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Columns

  • GLIMPSES: Do we have an identity problem?

    By MARK BANKER

    As a grade-school student, I relished the arrival of The Weekly Reader, a little newspaper that introduced children to current events and public concerns.

    One issue, however, left me puzzled.

    This was the early-1960s, and Appalachia had captured the nation’s attention. Photos and an accompanying story presented an impoverished backward region, where children did not have shoes, strip-mining ravaged the land, and people lived in squalor.

  • OPEN GOVERNMENT: Tenn. constitution not a relic — yet

    By DEBORAH FISHER

    Last week’s account of a state worker snatching a meeting agenda packet from a news reporter’s hands was a low point in the open government ethic of Tennessee.

    I wish it were the only one.

    At a public meeting of the Douglas Henry State Museum Commission, Nashville Scene reporter Cari Wade Gervin picked up a meeting packet laying on the table that contained a proposed new operating policy, including a new Code of Conduct for commissioners. She was trying to copy down information in it.

  • From the EDITOR’S Desk: Want officials to listen? Speak up

    Not everyone can run for office and become an elected official. It usually takes a lot of time and sometimes a lot of money.

    That doesn’t mean that average folks can’t participate in their local government. Probably the easiest way to make your voice heard is to show up at meetings and workshops of the city and county government.

    Over the years that I’ve covered these local government meetings I’ve always been dismayed at how few people take advantage of the opportunity to participate in these meetings.

  • GOING with the FLO: Our monuments serve as reminders of our heritage

    By FLO CHARLES

    Editor’s note: The opinions expressed in this column do not reflect the views of this newspaper.

    First, I want to congratulate Gerald Largen for all the years he has been keeping us abreast of the events in our county and nation. He has been very faithful to use his talents to open our eyes about important activities and citizens around our county, as well as showing honor to those faithful older citizens and the newer generation.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Just a little consistency mightn’t offend Emerson

    Editor’s note: The opinions expressed in this column do not reflect the views of this newspaper.

  • GLIMPSES: Traditions are borne of history’s spin

    I begin today with a few more thoughts on our public memory.

    Humans have always been curious about how the past relates to the present. Hence, ancient myths addressed such essential questions as “Where did we come from?” or “How should we behave?”

    For millennia, metaphorical answers to these and other queries were typically accepted on faith. They offered adherents a “mythical public memory.”

  • GOING with the FLO – Remember: United we stand, divided we fall

    By FLO CHARLES

    Editor’s note: The opinions expressed in this column do not reflect the views of this newspaper.

    After listening to President Trump speak at the Celebrate Freedom Rally at the Kennedy Center to honor our veterans, I felt impressed to share some of his remarks, to keep our focus and stand strong.

    President Trump just signed an executive order, following through on his campaign pledge to stop the Johnson Amendment from interfering with our First Amendment rights.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: If it’s 65, it’s got to go! So say school potentates

    Editor’s note: The opinions expressed in this column do not reflect the views of this newspaper.

    Gentle reader, we hope that you read the lengthy report written by our Director of Schools, Dr. Leah Rice Watkins, published in the Wednesday, 28 June issue of the News; it is this article which we wish to discuss today, but, before doing so we are pleased to report that Dr. Watkins contacted us a few weeks ago about the possibility of meeting, which we had not previously done.

  • Guest Column: East vs. West in September 2029

    By Earl Nall

    For Roane County News

    This story takes place in September 2029. It relives the events in 2017, when the Roane County Board of Education voted to build a consolidated high school that combined the cities of Rockwood, Kingston and Harriman into a single school and left Midway and Oliver Springs as small high schools.

    That decision would come to haunt the school board and Roane County for the next 40 years.

    Roane County: Friday, Sept. 28, 2029

  • GLIMPSES: Coach’s lessons may be fitting for all

    By MARK BANKER

    When I learned that University of Tennessee head football coach Butch Jones plans to teach “some history lessons” to his current players, I wondered if his prescription might be equally apt for the rest of us.

    As we grapple with an array of daunting national, state and local issues in 2017, our uncertain grasp of the circumstances that brought us to these present junctures should give us pause.