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

37
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Fri
Jan 1 2016
12:00 am
By: R. Neal  shortURL

Here's to a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year for everyone.

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66
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Maybe this is common knowledge but I was not aware of it.

from Investopedia ...

Sen. Warren argues that closing a major tax loophole would cover the cost of the 2016 increase, and it would also be a major step toward improving the solvency of the Social Security Trust Fund. In 1993, Congress capped the amount of corporate executives' pay that companies could deduct for tax purposes at $1 million. However, so-called performance-based pay is not subject to the cap. By structuring the vast majority of CEO compensation as bonuses, there is no limit on the amount of compensation that can be deducted for tax purposes.

Taxpayers subsidize more than $7 billion of executive compensation because executives are paid in bonuses instead of salaries.

Elizabeth Warren's Solution to No COLA Increase in 2016

56
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Thu
Dec 31 2015
09:11 am

20151231-DSC_1382.jpg

The Mrs. cut these from our front yard yesterday. We also have daylilies coming up. They are not going to be happy when the cold weather arrives.

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54
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Tennessee State Parks is offering guided hikes at all state parks on January 1, 2016. This is part of the America’s State Parks First Day Hikes initiative in all 50 states.

There will be 15 different hikes offered in East TN, from Chattanooga to Johnson City to the Cumberland Plateau. The weather should be pretty decent, a little cool but dry.

44
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Stopping the Gangs – Take the Kid Gloves off of Law Enforcement

As has been the habit here in Knoxville, when there is a tragic shooting of an innocent person, especially one’s that give their lives to save others, many people and organizations make their speeches, hold their meetings, even march in protest speaking out against the gang violence. No real concrete ideas or solutions are ever really produced to end the problem. Organizations such as Save Our Sons, 100 Black Men, UUNIK Academy, are doing their part to educate, mentor, and steer young men away from the life of crime, as well as leading productive lives in our community. No one is really coming up with a plan or solution to the growing gang problem and gang war that appears to now be growing more and more each day. Drive-by shootings, shootouts in local clubs, housing areas, etc. has now become a part of life, especially in the urban community.

Continued...

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20150707-DSC_0510_S.jpg
File photo

City press release...

CLOSURE OF SECTION OF ISLAND HOME AVENUE EXTENDED UNTIL JAN. 15

A permit allowing a contractor to close a section of Island Home Avenue has been extended two weeks to Friday, Jan. 15.

Continued...

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42
like
Wed
Dec 30 2015
02:50 pm

The number of pedestrian and bicycle deaths is the highest in twenty years. We are being encouraged to walk and ride bicycles. If only it was safer.

46
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Tue
Dec 29 2015
04:29 pm

Announcement...

Cheri Siler, 2nd District County Commission Candidate Suspending Campaign

To the citizens of the second district of Knox County:

It has been a dream and goal of mine to serve you as a county commissioner for Knox County.

After careful consideration, however, I am suspending my campaign for county commission effective immediately.

My family comes first, and right now I need to focus on my role as wife, mother, and daughter to those who come first in my life.

Thank you for your understanding and your support.

Cheri Siler

49
like
Tue
Dec 29 2015
10:53 am
By: jlynn  shortURL

What: Knoxville SOUP
When: Thursday, January 7, 2016 - 6:00pm
Where: Vestal United Methodist Church

Knoxville SOUP, sponsored by The South Knoxville Alliance, is a community dinner and micro-funding project designed to raise money for creative projects that are proposed, voted on, and enacted by members of the community. Proposals can be anything that will benefit the community or society in general. For more information or to submit a proposal, visit KnoxvilleSOUP.org.

Vestal United Methodist Church, 115 Ogle Ave SW - across from King Tut's/Pease Furniture in Vestal

Map to location

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46
like
Tue
Dec 29 2015
08:44 am
By: R. Neal  shortURL

We didn't post many photos this year, but here are some of our favorites. Click image to view gallery.

Topics:
48
like
Sun
Dec 27 2015
11:58 am

Dean Stone, Editor Emeritus at the Maryville Daily Times, is retiring at the end of the year. A Blount Co. native, he has been with the paper since 1948.

Dean Stone is 91 years old and still hard at work up until his last day with the paper. As the Daily Times reports, "Stone has outlasted four owners and six publishers, while seeing the news move from hot type, to computer-generated type, to the Internet, all the while recording Blount County history."

He has received countless awards, was an inaugural inductee to the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame, and has been involved in decades of community service on various boards and commissions.

Continued...

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53
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Sat
Dec 26 2015
09:20 am

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Dec 24 2015
11:11 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL

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Thu
Dec 24 2015
03:03 pm

A typo...

SEE ALSO: The official NORAD Santa Tracker

48
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Thu
Dec 24 2015
07:50 am

The Maryville Daily Times reports today that DuPont is closing a demonstration-scale biofuels refinery in Vonore. The refinery was a joint project between DuPont, the State of Tennessee and the University of Tennessee to research switchgrass as a viable source of biofuel. It was funded by a $70 million grant via the University of Tennessee Research Foundation in 2007.

Eight years later, DuPont says the project "fulfilled its core mission which was to provide the data necessary to scale up cellulosic ethanol technology to full commercial scale” but they are shutting it down to "streamline operations."

The report also says that DuPont has just opened a commercial scale operation in Iowa that uses corn harvest byproducts to produce cellulosic ethanol, and "will focus its resources on its Iowa facility and securing technology licensing opportunities around the world."

So who benefited from the $70 million state funding for research? DuPont? Science in general? Vonore, for a while? Will Tennesse and/or the University of Tennessee ever see any payback from the "technology licensing opportunities?"

The Daily Times reporter seemed to have difficulty getting any official answers about the status of the project, other than it is being closed.

57
like
Wed
Dec 23 2015
08:44 pm
By: michael kaplan  shortURL

in Ultra Panavision 70 (first time in 50 years) at Regal Pinnacle

(link...)

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Proposals are being sought for community projects to compete for funding at the next SOUP dinner on Thursday, January 7. These dinners also showcases a local artist. Artists of all disciplines are encouraged to complete our online application and have the opportunity to show their art or share their talent.

Press Release after the break...

Continued...

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50
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Susan Weaver Jones v. Knox County Board of Education, et al.
Case Number: E2015-00304-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge D. Michael Swiney
Originating Judge: Judge Clarence E. Pridemore, Jr.
Date Filed: Monday, December 21, 2015

This appeal concerns a tenured teacher's challenge to her transfer to a different job position. Susan Weaver-Jones ("Jones") sued the Knox County Board of Education ("the Board") and Dr. James McIntyre ("McIntyre"), Superintendent of Knox County Schools, ("Defendants," collectively) in the Chancery Court for Knox County ("the Trial Court").

Jones alleged that her transfer from Instructional Coach to classroom teacher was arbitrary, capricious, and contrary to law. Defendants filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to Tenn. R. Civ. P. 12.02(6). The Trial Court granted Defendants' motion to dismiss. Jones appealed to this Court.

We hold that Jones' complaint asserted a claim upon which relief could be granted, and that the Trial Court erred in granting Defendants' motion to dismiss. We reverse the judgment of the Trial Court and remand this case for further proceedings.

Full text of the opinion with background and discussion...

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The Tennessean reports sketchy details on the project which will employ 70 people (v. 500 for the now defunct Hemlock Semiconductor site which never opened), paying about $45K per job.

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58
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