Mike Ragsdale, County Commisson, Italian Street Fair




A box of


flashbulbs and a carton of Allerest.

Scooby May Do

County Mayor Mike Ragsdale remains a favorite to win re-election. He has a huge campaign war chest and retains a strong base in West Knox County. But the wheel tax debacle, the GOPgate investigation and his feuding with other officeholders have created speculation that he may get a strong challenge.

Commissioner Scott Moore led a dissident group on County Commission last fall and won election as chair, effectively wresting control of Commission from Ragsdale. Moore is being encouraged to make a run for County Mayor. One assumes he would have the support of Sheriff Tim Hutchison , who supported his bid for chair of County Commission. The wheel tax was really unpopular North, East and South and might be fertile ground for Moore. The winning margin to retain the wheel tax came from West Knox County—but was that support for Ragsdale or support for a new high school?


Rossini Stampede

Overheard at the fourth annual Rossini Festival's excellent Italian Street Fair:

Young man on a cell phone: "You won't believe it, man! I'm standing here downtown, and there's some kind of a huge festival!"

Watching Confederate reenactors falling in line behind 18th-century British redcoats: "What is that, the parade of losers?"

"This is just like the one in Brooklyn, but bigger!"

And, overheard more than once: "I can't believe this is Knoxville."

Of course, the Italian Street Fair offered an extremely liberal interpretation of Italian culture, one which includes karate, bellydancing, and the Confederate militia, but everyone seemed to have a good time. The Rossini Festival in general has raised the bar for festivals in Knoxville, which in the recent past have too often been dour and dutiful occasions.


Hagood Brand Discontinued

What do you do if you have a brand you spent years marketing and you need to change the name? state Sen. Jamie Hagood may have to use some campaign funds over the next three years to market a new product.

Jamie Hagood is engaged to marry Bill Woodson Jr. , a Knoxville lawyer and executive vice-president of Martin & Co. With the wedding vows, that could come as early as this fall, Hagood will change her name. Despite the name recognition resulting from several House races and a race for the state Senate, Hagood says she will make the change and be known by her new married name.

We think the name change is genuine and not just an effort to screw all the domain names purchases by her political enemies left over from the last election. You know: BeatThatHagoodWoman.com, HagoodWomanIsDevil.com and the like.               


More Trojans Found

During the investigation of GOPgate, investigators also asked to examine the computer of state Sen. Jamie Hagood's chief of staff during her Senate race. The campaign computers "crashed" almost daily and were frequently infected with viruses.

Investigators have determined that the campaign computer they have examined has "Trojan horse" programs, a program introduced from the outside to disrupt or control the host computer.

Out-going Knox County Republican Chair Chad Tindell's computer also had a Trojan horse. Copies of some of Tindell's e-mails were delivered to County Mayor Mike Ragsdale's office, and Ragsdale political operative Tyler Harber was fired after admitting he did it. Harber contends that Tindell had given him his password a couple of years ago when he was doing some work for the county party. Tindell denies this. 


Demos NoCo-

Knox County Democrats have re-elected Jim Grey to head the party, despite a strong challenge by Delania Davis . Grey was thought to be in trouble because of his criticisms of Gov. Phil Bredesen not doing enough in last November's elections. Davis got support because of her fund-raising ability, specifically two Truman Day dinners.

District Attorney General Randy Nichols proposed a compromise that would have made the two co-chairs of the county party, but the idea was rejected.

After Grey's re-election Saturday there were no reports of his e-mail being hacked, and the county convention has not resulted in any criminal investigations.


Check That Expiration Date

The main problem with time capsules is that you never live long enough to see them opened. Well, maybe sometimes you do.

In 1964, Albers Drug Company celebrated its 100th anniversary with the ceremonious interment of a time capsule. When President Edward Sanford "Bud" Albers, Jr. , enclosed some popular consumer items in a time capsule placed behind the cornerstone of the major company's headquarters on Kingston Pike, he probably didn't expect to be on hand for the opening. But when Albers Drug Co. sold out to an international company in the mid-'90s—they were arguably the oldest business in town at the time—they prudently disinterred the time capsule, a steel box a little larger than a phone book.

The retired executive just had the box cut open recently, and on Sunday unveiled its contents at the Museum of East Tennessee History downtown. Some items had weathered the 41 years pretty well, and might not have seemed out of place at the local CVS. A box of Sylvania flashbulbs and a carton of Allerest. There are Zestabs, the kids' vitamins, and Gelucil, the antacid. The Enovid, the first birth control pills commercially available, look to be in pretty good shape. Maybe they still work.

Unfortunately, the aerosol bottle of hairspray had exploded, perhaps sometime during the Johnson administration.

Albers wasn't the only one on hand Sunday who'd been there 41 years ago. Albers tried to get someone to represent every member of the delegation to be present at the opening, and in some cases he got the actual people.

Ernest Steele , insurance man who was then president of the Chamber of Commerce, was on hand, as was Ernest Newman , of Park National Bank.

© 2005 MetroPulse. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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