Snippets:

Haslam wants to cut 2000 State jobs but can;t say exactly why.

Supreme Court decisions will be huge at the end of this court term.

The future of same-sex marriage and President Obama's health care law hang in the balance as the Supreme Court's 2014 term draws rapidly to a close this month. But those aren't the only big issues on the justices' plate.

Free speech and fair elections. Religious liberty and racial discrimination. Clean air and capital punishment. All await rulings over the next three weeks as the court completes action on 20 cases remaining this term.

(link...)

How many of us have left our dog in the car for a quick trip into the grocery store? I suspect there are thousands of dogs that are perfectly safe and healthy after being in the car alone for a few minutes. Like most legislation in the modern era, there were no hearings, data, statistics, or any other information to allow a rational decision on this to be made...Yes, I realize "rational" and "TN Legislature" is an oxymoron. This will be interesting to watch.

Present law confers immunity from civil liability for any damage resulting from the forcible entry of a motor vehicle for the purpose of removing a minor from the vehicle for any person who:

Continued...

Fri
Jun 12 2015
09:31 am

I first heard this song in a songwriter's round with Darrell Scott, Malcombe Holcombe, and Ben Bullington just sitting there with guitars. I got to meet Ben and told him this song nailed it to the wall. We didn't know at the time that he was on the home stretch with pancreatic cancer. Darrell Scott wrote "Long Time Gone", the Dixie Chicks' biggest hit. he has released an album of Ben songs. Here's the main one live with an interview.

By the way, the Dixie Chicks sold more more records after the "boycott" than they did before, so while the country music establishment went off on them, the rest of the nation has embraced them in a big way.

Fri
Jun 12 2015
07:39 am
Fri
Jun 12 2015
07:38 am

Cumberland County farmers getting in the game early. Yes, I joke about this but I totally support farming fiber hemp.

Hemp, while often mistakenly associated with marijuana, is in the cannabis family, but has a significantly lower content of THC. Instead, it’s mostly used for things like fabrics or textiles. Licenses have been granted to people in at least six East Tennessee counties, and the seeds are just now starting to come in from Canada.

The Davis family is one of the first to get the seeds and they started planting them Wednesday.

“Really it’s just like planting any other garden,” said Bryant Davis.

(link...)

The no tax pledge is amazing to me. It means that Republican legislators have decided to let a lobbyist dictate fiscal policy for the United States of America and GOP held states. This from David Hunter:

Grover Norquist who heads up the anti-tax group , Americans for Tax Reform, is the man who persuaded a large number of American legislators — most of whom were otherwise rational — to sign a pledge that they will never, under any circumstances, vote to raise taxes without a tax cut to balance the amount of the increase.

The best analogy I have been able to come up with is this: Suppose I make a pledge to never pay more for groceries than I do right now. The need for nourishment will never go down, but I would be required to cut things from my grocery list that are not essential in order to keep my pledge. The price of food will continue to rise but I can only keep my word by purchasing fewer groceries. Eventually I will have to break my pledge or starve my family.

It appears that these people have decided to let our families starve.

David Hunter

Wed
Jun 10 2015
11:39 am

Holt is certainly a piece of work and a tool of the TN Walking Horse Association. His incredibly illegal hog farm operation appears to have been given a pass by TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau.

NewsChannel 5 Investigates asked [TDEC] Commissioner Martineau, "This has gone on for years. When do you go to the Attorney General and say let's shut this place down?"

"I can't guess in hypotheticals," Martineau responded.

Just more corruption in the Haslam zoo. Does Martineau only go after political enemies?

(link...)

It must be difficult for Republicans to find enough people who can stand there with a straight face and say things that are obviously false. I can see why money grubbers want elected positions but why does a billionaire have to do this? ALEC is not going to give him enough more money to move the needle in his bank account.

Haslam told reporters after the speech that once powerful institutions like lobbyists, the media, chambers of commerce and hospitals no longer carry as much sway with the General Assembly.

But here is something Bill said that is exactly true:

“It’s just a different world,” said Haslam, a former Knoxville mayor. “You can’t rely on sending a rep to do what they’ve always done and expect the same results.”

This story is evidence of a weak weak Governor with no control, no gumption, and no hope:

(link...)

Tue
Jun 9 2015
08:38 am
By: WhitesCreek

A Rutgers University report that grades states on how they fund public education shows Tennessee at the “bottom of the barrel” in fairness, reports The Commercial Appeal.

Besides being one of 16 states earning an F for percentage of state resources allocated to K-12 education, family incomes of children attending its public schools on average are half that of children in private schools or being home-schooled.

(link...)

I am a fan of Dr. Jeff Masters at Wunderground.com. He flew with the hurricane hunters and has maximum credibility as far as weather and climate is concerned. There is more info than you probably can stand at this link but you should check out the long term trends for a better understanding of why global warming has thoughtful people very concerned.

(link...)

Sun
Jun 7 2015
05:27 pm

Of the million or so visitors to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, one gets attacked by a bear every few years. This says that bear attacks are very very rare and you are most likely safe if you aren't stupid. I suspect we'll find out that these campers violated one or more of the bear safety rules but for now we don;t know. The young man is safe and will recover.

I'm always excited and happy when I see bear sign in our yard. In all our years here we have only seen one and that from a distance. They really are secretive and don't much care for humans. But since things do happen, it might make sense to review what to do in a black bear encounter.

So...

If you see a bear:

Continued...

This is a huge scandal! Time to call for the resignation of Bob Martineau?

Nashville’s WTVF NewsChannel 5 asked Haslam-appointed TDEC Commissioner, Robert Martineau, if Holt was getting preferential treatment. Martineau said, “No,” although, as we’ve already pointed out…

smoking gun

Martineau told WTVF he didn’t know who discouraged further action against Holt, or why the memo was in the file, and there is no reason in the world not to believe him.

Because everybody knows that’s the kind of memo you’re supposed to shred,

That and the rest of the BUZZ

Mr. Rudy and his little dog, Freedom, have now completed 630 miles of their long walk to DC all to bring attention to the critical issue of Veteran Homelessness. He's following Rt 70 and heading into to Rockwood shortly. He and his pup were attacked by a large dog yesterday so if you see him ask him if he needs assistance. Or a meal. Or a vet.

I doubt if I have ever voted for the same candidates Mr Rudy has but he's walking for an issue that should be of concern to all of us. Let's cheer him on folks!

Fri
Jun 5 2015
07:21 am

I did not attend this meeting. Frankly I'm burned out on TVA nonsense and EPA duplicity, but in the end Swan Pond resident Don Simon tells the story.

Residents gave the project mixed reviews. The countryside, now with new parks, recreational areas and walking trails, “is better than when I came here,” Don Simon said, but added that TVA could have been more considerate during the cleanup.

TVA was not made to cover the entire financial losses of the community. People closest to the disaster received financial compensation but nothing for the upheaval the suffered in their lives. People outside of TVA's imaginary boundary line received about 25 cents on the dollar for their actual financial losses. TVA spent millions of dollars and 6 years in court to deny its obligation to make the community whole.

To pay for the calamity, TVA’s will add a 59 cent surcharge onto the bills of the nearly 9 million ratepayers until 2024. Another 6 cents would have made all of TVA's victims whole.

6 cents! The surcharge for cost overruns at the Watts Bar nuclear plant will be 30 times greater than what TVA paid to its victims.

In the end we are far better off environmentally than we have been since TVA entered our valley.

The Knoxville News Sentinel has a brief story on last night's meeting. The true story would be a book...a very thick book.

(link...)

Thu
Jun 4 2015
01:59 pm
Tue
Jun 2 2015
05:58 pm

Our team of magic elves has added a link to the Roane County Post over on the right under Local News Media. You can see some of the new stories that didn't make it by press time and some breaking news, from time to time. A digital subscription is only $2.99 per month. We subscribe to The Roane County News and the Roane County Post, as each one has it's strengths.

This is rather large! It could mean the end of Tennessee corporations if that statement is correct. I supsect we'll be seeing some corrections and additional info real quick like...

This safety net is gone. Signed into law by Gov. Bill Haslam in late March, Tennessee’s Public Chapter No. 60 now makes the directors of a corporation personally liable for the debts of a business in the event it fails.

(link...)

The EPA and TVA are hosting the final Kingston Recovery Project public meeting this coming Thursday, June 4, from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. at the Roane County High School in Kingston.

Topics:
Tue
Jun 2 2015
06:46 am
By: WhitesCreek

This is long but balanced. There is a lot of information here. This is a national issue and the data we have i no where near adequate. Two things are clear: There are a number of law enforcement agencies that do a very good job of not shooting people; A real examination of procedures is not being conducted in the public arena with the goal of returning Law Enforcement to its rightful position of trust and respect in the public's eye.

It's a tough job and a job that should pay much better than it does. What do you think should be done to break down the barrier between Officers and civilians and restore trust? I think we need better training for officers AND civilians.

Read:

(link...)

The Crockett Buzz for 5-29-15

(link...)

This is a pretty sorry state of affairs at TDEC. It appears that powerful people don't have to obey our laws. In this case it's Republican State Rep Andy Holt. This is what happens when the Governor appoints a polluter's attorney as TDEC Commissioner...

NewsChannel 5 Investigates reported in February that Holt's hog farm polluted a nearby creek and operated for years without a permit.

We also reported that a state inspector wrote in his notes that "enforcement action was discouraged by upper management" at the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

(link...)

Wed
May 27 2015
06:17 am

Our Congressman Chuck Fleischmann is not exactly beloved in his own district. With the last election seemingly just over he is already seeing a primary opponent rustling the bushes. To combat this Chuck held a private fundraiser for the folks Chuck actually represents (not you nor me) and picked up a half a million quick ones. Problem is, Chuck hasn't declared his candidacy and starts out breaking campaign finance regulations.

Unfortunately for us, his primary opponent looks to be state Senator Bo Watson, who is not exactly know for representing "We the People" any more than Chuck is.

(link...)

Tue
May 26 2015
07:22 pm
Tue
May 26 2015
02:33 pm

Folks, Commissioner Steve Kelley is a good friend of mine. He's a bright person. What on earth is he doing making this statement regarding the fact that the 2015 property appraisal will reflect less than a 10% reduction in valuations?

“That means the 2010 reappraisal wasn’t that far off,” Commissioner Steve Kelley said.

I'd like to see Steve graph out a yearly property value chart that gets us to a 9% reduction in values after 6 years of recovery without the 2010 Roane County property valuations being outrageously overblown.

Even the State says properties were valued by at least 7% over the sales data used to determine values..Last Year!

“The 2014 ratio study provided by the State Division of Property Assessments showed that Roane County was at a 1.07, which means that Roane County’s assessed values were at least 7 percent higher than the actual sale prices that the state used for their study,”

RCN story

Tue
May 26 2015
02:25 pm

From NOAA:

Scattered showers and thunderstorms before 8am, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm between 8am and 2pm, then showers and thunderstorms likely after 2pm.

And then maybe a scattered shower and a thunderstorm before and after that?

Thu
May 21 2015
08:31 am
By: WhitesCreek
Thu
May 21 2015
07:18 am
By: WhitesCreek

I'm looking for confirmation on this. I've only found the story from Nashville Channel 4. If true this is as stupid and wasteful as it gets. And the logo is ugly, too!

tn logo

(link...)

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Thu
May 21 2015
06:45 am

Watts Barr Lake property owners should brace for the effect this will have on their property values. I've spoken with two realtors who believe this will further kick lakefront property values in the teeth, at least in the short run.

The date is Saturday July 25 and all properties will be offered with no reserve. The file TVA sent out is attached.

Lost Medicaid Funding

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