Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Knox County School Board Member Contact Information

Many people have contacted me this morning and afternoon wanting to know what action must be taken to avert this Capital Plan reccomendation. You can visit my website, here, located on the website is a document entitled Directory Of Government Officials that is linked there, contact the Knox County School Board Members before February 16, 2006. Knox County Mayor and Knox County Commission will come later.

For the urgent status that this issue warrants, here is the contact information for the Knox County School Board Members:

District 1 Sam Anderson 4735 Plymouth Drive, Knoxville, 37914 865-525-1681(h) or
865-215-2090(o)or email: sanderson@ci.knoxville.tn.us

District 2 Indya Kincannon 941 Eleanor St., Knoxville, 37917 865-546-7098(h)or
email: indyak@hotmail.com

District 3 Cindy Buttry 5812 San Cristebal Ln., Knoxville, 37921 865-584-6155(h) or
865-215-2360(o)or email: cbuttry8@hotmail.com

District 4 Dan Murphy 4141 Forest Glen Dr.,Knoxville, 37919 865-523-0511(h) or
865-974-1752(o)or email: dmurphy@utk.edu

District 5 Karen Carson 10953 Twin Harbour Dr.,Knoxville, 37922 865-675-0236(h)or
865-300-6443(o)or email: carsonk@tds.net

District 6 Chuck James 8104 Ball Camp Pike,Knoxville, 37931 865-693-0091(h)or
email: cjames06@comcast.net

District 7 Diane Dozier 4516 Hosea Lane,Knoxville, 37938 865-925-4851(h)or 865-922-5214 (o)or email: dianecdozier@aol.com

District 8 Jim Williams 9320 Ruggles Ferry Dr.,Strawberry Plains, 37871 865-933-5860(h)or email: c97jew@aol.com

District 9 Robert Bratton 2005 Switchyard Lane,Knoxville, 37920 865-579-9999(h)or
865-595-0220(o) or email: rbratton@etptv.org

Doug Riley Killed in an a Tuesday Morning Automobile Accident

Doug Riley of the Gold City Quartet was killed this morning in an automobile accident while traveling to the Gold City Recording studio. Details of the accident have not been released. The family will receive friends and family Wednesday 5-8 p.m. with funeral services on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. Doug was 35 years old leaves wife, Amy Jo and children Chapen and Griffin. Doug is the son of Gold City founder Tim and Barbara Riley.

Please pray for the Riley family and the members and family of Gold City.

Gold City's website can be found here.

West Knox County Schools Overcrowded and NOT Getting "THE" Needed Relief

In my earlier post, found here. I have had some additional thoughts. This plan is just plain wrong for the citizens of the community and for the children, to add classrooms on existing overburdened buildings. There are cafeterias, gymnasiums, music rooms, libraries in these schools and all of this space was built to accommodate the number of children already enrolled there and to implement a plan that continues to increase an existing overtaxed core capacity with more students is just wrong. To build classrooms that will be at or over capacity when you open them, is just wrong.

I will continue to post on this issue as public education is important to me. I am a product of Knox County's public education. I have three children that have and continue to be enrolled in Knox County's public school system. I have invested sweat equity as a volunteer within my kids schools, I have been honored by the TN. PTA two consecutive years as a leader for my role in leading a community of volunteers at A.L. Lotts Elementary School.

I have had the opportunity to send my children to private and/or religious institutions, however, I have decided to walk the talk, that is not to cut and run for one year or twelve years, but to stick it out with public education. I explain this, so that you understand my passion.

West Knox County Schools Overcrowded and NOT Getting Any Relief

The Knox County School Board continues with its Capital Plan Budget request to the Knox County Mayor the latest is a major shift from any previous plan. The KNS has the Superintendent's newly revised plan on its website here.(Registration Required)

Here's the major issues;

1.) The Cedar Bluff Primary School project currently underway has been changed to a Cedar Bluff Elementary School to house 1000 students. The current two buildings house 1200 students. Where are these 200 plus students going?

2.)In previous Capital Plans 2003 and 2004 there was a line item for a Southwest Elementary School for $12,000,000.00, (the idea was to build something in the Choto Rd./Northshore Dr. area) last year 2005 that line was renamed "Southwest Sector Elementary Solution". This new proposal takes the $12,000,000.00 on line 10 "Southwest Elementary School Solution" and accomplishes the following things.

A.L. Lotts Elementary School - add 12 classrooms in 2 phases (net gain of 6 classrooms, with the elimination of the portables) the student population is increased 135 students. The school currently houses more than 1100 students, taking it to 1235 for a price tag $2,715,000.00 (22.5 students per new classroom)

Blue Grass Elementary - add 12 classrooms - 2 story addition - enlarge the cafeteria for a net gain of 10 classrooms. The student population is increased by 225 students for a price tag is $3,015,000.00 (22.5 students per new classroom)

Farragut Intermediate School - add 12 classrooms - 2 story addition - The student population is increased 300 students for a price tag is $3,340,000.00 (25 students per new classroom)

Farragut Primary School - add 12 classrooms - 8 classrooms 2 story addition and 4 classrooms 1 story addition. The student population is increased 240 students for a price tag of $2,930,000.00 (20 students per new classroom)

Total Student increase: 900
Total price tag: $12,000,000.00

Is this what the people of Southwest and West Knox County deserve? We supply over half of the tax base from Knox County's Fifth Commission District for the entire county, however, we continue to get the short stick. While communities like Gibbs, Ritta and Brickey get these nice new buildings with more room than is conceivable. I remember in 1992 - 1994 Knox County Commissioner Frank Leuthold discussing at a Knox County Commission meeting the difference in the renovation and new construction of Christenberry Elementary School and the new construction at A.L. Lotts Elementary. They got the Cadillac and the Lotts community got the Cavalier. The Cavalier is O.K. but the Cavalier should be the norm for everybody. One community should not be treated differently than the others. Or if we are treated differently, should the better facility go to the community with "the buying power"?

Some thirty five years ago, Cedar Bluff Primary, Farragut Primary and Adrian Burnett were built as "temporary buildings", Farragut Primary's building was replaced and treated as a temporary. The Cedar Bluff community in 2000 had no hope for a new building, as the school board member that represented Cedar Bluff from September 1, 2000 - August 31, 2004. Together as a board we were able to get a fesibilty study accomplished, funding secured, architect selected and the schematic drawings presented to the community and school staff. The construction has recently begun, the plans have changed, downsizing the school but Cedar Bluff is finally getting their share.

Is it right to stuff our kids in these buildings packed like sardines?

I will post more on these topics in the very near future. Leave your comments.

Knox County Schools Had Custodial Positions Available Three Days Ago

In this mornings Knoxville News-Sentinel there is a story here(Registration Required) about School Board member Chuck James proposing a pilot project for outsourcing custodial services. In last weeks school board budget meeting, the Superintendent and Maintenance Director Jim French have proposed the elimination of 60 plus custodial positions. (through attrition)

Chuck James pointed out last evening to Mr. French, a former Blount County principal that he currently has 4 positions that he was recently accepting applications. This was news to Mr. French last evening, he is quoted in the meeting as saying "I am unaware of that" As a public service to the readers of Brian's Blog, I have secured the link to these posted positions and in the event they disappear from the website. I have copied and pasted them for your review.

Locate new posted Custodian positions here via Knox County Schools website, as of 4:22 a.m. January 31, 2006, the following positions were posted.

Custodian Karns High Operations 8 Hr/260 1/27/06

Custodian Norwood Elementary Operations 8 Hr/260 1/27/06

Custodian West Valley Elementary Operations 8 Hr/260 1/27/06

Head Custodian Norwood Elementary Operations 8 Hr/260 1/27/06

Explanation: Position/Place of Employment/8 hour work day for 260 days per year/ Apply By Date.

I have a question. Where is West Valley Elementary? There is a West Valley Middle School, I am just not sure where it's Elementary counterpart is. That might be the job to have, a position in a school that doesn't exist. :)

Here is the Requirements for a Custodian position:


Responsible for proper heating, ventilation, and cleanliness of the building.

· Be clean and neat enough to present the proper appearance when confronting students, employees, and the public
· Command the respect of students and teachers by setting a good example
· Must be able to lift 50 lbs. frequently, 100 lbs. occasionally and 100+ lbs. with assistance
· Such alternatives to the above qualifications as the Superintendent may find appropriate and acceptable

· Report to Custodial Supervisor
· Responsible for knowing locations of shut-off switches and valves to all utilities
· Responsible for reporting and removing hazards and dangerous conditions that may result in accidents and fire
· Responsible for effecting economies of operation by preventing the needless or careless use of supplies, water, electricity, and fuel
· Responsible for all duties assigned by the Custodial Supervisor
· Perform duties with a minimum of interference with the school program
· Shall not attempt to discipline students, but should report careless activities to the principal
· Shall attend all meetings called by Custodial Supervisor
· Shall not attempt major mechanical, structural, electrical, or plumbing repairs
· On occasion, help unload prepared food from food service trucks
· Responsible for removing garbage from the kitchen and the dining area
· Responsible for cleaning the dining area daily
· Garbage cans will be thoroughly cleaned each day. A disinfectant-type cleaner must be used for this purpose
· Establish and maintain satisfactory, respectful working relationships within the school environment
· Perform other duties as assigned

Here are the requirements of the Head Custodian:


Responsible for the supervision of all custodians in the building.

· Experience supervising others, record-keeping, training, and preparing work assignments
· Be able to respond to emergencies quickly (requires reliable transportation at odd hours of the day and night)
· Be clean and neat enough to present the proper appearance when working
· Command the respect of students and teachers by setting a good example
· Must be able to lift 50 lbs. frequently, 100 lbs. occasionally, and 100+ lbs. with assistance
· Such alternatives to the above qualifications as the Superintendent may find appropriate and acceptable

· Report to Custodial Foreman, Principal or Supervisor
· Responsible for the cleanliness and safety of the building
· Responsible for the designation of duties for the opening and secure closing of the building
· Responsible for checking the condition of the building each workday
· Responsible for checking doors and windows to make sure they are closed and locked properly
· Responsible for reporting break-ins to school office and maintenance
· Responsible for reporting repair work to be done by the Maintenance Department to the school office and make sure that a proper work order is filled out and sent to the Maintenance Department
· Responsible to maintain proper temperature for the school building, and to follow the inclement weather guidelines
· Responsible for making sure that the following: Custodian Time Sheets, Absenteeism Forms, and the Overtime Justification Forms are filled out correctly and sent in at the proper time to the Operations Department
· Report custodial absences to the school offices and make sure that the time sheet reflects the same
· Clear all overtime through the custodial foreman or custodial supervisor
· When needed, assist the principal and custodial foreman in scheduling and distributing work assignments
· Check to see that custodians fulfill their duties properly
· Responsible in following the instructions on notices and memorandums sent to the attention of the Head Custodian
· Responsible for all custodial duties assigned by the Custodial Foreman and Principal
· Attend all meetings called by Custodial Supervisor
· Report problems but does not attempt to perform major mechanical, structural, electrical or plumbing repairs
· Must be able to prepare documentation as requested by custodial foreman
· Establish and maintain satisfactory, respectful working relationships within the school environment.
· Perform other duties as assigned

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Buzz Peterson - Great Story in KNS

Great story (Registration Required)in today's KNS following up on the Peterson's. Check out the audio slide show here also located on the Knoxnews website.

Buzz, Jan and the kids appear to be settling in well at Coastal Carolina. It appears that the community of Conway, SC are accepting them. I feel blessed that I had the opportunity to have conversation moments with this man during times that he was supporting his daughter. Buzz demonstrated through his actions that his life and priorities are in the right place.

My regret for Buzz is that he was surrounded by an individual(s) that were not honest with him.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Knox County Liberal Democrat "Deaniac" Jim Gray Recognizes The Truth And Advocates A Turn To The Right

This from local politico reporter Betty Bean. Jim Gray the Knox County Democrat Chairman has recognized "The Right" and is advocating that local downtown Democrats vote "the right way" by voting Republican.

The funny thing about this story is that Gray has publically criticized his own Democrat officeholders for the same offense. The story, the whole story and nothing but the story is reported in the Powell News,otherwise known as the Thursday edition of the Halls News.

I hope that the Democrats and all good citizens of Knox County are smart enough to vote Republican without Gray's endorsement and will study and vote for the best candidate. The days of backroom deals where the "party boss" annoints a candidate and then informs the mindless troops who and how to vote is over. I encourage Jim Gray to enter the 21st century

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Way To Go! Senator Robert Byrd - A Profile In Courage

Reported this afternoon at 3:00 p.m. on Fox News, U.S. Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia has committed to voting FOR Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito. I have never said a kind word about the "pork barrel senator" however, I may have to re think that position.

Way to go Senator Byrd! You are NOT the rubber stamp of Senator Reid and the party of Howard Dean and The Liberal Extremist Deaniac's.

Could it be that the party of Robert Byrd has left Senator Byrd? Hard to imagine, but that could be the case. With this photo. Is he saying Go Away, Senator Reid?

Chuck James Sixth District School Board Member To Inform The Public

This from todays Farragut Press, it can be located on the web here. Knox County School Board Member Chuck James is hosting a public information meeting at Hardin Valley Elementary School on February 13, 2006 at 6:30 p.m. for the purpose of informing the public about the new Knox County High School to be built beside the Hardin Valley Elementary School site.

New high school meeting Feb. 13
- Thu, Jan, 26, 2006

The public is invited to a meeting about the new West Knox County high school construction schedule beginning at 6:30 p.m., Feb. 13, at Hardin Valley Elementary School.

The school is set to open by Fall 2008 to freshmen and sophomores. “On the forty million dollar price tag, we’ve had to cut things like ballfields and parking lots,” said Charles “Chuck” James, 6th District member of the Knox County Board of Education.

James said building a larger school means losing baseball and softball fields and reducing student parking from 800 to 200 spaces.

Ballfields and parking could be added at a later date, James said, estimating baseball lighting would cost about $100,000.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Great Quote

"I do not feel that I am the product of chance, a speck of dust in the universe, but someone who was expected, prepared, prefigured. In short, a being whom only a Creator could put here; and this idea of a creating hand refers to God." - Jean-Paul Sartre

Monday, January 23, 2006

Coach Randy Sanders - Congratulations and Best Wishes, If Its True

Last night on the 11:00 p.m. newscast Volunteer TV Channel 8 reported here that the Knoxville News-Sentinel is reporting that Coach Randy Sanders has been hired at the University of Kentucky as the quarterbacks coach.

The story continues with read more about it in the Monday morning edition of the paper. Online this morning, I do not see it. There is a story on GoExtra.com. I believe that the Volunteer TV story is accurate.

If you will recall Volunteer TV broke the story of the arrest of the two fugitives in Kentucky that murdered the Brushy Mountain State prison officer while in Roane County. They were the only station carrying live reports from a Knox County school bus accident in Powell last year.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

33 Years - America Should Be So Proud - NOT!

Thirty three years ago, I was 6. Today is the thirty third anniversary of the Supreme Court Ruling Roe-vs-Wade. Thirty three years later and 40 million babies have been slaughtered for the sake of freedom of choice, reproductive rights etc.

This from Fox News on June 17, 2003

Norma McCorvey announced Tuesday she will petition the court to reopen the original case, based on changes in law and technology over the last 30 years.

"I'm sorry that I signed that affidavit," McCorvey said during the press conference Tuesday, referring to when she became the plaintiff in the original case.

She said the court case "brought the holocaust of abortion" but that with her legal action Tuesday, "I feel good about myself, I really do. I feel like the weight of the world has really been lifted off my shoulders."

McCorvey made the announcement at the Ferris Plaza Park in Dallas, just blocks from the Earl Cabell Federal Building, where the original lawsuit was entered.

"I long for the day that justice will be done and the guilt from all of these deaths will be removed from my shoulders," McCorvey said in a statement announcing the intent of the motion. "I want to do everything in my power to help women and their children.

What if the mother of Patricia Ireland, head of the organization NOW had exercised her right to abort. Would that make it right? NO. What if Billy Graham or Ted Kennedy's mother made that choice? NO. NO. NO.

As a nation America will be judged for the past 33 years and counting.

Knox County School Board To Discuss 2006-2007 Budget

This from the Knox County Schools Website.

Board Of Education Work Session
Date: 01/19/2006 Media Advisory Number: 06-003

The Knox County Board Of Education will conduct a work session beginning at 5:00 p.m. Jan. 23, in the first floor Board Room of the Andrew Johnson Building located at 912 South Gay St.


1. Additions to the Agenda

2. Discussion of the 2006-2007 General Purpose School Fund Budget

3. Board Forum

Here's my best guess for what may be discussed to balance the budget.

No payraises for non-certified personnel.

Eliminate or Reduce the High School Drivers Education program.

Eliminate the middle school foreign language program currently offered at approximately a third of the middle schools.

Eliminate funding of the Discovery Center program.

Continue the reduction of the Adult Education program.

Custodial budget reduction.

Continue to reduce the transportation budget. (school buses)

No plan to increase the Knox County Schools contribution for the anticipated health insurance increase for December 2006.

Reduce the textbook replacement plan.

Close the smaller schools; Gap Creek,Corryton and Maynard.

I have approved 100% of all comments, since I began allowing comments so, leave your comments here for what you believe should be considered for reduction or elimination. Is there a budget/money crisis in public education. Will more money improve public education? If so, How much is enough?

Friday, January 20, 2006

Congratulations and Thank You

Congratulations to Pat Summit for the 900 win. What was best is that the win was against Vandy. Several years ago my wife, oldest son and I decided at the last minute to attend a Lady Vol game.

When I approached the ticket agent at Thompson-Boling, I pointed to the section where I thought that I wanted my tickets and we wound up in the Vandy section. I typically am loud and intense at sporting events, this game was no exception. It was a close game, Pat coached the girls to a win, the Vandy fans were congratulatory to us after the win, the Vandy fans were all around good sports.

Thank You Pat for staying with Tennessee through 1072 games. Lets win a hundred or two more, beginning with win 901 at Duke.

Ophelia Ford Is Granted A Stay - Hearing January 25, 2006

UPDATE: In the Comments Fore Left has given the credit to the Commercial Appeal for being the first to report the connection of Ford, Senior and the Judge.

UPDATE: Fore Left is reporting here that The Honorable Judge Donald was appointed upon reccomendation of U.S. Congressman Harold Ford, Sr. Junior's daddy and brother to Ophelia Ford. I could not obtain this information from the bio that I located. Fore Left is and was able to go deeper than I am.

U.S. District Judge Bernice Donald has granted a stay, prohibiting the State Senate from continuing with a vote today to void the election and remove Ophelia Ford, the sister of indicted ex-senator John Ford and aunt to Democrat United States Senate candidate Harold Ford, Jr.

Here is a bio that I obtained on the Honorable Judge Donald.

Honorable Bernice B. Donald
US District Judge, United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, Memphis, Tennessee

The Honorable Bernice Donald was nominated to the U.S. District Court on December 7, 1995 by President William Clinton, confirmed by the United States Senate on December 22, 1995 and took the bench on December 26, 1995. Prior to her appointment to the bench, Judge Donald served as a US Bankruptcy Judge, also on the US District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, from 1988-1995. She served as a Judge of the General Sessions Criminal Court of the State of Tennessee form 1982-1988, and as an Assistant Public Defender in the Shelby County Public Defender’s office in Memphis, Tennessee, from 1980-1982.

Earlier legal practice included working as a Staff Attorney, Employment Law and Economic Development Unit, Memphis Area Legal Service; and as an attorney in private practice. Judge Donald taught form 1984-1989 as an Adjunct Professor at Shelby State Community College. Judge Donald received her BA in 1974 from Memphis State University, and her JD in 1979 form Memphis State University Law School.

What O' What do I do?

Thursday, January 19, 2006

RCA Recording Studio Torn Down For Parking Lot

This from todays Tennessean. RCA Recording Studio in Nashville was torn down to make room for a parking lot. This is where Elvis first recorded "Heartbreak Hotel". Where were the preservationist on this one? They want to save old houses but could care less about a historic structure like this.

Farragut High School Football Coach Eddie Courtney - A Role Model, A Great Man, A Profile In Courage

I have detailed here on Brian's Blog in the past about Farragut High School Football Coach Eddie Courtney. This year he demonstrated real courage and strength. Kudos to the News-Sentinel Prep-Extra for creating an award and honoring Coach Courtney with the first one. The greatest and well deserved aspect is that the award is named after Coach Courtney.

Thanks, Coach.
"He's a man, and that's the true definition of a man," Reveiz told the News Sentinel in November. "He takes what life gives him. He doesn't whine about anything. That's one person that no matter what comes his way, no matter how unfair it is, no matter what happens, he's not going to complain about anything. He's going to take what's given and make the best out of it."

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Ophelia Ford Request Assistance From The Feds

The Tennessean today reports that Ophelia and the Ford clan have filed a federal injunction request. It takes a lot of work to get dead people to vote and with the election voided that just negates all that hard work.

When Junior gets beat in November 2006 will he seek a federal injunction to be seated?
Will Junior intervene on his aunt's behalf at the federal level?
Is this injunction an attempt to "scare" state senate colleagues that could be under review do to Tennessee Waltz, so that 17 votes are NOT cast to void the election Thursday?

Junior must release a statement encouraging his aunt to comply with the action of the State Senate.

I hope the federal government will investigate how these dead people actually and physically voted.

Ford Ousted In First Vote - Shame On, Senator Michael Williams Of Maynardville

In this mornings Tennessean is the report that the State Senate last night took the first of two votes to void the election and effectively oust the sister of indicted ex-senator and uncle of United States Senate Democrat Harold Ford, Jr John Ford.

Senator Michael Williams of Maynardville abstained from the vote, thus identifying a lack of a backbone. He can redeem himself today 1/18/2006 by voting to void the election and ousting Ophelia Ford, the aunt of United States Senate Democrat Candidate Harold Ford, Jr and sister to Harold Ford, Sr - Former Congressman Harold Ford, Sr. was implicated in the U.S. House banking scandal, her other brother is indicted ex-senator John Ford.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Metro Nashville School District and Supt. Pedro's Future

This from yesterdays Tennessean could begin to shed some light on the thoughts of Metro School Board members not extending Supt. Pedro's contract. The State of Tennessee has opined that the school district is violating the law on informing parents of gifted students of their rights. It appears that Pedro (who landed in Nashville, by way of California) has reassigned personnel including the head of the talented and gifted program. Now parents have complained and now the state is intervening.

So now maybe we are beginning to have some light shed on what the board members were thinking. Very Interesting.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

New Photos Added at BrianHornback.com

My website has been updated and new photographs added. A picture of Vice-President Cheney taken from the second row of the Howard Baker Center for Public Policy groundbreaking. A picture of Karns High School Social Studies teacher Kathy Stover and myself and a picture of Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale, former Tennessee Governor Don Sundquist and myself at the Howard Baker Center groundbreaking.

There are some additional photographs that will added in the next week or two.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Cedar Bluff Primary School Ground-Breaking

I received several phone calls this afternoon from faculty, parents and community members of the Cedar Bluff community inquiring as to why I had not attended the Cedar Bluff Primary School ground-breaking.

I was not aware that the school district was having the 10:30 a.m. ground-breaking until 8:45 a.m. when in a phone conversation with Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale, the Mayor asked if I had been invited. I informed him that I had not been invited.

I represented the Cedar Bluff community for four years and during my term of office, the Knox County School Board put the Cedar Bluff Primary School on the capital plan. The agreement with the church next door to share the parking lot and the purchase of the two houses next door to the school occurred during my term of office. The architects, school facility department and I presented the design plan to the faculty and staff and the PTA officers in January 2004. My term concluded on September 1, 2004.

To the community members, students, faculty and staff of the Cedar Bluff community, Congratulations on your ground-breaking, 30 years late. Best of luck to you and please accept my apologizes for not attending your event, today. I was not aware that the ground was to break at 10:30 a.m. on January 12, 2006.

Sharon, Does This Mean, What I Think It Means?

This morning about 6:30 a.m. ET, I saw this post from Sharon Cobb. This afternoon, it's still there. Did I miss the announcement? Does this mean, what I think it means?Man, will I miss Sharon. Please don't go away.

Monday, January 09, 2006

United States Senator Saxby Chambliss R-GA

As a regular reader to Brian's Blog you know that I research and post quotes from individuals. Here are some quotes from United States Senator Saxby Chambliss R-GA. He will be in Knoxville (his former home) on Saturday February 11, 2005 for the annual Knox County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner.

The tobacco buyout comes at no cost to the taxpayers, and remedies the action taken by the federal government that would otherwise have pulled the rug out from under generations of families who've grown this crop.

Let me be clear: There is no stronger advocate for civil liberties in the Senate than myself.

The truth is our country, our people, our liberties, and our way of life are under attack by radical Islamic terrorists who kill and destroy in the name of religion.

The security of the United States, which is so dependent on having accurate and timely intelligence, is not a Republican or a Democratic issue.

The backbone of our nation's domestic defense against terrorist attacks will continue to be the men and women in local law enforcement and emergency services.

Intelligence is our first line of defense against terrorism, and we must improve the collection capabilities and analysis of intelligence to protect the security of the United States and its allies.

America is providing the kind of leadership that the world respects and the world has come to understand; that is what America stands for.

America has long been the leader of the free world, But we did not get there in an easy way. Likewise, Iraq is not going to get there in an easy way.

Metro Nashville School Board and Superintendent Garcia

This opinion piece, this morning in the Tennessean. It would appear that Superintendent Pedro Garcia could be on his way out at the Metro Nashville school system. As the school board has voted not to extend his contract past the year 2007. It is interesting that the board members are not explaining their actions. I would agree with the Tennessean, the public has a right to an explanation for the board members votes. However, the board members do not have to use the newspaper to explain themselves. They should have explained their votes in a public school board meeting just prior to or just after the vote not to extend the contract.

This article brings up an interesting thought. In 1992, when the Tennessee General Assembly changed the manner in which to select the Superintendent of Schools from Elected to Appointed. One of the arguments was and continues to be that an elected superintendent spends so much time campaigning and catering to the constituents and that he or she can not effectively run the school system.

The question that came to mind in reading this article. How much time does it take away from effectively running the school system, when a superintendent is applying for jobs with other school districts located all over the country?

Vice President Cheney Hospitalized

This morning Vice President Dick Cheney was hospitalized due to shortness of breath. According to various media reports it has been determined that a side affect of some medication that he is taking for a foot ailment is causing the Vice President to retain fluids. He has been given a diuretic.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

KNS and Ericka Mellon Correct Story

In today's Knoxville News-Sentinel Ericka Mellon has a follow-up story to her Thursday story, that was first reported here as inaccurate.

Kudos to the KNS editorial staff and to Ms. Mellon for investigating their initial story and then for correcting it.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Elected -vs- Appointed School Superintendent - KNS Gets The Story Wrong

In todays Knoxville News-Sentinel Ericka Mellon authored the story, Board is backing appointed superintendents. The story rports that last evening the Knox County School Board passed a resolution requesting that the Tennessee General Assembly allow them to continue with the appointed superintendent route.

I witnessed the school board meeting and was surprised in Ms. Mellon's report that a vote of 4 yes 3 against 1 pass and 1 absent would constitute a vote in the affirmative. An elected body of 9 must have a quorum to meet, 8 members present constituted a quorum. A vote of 5 in the affirmative is still required to pass an item, not a simple majority.

I did not rely simply on my own beliefs that I was correct, This afternoon, I contacted an official of the Tennessee School Boards Association, as well as several school board members across East Tennessee and they concurred that my understanding is factual and correct.

It is unfortunate that the morning after the West Virginia Coal Miner story that was inaccurate, that this story too is inaccurate. I sincerely hope that the KNS corrects Ms. Mellon's story.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

New Northwest High School - UPDATE

Tonight, there was considerable discussion at the school board workshop. Dr. Lindsey has recommended (and rightly so) to maintain the 1800-2000 student capacity.

An interesting sidebar that has been brought to my attention:
On December 7, 2005 the 5th District School Board member has announced a public meeting for January 10, 2006 at A.L. Lotts for the purpose of receiving input about the new high school, however the vote will on the schematic (the plan that will go to bid) will be held tomorrow January 4, 2006 at 5:00 p.m. in the Main Assembly Room of the City-County Building.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Jesus Freaks - dc Talk and The Voice of the Martyrs – stories of those who stood for JESUS: the ultimate Jesus Freaks.

Good New Years Morning 2006, it is 12:00 noon. During New Years Eve 2005 and the first half of New Years Day 2006. I have read the 1999 book Jesus Freaks. My teenage son has had this book since it was released. At the time he had become a dc Talk fan and currently is a Toby Mac fan. I located a perfect copy of this book at McKay’s Used Books, Tapes and CD’s for .75.

It is a remarkable and fast read. It details many stories of individuals that have stood for Christ and have been tortured and killed. Having been born and raised here in America, with the freedom to worship Christ (with the exception of praying in schools) it is hard to imagine the persecution that individuals have gone through to share the love of Christ.

At the time of the publishing of this book there is a law on the books in Pakistan. Law 295C (blaspheming Mohammed) – a crime punishable by death.

There is now a link to The Voice of the Martyrs website in the link section. Check out this informative website about the persecuted Church.