Grandparents key to saving abused, neglected children
Gov. Steve Beshear's recent column on protecting Kentucky's vulnerable children is welcome news, especially his call for tipping the balance towards increased openness within Kentucky's Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
Secrecy is a primary enabler of the abuse, neglect and endangerment of children.
Unfortunately, the cabinet has often ill-used its mandate of confidentiality as an excuse for excluding grandparents from the process of providing the safest home environment for the child at risk.
Even in many cases when the cabinet has placed children with the grandparents, a process is quickly begun to return the child to the parents.
Health and safety concerns seem to come in a distant second in this process. As soon as the child is returned to the parents, the cabinet then refuses to keep up any communication with the grandparents. Reporting of future abuse is therefore discouraged, as the grandparents are at considerable risk of losing all contact with the grandchild.
Kentucky sorely needs a "Grandma's Law" where grandparents can be included in the strategies for making sure their grandchildren are safe and well-cared for. A commission should be appointed by the governor to hear grievances.
In cases where children are permanently removed from parents, grandparents should be first in line for consideration in providing for grandchildren.
The cabinet is stubbornly resisting what has always been the first line of protection for children. Instead of placing impossible obstacles in grandparents' way, tap these resources to alleviate the growing problems of the abuse and neglect of children.
Bring race out of closet
My family most certainly appreciates the sentiments in the editorial, "Not colorblind yet; but outrage at church's bigotry a sign of progress." Race is always the boogie bear in the closet.
This being said, there has never been a thought that I want to live in a colorblind society. Like so many other Africans worldwide, we consciously work at how we see and, therefore, how we present ourselves on this planet.
After several hundred years of what we have collectively been through, this is absolutely critical. Colorblind? Absolutely not.
And neither am I a so-called minority. The vast majority of the world's people have varying degrees of melanin (skin color). Europeans are around 10 percent of the population. The term "minority" is a political one, meant to make African-Americans, Latinos, Asians and others feel less than.
Many years ago, my husband, Chester, and I suggested the paper do a series on global white supremacy, beginning with a study group dedicated to reading the progressive understandings of Frances Cress Welsing, Na'im Akbar and others. No one really wanted to approach race in this way. The result was a watered-down series that did not come close to the intent of that conversation.
One of our great regrets is that the paper seldom covers the 11 a.m., Martin Luther King Jr. Day program. Just giving the powerful keynote speeches a little press might help educate us all.
This year's speaker is Marc Lamont Hill, whose comments — like his mentor Michael Eric Dyson — are layered with understanding on race, gender and culture.
Ann Beard Grundy
Workers needed facts
After reading about the firefighters loss in court in which they were denied a temporary injunction halting Lexington's new employee health insurance plan, I began to boil. Facts concerning the effects of taking the health care benefit away from city employees seem to have been omitted from all discussions of this change.
Circuit Judge Pamela Goodwine's comments, published in the Herald-Leader, totally ignored that all city workers deserved to have the facts which would have come to light if there had been an advisory board to look over this issue.
Now, many — not just fire and police — are faced with balancing their home budgets if they are forced to take the city insurance. Many will have to ask questions like, "Do I pay my house payment or do I buy groceries?"
Most employees were given a mere two months to decipher information which changed on a weekly basis. It leaves me to ask how this decision came so quickly.
If we cannot afford the benefit for our employees then how can we afford a wellness clinic with doctors, nurses and all the associated expenses?
Fix streets near town
A recent Saturday evening, my wife and I went to a play at Transylvania University's Lucille Little Theatre. We normally park in the theater parking lot, but it was full.
We quickly found a convenient spot on a side street, no more than 100 yards away.
After the show, walking back to the car, in the dark I stepped into a deep hole in the sidewalk and fell down to my hands and knees. But there was no damage done other than a scuff to the trouser leg of my already well-worn jeans, and a twisted ankle, which I didn't even discover until next morning and which is minor and will heal quickly.
I'm thankful for such a fortunate outcome. It could easily have been my wife who stepped into the hole. She has a frail bone condition and such a fall for her could have resulted in a broken leg, hip or worse.
We need to continue to take care of the older parts of Lexington, and someone responsible should put a cover on this hole before another pedestrian goes down.
Repair Liberty Road
With the extensive rebirth of downtown's Main Street through resurfacing, lighting and sidewalk and drain repairs, the access arteries need to share a little of the left-overs.
Specifically, when will Liberty Road (between New Circle and Winchester roads) receive a little TLC?
This downtown access artery is traveled daily by many and is in absolute disrepair and neglect. It's guaranteed to damage your vehicle severely due to deep crosscut ruts, irregular asphalt patches and cavern-size potholes.
Has the mayor's motorcade driven down this strip lately?
Open UK ticket access
I was a resident of Fayette County most of my life and all those years only the chosen with wealth in Kentucky got their same seats in Rupp.
A few years back, I went to the ticket office on campus and asked how to get these tickets and was told to fill out a form and get on a waiting list. If a season ticketholder dies and doesn't have any family, then those tickets go to the next person on that list.
If the people of Fayette County are going to pay any money for Rupp renovation, then all taxpayers should have a chance for a ticket — not just in the nose-bleed section but anywhere in Rupp. Some feelings will get hurt but most of them will be the ones whose feelings have never been hurt before.
Let's make these games for everyone to see — not just those who think, because they have had these tickets for years, they own them.
Timothy B. Nickoson Sr.
Why is the planned addition to the Living Arts & Science Center considered so wonderful? It appears to be all straight lines. One cardinal rule of design is that curved lines are always more aesthetically pleasing. How much did the architects charge for this simple design?
I also don't care for Sayre's buildings to the left and right of the Old Sayre. Call me retro, but what is wrong with using Thomas Jefferson/Palladian ideas of design, which are some of the best? What would have been wrong with trying to copy, match and fit in with the lovely old building on the circle?
I also did not care for architect Jeanne Gang's design for CentrePointe, but far preferred the traditionalism of the Webbs' design.Her ideas would have resulted in a hodge podge of unrelated designs all on one block.
The Woodlands on East Main used traditional design to perfection. Why not try to stick to Lexington's lovely historical styles instead of assaulting our senses with elements such as the back of the Old Wolf Wile building with garish colors and odd attachments? Sorry, Mayor, but new ideas are not always better.
Barbara Ellen Curtin
I'm sorry, that box stuck on the side of the Lexington Arts and Science Center is disrespectful to the historical house and the neighborhood. The addition should complement the house. I'm not opposed to an addition, but please don't let this happen.
Marcella Watts Anderson