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letters to the editor

McFee Road resident commends Board, Reader says study recycling issue, Reader wants accurate prices posted, Are you a RAM or a RAC?, Significant Danger

McFee Road resident commends Board

The town of Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen is to be commended for the action it took on May 8 regarding the proposal to purchase land on McFee Road for the purpose of donating it to Knox County in exchange for a commitment to build a primary school at the location.

A fall-back proposal to use the land for a park if the County turned down the gift was part of the proposal. The Board voted to remand this proposal to the [Farragut] Municipal Planning Commission rather than make a decision that evening.

All citizens who addressed the proposal except one were decidedly opposed to the plan, including a Knox County School Board member.

Two circumstances of the proposal were particularly objectionable.

First, the “negotiated price” for the property was $250,000 above the appraised value as certified by the appraiser who typically appraises property for the TOF.

Vice Mayor [Michael] Haynes pointed out that the town could purchase the property by condemnation proceedings for the appraised price, and should not pay over the appraised value for any purchase.

Second, the fall-back position was included in the proposal with absolutely no prior planning nor study as to whether the location was suitable for a park, or if a park was needed there more than somewhere else in the Town.

Let us hope that any future proposal by an alderman will be more thoroughly studied before presenting it to the Board.

Ralph W. Dimmick


Reader says study recycling issue

A recent letter to the editor alluded to the politics at play on the Town of Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

This issue rose its ugly head again at the April 24 meeting when Alderman Tom Rosseel sought support for a feasibility study into bringing a recycling center within the Town of Farragut.

According to the story in the farragutpress, this simple request for taking a look at an issue that I believe most of the voters of this town would support, had Mayor Eddy Ford in a lather saying he was “totally opposed to that suggestion.”

In reading between the lines of comments attributed to the Mayor, it sure seems as if he meant to say he was totally opposed to anything suggested by Alderman Rosseel.

The mayor then proceeded to give his personal opinion on the issue and basically chastise any and all for even daring to raise the question.

Whatever happened to a difference of opinion?

First of all, as an avid recycler, I find the Dutchtown Road site to be too busy and too dangerous. There is much truck traffic around the Lovell Road area and this particular recycling center caters more to the business and industrial recycling folks.

The center that is probably nearer to what Alderman Rosseel and many others of us envision is what is located off of Executive Park Drive in the Cedar Bluff area. It is focused mainly on residential recycling. However, this site is a challenge to get to and is quite small. Two or three cars can block access.

Currently, there are minimal recycling opportunities available in Farragut (primarily just for newspapers and magazines).

I applaud the many who pay an extra fee each month just to help our environment. I understand the Town has a public works site off of Fretz Road.

Perhaps this might be a suitable location for a residentially oriented recycling center. Perhaps not.

One thing is for sure, we’ll never know thanks to the negativity expressed by one elected official.

I am encouraging other like minded recycling fans in Farragut to contact the Board of Mayor and Aldermen and request this issue be evaluated.

There is no cost and nothing to lose but everything to gain by at least agreeing to study this issue.

Jeff Elliott


Reader wants accurate prices posted

A few months ago when fuel prices began to surge upward I began to notice that the Weigel's store at Dixie Lee Junction (the store furthest west in Farragut) was in err. The error is that their sign displaying the gas prices are different than the pump prices. All be it 9/10 of a cent, I remain adamant that the advertised price should be reflected when a purchase is made.

I spoke to Ken McMullen, CEO of Weigel's and he was sorry for the event and assured me that the 9/10 of a cent would be displayed by the end of the day. That was two weeks ago. Still no such action taken.

Last week I spoke to supervisor for Weigel's Mike Fowler. I recommended that to be more accurate why not either get rid of charging the 9/10 of a cent or just round the price up to the next full cent. Mr. Fowler stated “well then the price would be 1/10 of a cent too high!”

WOW!! I could not believe what I just heard. In the ability to be more accurate, let’s just keep on deceiving the public by 9/10 instead. Mr. Fowler said I was “the only person to complain in 30 years.” First I do not think Mr. Fowler has been with Weigel's 30 years, or if this particular store has been selling fuel for 30 years. Even worse has Weigel's been misrepresenting the public for 30 years?

Bottom line is that I know that 9/10 of a cent is no that much and most people I speak to say gas is “$3.62” in reality it’s $3.62 9/10. However shoot straight with us.

Nine tenths of 1 cent must be valuable or most stores wouldn’t charge this extra amount.

Doug Hodges,


Are you a RAM or a RAC?

Congratulations to everyone for the big improvement recently in negotiating the infamous Roundabout at Concord and Northshore. Most drivers are starting to get the hang of it; but we still have a bit of work to do before we can declare victory and move on to more important issues like how to deal with the I-40 closure or what is that mystery development on Kingston Pike between Old Stage and Everett Roads.

Let’s review:

• As you carefully approach the intersection look to the left. If there is no traffic you may enter the circle and proceed on your way. If there is traffic already in the circle, it has the right of way and you MUST!! yield. (Are you listening charcoal Toyota Highlander heading east on Northshore???)

• Once there is an opening in traffic and you have carefully entered the circle you now have the right of way and traffic must yield to you.

Simple enough, right. However, there seems to be some confusement about the difference between STOP and YIELD. Last week one of our denizens was traveling south, (away from Farragut) and wanted to go east, (toward Pellissippi) on Northshore. This driver became temporarily disoriented and decided to take the conservative approach, so she came to a complete stop. Even though there was not one single car as far as the eye could see in either direction on Northshore! People, this is not a good idea. Stop means to cease all forward motion; while yield means — I think I can beat that #@*% to the intersection. If there is no traffic, by definition there is no one to yield the right of way to … so keep moving. Got it: traffic means yield and be prepared to stop; and no traffic means, yippee I can keep on truckin’ (even if you are in a Buick).

Think about it — the guy behind you is three inches off your back bumper; he is steering with his left elbow because he is drinking a cup of hot coffee with one hand while dialing his cell phone with the other, while reading the farragutpress about how other people should negotiate the roundabout. Do you really want to tempt fate by giving him an opportunity to slam into you? This would not get your day off to a good start, while causing him to spill coffee on his best pair of khaki’s. Not a good outcome for either party.

The second concern is that some drivers seem to confuse the Yield sign with a three-way Stop. There really are some differences that are quite important. At a three-way stop we get a rotation going. Kind of like conjugating verbs in the ninth grade: I go — You go — He, She (or It?) goes. All you have to do is be patient enough to wait your turn. Listen up people this is important - a yield sign means the other driver — or driver(s) have the right of way. There is no rotation and you must wait for an opening in traffic before you enter the circle. So don’t start counting and trying to determine your rightful place to pull out. The person you pick just might be either the cowboy, the ego trip or the denizen. Do I need to say more?

Also, please remember once you are in the circle you don’t ever need to stop. This is your ultimate goal. Enjoy, savor the moment, carpe diem.

In recognition of the different skill levels, (as well as attitudes) that are beginning to emerge, I am announcing two categories of drivers:

• RAM – Roundabout Maestro. Highly skilled and proficient. Approaches the target with a calm demeanor and a quiet self — confidence.

• RAC — Roundabout Clueless. Highly unskilled and not proficient. Approaches with trepidation and has insurance agent, body shop, and tow truck as first three numbers on speed dial.

If you are a RAC, don’t despair. With a lot of hard work, dedication to purpose, and total concentration you can move up to the lofty RAM status.

If you are currently a RAM, don’t rest on your laurels. You can be re-classified in a heartbeat and you must stay on top of your game to remain a RAM.

Jim Holladay


Significant Danger

The population has increased faster than expected in the West Knoxville area. The Knox County MPC sees us going beyond capacity for high schools alone by as much as 1,273 students in Farragut HS, and by 342 students in Karns HS in just a few years.

Farragut High School is no longer qualified as a Blue Ribbon High School. Tennessee also spends less than the average US state per student and Knox County spends even less. Our secondary education has become so poor, that more than 50% graduating with Masters or PhD degrees in science or engineering are foreign students. Our government requires them to return to their home country, and we lose a lot of highly educated, badly needed talent.

Much more qualified students graduating from our high schools are vitally important for our country and our children, if we want them to have good jobs, instead of working at McDonald’s or sweeping the floors in a Japanese factory. To achieve that, we must not hesitate to spend a couple of hundred dollars in additional taxes, like other school systems are doing, that goes only for education. We are clearly getting what we are paying for: mostly mediocre high school graduates, in a poorly financed system. The result is that most graduates with advanced degrees in engineering and science (each representing high paying jobs that we need) are going back to other countries.

We must change this situation. You will find all the evidence at (after 5/11) about what facts I found and how we may change this dangerous situation.

Vic Spencer



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