​22nd Annual Holiday Studio Tour

Tennessee Craft–South invites the public to the 22nd annual Holiday Studio Tour on the Mountain Saturday, Dec. 2, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. CST and Sunday, Dec. 3, 11 a.m–4 p.m. CST. Tennessee Craft–South is the regional branch of Tennessee Craft, the state-wide organization which supports and promotes all handmade crafts in Tennessee.

At its inception, the local studio tour ranged from Chattanooga to Tullahoma, but gradually, the tour focused increasingly on the Monteagle and Sewanee area because of the concentration of artists and exhibition spaces on the mountain. More than 25 local and regional artists will show their work, ranging from textiles, sculpture, jewelry, pottery, and glass to paintings, metal work and wood work. Monteagle studios which have been added this year include those of Kim Phillips (paper arts) and Christi Teasley (paper cutting and textiles/printmaking); returning for a second year is the Monteagle studio of Glyn and Will Melnyk (handwoven textiles). A new Sewanee studio, that of Diane Jones (calligraphy), joins other Sewanee artists’ studios open to the public for the Tour, including those of Bob Askew, Pippa Browne, Ben Potter, Claire Reishman and Merissa Tobler. Other Sewanee locations displaying work are the American Legion Hall and Locals Gallery. Light refreshments will be available at most locations.
Additionally, there is a group exhibition of artists’ work in the St. Andrew’s-Sewanee Art Gallery, located in the center of the Simmonds Building at St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School. Most sites host several different artists showing their work, while the SAS Art Gallery presents an exhibition from artists on the Studio Tour, in addition to SAS faculty and students and other members of Tennessee Craft–South. Most works featured in the Studio Tour Exhibition are for sale at the Gallery.
There are six sponsors for the Holiday Studio Tour this year: the Monteagle Inn, Mooney’s, Shenanigans, Locals, the Sewanee Inn, and the Blue Chair. Studio Tour brochures are available at each of these local businesses and at all participating studios.

Bright yellow signs mark the tour route, and maps are available at all locations on the tour as well as at all sponsors’ locations, in the Sewanee Mountain Messenger, and on the Tennessee Craft–South website http://tennesseecraft.org/members/chapters/south/

​Greening of the Chapel

On Friday, Dec. 1, members of the Sewanee community are invited to join in the Greening of All Saints’ Chapel in preparation for the 58th annual Festival of Lessons and Carols. Work begins at 9 a.m. and all levels of experience are welcomed and very much needed. Please bring any treasures from your garden (dried hydrangea, nandina and other berries, unusual evergreen clippings, etc.), which can be used to decorate wreaths and garlands. Coffee and pastries are served throughout the morning, and a light lunch will be offered at noon. Ken Taylor, of Taylor’s Mercantile, will direct the day’s activities.

A tour of All Saints’ Chapel decorations will be availabe at 1:30 p.m., on Sunday, Dec. 3. It’s an opportunity for folks to see the decorations up close, photograph them, and see how they are constructed. Meet in the narthex of the Chapel, where the tour will begin.

​A Plantation and a Church: Reconciling Pasts Tied to Slavery, Confederacy

by Kevin Cummings, Messenger Staff Writer

If the “Cathedral of the Confederacy” can confront its past, so can the University of the South, said Wallace Adams-Riley, former rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Richmond, Va.
In his statement, Adams-Riley, a 1993 Sewanee graduate, was referencing an opinion article from the Nashville Scene, “If Sewanee Can Do it, Everyone Can Do It,” in which writer Betsy Phillips talks about the Sewanee Project on Slavery, Race and Reconciliation. The project is aimed at delving into the University’s history and deciding the future of campus monuments and memorials related to the Confederacy and slavery. Slaveholders and Confederate veterans helped found the University and some of its early leaders and professors were also Confederate veterans.
Adams-Riley spoke at the project’s third forum on Nov. 7 at Gailor Hall, in which he outlined St. Paul’s efforts at reconciling with its own history. Leaders of the Confederacy worshipped at the church, including Gen. Robert E. Lee, Confederate President Jefferson Davis, and Gen. Josiah Gorgas, who went on to become vice chancellor at Sewanee and whose name adorns Gorgas Hall on campus.
Adams-Riley asked parishioners if it was time to address the church’s own monuments and memorials following the racially-motivated shootings in 2015 at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.
“‘Might God be calling us to have a conversation unlike any we’ve ever had before about all of the Confederate memorials and imagery inside St. Paul’s Church?’” he recalled asking. ‘What is it like for an African American, man, woman or child, to walk into our church and to see all of this? …Do they feel welcome and fully and equally valued as anyone else? Welcome in this house of God with those things on the walls?’”
Following many discussions, meetings and two public forums, St. Paul’s decided to remove all images of the Confederate Battle Flag from inside the church, he said. They also resolved to study the church’s history more deeply and create a memorial to slaves who helped build the church in the 1840s.
“In the aftermath of all this St. Paul’s was repeatedly accused of erasing history. The irony is people of St. Paul’s know their history now better than ever before. There’s no two ways about it,” he said.
The effort at St. Paul’s also includes creating liturgical and musical expressions of reconciliation and history, Adams-Riley added. The St. Paul’s project is scheduled to conclude in 2020.
When asked whether images and memorials to Confederate soldiers inside Sewanee’s All Saints’ Chapel should remain, Adams-Riley said there is no one solution for every community and input is needed from all sides, but he has his own views.
“I believe that any image of the Confederate Battle Flag has to be put away forever,” he said. “And likewise, any image or representation of a Confederate soldier in uniform, forever. Now they can be in museums or on private property but in terms of public spaces, and I’m saying this as a direct descendent of 11 Confederate soldiers; this is my heritage.”
“What I’m saying is, for the sake of the common good, for the sake of reconciliations, for the sake of all members of our community, I think we have to make choices,” he added.
The second speaker at the Nov. 7 forum was Winslow Hastie, whose family has owned Magnolia Plantation and Gardens since 1676. The popular tourist attraction near Charleston, S.C., also underwent a historical fact and soul-finding mission. Hastie, who has worked in historical preservation in both San Francisco and Charleston, helped spearhead a project to restore the old slave cabins at the plantation and launch deeper investigation into slave life and genealogy there.
He said he received pushback from people in his own family, who preferred to keep the past quiet.
“That was sort of an unpleasant topic we really didn’t want to talk about. That was kind of a raw thing, it was uncomfortable for a lot of people,” he said.
Hastie, a 1995 Sewanee graduate, said he wrestled with his family’s past, but wanted a transparent and honest view of history.
In 1872, the plantation and gardens opened as a tourist attraction. Some of the freed slaves continued to work there, Hastie noted, and descendants continue to work there today—some actually lived in the slave cabins until the mid-1990s.
The restoration of the cabins and surrounding research opened up a number of connections, Hastie said. People whose family members were buried in unmarked graves in one of the plantation’s cemeteries were encouraged to visit and Magnolia became a gathering place for descendants of the slaves there.
In addition, interpretative programs, as well as a program called Lowcountry Africana, a genealogy library and archive for African Americans in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, grew out of the slave research at Magnolia, Hastie said.
Responding to an audience question, Hastie said there have been no conversations about reparations to descendants of slaves, but said Magnolia Plantation does offer two scholarships for African American students, one to the College of Charleston and the other to Trident Technical College.
Woody Register, director of Sewanee’s Project on Slavery, Race and Reconciliation, said the project’s working group expects to submit recommendations about the University’s memorials and monuments at the end of this academic year. The project is scheduled to continue for six years.

​School Board Considers Converting Schools to LED Lighting

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
Converting the Franklin County schools to LED lighting “would reduce your electric bills by enough to pay for the project,” Scotty Caroom, with the Excel Energy Group (EEG), told the Franklin County School Board at the Nov. 13 meeting. Based on lighting energy-use records from Duck River Electric, the school system would save $93,000 annually, Caroom said. The school system qualified for 100 percent funding from the Energy Efficient School Initiative (EESI) and a $30,000 grant from TVA, according to Caroom, making the annual payment $85,000, yielding a net savings of $7, 600.
EEG’s proposal called for upgrading all school system lighting except the two middle schools and the ball fields. “Ball fields don’t pay off,” Caroom said. The middle schools are slated to be replaced by a consolidated middle school.
The school system’s outstanding debt for upgrading to fluorescent lighting, which has 4.5 percent interest rate, would be absorbed into the new 1 percent interest loan, Caroom said. The new loan would have a 10-year term. The EEG proposal carries a 10-year warranty on parts and labor.
The switch to LED lighting would cut the school systems lighting-related electricity usage by 50-60 percent. Pointing to another advantage, Caroom said LED lights had a 20-25 year life span compared to 8-10 years for fluorescent lights.
Caroom said the Giles County School system chose to do the LED conversion themselves, drawing on the school system’s fund balance. Most school systems “don’t have the free money or the man power” to undertake the project on their own, he said. “I’ve never seen a county commission deny approval for an EEG conversion to LED. You’re not asking for new money. With the EESI loan, there’s no money up front.”
“What rationale would allow the board to bypass the competitive procurement process?” asked Sewanee school board representative Adam Tucker. “Typically, there would be invitations to bid.”
Caroom explained that “Under Tennessee state statute for school districts for projects whose purpose is energy conservation measures, both the engineering and the materials are procured the same as professional services, and with that you can select a qualified provider of your choosing.”
The school system has five more payments on the current 4.5 percent loan, with the next payment due April 1. “In order for the payment to be absorbed into the new loan, the LED retrofit needs to be installed by then,” Caroom said.
“If we decide we’re prepared to act on this in December, we could take it to the county commission in January,” said Board Chair Cleijo Walker.
“We’ll do what we can to accommodate you,” Caroom said. “It will take four weeks to get the materials and five to six weeks to do the installation. We need about two and half months lead time.”
Revisiting a question regarding the Special Use of School Vehicles policy which stated “School buses may be used only for the transportation of school personnel on authorized school business,” Assistant Superintendant Linda Foster recommended revising the policy to allow both school employees as well as others on official school business to use the buses. The board approved the change.
The board also approved minor verbiage changes in several Instructional Program policies. Board member Chris Guess questioned the name of the Advanced College Placement policy which allows gifted high school seniors “to complete the 12th grade at a participating institution of higher learning.” Guess said the name invited confusion with advancement placement classes taken within the high school setting to earn college credit.
Foster will consult with the Tennessee School Board Association about the name confusion.
The board meets next for a work session on Dec. 4.

​Celebration of Technology Partnership

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
“We welcome our many new friends at Ben Lomand,” said Vice-Chancellor John McCardell at the Nov. 14 ribbon cutting ceremony at duPont Library, celebrating the partnership with the local internet service provider Ben Lomand Connect. “The Ben Lomand connection gives the University redundancy and doubles our available bandwidth.”
When the connection went live in August, Ben Lomand became the University’s second fiber-optics provider.
The story began two years ago when an eight-hour internet service interruption at the University started a conversation about the need for a backup vendor.
McCardell recalled making a trip to Nashville with Monteagle businessman John Greeter to visit Senator Janice Bowling.
Former owner of Monteagle Builders Supply, Greeter’s working relationship with the University developed into a friendship with Vice-Chancellor Joel Cunningham and McCardell, in turn. “I like to help the University out in any way I can,” Greeter said.
A big fan of Ben Lomand, Greeter encouraged the University to consider Ben Lomand for its backup vendor, as did Senator Bowling.
Champion of fiber-optic internet technology and Ben Lomand Connect in particular, Bowling quickly realized “this group needs to meet this group. It was magical when it came together.”
“We had 8,781 devices connected last week,” McCardell said, “and over 4,800 of those were smart devices. There’s clearly a need and it’s clearly being met. Two-thirds of our traffic is now over the Ben Lomand connection.”
“We’re not just providers of service, but true partners,” said Ben Lomand General Manager and CEO Lisa Cope. “If you need us we’ll be there.”
Citing Ben Lomand’s reputation for top of the line service, Ben Lomand Tracy City District Manager Mike Birdwell said, “The University currently has one gigabit of bandwidth, but with just a phone call we can turn it up to 10 gigs.”
Cope hinted at the possible expansion of Ben Lomand fiber-optic service to non-University customers. “This partnership can be very meaningful to the communities around the University, as well.”
“Fiber costs a lot of money to run. We’ve talked about pre-selling,” Birdwell said. “We’d like to move out into the community. The conversation is in the early stages.”
“The University-Ben Lomand relationship is a partnership between a world institution and a world class provider,” Senator Bowling said. “Fiber is to the 21st century what electricity was to the 20th century. Not having fiber is like not having an interstate system. DSL is a pig trail.”

​Residents Raise Concerns about the Sewanee Village Plan

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
At the Nov. 7 Sewanee Village Update meeting, Special Assistant to the Vice Chancellor Frank Gladu fielded residents’ questions about hurdles the project posed.
Gladu described the Sewanee Village Plan as an “infill project” meaning a project rededicating space. Phase One of the Village Plan encompasses 45-acres in the downtown Sewanee vicinity. Projects the University hopes to see completed by 2022 include increasing residential housing and the redesign of the Highway 41A intersection.
Plans call for multi-family housing on the recently purchased tract of land on Prince Lane, Gladu said. “The conceptual drawing shows 39 units, six-plexes, eight-plexes, and maybe 12-plexes.”
“I’m in favor of infill. It’s the environmentally and socially right thing to do,” said Sewanee resident Sid Brown. Brown, though, expressed concerns about drainage, pointing to standing water on the grassy site. “This is a low area. More concrete will mean more storm water needing places to go.”
Resident Lucia Dale expressed similar concerns about the cluster of six to eight small cottage- court style homes proposed for a location across the street. “Drainage may kill the cottage court plan,” Dale said.
Dale suggested a nearby site calling for two single-family homes would be a better location for the cottage court.
“The plan may not happen as drawn,” Gladu said. “Input is important.”
Acknowledging drainage issues in the Parson’s Green residential area developed in 2010, Gladu stressed that a “different management structure” was in place now. “We need to do a better job on this.”
Gladu cited upstream storm water and downstream blockage as issues under review in a storm-water management study being conducted by the University.
Storm water is a major concern, Gladu agreed. “There are areas not built on now, and there’s a reason why.”
Dale also took issue with proposed redesign of the Highway 41A intersection, which calls for a narrowing of the highway from Kennerly Road to Kentucky Avenue.
Studies indicate narrowing the highway will slow down traffic, Gladu explained. “The highway will shrink to one lane in each direction.”
“We’re slowing down trucks and routing them through a green space,” Dale complained, noting the plan called for a village green as the focal point of the intersection. “Is that for the enjoyment of the truckers? This doesn’t make sense to me.”
Gladu said the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) was funding and designing the project with money in their safety budget. He hopes to see turn lanes and pedestrian activated crosswalks in TDOT’s design. He expects to receive the design by the end of December.
Turning to plans to relocate the bookstore to downtown between the post office and Tower Community Bank, Gladu said the building would have “a smaller footprint,” predicting a 5,000-7,000 square foot structure compared to the 10,000 square foot building housing the present bookstore. That space was larger than necessary, Gladu noted, pointing to changes in the way students acquired their textbooks.
“The architect selection process is underway. We hope to have a bookstore design by mid-2018,” Gladu said. He anticipated Barnes and Noble would “likely continue to operate the bookstore to start with,” but said the contract allowed for modifications to the arrangement.
Asked about hurdles to the grocery store proposed for the lot across from the present Sewanee Market, Gladu listed two needs: one, finding an operator, and two, determining what conditions would make the apartments proposed for the upper two levels of the building rentable.
In response to concerns the Sewanee Market would be torn down before a new grocery store was built, Gladu said, “We’re trying not to have any interruptions in service.”
Gladu acknowledged the need for a new Village Plan map more accurately reflecting proposed changes and what would remain the same.
He intends to hold Sewanee Village Update meetings on the first Tuesday of each month.
“What I get out of it is your questions and comments,” Gladu said. “I want to know what your concerns are.”

For more information go to sewanee.edu/village.

​Operation Noel

Providing Abundant Holidays for All

In just a few weeks, it will be Christmas. While many are already planning ahead about gifts to buy and food to eat, there are those not so fortunate. In our area, there are children who may not get presents and families that may not have an abundant holiday meal.
Each year the Sewanee Volunteer Fire Department (SVFD), in conjunction with FROST (the department’s Fund Raising Operational Support Team), organize the purchasing and distribution of food and toys for these families. All items will be delivered the morning of Dec. 23 by the SVFD and FROST.
But this important program cannot happen without help from the community. Please consider making a donation of money, nonperishable food items or new toys to Operation Noel this year and give back to your community this Christmas season.
Families eligible for Operation Noel must live in the following communities: Sewanee, Midway, Jump Off and Sherwood Road to the top of Sherwood Mountain (but not into Sherwood).
Every family needs to fill out a new application, even if they have received from Operation Noel before. An application ensures that organizers have all the pertinent information so they can provide for everyone in need. The application is on page 6 of this week’s issue of the Messenger. The deadline for returning applications is Monday, Dec. 11.
If you would like to make a donation of money, nonperishable food items or new unwrapped toys, please take items to the Fire Hall or the Police Department, both located behind duPont Library, or Print Services, located in the old Beta House. For more information call 598-3400 and leave a message.

​Actors to Read at ‘Tennessee Shorts’ Tonight

by Kevin Cummings, Messenger Staff Writer

A Tony Award winner, a “Boardwalk Empire” star, and several local thespians will offer their oratory talents to “Tennessee Shorts” at Guerry Auditorium today (Friday), Nov. 10.
Beginning at 7:30 p.m., the night will feature the short stories of authors Erin McGraw, Tony Earley, Tiana Clark, Elizabeth Spencer and Kevin Wilson.
James Crawford, Sewanee associate theatre professor, is spearheading the event, which he hopes will become an annual tradition.
“I have wanted to put on a program like ‘Tennessee Shorts’ since the day I interviewed to teach theatre at Sewanee,” Crawford said. “This place has such an extraordinary literary history. It’s such a simple format, and one that I love: actors reading aloud beautifully written short stories. That’s what we all crave, isn’t it? A good story well told.”
Among the performers is Julie White, a prolific actress in TV, movies and on Broadway, and a 2007 Tony Award winner for best lead actress in a play. Two of White’s nephews attend the University of the South.
Joining White is Wrenn Schmidt, who played Julia Sagorsky in the HBO series “Boardwalk Empire” and also starred in the Cinemax horror series “Outcast.” Schmidt was Crawford’s student when he taught acting at Southern Methodist University.
“I loved his approach to the work, his compassion and his humor,” Schmidt said. “We’ve stayed in touch since I graduated. When Jim contacted me about ‘Tennessee Shorts,’ I jumped on board. It’s a great opportunity to experiment with storytelling in a different form.”
Schmidt, who is currently working on “The Looming Tower” for Hulu, said she’s feeling delighted and curious to perform “Instrument of Destruction” by Elizabeth Spencer, a Mississippi native best known for her novella “The Light in the Piazza.”
Spencer will be unable to make the event, but Wilson, author of “The Family Fang” which became a movie starring Nicole Kidman and Jason Bateman, is looking forward to seeing his short story “Mortal Kombat” performed.
“I’m really honored that Jim Crawford would choose my story for this event; we’re lucky to have him in Sewanee,” Wilson said. “And Erin McGraw is one of my favorite writers; Tony Earley was my mentor at Vanderbilt, and Tiana Clark is a friend of mine, so I’m really excited to see all of the performances.”
The associate professor of English at Sewanee said his story of “two teenaged boys obsessed with video games and trivia” is more serious than his usual work. Sewanee senior Will Burton-Edwards is tasked with being the voice for “Mortal Kombat.”
“I want to do this particular piece because it exposes a side of homosexuality that not a lot of the world gets to see,” Burton-Edwards said. “We see gay men as either flowery queers or as sexually repressed and bullied nobodies. We’ve managed to compartmentalize homosexuality into these two genres, when, at the end of the day, homosexual people are just as sexually complex and human as the rest of us.”
Burton-Edwards, a physics and theatre double major, has nine-years acting experience and studied abroad at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
Crawford will also read a story, along with Karen Proctor, a social innovator, former director of community relations for the NBA, and current special assistant to the provost at Sewanee.
“Tennessee Shorts” is inspired by “Texas Bound,” an event at the Dallas Museum of Art, where Texas actors read the works of Texas authors. Sewanee alum Carolyn Bess is director of the museum’s Arts & Letters Live program, which coordinates “Texas Bound.” She said the event there has included readings by the likes of Tommy Lee Jones, Luke Wilson and Kathy Bates and the work of authors such as Larry McMurtry, Sandra Cisneros and Steve Martin.
Crawford consulted with Bess when designing the Tennessee event. Bess said she gave him the same advice she does her own team.
“I approach planning an evening of stories as I would a menu for a dinner party, by choosing an appetizer, entrée and a dessert. So that there is variety among the stories, make sure to balance the heavier, meatier entrée (which might be darker and more serious) with stories that are light-hearted, humorous, and whimsical,” Bess said.
“Tennessee Shorts” contains adult language and themes. The event is free.

​58th Annual Festival of Lessons and Carols

The 58th annual Festival of Lessons and Carols at the University of the South will be celebrated at three services, two on Dec.2 (5 and 8 p.m.), and one on Dec. 3 (5 p.m.).

After accommodating ticket requests from students, faculty, staff, and their families, the University expects that the number of places available to the public for reservation may be severely limited. If space at any of the services will be available to the general public, guests will be able to reserve a maximum of two seats online beginning Wednesday, Nov. 15. All tickets will be available for pickup at Convocation Hall. Unused tickets, if any, will be made available to walk-up guests (guests without a reservation) before each service. Walk-up guests must check in at Convocation Hall 30 minutes before the service to be placed on a waiting list.
The Festival Service of Lessons and Carols offers the opportunity to experience one of the oldest traditions of Anglican music and Advent expectation. As part of the University’s outreach, All Saints’ Chapel is pleased to welcome the public by offering any available places in the service for reservation.

​Blue Chair Tavern to Host Comedy Night

by Kevin Cummings, Messenger Staff Writer

“I’m sick of following my dreams, I’m just going to ask where they’re going and hook up with them later.”—Comedian Mitch Hedberg
People who are hilarious at home folding socks, or tell jokes wherever they can, be it the men’s bathroom or the church picnic, have a chance to share their humor at the Blue Chair Tavern tonight (Friday) at 9 p.m.
Freddy Saussy, a manager at the Tavern, is one of the organizers of comedy night.
“I thought this would be a fun place to do it,” he said. It’s a pretty intimate audience situation and there’s often awesome energy. It can make for a pretty fun time.”
Saussy, whose favorite comedians are Richard Pryor and Steve Martin, said he’s picked up a few jokes bartending at the Tavern.
“Sewanee’s not short of comedic characters,” he said.
Jimmy Wilson, Blue Chair owner, said a comedy night is a natural addition to other events there, such as Sewanee Spoken Word, Trivia Night and bingo.
“We’re going to let it run on Friday nights and see how it goes,” he said. “You hear so many jokes at the bar, about 50 percent of them are good.”
Wilson won’t be able to attend tonight, but he said he has some jokes he might share in the future.
“My jokes are true stories, it’s just whether people think they’re funny or they think I was mischievous or a little off my rocker. But most of those occurred in my college days, so the statute of limitations has run out,” he said.
Those who want to perform can sign up for a five-minute slot by stopping by the Blue Chair or calling (931) 598-5434. Comedians can also take the mic the night of the show.

​SES a Winner of the Good Sports Always Recycle™ School Challenge

Sewanee Elementary School was recently recognized for its school environmental program as one of the 10 winners of the 2017 Good Sports Always Recycle™ (GSAR) school challenge. Sewanee was awarded $1,000, and Kim and Scott Tucker represented the school as the winners and were recognized on the field at the University of Tennessee versus Southern Miss football game.

“Teaching our students to be good stewards of our environment is vital for the sustainability of the earth,” said Kim Tucker, principal at Sewanee Elementary School. “Beginning this during their early years allows us to instill the recycling mindset as students are forming their thoughts and opinions about everything they encounter.”
This is the 24th year for the competition, and the 2017 winning schools included Saint Dominic Catholic School and John Adams Elementary School, Kingsport; South Lawrence School, Loretto; The Farm School, Summertown; Norris Middle School, Norris; Sewanee Elementary School, Sewanee; Gallatin Senior High School, Gallatin; and Haynesfield Elementary School, Bristol. South Knoxville Elementary School was honored as the Best New Program, and Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga received the Sustainability Steward Award.
Sewanee recycles items including plastic, aluminum cans, paper and cardboard. The school utilizes motion sensor lights to conserve energy, and many students walk or bike to school to reduce emissions. 
Additionally, the school established its “Tigers Don’t Leave Tracks” program to encourage reusable bags, and local businesses have supported the program by promoting reusable bags, and through donations and prizes.
The school also recently held a lunch audit to teach students about food waste, reusables, recyclables and compostables, and today the school focuses on litterless lunch. Sewanee is working with University of the South to assist with its litterless lunch audit.
The GSAR program, which is sponsored by Eastman, Waste Connections and Food City, in cooperation with the University of Tennessee, has awarded more than $160,000 to K-12 schools in Tennessee for their environmental programs.

The GSAR program also includes an online educational packet, available at , which helps teachers with lesson plans as well as gives ideas for schools looking to establish or strengthen their programs.

​Monteagle Fire Department Improves ISO Rating

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
“The ISO score decrease will mean a decrease in homeowners insurance premiums,” Fire Chief Mike Holmes announced at the Oct. 30 Monteagle Town Council meeting, reporting on the results of a recent inspection. The council discussed funding options for the turnout gear needed by the fire department and whether to demolish all or only a portion of the old fire hall. In other business, the council approved deannexation of the section of the Deepwoods development still in the city limits.
“The fire department’s ISO (Insurance Service Officer) rating was reduced from six to five,” Holmes said. “That’s pretty good for a volunteer fire department.”
Looking to the future, Holmes stressed the need for turnout gear for the four trainees. “I can’t send them to the final practicum in gear with tears and holes. It’s not safe for them to go into a fire.” The gear cost $3,000 per set: tops, bottoms, helmet and boots.
“The gear isn’t in the budget,” Mayor David Sampley said.
Vice-Mayor Jessica Blalock suggested sale of the department’s 1981 truck, estimated value $8,000-$15,000, would pay for most of the gear. The council approved the sale in February. The department no longer uses the truck, which has pump and tank leaks.
Sampley will consult with Utility Department Supervisor John Condra regarding the department’s possible interest in purchasing the truck.
“They’ve used it in the past,” Holmes said.
Turning to the demolition of the old fire hall, Sampley said plans called for tearing down just the condemned structure.
Holmes said the building the city intended to leave in place flooded and had mold problems.
Blalock questioned whether there would be adequate parking for a new fire hall if the city did not tear down both buildings on the lot and argued it would cost less to demolish both buildings at once.
Sampley said the call for bids in the Messenger and Grundy County Herald only received one reply. He asked for prices on tearing the buildings down separately and together. The city will expand the bid search to the Franklin County and Coffee County newspapers.
Reporting on the notification sent to the four businesses in violation of the new ordinance requiring a fence screening any lots with conveyances in a “junked condition,” Codes Enforcement Officer Earl Geary said one business removed the conveyances in question, but the other three have not responded. The ordinance requires businesses in violation to begin construction of a fence in 30 days. “I think they’re going to fight it,” Geary said.
Police Chief Virgil McNeese will issue citations to the three businesses in violation of the ordinance requiring them to appear in court. Whether to impose the $50 per day fine called for by the ordinance will be up to the judge, Geary noted.
Responding to a request from Deepwoods’ residents, the council approved on first reading the deannexation of the portion of the development still in the city limits. In February, the council approved a similar request from another group of Deepwoods residents who cited the need for road maintenance. Monteagle does not levy an income tax and lacked funds to maintain the roads.
The council also approved giving Walmart gift cards to all city employees at Thanksgiving and giving fruit baskets to senior citizens. After discussion, the council approved $150 Christmas bonuses for part-time employees and $250 bonuses for full-time employees. In each case, the council raised the amount awarded last year by $50 to cover the taxes assessed on the holiday bonuses.
Updating the council on plans for the Christmas parade scheduled for 4:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 9, Blalock said awards would be given for the best decorated float and the float best representing the theme “A Disney Christmas.” The city will also give awards for the best decorated business and home. Tower Community Bank will provide refreshments during Santa’s visit at Harton Park following the parade.

​Community Council Appoints Weber to Fill Vacancy; Discusses Crosswalk Modification

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

At the Oct. 30 meeting the Sewanee Community Council appointed June Weber to serve as the District 1 representative in keeping with the authority granted by the council’s constitution to fill mid-term vacancies.
A realtor with Gooch Beasley, Weber’s daughter attended the University prompting her to relocate in the Sewanee area following Hurricane Katrina.
“She’s sharp and dependable and would be a great asset to our group,” said council representative Flournoy Rogers, who nominated Weber.
Weber will serve until the next election in Nov. 2018.
Revisiting a topic previously discussed, council representative
Cindy Potter said she spoke with Franklin County Highway Commissioner Joe David McBee about the crossing light in front of the Blue Chair “taking up five or six parking spaces.”
McBee indicated he was open to making the two downtown crossing lights more compatible with the Sewanee Village Plan, Potter said.
Provost Nancy Berner asked Potter to communicate to McBee “the council would greatly appreciate the lights being modified.”
To keep the council abreast of issues concerning the community, Berner provided an overview of agenda items proposed to the council agenda committee, but determined to be best dealt with by other agencies.
The need for sidewalks in the Quintard Hall and School of Theology vicinity was already under review by Facilities Management, according to Berner. The problem of overly long vehicles parked on Tennessee Avenue extending into the street fell to the police department to address, Berner said. Plans are to communicate the problem via email or similar means in the hope of avoiding issuing citations. Berner also noted a group had formed to coordinate maintenance of the ballpark, and she would meet with them in early November to discuss the issues.
Mike Gardner, who oversees Facilities Planning and Operations, said Duck River Electric recently communicated concern about the age and safety of the ballpark lighting. “We’re going to have to do something about the lighting system,” Gardner stressed.
Council representative Pixie Dozier updated the group on the Community Funding Project. The council sponsored program provides funding for projects that enhance the community and improve the quality of life of residents. The deadline for submitting proposals was Nov. 1. The review committee is expected to make recommendations to the council at the next meeting on Jan. 22 meeting.
No award was made in 2017, raising the award amount to $20,000 for 2018. In 2016, the council divided the $11,000 available among seven applicants. Past recipients include a Girl Scout Silver Project, upgrades to the Sewanee dog pound, Elliott Park amenities, improvements to the Community Center, a special needs swing at the Woodlands, and bulbs for the local playgroup to plant by the Cross.
“I’ve heard many suggestions for projects,” Dozier said. She encouraged people to turn their suggestions into proposals and apply for funding. The deadline for the next round of submissions is April 1, 2018.

Arcadia Considering ‘Green House’ Assisted Living

by Kevin Cummings, Messenger Staff Writer
Leaders for a planned assisted living facility in Sewanee are considering various style options, but one particular model has piqued their interest.
The Board of Trustees for Arcadia at Sewanee will not select a design until after it chooses a developer, however, Linda Lankewicz, board president, said the Green House Project is one of the favorite models among board members.
“The Green House Project is an approach that attempts to allow residents to live meaningful lives,” she said. “Founded by Dr. Bill Thomas, it has been praised by many, included Dr. Atul Gawande in his book ‘Mortal Being.’”
Thomas, a geriatrician, started the Green House Project in 2003, according to the organization’s website, and now more than 170 elder-care homes feature the Green House model. The approach aims to make assisted living or nursing homes feel like a home as opposed to a hospital or institutional environment. To promote companionship and a welcoming family atmosphere, usually 10 to 12 residents live in a house, which includes an open layout with a kitchen, hearth and a common dining table.
Lankewicz said people want to be able to smell food cooking and feel like they are at home.
Other perks of the model include individual rooms, which a resident can personalize and bring in their own furniture, according to the Green House Project. Access to the outdoors and a low staff to resident ratio are also part of the design.
Earlier this year, Arcadia board members toured the Green House model employed by St. Martin’s in the Pines near Birmingham. St. Martin’s Green House homes are for long-term care, not assisted living.
Anica McDonald, director of marketing at St. Martin’s, said that facility has three Green House cottages, which opened in 2008. Each cottage has three floors and each floor is referred to as a “house” with 10 residents living in each one, she said. Each floor has a screened in porch that overlooks a courtyard.
“They are very comfortable living there because it is like a home environment,” McDonald said. “It’s beautiful and the concept is beautiful, but it’s a little bit difficult to manage from a long-term care perspective. I don’t know how it would work with assisted living, but from a long-term care perspective where people are needing more care, it’s a little bit difficult to manage.”
For example, she said there are logistical issues with three floors and no nursing station in the halls like at a traditional nursing home. She added than when an activity is at a different house, it can be a “juggling match” to get everybody involved when residents are at different levels of care and mobility.
Arcadia board members are also studying a model called Apartments for Life, a Dutch concept in which residents live in apartments which are age-restricted. For example, only people ages 55 and up may be allowed to live in the apartments. Staff members provide many services, like transportation, help accessing medical and other assistance, as well as organizing social events, but the model emphasizes independence.
As for what level of care and assistance will be offered at Arcadia at Sewanee, those options are also still under consideration.
“We are not at the point of knowing which type of care we would be able to provide, and it is likely that our work will happen in phases,” Lankewicz said. “Most of our conversation now is about some form of assisted living (which may be independent living with assistance) as the first step.”
The Arcadia board was elected in May 2016 to address the problem of people leaving the Mountain for care as they aged. Lankewicz said local residents have approached her and told her they are “counting on this.”
The Arcadia board is now considering two developers for the project, but Lankewicz said there is not a definitive timeline for choosing a developer. She noted that the board has worked with potential developers to help them get to know Sewanee and avoid a “cookie-cutter approach.”
The site is also to be determined, however, both developers are interested in building close to downtown Sewanee, Lankewicz said. In addition, feedback from potential residents also indicates a preference for living near the amenities of the Village.
“This quest to find a solution for senior living is a complex process,” Lankewicz said. “We continue to learn more and have to explore further.”

Peace Begins With You: Sewanee Peace Pole’s 15th Anniversary

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
The 15th annual Sewanee Elementary School Peace Pole ceremony on Oct. 27 opened with Principal Kim Tucker defining peace—“Peace is when everyone gets along. Peaceful thoughts begin with you.” Every peace pole ceremony since the program began in 2002 has underscored that same message.
The SES peace pole, a former telephone pole at the rear of the building, features 31 plaques inscribed with the phrase “May Peace Prevail on Earth,” each in a different language. This year SES added Latin to the list of peace pole honorees.
Under the direction of librarian Kathryn Gotko Bruce, students from the fourth-grade class recited the emblematic peace pole phrase in Latin, “Regnet pax omnem per terram.” To prepare for the ceremony, the class toured All Saints’ Chapel with University professor Chris McDonough looking for examples of Latin text. Student presenters highlighted the Roman Empire’s history, the Roman numerals counting system, and the Latin language’s influence on the languages of countries conquered by the Romans.
In keeping with the tradition of including music in the ceremony, music teacher Cynthia Gray led the fifth grade in singing Dona Nobis Pacem, “Grant Us Peace,” in Latin, accompanied by students playing string and rhythm instruments.
The first year, 2002, student musicians from the University entertained. The Cumberland Center for Justice and Peace hosted the event under the direction of CCJP volunteer Pat Wiser. Each tier of the SES peace pole accommodates six language plaques, with six languages selected for representation that first year. CCJP contributed English, Arabic and Hebrew plaques—a testimony to the hope for peace in the Middle East. CCJP supporters contributed Spanish. And SES contributed Cherokee and Japanese, the choice of SES students.
“Librarian Cheryl King and I organized a student vote in the library,” Wiser said.
In activities leading up to the ceremony, students learned about the people who spoke the languages and talked about the meaning of peace.
“By identifying the country where the language was spoken on a map, students earned a flag sticker,” Wiser said, naming a few of the activities. She singled out one as especially important. “Teachers had students write about their wish for peace in their personal life. They’re still doing that.”
The Japanese tradition of commemorating events with text inscribed on a vertical pole inspired Japanese philosopher and spiritual leader Masahisa Goi in his quest to promote world peace. Goi created the first peace pole in 1955 with the text “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in Japanese. The idea spread worldwide, with the first peace poles outside Japan appearing in the 1980s.
Peace poles in Boulder, Colo., where Wiser formerly worked as a school librarian, prompted her to propose the peace pole project to the CCJP board. CCJP discussed locating the peace pole in the University Shakespeare Garden, but Wiser’s preferred location, SES, won out.
Former SES Principal Mike Maxon and the SES faculty unanimously endorsed the project. With the country in turmoil following the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, Maxon wisely suggested not tying the peace pole program to that date. The first ceremony occurred on Sept. 20, 2002, coinciding with the International Day of Peace on Sept. 21.
University students tutored SES students in reciting “May peace prevail on earth” in Arabic and Hebrew. Family members tutored the children who recited the phrase in Cherokee, Japanese, and Spanish, establishing a tradition of family involvement that continued in subsequent years.
Principal Maxon suggested using the out-of-service telephone pole at the rear of the school to display the plaques rather than purchasing a pole.
Wiser pointed to the 2004 ceremony as particularly memorable. “The entire student body silently spoke the words ‘May Peace Prevail on Earth’ in sign language. Library aide Amy Dye taught every child in school how to sign the phrase.”
By 2005, the SES peace pole featured 15 languages, but an unexpected controversy nearly brought the popular program to an end. Two Franklin County School Board members took issue with CCJP hosting the event. The board members cited a publication written by Sewanee theologians examining biblical references to homosexuality, which appeared on the CCJP website. In the aftermath of the dispute, SES librarian Cheryl King assumed responsibility for organizing and coordinating the annual Peace Pole ceremony. Wiser, though, continued to volunteer at the school, and she and her husband Phil Loney donated peace pole plaques for a number of years, as did CCJP supporters Scott and Phoebe Bates.
“I do things a little differently from Cheryl King,” said current SES librarian Bruce, who joined the SES staff in 2012. “I select one language and focus on the culture and history of that one country instead of two or three.”
Bruce only receives one dollar per student for books and relies on aid from the Sewanee Community Chest to fund the peace pole program. Plaques cost $45 each.
Loney mounted the plaques for the first few years, but as the display grew taller, the University took over the task. One account lists the 52-foot peace pole in Waynesville, Wisc., as the tallest, but the SES peace pole—exact height unknown—may be a contender for the title. Telephone poles average 45 feet in height.
Worldwide more than 100,000 community, small-group and school sponsored peace poles honor the wisdom underlying Goi’s vision—peace begins with you.

Wiser fondly recalls the child who inspired by the program announced, “I’m not going to hit my little brother anymore. I hit him yesterday, but I’m not going to be mean to him tonight.”

Show more posts