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presstalk 671-TALK

• This is to the caller who responded to the call about the cost of band in the May 12 issue. The caller made a statement that, quote: “The caller must homeschool their children.” To set the record straight, homeschoolers are not part of clubs and activities at the public schools. Secondly, homeschoolers pay for everything to do with their children’s education as well as sports and clubs. We pay our full taxes and do not get anything from the county or state. Our tax money is actually used to educate their child. We pay for all of our curriculum and for all activities our children are involved in. This caller should have educated themselves before making a statement that will probably embarrass them. Their next call should be an apology to all homeschoolers.

• Village Green residents should know, not only are they not hiring the qualified children who have received a lifeguard certificate through the YMCA, they also gave the pool manager a $2,000 raise. That is a 30 percent raise, after they raised the annual homeowner’s association fee that was supposed to go for the neighborhood, not administrative pay. Please be aware of a petition going around (inaudible).

• It sounds like Village Green is doing to its residents what the U.S. government has done to its jobs — sent them out of the neighborhood, out of the country. Then they raise the taxes. We get less for our taxes while the government puts us higher in debt. Think about what you are doing Village Green board members.

• I find it interesting in this week’s [farragut]press dated May 12, that Saddle Ridge residents are calling for speed control. I think speed control is very important in every subdivision. I live in Sedgefield and we get the same problem in Sedgefield that they’ve got in Saddle Ridge. I think the Town needs to address every subdivision and if it requires speed bumpers, or whatever, I think they should be installed. Thank you.

• I read your paper this morning and it seems like whenever there is money to be granted people come out of the woodwork. I see a lot of commentary about the Farragut Business Alliance and the [Farragut West Knox] Chamber of Commerce. I have a great idea for the town of Farragut to fund these organizations. Perhaps they should just match the amount of dollars that those businesses [that] are members pay as dues. So for example, if the Farragut Business Alliance has 100 dues paying members, and whatever that dues amount is, perhaps they should fund them for that amount, same with the Farragut-only businesses in the Chamber. That way the Town can be fair with its funding, economical and put money where other Farragut businesses put money. Perhaps they ought to give a little bit extra to the Farragut Business Alliance, they do run a couple of events, but ultimately, they are a newer organization and the Town shouldn’t have to go out and fund $40,000 for basically, what I understand are, two events that the Farragut Business Alliance produces. If the town wants to expand the Shop Farragut program, shouldn’t the Town take that over? Aren’t they the experts? Anyway, those are my comments. Thank you very much.

• Hi, I read your presstalk today. I am against the $40,000 funding requested by the Farragut Business Alliance. The reasons are: There is no official membership, how can the Town see fit to fund an organization that only has board members? Secondly, the FBA is a volunteer organization and they should be applauded for volunteering for their Town, but those businesses do gain marketing exposure and do benefit financially as they have booths in the events that they put on as an organization. If I understand it correctly, also, the Economic Development Committee is one of the mechanisms that recommends to the mayor and aldermen that certain organizations get approval for funding. May I ask how many Farragut Business Alliance Board members voted “yes” to grant themselves the money. It seems like that is an awful conflict of interest, that they are a board member of the Farragut Business Alliance and they are on the Economic Development Committee, recommending a whole lot of money be sent to them. Lastly, how many members, official dues paying members, are in the Farragut Business Alliance, and if they are not a dues paying member, how many actual, signed up, members are there? Thank you very much.

• I am a 68-year old great-grandmother who recently had an accident with our beautiful calming islands on Grigsby Chapel [Road]. I was on my way home when I had a blowout. Instead of being able to get off the road quickly, one of the beautiful islands came up to greet me, thus tearing up the front of my car and blowing out the second tire. I managed to get out of the car and was standing on the side of the road crying. It was 3:30 in the afternoon, and would you believe that about 15 of Farragut’s finest residents passed me by without stopping. Afraid of an old grandmother I guess, in the middle of an afternoon. Finally, after about 15 or 20 minutes, a big white truck jumped the curb beside me and five angels in the form of strong men jumped out and yelled, “Are you all right?” God bless those guys.

• First I want to begin my statement by saying that I applaud the youth of the different churches in our community who are willing to take a part of their summer vacation and earn money to pay for mission trips to reach out to other communities. To help them with Habitat for Humanity projects, Bible schools, collecting food and clothing and so forth, I think that is wonderful and it is what our youth today need to be doing. However, in light of the devastation in the Southeast that has happened because of the storms two weeks ago, instead of sending out youth groups to the Midwest, to the North, Northeast, to the Plains states, and so forth, or the Pacific coast, we need to be redirecting that effort to God’s community here in East Tennessee, northeast Georgia and Alabama. [More than] 500 homes were destroyed in Cleveland and they are getting practically no attention. Ringold, Ga., was basically turned into a war zone because of those storms and we have all heard about the devastation in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and the lives lost in Alabama. So I am asking the church leaders and the youth leaders of our local churches, please seriously consider altering your plans to take our kids, your kids, out of the state, out of the Southeast, for these mission trips. Reroute them here locally to our communities where they are so desperately needed.

• I’m just wondering if there’s any new information about the possibility that Costco is coming to Farragut. One of the merchants mentioned that they had heard they were coming to the corner of Lovell [Road] and Kingston Pike. I was just wondering if you all knew anything. Thank you so much. I really enjoy reading all the presstalk and letters to the editor. Thanks again.

• Via I wanted to take a moment to thank Farragut Business Alliance for all the good work it does for this community. My neighbors and I are so pleased that the FBA has founded fun, new local traditions such as Taste of Farragut and Red, White and Blues. I feel that both events serve as creative ways to bring the people of Farragut together, and that they do an excellent job of showcasing our municipality. Additionally, I appreciate the fact that FBA has donated the funds it has gleaned from these events to the local schools. Finally, I think it is admirable that the business leaders of our Town are willing to devote their time and energy towards the advancement and progress of our dynamic community. These are small business owners who are already wearing many hats, and so they deserve our Town’s gratitude for sharing their time and talents in this manner.

• Via I would like to address some recent comments made in presstalk concerning the Farragut West Knox Chamber and Farragut Business Alliance. As far as going outside the town of Farragut for membership/customers — I don’t know of ANY Farragut business that relies solely on Farragut customers/

suppliers. Even the town of Farragut went outside the state for services to its website. Changing the Chamber to be just a “Farragut” chamber of commerce only limits [its] resources and capabilities. You wouldn’t expect any other company to run that way. Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce utilizes its funding from all sources to provide services to all member businesses, as it should. While Farragut is a great place to live and work, the 20,000 or so residents cannot be expected to completely sustain the Town’s budget. Sales Tax dollars come from residents and visitors. The Shop Farragut program is a great way to not only make Town residents aware of where they shop, but to also bring in shoppers from other areas. The Town’s Economic Development Committee placed an ad in a Tellico Village publication (again going outside the town) to help drive customers to our Town. In the same vein, both FWKC and FBA hold events, which bring visitors (and dollars) into our Town. The old saying “United we stand, divided we fall” comes to mind. ... Competition is a good thing, but even Coke and Pepsi have been known to work together.

• Via USPS: How many Duncans are there? Although they do have the right to join the senate race, I do think the Duncans should consider a productive future! If I am correct the Duncans have had a senate seat since the elder back in the 1940s. Let’s have a chance [for] some new ideas. We need to have term limits for all government jobs.

Editor’s Note: John J. “Jimmy” Duncan Jr. currently serves in the U.S. House of Representatives. He does not serve in the U.S. Senate. The Duncan running for Tenn. state Senate District 6 — Sen. Jamie Woodson’s seat — is Becky Duncan Massey, Congressman Duncan’s sister.

• I read with interest/amusement your article in the May 12 addition [sic] “Town releases 1Q red-light camera statistics.” First I saw that less than half of the recorded incidents were issued citations, which made me wonder about using something that ineffective. Then I read this line “At the discretion of Traffic Enforcement Program manager Ben Harkins, almost 42 percent of total recorded incidents were rejected, although most were still violations of state law.” Considering the fact that these cameras have been sold to the public as ways of improving safety and not as moneymakers, isn’t there a conflict that we are throwing out 42 percent of the citations even though they are violations? And just how is Mr. Harkins making the determination which citations to eliminate even though they are violations? Are they running the tag numbers and eliminating all Farragut address citations, or maybe just the opposite? Are they eliminating all city and county vehicles that have violations? I would think that with this big a discrepancy in the numbers a reporter would have been immediately been asking some questions? Did they? I honestly don’t care whether you have red light cameras or not because if you obey the law you don’t have to worry about it. But reading this report I have to question why are they really there and are they being used fairly since obviously some are ticketed for violating the law and some are not? How about some additional investigation and reporting on this issue?

Editor’s Note: All aspects of the Traffic Enforcement Program have been covered in previous issues of farragutpress.


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