Thursday, March 19, 2009

OpenPen: Online News For East Tennessee

I welcome OpenPen Media, a unique online alternative news source for East Tennessee, and happily add them to my blogroll and hope you start making them a reading habit too.

OpenPen media was created for residents of eastern Tennessee and it’s surrounding regions to address their concerns and voice their opinions as well as address the lack of relevant local news. Some opinions and commentary on the site may be passionate in their content and viewpoint. We encourage vigorous debate and conversation on all issues from all perspectives."

Stories posted there today include:

- Democratic Candidate for Governor Kim McMillan To Speak in ET (More On Her Campaign Here)

- Al Gore Offers Free Lecture At ETSU

- Rep. Phil Roe Hates Me, You and Everyone We Know

- Repeal The Patriot Act

- Vigil Marks 6th Anniversary of Iraq War

And this is just the start of this new citizen journalism project, and R. Neal at KnoxViews writes it is:

... the brain child of Janet Meek, former East Tennessee Coordinator for the Tennessee Democratic Party and founder of the independent Democratic Resource Center in Johnson City.

Janet has worked tirelessly for progressive government and politics for years, and her latest venture is a new, non-partisan approach to citizen journalism and alternative online media."

I certainly like what I've been reading and celebrate their efforts!


  1. Groovy. Thanks for pointing this out.

  2. On Tuesday, the 14th, the new Republican majority of the Sullivan County Election Commission effectively shut out the Democrats from selection of a new Administrator. Although Gena Frye was still on the job, and no public notice had been given of the "vacancy" Republican James Holmes and his Republican cohorts accepted applications and conducted interviews in secret. Democratic Councilwoman Betsy Shine was given one days notice by e-mail of these interviews and was unable to attend due to recent surgery. Democrat Leslie Carr stated that she received no notice and that she learned of the impending vote on the position when she read it in the paper on Sunday, the 11th. This situation is more than likely a violation of the Sunshine Law and even the right-wing leaning Kingsport-Times News editorial opinion condemned the actions of the Republicans. The Bristol Herald Courier led the story with a headline of "Partisan Power Play."
    The other "candidates" for this position still have not been revealed, and Ms Frye was fired on the spot, in spite of the fact that Municipal elections are a month away. The new Administrator, Jason Booher, just happened to be the Chair of the Sullivan County Republican Party. Look for more of this type of action across the state as the GOP fully intends to replace all Administrators across the state. The Attorney General's Opinion of April 8th on this matter states that Administrators may not be fired for partisan reasons unless they are policy makers, which Ms Frye was NOT! There is more information at or (Northeast Tennessee Democratics website)
    We need these actions publicized across the state.
    In the past, Republican administrators all across the country have attempted to disenfranchise voters through illegal voter purges,caging, and challenges at the polling place. We must not let this happen in Tennessee.
    (Maybe I've posted this in the wrong place, but publicizing this is important)