Solar creating jobs, cutting energy cost
On Oct. 11, Kentuckians and others across the U.S. will showcase the latest solar technologies and energy-efficiency systems.
These investments have drastically reduced electric and gas bills due to tax credits, such as the federal 30 percent Investment Tax Credit.
More than a half-million homeowners and commercial customers have installed solar systems by using the tax credit; Kentucky has less than 500 installations.
Since 2008, businesses and homeowners outside the state have installed over 15,000 MWs of solar — a $37 billion investment, with $11 billion in savings. Kentuckians have installed 9 MWs of solar and received $11 million in savings.
Since the credit began eight years ago, solar prices have fallen 50 percent, and over half of all new electric-generating capacity in the first half of 2014 came from solar.
The Solar Foundation's National Solar Jobs Census 2013 found that 142,698 Americans were employed in the industry as of November, 2013 and that solar employment grew 10 times faster than the national average employment rate.
However, the credit expires Dec. 31, 2016. So check out your local solar tour. For more information: http://www.kyses.org/.
Also, talk with your legislator about legislation that creates clean energy jobs, allows energy choices and investments.
Join environmental efforts
The Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition is gearing up for the 2014-15 school year. It's shaping up to be as strong as ever. We've already had a statewide day of action in solidarity with the Alliance for Appalachia's "Our Water, Our Future" event.
Our next big event begins today, when youth environmentalists from all over the state will meet at our fall summit to learn about the issues we work on, gain new skills and plan for the coming year. It will be a weekend not just for leaders, but for any young adult who wants to learn about what we're doing and join the fun.
There will also be opportunities to see a mountaintop removal site, hike in the beautiful mountains of Eastern Kentucky and take a tour of Appalshop.
Find more information at KYStudentEnvironmentalCoalition.org.
Help cyclist fix her car
I read again an article concerning Cherokee Schill. This time she has been jailed on charges of riding her bicycle on a busy highway lane of U.S. 27.
She has stated that she has a car, but that it is not reliable; riding her bicycle is the only way she has to get to her classes in Lexington where she is studying to be an EKG technician.
My question is to the people of the Nicholasville area: Why have you not banded together and repaired the car that she has or purchased a car that would provide her with reliable transportation? She is doing the best that she can and I think that says a lot about her character.
Where is the compassion for those in need? Please do so before she is involved in a serious accident. I will support the cause.
Aubrey Kautz Jr.
Lexington a great host
This year, Lexington hosted the Mr. and Miss Kentucky Basketball Awards Ceremony. I would like to personally thank the city for its outpouring of support to this event that honors senior high school basketball players for their outstanding accomplishments, on and off the court.
Mayor Jim Gray and his competent staff assisted in the coordination of the event which resulted in a record-breaking attendance. Getting to know the mayor, his senior adviser Glenn Brown and others in the community has indeed been a pleasure. Lexington is a wonderful city and is fortunate to have leaders that are focused on economic, cultural and spiritual growth.
Regardless of your favorite team, Lexington, the home of the University of Kentucky Wildcats, creates an enthusiasm involving basketball that elevates the passions of all those that love the game. I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to Lexington and to its leadership for their support, cooperation and vision.
Law aids local tourism
Running a destination-management company means I'm concerned about the number of tourists visiting our area. The Lexington area is a fantastic place to run such a business, though we can all use more tourists.
Since 2010, the American economy has benefited from a program that helps bring in international tourists. In fact, the program resulted in over 1 million more international trips to our country last year.
I deal with people from all over the world, and I even offer certain features ideal for international travelers. For example, I can explain our local destinations to them, and ultimately package several aspects of their trip. This way visitors can pay one price for a multitude of travel needs.
But getting more and more people to come here and enjoy the amazing sites helps our entire economy, not just tourist-related businesses.
Join me in urging our members of the U.S. Senate to support the Travel Promotion, Enhancement, and Modernization Act and the benefits it brings to our economy.
Strong voice for fiscal responsibility
I was disappointed not to receive this newspaper's endorsement for my re-election to the Urban County Council's 7th District seat. While I commend my opponent's commitment to public service, and in particular his service to our country, I am the right choice to continue to lead the district.
Throughout my tenure as councilwoman and as a candidate, I promised to be a voice of fiscal responsibility in government. I have delivered on that promise. I make no apology for opposing measures that raise taxes, interfere with private property rights or commit government funds to projects that lack clear direction. Government should safeguard resources to provide services to constituents, not blindly throw money at problems.
The Herald-Leader may take issue with my voting record, but I believe it reflects the values of my constituents. I don't share all of the editorial board's beliefs when it comes to the proper role of government. I'm comfortable with that.
I reject the assertion that my opponent will bring more "energy" to the job. Over the past two years, I've published my own district newsletter, attended dozens of neighborhood association meetings cutting across my entire district, and worked tirelessly both inside and out of the council to make my district and Lexington a better place to live.
While I don't know my opponent personally, and in fact have never met him, I'll put my work ethic on behalf of Lexington up against anyone's.
I'd appreciate your vote on Nov. 4.
Incumbent, Council District 7
Deadline for election letters is 5 p.m. Oct. 20. Letters are limited to 150 words. No letter writing campaigns and no letters from candidates' staffs and family members.