Mon
Apr 16 2007
11:54 am

Here's a way cool 24 hour time-lapse webcam video of Thursday's Sundown in the City by Ian from high atop Downtown Knoxville. Geek info here.

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Mon
Apr 16 2007
11:37 am

Sandra Clark rips the new plan, and offers sympathy for the guy who keeps getting stuck with damage control. Plus, from Gossip and Lies: "Halls High was virtually unscathed by the school rezoning plan with only four students rezoned to Central. An unidentified teacher said he/she wants to pick which four."

While you're over there, check out the Beanster's column on the storm water ordinance. Yet another huge fiasco a long time in the making.

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Mon
Apr 16 2007
10:35 am

Another update on the state-wide cable franchise bill. The latest edition of the KNS's Greater Knoxville Business Journal has this point-counterpoint between an AT&T spokesperson and Knoxville City Councilman Rob Frost:

FROST: "Competition is good, but the competition AT&T is talking about providing is to a fraction of our society. AT&T can come in right now, but they would have to provide their service to everyone. AT&T doesn't want to play by the rules that everyone else has.

"They're going to provide competition to the wealthiest of the wealthy and no one else. Government should not be in the business of allowing the creation of economic classes. This is coming from someone who traditionally votes Republican, but right is right and wrong is wrong, and this is wrong."

Read the whole thing.

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Mon
Apr 16 2007
10:07 am
By: R. Neal  shortURL

Tom Humphrey at the KNS files this report on a proposed 2.5 cent per-gallon ethanol subsidy currently before the Tennessee General Assembly.

The "pilot" program would be targeted at nine East Tennessee counties. A Pilot Oil lobbyist is promoting the bill. According to the article, the cost would be somewhere around $3.3 million, based on an expected output of 60 million gallons from a producer in Knoxville. The article also mentions Bredesen's proposed $40 million "biomass ethanol production plant" in Oak Ridge.

I've pretty much decided that ethanol is the wrong path to pursue. Some experts say it takes more petroleum to produce ethanol than it replaces and that it's a net energy loss. It seems like a pretty primitive solution, too. We need bigger ideas. And there's already a 51 cent per-gallon federal ethanol subsidy, not to mention corn subsidies.

What if they used the $3.3 million to provide hybrid tax credits instead? A $1000 hybrid tax credit would encourage 3300 new hybrids on Tennessee's roads. Throw in Bredesen's $40 million for an ethanol plant, and that would stimulate purchase of 43,300 new hybrids.

If you figure 15K miles per year at 20MPG v. 15K miles per year at 35MPG, that's a reduction in fuel consumption of more than 14 million gallons per year. Throw in the federal subsidies, and we could all be driving free hybrids! Well, not quite, but you get the picture.

Who would argue with a policy that reduces fuel consumption by 14 million gallons per year and saves Tennessee motorists $37 million at the gas pumps?

Oh, wait...

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Mon
Apr 16 2007
08:55 am

According to a press release, members of the Tennessee Senate Environment, Conservation & Tourism Committee will visit Kyle's Ford on the Clinch River on Friday, April 20 to examine the effect that pollution from Virginia coal mines is having on the Tennessee waterway.

The committee has has heard testimony that Virginia mining...

Continued...

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It often starts with parents who don't welcome any questioning of their authority, and it has always been a prominent part of religion where only Popes and priests or the Good Book (be it the Bible or the Quaran) has the answer. At the workplace, employees obey the boss and follow routines that sometimes make no sense to them or their customers at all.

Yesterday I was at the Post Office waiting in a long line while one weary postal worker struggled to work as efficiently as possible. While waiting I saw a small cardboard sign boasting that the Post Office was trying its hardest to please me. It assured me that the postal employee I was about to confront would inform me about five wonderful services when I finally got up to the counter. If I was not told about these services, I could actually win a dollar! Yeah, I thought. Each employee had a couple of dollars pinned to their chest. If they failed to state all five services available, I could demand they give me one of their dollars. At first the thought gave me a little quiver of excitement. Wow maybe the guy would forget (hee hee!) and, I'd be a dollar richer, but as I stood there I began to question what this scheme really meant. It meant I'd be forced to listen to yet another monologue by a worker who was forced to deliver a script ala Hi I'm Mandy and I will be your server tonight. It meant I was going to be told about things I already knew about, whether I liked it or not. Hmmm, I thought. No wonder the line is so long!

Read more after the jump...

Continued...

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Mon
Apr 16 2007
07:39 am

The Knox County Commission is set to vote today on a resolution opposing the statewide cable franchise bill. More info here, background here.

UPDATE: Joe Powell on the disinformation campaign being run by the bill's promoters.

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Today Dick Cheney said he and the President "have every confidence in Attorney General Gonzalez and that they are "looking forward to the hearings concerning the firing of the U.S. Attorneys". Now really! Looking forward to the hearings? Oh, gee, the mirth and glee that must be pervading the White House at the prospect of yet another Congressional hearing into their wrong-doings must be fun to see.

Having Dick Cheney endorse your integrity today carries about as much weight as a duck feather. It's beyond my imagination to consider how the administration can keep believing statements like this actually bolster anyone's belief that there is nothing deceitful or sleazy going on. Don't they realize how empty that well-worn phrase--have every confidence in--has now become? You'd think after years of singing the same mantra, some advisor somewhere would knock one of them upside the head to get the needle unstuck.

Read more after the jump...

Continued...

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Sun
Apr 15 2007
02:12 pm

From TomDispatch.com, I was taken by the featured article written by librarian, Chris Ward, The Public Library As Asylum For The Homeless. Although from Salt Lake City, Ward writes about two important issues here in Knoxville and Knox County.

Homelessness is described from Ward's position on the frontline at the downtown library. His voice also convinces us of the importance of the public space provided when a community commits to an urban library.

Ward recently retired as the assistant director at the Salt Lake City Public Library. He's a little preachy* but he's earned the right for his career commitment. He says, "I like to think of our library as the civic ballroom of our community where citizens can practice that awkward dance of mutuality that is the very signature of a democratic culture." The value of the library as a public gathering place is an overarching principle that makes it possible for him to persevere because some day’s encounters yield only frustrating despair.

Inseparable from discussion of downtown libraries are urban transients, the homeless, the outcast. We all know what this problem is – it’s the stinky ick factor or the awkwardness of being within earshot of a schizophrenic...

Continued...

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Sun
Apr 15 2007
01:57 pm

Dope on the Slope has a funny story that starts with a holy card...

Topics:
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Sun
Apr 15 2007
11:15 am

This is one of those blog memes I got tagged with. If you're interested in that sort of thing, click "read more"...

Continued...

Topics:
145
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Sat
Apr 14 2007
08:43 pm

Some posters here appear to think that this school rezoning proposal under consideration is routine. It isn't. A systemwide school rezoning proposal of the sort under consideration now has NEVER BEFORE been suggested by Knox County Schools.

Several school communities slated for rezoning, including my own, have no overcrowding or underutilization problems either one, but are nevertheless included in the community-wrecking shuffle.

ARE PEOPLE AWARE THAT THIS SYSTEMWIDE REZONING PROPOSAL IS A FIRST? THAT IT IS DESTROYING COMMUNITIES, AND DESTROYING SOME OF THEM COMPLETELY WITHOUT REASON?

See: (link...)

Read more after the jump...

Continued...

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Sat
Apr 14 2007
06:21 pm

Despite the gloomy weather predictions (which likely kept some folks home) the rain held off long enough for the Dogwood Arts Festival parade in Downtown Knoxville. So we took a break and headed downtown to check it out.

We were surprised, though, that only one high school band showed up for what was supposed to be a band competition (and the bands were mainly who we went to see). At least the one band that showed up was Austin-East. They rock. I guess the other bands figured they didn't have a chance against A-E, so they stayed home.

UPDATE: Apparently there was one other band, an ROTC band that we missed because we got there late. We also missed the Lady Vols, who were the official parade marshals.

Photos after the jump.

Continued...

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Sat
Apr 14 2007
03:52 pm

The male goldfinches have really "yellowed up" in the last few days at this location. The brown leaves were new Spring growth killed by the recent freezes.

Continued...

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Sat
Apr 14 2007
08:56 am

Unfortunately, the surge is only making a dent. You'd think it would be more successful seeing all the bad guys have fled the city or been told to lie low for awhile. There have been more attacks outside Baghdad, some in towns once considered models of reconstruction. I wonder if the Baghdad surge will cause more problems for people living outside that city?

It's so obvious we can't control the on-going slaughter of civilian Iraqis, even though that's our responsibilty as an occupier. Everyone keeps saying our soldiers are dying in order to help the Iraqi people, but most Iraqis would rather take their chances with their own enemies or factions than with this on-going mess. The kindest thing in the long run for the Iraqi people would be for us to leave. They might end up oppressed again, but hey, so many say they were better off under the evil dictator than they are today. Funny thing is they are probably right.

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102
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Sat
Apr 14 2007
07:36 am

WEATHER UPDATE: The approaching storms are breaking up a little and there are some patches of sky showing. Looks like there's a chance the rain will hold off long enough for the parade.

The weather forecast is not encouraging, but here are some Dogwood Arts Festival events lined up for Downtown Knoxville today:

Parade:

11 AM: Dogwood Arts Festival Parade and Band Competition, Gay Street, Downtown Knoxville. Floats, Helium Balloons, Bands, Equestrian and Llama units along with specialty entries.

Market Square:

11 AM - 10 PM: Arts and craft show, 60 artisans displaying painting, pottery, glass, jewelry,woodwork, metal, and various hand-made goods.

11 AM - 10 PM: Art in the Park with the Oak Ridge Art Center demonstrating pottery fired in the Raku method; and lost-cast jewelry using Salt, and other projects.

11:30 AM -7:30 PM: Kids Art Activities with the KMA, Knox County Library & ORNL FCU

Entertainment on Market Square:

Saturday, Main Stage
• 1-1:50 Danny Gammon and Toolebender – Old Time
• 2-2:50 Naughty Knots – Old Time
• 3-3:50 Jolt Wagon – Alt-country
• 4-4:50 Kyle Campbell and Jen Duke – Singer Songwriters
• 5-5:50 Maid Rite String Band – Old Time
• 6:10–7 Lonesome Coyotes – Western Swing
• 7:15-7:45 Gypsy Hands – Belly Dancing
• 8-10 VOCO – World Music

Saturday, Family Stage
• 12:30 Puppet Show
• 1:00 Suzuki Violins
• 1:30 Faye Wooten, storytelling
• 2:00 Puppet Show
• 2:30 Faye Wooten, storytelling
• 3-3:50 Sean McCullough and Phil Pollard – kids music
• 4-5:30 Poetry with local poets

SUNDAY on Market Square:

Noon to 5 PM: Dogwood Arts Festival Bluegrass Blowout. Alex Leach & Friends, Cumberland Gap Connection, Wade Hill & the Hillians, Jack Hatfield and more, sponsored by East Tennessee's Own WDVX. Plus arts and crafts show, kids activities, and more.

Ongoing:

Krutch Park: Art in Public Places: Big Art-Big Impact. Installation of 12 large-scale sculptures by artists Wayne Trapp, Richard Hallier, Mike Roig, Moema Furtado and Taylor Wallace.

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Sat
Apr 14 2007
07:21 am

Not that it has ever mattered much to us, we usually file a few days early, Income Taxes are due April 17th this year. Normally, income taxes would be due on April 16th, the 15th is on a Sunday. This year taxes are due one day later because there is a holiday in Washington, D.D., Emancipation Day.

According to my accountant, the Emancipation Day holiday in DC is when Lincoln declared slaves free in DC as a predecessor to freeing all slaves in the United States. Since this is a holiday in DC and the IRS offices are located in DC, IRS employees honor this holiday. Thus, you have one more day to file this year before deciding on an extension.

Also, according to the AP article, "Some 54 percent of tax filers say their returns are sent electronically, and that number is rapidly growing." We don't file electronically. Don't want to. Don't know if we could even if we wanted to. Who here files their Income Taxes electronically? Use the poll to register your response.

63
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Sat
Apr 14 2007
07:17 am
Fri
Apr 13 2007
01:57 pm

I think the only people so-called liberals feel should have un-censored 100%free speech are those who say way out wacky stuff about the president and Jesus. The mass hysteria about the Dixie Chicks and last year the Book of Daniel show was the same as what is going on with Imus. It got many stations to ban the Chicks and got Daniel-which said wacky stuff about Jesus canceled. College athletes and fans do need a thick skin, hang out at UT during a Fla. game and see what I mean. I've heard way, way dirtier comedians than Imus, Sarah Silverman is the latest, she trashes blacks, Asians and Jesus and most everything else. But no, she doesn't have a radio show. I grew up on Archie Bunker, who could not survive in today's sanitized world.

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