From Evergreener Bill Bullock:
Since the Flint, Michigan disaster, there has been a lot of attention given to lead in water supplies nationwide. I have had a number of neighbors ask me about this. When my family with two toddlers moved into our house in Evergreen in the early 1990s, I had the water tested because I knew our house had some lead pipes. I also knew that lead exposure was most critical to young children. While I can’t remember the numbers from the test, it showed that the first batch of water drawn in the morning that sat in the pipes overnight had more lead in it than the batch after you let the water run a bit. And both levels were low compared to “action levels.” It was explained to me that there was a coating inside these pipes such that there was actually very little lead in contact with the water. And, MLGW continually adds appropriate levels of chemicals not only to kill any bacteria that may get in pipes, but promote this coating so that pipe materials don’t leach into the water.
Recently, MLGW published a list that indicated households that may have water lines that utilize lead. It was common practice during the time many of our Evergreen homes were built. I have seen some online discussion where residents equated this list with confirmed lead in the water. That is not the case. It is probably a good indication that the original service to the house was lead. It likely does not reflect whether or not that service was replaced with something since then. While the pipes inside our house are no longer lead, the service from the meter to the house is. I know there is an EPA “action level” of 15 parts per billion (ppb) where water utilities must address certain circumstances at or above that level. I was curious how my water compared, so I had the water tested again recently. The recent test for lead in my water shows less than 1 ppb of lead in both the samples taken. A local scientist I know not in the water business told me, “to pick up levels below 1 pbb is very difficult and doesn’t seem to make any difference in human toxicity.” Given that a lab test would likely give the same results for the water at my home compared to the purest water available anywhere (less than 1 ppb), I continue to be satisfied that my drinking water is safe. However, there is no doubt that lead is bad for people, and we should do all we can to make sure especially the youngest of us have as little exposure as possible.
If you have any concerns or questions about your water, I recommend you contact MLGW to get a water test for your own home. This can give you more certainty about the water you are drinking. Contact information for that test and other information regarding lead and water can be found at the following:
For a sample kit & test results, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Additionally, NPR recently had an interesting segment on this topic. You can find it at:
The Evergreen Historic District’s annual dessert potluck will be held on Thursday,August 18 at 6:00 p.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church fellowship hall. In addition to being able to share some delicious desserts and fellowship with your fellow Evergreeners there will be three guest speakers. Greg McCullough, Central High School principal and Jamie Stallsmith, principal of Snowden Middle School will bring you up to date with what is planned for the coming school year. John Michales from Mid-South Regional Greenprint will bring us up to date on all the exciting things they are doing to enhance our community.
April 28-May 7
RedBall Project is the inaugural exhibition for Brooks Outside, a new program for the Brooks, which will enliven and invigorate Brooks Museum grounds, Overton Park, or sites around the community. Each has been chosen to offer meaningful experiences, to extend community goodwill, and to generate discussions about art in general.
RedBall Memphis Locations | 11 am – 6 pm, each day
Thursday, April 28 – Memphis Brooks Museum of Art plaza
Friday, April 29 – New Daisy Theatre, 330 Beale St.
Saturday, April 30 – Beale Street Landing, 251 Riverside Dr.
Sunday, May 1 – 409 S. Main St.
Monday, May 2 – University of Tennessee-HSC, Student Alumni Center, 800 Madison Ave.
Tuesday, May 3 – Barboro Alley, Front St. between Union and Gayoso
Wednesday May 4 – Memphis College of Art, in Overton Park
Thursday, May 5 – Hattiloo Theatre, 37 S. Cooper St.
Friday, May 6 – Stax Museum of American Soul Music, 926 E. McLemore Ave.
Saturday, May 7 – Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, 1916 Entrance, during Party for the Century
In 1978, Evergreen Historic District Association incorporated and drafted its Constitution and By Laws with this specific wording, “To be an advocate for, preserve and protect, Overton Park and the Old Forest, within as a valuable and unique natural setting.” True to the written word, the breadth of what EHDA has done and continues to do in the fight to save the Greensward is extensive. As early as 1989, EHDA had hands-on involvement in the negotiations that led to the Zoo Master Plan which specifically stated there would be no parking on the Greensward. Neither the Zoo nor the City has held up to this agreement.
To date, we’ve been seated at roundtable discussions with the Mayor, City Council, Overton Park Conservancy and the Zoo. In 2014, through our efforts with OPC, City officials promised, in writing, that a resolution to the Greensward parking issue was near. In the final hour, that resolution was withdrawn. Most recently, our legal counsel has filed a motion to intervene in the Chancery Court litigation currently pending between the Zoo and OPC.
In addition, last fall we hosted mayoral and council member debates with Evergreenissues at their heart making sure questions about the Greensward were addressed. We’ve organized peaceful protests and funded environmental studies.
We’ve provided volunteers at Zoo shuttle stops and Park entrances — helping Zoo participants get to free offsite parking. We are continually documenting the Greensward parking both on high and low traffic days. We’ve even been the butt of editorial cartoons!
Council called a backdoor meeting to vote on a Greensward resolution, EHDA sent out an urgent request to all board members and neighbors asking them to attend the Council meeting. Evergreen showed up in number providing historic, personal and often passionate accounts of what Overton Park means to us as a community. While the resolution was voted down, EHDA is poised to continue its efforts both in the lawsuit that is currently pending and organizing the community in opposition to further damage to the Greensward.
To that end, EHDA representatives recently met with other groups trying to preserve the Park, and EHDA has joined an umbrella group which represents all of midtown, including:
- Midtown Action Committee
- Park Friends
- Memphis Heritage
- Midtown Memphis Development Corp.
- Stop Hurting Overton Park Group
- Cooper Young
- Overton Park Conservancy
- East End Neighborhood
- Belleair Woods
- Morningside Place
- Peace and Justice
- Tucker Jefferson
- Central Gardens
EHDA is not giving up! We are hopeful the mediation now underway will be fruitful. Saying this, now is the time to let your voice be heard, and loudly! Keep writing op-eds, sharing information, going to meetings, staying informed, enjoying the Greensward, calling local and national media, peacefully and respectfully protesting, and doing what you personally can to let your officials know you’re not backing down. Email the City Council members (http://www.memphistn.gov/
Check out the new section of the website! While you are there sign up!
This year’s CommUnity@Snowden
The fifth annual V&E Artwalk will feature 70 artists from the Greater Memphis area selling their crafts. It will also include a silent auction, large children’s area, local musicians, exciting food options, craft beer, wine and soft drinks. The Artwalk is sponsored by Midtown’s V&E Greenline and will take place Saturday April 23, 2016 from 11:00 to 6:00 at 1625 Tutwiler Ave on the V&E Greenline. For further information, see VEGreenline.org
From EHDA’s President, Wain Rubenstein:
“I just want to thank everyone who came to the council meeting on March 1, and those who spoke. Also to the Evergreen Board for your support. It was very gratifying to not only see Evergreeners there, but people from from all over Midtown, and other parts of the city. A special thanks to Carrie and Gene who have worked so hard on the legal side of this.
To say the least, we are all disappointed in the outcome, but I am the eternal optimist, and feel in the end we will prevail. We are on the side of right. It may not be everything we want, but I think we will gain some measure. Maybe I’m being naive, but I truly believe that.
I’m not sure what the next steps are, but this will be on the agenda for the Evergreen board meeting next week. Once again thanks to all.”