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Opinion

  • We feel a little bit like a jockey, astride a winning horse as it turns for home in the stretch run of the race of its life. We coax it along, encouraging it with our proverbial whip here and there, keeping our eyes on that final pole and knowing if we do what we’re supposed to do that victory for all is imminent.

    So it is with the city of Shelbyville’s plan to add curbside trash and recycling pickup for its residents, a wonderfully appropriate action that appears to be nearing that legislative quarter pole and making the bend into that final stretch.

  • There is much to congratulate about the election year that is shaping up in Shelby County, but we will take second things first.

    We congratulate all the new individuals who have stepped forward to take a shot at public leadership this May and November.

    From state senator to the mayoral race in Shelbyville to its city council to three judgeships to a variety of magistrates, you will have new people to get to know and understand before casting your ballot. We look forward to the debate and the decision.

  • If you own property on the northern side of Shelbyville and either Clay Cottongim or Shawn Pickens knocks on your door, don’t turn them away or call the authorities.

  • It’s starting to appear that a “for sale” sign in front of property in Shelby County is not a bad billboard.

    A rising, continuing trend of home sales – some new homes among them – and a decline in foreclosures in 2013 and economic growth plans in place have real estate-brokers and administrators crowing about the possibility of the next few years.

    One even said we are nearing a “seller’s market,” a term not uttered in honest conversation since 2007 or so, depending on where you live.

  • You would think that the huge release of warm air on Monday – that being the exhale of parents who were allowed to send their students back to school – would have offset some of this frigidity that has surrounded us.

    After a tease of tropics on Sunday, the reading was -4 on my barn thermometer Tuesday morning, even as a school bus drove past on the road below.

    Everyone is talking about the weather, and it’s not because they can’t think of anything else.

  • In 1971, Ben Allen Thomas Sr. brought his father’s diary to me at The Shelby News’ office, which at the time was located where Sixth and Main Coffeehouse is today. The fragile and well-worn ledger was becoming illegible, and “Mr. Ben Allen” (as I fondly called him) wanted me to type the pages so he could read them easier.

    I was fascinated. I was intrigued with the daily accounts of livestock and crops. I was amazed such a document still existed, because pages dated back to 1863.

  • We think the idea of a pair of public forums conducted by Shelby County Parks & Recreation is a winner.

    Parks officials announced that there would be public input sessions tonight and Feb. 5 in the Waldridge Center at Clear Creek Park.

    Parks Director Shawn Pickens said that all activities are open for discussion, that any idea can be considered, for the way current or proposed atheltic programs may be created and operated.

  • My younger daughter, when she was maybe 1 or 2, had this CD that played constantly in her mother’s vehicle. The cover song was “Let’s Go To The Beach.”

    Today we all stand as the amen chorus to that anthem.

    Indeed, let’s go to the beach.

    Even if you don’t like sun, sand, wind, oil, heat or the sometimes runaway crabs and flies, you have to admit that you would trade what you feel outside your doorway today for just a few hours of all of that.

  • About two weeks before Christmas, a young, black-and-white cat took up residence in our barn and promptly became part of the family. That may not seem unusual to you, but it was downright eerie to us.

    We only that month had been talking of getting a barn cat to help ensure pests didn’t invade the feed bins. Then appears this cat, nice, clean, young, looking for a family and a home.

  • We have taken the position that Shelby County’s status for the sale of beer and alcohol should change from “moist” to “wet,” which means that licenses could be granted for businesses outside the city limits of Shelbyville – a situation that routinely has caused much consternation because of stores that wanted to open in the area and perhaps because revenue was lost to other counties.

  • The Simpsonville City Commission this morning is scheduled to introduce first reading of an ordinance to create a restaurant tax at its eateries.

    We understand that this ordinance would be weeks away from passing and months from implementation, but we have to applaud the fact that the commission is entertaining this suggestion.

  • Our local newspaper has had a negative approach in its reporting of several issues that relate to special taxing districts – especially the 109 Solid Waste Board.

    I have a background in environmental protection issues having spent over 20 years working for the Office of General Counsel of the Energy and Environmental Cabinet as an environmental enforcement specialist and paralegal. My opinion regarding the Shelby County 109 Solid Waste Board is opposite that of our local newspaper.

  • The interest on the national debt is about 2 percent or $340 billion, a mere drop in the bucket for our spendthrift Congress. The stock market goes up and down based on rumors about what the Fed is going to do about interest rates.

    If the rationale is that keeping interest rates low will force conservative investors away from government bids and AAA-rated corporate bonds, I then do agree. The problem is we’ve been doing this for years, plus buying back our bonds with money we do not have, and it hasn’t changed anything.

  • Have you set your New Year’s resolutions? Perhaps you’ve set them and already broken them. You wouldn’t be alone.

    We have been setting our community goals for Shelby County for the coming year, and unlike resolutions that might be broken, our objective is for each of these goals to be checked off the list and summed up as accomplished during our annual accounting next December.

  • Before daylight Monday morning, with the house cracking like my joints, the wind whirring around the corner and through the trees, I tugged snow pants over flannels, pulled on a ski mask, shrugged a heavy barn coat over my sweatshirt, wedged a pair of gardening gloves under my work gloves, yanked the garage door away from the floor to which it was frozen and headed blindly into cold that apparently was so brutal that no one should have had to face it.

    Let me say the chillingly obvious: It was colder than, well, anything you want to interject.

  • A few weeks ago, with Christmas wishes dancing through their heads, my younger children were offered an option for their primary, non-Santa holiday gift: Would they prefer a family getaway or another item off their really fairly brief lists? They quickly and loudly chose the trip, probably because they knew they still had Santa (and two sets of grandparents) as a fallback for anything really important.

  • Every January since 2009 The Sentinel-News has established a blueprint for the coming year to help focus on ideas, concepts and circumstances that deserve – or require – our attention.

  • Every January since 2009 The Sentinel-News has established a blueprint for the coming year to help focus on ideas, concepts and circumstances that deserve – or require – our attention.

  • On Christmas Eve we celebrate the gifts of our community, of the goodness, love and spirit that we spread among ourselves each holiday season.

    There is much good among Shelby Countians throughout the year, to be sure, but so many step forward each Christmas season to do as much as is humanly possible for the most innocent and needy among us, to reach deep, to take the extra step, to endeavor to serve in the true essences of the both the secular and non-secular spirits of the day.

  • With apologies to Clement Moore, we adapt our rhyme for the season and wish you a very Merry Christmas.

     

    ‘Twas the night before Christmas

    And all through the town,

    Not a creature was stirring

    The mayor had shut it down.

     

    Stockings were hung

    By the chimney with care,

    But doubtful old St. Nick

    Would dare be there.

     

    Our children were asleep,

    To the world they were dead,

    But Christmas dreams likely