July 31, 2014

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Dear Editor
Pendleton County Historical Marker 953 in the wrong place on US 27 Print E-mail

Dear Editor,

The members of Ruddell and Martin Station Historical Association who are descendants of those killed or  taken prisoner by Captain Henry Bird in the raids on Ruddell and Martin Stations, believe Historical Marker 953, “British and Indian Raid” is located at the wrong place. It is currently on US Highway 27 at Boston Station, in front of Licking Valley Oil, Pendleton County, about five miles north of Falmouth. Captain Henry Bird’s force did not land at Boston. It should be at Falmouth. Below is documentation and references to show Falmouth is where Capt. Bird and his force landed and is the proper place for the marker:

Capt. Alexander McKee Captain Henry Bird’s assistant in his letter to Maj. Aren't de Peyster (July 1780) made a reference to where they started over land in Kentucky.

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Citizen would like to show her appreciation Print E-mail

Dear Editor,

I want to take a moment to express my thanks and gratitude to Pendleton County Chief Deputy Todd Dennie and others that were involved in helping to locate and return belongings that were taken from my home on November 30. I am blessed with great family, friends and a community of leaders who care about one another and are so willing to meet ones needs as they arise. Praising and thanking God for each of them.

Dee Browning

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Pendleton County Schools Chairman responds to recent letter to the Editor Print E-mail

Dear Editor,

First I would like to thank you for the opportunity to respond to the letter in today's issue titled "In Who's Best Interest?" on behalf of the Pendleton County Board of Education. There were numerous misconceptions and incorrect statements in the letter. I want to set the record straight on the following:

1. The benefits and reasons why we support the NKU Ed .D program for the district and superintendent.

2. Clarification on the reduction in positions at the district level and the $140,000 in savings to the district.

3. Explaining the reasons for changes in the salary structure and how that will benefit staff.

4. The reasons for changing our staffing formula and how those were determined.

5. That programs were not eliminated during the change in staffing.

In December of 2012, each member of the board of education received a letter from the Northern Kentucky University College of Education inviting the district and Superintendent Strong to participate in the 2nd Superintendent Ed. D Cohort.

The executive doctoral cohort is a program designed to improve the district by refining and improving upon the skills of the superintendent. This process focuses on developing competencies in the superintendent through work that is to be completed on projects that will benefit the district. The competencies developed will tie directly back to efforts that help improve the district. In addition to the competency work, the district will have access to all programs within the college of education, as well as other departments of the university for a two and a half year period. This type of professional development could cost the district thousands of dollars. The cost of this program is $33,980, less than $5.00 per student over the three year period. The board certainly understands that there is a cost, but more importantly felt that it was an investment in the future of the district. In addition to the board agreeing to pay the tuition, it also asked Mr. Strong to sign an agreement requiring him to reimburse the district for all or portions of the tuition depending upon his length of service to the district. Mr. Strong is also responsible for all other expenses associated with the program. Ms. Key must have been unaware of this information or neglected to share that important part with her readers. Where will this money come from to pay for the Ed.D? Currently the board provides for professional development of the superintendent and other administrative positions. We will redistribute those funds and look at other general fund options. The funds used will not be taken from any reductions made due to staffing.

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"In Who’s Best Interest?" Print E-mail

Dear Editor,

In who’s best interest is it for the Pendleton County School District to fund the PhD of the superintendent? The members of the Pendleton County Board of Education need to revisit this decision and decide if it is in the best interest of the students of the district.

Mr. Strong was employed because of his great leadership abilities and his willingness to get the finances of the district repaired. He has helped to make the district more financially stable but it has been at the cost of staff members and the educational opportunities for the students of the district. An article in The Falmouth Outlook this past fall reported the progress Mr. Strong has made in achieving financial stability for the district. He was asked if any cuts had been made at Central Office level and he said five positions had been eliminated. What he failed to mention/report was that at least five positions with new titles had been created with pay index rate increases for the positions.  Pay increases to staff members in the district schools, with the exception of instructional coaches, have been minimal to say the least. During Mr. Strong’s first year with the district most teachers were lucky if they received a .5% increase. For some it meant at most an $18 increase in salary for the whole year. Divide that by 12, take out taxes and you don’t even have enough to buy one soft drink a month! Instructional coaches that same year had a pay index rate increase and for some, it meant an additional $5,000 - $6,000 a year! Some may do the work to earn that type of raise, but some probably do not. Instructional coaches are experienced teachers hired at a central office level to provide guidance and support for other teachers. Ultimately, it is the teachers in the classrooms that do most of the work preparing engaging lessons and activities for their students.

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Citizens for the Legalization of Urban Chicken Keeping Print E-mail

Dear Editor,

To All Falmouth Residents:

In a time of progress and change for our nation, it has never been more important to know that you can be self-sustaining and care for your family when needed. News of E.coli and listeria on food and tainted meat in our countries groceries makes for scary times. Being able to, without a doubt, know exactly what is in the food you are eating is becoming increasingly difficult.

Backyard chicken keeping is an answer for many. Backyard chickens allow for fresh, extremely local food production on a small, manageable scale. Our small agricultural city currently has an ordinance that disallows the keeping of domestic fowl unless they produce food, income, or kept as pets. At the present time our council is working to further restrict this by removing these stipulations. The reasons cited for banning these animals from within city limits are unfounded. They pose no greater health risk than cats and are not anywhere near the noise disturbance of dogs. Responsible pet ownership makes urban chickens not only efficient food producers, but sensible animals to allow within the city limits of Falmouth.

Five benefits that backyard chickens can provide that you may not know:

• A progressive community attitude: Falmouth can help lead Kentucky in the Urban Agriculture movement.

• Enriching educational opportunities - for children and adults alike.

• Sustainable lifestyles choices - promoting healthy citizens, neighborhoods, and soil.

• Homegrown food source - the ultimate "Local Food;" decreasing our effects on the environment by consuming products that are grown in our own geographical region, city, or neighborhood.

• Lessons in food production and safety - Eggs don't come from cartons!

Chicken keeping is a healthy, economical, and sustainable way to feed and enrich our families and our communities. Many towns and cities across our nation have already embraced backyard chickens. Highland Heights, Florence, Erlanger, and Cold Spring allow them, as does Manhattan, Chicago, Anne Arbor, and San Francisco. Falmouth could be on the forefront of the sustainable living movement and provide its residents with the option to take control of their food.

We must embrace change and do everything we can to provide our children a safe and healthy environment to grow up in.  We are not asking to allow chickens to run amuck in our town. In fact we know that this can only work if proper restrictions are put in place. We also do not wish to divide our town but we do want positive progress to change our community for the better. I urge you as citizens of Falmouth to create your own opinion based on facts and understand the value this has for the citizens of our community. We invite you to view the information we have presented to the Falmouth CityC ouncil as well as our recommendations for a proposed ordinance with proper restrictions on our website AmmermanEnt.com/chicken.pdf  and don’t forget to support our cause and make your voice heard by signing our petition through the link on Facebook.com/FalmouthCLUCK.

Monica Ammerman
CLUCK (Citizens for the
Legalization of Urban Chicken
Keeping)

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Kentucky Coalition asking for help Print E-mail

Dear Editor,

As nurse practitioners working in every corner of Kentucky, we are keenly aware of what goes into the state's dire health statistics. Nationally, Kentucky ranks among the worst in diabetes, obesity and cancer, and towards the bottom in the number of primary care physicians practicing in the state. That's a bad combination.

In fact, in many of our state's 87 medically undeserved areas, a nurse practitioner or nurse midwife is the only full-time primary care provider. In light of these facts, we should be doing everything we can to expand and improve access to health care.

Instead, a paperwork requirement is aggravating the shortage. In order to write prescriptions for routine medications, nurse practitioners must have a prescribing agreement with a physician. It's a piece of paper that sits in a file in a drawer. The agreement doesn't require the physician to see our patients, consult with us or be liable for patient care.

The problem? Without that signed piece of paper, we can't prescribe the most basic medications, leaving patients without the care they need. With an unblemished, 17-year track record of appropriate prescribing, we believe this paperwork obstacle should be removed.

Please ask your legislators to support Senate Bill 51 to remove this paperwork requirement and improve Kentuckians' access to health care.

Jason Gregg, APRN, Falmouth and Julianne Ewen, APRN, Lexington  and President, Kentucky Coalition of Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Widwives

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Butler extends thanks for generosity Print E-mail

The city of Butler wants to say thank you to all who donated toys or made a monetary donation. This year Butler's Christmas Kids project was a great success and we couldn't have done it without your help, we were able to give toys to 81 girls and boys. Each year you surprise us with your generosity.

Again Butler's Christmas Kids say "Thank you."

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The Pendleton County Red Cross extends a "thank you" Print E-mail

The Pendleton County American Red Cross would like to thank those that have taken time out of their lives to help volunteer to help others. We have really grown in number of volunteers this year and would like to take this time to say once again to welcome you to the Pendleton County Unit. Also thank you for all you do. You do make a difference.

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A notice of love and gratitude Print E-mail

The Norman Family, our daughter Tammy Gore and granddaughter Brittney Gore are searching for words good enough to thank the owners and staff of Randy's Clothing and Falmouth Christian Church for their wonderful generosity in all the precious gifts and love they gave so freely to Tammy and Brittney. While our resources are limited, Tammy and Brittney would have had all the love this family can give them on our Savior's birthday, but they had no idea that total strangers would give so freely of their Christian love and God-given resources. Tammy escaped from an abusive marriage shortly before Thanksgiving and both her and Brittney really needed the joy and happiness your love and gifts are giving them. Thank you all so very, very much. God will bless both Randy's Clothing owners and staff and Falmouth Christian Church with great love and prosperity of witness and wealth. In fact I wish to thank any church, person, organization or group that gave gifts of Christian love and gifts of joy to any needy family or person all over the world. God's magnificent and unlimited blessing on everyone on this our Lord and Master's birthday.

~ The William Norman Family

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Christmas offers hope in the midst of Connecticut tragedy Print E-mail

In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting that touched us so deeply, it’s daunting to comment since the wounds are still tender. Parents with tear-stained faces deserve our comfort and compassion. The Newtown community needs our support as they try to heal. These things we can agree on. But what do we say when words can never be enough in the midst of such sorrow? Sometimes nothing.  However, as uncomfortable as it may be, a few observations are in order.

Heaps of blame have been dished out for the unspeakable acts committed against the 20 defenseless children and six adults in the town painted as idyllic and peaceful. It’s the fault of assault weapons, high capacity magazines, violent video games, a callous culture, and the NRA, or so we are told. Some say it’s the GOP, God, antiquated laws and Adam Lanza’s mother who tried to move him away from his obsession with gaming and into society. However cathartic blame may be, it doesn’t help the hurting find answers.

Connecticut’s chief medical examiner is looking for explanations in the genes of the killer’s brain while the emotionally shattered are flocking to churches, seeking pastoral counsel, and attending vigils. A real dichotomy is emerging as to where ultimate answers can be found and whether they are in the spiritual or earthly realm.

President Obama perhaps found the middle ground by touching both. He spoke to the soul in last Sunday’s memorial service and when he quoted Scripture he appealed to the ultimate source of authority and articulated at least in part, a message that could truly console and comfort.  He quoted II Corinthians which challenges us to fix our eyes not on the physical but rather on the unseen and eternal.  “For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven not built by human hands.”

In contrast, shrill calls for assault weapon bans and ramped up school security have drowned out the reality that the grieving are not primarily seeking help and consolation from legislative bodies, but are finding it in the church. If spiritual solace aids the souls of the grieving then why should moral and spiritual solutions for our torn culture be left in the pews? Absent from the mainstream media and its addiction to the sound bite is serious public discussion of good and evil, human responsibility, sin, and moral judgments. Our hearts are sick with grief and our collective soul yearns for an answer but what our hearts know to be true, our minds seem no longer to be able to speak, at least in moral terms because generations have been deprived of a moral vocabulary. The cognitive dissonance is surreal.

"The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either, but right through every human heart," said Soviet dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in 1973. Guns are certainly part of this discussion, but where, as Solzhenitsyn would insist, is the discussion of the human heart? And moral training? Why the inordinate focus on the material object of destruction as if the human soul had nothing to do with how that object was used?  New gun laws may become a reality but lasting solutions to evil apart from the moral and spiritual realm will inevitably remain elusive.

So we turn to Christmas, the story filled with eternity and weaved with strands of both hope and tragedy; Hope in that the Messiah came to restore peace and righteousness; Tragedy in that innocent babies were killed by a jealous King Herod, and that God’s great gift to mankind was eventually rejected and crucified. Yet Christmas is ultimately a triumphal story of God’s love that we find wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger—the spiritual meeting the physical we call the incarnation.  May each of us embrace Him this season.

Sincerely yours,
Richard Nelson
Executive Director
Commonwealth Policy Center
PO Box 5
Herndon, KY 42236
(270) 719-1640 (cell)
(270) 271-9472 (office)
www.commonwealthpolicycenter.org

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