Letters to the Editor

Letter writers weigh in on proposed 10-story Maxwell Street student building

Aptitude Development LLC of Elmwood Park, New Jersey, wants to raze several older homes on East Maxwell Street between Stone and Lexington avenues to build a complex that will be 10 stories on one side and three stories on the side closest to Stone.
Aptitude Development LLC of Elmwood Park, New Jersey, wants to raze several older homes on East Maxwell Street between Stone and Lexington avenues to build a complex that will be 10 stories on one side and three stories on the side closest to Stone. aslitz@herald-leader.com

Improve housing complex plan

Where does a 500-ton gorilla sit? Anywhere it wants to, of course. And there’s a gorilla that wants to squat on East Maxwell and Stone Avenue. It’s not a real gorilla; it’s much worse: It’s an oxygen-eating student housing complex that will contribute to the heat island effect in the city. However, thanks to our forward-thinking planning commission, there are requirements in place that will prevent this gorilla from sucking up all the oxygen, pooping (increasing our carbon footprint) and throwing banana peelings all over the street (an unappealing aesthetic, to say the least). The planning commission’s requirements state that the complex must be aesthetically pleasing, match the surrounding architecture, and meet environmental standards. And the developers have taken some steps to meet those requirements.

But there are additional steps that need to be taken. The street around the complex needs to be lined with ginkgo trees; they suck up large amounts of carbon dioxide, and are beautiful. The developers should work with our city arborist, Heather Wilson, who does an excellent job in making sure our urban canopy is maintained. Also, the first floor should house shops, not cars.

Sue Mize, Lexington, Transylvania Park Neighborhood Association president

Keep zoning intact

As a native of Lexington, I have witnessed the destruction that zone changes to accommodate the greed of a few have caused to Lexington over the past 50 years. Historic neighborhoods hold the scars of the developers’ greed.

I strongly oppose the proposed Maxwell Street property zone change because:

It destroys the historic neighborhood section of our city

It devalues the property of long-term residents

It causes economic distress to long-term homeowners

It only benefits a few non-native individuals

It negatively affects the quality of life by causing increased pollution, increased traffic in an already crowded area, minimizing sunlight for those homes around the proposed 10-story building, and increasing noise level because of too many people living in a specific area.

Hopefully the Urban County Planning Commission is unbiased and/or not compromised and will make the decision to decline the zone change request.

Donna Maupin, Lexington

Racing plan harmful

The Horse Racing Integrity Act is bad for the health and welfare of horses and the local economies dependent on the industry.

The National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association believes in practicing the highest standards of horsemanship and is committed to working towards improving the care, health, and safety of horses. That is not what House Resolution 1754 does.

The measure would terminate the 100-year-old state-based system and create a federally based system with agencies that have no experience working with the unique needs of equine athletes.

For almost any policy area, the best decisions are made by those nearest to the people whom they affect. I wonder why we believe horse racing is that rare instance in which turning over money and power to the federal government will produce a panacea.

H.R.1754 bans race-day administration of Lasix without any scientific basis and without the support of the nation’s leading veterinary organizations. A ban on Lasix has the potential to significantly impact the health and welfare of racehorses adversely, as well as the industry’s strength.

The bill ignores the rigorous, effective testing already in place. Performance-enhancing drugs aren’t allowed in racing. In 2018, the industry took 258,920 samples with 99.4 percent free of any violations — only 0.04 percent impacted performance.

Eric Hamelback, Lexington, CEO of the NHBP

City drivers dangerous

It’s great that Lexington is promoting bicycling and walking. I’m for all of this, but it’s a bit ironic given how bad the drivers are in this city with concerns to pedestrians. It is by far the most unsafe of the cities that I’ve walked in; south Lexington by Walmart and The Summit especially. I wonder if drivers remember those basic rules for pedestrians in their drivers’ manual: never turn in front of a pedestrian, keep so many feet away after going around a pedestrian, pedestrians have the right of way… . These are all afterthoughts when it comes to Lexington drivers. I often wonder how motivated Lexington police are when it comes to handing out moving violations.

Monty Saylor, Lexington

Recycling conundrum

Still we cannot recycle paper in Lexington. I am told there is no clear date when we can start recycling paper again. This is absurd.

Our recycling materials are sent overseas. I wonder why that is. Wouldn’t it make more sense economically and for the good of the planet to have recycling plants here? We produce more trash than any other country and yet we depend on other countries to reprocess it into something useful. Rather than encouraging manufacturing plants that put toxins in the air we breathe and the water we drink, we should focus on cleaning up our own backyard.

Catherine Ferguson, Lexington

Gun ad ‘disgracefully cavalier’

With gun control being one of the hottest topics in the news today it is confounding to see the Herald-Leader bypassing the issue by filling an entire back page of its Sept. 22 Sunday issue — the A section — with a gun sale advertisement. “Fall into Savings”, it says. The irony of that title is almost humorous if not for it being disgracefully cavalier.

Shame on the Herald-Leader for filling up its lacking news reporting with full-page ads for violent ends. The almighty buck is obviously more powerful than any message of peace from any Sunday pulpit.

D.L. Torabi, Lexington

Trump’s chickens

President Donald Trump must be hearing the sounds of the flutter of wings. The proverbial chickens are coming home to roost in Trump”s life. The wrongs, the lies, the cover-ups — the list is coming out to the light of day and it’s not a pretty sight. What a wonderful teaching tool for parents to use to instruct their children upon the hazards of doing the wrong things in life instead of the right. Interesting times we are living in. Chickens can fly for short distances. A person’s wrongs can travel much farther.

Phil Greer, Frankfort