Food trucks in Lexington would spur business, attract more people
I am a lawyer with an office downtown. I would like to propose an ordinance prohibiting another law firm from locating across the street because it might hurt my business.
Preposterous? Of course. But that is no different from the comments by Diane Lawless and others on the city council who are loath to allow food trucks better access to downtown because the competition might hurt existing restaurants.
Contemporary food trucks are not the county-fair funnel-cake purveyors of yore. Most offer affordable, nutritious and inventive food. Because of their mobility, they might provide a nice lunchtime surprise, can help meet the needs of special events anywhere in the city, and even cut down on drunken driving by providing a late-night food option.
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Most progressive cities have developed a thriving food truck culture. Lexington is in danger of being left behind, which leaves our city less attractive to the young, creative professionals our leaders talk about wanting to attract. The best part is, allowing food trucks would be virtually cost-free economic development.
By simply tweaking our food-service regulations, entrepreneurs and private business people will be standing in line to provide a needed service with no taxpayer assistance. Plus, a proliferation of mobile vendors would lead to licensing fees and tax revenue.
For the most part, street food serves a different audience and does not compete for the same customers as sit-down restaurants. But to the extent we can make downtown a more inviting, interesting place, surely it will benefit every business.
Police need scrutiny, not praise
I read with incredulity as the president of the police union complained in an April 29 letter that they did not receive enough praise from our mayor. Our government and the media do nothing but heap praise on police, whether deserved or not.
Police do not need more admiration. In fact, they need the opposite. There needs to be a watchdog who watches the police and reports on their misconduct. It has been said that the job of the media is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable, and none are more comfortable than the police.
Why not talk about cases from around the county, such as the six-year-old arrested and put into handcuffs for throwing a tantrum at school? Or, the 83-year-old grandmother who was Tasered for not getting out of her car fast enough? Or how about the man who was Tasered for refusing to sign a traffic ticket? Or the complaints of beatings, unlawful arrests and abuse at the hand of the police?
The union leader said that police were pelted with "rocks and bottles." That should make it obvious that many people do not support excessive policing. Police have the power to carry guns to shoot and shock people on a whim.
Accountability should be demanded of our police, and not more praise. The media has become a cult of glorification for the police, and you no longer serve as watchdogs for the public.
Queen of soul disrespected
What, no coverage of Aretha Franklin's concert April 28 at the new Eastern Kentucky University center?
When I didn't see a review or a photograph in Sunday's paper, I was certain I would see one in Monday's paper.
I was all the more convinced there would be a review to make up for the insultingly short blurb about the concert in Friday's Weekender.
How do you justify a cover photo and preview story about country singer Eric Church's concert at Rupp Arena on Friday night, plus a review in Sunday's paper, yet choose to dismiss Aretha Franklin's concert altogether?
I find that inexcusable. We're talking about a music icon here, one whose music we've all danced to and sometimes cried to.
Shame on you. I fully recognize you can't cover everything everywhere. But if you have the staff to cover every honky-tonk concert at Rupp and every Lexington Philharmonic concert, then why couldn't you cover Franklin?
I bet if Coach John Calipari had taken the championship trophy to show off to her, then you would have found the staff to cover that.
By the way, I heard that Aretha did a wonderful tribute to Whitney Houston. Too bad we didn't get to read about it.
Thomas J. Tolliver
Obama's 'fairness' doctrine
So now President Barack Obama stated the real purpose for imposing additional taxes on the so-called rich has nothing to do with climbing out of this recession. It's all about a nice-sounding word called "fairness."
If Obama has been sincere, consistent and unwavering about anything, it is embodied in his mantra of "spreading the wealth," even if it means there's less wealth to spread around. I have a few "fairness" questions to pose to Obama:
■ Is it fair the budget reconciliation process was used to push through health care reform at the 11th hour?
■ Is it fair to dole out billions in loan guarantees to politically favored failures like Solyndra and leave taxpayers holding the bag?
■ Is it fair he demoted bondholders to last-resort status to support the auto bailout?
■ Is it fair he shifted $500 billion from Medicare to fund Obamacare and then tried to double-count the savings?
■ Is it fair he led efforts to overthrow the regime in Libya in the name of humanitarianism while standing by as Assad continues to butcher Syrians?
■ Is it fair he and Rep. Nancy Pelosi exempted thousands of political friends from the suffocating requirements of Obamacare?
■ Is it fair Attorney General Eric Holder pursues civil rights violations of whites against blacks, but not the other way?
■ Is it fair he promised to unite this country while using class warfare?
One of the greatest lessons I was taught: Life isn't always fair. Neither are Obama and his notions of spreading the wealth.
Stephen I. Nussbaum
Dark side of casinos
A recent New York Times story highlighted the seemingly direct relationship between establishing "racinos" and horse injury/deaths.
At Aqueduct in New York State, injuries went up 100 percent in one year after casino-style gambling was introduced at the track.
The reason: Gambling income raised purses, increased competition and led to unlimited, indiscriminate doping of horses.
Is this a dark side of casinos at the tracks that you need to tell us about given your interest in seeing gambling established at the tracks?
Give us some of your fine investigative reporting on a subject which I am sure all of us find interesting.
More appreciation for jockeys
The article about 175 people purchasing signed posters for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund was not as newsworthy as the thousands who didn't buy one.
Additionally, there was $1.5 million wagered at the track and $7.7 million overall. That doesn't reflect very well the respect the horse race fans have for the jockeys.
A total of $1,750 was a very paltry amount from the adoring fans.
Farewell to Perkins
It hurts to say goodbye, but it hurts worse when you do not have the chance to say goodbye. That's how I felt when I read about the closing of Perkins Family Restaurant in Monday's Herald-Leader.
I had read of the suit between Mark Perkins and Southland Christian Church, but had no idea that the final result would be the sudden closing of my family's favorite after-church restaurant.
Perkins had a regular customer in my daughter since she was four years old (she is now 14). Our favorite server, Kevin, knew what she wanted before her order was taken and the lead-off item was always a chocolate muffin.
Perkins was a place where you felt like family. Mark would visit with us, we would share stories and photos, and leave with the feeling of having shared a meal with good friends.
Our last visit was just a week before the restaurant closed. Little did we know that it would be our last meal at Perkins. The meal was excellent.
We hope Mark will choose to someday open another Perkins Family Restaurant and include chocolate muffins on the menu. We'll be there.
It's really about power
The argument by one-percenter Whitney Tilson in the April 15 paper that he should pay more taxes is flawed.
It is not about money, fair share or comparison to other nations; but power and influence. Note that he admits visiting the White House.
We all could use more money, but power is much more addictive. To give more in exchange for power, influence, fame and even more money is an easy decision.
The ordinary person — rich or poor — finds more quiet ways to contribute or sacrifice.
AG Commission Audit
I never thought I would say this. If the audit of former Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer's administration of the department was "political and self-serving" as the Herald-Leader reported his attorney claimed, then we need a lot more political and selfserving audits. And can someone explain to me why these are not criminal actions?
John C. Wolff, Jr.
Bad judgment by Williams
Thank God, the audit into Richie Farmer was requested by a Republican. Thank you, Agriculture Commissioner James Comer. This is another reason the Republicans in the Senate should remove David Williams as the leader. If he picked Farmer as his running mate, it shows what poor judgment he has.
There are so many places this taxpayer money could have done good. I only hope Farmer has to pay for his greed.
Meet me on the court
Hey, after work, let's all head over to Richie's house for a pick-up game of basketball on our court! Thanks to new Agriculture Commissioner James Comer for doing the right thing.