Perhaps most importantly, why in the world are we in eastern Kentucky still having to put up with polluted waterways? At last check, the Commonwealth of Kentucky currently recognizes the North Fork of the Kentucky River in Perry County as one of those ways that one shouldn’t go swimming in.
And why not?
Simple, people are still illegally piping raw sewage into our creeks and streams via straight pipes.
Yes, in the year 2011 when people can get their news through portable communication devices and fuel for the automobiles from the outlets in their garages, we still haven’t yet figured out a way to get everyone out there access to either sewer lines or individual sewage systems.
There is something seriously wrong with that.
Just think about that for a moment. A certain sector of Appalachian society is focusing the majority of its energy on halting coal mining because, in part, they say the practice is killing our natural water supply. Yet very few people are even mentioning the fact that despite all of the technological advancements we have made in America, rural Appalachia is barely doing any better than what the Romans were able to do several centuries ago with their own forms of aqueducts and sewage systems.
Now add to the fact that here in Perry County we’re just now getting to around 90 percent of the county supplied with city water, and I’d be hard pressed to believe that our neck of the woods isn’t getting the shaft.
A friend of mine came into the office last week and was talking to me about the rise in electricity bills here lately. During the course of the conversation, he mentioned that he believes our region has been left out of the developmental mix, and through stereotyping and outside perception, central Appalachia is thought of in a less than positive light.
That’s probably true, considering the number of documentarians that come to our region year after year to document the plight of the Appalachian; how we destroy our land to feed the barons of the coalfields, live month to month off of our government rations and just get by with our Jethro Clampett sixth grade education.
I wouldn’t say we’ve been persecuted, but we’ve certainly been passed over, and it’s probably our pride that keeps us from brushing it off our shoulder and moving ahead.
Ultimately we’ve done a pretty good job of moving forward on our own, but it’s pretty obvious that we’ve got a ways still to go. But before we can really make any progress, we’ve got to put our pride up front and no longer stand for some of those oddities that have taken over. We shouldn’t put up with the drug dealer doling out pills to teenagers down the road. We shouldn’t have to put up with our neighbor flushing his toilet out into the creek upstream. At some point we’ll look back and remember the times when straight pipes were common, and we simply couldn’t believe we let that go on. I don’t know when that time will be, but I hope it’s sooner rather than later.