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VOL. 8 NO. 8 ‘ROUND TOWN ➤ Your voice Shopper-News is proud to list upcoming activities in the town of Farragut – both government and private events. This column is not sponsored by the town, but is compiled by Shopper-News writers. Currently underway is the town’s second Introduction to Farragut program. Remaining sessions are Feb. 25, March 11 and 25 and April 8. You do not have to be a resident to apply. ➤ Rewards for thinking green McFee Park has been honored with a Green Project Award. The park, designed by Barge, Waggoner, Sumner and Cannon Inc., was given the award by the East Tennessee Chapter of the United States Green Building Council. The award “celebrates outstanding achievements, leaders and volunteers who have advanced sustainability in the East Tennessee region.” ➤ Hat in the ring Nominating Petition forms are now available for the non-partisan town of Farragut Municipal Election, scheduled for Aug. 7, 2014. The deadline to file a nominating petition for a position on the Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen is noon Thursday, April 3, at the offices of Knox County Election Commission, located in the Old Court House in downtown Knoxville. The seats of mayor and two aldermen, one each from Ward I and Ward II, are up for election. To be eligible for the office of alderman a person must be a registered voter and reside within the desired ward for at least one year preceding the election. Elected officials may serve no more than three terms total and no more than two terms in either office (mayor or alderman). Info: Knox County Election Commission at 215-2480. | February 24, 2014 Bright STARS Even volunteering at riding program is life-altering experience By Sherri Gardner Howell Olivia Knight knows the therapeutic power of Shangri La Therapeutic Academy of Riding. The STAR program changed her life, and she isn’t even a client. Olivia, 17, has been a volunteer with STAR, located just outside Farragut in Loudon County, since she was 10 years old. “I heard about the program from a friend at church,” says Olivia. “I got involved strictly because I loved horses and would do anything to be around them. So I started in the Junior Volunteer program and was a regular Lesson Volunteer by the time I was 12.” As a Junior Volunteer, Olivia says the work is far from glamorous. “It’s pretty much barn duty – pulling tack, cleaning stalls, preparing what is needed for classes. After my first day, as we were pulling away from the barn, I asked my mom, ‘Is this a paid job?’ She told me it was all volunteer labor.” How did she cope with that kind of labor? “I must have loved it,” she says with a laugh. “You couldn’t get me away from there. You have to commit an hour a week. After my hour was up, I asked if I could stay longer. I sometimes would Olivia Knight, a volunteer with the STAR riding program, gets ready to help with a lesson. work seven or eight hours a week, more in the summer.” STAR began in 1987 as Lynn Petr’s therapeutic recreation master’s thesis at the University of Tennessee. When Lynn started the program, she had five riders, one horse, three volunteers and only herself as staff. The program now serves children and adults from 11 East Tennessee counties, working with individuals with physical, mental and neuro- STAR volunteer Olivia Knight with one of her buddies. Photo submitted To page A-3 Big Kahuna Wings coming to Farragut By Sandra Clark A UT favorite is coming to Farragut. The town’s Municipal Planning Commission has recommended approval of a site plan and access variance for Matt Beeler, owner of BKW Seasonings and Big Kahuna Wings, to open a restaurant in the former Ott’s BBQ location on Kingston Pike. Noah Myers presented the request and gave a hearty endorsement of Big Kahuna. “Farragut will be proud (to have this restaurant),” he said. “His drummies are as big as a chicken leg – almost a meal by themselves.” Town staff supported the 300foot dining room expansion, but not the modified access. Myers said requiring westbound Kingston Pike motorists to turn around on Hobbs Road and come back is a real hardship on the business as well as a safety concern. Planning commissioners, with Knick Myers abstaining, OK’d both requests. “This is a local company based right here in Farragut,” said Noah Myers. In response to questions, he said the business should be open this summer definitely in time for football season. FMPC also approved a site plan for a 4-story Staybridge Suites extended living facility on 4.28 acres at 11319 Campbell Lakes Drive. Mayor Ralph McGill called it a “stay a little longer” place, and engineer Chris Sharp of Urban Engineering said the facility will have 101 suites. Developers will build a sidewalk from Wildwings to their property, and eventually the site will be connected to town’s walking trails, said interim Development Director Mark Shipley. A retention pond will be enhanced and maintained as green space, said Shipley. Alderman Bob Markli’s idea to allow ADUs (accessory dwelling units) to be built on certain single family lots met a sudden death at the Feb. 20 FMPC meeting. The much-debated proposal was back on the agenda, leading Knick Myers to say, “The elephant in the room is” lack of public support. “Let’s vote it up or vote it down,” and stop spending staff time on drafts and re-drafts of amendments. The vote was 1 for and 7 against the ADU zoning amendment. It now goes to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen if Markli chooses to bring it up. ➤ Upcoming at Town Hall Visual Resources Review Board – 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25; Board of Mayor and Aldermen – 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27; Farragut/Knox County Schools Education Relations Committee – 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 4; Economic Development Committee – 8 a.m. Wednesday, March 5 10512 Lexington Dr., Ste. 500 37932 (865) 218-WEST (9378) NEWS Sherri Gardner Howell ADVERTISING SALES Shannon Carey Jim Brannon | Tony Cranmore Brandi Davis | Patty Fecco Opting out: Parent says K-2 testing harms daughter By Betty Bean Jennifer Nagel’s 7-year-old daughter spent her snow days reading a book. That might not sound like a big deal, but to Nagel, it’s almost miraculous because reading has been an ordeal for her daughter, who has an undiagnosed learning disability. Nagel says her daughter’s teacher has been very helpful, but the school system has not. So she started looking for solutions on her own. Almost by accident, she found a critically acclaimed series of books co-written by actor Henry Winkler and the Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity for and about dyslexic kids – who knew the Fonz has a master’s degree from Yale, and dyslexia? As of last week, Nagel’s daughter is halfway through a book Jennifer Evans Nagel Photo by Betty Bean about a resourceful dyslexic boy named Hank Zipzer, printed with a special font designed for dyslexics, who frequently have problems with letters that seem to float ALL-INCLUSIVE around the page. Nagel says her daughter has finally found joy in reading, no thanks to Knox County Schools. Knox County Schools director of Student Support Services Melissa Massie said she cannot comment on Nagel’s daughter’s situation and is not familiar with the Winkler books. “But we have a number of interventions that look at multisensory approaches (for learning disabilities),” Massie said. Back in December, Nagel, who is PTA president at Amherst Elementary School, fought back tears as she stood at the lectern and told the school board how her youngest daughter is being affected by the 17 district-mandated tests she has to take during the school year. Once a happy child, she’s now anxious and PPreserve those old reels, slides & vhs tapes today! $2895/Month overwhelmed by her struggles with a yet-undiagnosed reading disorder, Nagel said. “She hates school because she thinks she is stupid,” Nagel said, calling the K-2 Assessment (formerly known as SAT 10) “a test that is set up for her to fail.” She expressed frustration at what she sees as the school system’s inflexibility, And because of the difficulties her child had as a 1st-grader, Nagel says she will not subject her to the K-2 Assessment again this year. “My daughter has been struggling since kindergarten, saying there’s something wrong. She couldn’t get phonics, and that’s all they taught. 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