Friday, December 29, 2006

Getting involved

Last night I took a major step in getting more involved in my community. At the bottom of the town of Smyrna's webpage of Boards, Committees and Commissions is a PDF link to a committee application.

Well your humble blogger filled one out, and submitted it to Michele Elliott, the town attorney. She said she would get it to the proper person.

I talked with Gerry Houser, a member of one of the city boards, and he said this is the best time of the year to submit the application.

Wish me luck.

A more ethical Smyrna?

One of the items mentioned in last nights town workshop was an adoption of a Model Code of Ethics. This is in response to a few well publicized arrest in the state government, and that said governments desire to look good. Seems all municipalities in Tennessee will need to formalize a set code of ethics.

.......each city must adopt its own code of ethics as part of a state mandate handed down to the local level on the heels of statewide ethics reform approved by the Tennessee General Assembly this year.
...........
The deadline for adopting the code of ethics is July 1, 2007, and any members of a governing body that don't have this legislation in place by that deadline are subject to ouster, according to the Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS), a group affiliated with the University of Tennessee that advises cities and counties.
The codes the city is looking at adopting can be found here.

This new ethics code has made a need for a new committee. Michele Elliott, the town attorney, said the best makeup would be 5 people. These issues would be addressed in the coming months as new board and committee members terms start on April 1st.

A missed question

At last nights town workshop a representative of Comcast addressed the council. He talked much about the new high speed system that they were introducing, and the 3 for 1 package.

Mr Dover asked about the phone system and if it is set up to work well with the 911 system. The Comcast representative replied that they were required to have it 911 capable.

This is the point a question was missed. A rather important question.

The 3 in 1 package from Comcast has TV, Computer, and Phone, all in one. The phone that you may need to dial 911 with one day. The phone that may, or may not work when the power goes out.

Telephone companies are "required to have emergency power. Telephone exchange rooms usually have arrays of lead-acid batteries for backup and also a socket for connecting a diesel generator during extended periods of outage.". Many of us have had the power go out and still be able to call family members to inform them we are ok, or to see if they are.

I contacted Comcast service and they informed me that their modems have a battery that will allow up to 8 hours of phone service after a power outage, and the battery can be upgraded to a full 16 hours. So it looks like you will have a short time to make any needed 911 calls. How this 8/16 hours compares to the telephone companies services is something to keep in mind when making the choice of companies to go with

The Mayor mentioned Vonage(?) as that is another online phone service. I believe M has that and could address if it would still work during a power outage.

The technology of today may be more user friendly, but it also opens windows for problems to occur.

To smoke, or not to smoke?

That is the question. The problem is that the ability to decide the answer for yourself could be limited.

The idea of a smoking ordinance has been thrown into the ring by city council member Yates and it has inspired me to write what may be one of the longest This is Smyrna, Tn post's yet.

Near the bottom of the city agenda for the Thursday night work shop was this short line.




Let's get one thing out of the way to start with. I don't smoke. One of the bad habits that I have no desire to pick up.

Now let's get to the meat of the issue.

The customer is always right...or at least mostly. Why? Because the customer is the one that will willingly put their money in your till, and at the end of the day that translates to profit. The history of the market place is full of tales of businesses that did not deliver what the customer wanted. New Coke comes to mind.

Smoking in a restaurant and what the customer wants should be the only thing that matters in the discussion of a smoking ordinance. If the customer wants it, then you should balance that with your ability to make money and keep customers.

A fine example would be Waffle House on Nissan Blvd. People can correctly assume Waffle House will be smoke filled, and they are mostly correct.

Except on Sunday Mornings.

Sunday mornings people are on their way to, or from church. Dressed in their Sunday finery. The last thing they would want to do is to go to church smelling of cigar and cigarette smoke. Thus on Sunday morning Waffle House goes totally smoke free. They know that their customer base changes, and they change with it. Less smoke equals more customers.

The market place demands it. They answer..Willingly.

They do this freely because they want more business. No regulation was needed.

Now Mr. Yates did not imply a desire for a full smoking ban. An idea that other cities have enforced on their businesses. He implied a regulation for smoke free sections.

The problem with any regulation is the second it becomes law, there occurs insurmountable problems for truly small establishments. For example there is a small pastry shop just off of the town center. It has about 4 tables. What if it was a smoking establishment? Will a costly partition and air system need to be built for just two of the four tables? This would normally be followed by an amendment to the regulation that a restaurant must be of so many seats.

Not all restaurants are small though and all suffer low profit margins

The common myth is that 90-95 percent of restaurants fail in the first three years. Thankfully that is a myth. The real numbers are much lower.

The highest failure rate was noted during the first year when about 26 percent of the restaurants failed. About 19 percent failed in the second year and 14 percent in the third year. Cumulative failure rate for the three-year period (1996-99) was 59 percent.

Among franchised chains, the failure rate was 57 percent over the three years and among independent restaurants, the rate was 4 percent higher - 61 percent.
With a three year failure rate of over 50%, I find it bothersome that a government will have these businesses spend profit on an ordinance such as this.

In life I work on the on/off view of choice. If I don't like the TV show, I turn it off. I have no desire to turn your TV off. I want you to do that freely. If I don't like the atmosphere of a restaurant, I don't go, but I would not try to make the restaurant change for me. They should do that themselves, freely, to get my business.

There are a few restaurants in town that I don't eat at. It's not because of the smoking issue, it's because their food is horrible. One has food overpriced and badly made, and the other produces food that reminds me of a certain brand of canned food that I abhor. Each in their own way, have not delivered to me the service that would make me want to return.

That is the problem with all restaurants. They have to supply a product in an environment, that would make me want to return. Two have failed. If your pass/fail grade for a restaurant is a well ventilated smoking section then those without have failed. Their loss of customers is also a loss of profit.

A smoking section should not be decided by an ordinance, but by profit. The market place is evolutionary. Restaurants not willing to evolve with the times, die. No ordinance is needed to perform this function.

As I mentioned previously in this post Mr Yates had only received 4 emails. As a strong believer that the people's will should be heard, I ask that you email him your views. I'm not asking for emails against the ordinance. I would like you to email him no matter what your view is. As you should be an informed voter, he should be an informed politician.

Monday, December 25, 2006

A FULL service gas station

A local lady found out that some gas stations offer full service. Sell you gas, sell you oil, give directions, and even deliver children.

A Smyrna mother found out just how convenient a local Kangaroo gas station was when she delivered her child there yesterday.

Inez Jimenez was hoping to make it to the hospital when she began going into labor. With her husband out of town on business, she got her oldest daughter to drive.

But they only made it as far as the gas station, where newborn Danae was born in the parking lot.
Her lucky day was who worked there.
Assistant manager Robbie Brown served on the rescue squad for four years and the manager was once an E-M-T.
Big thumbs up to the Kangaroo station.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Merry Christmas!!


I want to take this time while I have a minute and wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!! Let this time be spent with loved ones and remember the reason for the season! Enjoy the day everyone!

Support the local food bank!


The Smyrna Bowling center is having a special going on right now to help the Smyrna/Lavergne food bank. Here is the deal gang....Bring in a can of food and for each person that brings in a can they get a free game and free shoe rental. What a great deal!! The availability is Monday through Friday from 7am till 4pm based on lane availability. Bring the whole family in for food fun and good times while the children are out for the two weeks!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

This Could Be A Game

Like where in the world is Carmen San Diego?

Well, in response to Mark, I have to tell you what I've been up to. First of all, I currently live in 1023 sq. ft. That is five people living in 1023 sq. ft. There should be a law against that. Not to mention my cats...

Any who, I closed on a house. One that provides me and the four others living with me with the room that we need. Soooo... on top of karate, a full time job I've been trying to get things in order for my big move, which really hasn't happened yet. I've made several trips over to the new house, toting boxes in my economy car, up and down the stairs but the bulk of this will occur on Friday and it may be a few days before I have internet service back up.

On Monday, I had to take time out and go get a physical. As it turns out, I had something abnormal with my EKG. This came as no surprise to me. I scheduled the appointment after noticing a flutter and pause in my chest from time to time. I know there is something wrong. I am supposing that I have an irregular heartbeat. I think my anemic condition may play a part. Any ways, I have an echo cardiogram(?) scheduled for the end of January and the doc says I can continue to work out so I feel a little better for that.

Now, all this being said, I've been really, REALLY tired. I'm sure a lot of this is from work, karate and the move but I think a little bit of it may be my condition...

I'll keep you posted. Thanks for thinking of me.

where's Mrs. M?

It seems to me that our lovely hostess has vanished. We havent heard from her in awhile. DO you know where she is? I know!! My mother saw her just last week. Hope you are well Mrs. M. We miss you and cant wait for your return!


In other news.... I want to take this time while I have a few minutes and wish all of our residents of Smyrna and Lavergne and very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!! I have been very busy working and getting ready for the holidays that I havent posted mUch on here sorry gang! Remember the reason for the season and dont drink and drive for our pride in blue is waiting to arrest you!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Another one falls

10%. That's what I am willing to pay to help support a small business. If I can get item A at Walmart for $1, and an equal product is available at a small business for $1.10, I likely will go there. Nothing against the big box stores, but I really want a small business to succeed.

Earlier this year a small vegetable market closed down. Likely no reader here noticed it. Smyrna vegetable Market was located across the street from Big Lots. Hidden in the strip mall as the tattoo shop and sub shop. It was run by a soft spoken immigrant to this country.

Maybe that store was a small part of his American Dream. The business of America is business. The store's goods were mainly aimed at the newer citizens of Smyrna, but the vegetables were for any culture. I found the service there very friendly. His special orders of banana peppers and extra Jalopenas helped me prep for my summers canning.

Sadly I knew his stores time was short. Outside of a few occasions, I was the only one there when shopping. No business means no profit. Near the beginning of the summer I went by to buy some needed onions. I was welcomed by an empty store. Not surprised, but very saddened.

Yesterday I noticed another new business closed down. Right next to Smyrna Video, on Hazelwood Drive, was a shop that sold medical "scrubs" and uniforms. The inside is now hollowed out and being refurbished for another "new" business.

I have been so impressed that the bloggers in the Middle Tennessee area have really put their support behind one of our own, and his good BBQ.

What I would like to do is highlight a new "small" business in Smyrna each week or so for the readers of this blog. Then you can drop by, give it a once over, and maybe you will find a new place to do business.

If you want a business mentioned, drop me a note. I'll be starting with a business this weekend.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I'm in the news

I'm all a flutter. I was contacted by Mealand Ragland-Hudgins of the Daily New Journal for an article on the Light neede by the Y. Well she kindly quoted me for the article.

Gunner Miller said it doesn't make sense for there to be a signal at the entrance of Gregory Mill Park on Enon Springs Road East, but not one at the YMCA.

"It's used a lot less than Sam Ridley Parkway," he said. "If you're leaving the Y and you're trying to cross over Sam Ridley and somebody's trying to turn into the Y, you'll have three or four cars there and all they're doing is blocking each other's view."
The whole article can be found here.

Today the DNJ, tomorrow the world

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Two men enter. One man leaves

The overused line from the Mad Max movie thunderdome came to mind when I read this article.. Seems TWO church groups claim one building, and tomorrow may get very interesting.

Members of All Saints' Church in Smyrna remaining after the rest of the congregation split to form St. Patrick's Anglican Church will cross paths with their former brethren Sunday.

Both congregations are claiming rights to the same church facility at 1401 Lee Victory Parkway.

The Rev. Ray Kasch of St. Patrick's and former head of All Saints', said he got a call from the Rev. Bertram Nelson Herlong, the Bishop of Tennessee, telling him that Herlong would be holding an 11 a.m. service for members of All Saints' at the Smyrna church.

"I said, 'Bishop, there is nobody left at All Saints'," Kasch said. He said Herlong told him he was going "to do it anyway."
Short of a witty remark making light of the situation, I do hope they can work this out. This blogger almost wants to be there for the fireworks.

Dogma, and religious schisms, create emotional times.

In Case You Didn't Know

The moon outside tonight is quite large though not full and quite beautiful.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

POLICE CHIEF QUITS

Breaking news from the D.N.J THE Smyrna police chief quits today and gives no reason all we know is this so far!!

SHS Winter Guard Make Headlines

Smyrna High School Winter guard are at it again. This time with a new theme, new song and a go for it attitude. This month they are featured on the Winter Guard International December Calendar.

Smyrna High School first appeared at the WGI contest in 2005 with there performance of "FEVER" in 2006 with there performance of "CATHEDRAL"

Here's a tidbit from the site

Smyrna High School is pleased to announce their 2007 program, "Beautiful Day." They will be performing to the music of U2 by the same name. Utilizing colors of sunlight and sky, it promises to be inviting at the least. With 11 cast members, each will take on much responsibility. "We hope to entertain and communicate with our audience, of course, but we would like to continue the tradition of growth in terms of training and design. Both students and staff have agreed to face this challenge head on." says Jennifer.


I would like to wish this group of artistic and energetic students the best of luck this year!

Monday, December 4, 2006

Beer board meeting

I decided tonight to drop by and see how the beer board works. Up to now I have only been to the city council meetings. Figured I would expand my horizons some.

At first I was very disappointed. No samples at the door. Hey! A man can have hope.

In all only three beer licenses were dealt with. One for a saloon who's name escapes me.

The other was for the New convenience center that will be part of Home depot. I posted about this "test store" in September. Being built now, it opens on January 18th.

The other beer permit was for Gil's Market. Seems one of the owners recently died and that required the permit to be updated. One problem. No one from Gil's market was in attendance tonight to step up to the podium for an updated permit. The night almost ended with a letter being sent to Gil's informing them that they no longer can sell beer. A short recess was called and one of the owners of Gil's was contacted. They dashed to the board from Murfreesboro during another recess, and "saved" their license.

The board inquired if I was their for a beer board issue. The town attorney told them that I was from the "This is Smyrna, TN" website. A couple of the members said they would check out our blog.

"Hi!"

Thus ends the tale of my beer board visit.

Plan for the future of Smyrna parks

One thing most of us can agree on is that Smyrna's parks are second to none. It's one of the first things I noticed when I moved to the Smryna area a few years ago and I've been pleased to watch the growth and expansion of the parks over the past couple of years.

A plan was presented to the City Council Thursday evening to keep our parks some of the best around, as well as to expand the current number of parks over the next 14 years. The plan includes the building of an $11 million dollar indoor recreation center.

To be included in a comprehensive park is an eight-field baseball complex,
a "Miracle Field" for the ABLES Recreation League, a soccer complex with eight
to 12 fields, a splash pad similar to the one at Gregory Mill Park, nature
trails, pavilions and playgrounds. Work there would be completed in three
phases, with most of the work starting in the 2007-2008 budget year.

Also considered by the Town Council was the renovation and expansion of the Town Center, turning it into an indoor community center as well as the expansion of Lee Victory Recreation Park on Sam Ridley Drive.
A draft of the 2006-2020 master plan created by Barge Waggoner Sumner and
Cannon calls for adding 25,000 square feet of space to the existing
35,000-square-foot Town Centre facility.

The banquet rooms where clubs, college classes and other special events meet will remain in place, but the racquetball courts, fitness area and aerobic rooms will be renovated. A double gymnasium is also planned, as is a new children's pool and concession stand. The document shows the existing outdoor pool will be renovated and designed for adult use.


Renovations would not begin until 2008 and would be completed by 2010. The cost would be around $6 million dollars.

Smyrna Y seeks traffic list

The Smyrna YMCA is asking members to sign a petition to get a traffic light installed at Sam Ridley Parkway and Mason Tucker Drive.

If you're a YMCA member, you might want to drop by and sign the petition.

As I said a few weeks ago, a light is definitely needed for this intersection.

Car burglaries in Smyrna

The DNJ has an article this morning about a rash of car burglaries in a Smyrna neighborhood. Details from the article:

A string of car burglaries was reported last week in a Smyrna neighborhood.

Rutherford County Sheriff's Deputies Ray Roberts, Heather Greenwood and Pat Garrett responded to Shirley Road around 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning.

Roberts spoke with Thomas Keel and his wife, Donna, who told him that someone had broken into their 2003 Chevrolet Silverado, as well as the garage and the home at 301 Shirley Road, according to a report. A DVD-VCR player, a camcorder and a brass tea set valued at $50 were taken.

The report stated that the Keels and their 16-year-old daughter were asleep in the home when it was entered.

While Roberts was talking to the Keels, the neighbor at 305 Shirley Road, Kenneth J. Concilla, alerted the officer that his garage window had been broken. His 1993 GMC Sonoma pickup truck was gone, and an AM/FM radio was removed.

Tim Poteete, of 356 Shirley Road, told Officer Greenwood that his 2003 Silverado truck had been "rummaged through" over night. He had left the truck unlocked.

"When he got ready to go to work ... he noticed items in his glove box in disarray," Greenwood said.

There was a gym bag in the truck which had been opened, the report said. A Sirius Radio receiver was moved, but it was not taken. It did not appear at the time that anything had been stolen.

Detective Ralph Mayercik believes that those who burglarized the vehicles may be amateur, based on what was taken and what was left.

"Whoever it was, they were pretty bold to be entering one of the homes," he said.

Poteete further reported that his wife, who is a school bus driver, mentioned seeing a vehicle at the end of a road next to the Poteetes' driveway as she was leaving that morning. The vehicle had its lights off, except for the flashers, according to Poteete's report. When the driver noticed her, the lights came on, and the car drove off traveling toward Baker Road, he stated. She could not provide a description of the vehicle.

While Greenwood was driving through the neighborhood, she noticed a car door open at 309 Shirley Road. A box of books was lying on the ground next to the car. According to the report, Greenwood spoke with Veronica Hartman, the owner of the car. She stated that the box belonged inside the car. Although the car had been looked through, Hartman reported it appeared that nothing had been taken from the vehicle.

Chris Gabrielli, at 341 Shirley Road, reported to Officer Garrett that someone had opened his unlocked car sometime during the night while it was sitting in the driveway. A stereo face plate and three compact discs were stolen. Gabrielli told Garrett he recalled hearing a neighbor's dog barking, which seemed unusual, but he did not look outside to see why.

A box was later recovered from a ditch across the street from the Keels' home that belonged to Hartman containing a glass and a box of matches.

Other items belonging to some of the victims were found several yards down the street. Mayercik is still investigating these cases.

"If anyone has any information about these burglaries, please contact me at the Sheriff's Office," he said. He may be reached in the Rutherford County's Detective Division at 898-7916.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

SMYRNA!!

Smyrna High School Bulldogs are the newest state champions! CONGRATULATIONS!

Here's the write up in the online Daily News Journal.

Go Bulldogs!

This is it! The big day! Wanting to send our good tidings to the Smyrna Bulldogs for their championship game tonight! YOU CAN DO IT! Gooooooo Team!

The Daily News Journal reported on the bonfire last night. Read about it here.

Friday, December 1, 2006

A 'sign' of the times

A local Smyrna resident is in the middle of a situation that calls to mind a question. Should we not do something because it might 'offend' someone?

A Tennessee woman put up a controversial reminder to the person who she said ran over her dog, and some have found it offensive.

Ginger Crawford buried her 5-month-old puppy in her back yard, but she built the memorial in the front yard so every driver can see it.
......
Crawford claimed drivers do slow down now to read her sign, and some of them find it offensive.

"If it were our dog that got outside and got killed, it would be devastating to our family, but I don't think I would be putting a sign out there saying 'Was it you?' that did that," said passing driver David Wills.
If you get offended by something, does it give you the ability to silence them?
The article has a survey and the numbers are running
6% Yes, and she should take it down.
5% Yes, but it's up to her when she's ready to remove it.
89% No, it's not offensive.
I'm rather pleased that only 6% of the people feel she should remove the sign.