Wed
Mar 28 2007
12:12 pm

Here's an update on the situation with Democratic State Sen. Rosalind Kurita, who cast the deciding vote for Republican State Sen. Ron Ramsey for Speaker and Lt. Governor, and State Sen. Mike Williams, who recently jumped the GOP ship to become an independent after also voting for Ramsey.

Senate Democrats passed a resolution welcoming Williams to caucus with them without requiring him to declare himself a Democrat, and recognizing every member's duty to vote their conscience based on the merits of the issues instead of partisan considerations.

Republicans weren't so magnanimous. Apparently, Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey tried to have Williams removed from the Senate Education Committee, asking Sen. Randy McNally to take his place. According to a source, McNally refused because a) Ramsey wanted him to vote against the Governor's education proposals, and b) removing Williams from a committee would be bad PR for Ramsey.

On a related note, Ramsey named Kurita Senate speaker pro tem in return for her vote, and bonus, she got an expanded office out of the deal -- an expansion that annexed most of Sen. Williams' office space.

Williams was moved to a different building, but not without a parting shot. Yesterday, he introduced a proposal that would require 30 days public notice for all legislative office space construction plans and approval by the state architect and building commission. (Williams says the idea originally came from Republican Caucus chair Sen. Diane Black.)

Sources also tell us that Senate Republicans, led by Sen. Paul Stanley, have been courting Kurita to switch sides and join the GOP. She hasn't yet of course -- I think we would have heard about that -- but she is said to be doing some PR work with Ramsey's deputy chief of staff Lance Frizzell.

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Wed
Mar 28 2007
11:35 am

The creative "sports complex zoning" proposal previously discussed here is coming under fire. The Maryville Daily Times has a front page article about it today, noting that Commission Chairman Robert Ramsey wants to slow down and take a more prudent approach.

The Raven Society says "these proposals undermine the public’s clear desire to preserve the rural and natural character of Blount County, and they present a disturbing challenge to quality growth in Blount County."

County Mayor Jerry Cunningham says the Raven Society's idea of growth is "no growth" and suggests that they aren't telling the whole truth about the negative economic impact of the proposals.

County Commissioner Wendy Pitts Reeves says in the article that "If these zoning regulations pass, it will be disastrous for Blount County. The changes we are being asked to make do not simply apply to this one proposed sports complex on 411 South. They apply to the whole county." Wendy has more at her blog.

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Wed
Mar 28 2007
10:54 am

In his speech today, Bush mentioned some really positive comments by Iraqi bloggers who were pleading for our troops to stay there...funny though...he never mentioned them by name. Hmmmm....I wonder why?

Topics:
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Wed
Mar 28 2007
09:44 am

The Tennessee House Republican Caucus had open house for bloggers yesterday. "Blogger Day on the Hill" was originally planned as an invitation only event for conservative bloggers. (Which is sort of strange, seeing as how the Tennessee Legislature is open to the public.) After some complaints, it got opened up to all bloggers.

Aunt B. has amusing accounts (scroll down to March 27). Volunteer Voters has more. Looks like it might take another day or so for those who attended to digest it all and write it up.

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Wed
Mar 28 2007
07:09 am
By: rocketsquirrel  shortURL

Off of one of my tech RSS feeds, I discovered a new web site today. ToonDo, which just launched today, may turn out to be as popular as Youtube. Click the cartoon to view full size.

Life in Knoxville

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Tue
Mar 27 2007
07:37 pm

Just got back from a walk along the nature trail at the Chimneys Picnic Area in the National Park. The wildflowers are really putting on a fantastic show this year. I don't recall in previous years seeing the early bloomers like spring beauty, hepatica, and trout lilies being in bloom at the same time as sweet white trillium (above) and phacelia. I even saw some dutchman's breeches on the side of the trail. In one easy walk you can see the best of the Smokies in Springtime, and on the drive up from Sugarlands you'll see entire mountainsides covered in phacelia and trillium. I don't know if this display will last to the weekend. I recommend playing hooky one day this week and taking a walk on this nature trail.

Continued...

Tue
Mar 27 2007
07:06 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL
183
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Tue
Mar 27 2007
06:54 pm
By: WhitesCreek  shortURL

Some nice person took it upon themself to set the woods on fire yesterday morning. Sometimes these creeps use a fuse and sometimes they just throw some burning paper out of a car and keep going. The fire erupted after one a.m. we figured. My neighbor called just before five and we headed out to cut fire lines. We kept the fire to about 12 acres but the drive up to the house is well blackened and some of the beetle pines that have been lying around are still smoldering.

I took the evening lap around the fire line and noticed how many deer tracks there were in the dozier cut. The State fire guys showed up with their machines before daylight and added to our hand line. I figure they kept the fire to half what it would have been without them. They had been on the Campbell County fire all weekend and told us they had just closed their eyes when the call came in. They were operating on two hours sleep for the weekend but they jumped up and went right back on the fire line.

We're not going to hear any bad words about State Employees. These guys are everyday heros and are totally under-appreciated. The local Roane County Firemen are Volunteers and they were first on the scene. Yeah, there have been some crazies but we're down to the solid core out here, now. Whenever they send out a fund request, I get out the check book.

Peace,

Steve

45
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Tue
Mar 27 2007
05:42 pm

Financial Institutions (banks, credit unions) are supposed to be experts on their products, savings, deposits, loans, etc.

Not!

Received a notice the other day a CD was maturing and would automatically renew unless we called. The CD was a 4 month 4.44 APY, 4.38 APR. The maturity value was incorrect. Called the FI and asked them about it. They took a while to calculate the interest, couldn't do 4 months but based on a 3 month (90 day) CD, I was correct. The notice showed the wrong maturity value with the interest approximately 85% lower than it should have been. Asked for a corrected notice. They can't really do it. The computer generates these notices. It will probably post the correct interest, says the clerk. All should be okay.

Well, I'm definitely no accountant, but I do know how to manage finances, and have a handy little tool to calculate interest. I explained to the clerk, I'm not trying to be mean, but a FI should know how to handle this and make the correction. Transferred to the manager, who is busy. Left a message. Haven't heard back.

Why is it the ordinary consumer, me, has to be such an expert in finance, autos, healthcare, home repair, etc. these days?

Does anybody know what time it is? Does anybody care? I think I'll call the President.

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Tue
Mar 27 2007
02:05 pm

April 15 - 22

There are some great hikes in East TN and here's a chance to go on one of them with some folks who know more than most of us. Actually all of TN events are on the schedule. Time to dust off the old hiking sneakers before it's too danged hot.

Natural Areas Week

40
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Tue
Mar 27 2007
12:13 pm

In case anyone has missed the news from Iraq, there have been 77 coalition deaths in the Iraq war in March, 2007, 76 US soldiers and 1 UK soldier. There have been over 3,200 US fatalities and over 23,000 US soldiers wounded fighting in Iraq since 2003.

Iraqi problems in just the last couple of days:

...
35 people were killed in two truck bombs and around 50 more wounded.
...
One Iraqi soldier was killed and two wounded in a roadside blast
...
suicide car bomber blew up his vehicle outside a popular restaurant on a main road north of Ramadi, killing at least 17 people and wounding 32
...
Four people were killed and 14 wounded in a mortar attack
...
Six mortar rounds landed on a residential area in the of town Iskandariya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad and killed five civilians and wounded 11 on Monday...

42
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Tue
Mar 27 2007
08:31 am
By: rocketsquirrel  shortURL

Back in the day, letting an inmate escape from Knoxville's downtown jail might cost you an election.

This inmate rode the elevator to the sixth floor and encountered County Spokesman (and former Sheriff's Deputy) Dwight Van de Vate and Sheriff's Office Administrator Lee Tramell before he escaped from the City County Building.

I would be rolling on the floor in laughter were it not for the fact that WATE announced this morning that the escapee has not been caught and it is now Day Two. (their words.)

Feeling safe, anyone? this guy was bound for Maximum Security before he escaped.

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Giovanni was born in Knoxville and chose to launch her new book here. "On My Journey Now: Looking at African-American History Through the Spirituals" honors the way slaves used gospels to give them hope and strength during the darkest of times. Giovanni's poems appear in almost every literary anthology focusing on modern writers. She's a veteran of the civil rights movement and has a strong sense of history. Her poetry is tough, often urban, and politically radical. Like her message or not, like Rap music or not, she sure has a way with words and she speaks for a lot of people.

40
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Tue
Mar 27 2007
07:53 am

Born March 27, 1963, in good ol' Knox Patch. One Quentin Tarantino. source: Biography.com. Looks like he got out as fast as he could.

44
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Tue
Mar 27 2007
07:13 am

The 40 cents per pack increase in the cigarette tax that would fund Gov. Bredesen's Schools First initiative will be in the Tennessee General Assembly Senate Finance Committee this morning (9:30 AM EDT, 8:30 AM CDT).

According to a recent KNS article, Knox County's school system is short $11 million. An analysis by Senate Democrats shows Knox County would get more than $3.3 million additional funding for education from the cigarette tax. Blount County would get more than $1.5 million, Anderson County would get more than $1.1 million. and Sevier County would get more than $2.4 million.

This would be the equivalent of a 1.54% property tax increase in Knox County, 2.73% in Blount County, 3.18% in Anderson County, and 5.76% in Sevier County.

And here's an interesting article on tobacco lobby influence in the Tennessee legislature.

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Mon
Mar 26 2007
07:34 pm

Sure seems early to see these guys.

41
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Mon
Mar 26 2007
06:04 pm
By: michael kaplan  shortURL

The KCDC Public Hearing on the Downtown North/I-275 Corridor Redevelopment and Urban Renewal Plan is scheduled to take place tomorrow (Tuesday) at some unannounced time. (I assume it's at 5 pm.) The hearing itself is not listed on the KCDC website.

It occurred to me that there may be no neighborhood associations representing the areas within the plan. Old North Knoxville, 4th and Gill, and Oakwood/Lincoln Park are all outside the boundaries of the plan.

Topics:
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Mon
Mar 26 2007
04:30 pm

taking a chance on a YouTube clip --
Geno shoves his assistant coach out of his way when she gets between him and the ref.

(link...)

48
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Mon
Mar 26 2007
02:00 pm

I need some legal advice. I also need some guidance.

Per Randy Neal's request to me to not link Copyrighted material from YouTube on KnoxViews I requested via email permission from Community Television of Knoxville (CTV) to continue to provide Knox County Commission meetings on YouTube as I have done for several months now.

I received a reply email from David Vogel, the General Manager of CTV. It read, “Please remove all segments of the Knox County Commission Meetings that you have uploaded to YouTube, until proper copyright clearance has been obtained.”

Read more after the jump ...

Continued...

109
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Mon
Mar 26 2007
11:25 am

No wonder recuriting is down.

UPDATE: Recruiting, too.

41
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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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