East Side Buzz, April 30
Oh, hello! I didn’t see you there. Because I can’t see you at all. Because you are looking at a phone or a computer I do not work for the NSA so I can’t hack into your device and watch you.
Some quick housekeeping before we get into the good, the bad, and the ugly of the week: There’s still time to advertise in the next issue of The East Nashvillian! Just email us at email@example.com for info.
Now, the news …
Police Continue Search for Tabitha Tuders
Yesterday, April 29, marked 18 years since 13-year-old Tabitha Tuders disappeared in East Nashville.
Last August, as Randy Fox mentioned in the East Side Buzz, police announced that FBI agents were searching an area in Hickman County for evidence related to the case, though no official follow-up announcement has been made regarding what was or wasn’t found. But this week, it’s possible more has been uncovered. Aaron Cantrell of News Channel 5 reported that detectives have confirmed they “did receive new information” regarding the case, but “right now they’re trying to figure out how viable it is.”
The East Nashvillian has covered the case over the years, including a story in the March|April 2020 print edition available online here.
Shoppes On Fatherland Gets Makeover
Some big changes are happening at the Shoppes on Fatherland. Because I have been afraid to breathe the same air as strangers for the past 14 months, it had been a minute since I stopped over there. Turns out, several spots are expanding or moving into larger locations.
One major development is the overhaul of what was formerly the Pavillion East event space. It’s been completely renovated inside to offer larger shop spaces and both Rusty Rats Antiques and Vintage and International Tea and Coffee Company plan to move into the building sometime in May, once construction is complete.
Laura Thompson, owner of International Tea and Coffee Company says the new location, an 800-square-foot space that’s nearly three times the size of her current 300-square-foot space, will leave room for some seating and a larger beverage menu.
“We will expand the boba even more and hope to add in espresso as well,” she adds.
Charlie Accavallo, owner of Rusty Rats, will also be moving his business into a space that’s nearly three times the size of his current store. And while he says the shop has “actually been extremely busy all year,” he’s looking forward to the shopper-friendly environment these upgrades will bring.
“The shop owners have also built a large deck off of the Pavillion for the purpose of small concerts and cafe seating for the Shoppes,” Accavallo tells The East Nashvillian. “I’ve been very impressed with the upgrades they did during the pandemic.”
While walls went up at The Pavillion, over at women’s clothing store Pauli’s Place, they’ve been coming down. When Pauli’s neighbor Project 615 moved out of their Shoppes on Fatherland space to focus on their Westside location, Pauli’s owner Randi Michaels Block knocked down the shared wall and took her shop from 266-square-feet to 700-square feet.
“I’ve always wanted to carry more sizes for women, so we now have several styles in plus sizes in addition to X-Small, Small, Medium, Large and X-Large clothing,” says Block. “Our collection of locally handcrafted jewelry and accessories has grown substantially. We want to support our community even more, so we’ll also be adding local artisan, one-of-a-kind, hand-painted and embroidered clothing in the very near future.”
Across S. 11th St., another Shoppes on Fatherland clothing store, Nancybgoods, didn’t just expand, co-owners Nancy Burns and David Elrod opened a whole new shop. Marigold Home and Gift — not to be confused with Marigold Gourmet Popcorn on Charlotte — is Nancybgoods’ new sister store. The shop is just across the breezeway, and the inventory is more focused on home goods, accessories, and gifts, including several treasures Burns has discovered while traveling. If you miss Pangea, the now-defunct gift shop in Hillsboro Village, chances are you’ll love browsing at Marigold.
“It’s a cultural difference, this store,” Burns says. “I hesitate to say ‘hippie’ because it’s not all that, but we have pillows from India, we have these ceramic guinea hens that I import from France.
“It’s not a, ‘Come in and get your hookah pipe,’ kind of a place,” she adds with a laugh, “but it’s colorful. I just tried to keep it light and breezy and fun.”
Burns, who says Nancybgoods’ sales were down about 80 percent during the pandemic, is hopeful the changes at Shoppes on Fatherland bring a renewed sense of community.
“It was a little scary when I signed the lease because I’m like, ‘I don’t know, are we going to go backward with the pandemic?’ But I feel with the shops and tourists coming back, it’s very exciting.”
Pauli’s owner Block is optimistic, too.
“I’ve lived in East Nashville for 25 years, through two tornados and their reconstructions,” she says. “This community is so incredibly strong and creative. We’re one big kaleidoscope that will continue to draw people interested in color and change. COVID kicked everyone’s ass these last 14 months and unfortunately, many businesses didn’t survive. It’s heartbreaking. But the ones that have made it through, will have an opportunity to flourish as things open back up and people start coming out again. It’s a bittersweet time, but East Nashvillian’s are survivors, and we can make it happen.”
We’re getting vaxxed and getting back to work.
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Mayor Cooper Delivers State of Metro Address
Thursday morning Mayor John Cooper delivered the 58th State of Metro address.
Yes, there is a lot to unpack — Cooper wants to invest in teachers, eliminate work-release and probation fees, hire more firefighters and EMTs, hire more cops and develop a body-worn camera program in every precinct, and create a Catalyst Housing Fund, which he says would preserve affordable housing units — but one other bit that is likely to get lost in the mix but is very exciting (imho): WE’RE (maybe) GETTING EVERY-OTHER-WEEK RECYCLING, MOTHER CLUCKERS!
For years I have been wanting this city to pick up recycling more than once a month and for years the city has been like, “Uh, no.” Finally, Cooper said more frequent recycling pickups are a priority in 2022’s Fiscal budget.
“Last year’s budget crisis prevented us from being able to act on this initiative,” he said. “But it’s time to commit to more frequent recycling service to divert waste from our landfills. Sustainability is more than a priority for Metro — it is a promise to create a future that is worthy of our children.”
Now, the proposed budget awaits discussion and approval by Metro Council.
Speaking of budgets, both the Tennessee House and Senate have approved an ammended version of Gov. Lee’s $42.6 spending plan. Lee first introduced the budget in February. Natalie Allison at The Tennessean has a good rundown of the negotiations that took place prior to passage.
Metro’s Industrial Development Board Approves Oracle Deal
On Tuesday Metro’s Industrial Development Board approved Oracle Corp.’s proposed $1.2 billion riverfront development.
In the April 16 edition of East Side Buzz District 6 Council Member Brett Withers told The East Nashvillian he was optimistic the plan would be approved and he was “excited” about how Oracle’s presence could transform the East Bank area.
Last Friday, after East Side Buzz had already been sent to the masses, Odessa Kelly and Michael Callahan-Kapoor penned an op-ed for the Tennessean in which they asked 20 questions about the deal and Oracle’s intentions, including more specifics about whether or not they have plans in place to hire Davidson County residents and Black and Hispanic or Latino Nashvillians for the well-paid positions.
They’re fair and necessary questions. I moved to Nashville from Seattle several years ago. Just as I was leaving town, I saw Amazon come into my city and develop a campus in South Lake Union, promising thousands of well-paying jobs. But the bulk of those jobs didn’t go to locals. Out-of-towners were recruited and hired, and those big salaries resulted in a competitive housing market that made the city too expensive for many.
Metro Council will vote on the proposal on May 4. If passed, construction could reportedly begin in June.
The Big Payback Begins May 5
Since 2014 The Community Foundation has showered Middle Tennessee non-profits with big bucks during their annual 24-hour fundraising frenzy called The Big Payback. All said the annual event has raised nearly $21 million with 147,642 donations.
Like last year’s installment — which was their most successful campaign yet — this year’s Big Payback will also be an online-only event. The fundraising kicks off Thursday, May 5 at 6 p.m. and from there, folks have 24 hours to get their donations in, with each gift helping their chosen non-profits climb The Big Payback’s leaderboard and possibly win additional monetary prizes.
The organization to receive a donation closest to midnight, for example, wins the $1,000 When You Wish Upon a Star prize; the organization that gets the donation that pushes The Big Payback’s grand total over $1 million will receive the $1,000 One In a Million Prize.
Some East Nashville-based participants of note:
- Nashville CARES, educating and advocating for Tennesseans at risk for or living with HIV
- East Nashville Hope Exchange, strengthening literacy of at-risk children in East Nashville
- East C.A.N., finding foster and forever homes for stray dogs since 2008
- Friends of Shelby Park & Bottoms, more than 900-acres of parks and greenways in East Nashville
- East Nashville Cooperative Ministry, offering food assistance to East Nashvillians experiencing hunger and food insecurity
- Fannie Battle Day Home for Children seeks to provide affordable and accessible high-quality childcare while empowering families to reach their fullest potential
More than 1,000 Middle Tennessee-based organizations are participating and you can search for your favorites, or just browse the list, at thebigpayback.org/nonprofits. Everything you need to know about The Big Payback — including social media tools should you want to help spread the word — is on The Big Payback’s website.
Make it rain, people!
Gov. Bill Lee vs. COVID-19
On Tuesday Gov. Bill Lee, the most compassionate, empathetic, and patient governor in Tennessee’s history (lol jk) said, “COVID-19 is no longer a health emergency in our state.”An infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt disagrees.
Still, Lee also announced he was “removing authority from local officials to issue mask requirements.”
As of Thursday, there were 1,447 cases of COVID-19 in Nashville and 28.7 percent of Davidson Country residents were fully vaccinated. Tennessee is 47th in the country when ranked by the percentage of the population that has been fully vaccinated.
The CDC says even fully vaccinated people should continue wearing masks when participating in indoor public events.
Would anyone like to scream into a pillow with me?
- This year’s Tomato Art Fest is scheduled to go down August 13-14 and vendor applications are now open!
- Music City Roots announced District 8 Council Member Nancy VanReece will be joining their team as Vice President of Public Affairs and Business Development. In 2022, Music City Roots will open The Roots Bar, a 1,000-capacity venue in Madison.
- Tim Berberich started the East Nashville Cleaning Group on Facebook — described in the “About” section thusly: Love East Nashville? Hate litter? Join us! Be like Tim!
- Brandi Carlile’s benefit concert at the Ryman raised more than $100,000 for the Rainey Day Fund, the Color Me Country Artist Grant Fund, and Fanny’s School of Music. Amazing!
- The Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival announced its 2021 lineup.
It has been a week, y’all. Just a mess of days and hours and deadlines and people getting mad at St. Vincent on the internet. Thankfully, one really fantastic jam has left me basking in sunshine, even through these past couple of rainy days.
One week ago the very great Yola announced she will be releasing a new album, Stand for Myself, on July 30 and the news came with a new single called “Diamond Studded Shoes.” It’s an energizing and empowering soul session, one in which Yola recognizes the world has gone to shit but she invites us to come together and do our damndest to fix it. The chorus is so infectious you’ll want to climb onto the nearest rooftop and sing it out to the world, and the video is just as fun.
A singing goldfish! Confetti and balloons! And Yola attempting to bake you cookies!
The record was produced by Dan Auerbach and it will be released on his Easy Eye Sound label. You can pre-order it and other merch at iamyola.com. And while you’re riding the Yola train, why not go back in time and read this East Nashvillian interview from 2018?
Thanks for the rejuvenating dance party, Yola. My soul needed to shake it up.
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