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Columns

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET by Gerald Largen: Republican legislators don’t care what we want

    Gentle reader, despite much of the news docket being concerned with the national election scene revolving around the the Republican contest for a presidential nominee, shall we start out with the local political scene?

    The first item of interest is the announcement of Democratic Party Chairman, Bob Cowan, that there will be a grand opening for the Roane County Democratic Party Headquarters in the Parker Building on Court Street in Kingston, on Saturday, tomorrow, the 14th.

  • Nuts & Bolts: February interesting month for newsroom

    January — like all months these days — is flying by.

    To keep up with my high-octane, pedal-to-the-floor calendar, I try to keep my eye on things a month or two ahead.

    And so I have been dwelling recently on the events of February.

    For one thing, my birthday falls in February.

    I have been known to complain bitterly about having a birthday smack-dab in the middle of such a dreary and drab month.

  • A view from Lick Skillet by Gerald Largen: Should DesJarlais make us pay for his lies?

    Well, Gentle Reader, here it is, 6 January, 2012, and as we indicated in the last column on 16 December, 2011, we would resume our Friday submissions on this date.
    In the interim, we trust that you and yours enjoyed a wonderful Christmas, and a glorious New Year’s Day.
    Inasmuch as we have now commenced the newest Leap Year, we have a bit over ten months of uninterrupted politicking in preparation for the elections in August and November.

  • ANOTHER VIEW BY LEE HAMILTON: Add civility and civic skills to new year goals

    This is a season of giving, good cheer, and forbearance.
    Too bad that, as the political season begins in earnest with the turn of the year, all those fine sentiments will become just a memory.
    So maybe, as we jot down our New Year’s resolutions, we could add this one: “Every action done in company ought to be with some sign of respect to those that are present.”
    And then let’s hope that our political leaders add it to their lists, too.

  • Right to petition an oft-forgotten freedom element

    By TIFFANY VILLAGER
    First Amendment Center
    The “right of the people … to petition the Government for a redress of grievances,” the last freedom of the First Amendment, is the most forgotten freedom.
    Each year when the First Amendment Center commissions its State of the First Amendment survey, petition is the freedom few can name (only 6 percent in 2010).
    Why is the right of petition the forgotten freedom when it has deep historical roots?

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: Christmas glow comes from heart

    Ahh, Christmas.
    When I was a child, it was all about decorations and presents.
    Back then, in the days before Christmas, I sometimes would fall asleep on the couch beside the Christmas tree and its twinkling lights.
    There I would dream of all the gift possibilities.
    The truth is, I did not then nor have I ever gotten a Christmas present that knocked my socks off.
    My parents seemed at a loss when choosing gifts for me.

  • Don’t add e-waste to your landfills

    By STEVE SKURNAC
    Electronics are once again dominating holiday shopping lists this season.

    In fact, analysts with the Consumer Electronics Association predict shoppers will spend 6 percent more on electronics this year compared to last – or about $250 per consumer.

    And for every new laptop, tablet, phone, TV, gaming system and scores of other gadgets, an outdated device likely will be replaced. For those old electronics, the question is, “Now what?”

    First off, do not throw replaced electronics in the trash.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET by Gerald Largen: Can Santa Claus help us through our trials?

    Dear Santa Claus:
    While you have not heard from your friend, the old curmudgeon, in many-a-year, he wishes to join in the requests for your generosity you receive each year from the children and simple folk the world over.

    Santa, if your sack can hold them, please bring to the people of America the following gifts:

    Bring them a Supreme Court that has the commonsense to know that the Founding Fathers did not have in mind the spending of money when they guaranteed the right of free speech.

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: Nerdy Laureate ponders on artifacts

    At the top of the stairs in my uncle’s house, a dusty bobcat once stood guard.
    It was stuffed — taxidermied — its lips drawn back in a frozen snarl, and its big feet braced for a fight it had already lost.
    In my growing-up years, this silent siren had the power to draw me and my cousins in fascination en masse up the staircase — and, when we were alone with it, to repel us in fear.
    Bobcats still exist in the wild, although I have never seen one.
    Some creatures simply are no more.

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: ’Tis the season to be busy, fa-la-lal-la-la ....

    It seems we’re all busy people, but for me, this past week has been a full-tilt blur.
    Let me summarize — if I can remember it all:
    • Monday: Three newspaper meetings (a fourth was canceled), a quick run to the dermatologist in Knoxville for a look at a sun-damaged spot on my nose and then a CASA race committee meeting after work, followed by a post-sundown walk with the yahoos (my dogs).