Apr 20 2015
11:26 pm

I wish more people would watch what our legislators are doing in Nashville. I came home from school one day last week and decided to check in. I am pretty sure that was the first I had watched of any floor debate this session.

SB0108 is a bill to double a fee for something that is already paid for, they actually admit the service doesn't cost this much, but by doubling the small fee to the citizens of TN, we can raise $6 million to add to our budget. Legislators on both sides of the aisle felt this was an unfair way to treat citizens and spoke out against the bill.

Well, Rep McCormick didn't like that legislators, including his own, were balking at this bill, so he decided to threaten them with cutting things in the budget they cared about, you know, things like services for the disadvantaged. Yes, he actually threatened to make up this $6 million by cutting funds to disadvantaged Tennesseans out of spite and retaliation to those who spoke against it.

"So, if you're gonna get up here and vote against these things, we're gonna have to cut the budget. And, if I've got anything to say about it - and I do - [McCormick is on the Budget committee] we're gonna find those areas of the budget that you're so passionate about, and that's where we're gonna cut 'em. So, if it's the Rainy Day Fund that you're passionate about, that's where we're going. If it's the areas where the disadvantaged are, that's where we're going. So, if you are gonna get up here and make a parade of this on all these fees, that's where we're going. So, go ahead and raise your hand - we'll fight it out."-Rep McCormick

See it for yourself, SB0108 starts about 35 minutes in, McCormick's rant starts about 41 minutes in, then a bit later a few folks on both sides of the aisle stand up to say they don't like being threatened. (Sorry, wish I had the skills to isolate the portion I want, but no such luck.)


Apr 20 2015
01:15 pm

The locomotive Norfolk Southern's late president and CEO Robert Claytor once called "the finest passenger engine ever built" has emerged from retirement for a second time. The most powerful and, arguably, the most beautiful 4-8-4 ever built will be making her first run on May 30.

Excursion service is scheduled to begin in June.

From TRAINS Magazine (subscription required)

Apr 19 2015
06:23 pm

Today the KNS ran a story about two local debutante balls. Not sure if it's behind the subscription wall, so I'll summarize the main points.

One ball is hosted by the local chapter of AKA, and although these debs are mostly African-American, girls must apply and there is no racial criterion for selection. Knoxville's society event, the Dogwood Ball, is a different story. Invitation only, and one of the official criteria is that the girl must be white. The chairwomen, somebody named Ann Trent, stated that "she does not see a problem with the event being segregated."

Then she went on to say: “I think it’s beautiful that (the local AKA chapter) has started their own for their girls."

As my spouse observed, that remark would have been condescending in 1975. In 2015, it's mind-boggling. And this women didn't say it in private to her friends; she said it for publication.

I'm not at all surprised this is the unofficial policy, given that there's never been a black deb in the history of the Dogwood Ball. I AM surprised it's still an official policy, and shocked at this woman's comments.


What: 38th Annual Elsie Quarterman Cedar Glade Wildflowers Festival
When: Friday, May 1, 2015 - 9:45am
Where: Cedars of Lebanon State Park

38th Annual Elsie Quarterman Cedar Glade Festival
Friday, May 1 – Saturday, May 2 All Day
Celebrate the 38th Festival of the Cedar Glade Wildflowers as some of the finest botanists, ecologists and naturalists present the beauty and uniqueness of the Cedar Glades through lectures, workshops, hikes, fieldtrips and exhibits. Co- sponsored with the Center for Cedar Glade Studies Program at Middle Tennessee State University. Free to the public! For more information call the park at 615-443-2769 or visit the Middle Tennessee State University, Center for Cedar Glade Studies.

Apr 19 2015
07:42 am

Congratulations to the Knoxville Ice Bears for winning the Southern Professional Hockey League championship last night, a convincing 4-2 victory over the Mississippi River Kings.

My friends Paul Witt, Parker Witt, and Jim Gray and I were there to see the team raise the trophy.



Apr 18 2015
11:14 am

Please think beyond it's pretty and I like it when selecting your plants. The Pollinator Partnership offers an excellent guide to selecting plants with a purpose.



Tennessee Democrats are holding a series of press conferences across the state today to urge voters to support Insure Tennessee, the proposed TennCare/Medicaid expansion, before the General Assembly adjourns next week.

In Knoxville, former State Representative Gloria Johnson, University of Tennessee Professor Mark Harmon and Knox County Democratic Party Chair Cameron Brooks will be at the Knoxville Health Department 140 Dameron Ave. today at 2PM.

More details in the press release after the break....



What: Democratic TV
When: Friday, April 17, 2015 @7:30PM
Where: Knoxville's Community TV Channel

Cheri Siler and Doug Veum will host UTK's Dr. Bob Kronick on Knoxville's Community Television in a discussion about the currently operating community schools in Knox County. Tune in to CTV at 7:30PM Friday evening April 17th for this live discussion. Viewers are encouraged to call in with questions and comments.

DTV streams live at ((link...)) or on cable/satellite at:
Comcast Channel 12
Charter Channel 6
Wow! Channel 6
ATT U-verse Channel 99

Apr 17 2015
03:03 am

Five stores in four states.

From CNN ...

.The stores closed at 7 p.m. Monday, after workers were notified just hours before that they were losing their jobs.

Luna said she believes Walmart is closing the Pico Rivera store because its employees have been very active in protesting for higher pay. Workers there led one of the first Black Friday protests back in 2012.

Walmart fired 2,200 to fix the plumbing

Apr 16 2015
09:48 pm

Anybody else finding this to be a killer allergy season already?

I've been taking allergy shots since February, but the weather threw me about three weeks behind. I'd been hoping to do myself some good before the weather got warm, but that was unrealistic, my ENT tells me, because it'll take a good six months before I have any immunity built up. My primary goal had been to avoid the vertigo attacks that accompanied my sinus problems last year.

So far (knock wood) haven't gotten dizzy, but Lord, I've been more congested than at any time since I had walking pneumonia as a junior in high school. Barely got any sleep Sunday and Monday nights and thought I'd have to mss a week's work (although I hit a lick today and will again tomorrow, knock wood).

It's been a bad, patch. Sort of makes me want to quote Dorothy Parker and wonder what fresh hell I'll wake up to tomorrow. Getting old sucks.

Apr 16 2015
02:25 pm

LA Times:

The Los Angeles Unified School District is seeking to recoup millions of dollars from technology giant Apple over a problem-plagued curriculum that was provided with iPads intended to be given to every student, teacher and administrator.

To press its case, the Board of Education on Tuesday authorized its attorneys in a closed-door meeting to explore possible litigation against Apple and Pearson, the company that developed the curriculum as a subcontractor to Apple.

According to the report, only a tiny fraction of schools were using the Pearson software because of daily problems.

In earlier news, the FBI is involved.

Apr 16 2015
09:29 am

This may be of interest to new or aspiring female homeowners. Lowe's Home Improvement Center will team up with Habitat for Humanity to offer a week-long series of clinics next week just for women. Topics are as follows:

Saturday, April 18--Painting, installing trim, using power tools
Monday, April 20--Framing
Tuesday, April 21--Insulation and drywall
Wednesday, April 22--Roofing
Thursday, April 23--Siding

The Saturday session is daytime, while the Monday through Thursday sessions are evening. Additional details here.

You go, girls!

Apr 15 2015
02:41 pm

Our legislature is dominated by a conservative Republican supermajority. These folks claim to be conservative Christians. They claim to value the Constitution. They claim to value the authority of the State.

This week, they are ignoring the Christian value of helping the poor, but are expending considerable energy to pass otherwise irrelevant legislation that belittles the Christian religion, violates the US Constitution and violates the Tennessee Constitution.


Apr 15 2015
08:48 am

KNS: South Knoxville community school sees growth, progress

This year the school on Sevier Avenue near the South Knoxville Waterfront redevelopment project became a community school. Under the concept, school buildings become the hub of a community — staying open in the evenings, on weekends and during the summer for everything from health clinics to yoga classes.

Good report on the Community School effort there and the community involvement making it possible.

Apr 15 2015
12:18 am

During a walk around downtown this evening I came thru Market Square and there was a 4 piece band playing. They reminded me of the groups I have seen playing on the sidewalks in Asheville. Maybe I have been out of the loop a bit, but has the street musician bar been raised in Knoxville?

Maybe Abby the Spoon Lady will make an appearance in Knoxville.


In case you missed it, from the Times Free Press:

Under Haslam's proposal, FedEx's aviation fuel tax liability would be capped at $10.5 million — down from the $32 million the company paid last year. The cap would be phased in over four years.

Last time I checked, FedEx had more than $47 billion in revenues, $28.5 billion in gross profits and $2.5 billion in net earnings. It doesn't sound like they are hurting too bad.

Wonder who is pushing for this, other than Gov. Haslam? I believe FedEx's CEO is a Pilot Flying J board member and huge supporter of Haslam, but surely that has nothing to do with it.

Also, the aviation fuel tax helps fund airport maintenance around the state. It doesn't appear Haslam has proposed a way to replace any funding lost to a FedEx tax break. Airports are understandably concerned about the proposal.

Apr 14 2015
10:00 am
By: redmondkr  shortURL

GT, our new boxer, heard them first a few minutes ago. I eased the den window open and squeezed off a few shots before they decided this session was over. The flock seems to have fewer members this year. I only counted ten and our white hen was nowhere to be seen. We lost one last week on the road in front of the neighbor's house.

Click on the picture for more.

Apr 13 2015
04:46 pm

It is probably too late, but I have thought KC should arrange with Pellissippi State or Roane State or both to offer 2 year degrees on KC campus and KC offer predominantly the last 2 years of a four year degree in select programs. Where PS or RS 2 year completions come in as juniors.

from WATE …

Knoxville College will not be offering classes for the first semester of next year.

Knoxville College halts classes for fall semester


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