Knoxville Neighborhood Advisory

Knoxville Neighborhood Advisory – Vol. 8, No. 44 – Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015


PDF Version:


  1. Good Neighbor Nominations Are Due Monday
  2. Andie Ray: Neighborhood Leader, City Light
  3. Zaevion Dobson: Greater Love Hath No Man
  4. City Offices Closed Friday; Garbage and Recyclables Will be Collected
  5. Two Blocks of Cumberland Avenue Closed for Electric Work
  6. Citizens Invited to Annual Legislative Breakfast
  7. Grants Enable Botanical Garden to Proceed with Food Center
  8. Need Funding? Art Exposure? Alliance Seeks Ideas for Micro-Funding Event
  9. Neighborhood and Government Calendar


Published by the City of Knoxville’s Office of Neighborhoods to report news important to Knoxville’s residential neighborhoods. News & calendar deadline: 9 a.m. Tuesdays.


  1. Good Neighbor Nominations Are Due Monday


Nominations for the Diana Conn Good Neighbor of the Year Award are due no later than Monday, January 4.


The award is presented annually to a City of Knoxville resident who — in a spirit of cooperation and with commitment to inclusive community — has devoted time and talent in service to his or her neighbors and neighborhood.


The winner and other finalists will be announced at the 2016 Neighborhood Awards and Networking Luncheon on Saturday, March 5, 2016, at the Knoxville Convention Center.


To learn more, visit and click on Good Neighbor of the Year Award. Or just download the form. The form is easy to fill out. Just use your own words to describe the person you wish to honor.


Nominations can be sent to Debbie Sharp by email to or by mail to Office of Neighborhoods – Room 528, City of Knoxville, P.O. Box 1631, Knoxville, TN 37901. Or call Debbie at 215-4382 to receive a hard copy of the form in the mail.


  1. Andie Ray: Neighborhood Leader, City Light


Good neighbors give their time and talent to community improvement, and this week Knoxville is remembering the many contributions of Andie Ray, who died Dec. 18 after a brief illness.


As others have noted, Andie was active in every neighborhood she lived in — from Maplehurst and Market Square to Old North Knoxville. As Jack Neely points out in last week’s Knoxville Mercury, she first lived on Market Square and then opened her women’s clothing store, Vagabodia, on the square in 2004. A tireless advocate for downtown renovation, she was active in Knox Heritage, City People, and the Market Square District Association.


Later she and her husband Noel Hudson moved to Old North. At the time of her passing she was president of the neighborhood association, Old North Knoxville. She was an ONK representative to the Broadway Corridor Task Force and a member of the Historic Zoning Commission.


“Andie really liked to connect with her community and her neighbors,” recalled Lauren Rider, her friend and colleague in Old North. “She adopted the neighborhoods she was in. There is barely a neighbor who walked past her house who did not know who she was. She made a point of talking to everybody, including everybody, and sharing her enthusiasm for the community.”


She will be missed.


  1. Zaevion Dobson: Greater Love Hath No Man


Our city this month is also mourning the death and celebrating the life and selfless sacrifice of Zaevion Dobson, the 15-year-old Fulton High School student who was shot and killed Dec. 17 shielding others from a spray of bullets fired by as-yet-unnamed assailants onto a porch in the Lonsdale community.


Zaevion was a member of Martin Chapel United Methodist Church and a sophomore at Fulton High School, where he played linebacker on the football team. He was well regarded by teammates and classmates, many of whom who wore his jersey number, 24, at his funeral services last weekend.


But Zaevion was much more than a young man enthralled with football, according to André Canty who, as a member of 100 Black Men of Knoxville, mentored the young student. “Being an athlete was only a part of his being,” Canty said. “He was always there. He was involved (in efforts) to stop the violence.”


Zaevion was part of what Canty calls the “Save Our Sons Brain Trust,” a group of young people who helped plan and identify the discussion topics for the “Son’s Summit” last June which in turn was part of a local “Save Our Sons” initiative to address violence among African American men and boys.


Moreover, having benefitted from the mentoring provided by Canty and 100 Black Men, Zaevion was himself helping youth at Emerald Youth Foundation programs in which he participated. “He did not wait until he was an adult,” Canty said. “He said, ‘I’m not going to wait. I’ve learned some lessons I can tell other kids.’ That’s powerful. That’s commendable. He took time out to mentor other kids.”


He was doing all of that while he was attending football practice,” Canty noted. “He was already involved in the community. He was around others who tried to show him the way. He learned lessons from his Mom, us, his coaches. He built up a sense of selflessness in himself.”


What Zaevion did on the night of December 17 “wasn’t just a quick reaction but a manifestation of all the lessons he had learned. If you see someone in need, you be there for that person. He went the extra mile and sacrificed his life.”


Canty, who is now president of 100 Black Men, notes that 23-year-old Brandon Perry also lost his life on Dec. 17, and his funeral was held on the same day as Zaevion’s service.


Because it is believed that Perry was involved in the retaliatory gang violence that took Zaevion’s life, “people may have demonized him,” Canty said. “Even if he did it, there is a culture of violence that made him the way he was. In a sense, that makes him a victim, too. I am not apologizing for what he did, but there is a family grieving on his side, too.”


Canty said the community’s effort to stop violence focuses, in part, on youth who have already lost their way, who have reacted negatively to pain and trauma, who have been bred for war as if they live in a third world country. “No child should be bred for war,” he lamented.


Canty and many others in the African American community in Knoxville have lost loved ones or friends or acquaintances to this violence. But Zaevion “did everything right and he was still taken away,” sharpening the grief, Canty said.


Zaevion’s courage and character have been praised all the way from Lonsdale to the White House. “Zaevion Dobson died saving three friends from getting shot,” President Obama tweeted two days after the shooting. “He was a hero at 15. What’s our excuse for not acting?”


See for more on the City’s Save Our Sons initiative.


Meanwhile, Overcoming Believers Church, 211 Harriet Tubman Street, will host a community meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 30, “to develop strategies for saving our youth.”


  1. City Offices Closed Friday; Garbage and Recyclables Will be Collected


City of Knoxville offices will be closed Friday, Jan. 1, but the city’s garbage and recycling contractor, Waste Connections, will run its regular trash and recycling routes this week, so pickups of trash and recyclables WILL occur on Friday despite the holiday.


Downtown trash and recycling will also run on the regular schedule on Friday. The city’s recycling centers will be open for recycling use, but the Goodwill attendant will not be available for household goods donations on Friday. The city’s Solid Waste Management Facility, 1033 Elm Street, will be closed both Friday and Saturday.


  1. Two Blocks of Cumberland Avenue Closed for Electric Work


Two blocks of Cumberland Avenue between 17th and 19th streets will be closed to through traffic beginning Tuesday, Dec. 29, until Tuesday, Jan. 5, to allow for the installation of an underground electrical line.


Local traffic and pedestrian access to businesses along Cumberland Avenue will be maintained.


The electrical line will carry power from a Knoxville Utilities Board substation at Dale Avenue to the Cumberland Avenue area and beyond. It will allow the removal of overhead power lines along Cumberland Avenue, part of the City’s overall $17 million reconstruction of the corridor.


The Cumberland Avenue project, scheduled to be completed in August 2017, will change the existing four-lane street on the eastern end of the corridor to a three-lane cross section with a raised median and left-turn lanes at intersections between 22nd Street and 17th Street.


Phase I work on the western end of Cumberland, between the Alcoa Highway ramps and 22nd Street, is coming to an end — on time and on budget. Phase II is underway.


More information about the project is available at , from which you can access the Cumberland Connect Facebook page and the Cumberland Connect phone app.


  1. Citizens Invited to Annual Legislative Breakfast


The League of Women Voters of Knoxville/Knox County (LWVKKC) is inviting Knox County citizens to participate in its annual Legislative Breakfast from 9-11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 9, at the Knox Room of the Knoxville News Sentinel building, 2332 News Sentinel Drive. A continental breakfast will be served.


State Senators Richard Briggs, Becky Massey and Randy McNally have been invited to participate in a question and answer session regarding legislation of the 109th Tennessee General Assembly, which convenes the following week.


Key legislation includes the reallocation of surplus revenues and the regulation of marijuana and handgun permits. Other likely topics are healthcare and the proposed outsourcing of management of state facilities.


The News Sentinel is co-sponsoring the event. The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.


  1. Grants Enable Botanical Garden to Proceed with Food Center


Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum (KBGA), 2743 Wimpole Avenue, has now received all of the funding necessary to proceed with the $370,000 conversion of an existing structure, known as the Mule Barn, to an indoor food market, community meeting space and education kitchen.


Construction likely will begin by early spring, according to Robert Hodge, who heads KBGA’s Center for Urban Agriculture. “This initiative will be a model for permaculture and sustainable living practices that will provide both economic and ecological benefits to our city and its residents,” Hodge said recently.


Mayor Madeline Rogero and City Council allocated $250,000 for this facility in the City of Knoxville’s FY 2015 budget. This investment leveraged two more recent donations — $50,000 from the Siddiqi Charitable Foundation and another $70,000 from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.


The Center is already leasing plots of land for family and market gardens. Since food is grown on site, gardeners will be able to sell their produce locally at the new facility. Area farmers can also use the facility to sell their goods. Hodge noted that the 47-acre KGBA site is located in East Knoxville, where access to fresh, healthy and affordable foods is limited.


When not used for produce sales, the space can be leased by art and theatre groups, along with other cultural activities, for special events, Hodge added.


The kitchen “will be used by our gardeners and also will be rented out to entrepreneurs,” Hodge explained. “We are excited about the job creation that comes from having a rentable commercial kitchen available to people wanting to make money through food. This will be a jobs and business incubator.”


Finally, the kitchen will host culinary and canning classes. Hodge noted that the Center is already in discussion with community-based organizations that are working to improve access to and knowledge of healthy foods.


These groups include Nourish Knoxville, publisher of a local food guide and organizer of the Market Square Farmers’ Market; Slow Food Tennessee Valley, which stages the annual Pesto Festo; and the Knoxville Chapter of National Women in Agriculture, which addresses needs of women without access to healthy food.


Hodge projects that the space for the produce market will be open by late spring, and the kitchen will be ready by late summer. While there is a small waiting list for the 4×12 family garden plots, an even larger plot is available for someone who wishes to market the produce. For more, contact Hodge at  or 591-8677.


  1. Need Funding? Art Exposure? Alliance Seeks Ideas for Micro-Funding Event


The South Knoxville Alliance is now accepting proposals for community projects and featured artists for its next Knoxville SOUP dinner, which will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, January 7, at Vestal United Methodist Church, 115 Ogle Ave., with a suggested donation of $5 per person.


Proposal deadline has been extended to Sunday, January 3, 2016.


Knoxville SOUP is a dinner and micro-funding event designed to raise money for creative projects and to give exposure to local artists who display their art.


Project Proposals and Featured Artist Proposals are accepted from all over Knoxville, not just South Knoxville. Click here to apply for your project ideas. Click here to apply for the next featured artist slot.


“The exposure for the projects goes beyond the dinner,” said Debra Bradshaw, chair of the South Knoxville Alliance, which brought SOUP dinners to Knoxville. “One of the projects presented at our last dinner was funded in full by a private donation. The project funding need would not have been known if it had not been for the great press Knoxville SOUP received.” The last event dinner raised over $500 for the Joe Hill Roadshow.

Knoxville SOUP events are held quarterly. Proposal deadlines are always one week prior to the dinner.  The next few proposal due dates are March 31, June 30, and October 29, all in 2016.  See for more information.

South Knoxville Alliance is a group of businesses and community leaders who promote growth and improvement in the South Knoxville area.


  1. 9.  Neighborhood and Government Calendar


Include your neighborhood-related event or meeting in this space. Call 215-4382.


Visit for a complete list of meetings of various city boards and commissions.


If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to attend a City of Knoxville public meeting, please contact Stephanie Brewer Cook at or 215-2034 no less than 72 hours prior to the meeting you wish to attend. For an English interpreter, contact Joshalyn Hundley, Title VI Coordinator, at 865.215.3867 or


Wednesday, December 306 p.m.

Heal the Land Knoxville

“Community gathering to develop strategies for saving our youth”

Overcoming Believers Church, 211 Harriett Tubman Street


Monday, January 41 p.m.

East Knoxville Community Meeting (First Mondays)

Burlington Branch Library, 4614 Asheville Highway

Michael Covington, 274-7958,


Monday, January 44 p.m.

Love Towers Fellowship Association (First Mondays except holidays)

Love Towers Community Room; 1171 Armstrong St.

Bill Jackson, 221-4402


Monday, January 4 — 5 p.m.

Knox Country Board of Education—Work Session

(Usually held on the Monday before the regular meeting and

third Mondays, except holidays or holiday weeks.)

First Floor Board Room, Andrew Johnson Building, 912 South Gay St.

For agenda, work sessions, and other items:

Visit Click on “Board of Education.”


Monday, January 46:30 p.m.

Parkridge Community Organization (First Mondays except holidays)

Cansler YMCA, 616 Jessamine St.

David Anderson, (803) 259-6289,


Monday, January 47 p.m.

Oakwood Lincoln Park Neighborhood Association (First Mondays)

Community Club House, 916 Shamrock Ave. at Henegar St.

Bill Hutton, 773-5228,


Monday, January 4

Deadline for Nominations

Diana Conn Good Neighbor of the Year Award

Office of Neighborhoods,

Debbie Sharp, 215-4382

Leave a Reply