Last week’s story about legislation introduced by state Rep. Rick Staples implied a problem with drinking water in public schools since Staples wants to require school systems to test it. His bill (HB0631) was scheduled to be heard by the House Education & Administrative Planning subcommittee on Tuesday, March 28.
Meanwhile, we checked with state and local agencies to clarify the current status of school water, especially in schools built before June 19, 1986, when the federal lead ban took effect.
The first week of February, I visited Easter Island in the South Pacific Ocean, 2,300 miles east of Chile, which owns the island. It had been on my bucket list for years. Two other Knoxvillians who have previously visited Easter Island are Will Skelton, active greenways advocate and retired attorney, and Jeff Chapman, well respected director of the McClung Museum on the UT Knoxville campus.
Getting there is part of the adventure, as one flies to Santiago, the capital of Chile, overnight and then flies five hours west over the Pacific to the island, which is partway to Australia from Chile. There are daily flights to the island from Santiago. Otherwise, one goes by ship, and they are infrequent.
Hey candidates! Give us less baloney and more meat and potatoes.
Although the first votes won’t be cast until 2018, county commissioner and radio personality Bob Thomas kicked off his campaign for county mayor this month with a baloney cutting at Howard Phillips’ real estate company in Powell. The location was no coincidence. In 2009, Tim Burchett announced his campaign for mayor there as well.
Bob Thomas, radio guy and at-large county commissioner, kicked off his campaign for Knox County mayor last week with a baloney-cutting at Powell Auction. He followed Mayor Tim Burchett’s path (Burchett also launched his campaign there), but two years ahead of the election.
Turnout was huge, and it was great to see old friends.
Commissioners Bob Thomas and Ed Brantley came to Hardin Valley to talk about roads. Instead, they got an earful about a “back-door deal” to swap a portion of the Nicholas Ball Park on Middlebrook Pike for 100 acres of mountain land off Hardin Valley Road.
Ball Camp would lose one of two soccer fields and a portion of a ½-mile walking trail. The county’s land would be consolidated with adjacent property so a Walmart grocery store could be built, residents said.
Among the citizens who showed up for the Powell edition of Ed and Bob Show (i.e. the traveling constituent meeting road show put on by county commissioners-at-large Ed Brantley and Bob Thomas) was Chuck Ward, the “Fix it, Flip it or Skip it” radio show guy. Brantley introduced Ward to the crowd as a “probable” county commission candidate from District 9 next year.
By the time the Shopper-News caught up with Ward, a busy guy who’s always on his way to somewhere else, he’d downgraded his candidate status from probable to just the other side of possible. He’s just got too many irons in the fire, he said, which was why he was being interviewed by telephone on his way to a real estate agent’s office to pick up a gift he’d been told would be waiting for him at the front desk. When he walked in, he remarked that the place seemed deserted, yoo-hooed and got a terse response from some guy in the back.
Former City Council member Chris Woodhull has moved to the Chattanooga area, where he lives in Lookout Mountain, Ga., although he maintains his domicile here in Knoxville.
Over coffee recently, Woodhull, 54, told this writer that he continues to host “Improvisations” on Friday nights for WUOT; he started doing it before he left council in December 2011. “I grew up with jazz,” he says. He comes to Knoxville weekly to tape the show on the UT campus.