Beshear’s economic numbers questioned
If Governor Beshear is going to make up economic statistics, he ought to at least make them believable. Doing his best Chicken Little imitation, Beshear's administration cried the “"economic sky is falling” claiming state revenues were down 5.9 percent last month.
This is a totally and completely absurd. While economic growth may have slowed, the economy is still expanding and a 5.9 percent drop with a growing economy is not possible even if you are comparing the same month last year.
The economic crisis Beshear is trying to fabricate has a lot more to do with pushing casino gambling than with the state’s finances. He is trying to scare voters with draconian cuts to education and the higher tuition, job cuts and missed pay increases this will cause. The major state newspapers have turned an ideological blind eye to the new governor’s lies. In fact, they are falling all over themselves defending his misinformation.
Hopefully, Kentuckians will not be fooled.
Kent Mansfield, Ashland
South Point had first ethanol plant
I read an Associated Press report in Friday’s Independent that Ohio dedicated its first ethanol plant. Someone at the AP needed to do their homework before publishing that story.
For the record, this is not Ohio’s first ethanol production facility. That distinction goes to South Point Ethanol which was located in South Point, Ohio, a joint venture between then Ashland Oil, Inc., Ohio Farm Bureau and Publicker Inc. South Point Ethanol went online in 1982 and closed in 1995 when corn prices escalated and Ashland Oil withdrew its holdings.
Generated by coal and steam, it had an annual production rate of over 60 million gallons and employed approximately 180 people. The DDGS (Distillers Dried Grains and Soluables), a high-protein by-product of the processed corn, was sold to local farmers as an additive to the grain fed to their livestock, but most of the DDGS was sent worldwide to impoverished countries to feed undernourished people.
There was also an adjacent CO2 plant that captured the carbon dioxide produced during ethanol production (one pound of ethanol produces one pound of CO2) that, in turn, produced the CO2 necessary for local soda bottling facilities, industrial use and more, providing yet more jobs.
My husband, Joe, was one of the pioneers of South Point Ethanol and saw it through to its closing.
I’m happy this new plant has opened but to give POET the glory for being the “first” to open in Ohio discredits and negates those who deserve the true recognition for their contributions to alternative fuel production before the idea was as globally imperative as it is now.
Cynthia Dixon, Ashland
Helmet law would restrict freedom
I recently learned that Sen. Julian Carroll has filed a proposed bill to once again require Kentucky motorcyclists to wear helmets.
About 10 years ago such a law was repealed in Kentucky, and at that time, allowed motorcyclists to ride without a helmet if he or she had health insurance. The insurance lobby’s influence in the final draft of that bill was all too clear.
The health insurance requirement was dropped from the law a few years later. Now the insurance lobby is at it again, and it has enlisted the clout of none other than our former governor, Julian Carroll.
Kentuckians should be free to ride with or without a helmet as they may choose.
I wonder if Sen. Carroll has considered the fact that most motorcyclists, like myself, ride about 99 percent for pleasure and 1 percent for transportation. The pleasure for me is to ride in the open wind free from the constrictions of an uncomfortably hot helmet. If I wanted to live on the safe side, I would never get on the bike in the first place!
Or maybe it doesn't matter to Senator Carroll about individual rights as long as the insurance lobby gets what it wants. I would urge anyone to vote to defeat any legislator who trades the individual’s rights away in favor of the support of the insurance industry
Cliff Duvall, Commonwealth’s attorney, Greenup & Lewis Counties, Greenup
Lowering drinking age to 18 opposed
State Rep. David Floyd, R-Bardstown, seeks to allow 18-year-old troops to drink America’s most destructive drug — alcohol — believing that carrying a gun and risking their life is good reason.
I saw first hand the problem, harm and illegal activities that young soldiers get into by drinking. When discharged, they also carry some of that into the general society.
Representative Floyd was a commissioned officer in the Air Force and probably didn’t see as much degradation from drinking as I did.
P. A. T. H. ( People Advocating for Tomorrow's Health), our county’s anti-drug group, recently heard a speaker tell of the effect of alcohol on youngsters’ brains. He said that the young brain was considerably damaged more than the brain of those starting to drink at adult ages. He said that most alcoholics usually started at age 13 or so and hardly anyone became an alcoholic by starting drinking at age 25.
Thus, more youngsters will become alcoholics by starting drinking at age 18 than at the present age of 21. Do we want to put more people into a life of misery while increasing poverty and crime?
If we want to do something good, raise the drinking age to 23.
J. B. Armstrong
Many can’t afford medical, dental care
Most parents do not have and cannot afford insurance or the medical costs for dental care. Thus, there is concern about the dental health of children.
How do we combat this? We ban sweets and sugary drinks from schools and such.
Now comes the issue of cancer. Studies show too that many who come down with advanced stages of cancer catch it far too late. Why? A lot of Americans do not seek medical attention because we can’t afford it. We’re forced to let things go, and when it’s too late to do anything about it, we must suffer the consequences.
Years ago a working person had his or her insurance paid for by employers. Now each worker must buy their own insurance, each month out of their own paychecks. Paychecks already are so consumed by the ridiculous cost of living that many can’t even live from paycheck to paycheck anymore. What insurance they purchase isn’t worth much. They still end up with ridiculous out-of-pocket costs for medical care.
Soon only the rich will be able to afford proper dental care. Only they will have pretty smiles while the working poor will just grin with degrading teeth — if some of them have any at all.
Soon only the rich will be able to afford cancer and other checkups and maybe catch it and treat it in time and live longer, while the working poor will have no choice but to let it go and perhaps develop later stages of cancer that will end their life.
Thomas W. Elam, Pikeville
Feed corn to people, not cars
I disagree with Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland’s ethical decision to feed corn ethanol to cars rather than feed corn products to people.
By mandating ethanol use in state vehicles, the governor is supporting heavily subsidized ethanol plants in Ohio.
Governor Strickland must know ethanol is a fossil fuel loser. He must know that children in Ohio go hungry. He must know higher food prices could turn hunger into starvation with health consequences. He certainly knows Ohio already has enough poor health.
In my opinion, sacrificing human food in order to continue fueling wasteful car usage is unconscionable. I ask the governor to please reconsider his decision on ethanol.
Barbara A. Lund, Lynx, Ohio
Beshear’s economic numbers questioned
We offer a somewhat belated congratulations to Derek Hazlett, a welding instructor at the Carter County Career and Technical Center, for being one of only two recipients of the 2013 Carl J. Schaefer Memorial Award that honors career and technical education teachers.
Heroin is here
Just a few years ago, few could have ever imagined hosting two public forums on heroin use in Bracken County, the mostly rural county located along the Ohio River between Mason and Campbell counties. After all, at the time heroin was a drug problem in major cities like New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles but not in peaceful small towns like Brooksville and Augusta.
Efforts to contain white-nose syndrome have so far failed
Efforts by officials at Carter Caves State Resort Park to prevent white-nose syndrome from spreading among bats have so far failed. The same is true further west at Mammoth Cave, the world’s largest cave system and the only national park in Kentucky.
After ignoring previous efforts by the Kentucky House of Representatives to place a constitutional amendment automatically restoring the voting rights of most felons, a Kentucky Senate committee has finally approved a bill that, if approved by the full Senate, could lead to the amendment being placed on the November ballo
A record year
In what may surprise a lot of Kentuckians, the commonwealth set a new record for exports in 2013 with $25.3 billion in sales of Kentucky-made products and services. But it is no surprise to Gov. Steve Beshear and economic development leaders. After all, last year marked the third consecutive year the state has set new records in exports.
When a violent storm occurs in Kentucky, a state park may be one of the safest places you can be. That’s because Kentucky is the first state in the nation to have all of its 34 state parks with overnight accommodations designated as “StormReady” by the National Weather.
You can now once again drive from Kentucky to any of its seven bordering states — Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virgina, Virginia, Tennessee and Missouri — without leaving the Bluegrass state
Pieces of history
Here’s something to add to your brick collection: one or two bricks from Putnam Stadium. And you can get them at no charge by simply stopping by the open area between the stadium and Joel Street known as the dust bowl.
The right move
Faced with the possibility of Republicans being blamed for another government shutdown, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell chose responsible government over a move advocated by Tea Party Republicans led by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. In so doing, the Kentucky Republican who is being challenged by Louisville businessman Matt Bevin in the May primary in his bid to be elected to a sixth six-year Senate term may have lost some support among Tea Party
State Rep. Jill York, R-Grayson, has been sharply criticized by Republican leaders in the Kentucky House of Representatives for having the audacity to break from the official party line by voting for the bill sponsored by House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour.
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