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Today's Opinions

  • Clean air push officially down to wire

    Chattanooga’s top air quality official told U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander that without recent improvements in air quality “the site of the new Volkswagen plant behind us would be a vacant lot.”

    Bob Colby, director of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Air Pollution Control Bureau, joined Alexander at a recent press conference at the Volkswagen site.

  • Director of Schools Toni McGriff issues her last State-of-Schools report: Schools to go deeper into core curriculum

    Each year seems to be more challenging than the last in public education.

    In 2011-12, Roane County teachers and principals implemented a new evaluation program.

    In both cases, student achievement counts 50 percent of the total score on the individual evaluation.

    Simply put, that means that student test scores are critical to the evaluation of school personnel.

    Since our main focus is student achievement and every decision made is geared toward improving student achievement, it is not unrealistic to measure us that way.

  • Don’t skip skin cancer checks, sun safety

    There is a skin cancer check available in Roane County on June 25. This is to encourage all who can to attend.

    After several blistering sunburns in my teens when sunscreen was baby oil and iodine and sun protection wasn’t thought of, I now have metastatic malignant melanoma. It is present in my lung, breast, femur and a lymph node in my chest. I’ve undergone radiation and chemo. I’m 57 years old. This all started in my wrist with a “simple” looking mole that I paid no attention.

    Go, get your skin looked over.

    Thank you.

    Paula Townsend
    Harriman

  • GUEST OPINION: Students push back to keep items of faith

    By CHARLES C. HAYNES
    First Amendment Center
    When Jake Balthazor was sent to the office by his teacher last week, imagine his surprise.

    After all, Jake hadn’t disrupted class, failed to do his homework or committed any other offense that might lead to disciplinary action at Coon Rapids High School near Minneapolis.

    The problem, it turned out, wasn’t with what the 15-year-old was doing, but with the black-and-silver rosary beads he was wearing.
    Rosary beads are used by many Roman Catholics to offer prayers to the Virgin Mary.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET by Gerald Largen: Misreading Wisconsin recall vote’s meaning

    Last week demonstrated once again how narrow and how uniform is the view of the “Chattering Class” in the news media, and likewise how like a pack of fox-hunting hounds they are in the main.

    If one of them thinks he or she has detected the vulpine scent, off said detector goes, baying as loudly as possible, and all the rest of the little chatterers goes a-baying after him, whether any scent be detected or not.

  • Suicide death victims have place in Heaven, too

    On May 31, I was at Roane Medical Center to be with my husband, Doug, who was hospitalized with a bleeding ulcer.

    I saw Bina Kirby, sister of J.T. Woods, standing outside the elevators from the emergency room. There were several family members with her as she was crying for the loss of her brother.

    I hugged her and told her that I would be praying for her and her family in this, a family’s most horrific time, a suicidal death.

  • Lions Club roars out its thanks to many people

    The Harriman Lions Club recently completed a most successful “World’s Greatest Pancake Breakfast.” We have many folks to thank for making this effort a success.  

    We thank  Mary Long and Bobby Webb at Harriman Steak and Diner for providing their restaurant and kitchen facilities.  Next, our thanks go to many of their staff who volunteered their Saturday time off to help us: Jerrecce Hacker, Gary Webb, Ray Page, Charlie Reynolds and Tammie Smith.  

  • GUEST OPINION: Passionate debate on ideology a good thing in schools

    By GENE POLICINSKI
    First Amendment Center
    No doubt it’s more efficient to run a school without any disruption, complaint or controversy.

    But does an absence of challenges, conflicts or intellectual collisions automatically make a school better? Make teaching more effective?

    Learning any more likely to occur?

    James Yoakley, an 11th-grade English teacher at Lenoir City High School in eastern Tennessee, was transferred recently to Lenoir City Middle to teach eighth-grade English — in a move that