NOTES FROM THE MAYOR
March 30, 2016
Local baker appears on Cake Wars TV show
Perhaps you read the story in the Tullahoma News last month about Tullahoma’s newest TV star, Mara Finger. A little of the background…..I met Ms. Finger and her two young children at City Hall last month as she was applying for a business license. . I had not met Ms. Finger and did not know her background, but struck up a conversation and offered to take her and her children on a quick tour of City Hall. As they were leaving, she mentioned she was going to be on an episode of the nationally-broadcast TV show, Cake Wars, the following week. I had never seen the show but was familiar with the concept.
Ms. Finger is from Utah, where she and her mom owned a chocolate shop/bakery. Their business in Utah was created to help the Native American youth (Navajo and Ute) by bringing them into the bakery to teach them business skills. Mara is part Navajo , as her late father had proud Navajo roots. She and her family moved to Tullahoma to better care for a sick relative. They fell in love with the area and decided to permanently settle here.
Her dream to become a Food Network cake decorator has been seven years in the making. She heard seven years of countless “no’s” from the network. Finally, she got “the” call from the Food Network last September and was asked if she could fly to Los Angeles the next month. Ms. Finger said the filming was the most intense three days of her life. She had to wait four months after filming before her episode would air. Here is the rest of the story in her own words:
“Walking onto the set for the first time, with hair, makeup, and wardrobe complete, was one of the most amazing moments of my life. I was mystified, nervous, but most of all, excited. Finally I was living my dream! The first round was a 75 minute round where we found out the theme was “Minecraft”. I was excited because my son plays that game all the time. We had to choose one of the secret ingredients, which were Swedish desserts since Minecraft originated in Sweden. We decided to choose the chocolate-covered toffee candy bar since we were most familiar with it. The time went very quickly, and it was hard to stay focused with the cameras and bright lights, but I loved every minute of it!
“The judges absolutely loved the taste of my cake, which was the biggest compliment of all! I made a golden almond cake, filled with an espresso milk chocolate fudge sauce, a “Crumble Junk” (a crumble using the Swedish chocolate toffee), topped with an almond Swiss meringue buttercream. The judges liked my design and my concept, but because we only had 75 minutes, being precise with those modeling chocolate squares and sharp edges took forever.
“ I didn’t win, but I treasure the experience and plan to participate again in one of the upcoming seasons. I want to redeem myself and show everyone what I can do! Now that I have my feet wet, I will know what to expect and be more comfortable with the process.”
Here is what I most appreciate about Ms. Finger, again in her own words: “I want to give back and inspire all of those who have ever had a ‘crazy’ dream and let them know it is possible to accomplish anything you put your mind to.”
If your church, social or civic organization or school would like to hear Ms. Finger’s fascinating and motivating story in person, she would love to visit. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ms. Finger sells cakes out of Fast Jack’s and teaches cake decorating classes at The Painted House.
School technology a plus!
The monthly meeting of the Planning and Coordinating group took place a couple of weeks ago. This group meets once a month and about 25 people attend, including aldermen, city government leaders, and affiliated agency leaders. Director of Schools Dr. Dan Lawson showed a new, 10 minute video spotlighting the use of technology in the city schools. Although it is too early to see results from this new technology, there are many positive stories from both students and teachers. All students K-12 have access to technology and students grades 3-12 get to take their technology notebooks home. Tullahoma City Schools is one of 10 school systems in the country that have been recognized nationally for enhancing technology in student instructions. You can view the video at the Tullahoma City Schools website. Congratulations, students, teachers, administration and School Board!
Students enjoy a “Day on the Hill”
A couple of weeks ago, Evelyn, THS teacher Sharon Woodard, and I, along with 25 THS students, attended Coffee County Day on the Hill. We took a school bus to Nashville (the first school bus trip I have taken in many years). Also attending were about 50 citizens from all over Coffee County. We call it Coffee County Day on the Hill because we provide lunch for members of the General Assembly and their staffs. It is good to keep Coffee County, Manchester and Tullahoma “top of mind” with our legislators as they pass legislation every day that affects each of us.
In the morning we heard from Speaker Beth Harwell, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, Secretary of State Tre Hargett, and Gov. Bill Haslam. We then had a group picture made on the steps of the capitol with Gov. Haslam. Next we ate BBQ with the legislators and took a tour of the capitol. Some of the students sat in on committee meetings. We got to go on both the House and Senate floors. A highlight for THS student Reanna Merritt was seeing the portrait of former Gov. Bredesen, which was painted by her uncle. For the THS students it was an interesting and educational trip as most had never been to the capitol. I saw a few familiar faces from my days in the legislature many years ago. A special thank you to Rep. Judd Matheny and his assistant, Jennifer, for coordinating Coffee County Day on the Hill.
November 7, 2014
Robert E Lee Walk-a-thon
August 13, 2014
Wheels n Motion
For the past 22 years the members of the Southern Wheels ‘n’ Motion Car Club have hosted their annual extravaganza on the grounds of South Jackson Civic Center. On Saturday, they outdid themselves! The beautiful weather brought out 240 vehicles from at least 45 counties, plus Georgia, Alabama, Indiana and Florida.
Hundreds of spectators enjoyed seeing everything from Model T’s in excellent condition to 2014 Chevy Corvettes and everything in between. The vehicle owners enjoyed relaxing under the huge shade trees and swapping stories. And the best part…….all proceeds go to support the club’s charitable causes. Thanks, members, for all you do! A great way to showcase Tullahoma!
Congrats to Dr. Dan Lawson
Congrats to Dr. Dan Lawson, Director of Tullahoma City Schools, for being named the 2014 Superintendent of the Year by the Professional Educators of Tennessee, a 7,000 member association founded by educators for educators. The announcement was made June 14 at the group’s annual conference. Here are part of Dr. Lawson’s comments to the group: “I continue to work in a job that I love. A job that allows me to advocate for quality people and programs, a job that allows me to provide a voice for those without a voice and a job that will have made a real difference in young people long after I have left the helm.” Congratulations, Dr. Lawson. Being honored by your peers is a great honor. This is at least the second state-wide recognition Dr. Lawson has earned.
During the past 25 years, 78 individuals associated with AEDC have been selected as an AEDC Fellow. This is a high honor. On Wednesday night four more were selected, Dr. Heard Lowry, Michael Mills, Ross Roepke, and John Sutton. Congratulations to these four new honorees. As I listened to each introduction I was amazed at the major contributions each has made to our nation’s defense. The guest speaker for the evening was the Chief Scientist of the U.S. Air Force, Dr. Mica Endsley. She spoke on the future of the Air Force. I did not understand much of what she said but I did catch hypersonics, navigation systems, Information Fusion and cyberspace. As usual, Dr. Kraft and Col. Toth did an excellent job presenting the honorees.
Keep in mind fireworks can only be shot in the Tullahoma city limits from July 1 to July 3 between the hours of 10 am and 10:30 pm. On July 4 the hours are extended from 10 am to 11:30 pm. Please be considerate of your neighbors and their pets. To report complaints about fireworks being shot outside these times, call 455-3411. Fireworks can be dangerous. Be safe! And always clean up after fireworks are shot.
Duck River Clean-up
The Duck River Clean-up is Saturday from 8 am to noon. Meet at the Normandy Dam and Boat Ramps. Free t-shirt to the first 100 who volunteer. Don’t forget your hat, sunscreen, insect repellant and a big smile. Questions? Call Connie at 409-6091. Help keep Coffee County and our rivers beautiful!