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Old 11-13-2013, 03:44 PM
 
Location: Eastern Kentucky Proud
912 posts, read 1,352,201 times
Reputation: 937

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600 Kentuckians Already Signed Up for SOAR Summit | U.S. House of Representatives


I wonder how many will attend this event? 600 Registered so far.

I wonder if any from outside Eastern Kentucky will attend?

Why would anyone from outside Eastern Kentucky want to attend?

If anything positive comes out of this, will the rest of out great State benefit from it?

This, as with anything else, will require money, how much are you willing to give (tax money)?

Has anyone heard anything about this outside of here on CD?

I know...way too many questions but, good questions never the less. I have not had too many comments thus far...I hope this isn't any indication of things to come. Only one from another State...I'm sure they have their own problems to deal with.

What's your thoughts? I think we have heard all of the faults with Eastern Kentucky and, that's fine, I agree but, what's next? MANY have said, we need to do something, well now is your chance.


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Old 11-13-2013, 03:46 PM
 
Location: Eastern Kentucky Proud
912 posts, read 1,352,201 times
Reputation: 937
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomocox View Post
The only way to profitably improve the misery index for the Appalachian communities of Kentucky is to convince them to understand the value of education. We must get our friends of eastern Kentucky to understand that education and only education will cause manufacturers to want to build in their communities. Manufacturing can be almost any product from cars to computer components, but the basis of any good economy is agriculture, mining, or manufacturing.
Could be that we are at a disadvantage right off the bat because mining has been taken away?
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:34 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
27,608 posts, read 20,598,978 times
Reputation: 33431
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomocox View Post
The only way to profitably improve the misery index for the Appalachian communities of Kentucky is to convince them to understand the value of education. We must get our friends of eastern Kentucky to understand that education and only education will cause manufacturers to want to build in their communities. Manufacturing can be almost any product from cars to computer components, but the basis of any good economy is agriculture, mining, or manufacturing.
I agree with the spirit of your post, but it's not that easy. Many families here in Appalachia are amibvalent or even hostile toward education, and for good reason. There are few jobs here where an education is required or even useful and few ways to escape generational poverty.

Education doesn't solve much of anything by itself. Let's say that Owsley County children reach educational parity with the rest of the state within five years. This doesn't really help. It still faces many challenges - all prior generations are still behind, infrastructure is either badly deficient or doesn't even exist, drug addiction runs rampant, and the area is geographically isolated. It would take decades and billions of dollars to bring eastern Kentucky to parity with the rest of the state, much less make it prosperous.

The resources that would be spent on bring eastern KY up to par would likely best be spent on enhancing the Lexington and Louisville metros, which would enhance the whole state's image. Spending billions on education, roads, and infrastructure improvements in backward, geographically inaccessible counties where few people live is a waste of time and reosurces.
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Old 11-14-2013, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Eastern Kentucky Proud
912 posts, read 1,352,201 times
Reputation: 937
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emigrations View Post
I agree with the spirit of your post, but it's not that easy. Many families here in Appalachia are amibvalent or even hostile toward education, and for good reason. There are few jobs here where an education is required or even useful and few ways to escape generational poverty.

Education doesn't solve much of anything by itself. Let's say that Owsley County children reach educational parity with the rest of the state within five years. This doesn't really help. It still faces many challenges - all prior generations are still behind, infrastructure is either badly deficient or doesn't even exist, drug addiction runs rampant, and the area is geographically isolated. It would take decades and billions of dollars to bring eastern Kentucky to parity with the rest of the state, much less make it prosperous.

The resources that would be spent on bring eastern KY up to par would likely best be spent on enhancing the Lexington and Louisville metros, which would enhance the whole state's image. Spending billions on education, roads, and infrastructure improvements in backward, geographically inaccessible counties where few people live is a waste of time and reosurces.
So...are you suggesting doing nothing? S.O.A.R. is a waste of money. Just leave it (Eastern Kentucky)as it has been for decades. And, now even worse since the coal industry is almost gone. By your statement, are you suggesting Eastern Kentuckians leave home and move to Louisville or Lexington or just...? I'm not saying that's a bad thing, many have done that. It's just not for me but, who am I to say? Even at that it still leaves some questions as to the future of Eastern Kentucky. If Eastern Kentucky has a future.

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Old 11-14-2013, 09:09 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
27,608 posts, read 20,598,978 times
Reputation: 33431
Quote:
Originally Posted by hogsrus View Post
So...are you suggesting doing nothing? S.O.A.R. is a waste of money. Just leave it (Eastern Kentucky)as it has been for decades. And, now even worse since the coal industry is almost gone. By your statement, are you suggesting Eastern Kentuckians leave home and move to Louisville or Lexington or just...? I'm not saying that's a bad thing, many have done that. It's just not for me but, who am I to say? Even at that it still leaves some questions as to the future of Eastern Kentucky. If Eastern Kentucky has a future.

Politicians of both parties in these coal areas always pander to coal friendliness, but they either don't realize or can't tell the public that much of the poverty and trouble they have today is because their economy relied exclusively on coal. These jobs aren't coming back. The easy to get (and cheap) coal is gone, what mining there is left is more automated and employs fewer people, and it's on the losing side of the economic argument these days to natural gas.

VA just had an election cycle and Southwest VA is much the same way as eastern KY. Many of the coal counties are so poor that it looks like a foreign power invaded and laid waste to the towns, yet the local politicians and state commericials in this area continue talking about the benefits of coal. There have been some fits and starts toward economic diversification, but the best people the area had have probably left long ago, infrastructure hasn't been kept up to date, crime is high, etc. Just making these areas usable from an infrastructure standpoint is probably going to be more costly than what the areas can produce. The sad thing is that there is no serious political discussion about progress. Things stay the same and people remain poor.

Sadly, it would be best if the people could leave, get to a functioning area, and hopefully be brought up to speed enough to be productive citizens.
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Old 11-14-2013, 04:17 PM
 
Location: Eastern Kentucky Proud
912 posts, read 1,352,201 times
Reputation: 937
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emigrations View Post
Politicians of both parties in these coal areas always pander to coal friendliness, but they either don't realize or can't tell the public that much of the poverty and trouble they have today is because their economy relied exclusively on coal. These jobs aren't coming back. The easy to get (and cheap) coal is gone, what mining there is left is more automated and employs fewer people, and it's on the losing side of the economic argument these days to natural gas.

VA just had an election cycle and Southwest VA is much the same way as eastern KY. Many of the coal counties are so poor that it looks like a foreign power invaded and laid waste to the towns, yet the local politicians and state commericials in this area continue talking about the benefits of coal. There have been some fits and starts toward economic diversification, but the best people the area had have probably left long ago, infrastructure hasn't been kept up to date, crime is high, etc. Just making these areas usable from an infrastructure standpoint is probably going to be more costly than what the areas can produce. The sad thing is that there is no serious political discussion about progress. Things stay the same and people remain poor.

Sadly, it would be best if the people could leave, get to a functioning area, and hopefully be brought up to speed enough to be productive citizens.
Yep. heard just today, two of Kentucky's coal fired power plants are being converted to natural gas.

Well, it would at least appear that someone is making an effort in Kentucky, wouldn't you say? Everything you have said is true and has been discussed at great length many times over so, Any Ideas? Or, is Eastern Kentucky not worth the time and resources? I think that is what you were advocating in a previous post. Correct me if I'm wrong.
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Old 11-15-2013, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Austin
1,771 posts, read 3,282,644 times
Reputation: 798
Hogsrus, if you were referring to me, I'm not really an out of state response. I was born and raised in Ky. My family goes back to the late 1700's in eastern Ky, the last of a direct line buried there in the 1970's, and that's just one family line of many early EKY settlers. I probably couldn't turn around without seeing a cousin. Hope you get the true out of state participation you wanted.

My opinion is, of course, that EKY is very much worth "saving". My idea would be to capitalize on the culture of the area, not try to change it to the degree that is the common wisdom. EKY traditions are something to be proud of and experienced by outsiders in a respectful manner, not fueled by stereotypes. Its music and food are a part of American culture lost on many Americans.

I'm seeing a revival of interest and value in those things, from the young (hipster) generations of Austinites around me to blogs of the youngish from other areas. They just don't exactly know where all that came from, but they're searching for these things, this step away from the commercially processed and this step toward the self-sufficient lifestyles our EKY ancestors lived. I stopped by a specialty shop a few days ago and asked if they had country ham. They said they're sold out at this time. I mentioned that my grandparents always cured their own. That got a collective "cool!" and several questions. Writer's colonies, tourism, cultural centers, etc. these are things the area could be ripe for.

Improve access to the area, restore its natural beauty with almost lost natural vegetation and wildlife, respect heritage, and make people feel a part of the educational process not a problem to it. That's our (mine and many others) job as an educator. Don't look down on these people and think you are always the one to impart wisdom and training. Listen to and learn from theirs. That's something we're in danger of losing. Step by step, undo the damage that's been done.

Last edited by capcat; 11-15-2013 at 11:06 AM..
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Old 11-15-2013, 10:35 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
10,379 posts, read 6,053,666 times
Reputation: 4484
Default Changing eastern Kentucky

Quote:
Originally Posted by hogsrus View Post
Will SOAR make a difference? Will it work? Why? Why not? What percentage of the people in our Great State or Nation support SOAR? How much money would you support going to Eastern Kentucky? I would like to hear any or all opinion's, not just Kentucky. An outside perspective would be good.
My friend, you know that I'm not originally from Kentucky, but lived there 17 years, graduated from Campbellsville, and traveled eastern Ky from Ashland to Pikeville and from Paintsville to Berea as an insurance rep.

Yes you eastern Kentuckians are worth something because of who you are, what's inside of you.

But I believe all of you need to put on new thinking caps when it comes to making your area prosper again. The alternative is to continue to have tons of people living on the dole and cursing the hand that feeds them.

I'm not sure of what it will take, but I know it's not going to happen by us outsiders giving you "i-dears." As a group, you are pretty much self-directed. You are going to have to come together and get some "outside" experts to tell you what other resources are available to you besides coal, and then make a decision to unite politically to push that agenda.

I would like to add that education is still important and even more vital for a depressed area. No industry or service group is much interested in expanding into an area where at best folks only have a high school diploma.

You're all good folks. You're a valuable historical asset as a living tradition to another time in the history of our nation. None of the rest of us will ever have the particular and sometimes peculiar (to us outsiders) traits that come from native eastern Kentuckians. So, yes, there are "outsiders" out here who know who you are and would and will support necessary changes to bring a more prosperous way of life to those who live there.

Unite. Get rid of the politicians that have whispered sweet nothings in your ears for decades without ever bringing about any positive change. Demand better educational facilities (and, yes, pay for them as best you can) and start telling your young people if they want to help your area of the country they need to be smarter, more dedicated, more loyal to their heritage than anyone has ever been before. Let them know they are needed by eastern Kentucky and that the generation of old farts there is counting on them.

Accept the national changes that are removing coal as a primary resource and look around at your beautiful and mystical part of the country. You have a lot to be proud of.

From one old fart to another!
Peace.
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Old 11-17-2013, 07:22 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
27,608 posts, read 20,598,978 times
Reputation: 33431
Quote:
Originally Posted by capcat View Post
Hogsrus, if you were referring to me, I'm not really an out of state response. I was born and raised in Ky. My family goes back to the late 1700's in eastern Ky, the last of a direct line buried there in the 1970's, and that's just one family line of many early EKY settlers. I probably couldn't turn around without seeing a cousin. Hope you get the true out of state participation you wanted.

My opinion is, of course, that EKY is very much worth "saving". My idea would be to capitalize on the culture of the area, not try to change it to the degree that is the common wisdom. EKY traditions are something to be proud of and experienced by outsiders in a respectful manner, not fueled by stereotypes. Its music and food are a part of American culture lost on many Americans.

I'm seeing a revival of interest and value in those things, from the young (hipster) generations of Austinites around me to blogs of the youngish from other areas. They just don't exactly know where all that came from, but they're searching for these things, this step away from the commercially processed and this step toward the self-sufficient lifestyles our EKY ancestors lived. I stopped by a specialty shop a few days ago and asked if they had country ham. They said they're sold out at this time. I mentioned that my grandparents always cured their own. That got a collective "cool!" and several questions. Writer's colonies, tourism, cultural centers, etc. these are things the area could be ripe for.

Improve access to the area, restore its natural beauty with almost lost natural vegetation and wildlife, respect heritage, and make people feel a part of the educational process not a problem to it. That's our (mine and many others) job as an educator. Don't look down on these people and think you are always the one to impart wisdom and training. Listen to and learn from theirs. That's something we're in danger of losing. Step by step, undo the damage that's been done.
There is a kind of "mountain culture" that you see promoted in tourist areas like Pigeon Forge, TN. This is some old time, self-sufficient culture that may have been true a hundred ago. The real "mountain culture" today is one of no economic opportunity, high crime, welfare dependence, drug addiction, out of wedlock births, etc. These remote Appalachian areas are actually remarkably similar to the worst inner city areas in spite of the different voting patterns.

Sure, you might get some hipster in Austin that sees some TV documentary about how life is lived in Appalachia and thinks it's cool. But if they were to go to eastern KY and see the people who have no plumbing, no power, no shopping, no internet access, no cell phone reception, the addiction, the crime, etc, they'd probably run back to Austin quickly.
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Old 11-17-2013, 09:33 PM
 
Location: Nashville, TN
6,851 posts, read 5,145,983 times
Reputation: 4693
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emigrations View Post
There is a kind of "mountain culture" that you see promoted in tourist areas like Pigeon Forge, TN. This is some old time, self-sufficient culture that may have been true a hundred ago. The real "mountain culture" today is one of no economic opportunity, high crime, welfare dependence, drug addiction, out of wedlock births, etc. These remote Appalachian areas are actually remarkably similar to the worst inner city areas in spite of the different voting patterns.

Sure, you might get some hipster in Austin that sees some TV documentary about how life is lived in Appalachia and thinks it's cool. But if they were to go to eastern KY and see the people who have no plumbing, no power, no shopping, no internet access, no cell phone reception, the addiction, the crime, etc, they'd probably run back to Austin quickly.
Exactly.
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