Letters to the editor: Feb. 16

February 16, 2013 

Once again, Frankfort wants citizens to pay for its mistakes

I am writing to voice my anger over Senate Bill 2, which stops future cost-of-living adjustments to current retirees receiving pensions from the Kentucky Retirement System.

This bill is unacceptable. Why the hardworking men and women of this commonwealth are being held responsible for the funding shortfall of the current pension system is beyond me.

It was the Kentucky legislature that failed to adequately fund the state's share of the retirement system. All current retirees paid what was asked of them. If our state senators and representatives had done the same, our retirement system would not be in the shape it is.

I hope all members of the Kentucky Retirement System write their senators to voice their outrage over passage of this bill. I know I have and will continue to.

The legislature has always paid for its mistakes on the backs of hardworking men and women, and it's time for it to stop. Citizens of Kentucky, we need to stand up and stop the abuse going on in Frankfort.

James Jeffrey Coleman


Criminal scene invention

Congratulations to the Botany Bay store for getting items back that were stolen by the police. A judge has ruled that police illegally took items from the store and those items must be returned. The Lexington narcotics squad seems to have run out of real marijuana to arrest people for, so now it has to attack people for "imitation" marijuana that is not even illegal. I hope the Botany Bay store sues for false arrest and damage to its property.

This is the problem with the whole "war on drugs" foolishness; you have a bunch of well-paid police who arrest and harass people for victimless and nonviolent pot "crimes."

It is absurd that people are arrested for real pot in America, and it is pathetic that people suffer storm-trooper style raids for imitation marijuana.

Enough of the police state. We need to stop spending millions of dollars to arrest people for a harmless plant. The public no longer supports the war on pot, but that doesn't stop the police from wasting millions of dollars to arrest people who like to smoke it.

Police do not deserve any respect when they attack nonviolent people. The solution is fewer police. When you hire too many. they have to look for prey because they are predators. And when there are no real criminals to catch, they to start inventing crimes to arrest people for.

John Sabot


Call AT&T's bluff

Maybe all the gambling talk in Frankfort is causing AT&T to bet again this year that Kentucky consumers will give up their Public Service Commission protection of regular telephone service. And they will lose again because they are not putting all their cards on the table.

AT&T dealt three phony cards:

1) "Comparable service (wireless)" will be made available if AT&T cuts your landline.

2) Kentucky seniors will not be hurt by the loss of PSC oversight.

3) Consumers have protection under federal regulations.

The cards under the table are AT&T's own disclaimer on its wireless product, which says "AT&T does not represent that the Wireless Home Phone service will be equivalent to landline phone service". Second, seniors are already complaining that landline service is deteriorating and wireless service is spotty.

The third and largest hidden card is this: AT&T began the official process of destroying federal protections of landline users in November by filing its intent petition with the Federal Communications Commission. Once demolition of federal regulation is complete, giant AT&T wants to be free of state consumer protections such as those we still have in Kentucky.

Plain-old telephone service is a lifeline for many and some medical and security equipment used by seniors requires a landline. It should be the consumer who decides to discontinue phone service — not some shark playing a strange version of three-card monte with our legislators.

Bill Harned


Taxes hurt border cities

For years we heard Democrats were for the middle class and the poor. What a joke.

I own a convenience store in Wickliffe. We have seen the gasoline tax go up around eight cents the last three years, cigarette tax go from $3 to $6 a carton and the governor wanting another $4 a carton, not counting the $4.50 Frankfort gets from the tobacco companies.

When the gas tax went up last year, we were told it would generate $57 million for the Road Fund. Hope you feel good, the poor and middle class. The rich will be fine.

The truth is Frankfort has destroyed my business. We are on the border of Missouri, where the gas tax is 11 cents a gallon lower and the cigarette tax $4.25 lower. The people voted down a cigarette tax for the third time in Missouri. We have 138 people in control in Frankfort who have my business in their hands.

I have been a Democrat all my life until this year. I voted for the governor. All the border businesses have been devastated by these tax increases. Kentucky needs to know the truth about what's happening across Kentucky, not just in the golden triangle.

Mike Laster


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