Friday, December 29, 2006

James Brown, RIP God father of soul

While I posted on Gerald Ford's passing. I failed to post on the Godfather of Soul. James Brown passed this week and what a miss he will be to all music fans everywhere.

There was never a James Brown song that didn't entertain or take your mind of the everyday ho-hum. James Brown will be missed, but his music will live on forever.

James Brown once referred to Usher, a Chattanoogan, as the Godson of Soul. Here's hoping Usher can now fill the void.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

RIP President Gerald Ford

I am a day or two late on this. As I indicated in a previous post, I will be sporadic in posting as the next two weeks is Family time.

However, with the passing of President Ford it is neccesary to send condolences to the Ford family. President Ford was a man for such a time. He wasn't elected so that he would serve for such a time. He served honorably during a difficult time.

President Ford, You have earned your eternal rest. Go Rest High on that Mountain.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Go Vols and Happy 2007

Since the next week or two will be family time my postings will be sporadic.

2006 was a Great year having Coach Cut back home in Knoxville. Vols let's get a BIG win and Show the Old man (Paterno) the retirement door.

To all of our avid Brian's Blog readers Thanks for reading the blog and Thanks to all the people that have introduced themselves to me by saying I read your blog everyday and enjoy it. To those of you here's Wishing You a Happy and Prosperous 2007.

To the people that read the blog and have nothing good to say here's Wishing You a Happy and Prosperous 2007.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

From Brian's Blog to each and everyone of our readers Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Only A Tabloid Doesn't Understand The Real Meaning

Only a tabloid owned by E.W. Scripps has to be so politically correct not to understand the real meaning of Christmas. Check out their Happy Holidays wish for you here.

South Grove - South Knox County Annexation

Brian's Blog has been fairly silent on the issue of the annexation of the South Grove Development in South Knox County until today. If any post led you to believe that I was against or for the annexation. I apologize. After this mornings Op-Ed response by Mayor Haslam to the Op-Ed published last week by John Emison. I am prepared to post the following.

I do not like Annexation. I am a member of Citizens for Home Rule and do not like Annexation. Have I said that I do not like Annexation?

South Grove is a VOLUNTARY annexation. The owner(s) asked for the annexation.

After the U.S. Supreme Court gave us the Kelo decision how can anyone disagree with an owner(s) being able to say what they will do with property that they own? We (citizens and the government) can not and should not tell them what to do.

Would the County Commission be up in arms if the voter had voted in the negative? Absolutely not. The problem as I see it is two fold. #1 The One man one vote reveals the result of the vote and that unfortunately is problematic (in this case the young man) in a one man one vote contest. #2 The Knox County Commission in November 2006 were all aware that there was a lawsuit that had been filed. Not one Commissioner spoke up at the November meeting. Not one Commissioner said let's withdraw the lawsuit. Not one Commissioner said let's ask the State Attorney General for an investigation. Not One.

Now, along comes December and 14 Commissioner's in a letter ask for withdrawal of the lawsuit. The County Mayor also request a withdrawal of the lawsuit and the lawsuit is withdrawn. Then a couple of weeks later the Commission meets on December 18, 2006 and 11 Commissioner's vote Yes for a State Attorney General investigation. Three Commissioner's went south.

Brian's Blog will publish at a later date the 14 that signed the letter and a few weeks later were part of the 11 that voted to launch the investigation.

I have been and am impressed with the work product of the Graham Corporation. The Expo Center (which would have been a Norwood Community eyesore and nothing but a rat-hole when Lowe's moved out) is a very nice state of the art Expo Center because of the Graham Corporation. Yesterday it was used to distribute Christmas to 3,500 families (Empty Stocking Fund) and the way we as a community and the County Commission re-pay the Graham Company for their genoristy is to impune the character of their corporation. That my friends is WRONG.

The greater problem is that the Knox County Commission was silent in November and in essence authorized the lawsuit with their silence. There wasn't a voice for or against the lawsuit in November. It had been filed and the Commission in November did nothing.

Today's Knoxville News-Sentinel Op-Ed piece by Mayor Bill Haslam for me (a Knox County resident) makes sense. (I hope someone has picked up all the City of Knoxville Department heads off the floor at this point.) Odd things sometimes happen around Christmas time. After reading all the news accounts, watching all the television news coverage I am going to side with Mayor Haslam on this one.

For me, It gets back to a small group of citizens using the County Commission to determine the use of private property and a County Commission that in November was a do nothing Commisison.

If the Graham Corporation wants to be in the City of Knoxville with South Grove. I may not personally like it, but it is their property. I will support that development because I believe in the right to determine the use of your own property and the Graham Corporation stood for what they wanted.

After all, That is part of what being an American is all about. Personal Choice and Personal Responsibilty.

In my opinion. If you support Personal Property Owner Rights then you have to support the Graham Corporation and the Voluntary Annexation of South Grove.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Some Republicans

Some Republicans profess to be Barry Goldwater Republicans. Some Ronald Reagan Republicans, stil others are George H.W or George W. Bush Republicans.

While I like nearly every Republican especially the national leaders. This one thing will never change

I am still fairly young. My first political memory is being in the living room of my parents home and the television was interrupted and I witnessed this hostoric moment.

Knox County School Construction and the PBA

At the School Board workshop this week Dale Smith of the PBA (Public Building Authority) was there to answer questions. Powell Middle School has supposedly become a PBA project. There is no vote of the school board giving the PBA the project and their success with the Hardin valley High School is suspect. PBA guaranteed that their $500,000.00 dollar management fee would come out of what they saved the school district and the county.

Well, let's see it was a $40.0 million dollar project, the geo-thermal was an additional $4.0 million and then they (PBA) asked the schools to go back to the county for $6.0 million more. I haven't seen any savings, yet. But anyway.

In the Mayor's budget last year he paid for a study. The study will prioritize all the construction needs and will rank where the construction dollars need to be spent. A good idea, however, sources indicate that the study was complete in October 2006 but PBA will not release it until the Commission and School Board can meet in joint session. That is scheduled for January 11, 2007 at 11:00 am.

School Board Member Robert Bratton explained what the problem is at the workshop. The school board is not being able to see the finished report before the January 11 meeting. Dale Smith appears to have indicated that some in county government may have seen it. The problem with that is that the school board were given $600,000.00 in their capital plan to pay for the study. The study is completed and the entity (Schools) that paid for it can not see it. They will be expected to submit a Capital Plan with 4 - 6 weeks without having the time to commit due diligence to examining the study.

Rumor indicates that Carter Elementary School and New Hopewell Elementary may leap frog (jump ahead) of the new Southwest Knox County Elementary School.

January 11, 2007 is not that far off, it would have been helpful for the study to be released when it was completed or at least share the draft report with the school board since they are the client.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Local Blog Forum Poster Distorts and Spins Just Like a Tabloid

UPDATE: The blog post in question has been removed by the blog forum administrator. The anonymous poster was called out (not outed, just called out) due to the fact that they were using a similar name to a regular poster.

I appreciate the continual talking about the brand that is Brian Hornback. I am always happy to respond to this type of cowardly anonymous posting. It is an attempt to spin in tabloid fashion a legitimate news story.

From this comment posted on the follow up post. Has the suspect(s) been reduced to individual(s) closely tied to the E.W. Scripps tabloid? The remaining question is. What did the E.W. Scripps tabloid editor know and when did the E.W. Scripps tabloid editor know it?

I knew StaceyD's Cat was not
Submitted by Sandra Clark on Thu, 2006/12/21 - 4:17pm.
I knew StaceyD's Cat was not StaceyD. They speak with different voices, and I think I agree with the cat more. -- s.

Original Post: This post at a local blog forum has taken a two year old story written by the legitimate, good Scripps writer Georginia Vines and attempts to spin the story in a negative E.W. Scripps tabloid writer and editor kind of way. Note that the poster cut the names of the well-known Democrats out and didn't allow you to read the whole story. The poster only wants to cut and paste the stuff that it wants you to read. Kind of cowardly, if you ask me.

The story actually ran 4 days after the election. Had the story ran before the election we could have picked up a percentage of the Democrat vote that may have led to a re-election victory. One well known Democrat that attended a May 2003 fundraiser for our 2004 campaign was former Knox County Democrat Party Chairman Jim Gray.

Our campaign was funded by normal everyday folks. Folks that have and continue to work hard everyday. Folks that recognized an independent thinker and a public servant of the people. I am appreciative of all the people that gave $1.00, $25.00 or hundreds of dollars.

Unfortunately, for our campaign there were no Republicans coming to the polls on February 10, 2004 as George W. Bush was virtually unopposed and our Republican voters stayed home. For our opponent every kind of liberal showed up to vote for Democrat candidates Sharpton, Dean, Kerrey, Edwards etc. and our opponent received more votes. That was fine. There was a story about the lack of Republican voters about the same time as this story, but the poster doesn't want you to see that one.

I was respectful, called our opponent the night of the election and congratulated her on her win.

Everything happens for a reason and I am grateful for continuing to be in God's will. I was able in March of 2005 to be selected to led this great Knox County Republican Party and together our Party defeated all but one Democrat candidate in 2006. We hold all the positions we currently held. Congratulations to Mark Harmon, btw.

Whatever my future holds only God knows and I am simply doing my best with what I have and am blessed to have some friends that are well known Democrats and prominent Republicans, including all the Knox County Republican elected officials and that includes my friend Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale.

Elected Officials and Conflicts of Interest

Several individuals have contacted me asking about the Conflicts of Interest or Unethical votes of Commissioner Cawood and if and why they do not apply to others in Knox County Government. Do not expect to see or hear this in the E.W. Scripps tabloid or on the local tabloid talk radio station.

Commissioner Craig Leuthold is an example. He works in the Knox County Trustee's office and serves as County Commissioner is that a Conflict of Interest? No. The citizens of District five knew before he was elected that he worked in the Trustee's office.

What about some others.

Commissioner Diane Jordan an employee of the County Trustee's office and County Commissioner. Commissioner Tank Strickland City of Knoxville employee and County Commissioner. Commissioner Mark Harmon UT Professor and County Commissioner. Commissioner Tony Norman Knox County teacher and County Commissioner. Commissioner Ivan Harmon City of Knoxville employee and County Commissioner. Commissioner Larry Clark Retired Knox County Teacher and County Commissioner. None of these are conflicts as the district knew what these people did before electing them.

The problem comes when you have been elected and you use your position or the position of your spouse to gain employment after you or your spouse is elected or re-elected. Sources have informed me that the Cawood's have been applying pressure since January of 2006 in attempting to get her a position.

My wife is a Secretary at a Knox County School, she began that job in 1991 or so. I served on the school board from 2000-2004. It isn't a conflict due to her seniority in the position long before I decided to run and be elected.

The Cawood's problem is becoming employed without proper notice and consideration to others that hold similar positions in that office for advancement. And the appearance that her hiring was for political purposes.

Happy and Merry Muslimmas...from Governor Phil Bredesen

Just when you thought that Governor Bredesen might get it together since the departure of Dave Cooley. He sends out a Christmas card (BTW, I am not on the Governor's list. Surprise, Surprise, Surprise) with a print of a painting. In previous years I had received the Governor's card and I always wondered how he had time to paint something on canvas. But, thought it was different.

But this year, his painting is of a Muslim girl that he says he met on a trip. But, Terry Frank, the first to report this and the one that continues to shed light, sees that a similar girl is in a photograph in a National Geographic magazine. Steve Gill talked about it today and further information on this issue can be found in Steve's daily notes, located here.

I have been unable to post on this before now as I am working to close my end of the year business numbers.

I am offended that Governor would take the Christmas season and confuse it with a person of Muslim faith not the Christian faith. What is the reason for the season? Jesus birth.

Bredesen's reply is that it is all about the children. If that is true. Which I am sure it is. Then do something for the children and begin to concentrate on academic success in our failing school systems across our state and stop your political correctness.

So, from Governor Bredesen to your family. He Wishes you a Happy and Merry Muslimmas.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

County Commissioner Mark Cawood Cast Second Vote

UPDATE: I have been informed that Lloyd Daugherty and the gang (minus David Massengill) briefly talked about this post on The Voice. I have been told that Lloyd said he briefly looked into the story, but didn't find anything.

I wasn't able to listen for a couple of reasons. 1) I was working (same private sector job I have had for nearly 15 years.) 2) While in the vehicle or office betwen the hours of 9 am - 12 pm, I listen to Steve Gill. If you haven't heard Steve Gill, he is a statewide talk radio show host based out of Nashville. He has many callers from Knoxville, Campbell County and other surrounding counties. Steve talks about issues important to citizens across the state. Today, he had an excellent interview with State Senator Ron Ramsey. Talked about Governor Bredesen's muslimmas card. Steve is heard locally on AM 850 from 9 am - 12 pm.

Steve's mother and father are Linden and Betty Gill, excellent West Knox County residents.

Well, it apppears from my sources that beginning on Tuesday (the day after Cawood voted for his wife's position) Sharon Cawood was at work at the Juvenile Court in the Supervisory position.

No one really expected Lloyd to expose the story as he is buddies with Cawood. However, Lloyd and many of his callers have attempted to make statements trying to discredit the employment of Mayor Mike Ragsdale's wifes employment. (she works and has always worked in the private sector) It was simply an attempt to taint the Mayor. It was a similar effort as some used by the E.W. Scripps tabloid reporter and editor, who are also Lloyd buddies.

I was also informed that the voice gang read several guestbook entries from "anonymous" posters regarding Brian's Blog. There have been documented cases that the guestbook has been used by others purporting to be someone they are not. In July or August somone posted using my name with some mean and tasteless lies about J.B. I demanded that the posts be removed as I had not and will not even log onto the website as it is nothing but a by product of what resides in a landfill or a sewage treatment plant.

I was also informed from a source in the Knox County Schools Central Office Staff that an employee of an elementary school posted on the guestbook and an investigation could be forthcoming on this employee posting during school hours. I asked that school officials simply ignore the guestbook entry because 1) it probably is not who it says it is 2) it doesn't matter what is said. Look at the popularity of Sheriff Tim Hutchison or former County Commissioner Wanda Moody. All of the things said about them is not always right or favorable but they are still successful (except when Tony Norman capitalized on the term limit issue and defeated Commissioner Moody).

But, like Cas believed it doesn't matter what they say as long as they say it. In this case as long as they continue to talk and talk about the brand that is Brian Hornback.

UPDATE: Several East Tennessee Attorneys that practice Juvenile justice have contacted Brian's Blog today to report that Sharon Cawood is at the Division Street office. One day following her husband's unethical vote establishing another (her) Cawood salary. It appears that double dipping is taking place in the Karns Community at a residence located at 7541 Beaver Ridge Road.

It appears that The Voice on WVLZ AM 1180 is only concerned with governmental double dippers and alleged unethical behavior when it isn't one of their buddies. Mark Cawood is a buddy of Lloyd Daugherty, thus there is no exposure of the Cawood's as double dippers. Had it been Mike Arms, Mike Ragsdale or anyone that Lloyd doesn't like. The Voice would be calling for a Grand Jury investigation. What other connections do Lloyd and Cawood share?

Original Post: Last week Brian's Blog reported about the vote cast by Commissioner Mark Cawood in creating a job for his wife in the Juvenile Court Clerk operation. It was revealed here that Sharon Cawood was already on the payroll of the Clerk.

Last Thursday a couple of days after the intial Brian's Blog report. Supervisory employees of the Juvenile Court Clerk's office announced "that because questions have been raised" Sharon Cawood would be coming to the Juvenile Court Building on Division Street between Christmas and New Years.

This afternoon the request was on the Commission's Consent Agenda and it passed with all Commissoners voting Yes, including Commissioner Cawood. Cawood had an opportunity to explain his vote or recuse himself. He did neither, instead voting to increase his household income with money from the taxpayers.

Commissioner Ivan Harmon in conversation with me this afternoon explained that Commissioner Cawood is spreading lies about person(s) that are raise questions about this arrangement.

It appears that the close friendship between the E.W. Scripps tabloid writer and editor and Cawood have Cawood using lies and distortions as the new Cawood standard operating procedures.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Odd Going Ons at County Commission

My first volunteer stint in a political campaign was 1982, for Robin Beard. Robin became the Republican nominee against U.S. Senator Jim Sasser.

Since about 1988 I have followed the Knox County Commission. Yesterday, something was different that I had never seen before.

First, the curtain was open in the large Assembly Room looking out onto Main Street, Knoxville, TN.

Second, Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale and Greg "Lumpy" Lambert were on the same side of an issue. That probably was not that odd. However, combine that with the fact that Commissioners Hammond, Leuthold and Griess were against the position of the Mayor and that my friends was odd.

As I stepped outside to a beautiful evening with mild temperature and just a lovely day. A courthouse regular observer walked up to me and said. "I believe we need to make a phone call." I said "What?" They said. "Yes, because I believe Hell just froze over."

Monday, December 18, 2006

Tennessee Democrats and its Lt. Governor

Tennessee Democrat State Senator Joe Haynes has entered the race to be the Democrat choice for Lt. Governor of Tennessee. Why select Haynes or a Good Guy like Senator Ron Ramsey when you already have this as the top Democrat, one heart beat away from Governor.

This is the best the Tennessee Democrats have to offer and they are surprised people laugh at them.

Tabloid Community Paper and Writer Crosses the Line

UPDATE: December 18, 2006 6:45 am This mornings E.W. Scripps tabloid has the following correction.

Five Points real estate

Last week Betty Bean wrote about a privately owned building at Five Points that Knox County is renting for $3,800 a month for a health department clinic. The building is on the tax rolls valued at $66,800, but Knox County government relations director Dwight Van de Vate distributed a memo dated Dec. 8 saying the building has been completely renovated and “PBA estimates the market value of Building B is approximately $400,000.” He also said the county’s rent of $9 per square foot is “at or below market rates for this area.

”We called Property Assessor John Whitehead. Sure enough, he concurred.

Whitehead said the building has been revalued and will show up on next year’s tax rolls at “$400,000 to $430,000.” He said the remodeling was done after September 2006, too late for inclusion on the 2006 tax rolls.

Whitehead said a building permit for $366,000 was pulled for the project.

But what about the income approach as the best indicator of value for commercial property?

Whitehead said a comparable sale would be the very best indicator of value, but without one he would look at the income approach over replacement cost.

So he pulled out his calculator and multiplied the rent of $3,800 per month times 12 – $45,600 gross income – less estimated expenses of 40 percent ($18,240). He then multiplied the net of $27,360 times a “cap rate” of 9 percent for an estimated value of $246,240. Actually, Whitehead got $278,000, but I can’t get that result with these numbers.

We await the publication of the 2007 appraisals to see where the value of this property at 2202 Martin Luther King Avenue lands.

The old saying a picture is worth a thousand words. Brian's Blog not only posted about the lies the E.W. Scripps tabloid writer printed but published photographs with the original post to demonstrate the E.W. Scripps tabloid writers inaccurate story.

E.W. Scripps must now address the tabloid writer's racist remarks about "Drive-by" and "It IS on mlk, btw"

Brian's Blog is always happy to correct the E.W. Scripps tabloid and am happy to see that management corrects them when they cross the line. I am sure it was painful for the E.W. Scripps tabloid editoir to do so. End Update.

Original Post: December 12, 2006 5:18 pm I read with interest the online tabloid story about the new Knox County Health Department Clinic in East Knoxville.

A little background is necessary. The Health Department and the Burlington branch library of the Knox County Public library system use to share half of a former "big box" store on Asheville Highway next door to Kroger's. The Public library constructed a replacement "new" branch in the former Walgreen's just a couple of blocks down the street. This left the Health Department in a building without half of its occupant. The health department sought out space and discovered this property recently renovated. I might add a good find on Knox County's part.

Next month (January 2006) it is expected that the former home of the Burlington branch library and health department will be sold and will be returned to the tax rolls.

I visited the "new" health department site today based on the tabloid account I expected to see a run down building. The tabloid writer and tabloid publication (E.W. Scripps owned) would have you to believe it is a run down $66,800.00 structure. This building is clearly worth the $400,000.00 that the county says it is. Especially based on the Five Points development being worth what the City has invested in it.

This building that could be situated in West Knoxville and would blend in well. It is not situated in West Knoxville. It is situated in the Burlington/East Knoxville area to serve the citizens that have medical needs within the East Knoxville/Burlington community.

It is as important for the citizens of East Knoxville to have access to the Health Department as it is for any other citizen in any other community in Knox County. The tabloid paper and writer stated in the article that it is too close to downtown. If that is the reason to deny the citizens of East Knoxville a Health Department, then the County Commission should close the Halls branch library immediately as it is 4 miles from the Fountain City branch library.

The tabloid writer posted the following comment on a local blog forum yesterday.

In a memo to commissioners (they don't talk to us)
Submitted by Bbeanster on Mon, 2006/12/11 - 6:58pm.
They claim the building is worth $400K.
Drive by and eyeball it. It really IS on MLK, btw.

You do not have to drive by and eyeball it. I did it for you.

The most disturbing part of the tabloid writer's comment is "Drive by" and "It really IS on MLK, btw." This is a borderline racist comments and certainly is not part of any journalistic standards or ethics. This type of stereotyping has no place in our community by anyone.

An apology from E.W. Scripps and the writer in question for such a rude, crude and socially unacceptable comment is at a minimum a good start.

I was talking with a good friend of mine this afternoon and showing him the photographs. If as the tabloid writer indicates the property is valued at $66,800.00. We have agreed that we would purchase it and make it an investment property.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Please Pray for State Representative Parkey Strader

Several months ago, it was reported that State Representative Parkey Strader has two forms of Cancer. The good news is that for the last couple of months many of the small spots have been eliminated. There are two remaining spots and biopsies last week at M.D. Anderson in Houston, Texas reveal that the two spots are cancerous.

Representative Strader along with his wife (Glenda) have departed for Houston to undergo surgery and radiation to treat the two remaining spots.

Representative Strader was sworn in nearly two weeks ago for the next legislative session, as the legislative session will already be underway when he returns to Tennessee.

Please pray for Representative Strader, his wife Glenda. Pray for daughter Paula and son in law Tom and their three children. Pray for son John and his family.

Ashley Capps Reveals the Truth Behind the E.W. Scripps Tabloid Writer

There was an interesting thread developing over at a local blog forum about the Tennessee Amphitheater. The E.W. Scripps tabloid writer was stoking the smoke and flames of legitimate debate. Doing what the E.W. Scripps tabloid writer does best distorting the facts and grinding an axe. Ashley Capps calls her on the carpet for bias and grinding her axe as only the E.W. Scripps tabloid writer does.

Brian's Blog was the only citizen (Hayes Hickman of KNS fame, Channel 8 and 10 and I) present at the City Council TN Amphitheater workshop held about six weeks ago. In my opinion the amphitheater should have been torn down 5 years ago, when it was 15 minutes from being torn down, but then Mayor Victor Ashe chickened out and they fenced the sucker up. Re-opening the TN Amphitheater would create confusion with a renovated and state of the art Tennessee Theater. No one would desire to attend Sundown at the Amphitheater, when it is best utilized on Market Square Mall.

If there are all these drunken teenagers as the E.W. Scripps tabloid writer wants you to believe then Knoxville Police Chief Stering Owen IV will/would crack down on any underage sales. I attended at least 4 Sundowns this past summer and what the E.W. Scripps tabloid writer writes is not the case and is probably only true in her mind. BTW (by the way) fortunately for me, I didn't see the E.W. Scripps tabloid writer at any of the Sundowns that I attended.

This is Ashley Capps here
Submitted by AC on Sun, 2006/12/17 - 6:13pm.

This is Ashley Capps here and I would like to respond to a few of these comments, especially those from Betty Bean. Betty is known to have a bit of an axe to grind here - and she likes to grind it - although she's never done so to me directly. But some of her comments above are distortions of the truth and have a real spin to them that creates a very erroneous impression.
First, let me say this: We've given serious consideration to moving Sundown to the World's Fair Park (although not to the Amphitheater as it would not work for this purpose). Sundown would be much easier to produce at the WFP and there would be other advantages (from our perspective) that make this option attractive. But for now, we've decided to keep it where it is, especially to celebrate its 10th Anniversary this year.

However, it's fair to say that virtually no one involved with Market Square or with the city of Knoxville is really keen to see this happen at this time. Contrary to the impression created by Betty, there is very strong support for Sundown from the Market Square District Association. While it is true that Sundown has had its growing pains and that there are definitely some organizational challenges to staging it on Market Square, we have worked very closely and carefully with merchants and property owners on the Square to do everything possible to maximize the positives and minimize the negatives. I think anyone of those who have chosen to be engaged in this process would agree that we have made exemplary efforts to communicate with everyone on the Market Square and address their problems and concerns. It hasn't been perfect - and it certainly isn't possible to make all of the people happy all of the time (to paraphrase either Bob Dylan or Abe Lincoln or both...) - but we've worked hard to create the best workable situation for the common good.

I seldom, if ever, hear "exasperation" about the event from Market Square business owners of any kind. Scott and Lisa at Bliss are among its biggest supporters, and Scott has told me several stories about customers who have "discovered" their store during Sundown and returned later. Scott and Mahastie at the Tomato Head have also been long time and very strong advocates. Andie Ray has been a bit cooler in her enthusiasm, but, at least to my face, has generally been supportive. One of the biggest complaints that we've had, in fact, is that we only do 12 of them. Some were very disappointed when we elected not to stage Autumn on the Square this past much so that Scott West and others planned to step in and create a concert series of their own.

And, by the way, porto-potties do not stay in place from week to week either. They are removed first thing the following morning. That was a poor decision that was made one season many years ago and rapidly abandoned. These days, it has only happened when requested by the Market Square District Association to help service another event.

The phenomenal success and growth of Sundown has definitely had its challenges. And it is entirely possible that both Market Square and Sundown may have started to out grow one another. We'll be discussing this with Market Square business owners, the City, and others during the upcoming season.

Midway Road Business Park

UPDATE: 8:53 pm The "Community" took their argument to the MPC and received 1 vote. The "community" hired Attorney David Buuck, who advocated on behalf of his client eminent domain for the willing property owners and made the best case Attorney Buuck could make and 3 County Commissioners voted for Buuck's position.

What has changed? Nothing. Knox County currently owns all the acreage for our new Midway Road Business Park. The new business park will create 4,600 new jobs and nearly $12.0 million dollars in property tax revenue.

UPDATE: 1:05 pm Brian's Blog is not new to this issue. I attended the first Thorngrove community meeting when Victor Jernigan agreed to delay his commercial zoning for thirty days. Brian's Blog posted this on July 13, 2006 following the MPC decision. On August 24, 2006 Brian's Blog posted this in support of the business park. I detailed the reason that Knox County needed this park and the post generated a few comments through blogger, a couple of emails to me and one phone call, however, Knox County Commission made the right decision following the Brian's Blog endorsement. On August 29, 2006 Brian's Blog posted this following the County Commission decision.

This is a post from pick1 on a local blog forum.

Midway Road Industrial Park
Submitted by pick 1 on Sat, 2006/12/16 - 10:42pm.

On Monday Knox County Commission will make a decision to appropriate or not, $7,500,000 of your tax dollars to begin work on the Midway Road Industrial Park. This is money Knox County does not have.This should be an insult to every resident. This issue was not properly placed on the agenda for public discussion and there is a pending lawsuit due to improperly changing the East Knox Sector Plan. When the commission is working for the good of the county it should not have to be sneaky to do it. Only these developers stand to gain from this industrial venture.Lets finish the high school for 2300 as planned, give teachers a raise comparable to surrounding counties and fund the Sherriff's Department's pension. Use our tax dollars wisely so we don't have to pay to throw our trash in the bin.

This is NOT an insult to every resident of Knox County. We (Citizens of Knox County) recognize the need for additional business park inventory. Knox County is not strapped for cash, the $7.5 million in cash is available through bond proceeds.

There are many pending lawsuits within Knox County Government and just because a few citizens that do NOT live in close proximty to the site have filed a lawsuit doesn't stop Good Government in its tracks.

Had pick1 been following the news in the last thirty days, this anonymous poster would understand that the school board is planning to place less than 1000 students in a school built for 2100 (not 2300, pick1). That is not the decision of the County Mayor or County Commission. The teachers have received better payraises in the past 4 years with a County Mayor that has reduced the size of General County Government by more than 200 positions. The Sheriff's Department pensions can not be resolved until the TN Supreme Court opines on if the Knox County Charter is valid. That opinion will not stop the Business park as business parks are allowed for with or without a Charter form of Government.

It is odd that the small number of individuals in East Knox County that want to oppose the business park are so vocal. Yet, they drive to Guitar World off of Peters Road or off of Pellissippi Parkway to work everyday. It is o.k. to drive to someone else's community to work but don't bring progress to their corner of the world. The small number of people in East Knox County that are opposing this business park can not have it both ways.

Friday, December 15, 2006

2007 Town of Farragut Elections

This from the Farragut Press regarding the Town of Farragut elections to be held on Tuesday April 10, 2007. The Farragut Press reports the election is on April 3, 2007. The Knox County Election Commission reports the Election is a week later on April 10, 2007. The Town of Farragut website does not indicate that an election is underway.

Only two positions will be on the ballot. Those positions are Alderman Ward I and Ward II now held by Alderman Joel Garber and Alderwoman Mary Dorothy "Dot" LaMarche. Garber announced several weeks ago that he will NOT stand for re-election. Self term limiting himself. Alderman Garber has been an excellent Alderman. Thank you for your service, Mr. Garber.

Bob Edlund has picked up the neccesary paperworkto run for the Ward I position. Ron Rochelle has filed the paperwork to also run for the Ward I position. Rochelle a perennial candidate ran two years ago against Mike Haynes for the other Ward II seat and has moved across Kingston Pike to now run for the Ward I seat.

Edlund a longtime ORNL employee and a current representative serving on the FMPC (Farragut Municipal Planning Commission) has given him the experience and ability to serve the citizens of Ward I.

Mary Dorothy “Dot” LaMarche has picked up the paperwork for re-election to the Ward II position that she currently holds.

The deadline for filing petitions is noon, Thursday, Jan. 18, with a withdrawal deadline of noon, Jan. 25.

The following is the Town of Farragut's 2007 Election schedule.

November 20, 2006 First day to pick up a petition
January 10, 2007 First day to request absentee ballot
January 18, 2007 Noon Qualifying Deadline
January 25, 2007 Withdrawal Deadline
March 11, 2007 Last day to register to vote (postmarked that day, it is a Sunday)
March 21, 2007 First day of Early Voting
April 3, 2007 Last day to request absentee ballot
April 5, 2007 Last day of Early Voting
April 10, 2007 Election Day

2007 City of Knoxville Election Schedule

According to the Knox County Election Commission website. The following City of Knoxville positions will be on the ballot in 2007. Mayor (Currently held by Mayor Bill Haslam), City Judge (Currently held by Judge John Rossen), City Council District 5 (Currently held by Councilman Bob Becker), City Council At-Large Seats A, B, & C (Current at Large members are City Councilmen Joe Bailey, Chris Woodhull and Councilwoman Marilyn Roddy)

March 18, 2007 First day to pick up a petition
June 28, 2007 Noon Qualifying Deadline
June 27, 2007 First day to request absentee ballot (Brian's Blog believes this is a Election Commission typeo and it is July 27, 2007. Brian's Blog has asked the Election Commission for confirmation)
August 24 , 2007 Last day to register to vote. Postmarked 26th
September 5 , 2007 First day of Early Voting
September 18 , 2007 Last day to request absentee ballot
September 20 , 2007 Last day of Early Voting
September 25, 2007 Election Day - 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.


August 8, 2007 First day to request absentee ballot
October 5, 2007 Last day to register to vote. Postmarked 10/7
October 17, 2007 First day of Early Voting
October 25, 2007 Last day to request absentee ballot
November 1, 2007 Last day of Early Voting
November 6, 2007 Election Day - 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Breaking News: Knox County Commissioner Mark Cawood votes for Mrs. Cawood a job

UPDATE: December 13, 2006 9:56 pm; According to the bio on Sharon Cawood's website. "Sharon Cawood is the Director of Business Development for the ScanStore, a document management solutions company in downtown Knoxville." Is Knox County aware that she is employed at the ScanStore? Or is the ScanStore aware that she is employed at Knox County? Should Knox County taxpayers have a part time employee receiving full time salary and benefits?

On the ASTD Smoky Mountain Chapter website. Sharon Cawood serves as the Communications Chair and her contact information is listed as

Sharon Cawood, Communications Chair
ScanStoreDirector of Business Development
500 West Summit Hill Dr., Knoxville, TN 37902
PO Box 548, Knoxville, TN 37901-0548
Phone: 865.385.9987
Fax: 865.673.9296

Contact Sharon Cawood or 865.385.9987 to be added to our email list and receive messages about our meetings.

UPDATE: December 13, 2006 5:15 pm; This afternoon, I attended Sheriff Hutchison's annual Christmas lunch. As I walked into the Small Assembly Room, out came none other than Sharon Cawood. Mrs. Cawood was wearing a Knox County employee id badge. This would confirm what the Brian's Blog sources informed us of the past several days and was reported here yesterday. Commissioner Cawood already has a card that allows him to park in the taxpayer built garage for his benefit, now the Cawood family have two parking spaces while you can not park in the garage at all.

If you will recall. Commissioner Cawood took a similar job with the General Sessions Clerk office several years ago. But, when it became public knowledge he resigned. It was rumored today, that Mrs. Cawood is tucked away in the old Knox County Courthouse and will be moved out to the Juvenile Court building on Division Street after some time passes, probably the first of the year and after next weeks County Commission vote to be held on Monday December 18, 2006.

A matter of public record and need to know information is. 1) What title or position does Mrs. Cawood have/will have? 2) What salary has she been given and/or promised? 3) What pressure did Commissioner Cawood and Mrs. Cawood put on the clerk for this position? 4) When was the position advertised/posted? 5) What other clerk employees and applicants were considered for this position? 6) Will Commissioner Cawood continue to expose himself to potentially unethical votes on Monday December 18, 2006 at 2:00 pm, by casting a second vote for his wife's position? 7) Will the citizens of District Six begin a recall petition drive because of the Cawood's potentially unethical behavior?

Watch the Commission meeting at 2:00 pm on December 18, 2006 on CTV (Community Television of Knoxville) Comcast/Charter cable channel 12 to see if Commissioner Cawood acknowledges his conflict of interest and recuses himself from the vote on item 17.

Original Post December 12, 2006 5:15 pm; Late last week, I began receiving numerous phone calls that Sharon Cawood, wife of County Commissioner Mark Cawood has received a taxpayer funded job. Early in 2006, she was making the rounds, soliciting a job, any job. Then the term limits issue came up and she and Commissioner Cawood were campaigning against one another. Sharon, here and Mark, here.

Cawood, a Democrat was successful in his bid for re-election and now according to numerous sources within the legal community, it appears that she is working in the General Sessions Civil and Juvenile Court Clerk's office.

Interestingly enough during the County Commission's Intergovernmental and Finance Committee meetings yesterday an item appeared on the agenda. It is.

17.) Consideration of a Resolution of the Commission of Knox County, Tennessee appropriating funds for one full-time and one part-time position for the Juvenile Court Clerk, Child Support Division. (Juvenile Court Clerk) Resolution 06-12-901

A review of the vote in Finance Committee yesterday, reveal that it passed 8-0-2 with Commissioners Schmid and Ballard absent. Thus, all commissioners present voting Yes. Commissioner Cawood was present and recorded as a Yes.

A legal source (an unnamed Attorney) has revealed to Brian's Blog that Mrs. Cawood was in the office this morning (December 12, 2006) learning the ropes of her new job.

Now, it could be said that the two positions are technically not one that Mrs. Cawood will assume. Questions to ponder. When was the position advertised/posted? When did she apply? Who were the other applicants? When was she deemed the most qualified of all applicants? When did she begin her employment?

Sidebar: Commissioner and Mrs. Cawood are fairly new bloggers. Check out their blogs. Here and Here.

When Commissioner Larry Clark recently was hired by the Sheriff's department for a part-time position. He and the Sheriff were up front and publicly disclosed it before Commissioner Clark began his job duties.

Commissioner Cawood not disclosing his wife's new position and not recusing himself from yesterday's vote raises questions of unethical behavior on Cawood's part.

Do not expect to see coverage of this by the tabloid reporter or editor in anything called County Confidential, as they are friends and supporters of Cawood. Cawood appeared on a one hour talk radio show today and never disclosed this new life change (gainful employment for Sharon) for he and his wife.

It is not really newsworthy for any reputable news sources in town. Thus, it will remain a Brian's Blog exclusive.

Monday, December 11, 2006

U.S. Senator - Elect Bob Corker Selects Todd Womack as State Director..Excellent Choice. Congratulations Todd.

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator-elect Bob Corker (R-TN) today announced another addition to his senior management team with the appointment of Todd Womack who will serve as his State Director. Earlier last week, Corker announced that Armand DeKeyser will serve as his Chief of Staff.

"Todd has been an integral part of my staff for many years, and I am excited that he has agreed to serve the citizens of our state in this important way," said Corker. "Todd is a driven and conscientious leader with a tremendous work ethic and commitment to public service. He will be an outstanding addition to our team."

In this role, Womack will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the state and will oversee the six state offices which will open in Memphis, Jackson, Nashville, Chattanooga, Knoxville and the Tri-Cities after the beginning of the year.

"I am honored to serve Senator-elect Corker and all of the citizens of Tennessee in this role," said Womack. "I'm very excited about the opportunity to help build a service and results oriented state operation that moves every community in the state forward and provides an open door to Tennesseans from all walks of life."

Womack began his career serving as the spokesperson for Erlanger Medical Center, one of the state's largest tertiary care facilities. He later served as Director of Public Relations for the UnumProvident Corporation before joining then Mayor Bob Corker as his Communications Director in the Chattanooga Mayor's Office. During the Senate campaign, Womack held the post of Political Director and later became the campaign's Communications Director. This past November, Senator-elect Corker tapped Womack to lead his transition and begin setting up both his Washington and Tennessee Senate offices. Womack and his wife Katie have three children, Laura Kate, Rebekah and John.

Until Corker's swearing-in on January 4, Womack will continue to serve as the point of contact for issues related to the transition.

Harold, Junior...Come On...One More Time

This from KnoxNews this morning. Harold, Junior notorious for saying one thing and denying the same to somebody else. Is doing it again. This time with elementary school kids and the L.A. Times.

Go ahead and announce Junior. We would like to opportunity to wage a campaign using your Kennedy/Clinton/Kerrey record, your words, your words and your words again.

Two years still would not make you a Tennessean. Your from D.C., not Tennessee. Senator Alexander is like Senator-elect Bob Corker. He is from Tennessee not D.C.

"Hey, Harold Call us."

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Christmas Shopping recommendation

For those of you needing to do some quality Christmas shopping, go to this website and then venture out and shop, shop away. Just stay on the east side and keep out of the Town of Farragut.

Make your sales tax dollars go farther for education by shopping in Knox County or the City of Knoxville.

Press Release Issued Today

KnoxGOP Chairman Announces Intention
Hornback Appreciative to the Party for the Opportunity to Serve

For Immediate Release
December 10, 2006

Knoxville, TN; Today, Brian Hornback, KnoxGOP Chairman in announcing his intentions for 2007 said. “I am appreciative of the opportunity to serve as the leader of Knox County’s majority party. Together we have experienced Great success.” “In August 2006 we swept the 5 countywide races where we were opposed, we won 14 of the 19 County Commission races, losing one.” Hornback said. “On November 7, 2006 we delivered more than 15,000 votes for United States Senator Elect Bob Corker, than his opponent received.” “Congressman Duncan was re-elected by the second largest percentage of any contested incumbent Member of Congress in the United States.” “We maintained every Tennessee Republican seat that we held including State Representative Stacey Campfield.”

In March of 2005 when he began his term, Chairman Hornback promised to bring fiscal accountability, a spirit of cooperation and cohesiveness between the grassroots and the party. In addition he pledged to implement business strategies and components in re-creating a professional organization. He promised that working together the two thousand and six election cycle would be successful for the Knox County Republican Party.

“I am proud to say today that Promises Made are Promises Kept. We re-located our office operation to a more visible, cost efficient, handicapped accessible location.” “Over the past 19 months we have held several unity events and three victory parties.” Hornback said. “We replaced two distinguished Judges with two excellent Judges. Our two new Republican Judges are General Sessions Judge Div.IV Andy Jackson VI and Chancellor Mike Moyers.” “We are pleased to have as our new Republican Law Director, John Owings.”

In conclusion, Hornback said. “My family has allowed me the opportunity to serve. My wife and children have sacrificed time without their husband and father for the good of the community and for a better Knox County government.” “It is time for me to honor them with my time, energy and devotion.”

In his announcement Hornback said that he will NOT be a candidate for Republican Party Chairman when the Knox County Republican party re-organizes in March of 2007. Hornback has previously held elective office serving as the Fifth District Knox County School Board Member.

When asked about his future plans. He said that he will continue to support Republican candidates and is not ruling out being active with Republican campaigns, candidates or a future candidacy. Hornback said “Being Chairman is hard work and it is about bringing individuals with diverse thoughts and attitudes together.” “I am pleased to say that working together, we can announce Mission Accomplished.”

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Republican Senate Extends Sales Tax Deduction for Tennesseans

Yesterday the United States Senate led by Republicans extended the sales tax deduction for Tennesseans and 6 other states for our federal tax filing. This will be the last time for at least the next two years that everyday citizens will get any relief from the Federal government.

As you know the tax and spend liberal Democrats will be taking over in January 2007. Expect to pay it all back next year two, three and/or four fold.

So, Thank you to the Republicans for a 2006 Merry Christmas present.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Senate Majority Leader Dr. Bill Frist says Goodbye and is a man of his word

In 1994, I was on the statewide steering committee for a different Republican candidate for U.S. Senate (Hint: He is the Senator-Elect from Tennessee today). When the primary was over and Dr. Bill Frist was the nominee, we all got out and supported him. Because we needed to rid our state of Jim Sasser.

Dr. Bill Frist said he was committed to no more than two terms and as a Great surgeon, a Good man, an Excellent Senator, a Majority leader for such a time, he has now proven that he is a man of his word.

Yesterday, he delivered his farewell speech and received three standing ovations. Here is the text of his speech.

"About two months ago, on a late Sunday afternoon when no one was around, I slipped into this chamber to carry out a time honored tradition, nearly as old as this institution itself."

"I sat down at this desk, and I opened the drawer to carve my name where previous senate leaders had left theirs: Robert Taft, Hugh Scott, Everett Dirkson, Howard Baker … Your name carved deeply into the bottom of the oak drawer is the only thing permanent that one leaves around this place."

"And it confronted me then—as it hits me with such force today—that our time here is temporary. We are here to occupy a seat for a time, not to possess it, never to own it."

"It is with that recognition—that I address you today."

"I’ve reflected often these last few weeks."

"I think back to the non-politician who came to this city and this body 12 years ago, with a lot of hope for the people of his home state, and a lot of hope for the future of this country."

"I think back to the people who put their trust in that man’s hands."

"Indeed, it was 12 years ago that I came to Washington. I came as a citizen legislator with absolutely no prior political experience. I was a doctor. I’d spent 20 years in a healing profession. In my acceptance speech, I pledged to my fellow Tennesseans that Karyn and I’d go to Washington for 12 years, for a limited period of time, with a mission to accomplish and then come back home to Tennessee."

"And that’s exactly what we’ll do. Karyn and I will return to Tennessee, return home and live in the same house I was born in 54 years ago."

"I still remember coming to the Hill for the first time 12 years ago. I was green. My first chief of staff Mark Tipps – just as green as I was -- likes to remind me of our very first day on the Hill, when we had to stop someone to ask: "Wh
ere is that place called the Russell building?"

t I believed deeply in the promise that I’d made. I believed—in my heart—that with determination, one person can make a difference."

"Today I look back and see that I was half-right. Each of us can make a difference. But to make a difference one can’t really do it alone. I could not do it without the many people who have stood behind and with me over these last 12 years."

"Karyn has honored me by her unwavering love each step along the way. Her grace in carrying out our official responsibilities, her commitment to the character of our three boys, her moral and spiritual support to me and our family -- Karyn has been the guiding river of our lives as we’ve traveled through two entirely different careers, heart surgery and politics."

"Bryan, Jonathan, and Harrison -- we‘re so proud of each of you. You have faced the challenges of growing up in public life -- with media taking its swipes -- with strength and dignity. You know Tennessee is home, but you’ve taken in the rich experiences that Washington has afforded. You have grown from three young boys to three young men."

"I thank the staff members who’ve been with me since the very beginning—Emily Reynolds, Ramona Lessen, Bart VerHulst, Cornell Wedge. I thank my series of chiefs of staff: Mark Tipps, Lee Rawls, Howard Liebengood, Eric Ueland, Andrea Becker, Bart and Emily. And all those who have come in and out of these doors since our very first day in the basement of Dirksen as the 100th Senator in seniority."

"You’ve put the needs of this country before your own. And with a lot of hard work, a lot of heart, and a lot of hope, you’ve accomplished so much. "

"A few moments will always stand out in my mind. Victories like the $15 billion funding for global HIV-AIDS. Prescription drugs for seniors. Confirming John Roberts and Sam Alito to the Supreme Court."

"And through it all we’ve borne witness to days that have changed the face of our nation. The Capitol shootings. September 11. Anthrax and ricin. Katrina."

"But through it all, we kept at it the best way we could: with hard work, with heart, with a lot of hope."

"I thank my colleagues who placed their faith in me to serve as their leader. As I said four Decembers ago when you elected me, it was—and it has been every day since—a humbling experience. On that day, I quoted Proverbs, "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” And what fulfilling steps you have given me."

"I could not let today pass without expressing my gratitude for the close friendships who shaped my time in the Senate – Howard Baker, the great Republican Leader from Tennessee, whose shoes as Majority Leader I’ve done my best to fill. He counseled me as I considered a run for public office. His sage advice I have relied upon many times in my capacity as a Senator and Leader."

"Pete Domenici, who became a mentor to me on that first day in January 1995. Senators like John Warner, who we saw in action yesterday, and former senators like Don Nickles, who so wisely set the stage for the successful tax cuts we have accomplished over the past 5 years."

"Mitch McConnell whose wisdom and service has been indispensable to leading the Republican majority. And who ascends in party leadership. By temperament and skill, no one is better prepared."

"And my Tennessee colleagues Fred Thompson and Lamar Alexander, two great statesman with whom I’ve had the honor to work side by side to address the needs of the state of Tennessee."

"I thank the two democratic leaders Tom Daschle and Harry Reid. Everyone sees the public contrasts between Harry and me, what emerges as we represent our respective parties. What people don’t see are the daily, private conversations off the floor, where views are respected, burdens shared and family discussed. Karyn and I leave this body with deep respect for Harry and Landra and their contributions to this country."

"And to all my colleagues who have reached across the aisle and across differences when you could, thank you."

"12 years ago….the people of Tennessee took a great chance. They took a chance on a little known doctor who had never held public office, who had never run for public office. They began by opening their minds, and then their homes, then their lives and their hearts. And I’m eternally grateful to them for giving me that trust and taking that chance."

"It is,’ my Dad used to day, ‘a powerful thing to know where you are going in life, but it is equally powerful to know where you have come from.’"

"To the good people of Tennessee, I thank you for never letting me forget where I’ve come from. You’ve never let me forget those promises made on the trail over a decade ago…the promises that have been at the heart of everything we’ve done."

"Yours are the voices that have called out to me from Mountain City to Memphis. The people who are out there working, day-in and day-out to take care of a family, to grow a business, to run a farm, to get ahead."

"I will never forget the young mother from Mountain City…whose words spoke to me early on. I had gone to meet with some local business leaders after the closing of the Levi Strauss Factory. I arrived at the meeting spot in Mountain City, and there at the table was a young woman wearing jeans and a t-shirt. I turned to her, and I asked her to tell us her name and why she had come. She stood up; she turned to me and said, "I just lost my job at the factory. I have a family to feed. And I’m here to see how you can help."

"As long as I live, I will not forget those voices of clarity and commonsense that called out and counseled me time and again."

"And I will never forget the many patients who met me on the trail in the very beginning, and have continued the journey with me over the years. Owen Barber, Vivian Reeves, Jimmy Moore, Shane Blalock. You taught me that the power in all relationships is trust. You taught me to listen. And that trust and that listening is something I have tried to preserve here in my service in the Senate."

"The two people who won’t hear me thank them today directly are two who were here at my swearing in but who have since passed on. -- my parents Dorothy and Tommy Frist. They left a great legacy of honesty, civility, fairness, hard work, and service. They passed that legacy to my own brothers and sisters, Mary, Bobby, Dottie, and Tommy, who all in their own way with their children and grandchildren live lives in service to others."

"I’ve spent a lot of time these past few weeks reflecting…but I’ve also spent a great deal of time thinking about the future of this institution."

"As I prepare to leave here and return to my home, many people have asked me if I regret the promise I made to serve two terms."

"If you knew then, what you know today, would you’ve made that promise?’ they ask."

"And my answer is ‘yes.’"

"I believe today, as I believed when I came here, in the ideal of a citizen legislator. And bittersweet though it might seem today—it is right."

"I hope that my service, that the example of someone who had never served before, spent his life pursuing another profession, coming here and rising from 100 in seniority to Majority Leader, the example of a committed doctor who has been able to find purpose and fulfillment in serving others through public service – through elected office will inspire others to seek office. And those that come to serve after me as true citizen legislators will bring fresh perspective and new ideas that will in ways small and large make this country and this institution better."

"And you’ve heard me talk about—even champion—term limits."

"Today, self-imposed term limits are the extreme exception—not the practice in this city. As a consequence, we are moving toward a body with a two-year vision, governing for the next election — rather than a body with a 20-year vision, governing for the future. As we consider the future of this institution, I urge that we ask ourselves what it is our forefathers envisioned. Is today’s reality what they foresaw?"

"I urge that we also consider what our work in this Chamber is really all about. “Is it about keeping the Majority? Is it about Red States versus Blue States? Is it about lobbing attacks across the aisle? Is it about war rooms whose purpose is not to contrast ideas but to destroy. Or is it more?"

"When the Constitutional Convention met in 1787, delegates considered how best to structure the Legislative Branch of America’s new government. And they were determined not to repeat the mistakes of the Articles of Confederation, which had a unicameral legislature."

"Speaking to the Convention, Virginia’s James Madison set forth the reasons to have a Senate:"

"’In order to judge the form to be given to this institution, it will be proper to take a view of the ends to be served by it. These were, first, to protect the people against their rulers; secondly, to protect the people against transient impressions into which they themselves might be led."

"Let us remember this vision of the Senate—that the Framers established the Senate to protect people from their rulers, and as a check on the House and on the passions of the electorate. And let us not allow the passions of the electorate be reflected as destructive partisanship on the floor."

"Taking the oath of office commits each Senator to respect and revere the Framers’ dream."

"To my successor, Bob Corker, and to all the Senators who will follow me in service to this great nation: I urge you to be bold, to make the most of your time here, look at problems with fresh eyes and steely determination, and give the American people a reason to believe in you and to hope for a better tomorrow."

"To serve in this grand institution has been a labor of love. And to lead here has been a challenging responsibility and a profound honor."

"In closing, let me leave my colleagues with an image. “It happened in Sudan. It was late at night on the last day of my visit. We had just finished the last operation, when a message came that a man I had met the day before wanted to see me, ‘the American doctor.’ "

"I was tired, but I walked into the one-room building where he was recovering. He was huddled in the corner in a bed, and in the darkness I could barely see him, until I saw his smile—piercing through the shadows."

"I asked him what I could do for him."

"He told me that two years ago his wife and his two children had been murdered in the war. Eight days ago, he said, ‘I lost my leg and hand to a land mine.’"

"He thanked me for being there, and I nodded, I get thanked all the time for being a doctor."

"Then getting impatient for me to understand, he lifted his bandaged arm—the fingers he had lost fighting for his freedom--he replied, “Everything I’ve lost—my family, my leg, my hand—will be worth the sacrifice if my people can someday have what America represents: freedom."

"Thank you,’ he said, ‘not for being a doctor, but for being an American."

"To me, that image cuts through to what our work is all about. It is about preserving as best we can that great hope that is America. The freedom, the opportunity, the compassion, the basic decency that lie at the heart of who we are as Americans."

"Beyond Democrat or Republican, we are American. And it is our responsibility to uphold the dream and protect that hope…for every American…and for all who seek freedom."

"I began my remarks with the acknowledgment that our time is temporary. And I know that pertains to attention spans as well."

"So let me close."

"As I have spent a lifetime learning, ‘To everything there is a season.’"

"And today my season in the Senate draws to a close."

"Tomorrow is a time for new rhythms."

"My dad ended a letter he wrote to the great great grandchildren he’d never see shortly before he died: his words:"

"The world is always changing, and that’s a good thing. It’s how you carry yourself in the world that doesn’t change - morality, integrity, warmth and kindness are the same things in 1910 when I was born or in 2010 or later when you will be reading this. And that’s a good thing, too. Love, Granddaddy’ "

"And under the dome, it is a time for fresh faces and fresh resolve. Change is good. Change is constructive."

"The Senate changes, the people who serve change, but what doesn’t change is that every one of us who serves believes deeply in the genius of the American democracy."

"So, it is with the deepest appreciation that Karyn and I thank you all for 12 wonderful years."

"There are no words to describe the honor it has been."

Written by Bill Frist, M.D.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

BREAKING NEWS from United States Senator-Elect Bob Corker

For immediate release
December 7, 2006

Sen.-elect Corker Announces David Armand DeKeyser as Chief of Staff

DeKeyser Comes to Corker's Office with Over 30 Years of Broad-Gauged Leadership Experience

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator-elect Bob Corker (R-TN) today announced that David Armand DeKeyser will serve as his Chief of Staff. DeKeyser, who was Sen. Jeff Sessions' (R-AL) Chief of Staff for eight years, comes to Corker's office with over 30 years of leadership experience in local, state and federal government as well as the military and private sectors.

"Armand DeKeyser is a proven, experienced leader, and I'm delighted that he has agreed to head our Senate staff," Corker said. "He will play an integral role in forming and managing our team, and making sure that every day we are committed to serving and representing the people of Tennessee."

"Senator-elect Bob Corker is a focused, intelligent and committed leader who will represent all of Tennessee with great distinction," DeKeyser said. "I am honored to be leading his team and looking forward to serving him and the citizens of Tennessee."

Following six years of active duty as an Army Transportation Officer, DeKeyser worked in his family's wholesale seafood business. He went on to work in the mayor's office in his hometown, Mobile, Alabama. DeKeyser remained a Reserve Army Officer until 2000 and was Assistant Operations Officer for two ports in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm. He served as Chief Administrative Officer for the Alabama Attorney General's office in the late 1990s, and then as Sessions' Chief of Staff from 1997-2005. He is currently executive director of government relations at Kilpatrick Stockton, LLP.

DeKeyser, 56, is a graduate of Auburn University. He and his wife Beverly, an educator, have two grown sons, Phillip and David.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Greg "Lumpy" Lambert now a target of the Scripps owned tabloid

On Monday, the media attacks on Greg "Lumpy" Lambert continued. This time not from the Metro Pulse but now from the Scripps owned north community tabloid.

The tabloid which has spent much time, energy and ink the past four years and in particular since August writing about their disdain for County Mayor Mike Ragsdale and spending much time poking fun at Commissioner Lambert have now pinned him in a negative light as a member of the "Dirty Dozen". The very people that the tabloid would led you to believe are enemies of Commissioner Lambert are also part of the "dirty dozen"

Even Mayor Ragsdale and Commissioner Lambert are on the same side on this issue. Obviously, this will now require the tabloid to turn their negative bias on Commissioner Lambert. The tabloid writer and editor are probably working tirelessly as we speak making up lies to print in their Gossip and Lies column.

Scripps owned tabloid paper no Shows

This evening the School Board met and one item had some real discussion. That item is a concept plan for a football field house for Halls High School that will be funded by the football boosters club.

Sam Anderson, Knox County School Board member advocated a policy change that will require a concept plan approval for "big ticket" items like football field houses. He suggested that the field house must met Title IX requirements.

Sam of City of Knoxville Community Development Department fame never mentioned that two years ago the community of Farragut and in particular the football boosters club built a football field house, at no cost to the Knox County citizens. Halls County Commissioner R. Larry Smith according to School Board members has made a commitment for $100,000.00 of Knox County tax payer funds to assist in the construction of the field house. This financial skin in the game will open the Halls booster club and field house project to examination by the school board. The Farragut football boosters never received similar comments from Anderson or the School Board as "they had to go it alone."

The most interesting development in this story from the School Board meeting was the absence of any writer representing the Scripps owned tabloid publication based in the north section of the county. The tabloid writer or tabloid editor were not present.

Lola Alapo of Scripps owned News-Sentinel was present also attending was a reporter with the legitimate Community newspaper the Fountain City Focus.

Maybe the reporters of legitimate Scripps owned publications are now reporting for the tabloid or maybe legitimate Halls News is not of concern to the tabloid. I am sure that their response will be that they watched it on TV. How lazy is that?

Brian's Blog took a few days

It has been noticed and it is appreciated that Brian's Blog was down a few days. Brian Hornback of Brian's Blog had business commitment's outside of Knoxville and was unavailable to the team for posting.

The hotel had high speed internet, but it was the type of interrupting quality. Certainly not the quality of Brian Hornback. Thus no posting. This will be remedied this evening.

Stay Tuned.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Where There's Smoke..There's Fire Part II

Scripps owned Knoxville News-Sentinel has missed the boat on stories about Dave Cooley. I do not know if it is an attempt by the papers management to provide cover for Bredesen, Cooley. If it is lazy management or lazy reporters. However, Dave Cooley has been the Biggest story during the four years of the Bredesen administration.

Since the owner (Scripps) of two local Knoxville area papers will not cover it. Here are links to stories in today's Tennessean (Gannett owned) about Dave Cooley. The case of Tennessee Highway Patrolman Bryan Farmer is a Knoxville story. Unfortunately, the local media ignored the case until recently. While Gannett owned the Tennessean has covered the case extensively.

This story has the Governor asking for major overhaul of the THP. During the election the Governor was saying there was no problem. The Governor has also kept every dollar was given to him by individuals seeking either a THP job or promotion.

This story details how Dave Cooley pulled strings in a hushed up harassment case.

This story originally published in December 2005 details how Dave Cooley was a key figure in the THP croynism.

This story details the Governor's defense of Dave Cooley. "Dave is a good man. He's in a tough job. He's doing that job."

This story shows where notes are missing from a file. Similar to how a sexual harassment file was shredded in the Governor's office.

This story shows where the only copies of notes were given to a prosecutor. However, in the trooper Farmer case they refuse to provide copies of Dave Cooley's investigative file.

This story details how 7 lawyers with/for the state argued why Dave Cooley's file shouldn't be examined by State Trooper Bryan Farmer's lawyer or the public.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Where there is smoke...There is fire. Dave Cooley Resigns

Deputy Governor Dave Cooley has resigned. His actions where the issue in the Governors re-election. Court cases continue, State Troopers have paid for promotion and/or employment, Nepotism is rampant in state government. Bredesen must now clean it up.

Maybe Cooley didn't want to be part of an administration that implements a state property tax?

Now, that the Governor has shed himself of Cooley. It's time to fix the sagging high school graduation rates, by asking for Lana Seviers resignation and finding an Education Commissioner that will work for better results, not a decline, as Seviers has done.

SEC Championship Game

Tomorrow is the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta. Tennessee, LSU and Auburn are not in it. It is Florida for the East and Arkansas for the West. My friend Ted Hatfield a genuine Halls guy and (in my book) the Number 1 Regal Cinema guy is an Arkansas nut. Check out the KnoxGOP cookbook on page 74, Arkansas Razorback Cheese Grits, submitted by Ted and Carla Hatfield. He spent much of his early years in Arkansas and roots for the Hawgs, every chance he gets.

Those of you that know me. Know that I am a coach's fan. I pull for the teams that are coached by David Cutcliffe. That was Tennessee back in the days of Heath, Tee and Peyton. That was as a Rebel in the days of Ole Miss and Eli. If Coach Cut becomes the NC State Wolfpack coach. Well, Coach knows that there will be at least one set of Wolfpack fans back in Knoxville, TN.

But, now back to the game tomorrow. I nearly always pull for Florida whenever they are opposing anybody other than Coach Cut or Tennessee. But, not tomorrow. I will be pulling for the HAWGS as Houston Nutt and the team have pulled off an exceptional year.

So the Hatfields and I tomorrow. One in Halls the other in West Knox County will be saying. "SOOEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE, GO HAWGS"

Enjoy the game. I know that we will. If you get a chance before the game try the Hatfield's recipe.

Arkansas Razorback Cheese Grits

1 1/2 c. Grits (Cook according to the package insructions)
2 tsp. Salt
3/4 c. Margarine
1 lb. Sharp cheddar cheese, grated
3 eggs, beaten
Tabasco sauce - a hefty shot

Use a saucepan, prepare Grits according to package instructions, using only 5 cups of water. Put in a ovenproof dish, combine all the ingredients, mixing well. Bake in the oven at 250 degrees for one hour.