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presstalk 671-TALK


ē Yes, I just think it is really a bad thing in the Farragut community that when you hear the Lenoir Cityís cheerleaders and Lenoir Cityís band play louder and cheer louder than the Farragut cheerleaders or Farragut band. Maybe someday someone will root for the boys on the football team.

ē Itís about 7:30 in the morning Friday, Oct. 22. Iím headed east on Kingston Pike as I do every morning on my way to work and as usual, sometimes Iím a little earlier or a couple of minutes later, I may miss the school bus that stops in front of Village Green. The law says that when a school bus stops, traffic behind it and traffic going the opposite direction of it is supposed to stop. That is the law. Now, the traffic behind the school bus stopped. There were only two of us heading east who stopped. Everybody kept going at the speed limit or higher, most higher. These are the kinds of people that are the reason we have to have things like red light cameras because they think they donít have to obey the law. I am one of the people that sets my alarm 15 minutes earlier that I probably have to because I want to make sure I have plenty of time to navigate traffic to be at work on time. This is something that many of you need to try. You should also respect the law and obey it. You are not any better than the rest of us. Obey the law; pay the consequences. Thatís the way it is.


ē Yes, I had someone call me and tell me to look at the presstalk and I hardly ever look at your newspaper because this page tends to make people really angry and upset them, and I just think itís a big waste of your newspaper. If you could just put this page with nothing but positive comments, or a nice feature story with something positive, but to bash the band and the islands and so forth; to me, thatís just a big waste of time and just to have controversy all the time. Something positive I think would be a whole lot better off a use of this page. Thatís my comment, OK? Take it for what itís worth. Thatís the way I feel about that page in your newspaper.

Editorís Note: farragutpress staffers do not write presstalk comments. They are called or e-mailed in by readers, just as your comment was. Most comments are printed based on space available and adherence to our ďrules of engagementĒ that are frequently published in presstalk. Duplicate comments and comments that essentially express the same opinions are not all printed for lack of space. Comments are subject to editing for length but not content expressed in accordance to the rules of engagement. We welcome positive comments any time.

ē I just wanted to express my opinion in regards to the comments that have been going back and forth between the band at Farragut High School, and the football team and the cheerleaders ó it saddens me to think that the parents, given the topic, are representing these three wonderful groups of kids as being one against the other, and it could not be further from the truth. The football team is a great supporter of the band, the band is an incredible supporter of the football team and the cheerleaders and the dance team do great jobs as well. It saddens my heart that the community has represented us as teams divided, and that could not be further from the truth.

ē Via e-mail: I hope that the parents of Farragut High School students and FHS staff are closely paying attention to the students who are ďschool of choiceĒ attending FHS who are rudely disrupting teachers, students and the learning, with loud comments during class. For the teachers who are trying to control this ... please continue! For those who are ignoring it, you owe it to the students to maintain control. Further, I expect administrators support the staff that brings these problem students to their attention. Yes, all schools have students with behavior issues; itís a problem specifically in classes with the new transfer students. All FHS students (new and returning) and staff deserve the best! Further, the transfer students who left other schools to ensure a proper education should respect the school, staff and other teachers and take advantage of the opportunity.

ē Via presstalk@farragutpress.com: There are four quarters and one halftime period in a high school football game ó each are 12 minutes long. The players play four quarters and are on rest for one halftime. The cheerleaders cheer for four quarters and are on rest for one halftime. The band plays for three quarters, one halftime and are on rest for one quarter. It looks to me like everybody participates evenly during the course of a game.

ē God bless us; come one, come all to Lovell Hills. Youíll feel comforted by melodious barking from 7 a.m. to midnight, or if very lucky, 1 a.m. Donít worry about ordinances; the folks along the [inaudible] donít let County laws interfere with their dogsí enjoyment. From Summit Forest to Summit Mountain and back again, itís a celebration of canine vocal chords. In Lovell Hills, folks donít let County ordinances stand in the way of a good time, of good time canine howling. Dog lovers: come one, come all to Lovell Hills.

ē Via e-mail: I am a small business owner in Farragut and I have a question concerning the Farragut/West Knox Chamber. I am constantly receiving requests to do business with fellow members, which is great, except for when the requests come from businesses located in Lenoir City, Sweetwater, Vonore, Loudon, Downtown Knoxville and other locations not anywhere near Farragut. Are there no boundaries to the Farragut/West Knoxville area? Basically it appears it covers all of Knox, Loudon, Monroe and McMinn counties. I am not especially happy to pay my dues to support businesses so far outside Farragut. I joined to help Farragut grow, not all these other areas, especially when there is already a Chamber of Commerce that benefits these areas. Since Farragut has grown so much and the number of businesses in town has multiplied, why does Farragut not have its own Chamber of Commerce without including all these outlying areas? Perhaps then their work could be concentrated on helping the Farragut community and not have their resources and time spent on areas that will not fully benefit Farragut.

ē Via e-mail: I have just recently heard that the town of Farragut was going to renew the lease on the parking lot on Campbell Station Road for [KAT] commuter parking. In the past this parking lot was used free of charge and then the new owners decided to charge $14,000 for the use of it. When this happened the town said it would just be for one year until they could find another more cost effective location. If you look around Farragut there are many empty parking lots that would be useful and certainly free or at least less expensive than $14,000. Thereís the old Ingles parking lot, the old Food City parking lot, the old Kroger parking lot, just to name a few. Did the town check into other locations and if so what were they going to be charged for the use of a [KAT] commuter lot. That $14,000 could be used to help with a community center, for the parks or schools and many other things to help the community. It should not be used to help line the pockets of one business. A [KAT] Commuter Lot is necessary and is beneficial for many Farragut residents, but I would like to know how much effort the Town put into searching for a more cost effective, money saving location. Is there a place where one can find out this information?

Editorís Note: You could call Town Hall or attend a Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting to voice your concerns in the citizenís forum portion of the agenda. The next meeting begins at 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 28, at 11408 Municipal Center Drive. Call 865-966-7057 for more information. Farragut's contract with Campbell Station Wine & Spirits leasing the parking lot for the KAT bus route is automatically renewed annually unless otherwise decided. Town Administrator David Smoak said Farragut is continuing to investigate other park-and-ride lot sites and the ridership base of the Farragut Express bus route.

ē Via e-mail: I have to vent about this ... I was driving home from Lenoir City today, Thursday, Oct. 21, and came upon a school zone and itís a 15 mph zone, and coming towards me was a KNOX COUNTY SHERIFF and he was so busy on his PHONE that he totally IGNORED the school speed limit!!! He was easily doing 40-45mph!! Some example to set huh?? I was and still am shocked!!!

ē Via presstalk@farragutpress.com: Thanks to Kim Johnson for her long overdue recognition of Ann Page (farragutpress community section Oct. 21). Ann has shown nothing but professionalism and a commitment to the families in Farragut since I came to Farragut 10 years ago. Thanks Ann for all you do!

ē Via e-mail: Regarding new resident of Farragut who mentioned the negativity. Yahoo to you for noticing this. I have been here for 10 years and itís amazing all the unhappy people living in this community. They must be unhappy to complain so much. I not only hear it in the paper, but also just drive and shop with them, especially at Fresh Market, many unhappy campers shop there. Come on people, smile and be kinder. You (and me) do live in a beautiful area, trust me, there is much worse. Stop sticking that nose in the air and start enjoying life and the area you are living in. If you are so unhappy, then look inside yourself or move.

ē Via presstalk@farragutpress.com: Iíve read the various opinions expressed by readers on the inability of the Farragut Band to play at the Bearden game and Iím rather surprised at their lack of understanding of these students. The game is exciting, the dance team and cheerleaders are supporting the team but the band is still in school. ... Yes thatís right, they are being graded based on their performance and it will show up in their final GPA. The football team, the dance team and the cheerleaders are all ELECTIVE activities, the band is doing it for the grade. Their activities and behavior is part of the school curriculum that must be followed. These students work extremely hard attending band camp for several weeks, then practice daily in a class they must attend all to achieve that Grade. When they are denied the ability to play you are taking away their chance to achieve that grade and have a good GPA that leads to college. How about we deny those folkís kids who are complaining about the band from taking their midterm and final exams so we can ruin their grades like you want to ruin my sonís. Grow up everybody and realize that we need to support all of the students in all the activities they attempt at school.

ē Via presstalk@farragutpress.com: I read the front-page article on the Pilot station sign violation settlement and understood what happened historically but do have a couple questions. Since the violation and Farragut town lawsuit started around 2005 and then ďlanguishedĒ because of a ďlack of willingness by the town to spend more money to be more aggressive.Ē Why wasnít the town more aggressive? The article doesnít mention the potential settlement, which might have been an incentive. Hopefully the eventual agreement to take the sign down included a penalty, which reflects the delay from 2005 to 2010! If there isnít a penalty/fine reflecting the foot dragging by Pilot, could it have been because Pilot is owned by then Knoxville Mayor [Bill] Haslam, who is now a candidate for governor of Tennessee? Maybe thatís why Alderman [John] Williams thinks the resolution, whatever it is or however long it took is ďthe best outcome of allĒ and town attorney [Tom] Hale says, ďThe thought has always been ... eventually, that sign would come down ... .Ē As far as Pilot attorney [Greg] Isaacs not immediately returning phone calls, why should he? He did his job; apparently he stiff-armed Farragut for five years. Please donít use that modern business dodge of many chains that the station is an independently owned facility, not controlled by the Haslams. Their company name is on the sign.

Editorís Note: See Pilot story, Page 1.

ē Via e-mail: No, it wasnít the town of Farragut trimming curbs and cleaning gutters in front of the houses along Peterson Road, East Kingsgate and Midhurst Drive last week. That was being done by two Kingsgate residents who decided that the primary entrance into the subdivision was no longer presenting an inviting appearance to visitors or to residents. They also have hopes that residents, themselves, will become more alert to recognizing when the appearance of their property just might be a distracting feature as opposed to an attracting feature. They also believe that all owners of property in Kingsgate should have a special interest in preserving the value of the property through active maintenance and upkeep, particularly in the current times of flat real estate prices. If the actions of these two men have spurred others in the subdivision to take a fresh look at their property maintenance habits, they will believe that their time was well spent.

ē Via presstalk@farragutpress.com: This in regards to all the negativity concerning the band. I donít live in Farragut anymore, but still read the farragutpress from time to time to keep up with my alma mater. I think itís a shame that no matter what the band does, itís always their fault. Itís been that way for years. The band puts just as much work into things as everyone else. They bring home more trophies and championship titles then most of our teams, but somehow itís their fault. They arenít allowed to play while there is a play going on. And there are very few stand tunes they can play in the 15 seconds of dead time in between plays, but they do their best. Yes it is a football game, most of the people who go, go to see the game. Some people do enjoy watching the band, which is why they, on their own free will, stayed after to do their performance ó which theyíve worked harder then you can only imagine on. MOST bands take third quarter off not just in Knox County but also across the state. Maybe there is a better way to do that so we could still have a band during third quarter, but have you tried organizing a group of 200 high schoolers to go in stages. By the time some of them got their turn, the game would be over. How fair would it be to them, to get no break at all? Being in band is a lot harder than it looks, and they put in a lot more work than you could even imagine. I donít think anyone was trying to disrespect the band by not giving them time during halftime. It was just a misfortune. Being a class, I donít think Mr. [Ron] Rogers could require the band go to a game over fall break, and as a reward he gives them the second half of the homecoming game off, but according to some of you, you donít come to see the band anyways, so why does it matter? Stop criticizing, and just enjoy. Every one of the Farragut organizations does great things for this Town. The band is no exception.

ē Via presstalk@farragutpress.com: I want to comment about the numerous people criticizing the Farragut band program. As far as I know, it is custom for all Knox County high school bands to let the students off for the third quarter; this is not just Farragutís doing. As for the people upset that the football players and cheerleaders keep on going, they get halftime off while the band performs. Marching shows are much more strenuous than most people imagine, too. Even when performing in near-freezing weather at a competition last year, we came off the field dehydrated and sweating. The bandís presence may be really that important to some of the previous [callers], but the lackluster support of the halftime performances beg to differ.

ē Via e-mail: I would like to comment on those people that have criticized the band so harshly about last Fridayís game and how we need to participate more during the football games. We go to every home, away, and tournament games we can with what little money we get. We enjoy the games just as much as any Farragut football fan, if not more. We work just as hard as any sports team at Farragut. As a member of the band I have never been so insulted and angry with some of the comments made about us in the three years I have been with the program. We do not think that the people at the game come to watch us; we know that they have come to watch the game. We perform because we like to entertain people and show them that music can be fun. In regards to those who say we should not take third quarter off or that it is bad thing I would like for people to keep in mind that we deserve a break just like the football team gets or any other sports team. We are there for the rest of the game! Also, about leaving at half time during homecoming is so that we can get ready. Our band directors believe that we should be treated equally like the rest of the students. I do not see people criticizing the students who leave at half time to get ready who are not in the band. Thank you.

ē Via e-mail: I would like to comment on the article about the Farragut High School Marching Band. I think it is a shame the band didnít have the opportunity during the Bearden game, but under the circumstances it was very understandable. I feel that as previously stated everyone deserves to be applauded for their excellence and outstanding achievements during the course of the school year and in extracurriculars. I am a member of the band and believe that I personally and the band as a whole tries extremely hard to support our Farragut Admiral football team. I have a slight issue with the comments about our taking the third quarter off, We get that quarter off because we perform at halftime, I would like to add that the football team gets halftime off to relax and re cooperate along with planning the second half. I really am not trying to offend anyone here Iím just trying to explain the way things are. We did not attend the Maryville game because Knox County Schools stated that bands are not to attend away football games during fall break. In addition Knox County gives the Farragut Band $750 for the entire year. If youíve ever purchased any instruments, uniforms, or music you will realize that this is an extraordinarily low amount considering our bandís size. Actually that is $5.28 a person. The buses that take us to away games usually run around $1,000 a piece and all of that money is raised by the band to be able to support our football team. The band realizes that most of the spectators are there to watch the game but as stated before we add to the game, we are part of the game. Please continue to support all Farragut activities. Thank you and God bless.

ē Via e-mail: I WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THE COMMENTS REGARDING THE FHS BAND. The Farragut band works very hard, like every other organization and sports team. They practice about 10 hours a week as a whole, plus hours outside of school practice. Yes ó the band takes off third quarter, and yes the band did not go to the away game during fall break, and yes the band did leave early for homecoming ó JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER BAND DOES! Band members know that audiences do not come to the game just to see them. We were very appreciative of the people who stayed to watch during the Bearden game. And for those of you who think we are not committed or dedicated, you should see us practice.

ē Via e-mail: I would just like to say, I have been a member in the Farragut High School band for four years, and I have never been so disappointed in my community. The Bearden-Farragut football game was a big night for us, and we pride ourselves in our performances as much as the cheerleaders, dancers and football team does. We were very disappointed at not being able to perform; we had many families and friends expecting to hear us. Yes, we did perform after the game, but take it from someone who has been there; the last thing you want to do at 11:30 at night after standing for six hours and playing is go march a show, but we do it because we love it and we want our crowd to enjoy it also. Although some people may believe we only take third quarter off because we are lazy, that is not the case. We do get water and we do socialize, but we are in high school. Why should we be denied the right to enjoy being young and being at the game just because the fans want to hear ďAnchors Aweigh?Ē Give us a break, we work very hard and dedicate many hours to this program and disrespecting us by saying we need to play more pep songs and worry less about our performance is a sad outlook on the view of fine arts in our community.

ē Via e-mail: The opinions expressed in the last two weeks of the farragutpress indicate that there is a great divide between the [Farragut High School] band, the football team and the cheer/dance teams. This is simply not true. There is great respect between these programs, their staffs and their booster organizations. As a band parent, I am just as proud of and loyal to our football program as I am of the band. To say that the band thinks that it is all about them or to say that they take the third quarter off (which other bands do as well) because they donít care or support the football program is inaccurate assumption. The band breaks at the third quarter just as the cheerleaders break at halftime, and it is much deserved for both. Just as it takes all of the players on the field to execute a great play or all of the cheerleaders together to execute a perfect stunt, it takes all of the members of the band playing together to have an effective performance. Perhaps it is time that we take the lead from our kids and show more teamwork. Sadly, this seems to no longer be about the kids, which it should be. It saddens and embarrasses me that the emotional opinions of late are simply that, emotions and not based on facts. This was a case of poor planning and time management and has been acknowledged as such by the school administration. As parents, we are all very proud of our kids and the groups that they represent for FHS and our community. It is time to stop the childish bantering and support our Admirals, ALL of them!

ē Via e-mail: I would like to comment about all the people, who have written in, criticizing the Farragut High School Marching Band. I am in the band, and I have been for the past three years. How these people can criticize something they know nothing about is beyond me. To say or imply that we do not work hard, clearly shows that you know absolutely nothing. As well to say that nobody cares about watching us, how come, in my three years, I have seen coaches [football] drive to competitions to watch and support us, and I have also seen them stay after games when we have been forced to perform after the game. Now the person who said that we should have gone to the Maryville game over fall break, I bet you didnít know that there is a rule that exists that says: ďNo Knox County band goes to an away football game during fall breakĒ so itís not that we chose not to go; itís that we were not supposed to. On the subject of us getting the third quarter off, and to the person who said that they have never seen any other bands afforded that luxury, they must be BLIND, because other bands do it all the time! One could say I was outraged to hear about these comments, and when I read them it made me even madder. So what I want to say is that if people are willing to talk against what they do not know about, they should pay more attention and do a bit more research. Thank you.

 

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