Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

August 25, 2013

In Your View

The Independent

ASHLAND — Louise is dead, her fire is out

I could not agree more with your editorial opinion concerning keeping industrial skeletons dominating the skyline after they are abandoned.

You mentioned the old coke plant at New Boston, Ohio. But it wasn’t just the old coke plant, it was an entire steel mill that had to be razed, and the site cleaned up. For many years, Louise, the largest of three blast furnaces that had helped win at least one war, stood near the highway, an ambiguous eyesore for passersby.  

I had always thought that she should be buried with the dignity she had earned. It took a long time, but finally it was done. As you said in the editorial, there is little positive about the rotting remains of something that once meant so much, to so many, for so long.

Throughout childhood, I watched billowing red open hearth smoke rise above surrounding hills. The following poem is my way of remembering.

“Louise is Dead”

Once she was a lady proud standing tall and straight/ Presiding over a better time when everything was great.

Twenty tuyeres around her hearth to bring the firey blast/ She ate the coke, and ore, and lime ‘till time arrived for cast.

Then open up her bosom and ran the liquid fire/ To feed the hungry open hearths for rod and rail and wire.

Many a family she had raised; many a home she’d bought/ Many a dollar paid in tax with never a second thought.

Now she slumps in rusting shame, a victim of the times/ Her cast house filled with rubble and her instruments with grime.

Never again to cast a heat of molten iron so red/ The fire upon her hearth is cold, and proud Louise is dead.

Charles M. Whitt, South Shore

Whole story not being told

I am a resident of the Cedar Knoll subdivision. Our community does support Pathways and its work. However, the Genesis-Recovery Drug Rehab Center does not belong in our residential neighborhood, or for that matter in any residential neighborhood in Boyd County.

I have lived in Cedar Knoll for over 20 years and it is a great neighborhood. It is a quiet, safe neighborhood with a low crime rate with great families from elderly to young families with children.

This center is threatening the qualities that make our subdivision what it is. Some writers don’t see the problem we are facing. I don’t believe they know the whole story.

Do you know: no security? Encouraged to roam the streets? Led by peers who have only been in the facility a few months themselves?

Pathways states they want the facility close to health care and a grocery but where will these men get the money to go to these places?

I encourage an Independent staff writer to contact one of our spokepersons to get our side of the story as it has not been told. We have heard that Pathways is looking at other properties.

What if it is your neighborhood? How would you really feel? Would you like your property values to drop? What if it was close to your homes, your businesses, your children? Would you feel safe? Could your children still play outdoors?

I would hope that no other community would have to go through this, but please don’t judge ours unless you know the whole story.

Teresa Mills, Ashland

Ex-user knows value of treatment

I am writing this in regards to the possibility of the drug rehabilitation center going in at Cedar Knoll.

First, I understand the concern for the safety of the neighborhood, but I assure you the Department of Corrections is not going to place violent offenders out in the community for anything. These men will have to go through a whole process before it is determined whether they can come into the community. They will be nonviolent offenders convicted of drug charges.

We desperately need this drug rehab in this community. I think we all agree the drug problem has become an epidemic.

I know all too well about addiction and prison. That is exactly where my addiction led me. I was to prison for 21 months for drug trafficking.

I am happy to say I am 31 months clean. I have a job, I work in the community to help other ex-offenders and addicts like me. Some of these people just need a chance.

I facilitate Lifeline meetings in Grayson, work with the E.N.O.U.G.H. program and I also work with the FIVCO Re-entry Council. All this is possible because I received treatment.

These are not bad people; they just made bad decisions. I guess my question to all the people opposing this treatment facility is this, what if it were someone in your family that needed this treatment facility? Would it matter then where it would go? Addiction/alcoholism does not discriminate. There are several of us out here everyday who have recovered and become good, productive citizens in this community. We do recover!

Shirley Wilks, Ex-offender, recovering addict, E.N.O.U.G.H./Lifeline, FIVCO Re-entry Council, Rush

Other sites idea draws response

This is in response to the recent “In Your View” letters from the generous lady who wanted the drug treatment center on Carter or Central avenues.

She talks about all the good qualities of the proposed new drug treatment center, but why it is not good for where she lives and gives reasons why it should be located next to all the tenants who live there. She states why it should be located at 8th Street and Central Avenue: Good location, property for sale, and the people who live there will be willing to accept them.

Most of the people who live there are senior citizens who live there for the same reasons: location, convenience and the neighborhood.

I hope this is not insulting to the above mentioned lady, but she should consider others besides herself.

Mildred Selogic, Ashland


Search for real peace never ends

 If December7, 1941, was “a day of infamy,” September 2, 1945, was a day of jubilation. And September 2, 2013 is the 68th anniversary of that day.

With the USS Missouri, a 45,000 ton battleship, anchored in Tokyo Bay, the closest point by sea to the heart of the Japanese empire, General Douglas MacArthur, commander of the Allied Forces in the southwest Pacific, along with Admiral William F.Halsey, Rear Admiral Forrest Sherman, and Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, were aboard the ship to meet a delegation of Japanese officials.  Those officials, acting on behalf of Emperor Hideki Tojo, were to sign a document of unconditional surrender containing one proviso which permitted the Emperor to retain his title.

With the signing of that document that Sunday morning, World War II, after a long and bitter struggle in both Europe and the Pacific, officially ended and General MacArthur became the supreme commander of the Allied Powers with authority over the occupation of Japan. All across this nation people rejoiced, and there were high hopes for peace in the hearts of the citizens of this nation.

But real peace is more than the cessation of hostilities.  Following that historic event, General MacArthur, addressing the world by radio, said, “Basically this (task of building a new world and securing a lasting peace) is a matter between man and God.”  Therefore, it is a long and arduous task in which wrongs are recognized and righted; reparations, where possible, are made; forgiveness is sincerely offered and received; and new and positive relationships are established.

After 68 years have passed, hot spots such as Iran, Afghanistan, Syria and Egypt remind us that the search for peace is an ongoing and difficult process that involves each generation.

Howard Coop, howardcoop@windstream.net