Billboard proposals risk lives, scenery
A recent article said proposed administration regulations would allow digital billboards to be constructed along highways and the removal of vegetation to make billboards more visible.
Removal of vegetation is not a new proposal, but it may be the closest the Transportation Cabinet has come to allowing this.
The new regulations, which would allow billboards to be placed 660 feet from the highway rather than 1,620 feet, could cause dangerous conditions for drivers. LED billboards would replace a one-message billboard with one that has six messages per minute, increasing the potential for distractions.
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The light emitted would surpass the Dark Sky Association's recommended light level by three times more than what would be considered safe for drivers. Residents close to these billboards would see a decrease in their quality of life and even a possible decrease in the value of their properties.
Frequent removal of vegetation will affect the larger area environment. Although the regulations require the companies to work with arborists, we would risk the survival of plants and threatened species if proper care is not taken.
Our scenic roadways would no longer be the picturesque trademark that makes Kentucky so special.
Gap in tangible suggestions
Merlene Davis' column, "Everyone talks about closing the achievement gap ...," was another historical review of the issue. There has been endless discussion but no real solution offered. If allocation of funds were the answer the problem could be corrected in short order.
Perhaps it is time to better understand the characteristics of students who achieve. Armed with the ingredients of success would it then be possible to begin the process of providing focused support to students who fall below the desired achievement mark?
The Herald-Leader has failed to use its community pulpit fully and is part of the talk about the problem with no tangible suggestions for closing the education achievement gap. The road to recovery must begin with understanding the factors associated with educational success.
Then meaningful action may result to mitigate the dangerous and damaging disparity in preparing youth to succeed in life.
Union helped create GM jobs
Congratulations to General Motors United Autos Workers Corvette plant in Bowling Green for its announcement of a $439 million expansion in Warren County.
How ironic that the fiscal court in Warren County was the first to pass an ordinance for right to work, with proponents saying that no jobs would come to a county that is not right to work.
The Corvette plant has been a union shop since it opened in 1981. In spite of the county's ordinance, the plant continues to function as a union shop and is an example of good things that can be accomplished when the union and management work as partners.
The UAW at Corvette has been working for some time to get General Motors to upgrade its paint shop. The paint shop will receive substantial upgrades in technology, including new tooling and state-of-the-art environmental and efficiency enhancements.
Unions are not killing jobs. In this case, they helped create jobs.
Conn allegations just that
One thing the Social Security Administration and the media need to really understand is that lawyer Eric C. Conn has not been proven guilty of any crime. There are only allegations of wrongdoing.
SSA overstepped and might have violated civil rights and eventually may pay the price. Furthermore, these clients and attorneys suing Conn could feel the monetary backlash of reverse lawsuits, make no mistake about that.
The only guilty party right now is SSA for suspending payments to disabled citizens before due process.
Remember, you are innocent until proven guilty. It seems the government and citizens are forgetting that.
David G. Duncan
Pilgrim at Lexington Arboretum finds therapy for the soul
In 1974, Annie Dillard published a book entitled Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. The book describes the narrator's explorations near her home with much spiritual contemplation on nature and life.
Recently, I visited the Lexington Arboretum. As I sat under a tree on a wooden bench enjoying another glorious sunny day, I reflected back on Dillard's book and was instantly inspired by what she wrote.
The arboretum is therapeutic to the soul. People can benefit from moments of solitude and reflection. One can hear song birds chirping, see children playing, meet people walking with happy dogs or catch a glimpse of butterflies fluttering around the fragrant flowers. Some jog while others stroll leisurely. Regardless, this is a place healthy for the mind, body and spirit.
There are so many ways to enjoy the wonders: observing the colorful flowers, reading a favorite book, writing a poem, quietly listening to music or a receiving a healthy dose of solar therapy. Mother Nature will charge your inner soul with the elixir of life, creating a memorable day with your own meditations and contemplations. The energy from the exquisite beauty of its natural surroundings will surely result in another visit.
Dr. Ali Sawaf