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Wednesday, March 8, 2017 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.
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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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Paintsville school chief says thanks


Our community is blessed. We have a successful public school system with incredibly engaged students in grades K through 12 and a team of professional teachers and administrators who strive daily to provide an excellent education to benefit this community for generations to come.

A vital component of the progress of our district — and thus our community — is the leadership provided by the members who make up the Paintsville Independent Schools Board of Education.

As superintendent, I am fortunate to regularly witness the selfless service of board members Ken Fuller, Eddie Hazelett, Joe Porter, Marvin "Butch" Walker and Matt Williams. But often, other community members see their work only at the regular and/or special meetings of the board.

You may not see the evenings they spend at our extracurricular events and academic team competitions. You may not be aware of the time spent preparing for decisions that may happen quickly at the meetings but which that hours of study ahead of casting a vote. You may not know of the phone calls, at home and at work, early in the morning or late at night, from constituents seeking information about our district or raising a concern about a situation. All of these moments are a regular part of school board service outside the board meetings.

As our community joins others across the Commonwealth to mark January as School Board Recognition Month, I wanted to share these insights and ask you — when you see one of our board members — to offer a thank you for all they do for our children and our future.

Coy D. Samons, Superintendent
City, State: Paintsville Independent Schools
January 17, 2017

Good Bye & Good Riddance, Obama


President Obama's term in office is about to end, and I am glad to see him go. He has divided this nation more than ever along racial lines despite his originally campaigning as a post-racial figure. He has not been at all for he has used race to win votes based on white guilt over slavery and the bad treatment of African Americans in the post-Civil War era, though that is now long past. I was opposed to his becoming president because I knew something of his leftist-liberal beliefs which are detrimental to our American way of life, but I hoped when he was elected he would actually help to move our country beyond that old wound. He has made it worse.

In addition, his attacks on our country as the most powerful and wealthy nation in the world with a way of life that gives the individual citizen the greatest freedom to own and create, has done absolute harm as I expected him to do. Leftists like Obama believe in an equal distribution of the wealth within the nation and among all peoples of the world. They believe that war can be ended by redistributing wealth and ending the greater power of a nation like ours by reducing national military power and placing that power in the hands of an international organization like the United Nations. To that end, Obama has weakened our military to a level not seen since before World War I in the navy and our land forces have been greatly reduced too. Our role in the world as the last peace keeping super-power has been jeopardized as a result, and Russia and China have been emboldened to expand along with Moslem extremists and Iran in the Middle East. Our allies like Israel have been undermined. The world is far more dangerous now than when Obama took office. There is not enough space to discuss his attacks on the coal economy of Kentucky or our medical system, both of which have been left in shambles. I am glad to see him go.

Donald Barlow, PhD
City, State: Staffordsville, Ky.
January 17, 2017

Salyer honors school board


As superintendent of a "Distinguished School District," I do not wish to miss any opportunity to brag on the hard-working students, outstanding teaching professionals, administrators and dedicated support staff who make up our educational system. But behind the scenes are also a group of men who strive daily to provide the communities of Johnson County the foundation for success.

A most important part of the Johnson County School System is the leadership of the Johnson County Board of Education members: Bob Hutchison, Melvin VanHoose, Bruce Aaron Davis, William Fraley and Brad Frisby. These men devote their time and energy to help make this school district among the best in the state.

Board members are a voice for students, staff and community members. These gentlemen carry the burden of district leadership in both the good times as well as the bad times. While most community members are only aware of board members as they conduct school business at monthly meetings, board members also spend time reviewing and studying reams of financial reports, agendas, proposals, contracts and other information prior to casting a vote. They must be knowledgeable about many complex educational and social issues, and based on their knowledge and overall district goals, they must make decisions that are not always popular.

Designated as School Board Recognition Month, January is an optimum time to celebrate the service and dedication of these individuals.

I, along with the students and staff of the Johnson County School System, wish to express appreciation to Bob Hutchison, Melvin VanHoose, Bruce Aaron Davis, William Fraley and Brad Frisby for their years of dedication and service, and I invite all residents of Johnson County to assist us by conveying your thanks to these outstanding public officials as well.

Thomas Salyer
City, State: Superintendent, Johnson Co. Schools
January 17, 2017

Clinton's 'no coal' economy


Hillary and Barack Obama hate coal and have determined to destroy it, and in the process they have savaged the economy of Eastern Kentucky. How can any self-respecting Kentuckian vote for her? She has promised to finish what Obama started by shutting down the coal companies and ending all mining jobs. Her pathetic answer to this is to give them money for more retraining for new jobs which are not here! I will not go into the "save our environment" crusade against coal except to say it is full of poor science and is a faith, not a scientific fact. Like the Big Lie strategy, they have repeated it over and over until people increasingly believe it without questioning. Liberals always have to be engaged in a crusade to change things according to their ideas of what a new society should look like, and they call that progress. Most national Democrats and those in Kentucky have gone along with this destruction of our economy and the families it has destroyed, whether by openly supporting it or failing to really fight their president. Donald Trump has great personal flaws, but he supports the restoration of mining and using coal and so does Senator Paul. I think this vote is a no-brainer.

We have also permitted the "slaughter of the innocents" to the tune of approximately 61 million dead children. That has been done in the name of the freedom of the mother and her right to privacy over her own body. It is legal based on a Supreme Court Ruling and may be done as long as the baby is killed before it is born, including the horrendous partial-birth abortion practice of crushing the head just before birth. Hillary Clinton and almost all Democrats support this practice. How can any self-respecting Kentuckian vote for her or them? I do not have room to mention her criminal offenses, her Benghazi failure and cover-up, her lies leading to the FBI investigation that has just been re-opened.

Donald Barlow
City, State: Staffordsville, Ky.
November 02, 2016

Public invited to Nov. 19 event at Floyd Co. library


Libraries are known as the place to go to share culture in the form of books, music, movies and even technology. But more and more they are becoming a place to gather as a community for the purpose of playing games.

On Saturday, Nov. 19, more than 2,000 libraries across the planet will showcase gaming programs and services as part of International Games Day @ Your Library. Many libraries are planning special programming revolving around celebrating the mutually reinforcing power of play and learning.

These programs could include video game or board game competitions, large scale role-playing game competitions, volunteering as tribute in the International Minecraft Hunger Games tournament, or perhaps a single game of Gossip that will begin in Australia and then pass through libraries around the world before ending in the United States — this particular game has traveled through all seven continents!

A result some participating libraries have reported is an increase in recreational library attendance for all age groups from small children through senior citizens.

The Floyd County Public Library is no longer just a place for books, but also a gathering place for all ages.

We have a host of games we play every Tuesday night, including several card games, a deck-building game, video games, board games, and much more.

Gaming is yet another example of how we are fulfilling the desire to learn, play, and yes, read at your library.

So on Nov. 19, we invite everyone to visit the Floyd County Public Library in Prestonsburg during International Games Day @ Your Library. Bring Grandma and Grandpa and the kids and take a new look at what your library has to offer — it just might surprise you.

Randell Reno, Adult/Teen Services Programmer
City, State: Floyd County Public Librry
November 02, 2016

‘Thanks for supporting our commonwealth’s great treasure’


Today, television is so much more than it used to be.   From the big screens in our living rooms to the smartphones in our pockets,  so much has changed, and yet, through the information and new media age, KET has remained consistent in its belief that learning begin early and never ends.

Embracing changing technologies, KET has expanded its online video and content to better serve the commonwealth, with services from childhood through adult learning.

KET brings our youngest citizens PBS programming and educational resources that are trusted, safe and age appropriate — on air and online.  And, they offer training for early  childhood and daycare providers, along with family engagement opportunities, all aimed at helping our children prepare for kindergarten and beyond.

In classrooms across the state, you'll find teachers using digital content from KET and PBS Learning Media that's specifically designed to enhance teaching and learning.

High school students can even take duel credit foreign languages and other subjects online from KET's certified teachers.

And, for Kentuckians who haven't completed high school, KET's Fast Forward, a high quality adult education learning system, helps adults prepare for the workforce or continue their education.  To find out more about these other programs and services, please visit

Thanks for supporting our commonwealth's great treasure, KET, Where Learning Comes to Life!

Diane Porter
City, State: Friends of KET Board
October 26, 2016

Apple Festival chairman says thank you


On behalf of the Kentucky Apple Festival Board of Directors and myself, I want to send this letter to personally thank the individuals and businesses who supported the 50 non-profit organizations during this year's festival. By doing so, you helped these non-profits meet or exceed their budgets for the upcoming year.

A debt of gratitude to the following: the Johnson County Public Library, Bev Scarberry, Paul Pelphrey, Advanced Auto Parts, Dr. Randall Mann, Dr. Dustin Devers, Bruce Ritz, Danny Hamilton, Williams Floral, Bill Holbrook, Dwayne Price, Rick Ratliff, Gary McClure, Sally Holbrook, Wildcat Adventure Rentals, Paul B. Hall Regional Medical Center and staff, Sandy Daniels, Johnny Lemaster, Joe Collins, W. R. Castle and Rockhouse Volunteer Fire Departments, Maggard's Security, EQT Corporation, U.S. Bank, Citizens Bank of Kentucky, Mike Blevins, The Paintsville Herald, Our Lady of the Mountains School, P.D. Pelphrey, McDonald's of East Kentucky, WYMT Television, EKB Television, Mountain Enterprises, Apple Valley Sanitation, City of Paintsville Sanitation Dept., Kentucky Power Company, BSCTC Skills USA students, Jerry Price, Allen Central ROTC, Pepsi Cola Bottling Group, Kenny Wright, Kenny Mullins, Salyer Law Office, Osborne, O'Bryan and Butcher Law Services, Richard Meek, Paul B. Hall Wound Healing Center and Highlands Foundation.

If you know any of these businesses or individuals, please give them a standing ovation.

The board and I look forward to working with each of you again in celebrating our 55th annual festival in 2017. If there are any individuals or businesses wishing to join this group next year, please feel free to contact me.

Again, I wish to say thank you. We couldn't have done it without your support.

Ray Tosti
City, State: Kentucky Apple Festival, Inc.
October 12, 2016

Questions about cemetery in Lawrence Co.


I am writing because I am concerned about the Greenlawn Cemetery in Louisa.

It is a disgrace for it to be in the shape that it is in. It has been way over a month since it has been mowed. The last time it was mowed, they blew grass up on the monuments and the flowers that were in vases on each side of the tombstones, and left it that way. There is still all kinds of grass on front and back of the tombstones, some stones you can't even make out their names.

I spent two days cleaning Anna Hammond's gravesite and flowers, I also planted grass seed on her grave. It came up really pretty and when they mowed they scalped it right down to the dirt.

When you plant grass, they should give the grass a chance to come up good before mowing like they did. I guess some people just don't care. I have tried calling Jane Branham, who is in charge of the cemetery, but she won't answer the phone, let's her answering machine pick up.

Also, I would like to know if there is a cemetery board for Greenlawn, and if so, who are the representatives?

Bonnie K. Williams
City, State: Louisa, KY
October 12, 2016

Memorial ride organizers say thanks



The organizers for the Josh Ferguson fundraising/memorial ride would like to thank the following for their generous support.  Without them, this would not have been possible.  They are Louisa Tire and Auto, Brown Foodservice, Auto Zone, Randy Thompson-Snyder Chips and Candy, Advance Auto Parts, Do It Best Hardware, NAPA-Phil Carter, Three Rivers Food Mart, Dock's Pizza, Quality Car and Truck Sales, Toro Loco, Ashley's Hair Salon, Giovanni's of Louisa, No Limits Fitness, individuals that gave monetary donations, Robert Waybright, BOTW, David and Tina Ferguson, Doug and Vera Stiltner, Jimmy and Amy O'Brien, Rebecca Muncy, Pam Stiltner, Lisa Fannin, Betty Diamond, Brent Hall, and everyone who participated in the ride. We sincerely thank each of you.

Josh Ferguson Memorial Ride Organizers
City, State: Louisa, KY
August 17, 2016

Allens thank community for help finding lost dog


On June 23, a friend came to the house to put a couple of our dogs inside because there had been tornado warnings and neither my husband or I were home.  Somehow because of the storm one of our dogs, Pebbles, slipped through the door and got away.

We searched the rest of the day and evening and searched morning and everyday until today July 12.  Friends put pictures and information on Facebook where it was shared among many people. We printed flyers and put them in mailboxes.  We also put big banners on the main entrances to town.  Ads were put in the newspapers.

Pebbles was found recently by Jim and Marsha Shannon on their farm on Five Forks.  We are so grateful that they called us after seeing a glimpse of her coming out of one of their barns. 

I went this morning with her brother and she immediately came to us.

We are so happy and thankful for the efforts that everyone in the community made to help us find our dog.

Jim and Leonika Allen
City, State: Louisa, KY
July 26, 2016

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