Letters to the Editor: May 1

May 1, 2014 

  • Election letters

    Letters about candidates running in the May 20 primary are limited to 150 words and must be submitted no later than 5 p.m. May 12.

Youth oppose Grimes' stand for Keystone pipeline

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes released statements in support of the Keystone XL Pipeline. Around the same time, the American Petroleum Institute released a report stating that 60 percent of 1,000 Americans surveyed support construction.

But, 12 percent of those surveyed were 18 to 34 years old. U.S. population in the 18-34 age group: 23.5 percent. The API, like Grimes, is ignoring a crucial group: youth. Young Kentuckians do not support corporations being supported by the government to steal people's lands, poison people's water and air, or to further extract fossil fuels when it is obvious that to continue will jeopardize our lives and the lives of our children.

Grimes better get ready for the youth of Kentucky to hold her accountable for her words because while she might support oil and gas corporations stealing people's land for their own profits, the youth of Kentucky do not.

Tyler Offerman


Conservative legacy

Forty-three years ago I graduated from a large state university similar to the University of Kentucky. At that time tuition was only $100 per semester because the state government subsidized the cost.

I still had to work while going to school but I graduated debt-free thanks to the subsidies provided by the enlightened older generation. That degree allowed me to have a successful career.

Now conservatives only care about cutting taxes. The state universities have no choice but to raise tuition to replace the government subsidies. Students without wealthy family support are forced to take out student loans so that they graduate with large debts that can take years to pay off.

That is not all. The $1 billion per day of the Bush tax cuts has been charged 100 percent to the national debt from day one. The wealthy job creators are pocketing that cash. Conservatives are expecting those same young people to also pay back the debt created by the Republican tax cuts.

All that Bush tax cut cash is only creating jobs in re-election campaigns for the current elected members of Congress and in all the lobbying firms and political think tanks paying multimillion dollar salaries to former members of Congress. Rather than subsidizing education for the young, the conservative politicians are forcing the young to subsidize the politicians' mansions and fancy fund-raising parties in Washington. Any young person would be a fool to vote for a conservative Republican.

Kevin Kline


Outrageous bonuses

Does this ever end? After seven months of reading the front page of the Herald-Leader sports section only to find that it was actually the main news (section A), comes now this on the front page April 10, "UK coaches, others reap huge bonuses."

If this doesn't rattle one's moral bearings, what can? Wherever this $792,000 comes from (and this itself smacks of scandal), it is beyond outrageous that it should go to 10 personnel whose pre-bonus pay already makes almost all other University of Kentucky employees look like beggars on the street corner.

How about sharing with the UK students whose enthusiasm and support seem to be so highly valued that they are called the "sixth man?"

Surely the student working part-time delivering pizza in order to get a degree is more deserving than a coach who gives up a few minutes and takes in more megabucks plugging that pizza on TV. And how about a share for all the employees, other than coaches, who keep the athletic program going?

Do professors who guide students to post-graduate grants or other honors ever get a bonus?

If all this doesn't hang heavy on the moral compass of the university, and perhaps on the hoops-happy Herald-Leader, what in heaven's name could?

Ernie Henninger


Goodwill rebounds

This past month, following a harsh winter that chilled donations by 7 percent statewide, Goodwill Industries of Kentucky launched a "March Gladness" campaign and the Lexington community really responded.

We are pleased to report that donations increased by 9 percent during March.

The generosity of our donors allows us to provide job training and job counseling to people with disabilities or other barriers to employment. Typically, January through March are slow months for Goodwill, but very rarely do donations dip more than 2 or 3 percent. We're talking thousands of donations, so it really poses a threat to our vital services for an already vulnerable population.

Donations to Goodwill stay local, providing jobs right here in Lexington. In fiscal year 2013, Goodwill Industries of Kentucky employed nearly 1,200 Kentuckians, placed 2,470 in jobs and paid almost $18 million in wages to people with disabilities or other barriers to employment — thanks to your tax-deductible donations. In addition to operating 63 donated goods centers statewide, which provide jobs and hands-on training, Goodwill offers employment counseling, adult literacy programs, and job search and résumé-writing help.

March Gladness is a great example of why we love our donors, who really stepped up to help us rebound during a difficult time.

Erin Gold

Vice president, Bluegrass Division, Goodwill Industries of Kentucky


Engage Iran

In a world dominated by strife and intransigence, do we have the courage to abjure hate, embody change and promote reconciliation — however shortsighted such actions may seem?

I implore the world's richest, most powerful nation to find within itself the audacity to do just that: to embody the spirit of undeserved forgiveness as a city on the hill the size of the world.

Given these ruminations, I here express my disappointment with the United States' recent decision to deny a visa to Iran's appointed ambassador to the United Nations, Hamid Aboutalebi. As weak-willed as not having done so might have seemed in a nation whose "defense" budget dwarfs its humanitarian assistance by more than an order of magnitude, I hold that the only way to end this decades-long conflict and ensure our long-term security is to engage with those we most disagree with.

Moreover, do we hold ourselves in such high regard as a nation that we assume ourselves the arbiters of all international discourse? I certainly hope not.

Thus, as negotiations over Iran's nuclear program continue, I implore my senators and my representative to speak out in support of diplomacy and against new sanctions or other saber-rattling measures that would undermine the progress our diplomats have made toward an agreement that guards against a nuclear-armed Iran and another war.

The Friends Committee on National Legislation has more information on how Congress can support a peaceful resolution of the Iranian nuclear disupte: fcnl.org/Iran.

Rhodes Hambrick


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