Friday, March 16, 2018

Antioch students who rioted during walkout should be prosecuted

On Wednesday March 15th during the student walkout a handful of Antioch students, mostly Black students, went on a rampage and tore down an American flag and stomped on it, and jumped on a police car and damaged it and engaged in fights. Fortunately, no one was injured. This has made national news.

The walk-out was part of an event taking place all across the nation in which students walked out of their classrooms to call attention to problem of gun violence in the schools. Some of the walkouts were clearly a call for gun control, others called on adults to "do something," while others were somber remembrances of the 17 students killed in Parkland, Florida.

Whether or not school officials should have permitted and facilitated the walkouts is questionable.  My view is that school officials should have considered any walkout an unexcused absence no different than any other unexcused absence.  The school system should not be facilitating this protest no more than they should assist students who want to take time off from school to take part in a pro-life rally. In my view, schools should be neutral regarding student activism and not pick and choose which type protest will be granted favored status.

Prior to the walkout,  Metro schools had  clearly outlined the rules for students. One of the rules was that students must stay on campus. Students at Hume-Fogg violated this rule by marching from their school to the state capital to protest.  At many schools across Nashville, the school administrators helped students organize speakers and activities for the walk-outs.

To their credit, students at Antioch, the next day following the riot,  held a ceremony raising the flag, the band played the national anthem and students observed a moment of silence.  MNPS issued a statement saying "inappropriate behaviors that threaten school safety will be handled immediately and firmly in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct and MNPD." I hope so. Some students have reportedly already been suspended. That is not good enough.

This type violence should not be tolerated. Cell phone evidence exist that can identify the students who engaged in violence.  I hope the police conducted investigations and gathered evidence the day this occurred and since.  While protesting is a right and burning your own American flag is protected speech, destruction of public property and assault should not be tolerated. Any student who can be identified as leading the mob action should be prosecuted to the full extend of the law and others who participated in the action should be expelled. Also, students such as those that broke the accommodating rules for the walkout and left campus should be treated as having an unexcused absence.

Unfortunately, this is not what I expect to happen. I expect only minor punishment will be handed out and the incident will be forgotten. Council members and school board members should ensure that this is not simply allowed to be ignored. The media should stay on this story and report what else, if anything, happens.

WSMV News 4
(link, link, link )

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Thursday, March 15, 2018

How will light rail work on Gallatin Road?

From Better Transit for Nashville - Watch a car go LIGHT RAIL SPEED OF 15 MPH & how other cars on Gallatin Rd. fly by; several drivers got angry. Imagine THREE LANES OF LIGHT RAIL PERMANENTLY DOWN THE MIDDLE OF GALLATIN RD FOR 6.4 MILES, for the next 50 yrs. Learn about the $9 billion Nashville transit plan & the five (5) light rail lines planned on five roadways.

This video is about the Gallatin Rd line, 6.4 miles at $789 million. See video of the street, photos, and watch a vehicle going light rail speed of 15 mph, with drivers upset, honking, flying by. Light rail is an obsolete, outdated transit model in a tech world. It is already obsolete, so why do Metro & corporate Nashville want it so badly? They get rich and benefit in 10 major ways, see them below. Light rail will at best serve 1% of commuters. The project will take 15 years and will totally alter nine (9) primary roadways: Gallatin Rd., Murf rd, Nol Rd, Charlotte Ave, NW Corridor, and four for Bus Rapid Transit: Dickerson Rd, West End Ave, 21st/Hillsboro Rd & Rosa Parks/Clarksville Highway.

Top Reasons we are against the plan:

  • The plan is not regional. 
  • Light rail is an obsolete transit model. 
  • Light rail ridership is 1% or less of commuters. 
  • Bus systems are more effective at increasing transit ridership. 
  • Light rail has failed in increasing transit ridership or reducing traffic in the cities that have it, even after 35 years, in cities with populations & pop. densities Nash will not reach for 75 years. 
  • At best, in 50 years, with light rail, Nash’s public transit ridership might go from 2% to 2.5%, likely will decrease. 
  • In 50 years, light rail will be completely obsolete. It’s obsolete now. 
  • The cost of the $9B plan per current MTA bus rider: $568,000 per rider. ($9B/15,650 riders=$568K)
  • The $9 billion cost could bankrupt Nashville. We will be financially threatened until at least 2060 with bonds, debt, four new taxes incl. highest sales tax in the nation. 
  • Light rail & BRT on nine (9) roadways will eliminate two & three lanes on already high traffic streets, a disaster. 
  • The plan includes NOTHING related to tech which is changing how we commute, travel & live. 
  • Light rail/tunnel is 70% of the costs.
  • Light rail is an outdated, 1800s transit model. 
Ten (10) ways the rich get richer through the $9B plan:
  1. They make $millions from the $9B build out. 
  2. The rail industry will make $millions from the build out. 
  3. Ongoing profits from the $300+M operations, maintenance. 
  4. Goldman Sachs & banks will make $50-100M from the bonds & financing, 
  5. Their corp./businesses will increase in value due to artificial govt. economic boost to “transit.” 
  6. Their land values near LRT/BRT will increase artificially. 
  7. They will continue to get business from Metro’s $2+ billion annual budgets. 
  8. They will continue to get tax breaks, tax incentives & sweetheart deals from Metro. 
  9. Developers will continue to get favoritism & codes changes that allow them to make more money; such as less parking requirements because “transit” is on the roadway. 
  10. Metro will get more tax revenue & have lower infrastructure costs, allowing bureaucrats to have job security for life.

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Diane Black: Legislature should say no to in-state tuition for illegal immigrants

Press release, Nashville, Tenn. – Today, Diane Black released the following statement on the in-state tuition bill currently being debated by the state legislature, which would allow in-state tuition for illegal immigrants:

"I have said many times that if the state legislature were to pass a bill providing in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, I would veto it. In-state tuition is a benefit provided to legal residents of our state, and it should stay that way.

“Too many times, so-called conservatives get elected promising to fight against liberal policies, only to embrace them once in office. It’s a shame to see our state legislature do just that, particularly without real debate or even a recorded vote in committee. It’s time for the true conservatives in the legislature to stand up and say no.”

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How much will the transit plan cost you? $1.71 a day, or $52 a month per household.

From a No tax 4 Tracks email:

The Morning Line - NoTax4Tracks

$5 a month or 17 cents a day?

They are wrong.  And, their own numbers show it.  Here’s how:

Beginning in 2018 with that first .5% increase, you will pay 76 cents a day, or $23 a month.

In 2023, with the 1% sales tax increase, the daily cost to everyone in the county will be $1.71, or $52 a month.
  1. Start with the 2023 sales tax collection from page 54 of the Let’s Move Nashville Report ($225,564,000).
  2. Take the tax revenue burden carried by Davidson County, at 80% according to the. U.S. Census American FactFinder[1] ($180,451,000).
  3. Divide by the number of County households expected in 2023 (assuming a 1.07% growth rate from six-year data), 289,830.

$225,564,000 x .80 = $180,451,000 ÷ 289,830 = $623 per household in 2023

The cost per household = $1.71 a day, or $52 a month

We found it highly amusing that Mayor Briley said yesterday Nashville would “Fail” if the $9-billion light rail plan doesn’t pass.  He’s so serious.  But think about the absurdity of that statement.

Fail?  With everything Nashville has going for it, the magic that makes Nashville the “It” city, what will cause it to not move forward is the falling into the same backward-looking trap the previous administration bought into.

Pro-Tip to the new Mayor:  Be different.  Be distinct.  Find your own voice, don’t replay the broken record of the past.

PS:  Our team at the Nashville Business Journal’s forum yesterday at the Omni shamed the other side.  We had hard facts.  The other side’s lack of detail and overall arrogance showed the audience why a vote against this light rail plan is the right vote.  We think the audience agreed with us.

[1] — Davidson County has 37 percent of the population of the MSA and 46 percent of the payroll in retailing. The ratio of 37/46 indicates that about 80 percent of the retail activity in Davidson originals with local residents and twenty percent comes from the rest of the MSA.

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Haslam: Trump Steel Tariff Would Be 'Very Harmful'

By J.R. Lind, Nashville Patch, NASHVILLE, TN -- Add Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam to the list of leaders worried about the impact of President Donald Trump's proposal for a new steel tariff.

...  "The additional costs to a lot of the manufacturers we have, particularly the automobile industry, I think could be very harmful to us. Second, you worry about a lot of reciprocal-type tariffs coming back at us that would affect a lot of the different items that we export out of Tennessee," he said. (link)

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018


House Bill 1782 designed to ease cost burdens on Wilson County residents
(NASHVILLE) – State Representative Susan Lynn (R-Mt. Juliet) and State Representative Clark Boyd (R-Lebanon) are co-sponsoring legislation that would end mandatory emissions testing for vehicles in Tennessee.
House Bill 1782 — which is receiving unanimous support from members of the Wilson County Legislative Delegation, as well as Tennessee General Assembly members — would apply to the hardworking men, women, and families of Hamilton, Davidson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson, and Wilson Counties where vehicle emissions testing is still required prior to vehicle registration or renewal…click here to read more…

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Caffeinated Conservatives meet March 17th at noon. Guest speakers Americans for Prosperity spokesmaen Sam Nienow and James Amundsen

From Caffeinated Conservatives: The next meeting of Caffeinated Conservatives will be March 17th at noon. The location is at Common Grounds in Old Hickory, 1053 Donelson Ave.   Our speakers are members of Americans for Prosperity, both Sam Nienow  and  James Amundsen will be there!

As you know the Transit Tax is still being pushed by Mayor David Briley.  Our speaker will address this subject and give us insights into what other taxes are being pushed by anti-conservative forces.


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Victory! Citizens for the Future of Ft. Negley Park

From Citizens for the Future of Ft. Negley Park, Mar 14, 2018


What a way to end the first week of the administration of Mayor David Briley! His first major policy act as our city's Mayor was to restore trust in our Metro Government by recognizing the decades of promises and community meetings which inspired the Plan to Play and which promised this land would be a protected, historic, city park of national & international consequence.

Today I delivered to him, at Ft. Negley Park, every name and every comment received in support of this petition. Every heartfelt word that, no matter how hard we tried before, had not been heard.

Today he promised that we, all of Nashville, are a part of the future of this parkland and that we dream a bigger dream. He invited us to give our ideas and contribute to the future of this space - and asked the Parks department to lead that process. For that, we declare victory!

Thank you for reading and re-posting and sharing this petition we started on July 15, 2017. Thank you for finding one more neighbor and one more friend to believe we could do better. Thank you, for keeping the light of hope alive, even in moments of complete darkness, for our Ft. Negley Park. This is Nashville's Statue of Liberty. This is a space that inspires activism, and change, and hope. This land asks us to look hard at our past, our present, and our future.

Thank you for walking with us.

In deepest gratitude,
Alice Ganier Rolli

Mayor Briley Announces Plan to Make Fort Negley Park Whole Again

Metro press release, March 13, 2018- 

Funds to demolish Greer Stadium will be allocated next month while Metro Parks undertakes update to Fort Negley Master Plan

Nashville Mayor David Briley announced today that he will seek funds to demolish the old Greer Stadium to start the process of restoring that land to a park as originally intended.

“Fort Negley Park is a historic treasure for the Nashville community that has the potential to be even better once we incorporate the Greer Stadium property back into the park,” said Mayor Briley. “We have a unique opportunity to bring the community together to design a park that will honor the sacrifice of the slaves who died building this fort while providing active park space in a growing neighborhood that will be enjoyed by residents for generations to come.”

The estimated $1 million needed to demolish Greer Stadium and start turning the land into a park would come from the city’s 4% reserve fund through a request to the Metro Council in April. Following the demolition, the property will be seeded with grass while the Metro Historical Commission produces a Cultural Landscape Report that will help inform decisions by the Metro Parks Board about how best to turn this space into an active park that honors the history of the site.

“We look forward to engaging in a productive dialogue to create a more dynamic park landscape for neighborhoods out the 8th Avenue South corridor,” said George Anderson, chair of the Metro Parks Board.

In 2007, an advisory committee assembled by the Metro Parks Department updated the 1996 Fort Negley Master Plan to propose demolishing the former Nashville Sounds stadium once it was no longer needed and restoring the land to a park, as it was before the stadium was built in the 1970s. Regular use of Greer Stadium ended after the Sounds moved to First Tennessee Park following the 2014 baseball season.

Mayor Briley has asked the Parks Department to update the Fort Negley Master Plan once again to reflect the recreational needs of our city in a way that honors the rich history of this site, which was the largest inland stone fortification built during the Civil War, constructed after Nashville surrendered to the Union Army.

“We greatly appreciate Mayor Briley’s commitment to a vibrant network of parks and greenways that will enrich and improve our quality of life in Nashville,” said Monique Odom, director of the Metro Parks Department.

In 2017, Mayor Megan Barry’s administration sought public-private partnership proposals to redevelop the stadium into a mixed-use property that was ultimately awarded to the Cloud Hill Partnership. Following months of procedural delays, the Barry administration ended plans for private development after an archaeological review found considerable undisturbed soils, which the historic record indicates could contain the remains of slaves and freed African-Americans who were impressed into building Fort Negley.

“While the Cloud Hill proposal could be a great idea on another property in Nashville, the highest and best use of this site is to restore it to a historical park that can be enjoyed by Nashvillians and visitors alike,” said Mayor Briley. “I am grateful for all of the Nashvillians who have expressed a passion for doing just that and who will lend their voices and support in the coming months to make this vision a reality.”

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Southeast Conservative Breakfast Club meets Sat. -17-18. Guest speaker Ralph Bristol

When: March 17/2018. Breakfast begins at 8 AM. Meeting called to order at 9 AM.
Where: Shoney’s on Thompson Lane. At the intersection of Nolensville Road & Thompson Lane.  Who: Guest speaker will be Ralph Bristol. Ralph Bristol is the host a popular local conservative radio talk show.

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Monday, March 12, 2018

Sen. Mark Green's sanctuary cities bill in committee Tuesday. It needs to pass.

SB 2332 to be heard in the State & Local Government Committee

Press Release, CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Senator Mark Green’s legislation to strengthen
Tennessee’s laws prohibiting sanctuary cities will be heard in the State & Local Government Committee tomorrow. This bill is introduced as sanctuary cities across the country are harboring criminals from the reach of federal law enforcement.
SB 2332 prohibits state and local governments from creating sanctuary cities and prohibits any local governments that enact sanctuary cities from receiving any state funding. Additionally, the bill allow Tennesseans to submit complaints to the Attorney General and authorizes law enforcement to cooperate with federal officials to enforce immigration laws.
“Sanctuary cities are illegal and dangerous--and it’s time for us to take action to protect our citizens who honor the laws of our great state and nation. By adding teeth to our existing immigration laws, hopefully our state can prevent tragedies like what happened to Kate Steinle in San Francisco,” noted Senator Green.
Co-sponsors for SB 2332 include Senators Mike Bell, Janice Bowling, Ed Jackson, Bill Ketron, Mark Pody, Kerry Roberts, and Steve Southerland. The legislation is sponsored by Rep. Jay Reedy in the House.
Tennesseans interested in the hearing can tune in on the Tennessee General Assembly’s website. Below are the details:
Date: March 13, 2018
Time: 10:00 AM CT
Link: Livestream the hearinghere.
For more information on Senator Green’s bills, please visit:

Rod Williams' Comment: This bill needs to pass. There are no sanctuary cities in Tennessee at this time but there is a real danger Nashville could become one.  While Nashville does not inquire as to the immigration status of people who may have encounters with the police and while the city provides various services to residents regardless of their immigration status, this does not constitute being a sanctuary city. Sanctuary cities decline to cooperate with federal immigration officials outside of what is specifically required by law. When the police arrest someone, the arrest goes into a shared database. When the Immigration and customs Enforcement agency (ICE) sees a person of interest has been arrested, it will request local law enforcement hold the person for 48 hours to give, ICE time to pick up the person.  This is called a "detainer."  Sanctuary cities refuse to honor these request.  Nashville, does not do that.

However, in June of 2017 the Metro Council came close to passing a bill that may or may not have made Nashville a Sanctuary city. The bill had contradictory language that said we would not cooperate with federal authorities regarding immigration issues but then said we would follow federal law. In any event, Mayor Barry opposed the bill and it was withdrawn when it got to third reading. Despite former Mayor Barry's credentials as a progressive, she often governed fairly prudently. 

Mayor Briley in the past has made statements indicating he strongly favors Nashville becoming a sanctuary city. Maybe with the responsibility of office on his shoulders he would be more cautious and responsible, but that cannot be assumed. The move to make Nashville a sanctuary passed the Council on Second reading, so the Council has already gone on record favoring sanctuary city policies.  With the mayor's support, Nashville could very well indeed become a sanctuary city.  The State needs to pass Senator Geen's bill to prevent this from happening.

For more on the almost successful effort to make Nashville a sanctuary city follow this link.

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Sunday, March 11, 2018

5 possible contenders for Nashville's mayoral election

The Tennessean last week listed five possible contenders for Nashville's mayoral election and provided  a paragraph-length profile on each. You can find the piece at this link. I am listing below the names of the five and my preference in order. As I learn more about each of the candidates, my preferences may change but as of today, my first choice would be for Davd Fox and my last choice would be David Briley.

#1 David Fox
#2 Sheriff Daron Hall
#3 Stuart McWhorter
#4 Bill Freeman
#5 David Briley

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Glen Casada: If Nashville politicians cannot control their spending, voters need to know the truth and prepare for the long-term consequences.

Glen Casada
by Rod Williams - Representative Glen Casada writing in today's Sunday Tennessean in an article titled Nashville should follow Tennessee on Finances, makes a point that I have repeatedly made on this blog.  Nashville is awash in money, yet the city is broke.  Due to growth, more money is flowing into the city coffers than every before. However, we are dipping into reserve funds and borrowing money.   At a February 7th Council meeting, in order to throw more money at Metro's failing General Hospital and prop up an unnecessary institution no one wants to use,  the Council had to  take $3.9 million from the city's "undesignated fund balance," which serves as a rainy day fund for the city. (link) This is irresponsible.

In early February, former Mayor  Megan Barry began the process of building the case for a tax increase. She laid out "fiscal challenges" for the next city budget. The challenges she identified were these:
  • Fund balances for each of the six tax funds are at or are projected to be below policy targets at the end of fiscal year 2017-2018 and those fund balance reserves must be increased; 
  • Escalating health care costs combined with the Tennessee General Assembly not acting to expand Medicaid; 
  • Property tax appeals following last year’s reappraisal far exceeded the level of appeals after the last two reappraisals, and the full impact to revenues will not be known until the end of this fiscal year;
  • There will be further reductions in revenue from the state Hall tax on certain investment income, which the state legislature has voted phase out; 
  • After a couple of years of acceleration, revenue growth in the six tax funds is returning to normal levels; Increased debt service requirements
You will notice from the former mayor's list that two of the "challenges" she lays at the feet of state government: the failure of the Tennessee General Assembly to not expand Medicaid and the phasing out of the Hall income tax.

Glen Cassada takes her to task for attempting to blame Metro's financial difficulties on the state of Tennessee. He is right. Metro has been spending money like a drunk sailor and the State of Tennessee has been acting with prudence and sobriety. The State of Tennessee has been shrinking the number of State employees and looking at opportunities to cut cost and Metro has thrown caution to the wind and increasing the reach and scope of government. Also, it seems someone would have to work hard to waste money the way metro waste money. When the city appropriates $60 million for a sidewalk program and only gets 3.5 miles of new sidewalks, something is terribly wrong.

A real danger for Nashville is not the current overspending, but what will happen if the Nashville economy has a down turn.  As long as ever things clicks along on all cylinders we will be OK, We may have to pay slightly more in taxes but we will be able to keep the city functioning. It want be a crisis. However, if the taxpayers approve it, we are about to take on $9 billion in additional debt to build a mass transit system, the largest project in Nashville's history. What if alternative technologies that are already being tested, come on line and make fixed rail mass transit obsolete?  What happens if we raise taxes on tourist to the point that Nashville is no longer a leading convention destination? What happens if we lose one of our sports franchises?  What happens if Nashville losses its "cool" factor and is no longer the "it" city? This is a time when we ought to be paying down debt and building a reserve instead of taking on more debt and spending down our reserve.

In response to the ex-mayor's attempt to blame the state not expanding medicaid as part of the city's financial difficulty, Casada says, " Democrats  do not understand that Tennessee’s government needs to be more than an insurance program run by taxpayers’ money."  He constinues:
According to the November 2017 Sycamore Institute’s analysis of the Tennessee budget, 45 percent of our state’s total spending already goes to health and social services.

What do you want cut? Should we cut from the education budget? Should we raise taxes on Tennesseans who work to balance their own family budgets?
In response the the charge that Metro's woes are due to the State's reductions to the Hall income tax, Casada says:
In place since 1929, the Hall income tax unfairly punishes entrepreneurs, business owners, and seniors who rely heavily on their invested retirement income to make ends meet by levying a tax on capital gain, dividend, and interest income.

Again, while it may make sense to Democrats to punish productivity, taxing those who have worked hard their entire lives, who have been fiscally responsible and frugal in their budgets, and who have saved for their futures is simply not the Tennessee way.
Rather than taking this leftist approach to governing, Nashville officials should instead choose to take the lead of the General Assembly.
He points out that under Republican leadership Tennessee is number one in the Southeast and number two in the entire United States for job growth over the last year. He says things like  tort reform and the overhaul of the State's workers’ compensation system have spurred job growth in Tennessee increasing state employment rate to the highest in the State's history.

Casada concludes by saying, "If Nashville politicians cannot control their spending, voters need to know the truth and prepare for the long-term consequences of the fiscal irresponsibility that seems to have become the new accepted norm in Davidson County."

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