Support federal billto retain, protect social workers
In Kentucky, there is a significant shortage of child-protection workers.
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In Lexington, for example, there are only 17 investigative workers when 30 are needed to handle the amount of referrals being received for child abuse and neglect.
Due to budget cuts, counties across the state are operating understaffed while children continue to come into the state's custody.
This deficit in the work force is a disservice to families and children, workers are spread thin and case loads continue to increase.
Last year, Kentucky recognized the severity of this issue by passing the Boni Bill, named after a social-services aide who was killed while taking a foster child to a home visit.
This legislation enacted measures to ensure social workers' safety and to hire 300 new workers. Sadly, because of our state budget, this simply has not happened.
However, there is hope.
In early 2008, the Social Work Reinvestment Act was introduced in Congress.
Its goal is to raise awareness regarding the contribution of social workers, encourage research, and increase retention by providing improved workplaces, education and training.
We implore members of our community to educate themselves and then urge their legislators to support the bill. Nurses and teachers have reinvestment acts.
Shouldn't social workers? They certainly deserve this support, as do the families and children they serve.
(This letter was signed by four other people.)
No tears for Romero
It was with great interest that I read the Dec. 14 commentary by Stephen Bartlett, Brian Rich, and Attica Scott. While I am sorry for the death of Ana Romero; I think that everybody is missing two major points.
First: she killed herself; she made that choice.
Second: She had no right to be in this country. We must vigorously enforce the immigration laws and actively search for and deport those who do not belong here.
These people break our laws with impunity, and because they are here illegally there is no way to hold them accountable for their transgressions.
I know what I am talking about because I was walking across the street about two years ago, and some woman crossed the divider in the road and hit me. She jumped out of the car and ran; she was never caught. She had no license, insurance, or green card.
Me? I had two shattered legs, two broken arms, a broken back and neck. I ended up losing my right leg. I lost a house, a job, and am now on total disability that the American people are paying for.
If the woman had stayed where she belonged, I might still have my leg, ya think?
Terminate state retirees
I have a way to save the state even more than 10 percent of the governor's salary: Terminate all the state government retirees who collect their retirement pensions, yet still report to work in Frankfort as "contractors" at the high rate of pay at which they retired.
There are many of these employees who fly under the radar at budget time. They would like it to remain this way.
This action may also clear the way for some Kentucky college graduates to find good jobs instead of having to leave the state.
I really didn't think the Herald-Leader and its editors could go any lower on the moral scale, but your reporting Tuesday of former volleyball star Jennifer Casper being drunk at the time of her accident sets a new precedent.
Why does the public need to know this information? Don't you think if it were your child, the reporting of such would just be an additional blow to deal with?
Yes, I'm sure her parents and family were already aware of this information, but why now must they face everyone they know and have to try and explain the drunken driving? Why is it important for people to know the blood alcohol content? It seems to me it is just an effort to somehow embarrass the family.
I didn't know her, nor do I know any member of the family. However, I feel the need to apologize for the actions of this sorry paper.
When will it end for you? If one of your children has the same misfortune, will you splash it across the papers? I think not.
You are a sorry, mean spirited and despicable bunch. I urge all Lexingtonians, liberal and conservative alike, to cancel their subscriptions, as I have.
Possibly then a group with some integrity will come in and publish a paper worth reading, that is both fair and morally sound.
Good things, good news
You get a lot of mail ridiculing items in the paper. I want to give a great big praise for the wonderful series about the Haake family -- and on the front page.
I have said for so very long that I wish the paper would print more stories about good things people do. So many have quit taking the paper because of all the negative stories, and believe me I have seriously considered it.
Our nation needs some good stories to lighten our lives, and this story sure fit the bill.
I pray that you will consider doing more stories or maybe even a section of paper devoted to the good things in our world. I certainly thank you and writer Andy Olsen for sharing this adoption story.
Gun sales old news
In regards to the Dec. 14 front-page coverage of gun sales soaring in the wake of Barack Obama's election: This was news well over a month ago, when the New York Times reported on it, and the story was then picked up and carried by the national media.
I'm not saying that it has gotten any less sensationalistic and unnecessary since then.
What I am saying, however, is that old news shouldn't be on the front page of the Sunday edition.
When it is, it only serves to exacerbate the notion that the Herald-Leader is pandering to certain readers, and not actually delivering relevant news to their more informed readers.
When all else fails
Can't balance your federal, state or city budget? Need more money for social and welfare programs?
Want to divert attention from issues of true importance? Where do you go? Tobacco Road.
Give of yourself
Looking for a gift for someone who seems to have everything and want for nothing? Give them your time, attention, and care. Make memories with those folks you want to show your appreciation to.
It costs nothing and you, too, will reap significant benefits. Whether through volunteering with an agency or with a family member, friend, coworker or acquaintance, give the important people in your life some time together where you are totally focused on them, eliminating all distractions.
Pay attention to their body language as they talk. Do the body language and the words match up? If not, it's entirely possible that this person needs someone to open up to. Stop, pay attention, and listen. Truly listening is the absolute best way to show how much you care.
If only we gave our loved ones the same time, attention, and care that we give our cell phones, our I-Pods, our laptops, and our high-def TVs.
Many Americans have no basic social skills simply because technology has allowed us to forgo any personal interactions, while still getting our needs met.
And we wonder why we feel so empty even though we have so much. Deep personal relationships are what fill people up, what gets them going and what keeps them going. There is no greater gift.
As Michael Jordan says, "Just do it."