Fri
Jan 8 2016
10:36 am

What: Public meeting re. Civic Auditorium and Coliseum
When: Thursday, January 14, 2016 - 6:00pm
Where: Civic Auditorium, 500 Howard Baker Jr. Ave.

Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, City staff and consultants from Conventions, Sports and Leisure International are holding a public meeting to discuss the recently completed feasibility study for the Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum.

Continued...

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Fri
Jan 8 2016
10:31 am

What: Public meeting re. Magnolia Ave. streetscape project
When: Thursday, January 21, 2016 - 5:30pm
Where: John T. O’Connor Senior Center, 611 Winona St.

City officials are holding a public meeting to review final designs for Magnolia Ave. streetscape improvements. City of Knoxville Office of Redevelopment and Engineering Department staff and design consultants with Barge, Waggoner, Sumner and Cannon will present the design details for Magnolia Avenue streetscape improvements between Jessamine Street and North Bertrand Street.

Continued...

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Fri
Jan 8 2016
10:26 am

City press release...

A section of Island Home Avenue that has been closed since April reopened Thursday evening. Asphalt was laid Wednesday, and the road was striped and signs installed Thursday.

A temporary stop sign is in place at the intersection of westbound Maplewood Drive and Island Home Avenue. Motorists are reminded that this section of Island Home Avenue is still a construction zone, to exercise due caution and to follow the signs posted within the construction zone.

Continued...

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If I understand correctly, North Carolina has one governing body. It looks like Tennessee is going from 2 to 8.

Morgan's letter said he believes the plan "is unworkable and will seriously impair the critical alignment of the state's needs, the TBR's oversight responsibility, and each institution's accountability." He said there are better higher education structures, including North Carolina's, if the governor believes restructuring is needed.

Haslam's plan would create new governing boards for the University of Memphis, Austin Peay State University, Middle Tennessee State, East Tennessee State, Tennessee State and Tennessee Technological University by early 2017 and vest more coordination authority in THEC. It would leave the Board of Regents with its 13 two-year community colleges and 27 colleges of applied technology.

The University of Tennessee system is not directly affected by the governor's plan.

Board of Regents Chancellor Morgan retires in protest

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I think this is a big mistake.

from knoxnews.com ...

Tennessee state Sen. Frank Niceley said he plans to propose a bill in the upcoming General Assembly that would allow localities to elect their own school superintendents.

Niceley to back electing a superintendent of schools

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From the WJBE News Room

Both father and son are well known to the Knox County Courts

Knoxville, Tn. - Investigators have identified the suspect wanted in connection to the shooting death of John Marshal Kyle. Kyle was shot on Monday, January 4, 2016, in the 2600 block of Wilson Avenue. Kyle died during surgery at UT Medical Center. Kyle had been shot three times. The suspect has been identified as Ricky Allen Davis, Jr.

Continued...

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Thu
Jan 7 2016
09:54 am

Are there any commercial rooftop gardens on Knoxville. Maybe we don't need them since more traditional gardens are so close buy. Rooftop gardens seem like an interesting development for big cities. Rooftop and indoor gardens seem to be taking off a bit in Chicago. Any possible application in the south waterfront area? Maybe something to do with top level of parking garages?

from Yahoo ...

Lettuce is one of the major crops grown en masse in Chicago. The facility annually grows up to 10 million heads of leafy greens and herbs, year-round.

Largest rooftop garden in the world

Gotham Greens

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Wed
Jan 6 2016
02:51 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL

Betty Bean: Democrats' rookie chief not raising white flag

Brooks says it will be better for everybody for Democrats to grow stronger.

"We need two-party government. And it would be great to elect some women – we need more gender diversity. That is a no brainer. If we can do that in Knox County, government will work even better."

Good profile on the Knox Co. Democratic Party's new chair.

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Wed
Jan 6 2016
10:11 am

My friend Ian lives a few yards from the K & A Canal just outside Bath, Somerset, in England. He sent me a link to this BBC presentation that consists of a two-hour cruise on the canal that is almost as old as our nation. The video is a novel broadcast idea. It is an (almost) uninterrupted single shot with no narration and no music - only the water and birdsongs.

Naturally, he has posted a world of photos too what with having the ops right there in his back yard.

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Tue
Jan 5 2016
02:12 pm

President Obama today announced some executive actions he is taking with regard to guns and gun violence. In the announcement, he referenced the recent heroism and tragic death of Zaevion Dobson here in Knoxville, noting that exhibiting just a fraction of Dobson's sacrifice and determination is all it would take from the rest of us to counter the oversized influence of the gun lobby on Congress. Obama noted that the rest of us exercising this determination is what it will take to effect significant and lasting change, by getting Congress to act on the issue.

Here is the important takeaway from all this:

The gun lobby, through the NRA, always responds to any proposal for new legislation that the government should do more to enforce the laws on the books before proposing anything new.

If you look carefully at what the President has said he is going to do through executive action, it is exactly what the NRA has called for: doing more to enforce the laws on the books.

Continued...

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Tue
Jan 5 2016
11:16 am

DOJ: United States Files Complaint Against Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche for Alleged Clean Air Act Violations

The Department of Justice, on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), today [Monday Jan. 5] filed a civil complaint in federal court in Detroit, Michigan, against Volkswagen AG, Audi AG, Volkswagen Group of America Inc., Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations LLC, Porsche AG and Porsche Cars North America Inc. (collectively referred to as Volkswagen).  

The complaint alleges that nearly 600,000 diesel engine vehicles had illegal defeat devices installed that impair their emission control systems and cause emissions to exceed EPA’s standards, resulting in harmful air pollution.  The complaint further alleges that Volkswagen violated the Clean Air Act by selling, introducing into commerce, or importing into the United States motor vehicles that are designed differently from what Volkswagen had stated in applications for certification to EPA and the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

The DOJ complaint "seeks injunctive relief and the assessment of civil penalties" and "does not preclude the government from seeking other legal remedies." The civil penalties include up to $37,500 for each affected car sold plus up to $37,500 per day for each day VW was in violation. The penalties could exceed $20 billion.

Full text of the complaint

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Tue
Jan 5 2016
10:52 am

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2016, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

•54 cents per mile for business miles driven, down from 57.5 cents for 2015

•19 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down from 23 cents for 2015

•14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

The business mileage rate decreased 3.5 cents per mile and the medical, and moving expense rates decrease 4 cents per mile from the 2015 rates. The charitable rate is based on statute.

Oh, my. Gas is cheaper right now.

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In the [state] comptroller's examination, auditors questioned whether enough managers and supervisors were properly trained over three-plus years to ensure the new standards, as well as employee performance plans and pivotal evaluations, work objectively and fairly as promised.
...
lack proficiency in developing SMART-based goals and in completing qualitative evaluations."
"weaknesses in the performance management model could affect the objectiveness and fairness of the process."
...
lower-level positions are likely never to receive an "outstanding" rating — the top ranking in the five-tier evaluation system — due to a requirement their work would need to affect agency-wide goals.

Time for a different method?

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Mon
Jan 4 2016
04:36 pm

Area Republicans are coming out for a Rubio rally Wednesday, 1:30 PM at Volunteer Landing. Named hosts include Sen. Becky Duncan Massey, Rep. Eddie Smith, Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters, former U.S. Rep. and Tennessee Rubio campaign chair Zach Wamp, former Knox Co. Mayor and East TN Rubio chair Mike Ragsdale, TNGOP Executive Committee member and East TN Rubio co-chair Jennifer Little, former Knoxville Mayor and Ambassador to Poland Victor Ashe, former County Commissioner Mike Arms, Former County Commissioner Larry Stephens, and former School Board member Brian Hornback.

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Mon
Jan 4 2016
10:49 am

Talking Points Memo has captures of the tweets, one of which has been deleted.

This is the same Andy Holt who said Nathan Bedford Forrest was a "civil rights champion."

It's also the same Andy Holt who was investigated by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation for operating an illegal hog farm (he's on the House Agriculture Committee) and fined by the EPA for illegally dumping hog waste. He said he wouldn't pay the fine because the EPA is unconstitutional or something.

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Mon
Jan 4 2016
09:09 am

May stay through the end of the school year. Mike Donila reports...

UPDATE: McIntyre said in a press conference that the political situation is "untenable" and that he is resigning effective July 8th. He says he has a verbal agreement with School Board Chair Doug Harris for one year's severence pay. The School Board will have to vote on the severence pay.

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Mon
Jan 4 2016
09:01 am

Dan Andrews reports on KAT's plan to improve trolley routes downtown.

There will be two public meetings for input: Lawson McGee Library on Friday, January 15 from 9:00 a.m. to noon; and the second public meeting will be at the Knoxville Station Community Room on Thursday, January 21 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

There will also be a public hearing on the new plan, Thursday, January 28, 2016 at 3:00 p.m. in the Main Assembly Room of the City-County Building.

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Sun
Jan 3 2016
04:46 pm

Update as of January 14, 2016
Based on local media reports found, there have been:

5 Shootings in Knox County
5 in city (100.0%)
0 in county (0.0%)

1 shootings resulting in 1 deaths (0 deaths from police action)

1 shootings Center City (UT area) (0 deaths)
0 shootings West (0 deaths, 0 suicides)
0 shootings South (0 deaths, 0 suidcides)
1 shootings North (0 deaths, 0 suicides)
3 shootings East (1 deaths, 0 suicides)

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I view the "pre-crisis level" as something that almost destroyed the economy because it was based in large part on loans for which should there should never have been an application, and if so, should not have been approved, for homes with artificially high appraisals, and a large number of unrealistically expensive homes being built. If we ever went back to that building and sales volume I will assume something else "not good" is probably happening behind the scenes. The frenzy of greed clouds realistic thinking.

from knoxnews.com ...

"We are on our way back out of the housing crisis," Sulmers said. "We aren't quite back to the pre-crisis level, but we've got a volume and activity in the home-buyer market that speaks to the recovery."

Improved housing market can’t slow the drive to rent

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Lost Medicaid Funding

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