published Monday, October 28th, 2013

Get Off The Couch: It's time for candy, spooks, Hooch

LISA DENTON: Barry, you know it's hard to pry my fingers off a piece of chocolate, but one area dentist may have figured out a way to make me turn loose of my Crunch bars.

Starting Friday, the day after Halloween, trick-or-treaters can take their excess candy to any Cloudland Dental location or the VW Drive Dental office during normal business hours, and they'll be paid $1 for every pound they turn in.

Normally, that word "excess" would cause me to continue my sugar rush unabated since I don't consider any amount of candy "excess." But Dr. Don Flanagan plans to turn over all the candy he collects to ship to troops serving overseas. Even I'll share for such a good cause.

I know this is mostly for kids, but I'm hoping he'll make an exception and give me one of the glow-in-the-dark toothbrushes he's giving away, too.

BARRY COURTER: Now that's clever times two. You'd never know it to look at me, but I don't eat a lot of candy. Still, I do have my favorites, which is pretty much anything with sugar, chocolate, nougat, caramel or nuts.

By the way, how is the Miley Cyrus costume coming, and have you gotten the whole tongue-stuck-out look down?

LISA: Oh, I'm ready. But it's gonna be a pain dragging around that wrecking ball.

On Saturday and Sunday, we can head down to Ross's Landing for the Head of the Hooch regatta. They're expecting 2,045 boats and 188 crews from four countries to take part. That's a lot of people on the river.

BARRY: You know I love the Hooch race, and I've said before that the whole 21st Century Waterfront project looks like it was created just for it. If there is anyone out there who has not been to the riverfront area in a long time because of some long-held perception of what you think downtown holds, this is the event to change your mind. You might have to walk a block or two, but you see tons of rowers on the river, vendors on Riverfront Parkway and crowds of people from all over the world happy to be where they are.

The viewing opportunities are everywhere, so you won't feel crowded, and you will see an event that utilizes the best of what we have to offer. It really is cool. Oh, and it's free.

LISA: My favorite event this week, though, may be the Sanitation Worker Appreciation Celebration. I believe that's the first time I've seen that come across the calendar. It's a family-friendly event Friday night at Miller Plaza that's supposed to honor the people who operate garbage trucks.

It's a nice gesture and all, but I wonder if they've given any thought to who's gonna have to clean up afterward.

BARRY: Oh, I think you know.

Get event details every Thursday in ChattanoogaNow or online anytime at

Contact Lisa Denton at or 423-757-6281. Contact Barry Courter at or 423-757-6354.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

about Lisa Denton...

Lisa Denton is deputy features editor and content editor of Current. She previously was a lifestyle, entertainment and region reporter/pod leader for The Chattanooga Times, which she joined in 1983. Lisa is from Sale Creek and holds an associate’s degree in journalism from Chattanooga State Community College. Contact Lisa at 423-757-6281 or

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