What a year it was! 2020 will certainly be written in the history books for oh so many reasons: OLBH closed after 70 years; the COVID-19 global pandemic shut down the world; the stock market plummeted and rebounded along with cryptocurrencies, racial unrest with police force against Black communities; and the highly contentious and divisive election campaigns for the presidential race.

It was truly a year of unprecedented shock, awe and drama played out live on cable TV news networks and the omniscient digital highways of social media platforms. We tragically became the Divided States of America!

We welcomed the New Year with rays of hope. Or so we thought. After so many months of political vitriol and campaign debates and TV news bashing, called journalism, the election built up to a fever pitch with early voting to Nov 3. The election of 2020 will be remembered by many to be the ugliest display of democracy ever. With many months of riots and protests for racial justice, from coast to coast, with cities burning and people looting, we finally turned the calendar. Then came Jan. 6 — and one more protest and riot, but this time it was the “other” people storming the political bastions of D.C.

But then came February along with the winter ice and snow storm in our little corner of northeastern Kentucky. Our lives actually came to a screeching halt right here, unknown to the outside world. We needed to help each other. And we did. The entire region was without power, with trees knocking down power lines, blocking roads, communities cut off.

Food and water became scarce — and heat was desperately needed to stay warm in well-below-freezing temperatures for two weeks. Water lines froze. But people persevered. Neighbors united to help with firewood, chainsaws and generators. The often polemical social media networks were actually used for good, to help all of us, any race or religion.

I would like to remember that part of our humanity. May we recall daily that we are truly one on this earth together. Whatever trivial differences of opinion exist, we can intelligently overcome and live in harmony. Spring has arrived — after a few last flurries to test our fortitude; let’s smell the roses now.

Vincenzo Fressola


Thankful for ARC,

hopeful for more

In the Saturday, April 24, edition of The Daily Independent we read “a glimpse into the future of OLBH.” Many of us longtime residents were hopeful another hospital would replace OLBH. And, the COVID-19 outbreak back in March should have sparked some interest and enthusiasm of the need for two hospitals in the area. We read ARC may be coming to OLBH. It is an excellent resource for addictions and we are hopeful they are well received and have great results!

But, that still leaves our community with just one hospital and many folks by necessity or by choice are having to travel elsewhere for their medical needs to be met. We, too, are focused on health care. Maybe someday we will once again have the privilege of having two hospitals in the community.

Time will tell. It always does.

Kathleen Chamis


Ashland not for tourists

The city leaders say they are going to revitalize Ashland and bring in tourism. The City of Ashland has shown the people how they take care of the property that the city owns.

Look at city parks — they are not keep up to a good standard. When AK Sports Park was built, the scoreboards were wired; they are not wired now and a sprinkler system was installed on the baseball, softball and soccer fields.

The city removed the sprinklers as soon as the park was given to them. When the old Ashland Oil office building was given to the city it was structurally sound. Instead of trying to find a use for the building, the city let it sit empty with windows open.

It has now deteriorated to a point that it is an eyesore that needs to be torn down. What does Ashland have to offer tourists? We have at least five drug rehab clinics that I know of. There are probably more that I don’t know about. The city wants to install roundabouts. I have driven in other countries and states with these.

To use a roundabout you need to pay attention to what you are doing. I see people every day on their cell phones running red lights and stop signs. How do you think these people will do on roundabouts? One last thing the tourists will like seeing.

Drive the streets of Ashland and see how many buildings need to be fixed up or torn down and many yards and houses are run down. Ashland has nothing to offer tourists year-round, and it will never be a tourist destination.

Michael Caudill


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