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Today's Opinions

  • Conversation over growth is a debate worth having

    We are pleased to see that the community is having a conversation of sorts over growth.
    There has been talk that Roane County’s population increase — slightly more than 4 percent over the past decade — is sluggish compared to others around us.
    This has triggered some debate — at county commissioners meetings, among community members and on this newspaper’s news and opinion pages — over what constitutes good growth and whether we should want double-digit population increases decade by decade.

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: Some causes worth running for

    I’ve never been a grand marshal before.

    That changed Saturday when I was honored by the Michael Dunn Foundation as grand marshal of the first ever Run for Dunn 5k race. I was also honored to be able to meet and stand alongside the very Michael Dunn for whom Roane County’s Michael Dunn Center is named.

    It was a proud day for me.

    I’ll admit to some relief when the race organizers informed me that instead of a starter’s pistol, I’d launch the runners and walkers with an air horn.

  • Sen. Ken Yager's Week in the Legislature

    Gov. Bill Haslam presented his State of the State/Budget Address to the General Assembly outlining his proposals to deal with the state’s current budget crunch, while working towards reforming education and making our economy stronger to welcome new jobs to Tennessee. 

    The $30.2 billion balanced budget is almost $2 billion less than the current 2010-11 budget of $32 billion. 
    It contains no new taxes and maintains essential government services by focusing reductions in administrative areas to minimize any impact felt by Tennessee taxpayers.

  • A view from Lick Skillet by Gerald Largen: When things are good, leave them alone!

    The Bureau of the Census has done its work and begun issuing reports on its findings as to the fluxuations in population throughout the nation.
    Insofar as Roane County is concerned our population has increased over the past decade by something over four percent (4.4%), to 54,181.

    Our sister county, Anderson, with which we share the two cities of Oliver Springs and Oak Ridge, increased a little less than one percent more (5.3%).
    And our southern neighbor, Meigs added six percent (6%).

  • Tennessee a bright spot in Shariah hysteria

    By CHARLES C. HAYNES
    First Amendment Center
    Recently, I sounded an alarm about rise of Islamophobia in the United States, calling attempts in various states to pass anti-Shariah legislation an attack on religious freedom.
    That inspired a good number of irate readers to sound their own alarm about what they view as my naïve and dangerous dismissal of the threat Shariah (Islamic law) poses to the United States.

  • State Rep. Julia Hurley’s Capitol Week Review

    The “Tennessee Health Care Freedom Act” passed the House this week, meaning the legislation is now on its way to the Governor for his signature.
    This bill’s passage is part of a larger effort by the General Assembly to not only encourage job growth, but protect the valuable jobs already in Tennessee.
    The legislation was an integral piece for many legislators’ agendas over the last two years.

  • IMPRESSIONS by Johnny Teglas

    Spring’s a comin.’
    I mentioned that last week in this space.
    And on Sunday evening at 7:41 p.m., that’s exactly what happened.
    Old timers in these parts warn me not to get too excited.
    After all, the running joke is that if you don’t like the weather in East Tennessee, just give it a minute.
    Spring actually kind of “sprung” on us several days earlier.

  • Census results indicate a lack of long-term plan

    In the March 18 issue, you published census data for Roane and surrounding counties.
    Roane seriously lagged behind with growth of just 4 percent compared to Loudon at 24 percent, Blount at 16 percent, Cumberland at 19 percent and Knox at 13 percent.
    I am a newcomer to this area, having moved in 2010 from Dallas, Texas to this beautiful county that is blessed with the most wonderful natural resources, lake and mountain vistas that are feasts for the eyes.