Tag Archives: signs

Union Takes Down ‘Shame’ Signs for Criminal Background Checks

A union has suspended its protests against subcontractors paying substandard wages and benefits — using signs that say “Shame On” the person or entity targeted in the protest — after two sign-carrying pickets were found to have criminal backgrounds, reports the News Sentinel.
Picketers have held up the signs in front of Cherokee Health, Denark Construction and the Andrew Johnson Building in Knoxville, as well as at Blount Memorial Hospital and Maryville College.
But the banners are down in the Knoxville’ area as the Mid-South Carpenters Regional Council awaits criminal background checks on all individuals it hires to hold the signs.
The union took down the banners after two Knoxville men holding a “Shame on…” banner in front of First Baptist Church of Dandridge were arrested on May 18 for violating the state sex offender registry law.
Ricky Dean Moore, 49, was released in lieu of $25,000 bond, while Michael David Sadler, 51, was held on $25,000 bond, according to a Jefferson County General Sessions Court staffer. They each face a 9 a.m. June 13 hearing in General Sessions Court.
James L. Kerley, executive secretary/treasurer with the Nashville-based union that has 5,000-plus members, said the union was unaware of the men’s criminal backgrounds.
“As far as we know, we are doing everything we can do to make sure that doesn’t happen again,” he said.

Note: Frank Cagle has an opinion on such doings.

Gov’s Signature on ‘Gateway Sexual Activity’ Gets National Note

Gov. Bill Haslam has signed into law the “gateway sexual activity bill, an event that drew some national media attention. Here’s a chunk of the MSNBC report:
Tennessee teachers can no longer condone so-called “gateway sexual activity” such as touching genitals under a new law that critics say is too vague and could hamper discussion about safe sexual behavior.
Gov. Bill Haslam’s office Friday confirmed to Reuters that Haslam had signed the bill, which stirred up controversy nationwide and even was lampooned by comedian Stephen Colbert.
“Kissing and hugging are the last stop before reaching Groin Central Station, so it’s important to ban all the things that lead to the things that lead to sex,” he said on the “Colbert Report” television show.
But proponents say the new law helps define the existing abstinence-only sex-education policy.
Under the law, Tennessee teachers could be disciplined and speakers from outside groups like Planned Parenthood could face fines of up to $500 for promoting or condoning “gateway sexual activities.”
….David Fowler, president of the Family Action Council of Tennessee, which pushed the bill, told Reuters the law does not ban kissing or holding hands from discussion in sex education classes. But he said it addresses the touching of certain “gateway body parts,” including genitals, buttocks, breasts and the inner thigh.
On Thursday, State Rep. Jon Lundberg told NBC station WCYB-TV that a focus on abstinence is needed because Tennessee has the seventh-highest teen birth rate in the nation and the 11th-highest HIV infection rate in the nation.
“The shift is that the main core needs to be an abstinence-based approach. Not, ‘hey, I know everybody’s having sex, so when you have sex do this, do this, [and] do this.’ That’s not it,'” Lundberg told the station.
,,,Opponents, which include Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee and the state teachers’ union, say that before they can begin fighting the new law, they have to be able to figure it out. They worry that discussion of sexual behavior could be interpreted as condoning it.
“The very ambiguous language in this bill certainly puts teachers in a very difficult situation” when it comes to knowing what to teach, said Jerry Winters, spokesman for the Tennessee Education Association

Bills Signed by Governor, 5/11/12

Here is a list of bills signed into law by Gov. Bill Haslam, as released by his communications office on May 11, 2012:
House Bill No. 1105 (Montgomery)
This Bill requires local boards of education to develop and implement a plan that will be used to evaluate the local director of schools each year.
Passed House 90-4; Amended Bill Passed Senate 20-8, present not voting-2; House non-concurred in Senate amendment; Senate refused to recede from amendment; House refused to recede from its non-concurrence; Conference committee report adopted by the House 61-25, present not voting-2; Conference Committee report adopted by the Senate 21-10, present not voting-1
Senate Bill No. 2253 (Norris, Yager, Crowe, Burks, Herron, Massey, Overbey)
This is an administration bill that is referred to as the Tennessee Prescription Safety Act of 2012.
Passed Senate as Amended 33-0; Amended Bill Passed House 87-0

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Gov Inks School Accountability Standards Bill

Governor Bill Haslam signed off Thursday on changes to Tennessee’s education standards under a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind law, reports WPLN’s Daniel Potter.
Many Tennessee schools would’ve failed under the federal benchmarks, unless they made double-digit gains in math and reading each year. Instead, the state will now require a more realistic 3 to 5 percent improvement.
Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman says the changes were badly needed, because the old system was labeling hundreds of schools ‘failing’ even as many got better.
“So something was wrong with the picture. We’d created a world in which more than a thousand schools headed into this year knowing that almost no matter how much they improved this year they were likely to fail AYP. That doesn’t do honor or service to the people working in those buildings.”

Note: The Haslam press release is below.

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Governor Signs ‘Saggy Pants’ Into Law (wasn’t that a ‘crazy bill’?)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A proposal that would prohibit students from dressing in an “indecent manner” at school has been signed by the governor.
Gov. Bill Haslam signed the measure this week. The legislation prohibits students from exposing “underwear or body parts in an indecent manner that disrupts the learning environment.”
A stricter version of the proposal failed to pass the Legislature three years ago. That measure targeted individuals who wear pants below the waistline and imposed a fine of up to $250 and 160 hours of community service.
Under the current legislation, school districts would decide a less severe punishment.
The Republican governor earlier this month cited coverage of the saggy pants bill as an example of what he called the media’s failure to pay attention to substantive measures.

Gov Signs Two Redistricting Bills

Gov. Bill Haslam has signed into law the congressional and state House of Representative redistricting plans approved earlier by the Legislature, his office reports.
The Senate redistricting plan, which had to be revised after initial passage to correct the omission of Tipton County, got final approval later and is still awaiting the governor’s signature

A Fight Over Campaign Signs

From The Tennessean:
Metro police say they can’t determine who was at fault in an altercation Saturday involving a nephew of former Councilwoman Pam Murray and another man, who wound up in the hospital after taking down some of Murray’s campaign signs at a property owner’s request.
Police spokesman Don Aaron said a Metro officer who arrived at a parking lot behind the Rite Aid at 700 Gallatin Ave. couldn’t tell whether Michael Murray Jr. or Cees Brinkman, who was bleeding from a cut above his left eye, was the “primary aggressor.” The officer looked at video provided by the Murrays but “could not tell who threw the first punch,” Aaron said

Vandy Study: Yard Signs = Name Recognition = More Votes

News release from Vanderbilt University:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – “What’s in a name?” Juliet Capulet asks in one of William Shakespeare’s best known plays. If you’re talking about elections in which voters don’t know the candidates very well, the answer is quite a lot, according to new Vanderbilt political science research.
Mere name recognition can give candidates an important advantage in political races in which voters know little about any of the contenders, according to the study by political scientists Cindy Kam and Elizabeth Zechmeister.
“Our study offers fairly conclusive evidence that, in low-information races, a candidate’s name recognition alone positively affects voter support,” said Zechmeister, who co-authored the paper with Kam.
Although the media pays a lot of attention to high-profile races, in the majority of decisions that American voters make, they have very little information about the candidates. Sometimes partisanship is not even available, so voters need to rely on some shortcuts to make decisions. “These findings are important because low-information races are the rule, not the exception, in American politics,” said Kam.

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Alexander, Corker Want Feds to Yield, Stop Sign Deadline

News release from Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker:
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander, both R-Tenn., today introduced legislation to stop an overreach by the federal government – commonly called an unfunded mandate – requiring local governments to replace road signs according to new visibility standards by arbitrary 2015 and 2018 deadlines.
According to estimates from the Tennessee County Highway Officials Association, meeting the current compliance deadlines will cost local governments at least $50 million in Tennessee alone.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has updated federal rules governing minimum nighttime visibility standards (known as “retroreflectivity”) for road signs. State and local governments must present plans for overhauling their old signs by January 22, 2012. Traffic safety signs, such as stop and yield signs, must be replaced by 2015, and all signs must be replaced by 2018.
The Corker-Alexander bill would waive the compliance dates and instead permit state and local governments to comply with the new standards when they replace signs at the end of their normal life cycle.

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Haslam Signs Anti-Meth Bill

In a ceremony at the Greene County courthouse, Gov. Bill Haslam signed into law SB1265, the compromise anti-meth bill approved by the General Assembly last month. From Matt Lakin’s report:
“Hopefully, we can start changing the tide against what has too long been too bad of a problem in East Tennessee,” Haslam said.
The I Hate Meth Act, signed in front of the Greene County Courthouse, institutes a new electronic tracking system for sales of meth’s main ingredient, tightens penalties for those who make illegal purchases and increases prison time for anyone cooking meth with children present.
The law doesn’t go as far as some had hoped. Prosecutors and police agencies across the state had called for making pseudoephedrine, the primary ingredient in most meth recipes, prescription-only.
The law calls for the state Comptroller’s Office to study that option and issue a report by January 2013.
“We wanted it to be prescription-only, and we’re not going to give up that fight,” Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch said. “But this is a good start to addressing the issue.”

Post when the bill passed the Legislature HERE.
The Haslam handout is below, including the announcement that $1 million is available for meth lab cleanups.

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