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presstalk 671-TALK

• I would like to alert your readers to the unethical practices of [a local] construction company, the company responsible for construction of homes in several subdivisions in South Knoxville. While this company is quick to advertise that they build 100 houses per year, they fail to tell you that your one-year homeowner warranty is virtually worthless because they are too busy building to perform warranty work on these old houses. I waited more than six months for warranty work to be completed. In talking with other owners, I understand that I am not unique in this situation. I encourage other owners of [this company’s] houses to complain to presstalk, the Better Business Bureau and warn potential homebuyers (of) [this company’s] open houses of this situation. Maybe when they’re only building 15 houses a year, they’ll be able to service what they build.

• I’m calling in reference to the caller who was complaining about his water bill being as high as his mortgage, almost. He probably needs to see if maybe he has a leak. I can’t believe his bill is that big, or his mortgage is that small. We even have a pool, and when we fill it up it doesn’t run over $80. And the normal one is around 25 bucks a month. So, maybe he needs to check on a leak or something.

• This is in response to Mr. Bowser’s letter regarding the polling place at the Farragut town hall in the (Oct. 28 edition of the farragutpress). Mr. Bowser’s got to be the most solemn man I’ve ever read a letter from. If he thought that he needed a large place to go vote, he could have easily driven to West Town and voted at the Downtown West location. I thought it was great that the town provided the town hall as a permanent place for us to vote. It was not hot as he described. I was there on town business several times, as well as voted there, on the second day of early voting. This gentleman evidently has a problem. He kept stressing that he is north of the Interstate. If he’s north of the Interstate, that’s fine. I don’t care where he’s from. But the next time the town wants to open its doors to the citizens of Knox County and prevent them from having to rent a place to poll to place our vote, Mr. Bowser would probably be more than glad to write a check and let the election commission rent a place for us to go vote.

• (Knox County Commission-er) John Griess and (Knox County Mayor) Mike Ragsdale, I want to send you this message: I hope the voters of Knox County remember that you forced us into making a decision, one that included a new tax no matter what we wanted. We got to vote — to vote for a wheel tax or vote against it and get a property tax. I hope you enjoy your victory. I hope you enjoy what you accomplished. But I hope Knox County remembers that we put you in office to be our voice, but instead you turned and slapped us. How could this happen in America, simply because we voted you in? And I hope we remember it the next election, and we vote you out because I still think America stands for taxation without representation as an evil. And I think we put you there to be our voice, not to be our lord and leader over us.

• I believe that Farragut deserves a cable company that serves the citizens’ needs. Charter Communications has become such a problem for us in getting cable needs taken care of. Their subcontractors continue to drop the ball with service. When is this situation going to change? I would like to see a competing cable company that forces Charter to serve the community. It is a farce to continue paying for service that we cannot get. When is something going to be done about this?

• (Four) words: (Presidential candidate John) Kerry should have won.

• I was just calling to express my concern about false advertising in the farragutpress. On page 1 of the Nov. 4 issue, at the bottom of the page it clearly says, “See PORN on page 6.” When I turned to page 6 to look at the porn, all I saw was some ads and a story about speed on Turkey Creek and a picture of a man in front of a microphone who clearly is not porn. This is an example of bait-and-switch tactics, where you promised porn and then do not deliver. I think that if the farragutpress is going to advertise porn on the front page, they should have porn on the inside of the newspaper.

• It’s time to include Karns. The farragutpress has always included Farragut and Bearden in coverage of football and various student and social activities. But Karns is actually closer to Farragut than Bearden if you get right down to it. Karns is a West Knoxville school and should be included as one of the schools covered regularly in the farragutpress. You’re going to cover Bearden, with more subdivisions growing and more people being transferred and shifted to Karns that live in the area covered by the farragutpress? It should be included, and not excluded, as it appears to be.

• I think it is important for FHS parents to know that FHS has a valuable Web site updated daily. This Web site is On this site, you will find the daily announcements, and under a category called “Senior Life” you will find announcements specific to seniors regarding scholarships as well as the date and time of college representative visits. In a school as large as Farragut, I think the parents must be their own child’s advocate; and make sure you and/or your child check the site daily. As far as the guidance counselors go, I agree that the sudden retirement of the senior counselors two years in a row, as well as the retirement of the guidance officer last year, has created some big problems. Moving someone into the guidance position, and then back to senior counselor, has been confusing. There are so many students at FHS who apply to a variety of colleges. Some apply to as many as 13 different colleges, each with its own different applicant process. It is difficult for a new counselor to be familiar with all of these schools and deadlines. The guidance counselors at Farragut have always returned my calls, sometimes the following day. And they have sent out applications in a timely manner. However, I do not feel that we’ve had any guidance in the search process. You and your child must do your own homework and research and have all the paperwork for applications ready to go. Try to attend any information sessions that are held, such as the one held last spring for rising seniors on college applications. One guidance officer for such a high number of college applicants is simply not enough.

• Now the truth is out. First Utility District commissioner William Etter voted in July to take 19 acres of private property against the wishes of the landowners while at the same time negotiating an employment contract to make $85,800 plus benefits for a 30-hour work week for a year. Talk about the fox guarding the hen house. This is just one more example of the small-town, good old boy, sweetheart deals at the expense of the customers. These are the people that are supposed to serve. They need to be exposed and eliminated. Thank goodness for the freedom of the press, for helping to get the word out for this kind of back room deal. First Utility District has outlived its usefulness. Perspective companies and people considering moving to this area will be turned off by this kind of hanky-panky. First Utility District should be merged into KUB, where things are run professionally … people who are focused on serving the public, not serving themselves. It’s time to clean this up.

• Recently, I have read letters from readers who are dissatisfied with the Farragut High School college counselor’s performance. In the articles, the writers were parents expressing concern about either the counselor not being available, or not caring. As a senior student, I do not feel this is the case. As our college counselor, she does things like write recommendation letters, and fill out parts of college applications that are required to be completed by a guidance counselor. I recently have visited her office to have transcripts printed, and letters of recommendation filled out, and mailed to the colleges I have applied to. The counselor has an open door policy, and I have found she is there most every morning between 8:15 and 8:30 to talk to students. I have sat down with her and expressed my concerns about college applications, and she has been able to answer my questions thoroughly. Also, in a previous letter in the November 6, 2004 issue, the writer was expressing concern on the counselor not having enough experience because they switch with the grade level each year, for the entire four years. However, this writer was misinformed, because the senior class guidance counselor and the college/scholarship counselor are two different people. It is important to recognize this, and not bunch the two together. Our college counselor has had many years of school experience at another school. In addition, the college counselor cannot be expected to answer questions about a specific college, unless it is a local college, such as University of Tennessee, due to the fact there are so many colleges out there. It would be impossible for her to memorize everything about every college out there, and that is why they keep information books on specific colleges in the office. If you have a specific question she cannot answer, there are both books and Internet resources available to you. She does her best with our large senior class, and has submitted all my letters of recommendation, and other application items in a timely manner. I owe my acceptance to the college of my choice to her help in my application process, and I thank her for all she has done to help other students like me. In most cases, the only problems I have heard from students is when they submit something to be done by her only a few days before it is due. I would encourage parents to visit her again, or send their students to talk to her themselves, as students are more likely to catch her at a convenient time before or after school, or during the lunchtime break. She would be glad to help with the college application process, or give scholarship information to anyone who needs it.


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