• Northeast taxes put reform debate into perspective

    I have lived in Tennessee for 18 years, and many of my friends and neighbors do not fully appreciate our low property taxes and having no state income tax. Also, Tennessee has the lowest per-capita debt of all 50 states.

    Many of those I speak with do not understand all of the media comments about tax reform and the deductibility of state and local taxes.

    Here are the comments I often make to put the national tax reform debate in perspective:

  • OS community gives the gift of belonging

    I had just received the best gift of all this Christmas, and it is not for what it is, but for what it means to me.

    It represents the encouragement to write about so many things I am thankful for this holiday, from my students to my coworkers, to the community.

    My name is Yris Vaca, or Profe. Vaca as my students call me, and I proudly work at Oliver Springs High School, since last year, when I arrived to Tennessee.

  • Time to challenge some questionable statements

    A recent Opinion column contained so many highly questionable statements about President Trump I just could not let it go unchallenged. He has a 65 percent negative/30 percent positive rating at this writing.

  • Cartoon reminder that Mom’s wisdom still true

    Your editorial cartoon in the paper of Dec. 1 recalled to me of some wisdom passed on many years ago by my mother.

    When I’d asked why someone did something really stupid, her reply was always, “All the fools aren’t dead yet.”

    A reminder that as modern as we think we are, human nature is what it is, and has been, since time immemorial.

    Paul McGinley


  • Big cats need a place, but not to be a nuisance

    I want to give the readers some information about Tiger Haven. Information can be found at Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency/tigers/lions. The job of TWRA is the cages and welfare of the cats.

    The Court of Appeals of Tennessee at Knoxville also has information. In short, any industry or business situated within the area which is affected by a change in zoning, so as to avoid nuisances to adjoining landowners.

  • Roane truly lost a treasure with death of Dick Evans

    I’d like to express my appreciation to Mark Banker and Gerald Largen for their recent articles highlighting the wonderful character of Dick Evans.

    It seems all that knew Dick repeat what we all know to be true. Dick was a kind-hearted, generous, brilliant and humorous soul. And he always attempted to unite people.

    He never exploited differences; rather, he looked to unification which would result in the greatest common community good.

  • Ask regulators to actively protect Roane’s waterways

    Just over a year ago, the Tennessee Valley Authority shared the good news that it was prepared to comply with federal rules to protect the Clinch River from toxic pollutants being released from its Kingston coal plant, such as arsenic, mercury and lead. And not only could they comply, but they could do it sooner than the rules required.

    But things have changed.

    The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has proposed a new permit for the Kingston plant that needlessly delays — for years — the cleanup of Kingston’s toxic discharges.

  • Tax bill gives wealthy more to squander, hoard

    Here is a summation of an article from “The Hightower Lowdown,” a newsletter published by Jim Hightower, former Texas Agriculture Secretary:

    Here’s a question for Congress: “Why are you even considering giving more tax breaks to corporate giants?”

  • Giving thanks for Harback this Season of Thanks

    This Thanksgiving as we remember those for whom we give thanks, I am thankful for Rodney Harback and the Roane Street Grill staff.

    For the second year, Mr. Harback has provided the November turkey, dressing, gravy, green beans and mashed potatoes for the Love Kitchen at First Presbyterian Church, Harriman.

    On Saturday, Nov. 18, meals were provided for more than 60 grateful people.

    Thank you, Rodney Harback. Thanksgiving Blessings!

    Jo Hardin


  • This year brought most memorable Veterans Day ever

    On Friday, Nov. 17, I was privileged to attend the most memorable Veterans Day celebrations of my life. It was held at the Kingston Elementary School, and my appreciation includes the staff and students of the school and, I imagine, many volunteers.

    And I say thanks to all of them but I would like to say a special thanks to Mr. Tim Thompson, principal; Ms. Linda Lloyd, music director and teacher; Miss Isabella Tejeda, student and solo singer of our national anthem; and the student chorus. Thanks for a memorable and patriotic celebration.