Downtown plan needs to face our retail realities
Does the "downtown dreamer dozen" really think that squandering $300 million will get people back downtown.
Will Macy's, Dillards, Wal-Mart, Target, Meijer, Kohl's, Kroger, American Eagle, Gap, Abercrombie, Old Navy or Best Buy put stores downtown in a location with no free parking? Hardly.
Where are the acres of free parking for all those fantasy retail stores that the dreamers on the task force think will be downtown?
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Hamburg Place was the final straw to finish off downtown. Good stores, free parking, good restaurants — it's 2012, not 1952.
The plan is for 46 acres for an arts and entertainment district. I see millions of dollars in red ink. One of the best attractions downtown is the Artists' Attic in Victorian Square. That is, if you can find parking. Of course the rest of the building is a study in "For Rent" signs.
Lexington's roads are just as bad as during the mayoral tenure of "Pothole Pam." Sidewalks have deteriorated, the sewers are in poor shape, the electrical jungle of poles and spaghetti wires is not only ugly, but dangerous. We are short on police, firefighters and EMTs, the Parks and Recreation budget is cut to the bone, the various social services' budgets are a joke.
The Horse Park extravaganza should turn on some lights in that befuddled downtown committee.
Let us note that the KFC Yum Center in Louisville is not bringing in the tax dollars from the surrounding businesses as the dreamers there thought.
Edwin W. Paul
Following results of a Norwegian firm's plans for major parts of downtown was a succession of glowing comments on how brilliant, transformative and spectacular the plan will be for Lexington.
It reminded me of nothing so much as a small child asking for an impossibly long list of gifts while on Santa's lap. On paying for all this construction the proposal seems comically impractical.
Build more retail space? Around Rupp Arena? Did any of the members of the design team visit Lexington Center stores or Victorian Square or glance across at the former Festival Marketplace? Did they stroll along any main downtown street and peer into any empty storefronts?
Yes, the plan is supposed to encompass 10 to 20 years of development, but unless the plan also includes blowing up either Fayette Mall or Hamburg Place, it is fairly certain that downtown has plenty of existing retail space for the next decade.
Perhaps in future reporting the Herald-Leader will exercise some journalistic objectivity instead of just functioning as another corporate cheerleader.
Be alert to concussions
With the Super Bowl behind us, news about sports concussions makes parents wonder how many blows to the head are too many. Is any tackle safe?
Physician pathologists caution that a child's brain is more vulnerable to injury because it is still developing.
While better helmets can prevent skull fractures, they can't protect the brain from injury and concussion. No blow to the head is safe.
Repeated concussions can set up a child's brain for a debilitating brain disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), later in life.
As a physician whose specialty is pathology, I caution parents to play it safe if a concussion is suspected in your child.
It's far better to miss a game than to risk having memory problems mid-life.
It's important to prevent future cases of CTE. Pathologists first diagnosed CTE in football players and caution that suffering one concussion can make you more vulnerable to another.
Parents, coaches and players can receive more information on this topic by visiting the Web sites of the College of American Pathologists, the Sports Legacy Institute, and the Boston University Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy.
Jill Eickhoff, M.D.
Obama has the edge
Should candidate Mitt Romney become the nominee for the party of the rich, he would be good enough for Republicans, but not for the overwhelming majority of the middle class and poor.
Republicans basically seem to believe that everything America was, is and forever will be is owed to the rich. That explains the GOP's belief in what they think is the infallibility of trickle-down economics.
A better gauge of how strong the economy is might be how well the middle class and poor are faring, not whether the rich are getting richer.
As greed increases in our country, compassion declines and the economic gulf between haves and have-nots widens significantly. Divisive greed is bad; compassion which unites is good.
In spite of Republicans' all-out efforts to make sure President Barack Obama is a one-term president, no current Republican candidate, Romney included, would be a better president than Obama.
Paul L. Whiteley Sr.
No job creator
Have you heard anything unbelievable lately? Well, try this. Barack Obama appointed Jeff Immelt, General Electric chief executive and board chairman, to be his job-creation czar.
Later, in the July-August period of 2011, Immelt closed the Waukesha, Wis., GE plant. It's the 115-year-old X-ray division. He moved it to Beijing.
GE will invest $2 billion there, hire 65 Chinese engineers and create six research centers.
Do you think there might be 65 American engineers who would be thrilled to get back to work?
Perhaps Obama forgot to tell Immelt where in the world he wanted jobs to be created?
Get out of cushy offices
A show that is becoming a fast favorite of mine is Undercover Boss. It gives me hope when I see a company president or chief executive leave the confines of their cushy office to enter the work force and learn how some decisions, made by them and the board can lead to employee dissatisfaction and loss of revenue when the expectation was the opposite.
If you don't know what is required in order to do an effective and productive job then you should not make decisions on behalf of those who do.
I doubt anyone will ever see the University of Kentucky leadership vacate it extravagant offices in order to spend a day performing labor in the shoes of those they have been making miserable due to their far-reaching and out of place ideas for "increased production."
If those in charge had the slightest inkling or understanding of what it takes to be productive and effective they would not blindly make policies and changes that hinder morale and production.
They would think twice about freezing salaries and raises for the staff while still giving administrators and themselves annual increases and bonuses. They would earn the respect they seek which is far from given to them today.
Irina Voro, the faculty representative on the UK Board of Trustees, said it all when she said that UK should not be governed by ignorance.