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Opinion

  • Editor’s Note: Tell City resident Larry K. Kleeman attended the Jan. 20 inauguration of Barack Obama as the nation’s 44th president. The News invited him to share his experience.

  • Natural calamities, fortunately, don’t come Perry County’s way too often. But last week’s big ice storm shows once again why it’s so important for all of us to have a plan in place when emergencies occur, no matter the season.

    As we all know, the big storm closed roads and cut power to thousands of people. We know of many who moved in with friends or neighbors or hunkered down in homes heated with wood stoves or gas fireplaces. However, several took advantage of a Red Cross shelter established at the Schergens Center in Tell City.

  • It's undeniable. We're in a recession and it's affecting most of us. The numbers are hard to peg, but over the last couple of months hundreds of good, hardworking people in Perry County have had their hours cut, lost their jobs entirely or face certain job cuts . Others aren't sure what to expect.

    Sadly, the economic woes may get worse before things improve.

  • The older I get the longer winter seems to linger. This winter in particular has seemed to be a real bear. Sadly, it's only late January and there may be plenty more cold and snow coming our way. With any luck, however, the worst may be over. Maybe the groundhog will prove it next week.  

    I'm not sure why this winter has seemed so brutal. Moving from one house to another didn't help, a little post-relocation depression, perhaps. I've always been one to  rise early, and I still do, but lugging my bones from bed some mornings has been a chore.

  • Observers generally agree that the true starting point for a legislative session comes when the governor delivers his annual State of the State speech. The address, delivered before a joint session of the Indiana House and Senate, enables our state’s chief executive to review what has happened over the past year and gives him a chance to detail what he would like to see accomplished in the months to come.

  • A step critical in the efficient spending of government funds was apparently skipped before county commissioners voted this month to make a $100,000 purchase.

    That idea: Look around for the best deal you can find.

    If OK'd by the county council Jan. 29, the purchase approved by two of Perry County's three commissioners will provide a system for assessing the conditions of the county's 520 miles of roadway.

  • Tomorrow our 44th president will be inaugurated in front of millions, some there in person while others watch online or on television. And while I won't be able to see this historic event happen in person, I don't feel too bad for not being there, since as a high-school student, I attended President George W. Bush's first inauguration.

  • The 116th Indiana General Assembly convened Jan. 7 and, by law, must adjourn by April 29. State lawmakers will spend the next few months deliberating on many issues. However, the most challenging will be crafting a new two-year state budget during an ever-worsening economy.

    The state currently faces a shortfall of more than $700 million for the current fiscal year. This will make the work of this session the most challenging in decades.

  • Editor's Note: Gov. Mitch Daniels' office forwarded a copy of the governor's inaugural address to Hoosier newspapers. It's published here as a letter to Perry County residents.

    As a matter of both good manners and necessity, second helpings should be smaller than first portions. Likewise with second pronouncements on accepting duty in the public's employ.

  • Whether you're watching network news, reading a hometown newspaper or visiting with a colleague at the proverbial water cooler, one topic trumps all others these days – the economy. And more times than not, the tone skews toward the negative.

    Here's a positive twist to "the topic of the day," It's not going to save our automakers or reverse the direction of the NYSE. But it is a practical way for you and your family to enjoy an evening of entertainment at a price most families can afford, even in today's coupon-clipping world,

  • Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin told an interviewer last week that she thinks Caroline Kennedy is getting softer press treatment in her pursuit of a New York U.S. Senate seat than Palin did as the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee because of Kennedy's social class. But we think Palin's criticism misses the mark on several points.

  • Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The Golden Rule isn't just a religious directive but a simple guide many of us try to live by.

    Treating others like we want to be treated. I try to live by this concept, though I've certainly not followed it perfectly. I break it when I judge people before I know them, when I let my temper get the best of me without a just cause and by taking advantage of others for my own gain.

  • Perry County ushered in 2009 last week amid toasts and cheers. Most of us greet each new year with optimism and high hopes for ourselves and our families. But as the first full work week of 2009 dawns, nearly all of us know the year ahead will be challenging. But underlying the current difficulties are opportunities.  

  • It's hard to find the time I once had to rummage through old courthouse records. When I first came to the paper in the late 1990s, I would venture off some afternoons and sift through dusty boxes and yellowing tomes filled with old wills, court orders and criminal proceedings.

    While decades old, the records  are open to the public and while recent real-estate transfers, criminal and civil proceedings and probate cases can be searched on computers in the various offices, the really interesting things are in back rooms and closets.

  • We’re happy to see Perry County’s schools are unlikely to be affected by an effort to consolidate Indiana’s schools, and suggest such attempts elsewhere be put off for at least a year.

    As we reported at the beginning of this year, the Indiana Commission on Local Government Reform produced a 46-page report urging a number of changes, including the consolidation of school systems to achieve student populations of at least 2,000.

  • There are two events on my annual calendar that get me in a serious mood for housecleaning. The first is a neighborhood party I throw each June that brings a few dozen people to my backyard. I know them all well, but I hate the idea of visitors seeing a dirty house.

    The second round of cleaning comes with New Year’s Eve and for the past several years, I’ve spent the final hours of the old year scrubbing floors, dusting nooks and crannies and wiping down windows in a rite of winter grime-fighting that sometimes lasts from dawn to dusk.

  • What a tumultuous time we’ve gone through in the last few months: violent storms, unstable gas prices, dramatic stock-market changes, a national home-mortgage crisis and hundreds of job layoffs.

    It has been a scary time for many folks in our area and it may not get better for a while. But there is one thing I know from having lived in Perry County for the last 25 years: when times get hard, Perry Countians step up to help their neighbors in need.

  • Christmas is upon us again and it's a time to rejoice on what this day really stands for. Sometimes the real meaning of Christmas gets lost in all the holiday shopping and the memories of past years.

    Some memories are wonderful and others are heartbreaking. Yet, we still celebrate this most exciting holiday with all the joy possible.

  • Editor's Note: In the months before the Christmas of 1897, an 8-year-old girl named Virginia O'Hanlon wrote a letter to the New York Sun, asking if there really was a Santa Claus. Edward P. Mitchell gave the assignment to Francis P. Church, whose reply to Virginia appeared in the Sept. 21, 1897, edition of the Sun. Virginia's letter and Church's reply, as it appeared in the Sun, are reprinted below. Virginia O'Hanlon Douglas died May 13, 1971.

    Is there a Santa Claus?

  • Santa Claus

    North Pole

    Dear Santa:

    I hope all is well with you and Mrs. C. I've been reading all year about shrinking Arctic glaciers and melting polar ice, but I hope you're holding your own at the top of the world. Maybe we'll start treating our planet a little kinder than we have.

    I hope our new president will help lead us in a greener direction. I'm sure you'd approve.