Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

March 9, 2014

In Your View

The Independent

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.

Referee agrees with angry fan

I agree on all points with the March 6 letter from the UK basketball fan (Jean Hoes) angry with Coach John Calipari and on her brave actions in voicing them.

My experience as a referee for many years was that coaches would push the envelope with us officials and be ejected from a game to fire up the team when they were not responding to their commands. In this case, as the letter writer observed, it did work.

The assistant coach is instructed before the coach even confronts the official to be ready to take charge and now “get the job done.” It seemed to work this time. Coaches see this, as annoying as it is, to be a part of coaching.

The language should be less abrasive. I think there should be a mandatory period that a person or athlete receiving a scholarship should spend, such as three quarters of the commitment with the university, before being eligible for a draft into the pros. This is another subject, and I hope it will be addressed in the near future. Thank you, Ms. Howes,  for your letter. 

Barry Barbour, Ashland

True UK fans support coach

Although I now live in Barboursville, W.Va.,  I am originally a Kentucky  boy and I follow the ’Cats 100 percent and love all UK sports.

I am sick of the so-called fans who continue to bash Coach John Calipari. First, everyone knew when Coach Cal came to UK he recruited “one and done” players. Second, Coach Cal has been at UK for five years and has won a national championship (along with a Final 4 and an Elite 8).  That’s pretty successful in any sport at any school.

If any fan thinks any team in today’s era is going to  a championship every year, they are not very smart. The UK team that won the national championship was a special team, and it will happen again. Maybe not this year or next, but it will happen.

 After UK lost to South Carolina, the “so-called” True Blue fans threw a temper tantrum. I point out that 11 top 25 teams lost that day and nine of those games were by unranked teams. 

 Jim Boeheim has been at Syracuse 36 years and has won only one national championship, and he is still supported by their fans. Coach K has been at Duke for over 30 years and has won four national championships. Coach K has had some really tough years and the fans never turned their backs on him like UK fans do every coach.

My point is that a true fan supports their coach and team when they are down to pick them up; they don’t bash them when they struggle like UK fans do their coach.

UK is very lucky to have Coach Cal. Here’s an idea: instead of Coach Cal leaving, why don’t the people who whine and complain about UK just follow a different team because you are not true UK fans.

Bart Davis, Barboursville, W.Va.

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