This is upsetting in more ways than one. How does a legislator justify making government actions secret from those being governed unless it is to hide corruption?

Among the 23 public records bills filed so far in the Tennessee General Assembly, 18 of them restrict the public records law further or clarify language that make previously public documents confidential or unnecessary to maintain.

Can anyone explain why the TSSAA should be exempt from public scrutiny in its actions that control the governance of public school athletics. This organization has way too much control and autonomy as it is.

A bill hiding water usage data is extremely bothersome. Government must be disinfected by sunlight. The GOP appears to think that is a very bad idea.

(link...)

Sun
Feb 15 2015
09:38 am

...Winter Storm Warning in effect from 1 am Monday to 7 am EST Tuesday...

The National Weather Service in Morristown has issued a Winter Storm Warning for heavy snow...which is in effect from 1 am Monday to 7 am EST Tuesday. The Winter Storm Watch is no longer in effect.

* Event...a winter storm will bring accumulating heavy snowfall of 4 to 7 inches in the great Tennessee Valley...with locally higher amounts possible.

* Timing...late Sunday night through Monday night.

I'm liking this weather site: Wunderground.com

Topics:

From Our "These people are idiots" Dept: Bill Withdrawn

(link...)

Sat
Feb 14 2015
11:36 am

This was an avoidable waste of time. Why Senator Yager wanted to be known as the man who brought electrocution back to Tennessee is beyond me. Ken Yager is a talented politician who could use his powers for good. I hope he sees the light one day.

(link...)

Fri
Feb 13 2015
03:38 pm

KnoxViews.com with the newsflash:

(link...)

Fri
Feb 13 2015
09:21 am

Much like Armstrong Custer gave those Cheyenne women and children a fighting chance at Washita...

(link...)

Thu
Feb 12 2015
07:59 pm
By: WhitesCreek
Thu
Feb 12 2015
07:49 pm
By: WhitesCreek

“In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own. It is error alone that needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.”
Thomas Jefferson — in a letter to Horatio Spofford, 1814

He's been arrested.

(link...)

Thu
Feb 12 2015
10:24 am
By: WhitesCreek

As you should know our amiable governor, Bill Haslam, called a special session of the TN Legislature to pass his Obamacare work around called Insure Tennessee. The most powerful politician in Tennessee, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, created a special committee in the special session to expressly murder Haslam's bill. In so doing, Ramsey also murders hundreds of Tennesseans who would be saved from an untimely death by the reasonable healthcare they will now not receive. Ramsey also saved Tennessee from Billions of dollars in Federal tax money that would go to keep rural hospitals open and provide care in a number of communities. Apparently, to many in the business community, it comes as a surprise that Tennessee has a Lt. Governor who will stand by and watch hundreds of Tennesseans die in order to prove he can kill rural Tennessee hospitals, kill low income Tennesseans and kill any plans the Governor has to bring this state out of the Ron Ramsey morass.

Crockett has a roundup of reaction and plans to work around Ron Ramsey's power trip.

(link...)

Thu
Feb 12 2015
08:27 am

This kind of "he said, she said" is why a public hearing should be conducted by an independent review board. We have two very different stories here. The public deserves to know the facts, not from a mother who got them second hand nor a LEA spokes person reporting the results of a secret internal investigation.

Suspect's Mom says

her son’s girlfriend Forland, who was also in the car, told her the officer hit their car and pinned them against the guardrail.

“He then rammed them head on and hung out the window and shot the first shot,” she said.

Christopher is at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in critical condition.

Doris says she wants justice.

“It shattered both jaw bones and he was shot in the neck, shot both hands and in the chest and shot in the arm,” she said. “There were 14 bullet holes in the car and my child had six of them and my child had no weapons or nothing.

(link...)

Thu
Feb 12 2015
07:51 am

Old tires are a constant problem all over Tennessee. Why isn't there a core charge for tires like there is for batteries? Is this just like the bottle bill and seen as an infringement on some people's right to trash our state?

(link...)

Wed
Feb 11 2015
08:52 pm

No mention of the fact that this is considered "assault" if you do it to an adult...

"The lack of consistency in the state in how physical punishment is administered seems to me to not make a lot of sense," Democratic Rep. Jason Powell said in an interview with The Tennessean. "It can expose our teachers and school systems to lawsuits and legal action over an excessive use of corporal punishment."

(link...)

Wed
Feb 11 2015
06:35 pm

In celebration of Black History Month and the 150 year anniversary of the last year of the Civil War, the RSCC Arts and Lectures Committee and the Social and Behavioral Science Forum Series will host the film “Glory” at the Princess Theatre on Wednesday, February 18 at 7:00 PM EST. The event is free and open to the public with a requested donation to pay for future RSCC Arts and Lectures Events. This is your chance to see a great film on the big screen for free or a minimal donation.
*Please note the movie is rated R for violence and strong language.

At the time, Ebert and Siskel gave this movie two thumbs up. Here's Ebert's review: (link...)

Wed
Feb 11 2015
12:01 pm

It is maddening to see politicians denigrate teachers, as has been the case in TN over the last few years. It is a demanding yet rewarding occupation. The problems created by the for profit schools industry and the politicians that serve them carry through to the classroom. Teachers suffer as a result but so does the quality of the education our children receive.

"Teaching is one of the most stressful occupations," notes Leigh McLean, doctoral student in the Department of Psychology, and Carol Connor, professor of psychology, at Arizona State University, who conducted the study, beginning when they were at Florida State University. "One of the troubling consequences of occupational stress is that it can contribute to elevated rates of symptoms of depression. Our study reveals some of the negative implications of higher rates of teachers' symptoms of depression for students."

(link...)

I'n going with this as my feel good story for today...

Norris and Shaggy make the trip to the Blue Jays training complex in Dunedin, Florida, each spring for three-a-day practices. However Norris insists that some of the best cross-training opportunities arise in his travels. “Surfing is great for your shoulders and core, hiking is a good lower body workout, and rock climbing … well, if you’ve ever rock climbed, good luck getting out of bed the next day!”

(link...)

This is a very succinct analysis of how easy it was for Ramsey to defeat a very popular governor. The few times I've been around Haslam he seems like a very nice guy. It appears he has no clue how to be our Governor in the face of a decidedly diabolical Lt. Governor who craves power at all cost.

(link...)

This was last night. A cop-cam would settle questions in the public's mind. My personal experience with Officer Mayes is that he is a solid Law Enforcement Officer.

“There was a pursuit,” Stockton said. “The pursuit got off westbound. There was a wreck. The officer got out of the car to approach the vehicle. The vehicle tried to get away and come at the officer and the officer opened fire.”

RCN Report

Tue
Feb 10 2015
07:20 am

Tom Humphrey has the comments from leaders and spokespersons around the state: (link...)

As usual Lt. Gov Ramsey issued a canned statement loaded with conservative drivel. Craig Fitzhugh Notes the Governor's Insure TN failure and the Tennessee Education Association were solid as always.

Mon
Feb 9 2015
03:08 pm

Comment on the Kingston Coal Ash Landfill
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), Division of Solid Waste Management (DSWM), is receiving public comments on its tentative decision to issue a solid waste disposal facility major modification to the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) for construction, operation, closure, and post-closure care of the existing Class II landfill for the disposal of industrial waste consisting of gypsum waste, fly ash, bottom ash boiler slag, cinders, and clinkers generated onsite from the burning of coal and the operation of air pollution control equipment by the TVA Kingston Fossil Plant – IDL730000211. Comments will be accepted until 4:30 pm CST February 9, 2015.

The Tennessee Chapter of the Sierra Club and our partners believe that TDEC should revoke this permit and require TVA to find a geologically suitable location for this landfill on-site.

TAKE ACTION

Currently the landfill will be located over karst [limestone] topography, in an area that has significant sinkholes and is generally unstable. A bedrock contour diagram of the area suggests many areas where there is a potential of sinkhole collapse.

TVA already had a catastrophic dropout in 2010, during the first filling of the landfill. This dropout was so rapid it caused a vortex in the waste and resulted in contamination to the Clinch River. More sinkholes were discovered when the leak blowout was repaired. It is highly likely that another dropout will dump coal ash waste into the river if TVA is allowed to move forward with this landfill at this site.

TDEC is violating its own regulations if it permits a coal ash dump in an area that is unstable.

Groundwater monitoring requirements in the draft permit are wholly inadequate and do not require monitoring of all coal ash pollutants. TVA’s failure to monitor for these toxic metals is dangerous. TVA has tested for coal ash constituents previously at this site, knows it has found toxics, and needs to expand and improve monitoring. State solid waste regulations strongly encourage monitoring for coal ash constituents. Given the history of coal ash contamination caused by waste at the Kingston plant, it makes no sense for TDEC to allow TVA to operate this landfill without adequate groundwater monitoring requirements.

Adding coal ash to the previously allowed gypsum creates a greater risk from toxic metals being leached from the ash. Fly ash on average has much higher levels of metals than ordinary soils. Fly ash has twice the arsenic, three times the cadmium, almost twice the lead, twice the mercury, 20 time the selenium. TVA earlier detected a plume of selenium from the liquid gypsum slurry first dumped into stage 1 of this landfill.

The draft permit contains variances that pose a significant threat to the surrounding surface and groundwater. TDEC has specially allowed the landfill too close to the Clinch River. TDEC should require a much larger buffer zone because the 2010 sinkhole blowout show waste can reach the river so fast that is not detected and stopped before it hits the water. This landfill full of toxic ash could be flooded when the Clinch floods.

Please add your own comments to those provided and submit them by e-mail on Tuesday at 4:30. or have them postmarked on Tuesday.

TAKE ACTION! Submit Comments here

I consider the folks at RCN very good friends of mine but this is ridiculous. We have not one single positive story on the front page. Did nothing good and positive happen in Roane County this weekend? Do they not realize that the local newspaper is an ambassador for its community?

So on today's front page we have a tragic car wreck, a murderer who should have been tried long ago asking for yet another new attorney, and the preposterous situation of City of Kingston demanding someone be fined big time for polluting a stream while the City of Oliver Springs claiming it is perfectly legal for it to pollute private property with sewage.

Lots of good things happened this weekend. there was a sports record set, lots of arts and music, and a lot of people having fun in Roane County. What the rest of the word thinks of Roane County hangs in the balance here...Or should I say "Lack of balance"?

Sun
Feb 8 2015
11:40 am

There's a lot going on information wise on the UT campus this coming week. I'm surprised TNGOP hasn't tried to pass laws against this student initiative like they did with respect to sex week.

Darwin Day Celebrations

Fri
Feb 6 2015
09:16 am
By: WhitesCreek

Lawmakers Spar Over Their Own Taxpayer-Provided Health Coverage

Defeat Of Insure Tenn. Leaves Haslam Frustrated, Embarrassed

Shelby mayor: Defeat of Insure TN may mean 10% property tax increase

Corker for president? 11% of Tennesseans think that’s a good idea, 41% don’t

Insure Tennessee: Failure by Politics and Procedure

(link...)

Fri
Feb 6 2015
09:12 am

Clay Bennett

It is worth noting that 6 of the 7 Republicans that voted against "Government takeover of Healthcare" are on government healthcare plans. That means you and I are paying for their health insurance.

Fri
Feb 6 2015
08:51 am
By: WhitesCreek

This is pretty strange to me. Even I know that this is the old Kingston dump. They may regret putting it back on the radar screen. It is an interesting piece of property and looks from the road to be an old sink hole. This could go really well or really bad for the city.

(link...)

Fri
Feb 6 2015
08:47 am

While I applaud the goal, you don't have to drive around Rockwood very far to see a dozen or more buildings that are complete eyesores. Tearing down the historical past of Rockwood seems like a confused idea. I was recently inside the Bilbrey building and marveled at what a classic old place it is.

REU plans to tear down its existing building and the old Booth Funeral Home and renovate the remaining buildings, known as the Bilbrey building or Peterman building, and also the radio station building for its new offices.

Miller said the logic behind tearing the current location down eventually is because otherwise it would likely sit empty and become dilapidated.

RCN Story

Thu
Feb 5 2015
05:04 pm

I know a certain P E teacher who says this all the time. Now we have scientific proof.

(link...)

Wed
Feb 4 2015
08:32 pm
By: WhitesCreek

This is one of the best resources for the thousands of waterfalls that are in Tennessee. We should change our logo to "The Waterfall State"!

(link...)

Wed
Feb 4 2015
08:29 pm
By: WhitesCreek

A compound found in common foods such as red grapes and peanuts may help prevent age-related decline in memory, according to new research published by a faculty member in the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine.

(link...)

Lost Medicaid Funding

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