- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Recent editorials from Kentucky newspapers:


Sept. 8

The Courier-Journal of Louisville on salaries at the University of Louisville Foundation:

Over-the-top. Excessive.

The high-flying salaries at the University of Louisville Foundation must go. More important, they must never return.

Obscene is the only way to describe James Ramsey’s salary.

The booted foundation president was the highest paid officer of any public university foundation in the United States. He averaged more than $2 million per year between 2012 and 2015. It was a part-time job with an average hourly wage of $1,538.

That is a jaw-dropping number.

The Courier-Journal reviewed records of 1,600 officers and employees of more than 1,100 foundations. Reporters Andrew Wolfson and Justin Price found that Ramsey and three other U of L foundation officials had salaries above all those reviewed nationwide.

The other top Louisville foundation salaries:

$1.79 million - Dr. Donald Miller, current director of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center.

$1.1 million - Shirley Willihnganz, former executive vice president and university provost.

$675,848 - Kathleen Smith, former assistant secretary and university chief of staff.

Don’t forget, Ramsey also pulled in $342,930 as U of L’s president, his full-time gig.

As president of the university and the foundation, Ramsey was in a position to write his own paycheck.

Just look to other major schools for examples of reasonable salaries.

Ramsey’s 2014 salary was higher than the combined salaries of the three university presidents and foundation CEOs of the University of Illinois, Indiana University and West Virginia University.

And here’s the real kicker, all three foundations have assets greater than U of L. For example, IU’s foundation manages three times more assets than Louisville.

As with any company or organization, we know competitive salaries are needed to attract leaders who are expected to be successful. U of L needs a healthy foundation.

There were notable accomplishments at the university under Ramsey’s reign. That said, other lesser-paid presidents moved the school forward significantly, and do the same for other schools. And the performance of the foundation is lacking.

The foundation’s most recent tax return shows the endowment fell $47 million from 2015 to 2016. That continues a trend in the endowment’s lagging real value. Since 2006 through April 2016, the inflation adjusted value has dropped 19 percent. That’s $131 million.

Overpaid and overvalued officials are not needed. The foundation needs executives who can deliver. In light of everything, the foundation has rewritten its bylaws to prevent future university presidents from also running the foundation.

Going forward, the foundation’s board must routinely review salaries to ensure that they are comparable to those at other public universities. Salary studies must be made public.

U of L did not get its money’s worth out of Ramsey.

Online: https://www.courier-journal.com/


Sept. 7

Daily News of Bowling Green on an annual event to clean trash at Barren River Lake:

Every year around this time, we write about what a shame it is that some people throw trash into our streams, rivers and lakes.

It really is sad that people who commit this illegal and selfish act don’t know or don’t care about the long-term damage they are causing to these bodies of water. In many cases, it takes years for some of the items people throw in these waterways to dissolve, if at all. During that time, the water supply and the ecosystem have to be deeply affected, which has implications for the environment and public health.

Thankfully, not all people share the backward mentality of those who harm our waterways. Most Kentuckians love and respect our waterways and enjoy all of the recreation and beauty they provide. They, like most Kentuckians, know that we need to keep our waterways clean.

This is why the annual Trashmasters Classic Lakeshore Cleanup is such an important event. This year marks the 30th year of the event on Barren River Lake. In the past 29 years, hundreds of volunteers have searched the lake for trash. In that time, more than 279 tons of trash has been removed from the lake.

This is a significant amount of trash that would still be in the lake had it not been for the hard work of these good Samaritans. On Sept. 16 from 8 to 11:30 a.m., volunteers will gather at different boat ramps on the lake to register for the event and to begin cleaning the lake. About 300 people are expected to attend and those in charge of the event are hoping to gather about three tons of trash at the lake.

Every year there is a need for people to bring boats to shuttle volunteers around the lake. Pontoon boats are vital to this event, as they are required to shuttle volunteers and trash back and forth along the shoreline. As a token of appreciation, pontoon boat owners will be given a choice of a $40 gift card for gas reimbursement, courtesy of the event’s sponsor, or two nights of free camping at any Barren River Lake Corps of Engineers campground. Tarps will be provided to line your boat for trash pickup, and a pressure washer will be available for cleanup of your boat afterward. In addition, there will be a special prize drawing this year just for pontoon boat drivers, which includes a $250 grand prize. Pizza and prizes will be provided as well.

These all sound like good incentives to bring your pontoon and to volunteer at the lake Sept. 16. But aside from the incentives, everyone involved is helping a wonderful cause. We truly do commend all of those who volunteer for this worthy cause in getting trash out of our lakes and helping them stay beautiful.

Online: https://www.bgdailynews.com/


Sept. 7

Lexington Herald-Leader on Confederate statues that could possibly be relocated to a cemetery:

A strange set of events and circumstances, informed by a tortured history, has thrust the bucolic and peaceful Lexington Cemetery into the fray surrounding the two Confederate statues in Cheapside Park.

Mayor Jim Gray and the Urban County Council have voted to move the statues of John Hunt Morgan and John C. Breckinridge. Unfortunately, and perplexingly, any move has to be approved by the Kentucky Military Heritage Commission in Frankfort.

Although it’s hard to know for sure, it seems that Lexington Cemetery, where both men are buried, is the one place the commission might approve that also is acceptable to people who feel passionately that the statues must go and those who feel they must be respected.

We can understand why directors of this private cemetery might be reluctant to take the statues, particularly the enormous, heroic representation of the Confederate raider Morgan astride a stallion (although he rode a mare in battle) that sits on a huge pedestal.

We can understand why directors of this private cemetery might be reluctant to take the statues, particularly the enormous, heroic representation of the Confederate raider Morgan astride a stallion (although he rode a mare in battle) that sits on a huge pedestal.

Organized in 1849, Lexington Cemetery was the first in Kentucky to adopt the new concept of park-like garden cemeteries. It is not designed as an historic site or a sculpture garden.

But we ask the directors to consider the larger concerns of the community when the mayor meets with them Monday to request the relocation.

The community has struggled for years about how to treat these memorials glorifying the Confederate states’ revolt to preserve slavery. In 2015 the Urban County Arts Review Board, after months of consideration, recommended moving the statues. The grassroots advocates in Take Back Cheapside educated the public and the mayor about the wrong of honoring the Confederacy at the Old Courthouse in Cheapside, where humans were bought and sold as slaves.

Last month Gray - horrified by the violence in Charlottesville, Va. that killed one and injured many when white nationalists protested removal of Confederate memorials - asked the council to vote to move the statues.

Gray’s request and the council’s quick and unanimous agreement signaled this is a progressive community that honors all who live, and have lived, here. There was joy in Lexington and praise from around the country.

But that joyful moment could be fleeting unless an appropriate new home is found for the statues.

During a time when burial sites were haphazard, often neglected and sometimes desecrated, Lexington Cemetery was conceived of as a place where people would have a permanent home to truly rest in peace.

Right now, this community is searching for peace. We hope Lexington Cemetery can, again, help the city find its way there.

Online: https://www.kentucky.com/

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