Lexington News Briefs 6.10.1998 Immigration Task Force

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by Todd Piccirilli

May The Force Be With You, Amigos!

Once the voting booths were closed and the results tabulated following the May primaries, it was back to business as usual for the city’s elected officials. Among the first orders of business for current (let’s see if we can still say this a year from now) Mayor Pam Miller was the announcement that she plans to create a task force on immigration.

In the wake of last month’s INS raid at a local tobacco company, the issue of migrant workers has become a community wide topic of discussion.

What this task force represents is not a “get back to where you came from” mentality, but rather a common sentiment that we should take a closer look at the well-being of our neighbors from across the border.

Often, many services, such as health care, are denied to these migrant workers because of their immigration status. Still others who are here legally face enormous difficulties due to the language barrier.

After the task force has been developed, the first item on the agenda likely will be the possibility of creating a “safety zone.” This means that illegal aliens seeking assistance will not be denied based ontheir immigration status. The task force may also work with INS officials to prevent another situation like the one last month. Sadly, several family members, including many children, were left behind after workers were arrested and sent back to Mexico.

I Can’t Drive25?

By as early as October, drivers in Lexington better keep one eye on the road and one eye on their speedometers. That’s because the Urban County Council voted last week to reduce speed limits on all residential Fayette county roads from 35 mph to 25mph. This change will affect the vast majority of Fayette County roads-1,800 in all.

While many commuters are sure to criticize the change, the logic behind the Council’s decision is sound. Given the city’s many narrow streets, which are often populated with children at play, the risk of accident or injury due to speeds at or, as is more often the case, in excess of 35 mph is just too high.

Hopefully, the new limits will be enforced, and drivers can learn to adjust. Of course the major obstacle may not be adding a few extra minutes to one’s morning commute, but the embarrassment that comes from being passed by someone on Rollerblades.

The Long
and Winding Road

The final public hearing to discuss a rural land management plan seemed encouraging to those wanting to protect the areas greenspaces from development, but it will be several months before a proposal is finally drafted.

Both the Planning Commission and the Greenspace Commission, an advisory group, will hold several meetings and then make recommendations on a plan.

The Planning Commission will then hold public hearings again this fall.

When all is said and done, a proposed plan could be implemented by next spring. This has been and continues to be a long process indeed. In the end, let’s hope we can say “patience is a virtue” and not that “government proposes, bureaucracy disposes.”

And In the
Blue Corner

Some Kentuckians may have to find new ways of playing with their cocks on Saturday nights. That’s because of a Kentucky Court of Appeals ruling last week that may finally lay to rest any questions about the illegality of cockfighting in the state.

Apparently, an amendment during the 1980 General Assembly session would have excluded chickens from the definition “animal” in animal cruelty laws. Despite the baffling lack of logic behind this, the debate has been raging for nearly two decades now whether or not the bill had been vetoed before the deadline to do so. The Appeals Court’s decision upholds the veto, definitively making cockfighting illegal. Oh the progress we’ve made.



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