Taxpayers paid $22 million for renovation of courthouse. But its finances aren’t public.
Shut down Frankenstein
If I understand this correctly, our city officials, led by Mayor Jim Gray, decided to run a legal ruse on federal officials and those in control of some grant money by establishing the Historic Courthouse LLLP, a for-profit corporation, but sort of non-profit, to obtain money to refurbish our courthouse. Now, this corporate Frankenstein is turning on its masters by refusing to do as it’s told, or is it? Was this entity designed to grab money by skirting the edges of propriety and legality, or was it designed to hide what it was doing? The city has employees on its board but they can’t get it to speak. The taxpayers can’t ask because they aren’t entitled. Meanwhile, Frankenstein has a hundred-year lease from the taxpayers at one dollar per year.
I’ve never seen a lease that doesn’t have a clause stating that a violation of any tenet of the lease by the lessee is grounds for termination of said lease. And I’ve never seen a lessee that wasn’t violating some tenet of the lease. Let’s review the lease, find said violation, and terminate Frankenstein before he mutates and takes an even stronger position on our courthouse.
A salute to the Herald-Leader’s Beth Musgrave for a terrific job of reporting.
Joe Mercer, Lexington
The July 20 Herald-Leader included an opinion piece by New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow, “What Trump Is Teaching Our Children.” He listed a multitude of character qualities parents teach their children, but said that now President Donald Trump is exploding all of that.
I wonder why it is so easy for Trump to “teach” children when they are under their parents’ roof 24/7. Perhaps it is lack of teaching. Parents could get started now. They could teach them that under Trump our country has the lowest employment rate in nearly 50 years and the best economy ever; he loves the little nation of Israel and our military and is trying to secure our borders, and is against having babies ripped from their mothers’ wombs. That’s called murder. Blow should explain that to his children.
Ruby Wickersham, London
What gives, Herald-Leader?
Earlier this summer, the Herald-Leader published a big lie on its op-ed page submitted by health and human services Secretary Alex M. Azar II, who insisted that despite all evidence to the contrary, President Donald Trump is delivering results on drug prices. All sentient Americans are aware that Trump is not delivering anything but misery in the area of drug prices. Contrary to Azar’s claim, drug prices continue to spike, with more than 2,000 prescription drugs increasing by double digits during his tenure.
More recently in the Sports section, the Herald-Leader celebrated golfer Jim Herman’s PGA Barbasol Championship win, but not without tying Herman to Trump and celebrating their friendship. Apparently, while children are locked up and separated from their parents, Trump plays golf and keeps in touch with his golfing friends.
A local newspaper might be said to shape a city’s narrative. The examples cited testify to a narrative characterized by a blatant lie as “opinion” and a normalization of what most Americans know is not normal: an occupant of the White House busy with golf while his administration, with his blessing, creates havoc and misery on our border.
Linda Connolly, Lexington
Fizdale key to Gallery Hop birth
I was pleased to find that the Herald-Leader had run a story to celebrate the Lexington Gallery Hop’s 25th birthday but distressed that Dee Fizdale, director of the Lexington Arts and Cultural Council (now LexArts) from 1983 to 2002, did not receive well-deserved credit for her role in actually instituting the hop and overseeing its success until her retirement.
Some added facts here are in order. Certainly, many hands attended the hop’s birth: Linda Schwartz, director of a gallery in Lexington, and I suggested the idea to Fizdale; gallery director Heike Pickett was one of the very first participants; Michelle Lancaster oversaw many of the hop’s details; and not least, John White, then LCAC marketing director, named the baby and designed the frog logo. It was Fizdale, however, who made it happen; Lexington’s cultural organizations and citizen interest in the visual arts nurtured its growth. In all, an amazing tale.
Nancy Coleman Wolsk, Lexington, former director of the Morlan Gallery and professor of art history at Transylvania University
Tunis solid gold
It was great to see an article on the front page by Herald-Leader contributing music critic Walter Tunis earlier this summer. No one has as much passion for their work as Tunis. He has several articles tucked away in the paper each week, particularly in the Weekender section. I read every one, constantly amazed at the depth of his knowledge of all styles of popular music. When I read his articles, I oftentimes have no knowledge of the artist he is covering, but I read them amazed that Tunis knows every album, every song, and even every past local performance of even the least prominent artists. He will even identify the musical influences that went into the song-writing style of the musicians. As the print version of the Herald-Leader keeps shrinking, Tunis is keeping up the popular music coverage all by himself.
Kevin Kline, Lexington
Daylight saving time test
I have a request for the people who support year-round daylight saving time. Take a drive down a rural country road which has no white lines marking the edges. If you can find one which isn’t paved, that would be ideal. The homes should be at the end of a lengthy drive or be at least a quarter-mile apart. No street lights will be found there.
Now, on a cold January morning, take a five- or six-year-old child that you love to the spot you found on a country road, and leave that child there two hours before daylight, alone and in the dark.
If you can do this, vote for daylight saving time. If you can’t, you should reconsider your position on the time issue. When you ask for daylight saving time, you are forcing our young, rural children to do this every day during the winter to attend school.
Margie Lewis, Eubank
Immigration article falls short
The Herald-Leader’s coverage of a recent protest against mistreatment of immigrants at our southern border began with a serious flaw, referring to immigrant families “caught trying to cross illegally into the U.S.”. Most are seeking asylum, fleeing life-threatening conditions in their home countries. Seeking asylum is perfectly legal. Turning asylum seekers away, separating families, or holding them in abusive conditions is not.
The administration claims they lack the resources to behave differently. History teaches that we can, and do, respond humanely to natural disasters, even disasters abroad, when we have the will. The administration’s will is to intimidate asylum seekers.
The article also failed to provide any context to this crisis. For many, Central America has become a dangerous and unlivable place. U.S. support of brutal governments and corporate economic exploitation contribute powerfully to this crisis. Drug cartels which breed murderous corruption in Central America thrive on the U.S market for illegal drugs. Some refugees are also abandoning land already rendered unfit for agriculture by the growing planetary threat of climate change.
In a complex world we need journalism better than this.
T. Kerby Neill, Lexington