Letters to the editor: Feb. 18

February 18, 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.

Forest Service's road closings hurt local economy

The government shutdown was misused by many of its agencies to punish the public and shame the politicians. That said, the U.S. Forest Service has continued its quest against the citizens of Powell County with ongoing closures and condemnation of county roads without consent.

Little is known about the closing of Sand Lick Road in southeast Powell County, except that it is registered as a county road and the Forest Service knows this.

It was closed in 2006 without the consent of the citizens or county. An attempt to reopen the road last year was met with armed resistance from the same people who closed national parks and monuments.

The road existed before the Daniel Boone National Forest was created in 1937 and was a great value to Powell County and tourism. The economic loss of the past seven years and the future loss of tourism caused by its condemnation will be felt for generations.

The county has maintained the road for years. There needs to be a process that the Forest Service respects and that holds it accountable for its unlawful action against the citizens of Powell County.

Compensation for past, present and future economic losses to this county and its citizens by the Forest Service must be addressed.

Future actions against county property must be approved by its owners, the people of Powell County. This has been swept under the rug repeatedly for seven years. Regaining the road would be a big gain for Eastern Kentucky's struggling economy.

Lisa J. Johnson


Choose new generation

We have known Alison Lundergan Grimes since she was a young girl helping with her father's campaigns. She is a very personable, intelligent woman and has served ably as Kentucky's secretary of state. She has organizational skills to get the job done and understands the business world through the family-owned company.

When people say we will lose clout with a young senator, think about what "Millionaire McConnell" has done for Kentucky. Nothing. What has he done for the United States, other than stand in the way of progress? The last compromise was to make himself look good for the next election.

This election is not about the past generation. It is about Grimes' generation of young families trying to survive in today's economy. They need better-paying jobs, a hemp industry in Kentucky, preserving our natural resources and building bigger schools to reduce classroom size for students and teachers. Vote Grimes.

Alberta J. Toomey


Give Paul a chance

None of us alive has had a realistic opportunity to vote for a fellow Kentuckian for president. An archaic state law that forbids a name from appearing twice on a ballot might work against us again.

Sen. Rand Paul in 2016 will be running to be re-elected as our senator. Let's insist that the legislature make it possible for Kentuckians to have the option to vote for a favorite son for president.

Barry Burchett


Reform wages

Three factors have reduced America's prosperity: an expensive professional military, a bloated medical sector and the erosion of the minimum wage.

I am at a loss as to why pro-business groups have not vigorously supported comprehensive minimum-wage reform, such as increasing the federal minimum wage by $1 a year until it equals 90 percent of its greatest previous buying power and then indexing it to inflation thereafter.

The private sector supports all Americans, whether by jobs or governmental handouts like welfare, food stamps, health insurance, day care, housing subsidies, etc. As most noncorporate welfare is means-tested, many of the working poor would eventually not qualify for handouts, reducing pressure on state and federal budgets. Only government can make the essential investments in education, research and infrastructure.

As the minimum wage rises, the whole scale would increase, pushing more of the poor into the middle class. Higher wages would allow poorer citizens to participate more robustly as consumers in the core businesses of the economy, generating prosperity and jobs.

As the recession has shown, the current wage-slave/plantation (Wal-Mart) model is a gross failure for too many talented Americans. Government handouts to the working poor are indirect subsidies of the wage-slave businesses, allowing the nation to segment into first- and third-world sectors, which is contrary to domestic tranquility.

Allen T. Kelley


Where's the change?

Well, it is nice to see President Barack Obama can throw the bull with the best in Washington.

He's getting to give the masses a small raise to bring earnings in line with the haves. And the have-nots are going to rush into stores to buy. He did forget about the price increases. Merchants will make their profit.

Obama takes three planes of people to Hawaii for two weeks. Within a few miles of the White House people are sleeping on sidewalk vents for warmth.

A pay raise? For whom? Can't see the Senate going along. After all, most are millionaires. So is the president. Don't see a lot of change in the air.

C.J. Fernandez


Minimum myth

The National Minimum Wage Act was enacted in 1938. Republicans immediately declared the end of the world.

Since then, the minimum wage has been increased several times, each time with Republicans again declaring the end of the world.

The GOP (Grumpy Obstructionist Party) needs to find some different topics about which to express its negativity.

Jack Wright


Taxes grow on trees

I understand that the Fayette County schools superintendent in an email told his staff the district needs to come up with $20 million before the budget is presented in May because funding from the state and federal governments is drying up. The schools are also continuing to run programs when the money sources are drying up.

I'm wondering if I should continue to ring up charges on my credit cards even though I know my sources of funds are low?

I have the solution to this problem. The school board should hold an emergency meeting to raise property taxes in Fayette County and hold another regular meeting in August just for voting "yea" for the same thing.

I believe my A. Jacksonian trees will be blooming by April, as well as the trees owned by others in the county. I am sure that more fortunate people are also cultivating U. Grantonian trees and B. Franklin trees.

So what's the problem?

Ira Fink


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