Money for lock repairs meant for other purposes
As a former chairman and 15-year member of the Kentucky River Authority, I was very interested and concerned when I read about repairs on locks 1 through 4 on the Kentucky River.
Executive director Jerry Graves' statement that $4 million in excess construction funds are available is only partly true. Much of that money came from withdrawal fees paid by water users and designated for maintenance of the dams throughout the basin.
The KRA, authorized by the General Assembly, is principally responsible for providing an adequate and reliable water supply for the residents of the basin. Recreation is a very low priority. Then-executive director Stephen Reeder saved that $4 million to initiate construction at dam sites such as pool 8, which supplies Nicholasville and which leaks through solution cavities in the limestone under the dam endangering the integrity of the dam. Plans were being made to replace the dam.
Also, major construction projects must be in the KRA six-year capital construction plan approved by the General Assembly, and recreation is not one of those.
Also, KRA is in the process of building an administration building on the site of dam 4 which is owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and which is in the Kentucky River flood plain. I believe an Environmental Impact Statement is required and none has been conducted. Could a private citizen do that? Absolutely not. Something about all of this smells.
Donald C. Haney
Let's vote on marijuana
My husband and I support the bill by state Sen. Perry Clark, D-Louisville, to legalize medical marijuana.
Everyone should look at the "history of the herb" and let the people vote.
Or the government could repeal the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, which criminalized the drug four years after the 21st Amendment ended alcohol prohibition. Makes you wonder, doesn't it?
Our government should study Canada, which became the first country to approve medical marijuana.
Colorado is also having great success with medical marijuana, creating jobs and tax revenue. There are 15 states which have approved medical marijuana.
If Clark's bill passed, or if we had an amendment to legalize marijuana, it would free up our police so they could concentrate more on murders, robberies, rape, meth labs and more.
Furthermore, all people, whether for or against, should let your representatives know how you feel. Write letters. It's not hard, just say how you feel.
Science of warming
University of Kentucky meteorologist Tom Priddy was quoted in this newspaper saying that "nobody has the evidence to blame it (global warming) on anything."
Consulting a meteorologist about global warming is akin to asking a podiatrist to diagnose a brain tumor.
Climatologists have conclusively established that global warming is now primarily caused by industrial pollution. The large majority of the scientific community supports this fact.
Why do the majority of the people in the United States, alone among industrialized countries, not accept this?
A major newspaper in London ran a story two years ago about Exxon-Mobil spending a million dollars to fund climate skeptics' junk science — after they had promised to cease doing this. The powerful energy industry has bought enough climate skeptics and politicians in the U.S. to cast doubt on the causes of global warming. It does not help that a newspaper aids in this effort.
A fresh start
Thank you for the wonderful article last month featuring Tim Parrot and his business Aquila International, a Versailles aquaculture company that raises hybrid fish in lagoons and tanks that are no longer used for sewage treatment. It is inspiring to read about how government (in this case, the state Division of Water, local water municipalities and Kentucky State University) and individuals can work together to create the sustainable and environmentally healthy products of clean water and healthy, safe-to-eat fish.
I hope this venture is very successful and that, before too long, Aquila will be able to provide us the opportunity to enjoy eating locally raised catfish, bass, etc.
This is such a win-win for everyone. Good luck, Aquila International.
Karen S. Riggins
Too much spending
The definition of poppycock is "senseless talk." President Barack Obama campaigns on the same old thing every day. He wants to raise taxes on the rich, those making over $200,000 to $250,000 per year. Fair share ... poppycock!
Should Obama get his way, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the revenue gained by this "tax the rich policy" would be spent in about 8.5 days. Logic says that we still have a problem on day nine.
It is not a tax issue, it is not a fair share issue, it is a spending issue. Four straight years of trillion-dollar deficit spending. Will somebody in the media please ask Obama, what are you going to do on day nine?
Loren E. Heaney
Richard Nelson's column of July 5 claimed that super PACs offer a "solution" to "stymied politics." To his way of thinking, purchased speech is "free speech." "The truth," Nelson says, is "money doesn't always win an election."
But Nelson, as the executive director of a conservative public policy organization affiliated with a political action committee, is working on that.
In fact, he and his ilk are just the latest of the political entrepreneurial classes. Just look at the Pauls' family business.
Nelson decries the efforts of those like U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Louisville, who are attempting to restore some balance to the outsized power of "corporations and wealthy individuals."
Nelson refers to those who oppose the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision as "class-warfare hawks." The class war is long over, but the winners just can't get enough.
I think we can call those who work to have more money in politics the class-war vultures as they are now eating the public carcass and telling us we can just "tune it out or turn the channel." It's just more "free speech," after all.
The Citizens United decision sanctions predatory politics. We may have a bit of "stymied politics" now, but that tiny segment speaking for the public good will soon be totally silent.
Nelson prefers to blame the "political apathy" of voters. At the same time, his party is mustering all its high finance to suppress voter participation.
To paraphrase Wendell Berry, freedom doesn't mean much in a totalitarian economy.