Paper should stop selling gun ads
I agreed with every word of your Oct. 4 editorial outlining our increasing paralysis in the face of gun violence in our country. You were right to call out the Congress and the Kentucky legislature for refusing to do anything because of the power of the National Rifle Association lobby and its money.
I would like to challenge the Herald-Leader to set an example on this issue. Refuse to sell advertisements to gun sellers. On page A3 of the very edition in which you eloquently called for us all to rise up and demand action, you were helping sell handguns through a quarter-page ad with pictures and prices.
As long as the paper features these ads, I believe it means that the Herald-Leader is also, in Sen. Tim Murphy's words, "quietly endorsing this mass slaughter by refusing to act."
UK can help health, farms
As director of the Tweens Nutrition and Fitness Coalition, I advocate for practices that improve the health of Kentucky youth. I was disheartened to learn that the University of Kentucky counts Coca-Cola as a local food in its contract with Aramark and had done so in previous years as well.
Kentucky has the eighth-highest rate of childhood obesity in the nation and ranks first for overweight and obese high school students. Sweetened beverages are considered to be one of the leading contributors to the childhood obesity epidemic, so seeing them counted in the local food category was particularly disconcerting.
I hope going forward that university leaders will reassess and sincerely commit to purchasing more food that impacts the local farm economy and supports good health.
The UK Dining Impact Assessment being carried out by UK's newly-created Food Connection is a step in the right direction. This initiative will categorize the farm and business sources of all UK Dining food purchases.
I hope the information collected will inform the policies and practices of our land-grant university so that UK will have an increasingly meaningful impact on the local farm economy and the health of its students.
Horse farm tours not new
Recently the Herald Leader printed an article promoting the new horse farm tour company. The article would make one think that until they went into business there were no other companies offering horse farm tours.
On the contrary, we have several locally owned and operated horse farm tour companies that have been providing excellent tours for many years for much less than the $65 advertised from this tour group. These local companies didn't need Disney World to tell them how to market Central Kentucky.
Our established local tour companies provide transportation in comfortable vans and coaches with expert commentary by local professional guides.
I think our local established companies deserve local billing like the new company received.
The article, "Helicopter parenting ruining kids" by Emma Brown, citing the disturbing trend Julie Lythcott-Haims has observed in her decade as a dean of freshmen students at Stanford University was quite interesting.
Lythcott-Haims noted that "incoming students were brilliant and accomplished and virtually flawless, on paper. But with each year, more of them seemed incapable of taking care of themselves." I was not surprised.
It certainly seems to add credence to what John Rosemond has been saying in his weekly column for many years.
Little Mexico in Knott
What do Knott County, Kentucky and Mexico have in common? We have very few jobs and some of the best politicians money can buy. Our county seat has fewer businesses than in the 1960s.
We have no form of entertainment whatsoever. There are more drug/dope dealers than police, and a high rate of the county is on welfare and state checks.
We have an extremely high crime rate because illegal drug use is rampant. Thievery is a major problem as young people try to feed drug habits. The county has very few water lines and no sewer system outside of Hindman. We have no stores like Wal-Mart or Kmart. We have to drive to another county to buy things, costing time and money.
Who do we blame for being one of the poorest counties? Knott County voters. If a politician is not a thief, liar and crook (a few are good) they will not be voted into office. History has proven this; just look at the county judges we have had in federal prison.
These same felons would be re-elected if they were allowed to run again. And one probably will who was pardoned by the governor. So, adiós amigos.
David G. Duncan
Fewer drones, more letters
I am disturbed by the privacy implications that the coming hoards of holiday drones engender. This is a timely and pressing subject that I would ask your paper feature in a discussion forum in your letters to the editor section.
I really feel you are missing a great opportunity by not expanding your letters to a full page or more. Imagine, if you will, an ongoing, daily, heated (sometimes) exchange of viewpoints among the public.
Become the paper that is known for fostering long-term public debate, that helps create a community where discussion leads to education and ultimately to elucidation and enlightenment.
I promise you — expand your letters section, readership will rise, and I may ultimately be able to figure out a way to afford to become a subscriber again. As it is, I have to catch as catch can when it comes to reading your fine paper.
Thanks for listening, and I really can't express adequately how great it feels to be stopped or called by a friend with a comment on one of my letters to the editor.
Charles A. Bowsher
Time for McConnell to go
On July 28, I wrote to Sen. Mitch McConnell to request a response from him on what he has done for Kentucky, especially the children who live in poverty. Twenty-five percent of children, more than a quarter of the million kids in Kentucky, live in poverty. That is one in four young people.
He has yet to respond to this letter. I believe he is afraid to do so as he has done nothing to address this problem nor the other problems of Kentucky, which get worse each year.
All he seems to do is to act important and not want to work with the Democrats to try to solve this nation's problems, with no plans of his own to correct these problems nor those of the state which he supposedly represents.
He has been in Washington too long and must be replaced.
I voted for him each time he has run, but never again.
Have a heart, leave small biz alone
Why is the University of Kentucky throwing up a roadblock to a small business start-up in the middle of Appalachia?
Whitesburg is very proud of a new business, Kentucky Mist Moonshine, in a community starving for business opportunities. UK's attorneys sent the owners of Kentucky Mist a letter claiming that their use of the word "Kentucky" in their name violates their trademark. Incredibly, they believe they have exclusive use of the state's name.
The lettering for the name of Kentucky Mist is a flowery script with curlicues over a sky and the mountains overlooking Whitesburg — nothing like UK's logo. UK is especially concerned that they are selling T-shirts with the Kentucky Mist logo on them, as if only UK can sell T-shirts with the word "Kentucky" on them.
A very quick Google search found half a dozen companies with "Kentucky" in their name who sell their own T-shirts. Have a heart, UK. Some of your most loyal fans are right here in Whitesburg. It is hard enough trying to get a new business going in this economically depressed area without having a Goliath with deep pockets trying to shut it down. Surely UK has better things to do than going after a new brewery.
Should UK pay first Kentuckians?
So UK has "trademarked" the word "Kentucky" and threatens a small distiller in Whitesburg who uses it in the name of his business, like hundreds of others, and prints it on T-shirts. Some people at UK are prone to shoot themselves in the foot and embarrass those who love the university by displaying unconscionable streaks of arrogance. UK cannot own "Kentucky." That name belongs to every citizen of the commonwealth and not least to those Native Americans who invented it long before UK was ever dreamed of. Does UK pay royalties to their descendants?
R. T. Pickens
If the University of Kentucky really believes that Kentucky Mist Moonshine of Whitesburg in Letcher County, Kentucky (oops, there's that troublesome word again) infringes on its trademark rights, it seems only logical to me that UK is planning on entering the moonshine market in the near future or has already done so and just hasn't told anyone. I sincerely hope this critical problem is settled quickly.
John C. Wolff Jr.