Category Archives: blows against Nashville

Forced busing (Greyhound on our trail) or ‘Hush, hush, sweet Charlotte’, those convention center folks know what’s best..

If you missed the story, the Greyhound Bus Terminal down on 8th Ave South is in the big giant dinosaur footprint of the Nashville Convention Center.  Construction is well underway for the CC, and the only parcel of land not eminently domained into moving before now was Greyhound.

So, knowing full well that Greyhound had to make tracks, the city planning folks and the convention center folks decided to move the whole bus center grey and hound out to Murfreesboro Road around the Elm Hill Pike area.  They held some public hearings and the public hell ensued (jet-powered by some influential business-persons in the area), followed by the powers-that-be pulling up their tents and starting over..

It gets a little interesting (if lying publicly is considered interesting) at this point.  The Metro Convention Center (MCC) folks, in concert with Greyhound decide to opt for Plan B (more like Plan 9, but that’s another bad story), which was moving the bus-ers over to 11th and Charlotte where Hanson Chrysler used to peddle cars.   No public hearings this time…just an announcement via the Tennessean after all the decisions had been made.

Of course, a hue, cry and distress signals went up all over this part of town.  Local community organizers, chiefly Jason Powell over at Hope Gardens, pulled together a public meeting where we could question some of the decision makers.  It’s during this meeting (a meeting I attended, double-tweeting with Micchiato aka M. Byrd of Enclave), that the Metro Planning folks stated that the first move to the Murfreesboro Road spot was waylaid because of zoning.  This begs the question as to why the hell they planned the move over there in the first place (they didn’t know the zoning then???).

Meanwhile, our council-person, Erica Gilmore, who lives in Hope Gardens (one of the neighborhoods directly affected by the new location of Greyhound) apparently knew about the move, but chose not to share this information with anyone in her district until it hit the newspapers.

Obviously, there were not public hearings and there WAS plenty of hush-hush because the movers and shakers didn’t want a repeat of the shit-storm on the south end.  But, in the ‘hearing’ tonight, they claimed to be surprised at the opposition and thought that nobody would mind.   There was plenty of zoning mumbo-jumbo talk, after which we discovered (much to the surprise of community leaders who had supported downtown zoning changes) that the city could build/approve/encourage pretty much any dang thing they pleased and no one had to give notification.

Unbelievable.  So, when the convention folks were hard-pressed to explain why no notification was given to people who have businesses DIRECTLY ACROSS THE STREET from the proposed site, the response was: we were not required to give notification.  When in doubt always go for the flag or the bureaucratic answer.

Here’s a few other people who learned about the move in the paper: Precinct Police Commander Huggins, Councilman-at-Large Maynard, Freddy O’Connell (President of Salemtown Neighbors and a member of the MTA board), Jason Powell, President of Hope Gardens…the list goes on.

The good news..the move IS temporary.  They have a one year contract for the location (with the possibility of three consecutive one month contracts).  The bad news…there is a proposed final permanent location, but that location could not yet be revealed.  I think they learned a bit of a lesson here, but we’ll see.

Truth be told, I don’t think the Greyhound folks really are the culprit here…The MCC folks forced their hand and found a place for Greyhound to move, and told Greyhound to hit the trail.

I do have to wonder why Councilwoman Gilmore chose not to share the news.   I do wonder if some of the folks behind the ‘dais’ really believed what they were ‘selling’, and I really wonder how that Korean Restaurant on 11th that never has any customers will handle their new clientele…

Post-script: As always, Mike Byrd has the adult perspective on the story.  I do like my title though..

P

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Filed under blows against Nashville, community

Vokoun is Vo-GONE, I don’t want to be a doubting Tomas, but is this the second stage of the fire sale?

I’m hearing from reliable sources (104.5 and Paul Nicholson and ESPN.Com) that the Preds have traded fan favorite goalie superb-as Tomas Vokoun to the Florida Panthers for three draft picks, including next year’s first round.

When I heard that Vokoun had a contract clause that was going to kick in to the tune of 5.5 million on July 1st, I had a pretty strong feeling that trading Vokoun was going to be an earnest goal of the current ownership and that little could actually save Tomas from leaving the Preds.

The good news is that Chris Mason was actually the better of the two goalies for most of the last year, thanks to Vokoun’s injuries. The bad news, and here I put on my cynical cap, is that I truly believe that Leipold does not want the Preds to make the magic 14,000 average ticket sold mark so that the team he is trying to sell can be more readily moved to the Kansas City/Winnipeg/Hamilton of choice. Even if the Balsillie dealie doesn’t go through, I don’t think that he believes a serious Gnashville buyer will skate onto the scene.

For some reason I’m reminded of a great old Kinks song: ‘Who’ll be the next in line?’.

Selling off two players who have been with the franchise from the beginning and who are beloved players (Timmonen and Vokoun) is at least the first few characters of writing on the wall. I’d love to be wrong. I have my tix for next year and will support the team.

But will I be supporting a lame duck franchise…when the writing on the wall becomes legible is it gonna read ‘see ya, don’t wanna be ya!’??

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Filed under blows against Nashville, hockey tawk

Can a lame duck be a Predator?, or, Apparently Leipold does change his spots, or, does Balsillie give you the willies?

The theme music for today’s post is from Jethro Tull. ‘Skating away..skating away…’

I read the news today, oh boy. A lucky* man apparently made the grade. The man behind the technology behind your Blackberry is about to buy what is soon going to be our ‘former’ Predators. The poor guy, Jim Balsillie, is apparently only the 186th richest person in the world.

Predator’s current owner Craig Leipold has long committed to keeping the team in Nashville, taking out full page ads to assure us hockey fans that the Preds would be skating in Nashville for years and years to come.

Sadly, he must have literally meant two years. Mr. Balsillie isn’t buying the team to keep the Preds in our city. He wants a team for Hamilton, Ontario. He may give us some lip (service) about keeping the team in Music City, but truthfully, he’ll be singing a different song to his peeps in Maple-land.

I’ve enjoyed the Preds and been a partial-season-ticket holder for several years. Unfortunately, the ratio of people like me, is way too high in comparison to corporate sponsorship. I’d love to be part of a fandom that could convince Mr. Balsillie that we’d stand on guard for the future of ice hockey in Nashville, but honestly…Balsillie to Nashville will soon have the ring of ‘Bud Adams’ to the follks down in Houston.

*lucky as defined by Thomas Edison. 90% perspiration, 10% inspiration.

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Filed under blows against Nashville, hockey tawk, Predators