Mike Hicks
As a gesture of mercy, 5 time Nashville Independent Music Award Winner, Mike Hicks, will NOT be bringing his full 18 piece band tonight. We thank him for offering to leave enough room in our hall for us.

Continued...

Thu
Mar 19 2015
09:34 am

Rep. Darren Jernigan (D-Nashville) and Sen. Sara Kyle (D-Memphis) have introduced legislation that would limit the interest charged by payday and title lenders to 28% annually. Many Tennesseans have become trapped in a cycle of debt with these companies, who often charge over 200% interest a year.

While the TNGOP has blocking the Governor's Insure TN as its crowning achievement for this year. State Dems have introduced a number of bills that would actually improve the lives of every citizen:

Continued...

Thu
Mar 19 2015
09:28 am

TVA wants to charge homeowners with solar panels a huge fee for accessing the grid. Beside the fact that you pay for the grid in every kilowatt you buy, distributed power generation such as neighborhood solar doesn't even use the grid. Power generated in excess of a homeowner's needs only flows next door.

Large centralized generation should be phased back starting now!

A Stanford University study published earlier this week found that utility-scale solar development built alongside existing infrastructure, on rooftops or in backyards, may be more than enough to power whole communities

(link...)

Wed
Mar 18 2015
07:45 pm

Robert M. Todd, an environmentalist with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, referenced the Senate and House bills in a March 9 letter to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

“To be clear, in high quality, biologically diverse streams, mechanical dredging is a straight-forward destruction of habitat for fish and aquatic life,” Todd wrote. “This degradation of acquatic resources is wholly contrary to both the intent and letter of the Tennessee Water Quality Control Act and the Tennessee Wildlife Code.”

This is straight forward idiocy. Thank you TWRA!

(link...)

Wed
Mar 18 2015
04:48 pm

Now THIS interests me:

Rep. Craig Fitzhugh (D-Ripley) notes that not even the candidates on the ballot have to show up on Election Day.

"We have a good system to keep up with absentees," he says. "Let’s open it up not just for legislators and jurors, but for others as well."

Voters still would need to request an absentee ballot in advance of each election. They’d also have to scan and mail in a copy of their ID to meet the state's voter identification requirements.

(link...)

Wed
Mar 18 2015
09:41 am
By: WhitesCreek

Lt. Gov Ron Ramsey seems to hate everything good about Tennessee. This is just the latest...

Now that Ron Ramsey's putting Eric Crafton on the Board of the Tennessee Human Rights Commission, I fully expect a call from the Lieutenant Governor appointing my dog to the Vehicle Services section of the Tennessee Department of Revenue. He's pretty obsessed with car rides and has definite opinions on loud trucks and has an agenda that makes no sense to most people and is terrible about following the rules.

(link...)

Wed
Mar 18 2015
09:36 am

One thing that I repeatedly hear from elected officials is that sunshine laws are a pain in the rear. Personally, I think that is just wonderful! Sunshine is a wonderful disinfectant for all sorts of underhanded government diseases at every level.

(link...)

Tue
Mar 17 2015
07:13 am

I see a somewhat different alignment, as in Senators Corker and Haslam, but this is an interesting take.

(link...)

Tennesseans favor expanding Medicaid by a twp to one margin but Republicans refuse to do so. (Sen. Ken Yager voted the people's will in this case but he was in the minority)

And the big House GOP cat fight over padding expenses and social hour.

(link...)

From the RCN:

(Russell Johnson) said the offenses that could draw a citation instead of an arrest include driving on a suspended or revoked license, simple possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.

“Those are some of the things we’re trying to do to avoid having so many people in jail,”

I think this is a decent idea, but at this time it is only in effect where jail overcrowding is a problem. Why shouldn't everyone be treated the same through out the District, or State of TN, for that matter. Why send someone to jail for driving on a suspended license unless there are aggravating circumstances, for instance?

Wed
Mar 11 2015
06:36 pm

The House bill sponsored by Democrat Brenda Gilmore and its Senate counterpart sponsored by Democrat Sara Kyle requires all officers to wear the body cameras if money via grants, donations or the federal government is provided to the department.

Cops worry that they may infringe on privacy rights of perps. Really?

(link...)

Wed
Mar 11 2015
12:29 pm

Thursday, March 12 at 6pm
Kingston Public Library

The Kingston Public Library will host a reception and presentation for the exhibit "Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964." This a Smithsonian touring exhibit which will be at the Library Feb. 23-Mar. 30.

More information:

(link...)

This event is free to all and there is no need to RSVP.

Kingston Public Library
1004 Bradford Way
Kingston, TN

A bill seeking to strip city and county governments of the power to ban guns at local parks, playgrounds and athletic fields is advancing in the Tennessee House.

Guns at ball fields...What could possibly go wrong with that? This bill appears to make it impossible for the City of Kingston to prevent weapons at SouthWest Point and Rockwood from keeping them out of the Rockwood Athletic complex. These people are absolutely uninterested in public safety.

(link...)

More Crockett Buzz for 3-11-15

This bill would substantially alter Roane County government if passed. It appears to be aimed at stopping teachers from holding office but would sweep up all other county employees as well.

It is HB985

(link...)

Tue
Mar 10 2015
08:50 am

Tennessee mislabels 3,500 drivers' licenses 'Not for Federal ID'

Alexander, Corker refuse to sign GOP letter to Iran

Opinion: Todd Gardenhire could be a case study in hypocrisy

The Campaign Cash That Can Kill the Open Internet

(link...)

Mon
Mar 9 2015
05:20 pm

This map lists 724 Water Falls in Tennessee. The good news is that there are a ton more that aren't listed. We are a blessed state. Now's the time to get out and see them at full flow. Ozone Falls is an amazing sight and is only 50 yards off highway 70, for instance.

Ozone Falls

(link...)

Mon
Mar 9 2015
08:29 am

Tom Humphrey: Advancing bills increase penalties for killing some animals, allow allow slayings in self-defense

It appears our legislators are hot on the trail of really important business in our fair state. So now you have to poke at the snake with a stick and get it to strike at you and then you can shoot it.

(link...)

Often these fluff bills that get a lot of press are red herrings for the real business of the Legislature and its puppet masters. They distract from the real deeds of these people, such as the continued sell off of our public schools and putting a "poll tax" on public records to destroy sunshine laws.

The price of liberty is eternal vigilance. With that in mind here is the Crockett News Buzz for today.

It's certainly not a PR piece but it does present a more balanced view of our great community.

(link...)

County Attorney Greg Leffew gave a technically and legally correct reading of the conflict of interest statutes as they pertain to Commissioners Benny East and Ron Berry. It's clear that the law has very tiny teeth when it comes to self interest by our commissioners and other elected officials. Even though the law couldn't stop him, Berry did resign from the Cable TV Committee in order to eliminate the perception of a conflict. We applaud that move.

Commissioner East must simply recite the magic words that make his conflict of interest OK, “Because I am an employee of Roane County Government, I have a conflict of interest in the proposal about to be voted. However, I declare that my argument and my vote answer only to my conscience and to my obligation to my constituents and the citizens this body represents.”

“If he recites the above statement before voting, his vote cannot be challenged on a conflict-of-interest ground,” Leffew said.

http://www.roanecounty.com/content/attorney-deems-no-conflict-berry-board

We hope Commissioner East will refrain from voting on matters that affect the Solid Waste Dept. and that other commissioners will respect the spirit of the law even if they can technically avoid it.

Sun
Mar 8 2015
05:35 pm

It's small and deep, about 7 miles East South East of Kingston. The exact GPS coordinates and other info at the link:

(link...)

We didn't notice anything. 2.5 is a very small quake but it does remind you that it could happen anywhere! Then there's this:


As is the case elsewhere in the world, there is evidence that some central and eastern North America earthquakes have been triggered or caused by human activities that have altered the stress conditions in earth's crust sufficiently to induce faulting. Activities that have induced felt earthquakes in some geologic environments have included impoundment of water behind dams, injection of fluid into the earth's crust, extraction of fluid or gas, and removal of rock in mining or quarrying operations.

Sun
Mar 8 2015
11:19 am

An independent organization with exactly zero oversight and that has an incredible amount of control over your children wants to operate in deeper secrecy. I wonder why?

After losing a court fight over open records, the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association is asking the state legislature to make them exempt from public scrutiny.

Since 1927, the state board of education has specifically authorized the TSSAA to regulate state high school athletics. Every public high school in the state pays money to the TSSAA to perform this task. Even though they organized as a 501(c)(3) non-profit association in 1967, TSSAA employees participate in the State Employees Consolidated Retirement Plan. Their championships are played at public facilities. They make the rules for everyone. For almost every public and private high school athlete in Tennessee, they are quite literally the only game in town.

(link...)

Since drug testing programs for assistance applicants is such a huge flop, why don't we take that money and use it to test candidates psychological profiles? It might help weed out the mean and nasty, and a little bit crazy. I realize it would lower the entertainment factor of the Tennessee Legislature but it could stop silly and vindictive bills like this one...

(link...)

Does this play into the recent problems for Commissioner Greg Ferguson?

Four more Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers — including one recently retired and a supervisor — said the allegations of a DUI arrest quota system in the department are absolutely true and they dispute the agency administration’s denial, reports the Johnson City Press.

(link...)

This is from Roane Community Advisory Group Chairman, Andy Avel:

Pat Flood, TDEC Solid Waste Division Director, called me this past Tuesday and told me there would be another public hearing and an extended comment period on the TVA request for permit modification for their request to put the existing and future flyash into the gypsum disposal cell. This decision was based on comments that TDEC received from the public on technical issues and concerns of how TVA proposes locating and then treating "drop outs" or sink holes.

Continued...

Update for Roane County Schools TN - The plan is for school to be open tomorrow, Friday, March 6, with a few bus route changes. Bus drivers have attempted to contact affected parents. Please check the media in the morning just in case conditions have changed overnight.

The bus route changes are listed below. If your route isn't listed, then it will run as it normally does. This is the most current information based on the conditions and the well being of children. Please make alternate plans if your child's route is affected.

- Bus 18 (Kathy Shubert) will not be picking up student bus riders from Dry Hill Rd and Clark Rd. Ms. Schubert has attempted to contact the affected parents.

- Bus 93 (Scott Pass) will not be picking up student bus riders from Riggs Chapel Rd and Snow Ln. Mr. Pass has attempted to contact the affected parents.

Hello to the good people below the Boone Lake Dam from the good people of Kingston TN. WE have some thoughts on your situation as you face a drained lake for the coming summer recreation season...

Given TVA's "What could possibly go wrong?" attitude that we were victims of in the great TVA ash disaster, if they want to be cautious and check things out, for goodness sake let them!

You might want to look over their shoulder while they do it, just to make sure. TVA isn't all that good at making its victims whole. You are better off not being one.

(link...)

Thu
Mar 5 2015
02:02 pm

The U.S. Department of Energy has named four new members — Leon Baker, Richard Burroughs, Terri Likens and Ed Trujillo — to its environmental advisory board in Oak Ridge.

Terri Likens is the Editor of the Roane County News.

(link...)

Lost Medicaid Funding

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