Give 'stream saver' bill chance at cleaning our water
We are writing regarding the "stream saver" bill which would prohibit coal companies from dumping toxic mine waste, including rocks and soil, into headwater streams.
This bill has been stalled since 2008, first in the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee, and is now in the House Natural Resources and Environment Committee, where Rep. Jim Gooch and other House leaders refuse to allow a hearing.
We strongly object to this inaction and are appalled at the lack of leadership.
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We expect our leaders to do the job they were sent to do and to advocate for Kentuckians and their families and future generations.
We have a basic right to clean water. And after four years, representatives Hubert Collins, Stan Lee, Marie Rader, Fitz Steele, Tim Couch, Reginald Meeks, John Short, Jim Stewart III, Keith Hall, Tim Moore, Kevin Sinnette and Jill York, isn't it time to move this bill out of committee?
Anything less is unacceptable.
B. Bramlett Coffey
and six others
I met Gatewood Galbraith in the mid-1980s at High on Rose in Lexington.
I always despised politics, but when you take the tricks, lies and corruption that money brings into politics out of the mix, as Galbraith did, you begin to see the true meaning of politics and public service.
Galbraith made me aware of how important it was for individuals to stand up and speak out for things they believe in and how those voices can affect and form our communities.
Galbraith was a unique individual who practiced what he preached. I became involved in his first attempt to become governor in 1991.
I thank him for allowing me to work with him on that campaign and for introducing me to some of the finest folks across the state.
Galbraith was responsible for my involvement in various organizations that worked to educate people about the history and future of hemp in Kentucky. He encouraged me to get involved in both social and political issues that I felt strongly about.
Legalize hemp in Kentucky for fuel, fiber and food.
Legalize medical marijuana for patients in pain across the state.
Legalize recreational marijuana for use by a free people living in a free society.
Give us a choice. It's the right thing to do. Gatewood, thanks for all the beautiful memories. We will sorely miss your wit, outspoken voice, wisdom and friendship.
And, it will take everyone to step up to fill this enormous void.
The UK aesthetic
I read with great interest Tom Eblen's column in December about the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital and the transformative effect artwork and beauty can have on the human spirit and body.
I know that is true for me personally, which brings me to my concerns and questions.
If beauty and aesthetics are so important to our well-being, how did UK justify installing the huge and unsightly concrete pillars for its electric wires down Euclid Avenue (and also at the intersection of Cooper and Nicholasville Road)?
Contrast that with Euclid Avenue and the new beautification project on South Limestone. Of course, the aesthetics of Euclid only touch the surface of the issue.
If the UK hospital really cared about the health and well-being of Lexington residents, why is it using electricity produced from a coal-fired electric plant on campus, with the resulting health-destructive toxic emissions?
Why was a cleaner source, such as natural gas or geothermal not used?
Lexington residents certainly deserve to breathe clean air. Maybe then, we would be less likely to find ourselves enjoying the artwork at the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital.
As a University of Kentucky alum and an avid UK basketball fan, I take issue with Coach John Calipari's notion that this current UK team needs another loss.
I hope that losing attitude dissipates by tournament time. Maybe that mind-set is the reason Calipari, though a great recruiter, has failed to win a national title.
I doubt that Coach John Wooden, the greatest college basketball coach, had any such thought cross his mind during his team's 88-game winning streak and 10 NCAA championships.
Of course, if Calipari really feels a loss is necessary, he could always undermine the team's effort by bad coaching.
Allowing Marquis Teague rather than Doron Lamb (58 percent versus 80 percent foul shooters) to handle the ball at crunch time in the North Carolina game almost accomplished a loss.
Failing, in the last 5.6 seconds, to foul before Indiana advanced the ball into shooting range did result in a loss. (That was reminiscent of Duke advancing the ball unchallenged for 75 feet, resulting in Christian Laettner's game-winning shot at the buzzer.)
What UK fans want and what this team needs are wins. We don't need losses or excuses. We don't just want to advance to the Sweet Sixteen or Elite Eight or Final Four or championship game and lose.
We want NCAA championships. Tubby Smith, who I greatly esteem, got UK to the NCAA Tournament and had a winning record, but that wasn't good enough. Calipari was hired to make UK an NCAA championship dynasty.
William S. Watts
A broken heart
Pennsylvania State University coaching legend Joe Paterno died from a proverbial broken heart.
Officially, the cause of death was lung cancer. But Paterno died from losing one of the loves of his life, Penn State football.
It's similar to a spouse losing a spouse to death and dying shortly thereafter.
He coached at Penn State for 60 years and was fired amid a sex scandal involving longtime assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, who allegedly molested young boys. Sandusky betrayed Paterno, and that led to Paterno's demise.
This is a huge sports story for today but a much larger life story for the ages. There are people at Penn State and across the country who feel this sex scandal and horrific event took Joe Paterno.
Alvin T. Brown
Odds are against it
Our governor is pushing for a gambling amendment to the state constitution as a means of raising state revenue. The logic of this amendment is based on the fact that there must be more losers than winners.
Isn't this a way for making poor people less well off? Will surviving a means test be required for patrons at a racetrack?
What became of the quaint idea that a government should try to do the greatest good for the greatest number of people, even in difficult times?
Fred H. Salisbury