Headline irks reader

I'm writing to express my displeasure at the choice of a word in the headline about the Open Doors Academy trip to Harlan, KY. First, let me say that Kentucky is my home state, having grown up in Lexington. I am very proud of my state and my heritage. This is one of those times that a word may be used by the people themselves, but it should be avoided by "outsiders." I am speaking of the word "poor." I read the headline and reacted negatively toward the article. Would the headline have read " the poor in the Heights Area"? I think not. There are those living in the Heights area who fall under urban poverty and have a different culture. Why didn't it just say "the people" of Harlan, KY?

I also read about some of the issues that the students were learning. I was wondering about the similarities between here and Harlan that they observed. I also was looking to see if they had learned anything about the region (the coal mining, the forest) and its history (Cumberland Gap and being at the first doorway to the West), its culture (folk crafts, music, literature), the Pine Mountain Settlement School -just to name a few possibilities. Did they learn about any notable people who came from the area? Because of my love of University of KY basketball, I know of Wah Wah Jones, who was one of UK's outstanding players and went on to the NBA, and Cawood Ledford, who was an outstanding basketball and football announcer. Rebecca Caudill was an outstanding author of children's books. And, Nick Lachey, singer and TV personality, was born in Harlan, KY.

For over 40 years, I have been a community activist in Cleveland Heights and have learned that we need to be sensitive to others' feelings.

Donalene Poduska
Roanoke Road, Cleveland Heights

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Volume 1, Issue 7, Posted 1:45 PM, 09.22.2008