“Leave No Tree Standing”

“I don’t think the politicians will be happy until they have paved over & developed every square inch of this state! How much money has to be wasted before they find out that spending more money for more Industrial Parks and infrastructure will be wasted. MAKE USE OF WHAT YOU’VE ALREADY GOT! At last count there are 207++ Industrial Parks in this state-ALL WITH VACANT UNUSED LOTS, BUILDINGS & SPEC BUILDINGS! I would love to see the study that tells us how much of OUR MONEY is tied up in these blunders. “If you build it they will come…” I don’t think so, that was just a movie, NOT REAL LIFE!” Only when the last tree, plant, animal, fish & reptile are gone and the water, ground and air are poisoned will they discover, “You can’t eat money!”

God’s Country Found in DBNF!

We took the ride from London to Somerset today. For a Saturday, the road was relatively UNCROWDED, we might’ve seen a total of 30 cars the whole trip, until we got to Route 27, then I thought we’d hit mini-Lexington! Two Krogers a couple miles away from each other! That’s economic development? And the “Center For Rural Development” WHAT AN OXYMORON! Driving home from Somerset we took Rt 192 & traveled through some of the the most beautiful countryside this side of Heaven. IT IS GOD”S COUNTRY through there. Makes you wonder what GOD thinks about building a major interstate through His land!

Somerset Bypass bisected a farmer’s field!

“I would like for people to see the mess the core drillers did to my aunts farm in Somerset, Ky. It is awful and they didn’t have to do that kind of damage to her farm land. I am going to video tape the damage and also make pictures of it in hopes that it can be used to fight against I 66 being built.”
“Core Drillers are the people that the state has contracted to drill holes in the land and get soil and rock samples. These pictures were just where they came in to survey the land, they didn’t even drill there. They came in to put the flags up and tore the top soil off the hay fields and cut ruts in the field and they were going to drill down there and my aunt wouldn’t let them because she let them drill on another piece of her farm and they tore up the land so bad that she made them fix it and she won’t let them back on the other part. It sure messed up her pasture and hay fields. A video is also available.”

Let’s Fix the Roads we got!


I-66 won’t help!

“I live in Eastern Kentucky, in Prestonsburg to be exact. I see absolutely no need for this useless Interstate road project, especially since nobody west of Kentucky is going to join in anyway. Why would they? They already have a sufficient Interstate highway system. How will it help me for example? None at all! The problems we have in this area of the state are getting northwest to Lexington and west to I-75 (which now takes 2 hours from here). I think that if we have to build anything at all it should be to widen a 1-hour section of the Mountain Parkway from 2 lanes to 4 lanes, and make some adjustments to the Daniel Boone Parkway heading west. I don’t see any need for a new road system that really doesn’t help anyway.”

Shameful History of Hal Rogers Parkway

Editorial Published in London Sentinel-Echo 8/25/03
Only one mystery remains
Dear Editor:
“Daniel Boone was a man, what a big man…,” went the song that introduced the successful television show and popularized the coonskin cap. “Hal Rogers was a man, what a big man.” The latter version is inaccurate because the symbolic meaning of the lyrics cannot be applied to Hal Rogers.
Consequently, only one mystery remains about the travesty of reverence and common sense that resulted in the removal of Daniel Boone’s name from the Parkway. How did Hal Rogers lift his big head up on that bulldozer, a crane perhaps? That will remain a puzzle, but the travesty itself poses no such problem. The vast majority of today’s politicians are constantly pursued by groupie-like people eager to curry favor, to make Brownie points. Unfortunately, their sycophantic, brown-nosing behavior is effective, often to the detriment of the average American.
Hal Rogers has been well paid for his service to Eastern Kentucky, not to mention the fancy, unnecessary perks that cost taxpayers millions of dollars each year, the health and pension plans that the average taxpayer can only dream about but never hope to achieve, thanks to self-serving politicians.
There are some people, particularly those in the groupie category, who will defend Rogers, citing all the wonderful things he has done for Eastern Kentucky. I would remind them that Rogers would probably grade no better than average when compared with the other representatives in Congress with equivalent seniority.
For example, take our $13 million that he single-handedly appropriated for the long-overdue purpose of removing the tollbooths. Make no mistake, while he was up on that bulldozer, $13 million were spent in eastern Texas, eastern California, eastern Washington, eastern Minnesota, eastern Maine, eastern Florida, eastern here, and eastern there. Get the picture?
“You vote for my project and I’ll vote for yours.” It all boils down to swap-outs and trade-offs. The truth is, the vast majority of politicians walk in lockstep; thus creating a stupid, close-minded arrogance that promotes mediocrity and limits them to photo-ops and throwing their constituents an occasional crumb, just enough of a crumb to stave off starvation. And for that, they get highways named after them.
Once upon a time, my job responsibilities too me to Washington three or four times a year to provide testimony to congressional committees, work with counterparts from other states, etc. I recall talking to a Representative, from another state, at the close of that fictional show on C-SPAN that our politicians pass off as debate. The hot item of business that day was the Omnibus Communications Bill.
To refresh your memory, among other things that bill was supposed to reduce our cable television fees. What a joke! The Representative told me that the telephone calls and letters coming into his office were 7-1 against the bill. “I’m going to vote for it anyway,” he said. I was in no way surprised to hear that he was going to vote in lockstep, but I was surprised that he had admitted that to me. I figured he had either suffered a momentary loss of memory or he was feeling guilty about not doing the job that the voters in his district had elected him to do. He had to tell someone, and I was handy.
I could present many other salient examples of the same conduct, but they would serve no worthwhile purpose here.
Given the way Daniel Boone was removed from the Parkway, it is easy for me to imagine that a man of his caliber would not want his name associated with that Parkway any longer. I can see him respectfully declining the honor, and I would not blame him. The honor has now been watered down to nothing more than a warm fuzzy, a convenient way of scoring Brownie points. If that groupie bunch wanted to show their appreciation, they should have given Hal Rogers a teddy bear. It would have more accurately represented his contribution to the removal of the tollbooths.
Yes, indeed, Daniel Boone was a big man, the foster son of Chief Blackfish who adopted him for his bravery, and a man who blazed a trail through the Cumberland Gap and established a settlement in Kentucky when our state was truly “a dark and bloody ground.” Compare that with the swirling hot tubs, the warm spas, and the stimulating massages that the pampered, over-perked members of the U.S. Congress must endure every day, then you can fairly judge the contributions of the two men in question.
And what about the final resting place of Daniel Boone? What a smack in the face. He lays within yelling distance of that political circus that takes place in Frankfort. I would guess he spends a lot of nights tossing and turning, especially when the legislators come to town, and now they come to town once a year. Lord, help us all. Have you noticed the horizon lately? The dark storm clouds of additional taxation are gathering there.
At the minimum, Daniel Boone should have been treated with the same deference as Buffalo Bill, whose only contribution to the West was the fact that he was a crack shot with a rifle. To get to his final resting place, you must follow a winding, picturesque road up to a mountain-top park, which features picnic tables, a museum, a gift show, a wonderful view, and the grave of Buffalo Bill.
It would be so right if Daniel Boone was moved to the hilltop in Cumberland Gap that overlooks the Station Camp Creek area. If Hal Rogers is only half the legislator that his groupie bunch would have us believe, he should be able to pull that off with a single snap of his fingers. Consider what that would mean to Daniel Boone, Mr. Rogers, and also think about all those additional jobs that would be created. You might even get to cut another ribbon.
Until big money stops flowing into politics, the laws that come out of Washington will continue to offend our common sense and reduce our net worth directly and indirectly. If by some trail-blazing miracle the money stopped someday, that would enable some real Daniel Boones to make their way into the U.S. Congress.
Looking back over the years, I don’t know why I was ever surprised or disillusioned as I watched my heroes cut down, one by one; as I watched my idealistic bubbles busted, one by one. I should have anticipated those events, for I have known since childhood that Judas Iscariot sold out a Good Man for 30 pieces of sliver. The vast majority of politicians are doing the same thing this day, selling out good people. And in the process, another one of our true heroes has been blindsided with a cheap, irreverent punch.”

“Change is Inevitable, Highways are Not” Roadshow

12/15/03 In early November, Karyn Moskowitz, a nationally prominent resource economist/environmentalist presented her documentary, “Change is Inevitable, Highways Are Not” to many groups along the proposed I-66 route in Kentucky. The film documented four different Appalachian communities and how they have fought against road-building projects in their areas. This film has helped many to see the destruction that roads bring and what has worked for others, and what has not. On behalf of KICK 66, I would like to publicly thank Ms. Moskowitz for her generosity of devoting her time, expertise and efforts.

There was a good turnout in many of these communities, especially in London. There are many citizens who are opposed to I-66, a road that would displace homes and families and bulldoze through the Daniel Boone National Forest, a boon to the local community for providing recreation to many outdoor enthusiasts, sportsmen and women, hunters, hikers, boaters, cavers, medicinal plant and mushroom gatherers and ORV’rs. Many tourism dollars come to local businesses from the DBNF. It is a local treasure that we all must fight to preserve.

Many say, “There’s LOTS of trees-so what if a few are cut down for a highway that will bring so many GREAT things to this region?” Well yes, there are a lot of trees. These trees provide a valuable service, removing carbon dioxide from the air, helping to clean and filter our water and prevent erosion and flooding. Most existing trees are young trees, as most of the “old growth” was clear cut in the early 1900’s in the name of “progress.” These trees also provide valuable habitat for thousands of other vital species, which could be exterminated by removing those trees. Think about this, is it possible that the pine beetle and other insect infestations might have happened because of destruction of their habitat, so they moved, en masse, elsewhere?

KICK 66 is much bigger than a few locals here in London & Somerset. There are many state and national environmental protection groups that are behind us, The Sierra Club, Heartwood and the NRDC (National Resources Defense Council) just to name a few. Prominent scientists, environmentalists and litigators are involved. KICK 66 groups have formed along the proposed route in Virginia, Kentucky and Illinois and Missouri.

We need YOU to become involved. Some people think that I-66 is a “done deal,” why bother? I-66 is a proposed road that is being studied, nothing more. Some people erroneously think that I-66 is the “magic bullet” that will bring those wished for high-paying manufacturing jobs. Unfortunately, people from all over this country who have lost their high-paying manufacturing jobs that moved to Mexico or India will tell you that it just won’t happen. Jobs may come as a result of I-66, but to make ends meet, you will still have to work a double shift at the new Burger King (and other fast food joints/gas stations) that’ll be built, because that is what the road will bring, a bunch of minimum wage jobs. Meanwhile, the Burger King (and other fast food joints/gas stations) in town will probably close as a result of travelers bypassing the I-75/80 intersection and the town of London. Heck, there may even be a new Kroger’s to work at, but that might be tough what with all those new self-checkouts they’re installing. Just think, those self-checkouts don’t need health benefits, never take a sick day, can automatically calculate correct change and are always on the job, not gossiping with their co-workers! Finally, and probably most important, we need people from east of I-75 to become involved.

I-66 was originally planned to be built on the eastern side first, from Daniel Boone/HR Pkwy, down to the weigh stations. The plans were changed due to anticipated local opposition because more people live on that eastern side. So the priority became Somerset/London, because there would be less opposition due to less population along that proposed route. Once Somerset/London I-66 becomes reality, well, they’ll just HAVE to continue on the eastern side! Many say, “That’s OK-I’ll just move, can’t stand in the way of progress.” Is I-66 REALLY progress? Is that what “progress” is all about? More pavement creating impervious surfaces, causing runoff of pollutants and flooding. More minimum wage jobs so our kids will still have to leave home to find better paying jobs elsewhere? Even Lexington has experienced an outflux of people seeking better paying jobs in metropolitan areas and an influx of people working for lower pay (thus contributing less money to the local economy). Many people think they have hit the jackpot, the state will pay LOTS of money for my land. Think again, you will get appraised value and not a penny more. If your property is taken by eminent domain you’ll be lucky to get that. Also any profits made on the sale of property taken by eminent domain is subject to Kentucky capital gains tax, be sure to hire a good accountant!

Many say, “they’re going to spend the money somewhere, better here than somewhere else.” Those people just don’t get it. THERE IS NO MONEY FOR I-66. Our gas taxes will have to be raised to pay for it. We already pay some .35 extra per gallon for federal and state taxes. How much extra would YOU be willing to pay for a gallon of gas to build I-66?

The next London/Somerset KICK 66 meeting will be held at the Laurel County Public Library in London on Monday, December 8 at 6:00 p.m. Please join us in our efforts to stop this waste of our farms, families, funds, forests and future! If you can’t attend but would like to comment or find out more, please visit the KICK 66 website at http://www.KICK66.org