This is apparently okay.

The baseball field was placed over an asphalt parking lot, which the school district could not remove because of possible contamination on the site when it belonged to ALCOA Inc. Instead they added a foot or more of fill dirt for the field, completed in 2004.

However, maintenance is now needed on the site for a long-term drainage problem.

Under the terms of the deed, work on the property requires approval from both Arconic Inc. (formerly ALCOA) and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

They are going to spend $52,000 to start the process and develop a fix.

The City of Alcoa, Arconic (formerly ALCOA) and developers are working to develop what they call the ALCOA West Plant site. There is contamination there as well. Will they make it safe? Will it last longer than the 13 years of the Alcoa Schools baseball field?

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Tue
Jul 25 2017
07:15 pm

Prostate cancer is in the news today. Guys, here's some free advice. Suffer through those digital exams (your doctor doesn't like them any more than you do) and get your PSA checked regularly. PSA is not always 100% reliable, but any upward deviation, even if still in the "normal" range, should be investigated by a competent and trusted urologist. As should any weird bladder emptying problems. Trust me on this. It could save your life.

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Tue
Jul 25 2017
07:14 pm

From The Tennessean:

Officers at Nashville's privately run jail ignored inmates suffering from a scabies outbreak, leaving vulnerable inmates particularly exposed, states a third federal lawsuit seeking class action status.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in Nashville federal court, also alleges officers at the Metro-Davidson County Detention Facility joked any lawsuit would fail because local judges have money invested in jail operator CoreCivic, a Nashville-based private prison company previously known as Corrections Corporation of America or CCA.

Update: About 17 employees at a privately-run Nashville jail were infested by a widespread scabies outbreak, according to a revised lawsuit that alleges negligence on the part of the facility operator.

Those employees faced professional backlash if they spoke out, the lawsuit says, an accusation that mirrors those in a separate case filed by inmates alleging officers threatened to put inmates in solitary confinement if they mentioned scabies.

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Mosquitoes in the Stone Road area of South Knoxville have tested positive for the West Nile virus.

The Knox County Health Dept. said crews will spray for mosquitoes in that area on Thursday, July 27 between 9 p.m. and midnight to reduce the Culex mosquito population and the risk of the West Nile virus spreading to humans.

Signs will be posted in the affected neighborhoods to alert residents, who are asked to stay inside during spraying and keep pets inside or in the backyard.

Mosquitoes in South Knoxville have tested positive for the West Nile virus

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Tue
Jul 25 2017
03:13 pm

Pence casts tie-breaking vote. Let the "debate" begin.

Will Bernie Sanders move to substitute HR676 for the pending proposal, whatever it is?

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Tue
Jul 25 2017
01:08 pm

Statement from Sen. Bob Corker's office:

"After being involved in many discussions over the past several months with my colleagues and stakeholders across Tennessee, I believe the best path forward is for Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act after a reasonable transition period," said Corker. "This takes us back to a level playing field where, by a date certain, all sides have incentive to work together to develop a health care replacement that can generate broad support and will stand the test of time. Regardless of how we move forward, it is my hope that our focus will be not only on coverage but also on lowering the actual cost of health care."

Corker participated in a lengthy meeting held by senators last Wednesday night and also attended the lunch meeting held on Thursday afternoon at the White House. The senator will vote for the motion to proceed to debate health care on the Senate floor this week.

In other words, I intend to stroke Trump's ego in hopes of gaining his approval, and kick the can down the road until after the midterm elections.

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Tue
Jul 25 2017
12:10 pm

The News Sentinel has been fearuring these weird videos that take a long time to impart not much information.

Here's a recent one.

It starts with a 30 second commercial followed by a one minute slide show that a) lists five things that pretty much everybody already knows, and b) could be read as text in a bullet point list in about 10 seconds or less.

At least they let you skip the 30 second commercial after a few seconds. I think this is a new "feature," not sure.

Anyway, I've seen a lot of these lately. There are worse examples with even less useful information and really poorly rendered graphics, but this is one from today's front page so there you go.

What's the point of these videos, other than to waste your time and bandwidth?

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The Senate is going to try and vote again to repeal/replace the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare. The Republicans are so desperate they are trying to fly Sen. McCain to DC after having had brain surgery less than a week ago.

Please contact your Senators to request a NO vote to repeal/replace the Affordable Care Act. It is just now starting to work. If repeal/replace is successful, hundred of thousand of Tennesseans could lose their current health insurance or Medicaid. Millions in the U.S. could lose their current health insurance or Medicaid.

Please make a call.

Senator Alexander – (202) 224-4944
Senator Corker – (202) 224-3344

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In some cases voting republican is like eating fried foods. Its bad for them, but folks vote that way anyway.

RAM in Wise, Va ...

But Brock, a former TV star as co-host of "Wild Kingdom" who at 80 still looks camera-ready, wants every politician to see the failures of the country’s healthcare system with their own eyes.

"I’m actually convinced that if President Trump were to come to one of these big events, he would say to himself, 'Wow, I should do something about this,' " Brock said. "They’re all cheering for him now, but they’re all expecting something to change for the better. And it’s not, for now, at least."

They Voted Trump and Need Health Care. A Democrat-Doctor Volunteers

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Former workers for Jacobs Engineering, the California company hired by TVA to oversee cleanup of the massive Kingston coal ash spill, have won a court victory that allows their lawsuit against the company to proceed. The workers and their families claim they were not provided proper safety training and equipment and as a result suffered serious health problems and wrongful deaths related to toxic coal ash exposure.

Jamie Satterfield at the News Sentinel, who wrote a series of investigative reports, says that Jacobs Engineering claimed immunity under TVA's umbrella but a federal appeals court disagreed and ruled that the the trial could proceed. It is scheduled to begin in 2018. According to her reporting, there are 17 deaths related to the cleanup. She says that workers she interviewed "asked for only one thing: tell their story."

Here are the reports:

Kingston coal ash spill workers treated as 'expendables,' lawsuit by sick and dying contends

Trial set for 2018 in lawsuit by Kingston coal ash spill cleanup workers

Migraines, coughs, infections, boils plagued workers cleaning up ash spill

'Just working class people' didn't know dangers they faced at ash spill

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Democrats have a very rare opportunity coming up to win when it matters most — if they can get their base to pay attention.

The upcoming slate of governors races combines an unusually favorable map for Democrats with a strong chance to influence the once-in-a-decade congressional redistricting process. That process helps determine how many seats each party holds in the House, and Republican success at controlling the process has helped the party achieve dominance in Congress.

Washington politicos and grassroots activists alike often overlook governors races, and that’s especially true in the Democratic Party, which is years behind the GOP when it comes to investing in state races.

The Most Important Elections You Haven’t Heard About

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Overby, 78, was one of hundreds, possibly thousands, of people whose social security checks were slashed without warning after TennCare determined they were no longer eligible for Medicare assistance.

Seniors left scrambling after TennCare makes cuts to Social Security checks

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Sun
Jul 23 2017
10:27 am

Interesting

Said to produce enough energy to power 15,000 homes a year

This solar farm floats atop a flooded coal mine

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Sat
Jul 22 2017
03:19 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL

20170722-IMG_20170722_134041273-2.jpg

We actually had some apples on our mini apple tree this year and were able to harvest some before the squirrels and possums got them all. We got enough for two pies, with a few left over. Waiting for them to cool, will let you know how they turned out. They look and smell good...

Continued...

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Fri
Jul 21 2017
08:25 pm

Wow. Stuff is coming out faster than anyone can keep up with.

Sessions implicated for yet another previously undisclosed Russian involvement. News from sketchy sources probably leaked by Trump to throw Sessions under the bus. Media eating it up. Nicely played.

Then, revelations of more Kushner shady business dealings. Going to be harder to spin that.

Not to mention, Trump wonders with his lawers whether he can pardon himself and his family.

Watergate is starting to look like a misdemeanor Walmart shoplifting beef in comparison.

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Fri
Jul 21 2017
08:24 pm

Leave with a vasectomy. Or stay. Your choice.

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Whitehouse.gov:

If confirmed, J. Douglas Overbey of Tennessee will serve as the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee. Mr. Overbey is currently a senior partner and cofounder of the law firm Robertson Overbey. During his 38 years of practice, he has handled a diverse array of legal matters, including antitrust and commercial litigation. Mr. Overbey is also a three-term Tennessee state senator and the chair of the state ethics committee. He previously served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Tennessee College of Law. He received his B.A., magna cum laude, from Carson-Newman College, and his J.D. from the University of Tennessee College of Law, where he was first in his class and Order of the Coif.

I'm OK with this. Sen. Overbey is a decent guy. And pretty moderate for a Republican. I actually voted for him a couple of times. (For self preservation. Don't tell anybody. It's Blount Co. What are you gonna do?) Trump must not have vetted him for rabid right-wing creds. His loss, our gain.

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While the U. S. continues to lead the world in innovation relating to artificial intelligence (AI), CNN reports today China's announcement to overtake us via its planned investment of $150 billion over the next few years.

However, a nearly offhand remark in the story--on which the author doesn't expound--is this one:

Alibaba (BABA, Tech30) founder and chairman Jack Ma, currently China's richest man, thinks artificial intelligence will bring about a massive upheaval in society, with robots replacing many CEOs as well as less senior workers.

Cashiers at McDonalds we knew about, but CEOs, too?! Ma has offered prophecies as jarring before, telling media earlier this year that "in the next three decades, the world will experience far more pain than happiness."

But is he alone in his warnings? What could be the future impacts of AI to labor and to society in general? More to the point, if he's right, how should governments be planning now to combat disruption on the scale Ma suggests--and are they?

Continued...

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Fri
Jul 21 2017
01:02 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL

Sean "alternative facts" Spicer resigns as press secretary after Trump hires less qualified guy over him as communications director. Chief of staff Reince Priebus didn't know anything about the hire. Chief strategist Steve Bannon also left out of the loop. Trump large and in charge!

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Fri
Jul 21 2017
08:53 am

Her speech to ALEC was yesterday in Denver, preceded by protests the day before that.

An excerpt from the Time magazine coverage:

In prepared remarks, DeVos described the protests as a "badge of honor." "Our opponents, the defenders of the status quo, only protest those capable of implementing real change," she said. "You represent real change."

The protesters had criticized DeVos' support for school vouchers, arguing that voucher programs will threaten public school systems by driving money to private schools. Such arguments have also been fueled by recent findings that voucher programs don't improve student performance.

(I haven't posted much on this topic in recent months, have I? It's just so very, very tiring...)

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