Church groups must not try to stop gambling vote
I found on the Internet numerous articles about Kentucky Baptist preachers' and their congregations' opposition to the upcoming proposal to open Kentucky to casino gambling.
It was clear from the articles that the Baptists were in the process of mounting a statewide war on the possibility of even allowing a vote on casino-type gambling in Kentucky.
Passing the casino gambling bill during this current economic downturn would certainly mean hundreds of badly needed new jobs and more tax revenue for Kentucky.
A 2007 article titled "The Big Gamble" from Louisville Magazine stated a study had revealed that $232 million in tax revenue was generated at Indiana and Illinois casinos by Kentucky gamblers the year before, which means they had gambled nearly $650 million.
Can you imagine how much easier it would be to balance a state budget right now if we had kept that kind of tax revenue in Kentucky over the four years instead of giving it to neighboring states?
It may be so that Baptist preachers and their congregations oppose casino gambling in Kentucky. I would suggest instead of trying to deny Kentuckians their wish to stay in Kentucky and partake in casino gambling that the Baptists would remember that they themselves would not be forced to gamble if they didn't want to.
And I would hope that our state representatives would realize it's wrong to deprive Kentucky of hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenue because one particular church denomination opposes it.
More harm than good
Can you promote a law known to cause an addiction to some people?
How will Kentucky profit from casino gambling when Gov. Steve Beshear must budget an unknown amount of money to treat new addicts, feed additional starving children, house them and educate them?
His gambling industry friends say the people want it. Beshear should get a second opinion. Consult with some good, smart, caring business leaders. They would help him build a strong, prosperous Kentucky.
The gambling business wants more profit. They don't care about the health and security of our people. When thousands of additional children go to bed hungry, governor, it wll be your fault.
If gambling money is the only thing to save us from bankruptcy, please take the bankruptcy; we could recover.
If Beshear cannot honor the sacred oath he took in accepting the office of governor, he should resign.
Room for both sides
With the dire straits the state is in financially, one has to think outside the box.
Since the original Ark Encounter idea is a tax liability for Kentucky with all the potential tax breaks and other state support, why not combine it with casino gambling?
Build the Arkcasino on the Ohio River to do battle with the Indiana riverboats. Making a casino out of the Ark might get a funding deluge for the state and the Ark backers.
Imagine Answers in Genesis' Captain A-Ham using a roulette wheel to guide the Arkcasino and Kentucky to prosperity.
Patrons can worship, enjoy fellowship and learn about the evils of gambling on deck one, and lose the house and kids' college fund on deck four. There are so many possibilities here.
Invest in pre-school
For over 10 years, I have served children who faced many challenges, but primarily they were struggling because their peers had attended preschool, and they had not.
From the first day of school, many of them were already behind in reading and basic knowledge of numbers and colors. No matter how hard these children tried, they could never quite catch up to the other students and, therefore, they often performed below grade level.
Once a child is behind, unless there is an intentional effort to provide tutoring, they continue to spiral into poor grades and discipline problems.
The lack of a preschool education is most often the only reason children from low-income households cannot perform at grade level. It has nothing to do with intelligence, and everything to do with a lack of opportunity. They simply did not have the same preparation and they may not have had access to the help they needed at home.
It is so important that we continue to fund the public pre-school options we already have and to expand the availability of these classroom experiences to more children. This is the only way that we can create a truly level playing field for Kentucky's children.
It is my hope legislators will put some action behind their words and fund preschool education in Kentucky.
As a new supporter and lead captain with Generations United Seniors4Kids, I am becoming increasingly aware of the reduction in funding in education. We need champions to continue to move Kentucky forward.
The Rev. Martina Ockerman
First United Methodist Church
I am heartened that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services met recently to put some meat on the bones of its draft framework for a national plan to address Alzheimer's disease.
Alzheimer's can't wait.
More than 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 each day, the threshold of increased risk for Alzheimer's.
It's time for a strategic plan for Alzheimer's that is urgent, achievable and accountable: it must change the trajectory of this disease. Nationwide, 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease; 80,000 here in Kentucky.
By 2050 the number with this disease will grow to 16 million Americans. Alzheimer's slowly steals memories, independence, autonomy and so much more. Families cannot wait any longer.
Today nearly 15 million friends and family provide care for loved ones with Alzheimer's and dementia, with 260,000 caregivers in Kentucky.
Families daily shoulder the tremendous emotional, physical and financial toll of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's.
Having lost a parent to this devastating disease, I feel first-hand the urgency of action.
At this critical juncture we desperately need our nation's leaders to fulfill their commitment to address this escalating crisis — for the millions today living with Alzheimer's and the millions more tomorrow who may face it.
Advocate; call HHS and tell them to develop and implement meaningful actions. The time is now because Alzheimer's can't wait.
Chair, board of directors Alzheimer's Association — Greater Kentucky and Southern Indiana Chapter
The Jan. 29 Chicago Tribune article explained how Sen. Mitch McConnell has become a "political chess master, who has perfected the do-nothing nature of this Congress."
Bingo! He has a personal agenda which is self serving; more to the point, he covets the job of Senate majority leader.
And here I thought we elected him to represent Kentucky, and only Kentucky. Twenty-five years of this is long enough. I, for one, will not vote for him again.
Turkey a democratic ally
As an American of Turkic descent, member of the TurkishPAC and the U.S. Turkic Network, I am writing to express my deep outrage regarding Texas Gov. Rick Perry's Jan. 16 response to Fox News anchor Brett Baier's Turcophobic and twisted question about Turkey.
Perry made a disastrous mistake by saying that Turkey is governed by terrorists, should receive no U.S. foreign aid and its membership in NATO should be questioned.
Turkey is the only country in the Middle East whose government is democratically elected by full participation of all of its citizens.
Turkey's current government is indeed Islamic-leaning, but this is not much different than what we observe in U.S. or other western democracies, where parties and politicians with far-right Christian leanings are often in power.
Moreover, Turkey lost 30,000 of its citizens to PKK terrorists and 100 of its diplomats and citizens were killed by Armenian terrorists
Give jail to sheriff
Please let Kathy Witt take over the jail. We need someone who knows what they are doing.
She's been a great sheriff. I know I can depend on her. Anytime I needed something done in the community, she has been right beside me and my neighbors.
Look at the Chevy Chase area right now: no graffiti. (Knock on wood.) Witt has worked on this since 2002. Thanks to Witt for going the extra mile.
Protect our liberties
In response to the Jan. 29 letter writer who "had nothing to hide" and therefore welcomed the Transportation Security Administration patdowns for safety: It should be remembered that the Jews in Nazi Germany also had nothing to hide.
They lost their civil liberties, too, and were rounded up and killed anyway. We need to be very cautious about throwing away our liberties in the name of safety.
Webster a wit
I recently read one of Larry Webster's pieces for the first time. Tie Rod and his story about the lost election "twenty dollar short" was priceless and probably true.
The man is funny. Based upon the tone of the online posts, it appears that those who permit their minds to be controlled by the rhetoric of political demagogues seem to take such strong exception to his wit. They too would be downright funny, but it's impolite to laugh at ignorance.