They had some interesting ideas. The water flooding issue is a big deal that has to be addressed, as they explained.

There is so much asphalt there, with the pond as a low point, that it seems like a giant sink with the water left on sometimes. They suggested moving the fair elsewhere, then removing most of the asphalt and making green space. That would have a big impact on the flooding. Although maybe not completely address it. Apparently there is a lot of hollow areas underground that route water to the lowest point in area, in this case the pond.

The movement of amphitheater to closer to interstate was interesting, but I was not clear on how the interstate noise would be addressed with regards to acoustics for shows.

Chilhowee Park had a noticeable revenue bump in 2018, that was attributed to the "Dragon Lights Festival". Which was a good event. I visited it a couple times with folks.


Oct 17 2019
06:00 am

Rep. Elijah Cummings of Baltimore has died at the age of 68. He was chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

The House just passed a resolution condemning Trump's withdrawal from Syria. The vote was 354 to 60. Rep. Burchett voted against it. So did DesJarlais and Rose. 129 other Republicans voted for it.

KNS reporter Matt Lakin says on Twitter that he's leaving for ORNL where he will be a science writer. He's been with the paper for thirteen years and won the Tennessee Associated Press newspaper journalist of the year award for 2017.

Oct 16 2019
06:13 am

Early voting starts today and continues through October 31st for the City mayoral election. Voting times and locations here. Election day is November 5th.

Oct 16 2019
06:05 am

I didn't watch this time. A few things I read about:

1) Impeachment was discussed early on in the debate. The only part of the debate I did watch. I was surprised how a few of the candidates did not seem to think there was enough for impeachment.

2) Warren still doesn't say how going to pay for Medicare for All/Single payer healthcare.

3) The winners were Klobachur and Buttigieg.

4) Biden and Harris still not doing so well.

5) Warren was attacked more because she is reportedly the front-runner.

6) Sanders health is great even though he recently had a heart attack.

7) Ellen and George W. Bush's friendship was more important than climate change, housing, immigration.

I'm sure (or hope) there were some important topics discussed. But, unless I'm willing to watch (or read a transcript) the three hour debate, which I am not, I'm dependent on media reports, such as they are.

Oct 15 2019
09:51 pm
Oct 15 2019
06:31 am

Frank Cagle says repeal the voucher law: The carping about “government schools” and “teacher unions” are precursors to the call for vouchers and diverting tax money to private schools. It is necessary to denigrate public schools to justify taking money away from them.

Oct 15 2019
06:19 am

From Compass: Compass and WUOT 91.9 FM are co-sponsoring a mayoral candidate forum featuring candidates Indya Kincannon and Eddie Mannis at 8 p.m. today at the Change Center, 203 Harriet Tubman St.

Compass co-publisher Scott Barker will join WUOT news director Brandon Hollingsworth in questioning the candidates on their plans in office.

You can join [Compass, WUOT and the candiates] live at the Change Center, or read coverage the next day in Compass. WUOT will also be making the entire forum available to listen to on its website.

"The sun is coming up". "No it isn't". "I am looking at it". "No you aren't".

Many were still angry with the Army Corps of Engineers, which they claimed had mismanaged the river — but few were willing to suggest that the flooding had anything to do with climate change. Or that global warming could trigger a food crisis in the next 30 to 40 years.

Climate change is shaping Iowa's physical and political landscape

Oct 13 2019
09:07 am

Here's a link to my latest column.

The only problem was there were so many bad votes from which to choose.


Oct 13 2019
07:18 am

"The Federal Reserve Bank of New York added $82.7 billion to the financial system Friday, using the market for repurchase agreements, or repo, to relieve funding pressure in money markets.
The Fed began offering repo loans last month after a shortage of available cash in the financial system led repo rates to climb as financial companies scrambled for overnight funding."

"Unlike its postrecession bond-buying campaigns, often called quantitative easing, or Q.E., the new effort is not monetary stimulus, the Fed stressed. Instead, the central bank is trying to keep money markets in check after a messy episode in which interest rates for repurchase agreements — essentially short-term loans between banks and other financial institutions — spiked in September. The run-up spilled over into money markets, pushing the Fed’s policy rate temporarily above the range that policymakers were targeting."

"Messy episode"? Heh.

"Mr. Powell and his colleagues have repeated, time and again, that the current balance sheet expansion should not be confused with quantitative easing.
“When it swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s hard to prove your intentions aren’t fowl,” Paul Ashworth, chief economist at Capital Economics, wrote in research note.

At the September meeting, the Federal Reserve policymakers lowered the "overnight lending rate by a quarter percentage point."

"The U.S. central bank has lowered borrowing costs twice this year after having raised interest rates nine times since 2015."

"Since the [Federal Reserve September] meeting, economic data has increased fears that trade tensions are spilling over to the broader economy. U.S. manufacturing activity tumbled to a more than 10-year low and service sector activity fell to a three-year low in September. Consumer spending, which has been driving U.S. growth, has also begun to moderate."

Is it that we are learning too much, but don't know enough? Maybe it is that we should go about leading our ordinary lives and hope for the best. My only problem is I don't have much confidence in Federal policies right now. The Federal Reserve is supposed to be independent of the President and his cohorts, but are they acting in that manner?

Five hundred ninety-three former officials who worked under Republican and Democratic administrations signed a letter sent to the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Thursday requesting an investigation into EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler's threat to withhold federal highway funds from the state [California]. They also want an investigation into Wheeler's demand that the state take action regarding its homelessness crisis. The officials write in the letter that both actions "were intended as retaliation for the state's failure to support President Trump's political agenda."

Nearly 600 ex-EPA officials want Congress to investigate agency over 'inappropriate threat of use' of authority

Oct 10 2019
06:41 am
By: R. Neal

From twitter: Did Knoxville just torpedo Spin and Veoride electric scooters? @VeoRideMobility reports that scooters are ordered off the street and will be collected tonight. @ridespin app just says “Region not enabled.” This saddens me.

— Doug McCaughan (@djuggler) October 10, 2019


“We plan on building villages all across the country,” he said Tuesday morning. “We plan on building four more villages in the next three years.”

Tom Boyd: Ancient Lore Village will be first of many similar resorts

Oct 8 2019
02:03 pm
By: R. Neal

Renee Hoyos announced today that she is officially in the race for Tennessee's 2nd Congressional District seat.

Oct 8 2019
01:43 pm
Oct 8 2019
07:29 am

The average American commute grew to just over 27 minutes one way in 2018, a record high...

The average American has added about two minutes to their one-way commute since 2009

All told, the average American worker spent 225 hours, or well over nine full calendar days, commuting in 2018.

The shift is being driven in large part by an increase in the share of workers with long commutes.

People with long commutes tend to pay more for gas, typically get less sleep, have more fat, and are less happy than people who don't, according to the Dallas Business Journal.

Here is a ranking of "the top 50 worst commutes in the country, using data from the 2017 American Community Survey."

Nashville is the only city in Tennessee to make the top 50, at number 26. That's a good thing. Florida has seven cities/metro areas on the list. Orlando is 18th on the list. There is a lot of tourist traffic competition in Central Florida. Amazingly enough, one thing I learned while living in the Orlando area is to drive slower, unless you have escaped the congested metro areas.

News Channel 5, Nashville, had a report last year indicating that "more than a quarter of Nashville employees surveyed say they have quit a job over a bad commute..."

I know a lot of people commute to/from Blount County/Knox County for work. There are a couple of hours in the day when the traffic is slow and heavy. Otherwise, it is a pretty easy commute. When we lived in the Orlando, FL, area I traveled from the north side to the south side for work. It was only 20-25 miles but took forever, 45 minutes or so. Many times I chose to drive the 2 and 4 lane roads versus the interstate. At least there was movement and you could stop for coffee, food, shopping along the way. On the interstate you could get stuck with no movement and no readily available access to exit. Many times I do the same here in Knoxville.

I do wonder, and have for years, if there shouldn't be more effort to have some sort of bus system running between Knox and Blount counties for commuters. It might have to be customized for the patrons, e.g. commuter parking, small buses/vans, more frequent service during morning and evening, then less frequent during the day.

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

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