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Opinion

  • The E-mail arrived with a well-intentioned message: With so many problems in our schools, it’s nice to see a story of accomplishment on the front page of the newspaper.

    The story mentioned was the coverage of Painted Stone Elementary’s significant and admirable improvement in its standardized test scores.

    No school in the district did better than Painted Stone, which achieved growth goals that are not just statistics but measures of how effectively our younger students are carrying the ball of education toward the end zone of excellence.

  •  The predictions and reports about the flu seasons this fall are more ferocious and frightening than a town-hall meeting about health care.

    Everyone is talking about the topic, but we fear the masses may be missing the message.

    Medical experts are drawing dire pictures for both the seasonal flu and the dreaded H1N1 (swine) flu. Some predict a pandemic, and residents are flocking to doctors, clinics and pharmacies to be inoculated.

  •  My Word

    Jeff Hagerman

     

    Five things for health-care reform to work

  •  Shelby Countians are astride a streaking steed of positive energy and community spirit these days.

    Martha Layne Collins High School is growing into a new destination for many of our children.

    The potential – however uncertain – that Harley-Davidson could choose our chunk of the Bluegrass as the site for its largest plant has just about everyone giddy with hope and wonder.

    A new judicial center is sprouting in steel and wood from the ancient soil at Fourth and Main.

  • Successful entertainment comes from a vivid imagination, from a cell of creativity that is given birth as a living, breathing reality of words, music and scenery. Do that process well, and you are left with a creation we can cherish, an everlasting benefit to everyone.

    And now we know that such conception has been happening in Shelby County, and we, too, could be delivered a bundle of boundless benefit for all.

  • One of the treasures of Shelby County that gets much less attention that it deserves is the Shelby County Public Library.

    We are not here to shill for the community – indeed, we want to cast a critical eye of inspiration – but we have to admit how impressed we have been with the library.

    Large communities may take such amenities for granted, but those in charge in Shelby County have thought big and performed well when it comes to extending the branch of literacy for all to accept.

  • We have pushed and cajoled many to get both effort and answers about the Shelbyville Bypass. The project is woefully behind, and no one seemed concerned about that except for the Shelby Countians who kept asking the questions.

    We voiced those questions and received, in some cases, nebulous responses, until our elected leaders stood up to do as we expect them to do.

    Rep. Brad Montell and Sen. Gary Tapp asked questions, too, and now we have some answers. The bypass may not be completed any faster, but at least we have some explanations.

  • The 20th annual Shelbyville Horse Show is in the barn, and it emerged from a muddy start to be another crowning success for the city, Shelby County and all who call them home.

    This has become the signature event of Shelby County each year, and it serves well in elevating the county’s status, creating prestige and bringing dollars into the public trough.

    No, the horse show is not for everyone. Most of you did not attend, and many of you couldn’t give a horsefly if it even happens. That’s understandable.

  • The Shelby County Fair A&M Board is feeling a pinch after its recent Shelby County Fair started reasonably well and then lost all momentum in a deluge of rainstorms and heat. Attendance flagged, and the economic balance of the event has become more fragile than had been expected.

    But the deteriorating attendance at the 2009 fair cannot solely be placed at the feet of climatology and public apathy.

    The fair simply has gotten too expensive for the average family.

  • We like the idea of building more trails in Shelby County for walkers, runners and cyclists. We believe any county that contributes heavily to a state with such a poor record for obesity should make any health-related concept a high priority.

    And we agree with letter writer Abby Cottongim’s suggestion that a good place to start is to link the residential streets of Shelbyville to Clear Creek Park.

  • Honorable Brad Montell

    Honorable Gary Tapp  

    We sure are glad you got those folks from Kay and Kay Contracting to agree to meet with you this week.

    Somebody needs to set those guys down and have a quiet word with them about how they took our money -- $26.5 million! – to build us a 4.5 miles of road and so far left us with a lot of dirt and disruption.

    If it weren’t so sad, we might think it was funny to call them Highwaymen. It feels like we’re getting held up.

  •  I have recently been thinking about the church. Not just local churches like Shelby Christian, where I minister, but the church nationally and globally – and about the impact it is (or isn’t) making in the world.

  • The names Abraham Lincoln and John Wilkes Booth will forever be linked in the first-ever assassination of a U.S. President.

    Not so well remembered are the eight co-conspirators in the assassination -- one of whom grimly became an historic first herself.

    It was 144 years ago Tuesday in Washington that, alongside three of the other conspirators (George Atzerodt, David Herold and Lewis Powell), Mary Surratt became the first woman ever executed by the U.S. government.

  • The visit to Shelby County this Friday by Rep. Brett Guthrie is an opportunity in democracy that most Shelby Countians don’t typically have and even less often grasp.

    Too frequently these days our national politicians don’t show up in their districts until they need money, votes or, typically, more of both.

    That’s why Mr. Guthrie’s stop here is such a uniquely wonderful moment for all of us.

  • Many of you read Scott McDaniel’s recent story on Mary Surratt (“The Story of the First Woman to be Hung by U.S. Government” 7/8/2009) who was found guilty of conspiracy to murder President Lincoln.  I dare say, however, that only a handful of people know of the Shelby County connection to Mrs. Surratt. The connection is my great-great grandmother Emily Barry, but first, you need some history of the Surratts. 

  • My family loves Disney World. One of the things they love about it is pin trading.

    For the uninitiated, pin trading is a sport at Disney World where you buy pins that depict various Disney characters, rides or experiences and then you display them on a lanyard that is worn around your neck (or held by your dad when you’re riding a roller coaster).  Then you take the pins you have purchased and trade them with other people. 

  •  Bekaert Corporation’s introduction recently of a new processing system that eliminates lead and replaces it with water was a clear example for all local industry and our community as a whole.

    Making our county “greener” was on The Sentinel-News’ list of goals for 2009. We challenged our governmental and industrial leaders to take up this challenge and make improvements this year.

  • Where was your student at noon Tuesday? Was he or she in a classroom or assembly watching on television as President Obama offered encouragement about our young people’s commitments to education?

    Was he or she listening to the wisdom of the person we so overwhelmingly chose last year to be our spokesperson to all mankind, being inspired by one of the most talented orators of our times?

  • 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.