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Opinion

  • Three events have aligned in the galaxy these past few months to accomplish something that I thought never would happen in my lifetime:

    Todds Point is now on the sphere of relevance.

    If that sounds sort of mean and flip, I don’t mean it to be.

    Todds Point has been an enigma to me for as long as I can recall: a name on a map, a reference point for a road, a hamlet of friends and acquaintances.

    But, to borrow from Gertrude Stein, there was never any “there, there.” And she was talking about Oakland, Calif.

  • The hiring last week of Chip Minnis as the new police chief of Simpsonville was a victory on many fronts.

    Certainly it was a great victory for Minnis, who has toiled for decades in the police departments of Shelbyville and Simpsonville.

    Certainly it was a triumph for the city of Simpsonville, which basically not only was able to keep its police department intact during a leadership change but also able to hire a native son, a person who knows the community so well, to police its streets.

  • Another month has brought another really good idea to help the people of Shelby County get in better physical shape.

    We speak, of course, of the plan under way to add adult exercise stations to the trails in Red Orchard Park. What a valuable and wonderful new tool this would be to fight the obesity that is consuming our population.

    By adding some muscle-strengthening options to a wonderful walk through nature, Shelby County Parks & Recreation is placing emphasis where it belongs – providing an attractive option to stay fit.

  • Why spend $160,000 on summer school? Is it worth that much money? Yes.

    However, if you don’t believe me, ask Kara or Dakota.

    These elementary children attended the 4-week session last summer and have reaped the benefit this school year as a second-grader and fourth-grader, respectively.

    What benefit? The ability to read.

  • On a sunny Friday afternoon, the damnations of work behind you and the blessings of a weekend settling large on your horizon, you find yourself winding down a road that is as familiar as the scars in your own skin, one whose hills, dales and dusty side trails you can see perfectly with your eyes shut and nothing but motion to plot its passage.
    Each fencepost is a milestone of your journey, a dot on your mind’s map so large and bold that you can name generations of people – their nicknames, their offspring, their ancestors – who lived behind them.

  • It’s really a positive in a community when decision-makers listen to public input and respond appropriately.
    That’s why it was refreshing to hear last week about the aggressive changes that the Shelby County A&M board had adopted for the upcoming Shelby County Fair.
    Last year the fair had come under significant criticism because of its high prices for admission and ride bracelets and for its restrictive gate practices.
    Those complaints were well-founded and – much  more importantly – well-received.

  • The swift and positive reaction by Shelby County Jailer Bobby Waits and the county’s magistrates to an opportunity for new business will provide an important infusion of cash into a county budget that is becoming difficult to balance.
    Waits was quick to respond earlier this spring to a brief openinig to secure a $600,000 contract with Anderson County to house its inmates.

  • In communities across the nation, cemeteries are dying.
    That’s what happens when the living fail to honor, preserve and restore their local cemeteries. It’s also the result when cemetery boards fail to keep the cemetery alive and vital by investing in surrounding property for the future and providing opportunities for the living to honor and preserve the resting place of the dead.
    Grove Hill Cemetery in the center of Shelby County is alive and well.

  • Citizens in Mount Eden, on both sides of the Shelby and Spencer county lines, are putting up the good fight against what ultimately may be the most overpowering opponent other than death that any of us will face: the United States government.
    They fear – and with good cause – that they will lose their venerable post office to the aggressive cost-cutting plan that the United States Postal Service is employing to combat the diminishing income of its once great monopoly.

  • It should be automatic to celebrate the quick and forthright repairs made to the intersection of U.S. 60 and KY 55, a problem area long before the opening of the Shelbyville Bypass and an excruciatingly worse one since.
    State transportation officials responded purposefully to the public outcry generated through these pages and escalated with the firm voices of state Rep. Brad Montell (R-Shelbyville) and retired state Sen. Gary Tapp (R-Shelbyville).

  • For the first time in nearly four decades, Shelby County Public Schools graduated two classes of  seniors on Saturday.
    Though these teenagers traversed the threshold from child/student to adult in a simple march across a podium and in the gentle grasp of an administrator’s hand, the final understanding of how far they have come, how much they learned and can accomplish, won’t be on life’s diploma until, oh, a few decades from now.

  • I was in Freedom Hall the night Anderson County played for the state basketball championship. It was the place where I heard Muhammad Ali say he wanted to fight George Foreman and Joe Frazier on the same night.

    I saw Julius Erving, then of the Virginia Squires, do things with a basketball that I had never seen and still can't describe. I have been to several concerts there, and I watched Richie Farmer make string music at the state finals 23 years ago.

  • An old colleague, basketball executive, author and many times Boston Marathoner Pat Williams, used to open speeches by saying:
    “I’m going to speak first to those of you who are smokers, in as much as you have less time to live than the rest of us.”

    And today I am addressing you smokers.

    But this isn’t a pray-for-you evangelism about the evils of inhaling the incineration of an unctuous weed whose fumes are so toxic that they do nothing but spread death through your body.

  • This Saturday more than 400 seniors will gather for commencements at Shelby County and Collins high schools in celebrations of accomplishment defined by perseverance, commitment and pursuit of excellence.

    Many of them will have exceeded expectations and withstood obstacles great and small to achieve their levels of success. Some will have created a legacy for academic excellence that will stand for their rest of their lives. Others will be happy just to be there.

  • Something tells us this won’t be the last time we congratulate Caterina Karas for winning a state championship.

    Karas, a junior at Collins, in November captured the first state championship silver for the Titans’ new trophy case by running away with the cross-country championship, and on Thursday she added two more baubles by winning her events at the state track & field meet.

    Her victories in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs – that’s the metric mile and 2-mile runs – in one meet is a fabulous feat of feet.

  • Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science at Western Kentucky University will enroll its third student from Shelby County Public Schools when the 2011-2012 school year begins next fall.

    Sam Saarinen, a sophomore at Shelby County High School, has been selected for the incoming junior class and for the 2013 graduating class. Sam, the son of Tim and Anne Saarinen is following in the footsteps of Chris Obermeyer, who is now at Duke University, and Katherine Goebel, who graduates this spring.

  • Were you like me around dinnertime on Saturday evening? Did you look at the clock and wonder?
    Surely I wasn’t left behind, was I?
    After all, radio evangelist Harold Camping had been saying that the Rapture would begin at 6 p.m. Saturday, that a series of Heavenly orchestrated earthquakes would crash across the country and that we all would be headed Home.
    Well, some of us.
    Certainly, if that had happened, I was hoping to be included.

  • Only a week has passed since the final slate was established for this fall’s governor’s election, and already we are concerned about how this race will play out in the next 168 days.
    Incumbent Democrat Steve Beshear and Republican David Williams appear to have taken off the gloves before they officially had them on, and independent Gatewood Galbraith is somewhere out there trying to get people to understand that he really is a candidate.

  • We really like this new plan for 7th Street. We like the idea that our leaders are taking steps to improve an important corridor for the value of Shelbyville and for the quality of life for Shelby Countians.
    We like the idea of the new roundabout to enter the Clear Creek Park, and we like the new, uncrumbled sidewalks on both sides of the street.
    We like the idea of painting the railroad overpass and of redeveloping some of the vacant and decaying property around it.

  • This letter, signed by the 2011 senior class at Shelby County High School, was submitted for publication by Lane Taylor.

     

    Rockets say “thanks but no thanks” to the arrogance parade at graduation.