UTC Parking Compared to other Universities

By: Paige Pertuit

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/The Loop) When compared to other universities in Tennessee it is clear that we are not the only campus with crowded parking lots. In fact, we  are actually “average” compared to UT Knoxville, University of Memphis, MTSU, and Tennessee Tech.

UTC General Lot 30

UTC General Lot 30

Current enrollment at UTC is at 11,660 for Fall of 2012. Including the General parking lots, Reserved Parking lots, and spaces on the street UTC has a total of about 5,190 parking spaces available. Meaning campus has about 45 percent of the spots needed for everyone to park, not including staff and faculty.

“I feel like every university probably has deals with parking issues, but from what I’ve experienced at UTC I also feel like we should come up with ways to solve our parking issue,” said Laura Richmond, a senior at UTC.

School Name
Enrollment
Spaces Available
Parking demand met
UTC
11,660
5,194
45%
UT Knoxville
27,018
17,267
64%
U of Memphis
22,365
9,200
41%
MTSU
23,022
12,000
52%
TN Tech
11,700
4,668
40%

 

Tennessee Tech is closest to UTC in enrollment at 11,700. They have about 4,668 parking spaces total on campus, including street parking. This means Tennessee Tech has about 40 percent of the spaces they need for just students.

The University of Memphis comes in second place for the worst parking. With 22,365 students and only 9,200 parking spots they only have about 41 percent of the parking spaces they need for students.

“Parking on campus is just shy of neglect. We only have a small part of the spots we need. The rest of the students are just expected to find their own spot in the surrounding neighborhoods,” said Drake Pertuit, a junior at the University of Memphis.

Middle Tennessee State University is currently building a new parking garage on campus that will add about 900 more parking spaces to their now 12,000. Currently they have about 52 percent of the spaces needed but the new garage will up give them 56 percent. For more information on the new garage click this link.

MTSU is in the process of building a new garage that will add an extra 900 parking spaces for students

MTSU is in the process of building a new garage that will add an extra 900 parking spaces for students

UT Knoxville has more parking spaces available than any of the schools above, but students still seem fairly frustrated. Like most universities, UT Knoxville oversells their parking passes far over the amount of spaces actually available.

” The parking at UTK is unorganized and is not built to accommodate all the students that need parking. They have 1 parking spot to every 10 parking passes that they sell to the students,” said Heather Michalek, a senior at UT Knoxville. “The price of a parking pass is overpriced for the amount of spots we are provided to choose from,” said Michalek.

UT Knoxville has about 64 percent of the parking spaces they need to accommodate all students.

As we can see from this data it is clear that parking is a problem not just at UTC but at most of our surrounding universities as well.

“It’s something that people always complain about but no action is taken,” said Richmond.”

Chattanooga Housing Study 2013

By: Paige Pertuit

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/The Loop) According to Chattanooga Housing Study of 2013  there are three factors that are changing housing needs for citizens of Chattanooga. It includes a combination of the Great Recession, extreme changes in household type over the past few decades and the growing influence the Baby Boomers and Generation Y.

The Great Recession has had a major impact on “the financial capacity of households to obtain affordable housing: nationally family net worth actually declined 40% between 2007 and 2010,” said Regional Planning Agency in their report. Between 2000 and 2010 family incomes increased at only half the rate of housing expenses.

Although Chattanooga’s housing plan puts detached single-family houses as their primary housing choice option, the Baby Boomers and Generation Y represent over 60% of the population presenting a higher demand for apartments and smaller homes.

"It's kind of hard trying to find affordable rent. With the waiting list being closed it was very hard from a whole bunch of Harriet Tubman, people that were living out there, because we were looking for a very long time," says Corchea Stamper, a former resident of the closed down Harriet Tubman homes pictured above.

“It’s kind of hard trying to find affordable rent. With the waiting list being closed it was very hard from a whole bunch of Harriet Tubman, people that were living out there, because we were looking for a very long time,” says Corchea Stamper, a former resident of the closed down Harriet Tubman homes pictured above.

Chattanooga has a decreasing amount of undeveloped subdivision lots, but also has a large number of vacant lots scattered around the City. “However,” said the Housing Study, “many of these lots are located in neighborhoods that will require revitalization intervention activity to make them attractive for redevelopment.”

Although housing affordability has an impact on all income levels, it is more of a struggle among those with lower incomes.

“More than 37,000 households in Chattanooga make less than $35,000 a year,” said Yuen Lee, RPA director of information and research. In attempt to aide these people Chattanooga Housing Authority recently issued 100 housing vouchers to those in need of a home, but there are still about 5,000 on the waiting list.

“Sixty or 70 percent of households that make less than $30,000 are spending more than 30 percent on housing, which is considered, that’s over what’s recommended nationally,” said Chattanooga Hamilton County Regional Planning Agency Executive Director John Bridger.

John Bridger, head of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Authority.

John Bridger, head of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Authority.

City Council Chair Pam Ladd said, “You’ve got to make sure the housing that we have for low income has all the other elements of success: transportation,   grocery stores, schools. It’s got to be a tighter environment.”

In regards to the Chattanooga Housing Study, Councilman Peter Murphy said   “I know that there are great needs out there that can be addressed. This will help us identify those and proceed intelligently.”

WRBC quoted Betsy McCright, Executive Director of the Chattanooga Housing Authority saying “Many, many, many of our residents are working people. They’re serving you in the restaurant you go to, they’re cleaning up when you leave a hotel. They’re good people and they have the same desires as non low income people, to have a place to raise your family, get your kids a good education and just have a home you can be proud of,” said McCright.

 

Russians investigating adoptee’s death in Texas

By: Paige Pertuit

DALLAS (AP) — Authorities in Russia say they want to know how a toddler adopted by an American family died in West Texas.

Russia’s Investigative Committee said Monday that it had opened an investigation into the Jan. 21 death of 3-year-old Maxim Kuzmin. The committee says it has information the boy was mistreated.

Texas Child Protective Services confirmed Monday that Ector County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the death of 3-year-old named Max Shatto.

Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. Gary Duesler says an autopsy is pending on a 3-year-old boy who was adopted from Russia. CPS spokesman Patrick Crimmins said the agency was investigating allegations of physical abuse and neglect. No arrests have been made.

Russian authorities recently banned American adoptions. They say the boy’s case is another example of “inhuman treatment” by American parents.

Chattanooga- ranked among the best

CHATTANOOGA, TN (UTC/The Loop) It’s true. UT Chattanooga and the city alone has recently racked up dozens of top rankings among the best by magazines like Outside Magazine and Southern Living Magazine.

Southern Living has recognized Chattanooga in their articles numerous times, naming Chattanooga on their list of “The South’s Most Scenic Drives” and admires the city’s style in articles like “Chattanooga Bungalow With Vintage Style,” “Charming Chattanooga,” and the “Tennessee’s Readers’ Choice Awards.” Recently an edition of Best of Southern Living Magazine featured a article titled “10 Cities You Will Absolutely Love (and Your Budget Will Appreciate, Too)”, which named Chattanooga as number one.

Downtown Chattanooga, Tn.

As far as the University goes, UT Chattanooga was Tennessee’s only public institution to grow in enrollment in 2012. UTC has been named as a 2013 College of Distinction, which acknowledges universities for outstanding student engagement, great teaching, vibrant communities, and successful outcomes.

U.S News and World Report of 2013 Best Colleges Guide ranked UTC as number 14 on their list of colleges that offer their students the best value. UTC was one of only three colleges in the South to be ranked on this Best Value Colleges Guide. 

Sloane DeBerry, a junior at UTC says, “I’m proud to be a Chattanoogan.” She also says she likes that Chattanooga is an outdoorsy city and appreciates the artwork and attractions downtown.

Outside Magazine named Chattanooga as “Best Town Ever” based on readers votes and the city was featured on the front cover, along with a 2-page story in the magazine.

CNN Travel says the city is a “regional gem” with “literally dozens of attractions packed along the city’s downtown riverfront.”

And that’s not all. Chattanooga is widely recognized for having one of the fastest net services, appearing in articles from The Economists and Communications Technology. Authors from The New York Times report, “only Hong Kong and a few other cities in the world offer such lightning-fast service, and analysts say Chattanooga will be the first in the United States to do so.” 

Once known as the “dirtiest city” in the 1960’s, the town struggled to redevelop a new identity after the closing of the factories they depended on. It is believed that this remark, as being Americas “dirtiest city” was what sparked a wide effort for citizens to rebuild their town after decades of economic problems.

Over the years Chattanooga has been able to find its identity and through tax incentives and land grants used about $630 million to draw in $2 billion of investment from numerous companies. Such as, Volkswagen, Amazon Fulfillment and Alstom, which created about 8,000 jobs. According to The United States Department of Labor, Chattanooga’s current rate of unemployment is 6.4%, compared to the national average of 7.8%

Wall Street Journal writes that Chattanooga is now one of the nation’s strongest local economies and relates the cities growing housing market and major job creation successes as byproducts of a community.

A journalist for Southern Living wrote, “few cities have reinvented themselves over the past few decades as successfully as Chattanooga,” and “[Chattanooga] now shines as one of the most family-friendly, outdoorsy spots in the South.”

Lost Boy Found in Houston

HOUSTIN (AP/ The Loop) — A boy who was snatched from his Houston home when he was 8-months-old and moved around Texas for eight years before he was found will be removed from foster care and reunited with his siblings, a judge ruled Wednesday.

8 month old Miguel

 

State District Judge Mike Schneider ordered that 8-year-old Miguel Morin be placed in the custody of a couple caring for his four siblings, Juanita and Joseph Aguillard. Miguel has been in foster care since authorities found him at the Houston home of his former baby sitter’s sister in March. Authorities say Miguel spent most of the time he was kidnapped in East and Central Texas.

Miguel’s former baby sitter, Krystle Tanner, and her mother, Gloria Walker, have been charged with kidnapping and injury to a child in his 2004 disappearance. The women have pleaded not guilty and are jailed in San Augustine, about 140 miles northeast of Houston.

Estella Olguin, a spokeswoman for Child Protective Services in Houston, said the ultimate goal is for Miguel’s parents, Auboni Champion-Morin and Fernando Morin, and the Aguillards have joint custody of him “so that Miguel can still have a relationship with his parents and stay with his siblings.”

Miguel is expected to be reunited with his siblings by Friday after paperwork is completed, Olguin said. CPS and the boy’s parents have declined to say why the Aguillards — friends of the family — have custody of the four other children, citing privacy issues.

Authorities say Tanner snatched Miguel from his home when he was a baby and, along with her mother, concealed the boy’s true identity for years, moving him from one home to another to avoid detection. After Tanner’s March arrest in the kidnapping, her sister called authorities to say Miguel was staying at her home in Houston.

Miguel’s parents will be allowed to visit the boy at the Aguillards’ home and have requested that Miguel be allowed to visit them on weekends. CPS officials plan to review the Morins’ home before deciding whether to approve the request for weekend visits.

Miguel has been told about the true identity of his parents and his siblings, and he has been having weekly joint therapy sessions with his parents. Miguel has also been visiting his siblings at the Aguillards’ home and stayed with them during the Christmas holiday, Joseph Aguillard said.

“He bonded with his brothers and sisters from day one,” Juanita Aguillard said. “He loves the family.”

Miguel’s parents, who live in Houston, said after Wednesday’s hearing that they were pleased with the judge’s decision.

“I’m happy with everything right now,” Champion-Morin said.

___

Follow Juan A. Lozano on Twitter: www.twitter.com/juanlozano70

 

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.