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To the Editor

Dear Editor,

With this note I just wanted to thank you for continuing to produce a quality local newspaper.

Though many social media [outlets] have developed over the last couple of decades and newspapers have struggled, none of these other forms of communication have been able to match, in my opinion, the community service, information, and bonding accomplished by the publication of a quality local newspaper.

It is with great joy my family reads our Wednesday weekly issue of The Courier News. We get so much information that is otherwise never seen by us or is scattered among sundry electronic communications that are easily lost to time.

I also highly commend Ken Lay, who must never sleep, on his many articles each week covering local sports, and not just football. Community knowledge of kid sports is a community builder and something I have missed as The Oak Ridger has lost its way and really no longer serves the local community.

Please keep up the great work! If Ican do anything other than subscribe to your paper to help you continue or even expand your local coverage, please call on me as l’m ready to support you in any way possible.


Gary J. Van Berkel

Oak Ridge

To the Editor

Dear Editor,

Thank you for the story on the TVA weir below Norris Dam.  It is always good to read positive news from our county.  

While I enjoyed the story, the use of the term “weir dam” is in error.  The word weir means a low dam.  Therefore when you say “weir dam” you are actually saying “dam dam.”   I know this because my dad Dean Harshbarger helped design the weir below Norris Dam when he was working as an engineer for TVA.  Calling it the “weir dam” was one of dad’s few pet peeves.  Writing to you regarding this issue is way a to pay tribute to him as he passed away last May.  

Thank you for your continued coverage of the news in our fair county.

Jeff Harshbarger, 


Editor’s note: TVA’s own signage calls it the “Weir Dam,” and in fact, the term “weir” has other definitions besides being a type of dam.

To the Editor

Dear Editor,

William Culbert is entitled to his opinion, but is not entitled to rewrite history or make up numbers and “facts” without attribution.

Number one, I didn’t “imply” anything about Donald Trump and/or Joe Biden. I stated facts, with attribution. 

Mr. Culbert said President Trump “inherited $400 million in the ’80s” from his father. Wrong! According to Wikipedia, Fred Trump’s “will divided over $20 million after taxes among the surviving children and grandchildren.” I’m not good at math; however, I believe $20 million is 5% of Mr. Culbert’s “$400 million” statement. 

Incredibly, defending Biden at the end of his letter, Mr. Culbert stated, “Combined with the dramatic increase in wages, despite inflation, purchasing power has improved 2%.” Simply put, there are no words in the English language to describe this statement, other than to say Burger King could bring a plagiarism lawsuit against Mr. Culbert in relation to his offense against their large Whopper hamburger. Sadly, this embellishment is typical of the Left today, since they struggle with real numbers, real results and real consequences of disastrous policies. 

My numbers are more basic than Mr. Culbert’s. On election day 2020, I paid $1.69 per gallon for gas at Weigel’s on Emory Road and filled up for $20. Today, I fill up for about $40. On his first day in office, Joe Biden chose “intentionally” to trade American energy independence for energy dependence.

The most basic laws of economics immediately kicked in. Gas quickly doubled in price and that filtered throughout the overall economy, and the rest is history.

Groceries are up dramatically. Rent is up dramatically. Insurance is up dramatically. Auto costs are up dramatically. And the world is on fire! Finally, my appreciation for President Trump’s four years of “peace and prosperity” is up dramatically. Not so much for Joe Biden’s 3.5-year dumpster fire. 

Samuel T. Foust