Cartoon to the editor

Letters to the editor: May 4

May 4, 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.

Evolution let hormones overtake juveniles' judgment

In reference to Fayette Family Court Judge Tim Philpot's Apr. 21 commentary, "What troubled children need," I think there is much to commend, providing his faith and family ideas are expanded to include other youth organizations.

While faith groups can be helpful to youth, there is much evidence that they can also hinder intellectual and spiritual growth, due to some churches' warfare against science, their right-leaning economic and political biases and their moralistic and punitive attitudes toward human nature.

Philpot's idealization of women's role as stay-at-home mother is also grossly out of sync with current economic realities, as well as the career orientation of most young women.

Let me add one point about developmental science as it relates to juvenile justice. Children reach puberty about five years earlier than 100 years ago. The release of hormones speeds up the development of the social-emotional network of the brain, enticing teenagers to act out in antisocial ways especially in peer groups. Hence, aggressiveness, promiscuity, a "satisfaction now" mentality.

Unfortunately, evolution did not speed up the cognitive control network of the brain commensurate with the social-emotional network. So rational control of impulsive behavior and experience are lacking and don't come together in equal proportion until about age 24.

It is obvious that our juvenile justice system has not been significantly effective.

Lawmakers are increasingly punitive in their attempt to solve problems. And before that, parental effectiveness training has not been widespread.

Solutions should move toward accountability with forgiveness, leniency, developmental understanding and experimentation.

Jesse P. Mark


GOP votes cost jobs

The op-ed piece by state Sen. Chris Girdler is quite telling. He refers to Warren Buffett's "hypocrisy" and blames him for Fruit of the Loom's move from our little town of Jamestown to Honduras.

True, Buffett's huge Berkshire Hathaway company does own an interest in Fruit of the Loom, but he probably doesn't even know the company has decided to deliver a devastating blow to Russell County.

Perhaps Girdler should expend some energy letting Buffett know what this will mean to our city and county instead of writing ridiculous diatribes in the newspaper.

If anyone should know what hypocrisy is, Girdler, and like-minded elected officials, should.

What allows companies to pull operations out of the United States, make their products cheaply in Central America, then export them back without tariffs is a little-understood federal law called the Central American Free Trade Agreement.

Know who voted for CAFTA when it was passed in 2006? None other than Sen. Mitch McConnell and Reps. Ed Whitfield and Hal Rogers. Know who did not vote for CAFTA? The then-junior senator from Illinois and now president, Barack Obama.

Duplicitous right-wingers really are skilled at deflecting attention from their own deficiencies by making untrue statements, then repeating them over and over until uninformed people begin to believe them.

Barbara Sharp Zimmerman


Education is pay enough

Students entering college as athletes get scholarships which provide them the opportunity to get a college education. They are being paid with this opportunity. Life as a pro athlete is fairly short and even if they make millions of dollars, they need to know more than playing ball to have a good life.

Reva M. Crabtree


Traffic management fails

I recently completed yet another long and frustrating commute in our city.

A drive that normally takes 50 minutes took over an hour and a half. I am thankful that I was driving against the normal flow of rush hour traffic in the afternoon.

When is enough, enough? When do we all say, "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore?"

I have lived in cities all over the eastern United States, both larger and smaller than Lexington. I can tell you, without reservation, that the traffic management of this city is disgraceful and the worst that I have ever experienced. I see it and live it every day.

This is not merely an issue of needing improved roads, it's about competently managing what we have. Over and over again, I see massive back-ups of traffic for no reason other than poor management of traffic signals. There are too many streets intersecting major thoroughfares that have traffic lights, too many that stay green for too long, and too many that have left turn signals.

Why would you trust city leaders to manage a third-of-a-billion-dollar renovation of Rupp Arena, when they can't manage traffic in a mid-size city? Wasn't the BBC piece that made Lexington a laughingstock for the lack of traffic management enough?

Every time you see an intersection not working as it should, contact your local leaders and let them know, enough is enough.

Michael Griffin


Smoking hot enforcement

Let me get this straight. Lexington pays two male health inspectors to cruise topless bars once a month on the taxpayer's dime? What a joke. Now there are two guys who are really grateful to anti-smoking activist Ellen Hahn for her dogged persistence.

I say this law has always been bunk, and if this is Lexington's idea of enforcement how can I get hired? To ban or not should be, as always, up to owners and not a regulation.

Yep, I really got a laugh out of this article. What a progressive city Lexington is.

Gene Haley

Sebring, Fla.

Opera switch no surprise

An April 13 article by Walter Tunis ("Bluegrass Opera had to hop to it") implied that Angela Rice surprised the Bluegrass Opera at the last minute by choosing another company to perform her oratorio Thy Will Be Done.

As a former board member of the Bluegrass Opera, I can tell you this is totally false.

In the article, Lorne Dechtenberg, artistic director and conductor for The Bluegrass Opera, is quoted as saying he had a cast, location and a rehearsal schedule to perform Rice's Easter oratorio for the third year in a row. But when Rice decided to have Everett McCorvey's company produce her work instead, Dechtenberg said he had less than three months to write a replacement oratorio for April performances.

I know Rice told Dechtenberg in August and again in September via emails and phone conversations that, for artistic and financial reasons, she was going to let another company produce her work. And moreover, McCorvey sent a letter to Dechtenberg in November verifying his Global Creative Connections company would stage the performances in April.

Since Dechtenberg had been notified in the summer and again in early fall that the Bluegrass Opera would not be performing the work, his comment about being left in the lurch by Rice is at the very least misleading.

Rice, who is a friend, has been a genuine and generous supporter of Lexington and the arts for many years, and I am loath to see her name besmirched by false accusations.

Phyllis Jenness


Police presence cheered

A strange thing happened at the house on the corner of Woodland and Euclid avenues during the NCAA tournament.

We cheered for the Wildcats in a game they won by one point. This was a strange occurrence because we used to actually hope anyone besides the University of Kentucky would win.

We have suffered from PTSD, secondary to the over-enthusiastic fans who have, in the past, torn down our six-foot privacy fence, climbed up on top of our roof and shot off bottle rockets, torn the windshield wipers off our car, and used the front and back of our home as a public toilet.

But thanks to the presence of the metro police, as of last year and this year, we have no worries anymore. Instead of dreading a Wildcat win, now we can cheer them on to victory.

We cannot thank our mayor and our dedicated police force enough.

Now we can relax and appreciate Big Blue's win.

Jane Ethel Johnson


Pett cartoon misleads, aggravates racial tensions

The Lexington Herald-Leader will never reach the status of the Courier-Journal of Louisville until the quality of the paper includes equal representation of both Republican and Democratic positions, and integrity of the political cartoonist and writers.

I'm so sick of Joel Pett's political cartoons misinforming your readers. The final straw was the elephant in the voting booth speaking into a phone saying not to be bringing any blacks in here. First, Donald Sterling is obviously an ignorant person when it comes to race. He also has donated large amounts of money to black organizations which could be for power or possibly that he spoke in anger. Does Pett think that the typical Republican is a racist? I know very few who are. Does Pett think that there aren't any racist Democrats? I know a few. Party lines are drawn on policy, not racial divide.

This type of misleading information is part of the reason why our country now has so much racial tension. Please insist that your political cartoonist have more integrity.

Teresa Venters


Divisive, mean spirited cartoon unfair to Republicans

Over my 70 years as a concerned and involved citizen, I've taken pride in being informed about issues that affect not only me, but my family, friends and patients. My evolution of political affiliation has been more a product of the changing parties than of changes in my long-held core beliefs. The global self-promotion of politicians has become nauseating, but pales when compared to the vicious pandering of those allowed to write under the guise of journalistic freedom.

Pett's cartoon is divisive, mean-spirited and a blatant lie. Usually my cynicism allows me to suppress disgust with these antics, but contempt is a better description. Why couldn't he advance a thoughtful position which helps get more people to vote, while assuring the validity of each vote?

Why try to paint a party as connected to the repugnant behavior of a rich jerk from a not-so conservative state of California? Doesn't he understand some Democrats have also benefitted from their association with Donald Sterling?

William Dowden


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