Sun
Oct 5 2014
01:23 pm

From CNN ...

FiscalNote, founded last year in the shadow of Capitol Hill, has developed an analytics platform that uses artificial intelligence to crunch state and federal government data. Their software then forecasts trends and outcomes that can help clients make strategic decisions around, say, whether an anti-fracking bill might pass the Colorado legislature.

FiscalNote

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TREE Legislative Report Card
"A check shows positive actions regarding the legislation and an X shows negative impact on public education. Hover over the “info i” to read about the legislation in detail."
Evaluation criteria include:

  • Charter Authorizer
  • For-Profit Charters
  • Vouchers
  • Charter Conversion
  • Testing Notification
  • Teacher Pay
  • School Board Representation
  • Advocacy & Obstruction

TREE Report Card Scores
Knox County Delegation

Grade / Party District / Name
A+ D-13 - Gloria Johnson
C R-14 - Ryan Haynes
A D-15 - Joseph Armstrong
D R-16 - Bill Dunn
D R-18 - Steve Hall
F R-19 - Harry Brooks
D R-89 - Roger Kane

D R-5 - Randy McNally
A R-6 - Becky Duncan Massey
D R-7 - Stacey Campfield

53
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Sun
Oct 5 2014
10:18 am

Metropulse: Bar Marley may not open due to environmental issue.

Apparently, the soil in the area is contaminated with the old technology dry cleaning chemicals. The owner apparently ran a TO-14 test and initial indications are that levels are low (I'd be curious to see the report... are levels below the minimum detectable limit [MDL]?).

Meanwhile, I can drop in at any other bar and order fried chicken tenders, drench them in ranch dressing with other noxious chemicals, and be bombarded with cigarette smoke from my fellow patrons. Because Americans are really bad at analyzing relative risk.

Continued...

Topics:
34
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Sat
Oct 4 2014
08:37 pm
By: michael kaplan  shortURL

Last spring, the founders of a high-scoring charter school in California were convicted of misappropriating over $200,000 in public monies. The couple was sentenced this week. The husband will spend nearly five years in state prison, while his wife will be incarcerated for 45 days in the county jail plus probation and community service.

The California Charter Schools Association entered an amicus brief on their behalf maintaining that the couple are not guilty of any criminal offense because charter schools are not subject to the laws governing public schools. CCSA says that charter schools are exempt from criminal laws governing public schools because they are operated by a private corporation.

They say the money received for their nonprofit corporation is not public money, even though it comes from the state and from taxpayers.

(link...)

43
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Fri
Oct 3 2014
03:22 pm

The following just landed in my UT mailbox:

I have some historic news to share with you. The UT Board of Trustees has just approved our proposal to name our business college the James A. Haslam II College of Business.

Continued...

39
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Fri
Oct 3 2014
03:02 pm

My voicemail box blew up this morning with the news that Lloyd Daugherty died in Nashville shortly before noon today.

He'd been doing better, looking forward to coming home to start rehab, but his heart just gave out and wouldn't restart.

I don't know anything about any memorial services yet, but I'll post it when I do.

He was my friend and I'll miss him.

40
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Fri
Oct 3 2014
11:12 am
By: cameronjbrooks  shortURL

What: Oktoberfest with Cheri Siler
When: Tuesday, October 7, 2014 - 5:30pm
Where: The Bistro at the Bijou

large_Oktoberfest_(2).png
Join Terry Adams and Phillis Burnett and other Knoxville dignitaries in support of Cheri Siler for State Senate! We will be having a party at the Bistro at the Bijou on Tuesday, October 7 from 5:30- 7:30 pm.

Attendee cost- $25; Supporter- $100; Host Committee- $250; to join the host committee or to become a sponsor, contact Cameron at cameron@silerforsenate.com .

To purchase tickets, a sponsorship, or a host committee level, go to (link...) .

36
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Thu
Oct 2 2014
06:09 pm

WATE reports that former media relations director Debby Jennings has settled with the University of Tennessee regarding her age and sex discrimination lawsuit.

According to the report, Jennings will get $320K to cover legal fees, lost wages and compensation for pain and suffering. The settlement also precludes any further discovery regarding the circumstances surrounding Pat Summitt's departure from the Lady Vols program.

PREVIOUSLY:

Was Pat Summitt fired?
Pat Summitt WAS fired

SEE ALSO:

Betty Bean in Metro Pulse: Former Lady Vols Sports Information Director Debby Jennings Considers Legal Action Against UT

Topics:
40
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Thu
Oct 2 2014
03:28 pm

(link...)

Rocketship currently operates nine schools in San Jose, in the heart of Silicon Valley. It opened its first school in Milwaukee last year and one in Nashville, Tennessee, this fall. Its first two schools in Washington, D.C., where almost half the students already attend charters, open next year. Rocketship plans include running eight schools in Milwaukee, in Nashville, and in D.C. in the near future.

Rocketship also proposed a charter school in Morgan Hill, just south of San Jose. But there they ran into resistance from parents, teachers, and the teachers' union. That successful campaign to block Rocketship and protect local public schools highlights the importance of confronting charter chains as they try to infiltrate school systems across the country.

36
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Thu
Oct 2 2014
02:18 pm

DSC_0012 (640x428)_0.jpg
Check out Metropulse's article this week on Cheri Siler:

(link...)

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Thu
Oct 2 2014
09:31 am

This coming Monday, Oct. 6th, is the final day to register to vote in the Nov. 4th State General Election. Early voting starts Wednesday, Oct. 15th.

Knox Co. voter registration form
Blount Co. voter registration form

Forms may be hand delivered to the election commission office, or mailed with postmark no later than Oct. 6.

30
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Thu
Oct 2 2014
08:52 am

What: Scott Miller benefit for Gloria Johnson campaign
When: Monday, October 6, 2014 - 7:00pm
Where: Relix Variety Theater, 1208 North Central

State House District 13 candidate Gloria Johnson announces a special campaign concert event featuring Scott Miller, Monday Oct. 6th at the Relix, 1208 N. Central. Tickets and registration here...

More info after the break...

Continued...

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I think the public space at Worlds Fair Park is very nice. It is underutilized because the outside edge is essentially a wall and has no entities to draw folks to the park area and feel comfortable being there because of more folks around. Filling the vacant expanse under the Holiday Inn would seem a natural focus to me.

From Josh Flory …

– World’s Fair Park, which will be studied for potential improvements to its public spaces and connections to downtown and surrounding neighborhoods.

Topics:
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Wed
Oct 1 2014
07:23 pm

Bounds was tiebreaker in 5-4 vote.

45
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Wed
Oct 1 2014
02:42 pm
By: michael kaplan  shortURL

After spending weeks depicting ISIS as an unprecedented threat, administration officials suddenly began spoon-feeding their favorite media organizations and national security journalists tales of a secret group that was even scarier and more threatening than ISIS, one that posed a direct and immediate threat to the American Homeland. Seemingly out of nowhere, a new terror group was created in media lore.

(link...)

34
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Wed
Oct 1 2014
09:57 am

What: Central City (1st District) Democrats Meeting
When: Monday, October 6, 2014 - 6:15pm
Where: Burlington Library 4614 Asheville HYWY knoxville 37914

Guest Speaker will be:

Greg MacKay, former Knox County Election Commissioner

for info: Tony Brown (dribm2009@gmail.com)

Topics:
40
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Tue
Sep 30 2014
09:19 pm
By: Tamara Shepherd  shortURL

Nearly two years ago, Eric Lykins clued us KVers in about a group born of the Occupy Wall Street protests and calling itself Strike Debt. Their so-called Rolling Jubilee refers to their organizational effort to buy bundled student loan and medical debt on the secondary market (for pennies on the dollar) then absolve the affected debtors of their obligations. Their vision is one of free public education, national healthcare, and affordable housing for all.

Their slogan, appropriately enough, is "you are not a loan."

And they're proving it. Thus far, the Rolling Jubilee has raised a little over $700,000 and has absolved debtors of over $18,000,000 in student loans and medical debts.

Just last night, I caught UCLA's Dr. Hannah Appel on PBS, telling viewers about Strike Debt's efforts this month to assist former students of the particularly reprehensible for-profit online school Everest College. Everest has been victimizing primarily poor single-parents but is now closing its doors in eleven states, leaving its students without sheepskins and heavily burdened with debt.

So what's Phase II? Strike Debt is now forming smaller, more localized Debt Collectives, which they characterize as "debtors' unions," to more effectively pinpoint predatory lenders and to help locals organize themselves.

We should support these good folks. Follow all those links and I think you'll agree.

46
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Tue
Sep 30 2014
05:27 pm

Blake Farmer at Nashville NPR reports
Sounds like one of Germany's most powerful unions is getting more deeply involved in an across-the-pond international organizing effort. That's just outstanding. These guys, together, are going to outmaneuver Corker et al and establish a workers counsel in America in Chattanooga. Don't give up just change tactics when necessary.

“It is a formal agreement – a contract of sorts – between the three, that we’re all committed at an equal level to the organization of the Chattanooga plant,” UAW Secretary Gary Casteel tells WPLN.
Importantly, Casteel points out that the VW Global Works Council and IG Metall specifically want the Tennessee plant to be a “UAW-represented facility.” There has been a competing organizing effort from anti-UAW workers trying to start an alternate union under the name American Council of Employees.

Continued...

Topics:
52
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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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