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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.

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: mtneagle@bellsouth.net

Merry Christmas to my angel. I love you.

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So you’re all fired up about getting a raise on the minimum wage? You better think about it again. When you get raise, everything is going to go up in price, then you wind up losing. And the worst part of it all is that your people on a fixed income are the ones who lose the most, because they still have to pay that increased cost.

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I was over at Eolia the other day and decided to swing by the school. Every time I go there I never see the principal. If he was there more often then maybe the children wouldn’t get sick from eating the cafeteria food.

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I see in The Mountain Eagle where Mitch McConnell sent his advocate into Letcher County to give some awards and to proclaim that he’s a champion for coal. Well, he’s been in office for 30 years. Why hasn’t he done something during those 30 years to save coal? He doesn’t tell you the facts; he doesn’t care to lie. He and Rand Paul are ineffective at getting money for projects in their own state. No one in Letcher County can tell one thing Mitch McConnell has done to help Letcher County. He’s also for the right to work law, votes against food stamps, and voted to privatize Social Security.

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If we really do have a dog warden in Letcher County, whey don’t they send him up to Chopping Branch in McRoberts and make these people put their dogs up. They tear the garbage up and are just a nuisance to the whole community. People won’t put their dogs up at all. I’m tired of having to pick my garbage up every week.

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I get tired of listening to ‘The Swap Shop,’ so I just turn it off when it comes on now. Every morning you hear the same people. One is on there twice a day. He apparently likes to be on there to hear his own voice on the radio. It’s like it’s a hobby he has. I wish people would just use it one time, and not use it every day two and three times. The other people who have items to sell can’t get on. Thank you.

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It must be pretty bad when you have a reputation so bad you need somebody to work and want to get rid of the one you’ve got but can’t. You have such a poor reputation for accusing people of stealing you can’t get a new employee.

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I’m the lady who lives in Coon Hollow. First, what makes you think I’m enjoying anything? If you weren’t such a coward you wouldn’t hide behind a piece of paper. You would talk to me face to face. Evidently, he’s where he wants to be. You don’t see him anywhere else. How stupid are you?

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I was just wondering if anybody could tell me what business a male school teacher at Jenkins has being at all the cheerleading practices.

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Prior to my death, I am requesting money in lieu of flowers. Please make you check payable to the Midnight Phantom.

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Speak Your Piece, please allow me to speak my piece by printing the correspondence I sent to you by snail mail. I bet more people in this county know this number by heart than any other number in the land of the U.S.A.

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A Letcher County man who recently lost his wife will soon be single. He will have a lonely life. He doesn’t like many people because we don’t bow to him like some members of his family do. I understand that he earlier went to Whitesburg High School, where he didn’t have many friends mainly because of his attitude. He didn’t finish school, saying he was going to get his G.E.D. instead, which he didn’t. Truly he is such a wonderful person that people have judged differently. Ha-ha.

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I’m calling about the University of Kentucky basketball program and Rupp Arena: I was at the game December 1 in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. If UK wants to move forward, it should try to use the pattern being used at the Barclays Center and bring it to Lexington and turn Rupp Arena around. I’m telling you, the people would never leave. They would come six hours before the game starts and stay until midnight after it’s over. It was awesome up there. We lucked out and got a suite and didn’t even know we had it. It is just unbelievable. Please design the new Rupp Arena like the Barclays Center.

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Alright, people, let’s give our pastor a break here. He didn’t preach any 30 to 45 minutes; it was only 25, and that’s only because he’d found a job but turned it down and wants to be debtfree. Let’s give him a break and let him live his lifestyle.

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To a certain man: You have to put your wife down to impress your so-called angel. That only makes you look like the scumbag you are.

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I was never one to complain about anyone’s work, but I have never seen such a sorry bunch as this company that’s clearing the power lines — Asplundh. No wonder our power bill is outrageous. It is ridiculous.

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I would like to ask the people at the Government Channel through the newspaper if they would play copies of three tapes of a certain official carrying absentee ballots into another official’s office. I have video of him getting them out of his vehicle and I have video of him placing the ballots on another official’s desk to help him win the election. I also have a video of his secretary out and about giving them out to people. I have audio of this same official promising jobs for votes. I have kept these tapes since the last election and want them played before this next election so the people will know who they are voting for. If the Government Channel wishes to say yes, it can be told to me through the paper and I will provide the tapes. If the Government Channel says no, then the people will know what is going on. Video doesn’t lie. And this audio doesn’t lie.

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There were 26 indictments listed in this past week’s Mountain Eagle and only six of them were not related to drugs. I think we need a drug rehabilitation center in Letcher County to help with all the drug addicts and drug crimes. Our county counselors waste so much money on BS it’s crazy when all we need is to find help for the people addicted to drugs. A drug rehab center would provide the help that’s needed.

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One problem we have in this county is the courthouse wasting money on things they shouldn’t. Some of the crimes in this county, such as when really pretty girls get caught with narcotics, are being done away with when those pretty girls agree to service certain people. I know this for a fact, because one of the girls I see got caught with a narcotic and somehow her case miraculously disappeared.

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When people who have no money are arrested in Letcher County they are always held under a high bond they can’t pay. Therefore they just sit in jail whether they are innocent or guilty until they go to court. It could be months or years. People who have money and get arrested get straight out of jail and stay out until they go to court, where they usually then beat the charge. It is not fair that the people in Letcher County with no money and no work have to sit in jail after being charged with only a minor crime while those with money are freed on bail even if they’ve been charged with a major crime.

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Hey, Captain Coconut, don’t you wish you could leave a legacy like Mr. Mandela did? Oh you’ll be remembered, Mr. President — that’s for sure — as the man who demoralized America, who took the 40-hour work week and destroyed it, and who should have been in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade dancing with the transsexuals who had a dress on. You say the Republicans didn’t offer anything to help you with Obamacare? You like a dog. Of course we wouldn’t expect anything else, because your bible says you can lie to get what you want.

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Suboxone is being sold cheap right now at a certain trailer in Whitco. Other drugs are available too. Something needs to be done.

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Mitch McConnell was in Pikeville last week listening to what he called ‘the people,’ but the people I saw on TV were all coal company officials. He never listened to the coal miners or he never would have voted to cut their black lung benefits or voted to cut their unemployment compensation.

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Senator Mitch McConnell needs to quit talking out both sides of his mouth and lying to the unemployed coal miners. While I was watching the senator blame the White House and the EPA for every problem the coal companies are now having I got a telephone call on McConnell’s behalf asking me to call him to thank him for his support for the natural gas industry and all the gas industry is going to do to put America back to work again. The number from where the call was made was a Kentucky number, 502-706-2264, but it is one of those that is set up so that you can’t call it back. I am a Republican and I am sick of Mitch McConnell’s lies.

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Do parents not teach their children even the simplest of manners these days? I try to support local businesses, but I am sick and tired of being treated so rudely by the young men and women, including some that have to be more than 30 years old. Not only do they act as if you are bothering them by being in the store or restaurant, they don’t even show the simple courtesy of saying ‘you’re welcome’ after you tell them ‘thank you.’ I can’t believe store owners and managers, including our chain stores, allow this employee behavior to go on, especially during a time when money is so tight in this area.

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What gets me is why an atheist would want to fight against God if they don’t believe in Him. I don’t understand that.

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I have been looking at the brochure published by the Center for Rural Development to promote recreation and tourism for the City of Jenkins. It looks like they have just thrown together a bunch of worn out words and phrases to try to justify the thousands of dollars spent with a socalled mini-grant. Words like strategic, infrastructure, comprehensive, categorize, prioritize, implement, identify, objectives, create, establish and vision. There was no evidence of how to fund the various proposals or how to keep them profitable. The proposed visitors center at the Kentucky/ Virginia state line is an example. We once had the money available to build such a facility but no funding to operate it. It would take millions of dollars to do the things listed in the brochure. Incidentally, where is the $10 million budgeted during the Governor Paul Patton administration for downtown revitalization and development during the Shubert administration? All I saw was a new sidewalk downtown and some flowerbeds. To beat is all, Mayor G.C. Kincer came along and removed most of those flowerbeds. Now, this strategic plan calls for planting trees along the streets. Why? So someone can come behind them and dig them up? If grant money is available, why not do something practical like removing the old deteriorated buildings such as was done under the Mayor Dixon administration? With a $50,000 gift from former Beth-Elkhorn manager Dave Zegeer, more than 20 of these old structures were removed. If there is grant money available, No.1, use it to clean up the city and No. 2, use it as an incentive to get businesses to locate in this area as they do in central Kentucky and elsewhere. When you have jobs I guarantee there will be entrepreneurs who will locate businesses here and spend their own money to take advantage of those payroll checks and expand the commerce in Jenkins and the surrounding areas. Wake up! Letcher Countians; can’t you see the writing on the wall? Thousands of coal mining jobs have been lost in the last 25 years and they’re not coming back. Don’t waste another day of your life waiting for a resurgence of the coal industry. Here are a couple of good words for the folks writing the strategic plans: diversification and education. This area must think outside the box and search for non-coal related industry. Tourism is just one of the hundreds of things we must promote. Can you name even one business in Letcher County that can survive with tourism dollars alone? The proposed federal prison will be a boon to our economy, but we must have more industry and to attract industry we must have educated people available to work those jobs. Thank you for your indulgence.

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I have seen enough of Miley Cyrus in various news clips. Her lewd and lascivious gyrations on stage are too suggestive. Isn’t she a wonderful role model for the young girls in America? Her parents should disown her, but they are probably sitting there watching her and counting the money.

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I was watching the Jenkins City Council meeting on the Letcher County Government Channel and nearly threw up. I can’t believe that my tax dollars were spent to work up a proposal for developing tourism and commerce in Jenkins and they came up with a ‘Bad’ John Wright Moonshine Trail. The word ‘moonshine’ means illegal whisky. If John Wesley Wright was making corn liquor, it was just another farm product; so what is the big deal? What if they did name the main street through Jenkins the ‘Bad’ John Wright Moonshine Trail? Do you seriously think tourist will come here and spend $200 or $300 a day to stay in our fine hotels and eat at our fine restaurants and shop at our fine crafts shops while craning their rubber necks trying to get a glimpse of a toothless, barefoot hillbilly wearing a coonskin cap and smoking a corncob pipe while toting bags of sugar and corn through the woods around Goodwater Street to make some of that wonderful Kentucky moonshine from that clear mountain water draining out of the Pine Mountain Tunnel? Why not do something more realistic and contemporary like naming the roads from the head of Dunham and the lower end of Burdine to downtown Jenkins ‘The Jenkins Garbage Trail’? We could get a guided tour bus and show them the discarded pop cans and fast food wrappers and cigarette packs and hypodermic needles along the trail then follow the empty beer cans from scenic downtown Jenkins to the state line beer store at Pound Gap. If we get more tourists in here we could have a city wide clean-up every month instead of twice a year. Then the tourists could see us responsible citizens down in the ditches picking up their freaking garbage.

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Isiah, Alexander and Chelsea. We sure do love and miss you guys so much. We hope Santa will bring you lots of cool things. Hopefully he will bring you something good for your pony, Isiah. Merry Christmas. With love and prayers from two crazy people who are crazy for you guys.

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The roads were solid ice when I took my kids and some neighbor kids out to the bus stop. I’m not doing that anymore. It was dangerous and I don’t want to get the kids hurt. From now on I’ll just keep mine home and let the school board say something to me about it. I’ll take pictures and we’ll see how that goes.

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To a certain person: I heard you were talking about me at the ballgame. No surprise. Ha, ha. It is so hard for you to absorb that your ex is done with you, you have to convince yourself and everyone else I’m to blame for everything that occurs. Evidently that’s your stability for everyday life. Gee, thanks for the attention. Ha, ha. It’s really humiliating for you to show such jealousy and resentment toward me. You must take water pills to lose weight, that’s why you take so many bathroom breaks. I’m sure you’ll live to a ripe old age. Only the bad die last. Unfortunately the good seem to die first. You really are hilarious. Ha, ha.

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To Janet II: Had a good time with you Thanksgiving. Hope to see you at Christmas. Find me at Cromona Post Office. Love, CAC

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Happy late birthday to Tina Neace of Neon. Merry Christmas to Kenny Ott and Cookie, our neighbors. Merry Christmas also to everyone who lives up Bartesta Branch plus Lonzo Road. Moving right along, all our friends and relatives at the Whitesburg Housing Project, the people at Letcher County Jail, all the people at our West Manor Nursing Home. And last but not least, Merry Christmas to the homeless wherever you are. Stanley Pack

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Listen up, my children! I’m watching you; Merry Christmas and Happy 2014 to: Cheese Cake Martha and Peter the Great,/Shane, Derrick, Smoker, and Gail;/Bret, Amaria, and Bret “Boomer,” Jr.,/Bill, Rhoda, and Asher, E.L.;/Allen and Ritter, Francis and Alex,/Jamison, Arabella, Mike and Betty;/ Mom, Dad, Anita and Luke;/ Hobert, Charlie, Nicky and Heady;/Anita J., Libby, and Denzil,/Mildred Louise and Virginia Buddy;/Sunshine JohnElla and Naptown Shelia,/ Santa and Half Pint and Estil Curty;/Mountain Dew Jennifer, Emily, and Braden,/ Johnny Mac Brown, Ashley and Braden;/ Speak Your Piece, not to fear;/Here’s wishing you holiday cheer;/ Be cool, kiddies, and have a good one;/’Tis not the time for a temper tantrum;/This season’s greeting is brought to you . . ./ Compliments of the Midnight Phantom. Thanks.

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One perfect gift: Imagine . . . a Christmas celebration that is without a monumental campaign to entice men, women and children to go out and buy all manner of modern day trinkets and gadgets for that special someone in your life. Now, consider that same celebration, wherein no presents have been carefully wrapped in papers of silver and gold and then placed under a beautiful evergreen that has been splendidly adorned with grand ornaments and brilliants colors of light. A celebration that has no profane and old wives’ tales, no pagan rituals, no vain traditions, ideologies, theories or philosophies of men, and no mythical legends of jolly fables, such as Santa Claus, his elves and tiny reindeer. A celebration that is without commercialism and consumerism. Sadly enough, should such a celebration take place in many churches today, I fear that all too many churchgoers would perceive the perpetrator of such an event as being ‘the Grinch who stole Christmas.’ Which is really very sad considering the words that Jesus spoke unto us all in the book of St. Luke 12:34, KJV, ‘For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ As each of you celebrate this Christmas 2013, I humbly implore you to let Jesus be at the forefront of your celebration. Let us give glory to the ‘one perfect gift’. Though we, as Christians, are uncertain as to the exact date of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, we acknowledge, embrace and hold fast to the Holy Scripture’s divine account of His miraculous birth and declare unto this world the immutable truth, Jesus is the greatest gift that this world will ever know!

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This world is so doggone upside-down it drives me crazy. I turned my TV on just a bit ago only to see pro basketball player Derrick Rose commanding attention at a press conference as if he’s the president or pope or someone talking about the late Nelson Mandela. Have we gotten so desperate in this country that we really do care about what comes out of the mouth of a man who can’t even score the minimum on an ACT test without cheating? People, when are we going to say enough is enough?

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There is a politically motivated dispute in parts of Letcher County that is actually less rooted in partisan politics than it is in the politics of resentment and the struggle between enlightened government and the status quo. Some of this has played out not in The Mountain Eagle but in the other so-called ‘newspaper’ in Letcher County in vile and unconscionable attacks on the Whitesburg City Council, and has taken the guise of ‘reporting’ when it should have been placed on the editorial page so the readers would fully understand what it was. However, that ‘paper’ is deeply mired in the politics of resentment and has little interest in accurate reporting, but has always had a real interest in grinding personal and political axes, and in defending the status quo. But enough about the Fox News of Letcher County papers. In the county’s two largest cities, Jenkins and Whitesburg, we have two relatively dynamic mayors, or at least as dynamic as we have seen in quite a while, with city councils which have shown a lot of courage by being willing to advance their cities through the powers of government. And both cities are moving forward, slowly, but moving forward nonetheless, although they are also dragging a considerable amount of baggage with them. Both city governments have problems, some of their own making, but most of which result from years of relatively benign neglect by previous governments dating well back into the 1970s. In Jenkins in particular, the last three administrations have been faced with a very difficult struggle to rebuild the city’s entire water system while still maintaining a viable city, but that struggle is succeeding and will soon be completed. But in fact, the problems primarily result from the collapse of the Appalachian coal industry. And both cities have realized that the coal industry, if it does come back at all, will never be the economic engine it one was. If Letcher County is to advance, it has to look far beyond coal. That’s what Jenkins and Whitesburg are doing, by thinking out of the box, but more appropriately, out of the coal bucket. In Whitesburg, small business has flourished, particularly restaurants and bars, and they have added a good deal of revenue to the city and brought in thousands of new visitors. When the Summit City Lounge or the StreetSide Grill and Bar have bands or other events, some with national followings, the city and county benefit from the infl ux of visitors who stay long enough to contribute to the economy and some even fall in love with Whitesburg and Letcher County. Other businesses have followed and the Whitesburg business scene is more dynamic than it has been in many years. Jenkins has less of a small business base, but the council and mayor have actively courted connections with state and federal partners as well as a connection with the Kentucky Department of Forestry and Virginia Tech University that could lead to a very bright future for the city. Both cities have benefitted from enlightened leadership and both have reached out to the Letcher County Tourism Commission, which has done a tremendous job in promoting tourism as a piece of the economic puzzle. Both cities have seen mistakes from their councils and both councils have received criticism, some deserved and some not, but they have their cities going forward. If you want to see what it looks like to stay mired in the status quo, go to Cumberland, or to Neon, or to Pound, Virginia, or a hundred other small Appalachian towns that have not had the benefits of enlightened leadership, and see how much you like what you see.

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Thank you for your editorial in the December 4 edition. You present an excellent and thought-provoking challenge. So much needs to be done in physically improving our region. And even more needs to be done to turn around the lives of too many young people who are languishing from few work opportunities, from a lack of self-discipline, and from a lack of respect for life. They are wasting not only their own lives, but also the future of the region. CCC-type projects could make a tremendous difference. Let’s hope SOAR operatives consider this approach.

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Recently a family member of mine ended up in a situation where they needed food stamps. We were unfamiliar with the process and they dreaded going to ask for them because we had heard such terrible things about what people go through to get them. We had heard the employees were rude, would make comments like you were lying and acted as if they were paying for food stamps themselves. Well, I want to say my family member went to the office and the employees were not rude but very helpful. They were able to sign up and received assistance within a few days. The staff members were polite, helpful and very efficient. So, to those that always complain about the employees, maybe you need to look at your own actions and attitude. Lastly, thank you Marcus Collins for your assistance, kindness and professionalism towards my family.

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After having watched the SOAR ( SORE?) summit I must repeat what I have said so many times before: Paul Patton, the man who put the ‘goober’ in ‘gubernatorial,’ should not be let out if his house unless he’s sober.



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