Tue
Sep 1 2015
11:41 am

Have lunch with Mayor Burchett at Sam & Andy's in Fountain City, Thursday, Sept. 3 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. More info...

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Tue
Sep 1 2015
11:35 am

City officials today announced stepped up traffic enforcement for Labor Day weekend, traffic info for Boomsday, traffic, parking and shuttle info for U.T. home games, and more.

Bonus, the Cumberland Ave. Merchant's Association is hosting the first ever "Brick by Brick" pre-game block party for the U.T. opener against Bowling Green Saturday in Nashville. The block party will be from 2 to 4 PM. on Cumberland Ave, which will be closed between 18th Street and North 19th Street for the party.

More details on all of the above in the press release after the break....

Continued...

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Mon
Aug 31 2015
02:20 pm

From the Mountain Press:

Sheriff Seals tells SC Tea Party of suspicious activity

By JASON DAVIS
Editor

SEVIERVILLE — Sevier County Sheriff Ron Seals told the Sevier County Tea Party last week that some of his officers, working in an off-duty capacity as private security, contacted the U.S. Department of Homeland Security after seeing troubling behavior at Tanger Outlet Center in Sevierville.

Prompted by an audience member’s statement about women in burqas spending long periods of time in shops without making purchases, the sheriff indicated officers had seen similar behaviors.

“We have some officers up there … they’re officers, but they hire them, off-duty police officers, primarily to work traffic, and they’ve noticed the same lady running around up there … taking pictures with a camera,” Seals said. “We got the information. We passed it on to Homeland Security. They’ve addressed it, and I don’t think anything else actually came of it.

“We thought maybe they’re doing that to maybe see what days there’s a big crowd up there.”

(link...)

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Mon
Aug 31 2015
01:40 pm


Click image for bigger/more...

It was a beautiful morning. We saw some deer, turkeys and a bear. The bear saw the deer. The deer saw the bear. The deer took off.

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Mon
Aug 31 2015
12:34 pm

Furious about President Obama's interference in a decades-old feud that actually currently pitches Republicans against Republicans, the Ohio GOP Congressional delegation is demanding that Ohio's Cuyahoga Valley National Park be renamed for Alaska's former governor and GOP gadfly, Sarah Palin.

Continued...

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I am surprised Tennessee was not on list of states in that lawsuit.

from NBC News ...

The new rule would force a permitting process only if a business or landowner took steps that would pollute or destroy the affected waters — those with a "direct and significant" connection to larger bodies of water downstream that are already protected. That could include tributaries that show evidence of flowing water, for example.

In practice, the rule means that developers can no longer pave over wetlands and oil companies can no longer dump pollution into streams unhindered, restoring Clean Water Act protections to more than half the nation's streams, supporters say. But opponents call the rule an example of federal overreach and fear a steady uptick in federal regulation of nearly every stream and ditch on rural lands.

EPA Moves Ahead With Water Protection Rule Despite Court Ruling

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Sat
Aug 29 2015
11:22 pm

Earlier today (Saturday, Aug. 29) Gloria Johnson and I went to a legislative forum sponsored by Americans for Prosperity (Koch Brothers), Tennessee Liberty Alliance, and Republican Liberty Caucus of Tennessee. Video of the entire event is linked here. Feel free to share your reactions.

Initial thoughts: some serious factual errors, logical errors, bad public policy, and plenty of fodder for future columns. Also, why is that Republican logo behind the panel when the officially non-partisan AFP is sponsoring?

The entire event

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Sat
Aug 29 2015
03:41 pm

Local reporter Dan Andrews spotted something off at the courthouse. Action was taken:

WATE: Knoxville courthouse audio recording shut down after privacy questions

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What made me check this was Florida just declared state of emergency because of storm.

From the Kaiser Family Foundation …

Current Status of Medicaid Expansion Decision

Adopted the Medicaid Expansion: 31 states (including DC); Adoption of the Medicaid Expansion under Discussion: 1 state; Not Adopting the Medicaid Expansion at this Time: 19 states

The full state-by-state list

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Fri
Aug 28 2015
03:18 pm
By: michael kaplan  shortURL

Cottage Landing, up to 87 student housing units (348 rooms), requiring ridgetop removal that is dumping huge boulders into the valley to the west of the site. Here's a satellite image apparently taken a few weeks ago. Anyone wishing to view the environmental damage in progress should take a drive up Cherokee Trail. Note, too, the huge slice of the ridge taken for the construction of Quarry Trail to its east. Erosion is being mitigated by the construction of retaining walls (seen as grey lines) and the planting of kudzu on the steep slope.

The project is in the county, and was approved by the MPC in March, 2013.

All members of City Council, County Commission, and the MPC should take (or be taken on) a tour of the site to see the mess. It's really hard to believe this is happening in 2015 ...

cottage_landing3.jpg

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Fri
Aug 28 2015
09:20 am
By: R. Neal  shortURL

If you're thinking about getting a Tivo or upgrading your old one, Tivo has a pretty good deal going right now.

You can get the four tuner Roamio for $149, or $49 refurbed (which I believe has the same 90 day parts/labor and one year parts warranty).

As part of the deal, they are also offering lifetime service for $249, which is half price and the first time I've ever seen it discounted this much. It stays with the device, not the user, but it makes the Tivo hold its value and easy to resell if you upgrade in the future.

So, for $300 you can get a Tivo Roamio (refurb) with lifetime service. That's a pretty good deal.

More info: TiVo Super Savings Sale

(Wonder if this means they are getting ready to bring out a new model?)

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Fri
Aug 28 2015
07:12 am

Starts tonight at 8 pm

August 28-29

BENNY GOLSON
MANUEL ROCHEMAN
KEITH L. BROWN

plus: Vintage Jazz Films · Jazz Tour · Jam Sessions · Master Classes

Knoxville Jazz Festival

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Thu
Aug 27 2015
07:48 pm

The South Knoxville Neighborhood and Business Coalition City Council candidate forum is underway.

Follow @meganboehnke for live updates...

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Here's some good news.
NLRB Statement
Board Issues Decision in Browning-Ferris Industries

In the decision, the Board applies long-established principles to find that two or more entities are joint employers of a single workforce if (1) they are both employers within the meaning of the common law; and (2) they share or codetermine those matters governing the essential terms and conditions of employment. In evaluating whether an employer possesses sufficient control over employees to qualify as a joint employer, the Board will – among other factors -- consider whether an employer has exercised control over terms and conditions of employment indirectly through an intermediary, or whether it has reserved the authority to do so.

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Thu
Aug 27 2015
04:47 pm

The EPA announced today a $177,500 fine against state Rep. Andy Holt for illegally discharging 800,000 gallons of waste from his hog farm into public waterways.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 4, issued an Administrative Complaint, Docket No. CWA-04-2015-4506,that assesses an administrative penalty up to the statutory maximum of $177,500 to Andrew H. Holt and Eleanore F. Holt, d/b/a A & E Livestock (Respondent), 461 Jewell Store Road, Dresden, Weakley County, Tennessee, under the authority of Section 309(g)(2)(B) of the Clean Water Act (CWA), 33 U.S.C. §1319(g)(2)(B).

Holt can still request a hearing or a settlement conference. Rep. Holt is vice chair of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. There were previous allegations that TDEC higher management ordered an investigator to lay off.

The full complaint and notice of enforcement action...

PREVIOUSLY: State rep hog farmer under EPA microscope

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Wed
Aug 26 2015
05:04 pm

from CBS News …

Take the federal poverty cutoff for a family of four, which stood at $23,850 last year. That income level is about half of what a family of four would need to get by in the country's least expensive metropolitan area -- Morristown, Tennessee. The researchers estimate that a two-parent, two-child family in the town of roughly 30,000 would require gross income of $49,114 simply to cover rent, taxes, food, transportation, child care and other basics.

How much money do U.S. families need to get by?

EPI Calculator

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Wed
Aug 26 2015
10:34 am

But hey, they're planning walking trails!

(link...)

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from Reuters ...

The new Republican-appointed director of the Congressional Budget Office delivered some bad news on Tuesday to the party's "Reaganomics" devotees: ...

"No, the evidence is that tax cuts do not pay for themselves," Hall said in response to a reporter's question. "And our models that we're doing, our macroeconomic effects, show that."

U.S. tax cuts don't pay for themselves -Republican-appointed official says

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From the Tennessee Court of Appeals, Knoxville:

This is an appeal from a judgment in a certiorari review action. The petitioner sought approval for the construction of a surface parking lot as a use permitted on review in Knoxville, Tennessee. The Metropolitan Planning Commission denied the application.

The petitioner appealed the denial to the Knoxville City Council, which failed to vote on the matter. The trial court upheld the de facto denial, holding that the Knoxville City Council had not exceeded its jurisdiction, followed an unlawful procedure, acted illegally, arbitrarily, or fraudulently, or acted without material evidence to support its decision.

The petitioner appeals. For the reasons discussed herein, we reverse and remand this case to the trial court with instructions to remand to the Knoxville City Council for a definitive ruling on whether the requested surface parking lot is permissible as a use permitted on review.

Full Ruling: ROYAL PROPERTIES, INC. v. THE CITY OF KNOXVILLE, ET. AL

SEE ALSO:

Pryor Brown Doomed?

Pryor Brown Garage Still Structurally Safe After Roof Collapse

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brace_ely_weth_2.jpg
(L-R) David Brace, Sheryl Ely, Chad Weth

Mayor Rogero's office today announced that David Brace will be promoted to Public Works director, and Chad Weth will be promoted to Public Service director to replace Brace. Sheryl Ely, a Senior Planner with the City of Oak Ridge, will join Weth as the new Deputy Director of Public Service.

Also, the mayor's office announced a new Economic Development Team comprised of Christi Branscom, Deputy to the Mayor and Chief Operating Officer, Deputy to the Mayor and Chief Policy Officer Bill Lyons, incoming Director of Redevelopment Dawn Michelle Foster and incoming Deputy Director of Redevelopment Anne Wallace.

More info and bios in the press release after the break...

Continued...

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