Fix buses and schedules before building facility
LexTran received a $5.1 million federal grant to improve and expand its facilities on North Limestone. Yet its buses are in poor condition and break down often.
In the past month, the bus I was riding or intending to ride broke down on three separate occasions.
Another area that needs improvement is the bus schedule. I work a 10-hour shift which ends at 6 p.m., yet I don't get to my residence until 7:45 p.m. That's because after 6 p.m. the buses resume running every hour as opposed to every half hour.
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So I, along with about a dozen of my coworkers, have to wait for 50 minutes at the transit center before we can board the next available bus, which is at 7:20 p.m.
I have contacted Steve Kay who is on the LexTran board of directors and he forwarded my e-mail to Rocky Burke, LexTran general manager. After a week, and a few more e-mails, Burke returned my e-mail saying he was sorry service is not up to the standards I was used to.
My standards are not unreasonable. I expect the buses to run on schedule and for that schedule to be as convenient as possible for passengers. Waiting 50 minutes between buses is excessive and should be remedied. It seems LexTran management is more concerned with personal concerns or careers than they are with doing their jobs. LexTran should provide adequate and efficient public transportation to passengers.
Taxes without services
I pay all of my taxes and live less than 15 miles from the center of this great city. When I built my home, I couldn't get city sewage, water or garbage pickup.
I'm now trying to get the United States Post Office to deliver my mail to my farmhouse mailbox. I feel like I'm living in the Third World.
Not Israel's fault
In the July 29 letter "Israel caused woes," the writer places the blame for all American military deaths in the Middle East after 1948 on our support of Israel. That conveniently absolves all terrorists and terror-supporting regimes in the region.
That's akin to saying that if I get burglarized, it's my fault for having a nice house. Get a grip.
Not really free choice
Opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act, which would eliminate the secret ballot and allow the government to dictate wages, benefits and work rules in the workplace, is broad and bipartisan.
When the true meaning of this bill — also known as "card check" — came to light, the construction industry was one of the first to raise concerns.
The bill is intended to make it easier for workers to organize against those "evil" job-producing entities commonly known as companies. A key provision would be elimination of the private ballot, replacing it with a signed card that union agents would collect as part of their organizing campaign.
National polls show 87 percent of American voters agree that workers should have the right to federally supervised secret ballots when deciding whether to organize a union.
However, on March 1, 2008, the U. S. House voted in support of EFCA. Fortunately, under the leadership of Kentucky's Mitch McConnell, the Senate blocked EFCA on June 26, 2008 when a motion to stop debate and bring the bill to a vote failed 51 to 48.
The individuals who seek to represent Kentucky in Congress need to state and defend their positions on this critical issue. Without the private ballot, workers' votes would be made public to the employer, union organizers and coworkers. Without the private ballot election, there is no free choice.
The 1.6 million individuals who make up Kentucky's work force deserve to know if their elected officials support the worker or support the special interest.
President & CEO. Associated Builders and Contractors of Kentuckiana
Clueless on democracy
I feel compelled to take exception to the July 27 letter that insisted, among other inanities, that Sarah Palin is the only qualified candidate for national office, that the majority of the electorate is incompetent, and "the word of God was the basic foundation of our government."
If this is what passes for political wisdom in Kentucky, our problems are only just beginning.
The notion that the former half-term governor of Alaska is our only hope is absurd enough to fall on its own without further comment. The other two items, I cannot resist addressing.
If we accept the assertion that, because the writer disagreed with the outcome of the last election, the electorate itself is incompetent, we can assume he rejects the majority rules premise of democracy. Perhaps he would be more comfortable with a system in which only the votes of like-minded individuals are counted, such as the old Soviet Union.
As for the notion that any god is in any sense foundational to our system, we can only assume the writer is completely unfamiliar with the U.S. Constitution. The word "god" does not appear anywhere in it.
The founders included Deists, Christians and devoted secularists. All were men dedicated to an endeavor intended to bring about the first-ever form of government based not on any religion or a monarchy whose power devolved from a god, but only from the power of reason.
Bury the race hatchet
One has to wonder if segments of the political right in America are intentionally, with malice aforethought, trying to stir up racial tensions by suggesting that reverse racism is on the rise.
There is no meaningful comparison between the enormity of over 400 years of "white racism" and miniscule "black racism." Racism is wrong whatever its origin, but for most of those 400 years, white men passed bad laws supporting it.
The NAACP has done so much good over the years since its beginning in 1909, but I don't see any positive gain from its passing a resolution at this year's convention charging the Tea Party movement with tolerating racism within its ranks.
On the other hand, what good comes from Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck having said that our first African-American president, Barack Obama, is a racist?
Blogger Andrew Breitbart has egg on his face for unscrupulously attempting to demonize and embarrass the NAACP with his production of an untruthful video starring agriculture official Shirley Sherrod.
When the whole story was revealed, we learned Sherrod is a person who has devoted her adult life to racial reconciliation.
It is time for Americans to bury the race hatchet. When political factions use the issue for political gain, we all lose. To pass on unresolved racial tensions to our children and grandchildren is much worse than the deficits we say we are so concerned about leaving them.
All of us need to ask ourselves: What am I doing to bring about racial harmony?
Paul L. Whiteley Sr.
Cover the noggin
How can we encourage children to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle when they see adults riding motorcycles without helmets? I wear my brain bucket when I ride my bicycle; I think everyone should. We are only given one brain — protect it.