"Penny (Schwinn) is a nightmare come true. Lee is a disappointment and I hate to think of the decisions he will make after this stupid appointment. It is hard enough for sensible people to deal with an immoral and evil President. Now, again, we have to survive a governor that is terribly misguided and against the interests of our children and favors the interests of the elite."

(link...)

That is the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission. Apparently power boaters don't like having to deal with paddle powered craft on Tennessee waterways. I suppose the lack of noise and pollution offends people who think you need to run 80 miles per hour in a boat to catch a fish. The plan is to regulate (tax) rental boats, even rental boats that are operated by municipalities such as Kingston.

Commissioners made it clear Friday's action is just the first step of an ongoing process with potential changes, including fees, to come in the future.

(link...)

pic

Wed
Jan 16 2019
09:57 am

Rick has been an asset to Kingston and a great person to work with. He's moving on to pursue other opportunities and says Kington is a great place to live and work and he's loved his 12 years as Parks and Rec Director, but it's time to move on.

Replacing Rick Ross is a tall order.

Tue
Jan 15 2019
08:58 am

Bizgrrl does some good research over at KnoxViews.com:

Starting Jan. 1, a new federal rule requires the nation’s hospitals to post all their full-price charges on their websites. The idea is to introduce transparency into the world of hospital charges. But these newly-published price lists may end up leaving consumers even more confused than ever before.

(link...)

If Trump has no Russian collusion that installed him in the Presidency, and no financial obligations that make him a Russian Asset puppet, why won't Trump testify under oath? And just as important, why are Mitch McConnell and the other high ranking Republicans so adamant in blocking the Russian investigation?

The real question is what, if anything, would the President be doing differently if we knew for Certain that he was a Russian asset or agent?

(link...)

Fri
Jan 11 2019
10:07 am

We have beautiful native trees and shrubs. Use natives in landscaping for a healthy yard ecosystem.

Insect-eating birds that depend on the availability of high-calorie, high-protein cuisine — namely caterpillars and spiders — during the breeding season to feed their young are finding the menu severely lacking in backyards landscaped with even a small proportion of nonnative plants... This reduction of food availability has led to a decline in the breeding success and population growth of the Carolina chickadee, the study found.

“Landowners are using nonnative plants in their yards because they’re pretty and exotic, they’re easy to maintain, and they tend to have fewer pests on them...But it turns out that a lot of those insects they see as pests are actually critical food resources for our breeding birds. For landowners who want to make a difference, our study shows that a simple change they make in their yards can be profoundly helpful for bird conservation.”

(link...)?

Recommended Native Plants for Tennessee

Glad to see cucumber tree on the list. This is a classic yard tree much used for landscapes back in the day. It's native to Roane County, one of several magnolias that are!

cucumber tree

This is nothing short of an outrage!

Despite calls from protesters — and the previous House speaker — for his resignation, a state lawmaker accused of inappropriate sexual conduct against multiple teens has been named chairman of an education subcommittee.

Rep. David Byrd, R-Waynesboro, has been assigned by newly-elected House Speaker Glen Casada, R-Franklin, to lead the education administration subcommittee.

(link...)

Thu
Jan 10 2019
07:56 pm

This blows my mind!

In 1958, CBS aired an episode of Trackdown in which a con man attempted to sell a town a “wall” in order to protect them from the fake threat of a meteor shower.

Guess what the con man’s name was? Trump.

(link...)

Thanks to Rneal at KnoxViews for the heads up!

Which means that you and I are orbiting a super massive black hope as well. Is the Universe weirder than we CAN know?

A team of scientists have analyzed pulses of radio waves coming from a magnetar – a rotating, dense, dead star with a strong magnetic field – that is located near the supermassive black hole at the heart of the Milky Way galaxy. The new research provides clues that magnetars like this one, lying in close proximity to a black hole, could perhaps be linked to the source of fast radio bursts, or FRBs. FRBs are high-energy blasts that originate beyond our galaxy but whose exact nature is unknown.

(link...)

Also: It shines with a brightness equivalent to 600 trillion suns

Wed
Jan 9 2019
07:46 pm

Time: Thu Jan 10 6:54 AM, Visible: 4 min, Max Height: 49°, Appears: 13° above NW, Disappears: 36° above E

Wed
Jan 9 2019
06:35 pm

Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) watched President Trump’s speech about the security of our southern border with Mexico tonight and made the following statement:

“President Trump showed us tonight that his reality and most Americans’ reality are at odds. Fearmongering about the security of our borders does not create a crisis, and few beyond his core acolytes will accept that the country needs to spend $5.7 billion to build an ineffective wall to keep asylum seekers out. There are modern ways that are much more effective and economical in detecting border crossings and the flow of drugs, including drones and other technologies. What’s also needed is funding for more border patrol agents. I voted last week and will again this week to pass Republican-drafted, bipartisan bills to end the shutdown. Let’s reopen the government and discuss real border security with 800,000 furloughed and unpaid federal workers back on the job.”

(link...)

Wed
Jan 9 2019
12:34 pm

Released by Paul Manafort's lawyers in the worst redaction job ever:

(Trump's) campaign manager was secretly funneling campaign data and information to a Russian oligarch closely tied to Russian President Vladimir Putin, someone who had no possible use for such information other than to use it in the Russian efforts to get Donald Trump elected President.

So there is proof positive that the Trump Campaign broke the law in colluding with the Russians to affect the American Presidential election.

The aliens at the border thing is a total con job. Senators, do your duty!

(link...)

Wed
Jan 9 2019
10:04 am
By: WhitesCreek

Our good friend of many years, Jennifer Raby is the new Child Support Magistrate Judge for the Ninth Judicial District. It would be a wonderful thing if all judges were as qualified and as caring. We are all lucky she agreed to take the job.

“Her vast legal experience in the area of domestic law, particularly on child support matters, as well as her commitment to this community and district will serve the citizens of the Ninth Judicial District well,” Circuit Court Judge Mike Pemberton said.

Raby replaces Charles Crass, whose retirement was effective on Friday, Jan. 4

Via RCN

From Cohen's press releases:

On the first day of the new Congress, I introduced Constitutional amendments to limit a president’s pardon power and to eliminate the Electoral College. I also introduced a bill to prohibit federal prosecution of patients, veterans and doctors in states that have made medical marijuana legal.

(link...)

“The national consensus on medical marijuana is solid and bipartisan, but our federal drug laws continue to treat patients and their doctors like criminals. Our bill would bring federal medical marijuana policy in line with the views of the overwhelming majority of Americans by allowing states to set their own marijuana laws, allowing patients, including veterans, to receive the treatments they need from their doctors and improving opportunities for research on marijuana."

Tue
Jan 1 2019
06:15 pm
By: WhitesCreek

Yesterday on Watts Bar Lake...

fish

Caught on a plastic worm and spinning rod.

"When the new year begins next week, President Trump will have an acting chief of staff, an acting secretary of defense, an acting attorney general, an acting EPA administrator, no interior secretary, and no ambassador to the United Nations. The officials originally in all those positions have either been fired or have quit in various measures of disgust or scandal. His former campaign chairman, deputy campaign chairman, national security adviser and personal lawyer have all pleaded guilty to crimes. His campaign, his transition, his foundation and his business are all under investigation. The United States’ allies are horrified at the chaos Trump has brought to our foreign policy. The stock market is experiencing wild swings as investors are gripped with fear over what might be coming and what Trump might do to make it worse — a situation alarming enough that the treasury secretary felt the need to call up the CEOs of major banks to assure them that everything is under control.

And, oh yeah, the government is shut down.

This, my friends, is exactly what we were afraid of when Trump somehow managed to get elected president two years ago. This is what we warned you about."

Washington Post

Sat
Dec 29 2018
01:49 pm

If school vouchers becomes a key issue during the upcoming legislative session in Nashville, there’s at least one lawmaker who will be steadfastly against the idea.

State Senator Ken Yager, R-Kingston, told the Independent Herald last week that he is opposed to the idea of vouchers — which provide funds to parents to enroll their kids in private schools.

“I am opposed to vouchers,” Yager said. “I will not support any proposal that will cause a hemorrhage of needed funds to our schools.”

(link...)

EPA Proposes Easing Limits Of Mercury Emissions From Coal Plants

The 2011 Obama administration rule, called the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, led to what electric utilities say was an $18 billion clean-up of mercury and other toxins from the smokestacks of coal-fired power plants.

Overall, environmental groups say, federal and state efforts have cut mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants by 85 percent in roughly the last decade.

Mercury causes brain damage, learning disabilities and other birth defects in children, among other harm. Coal power plants in this country are the largest single manmade source of mercury pollutants, which enters the food chain through fish and other items that people consume.

The 2011 Obama administration rule, called the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, led to what electric utilities say was an $18 billion clean-up of mercury and other toxins from the smokestacks of coal-fired power plants.

Overall, environmental groups say, federal and state efforts have cut mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants by 85 percent in roughly the last decade.

Mercury causes brain damage, learning disabilities and other birth defects in children, among other harm. Coal power plants in this country are the largest single manmade source of mercury pollutants, which enters the food chain through fish and other items that people consume.

Mon
Dec 24 2018
05:27 pm

It's just us and the dogs and the living things in the Gorge for the eve. The kids and grandkid will arrive tomorrow. The presents are under the tree (a southern red cedar, actually juniper, cut off the side of one of our roads) and there is more food in the fridge than we can all eat if they were staying a week which they aren't.

We took a walk today, as we do most days, up to a waterfall on Ford Branch. This is looking back from the bottom of our falls. Ford Branch flows seriously downhill until it joins Whites Creek. The Great Smokies got nothing on us.

Ford Branch

Someone asked what I thought of Christmas, knowing I don't believe in ghosts? Well...I love it! It is a celebration of rebirth, new beginnings, the darkest day and the longest night give way to a brightening new year, mirroring the cycle of life. Old folks will feed the young ones and watch with immense pleasure as they open gifts. Our family will go for a serious hike after gorging ourselves. Then we will eat too much again. And we will talk of things past...and things yet to be. It will be joyous.

But I worry for folks who sit alone.

I worry for my country in the hands of those who are incapable of feeling empathy or caring for those less fortunate.

I worry for my home planet.

But for all my worry about these things and a thousand things more, I am happy. I have people I love. And I love all of you!

Whatever you believe, this is a season of rebirth and renewal. Use it to renew yourselves as the days become longer and work to make the darkness in our nation become less.

Be kind to one another and your planet. Believe in a future that makes us better and happier. Work for it. Do what has to be done.

Merry Christmas to all,

Whites Creek

Fri
Dec 21 2018
09:30 am

The one we note here in the northern hemisphere is today at around 5:23 PM. The southern hemisphere has its winter solstice in June, amazingly at exactly the same moment we here in the north will celebrate our summer solstice. It's an astronomical thing, very scientific and orderly and not subject to the whims of priests, gods, nor goddesses, though claims of such are often made. But there's good news for the cold averse in all this. Our shortest day is upon us and Winter will now start in earnest, but it will grow progressively lighter longer and eventually warmer. Seed catalogs cannot be far behind.

Here is more than you probably want to know about all that.

earth

(link...)

As it is the season (here in the north) to celebrate the cycles of the seasons in the darkest season, please let me wish you happiness in whatever customs you choose. If you want to wish me something in return, I would be most happy with the truth.

Happy Solstice Day!

Thu
Dec 20 2018
07:04 pm

The winter solstice is upon us: Friday, December 21, will be the shortest day of 2018 for anyone living in the Northern Hemisphere. If pagan rituals are your thing, this is probably a big moment for you. If not, the official first day of winter is neat for other reasons too.

Technically, the solstice occurs when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Capricorn, or 23.5° south latitude. In 2018, this will occur at 5:23 pm Eastern time on Friday.

(link...)

The actual Winter Solstice occurs at 5:23 pm.

Tue
Dec 18 2018
05:08 pm

So a Federal Judge accuses Trump's National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, of treason, a New York State judge orders the dissolution of Trump's illegally run charity, Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, says Trump colluded with Russia but it isn't a crime because it ended by election day 2016, A Fox News legal commentator says there's enough evidence already to indict Trump, Ivanka and Donald Jr, and Trump says it's all fake news...no collusion!

I think that's a good start on the day's news.

Mon
Dec 17 2018
05:42 pm

This is the stuff of 60's Super Hero vs the Evil Villain who wants to destroy Planet Earth and Everybody On it...for Money!

This week, the United Nations released a damning report. The short version: We have about 12 years to actually do something to prevent the worst aspects of climate change. That is, not to prevent climate change—we're well past that point—but to prevent the worst, most catastrophic elements of it from wreaking havoc on the world's population.

...There are probably no individuals who have had a more toxic impact on public and political attitudes about climate change than the Koch brothers, and it would take an absurd amount of space to document all the money and organizations they've scraped together for that purpose.

(link...)

Mon
Dec 17 2018
02:37 pm

“What is clear is that all of the messaging clearly sought to benefit the Republican Party — and specifically Donald Trump,”

(link...)

Mon
Dec 17 2018
07:56 am

"...right now in American politics there are no more reckless, helpless, desperate junkies than the True Conservative and the Both Siderist, joined at the hip, shaking, down on their knees, both begging for a hit of anything that will let them pretend for just one more day that the Left hasn't been right about the Right all along."

William Burroughs

Fri
Dec 14 2018
07:47 am

Trump’s longtime accountant, Allen Weisselberg, has turned state’s evidence.

At a time when the Trump administration is removing all traces of scientists from the EPA, Roane County needs some scientists there and at TDEC. TVA groundwater testing shows a fluctuation in arsenic and radium levels, but they claim they are well below action levels set by the EPA. Fact is Trump's EPA has been gutted and is not to be trusted to protect us. TVA claims they are not legally obligated to report the results of their monitoring to TDEC. That would seem to be easily corrected if Roane County had effective representation.

Roane County Commission Chairman Randy Ellis said TVA has an obligation – even without a legal requirement – to his community to be transparent about what’s going on at its coal ash landfills given both the destruction caused by TVA’s spill and the recent discovery that TVA misled Ellis and the public about the danger of coal ash.

(link...)

Apologizing to his family, the judge, and “the people of the United States,” Cohen lamented his career as a “loyal soldier to the president” and that “time and time again I felt it was my duty to carry out his dirty deeds.”

“It was my own weakness and blind loyalty to this man that led me to choose a path of darkness over light,” Cohen said.

(link...)

Cohen's attorney skewered Trump:

“He came forward to offer evidence against the most powerful person in our country” in a probe “of utmost national significance, no less than that seen 40 years ago in the throes of Watergate”

Tue
Dec 11 2018
09:27 am

The Tennessee Valley Authority promised the public nine years ago that it would pay the medical expenses for anyone sickened from exposure to the 7.3 million tons of coal ash that spilled from its dike, newly discovered records show.

Now that a federal jury has ruled that the disaster clean-up workers who toiled unprotected in the ash were likely poisoned by it, TVA – the nation’s largest electricity provider and deemed responsible for the nation’s largest coal ash spill - is refusing to say if it will honor its word.

From the Knox News Sentinel

Eco Warriors and Politics

Science and Stuff

Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid / TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding.