The State Journal encourages readers to submit letters to the editor for publication by noon Wednesday for the following Sunday’s paper. All letters must contain the writer’s full name, mailing address and telephone number for purposes of verification. The State Journal will not withhold the name of a writer. Any letter received without a mailing address and phone number will not be published. The State Journal will not publish thank-you letters, obvious form letters or letters addressed to third parties or to the public at large. Any letter may be rejected at editors’ discretion. All letters submitted for publication are subject to editing for length, form and content. Letters may be no more than 500 words long. Letters may be mailed to Letters to the Editor, The State Journal, 1216 Wilkinson Blvd., Frankfort, KY 40601; or e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To the Editor:
The State Journal chose to write the facts of our precious mother’s body being damaged by the staff of Sunset Memorial Gardens.
That body belonged to Katherine Galbraith, a woman who lived through the Depression, World War II, the death of her child and the suicide of her husband. She was much loved by her daughters, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, niece and countless others she adopted during her life.
In her 85 years she taught us to always respect ourselves and others. To treat others as God would and to love one another were two of her “rules of life.” She did countless selfless acts of kindness.
It gives us a heavy heart that our final act of honoring such a wonderful person ended in physical damage and destruction to her.
Her spirit, her joy and unconditional love for all of us will live on eternally.
Brenda Galbraith Gardner
To the Editor:
A recent story in The State Journal reported about Thayer Communications, state Sen. Damon Thayer’s lobby firm in Georgetown. Thayer feels his business and his integrity have been impaired by recent news of his association with the horse people. Thayer Communications operated out of the senator’s home and was paid over $200,000 for advice to his clients, Kentucky Speedway, Sparta; Millennium Farms, Lexington: Whispering Oaks Farm, Carencro, La., and Wintergreen Stallion Station, Midway.
His excuse is the same old same old.
“Some questions have been raised about my professional career outside of the state Senate and whether it impacts my views on public policy, particularly whether Kentucky should let the people vote on expanded gaming. I can unequivocally state that none of my company’s private sector clients stand to benefit from simply letting the people decide whether Kentucky should expand gambling, but because I have been a fierce advocate for transparency in government I am releasing my client list. Like most members of the General Assembly, I am a part-time legislator with a full-time job outside of the legislature, just as the framers of our state constitution intended.”
With big money support and big money to be made, members of the Kentucky General Assembly make sure the referendum gets on the ballot. There is a lot of money you can’t see involved in this referendum. This administration knows the major population centers in Lexington, Louisville and Northern Kentucky and to some extent the Bluegrass Region will pass the referendum. I don’t know how much credit Thayer will receive from his horse clients but he knows, already, the VOTE on the referendum will pass. Talk about shooting fish in a barrel for the past 10 years, the horse people are the place to go.
The Thayer fees are “consulting fees for advice” from a member of the General Assembly who will vote on placing the extended gambling referendum on the ballot.
The fact Thayer took the money from his horse clients and did not report the names of his clients is troubling.
Thayer has to know the horse issue was controversial in the Senate and the president of the Senate was opposed. With this knowledge, why did you decide to create a lobbying company to represent the horse set when you knew it would be fought by your own Senate president?
There will be no honest reply that has logic. Rather, there will be another spin about “let the people vote.” It would seem Thayer now has a lobby obligation even if his voter base is opposed. But then that could be the reason the big money was paid by the horse people and the Speedway at Sparta which wants a casino too. The senator must carry the water for the administration and his horse clients.
Jim Anderson Stivers
Let’s see the
To the Editor:
It’s easy to pay attention to the money we pay out of our pockets today. Easy to argue that in these tight budget times, we can’t afford the costs of protecting human health or our environment.
It is harder to consider future costs or costs that we avoid by doing things right the first time.
But now, more than ever, it is critical that we and our elected leaders do just that.
The EPA has new rules regulating mercury and other toxic emissions from coal and oil-fired power plants. The costs of the new rules are high, about $10 billion nationwide, and the many critics of the EPA are loudly decrying the agency for crippling industry in the tough economic times.
But this rule will prevent 11,000 cases of premature death, 2,800 cases of chronic bronchitis, 4,700 heart attacks and 130,000 asthma attacks each year. Apart from the reduction of human suffering, this translates into $37-90 billion of averted health costs and 540,000 fewer worker sick days each year. It is also estimated that, among a range of other benefits, the rule will create 46,000 short-term construction jobs and 8,000 long-term utility jobs. The total estimated annual economic benefits of the rule are $150-380 billion. Why wouldn’t we want our leaders and policymakers to make decisions like this? The EPA deserves to be applauded, not condemned.
More locally, there’s a bill before the Kentucky state House, the Clean Energy Opportunity Act (HB 167), that, if passed, is expected to create 28,000 jobs and save Kentuckians millions of dollars over the next 10 years. But this bill has yet to receive even a committee hearing. There are surely costs to making this bill law, but the potential benefits, including stabilized electric rates, more efficient homes and new industry in the state, are huge. This is a bill that deserves to be given a serious hearing, and the legislature’s seeming inability to even discuss it is deeply troubling.
I write in hope that our local, state, and national leaders will put aside short-term interests and petty squabbles, and make decisions that are in the long-term interest of us all. And I write to encourage all of us to applaud them when they do and remind them of their duty when they do not. Our leaders need to hear from us about what really matters.
Mitch is part
of the problem
To the Editor:
Our senior senator, Mitch McConnell, is to be commended for his recent efforts to bring democracy and human rights to Myanmar (formerly Burma). Now, if the senator would just bring some of the democracy home.
This, an impossibility, a whistling past the graveyard, since McConnell is part of the oligarchy that rules this country. It therefore shouldn’t surprise that to Sen. McConnell, “money is speech” or that he was a principal in Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission, which held that “corporations are people,” or that he has been a constant foe and obstacle to campaign finance reform, which would level the political playing field.
It is also not surprising that the senator has already amassed an obscene $4.25 million political war chest when his reelection bid is still two years hence.
McConnell and his ilk defend the status quo where elections are bought with unbridled money and political action committees to the disenfranchisement and detriment of the American people.
Anyone for a trip to “democratic” Myanmar?
George B. Hanrahan Jr.
To the Editor:
When the hedge of protection is lifted off a nation, a breach is formed. Through this breach, the enemies have come in to cause terror, death and destruction.
Even when warnings have been given again and again, when they are ignored, then comes judgment. But what happens when the judgment comes and it is not recognized and is mistaken for an attack against that nation’s security and defense? Simply put, America ignored the deeper meaning behind the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001.
The day after, our leaders stood up before the nation and declared a curse on America through the reading of Isaiah 9:10! No one meant for this to occur but it did and now every word of that scripture has come to pass. This was Isaiah’s response to the first invasion and calamity that were a judgment from God. In their spirit of defiance and arrogance, it was spoken in the aftermath of their calamity. These words seal the nation’s course and foretell its future.
A nation has turned away from God and its protection has been removed. Why? To wake them up and cause them to turn back to God and save them from a greater judgment. When an alarm sounds and you vow to silence it, at some point when a greater danger comes, you have no warning.
The first judgment was 9/11. God allowed it to happen to wake up America. A powerful symbol of economic power fell to the ground in minutes and loss of life was great. The alarm was loud and terrible to behold, but it was ignored and silenced. Who is going to sound the next alarm? No one.
The next judgment rocked all Americans and the whole world was affected. Seven years after 9/11, Wall Street collapsed. Millions were instantly lost, shock waves went around the world and no warning was given.
When will the next judgment fall? I believe it will be soon and it will be overwhelming.