Archive for June, 2010

Blood Assurance Rolls Out Greener Way To Give Blood

June 30, 2010


Blood Assurance is known for saving lives with its regional blood bank.  Now it’s doing more: Blood Assurance vehicles are helping to save the environment by running on bio-diesel.

A company called TrimChick partners with Blood Assurance, providing the fuel.  TrimChick creates the fuel in a way that’s very different from plain-old ethanol.

Will Wilson, from TrimChick, and Bonnie Phillips, from Blood Assurance, explain how it works in this interview.

Listen to the story.

Mission Blue

June 30, 2010


If there is one thing Dr. Sylvia Earle is adamant about it is the hope that we can and will change things for the better.  Dr. Earle is an oceanographer, explorer in residence with National Geographic, and one of the foremost experts on the Gulf of Mexico.  During a recent visit to the Tennessee Aquarium she spoke of the current issues in the gulf and also talked about her foundation, Mission Blue.

Following the success of America’s natural preservation and conservation efforts such as the National Park System, Mission Blue hopes to establish Hope Spots that are protected areas in the ocean where wildlife can thrive and the natural order of the ecosystem can progress without the touch of mankind.  Hope Spots will help protect the biodiversity and rich resources of our oceans and also provide safe havens for endangered aquatic life.

Listen to the story.

Last Fridays On Main – An Art Event

June 30, 2010


There’s a new art district in town.  Painters, sculptors and glass-blowers are starting business and building their homes on downtown Chattanooga’s Southside area, near Main Street, and a new monthly event called “Last Fridays on Main” is giving locals a chance to visit the galleries and talk to the artists.

Listen to the story.

From their Web site:

Stroll the historic Southside every last Friday of the month during the summer and fall. Select galleries, artist studios, and shops on Main Street and its surrounding neighborhoods will be open late from 5 – 8 pm and will offer specials, exhibits, demonstrations, bites, and drinks. Check out our blog for the latest updates on what’s going on where. 2010 Dates: May 28, June 25, July 30, August 27, September 24, October 29, and November 26.

Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium

June 29, 2010


The Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium has been one of Chattanooga’s largest civic centers since 1924.  Dedicated to Hamilton County citizens that served in the US Military, the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium has seen a few renovations and upgrades over the years.  Some of the spaces in the facility are in need of work now.  The City of Chattanooga Department of Education, Arts and Culture is working with concerned citizens and veterans groups to raise the needed funds to repair the community theater spaces upstairs at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium.

On July 1st the Chattanooga Music Club will host their 4th Annual Patriotic Concert, a salute to the armed forces.  The concert is free to the public but donations are encouraged.  This concert will be a part of the kick off campaign to raise funds for the much-needed renovations.  The 700 seat Community Theater is in need of repairs, paint, and upgrades to meet ADA compliance.

Veterans groups and concerned citizens have been providing suggestions to help the Department of Education Arts and Culture determine the best use of the facilities that will enhance the venue and help memorialize veterans, in keeping with the original intent of the building.  Some of the suggestions include murals, military exhibits, and a recreation/employment center to help returning veterans transition back into the civilian workforce.

The event on July 1st includes a drop off point for care package donations.  Items will be collected and shipped to our armed forces serving in Afghanistan.  They will be collecting items in front of the auditorium from 7:30 am to 1:30 pm and 4 to 6 pm.  The concert starts at 7:00 pm and will be followed by a candle light vigil.    For more information call 423.425.7823.

Listen to the story.

Taste Buds Local Food Guide 2010

June 29, 2010

The Chattanooga region’s guide to locally grown and locally crafted foods.

The TasteBuds Local Food Guide connects consumers with farms, farmers’ markets, restaurants, food artisans, and others that grow, craft and support local.

Crabtree Farms says this about buying locally-grown produce and meats:

Purchasing food from a local farm is not only a fun experience, it ensures:

  1. You are getting the healthiest food available with more nutrients than food that travels long distances
    On average food travels 1300 miles from farm to table over 7 to 14 days
  2. You are reducing your carbon foot print, by limiting transportation of your food, saving oil and reducing greenhouse gases You are keeping your spending dollars local, helping to grow the Chattanoga economy You are supporting fair farming practices by paying the farmer 100% of the food dollar
    On average farmer’s receive less than 10% of the food dollar

This year’s food guide is supported by a Gaining Ground grant funded by the Benwood Foundation.      The following excerpt from an article by the Chattanoogan highlights Benwood Foundation’s efforts to support local food and our regional economy:

Gaining Ground is helping create and develop a sustainable, vibrant, cohesive and distinctively Chattanoogan foodscape through grants, coordinated efforts and public awareness. Commissioned by the Benwood Foundation to help increase demand for, production and consumption of local food, Gaining Ground is helping our region view food in new ways. For more information, contact:Jeff Pfitzer, program director, Gaining Ground, Benwood Foundation, at (423) 785-4231 or at

Th Ochs Center study is quoted here about the benefits of local food:

In fact, growth of the local food movement has progressed far enough to prompt broader interest in supporting its development both for health and environmental reasons, and for the benefit to the region’s economy. The Ochs Center for Metropolitan Studies, for example, found in a 2008 survey that a five percent increase in consumption of local food would translate into a $100 million impact on the local economy — and help staunch the sad but steady loss of local family farms.

Here’s more from the same opinion times piece written in December  2009:

Crabtree Farms, one of the area’s first community gardens, also confirms both growing interest in the local food movement and the economic value, in addition to health and environmental values.

Developing the local food industry into a viable, healthy alternative for a larger market area, however, yet requires some organizational aid to local farms to help them meet and match the needs of potential customers.

Toward that end, the Benwood Foundation has recently issued a competitive call for projects that would work to increase the number and capacity of local growers and producers. The foundation, advised by a panel of national food-system reform experts, will award up to $250,000 in grants to individuals or groups over the next three years to advance innovative and collaborative ways to advance the local food economy.

Benwood didn’t come to its grant program without diligent research on the value and potential of a stronger local food industry. The foundation organized focus groups to scope out issues in the local food economy, visits to cities that have established local food industries, and interviews with growers, producers and distributors to learn the needs and potential of a local food movement.

A revived local food industry, Benwood reasonably believes, would have multiple benefits. Foremost, it would reconnect area residents with fresher, healthier foods. That would improve health and simultaneously mitigate the downside of the giant agri-business culture that now stocks grocery stores with foods transported an average of 1,500 miles. Collecting, storing and shipping foods collected from big farms all over the country, and the world, retards freshness, uses immense amounts of fuel and energy, generates immense pollution, and allows more preservatives, chemicals and pesticides to find a way into our foods.

Reporting:  Monessa Guilfoil

Listen to the Story with Crabtree Farm’s Melanie Mayo and Gaining Ground’s Jeff Pfitzer:

Girls Inc. Just Beginning for Chattanooga Woman

June 28, 2010

A Chattanooga woman has been selected  from women under the age of 30 from across the country by the National Research Council on Women to be one of   25 new leaders to be trained in leadership through funding by A-T & T. The The training is a two year process. Taccora Johnson is the program manager of Elementary Programs for Girls Incorporated of Chattanooga.

Taccora is 27- years old. She grew up in Chattanooga  and attended The Chattanooga High Center for the Creative Arts.  Johnson’s undergraduate degree is in community health education. She received her Master’s of Public Health in health planning and public administration. She recently returned from her first training session that included topics that addressed everything from the exploitation of girls to cultural differences. She said participants will also have the opportunity to meet some of the founders of the NCRW.

Girls Incorporated of Chattanooga is a non-profit organization that supports the needs of all girls by educating them to take risks, to speak their minds, to advocate healthy lifestyle choices, to protect their rights, and to strive for academic excellence. Since 1961, the organization has served almost 22 thousand girls ages 6 to 18.  For more information on Girls Inc. go online to GirlsincofChattanooga. org or call  423-624-4757.

listen to story

Shakespeare Class for the “Elizabethan Impaired”

June 28, 2010

Janis Hashe offers a 6-week Summer course for the “Elizabethan Impaired” to focus on three of Shakespeare’s plays.     Hashe says that if you, “hated Hamlet and loathed Lear in school, but want to give the Bard another chance, this is the class for you.”     Class runs Tuesday nights from 7-9:30PM starting June 29th and is limited to 10 participants.      For more information call 423-622-2862.

A California native, Hashe moved to Chattanooga in 2005.     She currently writes for The Pulse News and has worked as a free lance journalist along with directing and teaching.    A classically trained actress, Hashe brings talent together to perform various Shakespeare works in Chattanooga.        She has taught Shakespeare classes through adult education programs in universities and in theaters including Chattanooga State and The Theatre Centre.

A big fan of Shakespeare, Hashe reminds us that the “Bard” invented about 1700 words commonly used in the English language today.     Here’s a website listing the words and phrases which he is credited with coining.

Times Free Press published this article by Yolanda Putnam introducing Hashe to the community in 2008.

Read about Hashe’s Othello Project at her website.

Reporting:Monessa Guilfoil

Listen to the Story:

Dr. Sylvia Earle Visits the Tennessee Aquairum

June 28, 2010


Dr. Sylvia Earle has been working and living under the water for much of her life.  She is a world-renowned oceanographer and scientist that has mastered the art of bringing science alive through her books, lectures, and informative articles.  As explorer in residence for National Geographic, Dr. Earle continues to explore the depths of the ocean and enhance mankind’s understanding of our own role in saving these valuable resources.

During a recent visit to the Tennessee Aquarium, Dr. Earle brought her understanding of the challenge facing the Gulf of Mexico as the impacts of this oil disaster are only beginning to come to light.  While working as the chief scientist of NOAA, Dr. Earle had first hand experience in oil spills with disasters like the Exxon Valdez.  The lessons learned from previous disasters have helped shaped the scientific response to what is currently happening.


One of the current projects Dr. Earle has begun is Mission Blue , a nonprofit organization working to establish Hope Spots in the ocean which are protected nature preserves in the sea.  Through Mission Blue everyone can get involved in some level to protect the natural resources of the ocean and by doing so, protect our future.

Listen to the story.

World Record Bio-Diesel Race Car Auctioned to Benefit Austin Hatcher Foundation

June 25, 2010


Chili Pepper Racing developed the first bio-diesel fueled professional touring race car in Chattanooga several years ago.  The Volkswagen Jetta was stripped down to the frame and built up as a one of a kind alternative fuel race vehicle and then made its debut at Sebring in March 2007 in the SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Series.  Along with setting world records and touring the race circuit, the car has been used to provide diversionary therapy for families facing pediatric cancer.

From its inception, this race car was tied very closely to the Austin Hatcher Foundation and will now perform one final engagement as it goes on the auction block to raise funds for the Foundation.  The Jetta will be auctioned in Orange County California this weekend by Barrett-Jackson and all proceeds will go directly to the Austin Hatcher Foundation.

Listen to the story.

Energy Medicine: the World’s Oldest Form of Healing

June 24, 2010


Alexian Brothers Senior Neighbors is joining CHEO to provide a workshop on complementary healing called Energy Medicine: the World’s Oldest Form of Healing.  The concept of energy healing is more than 4000 years old and has been a growing interest in western medicine for many decades.  The various forms of energy medicine include Qi Gong, Acupuncture, Reiki, Tai Chi, and others.

The workshop will be held at Alexian Brothers Senior Neighbors at 250 East 10th Street on Monday, June 28th from 10 am to 2 pm.   Reservations are encouraged by June 25th.  Call 423-755-6100 to register.

Listen to the story.