Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: Sept. 27

Cost of lower limits outweighs benefits

Why bother lowering speed limits downtown? The money for the signs and labor to install and maintain them could be better spent elsewhere.

The most ignored signs in Lexington, or perhaps America, are those about speed limits. Lexington's laws border on ridiculous anyway: wide roads, some up to four lanes, with 25 mph limits and older, narrower streets with 35 mph limits.

The "25 unless posted otherwise" signs beg for contention and further interpretation, sort of like some constitutional amendments.

Downtown, there are few opportunities to exceed 25 mph before encountering heavier traffic or a traffic control such as a stop sign or red light. It isn't broken, so why fix it? Changing some streets from one-way back to two-way would certainly control speed but the burden on pedestrians to look both ways for traffic might be too much.

I do not advocate Lexington becoming a city of speed traps (unless we nab tourists) but there is a potential income stream where any accident involving a vehicle would incur a substantial fine for speeding. In this way Lexington could save money on installing and maintaining superfluous, conflicting speed-limit signs but also generate a revenue stream to help balance the budget.

Tom McNally


Take a break from bourbon

Here we go again. Two full pages in a Wednesday paper on all the glorious kinds of killer bourbon one can buy, which when downed by the wrong people could be devastating — addiction, murder, accidents, loss of income, prison and on and on.

Maybe the Herald-Leader should find something better to splash on its pages than booze. How about how to help the homeless, the living wage and poverty?

Sharon McGuire


Selective memories

Recent commentaries were studies in selective memory.

Herald-Leader columnist Tom Eblen was again printed on the wrong page. He gets lost in the forest of opinion because he is always turning left, stumbling over unstated facts. Like Rip Van Winkle, he also slumbers, awakening to hope and change and missing innumerable assaults on the rule of law, a subject which now interests him.

The prize, however, goes to poet-essayist Wendell Berry. To him, anyone who utterly disagrees with President Barack Obama is a racist. Berry has obviously forgotten Bush Derangement Syndrome. The illness once afflicted many progressives, some of whom were black. Since Bush is white, does that make them racists?

The word "racist" used to have meaning, but the left has destroyed that word, like so many others. Sad that a good writer would pile on. It is now just a tool of intimidation, meant to silence political opposition.

In the 1950s, Sen. Joseph McCarthy used the term Communist to similar effect. It was aimed particularly at artists and writers, as Berry no doubt knows.

McCarthy was finally asked at a congressional hearing: "Have you left no sense of decency?"

Good question.

Cameron S. Schaeffer


Right-wing cabal

University of Kentucky professor Ernie Yarnarella's Sept. 6 column, "Kentucky clerk a pawn in national right-wing agenda," brought to mind another example of efforts by outside groups to impose their will on Kentucky: those pushing for the misleadingly named right-to-work law.

The Herald-Leader correctly pointed this out in a Jan. 5 editorial, "Kentucky counties pawns in big political games" and identified Florida-based Protect My Check, Washington. D.C.-based Heritage Foundation, and Arlington, Va.-based Legislative Exchange Council as "working to foment a wave of local anti-union laws."

On July 7, reporter Jack Brammer reported that the billionaire Koch brothers' front group, Americans for Prosperity, had given $50,000 to "assist in legal fees of Kentucky fiscal courts facing lawsuits by unions for passing right-to-work ordinances."

Like Greeks bearing gifts, this out-of-state cabal of right-wing, wealthy, anti-union interests wants to bring the right to work (for less) Trojan horse to our commonwealth. It's not for the sake of Kentucky workers and families but to advance their quest for a nation where unions don't exist and unbridled corporate greed is the primary objective.

I urge all Kentuckians, whether union members or not, to reject the false premises and promises of these groups.

Robert Akin

President, Bluegrass Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO


Miss Herald-Leader of old

I have been a great fan of the Herald-Leader for over 35 years; it has kept me company while I eat lunch almost every working day.

It used to be a wonderful source for regional and state news (still is pretty good I think) and a fair source of national and international news.

I mourn the loss of the paper's national and international flavor. The world is a very busy place these days with things of great moment happening all the time, and yet the paper's national and international news coverage has shrunk to a single page. That is woefully inadequate.

I know there are other newspapers which I could read that have far greater resources than those of the Herald-Leader and which continue to give good coverage.

And I am not unaware of the increasingly dire plight of newspapers nationwide in this age in which so many have turned to other media.

I love a newspaper, though, and I pine for the days when the Herald-Leader was far more than the purely local paper it has now become. The long and short of it: I want my Herald-Leader back. Can you not do better?

Garrett T. Fowles


Suicide prevention: talk

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, there are more than 41,000 suicides a year in the U.S. and more than 700 in Kentucky.

Despite the problem, few want to discuss it.

My students won't talk about it, some newspaper editors refuse to publish information about suicide and some families don't have a funeral for those who commit suicide.

My cousin killed himself 11 years ago in Barbourville. His community and family came together for his funeral. I wish they had been able to offer more support before his suicide.

I challenge churches to talk about suicide. Churches know what to do when someone has a physical ailment, but when someone has a mental-health problem churches may not know how to handle it. Many people turn to clergy in times of need.

Also, we should support families when there is a suicide. Sometimes we ask, "why didn't those family members do something?" Families were often doing everything they knew how to.

If you know someone who is suicidal you can call (800) 273-TALK. My experience says talking about this topic saves lives; silence does not.

Daniel W. Phillips III

Associate professor of Criminal Justice

St. Catharine College

St. Catharine

UK stingy on toilets

I would like to voice a complaint about the lack of restroom facilities in the parking lots at Commonwealth Stadium for University of Kentucky football games.

This year has been the worst I have ever seen for the lack of portable toilets. I have heard this opinion by many in the last few weeks.

For the increase in revenues and the amount of money the university has made off of loyal football fans in recent years (especially this year), it is a travesty for the money-hungry bunch at UK to keep sucking more funds and taking more away from fans.

UK must provide more restroom facilities to tailgaters. The situation is totally absurd.

Jeff Crump


McConnell's enlightenment

In a shocking announcement, Mitch McConnell has resigned after listening to Pope Francis' speech.

He was quoted as saying, "I've spent 30 years doing nothing for the hungry, homeless and denying global warming is real. I'm not going to ruin a perfect record by being shamed into changing my ways by a guy who prefers to eat with hungry homeless people who can do nothing for him. That is just Un-American."

Walter Frazier


Cartoon, article totally off-target on guns

The cartoon by Jim Morin of the Miami Herald about opportunities to be shot and the article in the same section about Sandy Hook are pathetic.

It's common sense that if you impose gun control it will only affect the people who are legal and responsible gun owners.

I have a carry permit and I don't worry about being shot because I have the ability to defend myself and my loved ones. I am not naive enough to believe I am invincible because I carry a gun, I just don't want to be at the mercy of any evil or crazy person intent on doing harm. You can take any tragedy where there is a loss of life and twist it to support your agenda.

Why don't you try educating people on some real issues, like:

If you attack a police officer with your bare hands, a knife, a gun, or you try to run over them with your car there's a good chance you will get shot and rightly so.

If you live with a person who has mental health issues and you own guns, keep them under lock and key.

Dan Linville

Mount Sterling