Lexington should help homeowners with sewage woes
I am among the many in Lexington who thank University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto for speaking the truth when it comes to Lexington's tendency to desire champagne when its budget can only really afford a nickel beer.
What madness possesses our mayor and civic leaders to think we can afford a civic center albatross when we are already on the hook for $300 million to $600 million just to fix the last three decades of neglect to sanitary sewers?
The consent decree expenditures are aimed at keeping sewage out of our creeks and streams.
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For the Urban County Government and its various departments, it's business as usual for the 400 or so Lexington homeowners still threatened with sewage inflows every time it rains.
Homeowners remain responsible for future inflows of sewage into their homes from their upstream neighbors.
After 10 or more inflows in the last 17 years in my home, I remain plenty peeved. It's like living in a city run by schizophrenics.
One year they fight in the Kentucky Supreme Court to assert their right to protect their citizens' health and safety from secondhand smoke. Later, you will find them fighting tooth and nail to avoid responsibility for thousands of gallons of raw sewage flowing into a resident's home.
Where is their concern for not only my health and safety, but for that of the other 400 Lexington residents similarly situated?
Public safety ignored
On Feb. 27, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Planning Commission voted 7-2 in favor of apartment construction in District 10, despite public safety concerns and questionable compliance with city zoning ordinances.
The Ball Homes' development of 191 apartments and 42 single-family dwellings on Old Schoolhouse Lane was approved despite public concern for resident safety.
The Planning Commission accepted the developer's request for a waiver from creating a critically important egress for future residents to Twain Ridge Road due to the expense of building the needed bridge. Those residents will have only one steep ingress from Harrodsburg Road and one substandard connector to Dogwood Trace.
Other concerns expressed by nearby residents included:
■ Added strain on South Elkhorn watershed.
■ Adverse effects of runoff from this higher elevation into South Elkhorn Creek.
■ Increased traffic on a section of Harrodsburg Road that is already congested.
■ Added burden on overcrowded District 10 schools.
■ Dismissal of possible cultural significance on the land and minimization of historic significance of the burr oak tree.
Ball Homes proposed residential development on this agricultural land in 2008, and its request was denied by planners who questioned the overall site design, the planned Twain Ridge Drive connection, and the plan for the provision of public services.
Little has changed since 2008, except the commission's verdict.
No new cops needed
Mayor Jim Gray and mayoral candidate Anthany Beatty have both promised to hire more police officers. Violent crime has been dropping for decades and we don't need them, but they want to have 15 new officers.
It will cost at least $100,000 each per year to train, equip, pay and insure the officers. That is $1.5 million in new spending each year.
If they each arrest one person per day, that adds up to 5,475 more people arrested each year. Court costs $6,000 per day, so if each new arrest only gets one day in court that adds up to an additional $32.8 million in extra spending.
If only 1,000 of those are sentenced to jail, and it costs $36,000 per year per prisoner, that is an additional $36 million per year in spending. We need to stop the expansion of the police state before it is too late.
How to fix VA mess
The government, particularly the Obama administration, is failing the American people. Over the years, politicians have bastardized the Constitution to benefit themselves.
The intent of the Constitution was to limit government to protect the people. Instead, today it has changed to a system in which people serve the government.
Pay and benefits of government employees are above the civilian equivalent. They are given bonuses for almost doing their jobs.
Politicians are now holding hearings pretending outrage for Veterans Administration mismanagement. The problems have been known for decades. Since this is an election year, each side will use this to gain a political advantage.
Do the following and we will be on the way to fixing the problem:
■ Eliminate all federal unions. Fire all strikers.
■ Fire the heads of all facilities who have contributed to the scheduling delays of veterans' medical appointments.
■ Investigate the entire chain of command, and fire anyone who contributed to scheduling delays or any cover-rup of scheduling delays.
■ Bring in the FBI and charge and try those who committed crimes.
■ Give eligible veterans vouchers to receive medical care at civilian facilities, if not seen at the VA within a reasonable time.
■ Give veterans who served more than four years an annual $5,000 health savings account.
Veterans and their families have given their all, including many lives, in the service of this nation. The least this nation can do is provide decent medical care for them.
Laurence J. Johnson
Just because Alison Grimes remains silent on a broad spectrum of positions, doesn't mean we should stop asking the tough questions.
Where does Grimes stand on tort reform? We know from doctors and insurance providers that mega-lawsuits cause increased malpractice insurance. When those rates go up, we pay for it, just like anything else.
Lawsuits cause insurance rates to go up because of trial lawyers looking for unlimited monetary awards. Some lawyers get up to 50 percent for their cut. Trial lawyers donate to Democrats.
Up to 25 percent of all tests and procedures are considered defensive medicine. That means doctors order tests they know are unlikely to yield results for fear of the greedy lawyers claiming malpractice.
Grimes should take a position in favor of tort reform. Sen. Mitch McConnell has always recognized this scam and continues to work hard against it.
I really enjoyed the column on Mill Springs Battlefield on Memorial Day. However, nowhere in the article did it mention exactly where this battlefield property is located.
The only information I could find in that article was under a photo showing tombstones in the battlefield cemetery in Pulaski County. Just wondering how tourism to the battlefield will increase if people don't know where it is or how to get there.