Sandhill crane hunt anything but a 'success'
I was outraged when I heard on the radio that 50 sandhill cranes were killed in a hunt sponsored by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.
The spokesman said the hunt was a "success" and they were glad to be able to provide a place where Kentucky hunters could kill sandhill cranes without having to travel to a western state. How inconvenient it would have been for them to go out of state to destroy these magnificent birds.
What a backward state Kentucky appears to be when it opens a hunting season on a beautiful bird that was previously protected. Sandhill cranes mate for life, which makes it doubly cruel to kill them.
With all the domestic chickens and turkeys that are raised for meat in this country, there is no shortage of food. No one needs to kill a sandhill crane; it is simply done for the novelty. That is not a valid reason to take the life of any living creature.
There are far more birdwatchers and nature lovers in Kentucky who enjoy seeing sandhill cranes than hunters who want to shoot them.
I wrote letters and signed petitions prior to the hunt being approved, all to no avail. Even if the inherent value of the crane's life isn't considered, the rights of people who want to see the cranes live undisturbed greatly outweighs those who enjoy killing them. This ugly practice should be stopped. There should be no more hunts in Kentucky.
Jeanne F. Scott
It makes no sense
The sandhill crane, whose fossil record in America goes back millions of years, was nearly wiped out in the east by habitat loss and over-hunting during the past 200 years and is currently making a comeback.
The species has, questionably, just recently reached the minimum population requirement in the Eastern flyway zone to allow hunting. This bird is still in need of protection while it stabilizes its population, but the more important question is does this bird have a higher value?
Kentucky officials say they are not disappointed that Kentucky hunters killed only 50 sandhill cranes — far less than the 400-bird limit they had set. I would think this lack of response would signal reluctance on the part of hunters. This was an ill-advised and unjustifiable effort to appeal to hunters who want to kill something different, and to sell permits allowing hunting on a species that was nearly wiped out.
While state officials bragged in news articles about "rib-eye in the sky" with "excellent taste," their rather arbitrary decision with minimal public input has disappointed, if not angered, opponents and drawn negative publicity for Kentucky.
I hope more states will follow the lead of Tennessee, which recently launched a crane festival to celebrate the species rather than hunt the birds. The Jan. 14 event drew more than 3,000 people.
As a graduate of Western Kentucky University and president of my fraternity I have fond feelings for my Kentucky brethren. This hunting decision is shortsighted and leaves me with muted memories.
Come to senses
I work with an organization that specializes in rescuing, repairing, rehabilitating and releasing sandhill cranes. The hunting of sandhill cranes is counterproductive to that effort.
I don't know what it is about the sandhill cranes that seems to bring out the worst in people. We see cranes that have arrows through them, have had just their feet shot off, have had their legs sawed off and have had their beaks broken or deformed.
It seems quite arrogant of humankind to know that sandhill crane populations were previously decimated by hunting and then to lallow hunting them again.
When a shot is fired it will disturb all of the cranes in the area. It will also impact productivity later on as sand hill cranes mate for life.
I hope that Kentucky officials will come to their senses and stop issuing hunting permits for sandhill cranes. This decision needs to be reversed as it will put more than a black eye on the state of Kentucky.
Palm Harbor, Fla.
Disruptive to game
Moving advertisements along the sidelines during basketball games need to be eliminated, especially when the ball is in play.
At times it must be a distraction not only to the ball handler but to the defender as well ... and don't forget the viewers at the game and the TV viewers.
Is the "almighty dollar" so important that it matters not to whomever the moving ad affects?
From my perspective, it takes away from the game — the primary reason for watching — and, I really believe, does nothing for those who advertise in this manner.
U.S. errors on Plan B
The Kentucky Teen Pregnancy Coalition seeks to reduce teen pregnancy in Kentucky. Our coalition includes health educators and practitioners, teachers and others interested in the well-being of Kentucky's youth.
We are very concerned about the decision by U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to overrule a Food and Drug Administration recommendation that Plan B One-Step, a morning-after birth control pill, be sold over the counter.
This is the first time an FDA recommendation has been rejected. Plan B is not an abortion pill. It cannot interrupt a pregnancy.
It is a high-dose hormone pill, similar to birth control pills, which can prevent pregnancy if taken within 72 hours after intercourse.
At present, this drug is available without a prescription to women 17 and older, but they must ask the pharmacist for it. Girls 16 or younger must get a doctor's prescription for this medication. This policy creates barriers to women getting this medication in the timely manner required.
We support young people talking with their parents about sexual issues, but many young people feel they cannot tell their parents they have become sexually active.
Making Plan B more readily available will help young people avoid pregnancy until they are prepared for the challenges of parenthood.
Our young people need comprehensive, research-based sexuality education to enable them to make informed, healthy decisions about sexual involvement.
They also need effective contraception to help them finish their educations and prepare themselves for a fulfilling and productive adulthood.
Kentucky Teen Pregnancy Coalition
Following a sign
Here's an idea.
Maybe we could get rid of the two signs in the empty lot on Main Street that read "CentrePointe" since by now only certified idiots think that this is actually going to happen.
We could replace them with signs that read "stupid, short-sighted, embarrassing cow pasture right in the middle of downtown Lexington brought to you by stupid, short-sighted, embarrassing city leaders who wouldn't know urban planning if it bit them on the nose."