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Today's Opinions

  • GUEST OPINION:Diversity of conscience treasured here

    By CHARLES C. HAYNES
    First Amendment Center
    Award-winning author John M. Barry has done it again.

    In two previous best-selling books, The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History and Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America, Barry not only told the gripping stories of two critical historical events, but he also helped shape public policy on issues of vital importance to the United States and the world.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET by Gerald Largen: What impact will Sen. Snowe’s going have?

    The rock-ribbed coast of Maine is not noted for many products — timber and paper wood, potatoes, seafood, and L. L. Bean apparel being the principal ones.

    But far and away the most important thing that has sprung from that rocky soil may well be its womenfolk.

    This thought comes to mind in view of the announcement last week that Olympia Snowe, three-term Republican senator for Maine will not seek re-election this year, thus ending more than thirty years in the Congress, both House and Senate.

  • Pickup truck to carry deceased is all volunteers have

    This is being written in reference to the Our Readers Write letter in the Dec 21, 2011, edition of the Roane County News.

    The letter being referred to was titled “Pickup Sent to Drive Away Dead Man Not Appreciated.”

    First, being members of the Roane County Rescue Squad, we would like to extend our sympathies and condolences to the family and friends of the deceased.

    Never in the past, present, or future will any member of our organization say or do anything intentionally to disgrace or shame anyone, whether they be rich or poor.

  • Call recipient made sure woman got needed help

    This is to thank the unknown person who helped me get aid in the early morning hours of Dec. 10, 2011.

    I called the wrong number because I had fallen and broken my hip, and the man I misdialed was kind enough to get the police to notify my neighbor Buster Pierce.

    To that unknown man, thank you so much — without your help, I do not know what would have happened. I was in University of Tennessee Medical Center and Fort Sanders Rehabilitation Center from Dec. 10 through Jan. 30.

    God bless you and thanks a million.

  • GUEST OPINION: Care needed when dealing with Occupy camps

    A long winter for the Occupy Wall Street movement has seen a shift in tactics by cities, towns and state legislatures seeking to remove many of the estimated 600 encampments nationwide.

    Some Occupy groups camped on public property have obtained court rulings that permit them to protest anytime in public spaces, but not to keep tents or sleeping bags on the sites. Elsewhere, formal or informal bargains have been struck that allow tents but not the accessories of camping — in effect permitting momentary shelters, not encampments.

  • Photo ID law shameful, as well as deceitful

    Tennessee’s new voter photo ID law is nothing less than state-sanctioned voter fraud.

    Wait, that’s not correct.

    It’s massive and intentionally deceitful state-sanctioned voter fraud.

    The fact that five out of six, or 95 out of 100 people, questioned believe that the photo ID law is OK, good, excellent or just what the country needs is irrelevant.

    The new law is not so cleverly cloaked in the language of reform: “to protect against voter fraud” or “ensuring the integrity of the electoral process.”

  • Writer takes issue with reasons for high gas prices

    It seems that the national news media have been prepping citizens to the idea that gas prices at the pump will once again reach $5-plus this summer.

    Keep in mind that Washington politicians deregulated the commodities exchange in 1998, giving billionaire speculators a free hand to buy and sell all the oil they want.

    Prices have nothing to do with supply and demand anymore.

  • Rockwood sewer bills ­— why do they run so high?

    Having moved back to Rockwood after 53 years, I am devastated over my sewage bills.

    Water and sewage are on the same bill. I need to know why the sewage bill is two or three times higher than the water bill.

    Being on a fixed income, it’s hard enough on me to pay a bill that I feel is fair.

    These sewage bills are totally unfair. The meter and pipes have been checked for leaks. There are none.

    What can we residents do to get our sewage bills lowered?

    I have no idea where to go, what to do, or who to talk to.