Moonwalking in a cornfield and finding El Commandante
Like you, Rex has been watching a little bit of this coverage of the death of Michael Jackson. Frankly, Rex was more of a fan of Prince and the Revolution during the 1980s pop wars, sorry Tipper Gore, and has been a little taken aback at the level of grief shown for the gloved one.
As soon as the most famous man ever to walk around with a chimpanzee on his arm, other than Tarzan, passed away celebrities from all over jumped on his bandwagon to extol his greatness. Rex was reading quotes from stars like Jamie Foxx, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion and Sophia Loren extolling his “genius.”
Stars with a Nashville connection also praised him — Reba McEntire called his passing a “sad day for music,” tweeny-bopper Miley Cyrus saying “Michael Jackson was my inspiration. Love and blessings,” and Joe Don Rooney of Rascal Flatts chirped that "Even country boys like Jay, Gary and myself ... I count it as a blessing to have been inspired by his music and his artistry." (Note to Joe Don: When you refer to yourself as “country boys” it sounds like you are trying to convince us of that. Cut back on the hair gel and we won’t need convincing.)
Anyway, Salon.com was compiling the list of famous grievers and Rex noticed that right between quotes from Brooke Shields and Martin Scorcese was Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
Apprently, the South American commandant who loves to bash the United States called Jackson’s passing “lamentable news.” Chavez is often accused of ruling his country with an iron fist, but who knew that it was sparkly.
Rex wants to wish already ‘former’ Metro School Board member Alan Coverstone the best of luck in his new gig heading up charter school efforts in Davidson County, but in the spirit of that age old axiom “The king is dead, long live the king,” Rex has moved on to wondering who will take his place.
When Coverstone was elected in 2008, he bested Lee Limbird in a race that many in the community felt was a win-win situation. Limbird now could be in the catbird’s seat for appointment to the school board by the Metro Council.
Rich Haglund, attorney for the state Board of Education, ran a write-in campaign in the same election and could start lobbying for the job as well. Councilman Eric Crafton has already said “no mas” and has removed himself from consideration for the post.
What Rex will be watching is how the Metro Council handles this appointment. A few years back when a vacancy was open on the school board, Council members from the affected district recommended educator Gracie Porter for the job. In what was a shocking rebuke of tradition, the Council as a whole put home school advocate Kay Brooks on the board. Porter beat Brooks during the next election.
If councilmanic courtesy is followed this time, look for five members of the Metro Council to carry the most weight in the appointment since they are the ones who live in the open school board district. The five are Councilman at-large Charlie Tygard, and district Council members Crafton, Jason Holleman, Bo Mitchell and Emily Evans.
Rex would like to suggest that these members swim across the Cumberland River again, first one across gets to pick who goes on the school board for District 9.
Stuck in a tow jam
Among recent lawsuits filed and written about in The City Paper’s Nashville at Law column is the curious case of Eric Stansell and Allen Woods versus a tow truck operator.
In that piece you can read how former state House candidate Stansell and the attorney son of prominent politico Larry Woods got in a bit of a scrum with local tow truck operator William Allen. Let’s just say that the lawsuits have been filed over the way Allen and a crew from Able Towing raised Cain.
Let Rex tell you what happened a few days after when Allen got written up for criminal impersonation by Metro Police after being pulled over on a routine traffic stop. Allen gave a false name — apparently people driving on a suspended license do that sort of thing — and thus the criminal impersonation charge.
What really gets interesting is how the officer writes his report detailing the apparent motivation of a West End area tow truck driver. The officer states, “While filling out my arrest report, the suspect stated he will continue to drive and he was going to reek [sic] havoc on Vanderbilt and the city of Nashville and he will be out in two hours towing every car on West End Avenue. The suspect continued to make empty and idle threats about what he would do to me and that he would have my ass.”
The officer in question, at last report, maintains possession of his rear.