McConnell right on bucking EPA
As CEO of the growing 1.3 million member Association of Mature American Citizens, I commend Sen. Mitch McConnell for his March 3 op-ed in which he calls upon the states to reject the Obama administration's so-called clean power regulation which "seeks to shut down more of America's power generation under the guise of protecting the climate."
The Environmental Protection Agency would require a 30-percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from electric power plants. Recent studies report that these regulations, when coupled with others proposed, will further impede our nation's economic growth by increasing electricity and natural gas costs by 35 percent or more.
Such a result will genuinely hurt families and retirees on low or modest incomes. In a recent poll of our members, over 95 percent agreed that the regulations should be opposed, and we filed our opposition with the EPA.
I join McConnell in his urging states not to submit plans to implement this risky and costly plan and protect their most vulnerable citizens from costs they cannot afford.
Association of Mature American Citizens
New York, N.Y.
Professor Ron Formisano's great column on the American Legislative Exchange Council dealt only with its anti-union, anti-workers legislative efforts. I look forward to reading a follow-up from him on ALEC's anti-renewable energy and anti-environment legislation.
ALEC uses money and power to perpetuate enormous subsidies for fossil-fuel producers. According to a Bloomberg report, globally governments pay fossil fuel subsidies roughly 12 times higher than the subsidies they offer for alternative energy. That's just direct subsidies. Fossil-fuel producers are also subsidized indirectly by governments that maintain shipping lane security and fight wars defending access to fossil-fuel reserves.
Governments also allow fossil-fuel producers to harm our health — another indirect subsidy. What about the public's right to be shielded from carcinogens generated from fossil fuel extraction, refinement, shipping and burning? What's that worth? Why doesn't Congress protect this essential right without which it is impossible to pursue life and happiness?
Readers could contact Citizens' Climate Lobby for more information on how to create jobs without harming the environment and without infringing on our inalienable rights.
Rabbi Judy Weiss
Not about sex
The column by Richard Nelson of the Commonwealth Policy Center regarding the public debate on same-sex restrooms demands a reply.
Among the many errors in this column, the most concerning is his repeated reference to transgender identity as an issue of "human behavioral actions (sex)." He labels transgender allies "sexual freedom provocateurs" and further states, "make any kind of judgment on human sexual behavior" and you are seen as a bigot.
Being transgender is not about sex or sexual behavior. It is about one's deep internal sense of self.
It is time for people to educate themselves about that which they are debating and legislating, and way past time to stop thinking of the LGBT community in terms of sex. If he were not so focused, Nelson would not be worrying about a future where "those who see sex and sexual relationships in moral terms" will be the scorned minority.
No one really cares about your sex life, or what you are doing in a bathroom stall, and you are invited to think of others in more full and meaningful ways as well.
PFLAG Central Kentucky
When I read the article on Tom Bruenderman, the retired manager of Macy's, in the Living section of the Herald-Leader, I realized how often I had seen his smiling face at Macy's over the years. He would open the doors, wish you a great day, tell you where to find something, take you there if needed, and treat you like a friend. I know he's retired but, gosh, he sure could teach a lot of us about customer service. I hope he has a long, happy retirement.
Architectural junk food
Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but am I the only person who regards the former People's Bank Building on South Broadway — listed as endangered by the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation as an example of mid-century modern architecture — as just plain ugly?
How does something attain historical significance simply because it typifies an era? The mid-century modernist movement, though hardly the golden age of design compared with some classical styles, does include landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House and the JFK airport terminal — public buildings with grandeur. But the style was also bastardized to "modernize" commercial structures that qualify as architectural junk food.
Does anyone else notice the design similarities between the Broadway bank building and the I-64 rest stops, one of them closed, between Winchester and Mount Sterling? I don't see those structures on the Blue Grass Trust's "11th hour" list.
I applaud the Trust for its campaign to save endangered sites with historic and aesthetic value. But I think it should attempt to achieve some balance between landmarks that should be preserved for posterity and dreadful eyesores which should be replaced by something more pleasing to the eyes of most beholders.
John M. Shotwell