Sunday, August 31, 2014

Celebratng Labor Day: "Working Man Blues."

I just don't get Labor Day.  Unlike other days that are rooted in our Christian faith, like Christmas or Easter, or rooted in patriotism like Independence Day or Presidents Day or Veterans Day, or celebrate the start of the new year, Labor Day seems like it really has no link to any theme or important event.  To me, working is sort of like eating and sleeping, it is just something you do. We could just as easily celebrate Sleeping Day.  Also, it is not clear what is being honored by Labor Day. With work force participation at a 36 year low, what about the 37% of people who are in the work force age group who are not working?  Is Labor Day for them?  Also, if you work in management, are you still  part of what is celebrated on Labor Day? And what about informal labor, such as housewives and mothers, are they in the group honored on Labor Day?

Actually, Labor Day is a celebration of the American labor union movement and is dedicated to  achievements of workers, so working or not, working informally or formally, in management or labor, I guess we can all celebrate the union movement. Since most workers are not part of a union, it seems kind of strange that we have a day set aside to celebrate the union movement. One reason we have Labor Day, is so we don't celebrate the international labor day of May 1, which was a big celebration in the Communist world and is still a day to rally the workers of the world.

I don't mind getting a paid holiday on September 1, it is a long time between July 4th and Veterans day of November 11th, so whatever the excuse for the holiday, I will take it.   On October 13 is Columbus day and it used to be a big holiday, but most people do not get Columbus Day off anymore and political correctness has downplayed Columbus Day. If it was up to me, I would give up Labor Day and take Columbus day but since that is probably not going to happen, I will keep celebrating Labor Day.

One thing I find missing from Labor Day is ways to celebrate it.  Thanksgiving has pilgrims and Indians and turkey, and the 4th of July has fireworks and flags, and Easter has eggs and Easter bunnies and Christmas is the big blowout in decorations and symbols and songs, but there are few Labor Day symbols or Labor Day songs.

Last week I went to see Merle Haggard at the Ryman and he put on a great show. I loved it!  Merle Haggard has a great song for Labor Day. He performed it on his show. Here it is:



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Great opportunity for some young college student: 2014 National Conference College Student Scholarship Program

What a great opportunity for some young college student!  I am passing this along because often times there are few people competing for things like this because few people learn about them. Please pass this on if you know of a college student who might be interested. Rod

The Tennessee World Affairs Council in association with the World Affairs Councils of America
is pleased to announce the 2014 National Conference College Student Scholarship Program in Washington, DC Wednesday, November 5 - Friday, November 7, 2014 at The Fairfax at Embassy Row (http://tnwac.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=320286ea4fbe8f353dd05f9a8&id=19caa5dcfe&e=6469ce1df5)

ABOUT THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE:

Held annually for over two decades, the National Conference engages our leading policy-makers and leaders in a discussion of the critical issues facing the nation. The conference will be held November 5-7, 2014 in Washington, DC at the Fairfax at Embassy Row Hotel. To see a list of confirmed speakers so far, please visit www.worldaffairscouncils.org

The 2014 National Conference Agenda will examine: China, the U.S., and Asia; Russia/Eurasia; Cybersecurity; Future of Education; Youth, Jobs, and Social Unrest; Food and Water; Global Economic Realignment; Future of Energy; Africa; and Climate Change.

In addition to the daily keynotes and panels the conference attendees will be invited to a foreign embassy reception from among: the Embassy of Mexico, the Norwegian Embassy and the Embassy of the Republic of Singapore.

COLLEGE STUDENT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM: The scholarship, offered by the National Board of the World Affairs Councils of America, includes the registration fee (worth about $500) and $1000 per student to be used towards travel, lodging and/or incidentals. To apply, applicants must be at least 18 years old and currently enrolled in a college in Tennessee.

THE TENNESSEE WORLD AFFAIRS COUNCIL CAN NOMINATE ONE STUDENT FOR THE SCHOLARSHIP. THE WORLD AFFAIRS COUNCILS OF AMERICA WILL CHOSE THE WINNERS AND MAKE NOTIFICATIONS IN LATE SEPTEMBER. For application information, follow this link.

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Look what is on your NPT on Monday: A celebration of third trimester abortions and the doctors who perform them.

 

To complain to WNPT follow this link: Beth.Curley@WNPT.org or call (615) 259-9325.

Below is my short message to WNPT:

I am very disappointed to see that WNPT is carrying the documentary After Tiller. We should not be humanizing the doctors who perform third trimester abortions, instead we should be humanizing the babies they murder. Please cancel this program.

Please complain to our local PBS station and sign the petition in the link below.

For more information on this documentary, see the following:

Dear Rodney,
We have 72 hours to take a stand against the big abortion lobby.
PBS, a US taxpayer-funded broadcasting network, plans to show a film that worships the idea of late-term abortion and praises the doctors who perform them.
The film, called After Tiller, is set to air Monday, September 1st. Only 72 hours from now.
We must act fast. Please sign the Personhood USA petition to demand that PBS cancel their showing of After Tiller.
After Tiller is a 2013 documentary that follows four abortionists openly perform third-trimester abortions. The title refers to the infamous George Tiller, a chop-shop abortionist who performed late-term abortions until 2009.
The film is designed to 'humanize' these doctors who make their living from slaughtering innocent children who are fully developed and would likely be able to live outside of the womb. 
What about humanizing the babies? This pro-infanticide film spends all of its time sympathizing with the doctors themselves, and gives no thought and no air time to 'humanizing' the children who are being poisoned, stabbed, and dismembered.
The film claims to present the complexities of the difficult decisions facing these women, and the compassion and ethical dilemmas that the doctors and staff face. "Compassion." "Ethical dilemmas." Blowing smoke about what abortion really is: the violent dismemberment of an unborn child!
Be a voice for Personhood and sign the petition to demand that PBS cancel their showing of the pro-late term abortion film, After Tiller.
Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and the National Organization of Women are all loudly applauding PBS's decision to air this one-sided film.
In our opinion, PBS has two options: (1) either cancel the showing of "After Tiller" or (if they insist showing it) (2) give equal time to a film that humanizes the innocent children who are aborted, such as "The Silent Scream."
Will you sign this petition to demand that PBS immediately cancel their showing of "After Tiller” this Monday evening, or that they give equal air time and funding to a film that 'humanizes' unborn babies?
Please sign the petition and we will send an e-mail message to Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager of Public Broadcasting System with the petition text.
Warmest regards,
Gregory Mertz and the whole CitizenGO team
P.S. -- Time is short. We only have 72 hours to cancel this horrible film from airing to around 300 million people. If we quickly come together, we can stop this. After you sign the petition, can you recruit 5 of your friends to sign too? With your help -- we can do this!

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Friday, August 29, 2014

Bellevue Republican Breakfast Group to talk Amendment 1 and 3. Saturday, Sept.6.

From Betty Hood, organizer of the Bellevue Republican Breakfast Group:

 Dear BRBC Friends,
Happy Labor Day to all! Hope you have had a wonderful weekend!
The Bellevue Republican Breakfast Club will have its monthly meeting this coming Saturday, September 6th  at 8 AM at the Shoney's on Hwy 70. Our guest speakers will be Lorene Steffes who will talk on Amendment 1 on the November ballot. Senator Brian Kelsey will also speak that morning on Amendment 3 on the ballot. There is some very important information concerning how these issues pass or fail in this election. Please come and hear these informed speakers and there will be time for Q & A after their presentation.
Hope to see you Saturday! Betty

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Here are the letters: In a pointed exchange, Tygard and Neighbors address the Vice Mayor kicking Tygard off of Budget and Finance.

Vice Mayor Neighbors
 Earlier this week Vice Mayor Neighbors made committee appointments for the coming year and Councilman Charlie Tygard was not reappointed to Budget and Finance. In my view Charlie Tygard is one of the best members of B&F. I watch most of the Budget and Finance Committee meetings and Charlie Tygard always ask probing questions and makes the Director of Finance or whatever other city official is promoting a bill, explain in detail the impact of any particular proposal.  Sometimes city finance can be complicated.  Councilman Tygard keeps asking questions until what is being proposed is understood. He will not let city official get by with weasel words and generalities.

Charlie Tygard is also one of the most experienced members of the Metro Council.  Term limits, which I think was a mistake and which I did not support, has resulted in a relatively inexperienced Council and has shifted power from the Council to the Mayor and the bureaucracy.  Councilman Tygard is serving his second term as a Councilman-at-large and served several terms as a district councilman.  He has been around long enough to understand how government works. He is the voice of experience on the B&F committee and he is a common sense fiscal conservative who does not want to let the Metro Government over commit itself or engage in risky financial practices.

Councilman Tygard
This failure to reappoint Charlie Tygard to the B&F committee has resulted in Tygard threatening to ask the tough questions from the floor that he would normally ask in Committee. Vice Mayor neighbors does not like that.  She wants the Council meeting to move along at a fast clip and all discussion to take place in committee and the Council to rely upon the recommendations of the committees. 

Here is a copy of the exchanges between the Vice Mayor and the Tygard. The Vice Mayor's letter was to the whole council and then Tygard responded to the Vice Mayor and copied the whole council.

I am not posting the attachment, but if you want to see the complete committee assignments, follow this link. Below is Tygard response.

From: Charlie Tygard 
Sent: Wednesday, August 27, 2014 11:18 AM
To: 'Hayes, Roseanne (Council Office)'; 'Council Members'
Cc: 'Neighbors, Diane (Vice Mayor)'; 'Cooper, Jon (Council Office)'
Subject: RE: 2014-2015 Committee List

Vice Mayor Neighbors –
 
Just so every Council Member understands that this letter is referring to me, I want to address your comments.
 
I plan to attend every committee meeting of committees I am assigned to. Since you have chosen not to re-appoint me to the Budget & Finance Committee in my final year of Council, and after 12+ years of faithful attendance on this committee, I can only assume that my questions in committee about Metro’s finances were deemed unimportant to you.
 
I do intend to ask any and all pertinent questions I feel are necessary before spending one dime of taxpayer money. Since I am no longer serving on that committee, I will ask these questions during the Council meeting, if necessary.
 
And I would remind you that I have always indicated that my expertise to the Council was in two primary areas – financial and parks. Up until this point, you have always respected this request. I was frankly taken aback when receiving my assignments for this year.
 
It is certainly your prerogative to appoint members of committees as you seem proper. It is my prerogative to ask any and all questions relating to items on the agenda.
 
Charlie Tygard
I hope Charlie Tygard sticks to his guns. It won't matter if meetings run a little longer.  I can only assume that either the Mayor's office or maybe the Vice Mayor herself did not like someone asking tough  questions.  The tough questions need to be asked.

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Maybe the nutty no-beer-to-go-from-a-mall-with-a-library bill can be repealed.

Sherrie Weiner to seek repeal
Last council meeting the Council passed one of the stupidest bills I can ever remember the Council passing.  As initially introduced it was bad and stupid but then it was amended to make it less bad but more stupid.

Originally the bill would prohibit beer permits from being issued for establishments located within a shopping mall containing a community center or a public library. This would have applied to on premises consumption or to-go beer purchases.  It was amended to permit beer consumption in a mall but it still prohibited off-premises beer sales. Now, how stupid is that? That means that is a grocery store or a drug store is attached to the mall, they cannot sell a six-pack to go, but a person could drink beer at a restaurant in the mall.

The bill was sponsored by Jacobia Dowell, who represents the the old Hickory Hollow mall area, which is now Global Crossings.  The attempted revitalization of the abandoned mall has seen a lot of Metro investment including a new community center, library. and Ice rink. Her view was that these developments would bring families to the area and to keep it family-friendly the mall should not be selling beer. I think that is a stupid argument anyway. Someone have a beer with their meal at the other end of the mall is not going to destroy the atmosphere of the mall.  A beer joint could not be right next door due to the library or community center or the ice rink because the regular beer permit distance requirements would still apply. When the bill was amended to permit on-site consumption but still prohibit purchases of beer for off-site consumption, the bill went from ridiculous to becoming completely asinine.

Jacobia Dowell
Jacobia Dowell was sponsor of no-
beer-to-go-from-a-mall-with-a-library bill
Now people are seeing problems with the bill. The ordinance would apply to any mall that contains a community center or a public library and the council members representing the  Bellevue area are concerned. They are wanting to see the Bellevue mall revitalized and not being able to sell beer to go, may scare off potential businesses that might be considering opening a store in the Bellevue mall. Sherrie Weiner, who voted against the bill last meetings says that she will work to get it repealed.

Below is a copy of the bill and a list of how Council members voted. I am disappointing in some of the "good" councilmen who showed lack of common sense and voted for this nutty bill but pleased to see that six of the seven "no" votes were from the "good" councilmen. Hopefully all of the Council can redeem themselves for voting for such a stupid bill when the repeal bill is introduced.

BILL NO. BL2014-840 
“Ayes”: Maynard, Matthews, Harrison, Hunt, Banks, Scott Davis, Westerholm, Anthony Davis, Pridemore, Pardue, Stanley, Claiborne, Tenpenny, Moore, Allen, Gilmore, Baker, Langster, Holleman, Harmon, Blalock, Dowell, Duvall, Todd (24).
“Noes”:  Garrett, Tygard, Glover, Weiner, Evans, Dominy, Mitchell (7)
“Abstaining”: Barry, Steine, Bennett, Johnson, Potts (5).

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

The most 'American' U.S. city? Try Nashville

by Lance Williams, The Tennessean, Aug. 28, 2014 - Most of us would agree that Nashville is anything but an average city, but a new study shows that Nashville is the most "American" of U.S. metro areas.

By using that description, the study from WalletHub says that Nashville's demographics most closely mirror the U.S. average as a whole.  (link)

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Who got which Committee assignments in the Metro Council.

Below is the Council committee assignments for the coming year. For what it is worth, I have highlighted those Council members whom I think of as the "good" councilmen.  My list of  "good" councilmen are council members who are socially or fiscally conservative.  There are other council members who may be great at constituent service and who I personally like and who may be good council members if judged by different criteria. I mean, I like Karen Johnson, and Walter Hunt and Fabian Bedne and a lot of the others but they would not claim to be conservatives. Some I have listed, I am just assuming are more conservative than most of their colleagues simply because they are identified as Republican; they may not be.  I think there is only one Councilman who has never disappointing me by the way he has voted, so by me listing a councilman as one of the "good" councilmen does not mean I always agree with that person. Also, it is worth noting that there are only a handful of issues where political ideology matters. Anyway, my listing as "good" is more of an impression than a data-based assessment, so take it with a grain of salt.  If I missed someone or you disagree with some of my evaluation, feel free to voice your opinion. Rod

Budget And Finance (13)

  • Pridemore, Bill, Chair
  • Baker, Buddy
  • Bennett, Karen
  • Davis, Anthony
  • Dowell, Jacobia
  • Garrett, Tim
  • Glover, Steve
  • Langster, Edith Taylor
  • Maynard, Jerry
  • Moore, Sandra
  • Pardue, Doug
  • Steine, Ronnie
  • Weiner, Sheri  
Tim Garrett will be the voice of experience and reason on this committee. B&F is the most important committee of the Council.

Charter Revision (8): Johnson, Karen, Chair; Allen, Burkley; Banks, Brady; Blalock, Davette; Dowell, Jacobia; Garrett, Tim; Holleman, Jason; Steine, Ronnie


Codes, Fair And Farmer's Market (9): Dowell, Jacobia, Chair; Barry, Megan; Bedne, Fabian Evans, Emily; Holleman, Jason; Moore, Sandra.

There are a lot of problems with Farmers Market. It still can not break even and must be subsidized. There are still those who want to do away with the Farigrounds and sell the property to developers. This could be an important committee.

Convention, Tourism And Public Entertainment Facilities (9): Banks, Brady, Chair; Allen, Burkley; Garrett, Tim; Glover, Steve; Harmon, Chris; Hunt, Walter; Mitchell, Bo; Potts, Jason Westerholm, Peter.
This is an important committee. Again I am glad to see Tim Garrett on this committee.
 
Education (10): Moore, Sandra, Chair; Blalock, Davette; Claiborne, Phil; Glover, Steve; Matthews, Lonnell; Mitchell, Bo; Potts, Jason; Stanley, Bruce; Tenpenny, Tony; Todd, Carter.

Federal Grants Review (7): Westerholm, Peter; Chair; Davis, Anthony; Davis, Scott; Gilmore, Erica; Harrison, Frank; Langster, Edith Taylor; Moore, Sandra.

Health, Hospitals And Social Services (10): Gilmore, Erica, Chair; Davis, Scott; Duvall, Robert; Harmon, Chris; Harrison, Frank; Holleman, Jason; Hunt, Walter; Langster, Edith Taylor; Maynard, Jerry; Tygard, Charlie.

Parks, Library And Recreation (10): Bennett, Karen, Chair; Allen, Burkley; Claiborne, Phil; Duvall, Robert; Hagar, Larry; Holleman, Jason; Stites, Josh; Tenpenny, Tony; Todd, Carter; Tygard, Charlie. 

Personnel - Public Information - Human Relations - Housing (10): Weiner, Sheri, Chair; Banks, Brady; Davis, Scott; Evans, Emily; Johnson, Karen; Matthews, Lonnell; Maynard, Jerry; Potts, Jason; Steine, Ronnie; Stites, Josh.

Human Relations is the agency responsible for promoting political correctness and sponsors the Youth Pavilion at the annual Nashville gay pride festival. Maybe Josh Stites, one of my favorite councilmen, can can exert some influence to end that practice and maybe work to abolish the agency.


Planning, Zoning And Historical (13)
  • Hunt, Walter, Chair
  • Bedne, Fabian
  • Blalock, Davette
  • Claiborne, Phil
  • Davis, Scott
  • Dominy, Duane
  • Gilmore, Erica
  • Hagar, Larry
  • Harrison, Frank
  • Johnson, Karen
  • McGuire, Sean
  • Tenpenny, Tony
  • Westerholm, Peter

This is one of the most time consuming committees of the council. Councilmen on this committee have to work real hard on what I usually find to be boring issues. Next to Budget and Finance however it is considered one of the most important committees.


Public Safety - Beer And Regulated Beverages (10): Baker, Buddy, Chair; Blalock, Davette; Evans, Emily; Gilmore, Erica; Johnson, Karen; Langster, Edith Taylor; Matthews, Lonnell; McGuire, Sean; Pardue, Doug; Stanley, Bruce.

Public Works (9) Davis, Anthony, Chair; Allen, Burkley; Barry, Megan; Bennett, Karen; Dominy, Duane; Dowell, Jacobia; McGuire, Sean; Stanley, Bruce; Westerholm, Pete.

Rules - Confirmations - Public Elections (9): Harmon, Chris, Chair; Baker,Buddy; Banks, Brady; Barry, Megan; Davis,Anthony; Mitchell, Bo; Pridemore, Bill; Steine, Ronnie; Stites, Josh.

This could be an important committee. All appointees to boards and commissions must come before this committee for a recommendation on confirmation. A councilman could exert influence by questioning appointees about their position on policy.  As an example, if someone is being appointed to the Human Relations Committee, a member of this committee could question them and if they support the city hosting a youth pavilion at the annual gay pride festival, the councilman could vote against their confirmation. Or, if they are unaware or unconcerned about the corruption at NES, they may deserve a "no" vote.  Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, the committee simply serves as a rubber stamp for the mayor and does not exert the influence it could have.

Traffic, Parking And Transportation (8): Harrison, Frank, Chair; Bedne, Fabian; Dominy, Duane; Duvall, Robert; Garrett, Tim; Hagar, Larry; Pardue, Doug; Todd, Carter.

With the unsettled AMP issue, this committee could be influential. Several of the members of this committee are critical of AMP.

None of the more outspoken conservatives on the Council, such as Robert Duvall, Duane Dominy, or Josh Stites got a chairmanship.  On the other hand, liberal Council member Megan Barry who is running for Mayor and could benefit from some TV face time did not get a chairmanship.

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Charlie Tygard not reassigned to Budget and Finance. Pledges to ask the tough questions from the Council Floor.

Charlie Tygard
Charlie Tygard, in my view, is one of the best  members of the Metro Council.  When it comes to fiscal matters he ask the insightful, probing questions that I want someone to ask.  He is often the lone voice raising concern about Metro's pension liability or debt capacity or getting the details about financial deals.  Knowing Charlie Tygard is on the Budget and Finance Committee, I feel that decisions made by the Council are probably usually fiscally sound or at least more sound than they would otherwise be.

When committee assignments were made this week for the coming year, Charlie Tygard was not reassigned to the Budget and Finance Committee. I guess Charlie Tygard has asked too many hard questions and someone does not want him on that committee. Knowing this was going to happen, he had let it be known that if he did not get the assignment, he would ask his questions from the  council floor. Vice Mayor Neighbors has tried to keep council meetings moving at a fast clip and have all real discussion take place in committee meetings. That is one reason Council meetings are so boring. The vice mayor is not pleased by Charlie's intention to ask questions from the floor.

I have written Charlie a word of encouragement  urging him to stick to his guns and ask the hard questions that should be asked whether he is on the B&F committee or not.  Charlie is term limited and I think he would make a great Mayor and I wish he would run for that office.  If he is not ready to run for Mayor, I would love to see him run for the office of Vice Mayor. He has been elected county-wide as a councilman-at-large and I think he could run a strong race for vice mayor. As vice mayor he would be the one making the committee assignments and the voters of Davidson County could have his expertise for possibly eight more years. 

This story was reported in the Tennessean and you can read about it at this link: Vice mayor, councilman at odds over committee snub.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tennessee BAEO Congratulates STRIVE Collegiate Academy

BAEO

From Tennessee BAEO (Black Alliance for Educational Options):

Tennessee BAEO commends the Metro Nashville Public School Board on its vote of confidence in support of STRIVE Collegiate Academy. 
We are especially proud of Founder LaKendra Butler for working diligently to offer parents and students access to another high-quality charter option in Metro Nashville. STRIVE Collegiate Academy will open in the Fall of 2015, with a goal of enrolling 120 5th graders for the 2015 - 2016 school year. The school will add an additional grade each year through 8th grade. 
 For more information about STRIVE Collegiate Academy and the ruling that will allow it open, read the story on tennessean.com

 Best,
Jennifer Littlejohn 
State Director Tennessee BAEO

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Alexander Calls on Obama Administration to Release Obamacare Enrollment Data

Washington, D.C., Press Release, August 27– U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the senior Republican on the Senate health committee, today joined with Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.)  to call on the Obama administration to release Obamacare enrollment data that it has withheld from the public since May.

“The last public update by CMS on enrollment numbers was on May 1, 2014,” the senators write in a letter to the Administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Marilyn Tavenner. “With the next open enrollment period set to begin on November 15, 2014, it is imperative that CMS provide Congress and the public with accurate information about the number of people who are enrolled in exchange coverage as well as the number of people who have cancelled coverage. “

Alexander and Barrasso request a detailed breakdown of the age of the individuals who enrolled in the Obamacare exchange, what type of plans they enrolled in, who paid and did not pay their premiums, and which individuals have cancelled coverage.

Today’s letter continues Alexander’s efforts to make information about the Obamacare federal exchange public. The House of Representatives earlier this year passed legislation authored by Alexander to require the Obama administration to provide weekly reports to Congress, states, and the public about the federally run exchange in 36 states, including easily tracked data such as the number of individuals who have visited the site and the number who have successfully enrolled, their zip code, and the level of coverage they’ve obtained. The reports would also be required to contain information on the department’s efforts to resolve the site’s widespread technical problems.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has not brought the legislation up for a vote in the Senate.

Today’s letter from Senators Alexander and Barrasso also highlights recent investigations that call into question the accuracy of the enrollment figures trumpeted by the Administration this past May.

“Since the last enrollment report issued by CMS, numerous investigations raise questions about the accuracy of the enrollment figures trumpeted by the Administration in May. For example, the Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Inspector General found that the marketplace could not resolve 2.6 million out of 2.9 million inconsistencies because the eligibility system created by your agency was not fully operational…With the next open enrollment period set to begin on November 15, 2014, it is imperative that CMS provide Congress and the public with accurate information about the number of people who are enrolled in exchange coverage as well as the number of people who have cancelled coverage,” the senators wrote.  

Full text of the letter below:

August 27, 2014
The Honorable Marilyn Tavenner
Administrator
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
7500 Security Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21244

Dear Administrator Tavenner,

We are writing to ask that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) update Congress and the public regarding enrollment in the health insurance exchanges. The last public update by CMS on enrollment numbers was on May 1, 2014.  Numerous Administration officials touted the enrollment totals reported by CMS.  Former Secretary Sebelius was quick to praise CMS’s report and stated that the exchange enrollment exceeded expectations.

Since the last enrollment report issued by CMS, numerous investigations raise questions about the accuracy of the enrollment figures trumpeted by the Administration in May.  For example, the Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Inspector General found that the marketplace could not resolve 2.6 million out of 2.9 million inconsistencies because the eligibility system created by your agency was not fully operational.

In addition, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report detailing the results of their “secret shopper” investigation which attempted to test Obamacare’s enrollment controls.  The results were frightening as eleven out of the twelve fake applications created by GAO were approved.
Finally, your own agency recently acknowledged that over 300,000 people have not responded to problems found with their immigration and citizenship status.  Despite repeated efforts to contact these individuals, they have not provided the documentation to prove that they can legally receive plans through the exchanges.  Unless these people can address this problem, their exchange coverage will terminate on September 30th.

With the next open enrollment period set to begin on November 15, 2014, it is imperative that CMS provide Congress and the public with accurate information about the number of people who are enrolled in exchange coverage as well as the number of people who have cancelled coverage.  Therefore, we request you provide the following information.

1.      The number of individuals who selected an insurance plan through the health insurance exchanges from the beginning of the 2014 open enrollment period through August 15, 2014.
2.      The number of individuals who selected an exchange insurance plan, but failed to pay their first month’s premium.
3.      The number of individuals who selected an exchange insurance plan and paid their first month’s premium.
4.      The number of individuals who selected an exchange insurance plan, paid their first month’s premium, but then failed to make subsequent payments and therefore are no longer enrolled in their exchange insurance plan.

To ensure this information provides the most complete picture of the number of individuals who are currently enrolled in exchange insurance policies, please provide a breakdown of these answers based on the state, medal level, and age of the enrollees.

Thank you in advance for your attention to this request.  We would appreciate a response by September 9, 2014.

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Conservative Groups meeting Wednesday August 27th: Guest Speakers are Senator Mark Green and Sheriff Daron Hall

From Tony Roberts:

Our meeting for August will be held at the City Club downtown, 201 4th Ave. North Nashville, Tennessee, from 5:30-7:30, Wednesday, August 27, 2014. 

Our keynote speakers are State Senator, Dr. Mark Green and Davidson County Sheriff, Daron Hall. This meeting will focus on information from the state level to the safety issues of Davidson County and immigration reform.
Janice Johnson will speak on the constitution legalities of the selection of our judges in the county and what we must do to be complacent with the constitution.
Networking will start at 5:30 and the program starts at 6:00. Parking is free underneath the building and a special reduced menu is available.
We as a nation are facing the demise of our freedoms and we must stand firm to stop the eroding of our constitutional rights. Please RSVP.

Tony Roberts, Dan Davis, Juan Borges and all conservative groups.
My Comment: Senator Mark Green is a rising star in Tennessee politics. If you do not know Senator Mark Green, take advantage of this opportunity to meet him. Below is his bio:


86-Green-Mark-07-08-2010-200x300Mark Green, Tennessee State Senator for District 22, serves as the Vice-Chair of the Senate Commerce and Insurance Committee as well as a member of the Judiciary and State and Local Government Committees.  He is also the Chaplain of the Senate GOP Caucus where he authors a weekly devotion.  In his first session in the Tennessee General Assembly “Doc Green” passed legislation to create jobs, assist veterans, and fight horrific crimes like sexual assault and assault on law enforcement.  He initiated a Facebook page that allows out-of-work Tennesseans to post their resume’s for free, and businesses to post jobs for free. Mark was selected as the Tennessee Journal’s Rookie of the year, appointed co-chair of Physician Legislators from 16 states, and was recognized as one of GOPAC’s top 21 Emerging Leaders.
Just prior to the capture of Saddam
Just prior to the capture of Saddam

In his civilian life, Dr. Green is the president and CEO of Align MD (www.alignmd.com), an emergency department staffing company based in Clarksville, TN, which provides leadership, management and staffing to emergency departments in four southeastern states. Mark also founded Align MD Foundation, which provides healthcare to underserved populations throughout the world.


Mark came to Tennessee as an army special operation flight surgeon assigned to the 160th Special Ops Aviation Regiment.  There he planned and flew on some of the war on terror’s most covert operations.  His most memorable mission was the capture of Saddam Hussein.  Dr. Green interviewed Saddam for six hours on the night of his capture and wrote a book detailing the interview and his service with our military’s “Jedi Nights,” as he calls them.  During this time Mark was selected as the Army Aviation Association Flight Surgeon of the year.

Dr. Green’s military career began as an infantry officer.  From 1987 – 1990 he served as a rifle platoon leader, scout platoon leader and battalion personnel officer in the 194th Separate Armor Brigade, and from 1990 – 1992, as a battalion supply officer and an airborne rifle company commander in the famed 82nd Airborne Division. (read more)

Dr. Mark Green, Tennessee State Senator for District 22, serves as the Vice-Chair of the Senate Commerce and Insurance Committee as well as a member of the Judiciary and State and Local Government Committees.  He is also the Chaplain of the Senate GOP Caucus where he authors a weekly devotion.  In his first session in the Tennessee General Assembly “Doc Green” passed legislation to create jobs, assist veterans, and fight horrific crimes like sexual assault and assault on law enforcement.  He initiated a Facebook page that allows out-of-work Tennesseans to post their resume’s for free, and businesses to post jobs for free. Mark was selected as the Tennessee Journal’s Rookie of the year, appointed co-chair of Physician Legislators from 16 states, and was recognized as one of GOPAC’s top 21 Emerging Leaders.
In his civilian life, Dr. Green is the president and CEO of Align MD (www.alignmd.com), an emergency department staffing company based in Clarksville, TN, which provides leadership, management and staffing to emergency departments in four southeastern states. Mark also founded Align MD Foundation, which provides healthcare to underserved populations throughout the world.
Just prior to the capture of Saddam
Just prior to the capture of Saddam
Mark came to Tennessee as an army special operation flight surgeon assigned to the 160th Special Ops Aviation Regiment.  There he planned and flew on some of the war on terror’s most covert operations.  His most memorable mission was the capture of Saddam Hussein.  Dr. Green interviewed Saddam for six hours on the night of his capture and wrote a book detailing the interview and his service with our military’s “Jedi Nights,” as he calls them.  During this time Mark was selected as the Army Aviation Association Flight Surgeon of the year.
Dr. Green’s military career began as an infantry officer.  From 1987 – 1990 he served as a rifle platoon leader, scout platoon leader and battalion personnel officer in the 194th Separate Armor Brigade, and from 1990 – 1992, as a battalion supply officer and an airborne rifle company commander in the famed 82nd Airborne Division.
In 1986, then Second Lieutenant Green graduated West Point with a degree in economics. In addition to his degree from West Point, Mark has a Masters Certificate from the University of Southern California in Information Systems, and his medical degree from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.
His military awards include the Bronze Star, The Air Medal, The Air Medal with “V” device for valor under heavy enemy fire, and numerous other medals for service.  He also was awarded the Combat Medical Badge, the US Army Ranger Tab, and The Expert Infantryman’s Badge, among many others.
- See more at: http://www.markgreenfortennessee.com/biography-splash/#sthash.wEq6Ahb5.dpuf
Dr. Mark Green, Tennessee State Senator for District 22, serves as the Vice-Chair of the Senate Commerce and Insurance Committee as well as a member of the Judiciary and State and Local Government Committees.  He is also the Chaplain of the Senate GOP Caucus where he authors a weekly devotion.  In his first session in the Tennessee General Assembly “Doc Green” passed legislation to create jobs, assist veterans, and fight horrific crimes like sexual assault and assault on law enforcement.  He initiated a Facebook page that allows out-of-work Tennesseans to post their resume’s for free, and businesses to post jobs for free. Mark was selected as the Tennessee Journal’s Rookie of the year, appointed co-chair of Physician Legislators from 16 states, and was recognized as one of GOPAC’s top 21 Emerging Leaders.
In his civilian life, Dr. Green is the president and CEO of Align MD (www.alignmd.com), an emergency department staffing company based in Clarksville, TN, which provides leadership, management and staffing to emergency departments in four southeastern states. Mark also founded Align MD Foundation, which provides healthcare to underserved populations throughout the world.
Just prior to the capture of Saddam
Just prior to the capture of Saddam
Mark came to Tennessee as an army special operation flight surgeon assigned to the 160th Special Ops Aviation Regiment.  There he planned and flew on some of the war on terror’s most covert operations.  His most memorable mission was the capture of Saddam Hussein.  Dr. Green interviewed Saddam for six hours on the night of his capture and wrote a book detailing the interview and his service with our military’s “Jedi Nights,” as he calls them.  During this time Mark was selected as the Army Aviation Association Flight Surgeon of the year.
Dr. Green’s military career began as an infantry officer.  From 1987 – 1990 he served as a rifle platoon leader, scout platoon leader and battalion personnel officer in the 194th Separate Armor Brigade, and from 1990 – 1992, as a battalion supply officer and an airborne rifle company commander in the famed 82nd Airborne Division.
In 1986, then Second Lieutenant Green graduated West Point with a degree in economics. In addition to his degree from West Point, Mark has a Masters Certificate from the University of Southern California in Information Systems, and his medical degree from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.
His military awards include the Bronze Star, The Air Medal, The Air Medal with “V” device for valor under heavy enemy fire, and numerous other medals for service.  He also was awarded the Combat Medical Badge, the US Army Ranger Tab, and The Expert Infantryman’s Badge, among many others.
- See more at: http://www.markgreenfortennessee.com/biography-splash/#sthash.wEq6Ahb5.dpuf
Dr. Mark Green, Tennessee State Senator for District 22, serves as the Vice-Chair of the Senate Commerce and Insurance Committee as well as a member of the Judiciary and State and Local Government Committees.  He is also the Chaplain of the Senate GOP Caucus where he authors a weekly devotion.  In his first session in the Tennessee General Assembly “Doc Green” passed legislation to create jobs, assist veterans, and fight horrific crimes like sexual assault and assault on law enforcement.  He initiated a Facebook page that allows out-of-work Tennesseans to post their resume’s for free, and businesses to post jobs for free. Mark was selected as the Tennessee Journal’s Rookie of the year, appointed co-chair of Physician Legislators from 16 states, and was recognized as one of GOPAC’s top 21 Emerging Leaders.
In his civilian life, Dr. Green is the president and CEO of Align MD (www.alignmd.com), an emergency department staffing company based in Clarksville, TN, which provides leadership, management and staffing to emergency departments in four southeastern states. Mark also founded Align MD Foundation, which provides healthcare to underserved populations throughout the world.
Just prior to the capture of Saddam
Just prior to the capture of Saddam
Mark came to Tennessee as an army special operation flight surgeon assigned to the 160th Special Ops Aviation Regiment.  There he planned and flew on some of the war on terror’s most covert operations.  His most memorable mission was the capture of Saddam Hussein.  Dr. Green interviewed Saddam for six hours on the night of his capture and wrote a book detailing the interview and his service with our military’s “Jedi Nights,” as he calls them.  During this time Mark was selected as the Army Aviation Association Flight Surgeon of the year.
Dr. Green’s military career began as an infantry officer.  From 1987 – 1990 he served as a rifle platoon leader, scout platoon leader and battalion personnel officer in the 194th Separate Armor Brigade, and from 1990 – 1992, as a battalion supply officer and an airborne rifle company commander in the famed 82nd Airborne Division.
In 1986, then Second Lieutenant Green graduated West Point with a degree in economics. In addition to his degree from West Point, Mark has a Masters Certificate from the University of Southern California in Information Systems, and his medical degree from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.
His military awards include the Bronze Star, The Air Medal, The Air Medal with “V” device for valor under heavy enemy fire, and numerous other medals for service.  He also was awarded the Combat Medical Badge, the US Army Ranger Tab, and The Expert Infantryman’s Badge, among many others.
- See more at: http://www.markgreenfortennessee.com/biography-splash/#sthash.wEq6Ahb5.dpuf

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Advanced Placement U. S. History reflects revisionist views of American history.

The following is reposted from the Tennessee Eagle Forum Newsletter. To read much more on the liberal basis in Advanced Placement United States History curriculum, follow this link. Important historical figures such as Benjamin Franklin are not taught yet Chief Little Turtle and the Black Panthers are. The Advanced Placement framework curriculum paints colonists as bigots and glosses over the Greatest Generation's fight to save the world from Nazi Germany, according to conservative education activists who want the framework delayed. 
 

Mike Bell
Dolores Gresham

Senate Education Committee Chairman Dolores Gresham and Government Operations Committee Chairman Mike Bell ask Tennessee Board of Education to Review Effects of New Requirements for Advanced Placement History Exams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Darlene Schlicher
August 26, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn.  --  Senate Education Committee Chairman Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville) and Senate Government Operations Committee Chairman Mike Bell (R-Riceville) have called on the Tennessee State Board of Education to conduct a review of the new framework and materials used in all Advanced Placement U.S. History (APUSH) courses taught in Tennessee classrooms.  The request was made by the lawmakers in a letter to Board Chairman Fielding Rolston and comes after widespread criticism that the new College Board framework for APUSH reflects revisionist views of American history that emphasizes negative aspects of U.S. history, while omitting or minimizing positive aspects.

Advanced Placement courses are college-level classes that students can take while still in high school.  Most colleges and universities in the United States grant credit and placement for qualifying scores.  The exams are produced by the College Board, a private company, which also is responsible for the SAT college admission test. 

"There are many concerns with the new APUSH framework, not the least of which is that it pushes a revisionist interpretation of historical facts," said Chairman Gresham.  "The items listed as required knowledge have some inclusions which are agenda-driven, while leaving out basic facts that are very important to our nation's history.  We need a full review of the framework by our Board as to its effects on Tennessee students and our state standards.  We have also asked the Board to provide a forum in which parents and other concerned citizens can let their voices be heard on the matter."

Tennessee law specifies students in the state must be taught foundational documents in U.S. and Tennessee history.  It also provides that instructional materials, specifically in U.S. History, comply with this state mandate. 

The APUSH framework includes little or no discussion of the founding fathers and the principles of the Declaration of Independence, and other critical topics which had previously been included in the course.  It presents a negative interpretation regarding the motivations and actions of 17th - 19th century settlers, American involvement in World War II, and the development of and victory in the Cold War.

In addition, the APUSH framework excludes discussion of the U.S. military, battles, commanders, and heroes, as well as mentioning many other individuals and events that shaped the nation's history like American icons Albert Einstein, Jonas Salk, George Washington Carver, and Dr. Martin Luther King.  The requirements do not include the study of the Holocaust.

"The APUSH framework appears to differ greatly from Tennessee's U.S. History standards," added Chairman Bell.  "This interferes with our state law and standards for U.S. History if our teachers focus on preparing their pupils for the AP examination, which is a very important test for college-bound students.  We have worked very hard over the past several years to ensure that our students are learning history based on facts, rather than a politically-biased point of view."

Approximately 500,000 students across the nation take Advanced Placement courses in U.S. History each year.  Tennessee has worked diligently over the past several years to push students to take Advanced Placement exams as part of the effort to increase the number of citizens with post-secondary degrees. 

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Nashville will have chance to vote on wine referendum

WSMV Nashville
The Davidson County Election Commission announced today that enough verified signatures had been submitted to add the Wine in Grocery Stores ...(link)

Comment: I'll drink to that.

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Alexander continues push a federal ban on airline passengers making cellphone calls.

Sen. Lamar Alexander is continuing to push a ban on airline passengers making cellphone calls during flights. Alexander joined Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in sponsoring a bill last year known as the  Commercial Flight Courtesy Act that would ban in-flight calls on commercial airlines. Today he called on the U.S. Department of Transportation to propose formal rules that would prohibit cell phone conversations on commercial airline flights, preserving the “last vestige of quiet in our busy skies.”

Cell phones on a plane: Do we need a federal law?


He doesn't have safety concerns but says cell phones would be annoying. At one time cell phone use in flight was banned because of fear they could interfere with airplane communications, but that has been determined to not be true.

Today, he said, “I’m glad the Department of Transportation is serious about putting the brakes on a bad idea before it takes flight.” Alexander said in a statement. "Banning in-flight cellphone conversations would bring us one step closer to avoiding something that the two million passengers flying each day do not want: to be trapped by a seat belt in 17-inch-wide seats thousands of feet above the ground, listening to the same thing we hear in airports — arguments with spouses, next week's schedule, or last night's love life," he said.

I agree that sitting next to someone on a flight yammering on, on their cell phone would be annoying but I think this is something the government should stay out of and let people and the market resolve this.  Few People use their cell phone in movie theaters but it is not because of a federal law.  We do not need to make a federal crime out of everything that might be annoying. I know some people have no manners at all and would talk non-stop but other may answer a call about a sick child or a change in the appointment time of the meeting they are in flight to attend. Some people would be totally inconsiderate but others would say, "I apologize but this is an important call," and they would keep it short.

If the majority of people found cell phone use annoying, the airlines would ban their use.  One does have a choice of airlines they fly; some airlines might allow cell phone use and other airlines might ban them.  If either avoiding cell phone users in flight or being able to use your cell phone in flight was important to you, you could let that be a factor in choosing your airline. Some airlines might have cell phone sections of the airline or come up with policies of no calls over three minutes duration.  The market and people could work this out without the heavy hand of government deciding it for us.



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Lunch with Arthru Laffer, fund raiser for Senator Mark Green

Arthur Laffer
Luncheon with Dr. Arthur Laffer
Thursday, August 28th,
11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Maggiano's, 3106 West End Avenue, Nashville.

Senator Mark Green would like to invite you Lunch and to meet one our our neighbors in Nashville, Dr. Arthur Laffer, a famous economist for President Ronald Reagan. You see him often on Fox and will be able to get to know him by asking him questions that will make you laugh. Dr. Laffer is very animated and entertaining. Please make reservations to: jeff@markgreenfortennessee.com.
$250/person, $500/Co-Host or $1000/Host

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Jim Tracy explains why he did not contest the primary election.

Dear Friends and Supporters,
I am announcing my decision about whether or not to file a contest of the August 7th Republican Primary for the Fourth Congressional District. When I started this campaign, my goal was to offer the citizens of the 4th District a choice in who to represent them in Congress. I presented my plan to offer conservative, effective leadership, and my opponents offered theirs. And after over 75,000 votes were cast in the Republican Primary, less than 40 votes separated the incumbent Congressman and me.
Our campaign staff and volunteers have been diligently gathering and analyzing information from all 16 counties in the District. Through the Secretary of State’s Office, as well as directly, we have communicated with the County Election Commissions.  Our staff has attended many of the meetings at which Election Commissions counted provisional ballots, as well the meetings at which the Election Commissions certified the votes in all of the August 7th elections. A great deal of information has come to me through formal and informal sources.
For example, there were votes by people who were not on the rolls and should have cast provisional ballots, but voted on machines so there was no way to determine whether those were legal votes.  There were voters who were not given ballots for the primary election, but only for the General Election. There are counties that are split between the Fourth District and a different district, either the Seventh or the Third, and we know of at least one voter who was given a ballot for the wrong Congressional District.  We know of a voter who was told that he had already voted, when he had not, which leads to the inference that other voters were told the same thing and did not take the time to assert their rights. 
We have consulted with knowledgeable people, and I have consulted with my family and, most importantly I have prayed for guidance.  In the end, the decision of whether or not to file a contest was mine and mine alone.
I have decided to refrain from contesting this election. I am not willing to put the State Republican Primary Board, the Secretary of State’s Office and Division of Elections, the County Election Commissions, the campaign staff, my volunteers, my family and the public through additional weeks of litigation, with uncertainty as to who the nominee will be.
State law provides that ballots must be ready to send out to military, overseas and other absentee voters 45 days before the November election, and I am not willing to put them in a difficult position. A contest would not be the right thing for the Republican Party and the conservative cause in Tennessee.  Contests of primary elections are extremely compressed.  The Fourth District is geographically widespread.  Under state law, if there is a recount, all votes in every county must be recounted, even in counties where we are confident that the counts were accurate.  A recount does not uncover votes that were illegal or that were illegally kept from being cast.  These factors weigh against a contest.
I assure the public that the Secretary of State’s office, and the Division of Elections in that office, have been responsive, fair and objective and have done their job in an exemplary way.  That office is in the best of hands.  Chairman Chris Devaney, the staff and the counsel for the Tennessee Republican Primary Board went into action immediately after Election Night to prepare for a contest, and I thank them.  I am forever grateful to my family, staff, volunteers, contributors, and the voters who placed their faith in me and have encouraged me throughout the campaign and in this decision-making period. I also want to comment that the press has reported fairly, neutrally and calmly, and I sincerely appreciate their demeanor. 
I have called Rep. DesJarlais to inform him of my decision to concede and congratulated him. One reason why I am at peace about my decision is that I am devoted to my service as the Senator from the Fourteenth Senatorial District of Tennessee. Serving the people of the Fourteenth District and helping to make Tennessee a better place to live, work, do business and go to school is a high honor.  I will continue to serve in the Senate with dedication, energy and integrity. Much is at stake for our country and our state; I look forward to helping us meet the challenges ahead.

God bless and Thank you,
Jim Tracy

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Alexander: People of faith should not have their government tell them how to practice their religion,

In June after the Supreme Court ruled that the owners of Hobby Lobby did not have to violate their conscience and provide certain birth control drugs for their employees, the Obama administration started looking for a work-around. Friday, the administration issued new rules that will still enable employees to get free contraception through their company-provided insurance plan but would have the funding for that part of the plan come from the insurance company.  This would apply to faith-based non-profits and some companies. The company or non-profit would have to apply for this accommodation.  This is smoke and mirrors to make it appear that the company is not providing it but still make it available through the employer's insurance plan.

White House spokesman Eric Schultz said, “What these rules do is help ensure that women have access to contraceptive coverage while respecting religious beliefs."

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander on Friday, August 22 issued the made the following statement:

“People of faith should not have their government tell them how to practice their religion, and these proposals still infringe on the First Amendment’s protections. Instead of trying to find a different way to do the same thing, the Obama administration should admit that Obamacare was an historic mistake, and work with Republicans in Congress to start over to repair the damage it has done and prevent future damage with step-by-step reforms that reduce the cost of health insurance and expand freedom and choice.”

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Council meeting of 8/19/14: Ken Jakes honored, President Pro Tem elected, Honky Tonk protection bill dies and more (updated report)



This is one of the more interesting council meetings with several continuous issues and several roll call votes.

This first order of business is the election of President Pro Tem. This is a position of prestige. The duty of this office is to conduct the Council meetings in the absence of the chair. Councilman Davis nominates Lonnell Matthews, Jr. and Council member Karen Bennett nominates Councilman Phil Claiborne. Matthews is a liberal member of the Council and Claiborne is a conservative. While election of pro tem may indicate ideological divisions within the Council, there may be other consideration as important as ideology, so not too much should be read into who lines up behind which candidate In this vote, all of the council members who one may consider as conservatives or who are Republican vote for Claiborne but he also picks up a few other votes. The vote is very close and on a machine vote, Matthews wins 19 to 18. Here is the vote:

For Matthews: Barry, Steine, Maynard, Matthews, Hunt, Banks, Scott Davis, Westerholm, Anthony Davis, Moore, Allen, Gilmore, Evans, Holleman, Harmon, Johnson, Potts, Dowell, Mitchell (19).
For  Claiborne: Garrett, Tygard, Harrison, Bennett, Pridemore, Pardue, Glover, Stites, Stanley, Claiborne, Tenpenny, Baker, Langster, Weiner, Blalock, Dominy, Duvall, Todd (18).
There is one resolution on public hearing concerning the distance requirement for a beer permit and no one speaks and the resolution passes. This is a location that already has a liquor-by-the-drink permit. This seems like such a waste of time. If a place can already serve liquor, why does the council not go ahead and change the law and say the beer permit distance requirements are automatically waived?

All of the resolutions on the Consent Agenda pass and a couple non controversial bills that are not on consent pass. Below are other resolution.

 RESOLUTION NO. RS2014-1156   is withdrawn. It is another one of those distance requirements for a beer permit resolutions for an establishment that already has a liquor-by-the-drink permit. It is withdrawn because the patrons of the establishment seeking the beer permit are taking neighborhood parking places. I don't blame the council member for using whatever tool is available to respond to his constituents, but there ought to be a better way to deal with parking controversies than to deny an establishment that already has liquor-by-the-drink permit a beer permit. 

RESOLUTION NO. RS2014-1186  by Council members Tygard and Dominy recognizes Mr. Ken
Ken Jakes
Jakes for his service to our community. It is a memorializing Resolutions. Memorializing resolutions do not  carry the force of law but they express the will of the council. They are usually    lumped with resolutions on the consent agenda.  This Council will pass almost any memorializing resolution.  Surprisingly this resolution proves controversial. It passes, but just barely.

This is a well deserved honor for Mr. Jakes. He is a very giving person and supports all kinds of charitable causes especially giving fruit and vegetables to food banks and other events. Watch the speech by Charlie Tygard to learn more about what kind of person Ken Jakes is. I am proud to call Ken Jakes my friend. The world would be a better place if we had more people like Ken Jakes.

Ken Jakes does much more than just charitable work.  He is a citizen activist who has exposed corruption and waste in Metro Government time and time again, including exposures of the mismanagement at Farmers Market and corruption at NES. Apparently he has stepped on too many toes. I am proud of Councilmen Karen Johnson, and Robert Duvall and Charlie Tygard and Councilman Tony Tennpenny for taking to the floor and speaking on behalf of Ken Jakes and for all of those who voted in favor of this resolution. None of those who voted against Jakes or abstained had the guts to voice their opposition and explain their vote.

The Rules-Confirmations-Public Elections Committee made no recommendation. Here is how the council voted:
“Ayes”: Garrett, Tygard, Bennett, Glover, Stites, Stanley, Claiborne, Tenpenny, Weiner, Evans, Holleman, Blalock, Dominy, Johnson, Potts, Dowell, Duvall, Todd (18).
“Noes”: Steine, Pridemore, Pardue, Mitchell (4).
“Abstaining”:  Barry, Maynard, Matthews, Harrison, Hunt, Banks, Scott Davis, Westerholm, Anthony Davis, Moore, Allen, Gilmore, Baker, Langster (14).

(See time stamp 19:55- 27:35 to watch the discussion.)

BILL NO. BL2014-841 on Second Reading establishes a formula for how big an outdoor residential dog pen must be. It passes.

BILL NO. BL2014-847  on Second Reading passes.  It requires contracts for the companies that lobby the State on behalf of Metro government  and it requires that reports be submitted to the Metropolitan Council detailing what the Metro lobbyist is lobbying for and what the goals of the lobbying effort is and what the impact would be of the outcome the lobbyist is seeking. This is a good bill but I wish it was even stronger. I think Metro's lobbyist should only lobby for or against a bill if specifically authorized to do so by the Council.

BILL NO. BL2014-770  was back on the agenda on third reading and was again deferred.  It
A tall skinny Nashville Duplex
would change the definition of duplex so one could have two units on a piece of property and they would not have to be artificially joined the way they are now, where two protruding utility rooms are the only thing joining the homes. It would also impose heights restrictions. If the units are built to be joined, then a greater portion of the building would have to share a common wall. The tall skinny Nashville duplex would be a thing of the past if this had passed.

BILL NO. BL2014-771 which would create a new code provision for a “contextual overlay district” which could be applied to a neighborhood to ensure that infill development is compatible with surrounding properties, passes 29-8 with two abstention. The bill is substituted to allow the Board of Zoning Appeal to grant variance. I think that is an improvement but still think this is a bad bill.

This bill  does such things as restrict the height to no more than 125% of nearby homes. Already the same thing can be accomplished with an Urban Design Overlay, but this bill makes it easier. I had mixed views of this, but if I was in the Council, I would have to vote against it. There are some neighborhoods that have been transformed from neighborhoods with homes in the $75,000 to $100,000 range to neighborhoods where the homes are worth up to $650,000. If this had been in place those transformation would not have occurred. These transformations do destroy “affordable” housing but they also respond to market demand for more expensive home in Nashville, which results in a higher tax base. Do we want upper middle class people to all move to Williamson County or do we want to let market forces make room for them to live in Davidson County? The bill was approved by the Planning Commission and Planning, Zoning and Historical Committee. After some parliamentary maneuvering the bill passed by the following vote:
“Ayes": Barry, Steine, Garrett, Maynard, Matthews, Harrison, Hunt, Scott Davis, Westerholm, Anthony Davis, Bennett, Pridemore, Pardue, Stanley, Claiborne, Tenpenny, Moore, Allen, Gilmore, Langster, Weiner, Evans, Holleman, Harmon, Blalock, Johnson, Potts, Dowell, Todd (29).
"No": Tygard, Glover, Stites, Dominy, Duvall, Mitchell (6); “
"Abstaining”:  Banks, Baker (2).
To watch the discussion see time stamp 46:09- 58:35.


SUBSTITUTE BILL NO. BL2014-776  is the 'Music City Cultural Heritage Overlay' district idea that would have restricted businesses on lower Broadway, 2nd Ave and Printers Alley to live music venues and tacky tea shirt shops and boot stores. In a wise move, the Council killed it.

BILL NO. BL2014-840  which prohibit beer permits from being issued for establishments located within a shopping mall containing a community center and/or public library passes. In my view this is ridiculous. So there is a library at the other end of mall, what is it going to hurt to allow someone to have a beer with their meal or pick up a six-pack to go at the drug store? Here is the vote:
“Ayes”: Maynard, Matthews, Harrison, Hunt, Banks, Scott Davis, Westerholm, Anthony Davis, Pridemore, Pardue, Stanley, Claiborne, Tenpenny, Moore, Allen, Gilmore, Baker, Langster, Holleman, Harmon, Blalock, Dowell, Duvall, Todd (24).
“Noes”:  Garrett, Tygard, Glover, Weiner, Evans, Dominy, Mitchell (7)
“Abstaining”: Barry, Steine, Bennett, Johnson, Potts (5).

Below is the Tennessean coverage of the meeting:


by Michael Cass, The Tennessean, Aug. 19, 2014 - A controversial plan that could have made it tougher for chain restaurants and stores to open in parts of downtown Nashville was deferred indefinitely Tuesday by the Metro Council. ......
But critics have said that the measure initially targeted a Walgreens once planned for Lower Broadway — the deal has since fallen through — and that it would have unfairly kept out other chain stores and restaurants, too.

Below is the Nashville Public Radio coverage of the meeting:

New Nashville Law Gives Neighbors A Regulation Tool

Nashville communities now have another tool to help regulate development. On Tuesday, Metro Council passed a new law adopting the so-called contextual overlay district, and supporters say it’ll combat new buildings that chafe against neighborhood fabric. (link)

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