Commonwealth Journal

Letters

November 3, 2011

Tired of ‘Politics as Usual’

Somerset — Dear Editor:

I am tired of them trashing their opponents instead of offering ideas to solve our problems and bring us together.

Never in the history of our nation have we been in a more precarious position.

The only hope for our nation that I can see is for “We the People” to remember who our wise forefathers gave the responsibility for governing to – “we the people.”

They established three branches of government creating checks and balances.

What concerns me is how often our president circumvents Congress and issues “executive orders” to do whatever he wants. I believe this is a very dangerous practice and our freedom stands in great jeopardy.

It never seems to occur to him that he doesn’t possess all knowledge or that a Congress elected by the people might know something or maybe even are representing the wishes of those who elect them.

Congress is no better. They spend money with no regard to consequences. When a duly-elected congressman or woman offer ideas that might cut the budget and the deficit, they are accused of all sorts of things.

We are all going to have to sacrifice or we won’t have a country.

Recently we heard about $16 muffins and $8 coffee and expensive dinners. As a grandmother raising grandchildren on Social Security, I could feed my family for a day or more for the price of one muffin and cup of coffee. A dozen muffins would pay my electric bill.

I realize entertaining is part of the job description, but a little discretion would at least acknowledge what a difficult time so many people are having.

If we want to change things, let’s stop sending politicians to Washington and start sending teachers, farmers, grandparents raising grandchildren (there are many of us), people who know how to cut costs just to survive, people of integrity and courage.

We hear fresh voices rise and we see them vilified and become fodder for late night comedians.

Why do people like Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Michele Bachman and Sarah Palin rise so quickly and then fall after the news media gets hold of them?

Could it be “we the people” are looking for people who will hear our concerns, at least, and try to address them? When we find they have feet of clay, we start looking again.

This election cycle, we need to find the people who are willing to stand for their core beliefs but extend the hand of cooperation and respect to the other side and really listen and be willing to compromise for the good of our country.

Forget party and favors to their supporters and just do the right thing.

Do moral issues matter?

I saw an AARP (I think) commercial stating there were 50 million seniors who vote and we don’t want our Social Security taken.

The number caught my attention. My generation chose not to hear the silent scream of 50 million plus babies who were killed in the safety of their mothers’ wombs, their only crime, their birth was inconvenient.

Do we really believe a government, who actively supports the killing of the unborn, is going to care what happens to our elderly when we become a liability.

I believe these election cycles become more important to our way of life each time.

I believe we need to bathe them in prayer, find out for ourselves where they stand on the issues important to us and vote.

More important, we need to turn back to our Creator our forefathers knew and return to the old paths that made our nation great.

Madeline Duncan

Eubank, KY 42567

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  • When the parties are over, who will pick up the pieces?

    The City of Somerset recently voted to sell alcohol by drink and through store outlets. We believe that a number of city management members were quite pleased by this outcome by the support this vote received prior to that election. It means that the city will receive a boost in tax revenue, a big boost that will aid the city's financial picture greatly.
    A number of other Somerset citizens lament that vote because they have a number of realistic concerns regarding the consequences of that monumental decision. They are afraid, with reason, that the incidence of alcohol addiction will increase in proportion to the amount of alcohol consumed.We tend to share those concerns. Accidents, auto crashes, addiction related illnesses and social dysfunction related to alcohol will, by its nature increase.
    This vote comes at a time wherein methamphetamine and other drug addiction continues to soar. It seems that every issue of your paper carries stories about drug related violence, crimes, assaults and felonies of all description. How do you think the addition of an increasing alcoholism population will effect those numbers and this community? I am sure that the members of Somerset City management have considered that question and are seeking responsible solutions.
    We would like to suggest one: Help give Somerset something she has needed for decades, an effective and viable alcohol/drug treatment program. It is very doable and would prove to be very cost effective within a short period of time. We have all been misdirected to believe that we need to wage a "war on drugs" except that wars don't often have winners and America is far from winning the one we've been involved with since President Reagan declared it.
    Alcoholism and drug addiction are identical as disease entities, they share the same symptoms, pathology and, sadly, the same prospects of morbidity. On the positive side, they respond favorably to specific treatment.
    Localities where addiction was viewed realistically and treated effectively report high recovery rates and significant cost savings. The airline industry stated, in 1979 that they realized that they received $15 back for every dollar invested in employee addiction treatment. Sending addicts to prison is far more costly than sending them to treatment. Treatment works.
    I do not know what the projected sales of alcohol by the drink is, the city managers do, I'll bet. Well, if the city levied a 5-cent tax on each ounce of distilled alcohol, beer serving, and 4 1/2 oz. glass of wine, they would be able to fund a freestanding residential as well as an intense outpatient facility that would serve some 1,300 Somerset persons including their family members a year. Other funding would come from self pay, insurance, state and federal formula funds and court referrals.
    If readers of this letter care to discuss this issue further we give the editor of this newspaper permission to share our e-mail addresses to interested parties.
    We thank you for publishing this letter.

    Delbert Dyar
    Bronston, KY. 42518
    enidel@live.com

    Alden R. Phelps
    Bronston, KY. 42518
    adlenrphelps@newwavecomm.net

    August 30, 2012

  • '... Salt in the Wound'

    Dear Editor:
    As a Christian, local pastor and one who worked very hard with K.I.D.S. of Somerset in the recent local option election, I would like to express my disgust with the distasteful cartoons on your editorial page in the June 29 issue of the Commonwealth Journal.
    When the results of the local option election were announced on June 26 both sides of the issue were represented at the courthouse. I was pleased with how civilized both sides were in their reaction to the outcome. David Carr and I stood with Pastor Ed Amundson, spokesperson for K.I.D.S., as he was interviewed by CJ reporter Chris Harris.
    Bro. Amundson was very conciliatory in his response to all questions.
    In conversation with Mr. Harris after the interview Bro. Amundson was very careful to make sure there were no hard feelings remaining from the election in which passions ran very high on both sides of the issue.
    We had said we would and we did accept the result of a fair democratic process. My FB posts that night and the following day thanked those with whom I had labored in the process. I stated that I would pastor in a new Somerset with the same passion I have had since I came to Somerset almost 16 years ago. The city of Somerset had spoken loudly and I accepted the result.
    Mr. Weddle with Progress Somerset has been very gracious in his comments. As I stated earlier when the result was announced both sides conducted themselves in a very civil manner. The election was over so let’s move on. Then the editorial board of the CJ decides to rub a little salt in the wound.
    On Friday as I read the editorial page I found this very distasteful cartoon with the heading “Caution ‘Wet’
    Paint.” I must assume by this they are ready to paint the town, a term that I, in my mind, associate with drunken revelry. The first cartoon made light of the fact that we deemed the consequences of this vote serious enough that we would pray about it. The second cartoon seemed to insinuate that the only way we could handle defeat is to drown our sorrows in a very dry martini.
    Why would the CJ, which should have had a primarily journalistic interest in the Local Option Election, be taking a victory lap?
    Why belittle a group of people who simply had strong reservations about the benefit of legalized alcohol sales?
    Why make light of people who believe in prayer and of the God to whom they pray?
    What is the purpose?
    Does the CJ have more interest in stirring the caldron of division in our community than being responsible and fair reporters of the events that affect the everyday lives of all of our citizens?
    Could it be that the CJ has cast off the restraint of journalistic integrity and objectivity to we are not just happy to report the results but we are also happy with the results?
    By this very action the CJ has said that people who believe in God, people who pray and people who were against the legalization of alcohol in Somerset are worthy only of our ridicule and nothing more.
    It is very true that we, who were on the No side, were soundly defeated and I tip, not my glass, but my hat to you on the other side of the argument for the effectiveness of your campaign.
    To the CJ I say if your actions with these distasteful cartoons are a reflection of your excitement about the final tally or an attempt to make those of us on the No side irrelevant, I leave you with this: We are still here, not just sober and praying, but soberly praying, for the city we love and call home. 2,167 Yes, 1,464 No is the reality of June 26, but only history can reveal the true winners and losers on that day.
    Thank you,
    Johnny M. Dunbar
    Somerset, KY 42502

    July 19, 2012

  • Group opposed to alcohol at Eagle’s Nest

    Dear Editor:
    K.I.D.S. (Keep It Dry and Safe) of Somerset and Pulaski County is opposed to the sale of alcohol at the Eagle’s Nest Golf Course in the Caney Fork Precinct of Pulaski County, Ky.

    March 9, 2012

  • The Perils of Alcohol

    Dear Editor:
    The Feb. 1, 2012, front page news of the Commonwealth Journal, read in big, bold letters, ALCOHOL at Eagle’s Nest.

    February 9, 2012

  • Reenactment Poorly Planned

    Dear Editor:
    In response to the article by staff writer Chris Harris concerning the Battle of Mill Springs recently held in your county. I have concerns over the objectivity of the content, particularly with Bill Neikirk’s comments.
    I am a living historian and travel from Florida to Virginia taking part in approximately 30 events per year; thus, I do know something of which I speak.

    February 9, 2012

  • Rockcastle Hospital responds to article

    Dear Editor:
    This letter is in response to the article printed January 31, 2012, in the Commonwealth Journal titled “Local Nursing Homes on par with rest of nation.”  The article incorrectly noted that the only Kentucky nursing home with zero deficiencies was the Nursing Facility of Hardin Memorial Hospital in Elizabethtown. I would kindly ask you to correct the information to include our facility.

    February 6, 2012

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