ear (2006-38)

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Imploding Rumors

Hip-Hop Sherpas under the Stars and Bars

Vote ‘Eminent’

Sale Reconsidered

What’s Behind Door Number One?

Balloon Losing Air

Bull’s Eye on Blogger

Will GOP Get Sacked?

Oops

Bug in Our Ear

Imploding Rumors

Holrob developer Amber Stults denies that the company has made any such plans. “We bought it in December, and are working with Barber-McMurry to work on a plan for it,” she says, adding that they’re still doing testing on the 20,000-square-foot brick building to determine its soundness for various purposes. She says Holrob has “not at all” determined to demolish the building, but she admits the place is problematic.

“We’ve had our leasing sign up since December, and haven’t gotten any interest,” she says. “That’s been kind of a bummer.” They did evict a few small tenants at that time, including a couple of art studios upstairs and the Union Avenue Barber Shop downstairs, which has moved around the corner into another Holrob building, the Althea. She says the building will need major work, and they figured it would be better to get everybody out first.

Best known for their suburban developments, Holrob has not yet been a major player downtown, but was in charge of the renovation of the Mast General Store building on Gay.

Why it’s called the Daylight has always been a little bit of a mystery. Its façade is always shadowed by the much-taller Pembroke across the street. In style the Daylight mirrors Pembroke, one of downtown’s first upscale condominium renovation projects, which has been fully occupied with residences and a few offices for about 25 years.

Hip-Hop Sherpas under the Stars and Bars

But the single most culturally diverse spot on the fairgrounds may have been a ride, right in the middle of the park, called the Himalaya. One of those self-contained merry-go-round style rollercoasters, it’s an evocation of that great Asian mountain range, accompanied this year with loud gangsta rap music, representing urban America. And on the mural that adorns the ride, the snow-peaked Himalayas were improved with the Stone Mountain sculpture of Generals Lee and Jackson , and President Davis , of the Confederate States of America. Why their images might be carved in the Himalayas is one of those mysteries that makes cultural travel so rewarding.

Seemingly successful where Longstreet failed, the Confederacy was more conspicuous at the Fair than in any year in memory. Though the Upper Tennessee Valley was generally regarded a Unionist stronghold during the actual war, at the Tennessee Valley Fair not one but two different concessions specialize in a wide array of Confederate gear.

Vote ‘Eminent’

Knox County Commission will be asked on Monday to approve tax increment financing on county property taxes for the South Knoxville Waterfront project, to match city efforts to upgrade the neighborhood. Expect Commissioner Greg “Lumpy” Lambert to ask that the measure be postponed for a month in order to see what the final city proposal contains. City Councilman Steve Hall wants any use of eminent domain by KCDC to come back to City Council for final approval. Lambert wants to see if such a proposal is passed by City Council before the county signs off on the project.

If he cannot delay the vote, Lambert may also propose that any use of eminent domain would nullify the county’s approval of the TIF. Hall and Lambert are political allies and may be coordinating on city-county initiatives in the future.

Sale Reconsidered

The school administration would like to sell the two buildings and get out from under the rent on the Sears building and relocate everything into the old South High building. The South High building was once up for sale for condos but the deal fell through.

County purchasing has since made a request for proposals, and the bidding process has ended. It’s not clear at this point whether the county will have to accept one of the bids or whether the school system can change its mind and follow through on using it.

What’s Behind Door Number One?

Balloon Losing Air

Tyler Harber , a former county employee, made a number of allegations in an interview in the Halls Shopper . He says he never did any work in his county job but only did political campaigns, he alleges he went to the county health department to get information on political opponents and he interfered with the petition drive to get the wheel tax on the ballot in a referendum. Commissioners say there are enough votes to call for an investigation, though there is still some discussion about who would make such a motion. Commissioners now say they may delay calling for a vote asking for an investigation to give law enforcement a chance to do it.

Meanwhile, an office holder says District Attorney Randy Nichols told him he is extremely reluctant to go to a grand jury investigating County Mayor Mike Ragsdale based on the unsubstantiated word of Harber, who has been labeled a troubled young man and a liar by Team Ragsdale.

Given Nichols’ reluctance and the delay being discussed by commissioners it seems unlikely the investigation will go anywhere. Given the lack of mainstream media interest, the momentum for an investigation is slipping away.

Bull’s Eye on Blogger

Campfield has angered the House leadership to the point that local Republicans tried to defeat Campfield in the Republican primary by running Gary Drinnen and raising money on his behalf. Campfield easily defeated him.

Now Campfield has a well-funded Democratic opponent.

The message to Campfield is to stop causing trouble with his blog and by attacking institutions like the Black Caucus.

Will GOP Get Sacked?

The Democrats are depending on the former UT football star to pick up at least one of the seats they need in November, and political analysts think at this point it is a likely bet. The Cook Report has shifted the race from leaning Republican to a toss-up. Shuler, All-American quarterback, short-time pro football player and a Grainger County farmer moved back to his Western North Carolina home to run for Congress.

But Taylor keeps getting elected in his district, even though he had a Savings and Loan go belly up in 2001. He was also accused of not paying taxes on his farm and is a partner in a Russian bank with the wife of a former KGB agent. But Shuler is one of the most formidable candidates he has faced, and people in the district still remember Shuler leading his Swain County high school team to state championships and going on to glory at UT.

Taylor is traveling around the state known for its barbecue, handing out federal grants in every little town and touting his seniority and ability to bring home the pork.

Oops

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