I agree with the May 2 letter that we are lucky to have a great Wal-Mart on Melody Mountain. We visit either O’Charley’s or Outback Steak House at least once a week.

It’s just a shame that we have to jar our teeth in crossing the railroad tracks to get there. It is ridiculous that the owners of these railroad tracks have not been forced to repair them.

I recently drove over a track in Ashland and I could not even tell that the track was there, so I know tracks can be smoothed out with a few boards and a small amount of asphalt.

The same problem exists on Blackburn at John Clark’s Chevron Bulk Plant. I am asking hereby for our mayor to force the railroad owners to make the appropriate repairs on the two railroad crossings.

Don Weller

Ashland



GASP plans forum

on smoke-free issue

The Greater Ashland Smoke-Free Air Policy Initiative will be holding a community forum on Thursday, May 18, at the Park Place auditorium (the old AEP Building across from the library on Central Avenue) beginning at 6 p.m.

The forum will offer our area residents information about recent community opinion surveys completed by an independent firm, indoor air quality studies completed by GASP in October of 2005, as well as up-to-date information about health issues surrounding secondhand smoke.

Residents will have an opportunity to learn about how communities around Kentucky that have enacted indoor air quality ordinances are thriving while they are making their home area healthy for generations to come.

GASP hopes that you will join us for this important event. For more information, or to learn how you can be involved in the work GASP is doing, please feel free to contact the Ashland Boyd County Health Department at (606) 329-9444.

Sara Birch Dunlap

Tobacco prevention coordinator

GASP member

Ashland Boyd County

Health Department



Democrats shouldn’t

squander opportunity

On May 16, we Democrats have an opportunity that shouldn't be squandered.

From the commonwealth’s attorney to the judges, from the court clerks to the commissioners to the jailer and beyond, knowledge of the job, experience, honesty and accountability for proper collections and disbursements, we must use common sense and sound judgment in our selections.

There has been no hint of any trouble in any office in the past four years, especially at the jail. The work has been performed well, all funds accounted for, with fair and courteous service. Their experience and honesty continues to serve us all.

In the mayor's race, Catlettsburg needs a mayor without prior baggage, to effect new thoughts, ideas and direction for the city.

Let's allow those who have done fine work continue to do so and elect leaders in Catlettsburg with clear vision and a new direction for the city.

Leonard F. Jobe

Catlettsburg



Leonhart doesn’t

know what it takes

The challenger for the office of sheriff in Greenup County, a local attorney, lists his experience as a state trooper and local police officer. He omits that newspapers report he was fired from the Kentucky State Police.

Mel Leonhart promises to hire a crime scene investigator. Equipping a small lab easily exceeds $250,000 plus $40,000-plus per technician in salaries and benefits.

He promises to always be in a uniform or suit and to always be in his office. As Sheriff Keith Cooper’s brother, I know he sometimes has to dress casually and be out of the office. Why? Many people with sensitive information do not want to be seen talking to a cop.

Leonhart still doesn’t know what it takes to be in law enforcement, much less our sheriff.

Dr. Juett Cooper

Russell



County could lose

more than prosecutor

A letter recently referenced a case which David Justice and his supporters believe is being improperly managed. Nothing could be further from the truth. My granddaughter and her friends regularly visit the grave of a young woman who was violently killed last year. The victim's advocate considers these girls, as well as her immediate family, victims of the crime. She answers their questions, helping them to understand the prosecution.

A victim's advocate does not have to go to the lengths Kathy Schneider does to do the job well. However, she believes crime victims consist of many more people than just grieving parents. She is devoted to the families and friends in her care, giving them her home phone number with instructions not to lose sleep when they have a question.

We could lose much more than a prosecutor if the voters aren't careful.

Carolyn McSweeney

Ashland



Carl Tolliver has

supported union

Over the last several years, I've had the pleasure of working on several projects with Carl Tolliver. He’s always been honest, fair and timely with answers to all the questions I've brought before him. He is not a man who tells you what you want to hear just so you'll leave him alone. He cares about the issues and helps you work through any problems you might have in Boyd County.

What I appreciate most about Carl is that he is open-minded and not at all afraid to stand up for what is right. He has been a great friend to organized labor and Laborers' Local 1445, to which I belong.

I've seen first hand that Carl Tolliver cares first and foremost about what is right for Boyd County. Reelect Carl Tolliver.!



R. Dale West

Kentucky Laborers'

District Council



Eddie Stout will make

an excellent jailer

I hope Democrats come out to vote on May 16. My brother — James “Eddie” Stout — is running for Boyd County jailer. Eddie devoted 20 years to serving Boyd County as a deputy sheriff. I think he will do an excellent job as jailer.



George Stout

Westwood



Only Debbie Jones

has the experience

It seems that many of the letters supporting Bobby Jack Woods list his promise to rehire four former employees as a major reason to vote for him. I don’t know about you, but I certainly would expect more qualifications for someone in such an important position.

That’s why I’m supporting Debbie Jones. She is the only candidate with 25 years of county government experience. She also has been endorsed by the local Fraternal Order of Police.

Deborah Stevens

Boyd County deputy clerk



Jail offers some

training for inmates

Many people say the doors to a jail are a revolving door, with the same people committing crimes and getting locked back up.

Jailer Joe Burchett has taken steps to help stop this cycle. While you can’t rehabilitate everyone, Joe has steps in place to help anyone who is willing to break the cycle.

For instance, Sergeant David Adkins, an ASE certified technician, has been teaching a class on auto mechanics, small engine repair and equipment maintenance to inmates. This type of hands-on training is normally only found in federal correction institutions, not county jails. Inmates who take this course will have valuable skills when released, helping them to get a job and be productive members of society.

Let’s keep Jailer Joe Burchett in office and help stop the cycle of crime in Boyd County.

Jill Watts

Ashland



Fall congressional

races are critical

I’m writing to urge citizens to participate in the midterm congressional elections this fall.

The issues couldn't be more crystal clear. President Bush has presided over a concerted effort to expand the powers of the presidency at the expense of Congress (and hence, us all). He gave the green light to warrantless wiretapping of American citizens in direct contravention of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and continues to assert the power to do so.

The situation we face is made more dire by the fact that Republicans in Congress — even the fabled “moderates” and “mavericks” — are rubber-stamping the president. They’ve apparently not contemplated that they are handing a loaded gun to Bush and future presidents.

With no restraints on the president’s ability to spy on Americans, overturn laws and suspend due process, the next terrorist attack on American soil will be the day we mourn not only loss of life but the further erosion of our liberties.

We need a Congress that is willing to do its job — to exercise the power of the purse and subpoena to stand up to this reckless president. That won't happen until we have Democratic leadership; Republicans in Congress have amply demonstrated that.

Justin Faulkner

Catlettsburg



California bill

reveals gay agenda

The California Senate is considering a bill that, if signed into law, would require all California public teachers to present to all students from kindergarten to grade 12 a one-sided, positive message that homosexuality, bisexuality and transgender issues are perfectly normal and an accepted part of life.

This bill would prohibit lessons or even discussions that reflect adversely upon one's sexual orientation. Any opinion offering a differing viewpoint, such as a Christian trying to raise their children with traditional family values, would be barred from the classroom. In other words, those traditional family values would be silenced. Any teacher discussing with students opinions of moral or health concern issues could be fired.

When it comes to raising our kids, it seems that parents beliefs no longer count.

Can you imagine the uproar of the “other side” if faith-based people attempted to pass a bill requiring that all children be taught what the majority of Americans believe morally?

The proponents of this bill want all people to accept their ideals, even if it has to be done by force. These are ideals that most would consider immoral. Even though they profess tolerance they are not willing to allow others to have differing beliefs and moral standards.

I realize that we have no control over what takes place in California, but you can rest assured if it becomes law there, it'll be headed this way soon.

Kenny Parker

Ashland



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