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Opinion

  • A meth lab burned down.
    Firefighters set the fire to practice for future blazes in the industrial park.
    Tim Hostetler, the operations manager at Dlubak Glass Co., in Lawrenceburg, has heard both rumors as the reasons behind the recycling plant’s massive fire May 3.
    He’s heard other descriptions of “glass mountain” in the past 12 years he’s worked for the Dlubak Glass Co.:
    Eyesore.
    Diamonds.
    And especially this conversation topic:
    What will happen if a tornado ripped through glass mountain?

  • It was common when I was in high school for me to dig deep for milk money and pull several loose .22 rounds out of my pants pocket while sorting my change.
    The lunch lady at the cash register didn’t run away screaming and the local police department’s version of a S.W.A.T. team didn’t storm the building.
    It was a fact in our rural little town that boys (and a fair number of girls) had and used guns. Seeing them hanging from racks in the rear windows of their trucks parked outside the school building was as unremarkable as it was commonplace.

  • Robots could lead lost Alzheimer’s patients to their rooms with a little help from the Beatles.
    “We discovered music helped seniors regain some of their memory,” Quetzal Velasco told me at the Extension building Monday afternoon.
    Quetzal is not an engineer.  She’s not an Alzheimer’s disease specialist.
    She is 15, and a member of the local LEGO Legends team that programs robots through workshops (there are several coming up this summer) and competitions to help solve real problems.

  • Column as I see ’em …
    Raise your hand if you think it’s acceptable to use tax dollars to feed a hungry child.
    OK, now raise your hand if you think it’s acceptable to use tax dollars to clothe that child.
    Now raise your hand if you’re OK with using tax dollars to purchase that child’s parents a coffee maker.
    Hmm. Didn’t think so.
    Those who didn’t raise their hand on the coffee pot question won’t like what they’re about to read.

  • Inserted in your newspaper this Wednesday are the traditional two-year anniversary gifts: cotton and china.
    Not really.
    Please don’t go searching for cotton tufts or delicate china dishes tucked behind your sports section.
    Unless we have unusual coupons for all of our readers this week, they’re not there.
    Saturday marks my two-year anniversary of working at The Anderson News.
    In the lifespan of the average toddler raging through his terrible 2’s, I’ve learned to make Lawrenceburg and The Anderson News my home.

  • Column as I see ’em …
    Library trustees Amy Kennedy and Katie Hutton need to take a deep breath and calm down.
    Or at least log onto this newspaper’s website and read what I’ve actually written instead of what they apparently think I have.
    Their histrionics during last Tuesday night’s library board meeting about getting “slayed” in the newspaper after voting to give library employees a pay increase was, to be kind, unfortunate. To be not so kind, ridiculous.

  • I attended Wildcat Championship Wrestling for the first time about a month ago.
    Might as well been four years ago.
    Forget British period dramas with swooning orchestral soundtracks.
    Forget Grey’s Anatomy.
    Try following the soap operatic dramas of amateur wrestling.
    You miss one Saturday of Lawrenceburg wrestling, you’ve missed pages of plot.
    Amateur wrestling flits from storyline to storyline, with the motivations of characters with names like TJ Lightning and Black Rain constantly changing.

  • A philosophical debate is shaping up as class action lawsuits against public libraries continue to spread across Kentucky.
    The overarching question is fairly simple, and goes something like this: Should taxpayers, with an assist from fiscal courts, have the power to control library tax rates, or should that be left to those smart enough to actually understand how important libraries actually are?

  • “Teddy Roosevelt is my favorite president,” I said to the soon-to-be college graduate sitting across from me.  “I visited his house once.”
    Teddy Roosevelt’s home on Long Island, NY, is stuffed with books as well as a frightening grizzly bear looming in frozen growl over small elementary student visitors.
    The museum was both terrifying and fascinating to a fourth grader with career aspirations of becoming a pioneer and creating her own head cheese.    

  • Column as I see ’em …
    I’ve never been happier to be wrong in my life.
    I screwed up royally several weeks go when I wrote an article about potential health department tax increases.
    I wasn’t alone in thinking health department taxes are governed under the convoluted “compensating rate” system; even the county attorney wasn’t aware of an old statute that actually covers health taxes.
    She is now, and I’m absolutely thrilled.

  • Today I’m going to use print to talk about social media.
    Counterproductive?
    Perhaps, especially since you cannot hover your computer cursor on the phrase “click here,” taking you straight to online coverage of last Friday’s industrial park fire in Lawrenceburg.  
    Don’t worry. The technology is coming. I can feel it.
    You probably snapped a photo — taken from your porch, from your driver’s seat or from your backyard — of the smoke plume over Lawrenceburg as it twisted lazily into the air.

  • When the Commons 4 Kids charity delivers its second million baseball cards this year, Jerry Milburn knows exactly which baseball card he’ll choose to mark the occasion.
    A 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey, Jr., rookie card.
    The baseball card that sparked decades of collecting.
    The good-luck charm Milburn’s mother brought to Bingo nights.
    The card that inspired the beginnings of Milburn’s trading card charity, Commons 4 Kids.

  • Column as I see ’em …
    Just when I start to think the city council is ready to bury the hatchet with county government, it steps up and reaffirms just how wide the chasm between the two really is.
    The city’s decision to move forward with a splash park is the latest indicator of how unwilling it is to join forces with county government for the benefit of this community.

  • Stepping off the plane in Haiti, David Montgomery first smelled the trash.
    “I’d been through some poor countries before, but when I hit Haiti, just the smell, the trash was everywhere, just like a tour of the landfill out here,” Montgomery said.
    The Anderson County magistrate’s memories of all he’s done, seen and heard on the Caribbean island run together.
    After 12 trips to Haiti in 14 years, it can be difficult to keep his timeline straight.

  • Bending paperclips calms me.
    Fragile metal contorted into shepherd’s hooks or misshapen cranes lay inert beneath computer paper shrouds.
    Their broken limbs of snapped, twisted metal litter my desk.
    They are the leftovers of trying to wield control in an uncontrollable world.
    Destroying something that can’t ever be made whole again relieves stress.  
    It always has.
    When I was a child, usually sitting in the left outfield wearing my baseball mitt as a hat, my fingers happily found grass to destroy.  

  • The Anderson Public library’s board of trustees will apparently wait until a court orders it to comply with the statute that governs how it’s supposed to set tax rates before doing so on its own.
    And that’s a shame because by doing so the board is missing out on a great chance to reinvent its image and survive what will otherwise be a devastating financial blow.
    The order to lower its tax rate has already come for a library in northern Kentucky and, trust me on this, a similar order will eventually be issued here.

  • Dustin Burley is gay.
    Dustin Burley is also against gay marriage.
    So don’t expect him to change his Facebook profile photo to a red equal sign
    Originally designed by the Human Rights Campaign, the equal sign has become a virtual and viral banner of one’s social media support for marriage equality.
    Burley says he’s definitely for equal rights, just not gay marriage.
    And if you ask him why, Burley won’t hesitate.

  • Column as I see ’em …
    It’s fairly surprising that the health department director is pushing for a 33 percent revenue increase in the agency’s next budget. (See A1 for details).
    I get why he’s doing it; the department took a major revenue blow this year thanks to a Medicaid insurer that is refusing to pay its bills, and he’s right that those who work there should not have to endure another year of furlough days.

  • Column as I see ’em …
    Remember the column I wrote a couple of weeks ago about my trip to the dentist? The one that began with my dentist jokingly calling the newspaper “goofy?”
    Well, a coward chastised me with an unsigned letter this week, claiming that my dentist was actually trying to tell me that I’m a “dumb***.”
    Language, madam, please!

  • In a German town about 4,000 miles away, Chelsea Schedler analyzes Lawrenceburg cul-de-sacs.
    Researches the county’s curved roads (iconic design unique to subdivisions, Chelsea says) that double back to marked entrances.
    Studies American suburban home floor plans essentially worshiping, in Chelsea’s words, “the sanctity of the automobile.”
    They say write what you know.
    Chelsea, an architecture student and intern living in Germany, dissected what she knew — Lawrenceburg.