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Today's Opinions

  • Jury system keeps 'self' in self-government

    Last Tuesday I dutifully reported to the Jefferson County Taj Mahal to serve as a juror. As it turned out, after a video and some introductory remarks, I was among the group of people who wouldn’t be needed that day. So I, juror No. 1259, left the building having fulfilled my duty for the time being.

    As Milton said, they also serve who only stand and wait.

  • A furry cure for the peeves of pet ownership

    Officially, the first pet my family owned was a giant ill-tempered iguana named Igor. I have little memory of this except the stories of Igor finally escaping our home and harassing the neighborhood’s dogs and cats like a miniature Godzilla. They found it dead one morning after a nasty frost, his rein of terror finally ended.

  • Turning up the heat in the polar bear debate

    Hannah Hayes

  • 2008 legislative session: For education, at least, it was a banner year

    The 2008 legislative session is in the books, so it’s time to take a look at a few key policy areas and grade our work.

    On education, the legislature gets a B+. 2008 was a banner year for education reformers, led by a coalition of Republicans and inner-city Democrats. This combination of reform-minded legislators proved to be the catalyst for several key bills putting the interests of kids ahead of special interests.

  • In a well-polished shoe, a reflection of life

    Black shoe polish, a lighter, nylons, spit or faucet water, a freezer, cotton balls, wax. I was running late, so I just grabbed two clean socks and wrapped them around a worn can of Kiwi and a half-empty lighter. I placed them all in my jacket pocket. I could feel the soft lump pressing against my side as I drove to my parents’ house.

    He would soon be graduating and going off to college. I was 14 years old when my parents brought him home from the hospital as a baby. He is now the same age I was when I first entered basic training.

  • Plants and bugs abound: a new lease on life

    I don’t know what time it is — but it’s late. My bloodshot eyes stare angry holes into the darkness. I want to sleep, but I can’t. Every 15 minutes a loud diesel truck pulls up in front of my apartment complex, and then quickly drives away. This happens again and again. The rumble of the heavy diesel engine smacks away at my skull like a holy ruler on blaspheming knuckles. It’s relentless.

  • Should we start using the metric system?

    Hannah Hayes

    The English imperial system of measurement remains in use among three countries — Liberia, Myanmar and the United States. It would be to our benefit if we jumped over to the clearly superior and simpler-to-use metric system.

    Since the 1960s, the International System of Units, which is based on the metric system, has been the internationally recognized standard for commercial and scientific purposes.

  • 5 Evergreen Girl Scouts win highest award this year

    “On my honor, I will try: To serve God and my country; To help people at all times; and to live by the Girl Scout Law.”

    Since Juliet Gordon Low started the Girl Scouts in Savannah, Ga., in 1912, girls across the globe have participated in Girl Scouts. They learn life skills, leadership and an appreciation of how important it is to be of service to others.