Local ALCOA Foundation grants East Tennessee Historical Society $50K grant

Local ALCOA Foundation grants East Tennessee Historical Society $50K grant

From the Daily Times: Local ALCOA Foundation grants total $300,000 By Bob Norris | ([email protected]) ALCOA Foundation grants totaling $300,000 will go to 10 local nonprofit organizations in Blount, Knox and Sevier counties in Tennessee and Graham County, N.C., ALCOA Tennessee Operations officials said Monday. ALCOA’s Community Advisory Board, made up of 10 local businesses, community and government leaders, evaluated more than 50 grant proposals before recommending projects for ALCOA Foundation funding. Read more...

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A Generation of “Firsts”

September 10, 2013 I went to a Webb Middle School PAC meeting this morning ( I know I am too old for this but don’t forget I am raising my 7th grade grandson) and was fascinated by the topic presented by David Nelson, Head of the Middle School.  The title, “A Generation of Firsts,” was adapted from an article by Tim Elmore on GrowingLeaders.com.   Think about this: This is the First Generation of Youth Who: 1) Doesn’t need adults to get information 2) Can broadcast their every thought or emotion to those who “follow” them 3) Has external stimuli at their fingertips 24/7 4) Is socially connected at all times, but often connects in isolation 5) Will learn more from a portable device than from a classroom 6) Adults have enabled to be narcissistic instead of valuing a team 7) Use a phone instead of a wristwatch, camera, wall calendar or board game 8) Scores lower on global comparisons but believe they are “awesome.” Wow!  This is the generation who can receive outside stimulation anytime they are bored but have not had to motivate themselves.  They are rarely disconnected but connect virtually on a screen.  What is happening to their social skills, their ability to meet people and interact with a real person?  They can send messages to huge populations, sometimes going viral, not necessarily always a good thing. As adults we have told them they are gifted, and special. In an attempt to build self-esteem, it’s produced narcissism.  American kids continue to score lower on standardized tests than their peers around the world but the one place they score highest is in self-confidence. So how do we deal with these awesome individuals?  Limit their screen time and encourage face time.  Take a break from technology on occasion- all of us need to do that.  Have a real conversation at a dinner table or in an elevator instead of constantly checking your texts and emails.  Mr. Nelson suggests they use the “employer” test or “principal” test- when you tweet or post, would you want your boss or principal to see it?  Figure out a way to use their technology to help their community or campus.  Above all,  check out what they are posting, playing, who they are communicating with and make sure they turn it off and have face time with the family. Sure am glad I made that PAC meeting this morning.  ...

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Tennessee Democrats need to look to past and future…change

Tennessee Democrats need to look to past and future…change

As October rolls upon us, so does the next Tennessee election cycle. Most notably, a U.S Senate race, a state gubernatorial race, and numbers of additional state and local seat races. In recent years, the Tennessee Democratic Party has suffered crushing defeats in relevant races. Is the party willing to change? Are there new Democrats out there that need to be brought in? What do Democrats need to do to reverse the current “losers” label it now projects, or even worse, as J.R. Lind points out in his post, Weekly Obsession: Lowe Finney and tales of future past. The Tennessee Democratic Party is such a desolate wasteland that its future has now become its past, and its past is now its present. And its present is about as exciting as a rewrapped package of socks under the Christmas tree. Pretty harsh, but if recent elections are any indication, very true. The South for Democrats is a different place now. Many so-called Reagan Democrats have left the party for more moderate Republicans like Senator Corker or are waiting for a Tennessee Democrat who shares their values. It’s the new politics of the South and Tennessee Democrats have had a terrible time adjusting.  Tennessee Democrats learn to become Tennessee democrats. Big T, little d! An article in the the Chattanooga Times Free Press, “Tennessee Democrats ready to rumble but unclear of target: Republicans or fellow Democrats” highlighted the current division in the party. Current Democratic Party Chairman has been chided by many for being “too conservative”. The label of “too conservative” has caused divisiveness among some state party leaders it appears. During the meeting, the Finance Committee chairman, Jerry Maynard, of Nashville, and vice chairwoman, Mary Patterson, of Mount Juliet, resigned, citing disagreements with Herron. And just yesterday, Kevin Teets, the executive director of the party stepped down. Democrats currently are at a 13-20 seat and 34-64 seat majority in the state legislature. That isn’t even close to a working minority. Do folks chiding current Chairman Herron’s new way or new perspective realize that while they might have kept raising money, they weren’t winning elections? Moderate or conservative Democrats aren’t engaged. They don’t become involved in local politics more and more because it appears that they don’t have a place or say in the current state or majority of local party matters. Moderates see a Senator Corker and believe him to be a sensible and smart Senator for the state, so with a lack of viable Democratic candidates, they turn to Republicans. Do moderate Democrats agree with a majority of these moderate Republican’s views or votes? No. But therein lies the point, the Tennessee Democratic Party is filled with those who...

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