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Opinion

  • Shelby County so often has appeared to be moving in the slow lane when it comes to matters of highways and byways – see the Shelbyville Bypass, if you will – that our recent giddiness about the expedited replacement for the deadly interchange at KY 55 and Interstate 64 sometimes seems like a bit of a dream.

    That project is moving along quickly, right through the winter months, and we would have bet our asphalt that we wouldn’t have seen such activity in our lifetimes. We only can assume a more dedicated contractor was hired this time.

  • The presentation Sunday at Stratton Center about the bits and pieces of recorded African-American history in Shelby County is the wonderful culmination of a long-since-due step in preserving that piece of our ancestral pie.

    We often feel that much of the story of African-Americans in the nearly 221 years of Shelby County are lost in the anecdotes and in the dwindling in the memories of a few in our county. There are so many rich stories that we fear would be lost, if not for the dedication of the volunteers from the Shelby County Historical Society.

  • If you know me and grasp that I have spent a large portion of my life in the shadows of Disney World, you might be surprised to learn that there are places in Kentucky that I have visited innumerable times and yet always have returned with a gift of something ineffable.

    To have survived the daily assault of tee-shirts and billboards perhaps left me inured to overwhelming promotion and more embracing of our state’s precious jewels, even if they are sadly too often unpolished to the sheen you see of their peers elsewhere.

  • The aging athlete is a pitiful thing in America, especially when their glory days are more a matter of our own conjecture than any pen-and-ink record of accomplishment. Yes, I am guilty, and so what? I was a better-than-average high school baseball player and a terribly reluctant and, therefore, less-than-average high school football player. But since I have qualified for the Senior Discount at Burger King, I have tried to maintain some semblance of athleticism.

  • Watching the Super Bowl on Sunday night left me an emotional wreck. And, no, it had nothing to do with the lights-out, down-to-the-wire, officials-blown finish, however dramatic you might have considered that to be.

    I didn’t care who won between Edgar Allen Poe’s team and John Wilson Marshall’s team.

  • The 109 Board in Shelby County is doing one thing we heartily applaud: It scheduled five public-input sessions at various locations across the county to gather your thoughts on its plans for a new garbage/recycling center and its idea of charging you to drop your trash there.

    The first of those sessions was Tuesday night in Simpsonville, and another will be held tonight at the Shelby County Health Department in Shelbyville. There are also sessions Thursday in Finchville, next Monday in Bagdad and Tuesday in Waddy.

  • Fundraising season is upon us, that time of year when we launch into an annual parade of events that raise much-needed revenue to support a variety of philanthropic efforts in Shelby County.

    This past weekend featured the cultural gamut of Ducks Unlimited – with its Duck Dynasty theme this year – to one of Shelby County’s glitziest gatherings, Tres Chic.

  • Some Shelby County High School graduates returned home the weekend of Jan. 25 for basketball Homecoming activities. Two graduates returned home permanently last August, when they started teaching positions at East Middle: Casey Page and Marcie Wright.

    They join countless others who received their educations in Shelby County and have returned to work alongside former teachers in classrooms where they once could have sat.

  • On Jan. 29, the state announced an $86 million cut in child-care assistance for low-income working parents. Also included in the cuts are subsidies to relatives raising abused or neglected children. 

    That’s quite a statement for a governor who hung his hat on a platform of the importance of early childhood education, created a statewide Early Childhood Advisory Council and a Governor’s Office of Early Childhood, none of which have made any comment on the impending collapse of the system that houses most of our children under the age of 5 on any given day.

  • Now that I own acreage, I am renewing my relationship with something I’ve detested since youth: mud, the gooey stuff that just doesn’t vanish in a climate where temperatures might be 19 one day and 69 the next. The ground is muddy, then frozen, then muddy. You don’t have to be Darwin to understand that evolution.

  • If you own property in Shelby County, you pay 3.5 percent of that property’s taxable value for what you might consider to be garbage service. This is what you receive for that payment: A “convenience center” in Waddy that is maintained and emptied, a recycling center that is staffed and an opportunity to transport your garbage or recyclables to those facilities.

    What you don’t get is garbage service.

  • It was in the late 1950s, while having lunch with Martha Donovan, part-owner in the Smith-McKenney Drugstore on Main Street, she said they had good people working for them, but none of the women wanted to work at night or on weekends.

  • What I have to say about President Barack Obama’s “gun grab” is lengthy but necessary in order to give a proper historical approach and clear up the most recent root cause or the origin of his mindset.

    This is not a new idea or effort that has just occurred to Mr. Obama, he and others of his persuasion have labored from time to time toward this end. The horrible event at Newtown, Conn., was not the trigger, but it is just the opportunity to make inroads toward the goal to remove guns and repeal (in some form) the Second Amendment to our Constitution.

  • We now have a clearer picture of how many of our tax dollars this year will be going to the 16 separate taxing districts around our county. At least the property tax payments recorded by Sheriff Mike Armstrong have showed us how our hard-earned $30 million is being divvied up.

    Yet, although we have this dollar amount and a thread of an idea about the tax distribution, we truly don’t know how that ball of yarn unwinds.

    And we owe you an apology.

    We simply should have been watching more closely and offering you more information along the way.

  • Brenda Jackson has served Shelby County Public Schools long and well and, as she has sworn to do, she has put the kids ahead of herself. Her methods can be questioned, as they were last fall when she fought off a challenger to win her seventh term representing District 5 on the Shelby County School Board, but you can’t debate what is in her heart, for she lives from that heart every time she takes her seat on the platform for a board meeting.

    Ms. Jackson is all about the kids and making sure they get the best education this county can provide.

  • I have some questions for those who are reading this letter to consider now that the New Year has begun.:

  • A recent post on Facebook displays a series of photos detailing the serial deconstruction of a landmark building in Shelbyville, a building that was once considered among the finest in the state. Soon those shattered bricks will fade into memory and be forgotten,  just the same as the grand cupola that once adorned its rooftop.

  • I heard the news today, oh boy. An elementary student in Maryland is suspended from school because he cocked and fired his finger at a classmate during a playground game. He committed a crime against school policy and got the maximum sentence. He will return to his reading, writing and ‘rithmetic as reformed and remorseful, his future hopefully snapped away from the edge of awful by an act of tough love.

  • Jack Swindler is a fifth-grader at Southside Elementary but he is already a leader, working with school administrators to start a recycling program among the students and staff. He wrote a letter to the teachers that explained, “I’m part of the TAG [Talented And Gifted] program, and I qualified for leadership. As a leader, I want to help this school recycle.”

    Southside Principal Suzanne Burkhardt said the students are familiar with ways to help the environment since the school has an Energy Team, made up of students, including Jack.

  • The scene has no great artistic value, other than to galvanize one fictional man’s words with a living man’s conviction.

    Humphrey Bogart. Ed Hutcheson in the film Deadline USA. Crusading editor for The Day. He’s taking down a mobster, seeking the truth against a cunning corruptor looking to control his city. Hutcheson is winning. He is telling the truth. He is gloating.