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Tower Power

News that the city has halted construction of a 180-foot telecommunications tower set to be erected in the heart of Sequoyah Hills has raised eyebrows among some of the community groups that have long been pushing for tougher tower regulations. No one will go on the record about it, but many question why the permit for the tower was issued in the first place, given the "legal issues" cited by the press release announcing the stop work order.

"They are vastly understaffed," said one Knoxvillian who has been involved in the telecommunications tower issue. "They only have 80 employees in that department (the city's Development Department), so it's easy to see how they didn't have time to read or understand the law."

The infamous K-Town Smartass waxed poetic about the puzzling turn of events:
"Knox-town once had a bad mayor,
But it had a good mayor too,
The bad one gave a tower permit,
Saying there was nothing he could do.
The good one vowed to fight it,
And not let the evil one win.
And even if the tower was a bad idea,
To boo the mayor was a sin.
But the neighbors asked the question,
Isn't he one and the same?
Isn't he the guy who gave the permit,
Who now says 'What a shame.'
But the good mayor fought hand to hand,
And the bad one had to shrink,
And when all the dust had cleared, The happy winner gave a big wink."

Maybe That's Why They're Called "Smart"

The Smart Club, a women's group that meets at Cherokee Country Club, had Bud Gilbert as guest speaker recently. Ex-Senator Gilbert, whose political commentary is still in high demand despite spurning supporters who urged him to run for mayor, says he enjoyed the occasion but was somewhat surprised by the results of a poll taken after he spoke. Seventy percent of these women (who are married to some of the wealthiest and most powerful men in town) would support a state income tax.

A Noisy Prom

A couple of weeks ago, the administration at Vine Middle School realized with some sense of urgency that they were behind their prescribed annual quota for fire drills. With impressive alacrity, they remedied the problem. They finished the school year last week. For more than a third of the students, of course, it was their final week at Vine, ever. And that last week they'll remember for the rest of their lives was one long series of fire drills, averaging two a day.

Take That, Pat!

The News-Sentinel is running an on-line poll to give sports fans the chance to say whether men's basketball coach Jerry Green should make more money than Lady Vols basketball coach Pat Summitt. The numbers have ebbed and surged, but as Metro Pulse went to print, Green was comfortably ahead with 7,605 of the 14,217 total votes cast (53 percent). There were 6,612 "no" votes (47 percent) cast, disagreeing with the proposition that UT should pay Green, who has been at Tennessee for two years and finished this year's regular season at the head of the SEC's Eastern Division, more than Summitt, who has six national championships in 25 years. The poll was occasioned by UT's announcement that both coaches had received contract extensions and pay increases that left Green with a $540,000 annual package and Summitt with $500,000 a year.