Those of us in the media often hear that we focus too much on bad news.
That may be true, but anytime we’re late reporting on a crime, scandal or disaster, we usually get criticized even more harshly.
And, now that we can track the number of views on our website and Facebook page, we can see that stories about bad things happening get more looks.
Sometimes, I doubt whether social ills can be remedied, but we can’t try to fix problems we know nothing about.
There are plenty of good stories, however, and one of them runs under a banner headline on today’s front page.
On Wednesday, publisher Nick Lewis, senior news writer Ronica Shannon and I met with three men who want to facilitate good things in our community.
Jeff Fultz, Ralph Hacker and George Ridings are promoting a way people who want to make this community a better place can make contributions that will be of benefit far into the future.
The Madison County Community Foundation is a vehicle that will allow anyone to invest in our county’s future. Donations to the foundation will be placed in safe investments, and local charities will be able to apply for grants from the endowment’s earnings.
Many needs are urgent, and donors should not ignore them as they need immediate attention. But those of a charitable spirit also should make contributions that will keep on giving.
By placing a portion of their charitable gifts in the Madison County Community Foundation’s endowment, those donations will help fill community needs far into the future.
This kind of arrangement should naturally appeal to those who have acquired wealth over a lifetime. They did so by saving and investing, and now they have an opportunity to do the same with a share of their charitable donations.
Regardless of the extent of our wealth, every penny we donate to the foundation will continue to pay dividends indefinitely.
While most givers want to help fill a need or solve a problem rather than receive a benefit, their gifts to the foundation currently qualify for substantial state and federal tax deductions.
Talk of tax reform, both in Frankfort and Washington, D.C., inevitably includes suggestions that all deductions be eliminated to help simplify what everyone regards as a far-too-complex tax system. While tax breaks for charitable donation are unlikely to be end, they could be reduced. Donors should think about that as they plan their estates and current charitable giving.
Many people insist that private charities, rather than government, should take the lead in attacking social ills. Now they have another way to back up that sentiment with real, lasting action.
Government funding can dry up, but a well-managed endowment can keep generating funds nearly forever.
Fultz, Ridings and Hacker, along with attorney Charles Hoffman, the local foundation’s chair, are among our community’s most successful and respected leaders. We can rest assured the system they lead will be well managed and profitable, providing the greatest possible benefit.
I hope you find this column as refreshing to read as it was for me to write. If you appreciate good news, you can generate more of it by responding to the Madison County Community Foundation’s appeal.
Those of us in the media often hear that we focus too much on bad news.
Education a priority? Don’t believe it
They did it – more or less.
They got a budget, they got a road plan and they got out of town on time.
Did you miss small business health-care tax credit?
A Kentucky professional who owns his own business found that he missed getting the health-care tax credit.
Compromise is not that simple
It’s tempting for a casual onlooker to wonder why the Democratic House and Republican Senate can’t make what on the surface looks like the obvious compromise on pension reform.
The Senate passed a measure based on recommendations of a task force to move new employees into a hybrid, cash-balance plan but maintain existing defined benefits for current employees and retirees.
Frankfort plays ping-pong with public pension transparency
Legislation that would make the Kentucky Retirement Systems transparent for those paying its bills has danced into the spotlight during the 2014 session of the Kentucky General Assembly.
Passage of transparency bills filed by Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Latonia, and Rep. Robert Benvenuti, R-Lexington, would make the “names, status, projected or actual benefit payments” subject to our commonwealth’s superlative Open Records Act.
The case of the ghostly neighbor
Wilbur lived in a world of fears. Everything frightened him. The full extent of his courage was to admit that he had none.
Noises in the middle of the night, his own shadow creeping up on him and, most of all, black cats scared the wits out of him.
So, picture his chagrin, one day, when he came home from vacation only to discover that a mausoleum had been erected on property adjacent to his home.
Provisional concealed-carry law passes Senate unanimously
Things are staying busy in Frankfort. Many bills are making their way onto the Senate floor from various committees. This past week several important pieces of legislation were debated and passed.
I am particularly proud of the success we had in advocating for Kentuckians’ Second Amendment rights.
I introduced Senate Bill 106 to allow anyone who has been granted an emergency protective or domestic violence order to receive a provisional CCDW permit from the Kentucky State Police in one business day. In some of these cases, victims need this type of protection as quickly as possible.
50 years makes a world of difference
I wasn’t in Frankfort on March 5, 1964, when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph Abernathy, and Jackie Robinson led 10,000 on a march to the state Capitol in support of a public accommodations law.
But a few months later, I stood in front of the “Music Hall,” site of the Glasgow Junior High School located on a street named Liberty, and watched black kids “walk up the hill” of College Street on the first day of integrated schools in Glasgow.
Coal has kept Kentuckians warm this winter
This winter, temperatures across the country dipped to historic lows. Here in our home state of Kentucky, the near-arctic climate caused increased power demand which resulted in an incredible strain on the electric grid and rising energy costs.
Protecting citizens’ data is a no-brainer
Target Corp. is learning the hard way: The price is steep for retailers who don’t protect customers’ sensitive financial information.
Target’s profits fell a whopping 50 percent during its fourth quarter of 2013 as the result of a massive security breach involving as many as 110 million of its customers’ credit- and debit-card accounts, which began the day before Thanksgiving and extended throughout much of the holiday shopping season.
Making plans for spring planting
My brother Keith (Keeter) probably planted peas on one of those warm days last week, and I would not be at all surprised to find out that brother Steve did likewise to try to be the first two fellows in Letcher County to actually be digging the soil in their 2014 gardens.
Keeter’s father-in-law, the late Dock Mitchell, used to get my brother to drive him a 50-mile round trip to get pea seeds and potting soil for early February planting. Dock raised mammoth melting sugar snow peas and sugar snaps around every fence on the place.
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