Speedway traffic, parking better but not good enough
Things were much better at the Kentucky Speedway this year, but there are still some problems.
The biggest was getting out of parking lots after the race on Saturday night. My son and his two children and two girls I talked to later at our hotel could not move from their speedway parking lot until 2 a.m. This was 3 1/2 hours following the end of the race. It would help to have attendants there after the race to get people out of the lots in some kind of order.
Another issue I had was all the parking cones, but no one out telling you which ones to go through. It was very confusing.
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We saw a couple from New York; she was in a wheelchair (she had no legs) and he was elderly. They had a handicapped sticker but were told the designated lot was full. He had to get her out of the car, go to the next lot available and then back to her. There is a large amount of parking allotted for VIPs. I wonder if they could bus the sponsors and their guests into the track and that would leave more parking room for others.
I would be willing to pay for a parking sticker so I could park behind the tower where our seats are.
The speedway has done a lot to make things better and with some more changes, maybe those who did not come back this year will be back next year.
City failed pension
How many more times are we going to have to hear Mayor Jim Gray and the council moan about the police and fire pension unfunded liability?
They continually cry that it is draining the city, and their answer is to try to turn the public opinion against police and fire by threatening to cut services. No matter how you spin it, the deficit is not the employees' fault; they pay a portion of every paycheck into the fund without fail. They don't have a choice.
It is and always has been the city that has failed to uphold its payment into the plan. It's been decades of government officials not playing by the rules, and now that their feet are being held to the fire they want to cry "foul."
They broke the system, but if they scream "cuts in service" enough, maybe no one will notice. Now the mayor is threatening to go to the legislature to ask them to give the city control over the pension fund if we can't come to some agreement.
Seriously? Why don't they agree to pay what they are supposed to? The city tried to take away our cost of living adjustment, but the legislature wouldn't allow it. Do they think lawmakers will give the city control of a fund it ran into the ground? See you in Frankfort.
Supremes got it right
Let me begin by saying why I was against Obamacare.
The provision requiring coverage for pre-existing conditions is good but toxic. If it exists alone without the individual mandate then people would wait until they got sick to purchase insurance.
But by compelling Americans to behave in a certain way, the mandate infringes on our liberties.
We have been presented with a choice which perhaps defines our nation, that of liberty vs. pragmatism.
Do we intern Japanese-Americans in order to win the war? Do we prevent the consumption of alcohol to keep women and children safe?
I am inclined to choose liberty.
However after reading about the opinions, I was happy to learn that the court's recent trend of limiting the interstate commerce clause was not reversed and the law instead was upheld on Congress's power to tax.
It is the same as if instead of Social Security the government had a mandate that we each have a 401(k).
This is similar to President George W. Bush's Social Security reform plan, except we have even more choices.
So, I have concluded that not only is the law constitutional, it is good policy.
The Supreme Court acted just like it is supposed to; it ignored public opinion and looked at it as a purely constitutional matter. Never mind that it came down to a 5-4 decision. The fact that it was a different 5-4 than expected is a victory for bipartisanship.
At this moment I have never been prouder of my Supreme Court.
Free speech primer
If five people attend a town meeting and all speak, that is free speech even if no decision is reached.
If five people attend a town meeting and all speak and are heard and a decision is made on a 4 to 1 vote, then that is free speech even if someone is unhappy.
If five people attend a town meeting and one of them can afford to bring an electric bullhorn and drown the other four out, that is not free speech even if they all try to talk.
Freedom of speech requires the right and the ability to speak regardless of how deep your pockets are. Truly free speech is not outweighed by wealth.
And by the way, about those 30 million uninsured Americans; I guess that might not look like a problem to someone who has been covered by government health care for how many years now? Maybe, but it looks like a problem to me.
David L. Arnold
I have been following the local politics of Nicholasville with regard to a vote to change the form of government from a commission to a council. Those campaigning for this make it all sound like it is truly for the people. I really feel it isn't. Here are a few serious questions that need serious answers:
■ Is this going to affect all the men and women who work for the city of Nicholasville?
■ Will employees walk in one day and find they don't have jobs anymore, all because someone wants to hire friends or fulfill promises made along the campaign trail?
■ Who will truly have power to hire or fire city employees?
While I am not a resident of Nicholasville, I have many friends with families who could be adversely affected by this selfish act of a few power-hungry people.
Mary W. Perkins
Learn from history
A June 26 letter suggested that teaching young people about the past, in particular the Holocaust, was pointless and irrelevant.
Leaving aside the author's use of a quotation from the Bible, a document that definitely pre-dates World War II, to make his point, the letter gives rise to a few questions.
What other historical occurrences should we just forget? The entirety of World War II? The Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation are even older. Shall we forget about them as well?
How about the Constitution, American Revolution, invention of the automobile and the airplane, the printing press and moveable type?
History doesn't have to be an obsession, but is it not a good idea to learn something about what happened in the past, and how it may have had an effect on the present or even the future?
While writer George Santayana's famous quote, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it," is certainly relevant, there is another which I feel is equally so: "The truth is cruel, but it can be loved, and it makes free those who have loved it."
Robert A. Schneider
Priorities in the toilet
I shouldn't be amazed at the priorities here in Lexington. In this year's budget the city is set to spend $125,000 for bathrooms at the Arboretum at the University of Kentucky.
This is money being spent on property that the city doesn't own and not being used to upgrade its own parks. More important, the money should be spent for public safety where the police and fire department staffing has been cut.
There have been several delays in fire and medical responses and they will continue, but there will be a bathroom at the Arboretum.
What a shame.
Chris "Blue" Bartley
A royal bow?
Since former University of Kentucky basketball star Anthony Davis has won every award possible, there's only one more thing to do: make the Olympic team, go to London. I wonder: Will the queen "bow to the brow?" Well, it's a thought.
Heat's on, need a laugh
It has been too long since you last printed Readers' Views denying global warming. Please run a few. I need a good laugh.
Edmund Miller Jr.