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Columns

  • Things I learned from my father-in-law

    They let her know he wasn’t her “real” dad when she was a little girl.

    It stung, at least for a while.

    “I always thought I was my daddy’s ‘real’ little girl. I guess I was afraid that might change.”

    But it didn’t. Not even for a moment.

  • In pursuit of fame, second chances are hard to come by

    Talent often is not enough.

    Coupled with hard work and determination, talent may take flight. But often in this complex, unfair world that combination still falls short.

    You also need good fortune and opportunity. And if you get one chance at success or fame, you better make the most of it.

    Second chances are even more rare.

    Marty Brown is pursuing his second chance.

  • Assault on economic sensibility

    “Nobody spends somebody else’s money as carefully as he spends his own,” was the pearl of wisdom I recently borrowed from the late Nobel prize-winning economist Milton Friedman.

    Though I originally used the quote in reference to the Kentucky State Fair Board’s willingness to forgive debt obligations from the Louisville Arena Authority worth millions of taxpayer dollars, the principle applies in many other “arenas” (sorry) as well, including Kentucky’s public-pension system.

  • Why governing is so difficult

    If you want to know why passing congressional legislation has gotten so difficult, here are two numbers to remember: 5 and 532. They illustrate a great deal about Congress today.

    When I served in the House decades ago and the “farm bill”came up, stitching a successful piece of legislation together depended on getting five organizations to find common ground. They included groups such as the national Farm Bureau and the Farmers Union, and our task was clear: get them to agree on what the bill ought to look like, and we had a measure that could pass.

  • Virtual tour inspires frustration, reflection

    A one-bedroom suite at Allegro assisted living community measures 579 square feet.

    It includes a bedroom, bathroom, kitchenette and living room.

    I was lost in one Tuesday.

    Staring through yellow goggles with tiny sightlines and fumbling with fingers taped together and desensitized by gloves with popcorn kernels at the fingertips, I stood at the door of the suite.

  • Gazing through time by way of Mama’s eyes

    Standing fully in the present moment, there are times when you can touch the past and the future, all at once and at the same time. You even can feel eternity sliding through your fingers.

    And sometimes it happens through someone else’s eyes.

    I see my mama’s eyes in a black and white photo of her when she was 6, maybe 7 years old — about 85 years ago now. She’s standing next to her mom somewhere out there on the Oklahoma prairie with the Great Depression swirling around them.

  • 'Bee' someone who makes a difference in the community

    The name Walter T. Kelley is well-known in Grayson County and internationally known among beekeepers.

    Kelley’s name adorns a wing of the Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center and now also adorns the new Leitchfield campus of Elizabethtown Community and Technical College, which was dedicated last week.

    The hospital is the sole benefactor of the Walter T. Kelley Trust, which has continued to benefit from the ongoing success of his beekeeping supply business, which operates from a plant on U.S. 62 in Clarkson. That building also carries Kelley’s name.

  • Why raising the dropout age is a good step

    The Elizabethtown Independent Board of Education, along with more 100 school districts in Kentucky, sent a message in June to students and parents in Kentucky: Dropping out of school is no longer acceptable.

    Thanks to the Legislature, Gov. Steve Beasher and Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holiday, school boards across Kentucky were given the chance to increase the dropout age to 18. The changes will be enacted for the 2015-16 school year.

  • When you can’t care enough to even care

    You often can see it in their eyes, if you take the time to look: That far-away gaze tells you they are somewhere else — maybe in the future or the past but not the present.

    Or sometimes their eyes dart this way and that, like those of a trapped animal searching for an escape route.

    And if you have occasion to be with them for very long, you’ll notice a restlessness — an inability to move forward with any kind of fruitfulness — even though they might exhibit workaholic tendencies or conversely, extreme lethargy.

  • Better Business Bureau: Tips on storm damage

    If you are on the hunt for a reputable contractor after severe weather rolled through the area recently, be aware of those who may try to take advantage of your situation: The home repair rip-off artist who may overcharge, perform shoddy work or skip town without finishing the job.

    Better Business Bureau urges homeowners to use extreme caution when dealing with door-to-door or out-of-state solicitors who offer “quality work at great prices.” BBB offers the following tips for consumers who may be facing major repairs after a disaster: