Erasing mural erased East End history
What a slap in the face the East End neighborhood received when the new owner of a building decided, without any public input, to paint over a mural honoring horse racing in the East End.
The mural depicted jockeys, some black, racing toward the finish line at the Kentucky Association track which stood for more than 100 years and was the oldest track in America when it closed in 1933. The mural also contained part of a page from the New York Times with a headline and story about a race at the track.
The mural was painted a few years ago on the side of the former Hurst Office Supply at Elm Tree Lane and East Short Street under a contract with LexArts for $12,000.
What makes this so insulting is that it comes at a time when so much effort is going into reclaiming East End's history. I am offended that this property owner would choose to erase this important piece of public art without even notifying anyone in the neighborhood or investigating its significance.
Yes, I recognize that an owner is free to do with his building as he pleases, but what about his public responsibility?
Outline for Senate debate you'd really want to watch
So Kentucky's U.S. Senate candidates will appear together on KET. Does anyone seriously expect more than sliced stump speeches with an occasional slip-up into authenticity? Here is the debate I would love to watch:
■ All questions shall be framed to allow an initial reply of "yes," "no," or "I am not yet certain."
■ The candidate must reply, initially or on first rebuttal, either "yes," "no," or "I am not yet certain" and then go on to explain that response.
■ Each candidate will have not more than four minutes. Microphones shall be on cut-off timers. First response shall rotate.
■ There will be no second rebuttals, but the moderator may ask a follow-up question.
■ The candidate cannot move away from the topic. A question on the minimum wage cannot lead to the war on coal.
■ If a candidate diverges from the original question his or her microphone will be turned off and their time given to the other candidate.
■ Each candidate will be given a two-minute recess at the end to gather their thoughts and then five minutes for summation. The order of speaking will be decided by a coin toss.
That would be a debate to watch.
David L. Arnold
Bring on Centre debate
Kentuckians want more than the static of 30-second soundbites. In Louisville last week, Kentucky Farm Bureau board of directors, selected staff, and members of the press had the opportunity to hear from our U.S. Senate candidates face to face.
We believe a larger audience of voters deserves the same opportunity to hear Sen. Mitch McConnell and Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes answer pressing pocketbook issues facing Kentuckians.
What better way to inform the public than to have the candidates participate in the proposed debate with AARP, Centre College and WAVE3 News on September 3 in Danville?
We brought this proposal to the candidates in July and are still hopeful they will accept. It's a partnership offering exceptional experience in managing a debate of this importance and provides extensive media reach.
Whoever is elected senator, the future of Social Security, Medicare and financial security will continue to be part of the national discussion. Kentuckians have the right to know where candidates stand on these key issues.
The debate at Centre is a much-needed opportunity for the largest numbers of Kentucky voters to learn where the candidates stand.
Sixty-six percent of Kentuckians say the candidates have an obligation to debate. We say they deserve one.
Jim Kimbrough and Ron Bridges
State president, state director
Ark Park unfairly damned
It's always ironic when a self-professed man of science allows his emotions and ideology to cloud his reason. But that's exactly what Daniel Phelps has done in his most recent rant against the Ark Encounter theme park.
Phelps' Aug. 17 column made a number of unfounded allegations against the Ark Encounter, its investors, and even supportive state officials. Phelps' diatribe reveals quite clearly his own political agenda and his utter contempt for religion and people of faith.
Unlike Ark Encounter proponents, Phelps shows no tolerance for points of view different than his own, and rabid hostility towards those who disagree. He is willing to sacrifice hundreds of millions of dollars in new economic development and thousands of jobs for Kentucky.
If his proposition were followed, the commonwealth would be legally liable for blatantly unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination. Phelps' preference — that religious groups should be denied equal access to tax incentive programs and also forced to hire people who openly disagree with their main beliefs — is not only unfair, it is clearly unlawful.
His discriminatory ideas have been repeatedly invalidated by the Supreme Court, lower courts and federal and state statutes. Phelps may be a trained geologist, but a constitutional law expert he is not.
Chief Counsel, Freedom Guard
Staring into the abyss
I think it was the eyes. That's what really struck me when the pictures of Robin Williams began appearing on the news and social media. His eyes seemed child-like, even in his 60s, full of wonderment. But there was something else. A sadness. Maybe a tiredness. Perhaps resignation.
Those eyes haunted when I learned that Williams had hanged himself in his bedroom. In my nearly 20 years of counseling, I've talked with many people who were suicidal. Some are chillingly calm when they discuss it, others are more agitated. One thing they all have in common is that they see no other options to ease their pain.
Someone asked me why Williams didn't think about his family or all of the millions who adored him. Why did he have to be so "selfish?" I don't presume to know what he was thinking during those last minutes, but it was probably akin to staring into a black abyss and then being swallowed by it.
If someone you love talks of suicide, try to help them. If you think you can't go on, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Through Williams' death, I hope many others will live.
Where's our tank?
I challenge our two mayoral candidates to explain why a town with a first-rate basketball program and lots of shiny, new architecture does not have a police department with armored personnel carriers like Richland County, S.C., or a C-23 cargo plane like Randolph County, Ark., or Casspir armored vehicles like Pinal County, Ariz.
I mean, what if the Michael Jackson Thriller parade really turns out to have hundreds of actual zombies rampaging through our streets after hiding in the Centre Pit?
I think we deserve to be protected from zombies, aliens, Ebola and other invaders as well as those other places. Or do we already have these toys for our police to play with? Let's hear from the candidates.
Revoke Art Bar license
Some years ago, Lexington's city government passed a law requiring bars to train servers to identify and to avoid serving additional drinks to intoxicated patrons.
Based on statements from a manager of a nearby pizza business in an Aug. 16 article about the Art Bar, patrons were leaving there very drunk.
If that is the case, the Art Bar's liquor license ought to be revoked — and the bar can presumably face additional penalties, instead of relocating to another neighborhood.
On a related issue, the University of Kentucky is considering revising its alcohol policy for students. Since the majority of undergraduate students are 17 to 20 years old, it seems ludicrous to consider allowing alcoholic beverages to be consumed in dormitories and other campus facilities where underage students would likely gain easy access to them.
James E. Gibson
Slavery cause of Civil War
Columnist Paul Prather's commentary, "Different century, same old political quarrels," gives one the impression the Civil War was about state's rights, a notion that has been touted by right-wing southerners since that unfortunate conflict.
Obfuscations by those who support this notion have led many people to believe this myth.
One needs only to read South Carolina's session proclamation to know the cause of the Civil War: slavery.
George R. Gibson
Need traffic cops
When the power goes out, where are the police officers?
I have never seen them directing traffic when the lights go out. Do they not know how to do it or are they just sitting somewhere?
I pay taxes to have police to keep me safe. I feel they need more schooling before we give them a badge if they can't get out of their cars to direct traffic when power is out.
Stop SEC gouging
Perhaps someone more learned than I can explain the validity of the new SEC channels?
From my standpoint, it is merely a gouging ploy to line the pockets of those who wield enough power to push this new idea for bleeding the honest fans of collegiate sports.
I am already paying a premium price for television and Internet, yet now, in order to watch SEC games, I must purchase an upgrade. This even affects people in Lexington.
Perhaps the billions of dollars taken in last year through higher ticket prices, televised profits and other means of draining bank accounts, wasn't enough.
When will it be enough?
When will my voice be joined by other indignant fans to force a return to reason?
Or, are we, as a public such lemmings who will pay any price rather than miss a game? Who will draw the line? After 50 years, I will.
Raymond F. Turner
The Aug. 12 article "Ky. boasts lion's share of '7 Wonders of the South'" stated that Cumberland Falls and Victoria Falls in Africa are the only two moonbow locations known to occur on Earth.
I know of another at Lower Yosemite Falls in California, which I have seen personally. It occurs in the spring and early summer when conditions are right.
Incidentally, all of these waterfall-related moonbows are technically termed "false moonbows."
A true moonbow is independent of geographic features and is caused solely by atmospheric rain.