Friday, November 16, 2012
(Last modified: 2012-11-16 17:35:06)

Source: The Newport Plain Talk

Dear Editor,


I wanted to thank Ms. Carlene Robinson for her letter that was posted in The Newport Plain Talk on Oct. 13-14, 2012. I wanted to thank her for sharing her knowledge with readers, and for opening this topic for discussion.  I agree with Ms. Robinson and I also feel that Newport could greatly benefit from becoming senior friendly; as could many communities in the United States.

I also believe that seniors would be a great asset to Newport, our downtown community, and to our county. Afterall, seniors are our parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, veterans, and friends. Our seniors have helped build, and have contributed to our country and communities, and it would be an injustice, and a mistake to overlook them, in my opinion.

Many seniors I know live very active lives that include a job, travel, gardening, nurturing and teaching grandchildren and other people, exercise, visiting with friends, continuing education, etc. Some seniors prefer to live in areas where conveniences are within walking distance, and/or where there is public transit (bus, train, subway, etc.) to continue thriving, to remain independent, and to be near the things they want to do. With gas prices at their current level, I think public transit would benefit more than seniors (imagine if there was a train that ran in the middle of I-40 and connected to the bus lines).

Also, some seniors prefer one level living with no stairs, no basement, and a maintenance free exterior. Does Newport offer homes like that? Some seniors enjoy large libraries and cultural events such as musicals, ballets, plays, operas, etc. Some seniors enjoy organic produce, and visiting large farmer's markets, festivals, and community events. Some seniors enjoy taking classes such as cooking, Tai Chi, gardening, painting, art, auto repair, etc. but don't want a long drive in order to pursue their interests. There are some seniors that live on a budget or fixed income; and with gas prices they might prefer not to drive a long distance but still want to continue an active, full lifestyle. Some seniors would like to be working but cannot find employment. Does Newport have a Cardiologist, Orthopedist, or Cardiac Physical Therapy Center to accommodate cardiac patients? Do plans for a large library where seniors, and others, can sit and read exist? So, how is Newport meeting the lifestyle needs of seniors, and where can Newport improve?

I hope that we will also think about the middle-aged citizens too. Some middle-aged people want all of the things mentioned above, as they also want to spend their time and money doing what they love, instead of commuting. Some middle-aged people might be planning for the future and may be looking for areas to live and/or retire to that can accommodate them in the changing seasons of their life.  Some middle-aged persons may be considering moving out of Newport due to the lack of certain conveniences, unemployment, etc. A large city is not the lifestyle that fits every person, but as people age, some people want their lives to be more convenient, and don't want to have to move homes as their needs change. The need for jobs, and certain conveniences may push someone to decide to relocate to a larger city. In this economy, some homes now have several generations living together; people may be looking for communities and homes that fit this lifestyle. Does Newport offer homes that accommodate multiple generations that live together? Could blighted homes in Newport be replaced by homes that accommodate families that are multiple generations? How is Newport meeting middle-agers needs, households with multiple generations, and those with changing needs; and where can Newport improve?  

Does Newport want to change to meet the changes in our society, economy, and the needs of different people and different generations? Does Newport want to attract new residents? Does Newport want people to have to move away from Newport to find work, entertainment, or have lifestyle and housing needs met? I think Newport has an important choice in front of it.  

There are wonderful things about Newport; the mountain views and mountain air are proof of that. We are close to I-40 and have all of that traffic to advertise to. There are very talented, bright people in Newport and Eastern Tennessee. Is Newport offering all of her residents the opportunity to shine, find their true callings, and the opportunity to refine and share the gifts God has blessed each individual with? If not, how can Newport improve? How can Newport offer all of her residents the opportunity to learn, refine, and shine?   

What would you like to see in Newport? Is there a business, entertainment venue, learning opportunity, or something else you would love to see here?  

I want to mention a couple of very good experiences I had here in Newport.  I had a wonderful experience at Classic Plantings Nursery. Classic Plantings Nursery has the most beautiful mums; and at reasonable prices. I felt I got my money's worth, and plan to return because I felt good spending my hard earned dollars at Classic Plantings.  The service was friendly too. I am so happy with my Harvest yard this year, and Classic Plantings enabled me to make my yard beautiful. I have beautiful pumpkins, and also purchased beautiful, fresh produce. The mums at Classic Plantings got me excited about decorating this year. I also want to thank Brooklyn Pizzeria for the delicious pizza. I will be back for more pizza soon.


God Bless Newport,

The Baines Household          

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