Wednesday, April 23, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Boone County, KY. — hardly poor

EDITOR: Last night I opened the Mountain Democrat to read Mr. John Garon’s letter on Boone County, Ky. I was surprised to find out that this county was the poorest in America. Boone County is located just south of Cincinnati, Ohio, and considered to be a bedroom community for employees of Cincinnati’s Fortune 1000 and Fortune 500 companies.

In 2009 the median income was $68,369 and the poverty rate was 6.4 percent. Twenty-nine point six percent of the population holds a bachelor’s degree. This is hardly the poorest county in America. Perhaps the European television crew had their geography off. Were they in Boone County, W. Va.? a? Or Owsley County, Ky., where the town of Booneville is located? Or Putnam County, Ohio, where my mother grew up, one of 12 and daughter of a Hungarian immigrant sharecropper and coal miner?

I recall vacations to Kentucky, crossing the Ohio River, and seeing the famous “Florence Y’All” water tower signaling our entrance into Boone County, Ky. These trips continued, however, to the deepest parts of Appalachia, as my father combined his coal mining sales career with our summer vacations. Traveling these mountain roads through the “hollers” was a recipe for car sickness – possibly why the European television crew settled for the relatively flat north-central part of the state where Boone County is and relied on the coverage ABC news did of Booneville in April 2012. These are some of the poorest areas of the country. Guns are a necessity; used for subsistence hunting. If you take the gun away, you take away a food source.

Mr. Garon’s depiction of the residents is patronizing, influenced by the European lens through which the story was depicted. These are proud people who are decedents of the frontiersmen and women who settled this country. They work hard, are family-oriented, believe in a moral code and in God. Is this so bad? Just because it is not the way wealthy, class-conscious Europeans live, it is still a life worth living.

The point really is, please do not rely only on what one hears/reads from television, radio, Internet, etc. Investigate. If some important facts are wrong, then others could be too or manipulated in a way as to encourage one point of view.

In this day of instant electronic news, there are many mistakes printed and never corrected. The story just disappears. Nevertheless, we rely on these stories as fact, when the only fact is the stories are yellow journalism.

Case in point: Mr. Garon states that the schools in Boone County are not worthy of Somalia. Let’s assume he means Booneville and not suburban Boone County. I visited the school’s Website and found pictures of young women on the volleyball and basketball teams and links for financial aid information for college. There is 2009 school performance data indicating while students do not perform higher than the state average, the graduation rate is 87 percent and 50 perent of the class transitions on to college or vocational training. While there is room for improvement, the statistics are meaningful given that over 90 percent of the students are considered economically disadvantaged. Meanwhile, according to UNICEF, 80 percent of the of Somali children have no access to education. There is hardly a comparison.

SUSAN FITCH

Placerville

Letters to the Editor

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Discussion | 19 comments

  • Phil VeerkampDecember 07, 2012 - 10:56 pm

    Susan, thank you for a well stated, well constructed and logical counter of the effete, worldly and urbane Mr. Garon's condescending slander against the good people of Boon County, KY. Mr. Garon and his wife are former denizens of the United States State Department. If his treatise on Boon County is typical of his work product at State then much may be explained.

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  • Mike ParkerDecember 08, 2012 - 9:13 am

    I live in Boone County Kentucky, one of the best places to live in America! Boone County school system is in the top 5% in Kentucky n that is with having over 20k children in the system! Boone County is far from one of the poor counties of Kentucky, we are lucky to be real close to Greater Cincinnati International Airport which is located in Boone County plus we are only 10 miles south of Cincinnati . Come visit us! Mike Parket

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 08, 2012 - 9:54 am

    Mr. Garon, would you address Mike Parker's testimony, please? . . . Mr. Parker, a commenter from Mr. Garon’s, “Boone County, Ky., poor and GOP country” letter to the editor admits to total prior ignorance of Boon County but nonetheless validates Mr. Garon’s assertions by writing, “John Garon quite correctly references Boone County as being the poorest county in the country . . . Wanting to know more about Boone County, about which I had been totally ignorant prior to John’s letter, I went online. The commenter’s internet validation of Mr. Garon’s letter comes from a uk url - LINK - Boon County pictorial essay -dailymail-co-uk-news-article - Mr. Parker, it seems that all of us out here in California are personally ignorant of Boon County. Have you ever encountered places in Boon County that might be the source of the pictorial essay?

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  • James E.December 08, 2012 - 10:58 am

    Phil, exactly where if Boon County? I think Boone County (as in Daniel Boone) is in Kentucky. Hmmm, wonder if there was a Daniel Boon?

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 08, 2012 - 11:26 am

    LINK - www.boonecountyky.org/

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 08, 2012 - 11:28 am

    LINK - www boonecountyky org/

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 08, 2012 - 11:50 am

    LINK - Map of Kentucky highlighting Boone County

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  • JohnDecember 08, 2012 - 7:04 pm

    I apologize to residents of Boone County, Kentucky, which is not the poorest County in the U.S. The foreign news show where I got my info probably meant to say "Booneville", the county seat of Owsley County, which IS the poorest county in the U.S. according to the Census Bureau. Southeastern KY is home to the four poorest counties in the country. Boone County or Booneville matters little; the pictures told the real story of a population with a median yearly family income of less than $20,000 brainwashed by the GOP and religious extremists into believing that Romney would lift them out of their poverty.

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 08, 2012 - 10:48 pm

    John, I’m certain that at some time in the past you have been corrected on statements such as, “. . . brainwashed by the GOP and religious extremists into believing that Romney would lift them out of their poverty”. One of the tenants of the right is the notion that when people lift themselves out of poverty the government becomes less relevant. John, the politics of dependency is what these poor people understand and seem to reject.

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 08, 2012 - 11:34 pm

    PS to my previous comment - These “poor” people have arrived early at OCCUPY’s vision of the future. Sustainability . . . living off the land . . . survivalists . . . freedom that many might envy . . . the meek . . . our successors?

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  • cookie65December 10, 2012 - 6:41 am

    Mr. Garon doesn't depend on accuracy for the nonsense he spews. His intent was to bash Romney and anyone who prefers liberty over marxism. Zero won and Garon is every bit as bitter as ever. It is going to be a longer four years for him than it is for the rest of us. He is grasping for the utopia that isn't coming. At least he has everyone else on the planet to blame for obama's failures.

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  • James E.December 10, 2012 - 7:49 am

    Cookie, you speak of a man called Mitt Romney. I don't think I remember him. Was he someone who the public should remember as he fades into nothingness?

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 10, 2012 - 8:15 am

    Keep in mind, Colonel, the point of perspective, "as he fades into nothingness”. Mitt is still at the top of the cliff. He will be watching us as we fade into nothingness over that “Looney Tunes” cliff. We pull the rip cord. Out pops a flag embroidered “PARACHUTE by ACME” beep!beep!

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  • Jim RiordanDecember 10, 2012 - 10:34 am

    More Garon hogwash. He got his wish. Now he can watch Bronco Bama, the "Urban Chowboy" give away all the freebies to the freeloaders when in fact there is nothing left to give away except inflation. Ride 'em Chowboy! . . . and be sure to take some of Garon's retirement to give away to those more worthy . . . . I'm sure Mr. Garon would like it that way.

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  • James E.December 10, 2012 - 11:03 am

    Phil, we should all remember that the Fiscal Cliff, and all its implications are the result of past kicking the can down the road by Congress. If they don't want the Defense Department, et al., to suffer severe cuts all they have to do is change the deal -- if they would stop having massive holidays, they could do in less than one day.

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  • Rich JuethDecember 10, 2012 - 1:00 pm

    Riordan and Cookie: get over it already, losers.

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  • RichardDecember 10, 2012 - 1:07 pm

    Even their own leadership agree, saying stupid things seem to be a way of life for the tea party; Dick Armey, former leader of the conservative group FreedomWorks, said most GOP candidates said "stupid things" that party leaders should have taught them to avoid saying. He said Republicans had a lot of candidates who did "dumb things" during their campaigns. Republicans had been hoping to win control of the Senate but ended up losing seats instead, and they lost strength in the House as well. Seems there’s a message here ………

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  • Jim RiordanDecember 10, 2012 - 1:34 pm

    Mr. Jueth . . . I have been "over it" since election day ended. However, I pledge allegiance only to my flag, never to socialism. Have a great next three plus years of no accountability and a constant string of lame excuses. I think it is only fair that we should keep hearing the same ole/same ole, "It's the last administration's problems I inherited", cause this time it will be true, since not one promise he made was kept. What a joke.

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  • RichardDecember 10, 2012 - 3:01 pm

    Jim, you don’t have a flag if you don’t believe in what it stands for. Our country is growing into the 21st century and obvious you’ve been left behind...

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