Sep 8 2015
04:48 am

I may be overlooking it, but I don't see regularly scheduled tours of the Tennessee and Bijou Theatres offered. I see you can schedule a private tour of the Tennessee. I find that surprising. At least on weekends it seems like a tour package of both theaters might be offered once. Has that existed in the past and faded out because of lack of interest?


A complete unknown who did no campaigning won the Democratic primary for governor of MS. He was the first male name on the ballot. Article in NYT compares it to Charlie Brown in TN.



From WhiteHouse.gov:

In most families today, both parents work and have responsibilities caring for their children, aging parents, or family members with disabilities. Yet the fundamental structure of work has not kept pace with the changing American family, and many families are struggling to balance obligations at home and on the job. As a result, too many workers are unable to take the time they need to recover from an illness. Many workers will go to work sick, putting their coworkers and customers at risk of illness. Many parents are forced to choose between taking an unpaid day off work—losing much needed income and potentially threatening their jobs—and sending a sick child who should be home in bed to school.

Today, the President will sign an Executive Order requiring federal contractors to offer their employees up to seven days of paid sick leave per year.

FACT SHEET: Helping Middle-Class Families Get Ahead by Expanding Paid Sick Leave

Sep 7 2015
06:48 am


Spotted on Louisville Rd. in Blount Co.

Sep 6 2015
08:25 pm

KCDP's Truman Day is coming up in less than 5 days.



Sep 6 2015
11:15 am
By: R. Neal  shortURL

Early voting for City of Knoxville primary elections starts Wednesday and continues through the 24th. Times and locations here, sample ballot here. Election day is Sept. 29th.

Today's News Sentinel has a voters guide with candidate Q&As (the articles do not appear to be paywalled at this time):

Voter Guide: Mayor

Voter Guide: City Council At-Large Seat A

Voter Guide: City Council At-Large Seat B

Voter Guide: City Council At-Large Seat C

Voter Guide: Fifth District

Voter Guide: Municipal Judge

Sep 6 2015
10:02 am

Brookfield Renewable Energy Group's Smoky Mountain Hydropower division will soon begin drawing down Chilhowee Reservoir to investigate a seepage problem at the dam. The drawdown is scheduled to begin on Sept. 8th and will continue until the end of October. The water will be lowered approx. one foot per day until it is lowered 40 feet.

All boat ramps will be closed and no boating will be permitted. All reservoir access above Abrams Creek will be prohibited. Day use areas will remain open.

More info in this public notice...

Brookfield operates a portfolio of renewable energy resources, including hydroelectric dams. They purchased Santeetlah, Cheoah, Calderwood and Chilhowee reservoir oprations from Alcoa's TAPOCA division and obtained a new 40 year operating permit in 2005.

The Canadian company, which has operations in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Brazil, owns and manages 204 hydroelectric generating stations, 28 wind facilities, and two natural gas-fired plants. Their facilities have 6,707 MW of generating capacity and annual generation of 23,742 GWh according to their 2014 annual report.

Chilhowee Reservior was drawn down in 2008 to repair earthen parts of the dam, which was built between 1955 and 1957. For more info and some photos see our previous post, Disappearing Chilhowee Lake

Sep 5 2015
08:37 am

After a lot of off-season drama, the Tennessee Volunteers and third-year coach Butch "brick by brick" Jones' Team 119 kick off the season v. Bowling Green State University of Ohio today at Titans stadium in Nashville.

Tennessee, nationally ranked for the first time in a while at 25th, is favored by 21.5 points, but watch out for Bowling Green because they might be a tougher opponent than that. Look forward to seeing Quarterback Josh "Astro" Dobbs and the retooled offensive line under new offensive coordinator Mike Debord, and what might turn out to be one of the toughest defenses in the SEC this year.

The game airs on the SEC Network at 4PM. Go Vols!

BONUS: Cumberland Ave. merchants are hosting the first ever Brick by Brick Pre-Game Block Party from 2 to 4PM on Cumberland Ave. this afternoon.

Sep 4 2015
12:55 pm

Canadian copyrights expired on early Beatles recordings, placing them in the public domain. Hilarity ensued...


from NY Times ...

Hiring in August was lower than expected. But the unemployment rate fell to 5.1 percent, from 5.3 percent, the lowest since early 2008. Hourly earnings rose more than expected, an improvement from July’s data.

U.S. Economy Added 173,000 Jobs in August; Unemployment Rate Fell



Times Free Press Staff reports
Tennessee groups unite to denounce officials' comments on Muslims

Four statewide organizations released a joint statement today in response to the apparent anti-Muslim comments from several Tennessee elected officials and law enforcement leaders, according to a news release from the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee.

The message from the American Center for Outreach, the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee, the American Muslim Advisory Council and the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition says in part:

Recently the sheriffs of Hamilton and Sevier counties have both made alarmist and sensational anti-Muslim comments, on the heels of similar statements from state legislators. Inaccurate, sweeping indictments made by leaders in law enforcement endanger members of the very communities that they have taken an oath to protect. Not only do these statements send the wrong message to their respective communities, they stoke the flames of hate that could incite attacks against peaceful Americans.


Betty Bean: City sign ordinance faces butter and egg challenge


The first challenge to the city’s new sign ordinance isn’t coming from a big national franchise seeking a flashing message center atop a tall pole alongside a busy highway.

Instead, it’s being filed by the owner of a homegrown business who has been told that she can’t place whimsical, cartoon-style butter and egg figures of her own design on the roof of her building because they aren’t art.

Looks like art to me. Not sure this was an intended consequence of the sign ordinance.

UPDATE: The City Law Dept. has clarified the "art v. advertising" decision and the ambiguity surrounding prohibition of rooftop signs. See their response in comments here...


What: Stand Up for Good Jobs, Living Wages, & Our Public Services!
When: Thursday, September 3, 2015 - 4:00pm
Where: UT - 2 Locations

At rush hour, United Campus Workers, students, legislators, and community members will hold signs at TWO LOCATIONS to Stand Up for Good Jobs, Living Wages, & Our Public Services: Tennessee is NOT for sale! #TNisNOTforsale


  • Cumberland Ave & James Agee in front of the law school
  • At Pilot gas station at the other end of the strip, Cumberland Ave & Volunteer Blvd

UT Employees Take to the Street Against Haslam’s Outsourcing Scheme. Three weeks after discovering Governor Bill Haslam’s secret and controversial scheme to privatize an unprecedented—and unspecified—number of jobs by outsourcing all building maintenance and management in state-owned buildings, public employees threatened by the plan and their allies are continuing to speak out against it.

University of Tennessee employees and others will demonstrate along Cumberland Ave. in Knoxville to draw attention to the potential massive cutbacks and job losses that often result from outsourcing. The employees will gather in front of the UT Law School at Cumberland and James Agee, as well as at thePilot gas station at Cumberland and Volunteer.


In denying a man and woman's petition for divorce, a Chattanooga chancellor said "With the U.S. Supreme Court having defined what must be recognized as a marriage, it would appear that Tennessee’s judiciary must now await the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court as to what is not a marriage, or better stated, when a marriage is no longer a marriage."

Read all about it at Above the Law...


From Knoxnews.com ...

During the Great Depression and after World War II, Tennessee and other Southern states lured Northern industries with promises of cheap, nonunion labor. Decades later, Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration is looking to market Tennessee internationally as a place “with a low-cost labor force” and “very low unionization rates.”

State officials promote 'low-cost labor force' to lure foreign industries to Tennessee


The Tennessee Comptroller's Office of Open Records Counsel is holding a series of public hearings and seeking input from Tennessee citizens and government entities regarding a proposed change to the state's open records law that would allow charging for inspection of records v. charging only for copies of records.

Survey for citizens...

Survey for government entities...

More info and schedule of public hearings after the break....


Sep 2 2015
03:01 pm

What: Knox Co. Democratic Party First Friday Celebration
When: Friday, September 4, 2015 - 6:00pm
Where: Time Warp Tea Room, 1209 N. Central Ave, Knoxville

Kick off the Labor Day weekend right by joining the Knox Co. Democratic Party for our monthly first friday celebration, hosted this month by the Time Warp Tea Room in happy holler.

For Info: Gary Elgin (GaryKnoxDist2@gmail.com)

Sep 2 2015
12:27 pm

What: First Friday Comedy Show at Saw Works
When: Friday, September 4, 2015 - 7:00pm
Where: Saw Works Brewing Company

Join us for another First Friday comedy show, the crowds and the laughs keep getting bigger and bigger. Enjoy some great beer while you listen to some of the nation's top comics. NO CHARGE because Saw Works Brewery loves you!

September's comedy show includes two of Chicago's top rising comics, Dave Losso and Alex Kumin. Adding to the laughs are the local comedic talents of Tyler Sonnichsen and John Andrew Miller.

The show starts at 7 and is over by 9, leaving you plenty of time to get home for the night or find more fun to explore in downtown.

Facebook event page link: (link...)

Sep 2 2015
10:42 am

A program was made available to the City of Alcoa in partnership with the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization from Smart Growth America through a five-year Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities grant from the U.S. Environmental protection Agency’s Office of Sustainable Communities.

Roger Millar, Vice President of Smart Growth America and Director of Smart Growth America’s Leadership Institute, along with Christopher Duerksen, a land use lawyer with the Clarion Associates, provided an interesting presentation on ideas and innovations of land use and zoning.


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