Thursday, May 21, 2015

And the Logo Stinks...Crockett for 5-21-15

UAW is best route to works council, union leader says

Creating the will for Congress to tackle climate change

Improving media capacity: Media must focus on policy not just politics

Tennessee pays $46K for new state logo

Say goodbye to the stars and flag and say hello to a little red square.
The state of Tennessee is about to get a new logo, and it's come at quite a cost.
The Channel 4 I-Team has uncovered what it looks like and what it cost. Some are already questioning whether it was money well spent.
"This is something a fifth-grader could easily produce on his or her computer at home," said Chris Butler, with
The state paid $46,000 to Nashville advertising and marketing company GS&F to design the new logo.
Gov. Bill Haslam's office confirmed the logo will replace several others. A spokesman said part of the reason it was necessary was to give the state a unified look.
In time, state officials said the logo will be on all signage and letterheads. LINK

Creating the will for Congress to tackle climate change

An organization called the Citizens’ Climate Lobby hopes to form chapters in all of the 435 districts that make up the U.S. House to educate lawmakers and their constituents of the need to take action on climate change.
The goal, its leaders say, is to create the political will to tackle climate change. Specifically, these chapters are pushing Congress to adopt a plan for the government to collect fees from carbon producers, which would then be redistributed to residents who live in the areas they are impacting.
The CCL has chapters in Chattanooga and in Nashville. Now, it has an affiliate in the Tri-Cities, and boy, does it have its work cut out for itself.
Personally, I think the CCL would have a better chance of convincing members of Congress to give free ice cream to every inmate on federal death row than it would getting them even to admit climate change exists, much less tackle the issue in a practical manner. LINK

Columnist questions hunting/fishing fee increase after ammo tax windfall

Start of Frank Cagle’s column this week:
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency gets a dime for every box of ammunition sold in Tennessee. You may have heard that since Barack Obama has been president ammo makers have added third shifts to meet the demand as many gun owners have stockpiled the stuff and store shelves are often bare. This has meant a $9.5 million windfall for the TWRA, the agency that regulates hunting, fishing and wildlife management. That’s almost $10 million more than had been budgeted for this year, for a total of $31 million from the feds.
But that hasn’t prevented the agency from increasing the cost of buying a hunting license by almost 20 percent, from $27 to $33. That raises an additional $6 million for TWRA coffers. The extra $9.5 million windfall in ammo sales is half again more than the $6 million fee increase. And somebody needs to find out why they are getting only .09 percent interest on millions of dollars in trust funds. LINK

UAW is best route to works council, union leader says

The United Auto Workers released documents they say shows consensus among Volkswagen leaders that the best route to establishing a works council in Chattanooga is through their union.
"It's well-established by Volkswagen's leadership at the Chattanooga plant and in Germany that a works council can only be realized in partnership with a union," United Auto Workers Secretary-Treasurer Gary Casteel said in a prepared statement. "We have fleshed out a detailed works council concept based on the framework that we jointly developed with the company last year."
One document is from September 2013 and one is from December 2013; both of those dates are before the UAW lost the election for representation in February 2014.
The third document came from IndustriALL Global Union President Berthold Huber following the election.
A spokesman for the American Council of Employees—a rival to the UAW Local 42—said so much has changed since the election that the documents may not be relevant anymore.
What's in the lettersThe letter that stands out from the others is signed by former VW Chattanooga CEO Frank Fischer and Vice President of Human Resources Sebastian Patta.
The letter is addressed to the plant's employees and explains the need for cooperation with the union and that Volkswagen was in a dialogue with the UAW.
"In the U.S., a works council can only be realized together with a trade union," the letter reads. "This is the reason why Volkswagen has started a dialogue with the UAW in order to check the possibility of implementing an innovative model of employee representation for all employees." LINK

Congressman laughs at sheriff who thinks weed destroys black communities like crack and heroin

A Wisconsin sheriff stunned a congressman on Tuesday by refusing to say that marijuana was less destructive to society than methamphetamine or cocaine.
During a House Judiciary hearing on police reform, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) briefly questioned Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke about his views on drugs.
“You said that illegal drug use is the scourge of the black community and it is a problem and leads to a great deal of violent crime. Would you agree that marijuana possession is not the scourge of the black community and does not lead to violent crime the same way that meth, crack cocaine, and heroin do?” he asked the sheriff.
“No, I wouldn’t agree with that at all,” Clarke replied.
“Well, that’s interesting, and I wish I had more time to talk to you,” Cohen said. “Thank you for allowing me this opportunity.” LINK

Mishap At Water Plant Leads To Complaints Of Dirty Water

Adams resident Yogi Salyer turned on his water to get a drink and noticed something was wrong.
"The water was just nasty," he said.
Unfortunately he noticed the problem after he had taken a swig.
"I hope I don't get sick off this," Salyer said.
Many other residents in Adams found the same to be true in their home. The water had a yellow, brown tint and smelled like chlorine.
It all stemmed from the Adams Cedar-Hill Water Plant and a plan to drain the clear water tank.
"I've never done this before in my nine years here but I opened a valve trying to drain the tanks and it actually started filling the tanks," Chief Operator Stephen Ayres said.
Ayers explained that caused the water from the city to flow backwards to the plant. LINK

Improving media capacity: Media must focus on policy not just politics

While I do not agree with everything Patterson has to say, the rise of the Internet and digital media in many ways has indulged political reporters’ narrow concentration on political tactics. Sites such as Politico or BuzzFeed or dozens of others are writing about the inner game 24/7 without space limitations. The cable networks also thrive on dissecting political decisions and allowing a seemingly unending flow of opinion whether it is fact based or pure palaver. There is also an addiction to political polls that follow the horse race aspect of the campaign, months and even years before the election—and long before most voters have even contemplated who they want as the next president.
But there are also terrific sites on the Internet and in traditional media that deal with the substance of issues in an informative and entertaining way. and are just two of the many sites that analyze the veracity of candidates’ statements and positions. PolitiFact runs a graphic or a meter that rates candidate’s statements as “True”, Mostly True”, “Half True”, “Mostly False”, “False”, or so false the label is “Pants on Fire.” National Public Radio consistently delivers insightful, knowledge-based reporting as do newspapers such as the New York Times and Washington Post. And while a successful business model has yet to emerge, both the Times and the Post reach substantially more voters than at any time in their history because of their web sites.
The reality of the Internet is that voters can find the information they need to make informed voting decisions¸ but it takes effort and a willingness to be open to information that might contradict already held beliefs. That is why we created a course in News Literacy at Stony Brook University’s School of Journalism. Our belief is that in the digital age, a school of journalism has an obligation to teach the next generation of news consumers as well as news producers. The course is designed for all students, not just journalism students. In the last eight years we have taught the course to more than 10,000 students (see Brookings white paper on News Literacy). It’s a course that can also be taught at the high school or junior high school level. The course’s emphasis on critical thinking is right in the sweet spot of the new common core curriculum.
However, a news literacy course can only be part of that effort. The challenge remains for the news media to make voters aware that there is fact-based information available to them. Yes, the unfortunate reality is that with the Internet, voters seem to be less informed. Part of the problem is that there is so much misinformation on the Internet that voters can always find something that seems to back up their existing view. LINK

Crockett Policy Institute

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