Alexander: Removal Of Buoys Below Cumberland River Dams “The Right Way To End The Fishing Controversy”

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tn.) on Wednesday said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to remove buoys restricting access to fishing areas below dams on the Cumberland River – in compliance with legislation he sponsored that became law on June 3 – is “the right way to end the fishing controversy.”

“This preserves the freedom to fish for generations of Americans who enjoy fishing below the dams on the Cumberland River, and does so in a way that gives the appropriate state wildlife agencies authority for boating safety,” Senator Alexander said.

The Corps announced Wednesday the decision to remove buoys it previously put in place as part of its plan to restrict access beneath 10 dams on the Cumberland River in Tennessee and Kentucky. The announcement follows the June 3 enactment of a law Senator Alexander sponsored in the Senate that prohibits the Corps from implementing restrictions for two years, while also delegating enforcement below the dams to appropriate state agencies.

In addition to the two-year ban that became law June 3, the U.S. Senate also passed on May 15 Senator Alexander’s permanent solution as part of the Water Resources Development Act. That permanent solution would prevent the Corps from establishing physical barriers, require that any further action be based on actual operating conditions – as opposed to 24 hours per day – and give sole responsibility for enforcement of restricted areas below dams to the states. 

The U.S. House of Representatives has not yet taken up its version of the Water Resources Development Act, which Senator Alexander said made it necessary to pass the two-year ban.

Senator Alexander’s legislation, known as the “Freedom to Fish Act,” was cosponsored by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and Senators Bob Corker (R-Tn.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.). A similar version was sponsored in the house by Reps. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tn.), Diane Black (R-Tn.), Stephen Fincher (R-Tn.), Jim Cooper (D-Tn.) and Andy Barr (R-Ky.). 

Lula Lake Land Trust Welcomes New Director Of Development And Communications

Lula Lake Land Trust announced Tuesday that Matthew Hubbard has joined the staff as the director of development and communications. Mr. Hubbard joins Lula Lake after seven years in nonprofit development. He graduated with a B.S. in marketing from Jacksonville State University and holds additional degrees in English and psychology.   As a native of Northeast Alabama, Mr. ... (click for more)

Southern Environmental Law Center Files Lawsuit Against Forest Service

The Southern Environmental Law Center, on behalf of the Tennessee Chapter of the Sierra Club, and Knoxville attorney Shelby Ward, on behalf of Heartwood and Tennessee Heartwood, jointly filed a lawsuit in federal court Thursday, alleging that the Forest Service is illegally endangering the soil, forests, and waters of the Cherokee National Forest and hiding those risks from the ... (click for more)

City May Make It Easier For Food Trucks To Operate In Chattanooga

The City Council is considering action that would make it easier for food trucks to operate in Chattanooga.  City Attorney Wade Hinton said cities like Austin and Portland have thriving food truck operations and Chattanooga is studying those models. He said, "It's truly an industry there." He said a 2013 food truck ordinance was limited and did not allow food trucks on ... (click for more)

Magistrate Says She Was Fired Because Philyaw Did Not Want To Be Seen With Someone Openly Gay

A former magistrate at Juvenile Court said she was fired because Judge Rob Philyaw and Court Administrator Sam Mairs "wanted me gone because I was openly gay." County Attorney Rheubin Taylor said Elizabeth Gentzler was not the only gay at Juvenile Court and Hamilton County government, indicating that may be part of the county's defense. Attorney Stuart James, representing Ms. ... (click for more)

The Panhandling "Tax" On Gunbarrel

I’ve been reading about the panhandling problem in downtown; it is a huge problem in the Gunbarrel area, too.  It’s commonplace to be accosted by panhandlers when walking from your parked car into a commercial establishment.  And often they are aggressive.  I look carefully around my car before getting out, but sometimes someone will be lurking in between cars and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Sheriff’s Request

Jim Hammond will talk to members of the Hamilton County School Board on Thursday afternoon and, just like any police officer in the United States, he will request that everybody “stay in their own lane.” Some school board members tend to believe they need to help decide the best methods of protecting our children. They believe this is one of the things they were elected to do in ... (click for more)