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Kentucky editorial roundup

July 17, 2019

Summary of recent Kentucky newspaper editorials:

July 17

The News-Enterprise on a Kentucky bill to favor 12-month daylight saving time:

Daylight saving time does not save any daylight. There’s the same amount no matter what the clock says.

The concept has been around since World War I when it was introduced as a means to conserve fuel used to generate electricity by extending sunlight into evening hours.

Most people are more familiar with the annual spring-forward, fall-back cycle than any real impact the effort provides.

Except, of course, the fact it’s a hassle and can throw off the body’s daily rhythms.

Two Republican legislators, Brandon Reed of Hodgenville and Bart Rowland of Tompkinsville, want to put Kentucky clocks on daylight time and lock it in.

In an explanation introducing their bill to the General Assembly, they cited studies related to criminal activity and public health to make their case. Opponents surely will point to the late morning arrival of dawn in winter months and express concern about children waiting for school buses and other early-rising issues.

The immediate public interest seemed to be positive. Most people simply are ready to embrace a year-round means to measure time and lock it in. The support is about avoiding the clock-changing hassle.

If the bill is adopted, Kentucky would be joining a movement favoring 12-month daylight saving time. It has drawn support across the country, including endorsement from President Donald Trump. More than a dozen states have taken up measures since Florida stepped out in 2018 and became the first to approve a bill aimed at a year-round time.

It’s important to realize Reed and Rowland’s bill has no actual enforcement authority. It only would express Kentucky’s interest in a universal time if the federal government deems that acceptable.

This small matter is symbolic of the upside-down republic which America has become.

Unlike the vision of the founders of a limited federal government ordained and established by the states, the reverse is true today. We have a powerful, top-down bureaucracy that controls even the most minor elements of our lives — right down to what we can do with our wristwatches.

It’s time for more adjustments than simply our clocks.

Online: http://www.thenewsenterprise.com/

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July 17

The Bowling Green Daily News on Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Amy McGrath’s comments about Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh:

Democratic candidate Amy McGrath, who would like to replace Mitch McConnell as U.S. senator for Kentucky, demonstrated last week why she doesn’t deserve to be successful in that endeavor.

After first indicating that she would have voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, McGrath changed course hours later and said she would have voted no.

Many liberals were dismayed by her initial support of Kavanaugh, and her quick flip-flop certainly invited questions about McGrath being up to the task.

Our concern about McGrath goes well beyond her seemingly flexible beliefs.

By backpedaling from support of Kavanaugh to opposition, McGrath aligned herself squarely on the side of those Democratic senators who engaged in guilt by accusation and character assassination of the vilest sort. In the process, they did untold damage to our justice system, whose presumption of innocence is one of the most important protections of our individual rights.

Readers will recall that the sexual misconduct claims brought against Kavanaugh by his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, could not be corroborated. Ford could not remember what year the alleged event took place, where it took place and who brought her to the party or who drove her home. People who Ford claimed were at the party said they didn’t remember it or they didn’t know Kavanaugh.

Most Senate Democrats eagerly embraced Ford’s accusation with comments like “we believe the woman.” As their attacks got more savage, the reputation of a good man was badly damaged, along with damage to American institutions - our justice system, first and foremost.

The unfairness of the attacks on Kavanaugh can best be viewed by contrasting Ford’s uncorroborated claims against the dozens of former female classmates and co-workers who came forward voluntarily during confirmation hearings to attest to his character. We believe a majority of Americans recoiled from the character assassination and disregard for basic principles of justice they witnessed.

These are not American values, nor are they Kentucky values.

By casting her lot with those senators who put aside decency in favor of reputation destruction, McGrath underlines her lack of respect for bedrock justice principles such as presumption of innocence.

As a former Air Force officer, whose military service we respect, McGrath swore to uphold the Constitution. She surely knows the damage done to our justice system by the confirmation circus cannot be condoned unless one believes the end justifies the means.

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

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July 17

The Paducah Sun on one mall’s impact on the community:

For all the bad raps Kentucky Oaks Mall seemingly takes — it siphons shoppers off downtown, traffic is a hassle, popular stores close abruptly — it nonetheless remains an important, if undervalued, part of Paducah and McCracken County’s economic profile.

The mall is a regional draw, pulling people off the interstate; it provides hundreds of jobs, keeps residents and their dollars home for big box and chain store needs; and has been a catalyst for development on and around Hinkleville Road.

The editorial board believes Paducah and McCracken County would be diminished, perhaps to a large degree, without Kentucky Oaks and its halo effect on businesses and quality of life.

But, as has been well-chronicled here and other places throughout the country, shopping malls aren’t doing as well as they once did. Like most brick and mortars, they’re losing customers in droves to online shopping, specifically retail goliath Amazon.

Look an hour north, to Marion, Illinois, where the city’s mall closed in December 2018. The mall’s owners filed bankruptcy after years of declining foot traffic and store closings, though anchor stores Dillard’s and Target, which are independently owned, remain open.

The trend of mall struggles, combined with store exits at Kentucky Oaks in recent years, raised the logical question for the editorial board, and we’re sure many others: What’s the mall’s future?

Cafaro, Kentucky Oaks’ parent company, answered those questions in a big way last week.

The company announced that it was essentially tripling down on its local investment by acquiring Olivet Church Crossing, home to Kohl’s and Michael’s, and pouring millions more into renovations at Kentucky Oaks.

Let’s keep this news, however positive it may be, in perspective. The acquisition and renovations aren’t going to dramatically improve the community’s economic outlook with an influx of new businesses or industry — let alone much-needed high-paying jobs.

However, there’s something to be said for Cafaro maintaining and expanding its foothold, especially in light of so many industry competitors folding.

The announcements should come as reassurance the company continues to view our community as a worthwhile place to do business, and sees enough potential growth that it’s willing to back its belief with capital.

That’s a valuable message, one we hope is marketed to outside developers and entrepreneurs.

Online: https://www.paducahsun.com/

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