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• I’m calling about the First Baptist [Church] Concord plans for expansion: reading through the various articles in the paper this week, I find it quite humorous that a planning commission member … would state: “Why doesn’t the church look for a totally separate site to build” versus expanding on the current property they have? If I remember correctly, just a few years ago, they did try that — to purchase the Ingles property, that shopping center and the vacant property behind it to do their expansion. And the town residents were opposed to that. Therefore, the residents of Belleaire that chose to sell their homes to the church made the church’s plans, that they’re currently going forward currently now, the only option. Why does the town seem to hate the church? The residents don’t want them to expand anywhere but get out of Farragut. This is just ridiculous — this is why businesses are moving out of Farragut. [It’s] not sign ordinances, it’s not other ordinances, it’s because town residents in Farragut don’t want expansion of any kind. Come on, grow up. The church owns the property, as long as they do things within the legal bounds they can do what they want to with their property, just like you can as a homeowner. Get over it.

• I don’t know why there are so many people who think that First Baptist Church is hiding something, or that there’s some kind of conspiracy going on down there. Their church has done a lot of good for this community for many years — and what exactly is it that they think they may be hiding, a conspiracy to take over the whole town by force? Come on, get real. If you want to know what is really going on down there, why don’t you just visit for a while. The doors are wide open to who wants to know what they’re all about; and if you don’t want to set foot in the building, why don’t you listen to their pastor on the radio a few times. He comes on every day at 2:30 on AM 620. And if that’s not convenient for you, I’m sure they’ll replay it at another time. You can check online for the schedule. By the way, I am not a member of First Baptist but I am a Christian and I’ve taken advantage of some of their children’s activities and have been very pleased.

• At the Farragut Municipal Planning [Commission] meeting Thursday, Sept. 20, the town MPC was informed that during church services and during other times of the week when there were different things going on, that church members have been using the lawns of the houses the church owns that were supposed to have been for missionary housing — these are still coded as residential homes, by the way — people are parking in those lawns and causing traffic hazards by parking there. And the church representative was informed this is not allowed, this is against town codes, it needs to stop. It is 12:15 the Sunday after this, there are all sorts of cars parked in the lawns of the church houses, pulling out on to Belleaire once again causing traffic problems. Now the church’s attorney was there — he also heard this. I would assume that as the church keeps saying it wants to be a good neighbor, this is something that they would have addressed immediately and would have had somebody walking up and down Belleaire this morning saying: “No you can’t park there, this is not allowed by the town of Farragut.” Unless, of course, maybe now the church — because they became upset with the Farragut MPC Thursday night because they did not get exactly what they wanted — no longer feels that they should have to follow the rules and regulations of the town of Farragut like everybody else does.

• I just learned that the new school in Knox County has been made into an academy. It has always been my opinion that academies have more stringent requirements and students who were competitively selected. I didn’t realize that wasn’t what was happening at Hardin Valley Academy. My understanding is that many students are being forced to attend this school against their will, which does not meet the accepted ideal of an academy. If my memory and prior education serve me correctly, an academy was originally described by Plato in his “Treatise of the Republic” about Socrates, the teacher training highly intelligent and students selected on the basis of their intellect. It appears from the sales brochure sent out by Knox County Schools they believe renaming the school will improve the desire to attend and therefore improve the quality and level of student achievement. I have never known the renaming or recharacterization of a product to change the actual product, although I have known it to increase sales of that product. Our education system is in complete disarray, as school boards and unions market education in different packages without really changing the content. We now have a new school being opened with promises and marketing ploys designed to make us buy the product but do not enhance the education of our children. What will actually change in the classroom? The sales brochure that just went out from the principal repackaged the present courses now available at Farragut High School into academy formats designed to channel the students’ field of study. How much will this change instruction within the classroom? In this same packet the following statement is made, and I quote: “the main different in this society and any other honor society is that your child chooses at first, and then earns the distinction rather than earning the distinction first” In addition to this sentence being very poorly written, I know of no other honor society where you are granted entrance without first proving yourself, which is the crux of being in an honor society. If this really does make a difference, why are we not changing the name of our county’s flagship high school from Farragut High School to Farragut Academy?

• Let us salute the braintrust at [Tennessee Department of Transportation] and [a local construction company] who decided to pave Ebenezer Road in a school zone during morning rush hour. Remember, these are the same wonderful thinkers who gave us Pellissippi between Kingston Pike and Dutchtown [Road], as well as driver’s licenses to 16-year-olds. We tip our hats to these boneheads for optimizing our inconvenience.

• I think that the hearings about the planned changes for the church in Farragut are fine. I think that I’d like to understand if all businesses are required to post a 10-year master plan, as well as the town of Farragut? I have yet to see their master plan for that length of time, and I’d like to know where I could find that. I’d also like to understand why the chairman of the municipal planning [commission] has not recused himself because he happens to live in Belleaire. I think that no matter what happens, he’s biased and can’t really lead that committee without having some bias toward his own self-serving interests.


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