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Columns

  • Planning our future: Changing government by research, study, and analysis

    By RON WOODY
    Roane County Executive
    This is the first in a series of article about your local government.

    In 1973, Mike Hayes, a new teacher at Midway Junior and Senior High School assigned our seventh-grade class a civics project to create a city on a poster board.  

    Each of us had to name our city, and I chose the name “Tomorrowville.”

    The purpose of the project was not to have a creative drawing but to think through a process of planning and simple civil engineering.  

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: ‘Solid South’ promises painful future

    In the days of our youth, there were two expressions that one quite frequently heard, one was “The Solid South”, and the other was,” The South Will Rise Again!”

  • OFF the CUFF: Rep. Fincher, we deserve to hear from you

    I was incensed when I saw the headline Saturday afternoon.

    “GOP staffer posts, apologizes,” it said. “Obama daughters showed no class at turkey pardon.”

    How disgusting, I thought. Who would go after children? No class, indeed.

    Then I read the article and became outraged. Not only was this a staffer, this was a communications director.

    An experienced communications director. And the part that made me angriest: her employer was one of Tennessee’s own.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: What we ate, and how we fixed it, way back then

    Gentle reader, in this season of Thanksgiving, marked by indulgence, even over indulgence in eating, we thought it might be a good time to remark upon some of the items which Americans consumed in an earlier day which are virtually, if not completely, unknown to the modern American, and how we fixed our food back then.

  • GUEST OPINION: College — where religious freedom goes to die

    In the Orwellian world of many college and university campuses, all faiths are welcome — but some faiths are more welcome than others.

    Just this month, for example, California State University “derecognized” InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, an evangelical student organization with more than 900 chapters at colleges and universities across the country.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Supreme Ct. action on Atty. Gen. disappoints

    As a brief preamble to this week’s piece, we would remind old readers, and inform newer readers, that we received our bachelor of laws degree from the College of Law at the University of Tennessee in the winter of 1958, which will soon be 56 years ago, and we have been observing the Supreme Court of the state since our first appearance before that tribunal early in 1959. 

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Use great care before incurring student debt

     

    Gentle reader, in 17 days we will, Lord willing, achieve another birthday, and complete 79 years of experience of life in these United States. 

    During that span of years we have observed many things, including almost revolutionary changes in so many things. But probably the most basic and most revolutionary changes we have observed have been the increased role of money, and the decreased role of individual independence.

  • OUT to LUNCH: Gloria Jean’s has a flair for great southern cuisine

    In our “Out to Lunch” adventures I’ve discovered restaurant locations change management and names.  

  • String of Consciousness: What has happened to basketball?

    District champions that didn’t really win a district championship.

    Not one, but TWO teams trying to lose a game at the same time.

    Possible region champions that aren’t really region champions.

    What’s next? Are we going to draw straws for the state championships this year?

    Look, I get it. This weather has royally screwed up most everything, but does it really have to screw up basketball, too?

    Last week, district tournaments were, for the most part, completely wiped out in Tennessee.

  • See you soon, football

    “Sometimes you eat the bar, and sometimes ... well, he eats.”

    Out of all of the random life lessons the Coen Brothers snuck into cult-classic “The Big Lebowski,” that one line by The Stranger, played by Sam Elliot, may be the most significant.

    After the confetti cleared Sunday night at University of Phoenix Stadium, one thing was clear. The Seattle Seahawks ate — although some might say they choked — the bar, bringing an unwelcomed end to football season.