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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Mon
Mar 26 2007
10:43 am
By: R. Neal  shortURL

As a follow up to the somewhat depressing discussion of long-term care here recently, C.E. Petro has an interesting and disturbing post about long-term care insurance.

43
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Mon
Mar 26 2007
09:02 am

Here's a pretty cool state by state aggregator called BlogNetNews. Looks like it started in Virginia, and they have recently added Tennessee. It appears a lot of work went into it.

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52
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Mon
Mar 26 2007
08:00 am

Someone e-mailed me recently regarding a project they are working on to ask what are the big issues that people are talking about in Tennessee.

Here's what I told him...

Continued...

48
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Mon
Mar 26 2007
07:56 am

Knoxville Voice has this article about animal abuse in Knox County.

Among other things, the article points out that chained dogs are really dangerous, Knox County Animal Control will not investigate anonymous animal abuse complaints (although Knoxville Animal Control will), and the Knoxville-Knox County shelter is one of the only shelters in this region that adopts out pit bulls.

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89
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Sun
Mar 25 2007
07:38 pm

Planet Earth series / Discovery tv channel on now!

Breath taking photography!

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43
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Sun
Mar 25 2007
06:16 pm

Been out shopping for a hybrid this weekend. Think we've narrowed it down to the Honda Civic Hybrid or the Toyota Prius.

(Eliminated the Camry Hybrid early on because of higher price and lower MPG, but man, they've got a nice one with leather, moonroof, and all the toys which they claim gets 40 MPG in the city but user reports say otherwise. Plus, it's about $33K. You can't get the Altima hybrid here yet, but it's positioned about the same as the Camry.)

What do y'all think? Civic Hybrid or Prius?

Prius pros: Hatchback, fold-down seats give more cargo capacity and greater convenient. Runs more on electric motor. Higher EPA mileage rating (EPA 60/51, user reported avg. 44). Slightly better acceleration. Slightly roomier in the back seats.

Prius cons: Ugly, ugly, ugly. Goofy touch screen to control most everything in the cockpit. I want to drive my car, not program it. Goofy startup procedure and gear shifting. Did I mention ugly?

Civic Hybrid pros: Looks and functions more like a "normal" car. Handles great, better ride, more fun to drive. Better layout and operation of cockpit functions and controls. Better visibility out the rear window for backing up. Has separate starter battery so you can jump it off if necessary.

Civic Hybrid cons: Smaller trunk capacity and no fold-down seats. Slightly less room in the back seat. (And no cupholders!) ICE motor runs more frequently, slightly less MPG (EPA 49/51, user reported avg. 43). Not quite as peppy. (Although neither car will be winning any drag races any time soon.)

Pricing is about the same for base models at around $23K. One difference, though, is that the Civic Hybrid has no options except navigation system, and the base model is nicely equipped. With the Prius, you can get leather seats, navigation, comfort packages, etc. etc. You can also run the price up over $30K. (Sorry, ain't no way I'm paying that.) One other nice option for the Prius is the backup video camera, but on the other hand you almost need it because of the poor view out the rear window.

I like the Civic Hybrid because of handling, ride, and "normal car" styling and operation. The Mrs. likes the techno-geek factor of the Prius, and we both like the hatchback/fold-down seats.

So, any Prius or Civic Hybrid owners out there? What do y'all think?

(P.S. Can't compare stereos. The Civic has an adequate to nice system that is XM and Aux/I-Pod ready. So does the Prius, but apparently they can't leave some fuse in because the battery will run down and the salesman was too lazy to install it so we didn't get to hear the stereo or work the $5K option package navigation system. Advantage: Honda sales person.)

68
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Sun
Mar 25 2007
01:48 pm
By: Les Jones  shortURL

On Saturday I got to try Backroom BBQ. It's at the old Lucille's space in Knoxville's Old City, and is part of the Patrick O'Sullivan's enterprise. I had the Pit Sampler, with a quarter rack of pork ribs, beef brisket, chicken, and pulled pork for the very fair price of $13.95 with two sides. I couldn't eat it all and wound up bringing the ribs home.

The beef brisket was very tasty. The chicken was boring, as BBQ chicken tends to be unless it's spicy. The pulled pork was very nicely smoked, and I enjoyed the ribs for my Sunday brunch.

Sauces on the table are Memphis-style sweet and tangy BBQ and Carolina-style BBQ which is less tomato and more vinegar and therefore hotter (and thinner). Knoxville is about halfway between the two styles geographically, so it's nice they offer both. Both sauces were good. I liked their Carolina sauce better.

Jay had the pulled pork sandwich and was very happy with the size of the meal for the modest price. About six bucks as I recall.

The sides were a weak point. The hushpuppies were overdone, the coleslaw was on the bland side, and the flat-sliced potatoes were completely overcooked. Corn on the cob - one of my favorites - is only available deep-fried, which is an abomination of nature. Granted I didn't taste it, but based on past experience with fried corn they could have thrown the ears on the smoker and gotten corn that was both tastier and healthier.

The place was not what anyone would call clean or snazzy. I expect authentic BBQ joints to be a little grungy, but Lucille's was a classy enough jazz dive and Sullivan's is a nice enough place, so it seems like Backroom BBQ's grunginess is a combination of overeager pseudo-authenticity and a general lack of cleanliness. I may have been a little sensitive because I had the kids with me, so judge for yourself. If you can deal with the hygiene standards at the usual run of BBQ joints you probably won't mind, and Backroom's 'cue is good and the price is right.

53
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Sun
Mar 25 2007
09:01 am
By: WhitesCreek  shortURL

Karl Rove is a paid employee of the United States, and yet reports are that he sends 95% of his email correspondence over a RNC server. This has National Security ramifications that go well beyond the basic impropriety of being a Republican party operative on the public payroll.

We don't have to think very long or very hard to come up with the real reason Bush is stonewalling efforts to get Rove to testify before Congress under oath. And the only possible reason Alberto Gonzales is still in place is that if he goes down, he'll take his bosses with him.

Now go check the Tennessee connection...Hi, Bob.

Steve

37
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Sat
Mar 24 2007
08:34 pm
By: StaceyDiamond  shortURL

I'm curious, if we got a new charter for Metro Gov., would that void the city and county charters including the term limits? If so, that could be a way for Moore and Co. to continue to "serve" the public. Metro Gov. seemed a good idea at one time, but currently I don't want to see the power in Knox any more concentrated than it is. Appointing the fee officers might be an OK idea though, I'm not sure if constant turn-over is needed in those offices.

45
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Sat
Mar 24 2007
02:15 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL

Click to enlarge.

We planted some violas in pots on the front porch a couple of years ago, and they spread their seeds and are taking over. They make nice ground cover, though. They seem to like this spot.

Another view...

Continued...

37
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Sat
Mar 24 2007
09:01 am

One of the cool things about living in Central Florida was watching Space Shuttle launches. Going over to the coast to watch a launch close up was truly awe-inspiring, but you could see them from just about anywhere. Then the sonic boom from Shuttles approaching the Kennedy Space Center on return would startle you right out of your seat.

I remember going out on the roof of our office building to watch the Shuttle launch carrying the Hubble telescope into orbit. I also remember pulling over on the side of I-4 to watch the odd-looking trails and cloud of smoke from one launch, thinking something didn't look right, and hearing something on the radio about a "major malfunction" involving the Challenger. The cloud of smoke hung over Central Florida all afternoon like a pall of gloom. Nobody got any work done that day.

The NYT has an article about the end of the Space Shuttle program and its effect on local culture in Merritt Island, FL. The article says there are at most fourteen more scheduled Shuttle missions before the program is phased out in 2010.

The next scheduled mission is STS-117 aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis. Astronauts and scientists will install new solar panel arrays on the International Space Station. The mission has been delayed for repairs to an external fuel tank that was damaged during a recent hail storm. NASA is hoping for a May launch.

NASA's last scheduled ISS Shuttle mission is STS-133, set for July of 2010. Once the Space Shuttle is phased out, resupply and crew transport for the International Space Station will be handled by the Russian Soyuz and Progress vehicles.

NASA's next big project is Constellation, with the goal of returning to the moon and later reaching Mars. Constellation ushers in a versatile new six-passenger Orion crew vehicle that can travel to the moon and also transport crew and supplies to the ISS. Two new Ares launch vehicles will be used to lift cargo and the Orion into orbit.

42
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Sat
Mar 24 2007
07:41 am

From the Morally Bankrupt Society Which Degrades and Objectifies Women for Fun and Profit department, Miss Tennessee wins the Miss USA competition. She is pretty hot, though. And talented.

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44
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Sat
Mar 24 2007
06:49 am
By: R. Neal  shortURL

Nissan has completed a voluntary reduction in force at two Tennessee manufacturing plants that results in the loss of 775 jobs, a 12.5% reduction.

That just about nets out the 750 new employees hired by Nissan when the State of Tennessee paid them $200 million in incentives to move their corporate headquarters to the Nashville area last year. That's in addition to the $200 million the state spent on expansions at the Smyrna and Decherd plants two years ago.

On a related note, this report says states like Tennessee are chasing the wrong kinds of jobs with the wrong kinds of incentives.

42
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Sat
Mar 24 2007
06:16 am
By: R. Neal  shortURL

Click to enlargeKnoxville City Council approved the sale of the S&W and adjacent Athletic House and WROL Buildings to a partnership that includes developer John Craig and architect Faris Eid for $527,625.

The article says the street level will be renovated for restaurant and retail, and upper floors will be office/condo.

The S&W was almost lost to construction of the new cinema. Read about the last minute plan that saved it here, and about the history of the S&W and other buildings on the 500 block of Gay Street here.

47
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Sat
Mar 24 2007
06:09 am

Knox County Commission Chairman Scott Moore plans to bring up the issue of metropolitan government as a discussion item at Monday's Knox County Commission meeting.

They took back the government but now they want to give it back. Lumpy is curiously not quoted.

44
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Fri
Mar 23 2007
09:53 pm

This may well be the proverbial straw.

47
like
Fri
Mar 23 2007
06:56 pm

Now they think rat poison made its way into the pet food chain. More here.

The incident has prompted hundreds of lawsuits, including a $25 million lawsuit in Knoxville. This latest news probably isn't going to help the defendants.

(As much as we love the Pupster, $25 million seems a little excessive. Stuff like this is what leads to "tort reform" that limits access to justice for those with legitimate claims. Although I'd probably want at least a million. OK, maybe I'd settle for less. But still.)

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56
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Bad corporate news like this always comes out on Friday afternoon.

E.W. Scripps announced voluntary reduction in force at the Knoxville News Sentinel and the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspapers in the form of buyouts.

Makes you wonder about these rumors that were swirling around. Companies are known to do a lot of window dressing when they have a suitor. Senior employees with higher salaries are easy targets.

Regardless, this is a shame. I heard somewhere that the KNS newsroom is at it's lowest staffing level in 25 years. Don't quote me on that because I don't have the hard facts, but I wouldn't doubt it.

47
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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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