Sun
Mar 8 2015
08:50 am

What: South of the River Democrats - 9th District KCDP Meeting
When: Monday, March 16, 2015 - 6:30pm
Where: South Knoxville Community Center, 522 Maryville Pike

TN Democratic state executive committee member Sylvia Woods will speak about the TN Democratic Party plans...

This meeting will also serve as the KCDP 9th District Meeting, (required to be held prior to the 2015 KCDP Convention)during which ward and precinct leaders, and delegates to the Sat, March 28th KCDP convention are elected.

For Info: Jim Sessions (573-0655) sessions5@icloud.com

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Sat
Mar 7 2015
09:58 am

ETindex was launched by the Knoxville-Knox County Metropolitan Planning Commission and the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization, with the support and advice of several regional organizations. The Livability Report Card is compiled data for a nine county area in East Tennessee including Anderson, Blount, Jefferson, Knox, Loudon, Monroe, Roane, Sevier, and Union counties.

65 and older is the largest population growth segment in the last 13 years, 32.4%.

Polluted waterways have grown by 500 miles in the last 10 years.

97,864 acres of land used for food production and farm operations were lost between 2002 and 2012.

That's why we can support CAPPE to not take away more farm land in Blount County.

Projected regional transportation infrastructure needs of $2.1 billion.

They can save some money by not building an Alcoa Highway Bypass in Alcoa.

Or, better yet, they could use that money to build some public transportation between Knox and Blount Counties.

One third of households across the region pay more than 30% of income towards housing costs. Inflation-adjusted household incomes have decreased 9% from 2007 to 2012. Could it be that local pay is not keeping up? If the households made more money then housing costs would be a lower portion of income.

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What: City of Knoxville 50th Anniversary Commemoration of Selma March - Walk with the KCDP
When: Sunday, March 8, 2015 - 2:00pm
Where: South End of Gay St Bridge - Shuttles run from Coliseum garage from 12:45 to 1:45PM

We will be marching in rememberance of the 50th Anniversary of the Selma March..Just look for the Knox Co Dem. Party Banner at the start

See this City of Knoxville press release for details: (link...)

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Fri
Mar 6 2015
11:31 am

Good news

from CNN …

February's job growth shows how far the economy has come in a year. It's the 12th straight month that the economy has gained over 200,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate fell to 5.5%.

That's the lowest unemployment rate since May 2008 -- before the financial crisis. Unemployment has come a long way from a year ago when it was 6.7%.

Good news: Unemployment at lowest in 7 years

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Thu
Mar 5 2015
07:50 pm

Interesting development

From CNN ...

The city is currently poised to spend £900 million ($1.4 billion) on one of Europe's most ambitious bicycle path infrastructure projects. Called the East-West Cycle Superhighway, the separated bicycle path would connect Acton in West London with Barking in the east -- a journey of more than 18 miles.

Amazing cycle super highways making bikes the transport of the future

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Thu
Mar 5 2015
06:25 pm
By: glostik  shortURL

Well folks, a couple of weeks ago the subject of vouchers came up on Inside Tennessee and Roger Kane refused to answer whether or not he supported them. Interesting to find out he is a co-sponsor of HB1048, voucher legislation from Rep. Bill Dunn. It is important to note that Ryan Haynes is also a co-sponsor. Rep. Harry Brooks, who brought us the MUCH less than stellar K-12 Inc. virtual school, is also sponsoring a voucher bill. It is time to start contacting your reps and holding them accountable. They are stripping funds from our public schools and we need to stop this legislation.

They message vouchers as school choice but that is dishonest. All children will not have a choice, only a select few. The bulk of the "choice" lies with the private school. Most do not take students with disabilities and these schools can choose the students they take for any reason they like. There is little or no expectation of transparency and accountability with these schools. In Louisiana and Wisconsin, students who attend school on vouchers perform below the state average. There is no peer-reviewed research that indicates vouchers have been successful.

If you are in Knoxville, call your Reps and let them know you don't support vouchers. Post on their Facebook pages! Knoxville legislators who support vouchers are going against the wishes of Knox County Schools legislative agenda, ask them exactly whose interests they are looking after if not their own local school system and educators!

District 14- Farragut area-
Rep. Ryan Haynes rep.ryan.haynes@capitol.tn.gov 615-741-2264
District 89-Hardin Valley/Karns area-
Rep. Roger Kane rep.roger.kane@capitol.tn.gov 615-741-4110
District 18- West Hills area-
Rep. Martin Daniel rep.martin.daniel@capitol.tn.gov 615-741-2287
District 16- Powell/Halls area-Rep.
Bill Dunn rep.bill.dunn@capitol.tn.gov 615-741-1721
District 19 -Gibbs/Carter/SoKno area-
Rep. Harry Brooks rep.harry.brooks@capitol.tn.gov 615-741-6879
District 13- Near north Knox, Sequoyah Hills, South Doyle, Mt. Olive areas
Rep. Eddie Smith rep.eddie.smith@capitol.tn.gov 615-741-2031 (this rep received well over $200,000 in pro-voucher monies in his race--over $150k from special interest groups in DC and California)

Whether or not you are in Knoxville, call the entire Education Admin Committee before the vote Tuesday and let them know how you feel. Here is a link to the committee… (link...)
(Most, if not all, of the members on this committee who support vouchers benefitted from thousands or tens of thousands of $$ from special interests outside Tennessee)

If you are outside Knoxville, please use this link to locate and call your Rep.
(link...)

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Thu
Mar 5 2015
04:09 pm

kaiser subsidy map.jpg
Yesterday before the SCOTUS King vs Burwell was argued. On one side was Michael Carvin on behalf of the plaintiffs versus Solicitor General Don Verrilli. Readers may recall the basis of the lawsuit. Carvin is arguing, on behalf of a remarkably shady group of plaintiffs, from a textualist position which hinges upon a single phrase in the tax code - “exchange established by the State”. The plaintiffs' position is that the exchanges set up by federal government are not "established by the state(s)" and thus those citizens covered by HHS operated Federally Facilitated Marketplaces (FFM) should not receive subsidies. The broad implications of this peculiar position, from public health to political economy, are potentially far reaching. For one, states with FFM's could very well become No Go zones for the working poor.

Continued...

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Thu
Mar 5 2015
06:51 am

Halls Middle School parents are not happy with a in-school fundraiser. I can see why.

"The event was originally called the "59 Minute Fundraiser." Students were told to bring their cell phones and a list of friends and family. They were going to be given 59 minutes during the school assembly to call everyone on the list to try to sell them coupon books."

Unreal.

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From Michael Grider: Tune in to a live Google Hangout Wednesday, March 4 at 3 p.m. to hear the latest on how the Knox County (TN) Highway Department responded to the recent weather and how they are planning for current weather forecast. Join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #KnoxLive. 

KnoxLive: Winter weather chat with the Knox County Highway Department

(Or watch live on YouTube, no login required for either webcast.)

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Wed
Mar 4 2015
03:46 am

Belated condolences to KNS reporter and sometime KnoxViews poster Jamie Satterfield in the recent loss of her husband, whom she characterizes as her "biggest fan.".

Jerry was just 59 years old and succumbed to cancer on February 24.

Jamie, I'm sure I'm not the only one here who didn't know about this other role you've shouldered as caregiver in recent months. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

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Tue
Mar 3 2015
10:40 pm

Wow. This is unbelievably crass:

The letter from Emerald Academy came during the snow days and was addressed to the parents/guardians of children zoned to Knoxville’s urban elementary schools and signed by Emerald’s director, Dr. Jon Rysewyk.

Five of the recipients were Christenberry Elementary School faculty members who bring their children to school with them. One faculty member said reading it was like a slap in the face.

It began like this:

“You have a choice – Emerald Academy! Do you know the grades for the school your child is zoned to attend next year and how they compare with Knox County Schools’ overall grades?”

Read the rest here.

It's shaping up to be a cage fight...

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Tue
Mar 3 2015
04:29 pm

The News-Sentinel had an editorial today on the proposed voucher program that is pending in the state legislature.

What was interesting to me was the comments. A reader "SeekTruth" challenges the local media outlets to a "compare-and-contrast" assignment to spend a week with the students at a low-performing school such as Lonsdale Elementary and then at a high-performing school such as A.L. Lotts and write a story about whether the problem at Lonsdale is the teachers or the administration or the equipment, or if (gasp) the problem isn't the school at all.

Further, SeekTruth challenges an investigative reporter to find a local real world example of how it will all work - whether the local private schools around town are ready to take on students from low-performing schools and to nail down the details of entrance requirements, fees, and academic/behavioral performance criteria.

Continued...

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An ad showed up here yesterday for SAVETNVA.ORG, a website advocating to keep the Tennessee Virtual Academy open. The site warns that "some policy makers opposed to virtual schools want to shut down TNVA and deprive Tennessee parents and students of a choice in their child’s education."

Continued...

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Mon
Mar 2 2015
06:28 pm

Knoxville Mercury Editor Coury Turczyn announced today that the new alt-weekly will launch on March 12th. Here's the announcement, including staff introductions.

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24/7 Wall Street: The Best (and Worst) States for Business

To determine America’s best states for business, 24/7 Wall St. identified nearly 50 measures that contribute to the business climate and reviewed them in each of the 50 states. The measures were classified into eight larger categories that independently measured various risks and benefits of doing business in each state.

Unfortunately, Tennessee was ranked as the 10th worst state in the U.S. for business. Factors included a poorly educated workforce, lack of economic growth (one of the lowest), and a high crime rate (one of the highest).

Thanks, TNGOP and Gov. Haslam. Go Vols!

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News Sentinel

Knox County Schools finance director Ron McPherson is leaving his job to join the Emerald Youth Foundation as chief financial officer, he confirmed.

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Mon
Mar 2 2015
12:00 pm

From Cameron Brooks:

The Knox County Democratic Party will hold its convention on Saturday, March 28th at the CWA Union Hall, located at 1415 Elm Street, Knoxville, TN 37921. Doors open at 9 for registration and the convention starts at 11. Delegate meetings will happen throughout the 9 districts prior to the 28th. Those dates and times will be finalized today.

UPDATE: List of district meetings with dates/times...

Cameron also announced his candidacy for KCDP chair, along with other officer candiates making up the "Knox County 2015 Democratic Unity Team Platform." Announcement after the break...

Continued...

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Mon
Mar 2 2015
11:32 am

Yesteray's Knoxville News Sentinel had a couple of articles about the growing demand for senior services, particularly housing, transportation and health care.

Knox Co. Mayor Burchett is quoted:

Asked about the growing needs of the senior population, Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett said government should stand back and let the free market meet the demands of seniors.

The only government role should be in providing infrastructure for business and transportation. "To say ‘we need to build more senior centers now, and get ahead of that,'— that's not the reality of where we're at," Burchett said. "I do think the market will decide."

I guess I can see where a county government can't be expected to provide services on the scale of Social Security and Medicare, but they can coordinate and provide services such as Knox County CAC Transit, Mobile Meals and adult day care.

According to their website, the public non-profit Knoxville-Knox County CAC was founded by the Knoxville and Knox Co. governments. Its annual funding of more than $29 million comes from "federal, state, and local governments, as well as private foundations, businesses, churches, individual donors and contributions from individuals receiving services."

I'm not clear on how free markets will meet these needs. At any rate, wouldn't most of the funding for "free market" senior services will come directly or indirectly from Social Security and Medicare, i.e the government?

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Sat
Feb 28 2015
09:36 pm
By: Stick  shortURL

Top 25

Tenure and post-tenure review process: To be conducted by UT System Administration and with involvement by the Faculty Council, to look at awarding of tenure, post-tenure compensation and enacting of a de-tenure process.

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Fri
Feb 27 2015
07:30 pm

No, pretty sure they won't be playing at Bonnaroo.

But, I've pretty much completed my collection of the 2014/15 Jimmy Page remaster CDs with today's arrival of Physical Graffiti, rounding out previous acquisitions of I, II, III, IV, and Houses of the Holy. I'll probably stop here. Not sure how anything later can top this run of albums.

Continued...

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