published Sunday, December 30th, 2012

Alison Gerber: New year, new trends

We’re coming up on the publication of our annual list of people, places and things to watch in the new year, and we need your help.

This year it’ll be “13 to watch in 2013,” a list to be published on Jan. 1.

We have a working list, made up by the reporters and editors in the newsroom, but we’d like to get feedback from readers, too. So let us know who you think qualifies. It doesn’t have to be a person; it can be a place, a business, a cultural trend. Really, it can be anything that promises to shape our community in the coming year or get us talking.

Last year’s list included the voter, the gig geek, Highway 27 and gangs, all of which became major points of discussion in our area during 2012.

Newspapers love lists at the end of the year: top stories, most-viewed web stories, best photos. We love them because it’s a good way to recap the year that was — and honestly, we cover so many stories we sometimes forget a few, especially if they happened in the early part of the year. The lists not only take us back, they can also take us forward because they help us see which stories are ongoing and need to be watched on a continuing basis.

In the case of the who-to-watch list, it’s also an interesting and fun exercise to go back and gauge how accurate the list was.

For example, the 2012 list was fairly accurate because it included former Vols coach Derek Dooley who faced a make-or-break season that, as it turned out, he didn’t survive.

The list also featured North Georgia native and “American Idol” runner-up Lauren Alaina, who recently won new artist of the year in the American Country Awards, a prize based on fan voting and a sign that her star continues to rise.

So send in your ideas for who or what is worth watching next year, along with a few sentences on each. Do you think U.S. Sen. Bob Corker is someone to watch? Should we keep an eye on Andy Berke who, with little opposition now lined up, seems destined to be Chattanooga’s next mayor?

What overarching issues are out there that are important? Gun control legislation? Rising taxes?

Are there any cultural phenomena out there that deserve attention?

Send your selections to And go to to look at the 12 to Watch in 2012 list and the recent where-are-they-now update on those 12.

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.

It is common place for public contract malfeasance to be exposed after long-term incumbency of elected officials, Bredesen and Matt playing with bond issue trades, Sunquist...but on local bid corruption there has been shhhh mentality.

Little Chicago Watch predicts that a windfall of contract malfeasance will be exposed. If citizen minions can find this, can you imagine what is hidden?

Reasonable people believe that these MLA research pieces scratch the surface of what is really occurring with bid corruption and failure to follow the purchasing policies all the way to the City Attorney's office.

That is why the city attorney changed the purchasing policy two weeks ago, he was not following the city's purchasing policy, and for several years has been outsourcing legal to the tune of $400,000 a year (Miller and Martin, CBS, Benson Jr.), when the city's legal dept has 12 attorneys, 12 support staff, and a $1.4 million annual budget. The City Attorney did not advertise for RFP's or RFQ's in accordance with their own policies.

Ms. Editor, we are sick of contract corruption in local government. We just completed a second open records on the outsourcing of legal without advertising, so all legal firms can apply to provide legal services, and the outsourcing is mind boggling. The City Attorney's office is also awarding in less than $10,000 increments for outsourced legal, that cummulattively exceed $350,000 annually. If the City needs outsourced legal each year, it should be advertised, not just handed off to the A List.

So, two weeks ago the City Attorney drafted amendments to the purchasing policy, so he can continue to outsource up to $400,000 a year, without advertisement for Request for Qualifications or Proposals, so the legal firms not on the City Attorney's A list get no work.

Further, we are sick of contract malfeasance with public money. All firms should have the opportunity to compete for contracts. The local governmnets have an unspoken A List they bypass purchasing policies to get the work to their buddies.

Happy New Year TFP!

December 30, 2012 at 11:27 a.m.

Alison Gerber: 'New year, new trends' (Some permanence in choices will greatly affect the trends).

Jesus Christ>>>John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, "I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life..."

Jesus Christ proclaimed that He Is Creator God of The Universe (All existence)! He proclaimed that since He Is God, then, He Is the only Way to come to God, or, to know God.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press readers are 'here & Now' individuals who know the value of being currently informed about the events of their world! This is intelligence/wisdom.

"New Year's Eve". I wish all a Happy and Prosperous New Year in The Lord Jesus Christ. In 2012 43 Million humans had to leave their homes due to conflict and violence. There were 73 Million Forced Migrants (46% Children, 49% Women). Natural and Technological Disasters displaced 15 Million humans in 2012. And on, and on. 2011 was the worst year for natural disasters and now 2012 may top that. Suffering Humanity.

Now, please 'hear' this. Do we want Jesus Christ to be our Saviour, or, our Judge only, who meets out deserved chastisement/discipline? Multiplied times we see one tiny Christian village blessed when there is poverty, warfare, and, disasters all around them. Chattanooga has been comparatively blessed due to a host of praying Christians (And a Newspaper that is not afraid to post regular Bible Scripture). Please know that the Holy Bible says, "The fool has said in his heart that there is no God." Those who know virtually nothing, except that they don't want to live by Christian morality, would have us go the way of the old Soviet Union! So, for my New Year's Eve proclamation, I give to many a resounding 'Thank You' for Your Christian prayers and witness. Our Lord God and Saviour, Jesus Christ is allowing Chattanooga, Tennessee to prosper because of You.

You are few in number, but, Christ Jesus said, "Straight is the gate, and, narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and, few there be which find it." Finally we are beginning to plainly see the 'Sheep' separated from the 'Goats'. And, by this, we are understanding more completely what Jesus said, "...few there be which find it."


December 31, 2012 at 9:19 a.m.
PacoBongers said...

2013 Trend: Weirdos, idiots and spammers will continue to post in these comments.

December 31, 2012 at 1:30 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Orr wrote: "Do we want Jesus Christ to be our Saviour (sp)?"

No, not unless He can do something better than turn water into wine. Now water into gasoline—that's useful. But it's time for a new savior. The old one stopped his A-game centuries ago. Trying to pull off that Shroud of Turin as real! Like many Christians, Jesus was in it for the bucks. If Jesus had promoted that Shroud thing right, we'd be wearing Shroud pajamas, Shroud sheets and pillowcases, and Lady Gaga would be wearing mini-shrouds and Jessica Simpson would be hawking Shroud Maternity Wear-"When It's Time for Your Own Little Savior-in-a-Bundle, Think Shroudwear!" (only in blue, not for girls, God doesn't want women saviors).

Definitely. New Savior for 2014.

January 1, 2013 at 9:14 a.m.
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