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Columns

  • Frightening is fun

    I've been a horror film fan for as long as I can remember. And, as a result, the month of October remains my favorite time of year. In addition to cooler weather, the month also brings us Halloween, which means horror movies rule the airwaves.

    Unfortunately, recent years have found me dipping into my own collection for my fear season frights, as the classics that once dominated the TV screen have been replaced with newer films. In this case, newer isn't better.

  • Someday the answer will come

    The other day, I came across a copy of one of the first columns I ever wrote. It was about being a parent. As I read my own words from 14 years ago, I found myself laughing at the naiveté.

    The simple worries of a parent with a baby.

    Well, that "baby" has just celebrated his 16th birthday, and his younger brother and sister are far from being babies as well.

    The headline on that column read: "How do you know if you've done right?"

    If nothing else, in the past 14 years I've learned the answer to that question: You don't.

  • Community newspapers still on top

    Newspaper readership is down. That's certainly no secret with the downsizing going on at many of the large metropolitan newspapers across the country. However, community newspapers are still in large demand, and we're not looking for that to change anytime soon.

    Sure, we see Lexington and Louisville television news channel reporters in town occasionally. But do we see them here on a regular basis? What about the state newspapers?

    Of course not. They only show up when "big" news occurs ... and even then it's usually only for "bad" news.

  • There's nothing like a good book

    I have always loved to read. It seems I haven't been able to do as much of it in the past few years, but I always have a good book on my nightstand just waiting for me to turn its pages.

    Books can take us anywhere. We can become anyone, learn about anything, go through tragic and inspirational situations and still manage to come out alive - and perhaps wiser for having made it through.

    We can take a break from our everyday lives - and perhaps even reality - just by reading a good book.

  • Every vote really does matter

    I have always loved documentaries.

    Give me a movie about some real-life situation, a good book of someone's memoirs or a television show documenting something worth watching, and I'm set.

    I didn't realize I had a thing for documentaries until maybe seven years or so ago when I began watching real-life crime shows and made-for-TV movies on Lifetime.

    My first crime shows were "CSI" and "Law and Order SVU."

    I know those shows aren't documentaries, and aren't real life, but it got my interest in real-life crime dramas started.

  • When I'm wrong, I can admit it

    I don't mind admitting when I'm wrong. And boy was I wrong last week.

    Earlier this year, I wrote a column and a front-page story asking those who might be interested in starting a community reading club to contact me. More than 20 people responded, and we had the first meeting of the CKNJ Bookmarks in April.

    Our first book was "Marley and Me" by John Grogran. The story of a family and its neurotic dog, the book was a great read and we're all looking forward to the movie based on the book, which is scheduled to be released in December.

  • Take time to give thanks

    Giving thanks is what the approaching Thanksgiving season is all about. But sometimes it's more difficult to do that than it should be.

    We all have much for which we should be thankful. But how often do we express our appreciation?

    If you're like me, then it's not often enough.

    You see, it's too easy to complain ... Who forgot to empty the dishwasher? Whose turn was it to feed the dogs? The laundry is piling up, the garbage needs taking out, the car needs vacuuming, the kids' bedrooms are a disaster ... I could go on and on.

  • Practice makes perfect

    My middle school age son came home from school and said he needed to make a volcano for a project. OK, I thought, that shouldn't be too difficult.

    So we headed off for the store to buy modeling clay. On the way, however, he informed me that we would also need vinegar and baking soda. And lots of it. To practice.

    "To practice what?" I asked.

    "The explosion," he answered.

    Of course, I belatedly realized, we couldn't possibly have a volcano without an explosion of lava to accompany it.

  • If we build it, will they come?

    I'll admit it. I was against Taylor County building its own jail.

    But here we are, preparing for the opening of the 200-plus bed detention center to house our - and hopefully other counties' - prisoners.

    When discussions began about the possibility of building a new jail to go along with the state-funded judicial center, I was immediately reluctant.

    How will we pay for this without raising taxes? Will there be enough inmates to go around? Will we be able to negotiate contracts with other counties? Will we be sorry we did this?

  • We should all do our homework

    I don't consider myself to be a "political person." I don't watch the presidential debates. I don't obsess over the polls. I don't hang on every word of the pundits. To be honest, I never give it that much thought.

    In the past, I've picked up bits of information here and there and formed my opinions slowly. Often, I've made my choices the day before I cast my vote.

    During the last presidential election, I couldn't make up my mind at all. I stepped up to the voting machine, closed the curtain and stared at the ballot. I was hoping for some last minute inspiration.