Here’s the March list of places and times where people can find Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett for meetings. It’s not all coffee shops and libaries, either. Burchett is holding one in a comic book store (which brings to mind judgements from the Comic Book Store Guy on The Simpsons):
Tuesday, March 4
Pratt’s Country Store
3100 Tazewell Pike
Friday, March 7
11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Habaneros Mexican Grill
4704 Asheville Highway
Wednesday, March 12
New Krypton Comics
6767 Jubilee Center Way
Thursday, March 13
Long’s Drug Store
4604 Kingston Pike
Tuesday, March 18
4014 Chapman Highway
Wednesday, March 19
7650 Oak Ridge Highway
Monday, March 24
12556 Kingston Pike
Wednesday, March 26
It’s All So Yummy Café
120 S. Peters Road
Monday, March 31
Twisters Shakes and Sundaes
7237 Tazewell Pike
Got this release in my inbox today – it’s a tad outside of Knox County, but here you are:
Elizabeth C. Asbury has announced her candidacy for the position of Chancellor of the 8th Judicial District. The district includes Campbell, Claiborne, Fentress, Scott and Union counties. She is a lifelong resident of Campbell County, TN and currently resides in Caryville.
Elizabeth has practiced law in the 8th Judicial District since graduating from the University of Tennessee – College of Law in 1985. From 1985 to 1993, she maintained a private practice. She then served from 1993-1998 as an Assistant District Attorney traveling the 8th Judicial District.
In 1998, she re-entered private practice with her father, Lee Asbury, and her brother, Robert Asbury. Her practice has served clients throughout the 8th Judicial District. She had the privilege of practicing law with her father, Judge Lee Asbury, until his death in 2006. Judge Asbury served as Criminal Court Judge for the 8th Judicial District. She continues to practice with her brother, Robert Asbury, in Jacksboro, Tennessee.
Elizabeth’s community involvement includes serving on the St. Mary’s of Campbell County Board of Directors, Caryville City Judge, Campbell County Planning Commission, LaFollette Housing Authority Board Member, REACHS Board Member, LaFollette Medical Foundation Board Member, Campbell County Agriculture Committee and she is an active member of the Jacksboro United Methodist Church.
She believes that it would be an honor to serve the citizens as Chancellor of the 8th Judicial District. The Committee to Elect Elizabeth C. for Chancellor has been formed with the Honorable Jack Cannon serving as Treasurer and Clarence Lowe as Campaign Manager.
Had a little fun last night with the phone downtown, in a video that’s online at KNS.
There was a time when you’d find me out lobbing snowballs (water balloon slingshots are good for long-range siege tactics), and this kind of wet snow is the stuff that would help young Calvin build a fortress to gird against Susie Derkins.
It was good times. Hope you enjoy the clip.
An electronic voting system could soon be coming to Knox County. People could potentially see in real time which commissioners vote whatever way in Knox County.
Commissioners will discuss this in the work session Monday.
For the wonks out there, this is a big move – will help cut the fevered note-checking and questions among we media types on who voted for what. And it would help us ensure further accuracy when reporting who voted for what.
This is good news – if it passes, of course.
This would potentially add a few more bells and whistles too, but a simple vote tracker is a good thing to have. It would help the public keep commissioners straight too, on who is voting for what.
Some people may have forgotten about how to do this uncommon occurence here in East Tennessee: Driving in Snow.
Here’s a short primer.
After five years sliding through my fair share of intersections with a ’91 Camry in college, I’ve learned a couple of things about driving in snow. Many of us are staying home, but a few have to work, drive and get around. Here’s three tips that can help you get around safely.
- Drive 10 mph slower than you usually do. Don’t try to keep up with traffic whizzing past you.
- Leave at least a good two to three car lengths between you and the other cars on the road. This isn’t NASCAR. It takes much, much longer to stop in icy, snowy conditions.
- Assume other drivers have no idea what they’re doing. Because they probably don’t. Avoid them.
You can read about turning into the steer and other odds and ends out there, but I’m a fan of Keep It Simple, Stupid.
Nonetheless, here are few more handy tips:
- Be sure to clear your headlight lenses before driving. And use your headlights.
- Warm up your car a for an extra minute or two from a cold start. Not only does this make it cozier to hop in, scraping ice and snow off a warm windshield is easier.
- Scrape your entire windshield and side windows. Don’t be that person who just scrapes off the area in front of your steering wheel.
- When you park, lift your windshield wipers up from the dash. This will keep them from freezing to your windshield.
- When stuff is freezing, run the defroster on full heat. I’ve found this helps keep my wipers from getting stuck in nasty ice on my windshield. This may not work in all cars.
- If you find yourself in an empty parking lot with no cars and a fresh layer of snow, try slamming the brakes from about 10 mph. You get to learn how your car slides this way. Hopefully you won’t have to use this, but it can be helpful. But don’t do donuts. Seriously.
- Keep a flashlight in your car.
- If you have front wheel drive and crappy old tires (like I do), let about 5 lbs of air out if you’re driving in snow. This increases the surface area of the tire, helps with traction. Just remember to fill them back up when roads get clear.
- If you have all-wheel or 4 wheel drive, then you’re good in snow, but just as bad as most anyone else in ice.
- Watch the Olympics. Eat a frozen pizza. Make soup. Play board games. Read a book. Catch up on chores. Not much really will be gotten done out there in the world while we’re snowed under, so why fight it? Enjoy your snow day.
Teacher comments from the surveys are now public, giving a greater window into the thinking of teachers who took the survey – which was close to 90 percent of Knox County Schools teachers. Some observations:
- “Common Core” – 169 mentions – Many of them saying that it’s a good idea, but implementation was too fast. Also common is a complaint with testing and data that came with Common Core - it’s getting in the way of implementing the programs themselves.
- “Rubric” - mentioned 146 times, followed by words like “ridiculous,” “unattainable,” “not applied consistently,” … and you get the idea. Some said that the Common Core rubric was OK in theory, but unwieldy in practice.
- “My school” – 165 times – These comments often were some variation of love-my-school-but-don’t-like-the-district. This reminds me of a common voter sentiment: “I hate Congress, but love my congressman.”
- “McIntyre” – 42 times – As one might expect, these comments were not all glowing praise for KCS Superintendent Jim McIntyre. Many suggested that he find a new job elsewhere, accused him of connections with leaders in Nashville, media and a number of other similar things. They questioned his leadership, asked him to listen and asked him to back up his words with action. There was one somewhat positive comment: “I think that Dr. McIntyre is doing his best and means well, however I wonder if his inner circle are “yes” men or shielding him from the reality.” – still not exactly high praise.
- “micromanage” – 11 times.
- “write” or “writing” – 61 times – These are all over the map. One teacher said their son wasn’t a strong writer in 6th grade, but wound up working on a second degree. Others say there’s not enough time to write, or go to the library, or that there’s too much writing and essays. Or that writing is good, but testing is not. Or that there is no time to add more writing tests. Or that young children are spending too much time writing and not enough time “being kids.”
… that last one – write and writing - started out being a search out of pure selfish curiosity. On my better days, when the barometric pressure is just so, when I have a not-too-hot cup of coffee and a full quill, I can sometimes occasionally be considered a writer. (Generally, I’m mostly a monkey with a pen). upon reading into the comments, it became apparent that teachers have their own strengths, weaknesses and opinions on how they belive is the best way to handle their classes and the personalities within them. As many appear to think that writing is good exercise as much as it seems that there are teachers who appear to believe that writing gets in the way of handling class time and their students.
Beyond that, there are themes among teachers’ comments in the survey - mostly, the wealth of testing corresponding to Common Core is unpopular, even if the intent of Common Core is agreed upon to be mostly good. And teachers generally believe their school is fine, but the district is on the skids.
What’s also apparent is the theme of hope and desire for improvement. (There are plenty of angry comments, sure, but a common desire to make things better appears to exist among commenters as well.) Teachers, like many people in life, want progress. Unlike many people in life, they tend to be the types of people who don’t mind getting their hands dirty to help things improve along the way.
Here are the comments.