Nov 12 2007

A disturbing development in Cataloochee Cove:


Last Friday I went to the GSM Sustainable Tourism Townhall which the DT covered here (link...)

State Route 321 will be protected from the Loudon County line to the Park

Dr. Van West, Director, Center for Historic Preservation, MTSU did a wonderful job of defining what things can be. From a new cenus of Blount County Century Farms to using those items in our local history that might not be of um, great delight to all.

Below, in five separate posts you will find questions that were presented at the Townhall. Since you most likely could not be there, now is your chance to answer each and every one of these. Please, take the time to answer these and perhaps we can get word to Nashville about what the rest of us want. After all, there were very few people in that meeting who were not wearing suits.

Commissioner John Keeble apparently thinks so. In this Daily Times article about the rising cost of English as a Secondary Language (ESL) programs in Blount Co. schools, Commissioner Keeble is quoted as asking "Is there any way to see if the children are legal?"

This raises some interesting questions. Anti-immigration is a popular wedge issue for conservative Republicans. But regardless of whether you think illegal immigrants should all be deported or should all be given amnesty, surely we wouldn't deny their children the basics of education and health care?

But that's exactly what some right-wing conservatives want to do. In my view, it is neither moral nor just to punish children for their parents' decision to try to make a better life for their family.

* Legislative Branch
* Executive Branch
* Judicial Branch
* A Free Press
* All are equal


Nov 11 2007

They Maryville Daily Times today retracted portions of a previous story regarding a controversial divorce case.

Here is the full text of the retraction.

This action followed four days after the husband's attorney wrote to the editor complaining about coverage of this and another case, suggesting there could be legal consequences for the paper. Here is the full text of that letter.

The original article about the divorce controversy is gone from the Daily Times website. The woman's attorney, however, had previously remarked on the case here in comments. His remarks are here.

Last night, her attorney reacted to news of the Dally Times retraction here in comments. His remarks are here.

At the center of this controversy is Blount County Circuit Court Judge W. Dale Young and his actions in this and two other controversial cases also covered by the Daily Times:

Immigrant: Judge told me to go home

Judge Young subject of judicial conduct review

Protection case patience urged (KNS)

Judge Young responds to Calixto appeal

Mom’s religion dominates custody hearing

So now, everyone at BlountViews is up to date on all of these unfortunate situations. At this point, all of this needs to be settled among the litigants, their attorneys, the courts, and if necessary the Tennessee Court of the Judiciary judicial conduct review process.

If anyone has further discussion, comment, complaints, or evidence, it should be directed to the appropriate parties. They are:

Attorney for Mrs. Wright
Thomas F. Mabry
P. O. Box 52385
Knoxville, TN 37950
Fax 1-888-215-3119
Phone 1-865-271-9224

Attorney for Mr. Wright
Craig L. Garrett
Attorney at Law
607 Smithview Drive
Maryville, TN 37803

Judge W. Dale Young
Circuit Court - Division I
946 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway
Maryville, TN 37804
Phone (865) 273-5550
Fax (865) 273-5558

Tennessee Court of the Judiciary
Disciplinary Counsel
511 Union Street, Suite 600
Nashville, TN 37219-1768
Phone: 615-741-2687

The Maryville Daily Times
307 E. Harper Ave.
Maryville, TN 37804
Phone: 865-981-1100
F. Max Croster, Publisher, 865-981-1134
Larry Aldridge, Editor, 865-981-1115

Nov 10 2007

I stumbled upon this report of an interesting case in today's KNS.


At the end of Friday's hearing, the Roseburghs presented Judge David Duggan of Blount County General Sessions court with sworn statements in which they asked the judge to order the arrests of Assistant District Attorney Clinton Frazier, Circuit Court Judge W. Dale Young and three members of the state agriculture department staff on myriad charges ranging from false imprisonment and kidnapping to suborning perjury, stalking, extortion, making false statements in official documents, official oppression, retaliation for past actions, civil-rights intimidation and more.

This couple and their grand jury ( adventures? ) in Blount county over selling plants is really interesting. If you can skip the religious comments and issues around the case it is really fascinating. Duggan declined by the way.

So, the case is one issue. The other is why am I reading this in the KNS and not in the Daily Times? What is going on down there? Are yee all 'Judged' out on us or what?

Nov 10 2007

The Maryville Daily Times asked local elected officials for their thoughts on weakening the state's Open Meetings Act. The article is not online, but it's on the front page of Friday's paper. The responses are interesting.


Nov 10 2007

SchoolMatch, a private education research, consulting and referral company, has named Maryville City Schools among the top fifteen school systems in Tennessee.

The annual "What Parents Want Awards" recognize school systems that are academically solid, accredited, recognized for excellence by a national foundation or by the U.S. Department of Education, competitive in teacher salaries, above average in instructional expenditures, above average in expenditures for library/media services, and known for small class size.

According to SchoolMatch, only sixteen percent of the nation's 15,571 public school districts (2,516) have been recognized for meeting the needs of families choosing schools.

Nov 9 2007

This blog entry goes with this event listing.

Come one, come all to the Blount County Public Library next Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 6pm for a panel discussion on electricity production, Green Power, and energy efficiency. Learn how to lower your electric bills and thereby reduce the amount of air pollution generated and lower the demand for coal. Learn how the Green Power Switch program works and why renewable energy is better for environmental health.

Tell your friends and neighbors!

The presentation at the library is part of a larger community awareness effort undertaken by three Maryville College seniors. One of them wrote about their efforts for Hellbender Press.

Nov 9 2007
When: Thu. January 1, 1970 12:00 AM

Blount County Public Library

Three seniors from Maryville College working on a community awareness grant will be joined by a representative from TVA to give an inspiring and educational presentation on where our electricity comes from, how to use less, why you should, and how the Green Power program works. The talk is free and begins at 6pm.

One of the students wrote about their efforts for Hellbender Press.

Nov 9 2007

Selected data from the Tennessee Department of Education 2007 Report Card:

Alcoa Maryville Blount State
Schools 3 17 19 1714
Students 1589 4792 10,919 925,898
Teachers 103 323 659 60889
Students per teacher 15.4 14.8 16.6 15.2
Administrators 7 18 36 3866
African American 22.4% 4.1% 1.6% 24.8%
Hispanic 5.8% 2.1% 1.9% 4.7%
White 71.3% 90.8% 95.6% 68.8%
Limited English 3.9% 2.4% 0.9% 2.9%
Disabilities 14.9% 13.7% 17.1% 15.4%
Economically Disadvantaged 50.8% 24.3% 47.3% 54.7%
Female 46.4% 48.8% 49.1% 48.5%
Male 53.6% 51.2% 50.9% 51.5%
Per Pupil Expenditures $9,415 $8,979 $7,336 $7,794
Local funding 54.4% 52.5% 39.7% 43.1%
Federal funding 6.5% 6.6% 8.5% 11.1%
State funding 39.1% 41.0% 51.8% 45.9%
% Proficient Math K-8 91% 95% 91% 90%
• Change from 2006 -5% -1% 0% 1%
• African American 82% 87% 80% 82%
• Hispanic 74% 100% 93% 86%
• White 95% 96% 91% 92%
% Proficient Reading K-8 96% 96% 92% 90%
• Change from 2006 0% -1% 1% 2%
• African American 90% 90% 86% 85%
• Hispanic 73% 100% 93% 82%
• White 98% 97% 92% 93%
Attendance 95.8% 95.8% 92.9% 93.0%
Graduation* 90.5% 91.4% 77.6% 90.0%

(*2007 Graduation rates for Blount Co. system not available, 2006 figure used. Click post title to see table in wider view.)


• The Blount Co. system spends the least per pupil, has the lowest percentage of local funding, and the lowest achievement.

• Alcoa spends the most per pupil and has the highest percentage of local funding, and has results in the middle.

• Alcoa has the highest percentage of minorities and Blount Co. has the lowest. All three systems are below the state average.

• Alcoa has the highest percentage of economically disadvanted and Maryville has the lowest.

• Hispanic students are outperforming in Maryville and Blount Co. schools and underperforming in Alcoa schools.

• Schools in the three Blount Co. systems outperform the state averages in most categories.

Your thoughts?

Nov 7 2007

Printed in the Daily Times. County officials have given the go-ahead on the idea of creating an environmental court which, among other things, be a place to enforce littering laws. I travel all over the US and East Tennessee has some of the trashiest roads. I applaud the new director of Keep Blount Beautiful Allison Teeters for helping to push this along. Finally KBB seems to have someone who is genuinely interested in addressing litter an pollution in our county.

In the same article it looks like the Planning Commission is coming along in setting design guidelines for comercial buildings! The RAC has design guidelines, but not for commercial developments. I hope this happens quickly.

Nov 7 2007
By: Dumping Ground  shortURL

Mr. Garrett threatening lawsuits seems odd in that he questions in a public paper "the mother’s fanatical religious practices" (link...) . Does she claim she is a fanatic? I hope Mr. Sheppard intends on defending these outrageous remarks made toward his client.

For those who don't necessarily want the "corrected" version of the opposing lawyer Garrett, here is the transcript in question; (link...) Read it for yourself. Anybody else want their religion questioned this way in a court of law?

Maybe Mr. Garrett can chime in to tell us if he was one of the 40 endorsing Judge Young along with Duggan, Goddard, and Cunningham? (link...) (link...)

Croster, Aldridge, Trexler - are you ever going to stand up for your employees? Are you going to finish the FBI probe story? Will you tell Garrett to take his threats to Laney and stick em' where the sun don't shine? Ever think about being pro-active instead reactive?

Nov 7 2007
When: Thu. January 1, 1970 12:00 AM

In preparation for the summit, five town hall forums are being held in the region to discuss tourism issues impacting the Smokies and its gateway communities


Tomorrow morning at the library from 10:00 until noon we have a unique opportunity to voice our concerns and listen and learn what it means to be a gateway community.

The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development has long been a great resource to those who understand that in order for tourist to get to the Smokies they must pass through our communities and what they see in route is just as important was what they see when they get to the Park.

When: Thu. January 1, 1970 12:00 AM

Update folks.
An "America Recycles Day" Computer Recycling Event is
being held at Technology Solutions of Tennessee, LLC.

Date: Saturday, November 17th 2007
Time: 10am to 4pm
Where: Harper Plaza, 718 East Harper Avenue 37804,
downtown Maryville at the corner of East Harper and
East Street.
Contact: (865) 386-5865 for details.

TSOT, LLC will be collecting Computers, Laptops,
Monitors, Printers, etc. from consumers and small
businesses. Please feel free to bring your old TVs,
cellphones, ipods, stereos, DVDs, VCRs, and cameras.


[& Free Coffee from Detour Coffee]


No lead acid batteries or household wastes (chemicals)
will be accepted.

Here is your opportunity to get rid of your old computer, monitor, printer, cell phone....

Technology Solutions will be hosting this recycling effort and they are next to Southland Books.
What a great service to the community and for your efforts you will also receive a discount on some purchases at Southland that day! AND you get a free cup o'joe from Detour Coffee!

Hummm... let's get this straight! I can take in that pile of pc crap in the garage and as a reward for not hauling it to the landfill I get a discount on my purchase at Southland Books and a free cup of coffee?? No doubt folks, this is the best deal in town!

Thanks again to the gang at Technology Solutions of Tennessee and Southland for making community count!

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