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presstalk 671-TALK


• Via e-mail: With America facing historic debt, multiple war fronts, stumbling health care, a weakened dollar, all-time high prison population, skyrocketing federal spending, mortgage crises, bank foreclosures, etc. etc., this is an unusually critical election year. Let’s look at the educational background of the candidates and see what they bring to the job:

Obama: Occidental College - two years. Columbia University - B.A. political science with a specialization in international relations. Harvard - Juris Doctor (J.D.) Magna Cum Laude. Biden: University of Delaware - B.A. in history and B.A. in political science. Syracuse University College of Law - Juris Doctor (J.D.) vs. McCain: U.S. Naval Academy - Class rank 894 out of 899 (meaning that, like George Bush, McCain was at the bottom of his class) Palin: Hawaii Pacific University – one semester, North Idaho College - two semesters - general study University of Idaho - two semesters – journalism Matanuska-Susitna College - one semester University of Idaho - three semesters - B.A. in journalism. Now, which team are you going to hire to lead the most influential nation in the world?

• Via e-mail: According to public courthouse records, Mr. Jimmy and Dr. Molly Seal of Signal Mountain purchased 16.8 acres on McFee Road on Sept. 25, 2003, for $427,500. Five years later the City of Farragut has placed a contract to purchase the same property, with a 20 year deed restriction against private development, for $1.25 million. The purchase price the City of Farragut is agreeing to pay represents a significant $822,500 profit to Mr. and Dr. Seal. The City of Farragut elected officials have determined by a vote that the fact that a prior appraisal states the property is worth $1,050,000 (without considering the 20 year deed restriction against private development) is not material to their decision. Many economists are stating that our current real-estate market is in the most severe value decline in American history since the great depression. The City of Farragut is purchasing property with no immediate use for significantly more than what the property is worth and at a great profit to the out of town owner. My questions are: What are we missing here? Why is the property not being re-appraised at today’s value and accounting for the deed restriction? Why are the elected officials of the City of Farragut moving forward in purchasing the property at a price greater than what it is worth? Is there any relevance that according to http://fundrace.huffingtonpost.com, Dr. Seal has donated significant financial contributions to DNC Services Corporation (aka Democratic National Committee)? How did Mr. and Dr. Seal come to acquire the property in 2003 (i.e. who told them the McFee property was for sale and that it would potentially offer them a huge return in a few years)? How will the citizens of Farragut benefit from this property? Does the price being paid justify the benefit to the citizens of Farragut? Will the citizens of Farragut remember this when they go to the polls to elect the folks whom they feel represent them the best?

• Via e-mail: In response to the comment regarding Farragut Primary and Intermediate Schools being overcrowded, I could not agree more. These schools are extremely overcrowded, and the quality of education of these students is suffering because the schools cannot meet the students’ needs as well. However, the previous person said that a new school should be built within Farragut city limits, and I wholeheartedly disagree. The currently overcrowded schools, which are within the limits of the town of Farragut currently serve many students who do not live within the town limits of Farragut. They are Knox County schools. Since there are already schools located in Farragut, it does not make sense to build more schools within the small community. Knox County Schools/

School Board need to do a study on which area new schools are most needed and search out land in that area. I think some people who live in Farragut are under the misconception that Farragut schools are only for those who live in the town limits, and that is simply not the case.

• Via e-mail: For those of you who live on Northshore near Pellissippi, and are unhappy with the Farragut Post Office service, there is a branch Post Office about two blocks east of the Kroger Store on Northshore. The Post Office is in the same building as a tanning salon. I’ve never had to wait there. All of the traditional Post Office services are offered there.

• Via e-mail: I found it shocking that [Vice Mayor] Mike Haynes wanted to condemn the Seal property. Property rights in Tennessee must be respected, even by officials who think they’re elected for life!

• Via mail: I could not attend the last [Concord Republican Club] meeting but did read that our ex-sheriff, Tim Hutchison, drew a crowd and indicated he will not get involved in politics. He failed to mention that his retirement income is almost the same amount as his income as sheriff. The people did not know that they voted for this. Industry can not afford this; can the taxpayers?

• OK, I’m a little confused. My family and I were in South Carolina at the beach when Hurricane Ike hit the Gulf Coast and affected the chemical and petroleum refineries. Now coming back through South Carolina and North Carolina we were able to get regular gasoline at $3.89 to $3.99 per gallon. Yet, when we hit the Tennessee state line it automatically went up to $4.99 to $5.29 a gallon, especially in the Knoxville area. Down around the Walker Springs area it was five-something a gallon, and around Campbell Station Road it was $4.99 a gallon. Now this is the part where I’m confused: a lot of the stations that we used in South Carolina and North Carolina to fill up are the same brand of station that we have here in East Tennessee, yet the price difference is a dollar or more per gallon higher in East Tennessee. Do East Tennessee gas distributors have a market on price gouging or something? I thought price gouging was illegal. Maybe I was wrong.

• I just wanted to thank all those wonderful gas stations that we have in Farragut and Knoxville for providing us with such an exemplarly example of what price gouging is all about. Do you really think we’re naďve enough to believe your explanation that we the consumer are the blame for the extravagant jump in gas prices in this area? How is it that Hurricane Ike can shut down major oil production facilities in Texas and only cause a minor fluctuation in gas prices nationwide when you jack our prices up far beyond the national average? I seriously doubt that you’ll be in this much of a hurry to reduce them as you are to raise them. Your gouging goes far beyond the concept of supply and demand. Every one of you should be reported for price gouging.

• Would someone be able to verify this e-mail I got the other day? “Before you dismiss the fact that [Gov.] Sarah Palin [R-Alaska/GOP vice presidential nominee] is commander of the Alaskan National Guard, consider this: Alaska is the first line of defense in our missile and interceptor defense system. The 49th Missile Defense Battalion of the Alaskan National Guard is the unit that protects the entire nation from ballistic missile attacks. It’s on permanent active duty unlike other guard units. As governor of Alaska, Palin is briefed on highly classified military issues, homeland security and counter terrorism. Her exposure to classified materials may rival even [U.S. Sen. Joe] Biden’s [Democratic vice presidential nominee, D-Del.] and certainly by far exceeds [U.S. Sen. Barack] Obama’s [Democratic presidential nominee, D-Ill.]. She’s also the commander-in-chief of the Alaskan State Defense Force, a federally recognized militia incorporated into Homeland Security’s counter terrorism’s plans. Palin is privy to military intelligence secrets that are vital to the entire country’s defense. Given Alaska’s proximity to Russia, she may have security clearances we don’t even know about.” According to the Washington Post, she first met with [U.S. Sen. John] McCain [GOP presidential nominee, R-Ariz.] in February, but nobody ever found out. This is a woman used to keeping secrets. She can be entrusted to our national security because she already is.

• The walking trail along Turkey Creek Road is four-people wide. Those who walk or run three or four abreast should be courteous and share the trail. Other walkers shouldn’t have to step off in the grass to accommodate them.

• I was amused that Pilot Oil Co.’s Bill Haslam said he was not sure why Knoxville led the nation last week in gas pump prices. With his gas leading the nation at $4.99 Pilot has really been gouging the west side of Knoxville for years. And Weigel’s always follows suit. We travel Tennessee on business every week and Pilot is always priced high, but especially in Knoxville and most especially on the west side. On Sept. 13 when [Hurricane] Ike was hitting we drove from the Atlantic Ocean to Tennessee. In all areas Pilot had the highest prices along the Interstate — way higher. You might be fooled by [company executive’s standing] in the community, but we know he’s been taking advantage of us unfairly for a long time, and you’re really a fool if you fill up your gas on a regular basis along Campbell Station Road.

• The Farragut High School Baseball Dugout Club would like to thank the Farragut community for supporting our recent fund-raiser of a cookie dough sale. Players were expected to sell 30 boxes of cookie dough and through the generosity of friends and family and community members it was an extremely successful event.

• I’m glad to see the town of Farragut has stepped up in offering a reward to find out who’s responsible for poisoning those beautiful trees along the Campbell Station Road exit. This is an outrage. I can’t believe TDOT isn’t more involved and isn’t more interested in being involved to find out who did this deed. I also understand that a request is being made to TDOT to thin out some underbrush and trees on the other side of the Interstate to enhance visibility for a certain business. Let’s hope TDOT does a better job of keeping an eye on this request than they do on any others.

• This message is for the people who stand in line at the Post Office to buy stamps. Unless you’re needing something else you do not have to go. The postman is glad [to]; put an envelope out for him, they take it in, they fill your stamp order and bring it back the next day. It is a very easy way to buy stamps. It saves gas and a trip.

• About the gas situation, first of all Farragut did have gas available at Pilot. Last week’s shortages were due to Hurricane Gustav, which knocked out power to refineries even before Ike hit. And Ike knocked out power, too. You need to ask the refineries and pipeline companies as to why we aren’t getting gas. And the spot price on gas last Friday was $5 a gallon, so that means stations were selling below cost some of the time. There won’t be any finding of gouging.





• I’m calling in regards to the portable buildings that are being used, in particular at Farragut High School. One building — I found out during open house it’s a technical building — shop class is not hooked to any type of speaker system. So if the school is in lockdown there’s no way for that teacher to know unless someone physically walks to that building or she happens to pick up her personal cell phone during class. It’s a concern and I’d like to see something done about that.

• I can’t believe I have to do this, but I feel obligated to remind everyone how unsafe and irresponsible it is to leave a small and sleeping child in an unattended vehicle. I do not care if your little one is sleeping and you feel bad for waking her up. Today, Thursday, the 18th [September] about 2:15 in the afternoon at the Farragut Post Office, a young woman, maybe a nanny … or if she is the mother making her day, decides to leave her car — a blue Acura — running while she stands in the now infamous lines of the Farragut Post Office. I wanted to report this to the public in case she is a nanny and may not be informed or bright enough to see the ignorance of her actions. Please, if you have a girl and a car fitting these descriptions educate her about the dangers or just fire her for her stupidity.

• People shouldn’t talk about the Post Office. Just go to the UP store next to Food City or down on Parkside next to EarthFare. No lines and it may cost 50 cents more.

• So many people seem to want a Costco in the area. Can’t the Chamber of Commerce get involved in this and try to get us one here?

• I wanted to comment about gas prices over the weekend. I think the state attorney general should investigate this as price gouging ’cause I’ve personally had one-quarter-of-a-tank of gas — I have to use the high-test, the premium. I went to a [local] market on Kingston Pike; they were out. But it was priced at $5.29 per gallon. … The gas prices in Knoxville, they’ve already determined they were the highest in the nation. If that’s not price gouging, I don’t know what is. Because if everyone else can have their prices lowered, then we are price gouging. I think that every service station here should be investigated for that.

• Isn’t this the same Rosseel [Farragut Town Alderman Thomas Rosseel] talking about the Seal property? States in the United States and Tennessee property rights are important. Taking somebody’s land is something we try to avoid because we have such great respect in this state and the country for private property, Rosseel said. Why didn’t he help the people in the Everett Road area with their property? He talks out of both sides of his mouth. Who is going to get the kickbacks from purchasing this property? The people in the Everett Road area begged for help and Rosseel did nothing.

 

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