Give credit to those who game the system and win
Taxpayers are justifiably angry when they see their money wasted by officials, such as in the promotion of Police Chief Ronnie Bastin to public safety commissioner.
This is not a promotion. Bastin will resign as chief and begin drawing his pension of about $109,000 annually while being paid $125,000 annually as commissioner, for a total income of about $234,000.
Add the perks, and he'll be close to a quarter-million per year.
Double-dipping is a way of life on both state and local levels. Teachers, law enforcement officers, firefighters, legislators — to name a few — can retire at an early age and double-dip their way through life and more pensions into a luxurious final retirement.
Add the University of Kentucky's resigning Provost Christine Riordan (on the job 1.5 years) to the list. She makes $420,000 annually and will continue on the payroll for at least six months, if not longer, even though she is out of here on Dec. 3.
The Herald-Leader reported that she will continue to make her annual salary. She will be paid $210,000 for being nowhere near Lexington but maybe more, if the right strings are pulled.
Give 'em credit, though; they gamed the system and won.
James L. Clark
Make all schools healthy
We know how to make kids healthier — give them exercise and feed them good foods. The Fayette County Board of Education should make sure that every school in the district has an environment that supports parents' efforts at home.
Healthy diets and regular physical activity are not school-specific needs, but something every child deserves.
Don't let the school board hide behind the idea of individual school choice. Remember, "It's about kids," not about what's easiest for school administrators.
Generosity and kindness
On Thanksgiving afternoon, I went, alone, to Cracker Barrel to eat. Just before the server brought the dessert, she told me that my bill had been paid. I looked around the room but recognized no one.
I asked the server who had paid it and she nodded to a young lady sitting across the room. I asked the young woman if she was practicing a "random act of kindness" and she said that she wasn't, that she just wanted to pick up my bill. That brought a tear to my eye.
As I was leaving the dining room, the hostess stopped me and told me that my bill had been paid by another young lady at the table across the aisle from me. I told her that it had already been paid by another generous person.
Needless to say, I was stunned not once, but twice, in a very short time by the generosity and kindness of two strangers.
I have thought often in recent days about news reports of shootings and other unsavory acts. So, I wanted to let folks know that there are people who do kind deeds and those of us on the receiving end are appreciative.
Saving profits not miners
State Sen. Brandon Smith declared Kentucky a "coal sanctuary" state. Does this put coal in a religious or idol-like status? Is this why folks love coal and are friends of coal?
Our Republican leaders — Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul, Andy Barr, etc. — have even declared there is a war on coal. Our Democratic governor, Steve Beshear, has stopped all things that would hinder the love of coal and the ways coal can be extracted.
Through budget cuts, they've curtailed many mine safety inspections that keep coal miners safe. Fewer safety inspections saves the mine operators money.
Now Circuit Judge Phillip J. Shepherd is stirring the polluted waters and exposing problems the governor and his group have tried hard to flush down another waterway. McConnell, Paul, Barr and the state legislators will not be satisfied until they have done away with regulations on mine safety and keeping our environment and drinking water safe.
Then and only then will Kentucky be a true coal sanctuary state — a state that protects its coal more than its coal miners and the citizens downsteam being poisoned by the way the coal is mined.
UK's gridiron curse
I'm 70 years old and was born just off the University of Kentucky campus. My mother and father attended UK and so did I. Once UK was a football and basketball national power. But Paul "Bear" Bryant was fired as the football coach.
It was power politics within the athletics department dominated by Adolph Rupp. Bryant went to Texas A&M to establish a powerhouse, then returned to the SEC at Alabama to punish UK for years.
Today UK football, like Detroit baseball spent years outliving the Babe Ruth curse, is still trying to outlive the Bryant curse. I've waited years for UK to overcome this curse.
Las Vegas, Nev.
No end when wage price spiral begins
Here is the problem with raising minimum wage to something like $15 an hour: What are people who are on fixed income supposed to do?
Every time the minimum wage goes up, the prices go up almost immediately.
So the only thing that can then be done is to raise disability and Social Security, which raises taxes, which then once again causes everyone to start screaming about raising the minimum wage.
Seems like an endless go around and around to me.
Lynn Fish Blacketer