Sat
May 2 2015
04:59 pm
By: WhitesCreek

Rabies shots being offered at some Knox County Schools

But it's always OK if Republicans do it. Slap the wrist and go on with business as usual...

Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro, and Rep. Ryan Haynes, R-Knoxille, have both written reimbursement checks to the state after a WTVF-TV review found they had been billing both taxpayers and their campaign accounts for out-of-state trips to legislative conferences.

Ketron, who chairs both the Legislature’s Fiscal Review Committee and the Senate Republican Caucus, wrote the state a check for $17,553 covering six trips over the past six years. Haynes, who recently became the Tennessee Republican Party chairman, wrote a check for $4,000 covering three trips over a four-year period.

(link...)

Fri
May 1 2015
10:01 am
By: WhitesCreek

Something that strikes me as un-American also strikes me as just plain weird. TN Congressperson Diane Black of Gallatin thinks she should be able to force her somewhat perverted ideas on people who could not vote for her and that she doesn't represent. Black thinks a bill to let women make their own health decisions is an affront to religious freedom. Among other things she wants an employer to be able to fire women who use contraception. Guess what...So does every other Republican congressman from Tennessee.

The House passed Black's bill late Thursday night, 228-192

That and more atrocities from Crockett Policy Buzz:

(link...)

Thu
Apr 30 2015
04:52 pm

This is an excellent company that has amazing capabilities in wood beam CNC construction.

Sauter Timber's Production Facility in Rockwood, TN, built from CLT (cross laminated timber) and glulam, has a 23-foot-high ceiling supporting a six-ton bridge crane, which it uses to carry the heavy timber trusses during production. The unusual construction effort won a 2015 Design Award from WoodWorks, an industry group that advocates and promotes increased use of wood for for structural components in buildings.

(link...)

Thu
Apr 30 2015
09:43 am
By: RoaneBooster

WC - a few days ago you mentioned the CASA 5K run held at Roane State each year. Of course, CASA is a wonderful and very necessary cause.

I found out - via the RCN! - that this years CASA run/walk is being held in honor of and dedicated to a long-time friend of mine, Dick Evans. Dick, a Kingston attorney, has strongly supported CASA forever. I think it is totally fitting that this run this year is in his honor.

Continued...

Wed
Apr 29 2015
11:44 am

As everyone knows, medical cannabis is the slippery slope to full legalization. This is primarily opposed by the for profit prison industry as the majority of people incarcerated are due to low level drugs. This bill is as strange as it gets because it lets people with doctor "permission" possess cannabis oil which still cannot be legally manufactured or sold in Tennessee.

(link...)

Wed
Apr 29 2015
06:54 am

The back shooting and griping between the Roane County Board of Equalization and the Property Assessor continues. The RCN published the normal "He said, she said" coverage with no real insight for us into what is going on.

Nowhere is there any mention of the questions about the Board's improper communications with the previous Assessor's office in its rulings on appeals by property owners and there is no mention of the Board's improper actions in reusing to notify property owners when their case is being reviewed as required by law.

Here is part of Morgan's letter that was deleted from the RCN article.

My office understands that we cannot spot reappraise, and we are not trying to do that. Nearly every Trustee Change Notice that I sign, is because a taxpayer has come to our office and appealed his value (informally or formally). We verify the facts with a site visit usually, and make changes if they are warranted. To summarize, my office is doing the job that we were elected to do and we are here for the taxpayers of Roane County when they need us.

The Roane County News piece is here.

Assessor Morgan's full letter is here:

Continued...

Come support your fire department this weekend and find some bargains too! This huge annual charity event will be held as always at Station #1 on Pumphouse Road just outside Rockwood. Hours are May 1, 7 AM to 7 PM and May 2, 7 AM to 2 PM. For more information, see WestRoane.com ((link...)).

Continued...

I really don;t like the bad Bob Corker, you know, the one who says we have to get rid of Social Security as we know it because of the deficit. That's the lying Bob. The guy we're seeing to day is the good one, well deserving of playing on the international stage:

The bill got through the SFRC as a consequence of vigorous efforts by Sen. Bob Corker and ranking committee Democrat Ben Cardin to take poison pills out the original text to that gives Congress 30 days to review and, if unhappy, additional days to reject any deal curtailing Iran's nuclear program. Although it had strong Democratic opposition in committee, that was overcome when President Obama said he could support a bill with the poison extracted. The needed changes were made and Corker managed to keep out amendments that would have restored the opposition from several Democrats and Obama.

(link...)

Mon
Apr 27 2015
09:30 am
Fri
Apr 24 2015
09:14 am

This flawed bill waits on Haslam to sign, veto, or do nothing and let it become a bad law. That one and a lot more from Crockett:

(link...)

Fri
Apr 24 2015
06:13 am

David Morgan states that he plans to have the reassessment done in the next few weeks. He also notes the relationship between the property valuations and the school budget shortage. Morgan says the overvaluations of the 2010 re-appraisal made Roane County look like the 16th richest county in Tennessee. (We all know better)

(link...)

Thu
Apr 23 2015
08:12 pm

This...Tonight... Doors at 7... Music at 7:30

More info

Click on Daniel Kimbro's bass fiddle over there on the right. The fiddle has details and info if you aren't a regular.

Thu
Apr 23 2015
10:02 am

A "combination of winds and low relative humidity will lead to increased fire danger this afternoon. Residents of east Tennessee... are discouraged from burning this afternoon."
Source: National Weather Service

Note that burning permits are required October 15 through May 15 and are always a good idea: (link...).

-- OneTahiti

Topics:

How have we arrived at a point in time when the Speaker of the House plays pure politics with people's lives just to defeat the governor, who now seems like the weakest one in Tennessee history?

Oh, and Technical College is now FREE in Tennessee but no one seems to know that...

(link...)

Thu
Apr 23 2015
06:31 am

The short version of any analysis is that our elected Reps and Senators served the lobbyists interests well and the people's not at all.

...Unless you count that important bit of legislation that says any spirit labelled Tennessee Moonshine must actually be distilled in Tennessee.

Here's the AP report:

(link...)

Wed
Apr 22 2015
06:57 am
By: WhitesCreek

A beautiful local Roane County resident.

scarlet

A Cope's Tree Frog is not necessarily as beautiful as a scarlet tanager but it gives me great joy when they start "singing" in the trees.

copes

copes2

I'll be in the field doing a baseline survey for another conservation easement in Roane County today.

Mon
Apr 20 2015
07:21 am

The fishing dock at Harriman's Riverfront Park is closed due to the bank eroding away. The proposed solution appears to be concrete or rip-rap, where large quarry stone is dumped on the bank. I can't think of an uglier and less environmentally friendly proposal.

First of all river banks are living systems that sometimes move around. When part or all of the trees are removed so that people can see the water, the single major stabilizing feature of a natural system is taken away.

Let's hope Harriman steps back and looks at ways to stabilize the river bank that are more in keeping with the beautiful resource they have in Riverfront Park. In the long run it will be far less costly.

Fema has a good primer on this that starts with all the things that go wrong with rip-rap. Google "Engineering With Nature FEMA" and start reading.

Mon
Apr 20 2015
06:51 am

Roberta Dennis stood before the Roane County Commission and spoke out loud something we all know...

Dennis said she believes property values in Roane County are too high, and Morgan has drawn the ire of other officials for trying to get them in line with the market.

“The value for the County Commission having it too high is very clear,” Dennis said. “They think they can collect more taxes.”

Roane County Commissioner Ron Berry confronted Dennis about her comments during a break at the meeting.

“Are we after Morgan now?” Berry asked. “Is that what you’re saying?”

“Absolutely,” Dennis responded.

RCN story

Sun
Apr 19 2015
11:53 am
By: WhitesCreek

The Tennessee legislature continues to amaze and disappoint...

Without doubt, the most entertaining debate of this year’s legislative session came in two days of impassioned House floor discourse on whether the Holy Bible should be Tennessee’s official state book – a striking contrast to the utter lack of discussion on most everything else considered.

(link...)

Thu
Apr 16 2015
05:22 pm

Yager and Calfee vote Yes to take away the Roane County Commission's ability to control weapons in County Parks.

(link...)

What a waste of time...

After hours of debate in the House earlier this week, the Tennessee Senate on Thursday likely dealt the Bible-as-Official-State-Book bill a death blow for the year by sending the bill back to committee for further review.

(link...)

Thu
Apr 16 2015
10:49 am

Thursday, April 16 at 6pm
Kingston Public Library

Gerald L. Augustus, Author and Civil War Historian:

“The Civil War in Tennessee, The Loudon County Area of East Tennessee in the War 1861-1865," Published May, 2000

"The Battle of Campbell’s Station, 16 November 1863," Published September, 2013

Mr. Augustus is a retired teacher and principal from Lenior City Schools. Originally from Kentucky, he received his masters from the University of Tennessee. He is an avid collector of all things Civil War. Besides his books, he co-wrote and edited "Loudon County and Its People 1870-1999," has been published in antique magazines, and has been featured in the Heartland Series, “The Hidden Battlefield. “ Mr. Augustus has much to share with us about Tennessee’s role and involvement in the Civil War.

Refreshments will be served. This event is part of our "Thursday Night at the Library" series.

Sponsored by
Kingston Public Library
865-376-9905

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

More information at the Kingston Public Library.

The level of maturity in our state legislature continues to nosedive. While Roane is not party to this lawsuit, there is no question we have been greatly harmed by the BEP formula. The message from the Legilature seems to be, "We're going to hurt your schools and if you fight back we'll hurt you even more." This is a sad situation for our school children.

Last month, school boards in Hamilton, Bradley, Polk, McMinn, Grundy, Marion and Coffee counties sued Republican Gov. Bill Haslam. The suit charges the BEP formula is underfunded by hundreds of millions of dollars and thus violates the Tennessee Constitution, which provides the state will offer a free system of education.

The Senate's and, later, House Finance Committee added an amendment Wednesday night to the proposed state budget implementation bill. The amendment, which will be considered in the bill that will be heard in both chambers today, specifically bars the systems from using any state or BEP funds for attorneys' fees, court costs or other expenses associated with the litigation.

(link...)

Yager gives "Because we can!" as reason for changing this longstanding legal protection for those accused.

A preliminary hearing is designed to make prosecutors show some ever so slight evidentiary basis for the charge leveled against the accused. Let’s say our old buddy Joe swears on a stack of Bibles you stole his Bible. Joe gets a warrant. You get arrested. You then have the absolute right to ask for a preliminary hearing at which the state must convince a judge a Bible was probably stolen and you probably did it. It’s a low, low standard, but that’s OK because all that probable cause finding does is open the door for a grand jury review of the charge.

The prosecution would rather skip the thing because it a) forces them to put on evidence that might not yet be ready for legal prime time (odds are they haven’t even interviewed Joe before court) and b) gives the defense a fishing pole with which they can start gleaning details about the prosecution’s case and, more importantly, its evidentiary strength.

And that’s why Yager’s bill is a bit of a head scratcher.

A new lawsuit by Tennessee Clean Water Network and the Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association goes after TVA for polluting groundwater and TDEC for letting them do it. TVA has the clever response that it is TVA's groundwater and they can pollute it if they want to. This is not the first time this attitude has shown itself and it is very disappointing in an agency that is supposed to serve the public.

The new lawsuit claims TDEC's January suit does not address all of the problems at the plant, including multiple permit violations and toxic seepage into Sinking Creek and the Cumberland River, a drinking source for millions of people.

It also suggests that TDEC Commissioner Robert Martineau might have a conflict of interest. The suit states that Martineau previously represented TVA as legal counsel.

(link...)

Lost Medicaid Funding

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