Oct 1 2015
12:28 pm

Steve Wildsmith at the Maryville Daily Times has this entertaining review of Luke Bryan's latest bro country album.

Bryan's "Farm Tour" will visit Blount Co. tomorrow night at Maple Leaf farms. Judging from this glowing report, Luke Bryan wants to help farmers but the guy at Maple Leaf sounds more like he would rather be the next Woodstock or Bonnaroo.

Steve Wildsmith doesn't mention it, but poor Velda Shore, who bought a house and property next to the farm, only wants to enjoy what she thought would be a tranquil setting without helicopters, traffic, and 120db concerts disturbing her peace. Although she won the first couple of rounds in her fight against so-called "agritourism," the state's higher courts, legislators and Gov. Haslam told her to shut up and mind her own business. So she's suing again.

Seems like there could be a real country song in there somewhere.

Oct 1 2015
07:10 am

According to the KNS, Rep. John Duncan voted against a temporary funding bill to keep the federal government open until the next next round of right wing diva drama. Reps. DesJarlais, Roe and Fleischmann all voted against it too.

What a bunch of goobers. Why work for a government that you don't want to exist?

Anyway, there have been news reports all week about how terrible a federal government shutdown would be. You wouldn't be able to drive around Cades Cove! The horror!

If they are going to "shut down" the government, they ought to really, really shut it down instead of picking and choosing services that will only annoy a few people if they're not available. They should start with Congressional salaries, office expenses, free haircuts and bean soup.

Sep 29 2015
07:17 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL

Updated here...

Incumbents all have strong leads in early vote.

UPDATE: Final (unofficial) results are in:

Mayor Rogero reelected with 98.78% of the votes.

Marshall Stair (78.53%) and Pete Drew (21.47%) will advance to the At Large B November runoff.

Finbarr Saunders (64.09%) and Paul Bonovich (12.95%) will advance to the At Large C runoff.

Mark Campen (66.96%) and Jennifer Mirtes (33.04%) advance in District 5.

George Wallace (100%) advances unopposed for At Large A.

It appears turnout was about 4%.

Sep 29 2015
03:35 pm

Victor Ashe already knows how many people will vote today and that Mayor Rogero is auditioning for a job in the Clinton administration. OK, then.

Sep 29 2015
07:17 am

The City of Knoxville primary is today. Polls are open from 8 AM to 8 PM. Find your precinct voting location here. Sample ballot here.

The top two finishers in City Council races will advance to the runoff general election in November. Facing only write-in opposition from a relatively unknown newcomer who is not actively campaigning, incumbent Mayor Rogero is likely to win reelection with at least 50% +1 of the vote.

In early voting, only 2002 voters showed up at the polls. Counting 588 absentee ballots, the total number of voters so far sits at 2590. There are approx. 107,000 registered voters. It appears that less than 5% of voters will decide the election.

Election night event:

Mayor Rogero and incumbent City Council members are hosting an election night party tonight, 8 PM at The Standard at 416 W. Jackson Avenue, located between Gay St. and Broadway. Free parking is available across the street.


From Good Jobs First report "In Search of A Level Playing Field":

Washington, DC— A national survey of 41 leaders of small business organizations representing 24,000 member businesses in 25 states reveals that they overwhelmingly believe that state economic development incentives favor big businesses, that states are overspending on large individual deals, and that state incentive programs are not effectively meeting the needs of small businesses seeking to grow.

A large majority also say small businesses interests in economic development are not well represented in their state capitols. The credit crunch is a critical problem, and many also emphasize that public goods that benefit all employers - such as job training, education, and transportation—deserve to be a higher priority.

(Emphasis added.)

Press release summary...
Full report...


Subsidy Tracker
Tennessee Subsidy Tracker

Sep 28 2015
04:41 pm

A letter from Ashley Capps:

Dear Friends,

Tomorrow [Tue. Sept. 29th], we have an election here in Knoxville. I'm writing to encourage you to vote – as well as to encourage your friends and neighbors to vote as well.

I know that - with most, if not all of you - I’m speaking to the choir. You all care deeply about the quality of life in our community - and about policies that help to insure positive growth and opportunities for all of our citizens for years to come. So, you’ve probably already voted, or you definitely plan to tomorrow, because you are committed to letting your voice be heard and to making a difference. In that case, I hope you’ll prod your friends because clearly there are many that are holding back and not speaking out at the ballot box. By all accounts, anticipated voting will be at an all time low, which is scary for our future. Strong leadership is needed for smart decision-making, and we need our citizens to insure that the best people are elected to office.

Some say that this primary doesn’t really matter... that there’s nothing much at stake. I beg to differ. And I have something of an agenda in sending this message.

Finbarr Saunders has been one of the most thoughtful, fair, and intelligent leaders in our community for many years. His leadership on important issues has been tremendous asset. He has two challengers for his place on City Council. While I'm sure both of these gentlemen are fine people, several comments that they have made have been quite worrisome to me, betraying both a lack of understanding and experience in some key matters. I'm asking that you re-elect Finbarr Saunders to help keep Knoxville on the right track at this important time.

The same goes for Marshall Stair. Marshall's shown himself to be a great leader in our community and there’s no doubt he will be influential for years to come. I believe he unquestionably deserves your support.

Though unopposed, the same holds true for George Wallace and Mark Campen.

Last, but certainly not least, I hope you'll show your support for Mayor Madeline Rogero. While she has no serious opposition, she's done a fantastic job leading our city for the past four years, and your vote offers a richly deserved expression of affirmation as she enters into her second four-year term.

I know many of you are concerned about the state of leadership... in our state and in our nation. Your vote can make a difference. "The world is run by those who show up to run it," is a statement attributed (falsely, I understand) to Winston Churchill. But it’s true.

Show up at the ballot box tomorrow…and bring all of your friends. We need you!


Sep 28 2015
10:36 am

FBI 2014 Uniform Crime Reports...

A summary look shows violent crime down slightly pretty much across the board nationally (except rape) while increasing in Tennessee, significantly in some categories. Murders by firearms including handguns were down nationally, but up in Tennessee.

Sep 28 2015
09:31 am

Reuters: Alcoa to split into two companies

Alcoa Inc (AA.N) said on Monday it will split into two companies to separate its struggling aluminum smelting operations from production of lightweight metals for its faster-growing aerospace and automotive business.

Alcoa's Tennessee Operations last week launched production at their $300 million automotive aluminum expansion. It will employ about 200 full time workers.

The company shut down its Alcoa TN South Plant smelting operations in 2012 but operates an extensive recycling operation. The Tennessee plant produces aluminum can sheet for beverage cans, and now automotive aluminum. Prior to the automotive expansion, Alcoa employed about 1,200 workers.

Official company press release: Alcoa to Separate into Two Industry-Leading Public Companies, Completing Successful Multi-Year Transformation


Look, Madeline Rogero is the best mayor Knoxville has had in recent memory. She deserves to be re-elected and has earned it.

And Cliff Rodgers is a decent guy, and has always been open and responsive and proactive.

But these quotes form today's News Sentinel seem a little off:



from CNN ...

Corporate America has more cash than the economies of Belgium and Sweden combined.

S&P 500 companies, excluding financial companies, collectively had $1.43 trillion in cash reserves sitting on the sidelines in the second quarter (April to June) of this year, according to FactSet.

America's companies are hoarding $1.4 trillion in cash

Sep 26 2015
12:57 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL

Drain the Swamp!


This might be good service to rotate around the areas with pay day loan companies. Or some way of providing this type of service. Being able to personal finance basic advice at libraries might be useful.

from Yahoo ...

I want to reach people that can’t travel [to] places. I want to be able to visit women’s shelters, domestic abuse shelters. I go to homeless shelters sometimes now. When I’m not driving, I park it at a lot for $55 a month, which has security.

Meet the woman who turned a school bus into a mobile financial literacy hub

Sep 25 2015
07:45 pm

This could have been handled much better.

from Knoxville Mercury ...

Last week we learned that someone associated with the Journal Media Group, the News Sentinel’s corporate owner, disconnected or allowed to lapse several years’ worth of the archives of Metro Pulse, removing public access to them via the Internet.

As a result, you can’t Google our old articles at anymore.

Metro Pulse’s Online Archives Vanish Overnight

Sep 25 2015
05:21 pm
By: Mykhailo  shortURL

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

Sep 25 2015
04:27 pm

Local attorneys Gordon Ball and Sid Gilreath and others have filed one of the first of what will be many class action lawsuits against Volkswagen regarding the massive consumer fraud involving deceptive emissions testing:

As a result of Volkswagen’s unfair, unlawful, deceptive, and/or fraudulent business practices, and its failure to disclose that under normal operating conditions the Class Vehicles emit 40 times the allowed levels, owners and/or lessees of the Class Vehicles have suffered losses in money and/or property. Had Plaintiff and Class members known of the “defeat device” at the time they purchased or leased their Class Vehicles, they would not have purchased or leased those vehicles, or would have paid substantially less for the vehicles than they did. Moreover, when and if Volkswagen recalls the Class Vehicles and degrades the CleanDiesel engine performance in order to make the Class Vehicles compliant with EPA standards, Plaintiff and Class members will be required to spend additional sums on fuel and will not obtain the performance characteristics of their vehicles when purchased. Moreover, Class Vehicles will necessarily be worth less in the marketplace because of their decrease in performance and efficiency.

The lawsuit alleges unjust enrichment and seeks punitive damages, saying VW's conduct "was intentional, fraudulent, malicious, and reckless," and also asks for a court order "requiring Defendant to disgorge, restore, and return all monies wrongfully obtained together with interest calculated at the maximum legal rate."

The lawsuit was filed this afternoon in United States District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee, Southern Division at Chattanooga.

The complaint: EVA SANCHEZ DE ROMERO, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, PLAINTIFF, v. VOLKSWAGEN GROUP OF AMERICA, INC., DEFENDANT.

Sep 25 2015
08:46 am

Mark Harmon attended one of the public forums on the proposed Midway business park. He files this report:

Mark Harmon: Group continues to push business park

(I did not know that Tommy Schumpert Park was originally planned as a business park. Maybe we were in Florida when that happened? Anyway, I wondered why it was so big and elaborate.)

Sep 25 2015
08:42 am

Greg Johnson has a somewhat objective look at Community Health Alliance, the Knoxville based health insurance CO-OP that launched under provisions of the ACA and received a federal startup grant. It appears they are struggling to gain traction and make ends meet.

Greg Johnson: CHA's management fails Tenn. members

Is this is an example of the risk pool being fragmented with so many different types of coverage, not to mention self-insured companies and insurance companies in every state?

We should have one national health insurance provider, called Medicare.

Sep 24 2015
03:17 pm

Amazon is offering Amazon Prime new customer first year subscriptions for $67 today, Friday, September 25, from 12:00am ET to 11:59pm PT. The regular price is $99. If you've thought about getting Prime, this is a pretty good deal.

Along with free two-day or discounted overnight shipping, Prime includes instant video, music streaming, unlimited photo storage, Kindle ebook borrowing library and monthly Kindle ebook specials.

Amazon Prime


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