Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: Jan. 28

Tobacco kills, period

Tobacco is the world's No. 1 legal killer. This highly addictive drug should be eliminated by law, especially in confined areas where people, especially children, cannot escape.

If I were ever to get mad enough to kill, it would be over tobacco smoke, and I have come close a few times. I will tolerate spit in the face and being cursed at over having to breathe someone's tobacco smoke.

Children of smokers should be removed from homes that allow smoking and be placed in non-smoking foster homes.

People smoking in automobiles with children should be arrested and charged with endangering the lives of the children. It should be a felony.

The facts are that tobacco is probably the worst drug on earth. That it is legal, a slow killer and has public acceptance adds to its ability to kill and disable.

Many refuse to accept the facts.

I will agree that we have by far too many laws, but this killer has had too much freedom for far too long. The time has come for its elimination.

Robert Ray Lillie

Georgetown

Water company should focus on efficiency, not PR

At first I thought that whoever is in charge of public relations at Kentucky American Water must be a genius.

I mean its system is truly brilliant: Propose an outrageous rate increase far beyond your needs of operation in order to shock the public.

Next, unleash a multimedia barrage of surveys, commercials, campaign contributions and other advertising in order to sway public opinion.

Then, when the Public Service Commission approves a smaller increase that is still beyond what you need to operate, Kentucky American doesn't look like it's stealing from the public.

Congrats on a job well done.

Now I can't help but see your latest pricey 30-second commercials plastered all over my TV touting the kindness of the water company for "giving" Jacobson Park to Lexington.

I wonder how much the rate increase would have been if all these advertising and public relations campaigns weren't necessary.

I don't wake up in the morning needing to feel good about my water company. I need water in my faucets at the lowest possible prices; that's what makes me feel good.

Tom Gavenonis

Lexington

More work to do

I thank the individual who wrote after the election still supporting my campaign for council at-large. I hope the principles I stood for become policy.

However, I fear the financially "selected ones" now holding office do not have the intellect, courage or desire to change.

I spent only $950 as candidates should not buy elective office, regardless of their sources. We must change our campaign methods with publicly financed elections. Not money directly to the candidates, but with:

1) Voter guides to all voters (something better than Oregon's) with equal information from all the candidates, and references to more info. Maybe send out more than one voter guide to all voters before elections.

2) Publicly financed Web pages for candidates to answer important questions.

3) Publicly financed Web pages providing biographies and endorsements.

4) Instant runoff voting.

5) Voting by mail to increase public participation and cut down on costs.

6) Absolute cutoff of donations to candidates two weeks before the election date, with a listing of all contributions immediately available to the public via news media and Internet.

7) Printed copies of the above (where applicable) to read at public places (libraries, courthouses, schools, etc.) for those who are not online.

8) Televised forums, debates and radio shows of candidates on public access channels as well as on commercial TV for regional campaigns.

Let's prove democracy is participatory and not bought by corporations or the rich.

Don Pratt

Lexington

Unlock police doors

I read the article in the Jan. 26 paper regarding how two off-duty detectives thwarted an attempted kidnapping of a woman in front of police headquarters at 4 a.m. It was a great story of two police officers willing to help an innocent victim. I am glad the perpetrator was arrested.

The story should have indicated that the police station door was locked and no one can get in without first being buzzed in. We have the same ridiculous situation here in Harrodsburg. One must first press the buzzer, wait for a response and then explain why you want to come into the police station. What are the police afraid of?

Police stations should be places of refuge, places to go if you need assistance of any kind.

If the police station door was open to begin with, the young lady could have just walked in and presumably been safe. If it had not been for the two detectives leaving at that particular time, the result could have been horrible.

Thomas Lopresto

Harrodsburg

Words feed anger

As I write this letter, I am warmed by the beauty of the snow with black shadows cast across its surface; the stark trees made manifest by a blue sky; the contrast of a calm atmosphere after blustery winds the day before.

Yet, I am torn — torn between my indulgence in the appreciation of nature and the reality of a violent society in which I live. I'd prefer that my consciousness remain with the beauty, but my heart also compels me to speak out against violence.

The use of violent language, images and actions has overtaken our country. Language that is replete with biased words, references and images surrounds us and penetrates our subconscious.

Listen closely to the way language is used in societal and cultural contexts. It becomes apparent that language is focused on naming people's differences — race, gender, class, political orientation, sexual orientation and any feature that distinguishes a person.

It is not uncommon to see divisive language in print. For example, in a church newspaper: "Dear atheists: most of us don't care what you think."

By allowing such language to permeate our environments, we're feeding anger, hatred and division in our society.

Creating compassionate communication, on the other hand, requires that we recognize the values of cooperation, mutuality and inclusivity.

Language that reflects a changing consciousness about violence is essential if we are to overcome the injustices and hatred that obstruct the peace, equality and harmony for which we long.

Patricia A. Griffin

Lexington

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