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VOL. 5 NO. 6
Gas tax makes no ‘cents’
New home for Legal Aid
By Scott Frith Gov. Bill Haslam has announced a wide-ranging tax proposal that would add 7 cents per gallon on gasoline and 12 cents per gallon on diesel fuel. As part of the governor’s plan, the sales tax on groceries would be lowered by one-half a perScott Frith cent (a 50-cent decrease on a $100 grocery bill) and the Hall income tax decreased. Most would agree that Tennessee’s bridges need work. Although our state ranks near the top of states in highway quality, we lie near the bottom in bridge health. In fact, one study by TRIP, a transportation research and lobbying firm, found that 19 percent of Tennessee’s bridges are “structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.” Supporters of the gas tax increase say that new revenue is needed to repair bridges and fund a backlog of state road projects. Also, they argue it’s only fair that drivers (who use the roads) pay for road improvements. That’s the problem. A gas tax isn’t fair at all. Gas taxes are among the most regressive forms of taxation. Whether you’re a millionaire, a senior on a fixed income, or a family barely getting by every month, a gas tax increase will cost you more money. If you’re rich (or comfortably middle class), you probably won’t notice any increase. However, if your family is worried about the cash for your next fill-up at the gas station, any tax increase hits hard in the pocketbook. Tax increases are always politically problematic, but a gas tax increase is even more treacherous. Has the Haslam administration not considered the optics of a billionaire governor (who happens to own a fuel center empire) increasing taxes on the poorest Tennesseans to pay for better roads? Even worse, Haslam’s plan decreases the Hall income tax, a tax on interest from bonds and dividends from stocks, which would inevitably benefit rich Tennesseans. The campaign attack ads against these folks write themselves. Of course, it’s important to remember that Gov. Haslam’s To page A-3
(865) 922-4136 NEWS (865) 661-8777 news@ShopperNewsNow.com Sandra Clark | Ruth White ADVERTISING SALES (865) 342-6084 ads@ShopperNewsNow.com Amy Lutheran | Patty Fecco Beverly Holland | Mary Williamson CIRCULATION (865) 342-6200 shoppercirc@ShopperNewsNow.com
February 8, 2017
After extensive renovations, the new offices of LAET are up and running.
By Margie Hagen Even as boxes were being unpacked and offices were being organized, work went on for staff at Legal Aid of East Tennessee as they moved into their new location at 607 West Summit Hill Drive. In the planning for several years, former LAET executive director David Yoder worked with the city of Knoxville, Old City Hall Knoxville Partnership and the Lincoln Memorial UniversityDuncan School of Law to renovate and lease the historic Stair building. The renovations preserved architectural details while making it a workable space with state-ofthe-art technology. Located on the grounds of the Duncan School of Law, LAET has partnered with the school to give law students the opportunity to work with real clients, benefiting both. UT law students also provide pro bono services, along with private practice attorneys who volunteer thousands of hours of time every year. Serving 26 counties in East Tennessee for over 50 years, LAET’s mission is to provide civil justice for low-income and vulnerable people. A staff of about 60 lawyers and 15 paralegals handle cases involving domestic and elder abuse, housing, disability and veterans’ issues. The legal help is free to qualified applicants, but invaluable to the low-income population it
Prior to renovation, the historic Stair building was once the location of the Tennessee School for the Deaf. Photos by Margie Hagen
serves. More than 1 million Ten- through roughly 40 federal and nesseans live in poverty, with state grants and contributions. about one-third of those in East The caliber of lawyers is topTennessee. Funding is provided notch. “We have real lawyers with
a passion for the work,” director Debra House says. A UT College of Law graduate, House has been with LAET for over 25 years. “It’s not just a stepping stone for young graduates,” she added. “We have many long-term employees who have dedicated their careers to To page A-3
Aaron Staple, Knoxville’s gospel pianist
moonlighting on the violin in By Carol Z. Shane the school orchestra. “I was If you’ve been to any Black History Month fortunate to go to an inteevents recently, you may have run across an grated high school,” he says. elegant gentleman sitting at the piano, capaHe credits his choir director, bly providing backup for the MLK CelebraOtto Brown, with giving him tion Choir. much encouragement “from His name is Aaron Staple, and everyone the very beginning, as a freshfrom choristers to symphony conductors is man. He gave me many opfamiliar with the deft gospel style with which portunities to play. I learned a he’s been gracing our area for 54 years and Aaron Staple great deal from him.” counting. Later on, studying with Dr. Charles E. Originally from Detroit, Staple discovered music early on and was given piano lessons, Coleman at Northwest High School, he re-
members passing by Hitsville U.S.A., the original headquarters of Motown, on the way to his piano lesson. Then there was his church, Warren Avenue Baptist. Staple developed his own gospel style by watching other pianists and saying, “show me how you do that.” When the Rev. R.E. James of Knoxville’s Mount Zion Baptist Church visited, he urged the young musician to come south and “play organ at gospel nights.” Staple arrived here in 1963, just as a job was also opening up at Tabernacle Baptist. To page A-3
Elect a planner, get a plan By Sandra Clark Madeline Rogero’s degree in urban and regional planning is very handy as she starts her sixth year as Knoxville’s mayor. When she spoke at North Knox Rotary the other day, she listed several plans. Parks and greenways? Plan. Public safety? Plan. South Knoxville? Plan. She’s the perfect extender of former Mayor Bill Haslam’s plans; but, of course, as director of community development for Haslam, she helped write them. “We started at the core and are moving out,” she says. Credit Haslam with the revitalization of downtown Knoxville. Rogero is re-creating the major corridors to benefit businesses and neighborhoods around them: Chapman Highway, Magnolia Avenue, North Broadway and Cumberland Avenue.
Mayor Madeline To page A-4 Rogero visits Fountain City to announce a $6.4 million federal grant to help alleviate traffic congestion on North Broadway, Chapman Highway and Kingston Pike. Photo by Ruth White
ond-by-second adjustments in the timing of the signals to optimize traffic flow. “The latest upgrades ($2 million for Broadway alone) represent a combined $8.4 million investment in this corridor, and we’re excited to be installing cutting-edge
technology to help resolve decades of frustration with gridlock on Broadway,” Rogero said. “Everyone’s commute will improve, and less time sitting in traffic means reduced emissions of pollutants.” And that’s a plan we all can applaud.
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“We leverage public funds to draw private development,” she says. “I have three more years – 1,060 days or so – to maximize accomplishments. “We’ve got a plan for connecting greenways; we’ve developed the Urban Wilderness and the outstanding Lakeshore Park.” Not mentioned but important, Rogero hired engineers to fix the problems at Fountain City Lake. She joked that Knoxville has so many breweries that we might be called “the ale trail,” and she was back in Fountain City last week to announce a $6.4 million federal grant to improve traffic flow. She spoke at a windy bus stop. The plan, she said, is to install smart, interconnected traffic control signals on Broadway, Chapman Highway and Kingston Pike. The system will analyze where cars are backing up and make sec-
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A-2 • FebruAry -NewS ebruary8,8,2017 2017• •PNowell orthS /EhoPPer ast Shopper news
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Lesson for life
Knox County principal turns stroke into learning experience Within hours after a stroke had garbled her speech and paralyzed her right hand, West View Elementary School principal Beth Blevins was making plans to turn her nightmare into a learning experience. From her hospital bed in the Neuro-Intensive Care Unit at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, Blevins was texting and making calls to her staff to schedule an educational program designed to teach the signs of a stroke to all 201 of her pre-kindergarten through fifth-graders. “On that day when I had no control in the morning, by that afternoon I was already starting to put my life back in place,” said Blevins, who had learned of the program only minutes earlier when she was introduced to Jered Collis, one of two registered nurses who cared for her in the NICU. “When Jered found out I was an elementary school principal, he told me that Fort Sanders Regional has this educational outreach program that goes into schools and teaches kids to recognize a stroke,” Blevins said. “I said ‘Absolutely!’ When you feel out of control, you need to start feeling in control of something. When he connected me with this program, I immediately started to get some of my control back and that to me
After experiencing a stroke, West View Elementary principal Beth Blevins invited the Fort Sanders Regional stroke team to her school to present their kid-friendly stroke education program.
was key to recovery.” It was Dec. 1 when Blevins grabbed her coffee as she went out the door of her Farragut home. Before backing out of her driveway, she sent a courtesy text message to Wes Haun, West View’s school resource officer, saying she should be arriving around 6:45 a.m. But as she got off the exit ramp on Sutherland Avenue, Blevins
began having trouble swallowing her coffee. “I just thought, ‘Man, that coffee is not sitting well with me this morning.’ I never thought anything about it,” she said. By the time she traveled one block and pulled into the school’s parking lot, she knew something was wrong. “I couldn’t put my finger on it,” she said. “I just felt funny. I didn’t
know if it was a stroke but I knew it was like one. I didn’t have any of the face droop though – nothing like that. It was just that I could not swallow, I couldn’t put my thoughts together and my speech was really garbled.” Blevins dialed Officer Haun from the parking lot. He rushed to her and quickly summoned an ambulance. “They were over here within, oh gosh, it felt like less than five minutes,” she said. “By that time I literally couldn’t even pick up my purse. My right hand couldn’t pick up anything.” Several students, members of West View’s safety patrol, watched as Blevins was lifted into the ambulance and whisked away to Fort Sanders Regional. There, she received the clot-busting drug, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), within 38 minutes of her first symptom. “Within 10 minutes of them putting the tPA in my system, everything came back!” she exclaimed. “Everything!” Before she knew it, she was wheeled into NICU and introduced to Collis. He immediately put at her ease, explaining her treatment and showing his concern as he told her about the hospital’s stroke education program for kids. “He was phenomenal,” Blevins
said. “He told me everything that I needed to know, everything that was happening with me, everything about every procedure. He was wonderful.” Collis wasn’t the only one who impressed her. “From the moment that I was taken off of the stretcher and put into my first CAT scan everybody at Fort Sanders was wonderful,” she said. “Even though I couldn’t speak, they didn’t assume that I couldn’t think. It was a scary time and it was important to me that they talked me through everything.” Blevins was discharged the following day with only a lingering headache and some mild cognition problems. Two weeks later, she was back in school finalizing plans for a Dec. 22 program on stroke recognition presented by Fort Sanders’ stroke team. “Before we left for the holidays, all of my school kids had received this education and the book, ‘Can My Dog Have a Stroke?’” said Blevins. “They learned about the brain and what a stroke really is and what a stroke really isn’t. Every one of my kids now knows about it and they’re not scared – which is really good because, as much as I wanted to protect them from that, they saw the ambulance come for me that day.”
FAST payoff for Stroke Team program Students attending the Dec. 22 stroke education program at West View Elementary learned a lot about a complicated topic – stroke. Through the analogy of a traffic jam, they learned how the blood flows through the brain. They learned how to recognize the signs of a stroke using the FAST (Face, Arm, Speech, Time) acronym. They watched a short cartoon with a catchy tune about stroke, and they talked about exercise and eating right – and they asked questions. “It is important for elementary students to know about stroke because more people are having strokes at an earlier age – about
40 percent of our patient population are younger than 65 years old,” said registered nurse Tracy Dwight, stroke coordinator at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center. “We hope to send the message that the children can be the ‘stroke heroes’ for their family if someone experiences signs and symptoms of a stroke. We encourage the children to call 911 if needed and we go through a mock call to practice what to say.” Launched in December 2014 to meet a Joint Commission standard requiring a comprehensive stroke center to reach out to the community to offer stroke educa- Principal Beth Blevins poses with a group of her students who became “stroke heroes” after learning signs and tion, the program’s first stop was symptoms from the Fort Sanders Regional Stroke Team.
Students had the opportunity to practice 911 calls and memorized important information that first responders need to treat a stroke quickly and effectively.
Dogwood Elementary School in south Knoxville. “We thought it would be fun to reach out to children and so we targeted third-graders,” said Dwight. “We were trying to think outside the box and target a different audience.” Along the way, the students’ questions inspired another project: a book titled, “Can My Dog Have a Stroke?” A copy of the book is included in goody bags given to the kids during the half-hour
program. The bag also includes a brain-shaped stress ball, a refrigerator magnet, an activity book and wallet cards with the FAST message. When a stroke sent West View’s principal to the hospital on Dec. 1, she learned about the program from her nurse and immediately wanted to bring it to her students. “I couldn’t believe it when I heard she had requested to see the book,” said Dwight. “We didn’t have a pulse on how effective the
book would be or how the community might receive it. When we received the request, it sort of confirmed that we really have made an impact for stroke education in our community. It was an ‘aha’ moment that affirmed we could be making a difference.” East Tennessee teachers interested in scheduling the elementary stroke education program for their school should contact Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center at 865-541-1111.
stroke: LIKE IT NEVER EVEN HAPPENED. Leading the region’s only stroke hospital network www.covenanthealth.com/strokenetwork
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No comprehensive stroke and rehabilitation center in our region does more to reverse stroke’s devastating effects than Fort Sanders Regional Medical Fort Sanders performs Center. That’s why hospitals clinical trials and procedures for stroke not available across East Tennessee refer their most complex stroke patients to anywhere else in our region. us. And only Fort Sanders Regional is home to the Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center, East Tennessee’s elite rehabilitation hospital for stroke, spinal cord and brain injury patients.
North/East Shopper news • February 8, 2017 • A-3
Go! Contemporary Dance Works presents an unusual pirate story let with more avant-garde forms, has framed Bonny’s story in dance and spectacle. Choreographed by Carol Z. Leah Pinder, there are Shane playful scenes of Bonny as a young girl as well as nightmarish dream sequences and plenty of good old Bonny married small-time shipboard swordplay. “We pirate James Bonny as a balanced the dark with the young teen. The couple light,” says McKee, “but we headed for Nassau in the didn’t get so artsy that we Bahamas, where she even- skipped what people want tually left Bonny to marry to see.” Harper Addison, a John “Calico Jack” Rack- recent San Francisco transham, captain of the pirate plant who stars as Bonny, ship Revenge. Thus began agrees. “There are lots of her notorious career as a good fights!” real life pirate of the CaribAddison is enjoying her bean. first production in her new Go! artistic director Lisa hometown, and McKee apHall McKee, who creates preciates the fact that the cutting-edge productions dancer has “grit” as well combining classical bal- as playfulness. Plus, “she’s
Dancer Addison Harper, who stars as Anne Bonny in “The Barbarosa.” Photo by Lisa Hall McKee
We all love a good pirate story, but how many female pirates can you name? Now’s your chance to learn about one when Go! Contemporary Dance Works presents “The Barbarosa … the Full Story of the Legendary Pirate Anne Bonny.” Born Anne McCormac toward the end of the 17th century in County Cork, Ireland, Bonny was the illegitimate daughter of lawyer William McCormac and his servant, Mary Brennan. She came to Charleston, S.C., with her family when her father’s attempts to outrun his adulterous scandal failed in his homeland. Known for her red hair, fiery temper and rumored childhood acts of violence,
He had planned to major in music at Knoxville College but was told he would have to give up his gospel piano to study the more traditional classical format. “So I had to make a choice,” he says. Happily for hundreds of schoolkids, he opted for a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and later, at UT, a master’s in educational administration and supervision. He went on to spend 36 years teaching elementary school science in the Knox County system, winning multiple awards – all the while also fulfilling his duties as music director at Tabernacle. His wife, Joyce, who died in 1998, taught at Halls High School. In 1996, the MLK Celebration Choir was formed by the Rev. Harold Middlebrook, and Staple came on board. In 2001 he began teaching piano at Knoxville College, filling the position of
From page A-1 the same professor who had told him he couldn’t major in music. “That’s God,” he laughs, noting the irony. He was there until 2015, when the school closed. Daughter Audrey Wrushen inherited the musical gene; she’s a well-known local singer and music director, often performing with her pianist husband, Xzavian. And little Rosita came along last spring to make Staple a happy grandfather. Now honorary music director at Tabernacle, he downsized to a smaller church, Absolute Word, in 2016. Mostly retired, he’s looking forward to playing with Rosita and doing some gardening. “I’ve tried tomatoes, but didn’t have much luck. I have a flower garden, and I’ll be trying my hand at that again in spring.” He chuckles softly. “For the last couple of springs, I’ve let it go. And you know how that is!”
COMMUNITY NOTES ■■ Alice Bell Spring Hill Neighborhood Association. Info: Ronnie Collins, 6379630. ■■ Beaumont Community Organization. Info: Natasha Murphy, 936-0139. ■■ Belle Morris Community Action Group. Info: bellemorris.com or Rick Wilen, 524-5008. ■■ Chilhowee Park Neighborhood Association. Info: Paul Ruff, 696-6584. ■■ Edgewood Park Neighborhood Association. Info: edgewoodpark.us. ■■ Excelsior Lodge No. 342. Info: Bill Emmert, 933-6032 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
public service.” Staff attorney George Shields II focuses on elder law and decided to join LAET after clerking there as a student. Also a UT College of Law graduate, Shields served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force with tours of duty in Iraq and Qatar. Best summed up by director of marketing and communication Bill Evans, “LAET is a public interest law firm dedicated to the principle of equal justice
regardless of the ability to pay.” A grand opening date will be announced; more info at laet.org or 865-637-0484.
■■ Peninsula Lighthouse Group of Families Anonymous meetings, 6:15-7:15 p.m. each Tuesday, 1451 Dowell Springs Blvd. Newcomers welcome; no dues/fees; no sign-up; first names only. Info: Barbara L., 696-6606 or PeninsulaFA2@aol.com. ■■ Royal Spoil, a 90-minute spa service, is available for $85 through Feb. 14 at Tennova Health & Fitness. It includes a hot stone massage and peppermint foot treatment. Info: 865-859-7900.
■■ Oakwood Lincoln Park Neighborhood Association. Info: Bill Hutton, 773-5228 or email@example.com. ■■ Old North Knoxville, 6:30 p.m. each second Monday, St. James Episcopal Church Parish Hall, 1101 N. Broadway. ■■ Parkridge Community Organization. Info: Jerry Caldwell, 329-9943. ■■ Second District Democrats. Info: Rick Staples, 385-3589 or funnyman1@comic. com.
■■ Family Community Education-Carter Club. Info: Anne Winstead, 933-5821.
■■ Thorn Grove Rebekah Lodge No. 13. Info: Mary Jo Poole, 599-7698 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
■■ First District Democrats. Info: Harold Middlebrook, haroldmiddlebrook@ gmail.com; Mary Wilson, marytheprez@ yahoo.com.
■■ Town Hall East. Info: Eston Williams, 406-5412 or eston_williams@yahoo. com; facebook.com/townhalleast/info.
■■ Historic Fourth & Gill Neighborhood
■■ Living with Diabetes: Putting the Pieces Together, 2-4:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9, Fountain City Branch Library, 5300 Stanton Road. Info: 689-2681.
■■ Inskip Community Association. Info: Betty Jo Mahan, 679-2748 or email@example.com.
■■ Town Hall East Neighborhood Association. Info: firstname.lastname@example.org.
From page A-1
Judge Gary Wade raises the bar
Organization. Info: Liz Upchurch, 8981809, email@example.com.
awfully good at slinging swords around! “Our mission is to bring people to see dance who wouldn’t normally come,” says McKee. “The Barbarosa” is the perfect chance to introduce yourself or your kids to the art. “It’s big, it’s huge, it’s grand. There are ropes, nets, lots of aerial action. It’s a very strong contemporary piece.” Go! Contemporary Dance Works’ production of “The Barbarosa … the Full Story of the Legendary Pirate Anne Bonny” will be presented at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11 and 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 12 at the Bijou Theatre, 803 S. Gay St. in Knoxville. Tickets/info: 865-539-2475 or visit gocontemporary dance.com.
LIBRARY NOTES ■■ Windows 10, 2-4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, Burlington Branch Library, 4614 Asheville Highway. Requires “Introducing the Computer” or similar skills; uses tablet/laptop hybrids. Info/registration: 215-8700. ■■ Web Browsing class, 2-4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, Burlington Branch Library, 4614 Asheville Highway. Requires “Introducing the Computer” or similar skills; uses tablet/laptop hybrids. Info/registration: 215-8700. ■■ New Play Readings: “Okra,” 1-2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, Carter Branch Library, 9036 Asheville Highway. Presented by the Tennessee Stage Company. Info: 933-5438.
Taking the reins as dean of the LMU-Duncan School of Law just 17 months ago, Wade has made notable inroads. A former Chief Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court, Wade retired in 2014 and turned his considerable talents to leading the law school. During his tenure Wade has racked up impressive statistics: ■■87.5 percent passage rate for the July 2016 Tennessee bar exam ■■Highest overall employment rate among Tennessee law schools: 96 percent in 2015 ■■Rated best value law school by preLaw Magazine ■■Top 40 law school for bar preparation by National Jurist ■■Best Brief Award at the 28th annual National Criminal Procedure Tournament
Gas tax hike gas tax plan is only a proposal. There’s no guarantee it will ever see the light of day in Nashville. (Remember, Haslam proposed Insure Tennessee and that plan went nowhere.) Expect a lot of alternative proposals to emerge in the coming weeks. Here’s the bottom line. Few Republican legislators fear a Democratic opponent. However, any Republican voting for a gas tax increase should worry about an antitax Republican primary opponent in the 2018 elections. Voting for a gas tax increase puts a bull’s-eye on every tax-hiking legislator. Campaign donations from
From page A-1 road builders (and friends of the governor) might not be enough to ensure their re-election. But politics aside, it just isn’t right to fund road improvements on the backs of the poorest Tennesseans while also reducing the Hall income tax, which benefits the wealthiest. Here’s hoping state leaders reject this gas tax increase and find another way to improve Tennessee’s bridges and roadways. Say no to a gas tax increase. It doesn’t make “cents.” Scott Frith is a local attorney. You can visit his website at pleadthefrith.com
■■ Email class, 2-4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, Burlington Branch Library, 4614 Asheville Highway. Requires “Introducing the Computer” or similar skills; uses tablet/laptop hybrids. Info/registration: 215-8700.
The Washams New Beverly is proud to announce a great day of gospel singing with the awesome family group, The Washams. Reverend Chris Washam will also be preaching at 11AM Service!
Our compassion and caring are only surpassed by our dedication to the communities we serve! Personalized services to best reflect the life of your loved one and the wishes of the survivors.
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2829 Rennoc Road in Fountain City • 688-2331
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A-4 • February 8, 2017 • North/East Shopper news
Carter, Ritta crown spelling bee champions Ritta Elementary held the school spelling bee last week, and Anna Askins was crowned the champion. Pictured with Anna is runnerup Shelby Gilliam. The regional spelling bee will be held March 4.
The First Pet By Kip Oswald Welcome back, friends, to my series of articles on White House pets, or “First Pets” as I am calling them. I had to take a social studies test last week in Kip class about our constitution and how laws are passed. I made 100 on the test, but I really wanted to add a question about how presidents can grant pardons. You see, one of the most famous pets was a turkey that was given to President Abraham Lincoln for the family to feast on at Christmas in 1863. Tad, the president’s 8-year-old son, named the turkey Jack, and played with him on the White House lawn. So when Tad found out the turkey was to be Christmas dinner, he begged his dad to save him. President Lincoln interrupted a cabinet meeting and issued a presidential “stay of execution” for the turkey who then became the family pet! It is now tradition for the president to issue a pardon for a turkey each Thanksgiving. Jack was not the only pet that avoided being eaten as a White House meal! Rebec-
ca, a raccoon, was the favorite pet of Calvin Coolidge, our 30th president. The Mississippi town of Peru sent this raccoon to the White House for Thanksgiving dinner in 1926. The Coolidge family found her to be friendly and playful, so they decided to keep her as a pet instead. They built her a special house, and the president was known to walk around with Rebecca draped around his neck, while his wife carried her in her arms like a cat. Once, when the White House was being remodeled, the president even sent a limousine to pick up the raccoon so she wouldn’t be lonely. Now both these families had other pets as well. The Lincolns had normal pets besides Jack the turkey, like dogs and horses, but they also had two goats they called Nany and Nanko. Tad was allowed to let them sleep with him in his bed and run through the White House. (I am going to write more on Tad in my First Kids articles). The Coolidges had dogs and cats but many odd pets, like lion cubs, a pygmy hippo, and Smoky, the bobcat, who was the largest bobcat ever captured in Tennessee. All the wild animals were donated to the zoo after they got them. More First Pets next week. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Carter Elementary hosted the annual school spelling bee, and when all of the words were spelled, Brent Skyles was crowned the champion and will represent the school at the county spelling bee in March. Flanking Brent are third-place winner Kinley Troutt and runner-up Bhavya Patel. Photos by Ruth White
Dobson, Mobley sign with MTSU Friends, family and Fulton High students filled the While at MTSU, Dobson plans to study film and proschool auditorium last week to celebrate duction. In addition to his teammates and friends celebrating with him, his mom, Zeas Zack Dobson and Chaton Mobley signed nobia Dobson, brother Markastin Taylor letters of intent to play football at Middle and his two grandmothers were proud to Tennessee State University next year. Football coach Rob Black called both see him sign his letter. guys a “perfect fit” for the Raider program. Mobley plans to study finance management. He was joined on signing day by “This is Zack’s chance to shine, and early. his mom, Chaka Murriel; dad, Antonio He’s a good kid with lots of talent. Zack is Mobley; sister Chyna Mobley and brother resilient and has overcome a lot and will be Jayron Mobley. Also attending were grandsuccessful.” Black called Mobley “a versa- Mobley Dobson parents, a special aunt and friends and tile player who has done well academically teammates. and athletically and a great leader.”
Pictured are (front) Daniel Unthank, Shepard Strange, Nathan Jackson, Mayne DeVault, Pierce Stiltner, Jack Felton and Devin Jones; (back) Mike Capps; Boys & Girls Club president/CEO Bart McFadden; Brett Jackson, Randy DeVault, Randy Stiltner, John Felton, event coordinator Mary McAlexander. Photo by Ruth White
Boys & Girls Club shoots for a cure The Boys & Girls Club sports camp program hosts a free throw contest called Shoot for the Cure each year to help raise money for breast cancer research. This year the group raised close to $1,750 for the cause. The shootout features players in the individual event from the coed instruc-
tional league and the training league and the Family Feud event featuring a parent/child team from both leagues. Coed instructional league finalist was Mayne DeVault, and the champion was Daniel Unthank, who hit 20/20 free throws; training league finalist was Devin Jones and the champion was
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Shepard Strange. In the Family Feud, coed instructional league finalists were Nathan Jackson and Brett Jackson and the champions were Mayne DeVault and Randy DeVault. Training league Family Feud finalists were Jack Felton and John Felton and champions were Pierce Stiltner and Randy Stiltner.
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North/East Shopper news • February 8, 2017 • A-5
University of Tennessee football player Todd Kelly Jr. speaks with students at Lonsdale Elementary on “Zae Day” to honor his friend Zaevion Dobson.
Lonsdale principal Wendy Hansard presents Zenobia Dobson a check for the Zaevion Dobson Foundation during the school’s celebration. Students brought in change and raised $1,144.99.
UT football player LaTroy Lewis shares with students how to turn darkness into light.
Lonsdale celebrates Zae Day By Ruth White Lonsdale Elementary celebrated the life of former student Zaevion Dobson with a special “Zae Day” in his memory. The school wanted to remember the good things that Zaevion did in his short life and to work together to build their community. Kicking off the event was the gymnastics group and basketball exhibition, led by PE teacher Julie Lowe. Students used a mini trampoline to show some serious gymnastics skills, including students flipping over a human tower based by Lowe. The basketball team used the trampoline to fly high over Lowe (seated in a chair) and dunk the ball in a goal. Former principal Lisa Light returned and spoke of fond memories of Zaevion, who visited the school with brother Zack when he was a toddler. “He did so because he was brought up to make good choices. I challenge
all of us to practice making good decisions.” Several of his former teachers also attended the event to remember a hero, as did staff from Fulton High School and several of the FHS football team. Fulton cheerleaders and football players surprised the students that morning by arriving early and greeting the students as they walked through the doors to start the day. University of Tennessee players LaTroy Lewis and Todd Kelly Jr. stopped by and shared their thoughts with the students, staff members and community members gathered. Lewis works with a group of boys on Wednesdays through a mentoring program. Both players shared how to shine a light in spite of darkness and how to be kind and good community members. The celebration ended with the LES dance team entertaining the crowd with a beautifully choreographed
number and the choir singing “We Are Lonsdale”. The choir sang “If You’re Out There,” led by Amy Lynn, and the house rose to its feet at the ending. Zenobia Dobson was presented a check for the foundation named for her son, and a friendship bench at the school will bear a plaque in his memory. She told the students to always say their prayers and remember to tell people that they love them. “I’m thankful that God allowed Zaevion and me to be so close.” She shared that sometimes she gets lonely but she remembers that she has an angel watching over her. Lonsdale Elementary gym teacher Julie Lowe (on ground in maroon) bases a stunt as a gymnastics student jumps from a mini trampoline and flips over the human tower. Photos by Ruth White
Volunteer Assisted Transportation drivers needed CAC is seeking volunteer drivers for its Volunteer Assisted Transportation program. Volunteers will utilize agency-owned hybrid sedans while accompanying
Freedom Christian Academy open house
seniors or people with dis- cactrans.org. abilities to appointments, shopping and other errands. Training is provided. If interested, contact Nancy at 673-5001 or nancy.welch@
Freedom Christian Academy will host an open house, 5:30-7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 20, Chilhowee Hills Baptist Church, 4615 Asheville Highway. Potential students and their families can visit classrooms, meet the teachers and view grade specific curriculum. Info: freedomchristianacademy.org or 525-7807.
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A Veterans Legal Advice Clinic will be held noon-2 p.m. today, Feb. 8, Knox County Public Defender’s Office, 1101 Liberty St. Attorneys will be available to provide consultations in legal issues such as family law, landlord/tenant, bankruptcy, criminal defense, consumer protection, contract disputes, child support, personal injury and more. The free clinic is sponsored by the Knoxville Bar Association, Knoxville Barristers, Legal Aid of East Tennessee, Knox County Public Defenders Community Law Office, the University of Tennessee College of Law and the local Veterans Affairs Office.
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Hurd scores 1,000th point
Carter High basketball player Adam Hurd scored his 1,000th point for the Hornets against rival Gibbs High on Jan. 12. Adam is a junior at CHS and was recognized the following week for his accomplishment. Photo submitted
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Credit union aids wildfire relief ORNL Federal Credit Union employees and members raised more than $10,000 for Sevier County wildfire disaster relief efforts. ORNL FCU matched the $10,000 raised. With the monies raised, $12,063.71 was donated to the American Red Cross of East Tennessee and $10,000 was donated to Friends of the Smokies. A check presentation took place Jan. 17 with representatives from the American Red Cross and on Jan. 20 with Friends of the Smokies.
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A-6 • February 8, 2017 • North/East Shopper news
Laura Underwood, first assistant librarian at Carter
Infinite adventure at Carter Branch Library
By Esther Roberts
Carter Branch Library features a welcoming children’s area. Roberts
Photos by Esther
Resting quietly on a tree-covered knoll in East Knox County, the Carter Branch Library appears so tranquil on the outside one wonders how much activity transpires within. But don’t judge this book by its cover! Carter Branch is a hub of information and activity. Are you looking for free computers and Wi-Fi? Carter has a computer room waiting for you. Tired of TV and seeking new books to enjoy? Carter features all the latest titles, as well as complete series from your favorite authors, eclectic prose and poetry, current magazines, teen graphic novels, all the classics, and works by budding new authors, as well. Want a new DVD for movie night? Carter has a wide selection of family-friendly DVDs. Seeking a local outing for youngsters? Carter is extremely child-friendly, with thousands of children’s titles on hand, a storytelling nook (complete with rocking chair) and a delightful table covered with paper for random creative coloring – for children of all ages! Need a local source for your family’s summer reading lists? Going on a road trip and want some books on CD? Carter has it all. And, as a branch of the Knox County Public Library system, any title available throughout the system can be transferred to Carter Branch upon request for easy pickup. Laura Underwood and Melanie Reseigh – librarians at Carter Branch for the past decade – are knowledgeable profession-
Norma Kelley: faithful to Emerald Avenue UMC for 56 years By Carol Z. Shane On any given Sunday at Emerald Avenue United Methodist Church, you’re likely to spot Norma Kelley lighting up the sanctuary with her lovely warm smile. Kelley has been a member of the historic church since 1960, and in her North Knoxville home she holds a treasure trove of church and neighborhood history. “I was born just behind Home Federal Bank, on the last block of Atlantic Avenue,” she says. “We moved around, but I’ve always lived in North Knoxville.” She was a regular, active member of Oakwood Baptist Church for years, but in college she met a handsome Methodist – a schoolteacher named Paul Kelley. “I had always thought God had called me to marry a Baptist preacher,” says Norma. “But God didn’t call the preacher! So when I married Paul and came on over to Emerald, I said, ‘I’ll just be a missionary to the Methodists!’” Her eyes dance when she talks about her husband, with whom she raised two sons, each now practicing law. He died in 2012, but she speaks of their first meeting, which came about when she and a girlfriend were
The Rev. Thomas Seay of Emerald Avenue United Methodist Church with Norma Kelley, a member since 1960. Photo by Carol Z. Shane
sent to observe his class at Christenberry Elementary, as if it happened yesterday. “He was very good-looking. We both noticed.” Norma earned her degree in education and became a schoolteacher herself at Christenberry and later Whittle Springs Junior High. “I loved the classroom,” she says. As for Paul, she noticed that “he was always doing something in the neighborhood, or at the church with the Boy Scouts.
On our first date, he called to say he’d be late because he was out collecting for the Heart Fund.” When the two began to talk of marriage, Norma says, “I knew we were both going to be busy, busy, busy!” The couple gave much time and talent to their church, taking part in lay witness missions, food pantry and Wesley House support and other endeavors. Norma was active with the Women’s Society of
Christian Service, which later became United Methodist Women, and has supported the Emerald Youth Foundation (EYF) since its inception as a summer outreach program in the late 1980s. She raves about EYF. “They are so good! Our church is trying to reach out to a community that has changed from the way it was since the church was built.” She remembers her young sons meeting AfricanAmerican boys for the first time and forming friendships. And she and Paul offered accommodations in their home to a visiting black family for the express purpose of being better acquainted. “I have loved the openness of our congregation,” she says. Paul had started a written history of Emerald UMC years ago. “I’ve taken that over.” She hopes to get all of her knowledge of the church down on paper one day. Of her denominational switch years ago, she admits, “It was a change. But they were most welcoming, and they put me right to work!” And of her age, 83, she says, “I don’t mind telling people that. I’m proud of it. And I’m just glad to have made it this far!”
Mary Utopia Rothrock: Innovative librarian Books are a way up and a way out. – Michael Dirda, senior editor, Book World, The Washington Post, 2001 How true! Books really are a way up and a way out. Mary U. Rothrock (18901976) proved that axiom during her 24 years as head librarian at the Lawson McGhee Library and during her 14 years with the Tennessee Valley Authority Library. When she was supervisor of library services at TVA (1934-1948), she instituted an innovative system for providing “do-it-yourself” guides and other books to employees and their families at the various construction sites. Often boxes of books would arrive along with boxes of tools at remote locations throughout the valley. She knew that books promoted enhanced
job skills and provided pleasure and she wanted ambitious workers to have access to them. TVA was Appalachia’s “Marshall Plan,” and its network of dams gave impetus to the area’s emergence from the Great Depression (1929-1940) and made Alcoa and Oak Ridge and other developments possible. Rothrock’s initiatives assisted the recovery and evolved into systems that enabled rural areas in several southeastern states to provide library service. Later, her innovations earned her the prestigious Lippincott Award and her “rare vision and intelligence” were cited.
Mary Utopia Rothrock was born on Sept. 19, 1890, in the hamlet of Trenton (pop. 1,293) in Gibson County in northwest Tennessee. She was the youngest of five children of Rev. John Thomas Rothrock, a Presbyterian minister, and Utopia Ada (Herron) Rothrock. Mary matriculated at Vanderbilt University and attained her B.S. in 1911 and her M.S. in 1912. She then attended the New York State Library School in Albany and received her B.S. in Library Science in 1914. After graduation she became head of the Circulation Department of the Cossitt Public Library in Memphis. In 1916, longtime Library Trustee Calvin M. McClung (1855-1919) was designated by the board of Lawson McGhee Library to look for a new head librarian for the new free public library. The old subscription
library had just been reborn as a tax-supported public library. When McClung visited Memphis in 1916 to begin his search, he was immediately impressed by “(a) little red headed librarian,” Mary U. Rothrock, and offered her the job. She worked with McClung and his wife, Barbara Adair McClung, on both library and local history projects until his death in 1919. When C.M. McClung died, she encouraged his widow to donate his personal library of some 4,000 volumes of books and numerous historical papers. That collection became the centerpiece of today’s McClung Historical Collection, the most comprehensive source for East Tennessee history to be found anywhere. Upon her arrival in To page A-7
als and they are eager to assist you with all your reading and media needs. Laura has been with the Knox County Public Library system for over 40 years; Melanie’s tenure spans three decades. Their combined expertise can help you find exactly what you are looking for in any genre. As Melanie notes, “Our favorite thing to do is to help readers find something new they will enjoy. We can prepare a customdesigned ‘reader’s advisory’ tailored to a particular patron’s reading interests – like a ‘personal shopper’ for readers!” Carter Branch hosts regularly scheduled activities as well. Youth Lego League meets at Carter on the first Tuesday of every month. On the third Tuesday of each month, Laura and Melanie host a “Sit-nKnit” gathering. They have plenty of extra knitting needles on hand and welcome knitters of all ages and stages, including beginners who want to learn to knit. The Knoxville Zoo conducts programs at the branch, complete with animals for interactive learning. The Tennessee Stage Company conducts readings at Carter. On Saturdays at 1 p.m. they will read “The Blackbird Sings” (Feb. 11) and “Okra” (Feb. 18). All events are free. Obtaining a library card is easy. Membership is free to Knox County residents and only $40 per year for residents of neighboring counties. Located at 9036 Asheville Highway, the Carter Branch Library hours are: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Tuesday: noon-8 p.m.; Friday and Sunday, closed. Info: www.knoxlib.org or 865-9335438.
Interior castles Now these are their dwelling places throughout their castles in their coasts. … (1 Chronicles 6:54 KJV) It was St. Teresa of Avila who coined the phrase “interior castles.” She was a nun who lived in Avila, Spain. Amid the castles of Spain, St. Teresa built her own mental castles: Her prayers, thoughts, beliefs, convictions were formed, shaped, and honed by that place and by her intellect and her faith. Her most famous writing, Nada Te Turbe (Let Nothing Disturb You), was a prayer found in her breviary, written in her own hand in 1577 and published in 1588. I am intrigued by that phrase. Now I have never been one to go ballistic, to saddle up and ride off in all directions, but I freely admit that some things do disturb me! (I will refrain from listing them here, because a) why should I burden you with my complaints, and b) I am sure you have your own.) There are some battles I am willing to fight, but there are a great many smaller squabbles in
which I am willing to follow what I think of as my troika: “Let it go; give it up; and set it free!” Or as a friend of mine was fond of saying: “Whatever.” But it is the “interior castles” that I keep thinking about. There are some folks who have never had an unspoken thought. Whatever is on their mind falls right out of their mouth like a gumball out of a machine. There are thoughts that bear reconsidering. There are others that should be locked up in some interior castle, never to be thought again, much less spoken. There are some thoughts that are so precious and dear that they must be spoken, as a gift to the world!
News from Office of Register of Deeds
January brings great start to ’17 By Sherry Witt After a strong ending to 2016, local real estate and lending markets wasted no time getting off to a fine start for the new year. For the Witt month ending Tuesday, Jan. 31, there were 732 property transfers recorded in Knox County – well short of the 1,020 filed in December, but comfortably ahead of last January’s total of 661. It was also the highest number of property sales recorded in January since 2007. The total value of land transferred during the month was $228.7 million, compared to December’s $244 million, and outpacing January 2016 by more than $70 million. It was the first time January sales had topped the $200 million mark since 2007, when about $250 mil-
lion worth of property was sold in the county. Lending markets also had reason for optimism as about $314 million was borrowed against real estate in January. In 2016, just $220 million was loaned. By far the largest real estate transfer in January involved multiple parcels in the Dowell Springs complex off Middlebrook Pike. The properties brought $70.6 million. On the lending side, the largest transaction recorded was a Deed of Trust in the amount of $30.18 million filed on real estate formerly known as the News Sentinel Building on State Street in downtown Knoxville. As markets continue their long recovery from the housing collapse of 2008, the data seem to indicate that both sales and lending are now reaching their 2007 levels. If this trend continues, it would certainly be good news for our local economy.
North/East Shopper news • February 8, 2017 • A-7 Children of God Ministry volunteers James and Alice Allen hang clothes for an upcoming distribution event.
Photos by Ruth White
■■ Messiah Lutheran Church, 6900 Kingston Pike, will host “Caring for All Creation” choral concert, 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 12. Choirs from Messiah Lutheran Church, Church of the Savior, Clinton Chapel AME Zion Church and St. Mark UMC will perform. Info: Tennessee Interfaith Power & Light, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ministering in Jesus’ name By Ruth White
Shelia Hamilton takes a break from sorting items to play a little foosball inside the ministry center.
One step inside the ministry center of Children of God Ministry and I knew I was among people who wanted to serve others in Jesus’ name. A favorite Mother Teresa quote of mine is “Do small things with great love,” and the volunteers inside the center worked in that manner. As many volunteers sorted clothing items and stacked boxes of food, the atmosphere was friendly and everyone had a smile on his or her face. They were happy to be there as they worked to get the center ready for a big day of giving away clothing and food to the needy. Every fourth Saturday of the month, they open the doors of the ministry center and offer clothing and food bags to those in need. This ministry began over 15 years ago
at the church’s original location on Texas Avenue, and they continue it at their location on Deaderick Avenue. Guests are offered lunch prior to shopping for food bags and clothing. Volunteers are available to pray for people who have a request and, I have a feeling, to hand out a hug or two if needed. During the winter hours, the pantry is open from 1-3 p.m. “We are here to help others,” said pastor Phillip Hamilton Sr. “God has blessed so many of our church members and we give back to the community joyfully and unselfishly. There is great joy in knowing God’s blessings and this is our role as children of God.” The ministry center is at the back of the church at 309 Deaderick Ave.
Children of God pastor Phillip Hamilton Sr. lends a hand and helps volunteers get ready to open the church’s clothes closet.
Knoxville, Rothrock immediately became involved in the planning for the move to the new library at Market and Commerce (Summit Hill). The design was by Grant Miller of the prestigious Chicago firm of Patton and Miller Architects who utilized the so-called Chicago Style. Miller would later design Ayers Hall at the University of Tennessee. The building was occupied in January 1917 and remained Knoxville’s Main
Library until 1971, when the current building at Church and Walnut was built. The old library had become a victim of the extensive redesign of streets on Summit Hill and was so venerated that protest about its overnight destruction led to the founding of Knox Heritage. As early as 1922 Rothrock recognized the need for branch libraries and established the first one in Park City in 1925 followed by others in Lonsdale, Burl-
From page A-6 ington, North Knoxville and Vestal. Rothrock could not resist the challenge when the Tennessee Valley Authority asked her to become their Supervisor of Libraries in 1934. She joined the massive project and held her position until her resignation in 1948 but remained their consultant until 1951. She returned to public library work in 1949 as Knox County librarian and worked to consolidate the city and
■■ Fairview Baptist Church, 7424 Fairview Road, will host “Men’s Night Out,” 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb 25, at the church. Speaker: Hank Parker, professional bass fisherman. Cost: $15. Info/registration: fairviewbaptist.com. ■■ First Comforter Church, 5516 Old Tazewell Pike, hosts MAPS (Mothers At Prayer Service) noon each Friday. Info: Edna Hensley, 771-7788.
SENIOR NOTES ■■ Carter Senior Center, 9040 Asheville Highway. Info: 932-2939. ■■ Corryton Senior Center, 9331 Davis Drive. Info: 688-5882. ■■ Larry Cox Senior Center, 3109 Ocoee Trail. Info: 546-1700. ■■ John T. O’Connor Senior Center, 611 Winona St. Info: 523-1135.
county libraries into one system. She retired in 1955 but continued to maintain interest in local history and spent many pleasant days at her mountain home on Roaring Fork in Gatlinburg. Mary Utopia Rothrock passed away on Jan. 30, 1976, at her home on Kingston Pike. She was buried in Old Gray Cemetery, survived by a niece and several nephews.
last words Misplaced priorities in Parks & Rec budget Visit any community and ask what citizens want. You will hear more and better parks, sidewalks and greenways. We heard that in Hardin Valley just last month, and Shauna Godlevsky, parks planning and development director, said her capital budget is just $300,000. When a mile of sidewalk can cost $1 million, you see the problem. “No money” is the mantra. Yet somehow we continue to add personnel – even in Parks & Rec. Mike Donilla, former reporter for the News Sentinel and later WBIRTV, has joined Knox County government as PR guy for Parks & Rec.
Sandra Clark We confirmed last week that his salary is just south of $50,000. Add that to the salaries of senior director Doug Bataille, $123,143; deputy dirctor Chuck James, $75,690; and Godlevsky, $50,936, and you see we’re paying about $310,000 for people to plan and manage a $300,000 budget for purchases and projects. How many folks do we need to tell us there’s no money?
A-8 • February 8, 2017 • North/East Shopper news
Depends on who you believe Butch and Tennessee assistant coaches talk as if they recruited well, assembled an excellent class of future Volunteers. Maybe they will be good enough to help win championships – which hasn’t happened around here in a long, long time. Fans seemed a little disappointed there was no late drama, no prize that switched at the last moment and went orange. Oh well. Recruiting analysts, almost ordinary people who get paid for perusing video and seeing stars, sound as if Tennessee finished in the middle of the Southeastern Conference pack, well behind the big boys but safely ahead of Vanderbilt. Based on that limited information, you can choose optimism, realism or pessimism, depending on who you believe. No matter how you view the recruiting scoreboard, whether your glass is half empty or half full, Tennessee is no closer to beating Alabama than it was last October. The Tide had more
talent, has more talent and will have more next year. That reassigns the burden of victory to coaching or luck – development, strategy, precise execution or who drops the ball or misses a tackle. None of that has been a recent Tennessee strength. The Vols gathered several three-stars with great potential. When you hear about upside in recruiting, it usually means somebody else signed the top prospects and you got the couldbe guys, hopefuls and possibilities. Alabama was awesome, as usual. Georgia, with new coaches, came on boldly. LSU exceeded expectations. There are several compelling thoughts about Tennessee recruiting.
(1) Securing offensive tackle Trey Smith, 6-5 and 310, of Jackson was a big win in more ways than size and need. It was very smart to have his sister employed in the athletic department. Perfectly legal. Also astute. Illustration of family atmosphere. (2) The fence Butch built around the state has a hole in it. Clemson and LSU slipped through and hit us hard. (3) Tennessee filled some vacancies but may not have signed the offensive gamebreaker or future all-American on defense. Here we go again: development can make up the difference. (4) Recruiting gets more difficult as you go along. In the beginning, Butch presented an exciting plan for restoring Tennessee credibility. Brick by brick. Some called it a vision. It was contagious. There were glaring gaps in his inheritance. He could offer immediate playing time. Sign right here, young man, fill this void. Lyle Allen “Butch” Jones
Jr., a very good salesman, essentially solved the roster problem. The cupboard is no longer bare. The Vols are not juveniles. They have matured into adults. Lots of seniors on the next team. OK, some on defense contributed to record yards allowed. Unfortunately, the great goal in the sky has been capped at 9-4 and 9-4. Butch is 30-21 in four seasons. He is 1-3 against Florida, 2-2 versus Georgia, 2-2 against Vandy and not very good at all against the SEC West. The dream has been scarred by results. Prospects with medium intelligence might wonder how could you possibly lose to South Carolina? What if a parent sought an explanation of the Vanderbilt game? Forget it, that is past tense. The Vols won their bowl game. Recruiting was pretty good or at least soso. New coaches brighten the horizon. Some of the injured are healing. Spring practice is not far away. If you chose optimism …
Mannis considers mayoral race Barber tells story of Gazan people
Eddie Mannis, deputy to Mayor Madeline Rogero during her first 18 months in office, is seriously looking at running for mayor. He is the owner and founder of Prestige Cleaners and a strong supporter of veterans. Mannis would be Eddie Mannis viable if he decides to run, but the primary is not until August 2019. He has lots of time to think it over. Mannis, 57, grew up in Inskip. He now lives on Kingston Pike across from Sequoyah Hills. His businesses employ 170 people. He has been heavily involved in the community over many years. It is likely he would have the active support of Rogero. Also being mentioned are council members Marshall Stair, 38, and George Wallace, a youthful, energetic 58. Mannis is the only one of these three who has served in the executive branch of city government – as did Rogero for thenMayor Bill Haslam, which assisted her in defeating Mark Padgett and Ivan Harmon in 2011. If all three actually seek the mayor’s office, the city would choose among three able, well-funded, energetic candidates who would bring different perspectives to the office but, in this writer’s opinion, are all well qualified to serve.
Mannis’ views on pressing issues will evolve during a campaign. For Stair and Wallace, they have and are compiling a record of votes on council now which they can explain, promote and defend in 2019. The last member of council to be elected mayor was Kyle Testerman in 1971. Other council members have sought the office, including Bernice O’Connor, Casey Jones, Jean Teague, Ivan Harmon and Danny Mayfield. None succeeded. Some have suggested that Stair, who would be 41 in 2019, would be too young. Mayors elected in 1971 (Testerman) and 1975 (Randy Tyree) were under 40 years old. ■■ Bill Hagerty, former state commissioner of Economic and Community Development, will be the next ambassador to Japan. He will follow two Tennessee senators who served in Asia in the past 24 years: the late Senate Majority Leader Howard H. Baker Jr. (Japan) and former Sen. Jim Sasser (China). Hagerty worked on the Trump transition and wins favorable reviews wherever he works. He will be a very able and knowledgeable envoy to Japan, which has significant investment in Tennessee. Victor Ashe is a former mayor of Knoxville and U.S. Ambassador to Poland.
It’s going to take Brian Barber a while to get used to the word emeritus, but he will continue the work he’s been doing at the University of Tennessee for the past 30 years from his new home in Washington, D.C.
Betty Bean Barber, the founding director of UT’s International Center for Study of Youth and Political Conflict, studied a generation of Palestinian boys who grew up in the midst of violent political conflict in the territories of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. When he started, they were adolescents; today they are grown men, married with children of their own. A longtime professor of child and family studies and an adjunct professor of psychology at UT, the center he directed also conducted studies on the effects of violence on young people in Egypt and Bosnia. The center’s work has been supported by the U.S. National Institute for Mental Health, the Social Science Research Council, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Jerusalem Fund, the United States Institute for Peace and the Jacobs Foundation. And although the center closed Jan. 31, Barber will remain closely connected to UT, where he chaired the search committee to find his replacement and will return
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Brian Barber inspects the olive crop with Fuad, the patriarch of the first family that hosted Barber in Gaza. Barber still stays with them on his visits.
in the spring for a scheduled farewell party. “I have nothing but good feelings and good memories of the University of Tennessee,” Barber said. He is now an international security program fellow at New America and a senior fellow, Institute for Palestine Studies. His work will be available on his personal website (http:// www.bkbarber.com), and he is writing a book he hopes to finish by the end of 2017 about five Gaza men, now entering their 40s, who are a subset of the larger group of Palestinian youth in the 30-year study. The working title is “Gaza’s grit: beauty, tenacity, betrayal and yearning from an ostracized corner of the world.” Barber said those four conditions are crucial to the story. “They’re all alive and healthy, and have been re-
markably tenacious in making their lives work under clearly degrading conditions, both political and economic. They are suffering for sure, but they are also making it work. One of the main messages of the book is that people in general are resourceful and value life and love and dignity. “They are doing well – as long as ‘well’ is understood as a very compact word, a single word that captures a very rich and deep set of conditions. ‘Well’ in this case does not mean carefree. It means survival.” Barber has lost track of the number of trips he has made to Palestine over the years, but estimates it’s between 30 and 50, sometimes staying for a month at a time. He has become particularly close to two families whom he says are among his best friends in
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the world. “I’ve been a guest in their home over two decades. They’ve treated me as a son and a brother – and a father in some cases – they are tremendously warm and welcoming people, and some of my best friends in the world are there. This is one of the benefits of being a social scientist. You get to do your work on humanity, and humans connect. And these are very connectable people because of their inherent warmth and sense of hospitality. “Gazans feel very much lost and forgotten and betrayed, by everyone, and the only thing they’ve ever asked of me over two decades is to tell their story. And now, the book will tell their story to people across the world, I hope. Very few people will go to Gaza, so it’s my goal to take you there.”
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