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Opinion

  • Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. is probably rolling over in his grave at the news of Sen. Arlen Specter's switching from the Republican to the Democratic Party - and conservative Republicans' reaction to it.

    Lodge, like Specter, was a moderate Republican from a northeastern state. He won election to the U.S. Senate three times from Massachusetts before losing a re-election bid in 1952 to John F. Kennedy. That was a close loss that many blamed on Lodge's spending most of his time managing Dwight D. Eisenhower's presidential campaign instead of working on his own campaign.

  • The Indiana legislature, and more recently an Indianapolis law firm, the attorney for the Hoosier State Press Association and the director of the Indiana High School Press Association made short work of dismissing the First Amendment in regard to a law concerning school-construction referenda.

  • "Settle down, boys" were close to being among the sternest words Father Theodore Heck could muster to a group of fidgety kids in a late 1970s religion class.

    As an all-knowing 10- or 12-year-old, I judged the monk to be an old man already. He was in his 70s, a former professor and seminary rector who had adopted our small country flock in New Boston after "retirement."

  • The Hoosier National Forest volunteer program welcomes efforts from individuals and groups that wish to assist in the stewardship of their public lands. One of the most popular and long running volunteer projects has been Take Pride In America Day.

    Approximately 200 volunteers helped in May 2008 on a variety of projects including tree planting, trail and pond maintenance, painting the Hickory Ridge fire tower and picnic table construction.

    Since 1987, more than 40,000 volunteer hours have generated work valued at approximately $470,000.

  • It's finally arrived. Spring. While it's technically been with us for more than a month, the weather is finally providing the warmer temperatures and bright-blue skies we've needed to bring us out of the winter blues.

    And with this beautiful weather come blooming trees and flowers and, of course, growing grass needing mowed. Perry County has an abundance of natural beauty, both out in the county and in our own communities and it can only stay beautiful with some help.

  • Several people offered comments on a recent column on jobs I could have been doing had I not been working at a newspaper.

    Most shared their own vocational journeys and the ups and downs many of us have experienced in finding our places in the world.

    One man told me he often wonders what kind of life he would have enjoyed had he entered college. The guy has a good-paying "factory" job but was a wiz at math and science in high school and admits he would have had other opportunities with a college degree.

  • Because April is Autism Awareness month, I would like to share a personal experience related to autism.

    This school year, I have had the privilege of teaching a child with autism, and it has been a profound year of discovery and growth for both of us. 

    My student's mother encouraged me to share our story.

    When I discovered that I would be teaching a child with autism, I began to do some research on the Internet to learn more about the autistic child and techniques for reaching and teaching these children. 

  • Hats off to members of this year's graduating class of Leadership Perry County. The 10-person group has been working over the past eight months to learn more about our community and to hone their own personal leadership traits.

    They continue a tradition going back more than 10 years and will join other graduates of the program dedicated to making Perry County a better place to live.

  • I would like to comment on the Thursday April 9 article (Editor) Vince Luecke wrote, reporting that my brother, Kenny Cronin, blasted and verbally assaulted Magistrate Werner. The definition of magistrate is: lower court judge; a judge in a lower court whose jurisdiction is limited to the trial of misdemeanors and the conduct of preliminary hearings on more serious charges.

  • First off, "Observe and Report" is not "Paul Blart: Mall Cop."  Both movies may be about shopping-mall security guards, but that is where any major comparisons end.  

  • To those who decided breaking vehicle and business windows and slashing tires are entertaining activities, we offer two words of encouragement.

    Man up.

    We don’t know that the vandal or vandals whose senseless destruction we reported Thursday was or were male, but the odds are pretty good. For those who missed that story, police reported a number of businesses and cars in Troy and along Main Street in Tell City were vandalized. Authorities aren’t sure if a similar incident in Hawesville, Ky., is related.  

  • In case you haven’t seen the headlines, newspapers are in the midst of a rough patch. Community publications like The News are faring better than large dailies. In fact, most big papers have cut back on staff, reduced coverage and shrank both the number and size of their pages. Some have even shut their doors altogether or switched to publishing online only.

  • Enhancing one’s performance is more a part of our culture than most of us realize. We drink caffeine in the morning and take No-Doze at night in an effort to stay razor sharp regardless of the hour of the day.

    Entertainers have been known to use recreational drugs to push their performances to extraordinary levels. College students sometimes take prescription drugs to increase learning capacity and get better grades.

  • Area church picnics will be coming up soon, and a bill currently working its way through the Indiana General Assembly could partially decide how much money they make.

    SB 414 has passed the senate and passed 8-0 in the House Public Policy Committee. It should go to the full house of representatives for a vote soon.

    Dennie Oxley, who represents part of Perry County, is one of the cosponsors of the bill, which would remove some of the restrictions now limiting parish festivals.

  • As residents who live in communities blessed by nature, Perry Countians have a vested interest in promoting conservation and stewardship.

    The forests we enjoy, the (for the most part) clean air and water around us and the verdant woods and fields that provide beauty and food — it’s nearly mushroom season — aren’t guaranteed to be here generations from now.

  • Sources matter if we are to have any hope of understanding the complex of issues facing our nation at this or any future moment.

    Granted, the average working man or woman may have little time, resources or energy to sort these things out. But the worst we could do in the face of uncertainty is accept at face value the particular absolutisms – generally recycled and unverifiable – of demagogues of either right or left.

  • Branchville Correctional Facility has been a good neighbor for more than 25 years, providing jobs to hundreds of Perry County residents. It's also protected the public and rehabilitated thousands of offenders and prepared them for their return to Hoosier communities. Today, the medium-security facility houses about 1,300 men and is one of the county's leading employers.

  • I received this e-mail Thursday. Perhaps some of you received the same one. No doubt many of you receive similar bogus offers from strangers offering to share millions of dollars.

    Good Day:

    My name is Mrs. Maria Johnson. I am a dying woman who has decided to donate what I have to you for you to help the motherless, less privileged, victims of natural disasters, AIDS-HIV associations and also for the assistance of  the widows and widowers in churches and mosques. I am 59 years old and was diagnosed with cancer about two years ago.

  • I am not a runner. I do not like to run. I'm even weary about walking sometimes because I'm a klutz and am known to randomly fall at the drop of a hat. (Believe me this is not an exaggeration, I have witnesses.) Yet, I am going to participate in a 5K run and walk.

    And I don't mean "participate" by handing out flyers, putting it in the paper for others to see or setting up a booth. I mean I'm going to train at least three days a week to get ready for the Teens Aware of Christ Runnin' With the Lord 5K run and walk.

  • "Knowing," the latest film from Alex Proyas ("The Crow," "I, Robot") almost delves into M. Night Shyamalan territory — it does feature a main character much like Mel Gibson's character from "Signs" — but it saves itself with an entertaining science-fiction plot and some of the best disaster sequences I have ever seen.