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Opinion

  • Although there is no doubt that we still have a long way to go to recover fully from the national recession that began seven years ago, there have been some encouraging signs in recent days.

    Early last week, for example, the U.S. Commerce Department reported that the economy grew by five percent between July and September, the fastest quarterly uptick in a decade.

  • Many thanks, once again, to that band of intrepid volunteers – Santa’s Helpers – who have braved the weather, the traffic and an aging Rudolf bus for the last 48 years to bring smiles to hundreds of local children.
    They have given up their own family’s Christmas Eve to make the holidays brighter for others. In fact, the Santa Run has turned into a family tradition for many of them. While they may get discouraged, they never give up. And the memories they make and receive are priceless.
     

  • Saturday, Dec. 27 was a very special day. It was the day when two of the state’s top teams, ranked #1 and #4, were playing. It also was the 65th anniversary for two special people.

    R.B. and Mary Smith were married on Dec. 27, 1949, at the courthouse in Munfordville. They have four sons, John, Craig, Tony (Tess), and Brian (Sharon); three grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

    R.B. and Mary are residents at Sunrise Manor Nursing Home.

  • History teaches us two things: what works and what doesn’t. After over 200 years of experience, we know definitively what has worked for America. We also know just as definitively, what has caused other countries to fail.

    America was the first country in history to be founded exclusively on individual freedom. It was an experiment never before done. The outcome was unknown. Today we do know with certainty the wildly successful impact freedom has on people. Americans have created the highest standard of living, along with the best quality of life in human history.

  • I’m not really very good with words.

    Sure, I write for a living, but that doesn’t mean I’m actually good at conveying my own thoughts with any sort of succinctness. It’s especially bad when I’m speaking the words out loud. I get caught up, tongue-tied and dry-mouthed. If I mispronounce something, I just lose my mind, apparently, because it’s all downhill from there.

    The one time in my life that I felt I accurately expressed my feelings via the spoken word was the tallest order I’ve ever been given: my wedding vows.

  • The Pew Research Center recently reported that nearly three-quarters of Americans are OK with religious displays on public property. Apparently, America still has room at the Inn, or at least the public square for baby Jesus and a nativity scene. Only 20 percent according to the survey say that such displays should never be permitted. Must be Grinches, all of them.

  • December is shaping up as a somewhat Orwellian month in the realm of free speech.

    In Washington, the Supreme Court decided to take up the issue of whether states can deny permission for specialty license plates that have a logo or message that might offend some people. Given that states cannot ban stuff like pornography on the grounds it might offend some people, one would think the answer to that question would be no. But read on.

  • Home tour thanks

    The Hodgenville Woman’s Club thanks everyone who attended our home tour, the homeowners who so graciously put their beautifully decorated homes on tour and people who purchased raffle tickets.

    The winner of the raffle basket was Cindy Smith.

    The income from these events helps the club maintain their historic clubhouse.

    Opal Dail

    Publicity Chair

    Walk to End Alzheimer’s raises almost $60,000

  • I haven’t had a Christmas tree since 2007.

    I didn’t realize how much this bothered my three granddaughters until last week when they stayed with us a couple of days. They brought up the subject of the no-tree so many times that I went to the basement and dragged out a two-foot-tall tabletop tree-in-a-box.

    Thankfully, the lights still worked. But that wasn’t enough. They wanted ornaments. I told them to find something.

  • There is nothing about the death or near death of a child, at the hands of their caretaker, which can be viewed positively. Despite this sad and stark reality, we at Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky are encouraged by the release of the second annual report from the Child Fatality and Near Fatality External Review Panel. This report reflects the work of a dedicated and voluntary multi-disciplinary group of professionals (including a PCAK representative). The Panel’s commitment to data driven, solution focused recommendations are readily apparent in this report.

  • I was speaking with a longtime friend the other day and he commented: “It seems to me that our community has lost a lot of ‘the good, ol’ people’ lately.”

    I had to agree. The obituary page in The LaRue County Herald News has been full of names of people who have been mainstays of goodness, kindness and charity. Some of them much older than me – others not so much.

    It seems their deaths cluster around holidays – something that has puzzled me for years.

  • Thanksgiving is an oft-forgotten holiday. It’s sandwiched right between Halloween and Christmas, the two most marketed, celebrated holidays of the year, and generally, we don’t get or give presents on Thanksgiving. The gift of this holiday is time.

    Time with family, time to stop and reflect on what we have and time to slow down and eat a meal with those we may not see very often.

  • The only sounds that Kentucky football’s Class of 2014 was supposed to cause were Air Raid sirens and cheering on Saturday afternoons.

    Now, after a Sunday night in September, four of them (Dorian Baker, Stanley Boom Williams, Drew Barker and Tymere Dubose) will instead be known for the sound of three airsoft guns being shot into the air in the middle of South Campus, and the subsequent pinging of 30,000 students’ cell phones alerting them to a campus-wide lockdown.

  • My mother, who has been gone for 10 years, performed magic every Thanksgiving.

    Somehow, she managed to have ripe, garden-grown tomatoes on the table, year after year. They were always the last ones of the season and we knew we’d have to wait another seven or eight months for the next taste.

    A ripe tomato on an Old Town Blue Corelle plate, surrounded by a slice of turkey and a pile of homemade mashed potatoes and green beans seasoned with a bit of bacon: If there is anything better on Thanksgiving – I don’t know what it is.

  • The Indisposable Concept is a photography project based out of Australia, in which people use disposable cameras to take pictures of what they consider “indisposable.” Basically, they want you to document the world around you via the lens of a disposable camera. Afterward, you’re supposed to send the pictures to them, either by email or by mailing in the camera itself. They then post the pictures on their website and social media accounts.

    It started in Australia, but has since garnered a worldwide following.

  • My daughter is a NICU (neonatal intensive-care unit) nurse who takes care of some of the tiniest, most fragile babies born in the state. She has never disclosed a name or even hinted at anything that would violate the privacy of her patients. But I can tell – by the few things she has said – it is a difficult job.

    Most of her patients thrive and are able to go home. Some of the families do not get that happy ending. My daughter is sometimes called upon to care for the little ones after they have died.

  • November is National Hospice Month

    With 15 years of experience caring for patients with life-limiting illnesses, I have gained valuable insights into end-of-life issues and the benefits of choosing hospice care sooner.

  • I was raised on a dirt road. Lots of folks were. That’s rural, all right.

    I’ve never been ashamed of the fact – but the name-calling I’ve heard since last week’s election is proof enough that some people think I should be.

    Several commentators have lashed out at the counties that supported U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, labeling them as “racist,” “poor,” “ignorant” and “self-defeating.”

  • I’ve always said writing isn’t something I decided to do. It’s just something I did. Of course, there were teachers, professors, friends and mentors along the way to give me encouragement or advice. But no one ever had to force me to write.

  • I had the privilege of speaking to four classes of first-graders last week at Hodgenville Elementary School.

    Naughty or nice? Only Santa knows for sure – but the students were well behaved at school.

    And speaking of the Jolly Old Elf ... that was the subject we all wanted to talk about at HES.

    That’s right ... it’s time to start thinking about Santa letters. There is a lot to do before we publish our annual Christmas edition.