incoming (2005-45)

Explain, Don’t Complain

Homelessness and Fairness

Keep South Knoxville Serene

Give Van Beke Some Slack

Congressional Abdication

Explain, Don’t Complain

I ask you—how can civic-minded citizens cast their votes when they don’t ever see a sample ballot? Asking someone to make snap-decisions on issues is like signing a contract without reading the fine print and giving someone a blank, signed check with no direction as to what to use it for or limit on expenses. This is not fair to people.

Instead of putting it on the unknowing citizen, mail out sample ballots to all registered voters. Let people know when and where to vote—before the voting, not after.  

Morgen Marshall

 

Homelessness and Fairness

The other day I had to beg just to get a couple of bus tickets to go try and make a little money. How can we as homeless improve our situations if we are not aided in some small way?

I have been in Knoxville for six days, and I have found it extremely difficult to find work anywhere. The phone books are mostly useless to me, for I am from another state where things are listed in an entirely different way.

How do you expect the homeless to become more productive if the city doesn’t let us?

Jeff McKeller

 

Keep South Knoxville Serene

First off, what is wrong with South Knoxville? It’s beautiful and unique. The riverfront is a reminder of days when commerce occurred on the waterways. Yes, it could improve some, but it does not have to become a Disneyland or Pigeon Forge.

As he lathers on the enthusiasm about the hidden potential of South Knox and the grandiose plan about to spring like Venus from the ocean, the editorial writer leaves the reader wondering why we had to pay yet another consulting firm from out of state to tell us how to create our waterfront and promote Fort Dickerson.

Also, for anyone who has driven along the waterfront, it is blatantly clear that Metro Pulse publisher Brian Conley’s family does not own “parcels” of land but practically the entire waterfront along Island Home Drive. They stand much to gain from the “plan’s” development of their private property. I highly doubt that the Conley family will deed their land benevolently to the good of the community and develop it for the common good, i.e. parks. The Conleys have been sitting on their land for decades, and brother Ron’s “For Lease or Sale” sign has almost become an institution with the South Knox Bridge in the background.       

Secondly, the article is both patronizing and offensive. The language is infuriating: “city fathers” (there are plenty of women in government), “shepherding” (are we all sheep unable to think for ourselves?) and “every Knoxvillian should eagerly await….” What? Do we have more cement slabs and glass domes a la Market Square to look forward to?

The writer appears to want to lull us all into believing this is yet another panacea that will save Knoxville. And who will this benefit? Will it benefit the lower middle class who have been there for decades? Will humble neighborhoods with river access, such as the one on Scottish Pike and Old Sevier, be destroyed and replaced by generic, uncreative vinyl siding and brick veneer condos? Is that what we have in store, because we have plenty of that on the other side of the river. 

As for South Knoxville gems such as Ijams being “obscured” by narrow, winding roads with poor accessibility and visibility—well, duh, that’s what makes it pleasant to visit. It’s a Nature Center for God’s sake. Nature is subtle. Do you want a neon sign? And do you prefer to widen the road and create a Kingston Pike? Or should we cut down all the trees like in Market Square and make it user friendly?

The beauty of South Knoxville is exactly that: narrow winding roads, obscured by lush foliage, where people live and ride their bikes with no billboards polluting the scenery. And, for the record, Ijams is now connected to Island Home Park by a beautiful greenway that follows the river, making it the most visually pleasing and peaceful greenway in town. This past Saturday’s Neighborhood Bike Ride brought 310 bicyclists to Ijams from Market Square on a 10-mile round-trip ride without burning any fossil fuels. How’s that for accessibility?      

Lastly, the idea of community input sounds so progressive, but plenty of high-profile ideas have been sabotaged or failed...the downtown library for one. I hope politicians and developers really do honor “the opinions of the people who live and work there.”    Anything can happen in a plan and, sadly, the most brilliant plans with plenty of community input stagnate and die in the bowels of government offices or at a developer’s indifference.

While I am happy at the prospect of more parks, I feel skeptical at the lofty promises. Nothing concrete was defined. There are no details or examples in the article. He implies we should all just hop on board with blind faith. I can only hope that the neighborhoods of South Knoxville are tenacious and persistent and inexhaustible, lest we lose what is inherently serene and beautiful about South Knoxville.

Tina Rosling  

 

Give Van Beke Some Slack

As someone who has been active in our downtown community both as a property owner and member of the Downtown Advisory Committee, I believe Jill Van Beke has been exceptional in her efforts to coordinate an overall downtown strategy, including a necessary retail component. As Mr. Sullivan accurately points out, Ms. Van Beke “gets high marks for her coordinating skills and attention to detail,”but contrary to his comments, she does possess the expertise necessary to continue to make downtown a thriving environment. Although I only speak for myself, I can assure you that the sentiment of most downtown developers is that Jill has served us well in our efforts to help our downtown community grow. 

Mr. Sullivan may be correct in that it does appear that Jill sometimes lacks the authority from the Mayor’s office, or as often seems the case, has her authority usurped by other directors and policy mangers (Bill Lyons excluded), thereby frustrating her efforts to advance the common good of downtown.

If this letter to the editor serves as nothing more than a shout to the city administration, let Jill Van Beke do her job and put your money where your mouth is. Downtown development is essential to all of Knoxville and needs someone with the skills of Jill Van Beke not only to attempt to do what is necessary, but be given the latitude and authority to accomplish the same. 

Don Bosch 

 

Congressional Abdication

Congress could at any time they wish act to finalize the legality of abortion, but since the nine justices are not facing re-election, Congress chooses to let the nine decide these things in their stead. Both sides of “the aisle” shun responsibility with full knowledge of their own power to conclude debate.

John Osborne

Guidelines for Incoming Mail

© 2005 MetroPulse. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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