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Columns

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Erin Go Braugh — Another Saint of Ireland

    Gentle reader: It being St. Patrick’s Day, we want to talk a bit about him, but also to tell you of another of Ireland’s (and Scotland’s) saints about whom you probably haven’t heard.

    But first we must correct a mistake from the column of 3 March kindly called to our attention by our neighbor, Don Matthews, in which we intended to write billions but instead wrote millions, as shown here:

  • OFF the CUFF: Practicing patience for April’s arrival

    If patience is indeed a virtue, I’m not terribly virtuous.

    I want what I want when I want it. It’s why I order light ice in my coffee at drive-thrus. I don’t want to wait for it to cool; I want to drink it now.

    The latest obstacle in my path to instant gratification comes in the form of Mother Nature and a giraffe gravid with calf.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: The sick usually aren’t to blame for being sick!

    As long-time readers know, the old curmudgeon is well and truly fixed in the status of octogenarianism, and as such he has had ample opportunity to observe the various vagaries of human nature, much of which he has come to understand and appreciate, but there is one aspect which not only puzzles him, but angers him, and that is the attitude so many of our fellows have toward sickness, those afflicted with illness or disability.

  • GLIMPSES: Happy birthday, Michael Dunn Center!

    In 1969, five Roane County families met to discuss the lack of services for their developmentally disabled children and grandchildren.

    Two years later, in March 1971, the group formally organized the Exceptional Children’s Day Care. C.R. Lay, grandfather of a young man with Down syndrome, spearheaded these early efforts. Eventually, the program took the name of Lay’s grandson.

  • From the EDITOR’S Desk: What took you all so long?

    It’s now clear that of all the stories that will grace the pages of the Roane County News this year probably none will be more controversial than that of school consolidation.

    A couple of weeks ago, I would have given the honor of most controversial issue to the aquatic weed problem, which is either a problem or not a problem, depending on who you ask, but is certainly controversial.

  • GLIMPSES: When did ‘facts’ replace facts?

    By Mark Banker

    Whatever your take on the new presidential administration, give them credit. They have added a few new terms and renewed zest to our political discourse.

    Take, for example, Kellyanne Conway’s notion of “alternative facts” or the new president’s repeated tweets about “fake news” and the “enemy media.”

    These phrases echo the disparaging rhetoric about “political correctness” that became a rallying point for conservatives in recent years.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Rachel (Mrs. J.C.) Parker: Gone but not forgotten

    Gentle reader, Thursday, 16 February, 2017, marked the end of an era as concerns Kingston, and Roane County for that matter, for that was the day that Rachel Parker died.

  • Institute for Energy Research: Pipeline Populism: Complete, Build

    By Robert L. Bradley Jr.

    President Donald Trump is about to give the U.S. economy a power-up. He just approved the long delayed construction of two mega-projects, Keystone XL and the Dakota Access pipelines.

    This means more domestic energy, more economic growth, and more jobs for Americans. But it also means more theatrics from environmental extremists. The new president and his team should hang tough and ignore their doomsday predictions.

  • GLIMPSES from a Teacher Historian By MARK BANKER: Wanted: A few Ervin Democrats

    Thanks to several responses to my recent column directed to “Howard Baker Republicans,” I am now on the lookout for a few “Sam Ervin Democrats.”

    If my quest rings hollow to you, you are either younger than 40 or were unusually disengaged in the summer of 1973.

    Yes, that was long before cable TV’s 24-hour news cycle, the internet and “smart phones” appeared. But in that summer of Watergate, Sens. Ervin, D-North Carolina, and Baker, R-Tennessee, became familiar figures.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Draining the swamp? Russian friend? Gas tax?

    Well, gentle reader, one scarcely knows where to begin, inasmuch as the recent news presents a veritable treasure trove of interesting topics for consideration, on all levels, local, state, and national, but as usual the crew in Washington leads the pack.