Apr 25 2019
06:49 am

TDOT is holding a community outreach meeting to give citizens an opportunity to learn more about the Alcoa Highway Improvements project, specifically the section from Hall Road (Alcoa Hwy/129/Bypass split) to the airport interchange (Tyson Blvd) in Blount County.

What: Alcoa Highway Improvements

When Today, April 25, 2019
5 PM to 7 PM

Where: City of Alcoa Service Center
725 Universal Street, Alcoa TN 37701

The Alcoa Service Center at 725 Universal Street is the only thing on Universal Street. It is located off of Wright Road. From Hunt Road, you can take Wright Road to the stop sign, turn left, then an immediate right. You can also come from Springbrook Road, where at the intersection (four way stop signs), go west away from Hall Road then Universal will be on the right.

Check out an overview of the Alcoa Hwy - Hunt Road Interchange Redesign here.

A little sarcasm here, if they want to do community outreach, why do we hear about the meeting one day before the meeting? I can only guess they announced it the local paper in the classified section.

Apr 24 2019
08:45 am

In a narrow vote, the state House passed a bill setting up school vouchers. From what I gather, Gov. Lee and Speaker Casada cajoled, strong armed, threatened and bribed house members to get it passed.

Rural representatives were told they'd get money for road projects and such if they went along, otherwise they were on their own. Casada told Republicans he'd have their back. There was also an offer of a taxpayer funded trip to Israel that may or may not be related.

Knoxville Rep. Jason Zachary flipped to cast the deciding vote after getting pulled aside by Casada. Apparently, Zachary agreed to vote for the bill if it excluded Knox County. The bill he voted to pass still includes Knox County.

Rep. Gloria Johnson (an actual educator) held her hand up for an hour seeking to be recognized. She was ignored.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos sent a congratulatory tweet to Gov. Lee for his accomplishment.

So now the Senate will take up a different version of the bill. If that passes, it will go back to the House for reconciliation.

Apr 24 2019
07:10 am

State Sen. Maureen Walsh, R-Walla Walla, made a comment last week "saying nurses in smaller hospitals “probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day” during their shifts." The comment was made while "debating a bill that would give nurses uninterrupted meals and breaks at work and protect them from mandatory overtime." She feels that if smaller hospitals in under served areas "are forced to comply with the bill, they “may not be able to survive.”

She had to apologize. Sort of. She says she "was simply trying to differentiate between the staffing needs of the small rural critical access hospitals with a handful of patients, versus the large urban hospitals with hundreds and hundreds of patients.”

I worked at a large hospital for five years. I have spent time being with family and friends at various hospitals. The only thing I have noticed is how hard nurses work. You have to be a special person to be a nurse (doctor, teacher, social worker, etc.).

Sure, there are different needs at different locations. Either way, IMO, nurses work hard and need time to eat, relax, and decompress.

Thank a nurse today for all the good work and care they give.

Rochester Drug Cooperative faces charges for conspiring to distribute drugs and defrauding the federal government — after the company didn’t report thousands of suspicious orders of opioids, including oxycodone and fentanyl. Rochester is the sixth-largest distributor in the US, according to the New York Times.

For the first time, the feds criminally charged a pharma distributor for the opioid epidemic

Federal Criminal Charges Over Opioid Crises


Apr 23 2019
04:11 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL


After all these years we finally got to see Santana. Went over to Nashville to see their show at the Grand Old (new) Opry House last night. It was a blast. Very cool vibes all around.

They opened the two-hour, non-stop, high-energy show with Soul Sacrifice (with video of the iconic Woodstock performance as a backdrop) and closed with Smooth, with lots of hits and some new material in between. All-pro band (including his wife on drums). It was our first time at this venue. Pretty nice. Killer show from start to finish.

Apr 22 2019
09:26 am
By: R. Neal  shortURL


Nice place you got there. It'd be a shame if something happened to it.

Apr 22 2019
09:25 am

Press release: "Today, Ancient Lore Village at Boyd Hollow broke ground on two prototype homes. These homes are being built with acquired permits under the current agricultural zoning of the main site for the purposes of validating the overall project budget. These homes will not initially be occupied but will be used as open house venues for several local charities this fall."

Apr 20 2019
12:42 pm

Susan Hennessey, Quinta Jurecic at Lawfare 4/20/19
The Mueller Report Demands an Impeachment Inquiry

Though hard questions remain about whether President Trump should be impeached and whether the evidence would be sufficient for the Senate to convict him, these are not questions that need to be answered at this stage. Congress’s responsibility at this point is to begin an impeachment inquiry as a means of finding an answer to them. And Mueller has provided more than enough information to justify initiating an inquiry: the report sets out evidence of possible criminal wrongdoing by the president during his time in office related to abuse of power, which is at the dead center of the “high crimes and misdemeanors” impeachment is designed to check. Though most scholars agree that violating the law is not necessary for impeachment, Congress included allegations of such conduct in articles of impeachment against Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton—all three times the legislature seriously contemplated impeaching the president. In Nixon and Clinton’s case, the articles specifically concerned criminal behavior, including obstruction of justice. What’s more, the Mueller report itself suggests a possible hook for impeachment in indicating that the “corrupt intent” necessary for an obstruction offense would also violate the president’s obligation to “faithfully execute” the laws under the Take Care Clause.

In the face of this evidence, for Congress to not even consider impeachment as a matter of serious inquiry is to declare that the legislature is not interested in its carrying out its institutional obligations as a coordinate branch of government.

Ezra Klein at Vox 4/19/19
The problem with impeachment

Absent public support for impeachment, and amid a strong economy, it would give the White House an opportunity to run the playbook Bill Clinton ran so successfully in the 1990s: Here’s Trump, focusing on economic growth, and there are the Democrats, focusing on their doomed vendetta against the president.

This is a strategy that would unite Republicans and split Democrats, and if Trump won using it, then the harm to American democracy would be incalculable. I think it’s a mistake for liberals to wave that prospect away.

This brings us back to the question of elections, the frontline mechanism of democratic accountability. Behind some of these arguments is a fear, I think, that the American public doesn’t care enough about the rule of law to protect it themselves in the next election. After all, Democrats didn’t run on Mueller in 2018, and there’s no evidence they want to run on his findings in 2020, either. Will all this really go unpunished? What if Trump then wins reelection?

Apr 20 2019
08:04 am

According to a Consumer Reports investigation they "identified 11 brands out of more than 130 that either self-reported or, based on tests we commissioned, had detectable amounts of arsenic. Of those, six had levels of 3 ppb or higher. These brands are Starkey (owned by Whole Foods), Peñafiel (owned by Keurig Dr Pepper), Crystal Geyser Alpine Spring Water, Volvic (owned by Danone), and two regional brands, Crystal Creamery and EartH2O."

Consumer Reports "also was able to purchase two brands of imported water—Jermuk from Armenia and Peñafiel (owned by Keurig Dr Pepper) from Mexico—that are on an import alert issued by the federal government for previously having arsenic levels above the federal limit of 10 ppb."

Keurig Dr Pepper "said this week that it had conducted new testing, because of Consumer Report’s questions, and confirmed levels above the federal limit, at an average of 17 ppb."

The article includes a list of "Leading Bottled Waters With Lower Arsenic Levels" including Aquafina, Dasani, Deer Park, Evian, Kirkland (Costco) Nestle Pure Life, Poland Spring, etc.

Apr 19 2019
08:40 pm
By: michael kaplan  shortURL

The St. Mary's site in North Knoxville should be used for affordable, small houses on small lots, restoring the residential quality of this neighborhood. I'm thinking shotgun or box 'starter' houses, around 800 s.f. each, on 25' x 100' lots. North Knoxville is still dotted with houses like these, and the project could be a model for the redevelopment of older neighborhoods.

preview_twin_shotguns copy.jpg

Tune in on Knoxville's Community TV channel at 7:30 PM tonight and meet the new officers of the Knox County Democratic Party: Chair LaKenya Middlebrook, Vice Chair Eddie Nelson, and Treasurer Caroline Cranford.

The Community TV channel airs at:
Comcast Channel 12
Charter Channel 193
Wow! Channel 6
ATT U-verse Channel 99

or can be live streamed at: (CTV)

Apr 18 2019
08:33 pm

Will try again next week...

Apr 18 2019
07:06 pm

...should adjust its future dates to allow for climate change.

Apr 18 2019
12:35 pm

Requirements of the position include: Knowledge of Raiser’s Edge is essential, bachelor’s degree, prior experience in a nonprofit organization.

This is a full-time position and is open until filled. The position description is available at

If you or someone you know is interested in applying for the position, email a letter detailing how your skills and abilities meet the requirements of the position, your resume, and four professional references to No phone calls please. Arrowmont is an equal opportunity

Apr 18 2019
11:51 am
By: bizgrrl  shortURL

From NPR,

Access to the full Mueller Report, redacted.

138 MG, 448 pages.

UPDATE: Regarding the investigation into obstruction of justice...


Because we determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment, we did not draw ultimate conclusions about the President’s conduct. The evidence we obtained about the President’s actions and intent presents difficult issues that would need to be resolved if we were making a traditional prosecutorial judgement. At the same time, if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."

Apr 18 2019
07:02 am

A followup to the March 4, 2019, report of "FBI, TBI target South Knox "pain clinic".

U.S. attorneys from Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia and Alabama along with FBI, DEA and other officials announced charges Wednesday against 60 people, 53 of whom are medical professionals, in a massive law enforcement action involving opioids across 11 federal districts in five states, including Tennessee.

Eight of the people charged are from East Tennessee. At least two doctors from East TN Valley Pain Specialists on John Sevier Highway were charged with conspiracy to distribute Schedule II controlled drugs and/or distribution of Schedule II drugs. Four of them were affiliated with LaFollette Wellness Center. According to the LaFollette Press, "LaFollette Wellness Center notified the Tennessee Department of Health it would be closing its doors on Jan. 2."

Mr. Trash Wheel — and his cousins Professor Trash Wheel and Captain Trash Wheel — have scooped up a million Styrofoam containers since the first one was installed on a tributary leading to the Baltimore Harbor in 2014.

Meet Mr. Trash Wheel: Baltimore Harbor's Googly Eyed Garbage Gobbler

Apr 16 2019
01:58 pm
By: cameronjbrooks  shortURL

Wanted to share information about this cool event coming up!


Come get your picture taken professionally with your furry friend, and get a free 5x7 and digital file!

For more information:

Apr 16 2019
09:49 am

What: Books Sandwiched In welcomes Dr. Maria Fernanda Campa
When: Wednesday, April 24, 2019 - 12:00pm
Where: East Tennessee History Center

SaudiAmerica.jpgKnox County Public Library invites the public to join Dr. Maria Fernanda Campa for a consideration of Saudi America: The Truth about Fracking and How It's Changing the World by Bethany McLean, Wednesday, April 24, noon–1:00 in the East Tennessee History Center auditorium at 601 South Gay Street.

According to the author, most opposition to hydraulic fracking has focused on its potential environmental impacts. In Saudi America. McLean presents instead a surprising exposé of the shaky financial foundation of the fracking industry. "The biggest reason to doubt the most breathless predictions about America's future as an oil and gas colossus has more to do with Wall Street than with geopolitics or geology," McLean wrote.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP)Tennessee could penalize some paid voter registration groups with fines for too many faulty signups and criminal charges for violating new requirements under a proposal passed by the House on Monday.

Several groups of protesters swarmed the Capitol. Some were removed from chambers by armed state troopers.

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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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