Dangerous power play over control of UK sports
The effort to wrest control of University of Kentucky sports from the Athletics Association and place it under the Board of Trustees is a prescription for disaster.
I have followed UK sports my whole life. My grandfather, John Y. Brown Sr., represented several players during the basketball scandals of the early 1950s.
The problem in any program develops when power-hungry boosters appoint themselves the "fox in the chicken coop." No matter the intent of the fox, the chickens and farmers end up paying the ultimate price.
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Former UK president Lee T. Todd Jr. knew this and insulated athletics from the board and overreaching boosters. This did not make either Todd nor Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart popular. The UKAA has helped provide us a scandal-free decade that has nurtured the department to succeed, in spite of the financial limits placed on it.
I have never met Barnhart, but I have observed that he immediately addressed a basketball problem and oversaw the development of what is now the most powerful program in the country.
I have watched with pride as our teams competed and won. Our commonwealth can be proud of the type of players we are graduating, their GPAs and the lack of off-the field incidents that have embarrassed so many other universities.
My fear is that this power grab may result in a repeat of the NCAA sanctions of the 1950s, 1970s and 1980s. To not learn from our past is truly, in the words of Sports Illustrated, "Kentucky's Shame".
Benham J. Sims
Disturbing radio ad
Now that the election is over, I would like to address a campaign spot I found particularly concerning. It supported David Williams for governor and was funded by his father-in-law. Part of this ad, which ran on talk radio, warned the listener in an ominous hushed voice that some unnamed gay groups were supporting Gov. Steve Beshear.
For vulnerable youth in the process of self discovery, this spot could only be hurtful and destructive to learn that a candidate for governor would view your support and humanity as something to be dismissed, shunned and warned of.
Other youth could view this spot as a subtle message supporting intolerant behaviors such as verbal abuse and bullying. After all, the ad affirms bigotry and paints gays as "the other" and outside of the mainstream of good people by the campaign.
It is unconscionable that in this day and age, these old wedge issues are trotted out in order to pander to the intolerant when we are looking for solutions. The prosperous economy of the future will be based on diversity, tolerance and creativity.
Our leaders need to set an example that will allow the state to progress and participate in the future rather than wallow in the past.
Alison Lundergan Grimes won the election for secretary of state with 61 percent of the votes. And, to my knowledge, she did not run a single negative ad. You mean you can win an election without negative campaign ads? Fancy that.
We applaud Grimes, whose ads focused on her and what she would do if elected. What a novel idea. The ad with her two grandmothers was pure genius.
Negative ads have gone overboard with smear tactics, half truths and even downright lies. It's the old idea of making yourself look good by making the other guy look bad. It doesn't work in other areas and it doesn't work in politics.
Note to politicians and campaign managers: Are you paying attention?
Low point of the recent election: David Williams' insults to Hindus.
High point: Alison Lundergan Grimes' grandmothers.
The elections are over and the "sheeple" have spoken. Now we get more of the same
C. Wayne Baker
Protests may aid GOP
According to Columbia University professor Steve Fraser, in his Oct. 23 column about the history of anti-business protest, there's "no question in the minds of the '99 percent' that Wall Street was principally to blame for the country's crisis."
Someone should alert the people who participated in a recent Gallup poll. Nearly two-thirds of them blamed the mess more on Washington than Wall Street.
The 99 percent evidently have more questions in their minds than Fraser supposed.
Remember the last time the professional left sighed in relief because Americans had finally come to their senses about cracking down on the rich?
It was November 2008, and the people's champion had arrived in the person of Barack Obama. He would slay the dragons of Wall Street — even throw some of the scoundrels in prison, if there was any room left after the war crimes trials of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld.
Three years on, Obama hasn't thrown anyone in prison, and leftists have returned to their customary state of agony and disbelief. Yet hope springs eternal: now the Occupy Wall Street movement has come to rouse the masses from their torpor. A people's revolution is at hand.
Or is it? After radical street protests became associated with the Democratic Party in the late 1960s, Americans responded by giving five of the next six presidential elections to Republicans.
Those like Fraser who hope Occupy Wall Street portends "an unfolding drama of renewed resistance" might be careful what they wish for.
Toyota a good citizen
The Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky plant has been in Central Kentucky for 25 years and we could not have asked for better neighbors. Toyota prides itself on being a good corporate steward of the community as employees serve on numerous community organization boards.
The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Governor's Scholars Program, Leadership Kentucky, Urban League, YMCA Black Achievers, Lexington Humane Society, Louisville Zoo, Junior Achievement of the Bluegrass and the Governor's School for the Arts are just a few of the many that Toyota supports.
Additionally, Toyota in Georgetown has donated over $38 million in corporate gifts to local organizations since 1987.
TMMK and its team members have invested over $17 million in the community through United Way of the Bluegrass. Yet at TMMK, it's more than just writing a check or serving on a board. Their team members are truly engaged in the work of our community, doing whatever it takes to make it stronger.
TMMK has a great concern for how others outside our community see us, and that's something that money can't buy.
At United Way of the Bluegrass, we believe in innovation and creativity to deliver the best solutions for the community. From the new Camry to their involvement throughout Central Kentucky, TMMK conveys this concept in its greatest form.
We appreciate all the wonderful things brought about by our 25 year partnership with TMMK, and look forward to the next 25 years.
President, United Way of the Bluegrass
Goodbye, good riddance
Personally, I'm delighted that Jeanne Gang and her ghastly pile of glass and steel are out of the picture. Her design was as unsuitable for the location as anything I can think of.
The original design, while out of scale, was a rather elegant and fitting one for the space and would fit in with both the generic glass, steel and concrete office buildings on Vine Street and the 19th and early 20th Century buildings on Main Street. Developer Dudley Webb should leave the sign as is and when time comes to build, put something dignified and classic on it rather than some monstrosity like the Gang proposal. Such designs may appeal to academic architects and other soi-disant elites, but what we need isn't something to "make a statement" but something that fits our community.
The designers of the new courthouses did a splendid job. I'm sure CentrePointe can be just as handsome and convey a confident, proven style that will stand the test of time and not become as dated as a lava lamp, like so many modern contemporary buildings do.
Plan must go beyond ordinary
I am in full agreement with your Nov. 1 editorial on CentrePointe. Architecture can brand a city, for better or worse.
Did the citizens of Lexington lose something when the Webb Cos. forfeited some architectural control of CentrePointe to Marriott? You bet we did. We certainly lost the opportunity to benefit from the architectural vision of Studio Gang.
We potentially lost the opportunity to create a world-class brand. I understand the Webbs' profit motivation — that is what developers do. But I also believe the Webbs have an obligation to Lexington to fulfill their motto: "Developing tomorrow's landmarks."
CentrePointe can become a world-class landmark in which we can take great pride. Or it can become a brand that says we are very ordinary. We are not ordinary, and I am confident the new architectural team has the potential to demonstrate that. As a community, we need to continue to make clear to the Webbs that we want Lexington branded for the better.
With the news of Studio Gang Architects being removed from the project that many Lexington residents have become excited about, it is obvious that we are destined to get the same garbage the same developers gave us in the 1980s. We have an example of quality design in the W. T. Young Library that has become a tourist destination at the University of Kentucky. This is because we went the extra step to get a quality design group for this structure. Lexington again comes out the loser because of narrow-minded developers.
Whole community jilted
No, surely not? You have to be wrong. That's not possible.
Shocking. The developer has made the community-development faux pas equivalent of leaving the bride at the altar.
Make the beautiful plans, send out the invitations, bring everyone together to make something extraordinary, generate excitement and a sense of pride throughout the families, ask everyone in earshot to put the date on the calendar, and then: Abort! Abort! Abort! Leave her standing there in her designer gown, surrounded by friends and family.
If ever there was a doubt as to the shortsighted and small thinking that the good old boys who still want to control Lexington are willing to, once again, impose on our city — all doubt has at last been removed via this recent fiasco.
The developer invited a world-class architect, winner of the MacArthur Genius Award, to come to town and make a centerpiece that our grandchildren's children will be proud of and that will draw the right kinds of attention and visitors; persuaded talented architects from miles around to submit proposals; chose from among them to start the creative wheels turning in those fine minds and got the whole town imagining, jubilant, ready to celebrate.
And then: Don't. Show. Up.
Will there never be a way we can prevent these kinds of people from planning our public spaces and imposing them on the rest of us?
T. Meriah Kruse