Tax gas at 25 cents and explain where recent windfall went
In 2009, the legislature raised the floor for the gasoline tax, which is tied in part to the wholesale price of gasoline. The total motor fuel tax rose from 18.3 cents a gallon in 2006 to about 22 cents in 2009.
The upside was the price of gas was on the rise. With no upper limit, and only a restriction to increase no more than 10 percent a year, the tax reached more than 31 cents in 2014.
But once prices began to fall, the formula just wasn't good enough, and supporters began claiming some calamity will befall us all. What did they do with the huge increases in money they took in the last five years? Certainly not address the problems on many state roads.
Never miss a local story.
Now there is a proposal to increase the floor without a ceiling. The transportation agency would like to see a return to 32 cents — a 72 percent increase. We already pay a higher tax than almost every state around us.
A tax of 25 cents a gallon is more than the current floor allows, less than the current rate and ends the instability. It's a win-win. Call 1-800-372-7181 to let legislators know where you stand.
Report bourbon's human costs
It is truly wonderful that Kentucky is making hundreds of millions of dollars from the boom in the liquor industry. With the economy in the shape it is, we do need the money.
The Herald-Leader covers the different aspects of this growing craft on a regular basis. But what is the real cost of this product?
Across the nation how many families have been broken apart, how much property has been destroyed, how many lives have been lost with the abuse of our Kentucky bourbon? We also see stories quite often telling of such things.
But have the media attempted to figure out the connection between the two sides of this issue? It seems that somehow these figures have gotten lost in the shuffle and are never reported.
Could it be that at the scene of each incident lies a bourbon bottle with "Kentucky" emblazoned across the front. Is this the true spirit of Kentucky?
Mark. L. Elam
Cherish House roll-tops' scars
I am writing to call a halt to plans to refinish our legislature's roll-top desks.
As an avid watcher of Antiques Road Show, I have to wonder, "What are they thinking?" (Obviously we all wonder the same as each legislative session "progresses.")
But back to the desks. Anyone who has ever watched Road Show knows you never, never, never refinish. It destroys value, and in this case may actually destroy legislative history and dare I say, wisdom? Is this perhaps a tacit admission that what has come off of and out of those desks is better forgotten? Stripped away and covered up?
There should be no erasure of the marks/wisdom/graffiti of their predecessors. Stop this near sacrilege.
Charles A. Bowsher
Goodness in eye of gun holder
According to Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association, the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Is it possible that the two police officers shot in Ferguson, Mo., were targeted by someone who thought he was a good guy?
Guns don't kill people; vigilantes kill people.
Leaders put police at risk
Should a Ferguson, Mo., police officer die in the near future, there will be blood on the hands of our pathetic president, Attorney General Eric Holder, the Rev. Al Sharpton and every other columnist and news pundit who stoked the flames of racism over the last 12 months.
The "Hands Up" T-shirts were not only false but incited hate. Our president did zero to calm the nation and promote a fair evaluation. He fueled the fire. A cop defended himself from an aggressive thug and now because of media bias and a rush to judgment this is a war zone.
Good cops are the rule and this is the fact that should be published. Who would want this job for the pay they get? Not me. Shame on those screaming and shouting in Ferguson. Without the police, that city would disintegrate into chaos.
Jonathan D. Mackey
Bias, racism not 'shocking'
Give me a break. Black people (and white people for that matter) have been saying for years that police profiling, racist college frats and sororities and discriminatory hiring practices have been going on right under our noses.
For the University of Oklahoma's president to be "shocked" is another indication that he chose to bury his head in the sand.
Look at any college, and you will see blacks on the courts and fields and the stands filled with white people. The University of Kentucky is no different. I sat and watched games on the SEC network this year and each college at least pretended on TV promotions to care about people of color.
Each halftime the colleges featured their campuses full of blacks and whites mingling together.
And UK — which many blacks, and even whites, feel has a history of racism — has four white kids (excuse me if the girl in the hat is mixed-race) running across a field.
When there are more blacks in a Republican commercial than in your school's ad, you should be ashamed. So please spare me the righteous indignation and shock when video surfaces of what we have been saying for years.
Take a stand for giving students a voice
The Kentucky Senate left its audience hanging when it decided not to hear a bill that has been accruing local and national attention. House Bill 236 attempts to allow school districts to choose to give students a voice on superintendent screening committees.
The uncertain status of the bill leaves us deeply concerned. We are among dozens of students from across the state who have spent hundreds of volunteer hours to get it passed. But two Kentucky senators added controversial amendments unrelated to our bill's basic premise, effectively killing it. This in an effort to salvage their own failed legislation.
While this type of action is common political practice, we want to hold our elected officials to a higher standard. We invite all students to ask to be excused from school Monday to join us for a 10:30 a.m. rally on the Capitol steps. The goal is to ensure our bill is heard clean, and to make the case that unrelated riders to bipartisan bills promoting civic engagement is not OK. We are now eager to do democracy the way it was intended and hope the General Assembly will not let us down.
Follow us on Twitter: #StandWithStudents. To register rally attendance: bit.ly/svtrally. To sign a petition: bit.ly/svtpetition.
Eliza Jane Schaeffer, Jamie Smith and Andrew Brennen
Prichard Committee Student Voice Team