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Fri, Oct 24, 2014 10:37 AM
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 Issue

Letters to the Editor

The Big Sandy News welcomes letters to the editor. To have your letter published, please follow these guidelines: Letters should be limited to 300 words.
Letters- except those written to thank individuals-should focus on public issues, not on either private disputes or the individual religious beliefs of the writers.
Letters should not promote hate and bigotry. Neither should they be obscene or libelous or make personal attacks on individuals.
Letters must be signed and include a verifiable address and telephone number of the writers.
Letters should be delivered to our office at 115 Louisa Plaza, Suite 4 in Louisa Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m., mailed to us at P.O. Box 766, Louisa, KY 41230 or faxed to us at (606) 638-9949. Letters may be e-mailed to
We reserve the right to edit letters for length, grammar, spelling and clarity.
Letters to the editor are the opinions of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Big Sandy News.

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Civil War commemoration a success


The Johnson County Public Library recently celebrated the end of its two-year-long 150th Anniversary Civil War Commemoration as Judge John David Preston led a very well-received discussion of the book "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln" by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Those who have attended the events that have been a part of the commemoration regret seeing it come to an end, but we would like to assure our patrons that the library will continue to offer quality programming on a variety of topics.

Also, for those interested in the Civil War, we will be scheduling discussions of a few more books concerning important people of the era and reconstruction per the request of those in attendance at the "Team of Rivals" discussion. We are also in the process of scheduling speakers and Chautauqua performers through the Kentucky Humanities Council. We will have a wide variety of offerings from KHC, which will include a couple more Chataquans representing characters from the Civil War Era. Visit the library to obtain a copy of our calendar or check our website,, or like us on Facebook to stay up-to-date on all of our library happenings.

The library would like to thank all those who helped to make our commemoration a success. We applied to receive a traveling exhibit titled "Civil War 150" and, though we didn't receive it, we were awarded a $500 stipend from the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History in partnership with the Library of America and the National Endowment for the Humanities. This was a nice addition to the funds we had already budgeted to conduct the Civil War programming we had planned.

The Kentucky Humanities Council, Inc., in partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities, provides funding so that nonprofits like the library can host Kentucky Chautauqua performers and speakers from Kentucky Humanities Council Speakers Bureau. We took advantage of this funding almost monthly as we presented programs at the library in the evenings and daytime programs for fifth graders studying the Civil War for the first time as part of their curriculum. The Kentucky Humanities Council is also supported by organizations statewide, such as Morehead State University, Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, and Cralle Foundation. The National Endowment for the Humanities receives federal funding and, for that, we have our legislators to thank: Congressman Hal Rogers, Senator Mitch McConnell, and Senator Rand Paul.

Our local media and Family Resource/Youth Service Center directors have played a key role in getting the word of these events out to the public, and for this we thank Hometown TV, Paintsville Tourism, WKLW, WSIP, The Paintsville Herald, The Big Sandy News, and the FRYSC director from each local school. These are Tama Ramey, Karen Salyer, Anita Cantrell, Elizabeth Bruner, Lynn Wilcox, Joanie Daniel (retired), Belinda Meek, Pam Tackett, Kathleen Burchett and Jason Hurt.

We give most honorable mention and thanks to all the local scholars, authors, educators, and general Civil War enthusiasts who contributed to our programming by speaking on related topics, leading book discussions, and/or helping us brainstorm: the Honorable John David Preston, Dr. Donald Barlow, Dr. Douglas Herman, Dr. Thomas Matijasic, Jimmie Epling, J.R. VanHoose, Dorothy Lewis, Bryan Auxier, Dirk Cook, Christie Cook, and Denny Dorton.

A special note of gratitude is given to Dirk Cook for loaning us his personal collection of Civil War era art. We didn't get the traveling display, so we made our own! This collection is on display for a short time longer at the library as the "Scenes of the Civil War" art gallery. We give thanks to Christie Cook for editing the Historical Walking Tour of Paintsville to create a second "Civil War Walking Tour" and conducting it for fifth grade classes and other interested groups. To Greg Swartz and his team of Civil War reenactors who joined us for our Civil War Family Fun Days, we also extend a special note of appreciation.

Last but not least, I must mention that none of these programs would have been possible without the vision, unfailing support, and passion for community education of the director of the Johnson County Public Library, Karen Daniel, and the support of the JCPL Board of Trustees. These board members are Ben D. Tackett Jr., president; Frank Heaberlin, vice president; Rhonda Pack, secretary; Bryan Auxier, treasurer; Zella Wells, member; and Robert Conley, director emeritus.

One of the best parts of the Civil War Commemoration has been knowing that the participants of each program have looked forward with anticipation to the next offering. Emphasizing that every program we present is free and open to the public, we hope that each person in our community will find a future offering that will be just as exciting to him or her.

Christy Terry
City, State: Program Director
October 21, 2014

KET series to premiere


In conjunction with National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week, I want to share about an important effort underway in the commonwealth.  

It's reported that in Kentucky, more than 750,000 adults don't have a high school diploma or GED credential.  Nearly one in five Americans lack a high school diploma, and every year, 1 million more students drop out.

The statistics are sobering.  People without a high school diploma or GED are twice as likely to be unemployed.  They are likely to live in poverty, to become teen parents, to abuse alcohol and drugs.  Three out of four prison inmates are dropouts.

Further, the gap between what our economy demands and the qualified workforce needed by the business community is vast and continues to widen.

Why do people drop out of school?  And, why are some dropouts successful in returning to school and continuing their education against all odds?

As public media's leader in adult education service for more than four decades, these are questions KET wanted to explore more fully.

As part of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting( CPS)'s American Graduation initiative, KET was selected to produce the inspiring stories of Americans who had quit school, but are "dropping back in" and achieving success.

"Dropping Back In," a series of four, half-hour documentaries, premieres Oct. 6 at 9/8 p.m. on KET and will broadcast on PBS member stations nationally.

Through the programs, we come to understand the challenges faced by those who drop out.  And, we learn about the individuals and institutions helping lead adult learners on the

path to college and career success.

Every community in America faces the challenge of adult drop outs and the need to improve college and career readiness.  Each of us can play a role in helping individuals continue

their education, making our communities and our state stronger.

To find out about "Dropping Back In," or KET's new Fast Forward online study course for the national GED test, visit

Diane Porter
City, State: Friends of KET Board Member
September 16, 2014

Safe Harbor Event a success


On Saturday, Aug. 23, Safe Harbor celebrated its seventh annual Lobster Fest. Thank you to Safe Harbor's Board of Directors, Boyd County Medical Alliance, Susan Fried and her committee and our staff for a great event. A special thank-you also goes to our sponsors, whose continued support has helped Safe Harbor meet the growing need across the FIVCO ADD for domestic violence services.

This fundraiser will help us continue to meet the growing need for domestic violence services across the region. Again, thanks to all our supporters.

Ann Perkins
City, State: Executive Director
September 16, 2014

'Story Patch' thanks sponsors


On behalf on the Rt. 23 Cultural Heritage Network, OSCAR, and "The Story Patch" committees, I would like to thank the following businesses, organizations, and individuals for their various sponsorships of "The Story Patch":

Paintsville Kiwanis (Platinum);

Pack & Butcher Law Office and McDonald's of East Kentucky (Gold);

Paintsville Funeral Home, Foothills Rural Telephone Cooperative, Inc., State Farm Insurance, Century 21 Unlimited Realty & Auction Services, Oil Springs Homemakers, and Johnson County Family and Consumer Sciences Council (Bronze); First Choice Realty, Hon. J. Kevin Holbrook, Junior Wright Auto Sales, and Han Dee Mart (Friend/Patron); Johnson County Extension Service, The Historic SIPP Theater, Paintsville Tourism, Kentucky Cooperative Extension Fine Arts Program, Appalachian Community Theater, The Paintsville Herald, Floyd County Times, K-Lite 94.7 WKLW, WSIP 98.9, Johnson County Chamber of Commerce, TOUR SEKY, and Debbie Tuggle Pendley, (In Kind).

Also, Michael Hall, Steve Sexton, Almeda Childers, Terry Salyer, Sandra Hall, cast, parents and grandparents of the cast and all other volunteers. We couldn't do it without you.

This play series made up of stories from local people helps preserve our local history and culture as well as to promote and support the arts. In addition, we hope to boost local tourism and fund community and economic development efforts by creating a new source of revenue earmarked exclusively for those goals. We intend to continue this play series annually, creating a new play using new stories each year.

You are in luck! A final run of"The Story Patch: Just Like Family" will be this week, Sept. 19 and 20 at 7 p.m. and Sept. 21 at 3 p.m. at OSCAR (old Oil Springs School). This will be a great opportunity to see the encore performance of this very entertaining play.

Vicki M. Rice
City, State: OSCAR Secretary/Story Patch Board Member
September 16, 2014

Collins family says 'thanks'


A benefit ride for Kennith "Head" Collins was held on Saturday, June 7, in Fallsburg. The event was a success, with a great group of riders and great prizes.

Special thanks to the following for making the day possible: Fallsburg Falls Cabins, Coke Plant, Hometown Florist, New World Video, Advance, NAPA, Papa Johns Pizza, Brenda Collins-Dawson, Icon, Ashland Cycle, Riverview Terminal "Hammer", Ntelos, Bobbie Layvill, Big Sandy News, Lori Jane, Connie and Kermit Collins, Amy and June Bug (Bowers), Italian Restaurant, Mexican Restaurant, Renee McKinney, Sonya Fitzgerald, G&R Pawn, Louisa Drug Store, Do It Best, Charlies Harley, William and Melody Smith, Tina Blevins, Rhonda Eby Martin, China Buffet, Dee Photography, Forever Clean, Sound Wave Productions, LLC., Jared and CJ Fairchild, Dakota Shortridge, Vintage Beauty Lounge, Dottie Horn, Kody Harles, Heritage Equipment, Alish Bentley, Brian Cassady, and last but not least, thank you to the riders and the community.

The Collins family can't thank everyone enough.

Joann Collins
City, State: Fallsburg
June 17, 2014

PES principal thanks those who helped during construction


The phrase "Love your neighbor" is found 10 times throughout the Bible. Jesus Himself said the only greater command was to love the Lord.

Early in 2013, we began a major renovation project at Paintsville Elementary School. At that time our Head Start program was relocated to the Mayo Campus of the Big Sandy Community and Technology College, and beginning in August of 2013 our kindergarten and first grade classrooms were also moved to the Mayo campus.

Because of construction, we were forced to close our playground and both of our staff parking lots. Our Lady of the Mountain School was gracious enough to allow our students the use of their front lawn for recess, and the First Baptist Church of Paintsville allowed our staff and parents to use their parking lots during the school day.

We in the Paintsville Tiger Family are extremely grateful to Big Sandy Community and Technical College, Our Lady of the Mountain School and the First Baptist Church of Paintsville for being such loving and generous neighbors. You have honored us, and for that we say, "Thank you!"

Bryan Auxier, Principal
City, State: Paintsville Elementary
June 10, 2014

Cordles thank benefit helpers


We would like to thank everyone who was involved with making our benefit a success this past weekend. We wouldn't want to leave anyone out, we appreciate all who gave their effort to help out. Charlie Fyffe was instrumental in getting the community center for all of this to take place.

Thank you to the bands, Hammertowne, Turning Ground, and Larry Cordle and Lonesome Standard Time; to Dick Webb and Archie for all their help, and especially all the amazing people at Cordell Freewill Baptist Church; all the businesses for advertising and allowing posters to be posted in your stores. Also, all those who came out to show support at the Saturday night benefit.

To those who donated, your generosity was greatly appreciated. We also want to thank Larry Cordle as well as Miranda and Willis Napier for all their hard work with putting the show together. All help has been immensely appreciated. We are so incredibly blessed to have such a helpful community in our time of need.

Michael and Janie Cordle
City, State: Blaine, Ky.
May 27, 2014

Utilities policy 'ridiculously punitive'


My 78-year old mother has been a long-term Johnson County customer of Paintsville Utilities for city water. In approximately 30 years as a customer, she had paid her bill, in full and on time, an estimated 360 times. Recently she has been struggling with a myriad of health problems, including a stroke and a four-day emergency hospitalization for the treatment of a post-operative staph infection. During that time, she failed to pay her water bill of $22.09 amidst all the confusion of wound care, new medications, and recuperations. Twelve days after the due date, her water was turned off without any advance notice.

Paintsville Utilities' Delinquent Account Policy states in part: "At the conclusion of the 10th day of delinquency (the 25th of each month), utilities to the Customer shall be disconnected with meters being removed or locked and shall be classified as an inactive customer. No past due notices shall be sent to Customer to advise of the delinquency and/or of the intent to disconnect service."

This policy is ridiculously punitive. It makes no allowance for the challenges of life, such as illness, death, or job loss.

I understand that Paintsville Utilities is a business not a charity, but there should be some possibility of recognizing that sometimes there are extenuating life circumstances that temporarily interfere with the payment of one bill.

It would be much more fair and humane if a warning and notice of intent to disconnect were printed on the next month's bill with a shut-off date of the 15th of the month. This would not require employee time to call or issue notices of intent to disconnect and, therefore, would not incur extra expenses on behalf of Paintsville Utilities, it would only extend the window of payment opportunity by 20 days.

Had my mother had the opportunity to receive her second bill, she would have realized she had failed to pay the previous month, and would have corrected the oversight on her next payment. Now, due to current policy, she will have to pay an additional $40 to have her service restored.

A change in policy, such as that suggested previously, would give customers a limited opportunity to make things right and would avoid the use of personnel time and company resources to shut-off only have to turn back on water service within a matter of days. The suggested new policy would adhere to business principles but be tempered with an ounce of compassion.

Sandra Saad
City, State: Tutor Key, Ky.
April 08, 2014

Are you prepared for an earthquake?


We have had some wild weather this year with more to come. As we prepare for tornado season, let us not forget earthquakes and that we are on the biggest fault line in North America, the New Madrid.

We are on borrowed time as the last big one was 1813. The last of March and first week of April saw some back-to-back 5 magnitude quakes in Los Angeles; April 1, a 4.8 in Yellowstone Park; followed by an 8.2 in Chile and a 7.2 two days later.

Usually, you don't see quakes until around a five-day period of the full Moon. I assume since the Moon affects tides it has the same effect on lava underneath us causing it to move and do something to the plates.

April 15 is a full Moon and also a "Blood Moon," caused by an eclipse of the Sun and Earth making the Moon appear blood red. Don't know if it will be a "Bad Moon on the Rise," but it should be fun to watch for 77 minutes. It is also a Passover date. Interesting note is, this happened only three times in history — 1492, 1948 and 1967. What is more interesting is the Jewish people in 1492 were exiled from Spain, in 1948 they became a nation and in 1967 won the Six Day War in the Middle East.

If by a chance an earthquake does occur that date, head away from buildings as they could topple, avoid streets as gas lines do rupture with water lines, and seek higher ground. It's always good to look ahead. Hopefully, you will just observe a beautiful Moon instead.

Rick Roberts
City, State: Paintsville, Ky.
April 08, 2014

ROCK says thank you


Raising Our Christian Kids (ROCK) held its first event, a Valentine's Dance, on Friday, Feb. 21, in Louisa. ROCK is a new group aimed toward home-school and private school children.

The group would like to thank the Lawrence County Extension office for the use of their facilities. Thanks to all the families who attended. Also, we would like to congratulate Ryan Carter, dance contest winner; and Virginia Slate and Sadie Gillum, box-decorating contest winners.

The next meeting of ROCK will be held Tuesday, March 11, at 6:30 p.m., at the Trinity Christian Academy, Louisa. The ROCK Book Club will meet at 6 p.m.

Lots of field trips and fun activities are being planned. Everyone is welcome to attend. For information, contact Jennifer Conn at 606-686-3627.

Jennifer Conn
City, State: Louisa, Ky.
March 04, 2014

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