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Opinion

  • You may recall that recently our family moved from the suburbs to a small farm, that we have been going through a sort of a sociological withdrawal, somewhat of a remake of Green Acresfor the new millennium, minus Oliver Douglas’s suits and Lisa’s gowns, Hank Kimball and the pig.

  • There is a sesne today that I shouldn’t be here. I should be in the suburbs of Denver, helping to lay to rest a man who in many ways made me whatever success I have been in this world, a man I call friend.
    Just a week ago, Tom Patterson lay quietly in an ICU in California, tubes and machines breathing for him. Breathing long had been Tom’s downfall, brought on by a 15-year battle with a lung-eating disease called scleroderma.

  • We found it curious last week when Shelby County Fiscal Court took meeting time and office time to develop, distribute and pass a resolution supporting the coal industry in Kentucky and decrying strict enforcement of regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency.

    We don’t have a problem supporting an industry that is at the core of the economy in parts of Kentucky and contributes heavily to state tax coffers.

    We just wonder why it’s a matter of business for the citizens of Shelby County, because coal is hardly a big entity here.

  • Sometime over the years the Shelby County Fair evolved into a pageant of pageants.

    What began in 1842 as a celebration of farm life and livestock has evolved in 2012 to be a celebration of our children on display like a lot of that livestock, and we venture there are more of the former than the latter entered at the fair.

    What for decades was a baby show and a beauty contest for young women now has expanded into a days-long, multi-age-group competition among girls and boys, which would beg the question about whether we have taken this too far.

  • This BIG Goal was introduced to staff and students three years ago, a lofty goal with high expectations, intense monitoring, and consistent engagement.

    The focus never wavered. The hard work got harder. The efforts were never-ending.

    “Not all of my students are on grade level but by golly way more than the majority are,” is what Pam Pickens from Painted Stone Elementary said on the last day of school, June 4. “Setting that bar so high made us aim high, and it worked.”

  • I was first paid for my writing when I was 13 years old. The Shelby Newsadvertised for "correspondents" to cover activities at the eight local junior high schools. Because the major activities were sports-related, a phone call and my immediate hiring became an introduction to the world of print journalism.

    It was the best call I ever made, not only because I would be paid the princely sum of 10 cents for every column inch of information I contributed, but it set me off on a career path that continues a half-century to this day.

  • They lounged beneath awnings that were erected under a shade tree in the front yard and at tables, chairs, benches and even a swing spaced along an L-shaped front porch. They squeezed into folding chairs at tables, found occasional seats along walls, surrounded card tables pushed together in the family room and even stood and sat in spots around the perimeter of the kitchen and on playground equipment in the back yard.

  • If this were Las Vegas, we would say all bets on an outlet mall being built near Simpsonville are now “double down.”

    That’s blackjack lingo, of course, for doubling your bets on the cards in front of you, and those who would want an outlet mall in Shelby County now have two cards to play toward reaching that goal.

  • The passing of George Cottrell at such an early age will be felt in Shelby County not only by his large and loving family but also by the public in general.

    For Mr. Cottrell, who died last week after battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS – Lou Gehrig’s Disease), not only was a motivating coach, an inspiring teacher and  a fount of incredible talent, but he was one of those true and fleeting elements for many of us: a role model.

  • Another Men’s Health Fair has passed at Jewish Hospital Shelbyville, and this year’s affair was better attended than its 11 predecessors.

    Hundreds of men flocked for hundreds of dollars of free medical screenings that ultimately  could save or extend their lives, and in so doing they were the beneficiaries of one of the great services provided to our community.

  • Most of the roughly 450 students who this week graduated from high schools in Shelby County – and in recent weeks peer institutions from around the world – likely perceive the passing of those diplomas as the metaphorical transformation from a 13-year trek through classrooms and textbooks to a lifetime of awesome and inspiring adventure.

  • The case against Enrique Olvera-Landaverde continues to perplex us. In fact, we don’t know if there is a case against Mr. Olvera-Landaverde. This all reads to us like lawyers run amok in a John Grisham novel.

    If Mr. Olvera-Landaverde’s name does not ring familiar, you may recall that this is the man arrested when county and state police, operating on a tip from Mr. Olvera-Landaverde’s wife, raided his home near Southville in 2010 and collected nearly 800 pounds of marijuana and $60,000 in cash.

  • The line drive whistled off the pink bat toward third base, where it scattered the dust when it landed untouched by a fielder. The batter took off toward first base, where a coach was encouraging a runner already there to move along toward second.

    The little hitter stopped at first, and as each successive hitter made contact and followed her, she kept shuttling around the bases, until, after she crossed home, she headed back to first base, where she was detoured by the coach and told she could sit down.

  • We know there can be bureaucratic answers to many questions that befuddle us about why things are the way they are, but that does not preclude our asking one question we suspect is on the minds of many this week:
    Why are students in school from now through June 4? Because they are required by state law to have 1062 hours – about 177 days – of “instruction.”

    But we question whether there is any real instruction being given on these last few days.

  • There are inspirational stories at the end of every school year, tales of students, young and old, who have persevered, diligently fought against odds and overcome adversity.

    In fact, to the dictum of having students “college and career ready” – which we embrace wholeheartedly – we add these examples of students who leave school “life ready.”

  • Every day is Cancer Awareness. Cancer is a 365-day, 24/7 kind of carnivore. It is not selecting on whom it will prey. My husband is a two-time survivor. When life is lived by simple pleasures, the enemy can attack. Life as you know it is forever changed. Attached is an open letter to Gary’s physician.

  • During the past couple of weeks, I have found myself standing before several of you talking about what we do and how we try to do it.
    And, as I tell any group to which I speak, I make my living by typing, not talking. That was a decision I made in college, when I realized that my flat Kentucky twang and wild blonde hair did not translate smoothly on television, thus ending my dream of being the next Cawood Ledford – with hair – which was after I realized pro sports were out, too.

  • With the Primary Election now all counted and complete, most of our eyes will be affixed on the names that will appear at the top of the ballot in November. We don’t doubt Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will have a spirited slugfest as they try to woo Kentucky’s voters and electoral votes.

    But our greater focus this fall will be on the undercard of their heavyweight bout, the faces in the races to see who will emerge from our counties and neighborhoods to lead decision-making in our community for the next two to four years.

  • One of the things we like most to do is to congratulate our young people on their success stories, and this is the time of year when that happens most frequently – with graduation, scholarships and the never-ending lists on Awards Night at our high schools.

    But on Friday night, in a stadium in Louisville, three Shelby Countians stepped forward and established themselves at the best at what they do against their peers from around the state.

  • In his address following the battle at Gettysburg, Kentucky native President Abraham Lincoln stated that we as Americans need “…to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.”