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presstalk 671-TALK

• This is in response to the article the lady wrote about the postal service. I work at another postal service, the U.S. Postal Service in another town. And that is so untrue about health insurance. I pay my own health insurance; I pay over $200 a month health insurance, and it is a great place to work. Unfortunately, there are people in any kind of business who don’t have the right attitude; you just have to overlook them. You can look anywhere and it’s going to be anywhere, and we do appreciate your business and just wanted to let you know it’s a great place to work and we hope you come back and see us, because it’s a great place. Unfortunately, anywhere you go, you have to stand in lines and it’s the same way at the Post Office. Everybody’s trying to downsize. But we do appreciate you as a customer. Thanks.

• I’d like to say I’m very thankful that the conversations about the [Grigsby Chapel Road] islands have stopped. It was getting pretty annoying. But I think the dog conversation has taken over the annoying thing. Can we please move on from the barking dog, or the mistreated dog? And I’ve got to back the guy up who made the comment about driving through Fox Den, the shortcut. Thank you. That is fantastic. I appreciate the info. I am using that as my new shortcut and I’m telling everyone else. I’m with you, my man. Thank you.

• Hello. I just wanted to talk about the red-light cameras, and I wanted to say that I think they’ve actually made a better driver out of me. Of course, I always knew that you needed to slow down and look both ways and proceed, but I didn’t know about the white line. And I have been following that because I don’t want a ticket, and I’m actually a much better driver now. I think other people are as well. Thank you.

• Yes, let’s have an investigation over why the old millworks building hasn’t been leased or purchased in years. The hand-wringing crowd will crawl out of their holes to blame Town staff or leadership for the problem, even though it’s obvious to anyone with a functioning brain. The building is old, it sits in a floodplain, and new retail capacity has mushroomed as we entered a recession, which began in Dec. 2007 and just ended. Yes, let them investigate the obvious while they shop at the new Penney’s, Kroger and Ingles.

• I don’t know what’s more shameful: Mr. [Danny] Hodge’s call for a blatant disregard for traffic laws, or his observation that Farragut citizens don’t care enough about their city to vote.

• To the person who called in last week saying they’re going “zoom, zoom” through the Fox Den subdivision, I just wanted to say this. Since you’re going “zoom, zoom” through Fox Den subdivision, maybe one day you’ll go “zoom, boom.” That “boom” with all capital letters and three exclamation points. Now here’s the thing: since you don’t want to wait in line for people who don’t want to break the law, and since you’re apparently speeding through Fox Den subdivision, maybe one day you’ll learn the lesson that, since people don’t want to break the law and evidently you do, going through Fox Den subdivision, maybe you’ll learn the lesson by going “zoom, boom” and probably running over one of Fox Den’s kids. How ’bout that? Would you like that, instead of waiting in line for people who don’t want to break the law? I want to hear your answer. So call back in next week with your reply. I want to hear how big a man you think you are just for speeding through a subdivision. And maybe you’ll continue our conversation through presstalk. See ya later, now. Bye.

• According to this week’s [farragutpress], it says something about Lenoir City Utilities Board is going to be absorbing a charge that credit card companies are charging them. Right now they charge $4.50 per transaction that a person pays with a credit card. And it was supposedly going to $7.50. No. 1, I find this extremely hard to believe. Credit card companies normally charge a flat rate per year for the privilege of being able to have companies access it and use their credit card. The percentage, the more people use their cards at your company, your percentage rate drops. Therefore, that anyone would claim that it costs them from $4.50 to $7.50 per transaction to use a credit card, I find a little absurd. No. 1, it is an economical and cost-efficient way for people to pay their bills. Utility companies get their money quicker; they don’t have to worry about checks being lost in the mail and they don’t have to spend money on personnel to make collection calls or turn things over to collection companies. This is just another example of business trying to gouge the customers.

Editor’s Note: The new charge is $7.25, not $7.50. LCUB is not charging customers the change in price. It is absorbing it, which means it will pay the difference between the $4.50 original price and the new $7.25 charge. LCUB customers will not see a change in the credit card transaction charge.

• Mr. [Jim] Caldwell hit the nail on the head about Farragut’s image: it has no identity, needs a community center, and wastes money on the Knoxville Dogwood Festival.

• Hello. I was calling in on these issues on the ticket cameras, and I was reading some comments in the presstalk saying that people [were] for people breaking the law. I don’t think that’s the case; no one condones breaking the law. I think the issues are, No. 1, it’s more big government; No. 2, where does the money go; and No. 3, why weren’t residents allowed to vote on a referendum on this? I know they had a number of public meetings on it, but that’s not the same thing as letting the actual citizens vote. At any rate, those are my three issues with the ticket cameras, and I think that’s the way most folks seem to feel on it. Anyway, that’s my opinion.

• Yeah, this is about those red light cameras. You know, all the people of Farragut have to do is not turn right on red, and the vendor will come and take these things out because they’re not going to be making any money. All you have to do when you come up to a red light is stop. Sit there until the light turns green and then make your right turn. After a few months of not making any money, I guarantee you the vendors will be wanting to take these cameras out. Have a great day.

• Via For several [months] I have read about the red-light issue and people complaining about getting a ticket. The way to stop all red-light tickets is to come to a complete stop on a yellow light and turn right only on a green light or green arrow. If everyone did this, we will eliminate all revenue and the owners of the equipment will move it to a location where they can earn revenue.

Editor’s Note: A right turn on red still is legal after coming to a complete stop behind the white bar. The Town has installed green right-turn arrows on the Smith Road light to avoid confusing those who are still challenged by the light system concept.

• Via I have a comment in response to a [caller] in presstalk March 11. It was asked who pays for the legion of sheriffs at First Baptist Church in Concord. The reply was that most of the churches pay for the officers present in this type scenario. Do the churches also pay a fee to the County for vehicle fuel costs, depreciation costs and maintenance costs. I am sure you could research this issue and tell your readers which churches pay the officers and the other associated costs.

Editor’s Note: The fee paid to the officers also covers vehicle costs as set by Knox County Sheriff’s Office.

• Via presstalk@farragutpress

.com: I am quite sure that our great city, like most all cities today, is in need of money. Well, I might have a great moneymaker that will help from our city level all the way up to our state level — have our police force give tickets to people driving vehicles with expired license tags. Now let me say this, I am a fan of our police force. I know they are overworked and underpaid. So there is probably a good reason of which I am not aware, they do not seem to give citations for expired license tags. If so, I apologize for this letter. But when I drive around town, I notice vehicles with expired tags. I don’t mean they expired a few days ago or a month ago. I see them that have been expired for six-to-eight months. Don’t these people ever bother to walk around to the back of their vehicle, bend down and glance at their tags? This might be a good time to do that. Not that I have the desire to, but right now I can get in my car and drive through the parking lot of Wal-Mart, Target, Kroger, etc. and spot several vehicles with expired tags. Furthermore, I’ll probably see one or two [more] on the drive to and from these locations. Is there a reason these people are not getting pulled over? Let me know if there is, I may be paying my annual renewal fee for no reason.

• Via e-mail: Again we see a lack of focus on students, general inefficiency, and a lack of thoughtful consideration on behalf of our school administration at Farragut High School and Knox County Schools. A long-standing and safe practice of dropping off and picking up students at FHS in the parking lot “ring” closest to the school has been nixed by administrators solely concerned with their convenience (the world will clearly end if any administrator/staff member should have to wait an additional 30 seconds or so to enter or exit their parking space). In the wake of the cutting of teacher positions, the administration, in its infinite wisdom, has chosen to spend money (the source of this money, whether from the general fund, boosters, etc., is irrelevant as the funds could have been used elsewhere to actually educate our children) to make and install metal signage to prohibit student drop-offs in this area and has recently posted one of the security guards at the entrance to the ring closest to the school to prevent such “egregious” drop-offs from occurring. Though the administration will likely offer some half-baked excuse, it is simply less safe for students to walk an extra 50 feet or so through yet another layer of traffic. Once again, common sense has taken a back seat to favoritism and lunacy.

• Via e-mail: Please take this letter as a friendly reminder that not all people who park in Handicap Spaces have a visible ailment. I am a semi-handicapped person. This means I am able to walk normally. I do not need a cane or wheelchair even though I live in constant pain because [of] my condition. I want to maintain my independence by running my own errands as long as I am able, as do many other physically handicapped people. This morning at the Farragut Kroger I used the handicap space; I try to only use that space if there are no other regular spaces available nearby. As I began to walk toward the store, I noticed an elderly man walking toward me, with what I felt was a scowl on his old face, he’d parked directly in front of me in a handicapped space as well, he had a tank of air in tow with tubes up his nose, as he got closer to me he made this statement: “You do know you’ve parked in the handicapped space, don’t you?” I don’t know why I was offended by this, surely the man was not thinking with an open mind and decided to judge me by what he saw. Erroneously he believed I had no right to park in the handicapped space and was bothered by this. I said, “Yes sir, I know I did park in the handicap space and I have a handicap card giving me permission to do so, just as you do. I have a physical ailment, which causes me much pain and am under a doctor’s care for it.” This did not seem to appease him, for he did not offer any apology. I felt bothered by his remark “only” because in his ignorance he was comparing himself to me. Whether he foolishly smoked all of his life and now suffers from emphysema or perhaps he has some other dreadful lung disease is not for me to judge. Really, is it fair for him to say I don’t have the right to park as close to the door as he does because my condition is not as visible as his? I do think he needs to stop being a stubborn old man and think a little before he makes snappy decisions. I know I did not need to explain my situation to him, but out of courtesy I acknowledged his concern that he felt I was breaking the law and cheating. Let us all try to be kinder to each other. Be slow to judge; to do this is a true measure of good character.

• Via I am writing in SUPPORT of the officer [who] directs traffic in front of the Farragut Intermediate/Farragut Middle schools at the 4-way stop. As an employee of one of the schools, I greatly appreciate his help with the flow of traffic. Yes, there may be days that the traffic is backed up down to Kingston Pike, but this is usually on rainy or snowy days. On a regular day, I have no difficulty with the traffic. My main problem is with cars jumping into the line of traffic that I am in to preceed to my school when at the last moment they change their mind on which lane they want to be in. Another problem is with drivers who enter into the upper lane in the school parking lot instead of dropping their student off in the lower right lane. Too many times staff members meet cars coming head-on as they are entering the staff designated parking area. If a parent chooses NOT to have their students ride the FREE, PROVIDED buses (provided they don’t live in the parent responsibility area), then they need to follow the directions of the school and the traffic officer. Thank you.

• Via That’s all Farragut needs is a judge who can’t wait to enforce the red-light cameras citations. [New Judge Lucinda] Troyer said, “I think it’s an important role to enforce the strong ordinances the Town has. I’m a big proponent of sign ordinance and the cameras;” as per farragutpress March 18. Farragut is becoming the communist city and now has a judge to enforce its overbearing rules and regulations. Why can’t the Farragut government stay out [of] its citizens’ daily lives? The Town is full of busybodies [who] want to mind their neighbors’ business and tell them how to live. It is OK to have civic pride. It is a whole different ballgame when a busybody government won’t leave you alone. The big-brother cameras are a prime example of unwanted government intrusion into people’s daily lives. I promise you, it is not for safety that the cameras are there; but for the revenue they generate. Much money is needed to build more islands like Dubai. All my personal information is to remain confidential and not made public for fear of reprisal by Farragut government. Thanks.

• Via One more thought on the traffic cameras. Since I am convinced that these cameras are primarily a revenue source for the Town, and safety is just the argument used to justify them, I have chosen to bypass the cameras altogether. I will, hence forth, refuse to shop in Farragut, and will use Harvey Road and Northshore [Drive] to bypass the cameras altogether. So, local shop owners, until you come together with your influence in the Town Hall and convince the “officials” to at least be honest and tell the truth, that these cameras are an easily justified revenue source, I and my family will spend our money in Lenior City or Knoxville. I am convinced that these cameras were installed for two reasons. First, they are a new tax revenue source for local government, and can anyone remember an elected official that ever saw a source of revenue they didn’t like? And second, they mean more “Big Government” when most Americans want less government.


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