• “This world is not my home.

    I’m just a-passin’ through.

    If you grew up in the South in the last century, you’ve probably heard this old hymn.

    “The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door, and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.”

  • There have been a number of times in my 19-year broadcasting career that deadlines have stared me in the face with a nasty smirk, as if to say “You won’t make it, Matthew.” Thursday was one of those days, as our community was on edge for news it had anticipated for a while. After two days of a hearing at the courthouse to possibly remove the mayor from office, the City Council went into deliberation ... too close to my deadline. Too close to everyone’s deadlines. Five TV stations, the newspaper, and an online gazette were all sitting in close proximity.

  • After two days of intense testimony last week and more than two hours of deliberation, Bardstown City Council members voted unanimously to remove Bardstown Mayor John Royalty from office on three charges of misconduct. While the courtroom erupted in loud applause and most social media posts were celebratory in nature or mean-spirited, let us be clear.

    No one really won in this case.

  • If Bardstown Mayor John Royalty cares as much for this city as he claims, then he has a choice to make.

    If he is innocent of the many charges leveled Tuesday in the findings of a three-month investigation, then he should defend himself and his job at the scheduled April 12 hearing that could result in his removal from office.

    But if he did what the investigators say, then he should step down. It would save the taxpayers money and it might lessen the embarrassment this city has endured during his two years in office.

  • To the editor,
    On behalf of the Tyler M. Foster Scholarship Fund, we would like to extend our gratitude for those who supported our endeavor by purchasing raffle tickets. We would like to congratulate our winners of the two iPads: Carol Walker and Susan Pearson. A special thanks goes to our family and friends who assisted in selling the raffle tickets. We are so thankful to be a part of the Bardstown/Nelson County community, where we continue to receive the blessings of love, prayers and support.

  • If you depend on statistics to help you decide what is real and what is not, then I hope you are also someone who does extensive research before you make your final conclusion. I remember years ago, Pistol Pete Maravich was scoring above every other player in the country in college basketball. Just going on that stat, you would think he was the best player in the game. Dig a little deeper and you find his father was the coach and he was the only player designed to shoot the ball. Happens all the time in little league, and on occasion in other levels of sports.

  • As we know, Kentuckians as a culture largely avoid change. On Nov. 8, Kentuckians went against the nearly 100-year grain and elected a Republican majority in the Kentucky House of Representatives. Kentuckians are ready for a change in House leadership that will bring about a new direction for our commonwealth through more jobs and business opportunities.

  • Two of my favorite solitary pastimes are reading and walking.

    When I walk, I carry a shoulder bag with a book for when I rest on a rocky outcrop or city park bench.

    It started when I was little. My grandfather gave me a knapsack, and into it went food for thought — a paperback. A favorite was a well-worn biography of Daniel Boone, my boyhood hero.

    As a young reporter, I hiked Indian Fort Mountain near Berea often and in every season, and would usually carry a collection of poems by Wendell Berry or James Still.

  • “I believe the children are our future/Teach them well and let them lead the way”

    The opening lines of the smash 1986 hit song performed by Whitney Houston instills in us feelings of warm sentimentality and optimism; thoughts of a bright future where kids grow up to reach their highest potential, where they do better than their parents before them.

    Sadly, we don’t live up to those high-minded ideals as a society the way we would like.

  • The most exciting thing to tell people in Bardstown about myself is that I am from Sweden. It is an excellent conversation starter, even despite the fact that people usually start asking unanswerable questions, which can make things awkward, and freeze fragments of the ice that just moments ago had been broken apart.

  • We live in dangerous times.

    The rise of the Islamic State is the greatest threat to peace, but the enemy Ronald Reagan described as the Evil Empire is reasserting itself.

  • The incoming Trump administration will face passionate and hostile resistance if it tries to deny the reality of human-induced climate change. We can already hear the drums of war.

  • Surely there were alarmists who thought 2016 might end in an undemocratic coup. But who predicted Democratic opinion leaders would be the ones agitating for it?

    For fear that Donald Trump will violate democratic norms, liberals want to have the Electoral College throw out the results of a presidential election and impose their choice on the nation for the first time in our history.

  • Donald Trump promised to punish U.S. companies that ship manufacturing jobs out of the country. Instead, judging from the way he has handled the Carrier Corp. matter, he plans to reward them. Quite handsomely, in fact.

    As should be standard practice with Trump, pay attention to the substance, not the theater. United Technologies, the parent company of air-conditioner-maker Carrier, has been threatening to move more than 2,000 jobs from Indiana to Mexico. Trump addressed this specifically during his campaign, vowing to hit the company with a punitive tariff.

  • It wasn’t quite “build the wall” or “lock her up,” but “drain the swamp” was a signature Donald Trump slogan.

    It evoked visions of pinstripe-suit-wearing influence peddlers getting pulled from their Georgetown cocktail parties en masse and tossed into the Potomac River, as Washington returned to the once-sleepy burg it was 100 years ago, a humbled and more righteous town.

  • One hundred twenty years ago, William Allen White of the Emporia Gazette wondered why his state was so backward. In “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” he warned about the dangers of mindless populism. His famous editorial was about his state’s business climate, but White also was a fierce adversary of racial intolerance.

    Lately, I’ve been asking myself in regard to race: What’s the matter with Kentucky?

  • In a tradition familiar to many, on Thanksgiving I will sit down with loved ones and we will take turns giving thanks for the blessings in our lives. We know who we are by what we hold dear.

    I recently had the privilege of sitting down with leaders from diverse groups across Kentucky and learning what they are grateful for. Made up of working families, teachers and students, faith communities, vulnerable Kentuckians and more, they are grateful for things I thought worth sharing. They have given me permission to share them with you.

  • The Republican Party is fractured by ideological divisions, led by an inexperienced and unpredictable president-elect, and quite possibly headed for a fratricidal civil war. The Democratic Party should be so lucky.

    There is much unpleasant reality for Democrats to deal with right now, starting with this: The GOP controls virtually everything. The two-party system is, at best, one and a half.

  • President Barack Obama won’t explicitly say that Donald Trump is on the wrong side of history, but surely he believes it.

    The president basically thinks anyone who gets in his way is transgressing the larger forces of history with a capital “H.” In 2008, he declared John McCain “on the wrong side of history right now” (the “right now” was a generous touch — allowing for the possibility that McCain might get right with History at some future date).

  • This post-election commentary was meant for last week, but I couldn’t write it because I was in the first stages of grief— denial, anger — and bargaining (maybe, I thought, Republican electors could still choose Mike Pence or anyone other than Donald Trump).

    Now, I’m in the last stages — depression and acceptance.