Fri
Dec 1 2006
04:10 pm
By: metulj  shortURL

Sentenced.

75 months total.

UPDATE: Seems West can possibly shave 12 months off if he completes an addiction rehab while in the hoosegow.

26
like
Fri
Dec 1 2006
02:37 pm

You may recall when I wrote that YouTube would be a new quantum shift in the body politic and that the danger would be that anything said in public would be available almost instantaneously and would have a shelf life of forever. If you thought politicians were cryptic before you ain’t seen nothing yet. There will be no more John F. Kerry bungled jokes. The affect on comedians may be catastrophic.

But wait, there is something that makes YouTube pale in comparison. New Federal rules that go into effect today and that were approved by the United States Supreme Court in April will require, U.S. companies to keep track of all the e-mails, instant messages and other electronic documents generated by their employees.

Reasonable people will ask why. The answer is legal discovery which is used by both sides in court cases. This single ruling will tragically and dramatically change both the way America does business but will also create liability in the computer technology industry where no liability existed before.

Read more after the jump:

Continued...

25
like
Fri
Dec 1 2006
01:59 pm

More Lady Vols basketball:
This time it's Alexis Hornbuckle busting a move:

(link...)

Topics:
45
like
Fri
Dec 1 2006
01:20 pm

That's right. Reynolds has gone nuts. He's also well respected and what not.

Look, everyone knows it can't be a REAL civil war, in Iraq or America, unless lots of guys suffering from dyspepsia and wearing beards that look like they are eating groundhogs run around yelling "Wheel right!" and write cloying letters to their brothers on the other side.

23
like
Fri
Dec 1 2006
11:32 am
By: R. Neal  shortURL


Photo by R. Neal

Here's an interesting article from The Mountain Press about the Cataloochee Elk. It also explains why you might have noticed more bears in Cades Cove this year.

21
like
Fri
Dec 1 2006
11:13 am
By: WhitesCreek  shortURL
22
like
Fri
Dec 1 2006
11:00 am

400 flights canceled at Chicago O'Hare. 200 flights canceled at Dallas Fort-Worth. Other Midwest airports canceling flights and trying to keep up with heavy snowfall. Not a good day for travelers trying to get home.

15
like

From today's Maryville Daily Times:

Businessman Kevin Coffey, who also owns CDE Electrical in Friendsville, wants to bring racing back to Blount County. So he's offering to purchase the old Smoky Mountain Speedway property for $785,000, the same amount the county paid the former owners, including Maryville Board of Education member Dennis Garner, for the property.

This could be good news for Blount County. The county had purchased the property for a fairground, but many thought they paid too much. Then there were concerns about improvements and environmental cleanup issues that would have to be addressed before the property could be used for fairgrounds.

According to the article, Coffey is offering to buy the property and make the required improvements and allow the county to use the property for fairgrounds at no charge in exchange for a five year moratorium on property taxes. He notes that with the closing of Atomic Speedway in Oak Ridge Roane County, several area businesses that cater to racing could be in jeopardy and this could be a shot in the arm to keep them going.

The article says Coffey got a cool reception from newly elected County Mayor Jerry Cunningham, who said Coffey needs to go through the Industrial Development Board before wasting County Commission's time. He also said there would have to be a bidding process to sell the land.

Instead of giving him the runaround and putting up bureaucratic obstacles, Mayor Cunningham ought to be working with Coffey to figure out how to get the deal done so the County can get out from under this white elephant.

Coffey has an online petition that lays out the details of the deal, lists the local businesses that would be affected, and asks for taxpayer support. It looks like a no-brainer for Blount County to me.

UPDATE: The Maryville Daily Times fails to mention that Coffey proposes for Blount Co. to finance the $785,000 for 15 years with payments of $50,000 per year and no interest, and that Coffey proposes to receive all ticket and concession sales for county events. But right now the County is sitting on a liability that is generating no revenue. Increased sales tax, the $50,000 per year, property taxes after five years, and free use of the facility for fairs and other events sounds like a better deal. And I'm guessing Coffee is a smart businessman who is asking for the moon while leaving room to negotiate.

16
like
Fri
Dec 1 2006
09:37 am

Here's a roundup of reporting on TVA's adoption of stricter land use policies...

KNS: TVA puts lock on gate

Despite pleas to water down TVA's temporary ban on selling federal land for private residential development, the agency's board voted 8-1 Thursday to make the ban permanent.

[..]

Williams, who chaired the committee that drafted the new policy, said 92 percent of the more than 5,000 people who submitted comments favored making the ban permanent.

KNS: Developers not happy with TVA land policy

"Obviously, I think the residential part of development along TVA lakes is a viable, important part of the local economy," said Mike Ross, owner of Rarity Communities. Ross' land swap in 2003 for formerly public land for his Rarity Pointe development in Loudon County helped galvanize opposition to TVA land transfers.

Maryville Daily Times: TVA bans sale of protected shoreline along river

"The people spoke, and TVA listened," [wildlife research associate and instructor at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture Billy] Minser said. "This brand new board is a breath of fresh air."

The only board member voting against the new land policy was former board chairman Bill Baxter, who said the policy lacked flexibility for economic development projects.

Baxter served as the State of Tennessee's commissioner of Economic and Community Development for three years, from 1997 to 2000.

The Chattanoogan: TVA Votes to Protect Public Land

"Our committee worked through the comments from thousands of people and organizations to come up with a fair policy that protects public land while still allowing recreation and industrial development," said Director Williams, "The new policy reaffirms the usefulness and effectiveness of TVA's land planning process."

Associated Press: TVA: Limit Land Sales on Tennessee River

While the [high-end residential development] projects had supporters, the land deals behind them unleashed a storm of criticism from the environmental community and those who believed that land bought for public purposes generations ago should remain in public hands.

[..]

Some, including U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn., worry the ban is too restrictive and will have a "substantial adverse impact" on the region.

Here's a link to the new TVA land use policy.

I have to say I am pleasantly surprised that the new board is reining in the go-go Baxter era and listening to the people. What's next, accelerating pollution controls at their coal-fired power plants instead of looking for ways to get out of it? Somehow I don't think this is what Bush had in mind when he restructured the board and "modernized" TVA.

As for the land use policy, this will probably drive the price of existing lakefront property even higher, if that's even possible. I predict that TVA will revisit the residential restrictions in a few years after a sort of "cooling off" period. If done properly, lakefront community development could be an asset to the region. And by "done properly", we mean something other than gated golf course communities with multi-million dollar homes, although every community ought to have a few.

20
like
Fri
Dec 1 2006
09:07 am

Lots of new tag-team KNS reporting about Knoxville Community Development by Hayes Hickman and Scott Barker over the past few days:

Haslam overhauls Community Development Block Grant Process:

Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam said Thursday his department heads will step in to oversee distribution of millions of dollars in federal grants after weeks of turmoil in the city's Community Development Department.

Three Empowerment Zone options on the table:

The third option, and Mayor Bill Haslam's preferred choice, would leave oversight of the zone with the PNI board of directors, minus its three-member staff. That support would instead come from city staffers within the Community Development Division.

Also under that plan, Martin said, a new agency other than PNI most likely would be contracted to run the loan program.

Employee says Kesler tried to alter stats:

Former Knoxville Community Development Director Renee Kesler tried to get subordinates to alter statistics in a report to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, employees said in sworn statements.

Kesler's directives, which employees said would have misrepresented the Community Development Block Grant program's accomplishments, weren't followed in the end, though the final report downplays the program's shortcomings.

City gave grants despite concerns:

The city's investigation, however, found other instances in which programs won grants despite incomplete or inadequate applications, or review scores that were lower than other applicants.

[..]

In her interview with investigators, Kesler defended the selections and attacked the probe. She said some organizations "don't have the capacity to complete those full applications, so we have to work with them and we worked with several of the agencies."

She also said the investigation was racially motivated.

The KNS's newly found interest in downtown development is encouraging. Hopefully they will turn these two reporters loose on other stories that the public may not be hearing about in the future.

As for the Community Development situation, it seems to have put Mayor Haslam between a rock and a hard place with regard to Knoxville's minority community, but he appears to be handling it as well as could be expected given the circumstances. And just in time for the 2007 elections, too.

22
like
Fri
Dec 1 2006
08:07 am
By: R. Neal  shortURL

At about 6:30 AM, the temperature here was 71.4 and we are experiencing scattered rain and strong winds with what seem like 50 MPH gusts. The Weather Service says this will be the high for the day and the temperature will plummet to 45 by the afternoon, with a low of 30 tonight.

Here's the National Weather Service severe weather alert for all of East Tennessee including Knox, Blount, and Anderson:

247 AM CST FRI DEC 1 2006 /347 AM EST FRI DEC 1 2006/

A WIND ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM EST /5 PM CST/ THIS AFTERNOON.

SOUTHWEST WINDS WILL BECOME WEST TODAY WITH SPEEDS OF 20 TO 30 MPH AND GUSTS AS HIGH AS 45 MPH EXPECTED AT TIMES.

WINDS THIS STRONG CAN MAKE DRIVING DIFFICULT... ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES... SO USE CAUTION WHEN DRIVING. THESE WINDS CAN ALSO CAUSE SOME TREES TO BE BLOWN DOWN.

22
like
Thu
Nov 30 2006
07:38 pm

By way of TGW, incoming freshman Senator Bob Corker (in fact, the only freshman GOP senator) said in a Nashville Tennessean interview published Sunday that he supports a U.S. Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage because "people from Massachusetts will move to Tennessee" or something. He also opposes civil unions, but might be willing to look at allowing "certain types of visitation in the hospital." Compassion is his middle name.

He also said that clean coal is "Very clean. Very, very clean. It's something that is very, very environmentally friendly." We are very, very impressed with his grasp of the technology.

Bob Corker will be on WATE's Tennessee This Week Sunday with Gene Patterson. Set your Tivo for more dumb quotes. Collect them all!

(Speaking of "Incoming Freshman", how many of y'all remember the movie of that name that was filmed here in Knoxville on the U.T. campus. We knew "tube top girl" from high school. U.T. economics professor Tony Spiva was in it, too. It's one of the dumbest movies ever made. It seems appropriate on the occasion of Bob Corker's swearing in.)

23
like
Thu
Nov 30 2006
12:33 am

This is a big story that has been smoldering just beneath the surface for years now.

For newbies, Raynella Dossett Leath was once the wife of Ed Dossett, Randy Nichols' predecessor as attorney general. Ed, who was dying of cancer, met a very strange end when it was reported that he died after being stomped to death by milk cows. The story, IIRC, was that he'd asked to be wheeled out to the barn to see his cows and somehow ended up beneath their hooves. The whole thing always sounded more than a little strange to me, but it was accepted by tptb. The medical examiner -- Randy Pedigo -- ruled it an accidental death and word was that the widow collected triple indemnity.

Continued...

Topics:
213
like
Wed
Nov 29 2006
11:43 pm
Civil war
86% (65 votes)
Sectarian violence "fomented" by al Qaeda attacks
9% (7 votes)
Other (specify in comments)
5% (4 votes)
Total votes: 76
Topics:
Wed
Nov 29 2006
08:15 pm

What Katie said.

10
like
Wed
Nov 29 2006
05:14 pm

After a period where I hailed the renaissance of the Metro Pulse I am saddened to conclude that while some aspects of the paper have improved Barry Henderson continues to be an abject embarrassment. Henderson has had a distinguished newspaper career and is very well respected in East Tennessee. Even the best reporter and writer can get too involved in a story and allow their own personal prejudice to leak into the writing. One thing is clear, Barry Henderson cannot be objective when it comes to recently elected Knox County Commissioner Greg “Lumpy” Lambert.

Read more after the jump...

Continued...

13
like
Wed
Nov 29 2006
05:09 pm

Chris Kromm over at Facing South has come up with a great idea. He proposes allocating 1% of the emergency war spending budget to save the CHIPS program that provides insurance for uninsured children.

Also of note, Sue Sturgis is a new contributor at Facing South. There's been some great blogging there already this week. So start at the top and scroll on down.

21
like
Wed
Nov 29 2006
04:51 pm

David D. Perlmutter, Professor and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies & Research at the University of Kansas William Allen White School of Journalism & Mass Communications is conducting research about political blogs and blog readers. He has selected KnoxViews to be a part of the study.

If you're interested in participating, here's the link for the reader survey:

(link...)

There is a dropdown list from which you can select "KnoxViews" as the blog you came from.

Dr. Perlmutter says "As part of our human subjects protocol, we keep your identity completely anonymous. At some point we will report on the general findings, but we would never associate any particular answer with you."

19
like
Wed
Nov 29 2006
12:03 pm
By: Brian A.  shortURL

How very disappointing:

Sources close to outgoing Maj. Leader Bill Frist tell the Hotline that Frist has decided not to run for President.

He will make a formal announcement this afternoon, the sources said.

Frist made the decision in recent days after consulting family, friends and advisers.

The devastating announcement is reportedly scheduled for 1 p.m.

24
like

Lost Medicaid Funding

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

TN Progressive

TN Politics

Local Media Blogs

Local News

Members Only

State News

Pilot Watch

Wire Reports

Site Statistics

Last 7 days:
  • Posts: 35
  • Comments: 318
  • Visits: 11,161
  • Pageviews: 28,207
Last 30 days:
  • Posts: 132
  • Comments: 1378
  • Visits: 43,120
  • Pageviews: 108,045

TN Progressive

Nearby:

Beyond:

At large: