Please join us on Thursday, August 19, from 7-9:30pm at The Market on High Street in Maryville.
SAVE IT, DON'T PAVE IT!
Thursday, August 19 from 7-9:30pm
Join us for BBQ (pork and chicken), cole slaw, iced tea, and beer at The Market at High Street in Maryville.
The Spurgeon Boys (local old-time musicians) and CAPPE's long-time friend, singer-songwriter Jay Clark, will be with us.
$25 suggested/person at the door; cash or check.
RSVP PLEASE by Friday, August 13 to email@example.com OR call 977 7399.
(we need your reservation to ensure we will have enough food on hand)
Please carpool and park at The Market or across High Street on the west side of Blount Memorial Health.
This event is a benefit for Citizens Against the Pellissippi Parkway Extension, Inc., a non-profit organization.
Contributions to CAPPE are not tax-deductible.
Call to Blount Co. Election Commission re. early vote: Mitchell 4401, Kerr 1782. The good ol' boy establishment appears to have prevailed.
UPDATE: Another call to Blount Co. Election Commission, with 14 of 34 precincts reporting:
County Commission 1A: Cook 215, Burchfield 357.
CC 1B: Carter 344, Ballard 215.
CC 4C: Reeves 755, Moon 1412.
CC 7B: Dees 65, Green 325.
CC 6A: Lail 961, Wynn 250.
CC 10A: Webb 110, Kirby 386.
Not a good night for Democrats. Keep an eye on 1A in the morning, though.
We attended the TDOT meeting yesterday regarding the DEIS report. There was a large turnout, with, it appeared, half of the attendees in opposition to the PPE.
Twenty citizens of the community were able to speak and give their comments as to why the PPE should not (or should) be completed. Nineteen of the twenty citizens were opposed to the completion of the PPE. The citizen speakers did a very good job, many with facts, figures, and reasonable arguments as to why the PPE should not be completed. The one gentleman who spoke as a proponent for the PPE seemed to be just giving up, if you're going to do it, just do it, he said.
Kudos to Nina Gregg for her hard work and persistence.
Go to KnoxViews for the full report.
What do you think of spending $10 million of tax dollars a minute? This is the potential cost of the PPE -- $100 million to shorten drive time by ten minutes, but no improvement in traffic congestion or levels of service on our area roads even with three new highways (PPE, Southern Loop and Alcoa Parkway). Readers will be interested in the substance (not just the soundbites in circulation) of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement. The material below quotes directly from the DEIS (available on line at (link...) and in hard copy at the Blount County Public Library and Chamber of Commerce) and from supporting Technical Memoranda, available upon request from TDOT but not currently on the TDOT webpage.
There is much, much more information in the 370-page DEIS and 900+ pages of supporting material that demonstrates the PPE will not satisfy the purposes and needs in the official description in TDOT materials.
This is no longer a matter of opinion:
TDOT’s own data show the PPE will not improve regional mobility, will not reduce crash incidence, will not address traffic congestion, will not improve levels of service on most of our roads, will likely accelerate residential development that increases costs to the County for providing services like education, will displace families and take active farmland out of production, will substantially increase noise levels in residential neighborhoods, and will threaten our waterways and wildlife habitat.
Three examples, with page references to TDOT’s own materials:
“Little change is predicted in the level of service of existing roadways between the No-Build and Build Alternatives since the traffic volumes do not change substantially for most roadways among the alternatives.” (DEIS, 3-3)
“Overall, this analysis does not demonstrate that any of the Build Alternatives would substantially improve the level of service for the existing highway network.” (DEIS, 3-4)
“Sections of SR 33 and US 411/Sevierville Road would operate at a poor level of service (LOS E or F) regardless of alternative due to existing and projected high traffic volumes on these roadways that exceed the given capacity.” (DEIS, 3-4)
The DEIS shows that only two intersections in the entire study area are improved by Alternative A or C (DEIS 2-10; 3-4; Traffic Operations Report 43) despite such improvement being a major project purpose (DEIS S-2, 1-7).
The DEIS assumes that “when combined with appropriate land use regulations, the recommended transportation improvements need not contribute to urban sprawl.” DEIS 3-17 and 3-18) But the Economic and Fiscal Impacts Analysis acknowledges a different outcome from recent history: “a review of historical building permit trends between 2005 and 2007 suggests that despite the smart growth policies of the County, new residential growth outside municipal boundaries is occurring at a far more rapid pace than within those city limits. . . . on average about 75% of new development over the past three years has occurred in the unincorporated portions of Blount County as compared to Alcoa and Maryville.” (EFIA 18)
The Economic and Fiscal Impacts Analysis addresses the issue of declining revenues: “In both development scenarios, property taxes represent the smallest category of net revenues likely to accrue to the County, with the largest contributor being sales tax revenues from the expenditures of new residents and employees."(3) But sales tax revenues have been unreliable for recurring County expenses, and the commercial development anticipated at the new PPE interchanges has been or will be annexed by the cities of Maryville and Alcoa, meaning those new sales tax revenues will not go to the County, while education costs due to population growth will continue to be borne by the County.
More analysis using TDOT’s own data is now available on CAPPE’s webpage (link...)
The public hearing on the DEIS is Tuesday, July 20, beginning at 5pm at Heritage High School. Come ask why proponents continue to advocate the expenditure of up to $100 million in taxpayer dollars for a project that, even according to TDOT’s own data, doesn’t fulfill the official purpose.
Tony Webb, candidate for County Commission District 10, Seat A has a new campaign website...
Wendy Pitts Reeves, incumbent running for County Commission District 4 seat C, has a new website...
Every Democrat running for County Commission in the Aug 5th general election has a last name that causes them to all be listed second on the ballot after their Republican opponents.
Blount Dems: Recruit more Aarons and Abbots.
Reminder: Early voting starts Friday, July 16th.
County Commission 6A candidate Gary Wynn now has a website and there's some very interesting discussion about energy and commerce in Blount Co. with some concrete numbers showing how local decisions can make a huge local impact.
In other election news, the Blount Co. Election commission has posted sample ballots for the Aug. 5th county general and state primary elections.
Early voting starts July 16th, just two weeks from today.
The last day to register to vote is Tuesday, July 6th.
Something needs to be done about semi-trucks passing through our fair county. With all of the growth, it appears truck drivers have no concern for others around them. They only have a concern for getting to their destination as quickly as possible.
I had quite the scare the other day while traveling in Maryville. I and a passenger were sitting in a turn lane on 129 waiting to go left on Lamar Alexander Pkwy. towards downtown.
This is a good sized intersection with four lanes in all four directions and a traffic signal. We were quietly waiting for our turn, when the main light for people to go straight was turning yellow, then red.
As the light turned yellow we heard a very loud truck horn blasting frantically. The truck was hauling cut trees and did appear to be carrying a full load. The truck driver was attempting to warn everyone at the intersection that he was coming through no matter the color of the traffic light. Lucky for us and everyone else at the intersection, not one driver started to move upon receiving the green light. The truck came barreling through and anyone accidentally getting in his way would have been toast.
It's time to slow these big trucks down through our fair county before someone gets hurt.
What is your position on the proposed Pellissippi Parkway extension?
Kerr: "There is a fixed amount of dollars. Federal money is not infinite. ... We’ve got a certain amount of money, and I believe that Pellissippi should be delayed for a certain time." Kerr added that the money should be spent improving local roadways like Morganton Road.
Mitchell: "I’m for the extension of Pellissippi Parkway. It opens up a real avenue for resources to come in. ... We need some small commercial development."
From a reader:
Lost Chocolate Lab in Louisville. Our 3 yr old granddaughter's chocolate lab has been missing since her birthday Sunday 6-6-10. Please call 567-3220 if you find him.
One way local people can help fight the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is to donate human or animal hair to Operation Hairball for use as "booms."
Samm Riggin said the Veterinary Centre of Greenback is collecting the hair for what she calls Operation Hairball and will be shipping five large boxes to a warehouse in Alabama on Thursday. That will be their first shipment.
The Unified Area Command for the Deepwater Horizon/BP Response announces it will not use hair boom in its response efforts.
[Hair booms were] not deemed feasible after a technical evaluation.
In a February 2010 side-by-side field test conducted during an oil spill in Texas, commercial sorbent boom absorbed more oil and much less water than hair boom, making it the better operational choice.
"Our priority when cleaning up an oil spill is to find the most efficient and expedient way to remove the oil from the affected area while causing no additional damage. One problem with the hair boom is that it became water-logged and sank within a short period of time," said Charlie Henry,
NOAA’s Scientific Support Coordinator in Robert, La. Commercial sorbent boom is readily available and scientifically designed and tested for oil containment and absorption on the water. Additionally, response teams are familiar with and properly trained to safely deploy, maintain, recover, and dispose commercial sorbent boom.
Individuals and organizations are asked to discontinue the collection of hair for the hair boom.
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