Letters to the editor: Feb. 22

February 22, 2014 

Kentucky American Water needs to be held accountable

I am concerned about the "From the Tap January 2014" notice about Kentucky American Water violating a drinking water requirement. The turbidity(cloudiness) of our water was measured at 12.89 units on November 24 and the regulated limit is 1 turbidity unit. The notice goes on to say that "the highest level leaving the water treatment plant was 3.09 turbidity units". The notice further explains that "turbidity has no health effect. However, turbidity can interfere with disinfection and provide a medium for microbial growth."

How could our community not have been put on notice about this health concern? The insert explained that it may indicate the presence of disease-causing organisms. Having a number of friends with health issues and compromised immunities, I am shocked that this was not newsworthy. We need to band together to hold KAW accountable for the quality of water in our community.

Having its "certified bacteriological laboratory" analyze the samples seems a bit like self-monitoring at a time when having an outside facility or two run the samples would show more accountability, and letting the community know about the concern would allow us each to at least use bottled water until we know the water is pure. Shame on you, KAW.

Carmen Covert


Fact-check letter writers' claims

In reference to the Feb. 11 letter in support of Sen. Rand Paul's idea to cut benefits to the unmarried who have more than two children: The letter is akin to Ronald Reagan's "welfare queens driving Cadillacs." The idea that having more children is a "family business" is preposterous.

The anecdote of the woman who quit her job with wages and benefits at International Harvester because she could make more money staying home and having babies just does not ring true. In Kentucky, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families allows around $200 for the first child and less for each additional child.

A woman would have to deliver a veritable platoon of children to equal the wages and benefits of a job at International Harvester. TANF and other such programs vary from state to state, but two factors are constant: 1) the "T" stands for "temporary" and 2) there is a requirement that the recipient be receiving training for employment and/or seeking employment.

The Herald-Leader has an obligation to print diverse opinions. Many of these I think are nonsense but if they are legitimate opinions sincerely held by the writer then so be it. But, I believe that the H-L should go beyond verifying that the writer exists when a claim cites a specific example.

As much as Paul's conservative supporters want us to believe this letter, this is nothing more than campaign rhetoric.

Timothy J. Underwood


Thank a teacher

Congratulations to Angela Hamblen, Linda Dewees and Clay Sutherland for the commendable effort they make to connect with their students. The February 11 article, "Teachers use Internet, social media to connect with their students on snow days" pointed out some effective uses of technology to limit the negative impact of kids having to miss so many days of school this winter.

Those three teachers and many others in Kentucky demonstrate exceptional dedication to their students. Kentucky is positioned to make even greater inroads in virtual learning, especially when high-speed Internet becomes more widely available and affordable to everyone in the state. Our state has been rising in the ranks of educational achievement over the last several years and much of that improvement is due to more rigorous and challenging curriculum.

If students are to continue making educational gains, they need the kind of support described in the article. Keep up the good work Angela, Linda, and Clay. Thanks for going the extra mile for your students and setting a positive example for others.

Greg Drake


Leadership and integrity

Good leaders in any profession (business, clergy, journalism, politics, education, military service, etc.) exhibit the highest levels of character, integrity, ethics, morals and values, and they lead by example.

They don't ask anyone to do something that they are not willing to do themselves and they do not abuse, control, deceive, lie, manipulate, or oppress data, information, personnel, or resources. Good leaders accept these basic standards of accountability and responsibility, and know that anything less is leading people astray.

Poor leaders generally use such tactics to seek their own way, which is usually far from what is just and righteous.

When we research, investigate or look into a matter, issue, controversy or alleged scandal we are all called to seek all the facts and the truth before drawing a conclusion. That should always be the most basic expectation for everyone and every profession (including journalists, the media and politicians). Why would anyone be afraid of all the facts and the truth? The truth is the only thing that sets us free.

If phony scandals do exist, this should only be concluded after an open, honest and full investigation and review of all the facts. If phony leadership exists in any entity, then we as American citizens, constituents, employees, members, shareholders and voters should elect, fire, hire and promote others who meet these basic criteria.

Randal J. Master


Unforgettable music

The University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, with super-pianist Lang Lang, shattered the frigid air with its mid-winter concert and sent myriad notes flying about the auditorium.

Maestro John Nardolillo warmed the hall with the ubiquitous tone colors of Berlioz's Roman Carnival Overture. As its tempo quickened and the melodies whirled from section to section, the percussion, with a clang of cymbals, brought the fervor to a close. A perfect prelude for the act to follow.

Lang Lang marched onto the stage, saluted the audience, nodded to the orchestra, sat in front of a beaming nine-foot Steinway (courtesy of Gist), and began to work his magic.

He made the technical difficulty of Richard Strauss's Burleske and Chopin's Grand Polonaise look like child's play. "He rarely, if ever, looked directly at the keyboard which seemed nothing more than an extension of his own fingers."

During his rests, he faced the orchestra, letting the music run through his veins. And ever present with his body keeping time, he occasionally leaned backward with his calm face toward the light, reminding me of Bernini's Ecstasy of St. Teresa. He was pure music even when he wasn't playing.

Then counting with the fingers of his left hand, one . . two . . three . . four, he was back at the almost imaginary keyboard.

After witnessing such work of art in action, the audience was well primed for Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition in the last half of the program. What an unforgettable night gallery of music.

Jim Fields


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