Letters to the editor: Aug. 21

August 21, 2013 

New CentrePointe plan doomed to failure

The Aug. 14 story, "New renderings released Wednesday provide a fresh perspective on the CentrePointe development," included an imaginary picture.

The renderings give the impression that CentrePointe will create a large open space in downtown Lexington.

In fact, the perspective is an optical illusion that will never be seen anywhere but in developer Dudley Webb's fevered imagination. CentrePointe will fill all the open space in downtown Lexington that we have enjoyed for the last five years, and overshadow it for about 25 years, before it is torn down as Webb's final failure.

Nowhere does the story say that the design has been changed five times. The one in the painting barely resembles the previous ones.

And the cost has been changed as many times. The figure of $393 million includes financing, meaning they haven't got the money, even now.

If Webb is allowed to start construction, odds are that the building won't get finished. The number of stories will be cut, and the design — down to two big boxes — dumbed down even more.

Webb has been ruining Lexington for 40 years. He's a failure who worships ugliness.

If CentrePointe does get approved, he'll be telling the truth at last: He got you, Lexington, one more time.

Jeffrey Lewis


McConnell a McRelic

Young people need to get registered to vote because there is a chance to get rid of a relic from days gone by — Sen. Mitch McConnell.

McConnell has abused the filibuster 425 times in an effort to keep the president from repairing the economy that McConnell helped to destroy under President George W. Bush.

He stood by Bush smirking as they ruined the stock market and the housing market and left the economy in shambles, all while starting a war against a country that had not attacked us because of lies about weapons of mass destruction which did not exist.

By the time Bush and McConnell were finished getting everything they wanted, the country was losing 800,000 jobs per month and in its second recession since Bush became president.

His trickle-down economics that give tax cuts to the rich have been proven to fail; the rich do not create jobs with their wealth, they send it to offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands and Switzerland. McConnell is the reason Washington is not working to help the people because he only cares about the rich.

Vote againstMcConnell. Either his Tea Party challenger, Matt Bevin, or his Democratic opponent. Alison Lundergan Grimes, would be much better.

Ellen McGrady


Pipeline story erred

Although your story on the Woodford County pipeline meeting had big bold headlines promising big news, you left out key information and may have misled readers.

Over 100 residents appeared with questions about the laying of the pipeline, maintenance, purpose, contents, combustibility and emergency responses.

Second, a quote attributed to Wendell Hunt, Williams Co. representative, suggested the pipeline supplied much-needed energy. Not true. The pipeline carries liquid gases that cannot run machinery or heat homes. They are being shipped to China to make plastic items to sell back to the U.S.

Third is William's abysmal safety record in maintaining pipelines and quickly addressing leaks. In a state built on karst geology, once a liquid enters a formation it will spread underground for miles, contaminating aquifers.

The pipeline will also go under the Kentucky River in three locations and under several major creeks. And these liquids are highly combustible. A cell phone call could set off a horrendous explosion in the area of a leak.

Last, the company has threatened landowners with the use of eminent domain to force the sale of properties. This is not a public utility. The pipeline is being constructed by a private company to transport these liquids for the profit of a private company. Citizens have asked the governor to address our vague state laws regarding the use of eminent domain.

These were the issues that the many citizens addressed with their questions, none of which were covered by your reporter in this article.

Deborah Knittel


Circus sad for animals

A recent letter highlighted the cruelty to animals engaged in by the Ringling Bros. circus. The writer should be commended for making an effort to expose these atrocities.

While the circus claims to be the "Greatest Show on Earth," it is in fact the Saddest Show on Earth, evidence of which is highlighted by the Web site www.ringlingbeatsanimals.com.

Viewers of this website can take a look at undercover videos and read articles documenting elephant abuse including electroshock "training" and bullhook abuse among other atrocities.

Perhaps at the time the circus originated the nature and intelligence of elephants were misunderstood. Now in the 21st century we know elephants to be some of the most intelligent creatures on Earth.

They communicate, grieve for each other and foster communities where they care for each other much like humans do. These complicated creatures do not deserve to be abused and they do not want to work in the circus. I don't see humans flocking towards circus jobs and elephants don't want to be there either.

Let's join the citizens of New York and Chicago by boycotting the circus until they agree to stop using exotic animals in their shows.

Concerned citizens can also go to the website above to find out how to organize protests in their own communities. You can also share this Web site on your Facebook page to try to get the word out and stop the cruelty.

Gretchen Ely


Reform waste of time

It's amazing Bob King of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education and Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday can get through an entire opinion piece failing to do what they and other folks are telling us common core standards demand: using evidence to back up assertions.

What we get from them on the matter is entirely "trust us," rather than, "Here's what proves to you we're right and taking you and our state in the right direction."

For example, they call common core "one of the most promising reforms in public education in decades."

That's a pretty bold statement, but all of the evidence we have on standards-based reform indicates it's an utter waste of time.

In 2012 and several years prior, for example, the Brookings Institution statistically compared state standards to student achievement and found no link at all. International comparisons show the same.

That's right: Research shows education standards do not increase student learning. Unless there's some other reason taxpayers fund schools, this means King and Holliday have no evidence to support their claims.

That would be no problem if they were private citizens, but they are public officials who owe voters an accounting of their decisions. So far, they haven't much to offer.

Joy Pullmann

Education research fellow, Heartland Institute

Chicago, Ill.

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