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Today's Opinions

  • 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.

  • 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%).