http://www.roanecounty.com/todaysopinions/rss.xml en Avian flu outbreak highlight poultry plight http://www.roanecounty.com/content/avian-flu-outbreak-highlight-poultry-plight <p> The U.S. egg industry is reeling from a colossal outbreak of avian flu, mostly among egg-laying chickens.</p> <p> According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 48 million birds, accounting for 11 percent of the nation&rsquo;s egg-laying hens, have been slaughtered for fear of infection during the past few months.</p> <p> The effects are far-reaching, from how to dispose of millions of potentially infected bird carcasses to job losses and rapidly rising egg prices.</p> <p> More than 40 countries have restricted U.S. poultry imports.</p> Walks come with welcome lessons on human nature http://www.roanecounty.com/content/walks-come-welcome-lessons-human-nature <p> We have been without transportation since April, so I have been walking from Paint Rock to Kingston &mdash; a distance of about 12 miles.</p> <p> I sometimes had to go to the Roane Medical Center in Midtown; my daughter has cancer.</p> <p> One man has picked me up a couple of times. Once, as he was dropping me off at Roane Medical Center, he got a call. I went in to the hospital to find my daughter. She had been moved from the intensive care unit to a room.</p> Redistricting talks on schools are long overdue http://www.roanecounty.com/content/redistricting-talks-schools-are-long-overdue <p> I refer to &ldquo;School Redistricting&rdquo; by Damon Lawrence on Page 1 of your July 10 issue.</p> <p> The school board&rsquo;s workshop was held on July 7.</p> <p> The longtime great champion of school redistricting, James &ldquo;Dub&rdquo; Harmon, died on July 8.</p> <p> What lit the fire under the county school board to cause members to have a work session just prior to the beginning of a new school year? Is there something we are not being told?</p> Give them their rights, but ‘no’ on reparations http://www.roanecounty.com/content/give-them-their-rights-%E2%80%98no%E2%80%99-reparations <p> Now that the highest court in the land has opined the LGBT community has been denied their constitutional rights to marriage privileges, will reparations become the next push to the left?</p> <p> Yes, denial of this right has inflicted financial inequities on this group of Americans since we became a country. But now, in modern times, the question becomes, should back-paid Social Security benefits for surviving spouses be a reparation cost of the new constitutional interpretation?</p> $10,000 for council tablets waste of money http://www.roanecounty.com/content/10000-council-tablets-waste-money <p> The Harriman City Council is considering forking over $10,000 for computer tablets to get electronic versions of agendas and other documents involving city business. (See story in today&#39;s Roane County News)</p> <p> Our response?</p> <p> OUCH!</p> <p> Has it not been drummed into our &mdash; and their &mdash; heads that these are tight budget times?</p> Pharmacies help fight against illegal drugs http://www.roanecounty.com/content/pharmacies-help-fight-against-illegal-drugs <p> Pharmacists are to be commended: They fight the war on illegal drug use every day.</p> <p> You may not realize it, but they are even battling the meth cooks, who have quite a few tricks up their sleeves. One is to send associates into any number of pharmacies and grocery stores to buy products like Sudafed, which contain pseudoephedrine, for the meth maker to use in his deadly concoction.</p> <p> It is a way to get around the limits on individual pseudoephedrine purchases. These buyers are known as smurfs, and what they are doing is against the law.</p> No more subsidies for animal products http://www.roanecounty.com/content/no-more-subsidies-animal-products <p> Nearly 240 years ago, our founding fathers declared our national independence from Great Britain. This Fourth of July, let&rsquo;s declare our independence from the meat industry.</p> <p> More than 60 percent of U.S. agricultural subsidies pay for meat, dairy and egg production. Fresh fruit and vegetable farmers receive less than 1 percent of the total. It&rsquo;s time to declare our independence by stopping these subsidies.</p> A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Thoughts on Mr. Obama’s ‘Week That Was’ http://www.roanecounty.com/content/view-lick-skillet-thoughts-mr-obama%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98week-was%E2%80%99 <p> You know, gentle reader, that there are times when you are on a losing streak, and no matter what you do, nor how you do it, nothing seems to come out right, and then, dictu mirabile &mdash; wondrous to say &mdash; all of a sudden everything changes, and all your cards are right, your numbers are what they should be, your dice are charmed, in short your luck has changed, and every thing is coming up roses.</p>