Letters to the Editor
‘An affront’ at Big Spring Park
Editor, The Sun:
Recently, our Big Spring Park was the site of hate-filled vandalism that has become an issue of concern to the city and an affront to decent, law-abiding citizens everywhere. This community space is intended to be welcoming to all citizens, and there has been a tremendous amount of energy spent working on improvements, both large and small, to this beautiful piece of real estate that anchors our downtown.
The lack of respect shown by those responsible for this cowardly act is more than disappointing. This public space should be treated with the utmost care, and we shouldn’t have to worry that children might be exposed to obscenities or derogatory terms when visiting a playground.
On Dec. 5, 2017, I wrote and the Versailles City Council passed Resolution 2017-18, which reaffirms that the Versailles City Government “does promote a safe and welcoming community atmosphere for all citizens.” This resolution is not just an official act of your city government; it also represents and promotes the values that nearly all of us share.
This resolution also notes that we value and celebrate diversity and won’t condone discrimination based on, among other things, race, color, sex, disability status, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity. This vandalism flies in the face of that resolution and our values. While the vandals may see this as a minor act of graffiti intended to get a reaction, the reality is that it causes real pain and perpetuates fear among groups of people. It is our responsibility to stand up in opposition and make our disgust known, and to reassure our neighbors and fellow community members of all kinds that our diversity will continue to be celebrated by virtually all of us as these two-bit “artists” stand alone in their actions.
I commend the Parks and Recreation staff for always being on top of these situations and promptly covering up these words and images, and I also appreciate the Versailles Police Department for agreeing to increase its presence at all hours in Big Spring Park.
Our goal as mayor and city council is to make sure all citizens feel free to be themselves in all settings and that they are safe while enjoying our public spaces. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.” Let us all be that light.
Mayor of Versailles
Students support school tax
Editor, The Sun
As current and just-graduated students of Woodford County High School, we would like to explain our position on the proposed facilities tax.
While the current high school has been home to countless pep rallies, dances, theater performances, and learning, our facility is limiting student growth. The room shared by the band and orchestra floods, destroying expensive music and equipment, and is not handicap-friendly. The marching band practices on a parking lot field that is not up to regulation. The cafeteria acts as a theatre, archery range and cheer area with inadequate space. Hallways, and especially staircases, are packed within seconds during class changes. Chemistry classrooms aren’t equipped with basic equipment like gas lines for Bunsen burners. These are only a few of the challenges we face in our current facility, and the student body and staff have worked tirelessly to create the best possible learning environment. However, it has become apparent that our school is outdated, limiting the expansion of student learning.
The recent construction of new high schools brings into question what could be done with a modern facility. The distinguished arts programs of orchestra, band, and chorus would be able to have their own rooms, accessible to ALL students. The theatre department would have a true auditorium for performances. More light and collaboration areas would provide students with better chances to communicate and develop not only educationally, but socially. The STEM classrooms would give future students an advantage at having hands-on experience with current technology. We could offer a fully functioning, local, technical school for our career and technical students. Construction of a new high school would take already successful students and enable them to reach greater potential academically and in extracurriculars.
We sincerely hope that the adults in our community will make an effort to examine the facts presented about this tax, not just the gossip surrounding it. The current students of WCHS may not receive the benefits of a new school, but we hope the children of Woodford County who follow us, will.
We … hope you vote to offer a better future for our students by voting for the facilities tax on June 26th.
Support new high school
Editor, The Sun:
I served as principal in the Woodford County High School building longer than anyone to date. Before my tenure, during my tenure and still today, WCHS has always been recognized as a high school of very high distinction. This is because of the excellent faculty and great students that have been associated with WCHS. The school was recognized in the 1970s for its innovative course scheduling. It has been recognized for the number of National Merit Scholars. At seniors honor night in May, students were recognized for receiving over $11,000,000 in scholarships. WCHS has been recognized as a top performing high school both in Kentucky and nationwide.
I recently visited the high school. I went into parts of the building that I have not been in for 30 years. The staff and maintenance crews have kept the building looking clean and maintained. But the impression I left with that day was that WCHS is an old and outdated building. In the summer of 1964, I worked for the school board, assembling classroom furniture for the first students to use WCHS. I am sure that the tables in the lab rooms are still the same ones that I assembled that summer. The classrooms are small. The drama production area can only be described as a platform setting in a cafeteria.
There are many others that could be mentioned. The question to be answered is in recognition of all the great accomplishments that have been made, what more could be accomplished in an updated facility. Our greatest resource, our young people, deserve this investment.
Woodford County Principal, WCHS, 1973-1988
Zion Hill residents deserve better
Editor, The Sun:
I’m writing to voice my concern about the extended closing of the Weisenberger Mill bridge in southern Scott County. This bridge connects Woodford and Scott County. Our tax dollars that we have faithfully paid for many years are not being used to repair this bridge even though that would be a reasonable expectation. There is a long story that explains why Scott County says they are not responsible for this bridge that I can’t cover in this letter. Suffice to say Scott County struck an ill-advised agreement with Woodford County, causing Scott County residents to get the short end of the stick.
The Wiesenberger bridge was closed July 1, 2016. Current estimates have the bridge project pushed out to the year 2020. We have seen one delay after another with varying reasons for the delays. This bait and switch tactic has been a pattern from the start.
This bridge serves the historic black community of Zion Hill in southern Scott County. For the Zion Hill residents, this bridge being closed is a life and death issue. First responder time is extended by a minimum of approximately eight to 10 minutes. For the first responders to reach Zion Hill residents, they have to travel a small narrow, curvy road named Browns Mill. This road is not designed to handle the additional traffic it is seeing because of the bridge closure. I fully expect someone to get hurt driving this road.
The Weisenberger Bridge road was a heavily used route that many Woodford County residents use to commute to the Toyota Plant in Scott County. It is also the closest route to Midway University, if you are coming from Lexington or Georgetown via 421 or US 62.
The residents of Zion Hill deserve some respect and are not being treated fairly. I want the counties (Woodford and Scott), the state and also the residents who live near the bridge and oppose the project to show some compassion for these folks and allow this project to move forward to completion in the very near future. The government agencies need to live up to their responsibilities and repair this bridge.
You can help by contacting your magistrate, state representative, Judge Lusby in Scott County and Judge Coyle in Woodford County, to express your concern about these folks in southern Scott County.