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Seven Days

Wednesday, Oct. 18
A University of Tennessee poll shows most Tennesseans are still opposed to a state income tax. On the other hand, 80 percent do believe Gov. Don Sundquist's contention that the state has a budget crisis. In related news, many Tennesseans believe that water is wet, but don't believe they should have to use an umbrella to stay dry in the rain.

Thursday, Oct. 19
A UT student is convicted of circulating counterfeit bills. He's promptly offered a position as economic advisor to Gov. Sundquist.
One-time Oak Ridge tech wundercorp Ipix is downgraded to "long-term buy" status by Wall Street analysts, after its stock falls to less than $2 a share (from a high of $46 a share last March). Turns out the New Economy operates kind of like the old one.

Friday, Oct. 20
Mayor Victor Ashe informs County Exec Tommy Schumpert that he won't let the county build a new jail next to the City County Building until Sheriff Tim Hutchison and Attorney General Randy Nichols agree on the need for it. Maybe Schumpert should hold off on further talks about future city growth until Ashe and Carlene Malone agree on the need for it.
Knoxville police arrest a homeless man who's been sleeping at Gresham Middle School. No word on whether the same punishment applies to students sleeping in class.

Sunday, Oct. 22
About 36 marchers turn out at Morningside Park to mark a national day of protest against police brutality. They march to the City County Building. But did they have a police escort?

Monday, Oct. 23
Public Building Authority officials say they may bring the new convention center in $2 million under budget (at $92 million rather than $94 million). Possible use of the extra money: pay people to stand on the sidewalk and say loudly to passers-by, "Yessir, that sure is one fine convention center. We sure are lucky to have it. Yessir..."

Tuesday, Oct. 24
George W. Bush brings his message of pope and hosperity, or something like that, to a rally at South Doyle Middle School. Students are particularly impressed by his calls for longer recess and fewer burdensome homework regulations.

Knoxville Found

What is this? Every week in "Knoxville Found," we'll print the photo of a local curiosity. If you're the first person to correctly identify this oddity, you'll win a special prize plucked from the desk of the editor (keep in mind that the editor hasn't cleaned his desk in five years). E-mail your guesses, or send 'em to "Knoxville Found" c/o Metro Pulse, 505 Market St., Suite 300, Knoxville, TN 37902.

Last Week's Photo:
Well, it's appropriate with election season and all that we'd feature a statement of strong personal belief. As many of you noted, with varying degrees of endorsement, the ballistic banner resides along Papermill Drive near Kingston Pike. It was apparently erected by a member of the Rights Education Fund, a local organization of Second Amendment enthusiasts. (From the range of responses, we're guessing there are a few others like it around town.) Anyway, first right answer came from Mary Webb of Knoxville, who says her boyfriend would like a "leg lamp." Sadly, sales manager Brig Samson took the last leg lamp we had, and danged if we can get it off him. So Mary will have to settle for a copy of Ur-ine Trouble, a guide to passing those pesky drug tests (written by Kent Holtorf, M.D.). You know, just in case you happen to eat a poppyseed muffin...

Meet Your City
A calendar of upcoming public meetings you should attend

5 P.M.
The statistics about violence against women in the United States are harrowing: 40 percent of teenage girls know someone who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend; 92 percent of all domestic violence is committed by men against women; more than 30,000 women were murdered by a spouse or lover between 1976 and 1996. The Women's Coordinating Council at UT is bringing survivors, supporters, and activists together to draw attention to these numbers—and the women behind them.

7 P.M.
If a jail is proposed for space next to the City County Building and nobody shows up for the public hearing, will County Commission hear?

6:30 P.M.
Got a complaint, suggestion, or even a compliment for the KPD's efforts in West Knoxville? That's what they're looking for here.

7 P.M.
City Council has moved its regular meeting up a day—from Tuesday to Monday—so its members will have Halloween night off for trick-or-treating.

8:30 A.M.
Your chance—amid reports on alternative river management, the impact of stream flows on river navigation, and the effects of land-management practices on water quality—to bitch about TVA for five minutes.


Spacing Out

Does government need room to grow in the City County Building?

Somewhat overlooked in the mad chaos of options for new jail facilities are two pivotal questions: How pressing is the need for new headquarters for the Knox County Sheriff's Department? And should the KCSD be moved, what local governmental offices might have need for the newly-vacated space?

"I would ask the question 'Why (move the sheriff's office)?'" says Third District's Wanda Moody, one of County Commission's resident cost-cutters. "I'm concerned that we're growing government to fill new space when we should be reducing it."

But jail consultant Bob Goble emphasizes that the Sheriff's Department is currently operating under fairly cramped conditions—about 100 square feet per staff member, as compared to the 250-300 square feet usually allocated for new facility planning. "They (the KCSD) have been making very efficient use of space," he says. "From '96 to 2000, theirs is the office that grew more than anyone else's."

In the larger context of the county's short-term budgetary concerns, however, Goble admits a plan calling for a new $13 million office on the site of the Maloneyville Road detention facility could conceivably take a back seat to other projects.

"The removal of the sheriff's office is not as critical as (the need for overall jail space)," says Goble. He adds that the county could use the freed space in the City County Building for additional courtrooms, but that no more than two new courts will be needed in the next 15 years.

But Larry Robinson of the Public Building Authority confirms that vacant rooms in the City County Building would be eagerly claimed by any number of cramped county and city offices. Though space allocation would ultimately be decided by the mayor and county executive, he notes that city informational systems and the county data processing office as well as the PBA itself could all use the extra room. (He hastens to add, however, that he "places the PBA needs at the bottom of the list.")

The prospect of a new KCSD headquarters is made more problematic by the taciturnity of the Sheriff's Department; the sheriff has been publicly silent since the defeat of the original justice center plan, and KCSD spokesman Dwight Van de Vate couldn't be reached for comment.

Dale Smith of the Public Building Authority also echoes the need for new sheriff's quarters. "The sheriff needs to come out," says Smith, "if we're going to make the jail renovation work."

Mike Gibson

Party Politics

A Libertarian candidate asserts his right to be heard

Don't tell Kevin Rowland he's a third-party candidate. He's not.

With no Democrat daring to take on entrenched Republican Congressman John J. "Jimmy" Duncan Jr. this year, Rowland—a Blount County high school teacher who turned 25 just in time to qualify as a congressional candidate—is the only party-affiliate challenger on the ballot. His party just happens to be Libertarian.

"I was raised with the beliefs of personal responsibility, and I never looked to the government for advice on how to run my life or how to spend my money," says Rowland, a native of LaFollette who majored in political science at Maryville College.

He was also raised as a Republican, and was even president of his college Young Republicans chapter. But during a classroom discussion one day, one of his professors told Rowland that he sounded more like a Libertarian. The word was new to him.

"I did research on it, and sure enough, I was a Libertarian," he says with a grin.

The realization came in time for him to cast his first-ever presidential vote in 1996 for Libertarian candidate Harry Browne. He joined the party, founded in 1971 on broad anti-government, anti-tax, anti-regulation principles, and became active in state-level organizing. But he didn't think of running for office until a party official suggested it would be good to have someone in the race against Duncan.

"I hesitated at first, just because if I ran a campaign, I really wanted to be prepared for it," he says. But once he committed, he hit the pavement running. Taking advantage of his summer school break (he teaches history at Heritage High), he started the door-to-door circuit throughout the five-county district. He acknowledges the race is all but a sure thing for Duncan, who has effortlessly waved off challenges in recent years. The 2nd District has been continuously represented by Republicans since the Civil War.

"If I don't win this year, at least I've gotten the message out about smaller government, more personal freedom," he says. "If everybody could hear the Libertarian message, I think the Libertarians could win, even a seat like that."

It's true that some modern strands of Republicanism in these parts hew close to Libertarian ideals: smaller government, lower taxes, strict interpretation of the Constitution's 10th Amendment (which reserves for the states all powers not explicitly granted to the federal government). Rowland critiques Duncan on each of those counts, taking him to task for supporting assorted public works—especially airport projects, which Duncan presides over as chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee.

Some of his policy proposals illustrate the party's emphasis on personal choice and local control. For example, rather than the school vouchers touted by Republicans like George W. Bush, Rowland suggests tax credits for private school tuition. He also attacks "corporate welfare" in the form of government subsidies for various industries.

Rowland echoes critics from both the right and left who see the Republicans and Democrats moving closer together on social and economic issues. He predicts they will eventually merge, leaving the Libertarians as "one of the two major political parties in the near future."

That still seems a long way off, though, and Rowland acknowledges the difficulties anyone outside the major parties has in raising funds and running a viable campaign. He estimates he's taken in just a few thousand dollars, all in individual contributions. As for getting visibility, he says he challenged Duncan to a debate but never got a response. (Duncan staffer Bob Griffitts says he doesn't know about that, but adds, "[Duncan] doesn't take anything for granted or any campaign for granted." The congressman held his biannual campaign barbecue Tuesday night.)

Assuming he doesn't get elected Nov. 7, Rowland says he'll head back to the classroom but will stay involved in his party. "My goal is to build as strong an organization as I can in Blount County and recruit candidates for the next election," he says.

For more information on the two candidates, you can check out their websites: and

—Jesse Fox Mayshark

A Tangled World Wide Web

UT speakers explore the ramifications of globalism

Peek inside most American homes and you're bound to find some trinket or artwork made by a native tribe in Africa, Asia or South America, not to mention the clothes and shoes that were produced in Third World factories.

It's evidence that the global marketplace has touched all of us, connecting everyone in commercial and cultural exchanges, no matter how superficial they may be.

"How many of our houses have these symbols?" asks Peter Herlihy, a University of Kansas professor who has been studying indigenous people in Latin America for two decades, particularly in Honduras and Panama. "People embrace these images—a Maya mask or certain kinds of ceramic pottery. People may not have a clear sense of what they represent, but they have a sense of where they come from or what they mean."

Herlihy will speak at 7:30 tonight (Thursday Oct. 26) in suites 226-227 of the University of Tennessee's University Center, the third in a year-long series of lectures sponsored by the university's sociology department on the effects of globalization.

"We hear more and more about the notion of globalization," says UT sociology professor Jon Shefner. "It's one of those things that fall off people's tongues. But just because we use the term more often doesn't mean we know what it means or what the impacts are.

"Our intentions are not to be pointy-headed intellectuals. We want to talk about the way these things affect people," he adds.

Every month until the end of the school year, the department is bringing in speakers from around the world to give their perspective on global economy and culture. The series is focusing largely on North and South America.

Herlihy is not what he'd call a globalization "optimist." He sees a mixed bag, noting that it in many cases strips people of their property and identity, and generally homogenizes culture. "Environments lose their distinctiveness. That distinctiveness—the ethnicity, race and aspects of gender—is a legacy that really belongs to all humanity," Herlihy says.

However, he also sees how globalization has aided some indigenous cultures. In some cases it has helped them organize, given them access to the Internet and connected them with information and people that can empower them, and helped them reclaim their intellectual property, if not their land. "By developing the tools and information they need, they can begin to compete. Some of them don't even try to reclaim their physical territory. But today, they're trying to claim their virtual territory on the Internet," he says.

On Thursday, Nov. 30, Dr. Manuel Pastor of the University of California at Santa Cruz will talk about "Interdependence, Inequality, and Identity: Linking U.S. Latinos and Latin Americans," also at 7:30 p.m. in suite 226-227 of the University Center. There will be four lectures next semester.

Joe Tarr

October 26, 2000 * Vol. 10, No. 43
© 2000 Metro Pulse