Monday, March 26, 2012


Why can my tax dollars go places in Lexington I can't???

I have gone to some gated areas in our town, talking to the gatehouse guard
about entrance--and while I almost always had a reason for admission, I
have been turned away. This galls me. As a taxpayer (and you, too) I help
pay for: the roads in such communities and their upkeep, fire and police
protection for its members. My tax dollars enter; why can't I?

The same is true of some areas in Lexington, one near where I live, where
street parking is restricted to those who live along that street. Again, I
helped pay for those streets, curbs and sidewalks; I help pay for fire and
police protection; why shouldn't I be able to park there? (Has this ever
been tested in the courts?)

I have resisted offering a motion to my own neighborhood association (whose
streets are much narrower, with higher traffic than the nearby area!), or
suggesting to the Fayette County Neighborhood Council that all 130 of its
member groups do the same. That would just be ridiculous and tie up parking
even worse than now. But, why do we allow it anywhere?

That approach, and of "gated communities" in my book are fundamentally
UN-democratic and highly exclusionary. It is "us against them" and the basis
for the exclusion is, 99.44% of the time, money. Not my idea of the American
way of life.

Gated communities should not be permitted unless they are willing to pay
totally for streets and fire and police protection; and all the other civic
amenities our taxes support. I could not argue against that; thogh I think
it is still UN-democratic. And, as Grouch Marx once said: (read gated community
for club); "I wouldn't want to belong to any club that would have me as a

I'm just sayin'...

Monday, March 19, 2012


I guess to err is human; to put things off may be even more so.

And I am, or can be, a procrastinator.

I just wish public officials would be better about this; those chickens come home to roost, and cause problems for the rest of us.

Two items in the continuing debate over budgets,on the city and state level, come to mind. Because properly funding pensions of public employees were put off for years, both by Lexington and Kentucky, that bill has now come due and it is much higher than it would have been had the job not been put off at the time. And we, you and I, pay the higher bill.

Same with "deferred maintenance." Our new UK president has properly complained about dorms and offices needing repairs and upgrades, because scheduled repairs were put off in years past. Now the bill is higher. And who pays that higher bill? Students, parents, Kentuckians.

Mark my words: while an attempt is being made, seriously, to get state and city pensions under control, some things will be put off, again, probably maintenance issues; for streets and highways and schools; you name it.

Darn, I wish my elected officials weren't such procrastinators...but 'tis easier to not raise taxes by putting off needed expenditures and pass the higher bill on to later officials and taxpayers than to deal with it now.

It may be human well as political expediency..but drat, I wish they were better people than the rest of us, even me.

Now, let me end writing this: I've got to go figure out if I can put off working on my taxes to another day, not as nice as this lovely spring morning. I think I'll wait til the next stormy day.

I'm just sayin'...

Monday, March 12, 2012


Two thirds of the tornado deaths in Kentucky and Indiana took place in mobile homes.

Yet, for years the Kentucky legislature has failed to require tie-down straps on such homes. (There are some minimum federal requirements, but no state rules.) Why? Officials know that tie-down straps do make such homes safer. So, after Brandenburg in '74, and many other places in the intervening years, to West Liberty in '12, why no such requirement?

Lobbying by the "manufactured housing" industry would be my guess. If that upsets you, and I hope it does, ask your local representative, senator, or county Judge-Executive to get such straps passed into law. It's late in the session this year; but it will be even later in the next session, because while we have a tornado season every year, our legislature hasn't gotten the message since '74, and won't even now unless citizens insist. They lobby, we vote.

And speaking of voting, they're at it again. You would have thought the legislature would have gotten the message after the Supreme Court, unanimously, in the quickest session in recent memory, held the legislative redistricting plan to be illegal. But no. Not at all.

The court indicated the new maps split too many counties, beyond limits set forth in our constitution. Many, myself included, have urged a bi-partisan commission to propose new maps every 10 years for an up-or-down vote--as many other states do. But no. A senate proposal would amend our constitution to RAISE the number of counties that may be split and still have the new maps be legal. More "incumbency protection."

If passed by the legislature,(please tell your local representative "Hell No!"), and voters this fall, then--once again, when Republicans control the Senate, Lexington's Kathy Stein could be sent to Siberia, and if the Democrats control the Senate, David Williams would need long-johns. Neither deserve that fate. Nor does Democracy.

Let's end this farce and get on to voting on some serious issues such as the constitutional amendment which IS on the ballot; preserving our rights to hunt and fish, which as you all know, have been under serious challenge.

I'm just sayin'...

Monday, March 5, 2012


"A tornado is the most violent and unpredictable form of Nature."

I learned that lesson during 9 years in Indiana, a state with more tornadoes than here, covering a few of these tragic events. As a reporter in a small station, I doubled as weatherman occasionally; just reading the AP reports from the weather service, not predicting, in the very early days of TV weather coverage.

How different things are today! How very much better last week when many of us prepared ourselves and families for taking precautions as the 3 Lexington stations did a marvelous job of trying to keep us safe.

Weather is a staple of local TV, but only because station management spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on equipment and people annually. I hired the first meteorologist on Lexington TV, and the second, backed totally by station management; and it spread to the other two. In time, jockeying for the latest generation of weather computers became an important factor in local TV news leadership. The results really showed last week--in one of television's greatest ironies.

TV succeeds, financially, on attracting the most viewers so commercials may be sold at a higher rate. Yet, during severe weather, there are no commercials! Regularly scheduled programs are taken over nonstop by weather/news coverage. At a time of maximum audience, when commercials could be sold at a premium, the stations devoted themselves totally to operating "in the public interest, convenience and necessity" as their charter provides.

Thank you WTVQ management and weather staff! Thank you WLEX management and weather staff! Thank you WKYT management and weather staff, where long time chief meteorologist T.G. Shuck signed off after 20 years on the very day of the twisters!

Hail and Farewell, T.G. (Welcome back Chris Bailey) And again, thanks to local TV station management and staff for a job well done and for savings lives I have no doubt.

I'm just sayin'...