Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mekong Blue, Thistle Farms, Triple Thread Discuss Business as Social Catalyst Today at Owen

Posted By on Tue, Feb 22, 2011 at 2:49 PM

A movement is afoot across the globe to turn our consumer appetites into a force for social progress, using the wallet as a weapon. How local and international businesses can effect social change — attacking ills such as poverty, unemployment and inequality — is the subject of today's free panel discussion at Vanderbilt's Owen Graduate School of Management.

Headlining the discussion is Nguon Chantha, the Cambodian entrepreneur and former nurse who co-founded the Stung Treng Women's Development Center. Through the manufacture of Mekong Blue Scarves, which provide an industry for women artisans in Cambodia's Stung Treng province, the non-profit center advances causes such as literacy programs and vocational training.

She'll be joined by representatives of two Nashville companies working similar projects locally: Holli Anglin, executive director of Thistle Farms, which produces and sells bath and body products as part of its social mission for women survivors of prostitution, addiction and violence; and Kyle McCollom, co-founder of Triple Thread Apparel, the screen-printing enterprise that provides employment and job training for former offenders to society.

A reception begins at 5:30 p.m. this evening at Owen's Averbuch Auditorium, 401 21st Ave. S., with discussion to follow at 6. Owen Professor Jim Schorr, a board member of Nashville’s Social Enterprise Alliance, will moderate.

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Kleinheider Joins Ron Ramsey's Staff as Communications Director

Posted By on Tue, Feb 22, 2011 at 8:48 AM

Talk about burying the lead:

Lt. Governor Ramsey announces key staff changes

(Nashville) — Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey (R-Blountville) today announced key staff changes, including new Chief of Staff Lance Frizzell. Mr. Frizzell, formerly Deputy Chief of Staff, has over a decade of policy and political strategy experience in Tennessee and is a decorated combat veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“Lance has a wealth of knowledge and experience in public policy matters and is dedicated to serving the citizens of Tennessee,” said Lt. Governor Ramsey. “He has my complete trust and confidence.”

Two other key staff appointments include Communications Director Adam Kleinheider [emphasis ours] and Special Assistant to the Lt. Governor, Jordan Young. Before joining the Lt. Governor's office, Kleinheider founded and managed the respected "Post Politics" website.

"I have encountered very few people involved or engaged in state government in Tennessee who didn't count Kleinheider's blog as a valuable resource for staying informed each day," said Lt. Gov. Ramsey. "We're excited to have him as part of our team."

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Public Pith: Don't Cut Relief Funds, says ONE

Posted By on Tue, Feb 22, 2011 at 5:50 AM

Abby Sasser and Ngina
  • Abby Sasser and Ngina
The following letter was written by Abby Sasser, the congressional district leader — the lead volunteer in Nashville — for the ONE Campaign. She is appealing to Tennesseans to ask their representatives to oppose proposed budget cuts that would take money away from programs that help to fight HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis in the developing world. The Continuing Resolution that includes these cuts has passed the House and is now headed for the Senate.

Every morning when I wake up, I grab a glass of water from the faucet, take a puff of Advair to control my asthma, and scrounge up a bit of breakfast from my condiment-heavy refrigerator. Rarely do I stop to think just how easy all that was to do. Yet across the globe just outside of Ukunda, Kenya, there is a little girl named Ngina, who just three years ago, did not know where her next meal was coming from, let alone where she could find a glass of water that wouldn’t make her sick or access the medicines she needed to make her feel better.

I first met Ngina in 2007 when I lived and volunteered in her village for three months. Every day I was amazed at the lack of basic needs I take advantage of every day. Ngina had wounds in her feet where tiny worms had burrowed in because she could not afford shoes. She had constant diarrhea from the water she drank, and at the age of 3, was already battling her second bout of tuberculosis, a disease that costs as low as $16 to treat for a full six months in many developing countries.

Every day, approximately 12,000 people die from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, nearly two-thirds of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa. That’s more than 360,000 people a month — the size of Sumner and Rutherford counties combined.

Continue reading »

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Pick of the Day: Hell Hath No Fury... at The Parthenon

Posted By on Tue, Feb 22, 2011 at 5:03 AM

Hell Hath No Fury: How the Looting of the Iraq Museum Changed the Way Archaeologists Think About Armed Conflict
Where: The Parthenon
When: 7 p.m. Tue., Feb. 22
Free; reservations required

As if the death and destruction of the 2003 invasion of Iraq weren’t horrible enough, the looting of the National Museum was like salt in the wound. Dozens of priceless historical artifacts, some more than 5,000 years old, were stolen or damaged in the mayhem.

Corine Wegener, an associate curator for the Decorative Arts, Textiles and Sculpture collection at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, was deployed to Baghdad in May 2003 as an army reservist, where she assisted in recovery efforts after the looting. In 2006, she founded the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield, dedicated to the protection of cultural property worldwide during armed conflict. (The organization is currently working in Haiti to protect property after the earthquake.)

At this Parthenon Symposium, Wegener will discuss her experiences in Iraq, developing cultural preservation training for the U.S. military, and lobbying for U.S. ratification of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. We assume the symposium has been in the works for a while, but given recent developments in Egypt, it couldn’t be timelier. Admission is free, but reservations are required; call 862-8431.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Lady Antebellum Seals the Deal: Nashville's Creative Class Is Booming

Posted By on Mon, Feb 21, 2011 at 12:07 PM

We've always suspected it, but Nashvillians finally have proof that our city is literally off the charts. From high atop his Canadian ivory tower, cultural gatekeeper Richard Florida (The Creative Class) has announced what a lot of us had already figured out: Creative-musician types are choosing to live in Nashville. And, at least according to his chart, many of them have jobs outside the restaurant industry.

Look, I'm not sure what Florida's data really prove other than that we're a small city with a big music business — and maybe it demonstrates why Nashville dominates Grammy voting — but at least he acknowledges all the talented folks making diverse strains of music in our little town. The real headline is that some of them (many with college degrees, apparently) are here by choice, not just because they were born here. Plus, y'know, it beats Atlanta.

Of course, few locals would have imagined inoffensive crossover acts such as Taylor Swift and Lady Antebellum would serve notice of the town's musical resurrection — a thaw in Dale Watson hostilities was the real clue — and we've been doing fine with our music and floods and whatnot without any national attention, thanks.

Still, it would be a nice coup to move the Grammys to Music City one of these years. Maybe we'll find out what kind of muscle Nashville's Grammy voting block really has.

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Tennessee's Anti-MacGyver Act: Proposed Bill Would Make It Impossible for Stoners to Own, Hell, Anything

Posted By on Mon, Feb 21, 2011 at 8:52 AM

HB0228/SB0526 is supposed to make clear that a person can't use the fact that an item hasn't yet been used as drug paraphernalia as a defense against it being drug paraphernalia. In other words, right now, if a cop catches you with a bong and a box of Twinkies, you can argue that the fact that there's no marijuana or residue in the bong yet proves you were going to use it as a paperweight. Under the new law, a new bong would be cause for the same misdemeanor as an old bong.

I have to think that the sponsors of this bill, Bill Dunn and Randy McNally, have not thought through the undue burden this puts on stoners. If it becomes illegal for a stoner to possess things the police officer reasonably suspects the stoner is going to use to inhale or ingest marijuana, stoners will not be able to possess much.

See, stoners are the MacGyvers of the drug world. This law, if applied realistically, would prevent them from owning not only bongs and one-hitters, but also apples, potatoes, empty soda cans, carrots, plastic bottles, hammers, socket wrenches, pens, cars, buckets, grills, aluminum foil, and on and on. They seemingly turn anything into a way to smoke pot.

Basically, cops could just stand outside hardware stores and grocery stores and issue citations to anyone who looked like they might be a little more mellow than a trip to the store would call for.

And who could argue?

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Flipping Channels: CSI's Laurence Fishburne Takes the Other Side of the Bench in Thurgood

Posted By on Mon, Feb 21, 2011 at 6:50 AM

Laurence Fishburne has survived a shaky start to establish himself as a regular on CBS' CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, a show that became television's dominant procedural when it began in 2000. William Petersen tired of series television's grind in 2008, and Fishburne was the producers' choice as a new cast addition. Fishburne's character Ray Langston was a heralded college professor personally chosen by Petersen's Gil Grissom to join the staff. The first year chronicled his quest from staff rookie to full-fledged investigator.

Unfortunately, Fishburne's time on CSI hasn't been a complete success. He's been dogged by constant (and inaccurate) comparisons to Petersen, whom he never was supposed to replace. Fishburne also took plenty of heat last season when CSI's ratings dipped to their lowest levels since the program began in 2000.

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Bicentennial Park: A Review

Posted By on Mon, Feb 21, 2011 at 5:39 AM

A creek runs under this wiggly sidewalk.
  • A creek runs under this wiggly sidewalk.
In Short:

Location: The state park is just north of the capitol
Size of Park: Large
Crowds: Light
Approximate Age of Patrons: Various adults
Topics of Conversation: Democratic politics and whether a person wouldn't mind holding my dog for a second
Stray Dogs Seen: None, but one off-leash dog with owners
Types of Vehicles in Parking Lots: All kinds
Perceived Safety: Moderately high
Number of Gunshots Heard: None
Dog Friendliness: Fine
Number of pitbulls sighted: Just mine
Accessibility: Fine
Incorporation of Local History: Excellent
Recommended Patrons: History buffs, kids, train fans, people who like carillons.

Continue reading »

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Pick of the Day: From Here to Eternity at Belcourt with Wine, Food & Film

Posted By on Mon, Feb 21, 2011 at 5:08 AM

From Here to Eternity
Where: The Belcourt
When: 7 p.m. Mon., Feb. 21
$25 (including Wine, Film & Food reception at 5:30 p.m.)

Contrary to popular myth propagated by The Godfather, mogul Harry Cohn’s wife and Ava Gardner had more to do with getting Frank Sinatra his comeback shot in this 1953 prestige picture than the Mafia did. (As history has it, the washed-up Sinatra won out over favored Eli Wallach because Ol’ Blue Eyes looked more skinny and vulnerable — no horse’s head required.) However he got it, he pulled off one of the most dramatic career rebounds of the century in Fred Zinnemann’s blockbuster adaptation of the James Jones novel, set at an Army base in Hawaii during the lead-up to Pearl Harbor.

Sinatra won the Oscar — perhaps deserved even more by Montgomery Clift’s reluctant boxer — but the image that’s gone down in pop iconography is the steamy beachfront clinch between forbidden lovers Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr (the target of one of Airplane’s funniest gags). A juicy, terrifically acted, engrossing piece of old-school mainstream storytelling — the kind of movie that’s fallen from favor but is damned hard to pull off, especially these days — it wraps up The Belcourt’s smash series of screen romances, an idea worth repeating.

Arrive at 5:30 p.m. for food provided by Whole Foods and a sampling of wines from Village Wines. The evening is part of the countdown for next weekend's Oscar Night America, the theater's biggest fundraiser of the year.

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Nashville Fashion Week Saunters Along: Join the Model Search, Get Your Tickets

Posted By on Fri, Feb 18, 2011 at 3:32 PM

  • Michael Howard via NFW
We told you about Nashville's first official Fashion Week, which puts on the ritz-glitz March 29 through April 2 and is shaping up to look like a fashionable Next Big Nashville. There will be daytime shindigs at boutiques, educational panels around town and runway shows at night — capping off, we hear, with a big finish against a backdrop of a stunning view. So far, formidable fashion femme Kelly Cutrone has confirmed a speaking engagement, and we'll report more confirmed appearances as we get them.


+Get your tickets now, offered at tiered rates that will satisfy the fiendish and fickle alike. For a lowly $20, you can catch Kelly Cutrone waxing wise about the industry (April 1, 3:30 p.m.). For a whopping $350, you can have your gift bag and eat it too. That means you get all the good seats, all the good freebies and a private reception with Cutrone herself.

+Local modeling agency AMAX has announced a model search for gals and guys who want to walk in the upcoming Fashion Week shows (guidelines here). No experience is necessary, and a grand prize package includes a modeling contract with AMAX, headliner spots in the runway shows, photo shoot, makeover and a fashion spread in Her magazine.

The contest runs through March 12. So practice your best poses, and don't go read this hilarious roundup of the Top 10 All-Time Model/Runway Mishaps.

Breaking News: Fashion Force Kelly Cutrone Confirms Appearance at Nashville Fashion Week
Nashville Announces First Official Fashion Week March 29 - April 2

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