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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.”

  • Why is school board delaying Midway sewer?

    I have wondered for some time why the proposed project for Midway is something that sounds like a maintenance item.

    The existing sewage treatment system is used by all three campuses — elementary, middle and high schools. If it were to fail, raw sewage would be dumped into the creek. This would probably lead to closing all three schools until repairs were made.

    Why not go out for bids as soon as possible? Once evaluated, it would be handled as a budget item.

    Conclusion: Why Wait, Get Started As Soon As Possible.

    Bob Griffin

  • Kudos to News staff for election coverage, awards

    I am writing to thank you for the fine work you and your staff are doing with the Roane County News. Monday’s edition (July 16) was especially good.

    I was very pleased to see the recent Roane County News profiles of the candidates standing for the upcoming elections.

    In doing my research, I discovered that many of their various social media pages were rarely well organized or not very informative as regards their reasons for running for county offices.

  • Yager says broadband a necessity but votes ‘no’

    “‘It is a critical issue as I said. It is not a luxury. It is a necessity. I certainly understand your frustration,’ said state Sen. Ken Yager.”

    I addressed the Senate Commerce and Labor committee, of which he is a member. He listened as I made the case for allowing municipal electric utilities to expand broadband into rural communities – at no cost to Tennessee taxpayers – then voted against it.

    My presentation began with a clip from the documentary “Without a Net,” which will resonate with Roane Countians.

  • Going With the Flo: Only God knows what those babies could have been

    Regardless of the reasons given for objecting to the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, the widespread fear is that he will be instrumental in overturning Roe vs. Wade.

    So excuses and opportunities to abort unwanted pregnancies flood our land. Jesus is omniscient and knows the motive of our heart.

  • Guest column: Alliance a return on investment

    Recent articles and social media posts have shown a lack of understanding about the structure, purpose, and activities of the Roane Alliance.

    The targeted audience for the activities and initiatives of the Alliance and its partners primarily reside outside of the county, except for Chamber activities. I hope this column and those to follow provide clarity and explanations for why and how the Roane Alliance was set up and how it invests the funds provided from public and private sources.

  • Glimpses From a Teacher Historian: Here’s hoping pause is temporary

    Last week, the Roane County Commission approved property tax rates for 2018-19 that will not fund the school board’s proposed $67 million plan to consolidate Rockwood, Harriman and Roane County (Kingston) high schools at a site adjacent to Roane State Community College.

    Afterward, both Interim School Director Gary Aytes and County Executive Ron Woody reportedly agreed it is time to put the school board’s ambitious K-14 plan on pause.

  • All raw food, including milk, carries a risk

    My grandma grew up on a farm. Every morning, she joined in with the farm chores that included, with many other things, milking cows. The milk from those cows was served to the family and was consumed as it was — raw — unpasteurized and unhomogenized.

    When I was a child, my parents would go out to a dairy owned by a family friend where we’d pick up raw milk for our favorite summer time treat, homemade ice cream. I’d sit and watch my grandpa churn the ice cream and then we’d eat it with birthday cake.