GOVERNMENT/POLITICS A4-5 | OUR COLUMNISTS A6-7 | YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD SCHOOLS A10 | BUSINESS A11 | HEALTH & LIFESTYLES SECTION B
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karns / hardin valley
VOL. 6, NO. 1
JANUARY 2, 2012
In this issue!
Parkside work could delay Karns connector
FEATURED COLUMNIST BETTY BEAN
By Betty Bean Right-of-way acquisition for Knox County’s portion of the unfinished Karns connector, which will eventually link Hardin Valley Road to Oak Ridge Highway, could begin this year, but the project may see further delay, county officials say. Part of this project was funded and completed by the Tennessee Department of Transportation to provide access to the Ben Atchley Veteran’s Home. Knox County Public Works deputy director Jim Snowden said that the county plans to complete the connector from Beaver Creek to Oak Ridge Highway and align it with the existing connector to create a signalized four-way intersection at a cost of $3- to $4 million. “Portions of this will happen in 2012, and the earliest (a contract) would be let is 2013. We don’t know what the budget’s going to look like, so it’s hard to say exactly what the completion date will be,” he said. Public Works director Dwight Van de Vate said this work could be affected by the fate of a Parkside
Meet ‘Jane’ A practicing psychologist discusses her own struggles with mental illness. See page A-6
City/County Christmas tree recycling Knox County will recycle Christmas trees throughout January at Dutchtown Convenience Center , 10618 Dutchtown Road; Forks of the River Convenience Center, 3106 Water Plant Road; Halls Convenience Center, 3608 Neal Drive; John Sevier Convenience Center, 1810 John Sevier Highway; Powell Convenience Center, 7311 Morton View Lane; and Gibbs Convenience Center, 7201 Tazewell Pike. Trees must be cleaned of all ornaments, lights, wire, string and other décor.
Drive project that has been stymied by right-of-way issues. “If we are able to resolve these issues and are able to acquire right-ofway without any sort of adversarial action, it will push back the Karns project,” Van de Vate said. Parkside Drive lies on the south side of I-40/75, and runs between Campbell Station on the west and North Peters Road near Seven Oaks Shopping Center on the east. It was identified several years ago as having high crash data, Van de Vate said. “Since that time, most of it has been significantly improved (by adding lanes to increase capacity or through the addition of traffic signals and turn lanes at key intersections, such as at Hayfield Road).” But the stretch between Center Park Drive on the west and Windsor Square Shopping Center on the east remains unfinished. Van de Vate and Snowden want to finish the project, but negotiations to acquire right-of-way were unsuccessful and previous County Mayor Mike Ragsdale did not want to use condemnation to acquire the land.
Knox County Public Works director Dwight Van De Vate and deputy director Jim Snowden review planned road projects. Photo by Betty Bean
“We have made Mayor (Tim) Burchett aware of the project’s history and he has asked us to reopen the discussion with the landowner to see if we can get the project finished out,” Van de Vate said. “If we are successful, it’s likely (not certain, but likely) that action on the Karns Connector would be deferred for a year. We generally prioritize a project that is intended to reduce crashes (Parkside) over one that is purely intended to provide long-term transportation improvements (Karns Connector).” Knox County, of course, is also working to extend Outlets Drive from Lovell Road to Campbell Station.
Outlets Drive lies on the north side of I-40/75 and currently dead ends just east of Hayes Lane, which runs off Campbell Station. Knox County is improving Outlets Drive on the west end by extending it to connect with Hayes Lane. The town of Farragut is improving the intersection of Hayes Lane at Campbell Station, so when the two roads are connected and all is said and done, Outlets Drive will run between Lovell Road and Campbell Station. Knox County already has made improvements on the east end of Outlets Drive by adding turn lanes and a traffic signal at the intersection of Outlets and Lovell.
Turkey Creek Public Market gets new management By Theresa Edwards
Christmas tree collection in the city is the same process as for brush collection. After all decorations have been removed, trees should be placed at the street for collection.
Turkey Creek Public Market has shaken up its management team with the hiring of Cheri Spinazzola as the general manager. She previously worked as general manager for Nashville’s Opry Mills, a Simon-owned retail outlet. The assistant manager is Jay Underwood. Spinazzola is happy to be “back home” and to join the team at Turkey Creek. “I’m excited about a new marketing campaign that is just beginning,” she said, “as well as the extension of Outlets Drive to Campbell Station Road in the spring.” She is lining up entertainment and asks anyone interesting in booking an event to call 671-5000. The market is open Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Info: www.turkeycreekpublicmarket.com/.
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Burchett looks at the year ahead
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By Larry Van Guilder Mayor Tim Burchett is the chief fiscal officer for Knox County, so it comes as no surprise that his focus for 2012 can be summed up in two words: the budget. “We’re in constant discussions about the budget,” Burchett says. He also has bi-weekly meetings with Schools Superintendent Dr. Jim McIntyre. Last year, $7 million in federal stimulus money funded programs and some personnel costs for the schools. That money is gone, but the needs are as great as ever. “My concern is that cuts
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Burchett says Knox County is “a donor community” currently, and the former state senator understands what it takes to change that: “17 votes in the Senate and 50 in the House.” Burchett slimmed down the county administrative budget last year, and the cuts weren’t nearly as draconian some feared. The mayor says the “tweaking” will continue, and the buck Tim Burchett will stop on his desk. “When they talk about don’t affect the classroom,” (cutting) ‘a few percentage the mayor says. points,’ I’m the one who has One source for offsetting to make those decisions,” some of the stimulus money he says, and it’s never easy, loss is the Basic Education especially where jobs are Program (BEP) which dis- concerned. “You can’t run tributes state education dol- government like a business lars to local school districts. or business like the govern-
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ment,” he adds. Burchett acknowledges that closing the Lakeshore Mental Health Institute potentially could burden the county with what amounts to an unfunded mandate. “I hope we don’t use that as an excuse to grow government,” he says. “I hope those dollars follow the patients. “Unfortunately, we’re not equipped (to care for the patients) and neither is J.J. (Sheriff Jimmy “J.J.” Jones).” Already there’s talk on County Commission about beefing up local outpatient treatment programs, but Burchett says he’s optimistic the state will do the right thing. “I texted the governor and he assured us those folks will be taken care of.” Dean Rice, the mayor’s chief of staff, says the administration will “stay the course”
in 2012: Continue to “shrink the footprint” and “spend less.” To that the mayor adds that government needs to become less intrusive. “Too many times I’ll hear, ‘What’s government doing for jobs’? I say it gets out of the way and lets businesses operate.” Burchett successfully championed a new elementary school for the Carter community, but, in general, he says he’s not a “big project” fan. “Instead of starting new programs, pay down the debt,” he says. (Last year’s budget included the administration’s plan to pare the debt by $100 million over five years.) “It’s not sexy, it doesn’t make headlines,” Burchett says, “but those millions we save now will pay off down the road.”
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A-2 • JANUARY 2, 2012 • KARNS/HARDIN VALLEY SHOPPER-NEWS
Happy New Year, Karns (and Hardin Valley)
grams, aerobics, yoga, Zumba, basketball, youth praise band, adult praise band, Chancel Choir, hand bells, United Methodist Women, United Methodist Men, Senior Beavers, craft group, Daisy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts. “We hope you will join us as we continue to be active in our many mission projects in our community and around the world,” said Nance. Beaver Ridge UMC is located at 7753 Oak Ridge Highway. It’s the “Church with a Heart in the Heart of Karns.” Info: 690-1060 or www.beaverridgeumc.com/.
Harris. The March 6. ■
Happy birthday, Bob
Thursday, Jan. 12, is the official kick off for Gina ■ Note from Beaver Oster’s school board camRidge UMC paign. The event is 6-8 p.m. Beaver Ridge United at The Adams Law Firm, Methodist Church and the 8517 Kingston Pike. DonaRev. Catherine Nance want tions are welcomed but not to wish the members and required. Oster says there will be the community a Happy and Healthy New Year. finger foods and a time to “Beaver Ridge is looking meet and speak with her forward to a New Year full about the upcoming camof activities for our children, paign. Incumbent board youth, young adults, adults member Cindy Buttry did not seek re-election. and seniors,” said Nance. Other candidates are Activities include Parents Day Out and preschool pro- Bobby Edington and Doug
Bob Johnson will celebrate his 82nd birthday on Jan. 10, and he still works out. But now his idea of weight lifting is getting out of his chair. Bob and Marilyn have mailed a Christmas letter to friends since 1985. Bob calls it “The Johnson Medical Letter.” You can guess why. The Bob Johnson Insurance Agency thrives in Halls today, operated by the Johnsons’ sons, Doug and Ben, and other insurance professionals. Say this for Bob, when he retired he left town. I doubt that Shannon and Jake will be so lucky (here at the paper). Bob’s been using a cane since a bad fall last April as he and Marilyn attended a Gideon state convention at the Knoxville Convention Center. There’s no telling how many Bibles Bob has distributed through his work with Gideon. Marilyn attended another Esther Experience retreat last March and served on the prayer committee with daughter Jen-
board member and manager offered words of praise for Banks and his service over the year. The board signed a new District was earlier conBy Joe Rector contract for Drexel Heidel, The West Knox Utility tacted about picking up who will replace Banks the service which lies at District board ended 2011 as the district manager. with a full the edge of the WKUD The board also signed paagenda. The area, but the two districts pers to open an account have not reached an agreecommisfor moneys designated for ment. The board asked the sioners met the expansion of the water with Smith- developer to return after treatment plant on Henanalysis of possible cost bilt Homes derson Road. sharing for services is inconcerning The final discussion s e r v i c e s vestigated. The meeting was the centered on property lines to a proposed de- last for outgoing manager between the Henderson Heidel velopment. Mike Banks, who began Road plant and property Hallsdale Powell Utility his retirement Jan. 1. Each owned by the Reed fam-
ily. The original survey used antiquated marker identifications, and a new survey was called for to set accurate boundaries. The Reeds were told that a decision to accept or turn down the new survey was needed by Jan. 3 or other actions would be taken. Following the meeting, board members and employees gathered to share a Christmas lunch complete with fried turkeys and all the “fixins.” The next meeting was scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31.
Community newspapering is nothing more or less than story telling. I grew up in the area between Halls and Powell which I call Possum Holler. My grandfather and his sisters were born in a white house on Bull Run Creek where my aunt still lives. My cousins live on the farm and my house is up the road and across the street from where my parents lived. Every morning I look across at the maple trees my dad and I planted when I was 4. So it’s easy to write stories about the folks in Possum Holler. It’s harder to write about people in Karns and Hardin Valley where my best stories were about Helen R. Gault and her nemesis, Oris Lynch. Both have passed on. In 2012, I plan to make some new friends in Karns
and Hardin Valley. Here’s hoping you will pick up this ■ paper every Monday and read about them.
Note from Gina Oster
Heidel takes the helm
Marilyn and Bob Johnson File photo by S. Clark
nie, good friend Jane Fray and three others. But Marilyn’s best news is her newest project. She and three others have started a child evangelism “good news club” at a low income apartment complex. Marilyn says the kids are “like sponges, soaking up the Good News.” And the other good news (for their children) is that they’ve stopped embarrassing the kids in the annual letter. Now they’re focused on the grandkids … and they seem to like them better.
Amber Talley is engaged to Ben Lowe with the wedding set for May. Lanna Talley is the head pastry chef at Chez Liberty on Kingston Pike near Homberg. Alicia Johnson graduated in logistics from UT in May and then studied abroad in Australia for one month. Chandler graduated from high school and enrolled at Carson-Newman. Jacob and Adam are 12 and 10 and both like flag football. Adam also plays piano, while Jacob buys coins at flea markets.
KARNS NOTES ■ Council of West Knox County Homeowners meets at 7:15 p.m. each first Tuesday at Peace Lutheran Church, 621 N. Cedar Bluff Road. Info: www.cwkch.com/. ■ Greater Karns Business Association meets at noon each second Thursday at the Karns Community Club building on Oak Ridge Highway. Info: www.karnsbusiness.com/. ■ Karns chapter of American Business Women Association meets at 6 p.m. each second Monday at Outback Steakhouse on North Peters Road. Info: Alisa Pruett, 6034273 or firstname.lastname@example.org/. On Jan. 9, the speaker will be from the Smoky Mountain Service Dogs, a nonprofit group that serves Disabled American Veterans and others with physical and/or psychological disabilities. ■ Karns Republican Club meets 7 p.m. each first Tuesday at Karns Middle School library. Info: Lorraine Coffey.
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KARNS/HARDIN VALLEY SHOPPER-NEWS â€˘ JANUARY 2, 2012 â€˘ A-3
Mike Banks retires from WKUD The New Year begins with promises of changes and new directions for most of us. Nothing could be truer for Mike Banks, manager of West Knox Utility District. On the first day of 2012, he began a new life as a retiree. Itâ€™s something he greets with mixed emotions. Banks served in the U.S. Navy on the USS Forrester as an air controller during the Vietnam War. In 1976 he began his career at WKUD as an assistant manager. For the past 12 years Banks has led the utility as the manager. Heâ€™s amazed at the changes that have taken place
amazed at the technology thatâ€™s been introduced over the years. That includes meters that can be checked via Joe signals so that readers Rector radio donâ€™t need to leave vehicles and work orders being completed on iPads. Heâ€™s leaving Patsy Gorduring his tenure. The num- man, who served as his adber of customers has more ministrative assistant and than doubled to 28,000 in a has put in 40 years with territory that stretches over WKUD. She says Mike is several miles that once were like a brother and sheâ€™ll miss rural but have now become him. Drexel Heidel, the cursubdivisions and commer- rent assistant manager, will cial centers. The number of become the new manager employees with WKUD has of the utility, and he is apgone from 30 to 70, still a preciative of the time Banks lean number for such a large has given him over the years area. Most of all, Banks is and the things heâ€™s taught.
Holiday of Lights
at The Cove
Mike Banks was honored by fellow employees and friends at a retirement party in December. Photo by Joe Rector Banks says his job has been made easier by good employees and good customers. Heâ€™s enjoyed working with both groups and will miss the contact with them.
The toughest parts of his job have been keeping up with federal regulations, but heâ€™s proud that WKUD has maintained a good record with EPA. As for what heâ€™ll do with his time now, Banks isnâ€™t sure. He might work on improving his golf game. At home he enjoys building furniture in his shop, and he also enjoys piloting planes. A second degree black belt, he used to teach some classes and might work out some. His wife, Lyle, retired from her teaching job at Copper Ridge Elementary, so thereâ€™ll be time to travel. Banks owns a 1996 Fatboy Harley and might take a few trips on it with Lyle. Heâ€™ll also spend as much time as possible with his three
daughters, Christy, Katie and Kimberly. Mike Banks recommends that young people entering the work force find a company to which they can be loyal and which hires good people who want to stay for an entire career. He encourages them â€œto keep their heads up and plowâ€? in these difficult economic times. West Knox Utility District will continue to be a service and customer-oriented organization. However, it will miss the leadership, kindness and friendship of Mike Banks, the man whoâ€™s been at the helm. Good luck, Mike, and enjoy your retirement knowing that youâ€™ve done a good job. Contact: email@example.com.
Konrad Szymanowski and Eleanor Ziolkowski buy kettle corn from Shirley Merritt at the Holiday Festival of Lights, held at The Cove at Concord Park and sponsored by Knox County Parks and Recreation. The event was free and food was collected for the Love Kitchen.
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Santaâ€™s helicopter, one of many light creations at the Cove.
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John and Kathy Shilling help their granddaughter, Kathy Smith, make sâ€™mores at the Coveâ€™s holiday of lights celebration. Photos by T. Edwards of TEPHOTOS.com
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A-4 • JANUARY 2, 2012 • WEST SIDE SHOPPER-NEWS
Pavlis to job applicants: ‘Don’t expect 90 grand’ By the early ShopperNews holiday deadline last week, 10 candidates had pitched their names into the hopper to be considered for the job of counsel to City Council being va-
Mr. Answer Man looks back You can’t predict which of your well-intentioned ramblings may set someone off. Mr. Answer Man takes a second look at items which provoked some sensitive readers. Q: I’m disgusted with the U.S. Congress and Senate, Mr. Answer Man. Both bodies seem more interested in party agendas than in the welfare of the people. What do you think should be done? Mr. Answer Man recommended an amendment to the Constitution that would bar Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, tea partiers and folks under the age of 65 from elected office. He still doesn’t understand how such a common sense proposal could offend anyone. Q: Mr. Answer Man, W.C. Fields once said, “Any man who hates dogs and babies can’t be all bad.” Looking over the cuts to nonprofits in this year’s Knox County budget, do you think Mayor Tim Burchett fits that description? Mr. Answer pointed out that the questioner was wrong on a couple counts. First, it was writer Leo Rosten who said that about Fields. Second, Tim Burchett is a warmhearted, sentimental soul who tears up at the drop of a hat. For the record, Mr. Answer Man likes the mayor. Q: Mr. Answer Man: Because I have no life, I just read Knox County’s 2010 Consolidated Annual Financial Report. On page 8 I read that the county’s capital assets are “not available for future spending” because the assets “provide services to citizens.” Doesn’t this put a crimp in Mayor Burchett’s plans for Carter Elementary School? Mr. Answer Man noted that assets that do not “provide services” and are free of related debt may be sold. He conducted a forensic audit of the county’s assets and came up with a list of qualifying items: three gas-powered refrigerators, a subscription to National Geographic, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtledoves and Property Assessor Phil Ballard. Immediately following this column, Mr. Answer Man’s membership in the Carter Elementary Boosters’ Club was canceled and his property assessment went up 38 percent. Q: Hello, Mr. Answer Man. What is a “TIF,” and can I get one? I understand it is worth a lot of money. Mr. Answer Man explained that “TIF” is an acronym for “This Is Fantastic.” If you’re dreaming of creating a strip mall or hotel that may create dozens of minimum wage jobs, TIF dollars may be just what you need to bring your vision to life. Before applying, answer these questions: (a) I contributed (blank) to (blank) commissioners’ last election campaigns. (b) Does your car have a bumper sticker that reads “I love The Development Corporation?” (c) Should a developer pay for infrastructure improvements that mainly benefit the developer’s project? The correct answers are: (a) as much as I could to as many as I could (b) yes (c) never. Proving that some folks have no sense of humor, soon after the above ran Mr. Answer Man learned that his TIF application to build a luxury resort for homeless journalists had been turned down.
cated by Charles Swanson, whom Mayor Madeline Rogero tapped as law director. That list was sure to grow longer by the New Year’s Eve deadline. Some were doubtless lured by the salary – lawyers haven’t been immune from the recession, and $90,000 a year for a part-time job makes a comfy cushion against hard times. This will be the brandnew City Council’s most pressing business to date, and they will meet at 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 5, in the Large Assembly Room for a workshop to discuss hiring
Swanson’s replacement. Vice Mayor Nick Pavlis will preside, marking his first time to take up the gavel at a workshop. At least one of his views may not be popular with job applicants. He’s looking to cut the Council counsel’s pay, which was raised in 2007 by thenVice Mayor Mark Brown. “For those who think they’re coming in at 90 grand – guess again,” Pavlis said. “There will be several criteria, and experience is certainly one of them. The pay should be commensurate to the amount of experience. Charles is a person who walked out the door with 28 years’ experience, and I wouldn’t be in favor of starting the next person out at that level.” But that is not to say that he doesn’t consider the job crucial: “The foremost thing on my plate is to get the attorney hired as Swanson’s replacement and we’ve got a workshop on the 5th to
Nick Pavlis File photo discuss that,” he said. “My personal preference would be for a city resident (at least two applicants live in Blount County) and my thought is to do a two-year contract to give them a chance to get their feet wet.” Pavlis said he was surprised not to have been heavily lobbied about the position, but expected that to change after last Friday’s deadline for applications. “There’s only been one,” he said. “Mose Lobetti called me before Christmas on behalf of Jason Long.” Long, who is with Lon-
don and Amburn, was one of the first to submit an application. He is a former law partner of Swanson and filled in for him at meetings when Swanson could not attend. Other candidates who had filed by Wednesday noon are John F. Weaver Jr.; Arun Rattan; Melanie Davis, who is with the Maryville firm Kizer and Black; Thomas McCroskey, also of Maryville; Stephen R. Wise of Wise and Reeves (Wise represents the Metropolitan Planning Commission); former law department employee George T. Underwood Jr. of the Underwood Law Practice; David Dothard of Breeding and Dothard; and Michael Cramer, another former city law department lawyer, of Norton, Spangler and Cramer. Former City Council member Rob Frost, who is with Arnett, Draper and Hagood, was expected to file an application before week’s end, as well.
Pension reform tops ‘to-do’ list Pension reform will be high on the “things to do” list for Mayor Madeline Rogero whether she wants to deal with it or not. In fact, changes must be voted on by November 2012 or we must wait two years to 2014. Costs are rising and getting a handle on them will be hard. Delay only adds to the cost. While Dave Hill will receive a city pension in 2017 at a little more than $12,500 a year, his supplemental account value is $46,515 as of Sept. 30, 2011, which he can cash in now. New federal court clerk and former city law director Deborah Poplin will earn $1,841.38 at age 62 (many years from now) after 13 years and 10 months with the city on two separate occasions. Her supplemental retirement account value is considerable at $60,450.81 as of Sept. 30, 2011. She can withdraw it when she no longer works for the city. Current city charter provisions mandate a 3 percent
annual increase even when the cost of living is less. This is more than current city employees’ mandated 2.5 percent annual increase and is hard to justify. The eligible age to draw the city pension could be moved from 62 to 64 which would impact future employees but reduce costs. Current annual contributions by city employees to the retirement system could be increased. These changes stir opposition from some. The current task force has not made a report back to the city and it is not expected to urge many significant recommendations. Expect to see Rogero chosen as the new pension board chair if she is willing to do it. That will give her an important voice in mak-
Events set for MLK holiday Various local events are set to observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 16, a holiday for most. The MLK Tribute Service is 11:45 a.m. Jan. 16 at the Greater Warner Tabernacle AME Zion Church, with the Rev. Dr. Charles E. Goodman Jr. speaking. Dr. Goodman is the senior pastor of the historic Tabernacle Baptist
ing needed changes. ■ Lisa Hatfield, Knoxville city attorney whose law license was suspended for a week for not completing CLE requirements, also has a reputation for not returning phone calls promptly or ever. Law Director Charles Swanson may wish to remind her that her $79,000 plus salary is paid by city taxpayers and calls from taxpayers should be returned the same day. She should take seriously whatever her new boss tells her as Swanson will run a tight ship as law director. ■ Ivan Harmon told me that he plans a third campaign for mayor in 2015. (He ran against me in 1995 and again in 2011 against Rogero). ■ Meanwhile, Sheriff Jimmy “J.J.” Jones has hired Harmon as a maintenance supervisor at the Knox County penal farm. When I spoke to Harmon, he was doing some repairs with a work crew at Three Ridges
Church in Augusta, Ga. He has traveled abroad to preach and study in the Holy Land and was recently inducted into the Martin Luther King Jr. Board of Preachers. He was voted one of “America’s Most Loved Pastors” in the 2006 issue of Gospel Today magazine. This event is free and open to the public. The annual MLK Leadership Luncheon will be noon Thursday,
Golf Course. Sheriff Jones actively backed Harmon for mayor this past election and they are longtime hunting friends. Jones and Harmon then openly backed Mark Padgett against Rogero in the mayoral runoff. This employment will add to Harmon’s county pension which he already has from his County Commission service but he will not be part of the lucrative sheriff’s pension plan. ■ Anne Woodle, FFM (First Friend of Madeline), says she will not be working for the city but will continue to be a close friend of the mayor. She was on the transition committee along with Larry Martin and Sam Anderson. Woodle is a former school board member and her son is married to council member Finbarr Saunders’ daughter who works for the city of Knoxville. Woodle is well connected in the new city government. Contact Victor Ashe, 16-year Knoxville mayor and former U.S. ambassador to Poland, at firstname.lastname@example.org/.
Jan. 12, at the Knoxville Marriott ballroom. Judge John Westley McClarty, who sits on the Court of Appeals for East Tennessee, will speak. Judge McClarty has served as Juvenile Court referee and special judge for Chattanooga City Court. Luncheon tickets may be purchased by calling 215-2048. A limited number of tickets may be available at the door the day of the event. Info: www.MLKKnoxville.org.
Contact Larry Van Guilder at email@example.com.
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WEST SIDE SHOPPER-NEWS • JANUARY 2, 2012 • A-5
Much to anticipate in 2012 “Elections have consequences” is a political buzzword and it’s true. It should have surprised no one when the Republicans took control of county election commissions following the party’s ascent to majority status in Nashville. And it should not be a huge shock that Madeline Rogero thought outside the white bread, white male box in naming her directors. It’s exciting to see the intelligence, training and diversity of Rogero’s appointments. It’s exciting to anticipate the ideas this group will propose to make Knoxville a better place to live and work. Despite the Bah! Humbug! advice from another pundit who urged Rogero to be careful lest she be a one-termer, our first female mayor has chosen boldly. Let the games begin. Pensions: How much should the promises of the past impede the progress of the future? Public employee pensions are the 800-pound gorilla that’s gobbling up scarce resources. I was amazed to read Victor Ashe’s comments about a mandatory annual 3 percent cost of living increase in city pensions. Leaders should quit pussy-footing around and get pension reform on the ballot. Let voters decide what we can afford. Public employees are nice folks, but so are preachers, bakers and candle-stick makers. Pay workers a fair wage and contribute toward their retirement. But guaranteed pay-outs and automatic cost of living increases are unsustainable. This is the paramount issue of 2012 and beyond.
Meet a couple of Rogero’s directors: Patricia Robledo will head the new Office of Business Support. She is a small-business owner and the executive director of the Robledo Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of East Tennessee. Robledo, who is married to downtown developer John Craig, moved here from Colombia in 1980 and worked for the 1982 World’s Fair. She became an American citizen in 1990, attended the University of Tennessee and then graduated with a double major in biology and medical technology from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo. In 1997, she founded Robledo Translations LLC, which provides Spanishlanguage interpretation and consulting services to companies and agencies across East Tennessee. Christi Branscom is the new public works director. A lawyer, she has been with Partners Development since 1991 and also is president and founder of Grace Construction. She has a principal broker’s license and a law degree. Branscom is a member
of national, state and local associations of home builders and Realtors. She is a past vice chair of the Central Business Improvement District and served on the executive committee of the Knoxville Chamber. Branscom has worked on numerous Partners projects, including Gettysvue, CarsonNewman College and Wei sga r ber Medical Park. She graduated with honors in finance from the Branscom Un iver sit y of Tennessee and earned her law degree from the University of Memphis. Twenty or 30 years ago these appointments would not have been possible because women with these credentials were rare or nonexistent. But then so were women mayors. ■
It’s too late for Fountain City, where a crematorium was permitted near a residential area, but the Gentry-Griffey construction got the town to talking and the City Council asked the Metropolitan Planning Commission for a report. MPC has set a public hearing for 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 10, in the small assembly room of the City County Building to take comments on appropriate siting and permitting of crematoria. MPC staff will examine current regulations and review best practices throughout the state and nation. Staff will then recommend postponement of the MPC
agenda item set for consid- ■ Dave Wright eration Jan. 12, pending a looks ahead recent petition to the city’s Commissioner Dave Board of Zoning Appeals regarding the Fountain City Wright says 2012 will be interesting because “so many permit. subjects have taken on a life ■ But what about of their own.” Schools: “We know the skunk? there’s a $7 million shortWe hate to disillusion fall, but it could be as much the young fellow, but Maras $14 million.” Wright shall Stair, meet Dave wants the school board to Wright. “come with a budget that Marshall is the youngest matches its income” and member of City Council. He says Superintendent Dr. Jim lifted both McIntyre won’t tell him how arms in the many seats are available for air after his students. “If we drew a cirs w e a r i n g cle three miles around Vine in. He’s ex- Middle School, we would cited about have enough kids (to fill it),” service. he said. “Of course, we can’t Dave is do that.” a grizzled Budget: “I expect the C o u n t y city and county to work toWright C o m m i s - gether to make government sion veteran, and he also more efficient. … If I lived had high hopes following in the city, I’d want the city his election. Dave’s wife, to go out of business. Those Pat, picks up the story: taxpayers are paying douThe first call, before he ble.” was even sworn in, came Pensions: “We sit here from a woman who want- and say the federal governed a dead skunk picked ment is growing at an unup. Dave called the public sustainable rate. Well, what works department. They are we doing?” came out and couldn’t find Charter review: “I fait. But the woman wouldn’t vor 13 to 15 commissioners, take no. She could smell it. one from each district, and So Dave went out himself no at-large members.” and sure enough. He found Contact: “Call me at it about 100 yards off the 556-6930, but if it’s a dead road on private property. skunk, call 215-HELP and Pat didn’t say what Dave ask for April.” did with the skunk, but she did tell another story about ■ Larry Smith a constituent who called looks ahead after a neighborhood altercation. Seems this fellow Commissioner R. Larry thought a horse was being Smith divides his concerns abused so he crept through into district and countywide the woods and up to the categories. fence to check it. For the 7th District, he The neighbor pounced wants completion of Emory and punched him with a Road through Powell (a state rock. concern), and a community
center for Heiskell. He wants the county to pave streets in Saddlebrooke subdivision where the developer “never put a second coat of asphalt on it,” and he wants to get the trash burned at Clayton Park in Halls. “I may have to call the Boy Scouts to help with that,” he said. Smith wants the Halls greenway project finished. “It’s such a small project … should have already been done.” He wants a northbound turn lane on MaynardSmith ville Pike at the Time Out Deli center. Countywide, Smith is troubled by the lack of new development. That’s reflected in the short meetings of MPC. “They start at 1 and are out by 3 p.m.,” he said, “and that’s with a long prayer.” Rural/Metro’s contract for ambulance service is up for renewal in August. Litigation between Natural Resources Recovery and Brad Mayes should “wrap up” this year and Knox County may “get some money.” Pensions: “It’s obvious we’re in the hole. We need to put (reform) on the ballot and stop the bleeding. Educate the people and vote.” Bonuses: “I’m not for (fee offices) paying $3,000 bonuses for taking an open book test.” Schools: “We start with a $7 million deficit; it could grow to $11 million or more.” Lakeshore: “Looks like it will close. (Knox County) will do something with those patients. It’s our obligation.”
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A-6 • JANUARY 2, 2012 • WEST SIDE SHOPPER-NEWS
A memoir with a twist By Betty Bean
Psychotherapist’s first book praised
rom the beginning, Carolyn Dobbins excelled. A stellar student and an Olympiccaliber athlete, as a teenager, there appeared to be no limit to what she could accomplish. Today she is Dr. Carolyn Dobbins, a respected psychotherapist with a Vanderbilt doctorate and a practice that fulfills her long-held desire to help people who are struggling with mental health issues. Contained within that broad outline is a remarkable story. This fall, she began its telling by publishing her first book, “What a Life Can Be,” in which she tells the story of “Jane,” a client who has struggled all her life with schizo-affective disorder, a cross between bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. It begins July 20, 2009, the date of Jane’s first session with Dobbins. Soon, Jane says she has decided to put her life down on paper for Dobbins’ review. The resulting memoir forms the basis of the book. Jane tells about the onset of her mental illness at the age of 17 and how it (along with a host of physical injuries) ended a promising career as an Alpine (and later a Nordic) skier on track to participate in the 1980 Olympics at Lake Placid.
“My legs were heavy, like lead. My balance was off. I was dizzy. I was slow. I didn’t know what was what. I’d jump on the trampoline and complain that the springs were shot. I’d play tennis and say that the racket needed new strings. I’d cross-country ski and complain about the wax being wrong. Then, I realized it was me,” she said. She kept trying for a while – stayed in boarding school at the ski academy in Vermont where she had been training and even started college there. Eventually, she asked her parents to help her come home to Knoxville because the process of securing a plane ticket was too daunting. Fast forwarding, she enrolled in the University of Tennessee, made straight As, transferred to the University of Utah, excelled and graduated. She recounted coming home from school to see her younger sister graduate from college and having a mental breakdown that made it obvious that her earlier diagnosis – bipolar disorder – was incorrect. She tells her story in a matterof-fact, compassionate fashion, sparing judgment – of the psychiatrists who tinkered with her medications with disastrous re-
Dr. Carolyn Dobbins Photo by Betty Bean
sults, and ultimately of herself, as well. She experienced jail, homelessness, marriage, a brief career as a country music singer, divorce and loneliness. There were successful careers built and lost and constant fear. The brutal facts are leavened with humor (like the time she called the White House to tell George H.W. Bush to shut up and eat his broccoli and got a call back from someone wanting to know if she was OK) and triumph (like successfully defending her dissertation just a week after being jailed, lost in the system and then hospitalized for a month). And it is not until the end of the narrative that Dobbins reveals the most crucial fact:
She is Jane. “I have written a book about my therapist, myself. It’s not about two people, but one who cares and who has a lot to manage and who does so as graciously as possible. That’s what a life can be. And that’s what it has been for me.” Dobbins was somewhat fearful of telling her story and wrote the first version under a pen name. Her publisher urged her to drop the pseudonym, and, with some trepidation, she reworked the book under her own name. It was published in October by Bridgecross Communications and is available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com. She has been interviewed on a national radio show that deals with mental health issues and plans to do some local presentations in the upcoming months. She is happy to have conquered her fear of telling her story. “I’ve been ill for 34 years; every day’s been a trial run,” she said. “There’s something to deal with every day that I get through and do. I call it a job. It’s a job in and of itself to take care of myself. I’m not reckless about it. Every day is just a further refinement. If I see a bump, I just deal with it. It’s never cost me a job.” The deeply spiritual Dobbins works with the Philadelphians Prison Ministry and has a private practice. She keeps up with local mental health issues, and although
she says she is not an expert on the subject, she is very concerned about the fate of the long-term patients at Lakeshore Mental Health Institute and for the employees who must find other arrangements when the state shuts the hospital down next year. “My concern is follow-through. If this absolutely has to occur, will these people have the care they need? And what will happen to the employees? Why are we doing this in the first place? We need a place like Lakeshore. If not, we need to take the money and hire people to run group homes. I am concerned that we’re going to end up with more homeless people, more people in jail. We’re talking about people who have been institutionalized for years. I know how hard it is to try and help someone homeless to become independent and get on their feet. Even with people who are young and have family support, it is not easy.” Finally, it is her goal to provide hope for the mentally ill and their families. “If you’re at the end of your rope and ready to give up, I say just give it some time and keep trying. Others have done it. Other people in this world have it a lot worse than I do, and when I think about the people I might be able to help, if I can help people, writing this book will have been worth the effort.”
Lions get ‘new’ truck for vision lab Jim McFarland of the Smoky Mountain LiBy Greg Householder ons Charities took possession of the truck at A few months ago, Remote Area Medical RAM headquarters in Island Home last week. donated a mobile vision lab to the Smoky The truck, a 1995 International FL70 with a Mountain Lions Charities. Last week, the “gooseneck” hitch, will also go to the paint shop Lions finalized the purchase of a truck from for the SMLC logo to replace the RAM one. RAM to pull it. The Lions will screen potential patients for Remote Area Medical had been using the eligibility. Depending on the individual cirlong trailer loaded with equipment which cumstances, the patient will be asked to go to fits prescription lenses to new frames for an optometrist for an eye exam and then told about 10 years. Earlier this year, RAM rewhere the lab will be set up. These patients ceived a newer, larger lab trailer and no lonwill bring their prescriptions to the lab and ger needed the older one, hence the donathe Lions will assemble the eyeglasses. Others tion to the Lions. may simply be told to come to the lab where The older trailer needs some work. Its roof an optometrist will conduct the eye exam and leaks and there is some wiring to be done, then the Lions will assemble the glasses. but the Lions have it covered. They are hoping to tow the lab in for repair this week. The McFarland said the reason for this dual Lions plan to start using the lab in March. process is because typically an optometrist can conduct only 15-18 eye exams in a day “So many people in East Tennessee need and the lab will have the capacity of assemglasses and this is going to extend the Lions bling about 100 glasses in a day. efforts,” said Stan Brock, founder of RAM. The Lions are looking for sponsors for the He said half or more of RAM’s patients Jim McFarland of the Smoky Mountain Lions Charities is ready to drive the group’s “new” truck vision lab, donations to help purchase lensare there for vision issues. purchased from Remote Area Medical. The truck will be used to pull the mobile vision lab RAM es, optometrists to do the exams and volun“We get calls all the time from people donated to the Lions earlier this year. Photo by Greg Householder teer technicians. Anyone interested should needing glasses,” said Brock. “Sometimes we contact McFarland at 556-9091. Donations have to tell them – ‘well, our next expedition may be mailed to Jim McFarland, 8030 Whitestone Road, is in Wise, Va.,’ or someplace. With the Lions having their from being used in the U.S. own lab, we can refer many of those patients to them.” “The millions of glasses recycled by the Lions are essentially Knoxville, TN 37938. The Smoky Mountain Lions Charities is a 501(c)(3) orgaThough the Lions accept used glasses through collection going overseas,” said Brock. The Lions donate glasses to RAM nization and all donations are tax deductible. boxes located around the community, law prevents those for use in the group’s foreign expeditions.
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WEST SIDE SHOPPER-NEWS • JANUARY 2, 2012 • A-7 17:43). And Jesus himself instructed, “Do not give what is holy to the dogs.” (Matthew 7:6) But since they were domesticated (between 10,000 and 12,000 years ago), dogs have been our servants, The young man went out and the angel went with our companions and our him; and the dog came out with him and went along friends. with them. I have been blessed in the (Tobit 6: 1b NRSV) last few days with an abunNo matter where we are, the shadow that trots bedance of dogs. My daughhind us is definitely four-footed. ters were here for Christ(“Women Who Run with the Wolves,” mas, and they brought their Clarissa Pinkola Estés) dogs: Emma, Zoe and Ellie – a yellow Lab, a black Lab/ The Bible doesn’t have greyhound mix, and a beamuch good to say about gle, respectively. dogs. The above quote is the Cross Fortunately, “the girls” Currents only comment that is anyget along well together, where close to neutral. Here, Lynn and so there were no tiffs. in Tobit (one of the books of Hutton What they bring with them the Apocrypha), the dog is is faithfulness, devotion, mentioned as a companion, a sense of adventure and a but only in passing. good nature. They are welltants (Isaiah 56:11) and as In all the other biblical behaved and accepting of all references to dogs, they are watchdogs (Isaiah 56:10). “Am I a dog, that you the attention anyone is willobjects of contempt and derision. This, notwith- come out against me with ing to offer. I read somewhere, and standing the fact that dogs sticks?” Goliath demands provided useful services: to know when facing David believe it to be true, that serving as shepherd’s assis- and his slingshot (1 Samuel “The only one on earth who
Our canine friends
and U.S. Navy veteran of World War II, he retired from ALCOA as executive vice president after 38 years of service. Local survivors include wife of 65 years, Nadean Hicks Hornbeck; daughter and son-in-law, Janis and Ed Stout; brother and sister-in-law, Donald and Sandy Hornbeck. Click Funeral Home Farragut Chapel.
CONDOLENCES ■ Shirley F. Davis, 65, passed away Dec. 22. Survivors include daughter, Jennifer Davis; brother, David Smith; and sisters, Judy Lawrence and Teresa Wilburn; ex-husband, Larry Davis. Stevens Mortuary. ■ Donald Lynn French, 73, passed away Dec. 22. He was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. Survived by longtime companion, Geraldine Simmons; daughters, Nan F. Sweitzer, Deborah F. Lauria, Donna French Dyer (Ted); grandchildren, Sunny and Redmond Sweitzer, Anthony and Kristina Lauria, Kelsea and Lindsea Dyer; sisters, Evelyn Stout, LaVerne Maddron (Gerald); brother, Benny French (Brenda), all of Knoxville. Stevens Mortuary. ■ Robert Davies “Bob” Hornbeck, 86, formerly of Maryville and Pittsburgh, passed away Dec. 19. A chemical engineer
■ H. Frank Huffman, 82, formerly of Nashville, passed away Dec. 21. He was a telephone man through and through, having worked for Western Electric and Southern Bell for
more than 30 years. He was an Air Force veteran of the Korean War. Local survivors include his wife of 59 years, Louetta VanCleve Huffman; Trish McDaniel and Bob Brown of Knoxville. Click Funeral Home Middlebrook Chapel. ■ Janice Tull Middleton, 82, of Farragut, passed away Dec. 27. She was a charter member of the Faith Fellowship Cumberland Presbyterian Church. She was an English teacher for 40 years with her last 18 years at Farragut High School. She is survived by her husband of 59 years, the Rev. Bill Middleton; daughter, Mary Jo Middleton Williams and son Scott Middleton and their families. Click Funeral Home Farragut Chapel. ■ Stratton Clark Moore, 28,
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loves you more than you love yourself is your dog.” They are company when you are lonely, solace when you are sad, protection when you are uneasy and a one-member welcoming committee when you come home. They never criticize your taste, they forgive your shortcomings and they keep your secrets. I have loved and lost several dogs over the years. That end of the deal never gets easier, but as I have written in this space before, “Loss is the price of love.” That is true of dogs (whose life expectancy is much shorter than ours) and of humans as well. Give your heart away, and it may get broken. But love is always worth running the risk, taking the chance. I will have a dog again – sooner rather than later, I hope – but until then, I am happy to be visited by my “grand-dogs.” passed away Dec. 27. Survivors include a daughter, Elizabeth Moore; mother and stepfather, Jennifer and Rick Dearholt; father, Terry Moore Sr; four brothers; and his sweetheart, Anneta Fleming. Click Funeral Home and Cremations Middlebrook Chapel. ■ Maurice Victor “Vic” Webb Jr. , 82, passed away Dec. 23. A mechanical engineer, he came to Knoxville as general manager of Cumberland Clarklift. He became sole owner of the business in the 1980s and retired from there in 2005. Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Nancy Hogue Webb; children, Scotty (Fay) Webb, Dianne Webb (Peter) Chau and Mark (Dottie) Webb; and sister, Annette Lovett. Click Funeral Home Middlebrook Chapel.
Pastor Matt Peeples stands in front of “the point” church which meets 9 and 10:15 a.m. Sundays at the West Town Mall Regal Cinema. Photo by T. Edwards of TEPHOTOS.com
‘The point’ donates to Habitat By Theresa Edwards A unique church in an unusual place collected a special donation on Christmas Eve. Meeting at the Regal Cinema at West Town Mall, “the point” congregation decided to raise $10,000 to build a Habitat for Humanity house in Knoxville. An anonymous donor pledged to match all funds received for Habitat up to $5,000. The mantra for the church is: “Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone,” and the congregation does weekend projects to help the community. “The point” is partnering with three others who are also raising $10,000 to build this house. They are: Jeff Grebe of Weichert Realty, Jim Caughorn of Graphic Creations and Mansour Hasan of State Farm Insurance Agency. The congregation decided in August to partner with Habitat. “We wanted not only to raise the money, but to be a part of the raising of the walls,” said
pastor Matt Peeples. People feel comfortable going to a movie theatre, Peeples said, and they can come as they are. And the space is centrally located. The big screen was handy for showing “The Christmas Story” prior to the service. Singing was led by guitarists, and songs included modern Christian melodies and traditional ones such as “Silent Night.” The congregation is invited to text questions through a 90210 code during the sermon to be answered at the end. On this night, the only message was a request to say, “Happy birthday, Jesus!” Donations were $6,096.25, making a $11,096.25 gift to Habitat when added to the $5,000 anonymous pledge. “The point” plans more events to help their covenant partners achieve their goals as well. To donate toward this house or find out more about “the point” church, visit www. thepointknox.com/.
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A-8 • JANUARY 2, 2012 • WEST SIDE SHOPPER-NEWS
NEWS FROM GRACE CHRISTIAN ACADEMY OF KNOXVILLE
Winterim: Not your ordinary break By Shannon Morris
s we head into the ﬁrst week of January in a brand new year, most students around the city will be returning to school from Christmas break. The restful two-week respite has now come to an end. While most students will return to their traditional classroom environments, for Grace Christian Academy high school students, the start to a new year and a new semester will look somewhat different. Some students will be out in the community learning how life operates in the work force. Others will be traveling to a different country, exploring new cultures. Still others will stay close to home serving many citizens in a variety of ways around our city. For the next two weeks in January, students at GCA will experience what is known as Winterim. This is a unique opportunity for students to be challenged with hands-on learning experiences that are not part of the typical classroom curriculum. Many local professionals in the business, legal, medical, and technology sectors open their doors to GCA students each year, giving them an opportunity to explore possible careers. During this two-week period, students serve as interns and volunteers for six hours a day, participating in the daily activities of the business. One student has been
Rachel Zachary interns for a local hospital during the Grace Christian Academy Winterim.
able to assist a veterinary surgeon during surgery, while others have experienced what it is like to host a morning radio talk show. Each opportunity allows students to investigate these careers on a personal level, which will beneﬁt them in the future. Other interesting courses are offered during Winterim that involve activities both on and off campus. Students have options to learn a new craft or trade. Students can take a course in gourmet cooking, light construction, landscape design and even jewelry making. Other courses allow participants a hands-on approach to
exercise, nutrition and the connection between the body and mind in overall wellness. Many Winterim groups have experienced hiking on various trails in the Smoky Mountains as students gain knowledge and a better understanding of the ecosystems that exist in the hills around us. All of these courses are being taught by GCA faculty and staff to challenge students physically, mentally and spiritually. Winterim does not just take place in Knoxville. Grace has students traveling the country and the world absorbing all they can about life and culture outside of our city. Over
Grace Christian Academy Middle School Student Council members volunteered with Mission of Hope to bring Christmas gifts to students at Huntsville Elementary and Middle School. Pictured here are Dexter Reason, Kelsey Holland, Nathan Pettit, Savannah Sponcia, Haley Hatmaker, Eric Beecham, Reese Haluska, Savannah McNelly, Jared Rash, Jared Clark and Julie Pointer.
Hope for the holidays By Shannon Morris and Julie Pointer At Grace Christian Academy, there is a thriving elementary and middle school made up of students
with a heart for service, and for their community. This year, all of the kindergarten through 8th grade students took part in a toy drive as a way of showing the joy of giving
during Christmas, and they were able to collect 150 toys for other children that are served by Mission of Hope. But their desire to serve didn’t just end at donating toys; the Middle
the years, groups have traveled to Japan, Italy, Greece and Germany. This year, our GCA group will live with German students and their families for the two-week period. They will attend school with the German students and see life’s similarities and differences in a country across the world. Other Winterim groups have traveled a little closer to home, visiting Washington, DC. Students visit various historical sites in our nation’s capitol and have the opportunity to attend a session of Congress as well as a Supreme Court hearing, all of which helps to broaden the horizons of many GCA students each year. The Winterim experience would not be complete without an opportunity for service. A number of GCA students and faculty actively serve various ministries throughout our area. Service to women, children, senior citizens and others who are less fortunate will make up the variety of ways our students are challenged and stretched. All in all, the Winterim experience expands the boundaries of learning School Student Council went on Dec. 14, to serve alongside Mission of Hope at Huntsville Elementary and Middle School, which has 800 students. Huntsville is the largest of the 26 schools that are served by Mission of Hope. The GCA students helped unload the truck and set up a “store” so the children could shop for toys. Our students also had the privilege of helping individual students shop for two toys of their own. As they “shopped” with them, they were able to spend time with them, showing God’s love through words and actions. They felt so blessed to have been able to serve others during this Christmas season, which is truly about giving rather than receiving. Thank you to the GCA student body for helping spread God’s love to those in need.
Ally Davis learns what it takes to be a good veterinarian during Winterim.
Haley Pope volunteers as a teacher’s assistant at the Grace Christian Academy elementary school during Winterim. for each high school student at Grace Christian Academy. The personal growth that is gained from Winterim is price-
less. Winterim is what makes Grace Christian Academy a place which strives to equip the whole student, for life!
Early enrollment gets the discount By Shannon Morris Grace Christian Academy’s enrollment period has begun! If you are considering private Christian education for your child, we invite you to join us for our upcoming Open House on Tuesday, Jan. 10, at 6:30 p.m. We would love to discuss your personal needs, answer questions you may have and show you around the facility. If you are interested in a personal tour of the school, one of our admission representatives will be glad to meet with you on an appointment basis. Come see how GCA students are equipped to meet the challenges of today’s culture and tomorrow’s future. We are now offering a significant financial discount to families who enroll in GCA through the month of January. Although the discount is not as significant, families will still benefit from an early enrollment discount in the month of February. Drop by one of our two Open Houses coming up or make an appointment to see us today.
CHRISTIAN ACADEMY Impacting the Culture for Christ
ADMISSIONS OPEN HOUSES Fall 2012 Enrollment Kindergarten Tuesday, January 10, 2012 6:30 p.m. Grace Christian Library ry
Call for more information 865.934.4789
Grades K-12 Sunday, February 12, 2012 3:00 p.m. Cullum Hall
5914 Beaver Ridge Road Knoxville, Tennesee 37931 www.gracechristianrams.org
WEST SIDE SHOPPER-NEWS • JANUARY 2, 2012 • A-9
Worst year ever? TALES OF TENNESSEE | Marvin West
n the absence of a bowl report, I offer the following perspective: You know things are going poorly when you see a power T decal upside down on the dented door of a battered pickup truck. Oh my, what is the driver thinking? Not-even-close football scores and the historic loss to Kentucky, coupled with the Vols’ lethargic look, caused some to think 2011 was the worst year ever in Tennessee athletics. Back-to-back losing seasons are difficult to digest. Surly sophomores are impossible.
Where are you, Nick Reveiz? As if the Bruce Pearl saga and NCAA probation weren’t enough, we have added a historic basketball collapse and home-court loss to Austin Peay. Don’t want to disturb Cuonzo’s calmness but nothing quite like that had ever happened. “For me,” he said, “it’s a loss, not necessarily a bad loss. You don’t put one above the others.” Do what? This may not be rockbottom. Thank goodness Jarnell Stokes.
Versatile fans recall how bad was the baseball team and that the coach got fired. The once-proud Tennessee track program has faded from prominence. The Vols finished eighth at the Southeastern Conference meet this year, more than 100 points behind winning Arkansas. Ouch! Two assistant coaches were dismissed. The best sprinter, young Dentarius Locke, delivered scathing comments about the direction or misdirection of the team and quit. Athletic director Mike Hamilton, champion fundraiser and builder of magnificent facilities, accepted a generous going-away settlement and several complimentary season tickets forever and ever, amen. You get to decide how much of this overall managerial mess is Mike’s fault. Worst of all, Pat Summitt
Summitt to visit TipOff Club The LoeDown | Gary Loe
ish that I was on ole Rocky Top, down in the Tennessee hills,” sang Tennessee coach Pat Summitt. It’s now a hallmark of her speaking engagements – the coach leads UT fans in singing “Rocky Top,” just as she did last January as the featured speaker of the Big Orange TipOff Club. Club members hope for an encore performance when the winningest coach in NCAA basketball
history kicks off this season’s annual series at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 4, at Calhoun’s on the River. Board member Mike Turner helped found the Big Orange TipOff Club in 2005 when coach Bruce Pearl arrived on UT’s campus. “We took some of the ideas from the old “Orange Tie Club” which was a pivotal support group back in the day,” Turner said. “We wanted to create fan enthusiasm and bring in
first class speakers to the basketball-starved fans of East Tennessee.” “Our first speaker was former Voice of the Vols John Ward,” said cofounder Barry Smith. “We probably had 375 people pack in to Calhoun’s on our first meeting – far exceeding our expectations – and it’s been great ever since.” A distinguishing characteristic is that speakers frequently let their guard down and reveal basket-
announced that she had been diagnosed with early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type. Dear God, we know about this stuff. It is unsettling. Three other employees of women’s athletics took their twice-rejected claim of gender discrimination (not enough pay) to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. No matter which argument prevails, it will cost the university a bundle in legal fees and reputation. So, it was a bad year. You should have seen 1962. That was the career crash for football coach Bowden Wyatt, former captain, All-American, Hall of Fame, winner of championships in three different conferences, movie-star handsome, charismatic leader of the terrific 1956 Tennessee team. Wyatt had a bad summer and his ’62 Vols went 4-6 and bowed to Kentucky – but kicked the
ball war stories that they would otherwise never tell the media. “Few fans knew until Coach Summitt mentioned it at the club luncheon, that she receives private correspondences regularly from her 1976 Olympic Team coach, Billie Moore. “After every game, she sends me her thoughts,” Summitt said. “Sometimes, I thought maybe I didn’t need to read it, but it’s been wonderful to have someone who knows the game, who is really on top of it, and when I thought we played really well at LSU (Tennessee won 7365 in Baton Rouge on Jan. 2, 2011), I got a two page letter. It’s just a reminder that you can always get better.” One of the club’s most requested speakers is former SEC coach Hugh Durham. The entertaining
stuffings out of Vanderbilt, 30-0. 1962 was John Sines’ last campaign as basketball coach. His team won four of 23. It carried the scars of two players lost in a point-shaving scandal. The final game drew a morbid gathering of 514. I was there. Basketball had no pulse. Baseball wasn’t too bad once spring football practice was finished and coach George Cafego had time to coach. The Vols won all nine games in May. Before that, they lost to North Georgia, Carson-Newman, LMU and others. Attendance was skimpy. Popcorn sales suffered. 1962 was the year before Chuck Rohe which means Tennessee track was virtually nonexistent, 10th in the SEC, about where it had been except when it was 11th. This was before Ray Bussard but there was good news in swimming. Nobody drowned. Marvin West invites reader reaction. His address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Durham told TipOff members last January that during his career, in which he notched 600 victories at Florida State, Georgia and Jacksonville, he developed a list of things a coach never hears a player say: Coach, coach, I want to share my minutes. Or, I’ve got this play drawn up for Mike – he’s really shooting well. Coach Cuonzo Martin looks forward to his TipOff Club speaking engagement Jan. 25 and told The LoeDown in an interview before practice last week that he embraces the club’s efforts to increase awareness and knowledge of the game of basketball. “I think it’s great,” said the former Purdue University star. “You’re talking about a program of this magnitude, the exposure’s great. It’s always great to be seen in a positive light.”
Big Orange TipOff Club members are expected to warmly embrace Coach Summitt at Wednesday’s luncheon, as it will be the first time some fans will greet her since her recent medical diagnosis. And, they will be prepared to join the chorus if Coach Summitt punctuates her speech by singing, “… Good ole Rocky Top, Rocky Top Tennessee!” Membership information is available on line at www.bigorangetipoff.com/. Contact the club at tipoff@bigorangetipoff. com or Barry Smith at 384-3412 and Mike Turner at 304-2313.
Watch the club’s luncheon highlights hosted by Gary Loe on “TipOff LoeDown,” at 9:30 a.m. Saturdays on MyVLT (Comcast cable channel 8 or 213).
SPORTS NOTES ■ The West High School Rebels baseball team is taking orders for 4’x8’ digital color vinyl signs to hang on the fence of the baseball field for the 2012 season. The cost is $200 which will go toward maintenance and upkeep of the field. Each consecutive year a sign is purchased, the price is $125. To show their appreciation for your purchase, the players and coaches of the team will give you a pair of home game season tickets. Info: Email Jim Goble at email@example.com or Kay McIntire at ksellshomes@ knology.net. Payments are tax deductible.
Fair donates to HonorAir The Tennessee Valley Fair presented HonorAir with a $1,000 donation last week at Prestige Cleaners in Powell. The funds were raised during Hometown Heroes Day during the 92nd annual Tennessee Valley Fair. Ticket sales from Smoky Mountain singer songwriter James Rogers’ concert were designated for HonorAir. The
donation will pay for two veterans to fly to Washington, D.C., on their next trip, which is scheduled for April 18. HonorAir Knoxville is presented by Prestige Cleaners and sponsored by Covenant Health. The goal is to fly as many East Tennessee World War II and Korean War veterans as possible to Washington to see the memorials built in their honor. Info: www. honorairknoxville.com/.
Madrigals at the Public Market Webb School’s Madrigal Singers performing at the Turkey Creek Public Market include: (front) Neal Jochmann, Ashten Banister, Boomer Dangel, Justin Plummer, Erin Boike, Paul Brandt, Anna Breeden, Craig Wallace; (back) Mackenzie Pearson, Natalie Ritchie, Shea Campbell, Mary Kate Heagerty, Katie Samples, Maddie Freeman, Rachel Britt, Mary Johnson and Breyon Ewing. Photo by T. Edwards of TEPHOTOS.com
A-10 â€˘ JANUARY 2, 2012 â€˘ KARNS/HARDIN VALLEY SHOPPER-NEWS
Stephan Dai, Kelsie Edie and Olivia Fleenor topped the spelling competition at Cedar Bluff Elementary School. Photo by S. Clark
Spelling is â€˜super hardâ€™ By Sandra Clark Itâ€™s fun to meet folks who excel, whether they are athletes or artists or spellers. Three students at Cedar Bluff Elementary School got a jump on the 2012 spelling bee by winning the school competition. Overall winner was Stephan Dai, a 4th grade student of Andrea Veler. Stephan said his parents helped him by asking words and helping him practice. â€œItâ€™s super hard,â€? he said of spelling. Olivia Fleenor was runner-up. Sheâ€™s a 5th grade student of Heather McDonald. Why does she compete? â€œIt makes me feel good when I get something accomplished,â€? she said. â€œAnd spelling helps with my other school work.â€? Kelsie Edie finished in third place. Sheâ€™s a 5th grade student of Betty Jones. She says itâ€™s fun to put out the effort to improve. â€œI like the competition.â€?
James Mauk reads â€œRrralphâ€? by Lois Ehlert at the Cedar Bluff Branch Libraryâ€™s preschool story time. Photo by T. Edwards of TEPHOTOS.com
After story time, the children have fun playing percussions during music time. Kristina Scott helps her younger sister Karina keep the beat.
â€˜The Santaland Diariesâ€™
SCHOOL NOTES Episcopal School of Knoxville â– Episcopal School of Knoxville will have an open house 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11. Samples will be available from the school dining hallâ€™s new farm-to-table menu. Parents can come with or without their children. No reservations are required. Info: 777-9032 or visit www.esknoxville.org.
By Theresa Edwards The crowd roared through â€œThe Santaland Diariesâ€? as Patrick McCray portrayed a 33-year-old man applying to be an elf. The com-
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Story time at Cedar Bluff library
Patrick McCray plays the elf nicknamed â€œCrumpetâ€? in the one-role play â€œThe Santaland Diariesâ€? at Pellissippi State. Photo by T. Edwards of TEPHOTOS.com
edy was written by David Sedaris and Joe Mantello and presented at Pellissippi State Community College by Enright Productions. The plan was co-produced by McCray and Charles R. Miller, director of Theatre at Pellissippi. McCray said it would be worse. â€œI often see people standing on corners dressed as objects handing out leaflets. (Being an elf) wonâ€™t be quite as bad as standing on the corner dressed as a French fry.â€? get paid to look stupid â€Ś When a shopper yells, you give it away for free!â€? â€œYou look stupid!â€? McCray McCray becomes quite refrains from retorting, â€œI irritable, until a new Santa
arrives with a refreshing new attitude that changes even McCray. Santa sings, â€œA pretty girl is like a melody.â€? This new Santa ends each visit saying, â€œRemember the most important thing is to try to love people as much as they love you.â€? Proceeds went to the Pellissippi State Foundation on behalf of the Theatre program. Theatre courses at Pellissippi State include acting, voice, movement and stage combat. A new technical theatre class will be added in the fall. Info: pstcc.edu/theatre.
CONTINUING EDUCATION January 2-March 13
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