Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: May 12

Constitutional rights trampled in Boston manhunt

About 625,000 people in Watertown, Mass. confined to their homes by police edict. All commerce shut down. All transportation, including Amtrak, shut down. Hundreds of militarized police in full combat gear swarming Boston in armored vehicles.

Innocent citizens forced out of their homes at gunpoint by cops screaming and threatening them (I've watched the videos) then searching their homes without a warrant.

Keep in mind the man they were searching for was only found when the public was allowed to go outside and a man noticed blood by his boat and called the police.

All this in an American city?

So when I hear some politician or talking head say what a good job the police did in Boston it turns my stomach. What the police did in Boston was to take the U.S. Constitution and wipe their backsides with it.

We, the people, must never allow this kind of illegal behavior by law enforcement ever again, or our freedom will be lost forever. Stand up America, before it's too late.

Bill Leonard


Make full use of Hospice

The Herald-Leader did a good job communicating the recent Hospice of the Bluegrass staff reduction announcement. The board regrets having to make this decision; we care about the employees who are losing their positions and appreciate their contributions to the agency.

I want to clarify two points from the May 6 article.

First, the article reported that Hospice of the Bluegrass has 374 full-time positions. That number only includes Hospice employees in Central Kentucky. There are 656 full-time employees in the 32-county service area.

Second, the headline reported that the staff reduction was tied to less demand for hospice care. Actually the demand is higher and Hospice of the Bluegrass is serving more patients than ever.

Regrettably, terminally ill patients and their families are coming to Hospice much later in their disease progression; in fact, half of patients die within two weeks of admission.

So many times families tell us they wish they had called Hospice sooner. Research published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management reports that hospice patients live an average 29 days longer than similar patients who did not receive hospice care.

Patients are considered eligible for hospice if they have been given a prognosis of six months or less to live and anyone can make a referral.

All you need to do is ask someone whose family has received hospice care. They can tell you what a difference these services made to their family.

Woodford Webb

Chairman, Hospice of the Bluegrass


Amnesty is not 'sensible'

In University of Kentucky president Eli Capilouto's commentary, "Ky. can't compete without immigrants," he notes correctly that America desperately needs more people trained in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

He further notes that we are a nation of immigrants and encourages that we "find an alternative method for engaging a vibrant part of our global community." He concludes by urging "sensible immigration reform" as a path to the overall global prosperity of the United States.

Wow, almost makes you want to network.

As far as I can determine, there is no legitimate call for ending immigration. Immigration has been here since at least 1492 and will and should surely continue.

I share Capilouto's desire for more science, technology, engineering and math immigrants but "sensible immigration reform" sure sounds like the code phrase meaning amnesty for some 12 million folks who have entered the country illegally.

I just can't imagine what science, technology, engineering and math benefits we get from crowds illegally entering the country through an Arizona desert or stepping off onto the Gardenside Shopping Center parking lot.

Dave Rosenbaum


Ernst Johnson's legacy

The article by Linda Blackford on the University of Kentucky's building plans was excellent and very informative about a complicated problem that continues to face UK now, and will continue in the future.

Also, columnist Tom Eblen's observations regarding Ernst Johnson's buildings on the campus and the valuable architectural legacy left by them was very perceptive.

I worked closely with Johnson as his intern during that time and as a registered architect I became his architectural partner until he died in 1972.

I can state with authority that Johnson did not design the Donovan dormitory which is slated to be demolished on Rose Street. UK spokesman Bob Wiseman can proceed with the demolition of Donovan without affecting Ernst's legacy one bit.

Byron F. Romanowitz


Galloping into what?

Congratulations to Shug McGaughey and his Derby win. I'm tickled to death.

Now ask yourself what are the futures of horses like Falling Sky, VyJack, Goldencent and FracDaddy? Better yet, ask their owners. A horse's fate is in its owner's hands. Let's hope it's a happy ending.

Jack Taylor


Long wait not the ticket

This year's annual Maker's Mark bottle signing held April 12 was my first experience with this apparently popular event. The bottle-signing portion appeared well organized. It was enjoyable with all the Kentucky basketball camaraderie so many Kentuckians share.

The ticketing was not enjoyable, with waiting in line for six hours in the rain and cold. Why have people wait in line in the rain with tickets not being handed out until 10 p.m.? I understand the logistics of clearing the Keeneland racing session activity before beginning the bottle-signing ticket process, but 8 p.m. would have worked just as well.

Andrew M. Smith


Smart money on solar

So Sarah Palin went to the Derby and placed a bet on FracDaddy. I guess that's front-page news. But isn't it a bit portentous that the winner was Orb?

A big golden sun beats fracking — of course. But will President Barack Obama see it that way?

Sara M. Porter


Rogers embarrasses Ky.

Just when Kentuckians thought it was impossible to have more embarrassing congressional representation than senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, along comes Fifth District Rep. Hal Rogers' stunning performance at the recent hearings on the Federal Aviation Administration funding.

Here was Rogers, the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, accusing an FAA representative of failing to inform anyone of the effects of the sequester on commercial flight schedules.

When reminded of the obvious that there had been repeated official public warnings of those effects, which he and other Republicans mocked as political hyperbole, Rogers' response was a sarcastic "well, la dee da, everyone knew that."

It was like watching a spoiled, not-so-bright six-year-old talking in circles trying to blame the dog for eating his homework. Why does Kentucky continue to elect these cartoon characters to represent us? Surely we can do better.

Dan Berry

Stamping Ground

Add infill housing

The April 25 story on rising costs for a proposed renovation of the Distillery District was well written. Unfortunately, no mention was made of any plans for residential housing as even a possibility.

Other cities have made use of such blighted zones to create infill housing in a mix of price ranges. This will encourage a return from suburbs of people who would find a nice townhouse within walking distance of their downtown jobs a good idea.

This would be especially true if the mix included good restaurants, entertainment and a trail for walking or even biking to work. Housing would, of course. increase the tax base and add stability.

I do not live in Lexington, but if I did, such a housing arrangement would likely be appealing.

John V. Payne


Mims deserves thanks

It concerns me that a recent article and editorial about the HealthFirst project were negative.

Why not focus on all the many positive aspects of this project? This facility will provide much-needed health services for our low-income and uninsured citizens.

Many people with limited resources use emergency rooms as their primary-care providers.

The money a facility like HealthFirst will save would be huge.

We should be thanking developer Ted Mims for getting this project off the ground so we can have this much needed facility in our community.

His interest in this property is minimal and the studies that your articles criticize are a part of moving forward with an endeavor like this and would be needed no matter where it is located.

When my friends and I were growing up, our mothers would typically tell us to "be sweet" when we left the house in the morning. My mother would also say, "Be still, listen and learn something today." That might be good advice for the sensationalistic writers at the Herald Leader.

Irene M. Burnett


The Herald-Leader is damaging the reputations of good, honest, hardworking Lexington citizens like Ted Mims and the HealthFirst board members, who are trying to bring a wonderful project to our city and to the South End where it is greatly needed.

The studies required by the city and federal government had to be done in order to get the project approved. The studies and work by engineers and architects have also employed a lot of people, so that is another positive the paper ignores.

The people involved have bent over backwards to involve the community and have been very sensitive to all neighborhood concerns. I hope the intelligent citizens will check the facts, and the paper should apologize to Mims and others who have worked so hard to get this project off the ground.

All the Herald-Leader thinks to print are the negatives. However, being born and raised in Lexington, I think the city is special and would prefer to dwell on the positive.

Melanie Rhorer McCloud