Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Opinion

March 9, 2014

In Your View

ASHLAND — Alcohol sales wrong priority

On Tuesday (March 11), the people of Olive Hill will go to the polls in a special election to decide if alcohol sales should be a part of the Olive Hill way of life. They are going to participate in a wet-dry election. Both sides have given their opinions so I guess I’ll just give mine.

Olive Hill is a community that is still recovering from a devastating flood in 2010.  However, businesses are slowly beginning to rebuild. 

Unfortunately, there is a real possibility of future flooding. Despite this looming reality, there is a city-sanctioned group trying to promote the idea of alcohol sales by voting the town wet so as to promote commerce. This concept is absolute nonsense and here’s why.

It doesn’t matter how much commerce is created (if any) by alcohol sales if every business in town is under water every three or four years. Why doesn’t this city-sanctioned group and the city of Olive Hill really push to solve the eventual problem of flooding? For some reason, these so-called leaders lose focus on what is really important and basic for a town.

I say, let’s focus on one issue at a time and concentrate on the potential flooding of our good town of Olive Hill.

I suppose you might say I support the concept of Olive Hill being dry —  really dry. 

Vote no on March 11 and let us refocus our priorities.

Jim Short, Olive Hill

School weigh-in humiliates sister

When I think of the Ashland Boyd County Health Department and their responsibilities, I think of promoting a healthy community. What I did not expect from them was to use humiliation of school-age kids to promote one of their programs.

Recently, the Ashland Health Department came to a local elementary school, weighed my 12-year-old sister and her classmates, determined whose BMI (body mass index) was “unhealthy,” and sent letters of notice to those parents.

Let that sink in for a moment. A 12-year-old girl being weighed in front of her peers and being singled out by a letter.

My sister’s response to my mother over this letter was, “Am I fat?” Fat. That word alone can do more damage to a sixth-grader’s brain and spirit than actually being overweight.

I could fill this entire newspaper with statistics of eating disorders, and how events like these can be the seed that starts the behaviors of anorexia, bulimia and binge eating.

Am I saying that all of the kids involved in this incident will get eating disorders? No. What I am saying is that if the health department wants so badly to get the Ashland community “healthy,” why is it going about it in a way that promotes shame? Why not send a letter to every family, offering workshops and activities that educate on nutrition and fun physical activities?

Schools and health departments are supposed to be places that promote safety and health — emotional and physical. As a big sister, and as someone who has struggled with weight for most of my life, I am so saddened that the health department and my sister’s school have introduced my 12-year-old sister to the battle of the scale.

Catherine Turner, Waterbury, Conn.

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