Monday, August 31, 2015

New pronouns created by UT Director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Xe should have xem job eliminated.


You just can't make this stuff up! When I thought political correctness and queer sensitivity could not get any more ridiculous, it did. This is a press release from the University of Tennessee:

Inclusive Practice: Pronoun Usage

By Donna Braquet, Director of the Pride Center
With the new semester beginning and an influx of new students on campus, it is important to participate in making our campus welcoming and inclusive for all. One way to do that is to use a student’s chosen name and their correct pronouns.
We should not assume someone’s gender by their appearance, nor by what is listed on a roster or in student information systems. Transgender people and people who do not identity within the gender binary may use a different name than their legal name and pronouns of their gender identity, rather than the pronouns of the sex they were assigned at birth.

Introductions

In the first weeks of classes, instead of calling roll, ask everyone to provide their name and pronouns. This ensures you are not singling out transgender or non-binary students. The name a student uses may not be the one on the official roster, and the roster name may not be the same gender as the one the student now uses.
This practice works outside of the classroom as well. You can start meetings with requesting introductions that include names and pronouns, introduce yourself with your name and chosen pronouns, or when providing nametags, ask attendees to write in their name and pronouns.

Gender-neutral pronouns

We are familiar with the singular pronouns she, her, hers and he, him, his, but those are not the only singular pronouns. In fact, there are dozens of gender-neutral pronouns.
A few of the most common singular gender-neutral pronouns are they, them, their (used as singular), ze, hir, hirs, and xe, xem, xyr.
These may sound a little funny at first, but only because they are new. The she and he pronouns would sound strange too if we had been taught ze when growing up.

How do you know?

How do you know what pronoun someone uses? If you cannot use the methods mentioned above, you can always politely ask. “Oh, nice to meet you, [insert name]. What pronouns should I use?” is a perfectly fine question to ask.
The more we make sharing of pronouns a universal practice, the more inclusive we will be as a campus. When our organizational culture shifts to where asking for chosen names and pronouns is the standard practice, it alleviates a heavy burden for persons already marginalized by their gender expression or identity.

Learn more

To learn more about gender identity, gender-neutral pronouns, or transgender topics, consider signing up for a Safe Zone workshop at safezone.utk.edu.
While this is said to be voluntary and just a suggestion, you can be sure that at some point, and probably pretty soon, this will become the norm for the University.  Then you can expect it to become the norm in companies that do business with UT and when UT graduates enter the work force, it will spread to the general population.

In my professional life, I have on occasion succumbed to the fashion of  using the awkward "he/she," especially when writing grants.  I did not want to lose points in a grant application because some politically correct person may be reviewing my grant proposal. The use of "he/she" has been pretty much standard government-speak for about twenty years.  So, instead of using the singular pronoun in a sentence, such as "everyone brought his lunch," I would use the awkward, "everyone brought his/her lunch," or use the plural form and say, "they all brought their lunch."

It was bad enough just not trying to offend people who thought that "his or he" were sexist pronouns. Now one must be concerned about people who think they are neither "he" nor "she" and want to change the language to reflect that nonsense. If the University of Tennessee has enough money to try to change the culture by inventing new politically correct pronouns, the University of Tennessee has too much money. 

The state legislature should reduce the funding for the University of Tennessee by the amount of money going to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the governor should replace the members of the UT Board of Trustees and put people on the Board who will not tolerate such silliness. Donna Braquet should lose zir job and zir position should be eliminated.

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Darrell Waltrip, Sterling Marlin endorse Fox for mayor

by Joey Garrison, The Tennessean, August 31, 2015- Former NASCAR drivers Darrell Waltrip and Sterling Marlin on Monday endorsed David Fox for mayor of Nashville, becoming the latest names to back his candidacy over the Metro-owned fairgrounds and racetrack.

Waltrip and Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville racing operator Tony Formosa joined Fox outside the Wildhorse Saloon on Monday for a news conference to announce their backing. Behind them was a race car sporting the "Fox for Mayor" logo. (link)

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Former NASCAR driver Darrell Waltrip endorses David Fox

This morning, former NASCAR driver Darrell Waltrip announced Monday he is endorsing David Fox for Nashville mayor. The announcement was made just before noon outside of the Wild Horse Saloon in downtown Nashville.

Darrell Waltrip is an American motorsports analyst, author, national television broadcaster, as well as a former racing car driver. He is a three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion and a three-time NASCAR Cup Series runner-up. He is one of the top winning NASCAR drivers ever. He still holds many NASCAR records, more than a decade after his retirement as an active driver. Waltrip is one of several former weekly drivers who raced at the Nashville Speedway, to reach the upper levels of NASCAR. 

David Fox supports maintaining and improving the fairgrounds and the Speedway and Megan Barry Megan was among the main proponents of selling off the fair grounds and redeveloping the property into a mixed use office park. Barry was the lead sponsor of a bill to demolish the speedway. When Mayor Karl Dean appointed Eric Malo, an advocate of destroying the fairgrounds, to serve on the Fair Board the council, in a rare move, voted to not confirm the appointment.  Megan Barry voted in favor of confirming Malo's appointment.

Last week Fox picked up an endorsement of the Save Our Fairgrounds organization.

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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Donald Trump's visit to Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn. —
Donald Trump will decide soon whether to mount a third party bid if he loses the Republican nomination for president, the real estate mogul said Saturday.
"I think over the next couple of weeks you're going to see some things that are very interesting," Trump said after a speech in Nashville to a gathering of tea party activists.
"We're going to make a decision very soon," he added, "and I think a lot of people are going to be very happy."
Trump has so far refused to pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee, saying his refusal to commit gains him leverage over the party establishment, which has been caught off-guard by his early dominance in the race. He's also said repeatedly that he'd prefer to run as a Republican as long as the party treats him fairly.
- See more at: http://www.actionnewsjax.com/ap/ap/top-news/trump-speak-100-bucks-got-you-in-to-his-boston-unf/nnTBJ/#sthash.SzKFk0Ed.dpuf
Trump, photo by Rick Williams
Personally, I am not on board with Trump. I think he is a carnival barker promoting Donald Trump and I doubt his devotion to conservative principles.


However, if I was not limited in my ability to go to events due to my caregiver responsibilities, I would have attended this event.

This is the Facebook report and pictures from my friend Rick Williams, a conservative Democrat who is in the slow process of making the transition to becoming a Republican. Rick is chairman of the Save our Fairgrounds group:
Good Morning To All My Facebook Friends, I am sad I had to miss the monthly John A's Community Breakfast at his Music Valley Night Club, John A's this morning. But it was important to me to come and listen to Donald Trump this morning at Rocket Town on 4th Avenue South. I TRUELY FEEL he is speaking for the middle class of America. The reason we have
Donald Trump, photo by Rick Williams
such a low turn out for elections is because most people think nothing will change. Donald Trump gives hope to the Middle Class that things will change if he is elected. He will draw from both parties and his campaign will encourage people who have given up to get back involved and voting. I also believe this movement is real and will last. Please take time to look at what he is saying.
Your Friend to All,
Rick Williams
Councilman  Fabian Bedne, who actually I think is one of the better Councilmen- not one of the "good" councilman, but he is responsive, thoughtful, and attends committee meetings and returns phone calls. He wrote:
By Lauri Day
Before I head downtown to protest all the lies and falsehoods that Trump and Santorum are going to spew today I figure I do a pre-emptive post with the top lies that have been said already by candidates. It gets so old to argue a negative but we have to try because in the meantime the environment gets dangerously toxic for all immigrants. Please share if you can. (I am not posting his list of 'top lies' you can find him on Facebook it you care.)






B. J. and Ed Zigler, photo by Lonnie Spivak


This is from Tami Kilmarx, a conservative activist and formerly Chair of Tennessee Tea Party:
I will say this....an observation I did make today (and I wasn't there but a few hours to, admittedly, hear Mr. Trump on behalf of our son. I also really like Mr. Trump and have for years).....I took definite note of who of our elected employees were there (state and federal)....and that wasn't hard. Sen. Mae Beavers, Rep. Sheila K. Butt, Rep. Courtney Rogers, and Congressman Marsha Blackburn (who somehow made herself available to introduce Mr Trump....which was a bit of a head-scratcher for me, admittedly.)
I would like to understand why more of our representatives don't make themselves available to the REAL conservative Republican Party (Tennessee Republican Assembly)....and I should think when you have a front-runner presidential candidate who is come to Nashville, you would be here to greet him.
I just wonder...is it barely possible that many don't truly care about what the grassroots think? Do you not care that that event today was FULL of young people? Very VERY young people, most of whom are not yet old enough to vote but who are showing great interest in what is happening now? That really, there is a palpable sense of HOPE and EXCITEMENT in the air about this election....MORE THAN I HAVE EVEN FELT IN A LONG LONG TIME....regardless of how you feel about Donald Trump or the TRA....or any of the rest of it?
I would say a great many of you...Republicans, Legislators, elected ones....really missed out on something very VERY GREAT and important. You just missed it and you don't get it....and it is really very sad to me....Worse still, it is our...Tennessee's....great loss....because you missed the young people....ALL THOSE YOUNG PEOPLE....and all that excitement.
Davette Blalock and The Donald
Sharon Ford....GREAT JOB HONEY!
State Rep. Sheila Butts had this to say:
 I have just listened to Donald Trump and understand completely why he resonates with the American people! I so enjoyed his comments and his winning attitude. I love that he builds things. I love that he puts the media in its place. However, every voter needs to seriously consider their vote in this upcoming election. I could not agree with him that his sister would make a great Supreme Court Justice:
 Here is a CNN report:  Donald Trump courts tea party at Nashville straw poll
Nashville, Tennessee (CNN)Donald Trump took his colorful campaign to Nashville on Saturday, where he courted a constituency that some say he is tailor-made for: the tea party.
He competed in a presidential straw poll here -- winning handily with 52% of the vote -- and addressed the National Federation of Republican Assemblies, a group that boasts it was "the tea party before there was a tea party."
Trump's appearance was highly anticipated at the conservative gathering: As a candidate, he's hitting the same notes -- anger at conventional politics, contempt for Washington and distrust of special interests and lobbyists -- that propelled the tea party movement in 2010.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. —
Donald Trump will decide soon whether to mount a third party bid if he loses the Republican nomination for president, the real estate mogul said Saturday.
"I think over the next couple of weeks you're going to see some things that are very interesting," Trump said after a speech in Nashville to a gathering of tea party activists.
"We're going to make a decision very soon," he added, "and I think a lot of people are going to be very happy."
Trump has so far refused to pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee, saying his refusal to commit gains him leverage over the party establishment, which has been caught off-guard by his early dominance in the race. He's also said repeatedly that he'd prefer to run as a Republican as long as the party treats him fairly.
- See more at: http://www.actionnewsjax.com/ap/ap/top-news/trump-speak-100-bucks-got-you-in-to-his-boston-unf/nnTBJ/#sthash.SzKFk0Ed.dpuf
NASHVILLE, Tenn. —
Donald Trump will decide soon whether to mount a third party bid if he loses the Republican nomination for president, the real estate mogul said Saturday.
"I think over the next couple of weeks you're going to see some things that are very interesting," Trump said after a speech in Nashville to a gathering of tea party activists.
"We're going to make a decision very soon," he added, "and I think a lot of people are going to be very happy."
Trump has so far refused to pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee, saying his refusal to commit gains him leverage over the party establishment, which has been caught off-guard by his early dominance in the race. He's also said repeatedly that he'd prefer to run as a Republican as long as the party treats him fairly.
- See more at: http://www.actionnewsjax.com/ap/ap/top-news/trump-speak-100-bucks-got-you-in-to-his-boston-unf/nnTBJ/#sthash.SzKFk0Ed.dpuf
NASHVILLE, Tenn. —
Donald Trump will decide soon whether to mount a third party bid if he loses the Republican nomination for president, the real estate mogul said Saturday.
"I think over the next couple of weeks you're going to see some things that are very interesting," Trump said after a speech in Nashville to a gathering of tea party activists.
"We're going to make a decision very soon," he added, "and I think a lot of people are going to be very happy."
Trump has so far refused to pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee, saying his refusal to commit gains him leverage over the party establishment, which has been caught off-guard by his early dominance in the race. He's also said repeatedly that he'd prefer to run as a Republican as long as the party treats him fairly.
- See more at: http://www.actionnewsjax.com/ap/ap/top-news/trump-speak-100-bucks-got-you-in-to-his-boston-unf/nnTBJ/#sthash.SzKFk0Ed.dpuf
Donald Trump courts tea party voters in Nashville
Donald Trump courts tea party voters in Nashville
NASHVILLE, Tenn. —
Donald Trump will decide soon whether to mount a third party bid if he loses the Republican nomination for president, the real estate mogul said Saturday.
"I think over the next couple of weeks you're going to see some things that are very interesting," Trump said after a speech in Nashville to a gathering of tea party activists.
- See more at: http://www.actionnewsjax.com/ap/ap/top-news/trump-speak-100-bucks-got-you-in-to-his-boston-unf/nnTBJ/#sthash.SzKFk0Ed.dpuf

Donald Trump courts tea party voters in Nashville
Here is a video of a portion of his speech:

Here he is leaving Rocket Town:

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Donald Trump in Franklin, TN, Saturday, October 3rd.

Williamson County Republican Party rally with Donald Trump
When: Saturday, October 3, 2015 at 2:30 PM (CDT) Door open at 1PM.
Where: The Factory at Franklin - 230 Franklin Road Franklin, TN 37064

The event is free but the venue only seats about 2000, however  there may be an opportunity to see Trump in the parking lot. For registration and more information follow this link.

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Friday, August 28, 2015

Please Proofread my Blog


Dear Friend of a A Disgruntled Republican, 

I love writing for this blog but I often cannot see my own mistakes.  Sometimes, I can see them the next day, but can not see them prior to posting. Sometimes I never see them. I can proofread something someone else wrote better than I can proofread what I wrote. While spell check can catch an obviously misspelled word, it cannot catch the wrong word. If you see a mistake, please call it to my attention immediately. If you have my phone number, text me or call me.  If we are Facebook friends, message me on Facebook. You can also post a comment to the blog post pointing out my error.  I will get the comment, make the correction but will not post the comment.

After working hard to create a post, I hate to have my work devalued and dismissed because I do something like write "pubic" instead of "public." I know the difference but sometimes my fingers do not follow my thoughts.  I will not be offended if you call out an error in spelling or use of the wrong word or grammar. In fact, I want to be corrected. I appreciate the help.

Thank you,
Rod Williams.

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Beacon Center Forms Legal Foundation, Files First Lawsuit challenging Nashville's Airbnb regs

Press release- In a major development, the Beacon Center today announced the formation of a brand new litigation arm, the Beacon Center Legal Foundation, and filed its first lawsuit. The Beacon Center is suing the city of Nashville on behalf of P.J. and Rachel Anderson. They are challenging unconstitutional regulations the city has placed on their ability to rent their home on Airbnb, a website that connects homeowners like them with guests visiting Nashville. 

At the heart of the issue is an arbitrary 3% cap on short term rental properties in each Nashville census tract. P.J and Rachel are seeking a ruling that will force Nashville government to cease enforcing the arbitrary cap, the outright bans on advertising and signage, and the requirement that they turn over their guests' records to the government.
You can read the story of Rachel and P.J. here.

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Former mayoral candidate Jeremy Kane endorses David Fox

Fox, left, listens as Jeremy Kane announces his endorsement.
This afternoon, former mayoral candidate Jeremy Kane endorsed David Fox for mayor. They made the  announcement at about 2 p.m. at the James C. Cayce Homes public housing complex in east Nashville off Shelby Street.

“This was a tough decision for me,” said Kane. “On August 7, I obviously became an undecided voter and I really wanted to take my time and think about this. Ultimately the decision came down to looking at the issues I cared most about,” he said. “For me, this is a personal decision. I’ve been impressed throughout this campaign by what he’s stood for, the issues he’s pushed to the forefront, and so ultimately, this became a very easy decision that not only did I want to vote for David but come out publicly and show my support for him,” he explained.

"Jeremy Kane brought tremendous compassion and intellect to his campaign for mayor," said Fox. "I am honored by his endorsement and his willingness to share his talents and energy with Fox for Nashville."




Jeremy Kane and David Fox share a commitment to education excellence and improving education in Nashville and to advancing school choice.

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Megan Barry raised taxes. Racked up debt. But didn't solve our real problems.

"To see where someone's going. You gotta look where they've been. Megan Barry raised taxes. Racked up debt. But didn't solve our real problems."

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Save Our Fairgrounds endorses David Fox

Duane Dominy, a Metro councilman and vice chairman of Save Our Fairgrounds,
 second from left, announces his group's endorsement of David Fox, 
whose wife, Carrington Fox, is at left.(Photo: Joey Garrison / Tennessean)
by Joey Garrison, The Tennessean, August 25, 2015- ...Barry, a two-term Metro councilwoman, in 2011 voted for the demolition of the fairgrounds speedway, which lost by a narrow vote, foiling Mayor Karl Dean's push to redevelop the 117-acre site. ... Barry this year also voted for the appointment of a Dean nominee to the fair board who had been flagged by fairgrounds supporters for his past statements in support of razing the racetrack. The appointment also failed in the council. .....

"It's not a single vote," said Metro Councilman Duane Dominy, who serves as vice chairman of Save Our Fairgrounds. "It's vote after vote after vote. She has consistently voted against the best interests of this property.

"David understands that this city is made up of people who love this property as well as many areas across this city," he added. "David understands the way Nashville has grown and that our foundational principles are protected in the places that have been here all these years."
According to Dominy, Save Our Fairgrounds' board of directors voted unanimously Monday night to endorse Fox. (link)

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Senator Douglas Henry endorses David Fox for Mayor.

Senator Douglas Henry
Former State Senator Douglas Henry, a conservative Nashville Democrat who served six decades in the legislature before retiring this year, on Wednesday announced his endorsement of David Fox for mayor.

"I have watched this race closely, and I am convinced that David Fox will be a great mayor for Nashville," Henry said. "David Fox has both the business and government experience we need to move this city forward in a responsible way. I am proud to endorse him, and encourage all my friends and neighbors to support him."

"Senator Henry a true statesman and gentleman of the highest order, and I am honored to have his support," said Fox.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Megan Barry denies being an atheist. What are her values?

Today's Tennessean reported that Megan Barry made a preemptive move to counter charges that she is an atheist. I had not heard much about this prior to reading it in this morning's Tennessean, but had heard the vague rumor. I had chose to ignore it and not blog about it until Barry brought it up.  Now that she has brought it up, I think it is fair game to question Barry's values and ask if she is hostile to people of faith.

I do not think one necessarily has to be Christian or a person of faith to be a good person.  Also, one's personal religious believe is not much of a factor in whether or not I would support that person for public office. I personally think one can be a person of little faith or no faith and still be a good public servant and still be a good person, or one can be a person of strong faith and be a poor political leader. I think Jimmy Carter was a terrible president but I think he was a good man and a person of deep religious faith.  I would prefer to have an atheist president or mayor who believes in balanced budgets and small government and personal liberty that have a liberal Christian who believes in prolific spending, who accumulates massive public debt and wants to impose their liberal concept of morality on other people. A profession or denial of faith in and of itself does not tell you a lot about a persons position on public policy matters. 

The major reason to question Megan Barry's values is that she is married to Bruce Barry.  To be fair, the beliefs of a husband and wife may not always mirror each other. The most obvious example of this is James Carville, Jr. the commentator and media personality who is a prominent figure in the Democratic Party, who is married to Republican political consultant Mary Matalin. How that marriage works I have no idea. I know I could not devote my self to a cause and be married to someone who is devoted to the opposite cause.  More often than not a husband and wife have shared values.

Bruce Barry,  is a columnist, blogger and current board member and past president of the ACLU of Tennessee. While on occasion I think the ACLU has been on the right side of defending free speech and has occasionally been on the right side of protecting other liberties, more often than not the ACLU seems driven by a desire to push people of faith out of the public square and to protect non believers from being offended by expressions of faith.

Bruce Barry was board president of ACLU of Tennessee from 1999­ to 2009. ​During Barry’s tenure, the ACLU­TN took several extreme positions:

  • Fought the passage of “Choose Life” license plates in 2003.
  • Opposed new restrictions on partial birth abortions in 2008. 
  • Opposed the National Day of Prayer in 2005. 
  • Fought the posting of the Ten Commandments in Monroe County in 2004 and requested their removal in Rutherford County in 2006.
Bruce Barry as a columnist has authored several radical opinions out of touch with Tennessee values. Here is a sample:
  • Barry criticized legislation that would protect students’ religious expression in public schools: Today at the Capitol: More Religion as Much as Possible.
  • Barry implied the religious right wished to return to slavery: Faith Drives New Political Movement: Slavery? 
  • Barry said Belmont University was “bigoted” and employs discrimination because the school with a Christian mission dismissed a lesbian professor. In a piece titled Orienting for the future he wrote, "A ​Christian university can cloak its bigotry and discrimination in a shroud of religious doctrine, but that doesn’t compel its stakeholders to admire the fabric or the fit.” 
  • Barry argued collective bargaining is a “universal human right” in​ Labor Rights and Wrongs. 
  • Used disparaging language to describe Republicans and conservatives in a blog post, ​Feeling Better About Tennessee’s Unhinged State GOP​, he said:
    It’s pretty depressing this time of year looking in on the Tennessee legislature’s weekly wing­nut chronicle — those persistent reminders of just how far our GOP­ led state can stray from sanity. Fortunately, for those of us dispirited by the right­wing mayhem that sucks all the rational air out of the room in Tennessee, scientific psychology offers an easy remedy: social comparison theory. In simple terms, we can shore up our self ­worth by comparing ourselves with others. The good news is it turns out Tennessee lacks a monopoly on unhinged conservatives.

This is only a sample. If one searches, one can find  more that reveals a contempt for traditional values and people of faith. None of this of course even proves that Bruce Barry is an atheist, and it certainly does not prove that Megan Barry is an atheist, but I think it does show that the values of Bruce Barry or not the values of most Nashvillians and I think it is fair to assume Megan Barry shares her husbands values unless there is reason to believe she does not.

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Corker to talk with Williamson County Republicans Tuesday

Williamson County Republican Party,  today Tuesday, August 25, 2015, at 5:30 p.m. at the Westhaven Residence Club,, Franklin.

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Megan Barry's crusade to ban guns.

Mayoral candidate Megan Barry has voted against the right to bear arms every time she has had the opportunity and has led the charge to ban guns from all establishments with a beer permit and from even the most remote undeveloped Davidson County park.

Tennessee allows only those with a valid handgun carry permit to carry a gun in a restaurant or bar and the armed person may not consume alcohol in the establishment and the bar or restaurant owner has the right to ban all guns from their establishment.  That is not restrictive enough for Megan Barry.  She attempted to ban guns from all restaurants and bars during her service in the council. She also attempted to ban guns not only from Nashville's urban parks but from the most remote wilderness parks in Davidson County.

In June 2009, Barry filed legislation that would require bars and restaurants to ban guns in order to get a permit from the beer board. (Metro Council Minutes, Jun. 16, 2009) This drew the ire of state lawmakers who argued that such legislation was outside the authority of local government.

Here is how it was reported in The City Paper, Jun. 8, 2009:

At-large Councilmembers Megan Barry and Charlie Tygard filed legislation Thursday aimed at outlawing guns in Davidson County bars and restaurants. The legislation would use the beer board as a tool to make outlawing firearms a condition of a permit. But in a press release sent Friday, Jackson said Tennessee code specifically puts regulation of firearms outside the purview of local government. Quoting from Tennessee Code Annotated 39-17-1314(a): "No city, county, or metropolitan government shall occupy any part of the field of regulation of the transfer, ownership, possession, or transportation of firearms, ammunition, or components of firearms or combination thereof ..." Jackson (D-Dickson) said the recently passed law allowing guns in restaurants and bars already gives owners the right to post signs outlawing them. "There is no need to remove options from restaurant owners or interfere with the rights of law-abiding citizens by revoking beer permits and punishing restaurants," Jackson said.
Barry said the point of the Council legislation is to outlaw guns in bars and restaurants without establishment owners being forced to post signs.
Barry and other co-sponsors were forced to withdraw their bill which would use the beer permitting process to ban guns from restaurants after city attorneys said it was probably illegal. Metro lawyers determined the state's firearms statute superseded the city's beer permit ordinance. "A court more likely than not would say it was the intent of the legislature to pre-empt our ability to do anything about it," Metro Law Director Sue Cain said.

In response to legislation passed and signed by Governor Bredesen which authorized persons with a valid handgun carry permit to carry guns in parks, Barry and others sponsored and passed legislation banning handguns from all Metro public parks.  The state law had an opt out provision that allowed cities to ban handguns from some or all of their city parks. Some Council members and Second Amendment advocates argued in favor  letting people with a valid handgun carry permit, carry handguns in the large, undeveloped parks like Beaman Park and Shelby Bottoms.  Barry was not happy banning guns from just the crowded urban parks but wanted guns banned from them all. (Metro Council Minutes, Aug. 18, 2009) For more on this issue follow this link.

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Monday, August 24, 2015

Fox needs volunteers!

Dear Team Fox,

It's crunch time for Fox-y volunteers! We have immediate and urgent need for cheerful folks at early voting, as early as tomorrow!

Can you volunteer to wave signs at the polls any of these times?
 1. Monday, Aug. 24 through Wednesday, Aug 26, downtown at Howard Building, 700 2nd Avenue South? Critical shifts are 8-10 am and 4-6 pm.
2. Thursday, Aug. 27 through Saturday, Sept. 5, we need folks at ten satellite locations (GH, BM, Bellevue Hermitage, Madison, etc.). Critical shifts are 8-10 am and 4-6 pm. (See the attached graphic for locations and poll schedule.)

To volunteer for these critical times, please email Ann Shayne at ann.shayne@gmail.com or text her at 615-473-4975. Bring a folding chair, water and a buddy! Bring your yard sign and wear your T-shirt. We can get you signs and shirts if you don’t already have them. We've been hanging out across the driveway from the glass doors entrance to the Howard Bldg voting station, so people see us as they walk in. (Remember, always respect the 100 ft boundary, and don't wear your Fox-y paraphernalia when you're actually voting.)

Thank you sharing your enthusiasm for Team Fox!
 Carrington and Ann

P.S. Please forward to friends. The more the merrier! Let's get out the vote!!!!

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Mark Green says Gas Tax Increase Proposal is Premature

From Senator Mark Green:

Senator Mark Green
Let your voice be heard over the next several weeks regarding Tennessee's Road Fund and a common problem that faces every Tennessee family just like our State government - operating on a budget and prioritizing spending.

Before an increase in the gas tax should be discussed, there are a few key actions that must occur because Tennessee should never operate like Washington, DC.
  • Return the $260 million plus interest to the Road Fund borrowed by TennCare
  • Assess a user fee to the 2,000 electric cars driving tax-free currently
  • Utilize the projected budget surplus that may reach $500 million

Tennessee businesses will pass the increase in a gas tax on to customers as a cost of doing business. Tennessee citizens will carry the heaviest burden with an increase in the gas tax. Read the entire opinion piece here

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David Fox endorsed by Nashville police union

By Joey Garrison, The Tennessean, August 24, 2015 - Nashville mayoral candidate David Fox on Monday picked up the endorsement of the Nashville Fraternal Order of Police....."We are proud to endorse and support David Fox for mayor of Nashville," said Danny Hale, president of the Nashville Fraternal Order of Police. "David is clearly the common-sense candidate who is most focused on real needs of Nashville's neighborhoods. And the issues he cares most about are also important to all of our men and women in blue." (link)

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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Great time at Americans for Prosperity Defending the American Dream Summitt

Wow! I had a great time at the Americans for Prosperity Defending the American Dream summit

At the Tennessee delegates reception. From left to right: Derick Adams,
 Peter Vorsey, Rod Williams (me), Greg Halvorson,  Gene Wisdom, Dan Sifuentes,
and  Kasondra Watkins
in Cleveland Ohio this weekend. I was educated, motivated, entertained, and thrilled. And the cost of travel, the convention, hotel rooms and most meals came to only $29! Thank God for the Koch boys!

I left home Thursday 11:30 in the morning and went to Legislative Plaza where I caught the bus, joining other people who had gotten on the bus in Brentwood. A second bus left Brentwood and stopped in Hendersonville. We then went to Cleveland where we registered at the convention center and then got to our hotel about 9PM. From 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM all day Friday and Saturday we attended the conference then left Cleveland about 6PM and got back home about 12:30AM Sunday morning.

Next to Ohio, Tennessee had the largest delegation at the convention, with almost 400 people from Tennessee attending. We all wore matching tee shirts; neon light green the first day and bright red the second day and we were highly visible.

The mornings were taken up by breakout session that covered a range of topics from school choice, to right to work and prevailing wage,  health care reform, how regulatory overreach is taking our freedom, energy policy,  how to talk to millennials about freedom, how to be an effective advocate for your position and lots more. The panelist at the breakout session were all experts in their field and accomplished.

Break out session “Don’t Let Them Tell Your Story- Countering
 the Left Narratives.  From left to right: Lawrence Jones, writer
The Blaze; Donald Bryson, North Carolina State Director AFP;
 Sonnie Johnson, Political Activist and Commentator, Brietbart.com
After the breakout sessions we had a box lunch and then reconvened in the big hall. The events in the big hall were well organized and ran like a well oiled machine. There were wrist bands handed out that flashed lights at appropriate times and gave the room a glow of thousands of little lights, there were big screens and music to get you pumped up and music as people entered and left the stage and pyrotechnics. It was a great show! Much like a sporting event or a concert, there is something about being in a crowd of thousands who are there for the same reason and who enjoy the same thing that is exciting.

We heard from five of the presidential candidates: Jeb Bush, Bobby Jindal, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Rick Perry. Among this crowd, the least favorite by far was Jeb Bush and the most favored was Ted Cruz.  The audience was polite to Bush. He was not heckled or booed and people did not walk out but the applause was not as loud and his remarks got fewer standing ovations than that for any of the other candidates.
Rick Perry

For Ted Cruz, the applause and cheering was deafening, and the standing ovations made the audience look like pop corn: up and down, up and down. For some periods of his speech, the audience stayed standing. Cruz threw out the red meat and the crowd ate it up.  Ted Cruz was not my favorite, however. For one thing, I think Cruz is a little too bombastic. I want someone who will bring me to my feet and get me to cheer, but who will also reason and persuade me.  I feel he has too much the touch of a televangelist. Also, I had just seen Cruz speak in Franklin a couple weeks before and he gave the exact same speech. It was a rerun for me. I was more impressed the first time I heard the speech.


Ted Cruz
After hearing Bobby Jindal speak, he rose back to the top of my preferred candidates list. He has a compelling personal story and has a record of having been a good governor of Louisiana having cut the size of government and grown the economy and advanced school choice and improved education.  I like his delivery style. He threw out enough red meat zingers to keep the crowd roused, but also talked policy prescriptions. He took a humorous jab at Cruz or Paul or both when he said, "if you are looking for the candidate with biggest bladder, I am not your guy."  If you recall, both Paul and Cruz have each conducted filibusters, however they were not real filibusters that had a chance of changing the outcome of a bill and served no real purpose except to call attention to an
issue and gain the respective senators some attention.

Several people I spoke to claim Jindal's claim of accomplishments as governor are inflated resulting from a  ending of Federal flow-through Katrina relive funding and other factors that only make it appear he cut government. I'll be paying close attention to see how true that is. Marco Rubio also gave a great performance.  I have seen him speak a couple times before but not in a while and his speech did not seem like a rerun. At this point in time, my top tier candidates are Jindal, Rubio and Walker.

I had never seen Rich Perry speak before and somehow, I had low expectations but ended up being really impressed. He did not keep people on their feet cheering, but talked about the serious issues facing out country and he modulated his tone from rousing crescendos to low confiding conversational tones, and at one time had the 3,600 absolutely silent.

Part of the 400 Tennessee attendees
An obvious snub was that candidate John Kasich was not present to address the gathering.  He is governor of Ohio and the event was in the capital of Ohio, Cleveland. Kasich is considered a moderate in the Party due to his expansion of Obamacare Medicaid and he failed to enact right-to-work when he had the chance. His absence was noted. Of course, all of the candidates could not have been there but the talk among delegates was that Donald Trump was not invited. Trump's phenomenal rankings in the polls was the topic of several conversations, but I met almost no one who was for him or who believe he will be the nominee. Among people I talked to at this event, the consensus seems to be that Trump is not to be trusted and his support has to do with his refusal to kowtow to the press and his celebrity status.

In addition to to presidential candidates there were speeches by APR officials and war heroes and
others. There were also protesters outside the hall and a bomb scare. In addition to the events in the big hall and breakout session, one of the most enjoyable parts of the trip was spending time with people I know and making new friends. On Friday night after we all checked in to the hotel, about ten people, including a couple state legislators, and some local activist went to a nearby bar and talked for a couple hours and on Saturday night, I had dinner with some people I know, but got to know better, and some new friends. It was a great event. Sometimes you need a revival to keep motivated to fight the fight.

For press coverage of the event: Ted Cruz gets enthusiastic greeting at Americans for Prosperity event

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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Update: Meet David Fox, Sunday, August 30th.

Update in an email from Tim Skow at 3:43 today:

My friends:
In a mere 11 days, we will decide if  we pursue " The Nashville Way" with Mayor David Fox....OR.... if our city will become what Megan Barry envisions...that being... 
"The San Francisco of the South"

Sunday afternoon, you and those you'd care to have join us are welcome to do so at the home of Dr. Ming Wang for the Tennessee Republican Minority Coalition event to support David Fox . Given the growing support for David Fox, we have made ample arrangements for many to join us at the last minute. So plan to join us if your schedule allows. Details are attached.... Valet parking awaits starting your arrival and you're encouraged to invite those you know to join us as well !

Thanks again.. and I hope to see you Sunday afternoon. If you'd interested in becoming a Co-Host... and coming early, feel free to reach me at 615-429-xxxx.
Thanks again !
Tim
Since Tim sent this out as an email to people he knows, I have removed his phone number.  I did not want opponents of David Fox or malicious people to be calling Tim.  I will be checking my email regularly from now until the event. If you would like to co-host or attend, email me at Rodwilliams47@Yahoo.com and I will pass it on.

Please join me Sunday in supporting David Fox's for Mayor. If you would like to co-host the event, you will spend an hour with David from 2pm to 3pm prior to the event. Also, co-host may invite two others to attend as their guest. To attend the event or co-host please RSVP to Tim Skow at tdskow2001@yahoo.com.

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Caffeinated Conservatives continues vetting Metro Council At-Large candidates, Saturday August 29th.

Hi everybody, 

Saturday 29th from 12 pm - 2 pm at Uncommon Grounds in Old Hickory Village (1053 Donelson Ave), join us as we continue vetting our Metro Council At-Large candidates! Three of our guests from last month made the run-off (Jason Holleman, Bob Mendes, and Erin Coleman), but you get to vote for 5, so come meet and question three more of the top vote-getting Metro Council At-Large candidates: Robert Duvall, Karen Bennett, and Sharon Hurt. Come prepared for good coffee, good people, and great conversation!

In related news, David Fox, the only mayoral candidate with the hutzpah to endure two hours of us going after them, made the run-off, and I highly recommend you throw him your vote.
See you there!

Stephen Clements and Terry Torre
Caffeinated Conservatives

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

What happened at the August 18th Council meeting: Tax give away to Neighborhood Resource Center passes, DADU text amendment for "RS" withdrawn, ...

... Piedmont Gas land and money give away passes and Mayor Dean addresses the Council. 



I am going to make this short. To see what is on the agenda and what I thought about it and to get your own copy of the agenda and the staff analysis follow this link: What is on the Metro Council Agenda for Aug. 18, 2015: tax giveaway to Neighborhood Resource Center, DADU text amendment, 

This is the last meeting of this Council. When the next council meeting occurs, it will be the newly elected member of the council. No old business can continue over so all bills that were deferred in this term of the Council and not passed are now dead. 

Following the pledge and prayer, Mayor Karl Dean addresses the Council, which is rare. He thanks the Council for their service, pats himself on the back and list some accomplishments and says nothing very important.

Everything on the agenda passes unless except  a few zoning bills that are of local neighborhood interest only and these:
SUBSTITUTE BILL NO. BL2015-1120 which establishes a provision in the zoning text that would permit communities that are zoned "RS" to have detached accessory dwelling unit on those properties, if a DADU overlay is placed on the properties is withdrawn.
 BILL NO. BL2015-1155 would apply a DADU overlay to about 129 acres of "R" zoned property in East Nashville and it is withdrawn.
BILL NO. BL2015-1272 in Councilman Scott Davis's district would apply a DADU overlay to 672 acres. Since 1120 above did not pass, this could not pass since that option is not now available for these properties. 

Below are some explanations and additional observations:

RESOLUTION NO. RS2015-1605 is for a paper shredder truck, not a wood chipper truck.
BILL NO. BL2014-838, which would extend an historical overlay on lower Broadway passes but two parcels had already taken out building permits to change the character of their building so now they are vested in that proposed change and this will not protect those buildings.  If this would have passed back in October 2014, that would not have happened. 
BILL NO. BL2015-1304  is the tax give away to the Neighborhood Resource Center. It passes without discussion on a machine vote of 33 "yes," 5 "no," and 2 abstentions. The five good councilmen who voted "no" were Stites, Clairborne, Dominy, Duvall, and Mitchel. 
BILL NO. BL2015-1306  is another of those PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) sweetheart deals to encourage businesses to locate or expand in Nashville. This one would lure a company from Lavergne to Nashville and give them a $710,000 tax break. It passes on a machine vote of 35 "yes," 2 "no", and 2 abstentions. The two good councilmen who voted "no" were Josh Stites and Tony Tennpenny.
BILL NO. BL2015-1308 gives Piedmont Natural Gas two pieces of property and $159,617 to reimburse them for $530K of cost they had in relocating a pipeline during the construction of the Sounds ballpark. It passes on a machine vote of 33 in favor, 3 against and 3 abstentions. The council members who voted "no," which I think was the correct way to vote, were Josh Stites, Robert Duval, and Bo Mitchel.
About the last four minutes of the meeting are various farewell comments. 

Here is The Tennessean's report on the meeting: Council agrees to give Piedmont 80 acres, $160K for stadium work

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Gov. Bill Haslam: 'Local Hire' Mandate 'Problematic for Nashville'

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam thinks it was a mistake for Nashville-Davidson County voters to approve a "local hire" amendment requiring that 40 percent of the labor on local projects be performed by locally residing workers. However, the governor said during a press conference on Aug. 13 that he's unsure what the state will do in response.

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Early Voting schedule. Early Voting starts Friday August 21st.

Note: Early voting for Megan Barry starts Friday September 11th.

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TNGOP Statement Regarding Today's Joint Legislative Hearing on Planned Parenthood

Press Release, NASHVILLE, Tenn.--Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Ryan Haynes released the following statement regarding today's Joint Legislative Hearing into the activities of Planned Parenthood in Tennessee:

In light of the seven videos that have uncovered barbaric practices taking place at Planned Parenthood facilities nationwide, it is entirely appropriate for our legislators to scrutinize that organization’s activities in Tennessee. Given that we are discussing women’s health and human life, shouldn’t we know exactly what is happening in Tennessee? While the Democratic Party blindly supports Planned Parenthood regardless of what sick revelation comes out, Tennesseans are rightfully asking questions and deserve answers.

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Donald Trump in Nashville, Saturday, August 29th

Making the RIGHT Change & Straw Poll with Donald Trump and many other great speakers.
National Federation of Republican Assemblies
Saturday, August 29, 2015 from 8:00 AM to 2:30 PM (CDT) Nashville, TN

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Nashville Scores A+, Ranks in Top 10 Cities Nationwide for Small Business Friendliness

Manchester, Dallas, and Richmond top rankings in Thumbtack annual Small Business Friendliness Survey; New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago among the least friendly cities
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. -- August 18, 2015 -- Small business owners rated Nashville as one of the best business climates in the United States, giving the city an A+ for business friendliness and rating it in the top ten nationally, according to Thumbtack’s annual Small Business Friendliness Survey. Complete results for Nashville are published at https://www.thumbtack.com/tn/nashville/.
Nearly 18,000 U.S. small business owners responded to this year’s survey, including 138 in Nashville and 316 in Tennessee. The study asked respondents to rate their state and city governments across a broad range of policy factors. Thumbtack then evaluated states and cities against one another along more than a dozen metrics.
“Small business owners on Thumbtack have consistently told us that they welcome support from their governments but are frequently frustrated by unnecessary bureaucratic obstacles,” said Jon Lieber, Chief Economist of Thumbtack. “Nashville did incredibly well in our survey across various measures of starting and running a business, but business owners tell us the city could do more to help them succeed.”
“The community in Nashville is very close and supportive of small businesses,” commented a graphic designer in Nashville. “There is a large amount of freedom and creativity here that everyone supports.”

Key Findings for Nashville:

  • Nashville earned a A+ overall for small business friendliness, ranking #6 out of 95 cities ranked this year.
  • Nashville's exceptional A+ in the 2015 survey was an improvement from its A grade in 2014.
  • Nashville earned A grades from small businesses for licensing and tax regulations, and an A+ for ease of starting a business.
  • Tennessee earned an A+ for its licensing regulations, as well as an A for tax and labor regulations.
  • The worst score for Nashville was a C- in training and networking programs.
  • Nashville and Knoxville both earned A+ grades in overall friendliness and ranked #6 and #5 respectively.
 link

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Rep. Glen Casada Not Happy About 'Local Hire' Amendment in Nashville


Like a lot of pro-free market Republicans in the General Assembly, Tennessee House Majority Leader Glen Casada of Williamson County is weighing legislative options for dealing with Davidson County voters' approval of a local charter amendment requiring that 40 percent of the labor on Metro-funded construction projects be performed by locally residing workers. The measure, Amendment 3, was approved by 58 percent of Nashville-Davidson voters in the August 6 Metro election.

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Mayoral debate Wednesday, August 19th 6PM

 Mayoral Debates:

Wednesday, August 19, 6 pm
Live on Tennessean.com. and WSMV-TV Channel 4

NashForward/Tennessean/ Belmont Mcafee Auditorium

Monday, August 24, 7 pm
League of Women Voters/Vanderbilt/Channel 5 Televised Debate Blair School of Music 2400 Blakemore Avenue

Wednesday, September 2, 6pm 
FOX 17 Trevecca Nazarene University

At-Large Candidates Forum -- 
Belmont-Hillsboro Neighbors, Hillsboro-West End Neighborhood, Belmont University and Vanderbilt University are partnering together to host an at-large candidates forum on Thursday, August 20. Blake Farmer, WPLN Host/Assistant News Director, will be the forum moderator.

The forum will be from 6:30 to 8:00pm in the Community Room at Belmont United Methodist Church, located at 2007 Acklen Avenue. For more information, contact Mary Pat Teague at 615-322-8337.
Regards, David G. Thompson, President Belmont-Hillsboro Neighbors, Inc.

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Monday, August 17, 2015

Liberty on the Rocks, Thursday, August 20, 2015, 5:30 PM Mafiaoza's 2400 12th Ave S Nashville, TN 37204

No prayer, no pledge, no officers, no speaker, no program, no dues; just a bunch of smart right of center people and the occasional quirky Anarcho-capitalist get together to eat, drink, and engage in polite debate and sharing of ideas.  Thursday, August 20, 2015, 5:30 PM, Mafiaoza's, 2400 12th Ave S Nashville, TN 37204.

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What is on the Metro Council Agenda for Aug. 18, 2015: tax giveaway to Neighborhood Resource Center, DADU text amendment,

The big item of interest on this agenda is a bill on third reading which would change the terms of an original deal in order to provide a windfall for the leftist Neighborhood Resource Center. See the analysis of BILL NO. BL2015-1304 below.

If you don't know what the Metro Council is voting on and you watch a council meeting, you will find it boring. If you have your own copy of the Council agenda and staff analysis the meeting will most likely still be boring, but you will at least know why it is boring. Think of it this way: with an agenda and analysis watching a council meeting is as exciting as watching paint dry; without an agenda and analysis it is as boring as waiting for water to boil.

There are eight appointees to Boards and Commissions on the agenda for Council confirmation. They will all be rubber stamped as always.

There is one resolution on public hearing and it is to allow a restaurant that already has a state liquor license to be exempt from the distance requirement necessary to get a beer permit. This seems like a waste of time. In my view, if you have a liquor license then you should automatically be eligible for a beer license. What kind of logic is there that says you may sell hard liquor but not a beer? There are no bills on public hearing.

There are 28 resolution on the agenda all lumped together and put on the "consent agenda."  If a resolution does not pass the committee to which it was assigned unanimously then it is not left on consent but is considered separately. Any council member may, from the floor, ask for a resolution to be pulled off of consent and then the resolution will be considered separately.  Most of the resolutions are simply acceptance of routine federal pass-thorough grants. Here are the resolutions of interest:

  • RESOLUTION NO. RS2015-1603 approves issuing $15 million in bonds to pay for improvements at the Titan's Nisan stadium for improvements as required by the Titan's lease agreement with the Sports authority, to be paid for from the $3 ticket tax added to tickets sold for events at the stadium. These bonds are not a general obligation of the city and no regular tax revenue will be used to pay off the bonds. I see no reason to oppose this.
  • RESOLUTION NO. RS2015-1604  authorizes the issuance of $200 million in the form of "commercial paper," which is a form of short term financing, for water and sewer projects. This is not a general obligation of the city which could lead to mandatory tax increases. Given the explanation in the staff analysis, I see no reason to oppose this.
  • RESOLUTION NO. RS2015-1605  appropriates $250K from the 4% fund to purchase a shredder truck for the Sheriff's department. Money set aside in the 4% fund can only be used for equipment purchase and building repairs. The Director of Finance has refused to approve the resolution as to the availability of funds and the Sheriff's department has sufficient 4% money for this purchase if they choose to use it.  This resolution will be substituted for a memorializing resolution asking the Sheriff's department to purchase the shredder truck.  Is this a document shredder truck or a chipper truck? I don't know. I assume a chipper. The public works function provided by the sheriff's office is very popular among members of the metro council.
  •  RESOLUTION NO. RS2015-1606  approves a $200,000 grant to expand the Nashville Financial Empowerment Centers program.  I would be more pleased if this money was raised privately instead of using tax dollars, but I think this type program is beneficial to our community.  It provides financial counseling to anyone in Nashville who needs it. I have worked most of my adult life in a field teaching people financial literacy and counseling people in financial crisis. While I generally oppose programs that subsidize poverty, I support programs that help lift people out of poverty. Financial coaching or teaching financial literacy can change lives. I am convinced that poverty is more a function of poor decision making and financial ignorance than a function of how much money one earns. With correct values and knowledge and wise decision making one can earn more money.  Poverty is a result of attitude more than anything else. I would vote for this bill if I were in the Council.
There are no bills on First Reading or Second Reading. This is the last meeting of this term of the Council thus no bills on First or Second Reading. Any bills not passed on August 18th will be dead and will have to start over with the next council. Many of the bills on third reading are zoning bills that don't interest me.   These are the bills of interest on Third Reading:

  • BILL NO. BL2014-838 is the bill that would as I understand it, extend historical overlay protection for part of lower Broadway.  This is a complex issue and when it was acted upon in October 2014 and then deferred indefinitely the Council engaged in some adept and rare parliamentary maneuvering.  To understand the issue and the maneuvers on the bill at that time you must watch the video of that October 21st meeting carefully. To see the video follow this linkTo see the discussion see time stamp 27:02- 50:30. Below is how the Tennessean described this issue at the time:
    In other business Tuesday, historic preservationists scored a victory, with the council voting down a plan that could have led to a makeover of the historic Trail West store building on Lower Broadway.
    At issue is a block of property at Broadway and Third Avenue South still unprotected by the rest of the area’s historic overlay, as a way to accommodate a Westin Hotel proposed in 2007 but never built.
    Councilwoman Erica Gilmore, who represents downtown, had proposed an ordinance to extend the historic overlay to include this block, but at the last minute had sought to exclude the Trail West property at 217-219 Broadway. There, broker Marshall Karr, who recently purchased the property, is eyeing a three-story, open-air structure anchored by a steakhouse.
    Gilmore’s amendment to exclude the Trail West building from the overlay, however, failed by a 14-20 vote. Later, Gilmore’s motion to withdraw the legislation, which could have enabled the demolition of the building, failed as well by a 12-21 vote.
    “Historic preservation is what makes downtown Nashville great,” said Councilwoman Emily Evans, who sought to protect the Trail West building. “It is the golden goose. Let’s not kill it.”
    I assume passing this bill without the amendment which would have excluded the Trail West building is a good thing.  It appears that in October 2014 when Gilmore could not pass the bill excluding Trail West, she did not want to pass it at all but now is willing to extend the historical overlay without that exclusion. I hope my interpretation is correct but am not absolutely certain and hope preservationist are paying attentions.

  • BILL NO. BL2015-1098  concerns '“Community Education' siting" and would allow schools to locate in zoned districts where they are not now permitted and would relax the lot size requirements for a school is deferred indefinitely.  I think this is a good bill. Included in this is a provision that schools could now be established in IWD districts (Industrial Warehousing/Distribution, intended for a wide range of warehousing, wholesaling, and bulk distribution uses). The bill also provides for "adaptive reuse," meaning a school could be located in an existing building, regardless of lot size, that was not originally intended for a school. On the face of it this seems like a good thing to do. Why not allow a school to locate in a relocated church building or an empty mall? Some people in the Greenhills area are opposed to any relaxation of the current school siting requirements because they are concerned that Hillsboro High will relocate and the valuable land which is now Hillsboro High will be redeveloped. They want to make it very difficult for Hillsboro High to relocate simply because they oppose new commercial and multifamily development in Greenhills. The bill was on public hearing on July 7th and deferred indefinitely. It passed on Second Reading last Council meeting. I assume it will pass.
  • SUBSTITUTE BILL NO. BL2015-1120 establishes a provision in the zoning text that would permit communities that are zoned "RS" to have detached accessory dwelling unit on those properties, if a DADU overlay is placed on the properties.  A DADU overlay is already permitted for neighborhoods zoned "R." "RS" is a zoning that prohibits duplexes.  At one time, there was no "RS" zone and duplexes were allowed in any "R" zoned property.  Overtime, many neighborhoods were rezoned RS to prohibit duplexes. There is a lot of confusion and concern over what is happening with regards to detached accessory dwelling units in Nashville. Follow this link for a detailed analysis of BL2015-1120 provided by the Green Hills Neighborhood Association.
 I support BL2015-1120 and other bills that advance DADU's. I think that allowing accessory dwelling units on lots will create affordable housing without the heavy hand of government mandating it or imposing price controls. It will also expand the tax base so we can afford to pay off all of the debt the city had accumulated without raising taxes. It will make mass transit more likely to develop and succeed and it will reduce future urban sprawl.
  •  BILL NO. BL2015-1155 would apply a DADU overlay to about 129 acres of "R" zoned property in East Nashville.

  •  BILL NO. BL2015-1255  would change the zoning text "to permit the transfer of development rights from historic properties in Metropolitan Nashville. This means someone could own a piece of property but could give or sell the right to develop it to someone else, meaning the historical property could not then be developed. That in itself would not protect the structure, but if one could not build build something bigger on the site, there would be no incentive to tear down a historical structure. If the current owner did not own the development rights, developers would not be trying to buy his property.  Something similar is a tool used a lot in rural areas to preserve the character of rural property. A farmer may own a farm and wish to keep it as a farm, perhaps wanting to pass it own to his children.  He may give the "development rights" to a non profit conservation group.  The transferring the development rights and the receiving of the development rights would have to be approved by Metro. The receiving party would then have the right to greater development on the property to which the rights were transferred, but I am still a little fuzzy on how this would work, but it seems like a good concept.  
  • BILL NO. BL2015-1272 in Councilman Scott Davis's district would apply a DADU overlay to 672 acres. DADU is "detached accessory dwelling unit." There are restrictions on size of the accessory dwelling unit and access and other things.  If the DADU text amendment of bill 1120 above does not pass on, then this bill cannot be passed. Last meeting there was an effort to kill this bill but Davis made a good argument in favor of his bill and the effort to defer the bill failed. 
  • BILL NO. BL2015-1278  would allow the council to exempt by resolution, after a public hearing, an applicant for a beer permit from the distance requirements of the regulation. This makes so much sense to me. As we become more dense, there will be a greater desire for neighborhood pubs and restaurants. Many sites are off limits for such due to their proximity to a church or park or residence. A restaurant that sells beer across from a park is not going to negatively impact that park. On a case by case basis this would allow exemptions from those distance requirements. This was on third reading last meeting but deferred one meeting. 
Fire Hall # 1
In June 2007, the city sold at a bargain price a historic piece of property to NRC, located located 1312 3rd Ave. North, known as Fire Hall # 1.  The property was sold for a price of $86,000 and was appraised for $147,000, meaning Metro essentially gave  $61,0000 to NRC.  However, the deed stipulated that if NRC ever failed to occupy the building, NRC was entitled to the $86,000 they paid for the property and the cost of any improvements to the property and the property would revert to metro.
NRC should never have gotten such a sweetheart deal in the first place. Since that time, NRC has fallen on hard times and now wants to sell the property, but they want to change the original deal. Now they want to pay Metro $100,909 for the property, sell it and pocket the difference. The property is currently appraised for $590,000 by the tax assessors office. It may be worth much more than that.  That would be a huge windfall for NRC and would fund their operating budget for a long time.
The Neighborhood Resource Center is a non-profit group that while doing some non-objectionable, if not even occasionally good things, also engages in some far left political activity, as they did in 2011 when they hosted a meeting to discuss how to implement the Contract for the American Dream.
The Contract for the American Dream was a project of the far left MoveOn.Org. A whole host of other liberal and leftist organization were also partners in the Contract for the American Dream campaign including Planned Parenthood, Progressive Congress.org, Progressive Democrats of America, Daily Kos, People for the American Way, and Code Pink.
A long time staffer (unsure if he had the title Executive Director, but he was always the public face of the organization), Mike Hodge was a community organizer trained in the Saul Alinsky tradition.  Hodge now works for the progressive group NOAH.  In addition to that overtly leftist Contract for the American Dream effort, NRC often engaged in activity, that while not terribly offensive, was more suited to an organization such as a labor union or political organization rather than a non-profit claiming a charitable purpose.
NRC is good at going into neighborhoods and getting people stirred up to stop projects which could actually help communities.  They often stir people up to stop affordable housing projects and they attempted but failed to stop the partnership between Metro Parks and Belmont University that lead to the massive investments and improvements to E. S. Rose Park.
At one time NRC was heavily funded by United Way and received funding from other sources but lost most of their sources of funding. In December 2014 they attempted to get Metro to give them funding as a charity. After several delays, the Council turned down their request for funding.
To learn much more about the Neighborhood Resource Center, follow this link.
  • BILL NO. BL2015-1306  is another of those PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) sweetheart deals to encourage businesses to locate or expand in Nashville. This one would lure a company from Lavergne to Nashville and give them a $710,000 tax break.
  • BILL NO. BL2015-1308 gives Piedmont Natural Gas two pieces of property and $159,617 to reimburse them for $530K of cost they had in relocating a pipeline during the construction of the Sounds ballpark. This was left out of the construction cost appropriations when approved by the Council.  Last Council meeting when the bill was on Second Reading CM Bo Mitchell asks why?  Good question. An expensive project anyway and plagued by massive cost overruns Mitchell suggest this cost was not included at the time the project was being build in order to deceive the council.  I suspect he is right.

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Senator Jack Johnson: Nashville's 'Local Hire' Amendment 'Bad, Bad Economic Policy'


Senator Jack Johnson, who is chairman of the Tennessee state Senate Commerce and Labor Committee, tells TNReport that he is unequivocally averse to a new "local hire" charter amendment passed by Nashville voters on Aug. 6. Thankfully, we may be saved from becoming the San Francisco of the South by the State legislature. Thank God for men like Senator Johnson.

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Come and Support! Robert Duvall for Council At Large

Come and Support! 
Robert Duvall for Council At Large
Monday, August 24 th 5:30-7:30pm.
Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #5 
440 Welshwood Dr. Nashville, TN 37211-4207 

Please join Friends of Councilman Robert Duvall as we get ready for a "SWEET" VICTORY 

Bring your family and friends and enjoy delicious desserts and light hors d’oeuvres as we come together to support Councilman Duvall in the runoff election for Council at Large.

Donations Requested. Paid for by Elect Robert Duvall, Robert Taylor, Treasurer

To visit Robert's website follow this link: http://www.robertduvall.us   

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Sunday, August 16, 2015

BL 2015-1120, Detached Accessory Dwelling Unit overlay tool bill to be withdarwn.

Council member Burkley Allen had announced she plans to withdraw BL 2015-1120, the bill that would establish a tool to permit neighborhoods that are zoned "RS" to have Detached Accessory Dwelling Units. As she explains, this bill would not permit DADU's for any neighborhood, but would simply provide that tool if a neighborhood wanted the DADU overlay, permitting DADU's in their neighborhood.

I am disappointed this bill is being withdrawn.  Fortunately however, Ms Allen has been reelected and can reintroduce the bill in the next council.  That would be starting over and the bill would have to again be on public hearing.  I hope she does not give up on getting this passed and will reintroduce it in the next Council.CM Allen has worked hard on this bill and has addressed many of he concerns people have with it.

I know many people do not want this tool to be available.  They want to preserve Nashville the way it is.  Nashville is not going to remain the way it is.  We are growing. We need greater density if we are to avoid greater future urban sprawl, if we are to avoid more crowded roadways, if we are to expand the tax base so it is possible to pay for all of the city's debt without raising taxes, it we are to have good mass transit, and if we are to have affordable housing without resorting to mandates and counter productive price controls to achieve it.

DADU's are now permitted in districts zoned "R" but not in districts zoned "RS."  RS is a residential zoning that prohibits duplexes.  This is the email from CM Burkely that was posted to the Nashville Neighbors Google Group.

From: "Allen, Burkley (Council Member)" <Burkle...@nashville.gov>
Date: August 15, 2015 at 7:24:07 AM CDT
To: "Allen, Burkley (Council Member)" <Burkle...@nashville.gov>

Subject: BL 2015-1120 Detached Accessory Dwelling Unit overlay tool

 Dear Neighbors,
       I understand that there are concerns that this bill would change zoning in neighborhoods to allow  Detached Accessory Dwelling Units.   However, that is not what the bill does.  This is not a zoning change, and it does not apply anywhere.  This ordinance simply creates a tool similar to a historic overlay that a neighborhood could choose to implement if they determined that it was appropriate for them.  The passage of this ordinance would not change the zoning for any property in the county.
       I introduced this bill through the established process back in May.  It had all the required notices and public hearings.  I did not realize the need to go to neighborhoods because I was using an established tool, the overlay, with established DADU guidelines that had been put in place over a year ago with public input.  When I became aware that there were concerns among neighbors,  I held public meetings, scheduling them as soon as I could while still allowing time for adequate notice.
    I have continued to listen to concerns and to offer and accept amendments that would address those concerns.  In response to the concern that this would be a tool for investors rather than neighbors, I have written an amendment to require that  a minimum of 30 contiguous lots be included.  In response to concerns that this would lead to demolition of existing homes, I have accepted an amendment to prohibit demolition of the principal structure within 3 years of building a DADU.  In response to concerns about the widespread use of DADU’s for short term rental, I have agreed to revisit the STRP regulations and include the DADU category in the 3% limit  that would greatly restrict the use.
          Because there is still so much mistrust about this bill, however, I plan to withdraw it on third reading. I have had some good discussion and have ideas for a more targeted tool that I will discuss with neighborhoods before anything is reintroduced.   My intention has never been to harm neighborhoods, and it is important to me to have their support.

Kind regards,
Burkley Allen
Metro Council 18th District

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