Letters to the Editor

Ah, Kentucky, you generate a lot of opinions (and some great writers).

New Kentucky Hall of Fame writers followed similar paths but found different voices

Ed McClanahan and Gurney Norman are the 2019 living inductees into the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame. The deceased inductees are author Sue Grafton, poet Jane Gentry Vance and journalists Helen Thomas, Alice Dunnigan.
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Ed McClanahan and Gurney Norman are the 2019 living inductees into the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame. The deceased inductees are author Sue Grafton, poet Jane Gentry Vance and journalists Helen Thomas, Alice Dunnigan.

Prophets in their own land

Last month’s story about the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame nominees was good news. Just the week before, I had recommended “The Natural Man” to a student who grew up in a small Kentucky town and worked in the movie theater there, which is the situation of Ed McClanahan’s central character.

Also, it was my privilege to have had Gurney Norman and Jane Gentry as teachers in graduate-school classes at the University of Kentucky. Better teachers and finer persons cannot be found.

They all deserve their place of honor.

The only negative in all this (besides the fact that Jane’s award is posthumous) is that, like Wendell Berry, James Still, Thomas Merton and several others, these Kentucky names and their works are barely, if at all, known to students and graduates of Kentucky schools.

Jim Hanna, Lexington

A leap backward

In a state struggling with a pension system on the verge of collapse and ranking in the bottom 10 percent nationally as to health care, education and opioid deaths, the commonwealth is blessed with two legislators who are challenging the mandatory fluoridation of drinking water.

I wonder why Sen. Steve West and Rep. Mark Hart don’t stop mandatory vaccinations for polio, chicken pox and diphtheria, and provide the children of the state with the health care they enjoyed in 1800. If these two visionaries are concerned with water quality, why don’t they start reversing the 100-year legislative sellout to the coal industry which has resulted in the “orange water” syndrome in Eastern Kentucky?

“We both campaigned on less government and stuff,” Hart was quoted as saying. One could assume from this proposal that “stuff” is inclusive of Alex Jones’ “Pizzagate” conspiracies and those who assert that the world is flat.

We elect and pay legislators to address the multitude of problems which affect Kentucky. West and Hart should step back a moment and refocus their efforts on issues of consequence.

This legislation would be laughable if it wasn’t so sad.

Jeffery Morris, Lexington

Animal assault ban

I commend state Sen. Julie Raque Adams for sponsoring a bill to finally ban the sexual assault of animals in Kentucky. Kentucky is one of only five states that haven’t expressly banned it, and the inability to prosecute these acts interferes with the work of law enforcement officers and prosecutors throughout the commonwealth. I find this ludicrous.

Animal sexual assault, also called bestiality, is linked to child sexual abuse, the making of child pornography and sex trafficking. It is well-documented that violence against animals is linked to human violence. Sexual assault on any living creature is an act of violence. By not prosecuting people who participate in bestiality we are opening our families up to harm. Our state is a laughingstock due to the lack of animal protection bills compared to the rest of the country, and this fact needs to change.

I’m calling on my legislators and the Kentucky General Assembly to pass Senate Bill 67 to ban the sexual abuse of all animals and help create a safer community for families and children.

Tymory Stanton

Why, Kentucky?

Technology is so advanced that a wall will not make a difference. Republicans have controlled Congress for the past four years and do not want immigration reform. The reason is that the Republican Party represents big business, and big business would rather pay illegal immigrants less than minimum-wage with no benefits to make more profit. That’s why Republicans have done nothing about illegal immigration.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell does absolutely nothing for middle-class Americans and has done so for years. He is the right hand of President Donald Trump, and rubber-stamped the tax cut for the wealthiest Americans while middle-class taxes are going up. Where are Trump’s tax returns? McConnell will never ask for them.

My question is to the people of Kentucky: Why do you keep electing Mitch McConnell? He is stealing your money and soon will be stealing Social Security and Medicare.

J.T. Kelsch, Hawthorne, N.J.