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Today's Opinions

  • GLIMPSES: Times columnist deems us ‘thriving’

    By Mark Banker

    A photo of County Executive Ron Woody with New York Times columnist Tom Friedman appeared in a recent issue of the Roane County News.

    Readers curious about that photo should read Friedman’s provocative column, “A Road Trip Through Rusting and Rising America” in the May 24 issue of the Times.

    The good news for Roane County, our executive and greater East Tennessee is that Friedman included us among the “thriving communities [of a] rising America.”

  • From the COUNTY: Time is now to pay for new school

    In my last article, I addressed the cost of borrowing money for capital improvements, if the project were to start in 2020 and be used or occupied by 2023.

    In a recent Roane County News article, we saw that the potential project could be starting in 2018 with a projected occupied date of 2020.

    What does it mean from a financial standpoint for the asset to be occupied by 2020?

    It basically means that Roane County must start repaying our debt obligations in the 2020-21 budget.

  • From the COUNTY: Much to ponder with school plan

    By Ron Woody

    With all the Facebook chatter and newspaper articles, I thought it would be beneficial to reduce to writing some points and issues that have been or will be considered as we progress forward in our understanding and implementing a plan of education for the future.

    In fall 2015, the first discussions began in regard to the future of education in Roane County. Some of the first community meetings took place in summer 2016 and continued through winter 2016.

  • GLIMPSES: Unite over brazen Party solicitation

    A self-imposed early deadline and the nauseating nonstop commentary coming out of Washington make this a good time to vent a personal peeve.

    This less-than-earth-shattering concern, however, is hardly mine alone. If citizens from across the political spectrum came together to address this annoyance, we might begin to rediscover the endangered American tradition of governance.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Reason says we should have health care for all

    Faithful, long-time readers should be aware that there is likely no one any more devoted to the principles of personal responsibility than the old curmudgeon.

    However, he is also devoted to the corollary of those principles, or what some might well regard as being, in fact, an integral part of those principles, that is to say one should be fully, personally responsible for his own actions or those actions which he has caused or precipitated, together with the natural, reasonably anticipatable consequences arising therefrom.

  • Clinch Reactor Project prompts many concerns

    My reason for writing this letter is to add to the article that was written in the May 17 publication titled “Not in My Backyard.”

    The writer was correct in noting that I didn’t want to be considered a “NIMBY” and that now I am one due to the location of the Proposed Clinch River SMR site.

    In addition to the noise concern noted in the article, I have several other concerns that were put on record during my presentation.

  • GLIMPSES: Church Called Bethel turning 200

    By Mark Banker

    My parents, Gene and Katy Banker, joined Bethel Presbyterian Church on Jan. 7, 1951 – two months after they moved to Kingston and three weeks before I was born.

    In those days when Bethel was open, our large family was there. But Biblical names did not deter we six Banker sons from youthful irreverence. Our squirming on Bethel’s second pew and the stern glances they evoked from Mom and Dad doubtlessly distracted (and perhaps amused) other worshipers.

  • Suggesting gender bias undermines years of hard work

    Dear Mr. Gerald Largen,

    Your editorial concerning Rockwood High Schools’ top students having only one boy has caught the attention of us, the top students at Rockwood High School.

    While we appreciate your concern over what you feel is an injustice to the boys in our class, we would like to share our viewpoint.

    You wrote in your article, “Only one male in the whole high school merited recognition for academic achievement, whereas a dozen females did so.”