Jeff Syracuse

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Donelson Non-Profit News - September 2017

Fifty Forward Donelson Station will be hosting a casino night in support of the center.  See details in the flyer below.

Casino Night at Fifty Forward Donelson Station

Grace Story Church is a new church for Donelson and is “a community where everyone is welcome because there’s no one to impress and nothing to prove.  To put it simply, we’re a community defined by grace.”  They launch their services on Sunday, September 17th at 4pm and they’re located at 400 Donelson Pike in the building by the playground.  Visit their website at the link above for more info.

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Donelson School News - September 2017

Last newsletter I wrote about the situation of the delay at Pennington Elementary School’s expansion and renovation.  This past month I’ve also been made aware of the need for repair and upgrade of sidewalks and crossings around the school.  I’m engaged with Public Works and MNPS and they are looking into this.  I hope to be able to share progress in subsequent newsletters.

Speaking of sidewalks, the good news to share is that as you probably have seen if you traverse McGavock Pike, the sidewalks connecting McGavock High School onto McGavock Pike are being installed.  I’ve asked for that for a long time.  I also have a Capital Improvement Budget request for a sidewalk on McGavock Pike to at least for now connect McGavock High School and Two Rivers Middle.  Not time frame and I still need to get that funded, but it would be well used I believe.

TN Achieves is always looking for mentors to serve our local schools.  Visit their website to learn more.  This is one way you can serve our local community and help kids get a solid start in life.

TN Achieves Is Always Looking For Mentors

The Nashville Youth Basketball Association is recruiting for their fall league.  This is held at McGavock High School.  Visit their website for more info and see the flyer below.

Nashville Youth Baseball Association is recruiting for their fall league

Congrats to the McGavock High School Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter for being named a finalists for the 2017 Model of Excellence Award.  There is always something amazing and noteworthy to celebrate about McGavock High School

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Donelson Business News - September 2017

Be sure to check out the last edition of my newsletter on updates for almost twenty different developments happening in the 15th District.

Welcome Caliber Coffee!  This will be a new coffee shop and , which will be the third locally-owned coffee shop coming to Donelson, which will also have a full menu.  It’s an exciting time of new locally owned restaurants popping up and I’m so thankful for our neighbors who are taking the courageous steps of starting their own small business right here in the community.

SmART Supplies is coming to Music Valley!  This could be both part of the Business News or Non-Profit News section as SmART Supplies is a social enterprise of Progress, Inc., who do great work on behalf of those with disabilities and seniors who need care.  Their ribbon cutting will be Friday, September 22nd.  See flyer below for details.

Smart Supplies Is Coming to Music Valley

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Donelson Neighborhood News - September 2017

There are three updates in regards to my focus on traffic calming and safety in our neighborhoods:

  1. In Donelson Hills, a 4-way stop sign will be installed at Cottage Lane and Dellrose Drive. It is with deep regret that the initiative of this effort began with a fatal crash at this intersection.  This intersection has long been a dangerous one with limited site distance and consistent speeding.

  2. In Elm Hill Acres, the speed limit has been reduced on Sanborn Drive from 35 to 30. Most of our single family neighborhoods do not have sidewalks and our streets must be shared with pedestrians.  Every effort needs to be made to make them safe pedestrians and drivers.

  3. McGavock Pike, while it is well-travelled and used by many, it is essentially a residential street and should remain so in my opinion. Towards that effort, I’ve asked that large trucks not use it as a cut-through and for this to be an enforceable policy via the Traffic & Parking Commission.  So far, the stretch from Elm Hill Pike to Lebanon Pike has been deemed so and I am awaiting confirmation that the stretch from Lebanon Pike to Pennington Bend Rd will be so as well.
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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.

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Donelson School News - August 2017

A few parents at Pennington Elementary reached out to me about a meeting that was being held at the school to discuss the issues surrounding the construction project.  I didn’t know about the meeting until that day so I wasn’t able to attend.  Our School Board Member, Anna Shepherd, did attend and learned the meeting was informative.  As I understand, the project is slated to be completed by mid-2018.  It’s not ideal and I believe the contractor will find it difficult to be involved with future MNPS projects after this.  I’m sorry to hear about these delays and challenges but it sounds like the staff and administration are doing a good job managing it the best they can and any immediate safety issues have been properly addressed.  Don’t hesitate to contact me with any additional concerns.

Welcome back to all students and best of luck in this new school year!

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Donelson Non-Profit News - August 2017

There are just a few more weeks to enjoy the summer Two Rivers Mansion tours, which now include a tour of our freshly furnished 1802 House.  Docent-led tours are available every Monday, Thursday and Friday in August from 11:00am – 4:00pm.  Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children.  Members are always free.

1802 House Two Rivers Mansion Tours

I had the pleasure of watching the National Wheelcats championship game held at McGavock High School.  Nashville won!  It was fun to watch and the teams are competitive.  It was an eye opener about the challenges they face but very uplifting to see how the teams overcome them.  As we grow our Metro Parks system, we need to ensure we have facilities and support for everyone.

National Wheelcats Championship Nashville

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Donelson Business News - August 2017

It’s exciting times in Donelson as news of positive developments is all around us.  It’s going to be a busy last half of the year.  Here’s an update on potential/rumored and “coming soon” developments:

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Donelson Neighborhood News - August 2017

I’m pleased to share two good pieces of news for Maplecrest.  The first is the long awaited sidewalk on Fairway Drive.  It’s finally moving forward.  Public Works is hoping to start work on it this fall, but legislation has to go through for right of way acquisition and working with each property owner still needs to happen, but we’re getting there.  Here is a diagram.

Fairway Drive New Sidewalk Coming

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Cavalia comes to Pennington Bend, Historic Overlay and Community Meeting for Belair Mansion and More Development Updates

Dear Friends –

Thanks to those who live in and around Pennington Bend who came to the community meeting about Cavalia, the equestrian theatrical show coming to Ryman Hospitality’s land just east of Briley Parkway.  Please visit the website at the link above for more information.  Below are some of the slides that were presented at the meeting.  Also of note is that as a token of good will, the management team of Cavalia is offering an opportunity for directly adjacent neighbors to see the show for free since they are the most impacted by this show.  If you attended the meeting and signed the Sign In Sheet, you should be contacted.  If you weren’t able to attend the meeting, please email info@cavalia.net and provide them your address to verify your residence.  Please do not abuse this kind gesture.

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Donelson School News - July 2017

Congratulations to McGavock Elementary School’s Lee Farrar, who was named Elementary Librarian of the Year.

Lee Farrar Elementary School Librarian of the Year

It was great to join members of the McGavock Cluster Coalition and Donelson-Hermitage Chamber in congratulating McGavock High School students on their last day.  The First Day and Last Day celebrations are a great way for the community to show their support for our students.

McGavock High School Last Day

If you need to enroll your child in school, you’re still able to do so.  For the first year ever, MNPS is opening two MNPS Enrollment Centers on Saturdays in July from 8am – noon.  You can enroll, withdraw or transfer your child.  English Learner assessments will also be available at both locations.  See details on dates and locations below.  To determine what documents to bring, check out the list here. If you can't make it to one of these two locations on a Saturday visit one of 11 enrollment centers during regular hours (7 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., weekdays).

I thoroughly enjoyed a tour and lunch with the staff of Arts Institute of Tennessee – Nashville.  The lunch was made by students who are working to learn how to manage a commercial kitchen and restaurant.  The educational offerings at the school are vast and truly support our hospitality, entertainment and related other industries.  They do an excellent job at job placement as well.  Below is a picture of President Greg Chapman (to my right) and members of his staff.

Arts Institute of Tennessee

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Donelson Non-Profit News - July 2017

Phat Bites has partnered with Hip Donelson and local non-profits to offer a free meal to eligible families in need up through the August 4th market.  See the flyer below for more information and contact info to support this effort.

Hip Eats

My thanks to the Stones River Women’s Club for inviting to speak to their membership luncheon meeting last month.  Any ladies interested in getting involved in this club that has been active for over 50 years and has done a great deal of work to preserve and advance Two Rivers Mansion, please contact Karen Cowell at 615-812-4798 or wagsn1i@comcast.net.

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Donelson Business News - July 2017

Donelson Corner is in the process of receiving an upgrade and facelift and will encourage great new tenants at the shopping center as well.  I’m thankful to HJL Properties, run by the Eakes family, for making this investment.  Below is a rendering of what the completed project will look like.

Donelson Corner Revitalization

Two buildings at the corner of Graylynn Drive and Lebanon Pike have received a nice upgrade and renovation.  Deli Dogs & Sweet Treats at 104 Graylynn Drive serves delicious hot dogs, smoked sausage, grilled cheese and other favorites in addition to delicious desserts.  Right in front of the restaurant is the former Jackie’s Barber Shop that was painted to match the building behind it and is now Monty’s Barber Shop.  Both of these businesses will be having a Grand Opening for the community on Saturday, July 22nd, so please spread the word and come on out.

Deli Dogs Sweets and Tweets

 

Deli Dogs Menu

Monty's Barber Shop

Music Valley has a new restaurant to try out and this one supports Veteran’s unemployment issue as well.  Semper Sliders offers a variety of sliders including beef, chicken, pork and Portobello.  They are located just under the Music Valley Village sign at the entrance.  You can’t miss the green trailer.  Below is a flyer with employment and more information about this new business and a check out this story from News Channel 5 here.

Semper Sliders in Music Valley Village

The proposed multi-family development across the street from Donelson Station was approved by the Planning Commission on June 22.  You can read the action agenda from the Commission here.  It will next be at the full Council for Public Hearing on Tuesday, August 1st.  Keep tabs with the Metro Council Agenda page.

The Kmart-anchored shopping center on Donelson Pike was sold recently for $5.8 million.  There are no current plans for any changes to occur with shopping center and Kmart is not closing.  Check out an article from The Tennessean here with more information.

Congratulations to The Nashville Palace on their 40th Anniversary.  Big thanks to John A. Hobbs for creating and supporting this now legendary music venue in Nashville and his grandson, Barrett Hobbs, for continuing on making it a place to showcase great talent, both up and coming and well-known.  I’m honored to present them a proclamation recognizing this mile stone later this year.  Check out an article from The Tennessean about this story here.

A number of folks have asked me what the parking lot at 1809 Lebanon Pike is going in across from the Clovernook neighborhood.  Ultimately, it is affiliated with the Mercedes Benz dealership being constructed at the I-40 / Briley Parkway interchange.  It will be an auxiliary lot for their operations.

Several have noticed some infrastructure pieces being brought in to the site that is being raised up near Mill Creek and next do Donelson Hills.  This development proposal passed in 2011 and they will only develop ten of the forty acres.  The ten acres will include 18,000 square feet of retail at the front and about fifty small homes behind it.  They’ve been building up the ten acres to be developed over the past several years to be at grade with Lebanon Pike.  The other thirty acres will be arbors, trails and wetlands and could connect to future parts of the Greenway system.  The development team recently secured a deal with Goodall Homes, a reputable Middle Tennessee builder, so hopefully the rate of progress on this site will continue to increase as we’ve seen over the past month or so.

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Donelson Neighborhood News - July 2017

Special thanks to Lanny & Sonya Dunkum for installing two Donelson Community Blessing Boxes at Donelson Church of the Nazarene on Donelson Pike last Fall.  Participation is based on a “take what you need, donate what you can” premise.  See flyer below for details and how you can contact Lenny & Sonya to support their effort.

Donelson Community Blessing Box

The Metro Action Commission's Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides one-time assistance to income eligible families to help pay electricity, natural gas or other home energy payments.  The application period goes from July 1, 2017 until June 30, 2018.  The program aims to assist low income households, primarily those who pay a high proportion of household income on home energy, in meeting their immediate energy needs.  Customers may print the application, attach the supporting documentation and mail it in or submit it in person.  Customers may also call and request the application by mail or e-mail.  All information is on their website at the link above.  Please spread the word to neighbors.

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Recapping the FY17/18 Budget Season, Legislative Updates and More New Developments in Donelson

Dear Friends –

My apologies for the delay getting this next newsletter out to everyone.  Both my day job at BMI and Metro are both on a July 1 fiscal year, so there’s been a lot of activity in my professional world over the past couple months.  Metro’s budget season for 2017/18 was in of itself an extraordinarily busy time for Council as we worked with the administration to help guide a strategic direction and prioritize investments with a $2.2 billion budget.  The Capital Improvement Budget is where projects are first identified and serve as a “wish list” and then prioritized for funding in the Capital Spending Plan.  The Operating Budget was also thoroughly discussed and one major challenge continues to be Nashville General Hospital, which has struggled in recent years to operate within their budget and have consistently come back to Council in the middle of the year to request an additional appropriation.  They have made improvements over the past couple of years and of course health care is a major issue at the national level so there are certainly broader issues but the bottom line is we must ensure our continued investment produces sustainable results. 

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Donelson School News - May 2017

The Centennial Jam Band Camp is a music-intensive week.  A student gets to spend 5 days in a row doing what he/she loves - playing music!  Metro Parks Music Department has been hosting Jam Band Camp for more than ten years.  Many of their alums are now making their marks in the adult music world.  Kids will learn to play popular music (rock, R&B, country, etc.) in a band by ear.  Groove. Stage Cues. Solos. Singing. Harmony. Teamwork. They cover all aspects of live playing, by doing it.  Any child ages 10 to 18 and still in school is wanted, as long as she/he can play an instrument.  Novices to virtuosos are welcome.  Guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and any other instrument players who want to rock, please join Centennial jamBands Summer Intensive Jam Band Camp.  Camps run from June 12-16 and June 26-30.  It costs $150.00 for a whole week.  Scholarships are available.  Contact Metro Parks Music Supervisor Sam Frazee at Samuel.Frazee@nashville.gov or call 615-862-8440 for information about a placement audition.

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Donelson Non-Profit News - May 2017

The Larry Keeton Theater will have a benefit event called Fringe & Foolery, a costumed carnivale-themed fundraiser.  It will feature Jonell Mosser and be on May 13th. Please check out the flyer for details below. A cash bar will be open all night.  Costumes are encouraged but not required. For more information or tickets, call 615-883-8375 or visit www.thelarykeetontheatre.org.

 Fringe and Foolery at The Larry Keeton Theatre

 

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Donelson Business News - May 2017

Thanks again to those that attended the community meeting about the proposed multi-family development occurring around 121 Donelson Pike.  My last e-blast included some updates and upcoming public hearings.  Click here for all the submittal documents, including the traffic study.  Remember that the rendering is preliminary.  They are aiming for the final product to be close to their other development at One MetroCenter, so check out that website to see the quality of that development.

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Donelson Neighborhood News - May 2017

As I’ve reported in previous newsletters, I’m very much aware that the Traffic Calming Program in Metro is greatly needed in many of our neighborhoods.  It’s a slow process, primarily because it’s currently a contract position with Metro.  However, I believe that with this upcoming budget, that will change and more resources will be devoted to it.  I know questions wondering why such as speed bumps, speed humps and other techniques and elements that we see in other cities aren’t used here are on the minds of a lot of neighbors.  I’m hopeful that as we improve the quality and availability of this program, we’ll see an increase in a variety of tools and techniques.  The above website has a link for you to request traffic calming in your neighborhood.

Brush Pick-Up is coming soon, so get out there and clean up your yards and get the brush to the curb.

With the warm weather here, that means door-to-door sales folks will be walking the neighborhoods.  Remember that Metro has a Do Not Knock List and you have to renew every year.

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Short Term Rental Bill Deferred, Stones River Bend Park Community Kick-Off and More New Restaurants Coming

Dear Friends –

The Business News section has the most updates this newsletter, but important information is in each section.  As always, don’t hesitate to let me know about things happening in the community to include in subsequent editions.

One of the hottest topics at Council right now is Short Term Rental’s and BL2017-608 is the latest bill to restrict non-owner occupied STRP’s.  The Council Meeting on Tuesday, May 2 was the public hearing for 608 and we were there until about 12:30am hearing passionate opinions from both sides of the issue.  We deferred the bill to wait for possible State action that could limit what we can and can’t do and based on that, there may be potential subsequent amendments to 608, so stay tuned.  I certainly see both sides, but lean towards protecting the character and integrity of neighborhoods.  This whole process has been messy to say the least. 

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