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Opinion

  •  The civil lawsuit filed last week by a former student against former Shelby County High School teacher Scott Stumbo is the latest and most repulsive chapter in what has been an extremely ugly process for our local school district.

    Stumbo’s firing earlier this year after his prosecution on charges of sexual harassment of a student and distributing obscene material was distasteful enough.

  •  You probably watched Barack Obama win the presidential election last Tuesday night with thoughts of tearful admiration, disgusting disdain or just simple, palpable amazement.

    I was thinking of a guy named Delbert O’Bannon.

    For some of us, he was a long-ago agent of change who in a small and anonymous  way helped evolve a world in which Obama could be elected.

  •  Barack Obama’s significant policy statement Sunday on 60 Minutes is one that deserves our applause.

    He very firmly and directly let the public know that during this presidency, there needed to be significant movement on an issue that has stagnated many Americans.

    And, no, this had nothing to do with his focus on the economy, healthcare, education or leaving Iraq and disarming Iran.

  • I am delighted that Steve Doyle has returned to Shelby County to take the reins of our hometown paper.  It's always good for a community when one of its own assumes a prominent position from which to influence its future.  When you grow up in a place that you love, you want it to always remain just as good as you remembered, and if you have the inclination and the position you'll do what it takes to assure it.

  • At long last we're are the end of an election season that compares to nothing in our lifetimes, an immersion as thorough and overpowering as technology would allow.

    Millions of us decided to tune in this presidential year - heck, almost all of us even voted - and we were engaged by a debate that historically has been overly formal, too esoteric, vague and, well, just boring. Who believed half of what they heard? Maybe we still don't, but we've certainly listened more closely.

  • I don't normally fret about writing columns, but this one has been tough. How, after all, do you adequately muster the words to pay fitting tribute to someone who has spent much of her life taking care of our most vulnerable children and their families?

    For more than a decade, Mary Simmons directed the Dorman Center, a special day care for at-risk children. If you had to make a list of some of life's toughest assignments, that job would be right near the top.

  • Today we should thank Cary Vowels for his service to the City of Simpsonville.

    Vowels has been part of the Simpsonville City Commission for six years, and his contributions have been outstanding. His has been a voice both  reasonable and resonant, and his impact serious. For that he deserves thanks.

    But he also deserves congratulations for being a man of dignity and honor in perhaps his last contribution to the city.

  • The woman’s phone message was clear and strong and, as is the case with many of its ilk, absent of name, number or even e-mail address:

    “Your paper put an endorsement of Barack Obama on the front page. You should have put an endorsement of John McCain on the front page.”

    She didn’t elaborate. Her point and reasoning were understandable, and there was no problem with her vitriol.

    But her perceptions were more than a little hazy.

  • Sometime during the last couple of decades, the exact moment seems to have gone unrecorded, a witch toiling over a boiling caldron somehow threw in the right mix of eye of newt, cats whiskers and the dander of Cousin It to conjure up a spell that suddenly made Halloween very important.

    What always had seemed to be a fun little candyfest that captured the attention of small children, their parents and their dentists for, oh, maybe two weeks now has become some sort of monthslong homage to all things scary and saccharine.

  • I've followed the All-America Selections for as long as I can remember. It was always a designation that my father trusted, and we often trialed the plants in our own family garden the year before their introduction.

    Some of the more memorable plants include "Purple Wave" petunia, "Magestic Giants" pansy mix, and the "Profusion" zinnias.

    Sure, there were memorable vegetables in the past, but it seems as though the AAS is responding to the increase in vegetable gardening interest by including more vegetables then ever each year.

  • When you were in school, for some of you the eight most frightening words of your day were, "OK, students, it is time for English class."

    In fact, just reading that sentence caused some of you to shiver. Others, however few and far between, actually enjoyed English class. You thrived on learning vocabulary words, and loved to diagram sentences. You labored over every paper to make sure each phrase was as sharp as the pencil that wrote it.

    This article is for those weird folks in the second category. But we'll allow the rest of you to look over our shoulders.

  • Sometime during the last couple of decades, the exact moment seems to have gone unrecorded, a witch toiling over a boiling caldron somehow threw in the right mix of eye of newt, cats whiskers and the dander of Cousin It to conjure up a spell that suddenly made Halloween very important.

    What always had seemed to be a fun little candyfest that captured the attention of small children, their parents and their dentists for, oh, maybe two weeks now has become some sort of monthslong homage to all things scary and saccharine.

  • With the mess this country is in under a Republican president and the mess our ex-Republican governor left the state in, why would we want to turn the country over to more Republicans? President Bush led us into a war in Iraq, which has bled this country dry. Would we be in as bad of shape with the Wall Street meltdown if we had not spent all our money on an un-winnable war? In the last eight years I have watched my retirement fund melt down to less than half what it was when Bush took office. I know the rest of you are hurting also. Had Bush, Sen. Mitch McConnell and Sen.

  • Recently my close friend from New York City discovered he had a serious medical problem and needed extensive surgery. The hospital had two specialists on staff who would be able to perform said surgery. One of the surgeons had about 8 years of medical surgical experience and the other about 35 years of experience and knowledge. My friend, realizing the seriousness of the medical problem and the threat to his life and his future, took his time to evaluate both doctors.

  • Most of us are aware of the financial troubles that have been plaguing Wall Street during the last several months.

    The failures and mergers of major financial institutions along with the big drops and brief gains of the stock market during the last several weeks have caused many Americans to become concerned about the state of their investments and retirement funds.

  • Our current weather conditions demand that we rethink some of our fall chores.

    Fall lawn and tree fertilization should come later this year then normal because of the drought conditions. An application of high nitrogen now would only burn up what little green grass you may have and force trees to work more then they should under stressful conditions.

    Even if you irrigate the lawn and water is not an issue, you still want to hold off because our lawns also share space with the roots of our trees and shrubs and will have access to the applied nitrogen.

  • I am 9 years old, and I would like to tell everyone about our Shelbyville Recycling Center and the nice people who work there. I am learning about "going green" in home schooling. We started recycling, and we took a tour of the recycling center. We saw what we could recycle and what we couldn't recycle. A couple of weeks later, we took our recyclables to the same place and they truly seemed happy to see us again. They were so helpful. We drove up, and they even helped us unload our car!

  • As a person with a vested interest, I have but three words to the Simpsonville City Council about its consideration of building a downtown along the U.S. 60 corridor: Please be careful.

    Though I grew up about a mile outside its borders, for the first two decades of my life I went to it or through Simpsonville for just about everything. I called Simpsonville home, even if my address was Rural Route 2, Shelbyville.

    Always affectionately known as Simp, this was place of, you might say, simplicity: quaint, quiet and quintessentially personal.

  • On Saturday a week ago, my wife, two guests from Kansas and I had the opportunity to take a tour of a Saddlebred horse farm with our guide, Charlie Kramer, executive director of Shelby County Tourism Bureau. Charlie was very knowledgeable and was patient answering all our questions about the farm, the horses and the history of Shelbyville and made us feel he truly wanted us to learn.

  • Last weekend, my wife and I loaded up the front-wheel drive sleigh and headed to the country for one of those long-standing, old-fashioned family traditions that we just started - picking apples.

    It was the perfect afternoon for a relaxing, quiet day on the farm. The sun was shining, a light breeze was blowing, and the temperature was a comfortable 80 degrees.

    So we headed to Huber Farms, which is just outside the Louisville metropolitan area in the rolling hills of Floyd's Knobs, Ind., to spend the day with Joe Huber and his family and about 30,000 of our closest friends.