Is it 'taps' for tunes?
In deciding to eliminate band and orchestra programs from the elementary school curriculum, the Fayette County School Board seems not to understand the detrimental effects that this move will produce. Currently, the Fayette County Band and Orchestra programs are among Kentucky's best. It is unrealistic to expect that our high school programs will retain their present level of quality if children are not provided with lessons before entering middle school. Furthermore, recent studies have proven that when children participate in music programs their overall performance in other subjects tends to improve as well. So the decision to cut these programs while retaining extracurricular activities is ill advised and shortsighted.
Unpopular as this opinion may be, the primary mission of any school system should be to provide a solid foundation in academics. The noblest civilizations in human history have placed emphasis on the arts in the educational curriculum. The School Board needs to put its priorities in order and put academics first, declaring that under no conditions will it jeopardize these programs. To treat the Arts as a dispensable part of our academic curriculum teaches our children the wrong lesson. In times of financial crisis, retaining extracurricular activities at the expense of academic programs may be the most acceptable solution to some; it is not the right thing to do for our children. If this means that extracurricular activities need to be scaled back or eliminated, then so be it. The schools cannot be all things to all people. The meaning of the word "extracurricular" is obvious.
In a sense, the School Board is being asked to do the dirty work left behind by our representatives in the State Legislature. For that, they deserve sympathy. But tough times require bold leadership, and for that they must look inside themselves. So phone or write the School Board. Tell them to reinstate these programs, and to put more importance on curriculum and less on extracurricular activities. And back it up by standing shoulder to shoulder with them in demanding better from the State Legislature. Let's not jeopardize one of Fayette County's real successes for a short-term solution to budget problems.
Joe Cinquina is also the President of the Jazz Arts Foundation, Inc., and a doctoral candidate in Music Composition at the University of Kentucky.
Is that a pothole? or a crater?
To report potholes, before someone else's car gets lost in it, call 1.800.PatchIt. Leave precise location.
This week Lexington Public Works crews are clearing debris in the neighborhoods of Chevy Chase and Henry Clay High School, according to a tentative schedule. They also will be working from Tates Creek Road to Blairmore Road between Lakewood Drive and Fontaine Road.
Mayor Isaac has applied for disaster relief aid on behalf of Lexington. Funding could be used to pay contractors to assist with debris removal.
Or perhaps the $$$ could be used to erect Potemkin-village visual barricades that would ease the town's unsightly appearance with thousands scheduled to visit during the Sweet Sixteen tourney.
In the past two weeks the Division of Solid Waste has collected over six million pounds of tree debris.
Now, as a result of the enormous number of Lexington residents dropping off tree limbs at the Recycling Center, hours have been extended. The LFUCG Recycling Center, at 360 Thompson Road, will be open Friday through Tuesday, from 7am to 7pm. The Haley Landfill will be open every day of the week from 7am to 7pm as well. Info, call 425.2255.
If you're tired of looking at all those branches piled up on the sidewalks, you can help in getting them out of the way and help out fellow citizens in the process. More than 160 seniors are in need of help with yard clean-up! Volunteers will be able to work at their own convenience and in their own neighborhood. Contact 313-LINK if you are interested in any volunteer opportunities.
The annual St. Patrick's Day parade will roll through downtown Lexington Saturday, March 15. This year's parade grand marshals are Special Olympics athletes. At 1pm the parade will form on Midland Avenue and travel down Main Street. (Take note when making Saturday traffic plans.)
On Saturday March 15, there will be massive peace marches in major cities. Peace activists in Central KY will march Saturday, March 15 at 2:30pm. Rally 3pm Phoenix Park, corner of Limestone & Main. Marchers are encouraged to bring signs and drums (plastic buckets) and to wear walking shoes.
At 3:30 pm March 16, 2003, central KY peace activists will gather at the Blue Grass Army Depot in Richmond, KY to nonviolently witness their opposition to war on Iraq.
This demonstration is one of hundreds scheduled this weekend to show the governments of the world and the U.S. government in particular that the people of the world oppose war on Iraq.
The theme will be "Don't Let it Start Here." In many ways it does start here in central KY. A large proportion of the small arms ammunition that will be used in war on Iraq have come from central KY.
They will have departed the truck gate at the BlueGrass Army Depot.
Protesters will build a burned-out structure in the truck exit of the Depot to symbolize the destruction of war and the immediate reason that thousands will become refugees.
A small number of protesters may risk arrest by setting up a tent to symbolically block the truck gate for as long as possible.
Operation Read is offering training for those interested in teaching others learn to read. Workshops will be held March 18, 20, 22, 25, and 27. To be certified as a volunteer literacy tutor, all sessions must be attended. There is a $20 fee, which helps defray the costs of materials. Call 254.9964 to register.
A resolution that will authorize LFUCG negotiations for the water company is scheduled for the council's March 20 docket.
Mayor Isaac supports the purchase. Water company officials and their counsel reiterate that the utility is not for sale.
The resolution's second reading is scheduled for March 27, and a public hearing will be scheduled after that.
Last night at Joseph-Beth Booksellers, a town hall meeting was held on the proposed smoking ban in public places such as bars and restaurants. For all the posturing, arguments for and against the ban, and trading of barbs, the consensus seemed to be: let the citizens decide. The idea of a referendum and letting the voters of Lexington decide the matter was one that garnered much applause, and left some appalled.
The council has yet to vote, but this definitely will not be the last opportunity for people to speak on the issue, as a public forum will take place Tuesday, March 25th, at 4pm in council chambers.
To participate in Ace forums on these and other local issues, visit aceweekly.com (include your name, age, and occupation when submitting responses.)