Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: Sept. 22

Ending anonymous posts to website not a good move

I don't have a Facebook account, I don't want one, and so I find it disappointing to read that Facebook will be used to censor comments on Kentucky.com, thereby stifling our beloved freedom of the press.

What I find most troubling is that the Herald-Leader would make this change without exploring the ins and outs of giving up First Amendment rights with its readers. Outsourcing control of reader comments to a private entity for reasons of political correctness or even as petty as editorial taste is exactly how censorship gains a foothold.

Requiring readers to be registered with Facebook is by itself, self-serving. But beyond that, what you may have missed telling your readership is that Facebook will not only screen comments, it will store them until it can evaluate and process them into part of the personal profile it develops on each of its members. This information will then be sold.

Don't like the Democratic Party? Irritated by talk of social justice? Against abortion? For the death penalty? There will be someone who wants to know more about you than what your credit report now provides.

Facebook will fill that need at the same time it takes notes on you and keeps the conversation within a certain "framework."

The Herald-Leader should be delighted that people are willing to say what they really feel. The comments get people excited and thinking instead of massaging their minds to sleep with dispassionate drivel.

Bill Michael


Destroying Bluegrass

OMG! "The Horse Capital of the World" is getting a Costco. How wonderful. Really?

If all the Realtors and developers in Lexington keep going, there would not be a horse or any greenspace left. They are destroying their best market base and do not even know it. It is such a pity.

Grant Robinson


Surviving Rosemond

I read with interest First Amendment champion John Rosemond's Sept. 10 column, "How I got my son to go from a D to a B in 5 weeks," which he did by threatening a long-term 7 p.m. bedtime in response to his complaints about his teacher.

I found it encouraging that he did not have to ask his son any substantive questions, nor look at his English book or assignments, nor commit the mortal sin of actually helping his son with a difficult course.

Presumably, because of his superior genetic heritage, Junior's grade rocketed under threat of solitary confinement.

As always, we are told that such a case study (or tale) is generalizable to all families.

Someday (we hope) Rosemond will retire and real-life parents can look forward to published guidance from a person with adequate training who works with diverse people. And maybe even possesses a little humility.

James J. Clark


Editorial on target

It has been said by individuals much smarter than I that everyone is entitled to their opinion and my opinion is that the editorial regarding what the public should expect from their elected or appointed representatives is spot on.

As a matter of fact, the editorial, "Richie Farmers' fall provides a lesson" should be recorded in the annals of time as one of the Top 10 editorials and perhaps even surpass No. 1: "Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus!"

For unless our chosen ones do a better job in the future, we will have to resort to the philosophy echoed by an unknown author long, long ago: "Politicians are like diapers. They both need changing regularly and for the same reason."

Perhaps the oath of office in the future should also include the mandatory reading of this editorial out loud.

Ralph Barnett


Praise too late

Your editorial recognition of Mike Gobb's contributions toward making our Bluegrass Airport the wonderful facility it is today comes too little and too late.

For months, your newspaper did its best to ruin him, and you were very successful in doing so.

I find it deplorable that after that ruination is complete you recognize his substantial contributions to this community, as well as the personal toll taken by the Comair 5191 tragedy.

Gobb was certainly not without flaws, but few can claim that they are. Judge Pamela Goodwine recognized that he had already paid the price for those flaws in her probation decision.

Unfortunately, the damage was already done. I am glad for your recognition of his contributions. It's just so sad that the Herald- Leader could not see or say that until it was too late for him.

Jeff Woods


Demand legal marijuana

There has been another victory for marijuana legalization. The Justice Department has announced that it will allow states to make their own policies regarding marijuana.

This is a victory for people who want individual freedoms and smaller government.

Twenty-two states have legalized marijuana for adults. It is taxed and regulated like alcohol in several states. California is reporting millions of dollars have been paid to the state in marijuana tax revenues.

So, instead of spending millions to arrest, jail, take to trial, drug test and imprison people the government is now making millions. That is smart policy.

When is Kentucky going to at least legalize medical marijuana?

Why do people in this state have to suffer from pain and an overly aggressive police-army when people in other states can freely grow and use medical marijuana? It is time for the laws to change, and we all know that politicians, judges, prosecutors and cops all make a living keeping it illegal.

So it is time for the people to take the issue out of the hands of government.

Politicians didn't change the pot laws in those states, the people did it by ballot initiatives. We want marijuana law reform and we want it now — 75 percent of people want medical use legalized and 54 percent want recreational use legalized. That is a majority.

Tina Hoffman


Fighting heroin abuse

For over a year, I have read tragically similar stories about families and friends losing loved ones to heroin addictions, overdoses and deaths. While Kentucky has made strides in reducing illegal prescription drugs, police cite heroin as a major contributor to the increase in burglaries, theft and prostitution. The heroin tsunami has swept over the Northern Kentucky community and inundated our health-delivery services as it continues to flood the rest of the state.

In the 2013 Session, I sponsored Senate Bill 6, making the illegal trafficking of Schedule 1 drugs sufficient to support a charge of criminal homicide in an overdose death. In addition, the bill directed coroners to report heroin deaths to, among others, commonwealth attorneys so that they may prosecute more of these cases. Unfortunately, the bill was killed in the House.

It's inexcusable that the entire state could have begun to benefit from these common-sense penalties on heroin distribution. Fortunately, some, like Fayette County, have already started to implement many of the bill's recommendations. The U.S. attorney from the Eastern District is also employing the same tough measures.

I will file similar legislation in 2014. We are also considering allowing first responders to administer Narcan, a drug that can immediately counter the effects of an overdose. In addition, we need to use the model of Louisville's The Healing Place as an efficient and effective way to treat addicts. Combating heroin abuse requires a three-pronged approach: interdiction, education and treatment. Working together, we can make a difference.

State Sen. Katie Stine


Join climate movement

Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of our lives and forget about the bigger picture, but we need to remember that it is up to our generation to shape the world that we want to see.

Right now we are plagued with a poor economy, a rapidly destabilizing climate and rampant corporate greed and power. With those things stacked against us, sometimes I feel like there is nothing I can do to set our future back on track.

Then I remember that every time we have seen a major transition in our country towards good it was led by a strong youth movement.

Right now the Youth Climate Movement is growing, gaining power and working together to combat climate change, stop social injustice and end corporate person-hood, and you can be a part of that movement towards a clean, green future for our country.

Join over 10,000 young people at the largest Youth Climate Movement gathering Oct. 18-21 in Pittsburgh.

And, also, please spread the word to youth you feel would also be interested in the awesome event.

We are working to bring over 500 Kentuckians to this conference; will you be one of them?

For more information, email ky2powershift@gmail.com.

Erica Hurley


Horses over civil rights

I find it so strange a story of a racehorse and its owner, "Penny and Red," would take precedence as front-page news over the 50th anniversary of the deaths of four young black girls who were blown up in a bombing of the church they were attending in Birmingham, Ala., in 1963.

True, the horse won the Kentucky Derby and the Triple Crown, but is this really a front-page memory considering how these young girls died 50 years ago on that same date?

The remembrance of the little girls, "Summoning the strength to breathe still," by columnist Merlene Davis was in Section B of the paper.

Another column, "50 years later, black children still dehumanized," by Peniel E. Joseph, was in Opinions in Section E.

Both columns remembering the tragic occurrence were excellent and worthy of front-page coverage. It's so unfortunate, but I guess in Kentucky racehorse history dominates about anything, except maybe University of Kentucky basketball.

Stanley Sturgill