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Charles Maldonado

Recent Work

  • Shed a Single Tear Published 04/29/2009 at 11:28 a.m.

    In which we all get back to our normal lives. Last Wednesday marked the 39th anniversary of Earth Day, the day that the world celebrates its collective guilt and happily does its brief penance.

  • Tennessee's “Guns in Bars” Bill May Finally Get its Show-Down Published 04/29/2009 at 10:44 a.m. 1 Comment

    For the first time in the 11 years it’s been up for debate, the “guns in bars” bill may have a real chance of passing the Tennessee General Assembly. The bill carries with it the usual list of supporters, namely ...

  • Isn’t Love Grand? Published 04/22/2009 at 3:24 p.m.

    Romantic love between a two consenting adults is the number-one cause of the perpetuation of the species and most good art. This makes it a good thing, and, in most people’s eyes, higher than the platonic love between man and ...

  • Gun Crazy Published 04/21/2009 at 6:09 p.m. 3 Comments

    Maybe it should come as no surprise that HB0962/SB1127, the so-called “guns in bars” bill, has a real chance of passing through the state General Assembly this week. After passing 70-26 in the House earlier this month, it passed 26-7 ...

  • How Does Knoxville Rank? Published 04/08/2009 at 2:45 p.m.

    Here is offered a quick and easy solution to this town’s perpetual identity problem in ten words. Home of the University of Tennessee’s Flagship Campus. Period. EXCLAMATION POINT!

  • On the Impudence of the Gutter Classes Published 04/08/2009 at 2:39 p.m.

    A Knoxville man reports that his home was twice besmirched by a homeless man. The 64-year-old man tells police that on the afternoon of April 2, a male streetling approached his residence begging for a dollar. The man, in all ...

  • Ferrets Smell Horrible Published 04/01/2009 at 3:15 p.m.

    I had a longtime friend who called it the “ferret stank,” that musky, sweaty, rotten-food odor the rodents give off, attractive only to lady ferrets and a certain breed of weirdo animal lover. Ask people who have considered and subsequently ...

  • Laughing At Us Published 03/25/2009 at 3:35 p.m.

    In the past few weeks, two major (and one majorish) U.S. newspapers have, shall we say, bitten it. And, for a lot of the rest of the industry, it’s looking like more of a “when, not if” type situation. I ...

  • I’ll Tell Everyone Published 03/18/2009 at 4:51 p.m.

    Crime is usually committed in private. Punishment, however, is a public matter. The shame of public display is perhaps the most time-tested and effective means of correcting unwanted behavior. That’s why they once put the stocks in the middle of ...

  • Murphy’s Law Published 03/11/2009 at 3:16 p.m.

    An east Knoxville man, standing next to his car, summoned a KPD officer to say that he had been the victim of a fury which hell hath not. According to the report, he and his child’s mother were outside arguing ...

  • Profiles in Mayoralty: Tim Burchett Published 03/11/2009 at 2:26 p.m. 1 Comment

    “County mayor is not a sexy job,” says State Senator Tim Burchett. This is true.

  • A New Economy Story Published 03/04/2009 at 3:53 p.m.

    In which, saaaaaaad. There has to be another name for this depressing “new economy.” Continuing to call it that is beginning to seem more and more like the ludicrous denial it is. Previously, I have suggested the “New Feudalism,” “America’s ...

  • Apartment Closings Mean Population Shift Published 02/25/2009 at 1:53 p.m.

    “EMERGENCY...ROOF OFF A-BUILDING,” text-yells a Feb. 12 work order from the University of Tennessee’s Golf Range Apartments in the direction of whichever maintenance guy had the misfortune to receive it.

  • Can You Give Time-Outs to Coaches? Published 02/25/2009 at 1:28 p.m.

    In which valuable lessons are passed on. During a basketball game in East Knoxville, the referee made a call that two coaches disagreed on.

  • Knoxville Businessman Looks to Buy Paper Empire Published 02/18/2009 at 3:14 p.m. 6 Comments

    Earlier this month, Atlanta Magazine blog writer Steve Fennessy broke the news that there was an offer to purchase Creative Loafing, Inc., which owns six of the country’s largest alt-newsweeklies. The proposed buyer? Knoxville real estate mogul Brian Conley, also ...

  • Give Me Everything You Got Published 02/18/2009 at 2:01 p.m.

    Crime, like high-impact aerobics or jogging, can be a high-paced and frantic game. And, like aerobics, it can be famishing, as a Knoxville pizza delivery woman discovered on the night of Feb. 14.

  • The Intangible Benefits of Having a Large College Football Program Published 02/11/2009 at 2:41 p.m.

    In which this is not an example of one. So, UT football’s gonna get less, um, embarrassing soon, right? What with the 5-7 record last season, the hiring in of a controversial young coach following Phillip Fulmer’s resignation, then that ...

  • TVA Holds First Post-Disaster Meeting Published 02/11/2009 at 1:03 p.m.

    Sandy Gupton says she was planning on attending Thursday’s TVA Board Meeting. It’s the first since the Dec. 22 coal-ash spill at the Kingston Fossil Plant, and the second item on the agenda is marked, simply, “Kingston Report.” But, as ...

  • KPD Crime Lab Was Not Requested Published 02/05/2009 at 10:38 a.m.

    A South Knoxville woman put the Knoxville Police Department on the case after she couldn’t find a can of JFG Coffee on Jan. 28. According to the police report, the woman’s son wanted some coffee, but neither he nor his ...

  • Last Free Man Condemns Animal Statuary, Bathroom Protocol Published 01/29/2009 at 4 p.m.

    In which this scene terrifies me.

  • Life Among the Ashes Published 01/21/2009 at 4:38 p.m. 3 Comments

    Erin Brockovich, CNN, and all the rest of the national media circus may have come and gone from the city of Harriman (population 6,744 as of the 2000 census). Still, the dust hasn’t entirely cleared. As of this writing, and ...

  • The Activist: Chris Irwin Published 01/21/2009 at 4:31 p.m.

    Chris Irwin talks like a criminal defense lawyer. He speaks clearly and quickly, and just a bit louder than is strictly necessary, like he’s trying to win you over. And, of course, he talks like a criminal defense lawyer because ...

  • The Mayor: Chris Mason Published 01/21/2009 at 4:29 p.m.

    “I’ve been all over the world. I’ve been to the top of the Eiffel Tower. There’s nothing as beautiful as my home.” This is a heartwarming, but perhaps obligatory, thing for Harriman Mayor Chris Mason to say, especially to the ...

  • The TVA Employee: Ron Hall Published 01/21/2009 at 4:28 p.m.

    You might think that the inside of a TVA plant building would be a Disney-esque shrine of retro-futurism, filled with pneumatic tubes transferring coded messages between managers, all controlled by super-efficient coal powered AutoMen. But, as a matter of fact, ...

  • The Young Professionals: Ron and Joanie Smith Published 01/21/2009 at 4:26 p.m. 1 Comment

    Erin Brockovich famously wrote on the Huffington Post that the Harriman/Kingston area is “off the beaten path,” a sentiment that raised some blogospheric ire. It is, as one Roane County blogger points out, along a major freeway and it’s a ...

  • The Farmer: Terry Gupton Published 01/21/2009 at 4:24 p.m.

    Gupton looks every bit the East Tennessee small-time farmer. He’s a big, 62-year-old man. Imagine a cross between W.C. Fields and Jimmy Carter, throw in a pair of tan Carhartt overalls and a winter hat, and you just about have ...

  • Redefining “Hazardous” Published 01/14/2009 at 12:28 p.m.

    Harriman resident John Hoag went to a public meeting last week at Harriman United Methodist Church with one question on his mind. And it was directed at TVA CEO Tom Kilgore.

  • Clearing Up TVA's Mess Published 01/06/2009 at 6:22 p.m.

    On a gray, dreary Monday afternoon in Kingston, two men are standing in a gas station talking about huge amounts of money. “They’re saying it’s gonna get up to over $100 million,” says one. “Wow,” says the other, simply, “Wow” ...

  • The Metro Pulse Guide to Sludge Published 12/31/2008 at 10:50 a.m.

    The last big thing that happened to East Tennessee in 2008 was an ecological catastrophe. Wonderful. The Kingston Fossil Plant fly ash spill was the largest of its kind ever: 5.4 million cubic yards—over a billion gallons—of wet fly ash ...

  • Barataria on Hold Published 12/03/2008 at 5 p.m. 1 Comment

    The never-officially-opened Old City nightclub Barataria and its hypothetical companion tapas restaurant bos lafitte are now in “a holding pattern,” says event coordinator Dustin Basalla. In other words, it’s not happening—yet. The delay comes as a result of some unforeseen ...

  • Ineffective, Immediately Published 12/03/2008 at 5 p.m.

    There has been a lot of over-the-top, super-hyperbolic praised heaped onto screenwriter Charlie Kaufman’s directorial debut, Synecdoche, New York. And here’s some more.

  • Preeminent Domain Published 11/19/2008 at 6 p.m.

    Property owner Gary Bayless is certainly one person whose fortunes are closely and personally tied to the massive redevelopment of Knoxville’s South Waterfront, though he’s not quite as voluble a cheerleader for it as some developers are. Bayless owns a ...

  • The Nothing That Didn't Published 10/29/2008 at 5 p.m. 4 Comments

    At least it was nice and sunny outside, 65 degrees, with just a touch of a cool fall breeze in the air. It was lunchtime, and Market Square was teeming by Knoxville standards—packs of people out for a midday break ...

  • W: Only in America Published 10/22/2008 at 5 p.m.

    Right from the get-go, there’s a problem with making a relatively straight movie about George W. Bush, especially without the aid of a few post-presidency buffer-zone years. Never mind the fiasco of a war or the breakdown of Democratic checks ...

  • Obama HQ Published 10/22/2008 at 5 p.m. 1 Comment

    Charles Maldonado camps out at the Obama-Palin campaign headquarters in downtown Knoxville and finds cautious optimism amid the waiting.

  • Hilltop Removal Published 10/08/2008 at 6 p.m. 1 Comment

    The development taking shape in the newest phases of developer Carley Keck’s Wildwood Gardens subdivision, just north of John Sevier Highway in South Knox County, is beginning to look downright Seussian. The most visible feature of the odd, multi-tiered development ...

  • Reasonable Doubt Published 09/24/2008 at 6 p.m. 4 Comments

    Here’s what we know so far: Knoxville gas prices were higher than anywhere else in the country last week—up to a $4.652 average on Sept. 15. Many local pumps were as high as $4.99 for a gallon of regular unleaded. ...

  • Slow Burn Published 09/17/2008 at 5 p.m.

    Burn, written while the Coen brothers were making the Best Picture-winning No Country for Old Men, is a ludicrous, one-joke farce, and that tone is reflected in its one-dimensional characters. Still, for all its silliness and nihilism—and because of them—Burn ...

  • Vols by the Numbers Published 09/10/2008 at 5 p.m.

    An economic index of curious statistics relating to the playing of Vol football in Knoxville.

  • Mild Plus Published 09/10/2008 at 5 p.m. 1 Comment

    Nicolas Cage plays Joe, a cold, opportunistic gun for hire who, we’re told, is among the best in the business. Joe, who has no backstory and no last name (to maximize his mystique or because the filmmakers are shamefully lazy?), ...

  • Voting By Checkbook V Published 09/03/2008 at 6 p.m.

    The Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., may have been overshadowed somewhat in the news cycle early this week by a force of nature, but still it went on. The news of Hurricane Gustav approaching still-Katrina-battered New Orleans, rather ...

  • The Neverending Story Published 09/03/2008 at 5 p.m.

    Bestselling author Terry Brooks has forged a long career writing giant books about epic fantasy worlds, and Charles Maldonado pops in for a visit.

  • Voting By Checkbook IV Published 08/27/2008 at 6 p.m.

    It’s Democratic National Convention week! The Tennessee Congressional Primaries are nearly a month past us! One more convention to go, and then no one has to pay attention again until November.

  • Notes From the Furnace Published 08/27/2008 at 6 p.m. 7 Comments

    The following is a chronicle of the rest of the summer, a downward spiral characterized by discomfort, paranoia, and slow brain death.

  • Hardin Valley: Western Education Published 08/13/2008 at 5 p.m.

    In 2003, what is now Hardin Valley Academy was hatched as a vague notion that for about two years was just called “the new West Knox County high school” by school board members and media alike. Now, though, after five ...

  • Chris Carter Should Just Retire to His Private Gold-Plated Island and Stop Making Movies Forever Published 07/30/2008 at 5 p.m.

    The problem with The X-Files: I Want to Believe is exactly what could have been good about it. Rather than another big, epic addition to the X-Files canon, a continuation of the grand conspiracy in the spirit of the first ...

  • Pop Quiz Published 07/30/2008 at 5 p.m.

    Here is the questionnaire we sent to candidates running for County Commission in the Aug. 7 elections.

  • MP Guide to the Apocalypse Published 07/23/2008 at 5 p.m.

    The world is going to hell. Or, if you’re not a religious sort, it’s getting seriously screwed up. So: What to do about it? Charles Maldonado talks with local and national experts to hear how the end of the world ...

  • Don't Look Up Published 07/23/2008 at 5 p.m.

    Financial news of late seems to suggest that the sky may be falling. Over the course of the past couple of years, we’ve gone from a relatively booming economy, a near-full recovery from the post-9/11 panic of the beginning of ...

  • Voting By Checkbook III Published 07/09/2008 at 6 p.m. 1 Comment

    City Beat: We’re here again to examine some of the Knoxville area’s biggest, and most interesting, political patrons. It’s July, and the presidential primaries are definitely, finally over. The general race is in full swing. Again, finally. Next up, the ...