Sign up for newsletter >>
No. 686: Phoning in from El Salvador

No. 686: Phoning in from El Salvador

📅 Today, Davis delivers a dispatch, Miles lays out what to expect from this year's NCAA tournament and Megan looks at the latest developments regarding the East Bank.

Good afternoon, everyone.

First order of business: don't forget about our Bar Hours this week with the guys over at RidgeRunner. Register for the event here to get the location.

I'm down in San Salvador at the moment. Yesterday, I spent some time walking around the city’s downtown, which used to be dominated by gang activity. Now, you see children and families milling about, enjoying the brand new National Library and reveling in the freedoms denied them previously.

The armed military patrols are still there, but they don’t feel necessary. Almost like paid actors to reassure the people that the government is in control, protecting them from the gangs.

The Dirección de Obras Municipales has a multi-use commercial development near the town square. Right now, wooden walls define the boundaries, and near the top in white letters against Salvadoran blue is the motto "El Dinero Alcanza Cuando Nadie Roba" (Money is enough when no one steals).

Citizens have taken up biking. There’s an emerging skateboard culture among the youth. Everything feels new and exciting. It’s great to witness firsthand the rebirth of a nation.




The Men’s NCAA Tournament Kicks off Tuesday in Dayton.

From Miles Harrington

Cough, cough! Ugh, that mid-March bug is hitting me already. It’s not too burdensome yet, but I think by Thursday I’ll be down for the count. May have to call off work the last couple days of the week. I swear it’s legit. Has nothing to do with wall to wall basketball in the form of the NCAA tournament starting this week, kicking off one of the best times of the year for a sports fan.

Alright, okay, I’m fine. And so are the millions upon millions of our fellow Americans that also will be calling in “sick” this week to enjoy hours and hours of March Madness.

The NCAA tournament kicks off Tuesday and Wednesday nights in Dayton, Ohio with play-in games to decipher the last four teams that will qualify for the proverbial field of 64. Once Thursday morning hits, the greatest weekend of the calendar year is off and running.

Continue reading...


From Megan Podsiedlik

This afternoon, the Senate is set to hear the act that would create an East Bank Development Authority. Over the last month, the legislature has played hot potato with the bill, bumping it on and off several calendars.

The idea of creating a new authority has attracted both bipartisan support and resistance. Though the bill is making its way through the state legislature as we speak, it will have to pass the scrutiny of the Metro Council before taking effect. “It's important to the mayor and the administration that the government not be bogged down developing sixty or thirty acres or one hundred acres on the East Bank because we've got important business to do in the rest of the county,” Chief Development Officer Bob Mendes explained during Friday’s media round table. “So we would like to create an East Bank Development Authority that can professionalize the development while still having Metro retain ownership of the land.”

The unamended bill proposes an authority board made up of seven voting members selected exclusively by Davidson County officials: five appointed by the mayor and two appointed by the council. Since its introduction, a few legislators had concerns about the large amount of control Metro would have, considering the state contributed half a billion in funding to the 536-acre development. Others were disquieted by the bill’s broad language, worried it may lead to imminent domain issues. In fact, Metro is already being sued: on March 8th, an Atlanta-based developer filed a suit claiming that the city may be manipulating the permitting process.

Until the bill is passed by the state, Mendes has avoided weighing in on whether or not the council has been receptive to the idea. “I'm not doing the brain damage of thinking about where we're at with the council until we find out whether it's even authorized under state law,” he said. “Metro is going to develop the East Bank whether an authority is created or not….We've got several options we've looked at, but we do think the authority is the best of them.”

Since March 12th, several calls to action have been deployed by the Davidson County Republicans, who are less than thrilled with the idea. Today’s Senate floor session begins at 3 p.m. CST.


In Tennessee, the Microschooling Movement Shows No Signs of Slowing Down (The74) A visit to five microschools across the state reveals lively classrooms, booming enrollment and growing waitlists that point to spiking demand.

Courtney Johnston Considers Challenging Rep. Andy Ogles in GOP Primary (Banner) Not all Republicans are willing to sit back and watch Ogles, the former mayor of Maury County and an anti-tax advocate, hold the seat forever.

Riley Strain's parents say thank you. A day later, Riley's bank card is found. (Channel 5) On Sunday Afternoon, Riley's bank card was found on the embankment between Gay Street and the Cumberland River.


  • Metro Selects Firm to Lead North Nashville, Jefferson Street Study (Scene)
  • Status unclear for project eyed for 3rd and Lindsley site (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.


🎸 Mclusky @ The Basement East, 8p, $34.90, Info
+ Welsh 3 piece post-hardcore band

🪕 Bronwyn Keith-Hynes @ Dee's Lounge, 6p, $12.51, Info

🪕 Lindsay Lou & Sam Grisman + friends @ Dee's Lounge, 8:30p, $12.51, 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. 685: Mutiny On the Bounty
📅 Today, Davis gives a Metro Arts update, Jerod reviews Poor Things, and Megan talks about the birds and the bees.
No. 684: Dispatch from the Road
📅 Today, Davis is in NYC, Jerod reveals the ten best movies from last year, and Megan looks at a piece of legislation regarding farm easements.
No. 683: Number by Number Initiatives
🗓️ Davis talks about how to market a government initiative, and Megan details one of those initiatives.
No. 682: Raw and Uncut
📅 Today, Davis talks about raw milk and attitudes toward health, and Megan breaks down why Mayor O’Connell is so adamant about pushing his transit referendum right now.
No. 680: Out on the Weekend
🗓️ Megan recaps the council, Jerod reviews a poetry collection, and our weekly film rundown.


  • 🧠 The response to Poor Things exposes our inability to talk about art that defies ideology. (Read)
  • 🎞️ The Pamphleteer’s ten most anticipated films of 2024 (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.