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presstalk 671-TALK

• We have just passed the four-year mark for the war in Iraq. What happened to Osama bin Laden, wanted dead or alive by the Texas president? What happened to “Shock and Awe?” What happened to “Mission Accomplished?” What happened to being greeted with flowers and open arms? What happened to oil proceeds paying for the war? How many times have they changed their justification for the war? Tax cuts for the rich to lower the surplus? What surplus? As for me, I can’t wait for 2008.

Editor’s Note: National media reports that the “Mission Accomplished” remark made by President George W. Bush III on board the U.S.S. Lincoln May 2, 2003, was in reference to the ship, not the war.

• I received a ticket as a result of a red-light camera. The ticket was issued in my name, since I was owner of the car — but I wasn’t driving it. Some other member of the family, or a friend, was driving. We can’t be sure. There’s no way of determining from the camera who the driver was that violated the law. In the meantime, I receive a moving violation on my record simply as a recorded owner of the car. This is wrong. The traffic ticket should be issued to a driver, not a car. Issuance of these tickets should be stopped … it’s simply a way of making money off innocent drivers who won’t go through the hassle of contesting the ticket. This also may increase my insurance. Increasing our signal lights to five-second yellows would eliminate most of these violations.

Editor’s Note: Your situation was discussion in depth at the public hearings on the Red Light Camera issue. City councilmen discussed that it was the vehicle owner’s responsibility for the ticket since the owner loaned out the vehicle. You are fortunate that the person who allegedly broke the law didn’t wreck and injure someone because in some cases you, as the vehicle owner, would be liable for that too. The fact is: Red Light cameras are saving lives, catch law breakers and don’t discriminate.

• Under our view, and our good farragutpress, this past week this was stated [Our View, March 29 issue]: “Another round of applause should go to Knoxville Police Chief Sterling Owen [IV], [KPD] Capt. Gordon Catlett and Margie Nichols, who represent Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam’s office for [their tenacious] support of [the] safety devices noting a 40-plus percent reduction in T-bone crashes. Neither legislator offered an alternative safety measure to the red-light cameras.” All they need to do is count the number of rear-end collisions they’re causing. And no, no, Farragut does not need this moneymaker for the town, and camera owners. It’s a money-grabber for no cause.

Editor’s Note: According to KPD reports, rear-end collisions have neither increased or decreased. Rear-end collisions are caused by vehicle drivers following too close, another traffic violation.

• I’m calling about the road construction at Hickory Woods subdivision. I thought that was supposed to be road widening, but it appears that it’s only for a sidewalk that actually goes nowhere. I’d like to know what the cost is of that sidewalk, plus that caution light, and who has the influence to get that approved?

• I want to comment on the crossing guard and the terrible traffic situation around Farragut Primary School. One way to solve this problem is by making all children ride the bus. Unfortunately this will never happen, so it’s time to let that one go and work toward a real solution. The real problem is the school’s administration choosing to ignore the situation. The Knox County Sheriff’s department stated that the school determines how to use a crossing guard, and the school pays a portion of her salary. It seems the guard would be better utilized by helping the cars to move safely in and around the schools, not just the buses. This is not a personal attack on the guard, she is probably a nice person just doing her job. However, according to my cell phone, the guard arrived late, at 7:19 a.m. on Friday the 30th. I know that she was late because she was speeding on Campbell Station, clearly ignoring the 25 mph speed limit while almost hitting a van that was coming out of the school parking lot. I’m not a traffic flow expert, but there must be a safer way for parents to take their children to school without disrupting the entire area. Let’s ask the school to finally address this unsafe issue. If you want to see a change, please call and talk with the school principal.

• The media in Knoxville seems to be covering a lot about the discipline in Knox County Schools. I just want to make sure that parents that have children at [Farragut] Intermediate School, that they understand the policy at the intermediate school. If a child acts up, hurts other children, the policy is to put them in a younger aged classroom for a couple of weeks. Have the bully abuse younger children for two weeks and then move ’em back to their regular classroom? That’s standard procedure at Farragut Intermediate School.

• Regarding the builder asking the town to de-annex his land, the correct term is disconnect. It’s understood legally by everybody around the world, I don’t know we’d call it de-annex? It’s also school districts, not zones. Zones are the construction of either industry or [inaudible] or residential. One more thing: what are they building at Kingston Pike and Old Stage Road?

• I would like to say that I’m against the red-light cameras in Farragut. A wise man once said, “He who gives up freedom for safety deserves neither.”

Editor’s Note: What freedom are you giving up, your freedom to break the law or your freedom to put others in harm’s way?

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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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