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Today's Opinions

  • My Word: A broken and deadly system

     By Stephen Bartlett, Brian Rich, Attica Scott

    Several months after the death of a Salvadoran immigrant housecleaner Ana Romero in custody in the Franklin County jail, we feel the need to be clear about who we hold to be responsible for this tragic death.

  • What we think: New school idea has our attention

     Another week has delivered another interesting new discussion about how the Shelby County School Board will structure the new campus it is building west of Shelbyville.

    This is not bad news, mind you. In fact, we suggested three weeks ago that the board members needed to take more time to review the plan it had adopted. There were problematic factors and vacillating forecasts that needed another evaluation.

  • What we think: CATS may go but need remains

    The General Assembly’s passage last week of a bill that would eliminate the CATS test merits further consideration before being signed into law.

    In fact this step, and its effects on the well being of our students, deserves, well, more study.

    There is little doubt that the CATS test – as with most education achievement tests – is flawed. Parents complain that it puts too much pressure on students to perform on one test. Educators complain that it forces them to teach to a test rather than a base of knowledge.

  • Our hero needs some help to pull out this one

    A woman was concerned about the health of  someone she had known for many years, so she called her minister.

    “Do we have Mike Casey on our prayer list?” she asked.

    The minister said, no, he was not on the list before slowly adding, “I have to apologize for asking this, but who is Mike Casey?”

    The woman, after pausing to consider what would be a long explanation, simply said, “Well, he’s our hero.”

  • Thanks, but what I really wanted wasee

    The Internet is a rich source of random thoughts and miscellaneous wisdom.  Under that heading, I offer the following pearls for your consideration:

    1)    Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue.  

  • Fear sometimes can separate you from the right stuff

    You have read the chilling accounts about that teen-aged boy who was shot dead just a block from the library recently.

    You probably didn’t know the victim. You may have heard the chatter about why this might have happened. You probably know even less about the alleged shooter or his whereabouts.

    But at least one of us can speak clearly about what must be the shock and sadness that those who live around that street must feel each day as they pass the spot by the tree where they saw Joel Mena breathing his final breaths. One of us understands.

  • What we think: New FDA rules really do stink

    The emerging problem of what we will do with dead livestock in Shelby County is a critical issue that will require a unique solution.

    Last week the FDA announced its new restrictions in how these animals must be handled before they are transported for processing, requiring that skull and spinal cord tissue must be removed as steps to limit spread of bacteria that cause mad cow disease.

    That goal is appreciated – the disease kills people – but these restrictions need to be rethought, because their side effects are untenable for farmers.

  • We congratulate: Our kids make us very proud

     Have you noticed lately how many students from Shelby County are winning awards?

    We have individuals and teams winning regional, state and even national awards. Almost every day brings a new note from a teacher or administrator in a school or a proud family member touting the accomplishment of someone.

    There are athletes, musicians, dancers, singers, actors, filmmakers, essayists, speakers, spellers and just plain old visionaries being honored from here to Washington, D.C., and back. Some local winners are still competing on bigger stages,