Wed
Nov 22 2006
10:26 am

Frank at Left of the Dial has the scoop...

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Wed
Nov 22 2006
09:17 am

According to this wire report in the Knoxville News Sentinel, Alcoa is cutting 5% of their work force, approx. 6700 workers worldwide. Their reason?

"Through the first three quarters of 2006, we have generated more earnings than in any full year in our company's history, and in order to continue to move forward, we now need to take the difficult but necessary restructuring steps that will continue to maximize profitability across the company," Alcoa Chairman and CEO Alain Belda said in a statement.

You may recall the Alcoa recently approved a new union contract.

In what is characterized as a "consolidation" and a "joint venture" by Alcoa, they are selling off one of their divisions to a foreign company which will result in three plant closings in Ohio, Georgia, and Florida. A plant in the UK will also be closed.

Some jobs at Alcoa's canned sheet operations here in Alcoa TN could be affected by the restructuring, but the article is a little unclear on that. (Maybe I have reading comprehension problems, but it looks like a paragraph was cut making the remarks about the "remaining 20 jobs" at Alcoa TN confusing.)

There had been speculation about a possible hostile takeover of Alcoa because their stock was underperforming despite record earnings. It appears their solution was to spin off the less profitable divisions and refocus.

In the strange "coopetition" world of business, Alcoa's new "joint venture" is with a Norwegian conglomerate previously involved in a bitter fight with Alcoa over an unsuccessful 2002 takeover bid for the company that owns the company that Alcoa is now partnering with. And if you can follow all that you are ready for the high-stakes game of global corporate hold-em poker.

More here and here.

UPDATE: The Maryville Daily Times report has the missing paragraphs:

In the restructuring, 320 of those lost jobs will come from the company's flat roll product segment, said ALCOA spokesman Kevin Lowery.

ALCOA will be closing its canned sheet facility in the United Kingdom, which has 300 employees.

That leaves a total of 20 job losses that will come from the aluminum company's canned sheet facilities at Tennessee Operations, Warrick, Ind., and Russia, Lowery said.

That makes more sense. It sounds like the Alcoa TN operations may have dodged a bullet, unless of course you are one of the 20 families that will be affected.

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Wed
Nov 22 2006
03:09 am
By: bill young  shortURL

John F.Kennedy..is as far removed from young people today..as Warren G Harding was from me when the President was killed in Dallas on that late fall friday..November 22,1963...I was in the thanksgiving school play..East Lincoln Elementary School(the irony of the name just hit me)..Tullahoma,Tn...we were not told the President had been shot..so we wouldn't be upset..as the school play went on all us kids thought we were doing really well..all the parents were so emotional..what we didn't know..was that..right before the play had started Mr.Turner,the principal,had announced..that the President had died..those four days..Dallas,Nov.22(UPI)--Three shots were fired at President Kennedy's motorcade today in downtown Dallas...Air Force One,flying from Dallas..landing at Andrews Air Force Base..the casket..Mrs.Kennedy & Robert Kennedy..the grey ambulance..& President Johnson speaking...Oswald is shot...the riderless horse..the drums..the caisson.."We ask,that we may exercise our strength with wisdom and restraint..and that we may achieve in our time and for all time the ancient vision of peace on earth,good will toward men." the conclusion of President Kennedy's speech that was never given..in Dallas..on that late fall friday...November 22,1963

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We just got back from the East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists panel discussion on blogging. There were great questions (as you might expect from a room full of journalists) and lively discussion about the relationship between blogs and the media, the history and future of blogging, and more.

On the panel were journalist/blogger Betty Bean, KNS Editor Jack McElroy, UT law professor and Instapundit Glenn Reynolds (and his lovely wife Helen in the audience), UT Journalism and Electronic Media lecturer (and walking, talking encyclopedia of journalism, newspapers, and blogging) Bob Stepno, Rocky Top Brigade proprietor Johnny Dobbins, and yours truly.

Our host was Dorothy Bowles from the UT School of Journalism and Electronic Media and past president of the East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists. Current president Ed Hooper was also there, and he was most gracious. It was also nice to see Mark Harmon, UT professor of broadcast journalism and newly elected Knox County Commissioner.

We met lots of other great folks, and it was a real pleasure. The Mrs. took some notes and may have recorded the discussion. We will try to sift through all that and post some highlights later.

Bonus, KNS Managing Editor for Multimedia Jack Lail, who is a super nice guy, gave the Mrs. and me a personal tour of the KNS facilities and newsroom. (We got to meet Saul Young, one of the KNS's great photographers who was apparently working late.) Their $25 million+ printing press system is a miracle of modern engineering, capable of cranking out 70,000 newspapers per hour. It was totally awesome.

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Tue
Nov 21 2006
07:33 pm

from Phoenix, Arizona.  A lady who said she was surveying for the Republican Party wanted to know how much I approved of Mr. Bush's performance in driving the Bus of State.

"I strongly disapprove, and I voted accordingly", I told her.

"Do you mind telling me why you disapprove?"

"I consider him to be the worst president since Buchanan."

"Who?"

"James Buchanan; he was the guy Abraham Lincoln replaced."

"Oh", she said, gave me permission to have a nice day, and hung up.

Is it 2008 already? 

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Tue
Nov 21 2006
07:20 pm

Winning hearts and minds, street by street:

(Hey, maybe if you acted like liberators, you'd be greeted like liberators.)

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Tue
Nov 21 2006
06:18 pm
By: ConcernedKnox  shortURL

While Steve Hall continues to call for an investigation of County Government over incidents more than 20 months old, he remains quiet on the Kesler issue which has been front page news on the News Sentinel for over a week. Not only does the City Government issue involve a series of procedural allegations, it also involves millions of federal taxpayer dollars managed by the City. Hall should be more concerned with the local government he was elected to help govern and less concerned with Knox County Government.

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Tue
Nov 21 2006
12:25 pm
By: Andy Axel  shortURL

Remember when Ann Coulter "joked" about putting rat poison in Justice Stevens' dessert?

Coulter had told the Philander Smith College audience Thursday that more conservative justices were needed on the Supreme Court to change the current law on abortion. Stevens is one of the court's most liberal members.

"We need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice Stevens' creme brulee," Coulter said. "That's just a joke, for you in the media."

Looks like someone was hip to her vibe.

Barbara Joan March, a 61-year-old Connecticut resident, was sentenced last month to 15 years in prison for mailing letters "containing either a baked good or a piece of candy laced with rat poison" to the nine justices...

The FBI has a press release dated October 11 which details the case. Justice O'Connor was apparently making references to this arrest in public last week, which brought this item to the fore.

A 61-year-old woman from Bridgeport, CT just doesn't fit the Bush Administration profile for a terrorist, huh?

We're fighting them "over there," etc.

Food for thought.

Cary Grant: "Aunt Abby, how can I believe you? There are twelve bodies in the cellar and you admit you poisoned them."

Josephine Hill: "Yes, I did. But you don't think I'd stoop to telling a fib."

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Tue
Nov 21 2006
02:37 am
By: Brian A.  shortURL

Monday night Keith Olbermann had another compelling Special Comment, this time on the lessons President Bush has failed to learn from Vietnam.

I'm post-Vietnam War.  For some of you older folks who remember that era, I'm curious to what extent, if any, you see similarities between that period and this.  Not necessarily similarities in the fighting of the war, but in how the government sells the war to the public.

Do valid comparisons exist?  Or is our view of the current affair being unfairly skewed by the specters of Vietnam?

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Tue
Nov 21 2006
01:26 am

At this moment almost at midnight on Monday Michael Richards is going through something I can not describe. It is part confessional part testimony and so many things that are difficult to quantify.

For those that have not heard here is the story.

Tomorrow afternoon or maybe even early this morning this will be on YouTube. It is an unprecedented development that there is now a digital library available for free and is online in just a few hours.

This extension of instant news and knowledge will have a profound affect on everyone's lives. There are endless possibilities. The great danger is that any mistake a person makes will be captured in a detail never before possible and will last forever. The world just got several billion new cameras and their owners can have any Television program or live event on the Internet in less than an hour.

Update:

In less than the time it took to write this post the video is up here. It is on the Drudge Report in less than eight minutes.

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Mon
Nov 20 2006
07:12 pm
By: Rich Hailey  shortURL

Katie Allison Granju has been nominated for an Emmy for her work at WBIR on this series.

Go by and congratulate her. She certainly is deserving of this success.

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Mon
Nov 20 2006
07:11 pm

The East Tennessee Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has invited some local bloggers to attend a meeting tomorrow, Tuesday Nov. 21st, 7:00 PM at the Knoxville News Sentinel.

From the ETSPJ website calendar:

"Clearing the Blog Fog"

Hear and see the work of several area bloggers discuss their work and relationship with "traditional" news outlets. Refreshments! November 21, 2006 at 7:00 p.m. at the News Sentinel Knox Room

Hmmm. Refreshments? Will there be cheap single-malt Scotch? Or is this strictly a BYOB sort of deal?

At any rate, yours truly will be there, along with Johnny Dobbins, The Beanster, KNS editor Jack McElroy, and others including the mysterious and elusive Bob Stepno, who describes the event thusly.

So put your turkey in the oven, set the timer, and come on down. It should be an interesting discussion.

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Mon
Nov 20 2006
05:33 pm

The KNS reports that the local NAACP is launching its own probe into the resignation of Renee Kessler from the Knoxville Community Development Division.

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Mon
Nov 20 2006
05:08 pm

The Cincinnati Museum at Union Terminal is hosting the Titanic exhibition until May 6, 2007.  I saw the first showing when the artifacts were displayed at the Pyramid in Memphis.  Many have mixed feelings about the ethics of displaying these artifacts but I thought RMS Titanic, Inc. produced a display that was a moving memorial to the victims.

A replica of the boat deck as it appeared immediately after the last boat had left is especially thought-provoking with a recovered life jacket and an aluminum megaphone displayed.

At the first exhibit it was possible to actually reach out and touch one of her steam whistle manifolds.  I'm sure that has been changed.

If you find yourself in the Cincinnati area, this is a Must See. 

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Mon
Nov 20 2006
03:55 pm

Linky

TOLEDO, Ohio -- A former GOP fundraiser at the center of a scandal-plagued state investment in rare coins that helped Democrats seize power in the midterm elections was sentenced Monday to 18 years in prison.

Tom Noe, a prominent coin dealer accused of taking at least $2 million, was convicted last week of theft, corrupt activity, money laundering, forgery and tampering with records.

But, you know, this is just The Man keeping a good man down, according to an acquaintance of mine...Unreal.

Meanwhile, Newt Gingrich snottily announces plans to run in '08...

"I'm going to tell you something, and whether or not it's plausible given the world you come out of is your problem," he tells Fortune. "I am not 'running' for president. I am seeking to create a movement to win the future by offering a series of solutions so compelling that if the American people say I have to be president, it will happen." So he's running, only without yet formally saying so.

If I were John McCain, I think I'd be hiring bodyguards about now...this'll be interesting.

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Sheriff just announced this at County Commission (blogging live)

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Mon
Nov 20 2006
02:53 pm
By: Number9  shortURL

At 2:00 PM today on Community Television of Knoxville this months installment of "The Ragsdale Players" will perform on Channel 12 for Comcast Cable and Channel 6 for Charter Cable.

Today's play is an interpretation of Hamlet by William Shakespeare. TiVo's at the ready, you have seven minutes.

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Mon
Nov 20 2006
02:23 pm

It's snowing in Blount Co. right now as I type this. It's just light flurries and it's about 40 degrees, so I'm not expecting to get out the sled or anything.

Trivia: According to the Maryville Daily Times, tomorrow marks the 54th anniversary (that would be 1952 if my arithmetic is correct) of a record 18 and 1/2 inch snowfall in Blount Co.

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The Knoxville Asperger Support Group meets the 3rd Monday of every month at the West Branch of the Knoxville Public library (100 Golfclub Road, Knoxville, TN 37919 map) from 6pm to 7:30pm. The support group is an open format consisting primarily of caregivers to person's Asperger Syndrome although the group is occasionally visited by adults with Aspergers.

Tonight's meeting (Nov 20th) will have three guests from Disability Law and Advocacy Center (Sherry Wilds, Staff Attorney; Anna Bass, Education Advocate; and Ron Emrich, Community Liaison). They are interested in hearing concerns from parents and students who are experiencing problems with school systems and other organizations.

193
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Mon
Nov 20 2006
11:20 am

Was this the real reason Brian Hornback took his ball and went home after trying to bash the Shopper for the umpteenth time?

 

[Warning to the satire impaired, it is humor.]

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