Kenny Martin: Beware these summer heat dangers

Kenny Martin
City Manager
Mt. Juliet

In an effort to keep the wonderful people we serve safe, happy and healthy, I would like to remind our motoring community about a few of the bad habits I see while traveling our roadways.

Beware these summer heat dangers

With summer just around the corner and the recent deaths of unattended children, the elderly and pets in vehicles across the state and country, there is no time like the present to remind everyone of the importance of not leaving any child, senior citizen or pet unattended in an automobile.

Temperatures inside an automobile can reach temperatures up to 140 degrees in a matter of minutes. As you can tell from recent news stories and countless tragedies across the country, these tragedies just don’t happen to irresponsible parents. These tragedies can happen to anyone. Even caregivers and parents with the best of intentions can fall victim to these tragedies. With our busy and hectic lives, this can happen much easier than most truly realize.

It also never a good idea to leave pets, the elderly or children in unattended vehicles even when the vehicle is running and air conditioning operating. Assuming the air conditioning will continue to work while they are left unattended in an automobile is a dangerous practice that should never be attempted. The elderly, children and pets are prone to become overcome by rising temperatures inside closed automobiles and are oftentimes unable to seek help when needed. Unfortunately, the end result can be heat stroke or even death. Not to mention leaving pets, the elderly and children in cars while running has created many accidents, injuries and even deaths through the years because of cars that are put in gear intentionally or unintentionally.

I know that most of you are saying, “I would never dream of doing such a thing or taking such a chance.” However, statistics show that each and every year, far too many chances or oversights happen, which serious injury and death to not only humans, but pets, as well. Even with the automobiles windows down, temperatures can reach 125 degrees within 20 minutes.

Other dangers with summer heat and bright sunlight are sunburn, accidental burns and dehydration. Items within an automobile such as vinyl interior parts, metal interior parts and even leather can absorb the heat and sunlight, causing instant burns to unprotected body parts upon contact. Placing a car cover, window shades and even towels across prone areas of your automobile can prevent such tragedies from happening.

Sunburn can be avoided by covering exposed parts of the body with clothing, shade or sun blocking lotions. Dehydration can be avoided by drinking lots of liquids, especially water, regularly.

Thirst is one indicator of dehydration, but it is not an early warning sign. By the time you feel thirsty, you might already be dehydrated. Other symptoms of dehydration include but are not limited to:

• feeling dizzy.

• having a dry or sticky mouth.

• producing less sweat.

• pale cold skin.

• disorientation.

• nausea and lightheadedness.

And please don’t be fooled by cooler temperatures in the 70s and 80s. It doesn’t have to be in the 90-100-degree range to cause serious injury or death.

We must also do all we can to check in on the shut-ins, sick and elderly who live alone. These individuals can become overburdened with rising medical and utility costs often finding themselves without air conditioning. Making a decision when pills are piling up on what to cut from the budget can be tough when it comes to air conditioning in the middle of one of the hottest summers in recent memory.

Think about it, what would you cut first? Would it be replacing or repairing the air conditioning, buying food, paying the house note, medical, water, phone, electric or other bills? We can’t overlook these fine people. Please keep them in your thoughts.

In closing, I know these seem like silly commonsense reminders. However, preventing and eliminating further suffering, injuries and deaths can never be overrated or overstated.

Kenny Martin is city manager in Mt. Juliet.

Kenny Martin: Multitasking, driving don’t mix, so don’t do it

Kenny Martin
City Manager
Mt. Juliet

In an effort to keep the wonderful people we serve safe, happy and healthy, I would like to remind our motoring community about a few of the bad habits I see while traveling our roadways.

I’m hoping this column will help drivers and make them more aware of the unnecessary chances we sometimes take as drivers. 

We’ve all seen drivers talking on cellphones, making notes, reading, eating, changing clothes, shaving, putting on makeup, rolling or combing their hair and so on. And keep in mind, these are things we do as drivers while actually operating motor vehicles on the roadways and highways. Lots of these things are done in heavy traffic situations at high speeds, while others are done in low-speed caution areas like, school zones and construction areas.

With that in mind, and I don’t want to sound as if I’m preaching, but wouldn’t it be much safer to wait until you reach a stop sign or stop light, or simply wait until you’re stopped to attempt these activities? I know we’ve done it thousands of times and gotten way with it.

And I know we think we’re good at it, but accidents happen everyday because of people who thought they were good at something. I think this is like a lot of things we do. We’ve done it for so long, we begin to think certain things will never happen to us. It’s the, “oh, that always happens to the other guy” mentality.

As we all know, the human mind can only translate a certain amount of information in a given time. Trying to do three things at once while operating a motor vehicle is a dangerous practice. Therefore, I am asking that all motorists please try and do better at simply driving. Our fast-paced lifestyles and lack of time put us in situations where we’re forced to take chances at times in futile attempts at making up time. And I personally believe your life isn’t worth risking over making up time.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but it scares me to think that a driver may be reading, making notes or just simply not paying attention while operating a motor vehicle beside, behind or in front of me. I think driving is a serious business that requires one’s full attention. I also think your life is too valuable to lose over drinking or drugged drivers and speeding and non-attentive drivers. Many a wonderful person has been taken from us because of accidents that didn’t have to happen. Some accidents aren’t actually accidents. They are events caused by people in a hurry, not paying attention and inebriated drivers.

In closing, please help yourself and others by paying more attention and slowing down. We like having you around and simply don’t want anything to happen to you.

Kenny Martin is city manager in Mt. Juliet.

Kenny Martin: Walkers, joggers, bicyclists should be visible

Kenny Martin
City Manager
Mt. Juliet

With Mt. Juliet’s rapid growth and warmer weather comes an even greater need for all citizens to use various safety measures while traveling and using our roadways. For example, with the increasing Mt. Juliet population, there will definitely be an increase in vehicular, pedestrian and bicycle traffic and an even greater need to share the roadways safely.

Daily concern calls are received about both vehicular and pedestrian safety and the need for more citizen awareness. Citizens regularly report concerns about pedestrians walking, jogging or riding bikes, along the roadways and streets. Concerned citizens often report near misses with citizen’s walking at night along the roadway in dark and less-than-reflective clothing.

Many concerned citizen’s ask if a law could possibly be passed that would require walkers, runners, joggers and/or bike riders to wear reflective clothing at night and highly visible clothing during the day light hours. Citizens regularly suggest that biking, walking, jogging, running, skating and blading individuals be required to use lights and flashlights at night for proper illumination and visibility.

We always explain it is unlikely that a law would be passed but that we are always willing to pass along important safety information to help not only our motoring public but our walking, jogging, running, blading, skating and active community, as well.

Therefore, I would like to urge any citizen using the roadways for walking, jogging, running, skating, blading or riding bikes to please wear proper safety equipment when in or near the roadways.

Below are just a few tips to keep you and your family safe and visible when walking, jogging, running, or bicycling. I would also encourage our motoring public to use caution, as well, when traveling the roadways with our active citizens. We must share the roads at all times safely.

• Walkers, joggers and runners are encouraged to use flashlights and wear highly reflective and visible clothing at all times.

• Bicyclists are encouraged to wear proper safety equipment, as well, including helmet, gloves, eye protection and highly reflective and visible materials on both the clothing and bicycle.

• If walking, jogging or running with your pets, don’t forget to include them in your safety plan, as well. They won’t need a helmet, but they will need to have highly visible and reflective markings. Most pet stores carry reflective collars and vests for pets.

• If you have a cellphone, carry it in case of an emergency.

• Other safety materials include reflective armbands, vests and ankle straps just to name a few.

As you can imagine, these are only a few safety measures that you can use to make yourself safe while walking, jogging or riding a bike in or near the roadway. Our roadways are becoming busier everyday and we must do all that we can to make sure that we are safe and visible at all times.

The sooner a motorist spots you while driving down the roadway the sooner the motorist can process the needed information in order to make a safe maneuver around you.

Far too many pedestrians are struck and either seriously injured or killed because a motorist didn’t see them until it was too late. We must do all that we can to prepare and protect ourselves. So please be safe and visible out there. 

Kenny Martin is city manager in Mt. Juliet.

Kenny Martin: Getting an F isn’t always bad

Kenny Martin
City Manager
Mt. Juliet

In school, we always hated or feared getting an F on a paper, report, project or most importantly a report card. As a result you might not have been a big fan of the letter F. But an F isn’t always bad.

For example, without the letter F we wouldn’t be able to spell words such as future, fun, fast, festive, festival, fair, first, food, fuel, flight and football.

All words we really like. But the more I think about the letter F, the more I think about faith, family and friends. Without those three words the rest of the letters that begin with the letter F really wouldn’t mean near as much.

In other words, we should always embrace and keep faith, family and friends in our lives. Unless we take time to realize what life is all about and it’s many blessings, it will be difficult to truly enjoy and appreciate it to the fullest. 

Another wonderfully important word that starts with F is forgiveness. As human beings, we are not perfect, and are flawed in various ways. As a result, we sometimes don’t get things just right, perfect or as we hoped for or planned.

I now truly understand how precious the letter F can be. Without it, we would be hard pressed to understand just how blessed we are to have faith, family and friends in our lives. So, please live life to the fullest by embracing and enjoying your friends and family.

Sometimes doing so may require a little faith and forgiveness.

Kenny Martin is city manager in Mt. Juliet.

Kenny Martin: How to save money and have more fun

Kenny Martin
City Manager
Mt. Juliet

get daily questions from folks who want ideas on how to save money in today’s economy. When I get asked that question, the first thing I usually say is the best way to save money is to spend or waste less.

At least that seems to be what works best for me. But I think of myself as conservative, while others think of me as cheap. And that’s OK. I’ve been cheap, I mean conservative, all of my life, so I’m sort of used to it now.

Another way to save money is to use less electricity. For example, I usually set my thermostat to 75 degrees or higher during the day and no lower than 74 degrees at night. I agree. It isn’t as cold as I would really like for it to be, but it could always be a lot hotter. Think about it, if your air conditioner goes out all together, 74 will seem like wintertime. I also converted most of the bulbs in my house to energy-efficient bulbs. It has been said that switching one regular bulb to an energy efficient bulb can save up to $30 per year.

I also close the blinds to my house during the day during the summer months and open them during the winter months. This allows the sun to heat your house in the winter, and the closed blinds keep it cooler during the summer. During cooler summer months, I turn the air conditioner off entirely and open the windows.

Here are some more money-saving ideas:

• Don’t leave water running when you shave or brush your teeth.

• Turn water heater temperature back.

• Take cooler showers to save on energy. It’s actually even better for your skin.

• Leave and use less lamps or lights during night hours while home.

• Remember to turn lights off when a room is not in use.

• Unplug rarely used electronic devices.

• Clean air filters regularly.

• Seal all gaps around windows and doors.

• Drink water while dining out instead of sodas or tea.

• Turn off the television and play board games or read.

• Clip coupons.

• Haggle for better deals. It’s always no unless you ask.

• Shave your head to make you more aerodynamic – just kidding.

• Keep oil and air filters changed and tire pressure checked.

• Take extra stuff out of the trunk of the car. More weight burns more fuel.

• Keep the car clean and waxed.

• Keep windows up on the interstate and down within the city to avoid using the air conditioner.

• Spend your money in your own community to avoid longer drive times and taking your sales tax money to another community. This saves us all money in the long haul.

• Don’t waste any of your 86,400 seconds per day. Time is money.

As you can tell, I could go on and on about saving money. What you save today by becoming more efficient and wise, you can use to dine out, go to the movies and have more fun with your family and friends. So please look at saving money on other stuff as a great way to pay for a date night, a movie and new car or whatever you want. Wasting less is a great way to save and do more, all while helping out the environment.

Kenny Martin is city manager in Mt. Juliet.

Kenny Martin: Consider a teen driving contract

Kenny Martin

With all the recent tragic fatal accidents that involve teens across the country, I thought it would be a good time to remind all parents about teen driving contracts.

As we all know, when a teenager first learns to drive, it can be a parent’s worst nightmare or blessing. All parents worry constantly about their teenage drivers, especially the first time they turn them loose on their own.

That’s why you, the parent, may want to try a new concept. The concept is called teen driver contracts. This is a signed agreement between the new teen driver and the parents or guardians. The contract will hopefully make the process easier and more comfortable for all in-volved parties.

The contract states the obligations and responsibilities the teen or young driver will abide by and honor or risk losing their driving privileges. The contract holds the teen or young driver accountable for his or her actions and cuts down on time-consuming debates about not knowing and “if you’d only told me” excuses.

You may think to yourself, I don’t need a driving contract. Your teen may even tell you that other parents don’t have contracts with their teens, but you need to stick to your guns. A driving contract could save your child’s life or the lives of others. Young drivers need to understand the seriousness of driving and the possible consequences for violating the rules.

For example:

• automobile accidents are the leading cause of death in young people.

• teenagers are less experienced, more impulsive, have less developed judgment and are much greater risk of getting involved in car wrecks.

• young drivers have overly casual attitudes about driving or worse, an attitude of driving as an entitled right, as opposed to an earned privilege.

• all parents wish to do everything they can to protect their children. But parents sometimes fail to take teenage driving as seriously as they should. Others recognize the seriousness of the problem but do not address it systematically and firmly.

• parents often resort to lecturing and to vague statements such as “You can drive when you show us you are responsible.” They often are not sure what rules they should establish, how to enforce them and how to communicate them clearly.

A teen driving contract lets the young driver know that you take driving very seriously and that driving is a serious matter. It also prevents unclear rules, confusion about rules and gives parents a way to clarify their thoughts about driving and get them down on paper. The contract also helps with enforcement of the rules. Teenagers’ cloudy and vague memories about initial rules put in place are quickly diminished when a signed and agreed upon contract is brought to the table. It also lets the young driver know the seriousness of signing a binding contract.

In closing, for parents or guardians interested in receiving a teen driving contract, contact Sharon at City Hall at 615-773-6204. The contracts are free of charge.

Kenny Martin is city manager in Mt. Juliet.

Kenny Martin: Don’t judge a book by its cover

Kenny Martin
City Manager
Mt. Juliet

There is an old saying, which states “don’t judge a book by its cover.” How true.

Just because everything looks fine on the outside doesn’t mean it’s good on the inside. For example, A human being can be smiling on the outside but crying on the inside.

Many a child starts out his or her day appearing fine on the outside, but on the inside, they’re in turmoil, agony and pain. They come from picture-perfect families, by all accounts, are the perfect example of the complete and happy family when in reality the family is suffering and on the verge of collapse.

As human beings, we must do all we can to assist those hurting children and families. We must look for the little warning signs and cries for help.

It’s not about being a busy body or minding ones on business. It’s about helping fellow human beings. As we all know, owning up to ones failures, shortcomings and problems aren’t easy.

That’s why we must get involved. Getting involved doesn’t have to be painful or difficult and can prove to be rewarding. Getting involved can be nothing more than a simple phone call to offer assistance in any form, especially prayer.

Some things that go on behind closed doors are illegal like domestic violence, child abuse and so on, which may at times require police investigation. Many a person’s life was changed for the better because someone got involved or advised the appropriate authorities with a simple phone call.

It is sad to think at this moment somewhere someone is hurting and crying out for help behind closed doors or on the inside but can’t mange to ask for help on the outside. Some even have evil intentions that we may not even notice.

The tragic stories we hear about on a daily basis are preventable. If you are someone or you know someone who is hurting and in need of help, don’t hesitate. Please call on a friend or your local law enforcement agency for help.

Life is too short to be unhappy, and life is too fragile to not report wrongdoing or suspicious behavior.

Kenny Martin is city manager in Mt. Juliet.

Kenny Martin: On the many blessings of healthy living

Kenny Martin
City Manager
Mt. Juliet

As humans, we sometimes take for granted healthy living or realizing how truly blessed we are to have our health. Normally, only after we’ve lost something we had before, like good health, do most of us realize the many blessings that come with good health.

For example, the gift of sight, sound, smell, taste, touch and so on are often taken for granted if you still posses those abilities. But imagine for just one moment losing any ability you currently posses, like the ability to see or pick something up.

Try closing your eyes and walking around or picking up something without using your hands. It’s difficult, isn’t it? Now imagine losing those abilities forever. Only those born with debilities or those who have lost abilities truly understand the difficulties with becoming unhealthy or debilitated.

Each morning we awake feeling well and healthy should be considered a blessing daily. Our health is not any more guaranteed than tomorrow. Nothing is guaranteed. That’s why we must awake each and every day appreciating our health and life itself. We must also pray for those who are hospitalized or currently ill.

A friend of mine dealing with a serious health setback reminded me of just how fragile health and life are. His health setback reminded me of the many important things I sometimes take for granted each and every day.

A simple cold can make you feel miserable for days and maybe weeks, but cancer therapy, including radiation treatments and chemotherapy can make you sick and miserable for days, weeks, months, years and even the rest of your life. When you put simple illnesses into perspective with life-altering and changing medical events, you can now see the blessings of good health.

Many families this moment are enduring months and months of medical treatments for a family member or loved one suffering from a serious medical illness or debilitating health problem. I can assure you that they would love nothing more than to see their loved one healthy.

As we all know, life can be tough and distracting, but we must strive to stay focused and keep a positive attitude. A positive attitude has a way of keeping you happy and healthy. There are many blessings we take for granted that others will never, ever know.

In closing, please pray for those in need, those suffering from illnesses and those with medical setbacks and their families.   

Kenny Martin is city manager in Mt. Juliet.

Kenny Martin: Know suicide prevention and intervention

Kenny Martin
City Manager
Mt. Juliet

Suicide knows no boundaries. There is no typical suicide victim. It happens to young and old, rich and poor. Many people, at some point in their lives, think or talk about suicide, but come to realize the crisis is temporary and death is permanent.

People in crisis sometimes perceive their dilemma as inescapable and feel their life is out of control.

Research suggests the majority of people who attempt suicide literally do something to let others know their intentions before they act. These warning signs consist of personal behaviors, verbal and non-verbal communications and include, but are not limited, to:

• changes in personality such as sad, withdrawn, irritable, anxious, tired, indecisive and apathetic.

• changes in behavior such as can’t concentrate on school, work or routine tasks.

• changes in sleep pattern such as bedridden, constant fatigue, insomnia and frequent nightmares.

• changes in eating habits such as loss of appetite and weight or overeating.

• loss of interest in friends, hobbies or other activities previously enjoyed.

• anxiety about money, personal health and other illnesses, either real or imagined.

• fear of losing control, going crazy or harming self or others.

• feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and low self-esteem.

• feelings of overwhelming guilt, shame, self-hatred and no hope for the future.

• drug- and alcohol-related problems or abuse.

• loss of religious or spiritual faith or in other personal beliefs or philosophies.

• the giving away of prized possessions.

• previous suicide attempts.

• talks about committing suicide.

• talks about putting together a will.

Most depression contains some element of grief and/or recent losses tied to death, divorce, separation, broken relationships, personal status, etc. Watch for statements like “nobody cares,” “everyone will be better off without me” and “I wish I were dead.” Mental and emotional illnesses such as bi-polar disorder are often tied to suicidal feelings.

Most people can be helped to get through their moment of crisis if they have someone who will spend time with them and take them seriously and help them talk about their thoughts and feelings. If you are someone or someone you know is going through tough times and are depressed or contemplating suicide, there are programs and places available to help. Please remember, you’ve got a friend.

For further assistance please contact your local law enforcement agency, the 24-hour Crisis Center at 244-7444 or the Hope Line at 800-SUICIDE.

Kenny Martin is city manager in Mt. Juliet.

Kenny Martin: What to do with those 86,400 seconds

Kenny Martin
City Manager
Mt. Juliet

As you awake each and every day do you have a routine or plan for your day? Most of us sort of go through the motions each and every day, Monday through Friday, without really truly thinking about it. We seem to become programmed to our routines.

Let me explain. Most people work a Monday-through-Friday job. Your routine, more than likely, sounds something like this. You awake in the morning and either exercise, shower, set out your clothes you will wear for the day, eat breakfast at home, in the car or at work.

After your first four hours of work, you take a lunch break for either 30 minutes or an hour. Sometimes you take more, but we won’t tell. You then work another four hours or more before you leave work. You either stop to pick up the children or they are now driving. You then either pickup dinner, or you go home and cook.

After dinner or supper, you help with homework, do homework or do chores before finally getting in some television or relaxation time, hopefully. At the end of the night, you get ready for bed, go to bed and finally awake from bed to do it all over again.

When Friday and the weekend arrive, you feel somewhat rejuvenated but wonder what you will do for the weekend. Not sure what there is to do, you settle on dinner and a movie. Saturday arrives, and again you find yourself wondering what to do. More than likely you will settle on dinner and another movie. Sunday arrives and you go to church. After church, you have lunch before returning home for the remainder of the day to rest up for a new workweek.

This may not sound exactly like your life, but for the most part, our days can feel as though they are turning into a routine or carbon copy of the day you had the day before, and so on. We sometimes feel as though we are just going through the motions and wonder what life is really all about.

Life will never be easy. There are peaks and valleys in life that everyone goes through. Life is a gift that should be enjoyed. There are some who even wish the weekdays away in order to get to the weekend sooner.

Think about it. There are 365 days in a year, 12 months in a year, 52 weeks in a year, seven days in a week, 24 hours in a day, 60 minutes in an hour, 60 seconds in a minute and 86,400 seconds in a day. What are you going to do with your 86,400 seconds today and tomorrow?

Life is not dull. Life is not routine. Life is not guaranteed. We all have one life to live, and as each second passes, we lose yet another precious moment of life that we can never get back. Please remember the seconds pass quickly, so please enjoy each and every one of your 86,400 seconds each and every day with those you love, those you cherish and those who love and cherish you.

Life is much too precious to waste, so please live life to the fullest for it is never dull, routine, boring, meaningless or guaranteed.

Kenny Martin is city manager in Mt. Juliet.

Kenny Martin: More good deeds should be handed out

Kenny Martin
City Manager
Mt. Juliet

Have you ever noticed that we all seem to be more giving and kind when we’re in a good or great mood? It’s just human nature to do more good deeds and be nicer when we’re happier. The struggle of committing good deeds and being nice is harder to do when we’re agitated, aggravated, frustrated, mad, ill, tired, impatient, hot, cold, running late or distracted. Wow. It seems there are lots of things that can distract us from being kind, nice and committing good deeds.

The problems caused from all the distractions can, at times, cause us to be less than nice and forget to commit good deeds ourselves. The sad thing about anyone committing less good deeds is it is reciprocal. Less good deeds committed equals less good deeds received.

In other words, the more good we do for others the more likely we are to receive the same in return. We should all be more aware and cognizant of others feelings, as well. The way to create a happier more giving society is to start with ourselves first. If we all committed more good deeds for no reason at all, it would surely catch on.

Think about it. It’s hard to be mean spirited or ill to anyone who is good or kind to you. However, let someone cross you in the wrong way and watch the sparks fly. Very few disagreements have ever, if ever, been caused from someone committing good deeds or kindness.

As human beings, our tendency is to be nice to those that are nice to us. In traffic and driving situations, we have all found ourselves needing to enter traffic only to find that other drivers will not stop and allow us to enter traffic. We patiently wait and wait when finally someone lets us enter traffic. We say to ourselves, finally.

As we enter traffic, we waive to the person who committed the good deed feeling better about society and mankind as a whole again. Thank goodness for these random good deeds.

If we didn’t all have a good deed thrown our way every now and then we would all eventually commit less good deeds ourselves. The morale of the story is to remember to be kind to one another for we all have to share this wonderful life and world together. As we were all told by our parents for many years, it is always better to share than not to share. And that goes for the sharing of good deeds, as well.

So please remember, what goes around comes around, and do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Commit more good deeds, and you will, indeed, receive more good deeds in return.

Have a great day.

Kenny Martin is city manager in Mt. Juliet.   

Kenny Martin: Let’s not forget from where we came

Kenny Martin
City Manager
Mt. Juliet

Have you ever wondered why us children have so many different names for our mothers and fathers? We use names like mom, mommy, moms, mother, dad, daddy, dadio, pops, pappy, old man, father and so on.

What we should call our parents are brilliant, smart, loving, caring, giving, dedicated and awesome parents. I can remember many a time when I thought my mom and dad had special powers. I often thought my dad was Colombo and mom was Angie Dickinson, better known as Police Woman.

It seemed no matter what I did, they knew about it. At the time, I didn’t like it one bit. I couldn’t get away with anything and eventually was too scared to try anything daring or rebellious for fear of getting caught and prosecuted to the fullest degree by mom and dad.

Miraculously, everything they said would happen happened. It was like they had a crystal ball and could predict the future and my actions, both good and bad, but especially bad.

The question I have is why does it take so long for us children to realize just how special and wise our parents are? Why do we think we know more than they do at times, especially when we’re young? I know it’s a little thing called lack of knowledge, experience or is it ignorance and hardheadedness?

Looking back over the years and the many things my parents have done for me is downright amazing. I can remember my mom working back-to-back shifts just to make ends meet, preparing meals when she was so sick she could barely stand and sacrificing time and time again for her children.

Just take a moment to think of all the special things and sacrifices your parents have made for you. If it doesn’t put a lump in your throat and tears in your eyes, then you have yet to realize just how special your parents are.

Right at this moment, a dedicated father is on his way to a second job, going straight from one job to the other without so much as a moment’s rest, all for the sake of his children. These are all examples of true love and dedication from parents to their children.

This is my way of saying to all parents, thanks for being there for your children. It is indeed hard work that goes without much fanfare or recognition, but we know that you don’t do it for gratification, fanfare or recognition; you do it for the love of your children.

And lucky for us children you don’t expect much in return, because what we lacked in brains as children, we now lack in money. Does that ring any familiar bells? Same verse, same old song and dance.

Anyway, parents are great, and I just wanted to take a moment to let you know that even though we didn’t always show it as children, we, without a doubt, love our moms and dads. Thanks for giving your blood, sweat and tears so that we could have the lives we have. Thank God for moms and dads.

Kenny Martin is city manager in Mt. Juliet.

Kenny Martin: Here’s some tips to prevent fire and safety hazards

Kenny Martin
City Manager
Mt. Juliet

With many serious and deadly fires tragically happening all across our great county and state, having peace of mind and confidence in our safety plans and the safety of our family and ourselves is of paramount importance, as we all know.

Every year, hundreds of accidental fires are caused by everyday household items too close to an open flame or heating device. Many fires were caused as a result of human error or outside burning during dry conditions.

With all this in mind, please make sure all flammable materials like curtains, furniture, debris and dust are away or from heating ducts, coils and burners. Please double check for flammable materials or debris around or near your heating devices.

Small portable heaters and heater vents and coils should also be kept clean and free of dust. It’s best to keep space and portable heaters at least 3 feet from anything that can burn.

Candles are also a major source of house fires each year. Most are either forgotten about or placed to close to flammable materials. Make sure candleholders are in a safe place where they can’t be knocked over. Children should never be left alone with a burning candle. Leave the candles to the grown ups. Candles and matches should be placed or locked up high and out of the reach of small children.

When burning outdoors please make sure the weather conditions are suitable for outdoor burning. Many injuries, deaths and serious fires were caused as a result of burning during less than safe and ideal conditions. To determine whether weather and outdoor conditions are suitable, please contact your local fire department.

Every home should also have a fire escape plan, a fire extinguisher, smoke detectors and a carbon monoxide detector. Smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector batteries should be replaced every six months. I would also ask that if any reader knows of any homebound senior citizen or anyone homebound to please check on them to make sure that their homes are prepared for the frigid temperatures. Extremely low and high temperatures kill hundreds of citizens each year, so please keep them in mind throughout the year.

It is also said that one in 15 homes has high levels of radon, so please test your homes for radon, as well.

May God bless you all.

Kenny Martin is city manager in Mt. Juliet.

Kenny Martin: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you

 

Kenny Martin
City Manager
Mt. Juliet

One of my favorite quotes is “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you. How true.

And since that’s the case, from this point forward, I am asking everyone to try their best at doing unto others, as you would have them do unto you.

One example includes littering. Littering costs everyone. It takes a toll on our resources, our property values, wallets and is an insult to our great community and country. Littering is simply passing the buck. When you pass the buck, the rest of us are left with the bill, the bill of cleaning up the mess left behind.

Another example is respect. Respect is when you speak kindly of others or say nothing at all. Respect is when you open a door for your wife, family member or a complete stranger who has their hands full. Respect is when you don’t endanger the lives of others by driving under the influence, speeding or tailgating. Respect is not telling lies, cheating, hurting, murdering and so on.

Life is so short when you really think about it. We all have hurts, sorrows, worries, highs, lows, concerns, deadlines, aggravations and feelings that can be offended, hurt or damaged. With that the case, let’s all start being more civil, kind, understanding, forgiving, helpful and loving to one another.

In closing, nothing is ever accomplished without sincere effort and a positive attitude. Good will always prevails over indifference and divisiveness. Please do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Kenny Martin is city manager in Mt. Juliet.

Mt. Juliet native broadens anti-bullying campaign as Miss Volunteer 2018

 

MTSU sophomore Elise Stein is crowned Miss Volunteer 2018 by reigning Miss Tennessee Caty Davis during the Miss Volunteer Scholarship Pageant held in mid-January in Lexington, Tenn. (Submitted photo)

MURFREESBORO – Middle Tennessee State University sophomore Elise Stein won the hearts of judges recently when she was crowned Miss Volunteer 2018 and hopes success continues in her bid to become the next Miss Tennessee later this year.

The Miss Volunteer Scholarship Pageant was held in mid-January in Lexington, where reigning Miss Tennessee Caty Davis crowned Stein. An MTSU honor student, Stein went through a series of categories, including evening gown and an on-stage questionnaire, before she claimed her title.

The Mt. Juliet native is no stranger to the pageant scene. In addition to her recent victory, Stein competed in the Miss Tennessee Teen USA pageant twice, making the competition’s final five each time.

She’s currently eligible to compete in the Miss Tennessee Scholarship Pageant scheduled for June 20-23 in Jackson. If she advances, she would qualify for the Miss America competition.

“To say the least, I am so excited to be going to Miss Tennessee this June,” Stein said.

A music business major with a public relations minor in MTSU’s department of recording industry, Stein was named Nashville brand ambassador for the International Bullying Prevention Association last year and is also an advocate for Children’s Miracle Network hospitals.

“I started the first anti-bullying club at my former high school. I thought that pageants would be the perfect arena to raise awareness for this social issue that I hold dear to my heart,” she said.

Stein hopes the position she’s in allows her to raise awareness even more about her anti-bullying platform, titled “Move to Stand,” while she furthers her education.

“I am glad that this title will allow me to talk more about bullying on a broader scale and will help me to continue to volunteer more,” she said.

At MTSU, Stein said she created a public relations team for Raiderthon, a dance marathon where all proceeds will go to Children’s Miracle Network. Anyone who wants to support Stein’s efforts on behalf of CMN may go to missamericaforkids.org and search for “Elise Stein” to donate to her page. 

Stein said she is also pursuing a fledgling music career, working to release her first EP. A model for the Block Agency in Nashville, Stein was a featured extra in country music singer Luke Bryan’s “Light it Up” music video.

Stein currently hosts a new student-run TV show at MTSU called “Amp’d Sessions,” where she covers music topics throughout the Tennessee area.

For more information about the department of recording industry in MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment, visit mtsu.edu/media.

Staff Reports

Kenny Martin: Everyone must have good defense

Kenny Martin
City Manager
Mt. Juliet

Having a good home, auto, business and personal defensive protection plan in place is your best team defense against becoming the victim of a crime.

With that in mind, we must defend our person and property against the other team, the Tennessee Thieves. The Tennessee Thieves work on their offensive and defensive game plans daily. They prepare game plans aimed at stealing and robbing honest citizens of their hard-earned property, with only one thing in mind, winning. They work on timing, execution, speed and scoring – the scoring of your property for their benefit.

That is exactly why we must prepare our defense. Our defense should consist of sound common sense approaches to home, auto, business and personal safety def-enses. Being proactive will solve many at-tempts by the Tennessee Thie-ves’ offense.

The first step in winning any game is to not let the other team know your game plan or see your game book. Our playbooks should contain keeping all windows locked and secured, traveling with car doors locked, investing in personal, auto, home and business alarm systems, not allowing strangers in our homes, recording all serial numbers from valuables, engraving identification and tracing numbers on valuables not marked with serial numbers and video taping or photographing all valuables for insurance purposes and record keeping.

In other words, we must do all we can to win the battle against the criminal element and crime. Taking a defensive stance and preparing a good defense are proven winners against crime. The other team has to score in order to win. You’ll win by simply holding the other team scoreless.

Don’t give the Tennessee Thieves the victory. Prepare a good defense, join a neighborhood watch program, call in all suspicious activity to your local police or simply look out for your fellow neighbors and law-abiding teammates.

In closing, if we prepare a good defense, we’ll all be Tennessee Winners in the fight against crime.

Kenny Martin is city manager in Mt. Juliet.

Kenny Martin: How to be rich during tough times

Kenny Martin
City Manager
Mt. Juliet

With what seems like a daily dose of bad news-related information on our televisions, radios and computers, it’s easy to see how someone could get depressed, stressed and become downright miserable. These are tough times most of us have never seen. These tough times can easily cause us to lose focus on what’s really most important in life. When times get tough, we must get tougher. During tough times, we need to be even closer to our family and friends. If we lean on one another during tough times, we will truly realize it doesn’t take money and material things to make you rich.

For example, what makes you a rich person? Is it money? So many people have lived their entire lives looking for that pot of gold or searching for a way to become rich only to find they were rich all along. Some will work many jobs sacrificing multiple hours of family, fun and relaxation time all for the almighty dollar. Unfortunately, many of these people will never achieve what some would refer to as richness.

Some believe rich means that you have to have lots of money, fancy cars, jewelry and a big house, and that’s simply not the case. It’s true and I must admit that having plenty of money wouldn’t hurt, but that’s not what makes you a rich person. There are plenty of examples of people who won millions by winning the lottery only to become more miserable.

As it was proven many times before, rich has little to do with money, homes, jewelry or fancy cars. Rich has everything to do with having people who love you, your health and knowing that your family and friends are safe, happy and healthy. We must never lose sight of what really makes us so called rich.

Don’t get me wrong, having money to spend is nice, but it’s not everything. Does it help? Of course it helps, but it will not make you happy. For example, no amount of money in the world can guarantee someone’s health or even tomorrow. If you died today, you couldn’t take the money with you but you could take the love with you.

Other examples are cars, jewelry or worldly possessions. They’re great to have, but you can’t take them with you. Cars tend to sit in a garage, jewelry tends to sit in a jewelry case unworn, and most possessions simply sit idle collecting dust. If you don’t have love in your heart and your health, you can’t enjoy any of these things no matter how much money you have.

In other words, rich has nothing to do with money. Rich is a state of mind. The person who awakes each and every day thanking God for his wife, children, family, friends, health and blessings will live rich lives. Rich with money will only make you a poor person if you don’t have love, good health and happiness in your life. We’ve all lost someone we love or been heart broken. Think about it. When you lose someone you love or have a sick family member or friend chances are you aren’t thinking about money or possessions.

The next time you question your wealth in dollars and possessions, simply take a look at the people who love and care for you, and you will suddenly realize just how truly rich and wealthy you are. Simply put, I bet you are extremely rich even without the first dollar in your pocket. Just take a look around, and you’ll suddenly see just how truly wealthy you are. Now you probably know a lot more rich folk, including yourself.

Kenny Martin is city manager in Mt. Juliet.

Kenny Martin: Learning lessons of life

Kenny Martin
City Manager
Mt. Juliet

For quite a long time, I thought crow’s feet pertained to some type of bird’s feet, but now that I’m older, I now refer to crow’s feet as lessons learned and experience. I also recognize crow’s feet as the wrinkles around my eyes.

As a young boy I can, indeed, remember quite a few times thinking my “old” parents didn’t know what they were talking about because they were old.

I can also remember reaching out to what I thought were my closest friends for good, honest and reliable advice. I can also recall many times getting burned by their so-called good advice.

As each and every year passed, I seemed to become a little wiser as I got older. I began to notice a strange occurrence. My parents seemed to get a little smarter and wiser each year. I couldn’t understand this strange and hard-to-believe phenomenon, but I thankfully trusted my gut and went with their advice going forward.

I recall thinking, “could it be that my parents were smart and wise? Could it be that all the whippings and groundings they gave were for my best interest when I misbehaved?” Suddenly, I realized my parents were the two best friends I had. These were the two people who had sacrificed most of their adult life for little ole me. These are the folks who put me first. How cool.

For those of you who have yet to realize what crow’s feet truly means, hang in there. In time, you will realize just like I did that your parents were only looking out for your best interest because they love you immensely.

In the meantime, I have crow to eat now for not listening to my parents more when I was younger. Please don’t make the same mistakes I did, and please listen to your parents.

Thanks, mom and dad, for your helpful guidance. And thank you God for giving us good parents.

Kenny Martin is city manager in Mt. Juliet.

Kenny Martin: We’ve got your back

Kenny Martin
City Manager
Mt. Juliet

With the current ever-franchising thieves, we must do all we can to prevent crime and disorder. Thieves take advantage of hard-working and honest citizens when given time, ability and opportunity. Giving them the opportunity gives them the ability they need, and that is what costs you most.

That is why I am encouraging all citizens to think preventive. Taking just a few preventive crime measures will all but eliminate your chances of becoming a victim of crime.

Here are just a few proactive crime prevention measures:

• don’t allow strangers in your home.

• don’t give out personal information.

• don’t allow strangers to look over your shoulder and retrieve your personal information when in live anywhere.

Criminals have been known to retrieve home phone numbers, Social Security numbers, date of birth, address, credit account, bank account information and so on, by simply peering over the shoulder of an unsuspecting victim in a store checkout line.

Also, you may want to invest in a small paper shredder to shred personal information like credit card applications, old bill and bank account information and so on. This will allow you to shred all personal information you wish to dispose of in a safe manner.

Criminals have been known to rummage through your trash to retrieve personal information. Any and all documents that contain personal information that you wish to save or dispose of should be done so properly, either by shredding or filing in a locked safe or file cabinet.

When carrying a wallet or purse, ladies should carry their purse close to the body, with the purse or shoulder strap across the shoulder and the purse tucked under the right or left elbow. Men should carry their wallet in a pants pocket that has a button or other fastening device. Other alternatives for both men and women are fanny packs.

In closing, these are only a few crime-prevention techniques, and the best always is common sense and awareness. For further information, please contact your local law enforcement agency and professionals.

Kenny Martin is city manager in Mt. Juliet.

Kenny Martin: Let’s discuss what really makes someone rich

Kenny Martin
City Manager
Mt. Juliet

What makes you a rich person? Is it money? So many people have lived their entire lives looking for that pot of gold or searching for a way to become rich only to find that they had been rich all along. 

Some will work many jobs, sacrificing multiple hours of family, fun and relaxation time all for the almighty dollar. Unfortunately, many of these people will never achieve what some would refer to as being rich. Some believe rich means you have to have lots of money, fancy cars, jewelry and a big house, and that’s simply not the case

As it was proven many times before, rich has very little to do with money, homes, jewelry or fancy cars. Rich has everything to do with having people who love you, your health and knowing your family and friends are safe, happy and healthy. We must never lose sight of what really makes us so-called rich folk. Don’t get me wrong, having money to spend is nice, but it’s not everything. Does it help? Of course it helps, but it will not make you happy. For example, no amount of money in the world can guarantee someone’s health or even tomorrow. If you died today, you couldn’t take the money with you, but you could take the love with you.

Other examples are cars, jewelry or worldly possessions. They’re great to have, but you can’t take them with you. Cars tend to sit in a garage, jewelry tends to sit in a jewelry case unworn, and most possessions simply sit idle collecting dust. If you don’t have love in your heart and your health you can’t enjoy any of these things no matter how much money you have. 

In other words, being rich has nothing to do with money. Rich is a state of mind. The person that awakes each and every day thanking God for his wife, children, family, friends, health and blessings will live rich lives. Rich with money will only make you a poor person if you don’t have love, good health and happiness in your life. We’ve all lost someone we love or who was heartbroken. Think about it. When you lose someone you love or have a sick family member or friend, chances are you aren’t thinking about money or possessions. 

The next time you question your wealth in dollars and possessions, simply take a look at the people who love and care for you, and you will suddenly realize just how truly rich and wealthy you are. Simply put, I bet you are extremely rich even without the first dollar in your pocket. 

Just take a look around, and you’ll suddenly see just how truly wealthy you are. Now you probably know a lot more rich folk, including yourself.

Kenny Martin is city manager in Mt. Juliet