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Opinion

  • Column as I see ’em …
    Is it because it’s viewed as blood money?
    That was one response when folks in our office were debating why on earth no public agency in Anderson County has applied for a Bluegrass Pipeline grant.
    I guess the blood money scenario is a possibility, but given the stated state of financial affairs around here, it would seem they’d take money from nearly any source.
    After all, it’s not like they’re taking a one-week loan from Tony Soprano, you know?

  • A new year brings a new fixation on loss.
    We tell ourselves: yes, this is the year we’ll lose, and we’ll lose triumphantly for the better.  
    Shed those hated pounds, chop off your hair and slough away the stress for a fresh, scrubbed outlook on life.
    This is extremely difficult to do in January.
    No offense to everyone who celebrates birthdays (sorry, Dad and Martin Luther King Jr.), anniversaries or other memorable occasions during the month, but I hate January.

  • Two welcome signs are in need of, repairs or simply need to be taken down.
    You may have seen them on North Main Street or Broadway. They’re old and faded, and a little worse for wear.
    In my opinion, they’re in need of some tender loving and care. And I’m not even sure that would solve the problem.
    I thought it was the city’s responsibility to maintain these two welcome signs, so I dashed off a quick email to City Clerk Robbie Hume.  

  • Since it first popped up as an issue last year, I’ve been asked time and again when I will take an editorial stance on the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline.
    In fact, there are several folks who have flat-out demanded that I do so, either to draw me out as a pipeline proponent or hold me aloft as yet another member of the media to fall in line by opposing it.

  • Column as I see ’em …
    I sometimes feel like Al Pacino in the third (and worst) “Godfather” movie. You know, the one where aging mafia Michael Corleone boss laments, “Every time I try to get out, they pull me back in.”

  • Since I started writing opinion columns for The Anderson News, I spend the last week of the year ripping those same columns to shreds.
    I retroactively go over the sentences I loved writing and the people that inspired them. The ill-conceived, awkward sentence constructions I wish died on the keyboard as I typed them. The brilliant, sophisticated prose I dreamed only after our Monday deadline.
    I don’t mentally review every single one of the nearly 52 columns I wrote in 2013.

  • Editor’s note: The following was written by Francis P. Church and was first published in The New York Sun in 1897. Church married shortly after the editorial appeared. He died in April, 1906, leaving no children.
    Virginia O’Hanlon went on to graduate from Hunter College with a Bachelor of Arts degree at age 21.
    Virginia O’Hanlon Douglas died on May 13, 1971, at the age of 81, in a nursing home in Valatie, NY.

  • Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus —
    Running down Broadway?
    No, really.
    I know — I was as skeptical as you when I got the call from one of our advertising representatives, Tamara Smith, last Friday afternoon.
    The conversation on the phone was one of those where I repeated everything she told me incredulously because, really.
    “Santa? On Broadway? OK … ”
    A Santa and his partner-in-crime Mrs. Claus running down a Lawrenceburg street?
    Sure. Why not?

  • Now that my transformation into a gingerbread man was complete, the battle for Christmas supremacy began.
    As soon as my head hit the pillow and my eyes closed Sunday night, dreams of sugarplums did not dance in my mind.
    More like bloody, violent dreams of sugarplums warring against a native tribe of gingerbread people.

  • Column as I see ’em …
    If the above headline sounds familiar, it should. It’s nearly identical to one I wrote a few weeks ago on the front page, and one that apparently got a few city council members in a bit of a snit during their meeting Monday night.
    Councilman Ken Evans demanded a retraction from News Editor Meaghan Downs, who was covering the meeting, and said she spoke with both Evans and councilman Tommy Vaughn about the headline after the council adjourned.

  • The writer O. Henry once wrote a short story called the “Gift of the Magi.”
    You may have heard of it.
    If not, here’s the plot: Young, poor husband sells watch to buy wife expensive hair comb. Young, poor wife sells glorious tresses to pay for husband’s watch accessory.
    Irony ensues and we all get warm and fuzzy about the “true” meaning of Christmas.  

  • Raise your hand if you traveled all the way to Alabama to buy special Christmas lights for your outdoor holiday display this year.
    Robert James did.
    But James, who lives on Bondville Road, says he loves to “go all out” for Christmas.
    And he wants others to enjoy the free lights, er, fruits of his labor.
    “We’re just two kids at heart and we just like setting up for Christmas,” James said of himself and his neighbor, Gordon Brandenburg, in a phone interview a few weeks ago.

  • Stay home.
    Lock your doors. Put an iron chain across your threshold if you think you won’t be able to resist incredible Thanksgiving deals tomorrow.  
    Because there is absolutely no reason, none at all, to drag your family members out into the cold to save a few precious bucks.  
    I suppose I could use this column to vilify the retail giants and other businesses that decided to open early on Thanksgiving. I don’t think that’s necessary.

  • Editor’s note: Should any of our friends in Taylorsville happen to read this column, please understand it’s all in good fun and for a good cause. The people of Taylorsville, its high school teams and politicians are all perfectly fine. However, if you have a limited sense of humor, please find something else to read. If not, just know you’ve been warned.

    Remember Shannon Brock? She was a staff writer and former news editor here before being promoted to editor at the Spencer Magnet in Taylorsville.

  • We’re hoping that the Anderson County Board of Education already knew it had spent $660,000 more than it took in during the 2012-13 budget.
    We doubt it, though, and are fairly certain it took an auditor to let board members know.
    If the board knew it was spending so far beyond its income level, why didn’t that problem come up even once earlier this year when board members discussed the district’s budget?

  • The Roman Catholic priest called, the sing-song lilt of his voice heard through the telephone:
    “So, what are we going to suggest today?” he asked her, the usual conversation necessary before the next committee meeting.
    Retired Disciples of Christ minister Pat Yates, sitting at her kitchen table last Friday afternoon, said her ideas on Christian education would only be heard if spoken through the mouth of her friend, a Roman Catholic priest also serving on a committee to develop programs for inner-city youth in Ohio.

  • Column as I see ’em …
    I’ll bet you’re curious about this photo, and I’ll get to that in a moment, but first let me say how disappointed I am that the fellow charged with drunk hunting and wanton endangerment has pleaded guilty instead of standing trial.
    David Gaines, a Lawrenceburg man who in my view was railroaded into this mess, pleaded out on three Class D felony counts and in essence now admits to shooting in the direction of other hunters earlier this year in a dove field.

  • My sister cried into my coat early Monday morning.
    The frost on her windshield hadn’t melted, so we puffed goodbyes outside into the cold air as her car purred low while it warmed.  
    I only knew she cried by the quivering sound of her words muffled into the thick, green fabric of my shoulder as she hugged me goodbye.
    You see I prefer no eye contact when I say goodbye to people, because as everyone knows, tears are highly contagious.

  • With a pair of unanimous votes last Tuesday morning, the Anderson County Fiscal Court saved taxpayers here and across Kentucky $1 million.
    OK, that’s probably not accurate. It’s more likely that those two votes save taxpayers several million dollars in the coming years by simply doing the right thing.
    The first vote was about the county’s 120-plus miles of so-called orphan roads, the second about making developers honor their commitments.

  • First graders are champions of the non sequitur.
    They’ve perfected the art of the artless transition. One minute, you could be asking them what they think the tools of being a reporter are.
    The next, they’re describing the most efficient and safest way to enter a burning building.
    Since I cover education for The Anderson News, I’m in and out of schools fairly often, but unfortunately, I don’t often spend unlimited time with students.