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Editorials

  • How much do you really know about the Constitution?

    It’s Constitution Week.

    As much as this foundation for our nation’s freedom and way of life has been bandied about lately, we are shocked by how little many people really know about its history and its actual content.

    “We the people...” are words that define our government — our belief system — and our unique set of freedoms.

    These words have guided this country  through hard times and civil strife.

  • Public's right to assembly basic to our freedoms

    By GENE POLICINSKI
    First Amendment Center
    Americans sure have been assembling a lot lately — using a basic right that’s often overshadowed by its better-known First Amendment kin, particularly freedom of speech.

  • 'Dub' sets good example for officials, us

    After decades serving the public as a county commissioner, James “Dub” Harmon is no longer an elected official.
    Instead of tucking tail over his recent election loss, Harmon is, instead, stepping up.
    “That stage of my life is probably through,” the 83-year-old said recently in a Roane County News interview about his failure to get re-elected. “But there are many things for Roane County I can work for.”
    Harmon has not been afraid to champion what, to some, have been unpopular causes.

  • Acts of heroism, big and small, lift the community

    Any newspaper that is doing its job has plenty of bad news in it.
    That is part of its role — to shed light on problems in hopes solutions will be sought.
    However, in amongst those problems are usually plenty of glimmers — and sometimes, shining beacons — of hope and caring. There are acts of heroism large and small.
    We’d like to take stock of a few of those acts in recent Roane County News editions.
    Take, for instance, the accident involving a van ramming through a busy Kingston hair salon Tuesday.

  • Once we elect them, we have to help them do their jobs

    We’re sure to have some new officials after Election Day, as well as some incumbents.
    We hope these people will stand by their promises of better, more responsive government, but our role as citizens doesn’t end at the ballot box.
    We must put forth the effort to let our officials know what our priorities are before we criticize.
    We must make an effort to keep up with the issues in our community, and it never hurts to attend a government meeting or two, just to get an idea of what goes on.
    Democracy is a two-way street.

  • Scrutiny can make insurance change work

    The state of Tennessee is planning on increasing its scrutiny of health insurance rate hikes.
    It is getting a $1 million U.S. Health and Human Resources grant to aid the effort.
    On the whole, we think this can be money well spent. So do a number of consumer-advocate groups, including the Tennessee Health Care Campaign.
    Until recently, rate-hike proposals on group policies in Tennessee didn’t have to be submitted to a state agency for approval.

  • Let's praise those who are willing to serve

    This is a difficult time of transition for people in public office.
    The elections are over, and those who failed in their bids for re-election are still in office until September.
    It has to be tough.
    But despite the outcome of the elections, we believe these officials should hold their heads up for the work they have done for the community.
    We know each and every one of them have contributed in the community in some way.
    They have attended meetings and attempted to sort out the complex business of running a county in many important ways.