Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor: Red River Gorge resort a bad idea; reaction to Trump rally, mural

Resort plan raises questions

I live in Menifee County,not far from the Slade Mountain Parkway exit mentioned in Herald-Leader opinion writer Linda Blackford’s recent article about a potential resort/theme park near there. I’m remembering the Hidden Valley Resort Park “fiascoes” of the late 1970s in Powell County. That one bombed out for an interesting variety of reasons, some of which I had knowledge about.

Do I have this right? A half-million dollars of Appalachian Regional Commission federal taxpayers’ money plus another half-million dollars of state taxpayers’ money, all toward a project being discussed by three local politicians and a few bankers toward a theoretical resort on private land, none of which has a written plan?

To place that much tax money on the line for an unvetted idea is a bit of a stretch.

For what it’s worth, one of those counties has no coal while the other two have not much, yet the project is mentioned as a make up for the loss of coal jobs. In fairness, Eastern Kentucky does need more jobs. My question is toward how this is coming about via taxpayer money. Does Kentucky have to develop private projects with public money to gain jobs?

I’m calling this a very weak beginning.

Michael Tyree, Frenchburg

Project not ‘ecotourism’

Herald-Leader opinions writer Linda Blackford is absolutely right to raise the alarm about the proposed “destination resort” being planned for Red River Gorge area. But I take issue with her last sentence, “Ecotourism in Kentucky holds a lot of potential, but it must be done right.” It gives the impression this development has the potential to be ecotourism. There is nothing about the scale of this proposed project that could qualify as an “ecotourism” project. Ecotourism is more than tourism to visit natural wonders; it’s tourism that respects and protects those wonders. In addition, most of what’s in this project could be anywhere -- it doesn’t depend on or take advantage of what is special about this area full of unique features and natural history. A “themed village”? A convention center? Put them near an existing city, not at the edge of a protected area. This development will send its profits and benefits out of the area, and kill local businesses catering to outdoor activities and outdoorsy people by ruining what draws their customers to the area. Don’t use the word ecotourism on the same page as a description of this proposal, in case people misunderstand and think the project could be anything but harmful to the area.

Zina Merkin, Lexington

Back horse racing bill

Those of us in the thoroughbred industry are as concerned and dismayed about fatalities at Keeneland and other racetracks, as are racing fans and the public. We are involved with horses because we love them and we do all we can to ensure their welfare. But we haven’t yet done enough.

Thousands of us in the thoroughbred industry, including owner/breeders, trainers, and racing fans, have signed up to join the Water Hay Oats Alliance (WHOA) in support of the Horse Racing Integrity Act that would create an independent, nonprofit anti-doping agency for American horseracing. Also in support is the Coalition of Horseracing Integrity, whose members include Keeneland. Introduced in the U.S. House by Congressman Andy Barr, House Resolution 1754 is currently co-sponsored by 172 congressmen. A companion bill, Senate Bill 1820, was recently introduced in the Senate.

Missing from the bill’s supporters is the Kentucky delegation. It’s vital that Congress passes this legislation, for the sake of the horses, the 50,000 Kentuckians who make our living from breeding and racing, and the economic impact this industry contributes to the state. I invite you to join WHOA and urge you to contact your Kentucky senator and congressmen to support this bill.

Dan Rosenberg, Versailles

Mural puts hate on display

After letting someone put hate out like that, I am glad to not live there.

Karolyn Davenport, Waynesburg

Expand word choice

Free speech or not, it is too bad that the “artist” has such a limited vocabulary.

Robert Hughes, Lexington

City can’t afford rally

I’ve read Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton’s statement regarding the President Donald Trump visit. I still am concerned and upset the city has to foot the bill for security services for a Gov. Matt Bevin/Trump political rally, at a time the city is cutting services to other programs, including Parks and Recreation therapeutic recreation programs which my son participates in.

The city of Albuquerque, New Mexico, says Trump’s recent visit cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in police service and lost work time.

When belt-tightening budgets have been called for and implemented, it seems this is something we can ill afford.

Diane Cahill, Lexington

Mideast alliances complex

Herald-Leader columnist Larry Webster’s Kurd/curd homonymy disappoints the reader patiently waiting for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to become Little Miss Muffet, sitting on a tuffet of Syrian sand and eating curds. Oh dear. Which spider will now sit down beside him and frighten him away? Russian President Vladimir Putin? Syrian President Bashar al-Assad? The Ayatollah? Humor can illuminate and obscure complexity.

Alliances in the Middle East are like its shifting sands. Tribes and nations have shifting interests, and war is, as they say, politics by other means. It only took withdrawing a few hundred American troops to induce our mercenaries, the Kurds, to embrace Assad. Webster romanticizes the Kurds, but they are just as backward and as violent as every other tribe in the region. They have been killing Turks, our NATO allies, for centuries. I’m sure there is something in all that NATO paperwork about border security.

Trump has made Democrats hate borders and love war; let’s hope he tweets for cannibalism.

Webster did not say how long we should stay in Syria, or when his son will be joining the Kurds. I suspect forever and never. Some of us want our sons to play in sandboxes, not die in them.

Cameron S. Schaeffer, Lexington

Kudos to Title IX story

I’m writing in response to the article written by Herald-Leader reporters Mike Stunson and Morgan Eads regarding the potential Title IX violations at the University of Kentucky. Many do not notice the numerous benefits that Title IX has offered so many women since its passage in 1972, and therefore do not know its importance.

Indiana Sen. Birch Bayh was the initial sponsor of the Title IX bill, and his main reasoning was to “combat the continuation of corrosive and unjustified discrimination against women in the American education system”, according to the United States Department of Justice. Bayh wanted to ensure that women had equal opportunities in comparison to their male counterparts to ensure those women had equal opportunities within the workplace as well. The passage came at the peak of the women’s liberation movement which was a monumental step towards equality.

Nearly 50 years later, women still fight discrimination with movements for equal pay, the #MeToo and Times Up movements, and for equal recognition such as the U.S. women’s soccer team’s effort. By bringing this story to thousands of individuals, you are reminding them that the fight is still ongoing, and for that I commend you.

Rachel Rigney, St. Louis