From the Times Free Press:

Obama, along with Vice President Joe Biden and Biden's wife, Jill Biden, will be speaking about plans to make college more accessible to Americans and to boost manufacturing jobs.

So far, Gov. Bill Haslam and U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker plan to attend the president's talk. When Obama visited Chattanooga in July 2013, neither the governor nor congressional Republicans joined him.

(link...)

Hello Commissioners & Mayor Woody,

I would like to give a brief update on our reappraisal.

Continued...

I've sent out messenger pigeons to the elves that keep everything running at RoaneViews. They are the best elves ever, so hang in there with us.

This looks like fun for Gerald. I wouldn't bet against him but this is the longest of shots.

“Our Appellate Courts have held that the requirement that annexed territory must be contiguous is mandatory, and that any noncontiguous annexation is void ab initio,” Largen said in his complaint.

“The said Appellate Courts have further held that contiguity requires that the adjoining land must include people, private property, or commercial activity, or otherwise the attempted annexation is void.”

That means, in Largen’s opinion, the Emory River kept Harriman from legally annexating into South Harriman, including properties he owns there.

“The Court is, and will be, called upon to take judicial note of the fact that the Emory River, as a navigable stream and part of the waters of the State, as well as the adjacent flood plain belonging to the Tennessee Valley Authority as agent of the United States is factually, and by definition, incapable of including, ‘people, private property, or commercial activity’, and thus cannot serve as the link to establish contiguity, and as shown by the original boundaries of the city,” Largen said in the lawsuit, “and the map thereof, said Emory River separates the ‘existing boundaries’ of the city from all the territory to the west and south of the original boundaries.”

(link...)

Fri
Jan 2 2015
09:25 am

Columnist Pam Strickland...

If I didn't know better, I'd swear that the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation are in cahoots to set up circumstances that would create another coal ash storage failure.

Pam drops some names that seem rather familiar. This is a must read:

The very fact that Gov. Bill Haslam appointed Martineau (TDEC Commissioner) knowing his background (as polluter attorney for TVA) doesn't bode well for folks who might ask Haslam to step into this mess on behalf of Roane County residents.

For the record, my objections to this damaging move by TVA are as much economic as environmental.

(link...)

Thu
Jan 1 2015
09:37 am

Here's to all of us in a better and more caring new year to come!

Steve

Wed
Dec 31 2014
04:24 pm
By: WhitesCreek

Comet Lovejoy (Don't you just love that?) will be visible for the next few weeks. It won't be back for 10,000 years. For now it is visible with binoculars in the constellation Orion near Rigel the left foot of the swordsman. The moon will interfere somewhat but tonight may be the best shot at seeing it until sometime next week.

Here is a time lapse video showing the movement. The tail points away from the sun, since it is mainly ice and dirt particles scoured off the cometary surface by the solar wind.

(link...)

Tue
Dec 30 2014
06:13 pm

Time is growing short for Mrs. Burgess's first graders in their quest on DonorsChoose for LCD writing tablets. They are over halfway to their goal, with $165 left to go.

To help these students, go to: (link...) Every little bit helps!

All donations are tax-deductible.

-- OneTahiti

Topics:
Tue
Dec 30 2014
11:15 am

My comments to greg.luke@tn.gov

(Feel free to send your own to greg.luke@tn.gov)

Regarding TVA Permit IDL 730000211

TDEC is called upon to protect not only the environment but the economic well being of Tennessee's communities. The TVA charter calls for TVA to act as an economic engine and improve our economies. It has not done so, nor does this permit modification indicate that TVA has any intention of working for a better Roane County.

Therefore, due to economic as well as environmental considerations, I ask that this modification be denied and that the currently existing gypsum landfill be considered for closure as soon as possible.

Continued...

I have to question why TVA wants to build a 15 story coal ash mountain in full view of the most affluent Kingston neighborhoods? Are they trying to prevent Roane County property values from ever recovering?

TDEC needs to extend the public comment period on this really bad idea. I think we need to have TDEC answer questions as to why they allowed TVA to build 150 feet closer to the high water mark than their regulations state? Geologist, Mark Quarles has other more technical criticisms of this ticking time bomb that TVA is proposing to put coal ash into...

“Our review of the proposed major permit modification documents provided in advance of the public hearing — in addition to a review of the TDEC file associated with this landfill — indicates that the draft permit does not meet minimum technical standards for land disposal, is not protective of the environment, and does not meet the protective measures necessary for problematic coal combustion wastes,” Quarles wrote

One major problem, Quarles pointed out, is that technical components submitted by TVA in support of the permit modification relied on outdated, inaccurate, and insufficient information to support its claim that the site is a suitable disposal facility that meets TDEC’s standards.

Although the site was deemed suitable for a landfill when surveyed in 2005, an incident at the site in 2010 because of sinkholes is evidence that the site’s extensive karst geologic features — such as sinkholes, cavernous bedrock, and rapid conduit groundwater flow — are not suitable for landfills meant to protect groundwater and surface water, Quarles said.

“TDEC rules say you can’t place waste in an unstable environment. Clearly this area is already unstable,” he said.

(link...)

Sat
Dec 27 2014
08:10 pm

The permit asks to be able to place coal ash within 45 horizontal feet of the high water contour on Watts Bar Lake, and built 15 stories high.

What could possibly go wrong?

Here is the Google Earth link: (you may have to cut and paste into your browser)

(link...)

Sat
Dec 27 2014
07:57 pm

On two recent occasions our state government held hearings to determine the fate of our water. In both cases there was little or no public notice.

(link...)

During the 12-month Rialto experiment, use-of-force by officers wearing cameras fell by 59% and reports against officers dropped by 87% against the previous year's figures.

...Body-worn cameras appear to be highly cost-effective: analysis from Rialto showed every dollar spent on the cameras saved about four dollars on complaints litigations, and the technology is becoming ever cheaper. However, the sheer levels of data storage required as the cameras are increasingly adopted has the potential to become crippling.

(link...)?

Thu
Dec 25 2014
01:00 pm

TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY
[Meeting No. 14-05]
Sunshine Act Meeting Notice
December 30, 2014
The TVA Board of Directors will hold a public meeting on December 30, 2014, at 10 a.m.

Continued...

Wed
Dec 24 2014
05:22 pm

Whites Creek

Wed
Dec 24 2014
09:42 am

How TVA Has (not) Changed
SOCM members call on TDEC to revoke Kingston Gypsum Landfill Permit

Kingston, Tenn. – On Tuesday, December 9th concerned SOCM members joined partners and other Roane County citizens to voice opposition to TVA’s proposal to store coal ash in a current gypsum landfill at the Kingston Fossil Plant site in Kingston, TN. The news of TDEC’s approval to allow TVA’s new permit to go through should have shocked the community. It would have shocked the community, had it been given the proper coverage it was due.

As it was, attention was instead focused on TVA’s announcement at the spill-site ceremony of the completion of the clean-up of the 2008 disaster, which was held, notably, at the beginning of last week. At the ceremony, TVA president, Bill Johnson, proudly proclaimed that “TVA has changed”. At the same time, behind the scenes, as a result of the outcry among those at the hearing, TDEC quietly announced an extension of the public commenting period to December 30th.

Continued...

Mon
Dec 22 2014
10:31 am

Roane County Commissioners
September 1-2014 – August 31, 2018

Continued...

In a curiously timed public hearing, TVA has announced its intention to add coal ash to the gypsum landfill being built on the banks of the Clinch River. This landfill has already failed several times and has even leached gypsum into the Clinch River, we are just finding out. The public hearing was after the December County Commission meeting and the public comment period ends before the next Commission meeting in a very transparent attempt to force this through before anybody finds out about it.

We are calling on County Executive Ron Woody and the County Commission to get involved and stop this travesty. The first thing is to demand an extension of the comment period for 90 days so all the facts can come out. They won't be pretty.

Continued...

Fri
Dec 19 2014
09:27 am
By: WhitesCreek

(link...)

The link to this over on the right has been updated.

Thu
Dec 18 2014
07:11 am

West Roane VFD ((link...)) receives their first quarterly donation check from Kroger this month. So far the donation averages over $25 per signed-up family per month. Thank you, Kroger!

If you shop at Kroger and want to get more donations for the fire department by shopping as usual, here's how to sign up:

TO USE THE KROGER COMMUNITY REWARDS PROGRAM:

Continued...

Topics:

I was hoping we would see some legal action on this.

Two co-founders and 12 other former employees of a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy blamed for a fungal meningitis outbreak that killed 64 people were arrested early Wednesday, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office in Boston said.

(link...)

Tue
Dec 16 2014
12:56 pm

OK, the predictable happened. A fake town social media account was opened and is bubbling with positive social comments:

@FakeMayor account posted "just have to be positive. i learned today that 2 of my 6 staffers are not arsonists.#staypositive"

(link...)

Republicans can't stand to let Federal tax dollars go somewhere else. So how do we make up the TWO BILLION DOLLARS lost because of GOP politics and how do we get the rural hospitals back that were closed because of this?

In a major policy move, Gov. Bill Haslam has announced the new Insure Tennessee plan, a two-year pilot program that would provide health care coverage to tens of thousands of Tennesseans who currently don't have access to health insurance or have limited options.

The plan would be leveraged with federal dollars, said Haslam, who has been working for more than a year on a Medicaid expansion plan that could gain approval from both federal officials and the Republican-dominated state legislature.

(link...)

Actually, I hate to disagree with my buddy, Steve Cohen, but I think Haslam's plan will work quite well, just not at giving Tennessee's college students a better education. What it will do well is funnel students into two year schools with abysmal graduation rates while raising tuitions at our states four year institutions by about $500 the first year.

Congressman Cohen's numbers and comments brought to us by Tom Humphrey:

(link...)

Sun
Dec 14 2014
06:33 pm
Sat
Dec 13 2014
02:58 pm

WVLT has the story: (link...).

-- OneTahiti

Topics:
Fri
Dec 12 2014
04:09 pm

EXTRA! EXTRA!! READ ALL ABOUT IT!

Today, December 12, 2014, THE PRINCESS THEATRE in historic downtown Harriman opens her doors at 6 PM for the first movie on the screen since the theatre's restoration.

The Christmas classic IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE will be shown FREE ADMISSION at 7 PM. However, all are asked to bring a canned good item for the local food bank. will be sold.

SEE YOU AT THE MOVIES TONIGHT!

Fri
Dec 12 2014
09:48 am
By: WhitesCreek

Crucial Deadline Looms For The Uninsured

Ramsey wants to limit new Tenn. abortion laws

Sen. Kelsey, Rep. DeBerry File Bill Aimed at "Racial Profiling"

TN U.S. House delegation splits — 4 yes, 5 no — on $1.1 trillion budget bill

(link...)

Lost Medicaid Funding

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