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Opinion

  • Shelby County High School, Cornerstone Academy and Corpus Christi High School are about to graduate their latest senior classes, which are always days of great celebrations for teachers, parents and, particularly, the students.

    But this year we challenge the entire community to celebrate graduation day.

    In the midst of economic issues, with factories closing and futures uncertain, we must remember that the most important and incomparable commodity of Shelby County is the young people we deliver to the real world each year.

  • My old second baseman married one of my old pitchers on Saturday.

    And, no, this wasn’t one of those controversial, newfangled marriages of the new millennium. One of them was a woman.

    She played second base to my shortstop on our sixth-grade softball team, which was coed for reasons of necessity. We wouldn’t have had enough players for gender-specific teams.

  • Shelby County’s animal shelters are now touting themselves as the first in the state to earn the status of no-kill.

    That means that at least 90 percent of the animals they take in are preserved, and that seems a lofty level of success, given that hundreds of homeless creatures are collected each year.

    And many of you deserve to share in that accomplishment.

    We know it’s cool to have a hot breed of dog purchased directly from a breeder, but isn’t there something more enduring in finding an animal that is in need of a home and giving it one?

  • Gov. Steve Beshear is saying he will approach the state’s revenue shortfall without adding any new taxes.

    After hitting cigarette and alcohol buyers hard with new – and appropriate – revenue expansions in February, he says he will look to expense cutting as a way to bring balance to his increasingly imbalanced books.

  • I recently heard a story about trumpet legend Louis Armstrong, who grew up in rural Louisiana in the early 1900s.

    Armstrong told about how his Aunt Haddie Mae sent him down to the pond to fetch a bucket of water.  As he leaned over to get the water, an alligator surfaced and nearly scared him to death.

  • "Who are we? Who? Who? Who? Who?”

    With all due respect to The Who, a British rock band of some historic repute, some of you are wondering “who are we?”

    As ungrammatical as that sounds  -- and it’s not, by the way – it’s a viable question about this newspaper, our Opinion page and how it’s produced.

    In the upper left corner of this page, you will find a small headline that says, imperially, “What we think.”

  • Where is James Duckett’s killer?

    Increasingly the public and family members ask that question, but the answers become fewer and fewer and farther and farther between.

    More than six months have passed since Duckett was brutally slain at his home on Rockbridge Road in eastern Shelby County.

    From the first moments after the murder, Kentucky State Police investigators have been frustratingly tightlipped about the investigation and how it was progressing.

  • 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.