Fort Under Siege

Fort Sanders was once Knoxville's most elegant suburb, and, as home to nationally significant authors, artists, inventors, and musicians, is arguably East Tennessee's most historic neighborhood. The Fort has taken a lot of hits from nonresident landowners over the years, but an out-of-state developer has lit the fuse on what may be the biggest bomb to hit Fort Sanders since the hospital went in. A total of 15 turn-of-the-century houses are under the ax in a massive high-density housing development spanning several blocks in the midsection of the neighborhood from White to Highland, near 13th, 14th, and 15th Streets. Preservationists suspect the project will threaten the neighborhood's historic-zoning status.

The developer is a company called Jefferson Commons, based in Irving, Texas. Parts of the proposal will be discussed in an open Metropolitan Planning Commission meeting at the Large Assembly Room at the City/County Building this afternoon (Thursday) at 1:30. Variances in the zoning will be discussed before the Board of Zoning Appeals on Thursday the 18th.

Overheard at Zoofari when SuperFlackwomen Cynthia Moxley and Cathy Ackermann discussed KCDC paying $130,000 for spin-doctoring its College Homes/Hope VI project (among other flack-type duties):

Moxley—"We've been going about this all wrong."

Ackermann—"What do you mean?"

Moxley—"We've been working for rich people."

Overheard at the meeting of the Black Contractors Association when state Commissioner of Economic Development Bill Baxter and County Commissioner/County Executive candidate Scott Davis butted heads about Knox County's success in economic development:

Host introduces elected officials present in crowd, ends with "County Commissioner Scott Davis:"

Baxter—(In something between a growl and a mutter) "Not for long."

Later, after the two conducted a verbal fisticuffs, Baxter observes Davis and another member of the audience talking amongst themselves:

Baxter—"Did you have anything else to say, Scott?"

Still later, after the meeting, Davis, a glutton for punishment, approaches Baxter with his hand out:

Davis: "Between now and August, will you take the time to sit down and talk to me?"


What Time Is It?

Front Page Follies time, 6:30 Saturday night at the Hyatt. There'll be a number on downtown development dedicated to the Uber Chamber bunch ("Tumbling Tumbleweeds," we hear); some walks down memory lane to remember the fun and frivolity of the World's Fair and the Butcher bank stuff; some lampooning of current politicos and a look into the future with a skit about the 1999 mayor's race. This number will float a Titanic theme, and deep background sources tell us there'll be an iceberg full of "Buds." Be there or be square.

Another Addition to the MP Shelf

Congrats go to another one of our contributors with a book deal: Katie Allison Granju, general writer and mastermind behind Family Pulse, recently signed with Simon and Schuster to produce a (you got it) parenting book. Titled Attachment Parenting: Instinctive Care for Your Baby and Young Child, it'll be released in early '99. Which means she probably won't be doing much writing for us until she cranks out her book. Just our luck.