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No. 681: Fracas in the Firehouse
Photo by Peter Yost / Unsplash

No. 681: Fracas in the Firehouse

📅 Today, Davis announces our Spring happy hour and talks about the fire department, while Megan recaps another community meeting about the controversial NEST program.

Good afternoon, everyone.

First things first, we'll be hosting our Spring Bar Hours on March 21st in Nashville with the fellas over at Ridge Runner. Ridge Runner's goal is to pioneer rural settlements in Appalachia with other like-minded friends and family. If you're interested in learning more about what they're doing, be sure to register at the link below in New Today.

In other news, there was an interesting case brought before the Metro Council last week worth mentioning. It involves firefighter Tracy Turner, who was demoted for six months in 2020 for inflammatory posts about the George Floyd protestors. Turner sought a $105,000 settlement with the city of Nashville for violating his First Amendment rights.

The council voted 0-31 against the settlement (with CMs Webb, Eslick and Benton abstaining), standing on Metro Legal director Wally Deitz's opinion that the case will be dismissed. Dietz even indicated that Metro would take the case to the Supreme Court if necessary. You can get all of Dietz's comments in the Tennessean story, which is available sans paywall to the public.

What makes the case interesting is that in 2022, the Nashville Fire Department suspended another firefighter for 16 days for the same reason. Joshua Lipscomb (known by his alias Sir Joshua Black on social media) took to Twitter calling the Metro Council "white supremacists" for approving the license plate reader program.

Lipscomb won a $450,000 settlement that December, approved by the Metro Council 23-1 and supported by eleven letters from sitting council members.

"Captain Turner expressed his opinions on social media concerning people who set fire to our historic courthouse and who looted businesses and destroyed property on Lower Broad," Danny Yates, a retired firefighter and president of Nashville IAFF Local 140, said in support of Turner's settlement.

"He called a few people some names just like [Lipscomb] did. Even though Captain Turner was expressing his opinion, he did not receive a letter of support. Instead, an administrative member of the NFD, several council members, and at least one state representative publicly shamed him and called for his termination."

Distinguishing between the two, District 1 Councilmember Joy Kimbrough proclaimed, "Mr. Turner made specific statements about a protected class, whether it be based on race, sex, sexual orientation, a handicap. Mr. Lipscomb made a statement regarding a government body."

A case to monitor.




✿ Come out and join us for a few beers on March 21st for our Spring Bar Hours with the fellas over at Ridge Runner (RegisterMore Info on RR)


From Megan Podsiedlik

Councilmember Quin Evans Segall opened this Saturday’s NEST meeting much like she did last week, by stating her agenda to address “the misinformation on some online forums” before opening up the floor to questions, comments, and feedback.

The powwow at the Bordeaux Public Library looked quite different from March 2nd’s meeting, which was moved to Belmont’s campus in order to accommodate the hundreds of attendees, many of whom spilled into McWhorter Hall’s corridors. For one, there were only fifteen people present. 

First, Evans Segall gave an update on the nine NEST bills filed in January. During Thursday’s council meeting, members passed a resolution that will create new pattern books for developers. The books won’t just “help developers with their creativity,” the at-large council member explained, they’ll also “drive them toward what we want them to build.”

Next, she discussed the other eight bills, drafted to fulfill NashvilleNext initiatives and put on the backburner since 2016. “That [NashvilleNext] plan called for several things pretty quickly to happen,” she told the audience, “none of which did.”

These eight zoning changes are contingent upon the results of various studies. Last week, Councilmember Hortin’s NEST bill, which would create new regulations to eliminate minimum lot areas in residential multifamily zoning districts, was heard on first reading. It was indefinitely deferred until the completion of a stormwater study, which could take anywhere from five to ten more months.

The remaining NEST bills are subject to a host of studies outlined in another resolution, which passed during last week’s council meeting. Many Metro departments will conduct these studies over the next year.


At Saturday’s meeting, one small developer spoke in support of NEST, explaining that new builds help address stormwater capacity issues because they implement new building codes. Also present were a few younger Nashvillians optimistic about the initiative’s potential to increase affordable housing. “I hear the perspective of not wanting neighborhoods to look worse and… wanting to keep things looking nice,” said one Nashville renter. “But to me, the larger issue is that we have a lack of affordable housing. And I think a lot of that lack is due to what Quin has outlined here, is due to our restrictions on what people can build and where they can build it.”

As the discussion continued, it was clear the pinch on housing wasn’t only felt by newcomers, but by established residents who are concerned about protecting their neighborhood investments while also looking out for the well-being of their children. “I don't understand what's happening to those rental places. They're dropping in price because…they can't get people to live there,” said one homeowner. “In my generation, our kids are coming back home and living with us.”

Others spoke of the unintended consequences that may arise when the new changes are put into motion. How will things settle when those who cannot afford to live in the urban core are pushed to the outskirts of Nashville? “It's a cultural thing in this city,” said a Bordeaux resident. “What has to happen is that we can't continue to think that the Bordeaux–North Nashville area is the dumping ground for everything low, poor, and unhoused.”

Another long-time resident brought up how prioritizing development doesn’t always protect those who live here. “It just has been a clash of two different ideologies. Yes, I understand you’re a business person who wants to make your money, but don't disrespect those who have been here in this community for generations.”

Overall, the conversation between NEST supporters and skeptics was cordial, but those who’ve invested in Nashville over the years are still wary. Multiple attendees expressed their concerns that the outcome of NEST won’t bear the fruits that many of its supporters are anticipating. Now that the legislation has been pushed a bit farther out, whether local feedback will impact the final legislation is yet to be seen.


One exit ramp from I-40 at Donelson Pike permanently closing (Main Street) The Tennessee Department of Transportation will be permanently closing Exit 216C on Interstate 40 East to Donelson Pike starting at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 15. The work is part of the ongoing project in Donelson to construct a new I-40 interchange and re-align Donelson Pike. The exit allowed drivers to go north on Donelson Pike in the opposite direction from the airport.

Vanderbilt to pay $55M in lawsuit accusing it, others of financial aid price fixing (Tennessean) The suit, filed in January 2022 by five former Vanderbilt students and others from various universities, reached a total settlement of $284 million that was preliminarily approved by a judge on Feb. 28. Vanderbilt paid the largest share of that among the 10 schools that agreed to settle.

Around 160 Southwest flights to Florida canceled ahead of spring break, Nashville affected (WSMV) Southwest Airlines said they and other airlines had to cancel about 160 flights with a destination to Florida on Saturday. The cancelations are coming the weekend before spring break for Metro Nashville Public Schools and other local districts. The airline said the reason for the cancelations is from thunderstorms in the southeast.


  • Boyle To Partner With City Of Gallatin On Mixed-Use Corridor (Now Next)
  • Dance music nightclub Night We Met sets March opening (NBJ)
  • Airport Authority Has No Plans to Extend Monell's Lease (Scene)
  • Development company pays $7M for SoBro site eyed for hotel (Post)


View our calendar for the week here and our weekly film rundown here.

📅 Visit our On The Radar list to find upcoming events around Nashville.

🎧 On Spotify: Pamphleteer's Picks, a playlist of our favorite bands in town this week.

👨🏻‍🌾 Check out our Nashville farmer's market guide.


🎸 Danielle Durack @ The Basement 9p, $12.85, Info
+ indie pop

🎸 Zoe Ny, Charley T, Victor Furtado & Carolina Schott @ The Underdog, 7p, $15, Info
+ rock, americana & bluegrass

🪕 Bronwyn Keith-Hynes @ Dee's Lounge, 6p, Info

💀 Grateful Monday @ Acme Feed & Seed, 8p, Free, Info

🕺 Motown Monday @ The 5 Spot, 9p, $5, Info

In case you missed it...

📰 Check out the full newsletter archive here.

No. 681: Fracas in the Firehouse
📅 Today, Davis announces our Spring happy hour and talks about the fire department, while Megan recaps another community meeting about the controversial NEST program.
No. 680: Out on the Weekend
🗓️ Megan recaps the council, Jerod reviews a poetry collection, and our weekly film rundown.
No. 679: Lost in the Sauce
📅 Today, Davis talks about the arts, Jerod reviews The Zone of Interest, and Megan digs into Metropolis, the parking company everyone seems to have issues with.
No. 677: Super Tuesday
🇺🇸 Super Tuesday, what do I do? How many potholes have been filled? And more!
No. 676: Keep Out
📅 Today, Davis talks about tourism again, Miles talks about the Preds hot streak, and Megan recaps Saturdy’s contentious meeting on zoning reform.


  • 🎞️ The Pamphleteer’s ten most anticipated films of 2024 (Read)
  • 🏠 The Zone of Interest cuts deeper than its Nazi-alluding target audience would like to admit. (Read)
  • ⛪️ Rob Reiner's documentary on Christian Nationalism completely misses the mark (Read)
  • ☢️ A small Tennessee town's forgotten history as a nuclear leader (Read)
  • And check out our podcast, YouTube, and article archive for more.