Letters to the Editor, April 2

April 2, 2014 

Detour better than trip to bottom of lake

Regarding Herald-Leader articles on Feb. 3, and March 6: The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet's plan to replace the Kennedy Mill Bridge on Ky. 152 between Garrard and Mercer counties, "keeping the old one usable until the new one is built," might be likened to roulette.

The cabinet has known for years that the 1924 Kennedy Mill Bridge is unsound. A 2011 Data Needs Analysis Study indicates, in relation to repairs made in 2009: "Recent structural repairs to the bridge may sustain the bridge for 3-4 more years." That time has already passed.

I wrote Gov. Steve Beshear in August, with photos attached, indicating seven areas of concern. I specifically indicated concerns with the superstructure and the bridge deck, or driving surface. Severely rusted structural members were covered with concrete but not replaced in 2009. Severe rusting of the sheet metal supporting the asphalt driving surface is evident from the underside of the bridge deck.

After the repairs in 2009, the load limit was raised from 3,000 pounds, to 15 tons. Why raise the load limit with a deficient superstructure and deck? A lengthy commute associated with a detour, if the bridge is closed, might be preferable to a short trip to the bottom of Herrington Lake, a little more than 200 feet below the bridge.

It may be years before the bridge is actually replaced. Meanwhile, the superstructure and the bridge deck continue to deteriorate.

Keeping the bridge open until it is replaced: Engineering judgment, or roulette?

Gerard Gerhard


Extend parkway

I'm responding to the letter writer (Road to rue, Feb. 8) who thinks Southeastern Kentucky is not worth an interstate.

This writer cited population numbers that don't tell the whole truth on how many people would have access to the Mountain Parkway. As a proud transplant to Southeastern Kentucky from North Carolina, I find that ignorance of people from out of the area of the hills is unreal. I have come to understand that Southeastern Kentucky is the so-called redheaded stepchild of Kentucky, but lord help you and everyone who thinks in this manner.

We are more, and proud of it. We are tired of the rest of the state thinking they are better than us with their noses snubbed up. We pay our taxes and work just as hard as everyone else in Kentucky. I will never leave Southeastern Kentucky. I was not born here but am proud to live here.

Now, as far as the numbers for you uninformed people that don't think we need a four-lane Mountain Parkway. The population of counties that would use the Mountain Parkway, Pike, 65,024; Perry, 28,712; Wolfe, 7,355; Morgan, 13,923; Martin, 12,929; Magoffin, 13,333; Letcher, 24,519; Lawrence, 15,860; Knott,1 6,346; Johnson, 23,356, and Floyd,39,451.

That is 260,808 people — a lot more than the writer from Lexington gave. Wow. I guess we don't need and don't count for the rest of the people of Kentucky.

By the way the votes from Eastern Kentucky taxpayers do count.

Paige Maggard


Principled stand

Someone please help me. A recent paper was filled with stern opinions skewering Gov. Steve Beshear for daring to defend the definition of marriage contained in the Kentucky Constitution.

Larry Dale Keeling was particularly pointed. I'm confused, please follow along.

Both the governor and Attorney General Jack Conway took the following oath that provides, in part: "I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this Commonwealth, and be faithful and true to the Commonwealth of Kentucky ... and that I will faithfully execute, to the best of my ability, the office of .... according to law."

The so-called marriage amendment to the Kentucky Constitution provides: "Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Kentucky. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized."

Keeling describes Conway's refusal to uphold his oath as "a principled stand." Beshear took the same oath and is seeking to do just as he swore, uphold the Kentucky Constitution. Keeling finds the governor's stance despicable.

It may be that Beshear personally disagrees with the marriage amendment. Nevertheless, he is being true to his oath while Conway is substituting his opinion for the clear provision of our constitution.

And just who is taking a principled stand? Keeling observes that Conway's stand "could hurt him politically if he chooses to run for governor in 2015." Well, that could be.

Dave Rosenbaum


Educated scribblers

A March 1 letter on Bronze Age scribblings shows only one world view. There is another world view held by many people.

Speaking to the points in the letter, almost all the Bible was written during the Iron Age not the Bronze Age.

Also, the "scribblings" of the New Testament were not made by sheepherders. I have nothing against sheepherders. Thirteen of the New Testament books were written by the Apostle Paul, a man educated to the highest level in Jewish society. Festus, the governor who interrogated Paul said "Paul, your great learning has driven you mad." Paul replied that he was not mad but telling the truth.

Two books of the New Testament were written by Luke, a doctor and very likely a Greek. These men and the other authors wrote about what they saw and what they believed to be true and, according to Christian doctrine, what they were inspired to write by the direction of the Holy Spirit.

Concerning the reality of God, each of us has to choose. We can choose a universe devoid of purpose, that just happened by chance, a system that evolved the human mind with the ability to conceive of eternity but with no way to obtain it. What a cruel cosmic joke that would be. Or we can choose a universe created by a God with a purpose and with us in mind now and in eternity.

I choose the latter. The evidence is strong.

Joe Karrick


Not-so-smart guns

So-called smart guns include two different technologies to make them not work. One makes them not work when the owner doesn't want them to. The other makes them not work whether or not the owner wants them to. The former gets the publicity. The latter needs further consideration. at least by folks who want their guns to work.

One maker promises its guns can be deactivated remotely by smart phone; another promises to sell remote deactivation devices. Governments which mandate deactivatable guns will also mandate that they receive all the deactivating technologies. Unless blessed with another Edward Snowden, we'll never know for sure whether the secret court has issued secret warrants for such technologies.

Most deactivatable guns work by radio, which can be jammed without access to any proprietary technology. And all the deactivation technologies will be stolen by hackers and available on the Internet. If you want them to work, buy guns that cannot be deactivated. If you want to be able to buy guns that work, join the NRA.

Lee Crawfort


The above letter is reprinted because of errors in the version that ran Saturday.

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