Oct 18 2014
08:38 am

The final Foothills Fall Festival is underway in Maryville and continues today and tomorrow. The Mrs. went over for a stroll yesterday and took a few pics. Click the photo above for more.

In addition to the headliner concerts, there is plenty of free, family friendly arts and entertainment fun, including a juried arts and crafts show and Adventure Land for the kids. (Sorry, no pets allowed.)

There are free concert performances throughout the day at the Music at Roy's Stage (near the old Roy's Record shop) and Community Stage. There are still general admission concert passes (good for both today and tomorrow) available for $70, and reserved seating (Silver section) tickets available for tonight's concerts ($40) and tomorrow night's finale with Tim McGraw ($70). Tickets may be purchased at the Church St. gate.

The forecast calls for perfect fall weather today and tomorrow, so y'all come on out.

More info...


From Yahoo …

It won't happen immediately, or even within the next year, but not too far into the future you might pay a tax for every mile you drive — thanks to California.

Three weeks ago, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law the first test of mileage-based road taxes in the Golden State. The bill, which passed the state legislature with the backing of transit agencies, environmental groups and most major automakers, creates a 15-person panel to oversee a pilot of pay-by-the-mile taxation by 2018.

California readies pay-as-you-drive tax test, coming soon to a road near you


Based on the latest unemployment figures available (September 2014 unless noted), Tennessee has the third highest unemployment rate in the South:

Georgia          7.9%
Mississippi      7.4% (Aug.)
Tennessee        7.3%
North Carolina   6.8% (Aug.)
Kentucky         6.7%
Alabama          6.6%
West Virginia    6.6%
South Carolina   6.4% (Aug.)
Arkansas         6.3% (Aug.)
Florida          6.1%
Louisiana        5.8% (Aug.)
Virginia         5.6% (Aug.)
Texas            5.2%

U.S.             5.9%
Oct 16 2014
07:33 pm

What: Harold G. Woods Bridge dedication ceremony
When: Monday, October 20, 2014 - 11:00am
Where: James White Parkway at Sevier Ave. and McClung in South Knoxville

The public is invited to a dedication ceremony in honor of Harold G. Woods on Monday, Oct. 20th at 11AM at the James White Parkway bridge over Sevier Ave. in South Knoxville. The bridge will be officially designated as the Harold G. Woods Memorial Bridge.

State Rep. Joe Armstrong, sponsor of the memorial bill, will preside. He will be joined by Sylvia Woods, Rep. Gloria Johnson, Sen. Becky Duncan Massey, Mayor Madeline Rogero, friends and family of Harold G. Woods, and other local and state leaders.

The ceremony will take place at the JWP span over Sevier Ave. near McClung Ave. Look for traffic cones blocking a northbound lane and officers directing traffic.

Sylvia Woods says she "would like a lot of people to show up to honor Harold, but more importantly to show our grandchildren an ordinary man can do good works and be remembered."

Oct 15 2014
08:00 pm

What: Meet Eddie Smith with Lamar Alexander!
When: Thursday, October 16, 2014 - 12:00pm
Where: Shoney's Restaurant, 2612 Chapman Hwy, South Knoxville

Must RSVP to

Meet Gloria Johnson's opponent and try to ask questions! Suggestions are 1) How is Obamacare hurting constituents?, 2) How does he plan to "support AFP's efforts to Stop Obamacare and Washington DC's takeover of health care in Tennessee?", which is his stated pledge.

(Also might ask about things like evolution, climate change, etc.)

Sorry for the short notice, but this flyer was found in my mailbox today and I can't make the event.

Oct 15 2014
06:05 pm

Via KNS: Controversial Oak Ridge PAC announces endorsements


(Some incumbant City Council members) contended there was a potential conflict of interest because the Chamber receives $175,000 a year from the city and has a below-market lease from the city of the property it occupies at the corner of Oak Ridge Turnpike and Tulane Avenue.

However, in a sharply divided vote last month, the Council rejected a move to have the city's attorney research whether the PAC's existence posed any ethical or legal concerns for the city.

Now, PAC members have made their selections from among the 10 City Council and 8 school board candidates running--or rather, from among those candidates who chose to answer the PAC's questionnaire.

Some candidates apparently opted not to participate and instead posted their answers to PAC questions "in blogs or in social media."


Hearing that there are layoffs at KNS and possibly other Scripps papers. Anybody else hearing anything?

UPDATE: Metro Pulse tweets that the current issue is their last and all employees have been laid off.

UPDATE: News Sentinel layoffs include Metro Pulse staff

The News Sentinel today announced that it was laying off 23 employees, including the staff of Metro Pulse, a standalone weekly publication owned by the newspaper.

UPDATE: We are told Shopper News is not affected.

UPDATE: Rumors of at least three cuts in News Sentinel newsroom.

UPDATE: Sources say KNS metro editor John North was let go. Staff meeting at 4PM, could be more...

Oct 15 2014
09:13 am

In the military, there is a term known as the "teeth to tail" ratio (T3R if you're into TLA*), or how many front-line combat troops you have vs. support and logistics. In World War 2, the ratio was as high as 0.54, while in our more modern military, the ratio can be as low as 0.25 (Iraq, counting in contractors).

Attacking an enemy's logistical "tail" is not just a viable strategy, it's a winning strategy for most wars. Germany failed to reach Moscow because of logistical issues. It had a strong influence in our victory in the Revolutionary War, a little told story.

In looking at the maps of ISIS wins, it's very strange to see such long thin fingers, primarily running along major highways.... so how does the US military capitalize on this?


Oct 15 2014
12:30 am

You can keep the insurance web site up but the insurance has to be stopped.

From MSNBC …

Mitch McConnell’s Obamacare ‘word salad’


Apparently, a woman who is not a wife or a mother is not qualified for state office, according to GOP operatives. Tennessee House Democratic Leader Craig Fitzhugh issued the following statement in response:

Fitzhugh Calls on Smith, GOP to Disavow Attacks
Attacks on Johnson beyond the pale

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (10/14/14) – House Democratic Leader Craig Fitzhugh called on the Tennessee Republican Party and Eddie Smith to disavow recent attacks made on State Representative Gloria Johnson by prominent GOP operative Brian Hornback.

"Gloria Johnson is a strong, successful woman," said Leader Fitzhugh. "She takes care of her elderly Mother, she is a loving aunt of four, a sister and like all school teachers, she's been a mother to more than one child."

Earlier today Brian Hornback, a well-known GOP operative and blogger, took to twitter to criticize Rep. Johnson for being "not a wife, not a mother, a bureaucrat." This is the latest in a series of false and misleading GOP attacks in the district 13 race.

"Eddie Smith and the Tennessee Republican Party should disavow this attack today. They have done nothing but throw mud at Rep. Johnson for the last two years, but this is beyond the pale. It's insulting to Gloria, it's insulting to women as a whole and it's insulting to the voters of district 13."

Get the facts: Gloria Johnson for State House District 13

Oct 14 2014
03:12 pm

As Maryville gears up for the final Foothills Fall Festival this weekend, Daily Times opinion editor Dean Stone reminisces about its predecessor, the "Hillbilly Homecoming," in Sunday's paper.

The first Hillbilly Homecoming was held in 1953, featuring, among others, Roy Acuff, June Carter with her mother Maybelle and sisters Helen and Anita, Homer and Jethro, Chet Atkins, Archie Campbell, Sgt. Alvin C. York, Polly Bergen and more. Maybe some of those performers weren't all that famous in 1953, but that's a pretty impressive lineup.

Read more: Bits of Stone: First of 18 Hillbilly Homecomings in 1953

Oct 14 2014
02:48 pm

If you're in Blount Co. or portions of West Knox Co. and are on Charter Cable, you probably received a recent notice that they are switching to all digital effective today (10/14).

If you already had a digital set top box or a DVR or other device with a Cable Card they say you are all set and don't have to do anything. (Otherwise, they are offering a digital set top box free for 12 months for all your TVs. Call them for info.)

BUT... if, like us, you have a Tivo with a cable card plus tuning adapter, you will have to rerun the guided setup to get the new channel lineup and schedule info. Charter moved a few channels around and added a few others, so the old Tivo channel lineup and guide info are obsolete as of today. No big deal, just run guided setup from the Setup menu. It takes a while, though.

Oct 14 2014
10:58 am

Elise Gould at the EPI provides us with a snapshot of nationwide teacher employment trends. Under the fold is a first crack with TN statewide data.

While this is clearly a positive sign, unfortunately, the number of teachers and related education staffers fell dramatically in the recession and has failed to get anywhere near its pre-recession level, let alone the level that would be required to keep up with the expanding student population. Since 2008, public preK–12 enrollment increased by 1.5 percent. The figure below breaks down the teacher gap. The dark blue line illustrates the level of teacher employment. While the most recent positive trend is obvious, the longer term losses are also readily apparently.



We are happy to see that the Knoxville News Sentinel got a few endorsements right this time around.

Today, the News Sentinel urged voters to vote NO on Amendment 1, citing the right to privacy.

Monday, the News Sentinel endorsed Gloria Johnson for State House District 13, saying she "served ably during her two years in office and deserves to be returned to Nashville for a second term."

Earlier they recommended YES votes on Amendment 2 (judicial selection) and Amendment 4 (veterans' fundraising), while recommending a NO vote on Amendment 3 (extra double-plus ban on income tax).

Finally, the New Sentinel recommends YES votes on local ballot measures including wine in grocery stores (with some qualifications) and city pension changes.

Oct 14 2014
03:14 am

From Washington Post ...

Skilled workers, they conclude, seem to feed off each other, making each other more efficient and better at their jobs, while the same can’t be said of less-skilled workers.

A certain density of educated workers also makes a place attractive for businesses, which create jobs that attract more talented people, and so forth. So it’s not hard to see why cities fret over talent, which tends to go hand-in-hand with growth and prosperity.

Where Americas college grads are moving

Oct 13 2014
12:17 pm

By nearly one million from 2011 to 2013, the U. S. Census Bureau reports.

Community college enrollment is down most steeply, by about 10%.

Per the Chattanooga Times-Free Press:

An optimistic take is that students have steered away from college to grab jobs that appeared as the economy improved. A more pessimistic view is that the expense of college and specter of student loan debt -- the average college graduate now owes an estimated $33,000 -- has made enrollment shrink.

In an online poll linked to the article, 89% of readers have presently answered that "yes," college has become unaffordable.

Oct 12 2014
06:29 pm

I was going to be coy and wait for somebody to stumble over this story, but it occurs to me that people are probably confused about when to look for updates on our website, so I decided to go ahead and link a story I came across this weekend and just finished today.

It appears that the 2nd District is being invaded:


A gusher of outside money – mostly from West Knox supporters of schools Superintendent James McIntyre – is pouring into the campaign of Tracie Sanger, one of three candidates on the Nov. 4 ballot for the second district school board seat. This is perfectly legal.

But a recent email sent to the membership of the West High School PTSO soliciting support and financial contributions for Sanger may have crossed the line.


Oct 12 2014
06:04 pm

Is there some sort of seal, or proclamation of standards, certified by, Good Housekeeping seal of approval kind of thing, USDA seal, not sure what I would call it, that publications could say they go by and print that on their publication? I have never thought about it. I guess it could apply to TV, radio, web sites.

I came across a couple ..

Pew Research Journalism Project
Principles of Journalism

Society of Professional Journalists
SPJ Code of Ethics

NPR seems to have it's own in house created code
NPR Ethics Handbook

PBS Journalistic Guidelaines


Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid/TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding.

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