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Early voting ends this coming Saturday, July 29, and with the August 3rd election just around the corner, the ballot deserves a closer look to see how the candidates line up.
Beginning with the Democratic primary in the Governor’s race, I would note that until recently I planned to choose our current Lord of the Manor on the Hill in Nashville, Phil Bredesen. After his remarks concerning the upcoming anti-marriage ballot initiative that seeks to forever eliminate legal recognition of same-sex couples, I cannot go there. Bredesen’s remarks indicated that it was a “done deal,” and it is only a matter of whether the measure will pass by “85% or 95%.” Mr. Bredesen has not apologized to my knowledge. I may abstain on this one.
The Democratic Senate race brings a similar bitter taste. Harold Ford, Jr.’s recent appearance at a gathering of Tennessee conservatives bolstered my view that he is nothing more than a “Republican light” candidate. I’m not sure how “light” he is after sharing the podium with the likes of Lloyd Daugherty and company.
I met Bob Scott, candidate for the Second District Congressional seat, at a candidate’s picnic held at Tyson Park. He and his wife seemed to be nice enough people. I’m not sure about their views on issues effecting the GLBT community. John Greene doesn’t seem to have any information online.
Of course, I’m a fan of Harry Tindell who is unopposed for the Tennessee House of Representatives 13th District seat. Harry has been a friend to many in our community and is approachable and supportive. We can say the same things for Joe Armstrong, who is unopposed in the 15th District race.
Another hopeful candidate is Schree Pettigrew, who has tossed her hat in the ring for the 18th District Tennessee House of Representatives seat. Her campaign manager, Johnny Dobbins, is a GLBT community member. He and his partner, David, are welcome additions to our local community.
The 16th District sees Bill Dunn unopposed. I plan to write in my dog’s name.
Frank Nicely, 17th District state representative incumbent, was open to possibilities when the Knoxville contingent spoke to him during the Tennessee Equality Project’s Equality Day on the Hill. While he drew the line at “gay marriage,” he said he is open to civil unions or domestic partnerships. I say what watch he does, not what he says.
Circuit Court Judge of Division Four is the perennial dandelion, Bill Swann. I personally heard this man say that women go to his court to get orders of protection “for entertainment.” My dog will get the nod here as well.
Division One Chancellor John Weaver is the judge that has handed out the rulings on the County Charter. That may sound the final bell for his career on the bench. If it doesn’t, it should.
The Chancellor Division Three incumbent Mike Moyers has a valid challenger in Jim Andrews. Andrews opposed Tim Hutchinson in the last Knox County Sheriff’s race. He is definitely my pick here. Moyers needs to move on.
The Criminal Court Division Two race sees Judge Ray Lee Jenkins opposed by Ken Irvine, who has the backing of many local attorneys. Jenkins has been plagued with health problems in recent years, causing his caseload to logjam and resulting in extraordinarily lengthy waits to get cases heard. He needs to get some rest and let Irvine take the bench.
Mark Harmon, local University of Tennessee College of Communications professor, is vying with David Collins for Knox County Commission Seat A. Mark, who until recently hosted a radio talk show for WNOX NewsTalk 99 entitled “Left Turn,” is friendly with GLBTs and is a definite nod from me.
Billy Tindell is said to be playing hardball these days. (Yes, he’s Harry’s Dad.) Some real opposition is presented in Amy Broyles’ well-run campaign. Broyles almost single-handedly registered more than 10,000 voters in the 2004 Presidential election. Tindell is suiting up for battle as his family members and other supports call the folks in the neighborhood to rally support for Tindell, who has served on the Knox County Commission for 36 years. Broyles has actively sought GLBT support and has offered support as well, long before her candidacy for the County Commission. Her appearance at the Gyrlgroove Luau Dance in June marked the first time in a candidate has sought out a lesbian-only venue to “work the crowd” and show interest in that particular part of our community. Despite my gratitude to Tindell for his many years of service, I am definitely voting for Broyles for the Knox County Commission District 2 Seat B post.
In another Commission race, we at the East Bureau heartily endorse E. Colvin Idol as he opposes Ivan Harmon for the District 3 Seat B position. Colvin and his wife, Saroj Chand, have been supporters of the GLBT community for many years. Idol’s name may be familiar to longtime residents in connection with his work in local broadcast media including our local Public Broadcasting Service affiliate.
We also wish to advocate voting for Randy Tyree as he vies for the Knox County Sheriff office held for many years by Tim Hutchinson. It is time for Old King Tim to step down. People who are in office too long get very comfortable. I think Hutchinson has been comfortable for quite some time now.
Other endorsements from this desk include Joan Wagner, Tom Salter, Margaret Massey-Cox, Elaine Davis, Ursula Bailey, Mike Padgett, and Scott Emge. Time and space do not allow for commentary on every race, but these folks will be great officeholders. They deserve your vote.
For further information on this and other election issues, visit the Knox County Election Commission online at www.knoxcounty.org/election/.
To download a sample ballot, point your mouse at www.knoxcounty.org/election/pdfs/sample_ballot_06.pdf.
For those with a thirst to celebrate, Red Bull Unlocked is the key. In city after city, the most exciting bars, clubs, mixologists, performing artists, and more take over a local landmark building to showcase their signature ambiance while also collaborating for a must-see mashup. And now it's Music City’s turn to seize the spotlight, as the event brings 10 bars together in East Nashville’s Five Points neighborhood.
Fueled by the best of Nashville’s thriving music scene, Red Bull Unlocked has curated an eclectic night of show-stopping entertainment performances including a pop-up Whiskey Jam show, DJ sets, musicians, and more. The full lineup is here:
- Whiskey Jam (feat. Dozzi, Willie Shaw, and Johnny Hayes)
- A.B. Eastwood
- Daisha / Rap Girl
- Boom Bap (DJ Collective feat. DJ-Rate, Case Bloom)
- Whiskey Disco (DJ Collective feat. Coach, Jim O'Shea)
- Old Crow Medicine Show’s Jerry Pentercost (DJ Set)
- DJ Stretch
- DJ Griffin Green
- The Play Mates (Drag Show feat. Sasha, Vanity, Deception, Aura Mayari, Corlis Todd, and Carmin Triple C)
Counting down to the epic celebration, Daisha shares, “I never thought I’d have the opportunity to perform in so many of Nashville’s top spots all in the same night. Fans can expect a lot of bops and high energy. I want people to dance and have a good time.”
Ward Guenther, Whiskey Jam Founder, adds, “Red Bull has been enjoyed at Whiskey Jam since the very first night, so it's only fitting Whiskey Jam is enjoyed at Nashville's first Red Bull Unlocked. Looking forward to this!”
Red Bull Unlocked Istanbul
Photo courtesy of Red Bull
Local favorites including Pearl Diver, Tin Roof, Lipstick Lounge, White Limozeen, and more will join forces for one epic night. Full list of bars and partners below:
- The Dive Motel
- Lipstick Lounge
- Pearl Diver
- Play Dance Bar
- Rosemary & Beauty Queen
- The Stage
- Tin Roof
- Whiskey Jam
- White Limozeen
- Woolworth Theatre – Opening Fall 2022!
- Eleven Eleven - Opening 2023!
Date: August 21, 2022
Time: 6 PM – 11PM CT
Location: 1102 Forrest Ave, Nashville, TN 37206
Entrance: Ticked event
Rumble Boxing, the boxing-inspired group fitness studio, opened its doors for the first time in Nashville on June 20 at 609 Overton St, Nashville, TN. The hottest workout on the block is hosting its official grand opening from August 4th-7th with daily classes, membership specials, and prizes from local vendors. The new Rumble Boxing studio is currently offering a buy one class, get one free promotion for the Nashville community.
Rumble Boxing delivers 45-minute, 10-round, strength and conditioning group workouts, crafted around teardrop-style aqua boxing bags and high-intensity strength training circuits. This brings all fitness levels together to experience what Rumble is known for: combining the sweet science of boxing with high energy and positive vibes.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
This boutique fitness brand offers serious benefits like increased stamina and strength, with cardio that’s actually fun. The seasoned trainers at the new studio are thrilled to serve their local community while offering this fun, new modern approach to boxing and welcome members of all fitness levels to the Rumble family.
The new Rumble Boxing studio is owned and operated by Blake Baskin and Antonio Compton. With their background in the fitness industry, this dynamic duo is excited to bring their passion for boxing and group fitness to Nashville. As business and life partners, Blake and Antonio aim to create a strong community within their new Rumble Boxing studio and share their message of non-apologetic inclusivity.
Black and Gay-Owned Business
Rumble Boxing Store with Dolly Parton Mural
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“We own who we are, and this brand aligns with that perfectly,” said Antonio. “This is what we want to create and bring to this community: a fitness class that is designed for anyone and a place for people to be who they are. As a Black and gay-owned business, we want to help lower the division we see in the world right now. Our goal is to bring people together through Rumble, set everything aside, and have fun.”
To echo their message of acceptance and inclusion, Blake and Antonio commissioned a local Nashville artist to paint an 11 X 6-ft. mural of Nashville icon and philanthropist, Dolly Parton. The massive portrait features the country star in Rumble Boxing gear in the lobby of the studio.
The excitement and buzz around Rumble allowed Blake and Antonio to recruit top-tier trainers to head up the new studio, including Head Trainer Oronde Jones, a well-known celebrity trainer in the Nashville market.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“Compared to other fitness classes, Rumble is a class you can truly get lost in for 45 minutes. With the dark room, you don’t have to worry if anyone is paying attention to you. The music is awesome and inspiring, and the beat drops right when you need it the most. Also, with boxing being a sport you can never truly master, you’re always improving and crafting your skill. On the floor, you’re consistently doing something new, which prevents you from ever hitting a plateau.” Said Oronde Jones about his favorite part of Rumble.
Rumble has massive brand loyalty and widespread appeal, partly thanks to attracting top names like Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin, Jason Derulo, David Beckham, and Kevin Hart to its studios.
About Rumble Boxing
Founded in New York City in 2017, Rumble is a group fitness concept delivering a mix (or combination) of boxing-inspired circuits and the transformative power of resistance training. Pro and amateur fighters glove up together, no matter their fitness level or skill, to reveal their inner fighter. The experience is a 45-minute, 10-round, full-body cardio and strength workout crafted around specially designed water-filled, teardrop-style boxing bags. Rumble was founded by Noah Neiman (former Barry’s Bootcamp Master Trainer, and cast member of Bravo’s Work Out New York), Eugene Remm (Co-Founder of Catch Hospitality Group (Catch Restaurants, CATCH STEAK, Lexington Brass), Andy Stenzler (Co-Founder Cosí, Kidville), and Anthony DiMarco (13-time IRONMAN, former Managing Director, Google).
Who would have thought that we would have to get through a pandemic in order to appreciate the small things we have, such as the ability to simply pack our bags and hit the road?
For two years, there’s been nothing left for us travel junkies to do but sit at home and try to find new destinations that we will conquer once we defeat what appears to be the biggest villain of the 21st century. But once that happens, hold your bags tight because we will be up for some of the most interesting travel experiences. Take a look at some ideas for your post-COVID traveling plans:
A Gay Cruise
One of the best options to have in mind when all of this passes is a good, nice and long (pun intended) gay cruise. Or cruise in general, for that matter. Bear in mind, social distancing will still be a thing in the post-COVID world. But COVID-19 likely doesn’t mean that cruises will cease to exist. On the contrary, though cruise ships will probably keep the number of passengers smaller than before, it is believed that they will become an even bigger hit in the following period, especially because they are all going to go a lot more environmentally-friendly. On the bright side, is there any better way of celebrating the end of the pandemic than by cruising around some magnificent seas, stopping by at great cities and having romantic dinner nights at nice restaurants?
A getaway in nature
On the other hand, there is always the option of stepping away from the hustle and bustle of large cities, and spending some time in a place that’s not only healthy, but also beautiful. Some of the destinations that plenty of people will look for are the ones that can cater for both peace of mind and amazing things to see or do. One such destination is New Zealand, one of the greenest countries on Earth right now. Not only will you be visiting the magnificent country that gave us the beautiful Shire from Lord of the Rings; this is also a destination that’s excellent for everyone who prefers relaxing to partying. If you’re up for some partying, you will be able to hit Auckland, while if you’re for something calmer, there’s plenty of amazing places that you can see and visit.
Dancing Around at Pride
Pride parades are also events that you want to have in mind for the post-COVID world. Such events have always been quite important, but it seems that they are now more important than ever. The virus has canceled more than 75 Pride parades all around the world, which is one of the reasons why we must support the ones that will see the light of day once the pandemic stops. Truth be told, the upcoming Prides will perhaps be the best Prides ever organized. Give the gays a couple of weeks of quarantine, then let them outside and see what kind of party they are able to throw!
A road trip
If you’re, as well, waiting for the day to wake up and say “long gone are the days when we were not allowed to go wherever we wanted?”, and if staying at one place gave you a lot to think about, then your first post-COVID travel experience should definitely be a nice road trip. You can practically choose which country you want to tour, and you can either take your own car (you have probably missed it so much), or rent one at your destination. Australia is an amazing country for this, though, as it offers the possibility of seeing the Great Ocean Road, which is an amazing thing to see and experience. On the other hand, if you do not want or cannot leave your country, you can also choose to go on a domestic road trip – there are amazing things to see in your vicinity as well.
Holiday for a single guy
If you’re single, or you’re traveling someplace with another single friend, then you should definitely organize a nice vacation for yourself or for you and your single friend, and hit one of the best European cities. Europe has been greatly affected by the virus, which means that now it’s time to pay it back and get it back on its feet by traveling there and seeing all the amazing things it offers. Any city you choose in Europe – you will not make a mistake. Apart from being able to see great landmarks, you will also have the chance to have a drink at great gay clubs and pubs, and join unforgettable gay parties. And if the gay scenery is not your forte, worry not, as Europe indeed has to offer so many different and magnificent things.