The NRC will hold the meetings to consider an early site permit for a potential SMR in Oak Ridge at the Pollard Technology Conference Center, 210 Badger Ave., in Oak Ridge from 2-4 p.m. and from 7-9 p.m on April 12. The NRC said its staff will describe the overall site review process, which includes safety and environmental assessments, as well as the public's opportunities to participate. The NRC will host open houses an hour before each meeting so members of the public have the opportunity to talk informally with agency staff.

(link...)

Wed
Mar 30 2016
06:31 am

There are now 5 candidates for Property Assessor who have picked up petitions and four who have turned them in.

The single County Commission seat up this time is for Bobby Collier's unfinished term. The Commission appointed Bobby's widow, Peggy Collier, as immediate replacement and Peggy is running to complete Bobby's full term, which will come up for election with the entire Commission.

A few petitions have been picked up but not filed to date. We'll see what shakes out on those in the next week as the April 7 deadline approaches.

Since when did we start being OK with spending tax payer money bankrolling country music TV shows?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam is proposing to spend $8 million to keep the ABC television show “Nashville” in the Tennessee capital.

The Republican governor’s spending plan also includes $4.5 million to subsidize the CMT network’s “Million Dollar Quartet” miniseries in Memphis.

(link...)

This, of course, is a small potato compared to Haslam's "Secret Projects" money...$30 million that nobody knows where it goes...

(link...)

How does the Haslam administration maintain such popularity in the face of these kinds of budgetary fiascos?

Tue
Mar 29 2016
11:14 am

This is about as good as it gets for wildflower identification!

You are welcome!

Wildflower ID Site

Mon
Mar 28 2016
06:56 pm
By: WhitesCreek

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A federal judge has awarded more than $2 million to attorneys who helped gay couples in Tennessee win a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows same-sex marriage.

(link...)

Mon
Mar 28 2016
05:58 pm

This hybrid domestic/Russian boar had broken out of the traps and into the traps several times now. Glad to have him dealt with and an end to his rampage. Thanks to trappers Tom and Nathan for hanging in there.

Note that he has turned the trap upside down from the inside and bowed out the steel walls. Over 200 pounds...he is a real beast!


pig

Mon
Mar 28 2016
01:18 pm

Watts Bar Lake 'River Rescue' and Shoreline Cleanup -

Saturday, April 2, 2016

The Watts Bar Lake Association (WBLA), IJAMS Nature Center, and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) will sponsor the annual River Rescue shoreline cleanup on Saturday, April 2nd, from 9 a.m. to noon. Volunteers are asked to meet at 8:30 a.m.
All who are interested in keeping the shoreline clean and beautiful should volunteer to help. Gloves, trash bags, and grabbers will be furnished.

Rhea County participants will meet at Veterans Park in Spring City and are asked to contact Dan Uhler at (423) 240-6327 for information.

Meigs County participants will meet at Mr. Twister Restaurant in Ten Mile and are asked to contact Peter Giroux at (404) 304-1115 for information.

Roane County participants on the east side of the lake should contact Peter Giroux at (404) 304-1115 and will gather at Crow’s Nest Restaurant/Blue Springs Marina.

Folks in the Kingston area are asked to Contact Andy Holmbeck at (772) 485-4737 and will meet at The Gravel Pit Park.

Following the cleanup at 1pm there will be a picnic at Rhea Harbor Resort & Marina, 385 Lakeshire Dr, Spring City. All participants are encouraged to attend, meet new friends and share memorable moments of the day.

Mon
Mar 28 2016
07:05 am

The time to file for elective positions is drawing to a close. Two judges were appointed to fill the open position left by Judge Eblen's retirement. Sessions Court Judge Jeff Wicks was appointed to Eblen's seat on the 9th Judicial District Criminal Court, and local attorney and Assistant District Attorney Terry Stevens was appointed to fill Wicks' prior seat as General Sessions Court Judge. Currently no one has filed to oppose Wicks' reelection and the one candidate who has filed to run against Judge Stevens has praised Stevens' performance and said he is withdrawing.

The most contested races look to be for Property Assessor, currently held by David Morgan and for Road Supervisor, where Dennis Ferguson is the incumbent. By "contested" we mean most number of challengers, not any likelihood that the incumbent won't be the strongest candidate.

The deadline to file is high noon Thursday April 7.

This is certain to weaken public trust of our Law Enforcement officers. I can see reasons why LE would legitimately want to withhold video but they should always be presented and vetted by a judge, much like search warrants. To black out all videos for a year is guaranteed to erode public trust at a time when we need to bring the general public and Law Enforcement closer together.

(link...)

Sat
Mar 26 2016
09:00 am

Bradford Pears are "worse than kudzu!" This article sums it up. The thing to do is identify them now while they are blooming and cut them down as soon as you can get to them.

All those white blooming trees you see everywhere... do you think they are pretty? If you knew what they actually represent, you would choke on your morning coffee and gag on your scrambled eggs. All those white blooming trees you see now are an environmental disaster happening right before your very eyes.

(link...)

Let's note that dogwoods are also starting to bloom and service berry trees have been blooming for a short while. The upward branching limbs of the bradford pear give it away at any time of year.

Bradford

Fri
Mar 25 2016
05:17 pm
By: WhitesCreek

We live in one of the most diverse and beautiful places on Planet Earth. Everyone should get outside for as long as they can this Easter Weekend and watch Spring happen.

Here are 12 of the best hikes in our area.

Go!

(link...)

Pickett

Fri
Mar 25 2016
12:42 pm

great horned owlets

Great horned owlets

(link...)

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission today issued "a chilling effect letter" to the Tennessee Valley Authority after determining that a "chilled work environment" exists within the operations staff at the Watts Bar nuclear power plant near Spring City, Tenn.

An NRC review into the Watts Bar work environment found that some operations employees may not have felt free to raise safety concerns, and some licensed operators may have been unduly influenced and directed by sources external to the control room.

We told you folks about this on Tuesday.

Randy is a great speaker and has beautiful photography to show. He is our State Naturalist and is extremely knowledgeable about all things in the wild world. Roane County is so close to several state parks and has its own natural areas as well. This should be a fun time.

March 24 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Randy Hedgepath of the TN State Parks will be at Kingston Public Library with a slideshow of photographs of our beautiful parks. Visit his blog at (link...) to get a preview.

Tue
Mar 22 2016
09:50 am

Why does this seem to be the standard operating proceedure with TVA and its troubled nuclear program?

NRC spokesman Roger Hannah said Thursday inspectors "found that some operations employees did not feel free to raise safety concerns" in recent months and "there were indications that licensed operators may have received undue influence and direction from TVA staff outside the control room."

(link...)

This isn't a problem for our grandchildren any more. We have to face reality at some point. Since 30 years ago isn't an option, how about today?

This was not just another of the drumbeat of 10 straight broken monthly global heat records, triggered by a super El Nino and man-made global warming. February 2016 obliterated old marks by such a margin that it was the most above-normal month since meteorologists started keeping track in 1880, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

(link...)

Corker has certainly made a ridiculous amount of money from investments handled by connections with his his campaign's inner circle, while covering up the relationships. I'm sure he thinks $2 million is pocket change and doesn't think we should be concerned.

Between 2013 and 2015, it appears Sen. Corker failed to disclose the underlying assets in at least six hedge funds in violation of Senate rules. In addition, Sen. Corker may have failed to disclose at least $2 million in income from the funds.

(link...)

Mon
Mar 21 2016
04:56 pm

first full day of spring

Mon
Mar 21 2016
08:40 am
By: WhitesCreek

The granddaughter has some treasures from the yard. She found a bird nest in the ground and asked me what kind it was. Grandpa knows everything, of course, so I went to my handy secret bird nest guide to confirm that it was a vireo nest. With spring bursting out all over nesting activity will soon be in full swing. Here's your guide to impressing your kids, too...

Cornell Guide to identifying bird nests...

(link...)

Sun
Mar 20 2016
06:30 pm

I've been pointing this out for years, along with the dichotomy of the GOP being vehemently against family planning and for every person having an arsenal of weaponry. Think about that for a minute, Republican voters, and tell me you can sleep well at night.

(link...)

Sun
Mar 20 2016
06:13 pm

“We just want people to know what we’re putting in our bodies,” Rep. Joe Towns, D-Memphis said. “That’s all this is.”

But Rep. Andy Holt, R-Dresden, said such legislation is “unfounded and baseless” and told Towns “you’ve eaten this (genetically modified food) every day of your life for the last eight or 10 years.”

You've been unknowingly eating GMO food so that makes it OK to keep feeding you food that we aren't telling you what is in it.

Really?

Fri
Mar 18 2016
03:42 pm

Just posted my photos from last night "gala" honoring Pat and Jim Henry! CLICK HERE!

henry

Fri
Mar 18 2016
07:23 am

Here's Jeff Black performing a song he wrote for Waylon Jennings. The video is recorded live at the Blue Plate Cafe in Nashville in the round with a couple of other singer songwriters you may have heard of, Sam Bush and John Oates (Yeah, THAT John Oates) Jeff will be a Ladd Landing Listening Room tonight. Doors open at 7 PM $15 BYOB

Fri
Mar 18 2016
03:37 am
By: CloudRainbow

bloodroot

Thu
Mar 17 2016
08:05 am
By: WhitesCreek

There have now been confirmed sightings of cougar(s) at 4 different locations in Tennessee. TWRA has set up a web page with information and how to submit new sighting information. DNA study of a hair sample links one Tennessee female to South Dakota populations.

(link...)

Tue
Mar 15 2016
06:19 pm
By: WhitesCreek
Tue
Mar 15 2016
05:32 pm

Update: This vote was a close 5-4 decision. Roane County Representative Kent Calfee effectively was the deciding vote against rural broadband. You can check his top money contributors HERE.

NASHVILLE — Lawmakers dealt a near-fatal blow Tuesday to efforts to expand high-speed internet service to rural and suburban residents by allowing public electric utilities to expand their broadband services outside their electric service areas.

State Rep. Kevin Brooks, R-Cleveland, blamed a phalanx of lobbying by for-profit broadband companies like AT&T and Comcast.

"It's a testament to the power of lobbying against this bill and not listening to our electorate. We have thousands of petitions signed (in support of the bill) and the voice of the people was not heard today," Brooks said.

(link...)

Tue
Mar 15 2016
08:16 am

Our local news paper gives us about zero information on what our legislators are up to. It's crucial that we know and keep our representatives focused on serving us instead of the lobbyists that are taking them out to supper. Tom Humphrey is always a good source. I recommend you make him a daily read.

(link...)

Tennessee relies heavily on retirees moving here to boost our real estate market and every other market in our economy. One of the largest factors in rating communities as good for retirees is "walk-ability". Looks like our legislature is going to make walk-able bike-able towns and cities even harder to create:

NASHVILLE – Tomorrow, Tuesday, March 15, Tennessee state legislators will decide whether biking and walking will continue to play a vital role in the state’s transportation network. Amended versions of Senate Bill (SB) 1716 and its companion, House Bill (HB) 1650, seek to eliminate funding generated by the gas tax for bicycle and pedestrian projects. The amended versions would still put the safety of Tennesseans who walk or bike at risk, while restricting how local communities use transportation funds.

Continued...

Lost Medicaid Funding

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