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

I would like to wish Raymond Hall a special happy birthday.

You would think some companies would know how to balance their books properly and know what they’re getting into when they buy coal companies at bankruptcy prices. I guess ICG – International Coal Group – doesn’t. An article in a recent edition of The Mountain Eagle said ICG paid above actual value for the operations of four of six subsidiaries. And you lose $16 million in three months while selling 157 million tons of coal to Arch Coal for $24.80 a ton? ICG lost $35.6 million in 2006 and this sale happened in the fall of 2007. In the Beckley, W.Va., complex, which is in the Pocahontas or No. 3 seam, known in our area as the Teepee seam South East used to mine, ICG says it is now selling coal at $90 a ton and expects to average out at $47 to $48 per ton by the end of the year. So what we’re really trying to say is this: You really just don’t know what to believe with ICG. They might be telling the truth or they might be telling a lie. They say one thing and turn right around and do another.

For all you folks out there who still have Tubby Smith up on the mantle with the other coaches at UK: The February 18 edition of The Sporting News magazine has Tubby Smith as being one of the most overpaid coaches for this year. Tubby makes $1.8 million for being coach of the Minnesota Golden Gophers, and he has lost all seven of the games he has played against teams in the Top 100 of the Ratings Percentage Index, or RPI. He was number six on the list of overpaid coaches in men’s college basketball.

To a certain woman: You thought it was all over when you walked out of the courtroom. It is just beginning. Did your attorney tell you another case can and will be filed against you? Also, your husband can and will be involved in this next case. You both will be paying for what happened. Justice will be served. Thank you.

It’s not my fault, son. God can teach us lessons from any kind of trial, but He does not necessarily send us trials in order to teach us lessons. A father could use the experience of his son should he break the law and suffer penalties in jail as an occasion to teach certain lessons for the betterment of his son’s future, but it would be a very ungodly father who would lead him into such troubles for the purpose of teaching those lessons which could be taught otherwise. Something to think about.

Six or eight months ago, someone called and reported me for burning outdoors illegally. Lo and behold, the people who called on me are doing what I was doing. If I were them I would clean up my mess. If they come and check them it is a $25,000- a-day fine for illegal burning. Don’t throw any stones. Sometimes it comes back to bite.

Congratulations to Curtis and Nickie on their marriage on February 8. We hope you have a happy life together.

I have a comment about the Fleming-Neon Police Department. The new officer they hired has stopped me twice while walking from church, trying to say I was drunk when I wasn’t. Something needs to be done and it needs to be done now. Thank you.

This is concerning the drugs being sold on Long Branch in Linefork. There are drugs being sold all over the hollow and it needs to be stopped before someone gets killed. Thank you.

I was just sitting here reading Speak Your Piece and saw where a parent had written in about the school system and dirty bathrooms: It’s not the fault of the schools, it’s the kids. If you would come to school sometime and just see how your children treat the schools then you won’t have to wonder what is going on. I hope they don’t treat your home the way they treat the schools. Teach them some manners. Thank you.

I have one question: Who was the cop kissing?

Look who is still running around Doty Creek selling his prescription pills. How much longer can you lie your way out of going to jail?

You know, I think it is a shame how Letcher County has become. You have to know someone to be able to get a job around here. Yes, I am talking about one company in particular. It’s a shame you have to know someone to be able to get on there. I think Letcher County needs a change so that someone can get a job.

You go up to the salvage yard with a handful of copper – maybe two or three pounds or maybe even a hundred pounds – you have to have a photo ID and let them copy it. You can take $5,000 worth of red oak timber up to a sawmill and they’ll write you a check or pay you cash for it. Stealing is stealing and receiving stolen property is receiving stolen property. In my opinion, these sawmills had better consult a lawyer and get some guidelines set. If not, they are going to be in a world of trouble for buying these logs that are stolen. Thank you.

My opinion about these timber thieves is there are two kinds of them: One has a flatbed truck and a winch or a knuckle boom and a chain saw. A 12-gauge or .30/06 can take care of that. The other kind of timber thieves are the ones who come in with flatbed tractor and trailers, dozers and knuckle booms. A .30/30 will take care of that. So I don’t see a big threat to the people of eastern Kentucky from people who are stealing their timber.

I would like to make a statement about Leslie Combs and her sponsorship of House Bill 489, which requires neighbors to be notified when timber is being cut on adjacent property: This law is already in effect. That shows how much she knows about the laws of the state of Kentucky. And another thing: There aren’t 27 trees in the state of Kentucky worth $50,000. These high prices they’re coming up with for trees is unbelievable. I haul 10 loads a week to Pine Mountain Lumber myself. I am a logger. It takes two months to make $50,000. How many trees is that at 10 loads a week at about 27 trees per load? And another thing: You can’t tell me you can’t hear a chain saw, a bulldozer and a big operation going on beside your property and beside your home. Why don’t the people who own this land just get out and walk up into the hills when they hear a chain saw or hear a bulldozer or see trucks hauling timber and make sure they’re not on their property?

I saw in the Lexington Herald Leader where a 17-year-old girl charged with robbery and escape will have to pull 15 years in prison. Meanwhile, a man in Haymond who is in his forties and has been in trouble all of his life, including being indicted about a year ago for stealing two or three vehicles while he had a gun, is already out of jail. I just don’t see how that is possible. I think it’s time for somebody to take a look at our court systems. Thank you.

The members of our government that would allow these meat packing companies to send diseased meat to the schools to feed our little children are as wicked as Adolf Hitler ever thought about being. I hope they all burn in hell.

I was wondering how gas stations can raise the price of gasoline even though the gas was already in the underground tanks before the wholesale price went up.

To a certain person in Blair Branch who is supposed to be a good friend of mine and told my cousin’s husband he was going to come by and go hunting with me: Well, he never did because he somehow doesn’t know me anymore. Like the old saying goes, pal, payback is coming. When you look around the corner I will be there. You might think I’m a big joke, but it’s a whole new era now. I’m going places you’ve never been before. Have you ever ridden Space Mountain 16 times? I don’t think you can. Let me tell you something: Diamonds are forever and so am I. I am who I am. You have put me down too many times, friend. I don’t like being put down and I don’t like having my feelings hurt, either.

I agree with the guy who has the problem of not getting any service from the cable company. We have Tri-Star Communications, which is owned by Vernon Cornett from Mason’s Creek, Ky. I live on Route 7. Last Saturday, you could not see 25 of the channels we are supposed to be able to see. You call, you get an answering machine. You call the guy who works for him, you get an answering machine. You can’t get anybody to work on your cable. The Better Business Bureau or somebody ought to be able to come in and regulate these small-time people who try to run a cable system. We pay our bill, but if we’re two days late we get charged a late fee. God forbid if our payment doesn’t get there on time. God forbid also that they come out and work on this stupid cable. DISH Network, you’re looking better every day.

I see where Southern Methodist University is going to host the presidential library of George W. Bush. They say the project isn’t going to cost the school much money at all and that plans call for the library to be located in a remodeled broom closet. Apparently that’s all the space they’ll need to display ‘My Pet Goat.’

I see it’s the same old story. I see you all didn’t write the truth about some of the things that went on at the Starlite. I thought a good paper was supposed to write the truth no matter who it’s about.

For the past month I’ve gone through a lot of rough patches on this road called life. I came to the point I didn’t know what to do anymore. My life was falling apart right in front of me until it all rolled over and I realized in the end just how lucky I am. I have family and friends who love me so dearly, and I love them too. I’m just so thankful I have them in my life. I have a boyfriend who not only is the love of my life but is my best friend whom I love with all my heart. I know how much he cares about me and loves me and that no matter what he is always going to be there for me through the good times and the bad. Also, my boyfriend has a great family I have grown to love so much they feel like members of my own family.

Single 36-year-old man who has a real good job is looking to move in a 25- to 45-year-old woman.

Since there is now a new law against animal cruelty, Romeo’s Law, how about maybe the City of Jenkins using it against a man in Burdine who abuses his bulldogs by not looking after them. This past Monday and Tuesday the two dogs were locked near the neck with chains where they had tangled themselves up so they couldn’t move. They couldn’t get to their water, food or shelter. They sat there covered with snow until the dog warden got there and separated them. I wish they would take these dogs away from him. He shouldn’t have animals if he’s not going to take proper care of them. Thank you.

… Obama and Clinton should not be our choice.

(You’ll notice we omitted the first parts of your comment. You’re free to call in comments opposing the presidential campaigns of Obama and Clinton, as well as the campaigns of McCain and Huckabee, but you’re not free to call in unsubstantiated Internet propaganda that amounts to hate mongering.)

People, read this. This is to let everybody know what is going on at Jenkins Elementary School and the Burdine and McRoberts campuses. The principal and PTO are letting a man who was under indictment on charges related to sexual misconduct coach one of our peewee basketball teams. He is also scheduled to referee. The PTO and principal need to wake up. My question to everyone is this: Do you want someone who has already been indicted on sex-related charges coaching your kids? Call the Jenkins Independent Board of Education, the schools, and the individual members of the school board. All of the numbers are in the phone book.

I just think it’s a shame that our schools are not being sterilized. Why are we paying all of these school taxes if we can’t get the germs out of the classrooms? No wonder our children are getting sick. Half of the time there is no tissue or soap in the bathrooms. Now it’s getting to the point we’re bringing dogs into the schools. What’s this place turning into? Thank you. A concerned parent.

To a certain church: how long are you going to tolerate this man? He is pure evil. Do you think you’re going to change or help him? It’s been what, 20-plus years and it’s the same ordeal? He abuses his kids and torments his ex-wife on a daily basis, yet you let him come two or three times a week and sit in your church. Don’t tell me you don’t know what’s going on, because you do. Do you just not care? Surely you have an obligation to help these kids, but you keep choosing to protect this man. What’s the deal? What is it going to take before you help, a disaster or tragedy? It’s coming to that. Things cannot go on this way much longer, Everybody is tired. So get started and do what’s right, Do what you should have done years ago.

Mitchum Whitaker is now known from Atlantic to Pacific, and he has put Roxana on the map. Verna Potter was quoted nationally, once again, and has probably become synonymous with the battle against stealing timber. It is interesting that the rest of the nation, and large parts of the world, would find these stories so appealing. It may be the natural tendency to go with the underdog, and this timber theft situation has certainly supplied plenty of underdogs. The Potters are a very appealing couple, who are very articulate and quotable, and that may have given this cause a media boost. Whatever the case, it’s a good deal because there’s nothing like bright light to get the attention of those who need to be paying attention.

The law and the courts are biased for timber thieves. No amount of legislation will work until that’s changed. Ditto for drug dealers. The law says that anything used in the commission of a crime is subject to forfeiture. The police won’t do it, though, and the courts won’t either. So what are you going to do?

The resolution of the David Morris case was not satisfactory, and it must not be forgotten. There were the four attempts by Mine Safety to completely whitewash the case, and then the final agreement wasn’t much better. The newspaper accounts of the situation, including comments by the miners on-site, made it sound, to me, like he was considered to be no more than a piece of machinery. There was, apparently, not even the obligatory statement of sorrow from the operator. Even the head of the packing company accused of cruelty to cattle expressed his regrets about the way they were treated.

Fellow Kentuckians, better get your voting shoes on and get behind Hillary Clinton. Oh, I know I can hear you men holler it is not time for a woman president. What man is running that you can trust? Are we ready for Obama? I may be wrong, but I truly believe we will be heading backward if that happens. Obama is too young too inexperienced.

To my grandson Brandon Gilbert: Mammaw loves and misses you very much, and I can’t wait to see you.

To my beautiful daughter Alexis: I know you miss your daddy, but I promise it will get easier. Know that he loved you very much and is with you always. Momma loves you.

For my darling Doodle: I love you with all my heart and will miss you terribly. You are in my heart always. Love, your squaw Kim.

Being chosen by the citizens in a district to be a sitting judge is a great honor and carries a heavy public trust responsibility. That applies to all elected officials, of course, but especially to the person who is at the pinnacle of law enforcement. Accepting the honor, but avoiding the responsibility, is a disservice of tremendous magnitude to the citizenry, and a betrayal of the position and profession. I believe it is becoming well known in Letcher County that our drug crisis is largely the fault of the court. This is unfair to the sheriff and to the commonwealth’s attorney, both of whom are unfairly blamed, almost weekly, for the severity of this problem. Anyone who would like to check this out should check the court occasionally, and watch the parade of drug offenders, many of whom have been there many times before, marching through and getting insignificant fines and generous probations. Anyone who has been victimized by this crisis should take a hard look at the court before blaming anyone else.

(What’s really needed to clean up the drug problem in Letcher County is easy and affordable access to drug rehabilitation facilities. It’s certainly not the fault of our criminal court system, nor the sheriff or other local law-enforcement officials, that such facilities and easy access to the help they could provide for drug addicts is not available here.)

When people live in a small town, many things happen to us over which we feel we have no control. Take, for instance, our local Food City grocery store. It’s large, which means one can usually find what one needs. However, we pay the price. Have you visited the Food City in Wise, Va., or in Pikeville? Prices are better there, as well as the stores are clean. My first problem arose last year when Food City withdrew its advertising from The Mountain Eagle and sent it to Pikeville to a news rag which is supposed to be ‘not-for-profit.’ However, I continued to frequent the store. Next, our ladies’ organization wanted to have a membership drive in the Food City parking area, but I was told by the manager, ‘No, I don’t think we can do that, because if we let you we would have to let the Ku Klux Klan if they wanted to have one.’ To that I responded, ‘Well, the Red Hatters is a pretty dangerous group.’ Still, I continued to patronize Food City. But this week, after reading the report from the city council meeting, I have decided enough is enough. Why does Food City think it can disregard the rules of a town in which it makes and carries out of our county thousands of dollars a week? I guarantee this same information requested by the city, is requested in all the other cities where they have stores. No, it’s because in Whitesburg Food City thinks it has no competition. There is no super Wal-Mart so Food City thinks it can behave any way it sees fit. Well, for me and for my household it will now be Food World 100 percent for grocery shopping. I invite others join me in shopping at Food World.

Greetings to all in Jenkins area from Frog Doctor: I just want to say that I hope all is well and to always remember family comes before all or anyone else. To a certain man who lives away from Letcher County: I think you are a lowlife piece of trash for admitting that you beat your exwife and that you should have killed her. Well to let you in on a little secret, she doesn’t have to stay with you. She has many places to go. It’s a shame that you won’t even allow her to walk to the end of the driveway to check the mail. What are you? Who do you think you are? In my eyes and in the eyes of most of the other members of our family you are nothing. Do you think you are some kind of king? You might be a king all right, but it’s not the kind of king you think you are. It’s more a king of jackasses. And I want to say to the big white whale: Hope you are happy that you have kept our loved one from us. I just wish that a certain woman would have stomped your butt when she had the chance back in September. Then you could have said that you had your butt stomped by a real woman. Frog Doctor thinks that big whale and king jackass would make perfect couple. Have you all ever thought of letting go of the people you’re making miserable and hooking up yourselves? Wouldn’t that be a sight? Until next time, sincerely, Frog Doctor!.

The people in Goosecreek need to slow down. My child was almost run over the other day in front of my house because someone had to hurry up and get their drugs.

I would like to wish Sweet Cheeks a happy birthday. It was on February 25.

This is in response to the person who referred to people participating in illegal logging as ‘people trying to make honest money from hard work’. First of all, let’s take a look at the definition of ‘honest’ according to Webster’s New Dictionary of the English Language, honest is defined as: 1. free from deception; 2. trustworthy; 3. frank. It appears to me that someone should pick up a dictionary next time they visit the local Wal-Mart. In no way can a person that knowingly sneaks across a property boundary without the landowner’s permission for the sole purpose of cutting trees for their own personal gain be considered an ‘honest person’. Second, to recommend that a person leave their home so that such people can have free roam to do as they may is simply ludicrous. Third, it has been my experience that the majority of people in eastern Kentucky have a strong awareness of where their property boundaries are. When logging is done in the manner it should be done, it would be less likely to draw as much criticism than it has of late. It could be, in some cases, beneficial to the environment by providing more open areas for large game such as elk and deer to graze and if the loggers would do so, they could replant a percentage of the trees they cut for future harvest. Unfortunately, most loggers cut down anything of size, top it, and leave the mess for someone else to have to deal with. The man that stole the trees from Mr. Whitaker has a history of not only stealing trees, but is also is alleged to have committed flat out robbery. If I came to your home, stole your car, and sold it at auction, would you consider me as a hardworking man trying to make an honest living? Probably not. If you would trust a person that steals trees for a living, and believe what they say, then I own some oceanfront property in Whitesburg I will sell to you really cheap.

Stealing anything is a terrible thing, and it’s especially bad if it’s something that can’t be replaced. Anyone that will steal will do anything.

For the person criticizing Leslie Combs: She will get timber theft legislation, and it will be effective, not some political scam. This lady has a good resume, and a lot of energy and brights. She isn’t used to losing and she is making her way in the legislature. Don’t bet against her.

Timber theft is probably going at about the same rate it always has, about fifty percent of all logging. It’ll stop when we run out of trees and that probably won’t be long. One thing for certain, though, drug problems have gone out of sight just in the last three or four years. We hear of UNITE almost every day, the state police, the sheriff, whatever – it just isn’t working and I don’t understand why we have to be so much worse off than everybody else.

I sure wish I could afford a fancy race car trailer. I guess if I would commit insurance fraud I could afford one. From a woman who knows.

It’s unlikely that the Blackey government will be able to do anything very annoying without having their legality challenged, but they should be watched carefully, anyway, because some of the actions they are talking about could be very harmful to the community. For instance, if they annexed Elk Creek and Caudill’s Branch, those areas would lose county support services, and have to depend on Blackey. Instead of calling the county for road repair, graveling, etc., they would have to call Blackey. What chance do they think they would have of getting those things? Something that others have brought up – when are they going to have an election, which is how governments are generally formed?

The people of eastern Kentucky could do nothing better than to get a copy of the U. S. Constitution and get familiar with it, because I don’t think there is another place in this country where it is ignored or violated more often. They should memorize the First Amendment. These people and their forefathers have fought for these rights; no one should be allowed to encroach upon them.

The criticism of Leslie Combs’s motives was by either a politician, or a paranoid person, or both. Why would she go to all that trouble of introducing complicated legislation for such a convoluted reason? It doesn’t make any sense. Another thing, there is going to be legislation. There has been too much public and media pressure. As someone said about the Potters going to the grand jury, the whole world is watching. The Mitchum Whitaker story is in papers, and on TV, just as the Potter story was. Legislators, law enforcement, prosecutors and courts cannot avoid this situation anymore.

Howdy, Brushey Bill here. I been off the mountain for grub, and to see how things is in Whitesburg. From your paper, people shore is misinformed and messed up. I refer to some statements in Speak Your Piece. That feller what said ‘we’ got whupped in Korea and Vietnam, did he mean he was there? I ‘spect not, ’cause if’n he was, he’d know what really happened. America ain’t never been whupped. In Korea, they took a ragtag piece of an army left over from World War II and kicked them Koreans’ behinds plumb into China. When over a million Chinese jumped into the fight, our boys helt them off long enough for these sorry politicians to decide to send enough men and guns to fight. Then they runned them back where they commed from. If Truman hadn’t stopped General MacArthur, we would have runned them Chinese plumb to Russia, and we wouldn’t see all this cheap Chinese junk on the shelves at Wal- Mart. I was in Vietnam and the Vietnamese ran from every fight. We killed 200 of them for every American lost. Trouble was, up north they were breeding faster than we could kill them. If they’d let us fight, we’d have marched into Hanoi and leveled it. The war was lost after all American combat troops had been gone three years. How the hell do you figure we lost? Now, about that feller wanting to use Dobermans and a 12-gauge pump-automatic shotgun on timber thieves. Wrong again. There ain’t no such thing as a pump-automatic. Besides, it don’t shoot fur enough. Best is a Ruger 77 or a Remington 700, 30/06 minimum caliber. Empty a box of shells, pour in 58 grains of Hodgdon 414 gunpowder and top it all off with a 190 grain Barnes Monolithic solid bullet or Speer grand slam. Zero the gun at 250 yards and it will hold true enough from 200 out to about 400 yards to penetrate a dozer engine. After the driver runs, carefully shoot out all the expensive parts like the radiator, turbocharger, starter, alternator, and fuel tank. Wait 30 seconds between shots for the barrel to cool. If that doesn’t work, figure out who the company owner is and I’ll show you how to hit his head at 1,000 yards. You’re going to need better equipment, though. This is a tried-and-true method of removing stripminers from your land, too. Speaking about stripmining, some idiot said, ‘If you don’t like mountaintop removal, move to the bluegrass.’ Why don’t you move to the bluegrass and we’ll still have our mountains and be rid of trash like you? It’s like killing two birds with one stone. Finally, I find it sad that so many men are cheating on their wives. If you feel you have to cheat, why don’t you just stop playing poker and take up fishing or something? I’m sure glad to be back up here on my mountain away from all that fussin’, and fightin’, and crime. It’s good to sit here and warm myself by my ‘still and make an honest living. Sincerely yourn, Brushey Bill.

I would like to know why we can’t get a Humane Society in this county. Animals are being unfairly treated and unfed. One man on Cumberland River has starved two cows to death at present this winter. He is feeding them rotten hay. The others look like they are starving. Why can’t the fiscal court pass a law to have a legal Humane Society? Please do something, fiscal court, to save these animals from this cruel treatment. Also, this man had a dog hit by a car and wouldn’t take it to a vet and get it sewn up. The dog died about four days later. The people trying to get a Humane Society started up in the county asked him to let them take it to a vet and get it sewn up, but he refused. A few days later these ladies went to check on the dog and he hadn’t done anything with it. He did agree for them to take it, so they took it to Pineville and got it stitched up but it died before they got back. Shame on the county officials for continuing to let this go on. Please, fiscal court, county attorney or whoever can get this corrected, do so now so our animals can be treated as they should. Thanks.

To my special lady: You are the best thing that ever happened to me. I will always love you. You are special to me. I remember the times we painted together. Keep working on your patterns. I liked the black one trimmed in white out of the last ones you painted. I am having a lot of medical problems now and have been gone out of state. Keep up the painting as you are a great painter. I hope I can get some help with my sickness. I will always love you. Thanks for everything. Your painting friend.

This is for all you mountain folks with inquiring minds. Have you gotten your latest issue of The Enquirer this month? Oh, I forgot, that’s what I am doing adding an article to the Letcher County ‘Enquirer’ right here in this column so all of you pillpoppin’ fools can have a hot cup of coffee, two or three green hydrocodone 10’s and pretend that everything is gonna be alright for the day. I like to have a Sprite with my daily hydro’s; they say ‘things go better with Coke’. Tried that too, just ain’t true. My Labrador Sadie, she loves it when everyone gets up and has their morning meds because no one eats their breakfast, so Sadie gets fed good. Sound familiar? I thought it might, seeing how all of us have some kind of pet. It used to be that we only smoked pot and had the munchies all day. Everybody loved everybody, drew peace signs on car windows, and sewed patches on our jeans. Now look at us, robbin’, stealin’ and killin’ for a lousy 10-milligram pain pill, and afraid to eat anything, worried that it will mess up a $10 buzz that we want to last forever. What has happened to our good down-home country folk? I used to love sitting on the back porch stringin’ up some shucky beans with Granny in Mudtown, listening to Papaw tell us how we need to change and give our life to God. That good ol’ homemade preserves and fried chicken every Sunday when all the family would bow their heads and Papaw would say grace before our meal. All the people that made the hills of Kentucky the beautiful Bluegrass State, they have all gone to be with the Lord. There are a few left who have followed in our grandparents’ footsteps, but most have died from overdoses, car wrecks, victims of heinous crimes, murder. Killin’ people over pain medication in Letcher County? These things used to be unheard of. We have been crazy all of our life serving Satan. Let’s all of us hard-core people pull together and serve the Lord and Letcher County could be that wonderful place to live, and maybe our kin will come back and visit. The only thing that you hear now is ‘I am moving from this dump and never comin’ back.’ God bless. I love you, Kentucky Blue. The Kentucky Ridgerunner.

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