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PressTalk




• I heard (recently) on the radio that (Farragut) Mayor (Eddy) Ford would not come on a radio program and explain what the situation is with the town of Farragut and Knox County schools. I am troubled by this. I believe Mayor Ford should answer the citizens and explain whether or not the town of Farragut is withholding money.

• I am so tired of the people of Farragut being bashed in the newspapers and on the radio by Brian Hornback (Dist. 5, Knox County School Board). Would your paper please take the time to find out if it’s true that Farragut is shortchanging Knox County schools. I’d like to know if this is true or false. And I think someone in the town of Farragut should defend the town.

• I’m outraged by Brian Hornback and his allegations that the people of Farragut are not contributing their fair share to our schools. I’ve lived in Farragut all my life and these are good people. It’s outrageous that this man makes these allegations with no proof whatsoever. I wish somebody would stand up to him.

• I just went to Silver Spoon and discovered that they are now a smoke-free establishment. Hallelujah. I hope Farragut residents reward this fine restaurant for their bold move by patronizing them. Then maybe other local restaurant owners will show respect for their employees and patrons’ lungs by following suit. A lot of us would love to go have drinks in a bar, or go dancing, at Cotton Eyed Joe’s if it weren’t for the smoke. If Farragut was the progressive town we claim to be, we won’t wait until it becomes state law.

• I am waiting for (President) Bush to spring Osama bin Laden from his captivity just before the election. I won’t be surprised if they move him through the dark of night to Baghdad to try to create a connection to Iraq with 9-11. I hope the American people are smarter than that. Since when did (Vice President Dick) Cheney-Bush take us for such fools? What did Cheney’s $20 million retirement bonus from Halliburton buy? Many Americans are calling for (Donald) Rumsfeld’s resignation. This isn’t nearly enough. We need to get rid of the President, who has beaten our plow shares into swords and who tries to characterize anyone who disagrees with him as evil. America was built on free speech and free ideas.

• The departure of Heather Donald at WATE-TV leaves a big hole in that station’s news team. Like many of you I watched Heather blossom. Her only major gaff was mispronouncing the word Reuters, R-E-U-T-E-R-S, the British news service. Aside from being the most attractive and photogenic woman on the WATE-TV news team, Heather’s choice of colors and make-up were perfect. She developed a graceful poise that was to her credit. Her on-camera presence was among the best. Beyond that, her investigative skills were equally impressive. The special piece she did last year on the controversial Knoxville Convention Center was about as good as they get. Heather Donald set a standard by which others will be measured.

• I am furious with Wal-Mart. I was stunned to see snap green beans jump from an already outlandish high price of $1.32 a pound to $1.44 a pound. I also noticed that Grainger County tomatoes had jumped from $1.54 a pound to $1.93 a pound. Greedy Grainger County growers can keep their tomatoes. They were already overpriced. Yes, gasoline and diesel fuel prices are up temporarily, but Wal-Mart contracts with the majority of their vegetables. They are probably changing prices in the midst of a contract year. Everyone is this area does not drive a $50,000 SUV and live in a $300,000-plus starter castle. Wal-Mart is guilty of price gouging and needs to be called on the carpet. Let the Grainger County tomatoes rot in the stores. Send them a message, too.

• I have a marvelous idea I would like to share. Let’s kill two birds with one stone. Let’s build a magnificent state-of-the-art library inside a brand new high school in West Knoxville. It’s not rocket science, it’s just common sense.

• In the past, most of the comments in presstalk have been related to Farragut or Knox County. Two political letters in the June 3 issue exposed the writers’ lack of knowledge about the subjects they chose. Blaming our President for high gas prices is like blaming (Bill) Clinton for the rash of teenage pregnancies. The person who suggested we vote for a Vietnam hero needs to check the facts. This person demonstrated against his fellow military, and as he has done since, threw someone else’s medal over the fence. Let’s get real.

• I voted for (Knox County Mayor Mike) Ragsdale once. Boy was that a mistake.

• I think that it is a shame to hire a principal at central office to become a supervisor of secondary school principals. Former Farragut (principal), Mr. (Ed) Hedgepeth, is the lucky heir to this long, protected old boy/girl system. The practice is a long-standing one, which contributes nothing to the outcome of student achievement in our schools. I have seen a number of supervisors at the central office who have lunch in the Old City, while our underpaid teachers have lunch and other lunch duties at the school. If anything goes awry or amiss at our schools, it appears to me that the superintendent should find time to go out to the schools and deal with principals. Otherwise, that particular position is a complete waste of resources that could be channeled into our schools to hire more teachers or increase the pay of our teachers.

• I would like to know where the Kingsgate entrance sign is. I am a resident of the Kingsgate subdivision. A neighbor and I refurbished the not-so-glamorous sign and have been told on many occasions that the sign would be replaced. First, it was the bank completion, next the sidewalk completion. Now I have learned that permission from the owner of the dog shop is needed. I have contacted Eric T. Greer at the Farragut City Hall. I am not sure the whereabouts of the sign is known. This is meant to respectfully request that our sign be reinstalled. When, not if, one of the small children who play and ride their bikes unsupervised on the street at West Kingsgate is killed, the sign may be useful to ambulance drivers, etc. One child has already been killed.

 

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