Tue
Dec 19 2006
01:05 pm

Monday was a sad day in Knox County Commission. In one of the most confused meetings, that often resembled the Keystone Cops more than a Commission meeting, the Midway Industrial Park received 7.5 million dollars of funding from the Knox County Commission. This happened even though there is a lawsuit seeking an injunction against any breaking ground on this project. It was a tortured, confused, and often comical 45 minutes that made those who watched in person or on Cable Television wonder about the old joke of “Who is on first”?

The Midway Industrial Park is covered in great detail at the website KnoxAction.com. There have been many web posts on KnoxViews and at Say Uncle. It has received much coverage also at the News Sentinel blog No Silence. So with all of the known information that questions the risk and return on investment of taxpayer dollars the Knox County Commission chose to ignore the demands of those in the Thorn Grove community and the voice of taxpayers who see this as the biggest gamble since the Farmers Market.

The MPC hypocritically and perhaps illegally ignored their own sector plan to choose the Midway Industrial Park site. The Development Corporation chose to ignore its main requirement that the slope of the site no exceed six percent. Both of these entities and the Knox Area Chamber of Commerce ignored that this site had much greater financial return as a tourist area or subdivisions and that those ideas would not require over 57 million dollars of taxpayer investment.

More after the jump including YouTube coverage of the Knox County Commission meeting:

Continued...

23
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Tue
Dec 19 2006
11:14 am

This came across my email today. I would never go to see Mel Gibson's latest because 1. his movies are dreadful* and 2. I don't donate money to Republicans.

*Braveheart is, easily, one of the most historically inaccurate hit pieces ever made. Errol Flynn movies capture history more accurate and don't even try to do so. The Patriot contains scenes of war crimes that have been demonstrated by AMERICAN scholars to have not happened or that there is no evidence showing that they happened.

To: FFF@REMOVED.EDU
Subject: Mel Gibson's Apocalypto
Reply-To: Ford Foundation Fellows List

Published on Sunday, December 17, 2006 by CommonDreams.org
The Sober Racism of Mel Gibson's Apocalypto
by Liza Grandia
Liza Grandia is a cultural anthropologist who has worked with Maya peoples
in Guatemala and Belize since 1993 and who speaks Q'eqchi' Maya fluently. She is
currently a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University, writing a book called
"Unsettling" about the repeated land dispossessions and enclosures of the
Q'eqchi'.

Continued...

Topics:
19
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Tue
Dec 19 2006
09:12 am

Orlando, Houston, Newark, Oakland to name a few.

Wow, I would have never imagined the hugely popular tourist destination to be having such problems.

The LA Times notes,
"A number of different explanations have been offered for the increase, including cutbacks in federal funding to state and local law enforcement agencies, which has led to fewer police on the street in large cities, and demographic factors, including an increase in the number of males from age of 14 to 24.

The trend also has kindled a debate over whether the country is spending enough for crime fighting and prevention at a time when growing numbers of federal dollars are being targeted toward terrorism and domestic security. "

Check out your City, State, if it falls into the research criteria (i.e. 100,000 or greater in population)

Is it safe?

15
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Tue
Dec 19 2006
08:17 am

Happy Anniversary Too!

Get well soon!

21
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Mon
Dec 18 2006
04:12 pm
By: StaceyDiamond  shortURL

It was wild watching the crowds skate and shop at the stores and outdoor market Saturday, some even in shorts. It seemed like summer and it seemed like some other town, good to see. As for recent comments on Sundown, I don't know if it should be moved or not. Its fun downtown but the crowds and heat the last year could be unbearable if you could not come very early for a front row seat. What changed the vibe of Sundown was word getting out the last year or so to underage kids that this was the place to meet friends and drink. Stacey

12
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Mon
Dec 18 2006
02:13 pm

The South has a certain reputation, not altogether undeserved, of harboring a permanent Progressive minority at best and that it should be written off by Democrats for the same reason it was ok for Sherman to burn Atlanta. My inner Don "Coyote" has never let a windmill get in the way of a good argument, however, and I harbor the possible delusion that minds can be changed.

Being born in Georgia and raised in Tennessee didn't stop me from figuring it out, at some point. Can enough of us achieve enlightenment and change enough minds to break through the locks of fear that keep our chains from falling away?

I cringe everytime I hear a so called Progressive Democrat talk about "winning without the South"...I cringe because I have higher hopes for my beloved Southland. I want my kids to have a home less burdened by centuries old fears and prejudices.

The conversation is at FireDogLake:

(link...)

13
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Mon
Dec 18 2006
11:59 am

In Sunday's News Sentinel it was reported that Ezra Maize, the new leader of the local NAACP has told Mayor Haslam he would have backlash from the African American community if the Mayor hired a caucasian to replace former Community Development Director Renee Kesler, an African American. Mark Brown, City Councilman has organized a group of African Americans to go behind closed doors with the Mayor to discuss racial problems in our community. Let me see if I have this right. Renee Kesler, former Community Development Director, intimidates, threatens and harsses her employees according to 1,200 pages of documentation gathered by Civil Service. Renee also pushed through grants without complete applications to selected individuals. Renee also took steps to ensure the demise of Economic Ventures so control could be passed to someone she could manipulate. I know I'm not the brightest star in the sky, but I just can't figure out how that's a racial problem. It sounds more like an individual who lacked management skills and integrity. Oh yeah, Ezra Maie said Renee was qualified for this job. As head of the local NAACP Ezra Maize will have opportunities to bring issues that need to be addressed by our community to the fore front. This is not one of them.

Topics:
126
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Mon
Dec 18 2006
10:07 am

The KNS reports today that Lowes will not be subject to city property taxes nor will their sales tax go to the city. I had not heard that before, but maybe I just missed it.

The Halls Shopper reports that the developer is late in providing documentation required to receive the first $1 million payment on $2 million due from the city as part of the annexation deal, or at least the city cannot locate the documents.

Which is no big deal, really, because...

Continued...

59
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Sun
Dec 17 2006
10:28 pm

The upcoming Knox County Commission meeting, 2 p.m. Dec. 18th, should be an eventful one. The top four items should be:

* Parking Garage. I favor a lift the barrier approach, or at least more weekend and evening availability. Expect PBA and Sheriff to raise security fears, suggesting a new garage as the alternative. To quote Edward R. Murrow, "We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason."

* Annexation Matter, requesting state investigation. I'm torn on this one. I'm glad we've dropped the idea of suing ourselves (our own election commission). I oppose the corporate welfare that got us into this mess. I called the Election Commission to ask about several matters associated with the election. It may well be a disgusting trick and a snookering of two public bodies, but I don't see any genuine election law violations. I do have some questions that will need to be addressed.

* Funding for the Midway Business Park. An unneeded business park over sinkholes, and passed over significant community objection in the closing hours of the last commission. I was in the audience when this thing was rammed through. I'll be opposing this one.

* Garbage: Waste Management v. Waste Connections (old BFI). Bids were extemely close. Neither has great record on labor matters. Both are below the national average on CEO pay grabs. I'm still researching this one.

There also may be a controversial zoning or two. All the best, Mark Harmon (Co. Comm. Dist 2, Seat A)

135
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Sun
Dec 17 2006
01:24 pm

Congratulations, it's time to update your resume. You're Time's "Person of the Year."

I don't know about everyone else (we're all winners!), but I'd like to thank lonelygirl15 for making this all possible. I couldn't have won without you.

17
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Larry Cohen, International President of the Communications Workers of America, will be speaking at a holiday banquet and employee celebration this coming Tuesday, December 19 at 6:30 pm at the UNITE building, located at 1124 N. Broadway.

The event is open to the public. It is a potluck dinner with some food catered.

The Communications Workers of America represents 700,000 employees in the United States and Canada. Here in Knoxville, four locals of the CWA exist: United Campus Workers at UT, the Knoxville Newspaper Guild, the Knoxville Mailers, and CWA local 3805 (Bellsouth employees).

Cohen is one of the most progressive labor leaders in the country and is a champion of member run, democratically controlled unions. He was involved in the late 70's in a campaign that organized 40,000 New Jersey state employees.

For more information, email Cameron at cameronjbrooks@hotmail.com or call 387-4408.

17
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Sat
Dec 16 2006
11:42 pm

On Monday Knox County Commission will make a decision to appropriate or not, $7,500,000 of your tax dollars to begin work on the Midway Road Industrial Park. This is money Knox County does not have.
This should be an insult to every resident. This issue was not properly placed on the agenda for public discussion and there is a pending lawsuit due to improperly changing the East Knox Sector Plan. When the commission is working for the good of the county it should not have to be sneaky to do it. Only these developers stand to gain from this industrial venture.
Lets finish the high school for 2300 as planned, give teachers a raise comparable to surrounding counties and fund the Sherriff's Department's pension. Use our tax dollars wisely so we don't have to pay to throw our trash in the bin.

83
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Sat
Dec 16 2006
11:21 am
By: WhitesCreek  shortURL

Are these people cut and run cowards? Don't they support our troops? Do they hate America?

The on-line petition, Appeal for Redress, was put up by 29 year-old Navy seaman Jonathan Hutto. It has "already been signed by nearly 1,000 US soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen, including dozens of officers--most of whom are on active duty."

And if I may be so bold...

Peace,

Steve

26
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Fri
Dec 15 2006
11:03 pm

Salon political columnist Joe Conason speculates that Bushco may offer Joe Lieberman the post as the next UN Ambassador. Should he be confirmed and leave the Senate, Connecticut's Republican governor would have no choice but to appoint a Republican as a replacement Senator.

I can't help believing that Joe would not be a party to such shenanigans.

This majority is so small it begs interference from criminal minds.

Topics:
22
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Fri
Dec 15 2006
03:26 pm

Photoshop CS3 public beta launches today.

This includes a long-awaited build of the Macintosh Universal Binary (allowing both Intel-based and Motorola-based Macs to run it natively).

A license of Adobe CS2 or Photoshop CS2 is required to run the beta past a two-day trial.

Download available here for both Windows and Mac:

(link...)

22
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Fri
Dec 15 2006
02:05 pm

A Tennessee writer took photos of every county courthouse in the state and posted them on his Tennessee history website. His website is designed for kids, but it's fun for all ages.

The AP wrote up a nice article about it. KNS has the article here. The courthouse website is here. Cool project!

92
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Fri
Dec 15 2006
01:20 pm

My Christmas card to you...well...sort of. (Make sure your speakers are on and turned up a little...)

28
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Fri
Dec 15 2006
12:57 pm

Wii has been showing up on TV advertisements the last few days. Having never owned, that I can remember, a home video game, I have always had trouble understanding the attraction. This Wii commercial just causes more confusion. There are people, not just teenagers or younger, standing in front of a television moving around oddly.

According to Gamasutra, the official Wii website explains; "the new name for the console "represents the answer", and "will break down that wall that separates video game players from everybody else." I couldn't find the claim on the official Wii website, but then I don't have the patience to peruse all their information.

Apparently some video game players find Wii so exciting, it is creating a problem with the wireless remote. "Legendary Nintendo producer Shigeru Miyamoto also commented on the problem, saying: "We are encouraging people to understand that you really don't have to be so excited, but rather you need to understand the control and then you're going to be the best player. We are looking into the situation to see if there are additional methods to encourage people to kind of calm down so they would never throw away the controller itself."

Some gamers are so excited when they play Wii, there are "Reports of users breaking the straps during more excited bouts of play emerged immediately after the console’s launch, with stories of remotes slipping from hands and smashing into televisions, furniture and even fellow players’ faces."

I suppose Nintendo has not closed the gap completely. I still don't see the attraction.

Be careful out there.

26
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Fri
Dec 15 2006
12:39 pm

The Knox County Commission is set to vote Monday on $7.5 million in funding for the controversial Midway project. Which may be premature, because there is pending litigation (PDF format) to stop the project.

Read the press release from a community group opposing the project after the jump...

Continued...

51
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Fri
Dec 15 2006
11:26 am

Wandering Hillbilly, buddy don, has another good poem.

...
We want a land that can do, unaided,
Things it could do before we invaded.

Topics:
19
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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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