Whitesburg KY
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Speak Your Piece

Tell us what's on your mind. No need to give your name.


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

It’s too bad that Alberta Slone is no longer doing her radio show on 103.9. She had a great show and they laid her off. I miss the way she says ‘the Bulldog.’ Bring her back.

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A lot of cuts have been made in different departments at a certain hospital, causing other people in other departments to have to do more jobs.

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Times are rough all over and here it is Christmas again. I told my grandchildren I would get them the same thing I got them last year. They said ‘all right.’ Then one said, ‘Pappaw, you didn’t get us anything.’ I said, ‘Well, I’m going to double it this year.’ All I can say is merry Christmas and God bless you, Mr. Obama. It has to be a better new year.

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I am calling in response to the Bobby Bob comment: I was wondering if you could let me know where Bobby Bob lives so I can find out if it’s me or not.

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This is to the witches of Jenkins: I’m back. Just thought I would give you a breather. It must have been very disappointing to spend all that money for the paper and not getting to see anything pertaining to you. I am so sorry. I will try to do better. So get your broomsticks out, because we are going to have a good time. Ho ho.

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Hi Blue. Just so you will know along with a few of my notso close friends, I love you and miss you and Sadie very much. You both are the good things in life that I truly cherish the most. Always remember, men, we are to love our wives the way that Jesus loved the church. So many times in life we make the ones we love suffer and blame them for our own foolish mistakes. Let that pride thing go and simply say, ‘I am sorry!’ See, didn’t hurt at all. I’m sorry, Blue, for my stupidity. You are more precious to me than diamonds or gold. I love you. Merry Christmas, and may God bless you throughout the holidays. The Kentucky Ridgerunner.

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Brighter Day — When life here is over and in heaven I will be,/There with Jesus a brighter day I shall see./The time God gives us here, we must struggle through./It seems at times nothing goes right no matter what we do./A reason for all things there is in this life,/The pain, the hardship, and all of the strife./We can really please no one on this earth today,/Put your love and trust in God, He will give us a brighter day./Let no one mislead you or take your faith in God away,/ Cling to God’s love, seek for that brighter place to stay (heaven). C.A.C.

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This message is directed to the Jenkins School Board members: Well, five months into her reign and look what all has happened. A principal has been unfairly demoted after years of faithful service, staff members are stressed to the max and looking for jobs elsewhere, and the Jenkins schools are being absorbed into one school, taking out all power at the school level including the voices of the parents and community. Shame on you board members. You each should be ashamed to show your face in public. How can we blame the superintendent when it was you who voted to hire her? Now we have a first-time, unqualified superintendent who appears to be single-handedly destroying a school system that Jenkins used to be so proud of. What happened? When did you lose that Cavalier pride? What’s next, a Knott County Schools sign above the door? We are not Knott County, so quit trying to change us. We were fine before you came, and in three years, seven months and twenty-seven days we will be fine when you go back to Knott County. The countdown has begun.

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This is for all the residents of Letcher County who want to shop at home and keep their money here: There is a new shop that’s opened on the amphitheater site at Jenkins. They have a large variety of gifts and broomsticks and witch costumes with the pointy hats.

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I am a concerned citizen of Jenkins who would like to know why that every time Councilman Terry Braddock tries to stand up for the people Mayor Charles Dixon gets all frustrated.

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We are looking for a house or apartment that is reasonable to live in, not just anything since we have a child. If you know of anything please put it in Speak Your Piece. We need to find a place between the Isom area and Mayking and Kona.

(If you haven’t been doing so already, you should read the ‘for rent’ ads that appear often on our classified ad pages.)

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I’m calling to see if anyone has any information about how to help a low-income family get a place to live. The only income I get is child support. We’re staying with my mother right now. We need some place to go, but I don’t know anything about this stuff. I’ve tried at the housing project and at HOMES, but was placed on a list where you have to wait forever. I would greatly appreciate it if someone could give me some information to help me out. We really want our own home. We lost ours to fire a long time ago and have been living with my mother since.

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Certain people in the so-called media still think that we are stupid enough to believe that the OPEC countries cut oil prices by about 70 percent because we cut back a little on consumption and are now trying to figure out how to get the price back up. Well, do the math. If we cut consumption by 50 percent, which is basically impossible, they would still make more profit by keeping the price up than by cutting it by 70 percent, and their profit would be greater, plus they would keep more oil for the future. Face the facts, people, that the greed heads in government and Wall Street ran the prices up knowing that they could lie to you and blame OPEC. Now with all the drilling for natural gas going on in the northeast states, we are still learning that the price of natural gas will not be coming down anytime soon. And, by the way, why did the price of natural gas go up when oil prices did? They can’t blame that on OPEC. But the greed heads in Washington, by way of their liberal media, have manipulated the minds of the people. In the beginning this country was meant to be a representation republic, not a democracy. It has evolved into an oligarchy. But the allegedly intelligent people in Washington don’t have a clue, so they keep calling it a democracy, which it has never really been.

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To Horsepower from your lil’ lady from Cumberland: I miss you and love you and I hope you think about me as much as I think about you. Love L.C. to H.P.

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How can they let a man go that has killed two people in cold blood? This is not right. I am the daughter of the victim and the man that killed my dad is now being treated like a victim. We are the ones he has hurt and our lives destroyed. What kind of justice is this? I guess it is true, all you murderers out there go to Letcher County and commit your crime because you will never stand trial and never have to pay for killing someone. This is an outrage. The families’ lives have been turned upside down again and now we are to accepted this too.

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I would like to wish Kathy Tyree Green a very happy birthday on Dec. 12. We went all through school together. I would love to see or hear from you.

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I have recently read that R.B. Dixon, the man who killed two people, is being considered for release because it is costing too much to keep him. When was the last time you could murder two people and just walk away after being in a mental hospital? Dead is dead for these two people and their families have forever lost their father, their son, their brother, their uncle, their child. Needless to say, these people have put a price tag on losing a loved one. I believe that all can get forgiveness but there is still a price to pay for sin. I believe that justice has to be served for the innocent.

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An evil Letcher County triumvirate — the school board, the government, and big business — form a clique that is hard to penetrate but which provides great benefits to those inside. Those not in the clique, most of the good, hardworking, honest people of Letcher County, have no benefits — no protection from crime, no support from the legal system, and nothing but contempt from the clique. We have a recent example of how the clique protects its own. We have seen and are still seeing how they circle the wagons to hide monumental crimes, all the while chasing down and publishing $2 marijuana busts.

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I have never felt so much loathing in all my life as I do this morning. Yes, I have felt disgust and been angry the way people treat children. It upset me when the small child was killed there in Whitesburg over drugs. Then the case of the two-year-old child’s foster parents in which the so-called foster mother got off scot-free. A bunch of hypocrites at a church upheld her and helped protect her. Now some lowdown sleaze ball has raped and abused a small girl and she died. Wake up, people in Kentucky, where is that fighting spirit? Does anyone recall the killing of a woman in Letcher County many years ago? I believe the man was hanged about the spot where the old Whitesburg school used to be. Someone should find some lumber and build a scaffold and hang just one or two, then maybe it would make an example and this abuse of a child would cease. Each time I hold my almost twoyear old grandchild in my arms I want to cry for those precious little angels that have been left in a hot car to be tortured to a slow death, the ones that have been beaten to death at the hands of someone who is supposed to be protecting them, and the babies who some lowdown has to mess with for sex. Oh, I wish I could be there to look this trash in the eye. No, I really don’t because I don’t want to go to jail for throwing my purse at him. I am sick and tired of hearing people say, ‘oh, they will get their justice when to go to prison.’ Half of these prisons are filled with baby killers. They are protected there too.

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Contracts that are let without going through the open, competitive process are a big problem in this area — all over the state, in fact. They cheat the taxpayer and they cheat contractors who are not allowed to bid. There is a story going around, and it has a ring of truth to it, that such a contract has been let, and is in effect in this county. It is hard to prove these things because they’re kept under such tight wraps, but as details come out the pieces kind of fit together. People who are involved in official trickery must have a lot of confidence in what they’re doing, especially in light of recent indictments of powerful public officials and a powerful contractor. If the feds will go after people of that stature, they wouldn’t likely have any concern about going after people at the county level.

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Let me start by saying my heart goes out to the family that lost everything in a fire. I know I waited a little long to reply, but this needs to be said. I was very offended by the comments regarding the fire department. I am not a member of the department you are referring to. In fact, I don’t even live in Kentucky. But I am a volunteer firefighter. I am sure most firefighters will agree that by the time we can get to a fire that is at the far edge of our coverage area, it is too far gone to save. Although we may not show it while we are on scene, it breaks our hearts to see someone lose everything. Most firefighters in this area are volunteers; that means they do not live at the fire station. It also means they do not get paid. We have to drop what we are doing, come from home, come from work when our jobs allow it. Many times this also means we lose that time on our paycheck. We leave our kids’ ball games. Many times we have just sat down to eat or just gone to bed when we are paged out to answer a call. We leave with little or no complaint. Some members live farther away from the station than others, so it takes a few minutes just to get members to the building. From the time the fire starts or is discovered until the first truck leaves the station can be as long as 15 minutes if not longer. You said it was a cabin on a mountain so that means an uphill climb. Fire trucks are not sports cars. They can be very slow going uphill. A fire truck weighs about the same as a loaded tandem coal truck. We have all been caught behind those going up a hill. So you know how slow that is. When you really think about it, that’s what a fire truck is. A fire truck is basically a commercial vehicle. Fire trucks and ambulances are also very top heavy, so you cannot safely take a curve as fast as you would in your family car. We are no good to anyone if we have an accident while responding to an emergency. As for them being unprepared, I have to wonder if they knew what to expect when they arrived. Were they told ahead of time there was no fire hydrant? Here is a rough breakdown of getting a truck out and on scene for a volunteer fire department. This is assuming there is someone there when the fire starts. Fire starts and/or is discovered: five minutes. Many fires smolder much longer before flames are visible. Someone calls 9-1- 1: five minutes. This is the time it takes to decide whether or not to call for help. It also could be the time spent trying to fight the fire themselves. Dispatch receives call and gets directions and details that are available: five minutes. Dispatch pages fire department: five minutes. Members report to the building: five to 10 minutes. Members get suited up and board the truck: five minutes. First truck leaves the building en route to fire. This is 30 minutes from the time the fire started or was discovered before a truck even leaves. Then there is traffic, road conditions, location of fire, and poor directions we have to deal with. Truck arrives on scene: 10 to 20 minutes later depending on how far the fire is from there station. There is 40 minutes at best to arrive on the scene of a fire. It’s easy to see how it could take 45 minutes to get there when you consider all those factors. All I am say is give the fire departments a break. We do the best we can with what we have to work with.

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Why are the trees on Little Shepherd Trail painted and numbered?

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Tom Gish will be remembered as a leader in the world of journalism.

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K.J., hope to see you during the Christmas season. Have a very merry Christmas. M.A.

It is the time of year for food drives and giveaways. I really think helping people who need it is a wonderful idea. However I do think there’s a huge difference between need and greed. I personally have seen food in people’s homes that has long been kept after the expiration date and the cans were starting to rust and holes where food was seeping, as it had set so long and several bags of flour and other staples that would never be used. This is just a sample of the waste. I have known of someone who has received food stamps, then sold them for money to get gas and cigarettes, then went to food pantries to get free food. I have heard of people who have money enough to buy what their heart desires and go get boxes of food just because they want, not need it. I feel the same way about the Medicaid program. People are getting free medicines and selling the drugs when there are others that need the help for medical issues and cannot get any help. I believe the people in charge should check with their doctor and see how long they have been on prescription pills.

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Just in case anyone hasn’t heard, there are a couple of nice radio tributes to Mr. Gish on National Public Radio and on the Bob Edwards radio show. The best way I can tell you to find them is get on Google and type in ‘Tom Gish Bob Edwards.’ If you see something about Elvis Costello you’re in business. For the NPR link, just type in ‘NPR Tom Gish.’ My condolences to the family. We sure have lost a good man.

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I’ve grown really weary of listening to those readers who have chosen to champion the ex-principal at Jenkins High School, Teresa Bentley. This really frustrates me. If Teresa Bentley is the best principal we have ever had at Jenkins High School as some have said in this paper, then why have our school’s test scores steadily declined every year in her tenure to rock bottom. Last year our overall test scores at Jenkins High School were the ninth worst in the state. Did you hear me? That’s nine from the bottom out of over 300 high schools in the whole state. Our math scores at Jenkins High School were the seventh worst in the state. Does this sound like improvement? In explaining our school’s test scores Principal Bentley made the comment that ‘you can lead a horse to water, you just can’t make it drink.’ Does this sound like good leadership? This comment shows her indifference toward the students. Her attitude disgusts me. I am also extremely disappointed in Principal Bentley’s husband, Jerry, and his assistant who resigned as coaches of the JHS girls’ basketball team just six days before their first game in an ill-fated attempt at a sympathy power play. I guess this shows their true character. Jerry had coached the seniors on the team since they had been in elementary school and now he chooses to abandon them. It’s a shame that these girls were caught up in their pettiness. And don’t believe Jerry’s claim that it was mean old Superintendent Watts’s fault for him having to quit. This is all on him. Does he really think that this will get his wife’s job back? I think not. Ex-principal Bentley has said in the paper that she wants a public hearing with the board. I hope there is a public hearing. Then we all will get to hear the events that led to dismissal. I for one am glad she’s gone. The reign of terror is over. We’ve been without leadership at the school for too long. I am glad to see that we finally have a superintendent that will hold people accountable to do their job. We are now headed in the right direction at Jenkins.

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It’s the Christmas season. Enjoy the loved ones in your world. Remember the reason for this wonderful season all year long.

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As a parent of students in the Jenkins School District, I support the proposed school reconfiguration so long as it will end the tyranny of the site-based councils. Sadly, our councils at Jenkins have become governing bodies of our schools that are more concerned about themselves than us or our kids. I laugh at the suggestion that the site based council gives us as parents a voice in what goes on at the schools. The council is made up of three teachers, the principal, and two parents. Does this sound like equal representation to you? I will support the site based council when the council make up is changed so that parents have an equal number of votes as teachers and administrators. Then we would have equal representation and a voice in the schools. In the meantime, I wish the councils would be done away with. We as parents would have more input without the council and with the superintendent and board making the decisions. That way we would have a voice every two years at the ballot box when school board members are elected, but as it is now we have no voice.

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Politicians against legalization of marijuana support organized crime.

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I want to add my part to the comment about the state needing to ease up on marijuana. You know why Kentucky won’t legalize or let up on marijuana like some other states have? It’s because it’s too big of an industry and supports too many people, and I’m not talking about the sellers and users. I’m talking about all the state drug departments that pay the 100K salaries to the chiefs, and more than any of us make to their flunkies. Do you think they want to lose the pot issue? How about the sheriffs who make such a big thing of busting a bunch of little users? They can turn people with big problems away now and tell them we’re just overrun by drugs and don’t have time. What about UNITE and the way they raid a bunch of harmless street users and act like they’ve captured Al- Quaida terrorists? Pot is their basic business and they’re not about to lose it and their shameful pay. Think about all the lawyers who couldn’t get a job if they didn’t have all the pot users. A good many use it themselves. Marijuana is certainly no more harmful than cigarettes or snuff or chewing tobacco or gorging on soft drinks and fast food. Every social event around here is based on eating and I don’t mean just eating, but gorging. Local health shows that.


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