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letterstotheeditor


Baskette says vote for Deakins, Thanks for Dean, Birthday story, Dillon endorses Martin for School Board, Gary addresses presstalk, Martin asks for District 6 School Board vote, McGill asks for support for congressional seat, Bike rider address road rager

Baskette says vote for Deakins



The schoolchildren of Knox County need your support. The schools in Knox County need your help. Thomas Deakins, who is running for School Board, will be instrumental in ensuring that education in Knox County can more forward. Thomas will be an excellent School Board member for this district, as he understands first hand the issues that face our public schools as his children attend FPS and FIS.

Thomas made the decision to run for School Board because he truly wants to make a difference not only in the education of his children but all children attending Knox County Schools.

My children no longer attend school but my grandchildren attend our schools and like some of you, I want to make sure that my tax dollars are used in the correct manner for educating our children and providing them the best education possible.

I know Thomas will use his background and experience in business management to ensure that our tax dollars allocated to education are used in an effective and efficient manner. Thomas truly wants to make a difference and I believe in him.

Please take the time and vote for Thomas Deakins for School Board.



Sincerely,

Dr. Connie Baskette

Knox County



Thanks for Dean, Birthday story



Jerry Dean’s story on my grandmother’s 100th birthday (Thursday, July 20th issue) was very much appreciated.

Your paper is truly a community newspaper and making time to write an article on a personal milestone such as my grandmother’s birthday is a perfect example of this commitment to community. I grew up in the Farragut area and have great memories of the people and places. In fact, when I come back home for visits, I always make a point of reading your paper.



Brian Dabrowski

Ann Arbor, Mich.

Farragut High School Class of 1987



Dillon endorses Martin for School Board



I am writing to communicate my full endorsement of Lee Martin as the 6th District representative to the Knox County School Board.

As you may know, my family has lived in Karns for generations and I have personally been involved in community and education issues my entire adult life. Our school system is very important to my extended family and to me.

Lee Martin has lived in the 6th District for 25 years … 15 years in the Karns/Solway community and 10 years in Farragut. He also started his highly successful business on Oak Ridge Highway. He has raised his family here and been actively involved in numerous sports and community service organizations.

I am endorsing Lee for two very important reasons. First, he understands that our school board member must work diligently to take care of the 6th District.

Second, he knows that all school representatives ultimately serve on the board of directors for a $366 million organization that affects our children’s future.

Lee’s strong education and business background will serve us well. We need his experience to ensure sound management in setting school system policies and considering its budget, which accounts for 60 percent of the entire Knox County budget.

I encourage you to vote for Lee Martin on Aug. 3, 2006, for the Knox County School Board. He will, no doubt, be an advocate for our community, our teachers, and our children.



Sincerely,

Fred Dillon

Karns



Gary addresses presstalk



I am writing to provide some clarification regarding an issue raised in last week’s edition (July 20) of presstalk. The caller suggested there was an individual serving as a youth baseball coach in our area that was listed on the Tennessee Sexual Offender Registry.

I can tell you that, categorically, this is not true in the case of Farragut Baseball, Inc.

Each spring, our coaches agree to participate in a rigorous screening process. As part of their application process and before they are ever awarded a coaching position in our league — each coach must pass this background check, which is performed by Knox County. Any potential coach that was listed on the aforementioned registry would be flagged in the process and would not coach in our league.

I hope your readers will find this information helpful and comforting.



Sincerely,

Jeff Gary

President,

Farragut Baseball, Inc.



Martin asks for District 6 School Board vote



My name is Lee Martin and I am a candidate for the Knox County 6th District School Board Seat. I have enjoyed having the opportunity to meet many of you and to learn of your dreams, desires and concerns for our schools. Education is of the utmost importance to all our families. 

I grew up in the public educational system in Murfreesboro and continued at The University of Tennessee and Purdue [University]. I have seen our current local system from the inside out teaching Junior Achievement courses in a local high school and teaching entrepreneurship and leadership courses at UT. I have also seen our educational system from the top down by participating in the “Principal for a Day” program numerous times and serving on the Board of Advisors for UT’s College of Engineering, School of Music and Middle Tennessee State University’s College of Arts and Sciences.

After living in Solway for 13 years, I moved to the town of Farragut 12 years ago to accommodate the needs of a growing family. A year later I was faced with deciding where to send my first child to school and I did a detailed, personal study of the options. At that time, these were my direct observations of our area public schools: 1) large class sizes, 2) no academic grouping to match student performance to class capabilities, 3) absence of a pre-first alternative for children not ready for first grade, and 4) a rapidly growing community that lacked a plan for adequate school facility expansion. At a time when I was responsible for making payroll with the company I founded, the importance of education compelled me to make the personal financial sacrifice required to enroll my oldest in an area private school. It shouldn’t be that way and that’s why I want to serve this community to do something about it.

Today, we have a redistribution of state sales taxes through the Tennessee BEP that annually leaves every Knox County student $954 below the state average. Today, we have a redistribution of county property taxes from our district that results in inner city schools with much lower student to teacher ratios (~14:1) than in our District 6 (~24:1). Today, we have a district with more “knowledge” workers than live in Oak Ridge, but no specific programs to support excellence in math and science. Today, we have unsafe science labs requiring direct action from the county mayor because the School Board is either unaware or unable to set appropriate funding priorities.

Friends, it shouldn’t be that way and that’s why I want to serve this community to do something about it.

I am nothing more or less than a concerned citizen with a demonstrated track record of business success and community service desiring to serve you in the most important endeavor of our community — education. Please join my supporters, which include the three area mayors, the editors of the Knoxville News Sentinel and former opponent Fred Dillon. I would appreciate your consideration and vote Aug. 3.

 

Sincerely,

H. Lee Martin

Candidate for Knox County 6th District School Board





McGill asks for support for congressional seat



My name is Ralph McGill, and I am running in the Republican Primary for the U.S. House of Representatives from the 2nd District.

I decided to run because the federal government is growing out of control and spending money like it grows on trees. We have many problems in America that are not being addressed by a partisan and always bickering congress. We need change in America, and it must start in Washington. I believe that we need a new breed of bold citizens who will offer themselves as representatives of the people, go to Washington, do the right things for America, and then go home and back to their lives. This is what our founders intended. Instead we have career politicians who are concerned as much with self-preservation as they are in doing right for the nation.

In only my lifetime we have created two huge problems: (1) a dependent society who thinks that the federal government should be the solution to every possible problem in life — this was never intended in the Constitution (read the Constitution — you’ll see.) (2) A ruling class of politicians who think they should be in office for life. These two problems are interconnected and feed off of each other, and it’s a vicious cycle. The career politicians will do whatever it takes to keep society dependent on the federal government, so they provide government entitlements (which we can’t afford) to make sure that happens. That way, they can be confident of their re-election for life. And the cycle just keeps growing out of control. Doing what’s good for the country is not the top priority with these politicians. Rather, doing what’s best for re-election is the priority. If what’s good for the country just happens to be the same as what’s good for re-election, then that’s great. If not, then re-election is the top priority with them. You see evidence of this in every debate on a major issue.

This vicious cycle has got to stop. That’s why my platform is full of proposals that would help break that vicious cycle of the dependent society and the ruling class of politicians. One proposal — Term limits for congress! This will stop the abuse of power. I also propose a “no repeat” rule for those serving in the house and senate. You would not be allowed to run for a consecutive term. You can come back and run later, but not in the next term. There will be no incumbents that way. You cannot imagine how much advantage an incumbent has in elections.

I also think it’s time that the Supreme Court justices have limited terms, not appointed for life. I would propose a 10-year term — then they are out and can never return.

Tax reform. It’s time to take the politics out of taxing. The Income Tax Code is just a tool for politicians now, currying favor with one group or another while also creating class envy and dividing the country. It’s time to adopt the Fair Tax plan. It will do away with Income Tax and the IRS.

I believe it’s time to start reducing the size of the federal government and giving authorities back to the states where the authority belongs in the first place. It’s time for real cuts in federal spending, not just holding the budget level — cut the budget! I believe it’s time for a balanced budget amendment. When career politicians are faced with a choice of either cutting the budget or raising taxes, which do you think they will choose?

On other issues — I am a lifetime, committed believer in the pro-life cause. I believe in the sanctity of live and the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman. I have strong feelings about the illegal immigration problem and will work to close the southern border and grant no amnesty to those who are here illegally. And, by the way, it’s time to officially adopt English as the national language. We don’t want the same problems here that Canada contends with in their dual-language society.

I will very much appreciate your vote in the Primary. One man can make a difference, but together we can change a nation. Thank you very much.



Ralph McGill

Farragut

www. Mcgill-for-congress.org





Bike rider address road rager



Dear Powell man (and wife) in a black SUV:

Forgive me for interrupting your 6:22 p.m. Monday, July 24 drive down Broadway in your SUV. I was on a bike. Orange shirt. Black helmet. Gray courier bag slung over my shoulder. Maybe you remember? Surely you saw me. I tried to merge over to the far right-hand lane on Broadway where the I-40 exit ramp joins it to form two lanes, just before you get to the BP gas station. I looked behind me, and I thought you saw me. You were coming up quickly, but I thought I had enough time to pedal hard and fast to get out of your way. I wish I hadn’t tried.

I can pedal pretty hard, and I was in a high gear. Did you accelerate? Seemed like it. Instead of yielding the right lane, or even simply getting into the left lane (since you were through traffic), you decided to blow your horn and yell at me. I just waved at you. I’m used to doing that. Even if I was completely in the wrong for trying to “beat you,” would it have killed you to ease up on the gas and let a smaller guy pass to safety? What does your SUV weigh vs. me on a bike? You’ll win that one every time, don’t you agree?

When a red light at Broadway and Cecil provided an opportunity for me to stop right beside you and ask what you were thinking, you said “You have to obey the laws just like I do.” You’re right, and I had. In fact, I try to be extra vigilant and focused because I know there are asinine people like you on the road ready to kill me. I try to stay far right — always. I use hand signals. I stop at red lights.

I was really angry, but the gist of what I said to you was, “Share the road.” I could see that your wife was proud of you as she sat there in the passenger seat while the two of us yelled at one another. You said, “Awww, get away from me,” as you accelerated off. I choked on your fumes.

With some trepidation, about a month ago, I started commuting to work a couple of days a week. I thought it would be fun, and I thought I’d get a bit of exercise and reduce my car’s contribution to the globe’s CO2 problem. It’s a fairly short distance from my home in Fountain City to my office downtown. Takes me about 20 minutes.

I thought most drivers were courteous, especially to pedestrians and bikes. I was wrong. Most of you, it seems, see us as a nuisance. Now I know how motorcycles, pedestrians, and fellow bike riders feel. It’s too bad. Knoxville is decidedly NOT a bike-friendly town. I’ve been cussed at, yelled at, frowned at, stared at, blown at. There have been more near misses than I care to count, but I will not stop riding. In fact, Powell man, if you’d like to continue our discussion, you can find me on Broadway again sometime. And my guess is, there will be more joining me, as gas prices and global warming continue.

There has been a lot of press lately about how progressive cities are providing bike trails and bike lanes for commuters. With the leadership of the City of Knoxville and Knoxville Area Transit, we’ve begun to catch up, but we have a long, long way to go. Not in infrastructure, necessarily. No. Our problem is that we lag woefully behind in changing the minds and hearts of individuals who are hell-bent on NOT sharing the road. This is a car town. Period.

My challenge to you, Powell man (and anyone else reading this): commute to work by bike a few times. It will open your eyes, and it will also make you a more sensitive driver anytime you encounter a bike, a motorcycle, or a pedestrian on the road.

Please share the road, Knoxville, and I will, too.



Chuck Morris

Fountain City



I’m writing to make an appeal to the citizens of Farragut and District 5 to vote for a candidate for County Commission who has political philosophies shaped by a grasp of American history, is not a servant of large donors, and has the vision to see the long-term dangers posed by a Knox County Commission that often “rubber stamps” whatever plans originate in the mayor’s office.

My political philosophies are shaped by my study of the Bible, American history, the ideologies of our nation’s founding fathers, and my love for the U.S. Constitution.

First, let me note that I stand with George Washington in my support of term limits. Our first president refused to serve a third term, even though the American people begged him to run. He rightly recognized that power can corrupt, and it takes real leadership and humility to serve and step down.

Second, I love the Knoxville area, and I am concerned by Knoxville’s steady progression toward larger, more activist government.

Knoxville is becoming more and more like Northern or European cities which have a “government knows best” mindset that spills over into all walks of life including subsidizing businesses — which often favors some businesses at the expense of others, funding needless programs, taking an active and often costly role in development, stealing land and transferring it to favored developers, increasing codes, and swelling bureaucracy — to name a few examples.

My views on government most closely resemble the views of Teddy Roosevelt. As such, I believe in keeping taxes as low as possible. I will work to stop the rising tide of debt that is hand-cuffing our county. Our county needs to digest the debt it has incurred. Increasing county debt effectively puts a gun to our heads as taxpayers, making future tax increases unavoidable.

Third, Like Teddy Roosevelt, I advocate a level playing field in which all businesses can compete on their own merits. This stands in contrast to local programs that favor some businesses at the expense of others. Just as Adam Smith wrote in “The Wealth of Nations,” I believe the “invisible hand” of the market is a far better driver of economic growth and prosperity than the clumsy and often unjust hand of big government. Why is our County Commission seriously considering spending $5 million of our tax dollars in Blount County? Why does Knox County provide “sweetheart deals” to some businesses? Do businesses really need government help to compete? Is it just if local government helps your competitor in the name of job creation? With local government eagerly mixing taxpayer funds with private investment, it’s no wonder resources are scarce to provide sidewalks or to finish a school building in Hardin Valley to relieve overcrowding.

I am pro-business, and my philosophy on business is simple, “if it is a big idea, private interests will make it happen.” Taxpayer money should not be gambled with in the name of “investment.”

During my time at Procter & Gamble, I witnessed big northern city government and its effects first hand. I believe the Knoxville area is a wonderful place to live, but our beloved community will be disfigured within a generation if leaders don’t take a stand against the steady tide of growing government and snow-balling debt — Convention Center, Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, Tax Increment Financing, $5 million in Blount County, $129 million South Knox waterfront? what’s next? Metro government? If you desire a better path, vote for me. I will stand and deliver.

I humbly ask for your vote for County Commission District 5 Seat A on Aug. 3. I am a challenger, not an incumbent. I am on the ballot.



Sincerely

Randy Sadler

Farragut

 

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