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Opinion

  • Over the course of the last seven days, my colleagues and I have had the pleasure of meeting some Spencer County High School students who are wise beyond their years.

    You may have already read the following quote from freshman Christen Housley in our main story about the tragic wreck that took place last week.

    “We’ve really come together,” Christen said. “We’re not a community, we’re a family now.”

  • In the second week of session, the General Assembly began to debate several significant issues in designated committees. Drug abuse, weaknesses in child-protective services, and the state’s debt level were all topics of discussion. The committee process is intended to inform the legislators of the pros and cons of each bill. Lively debate accompanied each piece of legislation.
     

  • There is good news and bad news for Kentucky as your General Assembly drafts a new biennial budget during this year’s legislative session. Let’s start with the good news: revenues are up.

    For the current fiscal year (FY12) revenue to the state from all general fund sources is up over $137 million from what we budgeted. The forecasting group also projects a modest increase in tax revenue over the next two-year budget period, assuming the tax structure remains as it is today. Let’s hope they’re right – on both counts.

  • Normally, we don’t run things on this page without telling you who wrote them. Whether it’s from one of our staff members or from one of you, we usually put a name to it.
    But this week we are presented with a special situation.
    A loving mother came into our office and showed us what you are about to read below. It describes what a young man and his family went through during a time when his brother was on drugs. At the time it was written, the young man was an elementary student. Now, he is grown, but his mother thinks the words still need to be shared.

  • The first week of the 2012 session was a combination of the ceremonial and the new. We gaveled in on Tuesday of last week with the traditional establishment of the membership of the Senate and approval of our chamber’s rules.
    Over 200 bills have already been filed in the General Assembly and will start making their way through the committee process beginning in earnest this week.

  • Following a national census, which takes place every 10 years in America, your General Assembly must redraw the lines that define legislative, senatorial and U.S. Congressional districts. We are doing that now, during this session.

    Lines are drawn based on revised population data, the goal being to end up with 100 state house districts, 38 state senate districts, and six U.S. congressional districts of roughly equivalent populations.

  • Welcome to 2012, the year of major changes.
    We will have the opportunity to recycle more items and begin a compost program to help downsize the amount of garbage landfilled.
    Mexico is leading a major change by closing what was known as the largest landfill in this hemisphere. It was pushing 1,000 acres in size. They increased the recycling effort from 6 percent to 60 percent in 10 years, so the reduced amount to be landfilled will be handled by smaller units.

  • Sticking to New Year’s resolutions has never been something I’m particularly good at — but then again, who is?
    I made four resolutions at the end of 2009, all of which I intended to fulfill in 2010. At the end of the year in 2010, I outed my epic failures in a column for readers of The Anderson News and carried forward those resolutions into 2011.
    So, as not to slight my “new” readership in Spencer County, I decided to do the same.
    Here were my resolutions for 2011:

  • LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

    By PAUL HORNBACK, State Senator

  • LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

  • Right up front I want to thank the Kentucky Standard, the Pioneer News, and the Spencer Magnet for faithfully printing these columns. I know they don’t do it as a favor to me, but rather to you, their readers. They know that these columns are my writing to you, rather than a stock piece from a staffer in the House. A friend from Spencer County told me once that he liked my writing; said it was at fourth-grade level, so he could understand it. I’m pretty sure he meant it as a compliment, even though he has a college degree or two.

  • Editor’s note: Eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York’s Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history’s most reprinted newspaper editorial, appearing in part or whole in dozens of languages in books, movies, and other editorials, and on posters and stamps. It appears here courtesy of newseum.org.

    “Dear editor: I am 8 years old.

  • A wise editor once told me that most smaller communities suffer in the area of economic development because their leaders don’t want to become economically developed.
    Sure, to your face, they’ll tell you they want to bring in more business, industry and people to their town — they want to see their city grow. But, when given the chance to move forward and urge economic development, they sit quietly, listening for crickets, and failing to second a motion that could move their city forward.

  • While there was no shortage of good ideas for the new Spencer County Public Library at a public meeting last Thursday, I, for one, have to say I was quite disappointed with the turnout.
    I counted around a dozen people at the meeting — and that count included the library director, the architect in charge of the project, a representative from the Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives, three library board members and this newspaper editor.

  • Each day, we are provided with choices. You alone control not necessarily what your day entails, but how you deal with what comes your way.
    I was reminded of this in full force over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
    I traveled back to Pineville to spend time with family and overall, had a wonderful trip. My mother, however, didn’t quite see it that way.
    Thanksgiving Day went off without a hitch, but Black Friday took quite a literal translation at the Mason household (as a reminder, my maiden name is Mason).

  • Marketing was not my major in college, and thus, I don’t claim to know anything about it.
    However, to my untrained brain, any marketing move that blatantly eliminates half of a potential customer base doesn’t seem to be a good one.
    Dr. Pepper recently released a new product that features “10 manly calories” and boasts the slogan, “Dr. Pepper Ten: It’s not for women.”
    Wow, OK, Dr. Pepper. Now that you’ve clued me in, I won’t buy your new product or any of the other ones.

  • Close your eyes for a minute and go back to your favorite Christmas as a child. You can probably smell, if not taste, the cookies you left under the tree for Santa.
    You can probably feel the anticipation gathering up inside you. Maybe you hear the crackling of a fire place and feel your eyes getting heavy as you try to catch the man with a belly that shakes like a bowl full of jelly.
    My guess is that most of you reading this woke up that Christmas morning with toys piled so high around the tree you didn’t know where to start.

  • It might sound crazy, but I’m blaming my car’s Monday morning flat tire on a deer.
    No, it’s antlers didn’t puncture a hole in my tire, and it didn’t get mad and stomp in the tire with its hooves, but I have to blame the flat tire on something and the deer just fits the bill.
    According to the Kentucky State Police, deer are on the move throughout Kentucky in November because autumn has finally arrived and deer hunting season is still pending.

  • As a big ol’ united world, we set a record Oct. 31. Not only did we celebrate Halloween, we passed a landmark by going over 7 billion people inhabiting our planet. Should we also throw a party for this epic event? I think we need to look at the existing facts of life.
    Of all the existing water sources in the world, only one percent is fit for human use in its present state. Our current fueling systems are polluting the air, and depleting our natural resources. And, in the U.S., we have a serious infrastructure problem.

  • Today is Start Eating Healthy Day. On this day, the American Heart Association encourages families and organizations to make small changes to incorporate healthier food choices and increase awareness of the importance of good nutrition.
    Start Eating Healthy Day is about building good cardiovascular health through making great lifestyle choices and emphasizing the benefits of a proper diet.
    The association urges people to focus on food – choosing nutritious items and preparing them in ways that promote heart health.