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Columns

  • Do a friend a favor while stamping out cervical cancer

    If a vaccine existed to prevent breast cancer, women would be going in droves to their doctors’ offices to get it and they would encourage everyone they know to get vaccinated as well. That’s what women do for each other.

    Today, there is only one anti-cancer vaccine available to humans. This vaccine prevents more than 90 percent of a kind of cancer that has killed hundreds of Kentucky women in the last decade. A kind of cancer that kills 10 women each day in the United States. A kind of cancer that is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide.

  • When children need help, don't be a bystander

    Over the past few months, a great deal of media attention has been focused on Kentucky’s troubled child welfare system and, more specifically and disturbing, on child deaths at the hands of trusted caregivers and family members.

    As Kentucky lawmakers wrestle with the issue of how to craft laws to prevent child abuse and death, the rest of us shake our heads in collective disbelief and shame. We as a society allow our most vulnerable and precious citizens to suffer such outrageous and horrifying maltreatment despite our individual better judgment and good intentions.

  • A jar filled with memories and love

    One gift remained under the tree.

    I hadn’t noticed that the box had been pushed into a corner, intentionally set aside as the last to be opened. The significance was lost on me, even after Mom shoved it in my direction.

    Christmas always had been special in my parents’ home. They sacrificed to make it that way.

  • Another earth, another year: Why not another you?

    Scientists have discovered another earth. Well, sort of.

    Earlier this month, NASA’s Kepler space telescope team announced the discovery of Kepler-22b located in what is called a “habitable zone,” meaning an environment that’s not too hot or too cold for the possibility of life. And just last week, the team unveiled two other earth-sized planets, Kepler-20e and Kepler-20f, although they are not in the habitable zone.

  • Surviving Christmas in a blended family

    Christmas can be tough, especially for blended families. And apparently there are plenty of them. It’s been estimated that more than half of Americans live in some form of a blended family. Stepfamily therapist Steven Straub believes that the blended family will become, if it’s not already, the predominate family structure in the United States.

  • Military answered the call: How will we respond?

    As thoughts for this time of the year turn to counting our blessings, may I suggest that chief among them is the willingness of our fellow Americans to defend our freedom generation after generation.

    Since Pearl Harbor some 70 years ago, three generations of Americans have answered our nation’s call to duty in her defense. Today, we are in the 11th consecutive year of the Global War on Terror.

  • Hoping to share 'good tidings of great joy'

    The Christmas season is a time of joy. Great joy, in fact, if you read the King James Version of Luke’s account of the Messiah’s birth.

    If that’s so, why are so many people miserable?

    Crowded parking lots and shopping frenzies put many of us on edge. Then there’s the extra hussle and hassle to fit in work celebrations, family gatherings and extra decorating, extra cooking and extra cleaning necessary to stage the perfect holiday.

    Holidays can be a burden, leaving some folks feeling more pooped than pumped.

  • All I want for Christmas is my nip and tuck

    Back in 1944, while teaching music in public school, Donald Gardner asked his second-grade class what they wanted for Christmas. Noticing how almost all his students answered him with a lisp because they had at least one front tooth missing, Gardner sat down and wrote the song, “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth.”

    Unfortunately, at least for many youth, it takes much more than two new front teeth to fit into the norm physically; it takes a nip here and a tuck there.

  • Getting reacquainted with Grandpa on his 100th birthday

    Dec. 10, 1911, a century ago, my grandfather was born.

    A powerful figure in my childhood, the image of my grandfather remains fully formed more than two decades after his death.

    He awoke before dawn daily to milk cows and tend to farm chores before putting in a day’s work at Fort Knox. He had big features that probably seemed bigger because of his bald head. A strong man with huge, powerful hands and a forceful personality to match, he enjoyed a rowdy argument about as much as he enjoyed a good laugh.

  • Stressed by holiday frenzy? Calm, common ground is possible

    “What part of Christmas do you find most stressful?” I asked my secretary the other day.

    “The shopping,” she said, without hesitating. 

    The traffic --t rying to find a parking place, struggling to drive from one store to the next -- and the crowds, rushing to get in line, scurrying by other shoppers -- all come with the shopping. It’s an all inclusive non-bargain.