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Today's Opinions

  • Largen reminds that not all were mean and cruel

    Amen, Gerald! I seldom read more than one or two paragraphs of Mr. Largen’s column since, by then, my stomach has turned, and I can’t continue.

    Yes, I am a Republican of long standing. The column in the July 5 paper caught my attention, and I read it through to the end.

    I am 74 years old, and I grew up in the time Mr. Largen wrote about. I never, and none of my family, would have deliberately hurt or offended anyone black or white.

  • GUEST OPINION: Is Congress ready to step up support for a shield law?

    Editor’s note: This column was first published in USA Today on May 21.

    By KEN PAULSON
    First Amendment Center
    Suddenly, freedom of the press is very, very popular.

    In the wake of revelations that the Justice Department had subpoenaed the phone records of Associated Press reporters, many members of Congress were quick to share their outrage.

    “The First Amendment is first for a reason,” said Michael Steel, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner. “If the Obama administration is going after reporters’ phone records, they better have a damned good explanation.”

  • Looseleaf Laureate: Grief burns fiercely as Arizona wildfire

    I once lived at the base of Mingus Mountain in central Arizona.
    Mingus separated the folks of Cottonwood, where I lived, from our friends and neighbors to the south in Prescott.
    Both sides of that rugged, broad-shouldered mountain were beautiful. We didn’t share the Sonoran Desert landscape that defines Phoenix and Tucson. There was no saguaro cactus pointing this way and that.

    This was high desert, with grasslands, scrub oaks and deeply scented forests of juniper and pinion pine.
    Summers are tricky in these parts.

  • A View from Lick Skillet: Closure of Airport Road brings memories

    It appears from reports emanating from South Africa that the life of Nelson Mandela is probably nearing its end.

    Considering the awful mistreatment to which he was subjected in his younger years, including imprisonment on Robin Island for over two decades, it is a wonder that he has survived into his nineties, but this shows that the strength of his body is almost as great as the strength of his mind, his spirit, and his integrity.

  • Quit squeezing the life out of Roane County taxpayers

    The last reassessment (our property saw an increase of 74 percent) caused me to pay more attention to the Roane County Commission’s tax-and-tax-and-tax policies.

    It was reported by this paper on July 4, 2012, with the headline “County budget headed for a vote” buried on Page 5, where Mr. Woody also projected a 27-cent tax rate increase would be needed for schools next year.
     

  • Abbott didn’t just donate daffodils, she dug them up

    When Pauline Abbott read my letter in the Roane County News requesting donations of daffodil bulbs to beautify the area below the Kingston Library, she called to volunteer some of hers.

    I drove to her house to view the area and I could see that there was a great plenty. Before I could round up a platoon of Rotarians to dig, Mrs. Abbott called back. She had dug them herself. There were five grocery sacks full of bulbs waiting for pick up.

  • GUEST OPINION: County could have prevented school mess

    By JAMES “DUB” HARMON
    Former District 2 County Commissioner
    As a former Roane County commissioner representing District 2, I attended a joint meeting of the school board and county commission.

    I asked then-director-of-schools Toni McGriff why the board was intending to build a new school for Dyllis near Oliver Springs instead of building it at DeArmond Crossing for Walnut Hills Elementary and Dyllis.

  • GUEST COLUMN: Director of schools issues first-year report

    By GARY AYTES
    Roane County Schools director
    The State Report Card was released this spring, so it is a good time to update our citizens on the status of Roane County Schools.
    The report card shows academic improvement and also shows many areas for growth. 
    Our greatest improvement was in math, where we received an A in value-added scores and a B in achievement. 
    Our goal this year will be to maintain the A and improve our achievement score.