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Guest Columns

  • Planning a visit to Washington, D.C.? Try these tips

    Are you planning a visit to Washington, D.C.?

    Whether you are coming on a school trip, family vacation or business trip, my office can help you make arrangements for some of the more popular attractions and landmarks in our nation’s capital.  We are available to help you reserve tours of the U.S. Capitol Building, Pentagon, and White House.  These tours are an excellent way to see the highlights of Washington at no charge to you.

  • Kentucky has a rich history in the arts

    While Kentucky is widely recognized for such things as fried chicken, horses and bourbon, it could be argued that our connections to the arts are just as considerable.

    Legend has it, for example, that Kentucky was the first state to see a performance of a Beethoven symphony, which was conducted in Lexington in 1817.

    Several weeks ago, meanwhile, the world marked the 100th birthday of an American legend, William “Bill” Monroe, the founder of Bluegrass music whose Ohio County home has become a shrine to many.

  • Legislator reviews KSP report on state highway safety

    While no one can accurately predict where a traffic accident might take place, information gathered by the Kentucky State Police gives us a pretty good idea of when the odds are certainly more in our favor.

    Based on its latest annual report, which was released last week, one of the safest places to be on the highway in 2010 was in a vehicle driven at dawn on a Sunday in March by a woman in her late 60s or early 70s who was making her way between Owensboro and Henderson on the Audubon Parkway.

  • State has 60 nature preserves totaling 25,000 acres

    “Buy land,” Mark Twain once said.  “They’re not making any more of it.”

    That investment advice has been taken to heart by the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission, which formally celebrated 35 years of service last week.

    Since it began, the commission has permanently set aside more than 25,000 irreplaceable acres for future generations.  Their 60 nature preserves range from the Blanton Forest near Virginia to Three Ponds along the Mississippi River.

  • Rand reflects on Sept. 11

    There are only a handful of days in which a whole country collectively remembers what it was doing.  Some have been high points in our history, like V-E and V-J Day at the end of World War II and Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon.  And some have been moments we wish had never occurred, like Pearl Harbor, President Kennedy’s assassination, and the tragedies of September 11, 2001.

    For those old enough to remember that last date, it seems hard to believe that 10 years have slipped by since that cool and clear morning.

  • Frankfort offers many educational opportunities

    While the classroom experience for Kentucky students invariably changes from decade to decade, there is still one constant that binds one generation to the next: A field trip to the state capital.

    Thousands of children make the trek each year, seeing such common sites as the larger-than-life statue of President Lincoln in the Capitol Rotunda and, just a few miles away, the Old State Capitol’s self-supporting staircase, which for more than 180 years has been anchored by a well-placed keystone.

  • Charitable giving in Kentucky

    Winston Churchill once famously remarked that we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

    That sense of charity has defined our country from the beginning, and even when times are tough, we don’t hesitate to reach out and help.

    Consider a report early this year by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, which said that nearly 63 million Americans volunteered at least once last year, with each spending 52 hours on average serving others.

  • Legislative efforts continue in summer

  • Kentucky an environmentally adept leader

    When it comes to being “green,” Kentucky is taking a leading role in proving that, environmentally speaking, less is really more.

    Our recycling rate, for example, has doubled over the last decade, and in 2008, we passed the national average for the first time. Now, nearly a third of our recyclable materials – such things as aluminum, plastic, glass and paper – are being re-used rather than shipped off to the landfill. Altogether, it amounts to about two million tons annually that are being saved.

  • Adult education sees enrollment growth

    It has been a little more than a decade ago since the General Assembly revamped the state’s adult education programs, a high point in the legislature’s ongoing efforts to improve the classroom from preschool to the workplace.

    While a lot of work remains, the past decade has been exactly what we had hoped. In fact, from 2005 to 2009, adult education enrollment grew by 30 percent – faster than any other state over the same period. There are now about 40,000 citizens who are helped academically each year.