December 2006


Dr. Paul Stanton announced today that football will return to ETSU as early as 2010 IF $16 million can be raised AND students approve the student athletic fee increase AND the Tennessee Board of Regents approves the return of the program. Well, I suppose that’s better than nothing.

I would love to see football return to ETSU. As a HUGE college football fan (e.g., I’m thrilled to be having my baby during college football playoff time, as the games will be my “focal point” during labor!), I’m excited by the idea of having a college football team playing each weekend only a few miles down the road. While hubby and I attend at least one Tennessee game per year, we would attend many more if the games were closer and less expensive. Going to ETSU football games is the perfect solution. While we’ll continue to attend our customary Tennessee game (or two) each year, we will certainly attend several ETSU games, and look forward to doing so with our children.

Here’s where I see problems:
A college football program (or any college program, for that matter) MUST have the support of the University. The issue with the football program was not financial, as numerous local business owners offered many millions of dollars to keep the program running. The issue was lack of support from the University. We can raise all the money in the world, but without University backing, the new ETSU football team is as good as gone before it even gets here.

I am disappointed with the results of the student poll. Only 30% of the students enrolled at the university this fall voted on whether or not to bring back the football program and whether or not they were willing to face an increase in student fees to do so. Although turnout was significantly higher in this poll than in the poll a year and a half ago which approved a student fee increase for a concert each semester (thus leading to the Ludacris debacle), one would think that students would put forth more of an effort to have a say-so in how much money the university is going to squeeze from them. But, alas, apathy runs through the entire population…college campuses are certainly no exception.

So, I’m cautiously optimistic.

Is anyone else going to see “We Are Marshall” this weekend? Now THAT’S a school that got behind its football program!

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This is a letter to the editor of the Johnson City Press that was submitted by Joshua Arrowood. Fabulous job!!
-J

Dear Editor:

Recently, there has been discussion of a wheel tax in Washington County. Some in the County Commission want to create a new tax because of opposition to increasing the current property taxes. This is similar to the situation with a state income tax a few years ago. It turned out we didn’t need an income tax then, and I don’t think we need a wheel tax now.

If the government’s expenditures grow at the same rate as the economy and inflation, there should be a continuing increase in the money raised by taxes based on a percentage of value, like sales and property taxes. Property that was once worth $50,000.00 may now be worth $100,000.00, so the County should be getting twice as much in revenue. And since the value of property has gone up much faster than inflation, the County should receive an increase in taxes greater than the increase in costs. Homeowners are now paying a higher percentage tax on property that is already inflated in value.

Also, a wheel tax is very regressive. The owner of a beat up Chevy pays as much tax as someone who owns a new Lexus, even though the Chevy owner probably has much more trouble paying the new tax.

If the County is receiving more money than ever, why do the new schools need a new tax or any extra taxes? This should be explained before any more taxes are raised.

Joshua Arrowood

Here we are, on December 4, almost a full month after the election, and I’m still seeing stray campaign signs around. So, in order to draw attention to these eye sores and to make us all feel a little better about having to look at them, I’d like to open up the “Campaign Sign Hall of Shame.”

If you see campaign signs still lingering on the side of the road, post the name of the candidate and the location in the comments section. Private yards don’t count (that’s the fault of the irresponsible homeowner, rather than the candidate).

I’ll start:

Fred Phillips still has multiple signs on public property in the Leesburg community of Jonesborough. There are two at the Old Stagecoach end of Short Lane, and one on the Old Stagecoach side of Leesburg Rd. If I’m not mistaken, there are still a couple on Old Stagecoach heading toward Hwy 75. I didn’t like looking at them before the election, and I don’t like looking at them now!

Anyone else want to share their sign spottings?