Will 2012 be better? Only time will tell

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Column as I see ’em …
Agree or disagree with the order in which they appear, or if they should have been on the list at all, the stories that comprise this year’s top 10 certainly show that Anderson County had its share of ups and downs in 2011.
Although my staff and I merely attempt to reflect Lawrenceburg back onto its residents each week with news items, here’s hoping that 2012 doesn’t require us to report on any ridiculously tawdry trials featuring sex toys and pornography, and more importantly that the upcoming trial of murder suspect Terry Cram stands alone.

Speaking of news, raise your hand if you think this newspaper includes more negative stories than positive each week.
Those with your hands raised are wrong, may now put them down and are asked to get a sheet of paper, a pencil and, starting on A1, make a hash mark for every negative story you see and one for each one you consider positive.
Continue through the rest of the paper and add up your scores while the rest of us wait.
Thanks. Now that you’re finished, you’ll see that the positives this week (and every week) far outweigh the negatives.
Of course the negatives naturally gravitate toward the front page because, frankly, they tend to be what most readers are looking for first.
Doubt me? Consider the last time you were stuck in traffic due to an accident. The slowdown is rarely caused by the wreck itself. Instead it’s from all the rubber-neckers who can’t help but gawk when they drive by to see what happened.
The same holds true on the front page, whether you or I like it or not.
That’s just the way it is.

Speaking of negatives, I often wonder how often those who have lived here their entire lives understand just how good they have it compared to other areas of the country.
As someone fond of owning and shooting guns, I have followed with interest an ongoing dust-up in New York about out-of-staters getting arrested there on weapons charges for guns they legally own.
One, a medical student from Tennessee visiting Ground Zero, had a .32 caliber handgun in her purse, along with a perfectly valid conceal-carry permit. At the site, she noticed a sign that said “No Weapons Allowed” and asked a nearby police officer where she could check her gun.
For her troubles she was arrested and now faces three years in prison.
The other involves a Californian fully licensed to carry a handgun being arrested at an airport after alerting security of his handgun, which was locked in a safe in his checked baggage.
He, too, is facing a stiff prison sentence.
As a native of that stinking state, it’s understandable that folks there, especially in New York City, have a case of the yips when it comes to guns, given how often criminals there “pop caps” into each other.
Thankfully, Kentucky has yet to create laws that blatantly violate the Constitution and allow us to be fully and properly armed, if we so chose.

Speaking of that stinking state, I had family from there in for the holidays, and of course our discussions veered off into taxes.
What I heard makes me even happier to live in Kentucky, and is something I will keep in mind next time I rant and rave about local tax rates.
Oh, I’ll still rant and rave, but will keep this in mind while doing so.
My mom and dad live in a cow-patty town so small that it has only one stoplight and a higher concentration of cattle than people.
They have no public sewer or water, no access to cable TV or any of the modern amenities, yet their combined property tax rate for schools, town, county, etc., is a whopping $43 per thousand of assessed value.
Think about that. The owners of a home assessed at $100,000 pay $4,300 each year just in property taxes — a whopping $358 each month. And, no, people there aren’t paid higher salaries on average than people around here.
Here, the rate is just a shade over $10 per $1,000, meaning taxes on that same home here would be $1,000, or just $83 per month.
Say grace over that next time you think the grass is greener somewhere else.