Leaders losing sight of city's main attractions
I applaud Faith Harders for her insightful commentary about the rezoning of one corner of Columbia Heights, and the destruction of two single-family homes there, for the purpose of constructing a "study lodge" for Phi Gamma Delta fraternity ("City losing affordable housing," March 7).
I attended the Urban County Council meeting when the vote was taken to commit that insult to one of Lexington's oldest residential neighborhoods. I was appalled to witness the insensitivity of certain "leaders" of our community to several Columbia Heights residents' pleas to vote against that rezoning.
Surely the slow but steady destruction of Lexington's older residential neighborhoods — by way of seemingly innocuous piecemeal rezoning — is not the way to preserve the beauty and charm of central Lexington. Didn't our council members learn anything from the destruction of an entire city block of historic downtown Lexington and the loss of those distinctive buildings to a patch of grass?
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I have lived in eight states and 13 cities and have retired in Columbia Heights, where I have never been happier. Our location can't be beat; almost every type of business is within comfortable walking distance.
Our homes might be small but they are well built and well kept. Our lawns are established, we are blessed with majestic trees, and our residents are friendly and dedicated to preserving the unique advantages of living here.
Please tell me it is not a pipe dream to hope and pray our city leaders will work to preserve our neighborhood and older neighborhoods like it.
Patricia A. Lawrence
More to optometry
I was appalled by the ignorance of the statement made by an attorney in a letter on your editorial page of Feb. 18. The statement, "optometrists grind and fit glasses," is 1970s information at best.
Yes, optometrists test vision and prescribe corrective lenses, but they also treat eye injuries, eye infections, glaucoma and most eye diseases. They refer appropriately for cataract surgery, retinal surgery and all other eye surgeries, and often do post-operative care and co-manage patients with ophthalmologists after the surgery.
They prescribe topical eye medicines and oral medicines when medical treatment of the eye and related anatomical structures is indicated.
Doctors of optometry receive four years of post-graduate education and are required to pass national and state board examinations to be licensed. After that, many attend residency programs to further enhance their abilities to diagnose and treat eye diseases. They are required to have continuing medical education every year to be licensed.
As an optometrist for over 35 years, I have treated eye diseases on a daily basis.
Although I will not be doing laser eye surgeries, I write this letter to better educate those who are ignorant of our expertise.
I expect that significant extensive training will be mandatory to qualify for laser eye surgery.
There is no need for turf wars between optometrists and ophthalmologists. We both have a place in the health care system.
Opticians grind lenses and fit glasses, and do a good job of it. I employ one.
R. Thomas McHugh, O.D.
A slice of the pie
Since Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post is such an expert on the size and makeup of the U.S. budget ("Americans show scant knowledge of federal budget," March 7), perhaps he could write about the suggestions of an ignorant American.
Kessler wrote, "The sliver of the pie for foreign aid would barely feed a mouse." Since, as he also states, this is only about 1 percent of the federal budget, my suggestion is that of this minuscule 1 percent a paltry 1 percent be allocated to citizens who come up with outstanding ideas that benefit the United States each year.
Since I have come up with this fantastic plan to reward great ideas, I honestly think I should be awarded an infinitesimal amount of 1 percent of the paltry 1 percent of only 1 percent of the U.S. budget. Now, obviously we are not talking about a lot of money, so I will be patiently awaiting my insignificant award of $3.7 million.
I will probably need this money if Kessler's final wish of "... members of both parties agreeing to raise taxes" comes to fruition. As one can see, these types of individuals would want an increase only the size of crumbs for a mouse.
James D. Miniard
Thanks to Silberman
Soon after starting my position at Lexington Catholic High School in the summer of 2009, I had the pleasure of beginning a series of meetings and dialogue with Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Stu Silberman. Over the course of several months, I learned firsthand what a superb administrator and person Silberman is. He was professional, thoughtful and, most importantly, trustworthy at all times. These traits were also demonstrated by his senior staff who worked with our staff to reestablish athletics competition with Lexington Catholic.
We are grateful for the opportunity to have formed a partnership to compete against Fayette County public high schools this past year and look forward to years of spirited competition. We hope we can count on their support as we represent the 11th region in the boys' basketball Sweet 16 tournament at Rupp Arena.
While I was saddened to learn of his recently announced retirement as FCPS superintendent, I applaud the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence for naming him as its next executive director. Fayette County has been truly fortunate to have his leadership and experience for seven years. Now the people of Kentucky will have the same opportunity.
Good luck, Stu.
Dr. Steve Angelucci
Lexington Catholic High School
We need lead horses
The $61 billion in spending cuts passed by the House of Representatives would still leave a current budget deficit of $1.4 trillion. This translates to 38 cents being borrowed per dollar of federal budget spending, according to figures released earlier this year by the Congressional Budget Office. It doesn't include off-budget items.
A significant deficit reduction by spending cuts alone, without increasing revenue, seems impossible. I don't see how the federal budget can be intelligently discussed with virtual silence about raising revenue. So here's to starting the ball rolling.
In days of yore, the strongest horses of a team were hitched on the lead, out front. Otherwise the team would not be able to pull the load as easily, and the less endowed would be more prone to injury.
Similarly, the necessary additional tax burden is best absorbed by those most able to withstand it, in order to minimize long-term adverse economic impacts on the total national economy.
Where help's needed
Protect those in need, the lower income families, so they can have food to eat, shelter and health care.