Common Core hysteria loses vote
When I first read that Hal Heiner of Louisville was running for the Republican nomination for governor, I was intrigued.
He has business experience, which I believe the governor needs. He projected conservative values, which I appreciate. But, then he went off the rails.
I received campaign material from him which attacked the Common Core education standards.
He has, unfortunately, adopted the position of the far right, which says he is playing to them and leaving behind common sense. Heiner is now firmly in the anti-Common Core group and too "right" for me. He has lost my vote.
I recommend readers of this letter, particularly supporters of Heiner, go to the corestandards.org website and see for themselves what Common Core is about.
It will make it easier for people to resist the hysteria of the opposition movement and may help them make a more rational choice for governor.
Bad energy policy
There is an energy crisis in Western Kentucky. Paducah citizens are undergoing exorbitant electricity rates, massive debt and declining property values.
The Courier-Journal reported that Paducah Power System is losing an average of $300,000 monthly due to overbuying electricity it cannot sell at a lucrative rate. The utility also borrowed nearly $170 million to invest in a natural gas plant, which is basically defunct due to lack of demand.
This has severely hurt government, citizens and business owners. From an environmental perspective, the coal used is poor quality. It produces nearly twice as much coal ash, is unclean, and the potential for heat is low.
I am a senior at Murray State University and an intern with the Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition.
We are working on transitioning our economy away from fossil fuels and toward a renewable energy economy, in which the fossil fuels industry's undemocratic control over the political process is removed so that unproductive deals like this do not occur.
It is important for citizens to be informed about their energy providers. I urge you to question your own energy options and to explore renewable energy alternatives.
GOP Sharia awaits
Congratulations, Republicans. We now await eagerly the results. Not since the early 1950s during Sen. Joe McCarthy's communists-in-the-state-department campaign has anything so roiled the Republican Party into such a splash of mud-in-face as is now unfolding.
What about it, Republicans? How will your Sharia ban plans fare when they collide with the newly cleansed versions of your religious freedom laws? We await with bated breath.
Thanks to Bell, UKSO
A phenomenal phenom. Sound like a redundancy? Not when you're referring to the amazingly diverse and talented violinist, Joshua Bell.
With record snows and record lows, what better way for the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra to usher spring into the Bluegrass than with Bell's performance of Max Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor and Camille Saint-Saens' Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso in A Minor?
Although works in minor keys tend to denote sad or pensive moods, Bruch's concerto ends in a major key marked allegro energico, fast and energetic. And Bell's unmatched technical skill and brilliant interpretation led the audience right out of the winter doldrums into the rites of spring, enhanced by Bell's dance-like movements with his Stradivarius.
His delivery of Saint-Saens was equally dynamic and uplifting. After all, capriccioso means free and playful. No minor feat even in the hands of this accomplished artist.
Before Bell's appearance, Maestro Nardolillo set the stage with Shostakovich's Festival Overture and Stravinsky's Firebird Suite, neither a stranger to Bluegrass audiences.
Yet, under Nardolillo's baton, these young musicians brought to both pieces a breath of fresh air. How fortunate we are that Bell chose to celebrate spring with the UKSO.