Archive for December, 2010

Chattanooga Chosen to Test the STAR Community Index

December 23, 2010

Reporting:  Rabbit Zielke

Chattanooga was chosen as one of nine communities across America to beta test the STAR Community Index, a system of measurement and data management to monitor sustainability directives.  The STAR Community Index will provide software and implementation strategies to help decision makers get the most out of available data in their communities.  The 9 cities chosen to beta test the index will be helping to establish the system that will eventually support a rating system for municipalities allowing direct comparison of communities all across the nation.  The information gathered to determine the city rating will also become an invaluable tool for decision makers in government, schools, nonprofit organizations and businesses.  Chattanooga’s Office of Sustainability will be spearheading the efforts locally.  You can call their office at 423-668-2271 for more details.


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History Mysteries And Chattanooga Landmarks

December 22, 2010



Jennifer Crutchfield’s new book is called Chattanooga Landmarks: Exploring The History Of The Scenic City.  It covers more than a hundred and fifty locations–well-known locations such as the Choo Choo and the Incline, as well as newer locations such as the Ruth Holmberg Glass Bridge.  Her book tells the back stories and the mysteries behind more than 150 iconic Chattanooga locations.

Daniel Griffith: The Man Behind Ballyhoo Motion Pictures

December 22, 2010


Sometimes, when you watch a DVD, the special features are the best part.  But did you ever wonder who creates those special features?  You might be surprised to learn that a Chattanooga filmmaker has made quite a few.

Daniel Griffith is the man behind Ballyhoo Motion Pictures.  His company has made several short documentaries, and those documentaries have been used as extra features for Mystery Science Theater 3000 box sets and other films released on DVD.

We might think of old sci-fi films as B-movies.  But Griffith sees something more–as a filmmaker himself, he says he can learn from the way those B-movie directors and producers dealt with their challenges.

Knitting for Charity

December 22, 2010

Reporting:  Rabbit Zielke

Winter around the scenic city can get really chilly.  A hand knitted hat and scarf maybe just the thing to help keep the winter chill at bay.  Local knitting and yarn work guilds and groups work all through the year to deliver hand-made hats, scarves and afghans to charities around Chattanooga.  Many of these goods are destined to help warm the homeless during the cold winter.  If you knit or crochet and would like to get involved, the local groups would welcome you.  They are also willing to teach people the craft of knitting or crochet if you have an interest in learning.

Here is a list of some of the local churches hosting knitting groups and local knitting guilds:

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Family Traditions

December 21, 2010

Reporting:  Rabbit Zielke

Holidays provide opportunities to develop and enjoy family traditions.  According to Marguerite Chambers from Parents Are First Teachers, the traditions and rituals we develop serve to strengthen and support our families.  Children enjoy the holidays and will learn and emulate their parent’s values based on activities surrounding the holidays.  Meaningful family traditions can include reading stories, family games, traditional meals, decorations and inviting others to share your holiday.

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Enterprise South Nature Park Grand Opening

December 21, 2010

Reporting:  Rabbit Zielke

Enterprise South Nature Park is now open to the public. This 2800 acre nature park is located beside the Volkswagen Plant on Volkswagen Drive in Chattanooga. Once a part of the Volunteer Army Ammunition Plant, this site is now the home of the region’s newest green space, housing miles and miles of woodland trails and paved roads to support outdoor enthusiasts, hikers and mountain bikes.  The concrete bunkers that once housed explosives are sprinkled along the roads amid the hills in the park.  A few of them are open as part of an historic exhibit but the rest are silent mounds along the scenic trails, a reminder of the former purpose of this land.

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River Ridge Farms Protects Lands for Traditional Farming

December 20, 2010

Reporting: Monessa Guilfoil

River Ridge Farms is located along the river in Meigs County, Tennessee.    Owned and operated by Dave and Verlinda Waters, River Ridge raises 100% grass-fed cattle, free-range chickens, turkeys and pigs and more for local consumption.

Our juicy and delicious chicken is raised in protected pens right on the green grass of our pastures. The birds are moved to fresh pasture daily to supplement their all-natural certified organic feed. Our certified organic feed is hormone, anti-biotic and soy free.

We currently raise Tarentais cattle which are renowned for the delicious flavor and are introducing Red Devons, a heritage breed.

River Ridge Farms beef is 100% grass-fed and free of antibiotics and steroids.

Dave Waters returned to farming after 30 years away and is committed to growing food, “the way nature intended.”      He is working toward retaining a conservation easement for his 150 acres and an adjacent 150 acres as a way to protect the land for future farming with help from the Land Trust for Tennessee.

The Land Trust for Tennessee has saved
52,377 acres in 47 counties.

Land Trust for Tennessee has a donation page set up for River Ridge Farms at their website.   The non-profit organization is also assisting the Waters to obtain a grant from the USDA towards this effort.

River Ridge Farms sells through  Market Square Farmers’ Market in Knoxville and the Main Street Farmers Market in Chattanooga.   Main Street Farmers Market will be open through the winter months from 4-5pm on Wednesdays.

River Ridge Farms

Pastured Beef, Pork, Poultry, Eggs and Honey

In December of this year, the FDA reported that  just under 29,000 pounds of anti-microbials had been sold for use in farm animals in 2009.    This is the first time that such a report has been given but future reports on amounts and types of anti-microbials sold for uses in farm animals will be given annually.

There is growing concern that the overuse of antibiotics could increase the chance for resistant strains of harmful bacteria to develop.

I read an article in E-Science entitled, “Antibiotic Resistance: It Takes a Village,”   I have quoted the last paragraph from it below:

“The chance that we’ll have new and dangerous super bugs emerging is quite high, and I’m worried that our arsenal of antibiotics is dwindling,” Collins says. “We have time to respond now, but we need a movement backed by political will to expand antibiotic research and development.”

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Reel Rock Film Tour in Chattanooga

December 16, 2010

Reporting:  Rabbit Zielke

The Reel Rock Film Tour will be coming to Chattanooga on Saturday, December 18th at the Tennessee Bouldering Authority.  This climbing and adventure film festival takes viewers to the edge with some breathtaking productions of climbing and bouldering experiences. Sender Films and Big Up Productions are celebrating 5 years of the Reel Rock Film Tour and spotlighting adventure films across the country.

The Reel Rock Film Tour features amazing adventure films along with guest climbers and outdoor enthusiasts.  Proceeds from the Reel Rock Film Tour are donated to local charities.  The charities that will benefit from this Saturday’s event include the American Heart Association, the Southeastern Climbers Coalition and professional climber Lee Means.  Lee is an Athlete Ambassador for the Access Fund, a national advocacy organization that keeps U.S. climbing areas open and helps conserve climbing environments.   A rare bacterial infection in Lee’s heart almost ended this climbing enthusiasts life.  Local and regional climbers are hoping to help ease the financial stress of his medical needs.

The Tennessee Bouldering Authority is located at 3804 Saint Elmo Avenue.  The Reel Rock Film Tour begins at 8:00 pm on Saturday, December 18th.

Listen to part 1 of the story. 

Listen to part 2 of the story.

Triple Whipple at The River Gallery

December 14, 2010


The Triple Whipple exhibit is showing this month at the River Gallery in downtown Chattanooga’s Bluff View Art District.  The Whipples are a family of artists from Winter Park, Florida, where they share studio space with more than 20 other artists.  Marty and her husband George founded the studio about twenty-five years ago.

Marty Whipple creates wearable sculptures and collages.  Her son John paints on very unusual surfaces, and his wife Lynn is a mixed-media artist.

Recently, I talked to Lynn, John and Marty about their work.  We discussed what it’s like to work together so closely and to share studio space with someone who is a spouse or a parent.

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One of Lynn Whipple's "Ninny" series of works.

Lynn Whipple often adds whimsical or ironic captions to antique photographs.

John Whipple's "Misfit" is painted on sheet metal.

John painted this face on a piece of wood flooring.

Marty Whipple's collages combine different faces.

"Seating For One," by Marty Whipple.

Atlanta to Chattanooga at Super Speeds

December 14, 2010

Reporting:  Rabbit Zielke

The Georgia Department of Transportation is continuing with plans to develop a high-speed ground rail system between Atlanta and Chattanooga.  The transportation system is still in the development stage.  In November the GDOT hosted a public meeting in Chattanooga to discuss proposed routes for the Atlanta to Chattanooga Corridor and provide information on the current status on the proposed high-speed rail.

The proposed high-speed ground rail transportation system will connect Chattanooga to Atlanta and the proposed routes include stops in several communities between.  Currently the project is in the planning stages.  The team has narrowed the route choices and is currently keeping the public informed about the project as well as inviting public comments.

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