Wednesday, September 19, 2007

East Nashville 1, FAA 0

Posted By on Wed, Sep 19, 2007 at 12:03 PM

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The only thing noisier than a Boeing 737 taking off is a bunch of angry East Nashvillians—at least that seems to be the case, according to this Tennessean story. In June, Nashville International Airport began routing its takeoffs over East Nashville, to comply with an FAA regulation saying that climbing planes have to fly higher than any building in a three-mile radius. But those feisty East Siders (OK, I'm one of 'em) pitched enough of a fit that, according to an Airport Authority official quoted in the Tennessean story, "The FAA is going to look at another method of following the rule and not flying over these neighborhoods." In the meantime, the airport has returned to its former flight pattern, allowing East Nashville's bohemian throngs to sleep off their hangovers in peace.

Score One for Team Taxpayer

Posted By on Wed, Sep 19, 2007 at 11:56 AM

The head of the local investors group that's bidding $193 million to buy the Predators told the Sports Authority this morning that he and fellow investors plan to drop a potentially pricey—and controversial—request for an amended lease with Metro.

The suggested provision outlined that the Preds must average 14,000 in average paid attendance—the magic number of tickets the team would need to sell to qualify for full revenue sharing under NHL requirements. As the Scene reported here, the provision could've been problematic for Metro and the city's taxpayers, who would've have to foot the (open-ended) bill to buy up oodles of unsold tickets.

David Freeman, head of the local investors group, told the Sports Authority that he and his partners realize that the Preds organization and its fan base—not Metro—should be responsible for the success of the team. Freeman wouldn't wade into specifics about exactly how the investors group expects to accomplish a plan that, as he put it, would "eliminate risk for the city."

And there is still no word on when the investors will come before the Sports Authority and Metro Council with their proposal for a revised lease. It should, however, be before Oct. 31, which Freeman identified as the deadline for Metro and the NHL Board of Governors to approve the new deal.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Wright Stuff

Posted By on Tue, Sep 18, 2007 at 4:55 PM

In Tuesday's Tennessean puff piece on new Metro Schools administrator Benjamin Wright, reporter Jaime Sarrio says "Wright's experience aligns with [MNPS Director Pedro] Garcia's ambitious plans for Metro schools." One hopes that Garcia and school board members have spent some quality time getting to know Wright through his bizarre, at times stream-of-consciousness personal website, in which he modestly labels himself a "visionary Transformationalist" (capitalization his).

Wright's thoughts on leadership are especially trenchant:


Now every leader in history had a particular calling, the greatest leader in America that we know was Jesus Christ, there are other countries that knew Buddha, Mohammed, some just knew God, Allah, Yahweh; and then there were men, Attila the Hun, Hannibal, Mansa Mussa, King James, Lancelot, Russo, Socrates, Plato, Martin Luther, Gandhi, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and Benjamin Wright, leaders whom we consider the great achievers.


Wright, who is responsible for major instructional initiatives such as personalized student learning plans, is unquestionably a change agent, one determined to transformationalize the basic grammatical rules of sentence structure:


The role of education has never changed it had the intention of creating life long learners who can be self-sustaining members of society.


And there's this on race (I guess):


We can now begin to identify why blacks aren't learning and achieving at the same rate whites are, even though today Asians are outperforming everyone, I keep forgetting that Asians are white by America's definitions, as a matter of fact so are many blacks.


I'd do more to decipher, but right now I'm off to read some of that Russo fellow's stuff.

Bad News for People who Like Good News

Posted By on Tue, Sep 18, 2007 at 10:05 AM

In a thread below someone suggested legalized marijuana as a way to improve Nashville. As you've probably already heard, Metro's been scouting the offending weed by helicopter (take that, Sky 5). Why are we spending so much time and treasure on destroying plants that make end-users mellow, happy and predisposed to snack food? This is the drug of lovers, not fighters. And is dope not good for the economy? Why doesn't the nacho cheese lobby get behind legalization?

Anyway, WPLN's Blake Farmer went along in Metro's pot duster and filed a report, wherein a lieutenant tells us "there's only one thing that smells like marijuana and that's marijuana." Listen to it or read the transcript here.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Dubai-ous Distinction

Posted By on Mon, Sep 17, 2007 at 2:57 PM

dubai.jpg

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Can you tell which photo is Dubai, and which one is Nashville's Gulch? Well, of course you can. Still, we're making our case for renaming The Gulch "Li'l Dubai." From now on, don't be surprised if you hear us reporting from "The Scene offices in Li'l Dubai." Rumor has it that the Burj-al-Arab is opening a 5-star luxury hotel in the lot across from City Hall. This might explain the "Halliburton Halibut" we saw on Watermark's menu last weekend.

Nashville Sports Fans=Lame

Posted By on Mon, Sep 17, 2007 at 12:29 PM

Yesterday's Titans-Colts match up was heart-pounding, gridiron perfection. The world champs swaggered into our house but the home team played tough, losing by less than a field goal and staying in the game 'til the last tick of the clock.

You never would have known that listening to Titans fans. I was shocked by the milquetoast nature of the Music City crowd at LP Field yesterday. On big plays, as their team stifled one of the NFL's most potent offenses, these "fans" yammered away on cell phones, yawned or just sat there staring.

During one of the most crucial plays of the game two people behind me sat there talking about a church function or something equally insignificant. I think that the couple next to me was dead.

Continue reading »

Friday, September 14, 2007

SUV: Small Urban Vehicle

Posted By on Fri, Sep 14, 2007 at 2:42 PM

On my walk from the train—yes, true to my word, I'm making a habit of it—to the Scene's office this morning, I couldn't help but notice this trailer parked in front of the Hard Rock.

trailer.jpg


I've been interested in the smart car since its conception in the '90s as a joint venture between Mercedes and Swatch. The watch maker is no longer affiliated, but the design was so unique, it's currently included at the MoMA (and Lane Motor Museum).

Continue reading »

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The New Nashville

Posted By on Thu, Sep 13, 2007 at 3:56 PM

So, now we have a new mayor, one who is sometimes described as progressive, forward-thinking and not originally from around these parts, and who believes it's "all connected." (Did he mean all corners of his face are connected by his stubble? Perhaps without the campaign grind he'll find time to shave more frequently.) Anyway, with the Dean era nigh, and in light of the recent PITW thread about Music City Star, and another over at Bites about the possibility—or, at least, the faint glimmer of hope—that we might someday get a Trader Joe's in Nashville, now's as good a time as any to talk about what else Nashville could use. Or, as the case may be, what it could not use (e.g. more stop lights in Green Hills).

Light rail of some sort is obvious, if the city is going to continue to grow. So what else does Nashville need? I keep holding out hope for a full-on independent movie store now that Spun is gone (c.f. Facets in Chicago or Scarecrow in Seattle), modern architecture, something that better utilizes the river and, of course, dim sum.

Your turn.

Just Call Him "Scoop"

Posted By on Thu, Sep 13, 2007 at 3:55 PM

I don't know what they're paying Kleinheider over at News2, but they need to give him a raise. This was an excellent find.

Predatory Dealing

Posted By on Thu, Sep 13, 2007 at 3:48 PM

What's in a word? For Metro, one word in the current Predators contract gives them the muscle to help ensure that the team sticks close to home. Perhaps that's why the local investors group who've bid $193 million to purchase the team want to lose the word "tangible" in the new agreement. It'd make it a hell of a lot easier to duck and run if the deal fell through (and if the Preds continued to be the big money sucking machine they've been from the start).

Aside from a litany of other sly and not-so-sly suggestions for a revamped contract—as documented here in this week's Scene—the local investors have proposed that the word "tangible" be removed from the current "minimum tangible net worth" clause. Seem harmless enough?

Not quite. In the past, the provision has outlined that the Predators must maintain a minimum tangible net worth of about $34 million, excluding the value of player contracts. If an independent accountant says the team doesn't have that much (which they don't, and if Metro's right, they never have), the franchise would have to find a third party to pay up if the team defaults.

Essentially, the provision protects Metro from the financial risk associated with the team leaving—after all, the city paid about $34 million to get them here.

Metro finance director David Manning tells the Scene it's clear that the investors group is looking at issues that have been problematic in the lease in the past and attempting to clear them up. You can't blame the guys for trying to cover their collective ass. "It's a reasonable thing for them to do," Manning says. "It does however, create a greater ability [for the Preds] to leave the city."

It's a curious move for a group whose main selling point has been that they'll do whatever it takes to keep the Preds local.

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