New lead-based paint rules now in effect
People who own a residence built before 1978 need to know about a new rule designed to keep children safe from lead in homes. Starting April 22, any contractor who might disturb lead-based paint in a home, day care or school will have to be certified to work with the toxin.
The new regulations will drastically change how some contractors tackle a job. Contractors need to take a course to learn about lead-safe practices and buy new equipment and supplies to comply with this law.
Home-improvement job costs will rise because of the new lead safety measures. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that on an average job, a contractor's costs to buy equipment to seal off the area, vacuum up the dust and the extra time it takes to keep records of jobs in pre-1978 homes could add up to $167 to the total cost.
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Young children who breathe or swallow lead paint dust can suffer irreversible brain and nervous system damage.
Homeowners in homes built before 1978 need to be more vigilant when hiring contractors. When hiring a contractor for any job, ask about lead-paint safety practices. Check to make sure the contractor is certified by the EPA. Insist that all work comply with the new measure.
Founder, Angie's List Indianapolis
On my way to work, on my street and in the same block as my house, I was almost seriously injured or killed.
A car sped through a very red light at Man o' War Boulevard and Winthrop Drive and almost hit my car. I have a habit of looking both ways, even if the light turns green, to make sure the intersection is clear.
I started across the intersection and a car came screaming from the Nicholasville Road side of Man o' War. Instinct made me honk my horn and brake at the same time. The vehicle barely missed my car. After I got through the intersection, I pulled over. I was shaking.
Is running a red light, getting to wherever you are going, important enough to kill someone? What if it was your child, parent, sister or brother? How would you feel about killing someone today?
Think about that when you run your next red light.
Wouldn't this be a great topic for an essay for school kids, especially high school kids learning to drive? It might make us think.
Looking for less
Regarding Roger Guffey's April 21 commentary on the consequences states would face if they seceded from the federal government: Obviously he just doesn't get it.
For 10 paragraphs, he lists all the wonderful things that seceding states would have to provide for their citizens (Social Security, Medicare, college grant money, etc.).
These and other programs are some of the exact reasons states want to secede. Why is it that he feels it is necessary for big-daddy government to provide everyone with everything they need from cradle to grave?
The main wish of the Tea Party movement is less government. Our first president, George Washington, had this to say about government: "Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."
All the more reason to have less of it.
Obama, son of Bush
A fractional minority of people are claiming that President Barack Obama is not a legitimate president because he is not a natural-born citizen. These people are called "birthers." Allow me to put this question finally to rest.
President George W. Bush waged two wars, one in Iraq and another in Afghanistan; Obama is waging two wars, one in Iraq and another in Afghanistan.
Bush spent a lot of tax money via mortgage-crisis relief and overspending; Obama is spending a lot of money via corporate bailouts, stimulus plans and overspending.
Bush ran up huge deficits; Obama is running up even greater ones. Bush kept combatant prisoners at Guantanamo Bay; Obama keeps combatant prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.
In other words, Obama has to be legitimate because he is a junior Bush. And it can be concluded that a son of a president has to be a legitimate president.
Cutting school costs
Provide every student in Kentucky with a state-of-the-art laptop with the grade-level curriculum downloaded to the hard drive.
No longer will textbooks, paper or pencils be required. Millions of dollars will be saved and a good blow struck at global warming, too.
Cut the school day to three days a week. Teachers can instruct via the Internet. This will result in tremendous savings in administrative and building maintenance costs.
Students will now be able to benefit from the experts at the regional universities and the Kentucky Department of Education who can instruct via the Internet.
Once again, Kentucky will lead the nation in educational innovation as was the case with the Kentucky Educational Reform Act in 1990.
Paul D. Taulbee
Call it what it is
A euphemism is defined as "substitution of an agreeable expression for one that may offend ..." Death at the hands of terrorists adhering to 8th-century vendettas — not of American origin because we weren't a nation for another 1,000 years — needs no clarification from the dictionary.
World history students might just hold opposing views to the euphemism "man-caused disasters."
Now, we must awaken others who may be in a time-induced slumber nine years out from the stunning acts on Sept. 11. Unlike the 9/11 we experienced, that violence began halfway around the globe in 711 A.D.
The car bomb incident in New York's Times Square was a terrorist act. It was designed to kill Americans. It was meant to convey fear to all who love freedom.
In response, we cannot afford to shake saccharine on vile acts meant to destroy human lives by calling them "man-caused disasters."
Hollow terms do no honor to those willing to die defending America. Those three weak words — "man-caused disaster" — reflect inane political correctness. They embolden an enemy already contemptuous of all America represents.
Let us pray that our upcoming young leaders will correctly evaluate and address conditions in the world we leave in their good hands.
Tom V. Ellis
'Ilegals' here to stay
A May 5 article in the Herald-Leader about the danger that a party that alienates "minorities" will become a "minority party" has an out-of-world ring to it, although it is no doubt true.
However, there is no danger that the mainstream Republican Party will do anything to "alienate" Hispanics over illegal immigrants flooding the country.
The truth is that Democrats want them for their votes, and Republicans want them for cheap labor. No real effort is going to be made on the federal level to either enforce the laws on the books or to pass real "reform" legislation.
Working-class Americans may as well get used to seeing what jobs haven't been sent overseas going to illegal immigrants, and their pay scales staying stagnant or going down relative to inflation.