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Oak Ridge Remembers Legendary Manhattan Project Photographer Ed Westcott
Friends, family, Oak Ridgers, and people across the nation are remembering and celebrating the incredible life of Ed Westcott, Oak Ridge's only Manhattan Project Era photographer. He passed away on March 29 at the age of 97.
The thousands of images he captured during his career showed what life was like inside the Secret City. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Without Ed and his camera, the pages of our history books would look very different.
“Ed Westcott was Oak Ridge's champion, a friend to every person he met, a creative genius, and American hero," Oak Ridge Mayor Warren Gooch said. "His iconic photography recorded the history of the Manhattan Project, the creation of Oak Ridge, and our City's contributions in helping win World War II, the Cold War, and the scientific advances over 75 years which have enhanced mankind. His work chronicled the life and times, talent, hard work, sacrifice, and patriotism of the tens of thousands of men and women who made it happen. While we mourn the passing of a great man and dear friend, we are comforted by the fact that we are better people for having known him, and Oak Ridge's contributions to our country and to the world are forever memorialized because of his vision and indomitable spirit.”

Thank you, Ed. We will miss you.
Oak Ridge Native Wins Pulitzer Prize in Music
Oak Ridge native Ellen Reid, 36, has won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in music. The winning piece is Reid’s debut opera titled “p r i s m,” which received nationwide praise. The Pulitzer Prize Board described p r i s m as “a bold new operatic work that uses sophisticated vocal writing and striking instrumental timbres to confront difficult subject matter: the effects of sexual and emotional abuse.”
“I am blown away and incredibly honored to receive this year’s Pulitzer Prize in music,” Reid said on her Facebook page. “Composing p r i s m was a challenging, rewarding and deeply personal experience, and I hope this opera will help shed light on the experience of surviving sexual assault.”

Reid is a 2001 graduate of Oak Ridge High School. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Columbia University and her Master of Arts from California Institute of the Arts. Reid now splits her time between Los Angeles and New York City while working as a composer and sound artist. Her parents, Randy and Karen Reid, still live in Oak Ridge.

“I never dreamt that writing music could be a viable career path, but I started composing my sophomore year of college and haven’t stopped since,” Reid stated in the biography on her website. “As a kid, I casually sang in choir, played piano and percussion.”

Reid has been an Artist in Residence at National Sawdust, University of California Irvine, University of Tennessee Knoxville, and Opera Omaha. In the fall of 2019, Reid begins a three-year appointment as Creative Advisor and Composer-in-Residence for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.
Crews Clean Up After Storm Hits Oak Ridge
Severe Weather Topples Trees, Knocks Out Power
Have you seen a Public Works crew taking care of storm debris in your neighborhood? They were all over town last week, working to clear downed trees and limbs from the severe storm on April 14.

We'd like to thank *ALL* of the City of Oak Ridge crews who responded during and after this severe weather event. They work hard every day to keep things running smoothly for us.
Brush Pick-Up Begins Next Week
The schedule is out! Our citywide brush pick-up program will begin Monday, April 29 , and continue for approximately 7 weeks. Tree limbs as well as bagged yard clippings and leaves will be picked up.

Please remember that all materials must be in place no later than 7:30 a.m. on the scheduled pick-up day. Any materials put out after that time may not be picked up.
Fire Prevention Award Honors Local Student
Teen Used Junior Police Academy Training to Extinguish Kitchen Fire
The City of Oak Ridge, Oak Ridge Fire Department, and Oak Ridge Police Department recognized a local student last month for his quick actions to stop a fire in his home.
When a slow cooker in his kitchen caught fire on Halloween, Wesley Alig used skills he learned in Oak Ridge’s Junior Police Academy (JPA) to successfully operate a fire extinguisher. Wesley, a 13-year-old student at Jefferson Middle School, is a graduate of the 2018 JPA class.
The incident happened at the Alig family’s home on Heritage Drive in Oak Ridge. Wesley told first responders he heard a popping noise coming from the slow cooker. When he walked into the kitchen to check, he saw flames on the stovetop.

Wesley immediately grabbed a fire extinguisher and sprayed the stove and countertop, extinguishing the fire before flames could spread or cause additional damage. Wesley then called 911 and got himself and a pet safely out of the house where he waited for firefighters.
Moments later, responding emergency crews confirmed the fire was out and that no one was hurt. Their investigation determined the fire to be accidental, the result of a burner that was unintentionally turned on under the slow cooker. The kitchen area suffered minor damage.

“What Wesley was able to do in a stressful situation is a perfect example of why we host these special events for our local kids,” explained ORFD Chief Darryl Kerley. “Accidents happen, and Wesley remembered his training when it mattered most.”

In recognition of Wesley’s actions, Oak Ridge Fire Department personnel presented him with their first-ever Outstanding Contribution to Fire Prevention Award during a ceremony at Fire Station #3. Wesley took a ride in a fire engine and thanked Oak Ridge first responders for the opportunity to learn fire safety and other skills through the JPA program.
Sign-Up for Summer Aquatics Programs
The Oak Ridge City Aquatics (ORCA) program is currently accepting swimmers for the 2019 summer session. Try-outs for new swimmers will be held May 15 & 16 from 4 to 5 p.m.

The program is scheduled to begin June 3 and will run through July 28. Practices are held Monday through Thursday with morning and evening times available. Returning swimmers do not need to attend try-outs.

Children signing up for ORCA must be at least 5 years old. Teens under the age of 18 are also welcome. The only prerequisite is the ability to swim at least 100 yards freestyle unassisted. Swim team registration is available online or at the Civic Center front desk. The swim team fee is $160 and includes a suit, cap and t-shirt.
Summer Swim Lessons
Summer swimming lessons are also offered through the Recreation and Parks Department for all ages and skill levels.

Three sessions are available with different time slots each day. Registration is available online. Session dates are listed below:

  • Session 1: June 3-13
  • Session 2: June 17-27
  • Session 3: July 8-18
Synthetic Turf Installed at Blankenship Field
Check out this incredible bird's-eye view of the new and improved Blankenship Field!

Things have come a long way since our groundbreaking in December... The new turf and markings are down and it all looks AMAZING. We can't wait for high school graduation this year!

A big thanks to Oak Ridge Schools' James Mitchell for getting aerial images for us. Click the button below to watch a quick video from above the field!
New Senior Transportation Program's First Ride
The City of Oak Ridge and Oak Ridge Senior Center are working to implement a new transportation program for senior citizens. The program, called “MyRide Oak Ridge,” has already provided its first ride with the full program set to roll out soon.

On the afternoon of Friday, April 12, local senior Willie Wade was driven by Pat Gengozian, Chairperson of the Oak Ridge Senior Advisory Board and the program’s first volunteer driver.
The City of Oak Ridge has offered transportation help to its senior population since 1974. Due to changes in grant reporting procedures from the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), the current taxi coupon program will be ending June 30, 2019. When fully operational, the new MyRide Oak Ridge program will allow for a new way to provide this assistance.
The program includes door-through-door service provided by volunteer drivers in their own vehicles. This service helps seniors be more independent by allowing them to take trips to the grocery store, social events and medical appointments. It will also allow volunteers to accompany seniors into the store or doctor’s office, if needed, as well as help carry in groceries or other items.
The program will be supported by membership fees and per ride costs charged to riders along with supplemental support from the City of Oak Ridge and a grant awarded by the Davidson County Chancery Court, Part III from the SeniorTrust/ElderTrust settlement (Case No. 11-1548-III) and through a contract administered by the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability.

Over the next few months, the program will be recruiting more volunteer drivers and adding program members. The full opening is expected in early June. The program will have a $25 membership fee. A round trip ride within the city of Oak Ridge will start at $6 and members will have the option for two extra stops during the trip.
Progress at Preschool and Senior Center Sites
Construction of the new Oak Ridge Preschool is coming along! For anyone who hasn't been by the site recently, you can see that the new facility is really beginning to take shape! Crews were hard at work when we stopped by to snap this picture on April 23. We'll keep you posted on the progress!
Meanwhile, crews have started to apply brick on the outside of the new Oak Ridge Senior Center over the past several days. You can see the new building in the background of the photo below. The build site is right next door to the Civic Center. This week, contractors posted a sign letting everyone know what's under construction. You can see it along Oak Ridge Turnpike.
We can't wait to see both projects finished and ready to open! The Preschool is expected to be complete by the end of November and the Senior Center has an estimated completion date of October.
SAVE THE DATE: 2019 Wellness Fair
The City of Oak Ridge and Oak Ridge Schools Coordinated School Health will host the 2019 Wellness Fair on Wednesday, May 8, at the Oak Ridge Civic Center from 11:30am until 3:30pm.

Watch the City of Oak Ridge website and social media for more info coming soon!
Oak Ridge City Blueprint Update
The Oak Ridge Municipal Planning Commission approved the City Blueprint Plan on March 21. Oak Ridge City Council then accepted the report at their April 8th meeting.

The full document is available for review on the City’s website along with updated information on the project and its next steps.
Blueprint is intended to be a “living document” that will be updated regularly and adapted to reflect growth and change over time across the City. The project kicked off in January 2017. Since then, an incredible amount of input has been received to help identify community values, goals and objectives, and a strategy for action.

A new City Blueprint web-page is now being developed that will provide a collection of useful information and updates on future projects.
Messages from Community Development
Fair Housing Month

National Fair Housing Month is celebrated in April to remind every American that all persons have equal access to housing and that fair housing is not an option; it is the law. 

This year marks the 51st anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, which protects people from discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, and family status.

The City of Oak Ridge has recognized this month for as long as it has been receiving HUD funding.
Community Development Week

National Community Development Week (CD Week), held annually during Congress’ spring recess, recognizes the importance of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) programs. 

Local governments, businesses, non-profits and residents come together during CD Week to highlight these programs’ accomplishments and community benefits through local events and meetings with members of Congress.
HOME Program Public Meetings in Oak Ridge
THANK YOU to our Emergency Dispatchers!
Please join us in saying a very heartfelt THANK YOU to every member of our emergency dispatch team following National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week!

Dispatchers are some of the most important people you will never see, answering 911 calls 24 hours a day and sending our first responders where they're needed.

Last year, Oak Ridge dispatchers answered 14,000 911 calls, over 41,000 non-emergency calls and worked nearly 37,000 total incidents between police, fire, electric, and public works calls for service.
NOW HIRING: Find a Job with the City
The City of Oak Ridge is accepting applications for the following positions:

  • Animal Control Officer
  • Police Officer/Trainee
  • Recreation Leaders
  • Summer Lifeguards
  • School Crossing Guard
  • Electric Line Technician
Community Events at Oak Ridge Public Library
Thank You for Supporting National Library Week
Oak Ridge Public Library (ORPL) took part in National Library Week, April 7-13, an annual celebration highlighting the valuable role libraries, librarians and library workers play in transforming lives and communities.

ORPL helps create a strong community starting with our youngest citizens, offering educational programming in its Children’s Room. The library also houses an extensive archive with materials dating back to the early days of Oak Ridge and the Manhattan Project.

Thank you to all the library staff, volunteers, and visitors who took part in our festivities this month! We can't wait for next year!
Help Us Plan the Library's Future by Taking a Brief Survey!
Please take a few minutes to share your thoughts about the future of our library. This short survey will only take 2-3 minutes to complete and is invaluable to the library as we begin planning for our future!

The survey closes on May 6th.
Rain Didn't Dampen Fun at Annual Egg Hunt
Thanks to everyone who joined us at the Civic Center for our annual egg hunt on April 13th! The weather may not have cooperated with our plans, but we still had a great time indoors. We hope all the participants enjoyed their prizes! Thanks to our volunteers and the City of Oak Ridge Recreation and Parks Department team for another great event!
UT Students Host Virtual Forum for Intersection Improvement Project
Students from the University of Tennessee hosted a virtual open forum earlier this month as they work to explore alternative designs for the intersection at Pennsylvania and North Tulane Avenues.

For those who missed it, the Facebook Live event is still available to view on the group's Facebook page, "UTK Senior Design Project: Oak Ridge Intersection Improvement." Just click the photo above to watch!

The effort is part of a senior project for the students from UT’s College of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The City of Oak Ridge Public Works Department teamed up with the group to evaluate designs that would potentially realign the intersections of North Tulane Avenue, Pennsylvania Avenue, Providence Road, and East Pasadena Road.
The students held their first open forum in early March at Oak Ridge Public Library where they introduced themselves and gathered public opinions and concerns. In the recent virtual open forum, students built on the feedback received so far and presented conceptual drawings of alternatives that are under consideration.

We'll keep everyone posted on the project!
Thank You For Reading!