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.