A bill filed by Councilman Duane Dominy that would green-light the relocation of an asphalt plant on Antioch's Franklin Limestone Road and has sparked ire from residents will be indefinitely deferred, according to an email obtained by Pith.
Late last night, Dominy informed Antioch constituent Pam Ward (who was interviewed in this week's Scene in a story about the rezoning fight) that the councilman would recommend to the Metro Planning & Zoning Committee that the bill be permanently shelved.
"The Planning & Zoning Committee meeting is at 4:45 PM Monday," wrote Dominy. "If well enough to attend, I will ask for an indefinite deferral of bill 103. Should I not be able to attend due to the flu, I will send a letter requesting the same."
Karen Kelley, who lives on Franklin Limestone Road and has been vocal in her criticism of the proposal, says the fight is not over despite this seeming victory.
"Until [the bill] is totally gone," Kelley tells Pith, "we will have to be vigilant."
Dominy did not return requests for comment as of posting time.
Last night, an otherwise sleepy Metro Council meeting saw an outpouring of constituent rancor over a proposed zoning change that would allow a new asphalt plant to be constructed on Franklin Limestone Road, which many speakers said would cause further harm to their already over-industrialized neighborhood.
Approximately 24 Antioch residents spoke out against the bill during a 50-minute public comment hearing to express concerns that the new plant would increase pollution, further depress home values by opening the asphalt plant too close to residential properties and threaten wildlife in nearby Mill Creek, which is the habitat of the endangered Nashville crayfish.
Patricia Griggs, a resident of Piccadilly Road, spoke of the negative health effects she's experienced living in an area home to two active asphalt plants and other heavy industry, the former of which rock the area with seismic blasts and emit into the air particulates that aren't fully understood, even by the Environmental Protection Agency.
"About a year ago, I developed breathing problems," Griggs said. "I have been to countless doctors in the last year trying to figure out what's wrong with me, and I don't know what it's from."
With more than 2,000 years of Western civilization under their wings, the 40 members of Nashville's Metro Council engaged in an awesome debate last night concerning one of the most pressing issues facing modern society.
After approximately 60 minutes of impassioned rhetoric, representatives of your municipal government narrowly approved a bill that would
address systemic income equality undertake a massive jobs program to employ all out of work Nashvillians provide universal health care for all Davidson County residents send the first guitar to the moon permit the raising of chickens in certain council districts within Davidson County.
Passions flamed on both sides of the issue to the point where it had seemed all oxygen had been sucked from the room. Even Vice Mayor Diane Neighbors seemed to roll her eyes as council members regaled those assembled with stories of wild animals (mainly in the Antioch area) that would eviscerate the chickens; talk of exorbitant costs to animal services; the decibel level emitted by hens; fecal-based animal diseases; and other tales of (ahem) foul play.
at-large Metro Council candidate backed by the political and fundraising largess of Mayor Karl Dean & Co., Sarah Lodge Tally has returned the favor on the campaign trail by championing her benefactor's pet Music City Center project as well as criticizing its detractors — namely her opponent, District 24 incumbent Councilman Jason Holleman, whose skepticism of the publicly financed convention center has drawn ire from the mayor's office — as naysayers of capital-P progress.
So it's with no small irony that Tally's support of the $585 million project is apparently rhetoric-deep: Her work at law firm Miller & Martin, which has collected $1.6 million in its handling of the city's purchase of the low-balled 5.66 acre Tower Investments property, presents enough of a conflict of interest that Tally must recuse herself from any convention center-related votes if she is elected Aug. 4.
In an interview with The Tennessean, Tally tried to apply a generous coat of lipstick to the proverbial pig maw, saying that an "abstention due to a conflict of interest and a vote against a project are two different things." Indeed, a zero and a negative integer are two different things, but in terms of tangible legislative support in the council, Tally's is a distinction without much difference.
She explained her position further last week in emails to the Scene:
I do not see my support of the convention center as a problem. My support ... is wholly unrelated to my work at Miller and Martin. Last year, I did about four hours worth of work on the Tower case, out of nearly 2,000 hours billed. As you can see, it was very, very minor work. And, I do not have any idea what the firm has been paid for the (Metro Development and Housing Agency) work — that information is well above my pay grade.
(Keeping on the theme, there's also this.)
For those aspiring to join the city's 40-person legislative body, there's a session about the arts in Music City on Monday, June 27, that's probably worth attending. During the workshop, the Nashville Arts Coalition will present findings from a recent study that offer some rather promising new intel:
An analysis prepared for the Metro Nashville Arts Coalition, measuring the years 2007-08, found that the Nashville Metropolitan Statistical Area has the fourth-highest cultural vitality index value in the nation, trailing only Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and New York City. In 2008, there were about 23,500 highly creative jobs in Davidson County and more than 35,000 in the Nashville MSA.
Presenters will also discuss grant and public art programs in Davidson County, and Stephen J. Tepper, associate director of the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy at Vanderbilt University, will talk specifics about the cultural and economic effects of the arts here.
“Nashville’s arts community is a big force in our economy and makes a mighty contribution to education and quality of life for everyone who lives here,” Nashville Arts Coalition member Vali Forrister said in a release. “Metro government is a strong partner in a very large community-wide effort that has built a vibrant arts scene."
At the CP, Joey Garrison's got a piece this morning detailing a slew of interesting Metro Council races coming to a boil. Turnout is expected to be low, Garrison writes, but the stakes aren't, even beyond the fairground referendum:
The next council figures to play a role in some significant debates. Dean’s decision to hold off raising property taxes — and instead restructure the city’s debt in a short-term fix to a long-term problem — has left some wondering how long the city can stave off a tax hike. Dean’s administration has commissioned a study on the feasibility of a new Nashville Sounds baseball stadium, positioning it as a possible second-term issue.
Several entities including the Nashville Symphony have approached the mayor’s office about a new amphitheater at the 11-acre former thermal plant site, and Dean has signaled interest. The mayor has also said investing in mass transit is on his radar, and that would require a dedicated funding source. True upgrades in public transportation would cost millions.
Garrison's got juicy breakdowns of several races, from the District 35 face-off between Bellevue incumbent Bo Mitchell and challenger Tonya Jones to the District 5 dust-up that includes Pam Murray and Priscilla Eaton (who are battling in court as well as at the polls).
A day later, Gail Kerr writes in a column sounding the alarm on voter complacency that Mayor Karl Dean is still considering whether to campaign for any council candidates. She quotes Dean campaign spokesman Tom Hayden to that effect.
Kerr does this four days after the Scene reported on the myriad connections between Dean and Tally, and about the fact that the mayor has thrown his support behind Tally in the race against District 24 incumbent Jason Holleman. Here's the moneyshot:
It also will be fascinating to see if Dean has any coattails in the Metro Council elections. Hayden said he does not know if Dean will endorse or campaign for council candidates.
Sounds like somebody missed a memo.
Found near the bottom of the City Paper's coverage of last night's Metro Council meeting, this juicy tidbit:
In another matter, the council unanimously approved a non-binding memorializing resolution sponsored by At-large Councilman Charlie Tygard that calls for the removal of embattled Criminal Court Clerk David Torrence from his position.
“This is one of the most unpleasant moments in 20-plus years of serving this government,” Tygard told his colleagues. “For when an elected official misuses the [public’s] trust, it hurts every elected official.”
A damning report recently aired by WSMV-TV showed Torrence works only three days a week and has used his office’s vehicle to run personal errands, including trips to a wine and spirits store. Torrence showed little remorse for his actions.
Funny, we didn't find much about this on WTVF. But it's worth checking out Jeremy Finley's series on WSMV-Channel 4, which has caused outrage all over town since it started airing in late April. Last night's broadcast was notable for Finley's brief on-camera face-to-face with Torrence, who gruffly reiterated that he has no intention of resigning. It was also a reminder that Finley is no stranger to these blockbuster exposés — it was three years ago that he broadcast his famed evisceration of former Juvenile Court Clerk Vic Lineweaver.
The bill is the kind of obvious amendment that sometimes arrives to clarify an obscure or outdated law. But a growing number of people have become worried that the amendment would also hamstring home-studio recording engineers to the point of putting them out of business.
Not so, Jameson says.
“When we were drafting this amendment, what got repeated in the ‘prohibited uses’ were a laundry list of the current prohibited uses, and that included recording studios,” he says. “That was not intended.”
Jameson tells Pith he’ll amend the final version to make sure home studios, among other things, are protected. He says he met with the Recording Industry Association of America on Monday morning and assured officials there that the bill wouldn’t ultimately affect home studios.
Like pretty much all other home-based businesses, such recording studios have always been restricted by law beyond the point of functionality. That’s because the law — as written — says you can set up a home-based business but cannot have clients, visitors, patrons and so forth. Jameson says he and officials with the planning department have looked at some 250 other cities and found no home-occupancy code as restrictive as Nashville’s.
“The bottom line is that I’d be hard-pressed for anybody to justify the current version of the code,” Jameson says.
There are 152 home-occupancy permits on file now, he says. But if you cross-reference general business permits with addresses in residential zones, Jameson says, you find some 8,000. And according to the most recent U.S. Census figures, more than 12,000 Nashvillians said they work from home.
“The vast majority of them are technically — well, they’re illegal,” he says. “But I don’t believe illegal in the sense that Nashvillians really want them gone.”
So rock on, Nashville. Codes wants to hear ya!
Nothing says you're hot on the trail of 2011's most relevant tail like a stash of Playboys in the bathroom. So if you're looking for the classiest of pert nips and landing strips — you know, the kind belonging to the sort of gal who might be hanging around an SEC college sporting event but who definitely wouldn't be competing in one — then you've come to the right undisclosed location.
That's right: The soft glossy newsletter of America's favorite swinger hits Vanderbilt University on Tuesday, April 12, in search of the next batch of
harmful bacteria "sexy" college girls for Playboy's annual "Girls of the SEC" issue, where ostensibly smart young women seek revenge on their parents by showing them just what they paid $50 grand a year for. Here, take a naughty li'l peek. NSFW! But NEATTE. That's my own little abbreviation for not exactly all that titillating, either — and here's why:
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