incoming (2006-36)

In Hardin Valley , it’s no secret that everybody wants to develop our land. First it was the Orange Route being planned right through our valley. This short-sighted juggernaut is proposed to go right through Hardin Valley devouring huge amounts of land and bringing with it decades of construction upheaval, pollution and the promise of sprawl. The proposed route threatens the health of hundreds of our children by its proximity to the elementary school and the new high school. Next, it was the county who decided to replace the existing two-lane section of Hardin Valley Road from Pellissippi Parkway to the elementary school with another two-lane road?!? We tolerated nearly three years of construction, on six miles of road, to give some new subdivisions a left turn lane?!? How’s a two-lane road going to serve a high school that everybody knew would end up in Hardin Valley? The new two-lane road doesn’t even have a turn lane in front of the new high school!

What about the high school? We are in desperate need of it, but the school we were promised (2,100 students) is now being cut down to 1,300 students. The poor handling of the budget has led to a number of ridiculous proposals to cut costs. Perhaps the county would have the extra money on hand if the foolish and costly road improvements hadn’t been done ahead of building the high school. The county government gives lip service to the notion of better education for our students, but year after year our schools grow more over-crowded and less well equipped for the job.

Not only are developers lusting after privately owned land, but now TVA has been brazenly approached to do a land swap of the 250-acre Hickory Bend Recreation Area. Hickory Bend is clearly designated as a Sensitive Resource Management area in the Melton Hill Land Management Plan. This is the only public land for hunting anywhere near West Knoxville. This land could have become a marina and lakefront home sites for the wealthy. No more lake access for the average recreational fisherman. Who wants our public land?

There are at least five new large subdivisions going up in Hardin Valley right now. Don’t get me wrong, nobody has forced land owners to sell. Or have they?

Here’s where the persecution gets personal. The blasting and construction around Sims Market and Deli on Hardin Valley Road has caused problems with their sewer system. The county won’t pay for the damage and neither will the construction company. Either [the owners] pay for the repairs themselves or they may have to sell or be condemned by the county. Where’s the compassion? Who wants their land?

What about the beautiful scenic farm at the intersection of Hickory Creek Road and Hardin Valley Road? The court is forcing 50 acres to be sold out from under this poor old man who has lived on this farm his entire life. Of interest is that TDOT’s Orange Route is planned to go right through the center of all his property. Of course, the auction notice says, “Approx. 50 Prime Residential Development Acres.” He can barely take care of himself and desperately needs a compassionate social worker to intervene. He has already been victimized by thieves and lost his livelihood (cattle and equipment), now he’s about to be victimized, in the extreme, by having his property snatched out from under him. Who wants his land?

Hardin Valley is the last bastion of pastoral beauty in West Knoxville. Many of us came here to enjoy the peace and quiet and “elbow room.” Even so, we are willing to embrace change especially when it means new schools for our children. What we are not willing to tolerate are uncompassionate land grabs enabled by TVA and our local government at the expense of our close-knit community.

Fredrick Gary Dolislager

The Coin Collectors’ Revenge

I never broke one, but sometimes that’s all it took to drop a sticking coin, or to get an erratic meter to make its final decision. A good kick would often decide the issue, one way, or the other. So the fickle meter gods never visited me all during that time, but now my knees are going bad. Maybe they’re finally getting their revenge.

Steve Allen 

Squaring Off

Julie Wallin

Just the South?

Recycling is a necessary part of our society. Unfortunately, it is not a financial success to those who get involved. Our national government must get behind this cause and make the collection and re-use of our trash mandatory and feasible. The distributors of products in this throwaway society make more money and can sell for less because of the current laws. They, and eventually the customer, need to bear that financial burden.

Getting five cents for a bottle or can isn’t the answer, either. It needs to be more to pay for the process of recycling. It would also make one think about tossing that product out the window or in the trash.

However, the comments about graft and the South were totally unnecessary. It may be unfortunate that your N.Y. accent led someone to believe you were from Mars, but it’s usually the context of a statement, not the accent, that steers such beliefs.

Life is good here. Appreciate it. Hopefully, someday you will see that you are not amongst a bunch of dummies south of the Mason-Dixon Line.

Then again, we let you in.

Woody English

Pick a Party, Any Party

Fast forward to 2000. I no longer considered myself to be a Republican and thus, I voted for the Libertarian Party candidates Harry Browne and Michael Badnarik in the last two presidential elections. What happened? Contrary to the image, the GOP was not the party of small government or even smaller government. Deficits ballooned under GOP administrations. Their foreign policy is focused on war and cultural domination rather than peace and free trade with nations. The so-called War on Drugs is motivated by bigotry and expansion of government power rather than protecting children and families.    

I’ve come to realize that many people who consider themselves Republican or Democrat are generally decent hardworking individuals. But the tone and direction of the party leadership is nasty and power hungry. No wonder Republicans and Democrats alike are feeling politically homeless. 

Chris Fortner

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