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 Any letter received without a mailing address and phone number will not be published.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.
NO BIKE LANES ON THE HILL
To the Editor:
What next? I read in one of our recent papers that a group of bicyclers are asking for consideration on making more bike lanes on our streets, and of all places, Louisville Hill. That is about the scariest thing I have read in a while.
Main streets need to be kept safer for cars to travel on and that seems much more important to me than having a bike lane on one of our major streets for a bicycle rider once a week.
I have nothing against bicycle riders, and understand the exercise it gives, and gas it saves, but seeing so few of them out on the streets, why would we even consider something like this? And with winter coming, it is ridiculous! I realize serious bikers like to ride them on our streets, but has anyone done any studies on how many bikers have been hurt with the streets remaining the way they are?
Especially doing this on Louisville Hill could be hazardous to drivers and bikers. Both lanes going up the hill and the one coming down need to be open for the reasons quoted in the paper – falling rocks, evacuation routes, stalled cars and especially winter weather with the snow.
I know the paper quoted someone who said it would cost “virtually” nothing, but I will believe that when I see it. With all the needs we have in this city for homeless people, the women’s shelter, soup kitchen and others, let’s spend that “virtually” nothing on needed projects, if we have money to spare. The main point I am making is Louisville Hill does not need to be turned into a bicycle path, where many people could end up being hurt.
Leave it ALONE!
LET'S DEFEAT THIS RASH PLAN
To the Editor:
Eliminating one lane on the extremely busy Louisville Road hill is an idea that deserves a resounding NO from the City Commission.
At best, this road is not the safest to navigate at times. Going up the hill in the right lane can be a challenge when debris, rocks, limbs, etc. have fallen down the hillside blocking that side of the road. Cars, when this occurs, do have the option of using the passing lane. Make one lane for bicyclists and just imagine the danger that would cause.
Coming down the hill, the proposal is to make a dual lane for cars and bicycles. In addition, there is a narrow sidewalk for pedestrians. This is a disaster waiting to happen.
There have been walk/bike areas recently opened and I am all for that. However, the idea to make Louisville Road hill into one is one of the most dangerous I can imagine.
At a work session of the City Commission at 12:30 Monday, this topic will be up for discussion. Please take time to write, call or attend to make your voice heard. Join me and tell your commissioners NO.
This is a bad idea for everyone.
IN PRAISE OF ELEPHANTS
To The Editor:
“Elephant and Donkey” says it all. Why, sir, are people not paying attention? The elephant remembers. Donkey is just another word for ass.
I fear, sir, that the media – not of course The State Journal – may be responsible for this, and I beseech you to underline the plain facts through these next vital weeks.
I write on some authority. My grandfather Lyon rode a howdah - mahout astride the neck – upon a male elephant, for a honeymoon trip with his bride. This enabled her, famously, to become the first white woman known to cross the Himalayas from west to east into Tibet. That was around 1880.
So my Australian granny, Adelaide of blessed memory, was really ahead of her time.
Downing racial barriers was not yet the popular thing, and the monks of Lhasa failed to appreciate Adelaide. Worse, they judged llamas to be equal to donkeys as beasts of burden; and judged elephants just too big, their famous gift of memory inconsequential.
Poor Tibetans! What do we see? We see them suffer, a forgotten people. Too late now do they know that elephants could have helped them enormously, and donkeys some too.
Red-blooded Americans, of course, are famously half donkey and half elephant. The Constitution almost insists on it, and rightly so. But which end of which beast truly is to the fore? Which aft? Think for a moment in nautical terms. The elephant carries his memory, his head and his mahout at the bow. The bow leads the ship of state. The beast with the famous behind follows astern as night follows day. This is the order of progression. None but a fool would set his course stern-first.
Mark Lyon Thornewill
TOO MANY FREELOADERS
To the Editor:
I began working part time at age 15 while still in school. After high school, military and some college, I worked until age 62, all along dutifully paying federal income taxes. Even today, I pay a hefty amount of federal taxes from my retirement and Social Security incomes.
Some politicians in Washington seem to regard my tax money as their own personal property to purchase votes by handing it out to people who are not working, are able to work, but choose not to. Why should they want to have to work to buy the cow when the milk is free? This will eventually lead to more tax money being doled out than coming in. Then the cash-cow freebie well will run dry. This madness has to stop. I, for one, am going to vote for a change in the leadership in Washington.
BEN CHANDLER RESPONSIVE
To the Editor:
Two years ago, my husband turned 65 and registered for Medicare. In November of the same year, he had hip surgery. After the surgery, we received a $61,000 doctors’ bill. After contacting Medicare, I found they had made a mistake on the effective date. After weeks of pleading with Social Security to correct the error, I turned to our congressmen and senators. On Aug. 22, 2010, I wrote letters to representatives.
Ben Chandler called on Aug. 24 asking how he could help. After sharing our situation, he promised to get it resolved. Two days later, Chandler’s office informed me the error had been corrected. I didn’t receive a call from our senators for two more weeks. When the day is done, our representatives should represent and help us when we ask. Ben Chandler responded expeditiously. I appreciate when people keep their promises, don’t you?
HAPPY WOULD BE UNHAPPY
To the Editor:
Then and Now:
Back then a Chandler in state and D.C. government meant great work for the Kentucky people.
Now Ben Chandler is doing things to Kentucky people. He and the administration have put thousands of miners out of work with their war on coal. Coal keeps our lights on.
His party platform voted God out and voted in same- sex marriage, and voted murder on demand (with abortion).
If grandfather Happy Chandler were with us today, he would be very unhappy with grandson Ben. We must act for Happy and all Kentuckians. Send Ben home.
Let’s send a real Kentuckian with Kentucky values to Washington. Send Andy Barr. Andy will bring real representation to the 6th Congressional District and to all Kentuckians. He will work to restore the things that Kentuckians have lost under Ben Chandler.
SIXTH DISTRICT HAS A PLAN
To the Editor:
We are fortunate in the Sixth District to have a Congress member who follows his conscience in supporting the interests of his constituents and responding to their concerns. I urge all residents of the district to cast their votes for Ben Chandler on Nov. 6.
We have an opportunity this fall to increase Democratic representation in the House of Representatives and to oppose the takeover by Tea Party Republicans. A vote for Rep. Chandler is an important step in this process.
Ben Chandler is a strong advocate for senior citizens, small businesses, military members and veterans. He continues to work to protect Social Security and Medicare – programs that would be threatened by the election of his opponent, Andy Barr, who would like to gut Medicare to give tax breaks to millionaires.
If you aren’t sure where your polling place is located, find out in advance from your county clerk’s office. Take an accepted form of identification to the polls with you – a photo ID if possible. Your vote is too important to lose!
BIG SPENDING HAS TO STOP
To the Editor:
It is a fact that you cannot run a household or a business or government without a budget. It is a fact that if you do not, you will be either broke, bankrupt or out of business.
What would you do if you had shares in a company and the boss or the president of that company said I am not going to change my way of running this business and continue to spend money without regard to the consequences of going broke? You would fire that person. You would then hire somebody that would take responsibility to operate in a fiscal responsible manner. If you did not you would be out of business.
This is the decision we are facing in our country in this coming election. Are we going to continue with the irresponsible spending or are we going to take control of our country and return it to a more solid footing? Facts: Clinton increased the deficit $1.2 trillion in eight years. Bush increased the deficit $4.9 trillion in eight years Obama increased the deficit $3.6 trillion in three years Fact: Obama has increased the debt three times more per year than Bush. This has to stop.
JUSTICE SCOTT IS HONORABLE
To the Editor:
I am worried about the state of our nation. I am fearful for my children’s future. Every day “pop culture” mocks our country’s history and the values America was founded on. News organizations, “think tanks” and the ivory towers of America’s universities are asking, “is the constitution still relevant?” Why is this happening? It is a leadership problem.
We have elected officials who will not defend our country and the values and traditions and history of our great nation. They are fearful of being ridiculed by the powers of political correctness. They will not defend our way of life and they freely ignore the oath they took. They are followers in leadership positions. So it should be no surprise that many are asking if our constitution is still relevant. Well, it is to me. Our constitution is relevant to me as is our flag and our burning embassies overseas and I make no apology for it!
We do have some honorable leaders in our commonwealth. One is Justice Will T. Scott of the Kentucky Supreme Court. Justice Scott is a decorated combat veteran of Vietnam. He is a man of honor, courage and commitment. He is a man who takes his oath seriously and has shown he will stand strong while under fire. He maintains that warrior spirit as he continues to serve our country and our commonwealth. We need more public servants like him. We need to pray for them and encourage them. We also need to vote. Not voting is an insult to those who paid the price for our right to vote.
PSC LIVES UP TO ITS NAME
To the Editor:
Bravo to the Kentucky Public Service Commission and public servant Matthew Rhody.
After four months of failure on the part of one of our common carriers (AT&T-the communications people!) to correct billing errors, I have finally received the resolution I have been seeking thanks to the PSC. Simply stated, my phone bill, local, long distance and Internet, was wrong for over five months. I called AT&T over 25 times and spent no less than 30 hours of my time on calls to AT&T in a tireless effort to get my bill corrected, to no avail. I was referred to the Public Service Commission for assistance. I spoke with Matthew, who told me I would hear something from AT&T corporate within 24 hours and I DID! Within that week I received apologies from the AT&T headquarters and my bill was corrected! I just want to praise the Public Service Commission for doing what they said they would do and for a job well done. I am so relieved!
Thresa Davis Jagnow
HELP KENTUCKY FIREFIGHTERS
To the Editor:
Kentucky fire departments need your help. Every year firefighters respond to more than 350,000 home fires in the United States, resulting in at least 2,500 deaths and more than 12,000 injuries. In some instances, fire-related injuries might have been prevented if the victims had received fire safety tips, installed working smoke alarms or practiced an escape plan.
A fire department’s first line of protection is educating the community. Each year, during Fire Prevention Week (Oct. 7-13, 2012), many local firefighters throughout Kentucky educate children in fire safety and prevention during classroom visits, as well as teaching older adults and providing lifesaving information to people with disabilities.
However, as government budgets tighten, the supply of the materials fire departments use in these trainings is at risk. With the help of an online tool, fire departments are now able to invite others to purchase materials they need. Similar to a modern bridal registry, Sparky’s Wish List™ allows fire departments to register for the items they need (like DVDs, posters, stickers, etc.), and community members go online to make the purchases. The cost of individual items starts at just $12.50, and the materials will be sent directly to the fire department. So far 29 fire departments from all across Kentucky have created wish lists.
Kentucky has the ninth highest fire death rate in the nation. Through additional fire safety education support, we can all help combat that figure. We must proactively address fire safety and potential risks before the emergency call goes out to firefighters for help. The best way to prevent the loss of life or property to fire is to take steps to prevent fires in the first place. I join fire chiefs across our state in encouraging you to become familiar with your local fire department and explore the options for safety and education programs available to schools, neighborhood associations and community groups. You can support these local efforts by purchasing an item from Sparky’s Wish List. On behalf of the National Fire Protection Association, the Kentucky Fire Commission and our statewide fire departments, I urge your participation, and thank you for your support. For more information, including how to help and to search for your local fire department’s wish list, visit www.sparkyswishlist.org/give.
Fire prevention education saves lives. You never know when a lesson taught on fire safety could make a life or death difference in your community or even your own home.
Kentucky Fire Commission
YOU CAN HELP DEFEAT CANCER
To the Editor:
What if we could personally participate in research that might help determine factors that cause or prevent cancer?
What if our involvement, and that research, ultimately leads to the elimination of cancer as a major health problem for this and future generations?
What if we could make it so just one family never has to hear the words “you have cancer”?
Residents of our community have an unprecedented opportunity to participate in cancer research this year. Enrollment for the American Cancer Society’s third Cancer Prevention Study will be taking place locally at the Frankfort Regional Medical Center, Oct. 18-20.
You can see all the locations and times of enrollment by visiting cps3frankfort.org.
Individuals between the ages of 30 and 65 who have never been diagnosed with cancer and are willing to make a long-term commitment to the study are encouraged to sign up. Those who choose to enroll will simply fill out a comprehensive survey packet about health history, provide a small blood sample (to be collected by trained phlebotomists) and provide a waist measure. Participants will periodically be sent a follow-up questionnaire for the next 20 to 30 years.
If you aren’t eligible to participate, you can still make a difference by telling everyone you know about Cancer Prevention Study-3.
For more information, visit cancer.org/cps3, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll-free 1-888-604-5888.
SPINA BIFIDA HIGH IN STATE
To the Editor:
October is Spina Bifida Awareness Month. Spina bifida is the most common permanently disabling birth defect, affecting 166,000 Americans. Kentucky has one of the highest rates in the country.
Spina bifida is a birth defect that results in the spinal cord protruding from a baby’s back. The back can be surgically closed before or after birth, but damage to the spinal cord can cause paralysis, hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain), bowel and bladder issues, and other challenges.
No one knows what causes spina bifida, but women can reduce their risk by up to 70 percent by taking 400 mcg of folic acid daily for three months prior to conception. Every woman of child-bearing age should take a daily multivitamin.
There is a wide range of outcomes. Some use wheelchairs; others use braces, crutches or walkers; and some walk independently. The majority have normal intelligence but can have learning challenges. Spina bifida is only one part of them and does not define them. They can become teachers, doctors, musicians, athletes, parents or anything they want to be.
The Spina Bifida Association of Kentucky is the resource center for more than 800 affected families in Kentucky and Southern Indiana. Our mission is to promote the prevention of spina bifida and enhance the lives of all affected. We provide play groups and camps for children, educational classes for parents, life skills classes for teens and young adults, a financial assistance fund, and much more.
If you would like to learn more, visit www.sbak.org.
Executive Director Spina Bifida Association of Kentucky