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Water rescue

We had company over the week-end from Atlanta — Michael (senior at UGA) and Ben grew up together and although we moved to Knoxville from Atlanta 10 years ago, our families stayed in touch and both boys continued with scouting to earn their Eagles. Ben also brought home a dorm friend from Middle Tennessee State University. “Wink” (also an Eagle, from Nashville) Ben and Michael took our boat out on Labor Day for an afternoon of tubing.

After hours of fun, they were ready to call it a day, but then watched as a boy (doing tricks on his ski-do), proceeded to go over some huge waves and then watched as he totally lost control. The rider let the ski-do go, knowing he was going to wipe out. Unfortunately, he crashed into the ski-do, pounding his forehead on the rear view mirror. When the boy surfaced, his bloodied face was a sure sign that he was injured. The three boys in our boat quickly put their scouting first aid training into action and lifted the boy into our boat and laid him down. Michael immediately took off his shirt and used it to form a compress to the boys forehead. The boy was coherent enough to provide his parents phone number and a call was made to explain what had happened. The boys in the boat kept their “patient” calm, in spite of knowing this injury was serious (by now, this boy was shaking). A passerby, with 2 people on board of their ski do, noticed the loose ski-do and quickly retrieved the vehicle from sinking. Within 5 minutes, the boys parents met our boat at the Concord Marina and the boy was taken immediately transported to the hospital.

Of course, I asked Ben who the boy was - and, unfortunately, no one thought to ask. All they were more concerned about was his safety and getting him the proper first aid needed. So, for the last couple days we prayed about this “unknown” boy and hoped all was well ... .

Fast forward to today (Wednesday). I accepted a substitute position at Farragut High School in the Student Affairs Office. I have never subbed there before (only have subbed in the classroom) so I had to learn the drill fast, logging in absenteeism, late arrivals, early dismissals, etc. A line of students were quickly “processed” in, with me checking validity of parents signatures, doctors excuses, etc. I asked no one any questions, as this just [did] not seem to be my business. As one boy approached the desk, he volunteered that he was out yesterday recovering from an “accident”. It struck me that no other student explained any other reason for absence, but this boy seemed to want to talk. I looked up at him and asked him what “kind of accident” (assuming a car wreck) that he was involved in. His response was that he was in a ski-do accident on Monday. As he responded, I noticed the huge bandage covering his entire forehead. I asked about the accident and you can only imagine how fast my heart started to beat as he explained the details about how a boat with “three boys” lifted him to safety ... oh, my gosh.

Our prayers were answered, knowing this boy was OK. [He is a senior] at FHS and he received four internal stitches for a torn muscle in his forehead, and 10 additional surface stitches to his forehead. The chances of meeting this boy at a school, subbing where I have never been, at his particular moment in time, are against all odds. I truly believe this is God’s work and thank him for providing us with this meeting and the comfort that everyone knew what to do. What an incredible tribute to Boy Scouting!

By the way, when [his] mom called me later that day at the school ([he] relayed the chance encounter meeting with me via his cell phone during class changes) — she mentioned that [her son] also was an Eagle. Wow!

Praise the Lord and thank you God for this incredible way to train our youth.

Marilyn Dawson


Trees poisoned

Someone has apparently poisoned a large number of trees along the east-bound exit ramp resulting in a wholesale clear-cutting of an approximately 30-foot-by-100-foot swath along the public’s right-of-way. I think this is a story that needs to be told as we need to find out who was behind this terrible waste of many wonderful native dogwoods and redbuds.

I am a long-time resident of Farragut who travels through the Campbell Station Road exit off of I-40 several times a day, pretty much seven days a week. Earlier this month I noticed wide-spread clearing of trees in an area as you enter this exit heading eastbound on the interstate (toward Knoxville). I contacted Mr. Fred Corum, who is this region’s director for the Tennessee Department of Transportation. In an e-mail to me dated Aug. 18, Mr. Corum said: “The clear cut area is a result of trees that have been dead for two to three years. We have received several calls from the local citizens and businesses concerning the appearance of the landscape in this area. Also, we have received calls from the town of Farragut that some of the debris was falling onto the ramp to eastbound I-40 and that the debris was blocking the drains.”

In my initial check around, I couldn’t come across anyone who had publicly complained. However, I did hear from several sources raising the question as to whether someone intentionally poisoned these trees in an effort to get TDOT to clear this area. I shared this point with Mr. Corum who then e-mailed to me on Aug. 26: “Mr. Lail (TDOT horticulturalist) has informed me his investigation confirms the vegetation, trees, etc. was most likely poisoned. Vegetation will be replaced by seeding at the present with some trees in the future.”

While pleased to hear a confirmation of poisoning, I am disappointed by the extent of TDOT’s response.

I did contact Tom Rosseel, who is an elected alderman on the town of Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen, and he shared the following: “I’m extremely disappointed to learn that someone may have deliberately poisoned trees on public property. The mix of redbuds and dogwoods in the TDOT right of way along the interstate ramp at Campbell Station provided a wonderful entrance to the town of Farragut. I sincerely hope that TDOT and the town of Farragut can find a way to work together to replant trees this fall so as to help restore the natural beauty of our front yard and to send a message to those responsible for these cowardly and criminal actions that we won’t tolerate the destruction of publicly owned trees.”

Let me emphasize that this area during the spring is awash with beautiful dogwoods and redbuds. Now, it has been brutalized. This area is the unofficial entrance to Farragut and even though there has been discussion of expanding this exit (using any of several approaches ranging from minimal disruption of the existing greenery to much greater clearing), given the state’s current economic downturn, it seems highly unlikely this project will take place anytime soon.

This further reinforces what I hope TDOT will consider:

• work with other appropriate state agencies in offering a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for destroying these trees and vegetation

• replace not just greenery but the many trees that were destroyed within this currently cleared eyesore (certainly not acceptable to just seed it with grass)

• test and monitor the remaining trees/greenery for any sign of poisoning

I can’t emphasize enough that this space is the public’s right of way. It doesn’t belong to any individual or business. As such, it is important not to let the poisoning perpetrators achieve their objective. We need to replant these trees and restore this area as a welcome respite to drivers from the area’s many billboards, signage and backs of buildings.

Jeff Elliott


Redlight cameras help

In the Aug. 28 edition of the farragutpress there was yet another comment in presstalk that opposed redlight cameras. When examining any issue the first question should be “is there really a problem and if so, is the problem big enough to warrant action?” The informal survey conducted by the town of Farragut some months ago and reported in the farragutpress established there is a problem and the size of the problem. The survey was conducted at only four intersections for three or four hours a day for four days. The violations counted were only the blatant violation of cars entering the intersection after the light had turned red and the driver had ample time to stop. When the reported number of violations is annualized the fact there is a problem and the size of the problem is clear. The number is more than 20,000. That is at only four intersections, what about all the other intersection. What is the true number to include 24/7 and all intersections?

Examine the opposing comments made the most:

Redlight cameras violate an individual’s rights. For those that claim that please provide the source of the right such as U.S. Constitution to violate a law. If we have the right to violate a traffic law do we have the same right to violate any law? What about the laws addressing robbery, murder, etc? After all, the U.S. Constitution does not give a right for minor situations but limit it for major situations.

Redlight cameras are an invasion of privacy. What is the privacy expectation for an act committed in public? If the camera is an invasion of privacy, then is there the same expectation of privacy for an indecent act committed in public? For those opposed please tell us why the cameras are an invasion of privacy.

Redlight cameras cause an increase in rear-end accidents. This comment appears to be based upon a lack of knowledge. Knoxville City Police have clearly shown numerous times by actual statistics that rear-end accidents have decreased since the cameras were installed. For those making this comment please provide actual valid numbers to support your claim. The cameras have also helped reduce the number of the more deadly “T-Bone” accidents.

Redlight cameras are only a ploy to “grab” more money and one person said to collect more money from poor people. First, are poor people the only ones who run red lights? Another person said its just another tax. It is sad that person does not know the difference between a tax and punishment for violating a law. Are all fines just a ploy to get more money or are fines a means of punishing those who violate the law?

Redlight cameras are another law enforcement tool, the same as radar. The most important question is “will that method of enforcing the law increase safety?” The answer is clearly yes. If someone is opposed to redlight cameras are they opposed to increased safety?

Jim Rich


Writer supports McCain


It is amazing how things get distorted during a presidential campaign. I address the persons who are deciding who to vote for. I watched both conventions. I saw and heard from Barack Obama and his wife a theatrical production. I saw no sincerity (she is suddenly now so patriotic!), I saw no evidence of experience, and I saw no belief in what this country was founded on.

He promotes abortion. Abort-ion is murder ... it is killing a human being as surely as shooting someone on the street. Yet, he doesn’t want Americans to be able to protect themselves by owning a gun. He says he is against killing innocent men and women in Iraq, but he believes in killing helpless babies! He promotes Gay marriage ... men and women were made the way they are for a reason ... hope you have figured that out by now if you are old enough to vote!

Barack Obama? I think not! Has he ever served our country? Certainly not! Even as a soldier? No!

Who does fit this ideal? John McCain! Not only did he suffer for all of us in Vietnam, but he came back and has served Old Glory as a public servant. Not a “Yes Man” he has voted his conscience with a belief in our supreme creator. … I listened as he spoke from his heart about this country and what he aims to do about its problems. I believe he chose Sarah Palin because she shares his convictions about God and country. He has enough integrity to do that. Obama does not. …

Let’s address Sarah Palin. Qualified? I believe so. To be a governor means having the “buck stop here!” She has managed a state government. Tough job? Oh, yes! She has an 80 percent approval rating! She must have done something right! Am I afraid for her to step into the presidency? Absolutely not! She is being ridiculed about being a mayor. Tough job? You can bet on it! Especially when she had to go up against the “machine.” She has done this as a governor as well. Let’s put it like this ... if Obama had ever held these offices, he would surely be talking differently about them! And to say she is a bad mother because her daughter is pregnant and unmarried is ridiculous! (you can bet that if Hillary were in this position, the Democrats and the liberal media would be putting a positive twist on it). The fact that her daughter is getting married and not having an abortion says that they are adhering to their Christian beliefs and not taking the selfish way out, I admire that and believe that it says great measure about the kind of mother, woman and vice president she is and will always be. I was proud that she was not ashamed to bring her new baby onto the stage with her!

Obama said he did not want his daughters to have to bring a mistake home if they ever found themselves with an unwanted pregnancy!

I ask you to take a long look at what choices you have. Elect a president of the United States who is anti-American with anti-Christian beliefs or elect a president who will stand firm against our enemies, support Christian standards and carry our nation to a better day ... why will it be a better day? Because God will be behind John McCain and Sarah Palin.

Call me what you will, laugh at my Christianity, but I trust that if Christians are faithful, God will not throw us to the wolves with someone like Barack Obama.

Barbara Steele


Thanks farragutpress

I just wanted to say thank you for the coverage you have provided the East Tennessee Long-Term Care Ombudsman program recently in your Community Briefs section.

We serve the vulnerable in long-term care and rely upon certified volunteer ombudsmen representatives to visit specific facilities on a regular basis.

As I have about 130 facilities in my district, I have an ongoing need for volunteers and try to recruit and train them at various times in the year.

I appreciate your running the blurb soliciting these volunteers and announcing our training. Being part of a non-profit, we do not have funds for advertising and truly appreciate you including us in the Community Briefs section.

As I reside in Farragut, I appreciate your paper more than ever!

Lucinda R. Troyer, J.D.

Managing Attorney, Legal Assistance for the Elderly

District Long-Term Care Ombudsman

East TN Human Resource Agency, Inc.


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