Letters to the editor: March 22

March 22, 2014 

Nonprofits benefit Kentucky, donations needed

Nonprofits are more than charity. We deliver programs and services that bring help and hope to people in need and improve the quality of life in your community.

We are also a major economic engine. With the help of the Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky at the University of Kentucky, we've released new data to show that nonprofits provide an excellent return on society's investment.

The study found that one in nine Kentuckians is employed by a nonprofit. Nonprofits spent nearly $23 billion in 2012, contributing significantly to Kentucky's economy at a time when most charities faced significant funding cuts.

The study confirms that nonprofits are stretched too thin. Expenditures are flat despite the fact that demand for most services has increased. Charities are innovative by nature, but the current situation for Kentucky charities is a fragile house of cards that cannot be sustained. When nonprofits are hurting, Kentuckians are hurting. The good news is you can help.

On April 9, we're asking Kentuckians to come together to support the nonprofits that serve their communities. Simply visit www.kygives.org and make a safe, secure online donation to your favorite causes. And if you are a charity that wants to participate, there's still time to join in by visiting www.kygives.org.

Please join me on April 9 to log on and donate to the causes that make Kentucky a special place to call home.

Danielle Clore

Lexington


Retirement mess

Kentucky's retirement system is one of the worst-funded state retirement systems in the country and one of the underlying plans, KERS, is the single-worst funded state plan.

Rep. Jim Wayne's House Bill 546 does something about this. While deliberate underfunding by the legislature is the largest factor, investment underperformance is significant with KRS investments underperforming the average public pension plan by $534 million for calendar 2013.

Currently KRS only discloses the performance of 48 of over 200 investment managers.

Covered-up managers include Camelot which is under SEC investigation and SAC capital, considered the worst hedge fund blowup since Madoff.

HB 546 is the only legislation dealing with fixing investments with transparency and accountability.

Chris Tobe

Anchorage


IRS, CBS, NBC, OMG

Former IRS official Lois Lerner made her second trip before Darrell Issa's congressional committee and for the second time pleaded the Fifth Amendment. On Super Bowl Sunday, President Barack Obama told Bill O'Reilly there wasn't a smidgen of evidence that the IRS targeted conservative groups.

It seems all of the news channels like ABC, CBS and NBC didn't give it any coverage until Issa cut the mic on Rep. Elijah Cummings and that coverage was to throw out the race card as they tend to do anytime one doesn't agree with their ideas.

I disagree with Issa's actions, but that's really not the issue. The question is, why would Lerner plead the fifth when the IRS did nothing wrong? And why were her lawyers trying to get Issa's committee to give her immunity if there isn't a "smidgen of evidence" that the IRS did anything wrong? Are the American people so desensitized that this is OK now? This time it was conservatives, but what about down the road if it's Democrats' rights being infringed upon and a coverup is in the works? Would you want conservative support to get to the bottom of it, or for them to stonewall, as is being done this time?

George Greenup

Lexington


No kids, no marriage

Stable families include a strong commitment to the welfare of the children produced in marriage. Marriage must be more than an emotional/romantic attachment solely for adult benefit.

Same-sex relationships should not be recognized as marriage for an obvious reason: the physical relationship between two men or two women will never produce children. Mothers and fathers are not interchangeable. It is unreasonable to consider one or the other irrelevant to a healthy family.

Several recent studies confirm that children have a better chance to flourish in all aspects of life when raised by a married mother and father.

According to Archbishop Cardileone of San Francisco, "this is not just a debate about what two people do in their private life, it's a debate about a new public norm: Either you support redefining marriage to include two people of the same sex or you stand accused by law and culture of bigotry and discrimination."

Those who uphold traditional marriage are stigmatized, and activists' demands seem to trump the liberty of everyone else. Consider David and Tanya Parker of Massachusetts who objected to their kindergartener son being given a same-sex marriage lesson.

The father was arrested for trespassing.

Judges and activists are attempting at every turn to make this a constitutional debate or a civil rights issue. But, at its base, it is a moral one, challenging the most foundational truths of human relationships, sexuality, and biological design.

Leigh Ann Pierce

Elizabethtown


Transy heartless

On March 6 another longtime Transylvania University employee was told his position was being eliminated, effective immediately.

This person is a Transy alum, a former coach, teacher and administrator whose career spanned 40 years. He loved his school and his job. He recruited hundreds of student-athletes and was a mentor and friend.

I continue to be ashamed and mystified by why the administration continues to treat long-time employees in such a classless fashion.

I don't pretend to know the financial situation that might make these cutbacks necessary, but I do know that most schools don't handle layoffs in such a heartless fashion. It's not necessary and it doesn't reflect well on the institution. It hurts the school's ability to raise money and to attract talented students, faculty and staff.

Difficult decisions may have to be made, but treating people decently and respecting their service and love for Transylvania should not be that difficult. Those who lost their positions had to agree to not discuss their situation in order to get their severance packages.

Undoubtedly that's why few people are speaking out.

Surely the administration and board of trustees can develop a more humane way to deal with these cutbacks.

We deserve an explanation for why our friends and former colleagues are being treated so poorly.

Glenn Osborne

Georgetown

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