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(Editor’s note: Because of this week’s participation in presstalk, we are reducing the size of our text to allow space for all callers.)

• I am calling in response to a (call) that was in your presstalk dated Thursday, April 29. This person advocates rezoning the kids north of the interstate so they can go to Karns High School. Well I don’t advocate that just for the simple fact that most of us who live north of the interstate for the most part only live two or three miles from the high school (Farragut). From the way this person is talking, they live more like six, seven, eight miles from the high school. I think that my kids shouldn’t have to go 10 miles to Karns to go to high school. I think there needs to be some kind of leeway in some way. There has to some kind of solution, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of those of us who live closer.

• People buying gasoline in the Farragut area, especially from Dixie Lee Junction east or north to the Lovell Heights area, should notice the digital readouts on the pumps. Many times when you remove the pump from the gas area to put in your car, the digital (amount) will run up anywhere from three cents to 10 cents before you get one drop of gasoline in your automobile. People here in Farragut should be made aware of this.

• I can’t believe after 20 years of business in Farragut, this store that we’re familiar with, Bradford’s Jewelers, is once again being harassed by the Town Hall. The man had his sign taken down without his knowledge, and it was a sign that was up for 17 years, and (not being allowed to put it back in the same place) has virtually destroyed his business because people thought he was out of business. Now they have delivered a subpoena for him to appear in court on the 11th of May at 6 p.m. to make him take his signs down again which he just recently got put back up (as it originally was). We should support Mr. Bradford, he’s had a tough enough time trying to make a living in this community. It seems like all they’re trying to do is run him out of town, and they have yet to give a reason for it. It’s just a shame that our local society has come to this.

• I am so glad the people of Knox County see the need for a new high school ... Growth in the area has been so fast the school will probably be at capacity or more the day it opens. When will the school board bring a specific proposal forward to meet this need? Has the staff been assigned this task? Where are we on this exactly? This is one issue the people actually agree upon. What will it take to get it started?

• Now we learn of atrocities by American troops on Iraqi prisoners of war. I thought that was one of the compelling reasons given for regime change. One year ago (May 3), Bush told a news conference in Crawford, Texas that it was a matter of when, not if, weapons of mass destruction would be found in Iraq. Was Bush deceiving us, or was he deceived? Either way, America deserves better.

• With the highest gas and car insurance prices in history, perhaps we should compliment our Farragut mayor and his department for protecting yellow lines. These are especially important at left-hand turns. Too many of us fail to conserve gas when speeding though yellow lines at left-hand turns. These lines are gaps for safe turns. Our insurance reflects the expense of accidents resulting from reckless driving. Farragut has protected us with yellow lines and turn gaps. But we must police ourselves.

• I think the wheel tax should be based on the annual mileage or usage. The elderly are going to be hurt particularly bad because they only drive about 10 to 15 miles a week. Please give that some thought when you’re thinking of charging $30 in addition to our license tags.

• I am in favor of the wheel tax. The money will go toward building a new library, raising teachers’ salaries and perhaps even giving a necessary raise to government employees who are hard working and deserving a raise. Your stating that county bureaucrats will get a raise on the taxpayers’ nickel is absolutely obscene. If people don’t want the wheel tax, fine, they won’t vote for it. But it is irresponsible to phrase your question with your opinion in it. That is not unbiased, objective journalism.

(Editor’s note: Perhaps the caller is confused. The throughthelens questions made no mention of bureaucrats and pay raises. The ourview piece is indeed an opinion and not a question.)

• I think building a downtown library would not be in the best interest of taxpayers ... I do not think the downtown library would be worth the money that they would have to spend on it. I think the money could be used for something a lot better.

• I wish to applaud the Silver Spoon Café in Farragut for going smokeless. It’s a good place to have a dining experience without the volumes of smoke flowing into your face as you’re trying to eat. A brave stand on that. I applaud that and will be eating there regularly.

• Regarding the discussion of the big library being built in downtown Knoxville, I think it’s ludicrous. We don’t need that library. Everyone goes to the library in their community. We’re just trying to compete with the fact that they built this big library in Nashville. We need high schools. We need primary schools. We don’t need a library, it’s just a big waste of money.

• This is concerning using money for libraries versus schools. I don’t hear many people complaining about overcrowding in the libraries.

• I am concerned about the Concord Road and Northshore Drive intersection. The traffic is horrible, the weeds have grown up and you can’t see to get in and out. I was just wondering if anyone else had thought about putting in a traffic light there? I’d appreciate any comments on that and see if possibly there is something that could be done.

• I’m calling about the (proposed) library downtown. I don’t really think we need another library downtown. We’ve got the UT library, we’ve got all the nice ones in the area. I would rather see the money go to public schools.

• About the (proposed) downtown library, I think it’s absolutely ridiculous. My wife and I never go to downtown Knoxville. There’s nothing down there that really interests us. We would certainly not go down to visit a library. We both think that it is absolutely ridiculous that they would even think about this.

• About the (proposed) new library downtown, I worked in Knoxville in the late ‘60s, all of the ‘70s until ‘86. This would have been TVA’s heyday. I did visit the library on occasion. The library was not used by the TVA employees, and who wants to go uptown and park and pay to go to a library when we have libraries throughout the county? I think the money should be spent for schools or something else.

• I’m calling about the (proposed) new downtown library, which I feel we do not need. At the present time we can request any book the downtown library has be delivered to our regional libraries. And you would need about an acre of parking space up there if you build a new library because there’s nowhere to park.

• I’m calling about the taxpayers (possibly) funding of a new library downtown. I do not believe it is in the best interest of the taxpayers. We are in major need of new schools. Hardin Valley has property already purchased to build schools on. I think we need to go ahead and build us a middle school and a high school out there. Farragut is overflowing. A downtown library would be a waste of taxpayers’ money.

• Dear Mr. Ragsdale: A downtown public library that everyone has to support? I think not. Perhaps before you build a downtown library you can figure out what to do with your school system here in Knox County. What are you going to do about the overcrowding in Farragut High School? What about Karns? What about Bearden? Perhaps you want to find a tax to raise money to be able to allocate the appropriate amount of money towards the school system and the education of our children?

• I was coming out from my orthodontist appointment in Farragut (recently), and I’ve always bought my jewelry from Bradford’s Jewelry. And some friends said they didn’t think he was no longer in business … something about the town of Farragut wouldn’t let him display his sign out front. I just want to know how come the town of Farragut put up his little sign out front. It’s not a very big sign. I’ve sent people down that way, and they’ve been saying that they couldn’t find the place, which to me seems kind of hard on his business. I don’t think that’s right. I don’t really know why? He (Bradford) says he doesn’t really know why. He’s puts out really good work, and it’s hard to find honest people like that.

• I’m calling because every week I noticed that you all do a good job of covering Farragut High, particularly their sports activities. In fact, several people are in there almost every week from the school teams. I have yet to see anything mentioned about the high school and the honor students there. For instance, this year they had 30 or so 4.0 (grade point average) graduates, and they also had three valedictorians. They have a record number of national merit, not only semifinalists but finalists, and $2,500 scholarship winners. And I have not seen anything about that, and I do know news releases did go out (inaudible) about that. I’m calling to voice a concern that sports is taking over the newspaper, and when it comes to people moving into the Farragut area, they may get the impression that sports is the most important thing, and school and academics is secondary.

• I want to go on record in support of the downtown library. I think what your editorial failed to realize, or at least emphasize, is that a downtown library is where you house most of your key research documents. Your community branch libraries are only as strong as your central library. The current central library is tremendously overcrowded. Every Sunday, it averages a thousand people visiting that library. Actually, if only 20 percent of Knox Countians need a downtown library, that’s adequate justification. The reality of it is, 20 percent of Knoxvillians never use the animal control shelter, 20 percent may only use our parks. There’s a wide variety of assets that Knox County’s responsible for, from the health department to jails. They cover a broad area of citizen needs.

• I’m a resident of Blount County and we recently got a new library, and we all love it. It’s a great gathering place and a great community thing to have. It’s just wonderful. I hope that Knoxville can have something just as grand. I know the current library is obsolete, and Knoxville really needs a new one. I would even come to Knoxville to go to it.

• Farragut Mayor Eddy Ford, Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale, we believe, are planning several emission stations to check each car, truck and SUV in Knox County. It is our belief that there will be up to six emission stations, and this will be required for each automobile to be checked four times a year. If the emissions is not in legal range, you’ll pay a heavy fine. Plus, the $30 added to each (vehicle) license tag (wheel tax). They say the money will go to the schools, and to the teachers for an increase in pay. Anything they need money for is always for schools. Our county commissioners better step in and stop this. If this passes, a close eye will be kept on the money spent, and should be listed in the paper on a regular basis. Every cent.

• This call concerns the Farragut Bradford’s (Jewelers) in Aspen Square. The store signs were removed for maintenance a few years ago and duplicate signs have been hung. I understand there’s going to be a hearing as to why these signs should be taken down, and I want to leave my opinion about that. I think that by removing those signs you’ll be destroying a business and a man’s livelihood. And with all the traffic and businesses along Kingston Pike, clients are going to be unable to find the store, or they may just think the store is out of business. This is wrong.

• I’m not real crazy about paying more to be able to drive my car in Knoxville, or register my car in Knox County. But, $30 a year is not a whole lot if we’re going to give raises to the sheriff’s deputies. These are people who get shot at. Also, improve schools. And anyone in Farragut or West Knoxville knows that the schools need expansion. And that doesn’t come for free. And as far as that downtown library goes, that goes with improving the schools. And also, people who work downtown actually use the library as part of their business. So I think Mayor Ragsdale’s budget’s going to be good for us all.

• I disagree with the farragutpress editorial (May 13) against a new library. The $30 wheel tax is going to pay to improve schools, pay deputies better and have a new, main library which I think we need. It’s a progressive step forward for our community. We need to have it to help revitalize downtown.

• I wanted to comment about (proposed) new library in downtown Knoxville. I want to say that strong communities have strong foundations, and that includes good schools, good businesses and good libraries. I hope our county commission does vote yes for this new, downtown Knoxville library.

• I think a new downtown library would only add strength to our community. It will become a community central hub and strengthen our branch libraries by making all the materials there in storage available to the public. There are thousands of books and materials that we need access to, they don’t need to be in permanent storage.

• Nobody likes to pay more taxes, but I think $30 a year (wheel tax) which comes out to what, eight cents a day, helps improve our schools and pay our deputies better and have a main library that’s at least as good as the branch library in Farragut or the Blount County library. That’s a pretty small price to pay, I think, eight cents a day.


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