Clays Mill Road project looks to be run-of-the-mill
Over a year ago, we were told that Clays Mill Road was going to become a four-lane road in order to handle all the additional traffic generated by four new subdivisions.
After a year of people's yards being torn up, traffic and schedule delays on renovating Clays Mill Road between Man o' War Boulevard and Keithshire Road at a cost of $3 million, it looks like the project is about completed; the curbs, sidewalks and gutters are all in.
A four-lane road, one would think, would have two lanes on each side and a middle lane for left turns, and a recess at main roads for turns into side streets.
Are we getting any of this? No.
We are still going to have two lanes and some three lanes. The only place there is four lanes is at the bottom of Clays Mill where it crosses Man o' War, and this part has always been there.
Did they have enough right-of-way on each side of the road to give us a four-lane road? Yes, but they did not use all the right-of-way available.
The Kentucky highway department needs to go back to school to learn to build proper roads, not this $3 million mess people on Clays Mill are going to have to live with and the taxpayers paid for.
Don't permit pollution
I just turned 12 and live in Madison County. When I grow up, I want to live in a world where people are more important than money; where I can climb to the top of any one of our beautiful Appalachian Mountains and breathe in the fresh air and look in all directions and not be affronted by ugly scars on these amazingly bio-diverse masterpieces.
I want to live in a world where poverty is the exception, not the expectation, and where clean water is taken for granted.
Unfortunately, that is not the kind of world my friends and I are likely to grow up in. And for many people living near mountaintop removal sites, that's not the world they live in today. Allowing permits to go forward when they don't follow the Clean Water Act will just set up my generation to live in a world where the water is not safe to drink or the air safe to breathe.
Our state has made it clear it cannot or will not fairly enforce the Clean Water Act. As a result, people in mining communities have higher rates of many health problems, from cancer to birth defects. The poverty rates in areas where we have been mining coal 100 years are some of the highest in Kentucky.
For every mining-pollution permit given that doesn't follow the law, there will be even more places where the air is not safe to breathe and the water is not safe to drink.
Plan needs parity
Re: Your May 27 editorial, "Pay grads to return to coalfields": I think I have this figured out.
Our high school graduates don't get bachelor's degrees at the same rate as students in Central Kentucky because we don't have a state-subsidized university in our area.
Your solution to the problem is to take our money, which is dedicated to growing our economy, and spend it in Lexington, to help grow your economy, and then make our students pay it back if they don't return to their home area. Fair enough if you apply the same rules to other students at the University of Kentucky and other state universities.
Take the $1 billion the state gives to the state universities, give it to the students (rich and poor alike) as loans and then make them pay it back if they don't return to their home areas. As we say in the mountains, "If it's fair for the goose, it's fair for the gander."
Theodore T. Colley
Paul's true colors
We have been betrayed by Sen. Rand Paul with his gleeful endorsement of the big government Mitt Romney for president.
Apparently, Paul is one who has great rhetoric but wants to continue giving the liberals all the action. Romney is the ultimate socialist and enemy of Republican principles. As governor, Romney signed restrictive gun-control legislation and pushed the original Obamacare. As far back as 1964, Mitt Romney and his father and family abandoned the Republican candidate and supported Lyndon Johnson for president.
Paul has put his stamp of approval on all these sordid activities.
Romney's gun flip
When addressing the National Rifle Association this spring, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney used the popular ploy that any regulation of guns will take away the freedom of citizens to bear arms.
Ironically, engaging this fear against Barack Obama is a flip-flop of Romney's previous stand against wanton use of firearms.
Donald O. Cassidy
Before the EPA ...
When I was growing up in the 1950s and '60s in Ashland, it was my job to wash the family's white car. I recall cleaning the car then going inside to change clothes, and when I came out, the car looked as if someone had sprinkled it with pepper.
This was the particulate emission from the Semet-Solvay coke plant, the same plant whose stench assaulted my eyes and nostrils each morning.
I recall swimming in the Ohio River there and emerging with my trunks stained from the water's oily residue on my legs.
Often I would go to Charleston, W. Va., passing by the river there with its technicolor sheen of chemicals, the river a national magazine once called the most polluted in the country.
All of these things were commonplace before the regulations of the Environmental Protection Agency. We don't have those experiences now, which may explain why so many are complaining of "unnecessary regulation."
There are other countries without environmental regulations where enormous lakes are devoid of life, where huge swaths of land are no longer habitable and where people walk around with surgical masks to allow them to breathe the smoggy air.
There has never been a time when industry has self-regulated for the benefit of the public without incentive or coercion from the law. There's no reason to believe that it will do so now.
Our grandchildren need clean air to breathe and clean water to drink. For that, we need regulation. It won't be done voluntarily.
Where's the muscle?
Time for another big race at famed Kentucky Speedway. The traffic flow both in and out will be better than it was last year, as if it could be worse. The fans will come with their families and friends ready for a night of racing action.
Imagine the look on everybody's faces as the pack of 800-horsepower, 200-mph, million-dollar cars representing NASCAR's best come roaring out behind a Ford Escape.
What? Seriously, who dropped the ball here?
Economics and gas mileage do not equal NASCAR nor any automobile racing whatsoever.
I'm not a big fan of Toyota, but I bet they could have given a more racing-friendly version to represent Kentucky and racing.
And, by the way, Ford makes a very cool-looking Mustang, and it is racing friendly.