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PressTalk for Feb. 12

• I’d like to express my appreciation from one of our best new corporate citizens of Farragut, the radio station West 105.3. It is so refreshing to have a brand new business with an original format. I’m excited about their presence in Farragut, and we should celebrate that.

• I’m calling in regard to the lack of a stoplight at Everett Road and Kingston Pike. I feel this is a very dangerous intersection and I feel the town of Farragut needs to put a stoplight there. I would like to request the farragutpress do an article on this issue so that those of us who are affected by this issue know who is responsible for the fact that we don’t have one there and so that we can know who to vote for and who not to vote for and the other options we have to take care of the situation.

• In last weeks presstalk, someone expressed disappointment that Northern Exposure closed their doors. Yes, this is very disappointing, especially to this northerner who enjoyed their ethnic mix of menu choices. To suggest that the Chamber of Commerce should have worked with Northern Exposure’s management to put forth a business plan demonstrates lack of knowledge of what the chamber’s function is. Banks and credit unions assist companies with business plans – not chambers. Our local chamber does an excellent job of hosting network events in order to promote the use of local businesses. Perhaps this critic, who blamed the chamber, should attend a chamber meeting and find out how they can help this hard-working staff of only two people, instead of criticizing them.

• Rebuttal to coach Becky Reno’s Jan. 29 comment in the farragutpress: “I start three seventh-graders who were very inexperienced …” regarding the Farragut Middle School’s girls’ basketball team. What coach Reno seems to have forgotten this season is that they’re not inexperienced as a team – she’s just chosen to only play five girls. Two experienced eighth-graders sit on the bench week after week. There’s also a tough seventh-grader who plays great defense and a sixth-grade point guard who plays well … Anytime any of the girls have gotten to play seems only to be because one of the chosen five are hurt, in trouble or it’s a clear 30-point win. They have no standout players, yet the five who have played, have played far too much, while the others have played way too little. The team seems to have been coached, unfortunately, with favoritism and privilege affecting coach Reno’s decisions. It is as if the chosen five can do no wrong and the rest can really do no right.

• Kingston Pike and Everett (Road) is probably the most dangerous intersection in the city. Most people avoid this intersection if at all possible. This is why the road count was not what the state felt was enough traffic. The city closed Fleenor Road so people could not get out on Watt Road to get to the interstate. Everett and Kingston Pike is too dangerous, so people from the west side sandwich through the back roads and end up on Grigsby Chapel Road to get to Campbell Station and the Interstate. This is why people are complaining about Grigsby Chapel Road being so busy. I would like to tell our county engineer that saving lives is more important than money. When you consider how much money is being spent on the south side projects, this seems a small thing to ask that something be done.

• Gov. Phil Bredesen is to be commended for presenting the state’s new budget. His second State of the State Address budget presented the General Assembly with a $23.8 billion balanced budget providing the legislators follow the governor’s blueprint. The austerity moves started in 2003 and turned the color of the state budget from a sea of red ink to a pleasing tone of black. I was also glad to note that the governor did not propose a repeat of last year’s (inaudible) transportation fund. I want to commend the governor for advocating a two percent raise for state employees plus a one-time one percent raise in the state’s surplus fund. Government cannot run without employees. I would have preferred an across the board five percent raise for state employees. However, giving such a large raise could result in the same raise for state legislators and frankly they’re not worth that much. There was disappointment. The governor’s State of the State Address was carried only by WVLT-TV, and they did so live. WATE-TV aired “Judge Judy” and WBIR-TV carried “Wheel of Fortune.” I was disappointed because WATE-TV has the biggest news staff and has been setting the standard by which all the other stations are measured. WATE-TV did think enough to send a reporter 2,300 miles to Mexico to see where America gets some of its vegetables five months after the hepatitis outbreak here. The station did not see the value in sending a reporter and cameraman 175 miles to Nashville to cover the unveiling of the state’s biggest budget. Yes, WATE-TV, I discovered the difference.

• Janet Jackson may have apologized, but she’s laughing all the way to the bank. Jackson’s Super Bowl halftime show in reality was little more than a hybrid aerobics dance, excentuated with driving music, spotlights and fireworks. Her performance did accomplish one thing she had not counted on. It galvanized many Americans who said “enough is enough.” The airwaves belong to the American people not amoral rock stars attempting to keep their careers afloat. There are millions of Americans out there who are tired of the offensive and tasteless acts of stars who revel in such acts that deliberately shock audiences. I was also glad to see the public outcry against Janet Jackson’s behavior. She may have apologized, but she did not ask for forgiveness, and therein lies a character flaw.

• The comments expressed in the OurView section on Feb. 5 are completely on target. The FCC is not doing their job by allowing more and more shows to cheapen themselves through nudity. Not only is it arrogant on the part of the person baring themselves but it is disgusting that the networks have to rely on shock value over quality.

• I think our educational institutions should stock their vending machines with healthy and tasteful snacks such as low carb candy bars, trail mix, nuts, granola bars and protein bars etc.

• I would just like to address the intersection at Kingston Pike and Everett Road. We live in Fox Run (subdivision) and it has to be one of the most dangerous intersections. People are speeding around the corner and over the hill from the two different directions. And even if it looks clear when you pull out it’s not safe. I appreciate the article last week in the paper. I just like to address that intersection again and let you know that I think it is one of the worst intersections in the Knox County area.

• The noise on the interstate is terrible given the number of truck stops and trucks rolling through the interstate. Some sound barrier needs to be (built) to protect the neighborhoods, at least between Watt Road and Campbell Station (Road).

• I thought that Farragut had an ordinance against big trucks, anything over 10,000 pounds. It seems that ever since they passed the new laws against 18-wheelers we are starting to see a drastic increase in truckers that are using Kingston Pike and Highway 70 from Dixie Lee (Junction) to Eaton Crossroads to get past the scales. Where is our law enforcement? Where is our city council and our great mayor? Are they so busy worrying about the sign ordinance for businesses that they can’t worry about the safety of the public? Get up some morning and look from in-between midnight and six and you’ll see trucks constantly going up and down Kingston Pike from Lovell Road all the way to Eaton Crossroads. They either take a right and get on (interstate) 40 or they take a left and get on 75. It’s a shame that we have all these ordinances but our great mayor and city council worry more about keeping businesses with their sign ordinance than they do with protecting the public.”

• I’m calling concerning the sign that was taken down at the front of Kingsgate when the new bank was built. You know, it’s been some time now and our sign has not been reinstalled. As one of the older subdivisions, we have as much pride in our subdivision as anyone else and I feel it’s fair that the town of Farragut needs to replace it. I’m sure if there were a garage sale sign stuck up somewhere, they would be willing to take that down in a hurry. We would like to see our sign replaced.

• I think we are prostituting our children’s health for money from vending machines to buy paper and stuff. We need to raise our taxes for paper, or we need to find different ways to manage as Pellissippi (State) University has. Perhaps teachers need to write on the blackboard and the whiteboard and the kids copy it. We need to do something to limit those needs that this candy and Coke and junk and junky fruit juice drinks are causing.

• I’m responding to the question you had in (Feb. 5) paper about the Kingston Pike traffic at Everett Road and whose problem it was and whose responsibility it was. It’s the fast drivers there that are causing the problem and it’s idiots talking on their cell phones who don’t have a free hand with which to signal. That is the problem. Policemen need to be posted — I don’t know whether it’s the city or the county’s responsibility? I think you need a state trooper there, personally. An unmarked car, so they won’t see ‘’em so they slow down before they get there and won’t confuse the policeman as to who’s speeding or not. Law enforcement needs to be there to slow these idiots down and that’ll solve your problem right there.

• This concerns what we can do about being safer in Farragut. I think everybody needs to just slow down. We represent families, whether it be husbands, wives, children or whatever. I think we need to take care of one another by slowing down. Kingston Pike from probably the Lenoir City area up to the school (Farragut High School) is like the Indianapolis 500. It’s 45 (miles per hour) through there, maybe going 50 is not bad but everybody doing 65, particularly in the morning when children are going to school? We’re setting examples for our children. I think the (solution) with the schools, maybe, is take what we have. Take the elementary school on Campbell Station (Road) and make it K- (through)-1; move (grades) 2 and 3 over to the intermediate school; move the intermediate school kids over to the middle school. Move the middle school kids to the high school and build a new Farragut High School. State of the art, like in Germantown near Memphis. That is one heck of a high school. We probably need another high school built somewhere out near the Choto area, possibly from Pellissippi down to Choto Road in that area. We need to stop thinking small, the kids aren’t going away. We’re having more and more kids, more and more families move in, which makes it wonderful for the area. Somehow, maybe, that would work out.

• I am concerned about the trash dump that is developing at the east end of Kohl’s parking lot, on the embankment between the parking lot and the large, open field. Some people, slobs might be a better word, are throwing their pop bottles, cans, beer cans, fast food refuse and so on, there. Could signs about “no littering” be put up? Does the embankment belong to Kohl’s or to the owner of the field? Something should be done before it gets worse.

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