Monday, November 28, 2005
I am one that will be happy if Coach David Cutcliffe is back on the Tennessee sidelines. If Randy Sanders is brought back in another capacity I would be extremely happy. Bring back the two guys that helped engineer the 1998 13-0 season. If Coach Cut opts to stay in the media and keep his head coaching options open, I am Ok. Coach Cut is a tremendous person and will always have a true believer in me.
I guess I will be one that needs to buy some Orange, I gave the Red and Blue away when Pete Boone forced Coach Cut out. How did Ole Miss do this year. Dead last, I believe. That's the real consistent championship quality Boone talked about.
Here is the craziest from my recent trip. We are traveling back into the Great State of Tennessee and cross in Chattanooga about 12:00 noon on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. (Yes, I wasn't in church, but watched the replay here, this evening) It has been reported that nationwide it is estimated that 31 million people were traveling across the nation today.
As I approach Chattanooga, there is the infamous Tennessee Welcome Center with orange barrels (you know Knoxville interstate barrels) with a white sign and black letters WELCOME CENTER CLOSED.
So, this is the hospitality that the Governor extends to individuals visting or passing through our state on the busiest travel day of the year. Wow, I am impressed Phillip.
Do you remember when the liberal whackos like Senator Cohen of Memphis were selling the citizens of our state a bill of goods with the lottery. It was because we were sending all of our money to Georgia, so lets keep it here.
Well, Georgia has made up for it.
As I passed through every mile of the State of Georgia via I-75 North. You would come upon one state tropper patrol car unmarked or marked with his radar gun in hand and then travel three or four miles and there would be four or five highway patrol cars and even county sheriff patrol cars and they were pulling over the tourist driving to fast and collecting the revenue they lost when Tennessee started the lottery. I am proud to say and will also knock on wood that my vehicle was not pulled over.
The Bredesen plan next year is to close all the Welcome Centers and then collect off of speeders.
At least Georgia said Howdy and gave you a road map .
A certain print reporter in this county, reported inaccurately in March 2005 that my undisclosed location is Key Biscayne, Florida the vacation destination of our former and now late President Richard Milhous Nixon. It made an excellent joke for her, however, she was wrong, never let facts get in the way of a good story, I guess. I did get the opportunity in October to visit Key Biscayne for three days of corporate meetings, I will post about my thoughts on that beautiful part of the country, at a later time.
The bottom line is that I hope all of you had an excellent holiday as I did and I received a lot of material to write about. The next several days should be good along with our candidate watch.
Friday, November 18, 2005
The following offices are up for grabs in the Republican or Democrat Primaries. The Primary will be held on May 2, 2005. One victorious candidate from each party will advance to the General Election to be held in August, 2005.
Knox County Mayor
Knox County Clerk
Knox County Trustee
Knox County Register of Deeds
Knox County Sheriff
Knox County Commissioners District 1A and 1B, 2A & 2B, 3A &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp; 3B, 4A &4B, 5A, 5B & 5C, 6A & 6B, 7A & 7B, 8A & 8B, 9A & 9B
Knox County School Board District 1, 4, 6, 7, & 9
Knox County District Attorney General
Knox County Public Defender
Knox County Circuit Court Judges Division 1, 2, 3, and 4
Knox County Criminal Court Judges Division 1, 2, and 3
Knox County General Sessions Court Judges Division 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5
Knox County Juvenile Court Judge
Knox County Chancellor Division 1, 2 and 3
Knox County Circuit, General Sessions and Juvenile Court Clerk
Knox County Criminal and 4th Circuit Court Clerk
It would have been easier to say everything in the courthouse is available except Property Assessor, Law Director and 4 School Board seats.
Well, if your a highway patrolman and you fix the ticket of the Deputy Governor. The story from today's Tennessean, is here. The Governor will take care of you and the ladder to the top is like an elevator on warp speed.
Governor, where did you master the art of the backroom politic?
Thursday, November 17, 2005
"To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord." 2 Corinthians 5:8
Pastor Adrian Rogers founder of Love Worth Finding Ministries and Pastor Emeritus of Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, TN went home to be with the Lord today. The Rogers Family issued the following statement through the Adrian Rogerswebsite.
At this time of grief, the Rogers family – Mrs. Joyce Rogers; Steve & Cindi Rogers, and their daughter, Renae Rogers; Mike & Gayle Foster, and their sons, Michael & Adrian Foster; David & Kelly Rogers, and their sons, Jonathan & Stephen Rogers; and Bryan & Janice Edmiston, and their children, Angela Luce, and Rachel, Andrew & Breanna Edmiston – would like to thank all who have offered prayers, sent expressions of love and kindness, and given practical help on behalf of our family during these days. We are also especially grateful for the wonderful team of doctors, nurses, and other medical staff, who have given the very best of their time, knowledge, and creative energy, in order to preserve the life of our beloved husband, father, and grandfather, and minimize his physical pain.
Although we had all maintained hope up to the very end for a miraculous restoration of his health, we are comforted in the knowledge that he is now resting in the presence of his Lord and Savior to whom he dedicated his life and ministry on this earth. We cling to the assurance of God’s grace, as He, in His infinite wisdom, has determined the right timing of his homecoming.
On various occasions, he had proclaimed: “when my time comes, don’t be sorry for me; I’ll be kicking up gold dust on the streets of glory.” Shortly after being admitted to the hospital diagnosed with cancer-induced pneumonia, he stated “this is a win-win for me,” indicating his confidence that, whether God chose to heal him or not, he was in his hands. Among the last words that he uttered before being hooked up to the ventilator which inhibited his speech during his last days were “I am at perfect peace.” His favorite Bible passage was Romans 8:38-39: “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
His last days, spent in the hospital on artificial ventilation, were marked by an unusual sense of spiritual strength and serenity. He maintained his positive attitude and sense of humor up to the very end. Even during this time, in which he was unable to communicate verbally, we all felt his deep love for us. Moments before undergoing intubation, he wrote a note containing the words “I love you!” and the names of his four children and their spouses, his nine grandchildren, and his first great-grandchild, Marianna Rose Luce, born on November 14th. A second note expressed his love for his wife, Joyce, who later commented: “In all our life together, there was never a day that passed that he did not say 'I love you.'"
We, although deeply saddened by our loss, are at the same time profoundly grateful for the many years of happiness we have been blessed to share with this wonderful prince of a man named Adrian Rogers.
*The family kindly requests that any memorials be sent to the “Adrian Rogers Pastor Training Institute” (PTI) , a division of Love Worth Finding Ministries, to go toward the continuance of his ministry and vision to train pastors for the furtherance of the Gospel here and around the world. Gifts may be sent to the “Adrian Rogers Pastor Training Institute,” c/o Love Worth Finding, 2941 Kate Bond Road, Memphis, TN 38133. Or call (901) 382-7900.
“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
UPDATE November 17, 2005 9:25 p.m.I just finished watching the memorial service for Dr. Rogers. We have lost on this earth a Man of God, like no other. Those of us that are believers have the assurance that we will see him again.
"It is better to be divided by truth than to be united in error. It is better to speak the truth that hurts and then heals, than falsehood that comforts and then kills. It is better to be hated for telling the truth than to be loved for telling a lie. It is better to stand alone with the truth, than to be wrong with a multitude. It is better to ultimately succeed with the truth than to temporarily succeed with a lie. There is only one Gospel." - Dr. Adrian Rogers
"A faith that hasn't been tested can't be trusted." - Dr. Adrian Rogers
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Smith County Board of Education had a 55 student Pleasant Shade Elementary School, it was one of only two schools in the Northern part of Smith County. You know Smith County, home of also ran and defeated for President, Al Gore. I digress.
Now back to the story, Pleasant Shade a community school of 55 students, smallest public school in the state. A great name, reminds of a spring, summer or fall day reading a book under a tree in the Pleasant Shade.
Smith County got to needing some money, so last night, they took a vote 5-3 to close it at the end of the year, cause we ain't got no money.
The only reason, this story sparked my attention is that next year most of the kids will attend Defeated Creek. Defeated Creek, Who in their right mind would have named a school Defeated Creek? The kids, parents and community members surely felt defeated last night. Al Gore feels defeated today.
Defeated Creek that is a real motivation. I am going to Defeated Creek today...oh, my.
Today around 10:50 - 10:55 a.m. a caller informed Lloyd, Kelvin and the listeners that he had come in contact with a gentleman that was a high bidder on the construction of the new school. His company had bid $60 million, but informed the listener that do to site constraints that this school would cost $80 - $100 million dollars.
The site according to the caller is evidently located in a flood plain. I am simply reporting what was heard on The Voice today. I will try and confirm this information. You can hear the call by visiting The Southern Roots Radio website and listen this evening around 9:00 - 9:15 p.m.
UPDATE 11/16/2005 6:15 p.m. I have not been able to take the time to obtain the bid tabulation sheet to confirm that a Construction Management organization came in with a bid of $60.0 million.
I have talked with two experts in site development, they have assured me that the Hardin Valley site would not be their first choice, however, it will be a good site for a high school. There will be a need to excavate more than normal, however, it will be a good location.
Again: The intial post on November 14, 2005 at 2:25 p.m. was passing along comments from a caller to a talk radio station. I assured you that I would look into it and I have.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
I posted a brief post on the KnoxGOP blog about the Vice President's visit. As I continue to re-iterate Brian's Blog is my personal blog. I began this blog in August 2004. I became Knox County Republican Party Chairman in March 2005. The views expressed here are my own. I will continue this blog long after a two or four year stint as party chairman.
As for the visit by the Vice President, I was sitting in the fourth row directly in front of the podium. I was sitting behind Knox County School teachers, and beside State Representative Stacy Campfield. Prior to the event I had the pleasure of talking with several individuals David Head, Josh Parker Campbell County Republican Party Chairman, after the event I was pleased to talk with both of our mayors. County Mayor Mike Ragsdale and Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and his lovely wife, Former Governor Don Sundquist and others.
This event is a rear view mirror shot on the legacy and leadership of United States Senator Howard H. Baker, Jr. and the celebration of the construction of the Howard H. Baker, Jr. Center for Public Policy that will be built at the intersection of Cumberland Avenue and Melrose Place.
Unfortunately, several individuals that were not born during the public life of U.S. Senator Howard Baker, Jr. decided that in their selfish zeal to steal the attention away from a true statesman and put the attention on themselves. They used the war as a means to bring attention to themselves, true Blue State residents and John Kerrey and the screamer followers.
They wanted the attention and in typical Howard Baker fashion he was the bigger and better man, declaring that in this day and age, people have a right to have their say, and they will exercise it.
In my analysis, Gone is the day of respect our your elders, gone is the respect for a man and family that have given to this state and to our University, gone is the respect for a man that gave of himself for nearly 2/3rds of his life.
On another note, I did not understand why our local television stations did not break away from Ellen, The Price is Right and The View to carry the live remarks of the Vice President, but then again, that would have given the selfish ones a greater audience. Maybe the stations, got this one right.
Monday, November 14, 2005
I respect any blogger that reveals their identity, Some that come to mind are Adam, Rob Huddleston of Voluntary Conservative, John Brown of High Country Conservative, Bill Hobbs, VA/Commonwealth conservative, Michael Silence etc..
My point is this, bloggers that have enough intestinal fortitude to put it out there, knowing that their identity is on the line have far more credibility than those that want to remain anonymous. When I look at a blog and the person is a coward that refuses to reveal who they are. I ignore them and tell others to ignore them, they have NO credibility.
If you are going to spend your time to affect public opinion and public policy then be man or woman enough to identify yourself.
In one week I have had readers from all fifty states and in Canada, Great Britian, Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, South Korea, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Sri-Lanka, India, China, South Africa, Cloumbia, Panama, Mexico, Argentina and the Dominican Republic.
Welcome and keep coming back.
All information related to the 2006 Tennessee Senate Race from Republican or Democrat will begin and end with this dashboard.
Great Job, Adam.
Campbell County should be proud of Frank for going the extra mile in reporting it and locating the phone number where the threat came from. Frank has been providing updates throughout the morning.
Our thoughts and prayers need to remain with all the people and community of Campbell County.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
It has taken me sometime to post about the new Gretchen Wilson CD All Jacked Up. This is Gretchen's second CD, following her Redneck Woman debut CD. Many of the so called "experts" believed her to be a one hit wonder. Her debut CD produced more top 5 songs than most debut projects.
Her second CD will not disappoint you. The first cut is All Jacked Up and is her first release from the project. The second cut is a cowboy's dream with a song entitled Califonia Girls. Cut three is entitled Full Time Job that will comfort every wife and mother as it describes her full time job. Cut four is Skoal Ring that Tennessee's Attorney General decided he didn't like. Cut 5 is He ain't even cold yet. Cut 6 is One Bud Wiser, kind of self-explanatory. Cut 7 features a guest appearance by Merle Haggard and an appropriate song entitled Politically Uncorrect. Cut 8 is I Don't Feel Like Loving You Today Cut 9 is a great song entitled Rebel Child. Cut 10 is Raining on Me. and Cut 11 is Not Bad for a Bartender.
Gretchen has been nominated for three CMA awards. The CMA Awards will be held this Tuesday November 15th at 8:00 p.m. ET on CBS. In Knoxville, TN it will be broadcast on Volunteer TV, located here.
This CD is a must have for any country music fan. Check out Gretchen's website for song samples.
I have the debut CD by Country music artist, Luke Stricklin. Luke's website with music samples can be found here.
Luke was part of our troops in Iraq, the title cut American By God's Amazing Grace is on the CD twice. The 1st cut is a studio version, Bonus track 11 is the original version recorded in Baghdad, Iraq.
There are several great songs on the CD and they are the second cut Does That Make Me Bad? They 8th cut Almost Persuaded and cut 10 Things I'm Missing.
Luke has a sound that is a combination of Hank, Jr and Keith Whitley. It is a pure sound that is from the heart.
Here is an article from the August 1, 2005 Newsweek. I recommend Luke Stricklin's debut CD to you.
His comments after winning.
"It's amazing. It's cool," said Sessions, whose four-year term begins Nov. 21. "I'm so excited, I think I'm going to be ill."
After the victory party, came the media appearances
He missed homeroom Thursday to do phone interviews with Michigan rock music stations. He didn't show up to the middle school where he volunteers as a teacher's aide because he and his family had been whisked to New York to do "Late Night with David Letterman."
"He's been coughing and getting over bronchitis since Saturday," said his mother, Lorri Sessions, 42, a custodian for a sorority house. "It's been overwhelming."
The defeated incumbent in hiding.
Earlier this month, the Toledo Blade in Ohio quoted Ingles, 51, as saying: "How much credibility does an 18-year-old have?"
Enough credibility, to send you packing.
The reaction after the election.
The phones at City Hall have been busy since the tentative election results were announced late Tuesday, with calls from curious residents and pleas from at least three Hollywood studio executives - each of whom wanted to buy the movie rights to Sessions' story.
He must answer for shredding sexual harassment documents in his office, He must answer for not fixing TN Care the first year but waiting three years to kick all these people off. He must answer for his Deputy Governor driving recklessly across the state. He must answer for the graduation rates slipping while he and his education secretary Lana Seviers have been in charge. .
And now this from the Tennessean this morning. If you do not kowtow to the old order and you work in the Bredesen administration, you will be dealt with. You can be the best employee, but if you don't kowtow to Bredesen, you will be overlooked and demoted. Is this Tennessee values or is this the old Ray Blanton values? You decide. And then Vote Republican.
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Fifth District Knox County Commissioner Mike Hammond has sent the following letter to Knox County School Board Chairman Dan Murphy, seeking answers to questions.
Dr. Dan Murphy
Dear Chairman Murphy:
As a county commissioner whose district will benefit from a new west Knoxville high school, I am greatly troubled by the developments of the past few days concerning the skyrocketing cost of the school.
I am receiving multiple inquiries from constituents. On their behalf, I would like answers to the following questions:
1. After a $40 million dollar figure was assigned to this project, why was an additional 78,000 square feet of space added to the school?
2. On whose authority did the architect and construction company add the extra square footage, knowing it would affect the cost of the school, the budget for which had already been set?
3. What is the effect of the addition of 78,000 square feet on the fees that will be charged to the countyÂs taxpayers by the architect and the construction company?
4. Why are we finding out so long after the contract was agreed upon that there is additional costly excavation necessary at the site?
5. What information has the architect and construction company been given, in writing, and itemized, by suppliers to justify the increase in materials cost? (I assume that this is in possession of the PBA, the construction company, or the architect. I would like this information provided to me by noon, Tuesday November 8)
6. If this information is not in possession of one or more of these organizations, what is the justification for the materials cost increase?
These are just the initial questions. I will have more. The County Commission appropriated $40 million dollars for this project, and now weÂre told that the cost could increase by approximately one-third over the original amount. Is this good business?
I wholeheartedly support the new high school. It is desperately needed. However, this increase is potentially jeopardizing our communityÂs ability to provide our students with the school that they need, and for which we appropriated $40 million taxpayer dollars.
Thank you for your cooperation and your consideration. I hope to hear from you soon; however, as stated above, I would appreciate having the materials cost specifics provided to me by Tuesday.
Fifth District County Commissioner
cc: Mayor Mike Ragsdale
Knox County Commission
Knox County School Board
Commissioner Hammond is a fairly new Commissioner, having been elected in a 2004 special election, to fill the un expired term of former Commissioner Mike Arms. Mr. Arms currently serves as the Chief of Staff to County Mayor Mike Ragsdale.
Although Commissioner Hammond may be new to the Commission, he isn't new to Knox County Government and Knox County Schools. He served as Chairman of the Government Efficiency Panel for several years. The Government efficiency panel in 2001 helped bring Knox County Government and Knox County Schools together, to undergo a comprehensive audit of the Knox County School System. Commissioner Hammond has a successful track record of being a citizen watchdog when it comes to any waste of our tax dollars. He will advocate efficiencies when necessary to protect the citizens wallet.
Thanks to Commissioner Hammond for asking the hard questions,Volunteer TV the CBS affiliate talked with Murphy and here is what they reported he said.
Dan Murphy tells Volunteer TV News they're still in the discussion phase and nothing set in stone.
Brian's Blog has posted on this two additional times here on Tuesday 11/8/2005 and here on Friday 11/11/2005.
Friday, November 11, 2005
I will support the New Northwest High School in Knox County being built similar to the other 12 Knox County high schools, with the only exception being the technology infrastructure. That will not cause the cost to rise in the bricks and mortar.
All field houses in Knox County have been built with parent and community dollars, except Gibbs that rooked and crooked Knox County into a $1.0 million dollar field house. My previous post, located here, has a PBA doccument that details the changes to the program for this new high school. The program on the new high school has been changed to build a 25,000 square foot field house to the tune of $3,175,000.00 and the addition of 78,500 square feet more than the program calls for. That additional 78,500 square feet is costing $9,969,500.00. Thus resulting in a school built to $13,144,500.00 more than its counterparts in Knox County. That is enough for another elementary school.
In the design, pay for an area and lay the underground utilities, so that you can add a wing on later, that was done at A.L. Lotts Elementary. Let's get some business and long range planning thinking among the board members.
To the parents I have talked with it appears that the board is trying to make the Mayor look bad because they want an Escalade and he has given the money for a Suburban. It will be a Great and functioning school, but won't have an indoor practice facility.
School bids $10 million over expectation
The lowest bid for the Oak Ridge High School renovation project came in almost $10 million over what officials thought would be needed to build the new school.
"We will - and must - build this school to educate our children for generations to come," Oak Ridge Board of Education Chairman John Smith said.
"Prior to the hurricanes, we did not expect it to be over budget," he added later.
Bids for the estimated $42 million construction, which is part of a larger $55 million pot, were opened Wednesday afternoon. They came from two Knoxville companies.
The lower bid of $50,545,000 came from Messer Construction, while Rentenbach Construction submitted a base bid of $56,090,000.
Each company also submitted two separate bids on extra work that included cabinets inside the school and the new soccer complex.
Messer Construction is the company that received the contract for the pre-grade work and installing geo-thermal wells for the new facility's heating and cooling systems.
Originally, there were five pre-qualified contractors for the projects, including Blaine Construction, Denark Construction, and Ray Bell Construction.
Oak Ridge officials had quietly been preparing for higher-than-expected bids after Knox County's school building projects recently came in over budget because of increasing post-hurricane construction costs.
Both the school system and the Oak Ridge Public Schools Education Foundation issued press releases immediately after the bid opening; both organizations vowed the school project will continue.
"The unexpected increase in building costs as a result of the recent natural disasters is something we could not have expected during our planning," Oak Ridge Superintendent of Schools Tom Bailey said.
The next step in the planning process, Smith said, is for school and city officials, foundation members, and project engineers "to consider all options available to build a new high school that will not compromise the months of work and contributions given by this community."
The School Board will meet soon - no date was given Wednesday - to hear a recommendation from The DLR Group and Heery International Inc., about "how best to move this forward," Smith said.
Reconstruction and renovation of the 52-year-old school was to originally have started in mid-November.
While in Knox County two days after the Campbell County school shooting a gun appears on a Knox County High school campus. The story here.This is the second gun located at South Doyle this year. Where was the story earlier this year, about the first gun?
Is it time for metal detectors?
The High School will cost $49.0 million to build with Memphis and Shelby County splitting the cost.
Does it all sound to good to be true?
An urban school board and suburban school board working together to produce a high school, jointly. It's true but here's the novel approach, It will be opened in 2007. Oh My.
It appears at this point that the Nashville/Davidson County School Board is putting forth due diligence. What results from the talk will be evident in a few weeks.
Garcia has proposed closing 7 of the 132 schools and eliminating 490 of the approximately 9800 positions within the school district.
Mrs. Tate's appointment is subject to United States Senate Confirmation.
In Division 5A
Farragut High School Linebacker Nick Reveiz
In Division 4A
Central High School Quarterback Zach Helton
In Division 3A
Fulton Runningback Dennis Rogan
In Division 2
Webb Tightend / Defensive lineman Charlie Seivers
Webb Runningback Matt French
The finalist were chosen last week by a state wide media panel. Awards will be presented November 28 at Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville.
Congratulations to all. I will be attending the Farragut -vs- Ooltewah game tonight at Farragut, standing in my normal spot. Let's Go, Admirals!
Thursday, November 10, 2005
"Good manners will open doors that the best education cannot."
On his Southern Georgia Heritage and Up-bringing
"When I was 16, I was sitting as the only black kid in my class, and I had grown up speaking a kind of a dialect. It's called Geechee. Some people call it Gullah now, and people praise it now. But they used to make fun of us back then. It's not standard English. When I transferred to an all-white school at your age, I was self-conscious, like we all are... So I...just started developing the habit of listening."
On the Anita Hill Investigation of the Confirmation Hearing
...as far as I'm concerned, it is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas, and it is a message that unless you kowtow to an old order, this is what will happen to you. You will be lynched, destroyed, caricatured by a committee of the US Senate rather than hung from a tree.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Tonight I am delivering a speech I never dreamed I would give. Even though the votes didn't go our way, I have no regrets. This is a hard speech to listen to, but it is important. This is Virginia. While we can't all be election winners, we are still the luckiest people on earth. We meet as Virginians should. We meet with honor, with grace.
There are some things worth fighting for. That fight is not over.
Tonight we may have lost the battle, but we have not and will not lose this war.
To all the boys and girls watching this, you have now learned a valid lesson. It doesn't matter where you call home. Anything is possible with hard work.
I support my Virginia Governor Jerry Kilgore.
When I first heard of the Campbell County High School shooting yesterday, I thought of the families of the administrators that had been wounded. I prayed for the principals and their families. I thought about my friends on the Campbell County School Board, Bobby Snodderly, Mark A. Wells, Sarge Collins, Homer Rutherford and Mary Michelle Gillum. The other members of the Campbell County School Board are; Bo Buckner, Johnny Byrge, Walter Goins, Eugene Lawson, Faye Heatherley and the Director Dr. Judy Blevins. What a tough time for this community. A community that I have traveled through the past 18 years in my sales position. A big/little mountain community, that I would love to call home.
As the news continued throughout the day, I was numb.
The young man was identified, with his identity it was revealed that he is 15 years old. (Knoxville News-Sentinel reported today 11/9/2005 that he is 14)I have a son that is 15 years old. What a shock to this family. But then at 7:00 p.m. the CBS affiliate WVLT goes to a live shot at the Campbell County Hospital, Campbell County Sheriff Ron McClellan and Capt. Don Farmer emerge with this young man in handcuffs.
I couldn't believe it. What an innocent looking child. The first thing that came to my mind was he is somebody's baby.
I go back in my mind as a father, 15 years ago, holding my first child, a boy, my son. Thinking to myself, Wow, He is going to change the world. I am sure Kenny Bartley's father was thinking the same thing and now he has this to wrestle with. I am now thinking of all the people I have already mentioned but now I am thinking of Kenny Bartley's parents, grandparents, family members, and him. Last night, he spent his first night of many in custody, in jail.
Now I am an avid listener to talk radio, but today I turned it off. I was fed up with people calling in with their psychology, medical and parenting degrees. Everybody that has never met this boy or his family blaming medication, family, peer influences, computer games, Hollywood. Maybe that was part of the blame, I don't know and You don't know.
The Bottom line is .........Leave Them Alone....
Leave all the families alone. They have to put themselves back together. Principal Bruce is not coming home, his family has a lot to deal with. Principal Seale and Pierce will hopefully return home, but they must heal and they have a lot to deal with. Kenny Bartley is now in jail and will be prosecuted as an adult according to Attorney General Wayne Paul Phillips. Leave that family alone. Leave the Campbell County School Board and System alone, they are trying to figure out what went wrong on their end and will correct it. Leave the community alone, they will heal with time. Just...Leave them alone...If they need us, they will ask.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Well, I am calling it a day. I hope that the Governor results continue to roll in for Kilgore in Virginia, However, it appears in early results that the ultra liberal Tim Kaine won. I will post about Clintonlike Kaine and how he was outraged that the Republican Governors Association played his Southern Virginia advertisements to Northern Virginians.
Early returns is that the Lt. Governor will be Republican Bolling and Attorney General will be Republican McDonnell. Jerry Kilgore is a good man, there is no demand for good people in public service, I guess.
In New Jersey, the liberal political bosses candidate Jon Corzine was elected in New Jersey. There were 8 independent party candidates running. Doug Forrester is a good man, as well. He was too good for New Jersey.
WE WON IN TEXAS! Thanks Governor Perry!
Northwest Sector High School
School Board Meeting of August 11, 2005
Based upon recent meetings with the School Board Representatives and School Staff, the following changes and clarifications are offered:
Classroom Size: Increased from 720 to 800 square feet for a net increase to the building square footage of approximately 4,500 square feet.
Number of Classrooms: The overall number of classrooms has been increased from 40 as originally programmed to 54.
New Programmed Space - The following elements have been added to the program:
Family and Consumer Science
Health and Science Technology
Existing Programmed Space - The following elements have been increased:
English - Increased by 2 classrooms
Mathematics - Increased by 2 classrooms
Social Studies - Increased by 1 classroom
Foreign Language - Increased by 1 classroom
Science - Increased by 2 classrooms and 2 labs
Special Education - Increased by 2 Resource Rooms
Projected Occupancy - With additions indicated above and in conversations with staff, the current student occupancy is calculated between 1907-2087. (see attached breakdown)
Construction Type - The preferred method of construction is load-bearing block/brick with steel bar joist/metal deck system. The alternate method is a steel frame with prefabricated steel panels with exterior brick and interior, high-impact sheetrock.
Schedule - In consideration of the preferred building tyoe, an opening of August 2008 is anticipated subject to School Board approval.
Core Capacity - The core elements of the program which include the cafeteria, gym and auditorium are designed to accomadate 2000 studnets plus staff.
Question: Is The additional square footage X The cost per square foot = The cost over-runs from the $40.0 million dollar budget?
Great question. Let's see.
78,500 X $127.00 = $9,969,500.00
Pretty close to the $14,000,000.00
Only $4,030,500.00 over, Now
UPDATE:11/8/2005 3:23 p.m.
I have just received a phone call that has informed me that in the current program plan for the New Northwest High School, there is a 25,000 square foot Field House. I will comment on Field Houses at the conclusion of this post.
Based on our earlier exercise, There is a 78,500 square foot upgrade that cost $9,969,500.00. With the reduction of the additional square footage. The school system is currently $4,030,500.00 over budget.
Let's now conduct a field house exercise.
Square footage 25,000 X $127.00 per square foot construction = $3,175,000.00
Reduce a field house that cost $3,175,000.00 from $4,030,500.00 and the over-run is now only $855,500.00
Here is my insight on Knox County field houses. Farragut High School Football Booster Club built a field house two years ago while I served as a school board member with parent and private donations. While the Gibbs community received a $1.0 million dollar field house paid for by the tax-payers. Bearden High School has NEVER received a field house.
It would appear to the people that I have talked with in the community today, that the cost over-runs have been the result of school officials receiving the money for a Suburban and instead trying to buy a Cadillac Escalade "The King of Bling."
Today is the Virginia Governor's race, Commonwealth Conservative has alot of insight.
Voting began 2.5 hours ago and polls close at 7:00 p.m. this evening. Jerry Kilgore is from Gate City, VA (just across the state line. He values hard work, Giving your word and keeping it. As Governor he will Fully Fund Education, Oppose Higher Taxes, Will hold the Government more accountable, he will use surplus dollars to get road projects moving again - not fall back on more taxes.
Jerry has had the Best television commercials this election season. The ads featuring his daughter and son and his twin brother Terry Kilgore, a delegate in the Virginia House have shown a human side to Kilgore and his family.
At the same time the candidate that the liberals and the party led by "The Screamer" have fielded Tim Kaine. Kaine will say he is pro-death penalty, however, his record of protesting and even vigorously opposing the death penalty speaks volumes to his lack of conviction and beliefs. The liberal candidate hasn't found a tax increase he didn't like.
Monday, November 07, 2005
The blog in question is reporting on a story that appeared in the News-Sentinel 5 days ago, immediately following the non-voting school board workshop that was held 6 days ago.
This evening, I immediately contacted Sixth District School Board Member Chuck James. Mr. James explained to me that there has been some discussion about several scenario's, however, NO decision has been made. He assured me that the New West Knox County High School will serve the students and community for many years to come. It will have all the necessary components to be a functioning high school. He also informed me that there is NO money coming from the school system to build this new school. Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale and the County Commission have given the $40.0 million dollars to the school system. The Mayor is committed to see to it that this school is built correctly.
I served on the Knox County School Board, representing the Fifth District, September 1, 2000 - September 1, 2004. In 2001, I began the discussion of the need for a new high school. There had been NO discussion before this time on the school board. The renovation and expansion of Bearden High School in the late 90's was inadequate.
In 2002 Mr. James was elected to the school board and at the same time Mayor Ragsdale was elected County Mayor. Mr. James and I began working together by requesting a presentation in September 2002 at the Board's annual retreat to discuss this need. It was discussed, but board members felt that the needs in their own district were too great to address the new high school.
In early 2004 and into the fall of 2004, no request was made by the Knox County Superintendent or School Board for a new high school. During the wheel tax referendum, County Commissioners and the Mayor were out front selling the tax for the high school and not a peep from the superintendent or school board endorsing the need for the new high school or the additional revenue that the wheel tax would produce. The wheel tax passed overwhelmingly in areas like Shannondale in North Knoxville and West Knox County.
The School Board then immediately took the money that the Mayor and Commission had fought for. A couple of board members attended Parent meetings early in 2005, declaring the school would be ready for students by 2007 and now it has been delayed until 2008. Mr. James has never made such false claims.
In the near future, I will be examining why this High School is over budget, and will report my findings on this my personal blog.
To set the record straight, The sky is NOT falling, The wolf is not blowing down the school built with sticks and straw.
Check out Doug Forrester's website, here. On the main page click on Sharon Kay testifies about Doug. Watch this 1 minute 10 second commercial paid for by The Republican Governors Association. This commercial demonstrates the "real man" that will clean up Trenton, from the political bosses that run the state and the candidate that the liberals led by the "screamer" have put up.
The City Council office phone number is 865-215-2075
The City Council Fax phone number is 865-215-4269
The Councilman's Home number is 865-661-4131
The Councilman's email is email@example.com
The Hubert Smith Radio Show can be heard on Sundays from 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. on WKVL AM 850.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
CorzineÂs Final Debate Performance: 2 Major gaffes
StateÂs Senior Senator DoesnÂt Know NJÂs Legal Drinking Age
(New York, NY) Jon Corzine broke the first rule of political debates Â makgaffesgaffs Â Saturday night when he revealed at the WNBC Gabe Pressman debate that he does not know the legal drinking age in New Jersey. When informed that the legal age is twenty-one, a stammering Corzine immediately embarked on a campaign to legalize drinking for teenagers Â a policy that would endanger thousands of lives and cost the state billions in transportation funding.
CorzineÂs colleague, Sen. Frank Lautenberg, protected the nation from this kind of shabby thinking by assuring that no state with legalized drinking for teenagers can receive federal road and highway funding.
In his second major gaff, Corzine flailed about Gov. ChristieÂs WhitmanÂs pension bond plan, apparently unaware Doug Forrester stood up to members of his own party, in opposition to that funding proposal.
He also failed to reveal that, with Corzine at its helm as CEO, Goldman-Sachs obtained a $3 million dollar no-bid contract to underwrite the deal that earned them $3 million in fees.
It doesn't surprise me that liberal democrats are out of touch, that is why they are the minority party. Clean up Trenton, Elect Doug Forrester, Governor of New Jersey.
Saturday, November 05, 2005
Warren Beatty wants to be a candidate for Governor of California. The old dried up actor realizes that he doesn't have the grass roots support nor the ability to beat Governor Arnold. So instead he and his wife tried to use their "celebrity" status to interrupt an appearance of Governor Arnold. It didn't work.
Governor Arnold's quote "There is the main event and then the sideshow. I am not concerned with the sideshow" Great quote.
This story appeared in The Tennessean. The story is here.
There has been a baby boom in the historic neighborhoods adjacent todowntown. This is good news for the revitalization of our communities andDowntown Knoxville. Many parents of pre-schoolers are, naturally, concerned about where theirchildren will go to school. While some of these concerns are valid, somemay be based on misperceptions. I want to make sure people arewell-informed about their public school options before they opt for privateschool, or even worse, move.
One reason I ran for school board is that many people looking for a place toraise their kids often do not consider Park Ridge, Old North, North Hills,4th & Gill, etc. because they are worried about the quality of the schoolsserving these neighborhoods. What are the issues and how can we resolvethem so people from all economic levels feel comfortable using their publicschools?
If you want to learn more, please join us for an informal meeting onSaturday 11/12 at 9:30am at St James Episcopal Church on Broadway to discussthese issues. Children are welcome and some extra people will be on hand towatch kids on the playground while we talk.
Very Truly Yours,
It would ne helpful to invite more than a small limited audience like k2k, however, you could start by explaining the low test scores, lack of parent involvement, the high incidents of expulsions from Fulton and Austin East High School.
These are my intial thoughts, I may post again later on this topic.
In Virginia Jerry Kilgore is running for Governor. Jerry is a native of Southwest Virginia. Gate City to be exact. Which makes him as close to a Tennessean as you can get. The bottom line is that Jerry is for the Death Penalty, the liberal democrat, ain't. Jerry is for improving education and roads, his opponent is for the same ole' same ole'. Jerry is for Honest Reform, his opponent is for the status quo. There are several individuals from here in Knox County that are up in Virginia, helping with the 72 hour push.
In New Jersey Doug Forrester is running for Governor. He proudly proclaims that he is a moderate, pro-choice candidate. Fashioned like former Governor Keane. As you know, I am a Republican Conservative that is Pro-Life. However, I am supporting Doug Forrester, because a Republican moderate is better than anything the liberal democrat party led by "The Screamer" can put up.
In Texas there is the Defense Of Marriage issue, Prop. 2. I have written extensively about this issue. Check out the Texans for Marriage website.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
This from the Tennessean this morning.
Henry won't seek GOP nomination for governor
Jim Henry, a former Republican state lawmaker and gubernatorial candidate, said he will not run for governor next year, while the state GOP's top official said the party's lone declared candidate, former independent Carl "Two Feathers" Whitaker, can't win.
Henry, who lost to Van Hilleary in the 2002 GOP primary, said he has decided to focus attention in 2006 instead on his disabled son and an expansion of his business, Omni Vision Inc.
"It just isn't the right time," said Henry, a resident of Kingston. Henry had previously said he intended to wait until January to decide on seeking the nomination to oppose incumbent Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen. Henry said he advanced the timetable to be fair to potential supporters and candidates. Henry underwent cancer treatments almost two years ago. He said doctors have assured him the chances for recurrence are low, and his health was not a factor. "I intend to be involved in campaigns next year and help Republican candidates," he said. "I will keep the options open for the future."
Jim Henry is a GREAT man that would be an excellent Governor. In early 2002, I met with Jim Henry at the Cracker Barrell on Campbell Station Road. At that time, I was serving on the school board and Jim proved to me at that meeting, what I had seen in him while he served in the legislature. He is knowledgeable of the issues and has a successful record of accomplishments in everything he has touched and a passion to do what is right.
Jim Henry's withdrawal from this race is Tennessee's loss.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
I typically stay away from watching school board meetings, watching paint dry is much more satisfying, actually I am normally on my computer finishing up a productive day of work, so that I can spend time with the three greatest kids, before I begin reading a book.
Tonight, I was actually near a television and was changing channels and identified that the school board was meeting and had begun debate on the NEW Cedar Bluff Primary School. Sam Anderson caught my attention by asking what the new capacity would be, the board member that represents Cedar Bluff answered 1000. I said. WHAT? Sam then asks how many students are at Cedar Bluff today? Superintendent answers 1108. I started to laugh.
The motion made by the school board member that represents the Cedar Bluff community was to "steal" 2.5 million from the Cedar Bluff Intermediate School project. The school board voted 7-2 to approve this theft of money.
Why am I using the words steal and theft? Because Knox County's Adopted Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan for fiscal years 2006-2010 has the $2.5 million for Cedar Bluff 4-5 renovation/addition in fiscal year 2008. Which means the dollars are not available to Knox County Schools from the Knox County General Government until July 1, 2007.
The rationale for the vote was that these dollars belong to the 5th school board district and can and should be moved for the benefit of that district. The construction contract was over budget, necessitating the $2,500,000.00 from the Cedar Bluff Intermediate to the Cedar Bluff Primary to balance the books.
Third District School Board Member Cindy Buttry made an excellent point. This vote sets precedent and that all dollars in a school board district are now controlled by that district represntative. There was NO answer and it passed 7-2 which affirms Mrs. Buttry's statement.
Mr. Anderson made a comment that this is the last project that he will vote for to replace an existing structure, which should have scared Diane Dozier (Adrian Burnett), Jim Williams (Carter Elementary or Carter Middle and Gap Creek) and Robert Bratton (New Hopewell)
Let's examine how many dollars are slated for each district, 2006-2010, since precedent has been set and dollars are now assigned to districts and not for the greater good of students and Knox County as a whole.
1st District - NONE
2nd District - $4,000,000.00 (Inskip Elementary)
3rd District - $2,000,000.00 (Pond Gap)
4th District - NONE
5th District - $16,000,000.00 (All for Cedar Bluff Primary)
6th District - $16,000,000.00 (Ball Camp and Southwest Sector Elementary)
- $40,000,000.00 (New High School) funded by the County and NOT Schools
7th District - $14,000,000.00 (Powell Middle)
8th District - $22,500,000.00 (Gibbs Elementary, Carter Middle and Carter Elementary)
9th District - $15,000,000.00 (New Hopewell)
There is $21,000,000.00 that is programmed for land purchase and physical plant upgrades. So each board member can claim $2,300,000.00 as their portion.
Jim Williams and Diane Dozier have said in the past that they are NOT politicians, that they support all projects that will not affect their district projects. Their actions and votes do NOT match their words. Jim Williams district has more dollars with the fewest number of students, so, I ask you, Who is the experienced politician? Who is the politician that understands delivering pork to his district?
Cindy Buttry tonight was head and shoulders above the rest. Robert Bratton voted with Cindy. The rest caved in and now have a financial ledger that will NOT balance, until July 1, 2007.
The Superintendent said there are three options to deal with the 108 additional students than the capacity of the new building.
1) Re-zoning would be necessary to move the 108 students out of Cedar Bluff Primary. 2) Locate portable buildings on the site of the new building.
3) Locate one grade of classes at the "old" Cedar Bluff Intermediate.
Knox County Citizens recognize the responsible public officials. Hang in There, Cindy.
In the Second District Barabara Pelot was re-elected. This race was closer than the experts thought that it would be.
In the First District Joe Hultquist retained his seat with a clear victory.
In the Sixth District Mark Brown maintained his seat with a 6-1 margin of victory.
Rob Frost was re-elected.
The Democrat party now led by the screamer and Harry Reid showed their "real" intent yesterday in the United States Senate.
Reid invoked the little-used Rule 21, the public was ordered out of the chamber and the doors were shut. Rule 21 prohibits the public and even members of the House of Representatives from watching.
In the rare cases of the past, the Senate closed its doors to outsiders as part of a joint decision of Democratic and Republican leaders, not as a maneuver by one party.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, M.D. got it right about the liberal party when he said. "Once again, it shows the Democrats use scare tactics. They have no conviction. They have no principles. They have no ideas,"
Councilman Hall was in a fairly close race with a former director of Mayor Victor Ashe. Councilman Hall won the election with 88 votes. The CBS affliate reported on the 11:00 p.m. newscast this error and WATE admitted they messed up.
WATE never called Councilman Hall to verify their report, before airing it. WATE has refused to reveal the source of their report.
One can only conclude that WATE was attempting to influence the outcome. Why would they do that? You ask.
Gene Patterson, the anchor of WATE is the former Communications Director of Victor Ashe, while Councilman Hall's opponent Ellen Adcock was a former director of Ashe.
Until WATE comes clean. You make the decision.
UPDATE: Gene Patterson appeared on WKVL Am 1180 at 8:00 a.m. and took phone calls for one hour. Here is Gene's (WATE) explanation: A "green" producer/reporter was putting together the news for 5:30 a.m. and ran across a press release that Steve Hall Register of Deeds put out a few weeks ago that said that he is NOT Steve Hall City Councilman. The "green" producer/reporter did not verify because the staffer felt that was City Councilman Steve Hall's withdrawal from the race. I called in and asked Gene. Why did the station wait 27 hours to explain this? Why didn't you explain it on the 7:25, 8:25 a.m. updates the noon, 5:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m. or 11:00 p.m. newscast. Why didn't you explain this on the WVLT's newscast? Gene said that was a fair criticism. Gene's explanation must be accepted at face value. There still exist some real questions. I am assuming this issue is NOT dead.