David Richart was the advocate's advocate
Thank you for your excellent editorial tribute to David Richart (May 19). I write as an advocate and member of the nationwide community of people who were honored to have worked with David Richart.
Richart's biography reflects a series of achievements on behalf of justice and positive public policy on behalf of children, youth and families, not only in Kentucky, but also nationwide.
He was among the small handful of us in the late 1970s who envisioned a national movement of organized state and community-based child advocates, and served on the first board of what would become Voices for America's Children.
Richart was a natural and nurturing advocate. His mission in life was to wake us up to the needs of children and lead us to actions to address those needs.
He led by example and he intended us to follow. From his perspective, the question was not if we act, but with what force and conviction would we take action on behalf of children needing quality care to prevent problems, ensure loving homes and secure justice if they were involved in legal problems.
Richart was the advocate's advocate. His force is with us. His philanthropy of time and talent were valued treasures that appreciated in value.
Richart gave life to an effective brand of organized advocacy that will outlive us all.
His vision for a better community in which we all are safer, smarter, and more powerful as advocates lives in each of us who were graced to know him.
Founder, 4Generations Institute,Tallahassee, Fla.
We can cut gas prices
When is the public going to realize that it can do something about high gas prices? In Versailles, gas jumped 25 cents in two hours in April. Could it be because Keene land was to start that Friday?
Attorney General Jack Conway's office went gung-ho after price gouging. Just maybe he couldn't do much about it. But the public can do something — it's called boycotting and it has caused gas prices to go down before.
Maybe it's time for us to start the practice again. Car pooling and combining errands into fewer trips could help.
We, the public, brought fuel prices down and we can again. When are we going to realize the real power that we have and stop complaining and do something about it? Boycott is the answer, and now is the time to begin it. Nothing is going to change unless we the public, do it. It's up to us.
People do come first
I was recently named guardian of the widow of a lifelong friend who passed away a little over three years ago. I was aware of possible financial abuse of this dear lady, who has physical and mental challenges.
When I found out that there were code-violation notices delivered to her residence and that she had been visited by Lexington code officials, as well as social workers from the Senior Citizens Center and others dealing with senior citizens abuse, I expected a bureaucratic mess.
That's not what happened.
Overwhelmingly, I found a diverse, overworked group of people with one common bond — the welfare of those they are dedicated to assisting.
They worked through the mandatory days off without pay, excessive case loads and bureaucratic challenges, always putting the people (not case file numbers) first.
With their help, for right now, a move to a nursing home is not necessary. She had to be removed from her residence of 50 years for valid health and safety issues. Even the sanitation department assisted with the removal of debris, and allowed time for the move to a safer location. This lady's welfare came first, always.
What these workers do really matters. The lady I care for is better off as a result of their good work.
Fair tax is answer
I wish to express my passionate support for real federal tax reform via passage of the Fair Tax Bill (HR 25, S 13).
This bill replaces all current federal income-based corporate and individual taxes with a single national sales tax set to be revenue-neutral with the current system.
I encourage readers to learn more about the many benefits this would deliver to individuals and the country at large at Fairtax.org
Opposition to this bill is based on misinformation and special interest. A majority of the lobbyists in Congress are there to game the 70,000 pages of the current tax code. Our representatives also use the system to score political points with their constituents in order to get re-elected.
Some simply believe the bill is too radical to pass.
Yet, 61 House members and seven senators found the courage to sign on as co-sponsors. Unfortunately, our elected Kentucky officials are not yet among the supporters.
Refuse to be misled. Go to the source and read the bill. If you share my enthusiasm or at least want to learn more, email firstname.lastname@example.org to join a growing grass-roots effort to reach our legislative representatives and support the national movement.
Fix the infrastructure
Kentucky's infrastructure is outdated especially in the rural eastern region. I recommend our governor work with all branches of government in support of modernization.
Stop plan to hunt cranes
Kentucky's Department Fish and Wildlife Resources is hurrying its proposal to make Kentucky the first state east of the Mississippi River to allow shooting the migratory eastern population sandhill crane.
This species is listed as endangered by the state of Ohio. Tennessee deferred its hunt proposal two years to allow adequate study to be conducted.
The 2010 Eastern Population Management Plan establishes goals for wildlife viewing and hunting in the flyway. Research in the fall of 2009 on the migratory range from Indiana to Tennessee is to address a "priority need for field data to understand the breeding, migration, and wintering distributions."
The International Crane Foundation, which takes no position on hunting, assessed Kentucky's proposal and concluded: "No population modeling has yet to be done" for the eastern population and "data about the origin of birds that would be harvested in Kentucky are incomplete."
On Friday, the District Commissioners will vote whether to allow hunting of cranes, starting this December.
Interested folks should attend and/or contact the commissioners at fw.ky.gov.
State law requires that Fish and Wildlife's public policy "promote the general welfare of the Commonwealth" to balance all interests. This proposal ignores the need for critical population trends research in its race to be No. 1.
No studies quantifying the crane's economic value for wildlife viewing exists. Shooting cranes with cameras may be of higher value to the commonwealth. We just don't know due to a rush to judgment and lack of study.
Nancy Rose Osborne