Friday News Roundup, March 13

East Side Rebuilding and New Precautions

The New Issue of The East Nashvillian is on the Way!
Our March-April issue was set to go to press the morning of March 3, 2020, but as with the lives of so many Middle Tennesseans, everything changed that morning. Over the past week, we’ve retooled the issue and now it is on the way. Look for it next week.

Mayor’s Office Issues Statement on COVID-19 Pandemic
Due to concerns over the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Mayor John Cooper in cooperation with the Metro Public Health Department issued the following statement on Thursday, March 12:

“As Nashvillians continue to calmly heed the advice of our public health experts, I now urge everyone to carefully practice social distancing throughout our city — both for the sake of our entire community and particularly our neighbors who are most at risk of infection, including older adults and individuals with underlying medical conditions.

“As my administration works with state and federal officials and community partners to increase access to federal funding and testing capacity, I encourage everyone to take necessary precautions to prevent person-to-person spread. This includes postponing large public and private gatherings, encouraging teleconferencing and remote working, and taking all necessary precautions to protect employees, congregants, students, and all Nashvillians — especially our medically fragile residents.

“In addition to commonsense hygiene practices, social distancing is proving to be successful in helping to mitigate the spread of coronavirus in other countries and communities, and it is what our healthcare experts are advising at this pivotal moment. My administration will continue to closely monitor and respond to this ongoing situation throughout Davidson County, but everyone in our community has a part to play in protecting themselves and their neighbors.

“Through our community’s strength and resiliency, we will overcome the challenge of the coronavirus disease and continue rebuilding our devastated neighborhoods.”

For more information along with the latest COVID-19 updates from the Mayor’s Office and MPHD visit the MPHD website and follow Mayor Cooper’s twitter updates @JohnCooper4Nash

Open and Closed at The 5 Spot
Although The 5 Spot’s re-opening on Wednesday night was a happy occasion, the celebration proved to be short-lived. The popular East Nashville music club was spared from severe damage by the tornado but was closed for over a week until electricity was restored.

With rising concerns about the spread of COVID-19, The 5 Spot co-owner Todd Sherwood announced that the club would voluntarily close its doors for at least a month. To replace lost income for 20 employees and approximately 150 musicians scheduled to play during that time, Sherwood launched a gofundme fundraiser on Thursday which seeks to raise $70,000.

“We are doing this for the community we love and hope other public-gathering businesses do the same,” Sherwood says on the page for the fundraiser. “The money we raise will go to keeping The 5 Spot and our staff afloat, as well as helping the musicians who call this place their artistic home keep their heads above water.”

According to Sherwood any money left over when they eventually reopen will be donated to The Ben Eyestone Fund, which assists working musicians with medical costs. For more information and to donate, visit The 5 Spot Community Fund gofundme page.

As concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19 continue to increase several concerts, sporting events, and shows are being canceled. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum announced Thursday they are suspending programming through at least March 31, 2020. It is likely that other venues may follow.

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And then … no toilet paper!
As the gravity of the COVID-19 situation set in on Thursday, the response by residents throughout Nashville (and the nation, apparently) was to hoard that one item essential to human existence: TP. While panic seems natural in the wake of the president’s less-than-reassuring televised address from the Oval Office Wednesday evening, we should all try to bear in mind that panic is absolutely the worst response during a crisis.

Help Bring Rover Home!
In the shock and aftermath of last week’s tornado, many people forget that pets are just as much a victim of natural disasters as their human companions. While social media has been filled with stories of reunited pets, there are many furry family members that are still missing.

If you’ve lost a furry friend or recently seen a dog or cat in your neighborhood you don’t recognize, visit the East Nashville & Inglewood Lost and Found Pets Facebook group. The group offers many tips on locating your lost furry friends. You can post photos and descriptions of missing pets, and also post photos or descriptions of strays spotted in your area.  Let’s all do our part to bring every lost loved one home.

Open or Closed?
We’ve received several updates to the list of East Side businesses affected by the tornado published in last week’s newsletter. We’ve moved the list to its own page and will continue to update it as we receive new information.  Save this link, and updates, corrections, and additions may be sent to the editor at randy@theeastnashvillian.com.

MDHA Approves Purchase of Former Family Dollar Building
At their March 10 board meeting, The Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency approved the purchase of the commercial property at 600 Shelby Ave. The 0.7-acre property was formerly home to a Family Dollar store which closed in June 2019.

While MDHA has not formally announced plans for the property yet, it is viewed as a vital part of the Envision Cayce project which is seeking to improve the traditionally low-income neighborhood. The closure of the Family Dollar store created a “food desert” around Cayce with no source of groceries within walking distance. The Envision Cayce plan calls for new retail in the area, and the acquisition of the Shelby Avenue property is seen as a step forward in fulfilling that plan.  For more information and updates on the Envision Cayce project, visit the MDHA website.