Letters to the Editor

Hotter than ever in Australia, plus thoughts on Lexington traffic and Matt Bevin

Icicles clung to the street signs for Snow Road and Winter Garden Drive in Lexington in this 2014 file photo.CHARLES BERTRAMCBERTRAM@HERALD-LEADER.COM
Icicles clung to the street signs for Snow Road and Winter Garden Drive in Lexington in this 2014 file photo.CHARLES BERTRAMCBERTRAM@HERALD-LEADER.COM

Bevin fearmongering

Fearful people don’t think clearly. With a little thought, we’d recognize Gov. Matt Bevin’s consumption-based tax system benefits Bevin and those to whom he’s beholden.

But Bevin wants a visceral reaction, sans thought:

Kentucky’s credit ratings will be downgraded if GOP changes to earned retirement benefits don’t pass right now. Retiree health plans will collapse and non-hazardous state employee retirement plans will run out of money unless my bill passes right now.

Nothing like fear to rally the folks around a savior.

The loathing is palpable in Bevin spokesperson Elizabeth Kuhn’s allusion to the “left-wing media” fiddling while Kentucky burns, “celebrating” the recent Moody’s investment and Fitch’s credit reports that temper Bevin’s dire pronouncements.

Although declaring “credit negative” the Kentucky Supreme Court’s dismissal of a GOP 2018 pension reform bill, Moody’s Investor Services did not, in fact, cut the state’s credit rating. Savings potentially achieved by the proposed reforms would be modest.

According to Fitch’s report, the 2018 GOP retirement benefits reform bill would not affect the state’s credit rating. Revising a tax system that doesn’t produce enough revenue to meet the state’s needs — that would affect Kentucky’s credit rating, positively.

Fired up now? On to Frankfort.

Nisia Thornton, Melbourne

No to new comp plan

On Jan. 31, Lexington’s Planning Commission should vote down a disastrous, albeit slicky marketed, updated Comprehensive Plan, nicknamed Imagine Lexington, that envisions greatly increased traffic congestion.

Imagine Lexington is designed to tear down single-family structures on arteries and build anything that holds more people than the current structure, leading to haphazard development that destroys neighborhoods’ character and creates traffic problems. One example is the townhouse development on Tates Creek Road. A single-family home usually hosts two cars, while the new Glendover development will allow 28. That’s 26 additional cars entering and exiting directly onto that road every rush hour.

Avoiding egress onto arteries is important because, unlike nearby cities, Lexington has no interstate highways traversing the city that we can hop onto. Consequently, the arteries’ traffic flow is critical to the well-being of not only our daily commute, but our economy. The last thing planners should want is tourists and residents thinking: “I’d like to shop in Chevy Chase, but I don’t have an hour to drive there.”

People in south Lexington tell me they avoid Hamburg due to traffic. What a loss for those businesses. Enacting the 2018 Comprehensive Plan will shorten the radius of places Lexingtonians are willing to drive to, reducing customers for small businesses.

Barry Saturday, Lexington

Cold comfort

The recent cold weather may spark some climate-change deniers to claim global warming a hoax. While the cold temperatures in Kentucky are not record cold, on the other side of the Earth in Australia they are experiencing record heat.

On Jan. 27 Adelaide, Australia, experienced its hottest ever temperature of 117 degrees Fahrenheit. Five of Australia’s 10 warmest days on record have been experienced in January of this year. So while we bask in non-record cool weather, our fellow planet-dwellers in Australia are sweltering in record heat.

In a stable climate, the ratio of new record highs to new record lows should be approximately even. In the United States, the most recent decade (2000-2010) was the nation’s warmest on record. Record-breaking high temperatures are now outnumbering record lows by an average decadal ratio of 2:1. So record heat is occurring twice as often as record lows. This disparity has been slowly increasing since the 1950s when it was roughly 1:1

Joe Crouch, Lexington