Feb 18 2008

The Daily Times' editorial Sunday advocating the completion of the Pellissippi Parkway once again resorts to several Big Lies: "A lot of taxpayer money has, we think, been wasted in continued restudying the route just to please a small group of the county's 120,000 residents who oppose and seek to block it for personal reasons."

Actually the "restudying" is being done to please a federal judge who ruled that the initial "study" did not meet the requirements of the law.

The assertion that opponents are acting "for personal reasons" is also inaccurate and based on the same blind devotion to the highway that allows public officials to be in favor of it without knowing what effects it will actually have on the county. By far the majority of opponents of the highway do NOT live in or near its path.

And of course many of the people in favor of the road say they want it because it will make it easier for them to get to work. I guess that is not a "personal" reason. Nor, I guess, is it "personal" for developers and pavers and people who bought land near the first proposed route to favor its being built.

Opponents of the PPE have been very careful to tell the truth and ask for data. Supporters, on the other hand, seem to have different standards.

The DT is biased - What's new?

Opponents of the PPE I hope are realizing there is no "reaching out" to the GOP and their mouthpiece, The Daily Times. It has been pointed out time after time legal representation for the Mayor and The Daily Times are one in the same. If the appearance of impropriety doesn't bother them, what makes opponents think true impropriety does.

There are 7 to 10 commissioners who look to have the publics interest in mind when they consider decisions that effect us all. Dealing with anyone else is a waste of time. Others at the courthouse are either complacent or apathetic to the GOP.

But don't blame those at the courthouse for being apathetic. We enabled that mind set. Insurance on top of insurance, free use of cars, using fake degrees to get better pay, salary increases based on political expediency instead of performance and the good ol boys always getting what the good ol boys want - would make most keep their mouth shut. And most do.

The PPE fight, like all of those that center around reigning in a rouge government, will be won by those who know and follow laws and procedures. It's up to us to vote in and support officials who know these things as well.

I wish it were true, Dumping

I wish it were true, Dumping Ground, that the PPE fight will be won by those who know and follow laws and procedures. There are no laws and procedures that, in themselves, prohibit the building of an unnecessary highway.

Ultimately, these are political decisions, so you are right to argue that it matters who is in office, but the PPE was approved and called for in the 1970s by a bunch of state legislators most, if not all, of whom are not even there now.

Meanwhile, most local elected officials apparently do not care what the Environmental Impact Statement will say since they know they are for the PPE before the EIS is finished.

After this same click that

After this same click that currently makes up the GOP named a highway after a politician who killed a guy on a highway (link...), I think we all understand there needs not be a reason for stupid politicians to do stupid political things.

However, opposition through the investigation of laws and procedures found that Sundquist had skirted federal and state requirements for an EIS.

This was all done in spite of the GOP, not with their assistance. I guess my point is, forget the GOP and the forget The Daily Times. They are one in the same and have been and will continue to be no help to you.

I agree with your general

I agree with your general assessment of how things work, but there seems to be a difference between how the Daily Times covers the PPE in its news stories and how it editorializes about it. The news article Sunday quoted rather extensively from the analysis of the PPE done by The Raven Society, while the editorial writer seemed not to even have read it. I am not sure that all crevices of the paper are identical.

A divided house

I am not sure that all crevices of the paper are identical.

Granted. But remember, editorials come from editors. As often with DT, changing or denying a story is something you, myself or the rest of the reading public never get to see.

It is appalling

Our Nation is in an Energy Crisis. Soon folks will find it hard to afford to drive to work. When that happens the precious tax dollars that goverments depend on, will dry up. Why on Earth, if there is money to burn on this PPE, don't they use it instead, on some form of Public Transportation. This is not a fear-mongering-all-is-gloom prophecy--it is REALITY. Fuel prices will soon wreck the good 'ole driving to work lifestyle, and apparently only when the tax dollars dry up from lack of employment, will any elected official pay attention to it, and search for solutions.

Can't afford to Drive my Car

viva Evo Morales

Energy Crisis

Your Right we are, and why would any good Blount County citizen want to sit in traffic wasting fuel at idle while polluting the air we breathe? If that continues without the completion of PP we won't be able to even see the mountains with the houses on top.

Absolutely Reverse Logic

You don't understand, Mr. O. What you fail to realize is this: It is NO secret that once the Occupation/War ends in the former Nation of Iraq, Gasoline Prices will sky-rocket. The Oil companies, thieves that they are (Exxon-Mobil, Chevron-Texaco, Shell, & BP specifically), will NOT get there precious little Production Sharing Agreements / Iraqi Hydro-Carbon Laws signed, before our brave warriors leave that place. These same Oil companies WILL revolt, because 1st- they didn't get what they wanted and were promised, and 2nd'ly- they'll be under great scrutiny and taxed heavily, under the new Democratic Administration. They will NOT lose a profit lying down, and ALL of them will raise the price of Gasoline to show their omnipotence.

Here, locally, it won't matter how much one would want to drive, it ain't gonna happen unless you can afford it. Our Nation's current Energy Policy is destined to leave the country in Economic Catastrophic ruin--and by design, mind you. Traffic won't be the problem, in a few years, the lack thereof will be the problem, for folks won't be able, again, to drive, and the Tax Dollars that they used to bring in by gainful employment will magically vanish.

$17.5 million would go a long way in getting some form of Public Transportation in Blount County readied for the upcoming onslaught, and in my not-so humble opinion, it is always better and cheaper to be prepared, than have to rush into emergency repair mode. Pouring more asphalt might bring in a few minimum wage jobs for folks who want to work at an Exxon station--that's about it.

P.S. It's "You're Right", and you're wrong, I'm extremely Left.

viva Evo Morales


Good post, Lots of good info there. Perhaps I'll see you in just about two and a half hours.

Mayhaps, Mr. Jonathan O

Mayhaps, we'll see. Said you, "Lots of good info there". Does that mean you agree or disagree with the information?

By the way, I hope I'm wrong on what could happen. Cynics, like myself enjoy being proven wrong, for humankind wins in the end. However; based on the recent track record, of how our Energy Policy has gone un-bridled, I fear that some of what I said, may come to fruition.

viva Evo Morales


Sorry to hurt your feelings but its Johnny not Jonathan. Yup lots of good info, I agree and disagree that's why I’m on this blog, to learn.

Where were you?

I searched the crowd for JohnnyO, yet I never found his nametag. Johnny you seem to have the inside track on a lot of the local goings on. I'd be happy to discuss what both of us know at length, for your knowledge of local politics is very profound. Honestly.

viva Evo Morales

wearing a Green Sticker

I was in the middle section near about eight or so rows back on the left side. I sat behind the guy who stood up that lived in Lambert Estates talking about the sewer system not supporting the additional subdivisions.
I did not like TDOT's answer to Sevierville (411N) road and the PP exit there. If they aren't careful Sevierville Road will be as dangerous as Alcoa Hwy.
To be honest last night was the first time that I've heard the term "Southern Loop".

I was there also, and didn't

I was there also, and didn't get to ask my question because I wrote it on the official yellow card and they didn't get to it.

I thought it amusing that the TDOT guy tried to paint the road extension as a smart growth strategy because it is within the Urban Growth Boundary. I guess they think that people will only move to the new subdivisions immediately beside the road. I believe it will make Knoxville bedroom communities out of Walland and Townsend, where previously it made the most sense for retirees or those who work in local tourism to live in Townsend because of the commute time.

I didn't notice a lot of questions being answered. For example, only Mayor Cunningham answered the question about route preference (A), when the question was really asked of all the elected officials whether they preferred route a or b. I also noticed that people in River Ford only seemed to care that the route chosen was the one farthest from them. I never got to see the route map. Where does route B come out?

Strangely, I heard few solidly "yes" questions.

Johnnyo, your question about sewer; what did that guy even say?

Never heard an answer to "why the PPE" when the traffic down on 411S is a WHOLE lot worse. Except because they thought of the PPE 30 years ago, back in 1977, when they didn't anticipate that the growth would be way down south.

I was surprised that Mayor Swann admitted TDOT thought Sevierville Road too expensive to improve back in the 80s. And there's still no plan to improve it even if the PPE drops a lot more traffic on it. Yet, he's still supporting the PPE. Well, at least he said he'd drop it if the EIS showed any surprises. All you got from Cunningham and Mull was they've lived here their whole lives and just look at what the Pellissippi Parkway and 321 have done for us. Yes, just look. And now we want to divide the community into South Maryville and North Maryville?

Seriously, do they really think people living South of Maryville will stop driving up 411 to go to work and start driving 321 to the PPE to work?

I heard lots of mumbo jumbo, yeah, need the road, but I never heard why. They sure couldn't support it with traffic counts. They seemed not to have looked at their own charts.

And what the heck was that about Southern Loop? Sounds like they were anticipating that the traffic counts on the Southern Loop would provide purpose for the PPE. I bet that woman got fired today for bringing that up that can of worms.

Other people didn't seemed as shocked after the meeting as I was about the rude behavior toward speakers. There were "yes" men (wearing the green labels) positioned about halfway down the wall on either side of the theater whose job assignment seemed to be to heckle little old ladies reading their speeches. I was glad not to be wearing a green sticker, if for no other reason than sheer embarrassment to have been thought in any way associated with them.

"I think it would be a good idea."
-Mahatma Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western civilization

Here's a map of the Southern Loop

Check this out, Johnnyo: (link...)

The Southern Loop was the catalyst for the formation of the Raven Society. At one point, a group of members walked the entire 27-some mile route to inform homeowners in its projected path.

$17.5 million for construction of the Foothills Parkway

$17.5 million for construction of the Foothills Parkway

from: Duncan's Website

Don't know if he's for or against.

viva Evo Morales

Are you sitting down Andy?

Are you sitting down Andy? It looked to me like Route B comes out PAST Heritage High School.


I got this off the Daily Times website, L_Y: (link...)

It looks like it comes out just before Heritage HS to me. Really, though, it is so outlandish that I imagine TDOT came up with that just to make Route A look more palatable. Seems to have worked, since some of the River Ford subdivision people are now anxiously advocating for Route A. Just so long as it isn't in their fancy backyards, it's all good.

"I think it would be a good idea."
-Mahatma Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western civilization

The Art of War

Divide and conquer is an ancient military tactic. The B route was set up to be a wedge. Looks like it's working.

Nail on the head

There's a letter to the editor today that does a good job addressing Dean Stone's endorsement of the PPE on behalf of the Daily Times: (link...)

"I think it would be a good idea."
-Mahatma Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western civilization

Not only a good was awesome!

The letter in today's Daily Times was about the best attempt that I have seen on explaining all aspects of why the PPE shouldn't be built.

I think that we should never forget who the people are that want this PPE so bad: the Lamberts, the Berrongs, Blalock, APAC, Harrison's Construction, Blount Excavating, etc.

Nobody will benefit more than the Lambert/Berrong family of Blount County.

The proposed PPE will end just about a half mile from Lambert Acres Golf Course.

From there, a county "LOOP" road will be built to Montvale which will end just about 3/4 mile from the proposed Slater/Berrong high end gated development on Chilhowee Mountain.

Must be nice to be able to manipulate government into helping you make your money..............or in their case, more millions on top of what they've already stolen from the American taxpayer.

looking at Mello's map

I thought it looked like the Southern Loop would parallel Blockhouse Road/Carpenters Grade, which makes it about 5 miles from Slater/Berrong's place instead of 3/4. But point taken. Never thought of that.

"I think it would be a good idea."
-Mahatma Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western civilization

Misplaced Key Stroke.

You are correct, mello.

I meant to type 3-4 miles instead of 3/4 miles. Glad you caught that.

That still makes the Berrong/Slater development much more convenient to the Golf Course, the proposed PPE and especially Knoxville.

The sheriffs family owns lots of land around the golf course. I'm sure that they are doing some pretty serious speculating on what they can make if the PPE is allowed to open this part of our county to an interstate extension.

That's why the sheriff is in favor of the PPE. With the added influx of people moving here because of the development that will take place, he'll be able to beg for more money to fund his department. It's a win-win situation for Jimbo and his minions. He'll be able to buy all kinds of un-needed equipment.

Coupled with the fact that the Berrong/Slater team has other development interests, it will be a money maker for them if the PPE is built.

You do know that the sheriff is a Lambert, right? Why else would he be so in favor of Vulcan making some money?

DT editor scrambles to make sense of what makes no sense

Reiteration of support for the PPE in the name of preservation? Oh, please: (link...)

I've got two words for you, Mr. Stone: Bedroom Community. The only thing the PPE will do for Blount County is make it more convenient for folks working in Knoxville to move to the unincorporated and for-now relatively low-taxed portions of the county. You want to see Walland and Townsend ruined? Well, you are going about it in exactly the right way.

Pellissippi Parkway is a limited access road and access will be allowed only at the major intersections, so it isn’t apt to become a Pigeon Forge. However, the county can allow frontage roads that parallel the parkway that would allow development.

You don't really think that making the PPE limited access, but putting parallel roads alongside for development is going to preserve our rural heritage, do you?

And to have no idea of a possible plan for the future in any of the areas would be totally irresponsible for the community and its leadership.

I do not agree that we should throw the areas already in transportation & development crisis under the bus in order to provide roads to spawn yet MORE development in different areas. It is a joke to spend taxpayer money on this project instead of on improvement to say, Sevierville Road.

"I think it would be a good idea."
-Mahatma Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western civilization

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