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Opinion

  • 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.”

  • A sure sign of spring is the first sighting of a group of people wearing similar shirts and holding up buckets for donations at an intersection near you.

    They’re there for good causes – they always are – but they’re also there at some peril, and that should require more scrutiny.

    Primary locations for those gathering days are the arteries leading to and from Interstate 64, and therein lies the problem: The traffic is just a little too jammed for this practice to be safe.

  • "A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs. It's jolted by every pebble on the road." ~ Henry Ward Beecher

     People are sad.

  •  The Food & Drug Administration made a good decision last week when it said it would delay for 60 days its new requirements for how large animals can be disposed. This rule, which was scheduled to take effect in April, stated that the brain and spinal cord had to be removed before dead animals older than 30 months could be transported.

  • A pandemic is overcoming us, spreading quickly. Many already have succumbed, and it’s only a matter of time before it affects you, too.

    For there is no more infectious disease – especially in Kentucky – than that familiar malady called March Madness.

    Only a small percentage of you got sick from eating bad ham or, worse, spending a night in jail. But almost the entire population is stricken with the Madness, to some extent or another. Some started showing the disease as early as October, with symptoms growing increasingly severe.

  • A few years ago I had the honor to be on the cover of Editor & Publisher, a decades-old trade magazine that has been a key source of information about our newspaper industry.

    Let me be clear that this was not akin to appearing on People or GQ, but two of my colleagues at the Orlando Sentinel – the Managing Editor and the VP/Product Development -- and I smiled broadly at the camera as poster c

  • We will avoid passing judgment on the way the Shelby County School Board handled the idea of outsourcing its after-school program to the YMCA.

    We simply will say that the board gets an A for imagination and a D in classroom participation. Its communication with affected families on this issue was non-existent, and the fact that the administration didn’t anticipate the outrage would merit detention.

  • When we were first married, my wife, Rhonda, and I lived on the south end of Louisville (the Iroquois Park/Fairdale areas).  Generally speaking, the folks that live in those areas would fit very nicely into a Jeff Foxworthy routine, and we fit in rather well with them.

    One Christmas, we and a few other couples decided to go out for a night of high culture, which for us normally meant an evening at the softball park followed by pizza, or if we were really feeling sophisticated, bowling and dinner at Po’ Folks or Big Boy.

  •  By Stephen Bartlett, Brian Rich, Attica Scott

    Several months after the death of a Salvadoran immigrant housecleaner Ana Romero in custody in the Franklin County jail, we feel the need to be clear about who we hold to be responsible for this tragic death.

  •  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.