• Events that happen in youth often influence the rest of our lives — sometimes for the better, sometimes not. We feel certain that for 10 Bardstown High School students, witnessing the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama will put them in the positive category and have an impact on them well into adulthood.

  • Our nation’s capital will survive the financial meltdown, the deepening recession and the plethora of foreign crises from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. Whether Washington will survive Tuesday’s inauguration, however, is an open question.

  • Lisa Tolliver had a very helpful  column in The Kentucky Standard Jan. 11. No doubt writing last week, she took on the proposed Kentucky ban on hand-held cell phones.   It is her belief that talking on cell phones is no worse than listening to a radio, changing radio stations, eating or correcting children.

    As luck would have it, reports came out Jan. 12  that the National Safety Council is calling for an all-out ban on using cell phones while driving.     

  • The General Assembly is in recess until we reconvene on Feb. 3. But we continue with meetings. The purpose of these meetings is to inform legislators and the public about problems in our current budget and potential solutions.

    Recall that we have a predicament because not enough tax money is being taken in to pay for the current budget. The revenue forecast was inaccurate just like every other state in the country and, for that matter, the world.

  • To the editor:

  • The Bardstown-Nelson County Chamber of Commerce is looking for a few good men.

    Well, actually, the Chamber is looking for one good man and one good woman to be honored as the 2008 Man and Woman of the Year.

  • To the editor:

    We would like to give a heartfelt thanks publicly to the staff at Flaget Hospital from the time we arrived at the ER to ICU to the SNU to the discharge. We were treated exceptionally well and with great kindness by the physicians, R.N., aides and therapists. All encouraged and kept us informed about each treatment. All will be remembered in our prayers.

    Jean J.

    and John R. Marino Sr.

    147 Springhill Drive


  • To the editor:

    The Kentucky General Assembly faces a difficult decision in the coming weeks — whether or not to increase the state’s cigarette tax. Many legislators have stepped forward expressing their support and opposition.

    Kentucky has one of the highest adult smoking rates in the country and one of the lowest cigarette excise taxes — 47th to be exact.

  • My cell phone rang yesterday and I picked it up.

    But if some legislators get their way, I could have been arrested.

    The reason? I was in my car and was not using a hands-free device. Seems like an unlikely reason to draw the attention of law enforcement officials but some states have already passed the law requiring hands-free devices in vehicles.

    Granted, an arrest is probably not the likely outcome of such an offense. But a citation with a fine attached could be painful as well.

  • Having completed the organizational week of the 2009 session, and determined the leadership of the General Assembly for the next two years we now turn our energies to the budget problem. Our most serious problem is that there is not enough money to pay for everything in the current budget.

  • To the editor:

    The Nelson County Association for the Handicapped wishes to thank all the volunteers who helped with our annual dinner to honor the individuals of the Nelson County Industries Dec. 3, 2008. We appreciate the dinner that Martha Mattingly and her volunteers from The Old Kentucky Home Country Club and the parishioners from St. Gregory Parish served us so graciously with a dinner all of us enjoyed.

    Also many thanks to Bob and Lisa Grady for their generosity in helping to pay for the entertainment that Mike Brown provided for us.

  • To the editor:

    President Bush will be missed by those who believe he did as good a job as possible with the hand he was dealt.

    No president, except maybe F.D.R., has had so many unforeseen tragedies happen to alter his original plans when he took office. In my opinion, President Bush has made some bad choices throughout his eight years, but America elected him to make those choices.

    However you feel about him, there was never any question about where he stood on the big issues.

  • In the best of all worlds, finding candidates to serve on planning commissions would be a simple matter. Just identify someone who is not paid for his or her work and has the time, temperament and knowledge to faithfully attend training seminars and educate himself in other ways without the baggage of conflicts of interest. Couple this with thick skin to fend off the verbal barbs often hurled in the heat of passion that can only be generated when someone does not get his or her way concerning property rights.

  • Early 2009 seems especially rich in new beginnings opportunities.   

    To list at least some of them:

    •A new calendar year.

    •A new/renewed set of resolutions to do better about whatever — be kinder, healthier,  lighter, wiser ...

    •A new U.S. Congress and so a clean legislative slate (though some unpassed items from the 110th Congress will likely be re-titled and resubmitted).   Some shift in legislative priorities.

  • To the editor:

  • The beginning of each new year brings an abundance of award shows to the homes of many Americans, that is, if you’re into watching the shows.

  • How sour is the public mood? An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found about 50 percent believe 2008 was one of the worst years in American history. At times, Abraham Lincoln’s lament has seemed apt, “We live in the midst of alarms; anxiety beclouds the future; we expect some new disaster with each newspaper we read.”

    But some perspective, please. Even a steep recession doesn’t compare with the events that have made for America’s worst years. To wit:

  • I’m not particularly good at making New Year’s resolutions. That doesn’t mean I don’t need to; it just means I rarely give enough thought to it.

    But everyone has room for improvement, right?

    And the new year is a time for self-evaluation in the broadest sense. It’s a time to look back at what you’ve accomplished (or not) and set new goals and challenges.

  • The 2009 session of your General Assembly begins this week, focusing on organizing the leadership posts and committee assignments for the next two years. Today in Frankfort we will confirm the election of the Speaker and Speaker Pro-Tem of your House of Representatives. I’ll let you know my committee assignments as soon as I know what they are.  

  • To the editor:

    This year we will celebrate two historic events: the inauguration of Barack Obama and the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln. I was very impressed after the November election to learn that President-elect Obama was reading from President Lincoln’s works. Two men removed from each other by 150 years, yet both wise men. All of us are Americans, no matter on which side of the aisle we vote and we should honor the fact that this year is historic for these two men for that reason.