Letters to the editor: July 7

July 7, 2013 

End monopoly protecting movers from competition

Thank you for bringing to light the unreasonable regulations surrounding the certificate of necessity for moving companies.

I, too, am entangled in a 10-month battle to attain a moving license, simply because my competitors don't want additional competition.

As a University of Kentucky graduate, I was excited to start a College Hunks Hauling Junk and College Hunks Moving in Lexington but have found it impossible because of these regulations.

CHHJ employs college students and encourages them to treat the truck as their own small business but, unfortunately, one of the lessons they have learned is how harmful antiquated laws can be to small business in Kentucky.

In August, I applied for my license, only to be protested by seven moving companies (some were single entities with multiple certificates).

Thousands of dollars later, Two Men and a Truck and Hall's Moving are the only remaining protestors. The grounds for their protest do not center around any vital business deficits, but simply their claim that there "isn't a need for another mover in Central Kentucky."

Where's the free market? My attorney and I can attempt to "prove necessity" in front of a Department of Transportation hearing officer in August, but if denied (as every protested license has been since 2008), I will have to wait six months before reapplying.

Laws that protect monopolies and established businesses are detrimental to the free market and disastrous to the consumer.

Allow Central Kentuckians to choose their movers based on merit and, in turn, the businesses will provide better service and more competitive pricing.

Martha "Marty" Vaughn

Lexington


Imhoff, library lauded

We wish to emphasize the many accomplishments of the Lexington Public Library System in order to offset a recent negative editorial and front-page stories.

Corporations, businesses and retirees looking to move to Lexington are very aware of our outstanding library services.

The downtown library is a tourist destination for the Foucault pendulum, world's largest digital clock, handsome floor mosaic and oil paintings of different horse breeds and notable jockeys. Central and the five branch libraries offer numerous free services.

These include thousands of books, computer use, resume writing and job-interview skills coaching, stimulating programs, free videos, guest speakers, Summer Reading Program and the Friends Book Cellar — a fine used bookstore. All of these services are supported by an outstanding staff.

Kathleen Imhoff was library executive director for six years. The newsworthy and creative accomplishments under her leadership include:

• Opening the Village Branch Library to serve the Cardinal Valley population.

• Building and opening the new Northside Branch Library on time and under budget.

• Introducing Paws To Read, a program where children read to canines in order to improve their reading skills.

• Arranging and promoting live jazz concerts in the Central Library Theater once a month.

• Networking and collaborating for the first time with other community entities such as the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning and the Headley-Whitney museum

• Appropriately using library funds for staff-development activities with the Kentucky Library Association and the American Library Association

We appreciate all of the many library services available in Lexington.

Jim Wyrick and Becky Faulconer

Former library trustees

Lexington


Snowden a hero

In her June 29 column, Merlene Davis argued that for releasing information on widespread civil liberties violations, Edward Snowden is a traitor.

After explaining that she has no expectation of privacy, she then argues that Snowden is doubly culpable for fleeing for his life from an administration that has repeatedly crushed whistle-blowers.

For Americans who still value civil liberties, transparency and limited government, Davis' argument utterly misses the point.

Snowden released information that should appall individuals across the political spectrum. Agents of the government simply cannot spy on American citizens without a judge-issued warrant. This is not merely this writer's opinion; it's the law of the land as established in the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.

The information Snowden leaked showed that the government not only was tracking the movements and activities of innocent citizens, but also listening in on their private communications.

For exposing how degraded our rights have become, Snowden is hardly a traitor.

Would he be less of a traitor if he stayed in the U.S. and was put in solitary confinement? Would Davis have preferred a martyr? A handful of cynics may no longer care about their civil liberties, but recent uproar has shown that most Americans still care.

For giving up his job, his home and his family to expose injustice, Snowden is a hero. In the words of Thomas Jefferson, "If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so."

Noland Gray

Lexington


Spies can be patriots

I bet Merlene Davis would have thought Nathan Hale — who died during the Revolutionary War, declaring, "I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country" — was a traitor, as well.

Richard Johnson

Lexington


Free nurse practitioners

A June 23 article, "Review: Ky needs almost 4,000 doctors" reported proposed solutions the Cabinet for Health and Family Services is considering to deal with the shortage of primary care providers in the face of the Affordable Care Act.

This article cited recommendations from the Deloitte consulting group for "enhancing programs aimed at recruiting and retaining physicians" such as providing financial incentives for overseas doctors to practice in Kentucky.

However, the Courier Journal cited on May 23 a primary recommendation from the Deloitte group: remove prescriptive barriers for nurse practitioners.

Removing prescriptive barriers costs nothing. Nurse practitioners are already practicing independently in this state with an imposed barrier for prescribing.

Let's use the information from the Deloitte group and focus on proposed solutions that are feasible, affordable and make good common sense.

Merrille Stevens

Advanced practice registered nurse

Lexington


Weak case against coal

In the latest installment of your indictment of the coal industry, the sources you use are comical. If you're going to make a case against coal, you'll have to do better than what you came up with.

Public drinking water is clean.

The Environmental Protection Agency said 97 percent of watersheds were "suspected" of being "impaired."

What the heck does that mean? Present that to a judge and see how far your case goes.

But, you bring out the big guns and have an aerospace engineer who thinks that is "so depressing."

I'm no aerospace engineer, but here's what's depressing. There are two state-sponsored things an area needs in order to prosper: transportation and education.

When it comes to roads, Kentucky Horse Park roads are more important — signature industry and all that.

About education: Well, we saw last year how concerned the rest of the state is when it comes to educating mountain folks. A bunch of hypocrites squalled like a mashed cat when a state university was proposed for Pikeville.

It seems they were concerned it would take some of the funding from their schools. They said we could come down to their schools. I've got an idea.

Let's move the University of Kentucky to Pikeville, then they can come to our school. See how that goes over.

Dennis Adams

Allen


Week of doing good

The Salvation Army was founded in July 1865 by William Booth who was determined to do the most good for God and suffering humanity.

We have chosen to observe our founding anniversary by encouraging everyone to commit to random acts of goodness in a Doing the Most Good Week, beginning today.

It can be as simple as paying someone a compliment and giving the gift of your smile or as involved as hosting a lemonade stand or a donation drive.

While we cannot begin to predict all the acts of goodness that will take place this week, we expect they will be abundant because the people of our Bluegrass community are among the most compassionate anywhere.

We want to start by thanking you for what you have already done. Because of your amazing support, last year The Salvation Army of Central Kentucky was able to provide:

• 44,945 nights of lodging/days of care for homeless women and children

• 133,579 meals for the homeless

• 51,236 persons with emergency assistance

• 6,419 children with Christmas gifts

• 638 poverty-stricken children with educational opportunities and child-care

• 258 youth with music instruction

• 817 persons with medical treatment through The Salvation Army-University of Kentucky Medical Clinic

• 21,171 healthy meals for pre-school and elementary children

On behalf of our advisory board and staff, we thank you for your generosity and ask for your prayer and continued support.

Please visit www.salvationarmylex.org for more ideas for Doing The Most Good. Feel free to share ideas on our Facebook page.

Majors Steven and Debra Ashcraft

The Salvation Army Central Kentucky Area services coordinators

Lexington

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