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The Messenger: Opinion

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Editorial

Why not introduce a woman on deeds?

Hopkinsville Kiwanis Club members and their guests were fortunate last week to hear Kelley Paul talk about her book, “True and Constant Friends,” which is about the strength of connection among her female relatives and friends.

Tuesday 07/07/2015
Trump: In the 'American' Tradition
Posted: July 07, 2015

Lately, blows have been dealt to the conventional wisdom surrounding billionaire and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

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Repeating myself on a U.S.-Iran nuclear deal
Posted: July 07, 2015

Am I allowed to repeat myself when it comes to the negotiations over the U.S.-Iran nuclear deal?

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Thursday 07/02/2015
Shift Kentucky's legislative redistricting authority
Posted: July 02, 2015

The U.S. Constitution does not give state lawmakers exclusive control to redraw the boundary lines of legislative districts, the Supreme Court ruled Monday. The 5-4 decision means voters have the authority to set up independent commissions to make decisions about redistricting.

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Friday 06/26/2015
The pope, the globe and the facts
Posted: June 26, 2015

The media and the secular left have a love-hate relationship with the Roman Catholic Church and its popes. When the pope takes positions with which they agree, they applaud him, but when he takes positions with which they disagree, they either ignore or criticize him.

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Thursday 06/25/2015
In the South, grace, dignity after church shootings
Posted: June 25, 2015

"Lots of folks expected us to do something strange and break out in a riot. Well, they just don't know us," the Rev. Norvel Goff told the packed, multiracial congregation of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., on Sunday. It was the first service since the horrific slaughter of nine innocent souls by a racist fanatic.

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Wednesday 06/24/2015
Love demands that the flag must come down
Posted: June 24, 2015

WASHINGTON

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Monday 06/22/2015
Trump presidential bid not a serious exercise
Posted: June 22, 2015

We suppose we shouldn't rise to the bait, but it's hard to resist. Donald Trump declared himself a candidate for president this week. We suspect it was more an exercise in ego than politics. But Trump's attempt at politics was amazingly bad.

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Monday 06/15/2015
Cemeteries deserve to be cared for by others
Posted: June 15, 2015

It’s a common sight along most rural roads in Kentucky. Alone and forgotten amongst a clump of trees, oftentimes in the middle of a cow pasture or meadow, stand the final monuments to the men and women who carved a living from this landscape.

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Wednesday 06/10/2015
Reflecting on Normandy invasion 71 years ago
Posted: June 10, 2015

Seventy one years ago on Saturday, Allied soldiers launched a massive invasion in Normandy, France. It became known as “D-Day,” or to some the Battle of Normandy. It’s a significant date and event in this nation’s history, and we must be diligent in preserving the story.

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Monday 06/08/2015
Preserving historic places is essential to a strong economy
Posted: June 08, 2015

It’s time to catch our breath after a busy month of heritage-based events in May – starting with the Kentucky Derby, followed by National Travel and Tourism Week, then more festivals, street fairs, spring flings, May Days and celebrations of bourbon, music, food, art, cars, hikes, bikes and horses than any one person could possibly take in.

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Wednesday 06/03/2015
Obama trade deals offer path to growth
Posted: June 03, 2015

With Congress back in session this week, the House is expected to take up the hot topic of whether to grant Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) to President Obama. TPA, also called "fast track", gives the president leeway in negotiating trade deals. In this case the TPA relates to two trade deals, one with the European Union and another known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership involving 11 Pacific Rim countries.

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Tuesday 06/02/2015
Some words for our new graduates
Posted: June 02, 2015

Congratulations. You’re an adult now.

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Friday 05/29/2015
Too few voices are answering questions for our commonwealth
Posted: May 29, 2015

On primary election night, as we sat and watched the Republican Primary for Governor, we could not help but notice one glaring issue – less than 400,000 votes were cast in our state.

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Monday 05/18/2015
Accusations muddy primary race
Posted: May 18, 2015

We have consistently urged voters to not bypass elections. Often we have bemoaned the fact that in most elections, it is a minority of registered voters who actually vote. Voter apathy seems to be increasing.

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Tuesday 05/12/2015
Know how to protect the skin you’re in
Posted: May 12, 2015

How many times have you been advised to “Love the skin you’re in”?

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Readers Write

Grapevine Park logging

I was impressed with the article printed in the Messenger on June 25 concerning the logging within Grapevine Park. It appears that the reporting was fair and all parties made reasonable statements. This is not always the case.

I am a forester and have watched the forestland around Grapevine Lake for about 25 years. I used to be an avid "mountain biker," and even took my bike to the mecca of mountain biking in Moab, Utah. I used to ride in the woods surrounding Grapevine Lake and enjoyed riding through the mixture of mature hardwoods and younger forestland in various stages of natural regeneration. Natural regeneration is the condition of forests re-establishing themselves after natural or man-caused disturbances. The man-caused disturbances included coal mining, homesteading and logging that have occurred during the last 200 years.

Natural disturbances have been many, in the last 20 years. Ice storms, 70 mph winds from the remnants of Hurricane Ike, and a horrible tornado have all added to the stresses of the big plants that we call trees. We also experienced severe droughts that seem to occur about every 30 years. Foresters are required, and most of them enjoy, learning about ecology. I love ecology. I know that our environment is always changing. Change cannot be stopped. Not long ago, the edge of the polar ice cap was just north of Evansville, and roughly, the perimeter of that ice cap was the current location of the Ohio River. Halfway from that time to the current time, our area experienced conditions that were much hotter and drier than we see now. Our dominant vegetative cover was similar to the short-grass prairies of the current eastern Colorado. The point is that change happens, and it can be dramatic.

The difficulty within Grapevine Park is that the forest has become overly mature. Trees, like all lifeforms, have various longevities. For example, black oaks tend to enter the "elderly" stage at about 120 years. White oaks begin serious decline at perhaps 200 years, depending on conditions. Like humans, stresses are not good for the health of trees. The forestland surrounding Grapevine Lake would have been able to enjoy a few more years of good health, if it had not been for the severe stressors of the last 20 years. I have jokingly stated that the woods looked like the "return of the living dead" for the last 10 years. When you can see many dead limbs in the upper portions of the trees, they are on an irreversible path to mortality.

Another difficulty within this park is that the damaged tree tops allowed a large amount of sunlight to reach the forest floor. As hunters know, this inspires a great abundance of vegetation to become established. This is the natural way forests regenerate. Many animals love this "brushy" condition. Some problems in this process at Grapevine Lake include the presence of non-native and invasive vegetation. Japanese honeysuckle and tree-of-heaven (incorrectly named) are just two of the problem plants. They love disturbance and sunlight and are very difficult to control.

To me, the greatest problem with the Grapevine Lake forestland has been the danger. I have spent 26 years working in the forests, mostly in Kentucky. I do not generally worry about my safety when entering woodlands. However, when I walked down one of the bike trails a couple of years ago, I was deeply concerned. There were too many hanging dead tree limbs overhead for the safety of hikers and bikers. I would not be alarmed by an occasional "risky" tree, but this area was really a safety hazard.

I have compassion for the bikers and offer possible consolation that hazards are being reduced and some of the trails created by the logging equipment will make excellent new trails. I appreciate the approach of the Division of Forestry in tediously marking the dangerous trees for harvest. The loggers have the job of removing lower value trees and trying to satisfy a watching public. The trees that they are removing have various degrees of decay, making them less valuable than healthy trees. The City of Madisonville made a good and difficult decision, knowing that logging on public land is not popular. It would have been nice if Ike, ice, and a terrible tornado had not bothered us, but they did. As a forester, I am forced to think about the long-term consequences. New oaks, yellow poplars and hickories will naturally become the new forest. New, young, healthy trees will begin to "catch" carbon, sunlight, water and nutrients from the soil to rebuild a wonderful forest habitat. It does take patience!

Michael Ladd

Madisonville

SNbS

Girl Scouts' inspiring example of moral courage

Thank heaven for little girls. So sang French actor Maurice Chevalier in a famous song celebrating "their little eyes so helpless and appealing" and the fact that "they grow up in the most delightful way."

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Trump, Christie diluting pool for Bush, Clinton

Republican Chris Christie has just announced he doesn't want to be elected prom king of America.

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The Don vs. The Bern

WASHINGTON

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Mixing and matching not acceptable to this guy

HUH, USA -- Earl Holt III stormed through the crowd like he was on his way to a lynching. Earl III, in case you haven't heard, is President of the Conservative Council, an off-shoot of the infamous racist White Council of years back.

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Forever may Old Glory wave

When I see Old Glory waving in a gentle breeze, a memory of Jess McGary comes to mind.

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Pundit's death marks end of an era for Democrats

Ben Wattenberg died this week at the age of 81. He gave me my first job in Washington, as his research assistant at the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington think tank.

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Clinton, Obama on wrong side of history

Scenes from an insurrection: In Madison, Wisconsin, Wednesday, 10,000 people show up to rally for longshot presidential candidate Bernie Sanders — giving the self-declared "democratic socialist" the largest crowd any candidate has had so far this election cycle. Sanders, running on a shoestring and a prayer, has closed to within single digits of Hillary Clinton in some New Hampshire polls and is surging in Iowa.

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Obergefell has little in common with Roe v. Wade

After the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage, some conservatives compared the issue to abortion. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council told Fox: "This is not going to go away. Just as Roe v. Wade did not solve the abortion issue, this is not going to solve the issue of what marriage is."

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First Amendment turned upside down by the GOP

One entertaining aspect of recent dramatic Supreme Court rulings was learning that the court's high-minded intellectuals can be just as thin-skinned and spiteful as everybody else. Apparently, Justice Antonin Scalia was a law school Whiz Kid about 50 years and 50,000 cocktails ago, and finds it hard to accept that lesser minds are not obliged to agree with him.

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Obama riding a surge of momentum

WASHINGTON -- "This," President Obama said in the Rose Garden on Wednesday as he announced the restoration of diplomatic relations with Cuba, "is what change looks like."

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