Yes, we mind if you smoke
As a native Kentuckian and graduate of the University of Louisville medical school, I read with dismay the blockage of smoke-free legislation by Sens.Robert Stivers and Albert Robinson. I wish this could be dismissed as ignorance with bliss. Unfortunately for thousands of non-smoking Kentuckians this could be a death sentence. Secondhand smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals and over 60 known carcinogens that cause over 50,000 deaths annually. The 2006 Surgeon General's report showed there is no safe level of exposure.
When Lexington went smoke-free several years ago hospital admissions for childhood asthma plummeted. In the county where I live the incidence of heart attacks declined by 33percent after going smoke-free.
Behind the resistance to smoke-free air is the cigarette industry. One wonders what influence big tobacco has over these two elected officials. Instead of carrying water for this corrupt industry, they should be protecting public health.
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Kentucky needs to accept the overwhelming science and pass comprehensive smoke-free legislation to protect its citizens from this public-health menace.
Richard D. Hurt, M.D.
Hi-tech toll solution
Tolls are certainly appropriate for funding specific infrastructure. How better to pay for the bridges than with contributions from those who use them? But let's take a technology lesson from places like Dallas, where license plates are read by cameras and bills are sent to the address on record. Frequent users pay reduced rates by purchasing "E-Z Pass" stickers. No lines, no attendants, no starting and stopping, no buckets in which to toss the change. Curious about out-of-state vehicles? We received a bill from Texas at our home in Georgetown for $22.75 for our use of their tollways over a 6-month visit (and could have saved $5.35 if we had purchased an E-Z Pass). It works.
Peace begins at home
As a lifelong resident of Kentucky, I am growing concerned with the lack of peace throughout our state. Each day we open a paper or read a news update online of physical disputes, burglary, drug abuse, murder and other atrocious crimes. While every American is understandably concerned about war, Russia and ISIS, I question what we are doing at home. While we definitely need to concentrate on foreign affairs, if we cannot keep our citizens safe, how will we maintain peace elsewhere
I hope that others feel this way, so we can start the groundwork toward a more peaceful Kentucky, by eradicating illegal drug abuse and creating more jobs to encourage Kentuckians to acquire money through appropriate and legal means. This may be wishful thinking, but we can achieve it if we work toward making it happen.
Mike Pence and MLK
I was impressed with Indiana Governor Mike Pence's March 31, news conference. He said that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had been one of his heroes and since his high school days. He talked about accepting Georgia congressman John Lewis' invitation to join him and others in marching across the Edmund Pettus Bridge to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the historic Selma march. That was a mighty fine thing for Pence and his family to do.
King has always been one of my heroes, too. Pence got my attention because I don't think I have ever heard a prominent Republican say King was one of their heroes. Why is it that so few Republicans, even around Martin Luther King Day each January, express appreciation for King's good words and deeds?
The Republican Party, primarily a white people's party, makes little effort to win the black vote; ten percent of the black vote in presidential elections is par for the course.
I would like to hear Pence articulate why King is one of his heroes. We usually try to emulate the best qualities of our heroes. To emulate King's quest for peace and justice, his love of all people of every race and religion and his compassion for the poor would be a good start in showing we understand what he was teaching us.
Paul Lam Whiteley Sr.
Fox News tells it right
I must exercise my right to free speech in regards to a March 27 letter that said the people who habitually watch Fox News really don't care about factual information. Well, that is a lie. I care immensely about getting the truth. I watch Fox News every day, because it is the only network that gives the truth. ABC, NBC, CBS and CNN are all liberal left-wing networks that give the news that they or the administration want you to hear, not the important news. And far-left, liberal, out-of-this-world MSNBC doesn't even warrant any part of this discussion. Just check the ratings for cable news outlets. Fox has far surpassed CNN, which was untouched for years. And Bill O'Reilly has been No. 1 by far for 15 years.