Wed
Aug 19 2015
08:34 am

I had no idea there were Starbucks locations where you could get wine and craft beer. Apparently customers like the idea. Starbucks is expanding their "Evenings" at Starbucks stores to include 70 additional locations.

None of the stores in the Knoxville area have been targeted to sell wine and craft beer. There are nine stores in the Atlanta area and six in Central Florida.

Not a bad idea. I'm not a fan of Starbucks coffee. A little too bitter for me. Maybe the wine will fit my taste.

43
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Tue
Aug 18 2015
06:50 pm

What: SKNBC Sponsored Candidate Forum
When: Thursday, August 27, 2015 - 7:00pm
Where: Woodlawn Christian Church Worship Center

The South Knoxville Neighborhood and Business Coalition (SKNBC) is sponsoring a City Council Candidate Forum / Meet-and-Greet from 7:00-9:00 p.m.

Continued...

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More than 100 million people visited Tennessee in 2014, spending $17.7 billion and supporting 152,900 tourism industry jobs according to figures announced by the state today. In Knoxville, spending reached nearly $1 billion and generated more than $23 million in local tax revenues.

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

Continued...

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The News Sentinel Reports...

The article quotes the United Campus Workers as saying the scope "includes every person, and every job, for every building everywhere. Haslam wants to outsource our safety, health, and education to some for-profit, out-of-state company. All of the maintenance, all of the purchasing, all of the utilities, all of the human resources, all of the security, all of the cleaning, all of the administrative work in our schools, our courtrooms, our service agencies. It will hurt everyone.”

Here's the RFI...

It was issued on 8/10 and the deadline to respond is 8/21. As noted by the KNS, this seems like an unusually short amount of time for such a large scope of work. Looking at the RFI, however, it appears they are seeking to identify qualified vendors at this time, and will issue formal requests for proposals or bids later.

Regardless, people will wonder if JLL has the inside track and this is just a formality for show.

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54
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Mon
Aug 17 2015
10:59 am

Keep Knoxville Beautiful has hired Patience Melnik as their new executive director, replacing Allison Tetter who left in May to join the Knox Co. Health Dept. Patience previously worked for the Tennessee Clean Water Network. More info in the press release after the break...

Continued...

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Could the East Tennessee Historical Center start a "This day in Knoxville/Knox County" or "This week ..." series. At Market Square stage. Maybe 15-30 minutes max. Maybe 2 times during lunch. A narrator/video thing with images supplied by Historical Center. Could be during lunch time thru the work week. Maybe the same on the weekend.

Not just for a week or two. But a long term regular program.

43
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Report: Medicaid costs Ohio $2 billion less than expected

The savings follow Gov. John Kasich’s expansion of Medicaid in 2013 to cover thousands more Ohioans, as allowed under President Barack Obama’s health care law. Nearly 3 million people are now enrolled after more than 500,000 low-income adults without dependent children enrolled last year — 150,000 more than expected, state officials said. That number was offset, though, by a decrease in traditional enrollments.

Republican Gov. John Kasich is now running for president.

43
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Fri
Aug 14 2015
12:53 pm

The state's recent anti-DUI campaign featuring sexist, offensive messages cost more than $450,000 before being pulled.

The Tennessean reports that the budget for the project developed by Knoxville's Tombras Group totaled $725,934, but "only" $456,923 was spent before pulling the plug. There was also some discussion about whether people would even understand the ads, but apparently no discussion about whether they were offensive.

PREVIOUSLY: Dumb and dumber

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114
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Thu
Aug 13 2015
12:40 pm

Washington Post: Donald Trump is a counterfeit Republican

This year’s Republican field is the most impressive since 1980, and perhaps the most talent-rich since the party first had a presidential nominee, in 1856. But 16 candidates are experiencing diminishment by association with the 17th.

Wait, what? (Emphasis added.)

43
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Thu
Aug 13 2015
10:29 am

A while back we mentioned the Tennessee State Treasury's unclaimed property website. I found some unclaimed property, likely a utility or phone or cable deposit at a former address, but it required verification of our previous residence and the form had to be notarized. So I put it off and sort of forgot about it.

The other day we were cleaning out some junk in the garage and came across a box of old utility bills. I remembered the unclaimed property so I dug out what I thought I needed.

I went to the state's unclaimed property website to start the claim process over again, and found that it is now completely automated for small claims like this. I submitted it online, and they were apparently able to verify my ID and our previous address through the DMV or something without me providing any additional info or getting anything notarized. In a few days I got a notification that it had been approved, and I got a check a few days later.

There's a lot more documentation required for more complicated claims involving estates and the like. But the Mrs. found out that you can call the unclaimed property office and talk to an actual person and they are exceedingly helpful. This is in sharp contrast to our dealings with other state offices of late, so that was a pleasant surprise.

Anyway, it might be worth your while to see if you have any unclaimed funds. If so, you may be able to recover them by simply filling out a web form.

State of Tennessee’s Unclaimed Property Division

44
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Thu
Aug 13 2015
08:00 am

Please join us this Sunday for an Evening Blues Cruise.

The Smoky Mountain Blues Society has their Forth of the year Blues Cruises this Sunday evening, August 16th on the Star of Knoxville Riverboat. Join us for three hours of great music with Asheville, NC blues band Al Coffee and Da Grind.
(link...)

Tickets are $16 in advance and $19 day of show. Smoky Mtn. Blues Members receive a $3 discount. Boarding at 4:30PM, cruise from 5 to 8 pm. Hope to see you there. Call the Riverboat Company Mon-Fri from 10-4 and some Sat.(hrs vary)at 865-525-7827 | 800-509-2628 for tickets
Check out the SMBS website for more info.
(link...)

36
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Wed
Aug 12 2015
09:15 pm

In case you missed it, there was a special election today to replace 14th District Rep. Ryan Haynes, who quit to head up the TNGOP.

Twitter reports from the Knox Co. Election Commission and various local media outlets suggest Jason Zachary has defeated Karen Carson. There are no results as of yet on the Knox Co. Election Commission website.

If Zachary wins, it signals further support for the radical right TNGOP tea party agenda led by Lt. (real) Gov. Ramsey v. the more moderate (i.e. ineffective and neutered) Gov. Haslam agenda (whatever that is).

Bonus triva: No votes were cast in the 89th precinct (Mt. Olive).

UPDATE: Unofficial results from the Knox Co. Elections office at 10 PM:

KAREN CARSON: 1,742 (42.09%)
JASON ZACHARY: 2,397 (57.91%)

38
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Wed
Aug 12 2015
07:38 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL

The Perseid meteor shower peaks tonight. There's no Moon and the sky is clearing up nicely, so conditions are good.

Go out after midnight and look north/northeast for the best viewing opportunity. We were out for a couple of hours last night and only saw two, but the light pollution is pretty bad around our neighborhood.

We drove around looking for a better spot, but no luck nearby. Look Rock is probably your best bet. We'd go tonight, but the Mrs. has an appointment bright and early in the AM.

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35
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Wed
Aug 12 2015
06:16 pm

I mentioned earlier I was looking for a replacement for my dying Nexus 7 tablet. I tried out the new Asus ZenPad and it was close but no cigar (review here).

More recently I tried out the new Lenovo Tab 2 A8. It's one of the recent wave of inexpensive, entertainment oriented tablets. You can find them for $120 to $130. Ultimately, you get what you pay for. It is underpowered and sluggish. There's also something wrong with the touch registration. When typing, it drops every third or fourth character, making it almost unusable. There were also a few other annoying bugs. It loads web pages pretty fast using Chrome, and battery life is pretty good, but that's about all it has going for it. Not a bad starter Android tablet for $120, but I was spoiled by the Nexus.

So I bit the bullet and tried out the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4. It appears to be the Cadillac of Android tablets, and at $299 it's worth it.

Continued...

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Wed
Aug 12 2015
05:23 pm

from MSNBC …

Late last month, an alarming new study concluded that the glaciers of Greenland and Antarctica will melt ten times faster than previous estimates, raising ocean levels 10 feet in as little as a half century. But is it accurate? NASA has launched an urgent, five-year, $30 million study that will help scientists find out.

The official “mission,” known as Oceans Melting Greenland—yes, this is operation OMG—is designed to help scientists determine the melt-rate with unprecedented accuracy.

A launches operation ‘OMG’

Oceans Melting Greenland

NASA: Climate Change and Global Warming

36
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Looks like some good stuff happening in this area. Several things moving into the Depot Street area.

from Knoxnews.com …

At 2 p.m. Saturday, Saw Works will hold its first Band Saw event at the brewery, with beer and music. It will also celebrate five years in business.

“I can’t believe this street,” Palmer said of growth near the brewery.

In 2014, Marc Nelson Denim opened a retail shop at 700 East Depot Ave., next door to Saw Works. Nearby at 808 East Magnolia Ave., Last Days of Autumn Brewing is opening soon. Their beers will be a part of the Band Saw celebration, reflective of the cooperative nature among new businesses in the Magnolia area.

Continued...

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32
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What: DTV will reveal what's all this fuss about Andrew Jackson on Friday evening
When: Friday, August 14, 2015 - 7:30pm
Where: On the Community TV Channel

Dr. Daniel FellerPresident Andrew Jackson

A lively, informed, and challenging discussion for all Democrats and curious Republicans!

Join Professor Daniel Feller, Director, The Papers of Andrew Jackson @ The University of Tennessee--Knoxville in a discussion with a panel of Knoxville Democrats:
Bill Owen, Democratic National Committee
John G. Stewart, former assistant to Vice President Humphrey
Jessee Bundy, local attorney

DTV streams live on the Community TV web site (link) or on cable/satellite at:
Comcast Channel 12
Charter Channel 193
Wow! Channel 6
ATT U-verse Channel 99

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37
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from MSNBC ...

“In the first three months of 2015, 29 million persons of all ages (9.2 percent) were uninsured at the time of interview, 7 million fewer persons than in 2014,” the report reads.

Nine in 10 Americans have health insurance, survey finds

Continued...

34
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Wed
Aug 12 2015
12:24 pm

What: Books Sandwiched In welcomes Deputy Chief Nate Allen
When: Wednesday, August 19, 2015 - 12:00pm
Where: East Tennessee History Center

NateAllen225.jpgJoin Nate Allen, Deputy Chief of Police, City of Knoxville, for a revealing look at 400 Things Cops Know: Street-Smart Lessons from a Veteran Patrolman by Adam Platinga, Wednesday, August 19, noon–1:00 p.m in the East Tennessee History Center auditorium, at this month’s Books Sandwiched In, a program series of Knox County Public Library, sponsored by the Friends of Knox County Public Library.

“This book is a great way to build understanding, and transparency between the community and police officers,” Allen said.

Continued...

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