BURNT 25th Anniversary—We return to a Victory
On Thursday 12 December. 2013 BURNT celebrated our 25th anniversary in BURNT: style—good food, symbolism, political leaders, and fun.
Our anniversary was held at the Entrepreneur Center on Rolling Mill Hill which BURNT, working with the Metro Council, saved from becoming a $100 million garbage processor. And, where BURNT receives mentoring services from Owen School of Business (Vanderbilt) professor Dr. David Furse. Dr. Robert Wingfield of Fisk University was our main speaker who spoke about the solutions and problems of the urban environment. Dr. Wingfield is a long time activist and academician who participates on government panels and teaches children–a Nashville hero. Prior to Dr. Wingfield’s presentation, BURNT president Bruce Wood distributed framed copies of the cover of the program for the BURNT Anniversary which was done by noted artist Peggy Snow. This led to political reminisces by elected and formal elected officials about BURNT and our victories. Former Metro Councillor Rod Williams remembered how the Council laughed at the flyers on funny colors (most BURNT flyers are now done on pastel ivory) but once they were read the flyers made sense. Former Councilman Horace Johns remembered that the downtown incinerator had a good reputation for burning garbage to heat and cool 36 buildings but that BURNT educated people about the importance of the real estate. We appreciate the large turn out from the NAACP. A glance at our program shows that we are unique in the amount of time and resources we spend on environmental justice issues. We printed the “Principles of Environmental Justice” a powerful document which could just as well serve as a governing tool for our country. Then, the music began with the Cantrell’s providing their wonderful sound which evokes a blend of swing, folk, and classic rock We thank our sponsors Jack Cawthorn’s BAR-B-CUE and the Cupcake Collection House (12136th Avenue South) and Monnell’s at 1235 6th Avenue North. Wine was provided Best Brands. We particularly thank our sponsor The Matthews Company which has responsibly developed Rolling Mill Hills and provided investment advice for generations. The program features a drawing by noted artist Peggy Snow which was copied into pictures to give to those who had been active with BURNT. Peggy showed BURNT as sweeping aside major polluters to clean up Nashville and that is exactly what happened. Peggy snow–Realist. So, after 25 years some of us can ask—was it worth it. The answer is “YES” for Nashville and Tennessee as far as better government and improved environment. If not for a small group of people started by Joyce Vaughn, there is no doubt N-O-D-O-U-B-T that Nashville would have a 900 ton garbage burning incinerator on the banks of the Cumberland—no Symphony Hall, no Pinnacle Bank, no River Front Park Band Shell. We need to recruit and retain volunteers. We need staff. We need to augment our management. However, in terms of being involved in the guts of governance and winning tough issues, BURNT has done well.