Saturday, November 29, 2008

Close to home

The news on the Tennessee State trooper accessing private computer files for possibly political reasons was big in the news the last few months...now a similar situation hits close to home.

Wilson County Commissioner Chris Sorey used a state Web site to run unauthorized background checks on citizens, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says.

Sorey misused what's known as the Criminal Justice Portal to access private records while he was a member of the Smyrna Airport's police department, TBI spokeswoman Kristin Helm said. His actions came to light during an audit of the portal's use, she said.

Helm would not identify those whose backgrounds were checked, but Mt. Juliet City Manager Randy Robertson has told his employees that the portal was used to run private information on some city employees and a person of prominence within the city.
He was placed on suspension and has since resigned to work elsewhere, but it is a troubling occurrence of old school politics that raises its head more often then anyone would like.

He says he had a good reason to do it.
"Any activity that has taken place regarding the alleged misuse of the integrated criminal justice portal system was done in connection with my investigation of the past and ongoing fire code violations" in Mt. Juliet, within his district and elsewhere, he said earlier this week. "... I am very concerned that I now seem to be the subject of the investigation instead of officials addressing any possible safety issues."
The Smyrna airport has its access to the criminal justice website blocked for the current time.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Being a good neighbor...Oregon style

In Philomath Oregon they have poultry codes like I wish Smyrna did.

Here you need to get your neighbor's permission like I suggested.

6.10.080 Restrictions on keeping animals and fowl.

B. Any person desiring to keep any such animal shall submit to the city manager an application for a permit, accompanied by written evidence that three-fourths of the adjoining property owners or residents within a 200-foot radius from the site where the applicant proposes to keep said animals do consent to the keeping of such animals. The city manager shall cause a record to be made of its approval or disapproval of such permit, and provide a copy thereof to the applicant and to the police department.
I can even see how this would be good. To keep it from being to redneck looking.
C. No stable, barn, shed, coop, hutch, pen, or shelter in which any animal is kept shall be located within 30 feet of a city street or sidewalk. Such structures, with their pens and yards, shall be kept clean and sanitary.
Keeping it clean is of course part of being a good neighbor.
E. The manure and offal shall be removed by hauling beyond the city limits, unless used for fertilizer, in which case it shall be spread upon the ground evenly and turned under at once. Manure must be removed with sufficient frequency to prevent offensive odors.
Now that we have a new member on the council I might hit him up with the idea of the value of this plan.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Amendments at last.

Once a year is a lot better then it used to be.

Last year on October 3rd 2007 I was happy to announce that the town ordinances went online for all to see. A joyful occasion when you understand that the last time they had been updated was in 2001. It was announced that they would be able to update them as changes occurred.

Well they sat and sat and no changes were made until the last week or so. I noticed just today that the codes that had set so stagnantly now have 'amendment' links by a few of them. The additions are the amendments from the end of last year until just recently.

One of the older ones is


EXCAVATIONS
SECTION
16-204. Deposit or letter of credit.
16-204. Deposit or letter of credit. No such permit shall be issued unless and until the applicant therefor has deposited with the town a cash deposit. The deposit shall be in a sum set the director of public works in an amount determined by the director of public works if the excavation is in a paved area and shall insure the proper restoration of the ground and, laying of the pavement, if any.
Where the amount of the initial deposit is clearly inadequate to cover the cost of restoration, the director of public works may increase the amount of the deposit to an amount considered by him to be adequate to cover the cost. From this deposit shall be deducted the expense to the town of relaying the surface of the ground or pavement, and of making the refill if this is done by the town or at its expense.
The balance shall be returned to the applicant without interest after the tunnel or excavation is completely refilled and the surface or pavement is restored.
In lieu of a deposit the applicant may deposit a letter of credit from a
financial institution in Rutherford or Davidson County in such form and amount as the director of public works shall deem adequate to cover the costs to the town if the applicant fails to make proper restoration. (Amended by Ord. #07-___,
Nov. 2007,
Ord. #02-03, Feb. 2002, modified)
and one of the more recent ones are
FIRE PROTECTION AND FIREWORKS
CHAPTER 1
FIRE CODE
7-103. Modifications. The fire code is adopted with the following exceptions:
(1) Chapter 2, § 202 definitions. Group I-4, child care facility, the exception is deleted.
(2) Chapter 9, §903.2.7 group R, add "Exception, detached one and two family dwellings shall not be required to install an automatic fire sprinkler system except where special conditions exist as determined by the authority having jurisdiction.”
(3) Chapter 9, § 907.2.2 group B. Change the occupant load from 500 or more persons to 200 or more persons.
(4) Adopt appendices A, B, C, and D.
(5) Chapter 33, § 3308.11 retail display and sale. The first sentence of this section is deleted. (Amended Ord. #08-07, March 2008; Ord. #05-04, Feb. 2008,modified)
I'm glad they have updated the codes with the amendments from the last year.

A big thanks to Lori Morrison for constructing the amendment PDF files.

Monday, November 24, 2008



The Thanksgiving week is upon us and hopefully for most it is a short week. Turkey and food and family is the basic images brought up when you think of this holiday. I have enjoyed two Thanksgiving dinners already and will get one more most likely.

Let's get to the business at hand.

First there are no meetings scheduled for this week by the town government and they will even be closed Thursday and Friday. No government for four days...how will we ever survive?

Locally it is pretty slow also.

Books

Scholastic Book Fair:

Saturday, Nov. 29, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Smyrna Library, 400 Enon Springs Road W. Fair continues through the next week. Proceeds from the sale benefit the library's children's department.
That is it.

Well I hope your Thanksgiving holiday is a fun one and please travel safe.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Businesses opening

I am glad that someone has taken me up on the offer to post any grand openings in town. A new Salon is opening and Dee Haupert asked me to post on it.

Grand Opening December 6 Saturday "Studio T " hair &colour, An Independently owned Salon in the bustling Town of Smyrna. The Salon is new to the area but not new to the business. The Design Team at Studio T offer styles and colour for men,women and children from classic to trendy. Let Studio T create every element of your personal style.come by and celebrate our grand opening 900 Grammer lane Suite 300 (by CeCi's Pizza) phone number 615-223-8990
Drop by and give a locally owned store your business...after December 6th that is.

Businesses closing

I took a drive to go pick up the Angel Food Ministry order for the month and saw in just a few short blocks signs announcing the closing of two stores. One is Bella Blue on Lowry right near the turn for front street. Sadly a horrible place to start a business due to parking and traffic. The frontage of the store has a sidewalk and that's it. They have signs out announcing their going out of business sale so drop by if you have time please.

The other business is the car lot to the right of Mrs. Winters. They had a sign that announced simply "Closing. Make an offer". Number two to be closing.

Last week I called the company that was the developers for "The Shopped at Smyrna Commons" and was told that they had sold the property to another developer. I'm not sure who but this likely will not help the project to open next year as planned.

We are in an economic slump, if not a recession or a depression. This will derail a lot of planned projects in Smyrna and maybe even cancel some. What is going up today was planned well before things went to pot. A good measure of figuring out how bad things are is to see the speed and type of businesses that start to occupy the smaller stores next to the anchor businesses like Publix. If those smaller store fronts stay empty then we should really worry.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

About that Bookstore...

As we head into Depression Pt. II, I'm starting to wonder if we'll actually get a Books-A-Million in town.

Anyone else see their share prices lately?

http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=BAMM

Guess we can still hit the library if BAM doesn't pull through.

And who knows, I may be proven wrong.

I hope so - I want books, darn it!

UPDATE: Books-A-Million just posted their third quarter results. Not good:

LINK

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Got kids?

The Smyrna police department is offering a service to you that might save your child.

The Smyrna Police Department's Traffic Safety Unit will be conducting a child safety seat check up on Wednesday November 19th from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm at the new Smyrna Justice Center located at 400 East Enon Springs road. This is a free service offered by the Smyrna Police Department to you.
This will only take a bit of time and is very much worth the wait.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Welcome to this edition of "this week in Smyrna".

The town government is having this week several meetings.

Storm Water Advisory Committee: November 17, 2008 - 7:00 PM
Project Assistance: November 18, 2008 -5:30PM
Parks Advisory Board: November 18, 2008 -6:00 PM
Board of Zoning Appeals: November 20, 2008 - 5:00 PM
For those who might have missed it. I posted on the opportunities offered to people to become more involved in their community. These meetings are just a few of the meetings that can give you such a chance.

In local events the buildup to Thanksgiving is heading our way very fast so this weeks calendar is very light.
Murfreesboro Craft Artists Studio Tour
November 22, 2008 - November 23, 2008
Murfreesboro and Rutherford County, Tennessee area craft artists will open their studios to the public, offering a unique, wide selection of artwork and demonstrations. There will be nine craft studios open with displays selling the work of regional crafts people. 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Free admission. Contact: (615) 848-1079


Native American Culture Program:
November 21st.
2 p.m., Smyrna Library, 400 Enon Springs Road W. Sally Wells, a member of the Mississippi band of Choctaw, will present a program on Native American culture.


Holiday Lighting Ceremony.
For the Town of Smyrna
Holiday Lighting Ceremony
Sunday, November 23, 2008 – 3:30-5:30 PM at Smyrna Town Centre – 100 Sam Ridley Pkwy

SPECIAL GUESTS & PERFORMERS

Dan Whittle, Master of Ceremonies
Mayor Bob Spivey
Vice-Mayor Tony Dover
Town Manager Mark O’Neal
Lamplighters Theatre Group
Smyrna High School ROTC Color Guard
Sarah Upchurch & Bethany Cothran sing
Lancaster Christian Academy - K-3
Dance with Stacy Academy – K-5
Thurman Francis Arts Academy Orchestra
and
A special visit by
Santa & Mrs. Claus
Well I wish I had more to post but this is a very light week.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Let's go Bulldogs, Let's go!!

Smyrna high Bulldogs have won another game once again and this makes me so proud to have a team that I know will go all way.

Senior running back Jarvis Hicks scored two rushing touchdowns, and Smyrna defeated Wilson Central 24-2 tonight in a TSSAA Class 5A second-round football playoff game at Robert L. Raikes Stadium.


Can they win the 3 championship in a row? I really so. Want to see the whole story Why not jump over to D.N.J and read more!

Volunteer in our community

Smyrna is a great town and I want it to be better. I decided a few years ago to get involved and it has truly been fun.

One of the ways I have become involved is to volunteer to serve on a couple of town committees. I have served a one year term on the Board of Adjustments and Appeals and am into my second year for the Storm water Advisory Committee.

There is a whole list of committees and boards you can serve on.

I'm bringing this up now because they pick the members in March...Just 4 months away.

NOTE: Board and Committee terms of office usually begin April 1. Most meet once a month, unless otherwise specified, and are open to the public. Members do not receive compensation for service on Town of Smyrna Boards and Committees.

To recognize, promote and strengthen the sense of community, diversity and multiculturalism, all Smyrna residents are invited to get involved.
This would allow you to go and view as a guest observer a meeting or two of a committee you might be interested in. Yes. I'm asking you to think about stepping forward and volunteering to serve on a committee.

I feel the readers of 'This is Smyrna' can make a difference. We don't talk about Brittney Spears or other flighty subjects. We deal with the people and places of our community. If you're a regular reader that means the community interests you more then "when does cornflakes go on sale at Food Lion?". Take the next step past 'interest' into 'involvement'.

It's an idea to think about.

Now Showing!

It is finally time to go see a movie! Yes our 14 screen cinema opens next Friday night! I am so excited that we now have a choice to either go bowling or go see a movie! It looks like the prices aren't too bad. The cinema is located over behind the Logans and really close to the I-HOP! Make plans to attend The opening next weekend. The D.N.J. and employees I have talked with told me it was going to open today but the website shows next weekend plus the phone number is not a valid one! This cinema was suppose to ope this past summer and I know everyone is excited about this so hurry up and open your doors!

So short lived.

On July 15th I complimented the town on posting on their websites new businesses coming to town. I even made a screen shot to show the readers.

Earlier this week I noticed that the link was gone. I'm not too surprised. When originally posted they had the information up to date...but then it just sat...and sat...and sat. Until this week when it was changed. To this. (Google cache to remember it by)

Not sure why they removed it. Maybe because it was not being updated and was looking a bit bad. Oh well.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fall Thoughts

I don't know about you all, but I think this is the prettiest Fall I've experienced here.

A great time to take a walk, enjoy the crisp air, catch a falling leaf and meet your neighbors.

I live in the old part of town and on days like this, as I look at the historic houses and think about the changing of the seasons, I can really feel the past.

In many ways, this is a lovely town... and right now is a great time to enjoy it.

Maybe I'll meet you on the road.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Are you on this list...or know who is?

Remember Bush's big stimulus plan? Well not everyone got their check.

The Internal Revenue Service is looking for Tennessee taxpayers who are missing more than 5,800 economic stimulus checks totaling about $3.3 million and nearly 2,000 regular refund checks totaling about $1.7 million that were returned by the U.S. Postal Service due to mailing address errors.

Some 243 Rutherford County residents are due economic stimulus or refund checks. These 247 checks are worth $155,450. A list of the Rutherford County residents with undeliverable is below.
Here is the list for those who might want to take a look at it.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The weather at Steve's house

A local commenter named Steve runs his own weather station webpage and it is all from his own back yard.

The site is taken from my weatherstation in the back yard, and the data is both for my use and is given to the National Weather Service.

I had a crash on my server a few months ago, so the YTD totals on things aren't accurate, but the current info is all good. I will have time off in December, and was going to redo the website then anyways so that it would be easy to use. If you link it, then I'll finally have a good reason to get it done.
Now you can find the weather in his backyard...and for Smyrna in General in an instant.

I welcome Smyrna Weather to our resources role. Now he has to redo the site. Ha!



This edition of 'This week in Smyrna' is coming out Sunday night as Monday I will be rather busy starting a multi page report on the advances in rifling in Civil War artillery.

Well the town government has a meetings to start with.

Beer Board: November 10, 2008 - 7:00 PM
My motto is "no free samples, no attending beer meetings'..

Local events are as such...but is pretty light

Living History
Homefront/Battlefront: The Hord Farm of Rutherford County Program
November 13, 2008
Held at the Heritage Center of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County, 225 West College Street, Murfreesboro.7:00 p.m., Discover how one local plantation coped with the trials of battle and occupation during the Civil War.No admission charge. Contact: Heritage Center, (615) 217-8013
Horses
Tennessee Volunteer Ranch Horse Show
November 15, 2008 - November 16, 2008
Held at the Tennessee Miller Coliseum, 304-B West Thompson Lane, Murfreesboro, Free admission. Contact: Miller Coliseum, (615) 494-8879
This is a light week...almost a let down after an election week.

Parks and recreation

The fall season is here and the Smyrna parks and recreation November Newsletter is here for you to check out what is up. Newsletter November 08

Get your own at Scribd or explore others:

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Hello Guests

The numbers are showing that our website is getting a lot of guests visiting. Well let me say "Hi" and extend to you an invitation to stay a while.

Our archives go back years and we deal with a lot of subjects here. This website is written by and for Smyrna residents. It is updated regularly and is a great place to find out what is going on around town, special events, and some commentary on issues that we feel are important to us.

We invite you to become a regular reader here.

Final numbers

The election is over and here are the final numbers.

24.05% PAUL HITE JOHNS
22.88% TIM MORRELL
29.99% MARY ESTHER REED
22.60% JAMES YATES
0.33% WRITE-IN
0.08% WRITE-IN
0.06% WRITE-IN
A few comments on this election. James Yates lost and in a way that bothers me. You might remember a month or so ago that a few of his signs were vandalized. The idiocy of some people amaze me, so the fact that he lost and had his signs damaged taints the whole thing for him and bothers me. I hoped and wished that people were above that here. I'm not surprised, but I was hoping.

The campaigns were clean and they all ran a good election. I wish I knew how Johns got so many signs out so fast. I believe it was the Seniors center. A little something to keep in mind for later.

The liquor sales issue won.
55.86% To permit package sales
44.14% Not to permit package sales
Well it won if you were on the side to allow it. This was pretty much above board but even this was bothersome. One of the complaints against the organizers of this 'push' was that they were "from out of town". As if I give a rat's arse about where someone lives. That was a small town "keep out them out of towners" mentality that was so wrong to input into the issue.

I'm glad it past for the right reasons. Not taxes, but the right to make your own choices.

The election is over and now the town will sit back and start writing regulations on how to control the increase of the "russian vodka" that will soon wash our streets in blood....y maries. Small alcohol joke there..sorry.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

and the winner is.......

all of Rutherford county. Because we all know that elections are like kidney stones. Painful until they pass, and drugs help the process.

Absentee and Early Votes only so far

In Smyrna the vote count is currently
24.53%...Paul Johns
30.30%...Mary Esther Reed
22.19%...James Yates
22.67%...Tim Morrell
00.31%...Write-in
00.06%...Write-in
00.04%...Write-in

The numbers for the liquor referendum are
53.81%...Freedom to purchase what you desire
46.19%...All your freedoms belong to us

I'll update and comment as the night passes. Then I have to right rite write my column for next week. I might use that kidney stone line.

Todays vote

The local media outlets have got their people all ready to get the vote count information to you in a speedy manner.

Smyrna AM

WGNS 2008 Election page

US. as soon as they post...I'll steal borrow the information and post it here.

It does not matter if you vote for Mary Esther Reed, Paul Johns, James Yates, or Tim Morrell for town council of Smyrna, or what side of the liguor issue you're on. I just hope you vote so your voices can be heard.

Link to Smyrna Am corrected.

Monday, November 3, 2008



Good morning Smyrna. I hope you remembered to set your clock and did not get to work late/early today.

Let's get to the business at hand. The town has lined up for you this week a few meetings.

Planning Commission: November 3, 2008 - 7:00 PM
Beautification Committee: November 4, 2008 - 6:00 PM
Sister City Committee: November 4, 2008 -6:00 PM
Next Town Council Meeting is: November 6, 2008 - 7:00 PM
The next town council meeting will be the first after the election so we just might have a new face on the stand.

In local events

Bark!
Middle Tennessee Dog Festival
November 08, 2008
Held at the Murfreesboro Bark Park, 1526 West College Street, Murfreesboro. 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., Free admission, Dogs must be on leashes. Purina Incredible Dog Team Shows, Canine Carnival, Mutt Market, Dog Contests, Mr. and Miss Barkaroo Family Dog Contest and more. Contact: Bark Park at (615) 893-2141
Run!
Foundation 5K Run
Saturday, Nov. 8
The first-ever Snyder Foundation 5K Run for the Kids: 8 a.m., at the Wal-Mart in Smyrna. Benefits Smyrna's FOP's Shop with a Cop Program, which buys coats, shoes and Christmas presents for children 12 and younger in the Smyrna area. Advanced registration is $25. Race-day registration is $30 and donations are always accepted. Participants can contact Snyder. EMAIL
This is a light week when it comes to activities...not counting the election.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Remembering

Earlier this year on Feb 5th there was an election and Ginger at Ginger Snaps from LaVergne did not have a good experience at her voting site.

Suddenly, two men came up to me, one man had on a “crossing guard” vest over a Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department shirt. He proceeded to raise his voice at me and tell me that it was against the law for me to have a cell phone in the building, and I had no right to take any pictures. I said, “I’m sorry, I didn’t see any signs stating that I couldn’t, and I wanted to get some pictures of the long voting line.” That wasn’t good enough, and he moved toward me, reached his hand to me, and said that he wanted me to give him my cell phone right then.
Ginger did not take this lying down and the story gets rather interesting. Even people in line spoke up in her defence. Drop by and read about how a little power, and a few 'homemade' rules can make someone become all controlling.