Good morning, everyone.
Well, you'd be mistaken if you came to midday yesterday and thought it Spring in Nashville. We've got two more days of this pleasant interlude wherein you can put the top down on your convertible, wear shorts, and dig holes in your front yard until we return to the frigid temperatures one typically associates with February. The forecast shows tomorrow as having a high of 71º and a low of 26º with a 100% chance of rain. Nashville is officially off its meds.
If you're new to the area, welcome to Middle Tennessee weather. Life's more exciting when you live at the edge of a giant basin, and the weather reflects it.
Today, we take a look at how zoning laws affect Tennessee homeowner's ability to deal effectively with floods, review last night's Metro Council meeting, look at Los Angeles' SoFi Stadium as a grand example of private funding, and take a glide in an early-20th century German train.
In other news, we've got a new ticket giveaway set up for the Tedeschi Trucks Band at the Ryman next week. More info below.
Thanks for reading.
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More giveaways to come!
∿ WHAT'S A FLOOD TO A FLOODWAY?
Stranded Tennesseans hoping for rescue, clinging to the roofs of their homes. Local Joes turned heroes, answering the call to step up in a critical moment. Almost 200 houses wiped from their foundations. These aren’t scenes from a movie. This is an accurate depiction of the August 2021 flood in Middle Tennessee. The sky opened up and poured down 17 inches of rain within 24 hours taking the lives of 22 and the livelihoods of thousands in Tennessee.
The last maps drawn depicting flood zones in Waverly were done by FEMA in 2017. The maps drastically understated the risks. On top of that, Humphrey County opted out of participating in flood insurance programs and adhering to building codes. Some blame "climate change" for the uptick in destructive flooding in Tennessee. Some blame infrastructure and real estate development. What's clear is that mother nature will do as she wishes regardless of zoning laws. In February 2022, FEMA released new flood maps for Tennessee. The risk factors remain the same but the implications for property values, insurance requirements, and the ability to build or renovate change drastically.
We chatted with a couple in Berry Hill that experienced extreme flooding at their home in 2021. The couple lives near a creek, and flooding in the creek has increased over the last few years. A simple walk up the creek revealed a noticeable build-up of debris blocking water channels along with other factors that have impacted the flood zone near their home, making floods more threatening.
Unfortunately, during the 2021 floods, they experienced a complete washout. Cars and large sections of various buildings and structures washed down their street. They had to tie their cars to their home to prevent them from washing away which may have saved the cars from washing downstream, but couldn't prevent the water from swallowing up the lower level of their home and totaling their cars.
As they’ve sought solutions, they made the discovery that many Middle Tennesseans are making now: their flood zone status is different than they thought when they bought their house. “When we moved in, I was told this home was in a floodplain. Now, they’re telling me it's in a floodway.”
What’s the difference? Unfortunately, a lot of things. For one, making small structural changes is nearly impossible to property in a floodway without having to bring everything up to code. The couple has since moved out and moved on, but their experience reflects that of many Tennesseans. As Tennessee officials attempt to pick up the pieces from last year's flooding season, it looks as though solutions to flooding issues are going to undergo a rigorous process of trial and error.
A few recent examples of Tennessee lawmakers attempting to mitigate the flooding issue:
- Governor Bill Lee proposed spending part of this year's budget to relocate all schools located in floodplains in his State of the State address.
- HB2516 & SB2525 were proposed during the General Assembly regular session to establish a 15-member Tennessee flood resilience and community preparedness task force.
- Metro Bill passed on 3rd reading BL2022-1078 (more below)
- An ordinance authorizing The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County to adopt the revised Flood Insurance Rate Map to minimize dangers to life and property, due to flooding, and to maintain eligibility for participation in the National Flood Insurance Program.
❍ LAST NIGHT AT THE METRO COUNCIL
- BL2022-1113 Metro has actually been playing nice with state legislators. A new amendment was added to the transpotainment bill to allow the Metro Transportation Licensing Commission to set the actual regulations for enclosing entertainment vehicles. This change is to encourage the best solutions for safety, as well as prevent overly confusing or constricting Metro legislative language to curtail the ability of the local industry to make acceptable changes to their party vehicles. It also allows changes to the regulations without having to go through council every time. It is deferred 1 meeting as amended and is expected to be passed into law during the next meeting.
- BL2022-1078 Metro council officially adds about 1,000 Davidson County residents into the floodplain. Surprisingly, there was no discussion about this major shift for these residents while council had the ability to take the floor. The bill was passed on third reading on consent. The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County will be adopting the revised Flood Insurance Rate Map.
- Though there were 3 amendments to the recently passed LPR Bill up for vote on first reading last night, there was no discussion expanding upon the pieces of legislation. All three amendments were passed on consent and will likely strike up an actual conversation during the next session.
⏍ HOW THE NEW CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS VOTED IN THE PAST
- Tennessee tax revenues continued growth in January (AP) The Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration says January revenues totaled $1.8 billion, which is $309.2 million more than budget estimates and 8.9% higher than the January 2021 revenues.
- Trash pickup remains days behind as Metro contractor falls short (Main Street) On Monday, Metro Water Services announced some residents would see a one- to two-day delay in trash pickup this week. But some Antioch residents are still waiting for last week’s trash to be picked up.
- Amazon drops mask requirements for vaccinated employees (NBJ) The Seattle-area tech giant told employees Thursday in an internal memo viewed by the Business Journal that a "sharp decline" in cases across the country coupled with increasing vaccination rates was putting the company on a "path to normal operations."
- Lawmakers eye $2.7B capital projects plan, sale of state property (Lookout) The plan involves renovating the Legislative Plaza and War Memorial Plaza buildings and selling the James K. Polk and Citizens Plaza buildings, as well as moving out of leased property into state-owned buildings.
- Bill Introduced to Let Tennessee Buy Bitcoin (BTC Magazine) Democrat Representative Jason Powell introduced a draft bill to allow the state of Tennessee and other municipalities to invest in bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs.
- Marsha Blackburn Cites Drug-Pipe Questions in Holding Up Stopgap Spending Bill (WSJ) Blackburn said that she will hold up a bill to keep the government funded until the Biden administration responds to her questions about whether a program intended to help people with substance-abuse disorders could be used for pipes to smoke illicit substances.
- Work to start on first Gulch Union residential tower (Post)
➫ THE WAY IT SHOULD BE
The Rams new stadium in the Inglewood neighborhood of Los Angeles, the site of Sunday's Super Bowl, is the most expensive ever constructed, but it didn't cost taxpayers a dime. SoFi Stadium cost nearly $5 billion to complete and sits on a site including a concert hall, a shopping center, office buildings, condos, a luxury hotel, and a 25-acre park giving it a footprint three times the size of Disneyland.
The costs were born by LA Rams billionaire owner, Stan Kroenke, in addition to a whole host of private investors. The only impact on tax dollars in the area is a deal SoFi cut with the city allowing them to collect a portion of the sales tax from within the megaplex — estimated to be $180 million a year — in order to pay for infrastructure and an internal bus transit system.
The arrangement is similar to the one Metro cut with Nashville SC for their 30,000 capacity stadium at the Fairgrounds albeit on a much more massive scale.
Source: The Super Bowl Will Be Played in the Most Expensive Stadium Ever Built. Taxpayers Didn't Pay a Dime.
Reason, February 11th, 2022, Read Online
↗ SIGN OF THE TIMES
🍺 Courage Heineken said it will raise prices for its beer by “courageous” amounts as it seeks to offset rising raw material and energy costs and “crazy” shipping rates.
⛽️ Duplicity Today, US Senators Mark Kelly (D-AZ) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) are introducing the Gas Prices Relief Act, legislation to lower high gas prices by temporarily suspending the federal gas tax through the end of the year. In other words, until midterm elections are over.
📰 Deceit U.S. intelligence officials on Tuesday accused ZeroHedge, a financial news website with a significant American readership, of amplifying Kremlin propaganda and alleged five media outlets targeting Ukrainians have taken direction from Russian spies.
⚔︎ MISSIVES ⚔︎
- 🇷🇺 Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow had withdrawn some troops from the Ukrainian border and was open to renewed talks to end a standoff with the West, but U.S. and European officials said they had seen no evidence of a significant drawdown of forces.
- 🇨🇦 Ottawa’s police chief Peter Sloly has resigned, according to a tweet by an Ottawa city councillor. The news comes amid the ongoing protests in Ottawa against the government’s COVID-19 mandates.
- 🚨 New York City mayor Eric Adams fired 1,430 city workers for refusing to be vaccinated against Covid-19, the city announced on Monday.
- 🗣 The Texas attorney general filed a suit against Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc. on Monday, charging that the social-media giant’s longstanding and now discontinued use of facial-recognition technology violated that state’s privacy protections for personal biometric data.
- 🌾 American farmers are paying significantly higher prices for their weed-killing chemicals, crop seeds, fertilizer, equipment repairs and seasonal labor, eroding some of 2021’s windfall from rising crop prices. Higher farm costs could help push up grocery bills further in 2022, analysts say, following a year in which global food prices rose to decade highs.
THINGS TO DO
View the full calendar here.
🖌 At the Cheekwood, Spanning the Atlantic, The Arts and Crafts Movement, an international trend in the decorative arts that originated in the British Isles during the 19th century.
⏳ Antique Show @ The Fairgrounds, 12p, Free, Info
🎻 Bluegrass Night @ The American Legion Post 82, 7p, Free, Info
🍸 Electric relaxation @ Bar Sovereign, 9p, Free, Info
Get ‘em while you can
🔆 Jordan Peterson (03/22) @ The Ryman, 7:30p, $40+, Info
🎸 Buddy Guy (03/26) @ The Ryman, 7:30p, $80, Info
🐷 Primus a Farewell to Kings tour (05/09) @ The Ryman, 7:30p, $55+, Info
🌕 Full Moon Cemetery Lantern Tour @ Montgomery Bell State Park, 7:30, $10, Info
NEW THIS WEEK
FROM THE ARCHIVE
Around the Web
☁ Life in the soil was thought to be silent. What if it isn’t? A handful of scientists have started to train their ears to the worms, grubs and roots underground. They were not prepared for what they heard.
▣ France Is Living in Zemmour’s World On the 5th of December, Éric Zemmour held his first official political rally. It was an intense affair, with 13,000 “Zemmouristes” assembled to listen to the newly-minted candidate for the French presidency deliver a barnstorming speech in which he blasted the “eternal adolescent” Emmanuel Macron.
୭ How the CDC Abandoned Science Mass youth hospitalizations, COVID-induced diabetes, and other myths from the brave new world of science as political propaganda
Political Theater Highlight Reel
- Sean Hannity exposes Anthony Weiner to hard questions amid media comeback: ‘Have you changed?’
- NYC Mayor Adams: “If you wanna acknowledge or not, I have been doing a darn good job...”
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