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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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...

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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.

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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.

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Thu
Mar 5 2015
09:20 am

I need help understanding this one.

SB 0426 by *Yager

Beer - As introduced, prohibits a manufacturer of beer from owning or having financial interest in any business with a wholesale or retail beer license.

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Looks like the schools are not the only public trust that Republicans are pushing over the slippery slope to private monopolies.

SB 0304 by *Yager

As introduced, allows a privately owned for-profit community public water system to have access to the drinking water revolving loan fund

(link...)

Wed
Mar 4 2015
09:19 am
By: WhitesCreek

What did the governor say today on guns, race, vouchers, etc? Well, not much, but….

3500 Tennesseans receive incorrect photo ID due to printing error

Huge Stakes As Supreme Court Takes Third Crack At Obamacare

Obama promises veto of Alexander-sponsored bill to reverse NLRB rule

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Senate Bill 1324

Public Defenders - As introduced, deletes the provision whereby a local government is required to provide to attorneys representing indigent criminal defendants 75 percent of the local funding it provides to the district attorney general. - Amends TCA Title 8; Title 16; Title 39 and Title 40.

I would certainly oppose this. The deck is already stacked against lower income families and they are certainly entitled to fair legal representation in this country.

Tue
Mar 3 2015
02:47 pm

Ferguson was stopped because of a seat belt violation according to Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Alexander Evans, who says he then smelled alcohol.

Evans said he had Ferguson perform some field sobriety tests, which he failed.

“I then placed the driver under arrest for driving under the influence (DUI),” the warrant said. “The driver did consent to a legal blood draw.”


RCN Story

GReg Fergusen

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Mon
Mar 2 2015
08:41 pm

Launched 8 years ago, spacecraft Dawn is approaching a dwarf planet the size of Texas.

Ceres
Dawn began its approach to Ceres in December, and last month it snapped pictures of the dwarf planet that revealed two mysterious bright spots inside a crater. Scientists will have to wait until the craft spirals closer to the surface in the coming months to get sharper images. It will get as close as 235 miles above Ceres’ surface, or roughly the distance of the International Space Station above Earth.

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Mon
Mar 2 2015
08:29 pm

So the County took control of this building when the taxes weren't paid, but did the County actually "Take Control" of the building?

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Poorly educated workforce a big factor:

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Sen. Ken Yager contends the state agency that defends death row inmates has stepped outside legal boundaries by using taxpayer dollars to seek more information on the people and drugs used in executions while challenging a law that sets up electrocution as an alternative to lethal injection.

Let's note that Yager used taxpayer money to pass his bill allowing electrocution, which many consider "cruel and unusual", as a means of execution.

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Mon
Mar 2 2015
11:51 am

TN Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn:

“The FCC’s decision to grant the petitions of Chattanooga, Tennessee and Wilson, North Carolina is a troubling power grab,” Blackburn said. “States are sovereign entities that have Constitutional rights, which should be respected rather than trampled upon.

For the record Congressman Chuck Fleischmann supported the FCC's "Liberal agenda".

(link...)

Mon
Mar 2 2015
10:03 am
By: WhitesCreek

Pat Nolan: Guns in Parking Lots Redux
Bid to Block Health Exchange in Tennessee Seen as 'Overkill'
First week of winter storm cost TDOT $11.3M; overall impact now being assessed
Roy Exum: Cameras Or Subterfuge?
Rep. Van Huss praying for recognition of ‘Almighty God’ in TN constitution

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This is too complicated to summarize. I suggest you read the article in the Times Free Press. Was an employee of the Cleveland Police Dept defending himself or committing domestic violence when his wife assaulted him to destroy the pictures he took of her with his boss, who happens to be Chief of Police?

Another question: When charges are dismissed why aren't bail fees reimbursed?

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It appears that early Americans domesticated coyote/wolf canines as beasts of burden and food in hard times. And then there's this: Here's video of the extremely rare Amazonian short eared dog.

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Can we stop serving the profits of the big Internet corporations on the backs of people? It's time for corporations to serve the people or get out of the way. Same thing for our elected officials, actually. We need a program much like Rural Electrification and phone service to rural areas to ne implemented for high speed internet to every home and business. AT$T and Verizon have stood in the way long enough. With the recent FCC avtions, now is the time. Let's get going!

(link...)

Fri
Feb 27 2015
09:34 am

Anyone who has ever been a student knows that the main ingredient in a quality education is the teacher, whether it is kindergarten, high school, or college. At the university level, tuition has risen dramatically as professor compensation has dropped. What is wrong with this picture?

(link...)

Thu
Feb 26 2015
08:17 am

Private utilities did not bring electricity to sparser populated rural areas in the USA. Private businesses will NOT bring high speed internet to those areas either. They are all about making the most money for their stockholders while providing the lowest level of service the market lets them get by with. We have a spectacular success model in Chattanooga, which has some of the fastest internet available. It isn't a private entity, it is a municipal utility.

Congressperson Marsha Blackburn (R) thinks this is terrible. She wants corporations to get their cut (so she gets her cut of campaign donations). A bill in the TN Legislature is at odds with Marsha.

Update: FCC Tells Marsha Blackburn to Shove it!

Here's what's on the state website:

SB 1130 by *Bowling (HB 0728) by *Pody

Telecommunications - As introduced, requires the office of the comptroller to prepare a report on or before January 1, 2016, replacing June 30, 2005, for the business and utilities committee of the house and the commerce and labor committee of the senate evaluating the operations of municipal electric systems offering cable, two-way video transmission, video programming, Internet, or similar services and including a recommendation as to whether the authority to provide the services should be expanded, restricted, or terminated. - Amends TCA Title 7; Title 47, Chapter 18 and Title 65.

Here's the TFP story

Lost Medicaid Funding

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