http://www.roanecounty.com/todaysopinions/rss.xml en A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Educational mismanagement — top to bottom http://www.roanecounty.com/content/view-lick-skillet-educational-mismanagement-%E2%80%94-top-bottom <p> Well, Gentle Reader, this week let us discuss education and the sad fact that sometimes the very folks we have placed in charge of the education of our young are themselves sadly lacking in the basic skills of clear thinking, sound reasoning, and basic factual knowledge.</p> <p> This unhappy happenstance occurs at all levels, sad to say, running from the ivied halls of academe to the basic neighborhood institutions of kindergarten upwards.</p> An open letter to sports parents http://www.roanecounty.com/content/open-letter-sports-parents <p> Dear sports parents, this is an intervention.</p> <p> Not for all of you, though. In fact, many of you are free to go but I would advise reading hanging around to read the rest of this. If for nothing else the fact you can point and laugh at the others next time you&rsquo;re at a game.</p> <p> No, I&rsquo;m not writing this for the normal supporter of their child&rsquo;s athletic endeavors (no matter how bad they may be).</p> A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: http://www.roanecounty.com/content/view-lick-skillet-1 <p> Before we begin today&rsquo;s contribution, we must do a bit of &ldquo;housekeeping.&rdquo; Regular readers were no doubt astonished when reading last week&rsquo;s column to have come to the final paragraph and discovered that it had nothing whatsoever to do with the preceding topic, i. e. the Denny family and their building.</p> Protecting your right to know http://www.roanecounty.com/content/protecting-your-right-know <p> By FRANK GIBSON<br /> TPA Public Policy Director<br /> When governments create or authorize state and local agencies to create new programs, they typically require some measure of public disclosure as a form of public oversight and to make agencies accountable.</p> <p> As far back as 1789, during the first American Congress, that accountability has come in the form of public notices in independently published newspapers. Actions of the Congress were ordered to be published in three separate newspapers to ensure wide circulation.</p> GUEST OPINION: Religious, LGBT advocates must erase some lines http://www.roanecounty.com/content/guest-opinion-religious-lgbt-advocates-must-erase-some-lines <p> By CHARLES C. HAYNES<br /> First Amendment Center<br /> The New Year begins much like the old year ended with bitter, emotional clashes between proponents of LGBT rights and religious objectors to same-sex marriage.</p> <p> When same-sex weddings commenced in Florida on Jan. 6, several county clerks immediately announced that although required by law to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples, they will no longer perform marriages for anyone &mdash; to avoid participating in same-sex ceremonies.</p> The power of sports http://www.roanecounty.com/content/power-sports As of late, the sports world has suffered, like much of the news of the world, from bleakness, doom-and-gloom even. Stories about Florida State pigskin pariah Jameis Winston and his seemingly endless display of off-the-field shenanigans and the late, embattled former Penn State head coach Joe Paterno being given back his wins with the dark cloud of scandal that cloaked much of the sports landscape. But too often, what gets lost in the muck of this sea of negativity is the fact that sports has the power to bring together communities. Local letter writer laments attention terrorists feed on http://www.roanecounty.com/content/local-letter-writer-laments-attention-terrorists-feed <p> I have thoughts and questions about the terrorism in Paris, France. What were the perpetrators&rsquo; goals? Were they thinking that they were making a major statement for the Muslim cause? Were they angered by the drawings of four political cartoonists?</p> <p> I think it was a goal of fundamentalism to have it spread on the media.</p> <p> They thrive on the media to put themselves in the forefront of all news stories. In my mind, all they want is news coverage.</p> GUEST OPINION: Je suis Charlie, it’s another way to say freedom http://www.roanecounty.com/content/guest-opinion-je-suis-charlie-it%E2%80%99s-another-way-say-freedom <p> By GENE POLICINSKI<br /> First Amendment Center<br /> Cowards!</p> <p> There&rsquo;s no other word for the armed gunmen who killed 12 people in the attack last week on the Parisian offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.</p> <p> Once again, terrorists ignore the lessons of history: individuals may be silenced by violence from time to time, but ideas live on and ultimately will find their way to the world.</p> <p> Once again, innocent lives are lost in the futile attempt to force one point of view onto others, or to prevent other points of view from being heard.</p>