Relative caregivers hit hard by state cutbacks
Thank you for the coverage of the child-care and kinship care crisis in Kentucky. I would like to emphasize a group that got hit twice in an effort to make up the $86 million shortfall in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
Grandparents and other relatives raising children not only lost child-care subsidies, they also lost kinship care subsidies (usually around $300 per month).
These two cuts have had a devastating effect on relative caregivers trying their best to keep children out of the foster care system. Many are older and retired, living on fixed incomes.
Many suffer the emotional and social burdens of taking children into their homes where they are already having to deal with health and economic issues, but now must do so without any help from the state.
Their only other choice is to leave the children in the care of the state which means either foster care or institutional placement. Who ends up paying the price? The children. Who will end up paying the price when these children grow into adults? All of us.
Budgets always require tough choices. But especially now, Kentucky can't afford a budget that fails to invest in kids.
Gratitude for Wildcats
The Kentucky Wildcats and Coach John Calipari were amazing. They will never know how much their amazing year has meant to the fans. Their efforts and improvements are almost beyond belief. When we had a bad day, we would watch them overcome and get motivated to get up and do something useful.
How we watched with joy as they came back and overcame those times when they were down. They brought joy and pride to us and the day after U-Conn won the championship, we were as proud as ever. Fans were lined up all night to get tickets for the post-tournament celebration.
The cheerleaders were also amazing. Who has ever, besides the University of Kentucky, won 20 national championships? My son was a UK cheerleader for three years and was there when we won the NCAA in 1978. I know the dedication and hard work they put in. The band is also the greatest. And there is none other like our coach. Congratulations and blessings to all.
Playing with fire
I have been baffled about why these celebratory fires are so readily tolerated. I truly don't understand how these actions are not considered a threat to public safety.
These are not accidents with space heaters for those struggling to keep warm. They are intentionally set by those who make the choice to become part of the mob mentality. News footage and personal videos are quite plentiful showing the faces of those wielding their lighters upon their intended target.
Being young, impetuous and drunk gives no one the right to place so many in harm's way. Had it not been University of Kentucky students creating these potential dangers, I highly doubt any public servant or entity would tolerate other massive crowds "fire-brating" a hard-fought, unexpected and ever so impressive victory.
Perhaps since Warren Buffet didn't have to pay up for his billion-dollar bracket contest, he could buy up the properties on State Street, donate them to Habitat for Humanity for those who would truly appreciate a roof and furniture.
Parents when you get these young adults home for the summer, please teach them the concepts of personal and social behavior in whatever situations they find themselves in.
Better yet, how about just teaching them some basic common sense? If not, what do we face as a community? Perhaps the "celebratory" gunfire so prevalent in Afghanistan? I don't foresee UK allotting funds for bulletproof vests in its budget.
It is a disgrace and insulting to every citizen of the commonwealth that Senate President Pro Tem Katie Stine's anti-heroin bill did not sail out of committee unaltered and unattached, then march through the House and Senate unopposed. No bill would have had greater impact in saving the lives of innocent children. No other bill would have sent this message to thieving, heartless heroin traffickers: "We don't want you here."
The legislature is going to have realized the commonwealth is fertile ground for these blood-suckers. The traffickers have no pity, no compassion. They are not interested in rehabilitation. Motivated by greed, they slither around middle and elementary schools looking for prey to murder with their poison.
They have no empathy or sympathy for their victims, sucking them dry of life.
How many children like Melissa Halfhill will have to be murdered before the legislature wakes up? The death toll last year was 45. What is the magic number that these creatures have to destroy before the legislature acts?
I fail to accept that the 32-year-old cretin who sold to this girl was not responsible for the 14-year-old's death. He knew the moment he seduced the child she was going to die. He needs treatment— the treatment of a long fall from a short rope.
Damian C. Beach
Health law working
More than 370,000 have benefited from enforcement of the Affordable Care Act, with Kentucky being one of the first states to expand its Medicaid.
More than one out of every 12 people or 8.6 percent of the state population now has health insurance through kynect. Nationwide, more than 8 million signed up for coverage.
More and more people were able to sign up and are not having to pay high premiums or deductibles. This is because some people are getting tax credits to help lower those payments. The law's expansion of Medicaid is a good thing because not only can people with jobs get health care but also people that are unable to work.
It may not be so good in other states that have not expanded their Medicaid to help people with little or no income. People in this situation are unable to obtain coverage because they can't afford it.
So far it seems the ones getting help like the law and a lot of the people unable to get coverage don't like the law.
Legalize gay marriages
Freedom of religion is a constitutional law in the United States of America. You and I have the right to practice whatever religion we choose, including being nonbelievers.
So if we allow United States citizens to practice whatever religion they choose, why can they not be allowed to be any sexuality they choose and be happily married? The basic argument to this question is that it is a sin. But in the United States, we have many different religions. So what is sin to one may not be sin to another.
Atheism is to Christianity as homosexuality is to heterosexuality. I just don't understand why one is allowed and the other is banned.
If a homosexual couple is in love, and want to get married they should be allowed to do so anywhere in the United States, not just in a few states. Legalize gay marriages all over the country.