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Today's Opinions

  • Appraisal up, but at least land worth more now

    According to the 2010 tax reappraisal, our 1-acre lakefront lot is valued at $200,000, twice its value five years ago; our house is valued at $100,000 more.
    To understand the method used for evaluating lakefront land, we had a helpful and informative meeting with our tax assessor, Teresa Kirkham.
    Here are some comments that may help others regarding their lakefront reappraisal values.
    She gave us a list of 58 lakefront property sales in 2008 and 2009. One hundred qualified-sale (no duress) properties were used in the appraisals, but usually 200 are used.

  • Oak Ridge 4-lane a two-way street to prosperity

    Have you driven to Oak Ridge recently? The new four-lane section from the old guard gates to Illinois Avenue has been opened. It is glorious.
    The road is wide and smooth, with generous and clearly marked bike lanes.
    It is a joy to drive, whether you are heading north into Oak Ridge or heading south to Roane County.
    More work is being done to widen the rest of the stretch so that the entire segment will be four lanes from Kingston to Oak Ridge. The work is expected to be completed in 2012.
    This work is good news for both communities.

  • Truth entrangled, but newspapers’ role stays clear

    By LEONARD PITTS JR.
    Lyndon Johnson once said of Gerald Ford that  he “played too much football with his helmet off.”
    Theodore Roosevelt once called William Howard Taft “a fathead with the brains of a guinea pig.”
    Harper’s Weekly once described Ulysses S. Grant as “a drunken Democrat dragged out of the Galena (Ill.) gutter.”

  • IMPRESSIONS: Life is good – even after the IRS leaves note

    TEN-TEN-TEN.
    Did you notice your calendar Sunday? That’s what it said —10/10/10.
    If you add an extra “n” at the end of the third TEN (or delete the “e”) you get an abbreviation for our great state.
    How about that?

  • Was pleasantly surprised by courthouse help

    My husband and I recently went to the Roane County Courthouse with our concerns about our property taxes.
    First we were directed by Officer Stooksbury to the Property Assessor’s Office.
    Ms. Teresa Kirkham was there helping another lady. We waited and when she was finished with her, she asked if she could help us, and we spoke with her about our issue.
    We were pleasantly surprised with how helpful everyone was. Ms. Kirkham informed us of some things we were unaware of.

  • Social programs help her keep the lights on

    Thank God for programs like Mid-East. I used to have to decide betweendoing without electricity or medicine.
    With help from programs like LIHEAP, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, I don’t have to choose.
    Another program helps me with a voucher for the nutrient drink, Ensure.
    My thanks to Tonya, Kay, Diane and Kay.
    Ruby Davidson
    Rockwood

  • A View from Lick Skillet by Gerald Largen

    Gentle reader, as we promised at the end of last week’s column, we will devote this column to a further discussion of Social Security.
    Some readers may have missed last week’s column, so, to bring them up to speed, let us repeat the gist of what we said then in response to the position statement of Republican Congressional candidate, Dr. Scott DesJarlais, who is running against incumbent Representative Lincoln Davis for the Fourth District seat in Congress.

  • Understanding other religions will forge bonds

    By CHARLES C. HAYNES
    Beginning this fall, students in Jodi Ide’s class at Brighton High School will go beyond textbook discussions of world religions and engage directly with students in Pakistan, India and elsewhere who actually practice the faith traditions covered in the curriculum.
    And, yes, this is an American public school.