Friday, April 24, 2015

The Daily Links: Steph Curry, New York Rats, and Black Mass

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 5:00 PM

Every day we read a lot of stuff. If it's interesting, thought provoking, funny or being shared by everyone we know on the Internet, we share some of it with you. Happy reading.

From Grantland: The Rise and Rise (and Rise) of Stephen Curry: The Wildly Miraculous and Quietly Inevitable Success of Golden State’s Point Guard

From Variety: Watch the First Trailer for Johnny Depp’s ‘Black Mass’

From The New York Times: After He Beat Floyd Mayweather Jr., They Said, O.K, Now Do It Again

From The New York Times: The Rat Paths of New York: How the city’s animals get where they’re going.

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Front of the Book: Rebrovick, Marathon and Insanity

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 9:33 AM

In this week's print edition, Steven Hale pokes on what's in Linda Rebrovick's "Smarter Nashville" campaign and, well, if any other candidate could do it, too.

But could that strength also be a weakness? Even if the platform did intrigue voters, the ideas don't seem especially proprietary. What's to stop, say, Charles Robert Bone or Howard Gentry from going to voters and saying, "You want talking trash cans? I got your talking trash cans right here." In other words, even if you think a park that waters itself is a great idea, why should that make you push the button for Rebrovick? Why not just tell Jeremy Kane, "I want you to be mayor, but I want roads that can think for themselves too."

"My response to that would be, as I learned early in my IBM career, there's selling and there's implementing," Rebrovick tells the Scene in a conference room at her Hays Street campaign headquarters in Midtown. "Anybody can sell. You gotta be able to implement. We always used to say, 'Don't confuse selling with installing.' I have implemented. And no one else has."

Abby White gets you ready for this weekend's Country Music Marathon as 30,000 runners will take to the streets of the city on Saturday.

With more than half the runners visiting from out of state, thousands of people are going to need to get from their hotel rooms to the starting point in front of Bridgestone Arena. (Needless to say, don't even try to Uber on the morning of April 25.) If you're staying in a hotel, you can purchase a shuttle ticket at the event's Health & Fitness Expo Thursday or Friday. Prices range from $15 to $20 and include service from Gaylord Opryland as well as several airport, midtown and downtown hotels. There is also limited free parking at LP Field on a first-come/first-served basis. Your best bet? Have someone drop you off and pick you up, but allow extra time for traffic and road closures.

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Daily Links: Bill Clinton, The Hubble, and Rikers

Posted By on Thu, Apr 23, 2015 at 5:00 PM

Every day we read a lot of stuff. If it's interesting, thought provoking, funny or being shared by everyone we know on the Internet, we share some of it with you. Happy reading.

From The New York Times: Unforgettable Hubble Space Telescope Photos

From The Washington Post: Why the PR industry is sucking up Pulitzer winners

From Remblr: Everything is Embarrassing

From New York: The Disastrous Clinton Post-Presidency

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#MayoralChatter: Rebrovick Releases Transportation Policy Paper

Posted By on Thu, Apr 23, 2015 at 2:35 PM

Linda Eskind Rebrovick presented her transportation policy ideas to crowd of supporters at E|SPACES in the Belle Meade Plaza Thursday morning, and pledged that she will "produce a long-term transit plan within 120 days of taking office."

You can read Rebrovick's transportation "policy book" on her campaign website. Her plan is divided into short-term, midterm, and long-term sections.

"This policy paper says, there's no one silver bullet," she said. "This is an all-of-the-above approach. My business experience at three of the world's largest technology and consulting businesses, doing consulting projects for many of the Fortune 100 companies and state governments tell me this is an all-of-the-above solution. And it tells me to take the methodology that I have used throughout my career to bring to this transportation infrastructure opportunity that we have in front of us. And I am not scared of it. Not at all."

Inthis week's print issue Rebrovick says that business experience is the reason she's the right candidate to pursue the ideas in her Smarter Nashville platform.

"There's selling and there's implementing," Rebrovick says. "Anybody can sell. You gotta be able to implement. We always used to say, 'Don't confuse selling with installing.' I have implemented. And no one else has."

Some details from her transportation policy paper, after the jump:

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Moving the State Legislature to Cordell Hull

Posted By on Thu, Apr 23, 2015 at 6:00 AM

On Wednesday, House Speaker Beth Harwell broke the news that the state legislature will be moving out of Legislative Plaza and into the Cordell Hull building.

Andrea Zelinski over at the Nashville Post has the story:

According to Harwell, the Legislative Plaza and War Memorial Building need about $55 million worth of repairs, including replacing rusty pipes and locating hard-to-find parts to maintain the heating and air conditioning units that cost around $350,000 yearly in upkeep. According to staff, the Plaza lacks a proper sprinkler system and has flooding issues.

“Besides all that, it’s not a very nice facility,” Harwell said about the Plaza. “We’ve decided that it makes financially more sense. It’s only $44 million to relocate over there so it’s less money to do that improvement than it is to try to do the improvement to Legislative Plaza,” said Harwell.

In general, this is a great idea. Legislators and their staff are really crowded and most of them are stuffed into windowless offices at the end of what look like rat warrens. A couple of times I've been there, there's been a strange odor. Sure, we'll miss stories about raccoons getting loose in the ceilings, but I'm sure the Cordell Hull building will also have its unique annoyances.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

#MayoralChatter: Freeman Releases Environmental Plan

Posted By on Wed, Apr 22, 2015 at 5:03 PM

Bill Freeman convened a small group of campaign staff and supporters to the green roof of the Freeman Webb building in Green Hills Tuesday afternoon to mark Earth Day by unveiling his environmental policy plans.

He started by talking about the building itself, the first Leed Gold Pre-Certified building in Nashville, and explaining the roof.

"Native plants absorb the rain water and divert it from the stormwater system, solar panels — I’ve shown some of you the panels around the corner — help to power our business and reduce our operating cost," he said.

"Did you know that during a one-inch rainfall, an acre of land absorbs over 27,000 gallons of water? According to Metro Water Services there are over 475 acres of rooftops in Nashville’s urban core suitable for green roofs. That’s a potential to capture over 12 million gallons of runoff during the typical rain events.”

Freeman says he'd promote "smart incentives," like a Metro Water Services program that offers rebates on monthly water bills based on square footage of green roof. He also said he'd "want to work with Metro Council to explore density-based incentives" that provide additional square footage allowances based on the size of a building's green roof.

Freeman says "smart incentives can help us solve our problems without drawing tax dollars away from public schools and other services like some incentive packages do.'

Some of his other proposals and pledges, after the jump:

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The Daily Links: Freddie Gray, Steve Coogan, and Pappy Van Winkle

Posted By on Wed, Apr 22, 2015 at 5:00 PM

Every day we read a lot of stuff. If it's interesting, thought provoking, funny or being shared by everyone we know on the Internet, we share some of it with you. Happy reading.

From Grantland: ‘Happyish’ and Famousish: What Is Keeping Steve Coogan From Breaking Out in America?

From The Intercept: American Outcasts: US Prisons and Modern Day Banishment

From The New York Times Magazine: The Man Who Makes the World’s Funniest People Even Funnier

From The New York Times: Freddie Gray in Baltimore: Another City, Another Death in the Public Eye

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Nashville Delegation Drops Ball On In-State Tuition For Undocumented Immigrants

Posted By on Wed, Apr 22, 2015 at 2:54 PM

Falling short by one vote, the House of Representatives dealt a fatal blow to a bill allowing certain undocumented high school graduates to pay in-state tuition to attend college.

After about two hours of debate, when the clerk opened up the board for a vote, three legislators were missing, all from Nashville.

“I’m sorry I missed a few votes, but as a citizen legislator, you have to,” said Rep. Bo Mitchell who said he had a mandatory work meeting scheduled Wednesday morning in Hendersonville. “I just wish the vote count would have been better.”

The House voted 49-47 on the bill, on vote shy of passage, sending the legislation back to a scheduling committee with little chance of revival this year. However, the bill is still alive and can be take up next legislative session. The Senate approved the bill 21-12.

Also missing the vote were House Speaker Beth Harwell, a Republican from Belle Meade, and Rep. Darren Jernigan, a Democrat representing the far east end of Davidson County.

All count Metro Nashville Public Schools among their constituents. MNPS is one of the most ethnically diverse school districts in the state and has encouraged the state to expand in-state tuition and the Tennessee Promise free community college tuition to undocumented students.

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#MayoralChatter: The Candidates on Moving PSC Metals

Posted By on Wed, Apr 22, 2015 at 2:26 PM

Last year, we published an agenda with six ideas that we encouraged 2015 mayoral candidates to steal. One of those was finding a way to get rid of PSC Metals, the massive blemish on the east bank that the past several administrations have dreamed of erasing.

Well, at this morning's candidates forum hosted by the Cumberland River Compact, moderator Blake Farmer, of WPLN, asked the mayoral hopefuls about it.

Specifically, he asked whether they would go as far as eminent domain — the process by which a government can essentially buy private property by force for public use — to move PSC Metals from the East Bank?"

Here's what the candidates — including Kenneth Eaton! — had to say:

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Council Advances Sale of Old Convention Center

Posted By on Wed, Apr 22, 2015 at 12:53 PM

The Metro Council on Tuesday night unanimously advanced Mayor Karl Dean's plans to sell the old Nashville Convention Center and make way for a $400 million mixed-use development.

After council committees discussed the plan at length on Monday, the full council passed it without a word Tuesday night, sending on to a final vote next month.

Although it has been appraised for $27 million, Metro will receive $11.25 million from the sale of the property to OliverMcMillan Spectrum Emery Inc. Five million dollars of that sales price will come in cash when the deal closes and that money will be put into the Barnes Fund for Affordable Housing. The resulting development will include retail, residential and office uses along with a home for the National Museum of African American Music.

The council also gave final approval Tuesday night to a plan to direct a portion of the taxes collected from short-term rentals, like Airbnb properties, to the Barnes Fund. Council attorney Jon Cooper has said that the arrangement, which represents the first direct funding source for the affordable housing trust fun, could "theoretically generate approximately $400,000 per year."

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