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Columns

  • Nuts & Bolts by Terri Likens: Letters to the editor — why some do not run

    We love hearing from our readers, especially when they express their opinions in a letter to the editor.
    But now and then we get letters that, for one reason or another, we cannot run.
    A recent example was one criticizing the tax assessor and her office.
    A major reason this letter did not run was it was written by another person who has openly expressed running for the tax assessor’s office.

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: A trudge to the mountaintop — the long way up

    My 17-pound pack, filled with water, lunch and rain gear, felt downright light as I plodded 9 miles uphill to the top of Mount LeConte.

    After all, several years ago I was in failing health and my own weight was about double what it is now.

    I could not have imagined then, while recovering from thyroid cancer and its complications, that I would be able to tackle this peak — my own personal Mount Everest of the Smokies.

  • A view from Lick Skillet by Gerald Largen: Please define ‘Gross Domestic Product’ of U.S.

    As the regular reader of this column knows, we try to keep such readers abreast of important issues and developments in our government.
    One such development about which much has been said and written is the proposed “Balanced Budget Amendment;” but despite all the talk and writing, little specific has been told or written about just exactly what this Amendment would entail, if adopted.

    So that you, gentle reader, would know this, we print herewith the exact language of the Amendment, as proposed:

  • IMPRESSIONS by Johnny Teglas: Send in vacation photos holding the RC News!

    Beating the heat … that seems to be a goal everyone’s trying to achieve these days.
    With most of the country in the grips of what many are calling a “deep fryer,” it seems as if record highs are being registered pretty much daily.
    While we’ve not been hit by triple digits as have many from the Southwest to the Midwest yet (and hopefully won’t), the combination of mid 90s and upper 60s dew points here in the Tennessee Valley have combined for some seriously steamy days.

  • The Garden Gate by Ellen Probert Williamson: Vegetable blooms a promise of tomorrow's bounty

    All vegetable plants must have flowers in order to produce their fruits, although most farmers and vegetable gardeners don’t pay much attention to them, being intent upon the vegetables to come.
    The flowers are just the means to an end. But vegetable flowers are all very pretty and can be surprisingly effective in flower arrangements.

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: It's nice to pretend the good guys always win

    “You know what today is?” my mother asked in a recent phone call.

    “I do,” I replied without hesitation.

    She didn’t have to ask.

    I needed no reminder that July 11 was the fifth anniversary of my father’s death from cancer.

    I try not to dwell on the pain of his last days and the suffering which he handled with dignity.

    Instead, I try to focus on my fondest memories of him.

  • A view from Lick Skillet by Gerald Largen: The passing scene grows more grotesque

    Ah, Gentle Reader, the last few days have been filled with unusual, noteworthy occurrences, haven’t they?
    For instance, a certain element, which is usually almost fulsome in its praise for the late Ronald Reagan and all his works, has forgotten, or maybe never knew of, his adventure in bombing Col. Gadhafi’s compound in Tripoli.
    As we recall, he didn’t trouble the Congress with his plans, he just did it, and as a result the Col. had a complete conversion and behaved himself for several years thereafter.

  • Supreme Court to give another look to broadcast decency

    By GENE POLICINSKI
    First Amendment Center
    The U.S. Supreme Court will consider next term whether to uphold or throw out the government’s rules about what broadcasters can put on over-the-airwaves TV when young children may be watching.

  • IMPRESSIONS by Johnny Teglas: Looking for value in hard times? Here’s help

    Like you, I’m pretty much a very, very loyal grocery shopper.
    Over the years, I’ve chosen to spend money with folks who spend theirs with me.
    Hence, I search their ads in the newspaper each week to determine what I am going to buy where.
    I honestly can’t recall a moment when I went out on a “jag” and plunked down serious cash for an item I hadn’t thought out.
    Well, I guess I do have to admit I once rushed out to a convenience store on Christmas morning for batteries for one of Jon Clark’s Christmas gifts.

  • Looseleaf Laureate: Pushing beyond the limits, mist and all

    Humidity.

    I rarely take vacation time in July because of that single weather extreme. I’m more the April or October type.

    But this year, circumstances prompted a change in my habits. And while the humidity is out there in spades, I’m glad I am getting out of the house more during a month I usually hole up inside.