UT's 'Cabrini Green'?
I understand that Knoxville takes a certain pride in its history, but why do we insist on preserving every "historic" property? In Jack Neely's "The Sprankle, RIP," he points out some interesting facts about the bygone building, but honestly, how important was it for Knoxville's economy, etc.? I have lived here for over 20 years, and The Sprankle Building has never seized enough importance for me to be aware of it.
The acknowledgment of Knoxville's historic estates is worthy to some extent, but hoping and trying to keep every one of them is just unreasonable. If Home Federal, or any other equitable business, has good intentions, let them proceed. Do as Neely recommended and let the "old" buildings rest in peace.
UT's 'Cabrini Green'?
Molly Kincaid's article "Ashes & High Rises" (March 24) severely overstated Knoxville Place's positive attributes. I am a current resident there and have not renewed my lease, nor has anyone else I know. Knoxville Place is the worst apartment complex that I have ever lived in. I've graduated from college and have lived in dorms and apartment complexes for years, but I'm still in touch with the student lifestyle because I'm in law school. Characterizing Knoxville Place as a "modern day mansion" is grossly inaccurate. The place is a complete dump.
As a student with a mature perspective, I would not recommend Knoxville Place to anyone. Knoxville Place has already lost its "gleaming newness." The elevators were broken for over two and a half weeks, including over Spring Break, a seemingly good time to do repairs. While they were repairing the broken elevators, they neglected to remove the carvings on the elevator controls that state things like "boner" and "cock." The "chipper students clothed in Northface gear and Greek letters" write negative things about the complex on every notice that the management posts.
Additionally, the fire alarms have gone off at least once a month for the entire time the complex has been open, including in the middle of the night during exams. The highly touted safety features are completely useless. The security guards do not even protect the complex from vandalism by its own residents. The door to the parking garage has been broken for over a month, so anyone who chooses to come into the parking garage can at any time.
Knoxville Place is opening itself up to a lawsuit by having young women walking alone in a dark, isolated parking garage that anyone has access to. Most of the exit signs have been knocked down. Residents smoke in the stairwells. There's trash everywhere, particularly after weekend partying. Ms. Kincaid's article described Fort Sanders as being "littered in places with broken beer bottles and fast-food refuse," but that more accurately describes the interior common areas of Knoxville Place on Sunday afternoon. I appreciate the maintenance staff's hard work, but the management needs to help them out.
There was also mold growing on the windowsills for months before Knoxville Place finally decided to clean it up. Furthermore, I'm sure the parents of students attending school in East Tennessee (a generally conservative bunch) would like to hear from the Knoxville Place staff that the Carousel, the bar adjacent to the complex, is a gay bar, so their children can get adequate exposure to transvestites and such. While I personally do not have a problem with that at all, I think Knoxville Place has a duty to disclose this information to its potential tenants, and it does not currently do that.
Knoxville Place is anything but an "oasis." Honestly, I'd rather rent the "burned-out Pickle Mansion" from Mr. Haas than continue my lease here. My dorms in college were infinitely more pleasant than Knoxville Place. I party and go out as much as anyone, but I don't come home and vandalize my apartment. The residents here vandalize the complex because there are no repercussions. They also use that as a means of expressing their outrage at the management for charging so much for such inferior living conditions. While I do not condone their behavior, I can understand their anger. The security and the management do not take action to fix the problems. I'm sure the offenders are few, and it would probably only take one person being sanctioned to end the problems altogether. The dorms are better places to live because the students would never vandalize because they fear sanctions from the school. Knoxville Place has not installed security cameras or taken any other measures to catch the people who are ruining this complex.
Knoxville Place is miserable. I pay more rent than anyone I know (almost $500/month, for a 4 bedroom/2 bathroom apartment with parking), and I regret living here more than you can imagine. Knoxville Place has great potential as a college residence. However, it is not a place for graduate students to live, and the management needs to get control of the incessant vandalism.
Thwart the Apocalypse
Thousands of scientists agreed in a recent international report that the human race will soon collapse because of a lack in vital natural resources, unless we as individuals do something to reduce our consumption.
We are nearing peak oil production, and the oil-dependent world economy will fast march downhill towards oblivion unless we do something individually to reduce our dependence on oil. We cannot wait for an act of Congress to make these changes, because it is not going to happen unless we do it for ourselves.
Some suggestions are: 1.) Use public transportation; 2.) Demand expanded railroads to erase the need for automobiles that are the main cause of our problems; 3.) Sell your car and stop supporting pollution and dictatorships in the Middle East and Latin America; 4.) Create your own possibilities, outside of group mentality. You have the power to change. You have the power to change your world. The choice is yours.
The [April 7] edition of Metro Pulse included a guest column by John G. Stewart entitled "Good Tax, Not a Solution." Stewart reported that applying a cigarette tax would not help the monetary situation in Tennessee, and that instead of applying a cigarette tax we should impose a state [income] tax that would benefit locals and the government.
How is it that creating a state tax would increase state revenue and decrease monetary contribution for state citizens? State taxes would lead to even more citizen contribution!
The coming cigarette tax is shown to increase state revenue because it will not deter people from smoking, but simply make them pay more or switch to a different brand. It will also pull more out of cigarette suppliers, taking away from their profit margin. The cigarette tax will increase revenues, thank you very much.
Smoke and (Drug) Mirrors
Our legislators are at it once again to raise taxes on cigarettes!
No matter what your position is on smoking, you should be alarmed!
Our legislators say, "It's All For The Kids," but The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that the state of Tennessee spend between $32.2 million and $89.1 million a year to have an effective, comprehensive tobacco prevention program.
Tennessee currently allocates no funding for tobacco prevention. That ranks Tennessee last among the states in the funding of tobacco prevention programs, despite the fact that Tennessee gets $251.4 million in revenue annually from tobacco settlement payments and tobacco taxes. Tennessee spends "no money on tobacco prevention" and placed almost all of its settlement money received to date in the general fund to address budget crises in FY2002, FY2003 and FY2004, and to address rising costs in state health care programs. For FY2003 and FY2004, the Legislature placed the state's settlement money in the general fund and used it to close a budget. Not one penny has been allocated for tobacco prevention by our legislators. They have received all this money but used it solely for balancing the budget.
But yet, they come at us, once again, for a 40 to 50 cents [additional tax] per pack of cigarettes and say, "It's all for the kids!"