Letters to the Editor

Readers' views

New project will double, destroy Midway

The Woodford County Planning and Zoning Commission holds the future of the unique community of Midway in its hands. I say “no” to the proposed residential development of property near Interstate 64 at Georgetown-Paris Road.

Lexington developer Dennis Anderson proposes to double the size of Midway’s population. Why would any developer want to build homes, restaurants and retail space on land occupied by huge, ugly power lines?

This is the same development group that several months ago bought property across the interstate for the development of a small hotel, which would have greatly benefited the community.

A sign has been on that property for some time now. It reads: “For lease or build to suit.” Since that has not seen fruition, what is the real plan for the other property?

What is happening to some of our smaller communities in the Bluegrass area is criminal. Versailles is a perfect example. It has allowed Rubloff Group Holdings to hold it hostage for years, and now the city council, against planning and zoning recommendations, has approved a large Lowe’s store instead of the original plan for a tree-lined, pedestrian-friendly uptown development.

Perhaps, in the case of Midway, the economic development association has not explored all avenues. Did they consult with anyone nationally to try to obtain expert advice as to what might be the best approach to market this property? Please do not change or alter the spirit that is Midway.

Peg JohnsonLexington

Project too costly

Developer Dennis Anderson astonished us all on May 29 at a planning and zoning hearing where he tried to present his plan to saddle the rare and beautiful town of Midway with an exponential debt.

His residential development, which could double Midway’s population, would force the community to provide extra police and fire department services, road upkeep, sewer restructuring and extra space at three schools in Midway that are already at maximum capacity. This could cost millions.

Most times with residential development, developers pay the total cost of this themselves, not the town or city. In this case, Anderson would already have land with water and sewer put in at Midway’s expense.

He has sought to convince the town council that letting him develop would be a great deal. Many in Midway and on the council have not run the numbers and don’t realize how high the debt could run. In five years, depending how fast the people who need these services come in, the town may reach bankruptcy status.

There is no point in taking the gold that is Midway and rendering it into straw.

Maralyn BursteinMidway

Risks outweigh benefits

Daniel M. Davidson’s June 6 letter says the U.S. government has prevented a wonder drug, marijuana (also known as cannabis) from entering the market.

When I was a pharmacy student around 1940, marijuana was a legal drug. It was an official therapeutic substance listed in U.S. pharmaceutical compendia as such from 1873 to 1942. It was regarded as a painkiller and euphoric for use in medicine, but it was also a substance that entered substantially into channels of abuse and misuse by adults and schoolchildren for its mind-altering effects.

Its use as a “rogue” drug in the Middle East and Asia for centuries, sometimes among those who dissipate and misbehave, was suggestive to U.S. narcotic agents and government leaders that the risks from marijuana misuse and the asocial behaviors it caused outweighed its value in medicine.

So in the United States, it has become illegal to grow and harvest hemp from which medicinal-grade marijuana is prepared, nor is it legal to distribute it for unauthorized use to achieve highs and reduce inhibitions in human behaviors.

Thus, pharmacies no longer carry the crude powdered drug, nor the medicinal tincture, extract or fluid extract made from it.

Joseph V. SwintoskyEmeritus dean, professorUniversity of Kentucky Division of Medicinal Chemistry, PharmaceuticalsNicholasville

Disheartening times

We certainly live in dispiriting times. And I am not talking about gas prices — we saw that coming in the 1970s and did precious little in preparation.

The June 18 front page of the Herald-Leader first reports that the Jockey Club recommended a ban on giving horses steroids, to stop beating them with whips and potentially crippling shoes.

Why did those inhumane treatments exist in the first place, let alone be permitted to continue?

Then we read that the University of Kentucky is freezing pay and eliminating jobs, but that President Lee T. Todd Jr. is keeping most of his $145,500 bonus, an additional 48 percent over his salary. When was the last time state workers received even a 4.8 percent raise?

And then there are the five government “war council” lawyers working under the orders of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney to find ways to circumvent U.S. laws, international treaties and the Geneva Conventions so that the United States could be turned into a kidnapping and torturing nation.

That’s just pure evil on so many fronts. Where is the humanity that we once stood for? How shameful and depressing. (And I do not blame the media for bringing such travesties to our attention.)

Thankfully some light, some humanity exists here and there. In the June 20 Herald-Leader, dependable columnist Merlene Davis (no relation to me) eloquently speaks for many of us in decrying Todd’s corporate “earned it” mentality.

Change comes very slowly, but with such unrelenting voices perhaps some good will emerge.

Bruce E. DavisRichmond

Democrats treacherous

Ideological descendants of Marx and Rousseau lead the Democratic Party, and they have turned it into a disloyal opposition to an increasingly accommodating GOP.

They have molded the party into a force working stridently and unashamedly against a commander in chief during wartime. They have made it a den of treachery devoted to U.S. defeat in Iraq. They preside over an institution advised and influenced by moneyed, non-government groups and individuals with unquestionably anti-U.S. agendas who help make the party a pseudo-intellectual sinkhole filled with perverse, tried-and-failed ideas repulsive to the majority of Americans. Those ideas are shaped into agendas that are then forced on the public by an activist left-wing judiciary and a major media and arts consortium shot through with utter disrespect, indeed contempt, for traditional American values, religions and institutions.

The Democratic Party has devolved into a club for the illegitimately aggrieved, the self-absorbed, the self-hating and the perpetually angry. It is a sanctuary where solipsistic malcontents and their disjointed causes find refuge and support. It has long ceased being an earnest gathering of broad minds where man’s timeless problems are examined against the backdrop of the Constitution and solutions to them proposed based on the actual realities of the human condition.

Candidate Barack Obama is in step with that radical element and with that leadership.

Cecil DavisLexington