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letterstotheeditor


One person can make a difference; Johns addresses caller

One person can make a difference



The Family of Johnia Berry needs our help and is reaching out to our community.

Johnia’s family and friends are hoping that by making the community aware that no one has been arrested, maybe someone somewhere will remember something that they didn’t think was important until now, or someone will have an attack of conscience and will make that very important call that leads to the arrest of the person who brutally murdered Johnia and left her roommate for dead.

Although the [Knox County] Sheriff’s [Office] has worked diligently on pursuing this vicious killer, they have not been able to make an arrest.

Joan Berry, Johnia’s mother, is in the process of contacting America’s Most Wanted to see if there is anything they can do to help the family and our local law enforcement agencies track down the murdering monster(s).

I’m sure Sheriff [Tim] Hutchison would appreciate any and all help to solve this heinous crime. I know how hard they worked to solve my parents’ murders almost 11 years ago. Their effort and dedication was amazing.

Joan would like to ask everyone from the E. Tn Victims Rights Task Force, Madd, Compassionate Friends, concerned citizens, etc. to please attend. Also, she would like to invite anyone who has lost a loved one to violence to bring a picture of their loved ones for the memorial table.

Johnia was born on Aug. 26, 1983, and she was brutally murdered in the early morning hours in Knoxville on Dec. 6, 2004. The candlelight memorial will be held Aug. 26, at 7 p.m. at The World’s Fair Park, just behind the Candy Factory.

One person can make a difference, you just have to care enough to try.



Thanks,

Jeanne Dotts Brykalski



Johns addresses caller



Although I was going to write to the farragutpress this week about two topics that were on my mind, I would like to first thank the presstalk caller for the job recommendation in last week’s paper.

I appreciate the comments; however, I am currently involved with my own business and with several other new ventures such as my radio show called Wildfire Southeast, the southeast’s only dedicated radio show with candid conversation about business, technology, and entrepreneurship. The radio show touches on Farragut every once in a while and can be heard on Saturdays at 8 a.m. on WVLZ 1180 AM.

Likewise, I am still involved with the Farragut Community Alliance (www.farragutcommunityalliance.com). FCA will be kicking-up again this fall and will be focusing on the formal launching of its Leadership Farragut program in January 2006.

Schools

It was not bad enough to read about the Knox County school budget cuts and how they are impacting the gifted programs among other things, but to also read about the delay of the new high school. Yes, we do need to have a quality built high school; however, our schools system is at capacity and then some. Remember it is a simple principle called “supply and demand.”

We can all attest that the development in West Knox County is not going to delay for a year to wait for the new high school.

So it once again begs the question: “Where are these kids going to go to school?” Let’s look at reality: we probably should have two new high schools now and should be planning a third. In addition, we are not even talking about the additional primary, intermediate and middle schools that are also needed. Just imagine what the impact would be if the area’s private schools closed its doors and home schooled children were to enter the public school system. The implied philosophy here is that we need to be proactive versus reactive.

I can’t stand taxes and after been given the recent alternative of being shot with a shotgun (property tax) or a rifle (Wheel Tax), I would think we would be much further along in our strategic planning for our schools due to the new funding from the Wheel Tax. And we all know that once the new high school is opened, it will be at capacity, too. I have personally seen this when Houston High School opened to relieve capacity at Germantown High School, both in the suburbs of Memphis.

The last 10 minutes of Wildfire Southeast always focuses on what advice to give students and entrepreneurs in pursuing a career or a change in career. Systematically, the guests who are successful business leaders, technologists, or entrepreneurs comment that it always comes down to education and the quality of that education. Cramming students in classrooms and eliminating gifted/advance programs effects the level of quality of the students, who are in turn, our region’s next business and political leaders.

The vision of the Jobs Now! program and creating a knowledge and technological based economic region (Innovation Valley) will never come to fruition unless a total transformation in our school system takes place. And for the home owner, remember “schools make the community” and are the critical component of protecting and increasing your number one investment of home ownership whether you have children, children in school, or not.

Rising price in gas

Now, let me address the bigger issue of gas prices. The media states gas prices are on the rise. Well, no kidding! However, there really isn’t much we can do about it and it should make you sick to your stomach. This is not a simple problem of supply and demand in a “free” marketplace but is truly economic warfare and it is being waged by China with the help of other “allies” of the United States, such as Saudi Arabia, while international bankers are also cashing in.

To bring you up to speed on military strategy and the mindset of our Asian trading partner, warfare (the art of war) does not necessarily mean armed conflict. By breaking the bank of a country and taking control of its raw materials and production capabilities, the attacker in essence is going to win (like in chess) without even firing a shot. Think it will never happen? World history proves that theory wrong every time with examples from the Greeks, Romans, English, etc. Likewise, Russia recently fell overnight and even caught the CIA off-guard with its collapse.

So, what’s really happening with gas prices? China is so cash liquid and the largest holder of U.S. dollars external to the United States that they have us over a barrel. They will continue to buy all futures on petroleum, steel and other raw materials, which will continue to contribute to the rise in cost of fuel and other commodities. Likewise, at some point, China at its calculated discretion will let loose of those U.S. dollars on the world market, which will result in massive devaluation of the U.S. dollar. Then it would cost much more for the U.S. to purchase commodities and will also give China the opportunity to come in and purchase more de-valued American companies, assets, etc. at bargain basement prices. Likewise, China will also purchase the markers/notes on you through the acquisition of financial institutions behind your home mortgage, credit cards, loans, etc.

With China’s new economic clout, they are enjoying their purchasing power and are modernizing all of its manufacturing facilities, universities, banking system, and most importantly, their military. Not only is China producing more engineers now than any other nation, they are also gaining strides in their military capabilities. As the United States is revamping its military to become a light and agile force to combat the Global War of Terrorism, China’s military doctrine is evolving to develop its military to become a macro-strategic superpower.

Just as I am writing this letter to the editor, China (by the way is still a Communist country) is conducting joint military exercises with our other “ally” of Russia (no longer embraces Communism as its former KGB director and now President Putin contends). With investments into improving China’s strategic capabilities in a real navy (attack subs, aircraft carriers), aircraft, missile, space communication, reconnaissance and intelligence systems, you would think this would be a red flag to our political leadership of an apparent clear and present danger to the United States.

Unfortunately, they have their heads in the sand. In addition, like corporate CEOs that think short term due to their bonuses being tied to immediate company stock valuations, our politicians are focusing on being re-elected and enjoying the “gravy” lifestyle provided to them by special interests groups / lobbyists that are funded sometimes even through intermediaries of our “allies” such as China, Saudi Arabia, etc.

China has time on its hands and is just waiting since it is estimated that 1 in 3 of the world’s population will be Chinese by 2050 (and will probably be living under a red moon). Remember, our Asian friends think in terms of 100 year plans compared to the American culture of business quarters and/or two-year plans. Still cannot believe this can happen? Just look at what the United States has accomplished in the past 40-60 years.

Summary

Just as we are now feeling the negative impact of political leadership / decisions going back to after the departure of President Ronald Reagan in 1989 or with energy back to the early 1970s, what we do as a local community and nation over the next 5–10 years will determine if we could ever reach our country’s tri-centennial.

The first place to start besides cleaning house on the political spinsters and lifers is to start with the education system. This brings me back to my first topic of this letter with our school system. Perhaps some of our political leaders are a product of it; however, it is clearer than ever that our nation’s future leadership needs all the assistance now to combat these future challenges.

Bring back and expand the gifted programs and provide the necessary classroom environment to produce leaders who are going to solve our great nation’s current challenges with its energy inefficiencies, national debt and meeting the needs of future military conflicts. Be proactive and do your part too! It takes courage to become involved and make the necessary changes locally to send a message to the corporate and political leaders. Trust me from experience; it is amazing how fast corporate and political leaders get back on target with the issues once you start educating others and threatening to fire them.



Bill Johns, MBA; MPA

Bluewater Consulting

 

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