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Opinion

  • The word “gap” elicits two images when tied with measuring educational success.
    1. An impassable gulf.
    2. A sliver of space easily closed.
    Let’s talk about what “gap” really means.
    The Kentucky Department of Education recently released the test scores of its new assessment model, and Anderson County’s data indicated some seemingly contradictory results.

  • If you can’t remember your first election, I certainly can.  
    In 2008 I sat on my futon in my college dorm room and sealed the envelope on my Illinois absentee ballot with a mixture of dread and hope.
    A few years later, I drove myself to a local Nebraska precinct to vote in the state and municipal races.
    I was nervous, and probably babbled to the woman signing me in.
    Stepping up to the booth, I felt like I always do now when I vote, that the weight of American democracy depended on my shoulders.

  • As the elderly woman cried in her living room Monday morning, I visualized holding the oak club I keep in my truck and fetching the bad guy I hoped would show up a good lick right in the chops.
    Instead I held a camera and settled for the fact that if he did show, Det. Bryan Taylor would bust his chops the legal way and I could put the photo of him doing so on this week’s front page.
    As is generally the case with yellow-belly scum who prey on the elderly, the guy was a no-show.

  • In a few short months, it’ll be 1949.
    And it’s up to the House to keep us from time traveling.
    The 2008 Farm Bill — composed of a multitude of programs, assistance and funding for U.S. producers — needs to be extended in the short-term by the first of 2013, or the legislation on the books will be one that hasn’t been in place for 60 years.
    This poses several problems for Anderson County producers and even Anderson County consumers like myself.

  • Don’t ask me to make you look good.
    That question has fallen from the mouths of many well-meaning public officials and municipal employees I’ve interacted with since coming to work and report in Lawrenceburg.  
    Unfortunately for them, making public officials look good is not in my job description.
    Not that making them look bad is. But I suppose in certain circles, that’s debatable.
    I sit with a notebook in a public room as the representatives of our city and county speak. Simple as that.

  • Kids’ stomachs are grumbling, and so are critics of the new national nutritional standards for school lunch.
    Although the new guidelines for healthier meals have been officially in place through the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 since the beginning of the school year, criticism flared anew last month about the new caloric limits for lunches.
    High school students from Kansas complained about their apparent hunger through a medium sure to spread their message virally — YouTube.

  • Editor’s note: Carson Tarter is a freshman at Anderson County High School in Melanie Valdivieso’s composition class. Her personal narrative assignment appears here with her permission.

    For the past three years my whole life has revolved around riding and taking care of my first pony, Luke.
    I never dreamed that I’d have to sell my best friend.

  • Trust is becoming as rare as floppy disks these days.
    Both are relics for a future museum. I envision the working title: “Things Americans Once Used and Threw Away.”
    Other exhibits will showcase print volumes of the dictionary, instructions for dinner etiquette and glass milk bottles.
    Trust in anything — churches, media, banks, government, school districts — is becoming harder for people to commit to.  

  • Right before checking into an insane asylum, I hit the open road.  
    Some people meditate. Contort themselves into yoga pretzels and sailors’ knots in an effort to relieve stress.
    I drive.
    Sanity, for me, is found in the silence behind the steering wheel.
    Both my hands grip the wheel at 10 and 2, freeing my mind to wander into the dark corners of things I don’t want to and need to think about.

  • My dogs are city slickers.
    There, as painful as it is to admit, I’ve said it.
    Me? Uh-uh. No way. I’m not a city slicker and, despite some recent unsettling realizations to the contrary, I can prove it.
    It became obvious that my dogs had succumbed to city life when I visited a local farm during my never-ending quest to find the perfect place to hunt deer. (Fact: City slickers don’t hunt, although some of the posers will occasionally wear camouflage.)

  • When it comes to young people these days (as I wave my metaphorical cane at the hooligans of tomorrow), we squash dreams in order to snuff out the potential for entitlement. Spare their feelings, spoil the child.  
    Want to be an astronaut? Talk to NASA about sending another shuttle into space.   
    Want to be a ballerina? The odds are definitely not in your favor.  
    Despite the odds, students who dream of doing bigger, better things have something in common — passion.

  • Column as I see ’em …
    Ever considered smoking some meth or snorting a little oxy?
    I haven’t, and aside from a desire to avoid being a junky there’s one major reason why: I’m petrified of ending up in jail.
    Until the past couple of years, I had the misguided, or perhaps naïve, notion that hard drugs like meth, coke or prescription pills would lead to a decade or two behind bars.  

  • This year Anderson County High School juniors took the ACT test. This is the third year that the scores have been consistently leveling out at 18.3, which is below the national average of 21.1, and the state composite scores of 18.8.
    Other counties have scored higher than Anderson. Some of those are Franklin at 19, Spencer at 18.7, and Shelby at 18.7.

  • It was a day like any other workday.
    I woke up around 6 and was messing around the house, getting ready . . . and the phone rings.
    “Something’s wrong with your daddy,” Mama said.
    After talking to her a few seconds, I found out he was hurting in his back. I could hear him over the phone, groaning. She had already called my younger brother, Bertram, who lives up the road from them.
    “I’ll call an ambulance,” I said and hung up.
    After calling 911, I called her back and Bertram was there.

  • Column as I see ’em …
    It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that judge-elect John Wayne Conway gave his opponent in November’s election the heave-ho as highway supervisor.
    Chip Chambers, who opposed Conway, didn’t exactly endear himself to the cagy political veteran by posting numerous videos on his website that picked apart Conway’s 20 years as a magistrate.

  • Whether it’s fetching unsweetened tea from Mickey D’s (my wife won’t let me drink sweet tea; she says I’m already too sweet), or meat in the grocery store (no salad stuff, thanks; I only eat things that eat salad) folks love to ask me to predict the outcome of next month’s judge-executive election.

    I have no idea why. Were I able to predict future events, instead of using this keyboard to pound out words I’d be using it to trade stocks and futures while eating pork chops and sipping tea on a tropical island.

  • Staff columnist Shannon Brock says she recently noticed the difference between being in "college shape" and "real world shape."

    For her column, see this week's Anderson News, available on newsstands across the county

    Subscribe online or by calling 502-839-6906.

  • Letter writers Raymond C. Drury and Jackie Robinson each submitted a letter in support of judge-executive candidate Donna Drury.

    Letter writers Brad Martin, Darrell and Shirley Bunch, Ray Woodyard, and Matthew M. McWilliams each submitted a letter in support of Sheriff Troy Young.

    Letter writer Naomi Hedden says newly paved roads are music to her ears.

    For their full letters, see this week's Anderson News, available on newsstands across the county.

    Subscribe online or by calling 502-839-6906.

  • Unaffected is not a word I would normally use to describe myself, but some aspects of this job require me to be just that.

    Take for instance a structure fire Monday night. Sitting at my desk, almost ready to go home, I heard the dispatcher call the fire out on the scanner.

    When packing up my things, I tossed the camera bag over my shoulder thinking I’d get a few photos before I went home.

  • Columnist Cheryl Steenerson provides tips to enjoy apples all winter long.

    For her full column, see this week's Anderson News, available on newsstands across the county.

    Subscribe online or by calling 502-839-6906.