Friday, April 24, 2015

"Pushing young children to read is not good for them," says School Board Member

April 24, 2015- From TN-Edu Independent - "Pushing young children to read is not good for them." This comment was made recently by a school board member in Nashville. This comment reflects a policy view that would be detrimental to students across the MNPS system.

If anything, we have the exact opposite problem. We don't have the right policies and the appropriate execution of practices that foster the early literacy skills that so many Nashville students need.

Way too many young students in Nashville don't have adequate early literacy skills, and this deficit continues to hurt them in a big way throughout their K-12 learning years (if you can't read, it is hard to learn in other subjects or from other texts).

The American Academy of Pediatrics advocates for reading out loud to children (and is pushing their pediatric members to communicate that to parents).

It's somewhat shocking to me for a school board member to advocate for not pushing young children to read. While advocating for developmentally appropriate policies for children, which has merit and makes sense, this statement is irresponsible. If this was about making a political statement, related to the video below, and tied into the very skewed Diane Ravitch education policies (that is more about test opt-outs, everything should be play for children, etc), it's still irresponsible, and shows how allegiance to adult politics can trump rational and sensible policies for educating children.

A couple of thoughts stand out.

  1. If pushing young children to read is not good for them, then we shouldn't fund the Reading Recovery appropriation in the most recent MNPS budget nor anything else related to early literacy instruction.
  2. I'm basically a terrible parent for reading Dr. Seuss books with my 16 month old.
  3. Dolly (and many others) have gotten it way wrong all these years by sending books to homes through the Imagination Library program.
  4. The early literacy skills gap is a very serious issue that underpins a lot of our issues in K-12 education. This gap is particularly problematic for low-income and minority students. Note the reading gap (diamonds) among different income levels:
  5. The above video showcased Mission Hill school in Boston (along with Matt Damon's mom - Nancy Carlsson-Paige).
The video is more about testing opt out issues, and an advocacy for an approach to education that is all about play based learning. To make the statement that we shouldn't push young children to read and learn early literacy skills is going way too far.

And when it comes to student proficiency levels in reading (English Language Arts), the approach advocated for in the video in the school that is highlighted isn't working very well. Only 1/3 of Mission Hill school students are proficient or advanced in English Language Arts school-wide. For some grades, it's extremely low (4th grade - only 8%), and they have a very high percentage of students in the "warning/failing" classification for English Language Arts.

Yes, Mission Hill is a Title 1 school, but so are many others in Boston that have much higher reading proficiency rates.

Pushing young children to read and develop early literacy skills IS GOOD for them!!
My Comment: If you were wondering which school board member said, "pushing young children to read is not good for them;" it was Amy Frogge. Go to her Facebook page and it is posted on April 19. Rod

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

The planning commission is basing rezoning decisions on NashvilleNext and it is not yet adopted!

I generally favor developments that promote greater density because I believe we must have greater density to curtail urban sprawl, have good mass transit, and to grow the tax base so we can meet the city's unfunded obligations and future needs without massive tax increases. However, specific rezoning must be evaluated on some adopted criteria. The planning commission should not be allowed to base a rezoning decision on a plan that has not yet been adopted, but that appears what is happening. NasvhilleNext has not yet been adopted. It is arrogance, if not illegal to be using an unadopted plan to approve zoning request. 

I don't know Margo Chambers but she is a leader of the Richland Westend community organization and often post thoughtful comments and essays on neighborhood-type websites. The below essay from Ms Chambers is reposted from the Nashville District 17 Google Group.

I realize traffic is a problem on 12th Ave South, but I would not want to stifle the growth occurring along that corridor. My concern is less about the outcome of this specific rezoning request and more about the process. This is in formative:

From: Margo Chambers 

Regarding the two messages for the proposed Bristol 12 South development (Public Hearing today at 4pm – Metro The last sentence in Mr. Hammond’s document (titled “Tabernacle Post.docx”), directs the reader to the March 26, 2015 Metro Planning Staff Report for the Metro Planning Commission.  It states:

“This recommended approval from Planning hopefully speak to the level of impact this project will have on the community and how well it fits into the planned context of 12th South. 
The details of the Planning Staffs comments are provided in the link below.
Page 23 of that link states the Metro Planning Staff recommends approval of the Tabernacle Baptist Church/Bristol Development based upon something other than the current General Plan. 
STAFF RECOMMENDATION Staff recommends approval of the plan amendment, including retaining and amending the special policy, as it reflects the area’s recommended policy change as part of NashvilleNext .”
According to Section 17.040.060.B of the Zoning Code, the General Plan is defined as “…an official public document adopted by the metropolitan planning commission…”.
If the proposed SP is inconsistent with the currently adopted General Plan, it is thus by definition, contrary to the General Plan.
If a zone change is inconsistent with the General Plan, the Zoning Code does not permit the Metro Planning Commission to recommend approval of it.
As the county legislative body who enacts Zoning Code changes, the Metro Council has reserved for itself the right as a body to adopt, and to each of its individual members, the right to recommend approval, of a zone change that conflicts (i.e. is contrary) to the General Plan.
The Metro Council has not delegated that authority to the Planning Commission, or to the planning staff.
The Metro Planning Commission has publicly announced it will not consider any new amendments to the General Plan until after the Nashville Next work effort is completed, anticipated in June 2015.
Therefore, based on these facts, there is only one recommendation the Metro Planning Commission can make to the Metro Council: Recommend Disapproval of the SP zoning as Contrary to the General Plan.
Example 2 of the Metro Staff providing a recommendation to the Metro Planning Commission based on something other than the approved General Plan:
The Saint Thomas Preliminary SP application (found in the same March 26, 2015 Staff Report, pages 32-39 of
This application had a Staff Recommendation of “not consistent” with the Conservation Policy (CO) up until the date this was presented on 3/26/2015.  Here’s what the public was given up until 3/26/2015: 
Consistent with Policy?
The request is not consistent with the existing CO policy; however, it is consistent with the draft preferred future policy. As proposed the SP would permit a variety of residential, office and commercial uses that are urban in form and in keeping with the existing Harding Town Center UDO. Since this site is already developed and already zoned for additional development, including the Harding Town Center UDO, rezoning this site to SP is not inconsistent with what is already planned for this area and provides a balance in terms floodplain/floodway protection and development.
Here is what Metro Planning Staff presented to MPC on 3/26/2015:
Consistent with Policy?
Yes. The request is consistent with the existing (Mixed Use) and draft preferred future policy (Regional Center). As proposed the SP would permit a variety of residential, office and commercial uses that are urban in form and in keeping with the existing Harding Town Center UDO.  While the SP would not necessarily be consistent with the Conservation policy, it does bring the site closer to conformance with the policy as it limits development in areas that could be developed today. Since the site has been previously disturbed then it is exempt from certain stormwater requirements. The proposed SP would provide a better balance in terms floodplain/floodway protection and development.
I’ve attached the public comments I made on 3/26/2015 (see “Letter to MPC March 26 2015 pdf”).  I reminded Metro Planning Commissioners that the Metro Planning Staff does NOT have the authority to recommend approval for anything other than the current adopted General Plan. 
My comments were ignored by the Metro Planning Commission and Metro Planning Department Executive Director.  The only Metro Council person serving on the MPC was late to the meeting (Walter Hunt arrived in the middle of this presentation), and the MPC Chair made a point to instruct the late arriving Commissioner that the MPC rules prevent the Commissioner from discussing or voting on the application because it had already been presented and discussion was underway.
I think the Metro Planning Commission needs to suspend all development approvals made since January 1, 2015 and until the General Plan is adopted. 
Currently, the city does not have a functioning Planning Department.  The Planning Staff is unable to review and advise approval of development applications based upon conformance to the current adopted zoning rules.
If anyone has a list of Mayoral candidate(s ) and/or Metro Council Member candidates who approve this type of unapproved activity by a Metro Commission, I’d appreciate it.  I could use it at the voting booth in a few months.
Bristol developers supplied articles supporting their viewpoint, so I’ve provided a few articles from other developers so that the public can have a more well rounded perspective of Multifamily developments:
1. Real estate trends in Miami track the new demand for larger units able to accommodate several generations of a family/lots of bedrooms (April 17, 2015):
(Hint:  it’s based on future growth projections, not current growth).  Does the developer believe that buyers, sellers, and lenders are all ‘on the same page’?  It’s too soon to tell and he thinks it’s getting harder to make a profit (aggressively seeks out low property acquisitions).  The article ends with “ doesn’t necessarily mean that we are moving in the right direction.”
3. Atlanta Developer says MultiFamily is not where the profit is anymore, but it can be found in their local Office space development.  However, he cautions that Office development is not for the faint of heart due to high rents required plus the necessity of a very robust job market (to support the high rent rates). April 23, 2015: 
All of these recent comments are from outside Nashville and from large developers.  Housing bubbles are inevitable and occur in cycles.  How is Nashville bracing for the next down cycle in the housing market?
Note: whenever a Planning Department breaks their own zoning rules in order to encourage development, this creates an artificial housing ‘demand’.  When somebody artificially creates any market commodity, this makes recovery from the inevitable down cycle worse than necessary.
Primer: a short video from Khan Academy that nicely explains housing Supply and Demand: 
“Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong – these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history.” – Churchill 1935

Margo Chambers
Richland West End

NashvilleNext is going to be a done-deal before we know it. We need to put on the brakes and give people time to read and study the 1700 pages. We are being sold this plan without knowing what is in it and we will be told we had plenty of opportunity to know what was in it and that 17,000 Nashvillians "participated" in creating it. Just like no one knew what was in Obamacare until after it was passed, we are not going to know what is in NashvilleNext until development starts occurring that we do not like and then we we will be told, "but it is consistent with the general plan." NashvilleNext is a pig in a poke and will soon be the guide for future growth of the city. 

What is outrageous is that it is not even adopted yet and is being used to approve plans. It is difficult for the Council to stop a rezoning that is approved by the Planning Commission. The Council needs to ignore the recommendations of the Planning Commission if the Planning Commission is making recommendations based on something they assume is going to be adopted and the Council needs to slow down the process of the PC approving NashvilleNext until it is genuinely studied. 

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

Senator Lamar Alexander targets effort to force nonunion workers to pay dues

Lamar AlexanderLamar Alexander
After a Monday report indicating that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has requested legal briefs to consider creating regulations that could force employees in right-to-work states to pay union dues, irrespective of their union status, U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) spoke out harshly on Tuesday against the concept and the NLRB.
“I will fight any effort by the NLRB to force workers to support a union and undermine state right-to-work laws,” Alexander, chairman of the Senate Labor Committee, said. “This latest action is an outrageous move that threatens to...

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

109th General Assembly’s First Half Concludes with Major Conservative Accomplishments

TN GOP Press Release, NASHVILLE, Tenn.—With the final debate over, the 109th General Assembly has concluded its work for the first regular session. The closing comes with a number of legislative victories Republicans can be proud of. “We’ve just witnessed a session of success,” stated Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Ryan Haynes. “Whether it is the conservative fiscal stewardship of our state, educational reforms that keep us on the path of achievement, or a number of bills to enhance the freedom Tennesseans expect—our state is moving ahead. Governor Haslam continues to show why he’s garnered the reputation of a dynamic reformer-in-chief and together, with Lieutenant Governor Ramsey and Speaker Harwell, the leadership of our state has never been stronger.”

  • The Republican-led General Assembly passed a fiscally responsible balanced budget that cut taxes, placed over $70 million into the Rainy Day fund, all while funding continued improvements for education and Tennessee’s business-friendly environment. 
  • Working with parents, teachers, and administrators, the GOP started the effort to put in place Tennessee-specific education standards. Tennessee Reconnect was created, a visionary program set forth by Gov. Haslam, to help adults enter higher education so they may gain new skills, advance in their careers, and complete a degree or credential. 
  • Additionally, while making targeted investments, Republican leaders were able to cut the Hall Income Tax for seniors 65 and older. 
Haynes concluded, “I am proud of the work our leaders and my colleagues put in on behalf of all Tennesseans. We’ve proven, once again, our state is a model for how to govern in a responsible, conservative fashion while answering the needs of our citizens.”

Senator Jack Johnson's Session Summary
From Senator Jack Johnson's Newsletter -The 2015 session of the 109th General Assembly has adjourned to become a part of Tennessee history with some of the most important bills of the year being approved during the final week of legislative action. This includes legislation repealing Common Core, a bill to implement an online verification program for uninsured motorists, a measure to give more senior citizens Hall Income Tax relief and an act dealing with Transportation Network Company (TNC) services.

Lawmakers Approve Transportation Network Company Services Act
Legislation which establishes requirements governing application-based Transportation Network Companies (TNC) was approved by the General Assembly on the closing day of the 2015 legislative session. Senate Bill 907 provides statewide rules for TNC ride-hauling services, like those offered by Uber and Lyft. The legislation establishes end-to-end insurance coverage for the transportation networks and their drivers with $1 million liability coverage while a pre-arranged ride is occurring. This is ten times what is required under the current taxi system. It also requires a zero tolerance policy for the use of drugs and alcohol and mandates comprehensive background checks on all drivers. The bill now goes to Governor Bill Haslam for his signature.

Senate Approves Legislation Implementing an Online Verification Program for Uninsured Motorists
A major bill establishing an online verification program to help ensure compliance with Tennessee’s Financial Responsibility Law was approved by the Senate on Tuesday. Senate Bill 648 aims to reduce the state’s uninsured motorist rate, which is currently at 23-24 percent. There are approximately 40,000 crashes a year that involve uninsured motorists. Tennessee law requires drivers to have a driver’s license, vehicle registration and insurance; however, there is no verification system to track the insurance requirement. The bill requires that a notice procedure be provided to any driver found to be uninsured, allowing them 15 days to provide proof of insurance or exemption. If there is no response, the owner will be sent a second notice stating that they have 30 days to provide proof of insurance. Failure to comply will result in a $25 coverage failure fee on the first notification and a $100 fee on the second. The bill also increases the fine for failure to provide proof of insurance from $100 to $300, and if a driver fails to provide proof of insurance to an officer, the officer may tow the vehicle as long as the officer’s agency has adopted a policy for such procedure. Forty-six other states have similar auto liability verification systems.

More Senior Citizens Can Qualify for Hall Income Tax Relief
The Senate has approved legislation which raises the Hall Income Tax exemption level for citizens over the age of 55 to allow more senior citizens to qualify tax relief. The Hall Income Tax levies six percent on earnings from stocks and bonds, with 3/8 of the revenue going to cities and counties. The use of investment savings has grown tremendously as a primary source of retirement income since the Hall Tax was enacted in 1929. This bill raises the exemption level so more seniors can qualify for tax relief as the General Assembly continues to make progress in providing Hall Tax relief to Tennessee citizens. The legislature voted to raise the level which allows more senior citizens to be exempt in 2011 and 2013, with current income exemption levels at $33,000 per individual and $59,000 per couple. Under Senate Bill 32, the annual Hall Income Tax standard income exemption for taxpayers 65 years of age or older would be $37,000 for single filers and $68,000 for joint filer taxpayers beginning in January 2016. Of the individuals who pay the tax, almost half are age 65 and older. The increase in the income exemption will make the state more competitive in attracting retirees. The bill now goes to Governor Bill Haslam for his signature.

Senate Approves and Sends to Governor Bill Haslam Legislation Repealing Common Core
The State Senate has passed legislation which sets up a process to replace the controversial Common Core education standards with a new set of standards crafted solely by Tennesseans. The bill embraces the work and the effort of Governor Bill Haslam’s review process, adding a new Recommendation Committee to provide another opportunity for stakeholders, educators and the general public to weigh in on the new Tennessee-specific standards. Under Senate Bill 1163, the Recommendation Committee would be comprised of ten members, with four appointed by the Governor, three appointed by the Speaker of the Senate, and three appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The Standards Recommendation Committee would take the best practices obtained through a panel which has already been set up by Governor Haslam and pass it through a filter that is more representative of the people of the state. The Governor set up a process in October for education professionals to vet the standards and allow for public comments. The legislation calls for the final draft of the Standards Review and Standards Recommendation panels to be placed back on the internet for 60 days so stakeholders, parents, teachers, and administrators will have another opportunity to view and address the body of work being produced before it is set up for adoption. The legislation requires the State Board of Education to cancel the “Memorandum of Understanding” that had previously been agreed upon concerning Common Core State Standards.

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Southeast Nashville Mayoral Candidates Forum

Lakeshore Christian Church, 5434 Bell Forge Lane, East Antioch, TN 37013.

Focusing on issues related to the re-growth of the Southeast Nashville community and the city of Nashville in education, housing, transportation and business.
This event is organized and sponsored by citizens living, working and voting in Southeast Davidson County, in Nashville, TN who seek to familiarize themselves with the candidates running for Mayor in order to make a more informed voting decision.
For more information follow this link

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

Mayoral Forum on issues facing women, April 28th 6:30PM

YWCA of Nashville & Middle Tennessee and Lipscomb University
Tuesday, April 28, 2015 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM (CDT)

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

Alexander and Corker vote against confirming Lorretta Lynch. She is confirmed by a vote of 56-43

Yesterday the Senate confirmed Loretta Lynch for attorney general. Opposition to her appointment came from conservatives because she supported President Obama's executive action granting amnesty to illegal immigrants.

Ten Republican senators sided with Democrats to confirm Lynch's nomination.  Neither of Tennessee's senators were among the ten.  Those Republicans voting for her confirmation were: Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Orrin Hatch (Utah), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Susan Collins (Maine), Jeff Flake (Ariz.), Mark Kirk (Ill.), Rob Portman (Ohio), Thad Cochran (Miss.), Ron Johnson (Wis.) and Mitch McConnell (Ky.).

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Jeremy Kane "extreamly disappointed" State Failed to Grant In-State Tuition to "Dreamers"

Jeremy Kane
Kane Press Release - Nashville is responsible for educating one of the largest populations of undocumented children in the State of Tennessee. We undertake this responsibility because it is first and foremost the right thing to do, but we also know that our new immigrant neighbors are part of the reason Nashville is thriving today. We dedicate millions of dollars in resources making sure all of Nashville's children are college and career ready. I have seen first-hand the progress and success of these students and their families. I have sat in their living rooms, worked with them in the classroom, and graduated 100% of seniors at LEAD Academy. Many seniors hope to attend one of Tennessee’s great colleges or universities. Today, the Tennessee House of Representatives put another hurdle in their way.
I am extremely disappointed that the Tennessee House of Representatives failed to pass legislation that would make undocumented children eligible for in-state tuition and thus rendering null and void much of our daily education efforts. What is more painful is that this extraordinary legislative loss was delivered at the hands of several Davidson County representatives who know, or should know, the daily struggle of these kids and their hope to contribute to our community. I want to thank Rep. Harold Love, Rep. John Ray Clemmons, Rep. Jason Powell, Rep. Sherry Jones, Rep. Brenda Gilmore, Rep. Bill Beck, and Rep. Mike Stewart for their presence and courageous vote this afternoon.
As Mayor I will ask for this legislation to be taken up again. At the time of the vote, I will do whatever I can to make sure our entire delegation is present. Our kids and our community deserve nothing less.

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

Tennessee General Assembly passes legislation that legalizes Uber across the State

I just got this communications from Uber:

Thanks to your support, uberX is now a permanent option for riders and drivers across Tennessee.
This week, the Tennessee General Assembly passed smart legislation that truly embraces innovation, clearly signaling that The Volunteer State stands for added choice and greater opportunity for its residents and visitors. It affirms Uber’s commitment to safety, and ensures we can continue to provide safe, reliable rides at the touch of a button, and extend economic opportunity to thousands of local drivers.
What’s In The Bill:
  • Mandatory federal, state and local background checks and a zero tolerance policy for drugs and alcohol for all drivers
  • $1 million primary insurance coverage for all rides
  • Reinforces consumer protection and safety features within ridesharing applications
Special thanks to our bill sponsors Senator Bo Watson and Representative Cameron Sexton, along with key supporters Senator Jack Johnson and Representative Kevin Brooks, who displayed tremendous leadership in pushing forward this bill.
We are proud that Uber’s safety standards have set the bar for ridesharing in Tennessee.
I am pleased to see this happen! Next session, I hope the Legislature  takes more action like this, ending unnecessary regulations, price-fixing and the ability of local governments to fix prices and protect their friends from competition. Congratulations to the State Legislature for passing a good piece of pro-market legislation.

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

School Choice Bill That Benefits Special Needs Children Passes Senate and Key House Committees

Beacon Center Press Release - In an exciting development, the Education Savings Account bill that would benefit thousands of children with special needs passed both the House Finance Committee and the full Senate today. 

"This is a great development for all Tennesseans. It gives children with special needs across the state the tailored academic experience they deserve; one that meets their unique needs," said Beacon CEO Justin Owen. "Every child deserves a quality education, and today's votes in favor of Education Savings Accounts for children shows that our legislature realizes that."

The bill will be voted on by the full House on Thursday.

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

Voucher bill dies in House sub (again)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A proposal that would let parents move a child from a failing public school in Tennessee to a private school with funding from the state has failed this year — for the third consecutive Tennessee General Assembly session.

House sponsor Bill Dunn withdrew the school voucher proposal, or “opportunity scholarship,” from the House Finance subcommittee on Tuesday and said he will likely try again next year.

“The votes just aren’t there,” said Dunn, R-Knoxville. (link)

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

What happened at the April 21st Council meeting; redevelopment of old convenstion center advances, Barnes funded with diverted Hotel-Motel tax

Here is the Tennessean's report of the April 21st Council meeting: Old Nashville Convention Center sale advances.

As soon as I watch it, I will tell you if there is anything worth watching in the video and if anything else important happened. Look for an update.

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

John Cooper, brother of Representative Jim Cooper, is runnig for Councl at-large

John Cooper, brother of Representative Jim Cooper is joining the long list of people running for an at-large seat on the Metro Council. Here is a link to the Tennessean's report on the story.

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Forty Years Ago: The Left Partied While Saigon Fell

Forty Years Ago: The Left Partied While Saigon Fell
Just two years prior, Henry Kissinger had negotiated the Paris Peace Accords which essentially solidified everything that the United States had been fighting for. North Vietnam agreed to accept South Vietnam’s existence while the United States promised to return if Hanoi did not honor the deal. It was an agreement both sides were destined to break.

While brave military men cried and those loyal to the Republic of Vietnam were killed or deported to “reeducation camps,” the mood here at home was starkly different. Among certain segments of the population it could only be described as elation.
On May 11th fifty thousand jubilant revelers staged a celebration in New York’s Central Park. One reporter described it as a “joyous all-day carnival of songs and speeches in the perfect sunshine.” One person in attendance told a reporter: “There’s a lot of lumps in a lot of throats. It’s unbelievable. Today is the first day I finally realize the war is over.”

“Over” was such a strange word. For Americans, the war had already been over for two years, when the last combat troops left Vietnam. But that was not enough for the most strident activists who would not rest until the country we had bled so much to protect was washed away like a sand castle on the beach. ....

But for the South Vietnamese the war wasn’t really over even on April 30th. Their war had just begun, as they were murdered, tortured, and sent to the regime’s 150 “reeducation camps” to be indoctrinated in the virtues of Marxism-Leninism. Some people didn’t emerge from those camps for seventeen years, and 165,000 never left at all. (link)

My comment: I served in Vietnam in 1968-1969 and still think the Vietnam war was a noble and just cause. I remember watching on TV while Saigon fell in 1975 and I cried. I still feel like America and the ally we were protecting were stabbed in the back by "peace" activist at home. The war was winnable and our betrayal of South Vietnam was shameful. Unfortunately, our leaders were never committed to winning the war. Every time we were gaining an advantage, we would stop and pursue a negotiated settlement and let the enemy recover.
While I have, for the most part, gotten over that phase of history and put that phase of my life as a young man behind me, I still feel anger at those who betrayed us. I still do not think those who fled to Canada should have ever been allowed to return home without paying a severe penalty. I would still have a good day if a deranged Vietnam vet assassinated Jane Fonda. I still do not think the peace sign is just a hip symbol of the cool 60's or a fashion accessory; it is the banner under which those who wanted a Communist victory marched. I still resent portrayals of that period which assume everyone was getting high and it was a fun time to engage in a little harmless revolution at home.
The war was not lost in the delta and jungle of Vietnam but was lost on college campuses and the streets of America. The betrayal of South Vietnam and the betrayal of those who served in Vietnam is a still a disgrace and a blot on our nation's honor.

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

Is lower Broadway the right location for the National Museam of African American Music and More on the Redevelopment of the former Nashville Convention Center.

This is a Special joint meeting of the Metro Council Budget &Finance, Convention, Tourism & Public Entertainment Facilities and Planning, Zoning & Historical Committees regarding redevelopment of the former Nashville Convention Center on April 20, 2016. I have only watched part of it and may not get around to watching it all. I hope those in decision making position and those seeking public office are watching this and paying attention.

Near the start of the meeting, there is a presentation about the National Museum of African-American Music. A long time ago, I stopped believing in projections about how much any project, public or private would contribute to the local economy, so I am taking their claim with a grain of salt.

It appears we are giving space valued at $10 million to the museum.  This would need to be confirmed.

Initially, the project had a fundraising goal of more than $43 million, but that was reduced after the city offered up the convention center. In 2006, the city committed $10 million toward the project, and Dean says the city's commitment still stands.(link)

If someone can enlighten me, I would still like to know: Is the museum being given space or leasing space in the redeveloped site? What is the value of that space? Other than the loss of income we could have gotten for the space, (if we are giving the space or discounting the space) is there any other Metro contribution? Did we give money to the Country Music Hall of Fame or the Song Writers Hall of Fame, or any other museums in Nashville? How did Nashville end up with this museum?

While I wish we would have gotten the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and am pleased we are getting this music museum, it does seem like Nashville would not be the first choice. I know we have the history of a the Fisk Jubilee Singers and that Nashville was a center of Black rock music in the 50's and 60's but compared to Detroit or Memphis or New Orleans, Nashville ties to Black music do not seem as strong. Did we out bid other cities? Are we giving away the store to get this?

Below is a statement from the NMAAM website.
As the only museum dedicated to all dimensions of African American music, The National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) will showcase over 50 music genres created or impacted by African Americans, honor the legacy and legends of this diverse music and detail the impact this music has on musicians and consumers around the world.
From the time the United States was a colony, African Americans have created, innovated, performed and otherwise participated in the process of music making. In fact, without argument, it can be stated, that African Americans have provided the most significant cultural inputs in the development of American music. The National Museum of African American Music celebrates their tireless efforts and triumphantly boasts of the historical impact made around the world.
As a pilgrimage museum, NMAAM will draw upon a range of music and history enthusiasts to explore and celebrate African American music. The museum will tell the story of genres, instruments and vocalists that have shaped and influenced music around the world providing a platform for a national and global landscape to celebrate and honor the legacy and legends.
For more on the NMAAM, see this link, and this link.

Frankly, I do not think Broadway is a good location for this museum.  For one thing, there has been a long history of Black music on Jefferson street and that part of town could use the redevelopment. Also, I don't think a lot of African-Americans are going to be spending a lot of time or money in the Country Music honkytonks of lower Broadway.  And another concern I have is that I do not want the famous honky tonk strip of lower Broadway to lose its identity as a county music honkytonk strip. Also, Lower Broadway is very expensive for a new venue to open their doors.  If this museum was located on Jefferson Street where rent is much cheaper, it could lead to new music venues featuring Black music.There would be room to grow on Jefferson.  I hope this is not a done deal and too late to reconsider.

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

McCormick mandatory citizenship bill exam passes House

McCormick mandatory citizenship bill exam passes House

Passing is only a score of 60 and students can take it again and again until they get that score. Immigrants have to score a 92 to get citizenship. It is simple stuff anyone ought to know, like a multiple choice to name the three branches of government and why the flag has 13 strips and who is the president. To read the bill, follow this link. The vote was Ayes 85, Nays 8, and present not voting 1. The record does not yet reflect who the 8 "nays" were.

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

Monday, April 20, 2015

What is on the Council Agenda for April 21st? The Human Relations Commission, more $ to Farmers Market, redevelopment of old convention center site and funding Barnes.

Like I have said before, if you don't know what the council is voting on, council meetings can be really, really boring.  If you do, they are just boring. The Metro Council agenda and staff analysis for the April 21st meeting is now available at the highlighted links. Follow the links to get your own copy.

 There are seven appointments or reappointments to boards and commissions on the agenda for Council confirmation. The council does not take this responsibility seriously and usually just rubber stamps whomever the mayor appoints without serious deliberation or asking serious questions of the candidates. The council actually does not have much opportunity to influence public policy and one of the tools they could use to do so, is the power to affirm mayor's appointees.  These people are serving their community without pay and their service should be appreciated and valued, but the council should ensure that the people appointed to these commissions and boards are capable and that the people on these boards and commission are doing a good job.

Three of the appointees are to the Human Relations Commission which should better be named The Enforcement and Promotion of Political Correctness agency.  This agency has no real function, is a waste of money and should be abolished.  One of the things they do is sponsor the twink booth at the gay pride festival. Actually it is called the Youth Pavilion and it serves the purpose of normalizing deviant behavior among young people and letting them know that it is OK to be gay.  If I were on the Council and on the committee that  makes recommendations on appointees to this commission, I would ask them, "Do you support the Human Relations Commission sponsoring the Youth Pavilion at the Gay Pride Festival?"  If they said they did I would vote against them.  On the Council floor, I would vote against them, and I would not care if I was the only one to do so.

Resolutions: There are 18 resolutions on the agenda. Most of them are just accepting money from some federal grant or some such non controversial thing. This is the only one that appears important.

RESOLUTION NO. RS2015-1420 appropriates $1.85 million to entities that operate as enterprise funds, that is they are supposed to operate off of their own revenue. The Fair Ground request is for $700K, however the funds will come from funds that have been generated by the Fair Grounds.  The municipal auditorium request of $550K and the Farmers Market request of $600K is money out of the undesignated fund balance.

My view is that perhaps the city should sell the municipal auditorium if it cannot break even.  We have the Bridestone arena and there are numerous other music venues and exhibition spaces in town.  The auditorium does fill a niche in a space of that size and that price point, however the property is extremely valuable and if the facility cannot figure out how to cover their operating cost, maybe it is time to sell and redevelop the property.

I don't know what to say about the farmers market. It is really not a farmers market where farmers can sell to retailers such as grocery stores and restaurants. It is a boutique farm-to-table farmers market. Real farmers cannot make a living selling one little bag of tomatoes at a time when they need to be on the farm working; some can, but this is a niche market and does not really promote agriculture.  I enjoy going to the farmers market but we should be able to operate a facility like that and make it covers it's operating cost.

I know the stuff sold in the North shed was tacky junk.  I was never in the market for a velvet African princess piece of art or twelve pair of socks for six dollars, but those vendors were providing income to the market as well as making a living for themsleves. I doubt there is enough demand for soy candles and homemade soap and such to fill that shed. Unless it would mean closing the market, I think this appropriation should be deferred and let the next mayor and council decide what to do with farmers market. 

At the last council meeting, this resolution was deferred one meeting at the recommendation of the Budget and Finance Committee. At that committee meeting there were a lot of questions about Farmer's Market.  In the discussion it is revealed that the Farmers Market has actually been spending money it does not have and the request from the 4% fund would cover that overspending. If the council does not approve it, then at the end of the year, the Farmers Market audit would show a deficit. It the Council does not cover this deficit out of 4% money then it would have to be covered out of the cities reserve but one way or the other it would have to be paid. That is not however the way things are supposed to work. No department should be permitted to spend money they do not have and then tell the Council you must fund our overspending because we will get it anyway. 

In addition to pushing the flea market vendors out of the farmers market, it appears the city has forced a lot of farmers out.  I assume this is a result of the policy that prohibits vendors  from being retailers of produce they did not grow themselves. The pushing out of some farmers and the pushing out of the flea market vendors has resulted in a lot of angry people calling councilmen, and it is obvious some of the council members are mad at Farmers Market management.  Also, apparently the Farmers Market did not handle this change in policy with the best diplomacy.

I hope the council rejects giving the Farmers Market any money and closely scrutinizes the other request.

There are 12 bills on First reading, but I have not read them. First reading is a formality that allows a bill to be on the agenda and all bills on first reading are considered as a group and are not discussed until second reading except in very unusual circumstances.

There are 11 bills on second reading. None of them are of much interest except this one:

BILL NO. BL2015-1067 which concerns the sale and the redevelopment of the old convention center property. One of the things I would like to know more about is why are we requiring that a portion of the property be set aside for the National Museum of African American Music. How did Nashville get this museum? Was it a competition and we beat out cities like Detroit, Memphis and New Orleans or did Nashville just decide to build such a museum. I don't know. Will this be a significant generator of tourist dollars? If we have resources to give space to a museum, it seems like the Songwriters Hall of Fame or Musicians Hall of Fame would be a better fit for lower Broadway. How did this come about? The whole redevelopment of this property is a complex deal and if one wants to know more about it, please see the council staff analysis. I hope this is not being rushed and the Council carefully studies this deal.

There are 22 bills on Third Reading and most of them are rezoning bills and I don't even try to keep up with rezoning bills. Here are two of interest:
  • BILL NO. BL2015-1055 is a bill disapproved by the planning commission. The bill is tailored to allow an outdoor amusement called Topgolf to operate in an area now zoned industrial. Rather than changing the zoning, the bill attempts to change the text of the zoning ordinance to permit what is not now permitted.
  • BILL NO. BL2015-1056 would designate that revenue received from the hotel-motel tax from short-term vacation rental (such as Airbnb) go to the Barnes fund for Affordable Housing.  The State law that created the  hotel-motel tax says where the money must go and only one 1% of the 6% tax on rooms goes to the general fund.  The other 5% go to debt service on the convention center, tourism promotion and tourism related activity.  This bill would divert that 1% from the general fund to the Barnes Fund. but only the portion of that 1% of the tax collected from short-term vacation rentals. I see no logic in why that portion of the hotel-motel tax should fund the Barnes Fund.  I also think this is unwise.  My view is that money designated, is an appropriations decision the council cannot make. The Barnes Fund should compete with General Hospital, Farmers Market, Schools, police and everything else the city does for an annual appropriations. There are many unmet needs in the city including an ageing infrastructure  and a desire for sidewalk and drainage projects.  I am concerned about Metro's unfunded and growing pension liability and retiree health care obligations and general debt obligations and do  not think any money should be taken off the table.  If I were in the Council, I would vote against this bill.   

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

April 10th campaign financial disclosure reports for candidates for Mayor, Vice Mayor and the Metro Council are now available

The first quarter campaign financial disclosure reports for candidates for Mayor, Vice Mayor and  the Metro Council are now available. This is the report that was due April 10th and covers the period of January 1st though March 31st.

I will be examining and summarizing all of these reports but it may take me some time.  I encourage you to look at the full reports yourself if you have an interest in who is being supported by whom. While I am fairly informed about local politics, I don't, by any means, know who all of the political players are so you might recognized an important connection that I do not.  If anyone finds any thing of relevance in your own examination of the financial disclosure reports, please share it.

Here is the link to the reports.

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

The Metro Council agenda and staff analysis for the April 21st meeting is now available

The Metro Council agenda and staff analysis for the April 21st meeting is now available at the highlighted links. I will try to do my own analysis and commentary on the upcoming meeting soon. Check back.

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

Bill Beck arrested for Drunk Driving. As a public service I am reposting the Rod Williams School of Drunk Driving Guide

Bill Beck
In case you missed it, State Rep. Bill Beck was arrested for drunk driving Friday morning. Beck was elected last November to represent District 51 the district formerly represented by Mike Turner. Beck won the heavily Democratic district beating Republican Brain L. Mason by a vote of 9,033 to 3,555. District 51 is Old Hickory, East Nashville, and part of downtown. 

Why do these politicians keep getting arrested for drunk driving? Weekend before that it was Vic Lineweaver who is running for Metro Council trying to regain a council seat her held in the 90's. 

In light of all of these prominent people getting arrested for drunk driving, as a public service I am reposting the Rod Williams School of Drunk Driving Guide:

(1) Don't Drive drunk. Getting arrested for drunk driving is only one reason not to drive drunk.  The most important reason is you could kill yourself or someone else. Don’t do it. If you are lucky and don't kill someone or yourself, getting arrested for drunk driving could cost you your job, your election, your social standing, custody of your children, or maybe your marriage.

If you overindulge, there are alternatives to driving drunk. Take a taxi, get a hotel room, call a friend or family member and ask them to come get you, if at a friends house and you have had too much to drink, stay the night. 

Use the peer-to-peer livery services like Lyft and Uber. These services are cheep, fast, and convenient. You page a ride using your phone. To do that you must first download an app. Don't wait until your drunk to try to download the app.

If you are not going to rely on a commercial service such as a cab or Uber, and you know you are going to be drinking and you are going with other people then have a designated driver. Pick the designated driver before you start drinking. I prefer being the designated drinker, but someone needs to be the designated driver.

Having said all of the above however, I know there will be times when a person will have had too much to drink and not think they are too drunk to drive but will have had a sufficient amount of adult beverage that they could register drunk even though they don’t think they are drunk.

I myself have probably driven many times when I would have registered drunk had I been stopped. I am not by any means advocating driving drunk, but if you are driving impaired I am providing these tips to help you increase your chances of getting home safely without getting arrested.

(2) Know that you don’t have to be “drunk” to register DUI. You do not have to be sloppy, falling down drunk to register as DUI. If you think you should not drive then by all means don’t. Often you will not know if you are drunk or not, so unless you know exactly how much you have had to drink and whether or not that would constitute drunk driving, then assume you are technically drunk. You do not have to appear intoxicated or have any of the symptoms that we think of as “drunk” to have a Blood Alcohol Content that legally makes you guilty of Driving Under the Influence. If you drink and you drive you have probably driven “drunk.”

(3) Track your consumption and don’t have “one for the road.” Some people will go out with the intention of getting drunk; others will accidentally get drunk.  If  you are having dinner with friends and you have a pre-dinner cocktail and wine with dinner and an after dinner drink, you might register drunk. Try to keep your alcohol consumption to a level that falls below the BAC limit.
On occasion I like to go to Lower Broadway to listen to live music and party. If I have 8, 12-ounce beers in a four-hour period I should have a BAC of about .068, however if I have 9 beers in four hours that means I have a BAC of .085 and am legally drunk. “One for the road” could put me over the limit. Actually, I seldom have eight beers in a four hour period, but it has happened.

A female can drink less than a male and a slender person can drink less than a heavy person. For a 115 pound female, three glasses of wine in two hours is drunk. Don’t try to keep up with the other people in your party. Know your limit. Skip a round. Drink slower. Some people assume that wine is less inebriating than tequila shots. That is not so. A 12-ounce beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1 ounces of 100 proof distilled spirits have the same impact on an individual's BAC level.

Here is a calculator that will give you guidance on how much alcohol you can consume and an estimate of BAC. Please be aware that this is only a guide. If you are drinking on an empty stomach, your BAC may be higher than indicated in the calculator.

(4)  Point your car in the direction of home.  Plan your trip. A good car should be able to find its way home, with a little help.  Avoid places where the police might see you. When I go to the honkytonk strip on lower Broadway to party, I never park on Broadway. I live on the south side of town, so I park a block or two south of Broadway on one of the one-way streets heading south. This means I do not have to circle a block and be concerned about traffic lights and stop signs. The less exposed one is to the police the less chance one has of getting caught. It is worth parking four or five blocks away to reduce your exposure.

(5) Be aware that you are impaired. If you didn’t keep track of how much you drank then assume you are "drunk." You may have had enough to register drunk, so use your best drunk-driving skills. "Thinking" skills, like perceiving and evaluating risks, or processing information are not easily visible to outside observers, but they are the first skills to be adversely affected by alcohol. Being aware will cause you to compensate.
(6) Stop the Party. You are having a good time. You are joking and singing and laughing. You hate

to end the party, but if there is any chance that you are driving with an elevated BAC, then stop the party. Say, “OK folks, we need to straighten up. I need your help in getting us home.” Don’t sing or engage in distracting conversation. Turn off the radio. Don’t talk on the cell phone. Give driving your undivided attention. Don’t let anyone in the car have an open container. You may be perfectly capable of driving, but if a drunk passenger is yelling out the window, the police may stop the car and give you a drunk driving test. The moment you get in the car the party is over.

(7) Check the checklist. Have a mental checklist. You don’t want to get stopped because you failed to use your turn signal. I was once stopped by the police on lower Broadway and forced to take a Breathalyzer. I knew I had only had two beers in a two-hour period so I was not concerned. The reason they stopped me is that I had not tuned on my headlights as I pulled out into the street. The downtown area is well lit and this was just an oversight. The police are looking for excuses to stop you; don’t give them one. Seat belts? Check. Adjust the mirror? Check. Turn off the radio? Check. Turn on the headlights? Check.

(8) Concentrate; pay attention. Be aware of your driving. Don’t relax. Keep both hands on the wheel. Don’t be distracted. Don't answer the phone. If you feel you must answer the phone, safely pull off the road. Don't even engage in conversation.  Make sure you do not weave. Are you staying within the lines? Drive just below the speed limit. Don’t tailgate. Pay attention to the car in front of you. If they put on their brakes, notice it. If you are approaching an intersection with a traffic light, pay close attention. Plan that traffic light stop. Don’t run a yellow light.

(9) Use your co-pilot. Ask the person in the passengers seat to help you drive. Ask them to tell you if you weave or tailgate or go too fast. Make them pay attention to your driving.

(10) If you get stopped. Unless you are certain that you have had less than the number of drinks it would take to raise your BAC level to the .08 level, then common wisdom holds that it is a good idea to refuse the breathalyzer test. It generally is more difficult to convict a driver of drunk driving if no chemical tests are taken.

This is an additional tip suggested by a student of the Rod Williams School of Drunk Driving.

(11) If you are seeing double, close one eye.


Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Are you engaged in the NashvilleNext process? We need to slow down the process and actually read it.

I know I ought to, but I have not yet read the NashvilleNext plan.  This three year process that cost us $x million dollars to develop (a lot of money, I do not have the figure) and had the participation of 17,000 Nashvillians has now produced a draft.

The reason I have not read and analyzed and commented on the NashvilleNext draft is that I have been more interested in other things, such as the Council agenda, the race for mayor and Council and the financing of those races, Bob Corker's effort to keep the President from unilaterally approving a nuclear arms deal with Iran, various pieces of state legislation and what is going on at the School Board and the search for a new Director of schools and other things.

Another reason, is that I feel the whole thing is somewhat of a sham.  I attended the first meeting rolling out the NashvilleNext process and a lot of meetings since then. I heard some interesting speakers. I sat in small groups and shared my vision for the future. I put little sticky dots on various policy options and I put my opinion on sticky notes. I went on line and shared my opinion about a lot of things. Somewhere along the way however, I felt like I was no more than a prop. I got the feeling, that this was all one "big dog and pony show" to make people feel like it was "our" plan and a plan developed by the people. I lost my motivation to participate.

Some of the questions in acquiring input were almost insulting, they were of the type, "Do you like good development or bad development."  And some of the choices were of the type that the answer had to be "yes" or "no" when the answer should be, "if done in a responsible way, respecting private property rights, then yes."  I suspect the people doing NashvilleNext already have a template and change the name of the city.  One  scientific poll would have probably presented a better gage of what people want than the three years of public input that went into NashvilleNext. One thing wrong with gaining pubic input the way NashvilleNext did, is that the participants providing the input select themselves.  They may not be representational. Also, while the planners brag about 17,0000 participants, that may mean someone showed up for part of one meeting or logged on and quickly logged off of a NashvilleNext video.

Another thing I see wrong with this process, is that to fully participate, it would have almost been like a full-time job.  Even civically engaged people like myself have other thing that interest them and they have private lives.  I would have liked to have watched the Metro budget hearings this year but simply did not have the time. One can not stay informed about everything.  One has to pick and choose their involvements. So, those most engaged in NashvilleNext are those for whom this is a priority.  It is those with an agenda who feel passionate about the topic. Anyway, I do hope to get re-engaged in the NashvilleNext process before it is a done deal, but time is running out.

The two minute  video above is an overview. To see other short video on specific areas of the plan, such as transit, neighborhoods, and centers, follow this link. To read the NashvilleNext draft plan, follow this link. While an overview may make you feel informed, be aware that the full text of NashvilleNext is hundreds of pages long. Volume one is 151 pages long. The devil may be in the details.

There are opportunities to get involved:

  • April 18: Tennessee State University (Downtown Campus), 10am - 1:30 pm
  • April 20: 5 - 7pm at both the North Nashville Police Precinct and the Edmondson Pike Branch Library
  • April 27: 5 - 7pm at both the Madison Police Precinct and the Bellevue Branch Library
I would like an independent review of the plan from someone who is somewhat knowledgeable about planning, and who values private property rights and limited government.  All we are going to get from The Tennessean are puff pieces and with their limited news staff, I doubt they have actually had anyone read the plan. I do not expect any reporters to be informed enough to ask serious questions about the plan.  With newspapers and other media outlets reducing the news hole and tailoring their news to give people the news they want, we can only rarely expect journalist to be the experts and informed enough to ask hard questions.

If you have read NashvilleNext and have an opinion, I would welcome you sharing  it on this blog or if you are reading this on Facebook, please let me know what you think.  If you share my values of limited government and private property rights and would like to actually read and analyze the draft and write an essay, sharing your view to the document, I would like to talk to you about posting such an essay. Email me at

Several neighborhood activist are expressing reservations about the NashvilleNext process. Below is an email written by Tish Bolian to NashvilleNext. I am not sure which neighborhood she represents but I know she is a neighborhood leader.
I am finding it rather impossible for people to have adequate time to
review, critique, get feedback to given feedback, etc. in the time
This has been a plan 2 years in the making. To basically give citizens a few
weeks to read, understand, go to a handful of meetings is not appropriate in
my view.
I know you have changed the timeframe several times to meet your needs.
I am now asking you to change the timeframes to meet the needs of the
community and the neighborhoods. Spring is the busiest time of year for
everyone. To add this and the intensity and time it takes is inappropriate
given its importance. 
Please have more public meetings and contact all those involved in community  plan development (you have their e mail addresses) and give them a chance to have you explain what you are changing in their community plan, why, get  feedback, etc.  To carry out this kind of change without that courtesy is inappropriate. 
I wrote to you before a critique of the process and made recommendations for change in part give people more opportunity for dialog (without the
ridiculous maps and stickies that no one can see and inaudible hearing
rooms such as the Bridge Building). You want this to reflect
Nashville...then it needs input from its citizens in forums where they can
ask questions, hear proposals, give input and know what is done with their
This rush to meet a deadline when you have changed it multiple times to meet your needs is rather insulting to taxpayers aka citizens of Nashville. This document is far too important to all neighborhoods toward the future to rush this through. 
Trish Bolian Nashville, TN 37205
Margo Chambers, a leader of the Richland West End neighborhood group is urging people to object to the plan.
 Two ways to register our opinion on this is to
1. Reserve June 10 on our calendars. This is thr Date of the MPC public Hearing of the adoption of the proposed General Plan - which apparently contains far more density than has been communicated.

2. Log on, now, to the MPC website. Find your "future" Community Plan. If you do NOT agree with what has been proposed, simply leave a comment of 'Do not Support such & such proposed Community Plan', your name & email. Get your neighbors to do the same. At this point, I would not recommend getting any more 'specific' than a No Support.
The Metro Planning department is chronically not specific with us; I think a dose of their own medicine is now required.

Reminder: Metro Council does not approve the General Plan.
Only the unelected Metro Planning COMMISSIONERS get to approve an 'adoption' of the new General Plan. In my opinion, the MPC has proven itself to be tone deaf to the public for the last 3 years, AT LEAST.

Margo Chambers
Richland West End
Long  term neighborhood activist John Stern has expressed concern about the limited opportunities for input on the specific area plans.

One reason I think this plan is being pushed through the way it is, is because Nashvillians want two contradictory thing.  We want to preserve opens space, reduce urban sprawl and maintain the low-density character of our communities and yet still have great mass transit.  Those are contradictory things.  You cannot have low density and great mass transit.  You cannot have low density and avoid urban sprawl. I suspect planner know this, if not the public, so I suspect that in the details of the hundreds of pages of text is a prescription for much greater population density.

We need to slow down the push to get NashvilleNext approved and let people learn what is in it before it is passed.  Nancy Pelosi famously said about Obama care, "we have to pass it so we will know what is in it."  We don't want the planning commission to pass NashvilleNext and then then find out what is in it. We don't want to assume that because 17,0000 people "participated" in the development of the plan and it took three years to produce it that, that makes it a good plan.

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories