.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Columns

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Remembering Nellie Alkire Ward, Part One

    As we promised last week, we begin the portion of our recollections of “characters” related to those of the female persuasion, and as we indicated then, we choose to begin this part of the series with Mrs. R. H. Ward, nee Nelle Alkire. Mrs. Ward’s story will require more space than we have available in a single column, so the following is Part One, to be followed by one or more parts in subsequent issues.
    ******

  • You can’t make this stuff up, and, well, you shouldn’t

    By GENE POLICINSKI

    First Amendment Center

    You can’t make this kind of thing up.

    On the very day America’s top real news anchor gets suspended for telling fake news, the nation’s leading anchor of a mock news program tells us he’s leaving his job — really.

    Brian Williams got tossed Tuesday from “NBC Nightly News” for six months without pay for misstating the facts about facing enemy fire in a helicopter in Iraq in 2003.

  • Dick Hettrick and his legacies of good work

    By MARK T. BANKER

    Author’s note: The following three premises are essential to this column.

    1) None of us sees the past or present with absolute clarity; 2) Each of us has the capacity for glimpses of informed insight that draw from and reflect our personal values; and 3) Cordial, forthright exchange of those insights enhances our mutual well being.

  • GLIMPSES: Remembering the Civil War — lessons and legacies

    By MARK T. BANKER
    Author’s note: The following three premises are essential to this column.
    1) None of us sees the past or present with absolute clarity; 2) Each of us has the capacity for glimpses of informed insight that draw from and reflect our personal values; and 3) Cordial, forthright exchange of those insights enhances our mutual well being.

    At the end of 2014, editor Terri Likens and I discussed restarting my  “occasional” column in the Roane County News.

  • If they call or email, they’re not the IRS

    Friends, the IRS will never call nor email you about taxes or penalties you may owe.

    I saw that line time and again over the summer, when the Internal Revenue Service sent out an almost-continuous stream of press releases warning taxpayers about schemes in which swindlers attempt to separate law-abiding citizens from their hard-earned dollars by evoking the name that sends chills through most Americans.

    I’m now glad I did.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Educational mismanagement — top to bottom

    Well, Gentle Reader, this week let us discuss education and the sad fact that sometimes the very folks we have placed in charge of the education of our young are themselves sadly lacking in the basic skills of clear thinking, sound reasoning, and basic factual knowledge.

    This unhappy happenstance occurs at all levels, sad to say, running from the ivied halls of academe to the basic neighborhood institutions of kindergarten upwards.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: GOP-ruled Tennessee, third most corrupt state?

    Last week we pointed out how the Republican Party’s unification behind their apostle of adultery and abortion, Dr. Scott DesJarlais, their candidate for re-election as congressman from the Fourth Congressional District of Tennessee must perforce result in the party itself being henceforth labeled, not the pro-life party of family values, but instead the party of Adultery and Abortion.

  • Protecting your right to know

    By FRANK GIBSON
    TPA Public Policy Director
    When governments create or authorize state and local agencies to create new programs, they typically require some measure of public disclosure as a form of public oversight and to make agencies accountable.

    As far back as 1789, during the first American Congress, that accountability has come in the form of public notices in independently published newspapers. Actions of the Congress were ordered to be published in three separate newspapers to ensure wide circulation.

  • The Balancing act of governing

    By RON WOODY
    Roane County Executive
    As citizens, we often ask — and even demand — certain services of our government and then are reluctant when it comes to paying for them.

    Your local government is the government closest to the people, and this government, whether it be a county or a city, often struggles with balancing the funding requirements of one group of citizens’ needs or desires with other groups’ needs and desires. All this pushing and pulling could be called lobbying.

  • First Amendment has leading role

    By GENE POLICINSKI
    First Amendment Center
    Who knew the 45 words of the First Amendment came with buttered popcorn?

    Entering 2014, it’s safe to say that none of us could have envisioned that one of the year’s biggest global collisions between freedom of expression and tyrannical suppression of speech would revolve around a lightweight movie comedy, “The Interview.”

    What lessons does “The Interview” have for all of us?