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Columns

  • Off the Cuff: Allen’s life was short, but he continues to make a big impact

    I don't remember Allen. At all.

    My memories of this stellar young man are those my parents shared with me. Their rollercoaster relationship, abruptly halted with my mother's death in April 2005, was fraught with disagreements. There were two things, however, on which they steadfastly agreed:

    They loved my sister and me, and they loved Allen.

  • Trip to Va. Creeper Trail worth the effort

    Whitetop Mountain. 
    A bicycle.
    Those in the know will realize these are references to the Virginia Creeper Trail — 34 miles of bike path between Damascus and Abingdon in the Old Dominion state.
     I’m hurtling downhill toward a slick, frost-covered, wooden trestle. One application of the brakes or a single moment of imbalance while crossing it and the consequences could be dire.
    Sounds like it could be a metaphor for my life, but let’s not go there.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET by Gerald Largen: Two E. Tenn. productions: Landry book and stack cake

    While the efflorescence of spring in East Tennessee is beyond compare, the glories of autumn are not far behind in colourful beauty.

    To our eye, the leaves this year have been outstanding. This natural beauty is just one factor, however, that makes us among earth’s luckiest creatures.

    Other factors include the culture of our people — our customs, our traditions, our character. One of these traditions is our food and drink.

  • A very, very carbon-neutral Christmas

    By RICH LOWRY
    Special to Roane County News
    The great Christmas-tree debate should be settled for now.

    No more agonizing over artificial versus natural, not after the sustainable-development firm ellipsos released a bombshell study.

  • Social Security big part of Roane economy

    By BILL BISHOP & ROBERTO GALLARDO
    Special to Roane County News
    If Roane County residents didn’t receive their monthly payments from the Social Security Administration, 10.2 percent of total personal income in the county would be lost, a total of $183,271,150 in 2009.

    Roane County is more dependent on Social Security payments than is the rest of the country. Nationally, 5.5 percent of total personal income in 2009 came from Social Security payments. In Tennessee, 7.1 percent of all income comes from these payments.

  • A view from Lick Skillet: Advice to Bill Haslam: Fire Bill Gibbons, now

    For some time now, we have felt that our Governor, Hon. Bill Haslam, was a nice guy, one with whom you would enjoy sitting around shooting the breeze.

    We did not vote for him, although we thought him more congenial than his opponent, Mr. McWherter.

    The one overwhelming factor that caused us to refuse to cast a favourable vote for Mr. Haslam was the feeling that in any contest between the interests of big business and of little people, Bill would unerringly fall into line with the interests of his fellow multi-millionaire big business buddies.

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: Dusky brew buys my guy some good will

    I’ve told my boyfriend he has one free get-out-of-jail card, so to speak, in our relationship.
    That’s because he gave me coffee.
    Not that coffee hasn’t been around all my life. Even as a very young child, I remember waking up on weekdays to the signature scents of my father getting ready for work: fresh-brewed coffee and freshly applied shoe polish.
    While I found the aroma of coffee intoxicating, I could never stomach the stuff.
    It inevitably left me with a tummy ache.

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: It’s all over but the crying — and the smiling

    The inevitible has happened.
    One of my favorite relationships is coming to an end.
    My dentist is retiring.
    I’ve only been seeing Dr. Tom Pritchard for four or five years, but, in my book, he was the best dentist I’d ever had.
    I started going to him when my other dentist — someone at one of those big, impersonal offices in Knoxville — quit taking my insurance.
    On my first visit, Tom gave me his standard, new-customer dental care lecture — the one each of his patients has had to endure — for their own good.

  • A View from Lick Skillet By Gerald Largen: Do Right-wing Republicans believe Bible?

    Money, Money, Money!

    Have you noticed, gentle reader, that almost the entire spectrum of Republican positions is based upon money, the getting, the having, the keeping, and the passing on of money?

  • Dispelling myths about work, intellectual disabilities

    By JIM HENRY
    Special to Roane County News
    The ability to shape your own destiny is what sets America apart.

    To be able to pursue the American Dream while performing your chosen vocation is a privilege that many people take for granted. The Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and our community partners support approximately 8,000 Tennesseans with intellectual disabilities to live, work and to be a part of their communities.