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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.”

  • Going With the Flo: There’s a war going on for the soul of this nation

    By Flo Charles

    Noah Webster — the great scholar and university president who gave us the Webster’s Dictionary — said, “Let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers just men who will rule in the fear of God ... if the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted. ... if a republican government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it is because the citizens neglect the Divine commands and elect bad men to make and administer the laws.”

  • A View From Lick Skillet: Back to the drawing board for mega-school scheme!

    Gentle reader: As we left you last week, Dr. Watkins’ departure was anticipated although not quite certain. Since that time her resignation has been submitted, and accepted. The School Board has named former Director Gary Aytes as interim Director to act until a permanent Director is found and put into place, according to Damon Lawrence’s front-page account last Monday.

  • Overstreet offers best opinion on school plan

    Tyler Overstreet’s guest column in Wednesday's Roane County News was the best opinion I have read of the school consolidation.

    All taxpayers should read it — and also all Board of Education members, County Commissioners and County Executive.

    Thanks, Mr. Overstreet, for your input.

    Sam Doughty

    Rockwood

  • Merging schools would impact our communities

    Roane County is not homogeneous, but is instead comprised of distinct communities, each having its own heritage and culture. A balanced school consolidation and siting approach would most certainly consider the impacts to the communities involved.

    Kingston is, by far, the oldest city in Roane County, formed at the edge of the frontier in 1799. It remained the only incorporated town in present Roane County until the incorporation of Rockwood in 1890.

  • 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.