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Opinion

  • Although the General Assembly did not meet last week because of the Presidents’ Day holiday and a four-day recess, the halls of the Capitol were anything but quiet.

    Many of the House and Senate committees took this time to debate bills likely to come up before we complete the 2009 Regular Session next month.

    On Wednesday, for example, the House’s Judiciary Committee voted in favor of legislation that would keep judges from granting shock probation to those who have been convicted of killing someone while driving under the influence.

  • FRANKFORT – Last week, as the 2009 Session resumed, we passed or moved along bills aimed at holding your government and electoral processes visible and publically accountable, from campaigns to officeholders to lobbyists.

    Senate Bill 62, which we passed this week, calls for more frequent reporting of campaign contributions and also directs that these reports be filed electronically in races for state office.

  • Madison Brady is a fourth grade student at St Joseph Elementary in Bardstown.

    We first met when I was in Betty Carol Riley’s classroom last fall talking about America’s system of government – a Representative Democracy.

    Madison listened closely, especially when I said that any of them could come up and be a Page in the Capitol during a legislative session.

  • Wouldn’t it be great if Bullitt County’s $49 million wish list could all get funded?

    Well, yes it would.

    However, we all know that won’t happen.

    The package submitted by the county judge and the various cities has a lot of worthwhile projects, some of which have already been in the funding cycle previously.

    The governmental bodies who have their projects ready to go will be the main benefactors of whatever Congress decides to do on the economic stimulus plan.

  • What does too much stress do to your heart?

    Stress in itself is not unhealthy. Stress is just your body’s response to any physical or emotional demand.

    But too much unrelieved stress can lower your body’s resistance to disease, contribute to disorders such as stomach ailments and insomnia, and may cause changes in the body’s chemistry that can directly affect your heart health.

    The stress response is your body’s physical reaction to a stressful situation.

  • Are there still people who hare without electricity in Bullitt County a week after the ice storm hit?

    Yes.

    Will there be residents who may be without power this time next week?

    We should hope not.

    But despite the many discomforts felt by those left without power, those who helped get life back to normal should be praised.

    The electrical crews have been wonderful. No, we still don’t understand when you neighbor has electric but the rest of the block doesn’t.

  • FRANKFORT – With our thoughts understandably focused on what has been called the most widespread natural disaster in Kentucky’s history, my legislative colleagues and I returned to the Capitol early last week to begin the main portion of the 2009 Regular Session.

    We spent our opening days learning more about the recent storm’s damage and the unprecedented response that followed.  It has unfortunately claimed more than two dozen lives so far, and at its peak, more than 760,000 homes were without power.

  • SHEPHERDSVILLE – The Storm of 2009 caused local officials to hedge through the ice and tree limbs like hogs in hopes of guaranteeing an early Spring.

    Warmer winter weather is determined, as everyone knows, by Bullitt County’s own official groundhog, Nichols Nick.

    With possibly the worst overall storm damage in county history, officials hoped to guarantee better future weather by controlling the Nichols Nick forecast.

  • FRANKFORT - The hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians left without electricity from the winter ice storm that has been gripping the state are strongly encouraged to follow food safety guidelines from the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) to prevent food contamination and related illness.

    DPH staff recommends keeping freezers closed to maintain the proper temperature for frozen foods. A full freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours and for 24 hours if the freezer is half full.

  • Today in the House we should be voting on a package that will raise taxes on some Kentuckians to help cover a large budget deficit.  If it passes, the Senate will vote on Friday.

    As you know, tax revenues for the state (all states, for that matter) are down and the 19 billion dollar (two-year) budget that we passed last year cannot be paid for.  Therefore, Governor Steve Beshear has to cut spending.  We can’t run a deficit, like the Federal government.

  • On Tuesday, Jan. 20, I witnessed something that could only be described as one of the triumphs of America’s Democratic-Republic.

    On that day, through a live broadcast on msnbc.com, in The Pioneer News office in Mount Washington, with Joann Mitchell, I watched a man named Barack Hussein Obama—who was born of a black man from Kenya, and a white woman from Kansas—become the 44th president of the United States.

  • FRANKFORT ee" Snow, sleet, freezing rain and ice make for treacherous driving, so the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Office of Highway Safety is stepping up efforts to aid and educate motorists.

    Motorists should always use extra caution when driving in winter weather. But they are reminded that bridges and overpasses are typically most treacherous.

    Safety Tips for Travelers during the Snow and Ice Season:

    •Make sure your vehicle is sufficiently winterized ee" check the battery, antifreeze level, heater, defroster, wipers, and windshield washers.

  • It seemed like a done deal.

    While no one would discuss the destination, it was widely known that the $18 million bond issue proposed by the city of Shepherdsville would have expanded its current sewage treatment plant and run an extended line south toward Highway 245.

    One of main benefactors would be the Jim Beam Distillery in Clermont. Many of the other benefactors would be current residents or businesses, as well as many more potential residents, industries and commercial developments.

  • Winter is upon us, and cold weather is here...so how can you keep your pet happy and healthy during the chilly winter months? Here are some tips to help make sure that your furry friend stays warm:

    *Never leave your dog or cat outside in the cold weather. Your companion animal could suffer from frostbite or freeze to death. See your veterinarian immediately if you suspect frostbite or hypothermia.

  • In its wisdom in the 1990s, the state legislature decided that the voters of Kentucky needed a year off every once in a while from the election process.

    The legislators wisely decided to make every fourth year an “election free” one.

    Of course, the real lovers of the system know that politics never end. And the off year, which falls before the “big” local elections is hardly one void of political maneuvering.

  • SHEPHERDSVILLE - The world wasn’t exactly expecting to get off to a good start in 2009.

    Knowing this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.

    It could just be me, but a good number of people seem to have bad attitudes and nasty dispositions lately.

    It’s common for many people to feel the holiday blahs come the first of the year. After all the festivities end there’s suddenly nothing to do but return to work and school. Nothing to anticipate except maybe a few football games.