dealing with weather woes

Letters to the editor: Feb. 16

February 16, 2014 


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    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.

Ky. Senate usurping abortion decision from Ky. women

The Kentucky Senate passed a bill requiring a doctor to perform an ultrasound on a woman seeking an abortion so that she can see what she is having removed.

The pretext of the bill, as the bill's sponsor, Republican Sen. Whitney Westerfield, states is that "It's a life, and if we're ever going to have all the information to make that best decision, this is the time to do that."

That best decision?

Kentucky law already requires a 24-hour waiting period to ensure clarity of thought, which is what this bill redundantly claims to do.

The underlying motive behind this is to discourage women from having an abortion, which is an expensive and thought-intensive decision even without an ultrasound.

It is presumptuous of lawmakers to assume that keeping a child is the best decision for every woman, no matter her age or circumstances.

Even more presumptuous, perhaps, is that it forces doctors (under a fine of up to $250,000) to perform an extraneous, potentially invasive and expensive medical test that does not inform the woman any more than a consent form would, or add any assurance that the procedure will go smoothly.

This bill is a thinly veiled attempt to undercut Roe v. Wade by making it more tenuous to get an abortion, in hopes that the woman will give up.

If legislators want abortion to be illegal that badly, stop sneaking around with bills like these and take it to the national level.

Anita Shanker


Fire chief belonged on front

The article about Lexington's first black fire chief, Keith Jackson, was a quality story and I was concerned I had to search for that article in the paper. Why?

These are the types of articles about our community that will help many understand that the few things blasted on the local TV stations and in your paper are not necessarily the things that are happening in our community every day.

I am upset that I purchase your newspaper and your paper does not seem to find it newsworthy to have more articles about the African-American community on the front page.

I am proud of our paper but this concerns me. At least a portion of your paper's front page could have used that article instead of the ones you had in print.

Scott Ferguson


Get it right for once

I wish that, just once, Kentucky's lawmakers would do something beneficial for our citizens, regardless of whether it's popular with the special interests that pull their political puppet strings.

They sat on their hands while states around us approved expanded casino gambling and now millions upon millions of tax dollars that should be flowing into our treasury are instead flowing north into Indiana and Ohio.

Recent polls show a significant majority of Kentuckians want a statewide smoking ban in public places and a raise in the minimum wage. Who wants to bet that the legislative chamber of big business (Republican-controlled Senate) will put a stop to both of those ideas.

But not passing a medical marijuana law could be their cruelest inaction to date.

What most folks don't understand is that in many cases, medical marijuana isn't just another drug that will treat a patient's symptoms, it's the only drug that will ease some cancer patients' pain or nausea or stop their seizures.

Countless children and adults will continue to suffer needlessly if a bill isn't passed. One of them is my great nephew.

So to the legislature I say, "Do something besides just putting in your time, drawing your pay and padding your pensions. Write in whatever safeguards are needed to control its use, but for God's sake and the sake of innocent children and adults, get your rear ends off your hands and do something right for a change."

Gary Whitaker


Hurrah for gay lifestyle

In the Feb. 8 article, "Ky. opinions shifting on gay marriage," Tom Chitwood, executive director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, which opposes gay marriage, states, "Hollywood has done its work. It has made a concerted effort to normalize the homosexual lifestyle, and it's working, even in Kentucky."

The gays and lesbians who I know are in committed relationships, some for 30 years or more, get up every day and go to work, volunteer in the community, adopt children abandoned and unwanted by heterosexual parents, are good neighbors and treat others with respect and kindness.

If this is the "homosexual lifestyle" then, I think it is one to be emulated.

Jackie DeCroo


House the homeless Upon watching the Feb. 9 60 Minutes segment about how it costs taxpayers less to provide the homeless with housing than to leave them on the street, we are compelled to ask the city council to pass a resolution, which will be presented soon, asking Lexington to provide such housing.

If you have doubts about this issue, please watch the aforementioned episode. The nationwide program of providing 100,000 homes has been extremely successful. Nashville was the city highlighted on the news show.

We pray that Lexington will become one of the cities of our great nation which will address the problem of the homeless by providing housing.

Karen and Ken Shrader


Stop UK wrecking ball

"Hope for Modernism" are the words splashed across the cover of the current issue of Preservation Magazine, the National Trust's premier publication.

The article covers successes in preserving Modernist works, suggesting that these may be the most threatened works now, the most in need of our attention.

In last Sunday's article covering the University of Kentucky's intention to demolish the Wenner-Gren Aeronautical Research Laboratory I am quoted as describing the building as a "quirky little thing."

This description was intended to depict how most people might see the building. In my view, and in the view of many others who have studied history and architectural history, Wenner-Gren is actually an outstanding example of a branch of Modernism that is fast disappearing under the onslaught of wrecking balls.

I urge UK to reconsider its intention to demolish Wenner-Gren and the other works of Ernst Johnson.

These buildings can and should be incorporated into plans for new work. Wenner-Gren, in particular, will add great richness to the visual and cultural texture of the campus.

It is time for the university to consult preservation experts on the worth of our built heritage.

It is irresponsible to make such decisions based upon poorly informed personal or public opinion. We won't get a second chance.

Graham Pohl


Don't pretend you care about my health

CVS calls itself a health-care provider but it is nothing more than a convenience store.

I know of no health care provider that promotes the sale of alcohol, fatty snacks and cancer-causing chemical cleaners. When CVS began discriminating against its employees who smoke — instead of being a true employer that hires employees based upon job performance, knowledge and skill — I stopped shopping there.

This latest announcement about not selling cigarettes because they think of themselves as a health-care provider is such a joke. The prejudice against cigarette smoking is out of hand. Doctors and dentists lie to their patients in an attempt to convince them to quit smoking. My dentist told me my gum graft would not heal and the tissue would die if I did not quit smoking. I continued to smoke and it healed just fine.

My doctor said my broken ankle would not heal if I didn't quit smoking. He said smoke prevents the bone from fusing. I didn't quit but my ankle healed amazingly fast and better than most of his other patients.

CVS can do what it likes, but I believe it should start selling only health foods, vitamins and all natural cleaners if they think of themselves as promoting healthier living. It won't do that because it would put them out of business in a snap.

John Smith



City's snow plan ripping off taxpayers

I am writing to bring attention to a problem that all homeowners are aware of, but somehow our elected leaders seem to not want to approach.

Our snow plan is antiquated. Currently we plow the "busy" streets, bus routes or at least part of them, and all of downtown. Then we stop. I sent a letter to the mayor about this issue. Many areas in my neighborhood have hills, yet none are on the snow removal plan. Guess we are too far from downtown.

Homeowners who are paying most of the taxes and live with streets that are dangerous to drive on are simply ignored. For more than 12 days our street has been ice. I am betting we are not the only ones with this issue. Why hasn't the city at least sent plows to assist in clearing? It can be done after all the Holy Grail streets have been pampered. I recently went out and bought salt to help our neighborhood street. The snow plow was parked with motor running on another street. During my commute in early morning I see many parked, usually at stores to get coffee, on their breaks, I am sure.

So my suggestion to anyone running for the mayor's office: Build your platform on putting the communities first and you will win. Make the snow plan change or at least have an open and honest discussion about it. After all taxpayers are those being ripped off currently.

Terry Blankenship


Maintain trees to safeguard utility workers

Our neighborhood lost power late at night on Feb. 4. We were among thousands in Lexington who were without power that night. Within an hour after our lights went out, we lsaw workers from Kentucky Utilities searching for the source of trouble.

Well past midnight, as our house grew cooler and cooler, we saw their flashlights as they worked in the sleet, snow, darkness and bitter cold, striving to restore our power. When we awoke the next morning our house was warm and our power was restored.

We are writing to express our gratitude and admiration for the dedicated and determined people who were willing to keep working in those conditions, particularly the icy precipitation as temperatures dropped below freezing.

We hope others will join us in a practical expression of gratitude: If you have trees on your property, please have a qualified arborist evaluate and care for them annually, so that trees do not present avoidable hazards to power lines, or to the people who work to restore power when it is lost.

Damaged or aging trees used to be called "widow makers" because they are extremely dangerous. Our most meaningful thanks could be doing our part to keep KU workers safer, especially as they labor on our behalf on a winter's night. We should do our best to maintain safe trees in our city.

Dr. Charles T. Lutz and Martha V. Rosett Lutz


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