Todd right on raise
I'm very surprised at the reaction to University of Kentucky President Lee T. Todd Jr.'s decision to give Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart a raise and contract extension.
Many seem to feel that Todd should have left that decision to his successor.
I disagree. Todd is the one who has worked alongside Barnhart and is in a much better position to make that decision.
One writer mentioned that faculty, staff and administrators need raises. I certainly don't doubt that. But that is like comparing apples and oranges.
Those salaries come from the university's operating budget that is fueled by tuition, grants and taxes.
Barnhart's raise comes from the athletics fund, and that is completely separate. It is fueled by ticket sales, sponsors and contributions from a variety of sources.
Todd has done an outstanding job as president of UK. I certainly don't question his judgment in this matter.
SB 110 for patients, not about money
Senate Bill 110, which was signed into law Feb. 24, is an extremely good law for everyone who lives in Kentucky.
A Herald-Leader editorial previously said the only reason it would pass was because optometrists were politically active. Shame on you for such a short memory.
You published a commentary Feb. 17 by Dr. Woodford Van Meter, president of an ophthalmological group, whose arguments repeated those made when legislation was introduced to allow optometrists to use diagnostic drugs to dilate pupils and later to use therapeutic drugs and procedures to treat eye diseases and injuries.
Those arguments turned out to be nothing but self-serving lies whose sole purpose was to protect an economic monopoly. Is it any wonder that members of the legislature had doubts about the now-repeated claims?
I am truly disappointed that your newspaper is not more astute when it comes to ophthalmological political groups trying to manipulate public opinion.
My colleague and I practice in Louisa. We are the only source of eye care in a 20-mile radius. It is an economically depressed area. If we were not there to provide medical eye care, many would simply have to do without.
And that could lead to the blindness that Van Meter so passionately wants to prevent.
Several professions besides medicine provide surgery, including dentistry, podiatry and optometry. Yes, optometrists are already doing surgical procedures.
The new law merely allows us to provide more care to the patients we serve.
James C. Leadingham
Lenders need limits
The House Banking and Insurance Committee in Frankfort failed to pass a bill that would limit payday loan companies to a 36 percent annual fee.
I find this incredibly irresponsible of representatives who are supposed to be doing the right things for the people of Kentucky.
It is a sad commentary on the state of affairs in Kentucky when falsehood, lies and injustice prevail over truth, fairness and responsibility.
The payday loan establishments use people. They take advantage of people in desperate situations by charging 420 percent to 460 percent annual rates on loans they make.
These places have the backing of law, which makes them legal loan sharks.
Shame on all representatives who voted against the bill. You do not deserve the respect of the citizens of Kentucky. You do not deserve to be in public office. You are a disgrace.
Let's tow them out
A couple of years ago, Dallas passed an ordinance that if police stopped a vehicle driven by an uninsured motorist, they could have the vehicle towed on the spot (I guess the driver had to walk home from there).
To get the car back, the driver had to show proof of insurance and pay a towing fee.
I would also suggest that for uninsured drivers who are illegal immigrants. They also could be arrested and sent back to their original country as soon as reasonable.
This simple idea would help with some of the problems facing society today. It might even reduce a bit of present insurance costs.
Maybe someone in Frankfort could take this idea and run with it, making a state law.
Penalize animal abuse
In light of the Northern Kentucky cat killer's fortunate recent parole denial, I did a little investigating to check on the status of other felony animal torture cases in the state.
What I learned was rather disturbing.
The Anderson County man arrested for killing and burning a puppy in October was charged with felony torture. His case was put before the Anderson County grand jury, which refused to indict him. Subsequently, his case was dismissed.
The Pulaski County man arrested for killing his girlfriend's puppy in front of her children in August was also charged with felony torture. He has an extensive criminal history. His case went up for review in October, but no further action has been taken since that time.
It is too late for justice in the Anderson County case. However, the Pulaski County case can still be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Romeo's Law, the felony animal torture law, was enacted in 2008 after another Pulaski County man was caught on tape beating and kicking his dog.
Please don't let another Pulaski County animal abuser go free.
Pedestrians in peril
I write to protest the lack of respect for downtown pedestrians and the dangerous habits of drivers in Lexington.
Drivers do not yield or care about the safety of those on foot. One location — by no means, the only — where this is a problem is at Rose and High streets.
People who live downtown and walk or run know exactly what I'm talking about.
Don't believe me? Please walk down there and wait for your walk signal and watch how many drivers yield, or not, and if red lights are run. You'll see it's pathetic.
On a few occasions I had drivers go around me while I was in the middle of the crosswalk — not behind me, but in front.
What I wouldn't give to see just one ticket given to a driver doing these type of violations.