Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

Editorials

December 18, 2013

Are we God’s country…or God forsaken?

Dec. 18, 2013 — Where is the only major part of Kentucky you can’t reach by a four-lane highway from Central Kentucky?

Which area of Kentucky has the lowest educational achievement?

What section of Kentucky has the highest unemployment rates?

Where is home for the unhealthiest citizens of Kentucky?

Which region of Kentucky historically has been almost totally dependent on a single, now endangered industry?

What section of Kentucky has been the most politically and economically exploited in the last 100 years?

Each answer, of course, is East Kentucky, particularly the easternmost counties against the Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee borders.

A high powered group of public officials, educators, business leaders and local citizedns put together a one-day conference earlier this month in Pikeville.

It was called SOAR (Shaping Our Appalachian Region) and it attracted 1,700 persons.

It was a bi-partisan, even noble, idea by our Democratic governor, Steve Beshear, and our Republican congressman, Hal Rogers.

The objective was to stop talking and start doing something about a new future for this under-served, underprivileged, underdeveloped, undernourished, and undereducated group of Kentuckians.

Pardon our sarcasm, but all of those terms are used freely at the national level to describe those of us who live in this beautiful region.

Surprisingly, at least to some reporters covering the event, considerable time was spent seriously examining what has revitalized an area of Minnesota left destitute when iron ore mining petered out, much like coal seems to be doing in our mountains.

The big difference between their situation and ours is that they used their minerals extraction tax, known here as coal severance, to create a development fund to create public service jobs and for other worthwhile purposes in the building of a new economic system.

Kentucky also has a minerals tax but we put half of it into the state general fund where millions have been used to finance projects for folks in other parts of the state who’ve likely never seen a coal truck.

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Editorials
  • Juvenile justice bill finally wins passage

    We complained in this space last month that the General Assembly, specifically the Senate, was headed down the wrong path in its handling of Senate Bill 200, a carefully-crafted, broadly supported effort to modernize Kentucky’s juvenile justice laws.

    April 16, 2014

  • Numbers say stop fussin’ and start fixin’!

    We’ve said it before and we’re saying it again. It is long past time for Republicans like U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell to stop complaining about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and start working with the other party to fix the pieces of the massive law that need fixing.

    April 9, 2014

  • Benching Rupp Arena project a mistake

    Folks who believe that college basketball is more important than anything else in Kentucky apparently don’t serve in the State Senate.

    April 2, 2014

  • Snow days decision can wait no longer

    We had hoped this editorial would not have been necessary by the time you read it in today’s issue of the Journal-Times.

    March 26, 2014

  • Are some legislators smarter than experts?

    Ready - shoot - aim. No good deed goes unpunished. There’s the right way, the wrong way and the Frankfort way. We could go on with pithy sayings about the strange happenings at the State Capitol when the Kentucky General Assembly is in session.

    March 19, 2014

  • Shouldn’t majority rule mean smoke-free?

    Recent statewide polls show as many as 65 percent of Kentucky voters say they are in favor of outlawing smoking in workplaces and public facilities, including restaurants and bars.

    March 12, 2014

  • Legalized marijuana, hemp must be explored

    Whether you call it marijuana or cannabis or whether you believe someone can get high on industrial hemp, Kentucky is making history with both plants.

    March 5, 2014

  • We must protect against dating violence

    We were encouraged when the leadership of the Kentucky House of Representatives came forward last month with House Bill 8 to amend the domestic violence protection laws to shield unmarried individuals in dating relationships.

    February 26, 2014

  • Did Bluegrass Poll predict our future?

    Life may have become much simpler for Kentucky voters recently when the Bluegrass Poll released its most recent survey.

    February 19, 2014

  • Senate race poll attracts national spotlight

    “Mitch has met his match” shouted the headline on the Huffington Post, a trendy, online news aggregator and blog founded by socialite Arianna Huffington.

    February 12, 2014

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