As I was shopping at a small, general merchandise store in a strip mall, a woman, 25 to 27 years in age, came into the store with two little girls in tow. I’d guess their ages to be 4 and 5 years. The girls were little cuties. Dressed in pink skirts and tops, hair was combed, and both were clean and energetic. They began picking up items and throwing things around—more less bouncing off the walls.
Their mother was doing her best to guide them along. I heard her say, “Stop” and “Put that down” several times. She also explained to her children that she only needed a few items and they needed to stay by her side and to be good.
As it so happened as few minutes later, the mother-daughter trio were in the check-out line ahead of me. The girls were begging for the candy that was spread all around the shelves and the mother told them no, they were going to dinner soon and didn’t need candy. The check-out line was moving slowly, but in a few minutes, both girls stopped fidgeting grew calm and quiet.
What happened next demonstrated that mothers really do have laser vision. This woman was also psychic.
“Give it to me,” she demanded.
I looked at both girls and didn’t see anything in their hands.
“No,” the larger girl said.
“Oh, yes you will,” said the mother. She grabbed the girl’s hand and wrestled her fingers open to display one of those chocolate drops that costs 99 cents each.
“I am really disappointed in you,” the mom said. “It is wrong to steal.”
Next, her eyes moved to the hands of the second child and she repeated her demand, “You give it to me, too.” Once again it was necessary for her to forcibly remove the chocolate drop from the girl’s hand.
“Don’t move,” the mother said.
In my head I was telling myself, “Stay out of it. This isn’t your business. But, suddenly the words to that Merle Haggard song popped into my head. Mama Tried.
“And I turned twenty-one in prison doing life without parole No one could steer me right but Mama tried, Mama tried Mama tried to raise me better, but her pleading I denied That leaves only me to blame ‘cause Mama tried.”
I could not help myself. I said to the lady, “Ma’am, I just want to thank you for doing your best to raise your children with morals and values. We do not see this much anymore. Most people would just let their kids steal and ignore the consequences.”
“Why, thank you,” she said. “I do try, but they are a handful.”
I encountered the trio again outside in the parking lot. I had to walk past their car to get to my car. I grinned to myself when I saw that the young mother had the two girls lined up in a row and she was talking to them like a coach to a losing team. I heard her say, “If these people wanted to call the police on you for stealing, they could.”
What happened next was my shocker for the day. Remember, these girls were 4 and 5 years old. “Police won’t bother us. We are too young. They don’t take little kids to jail,” replied the older girl.
“Wow!” I thought. “How bold?”
Once again, my head was telling me to stay quiet and move along, but I thought, “It takes a village.”
“Oh yes there is jail for kids,” I blurted out. “It is called Juvenile Detention Center and it a real place that deals with bad kids all the time.”
“Thank you,” replied the mother. I could tell she was glad for the support.
As I drove away, I kept thinking, Merle Haggard had it right, “Mama tried.”
Beardsley Community Farm sends this invitation: Volunteers of all ages and experience levels are invited to help Beardsley Community Farm on November 17 to get ready for winter during the last Saturday workday of the year. The workday will begin at 9 and end at noon, and will be followed by a Cold Weather Gardening Workshop which will last approximately one hour.
The Cold Weather Workshop will give gardeners some tips for extending the growing season. The workshop will address cold weather growing techniques, with a primary focus on building low-tunnels and cold frames with salvaged materials. In addition to showing how these systems are built, workshop attendees will also get some tips on when and what to plant in early spring and late fall.
CAC Beardsley Community Farm is an urban demonstration site that has promoted food security and sustainable urban agriculture through practice, education, and community outreach since 1998. The half-acre main site sits on the former grounds of Beardsley Junior High School. In 1996, the City of Knoxville provided funds to convert the abandoned school grounds into a garden and build a greenhouse.
Beardsley Farm has raspberry and blackberry brambles; muscadine grapes and blueberries; a young orchard of fruit and nut trees; and a community garden, all situated on six and a half acres of a public park—in addition to the half-acre demonstration site. The Farm is maintained by a farm manager, a small team of AmeriCorps members, and numerous volunteers from the Knoxville community.
CAC Beardsley Community Farm has several goals within the community. (10) To educate people of all ages about the possibilities and methods of organic and sustainable urban gardening. (2) To give support and tools to community members to help them grow their own food, and teach about the financial and environmental benefits of home food production. Volunteers at the farm can learn for free in structured workshops on such specialized skills as vermicomposting, beekeeping, mushroom logs, urban hen-keeping, and more. And (3) To provide fresh produce to people in need. On-going programs donate the vegetables raised at CAC Beardsley Farm to Family Crisis Center, Bridge Refugee Services, Knoxville Area Rescue Mission (KARM), and Western Heights Baptist Center.
If you want to learn about organic gardening, you can volunteer. You can also sign up to maintain your own plot in the community gardens. Space is assigned on a first come, first serve basis, however, there is usually a spot available for those wanting one.
Beardsley Community Farm is located at 1719 Reynolds Street which is just off Western Avenue a few blocks passed University Avenue.
After months of struggling with fire codes and regulations from the Public Building Authority, Tony Cappiello has opened the Icon Ultra Lounge on the 5th floor of the Sunsphere.
Cappiello, who has exclusive rental rights to the space on the 5th floor of the 30 year old theme structure of the 1982 World’s Fair, said he has invested an estimated $450,000 to renovate the space. The capacity is now 120 making it three times larger than its predecessor, The Skybox.
Cappiello said he chose to light up the floors, bars and tables so guests could be “wowed by the experience.”
Cappiello said that his plans took into consideration the panoramic view and placed seating in special areas so guests can enjoy the sunsets. He added two-seat tables near the windows and large, over-stuffed booths to round out the new theme.
A new electrical system was installed, the floor was reworked and stained sky blue and a fireplace was added to create a cozy corner. A DJ booth, a second bar and two additional restrooms were also added.
The Rain Bar, which has a continuous stream of water that flows through the bar top and into a nearby water wall, is on one side. The Sun Bar is on the other side and is topped with onyx and covered with gold tufted panels aimed at capturing the look of the famous gold glass panels.
Cappiello said that he studied other bars in cities such as Chicago, Las Vegas and New Orleans. “We wanted to make it an upscale, higher-end establishment,” he said.
Cappiello is an attorney and developer who also purchased the Lord Lindsey, another downtown landmark that he plans to convert into a nightclub. Cappiello said that he enjoyed designing the Icon Ultra Lounge himself. “Choosing the colors, materials and furniture is one of my favorite parts in the process,” he said.
Since parking is always a problem at the Sunsphere, Cappiello said spaces are available at the nearby Knoxville Museum of Art, in the lot next to Church Street United Methodist Church and the Locust Street parking garage next to the YMCA. He says he will provide a golf cart to circle the grounds and plans to add a valet service in the future.
Icon Ultra Lounge is closed on Mondays and is open 4 p.m. to midnight Tuesdays and Wednesdays and 4 p.m. to 3 a.m. Thursdays through Saturdays.
The 4th floor of the Sunsphere contains the Observation Center and is open from dawn to dusk most days of the year. It is free to the public, however, shoes and shirt are required. Children must be accompanied by an adult. No swimwear allowed. The 6th floor of the Sunsphere is open for rental through Sara Spangler and can be used for small to large parties, weddings, and other events. Call 865 363 9538 for information about how you can rent the space.
The new movie, Flight, staring Denzel Washington is the kind of movie that makes me want to demand my money back. If I was to rate this movie on a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give it a 2, only because Denzel Washington was the main star and I usually love Denzel‘s movies.
Do not, I repeat, do not, take your children to this movie. Why? Because in the first 30 seconds of the movie, you see a totally naked woman—full-frontal nudity. In the same scene there is cocaine use and pot smoking, and it goes downhill from that point. The nudity adds nothing to the plot line and could have been avoided. It is harsh and feels like being slapped in the face.
The so-called plot involves airline captain William “Whip” Whitaker, played by Denzel, who boards a plane to fly it from Orlando to Atlanta after partying all night with a flight attendant using booze and drugs. After experiencing intense turbulence, the copilot flies the plane while Whip discreetly mixes himself a drink of vodka and orange juice and then takes a nap. Near Atlanta, the plane enters a steep dive, awakening the drunk pilot. Even though the plane does crash, Whip pulls off a miracle by steering the plane away from heavily populated areas and into an empty field where a group of Christians just happen to be worshipping God.
The movie has two story lines that switch back and forth—-Whip’s alcoholism and the mystery of what caused the plane to go into a nose dive and crash. Mostly, the film has scene after scene in which the pilot promises his friends and co-workers that he will stop drinking and using drugs, only to fall off the wagon time and time again. The mystery of why the plane crashed to begin with finally gets solved near the end of the movie, but there has been so much alcohol and drug abuse by that point that all the viewer wants to do is leave the building.
Moral to the story seems to be—do not drink and pilot a plane. Also, anyone who watches this movie will never want to fly again.
All in all, this is a horrible movie that wastes the talents of many excellent actors. I do not understand why a fine actor like Denzel Washington would ever agree to act in this kind of movie. The story line is weak and the alcoholism of the main character and the “flight” have very little to do with one another. This movie has too many scenes showing drug usage and alcohol abuse and not enough scenes of anything interesting.
Usually, I might suggest that the viewers wait to rent the video, however, for this movie, I say, never see this movie. Keep it away from your children. It is a bad movie—do not waste your money or your time on it.
After 22 hours of deliberation the jury found former judge Richard Baumgartner guilty on 5 of 6 counts of misprision of a felony. Because he is now a convicted felon, the judge immediately lost his pension. Many say this is truly justice since the judge was allowed keep his pension after entering an Alfred plea to charges brought by the state.
The case in Federal Court against ex-Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner got under way last Tuesday in the court of Judge Ronnie Greer with a jury of ten women and two men being seated by Wednesday. Opening statements wrapped up around 10:30 a.m. as both sides explained their cases to the court.
Prosecutors are charging the ex-judge with 7 counts of misprision of a felony. One charge was tossed out by Judge Greer. Prosecutors said that Baumgartner was a drug-addicted judge who committed federal crimes by using his power to cover up drug sales and drug usage by himself and his drug-dealing mistress. The attorneys said that Baumgartner concealed his crimes, fearing that discovery would cut off his access to drugs and sex.
They also said that they would show proof of Baumgartner’s lies to other judges, Knox County staff members and hospital employees as part of the cover up.
Baumgartner’s defense attorney, Donald Bosch, argued that the former judge was “a man of many demons.” “This case is not about drug addiction or infidelity,” he said. Busch said that the ex-judge had reasons for lying and was not concealing an alleged drug conspiracy. Bosch said Baumgartner was trying to help Castleman as he had developed true feeling for her.
Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner was arrested in May 2012 and charged with seven counts of concealing and not reporting a felony. The charges of misprision came from an alleged relationship the judge had with Deena Castleman and his attempts to cover up drug purchases.
Rumors had been flying in the courthouse for many months as to the erratic behavior of the judge. He was seen falling asleep on the bench and was known to be associating with Castleman in ways that were far-reaching as to what the typical judge-criminal relationship would be.
Former judicial assistant and court clerk of 15 years, Jennifer Judy, is set to testify against the ex-judge in this trial.
Baumgartner’s mistress, Deena Castleman, a felon seen in his court, was first to take the stand. She said she would not be there unless she had been forced to by law. She is currently serving a six year term in the Anderson County Jail.
Castleman testified that she was at the City-County Building in 2009 and asked Baumgartner for a job. The Criminal Court judge had often worked with drug addicts to help keep them out of jail . However to Castleman’s surprise, Baumgartner told her that he liked opiates and asked if she could get some for him. She agreed that she could, thus beginning the alleged pill transactions.
Castleman said he gave her $250 to $300 twice a week and he purchased as many as 25 to 30 pills at a time. She said Baumgartner often drove to her trailer or welcomed her into his private chambers at the court house and even came to the hospital to see her. She also said that the two developed a sexual relationship. She was referred to as his “mistress,” and it has been said that the married, ex-judge developed true feelings of love for the pill pusher.
Castleman said that Baumgartner used Hydrocodone and moved on to the stronger drugs Percocet and Roxycodone.She described how she and the ex-judge took pills and even snorted drugs together.
Castleman was given a cell phone per a program from the court so that she could be reached by court officials. Baumgartner used the government-issued cell phone hundreds of times to contact her concerning purchases of drugs. Cell phone records for Castleman’s and Baumgartner’s drug court cell phone were entered as evidence in the case.
She claimed he would call other judges (Stan Briggs and Don Elledge) to help her when she got in legal trouble. She said he told the YWCA she passed a urine test when he knew that she didn’t, so she could remain available to him.
Knox County Drug Court Director Rob Hanaver was the next witness called.
On the stand, Hanaver said Baumgartner dismissed Castleman from drug court in 2007 as recommended per the staff. Hanaver testified that the judge called him to ask about a possible false positive for Castleman’s YWCA drug test.
Hanaver said in 2009, Baumgartner asked him for a drug court cell phone so he could make calls to staff. After viewing the records for the cell phone, Hanaver said he found that most of the calls were made to Castleman’s phone number. He also said he could not remember a time when Baumgartner used the phone to call him. This cell phone cost the taxpayers as much as $1,000.
Hanover was asked if he ever confronted Baumgartner, a question many wanted to ask of the court house staff. Hanaver said he had asked him about the rumors of sex and drug use between him and Castleman and claims Baumgartner told him he was trying to “help her let rumors die”.
Bosch asked Hanaver ask about the cell phone usage. Hanaver explained that he saw the excessive number of minutes used and thought Baumgartner was calling other staffers.
Bosch, who used the same closing arguments used at the trial of John Edwards, has been friends with the judge, a fellow Democrat, for many years.
Baumgartner faces as much as a 3 year sentence for each of 5 counts. Many are wondering if the judge will get off with a light sentence.
l. Alaska 2. South Dakota 3. Tennessee 4. Louisiana 5. Wyoming 6. Texas 7. New Hampshire 8. Alabama 9. Nevada 10. South Carolina (Most of these states have Republican governors.)
Top 10 states that paid the HIGHEST in taxes:
l. New York 2. New Jersey 3. Connecticut 4. California 5. Wisconsin 6. Rhode Island 7. Minnesota 8. Massachusetts 9. Maine 10. Pennsylvania (More registered Democrats live in these states than Republicans)
USA’s 10 Poorest Cities: State: Percent of People Living in Poverty or Below
1. Detroit , MI - 32.5% 2. Buffalo , NY - 29.9% 3. Cincinnati , OH - 27.8% 4. Cleveland , OH - 27.0% 5. Miami , FL - 26.9% 5. St. Louis , MO - 26.8% 7. El Paso , TX - 26.4% 8. Milwaukee , WI - 26.2% 9. Philadelphia , PA - 25.1% 10. Newark , NJ - 24.2%
What do the top ten cities having over 250,000 in population with the highest poverty rate all have in common? Democrat mayors. Detroit, MI (1st) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1961. Buffalo, NY (2nd) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1954. Cincinnati, OH (3rd) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1984. Cleveland, OH (4th) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1989. Miami, FL (5th) has never had a Republican mayor. St. Louis, MO (6th) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1949. El Paso, TX (7th) has never had a Republican mayor. Milwaukee, WI (8th) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1908. Philadelphia, PA (9th) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1952. Newark, NJ (10th) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1907.
It is the poor who habitually elect Democrats, yet they are still poor. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong or bring about prosperity by discouraging saving. You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
If Obama is re-elected each person who gets a paycheck will see $163 more per month deducted to pay taxes as the Bush tax cuts will expire. A vote for Obama is a vote to cut your own wages. Can you survive on $163 less per month?
The cost of living adjustment for Social Security, also known as COLA, is set to increase in January 2013 by l.7%. Most people can expect to see an increase of $20 to $30 per month.
This increase to a person’s Social Security retirement benefit is determined by an exact computation that isn’t found with a simple multiplication problem, but is more complex. If the benefit was a simple multiplication problem, to find the amount of the increase, all that would be needed would be to multiply the amount of benefits currently received times the l.7% increase. However, each Social Security benefit is based on a “primary insurance amount,” or PIA.
The PIA in turn is directly related to the primary beneficiary’s earnings through a benefit formula. It is the PIA that is increased by the COLA.
If the initial PIA is $1,275.50 and it is increased by a 1.7-percent COLA, the new PIA would be $1,297.10 after being rounded to the next lower dime.
Many factors affect the amount of benefits received by retirees or the disabled. Retiring early or waiting until your normal retirement age greatly affects the amount of benefits received. Delayed retirement by even one year after your normal retirement age can greatly affect your benefit amount in a positive way.
Social Security benefits are based on the earnings of the individual who receives the benefits. Those who earned more will receive more. Those who earned less, or never worked and never paid Social Security taxes receive smaller amounts.
A total of nearly 62 million Americans will receive the 1.7 percent increase. More than 56 million Social Security beneficiaries will begin receiving the COLAs in January 2013. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 31, 2012.
Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $113,700 from $110,100. Of the estimated 163 million workers who will pay Social Security taxes in 2013, nearly 10 million will pay higher taxes as a result of the increase in the taxable maximum.
Be sure to check out the Holiday Sale taking place at Community Television from now until December 9. View the sale items by watching CTV on Channels 6 and 12 and go to the web site at: auction.ctvknox. org.
Community Television of Knoxville
is pleased to be partnering with East Tennessee Children’s Hospital and more than 130 local businessesto provide 60 days of exciting online bidding opportunities during the 2012 CTV Holiday Gift Auction.
Two separate collections of wonderful gift items will be auctioned with two separate closing dates.
Approximately 50 items will be offered during the 30 day period: October 10th -November 8th. Approximately 170 other items will be offered during the 60 day period: October 10-December 8.
Bidding on approximately 15 “higher ticket” items will end during a live 12-hour “CTV Holiday Showcase” event to be aired on CTV on Saturday, December 8th from 9 am - 9 pm. Starting bids for these items on that day will be the highest recorded online bids through December 7th..
CTV has provided training and access to TV production facilities for the exclusive non-commercial use of community residents, nonprofit organizations, community groups, and local government agencies in Knoxville & Knox County.
Knoxville’s Oldest Church
, the First Presbyterian Church located at 620 State Street, marks its 220th anniversary on October 21, with an 11 a.m. service followed by an old-fashioned “Dinner on the Street.”
Asia Café Hosts Halloween Costume Contest, Sunday, 28th October 2012.
Come dressed in your best holiday costume. $0.98 cents Dragon & Mermaid Draft all day. Judging begins at 8 p.m.
U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-TN,
a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, questioned Vice President Joe Biden’s comments during last night’s presidential debate in which Biden blamed the intelligence community for the administration’s initial false assessment of what led to the deadly attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, when it was known by the administration within 24 that the attack was an act of terrorism. The vice-president also mistakenly claimed that no requests were made for additional security by U.S. officials in Libya prior to the attack on September 11.
“The vice president’s comments last night about the situation in Benghazi, which claimed the lives of four Americans, absolutely do not square with facts on ground in Libya,” said Corker. “Within 24 hours of the incident the administration knew that this was an orchestrated terrorist attack, and they clearly were aware of the specific details, including requests for additional security, that have finally been made public this week. With the vice president continuing this ruse with his comments last night, all Americans should ask what the administration is trying to hide.”
Sunday, October 14, at the Asia Cafe on 6714 N. Central Avenue, the 2nd Annual Bikini Contest was held much to the delight of a crowd that included bikers, single men, partiers and pretty girls. Loud rock music, cold beer, Jello shots, spicy Asian food and bikini clad contestants were on hand for the fun event.
Louise and Phillip Lim, owners of the Asia Cafe, along with the staff and MC Danny Smith, made sure everyone had plenty to eat and drink while the contest was underway.
Morgan Jones won first place; Whitney Bowman-2nd; Heather Christopher-3rd; and “Skipper”—4th.
Skipper, aka, David Marshall, put on a show that had everyone roaring with laughter. Marshall, who calls himself a “bean counter,” is a small business advisor who is an accountant by day and a blonde-headed, swim suit wearing lady by night.
Marshall, who says he is not a gay cross dresser, says he becomes Skipper as a way of letting off steam from a highly pressurized day job. Surrounded by a group of friends, Marshall says it is a fun thing he and his friends do in their free time.
The tall, thin Marshall was wearing a white blouse, a pink bra, cowboy boots and blue Superman tights. He danced and removed some of this clothes as the crowd whistled and cheered.
Marshall was definitely a crowd favorite, however, in the spirit of pleasing the standing-room-only crowd, owner Phillip Lim, got in on the act, taking his shirt off and wearing a thong (over his underpants). Although Skipper won the official title of Best Entertainer, Lim won the audience over by walking on the bar amid the girls and dancing to the loud music. (Lim says his wife, Louise, won as “Best Wife of an Entrepreneur” as she took his behavior all in good stride.
Lim says his customers can look forward to next year as he will definitely host this event again.
Caption: Phillip Lim (left) owner of Asia Cafe and Skipper, contestant in the Bikini Contest. photo by M. Woodward