​29th Annual Performance of Perpetual Motion

This year, Perpetual Motion will feature 21 pieces of original student choreography, ranging in style from Afro-Caribbean to Irish to swing to hip hop. The performance will feature more than 60 university student dancers as well as a few high school students from St. Andrew’s-Sewanee. Performances are free, and the public is invited to come cheer and enjoy the experience. The performances will be at 7 p.m., Thursday–Saturday, April 6–8, in Guerry Auditorium.

Perpetual Motion is a student-led performing dance company started in 1989 and designed to give students an opportunity to perform for the Sewanee community in many forms and styles of dance. Perpetual Motion is also an adventure. It has elements of surprise. Some pieces are raw expressions of emotion. Others are playful forms of art. Previous styles have included belly dance, salsa, country, modern, Irish, classical and modern ballet, hip hop, lyrical, even disco.
What will Perpetual Motion 2017 bring? Answer: Pure entertainment and joy!

​Selections from ‘The Robber Bridegroom’ This Weekend at SAS

The St. Andrew’s-Sewanee Players present highlights from the 1975 Broadway musical “The Robber Bridegroom” at 7 p.m., today (Friday), March 31 and Saturday, April 1, in McCrory Hall for the Performing Arts on the school’s campus. The show is free, open to the public and appropriate for all ages.

The book and lyrics for the show are by Alfred Uhry (“Driving Miss Daisy” and “Mystic Pizza”). The music, which has a decidedly country sound to it, is by Robert Waldman. It is based on the 1942 novella by Eudora Welty.
The show includes performances from students in grades six through 12, including the final SAS performances by seniors Lydia Angus, Erin Berner-Coe, Caroline Graham and Jacob Sanborn. Friday and Saturday nights’ performances will be by slightly different casts. The show is approximately 60 minutes. Doors will open at 6:45 p.m.

Franklin County Hazardous Waste Collection

The Franklin County Solid Waste Management facility on Joyce Lane will have its annual Hazardous Waste Event, 8 a.m.–1 p.m., Saturday, April 1.

Hazardous household waste is defined as corrosive, flammable, toxic or reactive materials used in your home, car or truck, garden and lawn, such as:
Household Cleaners—Drain openers, oven cleaners, wood/metal cleaners and polishes, toilet bowl cleaners, disinfectants;
Automotive Products—fuel additives, grease/rust solvents, air conditioning refrigerants, starter fluids, auto body putty, antifreeze/coolants, carburetor/fuel injector cleaners;
Lawn/Garden Chemicals—fungicides, herbicides and pesticides;
Home Maintenance Chemicals—oil-based paint, paint thinner, wood preservatives, paint strippers/removers, adhesives;
Miscellaneous—batteries, fingernail polish remover, pool chemicals, photo processing chemicals, medicines/drugs, reactive compounds (aerosols, compressed gasses), TVs and other electronics, mercury thermometers and thermostats, fluorescent light bulbs, computers and accessories.
No explosive, radioactive, or medical waste materials will be accepted.
For more information call 967-1139.

​Community Council Announces Project Funding Review Committee

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

At the March 27 meeting the Sewanee Community Council reviewed and approved the selection of five council members and two community representatives to serve on the Project Funding Committee, charged with reviewing and recommending community enhancement projects for funding. The council also discussed the implications of a renewed effort to locate a quarry in the Greenhaw community, and reviewed meeting dates for the 2017–18 academic year.
At the discretion of the council, the Project Funding program awards up to $10,000 annually for community enhancement projects. At the January meeting, the council decided a council member should chair the review committee, and the committee should, in addition, consist of four council members and two community members. Council members Annie Armour, Flournoy Rogers, Theresa Shackelford and Charles Whitmer will join council member Pixie Dozier, who agreed to serve as chair.
“No community members responded to the call for committee members,” Dozier said, “so I did some inquiring on my own.” Dozier enlisted St. Andrew’s-Sewanee teacher Jennifer Bachman, and Elizabeth Koella, who was raised in Sewanee, to serve as community representatives. Sarah Marhevsky, chair for the last two years, will serve as ex officio advisor.
Armour brought to the council’s attention the renewed efforts of Tinsley Asphalt to establish a rock quarry in the Greenhaw community at the foot of the mountain. Tinsley’s efforts in 2008 to have the property rezoned to accommodate the business failed.
“Tinsley brought the rezoning question before the Franklin County Commission again last month,” Armour said, “but the vote was postponed.”
Council representative Shackelford said the asphalt company was “just one commissioner short of having enough votes to pass the rezoning request.”
Armour reminded the council that subsequent to approval of the rezoning request “property adjoining the University domain could easily be rezoned to industrial.”
On the suggestion of council representative David Coe, the council will invite Sewanee’s Franklin County Commissioners Johnny Hughes and Helen Stapleton to the May 22 meeting to discuss the implications of the renewed Greenhaw rezoning effort.
The council approved a 2017–18 meeting schedule of Aug. 28, Oct. 30, Jan. 22, March 26 and May 21. The council will meet on the intervening months if council business dictates a need.
Council member Barbara Schlichting announced the Trustees Community Relations Committee meeting with council members scheduled for 4:30 p.m., April 27. Community members should contact their council representatives by April 20 to have issues added to the discussion agenda. The public is invited to a community-wide meet and greet with the trustees at 5:30 p.m. the same day, at the American Legion Hall. For planning purposes, an RSVP is appreciated. Contact Tanner Potts by email at <tlpotts@sewanee.edu>.

​SUD May Offer Leak Insurance, Elects Officers

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

“I make a motion we pursue offering leak insurance to our customers,” said SUD commissioner Charlie Smith at the March 28 meeting of the Board of Commissioners of the Sewanee Utility District of Franklin and Marion Counties. Smith’s motion followed a lengthy discussion in response to a presentation by insurance provider ServLine. The board unanimously approved Smith’s motion, but a number of details remain undecided.
ServLine offers three levels of protection, $500, $1,000, and $2,500. “Looking at the past three years, the average leak cost the utility $335,” said SUD manager Ben Beavers. By the current SUD policy, the customer was responsible for half the amount.
“We’ve been asked to consider relief for a number of far higher bills,” board President Karen Singer pointed out, “but our policy doesn’t offer relief for leaks inside the residence.” A common cause of unintended high water use is water leaked due to a faulty toilet flapper. SUD’s policy only offers relief for leaks from the meter to the foundation. The ServLine policy covers all leaks beyond the meter, with the customer only responsible for an amount equal to the customer’s average bill.
“The incident rate for auto collisions is the same as the incident rate for residential water leaks,” said ServLine representative Gerry Harstine. “Sixty-two percent of Americans can’t afford a $500 emergency. Homeowners insurance won’t pay for high utility bills resulting from leaks.”
In addition to the level of coverage, the board will need to decide on how often a customer can make a claim—once per year or once every three years.
The coverage will cost customers between $1-$2/monthly, depending on the level of protection and claim frequency. Following a mailing to customers explaining the program, customers will have two months to opt out of the coverage.
Customers will also have the option of requesting additional coverage providing for water line repair ($4/month) and sewer line repair ($6/month). The customer will need to initiate the contract with ServLine independently.
The board will vote on the level of protection and claim frequency at the April 26 meeting.
Beavers will prepare a summary of the necessary changes to SUD’s Leak Adjustment Policy. Uninsured customers will be responsible for the full amount of the cost of leaked water, not just half the amount as is the case now. How often a customer can make a claim will depend on the term selected. There will be no lifetime limit.
SUD commissioner Art Hanson asked if the policy reimbursed customers for the sewer portion of the water bill beyond the average amount. Beavers will contact ServLine for clarification.
In addition to considering revision to the Leak Adjustment Policy, the commissioners also reviewed five other policies in conjunction with undertaking a full-policy review during the course of the next several months. The board reconfirmed without changes the policies on Roberts Rules, Commissioner Health Care, and Commissioner Travel Expense Reimbursement. The language of the Commissioner Training Policy will be adjusted to reflect Tennessee Association of Utility Districts (TAUD) requirements.
The board will review the TAUD recommended Ethics Policy for possible adoption. SUD is currently governed by the Franklin County Code of Ethics.
The board elected the following officers for 2017: Charlie Smith, president; Karen Singer, secretary; and Art Hanson, vice-president.

​Sewanee Pilates Opens in the Village

by Kevin Cummings, Messenger Staff Writer

On a winding path, a mop bucket at sea played an integral role in the recent opening of a new Pilates studio in the Village.
Owner Bruce Manuel, who graduated from the University of the South in 1980 with a degree in English literature, spent 20 years in the Navy before joining the Department of Defense to work in Internet technology. A nagging back injury and a recommendation from a Veterans Administration nurse turned him to the Pilates method about seven years ago.
“I truly feel thankful to have found Pilates because it has greatly improved my quality of life,” he said. “I am stronger, better able to manage my bouts with lower back pain when they occur, less dependent on pain medication and better able to prevent re-injuring my back. It has been a lot of work, but worth it.”
This year, he went back to the VA hospital and an MRI revealed a previous bulge in his L5-S1 vertebrae was gone, the result of providing the right stability and removing pressure on the disc through Pilates.
Because of how the exercise method changed his life, Manuel wanted to train others so he earned his teaching certifications from Body Arts and Science International and the Pilates Method Alliance. He opened Sewanee Pilates in mid-March across from the Sewanee Post Office.
“I’m just real excited; it’s something that I wanted to do for a long time,” he said.
“I enjoy teaching people and I enjoy being my own boss.”
Manuel’s back injury, which led to this path, was the result of a bad-lifting technique early in his Navy career. At sea aboard the USS Raleigh, he wrenched his back picking up a large mop bucket filled with water. Years later, when he was training for a half-marathon, his left foot went numb and doctors discovered the bulge in his vertebrae.
A native of Houston, Texas, Manuel lived in the Denver area prior to retiring and moving to Sewanee last fall. He said he was tired of the traffic and stress that comes from living in a big city. But while in Denver, he started to build his business, training people of various ages and abilities, including a Broncos football player and an elderly man who had polio as a child. Anyone can benefit from the exercise method, Manuel said.
Joseph Pilates, a German gymnast, boxer and trainer, developed what was then called “Contrology,” after WWI. The method is designed to increase range of motion, flexibility and core strength. A handful of other benefits include improving postural alignment, balance and coordination, increasing circulation, reducing stress and muscle tension, and decreasing back and joint pain.
Manuel’s studio is stocked with Pilates equipment, including the reformer combo, a modern version of Joseph Pilates signature piece of equipment.
“My equipment allows me to create an individualized program for people,” he said. “I can accommodate people who have mobility issues.”
The equipment and exercises allow a person to stabilize themselves and develop a mind-body connection, he added.
“That translates into functional fitness for the body because if you’re working around the house, lifting something, working in the garden, have a physical job or are sitting at a desk, that sense of where your body is at in space and maintaining proper body alignment is very important,” he said. “Pilates helps you develop that sense and develop that body awareness, that’s why it’s so good for so many people.”
Manuel is planning a ribbon cutting for Sewanee Pilates the first week in May to coincide with Pilates Day on Saturday, May 6. He is currently offering an introductory rate, which includes four one-hour sessions for $250. The sessions are individual or in very small groups. Private individual sessions are $32.50 for a half-hour or $60 for a full hour, with discounts for session packages. Call (303) 815-7159 for an appointment.
Manuel also teaches group Pilates mat classes on Tuesdays at the University Wellness Center. Public classes are 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. and 5 to 6 p.m. and cost $12 for a drop-in session or five sessions for $50. In addition, he teaches a class for Sewanee students from 7 to 8 p.m. Call (931) 598-1325 for more information.

​Monteagle’s New Margaritas: Real Mexican Food 21st-Century Woman Style

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

Phoenix Najera, the owner of Monteagle’s new Mexican restaurant Margaritas, describes herself as, “Just a hard working woman trying to take care of my kids.” Although she doesn’t mean it as such, the comment is a gross understatement.
Najera is also the owner of Margaritas in Winchester. She got into the restaurant business 12 years ago following her divorce when she opened her first Mexican restaurant in a mall in Dalton, Ga. “I had to find a way to pay for my kid’s school,” she said. Najera has four children, a daughter and three sons, one a special needs child.
A lock down on I-24 introduced her to the town of Monteagle. She got off the interstate to avoid the traffic and liked the town. “I’m always looking for new places,” she said. “I decided Monteagle would be a good place for us.”
During the interview she takes notes, prompted to reflect on items to add to the menu or ways to make it more customer-friendly.
Asked about her personal favorite, she answers without a moment’s hesitation, “Pollo Margaritas’—it’s a chicken breast topped with shrimp and chorizo cheese sauce.”
Najera recommends a Volcano Fajita vegetarian-style for those who prefer “no carne,” describing a lavish assortment of grilled vegetables served in a bread bowl.
Many items are available without meat upon request like the Margaritas’ Baked Potato. “Many restaurants have tried to copy this side dish,” said Najera. “It’s a baked potato filled with fajita-style vegetables, meat and cheese.”
The extensive menu features more than 70 entrees with an impressive selection of seafood and chef specialties.
Margaritas’ very reasonably priced kids’ menu caters to children’s tastes by including familiar favorites such as chicken nuggets, cheeseburgers and fries.
The colorful family-friendly décor offers tables, booths, and a shaded outdoor terrace. There’s also a full service bar.
Many of the employees are Hispanic and at the present all of the kitchen staff, but not for what would seem the obvious reason. “All employees must cook for one or two years before they come on the floor as servers so they’ll know the menu,” Najera explains.
Najera calls Munford and Chattanooga, Tenn., home since that’s where her grandchildren live. “I have six grandchildren,” she says proudly. “My sons are all married. Not my daughter, though.” Najera pauses to smile. “She’s too smart for that.”
Najera jokes good naturedly with the employees who clearly enjoy her company. Asked if she would consent to being photographed, she latches onto the elbows of two servers insisting they join her.
“Margaritas isn’t a family business,” Najera insists, but it certainly feels like family.
Customers are invited to enjoy Margaritas’ hospitality seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Phoenix Najera runs her restaurants like she raised her children, with tender loving care.

​‘Guilt and Forgiveness’ Lecture

Eleonore Stump will speak on “Guilt and Forgiveness” at 7 p.m., Monday, March 27, in the School of Theology’s Hargrove Auditorium.

Stump will consider the conflicting views about forgiveness on the part of the respondents in Simon Wiesenthal’s book “The Sunflower: On the Possibility and Limits of Forgiveness.” She will argue that those respondents who are convinced that forgiveness should be denied the dying German soldier are mistaken. She will also argue in support of the attitude that rejects reconciliation with the dying German soldier that, in some cases of grave evil, repentance and making amends are not sufficient for the removal of guilt, and that reconciliation may be morally impermissible, whatever the case as regards forgiveness.
Eleonore Stump is the Robert J. Henle Professor of Philosophy at Saint Louis University, where she has taught since 1992. She has published extensively in philosophy of religion, contemporary metaphysics, and medieval philosophy. She is past president of the Society of Christian Philosophers, the American Catholic Philosophical Association, and the American Philosophical Association, Central Division; and she is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Wandering in Darkness: Narrative and the Problem of Suffering incorporates her Gifford Lectures (Aberdeen, 2003), Wilde lectures (Oxford, 2006), and Stewart lectures (Princeton, 2009).
This lecture is made possible by the Arrington Fund. A reception and book signing will follow the lecture.

​Civic Association Struggles with Ballpark Challenge

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

“Baseball is still huge in middle Tennessee,” said Dixon Myers in his overview of the Sewanee ballpark’s history and the desperate need for renovation, prompting a charged discussion among Sewanee Civic Association (SCA) members at the March 8 meeting. The array of problems ranges from nonfunctioning restrooms to dugouts with clogged drains and leaking roofs. “The dugouts need new roofs now,” said SCA immediate past president Kiki Beavers, stressing the urgency. “Baseball season begins April 1.”
Myers’ involvement with the University Office of Civic Engagement dates back to 1991. In 2003, he spearheaded renovation of the ballpark. He emphasized the importance of historical perspective when advocating changes. Dating back to the 1940s, the Sewanee ballpark hosted youth leagues. Pete Green, who worked for Physical Plant Services and served as Little League commissioner, oversaw maintenance of the ballpark throughout the 1990s. A shift to interest in soccer and desperate need for refurbishing the ballpark prompted a fundraising campaign that earned $75,000. In the early 2000s, the ballpark gained a full size soccer field, soccer storage building, new restrooms, onsite water and sewage, concession stands, grandstands, and a playground.
“Unfortunately, for the last 15 years there’s been no consistent maintenance,” Myers said.
While community volunteers mow the ballpark, the park’s diverse facilities and uses pose far more maintenance challenges than a simple playground, Myers pointed out. He also cited difficulty stemming from lack of leadership coordinating volunteer efforts and uncertainty about the University’s role.
“More than 100 children played soccer last year,” said Mary Heath, who assists with the youth soccer program. “We need working restrooms,” said Heath. With the soccer restrooms unusable due to vandalism, children urinated and defecated outside the facility at the end of the season when the baseball restrooms were locked.
Ed Hawkins said the Sewanee ballpark was ineligible for state funding because Sewanee was not a municipality, and the Sewanee Business Association had slacked off in its support due to lack of administrative oversight of spending.
Sarah Marhevsky suggested formation of a nonprofit ballpark entity eligible for grant funding.
Myers emphasized the need for collecting data on the number of users and usage trends as well as information about how neighboring municipalities budgeted for and administered ballpark maintenance. He proposed the University could levy a tax on the lease fee designated for ballpark needs and assign someone from Physical Plant Services to oversee maintenance.
The SCA approved a motion by Beavers to allocate $3,000 to refurbish the dugouts.
SCA President Lynn Stubblefield said the University had also committed $3,000 to the project, estimated to cost $6,000 total.
Hawkins proposed a community fund drive for ballpark repair, but SCA Parks Chair Stephen Burnett cautioned the effort might draw funds from the Community Chest, which was still $13,000 short of reaching its goal.
“We need to present the University with a unified long-term plan,” Burnett insisted. A study committee will put out a call for volunteers to serve on a ballpark maintenance committee at a later date. Making “immediate repairs” are Burnett’s first priority.
The SCA spearheaded and funded the recent renovation of Elliott Park in partnership with the University of the South. Through this year’s Community Chest budget, it will sustain 26 community projects and programs. To donate to the Community Chest visit or mail to P.O. Box 99, Sewanee TN 37375.
At the meeting on April 19, the SCA will announce the recipient of the 34th annual Community Service Award.

​Middle School Debate Continues

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

“If there were a way to build two new middle schools without hamstringing funding for programs and staff, I’d vote for it,” said Sewanee school board representative Adam Tucker at the March 13 meeting of the Franklin County School Board. “I’m concerned funding for programming and staff will suffer, not just at the middle schools, but county wide.”
Tucker’s comment framed much of the discussion.
Confronted with the problem of the county’s two aging middle schools, the board investigated the cost of three options. Renovating the middle schools would cost roughly the same amount as building a new consolidated middle school, $35 million. Building new middle schools on the existing sites would cost $55 million.
Tucker presented funding figures for a fourth option, building two new schools, but not concurrently. With an estimated cost of $26 million each and a 15 percent property tax increase over 15 years, construction of the second school would need to be delayed for five to seven years. No property tax increase would mean delaying construction of the second school 11-13 years.
Building two new middle schools concurrently would require a minimum 20 percent property tax increase over a 25-year period. Funds available with the retirement of the debt for the new high school might make possible renovating the schools or building a new consolidated school without a tax increase.
“Renovating the schools is just throwing good money after bad,” said board member Lance Williams. “The middle schools suffered from design issues from day one.”
“Renovating won’t change the infrastructure,” agreed board member Chris Guess. Most of the money for renovation would pay for erecting a shell over the existing structures with very little spent on interior design.
Board member Sara Liechty expressed concern about the cost of heating and cooling unusable space in the poorly designed middle schools and inadequate wiring hampering technological needs.
“Renovation is out of the question,” Tucker said.
“I asked the teachers if they were willing to put up with no improvements,” countered board member Linda Jones, “and they said, ‘yes.’ It’s been overwhelmingly demonstrated to me that two small schools is what’s best for middle school age students.”
Jones also dismissed concern about disruption during the renovation process. “The kids don’t even remember it,” Jones said attesting to her personal experience as an educator in a school under renovation.
Portables to house students during renovation would add approximately $1 million to the cost.
Commenting on the drive to allow parents to use vouchers to enroll their children in private schools, Hopkins said, “We could spend a lot of money and then see enrollment decline. I want to do what’s best for students, but I’d hate to see a major tax increase.”
Dispelling rumors, Guess insisted teachers would not lose their jobs if a consolidated school were built.
“I want to see the cost savings devoted to programming and staff if we vote for building one consolidated school instead of two new schools,” said Tucker.
“We don’t have any control over that,” said board member Gary Hanger. “There are no guarantees.”
“In a perfect world, I would vote for two new schools,” said Williams. “The only way we’ll find out is to send it to the county commission and see what they say.”
“The board’s job is not to decide about funding, but to make the best decision for the students,” said school board chairman Cleijo Walker.
Sewanee resident Lisa Rung presented the board with information supporting the small school concept and a petition signed by 35 Franklin County residents advocating keeping the middle schools separate, even if that meant postponing building a second school until a later date.
“I was disappointed in the citizen response to the survey last fall,” said Hopkins. Only 103 people responded to a BOE (Board of Education) survey soliciting opinions about middle school solutions. “I’ve been surprised by the lack of constituent feedback,” Hanger said.
The board meets next on Monday, April 3 for a working session at the BOE Office in Winchester.

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