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Today's Opinions

  • Once we elect them, we have to help them do their jobs

    We’re sure to have some new officials after Election Day, as well as some incumbents.
    We hope these people will stand by their promises of better, more responsive government, but our role as citizens doesn’t end at the ballot box.
    We must put forth the effort to let our officials know what our priorities are before we criticize.
    We must make an effort to keep up with the issues in our community, and it never hurts to attend a government meeting or two, just to get an idea of what goes on.
    Democracy is a two-way street.

  • Scrutiny can make insurance change work

    The state of Tennessee is planning on increasing its scrutiny of health insurance rate hikes.
    It is getting a $1 million U.S. Health and Human Resources grant to aid the effort.
    On the whole, we think this can be money well spent. So do a number of consumer-advocate groups, including the Tennessee Health Care Campaign.
    Until recently, rate-hike proposals on group policies in Tennessee didn’t have to be submitted to a state agency for approval.

  • Let's praise those who are willing to serve

    This is a difficult time of transition for people in public office.
    The elections are over, and those who failed in their bids for re-election are still in office until September.
    It has to be tough.
    But despite the outcome of the elections, we believe these officials should hold their heads up for the work they have done for the community.
    We know each and every one of them have contributed in the community in some way.
    They have attended meetings and attempted to sort out the complex business of running a county in many important ways.

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: Civilogues unite! We can make a difference

    A lot of colorful linguistic hybrids — portanteaus, if we must get technical about these accordion phrases — have emerged in recent times. Some that have been difficult to escape are:

    • Staycation: Vacationing close to home because travel is expensive in tough economic times.

    • Frenemy: A friend, partner or ally who is also a competitor or rival.

    • Brangelina: I don’t even want to go there on this one.

    I came across a new hybrid recently that I have readily embraced: civilogue.

  • $43 million from TVA a good start

    No, TVA can’t fix all the harm it has done with the disastrous ash spill late last year.

    But its $43 million reparations package is a huge step forward.

    We also agree with officials that most of the money should be pumped into improving Roane County schools — then, perhaps, used for recreation opportunities for residents.

    And by recreation opportunities, we are not talking about league sports and ball fields, but biking trails and other opportunities for the exercise and amusement for residents of all ages.

  • Why the newspaper sometimes is not "nice"

    Recently we learned of a discussion involving a handful of local officials who were complaining that the newspaper hasn’t been “nice” to them.

    We are surprised when we see experienced people in office who feel that “being nice” is our role in covering them.

    Our role is not to be nice or mean — although we certainly try to be fair and civil.

  • Uncivil discourse is best ignored

    The best thing about being an American is that built into our government system, our very core, is room for disagreement.

    “No two on earth in all things can agree,” Winston Churchill once poetically said. “All have some daring singularity.”

    What also makes America great is that our government, done right, allows plenty of room for discussion, debate and questioning.

    That is, unless the process is hijacked by people who have no interest in civil discourse, facts and learning anything.

  • Groups rally in defense of Tennessee tourism

    We recently alerted you to a loosely organized boycott of Tennessee tourism by coal miners upset by U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander’s commendable stance in opposition to mountaintop removal coal mining.

    We stand with Alexander on this issue, and we are happy to see others rallying to keep any real boycott, if it really develops, from hurting our fair state.