incoming (2006-21)

In the May 4 issue of Metro Pulse the editorial [“Immigration Demonstration”] states that it “is not a practical possibility” to “seal our borders.” One may wonder if someone didn’t tell George Washington that it wasn’t a practical possibility to get the British Army off of our shores. The truth is that we currently lack the will. We still want to debate the issue. Birthrates and our spinelessness are such that we will soon lack the ability.

This editorial of yours is an argument in favor of illiteracy. Anyone who simply trusts their senses is opposed to this third-world invasion and the resultant collapse of society as we know it. Poke around Atlanta if you wish to see the future of Knoxville. The pro-immigration propaganda speaks of xenophobes and racists. Don’t expect to see the same language used in reference to Israelis or the Chinese. Nor can we expect to see the term white flight in this age of political correctness.

The dumbest Mexican out there understands that this is an invasion. La Raza Unita speaks openly of taking back this land. A few years ago they were saying go back to Boston. Now they tell the white man to rebuild the Mayflower and go back to Europe. Is this our fate? Is this the price we will pay for our carelessness? Our federal government certainly doesn’t have a grip on these things, and our mainstream media is leading the chorus of cultural diversity. The powers that be seem to like the cheap labor, which is simply a short-term windfall. Meanwhile the average citizen watches his slice of the pie shrink, watches his credit card debt grow, watches his cities and towns become unlivable.

When one properly prunes a tree it grows with more vigor. An untended garden turns to weeds. Some businesses would close if we sent the illegal aliens back to where they came from. Those would be the marginal businesses, the ones we could do without. Wages would increase as workers would be bid in to the healthier companies and the most meaningful work. We all know it is an absolute fact that we as a people can get the job done. In fact the hard work would be good for us.

A final word. What can I say? I will keep it simple. I contemplate the future and it makes me sick.                                                                                   

Robert Minick

Do the Math

• Monday, 10 a.m., May 15, 2002. New Walnut Avenue city parking garage behind Market Square.

Recall that Home Federal’s motto is, “Your Hometown Bank.” Yet they destroyed a major, perfectly restorable, old multi-story building downtown on Union Avenue for 43 cars! They kicked out a barbershop, a restaurant and a dry cleaning business, all of which had been there for many years. They refused to maintain the building, a hostile act toward the community. At least two respected architects and one developer, to my personal knowledge, testified that the building could have been rehabbed for businesses and condos.

Home Federal covered the huge area of mutilated brickwork on the west side of the beautiful old Grand Union Building with shotcrete that resembles gray goo from a bad ’30s sci-fi movie. They didn’t even bother to make it look nice. They also tore down two additional buildings on Clinch for these 43 cars. Your savings dollars at work. All this was over the strenuous, repeated objections of Mayor Victor Ashe and the residents of the city over a period of at least two years.

All this unnecessary destruction was done after Home Federal was well aware that the new city parking garage would have far more spaces than they could fill. Home Federal’s lot wasn’t even finished until well after the new city garage was open for business.

Home Federal has demonstrated no respect either for their neighbors and residents, the community in general, or the wishes of the Mayor of the city. They could care less that a city is the center and the soul of a community. You don’t think of the asphalted plains of suburbs when you think of the world’s most livable cities, you think of the unique character of the center city architecture and landscaping.

Virtually the entire part of Knoxville’s center city—approximately a third of the whole CBID—from behind Gay Street to the Vols On-ramp (facetiously known as Neyland Drive), from the Old City to the river, is virtually nothing but a desolate wasteland of gray concrete parking garages, surface parking lots, and broken sidewalks. Much of the rest of the city is parking garages and parking lots.

By far the most prominent feature on the downtown map on the city’s website is huge blue and orange circles with a big P in them for parking. All this parking and nowhere to go! No list or symbols for all the retail businesses, residential buildings, or restaurants, just Parking, government & non-profits. I estimate at least 60 percent of the entire footprint of downtown Knoxville within the vicious tourniquet of I-40, Henley Street, and the Vols On-ramp is nothing but parking.

In addition, the city’s biggest buildings (the twin towers and the City-County Building) all have multi-level parking garages beneath them. So do several others smaller buildings. Parking, parking everywhere, nor any drop to drink (at least not according to the city’s map). Does eating not count with these people? Residences? Retail?

I urge anyone with a conscience and a Home Federal bank account to move their money to a bank with more respect for the Knoxville community. There are some good local banks downtown. Clayton Bank is one. And when someone from back in the states asks you what’s the biggest tourist attraction in Knoxville, you can proudly point to all those huge blue P’s on the official City of Knoxville map. No residential, restaurants or shopping, but we got parking licked!

Robert Loest

Homelessness: Another Solution

I am particularly familiar with the issue having worked as a graduate student intern on the Knoxville Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) for over a year. The HMIS represents the fifth strategy of the “Knoxville and Knox County Ten-Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness.” The HMIS is a federally funded project that links homeless agencies through a secure, encrypted database. Participation allows partner agencies to conduct assessments electronically, share information about available resources, and coordinate services.

The HMIS represents just one way that the City is supporting innovative and collaborative approaches to helping eliminate homelessness. It also recognizes the intersecting issues of poverty, violence, mental health and substance abuse that cause homelessness. People aren’t homeless in Knoxville because the City offers too many conveniently located, posh emergency shelters. They are homeless because they have been victims of domestic violence, because they have lost their jobs, because they have suffered catastrophic accidents that left them disabled, or simply because they are the unfortunate children of homeless parents.

The building of supportive housing such as that planned by Volunteer Ministry Center will offer stable homes to men and women who need more comprehensive services than those offered at traditional shelters. Moreover, locating this program in the former Fifth Avenue Motel will renovate the current eyesore that is already ipso facto housing for homeless persons. The result will be a well-maintained facility offering compassionate and effective services to homeless individuals.

In conclusion, I would like to offer my own prophecy to counter that of Edens: 10 years from now, homeless agencies will be coordinating services through an electronic database. Agencies will be allocating resources more efficiently and policy makers will be making more effective decisions based on comprehensive data. The result will be more children, women, and men, who would otherwise be sleeping under our bridges, finding permanent homes and new lives in Knoxville.

Courtney Cronley

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