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Letters to the Editor for May 15, 2017

Negative attitudes can halt growth in community

I have seen several letters where some citizens have questioned  the health department’s inquiry into the purchase of the former YMCA property. This is the same attitude that many have shared during my life-long residency in Clark County.

Everywhere you go people are complaining about no places to eat, nothing to do, etc. I recently ran across some interesting articles of the Sun at the public library. One of those mentioned that a meeting had been scheduled to discuss a future YMCA being established in Winchester and how important it was for our facility to fall under the umbrella of the Central Kentucky YMCA. Not being a part of the group is one of the contributing factors of the failure of our facility. In some of the other articles I see letters to the editor where people are complaining about their property taxes and I also saw where more than one board of education group tried to get a small tax increase to improve our schools and facilities.

This is exactly how we got into the mess we are just now coming out of. With the recent upward direction of the test scores we are seeing vast improvements. It is quite amazing how attitudes change when you have something you can be proud of.

I know that without our dedicated educators this wouldn’t happen but most experts say that facilities make a huge difference in increasing self-esteem and instilling confidence in our children. Hopefully our current BOE can continue to press on and follow the lead of the majority of the citizens of Clark County and build a state of the art total athletic complex at GRC. As a member of the facilities planning committee, I heard loud and clear that our citizens want a total complex. The vote for a total complex only received one no vote. That sounds pretty unanimous to me.

I do not have all of the answers to fix all of the problems we are facing but I do want to add some other thoughts. I see that Winchester-Clark County Parks and Recreation wants to build a splash park. That would be a fabulous thing for the kids who live in that area. I still struggle with the fact that we let our swimming pool close. It was named after one of the true leaders of the community, Mr. Gene Gay . Anyone who has lived here as long as I have knows the impact that this family has had on the kids of Winchester and Clark County. Maybe his name will be re-established at the splash park.

We have the same situation at the former YMCA. Another fine man, Mr. Dick Gamble, had his name on that building and we let it close. Like I stated earlier, I don’t know the specifics of how these things happened but I do know that within this community there are plenty of organizations who should step forward and re-establish both of these much-needed facilities. If they truly want to make an impact on our community, it would start with parting with some of their funds, some of which were set aside for things just like this.

I also must add that I think it would be a much wiser investment to see much-needed recreational facilities re-established versus spending up to $2 million on offices for the Chamber of Commerce and tourism. The condition of the building does not warrant trying to repair it or bring it up to code. If it was in better condition, maybe.

Mike “Bear” Rogers 

Winchester 

Local officials set example of civility, maturity

Thank you for bringing attention to the lack of civility among many politicians in your recent editorial. It is sad, and I have been watching it worsen over the past 10 or 15 years. As a counterpoint, however, I would like to note how well our Clark County judge-executive and Winchester City mayor work together, as well the respective government bodies. We have a joint revenue-sharing committee, joint Fiscal Court/City Commission meetings at least annually, and cooperation on a daily basis. This is much appreciated and sets a good example for state and federal legislators (if they would only pay attention). It seems the state and federal politicians have lost the ability to compromise or to work for the greater good rather than for their personal and party agendas. In addition, I see increased cooperation among human service organizations in Clark County and between and within many nonprofit boards. The board members and staff of Partners In Education have important discussions regarding personnel, goals and funding, and all are courteous, can agree to disagree when necessary, and yet continue to provide support in the form of volunteer hours, fiscal resources, and ongoing input to provide positive outcomes for public school students.

Thank you to our local officials and community leaders for being good role models for our youth, and getting the work done without worrying about who gets credit.

Cora L. Heffner

Clark County

Health dept. is more than pill dispensary

Will Collins, in his article on common sense spending, advocates being taxed only for activities one uses. For example, he is probably in favor of paying higher taxes so his son’s little league would have two rather than one umpire.

I don’t know if his son played basketball at the YMCA until it closed in February. He probably thought that was a good use of tax money, or money for the Y’s summer camp.

He may not think the Y should have offered space to Silver Sneakers, middle-aged and older folks trying to keep healthy through exercise.

He sees the health department only as dispensing pills to cure illness brought on in part by lack of exercise. In his view, the health department surely shouldn’t focus using the Y to keep people healthy. Their focus should be on magic pills to cure peoples who stopped exercising in high school.

Mr. Collins says only people who approve of what Planned Parenthood is doing should be asked to support their work. I did, with a $350 contribution this year. Why? Because the vast majority of their funding supports prenatal care and birth control. The try to help families have healthy pregnancies without complications at a time when they family is ready for another child. Birth control is important for women because every year, babies are born to women and their partners who don’t want another child at this time or who are not presently prepared for this responsibility.

If millions of men not presently prepared for the responsibilities of fatherhood had vasectomies, America would be a happier place. For fewer children would be born into poverty and neglect or abuse.

Unwanted births often lead to angry adolescents and fill our prisons. A year in prison costs far more than a year in college, typically without a positive result.

Gordon Liddle 

Winchester