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• Via e-mail: My message was that I really wanted to praise the good people at the Papa Johns next to the comic book store. They have the nicest workers. I really want to thank the young man in glasses who always rings me up on the Fridays I go in there. He goes out of his way to make sure that everything is ok with my order and is just overly friendly on the phone and in person. I swear that kid knows what I order by now due to my frequent visits. I really wish other pizza joints around town were more like this. It feels more to me like a family-owned business then a franchise chain. The welcoming atmosphere and the occasional singing from the pizza makers is just so appealing and fun. It makes my Friday Night Pizza cravings seem so much better! Keep it up!

• Via e-mail: Last week I read some interesting facts about the educational background of our presidential and vice presidential candidates. What stands out is that John McCain and Sarah Palin both have real-world experience, while Obama and Biden have never done anything outside of politics. Obama’s only work experience is as a community organizer in a leftwing organization called ACORN and as a part-time teacher, while Biden has been in politics since the 1960s. Both Obama and Biden have law degrees. Obama’s wife Michelle has a law degree. She says that everyone they know has a law degree. Come to think about it, everyone in the Democratic Party seems to have a law degree. Bill and Hillary Clinton both had law degrees. John Edwards, whom Obama had on his short-list for vice president, was a lawyer and ambulance chaser (among other things). His wife also has a law degree. The only ones in this campaign who are not lawyers are John McCain and Sarah Palin. McCain is a war hero with a distinguished career in the Navy. He has served his country in ways that Obama and his lawyer friends cannot begin to comprehend. As a member of the U.S. Senate, McCain draws on a wealth of real-world experience, not on the schemes of lawyers and lobbyists. There are already too many lawyers in Congress. Why would we put another one in the White House? If you were hiring a person to manage this great country, who would you trust? Another lawyer with no experience except being a radical community organizer — someone who admits to having accomplished nothing in the Senate because he has been running for president for eighteen months — or a decorated war hero with a distinguished lifetime record of service to his country? I don’t think there’s any comparison. It’s John McCain.

• OK, considering the humongous jump in the price of gasoline from just one day to the next, supposedly because of Hurricane Ike, there was a quote from the Haslam family who own Pilot Corp. — of course Bill Haslam is mayor of Knoxville — that they supposedly [inaudible] $99.5 a gallon of gas, where selling at a loss. I don’t see how this is possible considering the gas they were selling was the gas they already had before the hike hit. So how could they possibly be selling at a loss? They’re just trying to cover their butts for price gouging.

• After a few weeks have elapsed, we find Alderman [Michael J.] Haynes [also Farragut vice mayor] is not standing up for the people in the area he represents. He lets them spend all the road repair money in the Fox Den/Village Green areas. Many roads in subdivisions on the south side of Kingston Pike are badly in need of repair. [Repair of] holes and curbs are needed on many subdivision roads. Mr. Haynes, we’ll not be voting for you next election. Many of the residents have already seen how you are now representing us and letting them spend all the money on the north side of Kingston Pike. … The $200,000 being spent above the cost the Seal property could have been purchased for, this money could have been used somewhere else. It looks like the houses in Park Place that adjoins the Mayor [W. Edward “Eddy”] Ford [III] property that sells for $750,000 each. They’re now $189,000 homes. I believe everybody’d agree on what shabby work that’s being done on these.

Editor’s Note: Vice Mayor J. Michael Haynes was the only member of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen who opposed and voted against buying the Seal property.

• Since he arrived in Congress, [U.S. Sen.] Barack Obama [D-Ill./Democratic presidential nominee] has received more money from mortgage industry lobbyist than any member of Congress. Maybe that’s why he opposed the kind of reform of mortgage lending that [U.S. Sen] John McCain [R-Ariz./

Republican presidential nominee] co-sponsored in 2005. Unfortunately that reform, which would have averted the current credit crisis, was blocked by Democrats in Congress. Obama has no plan for reform of the nation’s financial system because he gets so much of his campaign funding from the mortgage industry and from investment banks on Wall Street. Why does Obama get so much money from Wall Street when McCain gets so little? Because McCain has spent a lifetime putting his country first. Based on what we know about Obama’s connections with the mortgage industry lobbyists, he has put his political ambitions ahead of everything else. Now that the chickens have come home to roost, Obama runs around with one half-baked plan after another. None of them workable. Instead of taking in all that money from the mortgage industry, Obama should have supported John McCain’s plan for real reform.

• I just noticed the new traffic light going in across from the newest grocery store right near Farragut High School. I sincerely hope the other traffic light across from the entrance to Farragut High School is going to be removed. We don’t need two traffic signals less than a hundred feet apart; that makes no sense at all.

• I am responding to an issue that was put into the farragutpress [presstalk] on a woman that hangs out at the Campbell Station Road ramp and looks like she’s crying and she’s got a ponytail. She has also been arrested for prostitution and put in jail several times. And also she sells drugs, she buys drugs. And I caught her today, which is Monday, and I’ve seen her buy four of the cans of 24-ounce beers. And she drives home — she has a home — she drives down every day. She parks and she gets out and she begs all day, then gets in her car and drives home. This woman should not be considered homeless, and she also has a residence. I see people giving her money and feeling sorry for her. Please do not do that. She is pitiful-looking, but she is not. She has a home, she has a family and things going on in her life. And I think it’s really pitiful that these people do not put up with keeping her off their property. The police do not want to have anything to do with them and they do not respond to the calls even though they’ve been warned not to step on their property.

• I recently read that the [University of Tennessee] Faculty Senate proposed to raise tuition for the upcoming year. As a retired professor and former faculty member, I believe the proposal is very unfair to the students. The university refuses to eliminate the massive waste in the system. For example, it wastes thousands of dollars yearly for faculty to attend conventions where they read their scholarly papers and answer a few questions, generally in front of a very small audience. Advances in technology make this practice very obsolete. Technology now provides a network for faculty to place their papers on the Internet, which would permit thousands of professionals — and students for that matter — to read and interactively get feedback from the authors. They can do this on a daily basis rather than on a yearly basis by attending a convention. I once had a colleague who said he preferred the convention rather than the Internet because conventions provided him with free vacations. When surplus money is available at the end of the fiscal year ... most units find ways to spend the unused money with the belief that if they turn the money back over to the central administration their budgets would be cut for the next year.

• This is another message for the people who are complaining about standing in line, quote, “forever,” to buy stamps at the Farragut Post Office. Last time I checked there was a great stamp machine that takes credit cards. I used my debit card as a Visa and I’m in and out in under one minute. You people who stand in line for things that can be purchased in the lobby are part of the reason the lines are so long at the Post Office. Personally, I think the Post Office is doing a great job to accommodate this wonderful town.

• Although I think it’s probably likely there’s some price gouging going on with the gas issues, it’s interesting to me that people think that it’s happening widespread and they’re picking out certain vendors for that. It’s interesting to me. I don’t see how anybody like Weigel’s could be price gouging when they actually didn’t have any gas at all. So maybe there’s something to that. I don’t know how they make a lot of money by pretending to be out of gas. They’re not selling anything regardless of what the price was. For a lot of these stations, whether they were Pilot or Weigel’s, I noticed they didn’t have any of certain mixes of gas at all, so I don’t understand how people think they were price gouging. I wouldn’t be surprised there was some of it going on. But I think the other thing to think about is how many of us really understand how that gasoline gets to Knoxville. They talk about pipelines, you think about trucks — where does Knoxville sit relative to the beginning, the end and middle of that pipeline? I don’t understand how that works. I think we’re pretty quick to judge people on this issue without really understanding the facts. I would encourage an article from the farragutpress to beat everybody else to the punch and give us a really good, investigative article on how gasoline gets to Knoxville. Maybe that’ll help us understand it better.

• I was just reading your first comment in the farragutpress, in this latest edition, and the guy’s talking about the education of these people running for the presidency. I think the college-educated and the lawyers and their law degrees and these financial wizards and everybody else up there is what’s got this country into the biggest part of this financial mess. It was good ole common sense that built this country to begin with, that made it what it is. And now these so-called whatever you want to call ’em — I’ve got some good names I’d like to use for ’em — is what caused this.

• About school coupon books, I’ve been taken by two students. One came to my door the first day. I did not know her but she lives in the small subdivision where I live. She had the envelope, I signed my name and phone number and gave her my money. Still haven’t heard from her. She told me her first name. The second one’s brother mowed my yard. I gave him the money for her. When I called today about it, her mother said she’ll get around to delivering them. I am a senior widow and I feel like I’ve been taken for $20. No more school order sales for me. Watch out, know who you’re buying from.

• While buying gas at Pilot over the weekend, I couldn’t help but notice a man who filled his SUV’s gas tank and then proceeded to fill three five-gallon gas cans he had in the back of the vehicle. Price gouging is one thing but hoarding gas is just wrong. Those fifteen gallons could make it possible for two or three people to get to work this week. If he was filling them for his boat, then shame on him for taking gas available for some hard-working folks so he could have fun. By the way, Pilot was out of all but diesel and regular.


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