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Columns

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET:

    Before we begin today’s contribution, we must do a bit of “housekeeping.” Regular readers were no doubt astonished when reading last week’s column to have come to the final paragraph and discovered that it had nothing whatsoever to do with the preceding topic, i. e. the Denny family and their building.

  • Protecting your right to know

    By FRANK GIBSON
    TPA Public Policy Director
    When governments create or authorize state and local agencies to create new programs, they typically require some measure of public disclosure as a form of public oversight and to make agencies accountable.

    As far back as 1789, during the first American Congress, that accountability has come in the form of public notices in independently published newspapers. Actions of the Congress were ordered to be published in three separate newspapers to ensure wide circulation.

  • The power of sports

    As of late, the sports world has suffered, like much of the news of the world, from bleakness, doom-and-gloom even.

    Stories about Florida State pigskin pariah Jameis Winston and his seemingly endless display of off-the-field shenanigans and the late, embattled former Penn State head coach Joe Paterno being given back his wins with the dark cloud of scandal that cloaked much of the sports landscape.

    But too often, what gets lost in the muck of this sea of negativity is the fact that sports has the power to bring together communities.

  • The Balancing act of governing

    By RON WOODY
    Roane County Executive
    As citizens, we often ask — and even demand — certain services of our government and then are reluctant when it comes to paying for them.

    Your local government is the government closest to the people, and this government, whether it be a county or a city, often struggles with balancing the funding requirements of one group of citizens’ needs or desires with other groups’ needs and desires. All this pushing and pulling could be called lobbying.

  • Allow me to reintroduce myself

    For those of you who know me well, seeing my name appear in the Roane County News is no surprise. It’s a move many of you knew was coming.

    The rest of you,  however, probably have no idea who I am, but I’m taking going to take up several of today’s valuable column inches to clear that up.

    My name is Bradley Keith Stringfield, and, effective Dec . 29, I became the sports editor at the Roane County News.

    Don’t stop reading now. It gets better.

  • First Amendment has leading role

    By GENE POLICINSKI
    First Amendment Center
    Who knew the 45 words of the First Amendment came with buttered popcorn?

    Entering 2014, it’s safe to say that none of us could have envisioned that one of the year’s biggest global collisions between freedom of expression and tyrannical suppression of speech would revolve around a lightweight movie comedy, “The Interview.”

    What lessons does “The Interview” have for all of us?

  • 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.