Tough budget love: No pay for session, throw out of office
Gov. Steve Beshear called a special session because the General Assembly's official meeting ended without a budget. Why am I not surprised?
What this means for taxpayers is a bill of about $64,000 per day during this week's session.
My belief is that whenever a special session is called because of a failure to enact a budget, our esteemed legislators should not get paid.
Of course, their staff members would be compensated. After all, it isn't their fault the House and Senate members failed to reach an agreement, again.
Also, only the budget should be discussed during the special session and nothing else.
Another option might be to have the odd-year session be a year in which only the budget can be discussed and voted on.
If we don't like the budget that is approved, there is always another election coming around and we can vote the rascals out.
Perhaps part of the reason no budget has been passed yet is because the commonwealth's public servants lack the courage to make tough decisions in these difficult times, thus risking not getting re-elected.
All too often, that seems to be their primary motivation.
Well, let's make the decision for them. Regardless of what happens, let's just vote them out of office and remove the heavy burden of making tough decisions.
My name is Ken Osburn, and I approve this message.
Kenneth M. Osburn
Hang up and drive
Although research has shown that talking on a cell phone is as dangerous as driving while intoxicated and the legislature has outlawed texting while driving, people are continuing to put others at risk.
Recently I saw a young lady in a silver Mercedes texting while driving, and at another time on New Circle Road, I spotted a person in a gold Honda texting while driving.
People, is that call that important that you have to put the rest of us in danger? Hang up the phone, put away that sandwich, put down that coffee and pay attention to your driving. When you're behind the wheel, your full attention must be on the task of driving.
If it isn't, you should be parked off the road.
Right or wrong?
Noted journalist H.L. Mencken has written that "there is always a well-known solution to every human problem — neat, plausible, and wrong."
We the people, our Congress, the White House and the Supreme Court may not all be right, but all can be wrong.
Insight changes hurt
I wonder how many of Insight Communications cable customers know that effective this June, all televisions hooked up to Insight will require a cable box or a mini-digital adaptor. That's so Insight can tell how many televisions are hooked up to a given account to prevent theft of cable services.
There is also something else they are not telling you about: If you have any other cable/satellite service as well as Insight, the box will block you from receiving that service. You only get Insight; you cannot have both.
All of this has been handled under the table to prevent customers from finding out until necessary, thus preventing the wholesale move of customers from Insight to other satellite service.
So get ready for that feeling of pain; it is real and courtesy of Insight. Of course, Insight will tell you it is to add more digital channels, as it did me; then you find out you have been hoodwinked.
The University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra's spring concert quickly revealed itself as a trifecta turned treble, incorporating the UK Chorale and the Lexington Singers to round the corners and run the stretches with the music of Hector Berlioz.
Berlioz's Roman Carnival Overture was the perfect call to post as it echoed various themes from his opera, Benvenuto Cellini, conjuring up images of gaiety and spring in the Bluegrass.
The remaining program presented 10 sections that compose the essence of a requiem mass. And even though Berlioz's Requiem, or Grand Messe des Morts, is translated as "Grand Death Mass," it is still a celebration of renewal and of life's ultimate triumph over death.
Though somber at times, the musicians assured the audience that everyone held a winning ticket. They filled UK's Singletary Center for the Arts from front to back with a most joyful and glorious sound not unlike the thrill of thundering hooves. Yet, the quieter moments were exciting, too.
Was it a perfect performance? No. But it has been said that perfection can be the ill of many things that are good. Conductors John Nardolillo and Jefferson Johnson, along with the choristers and instrumentalists, need to be applauded for such a monumental and ambitious undertaking.
Oil spill solution
With all the engineers working on the oil leak, they seem to be concentrating their efforts on collecting the escaping oil instead of stopping the flow.
They have demonstrated that they have the technology to insert a pipe into the well (siphon straw) to pump out some of the oil.
If they want to stop the flow, attach a heavy duty airbag to this pipe, such as is used on the suspension of large trucks. Inflate this airbag with a one quarter inch (or smaller) high pressure air hose and the leak is stopped. Once repairs are made, deflate the bag and start pumping oil again.
GOP shuns Lincoln
I often wonder about the rationale for the Republican concern over "government takeovers," "government interventions" or "government aid to the poor."
I thought Republicans were the "party of Lincoln." Abraham Lincoln strongly believed in the government's role of doing what is best for the nation and its citizens.
He was even quoted, very famously, advocating for a "government of the people, by the people, for the people."
Republicans seem to have forgotten their history and their hero. But who needs Lincoln when you have Sarah Palin? Right?
Angela M. Arnett
Watch utility increases
Kentucky American Water wants another 37 percent rate increase for building a plant. Okay, when the plant is paid for, does that increase go away? Don't bet on it
Gas and electric companies wanted another increase to pay for storm damage. And when the damage is paid for, does that increase go away?
The chief economic officers of these utilities companies don't seem to lay away any cash for emergencies. They are too busy paying dividends, I suppose.
The paper should follow this stuff for a lot longer than it does. You let things be forgotten.
Charles J. Fernandez