Archive for March 2010
KY~ A barge hits a Kentucky Lake bridge and sinks. Trigg County Schools begin interviewing superintendent candidates and McCracken County plans to do the same in mid-April. Where McCracken builds its upcoming Emergency Center could be decided by a grant. 130 Fort Campbell soldiers expected home Friday. The new manager of Hopkins County’s Animal Shelter didn’t pan out. KY Utilities now offers an online map of power outages. Jobless rates were higher in every county last year. The Commonwealth declines to join other states challenging healthcare reform. Beshear urges no education budget cuts, as legislative leaders continue to make us wait.
The Marshall County Sheriff’s Office is circulating photos of a Coca-Cola bottle found in Benton, KY they say was used as a “ generator” in the manufacture of methamphetamine and contains hazardous chemicals such as sulfuric acid.
This kind of toxic junk is increasingly turning up, as the EPIDEMIC continues to intensify. And juss a wemindah: meff’s bad fuh ya healff.
KY~ MSU’s Billy Kennedy is expected to sign a contract extension today. Paducah officials deny being confused. Fort Campbell will tighten its (financial) belt while soldiers are away. A US-62 bridge near Lake City is down to one lane till noon. Murray’s Chamber of Commerce will release how its members feel about a payroll tax later this week. Two bills now sit on Beshear’s desk: one forces 2 organizations out into the public eye and another wants to reduce teen suicide. Most lawmakers get a day off as budget talks resume. No ‘Race to the Top’ $$$. More universities may establish nursing doctoral degree programs.
— John Dillon
As you may have heard on NPR or in other news venues, the people of California will be faced with a ballot referendum later this year on whether to legalize sale of marijuana for purely recreational purposes.
The state already has its share of “medical cannabis” suppliers and users.
Why legalize Mother Nature? TAX REVENUE.
California is broke, and this really boils down to a “Cannabis Tax Reform Issue.” Sell the stuff and tax the heck out of it. Individuals could purchase up to one ounce at a time, although it should not be consumed in public places.
The initiative is polling well so far. It stands a fair chance of passage, and could raise tens of millions of dollars a year to help keep schools open, pave roads and pay for essential services.
And here we are in the mid-South, also struggling with budget issues. Alas, more than half of the counties in the Commonwealth of Kentucky have yet to lift alcohol Prohibition.
Oh, well. It will be interesting to see if California does pass this measure; whether it will benefit the public overall; and if new waves of surfer dudes will turn to paying their taxes for weed and then eat Doritos by the bagful on the couch.
Somehow I was in the dark about Earth Hour being Saturday, March 27. Until I had read earlier that day about Sydney, Australia turning off its lights, I had no idea the event was to take place locally only a few hours later. Unfortunately, I don’t live in a region where I can step out on my balcony and look over a darkened city, showing somber respect for the environment and the fragile, yet powerful hold we as humans have over its fate. In truth, looking outside my window you’d see the lights, sights and sounds of a small, expanding town.
What I really wanted to do was to sit on my front porch with a candle, to see neighbors outside doing the same, to gaze at the stars and reflect on the magnitude of our existence. This romantic idea was soon washed away by a brief, but hard swept storm followed by a chilly temperature drop. Alas, during Earth Hour, I was forced to stay indoors.
Around 8:30, my girlfriend and I scrambled to turn off all the lights, the computers, the television and anything else whirring, blinking and glowing. It was 8:40 by the time we finished, but we vowed to make up for lost time by making our Earth Hour last until 9:40.
We decided to light some candles and read in the living room. I read my book, she read hers. I don’t quite know how to explain the strange phenomena when reading by candle light, an urge to read something scary. I put down my book and pulled out that famous collection by Alvin Schwartz, “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.” We read the one about the dead guy walking through a town, not realizing his demise until he read about his funeral in the newspaper; the one about the group of fishermen who take refuge in a spooky house with the big, green face. After a few stories, the darkness around us settled in and the apartment, though only dark for 30 minutes or so, became rather creepy.
The fact that a less than an hour earlier, a place whirring and whizzing, bright as the day could so quickly be foreboding simply by cutting some of the power is a strange sort of paradox and something of a repercussion to 21st century living habits. Our dependency on modern energy is a deeper issue for another day, but it led to an interesting conversation while we waited out the rest of Earth Hour that night.
We had three large candles going and, for a time, a flashlight. It was pointed out that burning these manufactured candles and eventually discarding (even recycling) their glass containers consumes large amounts of energy. The battery in the flashlight would be one of the worst things disposed of in a landfill. Compared to a single light bulb, all of which costs about half a penny on the monthly electric bill, we were probably consuming more energy in our recognition efforts.
Regardless of whether or not we actually helped the environment in this year’s Earth Hour, it gave us pause to think about the value of resources, to participate in the global event and an excuse to read scary stories with candles. It was a highlight to an otherwise ordinary weekend and, for an hour, made the world seem smaller and more connected. Searching Earth Hour 2010 on Flickr, it’s refreshing to see others and particularly cities who’d gotten involved, hopefully inciting a positive change on a larger and more substantial scale. I know Earth Hour takes place at the end of every March, but would it really be too much to ask if we moved it to, say, late June? If only so I could live out that romantic plan of sitting on the porch and gazing up at the stars.
*We do not endorse or promote drug use of any kind.
KY~ The Senate will vote on banning salvia and fake pot. Will Reidland-Farley Fire Chief Richard Tapp return to face the music? Paducah could be a new coal stop. The Mayfield Lowe’s shooter is guilty (and mentally ill). Hopkinsville police find +$13k worth of meth/no one home. A student-made spacecraft will be blasted into… space. Is (former lawmaker/accused murderer) Steve Nunn competent?
TN~ They’re gonna burn the Devil’s Backbone in LBL.