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• I’d like to thank Diane Jablonski for inviting Ross Loder of the Tennessee Municipal League to join us in the (Farragut) town hall meeting with the Mayor and Board of Aldermen. The state wants to have a mandated property tax for the town of Farragut for us to continue receiving revenue sharing. I think Diane Jablonski has done the town a great service. She’s running for state representative, and I hope (many) supported her and voted for her. We need a representative in the town of Farragut.

• I just got done reading the (presstalks) about the handicapped parking. I am very tired about people whining about everything. I consider myself a very lucky person that I don’t require handicapped parking. However, not everyone who is handicapped has a visible injury. My mother has had two hip replacements; she cannot walk great distances. She does not require help in walking. However, she does need a handicapped space. People just need to be a little more tolerant and forgiving.

• I’m tired of hearing people complain about the handicapped parking. I had a parent who was handicapped who couldn’t drive, but out of necessity he and my mother needed a handicapped tag. After my mother died his nurse also needed a handicapped tag. He looked normal from the outside. From the inside, he had an aneurysm and lung problems and he needed oxygen, which he kept in the car; and he looked much better than some more capable people, but he had a ticking time bomb in his chest. What people often see is not the true health of a person. People should be more open-minded. When a caretaker is driving a handicapped person around, they need the tags so that they can quickly drop the handicapped person off into the store and quickly pick them up … when I had to drive (my parent’s) car for him, I would drop him off at the curb. I would anxiously race to park the car in a handicapped zone and then go to watch over him. And then I would leave the store early to go retrieve the car from the handicapped spot to pick him up at the door. Those who complain about a person like me doing that are very shortsighted. I hope they have to care for a handicapped person one day … they’re battling through the crowds as though they are healthy. What you see on the outside is not the condition that exists on the inside.

• Handicapped parking is definitely a problem that’s being abused every day. However, some of your readers who think that only people who should use these spaces should be in wheelchairs or walkers or so forth, have not stopped to think about disabilities that are not visible on the outside. I look perfectly healthy on the outside, but have a serious heart disease that (allows) me to walk only a short distance without sitting down. My husband also had three-fourths of his heart not working, and (has) a very difficult breathing problem. Maybe the next time we get out of our car in a handicapped space, your readers may stop and think that not all handicaps are visible on the outside. By the way, stupidity doesn’t show on the outside either.

• We now have record deficits, and the Bush Administration is arrogant and ignorant enough to say ‘at least it’s not as bad as we thought.’ People are losing jobs oversees at staggering rates. There are over 40 million Americans without health care coverage. My 401k statement is down again. At the same time, our local Republicans are having a party at the pinnacle of Jake Butcher’s symbol of success: Club LeConte. Tax cuts for millionaires while unemployment benefits run out at record rates. At least I’ve got mine. The only thing you hear from Republicans is bad-mouthing Sen. (John) Kerry. Not a single word about what positive things they will do. Compassionate, conservative? I think neither. I think it’s time for real change in Washington.

• I was jolted and saddened by the cruel remarks made about those of us who have both handicapped license plates and the “audacity” to be obese. A casual observer can’t know the depth of others’ pain and struggles well enough to sit in judgement of them. A doctor has expressed his opinion that a person needs that tag or they wouldn’t have it. The next time you question someone’s need to park in a closer spot, remember, “there but for the grace of God go I.”

• In response to the discussion of handicapped parking permits, I need to say that handicapped people are not always in wheelchairs or using crutches. In fact, some of them don’t limp, except when tired. However, for a person with moderate to severe arthritis, every step may cause pain. When someone looks at me they might assume I’m as able-bodied as they, but they can’t see the pain I feel with every step. Adjustments in the law regarding handicapped parking may need to be made, but I urge people not to pass judgement on someone who has a handicapped parking sticker and isn’t using a cane or crutches.

• I am so very grateful to the people of Farragut and the surrounding area that voted for Parkey Strader for state representative. Parkey will work hard, he’ll answer our telephone calls and he’ll be accessible. Thank you very much, voters of the 14th State Representative District.

• My husband is one of those obese people who has a disabled parking permit but doesn’t use a wheelchair, and I don’t think anyone would like to trade places with him. He has two stints in his heart, he has one artificial knee and one very bad knee. He has diabetes, he’s taking medications for kidney disease that makes it hard for him to breathe. So things are not always what they seem, and I don’t think anyone would want to trade places with him.

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That’s it. The forum is open for comments regarding anything you have on your mind — local politics, world affairs, sports, religion, community affairs, city-county unification or anything else.


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