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Opinion

  • 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.

  • We all know the economy is bad. It's been that way for some time, and it's highly unlikely that things are going to change before Christmas. We also realize that when people think of donations, they often think of money first. This year, we want to encourage you to consider donating things instead. Recently, we learned that donations are down at both The Caring Closet and at the Lebanon Goodwill. The Caring Closet supports The Caring Place, a shelter for victims of domestic violence, in a couple different ways.

  • Bah humbug!

    We said the same thing two years ago when we wrote an editorial encouraging local businesses and industries to become involved in the Christmas in the Park display at Graham Memorial Park. But, apparently, we didn't say it loud enough.

    Or, maybe we didn't say it with just the right amount of Scrooge-like gruffness in our voices.

    Nevertheless, the same problem that existed two years ago exists today - there's not enough local support for a worthwhile local holiday attraction.

    And why not?

  • Despite my best efforts, I have not yet been able to convince my family to forgo the annual Christmas gift giving.

    I still hold out hope that some day we will enjoy the holiday for the time we spend together without the added rigmarole of picking out presents for one another. (I understand that some people still enjoy this part of the season, however.)

    With that in mind, I'm here to help, almost.

  • The Marion County Knights football players were understandably down after Friday night's loss to Lone Oak, but we hope with time and distance they will appreciate what they accomplished this year.

    For just the second time in school history, Marion County reached the state football semifinals.

    This year's Knights went 11-3, posting the second-best record in school history. Only the 1987 squad, which finished 12-2 and also reached the semifinals, had a higher winning percentage.

  • Tuesday, voters in Marion, Mercer, Nelson, Taylor and Washington counties have the opportunity to vote for their next state senator.

    Based on the number of signs I've seen, I get the impression that many people have already made up their minds.

    That said, I hope every eligible voter (regardless of who they are planning to vote for) takes some time in the next week to evaluate the candidates, not just their party affiliation. (I'll avoid a rant about how worthless party affiliation is.)

  • Many, maybe even most, drivers will get a ticket at some time in their lives.

    Speeding is the most frequent offense, but it's not the only one. Reckless driving, ignoring traffic control devices and not wearing a seat belt can all attract the attention of a law enforcement officer in Kentucky.

    No one likes getting pulled over, but almost every time, if we are being honest, we know what driving violation we have committed before the officer asks for our license and registration.

  • A city official stopped in the Enterprise this week. When staff members joked with her about running for a state office, her reply was no, she wasn't interested.

    "That's real politics," she said.

    Based on what we've seen so far from the campaigns to fill the vacant District 14 state senate seat, we're inclined to agree with her. District 14 includes Marion, Mercer, Nelson, Taylor and Washington counties.