ChattState Chapel Dialogue

Wednesday, July 2, 2014
(The year is 2020. The setting is the James Catanzaro Wildlife Refuge at Chattanooga State. Two students enter the woodsy retreat on the edge of the Tennessee River and take seats on a bench near a stream.)
 
 Girl: What a wonderful place. No cars. No noise. No unfinished paper on "Seinfeld's" impact on TV comedy staring me in the face. Just bird songs and leaves rustling. It’s almost holy.
 
Guy: And to think this site came close to going the way of most green spots on campus.
Jim Catanzaro, the school’s former president, wanted to erect a multi-million dollar, 7,000-square-foot chapel with flying buttresses right here.
Girl: Get out!
Guy: Hey, no shoving. Yes, seriously. Catanzaro said students told him they needed a place for spiritual reflection and for meetings.
Girl: They couldn’t find anywhere to meet on a campus with more than 20 buildings? Help me, Rhonda!
Guy: And if it’s a church you want for meditation, well, this is Chattanooga. Pitch a penny and it'll wind up in a collection plate.
Girl: And what about the separation of church and state? UTC has two chapels, yes, but both were erected long before it became part of the UT system.
Guy: Even if you grant that a place of worship is appropriate for a college campus, the preliminary rendering of the chapel looked like a cathedral. I don't recall flying buttresses in mosques or synagogues. So much for multi-faith accommodation.
Girl: And how about the cost of heating and cooling and maintaining the chapel, not to mention the Carbon Bigfootprint created by such a structure. By the bye, how was the chapel to be financed?
Guy: Catanzaro said the private sector would fund construction costs.
Girl. But that would have meant precious private dollars that could have been directed to student scholarships, faculty raises and curriculum expansion would be squandered on … well, a monument to Catanzaro.
Guy: And then there was the major objection to the project. With so many of the earth’s species under siege, the plan would have destroyed yet another wildlife habitat. The space under consideration for development was -- and thankfully -- is a wetlands.
Girl: Moses, smell the roses.
Guy: People smelled the coffee and woke up. Members of the State Board of Regents heard so many complaints from folks fed up with wasted dollars and indifference to our environment they refused to approve the chapel.
Girl: Was Catanzaro angry as an old man trying to send soup back in a deli?
Guy: To his credit, Catanzaro gracefully accepted the rejection of his misguided plan and seemed pleased that the preserve was named in his honor.
Girl: He should have been pleased. This is a local treasure. Hard to think that every day places like this become rarer. Makes me tear up. But please don't tell anyone.

Guy: It's in the vault, my friend. It's in the vault.

Carolyn Mitchell


Dr. Livesay Should Step Down From Bryan College Leadership - And Response (4)

I am writing in response to the July 25th article, "Online Petition Seeks Removal of Bryan College President, Board Chair".  As a graduate of Bryan College (1984), I am saddened by the response of Dr. Stephen Livesay and the Board of Trustees regarding the online petition.  The purpose of the petition really has little to do with the school’s “clarification” of its ... (click for more)

A Pox On Both Their Houses

Americans all across this country should be aware of how really dishonest both major political parties are being with their constituents as they try to rally voters to their side of the health care debate.   First of all, on the Republican side, having the defunding of Planned Parenthood in their bill means they are already behind the eight ball as they try to muster the ... (click for more)

Lookout Mountain, Tn., As Hall Tax Evaporates, Raises Property Tax By 14 Cents Above New Certified Rate; Parking Rates, Fines Raised

With the Hall tax dwindling, the Lookout Mountain, Tn., Commission on Tuesday night approved a 14-cent property tax increase above the new certified rate.   The July meeting of the commission had been postponed until Tuesday so the amount of Hall state income tax that the town will receive for 2107 would be known before setting the property tax rate and finalizing the ... (click for more)

Man In Critical Condition After Shooting On 34th Street; Carolyn Ross Taken Into Custody

A man is in critical condition after a shooting on Tuesday night on 34th Street.   Carolyn Ross, 57, was taken into custody.   Chattanooga Police responded at 7:20 p.m. to a person shot at the 1900 block E 34 th  Street.   Police initially responded to the report of a disorder at the 3900 block of 6th Avenue. Upon arrival officers learned the ... (click for more)

Lookouts Open Homestand Tuesday With 9-4 Win Over Birmingham

The last place Birmingham Barons fell victim to a six-run sixth inning uprising that lifted the first place Chattanooga Lookouts to Tuesday night's 9-4 win  -- their 24th win of the second half. The Lookouts have 12 wins at home and 12 wins on the road. Starting pitcher Stephen Gonsalves allowed just three hits over 5 2/3 innings. Gonsalves (7-3) allowed two runs while ... (click for more)

SEC Annouces Television Schedule For First Three Weeks Of 2017 Season

The SEC Office on Tuesday announced the start times for games on the SEC Network during the first three weeks of the 2017 season.   The SEC Network Saturday schedule opens with three games on September 2 .  The Network will air six games on the second week of the season and five games in Week 3.  The first Conference matchup of the year on the ... (click for more)