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Nashville Pride

Metro Council candidate Andre Southall suspends campaign, endorses Councilman DeCosta Hastings

NASHVILLE PRIDE — Andre Southall called Councilman DeCosta Hastings on Tuesday and told him he wanted to suspend his campaign and endorse DeCosta for re-election. According to sources, Southall said that he has observed all that Councilman Hastings has done for District 2, has seen his vision, and wants to help him “finish up what has been started.”

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By Pride Newsdesk

Andre Southall called Councilman DeCosta Hastings on Tuesday and told him he wanted to suspend his campaign and endorse DeCosta for re-election.

According to sources, Southall said that he has observed all that Councilman Hastings has done for District 2, has seen his vision, and wants to help him “finish up what has been started.”

Southall recognized some of the achievements that Hastings has brought to the district including the expansion of Clarksville Highway, affordable housing, and economic development.

Hastings said that he appreciates Southall’s support and that he looks forward to working with him during his second term.

“I am very glad to have his support to help win this election,” said Hastings. “District 2 has a lot of challenges to overcome and with his and the community’s support we will get there together.”

This article originally appeared in the Nashville Pride

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Expressions of Faith: When things fall apart

NASHVILLE PRIDE — “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you,” Deuteronomy 31:6. When we stay humble and thankful unto God for just who He is in our lives, He will provide for us; He will take care of us, because He loves us. “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time; casting all your worries on Him, because He cares for you,” I Peter 5:6-7. Sometimes God is working on a plan for us that we may not be able to see nor even understand. When we trust and believe that He will never leave us nor forsake us, He can and He will make a blessing out of the broken.

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Minister Patti NIcole Wheeler, The Celebration Christian Center, Inc. is located at 1215 9th Ave. N., Nashville, Tenn. 37208. For more information, visit their website at www.celebrationchristian.online.

By Minister Patti Nicole Wheeler, Guest columnist, Nashville Pride Newspaper

Often in our lives we feel hurt or broken for a variety of reasons: People pass away. People walk away. We are laid-off. We’re fired, or we quit. Maybe we dropped out of school or we’re kicked out—or we didn’t have the money nor the grades to even start an education past the high school level. We currently have a job, but the money just isn’t enough. I could go on and on listing the innumerable things that could bring us down in our lives, but consider this:

1) Sometimes when things are falling apart, God may be planning something better for us.

I’m sure that we all remember the story of Joseph, the favorite son of Jacob. Because of jealousy, Joseph was sold to a band of traveling Ishmaelites by his own brothers. God was with Joseph and enabled him to flourish in that situation so much that he was able to save his family during a time of great famine (Genesis 37).

Joseph didn’t know why he was in that circumstance, but he trusted God. He listened to His voice and he was blessed in the mist of what seemed to be a broken situation. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you,” Deuteronomy 31:6. When we stay humble and thankful unto God for just who He is in our lives, He will provide for us; He will take care of us, because He loves us. “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time; casting all your worries on Him, because He cares for you,” I Peter 5:6-7. Sometimes God is working on a plan for us that we may not be able to see nor even understand. When we trust and believe that He will never leave us nor forsake us, He can and He will make a blessing out of the broken.

2) Sometimes when things are falling apart, God may be trying to remove elements from our lives.

“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed,” John 8:36. There are so many things that could hold us down or hold us back, preventing us from blossoming and growing, that we need Jesus Christ to help us break free from low self-esteem, addictions, jealousy, anger, envy, casual drugs-use, casual alcohol-use, casual sex and absorbing negativity. It is very difficult to be hopeful and positive when we constantly play video games, watch shows, listen to music, read literature and socialize with individuals that demonstrate violence, display negativity and pour conflict into us. Those are not nurturing energies. Those are not caring/loving spirits.

Not all friendships and relationships are “till death do us part.” Some people were only meant to be in our lives for a period of time. Some folks we were meant to help; some folks were meant to help us. Some folks are meant for the duration. We need to learn the difference between who is to stay, how long they should stay and then (if need be) find the strength to let them go. If a relationship is falling apart, maybe God is tearing down some old walls, and some old habits just to build something fresh and wonderful and new. Not all broken relationships were made to be pieced back together. Some relationships are like glass and are best left broken because we would only continue to hurt ourselves by trying to put them back together.

3) Sometimes when things are falling apart, God may want us to change our hearts so He does not change our situations.

Sometimes we need to carry the cross that we are bearing. If we try to lighten our load, we may lose some valuable tools that we may need for our journey. God knows what we need and how much we can carry, so we just need to trust Him. He will not give us more that we can bear, so we just need to trust Him. When we cannot see our way, God is guiding our every footstep, so we just need to trust Him. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths,” Proverbs 3:5-6.

We can’t grow up or move forward if we remain in the same space. So remember: sometimes when things are falling apart, they may actually be falling into place.

(The Celebration Christian Center, Inc. is located at 1215 9th Ave. N., Nashville, Tenn. 37208. For more information, visit their website at www.celebrationchristian.online.)

This post originally appeared in The Nashville Pride

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Film

At the Movies: Spider-Man: Far from Home; Yesterday; andThe Fall of the American Empire

NASHVILLE PRIDE — Families going to the cinema with members who don’t particularly care for superheroes and haven’t kept up with the amazing Marvel Cinematic Universe do have films that will tickle their fancy, though, and two are real gems: Yesterday and The Fall of the American Empire.

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By Cass Teague

This first weekend of July, movie-goers have many choices. Chief among them, of course, is the Marvel Studios spectacular Spider-Man: Far from Home. Families going to the cinema with members who don’t particularly care for superheroes and haven’t kept up with the amazing Marvel Cinematic Universe do have films that will tickle their fancy, though, and two are real gems: Yesterday and The Fall of the American Empire.

First, though, Spider-Man: Far from Home is a rollicking adventure that will keep you thoroughly entertained at a high level of special effects (taking a dozen visual effects houses to render), with a few surprises along the way that will have you gasping, and leave you completely mind-blown at the end. Speaking of the end, you have to stay through the end of the credits, and I mean all the way through to the very end of the credits and they shut off the projector.

Samuel L. Jackson is awesome once again as Nick Fury, and along with Cobie Smulders’ Maria Hill, the S.H.I.E.L.D. duo intervenes when Peter Parker, our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, embarks on a class science trip to Europe. All the teenager wants to do is profess his love for MJ, but ya know, superhero stuff gets in the way. Tom Holland and Zendaya are heartwarmingly loveable as the two star-crossed potential lovers, and their story highlights the quandary that plagues Marvel superheroes – how to balance saving the world with trying to have a normal life.

Without massive spoilers, and there is plenty to spoil here, trust me, as you will see, just buckle up for the ride and enjoy this continuation of the MCU that honors all that we went through in the Avengers Infinity War and Endgame films. I suggest that you may want to try 3D, IMAX 3D, or dare I say, the incredible 4DX that puts you in the action, for this one.

So, if superheroes aren’t your thing, and you tag along to the multiplex with a group or family, try a musical fantasy or a French-language crime thriller.

Yesterday is hilarious, laugh out loud British romantic comedy film directed by Danny Boyle and written by Richard Curtis. The film stars Himesh Patel as a musician who, after an accident, finds himself as the only person who remembers the Beatles, and becomes famous taking credit for writing and performing their songs. Lily James, Ed Sheeran, and Kate McKinnon also star.

The Fall of the American Empire is a Quebec crime thriller film starring Alexandre Landry, Maxim Roy, Yan England and Rémy Girard. It is about a man (Landry) who, after an armed robbery in Montreal, discovers two bags with millions of dollars cash and is on a journey after he takes them. Based on a real 2010 Old Montreal shooting, this film is at times shocking and suspenseful, as it takes you places you may not want to go, but brings you back in one piece. Be prepared to read the English subtitles throughout.

This article originally appeared in the Nashville Pride

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Education

Cost-of-Living adjustments set for all teachers Extra 3% effective January 1 in addition to 3% raise effective now

NASHVILLE PRIDE — Mayor David Briley announced on Monday that all MNPS teachers and employees will receive another three percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) on January 1, 2020, in addition to the three percent COLA the mayor made possible by allocating nearly $30 million in new funding for schools for FY2020. This allocation was six times the allocation in the last budget.

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By Pride Newsdesk

Mayor David Briley announced on Monday that all MNPS teachers and employees will receive another three percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) on January 1, 2020, in addition to the three percent COLA the mayor made possible by allocating nearly $30 million in new funding for schools for FY2020. This allocation was six times the allocation in the last budget.

For weeks, the mayor has been working to find ways to get teachers more money this year while avoiding a tax increase. Thanks to MDHA’s help and the work done by the Council’s Tax Increment Financing Study and Formulating Committee, Mayor Briley is able to free up $7.5 million that would have been paid out of the MNPS budget to repay TIF loans. These funds are recurring, so the raise is ‘paid for’ moving forward. This move does not require Council action since it will simply result in a reduced expenditure for MNPS.

This will bring all teachers to a 6% raise on January 1, 2020, which equates to a 4.5% increase over the course of the year. This is .5% higher than the COLA increase in the proposed substitute budgets that would have raised property taxes.

“I have been working on the MNPS budget with Dr. Battle and Dr. Gentry, trying to find the best possible way to get recurring dollars to teachers while not penalizing the 40% of MNPS teachers who are ‘topped out’ and while avoiding a property tax increase this year—something that would have hurt in-county teachers more than the proposed raises would have helped,” Mayor Briley said. “With this increase in place, we will continue our in-depth talks about comprehensive pay plan restructuring for teachers so the more than half of all teachers who are topped out of receiving meaningful increases will get them in future years. There’s work to be done, but this is an important first step.”

This plan has the support of MNPS School Board Chair Dr. Sharon Gentry and MNPS Director Dr. Adrienne Battle.

“Mayor Briley’s investment shows a deep commitment to our teachers and staff members, and we thank him for his leadership and support for public education,” Dr. Battle said.

“When Mayor Briley saw an opportunity for supplemental revenue, he ensured that it was dedicated to funding a raise for staff members, which is in addition to the raise they are receiving at the start of the year. We are only as successful as our amazing staff, and the Mayor’s actions show how he values them. Our goal is that these resources also ensure that we are able to maintain funding for other new strategic investments. MNPS is thankful to partner with the Mayor and Metro Council who are dedicated to the success of our students and staff.”

The $7.5 million will come to schools in the form of a reduction in the $11.2 million they would otherwise have paid to MDHA for TIF loan repayments this year. In short, it cuts that bill by $7.5 million, freeing up those funds for raises. MNPS will continue to pay what it is required to pay MDHA each year.

“I am grateful to Dr. Adrienne Battle, the MNPS Board, MDHA and the members of the TIF Study and Formulating Committee, whose hard work and support made this additional COLA possible,” Briley said. “I plan to keep at it, and I know we have more great things to come for all students and teachers in our schools.”

Clemmons: Briley’s attempt to appease teachers falls flat
Says Nashville’s teachers deserve better

 

State Rep. John Ray Clemmons, a candidate for mayor of Nashville, released the following statement regarding the Briley Administration’s most recent example of fiscal mismanagement:

“Today, we have witnessed yet another hollow attempt at political preservation disguised as a good faith attempt to provide our teachers with much-needed raises. While I appreciate that our mayor finally acknowledges the detrimental impact his lack of leadership is having on our teachers, we should call this announcement of a fiscally questionable plan right before early voting starts what it really is: the last gasp by a mayor in a tailspin. MNPS leadership’s last-minute receipt of this plan demonstrates the lack of transparency and patchwork policy-making that has defined this administration since day one.

State Rep. John Ray Clemmons

State Rep. John Ray Clemmons

“Briley has now had two budgets and multiple opportunities to make fundamental, fiscally responsible budgetary changes in Metro that could have directly benefited our schools and teachers for the benefit of students. Unfortunately, he repeatedly kicked the can down the road, costing our teachers a better quality of life and our students two years of fully funded educational opportunities. This mayor has lost the confidence of teachers, public school parents, and advocates across Nashville, and they will see right through his ploy to try and buy their votes with Metro’s credit card.

“These desperate acts by a desperate politician trying to get reelected will ultimately cost our city and taxpayers more money. We’ve seen numerous eleventh-hour policy proposals out of the mayor’s office over the last six months, designed to appease specific constituencies rather than create real, substantive change. Nashville deserves a mayor who will partner with all stakeholders, engage the community, and make the tough decisions necessary to move our city forward in a substantive manner. Under no circumstances should teachers and Nashville residents be used as pawns for a failing reelection campaign.”

This article originally appeared in the Nashville Pride

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