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To the Editor:
The State Journal prints letters that allow the opinions of all to be spoken and published in their Sunday newspaper. Whether it is about God, anti-God, gambling casinos or whatever else. Nobody that I know of can be sued unless you are slandering someone. It is all in freedom of expression.
In the article last week, “Keep church and state separate,” it was an expression of Mr. Greer’s opinion on the issue. What is known is that he does not believe that people should be able to pray publicly or that the Amish should be arrested and jailed for not putting orange safety triangles on their buggies.
Let’s really look at this. Mr. Greer can express his opinion or belief and have it published in the paper whether we agree with what he says or not but the Amish or the children and parents in Bell County are not allowed to express their religious beliefs publicly. Is The State Journal not public? Maybe instead of a law that is trying to protect religious freedom, the government should bring in a “keep your mouth shut and do what we say” law. Editorials from the public would no longer be allowed in newspapers, the Amish would be rightfully jailed, and no more prayer before school events.
What would this country be like then? I do not know much about the Amish occurrence, but I know some of the Bell County incidents. The fact of the matter is that probably since the beginning of sporting events at schools, more than likely at one time they were all begun with prayer. For a group out of Wisconsin to be allowed to come out and say no more and it be that way it takes us back to the ridiculous law of “shut your mouth and do what we say.”
The biggest part of the problem is that we that believe in God are not standing up for God like Sen. Jimmy Higdon did in his expression of Senate Bill 158. All of us that believe in God need to become more expressive in our daily lives. Luke 9:26 states, “Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” This is not a criticism or judgment for others that believe in God but an overwhelming conviction that I felt when reading this article.
This country was based on Christianity and it is really a mystery why over 200 years later that we are turning our back on what made this country great.
Salary math is
To the Editor:
Let’s see if I got this right: Full-time sustainability coordinator: $20K allocated for full-time position for three months (remainder of this fiscal year), or one-quarter of a year = annual equivalent, $80K. Then, allocate $40/50K for a full-time annual position, beginning new fiscal year, for an entire year. Hmmm... four times $20K = $80K. One year times $40K = $40K. New math at work?
More funny math: six months ago, commissioners were willing, yea, eager, to share a full-time person with Frankfort Plant Board and Fiscal Court, equal one-thirds. Not full-time for City of Frankfort, but split three ways – time, energy, scope of responsibilities – and results. (“Yeah, that’ll work, a shared position,” crowed the commissioners. Annual cost, $15-17K. Good for our budget.) Now, after the other two entities withdrew, a one-third or part-time coordinator is suddenly no longer acceptable, and we can now afford $40/50K annually – more new math?
Funny money, funny math, funny finagling. Funny (not really) commissioners.
To the Editor:
Many have asked how I feel about PUSH Early Childhood Development Center closing. Here is my answer.
When our daughter was born with special needs in 1974, there was no center for preschool children that provided the therapies she needed. We traveled to Louisville once a week and then to Lexington every day all one winter to receive these for her.
With the help of the United Way and many people, Ron and Karen Tyrer and Doug and I started PUSH. We began with 12 children the first year. Over the years, the enrollment grew and we saw the need for a larger facility. Our dream was realized when we built our own building on land owned by the Frankfort Independent School System. This dream was realized with the help of Michael Davenport, Farmers Bank and the Civitan Club. We maintained our center with these same people helping along with Russ McClure, the United Way, WHAS Crusade for Children and many wonderful people in this community.
We provided therapy, training and a safe environment for many preschool children over the years and there were many success stories. Our board consisted of caring individuals who gave their time, talents and money to keep the doors open. They didn’t just come to monthly meetings, they visited the center during the day, watched the children progress and prayed for guidance while standing over the concrete bear at the entrance to the building (as I did every time I entered the building). Our staff and directors were educated, caring individuals who worked for little money (sometimes with no raises) to see that our children had what was needed.
We had 30 wonderful years and I feel our dream was successful and our center proved that special-needs children have a place in this world and YOU, the community, helped us so very much. You will always have a special place in our hearts. You know who you are.
A local event
to be proud of
To the Editor:
Kudos to John Antenucci as well as the sponsors and merchants who participated in the first Bee Friendly Frankfort. Mr. Antenucci did a yeoman’s work coordinating all of the events and activities. On Friday night, I met numerous couples who were attending the conference, and for the first time were staying overnight because of the bee-themed events.
From the honey menus at most of the restaurants to the Beekeeper Jam that packed the Coffee Tree Cafe, there was something for everyone. As a beekeeper for over 10 years and a member of the Capital City Beekeepers Association, I was proud of the way Frankfort welcomed apiarists from across the Commonwealth and the surrounding states.
We’re still in the process of tallying the number of overnight stays and interviewing merchants and sponsors to figure out the economic impact, but I for one think it’s worth making into an annual event.
Why not give
books a try?
To the Editor:
In the sitcom “The Middle,” Brick, the youngest child of Mike and Frankie Heck, is a perpetual bookworm. I like Brick. He’s a bit like me. I love to read books. I always have. Once I’ve gotten into a good book, just like Brick I hate to put it down. The truth is today’s kids don’t seem to be the book readers that many in my generation were; I’m 55 years old.
Today’s young people seem to always have their eyes upon some sort of hand-held Internet messaging device, once known as a phone. I must say that I haven’t seen anyone reading books in the computer e-book devices that store hundreds of books without pages or covers. And I think that’s a good thing. It would be a shame to have only computer screens to read from. I prefer feeling a book in my hands and turning paper pages to looking at a computer screen any day, thank you. I couldn’t imagine reading an entire book on a computer.
I grew up when TV was in its early days. We had an antenna on the roof and a black-and-white TV that only got three channels in those days. I was a book reader before I was a TV watcher, and I’m glad of that. TV, for one’s imagination, is passive. It stimulates nothing. However, a good book frees the imagination to go on a journey born of collaboration between the author’s mind and the reader’s mind, transmitted by the words on the page.
And just between me and you, I’ll let you in on a little secret about books in Frankfort. Books are free for the reading at a wonderful place just stuffed full of them: the Paul Sawyer Public Library. There’s aisle after aisle of them to be found there. You can find most any kind of book. From biographies about historical figures such as Thomas Jefferson and John F. Kennedy or the history makers of today like Barack Obama or Newt Gingrich. If that’s not your “cup of tea” you can read about entertainers from Madonna to Led Zeppelin. You can find books about different religions and their gods or books about “free thinking.” with no gods at all. You can find books about diet and exercise or books about cooking or fixing things. You can find all of the great fictional authors there, from Hemingway to Steven King and all that’s in-between at the Paul Sawyer Public Library!
There is another thing about the library that I like; it’s OK to be quiet there. In fact, quiet is preferred. In a world where we are constantly inundated with noise it’s good to be quiet for a while. And the library is a wonderful place to become reacquainted with quiet. It’s just you and the books. Oh, there are plenty of computers that you can use for free, or DVDs and CDs. But, as for me, I prefer the books!
To the Editor:
It was a stormy night in Frankfort. As time went by, it got darker, wetter, more windy. I had to balance myself against a sign. Should I try to run back to shelter? At that point it would have been futile. Cars went by and more cars but not my bus.
Several drivers asked if I needed a lift. Not wanting to impose, I answered that I would be OK. One Samaritan in that lineup of cars offered me a ride. I took it. As I made it over to her car, one driver honked, then another. Why? Hail added to the fury but ceased a little as we went east.
The storm was a real thriller. This town is not known for its friendliness, but there are some kind people in it. I hope Christina got home safely.
To the Editor:
The slimy case of Rep. Keith Hall’s ethics violation is a case study on the gaps in Kentucky’s ethics laws.
In 2005 Hall voted to appropriate money that ultimately was paid to one of the companies he owns. Hall’s company earned $171,000 on the job.
The Legislative Ethics Commission reprimanded Hall for violating the legislative ethics code. Under an agreed order, Hall denied guilt and agreed to pay the maximum penalty, $2,000. Hall’s attorney delivered a check on the spot.
House Leader Stumbo says his pal Keith Hall has been punished enough.
Rep. Keith Hall, D. Eastern Kentucky 93rd district was allowed to funnel $176,000 to his mountain water district. It was legal because Hall made the bid by submitting several $20,000 bids for the district in order not to have to have an open bid on the work. Only an allocation from the appropriations committee, of which he was/is a member had to pass on the money allocated by the appropriations committee to Hall’s district.
Majority leader Greg Stumbo says Keith Hall has been punished and fined, (mostly fined) by the ethics board and no further action is necessary.
Pike County voters have started to figure Keith Hall out. It won’t bother the folks in the 93rd district to get what they wanted, better water supply. And they should have, with an upfront representative that only wanted to help his people. However, the $171,000 to Mountain Water District sure was a blessing for those needing an upgrade.
Hall’s district has been inside Pike County. After the Democratic redistricting proposal? His district will be spread across three counties, stretching through Letcher all the way into Harlan.
This allows Hall’s voter base to be spread through several counties and perhaps dampen the impression the Kentucky Ethics Commission is a toothless tiger that favors some form of political solution rather than the law.
No questions Hall was gaming the system, got caught and very little happened. Hall remains on the appropriations committee. He did assist in approving funding for a water district.
Gov. Ernie Fletcher broke personnel rules, then Attorney General Stumbo jumped at the opportunity to discredit and prosecute him.
However, Stumbo’s 93rd District buddy can allocate state money to a company he is associated with and all Keith Hall gets is a slap on the wrist. (Sure pays to know the right people.)
Does this not clearly reveal the personal ethics of Majority Leader Stumbo and future distrust for Hall? This sham is disgusting and both Stumbo and Hall should be censored by the assembly. That won’t happen due to Stumbo’s long tenure and the favors owed him by other members of the legislature.
It appears no one can stand tall to Stumbo. He has too many people (voters, legislative leaders) in his pocket.
That is one simple reason to justify term limits.
Jim Anderson Stivers
back off coal
To the Editor:
I don’t know of anything affordable these days! Well, except one thing: my electric bill. No matter how the rest of my bills may go up or down, or my gas costs or my grocery costs, the one thing that does not seem to change is my electric bill. Why? Because we are blessed to have abundant, cheap and reliable energy right here thanks to coal. And the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants to get rid of it! Times are tough and the EPA wants to make them tougher? For shame! Tell the EPA to back off, and tell coal we support them!