Lawmakers right to reject flawed bill on domestic violence
The Bluegrass Domestic Violence Program thanks U.S. Reps. Ben Chandler, Geoff Davis and John Yarmuth for voting against HR 4970, a flawed attempt to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.
VAWA was initially passed in 1994 and reauthorized in 2000 and 2005. It has been extremely successful in providing the tools for states and local organizations to meet the needs of victims and to hold perpetrators accountable.
Now that VAWA must be reauthorized again, it presents an opportunity to build upon VAWA's successes.
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HR 4970 weakens, rather than enhances, protections for victims. The network of survivors and advocates who work on a daily basis with courts, law enforcement, prosecutors, shelters, academic and medical institutions need VAWA's tools — its laws and programs — to help keep victims safe.
We are particularly concerned with provisions that: 1) erode critical safety measures for immigrant victims seeking safety and justice; 2) undermine the potential of emergency housing transfer policies; and 3) grow bureaucracy, reduce victim services and increase the administrative burden on small nonprofits. With these major issues left unaddressed, we are forced to oppose this bill.
The House had the opportunity but failed to take up the bipartisan Senate bill that enjoyed the support of thousands of organizations working to end domestic and sexual violence. We urge the House and the Senate to come together to pass a bipartisan bill that builds upon VAWA's strengths, moves the legislation forward and meets the urgent needs of victims.
Executive director, Bluegrass Domestic Violence Program
Classy library feast
I'm writing to congratulate the Lexington Pubic Library for its most successful "Literary Feasts" event, which I was privileged to attend recently.
As a working writer, I have been to many such gatherings but never to one where so much thought has been put into the event: the charming hosts, the delicious dinners, the well--attended receptions and signings all attest to the skill and experience of Bill Wells, who draws on his many years of organizing fund-raisers in New York, to create this exceptional event, for both writers and our readers.
Lexington is blessed to have someone of Bill's acumen and charm at the helm. With best wishes and many thanks.
Santa Fe, N.M.
Have you noticed that the Republicans say that it's not fair to run against Mitt Romney on the basis of what he did as governor of Massachusetts? Neither is it fair to campaign against him for his years at Bain Capital. And as far as driving 12 hours with his dog on top of the car — that's off limits.
And his attack on that gay boy forcibly holding him down and cutting off his hair — why that's not fair either because, after all, he was only 17 plus he doesn't even remember the incident. And Romney's Swiss and Cayman Islands bank accounts and his 13.8 percent tax rates — totally unfair.
In fact, according to them, there's no basis to contest Romney's coronation. As his wife famously said, "It's his turn."
I mean, who can argue with that?
Carter led the way
President Barack Obama was not the first president to support marriage equality for same sex couples. Former President Jimmy Carter actually beat him to the punch.
In a Huffington Post interview posted March 19, Carter stated: "I personally think it is very fine for gay people to be married in civil ceremonies. I draw the line, maybe arbitrarily, in requiring by law that churches must marry people."
Straight couples are granted civil marriages whether or not they choose to include a religious official. He goes on to say that his church accepts gay members on an equal basis but if other churches decide not to, government laws shouldn't require them to.
Both presidents' comments show that there are religious people out there who are true Christians and know the importance of separation of church and state. This should get more national media attention because it could educate and enlighten others.
The same people who are for smaller government (code for eliminating social programs for the needy) are often for deregulation of our banking system and big business.
Deregulation is a code word for allowing unfettered greed to operate unchecked. Directly and indirectly, Wall Street greed is the main cause of America's economic woes. Poor people, those hurt most by evil greed, are not responsible for jobs sent overseas or for corruption in business and politics.
Probable Republican candidate for president Mitt Romney says he can fix the economy. Neither he nor President Barack Obama can fix the economy, because greed is the root obstacle, and they won't address the issue that so divides our country. When do we ever hear a person of wealth talk about greed and its ill effects?
As long as greed reigns, I don't see America coming together. Hope rests in our turning away from greed and moving forward toward compassion.
Paul L. Whiteley Sr.
It is no surprise that more than two out of five voters in the Democratic presidential primary opted for a generic opponent rather than Barack Obama, the incumbent and leader of their party.
This is but an inconvenient reminder of how virulent a factor race still is within Kentucky politics. The same racism that compelled a large minority of West Virginia Democrats in their recent primary to prefer a felon over the president revealed itself in the Kentucky primary as well.
That the state chair of the Republican Party is "giddy" over the results is the clearest indicator of how alive and well the "southern strategy," inaugurated by Richard Nixon, of pandering to the racism of the region, is within his party.
Robert Emmett Curran
New Rupp, better roads
We're all in agreement that Rupp Arena and downtown need revitalization. Our natural resource known as University of Kentucky basketball demands a proper venue, and the fans should be able to enjoy our fair city while at the game.
The plans for the entire project are ambitious and to maximize the value of our brand, we must put in place the necessary infrastructure.
In order to regularly attract crowds to all events downtown, the area needs to be readily accessible to those from out of town.
A big part of Hamburg Pavilion's success is its location on an interstate, which allows easy access to customers. Downtown will need easy access if we expect to attract the maximum amount of customers.
The natural corridor to the interstate is Newtown Road. It should not be difficult to achieve expressway accessibility if we do two things:
There needs to be a new exit where Georgetown Road meets the interstate. This will get all those trucks off of Newtown.
Configure lights similar to the rush-hour setup of Nicholasville Road. Before the game, we need three or four lanes coming in, and after, the same going out.
From the hotel business, I know customers need to feel they have control over coming and going easily to an event.
If they are comfortable in the knowledge they can leave at any time without worrying about a traffic quagmire, many will end up staying longer to shop and eat. That's what we want.
Equine care top-notch
I was outraged to read that the attorney general of New York was suing the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation relative to charges of neglect and abuse of some horses.
I recently filled a void in my life by sponsoring a retired Thoroughbred here. He has lived at the Blackburn Correctional Facility where Linda Dyer and men at Blackburn provide great care.
"Him" is the son of the great Ferdinand, the 1986 Kentucky Derby winner. After visiting, I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that the men at Blackburn care a great deal for him; I truly believe they love him. I was so impressed that I requested a holiday fund drive this past Christmas for the Blackburn facility. I live in a black-and-white world where animals are involved.
I have a very short fuse if I were to suspect abuse or neglect of any horse currently living at a TRF facility. I have not seen it, nor do I ever expect to. I have no idea what the attorney general's agenda is, but it is extremely weak.
Jack H. Taylor
Great music program
I wish to thank KET for airing In Performance at the White House, which has included various concerts such as the Gershwin Award recently given to Stevie Wonder. Also, thanks to our president and first lady for hosting the events.
I am so happy to see those I grew up listening to — including Wonder, Paul McCartney, Merle Haggard — receiving the recognition they deserve for popular song.
These lyricists and musicians define our history and, like a mirror, reflect our culture's march for civil rights and the hoped-for universality of humanity.
Thanks to these concerts, I also have been introduced to musicians I would have never become aware of, including Esperanza Spaulding and Trombone Shorty.
Thank you, KET, for bringing culture into our lives. Please, everyone, give generously so that others may continue to enjoy these programs.
Bad timing for a tired argument
On May 15, our nation honored the 166 men and women of law enforcement who gave their lives in the line of duty in 2011.
As president of the Fraternal Order of Police I was there, as I am every year, to do the same.
So imagine my disgust and disappointment when I discover that on this solemn day in law enforcement, our one-issue, broken-record councilman, Doug Martin, was again addressing the unfunded liability in our pension system with the same information he has presented to anyone who will listen over the last three years.
He is faulting these men and women who risk their lives every day for council members and their constituents in Lexington.
The unfunded liability was caused, not by the members of our pension system, who he continuously likes to blame, but by the city, which over the last 30-plus years has chosen to only fund it properly three times.
It is one thing for Martin to put on the dog-and-pony show that he and councilman Ed Lane did, but it is in extremely poor taste to do it on May 15, of all days. And during this meeting, was there even the slightest mention of this day — proclaimed National Law Enforcement Memorial Day by President Kennedy 50 years ago — from any of these council members, who always proclaim public safety their highest priority?
Again ... still waiting.
President, Bluegrass FOP #4
Cute photos but no Mother's Day tribute
Your Sunday May 13 paper would make most mothers apt to throw up. While the mother horses are beautiful and most of us love them, we do have a sports section.
Why were they honored on your front page for Mothers Day?
Listen up kids. Next year forget the flowers and get your mom some oats for Mothers Day.