Help ban the use of shock probation in DUI deaths
My son Ricky Moskwa, 24, was killed in a four-car crash May 5, 2002, while traveling through Kentucky.
Vincent Rutledge served only eight months of a 13-year sentence. Matthew Scott Burton was sentenced to seven years and was denied shock probation. They also killed Carmen Williams of Ohio and seriously injured my husband, Rick, in the crash.
I have been working with Carolyn Scharf of Louisville, whose daughter Anne, 17, was killed in 1985, to prohibit shock probation in a DUI death.
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Five years ago Sen. Jack Westwood, R-Erlanger, sponsored a bill that would have accomplished just that. He will be sponsoring SB 29 for the 2012 session.
Below is the past legislation:
2008: SB 25 (Westwood) passed out of the Senate 25-11 and was not heard in House Judiciary Committee.
2009 HB 192 (Rep. Tom Riner, D-Louisville) passed out of the House 89-2 and was not heard in Senate Judiciary Committee.
2010 HB 15 (Riner) was not heard in House Judiciary Committee.
2011 SB 57 (Sen. Ray Jones, D-Pikeville) was not heard in Senate Judiciary Committee.
I am asking you to contact your legislator on this important issue.
I will continue this mission until this is a law. It is hard enough to have your loved one stolen from you by a drunken driver, but then to suffer the pain inflicted by shock probation is inexcusable.
Debbie MoskwaHazel Park, Mich.
Who's the violent one?
I would like to respond to the letter by the right-to-lifer in the Jan. 4 Herald-Leader. In her diatribe she accuses those of us who are on the side of a woman's right to choose of being "a violent group."
Is it possible that this woman is not aware of the murder of numerous doctors, such as Dr. George Tiller, who provided reproductive services?
Is it possible that she is not aware of the bombing of numerous women's health clinics across this country by the right-to-life extremist groups?
Does she not know that the Southern Poverty Law Center has exposed the violence behind nefarious groups such as Operation Rescue and other so-called right-to-life groups?
There are no equivalent examples of extremism on the other side of the issue. So the writer thinks that she has been a victim of some people or group because of her stance on the issue.
I think that it is more likely that she is deluding herself into thinking that random acts of violence were committed by those with whom she does not agree in an attempt to justify her own political position by promoting a false equivalency that simply does not exist.
Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting with one of the great leaders in our community. For those of you yet to have the pleasure of meeting Police Chief Ronnie Bastin, you will be amazed when that opportunity comes.
In meeting Bastin, I was instantly impressed with his knowledge, passion and commitment to excellence. Bastin is a visionary leader who is bringing new ideas to the police department and our community.
His goals for our community and his approach to meeting these goals will certainly help build a safer and better Lexington.
Lexington is one of the great communities in America. The task of keeping citizens safe is a difficult and demanding one at best. Bastin has a great understanding of and sensitivity to the diversity of our community.
His plan to develop one of the best police departments through a more educated police force, a focus on professionalism, and a development of leadership skills is to be commended.
We are fortunate to have a leader in Lexington like Bastin, and I thank him for his work and that of the entire force. If you happen to see the chief, please thank him for his leadership and vision.
Bill FarmerUnited Way of the Bluegrass president Lexington
Taxes on their way
The mantra of our elected officials has historically been "tax and spend," a practice the public tolerated.
That mantra has in recent years become "spend and tax" hence the $15 trillion debt of the federal government alone; this becomes much more when that of local governments is added.
This is not only intolerable, it is criminal. The future is coming; the future is here.
If you doubt this, listen — the roar you hear is that of taxes that are on their way.
David I. CarterLexington
Clean roads, streams
As a native Kentuckian, I still have great pride in telling people of my home state.
I tell them of the mountains, the Kentucky River, the lakes, streams and waterfalls, schools of higher education, the beauty of Keeneland and all of the horse farms. And, of course, about our great basketball tradition.
One thing I don't tell them is about all of the trash that can be found along the secondary roads and in many of the streams.
Come on Kentuckians, take pride and clean up.
George PrewittTraverse City, Mich.
Thanks for food aid
It is with the generous support of our individual and corporate donors that God's Pantry Food Bank, a Feeding America member, is able to serve more than 211,000 people in Central and Eastern Kentucky each year. For every dollar donated, we can provide 4.8 meals.
In 2011, we distributed over 24.1 million pounds of food to children, families, seniors in need of emergency food assistance.
Each year, the Feeding America network distributes 3 billion pounds of food and grocery products to support programs at more than 61,000 local charitable agencies, including emergency shelters, after-school programs and Kids Cafes.
Every dollar, every can of food, is one more step toward ending hunger in our community.
God's Pantry Food Bank would like to offer a heartfelt thank you to all of those whose donations make our work possible every single day. Together, we can provide hope to families facing hunger.
Marian GuinnCEO, God's Pantry Food BankLexington
What's in a name?
I see that the Jefferson Davis restaurant and pub is under construction on Harrodsburg Road. Do the proprietors plan to open an Adolf Hitler Hofbrau across the street?
Are the managers all called "massa"? Will we be treated to "colored" restrooms and water fountains or will "inferiors"' even be allowed into the restaurant? Will Jim Crow be a guest of honor at the grand opening?
Where is Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman when you need him?