Kids Day at the Oak Ridge Farmers’ Market on Saturday

Kids Day at the Oak Ridge Farmers Market

Photo by East Tennessee Farmers Association for Retail Marketing

 

Don’t miss Kids Day at the Oak Ridge Farmers Market in Jackson Square this week. This free event on Saturday, May 23, will feature live farm animals, crafts, games, music, and a chef at the Market offering samples of the season’s best produce.

Kids Day activities are from 9-11:30 a.m., while the market is open 8 a.m.–noon. The highlight of the morning is a kids FARM Market Scavenger Hunt. Children will hunt for live farm animals and other interesting items brought by the farmers from their homes. Among the items they’re bringing are small farm animals, beekeeping gear, a sheep fleece, an anvil, and more!

Entertaining songs for kids and kids-at-heart will be provided by Tom Beehan, banjo player and former mayor of Oak Ridge, and several of his musical friends.

Children will have a chance to learn about healthy eating with a “My Plate” craft activity led by Anne Brock, author of the popular blog FlourSackMama.com. [Read more…]

Gooch: Main Street No. 1 priority, gives updates on National Park, reappraisals, airport

Main Street Oak Ridge Site Plan April 16, 2015

Oak Ridge Mayor Warren Gooch on Tuesday said his number one priority for the community is the successful development of Main Street Oak Ridge, which would redevelop the former Oak Ridge Mall. Pictured above is a cropped picture of the Main Street Oak Ridge site plan as of April 16. A link to a larger PDF version of the plan is included in the story below.

 

Note: Oak Ridge Mayor Warren Gooch gave an update on positive developments and challenges during a talk to the League of Women Voters of Oak Ridge on Tuesday, May 5. Here is a lightly edited version of his remarks, which organized the positive developments and challenges into sections. Gooch was appointed mayor by the seven-member Oak Ridge City Council on November 24. This is his first four-year term on the City Council.

It is a distinct privilege for me to serve as your mayor, but I always preface my remarks by saying that I am not speaking today for Council or for the city manager. I have one vote on Council, but I do consider myself to be the chairman of the board of directors for the city.

In that capacity, as I enter my sixth month of service as mayor, I want to share my thoughts about positive developments in our city, discuss near-term challenges that we face, share the results that I have from the community survey that I have been conducting, and leave time for your questions and comments.

First. My number one priority for our community is the successful development of Main Street Oak Ridge (which would redevelop the former Oak Ridge Mall), and it is moving forward. Last week, Crosland Southeast announced that MDC Development Group of Atlanta will be the hotel developer for the project. MDC is also a major developer in the senior housing industry and 15 months ago opened Canterfield Oak Ridge Assisted Living. It has been very successful and well-received in our community.

I was advised yesterday (Monday, May 4) that the retail leasing component of the Main Street project is moving forward, as are the negotiations with a developer for the multi-family housing component of the Main Street project. Groundbreaking and demolition for Main Street is on schedule to begin by June 30. [Read more…]

Blankenship Field parking lot project could cost $225,000

Blankenship Field Parking Lot

The lower parking lot at Blankenship Field, which is used for football games and high school graduation.

 

A parking lot paving project at Blankenship Field could cost $225,000, according to an engineering estimate, a city official said Monday.

The City of Oak Ridge is working with the Blankenship Field Revitalization Foundation to address some questions about the work, Public Works Director Gary Cinder said at a City Council meeting on Monday.

The Oak Ridge City Council agreed in May 2014 to use $180,000 in traffic camera money for improvements to the lower parking lot at Blankenship Field, which is used for football games and high school graduation. [Read more…]

Jackson Square fountain won’t be ready by Lavender Fest, but other work should be

Jackson Square Parking Lot Work

The interactive fountain in the center of the Jackson Square parking lot won’t be finished before the Lavender Festival in June, but work around the fountain should be completed by then, a city official said Monday.

 

The interactive fountain won’t be in place by the Lavender Festival in June, but other perimeter work around the Jackson Square parking lot should be completed, a city official said Monday.

Construction work on the $1 million rebuild of the parking lot area at Jackson Square started in January. The construction contract was awarded to Rich Construction Inc. of Lenoir City by the Oak Ridge City Council in October.

The work is funded with help from a $741,609 Tennessee Department of Transportation Enhancement Grant that was awarded to the city in June 2012. The TDOT grant covers 80 percent of the work, and it requires a 20 percent city match.

Jackson Square is Oak Ridge’s original town center. [Read more…]

Photos: Farmers Market, UT Arboretum Society Plant Sale

Farmers Market Opening

The Oak Ridge Farmers Market opened on Saturday, April 18. (Photo by Julio Culiat)

 

The Oak Ridge Farmers Market opened for the season on Saturday, April 18. Its the market’s 39th season.

The market will be open from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays in Historic Jackson Square. It will also be open on Wednesdays beginning May 6.

Here’s what’s new at the market this year: [Read more…]

Photos: Building demolition near Magic Wok

Magic Wok Building Demolition

The demolition of the commercial building next to the Magic Wok restaurant is pictured above on Sunday, March 29. The area to the left most recently housed the Tienda Nony grocery and Appalachian Frame Shop (both stores have relocated in Oak Ridge), and the area to the right housed the Classic Cleaners. (Photo by Julio Culiat)

 

The demolition of the commercial building next to the Magic Wok restaurant started earlier this month.

Pictured above to the left of the Magic Wok is the demolished portion of the building that once housed the Tienda Nony grocery and Appalachian Frame Shop. (Both stores have relocated to new locations in Oak Ridge; Tienda Nony is in a shopping center off Bus Terminal Road, and Appalachian Frame Shop is at Grove Center.) The area to the right of Magic Wok once housed the Classic Cleaners.

In November, a city board ordered the building demolished within 30 days. The demolition order, which was issued earlier this month, does not apply to the Magic Wok, which is in a separate diner on the western side of the building. [Read more…]

Planning for national park, Park Service tours Jackson Square, K-25, ORNL, Y-12

Vic Knox of National Park Service

Vic Knox (Photo by D. Ray Smith)

Note: This story was last updated at 12:37 p.m.

Planning for the new Manhattan Project National Historical Park has started, and federal officials this week toured Jackson Square, the former K-25 site, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the Y-12 National Security Complex.

Stops included the Alexander Inn, Chapel on the Hill, the former K-25 Building site, the Graphite Reactor at ORNL, and two buildings at Y-12: Building 9731, a pilot plant, and Building 9204-3, also known as Beta 3.

“Several of those sites are just amazing,” said Vic Knox, associate director of park planning, facilities, and lands for the National Park Service in Washington, D.C. “They seem like they are just the way they were in 1943. It seems like they take you back in time.”

Oak Ridge was built as part of the Manhattan Project, a top-secret federal program to build the world’s fist atomic weapons during World War II. Besides Oak Ridge, the new national park includes Los Alamos, New Mexico, and Hanford, Washington. [Read more…]

ORPD responds to reports of lockdown, active shooter; no shooter found

Oak Ridge Police Department Logo

The Oak Ridge Police Department responded to a Jackson Square office that had been locked down on Thursday morning because of reports of an active shooter, but officers could find no signs of one, a press release said.

The office lockdown was reported at about 11:10 a.m. Thursday, March 26, at the Jacobs Engineering offices on Broadway Avenue. The ORPD received several calls that the offices were locked because of an active shooter, the release said. [Read more…]

Oak Ridge Farmers Market opens April 18

East TN Farmers Association Logo

The Oak Ridge Farmers Market opens for its 39th season in Historic Jackson Square on Saturday, April 18.

The market will be open from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.

The market will also be open on Wednesdays beginning May 6.

Here’s what’s new at the market this year:

  • Senior Day every Wednesday! Seniors over the age of 60 get 5 percent off their purchases at the Oak Ridge Farmers’ Market.
  • FARM Fan Club—Members receive text reminders and shopping rewards. To sign up, visit the website at www.EastTNFarmMarkets.org.
  • Kids’ Day, May 23, from 9-­11:30 a.m., with live farm animals, crafts, games, and a FARM scavenger hunt for children ages 5 to 12!

The Oak Ridge Farmers’ Market will also host live music and workshops on topics such as herb gardening and composting all summer long. [Read more…]

Demolition work starts on building next to Magic Wok

Tyrone Road Building Demolition-east-end

Demolition work has started on a commercial building on East Tyrone Road just east of the Magic Wok restaurant. Demolition work on the east end of the building is pictured above on Friday afternoon.

 

Demolition work has started on a commercial building on East Tyrone Road behind the popular Magic Wok restaurant. On Friday, an excavator had started demolishing the eastern part of the small shopping center. A demolition permit was reportedly issued this week.

In November, a city board ordered the building demolished within 30 days. The demolition order does not apply to the Magic Wok, which is in a separate diner on the western side of the building.

The building owners had previously considered preserving about 5,500 square feet in three units on the western side of the property, among a few options. But on Friday, Oak Ridge Community Development Housing Specialist Matt Widner said that portion won’t be preserved. Instead, the entire building will be demolished, Widner said. [Read more…]

City crews treat all streets by Thursday, now working on water main breaks

Oak Ridge Snow Plow on Oak Ridge Turnpike on Feb. 17, 2015

An Oak Ridge snow plow is pictured above at center on Oak Ridge Turnpike, which was mostly clear on Tuesday evening, February 17. 

 

Crews from the Oak Ridge Public Works Department had treated all 230 miles of streets by the time they left work on Thursday, and they’re now battling a half-dozen small water main breaks.

Oak Ridge Public Works Director Gary Cinder said crews focused on what are known as Level 3 and Level 4 streets on Thursday. They removed all loose snow. But there could still be patches of ice on some roads, Cinder said.

“You can’t get ice off the street until you get much warmer temperatures,” he said. [Read more…]

Sponsored: Let’s spice things up, Valentine!

Spice Society Chili Powder

Spice Society Chili Powder

 

Organic, non-GMO herbs and spices. Come take a whiff.

Available at The Ferrell Shop at 235 Jackson Square in Oak Ridge. The Ferrell Shop is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. The shop is closed on Sunday and Monday.

Call (865) 483-0961 for more information.