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Opinion

  • It’s an embarrassment to say that I’ve never been a good shot with a rifle and I come from Washington County.  

    I don’t know about Abraham Lincoln, but his Uncle Mordecai was lethal with a musket.  He once shot an Indian off Abraham’s father, Thomas, when he was a kid.  Needless to say, Mordecai was always Abraham’s favorite uncle.  

    In addition, this is the land where I routinely see kids in the paper with rifles taller than they are, standing next to a deer they just shot.

  • It won’t be long before it’s vacation time.  

    I don’t know about you, but I always feel like I need a vacation after a family vacation any more. Young people with all their energy will flat wear you out.  Still, young kids and funny incidents seem to go together, and can make things “interesting.”  It may not always seem funny at the time for the parents, but later, after you’ve settled down, it can bring a smile.

     Here’s an example.  

  • It’s 2009, and the world just keeps on changing.

    The way we do things these days is not the same as it was 20 years ago, or even 10 or five years ago, for that matter.

    Our TVs are now digital, our phones are now almost all cellular, and our news comes at us from every direction, 24 hours a day.

  • My second oldest came to me one evening and said with all the courage she could muster, “Daddy, I’m ready to learn how to drive.”

    I looked up from my Lazy Boy recliner and said, “Really.”

    I was actually standing up next to the recliner when she spoke.  My reply came after I was revived.

    I enjoy teaching teenagers how to drive.  

  • President Obama, trying to jump start the economy, is using a series of stimulus packages in an effort to save banks and the major auto companies.

    President Lee Todd, trying to jump start the Big Blue Nation, is using John Calipari as his stimulus package to save what? Basketball bragging rights?

    This hiring move doesn’t have even the patina of hope and encouragement that Kentuckians need to get through the next few years.

    In this day of economic turmoil, paying a basketball coach nearly $32 million over a period of eight years is ludicrous.

  • “Be not afraid.”

    GOD

    It’s pretty scary out there, isn’t it?

    You know what I mean.   

    It doesn’t matter where you work.  It’s like everything has dropped off a cliff.  Most families are nervously waiting to see what happens next, if it hasn't already.

  • Dear Editor,

    Since this is Child Abuse Prevention Month, I wondered if you might like to hear from a victim.

    I’m a resident of Springfield. My family is well known. One of my parents is still living, and so to protect my innocent siblings, I wish to remain anonymous.

    By the age of 5, I was called a whore. I didn’t know what one was, but I knew it must be bad.

    From the beatings I received, I learned to run really fast, and I have never let myself get caught in a corner of a room.

    I learned never to trust anyone.

  • In 2008, more than 88,292 children across the Commonwealth were reported as abused or neglected to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

    In Washington County their were 734 reports involving 864 children - 48 reports substantiated and 67 children substantiated. Last year in Kentucky there were 25 children whose death was the result of abuse or neglect.

  • “An ounce of sweat will save a gallon of blood.”

    General George Patton

    The same quote can be used for college scholarships.  Work hard in high school and prevent paying off college student loans for decades to come.

    Let me stop you right here.

    If you’re a high school senior, or the parents of a high school senior, and are just now thinking about college scholarships, then you are going to be sorely disappointed in the rest of this column.  

  • Before the education reform act of 1990, Kentucky was ranked near the bottom of the list when compared to other states.  Now our state has become a model for reform and has made significant jumps in almost all rankings related to education and student achievement. All Washington County schools have made significant academic progress during the past several years.  This progress has been documented and measured by increasing scores on both state and national assessments.

  • It’s comforting to live in a small town, where there’s little crime and few problems in the community when compared to larger cities. There are certain things you don’t have to worry about when it comes to your day-to-day life, simply because certain things just happen in big cities, while they typically aren’t a problem in smaller towns.

    That’s how I feel, and it’s what I have thought for most of my life. But recently, the problems in our community that are rearing their heads are simply amazing to me.

  • “Then I turned and saw two little boys there with their mom and dad.  It was so sad it almost made me cry.”

    Heather Parrott. after visiting a homeless shelter in 2007

     

    My favorite article of all time was not written by me.  I put it together two years ago when some then 13- and 14-year-old St. Dominic kids spent a day at the Salvation Army’s Center of Hope in Louisville.  This facility feeds and has sleeping facilities for the homeless.  It was a trip to the hopeless, hungry, desperate side of life.

  • 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.