|Sun, Apr 20, 2014 06:12 PM
|Wednesday, February 12, 2014 Issue
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.
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Letters to the editor are the opinions of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Big Sandy News.
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.
City, State: Tutor Key, Ky.
April 08, 2014
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.
City, State: Paintsville, Ky.
April 08, 2014
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.
City, State: Louisa, Ky.
March 04, 2014
The members of the Johnson County Board of Education are an invaluable resource to Johnson County as advocates working for our children. I know firsthand of their focus and determination to provide every child an equal opportunity education. Johnson County board members take time each year to attend trainings acquiring knowledge regarding finances, curriculum, leadership, facilities, and many other topics to better serve both students and staff.
This community has many reasons to be proud: international academic championships, rising ACT and state assessment scores, district and regional athletic championships, increasing student attendance percentages and five representatives who devote their time and energy to help Johnson County Schools become recognized as a "Distinguished School District" one of only 25 in the state of Kentucky.
These are just a few reasons the Johnson County Board of Education members deserve our thanks during Kentucky's January observation of School Board Member Recognition Month.
I, along with the students and staff of the Johnson County School System, wish to express appreciation and gratitude to Bob Hutchison, Melvin VanHoose, James Doug Wright, Bruce Aaron Davis, and William Fraley for their years of dedication and service and I urge all residents of Johnson County to join us in expressing appreciation to these outstanding public servants.
Johnson County School Superintendent
January 28, 2014
It is interesting to note 99th District Rep. Rocky Adkins concern regarding the closure of Big Sandy Power Plants unit 2. Most any concerned citizen would agree there is no question of the grave economic effects for the area and region so often lamented by Rep. Adkins.
In an Oct. 16, 2013, article of the Ashland Daily Independent, Rep. Adkins refers to Kentucky's national reputation as the leader in energy technologies. Rep. Adkins fails to point out the reputation he refers to comes from green ecologists of the land: anti fossil fuel advocates.
At the 2007 Lawrence County Farm Field Day, Rep. Adkins spent his talk touting the production of ethanol and biodiesel fuels from corn and soybeans respectively. Mr. Adkins might have been advised America was once referred to as the breadbasket of the world. But that is another story.
What are the costs of the food for fuel process so favored by Rep. Adkins, as it is essential to life, let us consider the cost in terms of water expenditure.
The Ground Water Protection Council and the U.S. Energy Department agree is takes an average 23 gallons of water to produce 1 million British Thermal units of energy from coal. Corn ethanol requires 15,800 and soy biodiesel uses 44,500 gallons of water per million BTU's.
It is abundantly evident that Rep. Adkins' real interest lies in means of energy production other than coal and that is his right.
It is sometimes almost amusing, however, to see a front page article by Rev. Adkins bemoaning the fate of the coal plant located in Lawrence County while a few pages into the paper an article notes his invitation to speak at a greens convention elsewhere in the country.
Make no mistake, one will find few green conventions favorable of coal production and they invite ever fewer friends of coal to speak a their gatherings.
Paul G. Prince
January 28, 2014
Free assistance is still available for individuals or small business that are looking at the options for health insurance coverage. Northeast Kentucky Community Action Agency has been awarded a contract through the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange to provide in person assistance to anyone that requests assistance.
This service is available to anyone, regardless of income level. A person is dedicated to serve each of the five counties that Northeast operates in, either on site at the Northeast office or by appointment at other locations throughout the county. The Kynector, as the position is called, will be able to provide real-time assistance from the Internet-based Health Benefit Exchange web site. Individuals or small businesses do not need to have a computer or Internet access, as this is provided by the Kynector.
Individuals scheduling appointments should be prepared to spend approximately 30-45 minutes to complete the application and to contact the local Kynector for the required documentation that needs to be provided. The Kynectors can assist individuals enroll for any of the qualified health care insurance plans, in addition to Medicaid or enrolling children into the Kentucky Children's Health Insurance Program.
To schedule an appointment, or for additional information, please contact the Kynector assigned to Lawrence County, Mary Roberts, at 606-225-7422.
January 14, 2014
We are hearing a lot lately from school boards who have stepped up and made a case both locally and statewide for both restoring and increasing funds for our local public schools.
So many different kinds of groups make money pitches for so many causes that the temptation may be to lump these schools in with the rest. But that's not where they should be. When members of the Lawrence County school board advocate for better funding, they are doing it for the children of this county; for the up-to-date books they need for classes, for the after-school programs that help struggling readers, for new school buses to safely transport them, for buildings that offer the physical settings needed to learn, for course offerings and technology that will enable them to graduate to a career or go on to postsecondary education, and on and on.
In other words, their only vested interest in the children they were elected to serve. Let's remember that during January, when Kentucky observes School Board Recognition month. Let's also remember that when Jim See, Maddlene Roberts, Barbara Robinson, Garnett Skaggs, and D. Heath Preston champion local schools and students, it comes with a personal cost. Your board members may spend hours reading materials and looking over reports to prepare for a single board meeting. These laypeople take time out of their schedules to obtain training to become knowledgeable about the leadership, budgetary process and other details they need to know about being a member of the Lawrence County Board of Education. And, like celebrities minus the adulation and high pay, they must be prepared to be questioned anywhere by the public – in this case, parents, grandparents, taxpayers, wherever they go, whether it's to the grocery store or a ball game.
This month, stop them with a "thank you" for the work they do on behalf of the Lawrence County school system and its student and staff.
Lawrence County Schools Superintendent
January 14, 2014
All of the residents and staff at J.J. Jordan Geriatric Center would like to express our deep appreciation to all the groups that visited the nursing facility during the holiday season. We greatly appreciate the gifts and the caroling that you did and especially the joy that you shared with us. Thank you for including us in your Christmas season. If we have forgotten to mention any groups, we greatly apologize.
We thank Judy Oldham and the Travelers, The Girl Scouts, Richardson Missionary Baptist Church, The Boy Scouts, The Veterans Associations of Louisa, Catalpa Freewill Baptist Church, Spencer Freewill Baptist Church, Tolsia ROTC and Choir, Louisa United Methodist Church, Oak Grove Church, Charley Freewill Baptist Church, Cub Scouts, Bradley Gap Freewill Baptist Church, Jene' O'Brian, Cando Freewill Baptist Church, Lawrence Vinson, Upper Tabors Creek Freewill Baptist Church, Isaac Park Church, New Life Outreach and youth group, Smokey Valley Church and Ladies Auxiliary, Emmanuel Church, Don and Jennifer Smith, Louisa Church of God, Louisa Elementary School, Virginia Thompson, Louisa Middle School, Browns Food Service, Department of Community Base Service APS, and Rush Branch Church.
J.J. Jordan Geriatric
January 07, 2014
I haul coal for my living. In March, that will be 25 years. Anything that comes up in this paper I've usually had something to say, and this paper has been good enough to print my letters to the editor. So now I have something a lot better.
Back in August, I read on Yahoo a headline that got my attention. It said " A Swedish company had come up with a new gas that would help reduce emissions"...... in small print it said ships and coal-fired power plants!!?? I just had to read this. It said a team of 16 men had come up with a new gas that would do more than just reduce emissions from ships and coal-fired power plants, it would eliminate them on the spot. This gas is made up of hydrogen atoms and diatomic alkali. The name of the gas is "Hydro Nano Gas." Well, one of the main men by the name of Lee won a Nobel prize back in 1986. The head of the company was a lead engineer for Volvo. It gets better. The website it took me to was marineinsight.com, where it said that they have strict emission standards in Europe for ships and that Globeco, an Italian shipping company, was going to put this new technology on 200 of their ships shortly. The company's name is Hydro Infra Technologies, they have a website, hydroinfra.com and can be contacted. Revolution-green.com has the details and results. You can type in "Hydro Nano Gas" on Google or Yahoo and it will bring up those websites. They said on hydroinfra.com that if they put this on every coal-fired plant in the world, it would only take two to five years??? Wowie. Coal just got a lot cleaner and greener.
We could use this at the Big Sandy power plant at Louisa, keep the doors open and the lights cheap, keep jobs and save money and live better. As for the moonscapes that was mentioned Dec.8, I don't know of any moonscapes that have grass and trees and cows and horses like I've seen lately around Phelps. And for a new day in these hills, anybody knows you don't quit your job without having one waiting to go to.
It was said right that any thing here can't be done overnight, but you shut down what you have before you, get the other going, then what you'll have is a lot of ghost towns. We need coal for more than just lights. Maybe this new gas will help us keep people here where their heart is.
Ray E Davis Jr.
December 17, 2013
Legislative redistricting has been completed, and I'm happy to welcome new constituents into the 31st District.
In Frankfort, I serve the entire Commonwealth of Kentucky and am excited to specifically represent the needs of the people in Lawrence County.
I've served in the General Assembly for almost 13 years. During that time, I've made education, roads, economic development and infrastructure my priorities. In this next legislative session, I'll be committed to balancing our state's budget, advancing our children's education, and advocating for the programs and services that keep our state moving forward.
Your input is important to guiding my work in Frankfort. My door is always open, and I'm just a phone call, letter or e-mail away. I look forward to hearing what I can do to best serve your needs at the Capitol.
Contact me in Frankfort by mail at 702 Capitol Avenue, Annex Rm. 229, Frankfort, KY 40601; by phone, 502-564-8100, xxt. 681; and by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ray S. Jones II
November 26, 2013