Letters to the Editor

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By The Staff

There’s no place like home to find Miss OC

To the editor:

I wonder if most people realize our newly crowned Miss Oldham County 2009 is from Henry County. I am appalled our county is not represented by a resident who actually lives in Oldham County. 

I spoke to a member of the fair pageant board to ask why they opened the pageants to all Kentucky residents instead of limiting it to Oldham County as in the past. I was told they opened it up due to low participation in the past few years. My question is, did they actively advertise and promote the pageants within the county? What number constitutes enough to keep it a local event?

I know it may seem to be a minor point, but coming from small town and county, I think it is only right that your county is represented by someone who lives here.

Sharon Bidwell, Pewee Valley

Click here to join the discussion about Miss Oldham County

Keep the Ironman race in La Grange

To the editor:

My name is Caroline Davis, and I’m co-owner of Delizie Italiane, 208 Main St., in La Grange.  I understand there is some question as to whether or not Ironman should continue in this area.  

As a business owner I feel Ironman is of substantial value to us and other shop owners. We’ve already had many cyclists and their families and friends come into our shop while preparing for the race. We’re also completely booked for that weekend. The same happened last year as well. We heartily support the Ironman race and hope it will continue for years to come.

Caroline Davis, Delizie Italiane LLC

Click here to join the discussion about Ironman


Why Woodstock?

To the editor:

On Aug. 15 from noon to 2 p.m., Oldham County’s Main Library, 308 Yager Ave., La Grange, will present the rock band, Reminisce, in an open-air concert to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Woodstock. 

This will be a family event and people are invited to bring lawn chairs and picnic lunches. There will be an outdoor rock and roll concert, a best “hippie” costume contest; and fun and colorful “tie dye” crafts for children. Inside the library visitors can view several displays of books, music CDs, and memorabilia of the Woodstock era and the events of 1969, including some local veterans’ Vietnam War mementos.

Why is the public library going to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the iconic rock festival? Wasn’t Woodstock all about drugs and hedonism? Wasn’t it an anti-American rally – a counterculture gathering? Some think it was, so they might ask, why celebrate?

What is a public library if not a depository of human history? Tracing the arc of the now mythic 60s generation one can learn of the pivotal events in history when this generational movement defined the country. 

Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy had been assassinated; some protest groups eschewed non-violence and were becoming radicalized. Civil unrest in many large U.S. cities began to accelerate. 

The U.S. had just landed a man on the moon but young men were being killed and wounded in a war halfway around the globe. 

It was a turbulent time. If you were a college student or young adult at that time, as I was, it was nearly impossible not to feel the world changing and changing to your rhythms, by your peers and according to your idealism. 

Billed as “three days of peace and music” Woodstock was about the inchoate readiness of a generation to come together in peace and experience a new sensibility and spirit. The artists who played at Woodstock became the musical avatars that characterized the era and are still played on the radio today. It was not a time to be hampered by convention. From the words of Joni Mitchell’s song, entitled “Woodstock,” the youth of this era believed that…“we are stardust; we are golden, and we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.”

So come to the library’s party because you remember that year, perhaps you lived it. It’s never too late to recall the idealism and energy of your youth. Perhaps you were not even born in 1969; then consider this the library’s celebration of a successful summer reading program. Soon school will begin in earnest; days will begin to shorten and before you know it, fall and then winter will arrive. So just come to the library’s party with your family to simply...enjoy! 

Susan Eubank, Library Director


Debate about the future of Kentucky’s horse industry hits home

To the editor:

Thanks to your John Foster for his “Horse Cents” profile of Highpointe Training Center and its economic impact on Oldham County (The Oldham Era, June 25 edition). Now add two more training centers nearly that size and dozens of smaller family farms or large farms and you can really get the effect.

Thanks to State Reps. David Osborne and Rick Rand for their support of HB2 – alternative gaming limited to Kentucky racetracks. This bill served to equalize Kentucky’s horse industry with slot-enhanced programs of Indiana, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and now it appears Ohio.  This bill would have protected the $7.7 million of direct Oldham County equine wages but also could have supported the many veterinarians, restaurants, van services, farriers, hay and straw sellers, feed and tack stores, truck and tire dealers and repairmen of Oldham.

Finally, thanks to the many concerned Oldham residents that contacted our state representatives and senator to support our local industry. There undoubtedly  will be more discussion of the gaming plan. If you care about Oldham County horses, horsemen and our auxiliary businesses you’ll follow this issue.

Bill Landes, Goshen


Police can’t afford to be timid

To the editor:

I’d like to offer a different perspective of the Cambridge police controversy, without race or politics as a factor. I believe there is a misconception that police overreacted. 

When police arrive on scene they are already at a disadvantage since they don’t know the situation as it exists, only how it was dispatched. To obtain this information the officer needs to ask questions and get honest answers, this is essential. To do this effectively they must gain control of the scene and direct it toward a resolution. This requires cooperation of everyone, regardless of whether you’re in your own home, vehicle or business. If you feel you’re being treated unjustly there are other avenues available to you. 

Police officers’ goals are to solve society’s problems safely, effectively and go home alive. Unfortunately not everyone shares these goals and some continue to press their own agenda which leads to conflict with police.

Make no mistake; to do their job and do what we, the taxpayers, pay them to do they must win this conflict. They cannot simply “walk away.” This may require someone going to jail. The ironic thing is in most cases people themselves dictate what actions are taken by the police.

In the case of Professor Gates, even though he produced identification showing he lived at that address, Sgt. Crowley had a duty to investigate further and ascertain the situation was as Gates indicated and there wasn’t something else occurring. There are times when people have a protective restraining order and aren’t allowed on the property or simply have moved and have not updated their driver’s license. It happens. Sgt. Crowley may have been trying to be sure he had all the facts.

The police have a dangerous job; consequently they are better trained now than ever before. They must remain cautious of those they encounter, alert and vigilant so they may go home at the end of their shift. In stressful situations they must be, as the Marines say “polite, not friendly”. This may come off as having an “attitude problem,” however we should remember the officer is the sheepdog protecting the sheep from the wolves. They cannot be timid or yielding and in today’s violent times. Would we really want them to be?

Lee Phillips, La Grange


Aquatics center swimming program is top notch

To the editor:

Among the many treasures in Oldham County, I want to highlight two that are quite precious in the depths of summer – the Oldham County Piranhas swim team and the Oldham County Aquatics Center.

My sons recently completed a season of recreational swimming with the Oldham County Piranhas. I was happy as I watched my 5-year-old make it across the pool as a 6 and under – he would rather smile at the crowd than duck his head and swim. 

My heart glowed as my older son participated in the championship meet in breaststroke; I remember three short summers and many practices ago when he could barely make it across the pool. Time, great coaches and having a place to learn and grow have made all the difference.

Through persistent and compassionate coaches, daily practice and a team which has open arms to swimmers of wide ranging abilities, my children have experienced many riches – the power of goal setting, the benefits of exercise and healthy habits, the serendipity of new friends and the sweet victory of being part of a team. All of this due to the community’s farsightedness in building a pool and creating a community swim team – open to all.

Oldham County is a growing, thriving community and the Oldham County Aquatics Center in its commitment to providing a welcoming and safe pool facility and the Piranhas Swim Team are certainly a part of that charm. 

Ironically, these services often associated with larger metropolitan areas pay homage to Oldham County’s roots as a small town community where everyone knew their neighbors as their families. 

There is time in this place to escape the “busy”-ness of everyday life and be in community with others; I find it when I visit the pool with my family; I find it as I take my children to practice each day. As a swim team parent on the pool deck, I make friends from all over Oldham County that in the hubbub of everyday living, I’d never meet. 

These friendships allow me and others to become more tied to the community as a whole. I come to understand more intimately the idiosyncrasies, joys and issues associated with living in different parts of the county; I become a better neighbor and a better resident by making new friends and seeing new and different perspectives. 

As we come to the end of another season, I want to express my thanks and appreciation to local officials and the larger community for having a place that supports a strong community swim team and a first-rate community pool. 

I also want to express my gratitude to the staff of the aquatic center and the swim team whose strong work ethic and commitment to excellence add sparkle and shine to these two summer treasures. Long live the Oldham County Aquatic Center! Long live the Piranhas!

Winn C. Wheeler, Crestwood