East Side Buzz, August 21

The New Issue in On the Streets
There’s still time to secure your copy of the new issue of The East Nashvillian! This special issue takes a look at how we and our neighbors are navigating the unprecedented events of 2020 through our own perspectives. From the personal and financial devastation of a worldwide pandemic to the struggle for racial justice we’re all just “Feeling the Elephant.” You can pick up your copy at usual distribution points, read it online, or have it delivered directly to your home through The East Nashvillian storefront.

And speaking of issues, our last issue is still available when you place an order for any of the deluxe merch we’re now offering through our webstore. Grab yourself a swank Shelby Bottoms shirt featuring the one and only Golden Pheasant or pay tribute to the East Side’s most famous Street (or is that Avenue? Or Pike?) Or score an East Side pride bandanna that can serve double duty as both a handy face covering or a high-flying freak flag! Show your East Side Pride with fancy duds on your body and a copy of The East Nashvillian on your coffee table. Place your order today!

COVID-19 Updates — Bars Reopen, No Crowds for Football (Either Kind)
On Monday, August 17, bars/limited-service restaurants were allowed to reopen under new, modified Phase Two guidelines. While many neighborhood bars followed the new rules, on Tuesday, the Metro Public Health Department announced that additional compliance checks on a handful of Nashville strip clubs and hookah lounges after receiving complaints about violations of health orders.

Also this week, the mayor announced that Tennessee Titans and Nashville SC games at Nissan Stadium will be held without spectators through at least September. In addition, the Championship Racing Association All-Stars Tour Heroes 100-lap race scheduled for Aug. 29 at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway has been canceled. The mayor also announced that the 93rd annual Nashville Christmas Parade will be a virtual event this year.

In statewide news, Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development announced they will apply for the federal $300 weekly unemployment extension grant offered by executive order. The grant provides a $400 weekly bonus to unemployed individuals in participating states, $200 less than than the previous federal bonus that expired on July 25. The federal government will pay $300 of the weekly bonus with money being redirected from the FEMA Disaster Relief Fund, and states are responsible for paying the remaining $100. The federal funds have been estimated to last five weeks.

Nashville continued to hold steady on key metrics this week. As of Thursday, the transmission rate was at 0.89, a slight increase over a week ago but still below 1.0 level, indicating that the rate of transmission is declining. A total of 1,245 new cases were reported in the last week. As of Thursday morning, a total of 24,840 COVID-19 cases have been reported in Davidson County, with 214 total deaths. More information and updates on Metro’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic are available at asafenashville.org.

Meanwhile, you might wanna stay away from the oleandrin, bleach, and that other stuff.


Police Looking for Leads in Brutal Rosebank Slaying
Metro Police are asking for any leads in the brutal murder of a Vanderbilt data scientist on his porch in the Rosebank neighborhood on the evening of Tuesday, August 11. At approximately 9 p.m., Lane and his girlfriend were assembling furniture on the porch of their townhome off Colbert Way in Rosebank when Lane was killed by a shotgun blast from nearby.

Police have said they believe it was a targeted shooting and are currently questioning suspects. Anyone with information is asked to call Nashville Crime Stoppers at 615-74-CRIME or submit a tip online through Nashville Crime Stoppers.


Love is Like a Dolly Mural
Nashville artists Kim Radford’s new mural, a tribute to the beloved Dolly Parton, appeared this week on the east side of the building housing The 5 Spot. Although the mural had been planned for some time, Radford was found the perfect capper for the painting while she was working on it.

“The day before I finished the mural, Dolly had an amazing press release about her upcoming Christmas album and her interview with Billboard,” Radford said in an interview with CNN. “As I painted the final touches I knew her sassy loving quote … would be a perfect finish to send out in my neighborhood.” Radford was referring to an August 13 Billboard interview with Parton where the Country Music Hall of Fame member said, “I understand people having to make themselves known and felt and seen, and of course Black lives matter. Do we think our White asses are the only ones that matter? No!”   

Dolly Parton mural on The 5 Spot, painted by Kim Radford

Mayor Office Preparing New $1.5 Billion Transportation Plan
Mayor John Cooper is currently preparing a new countywide transit plan with input from council members, regional transportation planners, and community stakeholders, according to a story published in The Tennessean this week.

Coming two years after Nashville voters rejected a $9 billion proposal for light rail and rapid bus transit, the proposed, $1.5 billion plan would provide upgrades to bus routes and stations, bikeways, and traffic infrastructure through 2030 along with prioritizing sidewalk construction and improvements, pothole repairs, street resurfacing, traffic calming measures, and new traffic management technologies. The Mayor’s office is also considering the creation of a Nashville Department of Transportation to manage the project.

A final draft of the new plan is set to be presented to Metro Council later this year.


Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee Opens E-Learning Centers for Children & Teens
While Davidson County schools may be back in session virtually, for some children lack access to technology, unreliable internet connections, and a need for personalized tutoring is still a challenge for many students. To address those issues Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee (BGCMT) has opened four E-learning Centers that provide a safe in-class setting during school hours for kids who need a structured learning environment.

The E-learning Centers all follow the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and local health officials. Club members are required to get a temperature check, wash, and sanitize hands, and wear a facemask before entering the building. The staff follows the same protocol, along with daily symptom reporting.

E-learning Centers are available to youth K-12 in Davidson (8 a.m to 2 p.m.) and Williamson (7 a.m. to 2 p.m.) counties. BGCMT is also offering its traditional after-school program (2 p.m. to 4 p.m.) to accommodate families during work hours. Members are encouraged to bring their own laptops and headphones to complete their schoolwork, but computers and other supplies will be available to Club members that do not have access to technology. The Clubs also provide a morning snack, lunch, and an afternoon snack for all attendees.

To cover the needs of the E-Learning Centers and back to school supplies, BGCMT has launched a Back2School campaign. Full details on the E-Learning Center and how to contribute to the Back2School campaign are available at BGCMT.org.

Apply Now for Your Absentee Ballot
You can now request an absentee voting ballot for the November 3 General Election. Although the Tennessee Supreme Court overturned an earlier decision that allowed Tennesseans to vote absentee for any reason, there are still a wide variety of reasons Tennesseans may do so — including having an underlying medical condition that puts you at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 or if you are the caretaker of someone with a disability or underlying medical condition.

For more information, a link to the CDC’s list of underlying medical conditions that place you at high risk, and to request an absentee ballot, visit the Davidson County Election Commission. Once obtaining an absentee ballot be sure to mail it in as early as possible to make sure your vote counts!

Quick Bits

  • The newest venture from Mickey’s Tavern owners Andy and Becky Gains, Henry James Bar, is making its debut tonight. The upscale neighborhood bar was originally set to open in March, but a global pandemic had other plans. Doors open at 5 p.m. tonight at 3807 Gallatin Pike. Capacity will be limited to 25 people per Metro Health orders. For more info, visit them on Facebook.
  • From the “A Rose By Any Other Name” department: The former Idea Hatchery unveiled its new name and logo this week. Say hello to Five Points Alley Shops and check out their new website or follow them on Facebook for the latest updates.
  • Poverty and the Arts (POVA), the non-profit that provides work and gallery space for artists affected by homelessness, just launched their brand new virtual 3D Gallery. Patrons can explore POVA’s East Nashville gallery space, interact with the artwork, and find easy access links to purchase works. POVA is also offering private gallery showings by appointment. Click here to explore POVA’s 3D Gallery and to schedule a private, in-person showing, email POVA’s Program Coordinator at emily@povertyandthearts.org.
  • Relief may be on the way for some East Side residents whose neighborhoods have experienced unchecked redevelopment. A public meeting was held Wednesday night to answer questions from residents about a proposed expansion of the Urban Zoning Overlay (UZO) in Districts five, six, seven, and eight. The proposed change would impose additional restrictions and requirements on new construction aimed at preserving the character of neighborhoods along both sides of the Gallatin Pike corridor north to almost Briley Parkway.
  • MDHA held a town hall meeting via Webex on the Envision Cayce Project Thursday (August 20). Updates discussed included the completion of all units in the Manning Place residential development and that construction is proceeding on the Red Oak Flat residential development with a projected completion date of January 2021. A copy of the meeting presentation and the Webex are available at MDHA’s Envision Cayce website.
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