Wednesday, March 27, 2013

'October Sky' to cap SouthFest day 1

Boy, they're really pushing this whole SouthFest thing. The county administration just sent out another spin release, this one to let everyone know that the SouthFest event will feature a screening of the movie “October Sky,” the 1999 flick filmed in Knoxville and starring Jake Gyllenhaal.

The movie will be shown at 8:30 p.m. on April 12 in the parking lot adjacent to the Knox County Public Library's South Knoxville branch (4500 Chapman Highway). Pre-show entertainment kicks off at 7:30 p.m.

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett called it “a great way to wrap up” the festival's first day, and hopes residents throughout the county will show up to the “various events and to support the businesses that have been impacted by the Henley Street Bridge closure."
Southfest is a two-day, festival-like event put together by Burchett's office (i.e. Michael “Big Sexy” Grider) to encourage folks to visit the city's red-headed stepchild. The event will include live music and entertainment, a United Healthcare Kids Zone (whatever that is), a wellness center, Tour de South guided bicycle tours and circus-style entertainment from the Shriners.

The Community Action Committee also will provide on-site shuttles, so the public can park at a business and ride to various locations.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Arnett announces top winter worker

Figured I'd mention this:

Knox County Clerk Foster Arnett Jr. named Julie Gass, a long-time worker in his office, as "employee of the quarter" for winter 2013.

Gass serves  as a drivers license and motor vehicle clerk in the Cedar Bluff satellite office. She is a native of the Carter community and earned a degree in marketing from the University of Tennessee where she graduated in 1992.

Foster praised her "upbeat attitud and her ability to help customers."

"There are not enough adjectives to describe her helpfulness and fotitude, and I wish there were ten more like her," he said.

She has worked at the clerk's office for 18 years.

Burchett to host public meeting today

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett will hold another constituent meeting today, this time at Plumbers & Steam Fitters Union building at 126 N. Broadway from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Typically, these don't draw large crowds, but there was a pretty decent turnout - relatively speaking - for the last one from what I understand.

Anyhoo, feel free to show up, blast the mayor, compliment the mayor or exchange fist bumps.

Also, special guest star communications manager Michael "Big Sexy" Grider is expected to make an appearance.

Monday, March 25, 2013

'Casual' county coin report part IV

Finance Director Chris Caldwell
And . . . . it's that time again, as the county's top bean counter today explained to commissioners during their monthly luncheon (yes, I did skip a month) just how much money we all can expect when the finance department closes the books this summer.

Or not expect.

As usual, Casual Chris Caldwell throw out a lot of financial mumbo jumbo, voodoo, hoodoo, and whatever detailing the dollars.

As it stands, general fund revenues are up $4.1 million compared to this time last year. And the schools general purpose fund is up $10.3 million.

However, don't start spending it just yet.

General fund expenditures also are up by $5.4 million more than this time last year, although Caldwell said that includes all transfers and designations. In other words, they're including the spending spree the commission went on last March when the county reaped a surplus. It also includes the $2.8 million to cover the literary program the mayor asked to fund.

So, really, all this is nothing more than a moment in time, in constant flux. Or whatever.

School expenditures are up by $12. million, but that, too, includes the $14 million in surplus that the board of education set aside for construction projects.

Caldwell also gave commissioners a sales tax analysis. According to the composite trend – a trend that includes a 12-year average, the prior year and some other stuff – the county is up about $163,000 right now compared to this point last year.

The schools are trending up about $811,500.

Caldwell said they're waiting to finish out March before putting together a composite trend for preopty tax revenues. He said from September 2012 through February the general fund is up $5.4 million and the schools are up $6 million in property tax collections.

This equates to a 6 percent growth, but March is “weird,” Caldwell said, in that if you pay taxes on March 1, then the finances – for accounting purposes – roll back to February. He said he wants to see whether the 6 percent growth is sustained through March or if there is a fall off, which is what he expects (probably about a 2 percent drop), before putting together another composite.

Pension contributions up next year

Contributions to the county's three pension plans for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1, are expected to increase by about $500,000.

Knox County's pension board will ask the administration to contribute $4.5 million to the Uniformed Officer's Pension Plan (this is actually down a little bit from the current year); $1.75 million for the old school plan, which closed in the late 1980s; and $2.5 million to the old county employee plan, which closed in 1991.

Friday, March 22, 2013

City issues unnecessary spin release

The city sent out a press release the other day, noting that it would participate in the annal World Wildlife Fund Earth Hour tomorrow by shutting off all "non-essential lights" in the Death Star from 7-8 p.m.

Well, duh.

Wouldn't you normally shut off unnecessary lights on a Saturday night in a government building?

Commish, elections, managment style

Couple things on this Friday afternoon that I noticed during the past week. 

A number of folks were talking about Joe Sullivan's column over at the Metro Pulse. The one in which he skewered Knox County Commissioner Dave Wright.

Sullivan says Wright has a tendency to ramble like a mental, and he takes exception to a number of resolutions tied to school-related election issues that Wright sponsored.

I'll give da Pulse this: Wright like to ramble. That's true.
But to say there's no consensus in the 8th District for an elected superintendent? Yeah, you're kidding yourself. And while I like Lisa Starbuck (she's a great activist and has a cool last name), she's kidding herself, too.

In fact, I'm pretty sure that countywide – if you put to vote whether to have an appointed or an elected superintendent – we'd be voting for a new one next year.

I'm not saying it's right or wrong. But you can take that vote to the bank. People in Knox County like to vote. Heck, the charter review committee had a chance to fix this and didn't bother.

Over on da Rogue's blog, Brian Hornback calls out Knox County Property Assessor. (These two have no love for each other by the way.) He says Ballard is violating all sorts of campaign laws and has the picture to prove it. Click right smack here for that bad boy.

Ballard, though, says he's not doing anything wrong. He said that he was putting together a booth that he will set up tomorrow for a home builder's association at the Expo Center. He said the sign that bears his name doesn't include the phrases “vote for” or “elect.”

“I'm term limited,” he said. “I don't need to campaign.”

He didn't mention the rumors that he'll seek another elected office when his time is up.

Finally, we got former Knoxville Mayor Victor Ashe and his column in the Shopper – click right smack here. Ashe talks about the managing style of county Mayor Tim Burchett and city Mayor Madeline Rogero. And he appears to be dead on about that South Knoxville stuff, which has left me scratching my head for awhile.

I really thought the city was going to take the initiative on this. Well, there's certainly still time.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

City Council races start tomorrow

Friday is the first day folks can pick up their nominating petitions to run for Knoxville City Council. 

District seats 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 will be up for grabs this fall, with a primary election set for Sept. 24, and the regular election set for Nov. 5

To qualify, you must file a completed (that's important, you know) nominating petition with the election commission before noon on June 20 (that's important, too).

For more info, click right smack here.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Workshop set to help some businesses

Knox County Supplier Diversity Program (whoever that is) will host a workshop “to connect small and disadvantaged businesses with procurement and contracting opportunities,” according to a spin job county communications manager Michael “Big Sexy” Grider sent out yesterday but I was too lazy to blog about.

Presenters will talk about how to compete with federal, state and local governments; small business loans; and blah, blah, blah.

The event is set for April 17 from 9 a.m. to noon at 1000 north Central Avenue.

Knox County government, the Knox Area Urban League, the Office of Diversity Business Enterprise and a number of other groups/organizations will give presentations.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Superintendent touts proposed budget

Looks like teacher compensation, technology and an additional 58 school resource officers were the issues Knox County school board members had questions about last night.

Click right smack here for Lydia X. McCoy's story.

Superintendent Jim McIntyre is asking for about a 3 percent increase, or $13.28 million, over the current fiscal year's $406.47 million spending plan, Lydia reports. The four priorities in the proposal are teacher compensation, continuing classroom instruction, technology and school security.

In the meantime, enjoy the photo of this motley looking crue. And yeah, that's the superintendent and the county mayor together for lunch.

The mayor catches Grider using a p-card for lobster at Chesapeake's

Help bail commish's Jolie from jail!

Jolie Bonavita, who runs the Knox County Commission office, is about to find out who her true friends are.

That's right folks, she's going to the clink.


On Wednesday, she will take part in the 2013 Downtown/UT Lock Up, which benefits the Muscular Dystrophy Association. That's means Jolie's getting “locked up” and she needs help raising bail.

The event takes place tomorrow, so she has only one more day to make bail. Soooooo click right freakin' smack here to donate, ya cheapskates!

(Seriously, five bucks isn't going to kill you, and it's for a good cause.)

Commission says BOE should pay $219K

The Knox County Commission last night agreed that the school system should use its own reserve funds to cover the $219,000 supplemental appropriation that it requested to pay for the recruiting, hiring and training of 58 new security guards. (Story right smack here.)

After that, it gets a little strange. The board also somewhat committed to appropriating the remaining $1.7 million in ongoing starring expenses that the school system will need next year (and every other year).  The money, members said, would come through "natural growth" from current revenues, such as property and sales taxes.

It's almost as if the commission said: "You're going to use your own natural growth money to pay for this and not ours."

(Set aside the fact that it's really all taxpayer dollars and not "county" or "school" money.)

The problem, you see, is that the county commission can't exactly tell the school board how to spend money. It can appropriate the coin, but after that . . . well.

The language was put in at Commissioner Sam McKenzie's request. I get what he was doing. The school board wanted a commitment from the commission that if it covered the $219,000 the commission would approve the rest. That way, they didn't have to can 58 new hires right after they trained them. The language gave them that commitment.

The way it's worded, however, pigeon holes the commission. In the end, though, it probably won't be an issue as  all the money is really jumbled in one metaphorical pot of gold anyway.

The final vote will come next Monday.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Mobile phone payments to skyrocket

Ha ha, I have to admit, I got a good chuckle last month when Knox County Trustee John Duncan III announced that his office will now take payments via the cell phone.

Well, just a few minutes ago, I was reading this article about a recent Ebay acquisition and what do ha know? Apparently IDC (International Data Corporation) "believes that worldwide mobile payments will surpass $1 trillion by the time 2017 rolls around." (Right smack here.)

Well, learn something new every day, I suppose.

Get rid of your pills on Saturday

Members of the Knoxville Police Department, the county's solid waste department, the county's health department and the East Tennessee Regional Medical Collection Coalition on Saturday will collect and dispose of unwanted medicines at two locations.

Folks can drop off any unwanted pills, etc. from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. either Tennova North Knoxville Medical Center or the South Knox Walgreens at Chapman Highway and Moody Avenue.

Folks also can drop them off at the police department at 800 Howard Baker Jr. Avenue anytime.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Ordinance to help get vets Knox jobs

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett and the county's HR department are spearheading an ordinance that will give preference to military veterans who are looking for a county job, at least in the departments that fall under the executive branch.

The county commission will talk about it during Monday's work session.

There's a couple reasons we looked into doing this,” said Richard Julian, the county's human resources manager and a retired Air Force colonel. “One, the unemployment (rate) for veterans coming back is tremendously high and we're trying to help them, and, or course, the mayor fully supports active duty veterans. They're highly trained, dependable and self-starters. You can't hardly go wrong with hiring veterans.”

Julian stressed that applicants must meet the minimum requirements for a job before they are guaranteed an interview.

If all else is equal, then we'll hire them,” he said.

The state and the city also give preference to vets.

Knox website wins transparency award

The Sunshine Review today announced today that Knox County is one of only three Tennessee governments to win a “Sunny Award,” something that honors “the most transparent government websites in the nation,” according to the spin release.

The Virginia-based nonprofit, which analyzes government transparency, looked over more than 1,000 qualifying government websites and graded each one on a 10-point transparency checklist. Editors looked at available content, including budgets, meetings, lobby, financial audits, contracst, academic performance, public records and taxes. The winners of the fourth annual award received an “A” grade.

The top dogs were Florida (25), Virginia (19), Illinois (19), California (12), Georgia (12), Kansas (11), Oklahoma (10) and Colorado (9). Click right smack here for the full list, and right smack here for the Knox County, which received an “A-.”

This is kind of funny considering the Metro Pulse slammed the county's website last week (although some of the reasons were kind of stupid, but whatever). 

On a side note, Knox County was apparently docked because the website didn't provide information on taxpayer funded lobbying. It also didn't include a list of employed lobbyists, blah, blah, blah.

That's probably because the county doesn't have a lobbyist, Oh well, so much for accuracy.

Shelby and Wilson counties also each scored an A-.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Caldwell calls it: Sales tax down

Casual Chris
So, the state number nerds feel that local Tennessee governments can expect a roughly 3 percent or so jump in sales tax revenues. I think that's about an extra $5 million for us. I'm not positive, but I believe that was the number.

Now, the local numbers people are scratching their heads, wondering what planet the folks in the state are living on, but, heck what else is new? Have you seen some of the ridiculousness that lawmakers want to pass?

Anyhoo, through last month sales tax revenue was $107.9 million, compared with $110.6 million at the same time last year.

During a conversation I had with Casual Chris Caldwell, the county's finance guru, he told me that he isn't buying any of the state's snake oil. He feels that Congress's refusal to extend a payroll tax break will play a major role in decreased sales tax revenues (Also, there wasn't a hail storm that caused everyone to run out and buy new cars and fix their roofs.)

"That's 2 percent of your discretionary money that you don't have to spend anymore that's now going to Washington," he told me the other day.

He said we'd have a "clearer picture" when the January numbers came in because that's when the payroll tax breaks ended.

Well, guess what? Yup, we got the January numbers, or at least the numbers for the county. Still waiting on sales tax figures for the city of Knoxville and the town of Farragut.

So, last year the county got $10,196,640.64 in sales tax revenues.

This past January, it received $9,986,466.51.

What's the difference?

Two percent!

Good one, Casual Chris. I got to get this guy to start placing my bets for me.

Congressional seats and costly coin

Was going through this morning's emails. Found one from MapLight, a non-artisan, nonprofit research organization that tracks money and politics in U.S. Congress, that I found interesting.

The organization conducted an analysis of money raised by members of the 113th Congress who won election in 2012.

House members, on average, each raised $1.7 million, or about $2,300 a day during the 2012 cycle.

Senators, on average, each raised $10.5 million, or about $14,400 a day during the same time period.

You can find the full report, which has a spreadsheet of everyone including the local folks, right smack here.

Grace, not Hillcrest, in fed trouble

Over the weekend local spin wiz Cynthia Moxley sent out a note to county commissioners, letting them know that the U.S. Department of Justice issued a news release involving Grace Healthcare and Grave Ancillary Services.

"I just wanted you to know that although Grace does have a management contract with Hillcrest Healthcare, the investigation to which the news release refers does not involve Hillcrest Healthcare facilities," she wrote.

She also noted that several months ago Hillcrest Grace Ancillary Services of Hillcrest's intent to terminate its contract with Grace Ancillary to manage Hillcrest's rehabilitation units in Knox County.

I'm assuming that Moxley represents Hillcrest Healthcare and she's trying to quell any rumors before they start.

Anyhoo, you can find the release right smack here.

In part, it states:
The Justice Department announced today that Chattanooga, Tenn., based nursing home manager Grace Healthcare LLC and its affiliate Grace Ancillary Services LLC (collectively, Grace) have agreed to pay $2.7 million, plus interest, to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act by knowingly submitting or causing the submission to the Medicare and TennCare/Medicaid programs of false claims for medically unreasonable and unnecessary rehabilitation therapy.   Grace Ancillary Services LLC provided the therapy in some of the skilled nursing facilities Grace Healthcare LLC owns and/or manages in Tennessee and elsewhere.

Friday, March 8, 2013

McLemore wins next cash mob gig

Forgot about this. The county announced this morning that McLemore Florist will host the next cash mob. The South Knoxville business is located at 106 E. Young High Pike.

The event is set for 5-7 p.m. next Friday. Click right smack here for the shop.

As you might recall, a little while back the county took nominations for South Knoxville businesses. Then communications stud, Michael “Big Sexy” Grider, posted the top five pick, so folks could vote.

Here are the results:
  • McLemore Florist: 1,324
  • Tea and Treasures: 569
  • Colonial Village Shopping Center (ice cream, hardware and bakery): 461
  • Sally's Alley: 172
  • Myrtle's Mess: 24

In addition to cash mob specials, McLemore will offer seasons items, specialty boquets and cash-and-carry arrangements at the event. The family also owns a all salon and plans to have a manicurist at the cash mob.

Residential development for Alley

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett this morning announced plans for a multi-million dollar residential development on the Marble Alley property in downtown Knoxville. And once again, I called it. Thank you, thanks, whatever.

Artist rendering of what to expect

The plan calls for developer Buzz Gross, along with TDK Construction, to begin phase one - a 200,000-square foot residential development - within the next eight to 12 months, once the property transfers from the county to the developer. Phase one calls for a 200,000-square foot residential development.

 The three-to-five story facility is a $15 million to $20 million planned investment, according to county communications guru Michael "Big Sexy" Grider. It will include 238 units, a 350-space parking garage, resort-style pool and fitness and lounge facilities.

If there is no security, I will be leaping the fence and hanging at the pool once this sucker is complete.

Other development phases call for some retail

The announcement was made during a rpess conference this morning. Burchett was joined by city Mayor Madeline Rogero, county Commissioner Sam McKenzie and Gross.

South Knox businesses to get help

Looks like the city side of the Knox County Death Star has taken some initiative to help South Knoxville. Yesterday, city Mayor Madeline Rogero and Vice Mayor Nick Pavlis said the city and county will each contribute up to $20,000 to support marketing efforts for the area.

The announcement was made during an afternoon press conference in front of the Disc Exchange n Chapman Highway. Ed Marcum with the story right smack here.

This is great news for the town's red-headed stepchild, although I'm not sure why they need to spend $40,000 on marketing when the city already pays (at least) roughly $300,000 in salaries and benefits for a PR and marketing team/communication department, and the county has the one-man team of Michael Big Sexy" Grider.

There's probably an answer. I'm sure they're super busy. Heh.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

They'll hire anyone at the Death Star

What the deuce? Quit taking my picture
People have long joked that there's more than a few skunks working out of the Knox County Death Star. Well, heh . . . check it out. They weren't kidding.

KNS photographer Miles Cary took a couple shots of our own Pepe Le Pew. Miles said he spotted the skunk around 8 a.m. Wednesday on Hill Avenue between the garage door by the Sheriff's Office where deputies pull the bus in for prisoners and the west end of the building.

I'm outta here!
Miles noted that the skunk was last seen headed west on Hill Avenue and into the Death Star's parking garage.

After telling a top ranking county official about the skunk, he joked to me that the critter was just going to visit his parents.

Something's up for Marble Alley site

I'll tell ya, Knox County Mayor Tim Buchett is on a press conference roll. His spin team of Michael "Big Sexy" Grider and The Kid just issued a release, saying that the mayor will make an announcement "concerning the future of downtown's Marble Alley site" tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. at State Street between Commerce and Union Avenue.

(Hampton Inn & Suites will provide refreshments.)

Anyhoo, Josh Flory speculated a little bit about this, right smack here.

Personally, I'm guessing that someone is about to develop some residential stuff, mostly likely apartments, but possibly condos.

In the meantime, the mayor on Monday also held a press conference to tout SouthFest, a two-day long cash mob-like event.

Not that it's a big deal, but Burchett really doesn't call these things all that often. Usually he fields questions or makes announcements on the go.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

POW/MIA flag ceremony on Wednesday

The East Tennessee Rolling Thunder, Inc. Tennessee Chapter 3 and Knox County Mayor Tim Buchett will host a POW/MIA flag ceremony outside the Death Star tomorrow at 9:30 tomorrow morning.

In November, the mayor announced that the POW/MIA flag would be flown at all county executive branch facilities (right smack here for the county's story).

Monday, March 4, 2013

Burchett announces 'SouthFest' event

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett
Well, I guess I was right. This afternoon, Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett announced his latest cash mob event - a two-day "festival-like event" throughout South Knoxville dubbed "SouthFest."

It will be held on Friday, April 12 and Saturday, April 13, and is "intended to encourage people to shop, eat and have a good time at local businesses south of the river."

“There’s a perception in other parts of the county that it’s just too hard to get to South Knoxville because of the extended bridge closure,” the mayor said in a released statement. “We want to bring people out south for this event so they’ll realize the detour is not hard to navigate.”

Now, Burchett is certainly to be commended on this. I dig that he's trying to help South Knoxville. Particularly when other local leaders have ignored it. 

But, like many things in the Burchett administration, this announcement seems half-butted (can't say a$$ anymore) and done by the seat of his pants.

The spin release clearly states that "details about the event will trickle out over the enxt few weeks via press release and on Twitter."

In other words: "Right now, we got nothing. Heck, we don't even have  Queensryche." (Thank God.)

However, the mayor did note that the event will feature live music, family friendly activities, a car show and "circus-style entertainment from the Shriners." 

That's certainly a start.

Commish Smith mulling another office?

R. Larry Smith
There's been some talk recently that Knox County Commissioner R. Larry Smith (or as he's sometimes called: AAAAARRRRRRHHH Larry) will run against incumbent Sherry Witt for the Register of Deeds gig.

Course about a year ago, folks said he was angling for the Trustee's job and that kind of died down.

Sooooo, I figured I'd ask him, since I had him on the line about an unrelated story.

His response?

“Every day, there's not a day that goes by that someone doesn't ask me: 'Larry, I think you should do this or that, or you should run for this, or maybe do that.' Everything is open next year from school board races to the judges so let's see what's available.”

Judge Larry?????!!!!

Anyhoo, I asked him again about the Register of Deeds deal, but he wouldn't commit.

“I enjoy public service, I really do,” said Smith, who is term-limited on the commission. “I enjoy trying to help people with issues that they have. I've always been that way. I just enjoy giving back to the community.”

Burchett to again help South Knox

Being all cryptic, like Bigfoot or something, Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett's spin team of only Michael "Big Sexy" Grider just sent out a release, saying that the mayor will make a "South Knox announcement" at 5 p.m. today (presumably so he can be on TV) at Emery's 5 & 10 on Chapman Highway.

Commissioner Mike Brown and a number of local business owners will be there for the "exciting announcement about an upcoming event."

My guess is that they're going to hold a larger than usual cash mob throughout the South Knoxville area sometime soon.

No word on whether the city's administration will attend. They got all cagey when former Mayor Victor Ashe asked them about throwing some support toward South Knoxville for his weekly column in the Shopper-News.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Vote for next Knox Cash Mob location

Oh well. According to the last spin release from Michael “Big Sexy” Grider, my yard sale came in a distant 6th place in the nomination pool for where to hold the next Knox Cash Mob.

Haha. Good one, Grider.

Anyhoo, the county tallied the nominations and now it's time for the community to vote for the next location, which will be in South Knoxville this time around.

Click right smack here to vote for either:
  • Colonial Village Shopping Center (Colonial Hardware, Kay's Ice Cream and the Village Bakery)
  • Mclemore Florist
  • Myrtle's Mess
  • Sally's Alley
  • Tea & Treasures
Voting runs from 5 p.m. today through 5 p.m. next Wednesday, March 6. The county will announce the winner on Friday, March 8.

Knox County Mayor Tim Buchett said residents often give him suggestions for where to hold these things, so he felt that “this is a good way to get them involved in the selection process.”

Last week, the county took nominations.

“We had a lot of people go online and nominate their favorite South Knox business, which goes to show that our community cares about local business and wants to help,” the mayor said. “That's the goal of cash mobs.”

Despite protestations from Emperor Dean Rice, the mayor went ahead and started holding these events. Dean has since been banned from them. Heh.

No elected superintendents for Knox?

Frank Niceley
So, I was talking to state Sen. Frank Niceley this morning about his bill that could again lead to local counties electing school superintendents. (Right smack here for that bad boy.)

The Strawberry Plains Republican said that state Rep. Harry Brooks, R-Knoxville, is about to introduce an amendment to the bill that he thinks will be somewhat of a compromise for those who are against it, and also help it move along through the state General Assembly.

Niceley said if Brooks' amendment is approved, then counties where the school system meets its AMO (annual measurable objectives), will NOT be allowed to vote on whether to go back to elected school superintendents.

That means Knox County (cause despite what some knuckleheads believe, we do have good teachers here).

“Clearly, if the system is not making its goals then the parents should be able to try something different,” said Niceley, adding that our school system was “developed under three elected supervisors for its first 50 years and it has a great school system.”

Hmmmmm. Is that irony? The elected superintendents were so good, they're not coming back? Or something. I don't know. Just figured I'd pass this along.

Help the kids: Donate to Charlie D.

Alright, slackers, ante up.

As noted last month, right smack here, my main man Charlie Daniel will represent the Sentinel at this year's Dancing with the Knoxville Stars event. At 83, I'm gessing the dude can still bring it.

His editorial cartoons certainly are still awesome.

Sooooooo, click right smack here to donate some folding paper. Come on. Five bucks ain't gonna kill ya.

If you don't, then you hate children.

Pick a car, any car, and steal a gun


That ol' Second Amendment strikes again. Cause ya just never know when the British are a coming back.

State Republicans, in their no-doubt continuing effort to give every little piece of their soul to the NRA, approved the guns-in-parking-lots bill. Click right smack here for at bad boy.

You know. I actually had to ask a co-worker today if Tennessee had a waiting period before purchasing a handgun. No, really, I did. Cause if any state didn't have one . . . .

In the meantime, I guess I'm in the minority here, thinking that the guns-in-parking-lots thing is a bad idea. Don't get me wrong, I like to shoot things, break things, stab things and, generally, mess up things. I'm all for the death penalty, torture and public executions in front of minors, if only so they can learn a lesson.

Seriously, I have no problems with guns, gun ownership, etc.

But the reason there's a waiting period before you can purchase one is because it's actually a "cooling off" period. You know, don't get mad at someone, and get a gun and shoot them.

Soooooo, let's hope someone, who would really need that cooling off period, doesn't get mad at their boss. Cause that gun will now only be a parking lot away.

In the meantime, here's to bringing back that bill that would let folks bring their guns into bars.

I mean, it just sounds like a great idea. Second Amendment and all. Plus, alcohol and guns are awesome together.

UPDATE: One wise reader reminded me that the Intelligencia already approved guns in bars unless business owners object. So . . . . never mind.