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• Via e-mail: I’m confused as to why the town of Farragut has an issue with the airlock at Sam & Andy’s. The controversy seems to be about the external airlock blocking a sidewalk. S&A is on the extreme west end of a structure extending eastward housing several other businesses. Folks patronizing those other businesses park toward the east side of the parking lot to shorten their walk and do not typically park on the extreme west side of the parking lot near S&A. Those who do park on the west side are typically S&A patrons, and they pass through the airlock to gain entry.

If S&A was located between other businesses, I would be a little more understanding. Yes, the lunch crowd can sometimes cause available parking spaces to become more difficult to find. But in my 15 years of visiting S&A once per week, I can think of only two times where every parking space was taken. And every other time, when I often arrive during the rush hour, the available spaces were on the east side of the parking lot in front of the other establishments, not on the west side where I would have to go around the airlock (or through it) in order to visit one of the other businesses. And as Mayor [W. Edward “Eddy”] Ford [III] acknowledged, the airlock has two doors so a pedestrian can pass through the airlock without having to walk around it via the parking lot. And as someone on the [Farragut Municipal] Planning Commission said, the doors are wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs. But the point that was brought up during the Dec. 18 FMPC meeting was that the doors are not automatic, [that] is lost on me — how many wheelchair-accessible doors for commercial businesses in the Town are automatic anyway? The airlock is terrific. As a longtime patron of S&A, who sometimes had to find a table near the main entrance during the colder months and endured the frequent blasts of frigid air, this expenditure was a blessing. Perhaps the landlord was in error by not consulting the Town when the airlock was constructed, but why is this oversight being raised nearly two years later? The talk is “Buy in Farragut,” but do the members of the Planning Commission not visit the establishments in Farragut on a regular basis? The argument made by Mr. [Robert “Bob”] Hill: “what we’ve got here is not something we want to proliferate in the Town” could be considered a valid point. But 1) why was this problem not recognized two years ago? 2) Given the logistics of the parking versus the location of S&A, why is there not a variance being considered? George, Lucille, John and Brenda are really wonderful owners, and I do not understand why, when they expended so much money, not to expand their business but to make their customers more comfortable during the cold months, they are being asked to spend thousands more to move the airlock to another location in order to free up only two parking spaces.

• Via e-mail: Regarding the e-mail beginning “What would Jesus do?” in the Jan. 15 issue. I am afraid the writer misstated the context of Luke 22:36. Jesus was not in the Garden of Gethsemane giving last minute instructions to His disciples about the future. Luke places this statement at the end of the Last Supper, before they left for Gethsemane. Luke is the only Gospel in which Jesus says anything like this at this point and it seems clear that the Apostle included it to emphasize that Jesus knew that He was about to be arrested. What all four Gospels, including Luke, agree on is that Jesus told His followers not to resist when He was arrested. John says He replaced the ear that Peter had struck from the High Priest’s servant. And in this context Mathew 22:52 tells us Jesus said: “Put away your sword. Those using swords will get killed.” That’s what Jesus did.

• Via e-mail: Would someone please explain the decision made by Knox County Schools on Friday, Jan. 16 regarding the cold weather? I understand the thinking regarding younger children having to wait in the extreme cold for the bus, but why not cancel school or operate on a two-hour delay? This business about “parental discretion” is ridiculous! Wasn’t consideration given to the fact that half of the high school students would choose not to show up and that it would be a wasted day anyway? My two high schoolers went to school and when they realized that there were only six people in their classes and the teachers were only going to show movies, they too wanted to come home. However, they were told that if they left school it would be unexcused. How about rewarding the responsible students who were perfectly capable of being at school with extra credit or something, instead of telling them they had to stay there or it was unexcused. Ridiculous.

• Via e-mail: Would anyone out in Farragutland like to tell me why the world hates Christians? Tolerance is a good thing and these days we get it shoved down our throats all over the place. We are strongly urged to accept all the different ethnic groups, the many, many different religions, even people’s private sexual orientation has to be considered if you are to be a “Tolerant Person” in these United States of America in 2009. Yet sadly the world is not tolerant of Christians. Why is that Farragut? The USA as a whole is considered a Christian nation by numbers compared to the rest of the world’s nations. We all know it’s wrong to stereotype any group. There is good and bad in every niche of our big blue planet. Some make their own kind look ghastly by being fanatical or over zealous or too fantastic in their quest to get a message out. Those few individuals taint the world’s opinion with their misguided tactics. You can’t teach the truth by force; only patience and love will. Can you call yourself tolerant if you don’t include all that is different than yourself?

• Via e-mail: [Gun ownership] is a right as guaranteed by the [U.S.] Constitution and affirmed by numerous Supreme Court decisions. The news media keeps raising the question for some provoking “reason” even after such decisions are rendered. There are a ton of limits on ownership. The bad guys don’t play by any rules. Enough already! Just three weeks ago a man confronted me in the Turkey Creek parking area looking for a handout. As a senior I allowed myself to be isolated and distracted so that I was a potential victim for robbery or assault. Even in a “crowded” parking lot absolutely no one could have protected me at that time except myself. The same thing or worse can happen in parks as well as parking lots. I believe in protecting myself and my family and I can’t do it with a rolled-up newspaper.

• Hey, I hear there’s going to be a new high school in Farragut this fall. First Baptist Concord, I think, is voting on having a high school in the next couple of weeks. And I just wondered, do you know where it will be located?

• I would like to comment on the delivery of the U.S. Mail here in Old Stage Hills in Farragut, Tenn. Consistently the mail is delivered after dark, continuously. This is a situation that needs to be checked.

• Parents and coaches of [junior varsity] basketball players should remember that at this level we are teaching 12-year-olds about fundamental skills and teamwork. It’s not the NBA championship at stake here. Your behavior in the stands and on the sidelines influences how your children behave on and off the court. Taunting referees only serves to foster unsportsmanlike conduct. Win with honor, not anger, and the rewards gained by your children will endure far longer than any basketball season.

• Interesting story about [Knox County] Corryton School Board member Bill Phillips [allegedly] being charged with assault on his wife. Isn’t this the same [person] who showed up in a [Farragut] Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting last fall to lecture our elected leaders on what they should and shouldn’t do with regard to the Seal property? Word is he was invited by mutual friends of Mayor [W. Edward “Eddy”] Ford [III]. Just another reason why it’s time for a change.

Editor’s Note: According to a story posted on, Jan. 13, Phillips’ wife, Karen, was contacted by WBIR-TV reporters and she told them the incident was a misunderstanding, and she was trying to get the charge dropped.

• The new person confused over FHS basketball [presstalk, Jan. 15] … [Jesse Smithey, News Sentinel Jan. 14 wrote] about their winning streak, about how they learn from their losses, how the offensive plan is keep doing what doesn’t work, about the defensive plan as the Maryville coach goes into detail, which is basically do nothing. And also how the attitude coming into their big rival game for Bearden [played Jan. 16] is to keep your heads down.

• This is my thought on the “Firearm Ownership: a Right or a Privilege [Jan. 8 Through the Lens].” Actually the Second Amendment is a guaranteed right to all American citizens. Ownership of firearms was repealed in Nazi Germany and only the bad guys and the government had the guns. It made it real easy for the government to herd the people around and force them to do as they were told without fear of reprisal. Most of the younger generation has not had to fight for their rights, which they enjoy and have been paid for by the blood of American servicemen and women who serve this country. One thing about us all as Americans, we are a strong-willed people and we will not be oppressed by our government or any other government without a fight. I do think that there are enough baby boomers left who have taken the oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States. [Inaudible] your freedom does exist, who would continue to fight for the God-given rights if that became necessary.

• I just would like to say that the new lights that they’ve installed, the ones by Kroger off of Concord Road and off of Kingston Pike there, it would be nice after a period of time, after a certain time of the night that they would go to a blinking yellow and blinking red so that people don’t have to stop and wait and disrupt traffic or wait 10 or 15 minutes to make a left turn against traffic where there’s nobody coming; and you just have to sit there and you have to do it because you don’t want to break the law. It would be nice to see some of the lights, like, get changed to blinking yellow, two caution yellows and caution reds. People should be appropriately smart.

Editor’s Note: The lights are left working at all hours to act as a traffic calmer, so motorists won’t speed down Kingston Pike with nothing to slow them down.

• I’ve called a couple of times before about people making the illegal left-hand turn into Weigel’s [eastbound on Kingston Pike at store on corner of Kingston Pike and Smith Road]. And since I’ve called it’s happened a couple more times today; but obviously that’s not going to change. But I thought something happened the other night, which I thought was rather remarkable: I was making a right-hand turn out of Sugarwood and there was a sheriff’s car in the left-hand lane, and he made an illegal turn into Weigel’s. So I guess it’s not something that’s going to be easily corrected.

Editor’s Note: We generally witness several cars a week making that turn. Another intersection on Kingston Pike in front of Firestone tire has had a “No Left Turn” sign for years, which has been routinely ignored.


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