Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor, Jan. 9

State investment in drug treatment will save families

The Kentucky Association of Regional Programs, Inc. represents 11 of the 14 community mental health centers that serve and support more than 180,000 Kentuckians each year.

The centers wish to thank and commend Gov. Steve Beshear, First Lady Jane Beshear and Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Audrey Haynes for their commitment to include substance abuse services and supports as a covered benefit in the Kentucky Medicaid program for all beneficiaries effective Jan. 1.

The leadership they displayed addresses the most significant public-policy issue facing our commonwealth: addiction. This action will have a profoundly positive effect on all parts of life in Kentucky, including education, industry, jobs and social services.

The centers and their staffs of 570 addiction professionals have been providing services and supports for almost 50 years. We are committed and prepared to address the needs of any Kentuckian wishing to access services and recover from addiction.

We have been planning for the expanded substance=abuse treatment benefit and are eager to assist our friends, family members and neighbors who are entering recovery. Our experience has taught us that recovery does and will happen.

We thank Kentucky's leaders for the opportunity their bold action has provided so many families who face addiction every day.

Steve Shannon


Barr failed veterans

I was greatly disappointed that Rep. Andy Barr voted for the two-year budget deal which contained a provision that would reduce the cost-of- living increase for military retirees under the age of 62.

Meanwhile, the budget did not close a loophole that allows immigrants to collect a child-care credit on federal tax returns. I think that's despicable and unconscionable.

I understand that Barr, who hasn't served, can't walk in our shoes and know the sacrifices we have made. In the 1970s I signed a contract with America. Now politicians are not living up to their end of the deal, but trying to dismantle our benefits and balance the budget on the backs of military families who have already given so much.

This is the thanks for our service. My family and friends and I will not support Barr in the future.

Boyce Cruse


Barr stays in touch

I am disappointed at the Herald-Leader editorial criticizing Congressman Andy Barr for how he solicited feedback from constituents.

In today's political environment, it is not often that politicians listen to the people.

Barr has held numerous townhall meetings and regularly conducts telephone townhalls to seek feedback on his votes and positions.

It is also routine to see Barr out and about in the district. No congressman in recent memory has gone to such efforts to stay in regular communication with constituents in every corner of the Sixth District.

Accessibility is not a partisan issue. Maintaining close contact to constituents isn't a matter of being conservative or liberal. Such expectations apply to every elected official — regardless of party.

I thank Barr for his continued accessibility and I hope his political detractors can remove politics from the equation and show appreciation to our congressman for doing what he was elected to do.

Marsha Burton Patton


Fans want clean cut

Willie Cauley-Stein is a talented college basketball player. But the sudden change in his personal appearance with his numerous tattoos, bleached-blonde hair, and wedge haircut don't promote the image of Kentucky basketball.

As head coach of the Wildcats, John Calipari should exert better oversight and control of the on-court appearances of his players.

He may not believe his role should be a fashion policeman, but if he doesn't take control who will?

Kentucky basketball has always been about class and making the fans proud.

I, for one, am not interested in watching a freak show on the basketball court.

What is Cauley-Stein trying to say by his new look? If it is to bring more attention to himself or to establish himself as the Dennis Rodman of college basketball, then he is succeeding.

But that is not the type of attention that most Kentucky fans want for their basketball program.

Calipari needs to take some responsibility and nix this in the bud. All coaches can establish standards of dress and personal appearance of their athletes, whether it be clean-shaven faces, length of hair, etc. Instead of recruiting players who are only interested in getting to the NBA or drawing attention to themselves, he needs to bring in players who can blend as a well-oiled machine and who have one common purpose — winning basketball games, portraying a clean-cut image and working toward a college degree.

Jack Frost

Rock Hill, SC

Look of freedom?

Lock-down drills for students? Why, as parents and grandparents, are we accepting this?

Have we convinced ourselves that there is nothing we can do about our children's safety in school?

In the absence of finding a public-policy solution, we made a decision to treat armed killers as we previously treated fires and tornadoes: as acts of God instead of failures of legislative and moral courage.

We ask our kids to pile themselves silently into their classroom closets, and we tell them this is what freedom looks like.

Tracey Goodlett

Lebanon Junction

Be fair at least

To our lawmakers in Kentucky: If you are caught poaching from your vehicle you lose your car or truck, your hunting license and gun and also get a heavy fine.

If you are caught selling drugs, your car used in the commission of the crime may be searched and seized.

Yet, if you are too impaired to drive, other than being arrested, nothing like that happens. How many times do you hear after they have killed someone's child or a another person, "Oh that was their third DUI?"

Many get to walk on the system because of who they are or who they know. Why are their cars not seized on the spot? And don't tell me it isn't registered in their names. I know that doesn't matter when it comes to drugs.

People who get behind the wheel while intoxicated know what they are doing. It's the same as carrying a loaded gun.

Why do you think so many young drive drunk? Nothing happens to them. This is a no-brainer people. How many expired vehicle plates do I see? Hundreds. You know why: no insurance. They should lose their vehicle when stopped.

Why is everything put on the backs of people who are responsible? When do we create laws that have equal values?

Let's be fair about it, even if we cannot be honest.

Lisa J. Johnson


New election-year rules

Letters about candidates in 2014 political races are limited to 150 words. No commentary from candidates will be published. Candidates may respond, every 30 days, in 250-word letters to editorials, news articles and columns in which they are the primary focus.