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Today's Opinions

  • Kingston’s debt rating fantastic — or is it?

    What great news to hear Kingston Mayor Troy Beets proclaim savings on current loans of “roughly $59,000 in fiscal 2013 and $56,000 in 2014.”

    Let’s hope city council members remember whose money is being saved and gives taxpayers a $60,000 break when they work out those draconian tax increases they recently announced.

    Also, here’s a question for someone in the know.  

    We understand Ms. Eleanor Neal was suspended for making a typographical error in reporting Kingston’s tax rate to the state.  

  • GUEST OPINION: Dissenting judge makes sense in case against kid

    By DAVID L. HUDSON Jr.
    First Amendment Center
    Dissenting opinions obviously don’t have the force of law that majority opinions do.

    But that doesn’t mean they aren’t better reasoned. Recall that Justice John Marshall Harlan (the first one) was known as “the Great Dissenter” in part for his solitary dissent in the abhorrent Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), in which the Court sanctioned segregation and the noxious separate-but-equal doctrine.

  • Nuts & Bolts Terri Likens Editor: RIP, API: Journalism training takes a big hit

    The American Press Institute is defunct.

    The API, a premier training institute for journalists, closed this month.

    That makes me sad.

    I was lucky enough to spend about a week at one of the Reston, Va.-based API trainings about five years ago.

    Even after all my years as a working journalist, the training I received there helped me — even today — make transitions that are often necessary in today’s changing news business.

  • Kingston didn’t need building — or tax increase

    We read your positive view of Kingston City Council’s decision to borrow $2 million and buy a new city hall.

    You are correct about the bargain sale price and that the city can easily borrow the money at low interest rates.

    However, we disagree adamantly that the reasons for buying justify the unprecedented borrowing and subsequent tax hike.

    To indebt the city $2 million so a handful of city employees may enjoy bigger, nicer offices and so council can luxuriate in magnificent new council chambers is folly.

  • GUEST OPINION: United States walks walk on free speech

    By KEN PAULSON
    First Amendment Center
    At the height of the controversy over the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property Act debate, critics of the bills described them as an assault on Internet freedom and the subversion of the First Amendment.

    The advocates had a point. The proposed laws were arguably overbroad, and we should all be very careful before we give government greater latitude in shutting down websites.

    Still, it’s striking to see what a real attack on Internet freedom looks like.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET by Gerald Largen: Even in 1800, some wanted fair treatment for workers

    We have been reading a 1965 biography of Henry Addington by Philip Ziegler, which has rested on our shelves for several years.
    Addington, a contemporary of the Younger Pitt, Canning, Castlereagh, Liverpool, and other leading lights of the first years of the Nineteenth Century, was for years Speaker of the House of Commons, then for 3 or 4 years King George III’s Prime Minister, and from 1812 to 1821 was Home Secretary.

  • Got any good news? Writer wants to hear it

    I hate to keep writing negative letters to the editor, but I haven’t seen or heard anything positive to be happy about; therefore, I would like to comment on some recent articles in the paper.
    County officials seemed very happy that the Volkswagen distribution center that is locating in our county.
    That’s well and good, but they neglected to say what, if any, incentives (land, tax breaks, etc) were given to this rich company that the hardworking taxpayers of Roane County will be paying.
    That seems to be the going thing these days.

  • Journalists’ work as watchdogs unquestionable

    By KEN PAULSON
    First Amendment Center
    There’s a running joke among journalists that they went into the news business because they didn’t do well in math.
    As a longtime journalist who struggled with freshman algebra, I can relate.
    Still, even those of us with anxiety about numbers have come to embrace the investigative value of data.
    Number-crunching and access to public records drive some of the news media’s most powerful and important reporting, including these examples from the past year: