Legislation must strengthen Ky. property rights
I have listened to the debate surrounding the Bluegrass Pipeline that could impact 13 counties in Kentucky. The plan is to build a natural gas underground pipeline to carry liquids to the Gulf of Mexico.
While the need for efficient, clean and affordable energy is a top priority, this pipeline infringes too heavily upon the rights of property owners in Kentucky. The companies proposing the extension of the pipeline hope to use eminent domain to connect to Southern states.
During the next legislative session, the General Assembly must strengthen laws governing eminent domain to protect property owners. Our constitution guarantees strong protections when it comes to property rights and we should reinforce the protection with clearly stated regulations.
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Public input has been strongly opposed to the pipeline for a number of reasons, including the environmental impact upon farmlands and communities. Ten of the 13 counties impacted have passed resolutions against it.
I have experienced the pressure of eminent domain. As I was just getting started in my real-estate business, the government took an apartment building I had renovated in order to widen the Watterson Expressway. I did not feel I was compensated fairly; I remember feeling powerless and without any good options.
I call upon my colleagues in the General Assembly and the citizens of our commonwealth to become informed and engaged. We must speak with one clear voice that owners of the proposed pipeline should not use or threaten eminent domain to achieve their goals.
Rep. Dennis Horlander
Story full of holes
Something is very strange in the Oct. 15 McClatchy story regarding Kentucky Medal of Honor recipient, Dakota Meyer.
Was there an ambush at Ganjgal? Were five Americans, nine Afghans and a translator killed? Were 17 others, including Meyer, wounded?
If this is true, how did that happen when there were "no Taliban in the vicinity or anywhere else on the floor of the Ganjgal Valley at the time of the purported "swarm,'" as the story reported? Is this a case of friendly fire? Was the Army medevac helicopter flying over the area for hours? The whole day? Or perhaps the medevac was called in after the casualties, and after the swarm.
Do the videos show how these people were injured, if there was no enemy in the vicinity? What were the families of the five dead Americans told happened to their loved ones? Were there any casualties actually extracted? Did they walk out to climb in the helicopter?
Memories under extreme stress may not match the subsequent perceptions of those not in danger or reporters with an axe to grind. Maybe the Taliban would think to hide when they heard an approaching helicopter. Just saying.
Ways to cut back
The United States has a history of compassion and introspection. While there is a definite need for fiscal responsibility, there was little discussion about that during the shutdown.
There are many things that can be cut in order to trim the deficit, pay for programs for youth and seniors and build bridges without tolls.
There are over 25 U.S. military installations in Germany. As there has been no news of a German threat in over 70 years, shouldn't Congress consider shutting down most of those installations with the exception of perhaps Ramstein Air Force Base?
Another suggestion is to look at the $70.2 billion given to big oil. Congress needs to look at the $53.9 billion in tax breaks and $16.3 billion given directly to profitable oil companies such as BP, a British Company,; Shell, a Dutch company, as well as Chevron and Exxon-Mobil.
Do these companies need government financial assistance when they are some of the world's to companies based upon revenue received?
Congress needs to consider the needs the 15 percent of Americans who have no access to health care due to lack of insurance, not the needs of the top 15 grossing corporations in the world.
Members of Congress need to have meaningful dialogue with local and state government leaders as to what is needed to continue to provide services to citizens.
All eligible citizens need to have dialogue with their elected officials regarding the type of community, state and nation in which they want to live.
Paul L. Whalen
Tri-state salute to vets
I would like to invite citizens of Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana to attend the free inaugural tri-state Veterans Day Celebration at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10 at Turfway Park's Willis Music Stage in Florence.
Our experts tell us that this kind of event has not been held since the Civil War. I organized this program when I retired after serving in four military services — Air Force, Army, Marines and Navy — over four decades
What better way to bring the states together than to honor the veterans and active-duty military?
Nine cities from the three states are co-sponsors — including Florence, Covington, Alexandria, Independence and Carrollton from Kentucky. Local governments will have political representatives and first responders attending.
Former president George H.W. Bush, who has not been feeling well, sent a special message to the event.
However, no federal or state politicians have indicated an interest in attending or supporting it. This is a shameful example of our dysfunctional political system.
Why wouldn't Congress members and governors support a tri-state Veterans Day Celebration? Even though local politicians aren't perfect, they will support their neighborhoods and also appear more interested in supporting the military.
Spring cleaning is in November, 2014. It's time to clean out the House, and then let's clean out the Senate.
Pushing for U.S. to fail
OK, we all know Rep. Andy Barr and the Tea Party do not like President Barack Obama and the Affordable Care Act. But why did they want disabled veterans to not get paid on Nov. 1? Why did they want interest rates to triple for working people?
Why would they want the stock market to fall and 401(k)s and IRAs to drop overnight for America's working people?
If these people really love this country, why would they want to hurt us? We all knew the shutdown could not stop the health care law. Their own leaders told them that but they did it anyway.
This whole thing was over something that happened three years ago. What a waste of time and money. You have to wonder, after all was said and done, why did they vote for America to fail?
Letters about candidates in the Dec. 10 special election for the 13th Senate District are limited to 150 words and must be received by 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2. Letters from candidates, their campaign staffs and family members will not be published.