Letters to the Editor: July 6

July 6, 2014 

  • Changes in submissions

    To better use limited Opinion page space, letters are now limited to 200 words and columns to 650 words. Letters about candidates in 2014 races should be no more than 150 words.

To aid the elderly, transit plan a must

The June 29 editorial "Ky. must do better by elders," well described our bottom ranking for long-term care. A study of transportation for seniors would reflect the same.

People outlive their ability to drive by about 10 years. Yet Kentucky has no transit plan for people to age economically in their own homes.

Medicare has no transportation budget. Low-income, Medicaid-eligible seniors may access low-cost transportation only for medical appointments. A senior above the poverty line pays 80 cents to $1.75 a mile for the service. But it's not an option in rural counties, which lack matching funds to access federal funds for transit capital and operating costs. And without an integrated system, riders still will not access other necessary services along the same route.

Kentucky's transportation plan for the next 20 years is in its final stages. Just over four of its 180 pages are devoted to transit as opposed to roads.

On a list of 11 states used for comparison, Kentucky is the only one with no operating assistance and one of four with no dedicated funding for public transit. Yet in 2013 Kentucky spent over $1 billion on road construction and maintenance.

What about seniors living on that newly paved rural road, stranded in their homes, making a few thousand dollars a year over the Medicaid limit? What use is that road to them?

How about including them in the budget? Or in a transit system that leverages other funding streams with Medicaid transport to get to medical and other services in the same ride?

Gale Reece

Founder, ITNBluegrass

Chair, Senior Services Commission


City park a benefit

We petition the city of Lexington to consider creating a city park on 904 to 916 North Broadway. This is open, fertile land — the last of its kind in this area.

Such a community park might include benches, trees, shrubbery, lighting, a walking/jogging path, playground equipment and drinking fountains.

Lexington's beloved mongrel, Smiley Pete, is buried on this parcel, along with some fellow companions.

A large residential population of all ages in this immediate vicinity would enjoy and benefit from the creation of this park. The preservation of this open land is a worthy enterprise to pursue.

The park would complement the objectives of L'Escalade Fitness' proposal for 916 North Broadway now under consideration by the city. If the project goes forward, we feel certain that L'Escalade management would welcome and support such a park.

Investment in park lands has lasting benefits for city residents and visitors. It improves their quality of life, and would be indicative of a forward-looking city administration.

Mike R. Myers


Traffic doesn't speed

My wife is a NASCAR fan, and I had never been to a race before so we went to the Quaker State 400.

First, we had hoped to park in the handicapped lot. We made it to gate six and a police officer was turning vehicles around through that gate. He said he thought the handicapped lot was full.

The race ended at 10:30 p.m. We got our car and pulled out into the aisle. We waited for an hour and 15 minutes not moving.

We were able to leave the lot at 1 a.m. after police redirected traffic on the main road.

We noticed that the lots on that side of the stadium had been emptied while we waited. When we got to Interstate 71, there were three lanes of bumper-to-bumper traffic.

We got back to Florence at 2 a.m. Next time we want to see a NASCAR race we'll be going to Nashville, where they know how traffic flow should be managed.

Tom Fitzpatrick


Honest answers now

Concerning the suspended Rupp's overpaid project manager, Frank Butler: what did he help with?

Especially, with the hiring of many overpriced consultants like Joey Issac of the Portland Trailblazers?

You are more than guilty of such abuse, too.

The Herald-Leader has endorsed, during campaign time, debacle manufacturing officeholders over and over.

Thus enabling these thieves in their versions of fraudulent good government, and of the Herald's.

And don't look for the "selected" critics, Brent Rice, who was quoted to look out for the average citizen/taxpayer.

The endorsee is partly responsible for rate rises from Kentucky American Water's pipeline to and treatment plant in Owen County.

This favored individual, along with a few others still on council, favored the water company.

We get screwed by different leaders, our fifth estate and other endorsing groups. Also noted was potential future development above Rupp.

Who will benefit and who will reap great financial rewards with such development and probable taxpayer financed parking structures?

We need more questions asked and many honest answers, not found with a weak media.

Don Pratt


Paid to do nothing?

The Rupp Arena renovation has been cancelled but Frank Butler, the project manager, is going to continue to be paid his huge salary.

Why? I sure wish I had a job where I could get paid $200,000 a year to do nothing.

Marsha Dance


It takes all to battle crime

The June 29 article by Justin Madden, "Tracing the roots of Lexington shootings; Experts, advocates weigh in on what role poverty, racism play in violent crime," was excellent.

It displayed a diversity of views without one seeming overbearing. Thank you for allowing the alternative voices of community activist Corey Dunn, 1st District Councilman Chris Ford and Associate Dean Vic Kappeler of Eastern Kentucky University's College of Justice and Safety into the conversation.

Also, thank you for including the report from the Lexington-Fayette County Human Rights Commission which I chair.

Too often, we only hear and read the skewed views of the local judicatory or law enforcement officials whose answer is always an ineffective retributive justice response of tough on crime with more arrests and more police presence to increase safety.

The problem of violence, especially gun violence, goes well beyond the act of violence, which is the mere symptom of larger societal problems.

All voices in our community, including the faith community as Ford began to allude, must be heard and involved in order to address this issue.

Rev. D. Anthony Everett

Pastor, Wesley United Methodist Church

Chair, Lexington-Fayette Human Rights Commission


Save poor children

In the June 29 front-page article about Lexington shootings, Corey Dunn a community volunteer, suggests that criminals can't be blamed for their actions because they are trying to feed their families.

The city's recent crimes have nothing to do with feeding families or finding jobs. There are many agencies in town that will feed families and assist them with job training.

Dunn is correct to say that society is to blame, but the real problem is not the one he is addressing.

Government has interfered with the free market by providing housing, food and unemployment checks for generations of Americans.

Contrary to popular belief, jobs are available for even unskilled workers with no experience.

In the classified section of the Herald-Leader, there were at least a dozen "help wanted" ads looking for agricultural workers and paying over $10 an hour. The employers will even help pay for transportation.

We have to help the children in the poorer communities. They have no chance unless this cycle of government dependence is broken.

As for their parents, they need to get a job, setting an example for how to live a productive life.

Hill Parker


Poverty is no excuse

Was I absent the day the memo came around about you and I are responsible for the recent murders in Lexington?

Seems as though a local community volunteer working to reduce violence — and what is a community volunteer anyway — has decided that all of society is the real culprit.

Does this mean the manager of some grocery store should be prosecuted for the murder of a local Marine? After all, the manager didn't give the murderer a job.

What about the shooter of a teenage girl out for a drive with a friend? There goes the manager of the corner gas station.

Since when does being poor allow someone to murder another? Is it time to bring back old smokey?

Stephen Stinson


No victim, no crime

Mayor Jim Gray and opponent Anthany Beatty want to hire more police despite the fact that crime has declined for the last 25 years.

If they want to focus on violent crime, then they need to stop diverting police to marijuana enforcement.

New York recently became the 23rd state to legalize medical marijuana. Half of the country has stopped cramming prisons with non-violent pot smokers.

If Kentucky needs more police on the street, perhaps we should stop diverting them to "narcotics" squads who smash in doors during the night and terrorize families for small amounts of marijuana.

We have local police, sheriffs, marshals, the DEA, the FBI, etc.

Heck, even fish and wildlife officers have the right to shoot and kill you if they feel "threatened."

How about a compromise? Hire all the police you want but leave non-violent pot smokers alone and focus on real crime with victims. No victim means no crime.

More police leads to more spending that will spiral out of control. I am opposed to an increase in police state spending. Are conservatives for bigger government and more police, or a government that spends less and stays out of our lives?

Tina Hoffman


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