Nov 21 2007
By: R. Neal  shortURL

A lot of the leaves are gone, but there's still some fall color in our city parks and neighborhoods. Here are a few photos from earlier in the week in and around Springbrook Park. Happy Thanksgiving, y'all.

(Click read more for more photos...)


Nov 21 2007
By: commissionerwalker  shortURL

I am curious, I know curiosity killed the cat.

What if anything is the Local Government for Blount County doing right?


Senator Alexander (and Corker) voted against consideration of the bill for Orderly and Responsible Iraq Redeployment

November 16, 2007. Both senators from Tennessee voted against consideration of the bill H.R.4156. This bill, Orderly and Responsible Iraq Redeployment Appropriations Act, 2008 would de-fund the Bush / Cheney nearly one-half trillion dollar occupation of Iraq. This bill would being to remove US service men and women from Iraq with in 30 days of its passage. It also prohibits the use of any US funds for torture, it demands measurement of progress from the Secretary of Defense, and it "Prohibits any funds from being used to: (1) establish any military installation or base for providing for the permanent stationing of U.S. Armed Forces in Iraq; or (2) exercise U.S. control over any oil resource of Iraq."


Nov 20 2007

Coming soon to the old Atlanta Bread location in Alcoa, near Hall Road on Associates Blvd. Saw a sign, nothing else to report.

Hope it's a good replacement. Many of us have really been missing Atlanta Bread.

Nov 20 2007
When: Thu. January 1, 1970 12:00 AM

Springbrook Splendor, the lighting of the Alcoa Christmas Tree, due to a rain delay will be Tuesday November 27th at 6:15PM.

Location: Springbrook Park, Upper Field.

Updated 11/27/2007, 7:45am


Tomorrow's 5:30 meeting of the Planning Commission includes in its agenda a section on Long Range Planning. Three really important items stand out:

  • Discussion and possible action on regulations concerning ridge-top
  • development.
  • Continuation of discussions on revision of Policies Plan.
  • 2007 report on school capacity from School Board.
  • Here are the links to the supporting documents, the first being the agenda:

    a - agenda for November 20, 2007
    b - memo on amendments to subdivision regulations public h…
    c - memo on rezoning public hearing for 11-20-07
    d - memo on plat reviews for 11-20-07 _minus attachments_
    e - memo on long range agenda items for 11-20-07 _minus en…

    Might be a good meeting to attend, if you are interested in better understanding the process of how regulations are created. (And if your turkey is thawed.)

    Nov 19 2007
    By: Fairview Angel  shortURL

    This link is a letter to the editor in The Daily Times; (link...)

    I'm not sure how citizens are supposed see their government in the SUNSHINE when items are not publicly posted in the agenda. Whether you are for or against the extension of the Pellissippi Parkway, I think we could all agree it should be discussed openly and with due notice to the public. County Commissioner Reeves had a nice post on her blog advocating more open, deliberative discussions; (link...)

    Members of our government are our representatives - not our "deciders".

    Nov 17 2007
    When: Thu. January 1, 1970 12:00 AM

    Just a reminder for those of you ( like me ) who have a turkey sleeping in your deep freeze- it really does cook better if it is thawed out before it goes into the oven.

    * Yes (completed course)
    * Yes (did not complete course)
    * No


    Nov 16 2007

    Have you heard that the NEWSWEEK magazine has someone new on their payroll? None other that the infamous KARL ROVE will now have featured articles on the upcoming 08 election.

    Our subscription was paid through 2012 to NEWSWEEK. Yes, that's right-WAS. I just cancelled the subscription giving the reason of not being able to any longer be a subscriber to a mag that would put the likes of ROVE on their payroll. Anyone else with like views on ROVE giving input on the 08 election and would like to cancel - here's the web site: (link...)

    Nov 15 2007
    When: Thu. January 1, 1970 12:00 AM

    Saturday, November 17, 2007. The Leonid Meteors are coming and Comet Holmes is still easily visible in the North East sky after dark. Local Amateur Astronomers want to take you to these events.
    The Tamke Allen Observatory in the west, the Knoxville Observers in the north and The Smoky Mountain Astronomical Society in the south are all going to be observing the comet and the Leonid meteors.
    You can find the Tamke Allen Observatory web page at (link...)
    From that web site you can find links to both the Knoxville Observers and the Smoky Mountain Astronomical Society. From their respective web sites their are maps to the observing locations. For Tamke Allen, the observatory its self is the location. For the Knoxville Observers, the parking lot by the swimming pool at Norris Dam location is posted under events and for the Smoky Mountain Astronomical Society, look for the what their location web page calls Look Rock #1. If the parking lot of Look Rock #1 is full, all of the overlooks facing away from the light pollution of Knoxville and Maryville will be fine.

    The comet looks like a star to the naked eye, but has a soft halo around it easily visible in binoculars. So bring your binoculars and visit any of these local amateur astronomers as they observe this unusual comet.
    Predictions for meteor storms have been improving over the years and we hope the latest predictions calling for a good Leonid storm this year are true.

    Dress warm. Bring a warm blanket to lay upon. Bring another warm blank with which to cover up.
    A pillow may help. Bring some snacks and hot coffee or hot chocolate.
    Meteor watching only requires your eyes and some degree of patients. It helps to have company and good conversation. Singing, "When you wish upon a star...", is entirely optional.

    Nov 14 2007

    Sheriff and Drug Task Force are in the news again. See this link to : (link...)

    Sure seems strange the deputy would resign just a couple weeks before her "colleagues" arrest her. Thoughts?

    Nov 14 2007

    We're here at the Green Power presentation at the library. May live blog if there's anything interesting. Bonus: refreshments! (No photos. The Mrs. left our camera hooked up to her PC and ran down the battery. Seems ironic.)

    TVA swag, too, including a little red LED flashlight keychain that will be perfect for astronomy night work...

    OK, live blogging follows.


    Nov 14 2007

    The commission seating is in a semi-circle. The commission chair's section (where he sits with Roy Crawford) is in the middle and at a height head and shoulders above the rest. Presumably to allow him to see all the commissioners when they vote, although there is a handy-dandy computer system that shows when someone hits their little game-showesque button instead of raising their hand. I guess this chairman's structure obstructs a few of the commissioners to the immediate left and right of him from seeing each other. I'm sure this is inconvenient and it evidently use to encourage misbehavior from a few of the more juvenile commissioners that were on the audience's lefthand side during the last term.

    However, I'm not sure it is worth it to me, Joe Q. Citizen, to pay $5,950 to cure the inconvenience caused by the original design. It was part of a courthouse redesign spearheaded by then-Chairman Steve Samples not all that long ago.


    The county commission will vote on a measure to adopt design and lighting standards within the Zoning Regulations at their meeting tomorrow night at 7 p.m. You can find the proposed changes on the agenda here, starting on page 77: (link...) I'll also paste them below.

    What do you think of them? I'd especially like to hear the opinions of those of you who keep up with the Dark Skies Initiative and those of you who drive Hwy 411S. Are these regulations sufficient? Are they too much? Are they just right?


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