May 17 2019
06:59 am

A Tesla Model 3 car involved in a fatal crash with a semitrailer in Florida was operating on the company’s semiautonomous Autopilot system, federal investigators have determined.
David Friedman, who was acting head of the NHTSA in 2014 and is now vice president of advocacy for Consumer Reports, said he was surprised the agency didn’t declare Autopilot defective after the Gainesville crash and seek a recall. The Delray Beach crash, he said, reinforces that Autopilot is being allowed to operate in situations it cannot handle safely.

“Their system cannot literally see the broad side of an 18-wheeler on the highway,” Friedman said.
“Tesla has for too long been using human drivers as guinea pigs.

It's like a lot of new technology these days. The beta versions get implemented or people are allowed to continue using the product(s) without safety precautions otherwise you're a Luddite if you don't go with the flow. Sheesh.

May 16 2019
11:40 am

We're all running for President.

There are now 24 people registered to run for the Democratic nomination for President. Yeehaw!

We have a plethora of choices and lots of good choices. How will we decide?!?!? How will we decide?

May 14 2019
05:29 am

Dang, a little nippy when I got up at 5 AM, 47 degrees. Folklore says this is Blackberry Winter. Apparently there is still a possibility for Whippoorwill Winter or Cotton Britches Winter.

May 11 2019
05:58 am

Just recently in Lenoir City, a woman helps out an older woman. The older woman was purchasing $1000 gift cards in response to a phone call where she was told her granddaughter was in jail. The younger woman intervened and called the police. Another attempted scam averted.

Then, "a Blount County woman was scammed out of more than $13,000 Wednesday from a person out of Florida who claimed to represent Publishers Clearing House, according to the sheriff's office. "

Don’t send anyone money unless you can confirm there is a legitimate need.

If someone calls you and says a family member needs money, hangup and call a member of the family that will know more about the situation. If there are no other family members to call, then call your local police department to see if they can help or recommend someone who can help.

If someone calls you and says you have won some money but need to send money to collect the winnings, hangup. You have won nothing.

If someone calls you and says you owe money, hangup. You can call the provider directly using a phone number you know goes directly to the creditor to find out if there is a debt in need of payment. Do not call a phone number provided by the caller.

Be careful out there.

May 8 2019
06:25 am

[Uber/Lyft] Drivers are pushing for better treatment and improved conditions, but the specific demands vary by organizing group. For Rideshare Drivers United, they include having an elected driver representative added to the boards of Uber and Lyft, a 10% commission cap on driver earnings, introducing an hourly minimum wage similar to New York City's, and a transparent and speedy appeals process for when drivers are de-activated. (Those are just a few of the desired protections, according to a driver bill of rights posted on Rideshare Drivers United's website.)

The strikes are expected to happen across major US cities, as well as parts of the United Kingdom, Australia and South America. Participating drivers say they intend to send a message to Uber and its rivals: They want livable incomes, job security and regulated fares, among other demands.

In San Diego and Los Angeles, drivers are slated to cease working for 24 hours. In Atlanta, workers plan to log off ride-hail apps for 12 hours. And in New York City, there is a two-hour strike planned from 7 am ET to 9 am ET, which are busy commuting hours.

That's what cab drivers have/had, but Uber/Lyft, the company/contractors, didn't care. Would Uber/Lyft, the company/contractors, be so successful if they provided these demands? Is it true that soon enough the companies won't need human drivers at all?


"The Arctic is at the forefront of opportunity and abundance," Pompeo said in remarks in Rovaniemi, Finland. "It houses 13 percent of the world's undiscovered oil, 30 percent of its undiscovered gas, an abundance of uranium, rare earth minerals, gold, diamonds, and millions of square miles of untapped resources, fisheries galore."

"Steady reductions in sea ice are opening new passageways and new opportunities for trade," he continued. "This could potentially slash the time it takes to travel between Asia and the West by as much as 20 days."

"Arctic sea lanes could become the 21st century Suez and Panama Canals," Pompeo remarked.

Dang, never looked at climate change that way. What a salesman.

May 4 2019
06:41 am

Since electric scooters began populating streets of some of the country’s biggest cities last year, there has been a surge in emergency room visits for fractures, dislocations and head trauma,
The CDC has found that head injuries topped the list of accident-related incidents involving e-scooters at 45%.
The study, which lasted nearly three months, found the e-scooter injury rate was 14.3 per 100,000 trips.

The median age for people injured was 29. The majority of injuries occurred on the street, with 29% connected to first-time riders and 18% involving motor vehicles.

At least nine people injured by e-scooters have filed a lawsuit in California against Lime, Bird, Segway and other operators. A similar lawsuit was filed in Colorado.
"While acting under the guise of commendable goals of furthering personal freedom and mobility and protecting the environment," the lawsuit claims, companies are "endangering the health, safety, and welfare of riders, pedestrians and the general public."

I suppose they could sue the rider as well.

Be careful out there. Do not hurt innocent pedestrians.

Apr 25 2019
06:49 am

TDOT is holding a community outreach meeting to give citizens an opportunity to learn more about the Alcoa Highway Improvements project, specifically the section from Hall Road (Alcoa Hwy/129/Bypass split) to the airport interchange (Tyson Blvd) in Blount County.

What: Alcoa Highway Improvements

When Today, April 25, 2019
5 PM to 7 PM

Where: City of Alcoa Service Center
725 Universal Street, Alcoa TN 37701

The Alcoa Service Center at 725 Universal Street is the only thing on Universal Street. It is located off of Wright Road. From Hunt Road, you can take Wright Road to the stop sign, turn left, then an immediate right. You can also come from Springbrook Road, where at the intersection (four way stop signs), go west away from Hall Road then Universal will be on the right.

Check out an overview of the Alcoa Hwy - Hunt Road Interchange Redesign here.

A little sarcasm here, if they want to do community outreach, why do we hear about the meeting one day before the meeting? I can only guess they announced it the local paper in the classified section.

Apr 24 2019
07:10 am
By: bizgrrl

State Sen. Maureen Walsh, R-Walla Walla, made a comment last week "saying nurses in smaller hospitals “probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day” during their shifts." The comment was made while "debating a bill that would give nurses uninterrupted meals and breaks at work and protect them from mandatory overtime." She feels that if smaller hospitals in under served areas "are forced to comply with the bill, they “may not be able to survive.”

She had to apologize. Sort of. She says she "was simply trying to differentiate between the staffing needs of the small rural critical access hospitals with a handful of patients, versus the large urban hospitals with hundreds and hundreds of patients.”

I worked at a large hospital for five years. I have spent time being with family and friends at various hospitals. The only thing I have noticed is how hard nurses work. You have to be a special person to be a nurse (doctor, teacher, social worker, etc.).

Sure, there are different needs at different locations. Either way, IMO, nurses work hard and need time to eat, relax, and decompress.

Thank a nurse today for all the good work and care they give.

Apr 20 2019
08:04 am

According to a Consumer Reports investigation they "identified 11 brands out of more than 130 that either self-reported or, based on tests we commissioned, had detectable amounts of arsenic. Of those, six had levels of 3 ppb or higher. These brands are Starkey (owned by Whole Foods), Peñafiel (owned by Keurig Dr Pepper), Crystal Geyser Alpine Spring Water, Volvic (owned by Danone), and two regional brands, Crystal Creamery and EartH2O."

Consumer Reports "also was able to purchase two brands of imported water—Jermuk from Armenia and Peñafiel (owned by Keurig Dr Pepper) from Mexico—that are on an import alert issued by the federal government for previously having arsenic levels above the federal limit of 10 ppb."

Keurig Dr Pepper "said this week that it had conducted new testing, because of Consumer Report’s questions, and confirmed levels above the federal limit, at an average of 17 ppb."

The article includes a list of "Leading Bottled Waters With Lower Arsenic Levels" including Aquafina, Dasani, Deer Park, Evian, Kirkland (Costco) Nestle Pure Life, Poland Spring, etc.

Apr 18 2019
11:51 am
By: bizgrrl

From NPR,

Access to the full Mueller Report, redacted.

138 MG, 448 pages.

UPDATE: Regarding the investigation into obstruction of justice...


Because we determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment, we did not draw ultimate conclusions about the President’s conduct. The evidence we obtained about the President’s actions and intent presents difficult issues that would need to be resolved if we were making a traditional prosecutorial judgement. At the same time, if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."

Apr 18 2019
07:02 am

A followup to the March 4, 2019, report of "FBI, TBI target South Knox "pain clinic".

U.S. attorneys from Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia and Alabama along with FBI, DEA and other officials announced charges Wednesday against 60 people, 53 of whom are medical professionals, in a massive law enforcement action involving opioids across 11 federal districts in five states, including Tennessee.

Eight of the people charged are from East Tennessee. At least two doctors from East TN Valley Pain Specialists on John Sevier Highway were charged with conspiracy to distribute Schedule II controlled drugs and/or distribution of Schedule II drugs. Four of them were affiliated with LaFollette Wellness Center. According to the LaFollette Press, "LaFollette Wellness Center notified the Tennessee Department of Health it would be closing its doors on Jan. 2."

Apr 15 2019
10:16 am

Is it creepy how when you order from some web sites or you ask a question on a web site and then they persist in bothering you about the product or question? It's almost creepy. It's like the company bot will not give up. You must keep in touch with them. It is imperative.

Why is it some companies have such horrible voice phone systems and others know how to do it right? Some companies want you to speak to the system with you request others allow you to speak or press a number. A couple of recent encounters were kind of tough. One required a voice response and my response was to be "something else". The voice system could not understand what I was saying. Three times! I finally had to give up and use one of the other options. Yes, I did try pressing 0 (zero) to no avail. With so many accents, dialects, etc. I would think its a little tough for a lot of people. Yes, I did go to their web site to try to get the task accomplished, but it was not possible.

Then there are all these web sites that look great but do not want us to know where they are and who they really are, Every company on the Internets should have an easy way to find out their address. With an address we can more easy look up professional licensing information, corporate registrations, BBB reports, etc.

Secure identifications are getting a little out of hand. I know, it is hard to keep track of passwords, especially when you have 22 different secure web sites to use. Then they want you to change your login password frequently. However, I'm not condfident I'm willing to provide a fingerprint, face recognition, retina recognition, etc. to stay secure. I don't even want to provide a phone number. Have the companies proven their sites are secure? No.

Then, there are the companies moving to texts instead of emails to contact us. Sure, a lot of people now use phones and tablets to communicate. However, it should not be that hard to include an email option. Our phones are beeping at us too much as it is. IMO, emails are easier to manage, e.g. file, print, transfer, sort, etc.


Today’s Democratic Party is increasingly perceived as dominated by its “woke” left wing. But the views of Democrats on social media often bear little resemblance to those of the wider Democratic electorate.

The outspoken group of Democratic-leaning voters on social media is outnumbered, roughly 2 to 1, by the more moderate, more diverse and less educated group of Democrats who typically don’t post political content online, according to data from the Hidden Tribes Project.

Also, the same would go for what is being reported on CNN and MSNBC. The media is doing a bit of a disservice in reporting on the current Democratic presidential hopefuls. It should get interesting as the presidential contest heats up.

Apr 11 2019
07:09 am

The Dogwood trails and gardens are open, the pink lines are painted. In many areas the Dogwood trees are in full bloom as have been the Redbud trees. The Azaleas are emerging, some in full bloom. It has been a beautiful Spring.

Check out events at the Dogwood Arts site.

The Rossini Festival is Saturday.

The Dogwood Arts Festival art show is April 26-28 in downtown Market Square. The event features a fine art market, live music, artist demonstrations, and hands-on activities for kids and adults.

Apr 10 2019
10:28 am

Randy Boyd continues talks with the City of Knoxville to bring the Tennessee Smokies Double-A baseball team to the Old City.

I'm guessing one advantage will be to have a new venue in Knoxville. The current stadium in Sevierville doesn't appear to get much use from about October to February, 5 months or so, according to the Tennessee Smokies website schedule. Although, it probably gets used for non-baseball related events.

The current stadium property, Tennessee Smokies Baseball Stadium Sevierville, TN, 3540 Line Dr, Kodak, TN 37764, is owned by the City of Sevierville. It looks like there are 26+ acres of land associated with it.

Record attendance of 7,958 was recorded in 2017.

In researching what looks like land owned by Boyd/Boyd related enterprises, it appears they own about 11 acres in the Old City. According to the KNS article, it does appear they are trying to buy out other business owners in the area.

Should be interesting. Better than a rodeo. However, the City of Sevierville may be in for problems if the current land is left empty.

Apr 6 2019
06:01 am

Notre Dame’s Naismith Hall of Fame coach, now in her 32nd season at the school, Muffet McGraw speaks up.

"How important as your career has gone on and we lost Pat Summitt how seriously do you take being that voice?

Did you know that the Equal Rights Amendment was introduced in 1967 and it still hasn't passed?
When you look at men's basketball and 99% of the jobs go to men.
Why shouldn't 100 or 99% of the jobs in women's basketball go to women.
Maybe it's because we only have 10% women athletic directors in Division I.

People hire people that look like them. And that's the problem."

Notre Dame goes on to beat UCONN on Friday to proceed to the NCAA women's basketball championship game.

Apr 4 2019
06:07 am


"Speaking to reporters in the White House today [Tuesday, April 2, 2019], Donald Trump made several statements that were not only bizarre, they were downright incoherent."

In repeatedly trying to say origins, he kept saying oranges.

He discusses his father, who he says was born in Germany. His father, Fred Trump, was born in the United States.
"Trump just said "my father is German, was German. Born in a very wonderful place in Germany."

Tilting at windmills...

According to Trump [March 28, 2019], "If it [the wind] doesn't blow, you can forget about television for that night," he said at a rally in Michigan. "

Then yesterday [April 3, 2019], he said the noise from windmills causes cancer.

Maybe that isn't such a Wow. Apparently in 2012 Trump said LED light bulbs cause cancer.

And, finally, on a much more minor scale, he talks about his healthcare plan.
"We're going to have a phenomenal health care... we will be showing you at the appropriate time. It's much better than Obamacare."

Shortly after this announcement, Mitch McConnell told Trump "the Senate will not be moving comprehensive health care legislation before the 2020 election."

Our president is crazy? Or, crazy like a fox?

One thing we do know is he is great at stirring the pot. He is also pretty good at stating untruths. His voting base does not care if he is crazy, a bad leader, or a liar.

Apr 2 2019
04:22 pm

There was a shooting at The Vibe nightclub at 2630 N. Broadway in Knoxville early Sunday morning.

A woman who was sitting in a car at a fast food restaurant died after being hit by a stray bullet. She was going to the Krystal drive-thru across Broadway. She had nothing to do with activities at The Vibe.

This is not the first incident at the nightclub. On New Year's Day, 2019, 21-year-old man died of a gunshot wound he reportedly received at the 2600 block of Broadway. In July, 2018, police said a man got into a scuffle with a security guard at the club, and a handgun fell to the ground. When someone picked up the gun, it discharged, striking a 25-year-old man.

In January, 2019, WBIR reported records showing that there were more than 80 calls for emergency help to the North Knoxville nightclub since mid-2016, fewer than other Knoxville bars. The owner of The Vibe also ran a club in South Knoxville called Club Dejavu. It was closed in April 2016 under the state nuisance law.

Sounds like another nuisance to me.

Apr 1 2019
07:16 am

The NFL was planning to cut down 21 cherry trees in downtown Nashville [at Riverfront Park] to build a temporary stage for the NFL draft, but public outcry has led to a change of plans.

Most of the trees will be moved instead of cut, but some trees will still be cut.

The annual Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival will be held on April 13, and it is a bad look for the league to cut down nearly a third of the trees at Riverfront Park shortly before the festival.

Butch Spyridon, president and CEO of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp, adds, "The NFL Draft will be the largest event in the city’s history and will have significant economic return for Davidson County."

The NFL event happens once a year. Wonder why they couldn't use the park across the river next to the Titans stadium. They could have spent lots of money on pretty backdrops. I can imagine what a smaller city would allow if only they could get such an event in their town. Oh well.



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