Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Christian school and trees.

The Kentucky State Legislature, in a special one week session, finally passed a two year budget for the Commonwealth beginning July 1, 2010. The Governor submitted a budget that was hopefully going to be funded in part, with gambling at state horse racing tracks. The Legislature turned that down with a resounding "Hell No!"

The Governor submitted another budget that trimmed state services including cuts to public education. After seven days of back and forth between the two houses and many attempts to change the budget, it was passed. Many in the House and Senate stood up to say they didn't like the budget but would pass it.

I appreciate their doing that, since passing a budget for the state is the job of the Legislature.

Then, reading a small article in the Courier Journal I see where this austere budget includes $100,000 for the Riverside Christian School in Breathitt County. A few years ago the Legislature decided to fund the creation of a Pharmacy School at a Christian College. The Kentucky Supreme Court stopped that stating in its ruling, "public funding for religious education violates the state's constitution."

It would seem that we will be in litigation again. I figure this is an effort to give some legislator's attorney brother or brother-in-law a job.

Here's the article from the Courier-Journal:  House budget still contains money for Christian school:  http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20100525/NEWS0101/5250376/1008/NEWS01/House+budget+still+contains+money+for+Christian+school

If you're a tree hugger, I have some good news for you. The Olmstead Conservancy had raised the last of their $900,000 amount to match a grand from the J. Graham Brown Foundation $900,000 grant for tree planning in two city Olmstead Parks. You may recall Mr. Olmstead is responsible for the design of Central Park in New York, as well as many other beautiful parks world wide.

We have some lovely parks in Louisville. We are very proud of all our parks. Cherokee and Seneca Parks are Olmstead parks. I live near Cherokee now.

On April 3, 1974 I wasn't living near either one, but the day after the tornado that ripped out thousands of mature trees from these parks. I recall driving down an expressway near Cherokee park and the hills were denuded. Film of the park with all the trees down was heart breaking. A book with stills was published "Tornado: A Look Back at Louisville's Dark Day, April 3, 1974" by William S. Butler. When I got my copy I cried looking at those bare hills.

Fund raising paid for thousands of trees to replace those that were lost, and that effort continued in community groups for a decade. But now thirty six years later, we are getting $1.8 million worth of new trees.

I am excited.


  1. Do you know what they did to raise the money for the trees in those two parks? Was it real honest to goodness public donations or was it tax-based funds?

  2. Keith: This is the web address for the article in the paper today.

    http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20100531/NEWS01/5310322/Olmsted+group+raises+funds+for+tree+program. The article is titled: Olmsted parks group hits fund goal.

    The grant from the J. Graham Brown Foundation was awarded in 2008 and the Conservancy has been working on raising a total of $5 million for the "Save Our Trees" drive.

    The man J. Graham Brown was a Hoosier who moved to Louisville at the beginning of the century and left no heirs when he died in 1969. All his money was left to a foundation for the betterment of Louisville. As far as I can find out no government money was used in this fund raising or foundation grant.

  3. horay...more trees..i'm always for more trees.

  4. I'm pretty sure the people who approved of the public money for a private Christian school would also have no problem with public money for a private Jewish school or a private Muslim school? Right? Sure they would. ;-)

  5. Jay: ROFLMFAO

    That is the point really.

    How about this? All the people who have kids and send their kids to a church school pay no school taxes on their homes. Better yet, how about all us barren women, who never had kids, pay no school taxes on their homes!!!

    See how the slope gets slippery all of a sudden!?

    What we have in Kentucky is a bunch of "good ole Bible belt boys" who have been state legislators for decades who enjoy being the center of attention in their community. They go to the church supper or the varmit supper and everyone listens to them. They have no more interest in legislating the real problems of the state in Frankfort than does the squirrel entre at the supper.

    I hate paying their salaries and not getting what I'm paying for!

  6. What kind of trees?..Really,I love our trees here in NorCal,and am curious what kind of trees are indigenous to your area.
    ..Thumbs up,in any case. :)

  7. Trees are a good thing... :o)

    It's amazing how the old forests here in the Mississippi Delta have dwindled since I was a kid...


  8. Red Shoes: I agree. Trees are a good thing. You sound so Martha there.

    and.... to someone initials PGM, don't send comments going on about scrambled brains and soda pop, etc. If you have to send comments titled Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 it's obviously just too much comment!

  9. Planting new trees: right use of money. Shunting government funds to Christian schools: wrong (and un-constitutional) use of money.

  10. I'm sure the Christian school is a fine institution. (not for me!) However, there is No way that public funds should ever fund a religious school.

    It violates the very foundation of Separation of Church and State.


Comments are encouraged.