Letters to the Editor

Letters the the Editor: Sept. 26

Robert F. Sexton, Executive Director of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence. Submitted photo June 1, 2010.
Robert F. Sexton, Executive Director of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence. Submitted photo June 1, 2010.

Robert Sexton's achievements will live on

As Kentucky mourns the death of Robert Sexton, an extraordinary advocate for education, let's reflect on his vision for the commonwealth's human capital.

All of us associated with the Governor's Scholars Program recognize and celebrate Sexton's influence in creating this national model of educational excellence.

In 1983, Sexton joined then-Gov.John Y. Brown Jr. and other community leaders to realize the utopian dream of creating a summer program for high-achieving rising high school seniors. Since then, Governor's Scholars has expanded from 250 to 1,050 students each summer, from all 120 counties. As it has grown, the core values remain the same. The mission still encompasses two of Sexton's passions: nurturing the future of civic and economic leadership in Kentucky and providing models of educational excellence.

After 28 great summers, the Governor's Scholars Program continues to thrive, thanks in large part to the creative minds of Sexton and his fellow founders. With the support of elected officials, private donors, parents, school administrators and our more than 22,000 alumni, the program has grown into an extraordinary community of learners that challenges students to achieve their fullest potential.

We at Governor's Scholars are also cognizant that extraordinary intellect is most valuable in its capacity to effect positive change. We place great emphasis on preparing students for leadership roles that will allow them to beneficially impact their communities.

In so doing, we seek to honor Bob Sexton's memory and adhere to the educational legacy we have inherited from this outstanding advocate.

Aris Cedeno

Executive director

Governor's Scholars Program

Frankfort

WEG gouging

When a supplier of essential goods or services raises its prices in anticipation of or during a civil emergency, it is considered price gouging.

Although one cannot call the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games an emergency, Kentucky and Lexington should be ashamed of fixing hotel and rental car prices. Hotels cost two to three times their normal rates and car rentals from the airport are four to five times more than their average.

As host of the WEG, you can be sure you don't have to worry about any repeat visits from your guests. It's too darn expensive!

Steve Roach

Raleigh, N.C.

For public golf

In response to Andy Hightower's Sept. 13 "Losing on golf": About 140 golf courses have closed nationally due to lack of play (the economy). Local courses lost money this year due to the extreme heat and the economy.

If the city courses aren't getting enough play to pay for themselves, let the non-city courses close if they can't afford to stay open since they are business ventures which inherently are risky since they were built when the golf craze was at its highest.

Why should the city golfers be punished by having changes made to the public courses for the benefit of the private courses? Since when do the problems of non-county courses become the responsibility of Lexington? Lexington golfers are also taxpayers and are entitled to their courses just like everyone is entitled to the use of the various parks and their facilities for which there are no fees.

Betty Lengel

Lexington

Seek peace

I am a seventh-grader at Winburn Middle School and deeply offended by a Sept. 13 letter claiming that Muhammed would have called Osama bin Laden the perfect Muslim.

The writer misspelled the part of the Quran from which he quoted. He also misquoted. The fifth verse of the Surah Al Tawba says, "If anyone of the idolaters seeketh thy protection (O Muhammed), then protect him so that he may hear the Word of Allah." Contrary to the letter, there is nothing about slaying the idolaters.

Idolators are worshipers of idols. So even when the Quran says to slay them, it's talking about unbelievers. Exodus 22:19 says the same thing. You must also remember that Allah is merely "God" in Arabic.

We must stop bickering over little verses in ancient scripture and find peace as one world not divided, so that we do not destroy ourselves.

Andrew Hardy

Lexington

Investigate slaying

Louisville police killed seven unarmed black men in five years earlier this decade. Now, they're attempting to acquit the white killer of Daniel Covington, an upstanding person and star athlete. Just hours after Covington's death, Louisville police trumpeted alleged shooter Isiah Howes' innocence, saying he acted in self-defense.

Not knowing the castle law's full nuances didn't stop Louisville police Lt. Barry Wilkerson and other cops from citing the law and assuming the roles of legal experts. "You have a right to protect yourself in your home, and that extends to your vehicle, I believe," Wilkerson stated in laying out the self-defense alibi.

Citing unnamed witnesses, police allege Covington beat two occupants of a vehicle so severely that shooting him to death was justified. But does a punch thrown through a car window constitute entry into the vehicle, just part of the castle law's complex criteria for using lethal defensive force? Judges and lawyers should be rendering these judgments, not cops with a history of murdering unarmed black men.

According to WHAS, the murderer and his companion have criminal histories with alcohol and weapons. If a young, upstanding white star athlete threw punches through a car window occupied by two black men with similar criminal histories and was shot dead by one of them, does anyone really think Louisville cops would immediately proclaim the shooter's innocence by reason of self-defense?

A full investigation is needed — by someone other than Louisville police.

Paul Corio

Lexington

White glove test

I've been thinking of the University of Kentucky board member's contemptuous defense of President Lee T. Todd Jr.'s golden handshake. We don't, the trustee said, pay the cleaning lady the same as a heart surgeon. I gather in this analogy the cleaning lady represents the faculty and staff at UK, the ones who haven't had a raise in three years; Todd is the glamorous heart surgeon.

But I couldn't help comparing an actual cleaning lady and Todd.

A good cleaning lady cleans up the mess she's presented with. She doesn't complain about not having the right mop. If no new brooms are available, she makes do with the old. Everyone appreciates the tangible improvement in the environment.

Unlike the good UK trustee, I wouldn't want to indulge in unfair analogies. But I wonder — for all the adulation and big money being bestowed upon UK's departing president — where are the tangible improvements? The mythical Top 20 number is further away than ever. And faculty morale and salaries have sunk along with their expectations.

But look, his defenders point out, at the old mops (read our legislature) with which he has had to deal. And those old brooms he got stuck with missed more dirt than they collected.

All true. But a good cleaning lady would have done her job. We would have been glad to give the cleaning lady a golden, or at least a silver, handshake. We would have felt the difference. We would have known she was worth it.

Joseph G. Anthony

Lexington

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