Letters to the editor: April 16

April 16, 2013 

Can't vote for Judd but can vote against hypocrisy

Please, for all those in mourning, Ashley Judd didn't die, she just chose to not run for U.S. Senate. It's about nine months before filing deadline. Is it anyone's theory Judd won't work for the Democratic candidate in that 2014 race?

Keep in mind, Republicans are running Mitch McConnell, the incumbent. Also remember Sen. Rand Paul, who claims to be the reform candidate and the Tea Party, who claim to be anti-government/anti-establishment (oh, and for term limits), have endorsed McConnell, who's held office for 28 years during which a lot of those things they claim to oppose came about.

Such endorsements are what happens when reason and accountability are removed from the equation.

This circumstance reminds me too much of the movie O, Brother, Where Art Thou and a particular scene where one character says to underdog candidate Pappy O'Daniel, " maybe we should get us some of that reform, Pappy" and Pappy reminds him, "we're the (expletive deleted) incumbent, you idiot!"

McConnell and Paul are your Homer Stokes/Pappy O'Daniel life-imitates-art moment of the day. I hope Kentuckians will soon see through these con artists.

Bill Adkins

Williamstown


Comics gone past PG

Whatever happened to the concept that newspaper comic strips are for children? It used to be that strips entertained kids so that they would look forward to the daily newspaper, and thus develop the newspaper habit, helping them become regular readers of the rest of the paper.

It is good to see that some of the comic strips still adhere to that concept, but more and more are now vehicles for more adult interests. I personally question the word "adult" used so loosely, for some of the strips would seem to appeal more to those who suffer from arrested development.

The recent strips of Rex Morgan should not appear on the comics page at all, as they in no way are appropriate for children. Also, there are other strips that seem designed to express negative, harsher aspects of humanity — perhaps pleasing to older readers, but not right for kids. Even Doonesbury, which is relatively mild but not really for kids, was once placed elsewhere in the paper.

I realize that digital media have been replacing print, and that kids today have access to far more than in previous times; but can't we make an effort at maintaining an innocent place for children?

Anne Wood

Lexington


Gambling on pensions

We constantly read about the critical condition Kentucky is in when it comes to its budget and the lack of funds, which is, as we all know, pretty much the case across the nation.

In addition, there is the poorly unfunded Kentucky pension fund. The legislature took some steps to try and get the pension fund in order.

But the bottom line is we can't pension people out any longer at 70 percent and 80 percent of what their earnings were. We simply cannot afford it.

Many large corporations have far different formulas to calculate the amount of pension money that is drawn when someone retires, and the earlier you go the less you get.

Next is the need for more revenue for the state and most of us are aware that many other states allow legalized gambling. I know Gov. Steve Beshear has tried a couple of times to expand legalized gambling in Kentucky, only to be shot down. If people think that this is stopping Kentuckians from gambling, they are badly mistaken. They just go across state lines.

The sorry part of this is the tax money and jobs that could remain in Kentucky. Surely the horse industry is a major player in not allowing other forms of legalized gambling beyond the tracks. Just something we might want to think about in the future.

Fred Cummings

Junction City


Impacts big and small

I support Boone Creek Outdoors' application for a conditional-use permit for canopy tours.

A canopy tour's impact on property is minimal compared to many agricultural uses. Canopy tours are less intense uses than hiking trails like those at the Floracliff Nature Sanctuary (which charges a fee for hiking tours) or Raven Run Park.

The tree canopies are similar to hunting stands found on farms throughout Kentucky and they have almost no impact on the land on which they are placed.

Commercial agricultural uses, on the other hand, can result in significant environmental impact — deforestation, pollution due to over-fertilization and erosion.

Even commercial farm tourism uses like those of Kelley Farms' Corn Maze on Old Richmond Road arguably have a greater impact on the property than the proposed canopy tours.

The Careys have demonstrated time and again their concern for the environment and their interest in sharing this property in an ecologically sensitive manner. They have generously provided educational opportunities for my daughter's local Girl Scout troop. Many of the children taking part in these activities had never taken a hike in the woods and had no idea of the importance of the green space surrounding their city.

The preservation of green space and agricultural land is important to Fayette County, but if the majority of the children in Fayette County have few opportunities to experience the richness and ecological diversity of these lands, it will be difficult to teach them the importance of preserving this property in the future.

Vonda Tolliver Cornett

Lexington


College costs gone wild

The "Other Voices" editorial from the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer published April 6 raises serious questions for state university leaders. Tuition increases, again, while universities spend on construction, including athletic and academic facilities?

For readers who want more information on where students' tuition payments and state subsidies for students really go, a good source is the national Delta Cost Project report. The website is Deltacostproject.org.

John Thelin

Lexington


Increase the punishment

As the owner of a government-issued concealed-carry permit for a deadly weapon, I make the following proposal.

As any government confiscation of guns would primarily remove them from law-abiding citizens, who use them for their own and their family's protection, it will do little to remove them from criminal elements.

Make the use of a gun in the commission of a crime a capital offense. Upon conviction by a lawful court, no appeal would be heard.

Sentence would be mandated to be carried out by legitimate authorities within 30 days.

John Mitchell

Lexington


No hemp subsidies

So now that the hemp bill has passed, where do the growers line up to get government subsidies to grow it? How much is it going to cost the taxpayers for Kentucky to have this "self-sustaining" crop?

I hope the state will rule out tax subsidies to grow it. If it is such a great deal to grow, they should not need any tax money.

Pete Ayers

London

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