Letters to the editor: May 24

May 24, 2014 

Cyclists have rights to use public roads

As a cyclist who often rides U.S. 27 in Jessamine County, I have mixed feelings about Cherokee Schill's battle with the police over her use of that road.

On one hand, I hope she wins. As cyclists, we have the right to use public roads and that includes the right to take the lane when our safety demands it. We need to be alert to any infringement, lest we wake up one day and find ourselves confined to riding in the city park. What's more, we have a reason to be suspicious of the Nicholasville authorities. A few years ago, they tried to ban bikes from Main Street downtown.

On the other hand, I have to ask why this particular battle and why that particular road? Unlike many roads, U.S. 27 has a paved shoulder extending from the Fayette County line to the Kentucky River. It's a good shoulder, too. When I travel that road, I ride the shoulder and never have the slightest problem, either with other road users or with the police. Apparently, Schill won't use the shoulder.

Interestingly, there is a spot on U.S. 27 in Fayette County, just north of the county line, where the shoulder vanishes. It would be entirely reasonable for a cyclist to take the lane, even if it annoys motorists. But that is not where Schill got in trouble.

George Garber


Ride on, Cherokee

Cherokee Schill is my hero. I am not brave enough to ride my bicycle on Nicholasville Road, but I cheer in support of all who do.

Anyone traveling by bike should be thanked by the rest of us. This is for not taking up as much space on the road, not adding more fumes to the air, being easier on the roads resulting in less money needed for road repair and for not posing a threat to pedestrians and other commuters like those traveling by car or truck do.

Instead of giving Schill a citation, I would like to see the city give her a police escort to ensure she is able to travel safely. If her presence on the road is slowing the speed of traffic, I suspect she is only making the road safer for those around her and decreasing the risk of an accident.

Thanks to the Herald-Leader for printing this local story that concerns us-—traffic on Nicholasville Road. Schill shouldn't be singled out like a scapegoat for traffic problems on Nicholasville Road. I believe she is part of the solution, and for that I want to shout, "Ride on Cherokee, ride on!."

H. Russell Schmidt


Smoking ban no game

After reading the Herald-Leader article about Lexington's smoking ban, it was apparent that stronger measures should be taken.

This needs to be increased so the bans are a deterrent rather than a nuisance. Say, $500 for the first offense and doubled each time thereafter. Maybe assigning a point system similar to driver's licenses.

For example, three points each offense and 12 total over a two-year span resulting in suspension of alcohol sale license for 30 days.

Inspections should be increased and made in unmarked cars. An occasional visit twice in one night would be beneficial. Maybe using some off-duty police would help in places where inspectors are fearful of retaliation. The smoking ban is a health issue and should be treated seriously, not as a game.

Tom Chapman


July 4 band debut

Downtown Lexington Corp. has made a positive decision to have the 202nd Army Band perform at the July 3 patriotic program at Gratz Park.

It will be refreshing to hear other performers besides The Lexington Philharmonic and have an exclusive patriotic program. I think the Fourth of July festivities should include patriotic music.

I have heard the 202nd Army Band and enjoy it. It would be great if the Downtown Lexington Corp. would find other bands or performers for the upcoming years.

Barbara Mason


Nation falling from top

How can the Herald-Leader print a cartoon showing an elephant in a voting booth with a cell phone on the floor stating "Don't bring black people in here."

That is about the lowest of the low I have seen printed in the newspaper by the great Joel Pett. This newspaper is always printing articles to downgrade Republicans.

Why not try to print about all the homes broken into with senior citizens in them? Homes and churches are being broken into by the drug dealers fighting among themselves.

In the last six years we have gone from the country that was the leader to all nations and at present no one trusts us. We just tape record all other country leaders to find out what is going on. Our leader sure doesn't know.

Just remember what President Richard Nixon did to our country 40 years ago. Those lies were very mild against what is going on now.

David Willhoit


Be aware of wildlife

I would like to thank the Herald-Leader, Cheryl Truman and Charles Bertram for their help in bringing awareness to the wildlife residing in the Richmond Road reservoir.

Families living in these areas are simply striving, as we all do, to survive. Imagine your daily routine: breakfast, kids to schools, swimming lessons, playtime, dinner and bedtime.

Now, consider doing these tasks with no seat belts, air bags or helmets and with fully loaded semi trucks barreling down upon you at 45 mph in four lanes of traffic. This is what these families face everyday. With a new McDonald's being built in this same area, their trek will become even more treacherous.

Larger, more visible signage with flashing lights — which no doubt the transportation department has in plentiful supply — would alert motorists to be more aware of their surroundings.

With Kentucky's repulsive and shameful ranking as the state with the weakest laws against animal abuse and cruelty, we have an opportunity as a community to show we are truly better than what the ranking reveals.

I'm appealing not only to individual citizens, but to Kentucky American Water, Applebee's, Southland Christian Church, Home Depot, McDonald's, Mayor Jim Gray and Councilman Bill Farmer to contact Logan Baker, from the department of transportation, at 859-246-2355 to implement what will certainly give these wildlife families a greater chance of survival.

It also would give Lexington residents the realization that their voices and hearts can truly make a difference.

Cindy Sutton-Hargett


Right to bear arms

Among the Americans who Justice John Paul Stevens in his commentary excoriates for Second Amendment "fraud:"

Patrick Henry wrote, "The great object is that every man be armed .... Everyone who is able may have a gun."

Thomas Jefferson wrote, "No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms (within his own lands or tenements)."

Clearly the framers did not believe that the amendments' militia clause negates the "right... shall not be infringed." They understood that the militia is all of us bearing the arms we keep and that a well regulated militia is like a well regulated lock — always ready to function independently and correctly. Stevens does not understand this.

The Americans who wrote and adopted the Second Amendment say in many words that it guarantees every American the right to own a gun, be armed and the use of arms. Stevens and his anti-Second Amendment allies are at best delusional and committing fraud.

Lee Crawfort


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