CEO pay unfair to customers of KU, LG&E
While the man who is head of KU and LG&E was being compensated with $5.7 million last year, the Kentucky Public Service Commission raised the amount customers pay for electricity.
The PSC is charged by law with setting rates that are "fair, just and reasonable" and, in fact, the PSC declared the new, higher rates met all these three criteria.
I find this situation neither fair nor just nor reasonable. I also find it habitual on the part of the PSC. The companies also had been granted a raise in 2011, when the same person was compensated with $4.9 million. And an increase in rates was approved by the PSC in 2010.
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During the most recent public hearing on KU and LG&E rates, a PSC spokesman noted in the introduction of the session that one factor the PSC does not consider is salaries. It takes this position because the statute establishing it sets its task as regulating rates.
Thus the PSC ignores the fact that the rates it sets are so high that they allow for a compensation nowhere near fair, just and reasonable for the customers to pay.
David O. Woolverton
Craft not impressive
I went into the public lecture by Joe Craft on the future of Kentucky coal with an open mind, knowing that Craft and mining are controversial. I expected to hear about coal reserves, coal resources, mining technology and solutions for an occupation that is suffering.
Instead, I witnessed a bitter businessman who pinned the industry's problems on two things: the resurgence of natural gas and the Obama administration. I understand the natural gas part. But the Obama part was poorly explained.
He said the administration wants to shut down the coal industry and that environmental regulators unlawfully target southern Appalachian coal mining. They break the law?
He didn't explain why there are new regulations. Someone asked, "What are the reasons for these regulations?" Craft just shook his head, pointed to his plastic bottle of water and laughed. I guess he assumed everyone knew that he was talking about water quality and that it was a bad reason.
Craft talked about a thriving economy in Southeastern Kentucky, noting that when he goes there he notices new businesses that weren't there when he grew up. Doesn't that happen to everybody, everywhere?
He didn't make the connection between coal and a thriving economy, which Eastern Kentucky does not have. I appreciate the energy luxuries that coal provides, but his solution seemed to be keep fighting for what the coal industry has always done, and don't adjust for anything. I was unimpressed and saw a defeated businessman trying not to lose a lot of money.
Stantis beats Pett
A cartoon by Scott Stantis of the Chicago Tribune in the May 7 paper was great. It was obvious that Joel Pett had the day off. I wish the Herald-Leader was inspired to be more like Stantis instead of asking us to pay for Pett's insulting opinions.
Most of us appreciate differing opinions and the chance to hear and discuss them. Most of us enjoy a political cartoon, such as the one by Stantis that shines a light on hypocrisy in our society, especially on politicians from either side of the aisle.
People like Pett hurt the conversations we would like to have with his broad-brushing insults, usually towards Christian and conservative groups. Please, give Pett a permanent day off or at least send him to Chicago to be schooled by Stantis.
This is not a call to give any one group a pass on criticism but a call for more objectivity. Whether Christian or secular, conservative or liberal, I want my local newspaper to shine a light on anyone's hypocrisy. We shouldn't be surprised, as I initially was, that you would print a cartoon like this one.
Kudos to the May 7 letter on our so-called expert, John Rosemond. Isn't it time to realize this man does not know what he is talking about? I have just pulled up many other letters to the editor regarding his misinformation. Isn't it true that his own mother has questioned his validity and contradicted his history and statements on his upbringing?
In the late '50s and early '60s, we had an author, Dr. Benjamin Spock, who published a book on child rearing. It was a bestseller, and later, much controversy resulted. He gave good advice and much bad. Get this man out of your paper and give these parents some good advice.
Rights at risk
A recent letter writer trotted out the tired argument that the Founders only intended to protect the right of citizens to own black powder muskets. If this is true then we must also apply the same logic to the rest of the Bill of Rights.
Freedom of the press must mean only materials printed on an actual press are protected. Television, radio and the worldwide web certainly didn't exist in 1789.
Sadly, we are seeing this foolish argument take hold when the government claims authority to read our emails and monitor our communications. There can be no reasonable argument that an email should not have the same Fourth Amendment protection as a letter sent through the postal service.
Sadly, James Madison couldn't remind us to mark our emails as unread just in case the FBI was snooping around.
System failing kids
A news story not long ago portrayed Kentucky's family court system as a model for the nation. If this is the model, I would not want to experience a failed system.
One only need witness an actual hearing in family court to become thoroughly disgusted with our legal system. Since the judges are elected officials it is quite evident they do not want to infuriate any constituents. So most of the rulings are lenient on the offender, leaving the plaintiff frustrated and bankrupt from attorney's fees. The system creates extremely wealthy lawyers with virtually no results.
And, if you happen to be in one specific town in southern Kentucky, most attorneys have a fear of the family court judge.
What recourse does a parent have when a child is being neglected and suffering abuse at the hands of the non-custodial parent?
Social services is even more vague in its definition of child abuse, citing unusual bruising as the major factor. What about the lingering psychological aspects of abuse? Just a few short years ago, social services would be beating down the door, removing the child and severing parental rights.
What judges fail to remember is that we live in a world filled with deceiving people whose primary goal is revenge and hurting the ex-spouse, even if the child suffers. How many more of our children have to die in order to get the attention of an agency designed to protect them?