Clarksville, TN Online: News, Opinion, Arts & Entertainment.

Eminent Domain: The continued assault


co-depot-man-looking-at-ordinance.JPGClarksville citizens are certainly up in arms over the proposed Clarksville Center Redevelopment plan, and with good reason. The plan designates large portions of the downtown area as “blighted” (whatever that means) and therefore subject to eminent domain takings. Sadly, unless the council is convinced to repeal or amend the ordinance authorizing the plan there is not much anyone can do to stop such takings.

The Tennessee Code, Constitution, and at least theoretically the United States Constitution provide that private property may only be taken for ‘public use’ and then only after ‘just compensation’ has been given. The Tennessee Code theoretically should prohibit the proposed action, except for the minor problem that theory is fine and well, but as written the title does absolutely nothing to affect the actual eminent domain power with its list of exceptions and lack of definitions of the key terms involved. «Read the rest of this article»

Stop drunk driving with a red ribbon?


co-red-ribbon.JPGMothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) was founded in 1980 with the mission “…to stop drunk driving and support the victims of this violent crime. ” That’s a big, if not impossible goal, “to stop drunk driving”.

One way MADD is trying to stop drunk driving this holiday season is through their “Tie One on for Safety” campaign. According the the Leaf Chronicle (12.10.07), the Tennessee office of MADD is distributing over 10,000 red ribbons state-wide to raise drunk driving awareness. According to the article, the red ribbon campaign has three stated goals

  1. high visibility of officers, meaning many officers on patrol,
  2. sobriety checkpoints
  3. and more ignition interlock vehicles, which requires a driver to breathe into a register to prove they are sober before the vehicle can start.”

Goals one and two appear redundant, but that is beside the point. The article does not explain how the display of red ribbons assists in accomplishing the campaigns stated goals. «Read the rest of this article»

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