There’s a rumor running amok that I’m retiring. It’s no rumor; it’s true.
That may shock some of you, but I guess I’ve shocked a lot of folks in this community many times before. That’s just my style.
My tenure as publisher of the Richmond Register will end June 21. I’ve had a good run. Being publisher of the Richmond Register has been very rewarding. Without a doubt, these have been the best of my 40 years in the newspaper business.
The decision to retire is among the toughest I’ve ever made. I certainly will miss parts of my job, although there are many parts I won’t miss.
During the past two years my job, has gotten busier, with changes in our sales and business departments, and all of that change takes a mental toll. As they say, it’s time to smell the roses.
I’ve had the longest tenure of any publisher at the Richmond Register in many years. Candidly, I’ve been here for more years than I thought I would.
During that time, we’ve won many Kentucky Press Association awards. Since 2006, we’ve had three first-place awards, two second-place awards and a third-place award in the General Excellence category. I’m proud of that record and even more proud of the employees who made it happen. They’ve made it look easy.
Shoot, even this old publisher won a second-place award for best editorial — not bad for someone who had never written a column or editorial before becoming publisher.
I guess my proudest achievement began with a question years ago — I don't recall the year — when I spoke at the Exchange Club. By the way, they are a tough bunch of guys, so be ready for anything if you have the opportunity to speak with them.
Someone asked: Five years from now, when you look back, what would you like to have accomplished?
The answer was easy: The Richmond Register will have made a huge difference in this community and have made it a better place to live.
I believe we did that, and I’m proud of it.
I have many people to thank. The most important is my wife, Bonnie. She has been there for me all the way, in good times and bad. I love her dearly for that. I couldn’t have found a more wonderful person with whom to grow old and smell the roses.
Employees, past and present, of the Richmond Register have been wonderful. I thank them from the bottom of my heart, and I wish them all the best as they continue without me. They are dedicated to producing a newspaper that this community desperately needs and can be proud of.
I hope you will continue to support the Richmond Register, so that it may continue to inform, educate and keep our governments honest.
We need your support more now than ever, as all newspapers work through a fragile economic environment. The Richmond Register must endure because it’s hard to imagine a community without a public watchdog.
I should thank many others, but there are so many. If you are one of them, thank you for your support all these years. Without reader feedback and encouragement, this newspaper would not be where it is today. I would not be who I am today.
Thank you so much for allowing me to be part of your daily lives. It’s been a real pleasure.
Only time will tell what’s next for me. I plan to take much needed time to recharge and find the passion to once again make a difference. We are not leaving Richmond. This is our home.
With time, I believe doors will open so that I may stay involved and continue working to make this community a better place to work and live. I’m not interested in riding off into the sunset.
This is not my farewell column. There will be others, because I must let Trouble have one last ride, if you know what I mean.
Reflections from the publisher
There’s a rumor running amok that I’m retiring. It’s no rumor; it’s true.
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.
Cynicism, optimism both on display in Frankfort
Those who spend little time in Kentucky’s Capitol and who read columns by cynics who cover it should be forgiven their disillusionment about how the people’s business is conducted.
Even Scrooge would enjoy library mystery
Saturday afternoons and evenings are usually down time for Loretta and me.
We simply don’t get out much after we’ve used up the movie gift certificates the kids gave us for Christmas. That means we mostly go to the movies to avoid guilt trips because our kids do work hard for their money.
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