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Columns

  • Charter schools among legislation designed to improve education

    Each of us had a school teacher who we still remember today. That teacher may have spent extra time helping us hone a skill we needed a little more time to learn. Or maybe he or she was a listening ear when we couldn’t find one anywhere else.

  • Let the gardening season begin

    It’s spring, so let’s indulge in all things green.

    We can begin with a green thumb. Those who believe they lack said thumb need only do two things. The first is put the plant in light, where you will see it a lot, every day. The second is to water it when the soil is no longer damp. Try it.

    There is a lot of green sprouting up in the yard. I have patches of deep green and spots of yellow green. The yellow green tells me the acid is high in the soil there, so it is a good spot for some acid-loving plants, or a healthy dose of agricultural lime.

  • Here are keys to manage frost damage in your alfalfa stands

    First, it is important to understand that determining the temperature that alfalfa stands were exposed to during a frost event is less than exact science.

    Air temperature reported by local news stations likely uses data logged at a weather station that was installed according to National Weather Service guidelines. These guidelines state that sensors should be installed on level terrain, away from paved or concrete surfaces and upright structures, 4 to 6 feet above the soil surface, and in a radiation shield.

  • How to prevent soft-bodied slugs from ruining your plants this spring

    Slugs are among the first creatures to become active in spring. They scrape their mouthparts across leaves, stems and flowers to ingest plant tissue. Shade gardens are ideal habitats for slugs, along with mulched areas containing bedding plants. New transplants and small seedlings are especially vulnerable to these creatures. Feeding damage and silvery slime trails are already apparent on bedding plants.

  • Losing my mother, gaining a brother

    My mom’s dying, and I’ve been gone for a few weeks spending time with her before it happens.

    When that will be God knows; the rest of us are left to sit, wait and be thankful for the short time we have to be with her.

  • Fire blight symptoms visible

    Fire blight is the most important disease of apple and pear in Kentucky.

    Symptoms have begun to appear throughout the Commonwealth; however, initial infections occurred at bloom. The pathogen survives winter in dead, dying, and diseased wood and in cankers. Removal of these pathogen sources can reduce spread of fire blight and should be completed in late winter while the pathogen is dormant.

    Fire blight facts:

  • Hope — we all need it

    A week or so ago, I spoke at a fundraising event for the George Washington Carver Community Center in Crystal River, Florida, near where I live.

    The center is built on the footprint of the historic all-black George Washington Carver School.

    I spoke to them about hope.

    On Thursday, I also spoke about hope to some ladies at a local Presbyterian church.

    Hope is one of my favorite topics, if not my very favorite. Without hope, I would shrivel and die.

    I suspect you would, too.

  • Derby helps promote Kentucky proud

    The Kentucky Derby elevates the Commonwealth to a global stage. The Derby – as well as the Kentucky Oaks and the run-up to Thoroughbred racing’s biggest weekend – also gives Kentucky Proud foods a chance to shine.

  • Do you complain about politics but still tune in to all bloviators?

    At a recent book club gathering, while discussing J.D. Vance’s bestselling Hillbilly Elegy, we fell to talking politics.

    Our fall came unexpected. Book club has always been sacrosanct, a space carved out once a month for literature, fun, good friends and conversation. For, let’s be honest, a night out with wine and cheese.

    That’s not to say we spend every minute of the night talking about the book we (were supposed to have) read. But politics? Politics have always been a big fat no.

    Until Hillbilly Elegy, where we could not avoid it.

  • Legislature needs to stop going soft on heroin dealers