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presstalk 671-TALK

ē Interesting that with all the discussion about smoking in restaurants that your recent issue featured the Court Cafť. It is certainly an interesting, quaint place, and the foodís pretty good. But you need a gas mask, even the waitresses sometimes carry their cigarettes around with them.

ē Iím calling about the small article I saw about Northshore Drive. And yes, I do think that people drive too fast on it. I travel on it from Concord all the way up to, I guess itís Lyonís Bend, probably twice a day. I happen to live in Northshore Landing, and if I didnít put my arm out, and with all the blinkers I have on my car, I would never be able to safely turn to the left to get into my driveway. Iíve had both men and women to scream and yell at me and do other unsightly things just because I was trying to stay within the speed limit. So, I wish they would police it more. I hardly ever see a police car on it. I love Northshore, itís a beautiful drive. I would hate to see it widened because itís so lovely. And basically itís well maintained, and I appreciate when they do the garbage pick-up on it, too.

ē I wanted to comment on the dog walkers in Farragut. I think they fall into the same category as the people who throw their cigarettes out on the street. In most sophisticated cities, using a popper-scooper is something everybodyís proud to do. I think itís disgraceful the way everybody walks around with their dogs, very proud, but no one seems to want to clean up after íem. Get with it, Farragut. This is a clean city and I think they should be proud to take care of their pets and carry and use the proper things in order to keep our city clean.

ē An opinion by an attorneyís general concerning terms limits do not supercede a ruling by the Tennessee Supreme Court that upheld the law regarding term limits for these career politicians on the Knox County Commission. In 1994 the people voted by a 3-to-1 margin, approving term limits for most locally elected county officials. Being career politicians themselves, the Knox County election commissioners have [abandoned] their responsibility to uphold the law. Itís a shame that these very people in the county legislative body, who make laws, think that they are above the law. Weíre setting a poor example for our children by permitting these self-centered people to continue to violate the law while making laws [upon] other people that have significant consequences when they violate the law.

ē I fully support a ban on smoking in Farragut.

ē I would like to see Farragut develop a dog park.

ē I was calling regarding the people saying that the kids should be required, or mandated, to take the bus. I just wanted to state that itís my right as a parent and as a taxpayer to use the roads and drop my child off at the door, just as it is for you to have your son or daughter ride the bus. Thatís what Americaís all about, the freedom to choose between what you want to do and what you donít want to do as long as itís legal and not hurting other people.

ē How thoughtful of you to suggest that Farragut follow in the footsteps of Calabasas, Calif., and ban smoking in our city [March 30 Through the Lens]. Now thatís a concept that would really improve our property values and our standard of living. By the way, it takes 25 years for a cigarette butt to decompose. I wish smokers would realize that before they leave their butts all over our town.

ē I applaud the powers that decided that Calabasas, Calif. would be a smoke-free city. I also applaud the numerous restaurants in Knoxville that have decided to be 100 percent smoke-free. I wish [a restaurant] in Farragut would follow that lead. I love their food, but walking past the smoke-filled bar to get a non-smoking seat almost makes me lose my appetite, and does make me wish that I had gone elsewhere to eat. Now that I have so many other options of places I can go that are completely smoke-free, I will think twice about eating at [the Farragut restaurant]. When I walk into a restaurant, I want to smell the delicious food, I donít want to smell a pool hall. Think about it.

ē While youíre talking about making it against the law for cigarettes, letís outlaw these monster houses theyíre building that suck up lots of extra energy and land, while the old country roads in front of the subdivisions are crumbling in the ditches. And going out on your deck, you smell building materials burning. Ö Also, these trashy pear trees, monster SUVs that suck up gas and run you off the road. ... Letís talk about how after our country was attacked, our borders were left wide open so they could bring down wages, get rid of company-paid health care, pensions, Social Security, Medicare ó and yes, TVA, and sell off our public lands to rich developers. Itís not the illegals that are in the shadows, itís the American people because they just donít care anymore.

ē Arnold Schwarzenegger says girly men should not be in political office. In addition to that, those men who are corrupt in political office will be dealt with severely.

ē I would like to address the issue raised about taxes in presstalk [April 6 issue]. One of the downsides of presstalk is people can ramble who do not know the facts. But the facts are, Knox County has not had a tax increase on property in seven years ó theyíve gone seven years without a property tax increase. The City of Knoxville has had a property tax increase two years ago. This should be important to Farragut citizens, since the 5th District commissioners, where your 5th District Commissioners represent, pay more property taxes than the 1st, 2nd and 3rd districts combined; the 7th, 8th and 9th districts combined. Holding your property tax low is important to our Knox County Commissioners in the 5th District. You can verify these facts with Knox County Trustee Mike Lowe. Again, it is factual ó seven years without a property tax increase. This should be important to Farragut since they carry a major property tax load for the whole county.

ē I would like to agree with the lady who says that it is her responsibility to get her child to and from school safely. I drive my child to school, and I have seen the ways the Knox County bus drivers drive ó they gridlock, they run red lights, they pull out in front of people. Itís not safe to put your child on a bus. So I think youíve got the right idea.

ē Iím calling about the mother of a 9-year-old that suffers from asthma, and she would like to get signatures and stuff for people to stop smoking, and I think thatís a wonderful idea. I am a smoker, and I too am a mother of a child that has severe asthma and has to have breathing treatments on a daily basis, and so is my husband. I do agree that I think smoking is a very, very nasty habit. Iím 30 years old and I started smoking two years ago. I have no idea why, but it is very nasty and expensive and I am in the process of trying to quit. But Iím all for no smoking in a public area. I donít smoke in my home; when I go to a restaurant, I donít want to be around it. I may sound stupid by agreeing with it, but thatís my personal choice to smoke and I think everybody else seems to respect other people because there are people who are allergic. People donít want to smell that. And for smokers like me, you do have to respect other people in your community and children and anything. Ö Whatever people want to do in their personal life is fine. But, yes, out in the public area I do agree, it needs to be banned and stopped everywhere. And so to the lady who wants to start that petition, [let the public know] when itís going on and where youíll be and I will be there with open arms; my whole family will sign the petition. I think itís a wonderful, wonderful idea. Good luck to you.

ē This is pertaining to the article you did about the [Knox] County mayor debate. I didnít understand the comment you made, because I attended this, and I felt like that Mr. [Steve] Hall agreed with all the major issues with Ragsdale, and also agreed that he had voted for the Wheel Tax. So I question the way you wrote the article. And as far as the B-E-P and some other major things, I felt like that Steve Hall didnít have any idea, any clues, as to the answers for those questions. So I disagreed with your article, I thought Ragsdale did a wonderful job.

ē Iím calling in response to all the negative comments in last weekís presstalk about smoking. I realize that most of the people that were negative were from other states that had anti-smoking laws. However, smoking and cigarettes are legal in this country, and my opinion is that if a restaurant wants to have a complete no-smoking section, thatís fine. But for those that do, there are people who enjoy going out to dinner and having a cigarette and a drink. That is there right ó if you donít like it, donít go to that restaurant. We need a choice, too. Smokers stand up.

ē I was just reading [the April 6] Letters to the Editor, and the letter that was ďthank you to the volunteers,Ē I agree that the stretch between Bluegrass and Pellissippi does look much better; but that wasnít the work of the volunteers, that was the work of the new [inaudible] having DUIs offenders pick up trash along the roadways, which I think is a very good thing, a very visible way for the DUI offenders to make up for what theyíve done.

ē In a recent issue I was thrilled to read about the comments of the smoking issue. Thereís nothing good to say about smoking. My husbandís family was in tobacco, and they are looking for something else to do. And to put ourselves in an environment like that when all the scientific data points out the hazards is ridiculous. You go to the post office and see where people have just dumped out piles of cigarette butts. And you see people throwing them out or walking along and tossing them a cigarette down and squishing it out with their shoe. Would they do this at their home? Something that needs to be done, I mean, itís just crazy. Ö The other thing I wanted to talk about was the Pinnacle. I found it interesting. Iím all for it, I think itís fabulous. A great place to shop, but the mall is a good place to go to walk. And there was a comment [in a story in the April 6 issue] that people could drive up to their individual stores and go into their store instead of having to walk all the way across it to reach the specialty store. In this day and age of overweight, obesity, bad health, bad food, walking is good, and that leads to another issue that I think the town of Farragut needs to address. The walking paths are wonderful, itís fabulous, but there needs to be a warning sign at all the crosswalks and intersections that pedestrians have the right-of-way. Ö The light changes to green and itís just go. We have our grandson here walking a bike across the road up at Turkey Creek, and he almost got hit by a car by a woman in a van. This needs to be addressed, as does adding bike lanes to all the new roads, including the extension on Campbell Station. We need to address this because bicycles are supposed to be in the road and not on the sidewalks. If youíre on the sidewalk you get bad looks, and I do ride and I also walk. So, this needs to be addressed. We need safety issues looked at.


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