Odd in Kentucky
Here’s something weird, well, a lot of things weird, and right here in Kentucky. Weird Kentucky features nearly 250 pages of short reports and pictures of the crazy and creepy in the state. The book covers what most of us already know about, from the Hatfields and McCoys to Hunter S. Thompson, to the big rooster at Rooster Run. But other tales are less familiar, from the Herrington Lake monster to wildly decorated cars. Parental advisory: a few of the ghost and crime stories might deserve a PG-13 rating. The book contains a lot of odd history packaged in a highly readable way, and includes a disturbing number of items that have been covered in Kentucky Living. It was written by Jeffrey Scott Holland and published by Sterling Publishing Co., in New York.
Pressure is mounting in Congress to do something about climate change. And while political debates in Washington, D.C., may seem far away, the outcome will have a direct impact on Kentucky’s electric cooperatives, and on you.
Climate change is one aspect of a looming energy crisis created by increasing demand and decreasing capacity to meet that demand. Experts now say some areas of the country will be short of power within one or two years.
And yet energy supply isn’t an issue our elected representatives are spending a lot of time on. These forces—the desire by government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions quickly and the growing demand for power by consumers—are about to collide.
Some say we can meet demand through efficiency and renewable energy. The reality is we need all the efficiency and renewable energy we can get, but that will not be enough.
To avert an energy crisis, the federal government must exercise true leadership, the same leadership that got Americans to the moon in the 1960s. Without that leadership—without a sound, responsible plan—government risks not only the reliability of our electric system, but literally the ability of many Americans to afford to pay their electric bill.
That’s why I want to encourage you to contact your elected officials.
You don’t need to be an energy expert to ask questions. Asking questions helps find the answers to solve the problem of balancing climate change goals with keeping your lights on and your electric bills affordable.
Right now, members of Congress as well as state elected officials are hearing from lots of different groups with ideas about climate change. No one is talking to consumers, however. We need a plan people can live with today while we deal with the climate change problem of tomorrow.
Electric cooperatives around the nation are kicking this effort off with a basic but critical question for our elected representatives in Washington: What are they doing to make sure we’ll have the power we need in the future?
Far too often, questions don’t get asked by policy makers until plans go wrong. We believe it makes sense to know the answers before the laws are passed. You can help your elected officials and yourself by having this conversation. The electric bill you save will be your own.
Glenn English is CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
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National quilt museum—it’s official
Congress has designated the Museum of the American Quilter’s Society in Paducah as The National Quilt Museum of the United States. The museum averages 40,000 visitors a year from across the country and at least 25 foreign countries. It’s a nonprofit institution established to educate, promote, and honor today’s quilt makers. The museum started more than 16 years ago and is the largest quilt museum in the world. More information, including exhibits, hours, admission, and directions, is available on the Internet at www.quiltmuseum.org or by phone at (270)442-8856.
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Winners on horses
The University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture Equestrian Team bested 17 other hunt seat teams from across the country at the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association national championships this spring to take home UK’s first team championship.
Two individual riders from the equestrian team’s stock seat division also scored big at this year’s nationals. Alumni rider Lacey Wercynski was reserve national champion and Emily Gaskin placed eighth.
A rider from UK’s dressage team also won a national championship at the 2008 Intercollegiate Dressage Association national championships. Freshman Allison Wilaby of Colorado Springs, Colo., was named national champion in First Level Test One Division.
Callie Schott’s performance in both of her classes—over fences and equitation—boosted UK’s Equestrian Team totals to take the lead from the University of Findlay, Ohio.
Team rider Ali Cibon also won her class, adding to UK’s points total. Other hunt seat team riders included Louise Bowden, Sarah Bybee, Allison Davidson, and Rebecca Wichard.
The hunt seat team is coached by Michelle Zimmer and rides at Robert Murphy Stables. The stock seat team is coached by Bennie Sargent and rides at High Point Equestrian Center.
—Holly Wiemers, UK Extension
A kid’s collection of animal lessons
Paula M. Sowell could be called the Grandma Moses of children’s book writers. The Lexington resident may not have begun publishing until her 80s, but will no doubt delight many children with her three new books.
In LeMonde: On Being Cursed with Expecting the Worst, we meet a pig who refuses to go in a pond. Turns out LeMonde is afraid of water. Despite the jeers and taunts of his piggy friends, LeMonde stands firm: pigs cannot swim, he says, and no matter how hot it gets, he will not go in the water.
When pride finally gets the best of him and he ventures into the water, he discovers the pond is hog heaven. Has LeMonde learned that things in life are rarely as scary as we think they are? Perhaps not: the book ends with LeMonde facing a tall hill…and he’s sure he’ll fall.
Another life lesson is learned in Mahoney: On Discovering What Lay Beyond the Hill. Mahoney the pony has a lovely life: a boy to take care of him, a stall to sleep in, pastures to graze. But Mahoney isn’t satisfied, and sets off alone to see the world. He visits a school yard, watches a train, learns about traffic signals, and is dazzled by the cars, trucks, scooters, and bikes.
It’s all very well until he realizes he has no friends, no one to bring him corn, and nobody to bring him in out of the rain. Maybe it’s not so much fun to see the world when you’re all alone.
Adults remember how to be a kid in Howard: On Taking Your Father to the Zoo. From the crusty old rhino to the King of the Jungle, Howard shows his father how wonderful the animals are. Just don’t pat the porcupine.
With a dry wit for the adults (not many children’s books contain the words “prehensile” and “pernicious”) and sing-song rhyming for the kids, Sowell’s stories come alive with lavish illustrations by Uta Richter.
All three books can be ordered from SowellHouse Publishing at www.jt2design.com/sowell.htm.