Ky. must save mental-health system in crisis
The April 6 article headlined "Mental-health nonprofit seeks bankruptcy" gives an incomplete picture of the dire situation facing our community mental health system.
It is correct that increased retirement contributions have created very difficult circumstances for the regional community mental health agencies around Kentucky.
The article states, "A combination of factors pushed the retirement system toward insolvency six years ago."
By far the most important of these factors was the long-term failure of the state legislature to fund the system at levels adequate to meet known obligations. The current plan to address the resulting shortfall puts an undue burden on the regional mental health boards.
The article did not mention the drastic reduction in revenue resulting from the state's move to the Medicaid managed care payment plan. This has resulted in reduced mental health services to Kentucky citizens plus layoffs of significant numbers of dedicated mental health professionals. Nobody, including the managed care companies, is happy with this arrangement. The plight of Seven Counties Services is likely just the first of such situations we are likely to face.
Every Kentuckian knows someone who has needed and benefited from a mental health system that for decades performed a difficult task admirably. As your article points out, these services are now at risk. Availability of quality mental health services is crucial for our long-term societal health, and we need prompt action to thoroughly address this issue.
William B. Pope
God has final say
Many of our young people are being deceived by some of our media sources that are influenced by many of our misinformed leaders. They act as though the sociocultural environment on this Earth has somewhat of a divine difference from the one in which their parents, grandparents and Founding Fathers lived.
As evidenced by the trends dictated by some of our church leadership, the irresponsible content in some of our TV and movies, and those unsourced political slanted opinions, it appears that the words of God have outlived their time and purpose. Most of us understand the confusion with what may appear to be the sentiments of the majority; however, it is impractical, as well unbiblical, for any mass of people to allow their destiny to be dictated by their emotions and public opinions.
The difference between now and the era of Sodom and Gomorrah is that we have greater access to scriptural meaning and, therefore, we should have a greater knowledge of God's will for our lives.
In essence, people do have the right to love, marry and live with anyone they choose, but in the end, God has the right, and will choose as to who He will elect to live eternity with, as well as where we shall live.
Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don't you remember?
Rev. C.G. Banks Sr.
The irrelevancy Sarah Palin is long past her sell-by date as front-page news. What a pity a responsible newspaper has to play into this dubious third-rate celebrity's desperate need for publicity and give her Derby attendance ink above the fold.
Charles Edward Pogue
Offutt great writer
I was disappointed that the death of author and editor Andrew J. Offutt did not receive more attention in the Herald-Leader.
Offutt wrote many novels and short stories in his lifetime. His first published short story was And Gone Tomorrow in 1954 for If, but he considered his professional science fiction career to have begun with Blacksword for Galaxy in 1959. He became a very prolific writer in several genres.
Offutt's first science fiction novel under his own name was Evil is Live Spelled Backwards (1970). In the novel there is an underground movement fighting a 21st century religious tyranny with a sexual revolution.
The Castle Keeps (1972) depicts a violent disintegration of western civilization.
But he wrote many more novels besides those, and he edited five short story collections in the late 1970s, Swords Against Darkness (1-5).
He was president of the Science Fiction Writers of America (1976-78), and treasurer and membership chairman (1973-76.)
Much more could be said about this wonderful writer and editor.
But I'm sure several of his books are still in print and can be found quite easily.
And, I'm also sure that you can find anything about him in which you might be interested in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror encyclopedia and the net.
He was definitely one of our great Kentucky writers.
In 2012, more than 600 walkers participated in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Bluegrass Walk to Cure Diabetes in Lexington, raising $145,000. That great effort went toward research to find a cure and better treatments for type 1 diabetes (T1D).
Also called juvenile diabetes, T1D is a disease with no known cause, is not curable or preventable and strikes children, teenagers and adults without warning. More than 4 million of those living with diabetes have T1D and a new case of T1D is diagnosed every 30 seconds.
Named one of the nation's top five most efficient charities by Forbes Magazine, JDRF is the world's largest charitable supporter of T1D research. In 2012, JDRF provided more than $110 million to T1D research and supports 60 clinical trials in 17 countries.
More than 80 percent of JDRF's spending directly supports research. The JDRF Kentucky chapter offers many programs to support families and opportunities to fund raise for a cure.
On May 19 at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, the JDRF Kentucky chapter is hosting the Second Annual Diabetes Education Conference, a free event highlighting educational and informational sessions on a wide range of diabetic-related topics and information. We invite readers to attend and register at www.jdrflcyconference.eventzilla.net.
On Sept. 21, JDRF will host the Bluegrass Walk to Cure Diabetes at the Lexington Legends Ballpark. Everyone is welcome. For more information on these or any other events, please call the Kentucky chapter at 866-485-9397.