Roy Exum: The Broad Street Stroll

Monday, December 4, 2017 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

David Roddy, after only weeks as the Chief of Police in Chattanooga, has the promise of becoming the best we’ve ever had. What you may not know is that if you were to put his wife and two daughters in a family photo, they may be the most beautiful family in America. What you also may not know is that Chief Roddy would not allow any one of his girls to make the Broad Street Stroll alone.

The stroll is the walk on Broad Street in the center of the city, from the Chattanooga Aquarium to the Read House. It goes from First Street to Martin Luther King, formerly Ninth Street, and for a single female to go from Point A to Point B is akin to one of Viet Nam’s best trying to cross the Demilitarized Zone.


 
Downtown Chattanooga is becoming a cesspool. Several buildings now have security guards, not to protect those inside but to keep the louts out. This is a big reason downtown businesses continue to fold up. Law enforcement must come down swiftly and hard. Judges must give heavy sentences --- forget “guidelines” – and the message that must be sent is “Not Here!”

The City Council must confront what has become a major problem and abolish the idea of any person walking with fear. A prominent executive, with an office several floors above the lobby, tells me he watches drug deals take place regularly in front of a small beer-tobacco eyesore on Broad.

City leaders thought they had enough evidence to shutter the drug den but a judge very wrongfully refused to do that.  The homeless use the stone planters as restrooms and any female who works in the downtown area has her own set of distasteful experiences to tell if anyone would listen. There have been numerous complaints but little visible action, according to one female who works at a downtown bank.

Just last Sunday a Chattanooga couple was robbed at gunpoint in front of Five Guys at Fourth and Broad. The victims were sitting outside when the perp, later identified as Raymond Dionte Hunter, brandished a black pistol, searched the man’s pockets at pistol-point, made the female empty her purse, and then took both the victims’ cell phones.

Fast police action caught the robber but a question lingers – Five Guys may have the best cheeseburger in town but how will they ever sell them with hoodlums collecting money at the door?

Any couple in our tristate community should not bear the threat of robbery on Broad Street two hours after church services end.

Chattanooga’s City Council needs to outlaw pan-handling within the city limits and anyone caught needs to go to jail. I mean it, if you want to make Chattanooga better, book ‘em. The same goes for vagrants who defecate in a sidewalk planter – they need a strong reason to never insult the public ever again. The last three times I have met someone at Panera’s I’ve been hounded by a different beggar each time.

The City Council has allowed stinkin’ thinkin’ to ruin Broad Street with the bike lanes and I’m now to the point of suggesting a public vote. If democracy truly rules, there is absolutely no way the biggest detriment to downtown Chattanooga would remain.

Better yet, let’s get the Queen of the River City Company, Kim White, to walk by herself from Miller Park down Market Street, turn at the Aquarium, and then sash-shay her way to the Read House.

We can get an undercover cop to stealthily follow about a half-block behind, her wearing a hidden body cam, and then we can debut the video at a City Council meeting.

We can award Kim’s dauntless daring at Starbucks with a tasty something like a “Grande, Quad, Nonfat, One-Pump, No-Whip, Mocha! (“quad” means four shots of expresso.)

It is only a matter of time before something terrible will happen. Now is the time to prevent it.

* * *

TENNESSEE’S FOOTBALL FOLLIES

Another new name has been added to the list of possible football coaches at UT. Think about this – OJ Simpson might be a perfect fit. He’s available. He knows football. He’s used to wearing orange and he can get away with murder. What a deal!

royexum@aol.com



Building Our Workforce With Tuition-Free College For All Tennessee Adults

As graduation season has come to a close, we celebrated the hard work and perseverance of so many who have achieved their dreams of earning a college degree. Their college success is not only important to their future lives - but also to the future of Tennessee.  Like many places across the country, Tennessee is facing a skilled workforce shortage. And while we know the ... (click for more)

Why Are Drugs So Expensive?

Diabetes seems to affect more people than any other chronic illness. It causes heart disease, liver and kidney failure and blindness. Eventually it is instrumental in the individuals death.  So why is there no cure?  Go ahead and call me a conspiracy theorist.  My fiancée recently started Trulicity. A once weekly self injection to help control blood sugar.  ... (click for more)

Former City Education Commissioner John P. Franklin Dies

John Porter Franklin, long a leading figure in Chattanooga city government, has died.  He was the city's first, elected black official, post Jim Crow laws, in 1971. Mr. Franklin's father, G.W. Franklin, was a pioneer funeral home director and John Franklin continued in that line. He was first an official in Franklin-Strickland Funeral Home, then he started John P. Franklin ... (click for more)

All School Board Members But Rhonda Thurman Approve Going Ahead With Equity Study

All County School Board members except Rhonda Thurman said Thursday afternoon they are in favor of pushing ahead with an equity study sought by new Supt. Bryan Johnson. Ms. Thurman said she was "tired of bullying tactics by outside groups" such as UnifiEd and Chattanooga 2.0. She said the 132 people who signed a letter in support of the study include people "with deep pockets" ... (click for more)

Voice Of The Vols John Ward Dies

John Ward, the former “Voice of the Vols,” has died. Senator Lamar Alexander said, “When it came to UT sports, listening to John Ward was almost as good as watching the game. In fact, many Vol fans at many games brought their radios to make sure they could do both. John was a generous, courteous, enthusiastic ambassador for the University of Tennessee. He brought joy ... (click for more)

Belmont University's Mark Price Named Baylor School's Boys' Basketball Coach

Baylor School has named Belmont University's Mark Price as the boys' varsity basketball coach, following veteran basketball coach Austin Clark's announcement in April that he would be retiring after 36 years of coaching the Red Raiders. "I am very excited that Mark will be leading our boys' basketball program.  Throughout this process, we interviewed many individuals who ... (click for more)