Let's go full STEAM ahead on schools
It was depressing to read that finding or building an appropriate facility for the three-year-old STEAM Academy is apparently falling between the cracks of Fayette County Public Schools and University of Kentucky priorities.
As a parent of a STEAM student, I see energized teachers and students, impressive approaches to learning and problem-solving, all housed in a formerly shuttered elementary school with an insufficient heating system and space limitations.
While the students work on interesting and practical projects for local partners, they shiver in classrooms that dip into the 50s. While students learn at personalized paces and from UK professors and students, the school is not near the UK campus to facilitate the atmosphere that had been promised.
Never miss a local story.
The Herald-Leader reported on building plans that have fallen through. An Oct. 14 article reflects apparent apathy on the part of both FCPS and UK with statements such as "when so many organizations are involved, it takes a lot of work."
In my experience, strong will and focus deliver results. Why should parents and students enter the lottery to gain entrance when the administrations of both FCPS and UK have let them down?
Don't shortchange our students with further excuses and delays.
The government recently announced that Social Security recipients will not get a cost of living raise next year. Lower gasoline prices were the given reason. I wonder if the bureaucrats in Washington who made this decision have been to the grocery store lately.
Does Washington forget that this is our money, money we sent to the feds since we started working, money that is supposed to be in a "lockbox"?
Some pensions OK
Seems our Kentucky legislature will pay some politically connected firm $250,000 to $500,000 to advise it on what the problem with Kentucky's public pension plans might be.
Well, many of us ordinary residents will provide that expertise for free.
Namely, over the years, Kentucky lawmakers have, in order to "buy" votes, promised much more than they can deliver in pension benefits — well, perhaps with the exception of their own.
Wake up, people.
No one has infringed on Wilmore religious-rights enthusiasts' rights to display on, say, their own car or lawn, emblems of their Christian fervor.
I am positive they realize that one day soon, there will be no cross on that water tower, just as there will be no Ten Commandments display in courthouses, crowns of thorns on police uniforms or Stars of David in windows of the DMV.
Why? Government is not allowed to force religious views down my atheist throat, or a Buddhist or Jewish throat.
They will lose this battle in one way or another. Either the water tower will be a clean utilitarian object devoid of decoration and symbolism, or it will be (out of fairness) bristling with symbols of every denomination, from Hindus to Muslims to Universalist Unitarians, whatever their logo may be.
Get something pretty. I like those chrome Oregon Duck helmets with the wings. Just be sure to leave off that big copyright-protected "O."
Target gun control
Because gun control is controversial, a step back to look at the big picture might offer the best hope for a legislative response that could be attractive to both political sides.
Almost every single mass killing in recent history has been committed by a young male. Why not make it illegal for a male between the ages of 18 and 30 to own or possess a semi-automatic weapon?
This would still allow young men to hunt (and to defend their families within their homes), but it would take away the power to kill a large number of people so quickly that no response can deter them. Revolvers shoot fewer shots before needing a reload, and they take time to be reloaded, allowing intended victims time to overcome or escape the shooter.
Penalties for the sale of semi-automatic weapons to men in this age group — or even mere possession of these weapons by that age group — should be stiff as an added deterrence. As a byproduct, it could help curtail gang killings, because incarceration for the possession of semi-automatic weapons would get these men off the streets.
Marion Ritter Cook
The Oct. 14 front-page article about the Democratic debate was totally misleading. This was not a clash, and to couch it as such is unconscionable. It was a discussion of the issues that this country desperately needs to address.
The article is attempting to make a mountain out of a molehill and make the debate seem divisive. The candidates offered many well-reasoned solutions, including raising the minimum wage, equal pay for women, making college affordable and leveling the tax structure so everyone pays their fair share. Who would be against that?
These issues are of great importance. Many Kentuckians are duped into voting against their own best interests. Run articles that allow Kentuckians to make well-informed decisions. You're our hometown paper and in the position to create understanding Choose your articles wisely; Kentucky's future is in the balance.
Support art museum
I am writing to express my support for a first-class art museum in downtown Lexington. This has been a dream of many for a long time.
Several years ago, the Urban County Council worked on a plan to convert part of the Old Courthouse (mainly the basement area) into an art museum in conjunction with the University of Kentucky Museum of Art. The plan was ultimately deemed not practical and was discarded.
Because of ongoing renaissance in downtown Lexington, the increased interest in public art, the growing attendance of the Gallery Hops, and the numerous cultural activities (educational, musical, theatrical) in the downtown area, I believe that Lexington is ready to welcome and support an art museum of its own.
The museum would fill the need for art education in an accessible area. Please let the mayor and council members know of your interest and perhaps your participation in conversations about this possibility.
Using what we got
The University of New Mexico has a basketball arena called "The Pit." They basically dug a great big hole in the ground, put a basketball court at the bottom and then built the basketball stadium around it.
Why don't we put a basketball court in the bottom of downtown Lexington's hole and build a University of Kentucky basketball arena around it? Think about it. Half of the work is already done.
Why don't we call it "Rupp's Hole"? That would be great.