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No. 698: Short and sweet
Photo by Scott Greer / Unsplash

No. 698: Short and sweet

🗓️ Excerpts from last night's Metro Council meeting.

Good afternoon, everyone.

Megan attended last night's council meeting. There was a lot of action throughout the night that we'll continue discussing tomorrow. Still, one thing that stood out to me was BL2024 which seeks to amend the purpose of the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission adding language specifying that its purpose is to also "promote equity in the arts community."

Onwards.

Nashville

✷ HIDDEN NASHVILLE: HARBORING THE HOMELESS

During last night’s Metro council meeting, the public comments made in support of a resolution to execute an analysis of the Cumberland River revealed a side of Nashville that often goes unseen. Specifically, the growing homeless population encamped alongside the riverbank downtown.

Three different Nashvillians took to the mic on the topic, exposing Metro’s negligence on the issue.

“I spent four days climbing and combing every piece of trash up and down the riverbank searching for any piece of evidence or for a body,” said Anna Clendening, a local musician and volunteer who helped search the Cumberland following Riley Strain’s disappearance. “And let me enlighten you on what is down there: Lime scooters, garbage cans, suitcases, shoes, shirts, blankets, unused care packages, rope systems, food wrappers, discarded makeup containers, stuffed animals, an ungodly amount of heroin needles, and most importantly, people.” Turning her ire to the council, she continued, “I understand homelessness and litter are multifaceted and heavily layered problems, but they are— in fact— problems that this city does have.”

Barry Doupnik, who has coordinated some of the largest homeless cleanups in Nashville, stepped up next. According to Doupnik, his largest roadblock in removing more than 200,000 pounds of trash from the homeless encampments in Music City has been the lack of local assistance. In fact, he’s had to turn to other counties for help.

“Time and time again, we hear the same excuse from city agencies stating that they are understaffed, that they do not have direction, and that they do not have resources to handle this issue,” he explained. “I have been in contact with several nonprofits and small businesses in Columbia,Tennessee…and they have been absolutely amazing by removing tons and tons of trash when I have scheduled these cleanups.”

“The hazardous materials are there: drugs, guns, knives, weapons, bats and such,” Doupik continued. “Most of which the homeless use to protect their space.”

Last to speak on the topic during the public comment period was Andrew Ostrowski, owner of Nashville’s party barge business, Pontoon Saloon. He explained how even some of the well-meaning homeless initiatives contribute to the negative impacts on the East Bank.

“Along the banks the Cumberland River has been clear cut and has now been replaced by trash bags full of plastics, donated broken down tents, donated clothes, donated tarps, plastics, needles,” he said. “One of the other things that we notice consistently happening along the Cumberland River is a lot of this trash is now being burnt…engulfing plastics… and flowing over into East Nashville…. Who's responsible for this?” he asked the council.

“Is it the homeless, is it the nonprofits that are giving never ending donations of goods to these camps without the responsibility of cleaning them up? I'm not sure, but hopefully the council can come together and figure out something… to hold specific individuals or nonprofits accountable for what's happening along the banks of the Cumberland river.”

From Megan Podsiedlik

HEADLINES

Trump campaign attorney warns Tennessee GOP against ousting elected delegates (TNJ) Plans by some Tennessee Republican Party executive committee members to block six delegates and several alternates from serving at this summer’s Republican National Convention have drawn a strongly worded warning from the general counsel for former President Donald Trump’s campaign.

Plans to Bring NASCAR Back to Nashville Not Dead Yet (Banner) Despite some assumptions that John Cooper’s departure from the mayor’s office meant the death of the NASCAR deal, discussions between the O’Connell administration and proposed track operator Speedway Motorsports are ongoing.

TBI investigating after Coffee County mayor found dead inside parked car in his driveway (WSMV) Tullahoma police responded Tuesday to a 911 call reporting a possible death at 1909 E. Lincoln St. Upon their arrival, Matheny’s body was found inside a vehicle parked in the driveway. Matheny’s death is part of an ongoing investigation by the TBI, according to TPD.

DEVELOPMENT

  • Michigan-based restaurant group has big plans for Music City (NBJ)
  • Longtime Belle Meade Italian restaurant to close this month (NBJ)
  • Zanies Nashville expands with new venue opening in April (NBJ)
  • Wedding dress shop planned for Pie Town (Post)
  • For-sale Music Row property sees $1M asking price drop (Post)
Entertainment

THINGS TO DO

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.

TONIGHT

🎸 Andy Shauf @ The Blue Room, 8p, $47.55, Info
+ indie folk

🪕 Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival @ Multiple Venues, Info

🪕 Bluegrass & 2-4-1's Featuring Sheriff Scott & The Deputies @ Tennessee Brew Works, 6p, Free, Info
+ bluegrass 6-8pm and 2-for-1 craft beer specials all day

🪕 Bluegrass Night @ The American Legion Post 82, 7p, Free, Info

In case you missed it...

📰 Check out the full newsletter archive here.

No. 697: And the survey says...
📅 Today, Davis talks about the city’s North Star and Megan reports on some developments in the General Assembly involving the weather and farms.
No. 696: Back to Square One
📅 Today, Davis talks about the status of the school choice bill and Megan takes a look at a shooting that happened yesterday and picks up on a pattern.
No. 695: Spring Fling
📅 Today, Davis waltzes into spring on this fine weekend and talks with a guy who makes rain, Megan reviews the new TSU board appointments, and we furnish our weekly film rundown.
No. 694: Something’s Happening Here
📅 Today, Davis talks about the stuff happening at Vanderbilt, and Megan looks at the weather modification bill flying through the legislature.
No. 693: Remembering Covenant
📅 Today, Davis reflects on Covenant and Megan looks at five bills already signed into law this year.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

  • 🧠 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.