High schoolers get college credits at community college
It's worth celebrating that Fayette County Public Schools is beginning to work with the University of Kentucky to allow more high school students to gain access to high-quality college courses.
Given the efforts to improve high school and post-secondary graduation rates, all colleges and universities should help young people move ahead faster. For our community to be competitive in an ever-expanding world economy, it is imperative that students have access to and successfully complete post-secondary studies.
However, this concept is not new. This fall, 90 students enrolled into "Opportunity Middle College" on Bluegrass Community and Technical College's Leestown campus. Attending both high school and college classes on campus has allowed these students to flourish in a collegiate atmosphere.
While underserved students (first generation, minority and low income) are encouraged to attend, any student can apply.
This is the fourth year of the program with outstanding results — 85 percent have better high school GPAs and they graduated with over 1,600 credit hours of college credit.
In addition, BCTC started an early middle college with Scott County and Anderson County schools last year. Enrollments have doubled this fall, with just as impressive results.
It is important to get the power of the flagship university behind such a good concept to touch more students and take their education to the next level But let's not forget that our local community college has a history of success in this area and stands ready to help.
Alan M. Stein
Board member, Bluegrass Community and Technical College Foundation
Education over violence
The recent video denigrating Islam has been denounced by a great diversity of people across the globe. The backlash of violence in protest to the video is equally disturbing.
As members of the Christian-Muslim Dialogue in Lexington, we add our voice of dismay over such disturbing and disruptive actions that seem to be motivated only by hatred and intolerance.
We extend our support of others who also plead for compassionate understanding of our differences and call for respect of other people, regardless of their faith tradition.
It is only through compassion toward one another and mutual respect of human dignity that we can work together to end senseless violence and destructive hatred.
We totally agree with a recent piece published in The Financial Times by the prominent Turkish Muslim scholar and honorary president of Rumi Forum, Fethullah Gulen: "The attacks on the Prophet we have repeatedly experienced are to be condemned, but the corrective response is not violence. Instead, we must pursue a relentless campaign to promote respect for the sacred values of all religions."
John H. Parks, M.D.
Christian-Muslim Dialogue Steering Committee
ADHD awareness week
Oct. 14-21 is National ADHD Awareness Week. It's a time to learn about the prevalence and seriousness of ADHD and celebrate the talents and accomplishments of individuals living with ADHD in our communities.
ADHD is a disease that affects over 15 million adults and children in the United States alone, with untold numbers as yet undiagnosed. Yet because the disease is often stigmatized and belittled, millions of Americans do not seek treatment, resulting in lost productivity and potential that leave us all diminished.
My daughter has ADHD. She won a scholarship in July to attend the First National ADHD Aware Youth Summit because she was brave enough to tell her story. That story includes struggles in school until we sought help.
She has learned how to deal with her ADHD and has gone on to be a top reader at school, a member of an academic team and an actress in local plays. She has also become a caring and strong young lady who makes me a proud mother every day.
Help end the stigma that inhibits our ability to empower this vast yet hidden ADHD community. Share positive stories and images of ADHD children and adults bravely confronting the struggles and stigma they face daily. Encourage more research and the sharing of best practices — pharmacological, behavioral and community-driven.
Learn more about ADHD and how to improve the lives of the individuals and families it affects at http://www.adhdaware.org/.
Ex-coaches and Os
I'm sorry folks but when any coach complains about playing too many freshmen and sophomores and not enough juniors and seniors then we all know that something's wrong.
What happened to so many would-be junior and senior players since University of Kentucky Coach Joker Phillips took over? According to numbers which I trust, almost half have had academic issues that led to their departure. Think about that for a moment. Also keep in mind that Joker was the front man recruiter under Coach Rich Brooks.
Also, could anyone explain to me the "hybrid positions" UK's so-called defensive coordinator uses, because there are not such positions in the pros or high school. It obviously doesn't work. So why doesn't Phillips fire him now and save his own job?
Darrell G. Gross
SEC best for Cats
Recent talk of the University of Kentucky moving from the SEC by columnists and casual fans alike is absurd. The SEC is the most stable conference and the one most assured of survival in all the realignment upheaval.
Other lesser conferences such as the Big East, ACC and Big 12 most likely would welcome UK with open arms, but lack the definite long-term viability.
The second most sound conference, the Big 10, would not accept UK. We offer little to nothing in the way of football prominence, which is the driver of all potential moves, and it would not wish to bring in our basketball juggernaut.
The SEC is our home, and it would be foolish to think of leaving. If fans are unhappy about our lack of success on the gridiron, they could do as they do in basketball and insist on better performance.
On Sept. 11, a forum was scheduled for the 4th Congressional District candidates sponsored by the Shelby County Farm Bureau. This would have been one of the few times Bill Adkins and Thomas Massie would be together.
Agriculture is the lifeblood of our economy and our community. The issues to be addressed were important to us. Then, close to the date of the debate, Massie declined. We deserve better than that.
How can a congressional candidate ignore such a powerful voice in the community? Massie's responses to the Kentucky Farm Bureau's congressional questionnaire might explain it. To multiple questions Massie gave the answer: "I am not familiar enough with this issue to address the specifics ..."
Adkins, an attorney in Grant County, continues his law practice and serves his clients and community well while still being able to campaign and participate in the debate we all deserve. That's what I want in my congressman.
Thomas Massie has skipped out on every invitation to debate Bill Adkins, arrogantly assuming, apparently, that he doesn't have to do any work to win this election. The only qualification he needs, it seems, is being the Republican candidate.
Adkins, on the other hand, has shown up to virtually every event where he could answer constituents' questions. Massie refuses to share the stage with his opponent.
Not only is this the opposite of participatory democracy, but it suggests one of two things about Massie: He's either afraid to confront Adkins because he knows Adkins is more in touch with the issues confronting our citizens, or he just assumes he can win by doing nothing. Either case in an insult.
Show him we want a candidate who is willing to talk to the people and make a supreme effort to inform them of his positions. Vote for Adkins.
Comic worth keeping
I'm sorry for the artist's medical situation that led to the cancelation of Cul De Sac, but canceling Daddy's Home is a big disappointment.
Seems like the Herald-Leader tried this once before but decided against it.
If you want to cancel something, cancel F Minus. I read that every day hoping someday there might be something that is halfway comical. Hasn't happened.
Of course, I remember the days of Alley Oop, Dick Tracy, Joe Palooka, Terry and the Pirates, Steve Canyon and even Brick Bradford.
They don't make 'em like they used to.
Church a good neighbor
For reasons unclear, both the Herald-Leader and councilman Bill Farmer left out some relevant information relating to the fate of the pond on Southland Christian Church's Richmond Road campus.
Degraded though it was, it was still disturbing to lose a water feature in landlocked Lexington.
A casual conversation with a church official revealed, and was supported by documents provided by Farmer's council aide, that the church had to purchase stream and wetland credits of $128,160 for impacts associated with the new campus.
The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources is providing mitigation for these permits, somewhere in the lower Kentucky River service area.
The church will retain water features which are still in the design phase. It seems the church is making the best of a difficult situation and is striving to be a good neighbor.
Production was nothing short of 'phan' tastic
The Big Blue Nation landed another big one, and it was not a basketball player. The UK Opera Theater was one of very few universities granted the rights to produce and perform Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera. I had seen it twice in Toronto, in a theater that was renovated for two years just for the debut outside of London and Broadway. I also saw the Broadway production in Louisville.
The Lexington Opera House was less than half that size in seating and stage. With excellent hard effort they pulled off the Broadway quality with the singing, acting, dancing, colorful costumes and improved stage props. The feelings in my body and emotions were like the first time I saw it during opening week in Toronto in 1990.
If you had told me beforehand that I would feel that way, I would have told you that you were crazy. I am so proud of the students and staff for doing such a fantastic job making this happen. I know that if I were one of the performers I would be on Cloud 9 and it would have felt as if I was on the national championship team.
If I were one of the parents of the performers, I would be so proud. I felt honored that I was so fortunate to be there for the performance.
High-quality performances worthy of support
The University of Kentucky Opera Theatre and the Lexington Opera Society's production of The Phantom of the Opera was nothing less than amazing. What a production, and in an Opera House built at the same time as the setting of Phantom. Only the most jaded could have left disappointed as the singing, acting, costuming, staging, lighting, sound and technical support were of the highest level.
John Nardililo's UK orchestra played beautifully. UK's production staff led by Everett McCorvey superseded all expectations in what many thought could prove to be an overly ambitious task. The entire production was first-rate. I was so proud that my university can attract such talent.
The Opera House Fund, a non profit created by individual donors in 1974 to support local arts' use of the Opera House was pleased to give financial support to the UK Opera Theater in this endeavor.
If you were a first-time concert-goer to Phantom, then attend more musical events in our community such as An American Requiem Nov. 9 by the Lexington Singers; West Side Story, Nov. 14-16 at the Opera House and any events of the UK School of Music such as UK Symphony Orchestra and UK Choral Departments concerts. Your purchase of tickets and support through contributions are so needed.
And when attending a production at our very own Opera House you might wonder: Do we have an opera ghost? One never knows.