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presstalk 671-TALK


• Editor’s Note: Merton Ives, chairman of Farragut’s Board of Zoning Appeals, was attributed by a presstalk contributor with statements allegedly made at the BZA Board meeting April 27. Ives informed farragutpress that he was not in attendance at that meeting and could not have made those statements. Town officials confirmed Ives was not in attendance. We regret the error and any inconvenience it may have caused.

• Hi. It’s Saturday night and there’s a wreck at the red-light traffic camera at Smith Road and Kingston Pike and it’s a bad wreck. It looks like a rear-end accident and I bet it was caused by the red-light cameras. And I don’t think there should be any red-light cameras here in Farragut. Thank you.

• My name is [redacted]. I would like to comment on the right turn on red after stop. I would like to remove [the red-light] cameras because people know to stop right before, you know, turn right [sic]. So if the camera you make it more hesitated and people drive beware they turn right after stop [sic]. So I[’d] like to remove camera. That’d be great. Thank you.

• I was surprised that your newspaper printed a letter in presstalk that expressed personal criticism of the chairman of the Farragut Board of Zoning Appeals. While I was not at the meeting and cannot comment on the outcome, I’ve known the chairman, Merton Ives, for many years and under many different circumstances. I’ve always found him to be honest, fair [inaudible] and always a gentleman. As an unpaid Town volunteer, his only purpose as chairman of the Board of [Zoning] Appeals is to preserve the intent of the Town’s ordinances fairly and without bias and without harassment of the citizens who appear before the Board. He had nothing to gain by advocating an unfair decision on the appeal that was in question. I believe the farragutpress should exercise better judgment in printing letters that question the actions, and in this case, the character, of people who unselfishly volunteer to serve our Town for the purpose of making it a better place to live. I feel the farragutpress owes Mr. Ives and the other members of the Zoning Board an apology for printing the letter in question. Thank you.


• People of Farragut are just a bunch of whiners. You whine when I tailgate in my big truck, you whine when I drive 20 miles an hour over the speed limit, you whine when I drive too fast through school zones, you whine when I drive through a red light, you whine when I turn right on red without stopping. I’ll have you know I’m in a hurry. Now someone in my subdivision, Sedgefield, is whining because I like to shoot off fireworks. ... Just sit down, shut up and stop whining and quit ruining my life.

• Yeah. I agree with neutering the red-light cameras. [I] can’t stand them and I commend [Gov.] Bill Haslam for signing the bill. Hope it goes through.

• Yes, the cameras should be removed. The cons far outweigh the pros: the two on Kingston Pike, for example. People are braking 5[00] to 800 yards when it is a green light for fear of it going red. This backs traffic up. I do understand their actions, as we’re all worried about having to slam on our brakes or getting on camera. And this is only one example; there are lots of problems out there that I think far outweigh the pros of having the red-light cameras. There are some good things about it, but overall, most of them are negative. It’s causing all kinds of problems and people are stressed out and people are blowing their horns, etc. So the cameras should go.

• OK. Now our illustrious governor — sarcasm definitely intended — has decided he has the right to take away the rights of local communities when they have enacted common sense laws to protect the people who live in the community. Just like the red-light camera laws. Now, please remember this is the same man who within a day of being elected governor, and I did not vote for him, repealed the law that the governor and some other high positions of the state no longer have to make their incomes public. Makes you wonder just where this man’s priorities lie. Obviously, being up-front and honest and completely keeping things on the record where the voters can see what’s going on isn’t one of them. And if, for some reason, I do run a red light [at a] camera, which I have no intention of doing because I fully support them, I don’t care if our idiot governor says I don’t have to pay the ticket. I will pay the ticket because I broke the law, and I believe in obeying the law even if our governor doesn’t — we don’t have to and he doesn’t have to.

• Via presstalk@farragutpress.com: I was on my way home for lunch on Monday while approaching a large church on Kingston Pike, traffic started to slow outside of the church for vacation Bible school let out. As I approached the second exit, I was bumper to bumper with the cars in front and behind me. I knew that there would be a possibility of me having to stop to allow traffic to come out of the church lot, so I continued with caution. It was not until I was right in front of the exit that a police officer came quickly out to stop me. I did not feel it was safe to stop instantly, so I continued on slowly in hopes that he would understand his instant call for a stop was going to be difficult. The officer then proceeded to scream at me, and instantly I felt threatened and unsafe. Then all of a sudden he motioned me to “GOOOO!” So I did, only to approach the second officer who proceeded to lean out and KICK my car in anger. I heard a thud and felt the kick on the vehicle. I stopped instantly and rolled down my window to make sure he knew that was NOT allowed. He then told me to “pull over and I’ll deal with you in a minute.” Now there is more to this incident, but I would just like to say that officers directing traffic for a LARGE vacation Bible school should think twice about the way they are treating the public and my private property. I could understand if I blatantly committed a crime, or was completely ignoring the officers, or if I physically assaulted them, but seriously, they are officers who were directing traffic and I was trying very hard to follow their erratic “control of traffic.” Not to diminish what they are doing, there is value in it, but again they not only overreacted but they violated my rights as a citizen. That’s correct: my rights and my property! The officer then proceeded to deny the fact that he kicked my car, asked me to step out to check for damages. When I stepped out, I looked down by my back tire and found a small black mark. He said “that’s just tar” then I looked over to see his black rubber soled shoes standing there. Not to mention I JUST washed my car. I realized that this was going nowhere. From his denial of the incident and his “big boss man” attitude, I realized this was a loosing battle [sic]. I did not get a ticket, because I did nothing wrong, and he knew that. Bottom line is that he treated me very badly. Little does he know, I am a professional, I am educated, I am involved in both the town and my church, and before I got out of my vehicle to check for damages he did not realize that I am also six months pregnant. Talk about his bad luck. He needs to understand that he could be dealing with anyone, and to control his aggression. I would like to feel protected by law enforcement, but this incident has only showed me that you cannot trust. If the traffic control officers cannot handle their temper, I’m not sure I can rely on any of them.

• Via e-mail: I’ve had it. The drivers in East Tennessee are the absolute rudest and nastiest drivers I have ever encountered. Everyone seems to have their own agenda and couldn’t possibly be considerate of others. I was on my way to the hospital to see my dad who had just had a heart attack. Mind you, I was not speeding. However, a driver pulled out in front of me and made me come to almost a complete stop. He then continued to drive 10-15 miles BELOW the speed limit. He did it just to aggravate me. No thanks to this man, I made it to the hospital to see my dad. Think before you decide to play judge and jury while driving on the road. The other driver may actually need to be somewhere more important. And please, do not honk at me while I am turning right at a green light and you are turning left. I have the right of way. There are so many others that whine about breaking the law, but please pay attention to your own driving. Going 10-15 miles below the speed limit and turning left and cutting a driver off going right at a green light is also breaking the law. Read your manuals and try to think of someone else beside yourself.

• Via e-mail: Need to keep the wine in liquor stores so it want [sic] be so easy for underage.

• Via presstalk@farragutpress.com: [In response to a presstalk caller June 16 who asked if chickens could be kept in Farragut.] Call the Farragut City Hall and ask for Codes; it is against the City Code of Farragut to have chickens in your backyard. This applies to any area in Farragut.

• Via e-mail: I commend our governor on taking the wind out of the red-light camera enforcement sails. It’s about time common sense took over and our traffic law enforcement returned to the hands of capable police officers. Automated enforcement impedes smooth traffic flow and is encouraged primarily by those who stand to gain financially from it. If you do a little research you’ll find public outcry against red-light cameras has reached a fever pitch across the country. Again, thank you governor! As far as your picture in last week’s paper of the wreck ... was that taken by a red light camera? I didn’t think so.

Editor’s Note: In reference to the “through the lens” photo appearing in the June 16 issue, farragutpress never implied that the photo came from a red-light camera. However, photos and video of the wreck produced by the red-light camera at the intersection were sent to Tennessee Highway Patrol to aid in the investigation.

• Via e-mail: It seems our governor has succumbed to the powers of the political check based on his signing of a bill “neutering” red-light cameras. Since soon the cameras will not be an aid in reducing accidents at high traffic intersections, I suggest the “powers that be” double property tax so that a uniformed officer can be assigned at these same intersections 24/7 — that appears to be the only way some lawbreakers still thinking as though they live in the 1800s can deal with progress and technology. Wait, Farragut doesn’t have a police department. So, better triple Property Tax to set that up. Morons!

• Via e-mail: While I wish that the governor had not signed the new red-light bill, at least he did not make it illegal for me to come to a complete and total stop before turning right on a red light without a green arrow. I will be doing so to ensure my safety and the safety of those with the right of way. I hope that it does not offend anyone behind me ... but that is the way it is going to be.

• Via e-mail: I have lived in the Farragut Community for more than 30 years. The town has changed a lot in those years and while most of those changes have been for the positive, the news that Costco has decided to build a store at one of the busiest intersections in Town will do nothing more than add to the congestion that is Lovell Road and Kingston Pike heading towards Turkey Creek. The town of Farragut would benefit tremendously more in the future if they could attract new stores/businesses to open in the old Food City, the old Kroger and the old Ingles locations in the Town. The businesses that are currently in these shopping centers would also benefit from the overflow traffic and provide an alternative to people who would like to avoid the congestion in Turkey Creek.

Editor’s Note: The vacant businesses mentioned are all privately owned and represented by agents who are working to fill those spaces. None of those properties would come close to meeting the space needs of Costco. The property on which Costco is going to build is owned by Schaad Companies, a family-owned group in the Knoxville area since 1910. Representatives of the town of Farragut did actively aid in the recruitment of Costco.

• Via e-mail: I’m amazed at the thought processes of our alderpersons at times. A neighborhood board asks if anyone objects to speed bumps and the alderperson assumes that since only a few residents took the time to object, to them then that meant everyone else wanted them? Of course this is the same alderperson that supported their own neighborhood board’s methods in revising their covenants. Instead of having an up or down vote on the subject, they only recorded the votes of those that agreed with them. And when that didn’t get them the votes they wanted, they resorted to lying to the residents to get their votes and kept extending the voting until they eventually got enough to pass it. The alderpersons should start using some common sense in their decision-making. No vote on a subject is not the same as support, or rejection, it’s all in the way the question was asked.

• Via e-mail: What has happened to the dog park that was to be built at the site of the former Concord Park pool? I thought it was going to open in 2010.

 

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