Horse industry valuable beyond Kentucky
As a young person, my parents would bring me to the Lexington area from Michigan to see the horses. I was thrilled to pet Bull Lea at Calumet many years ago. To see the beautiful farms, horses and meet friendly people is a real treat.
Working for the University of Missouri and now retired, I have been able to bring 40 to 50 youth to Lexington several times to learn about the many careers in the horse business. Thank you so much for sharing your farms, horses and knowledge with a horse lover from southwest Missouri. Everyone we have contacted for tours has been gracious and open to sharing their knowledge and facilities with us.
What the people of Kentucky and especially Lexington have done with the Kentucky Horse Park is remarkable. It is definitely a world class facility.
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I get your paper every day online and enjoy keeping up with all the horse happenings. I have especially enjoyed reading the current "Fields of Dreams" series by Janet Patton.
To learn about the history of the farms, the current state of the horse industry and the making of a possible champion is very informative. Keep up the great work.
El Dorado Springs, Mo.
Akin not so far off
Todd Akin, Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate from Missouri, has been criticized by many, including President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, for his assertion that few pregnancies result from "legitimate rapes."
There are two issues here. The first is Akin's choice of the word "legitimate." Perhaps a less equivocal word could have been used.
The second is the substance of Akin's assertion. Relevant to Akin's assertion and to the criticisms of his opinion are the following findings reported by the physician and medical ethicist Eugene F. Diamond, M.D.:
■ Zero pregnancies were reported during a nine-year period of prosecution for rape in Cook County, Illinois (Chicago);
■ No pregnancies occurred as a result of a series of 4,000 rapes in Minnesota;
■ A 30-year retrospective study of rape prosecutions in Erie County, New York (Buffalo) and a 10-year report from Cuyahoga County, Ohio (Cleveland) found no pregnancies.
Otto R. Piechowski
Circus cruel to animals
Circus advertisements are beginning to appear around Lexington. Just like the circus itself, the pomp and circumstance displayed on the posters belies an enterprise built on cruelty of highly sentient, intelligent beings. Asian elephants, for example, are among the most intelligent and socially complex mammals.
In the wild, elephants have lifelong social bonds, and are able to remember each other after decades of separation. They display complexities such as empathy, altruism and interactive vocal communication. They have complex greeting and mourning rituals, underscoring the depth of their emotional bonds.
They walk miles each day with their families, foraging, interacting with other elephant families, and experiencing novel sights and sounds in their native habitats.
In contrast, elephants who are forced to perform in circuses are kept in cramped train cars and chained nearly immobile for the majority of their lives. They are forcefully separated from their families and beaten with sharp bull hooks and electrically shocked to force them to perform unnatural behaviors. Research shows elephants kept in circuses experience severe psychological trauma.
Each of us has an upcoming opportunity to refuse to support this abhorrent enterprise. We have an opportunity to talk to our children about how other sentient beings should be treated.
Rather than attending the circus, we can take food to the humane society, offer help to animal sanctuaries, read together about animals in the wild, or draw pictures with our children of happy animals — those who are free to roam their native habitats in peace.
Use pregnancy help center
I am concerned by the advice given by Dear Abby in her Aug. 20 column. "Lost and Confused" wrote because she had just found out she was pregnant and didn't know who the father was. Abby's advice was first to seek prenatal care at Planned Parenthood.
She should have recommended that "Lost and Confused" seek care at a Pregnancy Help Center or another similar organization instead. Among many services that the local Pregnancy Help Center in Richmond provides are referrals for medical care, information about financial assistance, and parenting support resources.
It also provides baby care items and clothing to families in need. Our Pregnancy Help Center is a credit to our community.
"Lost and Confused" asked questions about parenting and child support, clearly indicating that she intended to keep her baby. A pregnancy help center is staffed with counselors and volunteers who can answer her questions with caring concern and without pressure. And it would not introduce the possibility of an abortion to a lost and confused mother-to-be. A baby is a gift to the world not just to its family.
Help senior citizens
There is help available for students, the homeless, laid-off-workers, unwed mothers, people who lie to Social Security about their husbands not living with them, (so they can collect food stamps) and the list goes on, but senior citizens get no help whatsoever.
Most of us have worked hard all our lives only to retire on meager funds which do not even meet our needs, and then we cannot work anymore due to age or health problems. We are facing expensive assisted living facilities, personal care facilities or nursing homes. Our only other option is to impose on our families.
Our former mayor even did away with a HOW (Hire Older Workers) program which was a help to those of us who were still able to work. Utilities, rental insurance, car insurance, gasoline, life insurance, hospitalization insurance, groceries and miscellaneous expenses take more than most of us have.
Give us senior citizens — who have worked hard all our lives only to have to do without essentials, worry how we are going to make it and dig into any little savings we might have managed to set aside for emergencies — a break.
Give us some affordable housing in a safe, desirable location. Some of the places offered to us are in undesirable, unsafe neighborhoods and some are even infested with bedbugs. Lexington needs more nice places for its senior citizens.
Betty Ann Cason