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Editorial Results (free)

1. Some politicians just can’t hide their inner biases -

Something about being in the public eye seems to invite foot-in-mouth disease.

Example 1: Last November, a newly elected Democrat from Memphis, State Rep. London Lamar, offered her social and political analysis in a Facebook video she made after the midterm elections:

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3. Top Middle Tennessee commercial sales for September 2019 -

Top residential real estate sales, September 2019, for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

4. Already ready for next Southern Festival of Books -

Nothing beats the Southern Festival of Books when it comes to Nashville’s annual events. I’m not even sure what comes in second.

My involvement with the festival, which recently completed its 31st edition, dates to the second in 1990. Among my very first assignments for The Tennessean was to interview one of the participants, Tom T. Hall, about the lineup of more than 140 authors expected. It included such notable authors as William Styron, Shelby Foote, Alex Haley and Sue Grafton.

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6. Top Middle Tennessee residential sales for September 2019 -

Top residential real estate sales, September 2019, for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

7. You should run away to avoid Politicon circus -

The temptation is to say a circus is coming to town, but this involves a less appealing bunch of clowns: Politicon arrives next weekend.

“All of your favorite political heroes and villains in one Unconventional Political Convention,” its website states.

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9. Tennessee Animal Hall of Fame a bit short on details -

Everybody knows about the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. But Tennessee is awash in halls of fame.

I began to suspect this when reading of the recent death of David Wright in Lebanon. Wright, who transported students for 50 of his 76 years, was laid to rest in a specially designed coffin made to look like a school bus, befitting of his status as a member of the Tennessee School Bus Drivers Hall of Fame.

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11. Why oh Y? Some questions about YMCA SilverSneakers decision -

Funny how new circumstances can alter your perspective on things. For instance, I used to think of SilverSneakers as a gym program for creaky old folks doing yoga while sitting in chairs.

Definitely not for me.

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13. Downtown vs. neighborhood living a tossup -

After more than a year of living downtown, and now entering a fourth month of life in a neighborhood, we ponder the question: Which is better?

It’s an issue I never would have entertained in the 1990s during my first Nashville incarnation. Downtown then was a place to work, and occasionally eat and drink, but it was not ideally equipped as a residential option.

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15. Hello? Ticked Off? I have a complaint about this feature -

Its appeal is like that of a car wreck from which you can’t look away.

The difference is that instead of smashed fenders and chrome, it’s facts, the English language and basic civility that get mangled. If there’s any basic civility left these days.

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18. Who pays price when police snub difficult schools? -

Metro police officers are stationed at schools across Nashville every day, but not in the two that, arguably, need them the most.

Those two schools, the W.A. Bass and Johnson Alternative Learning Centers, are for students who have had behavioral or academic issues at their regular schools.

19. Mama's family visited 'kin' without a care -

Cousin Glen is coming to Nashville! Mama would be so envious.

Cousin Glen is Glen Campbell, and he’s not exactly coming to Nashville, having moved on from this earthly plain a little more than two years ago. He’s also not, strictly speaking, my cousin. Or, so far as I know, related to me in any way. But I did meet his parents.

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21. Market brings sweet and sour to neighborhood -

We’d already bought some two-toned hybrid squash, green beans and tomatoes, and just needed some corn to fill out the evening meal.

“Sweet corn?” asked Paul Lassiter, of Lost Weekend Farms.

22. Open up debate on panhandling in downtown -

Councilman Freddie O’Connell wants to do something about panhandling in Nashville. He’s still working on precisely what.

O’Connell’s district includes downtown. From both personal observation and reports from residents and business owners, he had over time become aware of an increase in the number of panhandlers.

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24. Tricked out license plates over the top -

It may be the one thing Tennessee legislators enjoy more than designating official state dogs, rocks and such: authorizing new specialty license plates.

Before the recent General Assembly session, the state was already offering more than 100 plate options for private vehicles.

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26. Bulletproof backpacks show grim reality -

This isn’t the back-to-school column I had in mind writing. That was derailed when I came across news like this, from Futurism.com:

“From Texas to Tennessee, Florida or Idaho, local news stations are reporting an uptick in the number of parents purchasing bulletproof backpacks for their kids in anticipation of the 2019 school year — a disheartening sign of how desperate parents are to keep their children safe as gun violence rages in American schools.’’

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29. Endangered cats get local love, comfort, care -

Consider this an enthusiastic thank you to the Nashville Humane Association, which is helping to find homes for 80 cats and kittens rescued from deplorable conditions in Killeen, Texas.

If the number seems mind-boggling, consider this:

30. What’s the secret to negotiating Nashville traffic? -

It was a stupid, rookie mistake. I was downtown and decided to go somewhere. In a vehicle. At, roughly, 4:45 p.m.

I can sense your eyes rolling. What an idiot, you’re probably thinking.

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32. Ledger wins 4 top awards in statewide competition -

The Nashville Ledger has won four first-place awards in the annual University of Tennessee/Tennessee Press Association newspaper competition.

The Knoxville Ledger and Hamilton County Herald, also produced by the Ledger staff, won five first-place awards each. The three publications had a combined 30 top-five commendations.

33. Top Middle Tennessee commercial sales for second quarter 2019 -

Top commercial real estate sales, second quarter 2019, for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

34. Top Middle Tennessee residential sales for second quarter 2019 -

Top residential real estate sales, second quarter 2019, for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

35. ‘Veggie burger’ bill wilts on closer examination -

Tennessee legislators may have dodged a bullet. Mississippi legislators definitely did not. Maybe you’ve seen some of the resulting headlines lately. They’re intended to attract attention, and they do a good job. They sure got mine.

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37. Top Middle Tennessee commercial sales for June 2019 -

Top commercial real estate sales, June 2019, for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

38. Why would anyone pay taxes on sales of illegal goods? -

Dig around in laws much and you turn up some doozies. For example, the book “Planet Cat” asserts that in Natchez, Mississippi, “cats may not drink beer.”

Why the discrimination against our feline companions, you may be wondering. What about dogs and beer? Parakeets? Ferrets?

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40. When does a phone cease being a phone? -

My phone has suddenly, annoyingly decided that it will no longer make or accept calls.

It’s still “smart,” in the sense that it continues to do many things that would have seemed magical not so very long ago.

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42. Jerry Carrigan, drummer for Elvis, George Jones, dies -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Alabama-born drummer Jerry Carrigan, who was in the first rhythm section for FAME Studio in Muscle Shoals and later an in-demand session player in Nashville, Tennessee, died at age 75 in Chattanooga.

43. Hip neighborhood a little less so with our arrival -

By the time you read this, it should all be over. Or at least, the worst of it. As I write this, it is looming: The Move.

One might think that, our having relocated more than 900 miles a little more than a year ago (the Great Move), this repositioning of 2.4 miles would be a piece of cake by comparison.

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45. Top Middle Tennessee residential sales for May 2019 -

Top residential real estate sales, May 2019, for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

46. We need to know who’s a ‘D,’ who’s an ‘R’ in local races -

The Metro election arrives in about six weeks, the absolute most momentous Metro election since – well, since the last one, I guess. Some 100-plus candidates are running for one office or another.

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48. Before you make fun of Southerners' city pronunciations ... -

So, is it pronounced Nash-ville, or Nash-vul? Should Maryville be referred to as Murvil, Marvull or Mehrvul?

And do the good folks of Santa Fe, Tennessee, really think of themselves as living in Santa Fee?

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50. Hard to recycle religiously in land of agnostics -

There’s good news for Nashville – though not great – on the curbside recycling front, a topic that has become close to my heart in recent years.

During my previous Nashville incarnation in the 1990s, as with my earlier Southern way stations, there was no curbside recycling.

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52. All our ex’s helped make Texas what it is today -

Texans stand second to none in their (often vocal) appreciation for their home state, but if it weren’t for Tennesseans, they’d be bragging in Spanish.

OK, I might be guilty of a little Texas-style exaggeration there. But still …

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54. Flowery terms for death just won’t ‘leave this world’ -

People don’t seem to die very often in the South. I don’t mean that Southerners live forever, though some sweaty July and August days can seem to last an eternity. They’re just less likely to be described as having died.

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56. Top Middle Tennessee residential sales for April 2019 -

Top residential real estate sales, April 2019, for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

57. What happened to Legislature’s more unusual bills? -

The General Assembly has rolled out of town, but not without leaving some sordid debris in its wake.

The House speaker’s chief of staff was obliged to resign over sex, drug and perhaps rock ‘n’ roll indiscretions, and the speaker himself came under fire for lewd texts he has termed “locker room talk.” (That explanation seems vaguely familiar.)

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59. Nashville, it’s time for a property tax increase -

Normally the only blue ribbon that gets my attention is the one on a can from the good folks at the Pabst Brewing Co. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

But the recent report from the Metro Blue Ribbon Commission suggesting ways to “save” $20 million a year for the Nashville budget did catch my eye, for a couple of reasons.

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61. New anti-litter campaign tosses aside punishment -

Capital punishment is perhaps too harsh a penalty for litterbugs – emphasis on “perhaps.”

They are the human equivalent of the stray dog that leaves its calling card in your front yard. Only worse, since dogs aren’t supposed to know any better.

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63. There’s a good home somewhere for Forrest bust -

A smallish group of folks passed by on Church Street the other day holding signs declaring their opposition to the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest in the Tennessee Capitol.

It’s what passes for a Confederate monument controversy in Nashville, Forrest being infamous to many for both his Rebel command officer status and his association with the Ku Klux Klan.

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65. Do we really have to welcome all to our state parks? -

The South prides itself on being welcoming, my native Mississippi going so far as to officially bill itself as “the Hospitality State.” In general, it serves us well.

But Tennessee might be a little too hospitable.

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67. Homebuying guide needs update for Nashville market -

The National Association of Realtors provides a simple 12-step guide for prospective homebuyers through its HomeLogic.com website. It’s fine, so far as it goes.

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69. Major league city requires major league baseball -

Can Nashville truly be a major league city without Major League Baseball? My take on that later.

Meanwhile, I’m good with Nashville’s Music City, It-city status. The symphony, the Frist, the many fine universities, medical facilities and publishing houses.

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71. Front’s an affront! Why city went to numbered streets -

Once upon a time, Nashville’s north-south street names evoked living and natural things: Famous people. Trees. Seasons. Burbling waters. Here’s how we went astray. And who’s to blame.

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73. With black lung fund in jeopardy, taxpayers could foot bill -

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The Trump administration and coal industry allies are insisting that a federal black lung trust fund will continue to pay benefits to sick miners despite a drastic cut in funding.

74. Griffey ignores constitution with Trump shout out -

This week’s topic requires that I temporarily forsake my goal of making this a Trump-free zone. For that I blame Rep. Bruce Griffey.

The president, as you might recall, has vowed to end what is known as birthright citizenship with a swipe of his executive order pen. I had ignored the threat, as I try to ignore virtually everything from the current White House occupant for purposes of my own personal sanity.

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76. Top Middle Tennessee residential sales for February 2019 -

Top residential real estate sales, February 2019, for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

77. Proposed state honor needs a name, preferably not ‘Pioneer’ -

The sponsor, Rep. David Hawk, readily admits that his proposal is not necessarily the most important matter facing Tennessee legislators this year.

“But this is an issue that I think our legislature can have a little fun with,” he told me the other day, “and recognize some good folks at the same time.”

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79. Time to explore ending ‘ridiculous’ spring, fall time change -

A few years ago, I arrived at church one bright Sunday morning just in time to see everyone else walking out. A moment of confusion followed. Had the early-bird service been moved to 7 a.m. without my knowledge?

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81. The Tennessean’s move about more than a new address -

In a letter of July 23, 1938, to what was then The Nashville Tennessean, a Mrs. Ann Stewart commended the paper on its new 1100 Broadway digs.

“Amid such comfort and home-like atmosphere as we find in the plant and among its people,” she wrote, “we can understand now how easily minds can function and deliver us the ‘facts’ each day that concern our country, state and city and are of first importance to any loyal citizen.”

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83. State’s Official Waste of Time? Naming official favorites -

The issue before the House subcommittee was whether the annual Robert Spicer Memorial Buck Dance Championship in Dickson County should become the official buck dancing competition of the State of Tennessee.

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85. Why must we fix problems caused by scooters? -

The Vanderbilt trauma surgeon neatly put his finger on what, to me, was the real puzzler for the evening:

“I can’t wrap my head around this, that all of a sudden we’ve decided scooters are great transportation,” said the surgeon, Dr. Oscar D. Guillamondegui.

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87. Reed’s Southern accent is heavy on pretention -

A question for my fellow Southerners: Which South are you from? I don’t mean which part of the South. I mean, what kind of South.

A while back, a friend and fellow Mississippian passed along a book of columns written by yet a third Mississippian. My friend’s thinking was probably that, given our mutual geography and writing forms – columns, essays – I would appreciate the author’s work.

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89. Where exactly does God fit in the Tennessee Constitution? -

A Tennessee legislator is trying to insert Almighty God into the Tennessee Constitution, after falling short in 2018. And in 2017. And 2016. And 2015. He certainly doesn’t lack for persistence. Bless his heart.

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92. We should reach out to Nashvilles in other states -

Some facts about Nashville that might surprise you:

• It used to be unofficially known as “Hell’s Valley,” for reasons lost to history, but that name came to be thought of as inappropriate for a place consisting largely of Baptists.

93. Top Middle Tennessee residential sales for 2018 -

Top residential real estate sales, 2018, for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

94. How hard can it be to find the perfect church? -

“Church shopping” sounds slightly off-putting. So, I prefer to think of my current repatriated Nashvillian process as spiritual home seeking.

I began with certain parameters, based on geography and beliefs. Google Maps advises there are four churches within a seven-minute walk of my downtown apartment, the closest just five minutes away.

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97. Old acquaintance finally finds peace after early prison release -

The phone rang as I was driving up Eighth Avenue, just past Zanies, on the way home from some Christmas shopping.

“Is this Joe Rogers?” the guy on the other end asked. I told him it was.

98. Re-establishing Nashville residency will take some work -

WHEREAS, the writer has recently returned after two decades of exile in Yankeeland, and

WHEREAS, the writer is eager to regain full status as a Southern resident, and

WHEREAS, the writer is especially eager to attain full status as a true (though not native) Nashvillian, and

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100. Lamar says he’ll miss his friends from both sides of aisle -

It’s not normally big news when a 78-year-old man decides to retire – at age 80.

Yet Sen. Lamar Alexander created a flurry of chatter recently when he announced his decision not to run for a fourth term in 2020.