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Today's Opinions

  • Religion in school battles heating up gain

    By CHARLES HAYNES
    First Amendment Center
    Just when First Amendment principles seem to be working in public education, new fights over student religious speech threaten to reignite culture-war battles in schools across the country.
    It's little known that many public schools made significant progress toward getting religion right over the past decade.

  • Writer squawks about legislative priorities

    Cock-a-doodle-don’t! Roosters to your neutral corners — go!
    In an apparent effort to avoid appearing reactive to the serious education, infrastructure and financial crisis facing Tennessee our legislators in Nashville instead chose to tackle the more serious problems of Rooster Sports and extended breast feeding by the state’s mothers.
    After determining that the cockfighting promoters and casual observers are equally guilty, it was proposed that a $2,500 fine (first offense) would be preventative.

  • A view from Lick Skillet by Gerald Largen: If you're going to preside, learn the Rules!

    Generous reader, we would propound to you the following proposition: No one should allow themselves to be elected, selected, or appointed to the position of presiding officer over any board, commission, or other governmental body without first thoroughly familiarizing himself with the provisions of Robert's Rules of Order.

    The validity of this proposition is clearly demonstrated by the current brouhaha arising out of the Roane County School Board's proceedings in relation to the employment of Toni McGriff to continue as Director of Schools.

  • IMPRESSIONS by Johnny Teglas

    Forgive me if I was a little glum last week. I didn’t mean to be out of sorts.
    March 30 just happens to be a sad day in my world.
    You see, it was my daughter’s birthday.
    Ashton Julianne Teglas was born March 30, 1987. For most, you would think it would be a happy time.
    She would have turned 24.
    Notice I wrote “would.”
    Those who know me well also know she didn’t live to see her first birthday.

  • Why offensive viewpoints need to be heard, rebutted

    By GENE POLICINSKI
    First Amendment Center
    By now there likely are few Americans who don’t recognize the names of a tiny Topeka, Kan., church and of the family that makes up most of its members — Westboro Baptist Church and the Phelps family.
    For years, various Phelpses have been demonstrating at funerals — most notably at services for U.S. military service members killed in combat overseas — to condemn America’s acceptance of homosexuality and other “sins.”

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: Man's love of community contagious

    On a recent late winter Friday afternoon, I headed to Rockwood to take up Wayne Pugh on his offer to show me around his beloved hometown.

    I rendezvoused with Pugh — a retired railroad man — at Junior’s Restaurant, where he sipped on coffee, and I ate a grilled cheese sandwich before we hit the road.

    We paid our respects to Junior, the restaurant proprietor and namesake, and a few other locals before we walked out the door.

    And thus began one of the best educations I’ve ever had on Rockwood.

  • Impressions: Mowing tips – for when winter’s long gone

    I fired up the little red lawn mower.
    All it took was three pulls. That’s because last fall I took measures to ensure the 20-inch push machine I bought in 2001 would be with me through another mowing season.
    First, I emptied the gas tank. Then I changed the oil. And, finally, I installed a new spark plug before storing it in a corner of the garage.

  • What you give to the Lions Club, they give back

    The people of Roane County have again demonstrated their endorsement of the work of the Kingston Lions Club by their participation in the annual Pancake Breakfast on March 26.
    The public has become aware that all money received, except for the cost of conducting the event, is returned to the community in some form.
    The major portion of all project profits is used to purchase eye exams and/or glasses for persons who cannot afford such luxuries.