State workers earn their time off from jobs with low pay
This is in response to the recent letter regarding state employees and how they "contribute nothing," get too many holidays and vacation days, and get too many sick days.
As a state worker in the courts for nearly 20 years, I take umbrage at such a remark.
Yes, we had a holiday for the gubernatorial inauguration. Considering the totality of the circumstances under which we work, no one can believe that this is a drain on the taxpayers. We do receive twice as many holidays as the average Joe — we have to earn every one of them.
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Unlike others, we don't get two weeks vacation laid in our laps upon assuming a state position. We earn one day per month as we go.
Sick time operates the same way. And we never receive overtime; it's returned to us in the form of comp time. We haven't had a raise in so long I can't remember the last one.
I am 59, a college graduate, and have been working the same job for two decades — but I still don't gross $40,000 per year.
So spare me the sarcasm about our jobs being more important than "normal" people because we get a day off every four years for the inauguration.
I work hard every day and take pride in my job. No one is giving me a cushy job with outlandish benefits.
Maybe a person should do a little research before they fling such insults at state workers.
Katherine J. Griffin
Youth safety report soon
Unfortunately, there was an early morning shooting in the center of downtown Lexington on Feb. 23.
Since last summer, I have been serving on the Commission on Youth Development and Public Safety alongside other community leaders and local law enforcement.
This commission was organized by the mayor and council, and led by council member Chris Ford, to examine the violence in our community.
For the past several months, we have been meeting with community partners and, most importantly, local youth to learn more about how we can combat violence and protect our children.
On Tuesday, our commission will issue our report to the mayor and council, but our report is just the first step. It will then be up to our leaders to implement and fund our recommendations.
We already have some amazing programs in our city, such as Partners for Youth, parks and recreation programming and community centers, and the Police Activities League, and we need to build up and expand these and other programs to ensure that we are serving every Lexington-Fayette County community and providing opportunities, education and mentors for those whose futures appear in greatest jeopardy.
Can't buy character
The "State of Hypocrisy" would have been a more relevant title for President Barack Obama's last State of the Union report.
A neglected America, an exploited citizenry, a misguided foreign policy, an irresponsible deficit, a tyrannical debt, lobbyists/legislators by the score, and a stagnant Congress controlled by the old incumbents who have pillaged America define the state of our union.
Moreover, corporations and money now have freedom of speech with privacy. Secret donors and indecent sums of money will elect the next president and re-elect the old incumbents.
Talking money with strings attached is the only real threat to our democratic republic. The late Gatewood Galbraith and Abraham Lincoln demonstrated that threat right out in plain view.
Last fall, Galbraith stood at the intersection of Huntertown and Lexington roads holding up a cardboard placard. If perseverance is a predictor of performance, and it is, he would have made an excellent governor.
If Lincoln were a presidential candidate in this era of humanlike corporations and talking money, he would also stand at intelligently selected intersections and hold up his cardboard placard, and he would have made one of our greatest presidents.
An electoral fumigation of Congress and the White House is the first step in the rehabilitation of America. Only an objective-minded electorate teamed with simple honesty has the power to implement that step.
Focus on cost of care
A recent experience as an outpatient at an area hospital might provide proof that there's more than one villain in our current health care crisis. The charge for use of the hospital as an outpatient for less than two hours was almost $20,000.
Items billed for included a $37 mask, a $47 gown, a $21 glove and $1,260 for 45 minutes' use of a recovery room.
The hospital accepted a settlement of approximately $10,000 from the insurance company thereby creating a write-off of $10,000. Voilà! No gain, no taxes due.
Health care reform is doomed to fail unless it focuses on all the costs of care, not just who will pay. Let's shine a light on all the players in this drama. Doctors, hospitals, drug companies, insurance companies and we, the uninformed consumers, all share the blame and the responsibility for the fix.
What would Clay think?
As Kentuckians, we must stand with our heads down, humiliated by Rand Paul, our senator, who proclaims he stands for less government but could not have made a decent living without Medicare and Medicaid.
Our senator who proclaims he is for Kentucky but denies that Eastern Kentucky has a drug problem. He blocks a national ban on synthetic, harmful drugs to protect our children because he says it is a local issue and he he desires to protect the giant corporate chemical companies instead of our children,
We have to be shocked that our senator is for the continued sale of dangerous drugs to our children and other citizens.
It is time that the citizens of this state held a day of mourning over the death of dignity and common sense in this high office and start requesting that he resign his position. He is an embarrassment to those who came before him to serve Kentucky in Congress.
What must the great statesman Henry Clay think about this? The same as you and I do.
David O. Smith
In defense of Rosemond
The Feb. 4 Readers' Views tirade about John Rosemond's columns ("stupid," "narrow-minded," "unfounded diatribe") strikes against the invaluable service this man gives to his readers.
To quote the letter, "In the name of saving precious ink and paper," perhaps the author should refrain from writing so many illogical left-wing ramblings.
Do blame Obama
In regard to the letter printed Feb. 16, "Don't blame Obama." I just had my hair done in Ashland and witnessed pure dismay and fear from my hairdresser and one of her clients — small-business owners — as to what this administration is doing to their lives with all the regulations.
And Barack Obama has the audacity to tour our country touting job creation while at the same time dismantling small businesses.
It is time Obama and all his devoted followers quit blaming George W. Bush. Even I know when I'm wrong and apologize.