Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: Jan. 13

In 1975, John Tuska bought and moved his family into this house on Old Park Avenue, which was built in 1894. His son, Seth, has converted it into the Tuska Museum and Gallery. Photo by Tom Eblen | Staff
In 1975, John Tuska bought and moved his family into this house on Old Park Avenue, which was built in 1894. His son, Seth, has converted it into the Tuska Museum and Gallery. Photo by Tom Eblen | Staff

Galbraith could win over people, if not votes

A bright star in Kentucky's political galaxy has gone dim with the passing of Gatewood Galbraith.

Gatewood always was identified as a "perennial candidate" for statewide office, which he was. But pundits and opponents alike also often described him as a clown, which he wasn't.

He was one of the most intelligent and articulate political candidates of his generation, and one of the most outspoken advocates for issues about which he cared.

And he expressed his views, some of which I shared, with an attention-getting mix of passion and wit, whether it was on the stump or in a radio studio.

An example of his infectious charisma occurred during the gubernatorial campaign of 1991. Gatewood was running against Brereton Jones and Scotty Baesler in the Democratic primary, and all three spoke at a Danville rally.

Supporters of Jones and Baesler put down their signs and raised their clapping hands in thunderous response to many of Gatewood's comments.

I imagine many residents who never voted for Gatewood are joining the few who did and putting down their particular political beliefs and affiliations to remember a man who spoke from both his mind and his heart.

Had Gatewood ever been able to get that majority in an election that always eluded him, he just might have been a good governor. Goodness knows, we have done worse.

RIP, dear Gatewood. The state you cared so much about and the people whom you tried so often to gain the right to serve will miss you.

John H. Brock


Who gets hurt?

Your Dec. 30 editorial, "Read coal's future in tobacco leaves," was well-written, informative and even hopeful.

However, the demise of the family-sized and -run farms, along with tobacco, that an energized alliance of church and secular activists fought so hard to preserve 20 years ago are not mentioned.

Everything is macro. The fabric of our farm economy today is woven from singular ropes, not thousands of community building threads.

Of course, this doesn't apply to the coal industry, except for a few family mines that were bought out years ago; the fabric of the coal economy is woven from industrial barbed wire. Those politically reinforced strands strive to tear any entity apart that tries to touch them, not to mention the mountains they decapitate.

Bennett D. Poage


Visit Tuska House

Why Tuska House?

Because it is not just about art, but what art can do for you.

Prior to his passing, John Regis Tuska asked that his life be shared as an educator. While his work could be and will be anywhere in the world, he chose Lexington as home to his prolific career as a teacher's teacher and a place to raise a family.

Leaving the horses and traditions to others, it was the figure and his exploration of the human condition, through his own experiences, that would define his body of work.

As a tribute to his life, his home on Old Park Avenue has become Lexington's newest historic house museum. Often called a treasure, it is a place to be shared and to ask viewers for their own inspiration. Have you been? Please visit and share.

The Tuska Foundation and Arts Center has been established to provide educational outreach to young and old and allow future generations to share the man who taught, created, inspired and asks you to be you.

There was a sign hanging in Tuska's studio which read, "non basta una vita," meaning one life is not enough. To him, work generated work. To any of us, a time to do more. And to the future, all who will continue to be inspired by the experience. Please help ensure that the "treasure" is shared with the world, here in Lexington, by supporting Tuska House and the Tuska Foundation and Arts Center.

Seth D. Tuska


Much more to decision

As a neighbor and chairman of the deacons at Gardenside Baptist Church I wish to respond to a letter accusing Gardenside Baptist Church of "railroading" the demolition of buildings on Traveller Road.

The church has had to deal with vandalism plus the cost of insuring and maintaining the buildings. Consideration was given to bringing the buildings up to code, but it was determined it would be cost prohibitive. The pastor, recognizing the problems and the church's desperate need for additional parking, checked with all city rules and regulations to determine the feasibility of the project before proceeding.

After prayerfully considering everything, the church voted in favor of demolishing the buildings. The church sent letters to nearby neighbors explaining the project and another letter scheduling a meeting at the church in December led by our pastor, the Rev. Derek Coleman, and attended by councilwoman Peggy Henson.

The church has tried to be as transparent as possible and a good neighbor by eliminating an eyesore that had become a liability to the church and the neighborhood.

Everything has been done in accordance with and in compliance with all current laws, regulations and ordinances.

How would it profit God's kingdom for the church to damage its witness by trampling on the local laws, regulations and ordinances?

As we go through life we all need forgiveness and it may require us to apologize for our actions. I will continue to pray for the previous writer.

Lewis A. Rigsby Jr.


The air we breathe

I would urge all citizens of Lexington to observe the two coal-fired heating plants on the University of Kentucky's campus.

One is next to UK's hospital. The other is on South Upper Street. You won't miss them. They are the buildings with the not-quite-high-enough smokestacks churning out the blue-gray smog that often hovers at street level, creeps into your parked cars, onto your faces as you stroll downtown, into your homes and ultimately into your lungs.

While the issue of coal-fired heating plants is often far removed because we cannot see them or the pollution they generate, we have two coal-fired heating plants right in the middle of our city, churning out toxins such as mercury, arsenic, dioxin and lead, and creating a cloud of smog that can be seen for miles.

Do not be fooled — UK's coal-fired heating plants do not utilize clean-coal technology such as scrubbers.

As a citizen of Lexington, I am horrified by the idea that UK will burn coal in the middle of our city well into the foreseeable future because UK is unwilling to break its ties with Big Coal and transition to cleaner energy sources such as natural gas.

Let us all observe UK's two coal-fired heating plants, take an active interest in the health of our children and citizenry, and demand that UK clean up its act and stop polluting Lexington's air and water.

Angela Minella