Missed chance to question smoking granny
April 28 must have been a really slow news day, at least for WLEX. That afternoon, they decided to devote over three minutes to a story about the "smoking granny."
As the seconds and then the minutes went by, I realized that the news director was simply calling it news. Whoever decided this was a newsworthy story should have their tiny head examined. This story was neither news nor worthy. But I digress.
I realize there are more important issues than this old woman who drives around the country, chain-smoking in what appears to be a cross between a billboard and a Las Vegas light show. Her van is riddled with anti-Obama, anti-government, anti-smoking bans, anti-health care bumper stickers and so on. But, I didn't understand what she meant when she said she "wanted her Constitution back."
I began to wonder how she would get from one place to another without roads built by the government. Also, if she is spending all this time driving around the country how does she pay for her expenses? Does she collect Social Security? Is she on Medicare or disability? As for the chain-smoking, does she have health care? She is going to need it. Guess who pays for that?
Aren't these the kinds of questions that a responsible journalist should be asking this granny?
While I defend this woman's right to free speech, I just have to question the judgement of my beloved WLEX. Three minutes? Really?
Bicycles are vehicles
In reference to the ongoing controversy concerning the Nicholasville lady who commutes via U.S. 27 to and from work, I think some in law enforcement and most car commuters need to see what the Kentucky Department of Transportation has to say in its "Sharing Kentucky's Roads" brochure under the heading, "Bicycles are vehicles."
In other words, a commuter on two wheels has the same rights and responsibilities as the other road users. The full text of KRS 189 states she has no obligation to ride the gutter or shoulder because it would put her in jeopardy of hitting debris or being pushed off the road.
It even states that on a single-lane road cyclists may ride two abreast. U.S. 27 is not a limited-access minimum speed interstate. Maybe drivers need to stop treating it like one.
Mindy Howard Taylor
The greedy wealthy
Recently, the abuse of food stamps by the poor has attracted media attention. There have been many stories including one of a surfer who purchased lobster with food stamps and many reports of drug users buying soda by the pallet to sell. What is seldom heard of is the abuse of government funds by the extremely wealthy.
Programs that are promoted to assist middle class workers in becoming homeowners, such as the mortgage interest deduction, also subsidize beach homes and even yachts.
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities report of 2013, "77 percent of the benefits from the mortgage interest deduction went to homeowners with incomes above $100,000, almost none of whom face severe housing cost burdens".
As you can see, the misuse of government funds is not just coming from those in the lower and middle classes. Often we even see those who oppose social welfare programs benefiting from the programs themselves.
A New York Times article published in 2012 by Binyamin Appelbaum and Robert Gebeloff reports that Ki Gulbranson, an outspoken advocate of cutting funding for social welfare programs, was benefiting from a several thousand dollar subsidy from the earned income tax credit himself.
Citizens need to make themselves aware of all of the facts when it comes to how our tax dollars are spent. These truths need to be brought to light, so we can focus on helping those who truly need assistance, and not the greedy wealthy.
Yes to Wal-Mart
Many residents want and need a Wal-Mart store in Versailles, mainly the poor. We go to the cities around Versailles because we have no other choices in town.
The Kroger store is higher in price than any other around. Kmart does not have anything in stock. Some are concerned about the small "mom and pop" stores being forced to close because of Wal-Mart.
Well, we do not shop there now anyway. I say yes to bringing Wal-Mart to Versailles.
Animals' lives matter
Someone shot an opossum in the head, and it was still alive but in pain when I came across it.
I called the Lexington police and asked what I could do because the opossum was suffering. The police called animal control and said they would come out and take the opossum to a veterinarian to see if it could be saved or had to be put down.
It was raining hard when the lady from animal control pulled up. She was polite and was very good at her job. She took the injured opossum away for treatment.
I know this isn't a story most people would find worthwhile, nor find an opossum's life worth saving, but in my opinion everything has a right to live on this Earth and has its place in our world. Live and let live.
Shame on the person who shot the opossum, and hats off to the Lexington police and Lexington-Fayette Animal Care and Control.
Keep up the fight
As someone who has written numerous letters over the years concerning animal abuse and cruelty in Kentucky and elsewhere, I want to thank letter-writer Mary Jane Stacy, whose fifth-grade class has been studying animal cruelty and who called on consumers to stop buying products tested on animals.
She and her class should keep fighting the good fight.
Jack H. Taylor
School tax a-comin'
With regards to all the publicity of the deficits and reductions of the budget for the Fayette County Public Schools that has been in your paper recently, I would like to draft a template that you can publish now because it does not require a neurosurgeon to figure out the rest of the story.
"The Fayette County School board will hold a meeting on the second Wednesday of the month of August 2014 at the District Central Office at 7 p.m. and the only purpose of this meeting is to raise the property taxes of people who live in Fayette County at the request of Superintendent Tom Shelton."