Letters to the Editor

9/19/09 Letters

Help paying phone service available to many Kentuckians

Telephone service has become an integral part of all of our lives, whether with traditional service or, increasingly, wireless.

Many Kentuckians are facing financial hardships as a result of the downturn in the economy. Many older Kentuckians are on fixed incomes. Many families face financial challenges for the first time.

There is help to stay connected through Lifeline (not to be confused with a medical-alert program with a similar name) and Link-up. Link-up will pay half of the installation charges for new service, to a maximum of $30. Lifeline will provide a discount of up to $13.50 per month on the local service portion of your bill. These programs provide discounts only for the primary telephone in a household.

You can qualify for both programs if you receive food stamps, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. You may also qualify if you participate in the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program or National Free School Lunch program or live in federal housing or Section 8 housing.

Call your local telephone service provider directly and receive instructions on how to apply. You can also find information on the Kentucky Public Service Commission's Web site at http://psc.ky.gov/agencies/psc/consumer/lifeline.pdf.

David L. Armstrong

Chairman, Kentucky Public Service Commission

Jack Conway

Kentucky Attorney General

Forest Skaggs

Exec. Dir,, Kentucky Telephone Association

Get over it, Merlene

Merlene Davis' Sept. 8 column, "He's president, he's black; get over it," really ticked me off.

I'm upset that President Barack Obama is getting death threats, but don't think for one minute that presidents before him didn't receive death threats, too. Remember the assassination attempt on former President Ronald Reagan?

Davis just pulls that race card out when it suits her, which is most of the time. She should go back to writing human-interest stories about everyone, not just the black population. More people would read her column. Yes, I'm white but I am also color-blind. And yes, I voted for Obama. So Merlene, get over it.

Debbie Spicer


Abortion a red herring

Every few days I see another letter stating that no health care funds should be used to pay for abortion. Aren't these letter writers familiar with the law? The Hyde Amendment prohibits the use of federal tax dollars to pay for abortions. Private insurance companies currently cover abortions because they are medical procedures. Are the writers sending letters to Blue Cross, Aetna, United Health Care and other insurers?

The law will be adhered to no matter what kind of health reform gets passed — and no one has suggested making any changes to the Hyde Amendment. A woman has a constitutional right to choose an abortion, and a person has a right to own a firearm. Neither one is desirable, in my opinion, but these are rights under our Constitution.

No one should be denied medical care. But when people begin stipulating conditions under which care should be given, who knows where that will lead. What about not treating gunshot wounds or motor vehicle accident victims who have been drinking? Or refusing treatment to those who cheat on spouses and contract a sexually transmitted disease?

Women who don't want abortions shouldn't have one -— that's their choice. People who choose not to own a firearm don't have to purchase one — that's their choice. We may not like every right we have under our Constitution, but our representatives in Congress have taken an oath to uphold the Constitution. That is what they need to do.

Linda D. Hall


Not in my Bible, Cal

As an Episcopal congregant, I find regrettable the attack on our faith by Cal Thomas in a July syndicated column. Thomas wrote that "inclusivity has nothing to do with the foundational truths set forth in Scripture."

He must have read a different scripture than I. As I read the Bible, those who righteously exclude others — such as tax collectors, prostitutes, lepers and Samaritans — are strongly challenged by Jesus, whose message surely emphasizes inclusion of all people as God's children.

In his complaint, Thomas saw fit to single out former President Jimmy Carter, which I take as evidence of the narrowness of the columnist's views. Whatever Carter's limitations as a politician, I and many other Americans recognize Carter as one of the most spiritually focused people in our nation's public life.

Clinton Collins


Ash borer stories

It was encouraging to see the article on the ash tree borer lead the front page of the paper recently. Not only did the story illustrate the abundance of ash trees in the area; it also addressed the responsibility of homeowners and the vital role that trees play in our lives by providing beauty, shade and privacy.

Thanks to reporter Andy Mead for his articles on the subject these past few months. And thanks to Karen Angelucci, chairwoman of the Lexington Tree Board, for her tireless efforts to get the word out. She is also past president of the Lexington Council of Garden Clubs, an umbrella group comprised of local garden clubs. One of the group's missions is to promote the preservation and conservation of our natural resources.

Elizabeth Pattengill

President, Lexington Council of Garden Clubs

NCAA blew it

John Clay's column last month, "Calipari guilty of trusting NCAA," was right on target. Clay's question, "So why even have an NCAA Clearing House?" is a good one.

If that Clearing House clears a player and the team uses that player, the team should not lose games and the university and coach should not have to repay money. If the player is deemed ineligible after the fact by another source, the NCAA should not penalize the team, institution and coach for its own ineptitude. Why would any team, university or coach trust the NCAA Clearing House after this debacle? None should.

University of Kentucky administration and Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart had better keep a close eye on the basketball team, coaches and fans to make sure there is no infraction of any NCAA rule. UK can have an outstanding and clean program.

Polly Jo Green