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Columns

  • Observing the interactions of two popes

    Some predicted the meeting between newly elected Pope Francis and his predecessor, Benedict XVI, would be awkward. After all, the Roman Catholic Church hasn’t had a pope resign in 600 years.

    What would the two men say to each other? Would Benedict tell Pope Francis what he should and shouldn’t be doing? Would the former pope be looking over the new pope’s shoulder? And would the new pope feel threatened, even resentful?

    Would people find themselves torn between two popes?

  • Judge-executive reviews decision about county government building

    Last month, Hardin Fiscal Court voted by an 8-1 margin to proceed with designing new county government facilities on county-owned property near the intersection of Rineyville Road and Ring Road. This is a decision contemplated, researched and developed over six years.

    As with any issue, there are strong opinions supporting and opposing this decision. Those viewpoints were expressed by countless individuals on numerous occasions over a six-year period.

  • Kentucky retailers want to erase taxation disadvantage

    Kentucky retailers aren’t looking for a handout from Washington. They just want a sale made from a smartphone in Henderson or a laptop in Pikeville to be treated the same way as a purchase made at a store in Danville or Frankfort.

    Before that can happen, Congress must pass the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013. The federal legislation would give states the authority to require that out-of-state merchants collect and remit state sales taxes.

  • Regulators steer vans, trucks in the wrong direction

    When it comes to barbershops, moving companies and food vendor trucks, Kentucky regulators have a curious penchant for shielding established businesses from fresh competition.

    A recent Institute for Justice study concludes the Bluegrass State has the 15th most burdensome licensing laws in America.

  • Once upon a time, a city decided to invest in tomorrow

    The city council was divided. Strong feelings were obvious on both sides. At times, the discussion threatened to cross the line from debate to argument.

    The topic was a big ticket expenditure that would commit the city to years and years of debt by spending millions on development of a recreational facility.

    It’s a quality-of-life issue providing unique facilities for the community. But the primary purpose was not hometown needs. Its objective was enhancing tourism, welcoming visitors who would occupy hotel rooms and dine in local restaurants.

  • What role does God play in the God particle's discover?

    The smoke barely had settled from the conclave of cardinal’s announcement that Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was elected pope, when scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva, Switzerland, made their own announcement: The so-called “God particle” does indeed exist.

    “Look quick,” my wife told me, directing me to the evening news. “They’ve discovered the ‘God particle.’”

    I was curious: Was it A God Particle? Or The God Particle? Or God in a Particle? Or just God’s Particle?

  • Difficult for public to find time for the public's business

    Public meetings always  are more interesting when the public participates. Unfortunately, that typically only occurs when something objectionable or controversial took place at a previous meeting.

    Most government meetings conducting the people’s business attract few spectators. Of course, that’s why we elect others to make decisions on our behalf.

  • Knox committed to minimizing impacts of fiscal uncertainty

    Fort Knox is in the midst of a challenging time due to the combined fiscal impacts associated with the continuing resolution, sequestration and emerging overseas contingency operations requirements.

    According to the U.S. Army Program Analysis and Evaluation Office, the installation and its organizations will face reductions up to $134 million over the next six months. Over the same period, the Army’s total budget reductions stand to be $18 billion, while the entire Department of Defense’s projected budget reduction is $46 billion.

  • Blessed be the caretakers

    “Woe unto you, lawyers,” Jesus Christ himself once said.

    Fast forward 20 centuries and Christ could have had the personal-injury, ambulance-chasing kind of lawyer in mind.

    You’ve seen these law-benders’ brand of advertising: targeting doctors doing their best to alleviate patients’ pain through joint replacements or soliciting victims of diseases you’ve never heard of.

  • Sunshine week: Media and public both have roles in oversight

    The caller on the other end of the phone line was near exasperation. He had been given the run-around by government officials, the very people he put in office to represent him, and his quest for answers was met time and again with roadblocks.

    I don’t recall the specifics of the man’s concern, or the public officials he was trying to spur to action in a cause he passionately believed in from the conversation years ago. But one thing he said has stuck with me, and it is something I go back to time and again whenever someone calls with similar concerns.