Environmental study for clinic site a reasonable step
Regarding the Herald-Leader's Jan. 27 story on Healthfirst Bluegrass's clinic plans, "Southland health clinic construction delayed":
I question executive director William North's tactic of citing a complaint to the Health Resource and Services Administration, sponsors of the clinic's $11.7 million grant, calling for an environmental assessment of the project's impacts.
North says the assessment will delay construction at least two months and cost about $25,000. He infers that without the complaint, an environmental assessment would not be necessary.
The fact is, federally funded projects such as the clinic routinely require an environmental assessment to comply with the 1969 National Environmental Policy Act.
HRSA's website points out that this public document helps officials determine a project's impacts to the natural and human environments.
North and building committee chairman Tom Bunch, who I should think have dealt with federal projects before, should know about these requirements.
The public is right to continue to question the due diligence and accountability of these project sponsors who are rushing to spend millions of our taxpayer dollars.
Voting ban rational
Regarding "Ky. bans more felons from voting than many other states" (Feb. 12, Kentucky.com):
If you aren't willing to follow the law yourself, then you can't demand a role in making the law for everyone else, which is what you do when you vote.
We don't let children or noncitizens or mentally incompetent people vote. either.
We have certain minimum, objective standards of responsibility and commitment to our laws that must be met before people are given a role in the solemn enterprise of self-government.
Those who commit serious crimes against their fellow citizens don't meet those standards.
The right to vote can be restored to felons, but it should be done carefully, on a case-by-case basis after a person has shown that he or she has really turned over a new leaf — not automatically on the day someone walks out of prison.
After all, the unfortunate truth is that most people who walk out of prison will be walking back in.
President and general counsel,
Center for Equal Opportunity
Falls Church, Va.
I am outraged at Joel Pett's cartoon of Feb. 12 regarding Sen. Rand Paul, holding a toilet plunger, being willing to be the next pope.
There is such a thing as sensitivities and respect for your readers — not lowering us to bathroom humor.
Save pension system
The Kentucky Retirement System is in a poor financial situation. This financial mess was caused by our good state legislators' unwillingness to adequately fund the retirement system through the years.
Employees paid their share into the pension fund, but the legislators chose not to have the state pay its share, despite warnings by the Kentucky Education Association and others that the legislators' lack of funding would eventually lead to a financial crisis.
Now that the crisis has arrived, our good state legislators have decided to fix it and have introduced several bills into legislation.
And, as you might suspect, the fix proposed by our good legislators has little to do with funding the retirement system, i.e. taxing services. Rather, their fix is how to cut expenses of the fund.
In other words, how to wrong us again.
It looks like our cost of living adjustment is gone, so in 2099, we retirees will be attempting to exist on our 2012 retirement income.
It's likely that our retirement income's state tax exemption will be reduced, if not eliminated. That is one way of raising revenue: tax the old folks.
We worked our entire careers for low pay with the promise of a decent retirement. Now, our good legislators are proposing to take that from us to correct the problem they willingly caused.
Contact your legislator at 1-800-372-7181 before it is too late. Tell them to keep their promise by funding the pension plan without cutting benefits.
Support medical review
I work at Mountain View Healthcare Center in Elkhorn City. I am urging the support of Senate Bill 9, which will establish medical review panels.
These panels will review claims against nursing homes to see if evidence supports a complaint.
I am offended every time I see advertisements that lawyers use to exploit nursing homes and the care we provide our residents. These frivolous lawsuits are taking away from our residents and insulting us as professionals.
We take pride in the care we provide and have devoted our lives to making sure they receive the compassionate care they deserve. Please support Senate Bill 9.