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Columns

  • February is American Heart Month

    The elderly man hunched over from age, shuffling down the sidewalk.

    The older lady in the wheelchair with oxygen feeding through her nostrils.

    That's the face of heart disease in America, isn't it?

    Look at the face on this column mug. A healthy-looking 40-year-old woman.

    That's also the face of heart disease and a heart attack survivor.

  • Teachers have all the patience

    As we waited for the morning announcements to begin, we sat quietly in our seats and worked on our journal entries: What are three things that help to make you feel better when you are sick? Tell how they are comforting to you.

    I got a check mark for completing the assignment, and then it was on to adjectives.

    But it wasn't long before all the coffee I drank earlier that morning had me squirming in my seat. I raised my hand. "Miss Dial, may I go to the restroom?" I asked.

  • User fee our way to financial security

    User fees. They are the fad, aren't they? As communities continue to shrivel in the face of mounting budget pressure, more of them are being creative. They're learning how to generate money without injuring the pocketbooks of the people who live there 24-7.

    Case in point: In Erlanger, Ky. if you're at fault in a wreck and you're from somewhere else, expect to pay extra for police work.

  • Prisoners are there for the taking

    Just about the same time that a story in this paper told of jail construction being a month behind, another story in another paper told of our state's prisons being overcrowded.

    If that trend holds, then we can't get our jail completed soon enough.

    Cha-ching.

    That will be good news (if it's still true when our jail opens) to everyone who has a hand in seeing that the County's new facility breaks even or, better yet, turns a profit.

  • Public business is your business

    In January each year, the News-Journal's editorial staff sends out more than a dozen identical letters, each to a different governing body.

    Sounds exciting, doesn't it?

    Well, it might not be exciting, but it's a very important part of our job.

    The letters are requests for notification of meetings, agendas and copies of information that our public officials discuss or review at their meetings.

    In the past, some public officials have questioned whether they must provide information to the media.

  • Simplify: Not as simple as it sounds

    You've heard it before, but as we enter the New Year it's good to remember. Here it is: Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. Now, of course, I have to ask the question, "Where does most of your discussion fall?"

    My guess is, if you were determined to talk more about ideas, than events, and least and last of all, people, you would probably talk less ... period! Talking about ideas requires thinking, and let's admit it, that isn't easy.

  • 'Nothing endures like change'

    I'll admit that when I learned 11 days ago that the company I'm working for is going to shop itself around to potential new owners, you could have blown me over with a feather.

    Thirty-five years (3 1/2 less than I've been with my wife) will solidify a feel-good relationship. Times do change.

    I've been asked what's going to happen by fellow employees and the public alike. I wish I had THE answer they're looking for, because uncertainty breeds wild thoughts - most of them a waste of productive concentration.

  • Why not dream big?

    I'm a big planner. I have lists everywhere, at home, at work, in the car, you name it. Most of those lists, though, are for everyday things I don't want to forget.

    But I also have a "Someday" list. Someday ... I want to travel to Europe. Someday ... I'd like to take a cruise. Someday ... I'll clean out the basement.

    Who doesn't have a list like that, even if it's not written down on paper?

  • An unhealthy look at smoking ban

    I don't smoke. I never have, and the fact that when I pass by someone who is smoking I suffer a mild asthmatic reaction means I never will. Also, there's that whole cancer thing. That's kind of a bummer.

    I'm by no means a healthy man. I eat only fatty foods and steer clear of fruits and vegetables - except for strawberry pies and baked potatoes loaded with butter, sour cream and more butter.

  • Ominous start to 2008

    As Ross Perot would say (paraphrased): "That giant sucking sound you hear is the $300 million shortfall in Kentucky's finances."

    The sabers are being rattled early, I presume to put legislators on notice prior to the Jan. 8 General Assembly. Sabers make a distinctive clanking noise and are about as irritating as the sound of money being sucked out of the state budget.

    If form holds true, the next six months will be lean ones - with potential spending cuts and a hiring freeze.