Letters to the Editor

Letters: Derby tickets too pricey; keep politics out of racing, especially horse names

The scene at the Kentucky Derby

Bacon man, a hula party headed for the infield and "Albert Einstein" were some of the characters in Louisville for the 142nd Kentucky Derby.
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Bacon man, a hula party headed for the infield and "Albert Einstein" were some of the characters in Louisville for the 142nd Kentucky Derby.

Derby tickets too costly

I want to express my disappointment and sadness to the Churchill Downs Board of Directors at the cost of attending the Kentucky Derby. My family hails from “The Bluegrass State.” It was a family tradition for years to gather at my grandparents’ home to watch the Derby, enjoy a meal, and place wagers amongst ourselves. We all wiped our tears singing “My Old Kentucky Home.”

I now proudly call Kentucky my home. My spouse and I have toured Churchill Downs too many times to count. It has been my dream to attend the Derby since I was old enough to say “horse.” So, to make a lifelong dream come true, I have perused the cost of Derby tickets for my spouse and myself. What a disappointment.

Derby tickets are so outrageously priced that only a select few are able to purchase them. This means the average person, like me, will never be able to attend the Derby. The Derby is for the top echelon and the top 20 percent of people who can afford such luxuries and who don’t have to decide to either pay the mortgage and utility bills for two months, or fulfill a lifelong dream.

Sadly, the Derby has become a classist organization to me.

Judith Yates, Adolphus

Keep racing politics-free

I am horse player, inveterate Keeneland fan and a Democrat. On Bluegrass Stakes day I was at Keeneland for my third and last day of my twice-yearly blissful visit. I love Lexington and Keeneland and everything about them.

On the day in question, at least two horses had political names, Covfefe and Limousine Liberal. I had a chuckle at them until a young man at the betting machine said to his friend, “I hate liberals, but let’s play him, he’s a good horse.” All of a sudden the nation’s divisions and the outside world came flooding in. We all stood for “My Old Kentucky Home” and the national anthem. We all shared the optimism that characterizes the racetrack before the first dollar has been wagered. We were one; as we should be all the time but especially at a place like Keeneland. It needs to be an apolitical space.

I therefore beg horse owners, as the new foals grace us with their presence, to avoid such names for their horses, no matter how good-humored the intent, and keep the racetrack politically neutral for all to enjoy.

Steven Passik, Apollo Beach, Florida

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos joined Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin at a roundtable discussion at Bluegrass Community & Technical College.

Some charter rules ...

I see U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Gov. Matt Bevin had a meeting. I have some ideas for the Kentucky legislature.

It should be illegal for charters receiving taxpayer money to require parents to pay fees for essential school materials. No legal fees should be discriminatory against low-income students.

Management services cannot be managed by any entity or individual who has been responsible for the management of any charter school that has gone bankrupt.

Neither charters nor their management companies can require parents to sign releases from being sued for failure to provide services, nor can they require arbitration.

State money obtained for educational purposes by the charter cannot be included in any bankruptcy proceeding and must be returned to the commonwealth if a charter closes.

Students’ legal representatives can sue for failure to provide educational services and these debts cannot be included in bankruptcy proceedings. If a charter is found to be liable, it will be responsible for three times the amount paid privately and through tax money for each child. The money from the commonwealth will go back to commonwealth.

We need to make sure that those who would act as profiteers using our children as pawns and those who would indoctrinate instead of educate will find that attempting to do so would be unprofitable in Kentucky.

Rene Thompson, Covington

Kentucky congressman Andy Barr invited New York Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez to meet miners in his state during a House Committee on Financial Services meeting on March 26, 2019. She replied that she'd be “happy” to tour a coal mine.

New rules for visits

It would appear that Rep. Andy Barr has set a standard for official visits to Kentucky with his request for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to apologize to Rep. Dan Crenshaw before she comes to Kentucky. I wonder if we should assume Barr will not invite President Donald Trump to Kentucky for campaign appearances until, and only if, the president apologizes to the family of the late Sen. John McCain. We can most assuredly know that Barr would not want to be labeled as hypocrite.

Billy Cowan, Ewing

What more do they want?

As the effects of tax day are still fresh in readers’ minds, I’d like to refer to an earlier Herald-Leader story that indicated that Rep. Steve Chabot, an Ohio Republican, “had to scroll deep into Google search results to find positive articles about (President Donald) Trump’s signature tax cuts last year.” Did many Lexingtonians find anything positive in the so-called tax cut?

Hey, they got our money, alright! The party made good on its motto: Make rich people richer. The tax cut went primarily to the very well-off and piled their windfall onto the national debt for our children to pay later. Can’t Chabot at least resist the desire to add insult to injury? Must he complain that the most popular articles on Google condemn the “tax cut”? His party manages to pull in enough people’s votes with its lies, gerrymandering, and ersatz morality – from people too stupid and/or uninformed to realize that they are being played – so that they can probably milk all of us for a long time to come. Be happy with that.

Michael Kennedy, Lexington

New role for UK

The University of Kentucky is in transition from an institution of higher learning to the University of Kentucky daycare center. Drop your student off. Then pick him or her up four years later. Then take them home and feed them.

Duke Martin, Lexington

Questions for McConnell

I am a registered Kentucky Republican. In Kentucky, Sen. Mitch McConnell is known as a master schemer. Does it not anger him that the president’s filling cabinet positions with “acting” employees whom he can hire and fire avoids constitutionally-mandated Senate oversight? I think particularly of the purging at the Department of Homeland Security of those who might point out that his desire to separate families is illegal. Does the Senate want to support a president who schemes against it so he can operate outside the law? I would respect a preemptive resolution affirming the illegality of such a policy and would think more highly of the senator for advocating it.

John Greenway, Lexington

Methodist LGBT vote

With the current climate of hate and divisive rhetoric it was disappointing to learn the United Methodist Church has joined with the Southern Baptist Convention in extending the persecution of the LGBT community. In times like these we would normally look to our religious leaders to take a stand against such immoral actions. To learn that two of our largest churches not only support but propagate bigotry is particularly alarming. Beyond displaying a total lack of basic human decency, their attempt to hide their hatred and bigotry behind the cross of Christ is a profoundly reprehensible, deplorable, cowardly and shameful act.

George Keifer, Lexington

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