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Today's Opinions

  • 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. 

  • Supports the tax increase to fund Roane schools

    In regard to the ongoing deliberations of the budget for the Roane County School System,  it has been brought to my attention that there is a request for a 14-cent increase to the county property tax. This is to allow the schools’ budget to balance and schools to start on time without major cuts to programs. I support this increase.

  • Ken Yager: No need to go far for relaxation

    By KEN YAGER
    12th District State Senator
    There is a state park within an hour’s drive of just about anywhere in Tennessee. 
    Several of these state parks are located in the 12th Senatorial District, including Indian Mountain in Jellico, Cove Lake in Caryville, Frozen Head in Wartburg, Norris Dam in Lake City, Cumberland Trail in Caryville and Pickett in Jamestown, as well as the Alvin C. York Historic Park in Pall Mall. 
    In fact, the 12th District may have more state parks located in it than any other.

  • Do we really want to get involved in Syrian dog fight?

    Have you ever seen a dog fight between three or more of these normally docile animals?
    Believe me, it can be  fierce and not a pretty sight.
    A canine free-for-all can mean major injuries to every participant.
    And the unwary human who tries to stop the fray can be much the worse for wear; his own pet may savagely attack him in the excitement of the battle.
    Assad’s Syria is like a dog fight, and if the U.S. enters the fray directly we may see all the warring parties turn on the U.S. forces at some point.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Edward Snowden may have done us a favor

    The Constitution of the United States, Article 3, Section 3, Sub-section 1, says: “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or, in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.”

  • Snakes alive! Panic no option after reptile intrusion

    We had a visitor recently, one that was neither invited nor expected.
    It was of the reptilian types, 5 feet long and slim with a mottled gray and black skin. It seems the storm door that has recently been closing slowly, and sometimes not completely, left just the right amount of space for it to slither into our living room.
    I saw its tail disappearing as I reached for the door to enter.
    “Snake!” I warned, and stepped gingerly into the house. There it was on the hardwood floor, looking around as if to choose which room to inhabit.

  • GUEST OPINION: Second try at shield law echoes first

    By GENE POLINCINSKI
    First Amenedment Center
    An irony of timing twice has put U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning in the headlines at critical moments in gaining congressional approval of a federal shield law that would protect journalists and their confidential sources.
    On Capitol Hill, there’s new-found  White House support and congressional action behind  proposals to for the first time provide legal means in federal courts for journalists to keep secret their confidential sources and unpublished information.

  • Looseleaf laureate: Potential sometimes outshines reality

    June already has been hot, stormy and steamy, but it is difficult for me to think of it as anything but a gentle month.

    The perfume of honeysuckle fills the air. The lawn is a pliable expanse of green and not yet the brittle brown patch that can come later. Gardens – whether floral or vegetable – aren’t yet at their full potential, but their promise, at this point, is solid.

    June sets the tone for summer.

    I rarely take June vacations, but I love spending time in June planning them.