In the next couple weeks, readers of The Wilson Post will notice a new paper size for Wilson County's community newspaper.
Oh to be 15 again. I can remember being 15 and looking forward to getting my driver's license like it was yesterday.
I was contemplating all the "newness" of our Public Square at a recent Main Street conference. The lecture was on Creative Placemaking, one of the latest "it" topics for historic downtowns. Every day I receive emails on the current trends such as tactical urbanism, the X-factor, place economics and anything relating to "Millennials," that group of youngsters that is either going to save historic downtowns as we know them or be the ruin of the nation.
With school starting back, I wanted to remind all motorists of the importance of obeying all rules of the road in school zones and residential areas. As we all know, student and pedestrian safety in school zones is a paramount concern.
"A short distance west of Lebanon rises a ridge of high ground, forested, drained by the headwaters of Spencer Creek, Cedar Creek, and Barton's Creek. It is Hickory Ridge, and in this beautiful setting was established one of the most prosperous and flourishing settlements existing in Wilson County before 1800."
"Today, the communities or neighborhoods of Martha, Leeville, Tucker's Gap, Barton's Creek, Bethlehem, Maple Hill, Egan, Munsey, and Horn Springs occupy the area that to the pioneer was known simply as 'on Hickory Ridge.'"
Most everyone should have received your Census card in the mail or a knock on your door by one of our city workers by now. If you have not already received it please let us know and we'll get you one or you can give us the information over the phone or in person at city hall if you prefer. We can even come to you if that helps. Each city worker will have proper city identification in hand, so please, please take the time to fill it out and mail it in. We so desperately need your help.
The express purpose of the writing of this column is very simple. Many, many people and families have moved to Lebanon and to Wilson County from other places who have absolutely no knowledge of our local history, how we came to be, or who and what we are.
If you care about animals, especially your canine companions, and believe puppy mills should continue to be regulated, then please read this and speak out. These innocent animals need our voices to be heard on their behalf.
Silence will ensure the lack of regulation of puppy mills in the Volunteer State, as the Tennessee Breeding Act, also known as the Puppy Mill Law, is slated to expire on June 30 of this year. Without this law, Tennessee would have no regulation enforcement and may very well become a magnet for unscrupulous breeders across the state.
Ever since breaking the story for The Wilson Post about former Director of Schools Dr. Tim Setterlund’s answers to questions about having a drink and then driving his Board of Education-issued vehicle on Jan. 16, I’ve been asked in a myriad of ways, “What do you think about the situation?”
Well, Saturday, it was done. Dr. Setterlund signed a release and settlement agreement, received a nice severance package and waived his right to ever sue the BOE or the County Commission over his employment or resignation.
Now, I can voice my opinion.
I particularly enjoy your comments on literature, my favorite subject in high school. I noticed Doris Lessing has passed away. I believe we read a story by her. Right?
-You Were One of My Teachers
In an article dated Nov. 17, 2013, The New York Times book section observed, “Doris Lessing on the Nobel Prize: When reporters in 2007 told Ms. Lessing that she had won the Nobel Prize for literature, she said, ‘I couldn’t care less.’”
With the new year approaching, it’s a time remember the good times of 2013 and to celebrate the future of 2014. The most important thing I want everyone to remember during this time is to have fun and celebrate safely.
By the time you read this, 2014 will either be just around the corner or will have already arrived. It’s a new year for new beginnings and new endings, or to use a single word, another year for changes.
How about some advice for the new year? Maybe a list of terrible language gaffes? Thanks for your efforts to improve us.
Outside, snowy and still, little brushes of sound, pools of light, darkness gathered up around the house. Inside, not so cozy, messy, air heavy with yesterday’s argument, and the day before’s.
A neighborhood Dollar General Store was crowded this past Saturday morning.
There were probably six, eight, maybe 10 customers in line waiting to checkout when a decent looking, modestly dressed woman approached customers in line to checkout.
Into the darkness of midwinter, into the time of fearsome shadow, empty trees, and icy pathways, comes light – a splendor of light, a humbleness of light.
I had hoped to write this column for last Wednesday before Thanksgiving, but circumstances beyond my control took over my life. So please forgive me as I give thanks for many things – a week after this truly American holiday.
No one likes to hear criticism, which is defined as “the act of expressing disapproval and of noting the problems or faults of a person or thing” by Merriam-Webster dictionary. I get that. I don’t like being criticized.
However, I’ve never been one to shy away from constructive criticism, which dictionary.com defines as “criticism or advice that is useful and intended to help or improve something, often with an offer of possible solutions.”
Unfortunately, though, I’ve observed throughout the years that all too often people view constructive criticism as just criticism and refuse to acknowledge that ideas or suggestions for improvement have any merit.
I need someone to please explain to me how certain self-proclaimed Tea Party Republicans can face the American people and say they were correct in shutting down the government and taking our country to the brink of financial disaster.
I realize I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer. I knew that in the seventh grade when my IQ score fell just shy of being high enough to place me in the special kids classroom whose scores deemed them the “smart ones.”
But what I lacked in academic learning, I feel I’ve made up through a strong dose of common sense – at least more than many politicians I know.
So I’m confused – and I’m serious about this. It’s not a laughing matter. The party of Abraham Lincoln, who I feel would be embarrassed by the antics of the Tea Party faction, caused a painful shutdown, put almost one million people out of work, and took our country to the very brink of financial collapse.
Thanks to a recent rather snide Facebook post by a friend of mine who is as red a Republican as they come (which he has since removed so don’t bother looking), I was able to finally pinpoint what has made me so ill about the last five years of partisan fighting.
The actions of today’s politicians and many of their supporters on both sides of the aisle go against a principle my Daddy instilled in me and that has become a creed of mine as a journalist throughout the years.
Daddy told me, “You don’t have to respect or like the people who hold public office. Respect is not something you give to another simply because they were elected. They have to earn it. But at the same time, you must always respect the office that they hold. That does command your respect. It’s finding that thin line to walk in those situations that is difficult.”
Tuesday, Sept. 24, was National Voter Registration Day, a nationwide effort to make sure Americans are registered to cast ballots in the upcoming 2014 and beyond elections.
According to the events website: In 2008, six million Americans didnt vote because they missed a registration deadline or didnt know how to register. In 2013, we want to make sure no one is left out.
On its Partners page, several hundred organizations, businesses, secondary schools, colleges, universities, senior living facilities and voters rights organizations are sponsors. No one is listed as a lead organizer, which is probably how it should be.
The day is a single day of coordinated volunteer, technology and media efforts to create widespread awareness of voter registration opportunities.
Given the state of affairs in Washington, and that next year, Wilson County voters will be faced with the largest ballot since 2006, it is crucial that every effort be made to get people registered to vote.
A non-partisan effort, the purpose of this day is generate awareness of the importance of voting, while registering tens of thousands of voters in person, as well as online
But more importantly, and I quote the website: National Voter Registration Day will be an opportunity to put our differences aside and celebrate the rights that unite us as Americans.
What a message to send to Congress and the president, while our national leaders continue to tear each other apart by advancing their own political agendas instead of doing the peoples business.
The day and date for this national event were chosen deliberately by organizers to fall on a Tuesday, because thats day of the week most people associate with elections, and to be far enough in advance of any election so as to ensure the most number of individuals possible could be registered before any primary is held.
If I were in Congress, Id pay attention. Its time we remind our elected officials that as President Abraham Lincoln said in The Gettysburg Address, our country is a government of the people, by the people, for the people
Somewhere along the way, our national leaders have forgotten that the people are the ones who give them their jobs through our votes at the ballot box; that the people pay their salaries through our tax dollars; and that the people let them stay employed as public officials or not.
But all this is just rhetoric and empty words if they are not backed by actions in the voters booth. Unless you register to vote and then turn out and cast your ballot, nothing will ever change.
Some may cry, It doesnt matter if I vote or not. Theyre going to do what they want regardless. This may be true in the short run. But in the long run, the American people have showed many a politician the door through the casting of their votes.
While Tuesday may have been the official day to register voters, its not too late. Anyone at the Wilson County Election Commission will be happy to help you register. Contact them at (615) 444-0216; via email at firstname.lastname@example.org; visit their website at www.wilsonelections.com; or drop by the office at 203 East Main St., Lebanon, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday.
Remember, registering to vote is the only way you have the power to decide who will and will not represent you in public office. Thanks to the millions of men and women who have fought and died throughout our countrys history, we, as citizens of the United States of America, are able to vote without coercion or fear.
Dont take it for granted. Register today.
Some things never seem to change in local government, specifically the annual struggle to strike a balance between the county commission and the Wilson County school system when it comes to adequate funding levels.
The new director of schools, Dr. Tim Setterlund, has publicly stated he hopes to improve things in this area by building trust through open communications with the commission and the public. I applaud him for taking this position and for recognizing that trust between the two parties is critical going forward.
One of the reasons I wanted to become a journalist is because it affords me the opportunity to learn something new every day. This was driven home recently while doing research for my column in the September/October issue of Wilson Living Magazine, which by the way will be out this Friday, Aug. 30, so be sure and pick up a copy.
While compiling a list of offices up for election next year in Macon, Smith, Wilson and Trousdale counties, I learned something new and I have to admit somewhat troubling.
Did you know that any in-county election may become a partisan race subject to a primary election if called for by either the Democratic or Republican Party? This was definitely news to me, because I thought all countywide constitutional offices were non-partisan races. Not so.
According to the State Election Commission, 52 of Tennessees 95 counties held a May primary in 2010. Of those 52 counties, both Republicans and Democrats held primaries in 31 of the counties, while only Democrats called for them in 13 and only Republicans called for them in eight.
By AMELIA MORRISON HIPPS
Welcome to Down Home Politics premier column in The Wilson Post. You can find it here every other Wednesday, and I hope youll agree that the title is pretty much what it says it is politics from a down home, common sense perspective.
Im an average citizen, just like you in many ways, I would guess. I love my God, and Im not ashamed to say it. Im grateful everyday for the blessings He has sent my way and how He meets our needs, because lets face it, I fret about paying the bills far more than I would like, just like you do probably.
I have a husband whom I love and adore and who is my best friend. Together, we worry about his sons happiness and wellbeing, just as we fuss over our four, four-legged children, that we both love as much as we would if they were the two-legged kind. Ive lost my Daddy, so as an only child, its now my job to look after Mom.And last, but certainly not least, my life is filled with a loving, though far-flung family, and a closer-to-home circle of friends who are the sort of folks you can count on no matter what.
So, as you see, Im just an average woman with a bit of a twist. I just happen to have a passionfor politics, or perhaps more accurately, for the governance ofmy city, county, state and country. I realize not everyone shares my passion, and thats perfectly OK. I just dont want folks to wake up one day and realize they have slowly let our governmental bodies have a stake in virtually everything we do or say.
I started Down Home Politics which is a blog by the same name on the Internet (www.downhomepolitics.com), and a blog and column for Wilson Living Magazine because I believe apathy has no place in politics.
Having said that let me make something very clear. Personally, I despise party politics when it comes time to govern. Mind you I didnt say I despise politics, just the political party aspect of it, and heres why.
All too often, many elected officials allow their political parties ideology to divide, not unify, our leaders. As a result, these politicians put the money of lobbyists ahead of doing whats right for the people. They forget who put them into office and who provides the tax dollars that pay their salaries. And they claim their partys way is the only correct way, treating the concept of compromise as if it were a four-letter word uttered from the mouth of the devil himself.
George Washington, our countrys first president, warned of the dangers of partisan politics in his farewell speech. Washington wrote and spoke the following words:
Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally. the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.
It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection.
Sound all too familiar to todays political landscape?
These words are my north star for this column, which will not be a space where you will read a ranting for or against a particular party, but rather an explanation as to why you need to take heed of a political bodys actions.
Throughout my newspaper career, numerous people have said to me, I just dont care about politics, and that is their right. However, I take umbrage when these same people do nothing to change the political landscape they say they despise and then complain that politicians seem to have forgotten that they are accountable to the people who elected them.
Saying, I just dont care about politics, is the equivalent of saying, I dont care about the welfare of my children, my spouse, my parents, my siblings, my business, my job, my health, my friends, my house, etc. While that may sound harsh, it is true. By not caring about politics, we are basically relinquishing to the government our choice of how we can and cannot live their lives.
Like it or not, politics permeates virtually every aspect of our lives, and for that reason alone, we should all care.
So with each column, my goal will be to try and ignite a spark in those who are currently ambivalent; fan the embers of those who care, but think it doesnt matter anymore; and feed the fires of those actively trying to make a difference, so that maybe, just maybe, I can, in the words of Washington again:
Promote then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.
Amelia Morrison Hipps is a freelance political writer, columnist and consultant. Contact her at email@example.com.
You may not be getting all you can out of your browsing experience
and may be open to security risks!
Consider upgrading to the latest version of your browser or choose on below: