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Wednesday, December 11, 2019
  • Tuesday, December 10, 2019 11:31 PM
    Notes scribbled on the back of a Visit Laos 1968 travel brochure . . . 
    * * *
    ISN”T THIS the time of year that’s supposed to be full of peace, joy and goodwill to all? Well, OK . . . it’s only Dec. 11 so there’s still time . . . but you know, I’m not holding my breath.
    Let’s begin with the lawsuit that was filed last week by Sugar Creek Wind against Montgomery County. How does that play out? I am not an attorney, nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night so I won’t pretend to know. I do know that the suit is no surprise and that the county has been preparing for it for some time. 
    The surprise is how some of the naysayers are coming out of the woodwork now. The anti-zoning contingent are saying that this is what happens when you rush into planning and zoning. Some of the anti-wind folks are saying that the county didn’t do its homework.
    Everyone’s mad.
    I don’t get it.
    Seems to me that the county was pretty much ready to welcome wind until a pretty loud contingent started screaming that they didn’t want wind turbines. So the county did what we all accuse politicians of never doing, they listened.
    1 comment(s)
  • Tuesday, December 3, 2019 10:57 PM
    Notes scribbled on the back of 1967 Pittsburgh Pirates program . . . 
    For those keeping score at home, this is the 69th day of fall – there are 91 total, so we’re almost done with days of autumn. Spring begins on March 19 . . . so, there we go. Only 106 days until spring (and yes, I swiped that from Bits’n’Pieces). Welcome to looking at winter through rose-colored glasses – or hopefully looking past it.
    * * *
    THERE’S BEEN a lot of buzz about the incident involving County Councilman Mark Davidson being on Nucor property while hunting. Councilman Davidson, owner of Davidson Greenhouse, was kind enough to tell The Paper that he made a mistake by going on that property. He said he had shot a deer the day before and was just trying to be a good sportsman and retrieve it the next day.
    Makes sense. 
    The Paper filed a public records request with the Department of Natural Resources because, according to several people in law enforcement, that’s the agency that dealt with the incident. It’s not that we doubt Davidson. But anytime an elected official runs into something like this it’s better to get the facts and not innuendo or rumor. So we’re waiting on a report, and specifically want to know if the DNR confiscated Davidson’s gun and if they gave him a ticket for not wearing an orange vest. 
    4 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, November 27, 2019 12:09 AM
    It’s hard to believe, but the little paper that could is now going on our 16th year. So on the eve of Thanksgiving, please bear with a vagabond newspaperman as I offer a few thank yous that are much needed. I’ll also apologize because there isn’t enough space in this edition, or any other, to list everyone I should. There’s simply no way we’ve gotten to this point in life without owing a ton of gratitude to a ginormous crowd.
    But no matter how big, this list has to begin with you, dear reader. Whether you’re a reader or an advertiser, there’s no way on God’s good earth we could have survived 15 years without you. You have been more patient than we deserved and more supportive than I could imagine.
    For many of you, the idea of having a truly local newspaper was important and you have supported us from day one. For others, you seem to like at least some of the work we do and you have been great to us. But for everyone, regardless of the reason, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We simply would not be here without you.
    1 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, November 20, 2019 4:00 AM
    I used to think the best thing about working on Saturday mornings was the peace and quiet so opposite the daily beehive of activity at the worldwide media HQ on Jefferson Street. Then I realized that I could spend hours and not hear the word impeachment one time.
    Score!
    So there I was, working happily away without a trace of a Pelosi or Schiff around. On this particular Saturday I was in the mood for one of my favorite musical genres and was listening to Stevie Wariner sing about a Crash Course in the Blues and Mitch Barker chilling with his Stone Cold Winter Blues. All I needed was my pork pie hat and sunglasses.
    Just as Mitch was wailing about cashing that ticket and rollin’ out of town – and I was playing a mean air guitar – a giant ham of a hand smacked my door.
    In retrospect, I’m sure my body was deciding on a coronary or just an accident. Fortunately, I was sitting at my desk so the outcome wasn’t really obvious.
    3 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, November 13, 2019 4:00 AM
    Let me say that I’m often amazed when someone I don’t know comments on something I wrote. It’s hard for me to believe that anyone thinks my scribblings are worth the time . . . Beyond that though, what really leaves me scratching the declining hairs on my head is when there is a lot of agreement.
    Bewildered and grateful, might be two appropriate words.
    So thank you very kindly for the over-the-top reaction to last week’s babblings about the national anthem. I can’t think of anything I’ve written – with the exception to a column questioning the talent of a high school football team in West Texas – that’s drawn so much reaction. And I certainly do not believe anything has ever generated so much positive reaction.
    It gives me faith in our future.
    No, not because of my writing. Far from it. It gives me hope because so many of you agree that the insanity must stop – particularly when it comes to the very glue that holds this country together, our patriotism.
    If your outpouring was any indication, this country is in better shape than many people think. And that, my friends, feels pretty darn good!
    2 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, November 6, 2019 3:14 AM
    I am many things – a husband, father, grandfather, Catholic, American, a fat guy, a journalist, a business owner . . . Like everyone, the list could go on. We all are a lot of things – some that define our character, some that don’t.
    And there are some of those things (even though pride is not something we’re supposed to focus on) that I am proud of – journalist being one. That may not be a wise thing to say in today’s world, but I tend to think of journalism as a profession that chronicles life in home towns and not so much the muck-raking version others see.
    Then I read an article from the New York Times and I don’t feel so proud.
    You’ve surely heard of this insanity by now. If not, a reporter named Julia Jacobs had a 1,350-word piece published last week that questions television stations for playing the Star-Spangled Banner.
    “. . . the decision to revive the anthem tradition comes at a time when overt allegiance to “The Star-Spangled Banner” has become one of the lines that separate blue and red America.”
    1 comment(s)
  • Bubba gets into ‘spirit’ of season
    Wednesday, October 30, 2019 4:00 AM
    EDITOR’S NOTE: In the spirit of the season, we are sharing a popular Timmons column about his friend Bubba and Halloween. 

    Got to admit, I’m not crazy about the recent turn to cold weather. As I get older I really like warm weather. I hate to admit that – the part about getting older, I mean.
    I especially dislike cold temps at Halloween. It’s fun to watch kids, young and old, get into the spirit (no pun intended) of the season. Cold and crappy weather tend to put a lid on the fun, know what I mean?
    1 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, October 23, 2019 4:00 AM
    Some things in life can go either way, you know?
    A proverbial glass of lemonade can be half full or half empty, depending on your point of view.
    Interviews with the folks who live in an income and celebrity level several notches higher than yours truly falls into the same category. At the end of the day, an interview is an interview is an interview. Questions are asked. Answers are given. It is what it is.
    But my recent interview with country and western superstar Steve Wariner was the exception. For those, like me, who struggle with golf – it was that one shot that keeps you coming back.
    A little background.
    Wariner is a member of the Musicians Hall of Fame, the Music City Walk of Fame, the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame, has had 14 No. 1 singles, more than 30 top 10 singles, three gold albums, four Grammy awards, three CMA awards . . . listen, this could go on a while. Steve Wariner has more accolades and awards than I have hiding spaces for candy – and that’s saying a lot!
    If you read Sunday’s edition of your favorite Montgomery County daily, then you saw the front page that also detailed how Gretsch Guitars recently released a Steve Wariner Signature model. 
    1 comment(s)
  • New book shares weird, obscure stories from Indianapolis
    Wednesday, October 16, 2019 4:00 AM
    As Halloween nears, it seems a perfect time to talk about weird and obscure things, doesn’t it? Well, there just so happens to be a new book out called Secret Indianapolis: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure. The author is lifelong Hoosier Ashley Petry and, according to her, is a tribute to the Circle City.
    0 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, October 9, 2019 4:00 AM
    John Hammer stopped by to talk about it. My wife brought it up over dinner the other night. It was the topic at the coffee shop. 
    Impeachment.
    Turn on the national news and two-thirds or more is related to impeachment. Fox, CNN, MSNBC . . . doesn’t matter. The topic is the same, only the slant changes.
    I won’t speak for you or anyone else, but impeachment, or rather the talk of it, is grinding me down to the nubbins. I’m so sick of it that I tune it out as soon as it starts – probably just as some of you are doing with this column . . . if you even got this far.
    Well kind sirs and ladies, I beg your indulgence. I propose an end to all this, and believe it or not, it involves one thing the Democrats in the House are saying that I agree with. It’s time for a change.
    In the Constitution.
    Article 2, Section 4 reads: The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
    3 comment(s)
  • Bubba ain’t just whistling in dark about mess in D.C
    Wednesday, October 2, 2019 5:56 PM
    Ever have one of those mornings? First, I overslept. Then, when I finally got ready to walk out the door I spilled coffee on my shirt. So I ran back upstairs and while I was changing, the cat decided to give my shoes a gift in the form of a hairball.
    Why did I even get out of bed?
    By the time I got to work, the only thing darker than the raincloud overhead was my mood. I decided to sit at my desk, not bother anyone and just bury my head in some work.
    Of course the phone had other ideas.
    0 comment(s)
  • County administrator and MUFFY . . . Hmmmm
    Wednesday, September 25, 2019 4:00 AM

    Notes scribbled on the back of Roger Branigan for Governor campaign poster . . .

    So we have a county administrator now. Truth to tell, I think Mark Casteel will be an excellent administrator. He turned around a mess at the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department about nine years ago and was a rarity among sheriffs by winning respect from both sides of the aisle.

    So long as Casteel is in the job, the view from here is that Montgomery County will be better off.

    0 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, September 18, 2019 7:04 AM
    Being an old sports writer – heavy emphasis on old and past tense – I have a thing about numbers and stats. I think they often – although not always – tell the real story.
    Sticking with sports, for example, it seems that Colts nation is losing its mind over kicker Adam Vinatieri’s recent struggles. Yes, he’s missed two-thirds of his field goal attempts this year and three out of five extra points. But more importantly is the stat that, despite being perhaps the greatest field goal kicker of all time, he ranked a very average 17th last year in the NFL – only better than 15 kickers who attempted 10 or more field goals.
    Numbers tell you things that words sometimes miss.
    Another example is a story on the news the other morning that said 64 percent of Democrats and 55 percent of Republicans do not have friends in the opposite party.
    Think about that for a second – more than half of those folks don’t rub elbows with others who don’t share their political mindset.
    Is it any wonder we’re at each other’s throats so much?
    0 comment(s)
  • Thursday, September 12, 2019 8:23 AM
    Some of you might know who Red Smith was.
    He was one of the very few sportswriters to earn a Pulitzer Prize, and another noted sportswriter David Halberstam said Red Smith was one of the greatest sportswriters ever. 
    Smith started out in Milwaukee after graduating from Notre Dame and went through Philadelphia on his way to the big boys in New York.
    1 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, September 11, 2019 4:50 AM
    September the eleventh.
    Chances are that most of you reading this remember exactly where you were 18 years ago when you heard the news.
    You remember getting to a TV and watching with disbelief as a jetliner flew into a skyscraper. Didn’t matter what channel it was. The eerie scene was repeated over and over.
    A fireman was standing in the street. The camera panned to the left and up – apparently the cameraman heard something. 
    It happened so fast.
    The plane was a blur as it flew in from the right and smashed into the World Trade Center North Tower.
    A passenger airliner.
    Slammed into the building and disappeared inside.
    0 comment(s)
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