Opinion

board view Burnette

Freedom, the virus, the holiday

For many people in our community, this coming weekend will involve grills blazing, hot dogs and hamburgers sizzling and families gathering to celebrate Independence Day. As these celebrations take place, a word that stands in the background is freedom.

Freedom is a word that I have taken for granted for much of my life, unlike my dad who served in the United States Army. Honestly, for a West Knoxville kid, freedom never felt like a big concern.

However, once the COVID-19 lockdown hit in March of this year, the concept of freedom seemed a lot more relevant. There were no extracurricular activities for the family, just the grocery store and Zoom meetings for work. I get it, these are “first world problems,” and I know many in our community have been hit hard. Whether it was sickness, the death of a loved one, the loss of a job or something else, this has not been an easy time for the Farragut community.

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letter to the editor

Issues with Town’s state representative

For many years I was quiet about my political positions, only voting, and not doing much else. I focused on my career and my family, and I thought there was no way I could make an impact. I was an observer and resigned to the politics of Knox County.

About five years ago that changed. I slowly began to be more vocal about my observations of the way things are and the way they ought to be for the good of society. I believe that government’s first and most important responsibility is for the safety and well-being of the people of our country, states, counties and cities.

We have been faced over the last six months with a period of upheaval, uncertainty, and now, visible and insistent demands for change.

Here in House District 14 we have an elected representative (Jason Zachary) who has participated in the following actions over the past two years. He correctly voted against a voucher bill that has since been adjudicated to be unconstitutional, but then allowed his mind to be changed by the Speaker’s words. He changed his vote after some 40 minutes, allowing the bill to pass.

Government has a responsibility to provide resources for a strong public education system, not to put money in the pockets of those citizens who choose to use private schools.

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letter to the editor

A 5G ‘pole’ response to story, pair of letters

This is in response to the article in the June 25 edition (of farragutpress) by Michelle Hollenhead, and the letters from Jerry Guthrie and Vice Mayor Louise Polvin in that same issue.

If I were living in a subdivision with underground utilities, I can certainly understand folks being upset with the placing of any large above-ground structures in utility easement areas of their properties.

However, I do wish everyone would stop calling the 5G structures “towers.” The utility “pole” next to the road in front of my house is around 36 feet high.

These poles have never been called “towers.”

I’m sure at least one of the reasons some insist on calling the 5G poles towers is the very negative cell tower image it brings to mind. There are real reasons for not wanting these poles; let’s not muddy the waters and stick to them.

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letter to the editor

A relative’s response to June 18 letter about labels on matters of patriotism

This letter is written in response to Bill Johns’ letter printed (June 18) in the farragutpress Opinion section.

Here we go again.

I first must thank the Editor for publishing my wife’s letter on June 11 and Bill Johns’ letter on June 18. One letter showed empathy and lamented the deaths of so many African American’s at the hands of police. Her hope was for all people to look inward at themselves and start the journey to redemption.

The second letter acknowledged the senseless murder of George Floyd, while ignoring the underlying causes for his death. Then he immediately goes into the attack mode and tries to divert the focus of the letter by labeling people he has never met as communist. Really.

It seems that any person expressing any opinion or thought other that of Bill Johns is labeled a communist. I don’t know Bill Johns and he does not know our family. But he, like many people of his ilk, abhor anyone who expresses concern that his American way of life, as he sees it, does not equally apply to all people. He seems to believe that if you don’t agree with his philosophy, then you are a communist. My wife felt anguish and empathy for the 8 minute-an- 46-second slow death of Mr. Floyd ,and now she is labeled a communist or communist sympathizer. Where is America going? Why does one side automatically label anyone who does not share their thoughts as liberal, leftist liberal, socialist or communist?

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letter to the editor

Perspective about racial tensions

Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, has been charged with 2nd-degree murder after pressing his knee into George Floyd’s neck and holding it there until he died. Chauvin will face a trial and sentencing, as we are a country based on the rule of law, although you wouldn’t know that by watching the evening news.

We see looting and burning of businesses, and tearing down statues, not just of Confederate leaders but also the 26th President of the United States. We haven’t been informed of what Teddy Roosevelt’s sin was, but his statue is to come down. We saw police cars being destroyed, attacks leaving police officers injured and former African American retired St. Louis Police Department Capt. David Dorn killed trying to defend a business from looters.

We also see young people wearing T-shirts with the letters BLM on them while they march with fists in the air in solidarity with this movement. Do the young people know what Black Lives Matter really stands for, and do they care?

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Rules on submitted views of candidates after July 23 issue

All opinions about candidates running in the upcoming Thursday, Aug. 6, Elections and Primaries, which take the form of a Letter to the Editor or as a Presstalk, must be submitted by noon, Monday, July 20, for publication in our Thursday, July 23 issue.

No such opinions will be published in our July 30 or Aug. 6 issues, unless it is a rebuttal to a July 23 opinion.

The rebuttal must be from the candidate himself/herself, and can only answer points made in the July 23 issue. No post-July 23 rebuttals will be accepted if opposing view was expressed in an issue before July 23.

Letters 600 words max

All Letters to Editor, regardless of contest, must not exceed 600 words in length. Thanks for understanding these rules.