Jul 27 2015
05:06 pm

Made a statement; didn't take questions. He's "sorry if he offended anybody."

Didn't directly apologize for calling Muslims "goat-humpers" or Obama voters "stupid."

I guess the KNS can republish its story now.

Jul 26 2015
11:53 am

Finbarr Saunders is running for re-election for his At Large City Council Seat C. He has two opponents, Paul Bonovitch and Kelly Absher. So far, the only fact I know about Bonovitch is that he lives in Sequoyah Hills. Absher lives downtown, is president of the Market Square Business Association and says on his Facebook page he wants to support small businesses, although he doesn't say how. Other than that, his main campaign tactic seems to be featuring photos on his FB page of people holding red ovals on a stick that say Absher for City Council. I reached out to Absher but got very little in return.

To date, there is no substance in this campaign. There is no basis on which to make a choice, other than for Saunders, who at least has a track record on CC which you may or may not like.

No wonder voters are apathetic regarding this election. Does anyone have any information about these candidates that's worth sharing?


This is a unique business that opened on Gay Street

from WATE ...

“Painting with a Twist” located on 121 South Gay Street opened on Thursday evening with an open house and painting class for invitees. The concept pairs instructional art with friends, wine, and a lively instructor to produce individual works of art.

“Painting with a Twist” opens in Downtown Knoxville

Jul 25 2015
12:12 am

Interested in solar energy? Visit SPECTRUM, the University of Tennessee’s interactive solar energy exhibit, at Knoxville Center Mall on Saturday, July 25, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for a free "Solar 101" workshop to learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about solar energy.

At 11 a.m., ARiES Energy will present information about installing solar panels on your home – the process, pay-back period, impact on electricity bills, and more. A solar expert will be available for questions following the presentation.

Learn About Solar Energy This Saturday!

Jul 24 2015
04:49 pm
By: Randall Brown  shortURL

Hey, y'all! I write about stuff and folks and things happening, being, living, doing in the downtown Knoxville area.

Here are some things I've written: List.

Thank you, that is all.

Jul 24 2015
12:54 pm

I was leaving the city county building in September of 2013 and was walking through the parking lot behind the old court house and noticed this bumpersticker on a car that was in the parking space reserved for Foster Arnett:


Jul 24 2015
08:52 am

USA Today...

In a memo published Tuesday that was obtained by Marine Corps Times, Lt. Gen. Mark Brilakis, the head of Marine Corps Recruiting Command, advised troops not to support the "armed citizen" volunteers in any way.

"These citizens' presence, while well intentioned, will be counterproductive to our recruiting operations," Brilakis wrote.

There has already been a negligent discharge in Ohio.


Our three-year old (I think) Samsung flat panel TV started acting up recently. The picture would get all warped and then eventually black out. Through the process of elimination I ruled out my AVR and all the HDMI attached devices, and determined it was something wrong with the TV itself.

In going through the TV setup and diagnostic menus, I noticed an option to check for firmware updates. I thought what the heck, let's try that. Sure enough, there was an update. I installed it and it fixed the problem. Had no idea that could happen, but the fix saved me from buying a new TV.

On a side note, this is one of those "smart" TVs. I don't really want or need a "smart" internet-connected TV (or a TV with a tuner, crummy speakers, fake "surround sound," etc. for that matter). Unfortunately, it seems like that's all you can get these days. I don't like the idea of paying more for a bunch of features I never use, and wish manufacturers would offer a basic "monitor only" style set with a few HDMI connections and nothing else.

Jul 22 2015
05:27 pm
By: Doug Veum  shortURL

What: Democratic TV
When: Friday, July 24, 2015 - 7:30pm
Where: Knoxville Community TV Channel

DTV streams live on the Community TV at (link...) or on cable/satellite at:
Comcast Channel 12
Charter Channel 6
Wow! Channel 6
ATT U-verse Channel 99

Jul 22 2015
10:48 am

Sandra Clark in the Shopper...

McIntyre confirms: Performance pay not an option

In a phone interview last week, Superintendent Jim McIntyre confirmed that performance-based pay incentives will not be offered to teachers in the upcoming school year. The only exception is for teachers and administrators in Teacher Advancement Program (TAP) schools.

Jul 22 2015
08:30 am

World domination is apparently not good enough for Apple investors. The company posted record results yesterday after the stock market close, with revenues and earnings beating expectations. But they missed on iPhone sales, which were up "only" 59%, and also lowered guidance, sending their stock into a tailspin after hours. It was down more than $10 per share, or more than 8% at one point, and is trading down about $8.50 per share in pre-market trading this morning.

Despite 88% growth in their cloud business, Microsoft yesterday posted a $3.2 billion loss for the quarter. The company cited the writedown of Nokia assets as the main culprit, along with slowing growth of worldwide PC sales and currency exchange losses tied to the strong dollar. Their shares closed up slightly, but are trading down about 4% in pre-market trading.

On Monday, IBM reported a 13% decline in revenues year over year, and earnings of $3.4 billion, down 16.6%. Shares took a tumble yesterday, down $10.15, or 5.86%.

Last week, Intel reported a 25% decline in revenues year over year, but turned in decent results with net income of $2.7 billion, up 36% over the previous quarter. Citing a decline in PC sales, the company says it is transitioning to focus on data center, memory, and "internet of things" products. Shares closed yesterday at $28.72, down about 10% since trading around $32 in June.

One bright spot, however, is Google. Last week they reported earnings of $3.9 billion on revenue of $17.7 billion, beating expectations on earnings and sending their stock soaring. Shares are up 30% since early in July, rocketing $90 or 16% in one day after the earnings report. It was estimated that Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin each scored a $4 billion payday in one day. Their P/E is up to around 30, though, which I guess is the new normal for high flying tech companies (Facebook's is 92).

Jul 21 2015
04:57 pm

What: Meeting on Old South High
When: Thursday, July 23, 2015 - 5:30pm
Where: Dogwood Elementary, 705 Tipton Avenue

The City of Knoxville will hold a public meeting to take ideas and comments from the public regarding the redevelopment and repurposing of the historic Old South High building.

The city acquired the long-blighted structure back in the spring. Following the public meeting, the Community Development Department will request proposals from developers capable of bringing the building back into productive use in a way that enhances the surrounding neighborhoods.

Jul 21 2015
12:34 pm

This story by @jamiescoop about a small time (well, small time until he got busted holding 86 grams of cocaine) miscreant's frequent encounters with the law (well, one lawman in particular) is a little disturbing.

KPD top cop's score sheet doesn't add up

Jul 21 2015
12:23 pm

Apparently so. I was skeptical at first, but with all the "drive-by-wire" technology in modern autos (like our Prius!) I guess it doesn't really surprise me. Sounds like some really poor system design and architecture.

Jul 21 2015
12:38 am

Please attend the City Council meeting tonight - July 21 st - at 7 pm. Council will be voting on second reading on the new sign ordinance. They will also be deciding the important issue of the size of sign faces. Reasonable sign heights were decided on first reading on July 7th by a 6-3 vote. Scenic Knoxville wants Council to keep all the amendments passed in April and on July 7th. The Chamber has brought in a lobbyist for the sign industry who is advocating for sign heights and sizes that are outrageously big, and the News Sentinel had an editorial Sunday advising Council to return to the original Task Force proposal. These are terrible ideas that will be detrimental to the future of Knoxville.

If you can't attend, please contact City Council members and ask them to vote to keep all the amendments passed so far and to adopt sign face sizes supported by Scenic Knoxville.

Existing signs will be grandfathered.

Passed on first reading:

35 feet high for property within 500 feet of an interstate interchange
30 feet high for property adjacent to an interstate
20 feet high for property along federally designated highways e.g. Kingston Pike, Chapman Hwy, Asheville Hwy, Broadway, etc)
10 feet for all other roadways

Scenic Knoxville is recommending maximum sign face sizes of 125 sq ft, 100 sq ft, 64 sq ft and 25 sq ft or 60 sq ft for a monument sign.

These sizes are reasonable and are comparable to sizes in many other cities - e.g. Asheville, Charlotte. Maryville. Alcoa. Oak Ridge and Murfreesboro.

Knoxville's landscape is marred by noxious sign clutter. An attractive city is one that's good for its residents, it businesses and its visitors.

Jul 20 2015
11:35 am

Click image for bigger...

We started noticing this ridiculous sign a week or so ago on Alcoa Highway near Power Park. I couldn't figure out what it was for or what they were advertising. When I finally took a photo I could at least make out a website address. When I went to the website, I got this. So it's even more ridiculous.

Anyway, it's a campaign by Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. Apparently, it's cool to communicate in emojis now, and to give kids a puzzle and make them jump through hoops to get the anti-drug, anti-bullying, and other positive messages on peer pressure, self-image and so forth.

My problem with the sign, though, is that staring at it to analyze all the emojis to figure out the puzzle while driving doesn't seem like all that swell of an idea. Especially for teens. Thankfully this is one of those digital billboards and the sign is only displayed for about seven seconds (during which time a vehicle will travel 560 to 600 feet). Unfortunately for the advertiser, that's not long enough to even notice the tiny website address at the bottom, much less figure out the message.

Anyway, I'm not knocking the non-profit, which seems to be well run and respected. (I notice they do, however, get government funding which covers their executive salaries with a little left over.) I just think this particular campaign shouldn't be on a highway billboard.

(P.S. The mobile site has translations for several of their emoji messages, but I couldn't find a translation for this one so I still don't know what it says.)


Mark Hensch in The Hill
'Black Lives Matter' protesters halt Sanders, O’Malley events

“We are in a state of emergency,” she added. “If you do not feel that emergency, then you are not human. I want to hear concrete action plans.”

Further Reading

Rev. William Barber in DailyKos
"...Only Black 'Deaths' Matter." Rev. William Barber

Hope Wabuke at The Root
Review: Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me

Dara Lind at Vox
#BernieSoBlack: Why progressives are fighting about Bernie Sanders and race

Martin Pengelly in the Guardian
O'Malley and Sanders interrupted by Black Lives Matter protesters in Phoenix


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