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Opinion

  • Like most everyone else, we are continuing to try to digest the results we read last week from the state’s new accountability tests for public schools.

    Like Shelby County Superintendent James Neihof, we “continue to feel challenged” by what we saw.

    Whether you think standardized testing works or whether this particular set of processes is appropriate, this is the system through which we for the foreseeable future will educate our students and evaluate our teachers and administrators.

  • Election Day means the end of the debate for a couple of men I respect very much. Unfortunately, neither of them was on the ballot.

    To be sure, though, their views are aligned generally with those of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, which is to say the bubbles they filled almost certainly weren’t on the same side of the ballot.

    It’s understandable, really. One of them has worked in the auto industry, and the other is a Marine.

  • In early August of this year, I noticed a small ad in the Sunday Louisville Courier-Journal concerning upcoming concerts at the old Grand Theater in Frankfort. Since I have performed as an entertainer, beginning at the age of 4, this quickly got my attention.

    After going over the rather long list as well as the dates, my focus centered on a guitar player on the evening of Sept. 25, knowing this would also be a pleasant surprise for my wife, Iris, and we would in all likelihood also enjoy dinner at a nearby Frankfort restaurant.

  • Many candidates have lined up to serve you, and on Tuesday you will have a chance to choose among them, which is a far from simple process. Both candidates and voters have much responsibility on Election Day.

    These candidates have presented themselves to you, shown you in many ways who they are and the issues and principles that have formed their candidacies, and now it’s up to you to sort through all those messages and make the choice that best serves your needs.

  • We are in awe of Claire Kelly. We wish we had just half her courage and determination.

    In case you aren’t familiar with Ms. Kelly, she’s the junior from Shelby County High School who on Thursday rappelled down the 30-story Lexington Financial Center.

    And why did Ms. Kelly do this? Well, because it was there.

    She’s part of the Venture Club, an affiliate of scouting, but this bouncing ride from on high primarily stemmed from her commitment to ad-venture.

  • I write these comments with all due respect to Sentinel-News columnist Chuck Souder. As a person of faith, I take exception to his position on faith and politics as espoused in this paper during the past six weeks. While Souder’s arguments are grounded in an understanding of God and Scripture, his is not the only valid understanding of God’s authority, creation and the way faith informs our lives and actions.

  • The foreign policy debate Oct. 22 between President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney was designed to help voters better understand each man’s vision for America’s role abroad. While I have publicly taken issue with both candidates on aspects of their foreign policies, there is no question that Governor Romney remains the right choice for Americans on Nov. 6.

  • In his My Word article Neihof (“Believe in students; believe in schools,” Oct. 17), Shelby County Public Schools Superintendent James Neihof describes what many state and county school officials are feeling: excited and jittery about the soon-to-be-released Kentucky public school testing results.

  • On Nov. 6, voters will head to the polls to cast their ballots for president, Congress, state House and Senate and some local offices. But Kentuckians will also have an opportunity to cast their votes on the following proposal:

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    When you have a special celebration, don’t you like to do something unique and make some personal history? There’s nothing like putting a red-lettered date in neon and setting a bar that you may not reach again, is there?

  • On Nov. 6, among the many important decisions voters will be asked to make is one that they should not make: to pass an amendment to the state constitution that establishes hunting and fishing as legacy activities in the state.

    That is shorthand language for the Personal Right to Hunt and Fish Amendment, which was placed on the ballot by a quick and somewhat quietly authored House Bill 1 that passed the legislature earlier this year and became part of the election process without so much as a peep from the legislature.

  • The election process would not be the same in Shelby County without the commitment of the leadership of the Shelby County Organized for Preservation and Enhancement – or SCOPE – and that organization’s commitment to this process.

    Once again this year, SCOPE organized and sponsored with The Sentinel-News the annual Candidate Forum. This has been happening every two years since 1988, and it is an established part of the election calendar.

  • With recent columns and letters to the editor in The Sentinel-News regarding Shelby County Public Schools, I wanted to provide my perspective having not been directly involved with SCPS for the past eight years after serving as superintendent for 16 years from 1988 until 2004.

  • I did not speak to the issue before the Triple S Planning Commission on Oct. 16 for a number of reasons: I hadn’t prepared anything, I wasn’t sure what the format would be, and I wanted to hear the presentation. However, in listening to the presenters for the zoning change request by Trio Development for its outlet mall project in Simpsonville, it occurred to me that we were taking a lot on faith and that some of the premises for this change were illusory.

  • Distinguished, Proficient or Needing Improvement – these are the categories by which Kentucky schools will be labeled in just a couple of weeks. Schools above the 90th percentile will be Distinguished. Those falling between the 70th and the 89th percentile will be Proficient. Those below the 70th will be classified as Needing Improvement.

  • Did Susan King of Mount Eden murder her former boyfriend Kyle “Deanie” Breeden of Shelbyville in 1998?

    That question, which for years haunted investigators and Mr. Breeden’s family, was thought to be at rest in 2008, when Ms. King was sent to prison.

    But now we have our own new set of questions about this case, including not only how the investigation has been handled but also who has a responsibility to ensure that Ms. King in fact did commit this crime.

  • Let me tell you something about the newest critter on our farm.

    No, this isn’t the magnificent, golden-tailed hawk that comes to sit on the black wooden fences separating two of our paddocks, more or less watching the horses eat their fill.

    This isn’t about the smudge-sized black field mice I saw scurrying under the leaves of the decaying melon patch as I was turning over the garden for fall – one of whom, I must confess, met an untimely interface when he was unearthed by the blades of my tiller, God rest his little vermin soul.

  • Herbert T. Riddle from Shelbyville was known as “Herb,” and I want to share his story, which is a story of how fate extended his life. He is 85 years old, but for a twist of change, he might not have reached that age.

    Mr. Riddle joined the Navy and was stationed at Barbara Point Naval Base in Hawaii. He was a tail gunner in a naval fighter plane that was to fly over the oceans and beaches around the islands of Hawaii.

  • We have a suggestion for Carl Henry, the new czar of parking in Shelby County.

    Mr. Henry, whose title actually is the county’s road supervisor, was given by Shelby County Fiscal Court the right to set parking regulations on all streets and roads under the county’s jurisdiction.

  • We were pleased to learn recently that the number of registered voters in Shelby County has increased since we last elected a president.

    That’s always encouraging, and because as our populace grows, we need those of age to do their constitutional – and moral – duty by becoming involved in the electorate process.

    The number of adults in Shelby County who have filed their paperwork to vote in this election is nearly 28,000, which is a strong percentage of those who are eligible.

    That’s the good news, but it also is not enough.