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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 Any letter received without a mailing address and phone number will not be published.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.

Put windmill

on Fort Hill

To the Editor:

I want to see a windmill built on Fort Hill. A mighty spike pointing skyward, the tower painted green, a great symbol showing all the world where our capital city stands on the future and sustainable energy. Giant blades tasting the wind – swish, swish – for all to see. Showing what we did, not what we merely said.

Want to tell me all the reasons why it can’t be done? Get in line, and the line stretches clear to Georgetown. Georgetown, where a truly forward-looking governor gave away millions of our tax dollars as incentives to attract a foreign automaker to come create new jobs filled by Kentuckians making good wages and good cars. That investment of millions is producing billions.

Lift your eyes and there’s our windmill on Fort Hill. Foretelling the end of boxcars of dirty coal en route to power plants where tall chimneys spill ever more megatons of carbon dioxide into our already over-heated biosphere, more heavy metals into our streams, our fish and our grandchildren.

I want that big sucker lined up so it’s the first thing in the eye of every politician who looks out the front door of our Capitol. Especially all those politicians who so recently excoriated our federal Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection for finally doing its job, finally tightening up, on behalf of our health. The politicians whose vote-motivated zeal for coal mining jobs at any cost is inanely blind to cause and effect, as if smoking doesn’t cause cancer, and mining coal doesn’t directly and indirectly kill people, little animals and blades of grass. As if coal will last forever, hang the consequences, Praise The Lord.

As if we collectively aren’t smart enough to creatively make new kinds of jobs in coal country. As, apparently, we aren’t.

India’s national power grid has just collapsed, humanity’s biggest-ever power failure, leaving over twice the U.S. population without electricity. They blamed it on not having enough coal to feed all the generators they’ve built – plus unprecedented demand for air conditioning in India’s unprecedented heat wave fueled by global warming fueled by all the fossil fuels burned by them, us, China and everyone else. Imagine that.

I’d like the Fort Hill windmill to supply free electricity to Frankfort’s 2,000-3,000 lowest-income homeowners, starting at Thorn Hill and working outward. I think it can be financed by selling subscriptions – green investments – to Frankfort residents. Beneficiaries might contribute their share in low monthly installments over several years, reduced by others’ tax-deductible donations to the project’s non-profit management team. Details and options are limited only by imagination. And will.

The windmill may cost about $3.5 million installed. That averages between $1,100 to $3,500 per house served, depending on whose estimates are used as a basis. Windmills have many variables, and Frankfort isn’t even in the high-wind zone. Nevertheless.

I’d like to see a windmill – a great symbol – on Fort Hill. Does anyone else agree?

Don Coffey

Frankfort

Let marijuana

heal the sick

To the Editor:

There is no legal way to legally obtain the drug which is used to help people with glaucoma and cancer patients who suffer loss of appetite due to chemotherapy. The major challenge will be to pass the law, which does not run afoul of federal laws, making it illegal to possess the drug. Your moronic “stoner” cartoon making fun of individuals going blind is reflecting the intelligence of the moron who illustrated it.

But in April President Barack Obama asked federal agencies not to prosecute individual medical marijuana users, and instead to concentrate their resources on large suppliers of the drug.  Since 2001, medical marijuana measures were approved, legislators proposed other bills called for dispensaries, farms and marijuana taxes, but none ever had been included nor introduced timely in front of the House of Representatives.

We are here again this year and will keep coming back until the sick can finally be healed.

If the cannabis plant has no value, why are thousands of current research documents posted concerning a multitude of  “magical” healing powers possessed by this evil, unlawful weed, truly beautiful, green and  glistening, started with one seed? 

Patented and numbered: 6630507, Issued Oct. 7, 2003. Estimated expiration date Feb. 2, 2023. Our government owns and holds the medical marijuana patent they say isn’t worth the stem which it grows. Currently 18 states and D.C. grant legal access to a safe and very beneficial medicine.  There was a victory in Connecticut June 29. Gov. Daniel Malloy signed a bill permitting the medical use of marijuana statewide making Connecticut the 18th state to enact a Medical Marijuana Dispensary Law. A month ago, the Connecticut Senate voted 21-13 in favor of HB 5389, the Palliative Use of Marijuana Act.

Since 2001 medical marijuana measures were approved, legislators proposed other bills called for dispensaries, farms and marijuana taxes, but none ever had been included or introduced timely in front of the House of Representtatives. We are here again this year.

Jayne Keets

Kentucky Medical Cannabis Coalition

Tax/spend

going insane

To the Editor:

Your Sunday, July 29, front-page headlines illustrate the insanity that now permeates all levels of our government: “County taxes are climbing” and “Board rewards Sias with $250K bonus.”

Members of the Franklin County Fiscal Court, with the notable exception of Magistrate Larry Perkins, seem to think that demanding more money from their constituents who are earning less money is a rational proposition. It isn’t. It’s insane.

KSU’s Board of Regents seems to think giving President Sias a $250K bonus while most state employees’ incomes decline is a good idea. It isn’t. It’s insane.

I wonder if Mary Sias is required to pay the property taxes on the home KSU provides for her.

Jim Ballinger

Frankfort

Highland tree

to live in spirit

To the Editor:

As the minister of Highland Christian Church, I appreciate all the many people of our community who have sent emails, made phone calls, and stopped to visit, as Frankfort mourns the loss of our beautiful white oak tree. And by “our,” I mean not only our congregation at Highland, but all the people whose lives have been blessed by that tree. I knew that folks liked our tree, but I never thought folks liked it that much! I must also express much appreciation to Ben Lyle and Sarah Gracey of the Kentucky Division of Forestry, and especially to Kim Cowherd, for their much-needed help in deciding what to do next. As for the “next,” we will soon have a tree service remove the tree, but we hope to keep as much usable wood as possible for future use, within our church but also in our Frankfort community.

Rev. Scott Rollins

Frankfort

Presidents

on welfare

To the Editor:

Last week I wrote a letter concerning millionaires on the dole. I said I would provide an answer as to who these millionaires are. Millionaire #1 is former President Jimmy Carter; millionaire #2 is former President George W. Bush; millionaire #3 is former President George Bush, the elder; and millionaire #4 is none other than former President Bill Clinton. In addition to the welfare I mentioned last week, they also receive security protection and a great pension. Back some years ago Congress passed a bill to help out one president who needed money to pay his bills when he got out of office. President Truman was in financial difficulties, so in 1958 Congress passed the Former Presidents Act to help him out. As you can see, once the government gets involved in anything it just keeps getting bigger and better, or worse, however you want to look at it. Now for an update: The woman who won the lottery was convicted of fraud, yet the presidents’ welfare is considered legal. Sounds like a double standard to me.

Next week I will address an editorial that appeared in the Los Angeles Times stating that Michelle Bachmann resurrected the spirit of McCarthyism. In my opinion, if they had listened to Joseph McCarthy, China would not have been lost to communism. A young congressman who later became president said we lost China in Washington, D. C., not during the war.

Shirley W. Southworth

Frankfort

John Rogers,

a gentle man

To the Editor:

Frankfort has lost an extraordinary citizen.

 John Rogers passed away last week. He was one of the most compassionate, caring individuals I have ever had the opportunity to know. He never sought to pressure anyone over a debt and gave refuge to others who needed a helping hand. The Rogers family has been an icon in our city for over 100 years.

My first experience with Rogers Funeral Home was when my great-grandmother Ella passed. I was a young boy who could not even see in the casket. At that time, Perry and Jack Rogers owned Rogers Funeral Home. John is the son of Jack Rogers. The last surviving member is Winston Rogers. I do not know how it came to be; it seems all the members of the Rogers family are caring and gentle individuals.

Since my great-grandmother passed every member of my family have been expertly cared for and arranged by Rogers. This is not a letter about the sponsorship of one funeral home over another. This letter is about a man who caringly and passionately consoled our family and with dignity, took care of all the arrangements for my family during a time of grieving.

I do not know if Winston Rogers is in the state of health to take over to run Rogers Funeral Home, but without a Rogers at the iconic funeral home, things will not be the same.

A caring, compassionate soul has passed on to a distant journey. That journey is in a place where we will all be together in spirit someday. For a man who shared his soul and his life at the bereavement time of many Frankfort families John Rogers, when thought of later, a smile is sure to come to face. I know it will for me.

RIP John. RIP.

Jim Anderson Stivers

Frankfort

Our economy

needs stability

To the Editor:

It is astounding that any political candidate in this economic climate would brag about his business savvy in producing wealth from pushing funds around, as if this was an option for everyone. The “build-up-then-sell-off” paradigm is in fact a fundamental flaw in this economy, one that must be corrected if the situation is not to worsen in both the short and long term. That the greatest wealth is created by moving money around, by growing an endeavor and then selling it off, is part of the problem, not part of the solution.  It undercuts both economic and ecological sustainability, and by its very nature is a paradigm that can only be used by the very few. 

 There are some facts that need to be internalized by everyone:  After World War II, in 1946, essentially HALF the global GNP came from the U.S.  Security, opportunity and mobility for everyone here, relatively speaking, became the norm for decades. But it was not “the norm.” People have gotten the impression that the growth, optimism and opportunity of the late 1940s, 1950s and 1960s (and maybe the 1980s and 1990s) were permanent. Those days are gone.

For the continued vitality of the economy, there must be some modicum of security and stability in the people’s day-to-day lives. The powers-that-be can no longer rely upon a leviathan U.S. economy to provide this security automatically. Communal solutions are required for the people to feel confident enough to continue to invest and take risks in this economy.

While the advances of the last half of the 20th Century in technology, medicine, etc., may be permanent, the economic climate of the Eisenhower years is not. Furthermore, some of the genius of production here unfortunately involved too great a reliance upon fungibility. American system products could be built by anyone, anywhere, through engineering. However, this only works to give an advantage if only you can do it. If other countries can do it too, all the while maintaining their local economies, farming, and craftsmanship, the fungible-only economy suddenly becomes a serious disadvantage.

 

 There is talk these days of luring manufacturing back, and serious consideration is being given to subsidization — particularly as other states and countries unequivocally subsidize. Whether or not subsidies make sense, there must be at least two caveats. First, a “national” company should never be subsidized at the expense of a local one. Multi-state heavy industry may possibly need subsidies; multi-state retail definitely does not.

 Second, nothing should ever be subsidized without some modicum of assurance as to the business or industry’s permanence.  Otherwise, there is nothing more than an accelerating race to the bottom, as Frankfort and Franklin County have to compete with California and Cathay to offer the best government deal.

 

 Innovation and liquidity have their places, but they can no longer take the preeminent place over perseverance and stability.  Not just for the quality of life of individuals, but for economic health as well.  We can’t all be venture capitalists. 

Robert E. Salyer

Frankfort

Honor Ali

at Capitol

To the Editor:

As I sat opposing mountaintop removal on Thursday, July 26 (almost weekly for 1½ years and daily on work days during session), Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson acknowledged my request to place Muhammad Ali in the Capitol rotunda.

Kentucky’s most widely known son, “Muhammad Ali would be opposed by veterans” was the lieutenant governor’s statement to me.

For Ali’s opposition to the Vietnam War and his Supreme Court successful appeal for ministerial status, Muhammad Ali would not be welcome in our state Capitol though he is the best -known man from Kentucky in the world?

And as I sat watching the opening ceremonies at the Olympic Games. Muhammad Ali was again recognized by the world!

It is time for our military leaders and veterans to stand up and demand that we in Kentucky recognize Ali as well we should!

I hope all readers, including military leaders and veterans, contact executive and legislative officials all across the state.

And because I have asked government leaders to add women, Georgia Powers and Madellin McDowell Breckinridge should join Ali in the rotunda and Martha Lane Collins next to Happy Chandler on the Governor’s Mansion end of the Capitol.

But first, while he is able to be here at our state Capitol and we to give him the recognition that we should, Muhammad Ali should be honored immediately!

Don B. Pratt

Lexington

Rebuttal

misdirected

To the Editor:

Yesterday a friend called and informed me that someone who uses the name Mark Henry responded to one of my recent letters. In typical narcissistic manner, he assumed I was writing about him. I doubt that he will believe this but he was wrong. I was expressing my opinion about some other frequent contributors. I quit reading anything written by Mr. Henry a long time ago because rather than debating, he merely spews hate based on lies and goes into a rage about Fox News. I’m sure he’ll have something to say about this letter but I’ll never read it. I am not angry but he appears to be a little touchy.

Matt Shuy

Frankfort

Superman

would be sad

To the Editor:

Winners never cheat and cheaters never win.  Work hard and play by the rules. “Truth, justice and the American Way,” said Superman.

The above words are seed words from the generation that raised the so-called “Greatest Generation.”

Where have those words gone?

They cannot be found in Congress, which should be the first place to look for them. The 535 members raised their right hands and swore to serve the citizenry “well and good.” Surely that phrase means working hard, playing by the rules, never cheating, seeking truth and justice.

Likewise, there is no sign of the words in congressional outcomes. The few bills that become laws only reveal the commonality of the politicians. They and their corporate paymasters just keep getting richer and America and Americans just keep getting poorer.

Corrupt politicians have always filled some of the 535 seats in Congress, but there used to be enough goodness in the balance to hold them harmless. About two generations ago, that balance flip-flopped in favor of the bad guys and just look at the result, an America the parents of the “Greatest Generation” would not recognize.

Where did those words go? Are they like the flowers in that old folk song?  “Gone to graveyards, every one.”

If Superman were to return in 2012, he would not fight for “truth, justice and the American Way.” He would fight to restore them. Since his return is unlikely, that task will be left up to voters come November.

Shafter Bailey

Lexington

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  • Sure, put a windmill up on Fort Hill, so EVERYONE can see how ugly and noisy it is, and they can go visit it and see the dead birds beneath it that were killed by flying into the blades. They can measure how little power it puts out versus how much it costs, and realize for ALL TO SEE what a joke it is that people think that this can replace coal or natural gas now or ever!

  • muhammad ali statue in the capitol rotunda.....no way ! Put the statue on the concrete bridge facing the capitol, so all the V-nam veterans buried in Franfort Cementary, that lost their lives for this great nation, can look down on this draft dodger.