Balance owner power with worker power
In a recent article in the Herald-Leader I was astonished to learn that 55 percent of respondents to a recent poll in Kentucky believe a "right to work" law would be beneficial.
I was a musician in the Lexington Philharmonic for more than 30 years. I do not think we would ever have received the raises, benefits and workplace protection that we did if the union had not exerted pressure on our employer. Individuals in companies have no power to effect changes that benefit employees unless they are part of a larger organization like a union. Employers want, of course, to keep their own salaries high; sharing the money with their employees results in less for them.
Although requiring union membership takes away a personal choice, if a "right to work" law is enacted in Kentucky those working in large businesses will lose the collective power necessary to get justice in terms of working conditions and raises.
I realize that unions have a history of corruption, but so do large corporations. Unions are necessary to keep the power more balanced between employer and employee.
Try E. Ky., you'll like it
Recently, I was sitting in a doctor's office in Lexington and overheard two gentlemen having a conversation about Eastern Kentucky.
One said, "Eastern Kentucky is the most depressing place that I have ever been. There are only three businesses left in downtown Prestonsburg." He went on to make disparaging remarks about our region and its people. The other gentleman nodded in agreement. He said "Yes, Eastern Kentucky is the most depressing place that I have ever been, too."
While there are challenges facing our region, there are thriving businesses and organizations that enrich our community every day.
Tim Branham's Lizzie B's Café in Prestonsburg was inspired by the owner's time in Hawaii. There's no place quite like it, and it's always a treat to go there.
The Hibachi Japanese restaurant in Weddington Square in Pikeville is so popular and successful that they had to knock down walls and double the size.
Jennifer Nettles, Tim McGraw, Luke Bryan, Journey, The Band Perry and more have come to Pikeville's Main Street to perform at the East Kentucky Expo Center.
The Jenny Wiley Theatre located at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park in Prestonsburg celebrated its 50th anniversary this year with a production of South Pacific. Audiences enjoyed hearing the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein performed live in the mountains, under the stars.
Come and visit us in Eastern Kentucky. You might be pleasantly surprised by what you'll find.
Robert W. Ramsey
Old Henry Clay High
I have a suggestion for the school board. Instead of the new high school on Winchester Road, convert old Henry Clay back to a high school for the top students. You would eliminate athletics by letting these students play sports if they desired at one of the other high schools and give them an enriched learning environment.
Move the school board to an old tobacco warehouse or abandoned office building and cut the staff by 25 percent. This would save millions of dollars. The old Henry Clay building is still the best looking one in the entire system.
City water for all
I have been trying to get city water to my neighborhood for 17 years. I thought I had finally gotten some much needed attention with a great article written by Greg Kocher on Aug. 5, titled "Couple are not alone in their water woes." We need city water in my neighborhood.
On Aug. 18 I was surprised to see a second article written by the Bluegrass Area Development District's David Duttlinger titled, "Expansion of water service a Ky. success story." He stated what it would cost to run a water line to one house. He clearly did not know there are close to 35 houses in my neighborhood. Yes $400,000 would be a lot for one household but that is not the case.
We need city water to be accessible to all Kentucky residents. I praise Gov. Paul Patton for having a vision to provide water to the good people of Kentucky.
Speak out, Muslims
If ever there was a religion that warranted criticism it's the Muslim religion. As I write this the news is heavy with reports of the Islamic terrorist group ISIS that has been torturing and murdering thousands of innocent people as they rampage through Iraq. They have murdered at least two Americans by savagely beheading them.
Over the last few decades we have witnessed untold thousands of innocent people murdered all over the world by Muslim terrorists in the name of their god. The most memorable attacks of course were those on 9/11. And yet, I cannot recall any Muslims rising up in opposition to these atrocities committed by their fellow Muslims. And it should be said that it many cases these Muslim terrorists are murdering their fellow Muslims.
Are there no Muslims who are willing to cry out in a voice of righteousness against these evil, murderous Muslim terrorists who are committing their atrocities in the name of their god Allah? Does your silence voice your approval?
It's time for the Muslims who disagree with the horrible genocidal atrocities that are being committed by their fellow Muslims in the name of Allah to cry out.
Thanks police, fire
On Sept. 7 the Fairfield Inn, where we were staying, blew up due to a gas line leak caused by an automobile accident. The hotel suffered extreme damage. Our room was in the middle of the explosion (thankfully, we were not in it at the time).
We want to sincerely and strongly compliment the men and women of the Lexington fire and police units and the Columbia Gas representative for their caring and compassionate attention toward us and others as they worked to get the problem under control. They answered all questions and took the time to console and help during this difficult time.
The city of Lexington can be extremely proud of it's outstanding and professional fire and police units.
Robert and Margo Hartmann
Humans toilingLots of construction in Lexington.
Driving into town I see "Men Working" signs everywhere. At many of these sites I also see women working.
I think we can afford some new signs. "Women and Men Working."
Which is worse?
I admired the bluntness and forthrightness of Paul Prather's Sept. 14 column.
He reminds me of another Mount Sterling citizen, James French, who in 1825 published a Baptist circular stating the problems Christians faced, included preachers' drunkenness, "illicit commerce between the sexes" and involvement in secular politics.
However, Prather's analysis could have included some exploration of alternatives to the conclusion that ministers' faults don't "mean the message they preach isn't true."
What if that happens to be the case? Does the possibility not require objective, logical and, most importantly, honest, consideration, or is the very idea too frightening and unsettling to entertain? Does a religion purporting to clean up its adherents from the inside out gain any real favors from the claim that its ministers are "merely human" and therefore not to be held to any higher standard of conduct than those they hope to convert?
I wonder — exactly as I ponder which is worse, the idea of the deity becoming the tool of a touchy, foul-tempered old prophet's anger in the story of Elisha and the bears quoted by Prather, or that the biblical account simply recorded an ancient mother's tale to scare kids into behaving.