Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

September 1, 2013

In Your View

The Independent

ASHLAND — War should not be our first option

As a veteran, I have watched with dismay while our country goes from one conflict to another.  It seems that we believe that we should use our military as world police.

Yet, we have had very little success bringing peace. Some would say we have a moral imperative to attack the evil doers. After Syria, I have to ask who is next?

We know that evil North Korea is just asking for it while its people starve. The Chinese continue with impunity to abuse their own while working to pass us economically. Iran still works on making the bomb while imposing second-class citizenship on its women.

Which one of these do you think we should go after next? Or do you have a suggestion for a better target?

My point is that we can always find a reason to go to war, but war is no longer effective and should not be our option of first resort.

Steve Stewart, Russell

Creativity saves county money

Bridges have been in the news a lot lately. Here’s some good news on a smaller area bridge that has an interesting twist.

This is the Boyd County Fiscal Court bridge located on Ky. 5/Rockhouse Road near Ironville, spanning Big Hoods Creek. Rockhouse Road is a major local connector between Ashland and the Flatwoods, Naples and Danleyton areas of Greenup County.

The Boyd County Fiscal Court received little notice from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet early this year that based on a recent inspection, the old bridge was unsafe and had to be immediately closed. Rockhouse Road has a lot of traffic and closing this bridge would have resulted in inconvenience for area residents,  emergency vehicles, with many added miles to detour.

Boyd County didn’t just close Rockhouse Road as many would have done. They found a creative way to keep it open.

Boyd County had an old “Bailey bridge” on hand previously used by the military for temporary bridges. The county initially installed the Bailey bridge atop the old bridge. The Bailey bridge was then moved just downstream to allow the original bridge to be demolished. The work was done by our skilled road department employees. They’ve just completed building a new bridge in the same location as the old one. It should last 50 years.

Some may argue the county did was cost construction workers jobs. Not true, because the county received little or no notice of the closure. The cost of the bridge was thus not a budgeted item. Contracting the work out would have meant the bridge being closed for a year or more until funds were budgeted.

Fiscal court members and road department  employees made a significant effort here. Building a new bridge with county road department labor saved taxpayers a lot of money. 

We appreciate their efforts.

Paul Amburgey, Ashland

Don’t want Bible? Then don’t take it

How horrible it is that our children were given a book promoting peace, love, respect and honesty to and for everyone. What would happen if our children should develop these qualities? We could have a nation  full of trustworthy adults all because of the free Gideon Bible.

I want to clear up a myth: Touching or even owning a Bible will not make you a Christian. You can even go to church regularly, have Christan fiends and not be a Christian.

To become a Christian, you first need to admit that you are a sinner, believe in Christ, invite him into your heart and life and confess with your mouth that you believe in the Lord Jesus.

The Bible is your road map for living. You need to read and study it. To assure a strong, healthy relationship with God, be sure to pray, read the Bible and listen to him.

Remember to keep your eyes on God, not man. Not all Bibles are equal.

I have a simple suggestion for the Worthington parent or parents who complained about the Bible being distributed in school or to anyone like them: In our house we simply throw unwanted literature in a waste basket.

In closing, I remind people that Kentucky is in the Bible belt. We should expect to see Bibles and displays with religious themes and to hear religious singing.

Rosalie Wheeler, Ashland

What happened to telling truth?

What has happened to the truth?

A professional football player walks in to a bar in New York with a firearm in his pocket, shoots himself in the leg, is brought before the court where he pleads not guilty. He later decides to tell the truth and admits that he actually did it.

Politicians of every ilk look us in the eye and tell us lies. People of every walk of life lie to get out of trouble. National media services lie to us about important issues to influence us to their way of thinking. Some people are so accustomed to lying that they even lie when it would be better for them to tell the truth.

In my lifetime, there was a day when Johnny Mandel would have been simply asked, “Did you receive money for signing the autographs?” and he would have answered truthfully, yes or no. He would have been exonerated or he would have quietly accepted the consequences. What has happened to simply telling the truth?

Someone, perhaps Will Rogers, said to always tell the truth and you would never have to remember what you said. The very sad manifestation of this change in our moral fiber is that our children are now very quick to lie to us and are angry when they are caught and held accountable for it.

As a school teacher, I am distraught that so many students consider this to be an acceptable way of life. As most of us old-timers know, it is not.

 Carl Taylor, Russell

Nothing is done to protect children

Absolutely nothing — this is what our lawmakers have done to protect our children from gun violence since the Newtown massacre last December.

Most of the nation’s schoolchildren have been back to school only a few days, and yet another elementary school has been threatened by a mentally unstable man with an assault rifle and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. Where is the outrage? Where is the action?

When should we expect our lawmakers to protect our children, instead of protecting gun sales? Ninety-percent of all Americans support expanded background checks on gun sales, and 82 percent of Kentuckians do. But unfortunately, this represents a very silent majority. The fact is, while most Americans overwhelmingly support background checks, they are not calling on their Congressmen to insist on passing this common-sense legislation.

Who is calling Congress with frequency? Gun rights groups with extreme agendas. I ask anyone who falls within 90 percent of Americans who support this common-sense legislation to speak up now! We simply cannot wait another moment to ensure the health and safety of our schoolchildren.

Pam Mangas, Lexington

CASA schedules volunteer training

CASA of Northeast Kentucky is preparing to offer a training class for new CASA volunteers. CASA recruits, trains and supervises community volunteers to advocate for children who have been removed from their homes because of abuse and neglect.

To volunteer, you must be 21 years of age, have a valid driver’s license and can successfully pass criminal checks. Classes will begin Sept. 9

CASA also will be hosting an open house at its offices in Suite 202 on the second floor of the Boyd County Courthouse from noon to 1 p.m. Sept. 6.  

The open house will give those interested the opportunity to pick up an application and see what CASA is all about and how important it is for the children in our area who need a voice in court. Visitors also will be able to volunteers already in the program.  Refreshments will be served.

For more information, call Connie Runyon, volunteer coordinator, at (606) 739-2177.

Carol Adams, Executive director, CASA of Northeast Kentucky, Catlettsburg