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Fri, Aug 22, 2014 01:04 PM
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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click to submit a letter

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

School board members appreciated ...


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.

Steve Trimble

Johnson County School Superintendent

January 28, 2014

Friends of coal ...


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

Service available to anyone


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.

David Carroll

Northeast Kentucky

Executive Director

January 14, 2014

Say 'thank you' to board members


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.

Mike Armstrong

Lawrence County Schools Superintendent

January 14, 2014

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