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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 Any letter received without a mailing address and phone number will not be published.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 rherron@state-journal.com.

Much ado about nothing

To the Editor:

It is apparent that some frequent writers often cite fabricated information and statistics in an attempt to make their opinions appear to be facts. They probably get their data from such sources as MSNBC and Media Matters which are noted for lies and distortions. They claim to want objectivity but seem to get their news from comedians like Jon Stewart and Bill Maher who always promote the liberal views. Since one writer has chosen Rush Limbaugh to be the Republican spokesman then Bill Maher must be the one who speaks for the Democrats.

I’m not self-absorbed enough to think that people want to know all my thoughts, so this letter is fairly short. I hope that Mr. Wolcott was being sarcastic when he said that one long-winded letter author was a good writer. In fact, this prolific letter writer uses a lot of words to say nothing. As stated in a recent Shoe comic strip, “Maybe what this country needs are more open minds and fewer open mouths.”

Matt Shuy

Frankfort

Long letters, short letters

To the Editor:

I was saddened to read that “long” letters inflict acute boredom on Polly Jo Green. I suggest that whenever she encounters one she avoid reading it. Oh, but wait, that is in fact the very solution she states she has already devised for herself. It could be, of course, that her “boredom” is actually disagreement or anger regarding the contents of such letters. In any event, she is calling for a “movement” to reduce the allowable length of letters from 500 to perhaps 250, as do many other newspapers.

I have no preference or “vote” one way or another. I might note, however, that this section is presently called “Opinion and Debate.” Opinions don’t require so much “column” length as debate. For example, an opinion (which, like our body parts, we all have) can be stated in as few as two words (e.g. “ooyea inkstay”) while a debate might take as many as 497 words beyond “Ooyea inkstay because…” Still, reducing the allowed length of letters could provide readers with even more opinions, and less boring debate. As for me, it would remove a constant temptation to write letters that folks like Polly Jo won’t read. Perhaps the section could be renamed just “Opinions” or, more alliteratively, “Kudos and Komplaints.”

At the risk of making this letter longer than necessary I need to observe here that “kudos” is not a plural noun.

Finally, I really do sympathize with Polly Jo. At our age, time grows increasingly precious. As for myself, I no longer invest my money or time in “long” novels, or thick non-fiction books, or green bananas.

Mark Henry

Frankfort

Beacon of patriotism

To the Editor:

Praise to the wonderfully patriotic Frankfort citizen who, for so many years, displayed the American flag on the bluff overlooking the West Frankfort Connector.

Each and every day, as that section of highway was traversed, my passengers and I would recite the Pledge of Allegiance. My passengers were any number of 13 grandchildren, and they each learned the pledge thanks to your flag. Above and beyond learning the Pledge of Allegiance, that flag spurred many a discussion of liberty and freedom and the blessings and responsibilities of being a citizen of the United States of America. It is an understatement to say that all of us were broken-hearted when, one day, that flag disappeared. It is totally understandable what a great responsibility this was for you, not only financially but also physically and time-wise. My grandchildren would lament when the pole would lean from a storm or the flag became tattered. They always were thrilled when a brilliant red, white and blue banner appeared on the bluff, standing straight and tall.

A severe round of storms several months ago obviously was responsible for the final stand of that American flag. Funny thing is the kids still recite the Pledge of Allegiance every day we travel the connector even in the absence of the flag. Your influence on my grandchildren has been indelible, and I thought you should know how much we appreciated and enjoyed your show of patriotism.

Candace Sacre

Frankfort

Disrespect for contract

To the Editor:

In a recent appearance on the “Pure Politics” show on Louisville cable television, House Speaker Greg Stumbo proposed that current state employees and retirees be moved into a new pension plan with reduced benefits, along with future employees.

We find it profoundly disturbing that a former attorney general shows such disregard for the well-established inviolable contract. He also stated erroneously that Utah and Rhode Island had recently changed plans for its employees and retirees. This is wrong; those states established new plans for future employees, while maintaining existing plans for current employees and retirees.

Stumbo also made the ludicrous claim that the legislature had not consistently underfunded the Kentucky Retirement Systems over the years. He said that the KRS actuary had not properly calculated the annual required contribution. He insults our intelligence. If his assertion were true, why would the legislature have passed H.B. 1, which relies on the KRS calculation to reach the full required amount by 2025? Stumbo’s comments were uninformed and ill-considered. We deserve better from someone in a position of influence.

Jim Carroll

Frankfort

Don’t censor our opinions

To the Editor:

The new website looks great, a nice update, but there have been some not-so-great changes. In the Opinion section all of my submissions have been removed and replaced with advertisements for submitting letters to the editor.

Why did that happen, what change has been made that sees it necessary to remove them? The nature of my submissions is one of an independent viewpoint that avoids bias. Has The State Journal fallen into the group of mass censorship? It seems to me that what is taking place is similar to the actions of cable TV news, not wanting to ruffle any feathers as well as promoting a general idea manufactured by an ideological agenda. A newspaper in Frankfort, Ky., does not need to fall into that trap, it does nothing but ruin a paper that I felt had respect for all sides of any topic. As I’ve said before, this paper is in a perfect position, given its number of readers, to provide an independent voice amidst all of the chaos that is mainstream news. Now it looks as if the paper has decided to go in the opposite direction. There are obviously benefits for a change of this kind, but what they are is difficult to see at this time. It’s disappointing to see this happening, it’s the kind of thing that makes me shake my head and wonder about the motivation.

If The State Journal continues on this path it won’t choose what to print anymore, but rather make sure of what to print. Choice implies options, but there are no options when one idea is to remain supreme.

Casey Roberts

Frankfort

Teachers to treasure

To the Editor:

I am a graduate of the Mayo-Underwood High School, Frankfort, Class of 1953, and I entered the secondary education system at the old Rosenwald Elementary School off the Kentucky State College campus. I am proud that my Mom and Dad both graduated from M-U High during the 1930s during some really diffiicult times.

My mind drifted back to those Frankfort school days as I viewed the National Education Association(NEA) annual meeting in Washington, D.C., on July 5. I was impressed that they honored Rebecca Mieliwocki as their 2012 National Teacher of the Year. In her acceptance speech, she reminded the teachers in attendance that “You will be remembered for your work for years to come,” and also she exclaimed, “You have been born with a gift for teaching.” She concluded by saying, “Your love and concern many times will complement and enhance a student’s bad days.

In listening to Ms. Mieliwocki, I could not help but mentally revisit Frankfort and give thanks for those teachers who had a positive impact on me during some of my formative years. Some perhaps have passed away, but teachers and mentors such as Robert “Coach Plug” Williams, Patty Simpson, Ms. M.J. Hiych, Ms. Alice D. Samuels, Principal M.L. Mastin and Etta Blanton touched my life and thousands of others during some very difficult and challenging times. They challenged us, gave us hope, gave us confidence and they reinforced our faith. Frankffort should remember them and thank God that he sent them our way. And I hope Frankfort, my birthplace, will honor those gallant teachers who still carry the torch for their charges.

God bless America.

James H. Scott, Jr. (Jim)

Commerce, Ga.

What to do about mold

To the Editor:

After reading the front-page article discussing mold in the June 26 edition of The State Journal, the registered nurse in me felt compelled to take this opportunity to address mold from a health awareness vantage. Mold is a form of fungus that grows both in and outdoors. There are over 1,000 varieties of indoor mold. The presence of a moderate amount of mold in your home or workplace generally will not pose much of a health risk. Mold requires oxygen, water and a source of food to grow. There are molds that can grow on almost anything including wood, paper, carpet, foods and insulation. While mold is an inconvenience, large mold colonies that can cause heath issues for many are preventable through prompt maintenance of leaks, water drainage issues and humidity control. By performing inspections, looking for any signs of mold, moisture and leaks, one could prevent potentially large mold colonies from occurring. Clean and dry damp materials and furnishings within 24 to 48 hours after a leak or spill to prevent mold growth. Keep indoor humidity between 30 and 50 percent, utilize air conditioners and dehumidifiers and ventilate bathrooms and other moisture-generating sources to the outside.

However, if a building or residence does have a large area of mold growth it is judicious that it be cleaned in a systematic manner, as mold spores are easily airborne. This lands them on a new place to grow and spread. One must scrub mold off hard surfaces with water and a detergent like bleach and then dry completely. Carefully remove by bagging all moldy materials. Then replace porous materials, such as ceiling tiles or carpet that are moldy. Avoid installing carpet in areas with perpetual moisture issues.

Most health problems related to mold exposure arise only when there is a build-up of high concentrations of mold. It is generally accepted that people with asthma or other lung conditions, compromised immune systems, other pre-existing illnesses, infants and the elderly are at higher risk of developing health problems because of exposure to mold. Current evidence tells us that most mold-related health problems present like an allergy. Symptoms typically include nasal stuffiness, irritated eyes, coughing, wheezing, or skin irritation. More severe reactions may include flu-like symptoms, fever, and shortness of breath.

In conclusion, prevention is always the best medicine. If you or someone you know develops any of the above symptoms and they live or work in an area where large mold colonizations are suspected, contact your health care provider and have the area suspected inspected. You can also contact your local health department for insight.

Charlotte A. Powell

Massillon, Ohio

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