Kentucky editorial roundup
Summary of recent Kentucky newspaper editorials:
The Courier Journal on Muhammad Ali’s legacy:
We called him the Louisville Lip.
And indeed, Muhammad Ali had a lot to say about himself. But more importantly, he spoke to causes greater than himself.
He was the most mesmerizing athlete on the planet, the greatest, the champion of the world. He was Louisville’s Ali.
But it was his life outside the ring that truly made him the Greatest of All Time.
“When you saw me in the boxing ring fighting, it wasn’t just so I could beat my opponent. My fighting had a purpose. I had to be successful in order to get people to listen to the things I had to say.”
The things Ali had to say broke down barriers, brought us together and inspired us. On the third anniversary of when we lost him, it’s why we celebrate him.
He helped build our CONFIDENCE.
“I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was.”
“I’ve never let anyone talk me into not believing in myself.”
“I am America. I am the part you won’t recognize. But get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me.”
“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”
He held to his CONVICTIONS.
“Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn’t matter which color does the hating. It’s just plain wrong.”
“Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on Brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights?”
He taught us DEDICATION.
“No one starts out on top. You have to work your way up. Some mountains are higher than others, some roads steeper than the next. There are hardships and setbacks, but you can’t let them stop you. Even on the steepest road, you must not turn back. You must keep going up. In order to reach the top of the mountain, you have to climb every rock.”
“Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them — a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill, and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.”
He commanded RESPECT and gave it.
“I am an ordinary man who worked hard to develop the talent I was given. I believed in myself, and I believe in the goodness of others.”
“Throughout my life, I never sought retribution against those who hurt me because I believe in forgiveness. I have practiced forgiving, just as I want to be forgiven. Only God knows what’s in a person’s heart, his true intentions. He sees and hears all things.”
He focused on GIVING.
“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”
“I try not to speak about all the charities and people I help, because I believe we can only be truly generous when we expect nothing in return.”
He embodied SPIRITUALITY.
“My wealth is in my knowledge of self, love, and spirituality.”
“God gave me Parkinson’s syndrome to show me I’m not ‘The Greatest’ — He is. God gave me this illness to remind me that I’m not Number One; He is.”
“I’d like for them to say he took a few cups of love, he took one tablespoon of patience, teaspoon of generosity, one pint of kindness. He took one quart of laughter, one pinch of concern, and then, he mix willingness with happiness, he added lots of faith, and he stirred it up well, then he spreads it over his span of a lifetime, and he served it to each and every deserving person he met.”
In life and in death, Ali spoke to us.
Nothing could silence his booming voice.
His words live on, inspiring us to be the greatest.
To be Ali.
Daily Independent on the region’s trail potential:
On our front page today we have a story about the opening of the new Iron Ore Hiking Trail.
The Boyd County Fiscal Court hosted a ceremony Saturday to celebrate the opening. We are told the trail at Armco Park is five miles long and quite beautiful. It features benches, walking bridges and overlooks. The trail was made possible by the hard work and persistence of local residents Kenny and Candy Messer along with the volunteer work and donations of many community members. This includes students, churches, senior centers and other organizations. It of course also includes funding from the state and support from the Fiscal Court.
We see this new trail as a very significant, positive development for Boyd County. It also leads to our bigger picture view on the future for Boyd County — a future we think is incredibly bright when one considers all the great people, assets and resources available here in the county. The key to realizing this future will be capitalizing on all those assets in a strategic, coordinated way, and that includes capitalizing on the existence of this trail.
Here’s why we think the trail is a big deal: it is a great asset for fitness and nature enthusiasts, and some of the most valuable tourism dollars right now are found in the pockets of people who are in to fitness and nature. They will travel across the country to participate in trail marathons, river walks, etc. This trail puts Boyd on the map when you consider the beauty and expansiveness of Armco Park that already exists. Adding a five mile stretch of trail to that asset? Outstanding.
Also, right now, if you are in Ashland and you want to go on an extended walk or hike where are you most likely to go? Ashland’s Central Park. The park is a great asset and a beautiful resource. However, adding a five-mile trail to the region’s natural resources mix just down the road — a trail with major hills and a challenging distance — is a great new option. One thing that we think will benefit this new trail even more is a promotional push to highlight it combined with easy access to the trail that isn’t just car based. For example, when we jog from Ashland to the Summit area, eventually the sidewalk ends. This is a stretch of roadway that is all designed strictly with cars in mind. Is there a way, over the long haul, to develop a sidewalk infrastructure that leads up the hill to Armco Park and this new five mile trail? This type of enhanced connection that is aimed at people on foot could lead tourists, nature enthusiasts and athletes to Armco Park from Ashland.
This in turn prompts discussion about a network of natural trails connecting all of our communities. Could there be a biking and trail system connecting Carter, Greenup and Boyd counties? Imagine a trail system that connects all of these resources together, running from Catlettsburg to Ashland, along the Ohio River, and to all of the Tri-State’s natural beauty?
There is huge potential here. If you want to recruit economic development, job growth and newbies to the region, having a top-notch trail system is a major recruiting tool. We commend those involved in developing this trail system. We also encourage our area governments to look at what is possible when it comes to a connecting trail system that links all of our counties together.
The sky is the limit on this if the strategy can be matched up with the resources necessary to make it happen.
Daily News on city commissioner’s arrest:
Some serious and legitimate questions have been raised following the arrest of Bowling Green City Commissioner Brian Nash on May 23 for public intoxication outside the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center, where he had been attending an event.
The Warren County Sheriff’s Office’s arrest citation said the deputy, who was working a special detail at the event, followed Nash outside the building as he walked to his vehicle, saw Nash get into the vehicle and start the engine. The deputy made contact with Nash before he left the parking lot. Nash said he was not going anywhere, and the deputy asked him to exit his vehicle.
Although the arrest citation does not specifically say Nash moved his vehicle, Warren County Sheriff Brett Hightower said Thursday at a community forum in Plano that he learned the following morning that Nash was seen backing his vehicle out of a parking space but was stopped before he could leave the lot. That’s an important piece of information that we believe should have been revealed publicly much earlier in this process.
Hightower said Thursday that the deputy told him he believed he lacked probable cause in the form of witnessing a motorist weaving on a road or crossing the center line of a street to arrest Nash on a DUI charge, and that no field sobriety tests were administered before the arrest. Such tests are not necessary to give prior to arresting a person on suspicion of public intoxication.
We’re glad the deputy arrested Nash, since he was clearly breaking the law by being intoxicated in public. He would have put the public at risk had he left the area in his vehicle. But the question that many in our community are asking, as outlined in an article in Wednesday’s edition of the Daily News, is whether Nash should have been charged with DUI.
We’re not going to play judge and jury to that question, but we believe it is a valid one to ask.
After his arrest, Nash’s attorney, Alan Simpson, described his version of the circumstances in a text message to the Daily News: “Upon walking out of the event, (Nash) walked with his adult daughter to secure his vehicle so that it could be left overnight. Just as he was contacting Uber, for a ride home, he was approached by law enforcement and arrested.”
This puzzling statement by Simpson has also been questioned and criticized. Why would Nash start his engine and back out of a parking space if he planned to request an Uber? Simpson’s description of Nash’s behavior doesn’t make sense and raises more questions about this whole matter.
The biggest question we, and many in the public, have is why wasn’t he charged with DUI?
Kentucky law forbids a person to “operate or be in physical control of a motor vehicle” while under the influence of alcohol or any other substance that impairs a person’s ability to drive, but the statutes outlining the state’s DUI laws offer no elaboration on what that phrase exactly means.
While the law might be a little vague on this, it is reasonable to classify Nash starting his engine and backing out of his parking space as “operating” his vehicle.
Hightower first weighed in on this issue on Facebook on May 24, when he wrote, “In light of what transpired and reviewing this incident, I am most confident that there would be different charges if this same scenario happened again.”
One could read into Hightower’s statement that perhaps a DUI should’ve been given to Nash, rather than the public intoxication charge.
Also, people are asking why Nash’s initial court appearance was moved to this past Tuesday instead of Wednesday, as it was initially scheduled. Simpson said it was a scheduling conflict. One could make the argument, however, that there was perhaps no scheduling conflict at all and the court appearance was quietly moved to Tuesday so Nash could avoid a media presence.
Nash has been a polarizing figure as a candidate and an elected official. This latest arrest is Nash’s second in six years on an alcohol-related offense. The first charge was a DUI from 2013. The case languished in the courts until this newspaper brought it back to light. The charge was ultimately dismissed, and Nash pleaded guilty to a count of improper turning.
At the end of the day, Nash’s actions are not what we expect from our elected officials. Being a public official means a lot of things, and one of them is conducting yourself properly in a public place. From all accounts, we don’t believe Nash met that standard on the evening of May 23.
Many people will look at this case and wonder if Nash got special treatment because he is an elected official?
If that is the case, what does it say to someone who is not an elected official who starts their engine and backs out of a parking space and gets arrested and charged with a DUI? Would they believe justice is blind?
We’re very disappointed in Nash and we believe his constituents should be disappointed in him, too. His actions on the evening of May 23 were not appropriate for the office he holds.