Today's Opinions

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: A perfect weekend can last and last

    Summer, going into fall, is my favorite time of year. This year, the transition season seemed to reward me for my loyalty.

    For months, I’d had an outing planned — one that involved a river, the mountains and a tiny town tucked between them.

    I rallied a few friends to come along and then braced myself — knowing full well that when the designated weekend arrived, we would be rained out.

    Even when the forecasts called for perfect weather, I shrugged.

    I knew there would be a hitch.

  • A View From Lick Skillet by Gerald Largen

    Gentle reader, as we enter the autumn season, most educational institutions begin a new academic year.

    Although President Obama has initiated efforts to reform our institutions of higher learning from the community colleges to the most prestigious universities, regrettably it is unlikely that the entering freshmen will find his lot substantially improved over that of his older fellows.

    Costs continue to escalate at a totally unreasonable rate, and the value of a degree continues to decline.

  • Owner of puppy killed by dog pack issues plea

    My husband and I have lived in Holiday Shores for more than three years.

    In the last year, we have lost two pets to a pack of vicious, menacing dogs.

    Just days ago, our 9-month-old puppy got out of his kennel. When we discovered he was loose, we immediately went looking for him.

    We found him severely mangled — and still being mauled — by this pack of dogs. They also were mauling another family’s dog.

  • Resident can't understand why lot not cleaned up

    Since last year, I’ve been trying to get property in front of my house cleaned off.

    I went to the city, and they told me to go to the county.

    It took six months to burn down the house completely that caught fire in November 2008.

    It seems that the only time the city or county comes over here is during election time.

    Is it because it’s in a black neighborhood that they don’t seem to want to clear it off?

  • Rockwood's pain a reflection of tough times

    Rockwood city officials are finding themselves in the unenviable position of possibly raising property taxes, and more probably, water rates in tight times.

    Many government entities are pinching their budgets as grants dry up and state and federal funding is diminished.

    Rockwood has taken pride in its relatively
    low tax rate, but sometimes increases really are necessary.

  • IMPRESSIONS: A little literacy and a big ol' Hokie gobble

    My colleagues are having way too much fun with me these days.

    One even spun and shared an exaggerated tale turned urban legend based on some sketchy information he received following a recent project I worked on in Annapolis, Md.

    For some strange reason, his version of the story suggested I single-handedly wrecked a major system at our big newspaper up there.

    Shoot, all I was trying to do was scope out some equipment we want to give a new home here.

  • Largen needs shorter horse to articulate from

      After two trips to the woodshed and suffering my verbal punishment generously administered by Gerald Largen in two of his recent columns, I am venturing into the sunshine of reality again to address his latest bombastic tongue-lashing of the self-defined ill informed.

    In his latest rant, he casts doubt on the worth of many modern conveniences and accoutrements most would consider essential to a high quality of life in modern times.

  • Where is all that hot air really coming from?

    As an unemployed teacher, I spend my days waiting by the phone for one of Toni McGriff’s principals to call seeking me to help the Roane County school system improve their achievement-test scores and correct the extreme gender-ratio imbalance among the teachers in our K-8 grade schools.