Letters to the Editor

Letters: A tax for recycling? UK’s ill-advised institute. More solar in Lexington.

Are you recycling wrong?

Recycling program manager Angela Poe explains what can and can not go into recycling bins in Lexington, Kentucky.
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Recycling program manager Angela Poe explains what can and can not go into recycling bins in Lexington, Kentucky.

Recycling solutions

I am a Kentucky transplant who is proud and happy to live in the wonderful city of Lexington. I look around and see bike trails, new parks, and well-kept streets and houses. An affluent and well-educated city like Lexington should be in the forefront of what is happening with recycling in our country. China will no longer taking our trash so we need to have a new plan. Perhaps we could have a small city tax (hooked on to our LFUCG garbage bill) for anyone making over $50,000 a year.

We could use this tax to build a state-of-the-art recycling center and pay (if we have to) for a company to take our recycled goods. Let’s have Lexington be at the front of this movement so that we have one more thing to be proud of. I know that I would be glad to contribute in this way. We also need a city ordinance that says no to straws and extra paper products in restaurants and that requires all take-out food cartons to be made of recyclable materials.

Cindy Frase, Lexington

UK institute ill-versed

Coal executive Joe Craft, pizza magnate John Schnatter, the Kochs and the economists at the University of Kentucky who administer the Institute for the Study of Free Enterprise are ignorant of the original meaning of the phrase “free enterprise”. They appropriate the term for their own self-serving and nutty economic ideas. Free enterprise in 19th century and classical economic usage meant to free the economy from rent seeking and unearned income. Bankers, monopolists, landlords and other rentiers, who enjoyed mainly hereditary gains, strapped the economy in debt service and a too-high cost of living. Today is no different. If Craft had to pay the real cost of mining and burning coal — air and water pollution, and lung disease — he would not have $3 million for his vanity projects.

The quartet above seek to free business from government regulation and regulate themselves. This self-regulation is achieved by buying political influence, placing industry lobbyists and executives in cabinet-level departments, and generally capturing the regulatory framework of our government. Some results are obvious; with a short drive we can witness the coal industry’s plundering of eastern Kentucky.

The university, in forming this “institute,” advertises its poor judgment and hostility to economic history.

Todd Kelly, Lexington

U of L falls short again

Once again, a University of Louisville athletic program has displayed a wanton disregard for good sportsmanship and ethical conduct. U of L leadership has brought us Rick Pitino, hookers for recruits, Bobby Petrino, playbook gate, and now, baseball coach Dan McDonnell. McDonnell’s apparent indifference to pitcher Luke Smith’s vulgarity-laced performance in the elimination game against Vanderbilt illustrates, once again, a university that is totally disconnected from what college athletics is supposed to be. The institution is an embarrassment to the commonwealth of Kentucky.

John Wareham, Nicholasville

Solar on the new center?

Thanks to the Herald-Leader for the article about the new solar panels at Appalshop in Whitesburg. I attended Seedtime on the Cumberland in the new solar pavilion and the music was excellent.

I find it interesting that there are now more public solar installations in Whitesburg and Harlan County than in Fayette County. I wonder why we aren’t we putting solar panels on the roof of the new convention center.

Dave Cooper, Lexington

Just a dream

The recent article on Kentucky’s best companies was quite a list. Great companies doing great things for the people of the commonwealth. I was reminded of a dream I had some time back of a news conference where Gov. Matt Bevin stood with members of Ford, Toyota, FedEx and UPS, among others. The governor was announcing a 10-year Give Back to Kentucky program where all of those great companies had enthusiastically agreed to give back billions of dollars to the state in state money (yours and mine) they received or saved in deferred taxes. Money that, coupled with some hard-fought-for and painful tax reform, would eliminate the states pension deficit in a decade, and turn around the annual imbalance of revenue coming in versus tax credits going out to business. Each company signed an agreement promising to stay and grow business in Kentucky. The conference ended with a standing ovation, the governor raising hands high with the company execs, and of course, me waking up.

David Dukes, Versailles