After a public hearing and another lengthy discussion on the proposed new Nashville Sounds stadium at Sulphur Dell, the Metro Council approved the plan, sending it on to a third and final vote next week.
The council voted 28 to 7 to approve a $65 million bond issue for the ballpark, along with several other bills related to the plan, all of which passed with even larger majorities. Perhaps the most crucial hurdle for ballpark proponents was a bill which amended the Capital Improvements Budget to include $65 million for the project, as that legislation required 27 votes to pass the council. It passed 30 to 2 and will not require another vote.
The council will give final consideration to the plan at a special called meeting Dec. 10.
Immediately following the council's votes Tuesday night, a Mayor Karl Dean celebrated the news.
“This investment north of downtown returns baseball to its historic home in Sulphur Dell and will spur further redevelopment of the Jefferson Street area, and that’s great for our entire city," Dean said. "Tonight’s vote moved the project one step closer to reality, and I thank all our partners in the deal, including Gov. Bill Haslam, the State Building Commission members and their staff, the Nashville Sounds, Embrey Development Corp. and the members of the Metro Council and Nashville Sports Authority. I also want to thank the Metro Council for meeting next week to take their final vote on this important and exciting project.”
Jessica Roy over at Time brings us the important "news" that, according to Condomania.com, Tennessee's trouser snakes are pretty ordinary. If North Dakota is too big and Mississippi is too small, we're right in the Goldilocks zone — Number 22.
The list has some issues. As Roy points out, "this list is missing Georgia, leading us to conclude that there must be no penises in the state of Georgia." And yet, somehow my Georgia-residing brother keeps fathering children. It's a mystery.
But I do think there's a fairly serious issue hidden in the bush, so to speak. Condomania's list is based on the condom orders they get. So, on the one hand, yes, rural states where it's easier to just buy condoms online than trek clear into town are going to skew the results. But on the other hand, the states who seemingly have the smallest penises correlate pretty closely to the states where the people who should be using condoms demonstrably aren't.
Let's just take the five states who supposedly have the smallest penises:
Arkansas and Mississippi have the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the land and the other three have pretty high rates as well (see here). And, with the exception of Wyoming, they're not doing that great a job keeping people from getting HIV (see here).
So, the problem would seem to be that, in those states, folks with small dicks are embarrassed to buy their condoms at the drug store, so they order them online, while folks with average and large dicks are failing to use condoms at all. The small penised people of Mississippi should be applauded for being careful with their partners, not teased for a physical trait they have no control over.
After all, buying condoms ahead of time and making sure they fit and are comfortable for you is a sign of a considerate lover and we all know a lover who considers his or her partner's needs is a good time, no matter what's in his or her pants.
Anything we write here is keeping you from reading about Nickelback's greatest hits album (really) and Joe Jonas, so click on!
From ESPN: Ron Burgundy Interviews Peyton Manning
After Darren Jernigan defeated him by just 160 votes last year, Jim Gotto is back for a sequel.
The former Republican state representative announced Tuesday that he will be a candidate for his old state House seat in District 60 next year.
From his release:
“I am running because I believe the citizens of Donelson, Hermitage and Old Hickory need conservative leadership that will remain focused on creating an environment for economic growth and further maintain fiscal sanity in state government,” said Gotto. “I am eager to once again partner with Speaker Harwell and Governor Haslam on the progress that has already been made.
“It was an honor to serve previously in the state legislature and metro council, but I know we still have a lot to accomplish. I appreciate the outpouring of support and encouragement to return to public service. I’m ready to get back to work; and to talk about how we can get our community working again as well.”
Gotto, who is also a former member of the Metro Council, most recently served on the Davidson County Election Commission, but only lasted little more than a month before resigning at a contentious meeting after the firing of then-administrator of elections Albert Tieche.
On Jan. 1 — the date the expansion begins for the 26 states moving forward — "Tennessee’s Republican leadership is poised to make the greatest fiscal, economic and moral blunder in decades," Democrats say. And for once for a political press release, that's not hyperbole.
“This Christmas, Governor Haslam has the opportunity to give thousands of working men and women in Tennessee the best gift possible — longer and healthier lives,” said Rep. Mike Turner, the state House's No. 2 Democrat. “I understand it will be difficult to get the expansion passed in the legislature, but the Governor owes it to the people of our state to try. If he stands by and does nothing, the hospital closures, the jobs lost, and the premature and preventable deaths of Tennesseans will rest squarely on his shoulders.”
“People across this state need to understand that if we do not expand Medicaid, their health care options and jobs may be at risk, even if they have private or employer based insurance,” Turner adds. “How many people in our state must suffer so that the Republican leadership can please its Tea Party base?”
We guess Ramsey's never bothered to check out our state's unemployment benefits system. As Channel 4 reports, that's been royally messed up ever since the great recession.
The Channel 4 I-Team asked the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development why the backlog hasn't been fixed after all these years.
"We can get as many as 20,000 calls that come into the phone lines, and, at most, we can handle about half of those calls," said department spokesman Jeff Hentschel.
And that's not the only service our Republican supermajority is botching, of course. Also in the news today, the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities still is struggling to fix its computer system to track services for families — after 20 years of problems. In a video on the department's website, Deputy Commissioner Lance Iverson says the system finally might work soon, but he doesn't sound too sure:
“Many of you have heard this story before and you might be watching this video while rolling your eyes and shaking your head," he says. "I understand why you’re skeptical. We’ve said this six times before and nothing’s changed.”
Promises, promises. We should all be thankful Republicans in this state refused to run HealthCare.gov.
Playing catch-up on the new Nashville Sounds stadium? Here's primer on the situation. It's not everything, but we think it'll get you started.
Hold on. Since when are the Sounds getting a new stadium?
The franchise has been angling for a new stadium for years. In 2007, under then-Mayor Bill Purcell a deal was in place that would have put a new stadium on the riverfront. That deal fell through.
In 2011, a study by Populous Inc. — a national stadium architecture firm — identified three potential sites for a new baseball stadium: Sulphur Dell (the original home of baseball in the city, in the heart of North Nashville's Germantown and Salemtown neighborhoods), the east bank, and the North Gulch.
After discussions about a new stadium between the city and the team appeared to have stalled, The Tennessean broke the news in August that Mayor Karl Dean's administration that a stadium project at Sulphur Dell was in the works. Two days later, the mayor confirmed that report at a press conference, although details about the project remained scarce. More details, including renderings of the stadium and plans for its design, emerged at an Oct. 25 community meeting.
On Nov. 8, that the mayor's office announced a deal had been reached the state, the Sounds and a private developer to allow the project to move forward. And on Nov. 11, the administration revealed the financing plan for the ballpark.
The Metro Council advanced plan on first reading on Nov. 20 and will consider it for the second time this evening (with plans to give it a third and final vote on Dec. 10). So here we are.
If you want to be frightened for the future of Tennessee, check out this story about our current textbook "controversy" over at the Tennessean.
I want to focus on the part Laurie Cardoza-Moore is playing. As you may recall, Cardoza-Moore is behind the opposition to the Murfreesboro mosque. Not content to rail against imaginary dangers from Middle Tennessee Muslims, she's now spearheading the effort to rid our textbooks of secret bias.
Though, let's be clear. Many school districts' textbooks are so old that Ned McWherter is still governor and Pluto is still a planet in them. So the worry about "bias" in Tennessee's textbooks is just about worrying that kids in affluent school systems might be getting this "biased" information. This is funny, if you think about it, because, if you thought Cardoza-Moore's fight against not-especially-wealthy Muslims was Quixotic, imagine her trying to tell rich people that they should be concerned that textbook publisher Pearson "is not interested in the American way of thinking."
If Cardoza-Moore is the example of "the American way of thinking" I have a feeling she's going to find most rich people aren't that excited about having their kids indoctrinated with it. And lo and behold, she's not been able to get Williamson County to agree that a geography textbook she doesn't like is biased.
We're suckers for maps here at Link Central. We're also suckers for the things people say and how they say it. Is it Coke or soda? Give it to us in a map. Which is why, even though we love all of our links equally, we love our first link just a little more ...
From Robert Delaney: The 15 Different Dialects of American English
From The New York Times: Despite Outlaw Image, Hells Angels Sue Often
Amazon has announced that they intend to start sending Amazon Prime members their light packages by drone:
The goal of this new delivery system is to get packages into customers' hands in 30 minutes or less using unmanned aerial vehicles.
Putting Prime Air into commercial use will take some number of years as we advance the technology and wait for the necessary FAA rules and regulations.
Weirdly enough, their frequently asked questions fail to include the only question I have, which is this: How does Amazon intend to keep people from shooting these things? I'm not even talking about people who are paranoid about drones so shoot them down or the people who shoot them down in order to steal the contents. I'm just talking about regular folks who usually line up cans on the back fence for target practice. I mean, I'm about the last person you'd call a gun nut and even I'm curious about whether I could knock one of those things out of the sky.
So, it's hard for me to imagine how America's gun culture and Amazon's remote controlled flying packages are going to mix. Well, I mean, I think they'll mix exceptionally well. The drones are an easy target. But I'm wondering what Amazon is going to do to prevent the inevitable delivery problems.
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