More conservation work to be done for the Palisades
Kenneth and Vicki Brooks, volunteers with The Nature Conservancy, make some good points in their Nov. 4 letter responding to my commentary expressing concerns about the Palisades.
But I doubt their statement that ideas I mentioned "have been a part of the Palisades master planning."
For example, my 30 years of experience here suggests that we need experiments with livestock in some of the woodland.
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Intense seasonal browsing by a balance of cattle, horses, goats and sheep may replace the original effects of bison, elk and other native mammals, now sadly extinct in the region.
Ecologically managed livestock can probably enhance habitat for some rare native plants like the clovers, and reduce aliens like the honeysuckle and euonymus. Deer and smaller mammals are trying hard, but their effects are not widely controlled.
More effort is also needed to integrate conservation practice, academic botany and horticulture for local applications. For example, most of our ash trees will probably die within the next 10-20 years, but there does not yet seem to be an integrated response for long-term recovery in Kentucky.
I have been keeping track of research in Ohio and Michigan (where resistance may be appearing in some trees), studying the variation with our ashes, and starting to collect seed for future uses. Rather than just trading letters to the Herald-Leader about such important matters, it would be much better to meet, share and resolve.
Bluegrass Woodland Restoration Center
Waste of money
The Republicans spent about $500 million on trying to elect a new president, and what did they get?
So what are the Republicans going to do? They could leave the United States, but they don't like those European countries where the working class and the middle class run the country, not the money-brokers like lobbyists and the special-interest groups do here.
Where they have national health care. It goes against how rich Republicans get rich — on the backs of the minimum-wage worker.
Thanks to voters
Thank you to all of the wonderful people I met as an independent candidate for Kentucky's House of Representatives, 45th District. Our grass-roots campaign led me to wave on street corners, attend candidate forums, interview with reporters and go door to door interacting with neighbors.
My experience as a first-time candidate was wonderful. The most common concern among voters was our politicians' inability or unwillingness to work together. We have come to see our elected officials acting as power brokers instead of public servants.
Kentucky is in desperate need of change. As a commonwealth, we rank at the bottom of the nation in nearly all categories that affect quality of life. Those in power-broker positions point the finger of blame at each other.
We deserve and expect better. Once elections are over and votes counted, citizens go on with our lives taking care of family, working, living out our faith and loving our neighbors the best we know how.
The bitterness and infighting of those elected to represent us is an insult. It is time to fix our pension system, reform the tax code to attract quality businesses, increase our high-school graduation rate, end "trickle-up" economics by eliminating pensions/benefits for part-time elected officials, address the need for prison reform, return industrial hemp to Kentucky and accomplish immigration reform.
With proper leadership, Kentucky's best days are ahead.
I've taken all I have learned from this experience, will utilize it and continue to work to serve Kentucky.
Let them know
His name was Brian. He died the day before he would have celebrated 43 years. This young man was, and is still, truly loved by me and by so many of his friends who feel this incredible pain from missing him.
He loved his old cat and enjoyed long drives where he would sing along to many of his favorite songs, from rap to classic '80s songs.
Although I would outwardly admit that I did not like those classics, I would find myself sitting in that passenger seat singing along and laughing just as loud as he
I never quite understood why he enjoyed obtaining, in the mail, free samples. Sometimes I would wonder if these packages felt like small gifts providing him something silly and simple to look forward to each day.
I humbly plead for each person to take periodic moments, look around and focus on every person who crosses your path on a daily basis.
No matter their quirks, no matter the silly or odd things they do, and no matter the disagreements or arguments that exist, see the precious human in front of you and do not hesitate one second to remind them that, through both the good and bad moments, you still care and always will.
Goals for McConnell
Sen. Mitch McConnell did not achieve his goal of keeping President Barack Obama from having a second term. Now is the time for Kentuckians to set a goal of seeing that this senator is never re-elected based on his obstructionist view.
Vernon R. Wiehe
I watched on television with some concern the frequent statements by Mitch McConnell, senior senator from Kentucky, about his great desire to see President Barack Obama voted out of office. I wonder what great and lofty projects he has for the next four years now that Obama has been re-elected.
Could McConnell settle down and represent the citizens of our commonwealth as he was elected to do, or will we be led off to find the real Obama birth certificate or perhaps his homework as a 5-year-old?
Omer L. Howell
Consider current banking practices: I have just received a statement from a prominent bank to the effect that a checking account, for which I am custodian, has been "seized."
This account was closed because of "inactivity." There was no explanation as to where the money went or of the legal authority for this "robbery." The money was being kept to pay future legal expenses.
An impossibly low interest rate caused me to transfer this money from a savings account to a checking account. Banks should be required to pay on savings accounts the interest rate equal to current inflation.
The option of putting money "under the mattress" is a loser. Inflation will steal the value of your savings there, too.
Fred H. Salisbury