Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: Sept. 26

Proposed hotel not the right fit for Southland locale

Having just returned from Asheville, N.C., I was even more discouraged about the proposal to build a five-story Hampton Inn on Southland Drive. The developer, Phil Greer, is requesting a zoning change from neighborhood business to highway business. This zoning is not appropriate for an area surrounded by neighborhoods and designed to serve area residents.

We are being warned that if this isn't allowed to happen, something worse will take its place. This doesn't need to be the case.

My first morning in Asheville, the newspaper headlined a story about the city's ongoing effort to maintain a downtown for its residents, rather than a downtown of box stores found in tourist towns.

I walked with my friend to her neighborhood's shopping district. It's on a main road and bus line into downtown. There was a grocery store, gas station, pub and bakery. There were small shops and churches. A local developer was converting a dilapidated movie theater into a live performance venue.

Greer isn't without neighborhood-friendly options. Appropriately scaled lodgings, similar to the University Inn, could be built with a less-damaging zone change. If the goal is accommodating families of hospital patients, isn't this preferable?

Neighborhoods surrounding walkable, family-friendly business districts are not a Mayberry fantasy. It is reality in cities where residents are willing to speak up. Please let your council member know that you support the city's master plan and reject the proposal to build a large hotel on Southland Drive.

Clarissa Spawn


GOP deeds misogynistic

If you wear white sheets and a hood, you shouldn't be surprised or outraged if someone calls you a racist. Likewise, if you or your political party consistently opposes laws to treat women fairly, you shouldn't be surprised or outraged if someone calls you misogynistic.

Instead, readers are writing letters assailing Lexington psychologist Steven Mangine's commentary as distorting facts while never listing those distortions.

What facts do reveal is the GOP's attempt to stymie legislation like the Violence Against Women Act and its opposition to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which passed with the vote of every independent and Democratic senator. Contrast that to the fact that every male Republican senator voted against it.

Then there is the opposition to having insurance companies cover contraceptives. Couple that with the belief that women are incapable of making health decisions without government oversight. The party that touts individual freedom doesn't believe that freedom applies to women and their sexual behavior.

The GOP seeks to control a woman's sexuality by opposing coverage for contraception and then punishing them by attempting to ban abortion, should any woman not adhere to the GOP's beliefs on sexual behavior.

When a woman law student spoke out, she was called a "slut" by Rush Limbaugh, the Pied Piper of the right. There was no condemnation by GOP leaders.

Misogyny involves denigration of women, violence against women, the sexual objectification of women and a disdain for a woman's opinion. Certainly sounds like the GOP, or should we call them the American Taliban?

James F. Wisniewski


Political erosion

Our politicians have now hit a new low. At the Democratic convention they (temporarily) took the word God out of their platform.

Does this mean the Democrats believe there is no God? What our Founding Fathers strongly believed in is now being thrown aside as being totally irrelevant.

Is this the message that we want from our leaders, that God is no longer important to the nation?

Our country is being eroded every day by influences that weaken our beliefs. Just imagine if this can be done, to take God out of our lives, what will be next?

The election in November is very important. Voters must pick the right leader to protect us from the erosion that is taking place in our country.

If not, may God help us.

Bill Stath


Web coverage lacking

Having graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Law a few years ago after working in the Thoroughbred racing industry for many years, I continue to read the Herald-Leader on a regular basis to ensure I keep my finger on the pulse of one of my favorite cities.

Yet, when I was reading the online paper the morning of Sept. 6, I saw absolutely no mention of the previous night's Democratic National Convention.

As I checked the front page again in the afternoon, I again was not seeing any mention of the DNC.

This makes no sense. This was national news deserving of a front page headline on your Web site.

Amanda Simmons Luby

Orlando, Fla.

Obama bailout for votes

President Barack Obama takes credit for bailing out the American auto industry and saving Michigan from a depression.

Actually, his plan was a bailout of the United Auto Workers. As the UAW explained to its members, "For our active members these tentative changes mean no loss in your base hourly pay, no reduction in your health care, and no reduction in pensions."

Upon retirement, UAW members' health insurance continues until they reach Medicare age and has a maximum out-of-pocket cost annually of $285. In comparison, the average Medicare recipient spends about $4,200 a year out of pocket. UAW members can retire in their 50s.

Chrysler's secured bond holders should have been paid in full prior to payments to unsecured creditors. Instead, they received payments of 29 cents on the dollar while the UAW's unsecured pension fund received over 80 cents per dollar owed.

Second lien creditors and unsecured trade creditors received zeo on their combined claims of $7 billion while the unsecured UAW pension fund received 41 percent ownership of Chrysler plus a note at 9 percent interest of $4.6 billion.

Think the Obama administration was rewarding UAW for past and future votes for the Democratic Party? It gave $26.5 billion in taxpayer dollars to the UAW union, more than we spent in foreign aid in 2011.

Ray Davis


Gas relatively cheap

I don't understand why the American people are complaining about gasoline prices at $4 per gallon and criticizing the Obama administration over the issue.

The American public should sit back and look at what we pay to drink a good bottle of liquor, $30 a gallon, or a six-pack of my favorite beer, $6.

Anytime I go to a bar to drink my beer it is no less than $2.50 per bottle, a mixed drink is $5 or more. A gallon of gas takes me to work, grocery shopping and on vacation. Liquor doesn't do anything but make me feel good and take chances. Please, America, let's take a look in the mirror before we criticize.

P.S.: Cigarettes are $5.50 per pack.

Peter Herrera

Van Lear