Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down: May 2

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Danville being up-front about proposed tax hike

Whether or not you support Danville’s proposed increases to its payroll and net profits taxes, you do at least know what the city wants to do with the money.

The half-percent increases would pay for a list of 13 new expenses, totaling about $1.54 million in all. About $350,000 would be left over to slow the declining carryover balance in the city’s general fund.

Those new expenses include close to half a million dollars for the completion of two streetscape grants along Main Street; $300,000 for emergency medical dispatch; $200,000 to replace a Second Street bridge that’s not rated for fire trucks to travel over; and $100,000 in additional street paving funds to counteract the loss of state road funding, according to City Manager Ron Scott.

Another nine items were spelled out by Scott when he presented the preliminary budget proposal to city commissioners on Thursday.

If Danville’s commissioners — and the residents they should be listening to — don’t want to spend the extra money, they don’t have to. If they do want to spend it, they know what they’ll be getting for the money.

That’s good transparency to have when you’re talking about something as important as taxes.

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Human Library project

This past weekend, the Centre College Library and the Boyle County Public Library hosted “Human Library” events, where instead of checking out books, visitors could check out “living books” — people with interesting stories to tell.

We do not talk with each other as much as we should anymore — we’re too absorbed with social-media interactions rather than interacting socially with the people around us. As a result, a lot of our social experiences are constrained by the extremely limited emotional vocabulary of Facebook and Twitter, where everything is either a catastrophe or a smash hit.

The Human Library event reminded us that people in the real world are infinitely more interesting and complex than the caricatures we become online.

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Brochures let you enjoy Danville’s history

Just in time for National Preservation Month in May, the Heart of Danville has two new brochures available, including a downtown Danville walking tour.

The walking tour brochure guides you to 25 historic properties in downtown Danville, including some where the historic buildings that had been on the property have since been torn down. “We want to make sure that we can remember them,” Heart of Danville Executive Director Nick Wade told us in this weekend’s story.

We think Danville is a beautiful place to take a stroll, and now with the walking tour available, those strolls can be even more interesting.

The walking tour brochures will be available in Constitution Square Park at the Grayson’s Tavern visitor’s center and the Heart of Danville office.