All posts by Nick Della Volpe

Creative ways to build sidewalks

Nick Della Volpe
Features columnist

We need your help.

As a city councilman, you often hear from neighborhood groups and individuals about the need/desire for more sidewalks, a safer way to get around the neighborhood on foot or bike. In a May 10 Shopper article, I wrote about the five criteria the city’s engineers use to assign priority to sidewalk segments to build.

Let’s focus on quantity. Currently, Knoxville builds roughly a mile-plus of new sidewalks and rebuilds another mile-plus of reworked/repaired walks each budget year. How can we build more?

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See how to run

Nick Della Volpe
Features columnist

Should you seek one of the five Knoxville City Council seats up for election this year? The primary is just seven months away. You and your family must decide if you have the time and the inclination to serve.

To start: Examine your district boundaries at knoxmpc.org. Visit knoxvotes.org for rules and forms. Get a petition signed by at least 25 registered voters from your district (get 50 to be safe). Appoint a treasurer before you raise or spend the first dime.

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Reflections upon fallen leaves

Nick Della Volpe
Features columnist

Nature’s cycles.

Fall means raking leaves, at least in my hilltop yard, which is surrounded by mature oak trees, as well as dogwoods and ornamentals. Those giants are not like my Chilhowee Drive neighbor’s modest-sized gingko tree. The gingko’s leaves turn a brilliant gold in the fall, then almost overnight, drop to ground, blanketing its base in gold.

Brilliant but fleeting. One session and you’re done. My oak trees demand more attention. They parcel out their brown bounty over several months, from November through year’s end. A sea of leaves, that would mound knee deep if left unattended.

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Northeast summit: A call for frank, focused discussion

Nick Della Volpe
Features columnist

Sept. 29 is almost here. Have you marked your calendar for the Northeast Economic Summit yet?

You are invited. Indeed, you, and the new businesses we hope will choose to serve us, are the reason for the event. We ask you to attend and actively participate. It’s our chance to display the opportunities to successfully open and run a business here. Your responses to the earlier survey questionnaire show you want better retail, restaurants and health care close to home.

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East Towne Mall: Born again

Nick Della Volpe
Features columnist

Many of us grew up reading about the Phoenix, an ancient bird that was said to have flown to the temple at Heliopolis toward the end of its days where, after creating a fire that consumed it, it rose up from its own ashes, ready to fly again, even stronger.

There is now hope that East Towne Mall will also rise again under new ownership. This renewed creature (sans fire, of course) will likely appear and function differently from the 1984-era mall.

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Northeast survey reveals desires, needs

Nick Della Volpe
Features columnist

The online survey of business availability in Northeast Knoxville is entering its final week.

Your voice is important and we want to hear from you. Please invest five minutes to complete the survey monkey questionnaire – there are just 9 questions – so we will have a decent database to help launch a successful Economic Summit for the northeast quadrant this fall. The Chamber and Leadership Knoxville have said they will join us in that effort. So will the four BPAs active in our area.

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Let’s plan for an eastside economic summit

Nick Della Volpe
Features columnist

Ever been to Turkey Creek during the holiday season? Long traffic queues, scarce parking slots, crowded store aisles, slow checkouts. Kinda makes a root canal look attractive … at least to us guys. Too much of a good thing.

Meanwhile, buyers in the east end of the county are left to wonder where are all those farsighted entrepreneurs with pockets full of discretionary dollars waiting for a suitable outlet. No wonder the likes of Amazon are prospering.

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A stroll down sidewalk making

Nick Della Volpe
Features columnist

Lots of questions about sidewalks have surfaced lately. Go to any community meeting in this city. Everyone wants more sidewalks: kids walking to school, moms pushing strollers, exercisers completing those 10,000 steps, other folks just enjoying a casual stroll out of harm’s way.

What is holding us back? Money, for one thing. Sidewalks are costly, and budgets are finite. The work is included as part of the city’s budget process. Local tax dollars, not state money, pay for the work.

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Dogwoods gone by…

Nick Della Volpe
Features columnist

Spring has burst onto the scene with a dazzling array of color. For the past two weeks breath-taking blooms in purple, pink and white have covered the trees, have brought smiles to even the dourest of curmudgeons.

Flowering pears, redbuds and cherry blossoms let us know that those dogwood buds are closely behind. Soon the Dogwood Trails and Festival will begin, with multiple venues and varied events to visit.

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