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Columns

  • Guest Column: Tax hikes easy but harmful

    By Tyler Overstreet

    For Roane County News

    In my opinion, having a conversation about major school construction prior to well-designed academic programming geared toward 2022 and beyond is like putting the cart before the horse in light of REFUSING to first discuss the significant monetary savings to all taxpayers if Roane County (city and county) were to consolidate and merge existing services that are currently duplicated in each township.

  • Glimpses From a Teacher Historian: Founders didn’t trust We the People

    Last week’s resignation of Roane County Schools Director Leah Watkins will no doubt impact our county’s ongoing school debate. But it also offers a useful reminder.

    Unexpected events have often made those who “learn from history” appear foolish.

    Consider, for example, the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor or the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

    Both undermined attempts to learn from more remote past experiences, and gave rise to policies that would previously have been unimaginable.

  • Going With the Flo: All went wonderfully at the Singapore Summit

    By Flo Charles

    What a great time to be alive in America! What a great president we have!

    Contrary to all the doubts, distortions and warnings about this meeting, and very strong circumstances, it was a success.

  • A View From Lick Skillet: Dr. Leah R. Watkins: Bon chance et bon voyage

    Gentle reader, we had to conclude last week’s column before we had finished our list of subjects to cover, so we begin this week with what we intended to have ended with last week.

    Regular readers will recall that early into the present administration we predicted that Mr. Trump would not be the Republican nominee on the 2020 ticket, and would in all likelihood not serve out the full term.

    Well, dear friends, the last few days have seen the beginnings of that scenario.

  • Resist making enemies of good

    By Mark BankerMTBanker1951@gmail.com

    Roane County’s ongoing school debate brings to mind a story shared by writer Tony Hillerman.

    As a youth in Depression-era Oklahoma, Hillerman worked for an old farmer known for his generosity. When less honorable neighbors took advantage of the old man’s kindness, young Tony was enraged.

    In response, the old man advised: “Son, if you don’t forgive your enemies, you’re going to run out of friends.”

  • Going With the Flo: Clarence’s dream lives on, through kids and his farm

    My stones of Remembrance this Memorial Day: My husband’s dream — a family farm and four children. Clarence and I agreed that I should work through the summer for the FBI, since I had just been cleared and he would return to the canning factory in Illinois and work for college money. We would return in the fall to Tennessee Tech, continue our education and be married.

    I left for Washington, D.C., the morning after graduating from Harriman High.

  • A View From Lick Skillet: Roane County High out ranks 237 other schools

    Gentle reader, we did not intend to devote this week’s column to the Mega-school issue, but an aspect of this matter has recently come to our attention which we feel compelled to bring to your attention as well, as it has implications of a very serious nature bearing on the status of the School Board, the County Commission, the Roane Alliance, and most important of all, of Roane County High School.

  • Glimpses From a Teacher Historian: Bethel holds true to its tenets

    By Mark Banker

    Members of Bethel Presbyterian Church invite our neighbors to a concert at Fort Southwest Point on Friday, June 1, from 6 to 9 p.m.

    Lively music and good fellowship will celebrate appropriately Bethel’s 200 years of community stewardship and cooperation.

    Present Bethel minister, the Rev. Wendy Neff, traces this tradition to Old World Calvinist legacies that called Believers to address earthly as well as spiritual matters.

  • Going With the Flo: Keep loading the wagon, even if the mule is blind

    My wonderful husband’s friend and classmate, Joe Whitson, was captain of the South Harriman football team during their high school years and captain of the Tennessee Tech football team during their college years.

  • Going With the Flo: God has said He will bless those who bless Israel

    By Flo Charles

    First, I meant to compliment Mr. Largen for his excellent, detailed and conscientious article concerning our schools in Roane County.

    My husband, a former classmate and friend of yours, Mr. Largen, would have applauded you and agree with Ron Woody, our County Executive, who said, “You can have all the votes you want. If you don’t have the money that’s going to support it, it doesn’t make any difference.” (The $68 million request)