The fight over HT Hackney boss Bill Sansom's plan to lay the wholesale food operation down in the green pastures of the Ritta Community has galvanized the neighborhood. A well-attended meeting to organize the Ritta Area Preservation Association went off like clockwork, and saw the election of 15 board members and the adoption of bylaws. The group's immediate goal is to bring a couple of busloads of P.O.-ed Ritta area residents to the October MPC meeting to oppose Hackney's request to rezone the property, which faces a farm owned by Ed Harvey of Eddie's Auto Parts fame, from agricultural to commercial. The community organization's long-range goal is to map out a strategy for tolerable growth. Feelings are running high in the bucolic neighborhood, but the situation is not devoid of humor.
One wag wrote us last week to point out an interesting angle on the Battle of Ritta, where Sansom, a member of the Tennessee Business Hall of Fame, and Harvey, a member of the Tennessee Racing Hall of Fame, are preparing to duke it out, so to speak. Harvey is also known for his role in the notorious "Whup-Ass Tapes."
"I wonder whose ass will get whupped," the wag mused.
All Politics is Local
It's a bit slow on the political front in the wake of the non-election city elections, where Knoxville's happy electorate expressed its approval of the status quo with a virtual boycott of the polls. During the lull, various political types are whiling away time until the next Big Show comes rolling around:
Dennis Francis spoke to the Knox County Democratic Women's Club Tuesday about why they should consider supporting Bill Bradley in place of Favorite Son Al Gore for the party's presidential nomination.
Term-limited City Council members are looking around for new rows to hoe when they are cast out of Victor's garden. Ed Shouse is a potential candidate for county Trustee. His colleague Ivan Harmon is believed to be gearing up for a County Commission race, probably against Pat Medley.
Tennessee Conservative Union chief Lloyd Daugherty refuses to confirm or deny reports that he will head up a radio talk show on a station purchased by state Democratic Party Chairman Doug Horne. Daugherty did, however, report on his recent activities, which include battling the moribund state income tax movement and going fishing in West Tennessee. Daugherty, who hosts a fishing show called The Dixie Angler, said this was his first solo fishing trip since his leg was amputated two years ago. He reports that he got good traction with the new leg, which held up fine during a side trip to Tunica to see Jerry Lee Lewis.
Seattle, Only Smaller
"Cosmopolitan with a twang, Knoxville is known as the Big Apple of East Tennessee," writes Runner's World magazine in its November issue. The profile touts Knoxville as a mecca for urban jog junkiesa vacation destination for serious runners who will appreciate the city's "compact, architecturally spiffy downtown."
"Knoxville isn't a big city," reports Runner's World, "but per capita, it has to rank among the biggest runners' towns in the United States." The popularity of the Knoxville Track Club1,800 members strongseems to back up the city's jog-friendly tag. But other claims in the Runner's World profile are less convincing. Writer Doug Rennie says the city is "graced by glittery high-rises" and a 300-foot Sunsphere, which make Knoxville look like "a little Seattle."
Little Seattle? Big Apple of East Tennessee? Spiffy downtown? Sounds like Runner's World will run anything.