Letters to the Editor

Letters to editor: May 18

Academe, paper seek to discredit UK athletics Over the last several months, a narrative has been developed by the Herald-Leader and some in the University of Kentucky's academic community to discredit UK athletics.

The goal has been to create the perception that the problems facing UK academia somehow relate to the support and success of UK athletics, creating an environment of doubt and suspicion in concert with the hiring of the new president.

UK athletics appears to be adequately managed, more so than most athletics programs across the country since it is one of only 14 that is self-supporting. Most important, UK athletics has been NCAA compliant for over a decade.

The present debate is about what amount of athletics-generated revenue should be shared with the general university.

The $1.7 million yearly is minuscule relative to the total financial needs of academia to achieve Top 20 research university status. Whatever amount could be negotiated probably would be more important to athletics, than to the endless needs of the general university.

Herald-Leader stories have implied a program out of control. This is fantasy. The avid support of UK athletics is no different than at dozens of other universities. Statements that academics not a priority are ridiculous. The cowardly responses by some trustees about athletics have also been disappointing.

No doubt, the academic community does not understand the value of athletics to the university and to the commonwealth. This also continues decades of the Herald-Leader receiving economic gain from UK athletics while continuously heaping undeserved criticism upon it.

Danny Shearer


Reporting not fair

I write in dismay about the account of last week's public meeting in Berea regarding a possible fairness ordinance for the city.

In the article, the reporter wrote, "Several of the speakers opposing the possible ordinance were pastors," then she goes on to quote two of them, one at some length.

What the reporter doesn't even bother to mention is that two of the citizens who spoke in favor of the possible ordinance were also pastors — and identified themselves as such in their remarks.

The thoughtful, rational, reasoned comments of these two pro-fairness pastors contrasted starkly with the standard Sunday-morning applause lines, meaningless platitudes (such as "freedom isn't fair"), and the claim that being homosexual is a matter of choice (presumably akin to choosing which side you are going to part your hair on) touted by the anti-fairness pastors.

But the reporter didn't bother to mention them, so her readers are left with the entirely false impression that the ministerial comments were all on one side.

As a Berea resident who was present at that meeting, I want to set the record straight: Not all of Berea's ministers are ignorant, self-righteous, sanctimonious, bigoted jerks.

Guy M. Townsend


Truth in labeling

While it is a bit disheartening that a Confederate flag license plate could be available to Kentuckians, although Kentucky never seceded from the Union, there is one bright spot.

At least it will make it easier for sensible Kentuckians to recognize the racists in our society. It will also give Kentuckians ample warning as to with whom we do business and what their racial attitudes may be.

Norman E. Goldie Jr.

Mount Sterling

Add signage at curves

I have been involved in many political issues in which the obvious is way too often ignored as well as good people doing too little and "showboating" — performing actions only for appearance.

Regarding an obvious case for change: I have seen arrogance, as well as ignorance, on the part of local, state and federal officials and road engineers failing to do what is right, to save lives.

Gerard Gerhard, retired lawyer from the attorney general's office, has been pointing out, far too long, inadequate signage near highway curves.

The accidents are too often labeled on police reports as driver error, speeding or driver impairment. An average of 27 percent (11,071) of total driving fatalities in the country occur on curves, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Signage is often inadequate or not in the necessary spots.

After a few local deaths, I have seen inadequate signage at Fontaine and Chinoe, the I-75 exit and entry at Paris Pike. And I was sadly warned of the neglected location at West Maxwell and High Streets, the location of an eventual death.

All these curves are still not adequately marked. The answer could be effective, sizeable, bright signs placed in appropriate spots from driver's perspectives, not based on what a manual says.

This is a lifesaving issue. Call the mayor, your council member and state and federal legislators. Please act. It may be your own life you save.

Don B. Pratt


Beshear's no-win

This letter is in response to the May 10 editorial criticizing Gov. Steve Beshear for attending the Kentucky Oaks instead of President Barack Obama's Fort Campbell visit.

I'm sure even the Herald-Leader can admit that this is a bit of a no-win situation for the governor. The Kentucky Oaks is a big event in our state. I wonder how many times it has been held in the governor's absence? Probably not very many.

Todd Creech

Mount Sterling

Taking issue

I must comment on two letters to the editor which appeared May 7. In the first, the writer asks, "What is the United States of America?" and proceeds to describe it as being from sea to shining sea — bounded by Canada and Mexico. He says that anyone born in Hawaii or Alaska was not born in the "United" States.

He thinks it's the land that unites us. I disagree. It is a sacred ideal that unites us.

The writer of the second letter charged the Herald-Leader with insensitivity on the timing of an article about someone's conversion from Judaism to Christianity.

The writer said the paper should have known that the next day was a special day set aside by Jews to focus on the Holocaust and that an apology is in order.

There is no connection between one person's religious conversion and the systematic murder of millions of Jews. The Herald-Leader owes no one an apology.

Andrea Fraley Reed


Waste of money

Every year Verizon drops unwanted telephone directories on my doorstep. Every year I go to great difficulty to get them picked up.

If they are not picked up in short order, they go straight to the recycle bin.

I am sure this happens thousands of times across the nation. Why do advertisers pay good money for such outdated services that no one uses?

Olen Ely