Save energy, the environment and money
With the recent heat wave, we can all expect to pay much more when we receive next month's electric bill. But the problem is much bigger.
Every year, fine particle air pollution from electric power plants kills over 700 Kentuckians, according to the 2004 "Dirty Air, Dirty Power" report commissioned by the Clean Air Task Force.
These coal-burning plants, operated by Kentucky Utilities, Lousiville Gas & Electric, East Kentucky Power Cooperative and the Tennessee Valley Authority release mercury into our lakes and rivers. Mining coal through mountaintop removal is also causing the permanent destruction of our beautiful Kentucky mountains.
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What can we do about all these problems? We can lower our electricity bills by planting shade trees on the south and west sides of the house. The tulip poplar, Kentucky's state tree, is fast-growing and hardy.
Buy Energy Star-rated products, especially appliances like refrigerators that are plugged in 24 hours a day. Finally, I encourage everyone to try the new LED light bulbs. I have installed several of these LED bulbs in our house and have been impressed.
LED lighting is much more energy efficient than the "twisty" CFL bulbs. A 50-watt equivalent LED light bulb uses only 2 watts, and lasts 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs. Try the "warm light" variety inside, or outside in your porch light. LEDs use so little electricity, its almost like free lighting.
Ratings are useful
It is not surprising Jamie Gitzinger (Feedback, May 24) had issues with the nursing home ratings published recently by the Herald-Leader, and with the rating system itself.
Gitzinger is an administrator of Richmond Place, a facility that ranked in the bottom tier in the ratings, as did 39 percent of the for-profit homes accepting Medicare and Medicaid in Kentucky.
The rating system is not perfect. Considering the strong, well-funded resistance of the for-profit lobbyists, it's a miracle any legislation was passed in any form.
But unlike the nursing home industry, backers of the national rating system had no self-serving agenda. They simply wanted to create a useful tool for choosing a facility for a loved one.
Gitzinger went to great lengths to try to convince readers his facility is much better than the ratings would indicate, that the data is old and that Brookdale Senior Living, the new owners, have made substantial changes on multiple levels.
I hope so. But when choosing a facility, it's wise to use all information available, including the new ratings, rather than simply relying on the sales hype you get when you begin the selection process.
My involvement in Kentuckians for Nursing Home Reform is the result of a 13-year nightmare as a caretaker trying to get adequate care for a loved one. Sadly, while there was adequate funding for whatever care was required, staffing cuts, lack of training and the "bottom line" made securing professional, compassionate care nearly impossible, even from what some consider the "better" facilities in the Bluegrass.
Board member,Kentuckians for Nursing Home Reform Lexington
Government guilty, too
As the major news media vents its venom against the banking industry and big business, it conveniently fails to viciously attack the equally guilty federal government for its complicity.
The big business corporations and banks send their surrogates serving as political ex-government employees and former members of Congress (lobbyists) to Washington, D.C., with deals to finance legislators' re-elections and who knows what else.
Legislators send back confirmation of the deals made between themselves, other members of Congress and the White House. It does not matter which political party they belong to.
I fear the general public does not realize the pure corruption that has brought this great country to its present state.
Now that corruption has attached itself to the Supreme Court.
Norman D. Waterbury
Paul's a waffler
Since Rand Paul came to Kentucky, he's become well-known in more ways than one. Paul's main problem so far appears to be he blathers his words, and we now know he has waffled to the establishment.
We've had some extraordinary native Kentuckians representing our people, and they've worked tirelessly to attain exceptional changes that benefitted our livelihood.
I am thinking of the late Rep. Carl D. Perkins and all he worked to attain for his native home, his friends, his neighbors and all other inhabitants in Eastern Kentucky.
Paul says one thing one time, then waffles his words and has repeatedly had to explain himself on other occasions. Which side is he really on? Where does he stand on issues dear to Kentuckians' heart?
Paul's embrace of the GOP upset some backers and rightfully so. He surrendered to the establishment. Warren Scoville, for instance, a well-known London attorney admitted Paul's action disappointed him because Paul waffled from where he originally stood.
Paul scares me. Getting cozy with the Washington establishment before he's elected really means he will go with the flow in Washington and forget all the promises he made to the voters who supported him back in Kentucky.
Kentucky's voters are much wiser now. We now know Paul waffles. He assures us where he stands, then turns around and does the opposite. One should know how to read a politician's innate character and also be adept when it comes to voting for the right candidate at the polls.
Ellouise Stephens Shepherd
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) gave the United States a wake-up call back in the 1970's. Unfortunately, America hit the snooze alarm.
I hope someone may be able to explain why trailers transporting lawn care equipment around Lexington are not taxed. I have noticed that these trailers are not required to have license tags. I'm sure every other mode of transport is being taxed.
John L. Roberts
Owners cruel to dog
What a shock it was to see on a hot, steamy July 4 at 2 p.m., a dog locked in a hot car in the parking lot of the Tates Creek Centre Kroger.
Yes, the highly responsible pet owner did have the rear windows cracked about three inches, at least the rear windows. The front windows were not rolled down at all. I can't imagine that this beautiful yellow lab would have asked to be brought along to suffer in a 120-plus degree.
I really believed people understood all the dangers, not to mention cruelty, of leaving children and pets in their cars while they ran errands. Perhaps they were only running into the grocery for a couple of minutes and thought the dog would be fine.
Would they want to be sitting in that car? If I had not been with my husband, who restrained me, and my children I would have waited at that person's car for longer than the five minutes I did.
I spoke to friends that evening at a Fourth of July celebration and they suggested calling 911. Next time, that is exactly what I will do.