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Today's Opinions

  • 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.”

  • A View From Lick Skillet: Remember - vote against wheel tax referendum

    As you know, Gentle Reader, the election is upon us, and we would urge you that you not forget to search through the maze of voting opportunities: Federal (Senator and U.S. House of Representatives), State (Governor and Tennessee House of Representatives), and Municipal (Kingston, Oak Ridge, Oliver Springs and Rockwood), until you find the one captioned “County Wheel Tax Referendum.”

  • Going With the Flo: We must participate in our government or lose it

    Many of you have spoken to me about the encouragement my articles have given you, helping you to know that you are not alone in your thoughts and feelings.

    However, I’m sorry that my conservative, Biblical and Constitutional references from my research have offended others — interpreting them as personal attacks, which isn’t my intention!

    We are at a point in our country where we must stop being a spectator and start being a participant in the functioning of our government, or lose it!

  • Rockwood 2000 forum presented new ideas to see Rockwood thrive

    Rockwood 2000 Organization hosted a Q&A community gathering for several candidates.

    Heading up the hour was an informative presentation by Tennessee Governor hopeful, Karl Dean.

    The 31st House District candidate, Dean Sparks spoke passionately about the need for higher wages and improved infrastructure within our communities.

    Those running for Rockwood City Council shared their views on topics that centered around how to improve the appearance and solvency of their town.

  • Glimpses From a Teacher Historian: All Americans dislike politics

    By Mark Banker

    Even in our polarized times, Americans of all persuasions share a disgust for politics.

    This loathing is rooted in experiences with power that few could have imagined and that selective popular memories often misrepresent.

    Because Great Britain neglected her North American colonies for a century and a half, forebears of our nation’s historic Caucasian majority developed a preference for distant, benign power.

  • Elected officials should represent us on school issue

    Who do your elected officials support?

    I realize we the people can’t vote on every issue so our form of government allows us to elect representatives, as in Roane County Board of Education members and Roane County Commissioners.

    This is supposedly our voice.

    But here in District 1 of Rockwood our school board members, Brillo Miller and Larry Brackett, and two of the three county commissioners, Darryl Meadows and Ron Berry, don’t represent the people.

  • Voting is a vital part of being an American citizen

    Recently a country music star issued a heartfelt plea for people to not support the frontrunner in the Tennessee race for U.S. Senate.

    The star felt that even though the front-runner was a woman, she has not been a good spokesperson for healthy Tennessee values. 

    While I might agree with the star, it really doesn’t matter what I think if I don’t vote.

    The same is true for the majority of people in Roane County.

  • Roane deputy, Rockwood Street Department get kudos

    As frequent walkers on the Charles E. Cole track adjacent to REU and while traveling the intersection of Dunn Street and U.S. Hwy. 27 North, my wife and I wish to give a big thank you to the Rockwood Street Department and Deputy Steve Bryant with the Roane County Sheriff’s Office concerning the immediate resolution of a safety issue at these two locations.

    Mr. Odell, director of the Street Department, assigned his crew to cut and remove the huge tree that had fallen across the walking track at REU.