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Today's Opinions

  • U.S. EPA needs to take over ash spill handling

    I was shocked to learn about a federal lawsuit filed against  Jacobs Engineering Group Inc., a company employed by TVA to remediate the ash spill site in Roane County.  

    The allegations set forth in the suit are serious.

    Early on in the spill aftermath, I raised concern about the impact on the health of the Roane County residents due to the toxic constituents in the coal ash.  

    We were told time and again by the TVA that the ash was harmless.  

  • You can benefit from supporting Dunn Center

    Do you realize how fortunate you are to live in Roane County?  

    Not only do our citizens have the benefit of a new, first-class hospital to treat people with a multitude of illnesses, but we also have the Michael Dunn Center to care for people with a multitude of disabilities.  

    The Michael Dunn Center provides services for more than 300 people each day, and is one of the largest employers of trained personnel in Roane County.

  • Too much focus on sports, too little on studies

    Allow me briefly to respond to the most erudite column of the honorable Gerald Largen in your paper of Aug. 9.

    I consider Mr. Largen to be a friend for whom I was permitted to write historical columns, from about 1993 to the phasing out of The Standard in late 1996.

    It was a great learning experience for me for which I will always be grateful to him.

    Mr. Largen is a wordsmith without peer and well versed in many fields of endeavor of which sports is an exception.

  • Testing the best way to measure what is taught

    “Students are more than a test score, and so are their teachers,” headlines a recent Roane County News article.  

    Of course, but that’s not the point of the article.

    The point of the article is that judging teachers by how much the teacher’s students have learned during the year is unfair.

    I attended grade school, high school, college and graduate school.  

    Nearly all the teachers I had believed they could tell what I learned by giving me a test or, usually, several tests.  

  • GUEST OPINION: Religion fight at Kansas school unnecessary

    By CHARLES C. HAYNES
    First Amendment Center
    Back to school means back to culture wars for Minneha Core Knowledge Elementary School in Wichita, Kan.

    On the very first day of school, someone snapped a photo of a bulletin board display in the hallway featuring the Five Pillars of Islam and then posted it on Facebook.

    “This is a school that banned all forms of Christian prayer,” said the caption under the photo. “This can not stand.”

  • Misspelled sign photo troublesome for Tea Party

    A couple weeks or so ago, the Roane County News chose to print a picture of a Tea Party member holding a sign with the word “Impeach,” as in “Impeach Obama” — except the sign was spelled wrong.
    Since the photographer took many more pictures of Roane County Tea Party members holding the signs, why was the only one that was misspelled make it into the paper?
    The girls who made the signs ran out of room for all of the letters only on that one sign.

  • Old Blackie — time to ditch her or save her?

    Lawns, loyalty and luck — they are three things that would seem at first to have no connection to each other.

    But I am a loyal person with a car parked on my lawn, and for the life of me, I cannot imagine life without the old black Honda. It’s sitting there, depriving the grass of sunlight, rare though it has been these past months.

  • GUEST OPINION: We all hold the news media accountable

    By GENE POLICINSKI
    First Amendment Center
    Given that the First Amendment precludes the government from being an actual “watchdog on news media,” who else steps in to call the news media to account?

    In today’s world, increasingly it is citizen — critics or organizations outside of mainstream journalism, empowered by the Web’s ability for two-way conversations and comments, and by independence from past restraints of expensive printing presses and broadcast machinery.