Success, savings with solar energy
Today, Kentuckians and others across the U.S. will participate in "Shout Out," telling neighbors about their rooftop- or ground-mounted solar installations via Facebook, Twitter and other social media.
In the last four years, solar prices have fallen over 50 percent and account for 40 percent of the new electric generation in the U.S. The industry employs more than 143,000 and pumps more than $15 billion a year into the economy.
This remarkable growth is due, in large part, to policies such as the Investment Tax Credit, Net Metering and Renewable Portfolio Standards.
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More than a half-million homeowners and businesses across America have installed solar systems by using the tax credit; however, Kentucky has less than 500 solar installations.
Since 2008, businesses and homeowners outside of Kentucky have installed over 20,000 megawatts of solar — a $50 billion investment, with $15 billion in savings. Kentuckians have installed less than 9 megawatts and received only 0.07 percent of savings. We have outdated laws that prevent Kentuckians from taking advantage of solar power.
This 30-percent tax savings expires Dec. 31, 2016. So we need to ask our legislators to support bills that create clean energy jobs, allow energy choices and investments. For more information: http://www.seia.org/events/national-shout-out-solar-day or http://www.kyses.org/.
Thankful for this paper
Returning from a Christmastime visit to our daughter's family in Cincinnati, where the Inquirer is a shadow of a newspaper, prompts me to begin 2015 acknowledging how lucky we are to have a newspaper of the caliber of the Herald-Leader.
I particularly appreciate columnists Merlene Davis and Tom Eblen who inform and challenge us. Cheers for all the journalists and staff. And thank you.
Rosemond's right to speak
With respect to a recent critique of parenting columnist John Rosemond, I would point out that he is neither advertising nor delivering professional mental health services to Kentuckians.
Rather, he is a syndicated columnist using mass media to express his views, as is his First Amendment right.
The Kentucky Board of Psychology has no more rightful jurisdiction over Rosemond than over Dr. Phil, Ann Landers or Dear Abby. Its attempt to sanction him is overreaching at best and censorship at worst.
If the board has concerns about his qualifications as a columnist, it should appeal to the company that syndicates his columns or the news outlets that carry them. Beyond that, the board would be better off leaving matters of professional discipline to its counterparts in North Carolina, where Rosemond lives and works.
Invest in teachers
I have concerns about an article on bringing charter schools to Kentucky.
Public schools are not perfect. We do not get to choose our students. We are entrusted with children who have not eaten since they left our building the previous day and are sleep deprived.
We are asked to work with students who have seen a parent overdose from drugs or witness domestic violence on a daily basis.
But we love these children, we fight for these children, we work with these children.
Teachers are held accountable, when many of the problems stem from home lives. We are fighting a losing battle with parents with the lack of emphasis on literacy, homework help and support for educators.
The teachers I work with are highly educated. They know how to mold young minds and how to improve grades (notice, I did not say test scores).
We have little support from the state, often only being penalized for failing state test scores. On top of that, our retirement fund is constantly in the news about how much funding is missing.
Reconsider bringing in charter schools, and instead, focus on supporting the wonderful teachers you already have in your state.