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Opinion

  • President Obama wants to push part of his $1 trillion so-called stimulus package into infrastructure and I have a terrific place for him to start.

    Forget roads and bridges and the rest. Though important, they’re mostly usable.

    What isn’t particularly usable (or sensible, for that matter) is the goofy way we all hook up to the electric grid.

    If the recent ice storm didn’t convince you of that, I don’t know what will.

  • Are you tired of hearing about the economy? I am, but more than that, I’m tired of hearing all the rhetoric between the various parties involved as they jockey for position and spout how their plan is for the people.

    President Obama is seen just about everywhere talking about his plan and the need to pass it and to pass it yesterday, and his fellow Democrats are stepping up to vilify those that have any opposition.

  • Most cattle producers happily waved good-bye to 2008, while crossing their fingers that 2009 will be much better. Many are wrestling with challenging management decisions as a result of the profitability challenges they are facing.

    Production costs were extremely high in 2008 and feeder cattle prices fell dramatically from summer to winter.  However, it is difficult to make clear recommendations about strategies without good knowledge of the cost structure of the farm.

  • Boy, it’s a good thing county law prevents Brody’s from serving alcohol on Sundays.

    Otherwise there might have been a big crowd of people out there to watch the Super Bowl, watching the game and (gasp!) drinking alcohol.

    Thankfully, calmer, more rational people have saved those sinners from their own weaknesses by maintaining a county law that forbids businesses outside city limits from serving alcohol on Sundays.

  • We drink potentially contaminated water during boil water advisories.

    We’re at the mercy of a handful of tornado sirens to warn us when a twister is on its way.

    Rail cars loaded with God-knows-what rumble each day through the heart of our city mere yards from schools and homes, not to mention police and fire departments.

    The common thread with each of these risks is that when or if they occur, our city and county governments have no effective means with which to warn us.

    Isn’t that special?

  • Much has been said about the availability of credit in today’s world of troubled markets, failing businesses and loan losses.

    Credit is certainly still available, but in seeking a loan you need to visit your prospective lender armed with a proposal that is reasonable and easily understood by the loan officer.

    You need to address, in a written business plan, what are referred to as the “Five Cs of Credit,” namely character, capacity, conditions, capital and collateral.

    Character

  • Are you getting the itch? Join the crowd.

    February is almost here and seeds will soon hit the dirt. It doesn’t matter that the dirt is in pots.

    Whether you want to be the first on the block to harvest or you just want to lower your grocery bill ASAP, you can get a head start by starting from seeds or cuttings.

    If you brought some plants inside to overwinter then you can start some cuttings now in pots. Good potting soil and sharp scissors are a good start. A rooting compound is helpful but not essential.

  • Last week I wrote about the reasons I got into journalism and the reasons why I stay. In that column, I also stated that I believe people have a right to be informed and, at the very least, you deserve to know what’s going on around you.

    Well, praise God, we finally have a president who agrees with me — at least to a certain extent.

    One of President Barack Obama’s first duties in office was to issue a memo encouraging government agencies to better comply with the Freedom of Information Act.

  • 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.