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Columns

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET by Gerald Largen: Do European elections foreshadow U.S. ones?

    Much of the news the past few days and weeks has originated in Europe, particularly in the European Union and the Euro Zone.
    Three of the more prominent identities mentioned in this European news are the President of France, the Prime Minister and Cabinet of the United Kingdom, and the leaders of the largest news organization, News Corp., Inc., the Murdoch family. Each of these has a lesser or greater connexion with the United States.

  • Roane County Executive Ron Woody: A national park for Roane County is in the works

    Continuing with the Five Point Star management approach, one of the current focuses is industrial and economic development.

    There are many aspects of economic development, one of which is tourism and overall livability for the area.

    This piece focuses on making the Manhattan Project a national park, helping not only tourism for Roane County but also adding an important aspect of culture, history, art and livability.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET by Gerald Largen: A tale of extraordinary courage and achievement

    Come August of this year, one of the alumni of the class of 1984 of Roane County High School will be a member of a team of 20 or so climbers who will scale Africa’s tallest mountain, Mt. Kilimanjaro.

    This climber will be Roger Long, and the climbing group will be the Team Fox Kilimanjaro Expedition, organized by Michael J. Fox on behalf of The Michael J. Fox Foundation, which is an organization founded by Fox to aid in the fight against Parkinson’s Disease, from which both Roger Long and Michael J. Fox suffer.

  • Looseleaf Laureate by Terri Likens: Here’s proof that we really walk the talk

    I regularly talk to people who have ended up on the wrong side of the law and want to keep the incident out of the newspaper.
    My answer is invariably a polite no-can-do. If the situation is a matter of our usual public record, it all goes in the paper.
    We make no exceptions.
    Employees of this newspaper are held to the same standard  — including me.
    Which brings me to the point of this column. On Saturday night, in a neighboring county, I was charged with DUI.
    I wanted you to hear it from me first.

  • Nuts & Bolts: Mayfield campaign flack curdles over ‘sour’ headline

    Roane County has its share of political hijinx, but generally, they don’t involve congressional candidates.

    That changed last week when Republican dairy magnate Scottie Mayfield was in Roane County stumping for the 3rd District Congressional seat.

    Mayfield’s 33-year-old son, Michael, was caught on security camera vandalizing the vehicle of a staff member for his father’s incumbent opponent, Chuck Fleischmann.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET by Gerald Largen: How far should we defer to priests’ decisons?

    Gentle reader: In recent days we have witnessed another step in the growing trend on the part of Corporate America to reduce, if not totally eliminate, all service employees.

    We refer to the scene at the checkout area of the Kroger store, a scene duplicated no doubt at Food City, Ingles, and various other emporia.

    These major chain stores have all fallen for the sales pitch on the part of the makers of the self-checkout machinery and bought and installed four, or more, of these atrocities.

  • Nuts & Bolts: A new type of public record coming your way

    Food safety is a big concern – especially at restaurants and public schools where people depend on the care and vigilance of others for the integrity of what we eat.

    I remember, during a vacation in Arizona a few years back, being so sick with food poisoning that I thought I might die alone in my second-floor hotel room.

    I recovered, but some do not. The weakest among us are the most vulnerable to food-related illness.

  • Guest Opinion: Will Rockwood show horse sense on crossing?

    Since September 2010, the Roane County Executive’s Office has used a system of management called a 5-Point Star System.

    It identifies five main topics that are the primary focus of the administration.

    Over the last 20 months, some topics have been added and deleted over time, and some are still the focus of our administration. Go to www.roanegov.org and link to county executive’s office to see the progression of the 5-Point Star System.  

  • WRITE LIKE a GIRL: Now you see it, now you don’t

    I just celebrated a birthday.

    Never mind which one — and don’t you dare try to guess. Those of you who know are sworn to secrecy.

    It started me thinking about the aging process and the running and ducking from Mother Nature that’s commenced.

    Figuratively speaking, of course, because any time I entertain the notion of running or even donning high heels, my bum knee whispers, “Are you SURE you want to do that?”

  • A View from Lick Skillet by Gerald Largen: Legislature’s policy is to promote ignorance

    Regular readers will recall that as late as 6 February we wrote a scathing critique of Scott DesJarlais’s misuse of our tax money to finance his re-election campaign through federally paid mailings of flyers masquerading as information, but which were nothing more than campaign literature. Some of our Republican friends were unhappy with this criticism of their fair-haired boy. (Oops, as Gov. Rick Perry would say, we forgot. Dr. Scott is as hairless as a Mexican hairless pup, as the many colour photos in the flyers show.)