Aug 16 2018
06:02 pm

The U.S. Senate today passed a resolution proclaiming that the press is not the enemy of the people.

Doesn't it already say that right there in the Constitution?

The resolution passed with unanimous consent, meaning no Republicans had to go on record. It is also non-binding.

How sad that it has come to this.

Aug 16 2018
02:57 pm


Things are moving along with the new bridge on Alcoa Highway at Maloney Road.

They have completely torn up Ginn Road on the west side. I didn't get a picture but was totally surprised that the road is gone. Also didn't get to see how I get to Volunteer Vet on the corner.

A few traffic lights would surely have been a lot cheaper and quicker.

Aug 16 2018
10:10 am

Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, has died at the age of 76.

Aug 16 2018
12:18 am

So this guy's running to succeed the first woman speaker. He'll probably win.


It's kind of a hoot, given this little factoid that the Tennessean didn't think important enough to include. His mugshot favors Congressman DesJarlais, don't you think?

GREENEVILLE — An East Tennessee jury on Thursday convicted state Rep. David Hawk of reckless endangerment stemming from an incident in which his ex-wife alleged he had struck her.


Those elevators are better than they once were, but still pretty bad. Several years ago there was a neat cozy bar up there. Usually packed. It didn't use the space very well. I think they eventually had some issues with landlord I heard and were gone. But a few businesses since then just couldn't figure it out. The place with neon lights made it tough to see out because of reflective glare.

The WF site and South Waterfront seem like a couple potential gems. We'll see what happens.

The Knoxville City Council approved $2.5 million in funding Tuesday night for work to be done on the iconic Sunsphere and Amphitheatre at World's Fair Park.

Knoxville City Council approves $2.5M for Sunsphere, Ampitheatre improvements

When Social Security was initiated (1935), it was excluded from federal income taxation.

The Treasury Department's underlying rationale for not taxing Social Security benefits was that the benefits under the Act could be considered as "gratuities," and since gifts or gratuities were not generally taxable

In 1983, Congress passed and President Reagan signed into law the 1983 Amendments where up to one-half of the value of the Social Security benefit was made potentially taxable income.

In 1983, the Senate Finance Committee Report offered these additional observations: ". . . by taxing social security benefits and appropriating these revenues to the appropriate trust funds, the financial solvency of the social security trust funds will be strengthened. . ."

In 1983, Congress intended that the taxation provisions should not affect "lower-income individuals." The $25,000 for individuals and $32,000 for married filing joint thresholds were included to accomplish this.

In 2018, 35 years later the thresholds are the same, with an addition where if you file joint and make $44,000, more of your Social Security benefits are taxed.

When the law was originally enacted, only about 10% of the people receiving Social Security beneifts were affect by the law. By 1993, approximately 18% were affected. Now, in 2018, about 56% of Social Security beneficiaries are affected by the law.

But, then as now, they do not elect to eliminate the threshold for which Social Security taxes are withheld from payroll, which would also have strengthened the financial solvency of Social Security.

It is now time to modify this law to, at a minimum, raise the threshold as to when Social Security beneficiaries are taxed on their Social Security benefits.

Aug 15 2018
08:44 am

(Click on pic for a few more)

Went up to the new Hyatt Place rooftop bar last week. It was a pleasant surprise. The views are great. The atmosphere was wonderful. The service was impeccable. Very enjoyable.

It is my understanding the maximum capacity is 120 people. You can register and if it is full they will text you when space is available. It is open Wednesday through Saturday, from 3 PM to Midnight.

Aug 14 2018
06:45 pm

"As part of the two-year series, UConn will host Tennessee during the 2019-20 season, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the Pat Summitt Foundation and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. In the 2020-21 season, the Lady Vols will host the Huskies in Knoxville, with a portion of the proceeds again benefitting the Pat Summitt Foundation and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, as well as the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame."


Aug 14 2018
01:09 pm

Press release...

Knoxville’s new subscription-only online publication goes live in September

Hello, Knoxville! This is a press release to you from us, veteran journalists and inquisitive guys about town Scott Barker and Jesse Fox Mayshark.

We are thrilled to introduce you to Compass, our new website and newsletter dedicated to covering local government, politics and business. Compass will focus on Knoxville and Knox County, and help to explore the issues and interests that are shaping our community. We want to understand and illuminate the changes affecting the city we love.

You can learn more about it and subscribe at We will start publishing on Sept. 4.

We bring decades of experience to this effort.

Scott was a local government reporter and editorial page editor at the Knoxville News Sentinel for 18 years. He covered the Black Wednesday scandal of 2007 in depth, and he was part of the paper’s successful effort to hold officials accountable for sunshine law violations.

Jesse also worked at the News Sentinel, was editor of Metro Pulse, and was a staff editor for The New York Times. He worked for the last six and a half years in communications for Mayor Madeline Rogero at the City of Knoxville. (He will be leaving coverage of City government to Scott, who will also lead our coverage of next year’s City elections.)

“During my time with the City,” Jesse says, “I watched up close as our local media eroded rapidly. Knoxville and Knox County are growing and changing, and there is almost nobody left telling the stories of what’s happening. I think people want to know more about what’s going on in our community and why. We want to fill those gaps.”

Compass will be a subscription-only publication. Subscribers will have access to articles on and receive a newsletter via email each weekday highlighting coverage updates. Thursday reports will include an in-depth feature story and other updates. You can expect well-reported profiles of major local figures, analysis of complex issues, stories about business and development trends.

“We anticipate our readers will be as interested in and dedicated to our community as we are,” Scott says “Our goal is to provide the information prized by decision-makers in government and business, nonprofit organizations, neighborhood groups, PTAs and others who are shaping the future of Knoxville and Knox County.”

Aug 13 2018
01:51 pm

The News Sentinel is reporting that Parks and Recreation Director Doug Bataille, IT Director Dick Moran and IT Deputy Director Dave Ball were offered retirement and relieved of their duties by Knox Co. Mayor Tim Burchett, apparently at the request of incoming mayor Glenn Jacobs.

Meanwhile, Glenn Jacobs' wrestling alter ego "Kane" was making an appearance at Bubba Fest this weekend.

Aug 12 2018
04:31 pm

Back in May I sat down with Mayor Rogero and did an interview with her that I published in my real estate newsletter. We covered many insightful topics ranging from accomplishments over the past years to who her mentors are. Check out!

An Interview with Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero

Aug 12 2018
12:12 pm

The segment started with some "yes or no" questions...


WBIR Inside Tennessee, 9:30AM Sunday Aug. 12th: Renee Hoyos and Tim Burchett discuss the race for US House TN2.

Aug 9 2018
08:41 pm

Tune in to the Community TV channel on Friday, August 10th at 7:30 PM for an analysis of the August 2nd Primary/General election on Democratic TV lead by Dr. Mark Harmon with State Representative Rick Staples and Journalist Mike Steely as they discuss their observations and takeaways from the expected and unexpected results of the election.

Watch your cable channel:

Comcast NBCUniversal: Channel 12
Charter Channel 193
Wow! Channel 6
AT&T Uverse Channel 99

DTV also streams live on your computer (here!)

Aug 9 2018
07:22 pm

Aug 9 2018
03:37 pm


Saw this on the French Broad today. It says "If you hear banjo music paddle faster."


(click image for bigger)

We went for a paddle on the French Broad today. As we approached Newman Island, we were like, what is THAT? Where did it come from? Can we get through there? What are all those buoys? Are they telling us to keep away?

As we got closer we could see that it is a new pedestrian bridge linking Seven Islands mainland to Newman Island. The buoys were directing boaters to stay to the right where the channel is deeper. We coasted right under the bridge, no problem.

This wasn't there when we paddled through two years ago. When we got home, I googled for info about it, and found my own blog post from ten years ago. Guess I forgot all about it.

Anyway, reports at the time said they had hoped to start construction in 2009. Looks like it took a little longer than anticipated, but it appears to be nearing completion now.

Aug 9 2018
12:39 pm
By: Mark Harmon  shortURL

I've landed a new columnist gig, twice monthly in the Farragut Press. Here's the first of what I hope will be many columns.


Aug 8 2018
07:26 am

Knoxville City Council will vote on a new rezoning at the intersection of Cherokee Trail and Edington Road on August 14, 2018. There appears to be strong opposition among residents in the area, who are concerned about runoff, flooding, and traffic safety among other things. Opponents of the zoning have organized a petition to be delivered to City Council members. It says:

We respectfully request that city council does not approve any more rezoning on Edington Road or Cherokee Trail. The residents of the area believe the infrastructure in this area has already been stretched to its limits. Specifically:

1. There have been 5 incidents of flooding on Edington Rd in the last month. During high traffic times, there is little room for cars to turn around. Traffic must be diverted onto narrow back roads which are not designed for through traffic.

The developments that are already built have significantly added to the flooding problem. It is obvious that the County and City Engineers who approved these developments failed to anticipate the extent of the runoff due to the replacement of woodlands with parking lots and buildings. Any future apartment complexes will only exacerbate the situation.

2. Cherokee and Edington are both windy roads with no room for foot or bike traffic and are not serviced by KAT. When people do walk or bike on these roads it is very dangerous for drivers who are trying to avoid pedestrians as we sometimes must swerve into the opposite lane around blind curves to avoid a potentially lethal encounter.

3. The east end of Cherokee Trail and Edington Road both have one lane underpasses under railroad trestles. The Cherokee Trail underpass is especially dangerous in that traffic from either direction cannot see oncoming cars.

Petition: No New Rezoning on Cherokee Trail in South Knoxville


Cherokee Trail ridgetop removal
News flash: Cherokee Trail is hazardous


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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. (Source)

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