Wed
Mar 19 2014
08:22 pm

TVA plans Gallatin ash landfill on banks of Cumberland River.

"But it's dry ash" (not like Middle Tennessee has seen scarcely precedented levels of rainfall in in the last decade or anything)...

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Dr. Mary Headrick is making another run at 3rd District Congressman Chuck Fleischmann. Announcement after the break...

Continued...

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Wed
Mar 19 2014
07:14 pm

Times Free Press

A bill moving in the state House that bans "mass picketing" by unions is unconstitutional, Tennessee Attorney General Robert Cooper says in a legal opinion.

PREVIOUSLY:

Anti Union Picketing Bill is moving
Union busting

Topics:
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Wed
Mar 19 2014
06:33 pm

While I was horizontal and bored for a few days, we caught up on some of the recent movies coming to a streaming service near you (rated on a five star scale)...

Continued...

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Wed
Mar 19 2014
04:10 pm

What: State Senate candidate Cheri Siler fish fry at The Hill
When: Saturday, March 29, 2014 - 3:00pm
Where: The Hill, 1105 Forest Ave in Fort Sanders

Cheri Siler, Democratic Candidate for State Senate District 7 (Stacey Campfield's district), is having a campaign rally fish fry Saturday, March 29th from 3PM to 7PM at The Hill, 1105 Forest Ave. in Fort Sanders. There will be fish, fries and slaw along with games and entertainment by Heart and Soul. The event is free.

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Wed
Mar 19 2014
01:14 pm

Last seen leaving for his cabin to spend the night, reported missing last night when his Jeep was found disabled on the road near his cabin, body found on the property this morning. News reports say no indication of foul play, but law enforcement still investigating...

Topics:
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Justice Department : "The agreement, which is subject to judicial review, requires Toyota to pay a $1.2 billion financial penalty—the largest penalty of its kind ever imposed on an automotive company—and imposes on Toyota an independent monitor to review and assess policies, practices, and procedures relating to Toyota’s safety-related public statements and reporting obligations."

Topics:
13
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Wed
Mar 19 2014
11:42 am

The race for Knox Co. Sheriff appears to be heating up. Bobby Waggoner, who is challenging Sheriff J.J. Jones in the Republican primary (which will decide the election), claims that at any given time there are less than 30 officers on patrol in Knox County. The Waggoner campaign also says that "Jones has already responded to the press release by dismissing it as 'hogwash,' but the facts provided are clear, current, and well-documented."

Read more in the press release after the break...

Continued...

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In case you missed it, Sunday's Knoxville News Sentinel ran an op-ed penned by the mayors of Tennessee's four largest cities urging uninsured residents to enroll at Healthcare.gov as the deadline approaches.

"As the mayors of Tennessee’s four largest cities, we're coming together because we want to see our residents -- and folks all over the state -- take advantage of these benefits by getting covered. But there's not much time left."

Madeline Rogero (Knoxville), Andy Berke (Chattanooga), Karl Dean (Nashville) and A.C. Wharton (Memphis) say they are "working with not-for-profits, churches, health care facilities and city agencies to get the word out."

In addition to local signup events, there's a website to assist with navigating the enrollment process at GetCoveredTenn.org.

The op-eds:

Knoxville News Sentinel (paywall)
Chattanooga Times Free Press
Nashville Tennessean
Memphis Commercial Appeal (paywall)

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Wed
Mar 19 2014
10:59 am

The Times Free Press has this excellent article on the tension between Gov. Haslam and his own party's supermajority in the General Assembly.

The best part may be at the end, where Haslam is already denying he's a "lame duck." The last time I checked, the election for his second and final term hasn't even been held yet. Not to mention that his first term performance can't be characterized as anything but lame. And there's always Coonrippy Brown!

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Wed
Mar 19 2014
10:52 am

Apologies for being MIA. Been laid up and also dealing with some other stuff. Plus I needed a break anyway. Thanks to our readers for picking up some of the slack.

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Tue
Mar 18 2014
10:27 pm

Those of you interested in the Knox County Board of Education's budget deliberations and particularly its Three-Year Capital Plan deliberations will want to have in hand the same data board members review in their prioritization of projects.

The information they primarily rely on is contained in a couple of spreadsheets KCS Facilities Director Doug Dillingham updates annually to recap for every school building in the system when it was built, when it last received attention in the Capital Plan, and the incidence of portable buildings at each.

I have linked these spreadsheets at my campaign website, here.

As I indicated elsewhere, a quick summary of the spreadsheets' data is that 17 schools in use today were built in the 1930s or earlier and 47 schools presently rely on portable buildings. You will also note that seven of those schools maintain ten or more classrooms in portable buildings.

A recent KNS editorial (Focus should be on reducing schools' portable buildings) reported that the two most overcrowded schools in the system are Inskip Elementary with 13 portable classrooms and Powell Elementary with 12 portable classrooms. KNS opined that "Knox County Schools should have adequate, permanent facilities that can serve as a launching pad for student achievement."

I heartily agree.

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Tue
Mar 18 2014
10:53 am

"America's Rich People Agree. Democracy is horrible."

(link...)

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That is a lot of money.

From Open Secrets ...

This influx of nonprofit spending correlates directly with the increase in "dark money" from unknown sources in federal elections because the vast majority of nonprofits aren't required to -- and don't -- disclose their donors. This page is the first systematic attempt to pull together data the groups report to the IRS and the FEC to compare the overall spending of politically active nonprofits in a given year, as well as the proportion of spending devoted to activities meant to influence, directly or indirectly, the outcome of elections

Political Nonprofit Spending Since 2008: Politicization Rankings

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You read that right!

Another good investigative report from our Nashville friends at News Channel 5 Investigates. Full report here (link...)

At this time the amendment that changes this 'dental' bill to having our Mega-jority require private insurance companies to cover proton therapy is not on the State's website.

when NewsChannel 5 Investigates began asking Haynes questions about the investors who stand to benefit from the bill, he abruptly ended the interview.

"I think you would have to direct that question to Dr. Douglass. So I can't answer that," Haynes said.

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Mon
Mar 17 2014
05:09 pm

In Morristown recently. Ate at The Little Dutch Restaurant. It was good. We decided to walk around the downtown area. Literally a closed, empty ghost town. It has quite a bit of potential. It has two level sidewalks. Clean. Music was played outside over speakers. Kind of like a odd intro scene to a movie.

Could be a go to place with some businesses similar to Market Square, Gay street. It doesn't look like much remodeling would be needed.

21
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Mon
Mar 17 2014
02:48 pm

I want to preview with KnoxViews readers my responses to the League of Women Voters' Questions for Board of Education Candidates, which are to appear in their upcoming Voter Guide.

Note that candidates were required to confine their answers to 100 words (and that, after many edits, yours truly amazingly succeeded in doing that).

I am glad to answer for anyone, as my time allows, any further questions my responses may raise. Please see below.

Continued...

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Mon
Mar 17 2014
12:32 pm

While those clamoring for the head of Cuonzo Martin* continue their quest for unassailable evidence of failure, the Vols men's team has found themselves in the position of having to play in for an 11th seed in the NCAA Division I Championships.

My question to the crowd: Would a team be better off to take a guaranteed start in the NIT, or have the chance to play Iowa for an 11th seed in the Midwest (likely drawing Duke as a second round challenger if they find a way past UMass)?

This one's easy, folks.

* I hasten to agree with Kevin Stallings on that question.

Choices

Mon
Mar 17 2014
11:54 am

From Johnson City Press ...

The state District Attorney General Conference is pushing to get a new law passed to allow prosecution of women who take drugs while pregnant and have drug-dependent babies.

Law would target drug addicted new mothers

25
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