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Letters to the editor

A home run Editor, The Sun: Kentucky state government - a dry, mundane subject, normally, but not always. The citizens of Kentucky are served every day by several thousand state employees. These employees as often as not perform their jobs in a quiet manner without fanfare or special notice from the general public. The consequences of those actions may have a profound and lasting effect on the state and its citizens. This is a story about one such occasion. I call it "The day Julian Carroll as governor of Kentucky stepped up to the plate and hit a home run" and concerns Cumberland Falls State Park. The stunning falls, the moonbow, and the rustic, friendly appearance of the lodge all create a unique park in a rustic, pristine setting. That pristine quality was put in jeopardy in the mid- to late-1970s while Julian Carroll was governor of Kentucky. It came to the attention of state officials that a parcel of land just above and overlooking the falls still remained in the hands and ownership of private individuals. It was also learned that plans were being made to "clear-cut" this privately owned land and build a moat and a private "overlook" right above the falls. Such would have destroyed the rustic and pristine setting forever and the essence of the park. To prevent this from happening, the commonwealth entered into negotiations to purchase the property from the owners of the land involved. After a series of meetings between the state and the owners, it became clear that the negotiations were going nowhere and the private owners were getting closer to the clear-cutting of the property. As I had performed some legal services for the state previously - apparently with some measure of success and satisfaction of the state - I was asked to go to Whitley County and assist in the negotiations. This I did. I quickly discerned that the situation was dire, the falls were close to irreparable harm and the solution, as is so often the case, was money. I immediately drove straight back to Frankfort, looking for Gov. Carroll. The annual state employees' appreciation picnic was in full swing. I found Gov. Carroll with his friend and mine, Jim Gray, visiting with all the employees. Gov. Carroll, in his usual forthright manner, quickly had a grasp of the situation at the falls and without delay accepted the responsibility of his office and saved the day at the Cumberland Falls. The governor agreed with me and my recommendation that these falls were much more important than a few extra dollars. With Gov. Carroll's blessing (and extra money), I immediately returned to the falls and closed the deal. Thus, the pristine essence of the Cumberland Falls was preserved by the actions of Gov. Carroll. Everyone who has enjoyed or who will enjoy the Cumberland Falls owes a large measure of thanks and gratitude to Gov. Carroll. Mark E. Gormley, Attorney Versailles Not a liar Editor, The Sun: In response to Donald A. Vizi's letter to the Woodford Sun editor, where he writes that I am a liar, I guess I could pull out my gloves and smite him across his jowls and challenge him to a duel for besmirching my honor. However, if I did that and was lucky enough to be elected to serve on the Midway City Council, I couldn't take the oath of office, so a duel is not an option, but I would get to vote on how much money the chamber would get from Midway next year. It is true that I may not hear everything he disseminates to the Midway City Council. That's because I have a hearing impairment and not because of any prejudices I hold against the chamber. Why did he have to bring in the several other council members into his criticism of me? Could it be that he is still upset because the Midway City Council once requested an audit or a report of how the money is used before the council would considered how much Midway tax money to contribute to the chamber? As for the chamber being the biggest supporter of Midway and its businesses, Midway Renaissance, the Midway Fall Festival committees, the Midway Merchants Association, the City of Midway, and even the Midway churches, have done as much or more to promote Midway. I am not belittling the efforts of Mr. Vizi and the chamber for their efforts, for I am sure it has been an uphill battle trying to make the Woodford County Chamber of Commerce what it once was in this county. To educate Mr. Vizi, Merriam-Webster defines "recognition" as special notice or attention. When the chamber's annual awards are handed out, Midway receives very little consideration compared to the Versailles businesses. Newspaper articles and magazine articles recognize Midway businesses on a regular basis. For instance, Open Table listed the Heirloom Restaurant as number 1 in the Bluegrass just last week, and has been mentioned for several honors since its opening. Has the chamber ever honored the Heirloom for anything? Wallace Station was even featured on a major TV food show. Mezzo Italian, not Mezzo's, is another Midway restaurant that has been in the news lately. That's recognition, not a listing on the chamber website, where you have to pay to get listed. I found it odd that the chamber would (as per his letter to the editor; I didn't make this up) recommend Midway and its businesses to only one out of three visitors to the chamber office. Why not everyone? I think I've made my point, so I'll keep my gloves in the closet till winter and forgive Mr. Vizi calling me a liar. John Wm. McDaniel III Midway Dangerous to all Editor, The Sun: It is my memory from media reports that approximately a year ago a Lexington lawyer, riding his bicycle in tandem with others on a public highway, was struck by a vehicle and killed. Approximately six months ago, it was reported that a Lexington physician was killed in the same manner. I read that, in Michigan I believe, about two months ago, five people were killed in a similar incident. On Sunday, July 31, on McCowans Ferry Road in Woodford County, what I would describe as a caravan of 15 to 25 cyclists were riding, in some cases two or three abreast. McCowans Ferry as we know is a narrow, hilly and curvy county road. A motorist who encounters a group like this has two choices. One, he or she can simply follow until his or her destination is reached at a speed of some 10 to 15 miles per hour, by estimate. Or the motorist can risk injury or worse to himself and others by attempting to pass the cycling group on a road where opportunities to safely pass are rare, if they exist at all. I don't know anyone who would deny the right of cyclists, as taxpayers, to utilize the highway; for them to ride in the fashion herein described is egregiously dangerous to all concerned. It's above my pay grade to effectively address this, but I would hope that some of our elected officials would. Ralph K. Combs Versailles

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