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Opinion

  • One of the questions people — everyone from third-graders to those holding doctorate degrees — most often ask me is “How did you get into this? How did you end up in journalism?”

    I always answer them honestly, but it occurred to me as I was placing subscriptions to Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire and Glamour that I might never have answered that question for you, my wonderful, faithful readers. (You’ll see why that magazine part was important in just a second.)

  • Times being what they are, it’s a fair bet that most of us (if we are willing to be honest) would be quick to pocket a lottery ticket we found on the floor — and the cash it produced were it a winner.

    After all, what are you going to do with a found lottery ticket? Go around asking people if it belongs to them?

    Not everyone thinks that way, especially Jack Patel, a man I’m proud to say is a friend who is as honest as the day is long.

  • I’m so glad we live in Kentucky — it’s a whole lot colder in other places.

    I can’t even imagine 42 degrees below zero, like it was in Minnesota. On the bright side, kids up there have a great time throwing water up into the air and watching it freeze and come down like little diamonds. Give me my wood stove, hot chocolate and a book and I can get along just fine, all day, inside.

  • The lead letter to the editor on this page speaks poorly of city officials and The Anderson News.

    Frankly, each of us has failed in our missions: the city by not using all available resources to notify the public of a potential health problem; the paper by not effectively doing its job to find out about those problems and let you know.

    Rest assured that will not continue to happen on the newspaper’s part and, hopefully, the city’s.

  • Exercise and video games are two things I’ve never really been able to get in to.

    I know that exercising for the sake of exercising is something that everyone should do, but I’ve never been able to continuously, on some sort of schedule make myself exercise just because it’s good for me. Back in high school, I did plenty of exercise disguised in the form of cheerleading practice, but that was because it was exercise in disguise. I had to do it or be a bad cheerleader, and the latter just wasn’t going to happen.

  • Septic system regulation is flawed

    To the editor:

    The Anderson County Board of Health Regulation 2004-01a is flawed. It does not address the stated problem that spawned its creation; namely, “that failing septic systems contribute considerable amounts of pollution to groundwater.” How is a failing septic system related to pumping a properly functioning septic tank every three years? The board’s solution equates with treating a broken leg by splinting the sound leg and ignoring the leg with the fractured bone.

  • The carpet on the stairs between my laundry room and living room looks like a dog tore it to shreds.

    That’s because one did.

    The screen on my back door looks as if cats have been climbing it.

    That’s because they have.

    The gaping hole in the drywall in my bathroom looks as if children took a hammer to it.

    That’s because they did — to free their pet ferret from the wall.

    If you sense a pattern here — a pattern that indicates my home is slowly being destroyed by small animals — you get a gold star.

  • Well, folks, the Fantasy Football season is over, and despite my top-notch first half of the season, my team — the Flying Reporters — finished a mediocre fourth place right behind (you guessed it) my husband in third.

    I guess that’s what I get for gloating.

    Still, for a rookie team, the FRs had a good run, and just because the fantasy season is over doesn’t mean the real season is. Eight teams remain in the playoffs and I’m certainly looking forward to the Super Bowl on Feb. 1.

  • Happy New Year! The new seed catalogues are here.

    Those of us addicted to gardening were getting pretty antsy for a fix. I got a chance to read through three of my new catalogues and I’m thrilled with the selections.

    Many of you may not start things from seed. Perhaps you don’t grow a big enough garden. Many of you grow just a few things in containers. Seeds are still a great way to start your garden when you want.

    We all know that we have a lot of winter yet to go before we turn that first shovel. It’s hard to wait.

  • This is the time of year when politicians typically offer a state of the union, state or city address, giving their constituents some insight into how their government is doing and what it hopes to accomplish in the coming year.

    Given the problems so many newspapers have experienced during 2008, we thought it a good idea to offer you a state of your newspaper address.

  • Most folks have wishes for the new year, and the staff at The Anderson News is no different.

    Below, members of our staff offer their wishes for 2009, a year we all hope is better than 2008 in many ways.

    Remember, we’re asking for your wishes, too. Just e-mail them to sbrock@theandersonnews.com for publication in next week’s paper.

    Shannon Mason Brock, staff writer

  • If you’re anything like me — and most people I have talked to are, at least in this respect — you’re sitting around wondering where the last week has gone and why it took Christmas with it.

    I don’t know if it’s because we’re so busy this time of year, going to this house and eating at that one, but Christmas just seems to fly by. I so look forward to it arriving and getting to spend time with family and friends, but before I even have time to catch my breath, it’s gone.

  • It’s possible that a stray article or two with my byline will appear in some future edition of this newspaper, but today’s column will be the last one I write as an employee of The Anderson News.

    This is my final week at the paper, as I’ve accepted a position in a different line of work and start my new job Jan. 5.

    It seems impossible, but more than six years have passed since my first article was published back in August 2002. Since then, I’ve penned approximately 2,000 others.

  • Considering it’s a little after noon on Monday, and I’m writing this column several hours before an impending winter storm, perhaps it’s fitting that the song running through my head right now begins with the words, “Oh, the weather outside is frightful…”

  • Somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 years ago, a little girl earned her way onto Santa's naughty list.

    All she wanted for Christmas that year was a keyboard. She loved to sing and wanted to learn to play the keyboard to round out her musical talent. She put in her request to her mom, dad, aunts, uncles and even Old Saint Nick.

    As the days passed by and Christmas morning grew closer, she was bursting at the seams to know if the keyboard would somehow find its way under her tree.

  • Editor’s note: The following is an 1897 letter printed in the New York Sun and the reply given by veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church. It has since become history’s most reprinted newspaper editorial. It appears here courtesy of newseum.org.

    Dear Editor: I am 8 years old.

    Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.

    Papa says, "If you see it in The Sun it's so."

    Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?

    Virginia O’Hanlon

    115 West Ninety-Fifth Street

  • Children thankful for returned parade ribbon

    To the editor:

    We want to thank the nice person who turned in our second place Christmas parade ribbon.

    We wish we knew who he was so we could thank him personally.

    We also want to thank Lawrenceburg Mayor Edwinna Baker for calling us with the good news and giving us the ribbon back last week. Madeleine the reindeer goat thanks you, too!

    Rio and Quetzal Velasco

    Lawrenceburg

    Septic users must comply with pumping regulations

    To the editor:

  • The Night Before Christmas

    (at the White House)

    'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the nation

    Not a creature was stirring, due to economic stagnation

    A list of woes was hung by the chimney with care,

    In hopes that Obama would soon be there;

    The twins were nestled all snug in their beds,

    While visions of bourbon balls danced in their heads

    And mamma in her 'kerchief' eating a wrap

    Had just settled down with the world's biggest sap

    When out on the lawn there arose such a howl,

  • Column as I see ’em...

    A question for those of you who think the answer for America’s auto industry woes is for the Big Three to build electric cars: What happens when tens of millions of people pull into their driveways after work and plug them in?

    Might not be too terrible a problem here, but when it’s 90 degrees on the West Coast, California already experiences brown outs due to its aging and inadequate electric grid.

    Ditto the Northeast.

  • I never thought I could become a Southern Cal football fan. Maybe it’s because of the way they repeatedly run roughshod over my University of Michigan Wolverines in the Rose Bowl.

    It wasn’t always that way. The Michiganders swamped the Trojans 49-0 in the 1949 Rose Bowl. But that’s ancient history and I didn’t become a Wolverine fan until the 1970s when I moved to Michigan. Since then it has been all University of Southern California. They whipped U of M 14-3 in 1970, 14-6 in 1972, 28-14 in 2004, and 32-18 two years ago.