PDR wastes money, makes rich wealthier
In regard to the May 28 editorial on the Purchase of Development Rights Program:
As an old lady living in a retirement home in Lexington, I grew up on a farm, loved the farm and still love the farmlands in Lexington.
However, I adamantly disagree with the PDR program. I opposed it after considerable study of the program here and of other PDR programs around the country.
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My objections are these:
■ Participants are not required to do anything to their property.
■ They can do whatever they want to with the money. They can invest it, buy equipment or go on vacation. The main stipulation is that they cannot rezone their property in perpetuity. Perpetuity is a long time, and not many laws can last that long.
■ Instead of paying money to people because they are wealthy enough to own prime land, consider giving money to landowners who have land that could be beautiful, but who cannot afford the cost of making it a showcase. Require that the money be used to enhance the land.
What if those already wealthy landowners want to sell their land for development to a Toyota Corp., a hospital, school or whatever?
We do have a zoning board that can study the pros and cons and make a decision on whether to allow such a sale.
I am very appreciative of our beautiful farms. I just don't think we need to throw government money at them.
Mary H. Versaw
Improve kids' health
In the past 30 years, obesity in this country has more than doubled among children and more than tripled among teen-agers.
As these rates continue to rise, we are putting an entire generation at risk for serious health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
Inactivity along with the overconsumption of unhealthy foods and sugar-sweetened beverages is a leading cause. Clearly, more emphasis must be placed on teaching youngsters how to eat healthfully and to stay active.
Schools have to be part of the solution. Parents are so busy that information about health and wellness isn't always the highest priority at home.
Kentucky's lawmakers can help by urging reauthorization of the federal Child Nutrition Act which improves nutrition in school meals, removes junk food from vending machines and strengthens school wellness policies.
My efforts to promote such important legislation are also personal. I am a 16-year-old student with a congenital heart condition, and I realize I must be extremely careful not to put any added stress on my heart such as obesity or high blood pressure.
While I feel I am fortunate to know of my heart condition, so many other students are unaware of how their choices are affecting their hearts.
I will do my part by being active with the American Heart Association and speaking to elementary and middle schools in my community to promote health, wellness and increased physical activity, but we desperately need our elected officials' help.
Dow drop in H-L
The writer of a May 25 letter claimed there was nothing in the May 21 Herald-Leader about a 376-point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
The writer claimed that the omission was part of a leftist plot to suppress bad news during President Barack Obama's tenure in office. There's only one problem. The Dow's drop was in the May 21 newspaper — twice. Somehow, the letter writer missed pages B1 and B8 during his cover-to-cover search.
The writer also bemoaned the huge decrease in the Dow since Obama took over. Wrong again.
On Jan. 20, 2009, the Dow opened at 8,279.63 points. On May 21, 2010, it closed at10,068.01 points. It's gone up, not down, since Obama took office.
Too bad the writer missed his true calling, as a fact-checker for the Fox News channel.
Hire U.S. citizens
Politicians keep talking about how the horse industry needs revenue from slots. The horse-farm owners keep preaching about the tax money the horse industry brings to Kentucky and how the slots are necessary to keep it going financially. The industry also claims more revenue is needed to keep Kentuckians employed in the horse industry.
I cannot understand why most horse farms do not hire American citizens. Some horse farms in the Lexington area may employ illegal immigrants who do not pay taxes.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has to know there are hundreds of illegal immigrants working on these horse farms.
There is nothing wrong with legal immigration. My great-grandparents legally emigrated from Germany.
But can you imagine the impact it would have if those hundreds of horse-farm jobs were filled by Americans citizens? It would increase the employment rate and feed many needy Kentucky families.
I'm a U.S. Army Vietnam War veteran. It upsets me to see all these illegal immigrants crossing our border while the customs enforcement agency does nothing.
These illegal immigrants do not have driver's licenses or automobile insurance, they fill our hospitals' emergency rooms and they take Kentucky horse-farm jobs.
I believe it is time for all Americans to get the facts out and to do all we can do to employ American citizens.
It is time these horse farms hire legal American citizens and stop hiring illegal immigrants.
Benjamin C. Montgomery Sr.
Officer boon to city
Recently, a friend and I had an occasion to call upon Lexington's police department.
A driver of a silver mini-van had dropped off two men in our neighborhood. Each man, armed with several ADT Security Services yard signs but no official identification, headed for a different house.
One soon approached me as I worked in my garden. He stated that ADT was running a special due to an increase in break-ins around town. If I would post their sign in my yard for a month, ADT would provide me with a free home inspection.
Suspicious, I mentioned the encounter to my neighbor, whose family home is legitimately protected by ADT. She contacted the company and the police.
Although the bogus security men were long gone by the time she placed the call, the responding police officer gathered as much information from us as possible. He also took time to chat and give us tips on how to deal with potential intruders.
The officer interviewed other neighbors as well, and returned the next morning to speak to the ones who were not initially available.
Since that incident, I have seen the officer on patrol in my neighborhood on several occasions. I have noticed him helping a worker trying to fix a flood-damaged area, and have seen him checking a house on my block where a garage door had been left open with no vehicle in sight.
Fayette County residents are fortunate to have police officers such as this on the force.
Jo Ann Lucas