Monday, December 30, 2013

Event reminder

This might be full already as registration is required, but don't forget the 'get Mad!" event this coming Saturday.

Get MAD! (Migrate, Adapt, or Die)
Date: 1/4/2014
Time: 11:00 AM
697 Veterans Parkway
Murfreesboro, TN 37128
Phone:
615-217-3017
Event Description: How do wild animals survive the winter? Do they all move away to a wildlife condo in Florida? Maybe they simply put on their long-johns and build a roaring fire to keep warm. But what about finding food? If they can’t find food or a water or a warm place to live do they die? Come to the Wilderness Station to find out what our local critters do to make it through the coldest time of the year. Registration is required. Ages 8 to 12 years. Free.
Directions:
Wilderness Station, located in Barfield Crescent Park. Exit 81A towards Shelbyville on I-24. Turn right on Veterans Parkway, then left into the park. The Wilderness station is in the back of the park. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013


Event Reminder

Don't forget about a fundraising community event that is a perfect way to cheer in the new year.

The 2013 Snow Ball
Date: 12/31/2013 TO 1/1/2014
Time: 8:00 PM TO 1:00 AM
100 Sam Ridley Parkway East
Smyrna , TN 37167
Phone:
(615) 785-0282
Event Description: The 2013 Snow Ball is hosted by the Smyrna Rotary Club. Come join us December 31 at 8 p.m. to celebrate the New Year with your friends and neighbors at the Smyrna Town Centre to benefit the Sam Davis Home! Tickets for this New Years celebration are $50 and are available at the Smyrna Town Centre. Tickets include: Cocktails Hors d'oeuvres Live Music Rides home if needed Tickets also include a free session with the National School of Dance in Murfreesboro. A group lesson will also be held at 7 p.m. the night of the ball! For more information, please call (615) 785-0282 or email smyrnasnowball@yahoo.com Smyrna Town Centre 100 Sam Ridley Parkway, Smyrna, Tennessee 37167 View Map · Get Directions
Directions:
Smyrna Town Centre's address: 100 Sam Ridley Parkway East, Smyrna, TN 37167 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Let there be light!

With weather like this a lot of people wonder how many are without power. It is a good question, and there are two easy ways to find out.

The first is the Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporations' map of power outages. They cover pretty much all of Rutherford County and some connected counties. Their MAP (Updated every 15 minutes) shows you the power outages in their zone.



Their map at the time of this blog post shows one active outage.

The other manner to check power for those that live in LaVergne or who might work in Nashville is the Nashville Electric Service Map. They are showing right now 3 outages.


So when you wake up and you have no idea what is going on, you can get a basic idea of how the day might be going with these two maps.

Power outages might seem unimportant to those not living there, but street lights can be affected, and travel in this commuter age is very important when it comes to getting to work on time during the rush hours.

Monday, December 9, 2013

2013 Snow Ball

Here is a great event for adults to swing in the new year, and dancing is involved.

The 2013 Snow Ball
Date: 12/31/2013 TO 1/1/2014
Time: 8:00 PM TO 1:00 AM
100 Sam Ridley Parkway East
Smyrna , TN 37167
Phone:
(615) 785-0282
Event Description: The 2013 Snow Ball is hosted by the Smyrna Rotary Club. Come join us December 31 at 8 p.m. to celebrate the New Year with your friends and neighbors at the Smyrna Town Centre to benefit the Sam Davis Home! Tickets for this New Years celebration are $50 and are available at the Smyrna Town Centre. Tickets include: Cocktails Hors d'oeuvres Live Music Rides home if needed Tickets also include a free session with the National School of Dance in Murfreesboro. A group lesson will also be held at 7 p.m. the night of the ball! For more information, please call (615) 785-0282 or email smyrnasnowball@yahoo.com Smyrna Town Centre 100 Sam Ridley Parkway, Smyrna, Tennessee 37167 View Map · Get Directions
Directions:
Smyrna Town Centre's address: 100 Sam Ridley Parkway East, Smyrna, TN 37167 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Take me home and love me please.

PAWS, Pet Adoption and Welfare Services is the counties animal program, and they have a pet of the week. With the holidays coming up, if you feel a pet is appropriate, please look into a PAWS pet and not one from a breeder.  

They also have PETS OF THE WEEK. These are healthy, cared for, and adoption ready.
P.A.W.S.
Animal Services is working in partnership with the community to create a safe, healthy and caring environment for both our citizens and animals through education and courteous, effective enforcement of the laws relating to animals within the Tennessee Code Annotated.
Location & Hours
P.A.W.S. is located at 285 John Rice Boulevard in Murfreesboro, TN. We are open for adoptions, reclaims, and animal viewing Monday through Friday from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm and Saturday from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. We are open for pet surrender Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm and Saturday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. The shelter is closed on Sundays and holidays.

Darn adults and their educational stuff

Didn't you hate it as a kid when adults would try to sneak education into fun events and mess up both for you. Doing it with the subtlety of a rock against your head.

Well now it is time for you to do it to your own kids. HAHAHA.

Here is an event that fits nicely into the fun and educational category...and it's free.

Get MAD! (Migrate, Adapt, or Die)
Date: 1/4/2014
Time: 11:00 AM
697 Veterans Parkway
Murfreesboro, TN 37128
Phone:
615-217-3017
Event Description: How do wild animals survive the winter? Do they all move away to a wildlife condo in Florida? Maybe they simply put on their long-johns and build a roaring fire to keep warm. But what about finding food? If they can’t find food or a water or a warm place to live do they die? Come to the Wilderness Station to find out what our local critters do to make it through the coldest time of the year. Registration is required. Ages 8 to 12 years. Free.
Directions:
Wilderness Station, located in Barfield Crescent Park. Exit 81A towards Shelbyville on I-24. Turn right on Veterans Parkway, then left into the park. The Wilderness station is in the back of the park. 

It is a hint early to post this event, but it requires registration, so I want to give you the chance not to be late. Events like this fill up pretty quick.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Reminder - It was a Christmas of Remembrance

Don't forget that in one week the Sam Davis home will be hosting a Christmas program for those interested.

The Sam Davis Home will host a living history Christmas tour during the event It was a Christmas of Remembrance on December 7, 2013.  Briefly step into 1863 as the Davis family mourns the loss of son, grandson, and brother, Sam Davis.  Let their memories of past Christmases before the Civil War transport you to Christmas in 1860. Visit the historic house and watch the Davis family prepare their home for a jolly Christmas free of war woes.  The youngest children play a special Christmas game while the older boys head outside to shoot mistletoe down from the tree limbs above.  This event is $5 per person and is only offered one day!  Please contact the Sam Davis Home at (615) 459-2341 or visit www.samdavishome.org for more information. 
Although this living history event will occur only on December 7th, the historic house will remain decorated throughout the Christmas season beginning the day after Thanksgiving.  

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Campfire cookout and recreation

The Parks and Rec department sent out today this update.

We would like to announce the Smyrna Parks Campfire Cookout this Friday, November 15, 5:00pm-7:00pm, Sharp Springs Natural Area Park, Smyrna.

Cost for the event is $3.00 per person, that includes hot dogs, smores, hot chocolate, campfire, hayride, campfire music and a night walk through a corn maze.  We request that you register in advance and you may do that by completing the attached form and send it back to Smyrna Parks & Recreation.

Also, applications are being taken for the Kenneth “Coon” Victory Lifetime Service Award and the Young Leader Award.  Applications are due no later than this Friday, November 15.  Information and criteria for both awards is attached.  For additional information and questions, contact me at 615-459-9742 X2612; monty.perkins@townofsmyrna.org.  
Click to enlarge and apply

The beginning is over

The DNJ has spoken on the subject of the proposed new town manager. I am not sure what I can add to what they said that would not be biting.

The decision is over and I hope he can do the job good, but he will have to perform miracles to make a massive difference in a time of short funds, slow growth, and a town that views the Town leadership as suffering a bad case of cronyism.

I wish him the best in his position...he's got a lot on his plate.

Money!!!!...and stuff

The Krogers on Sam Ridley Parkway is really making this week fun for you and I figured to share it. It falls within the rules for Grand Openings for advertising as it is a re-grand opening, and it is free stuff.

First I noticed on another community FaceBook page, Smyrna Heart of Giving, that they were giving away Turkeys this morning. Cool. I checked out their weekly ad and saw this.
Gift Card Giveaway
You are automatically registered when you shop with your Kroger Plus card at your 463 Sam Ridley Parkway West, Smyrna, TN Kroger store through November 23. Drawing November 25. Gift Card Values $2,500 $1,000 $500 See store for details for entering without shopping with your Kroger Plus Card
Okay! That sounds easy, and while I normally don't go there, I might for the near future.

On the Heart of Giving page someone said this.
 They are doing a grand re-opening. Each day this week is a different freebie. I'm glad you got it!
MORE FREE STUFF!!! The turkeys today were limited to the first 300 people after 6, so if you are an early bird (no pun intended, but funner either way), take the time and check them out early in the morning if you are up and see if you win.

The giveaways are not as good as they were today. Orange Juice tomorrow, A 2 liter on Thursday and Friday it is a bag of oranges, but the card drawing is for all shoppers.

Money!!!!...and stuff, but mostly money!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tonight is the night

Tonight the Smyrna Town council will meet for the first time since the interviews last week. Unlike the interviews, the meeting tonight will be broadcast for your viewing enjoyment and we might have a new Town Manager by the end.

My column for this week will be in the Smyrna AM, and I address the town’s seemingly inability to understand the position they’re in and how to deal with it. The problem is that the interviews, held last week, were recorded according to the person in charge of media for Smyrna, but was not shown on Channel 3 cable or online, nor will it be put online for you and I to view.

Thanks Smyrna!

Now you could have gone and seen it, at 9am, and lose some time and pay from work, or we can purchase the video on DVD,s, but you have to pick it up during regular business hours as they do not mail them, so more time lost.

Right when they need to be as open as humanly possible, they step back and make it difficult to watch the process. I’m not a very smooth talker in life, so I have to edit myself in my newspaper columns, but I don’t need to online.

A lot of questions arise. What did we miss? Was this a love fest for Henry Gill Jr.? Were the questions balanced? What about things as subtle as body language?It is kind of damn hard to know because the video is not easily available. Color me unimpressed.

The town of Smyrna has stumbled over and over this year, from Gatlinburg, to the tax increase that was excessive, to the way Mark O’Neal was handled…and now this.

I have not heard the phrase ‘throw the bums out’ or versions of it more than this year and people are most definitely meaning it. To be honest turnovers on the council have mostly been due to resignations. In the last 8-9 years only one person was voted out. Next year might be a very different ballgame for the incumbents.

Tonight the Town Council meeting is scheduled, and I recommend to all you watch it because near the end of the posted agenda this one line item might seem small, but it is very large for our future.

h. Consideration of Town Manager appointment.  

6pm tonight on Channel 3 online or on your cable TV.

Lend a hand please

Our local Fire Department is hosting a food drive for the Smyrna/LaVergne food bank. I know that it might not seem a lot, but a few cans from you, multiplied by many Smyrna residents, can make a big difference in someones life. The holidays are here and no one should have to worry about being able to put food on the table during these holiday seasons.

The Smyrna Fire Department and the Smyrna/Lavergne Food Bank have teamed up for the 12th Annual Fire Fighters for Food Drive. 
The Smyrna/Lavergne Food Bank assisted over 16,000 individuals last year. Please help us make sure that no family in North Rutherford has to go hungry this holiday season.  Help us help those in need. 
The Smyrna Fire Department will collect any non-perishable / non-expired food items Monday, November 11th through Sunday, November 17th. 
Donation Ideas: 




Food items can be dropped off at one of the following locations:

Fire Station 1:  401 WEST ENON SPRINGS ROAD
Fire Station 3:  630 EAST ENON SPRINGS ROAD
Fire Station 4:  145 SOUTH LOWRY STREET
Fire Station 5:  2200 ROCK SPRINGS ROAD
Fire Station 6:  3640 MORTON LANE

Saturday, November 9, 2013

It was a Christmas of Remembrance

The Sam Davis home has a planned Christmas program and it sounds like fun.

The Sam Davis Home will host a living history Christmas tour during the event It was a Christmas of Remembrance on December 7, 2013.  Briefly step into 1863 as the Davis family mourns the loss of son, grandson, and brother, Sam Davis.  Let their memories of past Christmases before the Civil War transport you to Christmas in 1860. Visit the historic house and watch the Davis family prepare their home for a jolly Christmas free of war woes.  The youngest children play a special Christmas game while the older boys head outside to shoot mistletoe down from the tree limbs above.  This event is $5 per person and is only offered one day!  Please contact the Sam Davis Home at (615) 459-2341 or visit www.samdavishome.org for more information. 
Although this living history event will occur only on December 7th, the historic house will remain decorated throughout the Christmas season beginning the day after Thanksgiving.  

I will post an event reminder one week before it happens. Have fun and a happy holiday season.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Take a hike

The Smyrna Parks and Recreation has planned for tomorrow a Wilderness Walk. You are invited.
Wilderness Walk
Saturday, November 9th
10am - 12pm
Sharp Springs Natural Area, Jefferson Pike Entrance
FREE Family Program 
*Fish release by T.W.R.A
*Nature Walk, Hayride
*Wildlife Demo
*Crafts
*Lunch Provided 
For more information contact Monty Perkins at 615-459-9742 ext. 2612
It is a stroller friendly event, so bring the little stinkers.

Local jobs

I received this email and it looks like a local company is hiring for those interested.

Hi my name is Jamie Pollard and I am the Employee Relations Coordinator for Volt Workforce Solutions.  I was reaching out to you because I came across your blog as I was looking for local job fairs so that we could get the word out that we are looking for individuals to come work for us at Schneider Electric on 330 Weakley Blvd.   I was wondering if it was possible for you to write up something on your blog to give our local community this opportunity to come work for us.  If so, please contact me or Amanda via e-mail or call 615-459-8446.  Thank you so much for your time.

Thank you,

Jamie Pollard
Employee Relations Coordinator
Schneider Electric was in the news last year due to their large solar power system they had installed. Go give them a try.

Tomorrow!

Tomorrow in remembrance of Veterans day a local scout troop will be giving out poppies for those interested.

In observance of Veteran’s Day, Scouts sponsored by the Smyrna VFW Post 8422, will distribute “Buddy Poppies”, this coming Saturday, November 9th. In the morning, Cub Scouts and Webelos from Pack 842 will be handing out the poppies. That afternoon, the Boy Scouts of Troop 422, will also give out these patriotic reminders for the community to wear. The poppies are to serve as a reminder of the sacrifice of Veterans for our country. 
All donations received will go to the VFW, for assisting local Veterans and their families. 
Poppy locations are: Kroger - Sam Ridley, Smyrna. Lowe’s - Sam Ridley, Smyrna. Tractor Supply - Lowry Street, Smyrna. Bumpus Harley-Davidson - Broad Street, Murfreesboro. Tractor Supply - Triune.
The idea of poppies are old some say, but this section of lines from 'In Flanders Field'.

"In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.

Take up your quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields."

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Event reminder

In two days StoneCrest is hosting their big party to celebrate one decade of service to our community. Be there for fun and friends....and BBQ

TriStar StoneCrest 10th Anniversary Community Celebration
Date: 10/26/2013
Time: 11:00 AM TO 1:00 PM  
200 StoneCrest Boulevard
Smyrna, TN 37167 
Phone: 615-342-1919 
Event Description: TriStar StoneCrest Medical Center invites the community to a free tenth anniversary celebration on Saturday, Oct. 26, from 11a.m. to 1 p.m. on the hospital campus. Festivities will include BBQ, music, family activities (including bouncies!) and commemorative photos. “Ten years ago, TriStar StoneCrest opened to a growing community in need of its own hospital,” said Mark Sims, CEO, TriStar StoneCrest Medical Center in Smryna, TN. “As we mark a decade of service to Smyrna and surrounding communities, we want to thank those who have supported us and who continue trusting us to meet their own and their family’s healthcare needs.”  
Directions: The event will be on the TriStar StoneCrest Medical Center Campus near the foundations. Plenty of surface parking is available. TriStar StoneCrest 200 StoneCrest Blvd. Smryna, TN 37167 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

New business in town

I'm leery about posting new sales positions on the site where you have to have a party or something to sell items. I always get a painful peer pressure vibe from such gatherings. I do on the other hand enjoy the heck out of putting up information on new businesses and new professionals in town.

One such person is Callie Leasure. She recently graduated from the National Academy of Sports Medicine and is a certified personal trainer, and she is more proud to put herself on her brochure of what she can do, and would like to do for you.


That is a one year difference for her.

She said in an email to me that..
I am a certified personal trainer who has a passion for health, nutrition and fitness.  However, at one time I wasn’t always following a healthy lifestyle.  In the past year and a half I have lost 100 pounds and I still have a few more pounds to lose  I know firsthand what it is like to struggle with being overweight, eating right and exercising. 
I also know what a great sense of accomplishment you get when you reach goals you thought you would never be able to reach.  With my professional knowledge and personal experience, I can help you accomplish those goals of living a healthy lifestyle.  I am proof that it can be done!
She has a Facebook page for those that might want to drop by there.

Her husband is Steve and he runs the website Smyrna Weather, for those who want to know the numbers down to the second.

If you have a need, give her a call.



Meeting about I-24

I'm not sure if the meeting will address the issue of the proposed new I-24 intersection with Smyrna, but some of you might like to know the details of this meeting.

NOTICE OF PUBLIC MEETINGS
The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) is conducting a study to identify improvements for the 185-mile Interstate 24 corridor from Kentucky State Line to I-75 in Hamilton County. TDOT will conduct a second series of public meetings to present the identified transportation deficiencies, discuss project rankings, final reports of study and receive comments from public and key stakeholders.
The second set of meetings will be held in separate locations in Region II and Region III of the state during October; each meeting will run from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM. The specific dates and locations of these meetings are listed below. During each meeting, there will be a formal presentation to provide the background and current status of the project. The public is invited to ask questions and make comments during the meeting. Information gathered during these meetings will be considered in the prioritization of potential solutions. Anyone with questions regarding the meetings should contact:
Joan Barnfield, Project Manager
Tennessee Department of Transportation
Suite 900, James K. Polk Building
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37243
Joan.Barnfield@tn.gov
Phone (615) 253-2418
Fax (615) 532-8451
Meeting Locations and Dates:NashvilleTuesday, October 22, 2013Crossings Event Center5380 Hickory Hollow Pkwy.Nashville, TN 37013
A court reporter will be available to receive oral statements to be included in the project transcript. In addition, comment sheets are available for those who prefer to make written statements. Written statements and other exhibits to be included in the project transcript may be submitted within 21 days after the meeting date to the following address:
Project Comment
Tennessee Department of Transportation
Suite 700, James K. Polk Building
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37243-0332
Tdot.comments@tn.gov

The proposed and semi-planned intersection is either viewed as a good thing or a coming social and neighborhood disaster for Smyrna. This might be the meeting where you can give your views on it directly to the state.

Good luck.

So many colored dots.

What color dot are you? This is a hypothetical question as it does not need answering, but I found a website that visualizes the many colors of Smyrna. Smyrna, in a phrase I use, is white bread. Yes there are people of other ethnicities, but for the most part this is a Caucasian community and it is hard to argue against that point.

If you look hard you can find some of the ethnicity that I feel makes a community better. There is a small Buddhist run restaurant in town and if you go there at the right time you will see a metal serving tray out by the bushes. When I saw it the tray had a few bowls of noodles, a couple of bowls of fruit and a small sweet. When I asked the hostess she said it was an offering for the spirits. White bread doesn't do that now days.

There are of course white churches and black churches, but there are also churches populated by Karen refugees from Myanmar. The All Saints Episcopal Church one time they had a great garden behind their church along Nissan blvd that was tended by these refugees.  I’m not sure if they still do it, but it is something to look into if interested.

Now to know they are there is different from seeing them and getting to know them as people. That is a step that is up to you, but you can visualize them through the modern science of cartography…map making. The website "The Racial Dot Map" is something that I find fun to look at and see how the numbers look.

CLICK TO ENLARGE

This is Smyrna broken down with about 25,000+ small dots, each one representing a person. It is pretty close to reality with just a small issue of the Nissan Plant. It seems that they have about 100 dots evenly scattered across the Nissan Plant area...I hope Nissan knows they might have illegal squatters.

The numbers and information used to create this grand map is from the 2000 census. At the time Smyrna had a population of 25,569. We are currently up to 40,000 plus and rising.

Wiki gives the ethnic breakdown as this.

87.23% White
7.82% African American
0.29% Native American
1.21% Asian
0.08% Pacific Islander
1.81% from other races
1.56% from two or more races
Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.31% of the population.

Somewhere in this one dot per person map there might be a dot for you. I find the patterning interesting as you can see the fields, the largest apartment complexes, and the general neighborhoods that are going towards a non-white majority.

Take a moment if you wish and find a restaurant that puts food out for the spirits or has food that is hard to pronounce. Find the richness of Smyrna one colored dot at a time.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

A decade in a few weeks

Stonecrest hospital has been active and up for business for a solid decade in a few weeks and they are having a party...and you're invited.

TriStar StoneCrest Medical Center invites the community to a free tenth anniversary celebration on Sat., Oct. 26, from 11a.m. to 1 p.m. on the hospital campus. 
Festivities will include BBQ, music, family activities and commemorative photos. Free parking is available. 
“Ten years ago, TriStar StoneCrest opened to a growing community in need of its own hospital,” said Mark Sims, CEO, TriStar StoneCrest Medical Center in Smryna, Tenn. “As we mark a decade of service to Smyrna and surrounding communities, we want to thank those who have supported us and who continue trusting us to meet their own and their family’s healthcare needs.”
It sounds like fun, and as someone that has been in their ER two times in those ten years, I can say the service I received was superb.

Details as follow:

TriStar StoneCrest 10th Anniversary Community Celebration
Date: 10/26/2013
Time: 11:00 AM TO 1:00 PM  
200 StoneCrest Boulevard
Smyrna, TN 37167 
Phone: 615-342-1919 
Event Description: TriStar StoneCrest Medical Center invites the community to a free tenth anniversary celebration on Saturday, Oct. 26, from 11a.m. to 1 p.m. on the hospital campus. Festivities will include BBQ, music, family activities (including bouncies!) and commemorative photos. “Ten years ago, TriStar StoneCrest opened to a growing community in need of its own hospital,” said Mark Sims, CEO, TriStar StoneCrest Medical Center in Smryna, TN. “As we mark a decade of service to Smyrna and surrounding communities, we want to thank those who have supported us and who continue trusting us to meet their own and their family’s healthcare needs.”  
Directions: The event will be on the TriStar StoneCrest Medical Center Campus near the foundations. Plenty of surface parking is available. TriStar StoneCrest 200 StoneCrest Blvd. Smryna, TN 37167 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Local job fair this week.

Here is a job fair in Murfreesboro for those that do not mind a short commute to work. It is being hosted by state Senator Bill Ketron.

Rutherford County Job Fair
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Blackman High School
3956 Blaze Drive
Murfreesboro, TN 37128
Hosted by Senator Bill Ketron
Contact Debbie Mullins at 615-202-9855
I don't have much more information than this, so I wish you luck and hope it works out for you.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Free this coming Sunday

Sam Davis home is hosting their Birthday party with a free day...and you're invited.

SAM DAVIS HOME AND MUSEUM
Celebrate Sam Davis’ Birthday! Visit the Sam Davis Home for FREE.

SMYRNA, Tenn.- Help Sam celebrate his birthday with a visit to the Sam Davis Home & Museum on October 6, 2013 with FREE admission and family fun from 1-4 pm.

Families will experience a day in the life of Sam Davis through games, toys, storytelling, chores, and hands-on activities. Families will learn how to play games such as Graces and Croquet, make a 19th century toy, and learn a lesson from the McGuffey’s Eclectic Reader. They will also have the opportunity to learn about 19th century toys with our “What? No Batteries?” program and hear stories about Davie Crockett and other legends that Sam would have heard and have the chance to practice gathering eggs from live chickens before leaning about the anatomy of an egg.

Free admission. Please contact the Sam Davis Home at (615) 459-2341 or visit www.samdavishome.org for more information.

The Sam Davis Home is located at 1399 Sam Davis Road, Smyrna, TN 37167 and is a non-profit, historic house and museum.  For more information, including hours and admission rates, please call (615) 459-2341 or visit the website at www.samdavishome.org.
Free is good!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The good it does

On September 9th I posted about a food drive for cloths that was being organized by the Smyrna Heart of Giving group. It is just one of many groups trying to make things easier for families in our town during these 'sucky' years. I thought this image might allow you to see some of what they are working to achieve.


Just thought I would share: this is just SOME of the food we collected for the food bank. My entire SUV was full- front seat, back seat, and the back cargo area. Thank you all for being so generous! — with Jennifer Underwood and Joanna Taraska-White.

This food is helping the people of Smyrna directly. There are no giant national organizations here, just the people of Smyrna trying to make it so the rest of Smyrna does not go without.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Town Manager II

There are two ways to view what is happening in the town government, cynically, and hopefully. I’m trying to walk that small line between the two by looking at both sides.

The resignation of Mark O’Neal as Town Manager was a shock to some, but too others they feel it is about time. The talk about the need for change from the top has permeated the internet and online news articles from the DNJ. Well we have it…what now? The town still has the same bills, the same revenue, and the same resources, so by what magic will the new leadership create more?

I am surprised by the beginning of the letter when he stated openly “during the past few weeks, Mayor Reed and Vice-Mayor Adkins, along with several other members of the Council, have had conversations with me regarding the Council’s desire for a “fresh set of eyes” in the role of Town Manager.” This set the tone and also delivered a message to the residents of Smyrna. It implies that with a new Mayor [Reed] we are going to get movement and change.

In many ways that is worrisome. Understand that in my view change does NOT equal progress. You have to be able to enumerate what the change is to do. We will have a new town manager, which is change. What will the town manager do to make things better? That is change in action. Where does the progress come into play? What is the end result that you want? Do you want more income, more buildings, a smaller budget, or even the ability to lower taxes? That is progress, but the town is making changes, but not really open on what they want it to do.

Another worry I have is called ‘institutional memory’. That collective knowledge that a group has on how certain ways are the best, what works, and what doesn’t, and how to get from A to b the quickest. If the town council is in the midst of getting new eyes, and these new eyes might ‘clean house’ and make more changes, will a loss of performance be the end result? I worry that the citizens calls for changes in department heads will be done to appease the vocal minority that wants heads to roll…no pun intended.

I hope whomever they chose to become the new town manager will take the time to find out where change would equal progress and not make changes to show people he’s the new sheriff in town.

With that serious note finished I like to sit and read comments on the DNJ and other sites to see what the rumor mill has on a subject. Rumors of incompetent department heads are common, with ‘facts’ thrown about such as how some department heads are unqualified. How rules are changed so some could keep their jobs.

The one I like recently is the comments that the new town manager has already been unofficially chosen. Supposedly a ‘Harry Gill’ is the heir apparent to the throne. If this is true and plays out then there has been discussions that should have been covered by open meeting laws that were broken…if true that is. I’m just going to sit back and watch how it plays out, and if ‘Harry’ does win, well you heard it here first.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Town Manager I

Yesterday the Town Manager of Smyrna Tennessee resigned his position. The press release included the entirety of his letter of resignation so I am not hesitant to publish it here for your reading.

Mark O'Neal has had a hard job the last many years due to the economy of the nation going to hell. There is no better phrase to describe it. The period when Sam Ridley Blvd. was growing at a frantic pace is long past, and with the slow down of everything his job became harder and harder. I do not envy him working with less and less resources every month.

I am going to have some comments later this afternoon on the resignation and some other discussions I have had elsewhere after I write them up and polish them, but I thought this might give you some material to think about.


Honorable Town Council:
As you are all aware, during the past few weeks, Mayor Reed and Vice-Mayor Adkins, along with several other members of the Council, have had conversations with me regarding the Council’s desire for a “fresh set of eyes” in the role of Town Manager. I do understand that this change is about new ideas in the management of the Town and is not disciplinary in nature. I am grateful for the many encouraging comments and complements that have been expressed to me during these discussions. While I very much appreciate the offer to step down into the Director of Utilities position, I believe that such a move at this time is not in the best interest of my family or the Town. 

Therefore, as per Section 8, Items (1) and (2) of my Employment Agreement with the Town of Smyrna executed on April 10, 2004, I am terminating the “Employment Agreement for Good Reason”. I am requesting the entitled severance benefits as detailed in Section 6. In addition, as per the Employment 
Agreement, this letter shall serve as the required thirty (30) day notice of the termination of said Agreement. In order to assist in an efficient transition, I am offering to continue my employment as Town Manager past the thirty (30) day notice date, either through January 3, 2014, or until such time as the Town Council has employed my successor, whichever shall occur first. The ability to continue in this role, however, is contingent upon my availability in regards to other future employment opportunities with other employers.

It has been a great privilege to serve my hometown for 21 years in several capacities, including the past 11 years as Town Manager. I am very proud of the accomplishments of our Town over my tenure as Town Manager. There are many milestones that come to mind, too many to list in this correspondence. Our Town has continued to grow and prosper because of the unity of focus of citizens, businesses, Town employees and leaders. We have made great improvements to Town services and facilities. I believe a large majority of the credit for these improvements should be given to the employees of the Town of Smyrna.

Our employees work hard everyday to provide quality services to our citizens. It has been an honor to be associated with such a wonderful group of employees. I want to express my profound gratitude to Kevin Arnold, Jeff Craig, Bill Culbertson, Rex Gaither, David King, Robert Kulp, John Lanza, Hal Loflin, Mike Moss, Jeff Peach, Kevin Rigsby, Steve Smith and Dianne Waldron, the most dedicated group of Directors/Department Heads I have ever known. It has been a tremendous pleasure leading these talented professionals. In addition, I am indebted to Roseanne Peppers and Holly Earls who have provided me with exemplary administrative support. They work tirelessly day in and day out to provide our citizens with great service and advise in our Administration Department. 

To each of you, thank you for the opportunity serve with you. I appreciate your commitment to the citizens of the Town and count each of you as friends. I pray that God blesses you and your families as you continue to serve the Town of Smyrna.

Sincerely,
Mark T. O’Neal

Sunday, September 22, 2013

This week in local jobs

The job fair for this week is in Smyrna, so you don't have to travel far. good luck
JOB FAIR (Smyrna/Nashville, TN)
POSITIONS HIRING FOR:
* CDL Drivers to be Route Sales Representatives
(Class A, B or permit holder)
* Outside Sales Professionals
* Warehouse Worker 
Thursday, September 26th
9:00 AM to 3:00 PM CST 
at:
Holiday Inn Express & Suites
2565 Highwood Blvd
Smyrna, TN 37167

View Larger Map

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Smyrna town auctions

Smyrna Auctions off surplus property several times during the year, and they currently have a wide variety of detritus to sell.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

How far would you travel?

I try to post job fairs or large number job openings in the area. I limit the listings to the M'boro to Antioch area, but is that not enough. I HATED the commute to Nashville when I worked in the Fountain Square area years ago. The idea of helping somebody end up in that position that they have to go into that maelstrom of traffic and stress just seems wrong.
A lot of people are willing to travel much further for a job. An example is this job fair.


So I'm asking you the reader. Do you want me to expand job fair listings or mass openings (Single company) to most of Nashville, Franklin and Brentwood?  The commute would be longer and might not be possible for someone just getting a job after a long time without.

I list the fairs and mass openings as a service to help the residents of Smyrna.

Local job fair this week

This week I could only find one job fair. This one is being hosted by local state representative and Smyrna resident Mike Sparks. It is so local that this one is in Smyrna.

Rutherford County Job Fair10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Parkway Baptist Church
1715 Lee Victory Parkway
Smyrna, TN  37167
Hosted by Chairman Mike Sparks
Contact Debbie Mullins at 615-202-4961
This fair offer more than just a bunch of tables and long lines, but the chance training and other government assistance to get hired. Any little bit helps.
The fair, which will include approximately 50 local employers looking to hire, is scheduled for September 18th at the Parkway Baptist Church in Smyrna from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Job seekers who participate in the fair are automatically placed on the Department of Labor’s Management Activity Tracking System (eCMATS). The eCMATS system assists job seekers with workforce training, job services, and job referrals through the Department’s Workforce Development Career Centers.
It should be noted that the Tennessee Career coach is scheduled to be there.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Column on the council

I wrote this column for the Smyrna AM a week ago, but they were not able to print it due to scheduling and space. I submit it here for your reading pleasure.

The last time the Mayor of Smyrna resigned was in 2009. Mayor Bob Spivey, a local businessman and developer, resigned due to health in mid 2009. Vice Mayor Tony Dover stepped into the position of Mayor during what can best be called trying economic times. In the 4 years in office and during one regularly scheduled election he has lead us through tightening budgets, required layoffs, the infamous flood of 2010 and the great Miley Cyrus horror of 2013.

When Tony Dover stepped into the position of Mayor the position of vice-mayor was given to Mary Esther Reeds by a vote of the council. One thing that has not been mentioned in the articles today is that this will open a seat on the council. A seat that the council will fill.

In 2009 when the seat was opened due to Tony Dover moving into the Mayors seat they chose Marc Adkins. I'll first give you the informative facts, then the emotional reactions to this event.

Several people applied for the open seat. The Daily News Journal wrote about the many applicants for the position. At the time Carolyn Peebles, Richard Garvin Jr. Jimmy Richardson, marc Adkins and Rob White all applied and spoke of wanting to be looked at for the open position.

Already County Commissioner Robert Stevens has said online that “Local attorney Racquel Peebles has expressed an interest in applying for the vacant seat.” She is the niece of Carolyn Peebles, the applicant for the open seat on the council in 2009.

The Aug 11 2009 Town Council meeting is the one where Marc Adkins was chosen to serve out the remainder of the term for the seat over all the rest. Since then in 2010, he ran for and won the seat and has served since as a good representative of the community

A small fact that many do not know is that half of the council members graduated from Smyrna High School in the same class of 1975.

Graham actually graduated in 1975 from Smyrna High School with three members of the Smyrna BOMA including H.G. Cole, Mark Adkins and Tim Morrell.
I joked often with my wife about the old school friendly nature of the council...at least for the class of '75.

The meeting that night did leave me a hint shocked. Sadly the videos are only stored online for one year, and I cannot afford to get a copy of the meeting to figure out the time spent deciding on Marc Adkins, but I can remember the exact words I spoke as I watched the meeting.

I had expected debate between the council member on which of the many applicants would be the best to take the seat. I figure they would have looked into the 'resumes' and such to find the most qualified. Instead it seemed that as they get a bundle of information days before the meetings to prep, that they had already decided individually. In what was to me a overly quick, with little discussion, they picked Marc Adkins and went on with the rest of the meeting.

My comment that night was "well that was damn quick!" has stuck with me.

Marc has shown in his time there that he was not a bad choice. He's served proudly, won the seat in an election since then and I cannot say anything bad about him, but the process that one night left me unimpressed with the process to pick the next council member. Either the rest of the field were all lacking in the skills needed to be on the council, or...I'm not sure what else.

The council needs good PR right now. With the layoffs of last year, the tax increase of this year, they are being viewed in a very bad light by a lot of people. They need to take an enormous amount of time and publicly address the application of each person in painful details. They need to show that they have turned over every rock, and examined every line on the application before making the first motion on whom to pick.

I was under-impressed during the last go-around, and I hope this time they do it in a more detailed manner....and please do not pick a graduate of 1975. It would start looking rather incestuous at that point if they did.



Zoo at Gregory Mills

Click to Enlarge
Make plans for the weekend. This is not just for kids, but for all animal lovers.
Saturday, September 14 from 11:00am to Noon, brings Zoo Day at Gregory Mill Park, Smyrna.  As part of Nashville Zoo’s, Zoo on the Move Program, we will be exploring the world of zoos while meeting Nashville Zoo’s live ambassadors!  No food, drinks or pets allowed at this event.

Address:  390 Enon Springs Road E., Smyrna.

Music at the Mill

Our Parks and recreation Department is putting on tomorrow one of their great activities.
Tomorrow night (Friday, Sep 13), Top Tier Band will perform at Music at the Mill, Gregory Mill Park, Smyrna.  Top Tier provides fun, high energy music to light jazz.  Music begins at 6:30pm and will go until 9:00pm.  Food, ice cream, popcorn, cotton candy vendors and inflatable for children. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Smyrna Rescue Squad article

The DNJ has printed a nice article about the Smyrna Rescue Squad. This group has been a part of Smyrna History for years. 
For 50 years, members of the Smyrna C.B. Rescue Unit have used their love of the community to make it a better place.
“Our motto is ‘Helping Hand for Fellow Man,’” said Shirley Fowler, who joined the squad in February 1970 with her husband, Philip.
 They have regular events, and are an all volunteer group. In what I view as an apathetic world, it is nice to see people trying to make a difference.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Local charity event

Joanna Taraska-White brought the following event to my attention.

Sharing an amazing event with you for the local Community. Its the Smyrna Heart Of Giving Clothing Give Away/ Food drive. Will be at Rock Spring's Church Sept the 14th from 8-1. The way this work's is simple, arrive with at least 2 items to donate to the Food Bank and then go in to find needed clothing for you and your family. All left over clothing will be donated to local Shelters. 
The Smyrna Heart of giving Clothing Give Away/Food drive is associated with the Smyrna Heart of Giving FaceBook page for those interested. This sounds like a wonderful event that helps people and could allow you to help others.

Take a moment in your schedule and drop by. it should be noted that this is occurring on the same day as the Wings of Freedom Fish Fry.

The address for the Rock Spring's Church is:
1450 Sam Davis Road Suite 155
Smyrna, TN 37167
PH: (615) 220-2220 

Knowledge is safety

In an emergency it would be nice to have knowledge of what is going on, and the Rutherford county Emergency Management agency has set up a system to help you.

Emergency notifications, straight from the first responders to you.

Alert Rutherford - "If we can't reach you...We can't alert you!" 
Severe Weather, Road Closures, Hazardous Materials Events, How will you find out about emergencies in Rutherford County? Your safety is our top concern. Early warning helps save lives and property. That’s why public safety officials in Rutherford County and your municipality want to make sure you know about emergent events as they happen. 
Alert Rutherford – The County Emergency Notification System, powered by Everbridge, is a new system now in place in Rutherford County which is designed to provide you with information about issues that may affect your safety. This system will allow your jurisdiction in Rutherford County, Murfreesboro, LaVergne, Smyrna, or Eagleville to contact thousands of residents in seconds so you find out about an emergency right away. 
Alert Rutherford – The County Emergency Notification System can deliver messages to you any way you want: on your home phone, cell phone, email, and others. This way, we can reach you in any emergency. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Three more job fairs this week

It looks like job fairs are blooming this season. We had three local fairs last week and now we have two more this week.

The first job fair is Monday and these jobs are in Smyrna.
ALLPRO STAFFNET IS HAVING A JOB FAIR 
MONDAY 9/9/13, AT THE CAREER CENTER IN MURFREESBORO, ON OLD FORT PARKWAY. HOURS OF JOB FAIR ARE BETWEEN 8:00 - 2:00.  
This is for an INDUSTRIAL CLEANING position. DON'T let the position title fool you. This is a very hard physical labor job. Heavy lifting and very long hours are involved. This job is not for everyone. You must be willing to work very hard, and be able to work very long hours. Candidate will be working overtime most EVERY day! The job is located at NISSAN PLANT, in Smyrna. Candidate must have a VALID DRIVERS LICENSE, AND HAVE OWN RELIABLE TRANSPORTATION. NO FELONIES FOR THE PAST 7 YEARS! VIOLENT CRIMES, OR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED FOR THIS JOB. Will need to pass a background check, and a drug screen. Must have a working phone number at all times. Bring 2 forms of ID with you to job fair. Recruiters will be on site to hold interviews, and do paperwork. This is a good way to get your foot in the door at Nissan.
The second fair is Tuesday and is at what used to be called Hickory Hollow Mall, but is now 'Global Mall' (I had no idea they changed the name!!!). This is a county fair, so I suspect it will be big and well attended.
Davidson County Job Fair
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
The Global Mall at the Crossings
5252 Hickory Hollow Parkway
Nashville, TN  37013
Hosted by State Representative Sherry Jones
Contact Jaylene Younge at 615-202-4961
The third fair is Wednesday and is being put on by Amazon. I think this one is likely to help man the new warehouse that they are building or have built.
Job Fair for SMX/Amazon 
Date: 9/11/2013
Time: 9:00 AM TO 12:00 PM
710 Memorial Blvd
Suite 210
Murfreesboro, TN 37129
Phone: 615-898-1887 
Event Description: Goodwill Career Solutions is hosting a Hiring Event for SMX/Amazon Wednesday. Bring your resume, photo ID, and Social Security Card or birth certificate. Dress for Success! Be prepared to complete job applications and to interview.
Three days, three local job fairs. I wish you all good luck on getting a job or finding a better paying job.

Friday, September 6, 2013

A third job fair this week.

I came across another job fair this week. Saturday, tomorrow to be specific, and i wish you good luck in your job search.

JOB FAIR/IMMEDIATE OPENINGS (Smyrna, TN)
Alliance HR Services will be holding a JOB FAIR Saturday, September 7, 2013 from 8am-2pm in Smyrna, TN.
298 Sam Ridley Pkwy E Suite #130 Smyrna, TN 37167
(Located in the shopping center with Dollar General and Fat Moe's in front of the Smyrna Bowling Center, corner of Weakley Ln)
IMMEDIATE OPENINGS for the following:
Production, Assembly, Pick/Pack, Swing Reach, Forklift, Quality Inspectors, Cherry/Order Picker, and Machine Operators. We have positions that will be working Saturday and Sunday. All Positions are located in Rutherford County
NEED TO BRING:
2 forms of VALID ID's
For more information please call 615.267.0350
Job fairs galore lately, and job openings. It almost makes a man think things are getting better.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Movies in the Park

This coming Friday the Parks and Recreation Department is putting on one of their very successful Movies in the Park. Fun for the whole family.

Come out to Smyrna Rotary Soccer Park this Friday night, September 6 for Smyrna Parks, Movie in the Park.

The movie will feature Epic and food and drink vendors will be set up along with inflatables and train rides for minimal fees.

Gates open at 5:30pm and the movie will begin at dusk.  Bring the family out and enjoy! 

Make plans

Next month the Sam Davis home will be hosting a free day for the whole family. Make plans and have fun.

SAM DAVIS HOME AND MUSEUM
Celebrate Sam Davis’ Birthday! Visit the Sam Davis Home for FREE.

SMYRNA, Tenn.- Help Sam celebrate his birthday with a visit to the Sam Davis Home & Museum on October 6, 2013 with FREE admission and family fun.

Families will experience a day in the life of Sam Davis through games, toys, storytelling, chores, and hands-on activities. Families will learn how to play games such as Graces and Croquet, make a 19th century toy, and learn a lesson from the McGuffey’s Eclectic Reader. They will also have the opportunity to learn about 19th century toys with our “What? No Batteries?” program and hear stories about Davie Crockett and other legends that Sam would have heard and have the chance to practice gathering eggs from live chickens before leaning about the anatomy of an egg.

Free admission. Please contact the Sam Davis Home at (615) 459-2341 or visit www.samdavishome.org for more information.

The Sam Davis Home is located at 1399 Sam Davis Road, Smyrna, TN 37167 and is a non-profit, historic house and museum.  For more information, including hours and admission rates, please call (615) 459-2341 or visit the website at www.samdavishome.org.
Don't fret. I'll be posting a reminder a few days before the event if you forget.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

2 Job Fairs this week

There are two job fairs this coming week, and while both are in Murfreesboro, a job is a job. The two fairs are being put on by the Goodwill industries and open to the public.

The first one is Wednesday

Job Fair for All About Care
Date: 9/4/2013
Time: 9:00 AM TO 12:00 PM
710 Memorial Blvd, Suite 210
Murfreesboro, TN 37129
Phone: 615-898-1887 
Event Description: Goodwill Career Solutions is hosting a Hiring Event for All About Care Wednesday. Bring your resume, photo ID, and Social Security Card or birth certificate. Dress for Success! Be prepared to complete job applications and to interview.
The second job fair is Friday
Job Fair for Southwestern/Great American
Date: 9/6/2013
Time: 9:00 AM TO 12:00 PM
710 Memorial Blvd
Suite 210
Murfreesboro, TN 37129
Phone: 615-898-1887 
Event Description: Goodwill Career Solutions is hosting a Hiring Event for Southwestern/Great American Friday, Bring your resume, photo ID, and Social Security Card or birth certificate. Dress for Success! Be prepared to complete job applications and to interview.
I wish those that go as much luck as possible

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Little pissant

piss·ant also piss-ant  (psnt) Slang
n.
1. One that is insignificant.
2. Obsolete An ant.
adj.
Not important; insignificant: "Some pissant Texas court wants to make [the company] pay . . . more than $10 billion in reparations" (New Republic).
That was the first words out of my mouth when I read the following about Tony Dover from another candidate for his position.
A Smyrna mayoral candidate says he's not surprised at the resignation of Tony Dover. Jeff Hollingshead says the former mayor's decision shows he wasn't committed for the long haul...
Now they did not have the infamous quotation marks around the phrase, but the idea was there. Instead of thanking him for his service to our town during some crappy economic years, he had to be slightly insulting. Instead of saying that he understood that his livelihood and family comes first, he took a potshot at him. The soundbite that is included in the article does not impress me very much at all.

Right now I am not impressed. In the next few days he has a chance to correct his manner of addressing this issue or he can stay the course and piss more people off. It's up to him. I think real quick a lot of people will judge Jeff Hollingshead's character and decide whom they will be voting for next year.

MORE

He has now commented to the DNJ
“It’s easy to lead when things are going good,” said Jeff Hollingshead, who is general manager for the family business. “It’s hard to lead when recessions come. I think you measure a leader by not what they do when everything is going good but how they act and respond when things are tough. In business, we just went through the worst recession we’ve ever been through. We came through it and thrived. As business owners, we don’t get to quit when things get tough. We don’t get to quit when we are at home every night wondering how we are going to make the next payroll. We have to get up every morning, put our work boots on and supply solutions to tough problems.”
The economy went to hell in 2007, and Tony Dover is only NOW realizing it is hard? Not impressed here. Not at all.




Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Mere & Pere's

Mere & Pere's jewelers is an old Smyrna business and recently they were robbed. I received a thank you note from them for posting online the information and images to help catch the suspect. In it they also said this.

 I was hoping you could help us again.  We are looking for part time help, for nights and weekends.  We are asking that anyone wanting to be considered bring in a resume.  Thanks in advance.
Jennifer
Mere & Pere's Jewelers
615-355-0595

If you're looking for a job and feel you have the right skill set. please give them a call and start the process to get a good job.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Auction time!

Every so often the town of Smyrna declares certain old, used, and seized material goods as surplus and they put it on GovDeals to auction it off. Items such as cars, radios, play stations and chainsaws are all up for grabs. Here is a PDF of what is on the bidding block.

Click to enlarge

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Asking you for a favor

I take a moment every 6 months or so to ask a favor of you, the reader. This is Smyrna has been putting out information, commentary, and even pretty images of otters since 2005. Even longer than the Smyrna AM weekly newspaper. I'm asking if you could share the page with your friends ...and enemies even, on your FaceBook page or Blogger, or any other format where you know people from Smyrna might be. This will help get us more readers, and allow more people to send us information that we might, and likely, would miss. The Share button is easy to find, or making a quick post on Blogger and we want to reach more people with your help.

Thanks
Gunner M.

Music at the mill

Parks and Rec is putting on another good time tomorrow with Music at the Mill.
Smyrna Parks & Recreation is pleased to announce Music in the Park this Friday, August 16, 6:30pm – 9:00pm, Gregory Mill Park.

The Springs Band will be performing high energy country and southern rock during the evening and food, ice cream and cotton candy vendors will be set up for your convenience.  There will be an inflatable for children and admission is free.

Additionally, the splash pad will remain open until 8pm.

Bring your family and enjoy!  Sincerely, Monty

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Help the SPD

The Smyrna Police Department needs your help.

The Smyrna Police Department is requesting the public’s help in identifying a theft suspect. On 8/7/13 at approximately 1440, the suspect pictured entered Mere and Pere’s Jewelry store at 815 Industrial Dr. Suite 810 in Smyrna Tennessee.  He shopped in the store and interacted with the salesperson for approximately 15 minutes and handled several items during this time.  After the sales person presented a pair of 1.25 carat diamond earrings, he abruptly grabbed them from the display case and ran out the door.  The suspect was last seen running on foot away from the store.  A suspect vehicle was never seen.  The merchandise was valued at $1250.

He is described by witnesses as a light skinned, black male in his early to mid-20’s with a mustache and an earring in at least the left ear.  He had a slender build (5’7”-5’8” / 140-150 lbs.”),  wearing a blue baseball hat with the word “TEXAS” written in block letters.  The hat still had a round sticker on the top of the bill.  He wore black sunglasses during the entire encounter. 





Monday, August 12, 2013

The SPD could use your help UPDATE

The Smyrna Police department released the following.


The Smyrna Police Department is requesting the help of the public in locating a rape suspect. On August 10th, 2013 after spending the night with two female friends Mr. Darwin Cruz was being given a ride by one of the females when Mr. Cruz pulled a large knife out and raped the victim in her vehicle. She was able to convince Mr. Cruz to go back to her apartment where she was able to flee. Mr. Cruz then fled the scene and has not been seen since. Mr. Cruz is an Hispanic male, 29 years of age, and is described as 5’7”, 150 pounds. He is known to frequent the Smyrna and Nolensville area. The picture attached was taken Friday night, August 9th. Anyone with any information on Mr. Cruz’s whereabouts are asked to call Detective Clete Elstran at the Smyrna Police Department at 615-459-6644.
UPDATE

The Smyrna Police Department wants to inform our friends in the media that the rape suspect, Darwin Cruz, that we asked for help in locating on Wednesday has been arrested. Mr. Cruz contacted the Smyrna Police Department and surrendered himself late Wednesday night. Mr. Cruz was charged with Rape and has a court date of August 22nd at 1:00pm in Smyrna General Sessions Court. His bond has been set at $300,000.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Rummage Sale for kids Saturday.

A local church is hosting a rummage sale and back-to-school event for kids. I emailed Pastor Derek Purser and he said that the rummage sale is " to raise money for school supplies for those in need.". If you have the time or need please drop by Saturday Aug. 10th.
Fresh Vision Church, 5421 Seminary Road in Smyrna, will host a back-to-school celebration and rummage sale beginning at 7 a.m. inside the youth building. Afternoon events will feature a cookout, bounce houses, face painting, games and more. Every child in attendance will receive school supplies. Call 615-355-0414

Movie in the park tonight

Another nice offering from the Smyrna Parks and Recreation.
The Croods
Rotary Soccer Park, 
300 Soccer Way
Friday, August 9th 
Gates open at 5:30pm - Movie starts at Dusk
$1 per person 
Bring your blankets and/or chairs 
and enjoy a movie under the stars.
You may bring in your own food or 
purchase from one of our food vendors on site.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Local resident to give ADHD speech

A local Smyrna resident is giving a speech at the local NAMI meeting this month. NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Health.

ADHD Coach Jason B Bour, CLC to Speak at NAMI Meeting 

ADHD Coach Jason B. Bour, CLC will speak about ADHD and ADHD Coaching at the Aug 8th NAMI meeting at Trustpoint Hospital in Murfreesboro, TN located at 1009 North Thompson Lane.  This meeting starts at 7 PM, and is open to the public.  There is no cost to attend.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) affects an estimated 4-5% of the population, or 1-2 people out of 30.  Since ADHD is a childhood disorder many people think children outgrow ADHD when in fact ADHD will follow a person into adulthood.  A child with ADHD will have problems performing at school, at home, and in social settings.  If left untreated ADHD can cause problems in the adult’s life making it difficult to hold down a job, problems maintaining relationships, difficulties managing money, time and tasks, and have poor organizational skills.  ADHD can cause problems in every aspect of  person’s life if not treated properly.

NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI advocates for access to services, treatment, supports and research and is steadfast in its commitment to raise awareness and build a community for hope for all of those in need.

There are many ways to get involved with NAMI.  One of these ways is by becoming a member for only $35.  Chances are you know someone that is close to you that suffers from a mental illness, and by joining the growing ranks of NAMI members you can make your voice heard.  Please spread the word about the work NAMI is doing to support those affected by mental illness.  You do not have to be a member of NAMI to attend.

Jason B Bour, CLC is a Certified Life Coach/ADHD Coach practicing in Murfreesboro, TN.  Mr. Bour has dedicated his life to helping others with ADHD, and promoting awareness about this disorder in the community.  He was one of the contributing professionals on the ADHD education project sponsored by Shire Pharmaceuticals titled ADHD Shared Focus, and will be speaking that the 2013 American Association of Christian Counselors World Conference about the benefits of ADHD Coaching in conjunction with medication therapy.  Mr. Bour writes monthly articles for the Middle TN Health & Wellness Magazine, and will be the feature article in the September issue of Smyrna Life.

Mr. Bour is  member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, NAMI, and the National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists.  Mr. Bour gives back to the community by supporting NAMI, Camp Horizon (Pediatric Oncology Camp), and The Shriner's Hospital for Children.  New Beginning Coaching Services is a Certified Amen Affiliated Education Center.

For more information about ADHD Coaching, or this event you can contact New Beginnings Coaching Services at 615-534-2500.

If it is video taped I will add a link to the video at the bottom of this post after the event.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Why I don't

Every once in a while I will see the listings on the DNJ for the Rutherford counties most wanted. I always ask myself if I should post them here on the blog and on the connected FaceBook pages for local residents to see, and possibly help the local police.

The issue for me is that while they might be 'wanted', that does not translate to guilty. They might go to court and be found not-guilty, and unless I follow each case, their image will stay on the blog for ages. I'm not comfortable putting a face and a claim online, even if the word "suspected of" is added to the crime listed.

This is one service that I think about every once in a while, but always decide not too do it for many reasons. If you feel you would like to know whom is the latest on the list, you can drop by the Daily News Journal website and look at their names, addresses and pictures. I myself, will decline to post them.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Women’s Show at StoneCrest

The annual Women's show at Stonecrest is upon us again, and there are numerous offering for those interested. It is happening this coming Thursday, so please make time in your schedule to become healthier.
Annual Women’s Show at TriStar StoneCrest set for Aug. 1
Event features free health screenings, live demonstrations, vendor booths, giveaways and more 
SMYRNA, Tenn. (July 1, 2013) – Celebrate women’s health and wellness at the third annual TriStar StoneCrest Women’s Show at TriStar StoneCrest Medical Center in Smyrna, Tenn. 
This free event will take place Thurs., Aug. 1, from 5-8 p.m. in the main lobby area. 
Women of all ages can participate in free health screenings, watch live demonstrations, explore wellness education, enjoy shopping and sample refreshments. 
Local vendors will be on-site offering information and giveaways, and a center stage will host live demonstrations, including laser lipolysis, cooking and fitness. Attendees can even try their skill on our da Vinci robot, the most advanced tool our experienced surgeons have available to assist them in performing specialized surgical procedures. 
Free health screenings include skin cancer, blood pressure, blood sugar and body mass index screenings. Women can also meet local physicians and specialists who provide care in our community. 
Register today by calling TriStar MedLine® at (615) 342-1919 or visit TriStarHealth.com/Events for more information or to make reservations.   

Monday, July 22, 2013

Mobile Health service for Summer 2013

For those that have a need, the St. Thomas Rutherford Hospital is continuing the Mobile Health Service that was once provided by MTMC.

The Mobile Health Unit, in partnership with The Primary Care and Hope Clinic, TENNdercare, and the Rutherford County Health Department, is pleased to offer physicals/immunizations and dental services. 
July
Tuesday, July 30th: Smyrna Middle, 8 – 3
August
Friday, August 2nd: LaVergne Middle, 8 – 3
Thursday, August 8th: Christiana Middle, 8 – 3
Friday, August 9th: Oakland Middle, 8 – 3
Monday, August 12th: Blackman Middle, 8 - 3 
For physicals, immunizations, and sports physicals we accept the following insurances: AmeriChoice, AmeriGroup, BlueCross/BlueShield, TennCare Select, CoverKids, Humana, Medicare, TriCare, CIGNA, and United Healthcare (UHC). For uninsured patients, the fee will be determined on a sliding scale basis. We make every effort to serve children regardless of their
ability to pay.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Music..Be there...Today

While it might be hotter than Hades, the Parks and rec department is hosting a Music at the Mill Event and you're invited.


Please join the Smyrna Parks and Recreation Department for Music at the Mill in the Activity Area of Gregory Mill Park, featuring the Wildfire band. Come out and enjoy free music as Wildfire performs tight harmonies and strong melodies from many of your favorite groups. There will also be food vendors and inflatables available for children. Gates will open at 5:30p.m. with music soon to follow at 6:30p.m.

Job Fair today (Friday)

This is a job fair for 20 positions at the Smyrna plant. It is just in Murfreesboro. but it is during the morning, so if you have the time, go for it. 

Job Fair - Goodwill Career Solutions for Calsonic Kansei
Date: 7/19/2013  
Time: 9:00 AM TO 1:00 PM  
710 Memorial Blvd.
Suite 210
Murfreesboro, TN 37129 
Phone: 615-898-1887 
Event Description: Murfreesboro Goodwill Career Solutions will be hosting a job fair on Friday July 19 9am-1pm for Calsonic Kansei. This company is seeking to fill 20 production technician positions for the Smyrna plant. Please remember to bring your resume, photo ID and social security or birth certificate. Dress for success. Be prepared to complete job applications and to interview.
Directions:
Murfreesboro Goodwill Career Solutions 710 Memorial Blvd. Suite 210 Murfreesboro, TN 37129 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

History lecture by Marty Luffman

Here is a local history lecture for those who want to learn more about our town.
Earthsoul Gallery
307 Hazzelwood 
presents 
Smyrna History Lecture with Guest Speaker Marty Luffman
Thursday July 11 2013 at 6-8pm
Come join us as Special Guest Speaker Marty Luffman shares his knowledge about the history of Smyrna. This will be a night filled with great conversations and discoveries. Meet and greet with wine and cheese reception.
 I wish more people took an interest in the history of our community.

The return of the tax issue

We just finished getting slightly shafted when it comes to the issue of taxes here in Smyrna. Nothing major, but a lot of bad feelings were created. I have to say that for the most part I was not greatly bothered by the idea of a tax increase, if it was done over time and in a manner that did not seem excessive.

I also know that since I follow the town government more so than the normal person that hard choices had been made to cut the budget. In the last years positions were not refilled, some people were laid off, and other cost cutting measures were implemented such as using equipment way past their prime. One item to note that many did not notice was the proposed budget was less than the budget for last year. They had tightened their belts as far as they could, and you can only touch reserve capital so much before the lack of extra funds effects bond issues and such.

With that bit of praise said, the main issue for me is that the whole budget was put together, discussed, and worked out over 200 miles away. That was done with no video feeds, no recordings, no public audiences. While we could all have gone to view it, I like many are financially incapable of such a feat. I cannot afford a 200 plus mile trip, and three days at a hotel at the rates a tourist site charges. That is the part of the process that mainly got on my bad side.

I have been doing some research as the distance brought to my mind a simple question. Does the distance negate the fact that it was an 'open meeting'? Does it break the spirit of the Sunshine laws here in Tennessee. I have gotten some feedback from the state of Tennessee and here is what you need to know.

First we need to understand what is covered by the Sunshine law. This is from the website run by the University of Tennessee, Institute for Public Service. It says...

The application of the Sunshine Law is very broad.  Included, for example, are planning commission meetings (Op. Tenn. Att'y Gen. 88-132 (July 29, 1988)), conferences between a public body and its attorney except those concerning pending litigation (Smith County Education Ass'n v. Anderson, 676 S.W.2d 328 (Tenn. 1984)), local school board meetings (Dorrier), tenure hearings (Kendall v. Board of Education, 627 F.2d 1 (6th Cir. 1980)), work sessions of a legislative body (State ex rel. Akin v. Town of Kingston Springs, 1993 WL 339305 (Tenn. Ct. App. 9/8/93)), an out-of-state meeting of some school board members and the superintendent (Neese v. Paris Special School District, 813 S.W.2d 432 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1990)), meetings of a county hospital board (Op. Tenn. Atty. Gen. 01-042 (March 19, 2001)), dismissal or suspension hearings for tenured teachers (Op. Tenn. Att'y Gen. 98-111 (June 12, 1998)), councils on aging and senior citizen center boards (Op. Tenn. Atty. Gen. 84-310 (November 19, 1984)), and the board of directors of a preferred provider organization (PPO) that was a subsidiary of a county hospital district (Souder v. Health Partners, Inc., 997 S.W.2d 140 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1998)).
Please note the bold type section. This does mean the meeting is covered by the open meetings law. There is no issues in that area, but this next part is what I think needs to be looked into more.
The Open Meetings Act, commonly referred to as the "Sunshine Law," is found in T.C.A. § 8-44-101 et seq.  The requirements of this law are as follows:
  1. All meetings of any governing body are declared to be public meetings and must be open to the public at all times.  T.C.A. § 8-44-102;
  2. Adequate public notice of all regular and special meetings must be given.  T.C.A. § 8-44-103;
  3. The minutes of the meetings must be recorded and open to public inspection and at a minimum must contain a record of the persons present, all motions, proposals and resolutions offered, the results of any votes taken, and a record of individual votes in the event of a roll call.  T.C.A. § 8-44-104(a); and
  4. All votes must be by public vote, public ballot, or public roll call; secret votes are prohibited.  T.C.A. § 8-44-104(b).
  5. Any action taken in a meeting in violation of any of the foregoing requirements is void.  T.C.A. § 8-44-105.
Now while laws can be specific, some rulings on the laws can effect how they are enforced. I decided to reach out to the state of Tennessee government and ask them two questions...and I also made a mistake that I will go into later.

I found the page for the department that likely deals with these issues and made the following request for information..
Two questions on the open meetings. 1) Does distance apply to open meetings? Smyrna Tennessee government has a 'retreat' to Gatlinburg to set down and establish their budget. This is 240 plus miles from our town and out of reach for many to drive to. Does this restriction create a violation of the open meetings act. It is not recorded or video taped for later viewing. 2) Does a retreat, however informal, still require minutes to be taken for the public record. This meeting does include the entire town council and Mayor plus all administrative department heads.
The information supplied, backed up what I had already found by viewing the online ordinances and codes of the state of Tennessee. The codes as I read them say NOTHING about the distances, just the notification, and that minutes were to be kept for all meetings. I went to the town webpage that minutes were posted on and did not find them on it last week with the other minutes (The week of June 30th).

I reached out to Town Manager Mark O'Neal and he kindly sent me a copy of the minutes with the following note.
Since it is the same as a workshop and no action is taken by the Council, the minutes just document that the meeting happened. They were approved by the Council at the May meeting.
I was ready to sink my teeth into the minutes to see what happened over three days of budgeting, and helping to establish how our town would function for the next year fiscally.

I got this as the minutes...for 3 days...wow!
The Town Council of the Town of Smyrna, Rutherford County, Tennessee, met in a workshop retreat on April 15-17, 2013 at the Park Vista in Gatlinburg, Tennessee to discuss various matters relating to the Town of Smyrna (including, without limitation, budgeting and capital budgets). The following Town Council members were present:  
 Mayor Dover
 Marc Adkins
 H. G. Cole
 Paul Johns
 Lance Lee
 Tim Morrell
 Mary Esther Reed  
 In addition to the members of the Town Council, various staff members attended.
 After discussion, without objection, the meeting was adjourned. 
I was underwhelmed.

I also made a mistake. When I asked the question to the government through their submission form I did not state that I was press. I did in the follow up and they stated that I could not quote them and please forward any questions to their press office. Now I understand this as the person was, by my mistake, speaking to the press and her statements could be viewed as official statements. I have relatives that cannot talk about their jobs but to friends as they could get written up or fired. The person I was talking to did ask me if I wished to file an official complaint.

Now here's the rub. I know that no official actions were voted on during their meeting/retreat. I also know that work sessions like this must have minutes done. I honestly do not view the 'minutes' given to me as minutes. One paragraph for three days of talks, discussions, and all the rest that goes on in a budget workshop. I can file a complaint, and the state will investigate, but is it worth it?

If I file they might find that the minutes were to short and more details are required, but does that change the fact that this was done were most people could NOT view it?

The issue is the spirit of the Sunshine law, and for me there is no 'sunshine' shining from Gatlinberg. In my eyes the spirit of the open meetings law is broken, but laws are not based upon 'spirit. This is a gigantic hole in the Sunshine laws and it needs to be filled. I know that next year I will remind the people of Smyrna of the distances involved, and the lack of sunshine in spirit.

...but it really is not worth filing in my eyes. The minutes are paperwork related and does not change the distance. I don't want to be the whining little person that bitches about little niggling items like this. I'm very disappointed in our town government, but this fight is not worth the effort or the results even if I am found to be correct on the issue.