Fri
Jun 27 2014
11:45 am
By: Somebody  shortURL

The KNS reported (subscription required) on a Tea Party event held yesterday at the Sevierville Convention Center. Mostly, it just reported on what the featured speakers, including Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum, had to say to "an appreciative Sevier County tea party crowd of several hundred." The story did mention that it was a "mostly middle aged-to-senior crowd," and there was a little jab at the end, noting the signs on convention center doors prohibiting guns.

Nonetheless, the missing part of the story is that this event was originally booked to be at Smokies Stadium. Ticket prices were pretty high ($49 -$1000), presumably because of the speakers' fees.

Continued...

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Fri
Jun 27 2014
10:49 am

The City of Knoxville has started construction on a $1.65 million, 1.7 mile section of the South Knoxville greenway that will eventually connect to downtown Maryville. More info in the press release after the break...

Continued...

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Fri
Jun 27 2014
10:12 am
By: Stick  shortURL

More good press for Tennessee:

As Governing magazine reports, the researchers document that the most corrupt states like Tennessee “tended to spend money on construction, highways, and police protection programs, which provide more opportunity for corrupt officials to use public money for their own gain.” Governing adds that those “states spend less on health, education, and welfare, which provide less opportunity for officials to collect bribes.”

Tennessee’s budget appears to confirm these findings. According to various studies over the last few years, Tennessee has ranked near the bottom for per capita spending on education. Additionally, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports that Tennessee has enacted some of the deepest cuts to higher education funding of any state in the country.

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BLS Employment Situation Summary May 2014
Macroeconomics still matters. If states don't get ACA funds, fewer people will have jobs while more people die - simple and realistic. The Missouri Economic Research and Information Center took a look at their state's data and compared it to other states which did and those which did not receive expansion funds. They did the math and this is what they found...

Continued...

21
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Fri
Jun 27 2014
08:48 am

A reader sends this photo of what's left.

bhdemophoto.jpg

Bonus: Here's a shakyphone slowmo of a demolition machine taking out a chunk.

Topics:
19
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The TNGOP Senate Caucus sent out a press release touting their legislation to "block federal intrusion into Tennessee’s K-12 school curriculum." The new laws go into effect July 1st.

While opponents of Common Core, TCAP and PARCC may find some common ground, this is rather alarming:

"This legislation will help protect us against federal intrusion into our curriculum so it reflects Tennessee values," said Chairman Gresham. "Combined with a new law which overhauls the way we select textbooks to help ensure students are presented with unbiased factual information, we made significant progress this year in addressing many serious concerns with our education system in Tennessee."

The press release also seems to be a poke in the eye for Gov. Haslam and the "federal intrusion" of Race to the Top dollars, along with some of the "education governor's" signature "reforms." Fun times.

16
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Thu
Jun 26 2014
03:09 pm

What: Central City (1st District) Democrats Meeting
When: Monday, July 7, 2014 - 6:15pm
Where: Burlington Library 4614 Asheville HYWY knoxville 37914

Come meet the following candidates:

John McKamey, Democratic Candidate for Governor (link...) (link...)

Cheri Siler, Democratic Candidate for TN State Senate District #7 (Campfield opponent) (link...) (link...)

For Info: Tony Brown (dribm2009@gmail.com)

Topics:
23
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Thu
Jun 26 2014
01:31 pm
By: Sandra Clark  shortURL

Former U.S. Sen. Howard H. Baker Jr. has died. He birthed the Republican Party in Tennessee and lived long enough to regret what it has become.

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Democratic Strategist Roundtable

Link takes one to a roundtable with articles by Ruy Teixera & Stanley Greenberg who co-wrote It's the Middle Class Stupid with Carville. Expansive comments by others who know what they're talking about are there also (Harold Meyerson, Theda Skocpol, Joan Walsh, Michael Kazin, Karen Nussbaum, Mark Schmitt, Richard Yeselson, Richard D. Kahlenberg, Lane Kenworthy, Joel Rogers, Andrew Levison, John Russo, Jack Metzgar).

Continued...

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An informal poll, not meant to be scientific but perhaps yielding good ideas and insight.

Choices

Wed
Jun 25 2014
10:45 pm

Recently I spent some time in Washington, D. C., a city that more than once has turned a blind eye to history, denied the obvious, and by its inaction created an unnecessary crisis. This time, of course, the looming problem is with the name of the National Football League team located there.

Continued...

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Wed
Jun 25 2014
01:49 pm

If this wasn't so very destructive it would be funny.

"We know that when students with disabilities are held to high expectations and have access to a robust curriculum, they excel," Duncan said.

These are students with a range of disabilities, from ADHD and dyslexia to developmental, emotional and behavioral disorders. During his conference call with reporters, Duncan was joined by Kevin Huffman, Tennessee's education commissioner.

Huffman challenged the prevailing view that most special education students lag behind because of their disabilities. He said most lag behind because they're not expected to succeed if they're given more demanding schoolwork and because they're seldom tested.

Continued...

22
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Wed
Jun 25 2014
11:35 am

According to this News Sentinel article (subscription required), Sheriff J.J. Jones is conducting a salary survey to see how his department stacks up against others of similar size.

Jones told the News Sentinel that corrections workers need a 20% raise to align their pay with the "market level" and that once the report is finalized he is "going to move quickly on this."

According to this, the starting pay for a Knox Co. Correctional Officer is $29,388.36. With a 20% increase, it would be $35,266.03. The only requirements are citizen, 21, high school or GED and a clean criminal record.

According to this, the starting salary for a Knox Co. school teacher, which requires a bachelor's degree at minimum, is $35,030. That's $236 less than a Knox Co. jailer will make with the proposed raise. Last I recall, teachers will not be getting any raises next year.

I don't begrudge anybody making as much as they can, especially for doing a job like corrections work that most of us wouldn't want (or be able) to do.

But remind me again how much we value school teachers?

39
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Wed
Jun 25 2014
10:04 am
By: Sandra Clark  shortURL

Our webmaster, 74, is bicycling across Virginia. Honest. So here are our links until we find her or she finds Wi-Fi.

Bean has produced 1,200 words of the best hard-news story we've ever had. And she's writing a follow-up for July 2.

Betty Bean: (link...)
Sandra Clark: (link...)
Marvin West: (link...)
Victor Ashe: (link...)
Larry Van Guilder: (link...)
Lynn Pitts: (link...)

Topics:
20
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Wed
Jun 25 2014
09:14 am

Nearly every time I go to put gas in my car I am amazed at the price of gas. I'm mystified as to how I would be able to afford gas if I was making minimum wage. We went through this problem when we were young. Many times we would put just enough gas into our car to hopefully get to our destination and back, 1-2 gallons.

I did a comparison of minimum wage and a few necessities for 1972 and current.

                   1972    Current  Increase
Minimum wage       $1.60   $7.25    353%

Gas (gallon)       $0.36   $3.67    919%
Bread (1 lb loaf)  $0.25   $1.40    460%
Rent               $165    $1,083   556%

Gas prices have increased exorbitantly. Bread and a roof over our head is also making it hard to survive

It's time for minimum wage to keep up with the cost of living.

Note: The prices for gas, bread and rent are national averages found in a variety of sources, not all necessary reliable.

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Never heard of that happening at a major event. I cannot see that happening at Neyland Stadium, Thompson Boling etc.

The Japanese have touched spectators around the world by cleaning up their trash after every match at the World Cup. After their 0-0 draw against Greece last week, fans of the Blue Samurai shrugged off disappointment and cleaned up after themselves inside the stadium following the final whistle. It's a class act that has its roots in Japan's values of being respectful of hosts and protecting the environment

Japan Fans Clean Up Stadium After World Cup Elimination

Topics:
23
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Tue
Jun 24 2014
05:08 pm

Was trying to sit on this until our pub date tomorrow, but KCS put out a presser today:

Indya Kincannon, second district school board member, has announced she will step down from the Knox County Board of Education after the August 6 Board of Education meeting in order to accompany her family to Slovenia, where her husband was recently awarded a Fulbright U.S. Scholar grant.

Kincannon, currently in her third term, has served the second district since 2004. Kincannon’s husband, Ben Barton, works for University of Tennessee College of Law.

The NEW county commission will make the appointment, most likely.

Dogfight coming.

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The City of Knoxville announced yesterday that their provider will begin charging a fee to use some of their Blink electric vehicle charging stations.

Continued...

21
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Yesterday's Knoxville News Sentinel had an in-depth report about health care reform and the impact on patients and providers in East Tennessee. There's some good reporting and some interesting information. Some of the reporting, though, doesn't add up.

Continued...

Topics:
32
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Mon
Jun 23 2014
11:38 am

Times Free Press: 2 emerge as leaders for Democratic Senate primary

For a political party that's sometimes struggled to field just one credible candidate for statewide election, Tennessee Democrats may have an embarrassment of riches in the 2014 U.S. Senate race.

PREVIOUSLY AT KNOXVIEWS: Campaign to unseat Lamar Alexander kicks off in Blount Co.

23
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To date, the failure to expand Medicaid/TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding.

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