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Opinion

  • CATS has breathed its last breath.

    After several attempts in recent years, Kentucky lawmakers have finally agreed on a plan to hammer the final nail in the CATS coffin.

    So, after 10 years of working toward the 2014 proficiency goal, we’re changing course. Sounds kinda discouraging, doesn’t it?

    But the fact is that stuffing CATS back in the bag could be the boost that education in Kentucky needs.

  • Semper Fidelis - Marine Corp motto in Latin meaning “Always Faithful.”

     

    A young Washington County man named Derek Bartley died last week in a tragic accident at home.  He was 23.

    You know death is so unnatural when it comes to a young person full of life.  Nobody wants to die, but there are no parents that want to bury their children.  I can only imagine the anguish of broken hearts for David and Laura.  It must be what hell is like.  

    I never met Derek, but I know he was a remarkable young man.  

  • Last fall, Barack Obama was deemed by all the great and good as the man to save the country from its financial crisis because of his calm. As John McCain flailed around, Obama stayed steady, and commentators ascribed to him the most extraordinary leadership qualities based merely on his equipoise.

    How is that working out? Well, the stock market has lost roughly 25 percent of its value in the past two months, destroying more than $2.6 trillion of wealth. But at least President Obama is calm.

  • It always seems as if something breaks down or needs replacing whenever large bills are due.

    If it’s time to pay the homeowner’s insurance premium, then one of our vehicles needs new tires. If it’s time for property tax bills, then the hot water heater goes out. That’s just the way life is.

    Somehow, though, while there might not always be money for the things we want, there always seems to be enough for the things we need.

  • Economists agree — banks have too much debt and we, dear Americans, also have too much individual debt.

    In 2008, 25 banks failed in the United States. In just two months this year, 16 banks have failed.

    I heard on National Public Radio last week that Americans now owe $13 trillion on mortgages and credit cards and that’s as much as the country’s GDP, or Gross Domestic Product.

    The GDP is a measurement of the output of goods and services in the country — a picture of the total U.S. economy.

  • A killer once stalked me almost snuffing out my young life.

    The deadly force didn’t lurk around corners, sneaking quick peeks or huddle outside the shrubs in front of my house - watching, waiting.

    This frightening phantom was hiding inside my chest, little by little, growing over many years.

    It was coronary heart disease.

    The dreaded slayer takes more lives than any other disease in the U.S. and it had my number.

  • My church believes, and probably many others, in a lot of counseling before a couple gets married.

    It’s a good idea.  

    It’s not really counseling.  It’s more like getting to intimately know the person you want to live with forever.  You get into all sorts of areas that never come up in normal dating.  You know, things like money, where are you going to live, how about kids, and so on.

    It’s a great idea.  

  • A family history of heart disease? Who, me? Of course not.

    My grandfather has had some heart trouble, but he’s in his 80s now. Oh, and my dad and my uncle had some trouble, but they were both heavy smokers prior to their heart problems.

    OK, so I guess this is a “family history” of heart disease, but like most of people, I didn’t want to admit it.

  • Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.

    Mark Twain

     

    Good grief, look how things seem to be falling apart for the old US of A right now.  It’s enough to get you down some.  What do you do in a time like this so you don’t lose hope?  Well, I don’t know about you, but I always like to call up my trusted personal advisor, Mr. S. Willey.  “Slick” to his friends.

  • Continuing down the road of bills being proposed in this session of the Kentucky legislature, we find ourselves staring, or rather, glaring, at a bill from Sen. Denise Harper Angel, (D-Louisville). Harper Angel’s bill would require fast food restaurants to post calorie counts on drive-thru menu boards.

    It also applies to burgers and fries, as well as menu items at any restaurant chain with 10 or more locations in the state.

    It has been estimated that drive-thru windows account for 60 to 80 percent of a fast food restaurant’s sales.

  • Reader appreciates store's extra attention

    Dear Editor,

  • It was late one night two weeks ago.

    The rest of the family was asleep while I was on the computer working on a story.  The only sound you could hear was my fingers clicking across the keyboard.

    Suddenly, I heard a deep rumbling sound that seemed to bellow up from the earth.  I paused and looked around in concerned wonder.

    Then I felt the shock wave hit.  The floor began to shake and quiver.   It was then that I heard the high pitched girlish screams that pierced my ears.

    Two of my daughters came rushing out of their rooms to me.

  • Reader is proud of community during ice storm

    Dear Editor,

    Community means “common unity.”

    The meaning was shown greatly during the recent ice storm and power outage. Volunteers at the Washington County Chapter of the American Red Cross shelter provided at Washington County High School created a calm, warm and safe atmosphere for citizens coming in from cold and dark homes. Space will not allow me to list the many names and faces in my mind and heart of these wonderful people.

  • The late-January winter storm that slammed into Kentucky tested not only our infrastructure but our spirit.   

     Belying its glistening beauty, the relentless accumulation of snow and ice caused such devastation that its impact has been compared to that of an earthquake.

    Nearly 800,000 families and businesses – representing almost 36 percent of the state’s energy consumers -- lost power.

  • Amidst the array of storms challenging us ecologically, economically, socially, and spiritually in this winter of hardship, last week’s ice storm and its accompanying power outages offered many lessons in local resilience.  “Resilience” is the term used by British author Rob Hopkins to describe a community’s capacity to absorb disturbances and reorganize itself in the face of change in a way that retains its own structure and identity.  Resilient communities “engage with the wider world, but from an ethic of networking and information-sharing rather t

  • To the Editor,

  • Do you hear that?   

    It’s getting louder!

    It’s the steady tick-tock of the clock winding down.

    St. Valentine’s Day is almost here, and time is running out for great ideas.  You guys are going to be either the hero or the goat come the 14th.

    I was doing drills this past weekend in Louisville with my Army Reserve unit.  Yet my mind was preoccupied by this subject.  I had no idea what to get Cindy.  So I did what all men do in cases like this.  I asked another guy for advice.

  • To the citizens of the 11th Judicial Circuit:

    It is with great regret that I have resigned my position as Circuit Judge of the 11th Judicial Circuit in order to enter the Senior Status Judge Program. It has been a pleasure to serve the citizens of Washington, Marion, Taylor and Green Counties as your judge for the past 25 years, 14 as your District Judge and the last 11 years as your Circuit Judge. It has been a very humbling experience for me and I hope that I served you with distinction during that time.

  • Snowmen fall from heaven... unassembled.        

    - Author Unknown

     

    I know, I know. We had an ice storm, not a snowstorm.  But how many good ice storm quotes can you come up with?  That’s what I thought.

    The ice storm didn’t bother me so much.  

    Shoot, being trapped in the house, electricity out, water gone, phones dead, and food running low ain’t nothing.  That’s because my family has been preparing for this for a long time.

    How, you ask?

  • Over the past week, the residents of Washington County have been through some tough times, but in looking back, we also have a lot to be thankful for in our lives. Now, for those who are still without power, you may find this a little harder to understand, but we are definitely fortunate.