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Opinion

  •  Another week has delivered another interesting new discussion about how the Shelby County School Board will structure the new campus it is building west of Shelbyville.

    This is not bad news, mind you. In fact, we suggested three weeks ago that the board members needed to take more time to review the plan it had adopted. There were problematic factors and vacillating forecasts that needed another evaluation.

  • The General Assembly’s passage last week of a bill that would eliminate the CATS test merits further consideration before being signed into law.

    In fact this step, and its effects on the well being of our students, deserves, well, more study.

    There is little doubt that the CATS test – as with most education achievement tests – is flawed. Parents complain that it puts too much pressure on students to perform on one test. Educators complain that it forces them to teach to a test rather than a base of knowledge.

  • A woman was concerned about the health of  someone she had known for many years, so she called her minister.

    “Do we have Mike Casey on our prayer list?” she asked.

    The minister said, no, he was not on the list before slowly adding, “I have to apologize for asking this, but who is Mike Casey?”

    The woman, after pausing to consider what would be a long explanation, simply said, “Well, he’s our hero.”

  • The Internet is a rich source of random thoughts and miscellaneous wisdom.  Under that heading, I offer the following pearls for your consideration:

    1)    Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue.  

  • You have read the chilling accounts about that teen-aged boy who was shot dead just a block from the library recently.

    You probably didn’t know the victim. You may have heard the chatter about why this might have happened. You probably know even less about the alleged shooter or his whereabouts.

    But at least one of us can speak clearly about what must be the shock and sadness that those who live around that street must feel each day as they pass the spot by the tree where they saw Joel Mena breathing his final breaths. One of us understands.

  • The emerging problem of what we will do with dead livestock in Shelby County is a critical issue that will require a unique solution.

    Last week the FDA announced its new restrictions in how these animals must be handled before they are transported for processing, requiring that skull and spinal cord tissue must be removed as steps to limit spread of bacteria that cause mad cow disease.

    That goal is appreciated – the disease kills people – but these restrictions need to be rethought, because their side effects are untenable for farmers.

  •  Have you noticed lately how many students from Shelby County are winning awards?

    We have individuals and teams winning regional, state and even national awards. Almost every day brings a new note from a teacher or administrator in a school or a proud family member touting the accomplishment of someone.

    There are athletes, musicians, dancers, singers, actors, filmmakers, essayists, speakers, spellers and just plain old visionaries being honored from here to Washington, D.C., and back. Some local winners are still competing on bigger stages,

  • Please forgive some of us if we look at today as a holiday that’s far more important than anything Hallmark invented. There are no red letters or no more school holidays, but many of us circle the date and can’t wait.

    As surely as robins are harbingers of spring, the first district basketball tournament game is a rite of passage in Kentucky that deserves the reverence of the masses.

  • That idea in the General Assembly to create an oversight branch that would do checks and balances on government activities out of the eyes of the public has died – at least for the time being. You no longer have to worry that your state would be using your tax dollars to investigate itself without your being able to find out what was going on. House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Senate President David Williams had coauthored identical bills in their respective houses to create this agency. Legislators had been complaining that they weren’t gett

  •  After years of debate and numerous votes, Shelby County Fiscal Court finally has done the right thing.

  • As a follow-up to my last two columns (which in spite of what some apparently thought, were not primarily about puppies), I’d like to direct your attention again to the idea of truth.

    Perhaps you have heard someone say, or have even said yourself, “Well, that may be true for you, but it isn’t true for me.”  I have never been able to wrap my mind around that sentiment.

    You see, truth—by definition—is not subjective.  Truth is the way things really are; it is what corresponds to actual reality.

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    So the controversial tobacco tax sailed through the General Assembly the other day, landing as quietly as a feather on a still pond.

    The governor had suggested this measure to generate revenue. Its organized opposition said in fact it would cost revenue. Farmers – the few who still had the energy – said, “It’ll kill us.” The health care and insurance companies said, “This might help us.” And the smokers said, “You already killed us.”

  • State Senator Gary Tapp is coming under a lot of fire these days from columnists, letter writers and even editorial cartoonists around the state for his proposed Senate Bill 68, which would place tight restrictions on the types of individuals who could adopt children or become foster parents. We agree with those who oppose this bill.

    A law that limits by arbitrary definition the pool of individuals willing to step forward and volunteer to help the save the life of an innocent child is not well-conceived or even necessary.

  • Even more troubling to those of us who watch out for your interests is another bill that seems to be gaining momentum under the leading members of both the Senate and the House.

    In Senate Bill 188, Senate President David Williams and House Speaker Greg Stumbo are proposing the creation of a state oversight agency that would be responsible for checks and balances on all aspects of government and those who hold office.

  • These are sad days. Loss and grief are everywhere.

    People die every day and every week, of course, some more famous than others, and each of you is touched in a unique way by the passing of someone you know, someone you’ve loved or maybe just someone you’ve admired.

    This past year has been personally difficult. Our family lost a very dear relative all too quickly, and our grief continues. Friends and former classmates and teammates passed away suddenly. Friends and acquaintances have lost spouses and children. And of course many have lost parents.

  • Shelby County High School's raising of banners to honor two of its greatest sports stars is perhaps too little but mercifully not too late.

    Mike Casey and Terry Davis were the state's top basketball players in perhaps what was the best and most competitive era of the sport in this state and certainly in this county.

    Mr. Casey, an iconic legend in Shelby County sports, led the school to its first state championship in 1966. He went on to star at the University of Kentucky.

  • What great news it was when we learned that the fireworks show will continue.

    We were afraid there would be no more sizzle in the sky to celebrate Independence Day in Shelby County.

    The county’s parks board, which for many years has produced the fireworks display at Clear Creek Park on July 4, said last week it no longer could afford to light the fuse, and unless a benefactor were to step forward, the community would be left with a dud.

  • I was recently reminded of the old story about the farmer who sold a mule, telling the buyer that the animal would do anything as long as he was asked nicely.  The next day, the buyer returned and shared a tale of frustration because the stubborn mule would not do a thing – no matter how many times he was asked nicely.

    Upon hearing this report, the farmer picked up a wooden 2-by-4 that was leaning against his barn, walked right up to the mule and hit the unsuspecting animal square in the head.  Then he whispered, "Please pull that plow."&n

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    Is it just us or does this decision at Shelby County High School to go to a trimester structure starting next year seem a bit rushed?

    We learned – though we don’t exactly understand – that this decision by SCHS’s site-based decision-making council is binding and does not require approval by the school board.

  • The scenes last week were incredible, weren’t they? You could see both overwhelming beauty and bedeviling frustration in one quick glance.

    Mother Nature painted our canvas with brush strokes of divine precision, a pure white base topped with a sheen of silvery ice followed by an icing of more snow to create a crunchy and even inviting layer cake on our lawns and meadows.

    Our trees were a winter wonderland, with gleaming tinsel and long and sophisticated boughs of ice dangling every which way.