Letters to the editor: March 6

March 6, 2013 

Bill inadvertently hurts state public health agencies

Lessons from tainted food outbreaks, SARS and water contamination remind us of the high human and economic costs of a health crisis, and the need to have a strong and flexible public health infrastructure to respond quickly and effectively.

Local boards of health are on the front lines of efforts to protect and preserve the public's health.

In Kentucky, local boards of health include a range of knowledgeable professionals, and one of their key duties is to adopt administrative regulations necessary to protect the health of the people.

On Feb. 14, Senate Bill 172 was introduced to amend state statute by stripping local boards of health of the ability to adopt administrative regulations to protect the public's health and transferring this authority to local legislative bodies.

While the bill states that it is aimed at prohibiting firearms and ammunition regulations, the bill's broad language would have far broader consequences.

Under our current state laws, Kentucky's boards of health are capable of action outside the political process, which wisely permits local health officials to act quickly to preserve the public's health.

SB 172 would undermine this authority and put the health of the public at risk.

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky is committed to addressing the unmet health care needs of Kentuckians. We believe that strong local boards of health are essential to protecting and promoting the health and well-being of Kentuckians.

Susan Zepeda

President/CEO, Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky


Gullible on gays As I perused the Rally Against Discrimination article in the Feb. 21 Herald-Leader, it became obvious how deluded, ill-informed and out of touch these people are.

A high schooler naively spouted, "I'm straight but I think everyone should have the rights I do as a straight person." The usual suspects were there — gullible kids, the Vicco mayor, the ACLU and the Fairness Coalition — all holding hands and feeling good about standing against phantom homosexual injustice in Kentucky.

Gays and lesbians are protected under state statutes from bullying and discrimination. They are not prohibited from moving from one job or one house to the next, nor are they told to sit in the back of the bus.

This group is actually bullying society by demanding that those of us who see marriage as sacred and between a man and a woman give in to them. If we don't see it their way they yell discrimination and throw around the word hate.

I have a gay brother whom I love. He demands only a chance at a good job and the opportunity to be productive. Nothing else. I admire him and we agree to disagree about his lifestyle.

The students that showed up in Frankfort are being duped just like the low-information populace who voted for President Barack Obama. Watch Berea carefully. It is gradually creating protected minority status for gays and lesbians. The backlash is coming.

Joel C. King


Benghazi not worst

Sen. Rand Paul says in a letter that he showed leadership by declaring that Hillary Clinton should have been fired due to the consulate's destruction and the four deaths in Benghazi, and says that this was worse than Watergate. Hardly.

Let's examine this in greater depth. In 1998 our embassies were bombed in Nairobi, Kenya (with 212 dead and over 1,000 wounded) and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (11 Americans killed).

In 1993 the World Trade Center was bombed, with 11 dying. That same year two helicopters were shot down while in Somalia on an aid mission.

There was a horrific bombing in the 1980s of the Beirut embassy and Marine barracks, with the loss of life in the hundreds. Of course, the worst was 9/11, with over 3,000 deaths.

I don't recall anyone in hearings in Congress about those events taking the pompous attitude of "If I were president you would have been relieved of your post" toward secretaries of state Warren Christopher, Madeleine Albright or Condoleezza Rice.

How thin or thick can we spread ourselves when on the day of the Benghazi attack there were 261 viable threats against the United States, according to former C1A chief Leon Panetta's testimony to the committee?

Regardless of the extremes and measures we can take, it is a dangerous world and "compost" will happen, so trying to lay blame rather than assessing the possible breakdowns and areas to improve is chasing one's tail and gleaning no insight for improvement.

Ellen Clark Marshall


Like our own family

I am appalled by the remarks published in your paper in regards to the long-term care profession.

I have worked as a long-term care nurse for almost 18 years, starting at the age of 17. I have spent holidays, including Christmas, taking residents to their homes to be with their spouses, shopping or out to dinner on my own time.

What others do not understand is that the residents in our facility become like our own family. We not only help take care of them daily, we love and comfort them.

Senate Bill 9 needs to be supported, not because of what long-term care facilities do wrong, but because of what greedy lawyers are doing by making up false lawsuits only to gain money for their personal benefit. These are not legitimate lawsuits.

I am proud to be a long-term care nurse and am proud of the excellent quality care that we provide at our facility.

Crystal Fizer


Blame Southern strategy

I was stunned by the lack of historical knowledge shown by Sen. Rand Paul in his recent column concerning the Republican Party and its history with minorities. He claimed that the GOP has a history of supporting the elimination of slavery. Here are the facts.

Yes, Republicans, during President Abraham Lincoln's day, were responsible for supporting the elimination of slavery. However, the Republican Party of that day is not the GOP of today. If you look at political philosophy instead of party affiliation you will see that conservatives fought the Civil Rights Act and all other attempts to remove the various segregation laws.

It was liberals and moderates who gained the long-overdue rights for African-Americans. Today's conservatives are in the GOP and the liberals are in the Democratic Party.

Paul should know that his conservative party fought integration throughout the 1960s and '70s — it was Richard Nixon's Southern strategy. It allowed the Southern conservative Democrats to find a more receptive home in the GOP.

Trying to trick readers with a revisionist view of history should not fool anyone.

David Wachtel


Sen. Rand Paul's Feb. 24 article on blacks and the Republican Party did not mention the Southern strategy that destroyed the party's relationship with black America.

Burnham Ware


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