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presstalk 671-TALK

• I have just returned from the Clarence Brown Theater’s 2010 “A Christmas Carol.” In light of that timeless story, I read the continuation of uncharitable drivel in the presstalk. We stoop so low these days to point out the faults of our neighbors. We have become so unwilling to accommodate our neighbor. Do we not see that is we ourselves on the other end of the pointing finger, our hate so easily directed to the person on the bicycle while we sit so comfortably on our 250-pound bomb?

• It’s Thursday morning, Dec. 9, about 7:30 and I am on my way to work. And once again, there are school buses [that] are stopped in front of one of the entrances to Village Green, picking up students. This time, it’s Russgate, the smaller entrance that is across the street from First Baptist Concord. And this time, there are people heading both east and west on Kingston Pike who are not stopping for the school bus. This is the law. And what amazes me is that a lot of these people are turning into the church parking lot to take their children to the church school. Now, just because your children are no longer in public school and you are sending them to private school, does not mean that you are not supposed to obey the law. And to everybody else who is on their way to work or the grocery store or whatever, you are breaking the law. I don’t understand what it is with people who think that their time is more important than obeying the law. Set your alarm 10 minutes earlier; leave your house 10 minutes earlier. You’d be amazed at what can happen when you show a little consideration and responsibility.

• Hi, yes. Hello. Complaint department? I’ve been told this is the place to call to complain about things — red light cameras, recycling, barking dogs, Republicans, Democrats, calming islands. Well, I have one for you. What do you do when you have a guy on your street who is so obsessed with his leaves he blows them out into the road, mounds them up, takes over at least a third of the street, and then just leaves them there for a week? Maybe the whole thing is just his way of saying, “Merry Christmas.” But I can’t imagine that his next-door neighbors, or the guys across the street, appreciate it — unless they enjoy raking extra leaves. Anyway, I was just wondering if there wasn’t some sort of leaf ordinance, or if there wasn’t someone I could call about this. Oh well. Merry Christmas, complaint department.

Editor’s Note: The staff at the town of Farragut would be the “someone” you would need to call. The Town’s telephone number is 966-7057.

• Via It was 3:30 p.m. on a Wednesday afternoon. I was standing in line at the Farragut Branch of the Post office. There was only one person at the window to tend to the customers; the other three windows were closed. I counted 18 people standing in line and more coming. It was then that a dark headed lady entered the counter area from the recesses of the post office employee area, and the one postal clerk remarked to her that it was time for her to go home that she was on overtime. The postal clerk then proceeded to put up her sign to go to the next window (of which there were none) and began to do her closing paperwork. The dark headed lady made an exit stage left. Those of us in line looked at each other and one lady remarked, “what are they going to do – close up on us?” Another person remarked that all she wanted was Christmas stamps and if she could purchase them in the lobby she would but they weren’t available there. Another person in line agreed. It was then that I stepped out of line to address the by now unruly and restless line of postal customers. “Would every one of you please write the farragutpress and complain about this?” I remarked. The lady that was closing her counter said “won’t do any good, many have written in before about it. They won’t let us work all of the windows open.” Then I jokingly said, well this old hippie is going to organize a “protest,” we’ll get our signs and picket. Finally, the dark headed lady pulled two people from the backroom and the line began to move. My question: who are “they” that won’t allow all windows to be open when there is a long line of customers? To whom does one write to complain? Seems that a little bit of common sense; planning and organization would go a long way towards a solution to this ongoing problem. And why can’t “they” put Christmas stamps in the lobby vending machine — or is this too easy of a solution??? I believe that this would cut down on the number of people waiting in line.

• Via One more comment about the calming islands — is there anyway the calming island at the trail crossing could be removed, the one nearer Campbell Station Road? In the morning, the traffic backs up way down Grigsby Chapel, all because of the school traffic. If that island was gone the traffic trying to get to the interstate could go around. Now you have to sit forever. To add insult to injury, the traffic traveling south on Campbell Station blocks the intersection at Grigsby Chapel and when the light changes you still can’t move. I thought the school traffic would improve after the construction was completed but it has only gotten worse. I guess more people are traveling that route to school since the road is open. I keep leaving earlier and earlier for work, but it seems you just can’t miss the congestion. If the students were required to ride the bus instead of Mother taking them, it would certainly eliminate a lot of traffic. By the way Mayor, you got allot of votes because we thought you would stop or get rid of the calming islands. Well, don’t count on those votes for re-election since you did not do so.

Editor’s Note: The eastbound turning lane on Grigsby Chapel Road also serves as a left-turn lane for those entering the medical facility on that corner. Removing the island would hamper those drivers.

• Via It does seem that farragutpress readers are very interested in finding someone to blame. First, let’s set the historical record straight. Bikers are forced into traffic lanes because the streets lack adequate shoulders. This is because Tennessee governments only fund paving and NOT widening of our roadways. This is the fault of an “institutional error” and not the fault on any particular bicyclist. It’s the lack of legislative foresight in money management choices.

• Via Installing a traffic light at the Farragut High School driveway onto Campbell Station Road is wrong. It will impede the already heavy traffic on CSR, which is the main north-south thoroughfare in Farragut with only very few and far between other options at east and west Farragut boundaries (Lovell and Watt roads) plus Grigsby Chapel/Smith roads. The FHS west exit should be left as it is, and those who want to make a left-hand turn onto southbound Campbell Station Road should use instead the safer south exit onto Kingston Pike (by the baseball field). Also, instead of spending money on the traffic study for this intersection Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Alderman should look into implementing green waves (coordinating several traffic signals for continuous flow over several intersections) for the existing traffic signals on CSR at Old Colony Parkway and at Herron Road. Additionally they should look into implementing green waves on other stretches of the main thoroughfares where several traffic lights are closely spaced (like Kingston Pike). It is a simple method of improving traffic flow and widely used in many places in our country and elsewhere. Finally, Farragut Board of Mayor and Alderman should be more involved in future road construction and improvements such as a project once started would continue without interruptions to completion. I understand that TDOT is managing the work on all state roads, but the Board should raise Farragut citizens’ legitimate concern to have minimal disturbance of auto traffic in their town while such work is done. The recently completed work on Campbell Station Road had actual work being done in less than half the time that the construction zone (and the traffic disruption it was causing) were present.

Editor’s Note: Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen, without a traffic study, decided to build a concrete “island” at the mouth of the driveway at a cost of $10,000.

• Via It’s almost inconceivable so many Farragut and West Knoxville restaurants can not attain passing health department scores. Several of our locally owned as well as franchise eateries have failed and/or received very low scores multiple times. A mere score of 70 is passing, but there’s no excuse for any restaurant scoring below 85. They will only do better if many of us start calling the restaurants before dining and asking for their current health rating score. Let their managers (the ones ultimately responsible for the poor ratings) know that we simply expect a safe and sanitary place to eat and will not dine with them otherwise.

Editor’s Note: Health department inspection scores are posted by law at the entrance to all restaurants and were available online at the state health department website. However, this site has been off line since the Nashville flood.

• Via This week, the farragutpress shows a picture of [U.S. Rep. John J.] “Jimmy” Duncan [Jr.] at a ribbon cutting for the Campbell Station Road project’s completion. According to the caption, $2.5 million in funding came from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (huge spending initiative which Duncan voted against). The contradiction here is glaringly obvious. The audacity of a professional politician is simply profound.

• Via U.S.P.S.: I was impressed to read that one of our basketball [The University of Tennessee] players had finished four class subjects and was working on the fifth — bowling. Is this a class? Can they get credits for horseshoes? Has school changed that much?


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