Letters to the editor: April 26

April 26, 2014 

UK administration dragging its feet on climate plan

Failure to meet deadlines receives little grace from professors. Should we hold the University of Kentucky to the same standard?

Commissioned by President Eli Capilouto in fall, 2012, a committee was formed to implement a plan to reduce UK's climate impact and establish "carbon neutrality" by a fixed date. After a year of little progress, the committee was pressured by students and faculty to complete the plan, originally set to finish in spring, 2013. Eventually a draft was completed, but no action on it has proceeded. Stagnation has crept in and students and faculty are dissatisfied that the university is making no attempt to create reasonable standards for energy use and sustainable operation.

Greenthumb, a student environmental organization at UK, has pressured the administration for over a year to adopt a Climate Action Plan through petitions, emails and letters, yet has seen little change.

This lack of initiative by the administration is not demonstrative of a forward-thinking institution. As the state's flagship university, UK should be a leader in mitigating its impact on climate change. It is our responsibility to address such issues, understanding that our future is the result of our current actions. We must pressure the administration to set and keep an aggressive deadline to complete this plan. We hope the eventual implementation of the CAP is deserving of the grace that students and faculty have granted.

Richard Grewelle and Jonathan Elliott


Need another Bert Combs

A recent letter writer told it like it is regarding the closure of public roads in both Wolfe and Powell counties. Since the Great Depression, politicians have campaigned across southeastern Appalachia with promises of good roads, quality schools, improved utilities, incentives for attracting manufacturing and jobs. With few exceptions, one being Bert Combs, those promises never happened.

The action of the Forest Service closing the roads has had a negative effect on the economy. Shame on you, Forest Service. I have a deep appreciation for the men and women of the Forest Service; I find solace in my belief that the road action resulted from a directive by someone isolated in an office in a big white house. WWTRD (what would Teddy Roosevelt do?).

I am proud of my heritage as an Applachian American and I am uncomfortable with do-gooders who are critical of this devotion. I ask not what Appalachia can do for me (in the way of handouts) but rather what I can do for Appalachia as an employed, self-supported person.

I have no easy solutions for the Appalachian economy. Anything of value is difficult and needs dedication. Certainly, to shut down opportunities for growth is a backward step and needs to be nipped in the bud.

Is there a Combs in the wings ready to take on "The Great Reclaimer" title. Why not multiple Berts and Bertresses to lead our area to economist stability?

Marion Atkinson


McConnell and coal

A recent ad by Sen. Mitch McConnell touts his commitment to Kentucky coal jobs, citing a bill he introduced called the Saving Coal Jobs Act of 2013. Sections of the bill are: 101 - Prohibition on energy tax; 201 - National pollution discharge elimination system; 202 - Permits for dredged or fill material; 203 - Impacts of EPA regulatory activity on employment and economic activity; 104 - Identification of waters protected by Clean Water Act; 205 - Limitations on authority to modify State water quality standards; 206 - State authority to identify waters within boundary of state.

This bill is not about saving coal jobs, but about inhibiting the Environmental Protection Administration. McConnell is trying to save his own job but refusing to recognize that the loss of coalfield jobs is largely due to lower demand for coal, higher costs of extraction and diminishing coal- fields.

Charles L. Witt


Immoral social issues

In January 1973 the Supreme Court took away the constitutional rights of the unborn.

Since then, the U.S. has embarked on a dangerous experiment called legalized abortion. Abortion is legal, but it is not moral. It denies the unborn all rights, including life itself.

An entire generation of professionals now practice, never having known America any other way. Women routinely forgo their child-bearing years to advance their careers. Attorneys, judges and doctors, along with others, look out for themselves. After all a fetus cannot cry out for help.

Some states now have legalized abortion, gambling, homosexual marriage and prostitution. It is the platform of the Democratic Party.

As long as one pays the tax anything goes. Why do we have terrorism? Some feel it is the Republicans' blood lust for guns.

It is a sad comment on modern day life.

David Pokrywka


Write in Welch

I am writing in support of a University of Kentucky senior who is trying to make a write-in run for U.S. Senate. He has grown to over 230 followers on Facebook and continues to make waves every day. His name is Gregory Welch, his campaign Facebook is under Gregory Dale Welch.

I feel that Welch should be featured in the Herald-Leader because he is all about advancing Kentucky and not about lining his own pockets nor the pockets of other politicians. He is a Kentuckian for Kentucky and you need to take notice of him. He has stances that can be agreed upon for the most part. He, in my opinion, is the best option for Kentucky.

James Combs


Inspire or retire

Please do not continue to support the total lack of action on the part of your senator and my Republican leader in the Senate.

Harry Reid daily verbally destroys everyone and everything he does not like or support without Sen. Mitch McConnell saying or doing a thing to stop it or oppose it. Help all America by stopping this injustice and lack of support by McConnell of both America and you.

The rest of America needs your help and support, people of Kentucky. Please help all of us. Take action to inspire him or remove him.

William M. Durham

South Chesterfield, Va.

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