Metro Councilmember At Large Sulfat Suara (front left), Deputy Mayor of Community Engagement Brenda Haywood (front, second from left), and representatives from four local charities announce the Welcoming Nashville Fund Wednesday. Photo courtesy of United Way of Greater Nashville.

East Side Buzz, Oct. 15

Whew. It’s been quite the week for news. But before diving into the nitty-gritty, we thought you’d like to know the inaugural edition of our sister publication The Madisonian is on the street! It features a cover story by writer Andrew Leahey about the down-to-earth, community-minded couple, Meg Morgan and Parker Millsap. Check it out prior to seeing Millsap’s show at The Basement East on Saturday. The story is available online here.

Click the image for an online version of The Madisonian

Also included is writer Randy Fox’s deep dive into the highly anticipated (yeah, now THAT’S an understatement) Eastside Bowl. Amongst the juicy goodness included in the story are interviews with owners Chark Kinsolving, Tommy Pierce, and Jamie Rubin, as well as a look into the interior design elements with Lyon Porter (Urban Cowboy) and Frank Favia (The Dive Motel). While an opening date hasn’t yet been set, according to Rubin it’s a conversation they’ve begun and there could be an announcement soon (Hint: stay tuned to next week’s Buzz) — especially now that the permitting process is nearing completion.

What we do know is an alien invasion is set to land in The Wash at Eastside Bowl on Oct. 28-29 — just in time for Halloween. The Moonrock Orchestra begins its 600-year tour with a performance of the intergalactic musical, They Came To Rock. Think The Rocky Horror Picture Show meets Hedwig & The Angry Inch with some Beatlemania thrown in. Grab your tickets now, earthly being.

They Came To Rock descends upon The Wash at Eastside Bowl Oct.28-29

And speaking of grabbing a hold-it-in-your-hand, won’t-get-lost-in-the-newsfeed, collectible print copy, they’re available at Dee’s Country Cocktail Lounge (where regular contributor and essayist Tommy Womack has his album release show tonight at 8 p.m.); Sidekicks Cafe, where you can read one while having breakfast; Garden Fresh, while shopping for produce; Yazoo Brewing Company, when you attend Saturday’s Corn Hole Tournament, presented by the Madison Rivergate Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by The Roots Barn (tourney begins at noon); and other fine area establishments.

From the shameless commerce division (we miss you, Car Talk), ad space is available for the Nov/Dec print edition of The East Nashvillian. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to get your business noticed by the coolest readers on the planet. Contact sales@theeastnashvillian for more info.

Got a news tip? Email buzz@theeastnashvillian.com 

Matters of Development

An Austin-based developer plans to build more than 1,000 apartment units on Dickerson Pike, according to Nashville Business Journal. The mixed-use development is located on a 14.5-acre site with the address of 301 N. Second St., and is referred to as “CREA Meridian” in Metro Planning Department documents. The developer, Cypress Real Estate Advisors, was founded in 1995, and has properties in Austin, Denver, Raleigh, and Nashville, according to the company’s website. 

Chicago-based design firm Alfred Benesch and Company, along with property owner Brandon Bubis, have applied for a zoning change to build 26 multi-family units at 121 Hart Lane, near Dickerson Pike, according to Metro Planning Department documents. 

Street improvements on Trinity Lane, between Gallatin Avenue and Dickerson Pike, appear to be completed. 

Metro Council member Nancy Van Reece has filed an application with the Metro Planning Commission to rename Woodruff Street in Madison to David McMurry Way, after LGTBQ activist and advocate David McMurry. 

Industrial rental rates have reached a record high in Nashville, according to the Nashville Post (paywall). 

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Redistricting Draft Maps To Be Released Today

The Metro Planning Department plans to release draft maps of Nashville’s new Metro Council and School Board district lines today and is asking for public comment. 

The redistricting — which will likely affect East Nashville — is part of a regular redrawing of Metro Council and School Board district lines, which happens every 10 years. 

“The idea is we have 35 Council districts. They’re each supposed to have a roughly equal population, within a certain plus or minus,” District 6 Councilmember Brett Withers said. 

Nashville’s redistricting process, including a website and community survey, was launched in July. 

Updated and refined maps are expected throughout the month, followed by the adoption process at Planning Commission meetings in the coming months. Council could adopt new district lines in December or January. 

The population of East Nashville has not grown, Withers said. “East Nashville’s population is flat to declining. The houses are getting bigger but the population is not.” 

However, according to preliminary maps, East Nashville’s population has shifted, and district lines may be redrawn, Withers said. 

“All the districts are going to change some, and I don’t know what the map that’s going to come out today is going to show, but the preliminary map is the East Bank is going to move into District 19, which is downtown, which I personally think makes a lot of sense for a lot of reasons,” Withers said. 

Withers said moving the East Bank, currently spread across multiple districts, would allow one councilperson to address the area’s many development conversations. Also, from a planning standpoint, the area west of I-24 is already part of downtown’s plan, and is not part of the Metro Police East Precinct, Withers said. 

Additionally, District 8, including parts of Inglewood and Madison, may be absorbed by District 5, Withers said. “It’s very likely that East will go from having four Council districts to three.” 

The redistricting process is guided by Metro Nashville’s charter, which asks the Planning Commission to ensure that Council and School Board districts do not substantially underrepresent any part of the county — this happens when parts of the county grow faster than other parts. 

The gap between the largest district and the smallest district should be within 10 percent of the ideal district size. That gap is currently about 60 percent. 

The charter gives the Planning Commission six months — beginning when the U.S. Census Bureau publishes new population counts — to prepare a new recommendation for district boundaries. This recommendation then goes to Metro Council for adoption. 

The district lines for Nashville’s 35 Council districts were adopted in 2011, as were the city’s nine School Board districts. 

The School Board districts only shape which communities each school board member represents; school attendance zones are not changed by redistricting. 

On the city’s redistricting website, you can see how the Council districts have changed during every redistricting cycle, going back to 1963. 

Metro planning staff consider a number of criteria when drawing new district lines, including compactness, contiguity, historical continuity, the respect of communities of interest, public input, and compliance with the Voting Rights Act — which prohibits drawing district lines in ways that dilute the ability of minority communities to elect the representatives of their choosing. 

“There have been, historically, about six districts that are majority-minority, so because of how dramatic the demographic shift has been in Davison County, some of those districts that have been majority-minority are no longer,” Withers said. “And so that’s another factor that the Planning Commission needs to consider. We can’t have a situation in which the Planning Commission is drawing boundaries that prevent African Americans from electing representatives.” 

There are four ways the public can review and make comments on the redistricting process: take an online survey; attend one of four scheduled community open houses throughout the county (Oct. 18, Oct. 21, Oct. 25, Oct. 27); visit the Planning Department during drop-in hours; or a schedule virtual session with your community group.

Visit the city’s redistricting website for more info: redistrict.nashville.gov 

If none of these methods work, the Planning Department asks that the public email their comments to redistricting@nashville.gov

Tennessee’s legislative and congressional redistricting will be taken up during the 2022 legislative session. An Associated Press report posted on the Fox17 website provides detail. 

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Local Non-profits Welcome Afghan Neighbors With Welcoming Nashville Fund

(photo caption: Metro Councilmember At Large Sulfat Suara (front left), Deputy Mayor of Community Engagement Brenda Haywood (front, second from left), and representatives from four local charities announce the Welcoming Nashville Fund Wednesday. Photo courtesy of United Way of Greater Nashville.)

Representatives from the Mayor’s Office, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Nashville, United Way of Greater Nashville, and other organizations, held a press conference Wednesday on the steps of the Metro Courthouse to announce the Welcoming Nashville Fund.

The fund is Nashville’s effort to aid in national Afghan resettlement efforts, as Nashville plans to welcome more than 300 Afghan refugees in the coming months. 

“It was a strong turnout … the mood of it was positive,” said Erica Mitchell, Executive Vice President and Chief Communications Officer for United Way of Greater Nashville. “I think the main thing was everyone wanted to present Nashville as a welcoming community.” 

At the event, it was announced the goal is to raise $300,000 in support of the Afghan families, Mitchell said. The money will fund all aspects of resettlement, from housing to basic essentials. 

“Most of the people who are coming here are fleeing,” Mitchell said. “It’s not like they are taking time to pack bags and come with all of their life’s goods.” 

The resettlement effort is being led by Catholic Charities, Diocese of Nashville, and the Nashville International Center for Empowerment (NICE), who have partnered with the American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC), and United Way of Greater Nashville to establish the Welcoming Nashville Fund. 

The resettlement is part of a larger federal effort. 

“Congress passed legislation this week that has provided some temporary assistance,” Mitchell said. “What we know is that it’s definitely temporary, and it will not meet all of the need.” 

For more information, including the donation portal through which you can support the local resettlement effort, visit the Welcoming Nashville Fund page on the United Way of Greater Nashville website.

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Right-Wing Parler Moves to Nashville

The right-wing social media network Parler announced Tuesday that it will be moving its headquarters to Nashville. 

The company’s LinkedIn page states that its new address is a post office near Five Points in East Nashville, according to the Nashville Post.

The company’s decision to relocate from Henderson, Nev. to Nashville was announced in a release by Parler CEO George Farmer, shared on Twitter by a former Nashville reporter now working for NPR in California. 

“Tennessee has great weather, an abundance of southern hospitality, wonderful music and barbecue,” Farmer said. “Even more than that, though, Tennessee shares Parler’s vision of individual liberty and free-expression.” 

Parler came under fire in January for not limiting calls to violence during the Capitol insurrection and was removed from Apple’s app store.

According to NPR, Apple’s app review team had found a “significant number” of Parler posts that violated Apple policies, including posts that “encouraged violence, denigrated various ethnic groups, races and religions, glorified Nazism, and called for violence.”

Google also removed the Parler app from its Play store, and Amazon cut the site off from its web hosting services. 

Parler came back online in February with a new web host and returned to Apple’s app store in May with updates to its content moderation practices.

Light The Nations Returns Saturday

The 5th annual Light the Nations Festival returns this Saturday, spanning 51st Avenue in The Nations neighborhood. The festival features live music on three stages, fire and street dancers, a vendor marketplace with your favorite local food trucks and artisans, luminary decorating, and a kids and family area presented by Nations Dental Studio. 

The family-friendly festival — a benefit for Thistle Farms — will take place from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m., and is free and all ages. 

Luminary bags and lights will be available for free at local businesses to pick up and decorate. Pick-up locations are listed at lightthenationsnashville.com.

The Georgia Ave Main Stage presented by Burning Acre features Denver indie-rock act Wildermiss, in addition to local rock acts including The Minks, Heaven Honey, Future Crib, Patzy, The Sewing Club, Mary Moore, and James Hatem.

The Illinois Ave Stage features acoustic performances by Greenwood Rye, Nick Davisson, Anthony Adams, Abby Walters, Claire Cooper (of Fox Harbor), and Amelia Ransom.

The Minks play the Georgia Ave Main Stage at 8 p.m. during Light The Nations on Saturday, Oct. 16. Photo by Travis Commeau

Other entertainment includes the Michigan Avenue WXNA Stage with live DJ sets, Fire Dancers, Concordia Arts Academy, and multiple dance groups. The Vendor Marketplace will feature over 50 local vendors and some of Nashville’s best food trucks.

Light the Nations is sponsored by Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Bearded Iris Brewing, Diskin Cider, Burning Acre, Marathon Petroleum, Nations Dental Studio, Miken Development, Piedmont Natural Gas, Office Evolution, Ranch Water Hard Seltzer, Blue Cord Reality, WXNA, Nashville Guru, Do615, Lightning 100, All American Gutter Protection, The East Nashvillian, Twice Daily/White Bison Coffee, Frothy Monkey, Power Home Remodeling, Renewal By Anderson, 6th Man Movers, First South Financial, and Ugly Mug Coffee.

Visit lightthenationsnashville.com for more information.

Quick Bits

  • East Nashville burger joint Dino’s is offering a limited “Dino’s Fest” t-shirt — featuring a bloody armadillo — for pre-order online at www.dinosnashville.com. Information about this year’s spooky Dino’s Fest will be announced soon.
  • The man who police say was seen in a video struggling to stay afloat in the Cumberland River on Sunday night has been found dead near Rock Harbor Marina. Friends searching for the man, who has been identified as Dakota Bingham, found his wallet near the river on Wednesday not far from the TA truck stop at 111 N. First St. Bingham was last seen by friends late Sunday night at Noble’s Kitchen & Beer Hall, 974 Main St.
  • The owner of Rockefeller Center is planning a development in downtown Nashville, according to Nashville Business Journal.
  • Metro Nashville Police say 20 guns were stolen from vehicles last week.
  • Two teens plead guilty to the 2019 murder of Nashville musician Kyle Yorlets.

Love Buzz

Becca Mancari

A lot of records have been released over the past 18 months or so, and unfortunately, a whole lot of records haven’t received the attention or praise they deserve. Turns out it’s not just hard to create in a pandemic, but it’s hard to appreciate, too. Our brains have been saturated. I’m probably not alone in feeling like making time for new music and art has oftentimes had to take a backseat as an inordinate amount of time and energy has been spent on simply getting through the day.

It hasn’t gone unnoticed, though, that bands and musicians who released new music in the midst of the pandemic have been finding ways to breathe new life into their songs.

In February Julien Baker released Little Oblivions. The stellar record is still very emotional and vulnerable, but her songwriting feels brighter and more confident than on previous releases. Of course, the pandemic crushed any chance of touring at the time, so last month – before hitting the road this fall with Dehd – Baker released Little Oblivions (Remixes), a five-track EP featuring her songs remixed by guest musicians and producers. 

Another local singer-songwriter, Becca Mancari, has done something similar, though on a smaller scale. Her album The Greatest Part dropped in June 2020, at the height of what felt like the world’s collapse. Just a few weeks ago Mancari gave us a reason to revisit The Greatest Part when she released the album’s single “Like This” remixed by former Nashvillian REMMI. 

While REMMI’s version of the original is great, it’s the instrumental version that’s really lured me in. It’s hypnotizing and moody without being overwhelming and, it turns out, the song is an excellent work companion. I’ve had it on repeat for nearly an hour now while hurrying through various emails and deadlines and I think it’s lulled my brain into a focused and soothed state of being. It’s magic.

Becca Mancari plays 3rd & Lindsley on Sunday, October 24 as part of the Girls Write Nashville benefit. Brittany Howard, Margo Price, Tristen, Erin Rae, Magdalene, and Amiratheweirdo are also performing and all proceeds from ticket sales will benefit Girls Write Nashville’s programming.

“Love Buzz” is curated by contributor Megan Seling