Students unite to fight climate change, sending letters to D.C.

Calkins, Parin Bhaduri, an FHS senior, and Sydney Rowell, a Hardin Valley Academy senior, met at the library last week to write letters to Alexander and Corker. Both schools are encouraging students to express their views on climate change, in letter form, to both U.S. senators. Parin Bharduri and Paul Calkins Jr. are buddies at Farragut High School. They love discussing current issues, but they’re on opposite ends of the political spectrum. There’s one thing they’re in complete agreement on, though: global temperatures are rising way too fast and something needs to be done.

Now the young men are in the middle of a letter-writing campaign at the high school. They are asking students to write letters to Sen. Lamar Alexander and Sen. Bob Corker [both R-Tenn.] to encourage them to support measures to slow down global warming. They’d also like to get other schools involved. Deadline for the letters is March 3, and by that point they hope to have collected hundreds.

“Senators Alexander and Corker have both admitted that climate change is human-caused and a real issue,” Bharduri said. “As veterans of the Republican party, they could help change the Republican party platform to include climate change as a real issue.”

Bharduri signed up for Lauren George-Smith’s environmental science class this year, saying it was there

he began to learn specifics on climate change.

“The first day of class we were looking at ecological footprint trends,” he said. “We examined the natural capacity and the ecological footprint of different countries. The ecological footprint in the U.S. is much higher than the natural capacity, which is worrying.”

As Parin discovered more facts, he shared them with Paul, who said he has seen the impact of climate change firsthand.

“I grew up in Florida and we would go to the Bahamas,” he said. “This past year we went back and talked to some of the locals. Sea life isn’t what it used to be and the reefs are being affected. There’s no way to stop climate change, but we can at least make regulations to slow it down.”

As they discussed the problem, Paul thought of a letter-writing campaign. Since Parin and Sydney Rowell, a senior at Hardin Valley Academy, have been named the two Tennessee students to go to the Senate Youth Program in Washington, D.C. in early March, they thought the letters could be hand-carried to Senators Alexander and Corker. In the end, they decided to mail them in large packets.

Sydney is getting HVA is involved through the school’s Progressive Club.

“We have about 15 members,” she said. “I think we’re going to sit down as a club and write them together. Global warming is a big issue that I think our legislators have kind of ignored over the last few years. I think it’s something we need to draw attention to in our current political climate.”
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FMPC grills Mohney on ‘high dense’ housing

Farragut Municipal Planning Commissioners look at the plat of a high-density subdivision at the meeting Thursday evening. From left are Mayor Ralph McGill, chair Rita Holladay, Ed St. Clair, Alderman Louise Povlin, Rose Ann Kile and Drew Carson. Should town of Farragut planners give the thumbs-up to developers who want to use small tracts of land for high-density housing? Is Farragut about to see small subdivisions where houses are only 10 feet apart?

High-density housing dominated the conversation at the Farragut Municipal Planning Commission meeting Thursday evening, Feb. 16.

Under consideration were two proposals: the first was by Bob Mohney, president of Saddlebrook Properties. He wants to put in high-density housing on an 8-acre tract off North Campbell Station Road.
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Town writing provisions for telecommunications poles

How to regulate new cell antennas, both in Farragut commercial areas and neighborhoods, was part of the discussion among committee members at Farragut Municipal Planning Commission meeting Thursday evening, Feb. 16.

The Town has been considering a request by telecommunications company, Zayo. Zayo had applied to install three “small cell antennas” in August. These small antennas are usually mounted on a utility pole and are usually the height of whatever they’re being mounted to, said Mark Shipley, Community Development director for town of Farragut.

To boost cell signals in heavy usage areas such as Turkey Creek, this additional cell equipment may be attached to existing utility poles.

But committee members said the possibility exists for poles, up to 50 feet tall, to be erected in existing neighborhoods.

Shipley said a draft of provisions for regulating these poles has been written by area telecommunications expert Larry Perry. That draft currently is being revised by Town staff and others.

For now, antennas must be attached to an existing structure, Shipley said, such as a light pole, the top of a clubhouse or a water tower, but he can’t say what will happen in the future.
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Korda analyzes ‘Trumpican’ win, mistakes, for Rotarians

George Korda, right, local political analyst and comentator, pretends to be in a confrontation with Alex Barnwell, member of The Rotary Club of Farragut, to make a point. Admitting to “shameless self-promotion” as one of the few political analysts nationwide to predict a presidential victory by Republican Donald J. Trump, George Korda explained his prediction.

“I looked at the [Hillary] Clinton campaign and I thought, ‘Well, she has more money, she has better organization, she has an allegedly unified party, she has demographics on her side according to a lot of analysts, she has issues on her side according to most of the media — but she couldn’t put him away,’” said Korda, political analyst for WATE-TV Channel 6, president of Korda Communications plus a radio talk show host and columnist.
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Fifth District Democrats reach out in various ways

Charles Chandler Jr. of Concord Hills grabs the necessary supplies to begin his letter requesting Congres-sional oversight of President Donald Trump’s administration. Fifth District Democrats were reaching out, on a number of levels, during their latest monthly meeting Thursday, Feb. 16.

Holding an on-site letter-writing campaign to grab Congres-sional attention about national security concerns, FDD leaders also urged fellow Democrats to encourage more Farragut and West Knox County Democrats and Independents to become politically active.

The gathering also heard from party activists seeking positions within Knox County Democratic Party leadership.
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police reports

• On Feb. 16, at approximately 6:28 p.m., a Knox County Sheriff’s Officer responded to Virtue Road in reference to a vandalism. The victim stated while driving his vehicle on Virtue Road, the unknown suspect threw something from his vehicle striking the windshield of the victim’s vehicle. The suspect fled prior to officer’s arrival. Damage to windshield was estimated at $500. The victim was advised of his legal rights and given case information. read more