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VOL. 52 NO. 1 |

July 29, January 4, 2013 2017

Training wheels:


A closer look at 2016 By Scott Frith

We all know that 2016 was a great year for Republicans (and a not-sogreat year for Democrats), but let’s take a closer look at what happened and what’s ahead in 2017. Scott Frith First, while the biggest political story of the year was Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential race, some observers were surprised by the size of Trump’s win in Tennessee. Trump won Tennessee by nearly 25 points – a higher margin than Mitt Romney’s 20-point win in 2012 and John McCain’s 15-point win in 2008. Locally, few have noticed that Gloria Johnson has now lost three of four state elections. (Johnson lost a state Senate special election in 2011, re-election in 2014, and lost again in 2016. Johnson’s only win was in 2012.) Democrats are expected to find another candidate to take on Rep. Eddie Smith in 2018. Nonetheless, Johnson would be favored for city council next year and would be a strong candidate for Knoxville mayor in 2019. The other big story was Republican state Rep. Martin Daniel winning re-election despite being criminally charged with assault for shoving former To page 3

Christmas tree recycling

Knox County residents can bring their unwanted, formerly live Christmas trees to participating Knox County Convenience Centers for free disposal through January at Dutchtown, Halls, John Sevier, Karns, Powell and Tazewell Pike centers. Info: solid_waste/christmas_ treecycling.php

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For 2017, Shopper News will have a leaner, meaner look as we work to make each inch count. Looking for your favorite columnist? Start at the back with “Last Words.” Looking for a bright community writer? Start here with “First Words.” In between, find the “news you can use” about the place you call home. And it’s all for the best price in town: Free.

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DreamBikes provides job experience, sweet rides Austin-East High School senior Jamesha Fain, foreground, and Bearden High School sophomore Endasia Puckett, interns with the YouthForce program at the Haslam Boys & Girls Club, do some cleanup work at DreamBikes. Photo by Betsy Pickle ville has, you’d think the city By Betsy Pickle With all the bike clubs, bike would have the entire spectrum of shops, greenways, mountain-bike bike entities covered. Well, now it does. trails, bike lanes, sharrows, bike DreamBikes, 309 N. Central races and bike festivities Knox-

St., had its “soft opening” on Mon- and now operating in four states, day to get on the local radar from DreamBikes is a double-sided the beginning of the new year. A dream: registered 501(c)(3) organization founded in Wisconsin in 2008 To page 3

Grant will bring special-ed students to the table By Betsy Pickle The key to being surprised is to be present when people try to surprise you. South-Doyle High School teacher Emily Frei instead surprised principal Tim Berry, school board member Patti Bounds and Great Schools Partnership interim executive director Stephanie Welch by being home sick when they showed up with a big check for her winning grant in the GSP’s third annual TeacherPreneur program. “I’ll never miss a day again!” says Frei.

Bounds and Welch had better luck shortly afterward at Dogwood Elementary School, where fourth-grade teacher Nancy Friedrich and her students went wild over Friedrich’s check for $3,683. Frei knew she’d made the first cut in the grant program, but she wasn’t expecting to win. The special-education teacher had written a proposal in hopes of getting funding for a Smart Table. It’s “a lot like a Smart Board or an Active Board, but it’s on a tabletop surface, so

my students can utilize it better from their wheelchairs instead of having to stand up, like at a traditional Smart Board,” says Frei. “It’s kind of like a giant iPad, a table-sized iPad.” Frei learned about Smart Tables when she Googled “cool things for the classroom.” “I stumbled upon that, and I thought that would be so neat for my students to be able to access the material right in front of them,” she says. To page 3

Nick Pavlis won’t run for mayor By Betty Bean Nick Pavlis has been city council’s Energizer bunny for the past six years, showing up for neighborhood meetings all over town and making himself available to anyone who calls him. He’s Knoxville’s longest-serving council member and has long been assumed to be aiming at a run for mayor in 2018. But he now says 16 years in city government is enough. “People just get tired,” Pavlis said. “I was first elected in 1995 and served eight years in an atlarge seat, sat out six years – serving two years on MPC during that time – then ran for the 1st District seat in 2011. “I think it’s my time not to have the obligation as an elected official – I’m 62 now and I’m just ready to enjoy my life.” What Pavlis didn’t mention is that serving as mayor is a full-

Nick Pavlis

time job, and would force him to leave his job as state director of governmental affairs with Charter Communications, a position that keeps him on the road between Knoxville and

Nashville. “I’m in Nashville every week when (the Legislature is) in session, and sometimes when we’re not in session,” he said. “I love what I do for a living. It’s tailormade for me, and I don’t want to give it up.” Pavlis feels good about the job he’s done for the city and for his district, and although he gives mayors Victor Ashe, Bill Haslam and Madeline Rogero great credit, he believes he played a part in Knoxville’s progress, as well.

“I believe I’ll be leaving Knoxville better off than I found it. It wasn’t that long ago that you could have held a Frisbee contest in the middle of downtown and there wouldn’t have been anybody getting in the way. Nobody’d care. I’m very proud of what we’ve done with the Urban Wilderness projects in South Knoxville.” He says he’s a “little concerned” about the direction city council could take. “I feel we need to have a good mix of people on the council. A good council member can’t be just a business-oriented person, nor should it be strictly a neighborhood-oriented person. We need a healthy mix on there.” He cares deeply about who’s going to step in behind him, but hasn’t heard any names yet. “I have not heard a thing about a successor. I’ve spoken to folks, kind of wanting to stir the ashes a

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little bit, but I’m not hearing much back. It’s hard to run for office these days. You kind of have to be retired, or have a job (with flexible hours) like mine. It’s difficult to effectively shepherd a district and have a full-time job with the hours you’ve got to put in.” He is enthusiastic about a potential candidate in another district – former state Rep. Harry Tindell, who is considering a run for the 4th District council seat now occupied by Nick Della Volpe, who is also term-limited. “Harry is a brilliant person. I learned that when I’d go talk to him about issues. He was always knowledgeable and prepared. If he runs, I’ll support him.” And for mayor? “Too early – it’s still two years out. But knowing me, I’ll be involved. We’ve got the city headed in a pretty good direction and we need to keep the momentum going.”

A-2 JAnuAry4,4,2017 2017• •South PowellKnox ShoPPer -newS 2 • J•anuary Shopper news

health & lifestyles

Subtle signs, safe hands There was nothing unusual about that Wednesday in March. It was a typical workday for Karen Russell. There was no indication that anything extraordinary was about to happen, and certainly no indication that she was about to have a stroke. Russell, 62, processes data at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, with the end goal of using the results to ensure quality care and patient safety. As she wrapped up her duties at the end of her day, she had no idea that she would soon be on the receiving end of that quality care. On the drive home from work that Wednesday in March, Russell began to experience numbness in her mouth. The possibility of a stroke never entered her mind, and her first thought was that it must have been the result of something she ate. “I thought I was having an allergic reaction, Russell says. “It was so subtle I could explain it away.” Later in the evening she fell asleep in the recliner, and woke to discover her arm and hand had gone numb. “You know how sometimes your hand and arm will get numb while you’re asleep,” Russell says. “I just decided that’s what it was, and so I explained it away, again.” It wasn’t until early the next

morning in the shower that Russell began to realize something could be so wrong that it would require medical attention. “It dawned on me that I couldn’t feel anything on my right side,” Russell says. “I couldn’t feel my toes, my leg was numb, and I decided I might b e

having a stroke.” She informed her husband that she was going to stop by the emergency department at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center on her way to the office. Her husband wisely insisted that he take the wheel. Russell also called her boss to explain what was going on. “I might be a little late,” Russell told her, “ I


“This is not only my choice of employment,” Karen Russell says. “This is my choice of health care, too.”

Signs of

Stroke When it comes to stroke, time lost is brain lost, so it’s important to understand the warning signs of stroke and how to reduce your risk. If you or a loved one experience any of these symptoms, call 911.

Sudden severe headache with no known cause Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination Sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes All nine Covenant Health hospitals are part of our stroke network, so when seconds count, you can trust that our elite teams can provide the comprehensive stroke care you need. Claiborne Medical Center | Cumberland Medical Center Fort Loudoun Medical Center Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center LeConte Medical Center | Methodist Medical Center Morristown-Hamblen Healthcare System Parkwest Medical Center | Roane Medical Center

have to run by the ED (emergency department) and make sure I’m not having a stroke.” At the time she was half joking, but the minute she came into the emergency department and explained she was there because of stroke symptoms, things got serious, and the team went into action. “As soon as I said it, there was a wheelchair behind me, and then everything happened so fast,” Russell says. “I just put myself in their hands, and I felt safe.” She was asked many questions, and while she never lost her ability to speak, it frightened her that she wasn’t able to answer the doctor correctly when he asked her what month it was. “I ought to be able to remember March,” Russell says, “because that’s my birthday month.” Screenings and tests were conducted, revealing high blood pressure and evidence of a stroke. It had been 16 hours since Russell’s first symptoms, so she had already passed the window for standard emergency stroke treatment. But in the limited period of time she was there, Russell felt well informed and completely cared for as a stroke patient. “They told me what it was, where it was, and I had a plan of care,” Rus-

sell says. That plan of care got Russell on the road to recovery, and she was able to return to work the following Monday, in the place where she says she’s most happy in life. “This is my hospital, and I love it,” Russell says. “I’ve been here 33 years, and I feel like I own part of it.” Russell laughs when she shares her grandchildren’s response to her treatment at Fort Sanders Regional. “They said, ‘Gosh, Mamaw, that place is the bomb diggity!’” Russell says. She is inclined to agree. “This is not only my choice of employment,” Russell says, “this is my choice of health care, too.” Fort Sanders Regional has been certified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by The Joint Commission and the American Heart/ Stroke Association, the largest independent health care evaluation system in the nation. The certification recognizes hospitals that meet high standards in treating the most complex stroke cases with advanced imaging, personnel trained in vascular neurology, neurosurgery and endovascular procedures, availability of personnel and facilities around the clock, and both experience and expertise treating stroke patients. To learn more about Fort Sanders Regional’s certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, signs of a stroke, and an online checklist to find out your level of stroke risk, visit www.

The first Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center in East Tennessee Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center serves as the hub of Covenant Health’s stroke hospital network, and offers advanced care and rehabilitation services to patients who experience a stroke. Fort Sanders Regional was the first in the Knoxville area to earn an Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification by The Joint Commission, a nonprofit organization that accredits and certifies more than 20,500 health care programs in the United States. This “gold-seal” advanced certification means that Fort Sanders is recognized as having the most advanced and effective treatments available for stroke today. Certification through The Joint Commission involves extensive training for the staff, documentation of effectiveness and inspection of the hospital by The Joint Commission. Part of certification is having a team of “neurohospitalists” on staff. These physicians treat only stroke and neurological cases in the hospital, 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. Instead of waiting for a doctor to have time from his or her private practice, Fort Sanders Re-

gional has neurologists on hand. “It makes access to specialized neurologists easier,” said James Hora, MD, one of the neurohospitalists at Fort Sanders. “We have 24/7 coverage, and this provides rapid access to a neurologist for acute neurologic problems.” Arthur Moore, MD, was hired in July 2014 as medical director for the center. “With our Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Certification, we offer the highest level of care for all patients. Whether they’re able to have surgery or not, we’re there to give their bodies the

best chance to heal and recover,” he explained. Most stroke patients need followup care after the initial event, and patients at Fort Sanders have access to the Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center, an award winning rehabilitation center. About one-third of the Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center’s patients are stroke patients, according to the center’s medical director, Mary E. Dillon, MD. “Our specialists begin determining as soon as possible what level of care the patient will need,” said Dillon. “Patients have access

to rehab services from the time they arrive in the emergency department, throughout their care here and through all the postacute levels of care.” Having everything – speedy emergency care, advanced surgical techniques and the best in rehabilitation – makes Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center the smart choice for stroke care. “We’re equipped to handle all stroke cases, from the most complex to the least,” said Dillon. “Our patients don’t have to go anywhere else to find help.”

stroke: LIKE IT NEVER EVEN HAPPENED. Leading the region’s only stroke hospital network

Certified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by The Joint Commission and accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities


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.

South Knox Shopper news • January 4, 2017 • 3

Emily Frei holds her “big check” from the Great Schools Partnership.

At left, Nancy Friedrich’s fourth-graders at Dogwood Elementary School seem to be as happy about her $3,683 check as she is. She will use the funds for a twice-monthly writing café, inviting community members to come hear the students read their writing and then discuss. Those interested in participating should contact Friedrich at the school. Photo by Betsy Pickle

South Knox grants will bring kids to the table Frei is in her fifth year of teaching at SDHS. “I actually graduated myself from South-Doyle, so I really never left the South Knoxville community,” says the class of 2004 alum. Frei chose special ed because of a personal experience. During her first summer semester at the

University of Tennessee, she was in a car accident that resulted in burns to 86 percent of her body. “I spent a long time in the hospital, about three months,” she says. “Just being in the hospital and still having my same mental capacity, I guess is the right way to put it, but

From page 1

my body not being able to do the things I wanted to do or my brain knowing the words and my mouth not being able to speak them – just gave me a whole understanding of what my kids in my department are going through. “But then I’ve also overcome that, so I know that it

can be done.” She says she still has compassion but has added a layer of “passion for success and improvement as well.” Her wreck put her a year behind in college, and she worked for a year in a residential program before being hired at South-Doyle.

But she’s fully entrenched in South Knoxville. “There was a time in my life when I wanted to move to Boston, but then I realized I couldn’t be that far away from my family and my friends.” For her to move, she says, “All of my connections and all my relationships would

have to pack up and move, too.” Frei looks forward to having her students use the Smart Table and showing it off to visitors. “We’re looking for the best deal,” she says. “Hopefully, at the first of the year we’ll be up and running.”

Seymour VFD celebrates its own By Betsy Pickle The Seymour Volunteer Fire Department’s annual officer installation turned out to be a numbers game. And Chief Kevin Nunn was the numbers man, though he left some scratching their heads when his Top Asst. Chief Ben Taylor, left, and Chief Kevin Nunn, right, flank honored department members Knox County Commissioner 10 events of the year turned Brian Townsend, Conor Underwood and Jeff Dykes. Photos by Betsy Pickle Carson Dailey (right) presents out to be a Top 12. the officer certificate to Lt. The evening was a mix Jackie Clark. of cheer and solemnity as From page 1 the Seymour VFD marked its 45th year of service to the community. In that first state Rep. Steve Hall dur- deputy Tom Spangler. Tra- known as “Kane”). Celebriyear, the department aning a campaign event. Even mel will have the blessing ties win elections. Jacobs swered 24 calls for service. more absurd is that the mess of current Sheriff Jimmy would be a strong candidate In 2016, there were more isn’t over yet. Daniel’s crim- “J.J.” Jones (who is term for mayor or Congress. ■■ Colonial Village than 1,600 calls. Rumors continue to swirl inal charges remain pend- limited). Spangler will raise Neighborhood Association. Seymour firefighters reing as legislators return to a lot of money from his po- around the political futures Info: Terry Caruthers, 579sponded to the Gatlinburg 5702, t_caruthers@hotmail. Nashville next month. litical connections in Blount of Burchett and U.S. Rep. wildfires, giving “an exJohn J. Duncan Jr. Both com. Here are some other County, where he is emtraordinary effort,” Nunn have been around a while. things to watch in 2017: ployed part-time as director ■■ Knoxville Chapter of said in remarks to the crowd 2018 will be the 30th annithe Tennessee Firearms Knoxville City Council of training. of firefighters and families Association meets 6 p.m. district seats (1, 2, 3, 4 and Of course, political pos- versary of Duncan’s election gathered recently in a prito Congress and the 24th each first Tuesday, Gondolier 6) will be on the ballot this turing is also underway in vate dining room at JohnItalian Restaurant, Chapman anniversary of Burchett’s fall, but few will notice. On the race to succeed county son University. Highway, 7644 Mountain average, only 5,000 people Mayor Tim Burchett (who is first election to the state Among the 2016 duties Grove Drive. The public is Legislature.  bother to vote in a typical also term limited). invited. Info: Liston Matthews, According to a Federal city election. (Knoxville Rumored and announced 316-6486. Neighborhood Association has a population of about candidates for mayor are Election Commission filing ■■ Knoxville Tri-County this month, the “Duncan meets 6:30 p.m. each third 185,000.)  Commissioner Brad Anders, Lions Club meets 7 p.m. for Congress” campaign acWednesday, Graystone Also, although the Re- Law Director Bud Armeach second and fourth Presbyterian Church, 139 count has $974,058.05 in publican primary won’t be strong, county GOP leader Monday, Connie’s Kitchen, Woodlawn Pike. Info: available cash. That’s a lot of held until May 2018, two Buddy Burkhardt and Com10231 Chapman Highway, Kelley DeLuca, 660-4728, money. Seymour. Info: heavyweight candidates missioner Bob Thomas. 2017 will be an interestTriCountyLions/info. are lining up to be the next The wild card in the race ■■ Old Sevier Community ing year. sheriff: assistant chief Lee is Glenn Jacobs (the pro- Scott Frith is a local attorney. You can ■■ Lake Forest Neighborhood Group meets 7 p.m. each Association. Info: Molly Tramel and former chief fessional wrestler formerly visit his website at third Thursday, South

Closer look at 2016

Training wheels It trains teenagers in bike mechanics and repairs, providing job skills and experience in the workforce, and it offers the community a retail outlet for moderately priced, safe, refurbished bikes as well as a full-service bicycle-repair shop. The local DreamBikes shop is coordinating with the Haslam Family Boys & Girls Club to put teens from the YouthForce program to work. The student interns are paid through a grant. “After that internship is up, if we think that they really worked well at DreamBikes, then we’ll hire them on, so then we’ll pay them,” says Preston Flaherty, DreamBikes manager. Five teens are working at DreamBikes right now alongside Flaherty, assistant manager Mitchell Connell and mechanic Dalton Manning. After two weeks, Jamesha Fain, a senior at Austin-East High School, thinks she’s a good mechanic. Endasia Puckett, a sophomore at Bearden High, is a little less confident. “I’m getting there,” she says. The DreamBikes model runs on donations, with all gifts tax-deductible. So far, 100 bikes have been donated to the local nonprofit. “We really need more bikes,” says Flaherty. “We take all bikes and all bike accessories. Also monetary donations.” Bikes that are too far gone will be used for parts.


From page 1 Flaherty says now would be a good time for those who got new bikes for Christmas to donate their old ones, or to clear the clutter of dusty bikes out of the garage. “We definitely need some more bike donations so we have bikes for these teens to work on.” DreamBikes has received donations from all sorts of people and from organizations such as Kick Stand. South Knoxvillebased Borderland Tees donated DreamBikes logo T-shirts to the group. Part of DreamBikes’ mission is also to donate 100 bikes a year to needy kids in the community. By the end of 2016 – without officially being open – DreamBikes had donated 25 bikes. Eventually, Flaherty expects DreamBikes to have a mobile repair van that visits neighborhoods and fixes kids’ bikes free. Members of the community who want to purchase bikes will find all types – road, hybrid, mountain bikes, kids’ bikes, beach cruisers – at prices ranging from around $150 to around $500. Flaherty says the majority of the bikes are $200-$250. “It’s a great opportunity for college kids or anyone who needs to commute to come get a bike, or get starter-level mountain bikes,” he says. DreamBikes’ hours are 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. The official grand opening will be in the spring.

Gilbert, 209-1820 or

■■ Lindbergh Forest

Knoxville Elementary School library, 801 Sevier Ave. Info: Gary E. Deitsch, 573-7355 or

were 84 fires, 46 brush fires and one explosion; 129 lift assists; and 133 rescues. The average age of department members is 33. The average age of applicants is 24. Nunn named all of the top 10 responders, including Josh Tucker, No. 1 with 388. Tucker was not present as he was taking a break after fighting the Gatlinburg fire. Nunn’s pick for the 12th most important event was starting an Explorers’ group. No. 1 was getting a patient airlifted before the ambulance even arrived. “We can do everything except transport a patient,” he explained. Among the officers installed was Lt. Jackie Clark, the department’s first female officer. Among the superlatives, Firefighter of the Year was Conor Underwood. ■■ South Haven Neighborhood Association meets 10 a.m. each third Saturday, Hillcrest UMC, 1615 Price Ave. Info: Pat Harmon, 591-3958. ■■ South Knox Republican Club meets 6:30 p.m. each third Thursday, Gondolier Restaurant, 7644 Mountain Grove Dr. Info: Kevin Teeters,

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4 • January 4, 2017 • South Knox Shopper news

Leticia Flores believes in diversity By Carol Z. Shane Dr. Leticia Flores, who was awarded the 2016 Diversity Leadership Award by the University of Tennessee College of Arts and Sciences, knows firsthand about the value of cel-

ebrating, promoting and welcoming differences in the human family. As a third-generation MexicanAmerican, her mission has long been to include people of all backgrounds in her field, her college and her

Resolutions that work By Kip Oswald Last week we celebrated New Year’s Day and learned about traditions here and a r o u n d some parts of the world. Kinzy and I found that almost all people use the New Year to plan to do better Kip with something in their life by making a resolution to improve themselves. I listened to Mom and Aunt Becky make their promise to lose weight and exercise again this year, and both of them started a diet on Monday. After living with Cassie for several weeks now and realizing how different her life is, I decided to figure out what might be some important resolutions for parents, teachers or anyone who works with kids. So the kids in my family and their friends helped me do a survey of almost 200 others with these three questions. 1. What do you want your mom or dad to know about you? 2. What do you want your teacher to know about you? 3. What do you worry about? Or What are you afraid of? For the first question, almost everyone wanted their parents to know they loved

community. Flores, who is an associate professor in the department of psychology and the interim director for the UT Psychological Clinic, moved to Knoxville in 2013 when her husband, Dr. Timothy Hulsey, applied for and won the position of Associate Provost for Honors and Scholars at the university. “He had actually gone to grad school here in the ’80s.” He enjoyed being in Knoxville then, and when he saw the job opening, wanted to return. “They really wanted him. And they created a position for me, so we couldn’t say no.” Flores grew up in San Antonio, Texas, and had never left the state until she went to Duke University in Durham, N.C., for her bachelor’s degree in psychology. “My parents drove me there, dropped me off and

them and were really working hard in school. There were also many who wanted their parents to know that they needed help at home with schoolwork, and several said they needed “hugs like when a baby.” In answer to the second question, teachers were told a lot of personal things that could help them understand the students better. Several said they wanted their teacher to know they were hungry or not getting sleep because they were babysitting a little brother or sister. Many also told their teachers they were trying really hard to do their best, and ■■ Living with Diabetes: one even said, “I want you to Putting the Pieces Together, know I read faster than you 2-4:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 12, think.” Fountain City Library, 5300 Question three showed Stanton Road. Sponsored by a lot of fears, much like I Summit Medical Group. Info: came to know from being 689-2681. around Cassie. There were a ■■ The Knox County Health lot of kids afraid of the dark, Department (KCHD) is clowns, and bugs, but also offering a free Diabetes many were scared someManagement Series, 1-2 p.m. Thursdays, Jan. 12-26, KCHD thing was going to happen auditorium, 140 Dameron to their mom, dad or family Ave. Individuals with Type member. There were also 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes answers of worry about parand their family members are ents fighting and leaving. encouraged to attend. Info/ Mom and Aunt Becky registration: 215-5170. asked all of us to answer ■ ■ Peninsula Lighthouse question one and three Group of Families and then they changed Anonymous meetings, their resolution to how we 6:15-7:15 p.m. each Tuesday, answered those questions. 1451 Dowell Springs Blvd. If you have a relationship Newcomers welcome; no with a kid, what is your dues/fees; no sign-up; first resolution? Comments to names only. Info: Barbara L., os wa ld s worldt n@g ma i l. 696-6606 or PeninsulaFA2@ com


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said, ‘Good luck, babe!’” she laughs. Further studies took her to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, then postdoctoral training in Seattle. Before coming to Knoxville, she and her husband spent 10 years on the faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va. “I wasn’t sure what I was going to think about moving here,” Flores admits. “But we’ve actually really enjoyed it; we like it a lot. “People are friendly and very welcoming. We made friends much more quickly here than we did in Richmond. Virginia is more of a ‘northern kind of south.’ Here people have been much more open.” Flores and Hulsey live downtown and “walk everywhere,” she says. “We listen to a lot of music. That’s one thing we love about Knox-

ville – on any weekend, we can throw a stick and hear amazing virtuosity. We go to a lot of live jazz, a lot of rock and bluegrass. We love the Big Ears Festival; we love Rhythm N Blooms.” Though UT’s Office of Diversity was disbanded in 2016, the university still offers diversity programs in areas such as agriculture, business, law, engineering, veterinary medicine and others. The website states: “Diversity means more than race and ethnicity; it’s about moving beyond just tolerance to a place of understanding.” Flores says, “Diversity spurs life. Hybridization is good for nature, it’s good for community, it brings in different perspectives, it brings in different flavors, makes a community hardier. I think a lot about agriculture – you know, you can’t

Downtown resident and UT professor of psychology Leticia Flores believes not only in diversity, but in local businesses. Here she’s at Pete’s Coffee Shop. Photo by Carol Z. Shane

just keep planting the same crop, you’ve got to have different things in there. The more you combine, especially things that work well together, the healthier your garden’s going to be.”

Julia Kestner: Student to teacher in Thailand By Tom King Julia Kestner is a 16-yearold junior at Webb S c h o o l of Knoxville who is halfway through her year as a Rotary Youth Tom King Exchange (RYE ) student in Thailand. Last August she arrived in Sukhothai, which is in a very rural area in northern Thailand. She is living with host families there and will return home this coming summer. Julia is the first-ever RYE student to be sponsored by the Knoxville Breakfast Rotary Club. Her latest report from Thailand is a candid snapshot about her life there. “I realize now how not only am I impacting people here, but how they’re impacting me,” she says. And interestingly, the student has become a teacher. She is now called “Teacher Ju-

lia” after her teacher there asked her to teach a number of her fellow students how to speak English. Julia says one major difference between American schools and those in Thailand is the relationship between students and teachers. “You can be much more close here without it becoming a scandal. It’s not an issue for your teacher to eat with you, text you, drive you after school. You, as a student, must still be polite, but the culture is too warm to reject innocent actions or conversation.” We asked Julia what she wanted to accomplish in her year as an Exchange student. Her answer is very reflective. “I want to better myself and that includes finding out what I like, dislike, cherish, loathe, seek and have. I want to face things as I did with the choice of committing to Rotary. “This is the pinnacle of self-reflection and improvement, and I believe any per-

son can do this and receive what they want at this age.” I’m looking forward to talking with her when she Julia Kestner comes home to see what she learned about herself. ■■ Farragut Rotary


The Rotary Club of Farragut was honored during the recent Woodmen of the World Insurance Christmas banquet with its Community Service to the Youth of Farragut award. Accepting for the club was Dr. Bill Nichols, who has helped coordinate the club’s work with students for many years. Bill says it was presented by members of Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Company’s East Tennessee Chapter.

Seniors fear rising health costs if ACA is repealed By Sandra Clark When the sloganeering Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States on Jan. 20, his supporters will expect three things: Drain the swamp; Build a wall, and Repeal and replace Obamacare. That third goal is a sticky wicket, complicated by Trump’s insistence on the word “replace.” Repealing Obamacare is a straight up/down vote. The House of Representatives voted to do it 50 or 60 times (depending on who’s counting). Sen. Ted Cruz introduced a bill to repeal it outright. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promises, “The Obamacare repeal resolution will be the first item up in the New Year.” But not all senators see a simple solution, even the Republicans. Sen. Lamar Alexander said full repeal and replacement could take years. And Sen. Bob Corker doesn’t like the idea of a quick repeal with deferred implementation while the replacement is hammered out. “It might make sense to repeal and replace at the same time. It’s not really repeal if it’s still in place for three years,” he said Dec. 6 after a meeting with Vice President-elect Mike Pence. Into the fray comes Gloria Johnson, former state representative and Obama organizer. She convened a meeting of seniors last Thursday at the Time Warp Tea Room.

Gloria Johnson stands with Mary Linda Schwartzbart during a roundtable discussion of the Medicare “doughnut hole.” Schwartzbart’s late husband, Arnold, was affected by the gap in coverage before his death due to the cost of his medication. Photo by Shannon Carey

“Repeal of the Affordable Care Act will create chaos, raise costs and limit protections for seniors,” Johnson wrote in the invitation. Mary Linda Schwarzbart said, “Thanks to the ACA, we paid 11 percent less in 2014 than 2013 for our Medicare premiums and saved almost $900 on prescription costs.” In 2013, Schwarzbart fell into the so-called doughnut hole in early June. Linda Haney of Halls said she and husband Dan saved $3,000 in 2016 and expect to save $2,000 this year. With the ACA, they pay $700 of the cost of Dan’s insulin; without the ACA, they would be required to pay almost $1,700. Richard Henighan, a family nurse practitioner

from Sevier County, said, “If you are in the doughnut hole now, you are paying only 45 percent for brandname drugs. If we repeal the ACA, we are looking at paying 100 percent for that same drug.” Johnson added: “55 million Americans are covered by Medicare. Enrollees have benefited from lower costs for prescription drugs; free preventive services including cancer screenings; fewer hospital mistakes and more coordinated care.” Will “repeal and replace” become law during Trump’s first 100 days? During his first term? And then what? That still leaves the wall building and swamp draining. We live in interesting times.

South Knox Shopper news • January 4, 2017 • 5

Joy to the world: Optimism restored Joy to the world. Good times have returned.

Marvin West

All together now, one more round of Rocky Top – even with the dreaded woo. Across all of Big Orange Country, and in several far-flung places, Tennessee football fans are celebrating the new year and the new outlook. The Volunteer victory in the “meaningless third-level bowl game” made a wonderful impact on orange-andgray psyche. The lingering pain from that loss in November has dwindled. Well, somewhat. The team bounced back and inspired the multitude to follow. Optimism has been restored. My friend Oscar says he may even renew his season tickets.

The win over Nebraska was more convincing than the score. Tennessee had more speed. Tennessee had more enthusiasm. Tennessee had Derek Barnett and Joshua Dobbs. The senior quarterback was not pin-point perfect in passing but he hit the big one. He ran for three touchdowns. He received the MVP trophy. Two harsh critics surrendered and agreed the performance was somewhat better than acceptable. One did keep count of overthrows. The celebration when Barnett induced the recordsetting sack was one for the ages. If you have a photo, frame it. Save the scene in your memory bank. The entire team ran onto the field to congratulate the warrior and share the moment. He was surrounded with respect. It was beautiful. I think it is safe to say nothing like that has ever happened at Tennessee. Through the decades, few have had a Barnett-style engine. He is truly relentless.

Great tailbacks and Peyton have claimed most of the applause. This was different. I and others said the Music City Bowl did not matter, that the Vols of 2016 had already established their identity. This was not a good team. It struggled with Appalachian State before injuries were a factor. It was not ready to play when the Florida game started. Fate awarded the win at Georgia. Alabama rubbed faces in the turf. Tennessee suffered two embarrassing upsets. One cost a trip to the Sugar Bowl, deserved or not. I and others said the season ended with the loss at Vanderbilt and it was time to begin next year. I and others were wrong. The Vols actually used December. They went after Nebraska with a fierceness seldom seen. Mistakes gave the Cornhuskers two touchdowns but the defense did not collapse. Josh Malone was tough enough in the clutch. The triumph was com-

forting, even therapeutic, for Butch Jones. He thanked Tennessee fans who kept the faith. He said the net result was “an illustration of progress.” I wouldn’t go that far. The Vols finished with nine wins, same as last year, short of expectations. Defensive statistics were a disaster. The offensive line showed some improvement. Dobbs and the passing game got better. Bowl success pulled the fat from the fire. The hot seat is cool enough for the coach to stop squirming. The “meaningless” victory was meaningful. Three consecutive wins over Big 10 foes might sway some neutrals. As he did previously, Butch will turn this into another building block, oops, brick. Winter workouts will have a purpose. Some days may even be fun. Recruiting will get a late boost. Coaches, players and fans can look forward to spring practice. Some time back, I said eight wins were not enough. Nine feels some better.

Lies, darn lies and statistics Research shows that teachers don’t improve in their effectiveness after their fourth year. At least that is what Mitchell Zais, the former South CaroHopson lina state superintendent of education, stated at a recent SCORE (State Collaborative on Reforming Education) event in Nashville. In this era of “fake news,” it is vitally important that decisions affecting our children be based on facts and a preponderance of all the research, not just cherrypicked data that support a particular agenda. Although SCORE should be up on the most recent data concerning education, not one person in the room challenged Zais’ statement. While there are a few studies linking teacher effectiveness to test score data, which back up Zais’ claim, there are many more that do not. In a June review of 30 studies, the Learning Policy Institute concluded that, “Teaching experience is positively associated with student achievement gains throughout a teacher’s career.” Gains continue for teachers in the second and often third decades of their careers and didn’t affect just test scores, but also the absenteeism and discipline rates of students as well. We know this to be true, however, even without the statistics. I certainly hope I am a better teacher now than I was in the fourth year of my career.

I have learned an abundance of things since then. When is the last time you thought, “Boy, I sure do hope my kid gets a rookie teacher this year?” I have, in fact, talked several parents off the ledge who were upset that their child was not placed in the classroom of an experienced educator. I reminded them that we were all new teachers once, and the experienced ones would be there to guide and mentor when needed. Their children did quite well, thanks to quality teacher education programs, but teaching is like other professions. That fifth-year heart surgeon may be brilliant, but I would bet on the experience of a 20-year veteran should an unexpected situation arise on the operating table. I cannot name a profession in which workers top out on their expertise after just four years. So when you hear that Knox County ranks in the 79th percentile among state districts for high school math and the 75th percentile in reading, you also need to know that the rate of students who were advanced or proficient was 20.8 percent and 30.3 percent, respectively. When you hear that only 43.5 percent of our high school freshmen are proficient in English, remember that the new test halved that percentage from last year. When you hear that Tennessee is the fastest improving state in education, you need to know that we didn’t really improve that much; most other states incurred flat or lower test scores.

When you hear that educators can be held accountable by having test score data included as a part of their evaluation, you need to know that the vast majority of teachers don’t teach tested subjects. That means they are judged on the performance of other teachers and even students they don’t teach or who may not even be in their school.

When you hear that India and China have three times as many mathematicians and scientists as the United States, you have to realize they should. They have exponentially more people. And when you hear that teachers don’t improve after their fourth year, remember what they say about statistics. Lauren Hopson is president of KCEA.

A whole new world! He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers – all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of the cross. (Colossians 1:15-20 NRSV) If you are in the habit of skipping the verses of Scripture that always appear at the beginning of this column, stop right now, and go back to the top! Read and reread those six verses and reflect on the power and the wonder of that passage. It is stunning! The magnitude of creation – the centrality of Jesus’ birth, life, ministry, death, and resurrection in that creation – is jawdropping! The Apostle Paul captured in those words an astonishing description of Jesus: the Creator, the Son, the Man, the Lamb, the Savior. Sometimes I fear we get so familiar with the Bible

Cross Currents

Lynn Pitts

we don’t read it with amazement and joy. We read it just like we would read yesterday’s paper: “Oh, yeah, I know what happened. I know all that stuff.” As we start a New Year, let’s try – every day – to remember what God has done for us in the person of Jesus Christ. Let’s live into His promises; let’s be His people on earth!

last words UT breakfast much more than social Mayor Madeline Rogero and council member Nick Pavlis deserve credit for adding to our greenway system with the recent announcement that almost a mile will be added in South Knoxville from the Mary Vestal Park over to the OgleMartin Mill Pike corner. Now that greenways in the city are under new management, progress is occurring at a faster pace than in the prior five years. Better late than never for Team Rogero. Let’s hope this pace is maintained and even accelerated. This column will keep checking on the actual progress. The announcement of a greenways maintenance crew under the able leadership of Chad Weth and David Brace is welcomed news as well. Small problems are more easily fixed than big ones, and a dedicated crew to this mission is important. ■■ It is disappointing to criticize the University of Tennessee, but when the President’s office purposefully issues inaccurate information, someone needs to call them on it. One likes to think UT President Joe DiPietro is factually correct and transparent, even on issues where there is division of opinion. As a UT Law graduate, I am proud of our university and feel it is one of Tennessee’s greatest assets, but when the law is ignored one wonders and asks why. Last month, DiPietro hosted a breakfast meeting for area lawmakers at Andy Holt Towers and closed it to the public, claiming it was purely social. A “social meeting” suggests that serious issues of interest to the public would not be discussed. Imagine the surprise after the meeting when participants were interviewed. We discovered the discussion centered almost entirely on diversity and the restoration of the Lady Vols name to women’s athletics. Both are issues that could face the UT board and certainly have already faced the Legislature. There are strongly divided views on both topics, and neither could be considered simply a “social” matter. Two members of the UT board were present at the breakfast, which triggers the Open Meetings law. The law applies equally to the UT Board of Trustees as it does to the Knoxville City Council and Knox County Commission. DiPietro, in a letter to a legislator, actually said the number of trustees present does not matter in regard to compliance with the Open Meet-

Victor Ashe

ings law. So on his theory, a majority of the full board could meet, discuss these pending issues with lawmakers and the public be barred. Does he ever confer with UT legal counsel? Because DiPietro says a meeting is social or hopes it is social does not mean the reality is consistent with the wish or statement. In this case, the President’s office was not truthful in its statement to the media. It was not a social meeting. After the meeting, participating legislators and UT officials spoke to the media about the issues discussed, which causes one to wonder why did they bar the public from the meeting in the first place if they planned to talk about it later? DiPietro should be and is better than this. His secrecy achieves nothing positive. He should take charge of the news releases being issued in his name and rewrite them to be accurate. His own correspondence should acknowledge that the breakfast was far more than social. If not, he runs the risk of people thinking he thinks he is above the law. A big mistake. ■■ Only last week it was disclosed the settlement of the latest Title IX lawsuit exceeds $3.2 million with final resolution nowhere in sight. These are public dollars which could be spent for better purposes than legal fees, media advice and consultants. This story never seems to end despite UT’s effort to keep the story quiet. But as long as it is someone else’s money the board does not seem inclined to call a halt. ■■ KCDC will pay Ben Bentley $160,000 per year. He is the new director from Nashville who was chosen by a closely divided vote of 4-3. The outgoing director, Art Cate, was making $184,704. KCDC is doing the smart thing by hiring the new person (under 38) at a lesser salary than the person he replaces and then let his performance determine what pay increase he may receive in a year or two. The decision was made last Friday at a KCDC meeting. ■■ This writer turned 72 three days ago on Jan. 1. ■■ The Legislature returns for its 2017 session next Tuesday in Nashville.

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A great community newspaper serving South Knoxville and the surrounding area

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A great community newspaper serving South Knoxville and the surrounding area