I wish to commend your paper and Caleb Hannan for the wonderful, insightful, well-researched piece ("The Signature Tower and May Town Center are far from sure things. Is Tony Giarratana's legacy as Nashville's development king up in the air?" Aug. 6). It is a great piece of writing and investigative work.
No doubt that Mr. Giarratana has salesman qualities. Hopefully, however, the article will help us all keep our eyes open and look at an individual's track record over the long haul as we consider building/development rights in our city.
People who look to create enormous buildings—and in his case, "a new downtown" in May Town Center—plan to use many of our resources and our precious land. We must take the long perspective and be thoughtful and careful. We are talking about the future of the city we all call home. We all have a vested interest here.
My hat is off to you as a newspaper and to Caleb for a great, informative article.
United we stand
Kudos to Caleb Hannan on his excellent, in-depth and balanced cover article. Taking on a colorful, volatile and adversarial personality like Tony—and proceeding to present his strengths and foibles so incisively—is no easy task.
Over the years, it's true that Mr. Giarratana had a vision for what downtown Nashville could become, and he has been a leader in developing this important area of our city. The "New Urbanism" that Mr. Giarratana represents has admittedly brought a desirable vitality to downtown. If only the story ended there, we might all be singing Mr. Giarratana's praises instead of lining up against him in a cause célèbre known as May Town Center.
Jack May hired Tony Giarratana to get May Town Center approved at any cost, first by the Metro Planning Commission and then by the City Council. But in signing on to ramrod May Town Center through, Mr. Giarratana bit off more than he could chew. He severely underestimated his opposition: the unified neighborhoods of Nashville, who are outraged by May Town Center's potential destruction of Bells Bend, Nashville's last pastoral and agriculturally productive community. Few political issues have unified Nashvillians so completely or caused neighborhoods from Madison to Antioch to Belle Meade to come together so strongly in a show of unprecedented solidarity, both behind the scenes and in front of the planning commissioners.
Thanks to Caleb Hannan's research and reportorial skills, we now have a clear picture of the underpinnings of Tony Giarratana's empire and a roadmap to just how deeply entrenched he is financially. Thanks to the Scene for exposing this story and its frightening underbelly. Meanwhile, the Nashville neighborhoods movement is growing every day, and we will all be the stronger for it.
Shine a light
Just wanted you to know that everyone is talking about your article and what an excellent job of reporting it is. It shows both sides of the man, does not leave out his good points but shines a big light on the shady aspects. And as you point out, many people aren't even talking.
We have been experiencing his manipulations firsthand, and it has been an eye-opener, even though we, like others, appreciate his charm. It is a dangerous combination and could cost Nashville a fortune in tangible and intangible ways.
It is a great thing to know that reporters like you are afoot. We have participated in public meetings, given speeches, etc., and often have hardly recognized the media version afterwards as the meeting we attended. We will look forward to reading more of your work.
Jane and Bill Coble
I would like to point out an error in Edd Hurt's article on The Shazam ("The Shazam make their classic-rock opus," Aug. 6). I must beg to differ with the statement "a well-known label financed the Field recordings." The studio, engineer and I were paid by the band's longtime ally and champion, music attorney Sawnie "Trip" Aldredge III. I never had any conversations with any label, and to my knowledge, it was all paid for by Trip. Other than that, I thought it was a great article about a band deserving good press and better things to come. They are a great bunch of guys.
R. S. Field
DUIs after midnight
You have to love:
" ... your head is pounding, and your liver begs for mercy that will not come. You need solid nourishment, fast—and this time square burgers, Taco Bell grease and the same old scattered-and-smothered just won't cut it. Just because you spent the evening planted at the bar..." ("Nashville's Top 10 Places for Meals after Midnight," Aug. 13.)
This assumes everyone has a designated driver, which we know doesn't happen.
What really makes this parochial preface idiotic is that as I've read so much anti-firearm flack at this outlet, you just had to know the Sunset Grill would make the list. It was given as the day is long—it's like standing in line for pancakes in a newbie-to-town village.
No...it's like standing in line for not-so-good-but-it-looks-like-I'm-Nashville-cool pancakes.
Anyhooo, Rayburn, The Tennessean's anti-firearm marionette never forgets to tout "free parking" at the Scene-described "barhopping" alternative.
There, you can get all the $140 per bottle swill you want with no comment on the people leaving that establishment and getting behind the wheel of the ultimate killing machine: their car.
Drinkin' the Franklin Kool Aid
About as seriously as bobs invitation to Lock 2 Park.
@Jim Collins: Nixon knew nothing about Watergate until after the fact. He lied under oath…
zumba is like a bad gonorreah contracted from gast, it keeps coming, and coming, and…
is anyone in here taking gast and bobs guns seriously?
We should invite Goad back to town and show him the real Nashville - have…