Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

May 1, 2013

In Your View

The Independent

ASHLAND — He wasn’t ready for college work

I graduated from a small school in Ashland with high aspirations and a desire to succeed in college. However, once classes began, I realized my situation was less than ideal. I never imagined the level of writing college would expect of me compared to what high school had taught me — which was not enough, having only written two “big” papers in all of high school.

This would create a great strain on my college career. After talking with other students and professors, I found I wasn’t alone. College instructors (nationally) estimate that 50 percent of the students at their school are not adequately prepared for college-level writing. This is a huge problem because only 10 percent  of jobs in America accept applicants with anything less than a college degree. In addition, employers estimate that 39 percent of recent high school graduates with no further education are unprepared for the expectations that they face in entry-level jobs.

There is little time for students to play catch up while in college — as the need for retraining in writing often results in a loss of confidence and results in students dropping out — because they should have already been prepared in high school for what is going to be expected.

Students need to receive ample opportunities for writing and training in research and grammar skills numerous times every year. Doing this would better prepare the students for what college expects and give them the necessary skills to succeed in any type of education.

No student should have to waste time like I’m doing taking an unnecessary writing class to further develop their skills. It’s worth taking the time now to make sure your skills are where they need to be.

Aaron Hannah, Berea College student, Raceland

Lessons from Boston bombing

The bombing at the Boston Marathon reminded many of us of Sept. 11, 2001. To ensure our safety, we all need to take certain lessons away from this tragedy.

Although it is unlikely, other bombings could occur wherever people congregate. We know from our Israeli allies that we need to be alert to unattended or abandoned parcels, luggage or other containers.

The persons suspected of the Boston bombing appeared to be placing their devices and leaving the area just moments before the blasts. More lead time before the blast could have prevented many injuries and even deaths.

So what should you do if you discover a suspected or unattended parcel?

(1) Do not touch the suspicious parcel! Many bombs are fitted with motion sensitive triggers. Moving them can cause detonation.

(2) Use a landline to notify authorities. Cell phone and radio transmissions can also cause detonation.

We can color code awareness levels as green, yellow, orange, and red.

At alert level green we might as well be asleep. We walk around totally engrossed in ourselves, our music and our devices.

At condition yellow, we are alert to what is going on around us but relaxed. Police officers make a habit of living in condition yellow.

Condition orange is a heightened awareness. In condition orange, we are prepared to react defensively.

In condition red, a police officer will have his weapon at the ready to engage a target. The presence or extreme possibility of an attack has been perceived.

The spectators at the Boston Marathon were engrossed in watching the runners cross the finish line. That is condition green. Conditions orange and red are too stressful to maintain indefinitely.

Condition yellow, however, is an alert level with we can live. It is our best protection against bombings. Don’t be afraid to live your life, but if you see something such as a suspicious parcel, say something to authorities.

Steven Little, Ashland

First Saturday in May in Kentucky

It’s the first Saturday in May in Kentucky.

“And they’re off!  Hypotonic Haw breaks left out of the gate causing Manifest Destiny to reverse course, Oh mercy, oh my! Awful!

“And it's Revolving Door on the rail at the first turn, Plutonium is second, Commander-in-Chief on the inside, and Mailpouch  . . .

“And down the backstretch (way down), it's Whippoorwill in front, then Freight Train, Intimidated, Oscilloscope, Commander, Crap Shoot, Twenty Twenty, Mailpouch, Serendipity Sally, Bombastic, Jacks Are Wild, Combustion Chamber, Slot Machine, Escepcionale, Bally Who, Legislators Folly, Deficit Spender, Nose Job, Haywire, Budget Director, Dogbane, Federal Debt, Upsey Daisy, and Plutoniummmm  . . .

“Around the final turn and  Oh my! Miss Congeniality bumps Atomic Oleander forcing Deficit Spender to jump the rail! My, my this is terrible ...

“Down the back stretch they come,  Combustion Chamber is out of gas, Federal Debt is coming up fast, too fast, He breaks down unseating his rider, scary!  Spender is finishing on the turf, Mailpouch is fading fast, now it's a three horse race to the wire. It's Spender, Haywire and Bally Who neck and neck, now Haywire by a nose, now Spender, now Bally Who, now Haywire, now Who ...

Oh never mind.”

P.S.: Deficit Spender finished in the money, but was disqualified because he was on the turf course  and had to be put down. 

Mike Myers, Lexington, mrmyers1936@gmail.com 

Canada offers ‘friendly’ oil

It seems that the people of the United States has a misconception on Canada’s oil in northern Alberta and Saskatchewan.  You use the term, “Tar Sands.”  The proper term you should use is, “Oil Sands.”

The oil up there is trapped in sand.  To extract the oil from the sands you need to use heat.  In this case they use steam which loosens the oil and causes it to flow separating it from the sand leaving the sand cleaned from the oil.

To do this they remove or mine the sand with big loaders and dump trucks.  The sand is then put through a facility the steams out the oil separating it from the sand. The cleaned sand is then reloaded into trucks and placed back from which it came.  New trees and plants are then reintroduced to the area making it ready for wild animal habitat once again.

 The Keystone XL Pipeline will create more jobs in the United States. Canada produces only 1 percent of the world’s carbon.  The United States, India and China produce over 50 percent of the world’s carbon.

Have you ever looked north and seen any troops on our border? We’re more than just friends.  We argue a lot but settle our differences by talking them out.

My question is simply this: Where do you what to get your oil — from a friend or foe?

 Keith Picard, Dalmeny, Saskatchewan