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Letters

  • Studying robins’ arrival for clues to changing weather

    On Jan. 19, 2013, I saw a group of four or five robins in the yard. I had never observed robins in January.

    I wondered if I would see them this year, then on Jan. 12 I looked out the window and saw a robin about 20 feet from the house.

    He was hunting for food, as robins do, and was there for 20 minutes.

    About 12:30, he was there again. I looked for others, but did not see any.

    Last year on Jan. 27, one daffodil blossom was opening. I am watching to see when it will be this year.

  • Shooter’s cruelty lamented by man who rescues strays

    I live in the Walnut Hills subdivision in Harriman.

    I have rescued and cared for many starving cats. I have helped neighbors get their cats shots and with spaying and neutering to help control the pet population.

    Around Jan. 20, someone in my neighborhood shot a female black cat with a pellet gun. Before she was struck, I had taken her into the vet to get her rabies shots and other vaccinations. I would let her come and go in my basement since she was a feral cat.

  • Many tried to help Ray Knight, but were prevented

    I am writing in response to Tina Pemberton’s recent letter to the editor regarding the life and death of Ray Knight.

    Ms. Pemberton is certainly welcome to her opinion, and I will not tell her that she is wrong to have it.  

    On some level, I agree that society failed Mr. Knight.  

  • Prayer is better when not linked to government

    This is regarding the story “Official wants prayer at games” that ran on Page 1 in the Jan. 22 edition of the Roane County News.

    Our Constitution prohibits government officials making rules that require religious practice.

    I very much believe in prayer.  

    It is a privilege God has given to us, and I believe that it is because of Jesus Christ that God hears and responds to prayer.

    Prayer is too special to be regarded as a kind of spiritual charm.

    I know that many of my fellow Americans do not believe as I do.

  • Ray Knight, sadly, really was the Forgotten Veteran

    To write calmly about this is one of the most difficult things I have ever done.

    I remember Ray Knight, a handsome clean-cut, proud man, as a gentle spirit who graced the streets of Rockwood just with his presence.

    He would look at me with kind eyes, enough to make a lasting impression.

    He was a friend of my father’s — a fellow veteran.

  • Harmon blames school funding mess on high property evaluations

    The county executive and commissioners want to know why the state considers Roane County the 14th richest county in the state and allegedly able to put more money in the schools.

    The answer is because the property in Roane County is evaluated so extraordinarily high.

    It is re-evaluated in five-year cycles, and for the last 25 years it has increased in value each time, although we have gone through recession and depression.

    Roane County is a rural county, but the state sees us as equal to the more urban Shelby, Davidson, Hamilton and Knox counties.

  • Knight’s death part of growing mental health problem

    The recent cold weather took a toll on many things but the saddest of all might have been the freezing death of Ray Knight of Rockwood.

    Since the presidency of Ronald Reagan, when mental facilities were closed and inmates or patients who were deemed to pose no immediate threat to themselves or others were put on the streets or sent back to relatives to fend for themselves, the problem has been growing.

    It has become increasingly difficult for authorities to intervene on behalf of these Americans.

  • Grunwell’s impact on community hard to overstate

    Roane County has lost a good resident and friend due to another retirement. Barbara Grunwell, aka That Yankee Lady, is a feisty, determined lady of Scottish descent, mother, school teacher, real estate salesperson, business woman and transplant from Michigan.

    Around here, she is best known as founder and director of Planned Pet- Hood. Approximately mid-2013, she decided to hand the reins over to other very capable hands and, once again, retire so she could be near her children and grandchildren.

  • Knight’s death part of growing mental health problem

    The recent cold weather took a toll on many things but the saddest of all might have been the freezing death of Ray Knight of Rockwood. 

    Since the presidency of Ronald Reagan, when mental facilities were closed and inmates or patients who were deemed to pose no immediate threat to themselves or others were put on the streets or sent back to relatives to fend for themselves, the problem has been growing. 

  • Shame on us all for freezing death of local veteran

    I am writing about something  that bothers me to the core.

    How did we let this hero, Ray Knight, who served in the Korean War, slip through the cracks?

    I’ll tell you how. In 2005, I deployed with the 4th Infantry.  

    Being a veteran of the Operation Iraqi Freedom, I know from experience that the Veterans Administration is disorganized.

    And, quite frankly, what happened a reflection of today’s society. All people are concerned about is “American Idol” and their silly Facebook pages.