Fri
Feb 2 2007
06:33 am
By: R. Neal  shortURL

KnoxViews.com was down for a while last night because of a fiber optic cable cut in Atlanta that caused routing problems in New York, or something like that according to our hosting provider. It appears the problem has been fixed.

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54
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Thu
Feb 1 2007
08:48 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL

I was looking through the old SKB archives for something completely unrelated and found this. Thought some of you might find it amusing. It sort of relates to the "The Way Down South" article mentioned yesterday.

Read the blast from the past after the jump...

Continued...

50
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Thu
Feb 1 2007
04:49 pm

In the I'm-not-a-lawyer-but-I-play-one-on-TV department, here are some thoughts about the focus that Moncier's latest suit takes. (In a second disclaimer, I rely only on Barker's story, page A1 today, because the link to the complaint itself at the knoxnews.com site isn't working.)

It seems Moncier chooses an uphill, not to mention well-trodden, path in his attempt to temper or undo an existing supreme court opinion. That opinion has already defined, on the basis of *state* law, when an office is vacant and we need not rehash it.

Besides, our collective question now isn't whether vacancies existed, but what process should have been used to fill those vacancies. Since the court was virtually mute on that subject, they seemed, by implication, to validate the instruction available to Commissioners in our *local* law, namely the County Charter they upheld.

So, if the question of what constitutes a vacancy has already been answered in state law and if the instruction for filling vacancies lies in local law, why is Moncier posing this redundant question of vacancies and why is he looking to the wrong body of law, state rather than local, to undo a botched appointment process?

To wit, these are some matters of *local* law which should have guided yesterday's appointment process, but which Moncier fails to cite in his suit:

The Charter says nominations may be made by members of the Commission only. While the irony isn't lost on me, I think we saw Commission violate that instruction yesterday when they appeared, at least, to entertain nominations from the floor.

The Charter also says that each member of Commission may vote in favor of one nominee, by name, only. While that's ultimately what they did, I personally question Moore's repeated offer to Commissioners, after every Commissioner had cast a vote, to then change their votes.

Most compellingly, the Charter says that prior to voting, Commission *shall* (not may), by resolution or ordinance, establish the procedure for arriving at a majority vote. We didn't see a resolution or an ordinance either one, but we did see agenda-juggling, out-of-earshot discussion, and the appointment of two late-filing applicants.

I fear, then, that our would-be champion's focus is fuzzy.

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The Oversight Committee meeting last night was well-attended, both by members and by onlookers (many of whom spoke to the committee about various issues).

In order to carefully listen and evaluate all proposed changes, the meeting lasted 4 hours. It was 4 hours of hard, thoughtful work by all participants, and I couldn't help being struck by the comparison to a meeting that took place earlier in the day (and we managed to get through 4 hours w/o one single recess - imagine that!)

Continued...

194
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Thu
Feb 1 2007
02:11 pm
Chicago Bears
19% (16 votes)
Indianapolis Colts
64% (54 votes)
What? When? Where?
18% (15 votes)
Total votes: 85
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Thu
Feb 1 2007
12:57 pm

Have Londoners lost their minds? In London new police powers allow police to confiscate the car of a driver using a cell phone in motion. I try not to use a cell phone when I drive but isn't it very extreme to confiscate an automobile for cell phone use? No word of how long the impoundment is or if it is permanent. 1984?

Continued...

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52
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Thu
Feb 1 2007
12:14 pm

Google is doing its part to improve the president's image by removing so-called "link bombs" from its search engine. Entering the word failure should no longer result in the White House's presidential bio bubbling up to the top of the results page. Instead you should see a discussion of the art of link bombing.

Unfortunately Google has closed the door after the horse escaped. A large number of Americans no longer need to Google Mr. Bush in order to obtain such information.

50
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Thu
Feb 1 2007
10:05 am

A word is born:

In a meeting today, one of the programmers mentioned “insertion, deletion, or updation of records in the table.”

Sheeesh.

407,000 results on Google. Including, of course, Dictionary of Indian English.

Via Politburo Diktat.

Not everyone likes the new word, but I do. Then again, I think faxer should be a word, as in printer/copier/faxer.

Previous WOTD - Junctural Metanalysis

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54
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Thu
Feb 1 2007
08:11 am

"Former Vice President Al Gore was nominated for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his wide-reaching efforts to draw the world's attention to the dangers of global warming, a Norwegian lawmaker said Thursday. "

Cool...

51
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Thu
Feb 1 2007
01:25 am
By: Brian A.  shortURL

EVERYONE PANIC!!!

Use this thread to discuss snowflake sightings.

59
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Thu
Feb 1 2007
12:50 am
By: Andy Axel  shortURL

Dear Senator Biden:

Thank you for pulling a Barney Fife on your 2008 presidential bid today.

You spared a number of other mainstream, clean, articulate, nice-looking Democrats the trouble of giving you the red ass by giving it to yourself.

I really expected another "Macaca moment" out of you sooner or later, but I didn't think it would be so soon.

From the bottom of my heart, Smilin' Joe...

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

xo,

--Andy @KnoxViews

P.S. Good bye, then.

54
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Wed
Jan 31 2007
11:37 pm

From the KNS: JJ hires Hutch for $99k

(link...)

Jesus Christ, these folks are blatant.

63
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Wed
Jan 31 2007
08:04 pm

NBC News has just announced the death of Molly Ivins. She fought breast cancer for seven years. The outspoken critic of George Bush was only 62. Her best seller Bushwhacked should be on your bookshelf.

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129
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Wed
Jan 31 2007
03:42 pm

UPDATED: This is a tentative list of seats that will be up for grabs in 2008 and 2010 by my quick estimation.

Please correct or clarify in comments. If you want to nominate better candidates to run to avoid future public process debacles like we witnessed today, let's get the party started.

I'll support any candidate willing to change commission rules against back corridor arm-twisting during 5 minute recesses. I want to start seeing these deliberations on camera.

2008 Seats Up for Grabs

1st District

Josh Jordan appointed 2007

2nd District

Charles Bolus appointed 2007

4th District

Richard Cate appointed 2007
Lee Tramel appointed 2007

5th District

Frank Leuthold appointed 2007

6th District

Sharon Cawood appointed 2007

7th District

No one up for re-election in 2008.

8th District

Jack Huddleston appointed 2007

9th District

Tim Greene appointed 2007
Paul Pinkston elected 2004

UP FOR RE-ELECTION IN 2010

Mark Harmon Dist 2 (2010)
Ivan Harmon Dist 3 (2010) may be term limited?
Tony Norman Dist 3 (2010)
Phil Ballard Dist 8 (2010)
Mike Hammond Dist 5 elected 2004 to fill Mike Arms seat...term up in ___??

Larry Smith Dist 7 (2010)

TERM LIMITED IN 2010 (can't run)
Tank Strickland Dist 1 elected 2002 seat open in 2010
Scott Moore Dist 7 elected 2002 seat open in 2010

Craig Leuthold Dist 5 elected 2002 seat open in 2010

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222
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Wed
Jan 31 2007
01:34 pm

Reuters is reporting that California may ban conventional lightbulbs by 2012. I can see it now - a huge black market and smuggling lightbulbs into California.

The "How Many Legislators Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb Act" would ban
incandescent lightbulbs by 2012 in favor of energy-saving compact fluorescent
lightbulbs.

I have only seen a compact fluorescent lightbulb (CFL) in use once. It seemed to be okay in a lamp with a shade. However, I wasn't around it very long. Also, I know you cannot use them if you have dimmers on your lights, so how are they going to get around this?

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Wed
Jan 31 2007
12:57 pm

The first meeting of the Johnia Berry Discussion group will be Saturday February 17th at 2pm at the Cedar Bluff branch of the Knox County Library. We will be actively discussing the case.

For further details please go to (link...).

Thank you.

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Wed
Jan 31 2007
11:35 am

Our five-minute break is dragging on in the battle of the Fourth District. I'm trying to support good candidates and avoid all the less-reputable activities. The intrigues will make a great book, tentative title. Crashing the Commission. --Mark Harmon

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238
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Wed
Jan 31 2007
08:43 am

Live blogging from the Knox County Commission special meeting to appoint replacements for vacancies created by the term-limits ruling. Running commentary after the list of appointments.

Sheriff (Tim Hutchison): J.J. Jones
County Clerk (Mike Padgett): Billy Tindell
Trustee (Mike Lowe): Fred Sisk
Register of Deeds (Steve Hall): Sherry Witt

County Commission:
1st District (Diane Jordan): Josh Jordan
2nd District (Billy Tindell): Charles Bolus
4th District A (John Schmid): Richard Cate
4th District B (Phil Guthe): Lee Tramel
5th District (John Griess): Frank Leuthold
6th District (Mark Cawood): Sharon Cawood
8th District (John Mills): Jack Huddleston
9th District (Larry Clark): Tim Greene

8:38 We are on the scene at the City County bldg. Local media is here and commissioners are huddling. Beanster just showed up.

8:57 Call to order and roll call. Lumpy Lambert absent. Prayer, pledge. Scoobie: "Play Ball!" Oh wait, recess to wait for Lumpy.

9:06 Lumpy's here, call to order. Call for nominations for Sheriff. All pass. Smith: "What are we doing here?" nominates J.J. Jones.

Only name in nomination for Sheriff is JJ Jones. Vote. 18-0 1 pass (Schmid). Jones gets it at 9:09. Jones being sworn in at 9:11. Two minute recess to wait for judge to swear him in. 9:20 Jones sworn in by Judge Workman.

9:21 County Clerk nominations. Billy Tindell, George Stooksbury. Nomination from the floor: Jeffery Lawhorn. Tindell 14, Stooksbury 4. Tindell appointed. Question to law director. Tindell's seat now vacant. Can't vote. (Betty: Tindell out of office for the first time in 30 years.) Question: If he isn't sworn in yet, why is his seat vacant. Motion to swear him in and appoint someone to his seat. (Scoobie: the votes aren't going to be close. Schmid: Do you know something we don't?) Debate about process. Motion to vote. Griess moves to go by law directors opinion. Agreed, Schmid and Harmon vote no.

9:34 Nominations for Register of Deeds. Sherry Witt. Scott Emge. Vote: Witt 17, Emge 1 (Mark Harmon). Witt appointed.

9:37 Nominations for Trustee: Fred Sisk, One nomination. Sisk appointed, Unanimous.

9:40 Guthe moves for 4th district to go first since both commissioners are being replaced. Agreed. Nominations for 4th district seat A: Elaine Davis (Mark Harmon), Schmid: my nominee (Fisher) withdrew because of article in paper re. sunshine law. Scott Davis (Schmid). Griess nominates Fisher. Schmid: he asked to be withdrawn. Withdrawn. Lee Tramel (Lambert). Mark Harmon withdraws Elaine Davis. Greiss nominates Richard Cate. Tramel 4, Cate 10, Scott Davis 4. Richard Cate appointed 4th District Seat A.

9:49 4th District Seat B nomination. Elaine Davis (Mark Harmon). Jim Smeltzer (Guthe). Scott Davis (Hammond). Lee Tramel (Lambert). William Daniels (Smith). From the floor: Ed Shouse. Vote (fifth round) Tramel 8, Scott Davis 9. (Guthe passed.) Must have 10 votes.

10:10 Ten minute recess called. (Rumor is: Davis will get it. Guthe is the center of attention. New rumor: Swear in Cates so he can vote?

10:34 Convening. Greiss moves item be moved to end of agenda and proceed. Schmid objects. Roll call. Defeated. Voting again on 4th district seat B.

10:38 Sixth vote on 4th District Seat B: Jordon changed her vote, Guthe changed from pass to Davis. Tramel 9, Davis 9. Seventh, correction, eighth round: still deadlocked. Motion to postpone. Defeated. Ninth vote: still deadlocked. Two minute recess. (Reports that Cates was in the middle of being sworn in during the previous break but when the media converged they called it off...)

10:58 Reconvened. Smith moves to allow Tramel and Davis to speak for three minutes. Required 2/3 vote to change agenda. Motion fails. Tenth vote: Still deadlocked nine to nine.

11:01 Griess moves to put the vote at the end of the agenda. Requires 2/3 vote. Motion passes.

11:03 Nominations for 1st District. Jordan nominates Josh Jordan. Helen Lewis (Mark Harmon). Nick Della Volpe (Smith). From the floor: Jimmy Golan/Golden (?) (self), Robin Brothers (self). Vote: Jordan 16, Lewis 1, Della Volpe 1. Josh Jordon appointed.

11:09 2nd District nominations. Amy Broyles (Mark Harmon) John Wimmer (Norman). Debra Porter (Smith). Charles Bolus (Moore). From the floor: Chuck Williams. Vote (third round): Bolus 6, Wimmer 6, Porter 3, Broyles 3. Recess called at 11:21.

11:35 Resumed. Fourth vote: Bolus 11, Wimmer 5, Porter 1, Broyles 2. Bolus wins. (Got an extra vote there, not sure where the error is.)

11:38 Nominations for 5th district. Teresa Shupp (Norman). Frank Leuthold (Griess). Robin Butler (Lambert). From the floor: Tom Salter. Vote: Shupp 1, Leuthold 15, Salter 1, Butler 1. Leuthold appointed.

11:46 Nominations for 6th District. Sharon Cawood (Lambert), Howard Phillips (Smith), Jimmy Shelton from the floor. Vote: Cawood 15, (others drowned out by applause).

11:48 Nominations for 8th District: Maurice Freed (Harmon), Jack Huddleston (Mills), Kay Fazier (floor), Tom Pressley (floor, Bill Young). Vote: Huddleston 17 Freed 1.

11:54 9th District nominations. Martin Pleasant (Mark Harmon), Tim Greene (Clark). From the floor: Josh Lowe, Matt Meyers (by Josh Lowe), joke nominee "the good guest" who knows when it's time to pack up and go home, Ruby Wright (self), Ronald Lee Tucker (rants about the "travesty" and says he will keep talking until they making him leave, Scoobie says "then I'll have to ask you to leave"). Vote: Greene 16, Pleasant 1. Greene Appointed.

12:00 Recess called.

12:04 Rumor: Chuck Bolus sworn in, may seat him to try to break the deadlock. Tramel in?

12:08 Reconvened. Bolus takes Tindell's seat.

12:10 Mark Harmon, point of order: notice someone new seated. Objects to swearing in one commissioner instead of all as previously agreed. Law director: this was always a possibility. Bolus has taken the oath, filed it with the clerk. He may take his seat. Schmid: Stinks! Despicable, underhanded, something to that effect. Insult to the people of the 4th district. Guthe: should we now start over for 4th District nominations? Law director: Yes, because Bolus was not involved in nominations. Lumpy: Can others be sworn in? Lumpy moves to recess to swear in replacements. Scooby, this was always a possibility. Anyone can get sworn in if they want. Guthe withdraws motion. Scoobie asks if anybody wants to be sworn in.

12:16 Start 4th District B nominations all over again. Elaine Davis (Mark Harmon), William Daniels (Norman), Lee Tramel (Ivan Harmon), Jim Smeltzer (Guthe) Scott Davis (Hammond). Scott Davis (from the floor) withdraws name from nomination. Tramel 12, Daniels 1, Smeltzer 4, Davis 1. Tramel appointed.

And that's all folks!

UPDATE: Speculation is that Ragsdale was the loser today, and now he's looking at a tough budget with a new under/unfunded pension, and no votes on county commission to raise any new taxes. One person remarked that "we just witnessed a sheriff who is out of office take over Knox County government."

Whatever it was we watched today, it was historic (as radio talk show host Hubert Smith who was sitting nearby put it) and from my point of view it was fascinating.

And not knowing who all these people were or the names being thrown around or all the power plays and insider trading going on, I REALLY appreciate Betty Bean helping me at least get some of the names spelled right. I'm sure she will have a full play by play of all the inside baseball and dynamics at play in the next Halls Shopper. Scott Barker will likely have a good report in tomorrow's News Sentinel, too.

Photos after the jump...

Continued...

283
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Wed
Jan 31 2007
12:15 am

Not only do we get the Commission spectacle starting at 9 a.m., but two other interesting meetings are also on tap.

At 4:30, the City's Neighborhood Task Force will present its recommendations to Mayor Haslam. Not 100% sure where the meeting is, but they've been meeting at LT Ross. Open to the public.

At 5:30, in the Small Assembly Room, the South Waterfront Oversight Committee will hold what we all devoutly hope is our final meeting. Also open to the public. The agenda is primarily considering a bunch of changes that have been requested by Bill Baxter and some other large property owners along the river. These folks aren't asking for tweaks - they're asking for MAJOR changes that would alter the very nature of the plan. Heavy duty lobbying has been going on the last week or so. 'Twill be interesting to see what happens.

53
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Tue
Jan 30 2007
11:22 pm

(And now for something completely different. This week and next I'll be posting a word of the day feature.)

From the Phrases.org definition for humble pie:

In the 14th century, the numbles (or noumbles, nomblys, noubles) was the name given to the heart, liver, entrails etc. of animals, especially of deer - what we now call offal or lights. By the 15th century this had migrated to umbles, although the words co-existed for some time. There are many references to both words in Old English and Middle English texts from 1330 onward. Umbles were used as an ingredient in pies, although the first record of 'umble pie' in print is as late as the 17th century.

It is possible that it was the pies that caused the move from numbles to umbles. 'A numble pie' could easily have become an umble pie', in the same way that 'a napron' became 'an apron' and 'an ewt' became 'a newt'. This changing of the boundaries between words is called metanalysis and is commonplace in English.

Wikipedia makes a more careful distinction between metanalysis ("the act of breaking down a word or phrase into segments or meanings not original to it") and junctural metanalysis:

Continued...

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52
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Lost Medicaid Funding

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

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