Jeff Syracuse Metro Council District 15
Honoring Frank Trew, Important Community Meetings and Presenting a Vision for Our Stones River Regional Park
Dear Friends –
Our hearts have been heavy since the news of Frank Trew’s passing. He was a close, personal friend of mine. There was no one I worked more closely with on behalf of Donelson’s neighborhoods than Frank. There was a shared passion of organizing neighborhoods and helping form Neighborhood Watch groups, supporting and celebrating local businesses and serving and taking care of our neighbors. We talked a lot about Donelson’s future. Hip Donelson has been that organization to bring the community together in great ways to support the community now and advocate for what we want to be in the future. Frank’s leadership of Hip Donelson is a major reason you see “hip” pages on Facebook all around Middle Tennessee now. Hip Donelson’s success of being that “virtual front porch” for neighbors to engage with each other has become a model many want to follow. I encourage everyone to focus on Frank’s great example of service and follow his lead. Our neighborhoods, schools, non-profits and civic organizations need each of us to be involved, serve one another and continue to keep us a strong community.
The board of Hip Donelson is strong and they have already been working on moving forward and continuing the good work. Big thanks to Maggie Sidlinger, who served as Vice President of Hip Donelson and directed the Hip Donelson Community Farmer’s Market with Frank, has stepped into the President role and Marylee Locey is Vice President. As a founder and ex-officio board member, I’m committed to supporting this organization that is very close to my heart. And speaking of the farmer’s market, it felt like a one-two punch that we abruptly learned that Ace Hardware along with a few other locations had closed. Hopefully even before this newsletter goes out, we will learn of a new franchise owner that will reopen Ace, but as of the writing of this newsletter, we are still awaiting to hear what the future will be. However, I can confirm the market is secure at this location for the rest of the season. As the season winds down, please make an extra effort to come to the market and support the vendors and this very special weekly event that kicks off our weekends with lots of community pride.
As we need to continue to celebrate Frank’s life and example, I write this newsletter on Sunday, September 10th and its World Suicide Prevention Day as well as National Suicide Prevention Week. Losing someone close to you as we know is very painful. It was a shock for me to learn of Frank’s cause of death and brought an additional depth of grief, anger and other difficult mixed emotions. While we may never have total understanding and closure of why Frank took his life, in keeping with the sentiments above that we honor his life in service to others, take a moment to review the links above and remember to “take a minute, change a life”. Wherever possible, let someone who is struggling know that they are not alone, they are loved and we are there for them.
There are two important community meetings coming for the Pennington Bend / Opry / Music Valley area:
- Pennington Bend Development Along the Cumberland River – Thursday, September 21st at 6:30pm at Grace Nazarene Church. As I write this, I am watching as Hurricane Irma is about to make landfall in Florida. Here in Donelson, development along the Cumberland River in the Pennington Bend area has recently seen an uptick in variance requests to develop in the floodway buffer. I have opposed any variance request. It is irresponsible development in my opinion. There are about 43 undeveloped properties along the river in the area. In order to try and facilitate a cohesive approach, each property owner and the community are being invited to a meeting with Metro Water Services to learn about the potential of a voluntary buy-out program that would allow Metro to purchase the land and ensure development along the river is kept to a minimum and is done so in a responsible way and not in the floodway buffer. Big thanks to Grace Church of the Nazarene for hosting this meeting.
Below is an example of the letter going out from Metro to the owners of vacant properties, which are the focus of this meeting.
- Opry / Music Valley Holiday Traffic – Wednesday, September 27th at 7pm at Texas Troubadour Theater. Dealing with both the short-term Holiday Traffic issues and long-term infrastructure needs in the area are two major focuses of mine. Please join management from Ryman Hospitality / Opryland Hotel, Opry Mills and Gresham, Smith & Partners to discuss Holiday Traffic plans and also share an overview of the long-term infrastructure study recommendations. Representatives from our Hermitage Precinct and Public Works will be in attendance as well. Many thanks to the Texas Troubadour Theater in Music Valley Village for hosting us.
Metro Parks is ready to share a draft of the master plan for our Stones River Regional Park. On September 20th from 12:00 non to 7:30pm at the Hermitage Branch Library, there will be a variety of activities and opportunities to engage with this plan and give your feedback. See flyer below for details.
Music Valley will have two Farmer’s, Flea & Arts Market events coming up. Saturday, September 23rd and Saturday, October 21st will be a sidewalk event full of Fall farm fresh goodness, antiques, vintage, collectibles, local treasures, reclaimed and upcycled art and handmade crafts, food and more. See flyer below for details as well as visit Nashville Music Valley for more events in the area.
As discussions begin about a possible MLS soccer stadium at the Fairgrounds, some have asked me a number of questions about that and what is the status of improving the current facilities. Here is a letter from the Fairgrounds Board that gives a good bit of information