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News - Friday, March 13, 2015

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Bar members remember those who passed on

Just as memories of the attorneys who passed away in 2014 have been etched into the hearts of those who knew them, so have their memorials been recorded in the minutes of the Chattanooga Bar Association (CBA), where they will forever be preserved.


Social workers name Fletcher public official of the year

Chief of Police Fred Fletcher received the Public Official of the Year award from the local chapter of the National Association of Social Workers in a ceremony held March 5 at Bessie Smith Center. The Public Official of the Year Award recognizes outstanding service and contributions of a governmental official who has shown leadership in the formulation of public policy that affects social justice, health care, education, civil and human rights, and social practice. Pictured [L-R]: Dr. Paul David Smith, public safety coordinator; Prof. Lucilla Nash, Chattanooga State Community College; Fletcher; and Valerie Radu, executive director of the Family Justice Center. (Photo by David Laprad)


View from the Cheap Seats
Playing without a net

I’ve often heard it said that when you’re lying on your death bed, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the things you did. I’m sure that’s not a universal truth, but as I progress in age, I can see how true that maxim is. We all have things we wished we would have done when given the opportunity. You don’t have to be dying to look back and realize there were some missed opportunities along the way. We all miss opportunities every day. Of course, there’s nothing you can do about the past and the opportunities you missed other than trying to minimize those mistakes in the future.


Under Analysis
Not going to trial

As the year began, I was staring at three state case jury trials, set on three consecutive Mondays in March, in three separate counties.  This caused a lawyer friend of mine to ask, “Don’t you check your calendar before setting your cases?”  Well I do, but some trials are best not to avoid and, needless to say, the courts have a lot to do with trial settings.  Further, as we know, trials often disappear for various reasons.  Aware of all of the matters I had in the queue for this year, an opposing lawyer in one of the March cases kept warning me, “Remember Mark, this is a young man’s game.”  While acknowledging his statement, it didn’t bother me since I kept thinking, “Well, I am a young man.”  I guess his admonition suggested the contrary.  Nevertheless, despite being young, three jury trials in three weeks is a bit daunting to anyone, so I was a little concerned and was working each day until about midnight.


Financial Focus
Time for some financial “spring cleaning”

We’ve just about arrived at spring, the time when many people spruce up their homes, yards and other parts of their surroundings. This year, why not extend that practice a little further and give your financial and investment environment a good “spring cleaning”?


Firefighters install free smoke alarms in Avondale

According to the Chattanooga Fire Department, two out of three home fire deaths are a result of fires in homes with no smoke alarms. To ensure residents of the Avondale neighborhood have working alarms in their homes, Chattanooga firefighters, along with staff and volunteers with the American Red Cross, distributed free alarms and batteries throughout the community last Saturday. The fire department selected the neighborhood for canvassing after responding to five fires there in 2014. The event coincided with the weekend Daylight Savings Time went into effect, which Fire Marshal Beau Matlock says is a good time to replace batteries or buy new alarms. (Photo by David Laprad)


Alligator Bayou opens March 14 at the Tennessee Aquarium

A mysterious energy might surprise you on your next trip to the Tennessee Aquarium. It will feel as if something is watching you. Studying you. Looking closely, you realize there are 26 steely eyes sizing you up.

Thirteen American Alligators silently patrol the waters of the new Alligator Bayou exhibit. It might be a chilling scene for many, but Dave Collins believes Aquarium guests will come away with a deeper appreciation for these animals after viewing this gator-filled swamp. “There are many layers to an alligator’s personality,” said Collins, the Aquarium’s curator of forests. “Most people think of them as aggressive animals, but they have a strong maternal side which seems like a contradiction. They carefully tend to their young for long periods of time, with a lot of communication between the mother and young.”


Are We There Yet?

"I am not a smart man.” – Forrest Gump

More from the winter of my discontent… and discomfort… and dislocations.

I had made it back to my street on the day after President’s Day, after abandoning my car (actually KM’s car) a few blocks away. I crossed Pebble Beach, and with feet secure on my neighbor’s yard, I began the walk upward. I had made another error in judgment by being on the side of the street across from my house.


Chattanooga Real Estate & Investments under new owner

Debbie Derryberry-Styles, principal broker and owner of Chattanooga Real Estate & Investments, is the portrait of tranquility. Her voice is soft, her expression relaxed, and she holds herself with the poise of a woman who’s content being in the moment.


Kay's Cooking Corner
Shiitake Mushrooms

Cooking for my husband is a challenge... Well, I take that back. My husband is just what people call a “meat and potatoes man.” His culinary palette ranges from meat and potatoes to – meat and potatoes. Not a whole lot of sparkle. (Sigh...) I, on the other hand, try to cook it. If it’s something I’ve never had before, then I want to give it a whirl. I guess I’m the challenge after all, huh?


The Critic's Corner
‘Chappie’ aims for the moon, makes it halfway there

I thought about “Chappie” for days after seeing it last week. I thought about it and thought about it and thought about it – because I believed it was about ... something, even if I couldn’t put my finger on what.

On the surface, “Chappie” follows the adventures of a robot that can feel. The film, writer and director Neill Blomkamp’s third after the brilliant “District 9” and the clunky “Elysium,” is set in Johannesburg, South Africa about a decade in the future. To curb the growing crime rate, the government has purchased armored attack robots from a private weapons manufacturer, giving “Chappie” a strand of “RoboCop” DNA.


Read All About It
Heads and rocks don’t mix

Did you know 95 percent of all available fresh water is in the ground? With the recent winter rains and snows, water has been flowing in areas across this state to a degree where too much of this valuable substance has caused problems. Hopefully, the weather will change from the pattern of ice to more of an opportunity where flowing water becomes something we enjoy looking at rather than fear.


Do It Yourself
Concrete Vanity – with or without integral sink

Cultured marble…is the bane of my existence. “There is nothing better than seeing a home full of cultured marble,” said no one ever! Rest assured though, I have found a fabulous, cheap (I mean cheap), and easy way to get rid of the cultured marble.


I Swear
Manning lecture moving

SEARCY, ARK. – In the summer of 1966 I met Archie Manning in his home town, Drew, Miss. In a game of touch football, I caught a pass or two from the future All-Pro quarterback. A few months later he spent a Friday night at my house in Greenville, after a dance to which he took a Greenville girl he was dating.