Whitesburg KY
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Speak Your Piece

Tell us what's on your mind. No need to give your name. Call 633-7508 from 9 am Tuesday to 9 am Friday.


Tell us what’s on your mind. No need to give your name.
Call 633-7508 from 9 am Tuesday to 9 am Friday.

E-m@il address

In addition to the telephone and the U.S. Mail, The Mountain Eagle accepts
comments to Speak Your Piece by electronic mail. Our address is:
mteagle@tgtel.com

To the person or persons inquiring about the Kentucky Eagle Coal Company at Carbon Glow: They were in operation between the years of 1934 and 1937. They employed 140 people. There were other mines at Carbon Glow. If you wish, I could give you them in another comment in Speak Your Piece. Thank you.

A certain friend of mine and his wife, who I think the world of, like to play jokes on me. Well, get this. I just got done looking at a big book of jokes. Some of them are pretty mean. So I’m going to start playing jokes, too. Be watching. The Joker is coming to town.

I just want everybody in Letcher County to ask themselves this question when they go to vote: What has Fletcher done for Letcher? Not a thing. So vote for the other fellow.

Why should we sympathize with the nurses who are on strike? They make more money than they’re worth now. How can a county judge hold back funds from a hospital? Isn’t that a form of blackmail? Thank you.

I used to have the utmost respect for the sheriff’s office, but no longer. For some time now, a certain drug dealer and his gang of crooks have gotten by with what they’ve wanted. Every time I’ve called in about this dopehead he’s gotten away with it. It’s time we run the drug dealers out of Letcher County and do something right for a change. Thank you.

The other day I went deer hunting, but I had to come in from the Knott County side to get on my land in Doty Creek because a certain person has blocked my road again. It looks like I’m going to have to go get law-enforcement to do something about it. I like to go deer hunting, but I don’t want to have to resort to violence to do it. So I’ll ask you once again: Unblock the road.

People need to beware of a certain lady and her daughter who are scamming people out of money to support their drug habits. Be careful when someone comes up to you crying and saying they had a family member killed in a car wreck. First the daughter died. Then the daughter came back to life and said the mother died. Now both mother and daughter have come back to life and are saying it was the grandmother who died. This scam has cost a lot of money to a lot of people who thought they were helping someone in need. Be sure to make sure the story is true before you give someone money.

I am a nurse at Whitesburg ARH who has crossed the picket line. When I came home from work this evening, my eightyear old son told me that he saw my name today on the ‘Wall of Shame’ and wanted to know why my name was there. I was silent for a while, trying to find the words to explain. Should I explain to him that adults, too, act childish and unprofessional, or should I just explain this simply in eight-year-old terms? So I told my son that my name should not be there because I have no shame. They put my name there because I am working at the hospital, and I am not ashamed to work. I told him that I am working to give him a place to come home to, to pay for clothes for him to wear, and to pay for food for him to eat. He then told me, ‘Well, Mom, their names should be on there then.’ And I said, ‘No, Bub, no one’s name should be there, because that is not right.’ People may judge me for crossing the picket line and for my being on the ‘Wall of Shame.’ And my co-workers may shun me, but I am a professional human being trying to do what is right for me and my family. I continue providing patient care in a caring and professional manner.

Pastors and churches went way beyond the bounds in campaigning against the wine and beer vote for Whitesburg, and now they’ve gotten themselves involved in government affairs again. They are promoting Ernie Fletcher, ostensibly because of casino gambling. That is a nonissue which cannot be decided by any governor, and anyone who will take just a moment’s time to investigate will realize that. Getting casino gambling would be a long process with the public fully involved. The salient point here, however, is that religion is involving itself in government affairs, and that is a direct violation of the Constitution. Those who would like a theocracy rather than the democracy we have should go live in Iran or some of the other Mid-East countries for a while. What this issue of religion getting involved where it shouldn’t amount to is that the churches are going to have to make a decision. They can continue as they have for two hundred and some years and retain their tax-exempt status, or they can jump into politics and give it up. Shame on them and Ernie Fletcher for this encroachment on the Constitution.

Can someone please tell me if they offer any tennis lessons here or if there is a fitness center to take the place of Curves, which has closed? Thank you.

In response to last week’s caller who wondered why the boys that burned the Pentecostal Church have never been tried: Surely being a county official’s son is not enough to keep you from coming to trial for such a crime?

This is for people who say they are a Christian and rarely miss a church service. You can spot them real easy. They are not concerned about the lost, and in church they put on a big show, but at Wal-Mart they turn their head and won’t speak. One such person drinks, does drugs, gossips about things that aren’t true, lives with a married man and says she is saved. Her pastor said, ‘I need to have a long talk with her.’ Wonder if he ever paid his two speeding tickets? If he doesn’t slow down, he will get another one. To be a Christian you have to be born again, washed in the blood of the lamb. Your sins are cast away as far as the east to the west, never to be remembered again. God dwells in your heart, He walks with you, He loves you, but God doesn’t want you to return to what you were. You walk a narrow path after you are saved. It’s a happy life because you know you are going to heaven. You witness to the lost, you visit the sick, but above all God wants you to be you, not a stuck-up snob. God wants you to live a saved life 24/ 7. There’s one heaven and one hell. Remember that children are watching you. That could be why they don’t want to go to church – because of your actions toward some of them.

How many of the very poorest people are going to be cheated this year on their heating assistance? I wonder how many people are going to get watereddown kerosene and how many people are going to be shorted on their propane. How many people are going to get a too-little stack of wood? No one has any business cheating poor people out of what belongs to them.

Whoever expelled those kids for having a meeting in the lunchroom over staph infections in the school should be fired. You know why? Because that is a very serious health problem, and it’s caused by people just not being clean. Until everybody starts scrubbing and getting clean and using antibiotic soap it’s not going away.

To the woman whose ears stick out like a monkey’s: That’s why you keep them covered with your hair. I happen to appreciate everything about me. If you want me to be waiting on you when you walk out, just say the word and I’ll show you. I can speak my mind and more. You’re just mad because you have to socialize with people who hate your guts and talk about you but you attend certain events together. All you do is smile and be nice because you don’t have a choice. That serves you right. Ha, ha.

Isn’t there any way you all can keep these drugs away from these schools and away from the children? It’s even getting so the little children have to worry.

To the person who has belittled the U.S. soldier who likes to smoke: Shame on you. He has risked his life and put his life on the line so you can be free. And all he wants to do is to be able to smoke a cigarette? Shame on you. That is the most ignorant thing I have heard. If you do not like the smoke, then please get up and take a few steps to the side. He has risked his life for your freedom to get up and move. He risked his life for me and I stand behind him. Thank you.

Are you having trouble in your community with people who like to party, tear up your property, steal everything you have and generally terrorize you? Here’s some advice: Get a gun and get a license to carry it. Then when they act up and threaten you, you can take care of it.

To the person who called Speak Your Piece last week and said we need to get back together: The person you’re looking for is dead. They no longer exist. I have moved on and you need to move on, too.

This is ol’ Copper Man again. I’m still disappointed and still have no satisfaction. My copper is gone. The man at the top said he would make it right. Well it still ain’t right after eight months. My copper either evaporated or the money ended up in somebody’s pocket. This is the ol’ Copper Man still crying and being myself. Thank you.

From Rev. Gladys Maggard Smith, Bolivia, N.C. Someone replied from my article in Speak Your Piece. Yes, I am the person who wrote about Jesus and wine. To your reply on Jesus and a winebibber, here is the answer: According to Matthew II: 16-19, Jesus’s open contact with sinners brought the equally untrue claim that he was a winebibber and glutton. You can find wine spoken of in scriptures all through the Bible. Romans I:4, 21, says it is good neither to eat flesh nor drink wine. Numbers 6; 3 says He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink. Deuteronomy 32; 33 says their wine is the poison of dragons and the cruel venom of asps. Leviticus I; 10:9 says do not drink wine nor strong drink, nor thy sons with thee.

To the person who responded to the trashy tramp comment: That comment was definitely not for you. I don’t even know who you are. You’re not talking about me. Definitely someone else.

Jim Ward, are you going to lift the smoking ban like you promised or is this just a political thing? And people that never smoked in their entire life still win? I believe this makes me responsible for what I say by signing my name. So please print this. Thank you, Stanley D. Pack.

Here are portions of a letter written by one of the striking nurses to the director of nursing at Whitesburg ARH in response to the nurse receiving a letter asking her to cross her own picket line and return to work: If I had any intentions of (crossing) I would’ve never left. But that was never an option for me. I am so appalled at the way things have gone at ARH, not only now, but pre-strike as well. We have been on a slow spiral to hell for the past two years. I have never seen our hospital in such turmoil. The spirits of all nurses have been broken. Lack of staffing, lack of equipment and management have never been worse. I look at what has become of our hospital and it makes me angry and sick. I have dedicated my life to this hospital, and for what? I’m on strike. Many of my friends have resigned. Everything’s in turmoil and you pretend things are going well. You have hired the bottom of the barrel. Rejects are replacing dedicated nurses. And for the RN’s that stayed, I can’t even comprehend what would make them stay after the way RN’s have been treated by ARH. I thought about quitting – just walking away after years of service to ARH. I am so beaten down by the events of the last several years, especially this past year at ARH. It has been a living hell. The Steelworkers’ strike was a horrible event, but I want to commend the LPN’s. They all united and they came back strong. ARH has the hardest working, most loyal and generous hearted LPN’s anywhere. I would not trade any of them. The RN’s will never forget how supportive they have been these last few weeks. I only wish the RN’s could have been so united and strong. I look at the TV and newspaper ads about other hospitals. They talk about how they’ve grown and all the activities they do for the community. This is what I want for our hospital. I will not quit and walk away. This is my hospital. My family is treated there. My children were born there. I want this hospital to be a place I can be proud of – that my family and community can be proud of. As of right now I can’t think of anything positive to say about ARH. Most all of our doctors have been wonderful during these last several weeks, and also during the Steelworkers’ strike. We are very proud of them. They also want our hospital to be a better place for all of us. So, ‘No,’ I will not cross my picket line to help the current management team. I am not forsaking my patients. I am fighting for them also – for better staffing and safer staffing. And hopefully for better management when we return. I hope the community can see the problems that are present. Management has done nothing but attack the RN’s for the last two years, and this strike was the final blow. It was evident ARH had no intentions of giving us a contract. They walked out on negotiations with four days left and refused to talk. I don’t know what ARH is trying to accomplish. Breaking the union? Breaking the RN’s? Or just breaking ARH? Our community must wake up and help save our hospital or we will not have anything to save. Thank you.

Moving the county forward? No. Smoking at the court meeting? What a waste. Such trivial things that have already been decided are taking us back to the Stone Age and deciding again whether we can smoke in the courthouse and other public buildings. When is going to be the time when people in Letcher County are going to say we don’t want to live in the Dark Ages, that we want to live in the modern times? Jim Ward, are you taking the county forward or taking it back to the Stone Age? How disgusting to be from Letcher County and have the question of whether to reinstate smoking be the number one priority of our government. I’ll bet people in Lexington and everywhere else are laughing. The issue at hand everywhere else is that you’re not even going to be allowed to smoke in public, period.

I was just wondering if the Jenkins School Board knows it has bus drivers who are entering and leaving Dunham as if they are qualifying for NASCAR. They know citizens will try to yield for a school bus, but it seems like they are trying to take advantage of it.

The generalized geological map in last week’s Mountain Eagle was great for Letcher County. That was very nice for The Mountain Eagle to print the story and give everybody the chance to buy the map for landuse planning. For those thinking of building a house in Letcher County, the map left off one interesting note – where coal reserves were and still are and where mining is and has been present. If you’re going to build a home in Letcher County, you better get a map from the people at Mines and Minerals. They will be glad to help you, and it will help keep you from building a home on a site with no water or a strip mine looking at your front porch.

Why is it that if you’re nice to people, don’t wear name brand clothes, and treat people like human beings you are shunned when it comes to being chosen for homecoming queen? I don’t get it. All year, all you hear around school is how certain girls are snotty and how they only talk to certain people. Yet win homecoming comes around, they are the girls that win. It seems that this kind of stuff has gone on for decades in our area. Isn’t it about time that someone who is lowincome, yet very friendly to people represents our school?

Why do we need an animal shelter in Letcher County? Because it would give people a place to drop off their animals instead of shooting, drowning, poisoning, starving and abandoning them on the road. It is wonderful that Letcher County has a group of good people who are willing to stand up and recognize the problem and fix it. No, the shelter could never be big enough to hold all the animals of the county. Some will be sick or unsociable and will have to be put down. Will having a shelter fix the problem of strays and abused animals? The problem won’t go away until people take responsibility and have their animals fixed. The low-cost spay and neuter clinic at the shelter will be the answer that gets things going in the right direction. The Woodstock Animal Foundation fixed over 125 animals in 24 hours when it held its first clinic in Letcher County. Other counties who have shelters with a spay and neuter clinic have proven that it makes a difference in controlling the animal population. Some shelters have gone from a high rate of euthanizing to a much lower one by offering spay and neuter clinics. Perry, Letcher, Breathitt and Knott counties give money to one regional shelter that has a kill rate of over ninety percent. That adds up to between 600 and 800 animals being put down a month. State law requires that all counties have a place for animals to be euthanized and animal rights activists will be successful in getting stricter laws in place, so eventually every county will have its own animal shelter. Letcher County already pays two dog wardens to travel around the county to answer calls on animals that need to be picked up. By the time they get to where they’re going, the animals have already gone. It’s a waste of time and gas. I hope people understand that nobody is putting animals before kids or running water. The county is working on improving all the problems it is facing one step at a time. (If you think a county official wrote this you are wrong. I’m just that so-called dog crazy person.) The people that are sitting around writing negative remarks need to find something to do like fighting for a cause and making a difference in this world while they have the chance.

This is for a lady who is always falling or breaking a tooth: Could Lortab be the answer to this?

We promised to someday live in Tennessee and drive a Thunderbird, but life has taken us in different directions. You know who you are, and I need to talk to you. Please contact me. You can get my number through my aunt. She won’t mind you calling. I already know that you have asked about me through my cousins. Call me, honey.

If anyone out there has a copy of the ‘Keep the Faith’ collection in CD or cassette, or you know anyone who has them, please call me at 606-633-0079. I’ve lost a couple of mine and I would like to copy and replace them. Thank you very much, and have a good day.

I think it’s a bunch of bull that the track team and the crosscountry team don’t get any respect, but these sports we’ve never heard of before are getting all kinds of respect. That’s great, but when is something going to come out about the cross-country and track teams? All football, all volleyball, and nothing else. What’s wrong at Letcher County Central High School?

Two words not used in the King James Bible – Sunday and rapture. Think about it.

To my pretty baby girl: You already know who this is from the first four words. I just wanted to let you know that I will be thinking about you tonight while I’m in the mine. Just wanted to let you know that our past has been good and bad, but the good outweighs the bad. We’re going to be starting a new life soon when we get married, but like the song says, I’m lost in this moment with you. The last year and a half has been wonderful, and I hope there are many to come. I love you, baby. Jimbo.

To a certain woman: Please come back and drive the bus. We all miss you.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank a member of the United Steel Workers for his undying support for the KNA. This man wrote on his truck window, ‘I support KNA.’ In doing so he was told he could no longer use the Whitesburg ARH employee parking lot if he left it on his window. He was told he would need to park off the hill. Personally, I think ARH has infringed on his right to free speech, but this gentleman still leaves this written on his window and continues to park his truck every day on the Tunnel Hill side of the hospital and walk to work. It doesn’t matter if it’s cold or if it’s raining. No, this man doesn’t have a mother, wife, or sister out there on the picket line. He has no blood family out there at all, but what he does have is his extended family – his friends, neighbors and co-workers who are trying to make a difference in good quality patient care. Thank you, Andy Cates, x-ray tech, for your continued support during our efforts.

I could not help but stop and think about the comment concerning the one person shoplifting at two different locations here in Letcher: Seems to me that this is the same one who got caught leaving her kid alone in the car at a store. She also got caught shoplifting in Isom, also got fired from a store in Isom. Why is this lady, or girl, still running around in Letcher County? It seems like they are going to let her have enough rope to hang herself. If I were her I would be ashamed to show my face out in public.

Top ten things the ARH nurses that crossed the picket line used their scab money for: 10. Bribe ARH to hire my daughter; 9. Help buy gas for ‘Scab Cab’; 8. Pay sister-in-law to baby-sit so I can go on my cruise to Cancun; 7. Pay for my divorce; 6. Buy new cabinets and a new home; 5. To support my boyfriend’s/ husband’s habits; 4. To buy new batteries for my and my girlfriends’ ‘toys’; 3. To pay for my friend and I to go to Hilton Head; 2. Pay for trip to Disney World and buy Hannah Montana tickets; 1. Buy ARH’s respect (Yeah right, like we could ever get that).

Speak Your Piece was more interesting than ever this past week. The principal in Jenkins should be fired for taking the cell phones away from kids. She must think the kids are in school to learn. Changes are hard. Did anyone ever think of educating people on smoking? When my wife and I travel I get a nonsmoking room. When out to dinner I get seated in a non-smoking area. At home I either smoke outside or in my workshop. I smoke in my truck and not in her car. If she is with me in my truck I roll my window down, creating a vacuum letting the smoke out my window. I really think some people just like to bitch. I never hear these people complain about having to buy drinking water, the polluted air we have to breathe, the chemicals in our food, the lack of education our children are getting, etc. If half of these people would use the same amount of time to complain about dope and how it is destroying the country we could have a better life. To you smokers: Be polite when you want to smoke. Who do the nurses think they are? They went to school and take care of us when we are sick and now they think they deserve a decent wage? Why not bitch about something that’s good for all people? Maybe some of you people can get the churches to band together and run the big dopers out of the county. Crime and dope do serious harm. So, why have I never heard the churches complain? Now there is something to think about. The court system stinks and very few complain, but light up a smoke and all hell breaks loose. OOPS, almost forgot, I think we should ban bingo.

This is about the staph that is going around at the schools: There have been many schools that have shut down for a day to have them cleaned, but Jenkins Middle High has not. I’m saying this because I don’t want my son coming home with this deadly infection and giving it to his younger brother and sister.

I love those Safe Caring Absolutely Beautiful Souls at ARH.

Thank you, Mountain Eagle, for a great job. I have read all the comments in Speak Your Piece about the strike and how bad, according to some people, the scabs are. Well, according to Webster’s Dictionary, a scab is a crust that forms over a sore in order for healing to take place. The ‘sores’ are standing beside the road while the ‘scabs’ are forming over them. These sores have been eating away at ARH for some time, so let them stand beside the road.

Where do I begin? I was at a funeral home the other night and was shocked at the behavior of certain family members of the deceased. A long-standing so-called feud between a few family members over petty little things has been going on for way too long. I have been ashamed to even know certain ones involved in this ignorant and childish spat. They think they have to keep picking on and badmouthing each other on and on so they will have something to chew on. Well it is way past time to forgive and forget. Let it go, people. To see an entire family – and I don’t mean two or three people – split up over someone else’s divorce is not only unacceptable but mostly sad. There will be no more holidays shared, no more birthdays to celebrate, and most of all no more Christmas gettogethers. This has ruined everything that this family has been brought up to believe in. Shame on you who are still willing to scratch and growl because you have hard feelings for your own brothers and sisters. As far as I understand, some of the clan didn’t even have anything to do with any of the uncalled for finger pointing and the ‘he said she said’ crap that you few have chosen to sling all over Harlan and Letcher counties. Don’t any of you miss each other? I know a bunch that misses everything you all used to do together. Think of all the good times and the good memories that you all have shared all through the years before all of this began. Remember that the ones who kept their mouths shut are the ones that suffer the most. I have heard and seen some of the most appalling behavior – from the mother, mostly. She could have stopped most of it by keeping out of something that had nothing to do with her. She has told how she likes to egg things on just to get a little rile out of some of the other participants in this ongoing feud. People, keep your opinions of other family members to yourselves instead of telling the public everything that you like or dislike about certain ones who have offended you. I have now figured out which ones like to keep this going, and I can assure you their day is coming. I know that a few in that family claim to go to church, but still hate, belittle, slander, and persecute their loved ones. They will stand and curse and call bad names all day long on Saturday, then get up and go to church on Sunday. Same on you. Judgment Day is coming. What an example you all are to your children and grandchildren. When I am traveling back to where I came from for this funeral I will be so thankful that I am not near enough to hear what is said about this little wakeup call.

Grandmother, you have embarrassed me as far as the eye can see. I can’t believe how you have been making public all your sins. To love one and not the other is not the act of a loving mother. The days you have sat and grumbled have caused the little ones to trip and stumble. You ride high on your horse, you slam and slander with no recourse. The time has come to reconcile. This has been going on too long awhile. So practice what you preach in church on Sunday, and get your family back by noon on Monday.

A vision of the future: The ‘BillyCats’ will shock the world with a sooner than expected trip to the Final Four this season. This sets the stage for a new dominance. The BillyCats become the nation’s team, beloved by all. Hillary becomes president and the ‘Cats shoot past UCLA during her eight years. The BillyCats make so many appearances to the White House they hold a scrimmage on the White House lawn one year. In the meantime, Billy Clyde falls in love with Chelsea, they marry and he one day becomes a great Democrat U.S. Senator from Kentucky and ultimately President. This opens the door for John Pelphrey to come home. He takes the throne with much admiration followed by unparalleled success. Then it’s time for Jesus.

I agree with a comment made in last week’s paper about people wanting to modify the smoking ban now in effect in Letcher County. The comment also mentioned the other needs of the county being ignored while the county judge and all his buddies are trying to undo what the former county judge did. It is nice to be able to go out and eat in a restaurant without smelling smoke or having to make sure you are seated where the smoke won’t get to your baby. Well, whoever made the comment on Letcher County being pathetic hit the nail right on the head. They got all the right people in office to really do what they’ve set out to do all along. Twenty years ago you’d never thought you could go to a restaurant here and order an alcoholic beverage. This place has gone to the dogs. When is all this ‘you scratch my back I’ll scratch yours’ politics going to be investigated? The problem is we’ve got a bunch holding offices now who think they are God. If you don’t have money in this county you’re nothing. But what goes around comes around.

(Voters, not public officials, have taken the action that has made alcohol sales legal at some restaurants in the City of Whitesburg and at the winery in the community of Seco.)

Letcher Elementary School PTO will be hosting a Halloween themed Fall Festival on Friday (November 2) starting at 5 p.m. There will be games, chili dinners, a Halloween costume contest, and much more. At 8 p.m. there will be an auction held in the cafeteria. For more information please call April Stevens at 633-2524.

To the person seeking answers about Pawz and Clawz humane society: You need to ask the members of this organization instead of hiding behind Speak Your Piece. You seem to know who we are. Our numbers are listed, call us, or better yet come to our meetings. Maybe then you can see just how hard we work for free, and how much of our own money is spent caring for God’s creatures. God created the animals and then he created Adam to name and care for them. Eve was created as an afterthought when God decided Adam also needed a companion like himself.

KRS 212.625 states each county shall establish, maintain and operate an animal shelter for animals. This is not a new law. It has been in effect for many years. Jim Ward and the Letcher County Fiscal Court are following the law. What you should be asking is why the previous county leaders failed to comply with Kentucky state laws.

To the person who wrote in about scabs being degenerate, nasty, unclean, and ugly people who are not to be treated like a human: At least they are the ones that are actually doing the work while you all sit on your behinds picketing. Someone has to take care of those patients, and if you all are not going to accept the deal then you have no right talking about scabs. They need to work just the same as anyone else.

To the person who wants to know why nurses are ‘crying’ about working overtime: Obviously you did not think this through. Thank you for saying you support the nurses. Now let’s address the problem of overtime in nursing. First of all, overtime means 16-hour shifts, not 12- hour shifts, or it means multiple 12-hour shifts with only one day off since you have been mandated on one of your scheduled days off. You compared miners with nurses and coal truck drivers, all of whom work long hours. But did you consider that as nurses we may have 10 or 20 patients whose lives are in our hands? You have to be able to think fast and quickly during an emergency situation to save your life or one of your families lives. We have to be able to calculate the math for each patient’s medications correctly and give medications when we are exhausted. Do you have any idea how many medications have to be given in that 12- or 16-hour shift? No, we don’t just sit around at a desk. Yes, we do have to do a lot of paperwork. And you have no idea how much we may have to write the same thing in four or five different places just to keep from being sued. We have to document everything and fill out the all the necessary forms. I don’t think miners and coal truck drivers have to do the paperwork that is required by law in the medical profession. I could go on, but that would take too much time and space. The majority of coal truck drivers and miners are men. The majority of nurses are women. Do these men come home from the 12- or 16-hour shifts and multiple days in a row only to start their other jobs of cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, taking care of children, helping the children with their homework or projects such as baking cupcakes for school the next day? Do the men who are miners and truck drivers pay the bills and grocery shop? Need I continue? So the next time you think of nurses complaining about overtime, consider that they have another role at home – mother and wife.

A nurse in the intensive care unit worked seven out of nine days, all of which were 12-hour shifts, not by choice. Would you want her to take care of you or your family member if they were critical in ICU? Nurses are the patient care advocate. They are the bridge to the doctors. How do you think a doctor knows when a patient becomes critically ill and crashes? It is the nurse who is at that patient’s bedside and she is the first to notify him. If that nurse is too tired and exhausted she could just as easily miss small signs of distress until it is too late. Money is not more important than putting someone’s life in danger. So no, I don’t need or want the overtime. I would like to spend time with my own family and children, but I am unable to if I am too exhausted from understaffing and being mandated to work overtime. These are the issues we are trying to make the public aware of and understand our plight as nurses. Research has proven tired nurses are more apt to make mistakes – maybe even one that means our own lives. Have you considered if one is tired and gets stuck with a dirty needle what could happen? We could catch a deadly disease such as HIV or hepatitis. We are at risk for exposure to a lot of diseases that could affect our own lives as well as our families’ lives. Please know that I love my job as a nurse, and I love all my patients. I went into nursing not for the money but to make a difference in my community. So please continue your support for all the nurses whether you know one personally or not. She is someone’s mother, sister, daughter, wife, friend or neighbor.

If this area is ever to attract tourists, retirees or clean industry it must be cleaned up and the stray dogs, cats, chickens, etc., must be hidden or removed. And I am not advocating a $300,000 animal center. It is immediately obvious when you turn off the Mountain Parkway at Campton that you have entered a different world, one with striking potential beauty, but one whose beauty is hidden by junk vehicles and the usual litter. This type of environment and the prevailing attitude that condones it are not consistent with improvement, progress or a very high level of health. The choice here is up to the residents. If they choose to live this way nothing can be done. If they would like a better life the first thing they should do is clean up their yards.

This week’s paper was mostly a ringing endorsement of lawand order and fiscal responsibility, neither of which exists in very large amounts in Letcher County. If county officials truly want to know the needs of the county and the mood of the residents, they couldn’t do better than to study the last two versions of Speak Your Piece. These comments are the stark, unadorned truth and are probably a harbinger of better days to come.

Anyone interested in having a class reunion for the Whitesburg High School class of 1983 is asked to please contact me at whs1983reunion@yahoo.com. 2008 marks a big anniversary for us.

I would like to add my comments to those in this week’s paper on the $300,000 animal shelter. I agree one hundred percent that it is irresponsible, but I want it to go further than that. I can’t imagine that just came out of the blue. What prompted that idea? Who introduced it? Who did they have in mind for building it? Who for providing the considerable inventory of food and other materials for running it? The amount alone with so little justification causes suspicion.

The message to the Letcher County Fiscal Court in Speak Your Piece this past week was multi-pronged and blunt. Cut our losses on projects that have been promoted by small special interest groups and provide no benefits to the county. Forget about animal shelters and get us water lines and sewer systems. Listen to the resounding voice of the county on the smoking ban. Acknowledge that you have a higher purpose in life than maintaining the status quo and building enough roads to get you reelected. Improvement in our way of life is possible; try for it.

Lawyers who try to intimidate, bluff, and bully the opposing lawyers, prosecutors and victims don’t accomplish much. These bush-league tactics went out with Clarence Darrow and black-and-white crime drama movies of the nineteen forties. They just make their opposition more determined, annoy the judges, and take up valuable court time with their histrionics. Fortunately these people are in the minority.

Every week I read in Speak Your Piece where someone is always saying something about this one or that one dealing drugs. We all have a right to our opinions and freedom of speech is one of the great things about this country, but what about freedom of a personal life? It seems to me unless you are in those people’s homes you cannot really say what they are doing. Why do people in this area feel the need to stick their noses in everyone’s business? Not that I agree with drug dealing; it’s just that unless they are personally harming you then why run your mouths?

This is to the crass person who keeps writing here about the ‘terrible’ animal shelter we are trying

to have built here: What is your problem? Do you hate animals or something? You sure sound like you do. Your numerical facts are off the charts also. I mean for one, you said in Letcher County ‘most’ people don’t have running water. What? Do you even live here? Most people do have running water here last time I checked, except maybe people in the most remote parts of the county. Also in every comment you make about the animal shelter you always add in stuff about the ARH hospital. Are you someone from the hospital that is mad because the fiscal court is siding with the nurses who are protesting? Seems like it to me. Geez, you really need to lighten up. If you are so much of a know-it-all about everything like you seem to think you are, maybe you need to run for President of the United States or something. You have your little stats and figures about everything and anything. You have way too much time on your hands. Bad thing is, you really do not know what you are talking about. Stop downing everything and everybody and get a life.

To the person remarking about the Jenkins water: You said it wasn’t like this under the last administration. Well I don’t recall a drought under that mayor and I believe all the same people are still there except one and he didn’t work at the water plant. So what is the deal? The mayor can’t help the drought and I think the water people do a great job with the equipment they have. If I’m not mistaken, the lines were supposed to be redone a long while ago. So maybe before downing the water crew you need to look at who’s there – the same bunch of guys that were there under the previous mayor.

We do not want the smoking law to change in Letcher County.

I’m looking for information on John D. Adams, born in 1828, Cowan, Perry County, Kentucky. He died in 1866 in Cowan, Letcher County, Kentucky. His parents were Randolph Adams, and Nancy Caudill. We would like to find out where he’s buried. If anyone has information about John D. Adams please send the information to Gladys Triplett, P.O. Box 366, Hazel Green, KY 41332.

I want to know when the men who killed Dr. Acker’s daughter, Tammy, are going to be put to death. It’s been 22 years and they’re still on Death Row. How much longer are our tax dollars going to keep these men alive? Our legal system in this nation is out of control. The laws for appeals, etc., will never be changed. If they were, the lawyers wouldn’t make as much money. To let this be postponed any longer is an injustice to everyone in Letcher County. Why do we have capital punishment if it isn’t used? Let’s speak up and get these men and others who are on Death Row to the place they deserve to be – six feet under. I read that the average prisoner costs somewhere around $50,000 per year to house. It’s now 22 years and counting for the Acker murderers. Do the math. The money spent on these murderers could have been used to better our county. Not only did they commit murder and robbery in 1985, but they have continued to rob us of our tax dollars to keep them on Death Row. Wake up, people. Help me call attention to events and people of the past which unknowingly cost all of us money while being an injustice to the principles of our state laws. Why have the laws if they are not going to be enforced? Let’s not forget about something terrible that happened a long time ago. When will there be justice?

To Jenkins Superintendent John Shook: I wish you would come to the children’s activities and see how some of your coaches act. Some of them are not being good role models for children. Jenkins has one of the best principals Jenkins has had in a long time and I’m glad to have her, but some of the coaches need to go. If you will look at our athletics, Jenkins is losing more and more kids each year because certain coaches are doing nothing to encourage our kids to participate, but discouraging them because they have their favorites or they make fun of them. These kids are hurt by their actions. Please, Mr. Shook, look into this situation. We thank you.

I just want the community to know that many of the nurses at WARH did not go out on strike. We still provide the best care in eastern Kentucky. We are not ashamed of our decision to return to work to provide an honest living for our families. Our hospital is fully staffed and is full with patients. If you don’t like it here then you need to go work somewhere else and stop your whining.

To the striking nurses: Please quit calling up to the hospital. You are trying to take away time that could be spent caring for our patients.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but calling me a scab will never hurt me.

The nurses on strike talk about what a horrible place the hospital is, yet where do they go when one of their family members gets sick or needs care? You guessed it, they head up the hill to the hospital. Now if the nurses who are working here are as horrible as they portray them to be, then why on earth don’t they take them somewhere else? They want respect, but first they have to learn how to give respect. And these people are acting like children with all this name calling. Grow up, KNA members. You are supposed to be professionals. Now act like it.

I would like to leave a comment about two certain girls in Smokey Row: They know who they are and they better watch their back. I’m tired of going down the road and getting the middle finger and going to the store and getting no respect from them while I’m trying to be as nice as I can. If they want to bring something on they know where I live. Thanks.

I miss you Aunt Angel, Aunt Dede, Nana, Uncle Reggie, and Brock.

To the person who made the comment in Speak Your Piece about the ICU nurse coming to tears at the fiscal court meeting: First of all, if you or anyone from ARH would have been there you all would know the comment was not made by an ICU nurse. It was quoted wrong by the reporter. But to the comment about talking on the phone to family: My family may not mean that much to you, but my family comes before ARH any day. So if they need me anytime they can call me. It has never interfered with the job I do. If I have a doctor that needs me or a patient emergency, I always hang up and tell them I will call back later. As for smoking, yes I do smoke and I do get union breaks, thank you. Let’s talk about how some of the supervisors go to Wal-Mart, do their banking and get a haircut. And let’s not forget taking their dog to the vet or lunch in a nice restaurant on company time. See, it is true that what goes around comes around. Or as the old saying goes, if you live in a glass house don’t throw rocks. So be careful what you say and who you say your comments about.

I am sorry for what I did. I didn’t mean to let you down. Please forgive me. I need you just as bad as you need me. I don’t want to live without you, I can’t live without you. I’ve been thinking about you so much since you said good-bye. I thought I would be okay without you, but I’m not. Please write me. I’m sorry. I’ll never let you down again. I love you. Always and forever yours. Your baby girl.

This is to all the parents whose children aren’t in
sports. Please read this: Do you talk to your children about anything that goes
on at school? If not you need to sit down and ask them if they are mistreated or
treated differently than the ones who are in sports, like football and
cheerleading. I was told by my kids that there is a huge difference in favoring.
Sometimes they are separated in class by putting the football players and
cheerleaders on one side and the other kids – our kids – on the other side of
the room. The teachers allow the athletic students to make fun of our kids, and
they are not punished for it. But if it was our kids doing that they would be
punished. There is a whole lot more that goes on besides that. They just give
them A’s and B’s just so they can play. It is all about football and
cheerleaders. Please talk to your kids to see if this is happening to them. We
parents need to stand up for our kids. They deserve an education, not the bull
that these teachers are doing by paying more attention to the athletic ones. I
think it is a shame that most of the teachers treat the other ones like they
don’t mean anything. So hopefully you teachers will read this and it hits you
right in the face. Stuff like this going on in this school could lead to
something horrifying, and we would not want that. We need to take control of
this matter before it gets out of hand. Thank you. Worried mother.




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