Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: May 5

Boston victims mourned, most gun deaths ignored

The terrorist attack in Boston was a made-for-TV event. Two large gunpowder explosions hurled multiple metal pellets into the bodies of runners and onlookers, killing three and wounding more than 200.

This has received worldwide attention. The news media continue to follow all the national and international investigations by law enforcement agencies and legislative committees to determine how this destruction came about and how to prevent such acts.

Little attention is paid to the fact that on that same day about 250 other small gunpowder explosions each propelled a single metal pellet out the barrel of a gun and into an American body.

About one third of these tore into a vital organ, causing 80 to 90 deaths. The other two-thirds "only" suffered non-fatal injuries.

This goes on every day of the year and has been going on for decades. This gets scant attention from the news media and even less rational attention from our legislators. In fact, many legislators, including Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, facilitate this violence by obstructing any and all sensible efforts to prevent guns from being accessible to people who are not competent to have and use them.

Why do we the people continue to tolerate such inhumane inaction by our legislators? They certainly are not acting to promote the general welfare of Americans.

Stephen Senft


Paying for NRA support

We will show our senators that there is a cost associated with bowing to the National Rifle Association. We will no longer accept that there is nothing that can be done to limit gun violence.

I do not want to take away the right of citizens to defend themselves, but we must do what we can to implement reasonable laws to limit gun violence.

This includes expanding background checks and banning high capacity magazines and assault weapons. We must strengthen laws against gun trafficking.

Not only will I vote against McConnell and Paul, I also will actively encourage others to do the same.

Paula Hahnert


UK suing its own

The University of Kentucky is suing a reporter for its own public radio station so as not to release medical documents ordered by the state attorney general under an Open Records Act request.

Rather than suing WUKY-FM, its general manager and supervisory official, UK instead sued the station's reporter who filed the request. So far, UK has not sued the Herald-Leader, which filed a similar request for documents about pediatric cardiothoracic surgeries.

Until more details emerge, if they do, questions abound.

Since the WUKY employee can't avail herself of UK's bevy of lawyers who are suing her, is she left to dangle in the wind defending herself, with the stressful financial and professional implications?

The circumstances appear to beg establishment of a public defense fund for the employee. But examine the quadruple-public-funded-bind: a public defense fund for a public employee of a public radio station owned by the public major research flagship university?

Is the best news here that she doesn't also have to take on the public-funded state attorney general?

And if the employee somehow can afford legal representation, what about conflicts of interest within Fayette County, given the number of practicing lawyers and judges holding UK law degrees?

The image is one of a gnat flicked off by an elephant, with all due respect to both parties.

However this story unfolds, it appears that UK has a self-imposed, taxpayer-funded, multi-headed wildcat by the tail.

Ramona Rush


Coverage questioned

I found the huge amount of space (Sunday, April 28) devoted to the "freak show" sad, as well as disgusting. It showed to what lengths desperate people will go to gain attention.

There are so many hard-working young people trying to find recognition for their legitimate performing skills. Our public schools are awash with talented students, both in theater and music.

The University of Kentucky is known internationally for its music and opera schools. Why did you feel the need to go to the lowest common denominator for all the space used? To sell copies of the paper? To validate and therefore have an example set for our young people? To demonstrate bad taste as something to find amusing?

One wonders what all the out of town guests coming into our city for the races and the Derby think of this deplorable lack of sensitivity on the part of your paper.

Shame on you.

Diana Nave


Dubious news judgment

Regarding your recent interest in the poor dog "Peanut" who was sadly euthanized under questionable circumstances, I find it astonishing that you report this at length, while practically ignoring the gruesome story of the Philadelphia abortion doctor, Kermit Gosnell, who is accused of killing a young woman and four late term babies in a filthy clinic.

What criteria do you use to determine what is newsworthy? Do you think dogs are more important than babies that are born alive and illegally killed by having their spinal cords severed?

Paul David Nelson


Poisoning our water

Nutrient pollution from excess nitrogen and phosphorus is one of the most widespread water-quality problems of the past two decades. The most common sources are fertilizers and wastewater treatment plants. Kentucky ranks nutrient pollution as a serious problem, with over 1,600 miles of waterways listed as impaired.

Impacts from nitrogen and phosphorus pollution include toxic algae blooms, sometimes referred to as blue-green algae or cyanobacteria, which can kill fish and aquatic life and even harm humans and pets.

Kentucky, like many states, lacks a cap for nitrogen and phosphorus in waterways. As a result, many wastewater treatment plants have few restrictions in their permits for discharging nitrogen and phosphorus. Fertilizer use for lawns and agriculture isn't even regulated by the Clean Water Act, so any efforts to reduce nutrient pollution must be voluntary or addressed in other programs and legislation.

The Kentucky Division of Water intends to focus efforts in the coming months on reducing nutrient pollution. Certainly, more funds, effort and outreach must be devoted towards alternative avenues for reducing pollution from unregulated sources. However, states up and down the Mississippi River Basin must also update their water-quality standards to include caps on this pollution for all facilities regulated under the Clean Water Act.

Voluntary measures certainly have a role, but concrete caps on pollutants are ultimately necessary to make real progress in Kentucky and in the Gulf of Mexico.

Tim Joice

Kentucky Waterways Alliance