Lawmakers should protect Ky. teens from melanoma
The Kentucky legislature still has the chance to save lives by protecting youth from the dangers of indoor tanning devices. I hope lawmakers take it.
As a young, fair-skinned female, I wanted to be tan for prom. With easy access to indoor tanning devices, all it took was just a few quick trips to get that bronzy glow. I never once thought about the dangers of excess exposure to ultraviolet radiation until I was stunned when my best friend was diagnosed with stage IV melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer. We were just juniors in high school.
Among young people ages 15 to 29, melanoma is the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer.
In Kentucky, the melanoma rate is among the highest in the country — even higher than Florida, California or Hawaii.
It only takes one visit to a tanning device before the age of 35 to increase the risk of getting skin cancer by 59 percent. I urge members of the legislature to remember that fact and my best friend, Courtney, as they debate House Bill 252 and whether or not to prohibit minors under the age of 18 from using indoor tanning devices.
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network volunteer
Pass anti-overdose clause
The Catholic Conference of Kentucky advocates for policies that uphold the sanctity of life and the dignity of each human person.
Legislation aimed at preventing deaths from drug overdoses, which includes a "no charge" Good Samaritan provision, will preserve life in Kentucky by encouraging bystanders to make a lifesaving 911 call when they are with someone who has overdosed on drugs.
We implore Kentucky lawmakers to do everything possible to fight drug abuse in our state, which has the third-highest overdose mortality rate in the U.S. The "no charge" Good Samaritan provision allows for grace when people have made terrible decisions, a second chance at sobriety and an opportunity to live another day, fight the disease of addiction and become a productive and law-abiding Kentuckian.
We believe the inclusion of a "no charge" Good Samaritan provision will advance respect for life and human dignity.
Jason D. Hall
Catholic Conference of Kentucky
Public workers great
After the recent brutal weather, I feel compelled to write in support of our public employees and public employees everywhere.
Our Lexington Fayette Urban County Government employees have worked around the clock keeping our streets clear and responding to accidents, crimes, stranded motorists (who probably shouldn't have been out anyway), fires and emergencies, some as senseless as someone feeling bad for three days. But these public servants had to be there and, when we called, we expected it.
Whether it was plowing our streets around the clock, police officers pushing stranded motorists, or firefighters responding to medical emergencies or fighting fires in the most brutal of conditions, they were there and I thank them for it.
So the next time we hear someone bashing our public servants or politicians wanting to cut benefits and positions, close fire stations or raid pension systems, remember the winter of 2015. While we were sitting by the fire drinking our Kentucky bourbon, or whatever it is you drink, they were there. I commend them and thank God for them.
Jack L. Trautwein
Humanity trumps ice
At a time when the national news would make it seem as though the whole world is out of control, there is hope.
Several recent events demonstrated true human compassion. Dance Blue at the University of Kentucky raised over $1.6 million for UK's Childrens' Hospital and students made over 1,000 sandwiches to donate to homeless shelters while dancing all night for a good cause. Other groups of caring people demonstrated simple acts of compassion with love bombs, leaving hats, scarves and gloves in Woodland and Thoroughbred parks for whomever might need a touch of warmth.
During the recent frigid temps and piles of snow, many of us also witnessed other acts of kindness — neighbors digging out neighbors' cars, police delivering doughnuts to homeless shelters and rescuing stray animals, residents using snow plows and tractors to clear parking lots/driveways and so many more that made winter misery so much more tolerable.
Thanks to all who made a difference for caring about others by sharing the love in Lexington and thanks for giving the rest of us hope in the best of humanity.