Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

June 30, 2013

In Your View

The Independent

ASHLAND — Obama’s proposal will cost jobs, raise rates

Today President Obama announced he will require the EPA to change the current laws on coal-fired electric plants that will put hundreds of thousands of workers out of their jobs, followed in turn by reduced electric supply (brown outs) and greatly increased electric bills.

During President Obama’s 2008 campaign, he promised to “bankrupt” the coal-fired electric companies. (The remainder of this letter I wrote to the editor on Nov. 23, 2009.)

What Obama's supporters are so naive about is that the U.S.A. has already done more than our fair share in reducing emissions. I remember flying along the eastern seaboard, both with Trans World Airlines and as a pilot for the Pennsylvania Air National Guard, how restricted the visibility was.

Gradually, from 1970 to about 1980. the visibility improved on the East Coast to a point it was no longer a factor in Visual Flight Rules (VFW) flying. Smog is now a rarity in Los Angeles.

 Not so in the rest of the world. When you fly over Southeastern China on a cloudless day, you cannot see the ground from 35,000 feet. In Shanghai, I can rarely see the other high-rise buildings one mile away, from my hotel window. India is no better. I have not seen VFR weather in Delhi or Mumbai. Lima, Peru, has far worse smog conditions than LA ever did. In Lima and Mumbai, you can smell the air.

Much to his chagrin, Obama cannot control the rest of the world. He just apologies for the U.S.A. being U.S.A.  There’s no carbon tax on China, India, etc, just tax the USA companies who have already outspent their overseas competitors 1,000 to 1 to improve our air. U.S. companies have no choice but to pass on this tax and only Americans will pay it, not the foreigners, as t.ey will not be buying our overpriced products due to a carbon tax.

                                                                                         William B Secrest, Retired pilot. Argentum

Market in park merits support

I have read a number of opinions concerning the Boyd County Extension Office trying for too long already to establish a Farmers' Market in Central Park, and wonder why the Ashland Board of City Commissioners could not have made a decision at its last meeting in favor of the market.

It appears that the majority were in favor and the public is in favor. The Park Board is an advisory board and we should always be cognizant of its input, but the final decision rests with the City Commission.

There was a comment along the way that there should not be vendors in the park. Well then please tell me why there are things sold at Summer Motion, Winter Wonderland of Lights, Art in the Park, and some other events?

Senior citizens and all residents of Ashland and Boyd County would benefit by having this in a central location. Surely one day a week from June until September during specified hours will not cause problems for the park. It would not set a precedent since each applicant must go through the same process, and the Commission and Park Board can set the times, dates, and rules to follow.

Don Maxwell. Ashland

Vincent Layman man of kindness

It was with great and genuine sadness that I read of the passing of Vincent Layman. I knew and knew about Vincent for virtually all of my life. He was among the most genuinely caring individuals that I knew.

I never heard him utter an unkind word about anyone at any time. He was truly the epitome of not saying anything if it would have been negative. His personality made it a pleasure to be around him. Vincent possessed a wisdom that came from his background and his heart.

I knew many in the Layman family and they all were and are special in their own way. Brother Jimmy was the closest thing to a father I had after mine died.

Vincent was cut from the same cloth. I saw Vincent many times as I visited my father’s and Jimmy’s graves. Vincent maintained his family’s graves with the same care that he ran his business, attentive to the last detail. He was a man capable of great love and all who knew him saw him demonstrate that love over and over to family, friends and strangers.

I have told many people over the past several years that my great fear for the city of Ashland is that we were losing our most interesting people of character. Vincent Layman was a man of great wit, love and great character. I think he is one of those men that we can’t replace. I can’t imagine the sorrow his family must feel at his passing. To them I say, I know you miss him, but be proud of his love, honesty and accomplishments. He truly was a special man who was loved and respected my many. I count myself among the many. I’m sure Heaven is enriched by his presence.

Dr. Rudy Dunnigan, Ashland

McConnell helps get funding for program

CDC and NIH statistics show that between 2001 and 2009, there was a 23 percent increase in type 1 diabetes (T1D) among American youth.

I hate to think of my daughter as a statistic, but she is one of those 23 percent diagnosed with type 1 diabetes during that time frame. This disease requires constant attention to fluctuating blood sugar levels that can cause dangerous complications including blindness, kidney disease and even amputations. I cannot remember a time when I haven’t worried about what might happen when I am not there in case her blood sugar levels go too high or too low.

Thanks to diabetes research, particularly the Special Diabetes Program (SDP), there is greater hope for my daughter and others with T1D.  Senator McConnell led the way in supporting the renewal of the SDP, a key research program that is helping us to better understand what triggers the disease, developing new technologies to manage it, and getting us closer to a cure.

By providing these new insights and tools, I am hopeful that there is a better life awaiting my daughter, after all, 85 percent of people now living with T1D are adults.  Also, American taxpayer dollars could be saved by reducing complications that greatly add to health care costs, including Medicare.

I am grateful for the SDP that is giving my daughter and others with T1D a better life ahead, and helping parents like me worry a little less about their future.

Paula Fairchild, Advocacy Team Chair, JDRF-Kentuckiana Chapter

High court takes step backwards

On Tuesday, U.S. Supreme Court took a distressing step backward. It overturned a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, the landmark civil rights law that helped protect democracy as recently as the 2012 election.

Under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, states and localities with a history of discrimination must seek pre-approval of changes in voting rules that could affect minorities. In Shelby County v. Holder, the Court invalidated the formula that governs which jurisdictions must have voting changes precleared.

To be clear this key section of the Voting Rights Act is now meaningless until Congress acts. We believe lawmakers have a duty to act.

This decision will likely have immediate consequences. We may see a reprise of many harsh laws our community defeated last year. The Texas attorney general already has announced that a voter ID law blocked by Section 5 last year will go into effect. 

We will work with a broad range of allies to respond — in Congress, the courts, and the court of public opinion. In the meantime, thank you for all you have done to support voting rights and the work of the Center. We look forward to continuing the fight for democracy together at this critical time.

Michael Waldman, President, Brennan Center for  Justice                                                                                  

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