Fri
Mar 23 2007
07:34 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
like
Thu
Mar 22 2007
09:01 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...

260
like
Thu
Mar 22 2007
05:16 pm
By: Left Of The Dial  shortURL

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

Story breaking now on ESPN.

Topics:
46
like
Thu
Mar 22 2007
04:14 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...

157
like
Thu
Mar 22 2007
02:20 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...

94
like
Thu
Mar 22 2007
12:51 pm

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
like
Thu
Mar 22 2007
12:40 pm

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.

51
like

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
like
Thu
Mar 22 2007
11:35 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
like
Thu
Mar 22 2007
11:23 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...

Topics:
70
like
Wed
Mar 21 2007
10:24 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.

Topics:
48
like
Wed
Mar 21 2007
09:21 pm

Sorry to keep hyping this show, but I hope everyone who likes Good TV caught Friday Night Lights tonight. As far as I'm concerned, this is the Best TV on TV this season. It probably won't survive past this season, though, because it's Good TV. Enjoy it while you can. (P.S. It's not about football, really.)

Topics:
46
like
Wed
Mar 21 2007
05:50 pm

Just heard a U.S. commander being interviewed by Wolf Blitzer about a disturbing report from Iraq that suicide car bombers are using children as cover to get through checkpoints and then blowing up the cars with the children inside.

Apparently this is good news. Rear Adm. Mark Fox says this is proof that the surge is working, because the stepped up security at checkpoints in Baghdad is causing the insurgents to change their tactics.

Dear God, please help us all.

UPDATE: From the transcript:

BLITZER: What we've heard is that a couple of kids are in the back seat, the suicide bombers, they pull up. They then escape themselves, pull some trigger, some remote device, blow up the car, killing the kids. And from their perspective, killing other people nearby.

Is that what they are trying to do?

FOX: Well, it seems to me that what happened was, it was at a checkpoint -- you know, the effectiveness of the new checkpoints that the Iraqi security forces are using, I think this is evidence of that kind of working. They are changing the profile.

Typically you would expect a single person, a single male to be in a car that's going to -- you know, a car bomb. And so to put children in there is going to change their kind of profile.

But -- so it's a change in tactics.

Topics:
168
like

It's sad that President Bush is attempting to roadblock a congressional investigation by trying to prevent open testimony. If he has nothing to hide, why not let his staff testify under oath? Seems like he's afraid of the truth. I think Bush is realizing that with two years to go, his "popular and effective" presidency, according to CBT, may be over. It's starting to sound more and more Nixonian in its desperation.

How sad.

via Salon

Tony Snow - Op-Ed - St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 29, 1998 :

(HEADLINE: "Executive Privilege is a Dodge")

Evidently, Mr. Clinton wants to shield virtually any communications that take place within the White House compound on the theory that all such talk contributes in some way, shape or form to the continuing success and harmony of an administration. Taken to its logical extreme, that position would make it impossible for citizens to hold a chief executive accountable for anything. He would have a constitutional right to cover up.

Chances are that the courts will hurl such a claim out, but it will take time.

One gets the impression that Team Clinton values its survival more than most people want justice and thus will delay without qualm. But as the clock ticks, the public's faith in Mr. Clinton will ebb away for a simple reason: Most of us want no part of a president who is cynical enough to use the majesty of his office to evade the one thing he is sworn to uphold -- the rule of law.

79
like
Wed
Mar 21 2007
11:45 am

This is a Lockheed C-130E Hercules intratheater airlifter. It's 97' 9" from nose to tail. Just so ya know.

(Here's how this lovely bit of legislation came about.)

49
like
Wed
Mar 21 2007
09:31 am

Apropos of the latest scandal, here's an interesting report from the Congressional Research Service on Congressional Investigations: Subpoenas and Contempt Power. It has analysis of the law and lots of historical case studies.

Here's their conclusion:

Committee subpoenas and contempt citations have been effective instruments for gaining access to executive branch documents that are initially withheld. The pressure that builds from these two techniques generally results in the Administration offering new accommodations to satisfy legislative needs. Although both branches at times seek assistance from the courts, the general message from federal judges is that an agreement hammered out between the two branches is better than a directive handed down by a court.

The executive-legislative conflicts described in this report offer several lessons about access to information. Congress has as much right to agency documents for oversight purposes as it does for legislation. Executive claims of “deliberative process,” “enforcement sensitive,” “ongoing investigation,” or “foreign policy considerations” have not been, in themselves, adequate grounds for keeping documents from Congress. On the issue of withholding information from Congress, there are often sharp differences within an Administration, especially between the Justice Department and the agencies.

Further, these case studies show that statutory language that authorizes withholding information from the public is not a legitimate reason for withholding information from Congress. Sharing sensitive information with congressional committees is not the same as sharing information with the public. Courts assume that congressional committees will exercise their powers responsibly. Legislative committees have demonstrated that they have reliable procedures for protecting confidentiality. Finally, congressional capacity to subpoena agency documents from private organizations is not an adequate substitute for receiving them directly from the agency.

49
like

Gore's numbers continue to rise, while many other candidates are sliding off the map. Meanwhile the "Draft Gore in 2008" campaign is turning red hot.

Gore does seem like a proven winner, a man with ethics, and a politician who is not afraid to expose corruption and ignorance in Washington. Hillary and Obama would be political firsts, and that has excited many voters, but both have obstacles to overcome. Hillary is an insider with plenty of past history. Obama has too little history.

Gore's proven abilities and his newly found comfortability with himself might be the spoiler here.

What do you think? Should he run?

Polling Data

Support for potential 2008 Democratic presidential nominees, among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents who are registered to vote. From a Gallup poll conducted from Mar. 2 to Mar. 4, 2007.

Mar. 2007 Feb. 2007 Jan. 2007
Hillary Rodham Clinton 36% 40% 29%
Barack Obama 22% 21% 18%
Al Gore 18% 14% 11%
John Edwards 9% 13% 13%
Joe Biden 3% 1% 5%
Wesley Clark 2% 1% 2%
Bill Richardson 1% 4% 3%
Mike Gravel 1% -- --
Chris Dodd -- 1% 1%
Al Sharpton -- -- 1%
John Kerry n.a. n.a. 8%
Other 1% -- 2%
None 3% 1% 2%
No opinion 4% 3% 4%


Topics:
45
like

Upcoming events:

TN Progressive

TN Politics

Local Media Blogs

Shopper Columns

Local News

News Sentinel

Alt Weekly

State News

.GOV Updates

Wire Reports

Site Statistics

Last 7 days:
  • Posts: 19
  • Comments: 228
  • Visits: 10,301
  • Pageviews: 23,576
Last 30 days:
  • Posts: 72
  • Comments: 762
  • Visits: 38,381
  • Pageviews: 83,849