Letters to the editor, Jan. 2, 2014

January 2, 2014 

Let 2014 be year for law on dating violence

As he designated Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Kentucky, Governor Steve Beshear stated, "Domestic violence crosses all spectrums — no matter your race, religion, economic or social standing. ... One-third of Kentucky women report being abused at least once during their lifetime, and it is our duty as public officials, citizens, friends and neighbors to reduce this outspread of violence."

According to a report issued in June by the Domestic Violence Fatality/Near Fatality Team in Lexington/Fayette County, at the time of domestic homicide 64 percent of couples were living together, but 36 percent of couples were not living together.

Kentucky law, as it now stands, does not protect victims of dating violence. That's why it is such good news that Senate House Judiciary chairman John Tilley, D-Hopkinsville, is planning to carry a bill in 2014 that will give dating partners the ability to obtain a domestic-violence protection order.

Darlene Thomas, president of the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association's Board of Directors, said she is confident a dating-violence bill finally will become law in 2014.

Awareness of a problem is the first step in fixing the problem. Many thanks to Kentuckians like Beshear and Tilley for educating us about this serious problem in our state, and for taking steps to fix it. Let's call Tilley and encourage him to push this bill through in 2014.

Debi Hardin

Lexington

Care for homeless

Lexington's homeless population has increased in recent years.

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Development, during 2010 the homeless community peaked at 1,500. Today, the numbers hover around 1,400, still high for a city the size of Lexington, considering Louisville has a similar statistic for its homeless population.

The Community Inn, a shelter that opened in April 2011, provides beds for up to 75 men and 30 women. On Winchester Road close to downtown, the shelter has caused animosity between the organization and neighbors. They want it removed from their community, citing inappropriate behavior and sex offenders. If this is a true concern, other adult businesses in the area that are not providing beneficial services to their community need to be questioned as well.

The Community Inn is a necessary organization that provides basic needs for Lexington's homeless population. Though the city has provided other potential locations for the shelter, its current facility is accessible to the population it serves. If the Community Inn is ultimately relocated, the city should be responsible for a smooth transition to another accessible location.

Mayor Jim Gray has made a promise within his 10-year plan to combat homelessness to budget money that specifically addresses the problems of one of Lexington's most disenfranchised populations, and he should consider the Community Inn a resource and not a burden.

Amela Sucurovic, April Stevenson, Kelsey Shackelford

Lexington

Tax nonvoters

Congratulations to Reggie Thomas on his election to the Kentucky Senate. I like Reggie as a person. However, I don't trust the politician Reggie. Nothing stood out to show he has the strength to challenge the other senators and the corruption so obvious everywhere in state politics.

The candidates agreed on practically everything, which comes from spoon-fed, weak questions challenging nothing about our state.

How much does the small turnout say?

How pathetic was almost all the information shared, especially huge slick mailings almost daily?

How much will special interest investments affect decision-making?

How much did race, liberal votes to appease their own souls and great gay political organizing within this Senate district mean?

I am not impressed for the simple reason that so few voters agreed to anyone serving. Why not a poll tax for not voting?

What would a choice of none of the above have produced in this and other elections?

Why not instant run-off voting with a none of the above option?

Are Kentuckians in Central Kentucky and elsewhere smart enough or courageous enough to demand better?

I close with these thoughts from Nelson Mandela: "What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived, it is what difference we have made to the lives of others that determines the significance of the life we lead."

Don Pratt

Lexington

Give us fair tax laws

Any business owner knows that the taxes a business pays are passed on in the price of the product or service they provide. And not just income taxes, but payroll taxes and sales taxes. Such taxes cascade from start to end of every supply chain for every product and service, and add an estimated 22 percent to the price of everything Americans buy.

Add this to the personal income and sales taxes we all pay, and most Americans are paying upwards of 40 percent of their income in real taxes. The working poor pay more than 27 percent.

The tax code is used to pick winners and losers and enrich people, while distorting the economy and soaking the taxpayer.

The House had scheduled a vote on several competing tax bills last year, only to have the speaker postpone it. You cannot fool me. Those in Congress have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo to protect their power. Hats off to the many who truly support a fundamental change to our broken tax system.

My wish is to end all income- based taxes, repeal the 16th Amendment and enact the Fair Tax in 2014.

Karl Pfeifer

Lexington

Classic obstruction

Render unto Caesar?

Must be one of those Republican obstructionists.

Dan Carey

Versailles

Day of doom

Conservatism is a belief system that is impossible, while progressivism is a belief system that is inevitable.

Time moves only in a forward direction, the America of 1950 was a different country. It is gone, and will never return. Conservatism is doomed to failure because it is impossible to return to the past.

Progressivism is a belief that time moves forward and progress is inevitable, therefore we must manage progress. You cannot deny that progress is happening, and you cannot stop it. This country will continue to evolve, and progressivism is a reality-based way to manage change.

Conservatives spend their energy trying to stop progress by filibustering, blocking votes, passing regressive voting laws, attempting to repeal everything including the Civil Rights Act.

Women, African-Americans, gays, small religious groups, pot smokers and others have fought tooth and nail for decades to earn rights and they will not willingly give back those gains to backwards conservatives.

This is not a conservative-liberal debate, this is a progressive versus regressive debate. Conservatives don't want to conserve anything, they want to repeal and regress. Time keeps marching forward and progress continues to happen, and it doesn't matter how hard conservatives cling to the past, they are simply hanging on to the caboose of a high-speed freight train while screaming for it to slow down.

John Sabot

Lexington

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