Eyeing the elk
Kentucky State Parks will offer elk tours at Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park, Jenny Wiley State Resort Park, and Pine Mountain State Resort Park, with select dates and packages beginning in late September through March. You can pick out a weekend, stay at a state park lodge or cottage, and rise early to enjoy one of these unique tours. Participants should bring their cameras. The largest elk herds are located on privately owned lands normally closed to the public. This is one of the few opportunities available for the public to see the greatest number of elk. For more information, go to the Web site www.parks.ky.gov, click on the “Events” tab, and then the month you would like to visit.
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The gold rush is on again, this time for black gold.
Wealth is the result of energy consumption. For most of our existence on this planet, we relied on human energy to accomplish work. Even strong, hard-working humans cannot do very much work. People domesticated strong animals, like horses and oxen, and learned to capture the wind to push sailing vessels.
But the great breakthrough came when we learned to use carbon energy from fossil fuels. That multiplied our energy consumption—and our wealth—enormously. One gallon of gasoline will push my 3,000-pound automobile at 60 miles per hour for about 29 miles. How much human energy would be required to do that?
Invention of the energy-consuming automobile underlies much of our economic development. That invention generated employment for automobile manufacturing, automobile sales, service stations, glass, rubber, coal, steel, road building, junkyards, towing, emergency medical service, insurance, chemicals, law, oil refineries, construction equipment, military equipment, trucking, machine tools, the travel and recreation industry, and it facilitated suburban housing and shopping mall development. Those jobs produced tax revenue that made the U.S. treasury the envy of the world.
Carbon energy supplies the air conditioning that makes southern cities livable and the heat that makes northern cities practical. Carbon energy lights our world at night.
We have established military bases in the Middle East where the petroleum energy is located, and we are preparing for the possibility that long-term military deployments may be necessary to protect our interests. Without carbon energy, we would probably fall into a primitive existence, a third-world state.
Energy is expensive. When you pay the pump price for gasoline, factor in the hidden costs. Factor in the enormous cost of military operations required to bring it home. Factor in the immeasurable costs of human lives and limbs. Ironically, just as we make this formidable commitment to carbon energy, we are informed by scientists that burning it is radically destabilizing the planet. We are in the position of figuratively “gaining the whole world but losing our soul.”
What are the options?
Converting farmland to automobile fuel production (alcohol) will dramatically increase food prices. Conservation is a possibility if we drive 50 miles per hour. There is no magic solution.
The rush for black gold is a central feature of the times in which we live. Nations may rise and fall because of it.
Jack Stevenson currently lives in Whitley City, and has taught at the United States Army Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia, worked at Fort Knox as a Civil Service foreman, served two years in Vietnam, and has worked in the Middle East.
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Jessica Ellen Johnson of Leitchfield Christian Academy wrote the winning essay in a contest of the Kentucky Education Savings Plan Trust, a 529 college savings plan administered by the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority. Entrants answered the question “Why is College Important to You?” In recognition, Wal-Mart will contribute $250 to a KESPT account on her behalf. For more information on KESPT, visit www.kysaves.com.
Here is her winning essay:
College: The Foundation for My Future
Some children my age say that they don’t need to go to college, or that it’s not important. Those children are wrong! College is an opportunity, the beginning of a dream. Going to college opens doors to your future. People who don’t attend college won’t get presented jobs and opportunities that college graduates will.
Kentucky’s state brand is “Unbridled Spirit.” I’ve been told I have lots of unbridled spirit. College would allow me to use my abilities and free spirit to have a career I enjoy and not just a job I have to do. If I don’t attend college, I might have a job that only pays minimum wage. If I ever want to achieve my dream, I will have to go to college and work for it.
My dream is to be an optometrist. My mother works with people who are blind or visually impaired. I have always thought the eye was fascinating. I like learning about different eye diseases and how they affect people. College will give me the education I need. I would like to open my own vision center and help everyone in my community. College will give me a better foundation for life.
Jessica Ellen Johnson
Leitchfield Christian Academy
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Race around Bardstown
Outdoor enthusiasts, recreational businesses, and Nelson County officials are pooling resources to launch the Bulleit’s Bourbon City Challenge Adventure Race in Bardstown on September 9. The multi-sport event will combine running, trail running, orienteering, paddling, and cycling. The adventure race begins with a 2-mile paved run at the Bardstown-Nelson County Airport before leading into a trail-running leg along lakeside property at Sympson Lake. After the run, racers will paddle a 2-mile circuit on the lake before racing bikes into Bardstown and toward the finish line back at the airport. Event categories include a team relay event for participants not wanting to be in all legs of the event. Entry fee for the race is $25 a person and the price includes camping the night before, courtesy of Horizon Hoppers Adventure Services, a t-shirt, a gift bag, and a chance at winning a trophy. Learn more and register online for the race at www.bardstownboaters.com or at www.horizonhopper.com. A portion of the proceeds will go toward Bardstown Boaters’ effort to construct a whitewater park in Bardstown.
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Marion County Country Ham Days celebrates its 38th year September 29 and 30 in downtown Lebanon. This year’s special feature will be a Locks of Love cut-a-thon at 11 a.m. Saturday, where donations of hair will be made for wigs to be used by children who have lost their hair due to disease and other medical problems. Other activities include a PIGasus Parade, scavenger run and motorcycle show, a car and truck show, a 5K race, and of course, food and entertainment. For info, visit the Web site www.hamdays.com.
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Years ago, fresh out of college, I was a new English teacher in front of my first class of first-year high school students. Deciding to make good use of my recently completed psychology courses, I started the class by saying, “Anyone who thinks he or she is too stupid to learn the proper use of the English language, please stand up.”
After a few seconds of muffled giggling, one of the girls stood up.
“Well, young lady,” I started, “are you stupid?”
“No, ma’am,” she replied, “but I hate to see you standing there all by yourself.”
Janett L. Grady
We printed incorrect phone numbers for Mammoth Cave in the Traveling Kentucky column in July on Cub Run Cave. Correct numbers are (270) 758-2180 for information and (877) 444-6777 for tour reservations.
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