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Opinion

  • Wen we learned last week that Shelby County Public Schools Superintendent James Neihof planned to ask the school board to approve a .5 of a cent compensating rate on tax increases, our first reaction was that this was an astounding accomplishment in this day of expanding educational needs and contracting resources.

  • When I was a little boy, my favorite book was The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein. Perhaps like most children, I was always saddened by the slow disappearance of the tree into the insatiable worldly desires of the young boy. The apples and branches and trunk all find their way into the black hole of the boy’s ambition.

    “I want money, a house, a boat.” Take from my body, the tree says. I am told that the story is a parable for the selfless giving of a parent, a friend, a Christ, a God who is willing to sacrifice in the name of love and affection.

  • Having spent, like many boys and girls in Shelby County’s history, my formative years in keen observation of cows, I am continually amazed by the devotion families have to them, how delicately they treat them and care for them. Sometimes I have to wonder if some among us of have converted to Hindu, so revered are their bovine gods and goddesses. At least cows aren’t allowed to roam the streets anywhere this side of New Delhi.

  • Despite The Sentinel News’ reporting that the Shelby County Judicial Center employees have fallen out of grace with the Centenary United Methodist Church next door (Church: No more park,” June 28), we believed the relationship was a good one. We were very grateful and appreciative of the church’s generosity in offering convenient and safe reserved parking spots for full-time state employees. No such thought was given by the powers that be who supervised the planning of the new judicial center.  

  • The brouhaha that came to light last week about a pageant contestant from Shelby County who was disqualified from competing for the state Little Miss title because she was too old is a sad moment for an innocent little girl. We feel sorry for her and wish that she not have experienced that disappointment. It’s a sad moment from society when a clerical error by an adult – although no one will take responsibility for that mistake – can take away a child’s beautiful smile.

  • We were pleased to read that Citizens Union Bank has emerged from the oversight of state banking examiners and has steadied its course for the future.

    CUB this year is marking 125 years as part of Shelby County, and we certainly think this good news adds candles to that celebratory cake.

    The volatile real estate market of a few years ago and the aggressive investment in Shelby County by a hometown bank came together to create some dicey days for CUB. We, too, were saddened that bank examination became part of the process of sorting out those problems.

  • I wish to throw my support firmly behind Chuck Souder’s article (“The Founders’ Declaration of ‘In-Dependence,’” June 28),pertaining to the American Founders’ “dependence upon God” and the idea they taught Americans should be “grateful and accountable to God.” Sometimes, atheists like to selectively quote the Founders, as if the Founders were atheists, which they were not. Souder has the strength of history on his side.

    Washington: Farewell Address to the American People,1796:

  • Ten years after I graduated from college, I felt like I had a dual life. On one hand, I was a husband and new father. On the other hand, I was a salesman with a $14 million, 5-state territory.

    The two parts of my life battled each other. I performed the job from my car and was the classic "road warrior." It was not uncommon for me to leave on a Monday morning and spend the majority of the week calling the other portion of my life from a hotel telephone.

  • As one who attended the Shelbyville City Council’s public hearing on curbside trash and recycling, it was disheartening to see the turnout and hear the spin put on the subject. In my opinion the spin was at best misleading and worst self-serving (“Curbside trash, recycling talk draws small crowd,” July 31).

  • A communications gap last week among employees of Norfolk Southern Railroad that frustrated residents and officials in Shelby County was testament to a much larger problem than some blocked crossings that railroaded commuters on the first day of the school year.

  • The decision by Simpsonville Mayor Steve Eden and City Administrator David Eaton to take a road trip to Metro Atlanta to check out Horizon Group Properties’ recently opened outlet mall is a smart and responsible concept.

    Mr. Eden and Mr. Eaton seek to learn from the leadership of Woodstock, Ga., and the managers of Outlet Shoppes At Atlanta about how the grand opening last month evolved for all concerned and what they might anticipate for a similar event next year at the Outlet Shoppes of Louisville in south Simpsonville.

  • Now that our students are safely back in their classrooms, parents all over Shelby County can wipe their brows and fall backwards into our recliners in overwhelmed fatigue. That seasonal onslaught is behind us, and we have survived once again the Battle of School Supplies.

    Are you one of us, we parents who are assailed annually by requirements that our students must arrive for the first day of school towing a small U-Haul trailer filled with everything from some stratus of computer to a certain color of pencil to be used for a chapter in a one-term geography workbook?

  • Memo to Commonwealth Attorney Laura Donnell: Open the grand jury testimony in the shooting death of Trey Williams.

    The family of Mr. Williams, the teenager who died tragically in a confrontation with Shelbyville Police Officers in November 2011, is seeking the records as part of the fact-finding in their lawsuit against the police department and specifically against Suzanna Marcum, the officer who fired those three fatal shots.

  • We were glad to hear last week of the plans of real estate broker Lee Webb and his church, Christ Community Church, in the purchase of Governors Square. This can be nothing but good news for Shelbyville.

    Although this parcel technically is outside the city’s limits this is a welcome step in developing the city’s long-range plans for a spiffy and inviting East End.

  • If you don’t believe that the Lord works in mysterious ways – or even that the Lord is the lord – then I offer this testimony:

    This morning at my house an air conditioner surgeon is scheduled to make his or her fourth trip to triage our injured unit. That happens. We all have experienced problems with our units.

    But our H/VAC has been on some level of hiatus since, oh, July 15.

    That’s three weeks in the middle of summer with little or no cool air circulating.

  • Good job by the Shelbyville City Council last week when it conducted an open meeting to review its plans to adopt a citywide curbside and recycling program.

    That was the penultimate appropriate step, to answer questions from and disseminate information to the public about those plans. Next would be the ultimate decision: to pass an ordinance enacting the collection of trash and recyclables from all residences.

  • There used to be a time, before Daylight Savings Time pushed our summer sunsets until almost bedtime, before schools started with the dog days of August and before lights from the mixing center contaminated our horizons, when I was lured all over the county by a phenomenon in the heavens.

  • Back-to-school time is when parents are frenzied with making sure their students’ clothes for the coming year are the correct size and shape, that the appropriate number and color of folders/notebooks/journals have been acquired and labeled and that pencils – and students – are sharpened and prepared for those first classes next Wednesday.

  • The little girl with pigtails and big black eyes rushes onto the stage, smiling and even giggling. She pauses at the right moment, confronts the spotlight and sings in duet a short, sweet song in French, ignoring an audience overflowing assigned seats and every other element of her first stage performance except her role.

    She is 6 years old. She is fearless. She is calm. She amazes.

    How can one so young respond with such aplomb in such a fearsome situation?