Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor Dec. 20, 2013

Florence Crittenton home will be missed

Bloom where you're planted. That was the logo for the Florence Crittenton Home, a Lexington residential treatment facility that served pregnant teens for over 100 years. It closed Nov. 30 for lack of funding.

Announcing the closing, the Herald-Leader quoted the facility's original mission statement in 1894, as "saving and rescuing the fallen and degraded." The language seems outdated, but the home's mission and accomplishments are far from outdated.

"Teen Pregnancy: Cycle of Ky. Despair," a Herald-Leader editorial in April, 2012, stated that "pregnant teen mothers are significantly more likely to be poor and remain under-educated. Only about 50 percent of teen mothers receive a high-school diploma by age 22."

Children of teen moms struggle with poverty as well. It was this cycle of despair that the home has addressed.

This is why it was so disturbing to learn that the state government was no longer referring to the home where teen mothers or mothers-to-be learned to prepare for deliveries, to care for their babies and to strive for an education.

Buoyed by diverse groups of volunteers, Mary Venezie, executive director, cobbled together a talented staff to pursue its goals. For some young women, it was the first time for discipline and learning. For many, it paved the way for college and job training after graduation from high school.

Florence Crittenton's contibutions to breaking the cycle of despair and teaching young women how to bloom by succeeding will be sorely missed.

Deedra Benthall


For a decent wage

Sen. Mitch McConnell continues to push the Family Friendly and Workplace Flexibility Act, a bill that allows hourly workers to have comp time. While the merits of this are debatable, the problem remains that McConnell is avoiding the real issue. A much greater need is an increase in the minimum wage.

Millions of full-time employed Americans are paid such low wages that they receive public assistance, leaving taxpayers to foot the bill. The large majority of Americans favors raising the minimum wage, but the minority who oppose it are McConnell and the ultra-wealthy who fund his campaign. They'd rather stick taxpayers with the bill than step up and do the right thing.

If Mitch McConnell really cares about the people he represents, he should show it by making the minimum wage a decent wage that enables hard-working Americans to meet the basic needs of their families.

Sam Lapin


Fat cats, poor students

Let me see if I've got this right. The University of Kentucky is going to spend $110 million to reduce the number of seats in Commonwealth Stadium so that fewer fans can pay higher prices for tickets — to help subsidize stadium contraction.

Still fewer fans will pay much more for really comfy seats to be used six days a year for about four hours. And the really fat Cats will be sealed off from the other fans and the game, in luxury suites where, apparently, they can even drink alcohol, something that can be very helpful in dealing with UK football but will not be available for ordinary folk.

An added plus of stadium contraction, we are told, is that the new structure will look really "classy and cool" should you happen to pass by it on one of those 349 days when it is not in use.

All the while, the academic side of the university is seriously underfunded and tuition costs for students have soared.

What a sad commentary on our skewed priorities.

George Herring


Mediocre and jealous

John Clay wrote in an Oct. 17 column that Fox Sports analyst Charles Davis said, "People are sick of the SEC and sick of Alabama." Envy and jealousy are weapons of the mediocre.

Jack H. Taylor


Investigate reptile expos

I was shocked to read a letter writer's account of visiting the Reptile Expo.

How could such a horrid showing be allowed to go on? Who was in charge of this spectacle of indifference to living creatures? For a breeder or salesperson to state that breathing, live creatures do not feel?

I suggest that PETA might investigate reptile expos and educate the heartless displayers of God's little creatures.

Georgette Noon