Sun
Feb 4 2007
10:05 pm
By: Tamara Shepherd  shortURL

Q: What's the difference between a fanatic and a bore?

A: A fanatic is someone who can't change their mind and won't change the subject. A bore is someone whose chosen subject is football.

--Winston Churchill

(All in good fun. I'm afraid I'm not capable of replying to any comments. This space is for you.)

51
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Sun
Feb 4 2007
04:59 pm
By: Conservterian  shortURL

I thought I would share a couple of web browsing enhancements I've come across the last few weeks. The first is NetVibes. It is a website that allows you to have all your rss blog and news feeds gathered on one page along with sticky note features, calendar, weather, image & video searches. You can add any rss feed you want as long as you have the url. I've since customized it and made it my home page. Reminds me of the ol' news clipping services. Remember those?

The other is a FireFox extension, CoolIris. It allows you to place your cursor on a link and it will pop up the page in a window to allow you to preview the page without clicking on the link. Major cool as the program implies.

Enjoy!

Topics:
47
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Sun
Feb 4 2007
09:18 am
By: R. Neal  shortURL

I hate to pile on, and it's not as if Josh Jordan doesn't already have enough troubles, but here's another curiosity.

In his resume submitted to County Commission, Jordan lists his occupation as Owner/Licensed Contractor, M&M TN 1 CONSTRUCTION, LLC. August 2005 – present. Among his duties, he lists "Working with KCDC, Knoxville Urban League, City of Knoxville Community Development and other local companies and programs to find tenants for new and rehabilitated units."

According to the Tennessee Secretary of State, the Department of Revenue revoked the company's charter in November, 2006. There is no reason given, but it could be an indication of tax issues.

53
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Sat
Feb 3 2007
11:22 pm

Hutchison to be on Sound off Sunday 100.3 FM 8 a.m.

54
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Sat
Feb 3 2007
11:02 pm
By: RedDog  shortURL

I've been out of town and didn't hear what was happening. I'll be glad to join with any K-county movement to kick 'em all out of office.

If my support is wanted, contact me at XXXXXXX

RedDog!

If you don't want my support, I request that you bury all knowledge of this e-mail address.

EDIT -

E-mail addressed deleted - there are some real childish jerks on this board

49
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Sat
Feb 3 2007
09:35 pm
By: Conservterian  shortURL

I know all of this appointment brouhaha seems reprehensible now but in the grand scheme of things this will be a small blip on the road to a better county commission. The elections in 2008 will assure a fresh start and last week's recent events will be but a comedic affair right up there with Cas's haymaker back in the day.

I guarantee that most of the commissioners knew of Josh Jordan's previous drug history. I did and I don't have anything to do with county commission. I thought he must have had a brother because I couldn't believe that Diane Jordan's son that was arrested for drug dealing could be up for county commissioner but, I digress. And as for Cate, that is the one that stands out to me as the most egregious.

That being said, I had no problem with the commissioners selecting their replacement. Were these commissioners not voted in by the majority of the people? Amy Broyles received a minority of the vote. Why should the majority be disenfranchised by her appointment just because she ran and lost? I don't understand the logic of appointing those who lost with a minority of the vote. If the people trusted the elected commissioners to make decisions for them in county commission then they should trust them to pick their successor if an election is not an option. If those commissioners make shady selections then they obviously weren't the candidate the voters thought they were.

I know there is also a lot of controversy about the sheriff's pay raises to his top level staff. While it looks suspicious, you have to consider if this was the normal period for raises before drawing conclusions.

Everybody should just be glad that Ragsdale didn't stuff the board with all his cronies.

51
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Sat
Feb 3 2007
07:14 pm

I have been overwhelmed with kind words and expressions of support since Monday’s forum and Wednesday’s county commission meeting. Please let me take this opportunity to thank all of those persons for being active citizens and demanding better government, one that is accountable and responsible, as well as open and honest. We all may come up short on some occasions, but it is nice to be recognized for trying to move in the proper direction.

The hundreds of posts on the commission’s actions, expressed in several threads, almost always have been informed and polite. I have learned from them and thank the authors, though I do want to address certain points:

1) The Forum. I called all eight candidates for the second district position. Seven showed up, and all did well. Regrettably, the commission chose the one candidate who did not show or participate in much public process. Charles Bolus was co-treasurer of Chairman Scott Moore’s campaign and has a rather thin resume beyond his assistant principal duties at Gresham Middle.

2) Operation of the Forum. The thirteen commissioners who attended were invited to sit on the stage and take notes. Several did. Some chose to remain in the audience or the back of the room. I followed the same procedure for all contests, one I announced in advance on several listserves and this blog: three-minute speeches from candidates followed by audience questions. For the second district and county-wide seats we went in alphabetical order. When I called the other districts to the stage, they sorted themselves out as to who went first, etc. The timekeeper was a volunteer with the League of Women Voters. Generally candidates kept to the time; I recall only three incidents when I asked them to wrap up—and in each case the Stop card had been up and swinging. Two volunteers from the mayor’s office helped me identify raised hands during the early Q&A periods. This became unnecessary as the forum progressed. The questions were few, but generally direct and revealing. We shortened the time to minute-and-a-half speeches for the other districts, and still just barely kept the forum under three hours in length.

3) The Preference Poll at the Forum. No one had advance notice of my intent to do this. The only clue to anyone was my very open advocacy for a non-binding referendum as a way to squeeze greater public input into commission’s process. A commission secretary helped me photocopy it, sometime between 3:30 and 3:45 the day of the forum. I still wasn’t certain I’d use it, but when the forum began it looked like I had just enough volunteers to distribute it so I decided to do so. Two volunteers with LWV tallied the results at the end of the forum. I sent those results to this blog, several listservs, and news organizations—all with stated cautions about the reliability and value of the measure, and noting that other factors such as candidate qualifications and quality of responses should play a role in decision making. Most respondents were from the second district and most followed the directions to indicate a preference only in their own district and the county-wide offices. Some did mark in more than one commission district, accounting for an overall number that initially seems larger than the attendance (if one were to add all votes cast for commission candidates together, as one sharp-eyed blogger apparently did).

4) The Votes on Wednesday. I followed a pattern of nominating and sticking with the candidate of my choice until that candidate was eliminated. Then I’d go to my highest-rated choice left in the field. In the clash in the Fourth District, my choice was Elaine Davis, but the options narrowed down to a less-than-appealing choice between developer Scott Davis and sheriff-envoy Lee Tramel. I opted for Scott Davis only because of his public vow only to serve the interim period until the election. The 9-9 deadlock on this set off waves of re-votes and recesses. I thought of passing because I did not like the choices, but could not in good conscience switch one candidate to the other. During one break I met Bolus for the first time and was underwhelmed. Our district’s reward for the noble behavior of not dealing to swing another district (also see the newspaper article on Jonathan Wimmer’s refusal to deal) was the Bolus ascendance--which succeeded after likely arm-twisting and the selective swearing-in plan later used. It should be noted that my first choice, Amy Broyles, was still on the table when the pressured switches to Bolus began. Even if I’d abandoned past practice and cast a vote for Wimmer (and somehow Schmid’s vote followed me) that would not have gotten him to ten; and by then both those choices were verboten because they didn’t advance the apparent “you’re in, but you must be sworn in early and break the tie in our favor” plan.

5) The Days to Come. The past few days have seen many more disturbing revelations about some of the commission’s choices and practices. I hope we can keep the conversations focused not on personal attacks on the people, but the repugnant procedures and poor policy choices made. I encourage people to contact the County Commission office (commission@knoxcounty.org, 215-2534), to sign up for the public comments section, and to show up at the next meeting (Feb. 26th, 2pm). Find and support good candidates. Point out when commission violates the spirit and possibly the letter of any law or our newly approved ethics code.

Sorry for the long post, but there was a lot to cover. –Mark Harmon

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The Blount Co. Mayor knows how to deal with annoying citizens who think they ought to have a say in public affairs.

This is the same guy who wanted to ban the public from addressing county commission meetings and now wants cameras removed, and who wouldn't debate his opponent in the last election.

He's a real statesman.

UPDATE: SayUncle has a different term for "statesman." He's also ready to head down there with his "red Sharpie."

90
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I was looking through the paper this morning and I saw that the owner of American Accessories had a statement published addressing this issue.

The article is in response to a previous News Sentinel article regarding the city workshop in which this issue was discussed. Also, noticed he published an email address in which to be contacted about this issue.

FROM: The Knoxville News Sentinel:

Company standing firm on bus transfer site
By ERIC ZEANAH, AAI-KAT@aai-tenn.com
February 3, 2007

Writing on the building process of the new bus center in the Jan. 26 story, "Council unenthused about bus center site," the News Sentinel states, "That delay is Eric Zeanah," in reference to the desire of Jeff Galyon to expedite the approval process.

If I may, I would like to clarify the reasons for my persistent stand.

[Ed. note: read the rest at the link above.]

55
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Sat
Feb 3 2007
07:58 am

All 18 endangered young whooping cranes that were led south from Wisconsin last fall as part of a project to create a second migratory flock of the birds were killed in storms in Florida, a spokesman said.

19 people died, many homes destroyed, Florida has had a bad couple of years.

52
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Fri
Feb 2 2007
09:05 pm

This is my last post for a while.I'm not mad.I want to reflect on what has come out today.I did not talk to any of the commissioners aboat the appointments.I thought they were hearing enough noise & I didn't want to add to the volume.I have known former Commissioner Diane Jordan for many years.I do not know Commissioner Josh Jordan.The Bible speaks of the power of redemption:"Bless the Lord;who redeems your life from the Pit" & forgiveness:"For if you forgive men their trespasses,your heavenly Father will also forgive you."I pray that Josh has left behind the sins of his youth.Right now,the words of John Lennon come to mind "See how they smile like pigs in a sty..I'm crying"

50
like
Fri
Feb 2 2007
08:54 pm

Word is that ex-County Commissioner John Mills is going to work for Ragsdale.

52
like
Fri
Feb 2 2007
06:49 pm

Man, the crap is flying faster than feathers at a Newport cockfight. I hope the late Friday bad news cycle is over and things will settle down*.

We've got backroom deals, strong-arm tactics, nepotism, double-reverse patronage, sex, drugs -- the only thing missing is... cockfighting!

OK, then.

(*Oops. Guess not. Just saw Mark Harmon's post at the same time as this one. Looks like there will be more drama this weekend.)

56
like
Fri
Feb 2 2007
06:48 pm

County Commission's actions certainly will get some TV attention this weekend.

DTV tonight will be a live show. I will be hosting as usual. The program is from 9:30 to 10:30 pm. Sharon Cawood is confirmed as a guest; others are possible. Call-in questions welcome, 215-2288.

WBIR's Inside Tennessee (the station's website indicates it airs at 9:30 a.m. Sunday with likely replays on the Ten News 2 channel). It taped Thursday night. First segment: Commissioners Greg Lambert and R. Larry Smith and former commissioner John Greiss. Second segment: Randy Tyree and Me, as you might expect I blast the process followed by the commission. Third Segment: Sharon Cawood, Sherry Witt.

WATE's Tennessee This Week. The station website indicates Noon airing, and streaming video likely earlier on the station website. Guests include: Commissioners R. Larry Smith and Greg Lambert, as well as Amy Broyles.

--Mark Harmon

55
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Fri
Feb 2 2007
06:33 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL

Sheriff Tim Hutchison gave out pay raises of up to 22% "just five days after learning that the state Supreme Court's term limits decision meant he would soon be forced from office."

But wait, there's more. The report confirms that term limited commissioner Mark Cawood was hired by newly appointed Sheriff J.J. Jones the day after Cawood voted to appoint Jones. It also says that Cawood first talked to the Sheriff's department about a position last fall, and that a Sheriff's department spokesperson says Hutchison hired him two weeks ago.

242
like
Fri
Feb 2 2007
06:25 pm

The spirits are about to speak. I don't have the sources that Betty does for her prognostications (thank you Firefox 2 for that spell checker), but I will make this prediction anyway. After wading through the maze of threads related to the rape that occurred this week, I will predict here and now that Knox County will adopt Diebold voting machines before the next election. Surely that will be the only way these rascals can retain their ill-gotten seats.

Of course the fact that practically nobody bothers to vote may help them a little, too.

55
like
Fri
Feb 2 2007
05:59 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL

In 2004, a federal jury awarded $250,000 to a woman who "alleged she was fired after ending a consensual romantic relationship with the nursing home’s owner." The owner listed in the case is Richard Cate. Is this the same newly appointed Knox County Commissioner Richard Cate? Details of the case can be found here (pg. 7, "Sexual Harassment").

293
like
Fri
Feb 2 2007
04:22 pm

The Orlando Sentinel has dramatic photos of the devastation left behind by tornadoes that ripped through Central Florida early this AM. Here's the wire report.

Michael Silence's in-laws live in one of the hardest hit neighborhoods. Thankfully he reports they are OK, but he is not sure about damage to their home.

Topics:
50
like
Fri
Feb 2 2007
04:16 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL

"At least two commissioners who voted for him said they didn’t know about Jordan’s past Wednesday but hope he’s put it behind him.

Here is the court document referenced in the article.

218
like

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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