Just when you think that Tennessee couldn't get any more dumb with regard to educational policy, there this tidbit.

Ashley Croft's teaching resume reads something like this: Bachelor's in education from Vanderbilt University's Peabody College. Master's in educational leadership from Harvard Graduate School of Education. Six years of teaching experience, including being recognized as a Distinguished Educator of the Year in 2013 by the Tennessee Education Association.

Despite the credentials and experience, Ashley Croft can't become a principal in Tennessee — not under the state's licensure process.

Continued...

25
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Sun
Feb 8 2015
11:38 am

It seems if the people of Tennessee want to see the near future we can study Kansas. If I see someone in front of me run off a cliff, I am going to stop before I get to the edge and pick a different route.

from NY Times ...

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback said Thursday he would cut spending on Kansas' public schools and universities and GOP legislators approved a plan to shift around money to plug a budget hole as the state scrambled to cope with a revenue shortfall following aggressive tax cuts.

Kansas Moves to Close Budget Shortfall Following Tax Cuts

Rogue State: How Far-Right Fanatics Hijacked Kansas

The Great Kansas Tea Party Disaster

22
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Sat
Feb 7 2015
11:07 pm

No, seriously. Check this out:

Serendipity.

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28
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There is still time to sign up for your free trees or to volunteer to help plant. Especially since the date has been moved to March 14!

50K Tree Day!

MPORTANT: 50K Tree Day has been rescheduled for March 14, due to inclement weather and road conditions. Please visit (link...) for more information. Since we have more time, please spread the word, and invite friends to register at this link!

32
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Fri
Feb 6 2015
02:23 pm

Here's an interesting interview from a while back with a guy who set up a record store as an art project. The store only has one album -- the Beatles' White Album. The records are not for sale. He only buys them. At the time of the interview he had almost 700 copies. He now has over 1,000.

Here's his website. His exhibit is currently on display in Tokyo.

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35
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Thu
Feb 5 2015
10:34 pm

Obama, on health care, ran on a platform of a public option and no individual mandate. He took the public option off the table, but delivered the individual mandate to insurance companies.

Haslam, on health care, ran on a platform of, uh, I'm not sure what. Nothing? And that's what he got.

Obama should have started the negotiation with single payer. Instead, he conceded before the negotiation even started. But at least we got something.

Haslam should have started the negotiation with a 100% federally funded Medicaid expansion. Instead, he diddled for two years and we got nothing.

Not much difference in the long run, except we at least got a little something from Obama. Not so much from Haslam.

45
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Thu
Feb 5 2015
05:15 pm

I hadn't seen this. Maybe it is old news. I assume in February they will release the December numbers.

From Bureau of Labor Statistics

There were 5.0 million job openings on the last business day of November, little changed from 4.8 million in October, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Hires (5.0 million) were little changed and separations (4.6 million) declined in November. Within separations, the quits rate (1.9 percent) was unchanged and the layoffs and discharges rate (1.2 percent) was little changed. This release includes estimates of the number and rate of job openings, hires, and separations for the nonfarm sector by industry and by four geographic regions.

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

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31
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Thu
Feb 5 2015
10:44 am

Healthcare Enrollment Event

Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and Knoxville Area Project Access are sponsoring a Healthcare Enrollment event to offer support to citizens.

Saturday, February 7th, 2015
10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Pellissippi State Magnolia Campus
1610 East Magnolia Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37917

Continued...

32
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Thu
Feb 5 2015
09:53 am

What a great idea. A local developer is working on rezoning land for condos/apartments on Mohican Street near Homberg Drive. The 414 Forest Park Apartments at the corner of Forest Park Blvd and Sutherland Ave. are really nice and in a wonderful, convenient location. It would be nice to have more apartments like these in that area. Easy access to grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants, and much more.

My only problem is from a quote by the developer.

"Some people enjoy the downtown atmosphere other people certainly enjoy the home with the big yard," he said. "This is kind of the in between. It offers you some trees and grass where you can walk your dog and ride your bike, but you also can walk to a restaurant, go to a gallery and go somewhere and be entertained."

I don't think there is much in the way of sidewalks in the area, except for on busy Kingston Pike. There are no public parks near Mohican/Homberg, no public greenspace. Walkability! Otherwise, what a great idea.

31
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Thu
Feb 5 2015
09:12 am

U.T. political science student Tyler Anselmo looks at the numbers for Tennessee Promise:

Tennessee Promise: Not All It’s Promised To Be

The chart above shows that the lower income student would receive no financial support from this program, while the higher income student would receive around $2,478 a year.

[..]

Ensuring that all students have access to community college, is a step towards the right direction, but this program doesn't address many of the issues that lower income students face. If we were to change how the program is implemented, so that no tuition is charged at all, then it would do more to help both lower and higher income students

32
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Wed
Feb 4 2015
04:05 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL

The special Senate Health and Welfare Committee just voted 7 to 4 against SJR1 that would implement Insure TN. The end.

(Briggs and Massey voted Yes, Nicely No.)

UPDATE: Statement from Sen. Jeff Yarbro, the lone Democrat on the committee:

NASHVILLE –State Sen. Jeff Yarbro, the Democratic member of the Senate Health Committee, released the following statement on today's vote ending the prospect of passage for Insure Tennessee during the extraordinary session:

"Lawmakers have spent two years trying to find a solution to expand access to health care in our state, but it took only two days for the legislature to vote it down," state Sen. Jeff Yarbro said. "It's disheartening that seven Senators can make this decision for 6.5 million Tennesseans."

"This conversation isn't over," Sen. Yarbro said. "Democrats will continue to make the case for expanding access to affordable health insurance in Tennessee. We will continue to work with the governor and with common-sense members of both parties to move past politics and do what's right for Tennesseans."

42
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Wed
Feb 4 2015
12:52 pm

In a Wired op-ed, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler has announced a proposal to vigorously ensure net neutrality. The responses to it demonstrate just how far off the rails conservative politics have gone.

Wheeler is proposing to regulate broadband internet as telecommunications infrastructure. By doing so, the FCC will ensure that everyone -consumers, small business, big business- has equal access to high-speed internet. A small, independent content provider won't have to pay a premium to reach its customers at the same bandwidth and Amazon or Netflix.

In no small part because this is exactly what President Obama advocated should happen, conservatives are bizarrely arguing against fair, open competition, somehow re-imagining this as a tax and government over-reach.

The people who benefit the most from this proposal are individual customers and small businesses, because they won't be at a disadvantage to the big guys. If we went instead with allowing ISPs to charge extra for access to bandwidth to provide content, only the big corporations and oligarchs would be able to afford access.

How does this more generally relate to the current state of conservatism? Well, if you read the comments below Wheeler's op-ed, you see a herd of conservatives falling over themselves to argue against their own interests and in favor of giving more power to the oligarchs. It really makes no sense at all. The proposed FCC rule would ensure an online marketplace open to all competitors. You'd think free and open competition is what conservatives would value most, but no. Unfortunately, that's become the name of the game for the conservative movement now. Convince voters that the oligarchs' interests are their interests, and they'll fall all over themselves to hand the farm over to the new overlords.

40
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Wed
Feb 4 2015
12:12 pm

Looks good

from NBC News ...

The device is small and light enough to fit into one hand. It uses disposable plastic cassettes and should cost about $34 to make, Sia estimates. The device runs what's called an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test. Typical ELISA equipment set up in a lab costs more than $18,000, Sia said. The new device would take that lab test into the field.

Cheap Smartphone Dongle Can Test for Disease

33
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Tue
Feb 3 2015
09:38 pm

(link...)

Be sure to watch the video

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Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero released a statement this afternoon sharply criticizing the E-911 board's process regarding selection of a new public safety radio system and the board's operations in general.

Noting that "Our emergency responders need to have confidence in their equipment, vendors need to have confidence in the bid and purchase process, and the public needs to have confidence that the Board’s decision-making is transparent, fair and accountable," Mayor Rogero called for a special meeting of the Knox Co. emergency communications board to vote on the proposed radio contract.

In her statement, Mayor Rogero supports rewarding the contract to Harris. Full statement after the break...

EARLIER: Burchett to intervene on E-911 radio system, board chair election

Continued...

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32
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Tue
Feb 3 2015
02:50 pm

I noticed their feed went missing and went over to their website to see what was up. Looks like they have launched a spiffy new website on Locable. (Feed is fixed now.)

Link (same as before): www.HardKnoxIndie.com

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Knox Co. Mayor Tim Burchett announced today that he will attend the next meeting of the Knox Co. emergency communications board to seek a proper election of the board chair and a public hearing and vote on the proposed radio contract. More in the press release after the break...

PREVIOUSLY: Mayor Rogero responds to News Sentinel allegation of sunshine violation

Continued...

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41
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Tue
Feb 3 2015
12:15 pm

Dan Andrews reports on his research into saving, in his case, thousands on prescription medications. "Results will differ for each person most likely. However, with so many options to save money, a little effort might save you a lot of money."

How to possibly save thousands of dollars each year on Parkinson’s & other medication

40
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Tue
Feb 3 2015
12:07 pm

Reuters reported yesterday that Radio Shack is closing its remaining stores and that Sprint would be taking over about half of their locations. The report also says that the New York Stock Exchange suspended trading and is in the process of delisting the company, which was founded in 1921. Sad to see them go out this way.

PREVIOUSLY:

Radio Shack makeover

Radio Shack closing 1100 stores

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38
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We all know about the rollout of the ACA website.

What I'd like to see is someone from the Tennesseean do a 'compare and contrast' article with the total cluster**** rollout of the upgrade to Tennessee's Edison web site.

Edison is the state's Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, handling human resources, learning management, fleet vehicle management, physical plant management, finance, purchasing, etc. I have to touch the purchasing system as a vendor.

A few weeks ago, Edison rolled out an upgrade and sent an email indicating we would have to update our passwords. No big deal. Clicked on the link, which directed me to an online secure email portal, which had a different username, and no idea what the password was. So I clicked on the 'forgot my password' link and it sent me one. Got the new Edison password, went back to the Edison site to log in and create a new password.

And that's when the fun started.

Continued...

45
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