Testing demands out of whack
With the hoopla about all the programs planned to bring all children up to proficiency, I'm reminded of an old basketball lampoon that floated around some 30 years ago when the over-testing craze first infested the brains of politicians and our children became pawns in a game of blame.
Just imagine if our current rules to improve education were applied to school basketball.
Rule 1: Every school will be expected to have the same level of talent. All teams must advance to the Sweet 16, and all will win the championship. If a team does not win the championship, coaches will be on probation until they do.
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Rule 2: All students will be expected to have the same basketball skills at the same time and in the same conditions. No exceptions will be made for lack of interest in basketball, lack of desire to perform athletically or any disability that may hinder performance. All kids will play at a proficient level.
Rule 3: Only coaches are responsible for getting players to perform at proficient levels. Players, parents and Sweet 16 officials are exempt.
Rule 4: Games will be played yearround, but statistics will only be kept during March Madness.
Don't blame NRA
For all you deep thinking, well-read, fact-researching anti-gunners out there blaming the murder of Kate Steinle in California on the National Rifle Association and the easy availability of guns: She was murdered with a handgun stolen from the vehicle of a federal agent.
Frank St. Clair
Headline too strident
I received a lot of response to my recent op-ed and I appreciate the different viewpoints. Unfortunately the headline — which I did not choose nor see in advance — was more strident than what I stated in my column.
The point I was trying to make is this: I love University of Kentucky sports and have been a fan all my life. I especially love how UK and University of Louisville sports bring the commonwealth together.
However, the radio stations I critiqued use a large part of their programming schedule for one-sided political talk shows whose dialogue is often extremely divisive. Given UK's educational and social mission, it can do better.
Fracking endangers health
While there are many reasons Kentucky should ban fracking, one is critical. Hydraulic fracturing increases the release of radon, a radioactive gas buried in shale layers that would cause many deaths from lung cancer for decades to come.
The fracking process that brings natural gas to the surface can also bring radon and radium 226 which decays into radon for a long time. As it decays it can revert to a solid that lodges in lung tissue, damaging cells and causing cancer. Radium 226 has a half-life of 1,600 years, the time it takes to lose half its radioactivity.
The damage is slow developing; frackers will be long gone when radon-caused cancer takes its toll. If they are still around, how will anyone prove that radon from fracking caused a loved-one's death?
In 1997, Christopher Goddard, administrator of Irvine's Marcum Wallace Hospital, writing about exposure to radium 226 and radon, said: "Years from now when the effects are evident and manifested, it will be too late to act."
For the sake of children with their lives before them, adults with lungs weakened by smoking, miners suffering from black lung, all who love Kentucky, for God's sake, ban fracking now.
Robert W. Shaffer
Jumping to conclusions
I really get tired of a few jumping to conclusions and stirring up trouble for the whole country.
I guess Gold's Gym needs to shut down as the shooter who killed all those black people in the church was photographed wearing a Gold's Gym shirt.
History is important; we need to learn from history so we can do better. Before everyone starts tearing down all those Confederate monuments, maybe someone should check how many black men served in the Confederate army.
There were quite a lot. I guess those black lives don't matter and we should not honor them. Before tearing down monuments, learn about the person and what he did after the war. Some went on to do great things to improve this country.
I bet Native Americans would like to see the U.S. flag taken down for all the horror and injustice done to them.
If you do not want to respect this country's history and its journey to become the greatest country on the planet, feel free to leave it.