ear (2006-36)

Wade’s Empty Shoes

Vols No. 1

Clumsy Horses

Labor Day Labor

Kilgore New CEO

Gov. Wilder?

Bug in Our Ear

Wade’s Empty Shoes

Thomas has Democratic Party credentials, having served on the state Democratic executive committee, and he has the support of major players close to the Bredesen administration. He also doesn’t have any problems with Gov. Phil Bredesen’s conservative Republican supporters in the area. He has a reputation as a law and order judge and is the only Democrat to hold a countywide elected office in Republican Blount County. He is the only sitting judge on the short list.

Vols No. 1

We just hope no one remembers we made the same prediction last year.

Clumsy Horses

As best we understand it, federal inspectors just do not understand the Walking Horse business because they continue to disqualify horses with hoof and ankle scars indicating they have been tortured to produce a high stepping gait.

What inspectors fail to appreciate is that, of all horse breeds, Walking Horses are the clumsiest. They stumble around the pasture cutting their hooves and ankles producing scars found in no other breed of horse. That leads the inspectors to jump to the conclusion the scars are man-made.

The trainers and the city of Shelbyville, who collect millions of dollars on a successful celebration each year, evidently are unable to institute a program to keep these clumsy horses from hurting themselves. The biggest puzzle about Walking Horses is that those of the breed not participating in shows are considered the best prospects for sure-footed trail riding in the Smokies and the national forests.

Labor Day Labor

Reporters, who tend to work every day regardless of what alleged holiday is mentioned on the calendar, tend to notice these things—especially around noon, when our hearts turn lightly toward thoughts of lunch. In some years past, downtown on Labor Day has had a certain quiet postnuclear vibe. With everyone allegedly off to enjoy the holiday with their families, reporters are left to forage, root through questionable remains in the refrigerator and prowl the empty sidewalks for scraps. They count themselves lucky if the Subway’s open.

However, this past Labor Day, at least half a dozen downtown restaurants were open, as well as about as many retail establishments. Not only that, there were scores of people out looking around, many of them apparent newcomers to town, quite a few of them still wearing Vol regalia.

Note to City: Drawing hundreds of thousands of people downtown for a long weekend can be a wonderful thing, and worth crowing about. However, we’ve observed that a third of a million people do tend to generate refuse.

On Labor Day, the trash cans in and around Market Square looked like they hadn’t been emptied since before Saturday’s football game. By Sunday, all were filled to overflowing. By Monday afternoon, several of them were so full they appeared to be regurgitating garbage onto the pavement. We hope all the newcomers afoot on Monday mistook them for an ambitious installation of dadaist sculptures.

Kilgore New CEO

Kilgore, the former chief operating officer, was promoted to acting CEO in March to guide the agency during the transition from the old full-time three-person board to the new nine-member part-time board. When the board had its first meeting they announced a nationwide search for a CEO.

He previously served as president and chief executive officer of Oglethorpe Power Corp. in Georgia. He was named chief operating officer at TVA in March 2005.

Gov. Wilder?

First, his long-time friend state Sen. Jerry Cooper got indicted over a land deal. The federally insured bank loan involved in the land scam came from a bank owned by Wilder.

The health problems that prompted Gov. Bredesen to spend time at the Mayo Clinic made everyone realize that if anything happened to the governor the state would be in the hands of the 85-year-old, wildly eccentric Wilder.

Then Deputy Gov. Dave Cooley said the governor will have a task force look at the succession issue and propose legislation for next session. The first order of business next session will be whether to re-elect Wilder as speaker of the Senate, and thus lieutenant governor. It will not help Wilder’s re-election chances with the issue of gubernatorial succession on everyone’s mind and the subject of a task force and potential legislation.