Dec 29 2010
12:06 pm

Councilman Brant Williams sent me a copy of the following letter that he has submitted to the RCN:

That TDEC is requiring the TVA to install a liner in the gypsum storage pond is no surprise.
That there are problems with the pond is, sadly, unremarkable.
As far back as Jan. 2, 2009, at the special-called Kingston City Council meeting when TVA Chairman Tom Kilgore addressed the public regarding the TVA ash spill, former Kingston councilman Jim Rivers raised the issue of the gypsum pond construction.
Mr. Rivers expressed concern that the pond was not being built with a liner (as TDEC is now requiring the TVA to retrofit).
In Mr. Kilgore’s reply was the promise that the people and the city of Kingston would be allowed full review of the gypsum pond construction plans.
When asked about a third-party engineering firm possibly reviewing the plans, Mr. Kilgore agreed that it could be worked out.
Later in a city council workshop, I brought up the gypsum pond issue and reminded council of Mr. Kilgore’s promise to allow third-party oversight.
At the time, council informally agreed to send a letter to the TVA and Mr. Kilgore expressing concern that the pond be built to the highest safety standards.
At a later meeting, I again brought up the gypsum pond issue and expressed concern that the TVA had not responded to our letter.
Unfortunately, by this time then-county commission chairman and Kingston Mayor Troy Beets had seemingly become the TVA’s “frontman” and was actively running interference for the TVA in an apparent effort to thwart organized or official resistance to the TVA plans regarding the conduct of ash spill cleanup, economic recovery and gypsum pond construction.
At one point, then-commissioner and Mayor Beets acknowledged he was actively involved in private discussions and secret meetings with high-level TVA officials.
During a council workshop, the mayor alluded to having inside information regarding the TVA plans on economic recovery.
However, when asked what he knew and when he knew, Beets refused to answer.
When pressed that as our mayor he should not be holding secret meetings and should at the least be informing council of such discussions, Beets steadfastly refused to reveal the nature of his talks with the TVA (however shortly afterward the TVA made a gift of $43 million to the Roane County and made Beets head of the foundation that was to give the money out of which $37 million went to Beets’ pet projects — the schools and a new sewer plant).
In any case, I feel certain that had it not been for Beets’ constant assurances that the TVA would do the “right thing” and had his supporters on city council not refused to use the City of Kingston’s influence to pressure the TVA into allowing oversight of the gypsum pond construction, the pond might already have a liner and not today be leaking.
Finally, it is my sincere hope that the citizens of Kingston and Roane County take this sad chapter in Roane County politics as a lesson and never forget the unnecessarily high cost of allowing one man to hold two high-elected offices at the same time.
Brant W. Williams
Kingston councilman

Dec 24 2010
11:30 am
By: onetahiti

Adam Goodheart, who blogs for the New York Times, has an excellent historical piece on how Americans practiced Christmas in 1860. See: (link...)

When read with this map ((link...)), a favorite of President Lincoln, one can see the local relevance of the story.

-- OneTahiti

Dec 23 2010
11:38 pm

1:25 PM – A CHRISTMAS SNOW (starring Muse Watson)
3:15 PM – YULE LOG (Christmas Carols all through the night)

11 AM - A CHRISTMAS SNOW (starring Muse Watson)
9:30 PM - A CHRISTMAS SNOW (starring Muse Watson)

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL! is asking folks to vote for their favorite five charities. The winners will receive donations from's millions of supporters. You don't need to "join" to vote. Here's the link: (link...)

Please consider voting for the Rockwood Ministerial Association ((link...)), who run the Food Pantry in Rockwood and act as the safety net of last resort for many of our citizens.



NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Center for Policy Research (TCPR), the state's free market think tank, today announced the Roane County Economic Development Foundation as the recipient of its “2010 Lump of Coal Award.”

TCPR awards this dubious distinction annually to the person or group in Tennessee who, more than any other over the past year, acted as a Grinch to Tennesseans by bah-humbugging the principles of liberty and limited government.

TCPR Press Release - (link...)

Note: I personally understand the potential economic benefit of the Princess Theater and The Princess Foundation for the Arts Foundation.

Dec 22 2010
09:50 am
By: Parkview Pres

The Mayor's comment on the gas prices makes no sense, if the Gas dept had enough "overhead" to lend to the Water dept for 5 years then one of two things is wrong either Gas rates have been inflated for at least 5 yrs or we are about to find out that something is wrong with the Gas dept's books. How stupid doe's Mayor Watts think we are. I think and audit of all of Rockwood's Books are in order for all dept's and lets just see what has been going on for years!


Tomorrow (Tuesday 12/21/10) afternoon at 5 PM, Muse Watson, Bill Landry, and Mayor Chris Mason will be at the Channel 15 studio on Roane Street in Harriman (next to the Princess). The City of Harriman and Roane State Community College would love for you to drop by and see the new facility (still be arranged inside) and meet Muse, Bill, and Chris.


Dec 17 2010
04:56 pm

TVA said plaintiffs "cannot recover based solely on marketplace fear or stigma," that there is no "legally protected interest" in recreational opportunities on affected waterways, no proof that the spill increased levels of airborne ash on their properties and no evidence that particles of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, selenium and zinc - all hazardous substances as defined by the Superfund law - "leached from the coal ash."


Dec 11 2010
06:39 pm

UNICEF ranked the 24 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Material well-being, educational well-being, and health well-being all were taken into account.

The United States placed rock-bottom. Charles M. Blow writes about it in the NY Times: (link...)

Where would Tennessee and Roane County rank? What can we do locally to turn this around?

-- OneTahiti

Dec 11 2010
11:06 am

Eighth-graders in Kingston need our help. Their teacher has asked via ((link...)) for money for books. This is a good cause.

Please consider stepping up and giving a little to these students. All donations for this project are matched 100%, so your gift will do double duty.

-- OneTahiti

Dec 6 2010
09:07 pm

"Current water quality monitoring looks only at the surface." EPOnline has the story: (link...)

-- OneTahiti

It's going to be a historic evening in Harriman!

Mayor Chris Mason and Bill Landry will host this year's Harriman Christmas Parade “live” via the downtown facilities of the new Channel 15 RSCC/City of Harriman Television Station. The live feed on Comcast’s Channel 15 should begin this evening (Thursday) around 6:45 PM and last until the parade is over.

The show will begin with the Mayor and Bill recognizing the City Council and all the people that made the new station possible.

This is just the beginning of things to come from our Channel 15. In the future there will be live broadcast from local events and in-studio productions. There will also be live shows from the stage of the newly refurbished Princess Theater. Most importantly, our children will have a “real” TV studio in which to gain valuable “hands on” experience.

Watch your community coming back to life tonight on the very first “live” broadcast from our very own Channel 15.

Check out the Princess Blog!

Nov 25 2010
08:49 am

Today we are especially thankful for the fine employees of Rockwood Electric, who are working hard on this holiday to restore power in our area.

We are thankful also that the weather isn't too cold and that we have good food that can be eaten without warming.

And we are thankful that even as I am writing this, our power just came back on.

Happy Thanksgiving to all indeed! :)

-- OneTahiti

Nov 22 2010
03:04 pm

The Kirkland Family of Harriman are now offering a $10,000 REWARD.


Nov 14 2010
03:33 pm

The Tour of Homes event will showcase seven historic homes along with a historic church playing Holiday music throughout the day. Downtown, antique shopping and a Holiday SALE with décor from artist Stephen Brown of Glitterville will be a highlight. For the history lovers, a Civil War encampment will be setup during the tour with historic displays and re-enactments. Also, a “Ho Ho Ho” Christmas Mystery Play will be performing at 5 PM and is complimentary with your ticket.
Tickets are available on-line or Live & Let Live or O'Those Were The Days Antiques. Tour dates are December 4th & December 5th

Nov 14 2010
03:24 pm

Rockwood’s first annual Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration will take place on Friday, December 3rd at 6:30 p.m. at Homecoming Park downtown. Special holiday music will be provided. Santa Claus will read a classic Christmas Story to the children. The Rockwood Merchants Association will provide photo’s with Santa Claus. This is a family event for all ages and is being hosted by Rockwood 2000.

Oct 21 2010
08:02 am

Take a terrifying walk through the haunted theatre. If you dare..!

The Creative Arts Co-op is hosting the first ever haunted theatre at the Creative Arts Co-op Visual & Performing Arts Center, located at: 426 Ruritan Road, Harriman.

The event will take place October 22, 23, 29, & 30, 2010.

Doors open at 7:30pm and tickets are just $5.00 per person.

For more information, call 865/765-1129.

Oct 16 2010
03:01 pm

The Herald-News in Rhea County has the story: (link...)

Sep 29 2010
01:30 am

Kingston's annual Autumn Country Fair will be held Saturday, October 2, at Fort Southwest Point. For more information, see: (link...)

-- OneTahiti

Sep 29 2010
01:24 am

Entries for the Kingston Autumn Country Fair are due October 1 between 3PM and 5:30PM in the "big white tent" at Fort Southwest Point in Kingston, Tennessee. For a list of the categories and more information, see: (link...)

-- OneTahiti

Sep 27 2010
10:25 pm
By: onetahiti

For more information, see: (link...)

-- OneTahiti

Sep 27 2010
01:25 pm

It's not too late to get a booth in the Rockwood Fall Festival this Saturday. Nonprofits and other folks who have informational exhibits about our area are encouraged to attend at very affordable booth costs. Of course commercial vendors are also welcome. For more information, see: (link...)

-- OneTahiti

Sep 27 2010
01:19 pm

The Rockwood Fall Festival will be held on Saturday, October 2, in downtown Rockwood. It will be a "Festival of Fun, Food and Entertainment in Rockwood, Tennessee."

For more information, see ((link...))/.

There will be beauty pageants, too, for pretty babies up through Miss Fall Teen, sponsored by
Pretty Baby Fall Festival – (0-48 months old)
Miss Petite Fall Festival – (5-9 years old)
Miss Preteen Fall Festival – (10-12 years old)
Miss Junior Teen Fall Festival – (13-15 years old)
Miss Teen Fall Festival – (16-19 years old)

See their events page for more information and application forms ((link...)).

Vendors are encouraged. Prices are particularly affordable for nonprofits and folks with exhibits relating to this area. See: (link...)

-- OneTahiti

Sep 22 2010
10:03 pm

The First Christian Church in Rockwood is having a "Pumpkin Patch" pumpkin sale.

The Patch officially opens on October 2nd, the same day as the Rockwood Fall Festival, and will run while supplies last. Hours are 10AM - 6PM Monday through Saturday and noon to 6PM on Sunday.

The Patch will be held at the church at 328 West Rockwood Street. This will be a great location for buying your fall pumpkins.

For more information, call the church office at 354-1753.

All proceeds will go to support FCC children and youth programs.

Please help us spread the word! Download, print, and post this 8.5x11 poster in PDF format (172kb): (link...)

2010 Pumpkin Patch poster by First Christian Church
Sep 21 2010
09:06 am

Monday, September 20, by a vote of 4-2, the Rockwood City Council voted to pass the first reading of the resolution that abolishes the RWS&G Board.

What is the legal precedent for abolishing a board?

The city's ordinance talks about setting up boards and a board's operation and duties, but not about abolishing one. In the interest of conducting business ethically and above board, we need to know what is the council's justification.

Due to family matters, I was not able to attend the meeting; however, I was told by one who was (and always is in attendance) that the council's justification to abolish the board was because the board "doesn't show us anything and they don't try hard enough." Is that sufficient cause to make such a drastic change in policy?

If this resolution is approved next month, what is the council's plan of action? This decision should not be made simply for the sake of change. Change without purpose only breeds chaos.

Without a precedent - if there is, I'd sincerely like to see it - this matter should be up for public vote.

Sep 17 2010
11:32 am
Constitution Week poster, used with permission of the artist

-- OneTahiti


West Roane County Volunteer Fire department ((link...)) will be handing out free 10-year smoke alarms at Station #1 at 1303 Pumphouse Road, Rockwood, Tennessee, from 9 AM to 1 PM on Saturday, September 18. This is the third Saturday in a row for this giveaway.

A grant from FEMA is providing 538 smoke detectors. Volunteers from West Roane VFD wrote the grant application that enabled this giveaway.

Households in the West Roane service area--outside Rockwood city limits--are eligible. See this map of the service area ((link...)); look inside the dashed red lines but outside the golden area of Rockwood proper.

Residents will be given detectors on a first-come, first served basis. Preference will be given to seniors and/or low-income households. Up to two detectors per household are allowed.

Correct placement of smoke detectors is very important. Residents who want help with installation of the detectors can schedule an appointment for West Roane VFD volunteers to properly install the devices.

Volunteer labor permitting, this giveaway will be repeated every Saturday until the detectors are all passed out.

For more information, call 865-354-8201.

-- OneTahiti

Sep 12 2010
12:12 pm

It's good to see speculators building off the promise of a Downtown Harriman "arts and education" complex like the Princess!

Their dreams are coming true too!

Sep 12 2010
03:19 am

The Knoxville News Sentinel has an interactive map showing meth labs found in East Tennessee since 2000. Roane County has its share. See: (link...)

-- OneTahiti

Sep 11 2010
02:52 pm

Michael Moore writes today with an idea for something we can all do to honor 9/11 victims and their families and at the same time uphold our American ideals. See "If the 'Mosque' Isn't Built, This Is No Longer America" in his blog at: (link...)

-- OneTahiti

Lost Medicaid Funding

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