Embrace Games' opportunity to showcase state
The world is coming to Kentucky for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, and this is our opportunity to shine.
Thousands of visitors from more than 60 nations and all 50 states will be in Central Kentucky for 16 days of high-level equestrian competition — unrivaled anywhere and at any time.
But it's not just about equestrian sport, and it's not just about Central Kentucky.
Hundreds of journalists from around the world will be here to cover the Games, and will also showcase the Kentucky brand to an estimated 500 million viewers in Europe, Asia, South America and around the globe.
They'll share their experiences of our unique culture and traditions for potential tourists who will visit long after the closing ceremonies.
And that's the lasting legacy we should all be so proud of.
In the months leading up to the Sept. 25 opening ceremonies, there has been hyperbole and negativity. They don't balance each other out. The fact of the matter is that the improvements made at the Kentucky Horse Park will serve Lexington and, indeed, all of Kentucky for many years to come.
Just last month, 2,100 horses were stabled at the park for the North American Junior and Young Riders Championships, the USEF Pony Championships and the Kentucky Summer Horse Show.
For each horse, you can use a multiplier of at least three humans traveling with them. That's more than 6,000 men, women and children staying in Lexington hotels and eating at Lexington restaurants.
Now multiply that by 12 months worth of opportunity to bring shows, competitions and events to the Horse Park.
Be proud, Kentucky. Be excited at the opportunity to show the world how great we are. Join me in welcoming our visitors and giving them a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It's our time to shine. Let's do so with vigor.
Kentucky's First Lady
Mary Meehan's excellent Sept. 5 article on concierge medicine implies the obvious: When you purchase a service, you get what you pay for.
Government fee schedules, and their private spinoffs, increasingly do not cover the total costs of providing medical care — monetary, physical and emotional.
Consider the monetary costs alone. A professional who has $150,000 in education debt, who has lost 25 years of compound interest and who has an office to run cannot stay in business just seeing Medicare patients.
"Obamacare" may undo concierge physicians who accept private insurance. The new law gives extraordinary powers to the secretary of Health and Human Services over private insurance plans, including the power to establish criteria for certification.
After purchasing government-certified health insurance, a patient may hope he has enough change left to buy a concierge doctor, but the secretary could decide that tipping doctors does not meet acceptable "criteria."
Lately, the secretary seems shocked that mandates, like extending coverage to 26-year-old children, makes prices go up. She recently wrote that she has "zero tolerance" for "unjustified rate increases" and made threats.
In November, some Americans will likely express zero tolerance for the government's verbal and legislative bullying of individuals and private companies.
True concierge medicine consists of a patient and a doctor making decisions together in the privacy of an examination room, based on the physician's best clinical judgment, without third-party interference and at an agreed-upon price. That's what you call a private option.
Cameron S. Schaeffer, M.D.
No to death penalty
Lexington Friends Meeting reaffirms Quakers' long-held opposition to the death penalty.
Our belief is that taking a human life is wrong. The state of Kentucky does not have the power to make it right.
Other states have abandoned the death penalty. New Jersey, for example, stopped executions after its Death Penalty Study Commission concluded that the benefits of the death penalty (such as deterrence of future murders) are dubious and cannot be balanced against the grave risk of executing an innocent person.
We understand the pain of the family and friends of the victims of violent crimes. We pray they may find healing but doubt there is healing in more death.
More killing must not be our response to killing. The death penalty models vengeance and thus produces more of the very brutality it seeks to prevent.
Quakers believe no person is so bad they cannot be reached by the light of God. When the state kills, all citizens of the state become participants in that killing. Quakers wish to state emphatically that we do not want our public servants to kill in our names.
Peter Hardy and Todd Kelly
Co-clerks, Lexington Friends Meeting
Syndicated writer Mona Charen was on target in her Sept. 12 column when she said the press has done the world, but particularly our men and women in the military, a disservice by making a household name of (the threatened Quran burner) Rev. Terry Jones.
Rarely do Charen and I share the same view, but on this topic we are in agreement.
We all knew about the desperately misguided pastor from Florida because the media provided his international pulpit.
A church in Florida with a membership of 50 had no stage for stupidity unless someone provided it. Arguably, Jones can be excused out of ignorance. The members of the media cannot.
On the CBS Sunday Morning program, Charles Osgood could not resist rehashing the events surrounding Jones. He concluded his segment by telling his national audience Jones did not burn a Quran on 9/11, but that there were three Quran burnings elsewhere in the U.S.
I didn't know that. But now the nation and, most likely, the world know about three ugly incidents that don't begin to reflect the views of the majority of Americans.
Good job, media. Jones was finally persuaded not to threaten the lives of our military and the image of our nation, but you stood fast against your opportunity to do the right thing.
Wrong use of UK funds
In response to Tom Eblen's column, "What Todd heir needs to know": Yes, the future president of the University of Kentucky will have huge responsibilities and many challenges, but Eblen's mention of the position's insufficient salary eerily reminds me of our federal government's mantra, "too big to fail."
We should concentrate what little funding there is on what should be a UK top goal: not a national Top 20 ranking, but a concerted effort to facilitate higher learning without comparison to other colleges and universities.
The president's position should be dismantled and reconfigured to the notion of academic responsibility which ensures a student's right to a good education via a stable infrastructure rather than the continued fostering of the huge public-relations machines that have ingrained themselves within many universities and colleges over the past 20 years.
It is a terrible outrage for the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees to give President Lee T. Todd Jr. such a huge raise in this time of fiscal crisis.
The legislature should remember this when appropriation time next rolls around.
Paul David Nelson
Rare gem in paper
Tom Eblen's Sept. 12 column could not have been closer to the truth. It was a well thought-out and well-written piece of journalism.
His entire take on the-state-of-the-state of Kentucky's educational priorities rang true.
It was a brutal, sad and honest assessment of where we presently stand in our priorities as a commonwealth of the people. The humorous aspects of his piece only helped add even more fire to his message. Well done.
I have been a constant vocal and written critic of the Herald-Leader for years. This will probably not change. I found Eblen's journalistic piece a welcome and pleasant surprise.
Patrick J. O'Brien Jr.
Great new trail
I recently rode the Legacy Trail from the Northside YMCA to the Kentucky Horse Park and back. It is my new favorite bicycle ride in Lexington. It is a great accomplishment, and something that will benefit Lexington for years to come.
It shows the variety of land use in Lexington, from the mysterious Lexmark complex to unique bridges and underpasses to the picturesque farms as you near the Horse Park.
If you haven't checked it out, you should. Good job, Lexington. This type of thing will be instrumental in getting Lexington more fit and healthy. Spread the word, get out there and enjoy it.