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Get involved on a city board

City Council will appoint over 40 members to city boards and commissions at the February 14th meeting — filling vacancies due to expiring terms, resignations, etc. See http://oakridgetn.gov/content.aspx?article=5294 for details, and attend the information session on Wednesday, January 19, 2022, 5-7 pm in the Civic Center social room to talk with Council members, staff, and current board members about the opportunities to get involved with your city.


Candidate forums for the city election

There are several upcoming opportunities for Oak Ridgers to meet and hear from candidates for city office.

  • Thursday evening (October 11) at 7 pm, there’s a City Council candidate forum on local cable channel 12 (on Comcast; it may not be available to AT&T customers). The five candidates for 4-year terms on Council have been invited to participate.
  • Tuesday afternoon, October 16, 4-6 pm, is a “Popcorn and Politics” event at the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce, where attendees can meet various local candidates.
  • The League of Women Voters of Oak Ridge candidate forum is Tuesday, October 16, at 7:00 p.m. in the Oak Ridge High School Amphitheater, 1450 Oak Ridge Turnpike. The press announcement says that candidates running for Oak Ridge City Council and Oak Ridge Board of Education have been invited to participate, and Darrell Richardson has been invited to moderate. Although one of the candidates for City Council (Derrick Hammond, running for the two-year unexpired term) and all three candidates for the Board of Education are unopposed, because several of these candidates are new to Oak Ridge voters, to become better acquainted with the new candidates and reacquainted with the opinions of incumbents, the League is inviting all candidates to give opening statements, answer questions from the audience and the moderator, and give closing statements.
  • Thursday, October 18, 7-8:30, there’s an informal meet the candidates event at the Oak Ridge Civic Center, sponsored by Democracy for East Tennessee.

I’ll be busy, and I hope to meet some interested citizens!



Martin Luther King Day events in Oak Ridge – 2017

Here’s the schedule I received today. Note that one of these events has already passed:

2017 Oak Ridge Celebrations
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Holiday
Monday, January 16, 2017
“A Day On, Not A Day Off”
Schedule of Events

Wednesday, January 11th

10:00 a.m. Department of Energy, ORO, ORAU, 210 Badger Road
ORAU Pollard Technology Conference Center
Guest Speaker: Rev. P. Banneker Hatcherson, Pastor
23rd Street Baptist Church, Birmingham, AL
Sponsor: Black Employment Program

6:00 p.m. Oak Valley Baptist Church, 194 Hampton Road
Dr. King Program and Soul Food Dinner
Guest Speaker: David Anderson, Regional Supervisor, Dept. of Children Services and
President, Anderson County Branch of NAACP
Theme: “Has Dr. King’s Dream become a Reality?”
Sponsor: OVBC Family Life Ministries

Monday, January 16th

8:00a.m. Atomic City Sportsmen’s MLK Breakfast, 194 Hampton Road
(Oak Valley’s Fellowship Hall)
Guest Speaker: Rev. Renee Kessler, Director of Beck Cultural Center
Sponsor: Atomic City Sportsmen

9:45 a.m. The “Community Speaks” Program, 602 Scarboro Road
New Hope Center, (Y-12) Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC.
Guest Speaker: Rev. Linda Wilson Calvert
Theme: “The Strength To Love”
Participants: SECME Inc. /Scholarship Awards/Music/Dance
Sponsors: Xi Iota Omega Chapter, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Consolidate Nuclear Security, LLC., Oak Valley Baptist Church, Saint Stephens Episcopal Church

Lunch (New Hope Center Lobby)
Methodist Medical Center/Covenant Health
Desserts: By Church Women United

4:00p.m. MLK Basketball Benefit, Robertsville Middle School, 245 Robertsville Road
Teams: Robertsville Middle School vs. Oliver Springs Middle School
Girls Junior Varsity 4:00 p.m.
Boys Junior Varsity 5:00 p.m.
Girls Varsity 6:00 p.m.
Boys Varsity 7:00 p.m.


Special recycling event today (Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014)

Celebrate America Recycles Day — Sponsored by Keep Anderson County Beautiful

Saturday November 8, 2014

10 AM to 2 PM

95 Oak Ridge Turnpike in Oak Ridge (next to Willow Ridge Nursery)

Materials to be Collected for Recycling:
Computers and peripherals (processors (CPUs), optical drives (CDROM, CDRW, DVD, etc), network and communications hardware (modems, routers, hubs, etc), drives (hard drives, floppy), keyboards, laptops, mice, monitors, network hardware (servers), paper tape readers and punchers, plotters, printers, tape

Home Electronics:
No “white goods” (no refrigerators, freezers, washers, dryers, etc.)

We do accept TV’s (flat panel, plasma,LCD’s etc but NO TV cabinetry), microwaves, mixers, phones (corded, cordless, and cellular), entertainment goods (VCRs, DVD players, radios, speakers.
Please Note: $20 charge for CRT (wide) computer monitors & TVs (because of toxic screen phosphors and lead)

Personal documents for shredding (sponsored by ORNL Federal Credit Union)

Used rechargeable batteries (no alkaline or auto batteries)

Cell phones

Compact fluorescent bulbs (no long tubes)

Books (no textbooks, please!)



Candidate forum season enters the home stretch

cityseal There are three candidate events remaining on the calendar for Oak Ridge City Council and Board of Education elections. All are open to the public, without charge.

  • Thursday, October 9 – DFET (Democracy for East Tennessee) meet-the-candidates event, 7:00 pm at Oak Ridge Civic Center gym
  • Tuesday, October 14 – Elks Lodge Meet the Candidates Night and forum for City Council, 6:00 pm at Oak Ridge Elks Lodge, 684 Emory Valley Road
  • Thursday, October 16 – Elks Lodge Meet the Candidates Night and forum for School Board, 6:00 pm at Oak Ridge Elks Lodge, 684 Emory Valley Road

Early voting starts Wednesday, October 15, and runs through Thursday, October 30. Election day is Tuesday, November 4.


It’s candidate forum season

citysealThere are lots of candidate forums and “meet the candidates” occasions scheduled this year for Oak Ridge City Council and Board of Education elections. All are open to the public, without charge.

  • Wednesday, September 17 – League of Women Voters forum for school board and state candidates (yes, you already missed it!)
  • Thursday, September 25 – League of Women Voters forum for Oak Ridge City Council, 7 pm, Oak Ridge High School amphitheater (upstairs from the lobby)
  • Tuesday, September 30 – Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce forum for City Council candidates, 7:30 am at the Chamber offices (informal meet and greet starts at 7:00 am; light breakfast available)
  • Wednesday, October 1 – PTA/PTO candidate forum for school board, 6:00 pm at Oak Ridge High School amphitheater. Meet and greet starts at 5:30 pm.
  • Thursday, October 2 – Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce forum for school board candidates (see September 30 for time and location, etc.)
  • Wednesday, October 8 – PTA/PTO candidate forum for city council, 6:00 pm at Oak Ridge High School amphitheater. Meet and greet starts at 5:30 pm.
  • Thursday, October 9 – DFET (Democracy for East Tennessee) meet-the-candidates event, 7:00 pm at Oak Ridge Civic Center gym
  • Tuesday, October 14 – Elks Lodge Meet the Candidates Night and forum for City Council, 6:00 pm at Oak Ridge Elks Lodge, 684 Emory Valley Road
  • Thursday, October 16 – Elks Lodge Meet the Candidates Night and forum for School Board, 6:00 pm at Oak Ridge Elks Lodge, 684 Emory Valley Road

Added September 26: There’s also a local League of Women Voters forum about the state constitutional amendment referendum questions on the ballot:

  • Tuesday, October 7, 7 pm, at Pollard Auditorium.

Early voting starts Wednesday, October 15, and runs through Thursday, October 30. Election day is Tuesday, November 4.

Updated October 12 after I discovered that the Elks Lodge is holding two candidate forums.


Another chance to get rid of hazardous household items

nicadbatteryPeople who have been waiting to safely dispose of hazardous household items have a second chance this year. Anderson County Solid Waste Management is holding a  Household Hazardous Waste Collection on Saturday, September 27, 2014, 9 am to 2 pm, at the Oak Ridge Public Works building at 100 Woodbury Lane (behind the K-Mart shopping center).

According to the announcement, Household Hazardous Waste is anything generated in the household that has a hazardous property. A material is hazardous if it is flammable, corrosive, toxic, or reactive with heat or contact with metals.

What’s accepted:





What not to bring:


Note: Items marked with asterisks(*) are accepted on a year-round basis at Anderson County’s Blockhouse Valley Road facility.

Don’t show up with commercial or agribusiness waste. However, Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators are eligible to participate by appointment. Contact Clean Harbors Environmental Services at 615-643-3180 with a waste inventory to request a price quote and schedule an appointment.

(865) 463-6845


No more competing festivals in Oak Ridge in June?

20110618114917There’s good news for everyone who has been saying they hope the Lavender Festival and Secret City Festival will be held on different weekends in the future (as happened this year) instead of competing on the same days (as happened for most of the Secret City Festival’s history). In 2014, the Secret City Festival will be on June 13 and 14, and the Lavender Festival will be the following Saturday, June 21, in Jackson Square.

Actually, this is good news for the whole community — more people will participate in more festival activities, vendors will have more opportunities to sell their wares, volunteers won’t have to try to be two places at once, etc., etc.


Police seminar on preventing tragedy

An opportunity that may interest many Oak Ridgers these days:

The Oak Ridge Police Department will host a public informational seminar, Preventing Tragedy: A Community United, Monday, April 15, 2013 at The New Hope Center, 602 Scarboro Road from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

The recent tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut has stimulated a broad nationwide discussion aimed at preventing future such events. This seminar is designed to make citizens aware of possible warning signs of violent behavior and a plan for how to alert the proper agency. Topics of discussion will be mental and emotional health, precautions, and solutions. City residents, employers, and employees in Oak Ridge are encouraged to attend.

Speakers will include Jim Akagi, Oak Ridge Chief of Police, Ben Harrington, Executive Director of the Mental Health Association of East Tennessee, and Andy Burr LPC, Ridgeview Psychiatric Center.

Light refreshments will be served at 5:00 pm in the lobby and there will also be informational booths set up. Pre-registration can be made by emailing preventingtragedy@ridgevw.com.  

For more information visit the city website www.oakridgetn.gov.


Spring cleaning

Litter picker-uppers earlier this springPlenty of spring cleaning is going on in the community (and I  need to do some at my house, too).

Melton Lake Cleanup. Volunteers are needed on Saturday, March 23 (rain date March 30) to pick up trash on the shores of Melton Lake. TVA has lowered the lake level for the occasion. Oak Ridge Breakfast Rotary, Greenways Oak Ridge, and Keep Anderson County Beautiful  are partnering for the event. Assemble at the new pavilion in Melton Lake Park (Oak Ridge) at 9:00 AM, wear sturdy shoes, and bring work gloves.  The City is supplying the trash bags.

Log your litter collection activity for the Great American Cleanup. The months of March through May are the Keep America Beautiful Great American Cleanup. Citizens who pick up litter and trash around the community or on the lakefront are urged to go to the Keep Anderson County Beautiful website to log your hours of effort and pounds of litter picked up. Many of us pick up litter when we are out walking. If you tell KACB about your efforts, we (I’m on the board) will tell the world (including the state and national organization, as well as Anderson County government) about the amount of work  that volunteers have done on behalf of the community. I’ve logged 27.5 pounds of litter (that was actual weight, but many people estimate) already this spring, just in my own neighborhood.

Garlic mustard pull and wildflower walk. See native wildflowers and help eradicate an invasive weed on April 6 on the Wildflower Greenway behind the Rolling Hills Apartments (formerly Garden Apartments).  This annual event is sponsored by Greenways Oak Ridge and Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning.

Household Hazardous Waste. Saturday, April 13, 2013, from 9 am to 2 pm, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and Anderson County Solid Waste Management will conduct the county’s once-a-year Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event at the Oak Ridge Public Works Building at (100 Woodbury Lane in Oak Ridge, located behind the K-Mart/Kroger shopping center).

This is for waste generated by residents — no commercial or agribusiness waste will be accepted. Wastes they will accept include household cleaners, adhesives, paint removers, herbicides, pesticides, solvents, antifreeze, oil additives, rechargeable batteries, lithium batteries, pool chemicals, an similar items. Don’t bring paint, electronics, empty containers, medical waste, explosives, radioactive materials, or alkaline batteries. (Paint and electronics are accepted year round at Anderson County’s Blockhouse Valley Rd. facility; and alkaline batteries can go in regular trash.) It’s OK to bring household hazardous waste for your friends and relatives who cannot attend.

Contact Anderson County Solid Waste at (865) 463-6845 for more information. The Household Hazardous Waste Mobile Collection Service was established by the Solid Waste Management Act of 1991 to remedy improper disposal and to educate the public. This service is paid for by the Solid Waste Management Fund, which receives its revenue from a surcharge of tipping fees from Tennessee landfills and incinerators and from the $1.35 fee on each new tire sold at retail in Tennessee.

City Trash and Brush Pickups. Finally, the city of Oak Ridge spring trash pickup starts April 1, 2013, followed by brush pickup starting April 29. (Don’t mix trash with brush.)  Details and the trash pickup schedule are on the city website. Trash collection starts in Burnham Woods, followed by Woodland and the city’s southeastern quadrant in the first week, and finishes up in the west end of the city in week number 4.