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Opinion

  • Last week, a Florida magistrate judge ruled that Katherine Evans, a 19-year-old journalism student at the University of Florida, has the right to sue her former high-school principal after being suspended in 2007.  Evans, a high-school senior at the time, was given a three-day suspension by former Pembroke Pines Charter High School principal Peter Bayer after she had created a Facebook page titled "Ms.

  • March 14 is Pi Day. That's because pi, the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle, starts with the digits 3.14159. So, March 14, at 1:59 p.m. (or a.m. if you're up) is the appropriate day and minute to celebrate pi. We should pay special attention to Pi Day in Indiana, because Indiana has a special place in the history of pi. Back in 1897, Dr. Edwin J.

  • The Oscar nominees are out and the Academy will name the best film of 2009 March 7.

  • I know the norm is a "top 10," but I couldn't help myself. I thought 2009 was a great year for movies, most notably sci-fi films. Before I set out my list, though, I need to name the films that I didn't get a chance to check out this year due mainly to availability: "Precious," "A Single Man," "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans," "Fantastic Mr. Fox," "An Education," "Nine" and "Brothers."

    "A Serious Man" - I'm a huge Coen brothers fan and I thought this dark comedy was brilliant.

  • Will Evan Bayh's decision to retire from the U.S. Senate do anything to change what's wrong in Washington? Call it what you want: gridlock, partisanship or catharsis. No matter the name, the lack of bipartisan dialogue or respect for the opinions of others and the downright poisonous atmosphere keeps reasonable legislators like Bayh from doing what they were elected to do, help ordinary Americans.

    We don't blame him for throwing up his arms.

  • I recently heard a woman describe a friend of hers as leading "a hobo's life." Her friend, who I don't know, apparently switches jobs often, doesn't own a home and carries most of his belongings in the back seat of a 20-year-old car.

  • By this time you have probably heard it, seen it or read about Tell City U. S. Census 2010 coming in March. While we realize this is repetitive, we feel it is so extremely important we should repeat it once again.

    Census 2010 data is used for a number of things, but we feel the three most important ones are:

  • We all want safe schools: for our kids, our communities. Illegal drugs, drug sellers and weapons have no place in classrooms, hallways or lockers. That's why we were happy to hear that police dogs from several departments, including Tell City's own canine, Jago, visited Tell City schools last week. The dogs and their officer handlers led their dogs around lockers inside the schools. Outside, they led canines around vehicles in parking lots.

  • As a small boy home from school on a snowy day, I liked to follow rabbit tracks in fresh snow. That seemed like a fun way to spend a morning but it didn't do me any good last week as I tried to dodge a snowdrift next to my house.

    The rabbit that left the trail outside my sidewalk, had he been watching, would have laughed his cold, cottony tail off. I didn't think it was all that funny.

  • Indiana's long-term care system is out of balance. Studies confirm that most Hoosiers prefer to receive long-term care services and support in their home, or in a home-like setting, instead of a nursing homes. Yet according to our Division of Aging, Indiana is ranked 45th among all states in 2009 in the amount of dollars spent on long-term care services to support Hoosiers in the home or community.

  • District 78 Rep. Suzanne Crouch has co-authored a bill in the Indiana General Assembly to try to keep people out of nursing homes longer. This seems like a good idea because it is what most elderly people prefer and it should save the state money.

    In recent years several states have taken measures similar to the one proposed by Crouch.

    In 2005 Maryland had 400 disabled and 2,800 elderly people enrolled in a pilot program to allow them to live in their own homes instead of nursing homes.

  • As bets go, two $10 wagers that I could lose more weight than other dieters aren't substantial from a monetary standpoint. But losing is a blow to my pride and an indictment of my willpower.

    Technically, I haven't lost the two "Biggest Loser-type" contests inspired by the TV show. But it's looking that way.

  • Editor's Note: This column was provided by Purdue University's Extension Service. Columnist B. Rosie Lerner is a consumer horticulturalist. Here she answers two questions provided by Hoosier gardeners.

    I have two large pecan trees that have a problem. One tree is 75 feet tall with a 30-foot spread. The other is about half this size. Both trees were started with nuts. Both produce large quantities of nuts that do not mature.

  • "Edge of Darkness" marks the first time Mel Gibson has starred in a film for nearly eight years. It's a shame Mel waited this long, because he's still got it.

    Maybe you feel differently about him after all the controversy of the past few years. If his remarks or actions made you hate him, this film isn't going to bring you back on his side. If, like me, you ignore controversy and just watch a movie, then you'll get a nostalgic feeling while watching "Edge of Darkness" and you'll wish Mel never took a break.

  • We're not sure how much it amounted to, in terms of the salaries involved, paper and ink expended and so on, but if Indiana school systems are to absorb $297 million in funding cuts, a refund of the costs for developing the "Citizens Checklist" would be a good start.

  • I pounded out this column on Friday as the area was preparing for another round of snow. I won't mind the few inches that were forecast as long as it doesn't turn to ice like it did last Tuesday and moves us one step closer to spring.

  • Editor's Note: The Hoosier National Forest will celebrate its 75th anniversary Feb. 6. Over the next year, Teena Ligman, a public-affairs specialist for the forest, will share aspects of the history of the forest and land-restoration efforts in southern Indiana.

    Congress gave the president authority in 1891 to create forest reserves out of the public domain. Since public-domain lands existed almost entirely in the West, most of the early forest reserves were in the West.

  • Indiana Rep. David Wolkins made a strange suggestion recently.

    A friend of Wolkins who works in a landfill reportedly told the representative that the majority of waste that he sees in his line of work is tossed-out newspapers. Deciding that this was a problem that he could propose a fix to, Wolkins introduced legislation in House Bill 1355 that would tax newspapers for the newsprint they use.

    By doing this, he believes newspapers will use a greater amount of recycled content, which would reduce the number of old papers lying around in landfills.

  • January is National Stalking Awareness Month, a time to focus on a crime that affects 3.4 million victims a year. This year's theme is "Stalking: Know It. Name It. Stop It." The designation challenges the nation to fight this dangerous crime by learning more about it.

  • Do the collection of communities that make up Perry County have the government and school systems they want and need?

    Many residents would say "yes, we're happy with the way things are."

    That's a perfectly legitimate response. If it's the way the majority of residents feel, perhaps things should remain as they are.

    We have reason to believe, however, some people feel they aren't treated as well as others are, even though they make the same contributions through property and sales taxes.