Letters to the Editor: Jan. 7

Meth proposals too little to stem the tide of abuse

A recent article highlighted the upcoming legislative vote meant to reduce the production of methamphetamine in Kentucky. Votes will be cast to either prohibit individuals convicted of meth-related crimes from purchasing pseudoephedrine or making all pseudoephedrine products available only by prescription. Both options are unsatisfactory as neither would significantly hinder meth creation.

Prohibiting individuals with meth-related convictions from purchasing pseudoephedrine products would not reduce meth labs. All one would have to do is convince someone else to purchase the pseudoephedrine product. Also, the proposed law does nothing to prohibit non-convicted meth abusers from acquiring the product, leaving vast amounts of meth available until conviction occurs.

It is possible that the prescription-only option may reduce meth labs by a small margin, but given the fact that Kentucky ranks fourth in the nation for prescription drug abuse, it is likely a prescription requirement will not deter meth creation.

Kentuckians, take a stand against rudimentary approaches to substance-abuse legislation. Urge your local representatives to combat drug abuse competently and to stop catering to pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Contact your representatives and advocate that stricter updates be made to KASPER to improve prescription drug distribution. Demand that funding be placed toward job creation to provide positive economic alternatives to making meth in impoverished areas.

Do not sit idly by while Kentucky endures further ineffective drug policy. Use your voice to save your community, because current policy is not going to save it from meth.

Sydney Whitaker


No free vacation

A reader wrote with obvious distress and emotion on Dec. 31 regarding the costs of vacations for President Barack Obama and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, as well as Gov. Steve Beshear's inauguration. Unfortunately for those of his apparent political condition, facts are not his friends.

As of about three months ago, Obama had taken 61 vacation days. In contrast, President George W. Bush had spent 180 days at his Crawford ranch and Camp David at the same point in his presidency. The Air Force One flights to Crawford alone are estimated to have cost $20 million, which doesn't include costs of security, additional transportation, White House staff, and the press corps.

Beshear's inauguration expenses are indeed estimated in the range of $400,000 (mostly paid for with private donations), but this figure is dwarfed by Gov. Ernie Fletcher's estimated expenses of near $1 million (again, most paid for with private donations).

Finally, I should have thought the reaction to Pelosi's vacation expenses would have been, "People should be free to spend their own money the way they see fit," just as Newt Gingrich has condescendingly opined in connection with his Tiffany's account.

Dwayne Edwards


Well done, Berea

I want to commend Berea College for being selected to receive a Promise Neighborhood grant from the U.S. Department of Education to help serve low-income communities around Clay, Jackson and Owsley counties in Eastern Kentucky.

President Barack Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan made a wise decision by selecting Berea College. Berea has established a successful educational model which provides students with a superior education that doesn't strap them with mountains of student loan debt. Our nation's post-secondary schools have a lot to learn from Berea College.

Being selected is a great honor and I hope it will shed a national spotlight on Berea College and what it has accomplished for the citizens of this great commonwealth. I look forward to hearing about the great things achieved with this grant.

Michael Moynahan


Help Messner instead

While reading about Messner Home it seemed to me there are plenty of regulations involved in this kind of endeavor. I believe everyone who has anything to do with the administration of these types of facilities should be working hand-in-hand to make these homes as safe and comfortable as possible.

Instead of pointing fingers and throwing around accusations maybe we all need to put our money where our mouths are and help Ralph Messner with whatever we can afford.

Brad Firestine

West Liberty

Bring on boar season

In the interest of full disclosure, I'm not a hunter. Yet all of my friends or clients who have spoken to me about hunting wild boar and feral hogs say they are wild about the experience.

The Herald-Leader on Jan. 3 ("Feral pigs going hog wild in Kentucky") quoted the Department of Fish and Wildlife's wildlife program coordinator, who sounded an alarmist note, but then said a hunting season is not the state's preferred solution. And why not?

That's good government for you in the Bluegrass. At a time when our state is badly in need of enlightened and progressive policy, more innovation, and creative solutions to tough problems, we get an obstructionist viewpoint.

As broke as Kentucky is, you'd think Frankfort might spot an opportunity for a few additional eco-tourism dollars by establishing such a hunting season.

And if the feral pigs in Kentucky aren't yet wild enough, we ought to crossbreed them with a few wild boars from down in Texas, where the folks aren't so nearsighted.

Clay S. Robinson


Life after coal

Recently the question was asked what Eastern Kentucky would have when the coal and mountains were gone.

Eastern Kentucky would have green rolling land, just like Central Kentucky.

Mary Auxier Hale

West Somerset

Bertram's great

I just received the 2012 calendar by Herald-Leader chief photographer Charles Bertram. It is outstanding and I can't wait to start using it. Each page is a work of art suitable for framing.

We are so lucky to have Bertram and to be able to see his beautiful interpretations of nature with our daily news.

Debby Giannini