Letters to the Editor, Feb. 13

February 13, 2014 

  • New election-year rules

    Letters about candidates in 2014 political races are limited to 150 words. No commentary from candidates will be published. Candidates may respond, every 30 days, in 250-word letters to editorials, news articles and columns in which they are the primary focus.

Reform KHSAA to better serve teams, student-athletes

The Kentucky High School Athletic Association has struggled to formulate appropriate regulations, apply these rules, keep records, provide innovative formats and determine student-athlete eligibility in a consistent manner.

The infamous "handshake" rule (which stopped opposing teams from shaking hands at the end of games) was regarded by almost everyone as a smack on sportsmanship. Fallout went national and it became an embarrassment to our state. Widespread rejection resulted in the KHSAA allowing schools to continue the handshake.

The won/lost record of Scott County coach Billy Hicks is being disputed and he is justifiably upset. Acquiring appropriate data and a timely update of records would eliminate such discrepancies.

Small schools lacked a format to showcase their programs. The All A State Classic was envisioned by a high-school principal and evolved through the help of school administrators and coaches. Innovative ideas such as this should come from the KHSAA.

Over the years, scores of student-athletes have transferred for athletic purposes. Many come with little or no fanfare while others have been challenged and eligibility denied. The final decision for eligibility of two student-athletes at Cordia High School has been delayed for months, leaving the future of these students and teams in limbo. This could have been avoided by a timely decision.

The Education Reform Act improved the quality of education in our state. Reforming the KHSAA is needed to best serve the athletics community.

Student-athletes and coaches spend countless hours striving for excellence and deserve an organization that supports, rather than hinders, their efforts.

Randall Smith

Winchester


Confusing ad message

I'm confused. Sen. Mitch McConnell wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but he's not proposed anything to replace it.

He congratulates himself via his TV ad for helping one individual get help when threatened with cancer, but is against the law which helps thousands here in Kentucky get health care.

So it's OK to help one person, but not the many? I thought everyone here in Kentucky was one of his constituents, but I guess he gets to pick the individuals he helps, and leave everyone else on their own expects us to praise him. Here I thought the motto of the Commonwealth of Kentucky was "United we stand, divided we fall." But maybe I'm just confused.

Joe Crouch

Lexington


Use money for students

I am writing in opposition to the proposed football complex at the University of Kentucky.

I am a life member of UK Alumni, a retired teacher with 33 years experience in Kentucky schools, with many members of my immediate family graduates of the university.

There are many girls and boys in Eastern Kentucky, where I was raised, who want a diploma from the university but do not have the financial means.

I realize there are grants, scholarships and other aid for which students can apply. Some get them, some don't. A better use for this $45 million complex would be free tuition for all Kentucky high-school graduates.

Kentucky has the lottery which provides some funds, but not nearly enough.

Consider the children across this state who need an education; provide the funds for them.

My heart is in the classroom and the needs of these children who graduate today and have no future other than hourly wages, maybe at a fast-food business, which is acceptable if needed.

I probably will incur the wrath of many people speaking in opposition. But it is as it is. First things first.

Frances H. Parsons

Knoxville, Tenn.


Vote for clean energy

The current youth unemployment rate in this state is approaching 18 percent. The average student in this state graduates with $30,000 of debt.

Jobs in the renewable energy sector are safer, healthier and more economically viable than ever and many other states are investing heavily, with legislators whoare showing real political leadership.

Young Kentuckians are interested in jobs around clean and renewable energy being available when we graduate and enter the job market, otherwise we will have to leave.

Additionally, young people realize that climate change and environmental degradation are a huge threat to both global temperatures and climate stability, but also that dangerous fossil fuel extraction and production are negatively impacting people who live and work in and around Appalachia right now. Kentucky has a long history of being an energy producing state, a fact that I am proud of.

But our history is also one with deep scars that bleed today, wounds left by extractive industries that have exploited our people and poisoned our lands. We need industries that benefit Appalachia, not exploit it.

What we need is strong leadership from representatives, to do what is right for Kentucky and help in the transition away from fossil-fuel-based energy sources and toward renewable sources and environmental justice for the people in Appalachia.

This is why the Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition cannot understand how another session can pass without the Clean Energy Opportunities Act (House Bill 195) being voted on and moved out of the House Energy and Tourism Committee.

Tyler Offerman<

Lexington


Paul on job creation

A few days ago I saw our junior senator, Rand "Random" Paul on TV saying, "government cannot create jobs."

Recently on page three of the Herald-Leader, I read that Sen. Mitch McConnell and Mayor Jim Gray joined military officials "to celebrate the opening of a new facility ... that helped save 2,800 Kentucky jobs."

I would say this is a direct example showing that Paul is wrong, yet again. This is not unusual, as he so often speaks from the heart of his libertarian ideals, which unfortunately have nothing to do with reality around 90 percent of the time.

The truth is that all mouthpieces for corporations and "job creators," like Paul, always say the government can't create jobs as a part of their canon because corporations and the wealthy do not want to have to compete with the government for employees. Government jobs are usually unionized, pay a living wage and have decent benefits — all of which corporations and wealthy job creators like to avoid whenever possible.

I think just a little common sense will tell you that government can create jobs. So why does Paul state the opposite, if not to please his monied masters?

Chris Heinz

Lexington

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