Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: Aug. 5

Beverage group fighting obesity

The July 19 column "Robust Eastern Kentucky economy starts with good health" deserves clarification. Our industry agrees that nutrition education for all Americans is important. That's why the nonalcoholic beverage industry has undertaken significant steps to be part of that conversation.

Through the industry's national School Beverage Guidelines, we removed full-calorie soft drinks from schools across the country and replaced them with lower-calorie, smaller-portion beverages.

As a result, we reduced beverages in schools by 90 percent from 2004 to the end of the 2009-10 school year.

With our Clear on Calories labeling initiative, we also are helping to inform consumers by making the calories in our beverage choices even more clear and consumer-friendly by putting calorie information at consumers' fingertips at every point of purchase.

We take our role in being part of the solution to obesity seriously. The steps we have taken — and will continue to take — will have a meaningful and lasting impact on today's generation and those to come.

Les Fugate

Executive Director Kentucky Beverage Association


Wars are not free

Sen. Mitch McConnell and his Republican colleagues say government is broke and they want to eliminate food stamps, support for the arts and to let Social Security and Medicare disappear into insolvency.

They believe that war is free because President Ronald Reagan told them so. Reagan said cut taxes and the economy will grow and create unlimited funds. They don't know the tax cuts and wars were charged off to the debt.

McConnell needs to do his job and pass a war tax. It would cover the cost of the invasions and should be retroactive to cover the seven wars started by the last three Republican presidents.

Also, provide funding for Veterans Affairs to treat the veterans of all those wars.

Congress should revive the military draft with the sons and grandsons of members of Congress first in line.

Kevin Kline


New energy, safer Ky.

The new carbon pollution standards bring long-term benefits to Kentuckians.

First, better health: fossil fuels produce air pollution that affects our health, especially for children. Lessening fossil fuel use will reduce asthma, bronchitis and ear infections.

Air pollution from coal and other fossil fuels also impairs brain development in children. Emissions of mercury and polyaromatic hydrocarbons delay neurodevelopment and reduce reasoning ability.

The effect of this pollution is so substantial that the British Medical Association has decided to stop investing in fossil fuels and instead invest in renewable energy.

Worldwide, more than $66 billion was invested in renewable energy in the second quarter of 2014. U.S. investment in 2013 totaled $36.7 billion in solar, wind, hydro and geothermal.

The Bloomberg News Energy Finance report estimates that global investment will reach $5.1 trillion by 2030.

These growing industries are creating jobs. In the United States there already are more jobs in solar than in coal. Installation of solar, geothermal and wind turbines happens locally and creates jobs.

Energy efficiency improvements also are accomplished locally, and proposed efficiency standards will generate 57,000 to 78,800 jobs by 2020.

Kentuckians should support the new carbon standards and take advantage of these newly created jobs.

Mary Anne Carletta


Extinct integrity

Many probably have had a negative experience, as Windstream makes all kinds of promises that are rarely, if ever, kept.

You may remember overcharges without a viable explanation and waiting days for someone to return your call. Also, being signed up for 3 Megs or more of Internet speed only to discover they have inadequate bandwidth.

Windstream entered a settlement agreement Feb. 20 in which it agreed to pay $2.5 million after virtually admitting to shoddy rural call-completion practices. And it had to give customers refunds for overcharging taxes.

And why was the company in hot water with the Georgia Office of Consumer Protection and have to pay a $600,000 settlement in connection with Internet false advertising allegations?

Perhaps integrity has gone the way of the dodo bird in the constant quest for higher rates and lower service.

After all, how else is it going to be able to keep paying attorney fees for its various capers?

Wayne Gilreath

East Bernstadt