book banning

A few thoughts about some of the things seen and heard this past week. 

  1. The sur­pris­ing vic­to­ry of peren­ni­al also-ran Geoff Young in the Democratic pri­ma­ry for the 5th Congressional race illus­trates how dys­func­tion­al the par­ty is in Kentucky. Young is pro­gres­sive on many issues, but his bizarre claims about Ukraine made him seem even more a fringe can­di­date than usu­al. In defeat­ing chal­lenger Chris Preece by some 1,700 votes, Young demon­strat­ed that name recog­ni­tion alone is enough to defeat a rel­a­tive­ly unknown chal­lenger in a very weak Democratic field. And his vic­to­ry ensured that Republican incum­bent Andy Barr will cruise to anoth­er easy vic­to­ry in a dis­trict that was very com­pet­i­tive until Barr won the seat from Democrat Ben Chandler in 2012.
  2. The Lexington Herald-Leader ran an in-depth piece this week about the poten­tial­ly chill­ing effect of calls for remov­ing con­tro­ver­sial books from Kentucky’s pub­lic libraries. The arti­cle also touched upon the ram­i­fi­ca­tions of Senate Bill 167, passed in the 2022 Kentucky leg­isla­tive ses­sion. The new law puts library boards under the total con­trol of local politi­cians, poten­tial­ly politi­ciz­ing what should be non-par­ti­san institutions. 
  3. From a friend on Facebook:
    Fun fact No. 1:  the [U.S. House of Representatives] passed a bill this week to stop gas com­pa­nies from price goug­ing. Every sin­gle Republican in the House vot­ed against it.
    Fun fact No. 2:  the House passed a bill this week to ease the baby for­mu­la short­age. Nearly every Republican in the House vot­ed against it.
    My com­ment: It’s almost like the minor­i­ty par­ty in the House doesn’t real­ly want the econ­o­my to improve. Gee, I won­der why…
  4. Last Saturday saw a record crowd for the grand open­ing of the Winchester-Clark County Farmer’s Market. The big draw was unveil­ing a new sign, incor­po­rat­ing tim­bers sal­vaged from the old Sphar build­ing that for­mer­ly occu­pied the land adja­cent to the mar­ket. It was also the first time the new pavil­ion was employed, giv­ing mar­ket ven­dors and shop­pers a much bet­ter expe­ri­ence. I was impressed with how much the area has improved since last year, what with Mountain Comprehensive Care Center hav­ing moved into the for­mer IGA build­ing and mak­ing sub­stan­tial improve­ments to the façade and sig­nage, and the new loca­tion of Abettor Brewing just up Depot Street. North Main is look­ing good.
  5. I won­der why it is that local offi­cials nev­er saw fit to relax the liquor law to allow sales of pack­age beer, wine, and liquor on Sunday? You can go to a restau­rant or bar and order a drink on Sunday, but liquor stores here are shut­tered, and the beer aisles at gro­cery stores are off-lim­its. It makes no sense to me — the law needs to be con­sis­tent. You can dri­ve to Lexington or even Mt. Sterling and grab a six-pack on Sunday, but you can’t buy it in Winchester. How does this pro­mote local busi­ness­es? I say it’s time to revis­it this. 

I won­der what next week will bring? 

  • Pete Koutoulas

    Pete is an IT pro­fes­sion­al work­ing in Lexington. Formerly of Campton, he and his wife have lived in Winchester since 2015. Pete is a for­mer week­ly news­pa­per pub­lish­er and for­mer colum­nist for the Winchester Sun. These days, when not work­ing he can often be found on his back porch read­ing or writ­ing, in the back­yard tend­ing to his toma­to plants, or put­ter­ing around in his garage or work­shop. Reach Pete at pete@wincitynews.org.