CentrePointe needs to draw people downtown
I was pleased to hear consultant Jeanne Gang's presentation concerning CentrePointe and felt the excitement of those present.
I was there because I have seen far too much bad advice come to Lexington, remembering the loss of Union Station, the devastating downtown "urban renewal," even the Festival Market mistake and so much sterile development.
I share some thoughts from listening to the presentation:
■ When I think of inviting places, there are women with strollers and small play areas for older tots. They encourage the feeling of being among a friendly group.
■ Self-contained buildings discourage people from leaving the buildings. Gang's ideas of "horse country" divisions of the structures might also lead to security issues and inactive space between buildings.
■ Gang's mentioning of Cincinnati brought back memories of hundreds of people, many of them downtown residents but also workers, on the streets visiting street-front businesses to eat and shop.
■ Are we encouraging local ownership with local financing in addition to seeking local architectural input?
■ Can we think about a diversity of residents living downtown? What about cooperation with the university, and its donors, for housing to bring older students, faculty, staff and maybe retirees to such structures?
■ This project should not be used to promote changes from one-way streets. It's a separate issue.
Besides, how many one-way streets in Spain, Austria and New York did the presenter use as examples of beautiful streets?
While financing/investment is completely unknown, before any development is approved, this community's creative thinking should be allowed to bring the best ideas forward.
Nearly perfect as it is
Regarding CentrePointe. I think that the pasture in the middle of downtown Lexington is the most appropriate thing that I have seen in my 53 years living here.
All it needs is a few grazing horses. Thanks, developer Dudley Webb.
Beshear too Republican
I have never voted for anyone other than a Democrat, but there is no way I will vote for Gov. Steve Beshear, the Repub-Democrat.
He embarrassed Kentucky when he snubbed President Barack Obama at Fort Campbell after Osama bin Laden was killed. No doubt he did not want to be associated with the Kentucky-unpopular president, and the big horse industry was more important to him.
What Democrat attacks the Environmental Protection Agency for trying to enforce the country's existing water-quality laws?
Everyone, including the coal and other big business execs with whom he is in bed, need clean air and water, but health is a hidden cost that is often overlooked, and the taxpayers can foot the bill for environmental cleanup.
Apparently, he does not believe in separation of church and state, granting millions of dollars in tax breaks to the Noah's Ark business venture and making Kentucky the butt of jokes.
The taxes could have paid for services to help the common citizen but, instead, he cuts much-needed services.
He balanced the state budget using federal stimulus money, then hypocritically denounced big-government overspending.
Another "budget-balancing measure," furloughing state workers, not only effectively cut their salaries, but also reduced services.
The budgeting-balancing measures he takes are bandages at a time when Kentucky needs a comprehensive tax overhaul.
So, our choices this gubernatorial election are a Repub-Democrat, a Repub-Republican or an independent. Gatewood Galbraith, more of a Democrat than Beshear could ever be, will get my vote.
GOP is so 'right'
Republicans should be happy with their field of right-wing presidential candidates for 2012.
The Tea Party right has Ron Paul, who agrees with their idea of dismantling government and returning to the days of every man for himself.
The religious right has Rick Santorum, a man who has equated homosexuality with man/dog relations.
The talk-radio right has Newt Gingrich, a beloved scholar of conservative ideas.
The Tea Party has Michelle Bachmann, who claims that the founding fathers abolished slavery.
The only bad candidate from the conservative perspective is Mitt Romney. Romney meets the conservative definition of a socialist — anyone who favors government-regulated health care.
The questions are: Will Republicans vote for a socialist (Romney) who can win? Or, will they instead vote for conservatives like Santorum and Gingrich who will certainly lose?
Will they choose a radical like Ron Paul who wants to eliminate government altogether and return to corporate rule with a serf population to serve them?
The Republican Party has shifted very far to the right in the past 30 years, and I predict that this year that only crazy-talk will appease the Republican voter.
A middle-of-the-road candidate like Romney will sound like a liberal and a socialist to the conservative voter, and he is both by their definition.
Euthanizing cats fails
In a recent letter to the editor, the author took to task those who support the trap, neuter, and return (TNR) of feral cats.
For decades, millions of feral cats have been euthanized in a failed attempt at population control. If, as the writer suggests, euthanasia were the answer, then we would not still be talking about the problem.
TNR is increasingly being adopted by communities as a more humane approach to reducing homeless cat populations.
Euthanizing a cat fails to reduce the population because the void created is either filled by another unaltered cat or the colony reproduces more quickly to compensate.
However, TNR efforts can achieve a declining population where immigration and emigration of unaltered cats is managed. Therefore, a broad-based TNR community effort is crucial to success.
The compassion a society employs in solving a problem matters. Euthanasia perpetuates an endless cycle of cats and kittens being put to death with no resulting decline in colony population. TNR shows promise as the most humane method of gradually reducing the population of homeless cats.
Finally, the writer described TNR supporters as "well-funded and aggressive."
TNR volunteers commit both time and personal financial resources to helping manage the broader societal problem of homeless animals. They are homeless, in part, due to irresponsible pet ownership and animal abandonment.
It is as much a people problem as it is a cat problem. If you own a cat that is allowed to roam freely, please have it spayed or neutered.