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presstalk 671-TALK

• I’m calling in reference to National Crime Victims Rights Week, which begins April 22. I truly hope some of our new elected officials of Farragut, as well as some of the current ones, will choose to participate in some of the events of this very important week, that they have chosen not to participate in the past. I personally have sent e-mails and information to the elected officials of Farragut several times over the past several years, and although we occasionally have City of Knoxville and County Commission members show up, no one from the town of Farragut ever has.

I hope our new mayor and perhaps our new alderman will change that. This Sunday, April 26, at 2 p.m., a walk to remember those we have loved and lost to violence will be at Volunteer Landing. This event is, once again, organized by the parent of Johnia Hope Berry. Violent crime affects us all. It happens in every part of our community; it happens in Farragut. It happened in Village Green in 1995 to my parents. I hope a lot of you will come and join us that Sunday either to walk or to show us your support and compassion.

• I have a question for the person who made the comments about the so-called calming islands on Grigsby Chapel. They referred to it as a refuge for pedestrians. If this is true, then why aren’t the cut-throughs for pedestrians lined up with the crosswalks? Right now, it’s almost more dangerous. Just wondering.

• I’m calling because every night we drive by Concord Park, and we see these huge lights on, burning up electricity and dollars and putting CO2 in the air, and there’s no one playing on the fields. Can’t they put those things on a timer or have someone responsible for turning them off when the fields are empty?

• I wanted to make a comment on the editor’s note about the traffic calming islands on Grigsby Chapel. The editor said, the April 9 paper, “A fourth opinion for all would be to leave your homes 15 minutes earlier in the morning.” I honestly think that is the dumbest statement I have ever heard come from anybody: that we need to leave 15 minutes earlier when we already leave 30 minutes early to try to get somewhere to try to get through the traffic to get somewhere anyway. Families should not have to get their kids out of bed 15 minutes earlier, make lunches, fix breakfast, get kids dressed for school and try to fight traffic all the way to school, 15 minutes earlier. There needs to be a better solution, and maybe that’s why we have all new elected officials just this week.

• People keep complaining about the different roads and all the new projects. I like the idea of leaving 15 minutes earlier, because if we keep building new roads, all we’re going to have in Farragut are roads and it’s going to be a speedway. Just allow an extra 15 minutes. Virtue Road is an example.

• People keep complaining about how hard it is to get into their neighborhoods because of the roads. Did the roads change since you bought your house? Because most of these people have not lived here more than 15 or 20 years.

• Via e-mail: I would just like to thank the farragutpress for publishing the statistics on the recent town election. There have been many comments made saying: “the people have spoken,” and yes, it was a landslide for [Mayor Ralph] McGill, BUT please note that only 2,366 voters bothered to go and vote – approximately 14.6 percent! How pitiful is that? How can anyone complain about the Town issues or elected officials when most of Farragut didn’t even bother to cast their vote? Think about this before you write an article or complain about anything from now on. Most everyone had ample time and opportunity with the early voting.

• Via e-mail: These new calming islands (a term invented by people that support it and are building them) are better termed as islands of terror. I have now driven on Grigsby Chapel Road dozens of times since construction has started and have almost ran onto the [curb] four times! I drive a Ford Explorer to take my children safely to school. Based on their poor design, these calming islands only afford a foot or so on each side for my car. I cannot imagine the disaster that is going to occur when a bicycle rider has to push himself to the right to allow a car to pass. Either the bicyclist is going to end up in the ditch or he will skid the wrong direction back onto the road. These islands of terror were the only reason why I even bothered to put my vote in the recent election. There are not that many issues that I find terribly important to residents of Farragut. However, this situation is unbelievably ridiculous. I only hope that our new mayor is able to stop this project and cut our financial loses. I am amazed that we committed to spending such a sizable sum of money on this project instead of improving our park system or other better uses. All of us Farragut moms need to be more proactive and fight these bad ideas. Thank you for our new mayor. I am so glad the one person that I blame for this process has been shown the door.

Editor’s Note: According to Ford Motor Company, a 2009 Ford Explorer is 73.7 inches, or 6.1 feet, wide, not including mirrors. According to Town staff, the lanes alongside the traffic-calming islands on Grigsby Chapel Road from curb-to-curb are 168 inches, or 14 feet, wide. The driving lane is lined off at 132 inches, or 11 feet, wide allowing a 1.5-foot gutter on either side, which many motorists use as road surface.

• Via e-mail: Now let’s review the bidding. The town of Farragut has numerous issues confronting its residents. We now have a new mayor and aldermen who will be making decisions that affect each of us. Several local businesses have closed or are closing in the area. Unemployment is high and many homes in the town are for sale because of foreclosure. The County’s schools are losing teachers because of a lack of funding. The ongoing recession has affected each of our pocketbooks and our ability to pay our outstanding debts in a timely manner. Church membership is down as are contributions to local charities. And yet the most important issue on the minds of the local citizenry (if you can believe presstalk) are the traffic islands on Grigsby Chapel Road! Come on folks, get a life! Let’s discuss the meaningful issues that are affecting our community and not become distracted by the minority who obviously have way too much time on their hands.

Editor’s Note: The comment “if you can believe presstalk” impugns the integrity of presstalk. Simply put, comments that appear in presstalk are genuine calls to our presstalk line at 671-TALK (8255) or e-mails to from the public and always have been. The staff has never created presstalks. The only comments we leave out are those that are vulgar or libelous in nature or violate our “rules of engagement,” which are posted frequently in this feature. Presstalks that are repetitive in wording are condensed for space.

• Via e-mail: I noticed today that the Waste Management truck had problems making a right-handed turn onto Smith Road from Lost Tree Lane across from North Fox Den Drive due to the “calming island” placement. In his turning right, he had to actually back up on Smith Road to clear the center. I am assuming buses and lawn services probably are having a similar experience trying to clear that center island.


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