Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor, October 23, 2014

After-school efforts help boost families

A study from the Afterschool Alliance reveals that despite widespread support for afterschool programs, and high parental satisfaction with them, the unmet need for such programs is huge and growing.

According to the data, 18 percent of the nation's schoolchildren — more than 10 million kids — are in afterschool programs, including more than 82,612 students here in Kentucky. However, for every child in a program nationwide, there are two whose parents would put them in a program if it were available.

It's not surprising that demand is surging. Afterschool programs keep kids safe, inspire them to learn and help working families — a recipe for success that any parent would want for their child.

From 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 23, The Race for Education and its Starting Gate Afterschool Literarcy Program will host a poetry slam at Leestown Middle School. Thousands of other afterschool sites across the nation, students, parents, educators, business and community leaders, public officials and others will rally in support of the programs.

It's the 15th annual Lights on Afterschool celebration, and all who care about out kids' future are welcome.

Lesie H. Spears

Executive director, Starting Gate

Lexington

Wrong on deficit

A letter writer from Nicholasville recently criticized the president because of the deficit.

The letter writer was confused about what the deficit is. He claimed the deficit is $17 trillion and that is false. The national debt is $17 trillion and that is up 70 percent since George W. Bush was president. But the national debt under Bush increased by 100 percent. The deficit is the amount of budget shortfall each year. The deficit has been cut in half under President Barack Obama.

Let's not forget that President Bill Clinton submitted three balanced budgets that contained no deficit whatsoever.

So the national debt has grown more slowly under Obama than it did under Bush, and the deficit has been cut in half.

The writer simply did not understand basic economic terms, he did not know the difference between the deficit and the national debt.

Bill Hurt

Lexington

No to McConnell

At age 16 I started my first job. My diehard Republican mom told me if I did not do the job I was being paid to do, I was stealing from my employer. Since January, 2009, Mitch McConnell has not been doing the job he is being paid to do. He is doing everything possible to obstruct other politicians from doing their jobs.

The question is not "Do we re-elect McConnell?" but rather "Should McConnell be punished for stealing?"

Ed Votruba

Lexington

Know the Koch agenda

Contrary to what the pundits are telling us, the midterm elections are not about coal or deficits or jobs. The only question facing voters is whether we allow the Koch brothers to seize control of the federal government.

It is imperative that all middle- class voters (everyone not among the 0.2 percent of wealthiest Americans) understand the Koch agenda, which includes:

■ No corporate taxes.

■ No regulations on business.

■ No limits on political contributions (already a reality, compliments of the Tea Party majority of the Supreme Court.)

■ No Social Security.

■ No Medicare.

■ No minimum wage.

■ No unions.

■ No environmental protections.

■ No consumer protections.

■ No aid to education.

Since the Koch brothers and their allies have commandeered the Republican Party, a vote for any Republican brings their agenda one step closer to becoming reality.

Forewarned is forearmed.

Kenneth Freeman

Lexington

Murray for school board

Natasha Murray is exactly what the Fayette County school board District 4 needs.

She has dedicated her time and public service to strengthen our community. Her collaboration with local, state and national leaders brings positive results.

She established two Augustus F. Hawkins literacy centers in the Lexington and Louisville areas to enhance the reading achievement of students in their areas.

The current school board should be audited and publicly evaluated on their ability to meet our needs, and questioned on how they plan to move the district forward.

I urge voters to join many others on Nov. 4 as it is time for a change. No longer can our district afford to be tied up in personal conflicts. Our students, schools and community need a leader who can bring positive change to our district.

The choice is clear. Vote Murray for school board, District 4.

Tiffany Carter

Lexington

Endorsed by Teamsters

I am Kenneth S. Stepp, the Democratic candidate for Congress of the United States for Kentucky's 5th District, and this is my response to your paper's endorsement of my opponent Republican Hal Rogers. I received the following letter, dated Sept. 12, from Mike Philbeck, president of Teamsters Local Union 651 Lexington office:

"Dear Kenneth,

"Each year, Teamsters Local 651 focuses on endorsing the right candidates for political election. Our decision to support a candidate is not taken lightly, and an endorsement comes only after that candidate has established a record of proven support for labor and the working families of Kentucky.

"On behalf of the Teamsters Local 651 Executive Board, I am pleased to inform you that you have earned the full endorsement of our membership. We appreciate your desire to support the labor movement and the unions that fight so hard to protect the livelihoods of Kentucky's working men and women. We are always proud to support those who support us and we look forward to a strong relationship in the coming year.

"The people of Kentucky are in desperate need of elected officials that will protect the interests of the middle class. We are confident that you will continue to support our community of hard-working families and find success in your campaign. Teamsters stay united and you can count on us as we know we can count on you."

Kenneth S. Stepp

Candidate, 5th District Congress

Offering solutions, pushing reform

I'm not surprised that the Herald-Leader has once again endorsed President Barack Obama's strategy of more debt, more regulations, and a government takeover of health care.

This is the newspaper that supports extreme policies that have eliminated over 7,000 good-paying jobs in Kentucky coal communities; and Obamacare, which is cutting workers' hours in half and taking away patient choice without lowering the cost of health care.

I agree with the majority of people of the 6th District — Republicans and Democrats — that the results of the past six years have made life more difficult in the hospital, paying the electric bill and in the job market.

Americans deserve a more effective government that spends less, serves better, and that is genuinely accountable to hardworking taxpayers.

That's why I'm focused on promoting solutions that would get Kentuckians back to work. I'm fighting to reform Washington and have championed legislation to hold politicians accountable.

I'm honored by endorsements from nonpartisan groups representing Central and Eastern Kentucky, like the Kentucky Fraternal Order of Police and the Lexington Professional Fire Fighters IAFF Local 526, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the United Mine Workers Association, Right to Life, veterans groups and more.

I am proud to be named a "Problem Solver" by the No Labels Foundation, a "Guardian of Small Business" by the NFIB, and a "Champion of Manufacturing" by the National Association of Manufacturers.

I have upheld my commitment to being as accessible as possible so I can continue to hear and take your concerns to Washington.

Andy Barr

Incumbent, 6th District Congress

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