Mon
Feb 23 2015
07:31 pm

From State Senator Ken Yager:

At last, I'm finally getting a Special Report out. A combination of the flu and the wicked weather slowed me down a bit, but I am back to full throttle.

After a recess, the General Assembly reconvened on Feb 2nd for a Special Session called by the Governor to consider Insure Tennessee, his proposal to include persons up to 138% of the poverty level. Currently we offer TennCare to only those up to 100% of the poverty line. The estimates ranged from 200,000 to 280,000 new enrollees. One factor that got lost in the debate was that Insure Tennessee actually encouraged people to work. Over half of these potential new enrollees were currently working and a voucher would be available to help pay their share of employer offered insurance. But it was not to be. The Governor was not able to distinguish Insure Tennessee from Obamacare, which killed it. And I don't think it will come up again this session.

Continued...

Mon
Feb 23 2015
07:26 pm
By: WhitesCreek

Mr. Avel,

This is not confirmed yet, but I am hearing that that there might be an extension of the comment period and/or another public hear based upon the receipt of a revised or updated mitigation plan.

Continued...

Sun
Feb 22 2015
05:19 pm

It all started after a heartbreaking story from last year when an elderly man in Rockwood essentially froze to death inside his home. The Rockwood Police Department launched the program so that there would never be another tragic weather related death in the city.

(link...)

Make it 2.5 hours and I'll support this:

(link...)

Sat
Feb 21 2015
06:50 pm

Joseph LeMay was our artist for the Ladd Landing Listening Room Friday night. The weather had other ideas. Joseph is rescheduled for March 27. In the mean time here you go...You can thank me later.

The people most often cited as "education experts" in blogs and news stories may have the backing of influential organizations -- but have little background in education and education policy, a new study suggests.

The findings are cause for concern because some prominent interest groups are promoting reform agendas and striving to influence policymakers and public opinion using individuals who have substantial media relations skills but little or no expertise in education research...

(link...)

Sat
Feb 21 2015
10:31 am

The Tennessee legislature has never failed to disappoint when it comes to idiocy. Let's go back a few weeks to Fox News making up a story about Muslims in Great Britain having instituted zones where non Muslims are not permitted. This was a total fabrication by Fox News, not the first by any means and not the last, I'm willing to bet. Anyone who says they get their "news" from Fox turns out to be more ignorant of actual news than folks who say they don't get their news from anyone.

So what does the TNGOP do about this false claim by Fox News? They introduce a bill to prevent a thing from happening that cannot possibly be happening.

Tom Humphrey has the story:

(link...)

Don't make a bad decision and go anywhere for a while. The trees are re-coated with ice and we could see more power problems in Roane County if this continues. We should work our way to above freezing temps around noon. It's 32° currently at Whites Creek Global Headquarters and headed your way.

Fri
Feb 20 2015
07:13 pm
Fri
Feb 20 2015
01:27 pm

You fine people are on your own tonight. I hate to let the weather win but it takes this round.

Joseph LeMay is rescheduled for March 27.

This is in our end of the county.

A 44-year-old man died of hypothermia in Roane County. The Roane County sheriff says he was found Wednesday in his home in the Eagle Furnace area. The power had been out for a few days. The man has some previous medical issues as well.

(link...)

Wed
Feb 18 2015
07:28 pm

Yes, we've been a little slack in our postings. There were a number of trees, a large number, across the power lines to Whites Creek Global Headquarters. A big Thanks to the folks at Rockwood Electric Utility for working all that overtime and getting the lights back on. Roane County Schools will be out for the rest of the week, as will a number of other school systems in the area. We'll try to catch up with the news and get back to our usual snarky selves.

Cheers!

There is a sweet picture of some kids to go along with the speculative and gossipy attack on the Property Assessor. This is related to the School System budget woes though it's never mentioned by reporter Damon Lawrence. The overly high appraisals from the last Assessor regime which was approved by the County Commission caused Roane County to be declared "affluent" which cut the BEP fundng from the state by over a Million dollars per year. The Commission blames the schools for their problem, of course.

Then there is the continued attack on Tiger Haven, with a nebulous bill filed by Sen. Yager and REp. Calfee calling for "adequate space" for these animals but never defining it. Why not file a bill calling for "adequate space" for ALL kept animals, or do we only want to be kind to animals we want to get rid of?

Regardless, I wish the corporate bosses of the Roane County News would try to help Roane County in the long view by accepting their role in how the world sees us. There are lots of good things hapening in Roane County to focus on. We don't need our ambassador to the world viewing our County through manic depressive glasses.

(link...)

As I read these there is an excellent legal case for stopping TVA from going forward. I have wondered if legal action was justified based on several points of law. This now lays out the case in a shot across the bow for TDEC and TVA.

Frankly I would be willing to allow the landfill to go forward with two provisions:

1. TDEC limits the permitted height to be at 825 feet elevation and require the closure expenses to be escrowed as is the case in every other landfill.

2. TVA must agree to an immediate mediation in the case of failure that will compensate property owners and other victims for lost valuation without resorting to lengthy litigation processes. TVA avoided paying around $100 million dollars in lost valuation damages because the law couldn't make TVA pay even though the Judge found that TVA was certainly responsible. This unconscionable action by TVA should be prevented going forward in Roane County is going to be subjected to continued risk.

This is upsetting in more ways than one. How does a legislator justify making government actions secret from those being governed unless it is to hide corruption?

Among the 23 public records bills filed so far in the Tennessee General Assembly, 18 of them restrict the public records law further or clarify language that make previously public documents confidential or unnecessary to maintain.

Can anyone explain why the TSSAA should be exempt from public scrutiny in its actions that control the governance of public school athletics. This organization has way too much control and autonomy as it is.

A bill hiding water usage data is extremely bothersome. Government must be disinfected by sunlight. The GOP appears to think that is a very bad idea.

(link...)

Sun
Feb 15 2015
09:38 am

...Winter Storm Warning in effect from 1 am Monday to 7 am EST Tuesday...

The National Weather Service in Morristown has issued a Winter Storm Warning for heavy snow...which is in effect from 1 am Monday to 7 am EST Tuesday. The Winter Storm Watch is no longer in effect.

* Event...a winter storm will bring accumulating heavy snowfall of 4 to 7 inches in the great Tennessee Valley...with locally higher amounts possible.

* Timing...late Sunday night through Monday night.

I'm liking this weather site: Wunderground.com

Topics:

From Our "These people are idiots" Dept: Bill Withdrawn

(link...)

Sat
Feb 14 2015
11:36 am

This was an avoidable waste of time. Why Senator Yager wanted to be known as the man who brought electrocution back to Tennessee is beyond me. Ken Yager is a talented politician who could use his powers for good. I hope he sees the light one day.

(link...)

Fri
Feb 13 2015
03:38 pm

KnoxViews.com with the newsflash:

(link...)

Fri
Feb 13 2015
09:21 am

Much like Armstrong Custer gave those Cheyenne women and children a fighting chance at Washita...

(link...)

Thu
Feb 12 2015
07:59 pm
By: WhitesCreek
Thu
Feb 12 2015
07:49 pm
By: WhitesCreek

“In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own. It is error alone that needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.”
Thomas Jefferson — in a letter to Horatio Spofford, 1814

He's been arrested.

(link...)

Thu
Feb 12 2015
10:24 am
By: WhitesCreek

As you should know our amiable governor, Bill Haslam, called a special session of the TN Legislature to pass his Obamacare work around called Insure Tennessee. The most powerful politician in Tennessee, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, created a special committee in the special session to expressly murder Haslam's bill. In so doing, Ramsey also murders hundreds of Tennesseans who would be saved from an untimely death by the reasonable healthcare they will now not receive. Ramsey also saved Tennessee from Billions of dollars in Federal tax money that would go to keep rural hospitals open and provide care in a number of communities. Apparently, to many in the business community, it comes as a surprise that Tennessee has a Lt. Governor who will stand by and watch hundreds of Tennesseans die in order to prove he can kill rural Tennessee hospitals, kill low income Tennesseans and kill any plans the Governor has to bring this state out of the Ron Ramsey morass.

Crockett has a roundup of reaction and plans to work around Ron Ramsey's power trip.

(link...)

Thu
Feb 12 2015
08:27 am

This kind of "he said, she said" is why a public hearing should be conducted by an independent review board. We have two very different stories here. The public deserves to know the facts, not from a mother who got them second hand nor a LEA spokes person reporting the results of a secret internal investigation.

Suspect's Mom says

her son’s girlfriend Forland, who was also in the car, told her the officer hit their car and pinned them against the guardrail.

“He then rammed them head on and hung out the window and shot the first shot,” she said.

Christopher is at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in critical condition.

Doris says she wants justice.

“It shattered both jaw bones and he was shot in the neck, shot both hands and in the chest and shot in the arm,” she said. “There were 14 bullet holes in the car and my child had six of them and my child had no weapons or nothing.

(link...)

Thu
Feb 12 2015
07:51 am

Old tires are a constant problem all over Tennessee. Why isn't there a core charge for tires like there is for batteries? Is this just like the bottle bill and seen as an infringement on some people's right to trash our state?

(link...)

Wed
Feb 11 2015
08:52 pm

No mention of the fact that this is considered "assault" if you do it to an adult...

"The lack of consistency in the state in how physical punishment is administered seems to me to not make a lot of sense," Democratic Rep. Jason Powell said in an interview with The Tennessean. "It can expose our teachers and school systems to lawsuits and legal action over an excessive use of corporal punishment."

(link...)

Wed
Feb 11 2015
06:35 pm

In celebration of Black History Month and the 150 year anniversary of the last year of the Civil War, the RSCC Arts and Lectures Committee and the Social and Behavioral Science Forum Series will host the film “Glory” at the Princess Theatre on Wednesday, February 18 at 7:00 PM EST. The event is free and open to the public with a requested donation to pay for future RSCC Arts and Lectures Events. This is your chance to see a great film on the big screen for free or a minimal donation.
*Please note the movie is rated R for violence and strong language.

At the time, Ebert and Siskel gave this movie two thumbs up. Here's Ebert's review: (link...)

Lost Medicaid Funding

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