It’s Health, Not Rocket Science
Laws and Stuff
The effort was critical because Tennessee is no longer on a level playing field; over the last three years we have become surrounded by states that have already drained away tens of millions of dollars in business, and we almost lost the consummate Tennessee story, the Oscar-winning Walk the Line , to Shreveport, La. There are approximately 5,000 people employed in the film and television industries across the state of Tennessee, so the situation is bigger than anything happening in Memphis or Nashville or Knoxville or any one part in-between.
Professionals have increasingly had to go out of state to find work, and what could be more embarrassing for the great state of Tennessee than to see our film pros find so little work or be so poorly valued that they have to feed their families and make house payments by working in competing states? Much of the small business film/TV infrastructure across the state is dependent upon the very availability of filmmaking professionals, and because they have been forced to find work elsewhere or even permanently relocate, this causes an erosion of the small business infrastructure across the state.
Related to this issue, it was particularly unbelievable to see film professionals compared [by Ross Bagwell of Rivr Media] to workers shoveling manure, particularly when coupled with a statement about out-of-state companies possibly paying our film crew better than in-state companies currently do. First of all, isn’t this what free enterprise capitalism is all about?
…I don’t believe I’ve seen such language anywhere since reading histories about large manufacturing companies during the industrial age, and how they treated the workers upon whose labor they became rich and powerful to begin with. The Visual Content Act is not about some sort of entitlement to film/TV people—it’s about our state fighting back against surrounding states who have in fact recently implemented their own incentive packages that have drained away business opportunities and professionals, while eroding our film/TV infrastructure.
We are fighting back in the same way that our nation must fight back when competing countries drain business and jobs from America. Mega-business owners may not care if their profit margins are greater because they use cheaper labor in foreign territories, but the American workers who lose their incomes care a great deal. No legislation can possibly be perfect for 100 percent of the people 100 percent of the time—this is about thinking on behalf of the state as a whole. Thank God the majority of political and business leaders across Tennessee understand that we are simply leveling the playing field, in the hope of maintaining and growing our infrastructure.
Andy van Roon
P.S. The past few MP covers—interestingly absent of people—merit praise for mirroring serious, journalistic effort.
It’s Health, Not Rocket Science
It’s about time. Two out of every three deaths in America can be attributed to cancer, diabetes, heart disease or stroke. That’s 1.5 million lives lost each year. Some 12,970 people die annually from cancer alone here in Tennessee. Experts estimate these chronic diseases cost America $690 billion each year.
The risk of these diseases could be cut significantly if people made some everyday lifestyle changes. Yet many health behaviors are going in the wrong direction. Researchers project that if the increasing overweight trend is not reversed in the next few years, poor diet and physical inactivity will overtake tobacco as the leading preventable cause of death.
How did the situation become so dire? Like the rest of the country, the millions of us in the Southeast have grown numb to the “do”s and “don’t”s bombarding us. Don’t eat fat; eat fat, not carbs; get aerobic exercise; do strength training instead; lose weight; don’t diet, just eat right; see your doctor now; see your doctor later. It’s enough to make a person pop open a soda and plop down on the couch in confusion.
Now these health groups have agreed on four simple things that can substantially reduce your risk of death from leading causes:
• Eat a nutritious diet. (And, yes, they explain what that means.)
These three organizations didn’t exactly disagree before now. In fact, they’ve always voiced similar recommendations. Until now, however, each has traditionally focused its public awareness campaign on its respective disease. Well-intentioned, but perhaps not the best way to help Americans sort through the clutter and make healthy changes.
The Everyday Choices for A Healthier LIFE campaign includes educational brochures, ads, a Web site, and a 24-hour call center, not to mention advocacy on Capitol Hill and here in Tennessee. The pooling of knowledge from these experts is unique. What will make the difference in saving lives is whether people get the message.
Anyone interested in a few simple tips to preventing deadly diseases should visit www.everydaychoices.org or call 1-866-399-6789. More importantly, visit your doctor.
If you’re a concerned citizen and want to help, call 1-800-ACS-2345 to learn how to fight for community resources like healthy school meals, education programs, and disease screenings. And find out how to tell your lawmakers to support important research and prevention funding.
Healthcare providers: Follow the lead of doctors like Michael Zemel, Mark Colquitt and my doctor, Stephen Boyce, and help your patients embrace behaviors that could save their lives. Adding your voice to the unified chorus could make an extraordinary impact on death and disease in Tennessee.
Laws and Stuff
Whether or not you agree with Chancellor John Weaver’s decision on the validity of the Knox County Charter, the decision was well supported with law and facts.
Guidelines for Incoming Mail