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Guest Columns

  • 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.

  • A road trip worth taking

    By TEENA DRAKE
    Special to The Trimble Banner

    Christmas lights are a tradition upheld across the United States, as families and friends travel far and wide to watch in amazement as they illuminate the night. Nestled at the end of Music Valley road in Nashville, TN. a campground has created a magical Christmas wonderland with a magnitude of lights and a beautiful arrangement of music.

  • Who is flying the plane?

    I flew a plane last week, Delta flight 837.

    Well, maybe not “flew” it, but I definitely helped.
    My daughter moved to Hawaii last week and flew from Atlanta to Honolulu, a nine hour, 14 minute flight that I tracked on my computer.

    For nine hours and 14 minutes I watched an airplane icon inch its way across the continent and then over the Pacific Ocean.

    At one point, about an hour off the California coast, the plane on my computer screen faced east instead of west.

  • States’ bottom lines stabilizing; Ky. on projected target

    As the debate in Washington rages over what the federal government should do to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, there is some good news when it comes to state government budgets: Most are finally seeing their bottom lines stabilizing.

  • First World Problems

    Today I’m suffering First World Problems. To name a few:

    I noticed too late that the gray of my shirt does not match the gray of my pants. Also? I left the house without wearing any bracelets, so not only am I color uncoordinated, but I have naked wrists.

  • Thanksgiving at the state level

    This week, as we turn our focus to family, food and – for some – football, now is the ideal time to pause for a moment to recall all for which we are thankful.

    At the state level, the good news is that some silver linings have begun to shine through after several especially tough years.

    The 12 months between Sept. 2011 and 2012, for example, saw Kentucky add 47,000 jobs -- our highest year-to-year total since 2000. Only South Dakota had a larger percentage increase during the same 12-month period.