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Guest Columns

  • Harris previews 2012 Kentucky Senate session

    As most of you are aware, the 2012 Session of the Kentucky General Assembly will gavel in at 12 noon January 3, 2012.  Being an even numbered year, this is considered a long session because legislators will be developing the two-year budget for the state.

  • We are built for great things

    Last month my husband and I went to Charlotte, N.C., one of our favorite cities.

    We stayed uptown — which I would call downtown, but what do I know? — right in the middle of all the tall buildings and skyscrapers.

    I have a confession to make. I love buildings. I mean, I love, l-o-v-e buildings, like chocoholics love chocolate and pie-aholics love pie. Well, maybe not that much, but I love architecture and design, Gothic arches and flying buttresses.

  • We have a moral responsibility to care for animals

    Two weeks ago, I was on the scene of a puppy mill raid in Henry County.  I saw hundreds of animals living in unspeakable conditions. There were dogs in crates stacked two and three high; in most cases, the animals were standing almost knee deep in a mixture of their own feces and urine. There were cats in crates with litter boxes filled to the brim in waste. They had no water and little food.

  • New Year, turkeys, gravy and grace

    My daughter Alison rues Thanksgiving 2002.
    That was her year of the perfect turkey. Prior to that, her turkeys ranged from dry to just OK.

    Then in 2002 she took a risk and brined her turkey, which turned out succulent and delicious. However, in 2003, even though she followed the same recipe, her turkey wasn’t perfect and that ruined her holiday meal.

  • What are you taking into the new year?

  • Legislators review positive changes around Kentucky

    Each year, the General Assembly’s work is split into two distinct areas: Its legislative session, which begins in January, and the interim, which starts in late spring and runs toward the end of the year.

    Although the public’s attention is understandably more focused on the time when legislators are debating the budget and any laws that might be adopted, the later period is important as well, because this is when my colleagues and I get a chance to take a closer look at the issues facing the state.

  • Kentucky’s year in review

    As we approach the final days of the year and literally wrap up a hectic month of shopping, it’s good to take a moment to reflect on what the past dozen months have brought.

    While the times have been tough for far too long now, there have been some encouraging signs that the Commonwealth is getting back on its feet.

  • Governors serve as guideposts to state’s rich history

    This week, Steve Beshear is being formally sworn into his second term as governor, kicking off what is Kentucky’s 59th inauguration.

    While the governor is often the most well-known official in the state – like presidents, their tenures serve as guideposts to our history – the truth is that few of our past leaders are well known beyond the counties named in their honor.

    This week is a good time to learn a little more.

  • The responsibility of choosing kindness

    I have had several clients lately that express a lack of kindness in their relationships at home and at work. This seems to be prevalent in our world of changing values. In her book The Business of Kindness, Olivia McIvor defines twelve kindness traits to demonstrate character building. These are as follows in three primary areas:

    •Kindness to oneself – authenticity, attitude, resilience, excellence

    •Kindness to one’s colleagues- trust, compassion, courage, friendship

  • Economic forecasts present challenges for lawmakers

    Over the last month or so, there have been some encouraging signs that state governments are inching away from the toughest economic crisis in decades.

    Combined, the states have trimmed a half-trillion dollars since 2007, but the days of cutting much more appear over, at least for now.  According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, new budgetary gaps “are practically non-existent.”