Tue
Sep 2 2014
03:32 pm
By: cafkia  shortURL

I can't believe how out of the loop I am these days. The linked blog post is the first I have heard of this. It sounds promising to me.

(link...)

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From his website: Good grief, where's the beef? Charlie Brown.
NASCAR speeds coming to TN interstates..

have a look: (link...)

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What: First Friday Celebration and Silent Auction (benefiting UTK College Dems) with Knox Co Democratic Party
When: Friday, September 5, 2014 - 6:00pm
Where: Knox Co Democratic Party HQ - 311 Morgan St Knoxville 37917

Come on down to KCDP HQ for our monthly first friday celebration (food, drink and fun), AND bid on and purchase a variety of goods and services being auctioned off in support of the UTK College Dems

food and drink courtesy of 6th district democrats, auction courtesy of 4th district democrats

for info: linda haney (llinc@comcast.net) Chris foell (foellmc@aol.com) Rosina Guerra (rosinag@earthlink.com)

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8
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Tue
Sep 2 2014
07:14 am
By: bizgrrl  shortURL

The Uber ride sharing service was announced to have entered the Knoxville, TN, market the last week of August, 2014.

It is also reported that "it's illegal for these uber drivers to operate in the City of Knoxville." This wasn't reported until the 8th paragraph, after all the PR and hype to promote the service.

Currently, Germany has halted Uber's services pending a lawsuit. "Uber can't offer its services without a specific permit under German transport laws applies nationwide. " Taxi Deutschland, [a German cab association], said Uber allows drivers to skirt safety and insurance regulations that apply to conventional cabs, and for employers to avoid sector benefit and wage agreements and taxes.

I'm all for capitalism, being an entrepreneur, free market, etc. It just seems we all should have to play by the same rules. Ha! Plus, is it safe?

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Mon
Sep 1 2014
10:39 pm

So the new BOE will have its first voting meeting Wednesday. I believe the board will also have its organizational meeting Wednesday, as well.

I could make an educated guess that Mike McMillan will be elected chair by a 5-4 vote, with his own vote and all the newbies. The four incumbents will stick with Lynne Fugate.

But, wait!

Patti Lou Bounds is out of town on a long-scheduled cruise.

That likely makes it 4-4.

Unless Baby 'Tree decides to make an early appearance, in which it could become a 4-3 vote for Fugate.

I checked with a source who knows about this stuff who opined that in the case of a stalemate, the vote would more than likely be postponed.

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Mon
Sep 1 2014
05:15 pm

A deal got cut that left out in-home caregivers irritating labor but still a move in the right direction. 2nd behind Connecticut to get something like this done. If it weren't illegal here, Knoxville could pass a sick leave law.
Melanie Mason at the LA Times Paid sick days bill clears California Legislature

The measure by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) would require employers to give their workers at least three paid sick days per year. Supporters say it would provide paid leave to approximately 6.5 million workers in the state.
Gonzalez, speaking in the Assembly, acknowledged the bill had been trimmed back, but said "we’ve been able to maintain the integrity of a bill that … would expand workers' rights in a way that is unprecedented in this state or in this nation when it comes to paid time off...

This is frankly unacceptable as a proposal and is not worthy of our support this evening."
- Assemblyman Sebastian Ridley-Thomas (D-Los Angeles)

Continued...

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From NBC News ...

Offering its employees a visit with a nurse practioner for the price of a latte at Starbucks could also help Wal-Mart control its own health-care expenses. Recently, the retailer revealed its health costs were expected to increase by $500 million this year because more of its workers than expected are signing up for its health-insurance benefits.

Wal-Mart is launching the clinic pilot program in three states that didn't expand Medicaid: Texas, South Carolina and Georgia — states that also have a high concentration of uninsured residents.

Big Box Health Care: Are You Ready for Walmart Care Clinics?

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Sat
Aug 30 2014
09:11 am

From a local news report: "A little over two weeks ago in court, Defense Attorney Greg Isaacs requested the cases against Mike Lowe, Delbert Morgan and Ray Mubarak be thrown out since valuable documentation was lost in the time it took the grand jury to produce a conviction."

Bonus, from the same report: "An undecided future date has been set to determine Morgan's sentence."

KNS: "Judge Steve Sword set an Oct. 23 sentencing date."

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Fri
Aug 29 2014
09:41 pm

Pennsylvania next to expand Medicaid. 9 GOP governors so far.

From MSNBC …

Pennsylvania’s GOP governor expands Medicaid

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Fri
Aug 29 2014
06:59 pm

A longtime assistant to Circuit Court Judge Harold Wimberly has filed suit in Circuit Court against Circuit Court Judge-elect Bill Ailor, who defeated Wimberly in the August General Election.

Plaintiff Judith Moore Pennoyer, 60, is a 24-year Circuit Court employer who worked for Wimberly for the past 16 years.

The lawsuit accuses Ailor of interfering with her employment with the state of Tennessee and says she received a letter from Ailor on August 28 informing her that she no longer has a job. Pennoyer, who has multiple sclerosis, is represented by David Dunaway, who sued Ailor individually, not in his capacity as a judge-elect (not even sure there is such a thing). the state of Tennessee is also named.

Wimberly presided over Division II. Ailor will take the bench Sept. 2.

Pennoyer filed her case in Division III, which is presided over by Judge Deborah Stevens.

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Fri
Aug 29 2014
05:32 pm

Saying the document "seems to be aimed at protecting the school district and superintendent at the price of free speech," the East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists released a statement denouncing the so-called agreement between Knox Co. Schools Superintendent and the Board of Education regarding dealings with the media, among other things. Full statement after the break...

Continued...

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Fri
Aug 29 2014
10:02 am

In the KNS today, "East Tennessee police take in $11 million in surplus military gear."

Knox County’s collection of the used equipment totals $2.2 million since 2006 and includes two helicopters, a mine-resistant personnel carrier, 237 5.56-millimeter and 58 7.62-millimeter rifles, 49 automatic pistols, 250 bayonets and a demolition firing device.

This is not surprising,

“We’re just not going to discuss any of that stuff due to security issues,” said Chief Deputy Eddie Biggs, who said he had been instructed not to talk by Sheriff Jimmy “J.J.” Jones.

Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch was open and informative about their use of this equipment.

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Thu
Aug 28 2014
11:40 am

What: Public hearing on Cumberland redevelopment area
When: Thursday, September 4, 2014 - 5:30pm
Where: UT Federal Credit Union, 2100 White Ave.

KCDC is holding a public hearing on a proposal to establish a Cumberland Ave. redevelopment area to provide tax increment funding for public infrastructure in the area. Details in the press release after the break...

Continued...

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Thu
Aug 28 2014
11:23 am

The News Sentinel has an article that's really a link to an article in the Tennessean about Tennessee state senators joining in on an attack of AP US History curriculum standards.

Continued...

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Thu
Aug 28 2014
10:32 am

Joe Sullivan says in Metro Pulse that Knox County owes Knox County Schools $10 million in disputed trustee collection fees.

(In the process, he says Mayor Burchett and County Commission are "cheapskates" and accuses County Law Director Bud Armstrong of "egregious behavior," "dereliction of duty," "improprieties," and "incompetence.")

Anyway, later on he says the money should not be used for recurring expenses such as teacher raises, but rather the "one-time cost of a system-wide instructional technology initiative that would put a laptop or tablet in the hands of every student for inventive and differentiated learning."

I am unfamiliar with the concept of "one-time costs" in relation to IT projects. There's the acquisition cost (and depreciation), but then there are the training and implementation costs (initial and recurring for updates, new applications, student/staff turnover), ongoing systems and application administration, periodic software licensing, maintenance and update fees, incidental hardware repair/replacement, recurring infrastructure (network/bandwidth) costs and associated administrative overhead.

So, while lawyers sort out the fee dispute and regardless of how one feels about the appropriate use of classroom technology, there's no such thing as a "one-time" cost to implement it.

(As for "inventive and differentiated," does this kid look like he's engaged and having fun and benefiting from technology v. interaction with a real live human teacher?)

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Wed
Aug 27 2014
11:43 pm

I sent this letter a few days ago and wanted to make it public:

David B. Rausch
KPD Headquarters
800 Howard Baker Jr. Ave
Knoxville, TN 37915

Dear Chief Rausch,

On the evening of Thursday, July 24, I became ill while covering a candidate forum at Lawson McGhee Library.

Continued...

40
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Wed
Aug 27 2014
11:34 pm

From MSNBC ...

By claiming its drivers aren’t employees, FedEx has long been able to avoid paying overtime, providing leave to care for ailing family members, or contributing to Social Security, Medicare, or unemployment insurance — all that tiresome stuff bosses are required by law to provide anyone on the payroll.

What court rulings against FedEx mean for workers

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27
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Wed
Aug 27 2014
10:05 am

The only thing more depressing than a generation of teenage mutant video game playing zombies is a new generation of teenage mutant video game watching zombies watching videos of teenage mutant video game playing zombies play video games. And this brilliant idea is apparently worth $1 billion. Guess I'm getting old, because this is way too meta for me.

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