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sesame street

This has been a crazy week.

School's back. Summer is still here, even if it really isn't. Football is about to start, even though the temperatures are still more in the beach-trip range than tailgate neighborhood.

So, not so surprisingly, this Saturday has some off-the-wall stuff.

Before we get there, we first want to thank everyone who had a hand in honoring the Chattanooga's fallen five — Sgt. Carson Holmquist, 25; Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan, 40; Lance Cpl. Squire "Skip" Wells, 21; Staff Sgt. David Wyatt, 35; and U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith, 26.

We will never forget, and we welcome the dignitaries and national bigwigs to town.

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Jay Greeson

But we are left with a question: Where's the president? No offense intended to Vice President Joe Biden, who has arrived to pay proper national respects. We're glad to have you, Joe, and we suggest swinging by Porker's or Wally's if you get the chance.

Hey, everyone knows Barack Obama is a busy guy, but he was playing 18 holes on Friday with some NBA big shots, so his calendar had some flexibility.

Why is the commander in chief of the greatest armed forces on the planet not here this weekend?

Relocating the Street

"Sesame Street" is moving.

The legendary children's show will be aired on HBO starting later this year.

It's a sign of the broadcasting times. HBO, a premium channel that can be added to your cable package for a fee, needs to acquire assets that people are willing to purchase.

This will be magnified in the days ahead, when cable companies almost assuredly will offer a la carte programming. In that future scenario, each channel will have to be as attractive as possible to potential customers.

Good. Here's a "hooray" for freedom of choice and paying for what you use rather than a predetermined bundle of 210 channels, the majority of which are filled with infomercials and dated reruns.

That said, I'm a little cautious about the beloved "Sesame Street" meeting the programming gurus at the edgy and often racy HBO.

Know this: If you HBO executives decide to explore the inner workings of the relationship between Bert and Ernie, a whole generation of folks will have an issue with that.

We're not asking, so please don't tell us.

Expensive dining

OK, two governmental financial truths have become apparent around these parts recently.

First, TVA is doing something right. Record profits followed by rate decreases in the months ahead. Good times.

Second, Bebe Heiskell has little in common with TVA.

Heiskell, you will recall, is the sole Walker County commissioner. Walker County has fallen on very hard financial times, and Heiskell's original plan to alleviate the fiscal fallout was to win the lottery. That seems like a great long-term plan, right there with asking a fortune teller for investment advice.

All kidding aside, Heiskell was in the news again this week as she announced property taxes will rise and she will close the county-owned Mountain Cove Farms restaurant.

According to this paper's Tyler Jett, the restaurant, which Heiskell hoped was going to be a tourist hot spot (seriously), lost about $800,000 from mid-2013 to April of this year. Wow.

That's a ton of coin. If we round it up, let's say that number is over 24 months, then we're talking around $33,333 a month in losses for two years.

Makes you wonder: Were they rolling the silverware in hundred-dollar bills?

Saturday's star

This is the 25th anniversary of the release of "Friday Night Lights," one of the greatest sports books ever written.

It's the story of the 1988 Permian Panthers in Texas and the way high school football shaped their lives.

This week, as we are less than a week from prep football kicking off across Tennessee, may our stars be all the high school students chasing their own personal triumphs under the lights of Friday nights for the next three months or more.

Be safe and make a lifetime of memories, boys.

Contact Jay Greeson at jgreeson@timesfreepress.com and at 423-757-6343. You can read his online column the "5-at-10" every Monday through Friday at timesfreepress.com, and you can follow him on Twitter at @jgreesontfp.

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