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Columns

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: More on Second Amendment background

    From reports we have heard, Sec. of State Hillary Clinton is soon going to appear before one or more congressional committees to testify about the attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in which Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other U.S. employees were killed, or murdered.

  • Looseleaf laureate: Want to share your Blizzard of ’93 memories?

    January’s winter mood swings have been extreme this year.

    We’ve gone from comfortable shirt-sleeve weather to heavy rain and floods, then winter storm warnings and, so forecasters say, bright sunshine.

    I remember one January that was pretty monochromatic — read that as snowy white and bitterly cold.

    In January 1978, I managed to make my way through a winter storm back to campus at Western Kentucky University.

  • Former congressman laments divisions

    Ordinarily, the start of a new Congress is a time for optimism.

    Fresh faces and a purposeful spirit combine to get Congress off to a hope-filled start.

    Yet Capitol Hill right now is far from optimistic. That’s because last year’s session, with its distressing end by the edge of the fiscal cliff, left the new Congress confronting head on all the challenges that should have been resolved but weren’t: getting spending and the deficit under control, spurring economic growth, and reforming the tax code.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Which do you serve, America or Israel?

    Gentle reader, public discourse in this great republic may be approaching a crisis point, and if not, a boiling point.

    This state of affairs arises from the President’s action in attempting to fill certain cabinet vacancies, especially the Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency.

    He has named long-time C.I.A. operative John Brennan to head that agency, and former Republican Senator from Nebraska, Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Lick Skillet: Why we have a Second Amendment

    Well, gentle reader, we return to the barricades after our short hiatus. We trust that you and yours had pleasant holidays.

    As this is written, we are right in the middle of the “fiscal cliff,” so we will await some more definitive outcome of this bizarre exercise in statecraft before writing further about it, but there are a couple of things that we wish to go into.

    First is the subject of guns, and the Newtown massacre.

  • Director Aytes reports on state of schools

    The State Report Card was released last month, so now is a good time to update our citizens on the status of Roane County Schools.  

    The report card shows academic improvement — and also shows many areas for growth.

    Our greatest improvement was in math, where we received an A in value-added scores and a B in achievement.  

    Our goal this year will be to maintain the A and improve our achievement score.  

    Our other achievement scores were an A in social studies with B’s in reading and science.  

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: Get out of your comfort zone

    If you are reading this and the world hasn’t come to a fiery end (as per Mayan calendar hoopla), then I can safely say 2012 has been a great year.


    I have been touched by the many people who have told me they enjoy reading this column, and who “travel” with me on my adventures.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Recollections of our past Christmas parties

    Gentle reader, as we wrote a few weeks ago we are increasingly grateful for the gift of friendship, but all too often we are reminded of the meaningfulness of our friendships most strongly when one or more of those friends is called from us by their death.

    Thus it was this past week when we lost one of our old South Harriman High School friends, Bill Gibson: and almost simultaneously came the news of the death of Mary Lou Bradford.

  • New TVA chief is tested and proven

    By BILL SANSOM
    TVA board chairman
    The leadership transition at TVA is well under way.

    With the new year, the second CEO for the Tennessee Valley Authority will be in charge and continue the shift from over six decades of management by a three-member board to a more traditional corporate structure and part-time board.

    As the first CEO, Tom Kilgore set TVA on a clearer path tied to low rates, cleaner air and a diverse energy mix.

  • Looseleaf Laureate: The waiting room – an emotional rollercoaster

    Thanks to a tennis accident, a massive blood clot in my leg,  a bout with cancer, a bum gall bladder and a few other health issues, I’ve spent more time than I care to recall in and around hospitals.
    So when my mother went in last week for surgery to relieve compression on her spine, I jokingly told her, “Better you than me.”
    Later, as I sat alone for hours in the surgery waiting room, I decided she had the easier role.