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Bath County News - Outlook
Owingsville, Kentucky
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November 6, 2014     Bath County News - Outlook
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November 6, 2014
 

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2 - November 06, 2014 Your Hometown Newspaper News Outlool OPINIONS Heaven Is A Lot Like Kentucky By Charles Mattox "When one with hone words but evil mind persuades the mob, great woes befall the state." Ancient Athenian Play- wright; Euripides "Elections belong to the people. It's their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters." President Abraham Lincoln "[The American President] has to take all sorts of abuse from liars and demagogues .... The people can never under- stand why the President does not use his supposedly great power to make "era behave. Well, all the President is, is a glorified public relations man who spends his time flattering, kissing and kick- ing people to get them to do what they are supposed to do anyway." President Harry S. Truman. Truman left the Whitehouse in January 1953 and was at that time receiving an Army pen- sion of just over 8112 a month. He was asked later in life why he never took a corporate job and became rich like so many alleged leaders have done since leaving the political are- na. His reply was this. "I turned down all of those of- fers. I knew that they were not interested in hiring Harry Tru- man, the person, but what they wanted to hire was the former President of the United States. I could never lend myself to any transaction, however respect- able, that would commercialize on the prestige and the digniy of the office of the Presidency.  Well I hope you got out to vote Tuesday, dear reader. As Hncoln once said about blisters on the backside, I hope you have at least noted that our house of democracy is on fire! It's been burning for a while. With the US Senate race be- tween Republican incumbent Mitch McConneU, Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes and an unlikely hope- ful in Libertarian candidate David Patterson, the entire na- tion is watching how Kentuck- ians vote. McConnell has had 30 years to "be a candidate of change" but the only thing I see chang- ing is the skyrocketing person- al wealth he has accumulated since taking office. He kept going on and on about "Obama's War on Coal" when I heard him speak a cou- ple of weeks ago but I always figured it was a war on pollu- tion. Just for one minor area of clarity about 'The war on coal": Spurlock Power Station is a coal-fired power station owned and operated by East Kentucky Power Cooperative near Maysville, Kentucky. I'3LIS-rER_q In 2010, Abt Associates is- sued a study commissioned by the Clean Air Task Force, a nonprofit research and advo- cacy organization, quantifying the deaths and other health effects attributable to fine par- ticle pollution from coal-fired power plants. The study found that over 13,000 deaths and tens of thousands of cases of chronic bronchitis, acute bron- chitis, asthma-related episodes and asthma-related emergency room visits, congestive heart failure, acute myocardial in- farction, dysrhythmia, isch- emic heart disease, chronic lung disease, peneumonia each year are attributable to fine particle pollution from U.S. coal-fired power plants. Fine particle pollution is formed from a combination of soot, acid droplets, and heavy metals formed from sulfur dioxide,' nitrogen oxide, and soot. Among those particles, the most dangerous are the smallest (smaller than 2.5 mi- crons), which are so tiny that they can evade the lung's natu- ral defenses, enter the blood- stream, and be transported to vital organs. Impacts are espe- dally severe among the elder- ly, children, and those with re- spiratory disease. Low-income and minority populations are disproportionately impacted as well, due to the tendency of companies to avoid locating power plants upwind of afflu- ent communities. The table below estimates the death and illness attribut- able to the Spurlock Power Station. Abt assigned a value of $7,300,000 to each 2010 mor- tality,' based on a range of gov- ernment and private studies. Valuations of illnesses ranged from 852 for an asthma epi- sode to 8440,000 for a case of chronic bronchitis. Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from the Spurlock Power Station Source: "Find Your Risk from Power Plant Pollution," Clean Air Task Force interac- tive table, accessed February 2011. Now I'm told that with the installation of new "coal scrub- bers" part of the Environmen- tal Protection Agencies (EPA) requirements for the Spurlock and other coal fired plants, the pollutants released into the air we breath has been made safer. Senator McConnell told me (and everyone in the crowd) that if elected he would do completely away with funding the EP& The only practical watch dog group that not only says they care about the health of the environment and those who attempt to survive in it, but they actually have actions that reflect those words. I continue to be a staunch advocate for clean water and healthy streams and as such I am completely opposed to Mountain Top Removal, or "raping the earth" for profit for a select few coal conglom- erates which pollute for profit the environment of those left with the mess Dozens of those cases have been documented in eastern Kentucky. Google Trinity Coal Com- pany lawsuits if you get bored sometime if you don't believe me. But we are entering an age, as seen during the recent elec- tion advertising, where coal isn't just polluting our land and our streams it's starting to pol- lute our democracy. Have any ofyou ever been to a rich and thriving coal town? I've never heard of one in our state. But if coal is so im- portant to the economic wel- fare of our citizens why do the citizens of these communities along with the communities that have had coal mines for decades not thrive? I'm not anti-coal but rather pro healthy environment. I believe coal can be extracted from the ground in Kentucky without unnecessary risk to workers or those who live nearby. I believe it can be used to power plants that produce energy in a cost-effective man- ner. Certain CEOs may only get a million dollars in bonuses rather than ten million, but I'm of the opinion that they will not have any problem paying their phone bill. I'm not an advocate bt Grimes or Patterson but I am against McConnell and hope he isn't sent back to do evOn more damage to those he should be supporting. He's made his millions and tens Of millions. I'd like to see som- one get a chance to help ot V citizens. Anyone, even a r- dom non-English speaking guy or gal on the street could do less damage. ,, [ I hope you voted and I hope your vote reflects that you want change. The way I see it, we can't hardly stand mu more of the same old tired po|- tics that has nearly destroyl US;Fhis is my opinion and  and it should opinion only noted that it was printed a(tr the election, so, my opLmi @ would not "taint anyone s d cision. It is my opinion alon, but I didn t just wake up tl other day with it. I've be(n watching the corruption 9f politics and the destruction 9f our very environment for far too long to remain silent. , We can do better and is high time we demanded bettgf form our alleged leaders. Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation Deaths 76 $550,000,000 Heart attacks 120 $13,000,000 Asthma attacks 1,200 $62,000 Hospital admissions 56 $1,300,000 Chronic bronchitis 45 $20,000,000 Asthma ER visits 65 $24,000 By Cecil Lawson i , etimes, when I drLw through.Salt .,Lick, .or, Ow- ingsville, or Sharpsburg, or Bethel, I see ghosts. These formerly bustling towns are full of them, and if you are passing through and your mind is unoccu- pied, you just might catch a glimpse of these spirits from the past. It is a sad thing to see so many building unoccu- pied, crumbfing, sidewalks cracked, weeds growing up through unused park- ing lots. This time of year is the traditional Celtic New Year feast of Samhain, the end of the harvest season and the onset of winter weath- er, a time to take stock of what you had to eat for the long winter months ahead. It is also considered a time when the veil separating the world of the living and the world of the dead was opened, allowing spirits and ghosts to move freely amongst us. The blustery winds come out of the north, and the leaves are fallen, and the trees are gray, and the sky stays cloudy. Nights get longer, days get shorter, and life retreats from the barrenness of the earth until the spring wel- comes it back. It is a somber time, a time to count your bless- ings (Thanksgiving), and a season to hope for some- thing better in the days ahead (Christmas). I believe that we have en- tered the autumn times of our own local community. Economists across the country have cautious- ly optimistic about the growth of jobs and circula- tion of money in our coun- try over the past year or so, and even at the local level there are signs of life. People are taking risks by opening new businesses, changing jobs, and voting new people into office. Confidence is there, but it is measured. While we have some lo- cal business growth here, the county is far, far vibrant from what it used to be. I recently took a look the AMONGST GHOSTS state and county's labor force data from 1990 to the present, and the num- bers are shocking. In the late1990s, the unemploy- ment rate in Bath County was as low as 5.3%, but then began to steadily in- crease, reaching a high of 1.5.4 % in 2009, the trough of the most recent reces- sion. The rate is now around 10%. During that same period of time (1990 - 2014), the population of Bath County grew steadily from 9600 in 1990 to nearly 12,000 in 2013. Yet again, the number of people in the work force has remained roughly the same during that time, averaging around 4300 people. Early this year Census data revealed that Bath County was the 5th fast- est growing county in the state of Kentucky, below the places like Scott and Fayette and other Central Kentucky counties, where the jobs are located. The majority of workers in Bath County work out- side of the county, some commuting more than 100 miles per day for a decent job. There are many, many economic, demographic, and sociological reasons why these changes are tak- ing place. Bath County, along with Nicholas and Menifee Counties, are lo- cated between Mt. Ster- ling and Morehead, both of which have been ben- eficiaries of economic and business (and population) growth in the last 20 years. Both of these cities are F also home to various big box "marc stores, which have squeezed smaller lo- cal businesses out of exis- tence, both there and here. We have a very mobile population now that has no loyalty to local busi- ness and who are willing to drive 50 miles one way to buy flood and clothing aid entertainment. Many lifelong local resi- dents have seen an influx of many people from either north of the Ohio River or from the mountains of Eastern Kentucky, either fleeing economic down- turns or looking for af- fordable local real estate for retirement or vacation homes. I look at my sad, bat- tered home county and see ghosts. I lived here during its most prosperous time, and I was among many young people who gradu- ated from the high school with many high aspirations to do well for ourselves and still be able to live in our home county and feel proud about it. Now I worry about whether or not people down the road from me will try and break into my home and steal what I have and pawn what they find to support a drug habit that they never considered hav- ing 20 years ago because of the demon-spawn named Oxycontin. Now I consider empty storefronts and sidewalks without pedestrians and local festivals and parades and events lightly attended or non-existent. Nobody wanted this to Bath County Senior Citizens Center Menu November 10-13 Monday: BBQ Riblet, Macaroni/Tomatoes Ylixed Greens, Corn Bread, Margarine, Bakec ples and Milk. Tuesday: Veterans Day Wednesday: Hamburger Steak, Mashed Pota- :oes, Green Beans, Wheat Bread, Margarine, Pine- lpple Chunks and Milk. Thursday: Italian Chicken, Potatoes/Carrots, 3uttered Broccoli, Wheat Bread, Margarine, Fruit :up and Milk. i i ................... happen. Nobody wants it to stay this way. Lots of people point the finger as to why it happened. Yet some came it progress. Times do change. People change. And sometimes not for the better. And we are left with the 'ghosts of what was better. When an apple a day isn't enough, call the Physician Referral Line Matching you to the right physician at the right time is our specialty. Call today-- the service is free! PEOPLES BANK You'll Like Banking With [Is Member