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.

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Fri
Mar 23 2007
09:53 pm

This may well be the proverbial straw.

47
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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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Fri
Mar 23 2007
11:30 am
By: rocketsquirrel  shortURL

you hear stories of young mothers abandoning their babies...apparently our culture now feels it is ok to abandon seniors suffering from dementia at fast food joints.

speechless.

47
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Fri
Mar 23 2007
06:34 am

Orlando Sanford International Airport, previously Sanford Regional Airport and before that an airbase, declared war on eagles endangering flights at the airport. With little evidence to back their attacks on the eagles' nests, three eagles' nests will come down.

It's bad enough that airport officials have little scientific evidence backing this drastic approach. They can't even be sure chopping down the nests will solve the problem. There are dozens more nests surrounding the airport, which is near prime eagle territory along the St. Johns River and lakes Jesup and Monroe.
....
These eagles aren't hanging out at a busy airport for the thrill of playing chicken with airplanes; they're after food. The pilot of the plane that hit that eagle in November reported seeing the bird chasing a rabbit across the runway.

What's being done at the Sanford airport to reduce the prey that these eagles dine upon? Not enough, especially when compared to efforts at Orlando International Airport, which has a full-time biologist and an elaborate wildlife-management program.

Two nests are now gone, but many eagles are still in the area. What now?

If you ever get a chance, take a moment to experience this beautiful area of Central Florida, before it's gone. Rent a boat at Lake Monroe in downtown Sanford, go East/South on the St. Johns River (be careful, it gets shallow). It is absolutely gorgeous with lots of native plants and animals. I don't recommend entering the water for a swim, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of alligators.

43
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Thu
Mar 22 2007
08:01 pm

It's possible that the best restaurant in Knoxville isn't in Knoxville. It may be in Maryville. In fact, it may be one of Blount County's best kept secrets.

Continued...

254
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Thu
Mar 22 2007
04:16 pm
By: Left Of The Dial  shortURL

Kentucky Wildcat fans won't have Tubby Smith to kick around anymore.

Story breaking now on ESPN.

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46
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Thu
Mar 22 2007
03:14 pm

An open letter to Mayor Larry Waters and the Sevier County Commission.

Several articles have been written in the past couple of years regarding the lack of funding for infrastructure needs in Sevier County. A TACIR report states that Sevier County is short by approximately $300 million. A bond issuance was recently passed. Schools lack needed funds. A new hospital needs to be built.

I have attended commission meetings, planning commission meetings and have hosted Mayor Waters at a Friends of Wears Valley meeting. Citizens have repeatedly been told by county leaders that development / developers projects do not create additional burdens on infrastructure because 1. Rental cabins are not used full time. 2. Renters do not send their children to our schools. 3. Additional tax moneys collected on sales to tourists more than offset the burden they place on our system.

More after the jump...

Continued...

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Thu
Mar 22 2007
01:20 pm

If it's springtime, state legislators are in session and tort reform is again a hot topic in states where it hasn't already been passed.

Here in Tennessee, a proposed comprehensive "health care liability" bill (HB1993/SB2001) would, among other things...

Continued...

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Thu
Mar 22 2007
11:51 am

From the Roane County News

Diesel Engine Parts, Inc is moving Roane County.

At a grand opening event for the spec building at Roane Regional Business and Technology Park, Henderson announced Diesel Engine Parts Inc. has purchased the building and will invest $5 million in the site. It also brings 35 employees from its current location on the waterfront in South Knoxville.

47
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Thu
Mar 22 2007
11:40 am

There will be an opportunity to learn about and comment on Knox County's proposed Stormwater Ordinance on March 26th at 6 p.m. in the Small Assembly Room of the City County Building, 400 Main Street.

There are some areas of concern with the ordinance, which is supposed to be at least as strict as the City of Knoxville's ordinance. Specifically, there are some concerns about how much monitoring and inspection will take place and whether written standard operating procedures for enforcement and other areas will be part of the ordinance, and whether the construction best management practices will be adequate to protect water quality.

According to an article in the Farragut Press on March 15th, 2007, "Farragut has the Cadillac of stormwater ordinances." It follows that Knox County citizens should expect the same of their ordinance, and should be supported in this goal by Mike Ragsdale, the county Mayor, who lives in Farragut.

Please try to attend this important meeting to let our Knox County officials know that citizens care about this important issue. Those who are unable to attend can provide input by e-mailing stormwater@knoxcounty.org or leaving a voice message at 215-4418. You may also call 215-4357 to speak with a staff member.

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The Editorial staff of the Knoxville News Sentinel has penned yet another in the series of “Can I carry your water Mr. Mayor” Editorials. Except this time it is a different Mayor, it is Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam. Bonus points for also carrying the water of the Knoxville Police Chief Sterling Owen IV.

The subject of this waste of ink and paper is how the defeat of a bill in the General Assembly that would require 5 second Yellow Lights where there are Red Light cameras is a victory for public safety. It is not a victory for the people, it is a victory for the revenuers.

C.E. Petro at “Thoughts of an Average Woman” has more as does Joe Powell at “A Cup of Joe Powell”. Here on KnoxViews a poll shows 97% of 77 respondents prefer a 5 second Yellow Light over a 3 second Yellow Light.

The Red Light cameras from RedFlex Inc. have been a stunning success. With over 62,000 violations the City of Knoxville and RedFlex are in the money with much more money just around the corner. Both the News Sentinel and the City of Knoxville know that increasing the Yellow Light duration from 4 seconds to 5.5 seconds reduces Red Light tickets by 96%. You can read the Virginia study here that proves just that. It also makes intersections safer, something that Police Chief Owen says he wants. Yet for some unknown reason he will not support a safe Yellow Light duration.

Which is worse in this Editorial? The glee the News Sentinel has that the bill was “properly killed”, or the closing line, “It would have been better for the lawmakers to seek those answers directly from city officials before trying to make a circus out of a serious traffic issue”? What kind of writer uses “properly killed” in an Editorial about public safety? The News Sentinel goes on to say, “The Tennessee Legislature certainly has better things to do than second guess and micromanage Knoxville's decision to use traffic-light cameras to ticket speeding motorists.”

Let’s be clear about this. This is not “micromanagement”. The Tennessee Legislature had to step in because the Mayor and the Police Chief have put revenue over public safety. Yet the pressure from the public is beginning to show. The Sentinel quotes Police Chief Owen, “Owen said he was not necessarily opposed to a longer yellow-light time if it can have a positive effect on reducing accidents, although he acknowledged the matter was more for traffic engineering than law enforcement. Let traffic engineering follow it up, then, perhaps giving the benefit of any doubt to motorists and increase the yellow-light time where warranted.”

So what exactly does Police Chief Owen mean? Does he mean if enough people are hurt then the traffic engineering people will increase the Yellow Light duration? Do people have to get hurt for the City to do the right thing? We live in a place of unaccountability. Neither the Mayor nor Police Chief Owen have any accountability for public safety, only the few people in the City traffic engineering department? Wonder if those poor people in traffic engineering are under orders from high above?

43
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Thu
Mar 22 2007
10:35 am

CNN is running an article this morning about a new freedom for Iraqis, tattoos. Under Saddam, having a tattoo was a crime punishable by death. It seems they were associated with The Great Satan.

A young Iraqi was interviewed as he was being tagged with the initial of his fiancé. The artist bragged that his work would last forever.

Uh, yeah, forever. Maybe just semi-forever.

The correspondent mentioned one popular reason for getting a tattoo in post-Saddam Iraq, it makes it easier for families to identify the victims of the car bombings.

49
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Thu
Mar 22 2007
10:23 am

Fire! Polite Applause
My Final Column for Knoxviews.com

By Don Williams

Barring a change of heart* on someone else's part, this is my last column for Knoxviews. Here's all I know about the reasons why. On Monday, Randy Neal left half-a-message on my answering machine telling me he was cutting me back...

Click here to continue reading...

Continued...

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66
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Wed
Mar 21 2007
09:24 pm
By: Les Jones  shortURL

This is one of my new favorite bourbons. It's right in the narrow price range between Wild Turkey 101 and Maker's Mark and I like it better than both.

Based on the Wikipedia entry, it doesn't look like Elijah Craig bourbon is really related to the Baptist preacher who invented bourbon, but it's nice of them to honor the good Reverend with such a fine whiskey.

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46
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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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