Monday, June 30, 2008

Can You Identify the People in the photo in the PHOTO GALLERY?

I just found this historic Riverview Picture from Central Baptist Church on Carver Street in Riverview. I also posted it in the PHOTO GALLERY.

Put on your thinking caps, and see who you can identify in the picture below..

HINT: It is a photo of the Central Baptist Sunday School from Easter Sunday, 1960NOTE: Click on the picture to make it the original size.. makes it easier to identify folks.



OK, Back row from L-R the first one I can make out is Janice Bowdwich (sp), Stokely(?), Starlee Pierce, Linda Campbell, Kathy Evans, Wanda Tarter (?). I lost where I was at but I remember seeing Laverne Bowdwitch. Then going from R-L (I think) Regina Bond, Mary Ann Bogus, Sherry Pierce, Natalie Smith, JoAnn Blye (?) Connie Ruffin, Georgia Ann Campbell, Linda & Karen Young, Tommy Whelchel, Carl Evans, Dennis Lytle, John Campbell, then L-R Kathy Bond, Gerri Lytle, Alea Pierce, Lena Pierce, Tony Bond, Calvin Sneed, Pud Hankins.

That's all I can make out so far and I'm sure I'm wrong on some of them.

Wonderful picture!
Vicki Smith


Any other guess? Please email your answers to: douglassriverview@gmail.com

Who can you name in this picture?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Little Miss Vision Candidates Have "Visions" Of Their Own

Eleven very special young women were winners in the eyes of Riverview and the Kingsport community, but in the end, it was the littliest of voices that was heard the loudest.

6 year old Elisabeth Brice was crowned the 2008 Little Miss Vision in front of a packed auditorium of family, friends, supporters and well-wishers.


PICTURES OF THE PAGEANT ARE IN THE PHOTO GALLERY

THE 2008 LITTLE MISS VISION CONTESTANTS FACE AN ADORING PUBLIC

The event was held at the Kingsport Renaissance Center Saturday night, June 28th, and capped off two months of mentoring, instruction and personality fine-tuning for all the young women.

Little Elisabeth wowed the crowd every single time she took the stage, whether it was dance routines or simply reciting her name. But everybody agreed, all of the contestants were winners. The 2008 contestants were Jayla Brooks, Da'Nayjah Somerville, Diamond Wyckoff, Makyiah Goodwin, Jada Patrick, Ta-Tionna White, Elisabeth Brice, Lexis Hughes, Olivia Huff, Xena Huff, and Dru Swafford.

"This is our 5th year, Praise the Lord," says pageant director Lillian Leeper, who along with 12 other women of the community, coordinated the competition and put together the pageant, fast becoming one of Kingsport's most influential events. "The pageant and all the activities that lead up to it, gives these young women a chance to blossom and bloom into responsible young women."


"Mrs. Jill Ellis has mentored the girls in what life expects of them, and how they need to carry themselves (see the earlier story on the Little Miss Vision Tea posted in the NEWS AND CURRENT EVENTS section, and the pictures from the tea in the PHOTO GALLERY), and this year she emphasized the 3 A's: attitude, appearance and ability. Those are character traits the girls will need all of their lives to succeed."

Each contestant gets a pair of pants, a shirt, an American Girl bag, bath and body products, a bracelet, and an annual with her own personal pictures in it. Local businesses, including Bath and Body Works, Shamrock, and A & B Fish and Works donated products in the gifts.


"Some of these girls have never gotten a gift without someone wanting it back.. some of them have never been around just all-girls," Mrs. Leeper says. "Some of them have low self-esteem and don't have a reason to feel good about themselves. We want to change that.. our pageant is not about beauty.. it's about self-esteem and the way the girls carry themselves and appreciate themselves."

LMV committee member Joni Hughes was the event mistress of ceremonies for the event, and after a welcome from fellow committee member LaVonda Price and prayer from Rev. James Whiteside, the 2008 Little Miss Vision contestants did an opening number, showing their style, grace and coordination with each other.


Judging the event were Mrs. Carolyn Trammell Cox, Mrs. Burita "B" Carter, and Mrs. Jackie Charles. The judges really had their hands full, because each contestant possessed so much talent, charm and poise that sometimes, it was easy to see they were having a difficult time making up their minds. But it was apparent they enjoyed the task set before them, as the official counters, Beth Pierce and Blake Leeper added up the scores that ultimately led to winners in each individual competition. Richard Ford provided the music for the event, and Billy Leeper was the official event photographer.

Door prizes also highlighted the program, and served as wonderful interludes to keep the audience involved in what was going on.


After their official introductions during which each contestant gave their names and their personal interests, the very FIRST Little Miss Vision, Briesha Camp, did a dance number to entertain the audience. "Briesha will be going to Debbie Allen's Dance Studio in July to learn professional dance steps and routines," says Mrs. Leeper. "We are so very proud of her and her accomplishments, and we just know she'll represent us well in the future."

The 2008 Little Miss Vision Committee members were Lillian Leeper, Sinora Lewis, Joni Hughes, Erin Armbrister, Tierra Trammell, Tonia Leeper, LaVonda Price, Carolyn Faulkerson, Blossom Pierce, Renee Leeper, Monica Lewis-Patrick and April Swafford.

The young contestants also modeled sports wear, and after performances by the Nevaeh and Spiritual Elements Praise Dance teams, the judging was over.


A special highlight was the final walk of the 2007 Little Miss Vision, Jazmyn Lillard. A list of her accomplishments was read, and she looked very gracious as she presented trophies to this years's 2nd Runner Up, Jayla Brooks, and the 1st Runner Up, Jada Patrick. The fact that Elisabeth won the Miss Congeniality award, was a prelude to the announcement that she was also, indeed, the 2008 Little Miss Vision winner.




Our new princess seemed overwhelmed by all the attention, needing to be prompted at certain times. After a while, the smiles, the walks, and the poses came natural to Elisabeth. "She may not really understand it right now," says Mrs. Leeper, "but one day, this, plus everything she's learned in the mentoring process will come to pass and she'll realize that she and all of the other contestants are special. Hopefully, they'll remember those self-esteem reminders."

"We want more young girls taking part in the program," says Mrs. Leeper. "There's no reason why parents cannot spare the time to take this kind of interest in their child's future development. We only practice for two months, and the practices are always on Saturday. Yet, some parents still tell us they can't spare the time. Nevertheless, our hand is always outstretched to welcome the mentoring and tutoring of our young people. Hopefully, God will Provide incentive for parents to give this kind of quality time to their child."

THE 2008 LITTLE MISS VISION COMMITTEE

Special thanks went out to the parents of the girls that were in the competition, the Central Baptist Church where the tea was held, Bath and Body Works, Shamrock, Dr. Teri Hunter, Lavonda Price, Dr. McQuirter, the Kingsport Cultural Diversity Team, Van and Dorothy Dobbins, the Clark Funeral Service, Jerome Pierce Sr. and Rev. Sherry Kinchloe, Rev. James Whiteside, the Ebenezer Baptist Church, the Douglass High School Alumni Association,, Dunamis, Rev. Donnie and Linda Wade, the A & B Fish and Works, the McMillian Insurance Agency, Nevaeh, Spiritual Elements, Briesha Camp, Marquee, Richard Ford, Cassandra Palmer, Rita Linkous and the Bank of Tennessee.



"Thanks to all the girls," wrote Mrs. Leeper in the program. "It has been a joy and blessing being with you. Just remember that with God, All Things are Possible.. that you can be whatever you wnat to be. Thanks to all those listed for their help. I'm very grateful for the old and new LMV members, and a big thanks to Mrs. Ellis.. you are part of us now. We need those 3 A's every day of our lives. God Bless."

Kingsport Gauging Interest in V.O. Dobbins Nonprofit Center

Organizations committed to the nonprofit center include the United Way, American Legion and the Upper East Tennessee Human Development Agency.

THIS STORY COURTESY THE KINGSPORT TIMES-NEWS

By MATTHEW LANE
mlane@timesnews.net

KINGSPORT — City officials held a meeting last week with a group of Kingsport nonprofit organizations to see if any were interested in moving into the new nonprofit wing of the V.O. Dobbins Community Center.
The meeting came about a month after the American Red Cross of Northeast Tennessee told the city it would not be relocating to the new nonprofit center.
Kingsport is planning an $8.7 million renovation and expansion project at the V.O. Dobbins Community Center. Construction is expected to begin in late fall and take about 18 months to complete.


THE LARGEST SECTION OF THE OLD DOUGLASS SCHOOL..THE CAFETERIA IS ON THE FIRST FLOOR TO THE REAR OF THE BUILDING WHERE THE CARS ARE LINED UP..THE ASPHALTED COURTYARD IS TO BE TORN UP AND TURNED INTO A FLOWER GARDEN WITH WALKWAYS AND BENCHES


The project calls for demolishing 13,600 square feet of the existing building, renovating the remaining 46,000 square feet, and adding a little more than 50,000 square feet of space —30,900 of which will be a new nonprofit c e n t e r.
Organizations committed to the nonprofit center include the United Way, American Legion and the Upper East Tennessee Human Development Agency (UETHDA). In addition, Kingsport is allocating space, computers and furniture for the nonprofit Douglass Alumni Association and the Sons and Daughters of Douglass Web site free of charge.
The Red Cross was expected to go into the center, but its board voted in May not to make the move, primarily for financial reasons. This caused the city to consider whether the project should be scaled back or look for other nonprofits to fill the space once assigned to the Red Cross.
On Tuesday, Chris McCartt, assistant to the city manager, held a meeting with seven Kingsport nonprofit organizations to apprise them of the progress on the project and gauge their interest in moving to the community center.
“These were groups that had been invited to a meeting held by the mayor on his vision for a nonprofit center. This was a follow-up meeting to let them know the progress and see if there was any interest in any of them going into this site,” McCartt said. “Many of them had seen it in the paper or discussed it at the previous meeting, but they did not have specific information, such as cost per square foot, the intent of the building and of the project.”
McCartt did not release the names of the organizations since those present were staff members and possibly had not discussed the issue with their respective oversight boards.



As for whether the nonprofit wing of the center would be scaled back, McCartt said for now the plan is to leave the design as it is — a three-story structure.
“However, we have looked at an option that removes about 3,000 square feet from the nonprofit wing,” he said.
The UETHDA initially was slated to be relocated to the third floor of the nonprofit wing, but McCartt said after further discussions, the city decided to move it to the first floor of the center.
“(The third floor) was not a good location. We have now relocated them down to the first floor, utilizing part of warehouse built in there for the Red Cross,” said McCartt. “They really have a need for easy access and a ground-floor setup. I think it will be a great fit for them.”
Over the next 30 to 45 days, McCartt said the city would like to hear back from the seven nonprofit organizations to see if any are willing to make a strong commitment to relocating to the nonprofit center.
“So we know what we’ve got, going into the construction design phase of this project,” he said. “It will give us an idea as to who is committed, and we can start putting some of these puzzle pieces in place so we know who for sure is going to be on the third floor, the second floor and first floor.”

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

William Henry Stokely, Sr. Passing

KINGSPORT — Mr. William Henry Stokely, Sr., 59, departed this life Friday (June 20, 2008) at his residence after a brief illness.
Mr. Stokely was a lifelong citizen of Kingsport, a member of Central Baptist Church and a member of Clinch Mountain Lodge.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Mrs. Gwendolyn Watterson; grandfather, Rev. William Stokely; grandmother, Mrs. Zula Stokely.
Survivors include his wife, Mrs. Patricia Stokely; three sons, Henry Stokely, Jr., Rashad Wolfe and Layman Wolfe; seven grandchildren; brother, Samuel Stokely; and brother-in-law, Clyde Releford; and two special friends, Jerry Thompson and Cornell Blye. The family will receive friends from 6 p.m. until time of services today at Central Baptist Church.
Funeral services will be conducted at the church with Minister Billy Pearson officiating.
Interment services will be held Friday at 11 a.m. at Tri-Cities Memory Gardens, Blountville, Te n n .
The cortege will depart Central Baptist Church Friday morning at 10:15 a.m.


Expression of love and online condolences can be sent to raclarkfuneralservice@yahoo.com.
Mr. William Henry Stokely, Sr. and family are in the care of R.A.Clark Funeral Service Inc. (423) 245-4971.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Vic Danger Promo for "Rhythm In Riverview"

Click the "PLAY" button below to view the Vic Danger Promo for the upcoming "Rhythm In Riverview" concert with Vic and the Voodoo Doctors!

video

Date: Monday, July 14
Time: 3:00-9:00 pm
Place: V.O. Dobbins Center in Riverview

3:00-6:00 pm - fun activities for the family to include blow-ups, rock wall, train rides and more. The Splash Pad will also be open. Zulu Connection (African stilt-walkers/dancers will be performing at approximately 6 pm. Victor Simon aka Vic Danger and his band, the VooDoo Doctors, will end the day with a concert. Victor is a Kingsport native.

Food vendors will also be available.

Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy this Fun Fest Event.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

"DEFYing the Odds: Our Young Children BEATING the Odds!

"If I could give you two gifts, one would be to respect yourself.. the other would be to respect your mind, your body and what you put into them."

Those inspirational words from Neil Fisher, a counselor with the Johnson City Police Department, to young people from Kingsport, Johnson City and Chattanooga attending the DEFY program.

PICTURES FROM THE DEFY CAMP ARE IN THE PHOTO GALLERY; THE CADENCE MARCH VIDEO IS ALSO POSTED IN THE PHOTO GALLERY

The kids were spellbound by the impact of his statements.

DEFY stands for Drug Education For Youth, and it's a program held annually at the Tennessee Army National Guard Base in Smyrna, Tennessee, near Murfreesboro. 15 children selected by the Kingsport Weed and Seed agency are in the program, along with 13 children from Johnson City Weed and Seed, 12 children from the Martin Luther King Weed and Seed in Chattanooga, and 14 children from the East Chattanooga Weed and Seed agency. Police officers from all three departments chaperoned the children at the program, and lent encouragement and support during the week-long event.

Locally, Mary Alexander, Andra Watterson and Johnnie Mae Swagerty of the Kingsport Weed and Seed office accompanied the youth from Kingsport to the camp.

"It was truly amazing," says Johnnie Mae Swagerty. "I watched some of our kids go into the camp with one attitude, and they came out with a completely different one. You could actually the change in them. It was discipline like we used to have
growing up."



"We want them to learn a little bit more about themselves," says Sgt. Doug Edmisten one of the program organizers. "Mainly we want them to have fun, and learn that they can build relationships.. they just have to have a common key."

Sgt. Edmisten, a member of the Tennessee National Guard, is also the Weed and Seed Liason with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee, about 45 counties from Chattanooga to Bristol. He's also with the Counter Drug Task Force for the Tennessee National Guard.


One of the classes led by counselor Fisher is called the "Three Things Exercise." In it, kids play an interactive game with each other where one child says three "good" things are said about other child, and the other child then responds with three "good" things. Then, three "faults" are recited to each other by the other person. The children had forged such good relationships with each other, that the "good" compliments flowed freely. When it came to naming the "faults," most of the kids could not bring themselves to name them, in fact.. some of them went out of their way to make the "faults" sound "good."

"Calvin, I believe this program is very important for the kids," said Pastor Ron Cook of Chattanooga, who was chaperoning the children from East Chattanooga Weed and Seed. "They're being asked to live by some standards.. they have to get up early, make their beds, do physical education, take orders from each other, and learn how to interact with other people. They also develop relationships with police officers
that work in our community, and I think that's one of the great things that is going to help them, once they leave this camp."



Another important lesson learned was during an exercise called "My Own Coat Of Arms," during which the children took a piece of paper with a shield already drawn on it. They then drew pictures from their families, their lives and their activities, denoting the important things in their lives. One child from Kingsport drew a picture of himself in class at the John Sevier Middle School.. another child from Johnson City drew a picture of herself at church, and a child from Chattanooga drew a remarkable resemblance to the U-T Chattanooga logo.

Another class involved balloons, always a child favorite.

"The Put Down Exercise" shows the child how to react and respond when someone puts them down. Counselor Fisher gave each child in the class, and told them whenever he gave them a compliment or told them nice things, to blow one breath into the balloon.
"When we say 'bad things,' you have to let one breath out of the balloon," he says.



Deflated balloons were no fun to play with.

"It shows them that when they're built up with compliments and the balloon is blown up," says Linda Hoit, Johnson City Police Department chaperone. "They can see they're more happy, more content, and they feel good about themselves. When you do a put down, it makes you feel sad, mad, and as one little boy said, 'makes you wanna fight."

"We want our children to feel good, happy, and confident about themselves."


One of the more exciting events observed, was an outside drill exercise with all the kids. They were put in four groups of about ten children apiece. Several of them who demonstrated leadership qualities were selected squad leaders, who then led the groups in drill exercises similar to a boot camp. At the command "ATTENTION!" the kids snapped to, and shouted "GET HARD, NO MERCY!" The command "PARADE REST!", produced feet apart and hands clasped firmly behind in the small of their backs. At the command "PRESENT ARMS!", right hands were crisply snapped in salute, and "ORDER ARMS!" brought them back down firmly at their sides.

The kids loved every minute of it. Friendships were made, relationships were forged and bonds were cemented.

"I think it's important to get the kids out of their comfort zones," says Sgt. Edmisten. "It puts them in roles as leaders, and it also shows them how to get along with others."



The Drug Education For Youth program was begun by the U.S. Navy, and was later also adopted by the U.S. Air Force. It was brought into the nationwide Weed and Seed Program, which targets drug and community problems in communities all around the United States. Kingsport's Weed and Seed Program has existed for several years, and so has Chattanooga's MLK Weed and Seed. Johnson City's Weed and Seed and the East Chattanooga Weed and Seed are newer members of the program.

The week-long DEFY camp is the first part of a two-phase program, with the first being the week at the Tennessee Army National Guard Base. Phase 2 of the program is one weekend a month, where the kids continue to use many of the skills and activities they learn on the base during Phase 1. After a year, it's a formal graduation with proud parents, program participants, military personnel from the guard base, and law enforcement.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

One Of Our Own Is In Wisconsin

Douglass Releford asked me to pass this along..

Victims of the devastating floods in the Midwest have an Angel from the Douglass Alumni Association there helping them recover.

Virginia (Jenny) Hankins of Kingsport is helping with the Red Cross, in providing support for flooding victims in a particularly hard-hit area outside Madison, Wisconsin.

Please say a prayer for Jenny in her quest, and also one for the victims of some of the worst flooding those states has ever seen.

Special Notices

FROM DOUGLASS ALUMNI PRESIDENT DOUGLASS RELEFORD:

All alumni of Douglass-Kingsport are invited to help celebrate the Langston High School Reunion in Johnson City over the 4th of July Weekend. Mrs. Barbara Love, as a spokesperson for the Langston High School Alumni Association, has invited the Douglass Alumni Association to come over and spend some time with the Langston School Alumni Association.

The date they'd like us to come over has been moved to Saturday, July 5th. Those that want to go can gather in the V.O. Dobbins Parking Lot at 9:30 AM on that Saturday, and we can all go over together. The meeting place is the Carver Recreational Center on West Market Street in Johnson City. Please plan to attend, and don't forget to wear your DOUGLASS SHIRTS! See Andra Watterson if you need to purchase one.
PLEASE PASS THIS INFORMATION ON TO OUR OTHER MEMBERS.

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Dont forget the Douglass-Slater Reunion in Bristol over the 4th of July weekend, too. Events are posted in the NEWS OF OUR DOUGLASS FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS section on the main page of the website.

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GOT THIS FROM PEACHES BLYE:
To all Douglass Alumni (and anyone else who mzy be interested). Thanks Peaches
Hi folks,

Here are some upcoming opportunities to get involved:

1. Organizational Meeting for Kingsport (finally!)
Tues. June 24, 7:00 p.m. Civic Auditorium Fun Fest Room.
Come join us as we plan our strategy for the upcoming months. Bring friends.
Please contact either...Shawna Lichtenwalner (shawna.thorp.lich@gmail.com)
or Linda bly ...(fernnypie@msn.com) Thank you.

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On Saturday, June 21, 2008 AT 12 NOON, all future and past members of the D-B Ebony Club are called to a meeting at the Good Times Grill, at the corner of East Sevier Avenue and East Center Street in Kingsport. The gathering is an organizational meeting of the club, to further chart its direction. The club is coming back for the African-American youth of Riverview, South Central and Dobyns-Bennett High School. Refreshments will be served.

Please spread the word, for all black youth of Dobyns-Bennett and others to attend.

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The Little Miss Vision Pageant will be held on Saturday, June 28th, at 7 PM at the Kingsport Renaissance Center on East Center Street in Kingsport. Please come out and support our young girls!

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Rhythm in Riverview on Monday, July 14th. Guest Artist: Vic Danger (our own Victor Simon in Concert). The free concert will be on the Douglass Ballfield in Riverview. This event is part of Kingsport FunFest 2008.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Attitude, Appearance, and Ability: Advice for Little Miss Vision Candidates

"Matters Do Manner."

That was the message for candidates for Little Miss Vision, the long-time pageant that honors girls ages 5 to 12 in the Riverview Community.

MORE PICTURES OF THE GIRLS AND THE TEA IN THE PHOTO GALLERY

Mrs. Jill Ellis, who has mentored young ladies during the years, and a revered teacher at Douglass and Dobyns-Bennett spoke to the young ladies at their annual Kickoff Tea in the Fellowship Hall at the Central Baptist Church. The tea was a social, that leads to the pageant to be held next Saturday, June 28, 2008 at 7 PM at the Kingsport Renaissance Center.

"We emphasized the 3 A's--Attitude, Appearance and Ability, in that order," says Mrs. Ellis. "The 3 A's really have strong meaning for shaping the people that we want to become," she told the girls.



"Attitude shows outwardly to people immediately," the girls were told. "You can walk into a room and not even open your mouth, and people will immediately notice by your body actions, what your attitude is. People will make a judgement about you in less than 30 seconds, and you haven't even given them your name yet. Attitude is the first element that shapes good manners and good personalities," says Mrs. Ellis.

"Appearance doesn't necessarily mean expensive, fine clothes," she told the girls. "Any clothes that are neat, well pressed, hair groomed, nails that are clean, will give a positive impression. And let's not forget shoes..when people notice your feet with shoes polished and shining, together with nice clothes determine good character and style."

"Ability comes into play," the girls were told, "when you tell young adults that are looking for a job, who already have the thinking 'well I have the credentials, I have everything they want..good grades, intelligence..I know they will hire me. But notice.. of the 3 A's, ability is really the last item. If people like the way you present yourself, the first 'A' is attitude. If you look good, the second 'A' which is appearance, then and only then will they ask you want you can do. And that's the third 'A'.. ability."



"The girls listened attentively," Mrs. Ellis said. "Their eyes were wide open as they took everything in. Even their parents seemed to be paying close attention. I think the adults had just as much fun wih the exercises than the girls did."

The talk by Mrs. Ellis then took a different turn, with some interactive attention.

"ATTITUDE was proven by having the girls walk with a book on their heads," she says. "The poise and grace, along with proper table manners are most important in life."



"For APPEARANCE, I had several cards with action words written on them," says Mrs. Ellis. "Words like 'wink,' 'frown,' 'be surprised,''look pretty.' Each girl stood in front of the group, repeat the words on the cards, and then do what the card indicated. The audience applauded when they got it right. That little exercise showed how important APPEARANCE is."

"To increase their ABILITY," she says, "I did a little game with them, showing them 10 items. They looked at them closely, I held them up, and the girls named them. We used a feather, marker, clothes pin and a ballpoint, among other things. Then I took them off the table, and each girl named as many of them as they could. It was just a little exercise that helps them relate to their surroundings, because being observant is very important."

"One little girl remembered nine of the 10 items."


"Some of the girls may only remember one thing they heard," Mrs. Ellis says, but hopefully that one thing could be the turning point in doing well in class, doing well in society, and doing well in their careers."

Does Mrs. Ellis miss mentoring young girls in life?



"Oh yes, Calvin," she said. "At times, talking to them, I felt like I could get up and walk to demonstrate things. Children energize me.. I just absorb their energy. They were all dressed up in their cute little dresses, patten-leather shoes and their hair-do's. Sometimes I think we need a class like that for the boys, to teach them respect, even if it's showing them how to escort the girls through the pageant."

"It reminded me of the old days, when our elders taught us that MANNERS REALLY DO MATTER."

PLEASE DON'T FORGET THE LITTLE MISS VISION PAGEANT ON SATURDAY, JUNE 28, 2008 AT 7 PM IN THE KINGSPORT RENAISSANCE CENTER ON EAST CENTER STREET. PLEASE COME OUT AND SUPPORT OUR GIRLS!

Tech Sgt. Carl Emory Evans Obituary and Messages of Condolence

KINGSPORT — On Thursday June 12, 2008, Tech Sgt. Carl Emory Evans, 54, was peacefully called to eternal rest.
One of seven children of William and Julia Evans, Carl was born in Kingsport on May 4, 1954. He resided in Tampa, Fla. for the past 18 years.


Carl graduated from Dobyns-Bennett High School in 1972. He was a decorated veteran of the United States Air Force, and retired after 20 years of service. During his enlistment, Carl served throughout the U.S. and the world, including Nebraska, Alaska, Germany, Korea and Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War. After retiring from the Air Force, he worked at R.P. Scherer for 15 years and then Vertis Communications.
Carl’s respectful, appreciative, and social character brought him many loving friends during his life. Always putting the needs of others first, he was considerate and giving. He enjoyed the company of friends and family, as well as listening to jazz and blues music. He also found relaxation in riding around cities and admiring the people and surroundings.
Carl was preceded in death by his mother, Julia (Muller) Evans (2007); and brother, Ricky Evans (2004).
His love and life will be remembered by his father, William Andrew Evans (Kingsport); his wife, Kathy B. Evans (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.); sons, Emory Ali Evans (Harlem, N.Y), Julius Andrew Evans (Nashville, Tenn.), Emerson Tyler Dorris (Salinas, Calif.) and Joshua Storm Evans (Kingsport); two sisters, Kathy Evans (Kingsport), Gail Evans (Kingsport); three brothers, William Earl Evans (Stacy) (Kansas City, Mo.), Dale Evans (Marie) (Norfolk, Va.) and John Evans (Shaun) (Kingsport); two aunts, Willie Bond and Betsy Ann Pierce (Jack); one uncle, Hugh Hodges; as well as cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
The family will receive friends from 10 to 11 a.m. on Wednesday at Central Baptist Church, 300 Carver Street, Kingsport.
Services will follow at the church with Rev. Stacy Evans officiating.
Burial will be held at 2 p.m. at the Mountain Home National Cemetery, Mountain Home, Tenn. In Carl’s memory, donations can be made to the American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org). Expressions of love and online condolences can be sent via email to raclarkfuneralservice@yahoo.com.
Carl Emory Evans and family are in the care of R.A. Clark Funeral Service, Inc. 423-245-4971.
___________________________________________________________________________
MESSAGES OF CONDOLENCE:
___________________________________________________________________________

Calvin,
I am so very sorry to hear about the passing of Carl Evans. We will be
praying for his family at this time.
Brenda and Thomas Bond
___________________________________________________________________________


Thank you Calvin. I talked to my sister this morning and she told me. We
will keep them in our thoughts and our prayers.

Have a blessed day.

Shirley (Burnette) Powers
____________________________________________________________________________

Calvin
I was just shocked when I received this news. How are you doing? By the way
did you do a story on Central's 90 church anniversary? I would love some
history of the church. Let me know where I can get a print out of the
history of central. Please. I've been sharing about Kspt and the
neighborhood with my co-workers and my church family here in this area. Lord
I just can't get over Carl. That's all I've thought about since receiving
your email.

Von (Reece)
____________________________________________________________________________

I am sorry about Carl passing; he was a good friend, as well as his brother and sisters. I will be praying for his family, this is so sad.
Big Tim Finch
____________________________________________________________________________


I was so sorry to hear of Carl's passing. I have been keeping in touch with William Earl. I want the Evans family to know that I am praying for their strength.

Roberta Webb Lanauze

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My thoughts and prayers are with the Evans Family. Carl is at peace and is not suffering anymore and we must pray for his family to have strength to endure these trying times.

From: Lulu, Sherri, Renny and the entire Gray Family.

LORD, I ASK THAT I WILL BE COMMITTED
TO PRAYER AND NOT FAINT, LOSE HEART
OR GIVE UP
LUKE 18:1
BE BLESSED
RHONDA NOLLY

______________________________________________________________________________

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Mrs. Ethel E. Watterson Passing

CHURCH HILL — Mrs. Ethel E. Watterson, 62, of 153 Hoard Lane, Church Hill, passed away Wednesday (June 11, 2008) at the Indian Path Hospital and Medical Center following a brief illness.


Mrs. Watterson was born in Virginia but had spent most of her life in Hawkins
County. She was a member of the Lyons Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church. She taught Sunday School and was a member of the Church Choir. She was a member of the Womens Missionary Society and truly loved the Lord. Mrs. Watterson was a devoted wife, mother, and friend and touched many lives.
She is preceded in death by her parents, John and Mary Magdalene Watterson; brothers, Clyde, Albert, Joseph, Billy and Walter Wa t t e r s o n .
She leaves to cherishe her memories her husband, Harold Leon Watterson of the home; three daughters, Corretta Watterson Patterson, Candiace Ramierez and Cotina R. Watterson, all of Church Hill; six grandchildren, Antonio Watterson, Alan Patterson, Joseph Patterson, Jose Ramierez, Jr., Christian Ramierez and Ariela Ramierez; brother, James Watterson of Church Hill; sister, Mary Mitchell of Detroit, Mich.; brother in law, Alan Watterson of Michigan; sister in law, Doris Calloway, Virginia Beach; nieces, Cassandra Biggles, Barbara Ann Scaggs, Michell Scaggs, Denise Scaggs and several other nieces and nephews; special friends, Brian Overbay, Deloris Blye, Ruby Ann Brice, Mary Brice, Minnie Cox, Marlyn Underwood.
Calling hours are from 12 noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Johnson Funeral Home and anytime at the residence.
Funeral services will be conducted at 1 p.m. Tuesday in the chapel of the funeral.
Burial will follow in the Church Hill Memory Gardens.
The Watterson family would like to thank Mrs. Smith and the 4th floor staff at the Indian Path Hospital & Medical Center for their kindness and care.
To leave an online message or to sign the guest registry for the Watterson family, please contact us at www.johnsonfuneralhome.org.
Johnson Funeral Home of Church Hill is in charge or arrangements.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Douglass Board Limits Ad Rates; Plans Schoolbooks Cleanup for Upcoming Book Fair

At its regularly scheduled meeting on June 7, 2008, the Douglass Alumni Board of Directors voted to limit the amount of money it spends on advertisements in publications.


As many organizations are, the Board was asked to take part in the program for the upcoming Little Miss Vision pageant, which board members were happy to do. They approved 25 dollars to sponsor an ad in the Little Miss Vision program.

The expenditure then prompted discussion to place a limit to how much money to spend on ads in programs. It was understood that it's important to let people know the Douglass Alumni Board of Directors exists.

After discussion, a motion was made, seconded and approved unanimously to limit the amount of spending for program advertisements to $200 per year.



Also, Board Member Louetta Hall brought by a credit card application from American Express, which prompted discussion of getting a credit card for the Douglass Alumni Board of Directors. Such a credit card had been talked about before, but nothing was ever done. Severe limitations are frequently placed on the board, when it comes to paying for items that required a credit card to guarantee a product or service, and usually one of the board members is forced to put the item on their own personal credit card. Board members talked about the need for a no-fee card, to be used by the President, Vice President and Treasurer, and the Eastman Credit Union was mentioned as a possible financial institution. Nothing was decided, but the discussion will continue.



The non-profit application for the Douglass Alumni Association is ready to be mailed in to the Internal Revenue Service, along with a $350 fee. Former Riverview resident and renown author and lecturer Jeff Faulkerson and board member Ed Horton assisted the Association in preparing the non-profit filing paperwork. Board President Doug Releford said when the time came to allocate the $350 dollar application fee to go along with the paperwork to the I-R-S, he'd call all of us so we wouldn't have to have a special meeting. Board Member Calvin Sneed offered to have his particular vote counted to go ahead with sending the application and fee whenever everything is ready, in lieu of having a meeting. That prompted others in the group to agree, and Doug said he didn't want to do anything without the full board knowing about it, especially if money was at stake. Lillian Leeper made a motion and Calvin seconded, that when the paperwork was ready, treasurer Leeper would cut a check for the $350 dollar fee, and the application would be sent in, in lieu of a board meeting and discussion. The board passed the motion unanimously.


Board members also discussed the 1st Douglass Schoolbook Fair, to be held on August
8th and 9th. Old school books, many with the names of past Douglass students in them, that were recently discovered in the Douglass School lockers will be sold at the book fair at reasonable prices, as a fundraiser for the Alumni Association. The 8th and 8th of August is the same weekend as the Youth Explosion Concert and Get-together in the Douglass Ballfield, and holding the book fair at the same location, is seen as a way to once again, bridge the liason between the older members in the Riverview Community, and the younger up-and-coming members of the neighborhood.

The topic of cleaning up the old Douglass schoolbooks came up and wiping them off (all of them contain 42 years of dust). There isn't enough space to clean them at the storage facility where they're being kept right now. President Releford and his son personally loaded 20-25 boxes of books, all of which will need to be brought to a central location for clean-up.



The Board agreed, instead of having the regular Alumni Board meeting, to meet and have a "Dusting Party" to dust off the books and clean them up as much as possible, with refreshments. The date was set for Saturday, July 26th at 1 PM at the V.O. Dobbins Community Center, and arrangements will be made to get the books there from the storage facility.

An invitation was made from Barbara Watterson, Langston High School alumni that encourages all Douglass Alumni who can, to come over on Friday, July 4th in the morning, for a meet-and-greet session during Langston High School's reunion at the Carver Rec Center in Johnson City. Dress will be casual. Douglass Alumni members will meet in the V.O. Dobbins Parking Lot at 9:30 AM on July 4th, to go over as a group to Johnson City, and everybody is encouraged to WEAR THEIR DOUGLASS SHIRTS! Andra Watterson reminded everybody that shirts are still available for $25 dollars.
Barbara Watterson and Langston alumnus Mary Alexander also want all the all-black school alumni to get together for one big reunion picnic to socialize and get re-acquainted. That event will be planned and discussed in the future.






Again, the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Douglass Alumni Board of Directors will be at the "Dusting Party" for the schoolbooks on Saturday, July 26, 2008 at 1 PM in the V.O. Dobbins Community Center.

Women’s Fellowship Conference 2008 at Shiloh Baptist, Kingsport

Women’s Fellowship Conference 2008 will convene at the Shiloh Baptist Church June 13-15, 2008, beginning Friday evening with a pre-conference welcome reception from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in the church fellowship hall. This will be followed by an evening worship service featuring music and the opening conference message by the Rev. Dr. Mildred Thompson of Collinsville, Virginia.

LAST YEAR'S WOMEN'S FELLOWSHIP CONFERENCE AT SHILOH

The conference continues with continental breakfast on Saturday morning at the church at 9:30 a.m. The speaker for the Saturday morning session will be Dr. Helen Horton Stiles of Burlington, North Carolina. Dr. Stiles, a Kingsport native, is the daughter of Pinkie and the late Ray Horton. Saturday evening services featuring various musical guests and Dr. Thompson will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the church.


Dr. Thompson is the executive director of Gospel News Publications based in Collinsville, Virginia, where she resides with her husband Bill and their two children, Kinney and Lauren. Dr. Thompson is an ordained minister of the Gospel and holds the Bachelors Degree in Biblical Studies, a Master’s Degree in Religious Arts of Theology, and an earned Doctorate Degree in Christian Education. She is employed by Averett University, Roanoke.


The conference will conclude on Sunday morning with the 10:45 a.m. morning services. . Dr. Thompson will deliver the message and music will be provided by Shiloh Baptist Church. Shiloh is located at 712 East Sevier Avenue where the Rev. Dr. Kenneth Calvert is the pastor. Conference registration donation: $ 20.00. For additional information, call 423-245-9721.


CLICK ON THE PICTURES BELOW TO ENLARGE THEM--ESPECIALLY THE LAST ONE--IT'S A REGISTRATION FORM--FILL IT OUT AND GET IT TO SHILOH TO BE REGISTERED FOR THE CONFERENCE!









Contacts: Dr. Kenneth Calvert 423-677-0777, 423-245-9721 and Dr. Linda Calvert 423-677-9779

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Cultural Center Proposed For Old Former All-Black School

JONESBOROUGH (Ben Ingram, NET News Service, from Kingsport Times-News) — According to Washington County Director of Schools Ron Dykes, discussions surrounding the future of the Booker T. Washington School building in Jonesborough, have progressed so far as to include a draft proposal for a new cultural center.

THE OLD BOOKER T. WASHINGTON SCHOOL, JONESBOROUGH

Dykes told Washington County Board of Education members Thursday that the town of Jonesborough is attempting to obtain ownership of the former school building in order to develop a cultural center and to create another venue to interpret the history of African-Americans in Jonesborough.
“I have met with (Town Administrator) Bob Browning and Jimmy Rhein, as well as Alderman Chuck Vest, about the Booker T. Washington School and turning it into an interpretive center for the town in partnership with the school system,” said Dykes, adding that the town had even discussed providing a van to transport Jonesborough students to the center.



“Because we have used Booker T. Washington as a storage facility, we would have to have some kind of compensation,” said school board Chairman Eric Barnes.
Barnes said discussions also included the possibility of the town building a new storage facility for the school system beside their present garage, located behind Jonesborough Elementary.
The plan also calls for the development of a Booker T. Washington Planning Committee that is made up of town staff, Heritage Alliance staff, and African-American members of the community.





Jonesborough wants to utilize the classroom space and gym space to develop a series of art enhancement opportunities for area students. Activity offerings could include the following:

• Art classes using Jonesborough artists.

• Storytelling classes.

• Theater classes.

• Heritage crafts and other craft opportunities.

• Dance and exercise activities.
• Language instruction.





• Gallery space to be able to display artwork produced by youth and adults.
Board members unanimously referred the proposal to the board’s facilities committee for further consideration.

Doris Fulkerson Passing

Services for Doris Jeanne Kincaid Fulkerson, 79, of Rogersville, who went to be with the Lord Wednesday evening (June 4, 2008), will be held at 2 p.m. Monday at Hasson Street Christian Church with the Rev. James A. Snapp officiating.

The family will receive friends anytime at her residence and from 6 to 8 p.m. today at Colboch-Price Funeral Home in Rogersville.
Interment will follow in Mitchell Crest Cemetery.
Colboch-Price Funeral Home in Rogersville is serving the Fulkerson family.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Kingsport Mayor Responds to Alderman's Remarks About Proposed V.O. Dobbins Renovation

Below is an exclusive unedited interview with Kingsport Mayor Dennis Phillips, who spoke with the Sons and Daughters of Douglass Website, after reading Alderman Ken Marsh's comments about proposed renovations to the V.O. Dobbins Center, that would include a new Kingsport Non-Profit Center. The center would contain all or most of the non-profit agencies in the city.

Website Editor Calvin Sneed's questions are in upper case.. Mayor Phillips' responses are in lower case:

WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION TO ALDERMAN KEN MARSH'S COMMENTS ABOUT THE PROPOSED
V.O. DOBBINS CENTER RENOVATIONS, THAT WOULD TRANSFORM THE BUILDING INTO KINGSPORT'S NON-PROFIT CENTER?


Well, my reaction was, that I wasn't surprised at all.. Alderman Marsh always has the tendency to talk about a lot of things, when it comes down to spending the money, and in fact, any great idea.. That's always one of the problems Kingsport's had, is that we have many, many good ideas, but when it comes down to the funding, we just can't swallow down and fund the quality of life issues that need to be done, and that's one of the things I've tried to change is.. let's don't study everything for five years, for example putting the archives over the library when it comes down to funding it.
Anything that you do, has a price attached to it, and you should know that on the very front end, and the V.O. Dobbins Center is no different. You know yourself Calvin how many years that the city has vaguely made promises that something was going to be done about the V.O. Dobbins Center, and it's time, just as I said when I was running for Mayor, it's time for action on some of these things, and that's what we're doing, and we're doing it without tax increases.. we're doing it in a responsible manner and I'm sorry if some of the board members don't agree with that.

WHEN IT COMES TO THE V.O. DOBBINS CENTER, DOES ALDERMAN MARSH) HAVE A VALID POINT IN THAT, THIS IS MONEY THAT MAY BE ABLE TO BE BETTER SPENT SOMEWHERE ELSE, AND MAYBE NOT BE SPENT TO RENOVATE THE CENTER INTO A NON-PROFIT CENTER?

I don't think he has a valid point, I think he has an opinion. You can always argue "is government competing with the private sector?" You can make a valid argument about that on just about everything we do. When we issue grants for loans, we're competing with the banks. When we do the transit system, we're competing with the local taxes. I could go on and on and on with this list. What we're trying to do with the non-profit center, is develop a situation to where in some cases, it lowers the rent enough to put more money back into the non-profit agency's mission. In some cases where they can't pay rent at all, it provides a space for the small
non-profit organization to survive. We've got small spaces that maybe one or two people-organizations that may need a little space, maybe just a little room and maybe we can provide that. Mostly it's an efficiency situation.
Our Downtown Kingsport Association for example, you've got a two-person office.. you've got one person out, one person away, and the phone's not getting answered. Or you've got a copier that you're paying $3,000 a month for, and it's only being used 3 per cent of the time. It's a scale of efficiencies that we're trying to do. The Douglass School is a part of Kingsport's history, and if you don't believe that history is to be preserved, then you probably wouldn't believe in this (the planned
renovation), but it's down to individual opinions and the majority of the board (of mayor and aldermen) certainly agree with what we're doing.
The fact that the Red Cross decided not to go there and were taking an entire floor, yes, it's only prudent that we look at that and see that we were building this 2,000, 2,500, 3,500 square foot floor for the Red Cross.. now, they're not going.. if we don't look at that phase of it, we wouldn't be doing our jobs. But there may be others that want to take up the slack from the Red Cross, but we have to spend taxpayers' money in a way that serves as many as we possibly can, so yes, we'll look at the Red Cross situation and we may scale back that portion of the building, we may
and we may not. We don't want to build space to just sit there.

ARE YOU OPTIMISTIC THAT YOU'LL FIND SOMEBODY TO REPLACE THE RED CROSS?

First of all, personally, I'm not convinced, after further discussion with the Red Cross, after they analyze it more, that they may not go there. What we're competing with concerning the Red Cross is, they don't pay anything for anything where they are now. Their board is faced with making a very difficult decision: do we commit to the non-profit center, or do we stay here? Well, if we stay here, it's zero.. zero may be for one more year or it may be two, three, four, five years.. we don't know.

I UNDERSTAND THEY HAVE A LEASE WITH BAE SYSTEMS.. AND THAT COMPANY SAYS, THIS BUILDING CANNOT BE EXPANDED, SO AS FAR AS GROWTH, YOU CAN'T GROW ANYMORE IN THIS LOCATION, SO AT SOME POINT YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO MOVE, AM I HEARING THAT CORRECTLY?

Well, I'll give you my understanding. I don't know about a lease. BAE provides them the building, and at any time BAE decides to abandon that land over there (on Wilcox Drive) and they have talked about doing that, then that land will revert to the government and will probably be sold, and BAE has discussed that. Then, that would possibly mean that the Red Cross would have to look for another place, unless whoever bought the land or the government that owns it decided they could stay there under the same terms and conditions. That's the uncertainty, and then two years from now, the Red Cross would have to relocate, and instead of paying the city at 5
dollars a square foot, they may have to pay more somewhere else. If we have to scale back at V.O. Dobbins and not build, they may want to relocate in two years, and there may not be a space available for the Red Cross. And I don't want to get put in the middle of that happening. I want the Red Cross to fully understand, and we will send them a letter to this effect, if they do not want to consider the non-profit center, and one, two, three years down the road, they need to move, there probably will not be a space in the non-profit center for them, because we will probably not build that space originally planned for them. I don't want us to be put in the position of looking like the bad guy two or three years down the road
because we wouldn't let the Red Cross in.

ALDERMAN MARSH SAYS, THERE IS PLENTY OF OTHER OPEN OFFICE SPACE IN MANY PLACES IN KINGSPORT..

Well, there is open space in Kingsport, I don't know about all over Kingsport. The going place used to be downtown, because rent was very inexpensive there. Rent downtown has probably doubled or tripled in the past three or four years, which means that the bottom dollar price that it used to be as gone up. We're talking about, in the non-profit center, between 5 dollars, 5 dollars-and-a-quarter per square foot for rent, utilities, janitorial, supplies and everything. I don't think that anyone can find compatable space at another locations.

YOU MENTIONED THE QUALITY OF LIFE ISSUES THAT THE BMA HAS TO TAKE UP FROM TIME TO TIME.. DO YOU SEE THE NON-PROFIT CENTER AND THE OTHER V.O. DOBBINS CENTER RENOVATIONS AS A POSITIVE THING FOR, NOT JUST THE RIVERVIEW NEIGHBORHOOD, BUT THE CITY AS WELL..

Well, you always look at neighborhoods.. you look at Ridgefields, you look at Sevier Terrace, you look at the Maple Street area, every city has its own special neighborhoods.. I'm just tired of this community (Riverview) being associated with second-rate or failure. Riverview is a community located inside the city limits of Kingsport with a ton of history, and it's just like any other that we should be proud of and do the most, as much for, as we can, and make it a community that you're proud to be a member of, a part of, or locate within. As communities deteriorate, as they all do, we need to give them more attention for a while. We should always be working on quality of life issues. I think one of the problems Kingsport has had, as we formulate a budget, is total our basic necessities, and
we've ignored the quality of life issues in that community for many years.
I think quality of life issues are a very important part of what government
does. Otherwise, we just need to set the tax rate, just have the basic number of policemen, pick up the minimum amount of garbage, and we don't need a municipal swimming pool, we don't need a senior center.. all those are quality of life issues, and I think quality of life is something that our community does better than other communities. That's what makes people want to move here. There's a reason we haven't had growth in the past 20 years.. we've not given people a reason to move here. What advantages have we got here, that make us better than Johnson City, Knoxville.. Now that we're spending money on quality of life issues, some people are having heartburn over it.

EVEN WITH ALDERMAN MARSH'S COMMENTS AND OPPOSITION, YOU'RE STILL COMMITTED TO THE NON-PROFIT CENTER AND THE RENOVATION OF V.O. DOBBINS?

I am totally committed to the renovation of V.O. Dobbins. I am totally committed to additions to V.O. Dobbins. I'm not going to be in favor of building space anywhere that just sits there without a deed, and we'll look at the Red Cross situation, but as far as renovating V.O. Dobbins, I firmly believe it will happen and we will make an addition to V.O. Dobbins for the Douglass Reunion deal (the Douglass Alumni Association and the Sons and Daughters of Douglass website headquarters).. that's going to happen.
We'll look at the second and third floor of the center, and see what's best for all of the offices and the needed amount of space. A lot of that will be determined by who comes forward and says, 'hey I'm interested,' just like the American Legion did.

Kingsport Alderman Ken Marsh, Jr. Tells His Side of the V.O. Dobbins Renovation Story

"I was against a Kingsport Non-Profit Center when this first came up a year ago."

Those words from Kingsport Alderman Ken Marsh, Jr. concerning the renovation of the V.O. Dobbins Community Center into offices for all of the city's non-profit agencies.


Alderman Marsh spoke to the Sons and Daughters of Douglass website in an exclusive unedited interview, after his views were published in the Kingsport Times-News on Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008.

The alderman expressed concern in the newspaper that the city not be a public landlord for non-profit organizations that were paying rent to private landlords in their current locations.

The following is the unedited interview Alderman Marsh gave to us, immediately after the Times-News article (questions in upper case are from website editor Calvin Sneed, answers in lower case are Mr. Marsh's responses, and statements in parentheses are quotations already published in the newspaper previously):


EXPLAIN WHAT YOU MEAN BY "KINGSPORT GETTING INTO THE LANDLORD BUSINESS."

Each one of the agencies being planned for that building, either own the property they're in, or renting office space. And when you move 15 or 20 agencies out of the commercial side onto the public side, you create 15 or 20 vacancies, and we've got plenty of vacancies before we create any more. And there's no reason for the public sector to be competing with the private sector.

(In a previous Times-News article published on May 27th, Luke Bell of the Kingsport Red Cross chapter stated that “Donations are not as strong as we would like them to be to make a large commitment to move into the nonprofit center,” saying the agency is in need of a new facility due to space needs and the age of its current facility).

THE UNITED WAY IS OUT OF SPACE, THE RED CROSS, WHEN THEY WERE INVOLVED, WERE OUT OF SPACE, OTHER AGENCIES AROUND KINGSPORT, THEY WERE OUT OF SPACE..

I'm not sure what you mean, they were out of space, there is plenty of space for anybody that wants to rent space in Kingsport.

WHAT I MEAN IS, IN THEIR OWN BUILDINGS.. ARE YOU SUGGESTING THAT THEY LOOK
ELSEWHERE?

I don't think the United Way is out of space at all.. the Red Cross is happy to stay where they are.

THEY HAVE SAID IN THE PAST THAT THEY HAVE OUTGROWN THE SPACE WHERE THEY ARE ON WILCOX BOULEVARD, THAT'S BEEN QUOTED IN THE KINGSPORT TIMES-NEWS BEFORE,
AND THE DOUGLASS RENOVATIONS WOULD ALLOW THEM TO MOVE INTO MUCH MORE SPACE..

As you may know, the Red Cross has already backed out. The Red Cross has got a financial situation where they are, that any place they move, they increase their cost.

HAVE YOU HEARD ANYTHING ABOUT THEIR BEING BROKE, THAT THEY DON'T HAVE ANY MONEY TO MOVE?

Every non-profit borders on being broke, that's just the nature of the game.

THIS SITUATION (THE RED CROSS PULLING OUT, AND YOUR OWN CONCERNS ABOUT A NON-PROFIT CENTER FOR KINGSPORT) OBVIOUSLY OPENS THE DOOR FOR FURTHER DISCUSSION..

I was not there when Chris McCartt (assistant Kingsport city manager for development)
made his presentation to the BMA. I picked up the notes and minutes from the work session and asked questions about it.

DID SOMETHING SET OFF A RED FLAG TO YOU?

No, I was against this when this first came up a year ago. This is very consistant with my views. I don't have any problem with renovating the V.O. Dobbins Center, Jack Pierce and some others made a compelling case that it needs to be renovated and we do need to do it, and I'm all for that, and I voted to put the money in it to do it, but when we start going out and competing with our own taxpayers, that makes no sense at all in the public sector.

IF THE V.O. DOBBINS CENTER IS NOT DONE AS A NON-PROFIT CENTER, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE IT RENOVATED TO BECOME?

Well, it was designed to be a community center, and to help continue the activities in it now, the Upper East Tennessee Human Development Agency, Headstart, Parks and Rec.. we've got a gymasium there that needs renovation, we've got an auditorium that could be used for much better purposes if we fix it up. The building is pretty poor shape, as most people know.

YOU MENTION THE OLD DOUGLASS AUDITORIUM.. IN THE CURRENT PLANS, THEY (THE
ARCHITECTS AND DESIGNERS) HAVE THAT AUDITORIUM BEING DEMOLISHED, BECAUSE THEY SAY, IT WOULD COST TOO MUCH TO FIX UP.. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THAT?

I don't have the plans for the facility in front of me, I knew something about it a year ago. The plans for the building, other than competing with our private enterprise people, I don't have any problem with at all.

SO YOU THINK THE OLD DOUGLASS AUDITORIUM POSSIBLY BE RENOVATED?

Well I don't know about the auditorium, but I'm very much in favor of renovating the facility into a situation that can be used by the community, and I'm not talking just about the Riverview Community, but the entire community.

BUT NOT AS A NON-PROFIT CENTER..

Anything like gymnasiums and schools, are non-profit centers, in that sense. That's where you play your intermural basketball games and your badminton and indoor, winter-kind of activities through the Recreation Department and groups like sports organizations, the A-A-U uses facilities like that all over the area each year. The Kingsport Visitors and Convention Bureau benefits from those sorts of things and bring a lot of people into Kingsport who spend money in our restaurants, our motels
and hotels, and bring a lot of economic activity into our community.

SO TO MAKE SURE I UNDERSTAND CORRECTLY.. YOU'VE NOT BEEN FOR RENOVATING V.O. DOBBINS INTO A NON-PROFIT CENTER FROM THE START..

That's correct. This is not something new.

HOW DO YOU GET THAT MESSAGE ACROSS? HOW DO YOU CONVINCE THE OTHER ALDERMEN AND THE CITY FROM THAT IDEA?

Well you know.. we have a seven-person BMA and the majority rules, and you know, the majority does a number of things that I don't believe are the appropriate things to do. I simply vote my conscience and what I think is representing the people of Kingsport in the best manner, and everybody else there, I assume is doing the same thing and democracy works on the basis of majority rule.

WHAT WOULD YOU TELL THE CITIZENS OF RIVERVIEW, SOUTH CENTRAL KINGSPORT WHO'VE BEEN EXPECTING THE RENOVATIONS TO V.O. DOBBINS AS A NON-PROFIT CENTER?

The message there is, I don't think it means a thing to an individual citizen who lives next door to the building.. actually, it just brings them traffic and congestion. The renovation of the building itself brings them a facility that can used across the street or across the town.

DO YOU THINK THE ISSUE WILL DIE DOWN, WILL YOUR CONCERNS PROMPT FURTHER DISCUSSION?

It probably will cause some additional discussion, but.. it's probably going to go forward, just as it's planned. I have no illusions that it's going to make a 180-degree turn. But it makes no sense to push and spend money in an effort on economic development, and then turn around and wipe out the local economic development that's already there.

HAS KINGSPORT ALWAYS HAD A PROBLEM WITH OPEN OFFICE SPACE, WHAT WITH THE QUEBECOR BUILDING NOW OPEN UP, AND OTHER SPACE?

You know, before 1990, the industrial base of Kingsport was humming. We've lost over 15,000 manufacturing jobs in the last 20 years. That's in a town of 44,000 people, and the fact that we have it cratered, is a monument to the resiliency of our people that we haven't gone into a deep depression.

BUT WE STILL HAVE THAT OPEN SPACE THAT YOU SPOKE OF, THAT NOBODY'S OCCUPYING RIGHT NOW.

Absolutely.. we've got the biggest building in Kingsport, the Borden Mills property and it's empty. Quebecor, which the city now owns, is empty. The industrial base of the United States and Kingsport, too are under great pressure.

DO YOU HAVE AN ALTERNATIVE FOR NON-PROFITS IF THEY WANTED TO MOVE INTO THEIR OWN SPACE UNDER ONE ROOF, OTHER THAN THE V.O. DOBBINS CENTER?

That's basically a question of the non-profits' financial situation and what they think their needs are, what their services are, and how much they think they can afford to spend internally, before they offer a service. Rent's an internal expense. If they can raise the money and get into a building that the city does not own and operate, then more power to them, but why should every citizen in Kingsport subsidize them?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Douglass School Renovations Hit Stumbling Block: Alderman Objects To Nonprofit Section of V.O. Dobbins Center

‘I have a big problem with the city becoming a landlord and competing with the private sector.’
— Alderman Ken Marsh

THIS ARTICLE COURTESY THE KINGSPORT TIMES-NEWS, TUESDAY, JUNE 3, 2008

By MATTHEW LANE
mlane@timesnews.net


KINGSPORT — As Kingsport moves forward with an $8.7 million renovation and expansion project at the V.O. Dobbins Community Center, one alderman has a problem with the city becoming a landlord with the nonprofit wing of the center.


V.O. Dobbins is a city-owned community center located between Louis and Wheatley streets in the Riverview community. The building served as Kingsport’s “blacks only” school from 1951 to 1966.
Kingsport officials have talked about renovating V.O. Dobbins for years. Last year talk turned into action, and the city earmarked $8.7 million in its capital improvement plan to renovation and expand the facility.
Bonds are expected to be issued later this summer, and construction is expected to begin in the late fall and take approximately 18 months to complete.



Conceptual art and layout drawings exist for the new facility, which calls for demolishing 13,600 square feet of the existing building, renovating the remaining 46,000 square feet, and adding just over 50,000 square feet of new space — 30,900 of which will be a new nonprofit center.
The nonprofit center will house the United Way, American Legion and the Upper East Tennessee Human Development Agency. The nonprofits will pay approximately $3.50 to $5 a square foot per year in rent. In addition, Kingsport is allocating space, computers and furniture for the nonprofit Douglass Alumni Association and the Sons and Daughters of Douglass Web site, free of charge.
The American Red Cross of Northeast Tennessee, which was supposed to take up the entire first floor (12,900 square feet) of the three-story nonprofit center, recently voted not to relocate to the facility. City officials plan to meet this week with the architects on any possible adjustments to the nonprofit center in light of the Red Cross’ decision.



During a Board of Mayor and Aldermen work session Monday afternoon, Alderman Ken Marsh voiced his opinion on the proposed nonprofit center, asking why the public is being called upon to subsidize the nonprofit organizations.
“I have a big problem with the city becoming a landlord and competing with the private sector,” Marsh said. “All of the organizations that are coming in, all of them are out there in buildings that they rent. When they move out, it’s putting a vacant spot on the market.
“I strongly object to the city competing with the private enterprise sector. I think it’s a big mistake.”



Vice Mayor Ben Mallicote said there are many ways beyond this one in which Kingsport competes with the private sector, such as with BFI for garbage collection.
“Part of the reason we’re doing this is it’s good for our community partners, who are good for Kingsport, and we’re doing it to add some vitality to the neighborhood,” Mallicote said. “We’re pretty far down the road on this project to have this discussion. I think the issue has been raised and answered to the satisfaction of a majority of this board.”
The Times-News first reported the idea of a nonprofit center going in a renovated V.O. Dobbins Center back in February 2007.



Mayor Dennis Phillips said the intent is to get the nonprofit organizations into the most affordable situation.
“The thinking is every dollar they pay for rent is money that doesn’t go to their mission,” Phillips said. “We are down the road, but I do think we need to look at the Red Cross situation.”
Marsh said the nonprofit center is something the BMA should have looked at more carefully than it has at this point.
“This is direct competition,” Marsh said.




Alderman Larry Munsey said the project has lots of satisfaction and enthusiasm from the community.
“And a lot of that satisfaction and enthusiasm from the community is based upon the concept we now have,” Munsey said. “We’re a long way down that road.”