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Opinion

  • Whether its officials meant for it to become this way or not, topix.com has become the source of countless complaints from people all over the country, including here in Marion County.

    From time to time, someone will call our office either demanding that we remove something from the discussion board or trying to find out how to do so.

  • As the snow and cold temperatures invaded Central Kentucky this week, I began my work as your state representative. I am excited to learn my way around the Capitol and meet all the people involved in the legislative process. I will update you regularly and keep all of you in my thoughts as I carry out my new responsibilities. Following is news from our work in Frankfort this week.

  • The Senate pushed for government transparency, expanded voter participation, and the protection of private property. I attended the Rally for Life at the Capitol on Wednesday where I spoke to 200 people gathered there to celebrate the sanctity of life. I also spoke at the United 874K Coalition rally which promoted services for the disabled. One of my personal highlights during every session is the Right to Life Rally. Ever since I came to Frankfort as a state representative and now as a senator, I have supported pro-life legislation.

  • It's been said that you have to spend money to make money.

    Maybe that's what the City of Lebanon and Marion County were thinking when they decided to join other cities, counties and states that have hired lobbyists in hopes of getting a leg up on the competition for state and federal funds.

  • The aging, lichen covered cherry tree defined my Kentucky property. It formed a boundary between lawn and hay field. It provided a shady sanctuary on hot summer days. It was a haven for birds, bees and butterflies. And since the day it fell, during the ice storm of January 2009, the huge old tree has defined my days.

    I have never experienced an event as devastating as "The Ice Storm". Neither the cherry tree nor I went down easily.

  • Sunday afternoon, a few emergency personnel from around Marion County gathered for the start of an internal "Biggest Loser" competition.

    Stephanie Thomas, an EMT, is in charge of the program, and she was clear why she and others wanted to do it. Although they see the results of poor health habits on a daily basis with the people they treat and transport, that hasn't meant they have adopted healthy habits of their own.

  • Saturday, April 24, is circled in big red ink on my calendar at work.

    Why? Because it's the day I'm scheduled to run my first mini-marathon - the Kentucky Derby mini-marathon - in Louisville.

  • With too much on my mind and not enough space to write in depth about anything, I've decided to "twitterize" this column with a short comment or two on issues that have caught my eye in the past week.   Here goes (tweet, tweet):

    Gov. Beshear is running the VLT flag up the pole once again. Not even all the hot air in Frankfort is likely to get it blowing much, however.

    Tax reform is needed in this state, but that flag isn't getting any wind either during this legislative session.

  • This week, the State Senate honored our veterans and worked to help our hospitals better treat stroke victims.  As we protect our freedoms at home, we also honor those who protect our freedoms abroad.  Senate Bill 29 is our annual attempt to help veterans who seek state employment. Under SB 29, those who qualify for veterans' preference points in our state merit system would be automatically offered an interview for the jobs they seek. If more than five people qualify for those interviews, the agency would have to interview at least five of them.

  • This week's legislative agenda was highlighted by two reform bills, one in education and the other regarding legislative pensions.  The first bill strongly positions Kentucky as we seek federal dollars for certain struggling schools.  The second bill helps close a loophole in the legislative pension system that has the potential to cost taxpayers millions of dollars. 

  • The earthquake that has devastated the capital city of Haiti is an unbelievably cruel disaster for a country that is already one of the poorest and neglected countries in the world. The thousands of lives that have been lost and the devastation that has been left behind are almost too mind-boggling to comprehend.

    But it's real.

    It may be thousands of miles away from us, but there is a simple way we can help the starving people of Haiti who, we might add, have been starving long before this disaster occurred.

  • The 2009 ice storm was, to say the least, an unpleasant experience.

    Many people had their electricity knocked out for hours, days and, for a few, weeks at a time.

    The storm limited how information could be communicated, knocking out the local radio and television broadcasting abilities.

    And the storm damaged our water supply, and for a short time, no running water was available in the county.

  • Let me start this column by saying that I, by no means, am a perfect pet owner.

    I don't give my pets their vaccines exactly when I'm supposed to. I don't give my dog baths as often as I should. I don't brush my cats regularly (my mom does, however). And, I'm sad to admit it, but I don't play with my pets as often as I should. Believe me, I feel horrible about that last one. In fact, just writing it makes me feel ashamed. But, like I said, I'm not a perfect pet owner.

  • Jimmy Higdon made a habit of providing a survey to his constituents each year he served in the Kentucky House of Representatives. This year, Higdon is heading back to Frankfort as the newest state senator in the General Assembly, but he has continued his practice of seeking input from citizens.

    This week's edition of the Enterprise includes his survey (which also begins on this page). I took some time over the weekend to answer the questions myself.

  • Diet Crack.

    That's what I call Diet Mountain Dew - my beverage of choice.

    Why you ask? Well, because the drink is so addicting it's like crack. Now, by saying that I am by no means making light of an addiction to crack, or any other drug for that matter. My point is that Diet Mountain Dew is literally like a drug to me. I have to have it! If not, I get migraines, become very irritable and... well... I don't know what else because I have never gone but just a few hours without one.

  • With 2010 just around the corner, we've gazed deeply into our crystal ball, but some things still aren't clear to us.

    Based on what we could see, here's some of our hopes for 2010:

    - First and foremost, we hope voter fatigue doesn't set in.

    Dec. 8 voters in Marion County participated in the special election to fill a vacant state senate seat. Feb. 2, we'll be voting again to fill the now-vacant state representative seat.

    A few months after that, we'll be voting in primary elections, and then, of course, the general election will follow in November.

  • With Christmas just days away, the thought of writing a full column on one topic just wasn't going to work. Or maybe it's just the distractions that come with the holidays have rendered me incapable of staying focused on one topic. Either way, instead of a full treatment of anything, I'll offer a few "stocking stuffers" on some items that have caught my attention. - The Jefferson Circuit Court has provided a gift on behalf of open government. Last week, the court issued a decision last week that could have repercussions statewide.

  • The New York Sun editorial is just as true today as it was in 1897.

    In 1897, Virginia O'Hanlon, who was then 8 years old, wrote a letter to The New York Sun. What follows are the letter and the reply that appeared in the Sept. 21, 1897, edition of the Sun.

    DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.

    Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.

    Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.'

    Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?

    - Virginia O'Hanlan

    115 West Ninety-Fifth Street

  • As I sit here, trying diligently to concentrate on my work, there is a container of chocolate covered Oreos screaming my name. I'm desperately trying to ignore their call, but they are begging me to come rescue them from their Tupperware prison and devour them and their double stuffed goodness.

    Oh, and sitting directly beside the chocolate covered Oreos are Magic Bars that have done a trick on my taste buds, since all I can think about is their perfect layers of graham cracker crumbs, sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips and coconut flakes.

  • I am frequently instructed as I enter the room to see a new patient, "Be easy on me, Doc. I don't have health insurance." To which I reply, "Neither do I ... not for 15 years."

    Then the conversation turns this way, "How do you do it? Aren't you afraid? What if? What if? What if?"

    Honestly, this is where I live and how I live and here are some of my conclusions. Insurance is based on fear - my faith and my instincts tell me that there is only one appropriate fear - fear of God.