Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Gloves Are Coming Off: My Letter to City Council Members

JEN SMASH!

In case you missed Tuesday's Council meeting, you can read a little of what went down over at The City Paper. This girl, for one, is pissed. And I am once again breaking my rule about getting political on here. I don't even care. 

Without much further introduction, here is the letter I wrote to Council yesterday. It sums up my feelings pretty well.
Council Members,

Not only was the public hearing on the Hickory Hollow lease agreements a disappointment because it was totally unannounced, but many of the speakers didn't even address the bill at hand, instead turning it into a discussion on the racetrack and fairgrounds.

Had I known this would happen, I would have spoken up with those in favor of the HH agreements.

Going behind the backs of neighbors who support redeveloping the fairgrounds, leaving us quite blindsided, to premeditate a plan to open the floor up to public hearing on the day that fairgrounds supporters hold a protest outside of chambers makes for a totally unfair discussion, at best. I question the character of any Council member who promotes transparency in government and then pulls a political stunt like this. 

Furthermore, last night provided more proof of racetrack supporters ganging up on and using bullying tactics to quiet the neighbors. From some pointing fingers, to rude snickering, to some making crude remarks to us before and after the meeting, to Councilman Duvall provoking them with a fist raised in victory after Dominy's bill was deferred indefinitely.

Rather than try and be good neighbors and make a positive contribution to our community, racetrack supporters prefer to come at us saying that because we haven't lived here for over 100 years (really?) then we don't deserve any standing or say in what we want for our community.

Finally, I'll answer the question they keep using as an argument. "If you knew there was a racetrack here, then why did you buy a house here?"

The answer is that as a then 24-year-old, recent college graduate, I wasn't thinking about a racetrack. I was thrilled to be buying my first home in an affordable urban neighborhood that was convenient to everything. I saw a neighborhood on the rise, and I was excited to make my first major investment in a growing community. 3 years later, I really don't see how that disqualifies me from wanting what is best for my neighborhood. I also know that you have gotten letters from residents who have lived in Wedgewood-Houston for 60 years, 40 years, 10 years and everything in between who support fairgrounds redevelopment.

If racetrack and fairgrounds supporters wanted more support from the neighborhood, they should have been better neighbors.

Thank you,
Jen
Feel free to take from it what you would like and write Council. I will continue to be my nice self, but I am done allowing racetrack bullies and certain Council Members stick it to the neighbors because of whatever agenda they (the Council Members) may have against Mayor Dean. Wedgewood-Houston will not be a political playground.




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51 comments:

  1. When redevelopment opponents run straight to the "then why did you move there arguments" they're clearly showing how little they understand the opposing point of view. The reasons people moved to the area and the reasons people want the area to change are entirely different and actually have no bearing on one another.

    In my opinion the only important question is: why should it change vs. why should it nor change?

    Answer that for yourself and keep these principles in mind:
    - highest and best use
    - opportunity cost
    - cost benefit

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  2. Thanks, Buck. And agreed.

    I've even heard some Council Members use those arguments. Which is why it's important we communicate with them. Some of them really don't understand.

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  3. I'm a Woobine Life'er and I'm for this ..
    It burns my butt ( I wrote this on my FB too )

    Folks that wouldn't been seen living in this part of town on those that live on the other end of the 16th District ( w/ 440 between them and the race track ) are the ones that are pushing this to the boiling point..
    All they want to do is come and "play" racing and then go to their nice quite houses..

    That race track would be gone if good old DW or Marlin lived any where down here..

    I'm sick of this "good old boy " next work.. it doesn't work in 2010...

    The 16th District is shooting itself in the foot if they keep the race tract .

    I like to see someone one try to bully me..

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  4. I understand the concerns of the neighbors over the noise. There are ways to fix this with mufflers on these race cars. This is HISTORY we are talking about, the 2ND oldest track in the US (behind INDY). Most of the neighbors do not understand this. What is going to happen when the Fairgrounds and the race track are gone, Dean gets his office building and greenway and then cannot fill the office spaces? or 5 years down the road, it is the BIGGEST DRUG area in Nashville with all the homeless living there and crime racing threw the roof ??? The Coke factory does not have the fence up with the barbwire just for decoration!. Will the neighbors complain then? Your damn right they will, then they will be wishing the Fairgrounds were still there where they can hear the sounds of the cars, not the gunshots ringing in the night. I do not live in Davidson Co., but I can smell a RAT (Dean) 30 miles away. By the time all his plan has gone threw, his pockets will be full of the tax payers money and he will be sitting pretty in is little quiet house in Brentwood that the tax payer paid for with his plan to distroy the Fairgrounds..... I am not a fake person and have been going to those Fairgrounds for 20 plus years, its like a second home to me. While we are going to get rid of the fairgrounds, lets just tear down the Ryman, or just rename Music Row to Dean Lane.

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  5. "I" have lived in this part of town all my life..
    "I" was born when we lived on Moore Ave.
    I cut my teeth at Fair park..
    "I" have lived on Whitney,Jay,Elberta and Lutie st..
    "MY" grand parents moved into this area in the early 50's
    So did 90% of the family ..
    Why would I want to live any where else?
    I moved to my current house because my sister who was helping to care of our mother passed away and at that point "I" stepped in to take care of her.. "MY" mother needed me...
    The rent is cheap so we can pay down our debt and it is close to other family members... THAT's why I moved were I live now..

    Now if the enjoyment of seeing cars going around and around on a little track is more important than building community and making improvement to this area then, well this world is really screwed..

    Neither YOU or even myself know what will happen in 5 years.. or 10 years or?
    But I do know I love this area .. I love its people .. and I want to see it grow into an area that we can be proud of.. Not into a money pit..
    Oh wait .. is that our tax dollars being thrown in that pit? Why yes it is ...

    I wish to God folks would be so riled up about building a better school system or taking care of our poor as they are about the Fairgrounds..

    The people in this area SHOULD have the finally say what going on no one else.. period end of story..

    I'm not sorry about the rant.. My voice will not be drowned out nor will I be bullied ..

    Denise on Whitney

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  6. Scott and Denise,
    Thanks for keeping it somewhat reasonable. I'm deleting comments that are offensive. Just fyi.

    Scott,
    We obviously have very different perspectives on this issue. The racetrack was a sore spot for the neighborhood long before I moved in. The management in the past has been hard to deal with, not compromising on much until the neighbors went to the fair board (mostly regarding racing during school hours, late nights, etc).

    I understand the history of the property. If the beautiful Victorian buildings that unfortunately burned in the '60's were still there to be restored, this conversation might be totally different.

    I do think you have been misinformed. Like any inner-city neighborhood, we have our share of crime, but it is not as bad as you are insinuating.

    The needs of this area have evolved. And I'm glad city officials, including Mayor Dean, have recognized that.

    For the record, there were employees from the Coke plant at the press conference regarding Browns Creek. They seemed happy about the creek restoration and the park.

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  7. Uh no.. the neighborhood was here first..then the horse track .. then the race track ..

    JD SHULTZ if you live 1000 miles from my part of Nashville..well you don't have a dog in this fight now do you ?
    In fact its none of your business..period..
    Only the folks that live near and around it have the right to say yeah or nay..
    So until you move to South Nashville or to Nashville period your opinion is just that your opinion..
    And you know what they say about opinions don't you?

    That's all I'm saying..

    Denise

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  8. Ifin anything I write needs to be deleted no hard feelings..
    I understand keeping the peace..

    Why do folks have to rude? That's been my whole knee jerk reaction .. folks are so fired up about this.. tax money being thrown into something that is not working for the city.. but yet they won't get fired up because our kids are poorly educated.. or there are homeless people without food in our city..

    No folks want things to stay the same....
    want the "good old boy" network to rule the day..

    grrr..

    And this is why I don't come to the meetings..
    My mouth.. I don't keep it shut ..

    Denise

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  9. Thanks Denise! I know, it stinks that people feel the need to be so rude. It's because they are trying to intimidate.

    Of course, reasonable conversation is welcome. But I just don't see the point in trying to reason with people who are insulting.

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  10. I understand the feelings of many of the neighbors and good people of Nashville concerning the noise from the Racetrack. I for one pleaded with former track lease holders to put mufflers on the cars and I am a racer. Moving forward, I believe that mufflers, a noise db level and a curfew like used for outdoor concert events need to be a part of the lease. I believe that we have seen many leadership problems at the Fairgrounds. I believe that we can get together and work out issues that will let us all live in harmony. I for one would love to help with this process.
    Name calling and bully tactics have come from both sides. I for one am asking everyone to get together and work out the issues in a statesman like manner.

    In 2007 the Fair Board hired consultant Rob Markin for a report on the racetrack and future uses of the Fairgrounds. They paid $125,000 for the study.

    This study has been one of the most misunderstood and incorrectly quoted documents in the history of the world! The Mayor and other opponents of the Fairgrounds have said that the report stated that the best use of the Fairgrounds was to get rid of them and use the land for commercial development

    This is far from the truth.

    In fact, the Markin Report did not give a specific recommendation. It gave two options:

    (1) Keep the Fairgrounds and make improvements to bring it up to a higher level.

    -- OR --

    (2) Spend roughly $75 million and purchase new land and start over from "scratch."

    Nowhere did the report recommend that the land should be abandoned in favor of commercial development. He did say that if option 2 were selected and a new fairgrounds purchased, that a "mixed used" commercial development would be the next best usage of the property.

    It is also interesting to note that in both options Markin felt that the State Fair and Fairgounds operation were viable concerns, and he felt that management was one of the currently limiting factors.

    If you take the time to look into the finances of the Fairgrounds, you see a picture of money being taken from the Fairgrounds and in most cases put into the general fund. I'm talking many millions of $.
    My thought is that we as citizens demand that the financial picture of the fairgrounds gets cleaned up and let the people see the true picture of where the money is going. We also need to look at a clear picture of the other public areas and what we are doing to support, upkeep, and beautify those areas. Munipal auditorium, sounds stadium, the science center, LP field, all get money from the city. The fairgrounds makes enough money to give to the city and help fund these other sites.
    Let's get the whole picture, legislate changes and improvements to the Fairgrounds and the activities there and preserve a bit of history as well as the many livelihoods that are affected by the Fairgrounds

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  11. Unfortunately Dean has managed to link these issues together, probably to make sure he gets his way - money in his back pocket.

    If the choices are (a) spending tax money to invest in property that is already owned by Metro to spruce it up or (b) spending tax money to rent space in a privately-owned building that isn't suitable for the venture, it seems to me that choice a would be the most economical for our tax money.

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  12. I agree that we need to do things to spruce up the property and to make it more useful to the community. However, I also believe that we need to keep the current events that are held at the Fairgrounds in place. Let's tweak what we have. Not spend a ton of money to relocate, pay rent, and spend upwards of 20 million to clear the Fairgrounds to get it "site ready" I believe that we can all live in harmony if we get the right group together from all sides and work out legislation that benefits the rights and wishes of the neighbors and the financial aspects of the Fairgrounds for the people that generate their income and spend their pleasure income on the site.
    I have major concerns when the financial picture is being skewed by the Mayor and he has not given a solid plan for the property.
    The leading rumor is HCA. Do we really want to do away with the fairgrounds and the limited noise produced there ( which can be reduced greatly with mufflers)for ambulances, Helicopters and sirens 24/7/365?
    Sirens don't have mufflers and never will

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  13. Please put my last name (Smiley) on my comments. I have nothing to hide

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  14. Jen, One more thing for you. I am willing to sit down with anyone with an open mind concerning the Fairgrounds and how to improve the area.

    I am a level headed person that does not use bully tactics or rude remarks to get a point across.
    We have both seen this from both sides.
    Frederick Agee is one from your side that makes out of line and snide comments. He likes to stir the pot.
    Let's get past the he said she said part of this and work together to make the Fairgrounds a place that we can all be proud of and also fiscally responsible.
    I have a great deal of the financial paperwork on the Fairgrounds if you would like to see it. If the Mayor is willing to be this choosey on the facts that he wants to share on this matter, what else is he hiding? This effects us all.
    You might also want to keep in mind that while campaigning, then candidate Dean came to the track and told us that he was the man that supported and was going to save the fairgrounds and the racetrack. These have proven to be empty promises. What else is he going to promise and then turn his back on when it comes to this property? The park? He can't be trusted and as a community we should be demanding transparency and a good solid plan before we allow him to shove this plan down our throats.
    I look forward to speaking with you in the future.
    Shane Smiley

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  15. Shane thank you for being a voice for reason..

    Last night laying in bed I was thinking about this whole race track thing.. and I've come to a conclusion
    If race track and the whole fairgrounds was at least breaking even I would be the first to start shouting to keep it..
    Noise and all ..
    I think the noise thing is 2nd to me.. its the fact my hard earn money is being thrown into something that is NOT at least paying for itself.. it doesn't have to make a profit .. just make enough to maintain itself.. that's all.

    I'm not willing to throw my tax dollars I have to pay on everything I buy ( you know the almost 10 % ) into something that only benefits a small group of folks.
    The race fans and drivers..

    Folks will yell loud if their tax dollars will be spent to care for someone's health care but they will fight you tooth and nail to throw their tax dollars into something that can't break even.

    You know as well as I do the drivers wouldn't be willing to put mufflers on their car.. I've been told it slows the car down..
    Curfew.. that's not going to happen..

    We all know what's wrong.. now what to do about it..

    I personally like to see the Women's buildings stay.. keep the Flea market and all the events right there.. invest in improving those buildings, spruce the place up a bit.

    Con't to clean up and develop Browns creek into a nice walking/picnic area .. some place nice where folks can go just sit..

    Then where the race track is at?
    A small civic center.. w/ maybe an amphitheater...

    Make the place nice.. and welcoming to ALL folks to enjoy.

    Maybe have a small area of office buildings .. to generate income to help support the rest of the area there..

    Now this is if was a perfect world.. but its not..

    Plus I feel its a done deal..the Mayor is going to do what he wants.. its too late for folks to sit down and talk..
    Folks should have done that a year or two ago..

    These are my opinions .. you mileage may vary lol

    Denise on Whitney

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  16. Thanks for your comments, Shane. While I appreciate the efforts to reach out, I worry that talks of 'sprucing up' the fairgrounds are too little too late. That idea doesn't even have the support of the Fair Board. Conversation about transforming the fairgrounds has been on the table for years, and if anyone really cared about making it nicer, well, it should have been done a long time ago.

    I really don't subscribe to the conspiracy theory that the Mayor is hiding something from us or making money off of this. Having personally spoken with him, Alexia Poe and Sandra Moore, I truly believe that they are doing what they think is the right thing to do. They've said over and over again that developers aren't really willing to get involved until the land is actually development ready. And HCA is just what you said, a rumor.

    We aren't just fighting to get rid of the racetrack. We are fighting FOR a mixed-use development, with affordable housing, retail, restaurants and a park. It's everything this area is lacking. This community is ready to thrive, but the fairgrounds are holding us back, and I think city officials recognize that.

    I do not fear that the fairgrounds will turn into a bunch of empty office buildings or one giant warehouse, but even if that were to become a threat, we would fight that too. SNAP was successful in battling the placement of a waste treatment facility in the neighborhood several years ago. Had the facility been built, it would have killed this neighborhood. So we have a history of getting what we want.

    I understand and appreciate the history of the fairgrounds. But I don't think that nostalgia justifies holding on to and trying to sustain a facility that is composed primarily of pavement.

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  17. Jen, sorry to ask you questions constantly, but I'm assuming that the fairgrounds property would not have the same zoning issues as have affected the Burlap Cafe site. Do you know?

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  18. Rachele I'm not Jen.. but I'm betting the land would be Grandfather's in.. The mayor's office wouldn't be pushing this hard if they knew they would have get it re zoned..

    Denise on Whitney

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  19. Denise, that makes sense to me.

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  20. SNL, If the Mayor has nothing to hide, why hasn't he come out with the true financials of the Fairgrounds and on the Hickory Hollow leases.
    He gives the low lights of the Fairgrounds saying that if it keeps up with the current trend that it will have to dip into the general fund. The fact is that the Fairgrounds has paid into the general fund for many years. He says that the Fairgrounds is losing money. They Fairgrounds is losing money on paper thru depreciation yet, still contributes to the general fund annually. If you would like facts on the financials, I would be happy to get them to you.

    As for Hickory Hollow, he didn't come out with the true costs of operating those leases.

    I agree that things need to improve at the Fairgrounds. I believe that it can become a viable source of mixed use without destroying it.
    A proper management team and Fair board would be a great start. Even the Makin report that the Mayor loves to misquote states that the management of the property is a huge concern

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  21. I wasn't sure, so I had to ask someone.

    Apparently it is currently zoned as IWD, which means pretty much anything can go there.

    SNAP members are going to ask Sandra or another Council member to request a formal opinion from Metro legal about whether whatever would go on the property would have to go through Council approval, or only if it would require a supplemental budget bill. That could influence whether a zoning change would be in our best interests or even necessary.

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  22. As for the noise concerns, I am with you. Mufflers should be mandated and a curfew like the legislation already in place at most or all outdoor venues nation wide needs to be in place. If you go past the curfew, it cost you $10,000 per minute. I can assure you that they will not go late

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  23. "Tis the gift to be simple" said...
    Shane thank you for being a voice for reason..

    Last night laying in bed I was thinking about this whole race track thing.. and I've come to a conclusion
    If race track and the whole fairgrounds was at least breaking even I would be the first to start shouting to keep it..
    Noise and all ..
    I think the noise thing is 2nd to me.. its the fact my hard earn money is being thrown into something that is NOT at least paying for itself.. it doesn't have to make a profit .. just make enough to maintain itself.. that's all.

    With that said, If I can show you the financials supporting that the Fairgrounds does sustain itself and in fact contributes to the general fund, And help to put legislation in place to curb the noise, would you then be a supporter of Saving this historic venue?

    Folks, I truly believe that with the right management in place, Professionals in the field of events, The Fairgrounds can be beautified, be diverse, and an even bigger contributor to the general fund.
    As it is now, the fair board is comprised mostly of real estate lobby, and yes sayers to the Mayor. Let's get professionals in place.

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  24. "Tis the gift to be simple",( I love your title!!!) If you or anyone else would like to contact me concerning the true financial outlook on the Fairgrounds, You can reach me at shane.alan.smiley@gmail.com

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  25. http://fairgroundsheritage.org/pdf/What_Do_You_See.pdf

    Interesting read

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  26. Whatever is going on with their financial issues doesn't change the fact that I, and many others, want to see something different there.

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  27. SNL, I respect your opinion. I am simply trying to shed light on the facts.

    "Tis the gift to be simple said herself that she would have a different perspective if the Fairgrounds were supporting itself. I think with the financial picture that she has now seen, she and everyone else that takes time to read them are at the very least better informed.
    After seeing the financials,You can not deny that the information given by the Mayors office is askew.

    As a citizen, doesn't it open your eyes that something improper may be in the works?
    At the very least, we have gained ground by having a civilized, mature conversation on the matter from two sides of the coin. I believe we all have a better understanding of each others thoughts, hopes, beliefs, and a clearer picture of the facts at hand. Now, we can think about what we have accomplished and come back to each other as respectful citizens.

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  28. "At the very least, we have gained ground by having a civilized, mature conversation on the matter from two sides of the coin. I believe we all have a better understanding of each others thoughts, hopes, beliefs, and a clearer picture of the facts at hand. Now, we can think about what we have accomplished and come back to each other as respectful citizens."

    Amen to that! Now, I'll be really impressed if we can all go out for beers after the next Council meeting. :)

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  29. My guess is that enough people will see that the Hickory Hollow location is not the right venue for Fairground events, Dillard's portion will be defeated, and they will start looking for a more suitable location.

    Hickory Hollow does not work. Too small, To limiting as to the type of shows, a bad idea.
    That location will kill the flea market business, car shows, home and garden, Christmas village.
    If they die, And the experts at promoting those types of events say it will, We are stuck with a long term lease and no way to support it. THAT will force us to dip into the general fund, and raise tax's. Remember, The Fairgrounds contributes to the general fund as things stand.

    My guess is that we are going to be neighbors for some time yet, I think we are doing the right thing by opening dialogue so that we can take the actions necessary to live in harmony.

    Beer? did you say Beer?
    Remember, Life is too short to drink cheap beer!
    Cheers!

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  30. At the end of the day I believe this is a democratic decision. To the victors go the spoils. You support your side, I'll support mine: you rally your troops, and I'll do the same.

    In a legitimate disagreement, such as this, there may not be a "right" or "wrong" answer. Therefore, whichever P.O.V. that convinces the most voting citizens and councilmen to vote a certain way will win.

    I'm going to do my best to stay informed, inform others and evoke action from all that I can.

    On one side we have the organized South Nashville Action People (SNAP)) and on the other side we have race fans - the stage is set. See you there!

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  31. Buck, on the other side you have race teams, fans, Fair goers, Flea market vendors, Flea market goers, car show promoters and attendees, Christmas village, Gun shows, ETC.

    Buck, Doesn't it seem odd to you that we can build a Billion dollar convention center without raising tax's but, Mayor Dean claims that doing anything but selling the Fairgrounds will force tax's to go up?
    The Fairgrounds does generate money for the general fund.
    Is it that the plan is to sell the Fairgrounds to fund the convention center but, He failed to disclose this to the public?

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  32. According to the CoStar Group, a commercial real estate information report, Nahsville's vacancy rate for downtown office space is an amazing 17.2%,nearly double what is considered healthy in a market place-it makes no sense to build more office space,especially at the taxpayers expense.

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  33. Shane.. FG may be bring cash in to the general funds.. but how much is taking to up keep?

    If its in the negative or if its not at least breaking even.. it needs to go...

    Show me the books..

    Historical wise.. I hate to see anything tore down or built upon..
    But what ticks me off where in the world was all these folks when they torn down the old roller coaster ride .. if I'm not mistaken was the OLDEST wooden roller coaster in the US .. oh yeah that's right it was tore down to make more room for parking for the flea market and the RACE TRACK!
    Where were all these folks when they were / are tearing down other historical sites around Middle TN?
    No,these folks only care about the "historical aspect of the track" because they think it may give them an edge to keeping the track..
    THAT is just plain wrong..and in my book hypocritical..

    Everyone I'm just glad we can a conversation with out yelling at each other.
    It just goes to show ( on both sides ) that folks CAN and SHOULD be able to talk.. and give a little on both sides..

    The way I see it the ugly actions on both sides boil down to one thing and one thing only.. and that's fear..
    Folks that want something new there are afraid that progress is being stopped and their neighborhood will start to back slid into the slum it was heading into about 10 years ago..
    And the Race Fans they are afraid of change.
    A small part of their past is being taken from them by outsiders that don't understand its meaning..

    Ok.. I'm rambling and not adding anything to solution..

    Again so me the books..

    Denise on Whitney

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  34. Shane I was taking a look at the link you posted..
    I want to see something that is not compiled by folks for or against this..
    I was to see what is brought in and what is paid out..

    black and white.. or red and white ..whichever

    Denise on Whitney

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  35. Denise. I will work on getting you the actual spread sheets.
    FYI, I have seen the sheets and the numbers from the sheet were used to build the fact book by Dr. Laska

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  36. Shane, do you own property in Nashville? If so where?

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  37. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  38. Anonymous, If you want me to answer your questions, I will be happy to do so. As soon as you step out of the shadows and identify yourself.

    I am using my full name, nothing to hide.
    A lack of transparency is a big part of the issue that we are dealing with.
    Time to step out of the shadows and be recognized.
    If you have a question for me, have the respect for me and everyone on this blog to step up as a man, or woman and not hide behind the smoke of Anonymous.

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  39. Shane, thank you. I didn't think you lived in Nashville but you must be close maybe Hendersonville? I see you changed your location on facebook, I guess you want people to think you live in Nashville....

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  40. Anonymous, You are being a bully.

    I was first attracted to post on this blog when I read the sentiments of the folks posting their wishes and hopes that the Bully tactics would stop.
    I am happy to say that we have had spirited yet constructive conversations over the past few days without any name calling, yelling or bully tactics. Until now.
    You hiding behind the curtain and posting false information is in my opinion cowardly and heartless. I was taught to never trust the man behind the curtain. Your false information in your last post are proof that my grandad and the Wizard of Oz were teaching truth.
    I am a Nashvillian that lives nowhere near Hendersonville and I have changed absolutely nothing on my Facebook page profile in quite some time. You are trying to stir the pot with your comments.
    I would ask you to step out of from behind the curtain and have an honest conversation about your views.
    I have nothing to hide. If you ask my opinion, I'll tell you what I think. You may not agree with me but, it gives us a starting point for a conversation. At the end of the day, we may not agree on things but, we will have a better understanding on one anothers points of view and hopefully we can find some common ground to stand on.
    This is not Oz. This is Nashville. Stand up and be proud!

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  41. Bullies..... I can't stand Bullies!

    The last post from Anonymous got me thinking about Bullies.
    Most folks see the Bully as the biggest guy picking on the little guy. I never did see it that way. Usually is was the normal statured picking on the little guy or a bunch of the normal statured picking on the big guy.

    I have almost always been the biggest guy in the room. For those of you that don't know me, I'm 6' 265.
    Not huge just bigger than most.
    I have seen and experienced countless times the little guy get picked on for years. When he gets bigger, and stronger, He finds his inner strength and gets fed up with getting pushed around. Now the easiest way to make sure Everyone quits messing with you is to have a showdown with the biggest guy in the room. Like I said, I am usually the big guy.
    I Hate bullies! I hate bully tactics!! They get us nowhere!
    I am a peaceful man, In all of my 44 years on this planet, I have never started a fight. With that said, I have never been in a fight that I couldn't finish either. Uncle Sam took care of that.
    But, I hate it! I will not pick a fight. I have never thrown the first punch. I guess I have always believed that we can come to some kind of common ground without slurs or coming to blows.
    I will fight if I feel that My Family, country, or myself are in danger. That is having a will to live.

    I came to this Blog in hopes of finding common ground on an issue that effects my friends, my family, neighbors, fellow citizens and myself.
    I am here in good faith and am hoping that we can work together to find a harmonious way to Live,Work, and Play in South Nashville.

    I think, I need to go for a long walk.
    Have a great day
    Shane Smiley
    I have been talking this morning about this, She could see that I was worried and a bit upset. She reminded me that I am a peace loving, God fearing man.

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  42. I am not insinuating that Anonymous is a small man.
    I am simply saying that his tactics remind me of a bully of that stature. Oz instantly came to mind.
    Have a pleasant day folks.

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  43. Shane,

    There are boundaries in life and you and your racer buddies have not been given that lesson. How did a simple question such as, "Do you own property in Nashville turn in to how big, bad, and tough you are or how many fights you have been in? I would say calling someone a bully who posts anonymously the pot calling the kettle black. You and your racer buddies go to the extreme of crashing our neighborhood blog when the Neighbors For Progress do not crash the fairgrounds speedway facebook page. Shane in the future good manners like not crossing boundaries or trying to come on a neighborhood blog with the intention of taking over the conversation and interrupting our dialog should be something you practice. Thanks for the consideration.

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  44. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  45. Anonymous,

    I have been involved in 3 fights in my life. I hated every one.

    I have a few buddies that race. This is true.

    I have been blessed to find myself in the position to do a little racing in my life although it is not the center piece of my existence.

    The truth is, I am a neighbor. I have been working and living in the neighborhood since 1993.

    I have based my business in Berry Hill since 2003.
    Many of you may have seen a Silver Prevost xl tour bus based across the street from the Board of Education building since 2006. I am an owner/operator. Working my tail off as a small business owner in the South Nashville Community.

    I would say that qualifies me to post on a neighborhood blog. I am after all, a neighbor.

    It was never my intention to take over the conversation nor was it my wish to interrupt your dialog.

    It was my intention to be a part of my community and to share some facts and ideas on the subject at hand.
    I can see that having a different point of of view from Anonymous has upset him. That's the chance you take when you speak your mind. I accept that.

    I find it interesting that because I do not share the same view as "Anonymous" that he is trying to bully me out of the sandbox.

    So, Here is where I stand. I would enjoy continuing civil, informative, conversations concerning this topic and concern.

    I will not post anything further to Anonymous.

    Feedback welcomed.
    Thank you,
    Shane

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  46. Shane,

    If your conversation has to do with saving the Fairgrounds Speedway please save it for the Fairgrounds Speedway Facebook page. I will be glad to discuss improving the fairgrounds property as long as continuing racing is not included in that conversation. Thanks

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  47. A quick note worthy item.
    I was at the Metro tax assessor office today on business and asked the representative about the Hickory Hollow lease plan.

    A roll of the eyes was the first response followed by the following question,

    "Why would anyone spend $5.00 sq/ft for mall space that values at between $2 and $3 sq/ft?
    It is not a fiscally sound plan that will hurt future development in the mall and surrounding area by setting an unreal precedent."

    This lease issue involves every one of us.
    Our tax dollars are at stake.

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  48. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
    Family and tradition define us and contribute in forming our legacy.

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  49. What about this?

    http://www.newschannel5.com/Global/story.asp?S=13576177

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