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Guest Columns

  • Odd-numbered legislative session kicks off this week

    The General Assembly returns to the Capitol this week, kicking off another legislative session.

    As is always the case during odd-numbered years, the House and Senate are scheduled to meet for 30 working days, with the first four set aside to elect leaders of both chambers and establish committee assignments for the next two years. We will then return in early February to begin voting on bills, wrapping up our work by the end of March.

  • Rational input and reasonable action

    From The News-Enterprise

    With a horrified nation, our hearts are broken and tears have been shed for the 20 children and six teachers and administrators slain at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

    In the days since the sickening Dec. 14 shootings, the outcry continues for a national conversation on what must be done to curb such mass killings.

  • For a ‘perfect’ new year

    One day at the library, a book fell off a shelf and hit a boy named Milo Crinkley on the head.
    The title, “Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days,” was just what he needed.

    Wanting more than anything to be perfect, Milo checked the book out and set out to do everything the author, Dr. K. Pinkerson Silverfish, prescribed.

    So begins the 1982 children’s book “Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days” by Stephen Manes.

  • Kentucky contributes heavily to nation’s food production

    One of the hallmarks of the holidays is that there never seems to be a shortage of good food to eat. From turkey on Thanksgiving to homemade candy at Christmas, it’s usually easy to find something to fill up a plate.

    Increasingly, there’s a strong chance that this food has a Kentucky connection as well, though that may not always be readily known when we reach into the pantry or the refrigerator.

  • Are you writing New Year’s resolutions?

    If you are considering New Year’s resolutions, you are not alone. On the 1st of January, millions of people around the world think about making changes in their lives.

    According to Wikipedia, the first recorded New Year’s resolutions were made by the Babylonians around 4,000 years ago. Most commonly, it revolved around returning any borrowed farm equipment, as their New Year coincided with the start of their farming season.

  • Violence must be stopped

    Friday’s shooting in a Connecticut elementary school has this nation reeling with emotion. I am no exception.

    I am devastated and deeply saddened for the victims and their families. I am sad for the shooter and his family, because somehow this man’s problems went unnoticed, and his family is also paying the price.

    I am frustrated that these situations are becoming more and more commonplace – and more and more deadly.

    And I’m angry. On so many levels.

  • Singing songs of peace at Christmas

    One of my favorite parts of Christmas is attending the Christmas Eve service at my church.

    With the lights dimmed, candles soften the sanctuary, soften faces, quiet the hearts of the people who have come.

    Some come harried and hassled. Others come burdened and broken. All come seeking something, seeking peace.

    At my church, it’s our tradition on Christmas Eve to sing of peace and silence. As we hold candles we sing, “Peace, peace, peace on earth and good will to all.”

  • State leading in govt. internet access

    Over the last dozen or so years, and largely in lockstep with the increased popularity of the internet, there has been a welcome surge in government transparency.  What might have taken days for interested citizens to gather in the past can now be found online in a matter of seconds.

  • The gift of wanting

    I like to tell people that every obsession I have is my youngest daughter’s fault. She got me hooked on jewelry, shoes, pedicures, purses, expensive cosmetics - I blame her, only because the alternative is to blame myself.

    But the truth is, I was born a wanter. I want this and I want that and I want more.

    In an old Seinfeld episode Kramer asks George, “Do you ever yearn?”

    George tells him, “Well, not recently. I craved. I crave all the time, constant craving. But I haven’t yearned.”

  • Kentucky ranks high in charitable giving

    If it seems that the news is often filled more with what’s wrong with the world than what’s right, the holidays give us a chance to flip that equation for a time.

    Here in Kentucky, it doesn’t take long to find some good news across the state.

    Earlier this fall, for example, we learned our citizens are much more willing to give to charitable causes than those living in most other states. According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, we rank 15th in this category.