Letters to the Editor

Letters to editor: July 3

Obesity a disease? How about personal responsibility?

I have been informed that the American Medical Assocation declared obesity a disease. This decision by a major authority in medicine allowed me to think in a way I had never been able to before.

It made me realize that I, too, had a condition that had been passed on to me by my parents. I think they called it "accepting responsibility."

In a way I'm mad because I can't escape this condition. It's a terrible thing: If something happens to you, you can't blame it on anyone but yourself. If you make bad choices you have to live with them and learn how to rectify the situation.

I don't think that I or others who have been passed this inescapable burden are going to get much sympathy in today's society. What's in vogue today is to blame everyone else for their own problems.

This forgets the uncomplicated idea of accepting responsibility and although I think one could get enough therapy to live with it, it probably won't happen.

Charles Adams


Danger overhead

Thanks to the Herald-Leader for the article about the brewing controversy in Frankfort over a $48 million expansion of the Army Aviation Support Facility at Boone National Guard Center.

The AASF is a testing, repair and training facility for helicopters and aircraft, located on a ridge above the old city of Frankfort and adjacent to a small airport that has served state government for many years.

Boone seeks to become a national hub for helicopter repair. Future plans include Chinook helicopters and more than $100 million in proposed construction.

Testing and training occur over the densest population of the city, including two national historic districts. Some of the commonwealth's most treasured historical structures are located there: two capitol buildings, two governor's mansions, Liberty Hall and a Frank Lloyd Wright house.

The full impact was not understood until a Joint Land Use Study was released, recommending that large areas of the city be subject to a real estate disclosure, warning prospective buyers and renters that the property under consideration may experience noise, vibration or potential accidents. This is certain to diminish property values and discourage investment.

Our primary concerns are with safety and the decline of the capital city. Many of us are public servants who do not complain about government often. But this buildup in Frankfort is inexplicable when Kentucky has committed thousands of acres to the military where high-risk operations can be conducted safely, without unnecessary risk to the capital city.

Libby Marshall


Required park repairs

After reading that our state is getting a $6 million windfall from the online gambling lawsuit, I couldn't help but wonder what good could be done with this. Having just returned from Carter Caves State Park for the weekend, my mind naturally wandered there first.

As a patron of the caves for over 30 years, this was the first year that I was shocked and saddened at the condition of the lodge and the group cabins.

The lodge rooms have deteriorated to dank, dark and dreary rooms in need of a makeover and general maintenance. Peeling paint, caulking, basic cleaning supplies and linens need to be replaced.

The cooking utensils were shabby and we had a sink pipe break after using the dishwasher. We had seven of the 10 cabins rented and this was the general consensus throughout the group.

After 13 reunions there, it looks like we reluctantly will be looking elsewhere. I'm left wondering if the other state parks are in the same condition? How will we continue to generate revenue if we don't protect our investments?

Cheryl Barber


Questionable facts

A June 8 Herald-Leader letter cites a United Kingdom Met Office report regarding global warming saying, "there has been no statistically significant increase in annual global temperatures since 1997."

The writer refers to this report as the basis for charges that we are wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on subsidies and green energy projects and that environmentalists and mainstream media have been fooled.

Readers can read the entire report for themselves. Its final paragraph reads: "So let's be clear. Yes: global warming is real and some of it at least has been caused by the CO2 emitted by fossil fuels. But the evidence is beginning to suggest that it may be happening much slower than the catastrophists have claimed — a conclusion with enormous policy implications."

Make of this what you will, but consider whether the accelerating melting of glaciers, rising sea levels and increasing frequency and devastation of storms, floods, wildfires and droughts are or are not real.

The whole issue is excruciatingly complex, as the report itself admits. Question also the assertion that "billions are being spent" on subsidies and projects. Whatever the amount, call it waste or call it investment — something that always carries risk.

Compare it to our expenditures on military and surveillance activities, Medicare and Medicaid fraud, self-canceling political campaigning and, yes, massive funding for relief from wildfires, storms, droughts and floods — which, if not related to global warming, sure aren't natural.

And accusing scientists, journalists and environmentalists of acting for personal gain in this matter is as ludicrous as blaming nurses for the enormous costs of medical care.

Finally, we must put aside political partisanship. Our survival and welfare are not political matters. Hatred of Al Gore or Dick Cheney or Barack Obama or George Bush should have nothing to do with it.

Ernest Henninger


Good governance

I was fortunate to attend the 2013 Senior Internship Program sponsored by the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government.

Along with about 35 others, I learned about city government — including the police and fire departments, emergency preparedness and the council — and how our tax money is spent.

We also visited the Blue Grass Airport, the Lyric Theatre, the detention Center, the courts, the county clerk and the GTV3 studio, among many other interesting sites.

Led by the incomparable Kristy Stambaugh, the aging services and disability support administrator, this weeklong activity was very well planned, interesting, informative and fun. Held once a year, I heartily recommend that those of a certain age and mobility apply for this program in 2014.

John Morgan


Race to the bottom

I read with dismay that the Relay for Life took $144,000 out of Nelson County. There are 120 counties in Kentucky. Most have a relay. If you do the math, Kentucky could provide as much as half of the American Cancer Society's CEO's pay of $2.1 million.

Have the people of Kentucky asked the people promoting the relay where the money goes. When they say "research," ask them what cancer they have cured. Don't hold your breath for an answer.

The next time you are approached to pay a fee to participate in an ACS event, just donate that money to Gilda's Club. Check their web page to see all they do. And the money stays in Kentucky — it is not sent to Atlanta.

Luke Barlowe