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Guest Columns

  • 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.

  • Thoughts on coming home to Jesus

    A while ago someone sent me a newsletter from The Coming Home Network International.

    Attached was a note that read: “Mrs. Kennedy, I understand you are a lapsed Catholic. If so, you may find this (newsletter) of interest. Why not return to our Mother Church?”

    It was signed, “a friend.”

  • State ends fiscal year with surprise surplus balance

    There have been several positive signs in recent months that the worst of the recession may finally be behind us, but perhaps the best indication yet for Kentucky came late last week. That’s when Governor Beshear announced that state government ended the just-completed fiscal year with nearly $157 million more than expected.

  • Controlling thoughts leads to inner peace

    Betty came to me for consultation to find peace in her life. She described several situations of chaos and disruption. She has two daughters who had difficult relationships and a father who was very ill.

    Stress at work was a constant threat of cutbacks. Her workload had increased because of the last cutback, which left her department understaffed. She was working longer hours with higher quotas.
    She was worried about the erratic weather and growing violence around the world.

  • Summer education programs

    For many students, the end of the school year does not mean an end to time spent with a teacher.

    In fact, hundreds work as hard during summer vacation as they do during the rest of the year.  Two of the most popular programs Kentucky offers are Governor’s Scholars and the Governor’s School for the Arts, both of which give select high school students a chance to spend several weeks on a college campus with others as driven as they are.