ear (2007-15)

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Fall Kick Off?

Early and Entangling

Judicious Senior Status?

47 Years and Counting

Bug in Our Ear

Fall Kick Off?

The appointment of 12 officeholders by the Knox County Commission following a state Supreme Court decision upholding term limits is expected to spark an outpouring of candidates and a spirited election season beginning with the primary. The Democrats hope to pick up some Commission seats and possibly some of the countywide fee office spots.

The county party elected a new slate of leaders at a convention Saturday before last and the new officers are reviewing the location, timing and planning for the Truman Day dinner, which had been planned for this spring by the previous regime.

The Republicans have set May 5 for their annual Lincoln Day Dinner. It will be at Rothschild's catering, and the guest speaker will be U.S. Sen. Richard Burr , R-N.C. Burr supports continuing the Road to Nowhere along Fontana Lake in Swain County, N.C., a road first proposed in 1943 after the forming of the lake. The North Shore Road has been stalled because of environmental concerns and costs.

Early and Entangling

Nashville developer Ted Welch , a formidable fundraiser for Republican candidates and the mainstay of U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander 's two presidential runs, is committed to raising money for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney . Romney raised more money during the last reporting period than any other Republican candidate. Welch has been a fund-raiser for presidents Ronald Reagan and both Bushes .

Frist staffer Chip Saltsman , a former state Republican Party chair, has signed on to work for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee .

Congressman Jimmy Duncan had earlier endorsed Romney, but now says if Fred will run he will support him, and Duncan has joined Congressman Zach Wamp in a "Draft Fred" movement. They are bringing Thompson to Washington soon to meet with congressional Republicans and solicit support.

Judicious Senior Status?

Should any judges choose to retire, their replacements would be appointed by Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen . Democratic lawyers around Knoxville are already jockeying for position. State Rep. Joe Armstrong , a powerful state legislator, has let Bredesen know that if there is an appointment, his friend Vice Mayor Mark Brown is available for the job. Brown was a finalist for an Appeals Court position during Bredesen's first term.

Meanwhile, there remains a vacancy on the state Supreme Court. The Judicial Selection Commission will meet in Nashville tomorrow (Friday). The new justice will come from either Middle or West Tennessee. There is a vacant Circuit Court Judgeship in Blount County, and the finalists are Stacey Davis Nordquist , Michael Meares and Craig Garrett . That vacancy occurred when Judge Kelly Thomas was elevated to the Appeals Court to replace Justice Gary Wade , who filled an earlier vacancy on the state Supreme Court.

47 Years and Counting

These days, however, we'll be the first to admit that the festival has grown up into an event that we're not only looking forward to, but that we're proud to call Knoxville's own. We could tell, from the oversized tarp-wrapped sculptures that were unloaded in Krutch Park earlier this week, that this year's will follow suit--and the three-month-long art in public places sculpture exhibition, themed "Big Art--Big Impact," is but one of several reasons why we're excited.

Other events that have us thanking the good lord for those pretty pink trees: the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra's presentation of a Louis Armstrong tribute concert at the Bijou on April 11; an art market, featuring the work of over 60 artisans and free, live performances by country, string, blues and folk bands on two stages, to be held on Market Square on April 15; and the Cardboard Regatta immediately following the 2007 Master's Rowing Dogwood Regatta on Melton Hill Lake on April 29, which sounds like good, soggy fun to us (prizes will be awarded to the best-looking, ugliest and best-sinking boats). And there's always that big, honking parade to keep us entertained, to be held this year on April 14.

For more information on the festival, check out the website at www.dogwoodarts.com . See you at the funnel-cake booth. Not.

© 2007 MetroPulse. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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