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Opinion

  • The debate about whether the Ten Commandments should be displayed in governmental buildings is predictable because of its foundation in the conflict of human emotions and beliefs against legal interpretations by the courts.

    When letter writer Linda Allewalt last week again raised the issue about whether the commandments should be posted visibly in government offices in Shelby County, the response from many was equally expected: We believe in these commandments, and they are the foundation for our laws. Thus, they should be displayed.

  • During the past several decades, we have had a number of court rulings:

    §       School-sponsored prayer or Bible reading.

    §       Removal of creches from public property.

    §       Ending the Pledge of Allegiance as mandatory.

    §       Removal of the Ten Commandments from public property.

  • I wholeheartedly support Linda Allewalt in her efforts concerning removal of the Ten Commandments from the walls of Shelbyville’s government buildings (“Ten Commandments must come down,” April 20).

    I don't understand the reluctance in taking it down – unless it's a daily reminder to the religious government employees who might forget? Let's go through the list itself as it

    might apply to a government building:

  • So you think the weather was nasty and no one showed up for your big event? This is how my weekend went:

    An emotional funeral for a beloved family member on Friday, then at my desk at home on Saturday and Sunday, bleeding on the tax altar.

    Please don’t tell me you’re sorry for my loss, but that the tax stuff was my problem for procrastinating. I’ve heard that. I understand. I didn’t mean for the process to be that way, but it just spiraled down that drain.

  • Nine years ago, as a newcomer to the state of Kentucky and a new resident of Shelbyville, I went to the Shelby County Courthouse to get a Kentucky driver’s license. On the wall of that office was a large standalone framed display of the Ten Commandments.

    To understand my reaction to seeing this, one must take the view of 1) a person who is non-religious and 2) a person who had at that time a budding awareness of issues of separation of church and state.

  • Seniors at both high schools are in the final stretch before receiving their diplomas. Excitement is high this year, too, because of some changes that will honor more students – at home.

    Both commencement exercises will take place in the individual school gyms with overflow seating with a live broadcast in the school theaters. This arrangement is made possible because of the reduced number in the graduating class because of the two high schools.

    The celebrations can now occur at home, rather than at the Frankfort convention center.

  • The recent letters to The Sentinel-Newsconcerning seating of honor students at Collins High School commencement reminds me of the same controversy two years ago at SCHS. At that time we were parents of an honor student whose seating was to be based on class rank.

    We had expected this, as this was the tradition at the high school when our older daughter graduated in 2005.  The message this sent was simple: There is competition in the academic world, it is important, and excellence will be recognized.

  • As you have been reading on these pages these past few weeks, there is an obvious and increasingly vocal disconnect between the parents and supporters of students in our county high schools and the administrators with the school district. We dare say there’s even a disconnect with the school board itself.

    There has lingered in their district for a couple of years now a debate – sometimes raging hotter than others – about how high-achieving students should be honored at commencement.

  • It’s always refreshing to encounter a true hero. It’s even better when the person is unassuming and doing an act of human kindness and care rather than for camera time and, even worse, money.

    But that’s what we have in Rodney Kidd, a police officer in Simpsonville.

  • In the 2008 election cycle, there was a phrase one candidate used that was then repeated over and over. The phrase was “putting lipstick on a pig” – meaning, of course, to try to make something that is ugly sound (or look) better.

    Nowhere is that phrase more appropriate than in the discussion over the government shutdown that was averted, literally at the 11th hour last Friday evening.

  • “You need people around you with drug problems.”

    When Roger Cleveland made that statement to a group of African-American students and school administrators, you could hear an intake of breath. Cleveland, an Eastern Kentucky University assistant professor, then added, “People who drug you to church...who drug you to the ACT prep sessions...who drug you to ballgames...who drug you away from the knuckleheads who might take you down the wrong path.”

  • Living in a state where three out of 10 of our high school students fail to graduate, it makes sense to celebrate and honor every child that can don a mortarboard and accept a diploma. We are proud of all that made the commitment to graduate: students, teachers, parents.
     Yet, in a world that is shrinking so quickly that Kentucky children compete with children in China to grow-up to have a good-paying job and a home of their own, is it enough to celebrate graduation without recognizing those who did more to earn their diplomas?

  • The accomplishment of a group of volunteers working mostly under their own power and imagination can be an inspiring thing.

    Thus we are duly impressed by the work of Jerry Miller, Uley Washington, Hobie Henninger and a host of other volunteers who have helped create an elegant memorial to the 22 African-American cavalry officers who were ambushed and died just west of Simpsonville in 1865.

  • We have followed with interest these past few weeks as a group of downtown-area property owners in Shelbyville have joined forces in the oldest and most common goal that many of us ever seek to undertake: fighting city hall.

  • You may have read recently about a bold new policy decision rendered in Bullitt County.
    Bullitt’s Board of Health voted to make all publicly accessed facilities in the county – including some parks and outdoor areas – smoke free.
    We find this an intriguing step in the debate between smokers’ rights and the greater good of public health. Their concept also is far more wide-ranging and stringent than policies passed by legislative bodies across Kentucky.

  • The preliminary approval of state incentives announced Thursday for Ficosa North America is the latest in a surge of terrific economic news for Shelby County.
    Following announced plans at Martinrea Heavy Stamping, Katayama and Shelby Industries, we are now up to four the number of companies that will be adding jobs in the coming years.

  • Could someone please explain to me what is going on in this country? America has got it backwards. It is not the people who offer only their opinion and sit behind a desk and make decisions that make this country great. It is the people who have produced everything you see and use that make this country great.

  • The graduating class of Collins High School learned this week that all graduates will be seated in alphabetical order, breaking the longstanding Shelby County tradition of honoring the top-ranked graduates by seating them on the front rows at graduation. I am writing to lament the way our schools have watered down the recognition of students who excel in academics.

  • We are starting to wonder if there are any cells available in our state prisons, because we are becoming increasingly alarmed at high-profile crimes that are going unpunished by incarceration.
    This is said neither to renew our shock at the meager wrist slapping given to admitted office thief Jody Wills nor to condemn any particular judge for his or her rulings.
    But rather this is a focus on the crime-and-punishment system, because there are examples it’s not working like we would expect it to work.

  • No matter which colors dominate your wardrobe or tint your vision of the sports world, surely you can embrace the success stories that our state generated on the basketball court this past weekend.
    Chatter is everywhere, of course, about the University of Kentucky’s first return to the NCAA Tournament’s Final Four since the Clinton Administration. The Wildcats’ run has been remarkable and somewhat unexpected by anyone other than the deepest blue fans.