What: WBIR Inside Tennessee - Democratic candidate Gloria Johnson
When: Sunday, October 23, 2016 - 9:30am
Where: WBIR TV 10 News - "Inside Tennessee"

Incumbent and Republican Eddie Smith and Democrat challenger Gloria Johnson will sit down with reporters during the 30-minute political and public affairs program that kicks off at 9:30 a.m.

Smith and Johnson will discuss a number of issues including: health care, education, the state of the roads in Tennessee, and whether a gas tax increase is warranted.

The 13th District encompasses parts of north and south Knoxville and includes more than 62,000 residents.

Oct 22 2016
09:21 am

What: MPC East Knox County Community Plan Presentation
When: Sunday, October 30, 2016 - 1:30pm
Where: Seven Islands State Birding Park’s Boat Launching Ramp

The Knox County Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) is inviting the public to the East Knox County Community Plan Presentation on:

Sunday, October 30, 2016
1:30-3:00 p.m.

The event will be held at:
Seven Islands State Birding Park’s Boat Launching Ramp
2809 Kelly Ln.
Kodak, TN 37764

As you travel down Kelly Ln, the boat launching ramp is located to the left before the main park entry. All interested parties including residents, landowners, community representatives, business owners, and county officials are encouraged to attend. There will also be activities for kids to enjoy.

MPC has worked with the community to identify the most important issues to address through the East Knox County Community Plan. The community has identified that rural character is most important, that the French Broad River corridor is a precious asset, and that there are concerns about, and support for the Midway Business Park.

Come out to respond to the recommended actions. You will have the chance to learn about the Plan, respond to actions and share how you can help with Plan implementation.

Please RSVP to Liz Albertson at liz.albertson@knoxmpc.org.

Oct 22 2016
09:06 am


Suttree Landing Park on the South Knoxville riverfront is shaping up. It looks like it could be completed very soon. I'm excited.

It looks like there might be street parking and a parking lot at the Foggy Bottom Street entrance (Pages 7/8 of the Completed Park Design [PDF]).

Suttree Landing Park groundbreaking
Suttree Landing Park / Waterfront Drive Improvements

Oct 21 2016
03:49 pm

(Click image for more.)

Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and Rick Dover, owner of Dover Development, announced today that the old South High School facility, on the corner of Moody and Tipton Ave., will be converted to an assisted living facility. The school has not been occupied in about 25 years and is in very bad condition. The redevelopment could take a couple of years. The facility is projected to have 47 assisted living units and 14 memory care units. The facility will be managed by Senior Solutions, the same group that manages the Oakwood senior living facility, which used to be Oakwood School in North Knoxville.

Thanks to everyone involved. Those of us who love South Knoxville really appreciate your efforts. Just in time for the Class of 1955 to sign up.

Oct 21 2016
09:16 am

This Sunday I'll be stretching a bit--doing a guest sermon 11 a.m. at Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church. The topic will be "The Search for Intelligent Life on the Opinion Pages." My lovely wife Becky will be helping with some of the readings.

Oct 21 2016
07:29 am

You may recall last year's announcement that an Arizona ammunition manufacturing commpany was relocating to Blount County and would invest $500 million in an R&D and manufacturing facility. The project would employ 600 workers, including scientists and engineers, with average salaries of $90K.

State and local officials fell all over themselves to provide incentives, and touted the significant economic impact the project would have in the region.

The company's website hasn't been updated with any news about the project since the big announcement last year. Yesterday we learned that the company was shut down by creditors, their assets seized, and the property padlocked. All 30 employees were laid off, including some who are stuck with medical bills because the company had stopped paying insurance premiums.

Today, the Maryville Daily Times has a report on the situation, including statements from company and local officials saying they plan to move forward with the project in Blount Co. There's some interesting info about a couple of pending lawsuits, too.

According to the Daily Times, one of the lawsuits filed by the company's former pesident claims fraud and breach of contract by the company, including a further allegation that it “did not have the financial ability, resources, or commitments to construct a several-hundred-million dollar manufacturing plant in Alcoa, Tennessee.”

Back when this was announced, I asked if state and local officials had done any due diligence on the company or their proposal. It only took me about 30 minutes on Google to conclude that the company and their claims were sketchy at best. Apparently, our state and local economic development officials don't have Google.

Previous discussion:

Ammo manufacturer coming to Alcoa

AMI ammo factory deal could involve $20 million in state incentives

Incentives for Advanced Munitions International in Blount County top $26M

Oct 20 2016
11:56 am

What: Next Week! Books Sandwiched In
When: Wednesday, October 26, 2016 - 12:00pm
Where: East Tennessee History Center, 601 South Gay Street

large_racingtoclass.jpgKnox County Public Library invites you to join Jackie Clay and Ronni Chandler for a discussion of Rac(e)ing to Class: Confronting Race and Poverty in Schools and Classrooms by H. Richard Milner IV and Tyrone Howard, Wednesday, October 26, noon to 1:00 pm in the East Tennessee History Center auditorium, 601 South Gay Street, at this month’s Books Sandwiched In, a program series sponsored by the Friends of Knox County Public Library.


Oct 20 2016
06:25 am

New York Times: Trump Won’t Say if He Will Accept Election Results

Washington Post: Trump refuses to say whether he’ll accept election results

Wall Street Journal: Trump Won’t Commit to Accepting Vote if He Loses

Knoxville News Sentinel: Rigged vote claims linger

What a terrible newspaper we have. Embarrassing, really.

Oct 20 2016
06:16 am

With US interest rates low at historic lows while temperatures continue to reach historic highs climate change gets no mention in the three presidential debates. Remarkable. Perhaps in the future they'll "look at it at the time."

Oct 19 2016
05:24 pm

Srsly? What's up with this????


Below is an email I received around 3:30 this p.m. I've been meaning to post about this meeting for sometime, but was waiting until the proposed changes were available for the public.

In a lightening fast run through, I see just a few things that concerned me. Biggest one is that the entire detailed page for stream buffers standards is gone.

The public is invited to a presentation to discuss updates to the Knoxville South Waterfront Form Based Code on Thursday, October 20, 2016 at 7pm at South Knoxville Elementary School, 801 Sevier Avenue.

Prior to the meeting, a draft of the "Proposed updates to the South Waterfront Form Based Code (10/19/16)" can be accessed using this link (link...)

Oct 19 2016
02:13 pm

Investigative News from News and Weather of Knoxville

Rick Staples – Part II


Oct 19 2016
02:12 pm

Investigative News from News and Weather of Knoxville

Rick Staples – Part I



From wbir.com ...

His current plans for Knox Falls would feature a waterfall on the south waterfront and an observation area on the northern side of the Tennessee River. It would also include a water show with lights and music.

Waterfall on South Waterfront


from cnn.com ...

Some health insurers say they're paying too much to rival Blue Cross Blue Shield plans under a key pillar of the federal health law designed to compensate insurers that take on sicker and more expensive patients.

The risk-adjustment program doesn't rely on government funds. Rather, insurers compensate each other for taking on sicker patients under a complex government formula. It relies on risk scores assigned to enrollees based on their age, gender and diagnosed medical conditions. The calculation also uses the average statewide premium, which reflects plans' administrative costs.

Are some insurers unfairly profiting from Obamacare program

Oct 17 2016
11:25 am

Too busy, can't get outside. Love the warm fall weather.

Oct 16 2016
06:33 am

The Knox County Sheriff's office raided a house on Thornton Drive in the heart of West Knoxville finding lots of pot/marijuana, 15,000 pounds of dried pot as well as 60 plants growing. That's lots of pot.

The neighborhood has lots of trees, especially the location of the raid. But, that's a pretty big risk in the heart of West Knoxville. That's a lot of pot.

Update: it's possibly only 15 pounds of pot. Big difference.



I have seen Urban farming mentioned in Knoxville. Is it a single organized effort?

from nbcnews.com ...

A group of volunteers in Orlando is trying to change the way we eat. Owners keep a portion of their produce and the volunteers take the rest to local farmer's markets and restaurants.

Fleet Farming? How One Group Wants to Turn Your Front Yard into a Full-Fledge Farm

from pbs.org ...

All of Fleet Farming's volunteers only ride bikes, going from garden to garden to harvest the produce. They were just at Henderson's garden.

An All-Volunteer Squad Of Farmers Is Turning Florida Lawns Into Food

Fleet Farming


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Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid/TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding. (Source)

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