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Looking like a deadlock

By Bbeanster, Mon, 2014/09/01 - 10:39pm

So the new BOE will have its first voting meeting Wednesday. I believe the board will also have its organizational meeting Wednesday, as well.

I could make an educated guess that Mike McMillan will be elected chair by a 5-4 vote, with his own vote and all the newbies. The four incumbents will stick with Lynne Fugate.

But, wait!

Patti Lou Bounds is out of town on a long-scheduled cruise.

That likely makes it 4-4.

Unless Baby 'Tree decides to make an early appearance, in which it could become a 4-3 vote for Fugate.

I checked with a source who knows about this stuff who opined that in the case of a stalemate, the vote would more than likely be postponed.

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Some happy Labor Day news from California

By Mike Knapp, Mon, 2014/09/01 - 5:15pm

A deal got cut that left out in-home caregivers irritating labor but still a move in the right direction. 2nd behind Connecticut to get something like this done. If it weren't illegal here, Knoxville could pass a sick leave law.
Melanie Mason at the LA Times Paid sick days bill clears California Legislature

The measure by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) would require employers to give their workers at least three paid sick days per year. Supporters say it would provide paid leave to approximately 6.5 million workers in the state.
Gonzalez, speaking in the Assembly, acknowledged the bill had been trimmed back, but said "we’ve been able to maintain the integrity of a bill that … would expand workers' rights in a way that is unprecedented in this state or in this nation when it comes to paid time off...

This is frankly unacceptable as a proposal and is not worthy of our support this evening."
- Assemblyman Sebastian Ridley-Thomas (D-Los Angeles)

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Big Box Health Care: Are You Ready for Walmart Care Clinics?

By jbr, Sun, 2014/08/31 - 3:01am

From NBC News ...

Offering its employees a visit with a nurse practioner for the price of a latte at Starbucks could also help Wal-Mart control its own health-care expenses. Recently, the retailer revealed its health costs were expected to increase by $500 million this year because more of its workers than expected are signing up for its health-insurance benefits.

Wal-Mart is launching the clinic pilot program in three states that didn't expand Medicaid: Texas, South Carolina and Georgia — states that also have a high concentration of uninsured residents.

Big Box Health Care: Are You Ready for Walmart Care Clinics?

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Remedial civics needed in J-school?

By R. Neal, Sat, 2014/08/30 - 9:11am

From a local news report: "A little over two weeks ago in court, Defense Attorney Greg Isaacs requested the cases against Mike Lowe, Delbert Morgan and Ray Mubarak be thrown out since valuable documentation was lost in the time it took the grand jury to produce a conviction."

Bonus, from the same report: "An undecided future date has been set to determine Morgan's sentence."

KNS: "Judge Steve Sword set an Oct. 23 sentencing date."

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GOP governors expanding Medicaid

By jbr, Fri, 2014/08/29 - 9:41pm

Pennsylvania next to expand Medicaid. 9 GOP governors so far.

From MSNBC …

Pennsylvania’s GOP governor expands Medicaid

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Bill Ailor sued in Circuit Court

By Bbeanster, Fri, 2014/08/29 - 6:59pm

A longtime assistant to Circuit Court Judge Harold Wimberly has filed suit in Circuit Court against Circuit Court Judge-elect Bill Ailor, who defeated Wimberly in the August General Election.

Plaintiff Judith Moore Pennoyer, 60, is a 24-year Circuit Court employer who worked for Wimberly for the past 16 years.

The lawsuit accuses Ailor of interfering with her employment with the state of Tennessee and says she received a letter from Ailor on August 28 informing her that she no longer has a job. Pennoyer, who has multiple sclerosis, is represented by David Dunaway, who sued Ailor individually, not in his capacity as a judge-elect (not even sure there is such a thing). the state of Tennessee is also named.

Wimberly presided over Division II. Ailor will take the bench Sept. 2.

Pennoyer filed her case in Division III, which is presided over by Judge Deborah Stevens.

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ETSPJ denounces McIntyre - BOE "agreement"

By R. Neal, Fri, 2014/08/29 - 5:32pm

Saying the document "seems to be aimed at protecting the school district and superintendent at the price of free speech," the East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists released a statement denouncing the so-called agreement between Knox Co. Schools Superintendent and the Board of Education regarding dealings with the media, among other things. Full statement after the break...

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Does this make you feel safer?

By B Harmon, Fri, 2014/08/29 - 10:02am

In the KNS today, "East Tennessee police take in $11 million in surplus military gear."

Knox County’s collection of the used equipment totals $2.2 million since 2006 and includes two helicopters, a mine-resistant personnel carrier, 237 5.56-millimeter and 58 7.62-millimeter rifles, 49 automatic pistols, 250 bayonets and a demolition firing device.

This is not surprising,

“We’re just not going to discuss any of that stuff due to security issues,” said Chief Deputy Eddie Biggs, who said he had been instructed not to talk by Sheriff Jimmy “J.J.” Jones.

Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch was open and informative about their use of this equipment.

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All the Companies Making Money From Healthcare.gov in One Chart

By jbr, Thu, 2014/08/28 - 11:15pm

From Businessweek ...

The total price tag: almost $800 million,

All the Companies Making Money From Healthcare.gov in One Chart

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Public hearing on Cumberland redevelopment area

By R. Neal, Thu, 2014/08/28 - 11:40am


What: Public hearing on Cumberland redevelopment area
When: Thursday, September 4, 2014 - 5:30pm
Where: UT Federal Credit Union, 2100 White Ave.

KCDC is holding a public hearing on a proposal to establish a Cumberland Ave. redevelopment area to provide tax increment funding for public infrastructure in the area. Details in the press release after the break...

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Dangers hidden in the education debate

By Somebody, Thu, 2014/08/28 - 11:23am

The News Sentinel has an article that's really a link to an article in the Tennessean about Tennessee state senators joining in on an attack of AP US History curriculum standards.

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Making up new law to circumvent elected control of schools?

By R. Neal, Thu, 2014/08/28 - 10:56am

Wow! Donoila: Who's the boss? A look at 'agreement' between school board-superintendent

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He lost me at "one-time cost"

By R. Neal, Thu, 2014/08/28 - 10:32am

Joe Sullivan says in Metro Pulse that Knox County owes Knox County Schools $10 million in disputed trustee collection fees.

(In the process, he says Mayor Burchett and County Commission are "cheapskates" and accuses County Law Director Bud Armstrong of "egregious behavior," "dereliction of duty," "improprieties," and "incompetence.")

Anyway, later on he says the money should not be used for recurring expenses such as teacher raises, but rather the "one-time cost of a system-wide instructional technology initiative that would put a laptop or tablet in the hands of every student for inventive and differentiated learning."

I am unfamiliar with the concept of "one-time costs" in relation to IT projects. There's the acquisition cost (and depreciation), but then there are the training and implementation costs (initial and recurring for updates, new applications, student/staff turnover), ongoing systems and application administration, periodic software licensing, maintenance and update fees, incidental hardware repair/replacement, recurring infrastructure (network/bandwidth) costs and associated administrative overhead.

So, while lawyers sort out the fee dispute and regardless of how one feels about the appropriate use of classroom technology, there's no such thing as a "one-time" cost to implement it.

(As for "inventive and differentiated," does this kid look like he's engaged and having fun and benefiting from technology v. interaction with a real live human teacher?)

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Wanted to publicly thank someone

By Bbeanster, Wed, 2014/08/27 - 11:43pm

I sent this letter a few days ago and wanted to make it public:

David B. Rausch
KPD Headquarters
800 Howard Baker Jr. Ave
Knoxville, TN 37915

Dear Chief Rausch,

On the evening of Thursday, July 24, I became ill while covering a candidate forum at Lawson McGhee Library.

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What court rulings against FedEx mean for workers

By jbr, Wed, 2014/08/27 - 11:34pm

From MSNBC ...

By claiming its drivers aren’t employees, FedEx has long been able to avoid paying overtime, providing leave to care for ailing family members, or contributing to Social Security, Medicare, or unemployment insurance — all that tiresome stuff bosses are required by law to provide anyone on the payroll.

What court rulings against FedEx mean for workers

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Decline of civilization, part 473

By R. Neal, Wed, 2014/08/27 - 10:05am

The only thing more depressing than a generation of teenage mutant video game playing zombies is a new generation of teenage mutant video game watching zombies watching videos of teenage mutant video game playing zombies play video games. And this brilliant idea is apparently worth $1 billion. Guess I'm getting old, because this is way too meta for me.

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KnoxGOP: The best government money can buy

By R. Neal, Wed, 2014/08/27 - 9:04am

KNS: court testimony reveals widespread corruption

[Ex-Trustee Fred] Sisk admitted Tuesday a host of financial crimes, from knowingly paying Delbert Morgan for work he didn't do to taking taxpayer money to which he was not entitled to giving former Trustee Mike Lowe a kickback from his illegal gains.

He justified it all with this statement: "I was doing what I could to get elected."

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McIntyre: Pregnancy is a "physical disability?"

By R. Neal, Tue, 2014/08/26 - 9:01pm

Knox Co. Schools Superintended McIntyre apparently doesn't think newly elected school board member Amber Rountree should be allowed to participate in orientation for new school board members because she's pregnant, or something?

Not quite sure what to make of this.

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EmiSunshine is coming to the Princess

By fuzzbert, Tue, 2014/08/26 - 8:51pm

She's been singing since she was four, and by 5 she'd written her first song. By the age of six she had performed live at countless churches and festivals around East Tennessee, and at age seven she recorded her first two albums, simultaneously!

Most recently she was on NBC's Today Show, proving that she is going somewhere fast!

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House plans to spend up to $350,000 on Obama suit

By jbr, Tue, 2014/08/26 - 5:20pm

Is there a list or infograph, something, of what the House has done with their time and resources since 2008? Not only the money, but the time and energy involved.

Washington Post ...

The contract expires at noon on January 3, 2015, with Baker Hostetler charging $500 an hour for their services. The paperwork authorizes $350,000 in congressional spending for the lawsuit against the president.

House plans to spend up to $350,000 on Obama suit

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