ztroutman's blog

Clear the Air TN: Creating Better Air Quality

Recent reports by the American Lung Association show that air quality across the country has improved, but about half the country still lives under poor air quality, including 5 counties right here in mid-state Tennessee.  In fact the Lung Association motto is "If you can't breath, nothing else matters".  Alan Jones and Joan Barnfield from the TN Department of Transportation's Clear the Air TN campaign talk about the physical effects bad air quality has on the body, what the biggest sources of airborne pollutants are, and how you can help make a difference by following simple step

Stay Cool With Proper HVAC Care and Maintenance

Mike Ward with Total HVAC talks about how to properly maintain your air conditioning unit to avoid a breakdown, what to look for when purchasing a unit or selecting a repair service, how to adjust your thermostat to save the most money AND the most energy, and why it's so important to use high quality air filters and to change them often.  For additional questions, contact Mike and his staff at 615-577-1777, and visit Total-HVAC.com.

Stories of Homelessness

We all know the statistics on homelessness, but what very few, probably none of us know, is what it's actually like to BE homeless.  Steve Samra shares his tale of homelessness, brought on by drug addiction, and how he fought his illness and made his way off of the streets, and now advocates for others not so fortunate.  You'll also hear from homeless blogger Kevin Barbieux, who's words and own life story he hopes inspire and inform others.  Both men dispel common myths about the homeless, such as that they are all just lazy or alcoholics, and recommend the best ways to contr

The State of Homelessness in Nashville

On any given night, there are as many as 4,000 homeless individuals on the streets of Nashville, struggling to survive day to day, and costing the city millions of dollars each year.  Clifton Harris, Executive Director of the Key Alliance, talks about how the organization, a nonprofit devoted to ending homelessness in Nashville, can save the city money through developing the homeless into productive, working citizens, what some of the most common causes of homelessness are, such as mental illness, children leaving foster care, and newly released prisoners, and what the most beneficial

Creating a Healthy Oasis in Nashville "Food Deserts"

For many Nashville residents, healthy groceries are hard to come by.  These people live in what is known as a "food desert", a low income area where transportation is not easily accessible, and there is not a grocery store within a mile.  Miriam Leibowitz, Program Coordinator for the Healthy Corner Store Initiative, talks about how that program is combating this problem by stocking local convenience stores with fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as staples such as milk, eggs, and bread, using federal grant money to simulate both nutritious eating and commerce in p

Tips for Planning a Safe, Smart, Fun Vacation

If you're planning a summer vacation, then this is a must-listen!  Avery Smith from Little Brothers Shell in Brentwood explains how to tune up your car for summer travel, including proper tire care and maintenance schedule, and Mike Prusinski, a Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist, talks about the biggest scams being pulled on travelers these days, and how to avoid having your credit card information stolen while on vacation.  If you're wanting to stay a bit closer to home, Susan Whitaker, Commissioner of the Tn Tourism Department, details Tennessee's b

Getting Your Car Ready for Summer

Tens of millions of Americans are expected to hit the road over the 4th of July this year, visiting family and taking part in Independence Day festivities.  And before you drive anywhere, you need to make sure that your car is in tip-top shape.  Avery Smith, certified mechanic from Little Brothers Shell in Brentwood, details potential dangers you might encounter on the road, and what preventative maintenance you need to take care of now to avoid those problems later on, such as proper tire care, how often you really need to change your fluids, and the most common causes of the dre

Summer Poisons & Toxic Plants

Dr. John Benitez from the TN Poison Center speaks about common poisonous or toxic plants that you may encounter outdoors this summer.  He also explains which indoor plants could also pose a threat, how to properly treat poison ivy and other contact poisons, and safe procedures for eating wild, potentially harmful plants such as polk salad.  To learn more, visit TNPoisonCenter.org, and if you find yourself in a poison related emergency, call the Poison Hotline at 1-800-222-1222.

Don't Let the Bugs, Bug You This Summer!

Buzzing, crawling, swarming, smashing up against your windshield, BUGS ARE BACK as the weather gets warmer.  Professor Frank Hale from the University of Tennessee talks about what insects are most common in our area, explains how to treat mosquito and tick bites, dispels some common myths about chiggers and other pests, and of course, offers some insights into this year's brood of cicadas.  Fun fact:  you can totally eat them!


Memorial Day: Operation Homefront

This Memorial Day, as we take time to thank the men and women of the armed forces who protect us at home and abroad, we also need to consider how we might be able to give back as well.  For many veterans, coming home is often the hard part, after experiencing the hardships and life-altering events of war.  They may have difficulties paying bills, readjusting to civilian life, or learning to live with an injury or disability.  These are exactly the problems that Operation Homefront seeks to resolve for those who se

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