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Happy Hour

City Law Director Michael Kelley is threatening to take the Beer Board to court. Back in June, the Beer Board (composed of members of City Council) heard testimony that underage Knoxville Police Department cadets bought beer at a Cumberland Avenue establishment called Flamingo's Grill. After hearing the evidence, the board not only declined to revoke the beer license, but also declined by a 3-5 vote to impose a fine or a 30-day suspension. (Gary Underwood, who represents that district, was not present for the vote)

The KPD case against Flamingo's soured when a log of the money spent to buy beer for minors during the sting failed to list any Flamingo's expenditures, even though the officers testified that the buys were conducted with KPD funds. It was mortally wounded when two police witnesses described, in great detail, the "Over 21" and "Under 21" stamps in use at the club. They failed to notice that the words were in French. Testimony of a bartender who swore she didn't sell beer to police cadets was found to be credible.

Kelley is bringing a motion for reconsideration before the board next Tuesday, and has informed City Council attorney Charles Swanson of his intention to take the matter to court. But at least one member isn't budging from her position that KPD witnesses failed to prove the case against Flamingo's in June.

"From the testimony that was given by the police and by Flamingo's personnel, I don't know what happened that night," said Carlene Malone. "I am going to hope the court upholds the position of the Beer Board."

What Makes Joe Run?

Back in the day, incumbents had a way of dealing with opposition in city primary elections, which allow the two top vote-getters to advance to the November general election:

They'd get a pal to run, work at pushing him/her over the top, and right after the primary, the pal would drop out of the race, leaving a clear field.

Is that what's going on with the emergence of perennial also-ran Joe Burchfield in the 5th District City Council race against incumbent Larry Cox?

Both candidates deny any such thing.

"Joe's in there on his own," says Cox. "But it's up to him to say 'yes' or 'no' why he's running."

"I been running against Larry since 1984," says Burchfield. "And I told him four years ago that the sidewalks on Chicamauga needed to be replaced in front of my mother-in-law's house, and if it didn't get done, I'd be running..."

Former Council member L.B. Steele is also running.

Victory Dance

What's the Tennessee Conservative Union to do now that its bte noire, Lamar Alexander, has bit the campaign trail dust?

"Probably concentrate on the state income tax," says Lloyd Daugherty, TCU chairman. "But Lowell Lynch is pretty disappointed. He wanted another trip to New Hampshire."

Lynch spent a significant chunk of the winter of '96 as part of a Tennessee "Truth Squad" that dogged Alexander through the primary.

"By and large, though, the TCU munchkins are dancing around singing 'Ding-dong, the witch is dead.'"

Pure Perfect

The WNOX SportsTalk crew reported the odd factoid that David "Tennessee Buck" Keith accompanied the football Vols to the White House Tuesday when they received their national championship accolades. You are probably wondering why would that be.

Here are some possible answers:

A) He is researching a new movie, An Offensive Lineman and a Gentleman. (credit to Jimmy Hyams for this one)

B) He thought Ace Clement was going to be there.

C) He's looking for a cabinet position in the Gore administration.