Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

May 12, 2013

In Your View

The Independent

ASHLAND — Burn ban editorial needs clarification

Regarding the May 7 editorial headlined “Banned,” several of Independent’s readers have contacted public officials in Lawrence County seeking clarification on the open burning restrictions for the county.

Only a small portion of northeastern Lawrence County is subject to the open burning restrictions.  The editorial does not draw that distinction, which is leading to some confusion among your readers.

Here are some key facts regarding open burning during ozone season in Lawrence and Boyd counties:

-- Ozone Season is May 1 through Sept. 30. In eastern Kentucky, open burning restrictions during ozone season apply only to a portion of northeastern Lawrence County and all of Boyd County. 

-- Backyard burning of brush piles, yard waste, leaves, and land clearing debris are not allowed in these areas during ozone season.

-- Open burning is permitted for recognized agricultural, silvicultural, range, ecological or wildlife management practices.

-- Burning trash - that is, mixed household waste containing plastics, metal and food waste - is never permitted anywhere in Kentucky. 

Allowable open burning for nonattainment areas during ozone season:

-- Fires set for recognized agricultural, silvicultural, range, ecological, and wildlife management practices

--Recreational or ceremonial fires

-- Fires for cooking

‰ Fire training and instruction if approved by State Fire Marshal

For more information about open burning, call 888-BURN-LAW or visit http://air.ky.gov/Pages/OpenBurning.aspx

Roberta M. Burnes, Environmental Education  Specialist, Kentucky  Division  for Air Quality

Glitches no risk to college credit

Your recent editorial, “Return of Pencils,” contained some misinformation concerning the tests involved in the recent online testing problems reported by some Kentucky school districts and the potential impact those issues may have on students.

Last week, a small percentage of high school students taking mandatory end-of-course (EOC) exams in Algebra II, English II, Biology or U.S. History experienced slow computer connections or dropped connections while trying to take a computer-based test. This problem was traced to a capacity issue with test vendor ACT’s online testing system.

 The Kentucky Department of Education is using paper and pencil tests to alleviate any further disruption to school testing schedules and ensure all students are tested by the end of the school year.

We appreciate the help we have received from high school and district staff in dealing with this situation. The impact should be minimal but the department will work with schools on any potential accountability issues. Grading of EOC tests for use in local grade books has and remains a local district decision.

While Advanced Placement (AP) exams are also being given to high school students at this time of year, and some students may be taking both AP and state end-of-course tests, AP exams were not involved in any way with the online testing problems as indicated in the editorial.

In fact, AP tests are a product of a different vendor, the College Board and all AP tests are given in a paper/pencil format. So, students and parents can rest assured that college credit does not hang in the balance due to the recent vendor technology glitch with computer-based end-of-course testing in Kentucky.

Ken Draut, Associate Commissioner Office of Assessment  and Accountability, Kentucky Department of Education

Jefferson wrote own Bible version

This is in response to Andrew James’ May 7 etter stating the fact that many of our founding fathers were deists. Thomas Jefferson was one.

Deists believe Christ was a prophet, not a miracle worker.  Thomas Jefferson even wrote his own bible, called the Jefferson Bible. You can look up the Jeffesron Bible on the Internet. He believed Jesus was a prophet and took out the miracles Christ performed. He also owned slaves and had an affair with one, named Sally Hemmings, fathering many children.

 Let’s go back even farther and learn the truth about the Pilgrims. They left England because of the tyrrany of the king, King James, the very King James who commissioned the biblical translation many still read today.  He had nothing to do with the actual Bible. He had the money and hired the translators.

As for the Pilgrims, they were purists. They observed the biblical Sabbath which is from sundown on Friday to sundown Saturday.  They did not celebrate birthdays, Christmas or Easter. They observed many Old Testament Jewish holidays. Their marriages were pre-arranged by the families and the women were submissive to their husbands. 

None of our founding fathers were Baptists, attended Sunday church, nor did they go to Sunday school or sing Southern Gospel songs. The Baptist movement did not start until the mid to late 1800s.

Willis McGranahan, Ashand

Letters invited

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