ear (2006-18)

Photo with no caption

Spy vs. Spy, Esq.

Next Stop, France!

No Greenway Leverage?

Mining for Jobs

Aluminum Co. of Not-America?

Bug in Our Ear

Spy vs. Spy, Esq.

We know more than one voter who resolved to vote against David Lee based on the tone and unflattering personal revelations in his magazine ads. Then came a mailing from Judge Swann, implying he disapproves of people based on the fact that they contribute to a major American political party supported by more than 40 percent of Knox Countians in the last presidential election.

“David Lee contributes to Democrats all across the country” goes a Swann mailing that arrived in Knoxville mailboxes last week. Then, added in faux handwriting, a note that Lee made a contribution to John Edwards’ Democratic primary candidacy in 2004, “ David Lee even supported candidates opposing President Bush .”

It caused some Democrats we know to reconsider their Swann yard signs. “How can I vote ‘no’ to both?” asks one erstwhile Swann supporter who also opposed Bush in 2004. Aspiring judges all over the county are wishing they’d bothered to throw their names in that ring.

Next Stop, France!

A mother says she’s raising money for her and her daughter on behalf of Sevier Heights Baptist Church, for the two of them to do mission work in the Philippines. Lest anyone question the purpose of a mission trip to a nation that is, on paper at least, more overwhelmingly Christian than the United States is, she explains:

“The majority of people there are Roman Catholic, specifically 83 percent. They believe that they are saved by works. Most of them worship Mary and other idols, and many are also spiritists and animists.... There are approximately 65 million lost people in the Philippines!” The “lost” figure apparently reflects all Filipinos other than Protestants.

The signature at the bottom of the letter is the name of a teacher at South Doyle.

No Greenway Leverage?

That would appear to be a prohibition against cities like Knoxville from using eminent domain to acquire property for public parks or rights-of-way for greenways. The city’s lobbyist is aware of the provision, and we understand he is trying to get it deleted.

The House bill has passed judiciary committee in the form favored by the Tennessee Municipal League and the Farm Bureau. There have been a half-dozen or more amendments proposed to the bill when it comes to the floor. For that reason, the bill has been rolled by House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh while negotiations continue.

It is possible, because of parliamentary maneuvering, that amendments on the floor will be stifled. In the effort to prevent more draconian prohibitions, favored by many angry House members, all amendments may be killed, making changes to the bill difficult.

Mining for Jobs

Glencore International is attempting to buy the mines out of bankruptcy and is believed to be the leading bidder for a May 17 auction. The mines were closed by Grupo de Mexico in 2001 when zinc dropped below 40 cents per pound. Zinc prices have rebounded and are now in the $1.60 per pound range.

Zinc prices are back up due to demand by China and other developing economies around the world.

The Standard Banner , in Jefferson City, reports that county officials met with Glencore officials and state Economic Development and Environment and Conservation officials last week, and the company expects to hire locally from the pool of experienced miners idled since 2001.

Aluminum Co. of Not-America?

The Aluminum Company of America, which gave the town of Alcoa its name, was one of the first major industrial enterprises in East Tennessee. The company built dams to generate power to produce aluminum, later turning the dams over to TVA.

The major union contracts at the Blount County plant are up for renewal this summer, and local officials are worried that it doesn’t look good. The company is expected to ask for major concessions on benefits, including insurance and pensions, and the Steelworkers Union argues the company is reporting record profits and is in fine financial shape.

But there is the possibility that the company, without major concessions, will shift its aluminum making and aluminum-sheet plants overseas, possibly leaving only a small recycling operation in Blount County. ALCOA managers here are being trained to take over operations should there be a strike, and security fences are being installed.

It is possible that the situation can be resolved. The negotiations are taking place in St. Louis for workers at 15 plants. But local workers think the company is resolved to reduce costs substantially in Blount County or move overseas. Some of them think the company is already planning the move and will use a strike or inability to negotiate concessions as an excuse.

© 2006 MetroPulse. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments » 0

Be the first to post a comment!

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.