Monday, May 08, 2006

Turkey Creek Road Drag Racing

There was some life and death drama in the Brixworth subdivision in South Farragut last Friday night. I received an email describing what occurred that included the pictures you see here. The writer of the email requested that no names be mentioned, as they were not sure of the age of the two young drivers.

A black Honda and a black Lexus were drag racing down Turkey Creek Road heading west towards the Brixworth subdivision entrance. There was a screech of tires as both cars went into the subdivision at a high rate of speed. They continued up the hill and around the cul-de-sac and then went speeding down the Brixworth Blvd hill.

The driver of the Honda was going too fast to stop at the stop sign at the base of the Brixworth subdivision. Even though the driver tried to stop he could not and went across Turkey Creek Road, jumped the curb, and collided with a tree. That tree saved his life.

If he had gone just to the left of the tree he would have gone over the small hill down to the railroad tracks. The train came just a few minutes after his wreck.

As the residents of Brixworth came to give aid and assistance to the driver who wrecked the other driver in the Lexus got in his car, gave the one finger salute and drove away. It is not known if he was arrested by the Sheriff's Department.

This is a heavily traveled road and it is fortunate there was not a car on Turkey Creek Road when this out of control car shot across the road. The most popular walking trail in Farragut is on Turkey Creek and many people walk across this intersection.

What is Farragut High School doing about the wreckless driving of its students? What is the Town of Farragut doing about the ever-growing problem of wreckless driving in Farragut? Most importantly what are the parents of these young drivers doing?

How many young people must die before our community decides there is a problem?

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Shoppers, start your engines

From the Knoxville News Sentinel:

$80 million Colonial Pinnacle officially opens

By ROGER HARRIS, April 12, 2006

Colonial Pinnacle at Turkey Creek officially opened today with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting and welcoming speeches by the mayors of Knoxville, Knox County and Farragut.

The 485,000-square-foot, $80 million "lifestyle center" has approximately 70 upscale businesses, including national retailers like Belk, Ann Taylor Loft, Talbots and Jos. A. Bank’s and restaurants such as Bonefish Grill and Panera Bread.

Several locally owned businesses are part of the retail mix, too, including Apricot Lane, International Flair and Natural Alternatives. Regal Entertainment Group has already opened its Pinnacle Stadium 18 movie theater in the development.

read more

Is Metro Government good for Farragut?

On three separate occasions Knox County and the City of Knoxville have voted on Metro Government. Each time the majority of voters have decided Metro is not a good deal. After each failed Metro vote the City of Knoxville has gone on an annexation binge.

Metro Government is controversial. One of the key selling points is the common sense logic that duplication of services cost more money. In the post Mike Hammond researches Metro Government for Knox County it has been pointed out by several commenters that our past history in Knox County does not prove that when consolidation of services occur that costs are reduced. In the case of the Knox County Schools and the Knox County Library system the costs went up and budgets expanded greatly.

Farragut was formed because the people here wanted more control over zoning and had no desire to pay Knoxville City property taxes. Some consider Metro as a form of annexation. When Knoxville City and Knox County public expenditures are compared one thing is clear. The City of Knoxville has a spending problem. Why should the people of Farragut have to pay for the mistakes made by the City of Knoxville?

Some people say that there are ways to have Metro Government and not penalize the taxpayers in Knox County. The urban services fee is one example. The problem with the urban services fee is that it only addresses the current debt of the City of Knoxville. It offers no protection from future foolish spending decisions for downtown projects. Knox County government has not been perfect. The Knox County Farmers Market was a mistake. On total when you compare the two governments Knox County has a much better track record on spending.

Both Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale and Knoxville City Mayor Bill Haslam have publicly discussed Metro Government. Mayor Ragsdale has a project to study consolidation of services such as the codes department. Knox County Commissioner Mike Hammond is one of seven people involved with the study.

Should Mayor Ragsdale openly discuss what plans exist for Metro Government before the election? Is there a responsibility for him to do so? Some say that after Mayor Haslam's reelection that the City of Knoxville may surrender its Charter and force Metro Government without a referendum.

Former Mayor Don Sundquist told the people of Tennessee that he would not push an income tax in his second term. He did push for an income tax in his second term. Before you cast your vote in early voting shouldn't you find out what Mayor Ragsdale and the prospective Knox County Commissioners will do about Metro Government in their next term? Don't you have the right to know before you vote?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Knox County Election update news

Popular Knox County School Board candidate Thomas Deakins has added a blog.

You can find it here.

There have been many updates at the Knox County Voters Guide at the Knoxville News Sentinel. You can see the changes here.

District Five candidate Kyle Phillips has a blog at the KNS site and Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale has both a video and a MP3 file.

Long-time Farragut principal dies

From WBIR television news:

Knox County Schools has lost one of its long-time principals. 62-year-old Robert Frazier, Farragut Intermediate School's principal, died suddenly at his home early Tuesday morning.Dr. Frazier was the only principal in the history of Farragut Intermediate School, and he will not soon be forgotten.

After a school-wide announcement relaying the sad news Tuesday morning, school counselors went to each classroom to talk to the students."There's a mixture of reaction. Some kids I don't think know what to feel. I think a lot of it is shock. Some are sad and are crying, but for the most part very quiet," said Farragut Intermediate School counselor Amy Kroninger.

read more

Monday, April 10, 2006

Mike Hammond researches Metro Government for Knox County

Knox County Commissioner Mike Hammond revealed Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale has asked him to be on a committee with seven other people to "look at combining services between the city and the county". Hammond goes on to say that they are not looking at combining governments but are looking to find efficiencies.

Some people say that Metro is goal number one for both Mayor Ragsdale and Knox County Commissioner Mike Hammond. What do you think? Why is it so difficult to get a straight answer from any local elected representative about whether they support Metro Government? Is it because Metro Government has failed three times in Knox County and is radioactive?

Just as Don Sundquist refused to talk straight about the State Income Tax our leaders in Knox County refuse to talk straight about Metro Government.

If it is so great why not have the courage to stand up and tell the voters what you stand for?

Roller coaster school bus ride in Farragut

From WATE television news:

Officials: Knox school bus driver takes kids on wild, drunken ride

April 10, 2006

FARRAGUT (AP) -- A school bus driver was allegedly drunk as she drove her afternoon bus route.44-year-old Jennifer Reddy sideswiped a car Friday afternoon before responding to the children's pleas to return them to school.

The children used cell phones to call their parents to inform them of their driver's behavior. None of the children were injured.

Knox County Schools spokesman Russ Oaks says school security officers gave Reddy a breath-alcohol test.

She allegedly registered a .26, more than three times the legal limit.

Reddy was charged with drunken driving and hit and run. She was jailed in lieu of a $1,000 bond.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

People make the community they live in

For a long time I have written about the importance of being a good neighbor and understanding that how you drive in your neighborhood has a huge contribution to the safety of your neighborhood and the quality of life.

A Fox Den resident expresses this better than I can. I hope you will think about how good a neighbor you are when you drive through your neighborhood.

From the Farragut Press:

letter to the editor
- Thu, Mar, 30, 2006

Picture this – it’s a sunny day and you take your dogs out for a walk in your neighborhood. Most cars when they see you, slow down, move away from you and wave as they go by. Not today however. A van is coming in front of you – they don’t appear to be slowing down or making a move away from you. You get scared, grab the dog leashes and move as close to the curb as possible. Scared, you yell out “slow down!” The van just keeps going and you continue your walk.

A few minutes later, a van slows down and stops. The woman driving the van yells out: “I was going the speed limit.” You are amazed that someone would actually drive back through the neighborhood and confront someone for yelling slow down.

Now, picture this — you are in a wheelchair. Yes, that’s right. I suffer from multiple sclerosis and take my dogs out using a jogging leash. I have never, never had someone be so “rude” and inconsiderate as this woman was. I can only hope and pray that she never has to use a wheelchair to get around.

In closing, even if you are driving the speed limit, when you see someone walking with children or dogs, slow down so that neither the dogs or the children get scared. Try to visualize how a van looks to a little child or to a dog.

Remember, driving the speed limit is one thing everyone should do. But use common sense when you are in a neighborhood. Going 25 mph does not actually give you enough time to react to a child or a family pet from darting out into the street. Better to drive slowly in a neighborhood and keep everyone safe.

Thank you,

Barbara Wyman

Fox Den

Candidate roundup for Farragut voting NEW UPDATES

In future posts I will give my recommendations and my analysis of the best candidates for local public office. For now I want to give you as much information as I can so you can learn about the candidates for public office.

Candidate website has been added for Thomas Deakins. Radio interviews have been added for Craig Leuthold and Kyle Phillips. Knoxville News Sentinel Blogs added for Randy Sadler and Kyle Phillips. Podcast added for Lee Martin. John Griess will be removed from the ballot due to term limits.

Any candidate may email me at and enclose a bio and platform, limit is 500 words. I will post these in separate posts here on Can Farragut Change. If you know of a candidate website that is not listed please email me or leave it in the comments section.

District Five County Commission Candidates:

County Commission Seat 5-A

Mike Hammond incumbent

Randy Sadler challenger
Randy Sadler Knoxville News Sentinel Blog

County Commission Seat 5-B

Craig Leuthold incumbent
Farragut Press article
Craig Leuthold Radio interview with Lloyd Daugherty

Kyle Phillips challenger
Kyle Phillips website
Kyle Phillips Knoxville News Sentinel Blog
Farragut Press article
Kyle Phillips Radio interview with Lloyd Daugherty

County Commission Seat 5-C

John Griess incumbent no challenger (Removed from ballot due to term limits)

School Board race Farragut Schools

School Board District 6

No incumbent, current School Board member Chuck James has left the School Board to run for County Commission.

Thomas A. Deakins
Thomas Deakins website
Farragut Press article

Fred Dillon
Farragut Press article

H. Lee Martin
H. Lee Martin website
Lee Martin podcast
Farragut Press article

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Can Farragut Change Most Viewed

From time to time I show the most popular posts. Since this is campaign time for candidates I hope both they and the voters will consider how important public safety is to our community.

Let's have a debate on the proposed roundabout

It is time to address the safety issues at Kingston Pike and Lovell Road?

Civil disobedience; drive the speed limit

Is it true?

Friday, March 17, 2006

Leuthold takes credit for roundabout at Northshore Drive and Concord Road

Knox County District 5 B Commissioner Craig Leuthold was quoted in the Farragut Press giving his excuse that the roundabout was the only solution for the intersection of Northshore Drive and Concord Road.

What Mr. Leuthold did not say was that the community had no chance to give input for this County Commission vote. The Knox County Commission website did not post the agenda and none of the local newspapers printed any information about this vote until the vote was held in County Commission.

Voters will decide if this omission of a major public safety issue is grounds to seek a new commissioner.

From the Farragut Press:

Leuthold was also a driving force behind the creation of a roundabout at the intersection of Northshore Drive and Concord Road.

Leuthold said he tried to get a stoplight at that intersection, but Northshore Drive is considered a state highway by the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

“That’s a case where Knox County can’t tell the state what to do,” he said.

The TDOT officials said a light wasn’t an option because of the lack of land required to install turn lanes. Leuthold said the roundabout was the only option.

Leuthold said he supported the creation of a wheel tax for Knox County. In fact, he had proposed making the wheel tax $41 instead of the current $36, with the extra $5 being designated for school construction funding. An increase in the wheel tax in the future, he said, isn’t something that’s on the table.

read more

From our school board correspondent Karen Carson

Good Afternoon All,

Last year the Tennessee legislators were charged with the task of creating a uniform grading scale in answer to questions about achieving a 3.0 for purposes of distributing lottery funds. As a result of this the Tennessee grading scale was established. This stipulates that an A is 93-100, B is 85-92, etc. The other thing that was changed is that AP and Honors courses were no longer considered on a 5.0 scale.

In Knox County we have acknowledged the increased difficulty of the AP and Honors courses and students were given an additional 1.0 for each AP course and 0.5 for each honors course. The state last year changed this to offering an additional 5 POINTS to the Letter Grade for AP Courses and 3 points to the letter grade for honors. For example, if a student received an 87 in an AP Biology course, his grade would be adjusted to a 92 (5 points). The impact of this is to move the student from a grade of B to a grade of B! Not really an incentive.

All of this has been the long way of letting you know that there are two Bills being considered this year that would allow us to go back to the 0.5 and 1.0 additions for these classes. I ask that you consider contacting our state representatives and letting them know you support this change. I am attaching 3 documents. The first one is a copy of the proposed Bill. The second is a copy of the letter the Board of Education is sending our state representatives. The third is a list of our representatives and their contact numbers

Please consider supporting this change. As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Also, please feel free to forward this to neighbors/friends.

Thank you,

Karen Carson

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