Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

July 14, 2013

In Your View

The Independent

ASHLAND — Discrimination needs discussion

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” This famous quote by Eleanor Roosevelt is very applicable to the case of the alleged discrimination at Russell Middle School.

Whether or not there turns out to be strong legal grounds for any action, we seem to neglect the epidemic that has penetrated the cold, cinderblock classrooms of public schools.

Not a single person can truthfully say they were never picked on during some point in their education. Some may be singled out more than others due to factors such as intelligence, race, sexuality, mental status and a host of other circumstances. As awful as that may seem, how some respond to it are two factors that cannot hold us back from dealing with the core of the issue.

There are always at least two sides to each story. In any case of alleged discrimination, one side will always jump on every instance of name calling. Another side recognizes it as not only a part of the struggles of assimilating in a diverse culture, but also as an opportunity to strengthen character and overcome a particular circumstance.

Should we encourage free-reign hate speech? Absolutely not. Instead, we should use these events as a chance to thoroughly investigate such alleged behaviors and analyze why people may have reacted rudely or inappropriately. We need ideas that can rationally help victims through such a tough time and ideas on how to prevent such a pervasive, negative attitude in the future for all.

According to Eleanor Roosevelt, those ideas can only be discussed by great minds. I think those ideas should be discussed by all.

Landon Lauder, Russell

Let the market be in Cental Park

This region has one of the highest obesity rates in the nation. Every specialist from doctors on down say we need more fresh produce in our diet.Yet without asking for the public’s opinion, our city commission denies a farmer’s market for one day a week for a few months out of the year.

One of the excuses has been no one should be able to use the park for profit. Wasn’t that exactly what happened during Summer Motion? Except in licenses and taxes, what happened to all the money received by the sale of so much junk food? Dare I call it profit? Yet these types of events go on all year in the park.

The Boyd County Extension Office requires the farmers to attend a class and receive a stamp by the state to set up. They also monitor them throughout the day, thus making it much safer than the fly-by-night operations on the highway.

Seeing the need for fresh produce for our low-income elderly, the state gives out vouchers that can be used only in a state approved farmer’s market. But many of our elderly only have bus transportation. The city has already announced they will drop their Saturday run the first of August. So Friday’s farmer market in the park would be the only one easily available as all the others are on Saturdays.

The market is only open until 2 p.m. or when the produce is gone. Since most are sold out long before noon, parking shouldn’t even be an issue.

Suggesting King’s Daughters Medical Center or a former gas station is just a cop out. No matter where it is it has to have permission by the owners and be approved by the extension office.

Since the commission waited so long to respond, it’s unlikely Ashland will have a farmer’s market this year. What a shame that our commissioners consider the status quo as acceptable. For a town to grow and thrive, all business should be welcome, even those that just make a few dollars a week selling us fresh produce.

Sylvia McClelland-Morrison, Ashland

Don’t overlook Ashland’s assets

I suppose it’s not surprising that people plowing their way through their seventh decade get sentimental from time to time. That’s what happened to me this week as I drove through Ashland streets.

I was thinking of my time working with the Ashland Police Department, and what professionals they are, from Chief Rob Ratliff down to the newest recruit.

I was thinking of the time we had a chimney fire and Ashland Fire Department answered the call, extinguished the fire and didn’t even track snow in.

I was thinking of a city whose industrial base has collapsed but whose business development department, under Chris Pullem’s leadership, has somehow come up with new businesses.

I was thinking about the mayor and commissioners who have somehow performed a miracle which keeps the streets clean and gives us this drop-dead gorgeous park to enjoy. Heck, even the garbage men are polite, gracious and professional.

Perhaps it’s not surprising that people plowing their way through their seventh decade get sentimental from time to time, but we live in a surprising place, and it’s easy to overlook it. This week, I didn’t overlook it.

J. Stewart Schneider, Ashland

Council preparing artist’s registry

Calling all artists of Boyd, Carter and Greenup counties.

The Arts Council of Northeastern Kentucky is in the process of building an artist’s registry for the three counties.

If you would like to be included in this registry, please send the following information to Calling ALL Artists of Boyd, Carter and Greenup:

If you would like to be included in this registry, please send the following information to  acofneky@gmail.com : artist name (first, last), type of art offered (portraits, murals, etc.), email contact, telephone contact.

Jeremy Grizzle, President, Arts Council of Northeastern Kentucky

Letters invited

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