It Don't Mean a Thing if it Ain't Got That Spin

The first annual Cynthia Moxley Award for excellence in public relations might just go to Weigel's marketing director Mike DelAguaro, who got a great press hit last week when he announced that the Summit Hill Weigel's was going to stop selling beer after midnight, even though city ordinances allow beer sales until 3 a.m. The News-Sentinel headline read like this: "Downtown store halts late beer sales to curb crime, improve safety."

But for DelAguaro's skill, the headline could have been "Downtown store hauled before Beer Board to explain five citations in 91 days for selling beer to minors."

At the Beer Board meeting Monday, that body (led by Chairman "Three Strikes and You're Out" Nick Pavlis, who was elected on a promise to get tough on those who sell beer to minors) voted 8-1 to fine Weigel's $2,500 instead of revoking its beer permit for violations incurred Aug. 30, Sept. 11, Oct. 3, Nov. 7 and Dec. 1. Carlene Malone was the "no" vote. The majority turned deaf ears to City attorney George Underwood when he pointed out that beer permits of "mom and pop" operations had been revoked for as few as three such violations.

DelAguaro told the N-S that the store, by voluntarily limiting nighttime beer sales " sacrificing profit to restore order."

Air Jordan

Early last week, insiders were saying the proposition to convert the old Catholic High School building into an Eastside campus for Pellissippi State was dead. No way County Commission was gonna cough up the requisite $500,000 toward the $2.5 million needed to buy the building. But by midweek, the county contribution was off life support and breathing on its own. By week's end, it was a done deal. And next week, at Commission's Christmas meeting, they'll pile into a bus and head out Magnolia to stand in front of KHS and vote the money.

So what happened?

Diane Jordan.

The second-term First District Commissioner in the spiked heels and the big-time hairdos has spent the last 4 years getting along with her colleagues, who, more often than not, found her to be open to reason. Halls needs a new dump? Count on Commissioner Jordan. Gotta move the stadium out of her neighborhood for the good of the city? Diane's with you. Don't like the unfairness of that annexation bill? Diane understands.

So last week, when Lady Di, as they call her, started working them over about Pellissippi, how could they say no? She called 15 commissioners—one at a time, so as to comply with the Sunshine Law—and asked for their votes. "I was very determined. I felt like this would be an anchor for this area and finally bring economic development to a depressed area...You talk about fighting drugs and crime? If we can get some of our people out of poverty, some of that will go away. Knowledge and skills. That is my hope and my dream. If I don't do anything else, I want to see this project through... This is what I'd like my legacy to instrument to revitalize District 1."

The city has also been asked to contribute, but has yet to commit. Jordan says she has faith.

"At one time, the mayor wanted it for a police training academy. I don't know where the mayor stands on that now, but I'm hoping he's going to be in support of this project and is as excited about it as are all the neighboring communities, like Fourth and Gill, Park City, the Old City, and Downtown folks..."