Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor: Aug. 17

Conscience clear about enjoying air conditioning

So even beneficial things such as air conditioning impose costs on society. Imagine that.

Eco-scolds have to range ever farther afield these days to find new topics for their finger-wagging essays, but you always know where the story ends: We must restructure cities and suburbs, replace cars with mass transit, unpave paradise and tear up a parking lot. If we can't summon the will to make these changes, we can at least have the decency to feel guilty about it.

But I don't. I feel fortunate to live in an age of mobility, comfort and convenience. I'm grateful to the creative people who made it possible.

And I'll give up my air conditioning when they pry my cold, dead fingers off the thermostat.

Michael Smith


Vineyard's call

My wife and I attended the Vineyard Community Church in Lexington for several years while living in Richmond.

Vineyard is just one of the churches in the Lexington area that takes seriously the business of the kingdom: feeding, clothing, and caring for those who need it most — "that demographic," as referred to in Merlene Davis' July 22 column. Truth be known, some churches don't want "that demographic" around either, so the residents of the Fairway neighborhood who are contesting Vineyard's move to the former Julia R. Ewan Elementary School building have company.

Last August, Vineyard sent a few of us from the Lexington church to help start a Vineyard church in the Richmond area. It didn't take long for the pastor of the new church to take up the call of the kingdom, just as her sister church has done in Lexington.

We have fed the hungry, helped the poor and ministered to "that demographic." And just like Lexington's Vineyard, the Richmond Vineyard is passionate about the mission of Christ. We are here to stay.

It's ironic that the name of the community where Vineyard wants to move is called "Fairway." Perhaps if residents get their way and the church can't move in, they could change the name to "Our Way or the Highway Neighborhood Association."

The opinions in this letter do not represent those of the pastoral staff or the congregations of the Lexington or Richmond Vineyards.

Steve Washburn


EKPC must step up

The board of East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC) should scrap the idea of building the proposed Smith Plant in Clark County.

A recent management audit released by the Kentucky Public Service Commission raises more than enough questions about the future of the cooperative's financial health.

The audit notes that EKPC has been too reliant on building, owning and operating electric generating facilities and has not sufficiently explored other options.

As it stands, EKPC already owes more than $1.3 billion for older power plants and is not well-positioned to dump almost a billion additional ratepayer dollars into building a risky new coal plant.

This is a time for EKPC to start moving in a healthier and more responsible direction, not just with cleaner energy supplies such as wind and solar, but also by exploring energy efficiency for its customers and ratepayers.

Whether it is helping to keep rates low or helping to keep the state's air and water clean and safe, it is time for the EKPC management to get its act together.

The costs, human and financial, are enough to bring the hatchet down on this whole project. It's time for the managers, particularly the EKPC board, to take responsibility, pull in the reins on the proposed Smith plant and reinvest in cleaner, safer forms of energy.

John Walker


Jesus' legal status

If indeed Jesus made his second appearance and landed in Arizona, would he be arrested as an undocumented alien?

What would his punishment be? Would he be crucified again?

Doug Mitchell


McConnell principled

President Barack Obama recently signed a $10 billion bailout for the nation's public schools.

Before passage of the measure, however, the National Education Association argued on its Web site that Sen. Mitch McConnell was keeping the U.S. Senate from "even discussing how to help America's schools avoid a looming crisis."

Without the bailout, the teachers union claimed that 138,000 teachers would have been laid off, resulting in increased class sizes and reduced school weeks nationwide.

Because the union was looking to assign blame for the "looming crisis," consider what its role was in creating it.

By stubbornly refusing to forgo automatic pay raises or to accept less expensive health insurance plans, the union forced school districts to cover huge budget deficits by laying off teachers and increasing class sizes.

The teachers union is so dedicated to preserving its own self-interests that it is willing to let the nation's school children pay the price. That scenario is playing out in public school districts from California to New Jersey.

McConnell should be thanked for his principled stand. His actions bring to mind something former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher once said: "If you want to cut your own throat, don't come to me for a bandage."

Steve Gunn

Communications director

Education Action GroupMuskegon, Mich.

Paul's shifting stands

During the Republican Senate primary, Rand Paul was the darling of the Tea Party movement who was unswayed by the corruptive influence of Republican Party leaders (such as Sen. Mitch McConnell and Rush Limbaugh) and their money.

After winning the primary, Paul soon turned his back on the Tea Party and attended a unity breakfast where he was welcomed as another Republican, rather than a new politician with an independent streak. This was just the first of many instances in which Paul reversed himself.

After Republican handlers reviewed some of Paul's extreme libertarian views, like abolishing the federal departments of education and agriculture (both integral to Kentucky), Paul walked away from these positions.

Recently at a Louisville forum, Paul denounced Operation UNITE, a federally funded program targeting drug abuse in southeastern Kentucky.

Paul suggested the counties in this disproportionately economically distressed region should bear the cost of fighting drug abuse themselves at a time when it's already a struggle to cover basic government services.

At the same forum, Paul supported the Republican position of not extending unemployment benefits, and he made an odd comparison with Russia when he stated that at least America's poor have television.

Positions and statements like these show just how out of touch Paul is, considering he is seeking election in a state where 17 percent of residents live below the poverty level.

As much as Paul changes his positions, who knows what he really stands for? Kentucky voters can't risk electing such a political shape-shifter.

Emery Caywood IV