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.

65
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Fri
Apr 13 2007
01:28 pm

I have also created an alternate proposal for rezoning.

Would you like to know how your new school performs compared to others? Visit SchoolMatters and follow the steps outlined after the jump.

You should end up with these results but if you click on the school names and others areas of the table (not mine..your results found at SchoolMatters) you will receive a wealth of information and charts.

School Reading Math ACT Average
Austin East 73.9 61.7 17.4
Bearden 97.8 94.1 23.3
Farragut 97.9 93.5 23.7
Powell 90.6 89.4 21.1
West 87.5 82.6 22.1
Fulton 83.9 77.6 18.3
Gibbs 87.0 80.6 20.3
Halls 90.4 89.2 22.0
Karns 92.7 95.2 21.4
South Doyle 85.1 79.6 20.7
Carter 90.3 87.0 20.0
Central 88.6 86.5 21.6
Data provided by SchoolMatters, a service of Standard and Poor's.


Click read more for instructons on generating your own comparison...

Continued...

135
like
Fri
Apr 13 2007
01:19 pm

Ethics coming to Sevier County soon. An ethics policy is required to be in place by June 30. The requirement for counties to adopt an ethics policy is part of the Ethics Reform Act of 2006, which came about after the Tennessee Waltz scandal involving the arrest of some state lawmakers.

I, for one, welcome ethics to Sevier County. I hope that the Ethics Committee in Sevier County is successful. They have a tremendous amount of work to do.

I am excited that our elected officials stand on the precipice eager to leap into the realm of ethical behavior! I sincerely hope they succeed!

Let's all wish them luck!

61
like
Fri
Apr 13 2007
12:01 pm

Turns out that

Wolfie is a s**thead

, opportunist, and somewhat less than completely moral. Who could have predicted that? /sarcasm

CAFKIA

Topics:
57
like
Fri
Apr 13 2007
11:36 am

Air Fest Postponed

Due to the gloomy weather forecast, the Air Fest event at Maryville College has been postponed from Saturday, April 14, to Saturday, April 28, from 5 pm-8 pm.

So see ya on the 28th ( not tomorrow!) at the Blount County AirFest.

Come on out. Ask EHAT- Blount County Environmental Health Action Team about the work it has done in the past. They have done studies on what we as Blount County residents want for our county. Ask them about those concerns because there has been very little coverage on this.

You might even want to read about it before you go.

The Harvey Broome Group Sierra Club will be there. Ask them about mountain top developments and these new fangled onsite wastewater systems that are changing the face of our mountains and wetlands.

Come on out, ask questions and question all the answers.

58
like
Fri
Apr 13 2007
10:35 am

That was one of the many lessons of Watergate. Now, as I'm sure you've heard, there is yet another revelation regarding the U.S. Attorney firings investigation reminiscent of the "18 minute gap":

The investigation has revealed that White House e-mails about official business — on electronic accounts intended for political matters — may be gone, in violation of a law that requires their preservation. Twenty-two White House officials, including political adviser Karl Rove, have the accounts sponsored by the Republican National Committee, administration officials say.

White House spokesman Scott Stanzel on Thursday could not rule out that some of the missing e-mails involved the attorney firings.

John Conyers, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has requested all of the RNC e-mails pertaining to the U.S. Attorney firings, but they have yet to comply. Conyers says "The White House position seems to be that executive privilege not only applies in the Oval Office, but to the RNC as well."

The RNC claims that prior to 2004 they had a policy to automatically purge e-mail archives on a regular basis. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy is skeptical: "They say they have not been preserved. I don't believe that!"

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington says there are more than five million missing e-mails, a violation of federal law.

It does seem odd that there are no backups. Republicans are supposed to be well-versed in Business 101 matters such as records retention and IT business continuity best practices and compliance audits and all that stuff. And weren't the personnel actions in question more recent than 2004?

But what's really puzzling about all this is that there's no real evidence that anyone has done anything illegal with regard to the U.S. Attorney firings. It's pretty well established that Bush is politicizing the Justice Department, but that's not necessarily a crime, is it?

So why the cover-up?

55
like
Fri
Apr 13 2007
10:22 am
By: rocketsquirrel  shortURL

Back, by semi-popular request...

drum roll...for you, Socialist with a Gold Card!

School daze

54
like
Fri
Apr 13 2007
09:16 am
By: cameronjbrooks  shortURL

Hello- my name is Cameron Brooks and I am an organizer with the Communications Workers of America.

I work for a union here in Knoxville called United Campus Workers. We are an organization of UT Faculty and Staff working to improve conditions for employees at the university. We are in the midst of pushing for a decent pay raise this year and have an email action alert campaign that we wanted to share with Knoxviews- here is a link to the action alert:

(link...)

UT employees have languished under less than decent pay raises over the past decade. Additionally, there is a huge problem with UT paying poverty wages. Please join with us in addressing this issue.

In Solidarity,

Cameron Brooks

56
like
Fri
Apr 13 2007
09:16 am
By: R. Neal  shortURL

State Sen. Tommy Kilby (D-Oakdale) reminds us of an upcoming sales tax holiday, Friday April 27th through Sunday April 29th. This is a special one-time exemption for 2007 in addition to the usual August sales tax holiday. More details at www.tntaxholiday.com.

119
like
Fri
Apr 13 2007
09:10 am
By: R. Neal  shortURL

WBIR has an interactive map showing the current and proposed school zones. You can enter your address and see how you will be affected. Click on the little round symbols to see the name of the school zone. The right column has settings for current and proposed zones.

137
like
Thu
Apr 12 2007
10:26 pm
By: rocketsquirrel  shortURL

Big Trouble: Solving Education Problems Means Rethinking Super-Size Schools and Districts. Focus on Utah. link.

does this sound familiar?

Abstract: Big school districts promised to hold down costs by centralizing functions under one roof and delivering a greater selection of academic offerings and activities, thus improving education. But they have not delivered. Up to a certain size, consolidation can save costs, but above that size, districts experience "diseconomies of scale," including misallocation of funds toward bureaucracy rather than instruction. On average, large districts' standardized test scores fall in the lower end of their expected ranges, while smaller districts' scores fall in the upper end of their ranges. Large schools are concentrated in large districts, and big schools experience the same problems as big districts. Parents are not happy with big districts--their complaints over test scores, curriculum, taxes, or anything else always come back to the issue of control. In a big district, the bureaucracy makes the important decisions, and parents feel alienated. Some districts have tried to create sub-schools that share a common school building or to create sub-districts or local councils, but they fail to address the issue of control. If administrators don't deal with the problem, frustrated citizens will take their complaints to the state, which will attempt to force quality. Limiting the size of districts and schools and creating smaller districts will improve academics and efficiency and encourage public participation by bringing issues back to the local level. This will spur innovation, flexibility, and commitment by parents and teachers.

128
like
Thu
Apr 12 2007
09:17 pm

This afternoon at work, a co-worker came up and said, "I'd like to introduce you to someone who's going to be doing some work for us." It was Rocketsquirrel. She said to Rocketsquirrel, pointing to me, "He also posts at KnoxViews."

Rocketsquirrel: "Oh, cool! ... Uh ... wait ... you aren't #9, are you?"

Me: "God, no."

Topics:
48
like
Thu
Apr 12 2007
06:44 pm

via WBIR

I'm very surprised that more attention hasn't been given to a possible failure of the Wolf Creek Dam. This could be catastrophic on a NO Katrina scale. Check out Davidson County. I hope any of you guys living in the inundation zones have flood insurance and a "get the hell out of Dodge" plan. According to the US Army Corps of Engineers the estimated damage in case of a failure is over $3 billion in damages...not to mention the possible loss of lives.

Link to view all maps here

132
like
Thu
Apr 12 2007
05:16 pm

CBS to permanently cease broadcast of Imus in the Morning, effective immediately.

54
like

The Tennessee Alliance for Progress is having it's fourth annual conference this weekend:

The Compass IV Conference will be held April 13-14, 2007 at the Cohn Adult Learning Center in West Nashville. This two-day gathering of progressives from around the state will feature networking, workshops, skill trainings, films, live music, the TAP Long Haul Awards and Silent Auction plus other events. This is THE statewide progressive gathering of the year in Tennessee. You don't want to miss it!

David Sirota, author of Hostile Takeover, and Paul Waldman, author of Being Right is Not Enough, will be keynote speakers.

We wanted to go this year, but real life and work related program activities intervened. If you're in the area, or up for a short drive to Nashville, it would be well worth your while to attend. Follow the links above for program and registration info.

Topics:
50
like
Thu
Apr 12 2007
12:36 pm

Unfortunately, many parents and students will look at the KCS rezoning plan from a neighborhood, or personal, point of view.

What is at stake here is larger. It is about quality of education for all of our students enrolled in public school.

Large megaschools are not as effective as smaller schools. So says the research, including the ground-breaking book, "High Schools on a Human Scale: How Small Schools Can Transform American Education."

Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates and his wife Melinda have a foundation that has committed more than $400 million in the past three years to making American high schools smaller, according to the Washington Post.

But unfortunately, Knox County only approaches these issues from an infrastructure and growth planning issue, not from the perspective of valid educational benefit to the students.

We have one high school in Knoxville sitting empty (Rule) while a new one is being built (Hardin Valley). We have growth throughout the county. Rule sits on only 7 acres of land, thus excluding it from consideration under the megaschool paradigm that is reflected in the leadership within the Knox County School System.

Using simple reasoning, if we have growth throughout the county, one megaschool built every 10 or 15 years will result in catastrophic rezoning every 10 or 15 years.

Do we want to shift 20% of our student population every 10 years, or do we want to bring the resources to their communities? That is the fundamental question.

The alternative: Build more, smaller, cheaper schools throughout the ever-growing Knox County, better personalizing the educational experience.

According to the author, several studies show "that high schools are more likely to be successful when they are small and personalized -- when they have four to five hundred students and stress long-term relationships between students and teachers, individualized attention, extra help for struggling students, and an adult advocate for every student. Smaller schools encourage stronger bonds between students and teachers and generate a level of genuine caring and mutual obligation between them that's found far less frequently in comprehensive high schools."

"Students and teachers, as a result, tend to work harder on each other's behalf. Student and teacher attendance and student involvement in extracurricular activities are higher in smaller high schools. Teacher turnover and disciplinary problems are lower. So are dropout rates. There's less tracking in smaller schools. And a wide range of studies reveal that average student achievement is as high as and often higher than that in large schools, particularly among students from impoverished backgrounds."

165
like
Thu
Apr 12 2007
10:54 am

Sad Day for Sevier County
By James J. Wilson

The Cove Mtn. project (High Bridge PUD) was approved by the Sevier County Planning Commission (PC) last night by a 7 to 4 vote.

There were many questions about the legality of the documents the developer (Kenneth Whaley, also a county commissioner) submitted.

Specifically, the developer presented a 1971 deed that just turned up yesterday that, they say gives them the 50 foot Right of Way (ROW) necessary to access their project.

You may recall that the PC voted to deny this same permit last month because of just that ROW question.

There was an overflow crowd waving signs and being very vocal, as you might imagine. Both commissioners from the district that this PUD is forced upon were pleading with their fellow commissioners to defer the vote until such time that the legality of the documentation could be verified.

Remember that this same commissioner, Kenneth Whaley and his partners at Southern Design are the same ones whose last PUD went belly up and has left scars across Webb Mountain that is causing severe erosion of a pristine waterway even today.

The commissioners had a motion (and second) on the table with a recommendation for approval from the County Planer, Jeff Owenby, before they accepted any public comments.

Five people spoke against the project and raised many questions.

The County Planner did not choose to amend his recommendation and it was hastily passed.

(more after the break)

Continued...

54
like
Thu
Apr 12 2007
10:29 am

I posted this to Reality Me but it should have been posted here to reach the masses. As a reminder, if you do not have children, this decision by the school board could impact your property value. If you have young children, they will be in high school sooner than you think, and this rezoning will likely be a model for the middle school and elementary rezoning which will follow soon.

On Aug 3 2006, Sam Anderson ran unopposed for the School Board 1st District, Dan Murphy ran unopposed for the School Board 4th District, Thomas A Deakins beat H Lee Martin by 372 votes for the School Board 6th District, Rex Stooksbury ran unopposed for the School Board 7th District, and Robert Bratton ran unopposed for the School Board 9th District. I am not sure about the other districts.

According to two commenters on No Silence Here, at least one school board member's neighborhood seemed to escape rezoning. (can anyone verify this? are there others?)

Isn't it amazing that Karen Carson's neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods are no longer in the rezoning area????????? Hmmmmmmmmmmm. Gee, what a coincidence. [Source]

I noticed that Chairwoman Karen Carson's neighborhood did not get rezoned to either Bearden or Hardin Valley even though the area is sandwiched between those being rezoned. Just curious if any school board members' neighborhoods are being rezoned? [Source]

Are we, the people, being properly represented by our elected officials or have these elected officials found an easy way to serve their own best interests? Seems to me that if I had the foresight to want to greatly influence this rezoning that I should have simply run for the School Board. If the majority of the people do not want this rezoning approved and it happens anyway, then the democratic process is failing and we, the people, need to remove the elected officials from their duties and replace them with officials that will better represent the people's wishes.

Now we beg the question, what does the majority want?

135
like

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