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 Any letter received without a mailing address and phone number will not be published.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 email@example.com.
Give Old Y
To the Editor:
I was excited to read the article in The State Journal Tuesday, April 10, about the Old Y possibly getting a much-needed boost to become a new business in Frankfort. John and Martha Gray should get the City Commission’s approval for the Community Development grant since they are asking for NO money from the city, just a signature. This grant has not been used for 15 years so why is Mayor Graham asking for it now for Bellepoint? There are other blighted areas around Frankfort, too. Graham’s proposal will cost the city money. Any new project to renovate a building large or small has to fight City Hall. The first grant the Save the Grand project asked for was turned down by the commission under Mayor May and a man renovating an old house with building materials in his yard was cited by the city. A woman moving to the city a few years ago to start a business stated that this was the only city she has lived in “that eats itself.”
In the editorial April 12, Steve Wilson’s 21c Museum Hotel (in Lexington) was mentioned. He will never build in Frankfort after the treatment he received when he opened the Bishop House on Main Street, a creatively decorated gourmet restaurant.
Back to the Old Y. The 412 people who viewed the beautiful rooms created by interior designers Amy and Donna Cope, Lori Johnson, Ethan Allen, Andrea Mueller and Julie Williams at the Designer Showcase stated that they wished they had the money to help renovate it. Those who say the Old Y floods need to know that the Paul Sawyier Library is on the floodplain so they built the parking garage there where it floods. As for parking, note that there is a driveway beside the Old Y on the left that cars could go down to park on the floodplain behind the building.
Could The State Journal, City Hall and Frankfort be positive for a change? Think of the future possibilities.
To the Editor:
The Kentucky Retirement Systems recently interviewed a candidate to become its next leader. His name is Brian White. White has been in trouble recently in California for hiding things from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. This man has been holding on to his job in California by one vote. Five people want to fire him, four people do not.
All this is public information, yet it seems KRS saw fit to consider him for a possible interview. White is having a difficult time scouting for a new job as the public information about his management in San Diego makes the news.
WG Trading has been at the heart of the mess in California. Stephen Walsh and Paul Greenwood of the Trading Company were arrested Feb. 25 on charges they misappropriated $535 million of retirement plan and endowment money. Federal investigators say the pair spent more than $160 million on items like rare books, horses, and an $80,000 teddy bear.
The board/staff did not agree to seek a waiver of pension fund employees’ salary limits. But White, the fund’s CEO, went ahead, sending a July 7 letter to the county’s chief administrator, Walt Ekard, asking for the necessary approval to waive the salary cap and expand the staff. White didn’t have his board’s approval.
KRS is in a deep, disgusting controversy and is having a difficult time shedding the incompetence that has been in the sunshine recently. Why would the board even consider interviewing this person is beyond logic and understanding.
Here is what galls me: The retirement systems, except for judicial and legislative, have been denied funding by the General Assembly for several years now.
Overall, the $13 billion KRS, which covers state and local government employees, faces a $17 billion unfunded liability, including pension and insurance obligations. An unfunded liability is the expected future payout for retirees for which no money is available.
Nationally, banks, ratings agencies and others consider KRS one of the worst-funded public pension systems.
KRS investment returns have been very disappointing in recent years, falling short of the expected 7.75 percent. The KRS board of trustees, from its actuarial advisers, said the chief problem is more than a decade of massive underfunding by the legislature.
It’s very difficult for this writer to understand why voters send the same old, same old back to Frankfort year after year, knowing the General Assembly will continue to underfund the retirement system.
Members of the General Assembly have a day job that pays. Their retirement is covered by the income from their day job, so why would they have concern that state employees have been shafted for several years now?
Kentucky needs term limits. Too many years brings too much power. A fresh face, from time to time, could bring a different view. However, state employees continue to stand down. Are retired employees just a bunch of sheep? Seems like it.
Jim Anderson Stivers
and the Bible
To the Editor:
I noticed a church sign the other day that to me at least, in the religious sense, made no sense at all. The sign said, “If God asks for only 10 percent then why should the IRS ask for more than 10 percent?” Now, I do realize that the words of this sign were laid out a bit “tongue in cheek.” However, I do believe that the underlying message is cruel, callous and incredibly selfish, especially considering that it was a church sign.
One would suppose that some inside this church have read the Bible. You would at least surmise that the one responsible for the sign hasn’t had to blow the dust off his or her Bible lately. Jesus said in Matthew 22:21, in regard to taxes, to “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” The collection arm of today’s Caesar, which is the United States government, is the IRS. So Jesus would be telling us today to give unto the IRS what is theirs and unto God what is God’s. The IRS does require a bit more than 10 percent from those of us that have the income to be capable of giving it.
In James 1:27, we are told that “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress.” In Acts 2:44-45, we are told about the “Early Church of Jesus Christ” the following: “All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.”
Many of the Republican conservative religious right persuasion of today resent the thought that the government does some redistribution of their hard-earned wealth. The government takes their money through taxes and gives it to people that they view as undeserving of it in the form of welfare, food stamps, government housing and other government programs. Those claiming to be Christians that claim to be obeying the god of the Bible are told in the Bible in no uncertain terms to help the needy as we have seen in the previous Bible verses. The U.S. government takes some of the taxes that it collects and helps the needy as no other institution would have the power or revenue to do.
When I see a church sign that says “if God asks for only 10 percent then why should the IRS ask for more than 10 percent?” what I see is a church that is so selfish that it wants to take money away from the needy and keep it for themselves. That’s why in the religious sense the sign made no sense at all.
To the Editor:
As a former newspaper publisher, I know that syndicated guest editorials are often used so “the message” can be injected while at the same time, if there is any flak about the editorial’s content, the reprinting newspaper can exclaim, ‘“No mea culpa,’ we just want to present all sides.” The test of the truthfulness: Are other presenting opposite viewpoints given equal space on the reprinting newspaper’s editorial page, and if so is it done in a timely manner? “Hiding” behind somebody else’s editorial is dishonorable journalistic trickery.
On April 14, this newspaper reprinted a column by known leftist journalist, E.J. Dionne Jr. of The Washington Post, admonishing that all states with so-called “Stand Your Ground” laws should immediately repeal them. Why? Because ONE guy in Florida MAY be attempting to use the Sunshine State’s SYG law for his defense following an engagement resulting in the death of another.
These folks just don’t get it. There are 10 amendments to the Bill of Rights. The “lefties” only seem to have a problem with number two being where it is, or BEING at all. The “Right To Carry” law is an extension of the Second Amendment, and SYG is just the final exponent of what the Founding Fathers intended, the right to be free.
Those who would return us to the days when the average citizen was simply an unarmed target should take note that every state with RTC and SYG has registered an almost instant drop in crime where the victim is unknown to the attacker.
Cries from the left that “the right of self-defense” has served us well and needs no further amplification are of course wrong. Even should a citizen using self-defense as his defense be found innocent, the citizen can still be sued in civil court for amounts great enough to bankrupt the innocent and beyond. SYG law brings such a circumstance to a grinding halt.
We live in Kentucky, not Washington, D.C. Though voter registration might not show it, we are nonetheless a “Red State.” However, it is a safe bet that just as many Democrats and Independents own firearms for personal protection as do Republicans. There is much repining amongst news media corporations concerning today’s perceived lack of bipartisanship in matters of state, but in Kentucky there is no lack of bipartisanship when it comes to owning a firearm for personal defense.
And Fuhrer Bloomberg, perhaps the most anti-Second Amendment governmental official alive today, and his ignoble pack of mayors, are of course screaming bloody murder that all of these “problems” are the fault of the National Rifle Association. So what else is new? Next he’ll be blaming the NRA for high gas prices.
Yes, it is tragic that a young man was shot and killed in Florida. We mourn his loss. But to blame SYG for this most unfortunate happening is like blaming any other law that MAY cause displeasure. Juvenile.
Brian John Gonnelly
New gate bad
for KSU image
To the Editor:
I am a sophomore at Kentucky State University and many new things have been occurring at the campus without the students really knowing how the community feels about these new developments.
Kentucky State is building a gate at the front of the school which I think is more for show and a waste of money. The gate will not protect the school since it will not be around the whole school but only in the front, and it will only make it harder for the community to interact more with the school.
The community is just as much as a part of the Kentucky State University as the students. Some of the community have classes on campus and use many of the resources that the campus offers. The money that went to the gate could have been used for something more useful toward either the school or the community itself. There is so much more that needs to be done like a playground or a better mentoring program for students and the kids in the community.
I think that the decision to build the gate wasn’t thought out enough and was a matter of trying to cover up the real problems at Kentucky State University. The gate in my opinion represents more of saying stay away rather than come in and enjoy our campus.
right for city
To the Editor:
My friend, Tommy Haynes, is running for city commissioner. As the election draws near, I took a closer look at why he is the choice that makes sense to me.
He has lived in Frankfort for 17 years and is now ready to join the “battlefield” to fight for all citizens of Frankfort. I know him as “Coach Haynes” due to his coaching at Western Hills High School and officiating at some sporting events, especially track and field.
Tommy is a retired U.S. Army major with 20 years of service and a retired employee from the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
He is presently serving as president of United Way of Franklin County, the coordinator for the Franklin County Agency for Substance Abuse and the former Franklin County Red Cross CPR instructor and military emergency contact person.
Tommy has an extensive (33 years to be exact) background and knowledge in the budgetary process which includes planning, execution, and review. I know Tommy would be a great asset to our City Commission.
I am already on board the “Frankfort Gains with Tommy Haynes” train and I know Tommy will put the people of Frankfort “first and foremost.”