Letters to the editor: March 5

March 5, 2013 

Protester at Washington, D.C., rally against building Keystone pipeline

Bill providing narcotic antidote would aid rescuers

Over the past several years this and many other Kentucky newspapers have chronicled the worsening narcotic (opioid) pain medicine epidemic sapping the life and vitality of our citizens.

Expanding access to the narcotic antidote naloxone is a strategy that has been shown to reduce deaths in other states. Although naloxone is typically given by injection, emergency physicians and paramedics have a needle-free way to administer naloxone. Paramedics quickly spray naloxone injection into patients' nostrils when intravenous access is not yet established.

Pain medicine overdose treatment is a time-sensitive medical emergency. In recognition of this fact, physicians who treat patients at high risk for opioid overdose have prescribed "take-home" naloxone injection with a nasal sprayer.

The notion is that first responders, family members or close friends can be trained to recognize the overdose, give naloxone and call 911 for help. This practice is akin to prescribing EpiPen to patients with severe peanut allergy or asthma.

At least 11 states have passed laws permitting the medical practices of naloxone access for high-risk patients. Laws are needed so that physicians can prescribe a medication for a patient with instructions that the medicine be administered by a third person, thereby somewhat protecting the good Samaritan from liability.

House Bill 79 is a proposed law that will expand physician prescribing authority for naloxone and protect good Samaritan rescuers. This bill should be adopted to help our state reduce opioid-related mortality. States with these laws now have a lower per capita opioid mortality rate than Kentucky.

Daniel Wermeling

Pharmacist, CEO of AntiOp Inc.


State hates its own

After reading the article about Lexmark suing Xerox because the state picked the higher bidder, Xerox, I realized that the executives at Lexmark do not understand state policy.

In regard to any business or company based in the state and especially regarding companies that have been created within the state, the Commonwealth of Kentucky feels that it is its duty to harass, browbeat and destroy any and all such enterprises. This is especially so if the business or company is in dire straits.

Perhaps Lexmark should base itself outside the state and remove all its current employees to that location. With this done, the state will do everything in its power to bring Lexmark back. By doing this, Lexmark could receive favorable tax treatment and a great deal of praise by politicians.

The executives at Lexmark need to rethink their strategy.

Ben Luntz


Bought, now pay for it

They created the monster, now feed it. Years ago there was no aluminum plant in Hawesville and there was no Big Rivers Electric.

There was a deal made whereby a plant would be built provided it could get subsidized power from a newly formed electric co-op.

Existing electric providers in the area fought to provide the power to the new industry. It was litigated through the courts while construction of a new power source continued. The courts ruled in favor of Big Rivers.

Now Century Aluminum wants to back out of its obligation to pay for the infrastructure it created.

Mel Cobb


Costly inaction

I agree with retired professor Marty Solomon's Feb. 18 commentary, "Water customers shouldn't pay for utility's mistake," but we need to go back to 1997 and the Water Supply Plan Council to explain why we are in this situation.

The federal government that mandated every water district in America establish a plan to increase the water supply of their communities to meet a projected 20-year growth. Those plans also included improvements to sewer systems.

If those plans were submitted to a state's Division of Water and approved prior to July 1, 1998, that water district would qualify for earmarked federal funds for those projects.

Because of the failure of the Water Supply Plan Council to approve Kentucky American's only reasonable plan to increase water usage, by bringing treated water from the Louisville Water Company and a pipeline of approximately 55 miles, this community and taxpayers did not qualify for funding.

The Water Supply Plan Council not only did not submit a plan, they never approved any plan at all.

Looking back, those three council members were pro-ownership of the water company; two were involved with the group For Local Ownership of Water (FLOW), a complete conflict of interest in this matter.

There was no approval because of the ownership issue and not because the pipeline was a bad idea.

Now we are not only paying for the water increase, we are paying for the sewer improvements as well. I wish we had owned our water company.

John Hoagland


We can live together

Reading Mike Rivage-Seul's Feb. 19 op-ed about the ailing Carnival cruise ship as a metaphor for what awaits us made me think of the climate rally against the Keystone XL Pipeline which took place in Washington on Feb. 17. Kentuckians were there.

So were people from other states and even a reporter from Swiss Radio. (Is the whole world watching?)

A huge group of people, all on the same philosophical page, emanated fellowship, goodwill and for some, at times, strong feelings of patriotism.

No one was pointing guns at us; the only police I saw were the mounted police, and their horses were lovely. We were speaking our minds freely. And the signs were wonderful.

I did see one ominous sign. If our cozy world ever becomes anything like what Rivage-Seul describes, we surely can expect crowds that are vastly different from the one in Washington that week. We can expect what the man in the accompanying photo promised.

Sara Porter


Hidden costs

Re: "Once again, Frankfort wants citizens to pay for its mistakes"

Re: "Taxes hurt border cities"

My heart truly goes out to our citizens, hurting more and more each day. I have written many times about the cost of illegal residents. We have no idea how many are here. I keep hearing 11 million.

If they are undocumented, how many are really here?

Americans first.

Susan Washburn


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