Dec 11 2015
08:09 am

If you can get behind the paywall, or can pick up a hard copy, you may want to read my Knoxville News Sentinel column. I dip into familiar verse to take on the Christmas diversity story, think of it as "A Visit from the Fickle Ones" and enjoy. --Mark Harmon

[Ed. note: Here's Mark's column, not currently paywalled.]


Democrats were successful in getting several candidates on the ballot for the March County primary. There will be a Democrat running in every County Commission district on the ballot except the 8th.

Some of the non-partisan school board races will also be competitive and there will be new faces on the school board. In District 3, Tony Norman was the only candidate to qualify. He will replace incumbent Doug Harris. Incumbents Tracey Sanger in District 2 and Karen Carson in District 5 also declined to run. Incumbent Mike McMillan will run unopposed in District 8.

Mike Donila has the rundown, with a quote from Knox Co. Democratic Party Chair Cameron Brooks: "We're in a rebuilding stage and if you don’t have candidates on the ballot, it’s never going to improve."

Full list of qualifying petitions...

Democrats running for County Commission:

District 1: Evelyn Gill
District 1: Rick Staples
District 2: Laura Kildare
District 2: Cheri Siler
District 4: Marleen Kay Davis
District 5: Sheri Ridgeway
District 6: Donna G. Lucas
District 9: James "Brandon" Hamilton


I just learned of the existence of the "Muslims United for San Bernardino" crowdsourcing page (at LaunchGood) and thought possibly you might not have seen it either.

This national effort to support the families of victims in the recent San Bernardino mass shooting has already raised over $180,000 (of a $175,000 goal) with 20 days remaining in the campaign.

So pleased to hear it.

Dec 10 2015
08:33 am

from CNN ...

Middle class Americans now comprise less than half, or 49.9%, of the nation's population, down from 61% in 1971, according to a new Pew Research Center report. For Pew, middle class Americans live in households earning between two-thirds to two times the nation's median income. In 2014, that ranged from $41,900 to $125,600 for a three-person household.

The middle class no longer dominates in the U.S.

Dec 9 2015
09:48 am

Knoxville and Knox County taxpayers are fortunate to have local governments with competent financial management and award winning financial reporting (1)(2). Folks can argue about how they spend money, but at least they generally know where it's coming from and where it's going and plan accordingly.

Unlike Blount County, judging from a couple of recent newspaper articles:


Dec 9 2015
09:16 am

Betty Bean: The superintendent won the battle, and he’d better savor his victory, because the timing and the manner and the cost of his contract extension will be debated thoroughly in the spring’s school board elections.

Sandra Clark: UT Chancellor Jimmy Cheek must move decisively to shut down the Office of Diversity and reassign or terminate its staff. It’s not that the advice from the office is wrong... it’s that it is so unnecessary and flat-out dumb.

Wendy Smith: Can private money help build roads?

Victor Ashe: Mayor Rogero blah blah blah Mayor Rogero blah blah blah...


What a dream gig! Love the National Parks? Love large format photography? Here's your chance to be Ansel Adams.


Mayor Rogero and KPD Chief David Rausch announced results of an internal investigation regarding KPD off-duty employment practices. The investigation resulted in disciplinary actions and new policies. Details in the press release after the break...


Dec 8 2015
03:52 pm

Hey, KnoxOasis, I told you The Donald is working on this one:

"We have to go see Bill Gates and a lot of different people that really understand what's happening. We have to talk to them about, maybe in certain areas, closing that Internet up in some way."


Trump continued, "Somebody will say, 'Oh, freedom of speech, freedom of speech.' These are foolish people."

I'm not quite grasping the particulars, here. Is he proposing no wi-fi at Muslim internment camps, or what?

(Surely, surely it's safe to laugh out loud at this?!)

Dec 8 2015
03:16 pm

What: KCDP to offer candidate and political training
When: Saturday, December 12, 2015 - 9:00am
Where: CWA Union Hall, 1415 Elm Street

From Cameron Brooks, KCDP:

The Knox County Democratic Party is launching a series of training workshops for candidates and for people wanting to be involved in supporting political campaigns in 2016 and beyond here in Knoxville.

The first workshop is coming up this Saturday, December 12th from 9 am to 1 pm at the CWA Union Hall, located at 1415 Elm Street. The workshop will be led by the Tennessee Democratic Party and will be focused on two areas -- getting started as a candidate and developing a fundraising/finance plan.

The training is open to anyone currently running for office or anyone who may run in the future. Additionally, people who want to be involved in supporting candidates are encouraged to attend. For more information on the training and to rsvp, CLICK HERE!

Dec 8 2015
03:11 pm

The 700 block of South Gay Street will be partially closed starting Thursday, Dec. 10th. The 700 block will be closed completely starting Dec. 14th and continuing for up to six months. More info in the press release after the break...


Dec 8 2015
11:33 am

TN Rep With Diploma Mill Degree Wants to Tell UT How to Run a University

The TNGOP has been scouring the state for crazier and crazier people to run for office. TN Republicans have gotten the message that they will be replaced by an even more "conservative" candidate if they don't toe the line and spout the official line of manure that arrives in their morning email.

Read more at the link.

Dec 8 2015
05:48 am

May the season be bright and filled with peace.

Beautiful, unique, unusual menorahs.

Dec 7 2015
09:10 am

The Keurig Green Mountain coffee company, which has a production and distribution facility in Knoxville, is being acquired and taken private by JAB Holding Company for a reported $13.9 billion.

Along with other premium consumer brands, JAB Holding has a large coffee portfolio that includes Peet's Coffee & Tea among others.

Keurig Green Mountain to be Acquired by JAB Holding Company-Led Investor Group for $92 Per Share in Cash

Dec 6 2015
09:53 am

Stanley's Greenhouse is having a Holiday Open House today (Sunday) from 1PM to 5PM. In bloom and ready for the holidays: paperwhites, amaryllises, poinsettias, Christmas cacti, and more. Local band 3 Mile Smile will perform from 1:00 to 3:00, Local artists will have work on display. Stanley's is also giving away a free poinsettia with every purchase.

Ijams Nature Center is hosting their 3rd Annual Holiday Market today (Sunday) from 1PM to 5PM, with over 40 local artists, crafters, and designers as well as local food, a beer garden,and live music.

Dec 5 2015
03:15 pm

This editorial is published on page A1 in the Dec. 5 edition of The New York Times. It is the first time an editorial has appeared on the front page since 1920.

(No subscription required.)

Dec 4 2015
09:25 pm

They pulled it off 108 - 44. Media reports to follow as they become available.

Chris Brooks in Labor Notes Volkswagen Workers Celebrate Election Win, But Question Union’s Partnership Strategy

Brian Mahoney at Politico UAW Chattanooga vote begins today

Dec 4 2015
12:13 pm

Purchasing, transferring or owning firearms and ammunition do not require any sort of license or permit in Tennessee. Here are a few things that do:

  • Driving a car
  • Giving a massage
  • Fitness training
  • Dietary/nutritional counseling
  • Running an auction
  • Plumbing repairs
  • Giving a haircut
  • Selling insurance
  • Installing burglar alarms
  • Selling used cars
  • Serving alcohol
  • Beekeeping
  • Selling floral arrangements
  • Dry cleaning
  • Running a beauty pageant
  • Selling ginseng
  • Teaching school
  • Selling eggs
  • Giving a manicure
  • Testing milk
  • Operating a food truck
Dec 4 2015
11:30 am

War on Christmas Causes Tennessee Conservatives to Suffer Possible Psychotic Episode

Our state is being run by a bunch of Ted Cruz clones.

Dec 4 2015
10:54 am

from NPR ….

...refers to the idea that phone and cable companies should treat all of the traffic on their networks equally. No blocking or slowing their competitors, and no fast lanes for companies that can pay more.

But the new regulations could be undone: The cable and telecom industries have taken the FCC to court.

5 Things To Know: Net Neutrality Is Back In Court


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