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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

On January 3, I saw this woman in the bank at West Whitesburg. She was wearing jeans and a black leather jacket with fringes on it. She is a very nice looking woman. If she would like to meet a nice single man, she can reply in next week’s paper. I know she is single. I saw her photo on one of the web sites for singles.

We would like to wish Loretta Church a belated happy birthday. It was on January 2. We love you, Mammaw. April, Ashton, Trinity, and baby Brooke.

I’m calling in about the comment that was made about Archie Banks sticking his nose into things that don’t concern him and the reply the editor made: First of all, Archie has no right to say anything to any county employee. He is a magistrate. He doesn’t have any say over the county employees. Judge Ward does this. Archie needs to go back to Colson and worry about his little area down there and quit following around workers to whom he has no business saying anything. Thank you.

I would just like to say thank you to the two wonderful stylists at Reflections salon who took a lot of time to make me feel better this past weekend. I went in there beaten up pretty bad and they went out of their way to make me feel better. I can never ever thank them enough. Thanks again.

The Associated Press story on timber theft that appeared in The Mountain Eagle said that Dea Riley helped the Potters to persuade the Kentucky State Police to investigate their case when local authorities wouldn’t. If this is true, this is a sorry situation. These authorities may not realize it, but they work for the public, and when they stop working for the public they have to be removed. This seems like a cutand dried situation – a violation of the law was defined and presented to people who are being paid a lot of money to take care of such violations and they didn’t do it. While it is admirable of Ms. Riley to take up the slack here, it should not have been necessary. What we need here is an attitude adjustment, and we need it right now.

If you think you live in the land of the free and the home of the brave, and that all people killed in war died for a good reason, it is because you have never been involved in an automobile accident with someone with lawenforcement connections.

Hey, woman. Why don’t you stop bending over? You are so nasty. And you better change your ways.

My concern is for the women in the Letcher County Jail. Why does the jail not offer a work release program for the women? They offer this for the men. They are transported to the Recycling Center and brought back after being supervised on the job. This is not a paying job, just a volunteer status. I was also told that the inmates are entitled to one hour of recreation a day. Can someone explain to me what type or recreation the women are getting? I understand that they cannot smoke inside the jail, but could they not at least offer to take them upstairs to the top of the courthouse and let them smoke or at least get some fresh air? Isn’t that what that area was put up there for? Don’t get me wrong. I think Don McCall is doing a wonderful job at the jail. He is a fair and honest man. All I am saying is I just think what is offered for the men should be offered to the women. I also know that being in jail doesn’t mean they should be treated as if they are on vacation. Don, this is my request to you, find a place for the women to volunteer. And give them some recreation.

I was wondering how many people in Letcher County have had trouble collecting child support with the child support enforcement office. My ex hasn’t paid child support in over ten years and owes his child now over twenty-five thousand dollars in back child support. I have been going to child support enforcement since 1998 and have signed and notarized papers to prove it, and every time I call or stop in to check on the status of this matter they tell me that I’m either not in the system or that they have just started on the case and I should hear something from the courts in about two to three months. If anyone else out there is or has ever experienced the same treatment, could you please speak up in the paper so maybe we can pull together and get the help our kids deserve. Thanks. Sherrie.

The logging industry in Kentucky hasn’t done anything to police itself, and now they’re in a mess and don’t know what to do about it. They’re bitching and whining and pointing their fingers at everyone else, including their victims, but they’re going to have to face reality. There will have to be additional legislation, enforcement, and years of suspicion before they will be trusted. They brought it all on themselves.

If the people in the sheriff’s office believe they have cleaned up the drug problem in the Doty Creek area they are sadly wrong. Everybody knows who is running up and down the road peddling their prescription pills.

I would like to wish my daughter a happy sixteenth birthday. Happy birthday, Missy. Love, Mom.

Could someone tell me if they sell Viagra at a certain place in West Whitesburg? If not, they sure need to. By the way, what went down over the holidays?

To a certain official: Why did you not sit on Santa’s lap at the Colson Fire Department Christmas party?

Well, Christmas time has come and gone. I asked Santa for a barrel and a meter. Needless to say I got neither. Woe is me. By the way, the yeast is rising at the Colson Senior Citizens Center.

Is anyone aware that Grandma got run over by a water truck? It was bound for the contaminated tank on Sandlick Mountain. By the way, can anyone tell me the source of the water they use to fill the tank up? Poor Grandma.

Everybody beware. We have a new fox in the hen house. We had a gray fox, now we’ve gotten a red fox. I don’t know which is more dangerous.

What gets me is that when you report someone for selling drugs in Letcher County, someone in the courthouse always makes a phone call to the dope dealer’s house to tell them who told what. Sooner or later the truth is going to come out.

Why hasn’t someone done something about the two pit bulls being left out in the cold weather in Burdine? Somebody do something. Those dogs are going to freeze to death.

I would just like to know what kind of tanning beds this lady has that would entice someone to drive all the way from Pikeville as late at 10 at night to lie in them. They must be some kind of magical beds that I’ve never heard about.

Shame on you women for doing lap dances for Santa. What kind of message is this sending to our children?

To the dumb-bell who wrote the comment to ‘all the tree huggers’: So you’re a strip miner. That fact in itself tells a lot about your dumb way of thinking. You need to get your facts right and make sense when you do. First, you don’t keep anybody alive. God does. You might work six days a week destroying everything in sight, but you don’t do anything to keep my life happy or anyone else’s. All you do is put your thousand-dollar check in your pocket each week and destroy all the mountaintops, streams and trees you can each day. Your whole list was dumb. Coal axes are not the only taxes paying for our schools. Everybody pays school taxes. Nobody but destroyers like you are making any money from mining in any form or fashion. I’ve got a news flash for you, dumb-bell. People are for saving the mountaintops, streams and trees. It’s not all about you, your kids, and your paycheck. People who live here do so because they love the land, but because of people like you we won’t have anything left to live for. You will have destroyed it all for the dollar and for what you need today. It’s to hell with tomorrow for people like you. It’s true what the man said, ‘Man can destroy, but can never replace what God has given you from the beginning of time.’ You know, it’s kind of funny that you are telling other people not to use the Lord’s house as a meeting place to save what God created. Maybe the people think it’s very important to pray about saving what God has given us and you are destroying. We love Kentucky and our mountains God blessed us with. You are the one who needs to look at all sides of the issue and not just the big money going in your pocket each week. You are the one going against God and mankind and the place we live in by destroying everything God made and we care about and cherish. You’re trying to turn this place into a wasteland. You say you use the Lord the right way? First, I don’t believe the Lord would believe you anymore than I do, but that’s between you and Him. God loves us all. Someone has to step up and say, ‘Enough of this destroying. There has got to be a better way. Many of our mountains are already gone, and if I don’t make a stand there will be no mountains and Kentucky will be a wasteland.’ Stand up, people. Join our organization against mountaintop mining or write to State Representative Leslie Combs. Go on the Internet. Speak up, people. Speak your piece.

To the guy in Bear Hollow who is always trying to tear me and my boyfriend apart: You need to just save your breath, because regardless of what you or anyone else has to say I am going to love him and want him here by my side. He’s the love of my life and my best friend, and no one could ever change that. So the next time you feel the urge to call me and make comments about me and my man, save us both some time and shove them where the sun doesn’t shine. I really don’t care what you have to say. And by the way, you know who this is. I am your sister’s best friend.

This is the coal miner again: I guess you are right, you are smarter than me, because you answered your own question. You asked how dumb can a person be, then you opened your mouth and the words came out again. Why do you want to sit there on your high horse and down us for having an easy job? I would be more than glad to switch with you for a more-than twelve-and-a-half hour shift. Oh well, I wouldn’t trade with you anyway. I have morals and don’t put down other folks for supporting their families by working a real job. So you have a nice day. And do us all a favor and get a real job and stop trying to hurt Letcher County folks. Letcher County was founded on coal mining.

Roland and Ellen, as always we’re looking forward to you coming to see us. Your visits are special and we really enjoy your company. We love you both.

In all the news about timber lately, it seems that one player has been left out. What is the role of the lumber companies in this? If someone steals timber, they presumably will want to sell it. Don’t the lumber companies know their customers? It seems to me that if the loggers bringing timber in were given just a cursory screening, that it would be hard to sell stolen timber, and that would bring this problem to a halt. The word is that the thieves are very well known, and one would think that the lumber companies would know them as well as anybody.

Oma Hatton, I hope you’re having a good day. You deserve the very best. Love you.

Can someone tell me who the new Robocop is in Neon? He’s giving lots of tickets.

I see and hear all of this information on television about heart attacks – how to recognize the symptoms and what to do about it – and I’ve got them all. They tell you to go to your doctor. I go to my doctor and he tells me I am fine and healthy and will live to be a hundred. Why did I even waste my time to go see the doctor?

It looks like a certain person in Doty Creek has his business going on as usual, making money illegally from Friday to Monday night. He goes out of state and gets his prescriptions and starts selling them all over again. Apparently, this person knows how to get away with everything.

Why don’t people act their age at a certain place? I think sometimes they let things go on there that shouldn’t go on.

Rogue loggers have caused a lot of problems for property owners, but the harm and damage they have caused doesn’t end there. They, and they alone have almost destroyed a legitimate industry in Letcher County that employed a lot of honest, hardworking loggers and businessmen. Loggers depend on word of mouth advertising and this fairly small group has poisoned the business for the rest, for God only knows how long. They have not only taken the timber, but have also damaged the victims in every way they can and are aggravating the situation by trying to blame everyone but themselves. Now they have managed to become known all over the world, and to tar all loggers by the same brush.

I think the Director of The Appalachian Roundtable was probably right on target when she described timber theft as racketeering. Racketeering generally is characterized by repetitive illegal acts, with an established pattern, by a defined group. It encompasses wide ranges of crimes: chop shops, fencing operations, timber theft, certain types of gambling, crossing state lines which brings in interstate commerce, etc. It is covered by the RICO act, and must be determined by an expert. Anyone suspecting racketeering should contact a US Attorneys office, or the FBI.

The mountains we love now,/ God knows they’re our home now./They’ve helped us, they’ve held us for years./But the land of our mother is now looking for cover/as the bulldozers top off her crown./I lift my eyes up now unto the hills/from whence always my help it has come./I holler ‘God help us/Man’s greed it has scalped us,/for a strange definition of wealth.’/What God has created, /man’s greed’s laid asunder,/you can’t raise a mountain back up.

This is the girl that drives the silver car through Neon: It seems that every time I go through town I get harassed by the police. If a certain officer doesn’t want a lawsuit filed against him he better have a reason to jump in behind me the next time. I hope he gets this message loud and clear, because I’m fixing to take it to court. Thank you.

It seems like things have gotten worse at the jail in Whitesburg instead of better. The inmates and now being made to pay for salt, pepper and ketchup, and they’re also being made to sleep on the floor. I think somebody needs to get this straightened out. Thanks a lot.

This is a message to Superintendent Anna Laura Craft concerning the girls’ basketball program at Letcher County Central High School: I think it’s a shame what the program has gotten to and how many girls are on the team. When you go to the games there are no fans. The program is going to have to get kids to play other than those in grade school. High school kids are going to have to play. It’s beginning to look like a grade school team.

Single man looking to get a relationship started with a 25- to 45-year-old woman.

Here we go again with the same old stuff from our elected officials. When is somebody going to do something about Neon? I love Neon. I want more than anything to see Neon flourish again and to see all the empty buildings with storekeepers and people on the streets instead of it looking like a ghost town. I thought this new mayor was going to do so much. Our creeks, if we were to get a big rain, would flood everybody out. And the roads going to McRoberts are unsafe and a disgrace. Our mayor is going to do to us what Bush has done to the United States – absolutely nothing.

It’s 6 o’clock on New Year’s Day. I just returned from Middlesboro, and saw salt trucks out in full force in Bell County and Harlan County. As I travel up Pine Mountain at 15 miles per hour on snow-covered roads, I’m wondering where the Letcher County maintenance crews are. Is there someone we can call? Who dropped the ball? It’s treacherous up here on the mountain.

This is from Son to Mom: Cat, cat, I love you. I hope you had a merry Christmas and I hope you have a happy new year. I also want to say happy new year to everyone else out there. Hope you have a good year. Love, Daniel.

To you suicidal camel jockeys, rebellious children of rebellious parents of many generations: The Holy Spirit deals with rational souls and works upon the intellect and moral factuality in order to enlighten, convince and persuade. If man closes his mind to the light, his will to reprove his conscience to righteousness and his emotions to his best good then reverts to total rebellion and must face the harvest of eternal hardness. Something to think about.

To a certain security guard: You run around, and you take an old man down to where your little pill heads are. Now you’ve got him thinking these women want him. All they want is his money. And your running around is why you don’t have your family right now. When are you ever going to learn? You had somebody that loved you better than anything. You were the one out running around ninety-percent of the time she was at work. Now you’re out telling everybody it was her? Why don’t you grow up and be a man and see the mistakes you’ve made and correct them? God knows everything you do.

This is in reply to the comment about being alone on Christmas: Honey, I do love you and I do miss you. I know we weren’t together this Christmas, but my heart was with you. And you know I will always love you. And I will get this mess straightened out. And you can have me back if that’s what you want. I do love you with all my heart.

If you would like to have your three-wheeler back that you threw over my fence and into my yard, it’s up at the Jenkins Police Department. So go up there and get it if you want it. And anything else you throw in my yard will go straight to the police department.

How come Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson aren’t asking for Montel Williams to be taken off the air? You know he called a young school girl up and threatened to have her brains blown out. I think that’s a shame. I thought they were better men than that.

I have had calls from relatives all over wanting to talk about what is apparently becoming a ’cause celebre’ in Craft’s Colly, Kentucky, and I’ve been wondering what it was about this story that caused such intense interest in an area I remember as being pretty remote and insignificant. After some thought, I have realized that the issue is certainly not insignificant, that it is symbolic of struggles and issues all over the world and that, in this case, the lines are so clearly drawn that the injustice practically knocks you over.

I was reading Speak Your Piece the other day about a man who left Whitesburg in the 1950’s and missed those days of his childhood. I can sympathize with him. If and when he visits the town again, he is in for a big shock. The town is only a shell of its former state. When I was growing up during the 50’s and 60’s, Whitesburg was a thriving town and it was magical during the Christmas and New Year holidays. Cars were parked on both sides of the streets, you couldn’t walk without bumping into others, music was coming out of every store, Christmas lights were everywhere and even the air was filled with good will and mirth. Then Wal-Mart came to town. I’m sorry folks, but I think that is the worst thing that could ever have happened. I know their goods are cheaper, but I miss the intimate downtown shopping that made this time of year so special. I drove through town this Christmas and it was pathetic! It was so dead I could have laid down on Main Street and taken a nap without getting hit by a car. I passed through a little town in Jackson County, Kentucky, called McKee, before Christmas and I was reminded of Whitesburg years ago. It was buzzing with excitement and I told my wife how I hoped a big shopping center never comes to this town like it did in Whitesburg. I know there are probably other factors that have influenced the change in Whitesburg, but I call it as I see it. Happy New Year to all.

A seven-year-old Whitesburg boy was at the center of a Letcher County courtroom drama yesterday when he challenged a court ruling over who should have custody of him. The boy has a history of being beaten by his parents and the judge initially awarded custody to his aunt, in keeping with child custody law and regulations requiring that family unity be maintained to the degree possible. The boy surprised the court when he pro- claimed that his aunt beat him more than his parents and he adamantly refused to live with her. When the judge then suggested that he live with his grandparents, the boy cried out they also beat him. After considering the remainder of the immediate family and learning that domestic violence was apparently a way of life among them, the judge took the unprecedented step of allowing the boy to propose who should have custody of him. After two recesses to check legal references and confer with child welfare officials, the judge granted temporary custody to the Kentucky Wildcats, whom the boy firmly believes are not capable of beating anyone.

Comments that have been posted on USA Today from around the world about the Potter timber theft show a great difference in the way timber theft is viewed here and is viewed in other places. Remarks from Europe, Asia and all over the US express outrage and indignation over a situation that apparently causes a lot less concern here. I think this difference is because of the way the people in this area have been beaten down for so long by strip miners, gas drillers, wildcat loggers, and the lawyers for all of them. Some of them seem to feel that this abominable treatment is what they deserve. Even now, anyone reporting a timber theft or industry abuse, or even a violent attack or burglary, is likely to be served a warrant issued by the alleged miscreants. We, to a large extent, have been intimidated, bullied, and harassed to the point that we no longer have a sense of justice and indignation, so let these thugs and their lawyers get away with this. These people would take, and have taken from some, their property rights and their constitutional rights, especially those guaranteed by the first amendment. Many of our officials have gotten to thinking that their offices are their birthrights, and that they have little responsibility to their public. This media explosion over a 25 acre remote property at the head of Craft’s Colly seems incredibly important to me – a worldwide show of support for changing an intolerable situation.

To a girl on Colson: I passed you the other day. It looks like you could use some companionship. Wish it was me. From the guy in the Dodge.

In answer to a comment last week, here is a recipe for Oldfashioned Stack Cake:
Ingredients:
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons baking powder
6 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk

Apple Filling (apple butter
may be substituted for all this)
16 ounces dried apples
1 cup light brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
Preparation:

Cake: Cream the granulated sugar and butter together. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Measure flour, sift with other baking powder and soda; add to batter, alternating with buttermilk and vanilla. Divide dough into six or eight parts. Use a well-floured board to roll into rounds, if baking on cookie sheets, or pat into well-greased 9-inch pans. Bake at 400° until browned.

Filling: Cook apples just enough water to cover, until soft; mash thoroughly. Stir in sugar and spices. Cool before spreading between layers.

To the person wanting the recipe for the Old-fashioned Stack Cake: I would love to get that recipe also. I live in Summerville, South Carolina. I lived at McRoberts many years and my mother-in-law would make that cake. It was so good. Before she went to be with Jesus she gave me the recipe, but in moving I lost it. So please, anyone. Lillian, 1-843-875-2735.

What is wrong with you people? You don’t care about elderly, wise people. You pet criminals. Where you think this will get you? You don’t need to worry about Iraq. You don’t need to worry about Iran. You are going to destroy yourself.

Those who have had their timber stolen, or those who think their timber will likely be stolen, may get some satisfaction from the AP news coverage of the Potter timber theft. Just about all the major newspapers in the US carried it, and international coverage reached from Malaysia to the United Kingdom. I especially enjoyed the USA Today comments, which suggested novel ways to discourage timber thieves. Comments from other media sources expressed astonishment that such activity is tolerated here. There seems to be a rapidly building resentment and indignation that just won’t go away. Officials take note.

What I don’t understand is how anyone can dispose of
stolen goods the size of thirty-some trees, especially with the owners making so
much noise about it. If there were a rash of jewelry thefts people would be
pretty careful about whom they bought jewelry from. What if dozens of cars had
been stolen in a relatively short time in Letcher County? People would be pretty
interested in getting a good title if they bought one. How can you sell that
many “hot” trees without someone getting suspicious? Who could you sell them to?




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