Because of the power vested in the EU Commission in Brussels, Belgium, with command over a space encompassing 27 nations with more than 500 million citizens and the largest nominal world gross domestic product (GDP) of 18 trillion US dollars, it’s perhaps no surprise in this era of moral promiscuity that powerful private lobby groups such as the tobacco industry, the drug lobby, the agribusiness lobby and countless others spend enormous sums of money and other favors—legal and sometimes illegal—to influence policy decisions of the EU Commission.
In My Opinion
1/24/2014 8:35:49 PM
Make no mistake about it we are at war within our own country. In fact the whole world is at war with each other. Furthermore we have been at war in
Make no mistake about it we are at war within our own country. In fact the whole damn world is at war with each other.
Furthermore, we have been at war in our own country since the arrival of the Mayflower. But for this opinion I will only go back as far as September 11, 2001. The day the world changed forever for the citizens of the United States.
When the attack on the World Trade Center’s occurred on that day, we all assumed that it was a foreign entity which had cursed us with that attack. There are doubts about that scenario now. But it really does not matter what “entity” commanded that the attack take place. It only matters that it did and how it changed our perception of reality forever.
We were in shock. We were taken advantage of. We were misguided and conveniently suppressed of information. That information was the truth about what was about to happen us in the following ten years. In those years following we have become increasingly more oppressed and depressed as a general population.
We are becoming desperate as can be seen in the uprisings around the world, a general displeasure of the people can be seen across all countries, races, ethnic groups, civil rights advocates, and last but not least the OCCUPY movement which has went around the world. Violence is ever increasing.
The laws are ever changing and becoming more invasive of our private lives. Censorship and video surveillance have become the norm of our lives and freedom of speech although seemingly rampant and ongoing at the present online will meet its maker with passage of new laws to censor our every move across the World Wide Web.
“As if they haven’t been tracking us for the past ten years anyway”…
Like an owl swooping down on his prey, in the name of security we have lost almost all of our rights as U.S. Citizens. The Constitution is becoming nothing more than a historical document to put in a museum.
What happened to “government of the people, by the people and for the people”? It has become a plutocracy, “of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich”. How do we win this war? We won’t. They are smarter than us. We have proven that already by buying into the surveillance of virtually every moment of our daily lives via face book and other social networks. All of this technology came about for our convenience and we were naïve enough to carry it in through our front doors and even into our bedrooms. We are all walking tracking devices in one form or another or even multiple ways.
Who is running the government? We do not really know. Where did all the money go? We do not really know. Who ordered the attack on the World Trade Center’s? We don’t really know. Who can we trust? We do not know. Can you trust your bank? Can you trust your doctor or the pharmaceutical company that makes the real snake oil of this millennium? Probably not. If you can, you are one of the lucky few.
So now that we have spent the last 40 odd years protesting for one thing or another and all the faith, hope and respect has faded in the grave what do we do now? We have effectively completed their mission for them by creating the very thing that they needed to invoke “security for the country”. Do we have a voice? Yes. Do they hear us? Yes. Do they care what we think? Absolutely not. They are into their own agenda of the NWO and that is all there is to it. There is no stopping the bastards. They have more money, more “security forces” conveniently brainwashed into their agenda, and a lot more bullets than we, the people, could ever come up with. It would be another bloody civil war that would make the last one look like a walk in the park. They have us lock, stock and barrel.
You may argue the point that we still have our voting rights. And that would be a valid point. However, for some unknown reason most of the country still chooses not to exercise that right. The vote hasn’t been legitimate for many years and ignorance is or at least was bliss. It isn’t anymore.
So plant your gardens. Stock up on necessities as much as you can. And make an “escape” plan, (with an alternate plan “B”) just in case chaos breaks out near you. That is providing martial law hasn’t been invoked yet and your neighborhood isn’t staked off.
Say your prayers and ask forgiveness for your sins. Plan for the worst and hope and pray for the best.
Then just sit back, relax and watch what happens.
“We know you can see us”
The case to ban fracking grows stronger every day. Fracking is short for hydraulic fracturing. It’s a water-intensive process where millions of gallons of fluid — a mix of water, sand, and chemicals, including ones known to cause cancer — are injected underground at high pressure to fracture the rock surrounding an oil or gas well. This releases extra oil and gas from the rock, so it can flow into the well.
But the process of fracking introduces additional industrial activity into communities beyond the well. Clearing land to build new access roads and new well sites, drilling and encasing the well, fracking the well and generating the waste, trucking in heavy equipment and materials and trucking out the vast amounts of toxic waste — all of these steps contribute to air and water pollution risks and devaluation of land that are turning our communities into sacrifice zones. Fracking threatens the air we breathe, the water we drink, the communities we love and the climate on which we all depend. That’s why over 250 communities in the U.S. have passed resolutions to stop fracking, and why Vermont, France and Bulgaria have stopped it.
Why a Ban? Can Regulations Make Fracking Safe?
Ban Fracking in Your Area
No. Fracking is inherently unsafe and we cannot rely on regulation to protect communities’ water, air and public health. The industry enjoys exemptions from key federal legislation protecting our air and water, thanks to aggressive lobbying and cozy relationships with our federal decision makers (the exemption from the Safe Drinking Water Act is often referred to as the Cheney or Halliburton Loophole, because it was negotiated by then-Vice President Dick Cheney with Congress in 2005). Plus, the industry is aggressively clamping down on local and state efforts to regulate fracking by buying influence and even bringing lawsuits to stop them from being implemented. That’s why fracking can’t be made safe through government oversight or regulations. An all out ban on fracking is the only way to protect our communities.
- How much do you know about fracking? Take our quiz!
- Get the facts about fracking and why we need a ban in our Ban Fracking Now fact sheet.
- Learn how free trade agreements could fast track fracking.
- Read the Issue Brief: Fracking Colorado: Illusory Benefits, Hidden Costs
- Read the Report: U.S. Energy Insecurity: Why Fracking for Oil and Natural Gas Is a False Solution
- Read the Report: Exposing the Oil and Gas Industry’s False Jobs Promise for Shale Gas Development
- How do climate change, fracking and a global water crisis go hand-in-hand?
- Watch our video
- Learn how fracking affects our nation’s food system
- Why is fracking contributing to the global water crisis?
- How is the industry lying about the economic benefits of fracking?
- Undermining Local Democracy: Fast Track, the TPP and Your Community December 2, 2013
- Ban Fracking Now! October 17, 2013
- Frackademia May 28, 2013
- Fracking: The New Global Water Crisis May 7, 2013
- Natural Gas Pipelines: Problems From Beginning to End January 23, 2013
January 2, 2014
The following synopsis which I have found across the internet and put together here pretty much sums up the value of our “legalization” initiatives, whether they be “anti-prohibition”, tax and regulate, Repeal, ‘…”my God given right!”, or “Damn, we are all a bunch of fools to think that prohibition has ended…”.
With the passage of the new recreational and medical cannabis use laws in Colorado and Washington alongside all of the other “medical cannabis” states, everyone is/was jumping for joy at midnight on the 31st of December 2013. Prohibition has ended they proclaim, yet still remains illegal at the Federal and U.N. levels. The U.N. has already jumped on the bandwagon prior to the new year to make sure that Uruguay’s legalization was “in violation of international law”.
The Executive Branch of our U.S. Government seems to be just sitting back and watching, never giving a clear indication of what they will (or won’t) do. In fact, they just do not seem to be doing much of anything anymore with the exception of disagreements on what should be done.
Maybe, just maybe it is because they know something we may not. Maybe, they know that we are truly walking in the age of the NWO and the Global takeover by the U.N. It has already been written in stone and now we just sit back and watch what is going to happen. The U.N. is in control. The U.S. is not. The U.N. owns the World. We do not. No one owns anything, anywhere, anymore. Including the right to our own bodies and minds. The U.N. does. Even the thought that we actually had a chance to control our own lives is not very lucid. The U.S. and every other country within the U.N. are incorporated businesses with “us” as the “stock certificates”. Here are a few links to information on that:
Moving right along, New Year’s Eve 2013 will be one for the history books. Though I doubt actual hardcopy books will exist very much longer and the history can now be changed at the tap of a keyboard, so what that is worth I am not sure. But I know I sure feel sorry for the people who are out there actually believing that they have accomplished anything with their legalization antics. We have all led ourselves into a hole. I damn sure hope it is not too late to climb out of it.
So hear my happy New Year’s Song,
I saw it coming all along,
Yes I did, I know I did,
I sure the Hell saw it coming before YOU did!
So now your free, or so you think,
To smoke your pipe and drink your drink,
The Bell’s were ringing the whole damn time!
Why did you not listen?
Why did you not try?
To educate the masses, by pointing a finger in their eye?
Why did we wait so long,
That the whole damn illusion of freedom,
Flew by, said goodbye, and then was fucking gone?
March 30, 2005
By Nathan Tabor
What do the Statue of Liberty, Independence Hall, and Monticello have in common? The average American with a smattering of historical knowledge might say that those historic sites are all symbolic of America’s unique heritage of freedom.
Monticello, of course, was the home of Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence. That document (as well as the U.S. Constitution, later) was signed in Independence Hall. The Statue of Liberty memorializes the free nation under God that those founding documents created.
What about the Great Smoky Mountains, Yellowstone Park, and the Grand Canyon? Well, these priceless natural resources are all managed by the U.S. National Parks Service. They are among the most frequently visited natural recreation areas in America, where millions of American families vacation every year.
Would it surprise you to learn that every one of these unique American landmarks is also controlled by the United Nations?
December 11, 2013
…”VIOLATION OF INTERNATIONAL LAW”.
Friday, 13 December 2013 18:30
…”The 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, of which Uruguay and 183 other nations are parties, “aims to combat drug abuse by coordinated international action.”
Marijuana is listed alongside heroin as a Schedule VI substance according to the Convention, the most severe designation outlined by the U.N.’s International Narcotics Review Board.
The Schedule VI designation empowers member states to, “adopt any special measures of control which in its opinion are necessary having regard to the particularly dangerous properties of a drug so included.”
…”In the United States, the administration has so far refused to entirely acknowledge the legitimacy of state nullification efforts on the issue. However, despite strong warnings and opposition from the UN, the Justice Department adopted “guidelines” this year purporting to allow regulated marijuana-market schemes to move forward under close federal scrutiny. Whether national governments will continue to defy the increasingly power hungry UN remains to be seen, but according to analysts, it appears that the planetary outfit will eventually end up on the losing side of the prohibition battle.”
Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, is normally based in Europe. He can be reached at email@example.com.
December 13, 2013
Confronting Converging Threats and the Dark Shadows of the Global Economy: Preventing Downward Spirals of Chaos, Insecurity, and Instability
…”The illegal economy includes narcotics trafficking, wildlife trafficking, human trafficking, illegal logging, counterfeit consumer goods and medications, and other illicit enterprises. It is a network of shadowy markets in which illegal arms brokers and narcotics kingpins act as the new CEOs and venture capitalists….”
…”The growing illegal economy supports and enables corrupt officials, criminals, terrorists, and insurgents to mingle and conduct business with another. We must build our own networks to fight these illicit networks and break their corruptive influence…”
…”corruption and crime exist in every corner of the globe. So do terrorism and climate change. They occur in many of our communities, and on those occasions when they converge, they can bring disorder and instability. In this scenario, shadowy markets, criminal entrepreneurs, and illicit networks could become de facto service providers as governments collapse and chaos and insecurity increase, and in the worst case scenario, prey on the victims of pandemics, storms, and other disasters…”
…”We must build a community of responsible governments, businesses, and civil society organizations, working together to build market resiliency, safeguard government integrity, and preserve our common security.”
…”The United States has recently taken steps to make countering the convergence of illicit threats a national security priority. On July 25, 2011, the White House released the Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime: Addressing Converging Threats to National Security, which aims to protect Americans and citizens of partner nations from violence and exploitation at the hands of transnational criminal networks.”
…”Of growing concern are illicit financial hubs and their potentially complicit banks and market-based facilitators and super fixers—such as corrupt lawyers, accountants, black market procurers of commodities and services,…”
…”Moving forward, the United States will continue to build collaborative partnerships and knowledge-based platforms with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the World Bank, the G8/G20, INTERPOL, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), World Customs Organization (WCO), the European Union, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Organization of American States (OAS), African Union (AU), and other regional and sub-regional bodies.”
…”We also need to better coordinate diplomatic efforts to identify and uproot safe havens and exploitable sanctuaries that enable criminals, terrorists, and other illicit actors and networks to corrupt governments, access illegal markets, and stage operations without fear of reprisal from law enforcement.”
…”Some of the thinking and research which helped to inform our dialogues on combating crime-terror pipelines can be found in a book published in May 2013 by the National Defense University, “Convergence: Illicit Networks and National Security in the Age of Globalization.”
Promoting the consistent application of the international drug control treaties
In discharging its mandate under the international drug control treaties, the Board maintains an ongoing dialogue with Governments through various means, such as regular consultations and country missions. That dialogue has been instrumental to the Board’s efforts to assist Governments in complying with the provisions of the treaties. The Convention Evaluation Section of the INCB Secretariat assists the Board in these task. In addition, the Section publishes the quarterly Newsletter of INCB.
The International Narcotics Control Board
From left: A. Samak, W. Sipp, F. Thoumi, M. Moinard, S. Suryawati, R. Yans, G. Korchagina, V. Sumyai, W. Hall,
D. Johnson, R. Ray
INTERPOL Washington Operations and Command Center
Based on principles embodied in its Constitution, there is no single, national police agency in the United States of America. Instead, a decentralized network of nearly 18,000 different agencies enforces criminal laws according to their respective jurisdiction and mission, which may be local, state, federal or tribal.
Local police and sheriff departments, which make up the majority of national law enforcement agencies, perform traditional functions, including:
- Crime prevention, detection and investigation;
- Criminal incident response;
- Responding to calls for assistance;
- Arrest of criminal suspects;
- Execution of warrants;
- Traffic control;
- Accident investigation;
- Drug enforcement;
- Crime prevention education.
At federal level, more than 65 separate agencies enforce Congress laws with a view to:
- Fighting organized crime and terrorist networks;
- Conducting foreign intelligence operations;
- Investigating financial and cyber offences;
- Tackling child exploitation and trafficking in human beings;
- Tackling drug trafficking;
- Preventing the smuggling of illicit goods;
- Controlling borders and maintaining national security.
Domestic Focus…International Reach
The National Central Bureau (NCB) for the United States of America is the unique designated INTERPOL point of contact, acting on behalf of the Attorney General, the chief law enforcement officer of the United States.
INTERPOL Washington supports US law enforcement agencies and other INTERPOL member countries who seek assistance in criminal investigations which go beyond national borders. INTERPOL Washington coordinates national law enforcement action and response, ensuring that it is consistent with national interests and law, as well as with INTERPOL policies, procedures, and regulations.
INTERPOL Washington is composed of a multi-sector workforce which includes full-time employees, contractors, and personnel seconded from more than 20 local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. The staff includes senior criminal investigators, analysts, attorneys, information technology specialists and administrative support personnel.
At the core of INTERPOL Washington’s criminal investigative support activities is the Operations and Command Center (IOCC). It provides a permanent communications interface between domestic and international law enforcement partners, as well as support to its operational divisions, namely:
- Alien / Fugitive Division;
- Counterterrorism Division;
- Drugs Division;
- Economic Crimes Division;
- Human Trafficking and Child Protection Division;
- State and Local Liaison Division;
- Violent Crimes Division.
INTERPOL Washington has developed four strategic goals to promote cooperation and support to its national law enforcement community and foreign counterparts:
- Combat transnational crime and terrorism;
- Strengthen the security of America’s borders;
- Facilitate international law enforcement cooperation and partnerships;
- Cultivate and develop America’s workforce, management, and operations.
These goals are in keeping with the strategic priorities of Americas Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security and INTERPOL. They reflect the investigative interests of partner law enforcement agencies, and provide the framework for international investigative assistance that is critical to preventing and solving transnational crime.
Agencies represented at INTERPOL Washington
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives;
- Capitol Police;
- Citizenship and Immigration Service;
- Coast Guard;
- Customs and Border Protection;
- Department of Defense, U.S. Marine Corps;
- Department of Homeland Security;
- Department of Justice, Office of Enforcement Operations;
- Department of State;
- Drug Enforcement Administration;
- Environmental Protection Agency;
- Federal Bureau of Investigation;
- Fish and Wildlife Service;
- Food and Drug Administration;
- Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General;
- Immigration and Customs Enforcement;
- Internal Revenue Service;
- Marshals Service;
- New York Police Department;
- Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office;
- Postal Inspection Service;
- Secret Service.
“Tribal police are officers hired by native American tribes which have a constitutional government on Reservations. They work closely with local, state, and federal police agencies”
15 December 2010
INTERPOL and United States Federal Law Enforcement Training Center hold advanced police technology and research exercise
The idea of INTERPOL was born in 1914 at the First International Criminal Police Congress, held in Monaco. This meeting brought together police officers and judicial representatives from 14 countries in order to find ways to cooperate across borders.
Over the past 100 years, the idea of international police cooperation has become firmly grounded in practice, with 190 countries now members of INTERPOL. While its vision and mission remain in line with the original goals of the first meeting in 1914, the Organization continues to evolve in response to the needs of its member countries, the emergence of new crime trends, and innovations in technology.
Posted by Good German on January 27, 2013
Forget rising temperatures and bigger storms, this is the big problem that neither side of the mainstream debate over environmental destruction is talking about. Peter Tatchell reported for the Guardian back in 2008:
The rise in carbon dioxide emissions is big news. It is prompting action to reverse global warming. But little or no attention is being paid to the long-term fall in oxygen concentrations and its knock-on effects.
Compared to prehistoric times, the level of oxygen in the earth’s atmosphere has declined by over a third and in polluted cities the decline may be more than 50%. This change in the makeup of the air we breathe has potentially serious implications for our health. Indeed, it could ultimately threaten the survival of human life on earth, according to Roddy Newman, who is drafting a new book, The Oxygen Crisis.
I am not a scientist, but this seems a reasonable concern. It is a possibility that we should examine and assess. So, what’s the evidence?
Around 10,000 years ago, the planet’s forest cover was at least twice what it is today, which means that forests are now emitting only half the amount of oxygen.
Desertification and deforestation are rapidly accelerating this long-term loss of oxygen sources.
The story at sea is much the same. Nasa reports that in the north Pacific ocean oxygen-producing phytoplankton concentrations are 30% lower today, compared to the 1980s. This is a huge drop in just three decades.
Moreover, the UN environment programme confirmed in 2004 that there were nearly 150 “dead zones” in the world’s oceans where discharged sewage and industrial waste, farm fertiliser run-off and other pollutants have reduced oxygen levels to such an extent that most or all sea creatures can no longer live there. This oxygen starvation is reducing regional fish stocks and diminishing the food supplies of populations that are dependent on fishing. It also causes genetic mutations and hormonal changes that can affect the reproductive capacity of sea life, which could further diminish global fish supplies.
Professor Robert Berner of Yale University has researched oxygen levels in prehistoric times by chemically analysing air bubbles trapped in fossilised tree amber. He suggests that humans breathed a much more oxygen-rich air 10,000 years ago.
Further back, the oxygen levels were even greater. Robert Sloan has listed the percentage of oxygen in samples of dinosaur-era amber as: 28% (130m years ago), 29% (115m years ago), 35% (95m years ago), 33% (88m years ago), 35% (75m years ago), 35% (70m years ago), 35% (68m years ago), 31% (65.2m years ago), and 29% (65m years ago).
Professor Ian Plimer of Adelaide University and Professor Jon Harrison of the University of Arizona concur. Like most other scientists they accept that oxygen levels in the atmosphere in prehistoric times averaged around 30% to 35%, compared to only 21% today – and that the levels are even less in densely populated, polluted city centres and industrial complexes, perhaps only 15 % or lower.
Much of this recent, accelerated change is down to human activity, notably the industrial revolution and the burning of fossil fuels. The Professor of Geological Sciences at Notre Dame University in Indiana, J Keith Rigby, was quoted in 1993-1994 as saying:
In the 20th century, humanity has pumped increasing amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by burning the carbon stored in coal, petroleum and natural gas. In the process, we’ve also been consuming oxygen and destroying plant life – cutting down forests at an alarming rate and thereby short-circuiting the cycle’s natural rebound. We’re artificially slowing down one process and speeding up another, forcing a change in the atmosphere.
Very interesting. But does this decline in oxygen matter? Are there any practical consequences that we ought to be concerned about? What is the effect of lower oxygen levels on the human body? Does it disrupt and impair our immune systems and therefore make us more prone to cancer and degenerative diseases?
The effects of long term oxygen deprivation on the brain, called cerebral hypoxia, are known and some sound reminiscent of the general rise of stupidity in the industrialized world.
Professor Ervin Laszlo (quoted in Tatchell’s article) writes:
Evidence from prehistoric times indicates that the oxygen content of pristine nature was above the 21% of total volume that it is today. It has decreased in recent times due mainly to the burning of coal in the middle of the last century. Currently the oxygen content of the Earth’s atmosphere dips to 19% over impacted areas, and it is down to 12 to 17% over the major cities. At these levels it is difficult for people to get sufficient oxygen to maintain bodily health: it takes a proper intake of oxygen to keep body cells and organs, and the entire immune system, functioning at full efficiency. At the levels we have reached today cancers and other degenerative diseases are likely to develop. And at 6 to 7% life can no longer be sustained.
More specific details regarding the drop in atmospheric oxygen can be found here.
by PRW Staff — January 6, 2013 – 11:13am
The article below was written by Ted Nace, who founded CoalSwarm. Since 2008, the Center for Media and Democracy has been hosting the CoalSwarm wiki project on CMD’s SourceWatch.org website. SourceWatch is a sister site of this site, PRWatch.org, and other sites of CMD, which include ALECexposed.org and the FoodRightsNetwork.org.
NASA climatologist James Hansen is sometimes called “the godfather of climate science” for his pioneering efforts to warn the world about the threat of global warming. Hansen could also be called the godfather of Earth Island Institute-sponsored project CoalSwarm. It was Hansen who, in 2007, called for a moratorium on new coal-fired power plants after U.S. power companies revealed plans to build more than 150 such plants in the country. His proposal became a rallying cry for hundreds of grassroots citizens’ groups across the country. CoalSwarm was created to help that effort, giving environmental activists, local residents, and policymakers the information they need to challenge the muscle of the coal industry and advocate for a renewable energy economy.
Coal-fired power plant in UtahIn the waning years of the Bush administration, the scattered activists committed to stopping “King Coal” faced long odds. The companies proposing coal plants generally enjoyed the support of local and state officials. Federal officials were greasing the way for more coal mining. Despite the difficult political terrain, environmental and public health advocates went to work, deploying tactics ranging from regulatory interventions to direct-action protests. Power plant opponents joined forces with anti-mining groups in Appalachia, the Southwest, and the Northern Plains, which had already spent decades fighting destructive mining practices such as mountaintop removal.
For this geographically dispersed movement, social media such as listserves, blogs, online publications, and other communication tools proved invaluable in bringing activists together and allowing a diverse array of groups to coordinate their efforts.
CoalSwarm added another tool to the mix — an informational website known as a wiki. CoalSwarm’s initial goal was to empower activists with up-to-date information on the status of each known coal plant proposal. CoalSwarm developed its information on the Center for Media and Democracy’s Sourcewatch.org website, a collaborative online reference that provides portals on topics ranging from the tobacco industry to the financial crisis to the PR industry and corporate front groups.
The anti-coal movement decided to focus on stopping individual coal projects. This proved to be a winning strategy: By October 2012, more than 170 proposed coal plants had been cancelled. For the climate movement, these successes provide a measure of hope at a time when efforts to pass a comprehensive climate change policy at the national level or an overarching climate framework at the global level have failed.
Over time, the scope of the anti-coal movement steadily broadened beyond the issue of new coal plants. In Appalachia, activists struggled against mountaintop removal with marches, blockades, and tree-sits at mine sites; nationwide, banks financing mining operations faced public pressure to give up their stake in dirty coal. CoalSwarm likewise broadened its contents with hundreds of new wiki pages on mines, mining companies, protests, and on the political underpinnings of Big Coal. A major coal-waste spill in Tennessee added the issue of coal waste to the activist agenda, and again CoalSwarm expanded its coverage.
By 2011, having succeeded in stopping most new coal plants, activists launched a nationwide campaign to retire the existing fleet of 500 aging coal plants that then provided the U.S. with about half of its power. The effort was boosted by a $50 million grant from the Bloomberg Foundation to the Sierra Club in July 2011. The initial results were encouraging. In Chicago, for instance, local citizens teamed up with the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization and Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization, and, with assistance from the Sierra Club and Greenpeace, finally won a long struggle to shut down a pair of aging power plants.
Students at universities and colleges across the country, too, organized campaigns to shut down coal-fired plants. Once many of those campaigns succeeded, campus environmentalists upped their demands with campaigns aimed at convincing college endowment funds to divest from coal-related stocks. CoalSwarm assisted this effort with profiles of campus coal plants and fact sheets on the “Filthy Fifteen” power and mining companies that students selected as divestment targets.
With the struggle shifting from proposed coal plants to existing coal plants, CoalSwarm’s data on existing coal plants became its most frequently accessed pages. The wiki page “Existing U.S. Coal Plants” had been viewed more than 373,000 times as of October 2012. A rapidly growing table on CoalSwarm’s page “Coal Plant Retirements” showed the success of the plant-retirement campaign: By late 2012, 124 plants were scheduled for retirement. Meanwhile, coal’s share of US power generation was falling rapidly: from 50 percent in 2005 to 38 percent in the 12 months ending in July 2012.
Overseas, however, the picture is not as pretty. Worldwide coal use grew by 61 percent from 2001 to 2011, with nearly all of the increase happening in Asia, especially China.
In 2011 and 2012, CoalSwarm began a concerted effort to broaden the scope of the wiki internationally, beginning with Australia, the world’s leading coal exporter. In a joint effort with the Australian group, Environment Victoria, CoalSwarm created the “Coal Watch” project. In 2011, CoalSwarm worked closely with Greenpeace Australia-Pacific to organize the first convergence of anti-coal activists from across Australia. In 2012, CoalSwarm worked with New Zealand’s Coal Action Network Aotearoa, to create a comprehensive reference on that country’s existing and proposed coal projects.
CoalSwarm turned its attention to India after a 2011 study by Prayas Energy Group reported that hundreds of new coal plants were set to receive environmental permits. In the spring of 2012, CoalSwarm posted an India coal-plant tracker that showed, for the first time, the location and status of 549 proposed coal plants. CoalSwarm also completed the first countrywide survey of grassroots organizing against coal projects in India, describing 32 locations of community opposition, many involving large demonstrations and numerous incidents of anti-coal protesters being killed by police.
For Southeast Asia, another hot spot for coal mining, CoalSwarm teamed up with the Southeast Asia Renewable Energy People’s Assembly to create a map-based tracker linked to wiki pages on coal plants, mines, and terminals in the region, as well as on proposed clean energy projects.
Meanwhile, back in the United States, coal exports have become another troubling issue. Declining domestic need for coal-fired power (in large part due to rock-bottom natural gas prices) has led to a new push by coal mining companies to build export facilities, especially in the Pacific Northwest. In 2012, CoalSwarm developed wiki pages on existing and proposed coal terminals, knitting the information together with the first global coal-terminal tracking map.
The project also began developing information on an issue closely related to coal: fracking for natural gas. While environmentalists debate whether the switch to natural gas is beneficial from a climate perspective, there is no denying that at the local level fracking operations have huge environmental and public health impacts. In addition to providing state-by-state overviews on fracking operations and protests, CoalSwarm provides lists of coal plants being converted to natural gas, information on fracking’s impacts on water and air, and natural-gas-transmission leakage rates.
By the fall of 2012, the CoalSwarm wiki had attracted more than 19 million page views and had grown to some 6,000 pages of information, including profiles of thousands of plants, mines, terminals, and companies; energy overviews of more than 50 countries, as well as of every U.S., Australian, and Indian state; and numerous articles on the impacts of coal and cleaner energy alternatives.
To make all this information more easily accessible, CoalSwarm revamped its website, which now has a clickable globe and topical directory. The aim is to improve accessibility and live up to the description of the project by environmental pioneer Lester Brown, who wrote: “CoalSwarm is the central nervous system that this movement needed. It is invaluable.”
Originally posted on TIME:
The number of new HIV infections in Scott County, Indiana, has risen to 142, prompting local and state officials to call it a public-health emergency.
A new report released by the federal and state health officials on Friday reveals disturbing trends in injection drug use in a county of only 4,200 people. Scott County has historically reported less than five new cases of HIV each year, making the new tally of 142 all the more alarming. Health experts say the recent outbreak is reflective of a growing drug epidemic nationwide.
“There are children, and parents and grandparents who live in the same house who are injecting drugs together sort of as a community activity,” said Dr. Joan Duwve, the chief medical consultant for the Indiana State Department of Health, at a press briefing. “This community, like many rural communities, especially those along the Ohio River and Kentucky and West Virginia…
View original 549 more words
By Andrew V. Pestano | April 22, 2015 at 9:34 AM
introduced a bill Tuesday to extend the controversial Patriot Act and its surveillance provisions until 2020.
The extension would allow the National Security Agency to continue to collect data of millions on U.S. phone records daily. The NSA does so under the authority of Section 215, which allows for secret court orders to collect “tangible things” that could be used by the government in investigations.
The Patriot Act was enacted after the Sept. 11 attacks to combat terrorism. McConnell used a Senate rule that will take the bill’s extension straight to the floor for voting, a move that would bypass traditional committee vetting process.
Section 215 expires on June 1. The NSA’s mass collection program was revealed by former contractor Edward Snowden, sparking a debate about privacy, security and the reach of government surveillance.
“Despite overwhelming consensus that the bulk collection of Americans’ phone records under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act must end, Senate Republican leaders are proposing to extend that authority without change,” Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., said in a statement. “This tone deaf attempt to pave the way for five and a half more years of unchecked surveillance will not succeed. I will oppose any reauthorization of Section 215 that does not contain meaningful reforms.”
Leahy and a bipartisan group of lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee are attempting to end the NSA’s mass collection of records. Advocates for privacy condemned McConnell’s extension introduction.
“The Senate majority leader’s bill makes no attempt to protect Americans’ privacy or reform ongoing NSA surveillance programs that do not provide any tangible benefit to national security,” Harley Geiger, policy counsel at the Center for Democracy & Technology, said. “For Americans concerned about government intrusion in their lives, the bill is a kick in the stomach.”
You should control what medicines you use, not the FDA. The FDA should make advisory recommendations only. It should NOT have the power to mandate which drugs you can buy, and which you cannot.
- If pharmaceutical companies value the FDA seal of approval, then they can pay the FDA to evaluate their drugs.
- If consumers value FDA approval, then they can decide to only buy FDA approved drugs.
If the FDA’s seal of approval is really so valuable, then it does NOT need to be mandatory. No coercion is necessary. Instead, the FDA should be able to sell its services through voluntary means, just like Underwriter’s Laboratory does.
Consumers and doctors should be free to consult available science, and make their own decisions about which treatments to try.
All human beings are unique. Treatments that might be dangerous for one person, could be the only possible solution for another. There is zero chance that one-size-fits-all dictates can possibly account for the vastness of human variability. Patients and doctors must have the flexibility to deal with individual human uniqueness.
There are thousands of reasons why the FDA should lose its power to coerce you and your loved ones. Some of these reasons will be listed below, so that you can use them when writing to Congress, or when asking your friends to contact Congress on this issue . . .
The FDA gives consumers a false sense of security. Americans assume that the FDA is actually protecting them, but it is not. For instance . . .
The Union of Concerned Scientists surveyed 6,000 FDA scientists in 2006, and 1,000 of them responded with the following disturbing admissions:
- 17% admitted that they had been “asked explicitly by FDA decision makers to provide incomplete, inaccurate, or misleading information to the public, regulated industry, media, or elected/senior government officials.”
- Less than half agreed that the FDA “routinely provides complete and accurate information to the public.”
- 47% admitted to being aware of instances “where commercial interests have inappropriately induced or attempted to induce the reversal, withdrawal, or modification of FDA determinations of actions.”
The FDA is constantly attempting to expand its powers. The people in that agency are relentlessly pushing into areas that are NOT part of their mandate — even where there is NO problem that needs to be fixed.
For Example: The FDA has made repeated attempts to regulate vitamins and supplements, even though there is no evidence that these things present any danger. Quite the contrary — vitamins and supplements are a powerful example of how health outcomes can be improved, without FDA involvement. The website of the Life Extension Foundation is full of scientific citations to demonstrate this. For instance . . .
A review of 2009 information for “adverse events” reported to the national control center’s data system shows that, NO major adverse events or deaths were reported for . . .
- Botanical supplements like St. John’s wort, ginseng, and Echinacea
- Hormone supplements like DHEA, melatonin, and pregnenolone
- Phytoestrogen supplements
- The joint- and cartilage-support supplements glucosamine and chondroitin
- Vitamins A and E, and only one adverse event each was reported for vitamin B6 and C
In total, 41 major adverse events were reported for the entire spectrum of supplements including botanicals, amino acids, and vitamins, and only one was a death.
In contrast, more than 7,000 major adverse events were reported for pharmaceutical drugs, including a total of 496 deaths. And based on previous studies, we know the overall death rate for physician prescribed drugs to be far higher.
The Downsize DC position is pro-choice. The FDA should serve, not rule.
Use the form at right to send your elected representatives a letter about this issue. It’s easy!
- Your position will be counted by each Congressional office,
- Will educate the Congressional staffer who reads it,
- May be passed up the chain of command,
- May receive a reply (many DC Downsizers get them). If you receive such a letter, please share it with us at Comments@DownsizeDC.org.
Send a letter to Congress
We provide the first few words of the letter so that Congressional offices will see the most important point
right at the start, and so that no one can hijack our system for another purpose.
Here’s the part we provide . . .
Make the FDA advisory, not mandatory.
Posted on April 8, 2015 | By Vivian McPeak
Note: I invited Joy Beckerman to guest blog on this important issue. The opinions expressed are her own. – Vivian
MYTHS & REALITIES OF CROSS-POLLINATION
by Joy Beckerman
Oh, the irony. On the one hand, marijuana and hemp activists have been tortured for decades by the DEA’s exceedingly absurd stance that marijuana growers will use industrial hemp fields to camouflage their marijuana plants; and on the other hand, there has recently arisen the hysterical stance by some populations of outdoor marijuana growers that marijuana and industrial hemp fields must be kept extraordinary distances apart in order to avoid cross-pollination. To be sure – whereas the DEA stance is unequivocally non-factual and has no basis in reality, the cross-pollination hysteria is actually grounded in truth, albeit recently a distorted and emotionally-based version of the truth. Greed inspires irrationality. Let’s have an intelligent conversation based in fact because there is no need for hysteria and cross-pollination is a common agricultural issue with a common agricultural solution…and one that would never require a distance of anywhere in the realm of 200 miles between plant species types. We don’t see the State of Kentucky in an uproar. Make no mistake, Kentucky’s Number One cash crop is outdoor marijuana while Kentucky simultaneously is the country’s Number One industrial hemp producer (both feral [i.e. leftover/wild] and deliberate, now that it is legal to cultivate there).
No doubt it will be helpful to found our discussion on a necessary botany lesson, especially since the most common misunderstanding about the “difference” between marijuana and industrial hemp is that “hemp is ‘the male’ and marijuana is ‘the female.’” In fact, nothing could be farther from the truth. “Cannabis” is the plant genus, “sativa” is Latin for “sown” or “cultivated” (and is included in many scientific plant species names), and the “L.” we often see associated with Cannabis sativa merely stands for the surname initial of Carl Linnaeus, the Swiss botanist who invented taxonomy. Cannabis sativa is a member of the Cannabaceae family. Within the Cannabis sativa plant species, we have the drug type known as “marijuana” and we have the oilseed and fiber type known as “industrial hemp.”
Both plant types – marijuana and industrial hemp – can be dieocious, which is to say they can be either exclusively male or exclusively female; and they can also be monoecious, which is to say they can have the staminate (i.e. the male pollen-producing part) and pistillate (i.e. the female ovum-producing part) on the same plant. However, marijuana is a high-resin crop generally planted about four feet apart for its medicine or narcotic rich leaves and buds, whereas industrial hemp is a low-resin crop generally planted about four inches apart for its versatile stalk and seed. The different kinds of marijuana are classified as “strains” and the different kinds of industrial hemp are classified as “varieties” and “cultivars.”
Industrial hemp is non-psychoactive with a higher ratio of CBD to THC, thus smoking even several acres of it will not result in achieving a high; conversely, only a memorable headache is achieved, regardless of Herculean effort. Marijuana flower production and industrial hemp production cultivation processes are distinctly different. Finally, there is no such thing as a plant or plant species known as “Cannabis hemp” and “hemp” is not a synonym for “marijuana,” “pot,” or “ganja,” etc. Botanists have argued for ages over whether a separate plant species “Cannabis indica” exists, and that age-old debate is not being addressed here.
The significant difference between the two types that effects cross-pollination and legitimately frightens marijuana growers is that hemp plants go to seed fairly quickly and would thus pollinate any marijuana plants growing in the same field or in a nearby field. This is botanically analogous to field corn and sweet corn, one of which is grown for human consumption, and one of which is grown for animal consumption. Corn producers take great measures to prevent any cross-pollination between their field and sweet corns; including growing the different varieties of corn at different times or making sure there is sufficient distance between the different fields. Either way, these corn producers do what is necessary to ensure that pollen carrying the dominant gene for starch synthesis is kept clear of corn silks borne on plants of the recessive (sweet) variety.
Cross-pollination of hemp with marijuana would significantly reduce the potency of the marijuana plants. While hemp farmers are not going to want marijuana cross-pollinating with their hemp and increasing their hemp’s THC content, it would be entirely more disastrous for the marijuana grower if hemp were to cross-pollinate with their marijuana due to the cost of producing and value of selling medical and adult-use marijuana. The concern is real. The concern is valid. But the concern does not merit the level of hysteria that appears to have arisen in Washington. We must take a note from Kentucky.
Industrial hemp is primarily pollinated by wind, and most pollen travels approximately 100 yards, give or take. Bees, of course, can also pollinate hemp; and bees travel up to three miles from their hives. It is also true that, depending on the weight and size of any plant pollen, combined with other natural conditions, wind-borne pollen can technically travel up to 2,000 miles away from the source. Yes, it’s true, up to 2,000 miles. And also it would be beyond ridiculous to give serious agricultural consideration to this extreme factoid for entirely obvious reasons.
Cannabis case in point: Kentucky. Kentucky may not have legal outdoor marijuana grows, but you’d better believe that – like every other state in the nation – there’s a whole lotta marijuana being deliberately cultivated outdoors; and on quite a grand scale in Kentucky, which state learned centuries ago that Cannabis grows exceedingly well in that climate and soil. Kentucky was always been the heart of our nation’s industrial hemp farmlands, thus Kentucky is covered with more feral hemp than any other state. This issue of marijuana and hemp cross-pollination is old news and no news at all to the marijuana growers of Kentucky, who experience and demonstrate no sense of hysteria like that which has risen up in Washington.
Global industrial hemp leader and professional industrial hemp agrologist Prof. Anndrea Hermann, M.Sc, B.GS, P.Ag., who has been a certified Health Canada THC Sampler since 2005 and is the President of the U.S. Hemp Industries Association, has assisted with creating and reviewing hemp regulations in Canada, the European Union, South Africa, Uruguay, Australia, New Zealand, and several U.S. States. Anndrea refers to this issue of cross-pollination as the “Cannabis Clash” and “Cannabis Sex 101.” So what is the answer? What is a safe distance between marijuana and hemp fields?
The Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA), which is the global agency to which most developed countries subscribe for agricultural purposes, has completed its draft industrial hemp seed certification regulations, which rules include a range from a minimum distance of three (3) feet to a maximum distance of three (3) miles between different pedigrees and cultivars of industrial hemp. This is the same with Health Canada’s industrial hemp regulations. But we are talking about safe distances between two plant types – marijuana and industrial hemp. Absent intense research and collection of hard data that will be interesting to conduct as we move forward and funding becomes available, experts agree that a distance of ten (10) miles between hemp and marijuana fields is exceedingly appropriate to avoid cross-pollination. Or as Anndrea Hermann would say, “a nice, country road drive!”
This is not a complicated issue or a new issue. This is basic agriculture. Marijuana and industrial hemp are best friends and this is no time for them to start picking unnecessary fights with one another. Ten miles, folks; ten miles!
Joy Beckerman is the President Hemp Ace International LLC, and the director of the Hemp Industries Association, Washington Chapter
Rastafarian businessman (Shutterstock)
In a classic case of “unintended consequences,” the recently signed Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) in Indiana may have opened the door for the establishment of the First Church of Cannabis in the Hoosier State.
While Governor Mike Pence (R) was holding a signing ceremony for the bill allowing businesses and individuals to deny services to gays on religious grounds or values, paperwork for the First Church of Cannabis Inc. was being filed with the Secretary of State’s office, reports RTV6.
Church founder Bill Levin announced on his Facebook page that the church’s registration has been approved, writing, “Status: Approved by Secretary of State of Indiana – “Congratulations your registration has been approved!” Now we begin to accomplish our goals of Love, Understanding, and Good Health.”
Levin is currently seeking $4.20 donations towards his non-profit church.
According to Indiana attorney and political commentator Abdul-Hakim Shabazz, Indiana legislators, in their haste to protect the religious values and practices of their constituents, may have unwittingly put the state in an awkward position with those who profess to smoke pot as a religious sacrament.
Shabazz pointed out that it is still illegal to smoke pot in Indiana, but wrote, “I would argue that under RFRA, as long as you can show that reefer is part of your religious practices, you got a pretty good shot of getting off scot-free.”
Noting that RFRA supporters say the bill “only spells out a test as to whether a government mandate would unduly burden a person’s faith and the government has to articulate a compelling interest for that rule and how it would be carried out in the least restrictive manner,” Shabazz contends the law may tie the state’s hands.
“So, with that said, what ‘compelling interest’ would the state of Indiana have to prohibit me from using marijuana as part of my religious practice?” he asked. ” I would argue marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol and wine used in religious ceremonies. Marijuana isn’t any more ‘addictive’ than alcohol and wine is used in some religious ceremonies. And marijuana isn’t any more of a ‘gateway’ drug than the wine used in a religious ceremony will make you go out and buy hard liquor. (At least not on Sunday.)”
Shabazz concluded, “I want a front row seat at the trial that we all know is going to happen when all this goes down.”
Originally posted on U.S. Marijuana Party of Kentucky:
The Obama administration’s so-called “clean power” regulation seeks to shut down more of America’s power generation under the guise of protecting the climate.
In reality, this proposed regulation would have a negligible effect on global climate but a profoundly negative impact on countless American families already struggling.
The regulation is unfair. It’s probably illegal. And state officials can do something about it; in fact, many are already fighting back.
I’m calling for others to join. Here’s why. Every state has the power, in theory at least, to design its own approach to meet the excessive and arbitrary mandates imposed by this regulation. But the purported flexibility is actually illusory.
States report that the regulation’s mandates are not technologically achievable, cannot be implemented under rushed timelines and threaten both state economies and energy reliability for families. Moreover, the regulation actually punishes states for billions they’ve already invested in environmental upgrades.
View original 480 more words
Posted: Friday, March 6, 2015 7:30 am
LOUISVILLE — What does it take to legalize casinos in Kentucky?
According to court rulings and attorney general opinions, Section 226 of the state Constitution would have to be amended. That section does not explicitly outlaw “casinos,” but forbids “lotteries” other than the state lottery. Lotteries are principally regarded as the sale of tickets and awarding of prizes to winning ticket holders.
But lotteries are also defined as “any scheme for the distribution of prizes by chance.” That was the view taken by state courts and former Attorney General Greg Stumbo when, in 2005, he wrote an opinion saying, “The case law is clear; to be a “lottery,” the winner must be chosen “purely by chance.”
Somehow, the “purely by chance” doctrine was applied to card games as well as the play-and-pray games of slot machines, roulette and dice. Poker, blackjack and baccarat players would beg to disagree, as success at those games require a high degree of skill to go with elements of chance.
In any case, amending the Constitution has become the go-to route to bring casinos to Kentucky. A bill must be introduced in the General Assembly, and at least 60 percent of each chamber — the House and the Senate — would have to vote for the bill. From there, Kentucky voters would have their say on the proposed amendment. A simple majority would make it law.
Two such attempts in the past three years have failed. In 2012, a bill supported by Gov. Steve Beshear was approved by the Democratic-controlled House but rejected by the Republican-controlled Senate, despite the co-sponsorship of Sen. Damon Thayer, who went on to become Senate majority leader. In 2014, several bills were issued in both chambers, and all died in committees.
This year’s bill calls for a maximum of six casinos in the state, no more than one in any Congressional district and only in counties of at least 85,000 in population. Its sponsor? Stumbo, now speaker of the House.
Mitch McConnell’s Love Affair with Hemp How the Kentucky senator picked a fight with the DEA and became one of Washington’s top drug policy reformers.
Last May, a shipment of 250 pounds of hemp seeds left Italy destined for Kentucky as part of a pilot project made legal by the 2013 federal farm bill. Kentucky farmers had long hoped for a crop that could fill the void left by the decline of tobacco, and many thought that industrial hemp, which is used in a vast array of products, could be that crop.
The hemp seeds cleared customs in Chicago, but when the cargo landed at the UPS wing of Louisville International Airport, the Drug Enforcement Administration seized it, arguing that importing hemp seeds required an import permit, which could take six months to process. If farmers couldn’t get those seeds into the ground by June 1, the entire first year of the hemp pilot program would be dashed.
The DEA would have succeeded in blocking the seeds from reaching Kentucky farmers and university researchers but for the efforts of the state’s agricultural commissioner, who sued the agency and, most improbably, Mitch McConnell.
McConnell—then the Senate’s minority leader—worked furiously to free the seeds from the DEA’s clutches and continued the pro-hemp drumbeat throughout 2014, as he campaigned for reelection. This year, as Senate majority leader, he’s taken a further step by co-sponsoring the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015. While the farm bill carved out an exception to allow hemp cultivation in Kentucky, the 2015 bill would remove hemp entirely from the list of drugs strictly regulated by the Controlled Substances Act. It would, in essence, legalize hemp production in the United States.
“We are laying the groundwork for a new commodity market for Kentucky farmers,” McConnell told me. “And by exploring innovative ways to use industrial hemp to benefit a variety of Kentucky industries, the pilot programs could help boost our state’s economy and lead to future jobs. … I look forward to seeing industrial hemp prosper in the Commonwealth.”
Yes, Mitch McConnell said that. About hemp.
To grasp how McConnell—the quintessential establishment Republican—came to champion industrial hemp, you must first understand the economics and internal politics of Kentucky, as well as McConnell’s relationship to Kentucky’s junior senator, Rand Paul. It’s also helpful to know that close to $500 million worth of hemp products produced by Canada and other countries is already sold in the United States through such stores as Whole Foods. McConnell’s move also has potential ramifications beyond the marketplace, providing a credible threat to the Controlled Substances Act since it was signed into law by President Richard Nixon in 1970.
“The fact that Majority Leader McConnell is a co-sponsor of a hemp bill shows how fast the politics are changing on this issue,” said Bill Piper of the Drug Policy Alliance, a nonprofit group that favors reform. (Bill Piper should not be confused with Billy Piper, former McConnell chief of staff and current K Street lobbyist).
The story of how Mitch McConnell evolved on the hemp issue began in 2010. Rand Paul, a Tea Party favorite, was running to replace the retiring Jim Bunning in the U.S. Senate and spent much of the primary season blasting McConnell, who not only represented the establishment but also supported a different Republican candidate. The McConnell-Paul relationship changed dramatically after Paul prevailed in the primary and McConnell vigorously stepped in to support him in the general election against the Democratic nominee, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway.
The bond only grew when Paul came to the Senate in 2011. Paul encouraged McConnell to consider the hemp issue because it was favored by conservatives and Tea Party types, according to two sources familiar with those discussions. McConnell listened.
The other Kentucky Republican who played a role in McConnell’s evolution was Jamie Comer, the state’s newly minted agriculture commissioner. In August 2012, Comer held a news conference before the 49th annual Kentucky Farm Bureau Country Ham Breakfast—a big shindig on the Kentucky politics circuit—to announce that legalization of hemp in the state would be his No. 1 priority in the next legislative session. Paul and U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, another Kentucky Republican, were there to support Comer; each later testified in support of Comer’s measure before the state Senate agriculture committee in February 2013, along with Rep. John Yarmuth, a Democrat from Louisville.
“I engaged with Jamie Comer,” Yarmuth told me. “He reached out to me. From the beginning it’s been a bipartisan thing.”
In Washington, D.C., McConnell was approached multiple times from hemp supporters back home. After the fourth such approach, the senior senator from Kentucky turned to his chief of staff, Josh Holmes, and said, “We’ve got to look into this.”
If, like the average U.S. senator, you are unfamiliar with the botany of the cannabis plant, here’s a quick primer:
For starters, hemp is sometimes referred to as marijuana’s “cousin,” which is an unhelpful metaphor because hemp and marijuana are actually the same species, Cannabis sativa. They are simply different strains, and they are cultivated and harvested in different ways.
The cannabis plant is dioecious, which means its male and female flowers grow on different plants. This is unusual: Dioecious species—including gingkoes, willows and a few others—make up only 6 percent of all flowering plants.
Hemp is produced after the male plant fertilizes the females—something that happens almost immediately once the plants flower. Marijuana, on the other hand, is produced from the unfertilized flower of the female plant. A person interested in growing marijuana wants only female plants; a plant that shows signs of male flowers is plucked immediately, before it can mature and pollinate the females around it.
Pollen contamination is one of the chief concerns of marijuana growers, legal and illegal, because as soon as a female flower becomes pollinated, she stops making her THC-rich resin and begins focusing entirely on seed production. (Hemp is defined by Kentucky law as containing less than 0.3 percent THC; unfertilized marijuana flowers could have THC levels of 20 percent or more.)
For decades, the law enforcement lobby has peddled anti-hemp talking points that just didn’t add up. During the 2013 farm bill debate, the DEA asserted that, “It can be extremely difficult to distinguish cannabis grown for industrial purposes from cannabis grown for smoking. This is especially true if law enforcement is attempting to make this determination without entering the premises on which the plants are being grown.”
James Higdon is a freelance writer based in Louisville and author of The Cornbread Mafia: A Homegrown Syndicate’s Code of Silence and the Biggest Marijuana Bust in American History. He can be reached at @jimhigdon. Full disclosure: His father, Jimmy Higdon, is a Republican state senator in the Kentucky state legislature.
Jails in Kentucky are overflowing with inmates, but you may not realize many of the inmates are there for profit
- Posted: Feb 09, 2015 3:12 PM CST Updated: Feb 09, 2015 6:00 PM CST
By Emily Mieure
Metro corrections is the largest jail in Kentucky with 1,793 beds.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Most local jails in Kentucky are overflowing with inmates, but you may not realize many of the inmates are there for profit.
The Kentucky prison population is big and many prisoners are passed around the commonwealth. There are 12 prisons operated by the Kentucky Department of Corrections across the state and many of them are at capacity — if not above it.
When asked what could be improved with regards to the prison population, Nelson County Jailer Dorcas Figg said flat out: “Well, if we had more beds.”
Figg has been working with jails for over 40 years and she said she doesn’t foresee the overcrowding problem changing.
“Because it’s not a money making business,” she said.
So instead of being in state facilities, about a third of the commonwealth’s 12,000 prisoners are sleeping in county jails.
Some wonder if that’s dangerous, but local jailers insist it’s a good thing.
“It helps the counties out a whole lot,” Figg said.
She says the Kentucky Department of Corrections started sending state inmates to local jails in the early 1980s. Since then, the conditions at county facilities have improved.
“Sometimes they couldn’t even hardly survive back then,” said Figg. “Then once the state took it over, that was a great thing because you had standards you had to meet. Back then, you didn’t have standards,” she added.
Figg’s 102-bed jail is mostly full of local inmates, but she says housing state inmates helps the budget because The Kentucky Department of Corrections pays county jails at least $31.34 per state prisoner per day. A small percentage of that goes into a jail fund.
Sometimes the state will send a prisoner to a certain county for convenience.
“I get letters from state inmates wanting to come here to make them closer to home,” Figg explained. “If I had the beds, I would take any state I could because that’s beds that are being paid for — but we don’t have the beds.”
Not having enough beds is a problem across the commonwealth, and Bullitt County Jailer Martha Knox says it’s a constant balancing act.
“It’s very frustrating,” Knox said.
While her 304-bed jail is usually at or above capacity, she has an entire wing dedicated to only housing state prisoners. Trying to keep the right amount of local and state inmates is a daily struggle, but she says making room for the state prisoners is worth the money.
“It doesn’t pay everything but it is a big incentive,” said Knox.
That money adds up because a state prisoner can stay in a local jail for up to five years.
While this seems to work well in most counties, none of it applies to Jefferson County.
Metro Corrections doesn’t house state inmates because they don’t even have enough room for local inmates.
“We take whoever the police brings us,” Metro Corrections Director Mark Bolton said. “We’re 24/7, 365. Police bring them, we’re going to take them.”
“As far as I know, we’ve never been a class C or D facility and by that I mean we don’t house state inmates here in Jefferson County,” Bolton explained. “We just don’t have the capacity to do it.”
Metro corrections is the largest jail in Kentucky with 1,793 beds. Last year, it housed an average of 1,850 inmates — so where do the extras go?
“They end up going on the floor in a temporary bed and then we get them in a bed in the order they’re brought to us when a bed is freed up,” Bolton said.
He says over the years, they’ve found ways to tackle the overcrowding issue.
“We have seen the population trend down in 2014 to about a ten-year low so that’s fairly significant progress I think,” said Bolton.
He gives partial credit to House Bill 463, which reduced penalties for some drug crimes. But he said Jefferson County’s Home Incarceration Program has also contributed to the decline in the population. At any given time, there are about 700 inmates on home incarceration — 600 of them are monitored through GPS.
“I think that is another element of technology that we’ve brought to the local arena here,” Bolton noted. “I think the judges and prosecutors appreciate that that technology is now here and I think they’re making very prudent decisions with respect to public safety.”
While some think it’s dangerous to keep certain inmates on home incarceration, Bolton says it’s a program he stands behind.
“We need to protect the public and lock people up we’re afraid of, not people that we’re mad at.”
Bolton says if he had the room, he would gladly house state inmates like other counties.
“Corrections does an incredible job moving people throughout the state based upon beds that are free in other jurisdictions,” he said.
Bolton said the population at Metro Corrections peaked near 1,650 in December, which he said he hadn’t seen in over six years.
For the last two decades the source material for chemtrails has been a mystery. Finally, the apparent ‘perfect’ element base material of chemtrails sprayed from airplanes—both government and commercial—that causes blanket clouds and welsbach reflective materials in the atmosphere, has been identified. It’s coal fly ash wastes from coal burning power plants!
In the almost 13 minute video posted below, the basic scientific analysis of coal ash identifies fly ash, which is high in aluminum oxide—about 30%. From the 9 minute mark on the timeline, important information should be noted.
Apparently, coal ash—both types—is difficult and extremely expensive to dispose of, something like a billion dollar problem per plant, according to the video. However, fly ash easily is transported away from power plants by railcars—the very mode of transportation that brings the coal to the power plant to be burned. Trucks and barges also are used in transporting it to bases for spraying.
What seems to be going on is this: Just like fluoride, which is a protoplasmic poison and toxic waste, coal fly ash has been forced into humans too. We drink fluoride in our municipal water supplies under the guise that it will protect our teeth—what a crock of malarkey!
For at least two decades, we have been breathing coal fly ash deliberately being sprayed as part of weather geoengineering.
Here’s another video that shows and talks about the extreme cold weather in the USA and melting Arctic methane as of January 8, 2015.
Commentary is made that no low pressure is allowed to build up in order to control weather in the Pacific and West Coast of the USA. Aerosol trails over California prevent low pressure from building up, which may explain why California doesn’t get rain.
There’s a map in the video with accompanying incredible information. Southern Alaska temperatures in January 2015 are in the 45s and 48. Definitely, not normal! Furthermore, there’s heavy chemtrailing going on over the Gulf of Mexico to keep the Jet Stream straight all the way to Europe. The 2013-14 brutal winter pattern is upon us again—a second winter in a row!
Please share this information with everyone you know. Send it to your members of Congress, state legislators, newspapers, your local weather forecasters—everyone. We have to save our beautiful planet Earth.
Catherine retired from researching and writing, but felt compelled to write this article.
Catherine J Frompovich (website) is a retired natural nutritionist who earned advanced degrees in Nutrition and Holistic Health Sciences, Certification in Orthomolecular Theory and Practice plus Paralegal Studies. Her work has been published in national and airline magazines since the early 1980s. Catherine authored numerous books on health issues along with co-authoring papers and monographs with physicians, nurses, and holistic healthcare professionals. She has been a consumer healthcare researcher 35 years and counting.
Originally posted on Kindred Words :
I’ve got this thing,
attached to the feathers
of my tattered, right wing;
it’s tickling and itching…
and causing me to careen;
through the air,
with everybody down there
I’ve got this weight,
that drags my feet
in reverse, towards my fate;
it’s beaconing and ordering…
that I bow down, and subjugate;
kiss the toes,
belonging to those;
who refuse to let me go
I’ve got these eyes,
tuned to a frequency
that perfectly filter the lies;
barreling and swooping…
along, at their’ sides;
nobody else knows
but I see.
I’ve got this shrapnel splinter,
burrowed deeply into my skin
through summer, spring, fall and winter;
all it takes to make a slice, is a sliver;
right above the river
bleeding all over me.
The following is a synopsis of the proposed Bills currently in House and what they mean to us.
AN ACT relating to crimes and punishments.
Amend and create various KRS sections to convert certain misdemeanors to pre-payable violations and set fines.
Feb 5-introduced in House
Thru the DIRECT LINK above can be found the newest version of the Kentucky “decrim” bill.
The highlights for the cannabis users are below:
(1) A person is guilty of possession of marijuana when he or she knowingly and unlawfully possesses marijuana.
(2) Any person who violates this section shall be fined one hundred dollars ($100) for each offense
(1) “Drug paraphernalia” means all equipment, products and materials of any kind which are used, intended for use, or designed for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, concealing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance in violation of this chapter. It includes but is not limited to:
(a) Kits used, intended for use, or designed for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, or harvesting of any species of plant which is a controlled substance or from which a controlled substance can be derived;
(e) Scales and balances used, intended for use, or designed for use in weighing or measuring controlled substances;
(g) Separation gins and sifters used, intended for use, or designed for use in removing twigs and seeds from, or in otherwise cleaning or refining marijuana;
(h) Blenders, bowls, containers, spoons, and mixing devices used, intended for use, or designed for use in compounding controlled substances;
(i) Capsules, balloons, envelopes, and other containers used, intended for use, or designed for use in packaging small quantities of controlled substances;
(l) Objects used, intended for use, or designed for use in ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing marijuana, cocaine, hashish, or hashish oil into the human body, such as: metal, wooden, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic, or ceramic pipes with or without screens, permanent screens, hashish heads, or punctured metal bowls; water pipes; carburetion tubes and devices; smoking and carburetion masks; roach clips which mean objects used to hold burning material, such as marijuana cigarettes, that have become too small or too short to be held in the hand; miniature cocaine spoons, and cocaine vials; chamber pipes; carburetor pipes; electric pipes; air-driven pipes; chillums; bongs; ice pipes or chillers.
My opinion on this bill is that it is a “ lesser of the evils” for us and that is IT. Period.
In fact I am not sure how much of a lesser evil it really is when you consider that this is not any form of legalization at all. It is just a reduction in the punishment for an illegal activity.
AN ACT relating to marijuana.
Amend KRS 218A.1422 to make the possession of two ounces of marijuana or less a violation punishable by a maximum fine of $75; amend KRS 218A.1423 to make cultivation of five marijuana plants or less a Class B misdemeanor; name the Act the Kentucky Cannabis Freedom Act.
Jan 9-introduced in Senate
Feb 3-to Judiciary (S)
Thru the DIRECT LINK above can be found the first version of the Kentucky “decrim” bill as shown below.
(1) A person is guilty of possession of marijuana when he or she knowingly and unlawfully possesses marijuana.
(2) Possession of two (2) ounces of marijuana or less shall be a violation that is punishable by a maximum fine of seventy-five dollars ($75).
(3) Possession of more than two (2) ounces of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor, except that, KRS Chapter 532 to the contrary notwithstanding, the maximum term of incarceration shall be no greater than forty-five (45) days.
âSection 2. KRS 218A.1423 is amended to read as follows:
(1) A person is guilty of marijuana cultivation when he knowingly and unlawfully plants, cultivates, or harvests marijuana with the intent to sell or transfer it.
(2) Marijuana cultivation of six (6)
[five (5)] or more plants of marijuana is:
(a) For a first offense a Class D felony.
(b) For a second or subsequent offense a Class C felony.
(3) Marijuana cultivation of fewer than six (6)
[five (5)] plants is [:
] a Class B misdemeanor
[(a) For a first offense a Class A misdemeanor.
(b) For a second or subsequent offense a Class D felony].
(4) The planting, cultivating, or harvesting of six (6)
[five (5)] or more marijuana plants shall be prima facie evidence that the marijuana plants were planted, cultivated, or harvested for the purpose of sale or transfer.
âSection 3. This Act shall be known and may be cited as the Kentucky Cannabis Freedom Act.
My opinion on this Bill is that it would be the better of the two “decrim” Bills submitted because at least there is a “grow” clause in it as long as you are not “trafficking”. However, Marijuana still remains illegal and prohibited by law under this Statute as well. The laws are all about the “control” issue. Either way they continue to make money at our expense for growing and using a “plant”. As well as the fact that we remain criminals.
Last but not least is the :
Medical Marijuana Bill Kentucky 2015 , SB 43/LM/CI (BR 287)
AN ACT relating to medical cannabis.
Create various new sections of KRS Chapter 218A to establish a comprehensive system for medical cannabis in Kentucky, including provisions for medical verification of need, persons allowed to cultivate, use, and possess the drug, organizations allowed to assist in providing the drug, regulation by the state Department for Public Health, interaction with state and local governments, including law enforcement, with persons and entities coming within the purview of the Act, and the establishment of required reporting and review procedures; amend KRS 218A.040 to conform; name the Act the Cannabis Compassion Act.
Jan 7-introduced in Senate
Jan 13-to Licensing, Occupations, & Administrative Regulations (S)
READ AS FOLLOWS: Direct Link to Bill
For the purposes of Sections 1 to 25 of this Act, unless the context otherwise requires:
(1) “Bona fide practitioner-patient relationship” means that:
(a) A practitioner and patient have a treatment or consulting relationship, during the course of which the physician has completed an assessment of the patient’s medical history and current medical condition, including an appropriate personal physical examination;
(b) The practitioner has consulted with the patient with respect to the patient’s debilitating medical condition; and
(c) The physician is available to or offers to provide follow-up care and treatment to the patient, including but not limited to patient examinations;
(2) “Cannabis” means all parts of the plant Cannabis sp., whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds or resin or any compound, mixture, or preparation which contains any quantity of these substances. The term “cannabis” does not include industrial hemp as defined in KRS 260.850;
(3) “Cardholder” means a qualifying patient, visiting qualifying patient, or a designated caregiver who has been issued and possesses a valid registry identification card;
In my opinion this is an all out medical marijuana bill with all the regulations, Doctors, Pharmaceutical entities as well as Dispensaries lined up in a row. Once again, Freedom is not involved here. It is regulation at its finest through all aspects of the Government. If it is regulated medical marijuana that a patient is looking for then this would be the Bill for them. For many people it may be a good thing. However, it still does not free the Cannabis plant to the general public and the Statutes of controlled substances will still be alive and well with this Bill.
This is three options that we have in Kentucky that may or most probably won’t pass this year anyway. But not one of these options repeals prohibition even on a State level and will still open up persecution of those choosing to use Cannabis which fall short of the guidelines set by the State Government even if one or more of them are passed.
I still believe the only way to get society at large out of the mouth of the prison industrial complex for using Cannabis in any form is REPEAL of all laws pertaining to the Cannabis plant!
Prohibition did not work – Neither will Legalization – It is time to REPEAL and nullify unconstitutional Statutes regarding the cultivation and use of Marijuana on a Human level!
Guest POV | Medical Marijuana
Posted: Jan 28, 2015 9:33 AM CST Updated: Jan 28, 2015 3:55 PM CST
WDRB Guest Editorial By Jaime Montalvo
I have Multiple Sclerosis. I’ve been fighting this disease for eight years.
I have muscle spasms, tremor uncontrollably, and I’m scared. Cannabis relieves these symptoms.
In Kentucky, thousands of Veterans suffer from PTSD and haven’t responded to treatment.
Sadly, too many choose suicide as a last resort for escaping their demons. I have personal combat veteran friends who testify that smoking Cannabis relieves them within seconds after waking up from horrendous nightmares.
Kentucky has the highest cancer death rate of all 50 states. You probably know someone who has had cancer. Cancer treatments also bring some of the most debilitating side effects. Twenty thousand Kentuckians a year face this diagnosis. Marijuana has been studied and proven to relieve these effects. The nausea brought about by chemotherapy is relieved within seconds of inhaling Cannabis.
The Epilepsy Foundation of Kentuckiana reports over 90,000 individuals suffer from epilepsy in our area. Like cancer treatments, medications used to manage seizures have debilitating side effects. Not every patient can tolerate the treatments, and the drugs often stop working. Cannabis oil has been heralded for decreasing certain patients’ seizures from 300 per week to zero or one.
Cannabis is helping us cope with our symptoms. Please help us by contacting your legislator at 800-372-7181 asking them to support medical marijuana legislation.
I’m Jaime Montalvo, founder of Kentuckians for Medicinal Marijuana, and that’s my point of view.
LINK TO KCHHI :
Some background on the “KCHHI” Petition.
It is important because it represents “REPEAL” of “PROHIBITION” at the State, Federal and Local levels of Government in the United States, in OUR case
If “WE, THE PEOPLE” want to regain our freedom as a people to be “self-governed” we must take this very important step to push for what WE
believe is right.
No one should be punished for growing, using as medicine or for recreational purposes and most certainly of all using “medicinal marijuana” for
OUR children’s HEALTH needs. This is NOT to say that it is alright to give to a child under 18/21 years old when NOT being used medicinally!
That having been, said NO CHILD should have to do without this God-given medicine because of Government intrusion into our lives!
I am praying that the citizens of Kentucky will examine the evidence – what we have seen so far is nothing more than Government
interference in our lives at the Statutory level – even when OUR children’s lives are at stake!
I realize that those with children in dire need are pressed to see ANY form of legislation enacted that would give their CHILD this medicine!
I can honestly say that if I were in that position I would leave the State of Kentucky for Colorado today! NOT because I like what Colorado
has accomplished! It is a mess out there – but at least my child would have what they need medically – forget everything else!
The only other alternative at this point is to try to “secretly” medicate my child and hope that I do not get caught and my CHILD be taken away
because the LAW doesn’t approve. We all know the LAW is BULLSHIT!
I started preaching REPEAL in 2010 and Mary Thomas-Spears had it figured out before me. Everyone thinks that this is not worth working on
and it is unobtainable. I say it is! If enough people will get behind the idea and we start telling our Government what we need as opposed to
letting OUR Government ‘TELL US WHAT THEY ARE GOING TO LET US DO! WE ELECT THEM! Not the other way around – however this is changing
rapidly. This is a valid reason why all those who are eligible to vote MUST do so! Regardless of the fact that the elections are, at this point a “set up” we MUST
retain the right to the voting process – so everyone make sure they register and vote, even if you feel there is no reason! At least it keeps the
freedom TO vote!
It is close to the point that our entire Country will be under total control of every aspect of OUR lives, up to and including Religion and CHILD
rearing. If Kentucky lets this happen – so goes the rest of the Country! (Check out the story :
Connecticut Girl Speaks Out After Being Forced to Undergo Chemo) – Industrialism at it’s worse in my opinion, and it is happening
everyday! So stop thinking we CAN’T and start thinking YES WE CAN put an end to the tyranny that is surrounding us and moving in on ALL of OUR freedom’s
as we speak. STAND UP AND FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT TO BE FREE FROM PROHIBITION AND GOVERNMENT INTRUSION INTO OUR DAILY LIVES
FOR NO OTHER REASON THAN THEIR DOMINENCE OVER US!
We lost the first Civil War to the Industrialists. LET IT NOT HAPPEN AGAIN!
If you do not understand this I urge you to watch “Hell on Wheels” an AMC production which very well explains how the Industrialists took over
and forced slave labor from one entity – the Agrarian (Farming) Community into the Industrialist building of the railroads and the war effort.
Everyone was forced into leaving the family farms for the Industrial Revolution. As a result we ended up with corporate farming.
Of note: The Emancipation Proclamation which “freed the Slaves” was NOT enforced in Kentucky because Kentucky had not seceded from the Union.
It was only a strategy of War between the North and South and Kentucky “sat on the fence” Don’t take me the wrong way…Slavery was never RIGHT!
And Abe Lincoln did NOT like Slavery which has been documented historically. However, this information proves that if the Government seems to
Fight for the freedom from prohibition of your freedoms!
PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK AND SIGN FOR YOUR RIGHT AS A HUMAN BEING TO BE ABLE TO FARM AND USE CANNABIS! A GOD-GIVEN PLANT!
CALLIFORNIA HEMP HEALTH INITIATIVE 2012
THE PETITION IS LOCATED HERE: (DIRECT LINK) http://www.petition2congress.com/9641/kentucky-cannabis-hemp-health-initiative-2013-2014/
It is my opinion that this is the Initiative we should be getting as many signatures on as possible so that we, as a group, can go to Sen. McConnells office at an opportune time and present it to him.
At the same time we could have groups of people in each district present it to their Representatives. This represents true repeal of prohibition on the Cannabis Plant in Kentucky. It needs to be presented as soon as possible, before February 17th, I would say, in order to have a chance at getting someone in office to back us for the 2016 Legislative Session. Please leave your comments and thoughts on this.
Read the initiative and then just for the hell of it lets see how many signatures we can get before the 30th of January.
Part II convenes Feb 3rd. Last day for new bill requests is the 6th. I know we can’t find a sponsor by then for this year but if we all show up in Committee meetings which would be every Tuesday at 11:30 for Agriculture and Wednesday at 10 am for Health and Welfare maybe we can give a least a good showing of taking back our human rights to this plant – medical and all.
If we can get 1000 signatures on the petition I will print it out and mail it POSTAL to every Senator. and Representative. in the state.
A lot of you all have been in Frankfort to the meetings, I haven’t. According to the website anyone will be admitted to them. Let me know how this works.
Thanks to everyone showing support for this idea.
It may be bold but it may be the way to bring an end to (State) Prohibition in Kentucky! We still have to worry about Federal.
we petition the obama administration to: Remove the Whole Cannabis Plant from Schedule 1 for Medical Research & Patient Access
Research & experience suggest medical cannabis helps with Alzheimer’s, Diabetes, epilepsy, cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, HIV, GI disorders, PTSD, eczema, Autism, arthritis, and other conditions.
Please remove the whole cannabis plant from the federal government’s banned Schedule 1 list.
Extensive research into various whole plant medicinal strains must be allowed to identify the full potential of this therapeutic plant. Research, mostly from other countries, already suggests the compounds in whole plant cannabis strains work synergistically to produce medicinal effects and help reduce side effects. Therefore, limited rescheduling of individual components for cannabinoid-based synthetic drugs alone will not work. Please allow the various strain options for research and medical access.
Published Date: Jan 05, 2015
Link to: FACEBOOK GROUP: SAFER KENTUCKY
Joseph Gerth, The Courier-Journal 8:45 a.m. EST December 17, 2014
A Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife officer killed a mountain lion on a Bourbon County farm on Monday, marking the first confirmed sighting of a mountain lion in Kentucky since before the Civil War, said Mark Marraccini, a spokesman for the agency.
Marraccini said a farmer spotted the cat in a tree and alerted the department. When the officer responded, he found the animal had been trapped in different tree by a barking dog and decided it was best to “dispatch it.”
Mountain lions were once native to Kentucky but they were killed off here more than a century ago, Marraccini said.
Mountain lions are the largest cats found in North America and can measure up to eight feet from nose to tail and weigh up to 180 pounds. Also known as cougars, pumas, panthers and catamounts, the cats are considered top-line predators because no other species feed on them.
Marraccini said the wildlife officer shot the cat because it was about 5:30 p.m. and getting dark and he feared that it would slip away in darkness and threaten people in the nearby city of Paris.
“If that cat had left that tree, it would have disappeared into the brush and it was a fairly populated area,” said Marraccini, who said it would have taken several hours and dark before a state veterinarian could retrieve the tranquilizer from her safe and get it to the scene had officials taken that route.
“It sounds good but it’s pretty impractical,” said Marraccini, who said the officer who shot the cat made the right call.
“That’s the way the officers deemed to handle it and I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t be handled that way,” he said.
Marraccini said a state veterinarian will conduct a necropsy on the cat Tuesday to determine if it is a wild cat or a former pet that was either released or escaped.
According to the Cougar Network, the cat is mostly confined to the western United States but is advancing east. For years, the Mississippi River has been thought to be a barrier to the mountain lion’s eastern expansion. But its clear they have been getting close to Kentucky.
They have colonized in South Dakota, Nebraska and Missouri, said Amy Rodrigues, a staff biologist for the Mountain Lion Foundation, and there have been sightings in recent years in Indiana and even downtown Chicago.
Rodrigues said that mountain lions each need more than 100 square miles to survive and many of the animals being killed as they expand east are young males under the age of two that have been kicked out by their mothers. They often travel east looking for deer, water and female cougars.
But Rodrigues said states that kill the animals when they enter are wrong for doing it and that the animals shouldn’t cause fear. “If you’re a deer, they’re a little dangerous. If you’re a human, not so much,” she said. “Attacks on people are not that common. There have only been 22 deaths in the last 120 years.”
They get a bad rap because “they are large animals with sharp teeth,” Rodrigues said.
She added the presence of mountain lions in an ecosystem adds to biological diversity, which she said helps the environment recover from natural disaster and diseases that affect the fauna in a region.
Mark Dowling, a director of the Cougar Network, which advocates for the use of science to understand the animals, said the population was being pushed further and further west until the 1960s when a number of western and midwestern states began to classify them as game animals rather than vermin, and limiting people’s right to kill them.
Since then, he said, the cats have been slowly reclaiming their old turf.
Marraccini said there is no official protocol about how to handle more mountain lions if they are found in Kentucky but he doubts that they will be allowed to colonize here like they have in many western states.
“Every one of them is handled on it’s own,” said Marraccini.
Marraccini said that people and legislators probably would be opposed to allowing the cats to stay in the state. “When you have a population essentially that has had generations and generations and generations that have not had top-line predators, you think about it. You going to let your kids wait for the school bus in the dark? …”
“From a wildlife diversity perspective, it would be a neat thing but from a social aspect, probably not,” he said.
Dowling wouldn’t take a position on whether the cat should have been killed but said that most states that have had the cats moving through them have just left the cats alone. In fact, he said he can’t think of a state wildlife agency that shoots them on sight but he noted that South Dakota will shoot them when they enter a city.
But he said human attacks are few and far between, even in California where there are thousands of the cats, some of them living within large cities like Los Angeles.
“It’s very, very rare for them to show any aggression toward humans,” he said. “They, in fact, have a fear of people.”
Animals like the mountain lion once near extinction or limited in their range are rebounding across the country. The first gray wolf confirmed in Kentucky in generations was shot by a hunter a year and a half ago near Munfordville.
Originally posted on U.S. Marijuana Party of Kentucky:
PUBLIC SERVICE COMMENT:
Please be aware that “Pertussis/Whooping Cough” is active in the SC KY area.
please contact your doctor right away. I have been diagnosed with this thru CDC as my Grandson has had it…I am sicker now than when I went to Dr for URI on 4th….The RX I was given at the time does not attack this Virus!!!!!!!!!!!! Do not take this lightly! I probably won’t be online as much for a few days or so – smk
UPDATE: THIS IS HOW AND WHY “PANDEMICS” GET STARTED: I called my DR as the RN from BCH told me to. Requested meds be sent to Pharmacy. Few hours later they call me back and tell me that they cant diagnose Pertussis— that I have to go Urgent Care to be tested to confirm —- at THAT time my dr. can send in antibiotics….Problem with this…
View original 873 more words
Nov 6, 2014 9:08am
By MICHAEL FALCONE (@michaelpfalcone)
- OBAMA ADMITS ‘REPUBLICANS HAD A GOOD NIGHT‘: A day after Republicans took control of the Senate and gained seats in the House, President Obama admitted the GOP “had a good night” and “deserve credit for running good campaigns,” ABC’s ERIN DOOLEY reports. http://abcn.ws/1uy0a3M
- MITCH MCCONNELL SAYS HE WILL ‘TRUST BUT VERIFY’ HIS NEW RELATIONSHIP WITH THE PRESIDENT: Sen. Mitch McConnell said he intends to employ a “trust but verify” relationship with President Obama when he takes the helm as the new Senate majority leader, saying voters sent a clear message that both parties must govern. “The American people have spoken. They’ve given us divided government,” McConnell told reporters in Louisville yesterday. According to ABC’s JEFF ZELENY, it’s an open question how much agreement the Republican-controlled Congress and the White House will forge, given the high degree of partisan acrimony that has been festering in Washington. But McConnell listed trade agreements and corporate tax reform as two potential early areas of compromise with the president. http://abcn.ws/10oPar6
- FORGET THE BEER, OBAMA AND MCCONNELL HEAD STRAIGHT FOR THE HARD STUFF: President Obama has met one-on-one with Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell only once or twice in six years. But now, ABC’s DEVIN DWYER and MARY BRUCE report the president is ready to join the Kentucky Republican for a drink. “You know, actually, I would enjoy having some Kentucky bourbon with Mitch McConnell,” Obama told ABC’s JONATHAN KARL. “I don’t know what his preferred drink is, but, you know, my interactions with Mitch McConnell, he — you know, he has always been very straightforward with me.” http://abcn.ws/1tBgmNW
ABC’s JEFF ZELENY: Will Ted Cruz and a handful of other senators be a thorn in Mitch McConnell’s side or an ally in his new Republican majority? It’s likely a safe bet we’ll see a bit of both. But McConnell and his Republican leadership team are trying to quickly bring the new Republican class to their side to avoid anything that resembles a Cruz caucus. When McConnell talked to us yesterday in Louisville, he made clear that government shutdowns and budget showdowns won’t take place on his watch. The only way he can deliver on that promise is by keeping the freshmen senators in his corner. He suggested that the mandate from voters was on his side, saying: “The vast majority of them don’t feel that they were sent to Washington to just fight all the time.”
ABC’s SHUSHANNAH WALSHE: Compromise, it’s been the ugliest of words in Washington. But, if voters made one thing clear when voting in that Republican wave Tuesday is that they are sick of gridlock, bringing angst about so many issues–including a hatred of the way things work in Washington–to the voting booth. Yesterday, we saw some signs that maybe–just maybe–things might be different. First, Mitch McConnell stressed he has a “cordial” relationship with the president noting he heard the voters loud and clear saying when voters choose “divided government” it doesn’t mean “they don’t want us to do anything,” instead “it means they want us to look for areas of agreement.” Then the president said a bourbon summit may be on the menu, saying he would “enjoy having some Kentucky bourbon” with McConnell. Yes, these are tiny steps, but ones the American people desperately want. And if they don’t get it, many in Washington know it could be another “throw the bums out” year soon enough.
ABC’s RICK KLEIN: President Obama seemed to go out of his way to deny the 2014 elections a label, as he resisted entreaties by reporters to follow the tradition that brought us the “thumping” and the “shellacking.” It’s as if the White House would prefer that the election some said was about nothing would not even get a name. But the election actually was about big forces in American politics. It brings a new world were nouns will bother Democrats less than verbs. The election conferred few mandates, and defies snapshot takeaways. But to suggest that the election was primarily about a Republican-leaning map, or somehow was about voters who chose not to vote, risks also defying a public that was responding to policies that the president himself insisted were on the ballot.
with ABC’s KIRSTEN APPLETON
MEET 9 REPUBLICANS WHO COULD SHAKE THINGS UP IN THE NEW CONGRESS. There are a lot of new Republicans headed to Congress next year, but some members of the largest GOP wave since the Hoover administration stick out more than others. ABC’s CHRIS GOOD, JOHN PARKINSON, ARLETTE SAENZ and BEN SIEGEL take a look at some of the newly minted senators and members of Congress likely to shake things up at the Capitol. http://abcn.ws/1x6yPna
HAPPENING TODAY — MEDAL OF HONOR FOR CIVIL WAR HERO: More than 150 years after he was shot three times and later killed by Confederate forces in the Battle of Gettysburg, 1st Lt. Alonzo Cushing will be decorated with the nation’s highest military honor, ABC’s DEVIN DWYER reports. President Obama will make a rare presentation of the Medal of Honor to the Civil War veteran during a small ceremony in the Roosevelt Room with Cushing’s relatives. The award is the culmination of a 40-year effort by the family and lawmakers from Wisconsin, where Cushing was born. It required a formal congressional exemption, since Medals of Honor must be presented within 3 years of a qualifying act. The 22-year-old Cushing, a graduate of West Point, where he is now buried, commanded an Army artillery battery.
GEORGIA SENATE RACE DIVIDES ATLANTA’S RAP SCENE. The Georgia Senate race between Republican winner David Perdue and Democratic candidate Michelle Nunn split voters in the Peach State. According to ABC’s BEN SIEGEL and NOAH WEILAND, it also divided leading members of Atlanta’s rap scene. Rapper and deejay Lil Jon appeared in promotional videos for Rock the Vote’s “Turnout for What” campaign, a play on his hit song, “Turn Down for What.” On Election Day, he flew from Las Vegas to Georgia to vote after not receiving an absentee ballot in the mail. He also retweeted a message from the Nunn campaign. Meanwhile, rapper Waka Flocka Flame was spotted at a Perdue victory party at Atlanta’s Buckhead Hotel. http://abcn.ws/1x9EXfn
HOW FEMALE CANDIDATES FARED IN THE MIDTERMS. With the results of the midterm elections nearly settled, one thing is clear: a record number of women will serve in the incoming Congress. But ABC’s ALANA ABRAMSON reports it’s unclear how high that number will actually be. The total number of women in Congress will increase, to 100-103 at the most – a maximum of four additional seats. Before the midterm elections, there were 99 women serving in the 113th Congress – twenty senators and 79 members of the House. The number of women senators is slated to remain at 20, unless Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu defeats Bill Cassidy in the runoff election next month. In the House, 81 female candidates have won, with two races still too close to call. http://abcn.ws/1uxHDE2
OBAMA’S SHORT LIST FOR NEXT ATTORNEY GENERAL JUST GOT SHORTER. The coming Republican takeover of the U.S. Senate means President Obama now has an even shorter list of candidates to replace outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder. ABC’s MIKE LEVINE reports that political concerns have already kept one qualified contender from serious consideration, sources told ABC News. “President Obama said at a press conference he is “looking at” a “number of outstanding candidates,” and he is “confident” that his nominee “will get confirmed by the Senate.” But for that to happen, the president’s pick “has to be somebody who is not compromised,” the White House source said. The source was referring to Alejandro Mayorkas, the number two at the Department of Homeland Security whose name has surfaced as a potential contender even as he remains in the crosshairs of a lingering internal probe into complaints of alleged impropriety years earlier. http://abcn.ws/1shK4oz
LESSONS FROM THE LOSERS: 5 BIG POLITICAL DON’TS OF THE 2014 MIDTERM ELECTIONS. Republicans are set to march into a new session of Congress with the Senate majority well in hand. But despite the outcome, candidates on both sides of the partisan divide made mistakes. ABC’s NOAH WEILAND lists the biggest campaign “don’ts” from this election cycle. http://abcn.ws/1uxWfUo
9,000 AFGHAN SECURITY FORCES KILLED IN COMBAT DURING LAST TWO YEARS. ABC’s LUIS MARTINEZ reports almost 9,000 Afghan Army soldiers and policemen have been killed in fighting with the Taliban as they have assumed the lead for security in Afghanistan in the last two years. Overall the Afghan security forces “are winning” in their fight against the Taliban, Lieutenant Gen. Joseph Anderson said, but noted the casualty rate is “not sustainable.” http://abcn.ws/1EjBeyb
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
SUPREME COURT HEARS FISHY TALE. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard a “fish tale” about a fisherman who allegedly got caught at sea with red grouper that measured smaller than commercial fishing regulations allowed. Instead of facing authorities, he threw the fish overboard and was prosecuted under a law for destructing a “record, document or tangible object” with the intent to obstruct a federal investigation. The issue before the court is whether the law was meant to cover an act of throwing fish overboard, ABC’s ARIANE DE VOGUE reports. http://abcn.ws/1x7GzVL
@llerer: Can Hillary Clinton Save the Democrats? http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2014-11-06/can-hillary-clinton-save-the-democrats … via @bpolitics
@PounderFile: WaPo: Some Senate Democrats won’t say whether they’ll back Harry Reid http://wapo.st/1qrkwVj
@HuffPostPol: Here’s the Democratic route back to Senate control in 2016 http://huff.to/1qrmGnS
@ezraklein: The most consequential gains Republicans made in 2014 might actually be in state legisltures: http://bit.ly/1zy1Ewa
Originally posted on U.S. Marijuana Party of Kentucky:
In the last few years the corporate agenda has led the legalization movement of cannabis right thru the processes of capitalism, all nice, and tied up with a pretty bow on the “bag”.
There is a serious problem with this.
First of all I am not anti-capitalist. In fact it would be my pleasure to be able to walk in my local town drug store and purchase an ounce of Herb and pay the taxes on that purchase as well.
I would probably be the first person in line in Cave City when the store opened if that were possible. I would also love to see a Cannabis Café on the corner of Broadway and First Street.
That being said I can compare the legalization of corporate cannabis with the “Wet” vote that just passed in my town.
Before the town went “wet” there were a couple/few people around the…
View original 687 more words
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
All Saints’ Day
Painting by Fra Angelico
1 November (Western Christianity)
Sunday after Pentecost (Eastern Christianity)
All Saints’ Day, also known as All Hallows, Solemnity of All Saints, or Feast of All Saints is a solemnity celebrated on 1 November by the Catholic Church and several Protestant denominations, and on the first Sunday after Pentecost in Eastern Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, in honour of all the saints, known and unknown. The liturgical celebration begins at Vespers on the evening of 31 October and ends at the close of 1 November. It is thus the day before All Souls’ Day.
Hallowmas is another term for the feast, and was used by Shakespeare in this sense. However, a few recent writers have applied this term to the three days from 31 October to 2 November inclusive, as a synonym for the triduum of Hallowtide.
In Catholic theology, the day commemorates all those who have attained the beatific vision in Heaven. It is a national holiday in many historically Catholic countries. In the Catholic Church and many Anglican churches, the next day specifically commemorates the departed faithful who have not yet been purified and reached Heaven. Christians who celebrate All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day do so in the fundamental belief that there is a prayerful spiritual bond between those in heaven (the “Church triumphant“), and the living (the “Church militant“). Other Christian traditions define, remember and respond to the saints in different ways; for example, in the Methodist Church, the word “saints” refers to all Christians and therefore, on All Saints’ Day, the Church Universal, as well as the deceased members of a local congregation, are honored and remembered.
All Saints’ Day may originate in the ancient Roman observation of 13 May, the Feast of the Lemures, in which malevolent and restless spirits of the dead were propitiated. Liturgiologists base the idea that this Lemuria festival was the origin of that of All Saints on their identical dates and on the similar theme of “all the dead”.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the observance. For other uses, see Halloween (disambiguation).
“All Hallows’ Eve” redirects here. For other uses, see All Hallows’ Eve (disambiguation).
All Hallows’ Eve
All Saints’ Eve
First day of Allhallowtide
31 October 2015
Halloween or Hallowe’en (/ˌhæləˈwiːn, –oʊˈiːn, ˌhɑːl–/) is a yearly celebration observed in a number of countries on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day. It initiates the triduum of Allhallowtide, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed believers. Within Allhallowtide, the traditional focus of All Hallows’ Eve revolves around the theme of using “humor and ridicule to confront the power of death.”
According to many scholars, All Hallows’ Eve is a Christianized feast initially influenced by Celtic harvest festivals, with possible pagan roots, particularly the Gaelic Samhain. Other scholars maintain that it originated independently of Samhain and has solely Christian roots.
Barren River No. 2 Dam changed lives, region
Posted: Sunday, October 26, 2014 1:00 am
LUCAS — When Steve Jackson puts his fishing line into Barren River Lake, his thoughts often gravitate to his grandfather Carl Disman.
Disman gave up his past so that Jackson and hundreds of thousands of people could have a brighter, safer future in southcentral Kentucky.
Jackson said when he talks to fellow lake anglers about bass and crappie, he tells them about the great fishing spots in the lake, spots where fish gather in and around the old limestone foundations of the farm buildings once owned by men like his grandfather. It’s all underwater now – tangled tree trunks and stumps and old foundations.
There’s even an old spring Disman used near his barn. That’s underwater, too.
Disman was one of nearly 80 property owners who sold their land to the federal government so the property could be flooded by the Barren River No. 2 Dam. Eventually a lake, a state park, lodge and boating facilities would come to Barren and Allen counties, providing a picturesque vacation and camping spot. Jackson recalled Disman’s homestead was one of the last structures condemned to pave the way for the dam project.
According to news reports at the time, property owners in Barren and Allen counties formed a committee so they could collectively deal with the land sales. A newspaper report of a meeting in February 1960 noted about 150 people attended a meeting at the Allen County Courthouse, 78 of whom would be directly affected by what was being called the Port Oliver Dam.
That was one of the first significant steps in a lengthy process that led to Barren River No. 2 Dam being dedicated on Sept. 25, 1964. On Saturday, officials celebrated the 50th anniversary of the dam in ceremonies in Barren County.
To determine why homesteads had to be abandoned and flooded in the first place to create the reservoir, an examination is needed of the rationale for the project. First, there was the unpredictable Barren River, a river that couldn’t be contained within its banks. It had to be tamed for safety and economic reasons. It was dammed to create a reservoir that could launch recreational and economic development opportunities in the region.
The scrutiny begins
In 1944, while the United States fought to quell the Germans and the Japanese in World War II in Europe and the Pacific, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers back stateside was studying the Barren River in Kentucky, a study authorized under the federal Flood Control Act of 1941.
The study showed that 18,340 acres of land in the Barren River flood plain was affected by flooding, taking out 11,005 acres of corn, 3,185 acres of hay, 843 acres of pasture and 3,307 acres of woodlands. Jackson recalls as a boy he saw the Barren River at the Narrows gorged two different times with water that reached the level where the lake rises in elevation today.
The federal study looked at the flood area below the authorized Barren No. 2 reservoir at river mile marker 79.2 and at the river’s mouth. The 1944 study noted the greater losses to floods occurred during the traditional crop season, April to November. The U.S. Army broke the river watershed into two sections, the first from river mile zero to mile marker 43.7 and the second section from 43.7 to 79.2 to look at flood losses.
Records compiled by U.S. Rep. William Natcher, D-Bowling Green, which are available in the Natcher Collection at the Kentucky Museum archives, show the congressman several years later was working to shepherd federal legislation about a concept called low-stream flow. The idea was if the water in the river could be slowed down in speed and thus pooled, it would enhance the fish habitat, maintain a healthy temperature for the fish and also control flooding that had affected farm owners in the flood plain.
The Ohio Valley Improvement Association in Cincinnati, chaired by William Hull, concurred with Natcher’s approach. In a letter to Natcher in 1957, Hull urged Natcher to increase budgeted planning funds for Barren River No. 2 from $50,000 to $150,000 so that construction could be started in fiscal year 1959.
In a Western Union wire sent to the Daily News publisher in 1958, Natcher was pleased to report that the River and Harbors and Flood Control Omnibus Bill had been approved by the U.S. House of Representatives on March 11, 1958, on a vote of 321-81.
“It is in the best interest of our people and national security that the regulation to increase low-stream flows be adopted,” Natcher wrote to J. Ray Gaines.
Turning the earth
The Barren River dam project progressed to the point where on April 16, 1960, Natcher – an influential member of the House Appropriations Committee – lifted the first spade full of dirt for the project while an estimated 1,000 people watched, including Kentucky’s two U.S. senators, John Sherman Cooper and Thruston Morton. News accounts at the time said the dam was just one of $533 million in water development projects in Kentucky.
In a pamphlet produced in 1964 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Louisville District, it noted the dam impounded a reservoir with a minimum pool length of 19 miles and a maximum pool length of 46 miles. That’s a total water storage capacity of 768,600 acre-feet of water. One acre-foot of water equals 325,850 gallons of water.
The dam had been a long time coming. An act of Congress in June 1938 provided the potential funding for the dam under the Flood Control Act of 1938. However, it took until 1960 before the first shovel of dirt was turned for the 3,970-foot earthen dam which had a total fill of 5,181,326 cubic yards.
The flood control effort was vital, according to a column in “Kentucky Happy Hunting Ground” written in January 1965 following the 1964 dam dedication ceremony where Natcher and Kentucky Gov. Edward Breathitt spoke.
“Just last spring rampaging waters along the Ohio River cost Kentuckians damages estimated at $32 million. A great deal of this financial disaster and untold human suffering will be avoided in the future because of dams like this one which are being constructed all over Kentucky,” the column noted.
News reports in 1960 stated the highest price paid for land was $275 per acre and that the land-buying process was expected to take a couple of years. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had determined that the river valley would be permanently submerged up to the elevation 520 feet above sea level and that the government would purchase land up to the seasonal pool level of 560 feet above sea level. The top flood level elevation would be 590 feet above sea level.
Jackson, 64, a Barren County resident, said his grandfather resented that he had to give up his farm for the project. “That (farm) was his domain,” Jackson recalled.
With the eventual development of the lake as a tourism spot, people from Alabama, Illinois, Ohio and other states came to Barren River Lake for fishing tournaments. The dollars they spent boosted the economy in Barren, Allen and Monroe counties.
Billy Gray, 77, of Barren County, who first came to southcentral Kentucky at age 9, said the dam was a good decision because of the water supply benefits for the region along with the economic development. Gray said when the dam was completed in 1964, he used to take his water storage vehicles down by the lake to obtain free water for his tobacco plants. The edge of the lake was only about a quarter-mile from his house. Health reasons led to Gray quit growing tobacco in 1997.
Years later, he takes in a Sunday afternoon dinner at the lodge and marvels at the development that has occurred around the lake.
“I think a lot of people who were opposed to it (initially) think differently now,” he said. He compared the situation to when Interstate 65 was built and those people who had traveled along U.S. 31-W wondered why the new road was needed.
When Natcher spoke at the 1960 groundbreaking, the Markwell and Hartz construction firm from Memphis, Tenn., had used its bulldozers to knock down a clearing. Then-Kentucky Gov. Bert Combs joined Natcher, Cooper and Morton that April.
“We’ll keep our children at home and we’ll utilize our natural resources through river development,” Natcher told the crowd, according to news reports. High school bands from Glasgow, Allen County, Butler County and Bowling Green entertained the crowd before the politicians’ speeches, the reports recounted.
Four years later, when the dam was completed, Natcher shared the speaker duties with Breathitt, and the Bowling Green congressman remained optimistic about the $24.5 million dam’s potential. He said the project was the realization of one of his major dreams as a congressman.
Natcher said he was reared on a farm in the Barren River basin and that he knew firsthand the “hardship” of floods.
Col. William Roper of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers told people gathered at the Western Hills Restaurant in Bowling Green that the dam was expected to reduce flood damage by $6 million a year, meaning it would pay for itself in just over a decade, news reports show. The Barren River project was one of four major flood control efforts in southcentral Kentucky: Rough River, Nolin, Barren and Green rivers. Roper said the four projects represented a more than $69 million investment.
“The primary purpose of the Barren River Reservoir project is flood control,” the 1964 pamphlet from the Army Corps of Engineers noted. “As an integral unit of the comprehensive flood control plan for the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, it will reduce flood stages in the Barren and Green River valleys and all other areas downstream from the dam. The reservoir is maintained at or near minimum pool level during winter months and at seasonal pool level during summer months except when waters are stored for flood control,” the pamphlet noted.
If you build it, they will come
With the dam operational, Breathitt told the onlookers in 1964 about a proposed $176 million bond issue planned for November 1965 that would pave the way for a resort lodge and swimming pool, boat dock, picnic, camping and swimming facilities. A new state park was about to be born.
The money would soon be forthcoming. The first inkling that the larger economic plan was bankrolled was when it was announced in The (Louisville) Courier-Journal in December 1966 that $1,734,000 in federal money from the Land and Water Conservation Fund established by Congress in 1965 – where fees paid at federal recreation facilities were being distributed to the states – was approved for the project.
The state of Kentucky matched the $1.7 million from the federal government with $1,230,000 realized by a sale of revenue bonds and $724,255 earned from the approved 1965 local bond issue.
By the time the 25th anniversary of Barren River State Resort Park and celebration of the Louis B. Nunn Lodge occurred in 1996 – named for the former Kentucky governor and native of Barren County in 1971 – the complex had become a vibrant part of the community. It had been a long time since the Barren River Valley Development League and public officials had heralded the potential that the dam could bring to the area in their 1964 speeches.
The $3.7 million Kentucky state park generated millions of tourism dollars, a fact not lost on Jackson, who said he, his children and grandchildren benefit from his grandfather’s decision to give up the farm.
Under the water lay those building foundations, former Native American hunting spots and the area that settlers in the 1700s claimed was “barren” because of a lack of trees in the topography, the trees razed to provide grazing areas for buffalo.
Not all the history, though has been overwhelmed by water.
According to the state park’s website, Port Oliver, near the dam, was formerly called Port Oliver Ford, and was the site of a brine-well field for producing table salt. Baileys Point Recreation Area was the site of an antebellum farmhouse, built by early settlers to the area who went by the name of Foster. The website also noted that a family cemetery remains with gravestones and stone vaults that date back to the early 1800s.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers noted it is the largest federal provider of outdoor and water-based recreation in the nation and hosts more than 350 million visits each year at its lakes, beaches and other areas. Corps lands and waters provide about 4,500 miles of trails, 3,400 boat launch ramps and 33 percent of all U.S. freshwater fishing.
Power plants top Kentucky’s biggest sources of climate pollution, according to just-released data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
There’s no surprise there.
But a prominent chemical plant in Louisville’s Rubbertown area — Dupont Louisville Works — is in the top ten biggest climate polluters in Kentucky for its emissions of hydrofluorocarbons, which the EPA say are actually more potent than carbon dioxide when it comes to heating up the atmosphere.
The EPA released its fourth year of Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program data, detailing greenhouse gas pollution trends and emissions broken down by industrial sector, geographic region and individual facilities. In 2013, reported emissions from large industrial facilities nationwide were 20 million metric tons higher than the prior year, or 0.6 percent, driven largely by an increase in coal use for power generation, the agency said.
That figure intrigued me because conventional wisdom is that we’ve been burning more natural gas (which has less impact on the climate) and less coal.
There is a lot of data to look at, and this is just my first crack at it. I started by doing a quick search of top emitters in Kentucky and Indiana, then top emitters in Louisville Metro, or Jefferson County.
Kentucky Utility’s Ghent plant topped all of Kentucky’s largest industrial sources of a several greenhouse gases, with 12.8 million metric tons released in 2013, the most current year for which the data is available. That’s up 12 percent from the year before. LG&E’s Mill Creek plant in Louisville ranked third, with 7.9 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, a 20 percent decrease since 2010, according to the data.
But Dupont, the long-time Rubbertown chemical plant, ranked 7th, emitting 4,1 million tons, nearly all of that hydrofluorocarbons. That number was down from about 6 million pounds in 2011.
So what are hydrofluorocarbons and what impact do they have on the climate?
From the EPA:
Unlike many other greenhouse gases, fluorinated gases have no natural sources and only come from human-related activities. They are emitted through a variety of industrial processes such as aluminum and semiconductor manufacturing. Many fluorinated gases have very high global warming potentials (GWPs) relative to other greenhouse gases, so small atmospheric concentrations can have large effects on global temperatures.
HCFCs can have a global warming potential of between 140 to 11,700 times that of carbon dioxide, EPA says. The larger the global warming potential, the more warming the gas causes, according to EPA. The agency explains it this way: “For example, methane’s 100-year GWP is 21, which means that methane will cause 21 times as much warming as an equivalent mass of carbon dioxide over a 100-year time period.”
Statewide rankings for Kentucky:
1) Ghent power plant, 12.8 million metric tons.
2) Paradise power plant, 12.1.
3) Mill Creek power plant, 7.9.
4) H.L. Spurlock power plant, 7.8.
5) Trimble County power plant, 7.3.
6) Shawnee power plant, 7.2.
7) Dupont Louisville Works chemical plant, 4.1.
8) R.D. Green power plant, 3.6.
9) East Bend power plant, 3.5.
10) Coleman power plant, 3.3.
Two southern Indiana power plants ranked among the top ten greenhouse gas emitters in Indiana:
1) Gibson power plant, 16 million metric tons.
10) Clifty power plant, 5.8 million metric tons.
August 16, 2014
A mysterious communication language in plants has been discovered by a group of scientists, who say this may the way through which plants transfer energy between themselves.
Calling it an exchange of RNA, scientists say this new discovery reveals about a medium through which plants communicate with each other. Scientists believe discovery of this novel form of inter-organism communication can have greater role in agricultural applications.
Study lead author Jim Westwood said, “The discovery shows that this is happening a lot more than any one has previously realized.”
“Now that we have found that they are sharing all this information, the next question is What exactly are they telling each other,” said Westwood, a professor of plant pathology, physiology and weed science at College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
For the study, the researchers took samples of tomato and strangle weed that attacks the vascular system of the host plants. After sequencing them, the researchers examined these tissue samples.
Despite knowing the attacking nature of strangle weeds, they were used in the experiment as the researchers believe they can keep a check on those weeds that are harmful.
“It is surprising for a number of reasons. The first being that if you think of a parasite as truly being a parasite, you wouldn’t expect to see movement of genetic material into the host – just the parasite sucking nutrients from the host,” Westwood said.
Explaining the findings, the researchers said the new communication language is something similar to specific words or commands that are exchanged between the plants.
Professor Julie Scholes, who was not associated with the study, said the parasitic plants such as broomrape and witch weed are serious threats for crops including the legumes.
“In addition to shedding new light on host-parasite communication, Westwood’s findings have exciting implications for the design of novel control strategies based on disrupting the mRNA information that the parasite uses to reprogram the host,” said Scholes, who works at the University of Sheffield, UK
The study was published in the journal Science.
After a toxin from blue-green algae shut down Toledo’s water system, regulators in Kentucky and Indiana take a look at their states’ drinking water utilities.
Kentucky steps up response to toxic algae risks
James Bruggers, firstname.lastname@example.org 2:04 p.m. EDT August 15, 2014
When toxic algae left 500,000 people in the Toledo, Ohio, area without drinking water for two days this month, one of Kentucky’s top environmental regulators took notice.
“I was sitting there on a Friday evening, hearing various things from various counterparts, and I was thinking this can happen in my state,” recalled R. Bruce Scott, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection. “What are we doing to be prepared?”
First thing the following Monday, Scott put that question to his staff, and Kentucky officials have been working since to get answers by combing through documents filed by many of the state’s 467 public drinking water systems, and reaching out to some with questions.
The inquiry steps up Kentucky’s response to its emerging problem of toxic algae blooms, first documented in the state in late 2012 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Taylorsville Lake.
The review puts drinking water safety front and center, in addition to state and Army Corps concerns about recreational exposure to blue-green algae — a cyanobacteria that can produce toxins causing skin or eye irritation, nausea, flu-like symptoms and liver damage.
The blooms occur with sunlight, slow-moving water and too many nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. They’re made worse by pollution from sewage treatment plants, septic systems and runoff from fertilized farms and lawns.
For the second year in a row, Kentucky and the corps have issued recreational advisories on some lakes because of the blooms. In all, 10 Kentucky lakes carry the warnings, including Barren River, Nolin River, Green River, Rough River and Guist Creek lakes.
None is closed to swimming, fishing or boating. Instead, authorities advise not swallowing lake water and washing well after swimming.
Source water concerns
In response to a Kentucky Open Records request, state officials acknowledged 10 public drinking water systems serving thousands of customers in Kentucky are drawing water from lakes with algae advisories.
They include the Shelbyville Water and Sewer Commission, Edmonson County Water District and the Grayson County Water District.
State officials said they know of no immediate drinking water threats from algae anywhere in Kentucky. And officials with the Louisville Water Co. — which provides water to about 850,000 people in Louisville and parts of Bullitt, Nelson, Oldham, Shelby and Spencer counties — said they do not have any issues with toxic algae.
But state officials said they want all Kentucky drinking water providers to be ready to handle algae problems, and that is why they are taking a closer look at Kentucky’s drinking water systems.
State officials acknowledged even more systems could be at potential risk, where monitoring for toxic algae has not yet occurred. And Scott said there could be gaps in technology or expertise at some utilities, especially smaller systems with fewer resources.
“We need to make sure we are properly educating and informing our smaller systems of what they need to do,” Scott said. “We are asking what can and should be done to make sure we are looking at everything that needs to be looked at.”
If Kentucky water utilities don’t have procedures for analyzing their source water for the different types of toxic algae, state officials recommend developing some.
Scott said they want to make sure all systems understand what treatment methods work, and have an emergency response plan if their water becomes unsafe for drinking.
Rural water systems contacted by The Courier-Journal said their customers don’t need to worry.
“We are staying on top of it,” said Tom Dole, general manager of the Shelbyville Water and Sewer Commission, which draws water from Guist Creek Lake.
“We are not experiencing … anything like the conditions that we read (about) and saw in Toledo,” said Kevin Shaw, general manager of the Grayson County Water District, which draws from Rough River Lake. “You could look at the water and see the algae. That is not the case in our reservoir.”
Indiana’s Department of Environmental Management surveyed its 33 public water utilities that rely on lakes in the wake of Toledo’s crisis, said Barry Sneed, IDEM spokesman. Bloomington’s water system was concerned about algae, so new samples were taken but no toxins or algae were detected, he added.
“We plan to keep in contact with systems that may be susceptible to algal blooms and if problems arise, we will work with the system to ensure treatment is adjusted to any address possible algal toxins,” he said.
Besides ensuring drinking water utilities are prepared, experts say Kentucky needs to do more to prevent the blooms.
“We need to step up our game,” said Gail Brion, a professor of civil engineering at the University of Kentucky with an expertise in water-borne illnesses and water treatment.
She said the state needs to better curb the nitrogen and phosphorous that gets into waterways from sewage, animal waste, fertilizers and other sources.
“Once a bloom has happened, it is too late,” she said. “The toxins persist in the environment months after formation, so even if the algae leave, the toxins can remain.”
Scott said Kentucky regulators know they need better control of nutrient pollution and his department is working on a nutrient-management plan to do just that.
But environmentalists worry the state won’t adopt stringent enough pollution limits and that state environmental agency budgets will continue, further putting Kentucky communities at risk of a drinking water crises.
“We need limits on pollutants and inspectors on the ground,” said Judy Petersen, executive director of the Kentucky Waterways Alliance, which has joined other groups in suing the EPA over nutrient pollution in the Mississippi Basin, including Kentucky and Indiana. Otherwise, she said, Kentucky residents “are rolling the dice” on safe drinking water.
When it comes to cyanobacteria, it quickly gets complicated.
The toxin that wreaked havoc in northern Ohio — microcystin — can be produced by a variety of blue-green algae, not just the Microcystic found in Lake Erie. And other types of blue-green algae have different toxins that can cause health problems.
Toledo draws water from a shallow area of Lake Erie that became inundated by blue-green algae that produced microcystin, said Greg Boyer, chair of the chemistry department at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in New York.
The city’s water utility had no ability to switch to another intake, where there was less blue-green algae, said Boyer, who is also acting director for the Great Lakes Research Consortium, a research network.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency had warned Toledo about problems with its aging treatment system in June, writing to the city’s mayor of “the precarious condition” of the system and its “imminent vulnerability to failure.”
Boyer said utilities should monitor for the types of blue-green algae that can produce toxins. He said equipment can be bought for $5,000 to $25,000 that can provide a continuous flow of toxic algae data.
“Then, at what point do you worry about it? We deal, in most cases, where the blooms have to be fairly thick,” he said. “When you can see it.”
Further complicating matters, Scott said, is that the EPA has yet to establish a uniform testing method for the algae toxins, or safe drinking water standards. EPA is working on that, but “we believe they need to accelerate their decision making based on what we are seeing in Toledo and other places, including Kentucky,” Scott said.
Taylorsville Lake in Spencer County, a popular summer destination for water recreation, has fallen victim to an invasive and toxic algae over the past year. (Photo: Marty Pearl/Special to The CJ)
The Louisville Water Co. has an algae response plan that involves close tracking of algae in the Ohio River when it may be present: April to November.
The company’s aquatic ecologist, Roger Tucker, checks water samples through a microscope to determine what types of algae may be in the water, and whether they might cause any problems.
So far, the only algae problems Louisville Water has experienced comes from those that can make water taste or smell bad, Tucker said. This year, he said, there has been hardly any algae in the company’s river water.
Rivers are also less likely to have algae blooms because their water doesn’t get stagnant, said the water company’s chief scientist, Rengao Song. Sediment that often turns the Ohio brown blocks sunlight, preventing algae from growing, he said.
The water company’s Crescent Hill Treatment Plant is well-equipped to remove algae and any algae-caused toxins or chemicals that cause taste and odor changes, with processes that include absorptive activated carbon, he said.
Louisville also gets 30 percent of its water from wells deep under the Ohio River, where sand and gravel naturally filter tiny contaminants, including algae. That water feeds the company’s B.E. Payne treatment plant.
The water company is now working with engineering consultants on preliminary engineering for riverbank filtration for its Crescent Hill plant. Such a system should have no risk from toxic algae, Song said.
“The Louisville Water Co. has never detected any algae cells in its riverbank filtration water,” Song said.
Reach reporter James Bruggers at (502) 582-4645 or on Twitter @jbruggers.
Kentucky water systems that draw from lakes with toxic algae advisories:
• Shelbyville Water and Sewer Commission (Guist Creek Lake)
• Springfield Water Works (Willisburg Lake)
• Glasgow Water Co. and Scottsville Water Department (Barren River Lake)
• Edmonson County Water District (Nolin River Lake)
• Columbia/Adair County Regional Water Commission and Campbellsville Municipal Water (Green River Lake)
• Grayson County Water District and Litchfield Water Works (Rough River Lake)
• Mount Sterling Water Works (Greenbriar Creek Reservoir)
Source: Kentucky Division of Water
Monday, Aug 11, 2014 10:22 AM CST
Mitch McConnell and Allison Lundergan Grimes both love coal — and it’s making them say very silly things
The Kentucky Senate race is basically an argument over coal. A big, stupid argument over coal.
Late last week, Yahoo! News’ Chris Moody reported that Elaine Chao, wife to incumbent Sen. Mitch McConnell, serves on the board of Bloomberg Philanthropies, “which has plunged $50 million into the Sierra Club’s ‘Beyond Coal’ initiative, an advocacy effort with the expressed goal of killing the coal industry.” Taken in isolation, this is good, charitable work that, to be frank, you wouldn’t expect a former member of George W. Bush’s Cabinet and Heritage Foundation fellow to be involved in.
And according to Bloomberg Philanthropies, the anti-coal effort is getting results. “The Beyond Coal campaign has retired 161 coal plants,” a February report from the organization states. “The shift away from coal is also helping to save lives. These retired coal plants will save 4,400 lives, prevent 6,800 heart attacks, and prevent close to 70,000 asthma attacks each year.”
Those are good things! The filthy business of coal mining and burning are causing lots of health problems in Kentucky and other Appalachian states, like higher rates of cancer and birth defects that studies have traced to the release of heavy metals from surface mining. The climate change impact is also significant, as coal-fired plants are the top source of carbon emissions in the United States. Less cancer, fewer heart attacks, decreased risk of climate change-caused catastrophe – great job, Elaine Chao! Wouldn’t have pegged you as one of the good guys.
Of course, that’s not at all how this is playing in Kentucky, where coal is a big part of the state economy and pandering to coal interests is what needs to happen if you want to get elected to statewide office. Thus we have the spectacle of the McConnell campaign vigorously and adamantly denying that its candidate’s wife had any involvement whatsoever in this philanthropic effort to not cover Kentucky with soot and asthma:
“The decisions to make those grants by the Bloomberg philanthropies were made before she joined the board and she played no role in the decision to grant them,” McConnell spokesman Don Stewart told Yahoo News. “Sen. McConnell has a longstanding, principled record of defending coal families and jobs. Decisions made by a board before Sec. Chao ever joined do not change that and as the Obama administration will tell you, he hasn’t let up an iota in his defense of Kentucky coal families and jobs.”
That’s a bit of a cutesy position to take, given that they’re tacitly acknowledging that Chao joined Bloomberg Philanthropies after their anti-coal activism was established. And local Kentucky media reported that Chao was “on the charity’s board when at least half of the grants were made to the Sierra Club.” But this is how coal politics work. You have to reject and denounce the life- and environment-saving charitable work done by the group your wife works for.
(The Louisville Courier-Journal pointed out that Bloomberg Philanthropies also does anti-tobacco activism, which is at cross-purposes with McConnell’s “staunch” defense of Kentucky tobacco interests.)
I certainly don’t want to leave the impression that this is a McConnell-only problem, though. Being a Democrat in Kentucky means you have to play this same game, and McConnell’s opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes, is positioning herself as a stronger supporter of coal than he is. “Senator, let’s set the record straight. I’m the only pro-coal candidate in this race,” Grimes said last week at an event with members of the United Mine Workers of America. When the Environmental Protection Agency unveiled its new rule capping carbon emissions for existing power plants, Grimes cut radio ads blasting President Obama: “Your EPA is targeting Kentucky coal with pie in the sky regulations that are impossible to achieve.”
Grimes’ pro-coal campaigning led to one of the dumber campaign fights in recent memory. Her campaign put together a newspaper ad touting her support of coal interests that featured a photo of a miner holding a chunk of anthracite. It turned out that picture was actually a stock photo of a European male model pretending to be a miner, and the Grimes campaign replaced it before it went to print. But Politico got hold of the story and … well, you know what comes next. “The stock photograph could undermine Grimes’s messaging as Republicans raise doubts about the authenticity of her pro-coal position,” Politico reported, with complete earnestness.
McConnell’s campaign jumped on this ridiculous issue, with the candidate himself getting in on the action. “My opponent has been in Hollywood so much lately that she really can’t tell the difference between a coal miner and a European male model,” McConnell said at a campaign event. The Grimes campaign fought back. “The stock photo war of 2014 escalated in Kentucky on Thursday night, as Alison Lundergan Grimes’ campaign attacked Sen. Mitch McConnell’s team for using European stock photos in three Facebook posts,” reported Politico (obviously).
This is where pro-coal campaigning takes you, I guess. It would be nice if the debate in Kentucky were on how to best transition the state away from filthy, toxic fuels. But, the politics being what they are, instead they’re fighting over who’s more the enthusiastic supporter of an industry that is destroying the environment and making the people in close proximity to it sick.
By Greg Kocher
email@example.comAugust 4, 2014
FRENCHBURG — Debbie and Mike Weiner can see Cave Run Lake from their house, but they depend on rainfall for their water.
Rainwater runs off the roof to their gutters and through pipes to collect in an underground, 1,000-gallon cistern in the backyard. The water is then pumped into the house for bathing, washing clothes and the toilet. They use only bottled water for drinking and cooking.
“Yesterday it rained a lot,” Debbie Weiner said in a recent interview. “That’s when I washed my bedclothes and a lot of the things in the house that needed to be washed.”
The Weiners are among a shrinking number in Kentucky — an estimated 93,600 households, or more than 234,000 people — who are not connected to a public water system. Their house on Leatherwood Road in rural Menifee County is about eight miles from the nearest water line and 20 miles north of Frenchburg, the county seat.
The Weiners desperately want to be connected to a public water system. At least one test showed harmful E. coli bacteria in their tap water, despite reverse-osmosis filtration, ultraviolet light and other purification measures. The couple haven’t used the cistern water for cooking or drinking since 2012, when Debbie, 60, a former adult-education instructor at Morehead State University, was diagnosed with an incurable bladder disease. She keeps a log of the politicians and others she has contacted in her quest for “city water.”
The Weiners highlight one of the gaps in water service in the United States.
The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that 14 percent of the population relies on wells, cisterns or some unsustainable source for water, said Stephen Gasteyer, an associate professor of sociology at Michigan State University. Gasteyer has studied community and natural resources management.
“It’s an embarrassment for us as a nation to have people in the 21st century who don’t have access to water and sanitation,” Gasteyer said. “But from the perspective of a small water system, they are already strapped. We had major infrastructure investments in this country in the 1930s … through the 1970s. Well, a lot of that infrastructure is now wearing out. You have water systems of all sizes in this country that are struggling to stay in the black. So taking on the extra load of people who are a ways out of town seems like a real burden.”
In Kentucky, about 5 percent of residents are not connected to a community water system, according to figures provided by Andy Lange, assistant director of the Kentucky Rural Water Association. Only California has a lower percentage of residents who are not served by community water systems.
(By contrast, almost a quarter of Kentucky’s population — 23 percent — has no access to high-speed Internet. Kentucky ranks 46th in broadband availability.)
Many water lines were extended into unserved rural areas during the 2000s, when Kentucky had money from the national tobacco settlement. That money is gone, although there is a state revolving fund and other federal programs to extend water lines.
Trouble is, the cost of running water lines to remote spots often isn’t cost-effective, said John Horne, a Nicholasville engineer whose firm has designed extensions in Jessamine County.
“To construct a distribution main, depending on the terrain and how much rock there is, it can run as much as $50,000 to $75,000 per mile,” Horne said. The price can easily double in rough terrain common in Eastern Kentucky, including Menifee County.
Community development block grants and other programs are available, but potential projects must qualify, Horne said.
“The government looks at feasibility. If it’s not feasible, … they don’t do it,” he said.
Even if lines were extended to isolated pockets, low usage from a small number of customers poses other problems, Horne said.
“Especially on long, dead-end lines, if they can’t use up all the water in the pipe in, say, two days, then it gets stale and then you get problems with odor and taste,” Horne said. “Then you have to flush all that out and waste it.”
Debbie Weiner has an answer ready when asked why taxpayer dollars should be used to pay for water lines to a remote spot where she and her husband choose to live.
“I think those tax dollars should pay for an American citizen to live anywhere they choose if I can open the paper and see that millions of dollars go to study garbage dumps that are closed,” Weiner said. She was referring to environmental risk assessments performed on closed landfills.
She also said that millions of dollars in state incentives will help Alltech put a new bourbon distillery and aquaculture and poultry farms in Pikeville. The state will provide as much as $5.73 million for an access road wide enough to accommodate tractor-trailers to a new industrial park, and $8 million for a bridge to connect an access road with U.S. 23. The incentives will bring new jobs.
Weiner doesn’t begrudge anyone jobs, but she said safe drinking water should be a high priority.
“Then let’s build a better Rupp Arena,” she said, referring to the now-stalled project that would have leveraged public and private dollars for a new Lexington home for the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team.
Frenchburg Mayor Edward Bryant said Leatherwood Road is one of only two rural roads in Menifee County that are without water. To extend water to the end of that road deep within Daniel Boone National Forest could cost more than $1 million, Bryant said.
“They’re in a remote area. There’s only, roughly, 24 or 25 homes, and out of that there are 12 or 15 people that live there full-time,” Bryant said. “We can’t put a burden on the current water customers to extend that. It’s a tough situation.”
Nevertheless, he said, the Gateway Regional Water Management Council has put the Leatherwood area on a list of projects.
“For Frenchburg to get over there, we’re going to have to cross that (Cave Run) lake some way,” Bryant said. “That means a pump station and a water tower, then you’ve got a problem of meeting the state regulations, keeping the water fresh for such a few. … It’s just not feasible right now unless somebody comes along with a barrel of money.”
In the meantime, because rainfall is unpredictable, the Weiners supplement their water supply. When rain is scarce and the cistern runs low, Mike Weiner, 65, a retired car salesman, drives about 12 miles to buy water from a bulk station. For $2, he can put 300 gallons in a tank that sits on the bed of his pickup. Then he hauls the sloshing load home to empty into the cistern.
The Weiners moved to Menifee County from Nashville so Debbie could be closer to her mother, who lives in Mount Sterling. Her mother previously owned property in the Leatherwood Road neighborhood where the Weiners eventually bought a lot and built their house. The couple knew the area had no public water when they moved there in 1998, but they thought it would be only a matter of time before they could hook onto “city water.”
Debbie Weiner said she sometimes goes to the Facebook page for Water.org, the organization co-founded by actor Matt Damon to provide safe drinking water and toilets to Ethiopia, Haiti and India and other foreign countries.
She posted a comment to the page July 16 that read, “Wish I had city water here in the United States, in Frenchburg, Kentucky.”
She hopes a wealthy celebrity will see her comment and take action to donate money to bring water to the end of Leatherwood Road.
Greg Kocher: (859) 231-3305. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety.
May 1, 2014
What could be a better day out for adult fun in Kentucky than the Derby?
Dare I say, Derby Day, Mint Juleps and a Cannabis March? In the same day? In Louisville?
Yet, “oops there it is”…
For the first time in history a Global Marijuana March is to be held in Louisville, Kentucky.
It just so happens that the march will coincide with the “Running for the Roses”.
just received yesterday. NEW FARM CONCEPTS out of Bowling Green is the Sponsor.
History is being made in Kentucky this year in a lot of ways not the least of which is
the fact that GMM KY and Derby Day in Louisville will peacefully coexist and bring
more business to the Highland Neighborhood where the March is set for. It should
prove to be a very interesting day for this City and even the weather is cooperating as
it is forecasted to be warm and sunny.
We will be following up with a Global Marijuana March in Bowling Green on
Sunday, May 4th as well.
Below are a few links that include the GMM events.
May 1, 2014 –
As of this morning BOWLING GREEN KENTUCKY will be hosting a “GLOBAL MARIJUANA MARCH”
ON SUNDAY MAY 4TH!!!
PER “BOBBIE SEXTON” AT PERMITS OFFICE IN BOWLING GREEN, KY A PERMIT IS NOT NEEDED HERE TO HAVE THIS MARCH.
SO EVERYONE WHO IS IN BOWLING GREEN CAN COME TO LOUISVILLE ON SATURDAY AND THEN
GET TWICE THE FUN WHEN THEY GO TO THEIR OWN BOWLING GREEN MARCH ON SUNDAY!
COME OUT AND ENJOY YOUR RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH!
THE ROUTE IS AS FOLLOWS:
*BEGINNING AT LIBRARY ON STATE STREET
*CONTINUE TO OLD COURTHOUSE
*CONTINUE TO THE NEW JUSTICE CENTER
*CONTINUE TO FEDERAL COURTHOUSE
*CONTINUE BACK AROUND FOUNTAIN SQUARE TO LIBRARY.
MEETUP AT 10:00 AM CST IN FRONT OF LIBRARY ON STATE STREET FOR MARCH TO BEGIN PROMPTLY AT 11:00 AM!!!!
*NO ILLEGAL ACTIVIES ALLOWED
*EVERYONE MUSH STAY WITHIN SIDEWALKS AND HONOR TRAFFIC SIGNALS.
THE WEATHER PROMISES A GOOD DAY SO COME ON OUT AND ENJOY!
**FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS EVENT CONTACT REV. MARY SPEARS OF DIVERSE SANCTUARY AT 270-904-0279
Louisville, Kentucky, April 30, 2014–
The Global Marijuana March is coming to Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday May 3rd, 2014 which coincides with Kentucky Derby Day!
This will be the FIRST GLOBAL MARIJUANA MARCH that LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY has participated in.
Hundreds of thousands of people have participated in over 829 different cities in 72 countries worldwide since 1999
The following route will be adhered to as submitted to the Louisville Permit Office:
*Note: We will meet in front of Mid City Mall on Bardstown Road in Louisville, Kentucky at 10:30am sharp for the walk to begin at 11:00. The permit ends at 12:30pm. However, there are many restaurants, shops, and other places to visit in the Highlands neighborhood of Louisville! So spend the day and enjoy!
Start at Mid City Mall at 1250 Bardstown Rd. Head northwest on Bardstown Rd toward Beechwood Ave
Continue onto Baxter Ave
(Corner of Baxter and Broadway)
Head northwest on Baxter Ave toward Cherokee Rd
Sharp right onto Cherokee Rd
Turn right onto Longest Ave
Turn right onto Bardstown Rd
To 1250 Bardstown Rd.
TOTAL 1.8 MILES
WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR PARKING.
ALL LOCAL LAWS MUST BE ADHERED TO WHILE PARTICIPATING!
PLEASE BE CONSIDERATE OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD!
THIS EVENT IS INTENDED TO RAISE AWARENESS CONCERNING CANNABIS/HEMP/”MARIJUANA”, IT’S VALUE TO OUR SOCIETY AND REASONS TO “REPEAL” THE EXISTING CANNABIS LAWS VERSUS THE “LEGALIZATION” OF THE PLANT!
PLEASE COME OUT AND SUPPORT YOUR RIGHT TO GROW NON-GMO, NON-REGULATED CANNABIS!
# # #
If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Sheree M Krider at U.S. Marijuana Party of KENTUCKY (ph: 270-612-0524) or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Diverse Sanctuary, Mary Thomas-Spears, Bowling Green, Kentucky, (ph: 270-904-0279)
(BARDSTOWN, KY.) – Kentucky State Police Post 04 investigators are asking for more assistance from the public in identifying potential suspects in the murders that occurred on April 21, 2014 at approximately 8:00 P.M. EST in Nelson Co. In approximation to this time period, a black Chevrolet Impala (see attached) was seen traveling Northbound on U.S. 150 from the Botland community into the city limits of Bardstown. KSP believes the occupant or occupants of this vehicle are suspect(s) and are requesting help in identifying who they are. Any information anyone has regarding this vehicle or pertaining to this investigation in general, please contact the Kentucky State Police Post 4 in Elizabethtown at 270-766-5078
Ontario girl, 11, offers warning on effects of untreated Lyme disease that could lead to arthritis | CTV News
Symptons of Lyme disease usually occur in three stages:
- Stage one: An expanding “bull’s-eye” shaped rash at the site of the tick bite. It generally appears three days to one month after the bite. Other signs include fatigue, chills, fever, muscle and joint pain, and swollen lymph nodes.
- Stage two: If left untreated, patients may experience central and peripheral nervous system disorders, multiple skin rashes, heart palpitations, and extreme fatigue and general weakness.
- Stage three: The final stage of the disease can last from months to years. Symptoms include neurological problems and recurring arthritis.
By BETH HARRIS Associated Press
LOUISVILLE — The garland of red roses. The solid gold trophy. An estimated payday of $1.24 million.
All those spoils await the winner of the 140th Kentucky Derby to be run on May 3 at Churchill Downs in Louisville. A full field of 20 3-year-olds is expected for the 1 1/4-mile race, and most of them will be running the distance for the first time.
Packing the stands and the infield will be upward of 150,000 people, many of whom come for the party atmosphere, the wagering and to possibly see a live horse or two. They’ll dress to the nines in fancy suits and dresses topped off by a mix of elegant, huge and outrageous hats. New this year to the track is a $12 million high-definition video board that measures 171-foot wide by 90-foot tall and will show the day’s races and other entertainment.
Here are 10 things to know about the Derby:
1. NUMBERS GAME: Trainer Todd Pletcher has four probable starters in pursuit of his second Derby victory. They are: Arkansas Derby winner Danza; Risen Star winner Intense Holiday; Spiral Stakes winner We Miss Artie; and Vinceremos, who was 14th in the Blue Grass. Mike Maker could saddle three horses: Vicar’s in Trouble, General a Rod and Harry’s Holiday. Bob Baffert, a three-time Derby winner, could start two: Rebel Stakes winner Hoppertunity and Sunland Derby winner Chitu.
2. DRAW DAY: The field of 20 horses is announced on Wednesday. That’s when the draw is held to determine spots in the starting gate. Some trainers want to avoid the No. 1 post because their horse starts next to the rail and could get pinched going into the first turn. Others don’t like the No. 20 post because their horse is on the far outside and has to quickly make its way over toward the rail to save ground going into the first turn. Last year’s winner, Orb, broke from the No. 15 post. The odds are set on draw day, too.
3. CALIFORNIA CHROME: California Chrome is expected to be the favorite based on the dominating form he’s shown on the West Coast. The colt has won his last four races by a combined 24 1/4 lengths, including the Santa Anita Derby. He beat Hopportunity and Candy Boy in that race, two rivals he’s likely to face again in Louisville. He’s trained by Art Sherman and ridden by Victor Espinoza, who won the Derby in 2002.
4. POINTS SYSTEM: For the second straight year, the field of 20 starters is being determined by points. Churchill Downs instituted a tiered system that awards a sliding scale of points to the top four finishers in 34 designated races. The top 20 point earners at the end of the series will earn a spot in the Derby starting gate if more than 20 horses enter. The field has been limited to 20 horses since 1975. At least that many have entered every year since 2004, and 13 of the last 15 years.
5. BUCKING HISTORY: Hoppertunity didn’t race as a 2-year-old, setting him up for a chance to break one of the Derby’s oldest jinxes: no horse since Apollo in 1882 has won the Derby without racing at 2. “I had him entered in a race at 2 and scratched him because I had another one there,” trainer Bob Baffert said. “He was ready to run, so that should count.”
6. ALSO ELIGIBLES: Besides the 20 horses which make the Derby, four more can also be entered. They would have until the morning of May 2 to get into the race if any horses are scratched by then.
7. TIEBREAKER: Five horses are tied for the 20th and last spot on the points leaderboard with 20 each. Harry’s Holiday would be the last horse to get in because he has highest earnings in non-restricted stakes races, which is the tiebreaker. The other horses with 20 points are Commanding Curve, Pablo Del Monte, Bayern and Social Inclusion.
8. OLDEST TRAINER: Art Sherman has the best horse of his career with California Chrome. At 77, he could become the oldest trainer to win, breaking the record of Charlie Whittingham, who was 76 when he won in 1989 with Sunday Silence. Sherman has done it all in the business. He was a jockey for 21 years, a racing official and then became a trainer in 1980. He has won over 2,100 races.
9. NEW ANNOUNCER: Larry Collmus is the new race caller at Churchill Downs. He has announced the Derby the last three years on the NBC telecast, but this will be the first year that his voice is heard by fans at the track and TV viewers. He also announces races at Gulfstream Park in Florida.
10. TRIPLE CROWN: A horse has just one shot to win the Triple Crown because the Derby, Preakness and Belmont stakes is restricted to 3-year-olds. Only 11 horses have swept the series and none since Affirmed in 1978. The feat begins with a victory in the Derby, followed by wins in the other races over a five-week span. Fifty horses have finished one win shy of the Triple, including I’ll Have Another in 2012.
BURLINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Sheriff’s officials say a deputy fatally shot a motorist after she struck him with her car as she left a party in Boone County.
The Boone County Sheriff’s Office says Deputy Tyler Brockman ordered 19-year-old Samantha Ramsey to stop her car as she was leaving a field party early Saturday.
The sheriff’s office reports that Ramsey accelerated instead, hitting Brockman and causing him to land on the car’s hood. Brockman fired four shots through the windshield, striking Ramsey.
Ramsey was taken to Saint Elizabeth Hospital in Florence, where she died. Brockman was treated for a leg injury at another hospital.
Officials say Ramsey, of Covington, had no prior record with the sheriff’s office.
Sheriff Michael A. Helmig ordered an investigation into the shooting and placed Brockman on administrative leave.
MAMMOTH CAVE, Ky. — A sign posted at Mammoth Cave National Park in south-central Kentucky lets visitors know if they tour the largest known cave system in the world, they will have to walk on bio-security mats immediately afterward. Shoes must be scrubbed to help contain the spread of a disease that has killed more than 6 million cave-dwelling bats in the United States.
White-nose syndrome is on the move, and wildlife biologists are worried.
The disease that gets its name from a white fungus found on bats’ muzzles, ears and wings was discovered in New York in 2006 and has spread to 25 states and five Canadian provinces.
In Tennessee and elsewhere, some caves are closed to the public.
Wildlife biologists say the threat is real, and no one knows how to stop the spread.
“Some of the bats, especially this species, (we) find some of them dead. But, we really expect a lot of the deaths to occur next year — next winter,” said Rick Toomey, a scientist with the Resource Management Division at Mammoth Cave.
In Tennessee, the disease has spread fast.
“It’s a reality that almost any cave we go into these days will have white-nose syndrome if it has a significant number of bats,” said David Pelren, a biologist at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “There may be a few caves that don’t have white-nose syndrome yet. But, it’s becoming, Tennessee is becoming rather saturated with white-nose syndrome.”
Recently, Katrina Morris and a team of biologists from the Georgia Natural Department of Resources searched for signs of the disease in a cave near Atlanta after it was discovered in a cave near the city — its farthest point south.
“Bats, sometimes, are considered things like the canary in the coal mine,” said Morris, a biologist with the department. “We need to pay attention when they’re having problems with things like this. They’re a vulnerable, small animal that has relatively few young and are relatively long-lived for their size. So, they can show impact from some of these diseases and changes in the environment that can later impact us.”
Morris and other biologists said the biggest impact of the disease — besides decimating entire colonies of bats in some caves — may be its impact on the agriculture industry.
Fewer pest-eating bats could cost farmers — and the economy — billions of dollars.
Scientists estimate a single bat can eat up to its entire body weight in insects in one night.
The U.S. Geological Survey says bats save the country’s agriculture industry between $4 and $50 billion a year in pest control services.
“If I were in the agricultural industry or the forestry industry, I would certainly be staying up at night doing everything I can to work around this and deal with white-nose syndrome,” said Cory Holliday, a cave and karst program director at The Nature Conservancy in Tennessee.
The disease is not believed to pose a health risk to humans, biologists said.
It’s Derby Week here in Louisville and while some readers may be tired of my love affair with this city I also thought this might be an opportunity to start a loose-format series about the places we all come from. So if you are a regular writer or a potential guest blogger, I hope you will follow my lead…
I started to do a big write up about our history and culture and what it means to live in Louisville but I kept realizing I was just saying the same things that everyone else says about our city. The reason for that (I hope) is not because I don’t have an original thing to say but because we all pretty much agree on the reasons why Louisville is awesome. The folks at Brooklyn Derby did the hard work of putting it all together in this quick video.
The Kentucky Natural Lands Trust has closed on a 46-acre purchase that allows for expansion of a state nature preserve on Pine Mountain in Whitley County near the Tennessee border, setting the stage for several other anticipated conservation purchases.
The property adjoins one of Kentucky’s most remote and wild areas, the newly dedicated Archer Benge State Nature Preserve, which covers 1,864 acres along the Laurel Fork. The land trust says it provides important habitat for numerous rare native fish and mussels, the federally listed Indiana bat, and several rare plants.
After several other deals are completed this year, the land trust says it will be able to round out the protected watershed boundaries and protect significant bat caves on the property.
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) — All eyes were on the canines Saturday during a dog show that raised money for the Barren River Area Safe Space.
BRASS is a domestic violence shelter in Bowling Green
While the dog show was mostly for fun, they were judged based on looks and tricks.
The primary purpose of Bark Against Domestic Violence was to raise awareness of domestic violence situations and how to get out of them.
“A lot of times animal cruelty will lead to domestic violence or it’s a precursor to domestic violence. So we’re just trying to get the word out about if you have somebody who might be injuring an animal, it may turn to you next. So, we’re just trying to get the word out and not forget the puppies and cats that may be also victims of domestic violence,” said Marta Woosley, a Certified Domestic Violence Advocate for BRASS.
OWENSBORO, Ky. (AP) – A western Kentucky jail has hooked on to an idea to stop inmates from clogging up the plumbing by flushing everything from blankets to jeans down the toilets.
The Daviess County Detention Center in Owensboro has installed fish hooks inside the pipes to catch items that shouldn’t have been dropped into the commode.
Jailer David Osborne told the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer that the hooks allow employees to go in and pull out the larger objects.
Before the fish hooks, the Regional Water Resource Agency had to send workers to a lift station behind the jail up to three times a week to unstop clogs.
“Those commodes are capable of flushing anything,” Osborne said. “I guess (the inmates) are just bored.”
MADISON COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) – A young woman who worked to make others happy while fighting for her own life has died.
The pastor of Victory Life Church in Georgetown tells WKYT that Jordyn Conner passed away at Kentucky Children’s Hospital late Monday night. The 19-year old, who was a member at the church, lost her battle with bone cancer.
On Saturday, Conner was able to carry out one last wish. She gave out 100 Easter baskets to other children at the hospital through a program she started called ‘Jordyn’s Jems.’
A candle-light prayer is scheduled for Tuesday night in memory of Jordyn at Lake Reba park in Richmond at 8:30 p.m. Organizers say if you plan on coming, bring a candle and a balloon.
On the popular sitcom “Seinfeld,” fictitious letter carrier Newman hid bags of mail in Jerry’s basement storage locker rather than deliver it.
Real life mail man William “Brent” Morse of the western Kentucky city of Dawson Springs, stashed his in his dead mother’s house and a rented storage facility — at least 44,900 pieces of it.
“He wanted to speed up his route,” said city police Capt. Craig Patterson, who arrested him last year. “I think he was lazy.”
Morse, who had been a letter carrier for five years, was sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Joseph McKinley Jr., to six months in jail, followed by six months on home incarceration, for destroying, hiding and delaying the delivery of U.S. mail.
Federal sentencing guidelines called for him to get a two-year sentence, but McKinley gave him less because he didn’t steal from the mail and only a few of the 250 mail recipients on his route suffered financial losses.
McKinley also ordered him to pay $14,808 in restitution to local residents, a bank and two other businesses for their losses. He had pleaded guilty in December and was sentenced last week. The sentence was announced Tuesday.
U.S. Postal Inspector Adel Valdes, a spokesman for his agency, said it doesn’t rank such crimes by size but “this was a big one.”
The New York Post reported in March that a Long Island letter carrier had been charged with throwing about 1,000 pieces of mail into trash bins. In Australia, The Age in Victoria reported last year that a carrier for Australia Post was charged after about 10,000 undelivered pieces of mail were found in his bedroom. His lawyer later told a court that he was “overawed” with his duties and could no longer cope, The Age reported.
Morse’s lawyer, federal public defender Patrick Bouldin, said that his client was going through a divorce, was responsible for picking up his children during the day, and would “store” his mail if he hadn’t finished delivering it.
“It’s not that he was stealing anything from it,” said Bouldin, who added that the missing mail represented only a tiny fraction of the 1.2 million pieces Morse was responsible for delivering.
Valdes said the scheme was uncovered when the owner of the storage facility found the door ajar, saw U.S. Postal Service crates inside and called police and the postmaster.
But Patterson said police first found the mail in the mother’s house, and that Morse initially insisted — falsely — that that was the only mail he had stashed.
Morse also was convicted of theft in state court for cashing about $31,000 in Social Security checks made out to his deceased mother, Patterson said, and placed in diversion for five years, according to the Hopkins County commonwealth’s attorney’s office.
U.S. Attorney David Hale said in a statement that Morse dumped mail for two years, ending in March 2013, and destroyed at least 1,000 more pieces. Most were advertising circulars, Valdes said.
Sue Brennan, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Postal Service, said, “We take the sanctity of the U.S. mail very seriously and the Postal Inspection Service and the Office of Inspector General prosecute to the fullest extent of the law anyone who violates that trust.”
Despite Newman’s claims on “Seinfeld” that no letter carrier delivers more than 50 percent of his mail, the Postal Service says that 94 percent of the First Class mail scheduled for two-day delivery last year was delivered on time.
The National Association of Letter Carriers called Morse’s case “an unfortunate, isolated incident” and said virtually all mail is delivered as intended. It also noted that letter carriers are consistently rated the most trusted federal employees.
Hale said the Postal Service has since delivered the mail recovered from Morse to its intended recipients in Dawson Springs, which has seven letter carriers and about 2,775 people.
Mayor Jenny Sewell said she could have done without one of the letters she finally received.
It was a bill from her dentist, for work she had a year ago.
Reporter Andrew Wolfson can be reached at (502) 582-7189
The starvation death of a Kentucky prison inmate has cost a doctor and at least two other officials their jobs after it was determined that sufficient medical treatment may have been able to save the man, according to a new report.
James Kenneth Embry was entering the final three years of a nine-year prison term he earned for drug offenses when, during the spring of last year, he began refusing his anti-anxiety medication. By December, the 57-year-old had started refusing his meals and was engaging in a variety of erratic behaviors, including slamming his head against the door to his cell. Embry, who stood at six feet tall, died in January, weighing just 138 pounds – more than 30 pounds less than he had weighed months before.
Embry’s downward spiral and documents from the investigation that followed were first obtained by the Associated Press, which published a report Monday.
An internal investigation at Kentucky State Penitentiary determined that medical professionals inside the facility could have done more to provide Embry with medication to deter his thoughts of suicide and to check on him as he physically and mentally wasted away.
Over six months after Embry stopped taking his medication, he told a prison psychologist that he felt anxious and paranoid. Those calls for help went unheeded, with psychologist Jean Hinkebein deciding on December 3 that Embry’s comments about hurting himself were not conclusive enough to be proof that he had any mental issues. His request to start taking medication again was denied.
A week later, Embry told staff that he didn’t “have any hope,” and was taken to an observation cell where he stopped accepting most food. At least one nurse who met with Embry during this time advised the inmate to begin eating again. Even though he ignored that advice, Embry was soon taken off hunger strike watch because he had been drinking tea.
Embry passed away on January 13. Dehydration was deemed the primary cause of death, with starvation and a number of other maladies listed as contributing factors.
An investigation began just days later, with authorities focusing much of their gaze on lead physician Steve Hiland. Hiland stood by his decision to take Embry off hunger strike watch, because he thought a protest consisted only of “six or eight meals” being missed and that it ended when the inmate consumed liquid. When asked how inmates should be helped off hunger strike, Hiland admitted that staff members “usually don’t have to worry about it because they (the inmates) eventually give up.”
Greg Belzley, a Louisville, Kentucky-based lawyer who is familiar with the case, told journalist Brett Barrouquere that Embry’s death is a shocking example of negligence.
“It’s just very, very, very disturbing,” he said. “How do you just watch a man starve to death?”
An inmate on hunger strike is required by the Kentucky Department of Corrections to have his vital signs checked no less than three times a week and required to undergo frequent consultations with doctors and psychologists. Exactly why that did not happen is unclear, with sources telling AP that they were either not aware of the proper protocol or that psychologist Hinkebein prevented such checks.
Hiland has been fired, Hinkebein is on administrative leave with her dismissal pending, and a third member of the medical team is also soon to be officially dismissed. The Kentucky Attorney General’s Office has said that a criminal review of Embry’s demise is in motion.
The prison investigation obtained by Barrouquere found a number of issues inside the facility, with poor communication being one of the most damaging factors behind large mistakes made inside the prison. Hiland, for his part, denies any wrongdoing regarding Embry’s death, accusing the state of using this incident as a way to rid itself of his $164,554 annual salary in favor of someone cheaper.
“I never saw this guy, never met him,” Hiland said. “I was convinced it was a way to get rid of me. I was told I should have known about it.”
If you are reading this over breakfast and have enough to eat, consider yourself fortunate.
Because in Kentucky, many residents do not always know where they will get their next meal, The Courier-Journal’s Chris Kenning reported Sunday.
Percentages vary from affluent urban areas to impoverished counties of Eastern Kentucky, but on the whole, about 15.6 percent of Kentuckians are “food insecure,” meaning they can’t always afford the food they need. That translates into more than 670,000 of Kentucky’s 4.3 million people.
And while the numbers and percentages may seem abstract, the fear of going hungry is very real for many in the state who depend on food banks, run by charitable organizations, and the government Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps).
Among them is Lorraine Maggard, 75, of Mount Vernon, who regularly visits a food pantry run by the Christian Appalachian Project called Grateful Bread.
Living on about $800 a month in Social Security, Ms. Maggard notes that after her house payment, utility bills and car insurance, she has about $48 to live on each month. And the $74 she used to get in food stamps was cut to $47 a month after Congress declined to extend a temporary increase enacted in 2009 to help people through the recession.
“If I didn’t have the pantry, I don’t know what I’d do,” Ms. Maggard told The Courier-Journal.
Despite the stigma—the mistaken view food stamps are handouts for able-bodied adults unwilling to work—the majority of people who receive food stamps are in families where adults are working low-wage jobs, making so little they qualify for assistance. They earn 130 percent or less of the federal poverty level, about $25,400 a year for a family of three.
More than half of those who benefit from food stamps are children. One-fifth are elderly, such as Ms. Maggard from Rockcastle County, whose meager allotment isn’t enough to get her through the month without a trip to the local food pantry.
It remains a terrible truth that in this land of wealth and abundance that many people do not have enough to eat.
Kentucky is fortunate to have the Christian Appalachian food pantry and many other food banks that serve their communities.
But Kentucky must do more to expand possibilities for people to earn a fair wage, find decent jobs and provide for themselves and their families.
Easy political talk about “job creators” and “job killers” isn’t working.
The harder job is to keep working on conditions that cause hunger and poverty.
We live in the only country in the world where a child can be sentenced to be in prison until they die
We live in the only country in the world where a child can be sentenced to be in prison until they die.
What’s worse is that it’s not even rare — more than 2,500 people who were sentenced as kids will spend the rest of their lives in prison.
Juwan is one of them. He was a skinny 16-year-old kid when he was arrested after he saw a companion kill a pizza deliveryman. The shooter was never convicted, but because Juwan was present and had a gun, he was sentenced to spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Without the possibility of parole, Juwan will never have a second chance for rehabilitation.
Just one year before Juwan was sentenced, the Supreme Court decided that mandatory juvenile life without parole was unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment.
The problem is — the decision left gaping loopholes and didn’t ban the sentence outright, meaning that Juwan and other children became victims of poor timing and inadequate policy implementation. While six states have moved to ban the practice, this barbaric punishment is still perfectly legal in 44 states.
But the Department of Justice has the power to close some of these loopholes and set the standard on the federal level. By providing policy guidelines for U.S. attorneys, the DOJ can ensure that judges are empowered to use discretion and give appropriate sentences based on unique circumstances.
Attorney General Eric Holder has already endorsed proposals that limit life without parole sentences for non-violent drug offenders. If he hears from thousands of us who support criminal justice reform, he can provide the tools needed to limit juvenile life without parole sentences.
It’s time that we give kids like Juwan a second chance at life.