Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I Won on Twitter

Marisa of the Kris and Marisa Morning Show put out a tweet that the first one to tweet back would receive the sneak peak EP of the Newsboys. I responded and won. Woo Hoo. I went by and picked it up, there are four songs that will be on their new project that will be released this Tuesday, May 5, 2009. Songs, In the Hands of God and How We Roll are awesome.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Blast From The Past: Commissioner Briggs Cries Fowl.

Originally Posted on 9/12/2008: Earlier this week it was reported that Commissioner Richard Briggs is complaining that the re-organization of the County Commission on August 29, 2008 was a violation of the Open Meetings Law aka The Sunshine Law.

Commissioner Briggs in an interview with another media outlet stated that he filed the compliant (a letter to Chairman Strickland) on behalf of new Commissioner(s) that had complained to him about it. So, Brian's Blog has called all 7 of the new Commissioners to find out which one(s) had complained to Briggs.

Commissioner Mike Brown of the Ninth District said the first he knew about it was when he read it in the paper.

Commissioner Ed Shouse of the Fourth District said that he did not complain, he thought it was odd the way that it was done. But no conversation with Briggs.

Commissioner Finbarr Saunders of the Fourth District said that he did not complain to Briggs. He was not pleased with the process. But he didn't complain to Briggs.

Commissioner Brad Anders of the Sixth District said that on Wednesday September 3, 2008 (5 days after the re-organization) during the New Commissioner Orientation Commissioner Briggs asked Anders if he felt the Committee selection was a violation. Briggs indicated that he was considering filing a complaint. This appears to have been Briggs attempt to gather up support for his possible compliant. Was Briggs actions toward Anders a violation?

Commissioner Amy Broyles of the Second district. We are still waiting for a return call.

Commissioner Sam McKenzie of the First district. We are still waiting for a return call.

Commissioner David Wright of the Eighth district said that he had expressed his aggravation with the process to Briggs. When Wright was asked to confirm that he had talked directly with Briggs about this issue. Wright explained that the conversation happened in the Main Assembly Room on the day of the re-organization (August 29, 2008).

If a "reasonable person" concludes that the re-organization was a "sun shined" meeting and that Wright and Briggs talking was NOT a violation. Then that same "reasonable person" would have to conclude that the meetings of the Committee of Committees, the Finance and Intergovernmental committee meetings were NOT a violation, as well.

If Briggs and Wright believed that the re-organization was a violation of the Sunshine Law at teh time. Why did Briggs and Wright not object at the time? Why did Briggs and Wright not demand a point of order during the meeting?

Brian's Blog will continue on this story and will post updates as we receive them.

Political Opportunist Turncoat , Backstabbing Thug or Judas Iscariot?

Monday, April 27, 2009

KPD Drive Home Cars -vs- Knox County Sheriff's Office Drive Home Cars

All this talk by Mark Harmon about drive home cars as his club to beat Sheriff Jones and the Officers of the Knox County Sheriff's Office over the head he excluded this little nugget.

KPD has 10 more take home cars while Knox County Sheriff's Office has twice as many employees and 500 square miles in it's jurisdiction while KPD has 108 square miles in it's jurisdiction. Of course, the City of Knoxville is in the Knox County Sheriff's jurisdiction.

Knox County Mayor Ragsdale Calls Mark Harmon Out

Mark Harmon in attempting to save himself from embarrassment on his procurement resolution. In doing so, he attempted to take credit for bringing the County Mayor and Knox County Sheriff's Office together. He said , "To save their perks."

Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale came to the podium and said that he was there to clear up something that Mark Harmon said that was clearly off base and not accurate. He stated that he and Sheriff Jones have NEVER been a part and have always worked together.

Again, Mark Harmon is all talk, all show and has used this issue to politically attack those individuals that he disagrees with. Mark Harmon is something that the next election will cure.

Separated at Birth?




Sunday, April 26, 2009

Time Off

Brian's Blog has been down, due to the loss of my grandmother on Thursday. She lived here in Knox County and so I am in town. I anticipate blog posting to return by the end of the week. Probably before but certainly no later than May 1, 2009.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

This Is the Way It Should Be

This is retail grassroots politics. Why can't we get retail grassroots politics like this in Knoxville/Knox County?


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Knoxville Author Martha Rose Woodward Is At It Again

Knoxville Author Martha Rose Woodward is set to release her first work of fiction. She has written and published two non-fiction books. The first is Sunsphere - Biography of a Landmark and the recent release of Knoxville 1982 World's Fair. Woodward's first novel, Even Wounded Birds Fly, is a shocker...not what you expect from mild-mannered Martha.

Here is a short description of the story.

When a group of young boys in rural Alabama become aware of the sexual abuse of their most vulnerable comrade, Milton, they decide to take matters into their own hands. At a time when such matters were not discussed openly, the boys scheme to prevent the town’s highly respected preacher from any possibility of furthering Milton’s darkest nightmare.

Are these boys conspiring to commit an act of murder or is the elimination of this spiritual vampire an act of justice? Whatever the truth, the boys decide to bludgeon the preacher and throw his body down an abandoned well. Having also tossed their innocence and youth into that dark pit, they must then live the remainder of their lives burdened with this ghastly secret.

Enter into the picture Rita Belew, a young woman living a fairy-tale marriage until an unexpected revelation shatters her world. The heartbreak of her failed marriage renders her sexually and emotionally vulnerable, and she must somehow fashion a future out of the ashes of this tragedy. It is in this fragile state of mind that she meets Rodney Edgely, a professional speaker who presents himself as a sincere gentleman. However, Rita slowly begins to question the mysterious behaviors of her new companion while struggling to admit what is plainly before her eyes. Could the very person that she should most be able to trust be leading a double life?

Eventually the past, present, and future collide and expose unimaginable secrets and long-buried fears. The explosive combination of shocking lies and shattered egos fuels a showdown where hasty decisions become a matter of life and death. While the colorful characters struggle with their naked pasts and uncertain futures, in the end, their intertwined lives illuminate the deepest meaning of love.

You can purchase Even Wounded Birds Fly, here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Strip Searches Have NO Place In Public Education

The United States Supreme Court heard arguments today concerning strip searches by public schools. As a former School Board Member and a parent of three, I will tell you that NO employee of a public or private school should be conducting strip search on any minor child/student.

I will NOT even use the argument that there are so many incidents of inappropriate teacher actions toward students. It is NOT appropriate for an individual whose training is to teach educational foundations and fundamentals to students to be conducting a strip search.

If a public education facility suspects that my child has something illegal on their person and the only way is to have them take of their clothes. They had better not conduct a strip search and instead call my wife or I to come to school to determine if they have what they suspect on their person.

For a school system to take the place of police state is going to far. What we see here as the old saying goes, "Power corrupts but absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Update on a PTA Award

A post on Brian's Blog from this weekend generated an email response from a high level Knox County Council PTA Officer. Here is the text from the email. "Saw your comments on the award. Talk to Bluegrass (Elementary PTA) they nominated Dr. McIntyre." We thanked the individual for the clarification.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Wamp Comes In First in Wilson County

On Friday night Wilson County Republican Party held a straw poll among the members that attended a Republican event. Congressman Zach Wamp came in first. The Knoxville Mayor came in a distant third. What is interesting is that there is a BIG Pilot Travel Center in Lebanon, TN in Wilson County. It is clear that 114 of the 125 respondents reject the candidate of the BIG gas retailer that was recently fined for gas gouging in Tennessee.

Ten Years Ago Today

The News Sentinel was a viable business entity in this community. Jack McElroy was at the now defunct Rocky Mountain News. Two students went into Columbine High School and carried out the worst public school tragedy that this country had ever seen and have seen since. Jack McElroy was directing the news coverage of Columbine and would later state that this event was "his finest moment"

Ten Years later Jack McElroy has ruined another newspaper that has continued to lay off hundreds of people and when they close the doors on the Big Metal Shed on the Hill it will be his second closure for E.W. Scripps.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Congratulations to Dr. McIntyre! What Was TN PTA Thinking?

Dr. James McIntyre, Superintendent of Knox County Schools received the TN PTA Superintendent of the Year award last night. While Brian's Blog believes that McIntyre is doing a good job thus far. It is our opinion that it's still too early to award anything.

Knox County Schools is his first Superintendent job and he didn't begin the job until July 11, 2008. So, the TN PTA awards the 2008 Superintendent award to someone that wasn't on the job from January 1 - July 10, 2008, 5.5 months. That is a slap in the face of every TN Superintendent that worked 12 months.

But then again the State PTA organization is out of touch and rarely give any real thought to their actions.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Finally Tennessee Issues Fines For Gas Gouging

Brian's Blog has covered the gas gouging by Pilot Travel Centers, LLC for many months and now the Attorney General of Tennessee has fined the Knoxville based family business. The Knoxville Mayor is the son and brother of the owners of Pilot Travel Centers, LLC. The Knoxville Mayor is a Republican candidate for Governor in 2010. The Knoxville Mayor utilizes the Pilot Travel Center, LLC owned plane to fly from campaign event to campaign event and to northeastern states as well. Now one of the four announced candidates for Governor is a recipient of Pilot Travel Center, LLC assets, an entity that violated the law and has now been fined for gas gouging the very citizens that he desires to serve as Governor.

Were citizens unable to get to work and lost portions of their salaries because of the gas gouging? YES. Were citizens unable to purchase some groceries and necessities for their children and families because of the gas gouging? YES. The repercussions of the citizens due to the gas gouging and corporate greed can not be satisfied through a fine. Is it likely that citizens may have passed away prematurely due to not being able to purchase needed medication due to the gas gouging? It is possible.

While we commend the Attorney General for forcing a fine. We say the only way for the citizens to have the last say is to VOTE NO on the candidate of the BIG Gas Retailer.

Certainly the actions of the Knoxville Mayor and his families business are NOT exactly the actions of a guy that travels on a White horse.

Knox County Locks Citizens Out of Public Meetings and Then Covers It Up.

Former County Commissioner Victoria DeFreese has been locked out of two public meetings at the City and County Building. She first complained at the conclusion of the first meeting to Knox County Law Director Bill Lockett. His response? Was to laugh in her face.

As she began to inform individuals of this travesty, she was informed of other incidents. So, she submitted a a sworn and notarized complaint to the Knox County Ethics Committee just a few weeks ago. In her complaint she alleged that the ethics violators were Dale Smith (CEO of PBA, the manager of the City and County Building) and Chair person of governing body.

Her sworn and notarized statement read: "Public Meetings Behind Locked Doors"

Wednesday, March 25 at 5:00 p.m. the Knox County Commission's Redistricting Committee held a public meeting in the small assembly room of the city county building. Apparently many of the people attending the meeting had stayed from the prior BZA meeting that had just adjourned. An 80 year old neighbor and myself tried to enter the City County Building at the Main Street entrance, but the revolving door and the side doors were locked. We stood out in the rain until someone finally let us in the building.

Tuesday, March 30 at 5:30 p.m. the Task Force for Transfer of Development Rights held a public meeting in the large assembly room. Again, I found the doors locked!

Tennessee Open Meetings Act - Tennessee Code Annotated8-44-102 (a) "All meetings of any governing body are declared to be public meetings open to the public at all times, except as provided by the Constitution of Tennessee."

The public was essentially locked out of public meetings because of a lack of oversight by the Public Building Authority.

Full access to government meetings and activities is what makes a democratic republic effective, but is also required by the law.

In talking to others about these two incidents when PBA did not have staff/security to open doors is not an isolated incident.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008 - Forum to hear from County Commission candidates in the Main Assembly room of the City County Building for the 6th, 8th, and 9th districts. A woman, Brenda Smith tried to get into the City County Building for the public meeting and found all the doors locked as she was late; however, the public meeting was going on behind locked doors. (Brenda Smith, XXX-XXXX)
We blocked out Brenda Smith's personal information.

Apparently, some people have arrived late to MPC meetings and found no access to the City-County Building for the general public. A woman who had attended the BZA meeting on Wednesday, March 25th and subsequently attended the redistricting meeting last week explained this to me.

A closed meeting is a meeting from which the public is excluded. While PBA may say that these instances result from a lack of oversight; the result is government bodies or members of any public body which consists of two (2) or more members, with the authority to make decision for or recommendations to a public body on policy or administration violate the Tennessee Open Meetings Act. It is apparent that a meeting held behind locked doors is one from which the public is excluded physically and therefore is a closed meeting by definition.

I would think that the chairperson of the public body meeting at the City County Building would be responsible for informing PBA of public meetings held at the City-County Building. Then PBA would be responsible for having a security guard at the door throughout the entire public meeting."
This concluded Victoria DeFreese's complaint.

Former Commissioner DeFreese then received this response from Dr. Ron Stewart, Chairman of Knox County Ethics Committee
Cc: Mr. Dale Smith

"After reviewing your complaint to the Ethics Committee, and after counsel with the Knox County Law Director and Mr. Dale Smith, it is my judgment that the doors being locked were the result of an oversight and not an ethics violation. I will send a copy of this letter to Mr. Dale Smith at the Public Building Authority and encourage them to monitor meetings later in the day so that these oversights will not happen again in the future.

Sincerely, Dr. Ron Stewart
- This concludes Dr. Stewart's response.

Many questions now arise.
1. Why have a Knox County Ethics Committee be screened from citizen's complaints?
2. What authority does the chair have?
3. Can he/she dismiss complaints and shield them from the panel while allowing the alleged violators to counsel his/her in the dismissal?
4. What should citizens do to help with a proper and fair Knox County Ethics Committee?
5. What can citizens do to make certain that PBA's pork can cover security to have unlocked open doors to the City County Building during open government meetings to comply with the law?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Zach Wamp - He is Home Folk

I started yesterday morning with a breakfast meeting with another Republican candidate for Governor. Last night at the Knox County Republican Party's Lincoln Day Dinner I was pleased to see Third District Congressman Zach Wamp. He formally introduced me to his son Weston Wamp and Weston's girlfriend Emily, his daughter Coty and Kim, Zach's wonderful wife and mother of Weston and Coty.

The speeches went in alphabetical order so when your last name is Wamp. That means you are last. Congressman Wamp was as always energetic, to the point and proved that he is one of us. He is home folk. Zach has a story to tell and it is no different than 99.4% of us. He has a 14 year record in the Congress and that record is as identical to My Hero, My Consistent Conservative Congressman John J. "Jimmy" Duncan, Jr. as if Jimmy cloned himself.

While there are four candidates in the Republican Primary for Governor at this point in time. There are three candidates that are like us, Zach Wamp, Bill Gibbons and Ron Ramsey. Ron Ramsey really needs to help our Republican party keep and grow our control of the State House and State Senate. He needs to be there to help the Republican Governor pass the legislative agenda to fix the mess that Prince Phillip of Nashville is leaving us in January 2011.

So, that leaves two men that are home folks, home folks like us. Zach Wamp and Bill Gibbons. I enjoyed seeing Zach last night and the picture above was taken just before the dinner.

BIG Jim Supporters Out In Force Last Night

Last night beginning at 5:30 p.m. there were a dozen or so individuals out on the shoulder of Kingston Pike at Rothchild's holding Ron Ramsey signs and waving homemade signs about Big Jim. You ask, Who is Big Jim? The father of the Knoxville Mayor of course. If the Knoxville Mayor and his family get this kind of attention on their own turf than this Republican primary is gonna get interesting.

As a Brian's Blog reporter turned into the parking lot a larger than normal sign with the same message was taped to a car. Here is the photograph of the car that our reporter took.

Robert Bowman – We Barely Knew You

The printed program from the Knox County Lincoln Day Dinner list all the Republican elected officials, included in the list are the Republican State Executive Committee members and the Republican Knox County Election Commission members.

Just a few weeks ago the Knox County Legislative Delegation selected Robert Bowman, Chris Heagerty and Paul Crilly as the three members of the Knox County Election Commission.

So, how shocked were the members of the legislative delegation when they noticed that the program did not identify Robert Bowman as a member of the Knox County Election Commission. It identified Cameron Brooks. Cameron Brooks? Who is Cameron Brooks? Brooks is the DEMOCRAT member of the Knox County Election Commission.

The dinner committee of Cathy Quist, Bill Lockett and Foster Arnett were responsible for all aspects of this dinner. It seems Mr. Bowman may need to call the three officeholders to introduce him self. At this point it is like, Mr. Bowman we barely knew you!

Bill Gibbons

I started Tuesday morning at Sami’s CafĂ© at The Shops of Franklin Square with breakfast with Shelby County District Attorney General Bill Gibbons. Joining us for breakfast was Gibbons son, Will and Gibbons for Governor Staffer Adam Nickas. It was an enjoyable meeting for me in getting to know Mr. Gibbons. He does not support a state income tax. He is an advocate for opening up charter schools to local control and direction. He is a law and order kind of guy, in that he will work to revise the sentencing guidelines, keeping serious offenders in prison. He will also create a professional THP.

He has assembled an impressive campaign team and is continuing to build a statewide campaign network to get his message across the state.

Tonight, he introduced himself the members of the Knox County Republican Party as he was one of four speakers at the 2009 Lincoln Day Dinner. He is a solid candidate and a solid choice for the Republican voting public.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Another Take on the Knox County Lincoln Day Dinner

This weekend we posted our views about the Knox County Republican Party having it's annual Lincoln Day Dinner on the anniversary of Lincoln's assassination. Now, Jake Mabe takes a more in depth view of the issue here.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

County Bond Deals? How About Gas Gouging?

On Thursday the Big Metal Shed on the Hill had a story about issues concerning bond financing by local governments. See the story, here. The article raised some interesting thoughts not just about bond financing but about other questions about city and county vendors.

Do you remember this past summer when Pilot Travel Centers was the first oil and gas retailer in the area to break the $5.00 per gallon price? Not only were they taking money out of your personal pocket but they were taking your tax payer dollars out of your pocket. You see every Knox County Sheriff's Department cruiser, Knox County general government vehicle fuels at a Pilot Travel Center. Because of a competitive process that Knox County undertook to locate a vendor for fuel of it's vehicles. So, while Pilot was gas gouging normal citizens they were also gas gouging the tax paying citizens. In one state, Pilot Travel Centers has paid $100,000 in fines and $20,000 in fines to another state.

Will Tennessee investigate and charge a fine to recoup our tax dollars? Of course, NOT. One reason is that the heads of Pilot Travel Centers are politically connected and have contributed financially to the current Governor and members of the legislature. Secondly, the son and brother of the heads of Pilot Travel Centers is a 2010 candidate for Governor. If he is successful in becoming Governor any action taken today will be rescinded in 2011. So, no reason to do anything now.

It would be nice to see the boys and ladies in the Big Metal Shed on the Hill investigate and report on the actions of Pilot Travel Centers since the are after Cumberland Securities. But, then again Cumberland Securities do not have a brother or son running for Governor in 2010. And they do not buy 50,000 news papers on a specific day of the week.

Happy Easter 2009. He Is Risen Indeed!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Jeb Bush and I Agree. Come On Obama, Man UP!

What Were Four Republicans Thinking?

Prior to Ray H. Jenkins election as Knox County Republican Party Chairman, the Immediate Past Chair pushed for the scheduling of the 2009 Knox County Lincoln Day Dinner. The dinner has always been scheduled for a Friday or Saturday evening. Not this year, former party chair Irene McCrary, Circuit Court Clerk Cathy Quist, Law Director Bill Lockett and Clerk Foster Arnett scheduled it for Tuesday April 14, 2009.

A local Abraham Lincoln historian called me outraged, he thought that I could change the date. I immediately informed him that I was no longer on the Executive Committee. It seems that the reason that this date was chosen instead of a Friday or Saturday is that 144 years ago this year on April 14 is the anniversary of his assassination. On April 14, 1865 President Lincoln was assassinated at the Ford's Theater by John Wilkes Booth. This decision by McCrary, Quist, Lockett and Arnett to have the dinner on the anniversary of his assassination is unconscionable.

God Bless Billy J. Walker

I first became involved in Republican politics as a 16 year old kid in 1982. I grew up in the East Knox County community of Sunnyview. I attended and completed my education at the then Sunnyview Elementary and Carter High School. My mentor was my late State Representative and former Knox County Republican Party Chairman Loy L. Smith. One of the first individuals that I met, was my then County Commissioner Billy J. Walker.

Billy J. Walker passed away yesterday. He was a Good man. God Bless Billy J. Walker. My prayers and thoughts are with Betty and the rest of the family. Rest in Peace, Billy J. Walker.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Brian's Blog 1 Big Metal Shed 0

In yesterday's Farragut election for Alderman between the incumbent San Francisco liberal and Bob Markli. Brian's Blog endorsed Bob Markli on March 17, 2009, read it here. On Monday, the day before the election, the Big Metal Shed on the Hill endorsed the San Francisco liberal. We endorse early and do not wait to see which way the wind is blowing unlike the Big Metal Shed's Publisher Bruce Hartmann and Editor Jack McElroy. Here is what they said in their endorsement of the San Francisco liberal.

"Alderman, Ward I

Tom Rosseel was elected to his first term four years ago and has been energetic and enthusiastic in his work as a member of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

Like McGill, he also supports term limits, proclaiming, "Service to you is an honor, not a right." He said he will continue to support homeowners on zoning and traffic safety issues and will work for continued infrastructure improvements without a property tax.

Rosseel also would like to review the organizational structure of the town in light of recent management problems. He also proposes opening the budget process to more transparency with citizen participation and discussion by the board as the budget is being developed.

We hope the challenges and opportunities facing the town will encourage a strong turnout today and Tuesday."

Bob Markli Won! Thank you to the citizens in Farragut North.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Monday Amusement - Ken Davis



Good Coverage on Fulton High School School Budget Forum

Avid Brian's Blog readers know that there is no love, admiration or respect for Betty Bean and the feeling from Bean to Hornback is the same. However, in those rare occasions where there is reason to say "this is good". Brian's Blog will do it.

In this weeks Shopper News in the Halls edition on page A5, (found here) Bean authored an accurate account of Superintendent McIntyre's budget forum held at Fulton High School last week. As we pointed out here, it's too bad that the other Scripps reporter Lola Alapo couldn't do the same.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

News Sentinel - Heman Woman Hater Club?

No disrespect to the Little Rascals. But it appears that the Big Metal Shed on the Hill is anti-woman. If you are one of the 30% in Knoxville/Knox County that received the News Sentinel today, you discovered that the Sunday Perspective section has been downsized to four pages. Here is an interesting paragraph, in the "Perspective Changes" explanation found on F2. "We are also eliminating the Woman-to-Woman point-counterpoint feature that appeared on Page F5." The question is. Are Publisher Bruce Hartmann and Editor Jack McElroy discriminators of women when it comes to opinion in the Perspective sections? Sometimes perception appears reality.

Michael Silence is the Bill Haslam Gun Lackey

Michael Silence writes the same spin for the Knoxville Mayor twice in two months. First, this one on February 1, 2009. Then today, April 5, 2009 is this one. The same spin, two months apart. We asked the question on January 28, 2009 about his spinning. We came under attack by a Nashville blog for our post. The evidence now reveals that we were right and we are NOW cleared of their accusation. Silence is trying to re-create the gun issue for the Knoxville Mayor. Come on Silence quit being so quiet about what you are doing. It is about being open and transparent. Right? If he looks like, talked like and signed a pledge that was anti-gun then today the Knoxville Mayor is anti-gun.

Friday, April 03, 2009

News Sentinel Got It Wrong

Today The Big Metal Shed on the Hill rushed to put a scandalous election story on it's website. It is not an issue. It is tabloid journalism that only Editor Jack McElroy can do. What amused many of us is that in their rush to publish anything, they reported that the last day for voting is Saturday. Actually voting will continue Monday and Tuesday.

So, now when you click on the story it has this notice at the top of the story. Editor's note: This article has been corrected to note that Tuesday is the last day for Farragut residents to cast a vote in the town elections. Come on little Editor Jack McElroy, how hard is it to get the facts. Only the facts. No, tabloid journalism, No agendas, No bragging about your finest hour because of multiple deaths at Columbine High School like you once said when in Colorado.

Rumors Abound About WBIR Job Cuts

Sources have informed us that WBIR is cutting/reducing positions (employees) over at the Straight from the Heart compound. The problem with the rumor is that they are cutting individuals age 55 or older. If it is true there's not much heart there. Is there?

The News Sentinel Blood Letting Continues

Sources close to the Big Metal Shed on the Hill indicate that yesterday five additional employees in the advertising department were eliminated/cut/reduced/expelled from the Big Metal Shed on the Hill. Our sources indicate that the revenues are way down and management can't figure it out. Note to Management: Your Editor Jack McElroy has an agenda that Ronnie Milsaps and Stevie Wonder can see and your news coverage is the worst in the country.

Our sources also indicate that the rates are 25 to 30% higher that other Scripps papers. Well, there's a problem, Mr. Hartmann.

Knox County Schools Targets Another Employee

This story from KnoxNews today details a Halls High School teacher being placed on administrative leave with pay due to "sexual harassment allegations".

This story is real suspect in that another Halls teacher was accused and cleared and the last word Brian's Blog received was that he was still not back on the job.

In the past the School System has utilized one certain Central Office employee to carry out "hits" on employees that are targeted. Let's hope that Dr. McIntyre takes this budget year to eliminate that person. An employee that is NOT tenured and on a year to year contract.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

News Sentinel’s Coverage of Schools Budget Forum

Wednesday evening Superintendent Dr. James McIntyre held a budget public forum at Fulton High School. WATE and WVLT Volunteer TV filed reports from the meeting and they reported that the citizens were unhappy with the change of bell times and with the reductions to Career and Technical Education and staffing position the television stations even had the School Board Chair on camera saying that she was not supportive of the bell changes.

When the Thursday News Sentinel hit the stand there was a short story that did not reflect the sentiment from the meeting. News Sentinel Reporter Lola Alapo interviewed nearly every citizen that spoke but of those one on one interviews only one made it into the article in the paper.

The article was so small and insignificant that it did not make it onto the News Sentinel’s website. By the article not being on the website meant that the public was not allowed to comment on the story and to react online to the lackluster coverage provided by the paper. So, unless you had a newspaper you had no idea that there was a News Sentinel reporter present and if you had a newspaper you easily could have passed over the article as it so small and insignificant.

Only three school board members (Bill Phillips, Indya Kincannon and Rex Stooksbury) attended the forum. The Superintendent’s recommendation will ultimately become the board’s approved budget. So, six board members don’t even care what the public thinks about the budget? If they rely on what the News Sentinel reporter published about the budget, they don’t have an adequate representation of the public’s opinion.

So, the question that several attendees of the forum had was. Is the reporter on the payroll of the Sentinel or the Schools or both?