Aug 102011

Gatewood Galbraith is Independent candidate

By Dave Cooper

Could 2011 be the year that Gatewood Galbraith is finally elected to office in Kentucky? It could happen.

Lexington attorney Galbraith, running for governor as an Independent candidate, will face incumbent Governor Steve Beshear and State Senate Majority Leader David Williams in the November election. Gov. Beshear has teamed with Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson for 2011, dropping his unpopular Lt. Governor, Hazard physician Dr. Dan Mongiardo, while Sen. Williams has selected former UK basketball star and current Agriculture Commissioner Ritchie Farmer for his running mate. Galbraith’s running mate is Dea Riley, a Frankfort media consultant. Continue reading »

May 252011

New festival comes to Berea in June

By Dave Cooper

Summer is here, and it’s festival time!  In addition to the annual music and arts and crafts fairs across Kentucky, this year will be the first year for the Whippoorwill Festival near Berea, June 16-19.  Co-sponsored by a number of community and environmental groups, the Whippoorwill Festival will teach sustainable living skills through a series of workshops led by experienced and skilled trainers, including some Berea College professors and long-time environmental leaders.  Continue reading »

Apr 272011

Help defend the mountains by visiting them

By Dave Cooper

The Summer of 2011 will be a summer of action in the Appalachian Mountains.

Mountain Justice Summer Camp

Mountain Justice Summer Camp, 2009. Group 2.

Mountain Justice Summer camp will take place May 21-27 on top of beautiful Pine Mountain in eastern Kentucky.  From the top of the mountain, you can see a mountaintop removal mine on Black Mountain and hear the blasts go off.  The forests on top of the mountain are spectacular, and there are good hiking trails to the Mars Rocks, Tower Road, the Little Shepherd Trail, and the Pine Mountain Trail. Continue reading »

Mar 302011

City infrastructure on North Broadway and Limestone

By Dave Cooper

After much community discussion and debate, construction will commence this summer on the construction of 1.6 miles of sidewalks on both sides of Tates Creek Road, from the Lansdowne Center to an expensive-sounding housing development called “The Enclave.”  The project is supposed to be completed by Fall 2011, at a cost of just over $1 million dollars.  There was initially some controversy about the project, even though the need for sidewalks was clear from the well-worn dirt path along the side of the busy road.

I’m happy for the pedestrians in the Tates Creek Road area, and I’m happy that the Enclavians can now easily walk to the Embry’s in Lansdowne in order to purchase coats made from the carcasses of small, tortured dead animals.  But I feel discouraged that it has taken almost four years from the time that the need for the sidewalks was first identified (via a public survey in 2007) until the time the concrete will be poured. Continue reading »

Mar 022011
By Dave Cooper

In 2009, eastern Pennsylvania resident Josh Fox was approached by a natural gas-drilling company to purchase the rights to drill under his property.  Fox was offered $100,000 for his gas rights, but he was concerned about rumors of problems with natural gas drilling in other communities.  Armed with his suspicions, a wry sense of humor, and a video camera, he set out to investigate. Continue reading »

Feb 232011

A roadmap to destruction

Below are a series of road trips to view mountaintop removal sites in Kentucky. Directions for the trips come from a pamphlet put out by Lexingtonian Dave Cooper.

–From Pikeville, take US 23 South for 12 miles. Turn right onto KY-1460 (Virgie Road). Go 0.7 miles to see an active mine on your right.

–From the Pikeville Wal Mart on US 23 take US 119 North towards Williamson, WV, for 7 miles. 1Onemile past the Bent Branch exit look for an “EQT” sign on the right. Turn right on the access road to see active mining.

–To see a coal slurry pond, take the Hal Rogers Parkway to Hazard, KY, then take KY-15 North for about 6.5 iles. Turn left into the Coalfields Industrial Park and drive 1.5 miles–stay on the main road–to see the pond on your left. Go back to KY-15 and turn left, then go 0.7 miles and turn right to the Wendell Ford Airport. Go up the hill and bear right at the Y. You can see an active mine towards the back and homes built on a reclaimed mine site.

–From Hazard, take KY-15 South for 15 miles. Pass over Carr Creek Lake and immediately turn left onto KY-1231 North. Travel uphill 3.4 miles and park at the beige utility shack with a blue roof to see a huge valley fill and MTR.

–From McDonalds in Whitesburg, take US 119 South over Pine Mountain. At the bottom, turn left onto KY-932. Go past Bad Branch into Virginia. Keep going. At B&J Grocery go straight onto VA-707. One mile later turn right through an iron gate, then immediate left. Park here and walk up to the blue water tower.

–In Harlan County, take KY-160 fro Lynch over Black Mountain into Virginia. Go down the mountain, then turn around in Inman, VA. There are incredible views of MTR ont the Virginia side of the mountains.

Weather’s getting nice. Take a drive, see for yourself.

Visit the website for a downloadable document with detailed driving directions, commentary, photos, Google satellite and video links.