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Is Home Where the Hardtop is?

The Metropolitan Planning Commission may have denied rezoning for a Home Depot on Northshore Drive, but the rumor is raging that the company is now interested in the Bill Rodgers Buick dealership on Papermill Road west of Weisgarber Road. The property is already zoned commercial. It could happen in a flash, with little time for a renewal of the high protestation and petitions that met the Northshore proposal for such a "Big Box" as a Home Depot in the "Village of Bearden."

Richard Fore, vice-president of the car dealership, says Home Depot may be interested but has not talked to them at all.

MPC turned down the rezoning request, based partly on objections from Bearden area homeowners and frightful traffic predictions.

A Matter of Pride

Comes now Knoxville Pride, a gay and lesbian support and political group, to endorse the Green Party candidate, Tom Burrell, for the U.S. Senate. The endorsement was arrived upon—according to a news release from the Green Party, quoting Knoxville Pride Executive Director Ed Bolden—by virtue of Democrat candidate Jeff Clark's vice of casting of aspersions on gays in the Democratic primary. Secondarily, it dismisses Republican incumbent Sen. Bill Frist as having a voting record reflecting "a lack of concern for the rights of gay citizens." The news release runs two pages and puts forth the Greens' entire human rights and sexuality plank, an enlightened and expansive view of private sexual choices. The endorsement points out that Clark had glibly and lamely lumped fellow Democrats Shannon Wood and John Jay Hooker together as a "choice between gay or John Jay," because Wood had advocated gay rights in her campaign. Reason enough to dump on Clark. Any group whose credo is mentioned in the same breath with Hooker, the perennial joke among candidates for anything in Tennessee, would feel offended.

Cats and Dogs

For years, local elected officials have had Humane Society director Vicky Crosetti to blame when constituents called to complain that the dogcatcher's got Fido. That is four months from changing, as we approach the January deadline for city/county takeover of the animal shelter.

Or is it?

After much contentious negotiating, it appears to have occurred to the city and county governments that they're not ready to take on the task of disposing of Knox County's discarded pets. The Humane Society has been approached concerning a one-year extension, although there is some talk about setting up a "temporary" shelter.

Contenders and Pretenders

Local elections might not be high on the general public's radar these days, but that dull thud you are about to hear could be the sound of hats plopping into numerous rings.

Several members of City Council are due to be term-limited out of office at the end of their current terms, and potential candidates are starting to pop up in the audience these days. Second District Council member Jean Teague's friend, neighbor and designated successor Barbara Pelot makes lots of meetings, as does Fountain Citian Mark Williamson, who will likely run for the 5th District seat now held by Larry Cox.

Although County Commissioners are not term limited, some not-so-new faces are showing signs of contending for those offices, as well. Third District Council member Ivan Harmon appears to be gearing up to make a jump to County Commission, where he would have to run for a seat now held by Wanda Moody or Pat Medley. And out in the North end, ubiquitous insurance man R. Larry Smith is looking at running for County Commission against either Mary Lou Horner or Chairman Leo Cooper. When asked, Smith says he expects Horner and Cooper to retire from office. "They both said this would be their last time to run, so I shouldn't have to run against anybody."

August 24, 2000 * Vol. 10, No. 34
© 2000 Metro Pulse