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Letters to the Editor
‘Hello, elected officials’

Dear Editor,
Our selected city and county officials should do their duty and issue a “litter fine of $500” for each election sign that is still littering the public byways, and those fines be issued to the local political party that sponsored the given candidates.
The election of November 2014 is way over, the results are in, and the winners have been determined. Does neglecting to do anything by our elected leaders suggest they condone the litter condition?
Jim Wilson
Paintsville, Ky.

Letters to the Editor
Thank you

Dear Editor,
On behalf of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office and the Johnson County Community Cares Committee, we would like to first thank all of our Plungers who braved the cold weather and freezing waters of Paintsville Lake to make our, “Community Cares: Penguin Plunge”, held on March 21, 2015 a great success. We would also like to thank all of our Sponsors and Community Members who volunteered their time in order to make this event possible.  Thanks to the generous Sponsors and donations, we were able to collect $2,000 for the Johnson County Special Olympics.
The Mission of the Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities by giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.
This event was our First “Community Cares:  Penguin Plunge” and we deeply appreciate our Sponsors - Willard Arnold and Family, B & C Design,  Big Sandy Technical College CARE Club, Castle’s Jewelry, Chandlersville Lodge #858, East Kentucky Scuba Team, Girl Scouts Wilderness Road Council, Johnson County Rescue Squad, My Seasons Gift Shop, Mountain HomePlace, Paul B Hall Foundation, Mike, Sandy, Willie and Dee Rawlins and Van Lear Enterprise Baptist Church, and to our Community Members who volunteered - Tammy Ball, Michelle Blanton Spriggs, Kayla Cantrell, Lucinda Castle, Cheryl Endicott, Tammy Keel, Nancy Price, and Tina Webb.

Cheryl Endicott
Community Cares Committee Member

Letters to the Editor
Thank You

Dear Editor,
This year’s Fishing Swap Meet held at Johnson Central High School was a huge success. The community support for our event, as always, was phenomenal. I would like to thank the following sponsors for making the Fishing Swap Meet possible: Paintsville Tourism, The Bri-Den Co., Ferguson Excavating, Action Petroleum, McDonald’s, Appalachian Wireless, Foothills, Hutch Chevrolet Buick GMC, Hutch Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, Wildcat Tire, Ashland C&R Office Supply, Wal-Mart, M&M Power Sports, Pajad Transport, Dairy Queen, Highlands Foundation, Team Day Boat Sales, Advance Auto Parts, Pepsi and all the vendors. Without their support this community event would not have been possible. I would also like to commend the Fishing Club members for all their hard work. They are responsible for making this event so enjoyable.
Thanks again to all who helped, especially the faculty and staff at JCHS.
Jimmy Dean VanHoose
Sponsor of the JCHS Fishing Club
Paintsville, Ky.

Letters to the Editor
Middle not good enough

Dear Editor,
On D-Day, General Eisenhower did not tell his troops that we were going to defeat the Nazis so that we could cooperate with them. The order Eisenhower gave was to rid the earth of Hitler, his band of murderous thugs, and everything that they stood for.
In the November elections, America gave the Republicans a mandate to stop Obama and the Democrats from wrecking this country and we expect that this carnage be stopped and reversed. We now hear Republicans say that they want to cooperate with Obama so that he will move to the middle. Americans don’t want to hear this nonsense because Obama is a leftist who hates our Constitution and deliberately circumvents it.
Yours truly,
Robert A. Dahlquist
Orange, Calif.

Letters to the Editor
Concerned about Eric Ratliff’s replacement

Dear Editor,

After the Utilities Meeting held on Wednesday, Feb. 25 about Eric Ratliff’s “demise”, Mayor Bob Porter accepted the right to fire Ratliff, so the paper reads.
I could not hear this in the meeting as I was sitting in the back of the room. I read what the paper said.
If Mayor Porter is “top dog” in the hiring and firing of Ratliff’s position, no wonder Porter paid his water and gas bill whenever he pleased, while some customers had their water and gas shut off for not paying on time. Looks like the “top dog” has opened himself up to some lawsuits.
Mayor Porter said, however, money had been spent to hire engineers for a good reason.
I agree, so what happened to their inspector and his “as built maps”? Looks like the engineers were asleep at the wheel!
Foreman Dalmas Ward and whistle blowers should have no dog in this race.
If the Mayor fires Eric Ratliff, I can’t wait to see who the “Good Ole Boy” replacement will be - maybe one of the Councilmen or someone in the family who needs a job, but has no experience in water distribution.

Frank McCoart
Staffordsville, KY

Warmongers in Congress

Dear Editor:

Warmongers in Congress learned nothing from the well-taught lessons of Vietnam. Remedial lessons were repeated in the Middle East, and they flunked them. Erase their failures to learn and ISIS would be one less problem in the world.
Consequential samplings related to their failures include: Muammar Gaddafi, Libya, shot to death; Saddam Hussein, Iraq, death by hanging; Hosni Mubarak, Egypt, forced resignation. Are their citizens or the 3.8 million refugees that have since fled their motherlands or the world better off without them? The two late dictators and former president posed no threat to America.
Now, our warmongers are ringing their bellicose alarm again. “Without American leadership and boots on the ground, ISIS will take over the world,” they say. They even compare ISIS with Hitler. What a stupid comparison! Hitler had ship, aircraft, and munitions factories, brilliant engineers, scientists, a national treasury at his command, and 20.7 million men served in his Army, Navy, and Air Force during World War II. ISIS cannot manufacture a Red Ryder BB Gun, and they have no legal source of income.
The corrected comparison of ISIS and Hitler contains a basis for an ISIS-elimination strategy that would not waste more lives, limbs, blood, or borrowed dollars, but it also contains two insurmountable obstacles for our warmongers. Such a strategy requires truth and a leader. Has anyone heard the truth or seen a leader in Congress or the White House lately?
Moreover, the future outlook for truth and a true leader is bleak. The media and the usual pundits are already promoting the continuation of the status quo in January, 2017. America needs another Clinton or Bush in the Oval Office like New Orleans needs another Hurricane Katrina, and the “The beat goes on, ... La de da de de,” sang the late Sonny and extant Cher when I and they were young.

Shafter Bailey
Lexington, KY

Talk of fracking 

Dear Editor,

There has been a lot of heated rhetoric about fracking in Madison County. A community discussion on important issues is always a good thing. But it should be based on facts.
In my 30 year career in the oil and gas industry, I have “fracked” over 1,000 wells in Kentucky alone and hundreds more in West Virginia, Virginia and Ohio. Stringent regulations govern Kentucky’s oil and gas industry. Significant precautions are taken to prevent spills and protect groundwater. The oil and gas industry is subject to the EPA, the federal Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act as well as numerous state regulations from the Kentucky Division of Oil and Gas, the Kentucky Division of Water and the Kentucky Division of Air Quality.
I can point to countless studies that prove hydraulic fracturing doesn’t create the environmental calamities industry opponents claim. A study by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Lab found there was no migration of methane from fractured wells into fresh water aquifers. Just last September, the New York Times - reporting on a National Academy of Sciences study - wrote “researchers found no evidence that fractured shale led to water contamination.”
Can Kentucky strengthen its regulations on the oil-and-gas industry in light new drilling technologies? Yes – and it should. That’s why the oil and gas industry has been collaborating for several months with state regulators, the Kentucky Resources Council, the Environmental Quality Commission, the Kentucky Farm Bureau and Kentucky Chamber of Commerce to propose new laws governing the industry. I have been part of this workgroup and a broad package of consensus reforms that has been introduced in this session of the Kentucky General Assembly to fill gaps in the current regulatory framework.
Kentucky’s oil and gas industry contributes $1 billion to the state’s economy. We provide 3,200 jobs and generate over $40 million in tax revenues to the state general fund and local government budgets.
More important, we put money into the pockets of everyday Kentuckians. Landowners that partner with the industry to develop their minerals get a royalty payment.  These royalty payments provide income for family budgets, helps put children through school and supports seniors in retirement. Do fracing opponents intend to deny this income opportunity to Kentuckians that don’t share their opposition to oil and gas development? If so, they should admit it and defend their position.
I’m surprised by how much attention this issue has gotten but then I see how poorly informed the opponents are of the facts. For those who want to get the facts, I recommend starting by checking out the websites of the Ground Water Protection Council ( and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (
I graduated from Berea College and lived in the Berea area for 16 years. Berea and its surrounding area are one of Kentucky’s treasures. The community deserves a fair presentation of the facts related to oil and gas development and a discussion beyond the mere generation of fears based upon unsupported statements.    
Bill Daugherty
Managing Partner
Blackridge Resource Partners
Lexington KY 40507

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