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Today's Opinions

  • Sophomoric speech is free speech, too

    By KEN PAULSON
    Some school memories are more golden than others.
    While we’ve all benefited from the good teachers and school administrators in our lives, it’s hard to shake the memories of those who either didn’t teach us very well or treated us badly.
    Students in the pre-digital era pretty much just had to grin and bear it. We would grumble to our friends or complain to our parents, but we weren’t going to get an audience with the school board.

  • A view from Lick Skillet by Gerald Largen

    Two of the Nobel prizes awarded over the past few days struck us as noteworthy in respect to the USA.
    The first is that awarded last Monday to three economists, including Professor Peter Diamond, of MIT.
    What makes his winning particularly interesting is the fact that President Obama nominated him some months ago to a vacancy on the Federal Reserve Board.
    However, one of the Republicans’ leading intellectual pygmies in the Senate, Alabama’s Richard Shelby, put a hold on his nomination so that it could not even be considered for confirmation.

  • Civic-minded young volunteers key at events

    I would like to thank two special groups of young people who were a big help at our Kingston Country Fair.
    The Roane State Community College girls softball team, the Lady Raiders, stepped up to the plate and ran and oversaw the children’s activities.
    They also purchased supplies to offer face painting for the children.

  • 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.