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Columns

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Can he learn to run the trains on time? Not so far!

    Gentle reader, as you will recall, last week we were filled with hope that the President and the old curmudgeon were going to hit it off just fine, based upon his statements in his inaugural address concerning the state of education in the nation.

    Unfortunately, although we remain steadfast, he has veered off course already in the very first week on the job. How disappointing. But, we must soldier on, as we have in the past made a practice to do, through numerous administrations, regardless of partisan affiliation, and call ’em as we see ’em.

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  • GLIMPSES: Divided, but will we soon decline?

    By Mark Banker

    I begin with belated best wishes for 2017.

    A nasty virus plagued my January, but my captive status offered one dubious benefit. Television and the internet provided a front-row view for the transition from the Obama to Trump eras.

    One week into the latter, Americans can agree on one thing: Our nation’s prolonged divide has widened. Our new president’s admirers are pleased that his actions are consistent with his campaign promises.

  • From the EDITOR’S Desk: Kudos for retreat from Gatlinburg

    The Roane County Board of Education held a retreat/conference last weekend.

    Although the board considered holding the retreat in Gatlinburg, the group decided to remain in Roane County and held the meeting at Roane State Community College.

    This was a good decision on the part of the board for several reasons and deserves to be praised.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: President and curmudgeon allied on education

    Since we have some shocking comments to make, we ought to go ahead and get them out of the way right off the bat, so here goes: President Donald J. Trump and the old curmudgeon see eye-to-eye and stand shoulder-to-shoulder together 100% on one of the issues about which he spoke in his inaugural address.

  • King aimed to uplift all

    By John Doloreaux

    Special to Roane County News

    As we look back in time to reflect on the many legacies of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., it is critical to understand that his vision for humanity was not exclusive to the black race.

    King’s goal was to uplift the poor and forgotten, regardless of color. While he was a minister, he believed that human beings should not have to wait for an afterlife to gain relief from their corporeal suffering on Earth.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Bits and bites prompted by the day’s news

    Gentle reader, we hope that you read assistant editrix Cheryl Duncan’s “Off the Cuff” column in the issue of Wednesday, 4 January, titled “Retreat from out-of-town meeting”, concerning the Roane County Board of Education’s proposed week-end out of town on a supposed “retreat” to decide on the future of education in Roane County.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Not vetoing U.N. Resolution right thing to do

    Gentle reader: The old curmudgeon is back after his usual holiday hiatus.

    Today he wishes to discuss a couple or so matters that have come up recently. The first is the United Nations Security Council Resolution condemning Israel’s continued appropriation of the land heretofore considered to belong to the Palestinians, and constructing thereon housing and other buildings strictly for the use and benefit of the Jewish Israelis, and depriving the Palestinians, whatever their faith, of the use and benefit thereof.

  • From the EDITOR’S Desk: Weeds a blight on Watts Bar fun

    Back in November I managed take one last tour of the year across Watts Bar Lake in my canoe.

    As I cruised along the Kingston waterfront my paddle kept getting stuck in large patches of weeds. When I raised the paddle from the water it was covered in clumps of weeds.

    These are not ordinary weeds. These are non-native — also called invasive — weeds.

    These weeds, including hydrilla, milfoil and spiny leaf naiad, grow thick in the shallow water.

  • GLIMPSES: Growing up with Kingston’s Santa

    By MARK BANKER

    Thirty-one years ago last week, a letter from Santa Claus arrived at our home in Albuquerque, N.M. Addressed to our 5-year-old daughter Tollie, its return address was “North Pole Village, 37763-0070.”

    Santa reminded Tollie that Christmas celebrates Jesus’ message of love and inquired what she had done to help “someone else have a good Christmas this year?”

  • GLIMPSES: From happy days to ‘Bitter 2016’?

    By MARK BANKER

    Like many successful candidates, Donald Trump provoked and benefitted from a dramatic shift in our national mood.

    More than his opponents and most pundits, he grasped that the anger and bitterness of 2016 emerged when disturbing recent developments collided with idyllic recollections of a not-too-distant past.