Aramark's 'local' purchases for UK
Linda Blackford's Aug. 27 article about the purchasing practices of University of Kentucky food vendor Aramark was interesting. It is always a pleasure to read such in-depth, well-researched journalism in the Herald-Leader.
Aramark's claim that Atlanta-based Coca-Cola is a local food product simply doesn't ring true. Imagine the boost to our local farm economies if Aramark bought an additional $1 million of Kentucky Proud produce.
UK should offer Ale-8-One and Highbridge Springs Water to students instead of Coke. What a powerful message that would send about buying local.
I'm sure that Aramark will do better in the future but local food advocates will need to keep up the pressure.
On a related note, a major regional grocery chain is now advertising Grainger County Slicer Tomatoes with an "I'm Local!" tag.
Grainger County is in Tennessee.
I was very interested to read the story in the Herald Leader about "local" products being purchased by Aramark for use at University of Kentucky dining facilities as it confirmed what our company has experienced.
Highbridge Springs has a trademarked U.K. logo dating to 1995, Big Blue Swish, and we sold our water under that label for several years on campus in the cafeterias and convenicence-store locations.
We lost the business through the years to Coke and Pepsi, with whom we could not compete on a pricing level nor a sponsorship level. Highbridge has been a Kentucky Proud product since the program was known as Pride of Kentucky in the early 1990s.
As we all know "local" is often not the cheapest in a price comparison. The second level of comparison is where local can compete; this level is the amount of purchase dollars that stay in the local community versus going out of state.
Highbridge is certified as a Kentucky Proud product, a woman-owned small business and stands ready to help supply local products to UK and all other establishments that want to support local products.
Linda Griffin Slagel
Help homeless students
I want to thank reporter Beth Musgrave and the Herald-Leader for the special report on the 30,000 children of school age who are homeless in Kentucky.
It is certainly worth a front-page story to highlight that "Kentucky led the nation in the percentage of students who were homeless," during the most recent year for which we have statistics.
Musgrave did an excellent job illustrating what forms homelessness can take for school-age children, how it affects their performance, and some of the things school systems can do to help these children.
One article focused on what a family in Lexington in danger of becoming homeless can do to stay off the streets and together. Currently, Lexington has limited capacity to help. However, Charlie Lanter, head of Lexington's new Office of Homelessness Prevention and Intervention, is trying to develop a program to provide families with vouchers for temporary housing.
Keeping families together and children in environments where they can grow and learn is a must. I trust Lexington's new schools superintendent, Manny Caulk, will conclude that homeless students need all the support we can give them and that Mayor Jim Gray and the Urban County Council will look for every means of safeguarding their wellbeing.
Covering cycle accidents
Although I was touched by the recent human interest story about the bicyclist killed on Newtown Pike, I am upset by the paper's inadequate coverage of bicycle accidents as news.
As a bicycle commuter myself, I have many times turned to the Herald-Leader for the details of these accidents, which bear on my own safety and that of other cyclists and pedestrians.
But coverage of them is usually scant or vague. This lack of detail encourages cyclists and pedestrians to fear motorists (and vice versa) without helping them judge the true danger of their circumstances.
I urge you to publish more details of these accidents, including whatever witness or police information is available regarding the visibility and movements of cars and bicycles. This would help cyclists avoid dangerous situations and motorists know when to use added caution. And it would help elevate the public discourse about traffic, cycling and safety.
Thank you, Karla Ward
I want to thank your reporter Karla Ward for her lovely recollection of cicada moments on the Aug. 31 front page.
She writes with wit, tenderness and much grace. Her grandpa's "dry flies" and her mother's "herd of miniature cows" will be keeping me company in the garden as I find shells on the fence, both brown and green.
Lucky Caleb, as a fourth-generation cicada fan!
Please give us more of these stories. It will be a joy to find Ward's byline, soon and often.
Kroger closing will leave hole in neighborhood
It is sad that Kroger will close this middle-sized neighborhood store. The nearby viable community will be less for this loss. One cannot but believe that the new, remodeled, fancy stores need the customers from this store rather than the loss of dollars. In addition, people from other neighborhoods use the store for its location and convenience.
This hole in the neighborhood is comparable to the eight-year hole in the center of downtown. There will be fewer choices for the ones who wish a smaller more convenient venue.
For those of us who enjoy a neighborhood middle-sized store, who do not wish to roller skate from one end of the warehouse to the other, and who wish to preserve the sense of community, reconsider this closing. If that makes me elitist, then so be it. To clear up matters, I do not own a Gucci bag.
Clara Es-Stel Yates Wieland
A real treasure will be missed
The recent announcement of the closing of the Kroger store on Romany Road heralds a real loss of community for the greater Chevy Chase neighborhood. This was much more than a grocery store. It was a gathering place for neighbors to share news of their kids, grandkids, personal, events, etc.
The staff — Johnny, Andrea, Roy, Cora, Tim, Chris and all the others — knew most of their customers and spouses by their first names and knew their likes and dislikes. My wife is a chef during the day so I do all the cooking at home every night and was at this store at least three times a week over these past many years. The employees gave true meaning to the overused term "personal service."
You just don't find that any more at any nationally branded retailer in a city the size of Lexington. It has been a real treasure whose demise is a significant loss of community for our area.