Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

October 14, 2012

In Your View

The Independent

ASHLAND — Don’t blame EPA for coal’s decline

I have read recently about the United for Coal pray chain rally that is going to take place on U.S. 23.

I’m glad these miners are showing solidarity with each other, but I would rather them show solidarity against their greedy corporate bosses than against a federal agency that is trying to protect their health.

Recent studies have shown that it is cheap natural gas and coal reserves out west that are causing the decline of coal here, not the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Why not pray for those workers, retirees and their families that Patriot Coal is trying to bilk out of their rightfully earned health and pension benefits?

Why not pray for a new and better economy in Appalachia and the end of corporate exploitation here?  It isn't coal that needs our help. We need to stand up for the people whose health is affected by pollution and workers who are treated unfairly by an industry that controls our politicians.

We need pray and we need action, but the wealthy CEOs of coal companies need not be the focus of our solidarity.

Dan Taylor, Huntington, W.Va.

Our children will inherit huge debt

Regarding the national debt, if you passed the third grade, you learned long division, so this should be no problem for you.

Last I checked, our National Debt is a bit over $16 trillion and our population is a bit over 300 million. So, dividing the debt by the population gives you the share each person owes of the debt. That turns out to be roughly $51,747.  As the debt is to go up another trillion in the coming year, it will grow another $3,209 to $54,956

If you think our children and grandchildren will be able to pay down this debt until they can afford the interest, you are more optimistic than I am. I think the government will have to eventually devalue the dollar, slashing the value of any savings you may have and increasing the price of everything you need to live on.

You are stuck with this bill and the economic disaster it will cause. If we don’t do something drastic and soon, $8 per gallon for gas and $10 per loaf of bread will be the bargains after devaluation. (I hope your kids like pinto beans and rice as much as I do!)

 Like I said, it’s only third grade arithmetic. But wait, the minimum wage will need to go to $20-$25 an hour, so folks can live and there won’t be riots in the streets. How many jobs will be left in this country then?   

Paul Woods, Ironton

Adkins not afraid to face opponent

It’s like the old show my kids used to watch called “Where in the World is Carmen Santiago?”  Where in the Commonwealth is Thomas Massie? Why won’t he debate or even appear on the same stage with his Democratic opponent Bill Adkins?  He bailed out early on his job as Lewis County judge-executive to campaign. One would think he’d have plenty of time to prepare for debates and appearances, yet he’s declined invitations to every group that also offers a forum to his opponent.

Bill Adkins, on the other hand, has attended every fair, every town hall meeting, virtually every event he has been invited to.

Apparently he’s not afraid to express his opinions or face his opponent.  Massie, on the other hand, either fears he has nothing to say, or assumes he will win simply because he is a Republican.  Let’s prove him wrong. Vote for Bill Adkins.

Mrs. Sean Detisch, Grant's Lick

Hamburger wagon helps community

The Greenup Lions Club has been serving its community for decades with only one goal: Meeting the needs of the people and organizations in that community.

We appreciate everyone who stopped by our hamburger wagon to purchase a burger, whether it was at one of the horse shows, the fair, South Shore’s Quilt Festival or Greenup’s Old Fashion Days. We take pride in following the tradition of those Lions who have gone before us in offering a tasty product at a fair price.

The funds we raise with our hamburger wagon are used to meet many needs. For some, it's a badly-needed eye exam and glasses. For others, it's a scholarship to be used toward a college education. We support Greenup County schools by donating to a variety of programs there and we also help with disasters and other needs presented to our club.

We are also pleased that when Meals on Wheels found themselves suddenly in need of a new place, we were able to help. Their mission of making sure shut-ins receive meals goes hand in hand with the work we embrace.

Among this year’s projects is forming an area Leo club for youths aged 12 to 18. We encourage students in that age group from any school, but particularly the Greenup County Schools territory, to attend the next Leo meeting at noon on Saturday, Nov. 10, to discover how they too can help their community a great place to live.

We also encourage everyone to come to our Family Fun Day from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, with contests offering cash prizes, a chance to win a bicycle, free food and other activities. The fun will take place in downtown Greenup.

Again, thanks to everyone who has contributed to helping us  help others.

Josh Spears, president, Greenup Lions Club, Greenup

Women can lower spina bifida risk

October is Spina Bifida Awareness Month. Spina bifida is the most common permanently disabling birth defect, affecting 166,000 Americans. Kentucky has one of the highest rates in the country.

Spina bifida is a birth defect that results in the spinal cord protruding from a baby's back. The back can be surgically closed before or after birth, but damage to the spinal cord can cause paralysis, hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain), bowel and bladder issues, and other challenges.

No one knows what causes spina bifida, but women can reduce their risk by up to 70 percent by taking 400 mcg of folic acid daily for three months prior to conception. Every woman of childbearing age should take a daily multivitamin.

There is a wide range of outcomes. Some use wheelchairs; others use braces, crutches or walkers; and some walk independently. The majority have normal intelligence but can have learning challenges. Spina bifida is only one part of them and does not define them. They can become teachers, doctors, musicians, athletes, parents or anything they want to be.

The Spina Bifida Association of Kentucky is the resource center for more than 800 affected families in Kentucky and Southern Indiana. Our mission is to promote the prevention of spina bifida and enhance the lives of all affected. We provide playgroups and camps for children, educational classes for parents, life skills classes for teens and young adults, a financial assistance fund, and much more.

If you would like to learn more, visit www.sbak.org.

Colleen Payne, Executive director, Spina Bifida Association of Kentucky, Louisville