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Editorials

  • Here’s hoping leaders aim for what benefits all

    All the hand-shaking and footwork has paid off, and the governing bodies of Roane County’s four municipalities are now in place.
    It’s almost like a clean slate — and it’s time for those voted into those positions to prove that their campaign promises were more than lip service to attract votes.
    We trust the new officials will provide fresh insight into the operations of city government. Likewise, we hope those voters returned to their seats live up to the confidence placed in them for another four years.

  • Guest opinion: New York protects gay equality and religious freedom

    By Charles C. Haynes, First Amendment Center
    Winners and losers in the battle over gay marriage in New York can agree on at least one thing: Without robust protections for religious groups, the law legalizing same-sex marriages would not have passed.

    Eleventh-hour negotiations between Republican senators and supporters of the bill led to the insertion of strong language ensuring that churches and other religious organizations could not be sued or penalized for refusing to accommodate gay marriages.

  • Kingston’s the place to be on Fourth of July

    This is the time of year when Kingston really shines.
    The preparation for the Fourth of July has been going on all year, but the week before is a blur of activity.
    Crews are out trimming along the lakefront, the American flags have been posted on the main streets. Set up for the thousands and thousands of people who come in for a great, small-town fireworks show — and more — is under way.
    It’s great that Roane County has such an option.

  • Counterprotests best way to deal with Westboro ilk

    By GENE POLICINSKI
    First Amendment Center
    Whatever your thoughts about the controversial Fred Phelps family and their Westboro Baptist Church — and for most Americans, those thoughts are negative — the group continues to find ways to grab headlines and public attention.
    In the wake of the death June 20 of Ryan Dunn, a star of MTV’s “Jackass” programs, in a traffic accident, Westboro promised to appear yesterday in Dunn’s hometown, West Chester, Pa., at public memorial service.

  • Judge’s ruling on copyright not so creative

    By KEN PAULSON
    First Amendment Center
    A federal judge in Nevada is dissing editorial writers.
    In a lawsuit filed by Righthaven, a Las Vegas company that specializes in suing alleged copyright infringers on the web, Judge Philip Pro ruled that a 19-paragraph editorial from the Las Vegas Review Journal could be freely reposted in its entirety because the writing was not significantly creative.

  • A good city manager well worth the money

    During the weeks leading up to the most recent election, Harriman mayoral and city council candidates were asked their thoughts on having a  city manager.
    It is an issue that has long been debated in the town, but one whose time has come.
    Harriman has, in recent years, taken a step forward with a city coordinator.
    We believe more progress can be made when it advances to a full city manager — provided the city hires the right person.

  • Allegiance pledge recital not mandatory

    By GENE POLICINSKI
    First Amendment Center
    The Pledge of Allegiance is a simple and clear way of expressing love of country.
    It’s also a voluntary patriotic exercise — declared as such more than 50 years ago by the U.S. Supreme Court.
    Still, some officials or legislatures periodically try to coerce others into reciting the Pledge. A recent attempt involves a Mississippi judge who jailed a lawyer who refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance last October at the start of a court session.

  • Schools can’t be substitute for churches

    By CHARLES C. HAYNES
    First Amendment Center
    If only a fraction of the allegations are true, public school officials in Sumner County have been treating their school district like a missionary field for the Christian faith.
    Nine students — who understandably wish to remain anonymous — have filed suit with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union seeking to end school promotion of religion.

  • Stout stuck to her guns, cared about her town

     

  • No recording policy baffling twist for public

    By GENE POLICINSKI
    First Amendment Center
    More than 220 years ago, the nation’s founders — after gathering in Philadelphia to create the Declaration of Independence — risked life, liberty and property in fighting to create a new nation.
    Admittedly, they never had to overcome the fear of being seen on Facebook.
    Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Pa., has banned most video and audio recording devices from his town-hall meetings.