Letters to the Editor: Unhappy about communication on East End development plans

·9 min read

East End input

As a homeowner in the East End neighborhood, I enthusiastically support the Lexington Housing Authority’s plan to develop the last vacant parcel of land that was once part of the sprawling Bluegrass Aspendale housing complex. But what I do not support and do not understand is the housing authority’s deliberate decision not to hold any neighborhood meetings prior to the plan being submitted and approved by local government officials. I won’t speculate on the LHA’s reasoning for this, but we, the residents of the East End, deserved better treatment than what we received. Let’s be clear, this is no small development plan. It calls for an 11,000-square-foot child Head Start center at the corner of East Fifth Street and Shropshire Avenue, 10 single-family homes fronting on Shropshire, five townhomes along East Sixth Street and a new one-way street running along the backside of the entire development. The decision not to engage the neighborhood whatsoever was even more egregious given that this land has sat empty ever since Bluegrass Aspendale was torn down 16 years ago and people have long wondered what would be built there. For the housing authority to formulate a development plan and not share it with the neighborhood before it was approved is downright insulting.

Thomas Tolliver, Lexington

Honoring veterans

Parades and public ceremonies don’t do anything for me. So, Veterans Day, on Nov. 11 this year, usually bothers me because it’s mostly ritualistic. Organizers bus in kids from daycares and schools to occupy the sidewalks. They hype these events with words like “valor” and “heroism.” Apparently, it makes some folks feel good to lavish excessive praise on those who are serving or did service. Some might be thinking to themselves: “I’m not a hero like them. They’re exceptional people.”

But the veterans themselves feel like ordinary people. Most believe that any of us can do what they have done. Their credo is: Actions speak louder than words.

What actions? For one, do something constructive like volunteer work. Make more charitable contributions. Read more. As to the veterans themselves, support their medical treatments, pensions, and education for civilian life.

So, if you happen to meet a veteran on Veterans’ Day, I would urge you not to say “Thank you for your service.” That’s just a cliché if you think about it. Say something more meaningful. Maybe something like, “I think your service inspires the rest of us to do our part too. Thank you for that.”

Tom Louderback, Louisville

More lies

Senator-for-Life Mitch McConnell has again lied to and misled the American public. The proposed change to IRS reporting requirements does NOT involve reporting individual transactions over $600. It requires a one time annual report of aggregated information. With computerized reporting the norm today this would not impose undue hardship on financial institutions.

As to making this information “free game for hackers and partisan leakers” it is curious that he finds that to be of concern when no such activity has occurred regarding the much more interesting data held by the IRS regarding ex-president Donald Trump.

Richard Betsworth, Versailles

Nature in charge

Every once in a while, a letter writer takes the Herald-Leader to task for “pushing the left-wing agenda and stifling voices from the right” —thus charged while producing few factual arguments. Well, they must be off the reservation if they don’t read the columns by Marc Thiessen and Jay Ambrose. If the Herald-Leader is committed to attacking Donald Trump and his supporters, printing Thiessen and Ambrose is the dumbest thing the paper could do.

All that aside, the blather boils down to two issues. First is the certainty that a free society cannot endure if led by men, whatever their ideology, with no regard for truth, reason, justice, decency, courage and the rule of law. Second is the certainty that the surest road to global catastrophe is climate change. Regarding that, Thiessen’s diatribe against President Joe Biden’s challenge to the fossil fuel lobby fails to note that whatever the economic challenges of going green, they are infinitesimal relative to the costs of rebuilding and relocation after the deaths and destruction, worldwide, wrought by ecological disasters already upon us.

Kentucky is not immune. Even mellifluous Mitch can’t block Mother Nature.

Ernest Henninger, Harrodsburg

Retool voting

The No. 1 challenge our representative democracy faces right now is the erosion of trust in the integrity of our elections. Regardless of our political beliefs, we should all be concerned by the large number of Americans who don’t believe their voice matters and have lost faith in our elections.

One simple change to how we vote can give us our voice. Ranked choice voting allows us to express our full range of views on our ballot — we can vote for our favorite, and compromise with our backup rankings. Competing factions with similar positions can consolidate without fear of a vocal minority winning the plurality. Candidates are rewarded for campaigning on issues, not elected because they’ve made you fear the “other guy”.

Best of all, ranked choice voting ensures winning candidates are supported by the majority of voters. No candidate should ever win an election with less than 50% of the votes.

Rank the Vote Kentucky was founded in January 2021 by a small group of diverse individuals who want to introduce this nationwide movement to our fellow Kentucky voters. We are 100% volunteer led, non-partisan, and inclusive.

We invite everyone to participate in the RCV discussion.

Elizabeth Hawks, Bowling Green

Back to the past

Tyranny: an act of the pattern of harsh, cruel, and unfair control over another.

A war was fought over that issue in the 1770s, yet our white supremacist Founding Fathers did not have the audacity to include women or slaves when they penned “all men are created equal”. In other words, they just kicked those controversial issues down the road.

Through a long and hard suffrage movement, women got their right to vote in the 1920s and obtained the right to control their personal, private life in 1973.

African Americans did not fare any better. They were kept incarcerated in tyrannical living conditions until the mid-1860s. Those conditions included hard labor with no remuneration, horrible living facilities and no input in their incarnation. After being freed in the 1860s they were given a chance to vote in the 1870s and, in 1965, unfettered rights to vote.

Unfortunately, since the 1973 decision, the white supremacist congressional leaders and the courts have slowly rescinded all of the above hard-fought issues of equality for all. In other words, let’s return our country back to the 1770s mentality, kicking equality issues down the road.

Now, what is the definition for hypocrisy? Bigotry? Stupidity?

J.A. Hernández, Lexington

Sails and masks

As a boy I was lucky to spend summers in a little cottage my family owned on Cape Cod. As a result, I became an expert sailor. Sailboats are driven by the wind blowing against a cloth sail. By changing the angle of the sail, sailboats can be pushed by the wind in any direction except straight into the wind.

A common tactic in sailboat racing is called “stealing the wind” from a rival sailboat. You would maneuver your sailboat to a position where your sail was directly upwind of a nearby rival’s sail, partially blocking the wind from your rival’s sail. The result was that your rival’s sailboat went a little slower until your sailboat got far enough ahead that the rival finally had “clear air”.

On very windy days the force of the wind on the sails was great enough to capsize some sailboats and occasionally break the mast of a sailboat. In either case the disabled sailboat and the sailors had to be rescued because a strong wind can’t blow through a cloth sail.

Some people believe that a cloth mask can’t prevent the spread of COVID. I think those people should take some sailing lessons.

Kevin Kline, Lexington

Trump’s true love

With the death of former Secretary of State Colin Powell, former President Donald Trump whipped out again the disparaging remarks he has used in the past for several other deceased American heroes.

The main difference between the heroes and Donald Trump is that they devoted 100% of their public lives to America and Donald Trump devotes 100% of his public life to Donald Trump.

John C. Wolff, Jr., Lexington

Words important

There is a collection of phrases from Herald-Leader reporter’s Alex Acquisto’s recent article “Hospitals admitting more unvaccinated pregnant patients”: “a person goes into labor on their own,” “pregnant people,” “people with child,” and “when someone gets pregnant.” This convoluted, gender-neutral language is obviously an attempt to avoid acknowledging the simple biological fact that women are the ones who can be pregnant and give birth. Some of this language comes from Acquisto, but some of it also comes from the Centers for Disease Control. If organizations such as this newspaper and the CDC want to encourage vaccination among pregnant women (or any demographic group) by discussing vaccination’s medical benefits, they need to have credibility as trustworthy conveyors of accurate scientific information. And, at least to my perception, that credibility is lost when they avoid acknowledging one of the most basic medical realities — that only women bear children — in the name of political correctness. There may be reams of scientific evidence supporting the benefits of COVID shots for pregnant women, but the argument is undercut when the supposedly scientifically minded developers and messengers of that argument weave such an unscientific ideology into it.

Stephanie Mason, Danville

Fix climate issues

I am part of a group of Massachusetts Institute of Technology alumni concerned about climate change and its impact. The climate crisis is an urgent but solvable priority. However, we must act now to make changes while continuing to research what else we can do in the future. There are effective immediate actions built into the Build Back Better legislation being considered in Congress right now. It is time for all of us to contact our legislators to urge them to support this legislation and the climate provisions in it.

American opinion on the climate crisis has shifted significantly with those believing in global warming increasing 6% by a recent Yale/George Mason University study. This makes sense as more of us experience extreme weather, from storms to drought, fires, and heat. Climate change is causing damage today. And there are solutions. 86% of Americans say we should invest in clean energy research. 82% support rebates for electric vehicles and solar. 65% think utilities should be required to get more of their electricity from renewable sources. These are real provisions currently in the Build Back Better package in Congress. Contact our members of Congress today and urge them to support these provisions.

Daniel A. Nolet, Danville

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