published Friday, December 7th, 2012

Drew's Views

  • photo
    The Tivoli Theatre and Memorial Auditorium are under increasing scrutiny.
    Photo by Jake Daniels /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

HEADLINE: Tivoli Theatre and Memorial Auditorium manager resigns after missing money allegations

THE RECAP: Sandy Coulter, the manager of the city-owned Tivoli Theatre and Memorial Auditorium, resigned last month after an internal audit uncovered misappropriation of funds.

City Auditor Stan Sewell said the Internal Audit Department discovered the venues' administrators writing checks to cash and then paying vendors only in cash. Questionable financial management practices at the Tivoli Theatre were ignored for more than seven years, records show.

Missy Crutchfield, administrator of the Department of Education, Arts & Culture which manages the two entertainment venues, admitted she was aware of reports critical of how money was handled at the theaters, but was told by the city's internal audit and finance departments that the issue could be corrected later. Sewell denies telling Crutchfield to put the issue off.

DREW'S VIEW: The problem with this story isn't the missing money or the fact that either the head of the city Department of Education, Arts & Culture or the city's auditor is a downright liar. The problem is that the City of Chattanooga owns two entertainment venues that it has no business owning.

If a private company or individual owned the Tivoli Theatre and Memorial Auditorium, as should be the case -- and would be the case in any city where the leaders had even half a brain between them -- it wouldn't matter if some sleaze ball employees misappropriated funds at the venues. That's because it would be the owner's problem, not the taxpayers.

But here in the Socialist Republic of Chattanooga, where the government owns a hotel, a marina, a cable and Internet company, a private plane storage and maintenance facility, a skate park and a merry-go-round, when a couple of concert halls lose money, taxpayers have to make up the difference.

Davidson County doesn't own the Ryman Auditorium. Knoxville doesn't own the Tennessee Theatre. You know why? Because local leaders in Nashville and Knoxville know that they have no business owning and managing a concert venue. But here in Chattanooga -- where our government officials are dopes -- the Tivoli Theatre and Memorial Auditorium are hemorrhaging money as a result of the city's inept management.

This year, the two venues are projected to lose a combined $805,000 -- and guess who pays the bill. That's right, Chattanooga's taxpayers.

By the way, if Missy Crutchfield, whose job -- and entire department -- is a complete waste of taxpayers' money anyway, was actually told to address the improper handling of finances, she is a liar. If it is proven that she was told to clean up the venues' financial mess and didn't, Mayor Ron Littlefield needs to immediately fire her, both for being dishonest and for failing to act as a good steward of tax dollars.

•••

HEADLINE: 1,500 inmates to be held in new $208 million Bledsoe County prison

THE RECAP: In January, Pikeville's new state prison, the Bledsoe County Correctional Complex, will begin housing more than 1,500 prisoners. The prison was opened on Tuesday to allow state and local officials to tour the 430,000-plus square-foot facility that cost taxpayers $208 million.

DREW'S VIEW: It's absolutely disgusting that, at the opening of the facility, Bledsoe County Mayor Bobby Collier praised the prison as a job creator. Rather than throwing a party because a huge airplane hangar-sized complex has opened to allow more Tennesseans to be thrown in jail, the state needs to take a serious look at why so many people are in jail and whether what they did actually deserves punishment.

Specifically, the state should ask if people should continue to be thrown in jail for victimless crimes, such as personal drug use, consensual prostitution and gambling.

Under the most conservative estimates, these "criminals" who aren't actually hurting anyone else, constitute nearly one-third of Tennessee's prison population. With 20,236 adult inmates in the state's prisons, more than 6,000 Tennesseans are behind bars, despite creating no threat to the public.

Housing a prisoner in Tennessee costs taxpayers $23,679 annually, according to the state department of corrections. That means the state is spending about $160 million every year locking up people who haven't done anything to harm any other person or their property.

But it's not just about the money. It's about the proper role of government. Why should the state be able to tell people what to put in their own bodies, who they can sleep with or how they can spend their money? Those things simply shouldn't be any of the state's business.

•••

HEADLINE: Chattanooga Greenlife store puts on Whole Foods name

THE RECAP: Two and a half years after buying the Greenlife grocery store in Chattanooga, Whole Foods Market finally put the "Whole Foods" name on its North Shore store on Wednesday.

DREW'S VIEW: Nothing makes me happier than to see a bunch of liberals, hippies, tree huggers and other folks who love the idea of Obamacare and higher taxes, and hate capitalism, shop at Whole Foods. That's because Whole Foods' co-founder and co-CEO, John Mackey, is one of the most outspoken opponents of government-run health care and greatest defenders of free market, limited government principles in America today. Keep buying groceries at Whole Foods. A small portion of what you spend ultimately goes towards fighting against big government, unions and other threats to liberty.

"Drew's views" is a weekly roundup of Free Press opinions about topics that appeared in the Times Free Press over the past week. Follow Drew on Twitter: @Drews_Views.

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aae1049 said...

This is the best read all week. hehe Socialist Republic of Chattanooga.

"But here in the Socialist Republic of Chattanooga, where the government owns a hotel, a marina, a cable and Internet company, a private plane storage and maintenance facility, a skate park and a merry-go-round, when a couple of concert halls lose money, taxpayers have to make up the difference."

On the Memorial/Tivoli deal Missy Crutchfield is the liar, proven by investigative reporter. http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/20...

December 7, 2012 at 12:14 a.m.

Actually, such fraud would be the government's problem.

Turns out that the courts deal with that all the time. It is part of our social fabric.

Which dovetails into the prison problem. It s good of you to finally notice the corrections industry and its special interest nature, but I doubt you would dare to argue for legalization, or even decriminalization.

As it is, I foresee some angry letters in the future.

But as to your last point, besides being bitter and mocking, a very treacherous sentiment to say the least, informed persons who you so want to sneer at...have been advocating against Whole Foods for years.

In reality, the people you so want to despise for their ignorance aren't the patrons of Whole Foods. They know better.

Some of them are probably as condescending as you, thinking of the Whole Foods shoppers as poseurs. But no, they aren't unaware. See this collection of articles.

http://michaelbluejay.com/misc/wholefoods-articles.html

December 7, 2012 at 1:51 a.m.
aae1049 said...

Happy,

I believe prisons and jails are a constitutional function of state government (the County jails mandated by TCA ). If so the state should own and operate the jails, not private companies.

December 7, 2012 at 6:16 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Let's see. Missing money — Crutchfield in charge — Occurring for years — Crutchfield plays dumb.

It must be a family tradition.

December 7, 2012 at 7:51 a.m.
Walden said...

I love going to Greenlife (Whole Foods, whatever) in my SUV, parking it in one of those stupid "low emission vehicle" spots, wearing my suit and tie, and watching all the self-righteous indignant stares I get from all the idiots working/shopping there. Of course, I can only tolerate going there once or twice a year, alas.

December 7, 2012 at 9:53 a.m.
charivara said...

Drew, another hilarious column. People should be impressed that you have the self confidence to be able to make such a fool of yourself in public. You even got Walden's approval and it is obvious what a smart and model citizen he is because he wears a suit and tie to Whole Foods and lacks a social conscience. (How did he get in, by the way, I hear you have to show a Socialist ID in order to be able to shop there.) You do have to admit, though, that all those tree hugging, anti capitalist hippies exercised admirable restraint by allowing him to walk out unscathed to his SUV parked in the "low emission vehicle" spot. I can only imagine the bravery it took to park there and make such an eloquent and righteous statement. I can hardly wait for your next Epistle to the Ignorant and the Bigoted and see what crawls out from under the rocks.

December 7, 2012 at 12:10 p.m.

Aae1049, good luck with the private prisons lobby.

December 7, 2012 at 12:13 p.m.
Walden said...

Apparently charivara is one of the idiots working and/or shopping at Greenlife.

December 7, 2012 at 1:29 p.m.
charivara said...

Walden and JonRoss: That's right. Insults, invectives and baseless generalizations. It's all you got. Must be miserable being you.

December 7, 2012 at 3:57 p.m.
conservative said...

One of the largest indicators of the gullibility of people (sheep) is how people will pay outrageous prices for anything "organic."

It is just another fad, but like all fads some will get rich until even the frail of mind finally catch on.

December 7, 2012 at 4:53 p.m.
Easy123 said...

conservativeidiot,

People have the ability to buy whatever they want, don't they? This just another one of your anti-environment rants. You despise anything that is environmentally friendly.

Organic food has a lot of benefits. There is no argument otherwise.

The largest instance of gullibility is with religious people. You are a perfect example of that. Within a few hundred years, religion will be gone like the snows of years gone by. But until then, some will get rich until even the simplest of minds finally catch on.

December 7, 2012 at 5:03 p.m.

People will also pay a lot of money for a fancy label and because they susceptible to name-brand advertising.

And then there's the people willing to write checks for anybody who puts on the air of savior. They just need a little more money. For Jesus.

If you're going after gullibility abusers, why not go for the big target?

December 7, 2012 at 5:22 p.m.
conservative said...

Mr. Mackey might consider working out a deal with the Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine Florida.

Bottle the water, the "organics" would lap it up!

December 7, 2012 at 6 p.m.
Easy123 said...

conservative,

We are all "organics", you scientifically illiterate ninnyhammer.

December 7, 2012 at 6:03 p.m.
conservative said...

easy,you are an atheist which makes you a fool in God's eyes- "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God" Psalm 14:1

You, being an atheist means you don't know God which also means you are a heathen and need to obey the gospel - Galatians chapter 3 verse 8 reads - "And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the HEATHEN through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed."

You, being an atheist also means you are an anti-Christ - "For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. 2John 1:7"

You have convinced me that you are a fool, a heathen and an anitchrist so go and convince someone else.

December 7, 2012 at 6:31 p.m.
Walden said...

To the leftist/idiot faction, the idea of "social conscience" involves driving your overpriced, "environmentally friendly" hybrid or electric vehicle (yes, they have a plug-in plaza at Greenlife/WholeFoods) to the market that sells overpriced "environmentally friendly," and very over-priced food, fibers, and vitamins to dummies with so little sense of self-worth that it makes them feel "socially conscious" to shop in such places. Geez charivara, it must suck to be YOU!

You know what, instead of spending copious sums of cash at places like GreenWholeFoods, why don't you buy your food from some regular kind of place, grow your organics in your own backyard, and give the difference to local charities that actually do have a social conscience, and actually do make a difference in this crappy old world? Huh?

December 7, 2012 at 6:48 p.m.
conservative said...

And organic is so healthy!

Salmonella Cases Linked to Minnesota ORGANIC Egg Farm Posted by Kaitlin Vogel on October 23, 2011 6:15 AM

http://www.thirdage.com/news/salmonella-cases-linked-to-minnesota-organic-egg-farm_10-23-2011

December 7, 2012 at 7:08 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

22,000 Christian denominations can't be wrong! So which one is the right one?

“The Bible may, indeed does, contain a warrant for trafficking in humans, for ethnic cleansing, for slavery, for bride-price, and for indiscriminate massacre, but we are not bound by any of it because it was put together by crude, uncultured human mammals.” ― Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

December 7, 2012 at 7:34 p.m.
conservative said...

Eat your organic spinach, it is so healthy and good for you!

May 24, 2012 -- Taylor Farms Retail Inc. is voluntarily recalling packages of organic baby spinach after a random sampling of the product by the USDA tested positive for salmonella contamination

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/news/20120524/salmonella-concerns-prompt-baby-spinach-recall

December 7, 2012 at 7:46 p.m.
jesse said...

I like how charivara raked walden over the coal for insults and invective right after she got thru rippin his ass to shreds!

December 7, 2012 at 8:13 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Conservative,

"You have convinced me that you are a fool, a heathen and an anitchrist so go and convince someone else."

You have convinced us all that you are an idiot, self-righteous, and a child molester so go and convince someone else.

Is it physically and/or mentally possible for someone to be as ignorant as you are? Cling to your imaginary god and your ignorance. I'll sit back and laugh. :-)

December 7, 2012 at 8:46 p.m.
Stewwie said...

Child molester? Easy, you have once again proven that you are the real idiot in these forums.

Instead of simply slamming Christians and other religious folks all the time, why don't you inform us of the benefits of atheism and what you see as your purpose in life? Surely you've got some good buried within all that hate.

December 7, 2012 at 11:03 p.m.
charivara said...

I'm going to ask Santa to bring conservative and JohnRoss as brain and a heart. They need them.

December 7, 2012 at 11:49 p.m.

Walden, they already are. It'd be the uninformed who head over to Whole Foods.

Of course, there's also the people going to Walmart in their Hummers to consider.

Conservative, ever heard about a pilgrimage to the Middle East?

http://www.smh.com.au/world/holy-baptism-water-contaminated-20100407-rsac.html

December 7, 2012 at 11:56 p.m.
Easy123 said...

stewwie,

"Child molester? Easy, you have once again proven that you are the real idiot in these forums."

How so? By being obviously facetious?

"Instead of simply slamming Christians and other religious folks all the time,"

I don't "simply" slam Christians and other religious folks all the time. You obviously haven't read many of my posts and/or you are someone using multiple screen names.

"why don't you inform us of the benefits of atheism and what you see as your purpose in life?"

I'd rather not prosthelytize.

"Surely you've got some good buried within all that hate."

What hate?

If you're offended in some way, I truly do not care. And your attempts to misrepresent my actions, while expected, only work against you. You have once again fallen in lockstep with your comrades here with your outward bias towards anyone not on your side.

December 8, 2012 at 1:27 a.m.
fairmon said...

There must not be much concern about the city owning several businesses that pay no property taxes, use city employees to help maintain several businesses subject to tax payers supplementing them that compete with privately owned businesses in the city since all comments are on the wisdom of patronizing a grocery specializing in organic foods. There is no mention in the article of the city constructing and operating a drug store for the convenience and use by city employees to save on prescription cost or two golf courses that compete with the privately owned courses. No mention of the cost benefit analysis of a $15,000 dollar blue rhino sculpture plus an array of ridiculously ugly structures that the arts and culture department have constructed to be maintained at a new cost to tax payers.

Chavez of Venezuela would like the way Chattanooga is governed. He calls it nationalization should this socialist behavior in our fair city be called citilization? There was significant objection to the 19% increase in the cost to live in the city with increased property taxes, storm water run off and sewer fees etc. but very little about the cost of "citilization" that contrubuted to the need for the increases.

It took a lot of courage to point out the cities involvement in so many businesses Drew, thanks for at least making people aware of a few facts that are not well known. Why not invite the council and mayor to justify the city owning these business that compete with privately owned businesses?

December 8, 2012 at 4:45 a.m.
conservative said...

Would you like some Salmonella with your ORGANIC sprouts?

Today the salmonella lawyers at Simon & Luke filed the first salmonella sprout claim against Tiny Greens Organic Farm and Jimmy John’s restaurant on behalf of a Virginia resident. The Tiny Greens farm, located in Urbana, Illinois, was found to be the source of an outbreak of Salmonella I 4,5 12:i:- linked to sprouts that sickened 140 people in in 22 states. Many of the victims ate the sprouts on sandwiches served at Jimmy John’s restaurants in Illinois

http://www.myfoodpoisoninglawyer.com/2011/03/simon-luke-files-salmonella-sprout-claim-against-tiny-greens-organic-farm-and-jimmy-johns/

December 8, 2012 at 7:33 a.m.
timbo said...

Where is the conservative mayoral candidate advocating selling this stuff and retiring some of the $500 million in city debt? Where is the Tea Party?

Drew.....you the man.

December 8, 2012 at 8:42 a.m.
fairmon said...

timbo said... Where is the conservative mayoral candidate advocating selling this stuff and retiring some of the $500 million in city debt? Where is the Tea Party?

Drew.....you the man.

Good point timbo. You would think there would be so many outraged tax paying voters beating their council member up about it they would have to do something. Today's politicians treat tax money like it was their personal discretionary spending money. They expect to be bragged on when they allow us to keep more of ours than they want to.

December 8, 2012 at 8:59 a.m.
Walden said...

jesse - once again your genius shines.

December 8, 2012 at 9:06 a.m.
Stewwie said...

Easy,

[How so? By being obviously facetious?]

Yes.

[I don't "simply" slam Christians and other religious folks all the time. You obviously haven't read many of my posts and/or you are someone using multiple screen names.]

You do a lot of name-calling overall in your posts though. And to prove what point? If you have to attack others and their views, then you must not have enough good to say about your own. It's one thing to disagree, but it's another to tear down and prevent an intelligent discussion about the issue(s) at hand.

[I'd rather not prosthelytize.]

Lol. I thought you might try to dodge the question. It's not proselytizing if you inform instead of persuade. Besides, I asked you for your thoughts. And if others don't want to read it, they can skip over the post. Let's hear it, Easy.

December 8, 2012 at 10:01 a.m.
jesse said...

Hey Stewie!

Easy is a mental case!most on here just punch her buttons every once in a while for amusement!

Her biggest prob. is keeping her keyboard cleaned up from her slobbering on it when she types out her posts!

December 8, 2012 at 10:35 a.m.
conservative said...
December 8, 2012 at 10:39 a.m.
Easy123 said...

Stewwie,

"Yes."

Then it's obviously your problem, not mine.

"You do a lot of name-calling overall in your posts though."

If it offends you then take your own advice and "skip over the post".

"And to prove what point?"

If you say something ignorant, you will be labeled ignorant. If you act like a bigot, you will be labeled a bigot. That's how this language things works.

"If you have to attack others and their views, then you must not have enough good to say about your own."

This is a fallacious argument.

"It's one thing to disagree, but it's another to tear down and prevent an intelligent discussion about the issue(s) at hand."

That's part of arguing, tearing down others arguments. And no intelligent discussion has been prevented.

"I thought you might try to dodge the question."

The question wasn't dodged. I gave you an answer but apparently it wasn't the answer you wanted so, according to you, I "dodged" it. If I asked you to give me all your money and you responded "I'd rather not give you my money", would that be dodging the question? This is me rolling my eyes at you.

"It's not proselytizing if you inform instead of persuade."

It's still proselytism. Any information that doesn't come out of a non-verbal source i.e. a book involves trying to change a point of view. That's just how humans work. If you tell me a new piece of information, you expect me to believe you, thus changing my point of view on the topic.

"I asked you for your thoughts."

Good for you.

"And if others don't want to read it, they can skip over the post."

Take your own advice.

"Let's hear it, Easy."

I've already given you an answer but I'll explain my reasoning a little further because you don't seem to get it. Atheism isn't a religion. You wouldn't ask me to tell you the benefits of being a non-astrologer. Either way, I'm not obligated to divulge any amount of information to you no matter how hard you beg or act like I "dodged" the question.

I assume you're a Christian.

December 8, 2012 at 10:52 a.m.
Easy123 said...

jesse,

"Easy is a mental case!most on here just punch her buttons every once in a while for amusement!"

Do I need to bring up some of your stupid posts? And I'm not a "her". Keep thinking you're punching my buttons. LMAO! You always seem to attempt these sort of attacks on people that don't stay firmly planted in the middle like yourself. Go ahead and tell us how you're just on here to have a little fun and blah, blah, blah.

"Her biggest prob. is keeping her keyboard cleaned up from her slobbering on it when she types out her posts!"

Not a "her". And you have a similar problem, just not involving slobber. :-)

Your biggest problem is your severe lack of perception. And you're a habitual fence-sitter.

December 8, 2012 at 10:54 a.m.
jesse said...

Hey easy!

You ARE a HER,you just ain't got a grip on it yet!

The reason i sit on the fence IS, I think it's ALL B/S!

This forum is a micro co sum of humanity!

If they disagree w/your world view then they must be idjits!PERIOT!

IMO: the I.q. level here is on average about 95!

Some way above that BUT some don't even register on the dial!

December 8, 2012 at 11:10 a.m.
Easy123 said...

jesse,

"You ARE a HER,you just ain't got a grip on it yet!"

And your mother was a "him". And you are a transvestite.

I can talk out of my ass too!

"The reason i sit on the fence IS, I think it's ALL B/S!"

Then why post here?

"This forum is a micro co sum of humanity!"

MICROCOSM. And this is humanity. We are all humans.

"If they disagree w/your world view then they must be idjits!PERIOT!"

No, if they say ignorant and/or stupid things, they will be labeled as such. I've made that clear.

"IMO: the I.q. level here is on average about 95!"

95 is a pretty solid average. You wouldn't know that though. I'd say you are one of the people bringing your stated average down.

"Some way above that BUT some don't even register on the dial!"

How self-depricating of you. LMAO!

December 8, 2012 at 11:28 a.m.
jesse said...

I KNOW you can talk out your ass! THAT'S ALL you have ever talked out of!

It's prob. startin to get a little RAGGED by now!(start leakin soon?)

Prob.need to start buyin diapers afore long!!

December 8, 2012 at noon
Easy123 said...

jesse,

"I KNOW you can talk out your ass!"

How's that? You're too busy sitting on the fence to know the difference.

"THAT'S ALL you have ever talked out of!"

Not quite.

"It's prob. startin to get a little RAGGED by now!(start leakin soon?)"

Nope. Seems like you might be. Talking in all-caps. LMAO!

"Prob.need to start buyin diapers afore long!!"

Don't project your incontinence problems on me.

December 8, 2012 at 12:06 p.m.
jesse said...

BTW: easy?

Why bring my mother into our conversation?

She had very little to do w/ my view of what is goin on in the world today!

Did you even have a mother you knew?

I very much doubt it!it's o.k. to trash me BUT like the old mafia code,leave the family out of it! All that stuff just shows what a knuckle dragger you reallt are!!

December 8, 2012 at 12:27 p.m.
Easy123 said...

jesse,

"Why bring my mother into our conversation?"

Why not?

"She had very little to do w/ my view of what is goin on in the world today!"

And?

"Did you even have a mother you knew?"

As opposed to what? I know my mother in a non-Biblical sense.

"I very much doubt it!"

And you'd be wrong.

"leave the family out of it!"

You get what's coming to you. Might want to gird up you loins if you want to talk trash. WHINER!

"All that stuff just shows what a knuckle dragger you reallt are!!"

All of our ancestors were knuckle draggers.

You're the one that can't spell but I'm the knuckle dragger? LMAO!

December 8, 2012 at 12:43 p.m.
timbo said...

Wow....does anybody stay on subject. I think I am reading "Dear AbbyNormal"

December 8, 2012 at 4:16 p.m.
timbo said...

Wow....does anybody stay on subject. I think I am reading "Dear AbbyNormal"

December 8, 2012 at 4:16 p.m.
aae1049 said...

Exactly Timbo.

December 8, 2012 at 6:34 p.m.
conservative said...

""Proper composting" of manure is supposed to kill off the trillions of bacteria that are naturally present in the fresh stuff (otherwise known as "poop" in the language used by my son). But something went wrong at some point in the practices used by the Missions Organics farm, and the poop seemed to end up everywhere. Synthetic fertilizer does not contain bacteria of any kind -- period."

"So synthetic fertilizer cannot cause food poisoining - no need to worry if it's been processed properly. (Bacterial contamination can occur at later stages of the food making process.)"

http://www.science20.com/challenging_nature/organic_farming_practices_cause_200_instances_serious_food_poisoning-626

December 9, 2012 at 8:20 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

It's easy to think of Conservative and bovine excrement as redundant. At least bovine excrement has value as compost.

December 9, 2012 at 12:50 p.m.
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