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presstalk 671-TALK

• I’m responding to the “should public smoking be outlawed (presstalk)?” I think “outlawed” is a harsh word. I think that it should not be permitted in public buildings. There are many places around the country that are this way. If you’re going out, you’re going out to go in to see a movie, or to eat, or to shop, you’re not going in to smoke.

And for the older people, the children and people with breathing difficulties, this is a real issue. We need to look at this not emotionally, but through the eyes of health and common sense. I really think that this is a good thing, I don’t think it’s going to hurt any businesses. And it probably would increase business to be able to go to clubs and things and listen to music and not be in a smoking environment. I would certainly support it.

• Wouldn’t it be great if Tennessee joined California and New York in creating a smoke-free state? Do we really have to keep up our reputation as the most backward state by waiting for Mississippi to go smoke-free? I love the convenience of dining out in Farragut, but I would definitely be willing to limit my choices to smoke-free places if it would help convince the other owners that they could stay in business without permitting patrons to pollute the air. Smokers have been trained to go outside at work, they will adjust ... breathing smoke is not cool.

• I too am calling concerning the replacement of the sign at Peterson Road and Kingston Pike. We here in the Kingsgate subdivision are one of the older subdivisions. Our houses are not $300,000 and $400,000 homes. But we do take pride in our homes. This is simply a matter of respect concerning putting the sign up. The leaders in Farragut seem to be bound and determined not to replace the sign. It just shows that they do have a lack of respect. I noticed that it took many, many hours and much money to complete the sidewalk on Concord Road. I think I have seen one person walking (on it), and yet we cannot get a decent sign replaced. Is this fair? Take a look at the Farragut officials, something is amiss somewhere and needs to be fixed.

• (Recently) we remem-ber(ed) our 40th president (Ronald Reagan). He was a great speaker, he was very patriotic. He saw a post-communistic world. He always looked for the positive. We can celebrate all of that. And there was some other negative wisdom is his “do as I say, not as I do” philosophy. If we don’t learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it. Cutting taxes to raise the deficit prompted a whole generation to live beyond their means. Taking out second mortgages, seven-year car leases. Where else would the Bush administration get the idea to invade Iraq on credit? The over reliance on individual success gave a whole generation an opportunity to forget the poor and downtrodden, with an eye on the flag and ice in their hearts ... Yes, Ronald Reagan was a great communicator who hoped for the best. But he did not prepare for the worst.

• The former Bull Feathers restaurant at Choto Marina has just been bought by a family from Kentucky. (Recently) we enjoyed the best burgers in town. This is a great place to take the kids. It has been renamed very simply, The Grill. Be sure to stop by and give these newcomers to town a warm Tennessee welcome.

• I would like to commend the farragutpress for its reporting on the Knox County school resolution of May 10 requesting 17 percent more revenue from the town of Farragut. I am concerned, though, that there’s been no response from our city government. This is a serious issue, and the people in Farragut need to take a hard look at this. We need to know what the history of this agreement was, and whether Knox County schools plan to sue the town of Farragut for these revenues.

• During (a recent weekend storm), Turkey Creek Road flooded. When I came and looked at the road (soon after), I noticed that storm drains that used to be there have now been plugged up. I would like to know why someone would remove storm drains on Turkey Creek Road? We have a problem with flooding. It doesn’t make any sense. These storm drains were removed after the train accident (September 2002). Would your paper be able to look into this and find out why these storm drains were removed?

• I want to comment on the Campbell Station Road extension. This has a price tag of $9 million, $6 million of which the town of Farragut has to pay. At a time when we’re being accused of not supporting schools, I am hard-pressed to understand how $6 million of the town’s money is worthwhile on a road that’s barely a mile long. I think we have a problem establishing priorities in this town.

• No, I do not think we need a rule or a law against smoking in public places. It seems like people with no life always want to legislate against something they don’t do. No, I don’t smoke, but I defend your right to.

• I do think public smoking should be outlawed.

• Should public smoking be outlawed in Tennessee? I say no. Life should move forward not backward. It wasn’t long ago that smokers and non-smokers all sat together in the same restaurant, even the same table, and concentrated on having fun with friends and enjoying the meal. Then we went back in time and started a new form of segregation in restaurants. Smokers in one section, non-smokers in another section. Where does it stop? Maybe we should have separate sections for blonds and redheads? Or maybe we should separate people by nationalities or religions. This is America, why no freedom of choice? Don’t like what’s on TV, change the channel or shut it off. Don’t like smokers in a restaurant, stay home. If you have nothing better to do than complain about smokers, then you have too much time on your hands. Get a hobby or do volunteer work. I for one enjoy people for who they are, whether they smoke or not.

• In regards to the smoking, I have lived in New York state when they first started, in the county that we lived in, with the smoking ban in restaurants. My daughter smokes, my daughter and son-in-law own a restaurant. They have not lost any money, people are very, very agreeable with non-smoking. The hospitals have 100 foot barriers, you walk out 100 feet before you can start smoking. People managed to survive, and the rest of us get a chance to live.

• Why is Mayor Ford avoiding the public on this issue of paying the same tax share that the city of Knoxville and Knox County pay for schools. Mayor Ford has declined interviews on two occasions with CBS affiliate WVLT, and he has refused to go on the Lloyd Daugherty Show on Horne Radio’s WKVL, AM 850 ... What has Mayor Ford got to hide? He knows he’s wrong, and he needs to come forward and admit he’s wrong and face the public that elected him to office.

• I just read in your presstalk about Brian Hornback being “a divider” as opposed to “a uniter.” I see Brian Hornback as the man who asks the hard questions. Sometimes the answers weren’t very pretty, and sometimes he put his (butt) on the line, but he asked the hard questions that I didn’t see anybody else in the school board, or on the school board, asking. We need people to ask the hard questions.

• I would like to comment about the smoking in public places in Farragut in restaurants. I think they ought to do something about the people who go in there and drink three or four (alcoholic) drinks and then come back out onto our streets. I would like to see a policeman at the door giving them a breathalizer test before they get back onto our public roads.

• Someone (called) in (to presstalk) about the campaign of Billy Stokes. Believe me, that is all campaign. He’s not a man that follows up with action. He is all talk. I have worked with him in several instances, and he doesn’t do a lot. I think Jamie (Hagood) is a person that is quite young and energetic. I think that when we want ourselves represented, Jamie Hagood will do a much better job.

• With respect to Mike Ragsdale, county mayor, appointing Brian Hornback to any position in county government, I think this is really a negative thing for him to do. Brian Hornback has not shown, in his representation on the board of education, that he is capable of doing anything of benefit for West Knox County. If he was capable of it, the situation on Farragut High School would not be in the situation that it’s in. There was no plan from the county school board to do anything about Farragut High School until just recently. And then only after great public demand. Brian really shouldn’t be put in any position in county government.

• First of all, it was good to see that County Mayor Mike Ragsdale has appointed a task group to come up with recommendations on what to do about the overcrowding at Farragut High School, and hopefully for a new high school in West Knoxville. It’s long overdue that they take an interest in this. However, not listed in the membership was Karen Carson, who is a school board member elect from Farragut and (it) shows they want new representation. I hope she is appointed to it because Chuck James, who is the appointed school board representative on there, has not done a very good job in representing Farragut up to this date. And I also hope that (county commissioner) John Griess will show a lot more interest in solving this problem than he’s shown to date. Anyway, he’s the chair and he knows the finances and he needs to step up. And I hope he does.

• I’m calling in support of Brian Hornback. I think he has done a tremendous job, and has pointed out some very important things. Namely that the town of Farragut is not paying as much as Knoxville city or Knox County is, as far as tax revenue to the school system. The town of Farragut is paying them 50 percent. Knox County and Knoxville city are paying 72 percent. I think it says something also that Mayor Ford will not comment on this. Pretty much says that what Brian Hornback says is the truth, and Mayor Ford does not want to own up to it because he wants to keep the money in his coffers.

• I believe that Mayor Ford and the town of Farragut need to either put up or shut up. If they want world-class schools and a new high school, then they should contribute the same as Knox County and Knox city do, as far as the tax options go. Otherwise, you need to get over it.

(Editor’s note: As a matter of record Mayor Eddy Ford has praised Knox County Schools and has always maintained that Farragut is not in the school business. He has not, as far as we know, mandated world-class schools.)

• Where is Sam Walton when you need him? The Turkey Creek Wal-Mart is one of the most mis-managed Wal-Marts in the area. We waited five months for it to open, that is what makes this so disappointing. Wal-Mart started out as a great neighbor, but the Turkey Creek Wal-Mart has never gotten the hang of things. They cannot keep people. You seldom see the same employees twice. (Recently) I was embarrassed to see rotting peaches on display, not one or two but dozens. The bell peppers had been discounted because they’d been damaged by the weather wherever they were grown. The prices for these vegetables was outlandish. Furthermore, I am handicapped and must use electric carts. The carts at Wal-Mart are ancient, often break down, make grumbling noises when they do work. Arm rests are occasionally broken. And they are dirty. Turkey Creek Wal-Mart, get your act together. It is embarrassing to shop there.


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