Letters to the Editor

Letters: City can’t build a community for seniors without amenities; Kentucky children need our help

Aerial view of proposed 40-acre development on Spurr Road, seen here between the railroad tracks, top left, and Spurr Road, top right.
Aerial view of proposed 40-acre development on Spurr Road, seen here between the railroad tracks, top left, and Spurr Road, top right. rgarrison@herald-leader.com

Senior moment on zoning

Lexington Planning & Zoning Commission’s unanimous approval of zone changes for an Anderson Communities development on Spurr Road is something of a head-scratcher.

It’s understood that we want to create more density in Fayette County, but 131 three bedroom single-family homes, 25 townhouses and three five-story senior apartment living complexes seem a whole lot to fit onto a 40-acre site. Not to mention one that is served by a narrow two-lane road.

But beyond that, Spurr Road is hardly an ideal location for senior living.

AARP has a highly respected Livable Communities program, and Lexington is part of its Age Friendly Network. The proposed development is the antithesis of a livable community for seniors. There are no amenities anywhere near that location for seniors. No grocery, no doctors, no hospitals, no restaurants, nothing to walk to, no nothing. And nothing planned either.

The Urban County Council ought to be asking some pointed questions about at least that part of the proposal when it reconvenes.

Timothy M. Kelly


Stop corporal punishment

Kentucky is one of 19 states that still allow corporal punishment in our public schools. Paddling, spanking, flogging, and other forms of physical force are currently allowed.

In the 2017-2018 school year, there were over 300 incidents of corporal punishment in 17 of our school districts. Kentucky Bill Request 429 would abolish corporal punishment throughout all school districts in our commonwealth.

We understand that some students can be disruptive and even put their classmates in danger and should be disciplined. But striking, hitting or spanking a student is not the answer.

Corporal punishment has been associated with lower ACT scores, fatigue and suicidal thoughts. It causes physical and emotional pain and does nothing to address the behavior that caused the child to be disciplined.

Kentucky needs to use more effective disciplinary actions. Restorative justice focuses on the behavioral impact student actions have on others and gives a better deterrent than physical pain or abuse. With community service and a demerit system, we can hold ourselves to higher standards in education while helping to ensure the security and well being of our students.

Please call your lawmakers at (502) 564-8100 and encourage them to support Bill Request 429.

Charlie Gardner, Alex Young and Elizabeth George


Help Kentucky children

The Dec. 2 Foster Care Facts report noted that there were 9,818 children in out-of-home care (foster homes, residential homes, psychiatric hospitals, detention centers, etc.) in Kentucky.

According to Kentucky Youth Advocates, 9 percent of Kentucky’s children are being raised by a relative, compared to a national rate of 4 percent. Kentucky consistently ranks among the five states with the highest childhood homelessness. Less that 50 percent of our children start kindergarten ready.

Kentucky’s children deserve better.

They need us to fully fund K-12 education and expand free and affordable early start and preschool programs. They need us volunteering in classrooms and mentoring. They need health care and more accessible mental health and therapeutic programs to help manage impacts of childhood trauma. They need more affordable family housing units and emergency shelters, in both urban and rural communities.

As you gather with families and friends over the holidays, discuss how you might use your time and talents to benefit Kentucky’s children. It could be as simple as writing or calling legislators ahead of the 2019 General Assembly. Maybe become a mentor or foster parent. Perhaps donate five hours a month to your local school.

It’s time we protect our future and invest in Kentucky’s children.

Stephanie Aschmann Spires

Chair, Fayette County Board of Education/foster parent

Mueller memo explained

As he held forth with the media recently, one might have thought that Sen. Rand Paul was conversant on the alleged campaign violations of President Donald Trump as described in special counsel Robert Mueller’s latest sentencing memo for Michael Cohen.

But because Paul failed to refer to any detail of the memo and instead complained about the general complexity of campaign finance law, this letter is entirely for his edification.

Mueller’s memo describes not merely alleged campaign finance violations, but the commission of fraud and the lengths and effort exercised by Trump and the Trump organization to hide the violations. As Paul tells it, Trump and his employees were confused by campaign finance law. The latest Mueller filing says that Trump and his organization conspired to defraud voters by hiding activity that would have influenced the 2016 presidential election.

Paul failed to accurately describe Mueller’s memo and Kentuckians deserve to know why.

Todd Kelly