Drivers shouldn't let their dogs distract them
My husband is a crossing guard for Fayette County schools. People would be amazed at what he sees daily from drivers.
It is now illegal to text and drive. What also needs to be illegal is dogs sitting in the laps, arms and even on the shoulders of drivers.
Sometimes these dogs are big enough that the drivers have to crane their necks around the dogs to see the road. There are young kids walking to school, and yet these drivers feel it is necessary to bring their dog in the driver's seat with them, blocking their view and distracting them.
What's the dog going to do, let you know when there's a danger ahead? Is it going to take a child being seriously injured or killed before something is done?
People, please leave your dog at home. Or if you absolutely must bring the animal, put it in the back seat. Make sure it's restrained properly so it can't jump into the front seat and block your view.
My kids are precious to me, and so are the children of other parents. Who do these drivers think they are to put my children or anyone else's children in danger?
Leave the animals at home.
UK coach musings
With the basketball season over, there are some observations I would like to make. First of all, former coach Tubby Smith was a great fit for the program. He took us to several Elite Eights and won a national championship in 1998. Smith, however, resigned as UK's coach.
Billy Gillispie should never have been hired as coach in light of prior allegations of a drinking problem. However, he defeated West Virginia's team last year with less talent than this year's team. We lost to West Virginia this year with a crop of potential NBA lottery picks. Coach John Calipari missed a grand opportunity to win a national title with a team of potential pros.
Having superior athletes who run the floor, slam dunk and crossover dribble does not guarantee a national championship. Smith's 1998 team had a perfect blend of players who could hit three-point shots and make critical free throws and who were complemented by a core of athletes.
Calipari invented the dribble-drive offense, and it has produced plenty of wins for him. He may bring in star recruits who will fulfill their dream of playing in the NBA.
Calipari is going to become coach of the "one and done," which could be good if he wins a national title and bad if we just go the Elite Eight, and watch Duke University win the national championships.
Cut co-op costs
A statement can be accurate, yet can also present an inaccurate view of a real situation.
In October, my electric distributor, Clark Energy, reported that Kentucky electric rates were below the national average and that it had requested a rate increase.
A comparison of Clark's residential rate and the average national rate shows that Clark's rates were five percent below the national average. The rate increase puts it above that average. Although refunds were given in the past few months (fuel adjustments), that is a percentage charge and the portion rolled into rates has not been small. The environmental charge, which is also a percentage charge, is not small either.
It's difficult for a person to accept that Clark is a perfect utility when paying much more for electricity than a neighbor who is not a co-op member.
It may have been a good thing in earlier years for a utility to be owned by those it serves, but unless changes are made to hold costs down, many people may get a chance to see what it is like to live pioneer style, with kerosene lamps.
Safety first in mines
In 2007, I contacted the governors of West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the Coal Authority in the United Kingdom concerning explosions from methane in current and abandoned mines. I informed them how methane extraction from the mines prior to, during and after mining could be a profitable business and reduce or eliminate the possibility of explosions.
The mining health and safety agencies of West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the United Kingdom responded to my inquiry, stating that methane extraction occurred and was in many instances profitable, but was not required by law.
West Virginia's mining health and safety director, Ronald Wooten, agreed that "methane extraction was a win-win situation." He said the methane is enhanced to pipeline quality and sold to natural gas companies.
Pennsylvania's Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation reported that "the degasification of coal reserves in advance of mining improves the mining process and improves the safety of the miners."
Virginia reported that methane extraction was a profitable business.
Profit, however, should not be the determining factor. Safety should be the determining factor. Stopping the killing of human beings from methane explosions should be the determining factor.
I recommend that laws be passed at both the state and federal levels to remove methane from the mines before, during and after mining to prevent more senseless deaths.
Hot times for dogs
Hot weather is upon us, and with the rise in temperatures comes much suffering for animals.
Dogs are descendants of the wolf, an animal that spends its days in the cool forests or in rock shelters. Dogs need shade. A dog house sitting in the sun quickly becomes an oven. Deprived of shade, a dog can die a slow and painful death from heat stroke. Dog houses need to be placed in a shaded area.
Dogs and cats need plenty of fresh, clean water every day. Water will stay cooler and cleaner in a bucket, rather than a shallow bowl. The care of a pet ought not to be put entirely in the hands of a child — adult supervision is needed.
Many pet owners make the grave error of leaving their pets in the car while they run errands during the warm months of the year. Even temperatures as low as 65 degrees outside can quickly soar to 120 degrees inside a car, resulting in agony and death.
Spend some quality time every day with your animals— pet them, talk to them, take them for a walk. Having an animal requires time and money. If you are unwilling or unable to give either, please don't get an animal.
Each hour of each day, 12,500 dogs and cats are killed by animal control agencies in this country. You can help stop this suffering by having your male and female animals neutered or spayed.
Water bill OK by her
I read about people complaining about their Kentucky American Water bills. Luckily, KAW missed me.
After checking the bills for the last two months, the water part of my bill was $11.43, but the Urban County Government part of the bill was $13.55 plus 74 cents in taxes. If I were to complain, I'd have to do it with Lexington's part of the bill, not with KAW.
Lisa P. Hufana