incoming (2006-35)

In reality, however, we have hundreds of acres of industrial land available, not to mention the many abandoned industrial sites in and around the city limits that beg for revitalization, properties near Cherry Street, Magnolia, Central Avenue, and Baxter Avenue, just to name a few. These properties already have the infrastructure in place—shouldn’t these sites be reclaimed before we go out into the country and sacrifice increasingly scarce greenfields to industrial parks?

In May 2006, Knox County invested $5 million in the first phase of an industrial park in Blount County, part of a regional cooperation plan to place industry strategically. Acquiring more industrial land in Knox County does not support this strategy.

The Development Corporation’s outdated, one-size-fits-all “build an industrial park” solution to economic development is holding back our county. We need ideas that are more flexible and quicker to respond to changing markets. The latest trends for industrial development include ideas like “industrial pods” instead of huge parks that are almost impossible to fill. But with little or no oversight or accountability to County Commission or the public, The Development Corp. is free to operate in relative secrecy and do whatever it wants with our hard-earned taxpayer dollars. 

We have many businesses here in Knoxville that could use loans and other assistance to expand and create more jobs—jobs that will stay here and not be shipped overseas. We have a wealth of technology resources in the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and The University of Tennessee, but the region has a dire lack of funding for technology startup companies. Perhaps The Development Corp. should replace its “If we build an industrial park, they will come” mentality with greater creativity and smarter thinking that more closely meets today’s industrial needs.

The money might also be better spent improving the quality of our workforce to attract economic growth. By directing more resources to our schools and supporting living wages for our public servants such as fire, police and teachers, we can attract and retain the best. Children are perhaps Knox County’s most valuable assets, and there’s no better investment than to ensure they are well-prepared for their future. A well-educated work force enables us to attract the kind of clean, high-tech, high-paying jobs that we deserve.

We are all interested in doing the right thing for Knox County to benefit both ourselves and future generations.

Please, Knox County Commissioners, vote wisely and prudently as the elected stewards of our land, our resources, and our tax dollars. Get the facts before you vote and vote NO for any more industrial parks in Knox County.

Donna Bohon

Backwards Priorities

We do not want to see our tax dollars being wasted by this kind of project when there are many other things in this community that need urgent funding. One of the best things we could do for economic development is to spend more money on our school system to truly make it the “world class” system we have been promised.

Michael & Jennifer Cotter

Can It

Second time this scumbag approached me he drove up and did not remember me. Had local tags too—Grainger County.

Johnny Lawlor  

The End of the World as We Know It

Sure kid.

If you believe we live in a democratic society, lucky you. I will revisit Bush’s victory over Gore but, be warned, this too will require the concept of addition. More people voted for Gore than voted for Bush. Bush is now the president in spite of having gotten fewer votes than Gore. Perhaps it’s just me, but this smacks of a certain lack of adherence to the will of the people.

Our eagerness to ignore such factoids is facilitated by the illusion of sustainability. It seems we can continue allowing Mexican workers to enter the United States while not giving them the status to demand equal pay. It seems we can restructure the politics of other countries against the advisement of the U.N.—an alliance we consciously joined. It seems our President can claim stem cell research is wrong for killing potential humans while he piles up innocent Iraqi civilians.

Our comfort is due for disappointment.

We have recently learned that one of our spiritual brothers has been involved in the illegal business of marijuana. I defend not only him but also his right to engage in this business. I support his defiance of an unjust law. It is simply not the right of our pitiful collection of leaders to tell us whether we may partake in or purchase drugs, which they deem improper. Don’t forget for one second that the government intends to collect taxes from the profits of this, and many other, illegal businesses. Furthermore, they are happy to sell you the drugs of which they do approve. Lawyers and businessmen don’t often pass up the opportunity to invest in a monopoly.

Legality is not synonymous with justice.

We have confused power with correctness. For a brief description of where we’re headed see Goebbels’ recipe for aligning people by fear and making enemies of independent thinkers. The blind-leading-the-blind would be an indescribably better situation. Our current political atmosphere is more accurately regarded as the wolves-leading-the-calves. We are their economic prey animals. We provide them with milk for sustenance and meat for war.

Don’t swoon over the vanishingly small number of honest politicians. They are only there so that when you occasionally raise your head to attend to your responsibility as citizens you see something you recognize as not terrible.

The irony of our form of freedom is its insistence on selectively disallowing unseemly behavior. It is our duty as human beings to raise our middle finger in the direction of those whose inflated self-righteousness expands to the level of prohibition.

Our hysterical government fuels its war machine on our apathy and charges us a sin tax for a glass of Merlot. It moralizes when it comes to our vices but overlooks its own. Governmental hypocrisy knows no bounds.

Jodd Fiends

Guidelines for Incoming Mail