Dec 8 2016
12:19 pm

This is bigger news than many Knoxvillians know. 2016 has charged an impressive toll.


Dec 8 2016
02:05 pm

Bonus: it has an app!

Dec 8 2016
12:18 pm

National Weather Service employees and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility are warning of a major overhaul underway within the NWS. Faced with an inability to fill 600 open positions, the NWS is looking at ways to consolidate operations and reduce headcount.

The proposed changes include:

• Reducing responsibility for issuing warnings of severe weather down to only 40 offices. For example, the current 10 Forecast Offices in Texas and 6 in Florida that issue warnings for their areas of responsibility would be reduced to only two for each state;

• Cutting staff levels from around 25 employees per office to as few as 3 to 5 employees and eliminating backup, jettisoning need for "each shift to have two staff members"; and

• Shifting from 24/7 coverage to having forecasters only work "business hours."

Experts are concerned whether "centralized forecasting can replace knowledge of local phenomena, terrain and infrastructure which the current network of forecast offices now provides."

PEER: Stealth Weather Service Forecasting Downsize

More info: National Weather Service Employees Organization

See also: NWS briefing PowerPoint


Good news ...

The 21st Century Cures Act has been two years in the making and it was one of the most heavily lobbied pieces of legislation in recent history. It pays for cancer research, pays to fight the epidemic of opioid abuse, funds mental health treatment, helps the Food and Drug Administration to speed up drug approvals and pushes better use of technology in medicine.

Senate Passes Sweeping 21st Century Cures Act Funding Medicine


What: Come learn about SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice)
When: Friday, December 16, 2016 - 9:30am
Where: Vienna Coffee 9:30-11:30AM

This is the first in a series of opportunities to 'drop in' and chat informally with people who are part of Blount County SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice). Stop by Vienna Coffee on Friday, December 16 between 9:30and 11:30am. More drop-in dates and locations will be announced soon. (link...)

Dec 7 2016
06:02 am

We got our official AARP membership cards yesterday.

Also, the top Grammy nominees are Beyoncé (9), Kanye West (8), Rihanna (8), Drake (8), and Chance the Rapper (7). Beyoncé is the oldest. She's 35. None of them are on my playlist.

Dec 5 2016
02:23 pm

City of Knoxville press release...


Over the next few weeks, parking patrons will notice a few changes with the City’s new parking meters recently installed downtown and in surrounding areas. The City will be activating new features that will continue to promote steady turnover for short-term parking spaces which in turn creates easier access to on-street parking and area businesses.


Dec 5 2016
07:30 am

How to cover presidential lies.

CNN's Brian Stelter "says journalists shouldn't just report and fact-check Trump's lies, they should try to examine where the claims come from and why Trump chooses to say them."

When President-elect Trump lies so casually, so cynically, the news isn't so much the false thing he said, it's that he felt like he could just go ahead and say it, go ahead and lie to you. That's the story.

Of the statements [made by Trump] checked by PolitiFact during the campaign, 70 percent were rated mostly false, false, or Pants on Fire.

Dec 5 2016
07:10 am

3rd-5th graders at Baldwin Hills Elementary School in Los Angeles, California pay tribute to The Jackson 5 during a school talent show.

They must have worked really hard to get those dance steps in sync.

So cute!

Dec 3 2016
12:31 pm

from Knox Mercury ...
Here’s Your Knoxville History-Themed Holiday Events Planner

Where to see Christmas lights in Knoxville

I did this last year and enjoyed it ...
10th annual Tour De Lights

Drive your car through Christmas lights at Chilhowee Park. free. Did this earlier this week.
Christmas in Chilhowee Park

Dec 3 2016
09:58 am
By: R. Neal  shortURL

Revolver by the Beatles was recorded and released 50 years ago.


from Kaiser Family Foundation ...

30% Expand what law does
26% Repeal entire law
19% Move forward with implementing law as is
17% Scale back what the law does
7% n/a

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: November 2016

Most Americans Don't Want Obamacare Fully Repealed, Survey Finds

like ...

The U.S. economy added 178,000 jobs in November — slightly higher than Wall Street expectations — and the unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent, the lowest in nine years, the Labor Department said on Friday.

Wages put a damper on the gains, with the annualized pace of average hourly earnings gains slumping to 2.5 percent.

Jobless Rate Hits Nine-Year Low; 178,000 Jobs Added

Unemployment drops to 4.6%, lowest since 2007

Employment Situation Summary

Dec 2 2016
06:19 am

Protesters have spent months rallying against plans to route the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline beneath a lake near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, saying it poses a threat to water resources and sacred Native American sites.
[North Dakota Governor] Dalrymple said state officials never contemplated forcibly removing protesters and his evacuation order was mainly due to concerns about inclement weather endangering people.
The Standing Rock Sioux, in a statement on Wednesday, said that because "the Governor of North Dakota and Sheriff of Morton County are relative newcomers" to the land, "it is understandable they would be concerned about severe winter weather."

They said the camp has adequate shelter to handle the cold weather, adding that the Great Sioux Nation has survived "in this region for millennia without the concerns of state or county governments."

It drives me crazy when things like this are said, "probably not feasible" to reroute the pipeline." It is probably not feasible? I've heard that line locally and it was ridiculous. The right thing can probably be done but it is easier to inconvenience those with less power.

More power to the Standing Rock Sioux to stand up for their water resources and sacred Native American sites. Thanks to the U.S. veterans for their support.

Dec 1 2016
01:49 pm

and the Daily Times link is: (link...)
Listing is under "Recreation Center Director" - posted Dec 1 - 21.

The Maryville-Alcoa-Blount County Parks and Recreation Commission is currently accepting applications for the position of Center Director for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Recreation Center. Job responsibilities include, but are not limited to, supervision of part-time staff and volunteers, organizing and implementation of recreation programs and special events for all ages with an emphasis on elementary and middle school age youth programming. Responsibilities also include preparation and monitoring of budget and supervision of operations of the Center. A College degree is preferred.
$35k - $40k

Nov 30 2016
12:00 pm

Portland, Oregon has the best airport connectivity to it's downtown area that I have seen. The light rail that comes right into the airport and takes you right thru center of downtown for a very inexpensive price. Impressive. Also it has a multi-use (walk/bike) path to airport.

Nov 30 2016
09:21 am


Unemployment 9.5%
Employed persons 140,591,000
Wages $18.40/hr
GDP growth -2.8%
Dow Jones 6507
Consumer confidence 25.3
Deficit $1.4 trillion


Unemployment 4.9%
Employed persons 151,925,000
Wages $21.72/hr
GDP growth 3.2%
Dow Jones 19,121
Consumer confidence 93.8
Deficit $587 billion

Trump will take credit for it, though. Then he will blame Obama when he wrecks it.

Nov 30 2016
06:54 am

From Domestic Psychology:

When the unemployed who voted for Trump because they believed he would bring back jobs that technology made obsolete don’t regain their old jobs, I’m going to shrug. When the olds who voted for Trump because they think he’s a good businessman lose their healthcare, I will shrug. I’m not joking. Life’s too short for this garbage.

Life is too short. However, I'm worried that those of us who voted for the Democratic candidate will suffer as well. I just don't know which battle to pick yet.

Nov 30 2016
06:46 am

Rep. Steve Lynch, (D-MA), had this to say in an interview endorsing Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) for House Minority Leader.

"I think that we have long been, the Democrats have long been champions of oppressed people and I think we talk a lot about that. We talk a lot about trending issues but in this last election we talked more about free-range chicken than we talked about American workers, you know.

"...she would reach out to Latinos or immigrants that were trying to become citizens, or African American families, or the Black Lives Matter movement, transgender people, and she would call them out during her stops to identify with them and their struggle. But never mentioned white workers who might be 12 percent unemployed in that given location in Michigan or elsewhere. And when you call out to all these groups in your campaign stops and you leave other groups out, then they come to the belief that you don't care about them."


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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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