Monday, December 31, 2007

New Years Traditions elsewhere

As I sit and write this post I think of the traditions we enjoy, and suffer each year. The sounds of fireworks popping in the background, the news of the standard police roadblocks, and the noise makers when the clock strikes 12 midnight. The countdown with Dick Clark is also fun, but since the man is older then the country yet never ages, my personal belief that he is a sword wielding immortal gains strength every year.

In other countries they have their own way of "welcoming the new year" and I really want to share this one with you.

youtube link

In Germany and Scandinavia, TV stations broadcast Dinner For One, a British comedy sketch about a woman celebrating her 90th birthday. The sketch has nothing to do with the New Year holiday, but has become such a tradition that it landed in The Guiness Book of World Records as the most repeated TV show ever! In the routine, Miss Sophie has outlived her friends, so her butler plays the part of each at the birthday dinner, which means he must drink multiple toasts. The most popular 18 minute version with a German introduction can be found at Google Video. YouTube has a 10 minute version of the same sketch, seen here.
This tradition, and more can be found at Mentalfloss for your reading enjoyment.

Welcome to 2008, may it be better for all.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Best of Smyrna

There is a new site on the web that may interest you. The Smyrna City Guide. A guide to the businesses and sights of Smyrna. Right now they are asking for your feedback to pick the best of Smyrna.
The Smyrna City Guide is searching for user favorites! Pick your favorite from our list, and see the results…. From movie rentals to restaurants… it’s your pick!
They also will be doing an online 'radio' show using the BlogTalk Network.
The Smyrna City Guide is the #1 Online Resource for local business offerings in Smyrna TN and surrounding areas (including Metro Nashville). On CGNLIVE you can hear from local business owners, community leaders, event planners and more. Enjoy CGNLIVE! We're bringing blogging to a whole new level!
This online show, and Mike Sparks regular Smyrna Radio themed show is good publicity for our town.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

There is a need to bleed

The holidays are a time to give, and there is no better gift then health. The National Blood Donor Month of January gives you a chance to help others, and maybe win big prizes.
That's where you come in. In honor of National Blood Donor Month, we invite you to donate blood in January. If you just donated, thank you. Please schedule an appointment to donate every 56 days.
As a token of appreciation, all participants in blood drives through Jan. 6 will have the opportunity to enter a drawing for one of three 32" flat-screen, high definition televisions. Those who participate Jan. 7 - 31 will be eligible to enter to win $1,000 worth of airfare.
The nearest blood donor site is in Murfreesboro, but they several scheduled mobile sites listed here to make it easier.

Shhhh! You did not hear it from me.

Local and state law enforcement agencies are out to catch drunk drivers on New Years eve.
Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers and Smyrna Police will hold a sobriety checkpoint searching for drinking drivers from 9 to 11 p.m. New Year’s Eve on Sam Ridley Parkway in Smyrna, said THP Sgt. Jim Gunn.

It’s part of the THP’s “You Drink, You Drive, You Lose” campaign.
I drove by the last announced checkpoint earlier this year hoping to get some pictures, and found nothing.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Happy Holidays Smyrna

MySpace Comments - Happy Holidays
MySpace Layouts - Happy Holidays
Free Comments & Graphics

Ban it

A senator is attempting to ban sweet foods in public schools, and I may surprise many by being for it.
Why? Because it really is good for the children, but in ways the government would never suspect, or desire. This ban will be a very educational experience for the children. A true lesson is small business economics.

There is a saying that a true black market can only exist when an item is over regulated. A government enforced ban is the best example of an over regulated market that can be found.

Into this void of supply will step children with an entrepreneurial spirit. A desire to make money. The lessons they learn will be better then any time spent reading economics 101 in a classroom. Free marketers at their best.
Helping create the next generation of business leaders one ban at a time.

Friday, December 21, 2007

I wonder if she stopped here.

In 1958 an older lady walked into danger knowing the risks, yet secure in her ability to protect herself. She most likely passed right by Smyrna, and I wonder if she stopped for a drink or a rest here.
She was the most famous spokesperson for civil rights, at a time when the idea of equal rights for people of color was very politically incorrect. "We can't afford to have two kinds of citizens," she insisted. "We must have equal citizenship for anybody in our country."

And though she was a well-known talker, she also walked the walk. In 1958, at age 74, she made plans to go down to Tennessee to speak at a civil-rights workshop at the Highlander Folk School.

The Ku Klux Klan learned about her plans. The day before her trip, the elderly, gray-haired woman was contacted by the FBI. "We can't guarantee your safety," they told her. "The Klan's put a bounty on your head, a $25,000 bounty on your head. We can't protect you. You can't go." But the little old lady answered, "I didn't ask for your protection... I have a commitment. I'm going."

And she did. She flew down to the Nashville airport, where she was joined by a friend, an elderly white woman aged 71. The pair got into the car, lay a loaded pistol on the front seat between them, and drove into the night. No Secret Service or police escort. Just the two little old ladies with a gun to keep them safe. They set out for their destination, a " tiny labor school[,] to conduct a workshop on how to break the law, how to conduct non-violent civil disobedience." They drove through the heart of Klan territory to teach people how to fight for freedom.[NPR transcript link]
The best route to the Highlander Folk School in Mounteagle is by way of the old Nashville Highway.

Armed, and with no intention of being stopped, she and another "elderly white woman" were secure in the ability to protect themselves.

That armed women would be a criminal in this county with today's laws, and her name was Eleanor Roosevelt.

I wonder if in that trip towards Mounteagle and danger did she stop in our area of the county?

In the skies above Smyrna

You might notice a new item for use by local law enforcement departments. A national guard Bell OH-58a Kiowa light reconnaissance helicopter has been outfitted, and made available for local police departments in the area for use when it comes to the war on drugs.
Members of the Shelbyville Police Department, the Bedford County Sheriff's Department and the 17th Judicial District Drug Task Force paid a visit to the Shelbyville Airport Wednesday to take a look at the air support offered for free by the Army and the Tennessee National Guard.
With just four pilots, the copter crew stays fairly busy, especially during the four month marijuana growing season, but at this time of year, activity slacks off, with pilots concentrating on maintenance and getting their flight hours in. The surveillance equipment can be moved to other helicopters if one is down for repairs
For departments that cannot afford an air asset of their own, this could be a positive addition to any department.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Merry Christmas everyone!!

I want to take this time to wish everyone Merry Christmas and I hope you and yours will have a great holiday and hope your New Year is good for you. If your traveling please be carefull and don't drink and drive!!!

Let's stop child abuse!!

I know it's that time of year that everyone is busy with getting things ready for the holidays but I want everyone to take 5 minutes out of their busy day and go over and read about a brave young man that needs our help on getting some tougher laws passed on child abuse. He is Josh Osborne and now lives with is aunt in La Vergne Tn. This is the teen that everyone has seen on the news that had been tied to the bed and fed soup with coffee grinds in it and also was made to drink hot sauce. I am very upset that something like this has happened and DCS let this continue for as long as it did. Please take the time and go over and sign Josh's petition and help this young man win the fight to toughen the laws....Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Radiation is in the eye of the beholder

Now that the issue of radioactive waste has been solved to the joy of some I have a simple question for you, then a comparison for you to think about.

Almost everyone has heard from one source or another about the radioactive waste that was legally dumped in a landfill in our county. A public outcry occurred that this was dangerous and they wanted it gone.

Now to understand a danger you need to put a number on it. Did you know the numbers, not tonnage, of how bad the material was? Few articles took the time to do that in the furor, but this one did nicely.
The total amount of low level nuclear waste cannot exceed 5 percent of what's in the landfill, but that's once a dump is closed for good. Officials said they're always keeping track of that amount.

And the total radiation dose, be it from plutonium, strontium, cesium, uranium or the host of other isotopes they've accepted, cannot exceed a measurement of 1 millirem, even to a person who later lived on the landfill, farmed crops there and drank the water from a well.

"Do you know the increment that 1 millirem of radiation would cause? Point 8 additional cancers. That's the level of risk were talking about ... very low," said Nanney.

“A millirem is an expression of biological damage to tissue...
My generation grew up in a time when radiation was a common subject of fear. Fear of nuclear war as the cold war always seemed on the verge of going hot, and on the problem with the power plants. Three mile island is a good example of why people feared radiation.

Radiation causes a damn large bit of fear for some.

Now for the comparison. This will likely bother some, but I want you to think about the comparison first before you lay claims of how wrong I am.

Coal ash.
The popular conception of nuclear power is straight out of The Simpsons: Springfield abounds with signs of radioactivity, from the strange glow surrounding Mr. Burn's nuclear power plant workers to Homer's low sperm count. Then there's the local superhero, Radioactive Man, who fires beams of "nuclear heat" from his eyes. Nuclear power, many people think, is inseparable from a volatile, invariably lime-green, mutant-making radioactivity.

Coal, meanwhile, is believed responsible for a host of more quotidian problems, such as mining accidents, acid rain and greenhouse gas emissions. But it isn't supposed to spawn three-eyed fish like Blinky.

Over the past few decades, however, a series of studies has called these stereotypes into question. Among the surprising conclusions: the waste produced by coal plants is actually more radioactive than that generated by their nuclear counterparts. In fact, fly ash—a by-product from burning coal for power—contains up to 100 times more radiation than nuclear waste.
Now you would not run screaming from a pile of coal ash, but you would from low level nuclear waste....that seems less dangerous in many ways.

Now why is coal radioactive?
At issue is coal's content of uranium and thorium, both radioactive elements. They occur in such trace amounts in natural, or "whole," coal that they aren't a problem. But when coal is burned into fly ash, uranium and thorium are concentrated at up to 10 times their original levels.

Fly ash uranium sometimes leaches into the soil and water surrounding a coal plant, affecting cropland and, in turn, food. People living within a "stack shadow"—the area within a half- to one-mile (0.8- to 1.6-kilometer) radius of a coal plant's smokestacks—might then ingest small amounts of radiation. Fly ash is also disposed of in landfills and abandoned mines and quarries, posing a potential risk to people living around those areas.
When someone comes up with the latest "the sky is falling" scream..ask them for numbers, and compare it to life in general.

The whole problem seemed emotionally based, and in fact that is important. A person should feel safe in their house and neighborhood. A person has a right to get mad, emotional, and darn mad about any threat to their happiness. But take a moment to find if your emotional response is based on fact, not a misconception of the danger.

We should not fear the dark.....or the coal ash.

The county is hurting

Two articles of note came to my attention and shows that money may become rather tight for our county in the near future.

First is the problem that scrying the future can create problems when planning upcoming projects.
The county's sales tax revenue for schools, which had been projected to increase by 9 percent this year, rose only 1.36 percent in the first five months of the fiscal year, which started July 1.

The county had estimated the sales tax revenue would be $38.3 million for schools in 2007-2008 — more than $3 million more for schools than last year.
How this will effect the middle school planned for our end of the county is unknown.

The other problem is a ruling from the state government about a fee placed on development.

Rutherford County officials' hopes of making developers pay for new schools have been shot down.
An opinion by Tennessee Attorney General Robert E. Cooper Jr. says that making developers pay for new schools would be a development tax and is not allowed under existing law.

"(S)uch a provision would conflict with both the spirit and the express language of the County Powers Relief Act," the opinion states.

That act prohibits Tennessee counties from enacting new infrastructure taxes or fees, other than an adequate facilities tax in which the county can charge developers up to $1 per square foot for new construction. If a county enacts that tax, it has to eliminate all of its other infrastructure taxes.
It looks like budgets will be cut and tightened and that's not good anyway you look at it.

The comprehensive plan that the Smyrna town government recently planned is based on the growth of our town. This may slow down the implement of it. While the budgeting is based on different resources for the most part, there is enough connection to the growth that the grand plans may be slowed just a bit.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Airshow coming soon to Smyrna..

This was in the D.N.J today that the Blue Angles will be coming to our area on April 12th and 13th this coming up year. This will be the first time since 1999 that they came here for the airshow. this is a must see and I hopeeveryone makes plans to come see them. Go Read all about them in today's paper!!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

One of the last states.

With a large election year just around the corner you might be interested to know what Tennessee does NOT offer you.
Tennessee is one of the last states that allows electronic voting on machines with NO paper ballot. Without paper ballots that have been marked by the voter (to be counted in a mandatory audit) there is no way to know that the electronic voting machine recorded your vote accurately.
Now something so simple as a paper trail may seem small, but electronic 'issues' can mess up multi-million dollar votes.

This webpage has more information on the issue, and people and agencies you may want to contact on the issue. I'm not sure if the machines that the state have posses the ability to make paper tickets, but the need is there. I'm sure all of us would want our votes counted.


The ability to defend yourself is a fundamental right, but a right does not not mean a person has the ability. This ability to protect yourself for some may mean a firearm, but for those who do not wish to go down that avenue the Smyrna police is offering a course on personal protection and a way to learn how to protect yourself from rape.
The Smyrna Police Department will be hosting a Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) Training classes in January.

R.A.D which stand for Rape Aggression Defense provides women with the tools they need both to avoid dangerous situations and to escape from them. R.A.D. is specifically designed to help women survive situations in which their lives are in jeopardy.

This course is open to all women in the Smyrna area who would like to develop real life defensive tools and tactics. This is a great program for mother-daughter teams!!

The Basic Self-Defense Course consists of a series four classes. The classes are scheduled for January 9th and 10th also 17th and 18th, three hours each, 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM.. All classes must be attended to complete the course. The classes will be held at the Smyrna Police Department, 400 Enon Springs Road East.

Could YOU Effectively Defend Yourself If Attacked??
For those who wish to take part in this program
Contact Sgt. Bobby Gibson for more information @ or by calling 459.9742 extension 7408
This PDF has more information for those interested.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Good news for Smyrna

There are still some bad feelings about Nissan and the payoffs that occured, and increase in temp workers. These bad feelings may fade as there may be a need for more workers in the near future.
Nissan North America Inc. will build a midsize pickup truck for Suzuki Motor Corp. at Nissan's plant in Smyrna, starting in 2008.
Preparations are under way to ready the Smyrna plant.
Hopefully this will require more fulltime workers.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Everyone sing along now......


The Smyrna football team scores another championship.
This stage belonged to Smyrna from the word go.

The Bulldogs scored four touchdowns in the first quarter and cruised to their second consecutive state title by routing Independence 46-20 in the Class 5A BlueCross Bowl on Saturday night at Middle Tennessee State's Floyd Stadium.
One thing that should be noted is that the player named "most valuable offensive player" is a freshman, and will be around for the next few years for more games, and hopefully more championships.
Bryson, named the games most valuable offensive player, rushed for 87 yards in the first half and scored three times as Smyrna (12-3) jumped out to a 33-0 lead.

The freshman had scoring runs of 5, 1 and 42 yards in the first half, and added a 16-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Way to go guys.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Bulldogs are biting.....

Wow...What a wild first quarter with Smyrna in the lead 26 to 0! Let's go Bulldogs...Let's go!!! Purple power has arrived again!

Friday, December 7, 2007


The Smyrna High School bonfire is tonight at 7pm for those who wish to attend it. I've heard that it will be a fun activity.

Remember 7pm

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Will the Vandy girls bowling team do it again this year?

If you haven't been reading the site for very long then I will update you on this topic. The Vandy girls bowling team practices every week at the Smyrna Bowling center. Last year they won the NCAA title for bowling and went to the White House. This was the first championship for Vanderbilt team. It now looks like the girls are going to do it again. Let's all hope the make it and win the championship! Go over to and read more about these amazing women and how they are doing.


Monday, December 3, 2007

Meetings for the month

Well for those that have an odd taste in entertainment, there are several town meetings you may want to attend this month.
Beer Board: December 3, 2007 - 7:00 PM
Beautification Committee: December 4, 2007 - 6:00 PM
Sister City Committee: December 4, 2007 -5:00 PM
Planning Commission: December 6, 2007 - 7:00 PM
Next Town Council Meeting is: December 11, 2007 - 7:00 PM
Parks Advisory Board: December 12, 2007 - 6:00 PM Chatter Box Restaurant, 197 Enon Springs Road West
Board of Zoning Appeals: December 20, 2007 - 5:00 PM
Historic Zoning Commission: December 27, 2007 -4:00 PM
Next Town Council Workshop is: December 27, 2007 - 7:00 PM
You would be surprised at how much you can learn about Smyrna by attending just a few of these meetings.

Better leadership for Smyrna.

Improving the leaders of our communities.
Twenty-nine county and municipal government leaders have successfully completed the 15th annual Local Government Leadership Program (LGLP) sponsored by the University of Tennessee's Institute for Public Service (IPS).

UT faculty and private consultants led the three-day, invitation-only program that focused on personal leadership, business etiquette, ethics, diversity and legal issues for local government.
Smyrna Town Attorney Michele Elliott was part of this invitation only program. Class photo here.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Toot's has closed in Cookeville Tn.

I have just found out that Toot's has closed it's Cookeville Tn location because they have lost 20% of business due to the smokers not able to smoke in their restaurant. Now my question is this? Will they be closing other locations as well. Go and read more Toot's closing it's doors in Cookeville, Tn.

Maybe mismanagemnt could also be a factor in their closing down but I know from working in the bowling center here that the business on my shift has went from booming to nothing at all since folks can't come in bowl, drink a beer, and smoke. I ask this of you, Should the government control how small business is ran and what they should do in thier small business? I feel this is just hurting the small business man and his employees as well.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Smyrna judge has class

Smyrna judge Keta Barnes has a busy schedule for her future. With her application for the state court of appeals, she also now has class time.
Judge Keta Barnes with the town of Smyrna has been selected to participate in the Tennessee Bar Association's 2008 Leadership Law program.

The six-month Leadership Law program is designed to equip Tennessee lawyers with the vision, knowledge and skills necessary to serve as leaders in their profession and local communities. This year's class of 35 attorneys was chosen from across the state.

Smyrna to defend state title

Congratulations to the Smyrna Bulldogs' football team.

The Bulldogs defeated Knoxville's Bearden 17-14 last night to advance to the state title game next Saturday in Murfreesboro. They will face Independence High School next Saturday at 7 p.m.

One more time

Looks like the Smyrna High School football team is going to go for two in a row this year for the state championship.
The reigning 5A champions staved off a late comeback bid by Bearden Friday night.

Now they'll have the opportunity to reign again.

Smyrna will take on Independence next Saturday in its second straight trip to the BlueCross Bowl after defeating Bearden 17-14 in a 5A state semifinal at Robert L. Raikes Stadium.
We wish them luck

DNJ reporter Roger Garfield was sure excited about the game last night. He has two stories online about it. [1] [2]

If any reader wants to do a write-up on the final game for "This is Smyrna, TN." drop me a line.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Shop with a Cop

An effort by the Smyrna police department to make Christmas a bit better for some local kids could use your help.
The Smyrna Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 89 is looking for donations to sponsor needy children for its annual Shop with a Cop holiday program.

About $10,000 is needed to ensure 100 kids will be able to purchase gifts for themselves and other family members. Children are given $100 each and are required to purchase a coat and shoes for themselves, but can spend the remaining money any way they wish, said lodge President Sgt. Jeff Lucas said. About $6,000 has been raised so far.
Those interested in helping with the Smyrna Fraternal Order of Police’s Shop with a Cop program should send donations to: Smyrna FOP Lodge No. 89, P.O. Box 434, Smyrna, Tenn., 37167. Anyone needing to speak with someone directly should call (615) 459-9742 ext. 7409 or 7433.
This is a charity that has a direct affect on the local community. Any donation would be well received.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

This week's column

I have a few family members who work for the state and the cost of gas is starting to be felt big time. There is a simple thing the state can do and for some reason they are saying 'no' to the idea.
Only the state government can say that a good idea is bad with the only reason being "cause". Not "because", as that word normally is followed by a reason such as "because it would cost tax payers money", but the state response of "cause" as in "cause we say so" is their reason.
A simple thing called "flex-time" is something that could help many, but it's not allowed. Flex-time is the ability to make some changes to your schedule to make the cost of getting to work lower. Many state workers have jobs that they can still put in their required 40 hours without the constraints of a rigid schedule, and bureaucracy.

John Doe drives to Metro center five times a week for his state job as a clerk. Instead 'John' could shift to a four 10-hour day schedule, still get his work done, and cut 20 percent of the cost of travel. Jane Doe has the same job, and she wants to shift her schedule so that Monday through Thursday she works an hour less, but this allows her to use the Nashville bus service, and she only has to make the long drive one day a week when she works a 12-hour shift Friday.
Government, by its nature, is not flexible. The habit of putting people, and workers into columns, makes their job easier. The problem is that with today's gas prices the state is going to have to become flexible or they may lose a lot of good workers.

A relative of mine works in the Metro Center near fountain square mall in North West Nashville. They know of people who commute from McMinnville and Clarksville to work there. A crappy commute, but good jobs make it worthwhile.

The problem is that an inflexible state government and bureaucracy may make that good job less so, and they look for work in the private sector. The state government, and local governments, need to change with the changing society we live in. Flexible scheduling, and working from home are two that comes to mind.

No school trips for the near future

The Tennessee department of Education has halted all over-night field trips for Rutherford county schools and I suspect there are a lot of unhappy parents.
Rutherford County Board of Education is breaking state law, according to Tennessee Department of Education, and students may not have any field trips until the matter is cleared up.

The Department of Education issued a legal opinion Monday. The opinion said the school board is in violation of state law that requires school systems to have a policy to waive school fees for students who receive free or reduced lunch.

“This is not a matter in which the school board has discretion,” wrote Christy Ballard, the department of education’s general council, “this is a statutory requirement with the subject matter at issue clearly addressed by the Tennessee State Board of Education.”
I'm not sure if this includes band trips where they travel to competitions or not, but if anyone with kids out there that are affected by thes wish to comment please do so.


Monday, November 26, 2007

Political money in Smyrna

A lot of people give money to political causes, and one of the more problematic parts of it is the fact you need to register your donation. Almost as if they fear an election may be bought. It didn't work for Perot, or Forbes, but the fear is still there. I checked on two separate websites for donations in Smyrna and posted them in brief here for you to view.

I declined to put down individual names or addresses as I feel donations should be totally anonymous, even from the government. I thought you may be a bit interested in donations to specific campaigns and PAC's (Political action committees).

From the Huffington Post a search for 37167 brings forth these results.
750 Romney
$6075 Thompson
$250 Edwards
$500 Ron Paul
$500 Tancredo
$15 Gravel
No listed donations for Giuliani, Obama, McCain or Hillary. The large ammount for Thompson is due to large multiple donations from one address. Seems one family really wants a Tennessee boy to win.

A similar search at brings these numbers
250 Romney
$500 Tancredo
$4125 Republican Committee(state and national)
$1755 PACs
$250 Edwards
$1000 Democrat committee
(left out donations to local and state politicians.)
Since there are some major differences between the two lists the information should be taken with a grain of salt on quality and correctness.

MidTnPolls want to hear from you

MidTnPolls is run by Mike sparks, the 11th district county commissioner. He has a new poll up on the subject of gas prices and where you think they will be heading next year. Drop by and vote, and leave a comment.

Worthy of a "Dishonorable Mention" ?

I will admit a bit of town bias here. A view that our town is better then others. It has a lot to offer and people would not be moving here if it was so bad.

Sadly others do not feel the same way, and their views can be seen here.

I was on a forum I go to regularly and they mentioned speed traps. I figured I would see if they had the few spots I see officers in wait listed. The two spots at the Nissan Blvd./ Lowry come to mind, and the spot in front of the Smyrna High School. I see police cars there often. I have not seen any police cars parked on Murfreesboro Road on the North side of hilltop waiting for speeders to crest the hill for a while. I think construction removed that one.

The first thing I noticed was that Smyrna was one of the top four in our state. This from the The Worst Speed Trap Cities In The United States page.

Worst Speedtrap: Nashville
Dishonorable Mention: Memphis, Piperton, Smyrna
Smyrna has its own page of listed "speed traps". I put quotations around the word for a specific reason. Their views that it is a speedtrap does not mean it is.

A good example is this comment on the "Smyrna High School"
I have been pulled over at this location twice and given a ticket. My first ticket here was the very first weekend I moved back to TN. Once for going 53 in a 45 and once for going 60 in a 45.
I guess it is a "speed trap" because he got caught.

Now if I read the city budget that can be downloaded in PDF form the cities revenue as listed on page 19 for the year 2006-2007 is 24,562,312, and the traffic courts listed on page 18 brought in 698,272(not counting traffic school, late fees and penalties). A small part of the general revenue of the city.

From this article on other cities a budget comment can shine a little light on the subject.
More than a dozen Missouri municipalities receive between a quarter and half of their entire budget from traffic tickets. The practice is so widespread that the legislature placed the state's "Director of Revenue" in charge of the speeding ticket point system.

In the north St. Louis County town of Bel-Ridge, for example, police issue the equivalent of three speeding tickets for each resident annually. About $699,000 of the town's total budget of $1.4 million comes from these traffic fines.
Since Smyrna is no wheres near that level, I can be comfortable in saying that Smyrna is not close to being a speed trap.

What part of your city budget is based on traffic court fines?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Smyrna auction

The Smyrna Senior Citizens Club is having an auction that you might be interested in.
The Smyrna Senior Citizens Club will host an auction Saturday, Dec. 1, at the center, 100 Raikes St. Breakfast will be served from 8 to 9 a.m., followed by the auction at 9:30 a.m. Items on the auction block include a 1998 Chevy 15-passenger van ($5,000 bid reserve required), dinner for 10 at the Sam Davis Home's Creek House catered by Jo's Custom Cakes and Catering, a Gatlinburg weekend getaway for two, antiques and collectibles, and autographed Tennessee Titans memorabilia, Christmas items and baked goods are also available.

For more information or to donate items for the auction, call Wanda Chandler at 615-459-4839. All proceeds benefit the senior center.
I have never had a chance to go to the Senior citizens center. This looks like a fun way to check it out.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Little Women in Smyrna

Lamplighter'd Theatre in Smyrna will be performing Little Women for the near future.
Little Women
November 30, 2007 - December 02, 2007
Held at the Lamplighter’s Theatre, 14119 Old Nashville Highway at the corner of Rock Springs Road in Smyrna, TN. This holiday season, Louisa May Alcott’s beloved March sisters come to life as we watch “Little Women” on their journeys into womanhood and the bond which holds them together through hardships, tragedy, and the stresses of romance. 7:30pm on Fridays & Saturdays and 4:00pm on Sundays. Admission is $8.00 adults, $7.00 seniors (55 and up), children or students $5.00. Children under age of 4 not admitted. Contact Lamplighter’s Theatre at (615) 534-0148.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Pass the word

A law enforcement road block is in the works for today on Chicken Pike. Pass the word.
State troopers will check driver’s licenses and watch for drunk drivers during the Thanksgiving holiday week.

Troopers will conduct a driver’s license checkpoint from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday on Chicken Pike near Smyrna, said Tennessee Highway Patrol Sgt. Jim Gunn. Troopers will check to make sure driver’s licenses are valid.
Please be careful this Holiday week. This is Smyrna, TN. would hate to lose any of its readers.

I went to get some pictures and at 10:40 a.m. there was not a single officer in sight. Maybe the state troopers are afraid of rain?

Sunday, November 18, 2007


While driving home Sunday night I came across the Smyrna Fire Department and others clearing out a car accident on Hazzelwood on the street in front of Darlins.

My camera sucks and the giant lights used to illuminate the night destroyed most images in my camera, but did get two.

They were in the process of "cleaning" up. One person was sweeping and cleaning oil or gas, and there was a vehicle loaded upon a flat bed tow truck.

I really need to get a better camera then this cheap HanShing Cam my MIL purchased on ebay years ago. I got it out of pity.

Potluck in Smyrna - Middle Tennessee Blogger and Podcaster's Group Meeting

Join us for another Middle Tennessee Blogger and Podcaster's Group Meeting on Saturday, November 24th.

This meeting will be held at 2:00 PM at Bob Parks Realty in Smyrna, TN. Bring a covered dish and enjoy a good meal and even better company.

Drop a line if you plan to be there.

New stores coming soon

A new cell phone company and a pet store is coming soon
[Verison] [t]he nation's largest wireless service provider opens its new store on Sam Ridley Parkway West Wednesday.

Located at 480 Sam Ridley Parkway W. (near the Wolverine Trail intersection), the Verizon Wireless store replaces the one in the Hickory Hollow area of Davidson County.

An official ribbon-cutting ceremony and grand-opening celebration is tentatively scheduled for January.
Animal lovers will be happy to know PetSmart opens its doors in the Colonial TownPark shopping center Feb. 18. The 20,000 square-foot store will have a grand opening five days later, said company spokesman Jennifer Ericsson.

The Smyrna store will have, as do all stores, pet grooming, pet training classes and adoptions. Banfield Pet Hospitals will also operate within the store.
Sadly still no bookstore...kind of

On Lowry street in the Historical Downtown district is a store that advertises books for sale on its sign, and "other stuff". I have not been by while it has been open, and it looks like a second hand thrift shop, but there is hope for some used books of some sort. Anyone been by it?

Happy Holidays!!

May you and your family have the best in the holiday season!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Is Smyrna being invaded?

I have lived in Tennessee about 8 years total, and three of them in Smyrna. In all of that time I have never seen what I have seen three times in the last two weeks.

I was at a park near the airport and saw two large furry 'things' scampering/waddling across the far end of the parking lot. I saw that they were about the size of beavers, but with no big flat tails. I saw them about ten minutes later crossing a nearby road. The same two.

Today while near the Smyrna rescue squad I saw one again, and got close enough to look at it for details. A quick check online and I found that the furry 'thing' was a groundhog. Like this one.

Does anyone know if there is a ground surge of groundhogs? Are we on the verge of being invaded by an army of them, and the ones I have seen are the scouts?

Food drive update information

I talked to one of the workers at the Smyrna/LaVergne food bank and asked what were the items that were really needed. I was told that diabetic food(low sugar food), and specialty drinks like Ensure and Boost were needed for people on dialysis. Those two items were what was first mentioned.

The food drive by the Smyrna fire department will run through tomorrow evening, so there is still time to donate through them. When this drive is over you can still donate anytime at the food bank at 130 Richardson Street, Smyrna, TN 37167 (map link)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Smyrna Holiday lighting ceremony Sunday

repost to pull to top

Sharon Michon of the Town of Smyrna Beautification Committee emailed the following to me, and it looks like it could be a fun time for the kids, and family.
We want to invite everyone in the area to a special Holiday Lighting Ceremony we are hosting at the Smyrna Town Center on Sunday November 18, 2007 from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m.

Our special guest speaker will be Amy Watson, news anchor for WTVF Channel 5. The event will feature many Town of Smyrna officials, with special performances by the Lamplighter Theatre Group, singer Susan Meredith Beyer, and the Thurman Francis Orchestra, among others.

Santa Claus will be making a special appearance and taking pictures with the children beginning at 3:30 p.m. and throughout the event.

Everyone is invited to come out and help us kick off the holiday season in Smyrna. This promises to be a great time for all the family!
Leave your schedule open for that Sunday.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Let the Sunshine in

This issue does have merit on the surface.
Rutherford County legislators and local elected officials should lead efforts to turn back a proposal that would pull the curtain on Tennessee's Sunshine Law.

A measure approved by a subcommittee of the state panel appointed to strengthen Tennessee's open meetings law would allow members of elected bodies to gather for meetings as long as they don't have a quorum of members.
Tennessee Sunshine laws are one thing that we should be proud of, and never relinquish one bit of these hard fought laws for any reasons.

Now those who wish them rolled back does have a few good points.
Some officials believe Tennessee's law is too strict, that it should be OK for two or three members of an elected body to chat about policy during "chance meetings." They believe such talk could take the power out of the hands of bureaucrats who aren't bound by the open meetings act.
I can understand the desire to simple talk on issues outside of the public, but the history of backroom deals have left a foul history in Tennessee, and we must stand strong against this change.

Recently the town council talked openly about a resolution that stated that they were against a change in the cable franchise laws. That change was small compared to a roll back of the sunshine laws. A simple email to our town council can get this moving forward as it should.

Think of giving next week.

This coming week the Smyrna fire department is having a holiday food drive. A time to give to someone you most likely will never see.
The Smyrna/LaVergne food bank supplies are running low for this holiday season. Last year they were able to provide over 8,000 meals to families needing just a little helpful hand. This has really depleted their supplies and we want to make sure that no one gets turned away. The Smyrna fire department has teamed up with local schools to try and make sure that no family goes without this holiday season, but we can not do it alone. We need your help to ensure that there is enough for everyone in need. Please bring any non-perishable food item, baby food items, baby diapers, and personal hygiene items to anyone at the 5 Smyrna fire stations. While you're there ask for a tour of the station or even sit in one of the fire trucks. We will begin receiving goods on Monday, November 12, 2007 and continue through Sunday, November 18, 2007. With your help we can make this a happy holiday season for those less fortunate in Northern Rutherford county.

I know from my childhood how much an anonymous box of food on the porch can make a holiday a lot better, so this is truly a worthy cause to think of giving to.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

My friends wrinkles....

Most of us bloggers know Kathy T. as a great writer! She is in her second year doing her wrinkle series and I, myself find it very interesting. Kathy T. has a way with words and when she writes about someone for her series it makes most of us sit back and realize how others have grown up and lived their lives. Today she wrote for her series about a true and good friend that most of us know as Gunner. Gunner works and goes to school while most of us just work. He loves the learning process and I feel he thinks its never too late to learn something new. I am very happy to have a good friend like Gunner.

Gunner was raised by a handicapped mother who was born without a right arm and with a deformed right leg that was amputated when she was seven or eight years old. His mother was strong-willed out of necessity rather than choice. They always joked that his mom could do everything except knit and chase him when he misbehaved. He quickly learned, though, that he’d have to return home sooner or later and face the punishment she doled out. When he stopped running, knitting became her only handicap.

Want to know more about our friend Gunner please go and read about him in Kathy T.'s Wrinkle series

The views of Smyrna

A lovely sight seen on Sam Ridley blvd Friday

A less atractive sight seen on S. Lowry St. the same day.

We are happy to post images of Smyrna that you wish to share.

Friday, November 9, 2007

No metal detectors

...for now. the Smyrna town council voted against the use of a metal detector during town council meetings.
Smyrna Town Council refused to give in to the politics of paranoia Tuesday night as it opted against metal detectors and extra security at meetings.

It was the right decision because putting up a wall of security around council members would only create an unnecessary barrier between the public and elected officials.
The council considered buying two hand-held metal-detecting wands and paying two police officers overtime for attending meetings. Fortunately, Spivey and Johns were in the minority.
I understand why they feel it may be needed, but I agree that this is not the time nor the place for an overreaction.


It has been brought to my attention that town council member Paul Johns is going in today for surgery. Please keep him and his family in your prayers. He's a real asset to our town in so many ways, and has served this town in many manners in the past.

The Middle Tennessee Blogger and Podcaster's Group Meeting

Hello all. Well it is almost time for our regular scheduled get together for the Middle Tennessee Blogger and Podcaster's Group Meeting. As we have in recent past, we will meet at Bob Parks Realty in Smyrna, TN thanks to our kind host Kathy T.

2pm Saturday November the 24th.

See you there.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Team loyalty

Whenever I go to the website Flickr I type into the search engine "Smyrna" to see if any interesting images pop up. Well boy did I find a couple recently. With permission of the photographer, 8KAB18, I share with you two images of team pride.

image one

image two

The pictures are tagged as Smyrna, so does anyone know where they are in town? Being Orange, our favorite Big Orange guy might know.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Repealing a law

Our town just a short time ago went through a long and protracted fight to try to change the alcohol package laws. A very public display of how hard it is to change laws on certain hot issues.

I asked myself a few weeks ago a simple question. How hard would it be to change a foolish and non-threatening law? Not liqueur or anything "adult" in nature, but one of the many laws that I feel are small, and simple not something we should have controlling us.

My Smyrna Am column for this week, "Let's 'unpass' some silly laws", talks about the issue of laws that are not needed for the "health and welfare" of our town, and are on the books for no discernible reason.

I noticed that at the end of proposed ordinances here in Smyrna, they attach the phrase "health and welfare of the Town of Smyrna requiring it". Well, I would not want to be against the health and welfare of our town, would I?

Smyrna just recently finished the recodification of our town codes. They made numerous changes, and added a few ordinances to our town codes. I just don't remember them doing one thing. I don't remember them fully dropping any codes.

No one said "This law has not one darn thing to do with the health and welfare of our town" and then voted it out of the codes. If codes are passed for the health and welfare of Smyrna, then if we find they have nothing to do with it, then are they dropped? You may not like the answer.

Have you heard of any law totally being dropped, not modified, but wholly removed from a municipalities ordinances in recent history?
To get a code added to the ordinances of our town requires 4 people on the council to vote for it. 4 people to make a law, but as the package liqueur law fight shows, it takes thousands upon thousands to repeal or strike down one.

Now I'm wanting to try something small. I want to see how hard it is, and the reaction from the council, to strike a law from the books. In the recodification process many changes were made by the council, and the voices of the people during the last meetings got a few changes made.

I have decided to try to get a law removed. Not a specific one, but one I'm asking people to choose for me.
Thus I am going to ask you for help. The city codes of Smyrna are now online at the town's main Web page, Go and look through the city laws and e-mail me one or two that you feel have no place in our town. Ones that if they were unpassed, would not leave us worse off.
I hope I get at least a few emails, from the newspaper or from here with some good examples.

A fine example of what I am talking about can best be shown here.

Now I asked this question in the Smyrna AM.
Yes. Even if you are 'endowed with supernatural powers' as the codes say, you cannot attempt to make a living with them. What does our town have against its supernatural brethren?
Would Smyrna be worse off if this law is removed from the books?

There are many laws that have nothing to do with the classical view of what a government is allowed to do under the enumerated powers given to them. Time to try to roll one back in a rather public display. let's see if the ordinances are stronger then the reality of their worthlessness.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Coleman House Available

I had the privilege today of touring the historical home in Smyrna that I said last week was coming. The Coleman House is just gorgeous if you’re into older homes. Original hardwood throughout, doors with the windows above, huge front porch, and gigantic bedrooms complete with sitting areas. If I could talk the husband into it, I’d be all over that house. It would be perfect for a bed and breakfast or restaurant (if you could get zoning).

Listed at $254,500, it has 3,048 square feet, 5 big bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, an eat-in kitchen, plus a formal dining room. Here are photos!

Bedroom has sitting room (probably where this photo was taken from).

Beautiful woodwork on this living room fireplace, plus the hardwood runs diagonally. Also see the windows above the doors?

The dining room also features a fireplace with a glass cabinet built in above it, as well as a butler’s pantry to the right of the fireplace.

Hardwood under the stairs. This is hard to describe, but once you reach the top of the stairs, there’s a landing to the sides and behind the staircase. In addition, the home also has a small cellar (with inside stairs that lead you to it) - about 10×10′ish. I’d love to know more about the history of the Coleman House.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Smyrna Holiday lighting ceremony

Sharon Michon of the Town of Smyrna Beautification Committee emailed the following to me, and it looks like it could be a fun time for the kids, and family.
We want to invite everyone in the area to a special Holiday Lighting Ceremony we are hosting at the Smyrna Town Center on Sunday November 18, 2007 from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m.

Our special guest speaker will be Amy Watson, news anchor for WTVF Channel 5. The event will feature many Town of Smyrna officials, with special performances by the Lamplighter Theatre Group, singer Susan Meredith Beyer, and the Thurman Francis Orchestra, among others.

Santa Claus will be making a special appearance and taking pictures with the children beginning at 3:30 p.m. and throughout the event.

Everyone is invited to come out and help us kick off the holiday season in Smyrna. This promises to be a great time for all the family!
Leave your schedule open for that Sunday.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Another Choir Day

While this is not a Smyrna event, I have to say that if it is close to the one I enjoyed here I have to recommend it.
Spring Hill Missionary Baptist Church Choir will have its annual choir day at 3 p.m. Spring Hill Missionary Baptist Church, 209 S. Bilbro Ave., Murfreesboro. For more information, call 615-890-9183.
There was a youthful choir with red t-shirts at the Elders Chapel choir sing that I believe was from Spring Hill, and if it was, you should have a great time.

Other religious activities for this weekend and next week can be found here at the DNJ's church calendar

Thursday, November 1, 2007

At least our state is not top ten

11th is bad enough.
Here are the 35 most populous states ranked by their corruption rate:

Louisiana (1)(7.67),
Mississippi (2)(6.66),
Kentucky (3)(5.18),
Alabama (4)(4.76),
Ohio (5)(4.69),
Illinois (6)(4.68),
Pennsylvania (7)(4.55),
Florida (8)(4.47),
New Jersey (9)(4.32),
New York (10)(3.95).
Tennessee (11)(3.68),
Tennessee. Ford tough.

I wonder why they list our state so high? Inner city political corruption, state government corruption, or the remains of the good ol' boy networks?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Flu shots still available

According to the Smyrna AM, flu shots can still be had locally. Here is a list.

Voting in a new place.

It looks like a lot of people, including myself, will be voting in new polling places in the next election.
The Rutherford County Election Commission has approved the immediate relocation of 10 overcrowded voting precincts prior to the 2008 election cycle in an effort to better accommodate voters in future elections.

Moving from smaller precincts to larger facilities, rather than adding more precincts just a couple of years before the 2010 U.S. Census begins and district lines are redrawn will save the county considerable expense. (Listings of precinct changes with new precinct locations are listed below.)
The Smyrna/Almaville/LaVergne polling places affected are as follows.
Precinct 5-1 (LaVergne Civic Auditorium) moved to the LaVergne First Baptist Church, 375 Old Nashville Hwy., LaVergne.

Precinct 8-1 (Almaville Community Center) moved to the Blackman United Methodist Church, 4380 Manson Pike. Murfreesboro.

Precinct 9-1 (Almaville Fire Hall) moved to the Stewarts Creek Elementary School, 200 Red Hawk Pkwy., Smyrna.

Precinct 9-2 (Rock Springs Elementary School) moved to the Giles Creek Baptist Church, 7084 Rocky Fork Rd., Smyrna.

Precinct 11-1 (Smyrna Fire Hall) moved to the Smyrna Middle School, 712 Hazelwood Dr., Smyrna.

Precinct 12-1 (Nissan Fire Hall) moved to the Tennessee Rehabilitation Center, 460 9th Avenue, Smyrna.
You should get a letter describing the polling place changes in the mail..I would hope.

The elections for next year are as follows.
February 5, 2008- Presidential Preference Primary, Rutherford County Primary

August 7, 2008- State and Federal Primaries, and Rutherford County General

November 4, 2008- Presidential, State General, plus Eagleville, LaVergne and Smyrna Municipal Elections
Remember. An informed politician is as important as an informed voter. let them know what you think. Otherwise they will tell you how to think.

Here one day, gone the next.

I have no real issues with the growth of Smyrna outside of one. There seems to be no real plans to assist a bookstore to move here. a store that I feel is vital to a community.

My sister picked me up a local phone book called "Your Local Directory". It looks like it is put out by comcast of all things. I automatically looked inside for bookstores, and to my shock one was listed. Here in Smyrna bookstore exists, and I did not know about it.

"Carmen Lily's Books and Stuff" is located at 179 N. Lowry St.. Or I should say 'WAS' located there. You might know of the location for the older residents of Smyrna. The building that looks like an old motel converted to stores, that used to have an older firetruck parked in it near the road. I drove there Sunday and cruised slowly looking into each window and reading the store signs. No bookstore. I tried to call the number listed in the phone book, and it has been disconnected.

Dangit all. One was here and I did not even see it.

I'll drive by again today to see if I might have missed it, but I'm not holding out hope. The sad thing is that I could have been their best customer.

Does anyone know who Carmen Lily is? I've done a search for the last name, but no residents in Smyrna have that last name according to them.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

WGNS linked

I have added a new image link to radio station WGNS in Murfreesboro. I have posted in the past on what I called "Smyrna Radio", a semi-weekly show broadcast normally from the YMCA here in Smyrna. Because of the radio show from this end of the county I feel they should be linked to on "This is Smyrna, TN.".

WGNS, while a radio station first, has also gotten into the online news dissemination. I would link to their news page, but there seems to be several. A Blogspot blog, a wordpress blog, a WGNSradio newpage, and a Miocrosoft blog. While there are several sites, all are linked to from the WGNS mainpage. Maybe each radio personality has their own, because each of them have different posts.

Online and ready to read

While it may seem to many that I harp on the town council, they do a lot that I agree with.

One of the main issues I had with the ending of the Smyrna recodification was the lack of information. The MTAS codes seemed way out of date, and there was no current versions online, and all of the proposed changes were unattainable financially by many until less then a week before the final vote.

A lot of people were in the dark, and that is not a good way for any government, at any level, to function. During the September workshop the Town Attorney mentioned that she intended to get a copy of the current codes online for easy access.

A big thanks from "This is Smyrna, TN."and myself as it has come to our attention today that the codes were now online and updated. The individual chapters are in a PDF format so there is no need to download the whole set of codes, just what you feel you need to read.

Now all ordinance changes can be made to them and updated in a timely manner.


Now we just need to convince the town to add a "Single Subject rule" for future changes.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The use of the blog format

It seems more and more groups are using the blog format to get news and information out in a timely manner. What started as individuals has now morphed into news services, companies, and even local groups.

While reading an article an advertisement flashed in the right column, and there it was. A link to the Rutherford county 4-H club's blog. After a few exchanged emails, I received permission to post the newest link in the right column of This is Smyrna, TN.

Welcome our newest local blog. The Rutherford County 4-H Network News.

Halloween is here, are you ready?

The Smyrna city website has posted some tips on how to have a safe and fun Halloween.
Wear clothing with reflective tape.
Accept treats on the door step, NEVER enter into a home without supervision.
Carry a flashlight with fresh batteries.
Stay on Sidewalks.(If no sidewalk) walk on the left side of the road facing traffic.
Obey traffic signals.
Stay in familiar neighborhoods.
Avoid eating treats until an adult can inspect it.
Don't cut across yards or driveways.
Wear a watch you can read in the dark.
Make sure costumes don't drag on the ground, and are flame resistant.
Avoid wearing masks while walking from house to house, or use face paint only.
Carry only flexible knives, swords or other props, never sharp objects.
Approach only houses that are lit.
Stay away from and don't pet unfamiliar pets or animals.
If no adult, travel in pairs or in groups.
Know how to call 911 if there is any danger.
As this is a kids holiday, and you may want to get in as much fun as possible, then the town is offering just what you need. The 11th annual Halloween in the Park at Sharp Srpings Natural Area Park.

click for larger image

Costume contests, food and games. Just what the holiday needs to be fun. Be safe.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Smyrna Judge in the news

Pictured is the Court of Appeals for the state of Tennessee. On September 27th William Bryan Cain(the second from the left standing) died, leaving an opening. It was announced today that Keta Barnes, our own Judge has applied for the position.
Smyrna General Sessions Court Judge Keta J. Barnes is one of 20 applicants for a seat on the Court of Appeals.

The Sept. 27 death of Judge William Bryan Cain created a vacancy on the court from Middle Tennessee.

Members of the Judicial Selection Commission will meet Nov. 15-16 in Nashville to nominate three candidates to Gov. Phil Bredesen.
We wish her luck.

More here.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Fall Festival

The Rock Springs church has an event planned that you might be interested in.
Sunday, Oct. 28

Rock Springs Church, Smyrna will be hosting a Fall Festival on Sunday, Oct. 28 starting at 3 p.m. at Rock Springs Elementary, 1000 Waldron Road, La Vergne. There will be a hot dog roast with all the fixings, a chili cook-off, bounce house, games, candy, toys and a costume parade for kids of all ages. The event is FREE. Call the church office at 615-220-2220 for more information or go to
This looks like it is youth oriented, but I may drag myself there for some pictures.

Local school gets straight A's

A school with bad grades pulled itself up and made the grades people expect from it's school system.
FOX News Network recently reported that ... "education in the United States is on a decline." While this may be true on a national level, Smyrna, Tenn., can boast of just the opposite!

The quiet little Title I school of John Colemon Elementary, has pulled itself up from 2 F's, 1 D and 1 C to straight A's — something a very small percentage of schools throughout the county or state of Tennessee earn. Schools are graded every year on stringent qualitative and quantitative achievements in the categories: No Child Left Behind, Adequate Yearly Progress and Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program.
This plus the Cedar Grove PTO award shows a school system of quality.

SPD Citizens' Police Academy

The town of Smyrna has opened up registration for next years Smyrna Citizens' Police Academy. I took part in it last year and it was worth it in so many ways. The classes were held once a week and lasted from about 6pm - 9pm plus when I went.
The Smyrna Police Department is now accepting applications for the first Citizens' Police Academy in 2008. These sessions of educational classes offered to the public to promote an understanding and awareness of the duties and responsibilities of the Smyrna Police Department start January 24 and run to an April 10th graduation. This is a unique opportunity for citizens of Smyrna to learn about their police department and the work they perform in the community. The academy provides an overview of police operations, practices, and objectives. The classes are scheduled for Thursday nights, from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm.

With public support and understanding so essential to law enforcement, the Citizens' Police Academy has proven to be an excellent program to bring the community and law enforcement together for common goals. The overall goal of the Citizen Police Academy is "Understanding through Education". This is accomplished by the exchange of information from the citizen participants and law enforcement instructors of the class.

If you are a citizen who lives in Smyrna and have ever had a question about the police department and would like to get feedback in a comfortable setting-this is the class for you. The academy is free of cost, and enrollment is limited.

To learn more and to apply on-line or by mail Click Here ===> Citizens' Police Academy
You learn about more then just our police department, but also law enforcement in general. I would recommend it to anyone interested in learning about our police department.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Hot and dry.

I knew it has been a long dry summer, but not to such a degree.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

YMCA tailgate party tomorrow

The YMCA is hosting a tailgate party tomorrow for LaVergne and Smyrna, and all are invited.
The North Rutherford YMCA will host a tailgating party from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. in its parking lot before the game. It is the second year the YMCA has hosted the event. Last year, more than 1,000 people showed up.

"It will be a good time for fellowship before they go out and start hollering at each other," said Mack Barrett, a YMCA board member. "The Y is doing their part to be a good neighbor. It's just one of the many things the Y does to bring the community together."

The event will feature a DJ, food from Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q and inflatable games for kids. While Jim 'N Nick's is offering the food for free, donations will be taken for both schools.
Looks like it will be fun.

While on the subject of High school football. Is there anyone out there who would like to do some basic posts on the school scene, and school sports in Smyrna? You could do it as individual submitted articles, or become a regular poster here at This is Smyrna, TN.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

"Promise me I'll live another 15 years, that would make me 30 "

OK people I have an update on Brandon Brewer and this update is one that is going to make your heart heavy. I have heard from his mother today and she informs me that Brandon is in the first stages of liver failure. The doctors told her that he has about One year to live if he doesn't get the transplants that he needs. They are making plans now to head to Pittsburgh this weekend to see the doctors and try to figure out what to do next.

As a 15 yr old young man I couldn't deal with this like he is dealing with this.I was told by his mother that Christmas is his favorite time of year and mine as WELL! They are going to be putting up the Christmas tree this afternoon and they are going to leave it up until he is feeling better. As most of you know I had a fundraiser this past month at the Smyrna bowling center and we ended up raising about $3837.00. Which will help with medical bills. The family has to pay out so much per month that they don't get to do anything for the family. I have decided that maybe we should do another fundraiser but this time make it a Christmas party/fundraiser. I know of a great band called Soul Incision and they are a group of doctors and such at Vanderbilt Hospital and by night they play music and when I heard this band I fell in love with them. I am going to see if they play for the event I will be planning. I would like to see if anyone out there would be able to help me plan a special night with music and food and gifts or donations? I would also need someone to donated a place to hold this event. Either a church or nightclub or a multi- purpose room would be great. I would like to have as many people in the area involved with this to make this such a special night for Brandon because people, this might be his last Christmas. Anyone that is willing to help out please email me at Check out his site here for all the updates He did the other day tell his mom and I quote "Promise me I'll live another 15 years, that would make me 30 " This tears up my heart something bad. I pray that he gets the much needed transplants and soon. want to donate alittle something then you can. Want to help me with doing another event please call me at 995-2636 and lets make this a great night for Brandon!!

The family of Brandon Brewer has a trust fund set up to help the family defer the enormous cost of medical bills. Send money to:
First Tennessee Bank
c/o Christopher Brandon Brewer
770 Nissan Drive
Smyrna, TN 37167

Music in Smyrna.

My column in the Smyrna AM came out, and it may surprise a few. Not one mention of the town council and what I think the town government is doing wrong.

On the 5th I posted that Elders Chapel UMC was going to be hosting choirs from several churches and it looked interesting enough to go and listen.

Now I will admit a certain bias. When I think choir performances I think of George Frideric Handel's famous work Messiah(link goes to download site). "and he shall purify" is the part I enjoy singing along with the most. With a voice in the bass range I have the habit of following my wife who is a alto-saprano when she sings. For many years she was in a local performance in Franklin Tennessee. Thus when she practiced at home, I sing along with her...quietly.

When I got there they quickly got to the business of singing. Singing energetic spiritual songs that got people standing, clapping, and saying praise. Outside of one single time as a youth when I accompanied a friend to his mom's Pentecostal church one Sunday, I have never been really exposed to this form of religious choirs.

When I walked into the door I felt awkward as I do in most social setting, but quickly got comfortable and found myself singing along with a few of the songs. Several songs used a "call and repeat" form of singing, and even a tone deaf guy musically uninclined guy like myself found it easy to follow along.

After 3 hours of spirit filled music the night ended with a few words from a few members of the church. I am really so glad that I went and had the experience of music like this.

School Sports.

Looks like the Smyrna High School Volleyball team has a chance to advance to the state tournament this year.
The volleyball team has gone deep into the season in large part because of its height.

With Alex Adams, Dymon Raynor, Breanna Poore, Ashley Helms and Caitie Paul, the Lady Bulldogs have no shortage of tall players to patrol the net.
Thursday, the team will see how it sizes up against some of the top competition Middle Tennessee has to offer when it plays in the sectional round. With a victory, Smyrna will advance to the state tournament for the first time since 2003.
Looks like the signs going up to recognize the SHS football champions may have company.

Good luck!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Library Essay Contest

The Linebaugh Public Library System which does include the Smyrna public library, is holding an essay contest that has some nice prizes.
Linebaugh Public Library System is sponsoring an Essay Contest on the topic: What Does My Public Library Mean to Me?
A First-place winner will be selected from each category. Finalists will have their essays printed in the Daily News Journal.

Prizes include $100 savings bonds, courtesy of Wilson Bank, and cash awards, courtesy of the Friends of Linebaugh Library; additional prizes to be announced.
More information can be found on the library website. The essay is cannot be longer then 500 pages so the deadline of Oct. 31 gives the age groups lots of time.

Go float a boat

..and have fun while you do it.

The Stones River Watershed Association with the Tennessee Scenic Rivers Ass'n is having a river float that sounds like fun this coming weekend.
The Stones River Watershed Association invites the public to float the Stones River on Saturday, October 20 on the stretch of river between Walter Hill and Mona boat dock on Percy Priest Lake. This year's event is a joint Stones River Watershed Association / Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association float.

The group will meet at Walter Hill Park north of Murfreesboro at 10 AM and should be at Mona by 3 PM. This is a 5.6 mile stretch of river and lake. The first 2 miles is a series of pools and shoals with the last part of the trip on Percy Priest Lake. All shoreline is U.S. Army Corps of Engineers property and undeveloped. There may be a few horses alongshore as a horse trail follows the river. Parts of this section will be the site of Murfreesboro's Greenway extension.

Attendees should bring a lunch since the group will stop along the way for a picnic. To register contact Bob Higman at 615-376-3682 or
If you don't have a boat the article mentioned that there will be a number available for rent.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Haunted tours and more

event over

Bible Park update

We have commented on the Bible Park that may be coming to the Blackman area. For some there are more questions that they feel have not been answered. Armon Bar-Tur, the head of the Bible Park project plans on having some open dialogue to answer them according to this WGNS article.
Bar-Tur indicated that he hopes to request county approval for the theme park before the end of this year. However, he insists on conducting a series of information sessions to answer questions the public might have before asking for zoning approval.
Most people do not know, but this is not Armon Bar-Tur's first park. He was involved as one of the partners who put together the Hard Rock Park in Myrtle Beach.
Armon Bar-Tur '92, managing member of SafeHarbor Holding LLC said, "I am proud to partner with Ziel Feldman in putting together this distinguished group of investors including Africa Israel Investments and Polar International Real Estate to join us in creating this exciting park. This fusion of a great brand, great location and superior management team will ensure the success of this venture."
Note that Hard Rock Park is an amusement park, while the proposed Bible Park is a theme park.

Depot Day in the DNJ

DNJ(Daily News Journal) has a nice article on Saturday's Depot Day.
Saturday's inaugural Depot Days festival to celebrate the revitalized historic area on Front Street brought back pleasant memories for Mary Lou Thomas.

"It's like what Smyrna used to be like years ago," Thomas said while working at a booth for her congregation, Trinity Christian Church. "You see families walking up with babies in the strollers. It's just got that hometown feeling. It's great."
He estimated from 1,000 to 2,000 people attended Saturday's event.
This and more at the DNJ.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Welcome Depot Day visitors

It's the day after Depot Day festival and I want to welcome all of our new readers to "This is Smyrna, TN", our bit of Smyrna on the web. Mark and I really enjoyed meeting you, and I got the chance to met a lot of new faces.

Here at This is Smyrna, TN. we post on a wide range of subjects from politics to fund raisers to the local farmers market. We try to cover a lot of issues from a different perspective then the local media outlets. We live here so the issues that face our city are important to us.

We are also interactive in that you can comment on the individual posts and maybe even fill in the subject with more information. We invite you to become a part of the Smyrna online community.

Pull up a chair and hang around.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Welcome all

Gunner and myself had a great day today at Depot Days in Smyrna and we want to take the time right now to welcome all the new readers to our site. We enjoyed meeting each and every one of you on such a lovely day. We hope to have each of you leave comments and help us better our great town! Please take the time when you have time to look over the site and read on issues that mean something. Also watch for Gunner's column every Wednesday in the Smyrna A.M. We like feedback as well so leave those comments and lets make a difference in Smyrna!!!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Don't forget Depot Day is tomorrow

This is the First Depot Day in a while, and you shouldn't miss it. With the city closing the street, a carnival atmosphere will surely be at hand.

Joel P. Cox of Joe B's Furniture sent the following to me.
Depot Days will be held tomorrow from 10am to 8pm on Front Street in Historic Downtown Smyrna. Festivities will include Live Music throughout the day, a ribbon cutting ceremony at noon with town dignitaries (celebrating the completion of the Downtown Revitalization Project), all kinds of food, games and children's activities including a petting zoo, Smyrna's Got Talent (signups from 1pm to 3pm, contest from 6pm to 8pm), free gifts, drawings for giveaways, and much more!!!
Also you might want to note that the historic downtown district has their own website. Historic Smyrna has a lot of information of Depot Day and some nice pictures.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Is that a gun, or are you just upset?

I have already broached the subject of the Calrksville man who took his own life after a negative vote from the Clarksville Town Council. It also created a nice comment thread worth reading.

In the Tuesday night town council meeting the Mayor mentioned it and what he would like done.
Mayor Bob Spivey has suggested those attending Town Council meetings be required to go through a metal detector before entering council chambers.

Spivey made the suggestion during Tuesday night's council meeting, saying he was disturbed by what happened at the Clarksville City Council's Oct. 4 meeting.
"These meetings get very intense sometimes, and I think we need to protect (audience members)," Spivey said.
I'm not sure what to say on this. Would it really protect the people there? An unstable person could easily just walk in with one, and not wait. Is this an over-reaction by the mayor, or a sensible precaution?Will vehicles be searched next?

What do you all think of this?

The flu shots are here

If you are one to get regular flu shots, then the time is ripe for you to go get them.
The chill that just entered the air should serve as a reminder that flu season is officially here.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu season starts as early as October and can last until May. State health officials said there is no way to predict how severe this year's flu season will be.
The DNJ has a good article, and a very detailed list of places, prices, and times to help you find a good place to get your flu shots.

I'm one of the people who avoid flu shots. In the time I lived in Kansas, everytime I ever got a shot, I ended up with the flu later in the flu season.

The codified laws passed

Part 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

And yet in the final moments before they voted there was still confusion over issues such as buses, and wreckers.

The issues of wreckers, trucks specifically targeted by Mayor Bob Spivey, was addressed by a few truck driver/owners that showed up. They were less then pleased, as I am also, that the city has decided that these trucks are now "bad". I'll address why their definition of "bad" is so bothersome.

When they could not decide on weight limits James Yates put forward a proposal to amend the exemptions to not just allow school buses, but also allow wreckers in the same section. The silence was deafening as no other council member would second the motion. because of that the fine town of Smyrna has driven wreckers from the drives in residential areas.

If you are someone who've saved money and financed your own wrecker truck, a humble attempt at the American dream. Well the town of Smyrna has voted that your dream is in the way of their current trend of "pretty'fication".

Now the issue of buses show that bad is arbitrary.
Arbitrary is a term given to choices and actions which are considered to be done not by means of any underlying principle or logic, but by whim or some decidedly illogical formula.
The old town codes allowed a certain weight limit, but buses were exempt. There were some complaints from some people, but in any situation there will be someone who complains.

In the recodified meetings they decided to raise the weight limit, but exempt buses.

The old weight limit was 7000 pounds. In the proposed recodified laws they raised it to 12,000 pounds, but removed the exemption for school buses, but kept the exemptions for refuse trucks, emergency vehicles, and some construction vehicles.

Now this implies that school buses are bad. No buses good, one bus bad.

Then in the September meeting they made the change that One was now good, but more was bad. An arbitrary change. Then in this months town meeting they decided that two were good, but more was bad.

One was bad, then good, two was bad, then good. The "pulling numbers out of their arse" method of codes making is a bit sad to view. The mayors desire to remove wreckers was successful as I pointed out, so at least someone ended up happy.

Several issues were not addressed that I thought were even more important. One was the extreme limits placed upon cargo containers, and semi trailers that are being used for storage by many businesses around town. The other was the requirement of a 6 foot opaque fence around property where commercial vehicles are parked when on dirt. I guess if I see an 15 foot tall semi behind that 6 foot fence, I won't notice it. A simple extra charge for businesses to make things look, or at seem pretty.

Limits on businesses, independent drivers, and even you. All under the guise of removing "unsightly" things to make the town look pretty. If I wanted everything I have controlled to make things pretty, then I would move to Williamson county.

Recodification has left a bad taste in my mouth. My view of the council has also been tainted.

Just another day in paradise

Monday, October 8, 2007

Tuesday town meeting

A brief heads up for the town meeting tomorrow night for those attending.

The meeting has only three people listed on the agenda for "citizens comments". The first two are residents from Eastland drive who wish to talk on the issue of "construction behind residence". This is the construction behind the "old" Krogers on South Lowry. Not sure what their complaint is.

The third person is Janet Johnson who wants to address the council on the issue of "Codification of Ordinances Pertaining to School Buses". I wonder if she knows of the changes to material that it has to be parked on such as gravel or cement, the opaque fence that will be required, or the back/side yard issue. Changes to how buses are to kept are multi-faceted, and complex. Much more then just the exception on them weight wise.

In my opinion there are simply too many changes to force down the throat of our town at one time. I think almost all of my concerns would disappear if they voted on two chapters a meeting, instead of all at once. This would allow time for people to read, comment, and maybe suggest alterations to the codes, instead of this week of rushed reading that some are going through.

Yes this would take 7-8 months, but the time would create a stronger feel of an open government, then the "one week is good enough" that is occurring.

Likely tomorrow night, or the day after, I'll post my last "Where oh where did the city codes go?..." unless the meeting gets real interesting. I also suspect that my column for next week in the Smyrna AM will be on the meeting also.