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Today's Opinions

  • GUEST OPINION: Passionate debate on ideology a good thing in schools

    By GENE POLICINSKI
    First Amendment Center
    No doubt it’s more efficient to run a school without any disruption, complaint or controversy.

    But does an absence of challenges, conflicts or intellectual collisions automatically make a school better? Make teaching more effective?

    Learning any more likely to occur?

    James Yoakley, an 11th-grade English teacher at Lenoir City High School in eastern Tennessee, was transferred recently to Lenoir City Middle to teach eighth-grade English — in a move that

  • The Big Easy fights hard for newspaper

    Shortly after I wrote a column celebrating esteemed investor Warren Buffet’s purchase of a major newspaper chain, some  less heartening news about  the newspaper business followed.

    The publishers of the daily New Orleans newspaper, The Times-Picayune, announced plans to cut publication to three days a week.

    The Roane County News publishes three times a week, but it is in a small community and smaller advertising market.

    In New Orleans, readers, community leaders and even advertisers are not taking this change lying down.

  • Striping of Winton Chapel Road nice safety measure

    My sincere thanks to the highway department for striping Winton Chapel Road.

    This winding secondary road carries lots of summertime traffic, especially construction vehicles, cars towing boat trailers, campers, supply trucks and visitors to the Boy Scout camp.

    The previous markings were either very light or nonexistent, causing some who were unfamiliar with the road to take a middle-of-road route.

    I appreciate the obvious lane markings as a safety measure for those who live along this road.

    Mrs. Pat Wright
    Rockwood
     

  • U.S. Marshal’s Service best bet with Houstons

    An open letter to the Roane County sheriff:
    I read recently that the Houstons have been levied with a multi-million dollar penalty. I don’t presume to know their next step, but having served in law enforcement, I can quickly surmise what is coming next for the  sheriff’s office.

    I would like to suggest an alternative option to training and amassing  equipment for a tactical operation to remove them from their property should they not appeal or find another recourse.

  • GUEST OPINION: Reflections on the toppling of the Berlin Wall

    By GENE POLICINSKI
    First Amendment Center
    Monuments to freedom and liberty generally come as things — marble statues, carved granite slabs — that are meant to last for the ages.

    But on June 12, let’s pause to remember a monument noteworthy because it no longer exists: the Berlin Wall. As we do, let’s also recall and celebrate the monumental words spoken 25 years ago that helped spur its destruction.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET by Gerald Largen: Why do some insist that progress is bad news?

    Gentle reader, as we are sure you are aware, The Sky is Falling, The World is Ending, Armageddon is Here and the Lord is Losing, and besides all that, Elvis is Dead!

    All this gloom, doom, death, and disaster is the inescapable conclusion to be drawn from the talk of the “Chattering Class” to be heard on the mass media in the last few days.

  • GUEST OPINION: State open records laws riddled with loopholes, more

    Kent Flanagan, director of the Tennessee Coalition of Open Government, reminded TCOG followers on Twitter recently that the Tennessee General Assembly has added more than 350 exemptions to the state’s open records law over the years.

    Those exemptions are scattered throughout Tennessee Code Annotated, not codified in any one place in the Tennessee Public Records Act.

  • Once again, suicide plays out in the news

    In one of these columns some months ago, we explained why the suicide of a local woman was not mentioned — outside of a simple obituary — in this newspaper.

    In contrast, last week a case of suicide was splashed prominently across the top of the front page of our June 1 edition.

    Why the difference?

    The suicide of J.T. Woods was big news for a number of reasons.

    Primarily, it was news because Woods was a public figure, a man running for the office of property assessor.