Letters to the editor: Aug. 14

August 14, 2013 

Locust Trace is where enthusiasm, education co-exist

The Locust Trace Agriscience Farm is where I learned more in one semester than I had in the previous four years together.

I attended Locust Trace as an independent study, working to establish an aquaponics system. I spent hours upon hours of eye-drying and back-hunching time collecting research, creating budgets and making plans.

I had one term to become an engineer, fish expert and agriculturalist. A daunting project I faced. I tried and tried and tried again to get my system working.

On the last day of school, I went to the greenhouse to see if I had succeeded at my latest attempt. My hopes and optimism were expended in one long sigh. Wearily, I fetched the principal so I could share my defeat, expecting him to be upset.

Instead, he simply asked what I had learned. At first I couldn't answer the question; it has taken me most of the summer to come up with a response.

I've attended 18 schools and Locust Trace deserves the highest respect. Each member of the Locust Trace team possesses the deepest dedication to educating kids, offering them the chance to learn, hands-on and willingly.

Locust Trace is an initiative school. The day I requested enrollment, I was already a Locust Trace student because I took the initiative. Locust Trace taught me to never abdicate enthusiasm for an education and never succumb to failure.

Darion Carden

Lexington


White fear trumps guilt

Those who listened carefully enough probably heard a subtle and vast echo of our Civil War legacy in the George Zimmerman trial last month. Then and now, it seems that many white folks are afraid of African-Americans.

This is not about white guilt. Politicians like John C. Calhoun worked tirelessly 150 years ago to develop a political philosophy of white supremacy that gave comfort to many. So, slaveholders did not feel guilty about anything in 1860. But they never got over their fear of a slave rebellion.

As Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1784, "Deep rooted prejudices entertained by whites; ten thousand recollections by the blacks of the injuries they have sustained; new provocations; the real distinctions which nature has made; and many other circumstances will divide us into parties and produce convulsions which will probably never end but in the extermination of one race or the other race."

Jefferson believed his prediction was borne out by the revolution in Haiti about 10 years later. He wrote in 1802, "a war of extermination will ensue." It would seem that white fear of African-Americans is deeply rooted.

Tom Louderback

Louisville


Flat Earth Society at UK

I was just blown away when I recently checked out the fall 2013 course listings and registration for OLLI, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Kentucky.

Shocked that UK would be sponsoring a course titled "Climate Confusion: The Arguments Against Catastrophic Global Warming." Nowhere does it say what the credentials are of the man who is to teach this six-day, 12-hour course.

The description of the course is long but the last sentence says: "In this SIG, we'll discuss why atmospheric CO2 increases are the result of global warming and not the cause."

Not having taken the course (nor will I), I cannot know for sure that the instructor is arguing that human activity is not responsible for global climate change and that climate disasters will not increase in the future, but if that is his proposition it is contrary to at least 95 percent of scientists worldwide.

I used to think that UK was actually advocating for a more highly educated population. I guess I was wrong.

Diana Clewett

Lexington


False advertising

I am all for freedom of speech, in fact writing this opinion is exercising that right, but sometimes you read or hear things that make you wonder where people are coming from.

For instance, take the website advertisement on Kentucky.com from the Sierra Club. I am paraphrasing, but the ad in essence said, "Don't let Kentucky ruin our protected water resources."

The picture of course was a coal mine operation. What irks me about this is Kentucky.com would allow this ad to be run on its website.

Seems odd that a state's namesake paper would allow an ad that perpetuates that the state itself is responsible for ruining clean water sources. Perhaps the money was just too good to turn down.

Secondly, why pin Kentucky down as the lone culprit for destroying fresh water sources? Does the Sierra Club actually believe that the entire state is responsible for what may even be debatable in some if not all instances of coal mining's fresh water pollution issues?

This seems to be blatant false advertising. Just look at how much tax money is spent preserving Kentucky's water resources and you can see this is just not true.

Alas, we live in a world where truth has been relegated to nothing more than ancient, out of date philosophy and human opinion is what really matters.

Michael Lawrence

Lexington


Pipeline leak inevitable

In a 28-month period, from February 1997 to June 1999, Whatcom County, Wash., experienced two major pipeline ruptures in the Northwest/Williams natural gas line and the Olympic petroleum fuel line.

In each accident, the product from the rupture ignited and caused extensive harm to the community and environment. One rupture resulted in the fatalities of two boys and a young man.

Williams will be the eventual operator of the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline, destined to carry a poorly characterized but dense and highly volatile mixture of natural gas liquids, or NGLs. Hydrocarbon mixtures released into aquatic systems generate irreversible alterations in community structure and function; NGL toxicity is undetermined.

The karst geology in Central Kentucky provides a network of interconnected underground systems that will be irreversibly affected, impacting drinking water sources.

No plan for containment or remediation of underground systems has been presented. The inevitable spill will further deteriorate the eroding resource base that struggling Central Kentucky communities rely on.

The magnitude of the hazard and the high probability of occurrence warrant an "insurance policy" and advance investment by the pipeline operator, above and beyond any remuneration to landowners.

Our state government can require the operator to create local rapid response resources providing human, technical and equipment capacity for rapid response and remediation of spills.

Development of local pipeline protection teams would benefit communities affected by the advancing pipeline today, and renewal of the operator's franchise can be conditioned upon maintenance and update of those resources after re-evaluation of pipeline risks.

Barbara J. Bliss

Springfield


Lexington unamused

I would like to know, with Lexington growing, why no one has built an amusement park?

Years ago we had Joyland Park. It would help, since families have to go out of town to attend a park.

Brenda Franklin

Lexington

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