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Opinion

  • Last year, amid the incredible learning moments I observed in classrooms and conversations with parents, teachers and community members, I heard one thing clearly: “We all want to move our students to attain even higher levels of achievement.”

  • My last trip to the State Fair probably came on a vacation about the time Jimmy Carter was figuring out he might not get re-elected.

    Growing up I had attended frequently, great times with my grandparents and, when old enough, my friends, but as I became more entrenched in the demands of career and family in another state, my personal calendar never really coincided with the fair’s.

    So as we often do when transition scoops up our lives and deposits them in cones of change, I replaced tradition with memory.

  • We know this wasn’t the case, but we have to say that we think those original new zoning boundaries for Martha Lane Collins High School looked like they were created using a dartboard from a school board member’s game room.

    Those dots that identified specific neighborhoods from which students would be shipped across town to the more remote high school seemed arbitrary and perhaps ill-conceived.

    We understand there are many demands on a school district, and geography does not always solve the most routine problems.

  • As a fifth-year teacher in Shelby County Public Schools, I've been impressed with the dedication and professionalism of faculty, staff, and administration. I think we're fortunate to have a good school district. After hearing Superintendent [James] Neihof’s opening-day challenge to SCPS staff to push for our school district to move from good to great, I offer up the following six suggestions.

  • How much is a life worth?

    I recently contemplated this question as I was considering increasing my life insurance. Many people (especially insurance agents) might say “you can never have too much insurance” or that having a large insurance policy is the best way to protect your wife and kids in the event of some tragedy. But they’re not fooling me.

  •   One of the most popular channels on television is the Food Channel.

    You can tune in and watch experts produce perfect dishes with immaculate presentation in less than 30 minutes. In an hour you can get a seven-course meal.

    These are, of course, creations of pure genius using the bark of the elm tree, the juice of the maple and a wild herb that only grows in Lithuania, which the cook picked up at Kroger on a Senior Citizen Day discount. I mean, there’s nothing to this stuff.

  • There seems a tragic irony that in the year that Shelby County’s greatest sports star and ambassador, Mike Casey, left our world, the young man who one day may have succeeded him has left the county.

    Casey was Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball in 1966 and led Shelby County High School to its first state championship. He went on to a storied college career at UK and became a symbol for achievement among Shelby Countians.

  • A few months ago I wrote in this column about my search for the perfect mattress and about how difficult it was because of all of the choices.

    Well, boys and girls, now I’m stepping it up a few notches – I’m looking for a new truck.

  • Once upon a time in Shelbyville, people went to a little place called Taco Bell for Mexican food.  To placate a “friiiiiieeeed iiiiice cream” temptation, a few daring souls made the 20 mile drive to Chi-Chi’s in Middletown.  Then came Marimba’s. What a relief it was to have Mexican food right at our doorstep.

  • Now that we know for sure the Shelbyville Bypass will not be completed in 2009, we are left with a lot of fundamental questions, far more miles of them than there are of concrete poured on this roadway.

    But one question we don’t have is this: Who is in charge?

    State officials made the answer to that one abundantly clear last week when they explained that our bypass is being built under a so-called “working days” contract, which allows contractors to control the time frame, the work schedule and, ultimately, the completion date for the project.

  • One letter arrives as if sucked into the vortex of another, something like two powerful thunderheads colliding over the middle of the county, creating all sorts of wind and havoc.

    They speak of data and experts and opinions. They portend great insight, laying out  science and history in detail. They are doused with perspective and seasoned with rancor.

    But these letters don’t address our heaviest matters, such as war, healthcare or human rights.

    No, their topic is climatology or, more specifically, global warming.

  • If Alice Cooper had recorded his heavy metal anthem “School’s Out” in the new millennium rather than decades ago in the old one, its reprise may not have resonated for the nearly 40 years it has.

    Because judging from what I see, school really isn’t out for the summer.

    We’re now two weeks from the first bell of the fall – another fallacy of today – and it hasn’t seemed to be much of a vacation for the kids, much less the adults.

  • Remember in It’s A Wonderful Life when George Bailey says he’s going to “lasso the moon”? It gave us a sobriquet for what later became the cliché “reaching for the stars.”

    Well, on Monday, we could celebrate two men who did reach for the stars, one of whom did lasso the moon in a manner of speaking and another who just missed.

    One gave us a moment to study the past and what it has meant to the present and our future.

  • Last week we implored you to call or e-mail Kay & Kay Contracting and ask those in charge why they aren’t here working on the Shelbyville Bypass.

    You are the taxpayers whose dollars are funding this project, and you have a right to know why nothing is happening. We told you that the contractors have a moral obligation to reply.

    Some of you took our suggestion, but the heavy equipment remains just as idle as it was last week.

  • The construction project for the Shelbyville Bypass has skidded into a mountain of mud at the end of a dead-end street. What has appeared obvious to anyone who has taken a look at the empty roadbed and the lack of action is true: Gridlock has emerged on the construction of a highway that is supposed to prevent just that. There have been many questions from local residents and officials about the lack of progress they were seeing on a road that many hoped would completed soon, and now we learn that the contractor, Kay & Kay Construction of London, has worked

  • Three boys were on the playground bragging about their fathers.

    The first boy said, "My dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a poem and they give him $50."

     “That’s nothing,” the second boy said. "My dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a song, and they give him $100."

  •  A letter featured in The Sentinel-News (“Problems exist”, June 17) was, itself commenting on the proposed energy plan of President Barack Obama.  I generally do not agree with most of the views of the aforementioned contributor, thus, my grievances are less with that writer than with the newspaper itself.  

  • Lost among the sparkles and thunder of the Independence Day weekend were the unselfish contributions of citizens who made sure Shelby Countians could celebrate the right way.

    If you recall, the Parks Board had announced it would not have a fireworks show this year because it was too expensive and too lightly attended. Too many citizens watched from their patios and decks, it seems.

  • One of the most basic facts a newspaper tries desperately to have correct is the spelling of a name. It’s a one of those slap-your-wrists fundamentals we learned at journalism school, because our errors endure in ink on paper.

    Even if every other fact is wrong, we want that one to be right. And, frankly, when it comes to cops and courts, we have to be extra careful. You wouldn’t want to have a wrong name in an arrest report of a serial killer.

    We know we sometimes err, but we sweat the small stuff all the time.

  • The Shelby County School Board’s delay on approval of the plan for athletic facilities at Martha Layne Collins High School has us a bit perplexed.

    The item on the board’s agenda Thursday was to approve the construction plan and to allow bids to be let on a football/soccer/track stadium and a baseball/softball complex. The action is required now to be able to complete construction in time for those seasons in the 2010-11 school year, when Collins will be open.