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Meeting adjourned. Now for public comments!


A cruel joke is being perpetrated upon the public at city council meetings. Actually, it’s a travesty!

For some inexplicable reason, knowledge of parliamentary procedure seems to be in short supply at recent city council meetings. The dubious conduct of meetings and voting sessions has caused some citizens to raise a ‘Point of Order’ regarding the April 24th executive and special called voting sessions. Additional review of the printed and published agendas for those meetings brings a serious question to mind.

Questionable agenda ‘order of business’?

Since the city of Clarksville utilizes Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised as its parliamentary authority, citizens must question how the agenda for any of its public meetings can contain a public comment segment AFTER the adjournment of the meeting. By all generally understood interpretations of Robert’s Rules of Order and every other parliamentary authority manual, adjournment is the conclusion of the called gathering, the point at which all agenda business and discussion has been addressed and decided. How then is the public supposed to impart its input upon the deliberative body that is city council, when the meeting is no longer in session and the people’s representatives are released to leave the gathering? «Read the rest of this article»


Crowds flock to Dunbar Cave ‘Spring Fling’


A vulture nearly flew into my face. That was just one of the adventures that happened at Dunbar Cave during the annual Spring Fling on Saturday, April 26. Hundreds of people came out to see live raptors, snakes, amphibians, and rescued wildlife.

Over the course of the day’s events, visitors took hikes, pausing to look at wildflowers or spot birds along with the general trekking. They learned about bluebirds, backpacking and many other things, topping off the day with the opportunity to canoe in the lake. Dozens of enthusiastic volunteers helped set up and take down equipment for this annual event, which was sponsored by the Friends of Dunbar Cave, the Warioto Audubon Chapter, Tennessee Trails Association and TN Wildlife Resources Agency.  Access to canoes was arranged by the Dunbar Park manager.

The event also attracted the interest of Tennessee’s Wild Side, a television show that came to film parts of this event. What was supposed to be a rainy morning was in fact a clear, sunny day with a nice breeze, a perfect spring day for this type of event. «Read the rest of this article»

Section: News | No Comments

Home vandalism stirs alarm in Jackson, TN; incident viewed as ‘hate crime’


Racial epithets amid high dollar vandalism alarms citizens, but not police

The NAACP Logo-ColorVandalism of a Dorothy Cove home in Jackson has caused alarm and distress. The Jackson Police Department (JPD), is investigating the vandalism as a property crime. The damage has been estimated at between $8,00 and $10,000. However the Jackson-Madison County Branch of the NAACP has said it views the incident also as a hate crime. Police have not denied that racial epithets were found at the home last Tuesday, as part of their investigation.

Harrel Carter, president of the Jackson-Madison County NAACP Branch issued a press statement denouncing the hate crime. He based the characterization on the presence of racial epithets found in the home on Dorothy Cove. Carter held a press conference in the lobby of the Jackson Police Department, 234 Institute St.

«Read the rest of this article»

Section: News | No Comments

“Mr. Chairman, April is Parliamentary Law emphasis month!”


Significance of Parliamentary Law and procedures upon everyday activities often unrecognized!

Have you ever been in a meeting and heard the phrase ‘in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order’ or ‘parliamentary law’ spoken? Did you understand the action or question that was being considered? Do you know what it means when the presiding person, “calls for the question?” Did you understand what was being referred to? Ofttimes, we all have heard these terms in some group setting and may well have wondered just what does it all mean. “Robert’s or Demeiter’s? Which is better?” “Is there a ‘Dummies Book’ for that?”

Perhaps you’ve attended a business meeting where a vote was taken but you were not certain that it was done correctly. Ever attended a city council meeting and questioned whether the discussion was conducted properly? Maybe you belong to a civic or social group and want to be more active, perhaps even seek office, or serve as secretary, but are silent because you are unfamiliar with parliamentary law. These are not uncommon occurrences. “RRONR, anyone?”

The general public is woefully uninformed about Parliamentary Law and procedures. How do you overcome this deficiency? Glad you asked!

«Read the rest of this article»


Crossing lines between church and state


Controversy erupted last week in one South Carolina town over the posting of a politically-based query on the Church’s outdoor sign, a sign usually oriented to the more generic posting of denomination-sponsored events or church services.

Did Pastor Robert Byrd of the Jonesville Church of God step over the line in Jonesville, South Carolina, when he posted the following words outdoors on a church sign for all to see: “Obama, Osama, hmm, are they brothers?” Pastor Byrd maintained it was not intended to be racial or political and claims it was meant to foster thought about having a non-Christian, non-Christ follower, leading the country. Byrd says he doesn’t know if Obama is Muslim or not but wanted to pose the question. Quite frankly, I don’t see what spiritual direction or choice has to do with one’s ability to run the business that is the United States of America. I wasn’t a Romney fan for many reasons, but his Mormon faith was a non-issue. Funny how no one questions religious affiliation to Christian candidates such Mike Huckabee, who is now out of the race too. «Read the rest of this article»

Section: Opinion | 1 Comment »

An esteemed pastor’s politics; holding to separation of church and state


The Reverend Joel Osteen is highly admired by his colleagues in the ministry. This popular preacher/pastor is a best-selling author as well as the spiritual minister to hundreds upon hundreds of people. In addition to the phenomenal growth and development of this spiritual organization, Pastor Osteen earns respect for his political views. He quietly lives his principles on politics and the church and clergy, and it is policy worth emulating by all churches. His policy on religion and politics is a dignified example.

Though he is concerned about out society, he doesn’t use the pulpit to endorse candidates for political office. Of Senator Clinton, Senator Obama and Senator McCain visited his congregation, they would be introduced but not given the opportunity to speak, and it would the same for any other dignitary or social leader. «Read the rest of this article»


Native Cultural Circle members confer with state legislators


NCC members meet with State Senator Rosalind Kurita. (l-r) Dr. James Cossingham-member; Virginia Moore-Secretary; Senator Kurita; Virginia Moore-Secretary, Doug Kirby-President. (Not shown- Turner McCullough Jr-member/photographer)

Members of the Clarksville Native Cultural Circle recently met with members of the Montgomery County State Legislative Delegation to urge support for pending legislation that would grant state recognition of Tennessee Native American tribes. The legislation is seen as a first step towards correcting discrimination against Native American Indians in Tennessee.

The focus is two-pronged: Eliminate recognition barriers and support of state recognition for Tennessee Native Tribes.

Following the Trail of Tears Removal, those Native Americans who did not abandon their homesites were subject to punitive laws and regulations designed to strip them of their rights to property and deny their parental rights. Many families hid their Indian heritage to avoid the consequences of proclaiming their ancestry. During the era of Jim Crow laws, Native Americans were also victimized by these repulsive abuses of political authority along with African Americans. Tennessee does not recognize recognize Native Americans as a minority group. «Read the rest of this article»

Section: Politics | No Comments

Legal Aid Society helps distressed woman regain Medicaid access


Middle Tennessee family wrongfully terminated

Mrs. Monroe [not her real name], was already having difficulty when she lost her job and was supporting her family on unemployment insurance. Then she was notified the Tennessee Department of Human Services (DHS) was terminating her family’s Medicaid benefits, the family’s only source of medical care. She called the Legal Aid Society office in Nashville. Attorney Russ Overby researched the situation and found that DHS was relying on a rescinded policy that made it unreasonably difficult for families with unemployment benefits to qualify for Medicaid, even when their income was below the eligibility limit. «Read the rest of this article»

Section: News | No Comments

City Council Executive Session unintentionally zaps special call session


An apparent Parliamentary Law oversight threatens special call session votes

Mayor PiperThe April 24th city council executive session may have had one unexpected outcome- the nullification of the voting on items on the Special Call Session agenda.

The executive session started normally with Mayor Johnny Piper calling the session to order and proceeding to the Planning Commission Zoning Public Hearing. Reports from the various council committees followed with a modest amount of questions and comments. «Read the rest of this article»


Chamber, Career Center co-sponsor job fair


Clarksville area job seekers are invited to take part in one of the area’s largest career fairs at Veterans Plaza Friday, April 25, 2008. The event will feature more than 65 employers and will be set up along the covered walkways in Veterans Plaza. The career fair will feature music, food and prizes.

The theme of this year’s career fair is “A Career in Full Bloom” sponsored by the Tennessee Career Center at Clarksville and the Clarksville Chamber of Commerce. Last year the event drew more than 1,700 job seekers with 59 employers participating.

More than 60 employers will be at the fair this year including Austin Peay, Averitt Express, Federal Bureau of Investigations, Tenn. Dept. of Corrections, Convergys, Goodwill, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department, Regions Bank, UPS and Quebecor World. Bring a resume and dress to impress these employers who are actively recruiting and want an opportunity to meet and interview the area’s most qualified job seekers. «Read the rest of this article»

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