Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: June 4

Megan McCormick at  her home in Lexington, Ky., on May 7, 2013. Megan McCormick who has 
Down's Syndrome is graduating from BCTC Sunday, May 12. Photo by Pablo Alcala | Staff
Megan McCormick at her home in Lexington, Ky., on May 7, 2013. Megan McCormick who has Down's Syndrome is graduating from BCTC Sunday, May 12. Photo by Pablo Alcala | Staff Lexington Herald-Leader

Service to the community, and to the disabled

As parents and advocates of the Down Syndrome Association of Central Kentucky, we applaud the outstanding feature column by Merlene Davis ("A degree with honors, with Down syndrome, too," May 12) that told the story of Megan McCormick, a Lexington woman who graduated with honors with an associate degree in education from Bluegrass Technical and Community College.

This is a tremendous accomplishment for any young person — and the fact that Megan has Down syndrome speaks volumes to her commitment, her hard work and perseverance and her belief in her own capabilities.

Megan hopes to work as a teaching assistant in the public schools, to give others the support that she received to achieve her own goal.

As family members of individuals with Down syndrome, we know how important that goal is.

As a teaching assistant, Megan will be a wonderful role model. Her presence in our schools will remind families of students with disabilities to set high expectations for their sons and daughters, and to believe that their children can achieve those goals.

Not that long ago, our society had very low expectations for individuals with Down syndrome. Megan is a wonderful reminder that each of us can achieve our dreams.

Thank you, the Herald-Leader and Davis, for bringing this important story to the attention of our community.

Michelle Gilliam

Board chair, Down Syndrome Association Of Central Kentucky


This letter was signed by the board of directors and many parents,

UK sues its own

I have stated, publicly and privately, that the University of Kentucky thinks of itself as too large and important to be required to follow the laws of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

UK suing a reporter at a radio station it owns, because the Kentucky attorney general ruled that the Open Records Act request filed by this reporter should be honored, is totally mind-boggling.

I can understand UK appealing the ruling of the attorney general's office, but not suing a reporter for making the request.

If this doesn't sound like, "I can do what I want, because I am the king," then I don't know what would.

On the attorney general's Web page it states, "Opinions of the Attorney General do not have the force of law, but they are persuasive and public officials are expected to follow them."

This suit by UK appears to be a tactic to intimidate an employee. If it were me, I would file a counter-suit against UK, for harassment and mental anguish, in the multi-million dollar amount.

One might never collect that amount, but I would bet UK would offer to settle prior to trial, just as it has done in other cases.

J. D. Miniard


Pure GOP hypocrisy

When conservatives had control of the government during the Bush years there were 54 embassy attacks with 13 America deaths and a total of three hearings for all 54 attacks and no outrage from Fox, et.al.

We have had at least nine hearings and an independent report on Benghazi, and the GOP is still trying to milk as much as they can.

Finally, Rep. Darrell Issa, the chair of the committee investigating, two years ago voted against a request from the State Department for $100 million to upgrade embassy security. One hundred percent pure hypocrisy.

Facts are pesky things.

David Wachtel


Obama achievements

In his May 21 letter, the writer said voters should elect Republican Lyen Crews rather than Democrat James Kay to represent the 56th District in the Kentucky legislature because Kay would be influenced by Barack Obama.

First, it's just nonsense to try to connect a state representative in Kentucky to the president of the United States and doing so is an insult to the intelligence of Kentucky voters.

But, even if that claim were true, why would that not be a good reason to vote for the Democratic candidate?

After all, under Obama's leadership Osama bin Laden was killed, U.S. involvement in Iraq was ended, the U.S. auto industry was saved and the economy was rescued from the toilet in which Republican leadership left it.

Obama has achieved all this despite a Republican-controlled Congress that fought him the whole way.

As examples of what's wrong with America under Obama, the writer cited discontinuing tours of the White House and long lines through security at airports.

Even though both of those consequences resulted from budget cuts the Republicans caused, they are clearly minor in comparison to what Obama has accomplished.

Nonetheless, the letter clearly points out basic differences between Democrats and Republicans.

Democrats care about keeping Americans safe from terrorists; taking care of children, the sick, the elderly and the disabled, and providing jobs for American workers. Republicans care about themselves.

Greg Kring


Jolie helped women

Wow, what a difference six months can make. Leave it to a Hollywood star to bring preventive screenings into the limelight.

Angelina Jolie's disclosure that she carried a harmful mutation of the BRACA1 gene that gave her an 87 percent chance of developing breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer has brought breast cancer to the forefront of every news outlet across the United States.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This is a very busy time for anyone who is involved in providing women's health care and community outreach work. This is a time when the world turns pink. From soup cans to the state Capitol, it is all about pink ... but now this was happening in May,

I will bet a dollar that every woman over the age of 40 who has heard about Jolie's decision to have a double mastectomy has been forced to think about her last mammogram.

As patient navigators for women who are in need of breast or cervical screenings, we would like to thank Jolie for her honest, emotional op-ed in The New York Times.

Even if you do not agree with her decision — which is bringing out the good, the bad and the ugly side of what she has chosen as her journey — it is just that, her decision. Every woman has the right to make a decision about her body.

We are very hopeful that women in Kentucky will be concerned and inspired to schedule their mammograms. If you are uninsured and need a breast screening, contact www.kypinkconnection.com

Vicki Blevins-Booth

Executive director, Kentucky Pink Connection


This letter was signed by two others.