School budget woes costs Shelton benefit of the doubt
I'm tired of being told that I don't understand the realities of school funding. I'm tired of being effectively spoken to as if I were a three-year old. And frankly I'm tired of administrators with a staggering lack of imagination.
Fayette Superintendent Tom Shelton talks about "distrust and paranoia" on the part of employees and parents.
He said that we are misinformed and being highly speculative in our assumptions regarding budget cuts. And yet with every report in the media, every vague response and way he characterizes those who seek answers, he telegraphs how little regard he has for us.
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If he's confused by the negative reactions on the part of employees and parents these past weeks, he has no one to blame but himself. Isn't it his job to be transparent, rather than provide partial and vague answers? Isn't it his job to seek and garner consensus from all affected parties before taking on a major decision that will impact the lives of every child and teacher in the district?
Finally, isn't it his job to forecast budgetary issues before they become major problems? I've been giving Shelton the benefit of the doubt since he arrived in Lexington, but with this entire budgetary fiasco, I've lost faith in his ability to lead this school district.
Don't worsen traffic flow
The plan to convert to two-way traffic on downtown Lexington streets will impact far more than just those who live there.
I have five kids and a real estate business, so I often drive through downtown to drop off kids at school events or to check our property. Lexington, unfortunately, doesn't have interstates to get traffic from one side of town to the other — unlike Louisville, Cincinnati, Knoxville, Nashville, Dayton, etc. So, we're stuck using "highways" that have traffic lights every few blocks.
If you'd like to see what eliminating one-way streets will do, I invite you to drive southeast on the two-way West Third Street and try to turn left on North Limestone. I've waited through multiple red-light cycles trying to get to Lexington Traditional Magnet School. I told this to Mayor Jim Gray directly several months ago, but wanted others to know how this proposed change will impact them.
After being one of just two U.S. cities in the BBC's "10 Monster Traffic Jams From Around the World," one would think we'd be trying to facilitate traffic flow, not impede it.
National acclaim for Walker
Reading the Feb. 23 edition of the Herald-Leader suggests to me a strange world turned upside down.
The front page, which usually deals with national and internationally significant news, showcases a story about an episode involving a local item — the snake handling death of the unordained minister of a small church with a congregation of 20, in a remote community.
Meanwhile, the local news section features a story about a truly accomplished Lexington and Kentucky citizen who is an acclaimed public intellectual, Frank X Walker, who receives a national award from the NAACP for his artistic and cultural contributions.
The placement of the two stories should have been reversed.
No intent to kill officer
It would appear from the newspaper's coverage of the Glen Doneghy parole hearing that the Lexington police believe that Bryan Durman was struck by an oncoming vehicle because he was a police officer.
There was nothing in the trial that indicated that the driver knew that the man standing partially in the roadway of a dark street without any reflective clothing and in a dark blue uniform was a police officer. Durman's cruiser was parked up the street, lights off.
It is unfortunate that the parole board is led to believe that this was a crime of intent that occurred only because Durman was an officer. Nothing is further from the truth and I challenge anyone to point to anything in the trial record that indicates otherwise. I also find it troubling that the occupation of police officer somehow gives greater value to a human life than it does to the rest of us when we live under a system that all men are created equal.
One of Doneghy's trial attorneys
No parole for Doneghy
Glen Doneghy should not be eligible for parole for 20 years. If it were up to me, the penalty for killing a police officer would be life in prison; they should never be allowed back into polite society. I hope the parole board keeps Doneghy in prison until he completes his time.
Long road to racial equality
My friends call me by my first name, but my family calls me by my middle name: Bilal. I was named after an Ethiopian slave who was freed by the prophet Muhammad after he found out the extreme persecution Bilal was going through due to his acceptance of Islam.
I am not African, but I am a Muslim named after one. Prophet Muhammad emphasized racial equality when he stated, "a white has no superiority over a black nor a black has any superiority over a white except by piety and good action."
The great civil rights leader Malcolm X also said, "America needs to understand Islam, because this is the one religion that erases from its society the race problem."
Black History Month not only celebrates African-Americans in the United States, but racial equality for all. With the month now at an end, it is important to remember how far we have come as a nation, and yet how far we still have to go.
Raf é Tariq