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Opinion

  • There is no greater professional reward than to be chosen as the best among your peers.

    And because of that Artavia Acklin must feel very proud these days.

    She was chosen the Teacher of the Year for Shelby County.

    Teaching is a wonderful profession that attracts a very special breed of individual. There’s a dedication and commitment to excellence that is overpowering.

  • We welcome to our community the new principal at Shelby County High School.

    Eddie Oakley arrives from Lexington Dunbar with a broad base of experience on his resume, a reputation for being a good guy and a self-proclaimed focus on how data informs a school’s culture.

    He won’t take over until July 1, but we suspect Mr. Oakley already is being sought by those with advice to extend, parents who take very personally the environment and productivity of the leaders of their children’s education.

  • When Shelby County native Elisabeth Martin became the first white woman to be voted  Miss Kentucky State University, her accomplishment was much greater than simply winning a pageant.

    Ms. Martin has knocked down a barrier that was in its isolated way was just as steadfast as those broken by Jackie Robinson and Martin Luther King Jr., even if the resistance was not nearly so tragic.

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    Don’t you just love the new marketing campaign for KFC? You know, the one challenging you to think of the restaurant’s grilled chicken as a great healthy meal. Doesn’t the whole idea have a lot of pluck?

    First the word “fried” is eliminated from the company’s name, and now we have the franchise chicken itself removed from the advertising in that wonderful, backhanded way of marketers.

  • Many readers of this column will fall into one of these categories:  You either have a mother, are married to one, or both.  If you find yourself in one of those categories, here is your fair warning -- Sunday is Mother’s Day.

    So in light of this, and in honor of moms everywhere, allow me to share some wisdom about moms straight from the minds and hearts of elementary students.

    I have listed the top answers to a number of questions regarding moms that were given with insight by a group of second-graders.

  • If you had anything – even a 50-cent party bet – on Mind That Bird in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, you merit our most humble congratulations.

    Yes, we know some of you did. You had to pick the name, the odds or simply the open spot on someone’s board and go for the long shot. And we hope you cashed a check greater than the colt’s $9,500 purchase price.

  • Sen. Gary Tapp’s surprise announcement last week that he would not seek re-election is  bittersweet for the voters of Shelby County and his entire district.

    Mr. Tapp has served his constituents loyally and with passion for the past 12 years, and he has been true to those who elected him, a conservative base that makes up the core of the voters in Shelby, as last fall’s election results attested.

  • So how will you spend your Derby Day? Will there be a party, a family gathering, a TV viewing or even a trip to the track itself?

    This most wonderful celebration of Kentucky’s greatest traditions – you know, wearing crazy clothes (not just hats), drinking bourbon and throwing away good money on bad hunches – is here, but how it resonates with Shelby Countians is hard to handicap.

  • I asked my nephew the other night what he thought about the fact that he wouldn’t be pursuing his high school sports career as a Shelby County Rocket.

    He’s a budding baseball star and a DNA-built sports fan of the sturdiest cut, but he sort of looked at me from beneath his neat, red bangs and gave that middle-school shrug of not knowing what to think. I suspect he is not alone.

  • The discussion that confronted the Shelbyville City Council last week about the purchase of new cruisers for the Shelbyville Police Department raised some valid questions.

    Councilman Shane Suttor’s inquiry about why a Ford model was chosen over a similarly equipped and cheaper Chevrolet was appropriate. Mr. Suttor’s questions may have come up too late in the process, but at least they were asked. His fellow council members or the folks at the SPD should not have had a problem with that.

  • The report about how Shelby County’s nonprofit organizations are doing financially is an incomplete story. Yes, donations are down and need is up, but what the dollar figures from tax returns don’t show is the human investment in helping others. You can’t quantify how hands, hearts and hopes come together to improve a situation for someone who needs their help. So many of you are giving so much and having nothing but a pat on the back and your own inner satisfaction to show for it.

  • We read with interest the ideas and the follow-up discussions about the need for new conference space in Shelby County. We have said before and continue to believe that such space is needed.

    But we don’t think all of us are discussing the same sort of facility.

    What this community needs – and should be pursuing – is a civic center, a building that can hold the coveted meetings among visitors while also serving as a central gathering venue for the largest and most important functions in Shelby County.

  • I’ve heard it said that you know you are getting older when your former classmates are so gray and wrinkled and bald that they no longer recognize you.  Perhaps you can identify. 

    I was thinking about things along those lines because this weekend I will be celebrating my birthday.  OK, perhaps “celebrating” is a little strong.  More accurately, this weekend I will be observing my birthday. 

  • The Shelby County School Board approved that new concept for the new Martha Layne Collins Secondary Center, and we are glad they did.

    Whether this is the best decision for the students of Shelby County and the use of land and appropriation of dollars that are ongoing will remain to be seen, but we congratulate the board in finally reaching a decision that everyone seems to have embraced.

  • Is it just us, or does all this posturing, finger-pointing and name-calling at Martinrea Heavy Stamping seem to be both inappropriate and tiresome?

    The United Auto Workers and company management continue their spat about a new contract, and sometimes it seems that the games they are playing are more the stuff of the Disney Channel than CNBC.

    Let’s be clear about one thing: We’re not taking sides on whether contract offers have been adequate or the process fair. We don’t know enough details about either to make such a value judgment.

  • When I was a kid, the hayloft of our big dairy barn became a recreation center for kids from miles around. Day and night for almost any month of the year, boys would flock there to play basketball on the half court of hardwood I had meticulously kept cleared of that pesky hay.

    We even called the place the Cow Palace, but not because it resembled that famed arena in San Francisco.

  •  Does it seem strange to you that we devote one day a year to bring attention to the art of lying?

    We try to hold ourselves and each other accountable for honesty and fairness for 364 or 365 days a year, but on April 1 we make a sport of playing pranks, misleading our neighbors and trying to render our friends and families as, well, fools.

  • Assessments and accountability have been two words synonymous with the Kentucky Education Reform Act that was passed in 1990. That legislation put our state – and our school system – years ahead of others in determining what students should learn and how students are measured on what they were taught.

  • I was singing that beloved Easter ditty “Here Comes Peter Cottontail” to my 2-year-old daughter the other day. She thought it was just great, especially when I inserted her and her brother’s names into the lyrics, and she sang along in much better key than mine.

    As I listened to her, I realized that this was one of the few Easter songs I even knew. We had to repeat it to keep going. There was no Bing Crosby CD to mimic. This was it for a 2-year-old.

  • Several years ago, the following letter was reportedly sent to a resident of Greenville County, S.C.:  “Your food stamps will be stopped, effective March 1992, because we received notice that you passed away.  May God bless you.  You may reapply if your circumstances change.”