Jan 20 2007
11:45 am

Condoleeza Rice:

"There is no doubt that there could be a very important effect on the entire region if we are able to make progress on Middle East peace."

Brilliant. Has there ever been a more worthless, ineffective cabinet member of any administration?

Even Donald Trump says he would fire her.

Jan 20 2007
09:41 am

KnoxViews was officially launched one year ago today. Thanks to all our readers and contributors for making the first year a big success.

Site traffic has grown steadily each month. It was down slightly in December, but January 2007 could be on pace to set a new record.

Some statistics (from Webalizer*):

February 2006 - January 20, 2007:
Total page views: 3,751,251
Total visits: 987,646

Fourth Quarter 2006:
Average monthly page views: 481,949
Average monthly visits: 141,359

January 2007:
Page views per Day: 14,791 avg, 20,102 max
Visits per Day: 4827 avg, 6014 max

February 2006 (first full month of operation):
Page views per Day: 3804 avg, 5199 max
Visits per Day: 918 avg, 1055 max

(*Statistics may include spiders and bots.)

Registered users: 664
Number of posts: 3105
Number of comments: 16,966

Reader demographics survey (Sept. 2006)

Reader location survey (Aug. 2006)

Top five most discussed posts:

Where is the glass dome?

Disaster Preparedness for the Less Fortunate

Worst. Mother. Ever.

Jordan et al. v. Knox County: TERM LIMITS ENFORCED

Fleming's Steak House at Turkey Creek

Jan 19 2007
10:33 pm

Check out the following announcement. This is something I've been following closely and am pretty excited about. I attended two the workshops mentioned below.

(sarcasm on)#9, you can tell us why this will kill downtown and how Haslam won't have to assume the blame.(sarcasm off)

The Feb. 8 MPC meeting should be interesting - both the south waterfront FBC and these guidelines are on the agenda.

The Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) Staff, working with Mayor Haslam's Downtown Design Guidelines Steering Committee, has drafted provisions for a D-1 Downtown Design Zoning Overlay and accompanying design guidelines. The purpose is to provide review of public and private projects fostering an attractive and safe downtown. MPC held a series of workshops to draft the guidelines and proposed overlay boundary. Two public meetings will be held to hear your thoughts on the adoption of this overlay and the guidelines.

A Downtown Open House: Tuesday, January 23, 2007, 4:00-6:00 pm, City County Building, 400 Main Street

A Public Hearing at MPC's Regular Meeting: Thursday, February 8, 2007, 1:30 PM, City County Building, 400 Main Street

For more information the draft guidelines are available at
(link...) (the PDF file is 4.3 MB and may take a few moments to download). Hardcopies of the document will be available at the January 23rd meeting.

Anne Wallace and Mike Carberry

Jan 19 2007
07:07 pm

Gene Patterson reports at his blog that Scoobie Moore is now calling for County Commission to fill all vacancies in special vote on Jan. 31st with NO PUBLIC HEARINGS.

OK, then.

UPDATE: The KNS has this report on the Jan. 31st anointments. Scoobie Moore says he has ten commissioners lined up in support of the plan, which are enough to carry it. (I guess that would be Scoobie, Lumpy and the eight being ousted?) Lumpy Lambert is curiously not quoted.

UPDATE: In related news, Georgiana is back and posting at Michael Silence's place. She has some scuttlebutt from the South Knox 9th District .

UPDATE: Remarks by former Knox County Democratic Party Chairman Jim Gray regarding a resolution adopted this week by the party:

"The first resolution simply addresses the fact that there will be an election to fill the various jobs for the remainder of the term that started August 1, 2006. We'd like to see that election sooner rather than later. The resolution does not ask that there be an election instead of appointments. Those are expected; we just want them to be short and the voters to get a second chance at filling the jobs directly ASAP."

Jan 19 2007
07:05 pm

Just announced: Knox Co. Commission Chair Scott Moore has called a special County Commission meeting on January 31st for the appointments to take place. No mention of public hearings or a forum for the people to learn about the potential new commissioners.

Word also has it that special deference will be given to the departing eight commissioners with them making the first (and possible only!!) nominations on their replacements. AND, many commissioners not only feel this is good, but will vote for who the term-limited ones nominate!

So much for democracy and representative government. It is government for the cronies, by the cronies.

Jan 19 2007
03:10 pm

Bernadette West sentenced to two years prison, two years probation. The Knoxville News Sentinel files this report.



The City of Alcoa has drafted a new animal control ordinance. Here's a recent Maryville Daily Times article on it.

Here's the full draft of the proposed new ordinance (PDF format).

Overall it looks like a good ordinance that puts safety and animal welfare first and foremost. (Bonus: there's a pooper scooper provision complete with fines.) There are a couple of minor exceptions (and one major exception: see 10-133) that might need re-thinking. Take a look and tell us what you think in comments. Ours are listed after the jump.

By the way, did you know there is an existing requirement to register your pets in Alcoa? We didn't. The Mrs. already went down this morning to get Pupster legal. Act now and avoid the increased fees!

Read more after the jump....


Jan 18 2007
08:33 pm

Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives make good on their First 100 Hours agenda with time to spare:

Democrats accomplished their early legislative goals in 87 hours, adopting new ethics rules and passing bills raising the minimum wage, expanding taxpayer financed research into embryonic stem cells, forcing more homeland security measures, directing the federal government to negotiate for cheaper Medicare prescription drugs and lowering interest rates on subsidized student loans.

Bonus, today they passed a measure rolling back tax breaks for oil companies and recouping billions in lost royalties. Now it's up to the Senate to deliver.

Jan 18 2007
05:14 pm
By: Bill Lyons  shortURL

I know many folks here are interested in Downtown and surrounding neighborhoods. I am sorry to announce that Jill Van Beke has resigned as Deputy Director – Downtown in the City of Knoxville’s Policy Development Department where she did a great job in a tough and demanding position. Jill is staying in Knoxville and will be working downtown in the private sector.

We have brought Madeleine Weil to take over for Jill in working with me on downtown and other issues, especially related to the surrounding neighborhoods. Madeleine grew up in Missouri and received her BA Magna Cum Laude from Carleton College where she majored in American Studies. She has a MA from Yale University in Environmental Management and later worked for the City of New Haven as an environmental planner. She also was a policy analyst and was involved in a number of downtown issue areas and worked with a variety of stakeholder groups. Madeleine received Connecticut’s Green Circle Award for environmental contributions in 2004. She wrote the smart growth proposal included in the Connecticut Governor’s climate change action plan.

Madeleine and her husband, Bob Morrissey came to Knoxville in August. They live in the Island Home community. Bob recently joined the History department at UT as an assistant professor. Madeleine is replacing Jill and Bob is replacing Bruce Wheeler. No pressure there!

I have already introduced Madeleine to a number of folks will continue to do so. She is very nice, friendly person and a real addition to the city.

Thanks, Bill Lyons

Jan 18 2007
04:10 pm

By John Mark Hancock
Copyrighted – All Rights Reserved

As 2007 gets into full swing, without much snow yet in the Great Smoky Mountains, the University of Tennessee men’s basketball team is finding tough sledding on the road after some major successes in December. It appears that Head Coach Bruce Pearl’s young team, while they overachieved in the early part of this still-young season, has been humbled and brought back to earth with three straight losses on the road, all of which were bitter and hard fought at the end.

The fiery Pearl, who nearly got tossed out of the game on the Plains when he was assessed a technical foul down the stretch while protesting an egregious call by a referee, lost three games in a row for the first time in his entire 15-year coaching career last night at Auburn. The Volunteers blew a 14-point lead late in the game, which when combined with the very poor officiating and the fact that star Chris Lofton never got to the free throw line while the Tigers shot multiple free tosses throughout the game, led to a 3-point loss.

Read more after the jump...


Jan 18 2007
02:54 pm
By: Bill Lyons  shortURL

Here is some background on the site for the transit center. I have been handling this phase of the project from the city end so any blame should be directed to me.

In early 2004 Mayor Haslam announced that the city was seeking a new site for the transit center because combining it with a movie theater on the 500 block of Gay Street was not proving to be workable. Following a lengthy process led by the Public Building Authority, which serves as the city’s manager for this project, the site was moved to State Street at the site of the large parking area behind the open spot on Gay near Wall Avenue. The County owns that site. Meanwhile construction of the Market Square garage necessitated moving the temporary transfer site to Main Street in front of the city county building.

Read more after the jump...



Bob Altemeyer, the social psychologist whose work John Dean used to write Conservatives Without Conscience, is posting installments of his own e-book. It's much like the Wingnut Function, but with actual research and stuff.

Here's an amusing anecdote.


Jan 18 2007
01:44 pm

Senate Republicans filibuster ethics reform. It's the dawn of a new era of bipartisanship in Congress!

Jan 18 2007
01:38 pm

"Every time you think television has hit its lowest ebb, a new program comes along to make you wonder where you thought the ebb was."

Art Buchwald was 81.


"I Hate term limits and I hate the Tennessee Supreme Court!
I'm not ready to leave office, I've only been here 27 years! I'll appeal!
I'm a Winner! Do you hear me, I'M A WINNER!"

Jan 18 2007
12:41 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL

It's the dawn of a new era in state government ethics.

Jan 18 2007
11:06 am
By: R. Neal  shortURL

The Rep proposes a tax on porn with the proceeds used to eliminate the sales tax on groceries. Hilarity ensues. Michael Silence has the roundup.

Sounds silly, but I suppose it isn't any sillier than my idea from a while back to tax video games and fast food to help fund education and health care.

Except with my idea, it would be easier to identify what to tax. The Rep doesn't seem to have done much, uh, homework on his porns.

First, he isn't clear on how much porn there is to be taxed. He says in this KNS article that the "bill is in the process of being researched." Heh. I imagine it is. No, wait. I'd rather not imagine.

He also says "Movies with an 'R' rating or lower would not be taxed, but those with an X rating would."

Perhaps The Rep isn't aware that the MPAA rating system is voluntary, and that only a handful of major studio releases have ever received an 'X' rating (and most of those went back to the editing room).

The adult film industry does not submit their movies to the MPAA for rating. Instead, they made up their own "XXX" rating. We can't wait to see The Rep's definition of "XXX" in his proposed legislation.

Anyway, publicity stunt legislating is hard work, y'all.


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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