Cornerstone

Pastor Enoch Fuzz of the influential African American church, Corinthian Missionary Baptist, has urged his parishioners to boycott a TSU benefit concert, An Evening with Wintley Phipps. Phipps is a world-renowned gospel artist. Also on the bill with Phipps is Grammy Award winner CeCe Winans, Miss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler and gospel artist John Stoddart. The event will benefit the TSU Centennial Scholarship Fund and the U.S. Dream Academy.

Pastor Fuzz is influential in the Black community and is a local outspoken civil rights leader. On his Facebook page Pastor Fuzz said of the concert, "HAVE Y'ALL LOST YOUR MINDS. I DEFINITELY PRAY THAT MY CHURCH MEMBERS DO NOT SUPPORT THIS EVENT."

Why is Pastor Fuzz in a tizzy? The venue. He does not want Blacks to attend an event at Cornerstone Church. His objection seems to be that he thinks TSU should have selected a venue in the Black community and because Cornerstone's pastor is Rev. Maury Davis who has not hesitated to take a conservative stand on controversial issue. 

I don't know what other venues were available and at what price, but Cornerstone has a large auditorium with good acoustics. TSU does not have a suitable venues and I would just bet that Cornerstone offered the venue on very attractive terms.    

Not everyone is joining in the boycott. Bishop Amos T Griffey, the pastor of another influential Black church, Mount Olive Baptist, responded to Pastor Fuzz on Facebook and said, "Let's support the students! I could care less about the venue! Just come home for a concert."
When several African Americans took issue with Pastor Fuzz's position, Pastor Fuzz gets more irritated and writes, "Blacks in America made to go to back door for 100 years and Southern Baptist Churches like Cornerstone supported this foolishness."  Not that is relevant, but I did not know Cornerstone was a Southern Baptist congregation. It is a mega church and I just assumed it was non-denominational, and perhaps charismatic.  Cornerstone is a racially integrated congregation, reportedly about a third African-American. 
I don't think Pastor Fuzz saw the irony but in the same stream of post where he was urging the boycott of the TSU event because they were having their concert at a White church with a conservative pastor, he announce the following event: "My congregation and the First Unitarian Universalist Church will be at the Legacy Restaurant Wednesday March 7, 6pm till 8pm hosting a Dinner Dialogue Improving Racism."

Below is more information on the concert. 

TSU Presents An Evening with Gospel Artist Wintley Phipps and Guests

Wintley Phipps
 NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University will present An Evening With Wintley Phipps, world-renowned gospel artist, Sunday, March 18 beginning at 5 p.m. at the Cornerstone Church in Madison, Tenn.

Phipps, one of the most watched gospel artist on You Tube, will headline this special concert, and will be joined by Grammy Award wining gospel singer CeCe Winans and the reigning Miss America Laura Kaeppeler,  along with special guests, the Tennessee State University Orchestra and University Choir.

Tickets for this one-night only performance are $50 VIP, $35 General Admission and $10 for students. Tickets can be purchased at the Gentry Center Complex, online at, or by calling the TSU Foundation at 615.963.5481 between 8 a.m. until 4:30 pm. and 615.963.5000 from 4:30 until 8 p.m. (Mon-Fri). Proceeds from the concert will benefit the TSU Centennial Scholarship Fund and the U.S. Dream Academy. read more

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