Crafton says he has a plan to save state fairgrounds

Wednesday, November 4, 2009 at 12:30am

With the State Fairgrounds fate all but sealed, Councilman Eric Crafton plans to file a resolution to postpone its demise and a separate ordinance he says would “save the fairgrounds.”

The ordinance would prohibit any use other than what currently operates at the 117-acre property off Nolensville Pike, effectively keeping it intact. It would require three separate Metro Council readings and a public hearing before taking effect.

“Everybody can’t afford to pay a $100 ticket for a Titans game or afford to go to the symphony,” Crafton said. “Some people would like to enter cakes in a state fair contest or go to the fair, a race, or a flea market.”

Mayor Karl Dean has said he doesn’t see the city backing a fair for the foreseeable future, as its reserves have dwindled from $6 million to $1.3 million in just a few years.

A representative of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce has confirmed she has shown the land to corporate executives for potential purchasing and relocation. Metro Finance Director Richard Riebeling told WSMV-Channel 4 that Nashville-based Hospital Corporation of America Inc. is interested in the property.

“I just don’t think it’s right to take public property like that and give it to a for-profit business or any other type of business,” Crafton said.

If the ordinance doesn’t pass, Crafton’s resolution would order the fairgrounds to operate through the end of 2010, as opposed to June when he believes the Mayor’s Office plans to pull the plug entirely.

He said his resolution, requiring just one Metro Council vote, would allow the Tennessee State Fair to operate one more year.

“If you’re hell-bent on shutting it down at least wait until the end of 2010,” Crafton said. “(The fairgrounds) might make money; we might want to change our minds. That would help people keep their jobs. We could keep the fair one more year.”

Though the Tennessee State Fair is said to have taken place for the final time, the Metro Fair Board still oversees monthly flea markets and building rentals on the disputed property.

Both the ordinance and resolution should be drafted and signed in preparation for the Nov. 17 Council meeting, Crafton said.

38 Comments on this post:

By: global_citizen on 11/4/09 at 5:59

*** “I just don’t think it’s right to take public property like that and give it to a for-profit business or any other type of business,” Crafton said. ***

I'm calling B.S. Crafton has never been known to have a soft spot for anything that favors "public" or "non-profit" over private or capitalistic. I don't know what his ulterior motive is, but I'm sure he has one.

Perhaps it's just that he relishes his role as a gadfly who's perpetually a thorn in the side of our progressive mayor. Or perhaps he just doesn't like the perception that the sale of the State Fair lands is favored by the city government's liberals, and therefore as a conservative he feels compelled to oppose it.

In any case, Crafton is irrelevant as usual.

By: idgaf on 11/4/09 at 6:27

Let us not make the "Fair" interchangeable with the "Fair Grounds" like we did with health care/insurance.

I can see doing away with the fair but keeping the fairgrounds.

I called it yesterday that they had someone in mind for that property (back room deal) but am surprised that they have surfaced so quickly.

Dean must realize he is unlikely to get a second term to wreck us and has to get it done quickly.

That property is worth a fortune and it sould not be given away. Remember how we lost Boeing because we GAVE Dell the property (plus).

By: Funditto on 11/4/09 at 6:52

I agree. There's much more happening on this property than the fair. Word on the streets is that HCA is getting it. We'll see. Maybe Crapton wanted it to be developed in another way for a different company?

By: Kosh III on 11/4/09 at 7:03

And so it begins.
Just like the convention center, a backroom deal has already been made and nothing anyone else says will matter.
I am not sure why id thinks that liberals like the idea of giving away public property to rich businesses. That is usually the role of Repubicans/capitalists.

Expect massive tax "incentives" to whomever ultimately gets the property.
Expect the flea market, Christmas village and State Fair to get nothing but a swift kick to the curb.

By: pandabear on 11/4/09 at 7:42

The race car people didn't give a hoot about the noise
disturbing others till the late hours of the night.

Now it comes back to bite them, 'cause I just don't care
as long as the noise is gone.

By: TITAN1 on 11/4/09 at 8:44

panda, I believe the track was there before most if not all the people who live around it. Lets see, if I move in next to a race track, will I hear the cars? Geesh!

By: dwight14 on 11/4/09 at 8:45

the racetrack was there way,way before the people living around it...using that as an excuse to get rid of the track is stupid...if i buy a house next to an airport or a railroad,i dont have any right to complain and want the airport or railroad moved...or an outdoor concert theatre..thats very very selfish..i guess some people are too ignorant to know the good having that track another venue where for 10 bucks you can go and have that much is not backwoods..its from wall street to main from every walk of the fairgrounds speedway is about the most historic in racing...drivers will tell ya,if you win a championship at nashville,you have put yoyr name in the history books and really accomplished something..when we go to florida on vaction,or out west,people say yeah nashville has the fairgrounds speedway,didnt so and soo get his start there? yeah do away with history and even more history to come..something to be proud about...not very smart if ya ask most..

some people are so engrossed in themselves they dont care how much they hurt others...

there is 7 days in a week..the races dont take up but a very small part of the week..and as for late at night? they have a curfew they go by to try and get the racing over by midnight or 11 race this season,they were about to have to cut it short to abide by the curfew..
back to the neighbors tho..say ya look for a house and find one right next to a ball you have the right to tell them to move the park because the crowd noise bothers your cookout or keeps you awake..thats insane...

so as far as that goes,the trzck has been there way before the people doing the complaining has...they made the choice to live near it..they should have the mentality tht they are god and can just move into the neighborhood and do away with a very historic track that has brought joy to millions over the the has..the 70s saw the track be the # 1attended short track in the usa...almost 9000 a week..and the cup races saw crowds twice a yr up to 23000 for 2 and an 18000 avg..many young men and women have had their careers start there..also it helps keep youths off the streets and some get into so much that they spend their spare time learning automotive careers...geez...not bad for a night of noise...

By: dwight14 on 11/4/09 at 8:59

sorry about the misspelled words.i just got angry at the thought of that wacky mayor trying to do away with this great track..
why not build some nice little shops and boutiques do some landscaping to improve the appearance...maybe a nice walking track..make it even more family friendly...they dont have to do away with the exhibit halls etc...plenty of parking in the back for the track...had plenty of parking when fair park was there...just use the ole noggin nashville powers that be and leave this part of history alone...

we all know of a park out on west end that has trouble with sex related crime they can build something on...oh thats right,it has a lot of history....hummm

By: dwight14 on 11/4/09 at 9:01

i think it should be the other way around..what about all those crazy neighbors THE TRACK HAS...MAYBE THEY SHOULD BE FORCED TO MOVE IF THEY DONT LIKE THE NOISE,WHY THE HECK DID THEY MOVE THERE..NOT VERY SMART

By: dwight14 on 11/4/09 at 9:03

see how does that feel...why not just get along...geez...

By: Pmd12931 on 11/4/09 at 9:23

Mayor Dean saying he doesn't see the public backing a fair for the foreseeable future doesn't mean much when he won't get his head out of the sand and realize that the public is not backing a convention center or hotel in the foreseeable future. He and those he has persuaded to favor the convention center and hotel are afraid to let the public vote on this and he wants both as show places for his one term in office.

By: sidneyames on 11/4/09 at 9:25

id said " called it yesterday that they had someone in mind for that property (back room deal) but am surprised that they have surfaced so quickly.

Dean must realize he is unlikely to get a second term to wreck us and has to get it done quickly."

I don't know who used "bold and swift action" first. Was it Dean? OR O'bama? Look where o'bama's bold swift action has lead.

By: sidneyames on 11/4/09 at 9:28

By: TITAN1 on 11/4/09 at 8:44
panda, I believe the track was there before most if not all the people who live around it. Lets see, if I move in next to a race track, will I hear the cars? Geesh!

Titan and Dwight are right. The track was there FIRST and the homes/people came after.

Let me see: My house is directly across from a horse and cow pasture. I knew that going in. So now I'm thinking, I don't like the smell. So what. I can move or get used to it.

Same goes for those who "live" around race tracks, airports, fairgrounds, and so on. Get over it. OR MOVE ON. Don't expect everyone to cater to your anti-noise whims after the fact.

By: SirKnight on 11/4/09 at 10:05

Kosh III said: "Just like the convention center, a backroom deal has already been made and nothing anyone else says will matter.
I am not sure why id thinks that liberals like the idea of giving away public property to rich businesses. That is usually the role of Repubicans/capitalists."

Excellent point, Kosh! It just goes to show that liberals typically go along blindly with their 'progressive' politicians without questioning what they are doing.

If a liberal is doing something that goes against what is right or moral, then it's okay because he's one of us and we trust HIM! But if it's someone who is NOT a known liberal like Eric Crafton, then he's obviously up to no good and just looking out for a good deal for himself. Republicans and conservatives are just downright bad. Right??

People, it doesn't matter whether your are a D or an R, an L or C. Just ask the questions and challenge our politicians when they make decisions like this and try to cram it down our throats! Right now, most Nashvillians are dumbfounded with the idea of moving forward on the convention center in this bad economy and now looking to give away some very prime real estate to the first corporation that asks for it! C'mon people, wake up!!

By: pswindle on 11/4/09 at 10:07

Thanks Eric, do whatever it takes to save this historical landmark.

By: airvols on 11/4/09 at 10:14

No most Nashvillians are not dumbfounded that the convention is being built. If this crowd is going along with anything Eric Crafton is supporting you should be committed the nearest mental hospital.

By: TITAN1 on 11/4/09 at 10:30

Do I want to see the race track go? No. Do I trust Eric Crafton? Hell no!

By: SirKnight on 11/4/09 at 10:41

I don't need Eric Crafton to support me or support you, airvols. We Nashviillians need more people like Mr. Crafton to ask the bold questions and make our leaders answer them! Two recent polls by local media outlets show the majority of folks don't see the need to go into more debt to build a bigger convention center right now. Share with the rest of us what you know that leads you to believe otherwise, airvols.

What exactly is there to 'trust' Mr. Crafton with, TITAN1? He's asking for more time to consider our options on what to do with the land and let the State Fair operate one last time then make a decision. What can he possibly gain from that personally? Share with us what you know about him to not trust him! Please!

Broad generalizations and insults do nothing to inform the rest of us.

By: Jeremiah_29-7 on 11/4/09 at 11:26

Ya gotta wonder, where does Crafton think the money will come from to operate the fairgrounds? I think Dean handled this whole thing really poorly, but it has to have funds from somewhere.

I've been to the fair board meetings and heard their financial condition. Buck Dozier and his staff have done a great job of changing things, but the consultant they hired looked at lots of other fairs across the country and came to the conclusion that a STATE fair just would not be viable at this site.

The fair board asked the Mayor to convene a special committee to look at what should happen, both with the fair and the fairgrounds. No committee was convened. Just a letter from the Mayor, closing it down. That was a ridiculous way to deal with it.

By: Kosh III on 11/4/09 at 11:53

Just because a Fair cannot be viable does not mean that we have to hand it over to HCA or someone else. Does the flea market lose money? Doesn't the flea market bring in substantial sales tax?

It just sounds like a backroom deal has been cut and the rest of us can just go get fraked.

By: idgaf on 11/4/09 at 12:09

Call Crafton anything you want but remember he is the only one that is asking the questions we want the answers too and trying to stop what we don't want. He is the peoples only voice that is being heard.

What is your councilperson doing? Getting ready to vote anyway dizzy wants him/her to?

By: airvols on 11/4/09 at 12:49

People's voice, LOL!

By: border collie on 11/4/09 at 1:00

You Go Eric!! To all the people who wish to put eric down....go back where you came from! He has ALWAYS tried to stand up for the best interests of the community!!! He doesn't care about being praised, obviously, he is often deemed controversial. But he is looking out for the community NOT the big corporations.
And to Karl Dean.....why do you think the people of nashville want to lose our fairgrounds....roller derby, races, flea markets, gun & knife show....etc....I am sorry to tell you folks but the nashville natives like these things! I have been going to the fair for over 40 years in the exact location where it is now and WHO GIVES YOU THE RIGHT TO CLOSE IT!!!!!! Music city needs another money pit like a convention center for the corporations to make$$$$ BUT THE PEOPLE CAN DO WITHOUT A FAIR AND A SPOT FOR EXHIBITIONS???? WHO IS BEING CATERED TO??? NOT THE CITIZENS.....BIG MONEY...BIG GOVERNMENT!!!!
If you are going to take away from our community then at least give us something in the same spot to reimburse US!!!! To hell with HCA or any big coprorations!!!! ARE YOU GOING TO GIVE THE MONEY MADE ON A BIG SALE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY!!! EVERY CENT????? Then why not make part of the grounds an area for kids !!!! They all hang out on the street corner in this area of town! I live there so i know!!!!! and make it free, fun and give every child an opportunity. I still think it is a crying shame that MUSIC CITY seems to not be able to support a fair the big money politicians go to Wilson co. or Williamson co. and see our historical area as "trash". that is what you are thinking right??? eye sore, noise problem (races started there long before neighborhoods) draws unsavory characters???? Yes, that is away with the working class entertainment and give a corporation a break! Rub elbows witht he rich and impress your buddies! LOVE ERIC CAUSE HE HAS BALLS!!!!!!

By: border collie on 11/4/09 at 1:05

Try a huge community area....skateboard area...park....and learning center!!!! INVEST IN OUR KIDS AND THEIR ENTERTAINMENT!!!!!!

By: TITAN1 on 11/4/09 at 1:10

border collie, you can love his balls if you want. Ever since he led a campaign on lies against the stadium years ago, I have had no use for him. Then the English only bill? What a joke he is. I think his biggest backer was out of N.C. He is a grandstander, plain and simple.

By: border collie on 11/4/09 at 1:12

someone said Buck Dozier did the math??? FYI- Buck Dozier is the same man that came to my middle school screaming that Ac/Dc sends back ward devil worshipping messages on their records (that is what we had then) even proceeeded to demonstrate!!! And you people think Eric is crazy!

By: BigPapa on 11/4/09 at 1:34

Historical landmark? Gimme a break- it's an asphault track with delapitated stands. And quoting numbers from the 1970's??? What in god's name makes you think that's relevant at all in 2009?

Time to move the Fair grounds on to another part of the city or just make one of the outlaying county fairs the "state" fair.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 11/4/09 at 1:44

ditto, BigPapa!

By: njmccune on 11/4/09 at 2:34

The plain truth is that if this piece of property was in great shape with some landscaping and up to date buildings no one would notice that it was not making money... it would be an icon and still in business. Conversely, in the rundown condition it presently enjoys, if it were making a profit it would be an icon and still in business. The problem is that it cannot be both run down and not making a profit... this is what has lead to its doom.

I realize that many have an emotional tie to the glory of bygone days. Unfortunately people are not seeing this mess for what it truly is... an eyesore. It is the center of a blight which pervades south Nashville. It is an embarrassment to this progressive city. To a newcomer to the city, it resembles a run down, neglected, decaying industrial complex that has been shuttered for years.

What should be a beautiful creek running through it is blocked with uncut vegetation so as to obscure its very presence.

Look at it without all the emotion and it becomes very clear... the time is now to be done with this blight on Nashville. The property, in its present condition, is an embarrassment to this city.

I ask you...would you want this eyesore in your neighborhood?

As for Eric Crafton, he is only interested in his own self-aggrandizement and this is simply his latest vehicle.

By: everloyal on 11/4/09 at 3:03

Thank you Councilman Crafton. Appears that you are the only one on the Council who has the courage to challenge the Mayor and the Fair Board Chairman over the "backroom deal" that has already taken place. I would make one suggestion. Get rid of Buck Dozier and bring in someone who knows how to run a Fairgrounds and turn a profit. Dozier is the main and only reason why the Fairgrounds lost thousands of dollars over the last two and half years. He doesn't know anything about running a fairgrounds or how to control costs and to make a profit. If you look at his record, he only spent two to three hours a day at the fairgrounds and turn over all of his responsibilities over to his cronies that he brought on board after he was appointed by the MAYOR, not the Fair Board.The only reason he got the job as Executive Director was that the Mayor " owe" him for not endorsing the Mayor's opponent during the runoff. Now the residents of Nashville/Davidson county are paying for this political payoff.

By: Yoni on 11/4/09 at 3:22

Riverside Raceway has some major history but sounds as if it had been better maintained than Nashville's Speedway. Both places are a big part of my good memories. Here's what happened to the Riverside Raceway in Riverside County in southern CA: The bedroom community of neighbors in what is now collectively called variously Moreno Valley or Moron Valley depending, (formerly Edgemont and Sunny Vale) who moved next door to an existing racetrack and its occasional activities now have a large mall with constant traffic, major increased crime and pollution, gangs from LA who victimize the homes, businesses and school children of surrounding communities. The wage earners primarily work out of the area making for much easier pickins' than having to deal with LA Metro police.
The Riverside County and newly installed city fathers got a bit more in tax-based fees and taxes with the mall businesses. Small business owners moved out of the area. There was no issue of public land.
Re: Border Collie - "Skateboard park...learning center"; wow, these people think they have crime now? Those options would only give criminals an additional area to victimize and ruin at the taxpayers' expense; think graffiti, drugs, theft, etc. Who lives in the neighborhood now? If developed, who gets the jobs, the area illegals? If sold, the land will go at today's depressed rates. Have other public options been considered? What about only a partial redevelopment that includes keeping the Flea Markets, Farmer's Markets and activities people seem to enjoy and grow other cottage industries and develop Seniors Only Housing like Pilgrim Place in Claremont, CA? That has been successful in many areas. I am thankful this is not my issue to resolve; a win-win will be hard to pull off.
I heard that Wilson County has an exponentially growing, successful county fair and the newer racetrack is just up the road not far away. Knoxville has plenty of room.
These folks who want to get rid of the fairground activities best be careful what they ask for, they just might get it.

By: border collie on 11/4/09 at 3:54

The emotional ties that are spoken of are true. nashville natives who have lived here all there lives are sentimental , i suppose. And we should not have to change our city completely around to make it seem more like your native cities. why do people move here and want to change everything to be more like the place they originated from??? I will never understand that. And then you question why we don't want change. This is OUR home and the place where WE grew up. If we seem to tacky or backwards or not eager to assume millions in debt to build shiney new stadiums and convention centers........GO BACK!!!! No offense but stop trying to change our city to where it is unrecognizable to the natives and let us have our flea markets and roller derby and car races!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

By: some1else on 11/4/09 at 5:11

"It's the land Katy Scarlett... it's the land" -- Gerald O'hara-- "Gone With The Wind"

Actually there already is both state legislation and a section of the Metro Charter that decrees that that property can only be used as a fairgrounds-- but if Crafton can pull his ordinance, good for him! Who cares if Crafton is a bit of an odd-ball at times? In this case, he's trying to do the right thing for the people.

As to the financing-- Metro has never put a dime into the fairgrounds -- it's operated off of it's own earnings for over 100 years. It still has somewhere between 1.5 and 2.7 million in its reserve fund. It also is authorized by legislation to borrow money against the property if it runs short.

Yes, it needs repairs, upgrading, and sprucing up -- fair boards for the past few years have let the property decline-- most likely in an effort to make the property un-desirable and un-successful -- every mayor since (and including) Bredeson has tried to sell it.

Purcell has been the only one to admit publicaly that he couldn't do that -- Although Dean was apparently forced to admit in a recent CityPaper article that he had no authority either, that it was all up to the fair board.

So with no financial crisis, and no (public) plans for the property, WHY is there a rush to sell??

It seems with all the good the fairgrounds does for Metro and the public, including not only recreation and entertainment, not having every cost Metro a penny, contributing to tax revenue, and creating hundreds of jobs, that even *if* there *was* a financial crisis at the fairgrounds, that Metro could fund their shortfall for a year or two until they could get back on their feet. Although, that would probably not be necessary, THAT's what should be on the table, NOT closure!

As to the historical value of the land-- just a few tidbits:

that is the last piece of property remaining of the *original* settlement of Fort Nashboro (later Nashville)

the first race horse to break a two-minute mile is buried in the infield of the racetrack.

Charles K. Hamilton made the first night flight in aviation history from the straightaway of the racetrack.

and among those tidbits (there are more tidbits, just wanted to be brief!), just the first one should be enough to preserve the property for the public.

As to Buck Dozier, he was technically not appointed by the mayor-- the mayor does not have that authority under the laws governing the fairgrounds. He technically was hired by the fair board of commissioners. There was no 'talent' search for the $90,000 a year job. Dozier was the only one put forth. The motion to hire him was put forth by Katy Varny (of McNeely, Piggot & Fox fame) and seconded by Ned Horton (who's company did the mayor's campaign web site).

But Buck actually did put on a good fair this year. He showed it *can* be done.

The consultant that they hired for over $100,000 never actually told them that a State Fair was not possible on that property. What he said, was that he did not think it was viable under the *current conditions*-- that it would have to be upgraded, and political influence removed if it was to remain there. In other words, to be successful in the future, the property would need to be improved-- NOT that it could not, or should not, be done.

The consultant did not make any specific recommendations in his report, only offered various choices.

But is anyone suprised at all the back-door dealing??? The fair board is chaired by a registered lobbiyst for real estate developers, and includes at least two others with close financial ties to the mayor. Only three people are required for a majority of the fair board.

Nashville, the mayor, Metro council and the fair board should all hang their heads in shame if they cannot support the fairgrounds in light of all the money spent on less productive and useful things in this town.

By: betsyanne on 11/4/09 at 6:59

Here is my two cents worth about selling the Fair location to developers. I think that the state fair or other public venues should stay at this location. People should think of ways to make the area break even or fix it up for other public uses.
I am not alone in thinking that "developing" this area in other ways smacks of favoritism and people making money off of an area that is supposed to be only for the public.
There is nothing wrong with making the area better (like maybe planting trees, doing landscaping or painting and fixing up the buildings there...) but putting houses or apartments there certainly is not a good idea.
I say fix the buildings up - remodel them, paint them, make the area look nice. People could still have a fair there, and be creative about it. There is nothing wrong with using the buildings for other public needs during the year, too. And more people would use them more if they were looking better and repaired.
I live in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and visited the fairgrounds this year. It was a lot of fun. I was sorry to hear about it maybe being sold to developers. It all seems so sudden. I agree that people need to slow down and listen to what the people who live there have to say about that idea.

By: voice from the BORO on 11/5/09 at 6:48

voice from the Boro

By: voice from the BORO on 11/5/09 at 6:56

I don't live in Davidson county, but I love going to the flea market, Christmas village, races, bead shows, and the state fair. This STINKS of WAL-Mart or someone similar. It sounds as if your Mayor has been making deals behind closed doors and has not even considered what will be lost. If metro is having financial problems, close some of your golf courses! This is UN-FAIR. If metro closes the fairgrounds I will have even less of a reason to come to Nashville. Many people from Rutherford county no longer have to go to Hickory Hollow to shop. We shop in Murfreesboro and Smyrna. Close the fairgrounds and that will give us even less reason to spend money in Davidson County!

By: Time for Truth on 11/5/09 at 8:50

Well, I agree and disagree with alot of what has been said on here.

First of all, Eric Crafton. Is this just more grandstanding? As the heroine of some of you would say, you betcha! If Crafton had put the energy into stopping the nonsensical convention center project that he put into the nonsensical English Only initiative, we might actually get to vote on that monstrosity. A referendum would show airvols and prod just what the voters think about the MCC since they apparently don't believe the polls. But Crafton's moved on to tilt at another windmill as he follows the headlines. Heck, he didn't even show up to vote on one of his convention center related initiatives!

Second, the fairgrounds. I have mixed emotions here. I've worked at the racetrack and been to the fair a few times. But for many weeks of the year, we're talking about a dilapidated eyesore. Would a new hospital be a higher and better use? Probably. A headquarters office building? Probably not. With the stipulation attached to the land the question MAY be legally moot anyway. But I question that the fairgrounds is worth saving in it's current form.

Third, Dean's actions. Clearly, we've already seen that this mayor has an agenda geared toward serving the entrenched power elite that sponsored his candidacy.
The Convention Center is wanted by them and not the rest of us so he's ramming it down our throats, the Planning Commission has seen the removal of neighborhood advocates in favor of developer advocates, and this move on the fairgrounds is probably just what most of you say it is. Clearly the man needs to leave office as soon as he can be voted out, but if Crafton is the alternative I would stay home rather than vote for either. Meanwhile, MCC-loving Councilpersons can be dealt with next year.

By: border collie on 11/5/09 at 3:51

English only comment: my children were zoned to a school that had 15 different languages spoken in it. i moved. why? because if the teachers are busy teaching non-english speaking children how to speak english then who is teaching my already english speaking child math, science, etc. the materials used to teach k students in davidson co includes this: for the letter "w" we have a picture of a ceiling fan........can anyone figure that out??? it makes no sense?? why not have a picture of a walrus, window, or anything else but a ceiling fan?? the teacher said the fan makes a woosh sound when it turns? not mine, it squeaks!
the curriculum is geared in the primary grade to assist non-english speaking students to speak english. i am not sure about the upper grades as we haven't made it there as of yet. that is why our schools are falling behind. so i did agree that the taxpayers should not have to pay for interpreters every time someone comes into a government office that cannot speak english. be responsible for yourself!!! bring a friend to help!!! i would certainly never move to china, russia, germany or anywhere else and expect to be provided an interpreter paid for by the citizens of that area. it is not fair !!! it is not discrimination but what is reasonably expected. Lord help me if the waiters at Las Palmas could not understand my order(my fav)....but they can because they know they have to!