Submitted by WhitesCreek on September 11, 2014 - 7:25am.

It's no secret that our elected officials are bought and paid for. They pass inane laws that do nothing except insure that you and I pay too much money for bad products and services. A huge newsworthy example at the moment is the municipal utility EPB that provides internet service in Chattanooga. It is the fastest broadband internet in the country. It is also the best buy for your money. Chattanooga's economy is booming in part because of the low cost and wide availability of super fast internet service.

TN Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn thinks this is socialism and must be outlawed. Why does she think that? AT$T, Verizon, and other cable internet companies have ordered her to think that.She has a bill in Congress to do just that because...ummm...well, it's a state's rights issue. Hiding behind ideology is an easy way to avoid admitting that Marsha is screwing her constituents for pay...and she's doing it for very little money in the scheme of things. Marsha is getting paid a few hundred thousand dollars for subverting US law for an industry that is making hundreds of billions of dollars each year. She's working way too cheap!

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Submitted by WhitesCreek on September 10, 2014 - 8:59am.

There is a lot of research on why people believe impossible things. There is exactly zero credible evidence that this beast exists and a lot of hoaxes that have been disproved and admitted to. Even so, people want to believe in this giant leprechaun. Animal Planet fans the flames in order to get viewers. I have talked with folks who have led the shows people into the woods and they say it's a huge joke. With all the amazing plants and animals we have in Roane County I really wish we could focus on reality instead of the far less interesting fairy tales. Here's the RCN story and the web page for the East Tennessee Bigfoot org:

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Link...


Submitted by WhitesCreek on September 9, 2014 - 6:04pm.

I could tell you about this but it would be better for you to read it for yourself without me as a filter. Well written and well reasoned!

Link...


Submitted by WhitesCreek on September 9, 2014 - 5:46pm.

Is anybody home up there? This is as slack as it gets. Is it even legal to backdate signatures?

Mistakes in Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's office caused 79 bills to become law without his signature and another 67 measures to be backdated to meet constitutional deadlines.

The governor must either sign or veto bills within 10 days, excluding Sundays, of receiving them from the Legislature, or they become law without his signature.

...Among the bills that mistakenly became law without Haslam's signature was a measure to punish pregnant women who abuse narcotics and harm their babies as a result. Haslam's office announced on April 29 — a day after the 10-day deadline — that he had signed the bill despite calls from health and women's organizations to veto the measure."

Link...


Submitted by WhitesCreek on September 9, 2014 - 9:58am.

Dr. Mary Headrick, candidate for TN Third Congressional seat, today applauded Monday’s Senate vote to advance the amendment to the United States Constitution to keep “dark money” out of politics and reverse two US Supreme Court decisions that removed limits on Corporation campaign contributions.

“The Conservative majority on the United States Supreme Court has made decisions that have put our government up for sale,” Headrick stated. “Monday’s Senate vote is the first step toward taking elections back from big money and returning them to 'We, the people' with the principle 'One person, one vote'”

Full press release:

Read more...


Submitted by WhitesCreek on September 9, 2014 - 8:02am.

Would't it be wonderful if politicians were held accountable for lying in their campaigns? Congressman Chuck Fleischmann would then be held accountable for the fake photo of Weston Wamp burning his passport, something which never happened, but which got sent to most homes in our Congressional district as if it were true. If you lie to me, I don't trust anything you say from then on. Why lying in politics is tolerated in the Bible Belt when it is one of the big "Thy Shalt Nots", amazes me. Let's hope the judges offer a legal remedy that punishes campaign liars!

We hold that the record before us in this case concerning the alleged defamation of a public figure contains evidence that is clear and convincing from which a trier of fact could find actual malice in Campfield’s publication of false statements about Byrge.

Discussion at KNowViews


Submitted by WhitesCreek on September 9, 2014 - 6:21am.

Somehow TVA was able to make the case and sway the committee into thinking that Harriman's image was just as "damaged" as Kingston and Roane County and Mayor Beets went along with it in order to get $350,000 for Kingston to use on its own. We have an entire agency in Roane County that is professionally staffed specifically for developing Roane County's "image". That is where Woody wanted the money to go.

A follow-up amendment by Woody to allocate all of the $1 million to Roane County( Roane Alliance) failed when no foundation member seconded it. Woody said prior meeting records indicated that was the first plan for how to use the “image repair” money.

Instead, foundation members accepted a TVA proposal for Kingston and Harriman to each get $375,000 for public relations efforts, Rockwood will receive $100,000, and Roane County will get $150,000, plus some $100,000 in interest that has accrued on the original $43 million.

Link...


Submitted by onetahiti on September 8, 2014 - 5:39pm.

The Tennessean (Link...) reports that Kroger is changing its 'give back' donation program. Now shoppers will be able to designate a charity online at: Link....

Charities that want to participate should sign up online: Link.... I checked, and so far Ridge View Elementary, Rockwood Food Pantry (Rockwood Ministerial Association), and West Roane County VFD are not yet signed up; I hope they sign up soon.

-- OneTahiti

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Submitted by WhitesCreek on September 8, 2014 - 8:13am.

Tom McFarland’s election lawsuit against Judge Mike Pemberton,The Roane County Election Commission and Tennessee Coordinator of Elections Mark Goins has been scheduled for trial on Oct. 8 in Roane County Chancery Court. The RCN has this note:

The Roane County law firm Cooley, McFarland, Raby and Reynolds is representing Pemberton in the matter.


Submitted by WhitesCreek on September 8, 2014 - 7:59am.

The latest edition of the Roane County Commission will take up the matter of a sales tax increase, purportedly to help the schools. This is a complicated matter, actually, and I wonder how many of the commissioners actually understand why we are in the position we are in? Here's a short version.

All county schools receive a large portion of their funding from a share of state sales tax revenue. That portion is determined by the BEP formula, which distributes money to county school systems based on how much money the county itself has with which it can fund its own schools. A major factor in this is the value of homes and other real estate within the county. since property tax is a primary source of county revenue. The more valuable real estate in a county, the more a given tax rate earns for schools.

That should be pretty straight forward, right? Well it would be if real estate is assessed at reasonable fair market values.

When then Property Assesor Teresa Kirkham sent out tax cards in 2009 Property owners were shocked to see their assessments rise to unreal valuations in Roane County AFTER the 2008 TVA ash disaster. This was even more surprising when put in the perspective against properties in the neighboring counties of Knox, Anderson, Blount, and Loudon, all of which went down and none of which had a disaster on their hands. Kirkham was apparently of the opinion that a TVA disaster increases property values.

Now, property owners have several checks and balances built into the system to protect against a rogue tax assessor. They can appeal to the Board of Equalization which is supposed to be an autonomous quasi judicial entity following judicial rules of conduct. I'm not going to get into it at the moment but I suggest the members of that board look up "ex parte communication" and in the future refrain from letting the Assessor's office have private meetings with them during which property owners aren't allowed. They can appeal to the state, which many have done. The vast majority of appeals to outlandish Kirkham appraisals have been lowered in retrospect. Current Assessor David Morgan has been producing assessments that are actually in line with market valuations and the next countywide revaluation should correct most of this. For now, however, the damage to the BEP formula and school funding is already done, however.

But remember: The primary check on high property appraisals is the County Commission. The Commission must vote to approve the Assessor's work, and in 2009 they voted to approve property valuations that were around 20% above real market value, even in the most conservative of estimates. The Chairman of the Roane County Commission at the time was Troy Beets.

The current County Commission will consider a vote in tonight's meeting that would increase the County sales tax in order to partly make up for the loss of BEP school money caused by unrealistic property valuations the commission approved in 2009. Troy Beets voted to approve those valuations as Chairman. Troy was voted off the Commission but now serves as Mayor of Kingston. Regarding the Commission voting for a sales tax increase... From the Roane County News:

“I’m agin it; I’m agin it; I’m agin it,” said Kingston Mayor Troy Beets..,

Previously at RoaneViews.com:

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Submitted by WhitesCreek on September 7, 2014 - 8:38am.

There are a number of things that worry me about our political process, but when you give the Legislative Branch total control it is a screaming freight train to massive corruption. We have a number of Republicans telling the same lie at the moment, namely that the AG is supposed to defend the laws that the legislature passes. The AG is the closest thing we have to a state sheriff. The AG rules on matters of the state and federal constitution, in particular, the AG tells the legislature when it is acting illegally. What Republicans want is a crooked sheriff who will tell them whatever politically expedient of the moment they want to hear. This will not be good for the honest citizens of Tennessee.

What these enemies of democracy want is to have a dishonest sheriff. What we have at the moment is a dishonest legislature.

Tom Humphrey has a good overview:

Link...


Submitted by WhitesCreek on September 6, 2014 - 7:41pm.

Yes, I'm totally bragging! This event is hard...Way hard!


Submitted by WhitesCreek on September 6, 2014 - 4:54pm.

“We’re proud that he’s our Democratic nominee," he said of Ball. "We’re proud that he’s a candidate we can support. We’re proud that he is going to bring to Tennessee voters the message that they need to hear this fall because Republicans do not deserve a monopoly in Tennessee politics.”

Cooper highlighted a point that Democrats are likely to return to often in the coming weeks: Lamar's failure to get over 50 percent of the vote in the Republican primary and a loss in his own county.

“It’s an opportunity for Democrats and independents and a lot of disaffected Republicans to come together behind Gordon Ball,” Cooper said...

Link...

Gordon Ball asks the question that has troubled many Tennesseans:

“Think about it, Lamar Alexander became governor in 1978 with a net worth of $150,000," Ball said. "He’s been in office almost 40 years in one form or another. He’s now worth $22 million or more. How do you do that? How do you answer that to the people of Tennessee, what you’ve been doing on the side while you’ve been representing Tennesseans.”


Submitted by WhitesCreek on September 6, 2014 - 4:43pm.

Given TVA's inability to pile dirt safely, It doesn't make me feel better that TVA has installed bigger louder "Evacuate" sirens around Watts Bar.

...the Watts Bar project also illustrates the challenges facing the U.S. nuclear industry. Nuclear plants are expensive, complicated and time-consuming to build. They require huge sums of upfront capital — the new Watts Bar reactor could cost as much as $4.5 billion, nearly double earlier estimates.

Link...


Submitted by WhitesCreek on September 5, 2014 - 6:22am.

Why does this song make me think of our current political process?

Going to see this guy next Wednesday. My friend Sam Lewis is opening.


Submitted by WhitesCreek on September 4, 2014 - 11:13am.

An inability to keep track of surplus military rifles forced the 2013 retirement of a Tennessee Highway Patrol captain and more recently caused another state agency to be temporarily suspended from the program that provided them.

A gun stolen from a Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency truck prompted a mandatory suspension of the agency from the federal program. That happened in June, and the agency reported the theft immediately. TWRA officials expect to be reinstated to the program, which provides guns it uses to control wild hogs.

Link...

Just as a point of reference, my family uses a .22 to switch off wild hogs. I don't get the machine gun need.


Submitted by WhitesCreek on September 4, 2014 - 7:10am.

While analyzing Gordon Ball's chances against Lamar Alexander Cagle must be noticing that people in TN's 3rd Congressional District really don't like Chuck Fleischmann, even if he won't come out and say it. He does say this:

The bitter 3rd District Congressional race was won by Congressman Chuck Fleischmann. Democratic candidate Mary Headrick may turn out Democratic votes, especially in Chattanooga, and pick up some disgruntled Weston Wamp voters. A lot of Republicans may stay home.

Fleischmann has been a disappearing congressman. He comes out every election season, spends a ton of outside money that he gets from Karl Rove and Washington PACs traching his opponent, and then Chuck disappears until the next election cycle. His main asset is his ton of outside money. He sent roughly $37 per vote in the Republican primary. In the last election Dr. Mary Headrick was a complete unknown but was able to win her votes for less that a buck each. Chuck doesn't have 37 times as much money as Mary Headrick. This is getting interesting.

Here's the full read:

Cagle's piece in the MetroPulse


Submitted by WhitesCreek on September 3, 2014 - 8:26am.

Submitted by WhitesCreek on September 3, 2014 - 6:32am.

Remember When TVA Refused to Spend $4 Million and cost itself $1.4 Billion in the Ash Disaster? And then fought making its victims whole for five and a half years because it would be too expensive?

...And when TVA raised rates for homeowners so it could cut rates for industrial customers?

The Watts Bar 2 nuclear reactor will cost $4.5 Billion. Buckle the seat belt on your check book, folks!

Link...


Submitted by WhitesCreek on September 3, 2014 - 5:52am.

There were several power outages during the night. Knox weather said a tenth of an inch but we have 1.5 inches in the gauge. Today will be hot and muggy with 40% chance of showers. That Labor Day is the end of summer thing isn't holding up.


Submitted by WhitesCreek on September 2, 2014 - 11:31am.

...a 1999 Tennessee law prohibits cities that operate their own Internet networks from providing access outside the boundaries where they provide electrical service. Bowling wanted to change that and introduced a bill in February to allow them to expand.

She viewed the network, which offers speeds about 80 times faster than AT&T and 10 times faster than Charter in Tullahoma according to advertised services, as a utility, like electricity, that all Tennesseans need.

Link...


Submitted by WhitesCreek on September 2, 2014 - 9:28am.

Friday Dec 5.....Andrew McKnight

More folks are coming as we work out schedules. We want to bring our old friends back and fit in some new folks as well. Check out Music at Ladd Landing on Facebook.

Got friends who want to be on our email list? Forward this to them and have them send us an email.

See you soon!

Steve

We're family friendly, don't serve food or beverage but you're welcome and encouraged to bring your own. Most folks do. See you there.

ABOUT OUR MUSIC SERIES

Music at Ladd Landing used to be Music at Market Street but we grew and moved a short walk away to the Ladd Landing Clubhouse. It combines our serious affection for singer songwriters, live performance of original music, and socializing with our friends and families. We started it up in the Spring of 2012 on a whim. The idea was to have a family friendly atmosphere where we could chat and visit, share adult beverages if we so choose, and listen to some of the best music in Tennessee. So far it's working. We meet new people every week and folks are now driving out from Knoxville and other far flung places to experience their favorite artists in a small room with great acoustics. The only complaint we ever hear is "Why didn't you tell me about this sooner?"

The people who play for us are very good. They write and record songs and are excellent musicians. We tend to be heavy on Americana genre but we've had ex Allman Brother Johnny Neel and R&B virtuoso Jason Eskridge, so good music is good music. Most of our artists are suggested by the artists who have played at Market Street, on the theory that musicians know music. So far everyone has been better than good. We also pester artists we like after hearing them on stage at one venue or another and we try to get people you would have to go to the Bijou, Jammin' at Hippie Jack's music festival, or someplace like that to hear. They bring their CD's and other stuff for purchase. We pay artists all we can and, after expenses, donate any extra to charities we like. We take no money ourselves.

Directions

Music at Ladd Landing is at the Ladd Landing Clubhouse in Kingston. The official address is 1000 Ladd Landing Boulevard, Kingston, TN but that won't tell your GPS how to find us.

Take Exit 352 then left and go one half mile north (left off I 40 away from Kingston proper). Turn right into Ladd Landing at the 3 way stop. Drive past the Food City shopping center and Ace Hardware about a city block and turn right just before you would go under the Iron Greenway bridge. Park on the road and walk up. Passengers who need it may be let off in front of the clubhouse. Let me know if you need anything. We'll take care of you.

Questions? stevescarb@aol.com or day of the show: 865-603-6981


Submitted by onetahiti on September 2, 2014 - 8:26am.

There is a new website, CrowdPac.com (Link...). It lets you enter your interests and issues and lists political candidates to match, with lots of extra information. Definitely recommended.

-- OneTahiti

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Submitted by WhitesCreek on September 2, 2014 - 5:55am.

Dr. Headrick Calls for Voters to Get Involved

Dr. Mary Headrick says, “Grassroots participation in elections is the only thing that stands in the way of billionaires and corporations taking over democracy in the United States of America.”

In her Keynote speech at the East Tennessee Labor Day Picnic, the candidate for the 3rd US Congressional District addressed the audience of over 200. She said Fleischmann versus Headrick comes down to big outside money versus the people of Tennessee's 3rd District. “If we are going to save our democracy, we have to beat Fleischmann's outside money by working together to get out our message,” said Headrick. “ We must let people know that there is only one candidate in this race who will protect Social Security and Medicare, support public education, vote to raise the minimum wage, and insure that good jobs stay in the US in an honest economy."

Read more...


Submitted by WhitesCreek on September 1, 2014 - 5:41pm.

How many overdose deaths have we had in Roane County recently?

America has a major problem with prescription pain medications like Vicodin and OxyContin. Overdose deaths from these pharmaceutical opioids have approximately tripled since 1991, and every day 46 people die of such overdoses in the United States.

However, in the 13 states that passed laws allowing for the use of medical marijuana between 1999 and 2010, 25 percent fewer people die from opioid overdoses annually.

Link...


Submitted by WhitesCreek on September 1, 2014 - 8:41am.

That smoky charcoal grill sure does make some good tasting meats and veggies. Frankly, I don't worry too much about it but in cities it can be a problem. There is a n easy way to make your charcoal grill equal to gas in total emissions. Back off the beef and you lose a bunch of carbon emissions. In terms of greenhouse gas emissions, one burger is the same as 3 pork chops, 6 pieces of chicken, 2 salmon steaks, or 21 pieces of mackerel.

And if you're worried about the cancer-causing compounds generated by charcoal grilling, marinate your meat in beer, says science.

Even better, contribute to organizations who set aside forests for conservation and you can have it all. Think about clicking on the donate button at this site: Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation. They have done a ton of good in saving Tennessee forests and waterways and work in a bipartisan manner to bring everyone together. They have two conservation easements in Roane County so far.


Submitted by WhitesCreek on September 1, 2014 - 8:21am.

President Obama announced a $100 million program to set up apprentice programs. It's good to see Chuck stand tall with our President.

The enthusiasm shown by Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, the Tennessee Republican whose district includes VW’s massive, state-of-the-art factory, and other mostly GOP political leaders in Tennessee for the same approach advocated by Mr. Obama demonstrates how a rare bipartisan consensus seems to be emerging on the need for more such job-related training.

Link...


Submitted by WhitesCreek on August 31, 2014 - 5:11pm.

“I do think there’s a problem in Tennessee with prosecuting white-collar crimes,” said Mark Pickrell, an attorney and adjunct professor at Vanderbilt Law School. “When it comes to white-collar crime, it takes a lot of resources. It is detail-oriented, takes a lot of documents, takes a lot of witness work. It’s a lot harder than ‘Joe punched Bob in the nose.’”

Read more...


Submitted by WhitesCreek on August 31, 2014 - 4:03pm.

Dr. Mary Headrick, candidate for 3rd District U.S. Congress, expressed her support for Research and Development being done at Oak Ridge National Laboratory while touring three of ORNL's facilities.

On August 26, when Dr. Headrick began her tour with an overview by Director Thom Mason, it was a bit of a homecoming. She had worked there herself as a computer programmer and analyst for over seven years in the 1970’s.

Headrick noted how varied and widely applicable the work being done there is.

Headrick said: "Many people in our District do not realize that ORNL is a facility for open science, a place where university and corporate research and development is performed. I find that many citizens in neighboring counties believe Oak Ridge concentrates exclusively on nuclear bombs or nuclear power. They do not realize that basic science and private industry research, such as automotive materials and efficiency, is done at ORNL. Titan and SNS are just two unique, cutting edge national resource user facilities managed by ORNL for R&D by scientists, universities and industry."

Read more...


Submitted by WhitesCreek on August 30, 2014 - 8:45am.

Chattanooga's EPB utility is providing ultra fast internet at very low cost to it's citizens. AT$T, Comcast, and a horde of their lobbyists can't stand to let citizens compete with corporations and do it better and cheaper.

Link...


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