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
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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.