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Columns

  • Emphasizing the importance of dental care

    Kentucky families are busier and are more financially strapped than ever. Unfortunately, dental care is one of the first expenses sacrificed. What's more, dental care is still out of reach for more than three-quarters of all children utilizing Medicaid dental benefits in Kentucky because of a shortage of dentists who accept it.

    We can't let dental care, especially in the crucial early years, become an after-thought or a burden for families in Hardin County.

  • No friend of educational liberty

    We’ve seen that many in Kentucky’s legislature and teachers unions are adamant enemies of school choice in the commonwealth.

    The Kentucky Education Association has worked for years with powerful politicians to keep even the most rudimentary types of school choice – like the charter schools found in 41 other states and the District of Columbia – from winning out in Kentucky.

    But a recent ruling has revealed another player in that axis against any type of educational liberty: the Kentucky Supreme Court.

  • First priority: Fix the debt

    Burying your head in the sand. Ignoring the elephant in the room. Lying to the Emperor about his lack of new clothes. Pick your metaphor, but there is one issue to which we as Americans must reconcile ourselves: Our country’s debt path threatens us with an economic crisis if we do not take action.

    At present, our national debt exceeds $16 trillion, a figure that is larger than the size of our entire economy.

  • Trying to bring checks and balances to executive decree

    We are five weeks from what many believe will be the most important election in generations.

    Few would argue that what is “normal” — in our economy, in our international standing, in our collective expectation regarding the proper role of government — may have shifted. While most of the attention has been on the gridlock and mismanagement in Washington, we have a number of challenges that must be turned into opportunities right here in Kentucky.

  • Exploring one unanswerable question

    In the solemn silence of introspective moments, there's one question we most often ask ourselves.

    Who am I?

    The answers are obviously quite individual.

    Sometimes it's defined by a stage of life: Son, husband, father, grandpa all have applied to me. Other times, we respond by simply considering our occupation or our education as if that alone defines anyone.

    In a more probing personal analysis, the answer can be complex. My 7-year-old grandson recently described himself as an inquirer and risk taker.

  • When you return, it's nice to be welcomed

    “Welcome back, Mr. Whitlock,” the hotel host greeted me as I returned with my wife from an evening out.

    I looked down to see if I had a name tag on my shirt. Almost feeling like a celebrity, I whispered to Lori as we got on the elevator, “How did he know my name?”

    It’s nice to be welcomed back.

    And when someone knows who we are and can call us by name, like the host at the hotel did to me, it makes us feel even more special.

  • Driving delays equate to points of progress

    hese days, most any drive around Hardin County means encountering a highway work zone. It’s a constant reminder of growth and change.

    Ring Road’s frequently marred these days with a dirt path caused by the frequent crossing of construction vehicles where the widened Rineyville Road one day will intersect. The hillsides along the road, also known as Ky. 1600, are undergoing changes from Helmwood Heights Elementary School to the place where the new connector breaks to the north en route to Radcliff.

  • It’s the patient, stupid

    We find ourselves in an election cycle again and slogans pop into the public consciousness and then fade away. In 1992, James Carville was an adviser to then-Gov. Bill Clinton and famously came up with the simple idea that resonated throughout the electorate: It’s the economy, stupid. With his southern drawl and aggressive attitude, the clear simplicity of the message hit home.

  • Like robbing Peter, paying Paul and looking for Mary

    Like ugly, entrenched weeds overtaking plush gardens, Kentucky’s $34 billion unfunded public pension liability now dominates all budget decisions – not only in Frankfort but  in Kentucky’s 418 cities.

    State political leaders have made it clear they are willing to sacrifice human capital before allowing the fiscal realities of the commonwealth’s pension debt to crowd out costly pet projects – or their own opulent retirement benefits.

  • Reflections on a pond

    The pond at White Mills Christian Camp is remarkable. It defies the very laws of nature as it rests above the flood plain that surrounds it on three sides.

    Occasionally, the Nolin River will charge out of its banks and threaten to absorb the pond. However, the pond is too lofty to attain. The river retreats slowly back to its own space as the pond calls out, “Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!”