Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor: Jan. 17

Condolences from fire chief miss the mark

Recently, a letter written by Lexington fire department's Chief Keith L. Jackson to the family of the young lady run over and killed by a fire truck in downtown Lexington appeared in the Herald-Leader.

A letter of condolence is never an easy thing to write, particularly in this case where a tragic accident cost a young, vibrant person her life. While the letter contained many of the words one associates with condolences, it was antiseptic, impersonal and showed no remorse.

While the feelings of members of the fire department, and particularly the one who caused the accident, cannot be minimized, the content of the letter seemed to have put the fire department's feelings on a par with those of the family's.

A letter to the family should have limited itself to the family only — not to tell the family how much the fire department is suffering. I am sure the family is not interested in how much the fire department is suffering.

Given the resources of Lexington city government, someone there could have written a more personal and truly heartfelt condolence letter than what apparently was sent to the family of Lauren Roady.

Given this meaningless death, the City of Lexington did itself no favors in conveying feelings that would bring a sense of solace to the family. The city could and should have done better.

Betty Shearer


Not entitlements

Leave my Social Security alone.

Don't keep talking about cutting "entitlement" checks in regard to Social Security. We older people retired on Social Security worked and paid in for that security. We earned every tiny check we receive.

I draw $966 a month, after I pay Medicare premiums. You all in politics, sitting back and drawing thousands of dollars in income, call Social Security entitlements. Social Security is our savings. It is not welfare given out to us.

As far as the economy being down and so many drawing unemployment — all you smart people sitting around doing nothing get busy and get jobs back in America.

So many companies went overseas and pay low salaries to charge double and triple what it costs to make. Americans want to work. They don't want to sit and twiddle their thumbs. You who run the manufacturing plants gave away the jobs. Get busy and bring our jobs back to America.

I'm 81. I worked filling and keeping clean vending machines. If I were able to do it now, I'd be at work. I've had cancer surgery and radiation, both knees replaced, two low back surgeries, and I now suffer congestive heart failure, but I work as hard as I can at home. So my pitiful Social Security is not an entitlement. I earned it.

Anna J. Miller

Stamping Ground

Wrong UK priority

On a Monday, my son, a freshman at the University of Kentucky, called to inform me that he might now have a dorm room for this semester. Seems there were only 500 open spots and off-campus housing might be a necessity.

Then on Friday, a Herald-Leader headline was that $110 million will be spent on a facility that is only used on Saturdays for several weeks in the falls.

Makes as much sense as passing out Bushmasters to all the schoolchildren so they can defend themselves. Instead of PTO bake sales, they can have ammo night.

Maybe UK could let the students camp out on the spotless turf of "Uncommon Wealth" stadium. They would just have to move their tents on Friday evenings in time for game day.

Mark Lewis


Hemp is freedom

The bill promoting industrialized hemp production should be passed, but only one thing stands in its way. Law enforcement says this will make it harder for them to arrest and imprison people who grow pot.

Why is this even an issue?

Freedom and personal liberty should be the only concern when making laws. We should not make laws to make police happy. Our world-record prison population proves that law enforcement has no problem whatsoever rounding up nonviolent pot smokers.

The laws have certainly made it easy for police to arrest people — far too easy. Where are the laws to protect citizen rights? Our liberties? Our freedoms? So, who cares what law enforcement thinks? Laws should not be made in order to fill prisons with nonviolent people who grow plants.

Legalize hemp like most of the other countries in the world. Canadians can grow hemp. Russians and Chinese can also grow hemp. Why don't Americans have that right?

This "land of the free" nonsense is a lie. You can't be a free country and have the world's highest number of prisoners at the same time. That is a contradiction. The movement toward a police state has got to stop, and allowing hemp is a good first step toward freedom.

Ellen McGrady


'Nude' show ho-hum

The current Nude show at Loudoun House gallery is a pale disappointment compared to previous years. There are cold, slow, bland video pieces and only three sculptures — which are shoved into corners — from 30 artists. Much of the two-dimensional work is colorless with static poses.

I was reminded of a poorly mounted grad student exhibit whose main color value is gray. I fail to see how "featuring two companion exhibits," as the Weekender asserts, is "keeping it fresh."

Michael Potts


Lucky to have her

I am writing in defense of Donna Ison after the "Why so dreadful" letter of Jan. 5 accused Ison of being "hateful" and "racist" for comments attributed to her in the Dec. 28 Weekender article, "The New Year's Eve letdown."

I have known Ison (formerly Ison-Rodriguez as she was married to a man from the Dominican Republic for over a decade) for many years. I have worked with her on several of her performance projects — including Body Love, which dealt with women's body image issues and the Sisters' Provocateur Project, whose mission was to prove that "brainy doesn't have to be boring, sexy doesn't have to be skinny and poetry doesn't have to be pretentious." She is a published author, a filmmaker, a playwright, my mentor and friend and an overall creative force with which to be reckoned.

Ison is a lot of things. One thing she is not, however, is racist.

The fact that her humorous quotes outraged one letter writer goes to show that Ison is, again, doing what she does best: pushing the envelope through her art and stirring otherwise sedentary citizens to get off their butts and respond. Lexington is lucky to have her.

Sunny Montgomery


U of L worthy of SEC

I'm originally from Louisville and I am a Kentucky fan except when the Wildcats play Louisville. I have always been concerned by the ill feelings between the two schools' fans.

Last year, amid the shuffling of conferences, I sent messages to both the University of Kentucky athletics director and president. I said it would create good feelings from Louisville fans toward Kentucky if UK would advise they would be pleased to see Louisville be invited to join the Southeastern Conference. I mentioned the fact U of L is equal to UK. I was disappointed there was no response. Louisville strongly proved to be equal to an SEC team at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.

Jim Snellen

St. Johns, Fla.