Saturday, August 01, 2020

Rally to re-open Nashville

Monday at 12 PM
68–88°F Thunderstorms
Courthouse Square Park 
Hosted by Crystal Eisermann and Cyndi Sands

Please join us on Monday August 3rd at Public Square Park in front of the courthouse at 12pm to rally for the mayor to open us up and let us earn a living. We need to convey the message that we are ready to follow the rules of the phases just like every other restaurant, store or anything else that is currently allowed to be open. All we are asking is for the opportunity to make money. 

Everyone attending MUST WEAR A MASK; we don’t want our message lost or criticized over something so trivial. We have lots of people with great ideas and they are all welcome to post them here! We need to make sure that our message is loud and clear and that message is that we are not only ready to go back to work, but have to if we’re going to survive this. For more infromation, follow this link

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Students at Vanderbilt leave fraternities and sororities, alleging racism and insensitivity

by Rod Williams - NBC news reports, "Students at Vanderbilt leave fraternities and sororities, alleging racism and insensitivity." Not that I really care.  I was never a member of a fraternity and don't care much one way or the other about fraternities and sororities and don't think this is all that important, but Vanderbilt is an important part of the Nashville Community and NBC news thinks it is newsworthy, so I am just passing it on.  The article says about 200 of 2197 students have withdrawn from Greek organizations.

Could it be that with schools closed and reopening policies in flux and unpredictable and with social distancing in place and bars closed that there is just not that much value to being in a fraternity?  Maybe it is like me boycotting Starbucks; it is easy to do when you don't go there anyway.  

The stated reason they are leaving is because the fraternities and sororities are not supportive of the civil unrest going on. "It seemed like no one in our sorority group chat was talking about George Floyd's death or how we could support the Black Lives Matter movement," said one student.  I am sure some really feel that way, but it kind of looks like an opportunity to do some virtue signaling.  

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Rep. Mark Green on need to get kids safely back to school

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Friday, July 31, 2020

City agrees school board members can criticize ex-Nashville schools director Shawn Joseph

The Tennessean, 7/31/2020 - Three school board members suing the city and Shawn Joseph are free to "say what they wish" about the former Metro Schools director, lawyers for the city and Joseph argue in a new motion seeking to dismiss the lawsuit against them. 

 As a result, a court hearing Friday could bring the lawsuit to an end. 

 Attorneys for Joseph and the city are seeking to dismiss a lawsuit filed by board members Amy Frogge, Jill Speering and Fran Bush earlier this year over a contract buyout clause they say violates their First Amendment rights. 

 At issue is a section in Joseph's April 2019 severance package that prohibits Joseph, the school board and individual members of the school board from making any "disparaging or defamatory comments" about one another. (Read more)

Rod's Comment:  I am not a fan of  Amy Frogge or Jill Speering, primarily because of their strident opposition to school choice, however, I am pleased to see them stand up for free speech rights. After Shawn Joseph's disastrous stint as Director of Schools, instead of firing him for incompetence and corruption, the Board paid him to go away.  His separation agreement included a $261,250 payout and a non-disparagement clause that said the Board nor members of the School Board would say any bad things about him.  That means some other school district will hire him and the Nashville School Board nor Board members cannot warn the other district that they are about to make a mistake.  I am pleased this was resolved in favor of free speech. 

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Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Mayor John Cooper Announces Police Chief Selection Roadmap

Metro press release, 7/28/2020 - Mayor John Cooper today announced a roadmap for selecting Metro Nashville’s new Chief of Police. The process Mayor Cooper has created is designed to engage residents and neighborhoods from across our community to identify the qualities needed in our next Chief of Police. It lays the groundwork for a robust, nationwide search for a new police executive informed by expert advice on recruiting and 21st century policing principles. The goal of this process is to select a new police chief who will make Nashville a model of community engagement and policing innovation. 

 Community Engagement 

This process will provide for extensive, county-wide community engagement. Starting on Monday, Mayor Cooper is inviting all Nashvillians to participate in a brief online survey about their priorities for the next Chief of Police through the Hub, Nashville’s 311 system. The survey includes the following five questions: 
  1. What are the three (3) most important qualities or skills you would like to see in Nashville’s next police chief? 
  2. What would you like to see the next chief accomplish immediately? Over the next 2-3 years? 
  3. What are the most important public safety needs in your neighborhood? 
  4. Please share suggestions you have for improving police services. 
  5. What is your home zip code? 
Directions to the Hub survey can also be found on the Metro website. Residents who lack access to the internet will be able to call 311 and complete the survey by phone. In addition to the Hub survey, the Mayor’s Office will reach out to neighborhood associations to better understand the safety needs and priorities in their neighborhoods. The Mayor’s Office will also conduct engagement sessions with community groups and with police officers. 

Using input from the survey and from these community engagement sessions, the Mayor’s Office will work with the Human Resources Department (HR) to craft a job posting for the position of Chief of Police and to develop interview questions for the review committee and the interview panel, as well as for Mayor Cooper. In mid-August, the position will be posted on Metro Nashville Human Resources’ website for a period of 30 days and advertised with the following organizations: 
  • National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives 
  • Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association 
  • Major City Chiefs Association 
  • International Association of Chiefs of Police 
  • Police Executive Research Forum 
  • National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives 
  • National Black Police Officers Association 
  • FBI National Academy Associates 
In August, Metro Human Resources (HR) will assemble a review committee of diverse individuals with backgrounds in law enforcement and community oversight to assist the department as it scores and rates applicants for the Chief of Police position, in accordance with Nashville Civil Service Guidelines. The review committee will then review the top tiers of qualified candidates and recommend candidates who should advance to the interview process. Metro HR will then forward the committee’s recommended list of finalists to an interview panel that includes a variety of community voices and partners. Finalists advancing to the interview process will interview in Nashville with the interview panel and with Mayor Cooper. With input from the interview panel, Mayor Cooper will select the next Chief of Police, in keeping with guidelines provided by the Metro Nashville Charter. 

Expert assistance 

Mayor Cooper is eager to encourage outstanding police executives from across the nation to apply to this position. To help recruit outstanding candidates, the Metro Human Resources Department has engaged Gary Peterson, President and CEO of Public Sector Search & Consulting, to assist with the search process. Mr. Peterson specializes in police executive searches and has conducted searches in more than 25 cities, including Seattle, San Francisco, Dallas, Kansas City, and Sacramento, CA. In conjunction with the other recruited outreach noted, Mr. Peterson will conduct targeted outreach to police executives to identify outstanding candidates and encourage them to apply for the position of Chief of Police in Nashville. He will also work with Metro HR and the candidate review committee to ensure that Nashville identifies candidates with a proven track record of innovation and community engagement and a commitment to the principles set forth by President Obama’s Task Force on Twenty-First Century Policing. In addition, Mr. Peterson will also conduct a survey of the current police department. Among the questions Mr. Peterson will ask are the following: What do you think the department does really well? What three (3) things would you change about the department if you could? Describe the kind of leader who you would like to see as your next chief. What do you think the key challenges will be for the new chief? 


Following is the timeline for the Chief of Police selection process: 
Timeframe Activities 
  • July 28:    Mayor’s Office announces roadmap for Chief of Police selection process. Community and neighborhood engagement begins. Consultant begins process of reaching out to potential candidates nationwide. 
  • Early August:     Consultant surveys police officers on job satisfaction, priorities. 
  • Mid-August:     Metro HR and the Mayor’s Office finalize job posting. The position is advertised nationally and posted for 30 days. 
  • Mid-September:     Application period closes. 
  • Late September:     Metro HR scores candidates and meets with review committee narrowing the field to the top finalists for interviews. Metro begins an extensive process of background checks. 
  • October: Finalists visit Nashville to meet with interview panel and the Mayor. Mayor announces Nashville’s new police chief.

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Learn how to start a charter school in Tennessee.

The Tennessee Charter School Center is hosting Charter 101— a comprehensive training for anyone interested in starting a charter school in Tennessee. This training will cover the basics of charter schools, the application process, and potential resource opportunities for schools. There will be two informational sessions for Charter 101: one will be held on August 14 at 10 a.m. and another session will be held in September.  For more information, follow this link.

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Monday, July 27, 2020

Nashville Peace Monument restored following attack by vandals.

by Rod Willliams, 7/27/2020  - It is not only statues of Confederate generals that have been hit by vandals across America, targets have included founding fathers and Christopher Columbus and even Miguel de Cervantes the author of Don Quixote, and even abolitionist. If it is old and made of bronze or marble, it is a target.  I assume the thugs who do this are ignorant of what they are destroying and destroy just for the joy of destruction.

Here in Nashville, earlier this month the Nashville Peace Monument was vandalized. Luckily, it was
not toppled and destroyed.  The cost of repairing the damage was about $10,000. Repairs were just compleated. (link)

According to the the Battle of Nashville website, the Battle of Nashville Monument, often referred to as the “Peace Monument,” is a white granite and bronze monument which honors the sacrifices of both Confederate and Union soldiers who fought in the December 15-16,1864 Battle of Nashville, as well as the American soldiers who fought in the World War I (“The Great War”).

Owned by the Tennessee Historical Commission, the monument was commissioned by the Ladies’ Battlefield Association and sculpted by Giuseppe Moretti of Italy. It was originally located just off Franklin Pike and was dedicated on Armistice Day, 1927. That monument's 30-foot obelisk, was destroyed when toppled by a tornado in 1974.  That original location, though it was historically important lost its appeal after construction of a major interchange for Interstate 65 erased the view, both of and from, the original placement.

The monument was relocated to its current location in 1999. The current location is also historically relevant as is explained on the website.  A large “basket oak” tree verified to be a “Witness Tree” by the Tennessee Landmark and Historic Tree Registry is near the monument.

The monument shows two rearing steeds representing the North and the South yoked together by a young man symbolizing all Americans who fought in the Civil War and World War I. The word “UNITY” is inscribed on the banner with which he entwines the horses. The bronze sculpture was said to be fashioned out of melted cannon barrels.

The engraved inscription on the south face of the monument explains the bronze figures as follows: The Spirit Of Youth Holds In Check Contending Forces That Struggled Here In The Fierce Battle Of Nashville, Dec. 16th, 1864, Sealing Forever The Bond Of Union By The Blood Of Our Heroic Dead Of The World War 1917 – 1918.

It is a beautiful work of art and evokes a feeling of solemnness. If you have not visited it, it is a great place to just sit in quite contemplation or have a peaceful picnic lunch.  You may want to visit it soon. If the insurrection continues, the anarchist may destroy it next time they are on a rampage of destruction.  It is impossible to protect all of our many historic churches, building, monuments and works of art from attack. We can only hope that this madness ends soon.

To learn more about Nashville's monuments or make a contribution to the work of the Battle of Nashville Trust, visit this site.

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President Trump: "They want to leave they can leave."

President Trump answers questions from the media concerning a tweet he sent the previous day. "If you're not happy in the U.S., if you complain all the time, very simply – you can leave. You can leave right now."

I applaud the President's message.  It is the way I feel.  I would like to see those who love our enemies leave this country.  I have been lukewarm about Trump from time to time, but today I am an enthusiastic supporter. Trump may have his faults but he loves our country. Like Merle Haggard sang, "If you'r running down our county man, you're walking on the fighting side of me."

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