Mayor Ashe Vs. KUB

It has the makings of a TV movie or a reality show.

A man goes overseas to serve his country and returns to find the utility company planning to rape the homestead. Who will win the standoff, the homeowner or the bucket trucks?

We're talking of course about Ambassador Victor Ashe, former mayor of Knoxville, who is resisting efforts by KUB to cut the tops out of his magnolia trees, considered too close to the utility wires. Intense negotiations are under way at the highest level, since a low-key approach by a KUB official was rebuffed by the former mayor who is studying policies and procedures, loopholes, and options.

You will recall the standoff between then-Mayor Ashe and former Gov. Don Sundquist over the removal of a couple of 200-year-old oak trees holding up interstate construction at Papermill Road in 2001. After weeks of controversy the trees got cut during a weekend. Relations between Ashe and KUB have been strained for some years, primarily due to Ashe's insistence the utility get sewage out of the storm drains. The EPA agreed and the utility has been involved in a multi-year program to separate the two.

Stay tuned. Moxley Carmichael may have to work through the holidays.