Gandhi Visits Alton Park, A “Forgotten Community”

Monday, January 27, 2014

Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, Arun Gandhi, visited the Alton Park community to encourage the people there in their efforts toward peace and nonviolence. 

“It is a forgotten community,” as Dr. Elenora Woods, D.D.S., and executive director of the Alton Park Community Development Corporation calls it. “But we have big plans for Alton Park.”

While the rest of the city of Chattanooga is being revitalized all around, Alton Park seems to have missed the efforts and is organizing in a call for help as they try to emerge from the devastation left by the city’s “industrial revolution.” 

Poverty. Illiteracy. Lack of Jobs. Respiratory Illnesses. Cancer. Gang Violence. These are all challenges Alton Park residents are working together with Alton Park Development Corporation to address through environmental revitalization, said officials.

Mr. Gandhi reminded the community members that “The worst form of violence is poverty” and that if they can work together to address issues of poverty offering residents education and job opportunities, and developing the community gardening program, as they are now doing, these are the first steps toward building peace and nonviolence.

Alton Park Development Corporation is currently working with permaculturalists Jason Hurd and Rushelle Frazier and a master gardener Horace Hatcher to develop a plan for eight-acres of “Regenerative Agriculture” including community gardens, box gardening classes for children and their parents, fruit and nut trees, cash crops, and the newest urban gardening method—aquaponics—developed by the U.S. government to address issues of hunger in third world countries and now taking off in American’s own urban environment.

Ultimately, Dr. Woods wants to see the agriculture skills acquired by community members not only to feed themselves and their children but also to become sources of income through farm stands and produce wagons. 

Alton Park Development Corporation is one of three local partners of Global Action Initiatives Alliance, including nationally recognized boys school McCallie which partnered with GAIA's Boyz Inc. for their community service during a boys leadership camp last summer and recent Gandhi Visit for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. GAIA also partners with Washington Alternative School which participated in “Season for Nonviolence” workshops in 2013 and a recent Gandhi Visit and visioning for peace and nonviolence. Ultimately, GAIA hopes to connect all three local partners in work across the county, in what GAIA calls "Communities of Concern."

Gandhi Global Center for Peace is a core initiative GAIA will be working with Arun Gandhi to develop. GAIA CEO Missy Crutchfield says the vision for the Global Center for Peace is to partner with schools and community centers around the world to further Gandhi’s legacy of peace and nonviolence. “Why not start here, in my backyard?” she added. “That’s where real peace work has to begin anyway.” 

Mr. Gandhi shared as his visit in Chattanooga concluded, “When working for peace you need to look at all the aspects of violence and what contributes to it. Economic depression is part of the culture of violence we as a society have created. All of these issues comprising the culture of violence will be addressed by the Gandhi Global Center for Peace.”

Learn more at www.gaiaworldwide.org

Perry Perkins Endorsed By Chattanooga Fire Fighters

The Chattanooga Fire Fighters Association Local 820 has publicly endorsed Perry Perkins for County Commission District 7 in the Republican primary election.  "The Chattanooga Fire Fighters Association is pleased to announce our endorsement of Perry Perkins," said Jack Thompson, president of the Chattanooga Fire Fighters Association. "Perry's community service and experience ... (click for more)

Huey And Cobra Rides Delayed

Due to inclement weather in Atlanta the Huey and Cobra Rides being hosted by the Hixson Flight Museum will be delayed until Sunday at 1 p.m. There will be military vehicle and cockpit tours on Saturday. The rides will take place at the Hixson airport (Dallas Bay Skypark) 1824 E Crabtree Road.  The Museum of Flight provides tours and gives airplane rides in the vintage ... (click for more)

Man Shot On Cannon Avenue Early Saturday Morning

A man was shot early Saturday morning on Cannon Avenue. At approximately 5:30 a.m., Chattanooga Police responded to 2300 Cannon Ave. for shots fired.  Shortly after receiving the call, officers learned that a victim arrived at a local hospital.  The victim suffered a gunshot wound to the right leg and is undergoing treatment. The injury is not considered to be life-threatening.  ... (click for more)

Child Playing With Cigarette Lighter Starts $25,000 Mobile Home Fire

A child playing with a cigarette lighter started a mobile home fire on Saturday morning. At 9 a.m., the Chattanooga Fire Department responded to a mobile home fire at 6561 Cassie Lane. It took four fire companies about 10 minutes to get the fire under control. The fire was contained to one bedroom. No injuries were reported. Damage to the home is around $25,000. (click for more)

When The City Was Silent - And Response

I don't know how to say this without getting my head handed back to me on a platter as is often the usual case. But at least I no longer receive the hateful (even threatening) emails and insults I became accustomed to. So I'll just bite and say it: I honestly don't see anything expressed by the NSM that hasn't been said locally on some level at one time or another, and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: God Could Use You…

In the spring of 1968, this just before pro golfer Billy Casper would win six tournaments that year and be the leading money winner on the tour, the wildly-popular “Buffalo Bill” was in Japan playing some off-season tournaments. He was asked if he would like to visit some American soldiers who had been seriously wounded and Casper, ever the gentleman, said of course. As he melted ... (click for more)