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Editorials

  • Requirement of liner indication of TVA failure

    Gone is the big cloud of steam over the Kingston Fossil Plant that had become a symbol of cleaner air over much of the Southeast.
    It has been replaced with the nastier, albeit less obvious, emissions from the plant’s twin stacks.
    All this is a result of TVA’s leaky gypsum containment pond.

  • This space is dedicated to the givers among us

    Are you one of the people who dropped a handful of coins  — or more — in a Salvation Army bucket?
    Perhaps you gathered boxes and cans of food for one of the many drives to help feed the needy.
    Maybe you donated pet supplies to the new pantry to help needy families feed and keep their pets.
    Or perhaps you gave generously to United Way, Operation REACH or one of the many other causes that can help people here in Roane County and beyond.
    If you are one of those who gave what you could, whether it be a little or a lot, we thank you.

  • Gypsum pond leak does not bode well

    It was disturbing to learn Wednesday that Kingston Fossil Plant’s new gypsum pond is leaking — just two years after the December 2008 ash disaster.
    That disaster changed the face of Roane County for many — both inside and outside the area.
    We have heard promises from state environmental officials that this gypsum containment system would be different and safer.
    With seepage showing this early on, we’re not feeling very confident about their claims.

  • Reasons for slow growth in Roane County?

    “Obviously, the economy is a reason,” County Commissioner Ron Berry said when he heard about Roane County’s relatively slow population growth rate of 3.1 percent over the past decade.
    If Berry is talking about the overall economic slump, then it would be difficult to explain why Loudon County’s (19.5) population shot up around six times the rate of Roane’s, or Monroe’s (17.6) at more than five times the rate.
    Then there is Meigs (11) and Rhea (9.2), each with a substantially higher growth rates.

  • Give Kingston employees bonus from scrap sale

    Things are tight all over.
    With that in mind, we can understand the debate over a recent proposal to sell scrap metal the city of Kingston has accumulated in order to give employees an extra pay boost.
    The idea, proposed by Councilman Kevin McClure, would raise enough to add an extra $98 or so to the approximately $400 bonus each employee will receive. Other than the bonus, the employees are not getting a raise.
    Normally, we might agree with Councilman Brant Williams that the scrap-metal money could be put to better use.

  • More thoughts on consolidation of utilities

    A number of years ago, discussion of the potential of a merger of some municipal and county services was discussed in this county.
    Few people embraced the possibility of a full metro government, with the cities and county merging into one.
    However, some embraced aspects of such mergers. High on that list are municipal utilities.
    Both Rockwood and Harriman have or are anticipating the loss of top managers in their utility departments.

  • Note to authorities – reporters are not demonstrators

    By GENE POLICINSKI
    The First Amendment is not a secondary concern. That simple and obvious statement is disregarded by police and municipal authorities when they arrest journalists who are reporting on controversial protests.
    In the process, they debase all of our rights of free speech, press and assembly — three of the core freedoms in the First Amendment specifically delineated by the Founders to protect us against government suppression of points of view, speech and news reports.

  • Time to give credit where credit is due

    We would be remiss in our duty if we did not, on these pages, acknowledge the the death of Henry Wattenbarger.
    Wattenbarger was a friend to this newspaper — and to many individuals and groups in and around the community.
    We sometimes wondered of Wattenbarger felt his contributions — and they were many — would be forgotten after he was gone.
    They won’t be — not by the people who knew him.
    Wattenbarger lived past the age of 90 and was one of the busiest retirees we have ever known.

  • Holiday season doesn't have to be a big stress fest

    Tensions run high during the holiday season.When high expectations meet the demands of reality, it can dash the brightest moods.

    What can we do to make our holiday season brighter? Change our expectations.

    Perfection isn’t all it’s cut out to be. Let’s aim for good enough instead.

    Don’t worry if the main course came out a bit dry — that’s what gravy is for.

  • Knee-jerking on religion puts freedom at risk

    By CHARLES C. HAYNES
    First Amendment Center
    Much of the news media seemed bemused or bewildered when Sharron Angle warned of an Islamic-law takeover in America during her unsuccessful bid to unseat Sen. Harry Reid.
    Angle was widely ridiculed for citing Frankford, Texas (a town that no longer exists), and Dearborn, Mich. (with a large population of Arab-Americans living under American law), as examples of the imposition of Islamic or sharia law.