Sarah and Gwen: the Two-Headed Monster

This blog is about everything involving Lexington, KY or anything else we feel like yapping about.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

5/27: What I'm Following

K.C. Crosbie, my City Council member, has taken a position I haven't seen in the past: leadership. Not only that, but in an investigation of whistleblowing and the city's possible retaliation against it.

From the Herald-Leader:

A city employee who said he reported two instances of possible fraud to city officials is about to lose his job, and a city council member wants to know why the administration won't tell her more about the matter.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

One area of South Limestone where road work would be welcome

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Friday, April 16, 2010

New Texting Law

Yesterday Governor Beshear signed the law banning texting while driving. What does it mean for us? This law will not suddenly make people put their cell phones away and pay attention to the road. If you drive around Lexington for more than a few minutes I am sure you will see at least one driver looking down at a cell phone rather than the road. Kentucky had over 57,000 crashes last year caused by driver inattention. We can pass laws to draw attention to the problem, but we cannot change human nature. Parents will still be distracted by rowdy children. Pet owners will let their animals run free inside the vehicle. Rushed commuters will still shave, fix make-up, or even finish dressing on the way to work. Phone calls will be made, and yes, texting will continue.

The seat belt law did not make all of us buckle up. I know it didn't make me remember to grab that buckle every time I got into a car. Knowing the dangers of reading while driving has not stopped my spouse from keeping a book or newspaper with her in the car. The texting law will not make us put our phones away, at least not all of us all the time. We will forget. We will have just one important message to send. We will think that we are the exceptional driver that can do more than just drive. There will be more crashes. But maybe there will be a few less this year. Maybe next year the number will drop further. Maybe the only life it saves will be yours.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Spring has Sprung

Weeping cherries, redbuds, tulips, and a dozen other spring blossoms have burst onto the scene this week making Lexington a beautiful place to live. Unfortunately, the road crews have also popped up around town. It is important to give ourselves little extra time for that commute. Leave early and enjoy the blossoms along the way.

The crews may still be working when you get off in the evening. Look out for them. It is a hard, dirty, dangerous job made more dangerous by rushed drivers. This season, lets make sure all of them get safely home to their families by slowing down when they are on the road. Better yet, take a break on the way home. I drive Alumni which makes the construction a great excuse to stop and take a walk at the Arboretum after work.

We have a great park system in town. No matter what side of town you're on, there are lots of beautiful places to stop and enjoy the spring sunshine. Slow down and take advantage of it while it last. Before you know it those sultry August days will be back.

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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Memorial Worth Remembering

I took the picture above at the Lexington Cemetery this past weekend. I have no idea who's boots these are, but someone placed them in one of my favorite vantage points for looking at the tulip garden. They reminded me that we are still at war. In a hostile land, far away from Lexington, young people are dying. The owner of these boots will probably never get to see the tulips bloom again, or the weeping cherries.

This little memorial will pass away. At some point it will be removed from the cemetery. It should not vanish from our collective memory. These empty boots have a story to tell. They once contained a member of our military, a citizen of our city and our nation. This was a Lexingtonian who made the ultimate sacrifice so that I could enjoy another Kentucky spring. I hope the spirit of this fallen solider finds peace, among the tulips, dogwoods, redbuds and weeping cherries.

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Friday, January 15, 2010


Reposted from the weekly email from Senator Denise Harper Angel:



Prepared by: LRC Public Information Office

Submitted by: Senator Denise Harper Angel

FRANKFORT — A legislative session is a marathon, not a sprint. Very few bills make it through the lengthy process of becoming law in five days — the minimum necessary under our Constitution — especially so early in the year. But the chance to capture millions of dollars in federal funding for our schools was an opportunity we had to jump on immediately. House Bill 176 became the first piece of legislation to reach Governor Beshear’s desk this year as both chambers worked quickly to allow state education officials time to complete their application for the funding. The Governor signed the bill Thursday.

Time was of the essence because there is a Jan.19 deadline to apply for federal Race to the Top funds — up to $200 million or more that can be used toward improving our schools. HB 176 also qualifies us for $45 million in other federal funds aimed at improving schools.

Especially given our current budget situation, we must take advantage of every responsible opportunity to invest in our schools because well-educated students are the surest path to growing the state economy.

HB 176 moves education reform in an important direction. First, we addressed the needs of persistently low-performing schools — those with lagging graduation rates or reading and math scores that continue to perform at the bottom of federal or state test results.

Schools that have trouble meeting these minimum standards will have four options to revitalize student achievement, depending on the schools’ circumstances and the school council and administration’s ability to lead that effort. One option would involve removing the principal and school council, while another would replace half or more of the school’s faculty and staff with teachers from higher-achieving schools. A third option would turn over management of the school to an outside group, subject to the approval of the local and state school boards. The most drastic step would be to close the school entirely and transfer its students to higher-achieving schools. None of these options would be taken lightly. An audit committee would look at the school from top to bottom before deciding on which course of action to take.

However, even without federal incentives, this legislation is a positive step toward making sure we uphold the basic tenet of KERA — that all students can achieve highly, regardless of their background.

The Senate has made education a priority in our chamber, therefore, before we passed HB 176 out of our chamber, we took the opportunity to make improvements to the legislation. Kentucky’s Race to the Top application will also include a plan to expand the Advance Kentucky program by 20 high schools each year. This program helps Kentucky students take college-level coursework while still in high school, challenging them to push themselves harder and saving them thousands of dollars in college tuition later. Last year’s test results showed an increase in passing test scores of 76.6 percent -- proof that Advance Kentucky is an effective use of State resources.

The following is a list of legislation that I have filed as the primary sponsor:

· SB 10 - Relating to childhood hearing loss.

· SB 11 - Providing smoking cessation treatment for pregnant smokers.

· SB 12 - Upgrading the state's licensing law for psychologist.

· SB 23 - Banning texting while driving.

· SB 24 - Permitting the sale of alcoholic beverages by the drink at designated state parks.

· SB 71 - Creating a special license plate for recipients of the Silver Star or the Bronze Star Medal of Valor.

· SB 86 - Requiring chain restaurants in Kentucky with at least 20 locations nationwide to provide calorie information on menus and menu boards for all standard items.

· SR 9 - Urging the Governor to include funding for Medicaid-approved smoking cessation programs in his 2010-2012 Executive Budget proposal.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Reggie Thomas to help oversee 2010 Census in Lexington!

Reginald Thomas, Democratic Party chair of the 88th Legislative District, is one of 22 members appointed to oversee the census count in Lexington next year.

"Everyone on the list has inroads into populations that need to be counted," said Jack Burch, executive director of the Community Action Council and chairman of the new committee.

Two of the other members are Tom Blues and Andrea James, City Council members I helped elect. Nice to know that the census proceedings in Lexington will be handled by good people.

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