Letters to the editor: Sept. 17

September 17, 2013 

Make handicap parking rules clear by adding signs

The diagonal lines next to designated handicap parking spaces allow people with wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, etc., enough room to exit and enter their vehicles safely.

The wider marked areas are for vans with ramps opening on the side. When any portion of the no-parking area is blocked, the parking space often can't be used.

More importantly, if someone parks in the no-parking space, the person in a power chair cannot re enter their vehicle.

If the person has a driver, the problem can be resolved with only some inconvenience. If the person in the power chair is driving, he or she must wait for the return of the offending car owner or a tow truck to remove the car.

While the handicap parking space is clearly marked, and generally respected, the importance of not blocking any portion of the adjacent no-parking area does not seem clear.

Some municipalities give a clearer message by adding "no parking" in bold lettering. I suggest the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government consider doing the same.

Jimmy Stevens


State of confusion

Syria is attacking Syria, therefore we must attack Syria. We fight terrorism in the name of security yet fund it in Syria.

Republicans are pro-life yet pro-war. Democrats are pro-choice yet anti-death penalty. Government spies on us daily yet keeps its operations far from public view.

Gasoline is still $3.75 a gallon. Unemployment still looms around 8 percent. The government wants to restrict law-abiding citizens from certain gun rights yet gives weapons to Mexican cartels and Syrian terrorists. Patriots are called domestic terrorists yet domestic terrorists in Syria are called rebels and freedom fighters.

The Egyptian military conducts a coup yet we support it financially, violating our own policy penned in the United Nations. We decry communism yet most of our goods are made in communist nations. The ethic of hard work dwindles yet fast-food workers want their wages doubled.

A terrorist attack on a U.S. embassy in Libya is written off yet an interventionist paradigm prevails in Washington on both sides of the aisle. The Department of Homeland Security purchases 1 billion rounds of ammunition. Haliburton has made billions in Iraq.

Children in public schools no longer belong to their parents but are property of the state. The media purports to inform without bias yet are punished criminally when critical of the government. Whistle blowers must seek asylum in foreign nations or mysteriously disappear. This is the America we live in today.

Zach Atkins


Brutal master

You carried them for nine months; I will take over now and take them for a ride straight to hell.

You wiped the tears away and kissed the boo-boos. I will cause more tears and boo-boos than you could ever wipe away.

They walked on your feet when they were little. I will cause them to walk all over you.

You taught them not to lie and steal. I will cause them to lie while looking you in the eyes and steal from you when you leave the room.

Remember when they were little and would cry from their shots. Well, now they cry for a shot.

I will take the good man or woman you raised and make them turn on you.

Once they get a piece of me there will be no other way. I will be the love of their life. Without me they will never be.

They will forget who they were and will be who I want them to be.

They can shoot me, snort me, smoke me. It doesn't matter because we will be one, just me and them.

My name is Heroin. Grab onto me and I promise you a ride straight to hell.

Robin Jones


Religion misused

Many letters to the Herald-Leader cause me to say, "Amen, brother," or to wonder if we're living in a lunatic asylum.

One common theme that rubs me raw is the contention that we're becoming a godless nation, drifting away from God's moral laws.

Blame me, if it makes you feel better, for the wars, crime, corruption, loss of jobs, wildfires and reality TV. But do not cast blame and aspersions of immorality upon the many I've known who might be unchurched, but who have lived lives of caring, honesty and service.

This response is not a "war on Christianity." Rather, take it as a challenge to think deeply into what it means to be religious. One dictionary definition is, in part, "Religion elaborates on experiences of the sacred, building them into systems of belief, emotion, action and social relations ... that transcend the level of empirical experience and thereby confer ultimate meaning on life."

So, religion is much more than a feel-good guide to acceptable behavior. Jesus is to us much greater than a good guy to form a personal relationship with, whatever that means.

Author Charlotte Brontë put it into better words than I can muster: "Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last. To pluck the mask from the face of the Pharisee is not to lift an impious hand to the Crown of Thorns."

Ernest Henninger


Food stamps for health

As a volunteer at the Franklin County Emergency Food Bank, I appreciated the Kentucky Association of Food Bank's Tamara Sandberg's recent argument against cutting food stamp assistance.

Cutting SNAP benefits will limit access to truly healthful food for many families. Much of the food given out at local food banks is filling but not very healthful.

Small food banks collect and distribute food that is highly processed so it will last on the shelves and in transit to families in need.

These food banks, such as ours, are not capable of distributing dairy products or fresh fruit and vegetables. A greater dependence on food banks would mean a decline in nutritious fresh and frozen food for needy families. Additionally, many food banks must limit the number of times that families may receive food, which would limit the amount on the table also.

According to Feeding America, 22.4 percent of Kentucky's children are food insecure. Study after study has shown the importance of good nutrition to children's health and ability to learn.

As our society ages, we cannot afford to leave any child hungry. We all have a stake in these young people growing, learning and becoming productive citizens. And that starts with a full stomach.

Regina Wink Swinford


Kill I-75 connector

The Sept. 2 commentary, "Jessamine's growth mandates new road," is more smoke and mirrors on the "Vampire Road." The proponents of the Interstate 75 connector are the same people whose land-use decisions have given us the 40,000 cars a day on U.S. 27 in the first place.

They've extended Nicholasville's city limit line to almost meet the Fayette County line and turned the area into a highway shopping mall.

Now, they want their urban expansion to go east, through rural Jessamine County, to connect with I-75 in rural Madison County.

This expansion includes the construction of an eastern bypass around Nicholasville even though the western bypass is nowhere near capacity and the state just completed upgrading Harrodsburg Road.

These new, unneeded projects will cost nearly a half-billion dollars and will completely change the rural lifestyle of the quiet countryside to save truckers 15 minutes en route to I-75. The Bluegrass leadership ought to finally put a stake through the heart of this massive boondoggle.

Michael Greene

Jessamine County homeowner

Sacramento, Calif.

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